The British government is threatening a move counter to all international law, just to get the man Washington desperately wants behind bars.
That the country would threaten a SWAT-type raid on the Ecuadorean embassy — foreign national property under law — reveals just how much pressure the government is feeling, pressure certainly beyond the ability of Sweden to exert.
Remember that Britain didn’t raid the Libyan embassy after a London police officer was killed by a shot police say was fired from inside embassy grounds in 1984 and you get an idea of how deeply the government feels the need to seize a man still not formally charged with any crimes by Sweden, the nation that seeks to extradite him for questioning in allegations of sexual misconduct.
From the BBC:
The UK has issued a “threat” to enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London to arrest Julian Assange, Ecuador’s foreign minister has said.
Ricardo Patino also said a decision on the Wikileaks founder’s asylum request would be made public on Thursday.
Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.
The Foreign Office says the UK has a legal obligation to extradite him.
At a news conference in Quito on Wednesday night, Mr Patino said: “Today we received from the United Kingdom an express threat, in writing, that they might storm our Embassy in London if we don’t hand over Julian Assange.
“Ecuador rejects in the most emphatic terms the explicit threat of the British official communication.”
The British government doesn’t deny the allegation.
An invasion of embassy grounds by an armed forced is tantamount to an act of war.