Timing: EAW & INTERPOL Red Notice
Timing of EAW, Cablegate, and US reactions
27 October 2010: CIA can neither confirm nor deny records of plans to assassinate Julian Assange
20 November: Sweden authorises Interpol to make a public Red Notice for Julian Assange
26 November 2010: Sweden issues an invalid EAW
27 November 2010: US State Department sends an intimidating letter in reply to a letter from Julian Assange, which requested input from the State Department to minimise harm in the light of the imminent Cablegate publication. The letter was used as a basis for the banking blockade.
28 November 2010: WikiLeaks publishes ’Cablegate’
29 November - Sarah Palin: WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are terrorists
"Assange is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands... Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders?"
29 November 2010 - War on WikiLeaks
Tony Shaffer, former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, on Fox News:
"I would look at this very much as a military issue. With potentially military action against him and his organization."
29 and 30 November 2010 - Execute the source
Mike Huckabee, who was planning to be a 2012 Republican presidential candidate: for anyone who provided information to WikiLeaks:
"anything less than execution is too kind a penalty"
30 November: Interpol issues Red Notice to 188 countries for Julian Assange
30 November 2010 - assassinate Julian Assange
Tom Flanagan, ex senior adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, currently Political Science lecturer at University of Calgary, Canada:
"Well, I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something. ... I would not feel unhappy if Assange ’disappeared’."
30 November 2010 - War on WikiLeaks
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham: referring to WikiLeaks:
"We’re at war. I hope Eric Holder, who’s a good man, will start showing some leadership here and get our laws in line with being at war."
30 November 2010 - WikiLeaks is a terrorist organisation
Rep. Peter King requests that the State Department put WikiLeaks on the ’terror’ list.
30 November 2010 - Julian Assange is a terrorist
Former Senator Rick Santorum, another possible presidential candidate for 2012, said at a speech in New Hampshire that Julian Assange should be
"prosecuted as a terrorist"
1 December 2010 - Assassinate Julian Assange
Bill O’Reilly, Fox News:
"I’d like to see a little drone hit Julian Assange. I think he is a bad man. If he lived in Britain 007 would take care of him."
Julian Assange responds to the death threats and terrorism allegations in an interview with Cenk Uygur (from 07:13):
2 December 2010: A second EAW is issued
5 December 2010 - Julian Assange is a terrorist
Mitch McConnell, US Republican senator for Kentucky:
"I think the man is a [...] terrorist and [...] needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and if this becomes a problem you need to change the law."
5 December 2010: Julian Assange is a terrorist, enemy combatant
"Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant [Guantanamo Bay, extraordinary rendition, torture]. WikiLeaks should be closed down permanently and decisively."
6 December 2010: Assassinate Julian Assange
Bob Beckel, Fox News:
"A dead man can’t leak stuff," Beckel said. "This guy’s a traitor, he’s treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. And I’m not for the death penalty, so...there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."
7 December 2010: PayPal, MasterCard and Visa shut down donations to WikiLeaks.
8 December 2010: The Independent confirms there have been informal talks about Assange’s extradition between Sweden and the United States.
11 December 2010: Lt. Col. Ralph Peters: "Julian Assange should be on a kill or capture list", is "a maggot", "is guilty of sabotage, espionage, crimes against humanity, he should be killed", "we have people in Guantanamo Bay that have done less harm to this country than Julian Assange" "Wikileaks abets terror" "Eric Holder is a ’weenie of weenies’". In a separate interview, Peters stated "we should execute leakers".
14 January 2011: US Treasury declines Rep. Senator Peter King’s request to blacklist Wikileaks and Julian Assange, because it found no grounds for blacklisting them.
19 December 2011: US Vice President Joe Biden calls Julian Assange a ’high tech terrorist’
Does this amount to persecution?
The US administration’s attempts to stifle Assange personally and WikiLeaks as an organisation are not peripheral to his extradition. If the conduct of the United States amounts to persecution, the EU is bound by law to prevent his extradition to the United States:
Defined as a systematic threat by one group on the life and liberty of a person or group of people on the grounds of their political beliefs - the calls for extrajudicial actions of inflicting harm, assassinating and/or kidnapping Julian Assange and WikiLeaks collaborators amounts to persecution.
If these statements are understood to amount to persecution, the onward extradition of Assange to the United States will test the EU’s political maturity in protecting the principles of freedom, human rights, free speech, and the robustness of the ’area of freedom, security and justice’ (AFSJ).