Implicating herself on Pentagon’s side in a historic First Amendment controversy, Sen. Diane Feinstein is calling for the extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who is presently inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Feinstein, head of the joint intelligence committee, told a Syndey, Australia, paper in a written statement that Assange “has caused serious harm to US security and should be prosecuted accordingly.” (Sydney Morning Herald, July 2)
Feinstein, who has never criticized US secret operations or drone attacks in Afghanistan or Pakistan, could be subject to allegations that she has failed in her oversight responsibilities and is scapegoating Assange instead. The WikiLeaks founder released thousands of documents about US killings of Afghan and Iraqi civilians and secret CIA military operations that prosecutors will have to prove caused “serious harm to US security.” The WikiLeaks documents were published in the New York Times and several other newspapers of record around the world, under First Amendment protection.
Ecuador is considering Assange’s request for asylum, under considerable pressure from the US, Sweden and the US. A British court has ruled he can be extradited to Sweden, where he faces sex-related charges brought by two Swedish women. At any point during the process he could face extradition to the US.
If extradited, the Assange case could turn into the trial of the century, comparable to the Pentagon Papers case which contributed to the downfall of Richard Nixon four decades ago.
The US Justice Department has been weighing evidence that Assange conspired with convicted Pfc. Bradley Manning in an unauthorized release of Pentagon documents. The Assange defense rests on the First Amendment and the absence of any evidence that “serious harm” was done to national security beyond embarrassing government officials.
A Letter from Sweden
Dear Mr. Hayden,
I've been in contact with you before regarding the case of the two Egyptians that were sent to Egypt on the December 18, 2001, after their applications for political asylum in Sweden were denied.
I have followed the Assange case since August 2010 and I must say that I am very surprised by what is going on. I am not a legal expert. But I can tell you with 100% confidence that very many of the Assange lawyers know less of this case than I do. (Excuse me for boasting.)
I am very disturbed by the complete nonsense that is written about the "risk of extradition" from Sweden. Gleen Greenwald, Michael Ratner and Jennifer Robinson (plus a long list of others) have on a number of occasions stated there is a great risk for Julian to be extradited to the US if he is extradited to Sweden. I have asked them for one single fact that supports their opinion. So far I have not received one example. Not one. I can understand that because there is not one single case that supports their opinion. Not one. On the contrary. There are a number of cases that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the lawyers are completely wrong.
I've written a piece on my blog that deals with the "risk of extradition". I hope that you can afford 5 minutes of your life to have a look at it. I think it will make you see the case in a different light. The link is below. If you have any questions I am happy to supply you with more information.
Just a comment on Dianne Feinstein's calls for prosecuting Julian Assange using the Espionage Act. If Julian would be charged according to the Espionage Act he will never ever be extradited to the US from Sweden. That is not even remotely possible. Sweden does not extradite spies. It doesn't matter what Glenn Greenwald, Michael Ratner, Jennifer Robinson, Geoffrey Robertson, Mark Stephens, Per E. Samuelsson, Michael Moore, John Pilger, Bianca Jagger or the 4000 people that signed a letter to President Correa says. They are just ignorant. If you have signed the letter too excuse me. My intention is not to offend you, just want you to have a closer look.
Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it.