The fact that the British—and I was as shocked as anybody—that the British said yesterday that they might invade the embassy to get their hands on Julian Assange is such an incredible violation of international law that it’s unheard of. I mean, think about had the Chinese gone into the U.S. embassy to get Chen out in China, or had the Brazilians gone into the Honduran embassy to get Zelaya out. This is unheard of in law, it’s unheard of in diplomacy, and it’s an outrageous and egregious undermining of the right of a country to give asylum.
People always said to me, “Where’s your evidence?” People say to other veterans in my organization, “Oh, well, what do you know? You’re just a soldier.” And Julian provided us with all the evidence we need: the “Collateral Murder” video, which shows a helicopter gunship killing innocent civilians; the Afghan War Logs, you know, which describe torture and death on a daily basis; the Iraq War Logs, which again highlight the real numbers of those killed in Iraq, people who weren’t even known about before those logs came out. So this guy, for me, has done a great service to the world in showing us the true nature of the wars that our governments ask us to fight in.
But it’s really not about Sweden. If Julian Assange were to go to Sweden, he would be put in jail immediately. He is not allowed to get bail in Sweden. Let’s understand that. He would be in prison in Sweden, and he could no longer apply for asylum. You can’t apply for asylum from a jail when you’re in the very country that’s meaning to persecute you or prosecute you. He’s just in Sweden. At that point, the U.S. files its extradition request. Julian Assange never sees the light of day and winds up going to the United States.
it’s very clear that political speech, which is what a publisher and a journalist does as—with regard to WikiLeaks or other issues, when they’re whistleblowers, when they’re revealing government crimes or when they’re revealing government misconduct and corruption, is protected under international free speech and is a grounds for asylum.