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Breaking News
posted by FatPhil on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the shoulda-taken-the-tea-chest-option-years-back dept.

Breaking: Met police confirm that Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court.

Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange's asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions.

But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

[...] Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum.

After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.

He doesn't look happy, to say the least.

Update: As this is a breaking story, more information is coming out regularly - one source that updates their reports frequently is Zero Hedge - thanks boru!

Previously: New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange's Version in Sweden's Case
Ecuador Reportedly Almost Ready to Hand Julian Assange Over to UK Authorities
UK Said Assange Would Not be Extradited If He Leaves Embassy Refuge
Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says
Ecuador Denies That Julian Assange Will be Evicted From Embassy in London


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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 15 2019, @05:50PM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 15 2019, @05:50PM (#829946) Homepage Journal

    Dayum. I've argued what happened in that video many times. You're the first person who makes me want to go back and check what I saw and heard. Yeah, I think you're right - the chopper crew reported that they were picking up weapons. I want to look, see if they actually picked up anything that looked like a weapon.

    Thanks for the perspective.

    Let me ask one more question before I go looking for the video again, maybe you'll answer before I get back:

    How convinced are you that those erroneous reports that you allude to might constitute a war crime? Like, 1%, or 20%, or 50%?

    BBL

    --
    Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 15 2019, @06:51PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 15 2019, @06:51PM (#829975) Homepage Journal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kelmEZe8whI [youtube.com]

    Ethan McCord testimony on the incident. He specifically states that when he arrived on scene, he saw an RPG and an AK-47. He does describe pretty graphically how bad it was. As he testifies, the Wikileaks video is played. That report to superiors seems to be accurately transcribed at the bottom of the video:

    Yeah, Bushmaster, we have a van that's approaching, and picking up the bodies. . . . . Where's that van at? . . . Right down there by the bodies. . . . Okay, yeah. . . . Bushmaster, Crazyhorse. We have individuals going to the scene, looks like possibly uh picking up bodies and weapons . . . Let me engage . . . Can I shoot? . . . Roger. break.

    It is not clear whether Ethan actually saw an RPG, or he mistook the camera for an RPG. I have absolutely zero doubt that he properly identified an AK lying on the ground among the dead.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is9sxRfU-ik [youtube.com]
    The unedited version of the collateral murder video. I see no evidence that any of the four men in the van, or the reporter reached for anything that looked like a weapon. As I've already said, I, personally, cannot justify firing on the van. There were both dismounted and mounted troops very close by to apprehend the people in the van. But, as we've already agreed, neither of us were there. In my mind, still no war crime.

    And, I will note that "war crime" is a kind of emotional thing. If the chopper crew were put on trial, in Iraq, with a jury consisting of Iraqis, they would probably be found guilty. A trial in Europe, it would depend on the jurists. We could stack the jury with SJW's and convict them, or we could stack the jury with veterans, and they would walk. A trial in the US, very much the same as Europe.

    I've watched this video too many times now. Bottom line, I'm not 100% in agreement with that final call, but I stand with the troops who were there. I see no wrongdoing, and certainly not a war crime.

    You may ask, could I, or would I, condemn the troops, if things had been just a little different? Well, yes, I could. Let us speculate that the chopper crew had said something like this: "There are no weapons nearby, all the weapons were dropped at the corner, in the street." "Yeah, well we ought to stop those people trying to rescue our wounded guy." "Yeah, well, screw it, let's light them up."

    In that case, yes, I would condemn the flight crew.

    Yes, there were some callous remarks after the fact. Can't condemn them for that. As you stated yourself, they have to cope somehow.

    I want to thank you for your thoughtful and informed comments. I get so frustrated with people who know nothing, but have all the answers. Salutes, brother.

    --
    Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @07:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 15 2019, @07:49PM (#829991)

      Yes, and there are people who doubt McCord's version of the events (I'm saying people disputed it defending the troops who were there). And likewise, I've become much more convinced that the group was carrying weapons which justifies the initial burst. One thing we haven't looked at, at all... The vast majority of journalists are in fact just journalists who do a dangerous job. But there's nothing that doesn't say that they embedded with that group and the photographer was doing recon for the insurgents peering around the corner with his camera. (The camera was examined afterwards and they did find digital images of the Humvee that the Apache was concerned about.... That's why I think it was the reporter aiming his camera around the corner that the Apache thought was an RPG.) And I'm actually most convinced by the image that the DoD says was an RPG round and the radio traffic identified as such. Add all that up, and that initial burst of fire could in fact be justified.

      Do I think this was a "War Crime," akin to Nuremberg or Yugoslavia? No. It's not a War Crime. I do believe it could be a crime that happened in a combat environment. One for which there certainly are mitigating circumstances, but nevertheless a crime. And one that the United States very conveniently swept under the rug until Chelsea Manning supplied Wikileaks with this evidence. And the sort of thing that if you believe the critics does happen frequently. When you get ground commanders who give orders like "an IED goes off shoot everybody in the area," it reveals something. That things like this video pop up and happen and never become news not only degrades ourselves as a nation but also turns people over to the other side. (i.e. Of course the enemy will pop off an IED when 'innocents' are in the area because every mistaken kill becomes another link by which both our government and the one we back becomes the enemy and loses legitimacy to the people there who don't care about the politics). Sorry for the soapbox. TLDR is no, not a war crime but an ordinary crime.

      I wouldn't even want the flight crew to get a BCD, nor do I think they should have jail time. But administrative punishment for a lapse in judgment (the hosing of the black van) seems very appropriate and never happened. To truly understand whether it was in fact a crime we'd have to have access and spend time analyzing the Rules of Engagement. Wikileaks has published them IIRC, but I won't go to that length. That it is classified information, in my mind, is questionable at best exactly because of situations like this. Yes, there are some security implications (as in the enemy will find and exploit the flaws in the any such plan) - but why exploits should be in such a plan is a good question. The biggest problem is it puts the military beyond civilian review of their actions - something that should never occur in a democracy where the military are in fact subject to the citizenry. And yes, the reporters should have been wearing Press garb.

      You're right - horrid things happen in war. That doesn't justify everything that happens in warfare, though. (Nor does it means mistakes happen, either).

      Thanks for being reasonable, yourself!