As of this writing, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange remains holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy, which is surrounded by British police waiting to arrest and extradite him to Sweden where he faces multiple charges of sexual assault. Assange first entered the embassy in June and formally received asylum in mid-August. He fears that extradition to Sweden will ultimately be followed by extradition to the United States, which is eager to prosecute him for leaking more than 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables. But thanks to Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa, who has championed Assange’s cause, Assange’s day of reckoning in court has been postponed indefinitely.
I’m sure most Americans following the embassy saga have asked the same questions: why on earth is Ecuador harboring an international fugitive with Australian citizenship? Why is a small, impoverished, export-dependent South American country deliberately antagonizing the United States and the United Kingdom in order to protect such an odious criminal?