Assange said that if the US let Chelsea Manning go, he would turn himself in.
At the same time, it made him look like Assange cared about Manning, despite mostly ignoring the person who made him and Wikileaks famous. He was on safe ground with this promise. He thought that the US would never let Manning go in a month of Sundays.
Yesterday though, President Barak Obama reduced Manning’s sentence to the point where she will be out in May. This is a 120 day transition period, which gives people time to prepare and find somewhere to live,
But Assange is using that lag to once again avoid facing the music on his rape case.
Assange’s lawyers initially seemed to suggest that promise would be carried through but it appears now that Assange will stay inside the embassy where it is nice and safe and no-one will charge him with rape.
Barry Pollack, Assange’s US-based attorney said that while Assange welcomed the announcement that Ms. Manning’s sentence will be reduced and she will be released in May, but this is well short of what he sought.
“Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately.”
Since this is physically impossible, the whole “I will be extradited if Manning is let go” was all a PR stunt in which Assange once again tried to milk Manning’s bravery as a whistle-blower to draw attention to himself.
Julian Assange has been inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since summer 2012, refusing to meet prosecutors in Sweden, where he is wanted on a rape allegation. He has said that he fears that if he leaves he will be extradited to the US on espionage charges.
However, Assange does not face extradition to the US. Authorities and Wikileaks lawyers have refused to state whether such an extradition has requested, and this threat is entirely in Assange’s own head. If the US had wanted Assange gracing its cells it would have got an extradition when he was in the UK. If anything, Sweden is less likely to grant the US an extradition under those circumstances than the UK.