quote:Julian Assange will be granted asylum, says official
Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has agreed to give the WikiLeaks founder asylum, according to an official in Quito
Ecuador's president Rafael Correa has agreed to give Julian Assange asylum, officials within Ecuador's government have said.
The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador's London embassy since 19 June, when he officially requested political asylum.
"Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange," said an official in the Ecuadorean capital Quito, who is familiar with the government discussions.
On Monday, Correa told state-run ECTV that he would decide this week whether to grant asylum to Assange. Correa said a large amount of material about international law had to be examined to make a responsible informed decision.
Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patiño indicated that the president would reveal his answer once the Olympic Games were over. But it remains unclear if giving Assange asylum will allow him to leave Britain and fly to Ecuador, or amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture. At the moment he faces the prospect of arrest as soon as he leaves the embassy for breaching his bail conditions.
"For Mr Assange to leave England, he should have a safe pass from the British [government]. Will that be possible? That's an issue we have to take into account," Patino told Reuters on Tuesday.
Government sources in Quito confirmed that despite the outstanding legal issues Correa would grant Assange asylum – a move which would annoy Britain, the US and Sweden. They added that the offer was made to Assange several months ago, well before he sought refuge in the embassy, and following confidential negotiations with senior London embassy staff.
The official with knowledge of the discussions said the embassy had discussed Assange's asylum request. The British government, however, "discouraged the idea," the offical said. The Swedish government was also "not very collaborative", the official said.
The official added: "We see Assange's request as a humanitarian issue. The contact between the Ecuadorean government and WikiLeaks goes back to May 2011, when we became the first country to see the leaked US embassy cables completely declassified ... It is clear that when Julian entered the embassy there was already some sort of deal. We see in his work a parallel with our struggle for national sovereignty and the democratisation of international relations."
Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual misconduct. He is said to be living in one room of the diplomatic building, where he has a high-speed internet connection.
Ecuadorean diplomats believe Assange is at risk of being extradited from Sweden to the US, where he could face the death penalty. Assange's supporters claim the US has already secretly indicted him following WikiLeaks' release in 2010 of US diplomatic cables, as well as classified Afghan and Iraq war logs.
Correa and Patiño have both said that Ecuador will take a sovereign decision regarding Assange. They say they view his case as a humanitarian act, and are seeking to protect Assange's right to life and freedom. On Monday the state-run newspaper El Telégrafo confirmed a decision had been made, although the paper did not specify what that decision was. It said that senior officials had been meeting in the past few days to iron out the last legal details.
Two weeks ago Assange's mother Christine Assange paid Ecuador an official visit, following an invitation by Ecuador's foreign affairs ministry. She met with Correa and Patiño, as well as with other top politicians, including Fernando Cordero, head of Ecuador's legislature. Both Patiño and Ms Assange appeared visibly touched during a press conference, which had to be briefly suspended when Ms Assange started crying.
Ms Assange also held several public meetings in government buildings, and in one case she was accompanied by the head of Assange's defence team, Baltasar Garzón, the former Spanish judge who ordered the London arrest of Chile's General Pinochet.
Other top political figures in Ecuador have been vocal about the government's support of Assange's bid. "Our comrade the president, who leads our international policy, will grant Julian Assange asylum," said María Augusta Calle, a congresswoman of the president's party, and former head of the Sovereignty, Foreign Affairs and Latin American Integration Commission during the 2008 Constitutional Assembly, during a meeting with Ms Assange.
Over the past year and a half, Assange has remained in touch with Ecuador's embassy in London. In April, he interviewed President Correa for his TV show on Russia Today, the English-language channel funded by the Russian government. The interview, which lasted 75 minutes, included a pally exchange in which Assange and Correa bonded over freedom of speech and the negative role of the US in Latin America. At one point Correa joked: "Are you having a lot of fun with the interview, Julian?" Assange replied: "I'm enjoying your jokes a great deal, yes."
Correa has made international headlines this year for what critics have called a government crackdown on private media. Analysts say that granting the WikiLeaks founder asylum could be a way for him to depict himself as a champion of freedom of speech ahead of the February 2013 presidential elections, in which he is expected to run again.
bronquote:Het blijft volgens de Britse krant The Guardian onduidelijk of zo'n besluit Assange in staat stelt het Verenigd Koninkrijk te verlaten en naar Equador te vliegen. Mogelijk is slechts sprake van een symbolisch gebaar.
Volgens Reuters wordt achter de schermen echter ook gewerkt aan een manier om de Assange ongeschonden Groot-Brittannië te laten verlaten.
Schijnt jammer genoeg niet zo te zijn en de engelse politie heeft destijds al aangekondigd hem op te pakken zodra hij de ambassade verlaat in een auto.quote:
quote:TrapWire scandal: mainstream media whitewashes the facts behind massive surveillance program
The discovery of a surveillance system named TrapWire has connected state and federal law enforcement agencies with a vast intelligence infrastructure, raising questions everywhere — except in the mainstream media.
The New York Times finally brought TrapWire into discussion late Monday in an article published on their website that has journalist Scott Shane discarding initial reports made about the surveillance system as “wildly exaggerated.” A piece published hours earlier in Slate says stories about TrapWire are “rooted in hyperbole and misinformation” and “heavier on fiction than fact,” and even Cubic Corporation, the San Diego, California company reported as the parent company to developers Abraxas Corp., have been driven to dismiss that rumored relationship with a formal press release.
“Cubic Corporation acquired Abraxas Corporation on December 20, 2010,” a Monday afternoon statement from Cubic claims. “Abraxas Corporation then and now has no affiliation with Abraxas Applications now known as Trapwire, Inc.”
But four days after RT first broke the news of a nationwide surveillance system operated underneath the noses of millions of Americans — and even citizens abroad — the mainstream media and the major players are going to great lengths to abolish any and all allegations about TrapWire. As private researchers, journalists and hacktivists correspond with one another over the Web, though, the information becoming increasingly available about Cubic, Abraxas and TrapWire — facts meant to be left under wraps — is opening up details about a vast operation with strict ties to the intelligence community, the federal government, the US Defense Department contractors and countless others across the globe.
While the New York Times has indeed finally come forth with a story on TrapWire, their rushed exposé about a story sparked by “speculation” contains references to allegations that are argued directly in emails obtained from Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, the intelligence company that was hacked by the Anonymous collective last year. Emails uncovered in the attack were provided to WikiLeaks, who on their part published the trove in installments, including a dump last week. Thanks to a red flag being raised by independent researcher Justin Ferguson last week, the TrapWire system was linked to Stratfor staffers, in turn causing a colossal investigation to be launched from all corners of the Internet.
So far, that probing has proved at least one thing: that the allegations made by both Cubic and sources speaking to the Times are either dead wrong or represent a quickly snowballing attempt at a cover-up.
Speaking to the Times for Shane’s article, New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne says that rumors the city’s subway system is covered by 500 cameras linked to TrapWire are false. Explicitly, Browne says, “We don’t use TrapWire,” but the Times stops short of printing a quote from the NYPD that exceeds six syllables. While Browne has not publically weighed in yet as to if the NYC surveillance cams were formerly part of the TrapWire system, emails uncovered in the Stratfor attack seem to suggest exactly that.
In an email dated September 26, 2011, Stratfor Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton is believed to have responded to a memo about the NYPD’s counter-terrorism efforts by writing, “Note their TrapWire intuitive video surveillance capabilities. NYPD has done what no US Govt Agency has been able to do in the CT [counter-terrorism] arena.”
In a separate correspondence sent one year earlier on July 16, 2010, Burton writes that “TrapWire may be the most successful invention on the GWOT [Global War on Terror] since 9-11.”
“I knew these hacks when they were GS-12's at the CIA. God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients,” he adds, referring to “high-value targets.”
Contrasting the statements made by the NYPD rep and Stratfor’s VP open up nothing more than a he-said-she-said scenario that makes it impossible, at this point, to put a finger on who exactly is in the right. Since New York City has readied their own domain-awareness-system, openly admitted to conducting undercover surveillance of Muslim residents and installed thousands of cameras on the island of Manhattan alone, though, it doesn’t seem all that odd that Mayor Bloomberg would have authorized the use of TrapWire in at least some capacity during the past few years.
Also brought into question are the merits behind Cubic Corporation's claims about their relationship with TrapWire. “Abraxas Corporation then and now has no affiliation with Abraxas Applications now known as Trapwire, Inc.,” the company claims in their press release issued this Monday. According to a 2007 report in the Washington Business Journal, though, that as well is a full-on fib.
“Abraxas Corp., a risk-mitigation technology company, has spun out a software business to focus on selling a new product,” the article reads. “The spinoff – called Abraxas Applications – will sell TrapWire, which predicts attacks on critical infrastructure by analyzing security reports and video surveillance.”
Published more than five years before the Stratfor emails prompted a probe into TrapWire and its affiliates, the Washington Business Journal article answers a lot of questions that are being asked today.
“Reston-based Abraxas Applications will seek federal, state and local government clients as [well] as companies in financial services, oil and gas, chemicals, transportation and other industries with critical infrastructure,” the article alleges.
Just as today, though, Business Journal also acknowledges a cloud of secrecy that keeps the juiciest part of TrapWire under wraps: “The 300-person company has spent millions of dollars developing TrapWire, but won't say precisely how much,” their article reads.
Elsewhere, the Journal adds another piece to the puzzle involving the surveillance system and the NYPD: “Abraxas Applications hits the ground running. Abraxas Corp. previously won contracts to test TrapWire with the New York Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Department of Energy and Marine Corps.”
Meanwhile, current investigations conducted by RT and other outlets have suggested that TrapWire may be connected to as many as thousands of cameras in Washington, DC and others in London, Las Vegas as elsewhere.
Heftigquote:'Wij zijn geen Britse kolonie', aldus de minister in een boze verklaring. Hij zei tevens dat Ecuador donderdag om 14.00 uur (onze tijd) officieel bekendmaakt of Assange politiek asiel krijgt in het Zuid-Amerikaanse land.
quote:Patino also released details of a letter he said was delivered through a British embassy official in Quito, the capital of the South American country.
The letter said: "You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the Embassy."
The letter added: "We need to reiterate that we consider the continued use of the diplomatic premises in this way incompatible with the Vienna Convention and unsustainable and we have made clear the serious implications that this has for our diplomatic relations."
An Ecuadorean government spokesman said: "We are deeply shocked by the British government's threats against the sovereignty of the Ecuadorean Embassy and their suggestion that they may forcibly enter the embassy.
"This a clear breach of international law and the protocols set out in the Vienna Convention.
Dat kan nog leuk worden:quote:
Kut, ik wil eigenlijk slapen maar dit gaat idd leuk worden. kan je een beetje het nieuws hier posten? Zit op mobiel .quote:Op donderdag 16 augustus 2012 00:54 schreef Papierversnipperaar het volgende:
Dat kan nog leuk worden:twitter:
Ik moet ook slapenquote:
Ja ik ook, aan de andere kant is dit best belangrijk!quote:Op donderdag 16 augustus 2012 00:58 schreef Papierversnipperaar het volgende:
Ik moet ook slapentwitter:
"Rumors: revoke embassy status"quote: