One of the problems the Americans face – unless they adopt the stealth bullet in the back of the head approach being suggested by some in the US and Canada, call in an air strike or ‘use a drone’ to hunt him down – is proving that Assange has actually committed a crime for which he can be tried and then
1. There does not appear to be a crime on the US statute books which Assange can be tried under – unless they invoke the Espionage Act of 1917, and for this to work the prosecution would have to prove Assange encouraged the leak and conspired with his inside source to disgorge the documents.
2. If there is a ‘hole’ in the prosecution menu – the First Amendment prevents the US from plugging the gap retrospectively. “New laws can’t criminalize past conduct. The Constitution clearly bans so-called ex post facto laws so that the government can’t toss someone in jail for something that was legal at the time it was done.” [I am grateful to US criminal defense lawyer Mark Bennett who took the time to comment for this update: The ex post facto clause is found not in the First Amendment but in Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution.”]
3. So…probably best to leave it to the Allies to cook something up and arrest him for that… hang on… is there talk of a sex or rape charge?
Please read this excellent article… WikiLeaks Founder Lurks Beyond Grip of U.S. Law: Ann Woolner
Which I summarised in points 1 and 2 above. Point 3 was an appalling thought that just happened to cross my mind. No civilised country would concoct evidence against Assange, would they?
Meanwhile.. The Guardian continues to publish..and for so long as they do, I shall read it.
British police seek Julian Assange over rape claims
Guardian: Serious Organised Crime Agency flags up Interpol ‘red notice’ over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s whereabouts
US embassy cables culprit should be executed, says Mike Huckabee
Guardian: Republican presidential hopeful wants the person responsible for the WikiLeaks cables to face capital punishment for treason
Huckabee said: “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.”
Treason? Doesn’t one have to be a US citizen to be guilty of treason under US law? Rather curious, if not.
I do realise that Huckabee was not himself calling for Assange to be executed for treason (and this has been pointed out to me in the comments below) – Assange is Australian… but this guy certainly wants action!
“It is not just the Americans who are demanding blood. Tom Flanagan, a senior adviser to the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, issued what has been described as a fatwa against Assange, on the Canadian TV station CBC.
“I think Assange should be assassinated, actually,” he said. “I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.” Flanagan chuckled as he made the comment but did not retract it when questioned, adding: “I wouldn’t feel unhappy if Assange does disappear.”
US Homeland Security: Amazon agrees to stop hosting WikiLeaks documents.