Amidst the hurly burly of the nightclub 10 Downing Street Tomorrow in downtown London, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has offered more viewpoints on Mr. Assange's case to enquiring journalists.
During the interview the Secretary tapped his fingers on the bar top while muttering "ridiculous, ridiculous!"
This single word had earlier defined his public response to the UN panel's recommendation that Mr. Assange be allowed to go free.
Mr. Hammond clarified that the Assange case is clearly that of a "fugitive" who needs to be brought to "justice."
Furthermore, the UN people are idiots and, it should be noted, not lawyers.
Reminded that a Swedish prosecutor dismissed charges against Mr. Assange years ago, leaving "allegations" (he said/she said), the Secretary snorted toward his aperitif, then replied:
"He's lucky he's not in Saudi Arabia, isn't he?"
Additionally favoring the UN panel conclusion, Mr. Hammond was reminded, the women in question have not charged "rape," and are mostly disgruntled over Mr. Assange's performance with them in the bedroom.
Further, both women continued to associate with him after the alleged "assault" events.
Plus, the original Swedish prosecutor dropped the charges.
Was the vigor of the next Swedish prosecutor, Ms. Ny who renewed the investigation, something to do with Mr. Assange's political activity?
At this point Mr. Hammond again referred to Saudi Arabia which has recently been in the news as punishing a young father who ran a blog criticizing the government's authority.
This blogger, Mr. Raif Badawi, is being publicly flogged 50 lashes at a time with a sentence of 1,000 lashes and the equivalent of roughly a 260,000 dollar fine.
Questioned whether this punishment seemed consistent with human rights and international values, Mr. Hammond spoke of Saudi Arabia as an ancient civilization that "knows what it's doing."
The discussion continued into a question on possible application of habeas corpus.
Was this ancient principle somehow relevant, given Mr. Assange's imprisonment in the embassy, and the failure to move the case beyond "allegations" with no formal charges made?
Mr. Hammond rejoined that as with the Saudi Arabia chap Mr. Assange had brought all his troubles on himself, plus imprisoned himself instead of allowing the British justice system to do it.
He is therefore indeed a "fugitive" from "justice."
But was this language really appropriate? Or was there something deeper in Mr. Assange's case?
This question brought a considerable silence although the Secretary's head appeared to be nodding.
Mr. Hammond's final comment, as he rose from his bar stool apparently fatigued with the interview, was also recorded.
"Government--whether it's the UK or the US or whoever it is--has a right to protect itself from rogue troublemakers like Mr. Badawi and Mr. Assange. He's lucky he's not in Saudi Arabia!"