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Peter Riva

View from the Edge

Peter Riva of Gila has offered his many years of columns for this online newspaper. His writings have been published in East Coast newspapers, and he decided to share them with me and you, our readers.

Wikileaks, Rape and the Death Penalty

Date: August 21, 2012

This is a story best told in reverse... The US government still has a warrant out for Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks on a charge which could lead to the death penalty. The Swedish Government refuses to say, one way or another, whether they would extradite Julian Assange to the USA should they get their hands on him. The Swedish Government prosecutors regularly travel abroad to interview and question suspects whilst extradition procedures are underway. Even though invited, the Swedish government refuses to conduct an interview with suspect Julian Assange while he is sitting in the Embassy of Ecuador in fashionable Knightsbridge in London.

Assange was granted diplomatic refuge by Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador. Assange made a possible financial contribution to President Correa’s campaign fund. Assange has agreed to go to Sweden to stand trial if they will agree not to extradite him to the US. Assange is wanted to stand trial in Sweden for rape and sexual assault charges.

The British Government investigated Assange for possible crimes and could find none to charge him with. The British Government could not agree to extradite him to the USA as Britain does not have the death penalty and therefore, as the US would not say they would drop the death penalty charges, they did not grant extradition.

The Swedish government surprisingly investigated Assange’s history and uncovered two women who were prepared to testify that he had sex without a condom and that he held one woman down with his body whilst performing sex. Sexual assault and the use of the word rape automatically qualify as indefensible criminal acts in both the media and public opinion. The international diplomatic community asked every government where Assange had lived to investigate his background for any possible criminal wrongdoings.

Wikileaks revelations undermined foreign policy around the world in the fight against terrorism and put soldiers’ lives at further risk. The most senior politicians around the world were embarrassed, damaged and ridiculed by Wikileaks and Assange made potent permanent enemies. Assange got secret State Department and Foreign Offices’ memos, e-mails and reports from moles within the US chain of command and openly published these on the Internet. The mole caught did not get the death penalty. The Constitution of the United States allows for free speech, but the rules for classified material do not apply and are treated as treason or espionage, carrying the death penalty.

Looked at in reverse, it is hard not to come to some conspiratorial conclusions of vengeance.

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