Green Room

This morning’s no-surprise news: Corzine and Assange

posted at 12:05 pm on August 16, 2012 by

Assange first:
As expected, Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain

Ecuador announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London awaiting the decision.

The move leaves Mr. Assange with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory, meaning he could only leave the embassy for Ecuador with British cooperation.

Huffing and puffing,

Just before the announcement by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, President Rafael Correa said on his Twitter account: “No one is going to terrorize us!” The night before, Mr. Patiño said that the British authorities had threatened to force their way into the embassy, to which he responded: “We are not a British colony.”

Reading from a government communiqué, Mr. Patiño said: “The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange.”

He added, “There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and that Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.

Mr. Patiño said he hoped Britain would permit Mr. Assange to leave the embassy in London for Ecuador — a request Britain has rejected, saying it has a binding, legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over accusations that he sexually assaulted two women.

The British Foreign Office said it was disappointed by the Ecuadorean announcement but remained committed to a negotiated outcome to the standoff. Sweden called the decision “unacceptable” and summoned Ecuador’s ambassador, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Patiño’s news conference was broadcast live on British television and Mr. Assange watched the announcement as it happened, British news reports said. He told embassy staff members: “It is a significant victory for myself and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now.”

Particularly if it serves a propaganda purpose. The Mex Files is expecting the masses to rise,

While war is the extension of diplomacy by other means, that doesn’t mean a shootin’ war, by any means, but the British are likely to pay a very high price for these intemperate claims: I would expect at a minimum that British Embassies throughout Latin America are going to be besieged and quite a few windows broken, and various Latin American (and probably other) states enacting policies and procedures designed to make life difficult for British passport holders (amazing what Immigration and Customs service types can come up with when they want) and I fully expect British-owned businesses (some of which — like HSBC — are already seen as “dodgy” to use Brit-speak ) might be in a zealous application of existing regulatory and oversight functions.

I’m too cynical to get a rise over Assange. Perhaps that’s why The Mex Files refers to my blog as “The far right-wing Latin American website.”

Speaking of cynicism, No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global, surprise, surprise!

In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Imagine that: Prosecutors can’t build a case against a guy who simply doesn’t know where $1.2 billion of his clients money is, but who also managed to raise $500,000 for Obama.

Ed Morrisey‘s asking,

Ahem. What kind of “porous risk controls” allowed MF Global to bet money that wasn’t theirs on Euro-zone debt?

Good question.

But, fret not,

Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans.

Can’t wait to see what he calls it!

Cross-posted at Fausta’s blog, “The far right-wing Latin American website.”

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But, fret not,

Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans.

Can’t wait to see what he calls it!

Cheatham & Steele

Bitter Clinger on August 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

England is not giving Assange protected passage to Ecuador, the moment he leaves their embassy, he will be arrested and sent to the US for prosecution.

England owes us big time, after letting that Libyan terrorist go home

burserker on August 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

The US has no extradition order on Assange — Sweden does. If the Brits nab him, he will be sent to Sweden to stand trial on the rape charges.

Blake on August 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I would like to look at your comments about the Assange-Ecuador asylum issue through another lens. Hans Morgenthau, when he wrote Politics Among Nations included a discussion on national character, referring to some constant national traits that seem to persist over time, regardless of major historical and societal changes.

One trait the British have is an ability, with the greatest of ease, to make their supporters turn against them in the blink of a eye. For example, after the 1916 Easter Rising most people in Ireland supported the British. What did the British do? They began executing prisoners so that within a month they had turned their formerly supportive Irish subjects wildly against them…5 years later most of Ireland was effectively independent.

So too here. I despise Assange and could not wait to see him extradicted. My real hope was to see him languish in a US prison. In addition, as I have worked in Colombia for many years I am very familiar with the vagaries, lunacies and sheer insanity of Ecuadorean President Correa. He’s a nut, though an elected nut.

And yet what do we hear yesterday? The UK is saying that if Assange is not turned over to them, they will enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and arrest him there. It is protected territory but, they let it be known, they will simply remove its authorization as a diplomatic premises and go in…no harm no foul, right?

This is outrageous. It violates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in both letter and spirit. It undermines the entire concept of embassies and diplomatic relations that has eveolved over centuries. It would be a breach of trust. The ICJ spoke strongly on this in the context of the Iranian students taking over the US Embassy in Teheran (as well as other cnsular facilities) and held the Iranian state accountable even though it was students who went in. Even the US did not purport to enter the Papal Nuncio in Panama to arrest Gen. Noriega.

It was also tone-deaf…anyone who has paid attention to Correa over the years should know that the surest way to get him to grant asylum would be to issue a threat…and certainly one as thuggish as this would have been guaranteed to get this reaction.

Furthermore, it is obvious what would happen to any British diplomatic facilities in Quito. But what do you suppose Hugo Chavez might order if the UK entered the Ecuadorean Embassy…do not forget he sent troopps to the Colombian-Venezuelan border after the Colombian incursion into Ecuador to kill “Raul Reyes”. And what do you suppose might be the response from Christina Kirchner in Buenos Aires? Morales in Bolivia? Not to mention Nicaragua. I would not even rule out problems in Peru.

The Brits we stupid but this is what they can be relied upon to do. Always.

And there it was. Suddenly I found myself hoping that Correa would do what he did…just to shove the British arrogance back into their collective stiff upper lip.

National character…it is what it is.

Blaise on August 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I’m enjoying using google to spy on the embassy. It’s a huge place but I think they share the digs with Columbia. It’s around the corner from Harrod’s. I noticed a white Ferrari parked on the street but with the license blurred out. I wonder if google does that with all license plates?

Blake on August 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Blaise on August 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Oh, brother! Get a grip! Did you, one, check to see what you claim was said was actually said? Two, did you check to see on what legal basis the UK can enter an embassy? If they are claiming that they have that right, they aren’t pulling it out of their ass. You may disagree. They may even be wrong. But you don’t even know what it is before you are assuming it is against the law.

You seem to have serious issues that go beyond screwball Assange who you, allegedly, despise. And please, no long irrelevant tome in response to my comment.

Blake on August 16, 2012 at 1:56 PM

The Brits understand the significance of breaching an embassy. Cameron may not be a brillant standard-bearer for Western principles, but he’s the opposite of a boat-rocker. I very much doubt the British authorities will forcibly enter the Ecuadoran embassy.

What they will undoubtedly do is prevent Ecuador from getting Assange out of Britain, and that, they have every sovereign right to do. This will probably turn into a brief standoff, with Assange remaining in the embassy, where he has no doubt become comfortable by now.

If the Brits pull their embassy personnel out of Ecuador, then it will be time to worry about an embassy breach in London.

J.E. Dyer on August 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Maybe, the Brits are having flashbacks of Yvonne Fletcher and don’t like embasseys being used to harbor common criminals…

Blake on August 16, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Ann Barnhardt called this back in November.

Puplava: Where is the investigation into Jon Corzine?

Ann Barnhardt: Well that is the point of this. We are now living in a lawless, Marxist, Communist, usurped, what used to be a representative republic but is no more. This is no longer a nation of laws. This has now transformed into a nation of men. It doesn’t matter what crime you commit.

In the case of Jon Corzine, this man has stolen in excess of a billion dollars. I think by the time it is all panned out it is going to be closer to $3 billion of customer funds that he stole. Why did he do it? Is he stupid? Well, of course he’s not stupid. This is a former head of Goldman Sachs. This man doesn’t have a low IQ per se. Why in the world would a man wake up in the morning one day and say you know what, I think I am going to steal all the customer seg funds in this FCM that I’m running, which is the biggest FCM in the country. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. No. Why would a man like that even engage in a nefarious plot like this?

Because he knew going into it he could get away with it. And the reason he could get away with it is he is in tight with the Obama regime. He is one of Obama’s highest fundraisers. Earlier this year Jon Corzine had a fundraiser dinner at his New York City apartment for Barack Obama where it was charged at $35,000 a plate. Okay? He bundled high six figures for Obama in one evening! He is a crony of the regime. This is Marxist Communism. There is no rule of law. And these people, these poor MF customers are just sitting out here helpless to do anything because there is no law enforcement because this is no longer a nation of laws. The rule of law no longer exists. There is no longer justice in this nation. And no nation, no culture, no society can survive if there isn’t a foundation of justice. That is why we are teetering on the precipice of collapse and I foresee civil war coming within the next several years.

November 30, 2011

PatriotGal2257 on August 16, 2012 at 5:17 PM

Actually, Blake, I know exactly what I am talking about. Actually, I teach International Law. Had you actually read the piece you would lnow that it was about the arrogance of the British in this step. Invoking a national statute passed some 15 years after the VCDR as a possible grounds to break the diplomatic premises is the height of arrogance, hubris, and bad faith. What would help you, Blake, in addition to a little literacy, would be some doses of judgement, perspective, a bit of humility and a wee dollop of wit. Best of luck.

Blaise on August 16, 2012 at 9:12 PM

If you want to see arrogance, illiteracy, and lack of judgement, look in the mirror pal. Go back to your fapping over those meany brits. lol!

Blake on August 17, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The Assange problem is simple to solve. Let the Brits turn off the water, gas, and electric. Assange will come out.

Special Forces Grunt on August 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM