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Assange a prisoner of his own making

If they ever remake "The Man Who Came to Dinner," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange might be a good choice for the lead, at least if it's being done by an Ecuadorian film crews.

Assange has been hiding out in Ecuador's embassy in London for nearly two and a half months now and there are no signs that he's leaving anytime soon, at least not voluntarily. If he steps foot outside the embassy grounds, British authorities are ready to slap cuffs on him and ship him off to Sweden, where Assange is accused of committing sex crimes.

To hear Assange, though, he's a lot more concerned that he'll get turned over to the United States for prosecution over his organization's theft and publication of U.S. military material.

And that very likely is the only reason that a nation like Ecuador, which has a government that steadfastly and positively eschews free thinking and, worse yet, free speech is willing to provide the accused sex predator with asylum. Assange knows any public sympathy he's likely to get would have to be based on his argument that he is being hounded by angry U.S. officials rather than accusations by two women in Sweden that he molested them.

Then again, maybe it's not that surprising that Ecuador President Rafael Correa would offer Assange asylum. He despises the United States as much Assange does and is willing to have a coiled rattlesnake by his side to show it.

Correa has said that Assange can stay at the embassy as long as he likes, creating the very real possibility that the embassy will essentially become Assange's permanent prison. British authorities have been firm that they will not allow Ecuadorian officials to spirit the suspect away and that they are duty-bound to bind him and deliver him to Sweden the instant they have the chance.

This may be a siege calculated in years, not just months.

At least that's the case as long as Britain and Ecuador maintain foreign relations. British officials have already suggested to Ecuador that there was the possibility that a little-known law could be used to strip the embassy of its diplomatic status. British officials took pains to downplay that option this week, saying they would continue looking for a mutually agreeable resolution.

Such a solution is unlikely since neither side seems to have any inclination to back down.

So, what seems to be left is for Assange to sit and rot in relative comfort. He may not be convicted and he may not have bars on his windows, but he's a prisoner nonetheless.