The forces of globalist neo-conservatism have now decided to attack another institution long-protected by international law: the extraterritorial diplomatic protection afforded to foreign embassies and diplomatic missions.
Although WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a very unsympathetic figure – owing to his outlandish ego, attempts to extort money from donors and newspapers in return for releasing classified U.S. State Department cables, and his reported personal hygiene issues – the threat by the United Kingdom to forcibly enter the embassy of Ecuador in London to arrest Assange on an arrest warrant from Sweden is an attempt by a World War II-era five-nation intelligence partnership to flex its muscles.
But the threats against Ecuador’s embassy could have tremendous blow-back if the protection afforded to embassies becomes yet another victim of the steady march toward global fascism.
To protect its power, which has never been greater, the UK-USA alliance of intelligence-sharing nations, which includes the «First Party,» the United States, and the «Second Parties» of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand in a core group of «Five Eyes» English-speaking nations but also includes a number of non-English speaking «Third Party» nations, including Sweden, which share varying degrees of intelligence with the alliance, is flexing its muscles in the Assange case.
Sweden continues to provide the UK-USA alliance with signals intelligence data, which, ironically, is collected from Swedish embassies abroad. In fact, former British MI-5 counterintelligence officer Peter Wright and former Canadian Communications Security Establishment (CSE) agent Mike Frost wrote books detailing the repeated breaking and entering into embassies and other diplomatic missions by Western intelligence agencies to plant bugs, steal cryptographic code books, and photograph classified documents.
Missions involved in the UK-USA alliance’s violation of diplomatic protocol included the Egyptian embassy in Stockholm, broken into by Swedish intelligence and the Israeli Mossad, and the presence inside the Swedish embassy in Helsinki, Finland of a covert signals intelligence unit linked to NSA that monitored the Soviet Union.
It should be no surprise that Britain’s threat against the Ecuadorian embassy could result in a number of nations deciding to storm Western embassies to retrieve the spy equipment that routinely eavesdrops on government and commercial communications in various capital cities around the world, from Abidjan and Bangkok to Quito and Caracas.
The Obama administration, in particular, has been very aggressive in its pursuit of government leakers and has already convicted or indicted six U.S. intelligence agency personnel under the arcane and rarely used 1917 Espionage Act. Among those indicted is Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, who is being court-martialed at the Fort Meade, Maryland U.S. Army base where the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) happens to be headquartered.
Manning has been charged with leaking over 250,000 State Department cables to WikiLeaks and the Obama administration has shown it is willing to go to great lengths to stage criminal trials to send a message to any other would-be leakers.
The United States would also like to get its hands on Assange for the leaking of private e-mails from the intelligence firm Stratfor, which employs a number of former U.S. intelligence agency officials and appears to have more than a casual relationship with Israel.
In what can only be described as a vendetta for the State Department cable, Stratfor e-mail and other disclosures, the United States, working with its intelligence partners Britain, Australia, and Canada, are trying to get Assange bagged by the British. Sent to Sweden to answer questions about sexual assault charges, and ultimately be transferred to the United States to stand trial under the Espionage Act.
The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations explicitly states in Article 22 that «the premises of a diplomatic mission, such as an embassy, are inviolate and must not be entered by the host country except by permission of the head of the mission. Furthermore, the host country must protect the mission from intrusion or damage.
The host country must never search the premises, nor seize its documents or property. Article 30 extends this provision to the private residence of the diplomats». The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1063 explicitly states in Article 31 that «the host nation may not enter the consular premises, and must protect the premises from intrusion or damage».
The United States, Britain, Sweden, and Australia, the countries that are involved in Britain issuing a demarche to the Ecuadorian embassy, which, citing an obscure 1987 British law called the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act, stated that the diplomatic immunity of the embassy could be revoked long enough for British police to enter the building to arrest Assange. Former British diplomats decried the demarche as a violation of international law.
The Sydney Morning Herald obtained documents from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that Australian government officials, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, ambassador to the United States Kim Beazely, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Deputy Foreign Secretary Gillian Bird, and former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, were all involved in classified briefings with the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) concerning the Manning trial – including «WikiLeaks release of ASIO-derived information» – and the possible extradition of Assange to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act.
The United States cried foul when Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held a number of diplomats and military personnel hostage for 444 days. It should also be noted that the Reagan-Bush campaign was secretly negotiating with Iran to keep the hostages until after the 1980 presidential election as a way to cost embattled President Jimmy Carter the election.
The hostages in Iran were released at the very moment Reagan was sworn in as president on January 20, 1981. The Vienna Conventions were perfectly negotiable to the Reagan-Bush campaign team in their successful attempt to cost Carter the White House.
President George H. W. Bush had no problem violating the diplomatic immunity of the Vatican embassy in Panama City in 1989’s Operation Nifty Package, which saw U.S. special operations personnel surround the embassy and subject it to a psychological warfare operation, including playing deafening rock music, to force the Papal Nuncio to order Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to leave the embassy and be arrested by U.S. troops.
However, in the same year that saw Noriega plucked from the Vatican embassy in Panama, the United States protected Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi in its embassy in Beijing. Fang was allowed to depart the embassy for the United States after negotiations between Washington and Beijing. At no time did China threaten to invade the U.S. embassy.
In April of this year, Chinese dissident Cheng Guangchen sought asylum in the U.S. embassy in Beijing. The U.S. worked out a deal that saw Cheng, his wife, and two children allowed to fly to the United States after he voluntarily left the embassy.
Hungarian Roman Catholic Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty gained asylum andlived in the U.S. embassy in Budapest from 1956 to 1971. Again, at no time did Hungary threaten to invade the embassy to arrest the prelate.
However, the United States and its intelligence allies now seek to violate international law to snatch someone who poses a threat to the special intelligence alliance. In Noriega’s case, Bush knew the wily Panamanian leader threatened to expose Bush’s personal involvement in Iran-contra and drug smuggling by the CIA into the United States.
The UK-USA alliance will stop at nothing to make an example of Manning and Assange, even though the damage from the leak of the State Department cables is negligible. Most of the cables’ information, none of which was higher than Secret, was based on conversations heard at diplomatic cocktail receptions, over coffee between U.S. diplomats and host country officials, and even English translations of gossip from foreign tabloids.
Ever since 9/11, the United States has over-classified government information, a policy that has resulted in criticism from government information security oversight officials.
Heads of government of alliance nations have literally been thrown out of office in carefully-plotted constitutional coups or from «sudden death syndrome» after they threatened to expose aspects of the intelligence alliance.
The leaders include New Zealand Labor Prime Minister Norman Kirk, who died suddenly from heart failure in 1974 at the age of 51; Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, ousted in 1975 in a CIA-inspired government coup; and New Zealand Prime Minister David Lange, ousted in a Cabinet revolt in 1989.
The United States and Canada voted «no» on a request by Ecuador to hold an emergency foreign ministers meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Britain’s threat to the London embassy. But an overwhelming number of Latin American and Caribbean nations voted «yes». The «Five Eyes» are increasingly worried that they will be poked out by a gathering force of nations no longer willing to put up with the Anglo-Saxon chicanery.
Wayne MADSEN, Strategic Culture Foundation