El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Friday, September 14, 2012

WikiLeaks tweet blames US policy for attack on Libyan embassy

WIKILEAKS has sparked outrage - and a quick retraction - with a tweet claiming the Libyan embassy was attacked because the US supported Britain placing police outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

US Libyan ambassador Chris Stevens and three other embassy employees were killed on Tuesday night in an attack on the embassy in Benghazi.

On Wednesday WikiLeaks posted on its official Twitter feed: "By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies around the world."

The tweet referred to the police presence outside Ecuador's London embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is staying. Mr Assange sought protection in the embassy from being extradited to Sweden to face rape accusations, and Britain has threatened to arrest him if he leaves the building.

But the WikiLeaks tweet quickly met with widespread disapproval. Even Jemima Khan, a high-profile supporter of Mr Assange, wrote "That last @wikileaks tweet manages to be both absurd and shockingly offensive".

Another follower wrote "@wikileaks you are losing supporters fast with comments like that".

WikiLeaks then deleted the tweet from its feed, replacing it with "By the US accepting the UK threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies".

It followed up with "By the UK threatening to breach the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies, in general".

At one point during the stand-off, Britain had suggested it had the power to remove the embassy's diplomatic status in order to arrest Mr Assange.

Facing continued criticism for its earlier tweet, WikiLeaks commented "We have deleted and rephrased a previous tweet with the word 'tacit' in it, since the word is rare and was being misinterpreted."

However the explanation still did not sit well with the Twitterverse, with one person responding: "No, @wikileaks, we all know what 'tacit' means."

Mr Assange remains in the London embassy. The Ecuador government have offered him permanent refuge, but it is unclear if he would be able to make it out of the UK without being arrested.

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