said by Daniel Ellsberg :
I congratulate Ecuador, of course, for standing up to the British Empire here, for insisting that they are not a British colony, and acting as a sovereign state ought to act. And I think theyve done the right thing. I appreciate what theyve done.
Well, everything that weve seen supports the position of his defense team, that this is not about sexual charges in Sweden, essentially, that thats a cover storywhatever substance there may be to that story. But the procedures that have been followed here are extraordinary: a red notice here, very unusually given, never under these circumstances, to arrest him and these heavy efforts to extradite him, after he had offered either to be questioned by the prosecutor herself or by some representative of her in the Swedish embassy or the British embassy or by British police in London, where he was, something that, by the way, is routinely done all the time, and the expense is paid for that, if necessaryall of that being refused. Why? In a situation where this man is charged with criminal charges by no countrynot by Sweden, not by Britain, not by the United States, although there may in fact be a secret indictment already waiting for him in the United States, being denied or lied about right now by my country. But no charges have actually been made public. So, here, all this emphasis just to get him chargedjust to get him questioned, rather, when hes offered himself for questioning, even right now in the Ecuadorean embassy. The state of Ecuador has actually officially proposed that that take place in the Ecuadorean embassy or elsewhere and in London. And that has been refused. All of this supports the idea that this is merely a way of getting him to Sweden, which apparently would be easier to extradite him from to the United States than Britain. If Britain were totally open to extraditing him, it would have happened by now. Two years have passed. But hes an Australian citizen, a member of the Commonwealth, and the criteria for extraditing somebody whos been telling the truth and is wanted for what can only be a political crime in another country are apparently more stringent here than they might be in Sweden.
So I think thatin fact, I join his lawyers, Michael Ratner and others, in saying that he has every reason to be wary that the real intent here is to whisk him away to America, where it really hasnt been made as clear what might be waiting for him as I think one can conjecture. The new National Defense Authorization Actand Im a plaintiff in a suit to call that act unconstitutional, in terms of its effect on me and on others, a suit that has been successful so far at the district court level and has led to that act being called unconstitutional. But on its face, that act could be used against Julian Assange or Bradley Manning, if he werent already in military custody. Julian Assange, although a civilian, and not an American civilian at that, would seem to me, a layman, to be clearly subject to the National Defense Authorization Act, the NDAA, putting in military detention for suspicion of giving aid to an enemy, which hes certainly been accused of by high American officials. I dont see why he couldnt be put in indefinite contention, without even the charges that I faced 40 years ago for doing the exact same things that he did.