by V Lexander / 26 January 2018
Over the past year the mass media have continually escalated their attacks against Julian Assange, accusing him of being either a useful idiot or unwitting pawn of Russia who was used by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to sabotage and undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Sound like a conspiracy theory? That’s because it is. There is not a shred of verifiable evidence to back any of these defamatory accusations. Assange was royally screwed over by his original media “partners” — The Guardian and The New York Times, in particular, but most especially the former — which, along with the fact that he made a number of missteps in letting his guard down, have led to his having become a de facto prisoner under virtually indefinite house arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.
Over the past year a number of developments have occurred that have fully discredited the various allegations that Assange has been lambasted with and vindicated his innocence, the most significant being Sweden dropping the rape investigation due to the accusations being completely bogus and lacking any credibility whatsoever. At no point was Assange ever charged with any crime — whether rape or any form of sexual assault or molestation — and at no point could Assange have ever been legitimately prosecuted for such crimes in Sweden. The warrant issued against Assange by the Swedish prosecutor wasn’t even about arresting him to face charges, but having him appear in Sweden to face questioning as part of the investigation. And yet, even after all these years, there are still plenty of “journalists” out there claiming otherwise, concocting all manner of lies in spite of the facts on record.
Even if Swedish authorities had charged Assange with rape or sexual assault, based on all the facts available as well as the lack of any kind of evidence plus the lack of credibility on the part of the two women accusers due to their contradictory statements— which led to their inadvertent disclosures that Assange was innocent all along and the whole scandal having been deliberately orchestrated as part of a botched “honey pot” — and Assange had agreed to leave the UK and face trial in Sweden in person, the case would not have been able to move forward without turning the trial into an out-and-out kangaroo court.
As has been made evident by numerous sources over the past few years, the whole charade wasn’t about having Assange travel to Sweden to face questioning, but to have him arrested by British authorities as soon he would step foot outside the Ecuadorian embassy and immediately extradited to the United States.
However, since the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, the truth of the matter has been revealed to be far, far worse and more insidious than anyone could have imagined.
We don’t know Julian Assange. We’ve never met him. We’ve never contacted him nor have we ever been contacted by him or anyone personally connected to him. Likewise, we’ve never contacted WikiLeaks nor have we ever been contacted by them or anyone connected to them. This is all in spite of the fact that we’ve written and published a number of articles about him, a few of which have been have been retweeted by WikiLeaks and their supporters on Twitter. And there is no reason why there would or should be any contact or connection between Lexander and WikiLeaks. We are all worlds apart.
So, we have no stake in this matter or any kind of “investment” in his career or in that of WikiLeaks, nor do we derive any profit or revenue of any sort from this publication. That said, we have closely followed the lives and careers of a number of individuals since Operation Sundevil and the inception of the Cypherpunks email list in 1992, which Julian Assange began posting to in 1995. It was not until 1999, however, that we began to realize that Assange would at some point become a pivotal figure in the future of the Internet. This was, of course, back when the Internet was a hell of a lot more normal than it is today and people — even the most idiot “journalists,” tech or otherwise — still referred to it using capital letters, which is the only grammatically and technically correct usage, as Vint Cert and Robert Kahn have both clarified time and time again.
Assange is one of the very few hackers from the Eighties and Nineties who had transitioned toward a legitimate career in computer and network security without selling himself out to corporate and government interests. Even as a hacker in his youth, Assange’s motives were never criminal nor committed in pursuit of profit or fraud, unlike Kevin Poulsen and Adrian Lamo, both of whom were out-and-out criminals and con artists who did what they did to steal money and merchandise through various fraudulent scams and schemes. Both Poulsen and Lamo, upon being caught and arrested, went out of their way to whore themselves out to the FBI and other federal agencies, and both were directly responsible for aggressively seeking to entrap Chelsea Manning and having her arrested for her disclosures to WikiLeaks.
Lamo, in particular, is an especially disgusting and vile character. Why Chelsea Manning ever trusted him and willingly revealed her identity to him is another story altogether, but suffice it to say that neither Poulsen nor Lamo are to be trusted as sources on any matter. They are both literally total scum. That a mass media outlet like Wired would even hire Poulsen and keep him on staff as one of their “experts” speaks volumes about how degenerate and corrupt that particular publication is. There was a time when Wired was a legitimate tech media outlet, but that hasn’t been true since at least the early 2000s.
Assange is one of those rare experts and innovators in network security and cryptography who could have achieved great wealth and power had he been willing to sell himself out to the highest bidder, but he never did. He was and continues to be a genuine idealist who believes in the free exchange of information and the right of the masses to have access to information that all governments and mass media entities work so hard to deny and kept hidden. And this is precisely what has always made him the single most dangerous man in the world, like Morpheus (and of course Neo once he accepts his destiny) in The Matrix. This is not a man you can buy out or bribe or manipulate to get him to follow your agenda. The most dangerous individuals in the world are those who cannot be bought. He does what he does because he believes what he is doing is right.
There are those who argue against transparency in political and media affairs. They are not to be trusted. Governments and politicians are supposed to serve the people, not vice versa. As Assange himself has stated, the so-called “democracy” that we are all subjected to in the “free world” is a scam that no rational person ever signed up or voted for.
But it isn’t simply the US, UK, Australia or Western European governments who consider Assange to be as dangerous as he is to their interests. It’s every single government in the world. Neither Russia nor China want to see Assange have any freedom. He is as much a threat to their interests as he is to any other government. Put simply, Assange doesn’t like governments and governments don’t like Assange.
Herein lies the absurdity in the claims that Assange and WikiLeaks colluded with Russia against Hillary Clinton in order to get Donald Trump elected. Even as a conspiracy theory, it has never made any sense. What does make sense is that Hillary Clinton and her hopelessly corrupt faction within the Democratic National Committee sabotaged her presidential campaign through their own stupidity and condescension toward the low-to-middle income working class in Middle America. Most Americans don’t agree with the cosmopolitan and neoliberal agenda of the power elites in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. This is precisely why Barack Obama easily won against Clinton during the 2008 primaries. The working class of Middle America absolutely despise Hillary Clinton. That is an indisputable fact. And it was Clinton who sabotaged the Obama administration’s first term by instigating the so-called “Arab Spring” and orchestrating the overthrow and savage execution of Muammar Gaddafi and attempting to do the same against Bashar Assad in Syria. While Obama is often blamed for these war crimes, he was not the architect and in private, was opposed to Clinton’s continuation and escalation of the neocon war agenda, as was Biden. But neither Obama nor Biden had any choice in the matter as the Clinton faction dominates the Democratic Party in the same way the Bush faction dominates the Republican Party. Like the Bush/Cheney administration, Hillary Clinton’s ultimate objective was to spread anarchy in the countries surrounding Iran in order to instigate regime change there using the People’s Mujahedin Organization (PMO, or MKO) terrorist organization and its terrorist allies in Iranian Kurdistan (PJAK) and various Taliban and al-Qaeda affiliated Wahhabi/Deobandi terrorists in Balochistan.
It wasn’t until John Kerry replaced Clinton as Secretary of State that the Obama administration was able to begin reversing some of the chaos and easing tensions with Iran, which continued even more productively after bringing in Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense in 2013, an appointment which was aggressively opposed by GOP neocons like the mentally defective lunatic John McCain, who essentially accused Hagel of being a traitor.
Hardly anyone in the mass media has even bothered to address the fact that had Joe Biden run as the Democratic candidate, he would have most likely won by a landslide due to his popularity among low-income and working class voters. Even now, over a year later, mass media pundits, regardless of their political affiliation, refuse to admit that most Americans voted for Donald Trump because they hated Hillary Clinton and hate her even more now. Like the Bush dynasty, the Clinton dynasty are poison. They are the two most corrupt and warmongering American political dynasties of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. If we lived in a sane, rational world, they and their criminal associates like John McCain, John Bolton, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, among many others, would be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
Assange and WikiLeaks did what others had not been able to do: establish a platform where those like Chelsea Manning could expose to the general public exactly how criminal and corrupt these people are. And when we talk about governments, we’re talking about people. Governments and corporations are entities, but they are all run by people, and that is where the corruption and criminality emanates from.
But this corruption and criminality exists in and pervades every single government around the world. There are no “honest” politicians. Politics is the art of diplomacy and compromise and is conducted through subtext and subterfuge. It has always has been and always will be. That’s just a simple fact of the “reality” we exist in.
Back in the 1800s, the British and Russian Empires were engaged for decades in what came to be called the “Great Game,” a military competition between the two over who would dominate Afghanistan and Central Asia. The real and long-term objective of the Great Game was domination of Iran, but both the British and Russians realized conquering Iran was impossible, as not even the Qajar dynasty in Tehran was ever able to exert their rule over the various provinces and the fact that Iran did not have an ethnic majority — and still does not, which makes the claims of various separatist terror groups claiming oppression at the hands of the “Persian majority” even more criminally absurd and deliberately ignorant — made any attempt to conquer the Persian Empire a potential nightmare. Up until a few decades ago, most Iranians in the various provinces had no contact with each other. There are well over eighty distinct ethnolinguistic groups in Iran. There are regions where most Iranians are as Nordic as Northern Europeans, others where they are as Mediterranean as Southern Europeans, others where they are as “Mongoloid” as their counterparts in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. In the provinces of Hormozgan and Bushehr, there are Iranians of sub-Saharan African origin, descendants of East African slaves brought there by the Portuguese during the time they leased the port of Bandar Abbas from the Safavid dynasty in Esfahan, and who the Portuguese were forced to release since the Safavids had prohibited the use of slaves and the agreement only allowed for indentured servants from the Indian subcontinent, most of whom were Vedic Hindus. Even then, the Safavids required the Portuguese to allow the Hindu workers a fair level of autonomy and build their own temples (which still stand and continue to be maintained as official landmarks by the Iranian heritage council.) Upon learning of the African slaves brought illegally to Hormozgan, mainly to the island of Kish, the Safavids imposed heavy penalties upon the Portuguese and gave the slaves a choice: a free return trip to their homelands in Africa, or remain in Iran as free subjects of the Persian Empire. Most stayed and today form a majority in parts of Hormozgan and Bushehr, and even now, are physically indistinguishable from the peoples of their original homelands in Africa, yet culturally and linguistically, they are one hundred percent Persian.
And that is why the British and Russians never, at any point, attempted to conquer Iran. In spite of the lack of an ethnic majority and the high level of racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity, the strength of the Persian culture and heritage that has survived well over three thousand years binds all these various peoples together. Any attempt to conquer Iran would be as foolhardy as attempting to conquer the United States. Even if the Soviet Union had tried or were even willing to have taken the idea into consideration, it would have been impossible for them to conquer the US because in spite of the ethnic and racial diversity, there is a common culture and language which binds all Americans together. It is as unique a bond as it is and has been in Iran since antiquity.
In a sense, the Great Game never ended. It simply evolved, with the US replacing the UK as the dominant Western power, and the USSR continuing where the Tsar had last left off. Afghanistan once again became the focal point of the Great Game in the 1970s following Jimmy Carter’s deliberate undermining (in collusion with the Soviet Union, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel) of the Afghan monarchy which ultimately led to the Saur Revolution of 1978, while also undermining the Imperial State of Iran under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi which imploded following the Cinema Rex incident in 1978.
The involvement of the CIA and Mossad for most of the crimes against political prisoners in Iran has been well documented, yet to this day continues to be blamed wholly on the Iranian intelligence agency SAVAK. Even many Iranians themselves fall for the Great Lie, that the Pahlavi state was a brutal dictatorship that terrorized its own citizens. This is in spite of the fact that most SAVAK employees and agents remained in Iran following the 1979 Revolution and was reorganized into VEVAK. The difference between SAVAK and VEVAK is virtually negligible, with the primary difference being that VEVAK is not under the direct control of foreign intelligence services like the CIA and Mossad, as SAVAK was. Even the current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, and many high level Iranian officials, during their imprisonment in the 1960s and 1970s have stated that most, if not all of the torture attributed to SAVAK was actually conducted by foreign interrogators brought in by the CIA and Mossad, because it was difficult to get Iranian agents to torture their fellow countrymen. Even the Shah himself opposed any brutal crackdown against protesters, which both the US and Israel had been pushing for, because he knew the police and military would not be willing to massacre civilians in cold blood to the extent that would have been required. Instead, the Shah ordered the national police and military to stand down and willingly left Iran with his family. Even today in Iran, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who harbors any hatred toward the Shah or the Pahlavi state. Visit any bookstore in Iran, and you’ll find little to nothing in the way of anti-Pahlavi and anti-monarchist propaganda. It is well known within diplomatic circles in Tehran that with the exception of ultra-hardline clerics like Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi — who is directly responsible for undermining former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s attempts to secularize the government and judiciary by dissolving the theocratic institutions like the Assembly of Experts and later having him arrested for his actions — most Iranians, not only the general public but within the civilian government as well, have a neutral or positive view of the Imperial State of Iran under Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi and also that of his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi.
In the US and Europe, however, hardly anyone is aware of these realities other than those who actually visit Iran on a regular basis. That such ignorance has become so widespread and pervasive in spite of the vast wealth of information on the Internet is a testament to the truth of what Julian Assange has been arguing for years, that the people who run our governments and media institutions are liars of the highest order and nothing they say or claim can ever be trusted or relied upon. Again, it all comes down to the issue of transparency and letting the people themselves come to their own conclusions.
During the Reagan administration, the CIA was able to reverse its previous failures during the Carter administration in attempting to impose a puppet regime in Afghanistan by compelling the Soviets to mount a full-scale ground invasion by enlisting the help of Saudi Arabia in organizing various Pashtun Deobandi tribes from Kandahar and other outlying areas of the country far from the cosmopolitan modernism of Kabul to establish a Wahhabi-led coalition which came to be known as the Afghan Mujaheddin. While most of the Mujaheddin were tribal Pashtuns, the principal leaders and commanders were Wahhabi Arabs from the Najd region of Saudi Arabia, as well as members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other fraternal Wahhabi secret societies from Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan.
The Soviets took the bait and paid dearly for it, leading not only to its implosion and collapse, but years of misery under Boris Yeltsin, an alcoholic puppet of the Bush and Clinton administrations, and the rise of a pro-Western oligarchy that continues to dominate the country, even despite Putin’s anti-corruption efforts, which have given rise to a whole new breed of oligarchy, but an anti-Western one.
Under Putin, Russia has been able to reassert itself as a global power, ironically thanks to Hillary Clinton’s decision to attempt regime change in Syria and oust President Bashar Assad, which has led to Russia, China and Iran forming a new Eurasian bloc to counter US and NATO expansionism, and which Turkey under Erdogan — previously aligned with the US and Saudi Arabia against Assad — has also joined. These developments were predicted years ago by Russian political scientist and philosopher Aleksandr Dugin, who has been labeled as a “neofascist” by American and Western European media, including the so-called “alternative” media, and often referred to as an “adviser” to Putin, which has never been fully substantiated.
While Dugin’s influence in Russian political circles is grossly overestimated and overstated, he is close enough to certain key individuals in the Kremlin to know that Assange is not only not a puppet of the Russian government, but that the last thing that Putin and other Russian leaders want is Assange to have his freedom restored.
One of our key correspondents in Iran, Aryan Susangard, a former senior editor at Kayhan International (and who has since been fired for his anti-theocratic views and has been permanently banned from working for any media organization), the English-language edition of Kayhan — considered to be the most ultraconservative newspaper in Iran and one of a handful of state media outlets under the direct and full control of the Office of the Supreme Leader — and a former assistant to Kayhan Executive Director Hossein Shariatmadari, a key adviser to the Supreme Leader, has confirmed that at the P5+1 talks concerning the Iran nuclear deal, during informal discussions on other issues, there was agreement among all parties that freedom for Julian Assange was out of the question, but that extradition to the US was also unacceptable, especially in light of Edward Snowden having been given political asylum in Russia, which was granted as part of a secret deal between the Obama administration and Kremlin to avoid having to put Snowden on trial, which would have been an even worse public relations catastrophe than that involving the imprisonment of Chelsea Manning. It is rarely discussed, but US authorities not only had plenty of opportunities to capture Snowden in Hong Kong, but that while he was on a flight to Russia, which was originally supposed to be a temporary stopover, the Obama administration issued an extradition request to the Russian government, which effectively made it impossible for Snowden to leave Russia without being captured en route to whatever his next destination would have been. This, in turn, compelled Putin to grant Snowden temporary political asylum in Russia, stating that it would be inappropriate to deny such asylum to a human rights activist.
This, of course, is correct and also gave Putin and Russia a massive level of positive public relations on the international level. But it also solved a key problem for the Obama administration, which could not risk having Snowden back in the US to stand trial, since unlike Chelsea Manning, who was a soldier and subject to a military tribunal, he is a civilian. Snowden is the most significant whistleblower in the history of US intelligence. The information that Snowden was able to release prior to his leaving for Hong Kong is a mere fraction of what else he knows from memory (in other words, not documented) since all high level intelligence data is classified as “eyes only” and immediately destroyed. Even worse for the US, Snowden could have even more documentation stashed away as insurance somewhere on an encrypted server, that if he were captured and arrested, could be released. Or maybe he has nothing.
The simple fact is that they don’t know — “they” meaning the idiot politicians and mandarins running our hopelessly corrupt governments and their respective state and provincial legislatures. But they can’t take the risk. All these intelligence agencies around the world, ultimately they’re all just regular people. They’re not psychic and they don’t have any special superhuman or supernormal powers. They have a certain level of political and economic power and control, but only to a very limited extent. As Assange and others have stated, if the people running our governments really knew what the hell they’re doing, we would literally be living in an out-and-out Orwellian dystopia. That’s certainly what they want. The only reason it hasn’t happened, and likely will never happen, is because human beings tend to be stupid and ignorant, and the people in government and intelligence are, more often than not, more stupid than everyone else.
Thus, while Edward Snowden is not a prisoner in Russia and he does in fact have freedom of movement (though it would be naive to assume he isn’t being actively monitored by the FSB and foreign intelligence proxies), he is not likely ever going to be able to leave the country.
With Assange, the situation is even more complicated and convoluted than that of Manning and Snowden. Years ago, WikiLeaks released a massive amount of encrypted data that has been distributed around the world, mainly via BitTorrent, but for which no one has the key except for Assange and perhaps several other trusted individuals. Again, this is a form of insurance that should something happen to him, the key will be released and all hell will break out. But considering how much confidential data WikiLeaks continues to accumulate and release, there could be even more than anyone anywhere could imagine. Even if he is allowed to leave the UK and travel to Ecuador where he has been granted citizenship, who will guarantee his safety? What happens to him when he is in Ecuador?
This is to say nothing of how much more confidential data WikiLeaks has in relation to Russia, China, Iran, Germany, France, Singapore, Japan, and many other countries. Much was already released years ago, but more has most certainly been accumulated, but yet to be released. None of these countries can risk Assange being put in a position where he could be subject to capture or assassination. Keeping him in indefinite limbo in a tiny room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is a way for them to know exactly where he is at all times and who goes in to see him and so forth. If they could create a controlled village similar to that in the classic television show, The Prisoner, they would send him there. This is how severe the situation is from the view of the global powers.
For anyone in the media to claim that Assange is a Russian agent or a double-agent or a covert agent of Donald Trump is not only stupid and ignorant, but childish and immature to the extreme. These so-called “journalists” engaging in this ridiculous behavior and conspiracy theorizing are all supposedly educated and have gone to university and studied “journalism,” which makes the whole anti-Assange crusade even more insane. These idiots are not journalists. Not even close. Even the average chimpanzee has more intelligence than 99.9% of American, Canadian and British “journalists.”
We’ve explained before that most news is “fake news.” The allegations and defamatory claims against Assange in this regard are all fake news. There is not a shred of truth to anything they lambast him with again and again, which all amount to nothing more than conspiracy theories. These are the same people who once called George W. Bush a “war criminal” and who now praise him as the best president since Reagan and/or Clinton and bash Donald Trump the same way by insanely calling him a “dictator.” These are not normal people. They are, by definition, mentally defective. Hillary Clinton and the Iranian media — even the hardline ultraconservatives — continually attacked Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “dictator” and accusing him of trying to establish a military regime. This is in spite of the fact that the Iranian president is not the head of state, but the head of government with very limited power. The Iranian president has less power than even the prime ministers in countries like the UK and Canada and has absolutely no authority over the media, police or military. It is the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, who is the head of state and the commander-in-chief. If Ahmadinejad had been a “dictator” as Iranian ultraconservatives and reformists and their neocon and neoliberal counterparts abroad like Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush had claimed, he and his allies in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) would have dissolved all theocratic institutions and established a secular socialist state similar to that of Bashar Assad in Syria. Indeed, this has become the ultimate objective of the IRGC, even more so as young Revolutionary Guards soldiers and agents spend time in Syria and Lebanon and elsewhere, and then return home asking themselves, “Why the hell do we have to live in an ‘Islamic Republic’ when Syria is secular and even Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah in Lebanon has condemned the very idea of theocracy?”
It is not a coincidence that the recent uprisings in Iran have coincided with the mass return of thousands of Revolutionary Guards soldiers from Syria, all of whom are fed up with the theocracy and are demanding secularization. As we’ve learned from our sources in Iran, the theocratic Guardian Council, Judiciary, and Assembly of Experts blame Ahmadinejad and his former vice-president, Rahim Mashaei, for instigating the uprisings. At the same time Ahmadinejad was arrested, for the first time Israel state media claimed they are actually responsible and that the Mossad has “people on the ground in Iran.”
The reality is that whenever Israel takes responsibility for some covert action or event in Iran, it is one hundred percent certain that they are blatantly lying and simply trying to take advantage of the situation, as they did before and during the aftermath of the 1979 Revolution. Within Iranian academic and intelligence circles, there is widespread doubt that Israel was even responsible for the domestic assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, since they are among the most guarded and protected individuals in the country, to some extent even more guarded than the Supreme Leader himself. Theories abound that the killings were orchestrated by assassins hired by hardline theocrats like Shahroudi in order to both undermine the civilian nuclear program and stoke tensions with Israel. The Iranian government is so factionalized and Byzantine that anything is possible.
There have been many leaks about all of this and other scandals within Iran, which are the real reason why the uprisings have begun. And unlike the 1999 and 2009 protests, these are mass uprisings of low-income and working class Iranians, not the rich kids of northern Tehran. Over the past couple of years, dozens of websites within Iran inspired by WikiLeaks have sprung up, most getting shut down quickly, but like the Great Firewall of China, there is only so much the state can do to censor and filter the flow of information.
In China, the level of information anarchy has reached such heights that Xi Jinping has taken unprecedented measures to reverse much of the social and press reforms of previous administrations and strengthen the grip of the Communist Party. While Jinping isn’t going to go so far as try to reignite some sort of neo-Maoist radicalism, he is the first “paramount leader” of the People’s Republic to push for increased state control of private enterprise and industry, as well as closer integration between the private sector and the People’s Liberation Army to the point where the military will effectively control all private and public sector enterprises, not unlike the strategy conducted by the IRGC in Iran that began with Ahmadinejad.
But no one in any government in any country, not even in Russia, China and Iran, can fully stop the free flow of information and the leaking of confidential material.
And it all began with Assange and WikiLeaks. He has become, in effect, an accidental prisoner of this New Great Game, where the powers that be have no idea what the hell to do or what move to make, like an endgame in chess where both players are stuck and unable to calculate their next and final move. The US, UK, EU and NATO states all have their own agendas, their own views on what should happen and what should not happen. Russia, China, Iran all each have their own agendas, their own views on what should happen and what should not happen. And then there is the Council of Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund, Club of Rome, among other entities which operate above and beyond national and even international law. And this is to say nothing of Israel, Brazil, India, Pakistan Singapore, Malaysia, the Vatican … too many states, too many secrets.
And Julian Assange is caught in the middle of it all, trapped in limbo, not unlike Neo in the subway station scene in The Matrix Revolutions. But at least for Neo, he had a definite and permanent way out.
For Assange, on those rare occasions where the global powers are able to agree upon anything, is that there can never be any way out. Ever.