Yesterday, WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange, a 41-year-old Australian fleeing rape charges, stood on the balcony of Ecuador’s London embassy and told the President of the United States to get off his back.
“I ask President Obama to do the right thing: the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks,” Assange said.
It’s a bold statement coming from a pathetic individual, says Heritage’s Helle Dale.
Assange wanted to take on the mightiest government in the world by publicizing massive amounts of sensitive U.S. government documents on his website WikiLeaks. In reality, he turned out to be nothing more than a self-centered, rather sordid little man with a martyr complex that has driven him to claim political asylum where none could possibly be justified.
While Assange is dodging sex crime charges against him in Sweden by hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy, U.S. Private Bradley Manning, who trusted Assange and naively leaked thousands of U.S. military records on Afghanistan to him, will face justice. As Dale notes:
Ironies abound in this case. Assange claims that WikiLeaks is a tool for freedom of expression. Yet the Ecuadoran government of Rafael Correa is notorious for allowing no free media. Assange claims that government transparency is his goal, yet the governments he is fighting—the Swedish, the British and the American—are solidly democratic, hardly something that can be said of the communist regime in Ecuador.
Though Correa and Assange are opposites on their “media freedom” claims, Heritage’s Ray Walser warns that “they share a similar sense of righteousness and visceral disdain for the U.S.”
The Assange asylum case constitutes just a small piece of the anti-Western, pro-Iran strategy propagated by Correa, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, and others. It is both selective and hypocritical…It aims to show the West in an unfavorable light.
Dating back to 2007, WikiLeaks leaked sensitive documents such as Guantanamo Bay interrogation manuals, U.S. diplomatic cable traffic, and military documents relating to Iran and Afghanistan. These leaks placed American lives in jeopardy.
Since 2010, when Assange got into trouble in his adopted country of Sweden (where he had settled because whistle-blower protections are particularly strong), WikiLeaks has not posted anything of significance and is at the point of going broke. Apparently the fans Assange claims to have do not value WikiLeaks enough to pay money for it to continue.
Assange said he created Wikileaks to hold shadowy regimes accountable, but he has focused on demonizing democracy and flouting the rule of law.
Now if he is to enjoy asylum in Ecuador, Assange must make a run for it. London law enforcement are standing by to arrest him if he tries to leave the embassy, to extradite him to Sweden. Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, is claiming that England is bullying Ecuador and violating international law—when, as Heritage’s Dale notes, “the idea that the charge of rape constitutes a political offense worthy of asylum is palpably ridiculous and a clear abuse of the entire concept of asylum.”
Patino has become hysterical, Heritage’s Walser says, and threatened to take Ecuador’s case to the U.N. Security Council. Walser says, “As threats to world peace go, this must be one of the smallest.”
Assange should face justice in Sweden. Ecuador has made a mistake by shielding this international criminal.