As Ecuador harbored Assange, it was subjected to threats and leaks

The New York Times reports:

The secrets came directly from the phones of President Lenín Moreno of Ecuador: intimate pictures of him and his family on vacation, text messages from his wife, even a photograph of the president himself in a posh bedroom, eating a lobster in bed.

The material, published last month on an anonymous website, was particularly embarrassing because Mr. Moreno was in a bruising national fight over his austerity measures. But rather than mount a defense, the president played the victim: He blamed WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, had spent the last seven years holed up in the country’s London embassy.

WikiLeaks’ actions were “despicable,” said the country’s vice president on television, vowing to take action. The group denied leaking the information, but on Thursday Ecuador made good on its threat — opening the door to British police officers who carted away Mr. Assange.

With that, Mr. Assange’s long refuge inside the Ecuadorean Embassy finally came to an end, the capstone of an international cat-and-mouse game involving stolen document dumps, promises of more to come, failed efforts to contain him and accusations of blackmail.

Even as Ecuador harbored Mr. Assange from international prosecution, he and WikiLeaks wielded the threat of releasing damaging information against the Ecuadorean government. [Continue reading…]

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