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  • Morning Bell: WikiLeaks' Anti-Americanism Now Backed by Ecuador

    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.

    Quick Hits:

    • The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counterterrorism says the United States’ use of drone strikes is “at the top of the U.N. political agenda” and that an “independent investigation” is needed.
    • “Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi plans to visit Iran this month for an international summit in what would mark the highest level official contact between the two nations in more than 30 years,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
    • Americans are learning about special armed agents employed by the Social Security Administration and the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement after the agencies’ recent ammunition orders were made public.
    • The Mars rover Curiosity used its ChemCam—”chemistry and camera” instrument—to analyze its first rock yesterday.
    • As part of its across-the-board cuts, the mandated budget “sequestration” will gut the National Guard.
    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    47 Responses to Morning Bell: WikiLeaks' Anti-Americanism Now Backed by Ecuador

    1. Turner says:

      How about leaking Obama's history which he has spent 100% of his net worth hiding.

    2. Assange hasn't been charged with any crime in Sweden. If the Heritage Foundation values accuracy in its reporting, it will correct this story and acknowledge the error of fact.

      • Mary A says:

        Correct what error of fact?
        "While Assange is dodging sex crime charges against him in Sweden by hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy, U.S."
        He's a dodging coward.

      • Cygnet says:

        Please show me your proof that this is not true. Sweden is asking that Assange be returned to Sweden to face the charge of Rape.

        • "Assange has not been charged by Swedish prosecutors, but they say they have a case against him. Earlier today, the Ecuadorean foreign minister claimed Sweden had refused to rule out an eventual extradition of Assange extradition to the United States, were it requested."

          Guardian 4 days ago

          "Assange has not yet been formally charged with any offence. [35] The prosecutor said that, in accordance with the Swedish legal system, formal charges will be laid only after extradition and a second round of questioning."

          Wikipedia Assange v Swedish prosecution
          http://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/2361293190202

          Wikileaks tweet

          Who could have imagined that an Australian, who, as yet, hasn’t been charged with any crime, would be holed-up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London’s Knightsbridge attempting to escape the clutches of Sweden and the U.S.!
          http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/08/21/233

          You won't like that one, it's Arabian
          http://www.talkradionews.com/opinion/2012/08/17/a

          Not charged with a crime (headline)

          ***

          There's enough for you to be going on with.

    3. Jillian says:

      As a staunch supporter of Heritage, I feel strange having for once to disagree with one of your posts. Assange has revealed much that would have been secret but should not have been. Western democratic governments and the media have made good use of information that he has revealed. So far no one has been able to show that a single person has been harmed, killed, or put out of his job by anything Assange has revealed. If it can be shown to me that even one person has been so harmed then I will take back my defense of him. But as far as all the evidence I have been able to follow shows, he has done some good and no harm. The Swedish accusations are clearly trumped up. The Ecuadorian government is vile except in this one instance. Assange is being persecuted. Libertarians should be appalled.

      • Armando says:

        "If it can be shown to me that even one person has been so harmed then I will take back my defense of him"

        This guy, for one.
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2145218/W

        • Jillian says:

          It says Iran MAY HAVE used a Wikileaks description…

          It is sheer conjecture.

          Iran must be blamed for this hanging, not Assange who published no name.

      • Thistle says:

        Interesting logic you have….commit the crime and then if nothing bad happens let the person off. But if people end up harmed/killed as a result then prosecute.

        Does this make sense to you–really?

      • Thistle says:

        Interesting logic you have….commit the crime and then if nothing bad happens let the person off. But if people end up harmed/killed as a result then prosecute.

        Does this seem reasonable to you?

      • alex says:

        he did not do anything that the NYT or obozo himself didn't do so why not leave him alone

    4. Michael Dokshin says:

      "pro-Iran strategy"…Invite the doctor to the author.

    5. victorbarney says:

      I still feel that this is all CIA directed for the sake of the soon coming MARXIST(ANTI-CHRIST) NEW WORLD ORDER IN THE IMAGE OF THE PRESENT UNITED NATIONS(UN)! Just saying…

    6. Harley Wrase says:

      "“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." <– While I cannot substantial this claim… Ecuador is the only nation beside Iceland that I know of that has successfully freed their citizens from the oppression of "Odious Debt" and a central banking cartel, exactly like our FED and our Odious/National Debt. I'd have to say that is one of the most Nobel and freedom loving things a country could do for its citizens, and you think Assange is full of irony! "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." <— Democracy is not free, its 3 wolves and a sheep voting on dinner. Its mob rule politics at best. What is truly free is a Representative Republic, something that America stopped being around one hundred years ago.

    7. Harley Wrase says:

      As a Liberty loving America, yes a Libertarian… this is a travesty in the highest regard. To say that Assange is not fighting for what is right, is madness. If our government were actually as transparent as cellophane, I do believe after our citizenry got over our collective disgust and shock at the actions of our "Government," against its own people, then the people would no longer support such an evil as this. We are kept in the dark concerning activities that would be considered traitorous, morally bankrupt, and criminal, and simultaneously fed sunshine, rainbows and plastic smiles. When will we as a nation wake up and see that both the left and right sides of this establishment do the bidding of one master; one side quickly, and one side slowly.

      • timpclimber says:

        To get important and sensitive information in foreign countries we have to bribe, promise protection, etc. Just as our revolutionary war was won because Washington had better spies the dirty game must go on to preserve our freedom. Wish it wasn't so. Belonged to a skunk works during the Vietnam war and you can't find at hint of it in any military records but I got credit for the years I belonged. If the hippie protestors had known what was happening on their campus we would have been in danger. This is true in WikiLeaks. You will never know who was put at danger or erased because of the information. Assange is not a hero but a criminal. Too bad he can't spend some time in an Ecuadorian prison. Then he would beg to go to Sweden.

    8. Harley Wrase says:

      We flip-flop between the same two evils every four years, and will undoubtedly do the same thing we've always done in November… race to the other side once again to perpetuate the globalist agenda for our nation. It's incredible that more people do not even see that as a people we were divided and have been conquered. But that was the whole point all along. Bring the greatest nation on the planet to its knees by any means necessary and then combine all nations into one global monstrosity. That is the methodology of the NWO, something that has been brought to life through the incrementalism of multiple centuries, and the assistance of both democrats and republicans alike. What should really be feared is not the NWO, but what comes after it. For those who do not agree with or believe in this global takeover, it will not be a safe journey. Because Freedom is yielding to Tyranny, right before your eyes.

    9. Damian Hockney says:

      Following on from Jillian, I too am a strong supporter of Heritage but disagree with this post which is too extreme and too thin on research or considered thought. As Jillian says, the Swedish accusations are questionable. They are also political, and their aim is simple and obvious. You should have highlighted these facts if you were being dispassionate instead of simply cheerleading US power at whatever the cost. You do not mention that the so-called "court" which Mr Assange might face in Sweden is simply composed of mostly political appointees (who are not judges in the sense that we understand) and their aim is to do the bidding of another power at the behest of their political masters. Either a show trial or Mr Assange bundled off in the night to the USA where he faces torture and possible execution and being held like others well beyond the supposed time limit. You do a good job in highlighting the attacks on democracy in economic areas by the current US administration – maybe you should also look at human rights abuses and excessive detention as well. You also do not mention that Mr Assange can be held in Sweden indefinitely without trial, very convenient for the US which is anxious to silence an inconvenient whistleblower.

    10. Oscar Brown says:

      It's no surprise Assange would run to Ecuador; pathetic losers belong together. By the way, if he makes it to South America, it'll be better that 007 ever did; the Brits are very serious about detaining this cowardly rapist. Viva justice.

    11. Jennifer says:

      Assange is accused of rape by having consensual sex with a woman but being deceptive about whether or not he used a condem. It is clearly a ploy to have him sent to America so he can be held without trial indefinitely. I am proud of Ecuador for standing up for truth and justice. And as an American I can say it is only the government who consider him an enemy. The rest of us support him and would do so financial if our credit card companies didn't take it upon themselves to block us from doing so.

      • Damian Hockney says:

        That last point is a very good one, Jennifer – they block you from sending cash help and then those same forces state that "no-one is prepared to help" so claiming he has no support. This Orwellian stuff, pure lies and distortion, is the kind of thing I would expect to hear from the parrots of the left in 1937 Soviet Union, not supposedly responsible representatives of freedom and the right today.

    12. Dave says:

      I think the the US, & British governments should be thanking Assange for demonstrating all the security holes in how they are protecting their sensitive information. Clearly his work was also instrumental in defeating the Global Warming scam perpetrated by various governments to control and tax the working class.

      The internet is clearly the single best tool we have remaining to help the public be well informed, as the lapdog media clearly is not doing it's job and holding the various governments of the world accountable.

      Additionally, why do all these governments of the world have to spy on their citizens en-mass like they do?

    13. Tom Carroll says:

      What embassy will be willing to take in the Obama whitehouse staff who leaked the same type of classified data?

    14. Huh!? This article is not only skewed but incorrect. Assange has not been charged with rape. He is wanted for questioning on these "charges" that have already been dropped once and emerged after his first leak of criminal activity committed by our overpaid, corrupt bureaucrats. The same people we complain about had their private emails published, which embarrassed them and revealed how they see us (we the people) as idiots that just fund their crooked adventures.

      The charges are trumped up and an excuse to trap Assange in Sweden so the U.S. can extradite him to some Egyptian prison under international rendition charges and torture him for revealing the truth. This is why Swedish officials have defied custom and refused to visit Sweden for the last two years to "question" him and why Ecuador has told Sweden they would release Assange if they promised he wouldn't end up in U.S. custody, which they refused.

      How is this "anti-Americanism"!? Shouldn't we WANT to know what they're hiding? Assange is trying to show us what we are missing and we call him "Anti-American"!? Get the facts straight.

    15. Curt Krehbiel says:

      I am at a loss to see the relevance of Heritage's concern about Assange. It must be a slow Monday.

    16. Myptofvu says:

      Is this the "heritage foundation" because I got here thru several links. I used to be a fan now you have me questioning that. Why is it you think you can have things both ways? Either you stand for freedom and liberty of you don't anything in between just makes you a hypocrite.

    17. liberaldisgust says:

      Rape , Rape in Sweden ….. that's what Assange is running from ….. go to any prison and ask any prisoner …. they're all innocent , just like Assange claims he is , but if he were innocent , he would look forward to clearing his name ….. he isn't , it's full denial and everyone elses fault but his . And don't tell me it's because America want's him dead …. get F'king real , if America wanted Assange dead he'd be dead , and that's the reality of the situation …… the rest of the story is B S …. Assange is running from rape charges and the personal responsibility for his actions ……. this guy thinks he's above the law ……

    18. JBB says:

      It's seems that most people here believe that the end justifies the means. But it is in looking at the means where one can tell the most about that person's ethics. Assange appears to choose that which is beneficial to Assange. You who say he has not, to your knowledge, caused any harm to anyone, do you know whether he even bothered to weigh the potential costs? Was there any potential for harm? Of course! How heavily did that weigh on him? Apparently not so much. Lone ranger freedom fighters, bent on their definition of freedom, often end up taking freedom from others… then he hides so he doesn't have to stand up and defend his concept of the common good. I don't find that admirable.

    19. PASTERNAK says:

      I concur with all of your writers who – for the first time in memory – find themselves to be in a position to thoroughly disagree with a Heritage post. This case has all the fingerprints of political slander with the Swedes and Brits kowtowing to the strong arming of the USA. Many of us, myself a veteran of 16 years of military service, are waking up to the fact that our own nation is guilty of imperialism and political chicanery and are thankful to the intrepid actions of people like Assange and Bradley who put themselves in the cross-hairs of a monster network of global thugs to bring the truth about our dealings to light. I personally know of people who worked in the Pentagon who saw us planning to attack the middle eastern nations of Iraq, Afghanistan and IRAN already 20+ years ago! And as a former soldier (from 1976) I am aware of desert training beginning in the 1980s already… begging the question 'why?'. The intrigues are innumerable, as are the hidden agendas. But what is disturbing here, is seeing Heritage come out on the side of protecting the government's surreptitious activities – no matter how illegitimate. I concur also with the writer who bid you to show us ONE individual harmed by the Wikileak's document exposures – and you might rest your case. We're waiting.

      • Damian Hockney says:

        Indeed, I tried to give this comment a thumbs up but it wouldn't let me. What I cannot understand in all of this is the complete lack of interest in to exactly what the Swedish situation is. Anyone taken to Sweden in this situation can be locked up indefinitely without trial. Is that what Heritage believes in? No trial? People spirited out in the night at the behest of a powerful nation? Politicians in the USA who have been embarrassed by his revelations threatening to lock him up, throw away the key etc? Credit companies barring people from donating to wikileaks then the hyenas baying that no-one is donating 'so he has no support'? This is surreal – it smacks of all the worse aspects of Soviet Russia with its show trials, wilful distortions, detention without trial, people bundled off in the night on planes and across borders. What next? Will he be bundled off to the USA and be "shot while trying to escape"? And will that be a good thing? Shockingly bad, second rate, pejorative and irresponsible piece, Heritage.

    20. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Assange lives up to his name. The first three letters of which are "A-S-S." Judging from the first three letters of his last name, he's an ass.

    21. PASTERNAK says:

      Dear Heritage Comment editors, Where is the comment I submitted an hour ago?

    22. Educated Libertarian says:

      This piece is factually incorrect and quite misleading.

      Assange is not being charged with anything. The Swedes want to question him based on sexual assault allegations. Many are speculating these allegations are politically motivated due to his connection to WikiLeaks and America's call for his head.

      Additionally, I'd like to hear whose lives, exactly, are "in jeopardy."

      Lastly, way to stick to your principals. So much for limited government and transparency. Clearly these are not principals on which you stand.

    23. JC Lincoln says:

      OK, after all you pro-Heritage readers have your fill, I'll say this – given the choice of governments working secretly or openly, I choose openly. There's a plethora of workings in the world whose goal is the harm of people. Look at HAARP, chemtrails, GMO foods, vaccinations, false flags to bring people to submission, assasinations, Fast and Furious to disarm Americans, etc, etc, etc.
      Now here's one guy who's fed up with all the secrecy and you want to crucify him cause he's supposedly damaging United States security.
      Well I choose "TRANSPARENCY"! Something that Obomba claimed he was going to do, but he lied!
      I want to know if there's mercury and in vaccinations!
      I want to know if the government is going to implant RFID chips in newborns without our permission!
      I want to know why the hell they're poisoning us with metals in our atmosphere!
      I want to know why the U.S. is supporting the overthrow of foreign governments like Libya and Syria!
      Do you all know that the real Libyan people loved Qaddafi? No unemployment, No housing crisis, No poverty, Free college, No taxes. But that's not what the One-Worlders liked cause they couldn't control him.
      Between secrecy and transparency – give me TRANSPARENCY! FREE ASSANGE!

    24. RICHARD says:

      MY, MY, THE SO LIBERTY CONSCIOUS "HERITAGE FOUNDATION", IS SUFFERING FROM CLEOPATRA'S SYNDROME.

    25. Sgt. York says:

      US GO HOME US GO HOME i have heard this in many countries,so what if Ecuador does not like us the best we can do is STOP any Monies that are going there way. No more give ways to these dummy's and they will straighten up. its our money they like.

    26. Juan Martinez says:

      Isn't the Bradley Manning case similar to Daniel Elsberg and the Pentagon Papers release of 1971? In that case we, the American people, discovered that our generals and politicians had been lying to us for years about a war that was unnecessary, never in our national interest, and a tragic waste of lives, limbs and money.

      From wikiPEDIA: ". . . the Pentagon Papers "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance". The report was declassified and publicly released in June 2011."

      What's changed?

    27. KHM says:

      I am surprised at the level of support for Assange and criticism of Heritage. I'd like to make several points (1) Do any of you commenters know Swedish law? (regarding rape). It is apparently very PC and allows the woman who may have consented to later assert rape, from what I have read. He chose to live in Sweden, so he should face the charges. (2) His leaks via Bradley Manning have been harmful to our national security and Manning is taking the fall for Assange while he hasn't had to face the consequences of that either. (3) I think that Juian Assange is a pathetic individual as the author implied who sought notority for what he did. No grand freedom of information scheme; just attention getting.
      (4) Ironic that he chose Ecuador where there is no freedom of the press or dissent. If he had pulled this stunt in Ecuador he would most certainly be in jail.

    28. Jeff says:

      Please…somebody explain why Assange is the villain in this. If our government is so liable to security breaches that people like Assange can get the "sensitive" information, then why is he to blame? Why aren't we demanding to know why Obama has run such a lax ship? Is Assange not free to publish what he wishes? No one seems to mind too much when the New York Times publishes sensitive government information "leaked" to them by the Obama administration. At least Obama doesn't seem to be seeking asylum anywhere. Why the double standard? And by the way, as far as I know, Assange never took an oath of office nor swore as a condition of being privy to such documents, to keep them secret.

      I am no fan of Assange, but people, this is OUR problem, a government security problem, not an Assange problem. If he could get that stuff, anyone could have gotten it. Certainly other nations possess whatever technology Assange has to get it.

    29. alexander Ilnyckyj says:

      I wrote that I would not write in on the comment's. However, this artical about wiki is some what untrue as to our democratic nation. We in America, are a Republic, and I wish you would stop calling America a democracy. The framers of our Republic detested the word " democratic ". However, as time pass on we drifted with the help of our Republican friends, we started to turn to socialism. It stared with the implementation of the private corporation of the Federal Reserve System, introduced by a Republican with four other bankers in Jekall Island, Ga. and from their to FDR who instetuded SS and slowly but surely to were we are today with this Marxist/dictator as the first communist president.So, Stop your lying nonsense about democratic nation, which we are not, and start telling the truth. One thing for sure, we turned from a Republic into a socialist/marxist state and the Reublicans helped.

    30. coastx says:

      Julian Assange, Anders Breivik and Lana Wachowski are a UK insurgency team. Vet these buggers before you place trust in any one of them. Wachowski is still on the lose and will attempt to promote "V" as a model for a US 1st Amendment insurgency. These individuals are backed by George Soros, and the plan is to attempt to motivate US civil unrest.

    31. Bobbie says:

      Helle was absolutely right on! My opinion, Assange's a player just like majority democrats in America. Any area the ill people of the world can link an organization that holds truth, dignity, common sense and principle, the 3rd world mentality wants dismantled. People have no reason to hate the American people, we're not governing this ugliness!

      Perfect description of a coward is pathetic. Excellent work Amy and Helle!

    32. ron hansing says:

      The 21st century will be labeled the century of totalitarianism. And the growth is rapid.. All ready in the first 12 years we have seen rapid conversions.

      But this is the norm… 99.99% of human history has be ruled by dictators. Democracy is an illusion and maxed out in the 20th century.

      We even see this in rapid growth in “America”…

      It is really unstoppable. And this will lead to a massive die off through war, and pestilence.

      Yes, the future is certain. Man wants to be enslaved, and have decisions made for them . We are herd animals… and will be led by the Judah Cow into slavery…

      Sad but true, and nobody will recognize this until, it is too late. Already today, we see that most people already psychologically accept this. So what should be ones goal… be one of the leaders or join the masses.

      Ron Hansing 8.21.12

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