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Ecuador’s Agenda: Squeezing and Surrendering Assange

It is perhaps typical in a time where a star of the fleshy celluloid wonder Baywatch, heavy in bust and known for her sexual adventures, should feature as a political voice. Pamela Anderson’s views are treated with judicious seriousness – at least in some quarters. Her association with Julian Assange has given needless room for columns on what, exactly, their relationship constitutes.

Having such defenders as Anderson has added to his conspicuous support base, but it will not move those bureaucrats who are chewing pens in anticipation and pondering options as to how best to eject him from the Ecuadorean embassy (compound would be more fitting) in London. Easily missed amidst the titter of celebrity gossip is the plight of an ailing Assange, who is facing the next critical stage of his stay at the Ecuadorean embassy.

Since the changing of the guard in Ecuador, President Lenín Moreno has shown a warmer feeling towards the United States, and a desire to raise the issue of Assange’s stay in the embassy with US Vice President Mike Pence with the urgency of man desiring to be rid of a problem. The UK government has also been brought into the mix. The forces against Assange are marshalling themselves with a renewed impatience.

A squeeze evidently designed to break the will of WikiLeaks’ publisher-in-chief was commenced in March, with a change of the embassy’s Wi-Fi password effectively blocking his use of the Internet. Phone calls and visitations have also been curtailed. The bill of Ecuadorean hospitality, if it can be termed that, also became a subject of discussion – some $5 million expended on security and Assange’s various activities. Attitudes to a troublesome guest have hardened.

The press circuit has increasingly thickened in recent days with speculation about a round of high-tier discussions being conducted by Ecuador and the UK government on Assange. The Ecuadorean paper El Comercio has remarked upon the talks. It was a turn that was unsurprising, with Moreno unimpressed by Assange’s feats and credentials, the Australian being viewed back in January as an “inherited problem” who had created “more than a nuisance” for his government.

According to Glenn Greenwald, the report that those discussions did more than touch on the matter of handing Assange over to UK authorities “appears to be true”. This might trigger an indictment from US authorities and possible extradition proceedings, a point made acute by the promise of US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions back in April to “seek to put some people in jail”, with Assange’s “arrest” being a priority. “Can’t wait to see,” quipped Greenwald, “how many fake press freedom defenders support that.”

RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan smells that something nasty is brewing. “My sources tell [Julian] Assange will be handed over to Britain in the coming weeks or even days. Like never before, I wish my sources were wrong.”

That particular process, it would seem, is being headed by Sir Alan Duncan of the Foreign Office, the same individual who had an impulse back in March to call Assange that “miserable little worm” before fellow parliamentarians.

The line that Assange has been in arbitrary detention has never quite cut it in Duncan’s circles and he has been dangling a carrot with spectacular condescension. “It is our wish,” he told Parliament last month, “that this can be brought to an end and we’d like to make the assurance that if [Assange] were to step out of the embassy, he would be treated humanely and properly and that the first priority would be to look after his health, which we think is deteriorating.”

Such comments are always rounded up by that fanciful notion that Assange is “in the embassy of his own choice”. That line on inventive volition was reiterated by Britain’s new foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who issued a statement of praise for Britain as “a country of due process” keen to see that Assange “face justice for those [serious] charges”: “At any time he wants to he is free to walk out onto the street of Knightsbridge and the British police will have a warm welcome for him.”

Such grotesquely insincere concerns about health, fashioned as a weapon and an incentive by Duncan, would be academic should Assange find himself on the dismal road to US custody, where promises of a firm and icy welcome have been made. He would be merely nourished and fattened for a notoriously cruel prison system, analogous to the doctor healing a person on death row.

Anderson herself makes the relevant point about her urgent advocacy for Assange. “My role is to let people know that he’s a human being and not just a robot or a computer, and that he’s really sacrificing a lot for all of us. He hasn’t seen sunlight in six years. His skin is transparent.”

In what is nothing less than a war about what we can see, know and interpret, those who wish to preserve the traditional models of power and the clandestine state remain adamant: Assange is a trouble maker who must disappear.

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  1. Andreas

    And from the Australian Government: silence for 5 + years.

  2. Ricardo29

    The Australian govt. won’t do anything for Assange, after all he’s a purveyor of the wares of whistleblowers whose information has severely embarrassed a number of governments, including our own. And we all know what the Libs think of whistleblowers and their lawyers, they persecute them as with Bernard Collaery and Witness K. The Assange squeeze is on, the fix is in and with the idiot Trimp and his dumbass henchmen in power in the US, I really would not want to be Assange at the moment.

  3. paul walter

    Only one thing nauseates more than Assange’s unjust treatment and that has been the sickening support for it from large numbers or Orwellian-conditioned people.

    As for Anderson, she is one of a number of Hollywood blonds who appear to have resiliently risen above harsh and dubious starts in life. By dint of high intelligence and some character, rising above the cognitive prison the entertainment industry attempted to contain them within to reveal much depth not previously supposed at She cant shed all of the Valley Girl, the conditioning is too comprehensive, coming as it does from the global hub of consumer capitalism, so employs the image to further her own progress and that is a fairly substantial sort of accomplishment.

    Little doubt, given her background there would be empathy and sympathy for a man like Julian Assange.

    As I said above, I find the lack of sympathy for his plight and likely fate incomprehensible, a sort of 1984-ish mass psychopathy.

    Anderson can grasp the reality, what is wrong with so many other people who have claimed themselves to be so much brighter than the alleged bimbo?

  4. New England Cocky

    I think it is fair in this matter to describe the present Australian LNP misgovernment as “a puppet on American strings”. But then when did the USA (United States of Apartheid) consider human rights when a whistle-blower exposed the self-serving cronyism and personal profiteering that constitutes American government for the corporations?

  5. wam

    Sad that ‘out of sight out of mind’ is true. Assange has little hope of fair treatment and almost certainly will be in a series of ‘gaols’ for the rest of his life, Sadder we will only hear about him after his arrest and as the poms begin the extradition process.

  6. Alpo

    The only hope for Assange is to promise the Americans to cooperate with the Trump investigation in exchange for immunity from all possible charges.

  7. Pete

    He’s a fraud.

  8. paul walter

    Who? Trump?

    Get a life, Pete.

    We know Trump is a fraud, but want people who whistleblow on frauds to be let be instead of persecuted for telling the truth.

  9. Kronomex

    Someone will whisper in the The Donald’s ear that Assange is an evil threat to the US and pro-Hilary in which case it’s over for for him.

  10. paul walter

    Nothing makes me sick.

  11. helvityni

    Assange has already done more than his time; no reason to throw him to the lions; we don’t care about asylum seekers, but we also not care about our own citizens, we punish and then some more…

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