Early on August 16, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, announced that his country is granting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum—that is, if he can get there.

Since the end of the London Olympics, Patino and his boss, leftist President Rafael Correa, have been in a panic, warning that their embassy in London is under imminent threat of attack by the British government for sheltering Assange since June 19, when Assange ducked into the embassy and requested asylum.

Patino launched a fresh campaign to whip up nationalistic sentiment and foreign support by claiming that Britain is acting like a bullying, colonial power in flagrant violation of international law. The hysterical Patino says that Ecuador will carry its case to the U.N. Security Council. As threats to world peace go, this must be one of the smallest.

In the eyes of British justice (where, unlike Ecuador, there is genuine rule of law), Assange is a fugitive with an outstanding extradition request properly issued by Sweden. Yet the British have not wavered in their intentions to carry out their “legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of sexual offences.”

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