On Sovereignty and States (Wikileaks and Child Sex Tourism)

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Sovereignty, States, Wikileaks | Posted on 28-12-2010

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The idea of jurisdiction is central to most states in the world. If you commit an offense in Texas, in addition to being hosed, you’re also unlikely to be tried in California. Similarly, if you sell medical marijuana in California, you’re unlikely to be executed in Malaysia.

There’s a basic concept there. You need to be inside of a jurisdiction to violate its laws.

Unfortunately, some states simply don’t understand the concept very well. The United States of America would be one.

Julian Assange is neither a citizen of the US, nor is he in the US. So just how the fuck do so many US politicians get off trying to figure out what they can charge him with?

1917 Espionage act or not, he isn’t subject to US law outside of the US, so the entire question is moot.

But never mind that there are no laws in the US that could be used to prosecute Julian, they just can’t do it and maintain any semblance of integrity.

Sovereign states are exactly that. And the concept of sovereignty is disappearing. There’s a word for that. i.e. There is a word for infringing on the sovereignty of a state: war. Albeit, it is war of a different sort, but it’s still a form of war.

However, this is nothing new. A few years back a number of countries jumped on the “let’s ignore sovereignty” band-wagon over the child sex tourism issue. In an effort to see who could be more politically correct, several countries made it illegal for any citizen (or permanent resident) to engage in foreign child sex tourism.

For the idiots in the crowd, child sex tourism is bad. Not good. Even worse than that. No. Even worse than even worse than that. Ummm… Get the idea? It’s pure fucking predatory evil.

But it isn’t the place of a state to prosecute for acts done outside of its borders. It is an affront to the state where the action took place. The legality of the action isn’t relevant except in the place where it took place.

For the skeptics in the crowd, let’s try an exercise. A thought experiment if you will:

Imagine you are a teacher. It’s against the law/rules to say the Lord’s Prayer in school. Fine. Now if you go to church and say the Lord’s Prayer there, or pray the Lord’s Prayer at home, should you be punished at school for it?

It’s no different. The cases are the exact same. The school maintains its own rules while the church maintains its own rules and you have your own rules in your own home. No difference.

“Extradition” is the principle that allows different states or jurisdictions to arrest someone and send them to the state or jurisdiction where the offense took place.

Now, ask yourself where would you rather see child-rapists rot? In a prison in Australia, Canada, or in Thailand or Cambodia? I’m willing to be that the conditions in a Cambodian prison are just a little bit worse than they are in the Milton Hilton.

I remember a woman in Cambodia asking me, “Sir, do you want to buy a baby?” Several times even. Ummm… No thanks.

Really bad stuff happens. But it isn’t the business of the state what its people do outside of the state.

It *IS* the business of the state to decide if it wants to hand over its people to another state for prosecution though.

Back to Wikileaks and Julian Assange though…

It isn’t the business of the UK to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden or the United States of America. They have no business in those matters. He has not violated any UK laws.

However, it is the business of the UK to deport Julian Assange to Australia. He is not a UK citizen, but he is an Australian citizen. If he is to be extradited to Sweden, or the US, then it is the business of the Australian government to determine that. For the UK to extradite Julian is for them to overstep their authority as a respectable sovereign state.

There are many cases where states violate other states’ sovereignty, but the current case with Julian Assange is a clear cut and highly visible case.

His worst case scenario should be for the UK to deport him back to Australia.