Julian Assange, Ecuador, Chevron, and the greasy world of Big Oil



This is what you call a Storify, and I’m not at all sure it will embed in a WordPress.com blog, even with all my tricks, so bear with me if I’m constantly editing this mofo.

Long story short: Heather Marsh, head of The Global Square, who is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met in my life, has come up with a possible link between the US pressure on the UK to invade the Ecuadorian Embassy and the economic interests of American oil companies in Latin America, including a possible debt for votes swap.

Okay, now that I’ve posted it I see it’s ugly as hell. I encourage you to read it on the Storify Site, where you can get an embed code to put it on your own blog, as long as it’s not a WordPress.com blog.
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GPOY: the morning after

GPOY and how are YOU this morning?

GPOY and how are YOU this morning?

What can I say? Between travelling to Ruralopolis again for a mini-working-vacation and writing up the Julian Assange Follies (or should that be the UK Foreign Office Follies?) for the Daily Dot, all overnight, I can’t say I’m well-rested.

Which is too bad, because apparently I have a wedding to plan. See you all on a nice, secluded beach in Ecuador soon. We’re registered at Jane’s Defence Weekly; we want matching night vision goggles. Can’t think what for…


Julian Assange knows that you know

Julian Assange knows that you know

For the Record: Assange, Asylum, and Assumptions

Julian Assange Smug Life. I got 99 problems but a snitch ain't one

Julian Assange Smug Life. I got 99 problems but a snitch ain’t one

Just because I’m going on the road tomorrow and will be away from my computer and THE WAY THIS WEEK IS GOING I EXPECT ALL THE AWESOME ASSANGE/ANONYMOUS/HACKER STORIES TO BREAK WHILE I’M OFFLINE, I’m putting this here so I can be smug later.

Not that I’m not smug by default. But, you know, more. In writing.

It is perfectly clear to anyone with their head screwed on straight that Julian Assange is going to be granted asylum by Ecuador.

On August 12, after 613 days of Assange’s detention (53 of which have been spent at the Ecuadorian embassy in London), WikiLeaks tweeted that an announcement by president Rafael Correa was imminent. Leaving nothing to chance, it used Twitlonger to offer instructions to supporters in case a) the request for asylum was granted or b) things got complicated.

As seems inevitable in every WikiLeaks story, things got complicated….

  • Ecuador announced that, gee, there sure was a lot of material to go over and it would be Wednesday at least before any announcement would be made.
  • Then, unnamed Ecuadorian officials in Quito today would told the Guardian that Assange would certainly be granted asylum, done deal, all over but the fat lady singing.
  • Then, President Correa, apparently not one to take leakers on his own staff lying down, subsequently took to Twitter to specifically deny the rumor, while shedding no light on his possible decision.

It has been perfectly obvious since the moment we all heard he’d materialized within the embassy (somehow…without being seen) that he would get asylum. Julian Assange is not a guy who throws himself on the mercy of random governments without making sure he’ll have a soft landing.

He hasn’t been seen since. He hasn’t even done a Skype video interview, and again, mark my words: if Julian Assange can’t handle some simple call forwarding magic then I’m Hillary Fucking Clinton. Knowmasayin’?

He hasn’t been seen in public, in fact, since May 24, when he appeared wearing a black “Emergency” Anonymous mask created by WikiLeaks Truck artist Clark Stoekley. And before that, other than one RT interview, not for another whole month or so. He said he missed his final extradition appeal ruling because he was, “Stuck in traffic.” Hell, I’ve used that one myself.

Julian Assange is, if he wasn’t before, officially a man of mystery.

But there’s no mystery about his fate. He’s allegedly been holed up in that embassy for something like 55 days, the Ecuadorian decision having been deferred till after the Olympics closed, no doubt at the request of the UK, who didn’t want to be upstaged, what with organizing all the athletes and the Spice Girls and everything.

The entire span of time has been nothing more than an elaborate stall, to allow Ecuador and the UK to work out some plausible way he could end up out of the UK’s hands (“not my chair, not my problem,” says Cups Lizard) and in Ecuador. Technically, there’s the issue of getting the body out of the embassy and across UK territory to either a boat outside the legal territory of the UK or, conceivably, an aircraft or space ship outside of UK airspace.

Barring the timely arrival of the TARDIS, it seems impossible, unless Assange is equipped with the forepaws of an enormous groundhog (and where do you get those out of season? I ask you) for tunnelling under the Atlantic ocean.

Mark my words, Julian Assange will be granted asylum, you won’t hear how he gets out of the embassy (unless they can pull something plausible out their asses at the last minute), and he will materialize in Quito, probably by Thursday.

Almost certainly while I’m away from the computer, not that I’m overpersonalizing things.

And then this happened…

Julian Assange by Cara Spoza

Julian Assange by Cara Spoza

Some people wonder why I like fangirl sites. Read this and wonder no more.

  • Lorraine, I really like your style, the way you write, the interviews you make are always very interesting and original…..why dont you do a “Greenwald” and move on to a better more well known venue? You’ve got plenty of talent.

  •  Thanks, that’s really kind of you to say. I do have an assignment from the Guardian, but they didn’t like the first draft. I have to raise my game if I want to work for them regularly.

    And the people at the Daily Dot are awesome. They are a great team of fun, helpful people all of whom have more pure journalism experience than I do. Much as I like to swear at editorial cuts and deadlines, they are great to work with and I’d miss them if I left.

    Also: let’s just say the major news outlets are not beating down my door. Anonymous, hackers and leaks are not mainstream enough to be very marketable, and my style is quirky. But I did have an interview Friday with On the Coast, CBC’s afternoon radio show; if it works out, I’ll be on a weekly panel discussing current events. Hope I was amusing and interesting enough in the interview. Wish me luck.

  • Xochitl

    Lorraine those are great news! I wish you the very best and keep us post it.


  •  Thanks!

  • LadyB

    Besides it’s clear you know what you’re talking about, raincoaster, and this is very rare when speaking of tech stuff/web journalism/hacking communities/Internet dynamics and related arguments.

    Maybe you could try the Guardian, they are changing editorial line in these very days  ;P

  •  I’m going to put you all down as references, okay? If I ask John Young he’ll just tell me to get fucked, references are lies, resumes are fabrications, etc, etc.

    I want to get my big Anon vs Pedo story out before I hit the Guardian up for that. They don’t really have anyone doing Anonymous on a regular basis except Barratt Brown and I can’t see myself knocking him aside

  • TooMuchSunshine

    Indeed. RC is more knowleadgeable in these areas than many self described “experts”

  • Thanks! now, tell all your local and national papers, tv and radio stations.

  • Xochitl

    I will, do you know Spanish?

  •  Nope. I can count to five in Spanish, thanks to Count von Count on Sesame Street, but that’s it, alas.

Action for Assange: UPDATED

Action for Assange poster by AusFoWL

Action for Assange poster by AusFoWL

Being the smart, well-informed engaged citizens that readers of the ol’ raincoaster blog tend to be, you’ll no doubt be aware that at literally any moment Julian Assange’s fate is to be decided. The Supreme Court of the UK will either send him to Sweden (which will presumably roll over obediently and hand him over to the US for a lifetime of confinement and probable torture) or they will set him free after more than a year under house arrest. For review: he has not been charged with a crime in any country, although the US has a Grand Jury inquiry ongoing that leaks like a sieve. If it doesn’t, how’d I find out about it? I’ve got better things to do than hang around streetcorners in Alexandria, Virginia.

Above is a poster from the Australian branch of Friends of Wikileaks. If you’re at all inclined to support WL, go ahead and sign up for this interesting new activist network, but expect it to be significantly more IRL than most. Below, I’m posting a link to Christine Assange‘s 60 (yes, 60) talking points, as well as the full text of a letter to British MP’s Nick Clegg and Teresa May. Initially I said those letters wouldn’t have an effect, but I stand corrected; as the author reminded me, things are indeed different now. Politicians may be no less self-interested than ever, but their self-interest now lies in listening to the Will of the People; they can hear the tumbrils approaching.

Christine Assange’s 60 Talking Points: a sample:

Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, has spent many long months reaching out to supporters and urging them to contact their local political representatives. Recognising that many politicians do not even know the true story behind WikiLeaks and her son’s legal battles, she asks supporters to give them the facts as well as requesting their assistance.

Christine today used her Twitter account and the #fact4mp hashtag to post 60 important talking points for supporters to disseminate:

1. Wikileaks and Assange have not been charged with any crime in any country in the world. See http://justice4assange.com

2. WikiLeaks and Assange have been recognized for quality investigative journalism with many prestigious awards. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange

3. WikiLeaks has a perfect record regarding information reliability. No government has denied the authenticity of any documents.

4. WikiLeaks redacts its documents, so to date not one person has been physically harmed by its publications.

5. WikiLeaks exposes government and corporate corruption, fraud, shady deals, war crimes, torture, and kidnapping. It is in the public interest to know these things.

6. WikiLeaks partnered with The Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegal, Le Monde, and El Pais to publish Cablegate. Why target only WikiLeaks?

7. WikiLeaks acts in accordance with traditional journalism. It publishes information given by various sources.

8. WikiLeaks acts like traditional media but protects its sources with a secure anonymous Drop Box.

9. WikiLeaks is a legal, legitimate, online news publisher, recognized as such by other journalist organizations worldwide.

10. WikiLeaks is a non-profit independent publisher funded by donations from ordinary citizens from around the world.

You can view the whole list by clicking on the link above.



If you’d like to poster or protest outside your friendly neighborhood Australian embassy for their abandonment of a citizen abroad, here is a handy-dandy roundup thereof, worldwide.

If you’d like to do it anonymously, we’ve already featured some instructions on making an Anonymous mask, but here is a great roundup of more, complete with security features eg telling you to wear gloves when sculpting clay, so you don’t leave fingerprints.

There is an Avaaz petition up to support Julian and tell Australian politicians that they have a duty to their citizens abroad. A duty they have noticeably not performed in this case.

and now, the Letter to MPs:

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