Julian Assange is in a strange situation. He has been hiding out in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for many years and may have to leave soon. As it stands today no one knows for sure what will happen to the head of Wikileaks, or if he would even face prosecution if he did leave the embassy.
The latest hearing that could see him evicted was over the $6 million USD tab that he has run up since he moved into the Ecuadorian embassy six years ago.
He was originally granted asylum, as he was being threatened with extradition to Sweden on rape charges. Mr. Assange feared that he would face deportation to the USA, who has a very nebulous legal position on the serial leaker.
Wikileaks has been prolific in supplying the public with leaked documents that have precipitated numerous scandals. The organization has posted documents on illegal (under international law) acts committed by the US military, released millions of highly classified communications, and also gave the so-called Panama Papers a home on the internet.
Is Julian Assange in Trouble?
Apparently, Julian Assange feels like he should be allowed to stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and have his living expenses paid for by the good people of Ecuador. Not only does he want to have his internet and medical bills paid for by the small South American country, but he also wants them to pick up after his cat and let him pop off about whatever political issue he finds interesting.
The most recent issue that Ecuador had with Julian Assange relates to comments he made in regards to Cataluna’s bid for independence, which Ecuador claims was a violation of an agreement he made not to comment on sensitive global political matters.
The details of that agreement must be nuanced, but given the nature of Wikileaks, it would seem to be shortsighted to ask Julian Assange to keep is nose out of politics.
In response to the comments, Ecuador cut Mr. Assange off from the internet, which he compared to ‘solitary confinement’.
There have been many complaints hurled at Julian Assange over the six years since he arrived at the embassy. He has reportedly been aggressive with security personnel and taken to riding a skateboard aggressively in the hallways.
The Drone Option
Let’s be extremely clear, there is no objective evidence to suggest that Hillary Clinton ever seriously considered sending a US drone to kill Julian Assange. There is circumstantial evidence that she suggested it, and given how much classified US information Wikileaks published, it is totally possible that the USA has designs on Julian Assange’s life.
So far the US hasn’t made any kind of formal attempt to charge him for the multitude of federal laws he has broken. During the Obama years the US Department of Justice (DoJ) concluded that if he was charged, the newspapers that ran the information would also have to be prosecuted, which clearly never happened.
The UK and Sweden also have the ability to go after Julian Assange on minor charges, and the original rape charge that pushed him into the Ecuadorian embassy in the first place hit its statute of limitations. Other than a contempt-of-court charge in the UK, there is little in the way of formal charges standing against him at this point.
Problems in the Private Sector
In addition to leaking countless classified government secrets, Wikileaks has been responsible for distributing information that blew the lid of money laundering operations and organized crime.
The governments that Wikileaks has offended might be beaten to Julian Assange by the throngs of gangsters and wildly violent dictators that have been presumably been bothered by the do-gooder. Stealing out of the pockets of the Sicilian or Russian Mafia seems like a terrible idea.
When the Panama Papers hit the wires, a whole bunch of headaches was probably caused by people one wouldn’t want to look at the wrong way. In the end, paying for cat litter could be the last thing on Julian Assange’s mind.
Given the potential enemies that he has created with a decade-long campaign to rid the world of corruption, he could end up being turned into cat food.
Featured image from Wikipedia.