Practicality/legality of a Julian Assange helicopter extraction.

The Colombian Embassy is in the same building. If it’s the floor on either side, perhaps Assange could tunnel there for further lulz?

Damn, that Ecuadorian ambassador lady looking out the window is hot!

Who knows? The question posed was whether it was practical or legal for a helicopter to scoop him up. The answer is clearly, no.

One can imagine all sorts of unlikely scenarios – a helicopter defies ATC clearances in an area that’s about a mile or so from Buckingham Palace, someone tunnels in to the building from below, Assange takes on the disguise of a 14 year old Moroccan girl – and I think it would be speculation as to how the authorities would react. The bottom line is that we’re getting into really far-fetched conspiracy theories on how Assange could leave the UK without the permission of the government.

My own personal opinion, however, is that any country that would shoot down an aircraft in order to prevent the escape of a criminal suspect has totally lost its marbles. Even if the helicopter flew to some cargo ship waiting in the English Channel or something, there’s this little thing called the British Navy that would have a hell of a lot more legal options to board a ship than the Metropolitan Police have to search an embassy.

That’s the key. Where is the helicopter going to go? No private jet has the range to go from London to Ecuador in one hop, and refueling means arrest.

No wonder Assange doesn’t want to leave.

How about if he were to exit the building surrounded by staffmembers who have diplomatic immunity in a circular human chain?

Then the police simply have to yell “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Julian right over!” Then Assange would be required under Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and Childhood Sport to sprint across the street, and if he managed to break through the chain of bobbies holding hands, he would be free to go.

He could leave with a diplomat in a car, and drive to the docks and onto a waiting ferry secretly rented by Ecuador. The both stay in the car until the ferry meets a ship in international waters, to which he transfers.


Or Ecuador could just give him a diplomatic passport and be done with it.
Most likely, they will give him an Ecuadorian passport, wait until the crowds are gone, take him in a diplomatic car to airport and put him on a diplomatic transport.

problem solved.
refueling? whatever. Airports refuel diplomatic transports all the time without wasting time searching the planes.

England is saber rattling that they would actually invade a country in order to extradite someone to a 3rd country? LOL. not going to happen. The diplomatic uproar would create way too much international upset.

Most countries REALLY dont want their embassies being attacked.

/why didnt osama just hide out at the Saudi embassy in Pakistan?

This wouldn’t work. Britain would need to accept Assange’s diplomatic credentials, and obviously they wouldn’t. A country can’t just assert that someone has diplomatic immunity: the other country has to agree.

Here’s what would happen if you tried to do the helicopter extraction:

  1. If it was a private helicopter pilot 99.99% of them would not take the job.

  2. The 0.01% who would take the job, would shit their pants and land as ordered to the moment they broke air space laws and you had British air defense telling them to land. Do I think they would actually shoot the helicopter down? Not really, but who knows. I do know it’d take balls the size of Montana to be in an aircraft violating the air space of one of the world’s most powerful military, being ordered to immediately land and not doing so.

  3. Based on the layout of the building, rope extraction or etc is almost impossible without Assange touching British controlled area, upon which he’d be immediately arrested. This isn’t a big embassy building, but a small section of a big building.

  4. If you had something insane like an Ecuadorian military helicopter somehow traveling to the UK I think they would actually shoot it down. Something like that is way bigger than Assange, no chance in hell the UK allows the aircraft of some tinpot South American hell hole to violate their airspace with impunity.

Assuming you are serious, he didn’t hide in the Saudi embassy because he was wanted for treason by the Saudi goverment. If the Saudis got ahold of him, he’d be executed. He’d have a much better chance hiding out in the Pakistani embassy in Pakistan, which is to say, Pakistan.

Well, then this sounds like a job for Spiderman!

That or something involving a cannon.

Next plotline in this saga coming up!

Such a great new word.

True. And I’m assuming that having him marry some single female Ecuadorian diplomate who’s credentials the UK has accepted won’t work either.

And another great new word!

Nitpick: It’s called the Royal Navy.

They (the British Military) put Surface to Air missiles on residential buildings in London during the Olympics, and were prepared to use them on encroaching airliners. They are probably still in place. They will take down a helicopter if they want to.


What, you’re not up for trying a Fulton gear extraction?

Well, assuming you’d at least have some guys in the embassy assisting getting him ready for the extraction, and he’s not just trying to rig himself up while reading the manual with his free hand. Plus, you’d have to modify the pickup quite a bit—a normal STARS pickup takes place at too low an altitude to be practical in a city, especially if you have no air superiority, and are trying to be sneaky about it until the last second. That and the necessary aircraft, equipment, and trained personnel have been unavailable for years. And you’d still have to land the plane, eventually, assuming you even got well out of British airspace before the fighters scrambled. And you didn’t kill Assange in the attempt anyway, or miss the pickup, and leave him on the ground, or possibly dangling from a balloon at twenty thousand feet, drifting on the jet stream. And assuming anyone would bother to pony up all the money to try this in the first place…

Say, is Sweeps Week coming up, anytime soon?