Assange Case Takes a Nicargua Twist

An article in Yahoo Spanish News tells us that ex-Spanish judge and Julian Assange lawyer Baltasar Garzón was in Managua today to meet with Daniel Ortega. As Nicaragua isn't exactly on the standard travel route of Garzón, something is up.

Unfortunately, there is little information in the article to tell us what.

With regard to Ortega, the article contains the following:

Por su parte, el presidente Ortega expresó su respaldo a su colega ecuatoriano, Rafael Correa, por brindar asilo a Assange y a Garzón por asumir "la coordinación en esta batalla, donde se trata de defender principios" en el caso del fundador de WikiLeaks.

"Como él (Garzón) bien señala, no se está aquí evadiendo de enfrentar demandas de orden ordinario que puedan existir, sino que se trata de defender principios y preservar la vida de Julian Assange que eventualmente podría terminar condenado a pena de muerte en los Estados Unidos", advirtió el líder sandinista.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

A few versions

This story says he is here to offer counseling to address drug trafficking and international organized crime and to talk about the canal. tras su cita con Ortega.

This one admits they discussed Assange

Hypocritical Considering

"“Como él bien señala, no se está aquí evadiendo lo que es enfrentar demandas de orden ordinario que puedan existir, sino que se trata de defender principios y preservar la vida de una persona, Julián Assange, que eventualmente podría terminar condenado a pena de muerte en los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica”, puntualizó el mandatario nicaragüense."

The death penalty was never an option for Assange.


Assange has not been charged with a crime. There are rumors that there is a sealed order in the US to charge him with a crime for which he could receive the death penalty. Nicaragua, like Ecuador, is a country which does not have the dealth penalty on the books for any crime.

While the US comes in better that Honduras on journalists (where they are just murdered for saying the wrong thing/exposing the wrong people) if the rumors are right about possible charges in the US against Assange, it doesn't look that much better. It sure doesn't inspire a free press as can be seen in actions of the New York Times with regard to Wikileaks.

Not charged...Yet

From what I read Manning has waived his right to speedy trial for only reason I can see is for leniency for him to point finger at a co-cospirator. Manning is open-shut case as he was a soldier and took oath but prosecuter will not feel good sending Manning down for 30 years. After 9/11 congressional hearings revealed almost no communication between US Government agencies that may have prevented the attacks-so they probably flung open the doors too wide which made easy for the kid (Manning) to easily steal material he probably should not have access to in first place. As far as Assage goes of course they would not unseal the warrant until they know they can nab him-hopefully without lengthy extradition which may take 3 years. US will get him but could be a long time and probably some deal along the way. Sweden has the worlds most liberal internet laws of any Country which is probably why Assage was there in first place. Most the worlds largest file sharing sites (servers)are in Sweden as Swedish law does not claim jurisdiction of communication if one end of the communication eminates from outside the Country.Basically these sites distribute copyrighted materials for free or a fee based-this is big business in Sweden and the government is profiting from it. Even Russia has stricter internet laws! If the recent bust of RapidShare and others had their servers in Sweden-not Asia- they would still be up and running and not facing US Justice. So Sweden is bit of a rogue nation in this regard.

The border of Ecuador and Colombia has many armed gangs and if your kidnapped in Ecuador this is where you may wind up for a lengthy stay until they exctract money from your family. Kidnapping is a business in Ecuador unlike Nicaragua. Ecuador is more sophisticated country that derives income from oil, gas, and tourism. When I was there in 1992 the economy was a basket case-inflation was big problem. They removed Monetary policy from the hapless bureaucrats and outsourced it to USA long before Correa came along. Econmy is doing quite well now not because-but in spite of Correa.

Correa did same before to shore up his base by geting into a row with Colombia, now with Britain (which Britain clearly goofed) which made Ecuador look like victim which was exacly the plan. Ecuador has very little financial dealings with the UK save for British Tourists who visit the Galapagos.

There are 2 million people in abject poverty (mostly Indians)-same as Nicaragua but Ecuador has 3 times as many people. I can go on but what is the point-on this site sitting all day surfing the web to find links that support your opinion is the order of the day. Real world travel and experiences mean nothing here. I wish I had the free time some of you have to spend all day poking around.

Good Insights

I have a friend looking at Ecuador for retirement. He lives on Cape Cod at the moment, well to do, looking for some adventure. Nicaragua simply didn't have sufficient infrastructure (compare the entire country of Nicaragua to Quito) for consideration, although I made the case.

Correa and DO don't realize how their outbursts make their countries look like Banana Republics, and diminish their stature in the eyes of all but their apologists. US and UK can get away with similar foot in mouth stupidity. Not fair, but that's the way it is.

Free press??

Assange cannot be charged yet for breaking the bail bond agreement under British law because he is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy but that is one charge that is clearly there. Suggestions that he be treated differently than any other suspected criminal IE having the Swedish authorities come to him rather than he being sent to face the music in Sweden violates the principle of "justice as fairness" doctrine. All suspects should be treated equally and the answer to that is to that is you face the music at the bar in whatever place your possible "alleged" crimes were committed. Assange should quit running and face his accusers, the two women who have made the allegations. On your "free press" comment FYL- there is a caveat- a free press also entails a responsibility to be a responsible press. "Yellow Journalism" such as William Randolph Hearst , the British tabloids , the National Enquirer, or Assange and Wikileaks is hardly a responsible press. Assange already admitted in various interviews that he manipulated the leaks to paint a selective picture as to what he wanted to portray. That again is not a responsible press though it might be "free". It's like your constant anti US barrage here on this website, free, but highly inaccurate and misleading reporting-long as it slangs the US you will go for it.

William Blum on that "Free Press"

Blum is author of Killing Hope and other books. I just (as in 15 minutes ago) received his September newsletter. Not surprisingly, it addresses Assange, the US press and such. You can find it on You may not agree with his conclusions but he does ask some good questions that should help you decide how free the US media really is. He also details how the US position on political asylum seems to be a function of who is involved.

It's been said that the political spectrum concerning US foreign policy in the America mainstream media "runs the gamut from A to B."

Long before the Soviet Union broke up, a group of Russian writers touring the United States were astonished to find, after reading the newspapers and watching television, that almost all the opinions on all the vital issues were the same. "In our country," said one of them, "to get that result we have a dictatorship. We imprison people. We tear out their fingernails. Here you have none of that. How do you do it? What's the secret?"8

On October 8, 2001, the second day of the US bombing of Afghanistan, the transmitters for the Taliban government's Radio Shari were bombed and shortly after this the US bombed some 20 regional radio sites. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the targeting of these facilities, saying: "Naturally, they cannot be considered to be free media outlets. They are mouthpieces of the Taliban and those harboring terrorists."9

[The 8 and 9 are references to footnotes in the original article.]

One of the CIA chiefs said that US reporters were cheaper...

...than hookers. Rolling Stone is about the only paper in the US which seems to have consistently good investigative reporting (currently featuring a story about Bain Capital's gutting of various American companies and sticking them with considerable debt). The NY Times occasionally, about once a decade, puts on its balls and does something like publishing the the Daniel Ellsberg papers. We were lied to escalating in Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin) and good and lied into Iraq (yes, Saddam Hussein was not a nice man, but the alternative was to make Iraq Iran's trading partner), with the NY Times swallowing administration bollocks like a good tea bagger.

Rebecca Brown

Yes, free press concepts

As for "justice as fairness", seems to cover it. From that article

As for Swedish law, there are no provisions preventing prosecutors from interrogating suspects abroad. Doing so is, in fact, a routine matter. An example: In late 2010, at roughly the same time that Ms. Ny decided to issue a European Arrest Warrant for Assange, Swedish police officers went to Serbia to interview a well-known gangster suspected of involvement in an armed robbery. The interview was conducted in co-operation with Serbian police. Thus, at the same time that Ms. Ny claimed it was an impossibility to interview the founder of Wikileaks in London, her colleagues were busy interrogating an infamous gangster in Serbia.

Your assertion that we must treat journalism and yellow journalism different is, well, silly. That is an impossible line to draw -- mostly because different people will have a different opinion. I know of lots of cases where what the press told you was heavily influenced by the best interests of the press rather than delivering the truth. Here are two examples -- not big scandals but situations where I have personal knowledge.

  • Mike Layton, the Olympia Beat (state government) correspondent for the Seattle P-I vacationed in El Salvador in the early 1980s. What he saw happening in the streets conflicted with what the articles being published in the P-I said. He wrote an Op-Ed piece (just like anyone could do) which was accepted and published. The next day he was told by his boss that if he ever did anything like that again, he would be fired. My knowledge of this comes from Mike, sitting in my livingroom, telling me the story.
  • A business reporter from the Seattle Times heard about my publishing business (Linux Journal). He came out, did an interview with a few of us and took some pictures. About a week later he called us to say the article would be published the next day. In the morning we bought a paper and, sure enough, there was the article and a photo, above the fold on page 1 of the business section. We decided to buy some more papers later in the day. Well, in the final edition, the photo was much smaller, the article was now below the fold and the freed up space was replaced with what amounted to a totally irrelevant Microsoft press release.

These are little events. The bigger ones, for example facts about the nuclear power industry/dangers of nuclear power offered up by Stephen Stalos, Ruth Weiner, myself and many others never seemed to be important. Even today, reporting on the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster from plants build with the technology Stephen and I were well aware of/concerned about 30+ years earlier, continues to get inaccurately reported.

I could go on and on. The point is that the US press reports on that which benefits it. It self-censors based on its own business interests. To me, that is not how it should work and is the main reason I tend to read mostly news sources outside the US. Based on the vested interest US sources, some will see many international sources as anti-US. (And, yes, some are.) To me, I see it as a call for the US press to clean up its act by telling the truth. I ask the same of the US government. Unfortunately, The War Business seems to be too profitable for the US government, US industry and the US press to allow it to be seriously questioned.

[Edit to add Joel Connelly's P-I article which appeared in the press the day after Mike died. It is important first because it describes the Mike Layton I remember but also it describes what I see as the idea of a free press. The US press seriously needs a lot of Mike Layton equivalents these days.]

Charging Process

in Sweden is very different as many of the links have pointed out. The suspect is not charged until late in the investigation, when a degree of certainty is achieved.

Hence, Assange has not been "charged". All the rationalization associated with the rape charges is simply that: rationalization. It matters not if I had dinner with a woman, previously had sex with her; sex without consent is still considered rape in most enlightened countries. Whether it's five Nicaraguan policemen drugging a 12 year old, or Assange climbing on top of a mildly intoxicated and sleeping friend, the element of consent is missing.

IMO both incidents are rape.

I'm not sufficiently familiar with the espionage law in the US, but do know that in the case of Manning the death penalty is not being sought. As a US citizen, having taken an oath, signed various documents promising to protect classified information in his possession, with penalties clearly described, his position is hard to defend. Unless some connection can be made between the Assange' "leaks" and the resulting death of a US national as a direct result of that leak it's hard to imagine how Assange could be facing a death penalty.

Even the espionage part is a bit of a stretch, unless he conspired with Manning before the fact. The problem becomes: how different is his conduct than that of the NYT and other publications when they published the leaked information -if Assange is just an innocent recipient of the information?

Context is important here. Had this happened immediately after 9/11 Manning may very well have been executed, and Assange could be rotting in Guantanamo. The US currently has more important fish to fry (than Assange). WE have two more months to wait and the US economy will finally turn under new, American, leadership. This recovery could come roaring in, as it should have, providing disposable income for tourism and assurances for retirees looking to CA for a retirement.

Hugo will finally go to meet his maker, and the volume of the anti-US rhetoric coming from LA will decrease. Correa will have the on-going embarrassment of Assange sleeping on his UK embassy floor, and that will start to get very old when the propaganda value diminishes.

"American" leadership?

WE have two more months to wait and the US economy will finally turn under new, American, leadership.

Are you suggesting that the current leadership is something other than American?

Be patient. In 2017, you'll have a white president again.

However, it could be a white woman.

I Don't See

anything that refers to the gender or race of the current president in my post ?? Like many others, I voted for Barak Hussein Obama (although he didn't use Hussein back in those days; nor did he use Barak for most of his adult life. He was known as "Barry").

I bought the entire package. Shame on me.

When I say American, I don't refer to his country of birth. I refer to his attitude and belief sets. He's not American, he is (as he said himself) a citizen of the world.

If Barry gets another four years, it will be a very different US of A in 2017. With a Republican House and Senate he will be effectively, a lame duck. More millions will lose jobs, and lose their homes. The best job will be a government job. In fact, that may very well be the ONLY job available by then. Many small business, like the ones I have started and run, will be taxed out of existence. This is a very anti-business president, and the current lack of investment (and much of our economic shortfall) reflects his attitude. That capital, estimated to be in the trillions of dollars, will continue to sit on the sidelines if Mr Obama is re-elected. He may find creative ways to tax it, but he can't force the investment of that wealth. The "stimulus" money that he showered on his friends and supporters is almost gone, and no one is going to give him anymore to squander.

I have nothing against Mr Obama that is based on his skin color. Black or white, by any standard, he has failed, and failed miserably. His re-election campaign has devolved into nothing but a series of personal attacks against his opponent.

As Clint Eastwood said, " It's time to go . . . but maybe we could let you keep the plane .. ." It would be a small price to avoid the pain and stagnation of another four years.

You don't see...

I Don't See anything that refers to the gender or race of the current president in my post ?

Well, I certainly saw it. You wrote that the US has something other than American leadership. That's an obvious racist dog whistle.

Basically, the upper one percent have been doing well

...even in the recession. It's possibly that their idea of turning the economy around would be removing all barriers to raising the US GINI index to .60 percent and stopping all education that focused on critical thinking (Texas Republican Party Platform) except for those who would think only good thoughts. Servants would be cheap and available just like Nicaragau -- what's not to dislike?

Rebecca Brown


KeyWestPirate opines:

...the volume of the anti-US rhetoric coming from LA will decrease

Well, I can think of at least ONE place in LA where the anti-US rhetoric will continue ad infinitum ad nauseum.