Extradite Assange and Falciani?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Laws must be fair. Otherwise there is no "rule of law", because they could promote ethically reprehensible judgments.

If sexual offenses were committed that contravene the laws of Sweden, nothing should prevent justice from being done as warranted. But without enabling any other country, and especially the US, to take advantage of his extradition to try this well-known “digital anarchist” for divulging “state secrets”. State secrets… aren’t they precisely what the incredibly expensive intelligence services are supposed to uncover?

The Australian hacker demonstrated that states must now be much more careful when safeguarding their true secrets and must also prevent actual and sometimes quite hilarious gossips from being classified as “confidential”, while likewise casting a totally “flunking” grade on a large number of their diplomatic delegations.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange supposes, suspects, assumes…. that the United States will take action as soon as he leaves the Embassy of Ecuador in London. It would suffice for the United States to officially announce that it will not request his extradition or put him on trial. In fact, the spokesperson for US diplomacy indicated on August 16 that “The United States has no intention of intervening”. But the staunch Republican Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee has asked to White House to seek extradition. It would thus appear prudent to await the outcome of PFC Bradley Manning’s forthcoming court martial.

In view of the above, I deem unwarranted the suggestion in the August 21 edition of an important daily such as The Washington Post that the United States might adopt economic sanctions against Ecuador (the world’s largest producer of bananas and shrimp in which a large number of its major companies are US owned).

Commenting on the “Fraud against the Rule of Law” in the August 22 “El País”, Ana Palacio asks why the European Union has remained silent during this matter. Given that they remained silent after the “Azores Three” decided to invade Iraq, resulting in thousands of deaths, injuries and over five million displaced persons… and given that they failed to react when Libyan leader Gadaffi was done away with in a manner that was certainly unacceptable from any perspective… it wouldn’t seem appropriate to make a big fuss over a comparatively minor matter. But the fact is that the time has passed in which the most powerful countries can decide who is guilty and who isn’t, replacing democratic governments with military juntas with impunity. Now all states will achieve the same “right to rights”!... and will refuse to be dominated by a few multinational consortia. I never cease to repeat that what is urgently required is a fully authoritative United Nations, endowed with the necessary personal, financial and technical resources.

It is a serious error, based on anachronistic forms of analysis, to judge by their GDP nations that have been impoverished by the greed of more wealthy countries which, moreover, have sought to govern “globally” (G-7, G-8, G-20).

Baltasar Garzón has the prestige required to appropriately handle this matter. Given well-known precedents from times past (Cardenal Mindszety, for example), it would be best to address this matter as I’m sure President Obama would… if he weren’t subject to the implausible harassment of Republicans who are so full of themselves that they are incapable of accepting any solution originating from multilateralism or from the simple principle of equality before the law.

And speaking of “filtrations”, what will happen to Hervé Falciani, the French-Italian computer expert whose information concerning deposits in the Swiss bank HSBC where he worked has facilitated the disclosure (what a disgrace!) of thousands of tax evaders, citizens who feel no solidarity and who are contributing to our present systemic crisis with these tactics? In Spain alone 659 cases of capital flight have been revealed, amounting to over 6,000 million euros. Even more numerous are those disclosed in France, Italy, the US and the UK… Falciani gave the French authorities the data that he had been able to access. Upon his arrival in Barcelona on June 1st he was detained on an arrest warrant that the Swiss government had requested from the EU. The National Court must now decide. Can someone who disclosed so many tax evaders without any personal gain be surrendered to the Swiss authorities? Spanish legislation does not define the revelation of bank secrets as a criminal offense. It is the numerous tax havens and the countries that provide them refuge that should immediately be brought to justice. Unfortunately Europe is well endowed with these tax havens that contribute to the hell existing in so many homes and places on this planet…

Yes: in these cases we need to review the real meanings of “crime” and “law”…