Yes, Julian, because it’s all about you

Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack:

On Tuesday [11th September] night a group of extremists attacked the US consulate building in Benghazi, setting it on fire, and killing one US diplomatic officer.

On Tuesday the US state department confirmed that one of its employees had been killed by the mob that stormed the US mission in Benghazi, incensed by a US film that they deemed blasphemous to the prophet Muhammad. Libyan officials said Stevens and two security staff were in their car when gunmen fired rockets at it, Reuters reported. The official said the US military had sent a military plane to transport the bodies to Tripoli and to fly them back to the US.

One witness told the Guardian on Wednesday that a mob fired at least one rocket at the US consulate building in Benghazi and then stormed it, setting everything ablaze. “I was there about an hour ago. The place [consulate] is totally destroyed, the whole building is on fire.”

Apparently Julian Assange himself is curating the @Wikileaks account:

By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies round the world.


By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies round the world.

On Wednesday 15th August, news broke of a letter that the British Embassy in Quito had written to the Ecuadorian government:

Ecuador has said that the British government had threatened to raid its embassy in London if Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was not handed over, and that Quito would make its decision on his asylum request on Thursday.

In statement, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said: “We are not a British colony”.

William Hague seems to have instigated the writing of this letter, and also claims the “compelling obligation” on the UK to damn well extradite Assange whatever.

The Foreign Office has warned that it could lift the embassy’s diplomatic status to fulfil a “legal obligation” to extradite Mr Assange by using the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987.

This is all thoroughly messy and the Ecuadorean National Assembly justly condemned it as the UK’s “provocative attitude”. Carl Gardener goes into some detail about how legally complicated it would be if the UK government were to attempt to withdraw diplomatic status from the Knightsbridge flat, especially if their only reason for doing so was to have Assange arrested.

No policeman entered the embassy. Assange was at no risk of being arrested. Most important of all, nobody died.

Jemima Khan is understood to be one of Julian Assange’s “sureties” – she helped fund part of his £200,000 bail in December 2010. On 4th September the nine backers whose money was now due to the court as Assange had evaded bail, heard from DS Mel Humphreys, from the Met’s extradition unit, confirm that Assange had been available for extradition from 29th June and a letter had been served on him in the Ecuadorian embassy asking him to surrender to Belgravia police station on or before 11:30am on that date.

When the court asked Humphreys why they did not arrest Assange for breaching bail conditions including curfew and residence at a home in Kent he replied:

“There was very little we could do, he was in diplomatic premises therefore we cannot enforce any breach of bail because of the protection issues that occurred within the embassy.”

He agreed that he had heard the “speculation” that there were plans to storm the embassy and arrest him but added: “I am personally aware that police officers do not go storming into embassies.

“As a police officer I do not go into embassies uninvited, I was also aware of the position the UK government would take on that.”

The tweet was deleted and replaced with two or three more, as follows:

Er, yes.

The Eucador Embassy, Knightsbridge, 20th August 2012

Outside the Benghazi consulate in Libya 11th September 2012

Bradley Manning

Army PFC Bradley Manning Defense Fund

On 19th June when he walked into the Ecuadorean embassy Assange was still

subject to bail conditions of living and sleeping each night at Sarah Saunders home in Kent, report each day to a police station, and adhere to an electronically tagged curfew between 10pm and 8am.

Vaughn Smith, who visited Mr Assange last week [20th August], said he had a small running machine to exercise on, a shower, and a microwave to heat his food at the embassy, which occupies a flat in a redbrick Victorian building.

“His kitchen facilities are certainly rudimentary,” said Mr Smith, laughing as he added that Mr Assange was probably not getting his food from the luxury Harrods department store, which is just around the corner.

“I think he’s paying for his own food, and he doesn’t have that sort of money,” he said.

He added that Mr Assange has divided his small room into an office and a living area, and was keeping it “rather cleaner and tidier than I recall him being, actually.”

A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning:

PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day.

The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.

He receives each of his meals in his cell.

He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. However, he is given access to two blankets and has recently been given a new mattress that has a built-in pillow.

He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.

He is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read in his cell. The book or magazine is taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep.

He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop.

He does receive one hour of “exercise” outside of his cell daily. He is taken to an empty room and only allowed to walk. PFC Manning normally just walks figure eights in the room for the entire hour. If he indicates that he no long feels like walking, he is immediately returned to his cell.

When PFC Manning goes to sleep, he is required to strip down to his boxer shorts and surrender his clothing to the guards. His clothing is returned to him the next morning.

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Filed under Unanswerable Questions, War

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