Julian Assange balcony speech - victim or manipulator?

Swedish police travelled abroad to quiz murder suspect - so why can't they see Assange in London?

LAST UPDATED AT 11:17 ON Mon 20 Aug 2012

SPEAKING from the Ecuadorean embassy balcony yesterday, Julian Assange portrayed himself as the victim of a globe-spanning anti-democratic attack by the US. Are his fears legitimate - or just a smokescreen to evade allegations that he committed sexual offences in Sweden?
 
Support came from Assange's celebrity backers. Academic and journalist Tariq Ali told the crowd in front of the Knightsbridge embassy we should "change our gaze", reports The Guardian, adding that somebody shouted back: "So should you, mate!"
 
Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood sent a message of support, regretting that she could not be there in person. Campaigning documentary-maker John Pilger also regretted his absence but told the BBC News channel that he fully supports his fellow Australian.
 
Talking to BBC News from Washington after the 10-minute speech, US columnist Mark Weisbrot said anybody who believes Sweden really wants Assange to be extradited simply to face questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct is fooling themselves.

Assange faces no charges in Sweden relating to the two women's allegations – and the claims they have made would not stand up even in a US court, he argued.
 
He said the Swedes had turned down repeated offers to interview Assange about the allegations in London. As Weisbrot wrote in The Guardian last week, from this  "we can infer that the Swedes have no legitimate reason for the extradition".
 
Weisbrot also pointed out yesterday that Swedish police recently flew to Serbia to interview a man they want to extradite on suspicion of murder.

The circumstances of that case are not identical: the un-named man is in jail in Belgrade and not therefore at liberty to come to Sweden; and he is apparently willing to be extradited. But if the Swedes are prepared to travel abroad to quiz a suspected killer, why can't they do the same in Assange's case?

An editorial in The Independent was unimpressed with Assange's "bombast", seeming to find unlikely his claim that the police would have stormed the embassy if it wasn't for the band of "hardcore supporters" camped outside last week.
 
The paper noted that Assange "signally failed to mention" that he is stuck in the embassy "not because he is a fighter for freedom but because he is wanted in Sweden over wholly unrelated allegations of sexual assault".
 
Assange faces "substantive criminal claims" and the US has "made no move towards" extraditing him, said the Independent. It concluded that the speech may have gone down well with Assange's fans but the wider world wants to know why he is "going to such lengths to avoid accounting for himself".
 
Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail calls Assange a "monstrous narcissist" whose claims are "ludicrous". She writes:"Ultra-egalitarian Sweden is hardly a dictatorship. Both Britain and Sweden are democracies committed to human rights …
 
"Ecuador, however, has no culture of human rights or freedom of speech. On the contrary, it jails political dissidents on trumped-up charges, regularly locks up journalists and shuts down newspapers or TV stations which criticise its president." · 

Disqus - noscript

Sweden has some of the world's most "women friendly" laws. Unfortunately, these laws are all too often abused by women seeking some sort of revenge.

"Melanie Phillips in the Daily Mail
calls Assange a "monstrous narcissist" whose claims are "ludicrous".
She writes:"Ultra-egalitarian Sweden is hardly a dictatorship. Both
Britain and Sweden are democracies committed to human rights …"

Oh, really?
So neither country has ever bent over when the us orders them to supply someone for torture?
No? - that's all right then.
Sometimes (most times) this woman seems to be bidding for the UK's version of bachman / palin.

Stigmatism and stereotyping are used by lazy journalists and it seems we can refer to a few of them here. I guess it's just too much work to reiterate the FACTS of the case and the "FACTS" that Julian is attempting to avoid because he values his life and liberty.

Sweeden has absolved women of any resposibility for their actions during sex and has made consensual sex a crime for men. Another liberal country with the same laws is Iran, the only difference is the genders are reversed.

Assange is quite right. The US would have him on the 1st plane out of Sweden. He's made a fool of their political class and that is not allowed to happen.

Is reporting the truth a right or a crime in the USA?

If Salman Rushdie is worth police protection, hours on the BBC, asylum and a knighthood for poking fun against religion , then British subject, Assange, fighting for truth such as Anzacs did in two world wars should be worth a seat in the Lords, a DSM with clasp and the freedom of the City of London for risking his life every time he opens a door. Was WW2 a waste of blood? Is Churchill heaving in his grave?

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