#Stand4JA

2012-07-10 Julia Gillard comes clean on WikiLeaks

I bumped into Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the train yesterday. I mean, literally bumped. I was lurching towards the last available seat on the 4:45 pm from Central when I tripped and collapsed over the armrest beside her, momentarily dislodging the blonde wig she was wearing as a disguise. The glossy red hair was a giveaway, and there was no hiding that nose.

2012-07-10 Fear of U.S. backlash further justifies Assange's concerns

Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19 in order to seek political asylum. His application is based on concern of U.S. extradition and prosecution.

Since the announcement of his decision to seek asylum, there has been discussion of possible U.S. rebuttal if Ecuador were to accept Mr Assange into asylum.

2012-07-03 Great Aunt Sophie writes to her MP

Dear WikiLeakers:

I'm delighted that people are enjoying the Geek song and Great Aunt Sophie's midsummer spell.

My publicist Emma asked Aunt Sophie to share with you the letter she had written to her MP. Sophie was happy to oblige.

2012-07-02 REVEALED! WikiLeaks' SHOCKING Unpublished Revelations!

WikiLeaks releases have shaken global politics and provoked countless news headlines. Founder Julian Assange has rarely been out of the media spotlight. And yet WikiLeaks' greatest revelations have scarcely been noticed by mainstream media journalists. Here at last, we expose the full story behind the stories that the corporate media are too scared to touch!

2012-07-01 WikiLeaks News Update: WikiLeaks releases fundraising CD; U.S. admits ongoing investigation




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 575 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 572 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 769 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 655 days.

2012-06-29 Francisco Carrión ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs: "Ecuador must grant asylum because Mr. Assange is being politically persecuted and his life is at stake"

Francisco Carrión is an Ecuadorian diplomat and political analyst. He is the ex-Foreign Affairs Minister of Ecuador, having also worked in the embassies in Paris, Madrid and London. After resigning as head of mission at the United Nations he began teaching at FLACSO University in Quito.

The delay in Ecuador's answer to Mr. Assange's asylum bid hints at a deep think caused by the issue's complexity. What do you think are the key points of the debate?

2012-06-28 Correa in the catbird seat

"Catbird seat", noun: "an advantageous situation or condition"; "sitting pretty". This North American idiom readily applies to the current position of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who was hoisted into the international spotlight when he recently became host to Julian Assange. As a result Correa has raised the global profile of his small nation of 14 million, and the tens of thousands of letters received by his embassy in the past ten days indicate that granting Assange asylum would instantly make him a global hero. With little economic dependence on the U.S., and with Assange at his disposal, Correa potentially holds significant leverage over Washington.

2012-06-25 Assange, Diplomacy, and Duplicity

We are all forced by logic to respect this dichotomy:

Either the US threatens Julian Assange's freedom, or it does not.

However, the Washington Post editorial board, reflecting the US diplomatic position, prefer to have it both ways in the same article.

2012-06-21 Transcript: Julian Assange's first interview from Ecuadorian Embassy

Julian Assange interview on ABC Radio National Breakfast, 21 June 2012. This is his first interview conducted since he applied for political asylum in Ecuador. At the time of this interview, Mr Assange had been at the Ecuadorian Embassy for three days. Full audio is available at the ABC Radio website.

2011-07-07 Sweden - a covert NATO country

Ever since the Second World War, official Swedish foreign policy has been one of neutrality, a stance that has been consistent with public opinion: support for Swedish NATO membership has at most times remained below 20%.(1) In 2010, 47% of Swedes held the view that a Swedish application for NATO membership would be a bad idea, while only 18% thought it would be a good idea.

Sweden joined NATO's Partnership for Peace programme in 1994, but is claimed to have retained its independence. According to NATO, "Sweden has a long history of non-alliance, and that policy remains in place today."(2) The Swedish Ministry of Defence emphasises this independence, stating that "Sweden´s cooperation with NATO is based on non-alliance"(3), and suggesting that although it currently has troops deployed in several foreign countries, Sweden has not been at war "for 200 years."(4)

Instances of close cooperation between Sweden and NATO throughout the cold war period are, however, too numerous for this stated position of neutrality to retain much credibility.

Wilhelm Lagrell has pointed out that then US ambassador to Sweden William W Butterworth sent a telegram to Washington in 1952, stating that Sweden was prepared to enter far-reaching defence cooperation with other western countries, on the condition that any such arrangements were kept secret.(5) Swedish military documents declassified in 2004 show that Swedish planes - also in 1952 - were used to gather intelligence on Soviet ships placed in the Baltic Sea, information which undoubtedly would have been of great interest to NATO.

In 1973, it was shown in relation to the famous IB affair that the Swedish intelligence agency, SÄPO, actively provided the US with information on US Vietnam war deserters living in Sweden.

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