After half a decade of stagnation, the story of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his endless stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London may be moving into high gear. It was only a week ago when we learned that his hosts were talking about either trying to sneak him out of the country to Russia or simply telling him to pack his things and walk out the door. They were also complaining about his grubby living conditions and describing him as being a “threat” to embassy personnel. Now, in yet another signal that it may be time to go, Ecuador has fully withdrawn Assange’s special security detail who had been protecting him. (Reuters)
The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, ordered the withdrawal on Thursday of additional security assigned to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has remained for almost six years…
“The President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, has ordered that any additional security at the Ecuadorian embassy in London be withdrawn immediately,” the government said in a statement. “
From now on, it will maintain normal security similar to that of other Ecuadorian embassies,” the statement said.
Ecuador suspended Assange’s communication systems in March after his pointed political comments on Twitter.
Going one step further, President Moreno went on to describe Assange as, “a stone in my shoe.”
Have you ever had one of those dinner guests who stay through dessert, coffee, some awkward conversation as the other guests leave, and then ask what you’re going to watch when you suggest that the family will retire to the den for some television time? Julian Assange is clearly reaching that point with the government of Ecuador. He might have looked like a more valuable playing card in terms of international diplomacy six years ago, but his value has clearly waned. He’s also still wanted by the British police and very likely by the Americans also.
How much longer does Ecuador want to have this fly in the ointment of their relations with us, not to mention the Brits? And perhaps more to the point, how long can Assange stay cooped up in there without losing whatever remains of his mind? He’s been cut off from most communications and his former flow of regular visitors. Even the media doesn’t seem to pay that much attention to him anymore, which must surely get under his skin. He’s reportedly just roaming the halls or staying in is room and reading books day after day.
I’m one of those people who actually relish their time alone quite often and even I would have gone bonkers by now were I in Assange’s position. If he has any friends left, perhaps it’s time for someone to suggest that he just take his medicine and walk out the door. The remaining charges the Brits have waiting for him aren’t all that serious and a clever lawyer could probably have him back on the street before too long. And he’d clearly be welcome in Russia. Perhaps he could share a room with Edward Snowden?