In October 2015 the Metropolitan Police decided to strengthen its “covert plan” at the Ecuadorian Embassy in lieu of police guards being on 24/7 duty. Of course, with the array of surveillance methods available to the Met these days, both legally and illegally, it might be expected that they could have dispensed with all of those conspicuous “Bobbies” from the word go and their decision should not be interpreted as any weakening in their commitment to send Mr Assange to Sweden and on the first step of an Odyssey that will end in the United States.
There is, no doubt, that London’s position hasn’t changed, despite the news that “a UN panel considering the alleged “unlawful detention” of Julian Assange has reportedly ruled in favour of the WikiLeaks founder.” Without getting too involved in the history of the case, which most of the readers will already know anyway, if Mr Assange does leave the embassy, he will be arrested and sent to Sweden. Moreover, with it looking like there is a sealed extradition order to the United States just waiting to be opened as soon as this happens, it doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to conclude that from there he will end up in the United States.
Of course, with Chelsea Manning serving 35 years in an American federal maximum security prison for passing information on to Assange, it looks that the Wikileaks founder has more than enough reason to be worried, even if it could be argued that as an Australian citizen who was also operating outside of the United States, he couldn’t even be prosecuted in there, because that argument is extremely naive. Indeed, it is even doubtful that he will have the luxury of his day in court. This is a man who America has identified as its enemy and in order to get at its perceived enemies the United States has not only violated international law, it has also ridden roughshod over its own domestic laws as the extrajudicial execution of its own citizens demonstrates.
The federal criminal defense attorney and former CIA officer, David Adler said back in January 2012, “One of the major issues surrounding the Assange case is whether “we (the United States) can drag his ass over here.” The bombastic rhetoric used by Adler is almost an omen of what is in store for Assange should he ever land in the United States. It is that rhetoric, along with the USA’s track record in international law and the sealed indictment mentioned above that led to him seeking political asylum in Ecuador. On 19 June 2012, Ricardo Patiño, the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister announced that Assange was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It might be that Julian Assange is about to leave, but there is neither evidence to suggest that anything has changed, nor that they will no longer be looking for the first opportunity to “drag his ass over”.