Ever since my brush with the law when I
hacked under the handle Mendax, I feel terror when I'm faced with the
law. I jumped ship to be here in the embassy rather than potentially being
forced into a cell. My thinking was that if I had to spend time in a cell while
these charges were dropped, I might as well have Internet access. My mindset
can be described as: If I'm serving time then this is a pretty good cell, a
sort of prison for VIPs. I only say this because I knew the inside of a jail
cell for eight days in the UK when the Swedish charges were re-introduced for
round two. The cold finite tactility of brick covered with the slime of years
of dirty hands was a sight I know I will never forget.
Sometimes at night this image takes over my
mind and I get so worked up I can't sleep. My way of taking my mind elsewhere,
far away from the cold bricks of a cell, I explore new branches of online
research. It usually gets my mind off this type of stress. I try to read only primary
sources. That's my favorite pastime. Reading online. It takes my mind off the slimy
bricks and the finality of the wall. The walls spoke of pain of past lives
punished for their trespasses. I remember asking myself: "What have I done to
deserve to be in here?" I feared for my life, and I feared for my ass. I was
helpless. And I never want to see a wall like that again.
With Internet access and my mock fireplace,
I still manage my website despite the watching eyes that hover. It is my
destiny to have spying eyes hovering over my shoulder for the rest of my years.
Even in Ecuador I will need to stay under guard with a secure perimeter until
I'm sufficiently incognito. With a firm security perimeter I'm sure I can lie
low for a while in native valleys that are difficult to survey from spy
satellites. In time I'll merge into the fabric and become native. I have been
studying Spanish so I'm eager to test my language skills in Ecuadorian life. It
is my primary hope - that which keeps me from despair. And for this to happen
the International Court of Justice needs to make a ruling on my case. With my health
in decline, there is some urgency for this case to have resolution. Let there
be a ruling! Let me answer the questions with a lawyer present. Why? The most
obvious answer to this is that there are "unusual circumstances" in my case.
Drop the charges so I can move to Quito where I can be a productive citizen. In
the meantime I suffer here in this dark and dusty corner where the right to
asylum cannot reach me. It is true that these laws that apply to my situation
have been changed to prevent this situation from arising again but when it was
passed it wasn't allowed to be retroactive. So to the International Court of
Justice I plead: "Please have mercy. Understand the back-story. See the
exceptional forces in play. Find in our humanity a solution to my predicament.
Let us come to an agreement."
I have to confess that this situation of
being holed up here in the embassy has taken a toll on my health. I'd like to
be stoic about my health and take it on the chin but I do have black periods of
despair. Sometimes I dwell on the opportunity cost of my predicament, which at
times makes me very sad. What I could be doing out there! I miss my family. I
miss that whiff of freedom operating within the law because no laws had been
broken. Good, clean, noble living, with a touch of asceticism. But everything
changed when those un-redacted files were uploaded in the summer of 2010. Then "The
Man" special-op'd me in Sweden by bribing those two women to follow
through with their accusations. This entire thing has been manufactured by the
US special intelligent branch, and this is what frustrates me the most. It
keeps me up at night sometimes. I use the treadmill on this one.
But really the worst thing is that I miss
my son the most. Not being part of his life because of this absurd situation
upsets me to no end. I try not to think about it. So I sit here and watch the
flowchart of events unfold in front of me. Might I have safe passage to the
airport where I can land in my new adopted country? Why is international law
not being followed? Why are my basic human rights being overlooked? When will I
get my freedom?
The grand jury indictment in Virginia against
me scares me to no end. To me that's the monster. It's the British ‘wall of
grime' but on a whole new scale. I'm simply not built for prison. I wouldn't
last at all. I would be taken alive. Thinking of the cold brick makes me shiver.
It's not one of my strengths. Guys in prison are tough. I'm not that kind of
tough. I'm tough in other ways.
You don't need to be a brain surgeon to see
that my fear of cold brick cells contributed to my decision to take refuge in
the embassy. In one way it was a no-brainer. I knew I would never get out of
Sweden again, except to the cold, smelly cells in America. They would arrest me
for putting American lives in danger and for aiding terrorists. Whether there
are grounds for the charges or not, what matters is that my freedom has been usurped
in the meantime, so I'm essentially imprisoned until all the appeals are
finished. This might take ten years, so obviously the system is flawed. We need
to use my case as an example of what needs to be changed. There needs to be clear
legislation so this will never happen to anyone else.
I keep asking myself: Is publishing
anonymously online illegal? Are there laws against publishing classified
documents online where there are none for newspapers? Are there applicable ethical
laws? Or is there just good and bad form? Good etiquette and poor etiquette? If
so then e-publishers of sensitive data like me are merely guilty of poor
Furthermore, can we not discuss the content
of the documents and right the wrongs for the future benefit of society and not
spend time focusing on the side dish? Can we stop spending so much time on me? Am
I not a scapegoat? Let us come up with better solutions for the things we can
improve upon. Let us spend our time constructively rather than finger pointing
and name-calling. Let's all use the forum of transparency I have created. Let's
create a worldwide university online where all students go to learn, so we can keep
the cold brick of the prison cell away from it all. Let's not lose sight of the
nobility of the movement, and take a moment to see what we have achieved.