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The Standard

NZ vs Ecuador

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, August 19th, 2012 - 183 comments
Categories: International, police - Tags: , ,

One of the most depressing aspects of the whole Kim Dotcom fiasco (so far) has been the way NZ has operated as a pawn of America. Under guidance from the FBI we merrily launched an illegal and allegedly unnecessarily violent raid on Dotcom and his family. Due process and common sense seem to have been thrown completely out the window in our eagerness to please our American masters.

Consider the stark contrast with Ecuador, which is currently standing up to considerable pressure on the world stage to offer asylum to the man who seems to be America’s public enemy No. 1, Julian Assange. (I don’t want to start yet another thread on the rights or wrongs of Assange’s actions here, I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador).

I remember a time when NZ wasn’t afraid to stand up for itself on the world stage, and do what it thought was right. I miss those days.

183 comments on “NZ vs Ecuador”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    Damn right!

    America is becoming the next Nazi Germany. Paula Bennett’s defiance of our right to privacy echoes the USA’s Homeland Security except she doesn’t even pretend her victims are a threat to anyone except her inflated ego.

    The Teleban in Afghanistan are far less of a threat to my well-being than my own government is!

    • Polish Pride 1.1

      +1

    • Populuxe1 1.2

      The US in not becoming the next Nazi Germany – that’s just stupid hyperbole, lest we forget the horrific things Nazi Germany actually did, and the Taliban was never a threat to your well being.. Unless of course mutilating women offends you like it does me.

      • fatty 1.2.1

        “The US in not becoming the next Nazi Germany – that’s just stupid hyperbole”

        If you look at the economic violence perpetrated by the US, then its a fair comment

        • Populuxe1 1.2.1.1

          No it isn’t. Wake me up when the US invades Canada and Mexico, and openly and systematically murders six million of it’s Jewish citizens – then we’ll talk. Otherwise “GODWIN” and “STUPID HYPERBOLE”.

          • fatty 1.2.1.1.1

            I agree, USA will not invade Mexico or Canada and kill 6 million Jews.
            Hard power is so 20th Century. Hard power today can only be justified to US citizens for a brief moment if there is a physical threat (real or imaginary). http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2600916?uid=3738776&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21101161663027

            Soft power is the weapon of choice, free trade agreements can have intense, wide-ranging and hidden effects. Even just one trade agreement can create millions to suffer in Mexico
            http://www.fpif.org/articles/nafta_is_starving_mexico

            • Populuxe1 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes. Nazi Germany invented soft power but still preferred to do things as sadistically and bloodily as possible, and millions suffering in Mexico because of a trade deal (and any suffering is more likely a result of the systemic corruption than anything else) doesn’t even compare to having your entire culture virtually erased (talk to some Poles or Czechs) – so really you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

              • fatty

                “Nazi Germany invented soft power”

                Really? Can you elaborate on that please…cause that’s news to me, and probably everyone else.

                “and millions suffering in Mexico because of a trade deal (and any suffering is more likely a result of the systemic corruption than anything else) doesn’t even compare to having your entire culture virtually erased”

                That’s true, one trade deal does not equal the holocaust…good point. However, that was provided as one of many examples of US soft power (not the Nazi soft power that you are about to teach me about).
                And yes, the suffering is caused by systemic corruption. NAFTA is a good example of centralised systemic corruption. Soft power is systemic corruption (again, not your Nazi soft power).
                Another good example of US soft power is how they use Israel.
                I’ve been to Auschwitz and talked to the Poles. I know exactly what I am talking about. I am not underestimating the holocaust. You should be careful of accusing people of not understanding the holocaust, when you don’t know that person’s history, or understand the basics of their argument.

                • Populuxe1

                  Really? Can you elaborate on that please…cause that’s news to me, and probably everyone else.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_propaganda
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Public_Enlightenment_and_Propaganda
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Goebbels

                  I’ve been to Auschwitz and talked to the Poles. I know exactly what I am talking about. I am not underestimating the holocaust. You should be careful of accusing people of not understanding the holocaust, when you don’t know that person’s history, or understand the basics of their argument.

                  So fucking what? I’ve been to Bergen-Belsen and I still wouldn’t claim to understand that nightmare. Not sure what good talking to the Poles would do – a lot of them were complicit in the fun and games. You might try talking to some Jews. Or indeed reading some first person history from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic etc. No one really “understands” the Holocaust – it defies description, so don’t talk nonsense.

                  • Polish Pride

                    “No one really understands the Holocaust”!?!

                    I must tell tell my partners Grandparents that the next time I see them…..They of course can pass this onto the Holocaust survivors that they know.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Don’t be obtuse. 
                      Does that “Polish Pride” extend to the szmalcowniks? As I said, it’s a very complex event.

                  • fatty

                    Sorry, it doesn’t say where Nazi’s Germany invented soft power. Those links talk of propaganda and how it was used, but it doesn’t specify when and where it was invented. Can you please clear that up? Cheers.

                    “Not sure what good talking to the Poles would do – a lot of them were complicit in the fun and games.”

                    I agree, I have no idea how talking to poles will help anything…I wrote that in response to your suggestion that I should “talk to some poles” http://thestandard.org.nz/nz-vs-ecuador/comment-page-1/#comment-511811

                    “You might try talking to some Jews.”

                    Oh no…I’m not falling for that one again.

                    “No one really “understands” the Holocaust – it defies description, so don’t talk nonsense.”

                    Actually, I do understand it, and wiki managed to provide a description, its what they do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust

                    Should we get back to the discussion on soft power, or are you off to get that bump on your head sorted?

                    • Populuxe1

                      When I suggested you talk to some Poles, that was in reference to German occupation, not the Holocaust per se.
                      As for the rest, you are knowingly being obtuse and therefore are of little interest.

            • Populuxe1 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Ethiopia’s problems are less to do with global capitalism than they are to do with their government’s lack of double-entry book keeping and shite agricultural practices.

              • fatty

                “Ethiopia’s problems are less to do with global capitalism than they are to do with their government’s lack of double-entry book keeping and shite agricultural practices.”

                Where did you get that idea from?

                This Susan George article puts it in perspective
                http://www.palgrave-journals.com/development/journal/v50/n2/full/1100356a.html

                “In 1980, the South was already seriously indebted; its debt stocks amounted to $540 billion. Twenty-five years later, in 2004, the stock had increased to $2,600 billion, almost five times as much. Meanwhile, over the same 25-year period, these countries had reimbursed $5,300 billion, nearly 10 times what they owed in 1980.”

                “In 2004, Latin America had $770 billion worth of debts and paid out $121 billion in debt service, almost 16 percent (about the same percentage of service paid by Southeast Asia and the countries of the former Soviet bloc). Even sub-Saharan Africa paid $15 billion on debts of $220 billion, or 6.8 percent. How much money is this in understandable human terms? For Latin America, it meant a drain of $331 million a day, $13.8 million an hour; $230,000 a minute. Sub-Saharan Africa, despite all the promises of the G-8 and the IFIs, provided its creditors (mostly public institutions) with $41 million a day, $1.7 million an hour, $28,000 a minute in debt service. One could doubtless feed many hungry people or build many schools and clinics with $230,000 or even $28,000 a minute.”

                • Populuxe1

                  Given that Ethiopia was never under European colonial rule except for a handful of years under Mussolini’s Italy, prey tell who’s fault is it that they’re in hock to the WB in the first place?
                  Why do they have a soil erosion problem?
                  If South East Asia can service it’s debts and not starve, why can’t Africa? (hint – it involves numbered bank accounts in the Caymans). Are the WB payments even relevant to discusing Ethiopia’s economic health?
                  Why are they not exploiting their mineral and natural gas wealth more (or at all, in the case of gas)?
                   
                  http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/1839.cfm

                  • fatty

                    “Given that Ethiopia was never under European colonial rule except for a handful of years under Mussolini’s Italy, prey tell who’s fault is it that they’re in hock to the WB in the first place?”

                    They liberalised their economy during the 1990s thanks to Meles Zenawi with some privatisation and foreign investment. Standard structural adjustment policies that spread through Africa were introduced so they could get loans from the WB.

                    “If South East Asia can service it’s debts and not starve, why can’t Africa?”

                    A number of reasons, including: colonial influences, location, resources, investments, culture, the world economy, regional treaties.
                    Comparing SE Asia with Africa is like comparing Ireland with Cuba, they are incomparable.

                    “Are the WB payments even relevant to discusing Ethiopia’s economic health?”

                    Yes, it is a relevant issue regarding Ethiopia’s economy. I would say the most relevant by a long way, others would say not to that extent, but I doubt anyone could seriously claim that WB repayments are not relevant. The structural adjustment policies stunted real growth (4.5% under the military, down to 1% in the 1990s under pro-West leaders) which was propped up by foreign ‘investment’. The SAPs required reduced taxes, and prohibited borrowing from domestic financial institutions to finance its deficits, and allow for private sector investment.
                    Inequality increased to crazy levels, war broke out, development funding from the West stopped and it turned real bad.

                    “Why are they not exploiting their mineral and natural gas wealth more”

                    Too much foreign ‘investment’ helping them to ‘utilise’ their resources…it is Africa!

  2. insider 2

    Oh, I thought this was going to be the half time score

  3. Pete 3

    I wouldn’t go that far. The courts have distinguished themselves in demonstrating their independence.

    • Jackal 3.1

      It’s a pity they’re having to be called upon to correct the flagrant ignorance of the law and abuse of due process on so many occasions. Dotcom should be looking to sue the asses of the NZ government to teach them a lesson. The contrast between Ecuador (spelt with a c btw) and New Zealand couldn’t be greater.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        The courts and the judiciary will be the next targetted by the Nats. Just you wait.

      • Polish Pride 3.1.2

        “Dotcom should be looking to sue the asses of the NZ government to teach them a lesson.”

        problem is two fold
        1. when he wins we are the ones that pay for it not the politicians.
        2. You run the risk of them introducing legislation to put them on the right sidwe of the law again possibly at ev en greater cost to our already eroding civil liberties.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    Well the Prime Minister’s kiss-assing of all things American (Letterman, Warners, Hobbit enabling Act, kids baseball, supporting TPP, desperate photo ops with Barrack etc. etc.) has set a tone for this government that is way different from the more independent course that the previous two Labour administrations followed.

    Equador is from a continent that has had the yankee boot (and by consequence the corrupt local comprador capitalist regimes) on its throat for way too long. Will Equador be able to outsmart the pasty poms and sneak Assange out? Who knows but good on them for trying. The poms went to considerable lengths remember to prevent the extradition of one Augusto Pinochet. The Wikileaks revelations showed a number of Latin American countries in what low regard Washington holds them.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Well the Prime Minister’s kiss-assing of all things American

      Don’t forget that Key is one of the international bankster cartel’s very own. He’s worked more years for the international money men than he has for anyone else.

      • Pete Sime 4.1.1

        What’s his immigration status with respect to the US? I know he worked there and has a house in Hawaii. Does he have permanent residency, or even dual citizenship?

  5. Richard Christie 5

    I would point out that Equator is part of America.
    If you mean USA, say USA, not America.
    Cheers.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Amerika/America is the USA to me, and Latin America is below Central America. The three zones together constitute the “Americas”.

      Pedantry aside Richard, what do you think about Anthony’s post?

      • Richard Christie 5.1.1

        I’m fully in support of America’s granting of asylum to Assange and agree with the sentiment that if we behaved more like America and stood up to covert interference by the USA then we would stand taller in our shoes.

    • Bill 5.2

      I would point out that Equator is part of America

      Certainly dissects it…along with two of the other four continents. Don’t know about it being a part of America though.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The National Government assisting Hollywood moguls to wreck our employment protections. Another low point.

    • Polish Pride 6.1

      Swings both ways CV – How much has the NZ population grown throughout the Labour years as a result of immigration policy that ultimately do to an increase in the amount of workers ends up putting downward pressure on wages.

  7. Jenny 7

    “If you are not with us you are against us.”

    The same kowtowing to the American super power was also on display in the so called “Terror Raids” which closely followed a narrative for an international terrorist conspiracy written in the US.
    And swallowed wholesale by gullible senior police commanders, who at the time were doing their best to impress Washington and in a case of insecure colonial forelock tugging ensure the Us that, “yes we are with you.” Howard Broad for instance spent a lot of the previous year being wined and dined in Washington DC, where no doubt, as well as all the wine and good food he imbibed, he also credulously swallowed a lot of American ‘War On Terror’ hysteria.

    It was disappointing to me that this Keystone Kops style embarrassment still continues beyond Howard Broad’s tenure. (After the debacle of the Terror Raids, Howard Broad suddenly stood down to go into retirement even though he had just publicly announced that he fully intended to continue on for a second term as police commissioner.)

    • muzza 7.1

      Jenny, you clearly understand where the USA fits in terms of the “terror raids” and the manufacturing of “terror”, so can I ask why you are not able to apply the thought process you articulate above, to the “Arab Spring”?

      U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings

      “We didn’t fund them to start protests, but we did help support their development of skills and networking,” said Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, a Washington-based advocacy and research group. “That training did play a role in what ultimately happened, but it was their revolution. We didn’t start it.”

      Sure you didn’t Stephen, sure you didn’t!

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        The conspiracy of all conspiracies.

        The mother of all plots.

        The scheme of all schemes.

        Breaking news: Bashar Assad has been the innocent victim of a huge Western conspiracy.

        How could I have been so stupid not to see it. As the following link from scoop.co.nz explains, it was all a big ol’ Anglo/American plot.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1208/S00052/anglo-american-1957-plan-to-assassinate-the-syrian-president.htm

        Who knew?

        The plot to overthrow the gentle and kind ruler of Syria, Bashar Assad, the greatest humanitarian since Mother Teresa. And the first secular saint to be cannonised by Western leftists, who don’t mind overlooking a tiny bit of torture, or mass murder, in a good cause.

        This plot must be the biggest, the most audacious, the most far sighted, the most expensive covert mission ever undertaken in the history of our superior Western civilisation.
        The plan was initiated in 1957 and had as its completion date the year 2012, when the cold war was expected to be over. (our side having won).

        The first stage of the plan was completed in 1969 with a fake landing on the moon. Staged in a Hollywood back lot at minimal cost and with failed Hollywood bit part actor Neil Armstrong in the leading role who even managed to miff his lines stepping out of his cardboard spaceship. The multi $billions extracted from Congress and budgeted for the fake moon shot, instead being funnelled into ‘The Plan’.

        Having secured the required unlimited budget for ‘The Plan”, tens of thousands of sleeper agents were secretly infiltrated into Arab communities and societies across the Middle East without anyone noticing, there to patiently and stoically await the invention of the internet which would be used deliver the secret signal from Washington.

        With the same attention to detail as the fake moon landing, the faked Arab Spring required the CIA to requisition industrial loads of Hollywood special effects, thunder flashes, whiz bangs, fake tear gas and hundreds of barrels of fake blood made from red dyed corn syrup and required the hiring of thousands of paid extras equipped with plastic rifles and rubber truncheons, to pose as police and army killers, to the plan made in 1957 the mock atrocities by these extras were filmed and edited before being placed on utube. As per ‘The Plan’ the faked mass uprising against Western backed tyrannies across the whole Arab world was only a cover for the main act, the planned Western invasion of Syria.

        In its execution the plan worked perfectly.
        At the anointed time the CIA sleeper agents fluent in Arabic and having successfully posed as Moslems for almost four decades, on getting the signal over the internet on their secret 1950’s style internet enabled receivers rose up on mass across the Arab world.

        At the same time Arab fundamentalists with the unlikely code name of Al Kaider, who as part of the plot had been pretending for more than a decade to be enemies of the West, threw off their Anti Western guise and joined with the CIA in the invasion of Syria.

  8. Wayne 8

    What is it with the left (or least the edgier part of it) that you keep raising the Hobbit of all things. You can hardly say you are in favour of more jobs and then turn your back on literally thousands of quality jobs. It is less about Hollywood moguls and more about Weta, Peter Jackson and keeping a key high tech industry in New Zealand. You keep wondering why National stays above 40 percent; well New Zealanders get the idea you can’t keep saying no to everything that is actually being proposed or done to actually create or retain jobs.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Peter Jackson is a member of at least 3 unions himself.

      The fact that he, as a half billionaire, fought against his own workers having union protection themselves, and fought against NZers having the same working conditions as the foreign actors he hired (who were protected by the Screen Actors Guild union) SUCKED.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.2

      “quality jobs” I don’t think so Wayne. The Hobbit enabling Act has condemned film industry workers to precarious independent contractor status until we get shot of this ShonKey National administration.

      The shameful labour day protest organised out of Richard Talyor’s enclave was the last straw for me. I know a number of people in the industry and the line is often “we are a special case, we don’t need a union, we look after each other” bullshit, even caterers have to toe the line and suck up. There are small techies “guilds” and such forth but it is generally an exploitative scenario.

      It is a notorious industry for face fitting, backstabbing and subservience. Except for Lord Jackson as CV points out.

      Anyway more importantly what is your view on Anthony’s post re the Assange extradition?

      • ropata 8.2.1

        Agreed it’s a case of trickle up. Was offered a job at Weta Digital a few years back but the salary was a joke. Ahh no thanks mate I earn 3 times that amount

        • Tom 8.2.1.1

          You are not the only one to turn them down.

          As Michael Cullen put it when he was Treasurer, you can’t base the economy on a dream.

    • weka 8.3

      You keep wondering why National stays above 40 percent; well New Zealanders get the idea you can’t keep saying no to everything that is actually being proposed or done to actually create or retain jobs.
       

      Anyone got the stats on jobs created by Labour vs National handy?

  9. prism 9

    There was an interesting connection between Sweden and the United States that was discussed yesterday. A Swedish doco maker had his finished film injuncted; on the possible effects of USA food giant Dole using pesticides on its bananas causing mutations and sterilisation in workers. But he made another about his difficulties with corporate battles, real David and Goliath stuff.

    The USA goverment will have been lobbied by Dole and also the Swedish government will be involved. Julian Assange’s situation was mentioned.

    Radionz 8.15 Sat 18/8 Fredrik Gertten: bananas
    Swedish film maker and journalist whose documentary Bananas led to him being sued for defamation by Dole, a story he tells in his new film, Big Boys Gone Bananas. (35′16″)

  10. QoT 10

    I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador

    r0b, I don’t want to start on the whole Assange/rape culture thing either, but the fact is he’s not sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy because of anything other than the UK has agreed he should be extradited to Sweden to answer questions about alleged sexual assault.

    If you’re going to characterize that as “brave” then you’re accepting at least one side’s spin on the matter.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I reckon r0b is saying that it’s the Ecuadorian government who is being brave, flying in the face of the wishes of the far more powerful US/UK.

      And Assange can be seen as a coward, if you want.

      • QoT 10.1.1

        I wasn’t saying Assange is being brave, I was saying that it’s silly to characterize Ecuador’s actions as “brave” as though what they are doing is anything to do with opposing “considerable pressure” from the United States on “America’s public enemy No. 1″. Swedish prosecutors, UK legal decision, clear statements from the US that they have no interest in extraditing him.

        At this point the “bravery” is in sheltering a dude apparently because his fanbase are convinced he’s Neo, when the actual reality is … two nations want him to answer some questions about rape allegations.

        • Populuxe1 10.1.1.1

          Exactly. Ecuador is frustrating an investigation for the lesser charge of molestation. Meanwhile the Assange fan boys are trivialising what is actually very serious. It is repugnant that a possible victim be accused of lying about it – it’s actually one of the most hateful things that can be done to a woman, and a big chunk of the left seem to have forgotten that..

      • r0b 10.1.2

        CV is correct in what I meant. This link (posted by Vicky32 in Open mike) is worth reading:
        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32216.htm

    • Polish Pride 10.2

      “the fact is he’s not sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy because of anything other than the UK has agreed he should be extradited to Sweden to answer questions about alleged sexual assault.”

      No you left off a key point to why he is there. He is sheltering there because Sweden will not give a gaurantee that they will not send him onto a third party (i.e. the United States). If he is extradited to face the rape charges. It has been made quite clear that he is more than happy to go if this assurance can be given.

      Sweden will not give this assurance and have already been in conversations with the US who want him extradited. The problem is that if this were to happen. He would likely not receive a fair trial and may even be subject to the death penalty.

      • The Baron 10.2.1

        I have a very, very dim view of Assange avoiding facing his sexual assault charges, but I am not aware of this dynamic thanks PP.

        It would seem to me that the Swedes should indeed decouple the two matters to allow their crime to be tested, without the USA’s concerns getting in the way.

  11. McFlock 11

    Both countries have had terror raids.
       
    And don’t get Human Rights Watch started on Ecuador. 
         
    Is one really so much better than the other? 

    • Bill 11.1

      (sigh) HRW and AI. Y’know, if Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch ever deserved a reputation for being reasonably independent, then that reputation is, quite rightly, in utter fucking tatters these days. And has been for several years.

      And no. I can’t be bothered entering into pointless debate about the matter. Just do yourself a favour and do some reading.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Oh ffs.
              
        “Do some reading” isn’t even an appeal to authority. It seems to be the latest refrain from idealogues who can’t explain their position clearly or support it with actual evidence. And by “actual evidence”, I don’t mean opinion pieces and unsourced rants from other idealogues.
               
        You know what? Take a community class in basic logic. That might help you support your blanket assertions. It might help you understand the concept that because A does a good thing X, it does not mean that A did not do bad thing Y. It doesn’t matter if X is granting asylum to people you believe are being persecuted, or exposing the secrets of oppressive regimes.

        • Bill 11.1.1.1

          Your sources. The ones you linked to, are disreputable. Sadly imo, because they have done some good stuff in years gone past. And they used to be fairly reliable sources of information. But not any more. And it’s that I’m suggesting you read up on; the background to and current politics of your sources.

          As for logic or charges of being an ideologue…I guess it skipped your notice, but I’m not one for tying my colours to someone elses mast. Just as it obviously skipped your notice that I made absolutely no mention of Ecuador or Assange in my comment.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1

            yeah, whatever dude. Take it or leave it – that’s one reason linking to sources is a good idea. It means if the source looks kooky or biased, then the assertion needs to be double checked. Maybe you should read up on the situation in Ecuador? 
                     
            At least my assertions have a demonstrable basis, rather than simply being a declamation followed by . . . nothing.
             

            • Bill 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Try this. Maybe you’d like to sign it? Seriously.

              And have a good look at the history and comments of Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA while you’re at it.

              Here’s a head’s up from another internal petition

              And I’ll throw in this piece of good advice from Joe Emersberger. (And no. I don’t know who he is. But his advice is sound.)

              I would add that left writers need to get out of the habit of uncritcally citing Amnesty’s (or HRW’s) work when it backs up a position they are arguing. If you cite the US state dept on something most readers will factor in the bias of the source on their own – without the writer calling attention to it. It’s a no brainer. However, in the case of Amnesty (or HRW), readers may not be aware of the bias (though thankfully I believe that is changing) and it shoud therefore be mentioned.

              And for reading up on the situation in Ecuador? Do you mean pieces like this one by Federico Fuentes

              And should you want to know the angle Fuentes comes from, then there’s a slew of articles by him here. (Y’know. That way you can work out his bias, check his sources and read what he says accordingly)

              .

              • McFlock

                See, those were interesting links, and there seems to be quite a few good policies pursued by the Ecuadorian government.
                     
                It’s a pity that those links didn’t seem to address the point about arresting environmentalists on trumped up charges, or limiting press freedom. Maybe I missed it?
                   
                Now if you could provide  relevant links to the assertions at hand…

                • Bill

                  The assetions come from the sources linked in your original comment, yes? And as some of the links show, your sources aren’t reliable.

                  Protesters arrested on trumped up charges is not a good thing. (But it is unfortunately a very common thing – even here in NZ.) Anyway. Just as well then, that the courts agree. They’ve dismissed most of the charges and now only 8 of those 24 are under investigation and none are being held in jail. (And I’m thinking of parallels in NZ again)

                  Anyway, do you think it’s possible Tamaryn Nelson got her info retrospectively from the courts’ findings and is then attempting to present things to appear ‘in a certain light’?

                  Nah. Surely not. All those relaxed people laughing and looking to be enjoying themselves at a protest in March of this year with no over bearing police presence doesn’t jar with her text at all! I mean it looks obvious that “authorities are “using any tool in the box” to discourage people from voicing their disapproval” – just as she claims.

                  Wonder where she’s based? This researcher. Well, here’s her pedigree. Used to work for AS/COA. And as their web site declares:

                  Americas Society (AS) is the premier forum dedicated to education, debate, and dialogue in the Americas. Council of the Americas (COA) is the premier international business organization whose members share a common commitment to economic and social development, open markets, the rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.

                  And :

                  Council of the Americas members form a collaborative network that supports efforts to conduct business successfully in Latin America.

                  So Tamaryn Nelson worked for an outfit that unabashedly promotes neo-liberalism. And now she works for AI that is headed by the wonderful Suzanne Nossel who is busy dovetailing AI with US foreign policy. And she (Tamaryn Nelson) is writing critical and supposedly contemporary pieces about Ecuador (a country not following the neo-liberal agenda) based on reports that were compiled between 2009 and 2011.

                  Hmm.

                  • McFlock

                    Rather than fixating on AIUSA, maybe you should have another look at my original comment
                             
                    I wasn’t saying Ecuador is as bad as Syria or China. Just that they’re not all that much better than NZ. Maybe worse in some ways. Better in others.
                           

                    • Bill

                      Just working my way through the sources you supplied. Finding stuff out, you know?

                      But sure. Equador is comparable to NZ. We agree. Though I’d wager NZ doesn’t get the same negative coverage from AI or HRW as Equador does. Which would indicate (since we agree that NZ and Equador are ‘much of a muchness’) a political bias to AI and HRW reports, no?

                    • McFlock

                      aye, true.
                         
                      No mention of extrajudicial killings, for example. 

                  • UrbanRascal

                    This thread is certainly entertaining.
                    A real schooling if you like.

                • Bill

                  Press freedoms in Equador

                  One of the most controversial parts of the law is the creation of a regulating body to decide and control the broadcast of “discriminatory, racist, violent, and sexual content.”

                  http://www.as-coa.org/articles/new-legislation-bolsters-challenges-press-freedom-latin-america

                  See. That sounds like NZ and could probably equate to the broadcasting standards here. The other bit was about the press being unable to promote or decry individual politicians during election campaigns. Now see. That sounds like a good thing to me. Broadcast and report the issues. And if you start on character assassinations or promoting certain personalities…or if a news corporation attempts to set the agenda (its own) , then hey. Pay the consequences for undermining or belittling the democratic process.

                  • McFlock

                    The bits about giving more power for citizens to sue journalists and give ministers more power to “demand” air time, colour me not so hot on.

                    • Bill

                      Well. If Labour had been able to demand the air time that was so freely given to John Key….

        • Morrissey 11.1.1.2

          “Do some reading” isn’t even an appeal to authority.

          Actually, it kind of is. It’s an appeal to people like you to actually do some reading. (And here’s a friendly hint: by “reading”, we mean SERIOUS reading, by people with integrity—not the jocular hacks on the Grauniad or the sad state servants at the BBC.

          It seems to be the latest refrain from idealogues who can’t explain their position clearly or support it with actual evidence.

          No, it’s an expression of frustration with people like you who are full of bluster but light on, well, authority.

          • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1

            That’s why I use things like relevant links.
                   
            By the way, an appeal to do reading is not an appeal to authority. And when the links you ask me to read are either nonexistent, irrelevant or demonstrably wrong – well, it’s not very appealing

            • Morrissey 11.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s why I use things like relevant links.

              Over the last week or so, I’ve linked to two of the world’s most respected dissenters—Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky. I’ve linked to the outstanding British analytical site Media Lens. I’ve also linked to Women Against Rape, which expressed its grave concern at the political nature of these wild allegations.

              But YOU say that these are not “relevant links”. That says nothing about those people and organizations, whose credentials and integrity are unimpeachable; it says a great deal about you.

              By the way, an appeal to do reading is not an appeal to authority.

              Oh yes it is. I have directed you to serious, principled, independent, non-partisan critics and scholars who speak with real authority.

              And when the links you ask me to read are either nonexistent, irrelevant or demonstrably wrong

              Which parts of Chomsky’s or Ellsberg’s arguments were irrelevant or wrong? What is it you don’t like about Women Against Rape? Or Media Lens? And most intriguing of all, please tell us just what exactly is “nonexistent” about any of those people or organizations?

              – well, it’s not very appealing

              I don’t imagine it is very appealing to be shown up as fraudulent or poorly read. Then again, I don’t argue about things I don’t know about. You won’t find me arguing about yacht design, for example, because I don’t have enough knowledge to do so with any authority.

              • McFlock

                You missed the word “relevant”. 
                Chomsky is not a legal expert by training or profession. Nor is he intimately acquainted with the facts of the case. Reread my link of fallacious appeals to authority – you had a comprehension fail the first time.
                     
                That’s why I linked to things like the UK extradition hearing judgements, which outlined the alleged facts, contemporary timelines/reports, and of course the Swedish prosecutors office. 
                     
                And note the use of “or”. Ever made any assertions with no links whatsoever? You? Surely not. 
                     
                And are you saying you know more about:
                     the legal facts of the case in the UK;     
                     the legal facts of the case in Sweden; 
                     the actual circumstances of what happened;
                     the state of human rights in Ecuador;
                     and the secret plans of both the USA and Sweden    
                          
                than you do about yacht design? Or just that you know more than enough about each and every topic to patronise people who actually use relevant links?

                • Morrissey

                  You missed the word “relevant”. Chomsky is not a legal expert by training or profession. Nor is he intimately acquainted with the facts of the case.

                  Chomsky, like anyone else, can research and understand the facts and issues, legal or otherwise, in this case. So can, and does, Daniel Ellsberg. The law is not an advanced mathematical formula; it’s supposed to be understandable, and it is. What part do you think intellectual giants can’t quite understand as opposed to “legal experts” like…. oh, William Hague and Barack Obama?

                  Reread my link of fallacious appeals to authority – you had a comprehension fail the first time.

                  “Appeal to authority”? I have my own thoughts and ideas, and I back them up with authoritative sources. If I skipped the first part of that sentence, then your claim would make sense.

                  That’s why I linked to things like the UK extradition hearing judgements, which outlined the alleged facts, contemporary timelines/reports, and of course the Swedish prosecutors office.

                  Good. That’s why I linked to non-partisan and independent thinkers of proven integrity who share my concern that these wild allegations are nothing more than a pretext to exact state vengeance against a dangerous truth-teller.

                  And note the use of “or”. Ever made any assertions with no links whatsoever? You? Surely not.

                  I state my own opinions on many occasions. Usually, but not always, I back them up—but never with such insultingly lightweight, shamelessly partisan sources as David Aaronovitch or any of the other doctrinal warriors you evidently listen to.

                  And are you saying you know more about:
                  the legal facts of the case in the UK;
                  the legal facts of the case in Sweden;
                  the actual circumstances of what happened;
                  the state of human rights in Ecuador;
                  and the secret plans of both the USA and Sweden

                  than you do about yacht design?

                  Yes.

                  Or just that you know more than enough about each and every topic to patronise people who actually use relevant links?

                  I’m not “patronising” you, I’m challenging you.

                  • McFlock

                    1: Chomsky and Obama probably have a similar working knowledge of the law. Maybe one can research slightly better than the other.
                    But Chomsky vs just one of several career jurists who have spent a lifetime studying law and examining cases? Nope.
                        
                    2: Um, no. Backing up with “authoritative sources” (see 1) is still an appeal to authority. “He says X, therefore X is true”. But it’s not as reliable as “Here he says he saw X, and you can actually go to here where he first said he saw X, and you can even check X yourself here” is what we call “verifiable evidence”. And whether you “own” your thoughts or not is irrelevant to whether your verifiable evidence supports your ideas.
                        
                    3: The only thing you are “challenging” is my ability to explain the basic differences between “verifiable and true statement” and “unsupported assumption”. And the assumption that you are “challenging” me in any other way is patronising, and delusional.
                          

                     

                    • Morrissey

                      1: Chomsky and Obama probably have a similar working knowledge of the law. Maybe one can research slightly better than the other.

                      Obama, unlike Chomsky, has shown contempt for international law, from his refusal to condemn Israel’s murderous “twenty-two days of madness” in 2008-9, his refusal to condemn Israel’s murders of Palestinian politicians and peace activists, or to do anything about its continual depredations in the Occupied Territories, right through to his endorsement of the extra-judicial killing of Osama Bin Laden. There are enormous differences between Chomsky and Obama, in terms of learning, intellect and, above all, integrity.

                      But Chomsky vs just one of several career jurists who have spent a lifetime studying law and examining cases? Nope.

                      And you have just been lecturing ME for appealing to authority!

                      2: Um, no. Backing up with “authoritative sources” (see 1) is still an appeal to authority. “He says X, therefore X is true”. But it’s not as reliable as “Here he says he saw X, and you can actually go to here where he first said he saw X, and you can even check X yourself here” is what we call “verifiable evidence”. And whether you “own” your thoughts or not is irrelevant to whether your verifiable evidence supports your ideas.

                      Fair enough.

                      3: The only thing you are “challenging” is my ability to explain the basic differences between “verifiable and true statement” and “unsupported assumption”. And the assumption that you are “challenging” me in any other way is patronising, and delusional.

                      I was not patronising you. I challenged the integrity of the sources you cited.

                    • McFlock

                      There are enormous differences between Chomsky and Obama, in terms of learning, intellect and, above all, integrity.

                      Maybe. But that is irrelevant as to whether either of them know more about the law or sexual assault investigations than career jurists who have risen to some of the highest courts in their respective countries, both in Sweden and the UK. So reread the link I gave you about fallacious appeals to authority. You obviously didn’t understand it the previous two times you read it. In fact, read the entire article. Can you think why I might think that a career jurist is more reliable than a non-jurist (no matter how intelligent) in matters of law? Take your time.
                           
                       I was not patronising you. I challenged the integrity of the sources you cited.”   

                        Actually, it kind of is. It’s an appeal to people like you to actually do some reading. (And here’s a friendly hint: by “reading”, we mean SERIOUS reading, by people with integrity—not the jocular hacks on the Grauniad or the sad state servants at the BBC.>

                      Yeah, that’s patronising, especially when I have repeatedly cited the actual court judgements or their summaries. Those were a bit more serious than even an opinion piece by Chomsky or Ellsberg. 

    • Morrissey 11.2

      You clearly haven’t kept up with Human Rights Watch, and its tattered reputation.

      Something else you need to read up on, my friend.

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        Thankyou, sensei.
        I will give that (in no particular order) vague, unsourced, arrogant and delusional comment all the deep contemplation it deserves.
             
        And I think you’ve single-handedly invented “flake propaganda”. 

        • Morrissey 11.2.1.1

          …vague, unsourced, arrogant and delusional comment

          I have directed you, and anyone else who wants to learn something, to several scholarly, analytical sites. Your labeling my comments as “vague” and “unsourced” is nothing other than the most desperate kind of mud-slinging.

          The “arrogant and delusional” charge is interesting; could you explain exactly why you chose those descriptors? There seems to be no basis for them, other than your frustration and your evident dislike of me.

          And I think you’ve single-handedly invented “flake propaganda”.

          Really? By quoting and citing heavyweights like Chomsky and Ellsberg? Should I go for intellectual and moral giants like William Hague, like you do?

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.1

             vague: not even a subject area as a hint, just an implication that HRW are in some way imperfect (isn’t every organisation?)
               
            unsourced: Self expanatory. Had you addressed the shortcomings of HRW before? Sorry I missed it.
                
            arrogant: The concept that you speak from a position of knowledge, rather than realising that “agreeing with something” does not necessarily mean “supporting evidence on a mildly tangential topic”
               
            delusional: where to start? delusions of adequacy, as well as delusions of friendship and delusions of knowing basic english 

          • McFlock 11.2.1.1.2

            by the way, did I quote Hague or link to him? Where?

            • Morrissey 11.2.1.1.2.1

              did I quote Hague or link to him?

              Every time you repeat the wild allegations against Assange, you are amplifying and repeating William Hague’s talking points. Whether you take them straight from the Grauniad or British state media, or through one of their mirror sites (NewstalkZB, National Radio, grim-faced Rachel Smalley on TV3) you are repeating his lies.

              Where?

              Circumspice.

              • McFlock

                So the Swedish prosecutor’s office is a front for Hague? Good to know.
                         
                Frankly, that’s your problem right there: you assume that because A is adjacent to B, then because B is  adjacent to C, A must also be  adjacent to C. And because C is adjacent to D, A, is also adjacent to D, and so on through to Z.
                       
                That’s why you think a Chomsky piece on the US hate Assange and would love to torture him = Assange did not commit rape that night = relevant to whether defending Wikileaks means continuing rape culture and denial by immediately assuming that complainants lie.      
                     
                Most of your immediate connections aren’t to bad, but your extrapolations suck shit.

                • Morrissey

                  So the Swedish prosecutor’s office is a front for Hague? Good to know.

                  No, William Hague is far too stupid to manage such an operation. But, almost certainly, someone in the Swedish government —not “the Swedish prosecutor’s office”—is certainly a major player in this bizarre, Soviet-style attack on Assange. As we saw in the equally bizarre case against Peter Ellis, all that’s needed is for a few key figures to believe, or pretend to believe, the charges and the others in the hierarchy will simply fall into line and do their jobs, no matter how unsavoury and dishonest those jobs might be.

                  Frankly, that’s your problem right there: you assume that because A is adjacent to B, then because B is adjacent to C, A must also be adjacent to C. And because C is adjacent to D, A, is also adjacent to D, and so on through to Z.

                  I assume none of those things. I can SEE and HEAR people repeating the fantastical and brutally cynical allegations of those who seek the destruction of this truth-teller. Having “liberal” fora like The Standard clogged up by people repeating this black propaganda is perhaps just as important as having the Grauniad‘s management on board with the campaign.

                  That’s why you think a Chomsky piece on the US hate Assange and would love to torture him = Assange did not commit rape that night = relevant to whether defending Wikileaks means continuing rape culture and denial by immediately assuming that complainants lie.

                  Chomsky is only one of many concerned citizens who recognize the real reason the U.S.. and U.K. (along with their meek Scandinavian accomplice) are pursuing these fantastical charges with such indefatigable zeal. I think you recognize it, too; one of these days you’ll come round to what reasonable people think: that if the Swedish prosecutors genuinely want to speak to Assange, but their notoriously weak government refuses to assure his safety, then they can talk to him in the Ecuadorian embassy.

                  Most of your immediate connections aren’t too bad, but your extrapolations suck shit.

                  I have not made those extrapolations.

                  • McFlock

                    Option B is that Assange actually has a case to answer regarding rape and sexual assault, and Chomsky is projecting his experience in outlining and uncovering hegemonistic conspiracies  onto a routine investigation.

                    • Morrissey

                      Option B is that Assange actually has a case to answer regarding rape and sexual assault,

                      The allegations are bizarre, and appear to be a pretext for rendering him to face the vengeance of the U.S. regime, which is notorious for its contempt for the law.

                      …and Chomsky is projecting his experience in outlining and uncovering hegemonistic conspiracies onto a routine investigation.

                      Chomsky does not “project”; he looks at the evidence thoroughly and analyzes it compellingly—in other words, he does the job of, and infuriates, second-rate journalists such as the duds on the Grauniad.

                    • McFlock

                      The allegations are bizarre, and appear to be a pretext for rendering him to face the vengeance of the U.S. regime, which is notorious for its contempt for the law.
                       
                      Two points. The first is that the allegations are by no means bizarre for sexual assault allegations and crimes. The second is actually what I was talking about earlier: you assume that “the allegations are bizarre”, which is close to (but not the same as) “the allegations are not credible”. I don’t have a problem with your apparent logic that “if the allegations are not credible, then the investigation might be a pretext for the US”. I just think that here you are conflating “bizarre” (outside your experience) with “not credible” and its concomitant conspiracy.
                       

                • Morrissey

                  Yeah, that’s patronising, especially when I have repeatedly cited the actual court judgements or their summaries.

                  Actually, looking back on what I wrote, it is a bit condescending and patronising. Please accept my apologies for that.

  12. xtasy 12

    There is a major difference between the history of Latin America and NZ. They had their type of fight for independence and revolution of the former Spanish settlers and bourgeoisie under Bolivar and another leader centuries ago, a bit like the US had their one under George Washington and his mates.

    The dependence on the US corporate power and US and some other leading economies has also created a strong sense of independence in a political sense.

    NZ never had such developments. It was a colony, then a dominion and even after independence was clinging to the Motherland closely, untile the UK decided to join the EU and focus on trading with closer neighbouring countries.

    Although NZ has become more diversified economically, in legal, political, social and “cultural” terms the mindset still nowadays remains quite focused on the UK, also Australia and thus anglo saxon links.

    It will take time to change. So in reality NZ is very far away from anything like what the government of Ecuador had dared to do.

  13. infused 13

    Only reason Ecuador is standing up is because the Prime Minister has an election to win. Also, it’s sweden that wants him.

    I agree about .com though. Although, I can see him winning this one.

    “(I don’t want to start yet another thread on the rights or wrongs of Assange’s actions here, I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador)”

    Yet you’re asking for one.

    • Morrissey 13.1

      Only reason Ecuador is standing up is because the Prime Minister has an election to win.

      You know, I don’t go on to car sites and start sounding off about carburetor idle speeds and valvetrain adjustments because I know next to nothing about cars.

      So why are you posting up opinions on something about which you clearly know nothing?

      Also, it’s sweden that wants him.

      Are you really THAT ignorant? Or simply dishonest?

    • Populuxe1 13.2

      Also you will recall that Ecuador’s mineral exploration, oil sales and loan servicing are increasingly dominated by China, and Assange is a bit of a darling in China – you will recall the official Beijing Daily touted him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, mostly because it gets up the nose of the Americans. So it wouldn’t hurt Ecuador all that much.

  14. Morrissey 14

    I don’t want to start yet another thread on the rights or wrongs of Assange’s actions here,

    Well, you just have started another one. What was WRONG, exactly, about Assange choosing to publish the evidence of U.S. war crimes?

    I’m just noting the bravery of Ecuador.

    And what about the bravery of Julian Assange?

    • Polish Pride 14.1

      +1…

    • Daveosaurus 14.2

      What was RIGHT, exactly, about Assange choosing to rape those women in Sweden?

      • Morrissey 14.2.1

        What was RIGHT, exactly, about Assange choosing to rape those women in Sweden?

        Unlike the overwhelming evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq that Assange released to the public, there is no evidence to support your sleazy allegation.

        • Populuxe1 14.2.1.1

          Are you saying those two women lied about what happened to them?

          • Colonial Viper 14.2.1.1.1

            That’s for a court to decide. And before a court can decide charges have to be laid. And before charges can be laid, Assange needs to be questioned again. Which Swedish authorities could do today, they also could have done yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, 3 months ago, 6 months ago, 12 months ago,…

            • McFlock 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Or a couple of years ago if he hadn’t skipped the country.

              • Colonial Viper

                Wow, back to using the pejorative “skipped”?

                The Swedes knew he was going. Swedish airport security and immigration OK’d him to leave the country. They stamped his passport authorising his departure. They didn’t even bother to ask him to stay, as a favour, on a voluntary basis.

                • McFlock

                  ooo sorry. You’re right.
                  He coincidentally left the country shortly after his lawyer, who was not in contact with him at all, was told by the prosecutors that charges were likely going to be filed after the second interview.
                           
                  On a separate note, the Eiffel Tower is unsafe due to rust and is going to be sold for scrap. Interested in buying it cheap? 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    who was not in contact with him at all, was told by the prosecutors that charges were likely going to be filed after the second interview.

                    So have the second interview and file the charges. Do it today. The ball is in the Swedish prosecutor’s court. Don’t know why they are delaying the process of justice for the two women complainants.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh bullshit. They had arranged to do it two years ago but he skipped left the country. And then fought extradition all the way. Then decided to couch surf in an embassy.

            • Populuxe1 14.2.1.1.1.2

              Then it is wrong and offensive not to believe them in the first instance

              • Colonial Viper

                Complainants and their complaints get treated seriously and they are afforded every courtesy during investigations; suspects (and even charged accused) get the presumption of innocence and other legal rights.

                Alternatively just summarily try and convict Assange in absentia and be done with due process.

                • Populuxe1

                  The point being that the revictimisation of victims it a cheap and low thing to do, but Assange’s hootin’ and hollerin’ supporters seem to have no compunction about doing exactly that. It is fair to say that the Assange fanboys don’t care whether he has a fair trial or not – they don’t want him to go to trial at all and will continue to call these women liars and worse.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As has been said on The Standard previously..by weka perhaps (although in different words)…that it is quite possible that Assange is guilty as sin, and that the women are being used as international political pawns, all at the same time.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Well that would be business as usual, but I could never stand to see shits being made over as martyrs.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True, true. IMO Assange can’t make himself a martyr. Only Sweden and the USA can accomplish that. And they’ve gone a long way down that road already.

                    • McFlock

                      So if he did do it, how many women should he be allowed to rape before you decide he should take the risk of facing a court of law?    
                               
                      How many women are expendable because he chose to be the face of Wikileaks? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A hypothetical? As in how many rapes Assange might get away with while he is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy for the foreseeable future?

                      I would’ve thought none, but perhaps your opinion differs.

                      As I’ve said to you before, I think Assange needs to be questioned by Swedish investigators asap. And IF he is charged, he should front up to a Swedish court asap. At the same time, Sweden and the US should give reassurances that they will not begin extradition proceedings against him on wholly unrelated matters.

                      The women complainants get their full measure of justice without Assange getting whisked off to gawds knows where, Gitmo or wherever.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, so no hypotheticals then?
                            
                      It’s okay when you said “that it is quite possible that Assange is guilty as sin, and that the women are being used as international political pawns, all at the same time”.
                           
                      Do the ramifications of that hypothetical theory disturb you? 
                         
                      Maybe you’re beginning to get the point. 

                • McFlock

                  As a human being, give the complainants the respect of not assuming they’re making it up.  Just as you (like me) have avoided the assumption that he definitely did it.
                               
                  As you say, the courts are the correct place to decide between the two parties, if applicable. 
                             
                  A pity he’s avoiding due process.
                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As a human being, give the complainants the respect of not assuming they’re making it up.

                    Assuming that they are making up their complaints is neither treating them seriously or with courtesy.

                    And as I said, the justice system should treat their complaints seriously and with courtesy. Whether or not they are making up the complaints is up for a judge/jury to decide.

                    Just as you (like me) have avoided the assumption that he definitely did it.

                    Sure. But in your heart you know that Assange is a devious lying prick.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah.
                           
                      I just know that he’s avoiding a rape investigation.
                               

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Investigators are welcome to see him today. He can’t avoid that.

                    • McFlock

                      He avoided it before.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Given that Assange is holed up in a small building completely surrounded by armed UK police, he ain’t avoiding the investigators this time.

                      In fact, it appears to me that it is the Swedish investigators who are assiduously avoiding him.

                    • McFlock

                      Nah.
                           
                      My guess is that they don’t see any point to continuing the process when they can’t do anything about it. Given what they apparently told his lawyer (on the day he coincidentally left the country), and the UK courts’ comments about the case against him.
                             
                      Nice accident of jurisdiction that they lay formal charges and detention so late in the process, eh. That boy just has oodles of luck when it comes to sexual assault investigations, don’t he?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My guess is that they don’t see any point to continuing the process when they can’t do anything about it.

                      In international negotiations, formal charges would be significant leverage to effect pressure on the parties involved. That, along with removing doubt that no practical charges can be laid, would bring advantage to the Swedish side.

                      Your argument comes short in merit in comparison.

                      The Swedish investigators are avoiding Assange; there is no other obvious reason why they would forego those political advantages.

                      Nice accident of jurisdiction that they lay formal charges and detention so late in the process, eh. That boy just has oodles of luck when it comes to sexual assault investigations, don’t he?

                      Continue with the tabloid quality innuendo by all means. But happenchance is not admissable as evidence.

                    • McFlock

                      You’ve already said that if charge were laid you don’t think Assange would surrender himself.
                           
                      Are you now suggesting that if charges were laid Ecuador would hand him over? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m suggesting that Sweden could remove doubt and gain leverage by questioning, then charging Assange. Who knows what change in the diplomatic and judicial landscape might result from that.

                      IMO the US is certainly preparing (or has already finalised) charges against Assange, on unrelated matters.

                    • McFlock

                      So the best reason you can come up for a complete waste of time is “who knows”?
                         
                      I have another prediction: even if the Swedes did interview him and subsequently charge him:
                      not only would he not voluntarily come out,
                      not only would Ecuador not kick him out,
                      you’d still be defending justifying why he was evading sexual assault charges.
                                     
                      And the US is irrelevant to extradition to Sweden on non-political matters. From the UK.
                         

                    • weka

                      And as I said, the justice system should treat their complaints seriously and with courtesy. Whether or not they are making up the complaints is up for a judge/jury to decide.
                       

                      CV, I’m pretty sure that in NZ at least (and I assume in Sweden) both the Police and Crown Prosecutor have to be believe the complainants in order for the case to be progressed. This belief is based on assessment of the evidence and knowledge of the law. This of course isn’t proof of guilt on the accused’s part, but we’re not talking about that.
                       
                      The way you have framed your statement neatly encapsulates the problem with trying rape cases – that complainants get put on trial too. Most complainants in rape trials have in fact been raped, and being being put on de facto trial is often further trauma. It’s why so few women lay complaints. This makes rape trials somewhat unique.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      I found this interesting on the Swedish justice system. It’s not exactly what I’d expected:
                      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/20/a-tale-of-two-swedens/

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting, although I do wonder whether Assange fits the demographic of immigrants who are targeted. He seemed to have a bit of a fan club when he was there.
                            
                      And none of the issues raised are particularly relevant to the case at hand as parallel evidence that he’d get an unfair hearing.

    • Populuxe1 14.3

      It was wrong not to filter that information is nuch a way that it didn’t immediately put the lives of a whole bunch of US personell in jeopardy. That was thoughtless, reckless, and tantamount to murder. DO NO HARM.

  15. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15

    Yes.

    Let’s make ourselves a haven for accused rapists. We could send them all to Whanganui. That will help our international reputation.

    • Morrissey 15.1

      Let’s make ourselves a haven for accused rapists.

      What an unfunny halfwit you are.

  16. With John Key as our leader we have become a lapdog for America.

    Wall Street is the home of the financial terriorists and it is John Keys working environment, being one of the financial terriorists who have caused the greatest crisis since the great depression he is of course eager to protect his mates in the American system.

    Who could ever think John Key is working in the interests of New Zealand

  17. Fortran 17

    If Assange gets to Sweden, for whatever reason, he will be “renditioned” to Guantanamo by the USA in the dead of night, on a US military flight.

    • McFlock 17.1

      If Assange goes to Ecuador, for whatever reason, Wikileaks won’t be leaking anything about extrajudicial killings or punitive slander cases by government officials against journalists in that country.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        If the US becomes a strong free democracy again, US based journalists will do it.

        Currently though, the recently passed National Defence Authorisation Act allows the US to lock up journalists without charge, indefinitely.

        Their actions in condemning Julian Assange and wikileaks is also inexcusable. Assange leaked nothing. He was a publisher of information provided to him. Just like any newspaper or media outlet.

        So much for the First Amendment.

        • McFlock 17.1.1.1

          No argument that “land of the free and home of the brave” is a sick joke.
                   
          My point was the conflict of interest that means we won’t be seeing any wikileaks that show Ecuador in a bad light. Unless he has a tick sheet of embassies he can jump into and is planning to work through.

          • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps if we assume Wikileaks = Assange you could be right.

            • McFlock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Or if Wikileaks admins want to keep Assange safe. 

              • Colonial Viper

                At the end of the day an element of quid pro quo is going to be involved. You want to stay working for your employer, don’t go spreading shit around town about your boss and their spouse.

                • McFlock

                  Lucky Ecuador’s a paradise with no institutional abuses then, eh. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Yeah. I guess you got to write off about 170 of the world’s 208 sovereign countries.

                    • McFlock

                      Yep.
                      It’s difficult to dodge a rape investigation when you’re a human rights activist.
                      edit: without appearing hypocritical, of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey the Swedish want to delay giving the women justice, its their perogative. Or they could question Assange today if they wanted to and go on to pressing charges by tomorrow.

                    • McFlock

                      So your assertion is that if they interviewed him and filed charges on that basis, he’d say “fair cop, I’m coming out”?
                               
                      Based on his actions so far?
                              
                      Much laughter. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh no, I expect Assange won’t. What it will rule out is the possibility that no charges will be laid because there is nothing to answer for in a court of law.

                      And the judicial process moves another step forwards.

                    • McFlock

                      The odds of that seem rather slim. Given the facts as outlined in the extradition process, and what the prosecutors told his lawyer on the same day he purely coincidentally left the country. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Happenchance isn’t admissable as evidence mate. Tabloid speculation yes, criminal courts no.

                    • McFlock

                      So we’re just left with the UK courts.
                             
                      Although with luck like that he should have paid his own bail out of his lottery winnings. 

      • Morrissey 17.1.2

        Wikileaks won’t be leaking anything about extrajudicial killings or punitive slander cases by government officials against journalists in that country.

        Maybe you’re thinking of Ecuador when it was still a dictatorship, backed by the U.S.

        It’s a democracy now, which seems to upset you no end.

  18. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 18

    Let’s demonstrate our independence by giving Charles Manson asylum.

  19. xtasy 20

    Culture de Ecuador –

    As much as I was horrified, but this rates amongst the first shots on Google and You Tube, I am afraid.

    A small, neglected, traditionally foreign corp controlled (banana fruit co’s from US anyone?) andean country, small and relatively over-populated, but with a fair amount of history, cultura and exotic fauna and flora.

    Fair enough, so human rights are now supposed to be on the agenda, while they were a bit neglected before. An election is looming too, so do not forget that.

    For the interest of Polynesians, this country is where the fabled Con Tiki Huiracotcha sailed off from to “discover” Eastern Polynesia and to establish some trade and population movements between ancient Latin America and the islands in the South Pacific. Some scientists like Thor Heyerdahl made important discoveries, but in NZ it is all about “Lapita” culture, the settlement from west to east, which is only part of the whole story.

    Enlightenment is no strength in most of Aotearoa, I am afraid. I am still waiting for a positive change though.

  20. xtasy 21

    The nicer side of the story (for tourists and sweet talked visitors) –

    I have no doubt Ecuador is a very exciting and beautiful place, but we also have an expectation of the whole truth about the country and its people. So the authorities of Ecuador will be most welcomed to deliver.

    Meanwhile Julian appears to be safe, at least.

  21. xtasy 22

    Latin America is a cultural planet of its own, much to discover, beyond “equador” so to say:

  22. xtasy 23

    Musica de Equador –

    the real stuff, from Europe or Canada –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yta3iqbUlGc&feature=fvsr

    strange not much comes here.

    Top quality and authentic.

    Viva el pueblo de Ecuador Y America Latina!

  23. xtasy 24

    Musica Latina America de Bolivia

    A bit unusaul an d bizarre perhaps for Kiwis, but worth exploring:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UhSQwsqSIw

    From Lake Titicaca and the Tihuanaco culture comes part of true Polynesian culture too, look and study the statues and symbols from there and compare with Eastern Polynesia, another cultural lie, that all of Polynesia comes from Melanesia, South East Asia and so forth, there is much more to Polynesian culture and history, partly originating in SOUTH AMERICA!

  24. captain hook 25

    113th on the list for freedom of the press.

    • McFlock 25.1

      NZ’s at 13.
      Just behind Sweden.
              
      The US is at 47. 

    • Bill 25.2

      Who compiles the list, who are their backers and or funders and what are their criteria for determining those things that are to be considered press freedoms?

      • McFlock 25.2.1

        Failure to Google?

        Reporters Without Borders do the Press Freedom Index.
               
        I’m sure they’re just lackeys of US imperialists. 

        • Bill 25.2.1.1

          No, I googled the list and saw it was Reporters Without Borders. And although I have just a sneaky suspicion you are being facetious with you “I’m sure they’re just lackeys…” comment, the fact is that they recieve funding from, among others, the International Republican Institute which is an arm of the Republican Party that specialises in meddling in elections in foreign countries They also have close ties to the “Center for a Free Cuba” and are generally regarded as being particularly biased and scathing towards any developing country or state that is left leaning and not ‘a friend’ of Washington.

          But by all means take ‘Reporters Without Borders’ at face value if you want.

          • McFlock 25.2.1.1.1

            Yeah I had a bit of a laugh when I saw that – but then of course they changed direction after that director left several years ago. Any criticism of their ranking based on current events? None of the other rankings that I know more about the relevant countries seem to be particularly out of whack.

            Nice to know you’re smart enough to use google, and disingeuous enough to ask a question you think you already know the answer to.

            • Bill 25.2.1.1.1.1

              You say they’ve ‘changed direction’. Maybe. Maybe not.

              You ask if I’ve any criticism of their rankings. Well one that jumps out straight away is Mexico where, as an example of press freedoms in Mexico, (was it twenty- odd?) journalists’ bodies were ‘displayed’ from a bridge – as a warning to other journalists. (I believe The Guardian carried the story if your unfamiliar with it)

              And Mexico is ranked 149.

              Meanwhile Cuba is ranked at 167. (Below Saudi Arabia and other such bastions of press (and general) freedoms)

              Now, I don’t know too much about how the press is structured in Cuba. But I very much doubt journalists are in any peril whatsoever. And state run does not de facto mean that it is more given to censoring news than any large corporate press entity.

              So maybe, given that RWB has ‘changed direction’ as you claim, you’d be able to offer a feasible explanation as to why a country that systematically murders journalists and where heads of drug cartels dictate to newspapers what stories they can and cannot cover and then dictates how a story will be covered if it is to be covered is so much more free than Cuba? ‘Cause I just can’t figure it.

              Unless,of course, there really hasn’t been any change of culture worth mentioning at RWB afterall?

              • McFlock

                So you have an issue with the ranking of one country in 200, and that lets you believe that Ecuador is a wonderful paradise.

                There’s a bit of desperation there.

                • Bill

                  Couldn’t reply last night. But.

                  So you have an issue with the ranking of one country in 200…

                  No.

                  and that lets you believe that Ecuador is a wonderful paradise.

                  No.

                  And there’s no desperation. More a resignation to the fact you are incapable of engaging in a worthwhile level of discussion. And I’m resigned to the likelihood that you haven’t much ability with regards critical thought, reading and evaluation. Which would all help explain your apparent general lack of comprehension.

                  Of course, it also crosses my mind (having looked at the nature of your responses through-out this entire thread) that rather than suffering from the simple need to be spoon fed your opinions, the problem is one of simple trolling. And that I should keep an open mind and one eye out for that possibility in future posts.

                  • McFlock

                    Whatever, dude. I’m sure Ecuador’s a free paradise. Shame I only have your word for it.

                    [Bill] – Your on my troll watch as of now. Well done son. I’ll be giving you a single reminder/warning when I (yup, it’s arbitrary)consider you’ve crossed the line and then you’ll be gone on a wee holiday.

        • Matt 25.2.1.2

          By the way, how does Google (Mountain View, CA. with data centers everywhere) manage to index all this subversive truth stuff under the oppressive US regime? 

          • Bill 25.2.1.2.1

            Who said there was any clampdown on information being made available? I don’t think anyone made that claim, did they? There’s a lot of info out there and most has an inbuilt bias. You want to evaluate stuff and arrive at a reasonable understanding or level of comprehension? Then get to know where the info you are reading, or that you’re relying on to evaluate other info, is coming from and what it’s likely bias is.

            I mean, shit. Don’t they teach that basic kind of stuff at school any more? Seriously.

            • Matt 25.2.1.2.1.1

              Hm, America is becoming the new Nazi Germany, Assange is being set up for extradition and possible execution for not having done much of anything, in the US journalists can now be snapped up on a whim, yet somehow the vast majority of what fuels the paranoia brigade comes from behind the star spangled curtain.. Classic. 

              Jesus, if this is what passes for an evil empire these days, sign me up. 

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