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There is room for many different opinions regarding Wikileaks

…but room for only one regarding this: Julian Assange supporters ordered to forfeit £93,500 bail money.

Vaughan Smith, the former British army captain who hosted Assange at his Norfolk home while he was on bail throughout 2011, and had promised to pay £20,000 if Assange skipped bail, was ordered to pay £12,000, while Philip Knightly, a veteran Australian investigative journalist who exposed the British traitor Kim Philby as a Russian spy, was ordered to pay £15,000, £5,000 less than he originally pledged.

It is understood that a separate group of Assange supporters, thought to include the film-maker Ken Loach, the writer and campaigner Jemima Khan, the journalist John Pilger and the magazine publisher Felix Dennis have already forfeited bail cash worth £200,000 following a court order earlier this year.

I am kind of glad that the old softy of a magistrate let off those of the sureties who were of limited means from paying the full amount, but, sorry, if you aren’t laughing at the luvvies losing their dosh, call an exorcist. You are dead.

24 comments to There is room for many different opinions regarding Wikileaks

  • Dave Walker

    Hmm. I’m not laughing, but last I looked, I wasn’t dead, either.

    It’s good that justice is being done to some degree by requiring some of the bail money to be paid – but I’d be grinning properly if the Magistrate had required the full amount. My view is that bail surety is a contract, and if its providers can’t afford to pay it, “not having the good sense not to offer it” is no excuse.

  • Ken Loach? John Pilger? Oh. My. Gawd. You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh!

  • llamas

    What a contemptible piece of sh*t this Assange is. His friends and supporters in the UK put up a large sum of money to secure his liberty on bail, and as soon as it looks at though he’s going to have to actually face the music in Sweden for his allegedly-contemptible behaviour towards his (female) supporters there, there, he skips out on this set of supporters and leaves them holding the bag for him. All the while letting out a pitch-perfect whine about how he’s only doing it because he knows that the big bad USA will be able to get their hands on him if he goes to Sweden.

    He’s doing it to save his own sorry skin. Those who stood bail for him should have paid closer attention to the stories from his supporters in Sweden about the way he treated them. The leopard does not change his spots.

    If he tried this in the US, he’d learn that there are bounty-hunters out there who would (for the right percentage) yank his sorry ass before the court regardless of where he tried to hide. Bail should have teeth, and sureties should have process to enable them to make good on their surety – which is a pledge to the court, and not merely to be seen as a diferent sort of fine for fleeing the jurisdiction. Good for the magistrate for making the sureties pay, though.

    llater,

    llamas

  • What a contemptible piece of sh*t this Assange is.

    Yes he should have just accepted the manifestly absurd politically motivated set up into which he is being lead and just flown directly to the United States rather than bother with the rather comical intermediate step of Sweden. The swine.

  • Alisa

    Come on, llamas, the people who posted bail for him knew that he’s going to skip all too well – this was really a payoff, not bail in any real sense, as far as his supporters were concerned. Although this does not necessarily preclude the very real possibility that at least some if them are now having second thoughts.

    And what Perry said (although I don’t like Assange at all).

  • Alisa

    Why did I write ‘payoff’? I meant ‘ransom’.

  • llamas

    Our generous host wrote:

    ‘Yes he should have just accepted the manifestly absurd politically motivated set up into which he is being lead and just flown directly to the United States rather than bother with the rather comical intermediate step of Sweden. The swine.’

    ‘Scuse me? Who held a gun to his head and forced him to do anything that he has done?

    He released (however many) millions of US military secrets, knowing full well that the US would see this as a crime and seek his extradition in any way they could. Nobody forced him to do this.

    He did what he did in Sweden. The prosecutor there thinks that what he did was criminal. Nobody forced him to do what he did.

    If he now finds that he is in a peculiar situation – a ‘set up’, to coin a phrase – well, he is there entirely by his own acts and deeds.

    Actions have consequences. If you don’t want to be the subject of US ire, don’t do things which will cause the US to be mad at you. And if you persist in doing those things, don’t come complaining when you are insufficiently-smart as to arrange your affairs to stay beyond the grasp of the US and its ire.

    Assange thought this was all just a game, that he could tweak the tiger’s tail and stay one step ahead of the teeth, and that everyone in Europe would support him and help him. But then he did something that put him within the tiger’s grasp and – presto! the first thing he did was to run away and leave his supporters holding the bag. Guess what? The tiger is going to bite you, after all. Too bad. You thought you were such a wise guy, that you could beat the rap? You chose – poorly.

    He has a repeated history of coitusing with those who support him and running away the minute he might have to face the consequences.

    And if those who stood his bail ‘knew that he’s going to skip all too well’, then they are amoral scum who stood up and lied to the court, and they are no better than Assange when they come crying to the court that they’re poor and they can’t afford to pay.

    You’d think people would get smarter, but of course the reflexive anti-Americanism that is universal in Europe tends to blind people to the nasty realities that tend to follow this guy, like flies follow sh*t. Like the ladies in Sweden, so blinded by his wonderful courage in cocking a snook at the US – So bold! So brave! So progressive! until they woke up next morning and found that he was – well, never mind.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Rhukatah

    I would think that if the United States actually wanted Assange, that it would be easier to extradite him from the UK than it would be from Sweden.

    Anyway, as the media pointed out at the time, there are court precedents in the US going back to Watergate that prevent Assange from being tried for anything. It’s not illegal for a “journalist” to publish classified documents.

    Really the US has nothing to gain from prosecuting Assange at this point. Leaving Assange free tells a prospective leaker that the journalist they leak to will get to go bang Swedish chicks while the leaker sits alone in a small quiet room for however long it takes for the Federal bureaucracy to bring them to trial.

  • Alisa

    ‘And if those who stood his bail ‘knew that he’s going to skip all too well’, then they are amoral scum who stood up and lied to the court, and they are no better than
    Assange when they come
    crying to the court that
    they’re poor and they can’t
    afford to pay.’

    Well, duh – does the name Ken Loach not ring a bell?

  • The prosecutor there thinks that what he did was criminal.

    No doubt, which is why they charged him, dropped the charges and then reinstated them again. But I am sure you are right and there are no political games going on at all.

    You’d think people would get smarter, but of course the reflexive anti-Americanism that is universal in Europe tends to blind people to the nasty realities that tend to follow this guy

    Hey, I am anti almost everyone, only the degree changes depending on which dishcloth is on the flagpole. The USA is pretty much in the middle of the pack.

  • I would think that if the United States actually wanted Assange, that it would be easier to extradite him from the UK than it would be from Sweden.

    Charging him with something would be rather harder in the UK as the courts are not as directly or overtly political as they are in Sweden.

    But my point was not so much the US government wants to get their hands on him directly but rather they are the ones behind his ‘situation’ in Sweden going from charges dropped to suddenly reappearing. There are few better ways to discredit someone than ‘rape’ charges.

    I am not an uncritical admirer of Assange but this situation is a laughably obvious set up.

  • Laird

    As far as I am aware the US has not indicted Assange for anything and has not sought his extradition. Of course, this could all be a deep, elaborate game, and the US has a secret rendition deal with the Swedes who will dutifully deliver him up after he’s in their clutches, but frankly I think that gives our lords and masters far too much credit. If they really wanted him they’d have said so by now; they’re not very good at keeping that sort of thing a secret. So I think if he goes to Sweden he’ll stay there, either in prison or not.

  • Alisa

    The US doesn’t necessarily want him, they just want him off the public stage – a Swedish prison is as good for this purpose as any other. Plus, the fact that this setup is so obviously political, is a feature, not a bug from the US POV: he is being made an example of.

  • Alisa

    And BTW, in case this is not obvious enough, it’s not just the US who want him quiet: he stepped on lots of other toes world-wide as well.

  • Alisa

    OMG, he’s almost as bad as Elaine!

  • llamas

    Our generous host wrote:

    ‘No doubt, which is why they charged him, dropped the charges and then reinstated them again. But I am sure you are right and there are no political games going on at all.’

    Except, of course, that Assange has not been charged with any crime at all in Sweden – the warrants are for questioning. The Swedish prosecutor is still in the investigation stage.

    The initial investigation was indeed suspended, but then re-instated at the express request of the alleged victims. Both of them with spotless records in ‘progressive’ politics, both of them previously engaged supporters of his work with Wikileaks.

    Apprently, he thought that he could treat these women in the same way as he treats everybody else, and then run away from the consequences with the excuse ‘oh, but if you make me answer for what I did, the nasty bad Americans will get me!’. Well, if he was so afraid that the Americans were going to get him, don’t you think he should have been smart enough to avoid a classic ‘honey-trap’, not once, but twice? But of course, he wasn’t – he thought that he could do whatever he liked in friendly, ‘progressive’ Europe and that his status as a thorn in the side of the US would trump any possible consequences of his actions. He chose – poorly.

    I return to my original description – this is a man who treats those who support him like sh*t, and runs away to avoid the consequences of his actions, leaving them holding the bag.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    Natalie – I laughed (well till I started coughing).

    It is funny to be told that evil folk such as Pilger (“to pilger is a verb – it means to lie” as A. Waugh used to explain) and Ken Loach, are losing lots of money (if only a “0″ or so could be added to the numbers).

    However, few people seem to have noticed that this is an internal dispute on the left.

    The Prosecutor is Sweden is a far left type – who thinks that any sex with a women, without a signed contract, is rape (and if you do have signed contract that does not help you – as that is also a criminal offense in Sweden, although a different criminal offence).

    The idea that this Prosecutor is somehow working for the CIA (basically the wikileaks position) is demented. Mr A has simply found himself in leftist wonderland – the very culture he is in favour of.

    Alsia – you do know that Mr Pilger and Mr Loach (who is actually highly talented) will be busy working on their own version of the story, do you not?

    In the first draft of the story everything will be blamed on “the Jews”.

    However, their business advisers will tell them that blaming everything on “the Jews” will lose them some sales (and Mr Pilger and Mr Loach love money – very, very much).

    So the next draft of the story (article, book, film….) will blame everything on “the corporations”.

  • Alisa

    My breath is bated with anticipation, Paul:-/

  • Laird

    Ooh, I see that Lady Gaga is in Assange’s camp. I guess that settles everything.

  • Paul Marks

    Ah Lady Compatiblist

    Someone who combines iron determinism “I was born this way” with endless campaining for “freedom”.

    Actually that it is a bit unfair – as it is philosophically O.K. to say “I was born with a certain predesposition – I should be free to exercise it, if I CHOOSE to do so”.

    And a nice witch hat and costume.

    All ready for the 31st of this month.

    I am not being sarcastic – I like it when ladies dress up as witches.

  • Paul Marks

    Perhaps too elaborate Laird.

    There is something to be said for the traditional look.