Julian Assange has been persistently a person of interest for the United States’ intelligence and legal forces for all the unwanted reasons; still, who is this person and what did he really do to make him such a hot-topic?
Julian Assange is an Australian journalist and the creator of Wikileaks - a non-profit entity that distributes confidential material, news leaks, and secret information obtained from independent sources. Assange rose to prominence after his role in releasing thousands of classified records pertaining to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as diplomatic cables between the US and other nations.
So, you may have heard that the US government has been trying to get Julian Assange extradited for a while now. However, he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being arrested. It turns out that the CIA had a few different ideas for how they could capture him, some of which were pretty intense. In this article we'll be taking a closer look at those plans.
Plot to Kidnap or Assassinate?
One of the CIA's rumored intentions was to abduct or murder Assange. This strategy entailed hiring spies to gather information about Assange's location and movements. Deploying overseas operators to carry out the abduction or killing was also part of the plot.
Nonetheless, is it as simple as it sounds? Not at all! It should be noted that such activities would be unlawful under both domestic and international law, and could put US diplomats on thin ice.
Plan to Conduct a Drone Strike
This is perhaps among the most notorious ways the US uses its might overseas to get rid of any matter and magnitude of threat. While such measures receive relatively less retaliation from war-struck and third-world countries, operating similarly within Europe will result in unimaginable long-term consequences for the country.
For starters, they will be breaking many of the most profound contractual obligations as a member of the NATO.
One of the options examined by the CIA to apprehend Julian Assange was to employ surveillance to trace his whereabouts and interactions. The CIA is said to have been watching Assange since 2010, shortly after Wikileaks published a huge quantity of confidential information pertaining to the US government.
The CIA monitored Assange using a number of tactics, including breaking into his computer, mobile devices, and intercepting his conversations.
Besides technological surveillance, the intelligence services have explored employing human intelligence to track Assange's travels. It was recommended that spies enter the embassy and masquerade as journalists or other individuals in order to get close to Assange.
Nevertheless, these initiatives were considered too hazardous and were never implemented.
Ultimately, the CIA also thought about capturing Assange through legal means. They wanted to reach out to foreign governments and have him extradited to the US. The CIA even talked with the British government about this, but it did not work out in the end.
Furthermore, the Swedish government requested the British government in 2012 to deport Assange to Sweden to face sexual assault charges. Assange had actually been staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to evade extradition to Sweden.
Following this, the British authorities conveyed that it would not entertain this request if the alleged faced extradition to the US.
How Did It End?
So, the quick update on Julian Assange is that he was arrested by British authorities in 2019 and is now in the United States - facing charges related to publishing classified information.
It's worth mentioning that any actions taken by the CIA to capture him should have been done legally. Breaking the law would be a serious violation of international norms and democratic principles.
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