By Ernest A. Canning on 6/19/2012, 4:13pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has taken refuge in Ecuador's Embassy in London, where he has applied for political asylum, stating:

'I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum. This application has been passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital Quito.

I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application.

Ecuador, which, two years ago, offered Assange asylum and which also has an extradition treaty with the U.S., confirmed that it is considering Assange's asylum application, but stated that its decision to do so, "should in no way be interpreted as the government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden," according to CNN.

Assange, an Australian, as we previously reported, has maintained that the sex charges against him, and Sweden's request for extradition from England where Assange has been staying since the charges were initially filed against him, are being utilized as an excuse to ultimately transport him to the U.S. for political persecution.

Assange suffered a significant legal setback last week when the UK's Supreme Court dismissed his application to reopen his appeal against extradition. He was scheduled to be extradited to Sweden in nine days.

UPDATE 6/20/12: In a public email, the advocacy group, RootsAction alleges:

Sweden has a record of bowing to U.S. pressure, including the handing over of two men to the CIA in 2006 --- leading the U.N. to find Sweden complicit in torture.

The United States reportedly has a sealed indictment prepared for Assange, charging him with crimes against 'national security.'

The group has an on-line petition requesting that Ecuador grant asylum, which can be signed here.

Meanwhile, the UK's Guardian reports that Assange's asylum request could prove an empty gesture. Absent "giving Assange Ecuadorian diplomatic status...there seems no way in which he can get to Healthrow, let alone Ecuador, without being arrested for breach of his bail conditions," the Guardian reported.

A video containing Democracy Now's more extended coverage of the event, including London's announcement that Assange is now subject to arrest and Assange's prior interview of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on RT, is posted below...

UPDATE 6/21/12: OEN has published a thoughtful article --- Julian Assange’s Artful Dodge --- which provides in depth coverage of this event. The article was written by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). Follow him on Twitter: @Cann4ing.