This is the moment WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London – where he lived since 2012.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 11, 2019
He’s looking a little like Randy Quaid these days. I wonder what instigated this development…
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police Thursday moments after Ecuador announced it withdrew his asylum for “repeatedly violating international conventions and protocol.”
Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Jose Valencia told Teleamazonas this week that living in the embassy indefinitely is bad for Assange’s “state of mind, his health,” but that Assange has a right to a fair trial and right to a defense.
London’s Metropolitan Police vowed earlier this month to arrest Assange if he were freed. Assange, who has lived in the embassy for more than six years, faces possible extradition to the U.S. for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.
Assange, 47, has been in the embassy since 2012 when British courts ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault case. That matter has since been dropped, but Wikileaks is facing a federal grand jury investigation over its publication of American diplomatic and military secrets during the Iraq War.
Assange, an Australian native, was arrested on a Westminster Magistrates’ Court warrant which was issued on June 29, 2012, for failing to surrender to court, Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
The main WikiLeaks Twitter handle accused Ecuador of “illegally” terminating Assange’s political asylum and accused the country of violating international law.
“This man is a son, a father, a brother. He has won dozens of journalism awards. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since 2010. Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to dehumanise, delegitimize and imprison him,” WikiLeaks tweeted…
The slender conspiracy theorist in me ponders if the Clinton machine had any, umm, influence in this.
BREAKING: US announces charge against Julian Assange, accusing him of helping Chelsea Manning break into classified computers pic.twitter.com/xrzEWsJ8VS
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 11, 2019
It’ll be interesting to test US ability to apply the Espionage Act to Assange, who isn’t a US citizen and who has no duty to safeguard our secrets. Glenn Greenwald and others have contended that Wikileaks is essentially a press organization and therefore protected under the First Amendment. Certainly, the Pentagon Papers and other cases have gone the way of American news organizations who have published classified documents. I maintain that Wikileaks’ suborning of the illegal transfer of information and active ties with the Russian government make them more akin to a foreign intelligence operation than a newspaper.
— Israel News Links (@IsraelNewsLinks) April 11, 2019
CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER: The most salient aspect of Assange's arrest is he was not indicted for anything related to the alleged 2016 DNC hacking. Recall that Mueller in his indictment vs alleged Russian GRU hackers strongly implied that Assange/WikiLeaks had conspired with the GRU
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) April 11, 2019