President Correa has been placed in a difficult and challenging position by Julian Assange’s request to grant him political asylum in Ecuador.
On the one hand, the request is wholly reasonable, given the reality of the situation and, clearly, Assange has more than earned full support from any person of conscience around the world. There is no doubt in my mind that President Correa, privately, would do anything to help Assange. I don’t doubt that many government officials in most countries would – secretly – wish to also do the same, if only they had the guts.
But on the other hand, with Obama regime’s uncompromising and consistently anti-constitutional stance, Correa must realize that should he grant this one heroic and so unjustly smeared man his request, his entire nation would be exposed to immediate hardships, since Obama would, surely, act in swift and unjust retaliation.
For a country as ostracized (by the US government) as Ecuador, it’s damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.
So what would you do if you were Correa? I think the solution is actually quite simple.
- Build a coalition of friendly heads of state and government officials. Not merely in South America but all around the world. Get them to express solidarity – nothing more – with the humane, lawful and principled position that Ecuador’s acceptance of Assange’s justifiable request would represent. I’m quite certain that mere support of “justice”, “fairness” and “freedom of information” would be embraced by most independently-minded leaders around the world, whether they’d dare to publicly admit it or not. And not all of that support would come from “rogue” or “third world” states either.
- Immediately address the United Nations in an emergency session. Cite the justness of Assange’s case, the unfairness of his persecution (arrest without charge by Sweden, supported by Britain), the underhandedness of Obama’s anti-constitutional stance (suppression of free speech and journalistic integrity) and cite the support of Ecuador’s principled position from all these other heads of state and government officials around the world. Then announce that Ecuador will take Assange in, given that it can be arranged to safely deliver him within its borders. End the UN appeal by condemning the immorality of the principle under which the US, Britain and Sweden seek retribution on Assange and explain how this has forced this crisis to arise; then remind the world of the enlightened goals of the US constitution as well as Obama’s own pre-election support for the rule of law and constitutional values.
- Remind the world that the US enforces foreign nation’s laws with an almost blind zeal (under the Lacey Act, one of hundreds of ridiculous examples could be the Schoenwetter case where the defendant was sentenced to 8 years (!) in a US prison – under Honduras law – which states that fish has to be packed in plastic instead of boxes…); and state that Ecuador wishes its laws to be enforced by the US as well – fairness to citizens who haven’t been charged, yet are being arrested; citizens who wish to cooperate yet are refused cooperation by those who want to question them; citizens who wish to know their position regarding a possible secret indictment, yet are refused the truth – in this case by the US government.
- Put the strongest possible international focus on this in all possible media (most won’t cooperate, but some will), and put Obama to shame if he refuses to acknowledge it. And then grant the asylum, requesting international cooperation, starting with Britain to whom an appeal should be made not to enforce the illegal arrest warrant. Appeal to fairness, justice and the US Constitution.
What would this achieve?
Would it get Assange safely to Ecuador? Would it strengthen or weaken Ecuador’s international reputation? Would it help or harm its people? Would it enrage the US and Britain? Would it shame Sweden? Would it expose the trumped-up case against Assange and the people who engineered it? Would it bring justice? Would it make the world a better place?
Given that at least a few dozen countries, large and small, would most certainly get behind such a broad move, and given that “enough” media outlets would publicize the story (including the alternative media on the internet), Obama would have only two options: either stick to his guns and clearly and obviously – just weeks before his re-election campaign – reinforce his rapidly declining image as an immoral man. Or, he could magnanimously agree that Ecuador has a point and come clean with his intentions vis a vis Assange, bringing it to light – and thus giving Assange a fair chance before the law.
Would Assange wind up in Ecuador? A free man perhaps? Doubtful, in the short run. But his legal position would be greatly bolstered and his chances of an ultimate victory greatly enhanced. And our benefit – the citizens of the world – would be immense.
Would Ecuador benefit from this kind of action? In the eyes of all thinking and feeling people – yes. But economically and politically, it would be affected by the wrath of the US regime with too much to lose if freedom and justice had its way.
Would it shame Sweden, Britain and the US? They’ve already been shamed. Problem is, they don’t care. But the real question is – would they take the chance to repair the damage they did by sticking to their current position? My answer is, sadly, no. They’ll carry on regardless confident that if their citizens pay the price for this scandalous treachery, it won’t be on their watch.
Would the world be a better place? Yes. Regardless of the outcome, a moral position taken by a head of state can only have positive repercussions further down the road.