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Facing the Warmongers: An Assange Update

On the latest slimed path Julian Assange has been made to trod, a few things have presented themselves. The rusty sword of Damocles may be suspended above him (he, we are informed, has contracted COVID-19), but there are those, in the meantime, willing to defend him with decent conviction against his dispatch to the United States, where he is certain to perish.

From the side of decent conviction and steadfastness came the October 8 protests across a number of cities, attended by thousands. A human chain numbering some 7,000 persons formed around the Houses of Parliament in London demanding the release of the WikiLeaks publisher from Belmarsh Prison.

Then there was the Boadicea-like performance that his wife is becoming famous for. On the ideologically dry-cured medium of Piers Morgan’s Uncensored Program, a taster of that vengeance US justice is famous for could be gathered from an encounter between Stella, and the trumpeting warmonger and failed Trump advisor, John Bolton.

Bolton, it should be remembered, was the only evidence that President George W. Bush, dyslexic and reformed drunk, had a mild sense of humour. Sending that man to the United Nations as US ambassador was the equivalent of appointing a randy, murderous fox to guard unsuspecting chickens. That appointment had it all: resentment, masochism and disgust for that concept known as international law.

There is much to say that former President Donald Trump, for all his insufferable foibles, insoluble perversions and naggingly vicious pettiness, never embarked on the eschatological murderous destiny that Bolton believes the US is destined for. The messianic types always find some higher meaning for death and sacrifice, as long they are not the ones doing it. The difference between the suicide bomber and the deskbound scribbler keen on killing is one of practice, not conviction. Both believe that there is a higher meaning written in blood, inscribed in the babble of post-life relevance and invisible virtue. For us humble folk, life is good enough, and should be preserved.

According to Bolton, the 175 years Assange might receive for exposing the abundant dirty laundry known as US foreign policy and imperial violence was hardly sufficient. He would, naturally, get a “fair trial” in the United States (never explain the ideologically self-evident), though absolute fairness was dependent on him receiving 176 years. “Well, I think that’s a small amount of the sentence he deserves.” With such a fabulous nose for justice, Bolton shares common ground with the commissars and gauleiters.

Unsurprisingly, Stella Assange had a view markedly at odds with such an assessment. Her husband was being pursued, “For receiving information from a source and publishing it, and it was in the public interest. It was US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he revealed tens of thousands of civilian deaths that had not been acknowledged before.”

Morgan, an incarnation of that guttersnipe, sewerage swilling demon virtually unsurpassed in modern British media, tried to sound cerebral and moral at points. Did WikiLeaks redact the material from Chelsea Manning, one of the key sources for the disclosures? Or had WikiLeaks been drunkenly cavalier in exposing all and sundry to the world? Best ignore reading trial transcripts, Piers. Knowledge drawn upon the cobblestones of truth is bound to be rough.

To those familiar with WikiLeaks, its practices and, indeed, the trial at the Old Bailey regarding Assange’s extradition, such claims could only be seen as decidedly weak. Stella explained that WikiLeaks did “redact all of those documents that Manning gave to WikiLeaks, and in fact it was in cooperation with those newspapers.” The trial itself made it clear that the secret spiller, as Assange has often been accused of being, was none other than the Guardian itself, whose journalists had left, with tantalising promise, the decryption key in their book WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy.

Stella, aflame with purpose and aware of her brief, also reminded the audience who she was talking to. Bolton, she shot with acid fury, “sought to undermine the international legal system, sought to ensure that the US is not under the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction.”

Then came the well fashioned grenade, pin removed. “And if it was, Mr Bolton might in fact be prosecuted under the ICC [International Criminal Court]. He was one of the chief cheerleaders of the Iraq war, which Julian then exposed through these leaks, so he has a conflict of interest.”

There have been other befouling episodes that can only be of concern to Assange and his family. It has now come to light that security officials, in Australia’s Parliament, were under “significant pressure” to seize books from the Assange delegation during their August visit to Canberra. A letter to Greens Senator David Shoebridge by the Department of Parliamentary Services explained that it was all linked to a protest.

The nature of the bureaucrat’s tone is to mock the valuable and diminish the relevant. In the considered view of the Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services, Rob Stefanic, “I appreciate that Assange’s family may not have viewed the screening procedure in a positive light, but having reviewed the processes followed by security staff, I am confident they performed their duties with respect and due diligence.” Such reasoning would suffice for most police states, where bureaucrats sup at the same table with the security wonks.

The Department, it transpired, had tripped up. The claim about the protest was inaccurate, as neither Assange’s father, John Shipton, nor his brother, Gabriel, had attended any protests. “It is apparent that there are factual inaccuracies in the letter to Senator Shoebridge and the secretary will be writing to correct the record.”

The world has turned full circle. Those opening the cabinet of secrets are considered the nasty tittle-tattles, who simply revealed the fact that daddy fiddled and mummy drank. In this world, homicidally excited types like Bolton revel in expressing unsavoury views in the open; those who expose the bankruptcy of such views are to be punished. We await the next grotesquery with resigned disgust.

 

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19 comments

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  1. Alpo

    One question: Where are Assange’s and Wikileaks’ files against Putin and the Russian criminal intervention in Ukraine?

  2. Barry

    What the hell are you talking about

  3. leefe

    Of what relevance is Bush’s dyslexia? The snide use of that word mars what is otherwise a well-written and valuable article.

  4. Terence Mills

    The best thing that Julian Assange has going for him is his wife, Stella.

  5. Canguro

    Binoy’s coda to this piece neatly lifts the scab and exposes the ugly truth. The USA is, of course, not unique in its persecution of truth-tellers – why, we have our very own home-grown examples here in Australia – but the sheer extent of the grotesquery, a fine word for such behaviour, on display by the so-called champion of democracy is hard to ignore or avoid if one pays close attention.

    That Julian Assange is the unfortunate poster boy for this stateside exhibition of its venal obsession with exacting vengeance against those who expose its never-ending propensity for murderous criminality is ultimately tragic for both parties, but more so for the persecuted than the would-be prosecutors. Their destiny and fate have long been sealed, Assange’s much more recently.

    On balance, with all that is on the boil on this little lump of planetary material afloat in the universe, it’s a relatively minor affair, but like all issues that bring to play the nature of human morality, ethics, fair play, good vs evil, criminality vs justice, truth vs lies, honesty and goodness vs their obverse, Assange’s circumstances demand attention and resolution.

    Will the Australian government roll over, puppy-like, and consent to have their tummy tickled by their sinister protector, wagging their tail while one of their own is locked away for a century to die amidst the madness and cruelty of the American penal system? Will present and future politicians and diplomats enjoy the requirements of necessary engagement with the despotic blackbeards from across the Pacific, exchanging bon mots during cocktail hours and studiously avoiding the subject of how the Yanks fucked over one of our own, a brave journalist, too ballsy for his own good, one who underestimated the degree of American obsession with cutting out the tongues of those who dare to lift the carpet and shine light on the filth that lies underneath?

    We shall see. Albanese may well come be judged on his commitment to the resolution of this sordid affair.

  6. A Commentator

    Assange has experienced enough liberty deprivation, though it was voluntary.
    So I’m not in favour of more.
    However, I find it perplexing that so many regard him as some type of hero.
    Ithink his legacy is manipulation/timing of the release Clinton’s emails, to assist Trump’s campaign.
    The Trump presidency is significantly due to the assistance provided by Assange, apparently with the assistance of Putin
    Assange is anti western democracy which no longer equates to left or progressive

  7. Clakka

    Dear Julian, regardless of the secrets of politics and politics of secrets, a strange man with a sometimes hard to comprehend glow of brilliance. Developed a process sorely needed across the world (particularly in the west) and promulgated the opportunity and the results. Rather than leaving the fetid truth buried, or only partially revealed and mulled by aligned corporately controlled journalists, by those easily maligned and brushed aside, or to the post-relevant tillings of historians, he gave it to us as hot and unadorned as it could be. And the MSM crawled all over it.

    To say it upset diplomacy and the political process is darned right, a timely wake-up call to all involved. Will it stop the industrialised racism, murder, deceit and beguilement underway as we are snowed by weasel-words and cosseted with ruinous bling? Unlikely. Does it aid in the revolution against dominion by brute-force, cultural, economic and environmental carnage? Indeed it does. Does it uncouple us from the old chauvanism and have us quaking in fear? Maybe a tad.

    Regardless of the increasing electronified witness to the global dark and desperate murkiness, that the tyrannical self-entitled anglosphere is crumbling via its own worn-out bombastic machinations is plain for everybody to see. And yet, bold-as-brass, they cling to the m.o. and despite it being in plain sight, attempt to wash the filth from themselves by lies, the contortion of law and the orchestrations of their band of empowered but craven feckless toadies.

    One might ask, “Who are the traitors? And where does the treason lie?” “Where do they go with their means to an end?”

  8. New England Cocky

    Once again AC you have demonstrated a complete uncaring deliberate misunderstanding of the principles of this matter. Would you be so kind as to explain why the American military located in Virginia have any right to execute Iraq civilians located in their country of Iraq because some ill-trained, ill-educated, under-privileged American soldier mistakes identifying a weapon observed through the lens of an aerial drone controlled from Virginia USA.

  9. Terence Mills

    I heard Howard being interviewed by Patricia Karvelas about the Bali bombing this morning.

    He was his usual pompous self, trying to come across as the elder statesman.
    It occurred to me that he should have been asked “did you order the installation of bugging equipment in the Timor Leste parliamentary offices ?”

    That would have had him spluttering.

  10. A Commentator

    What are you on about?
    The discussion is about Julian Assange

  11. Terence Mills

    Attorney General Mark Dreyfus was asked about Assange at the National Pres Club today :

    When asked whether he thought it was in the public interest that the prosecution of Julian Assange continue, Dreyfus said:

    Mr Assange’s case has gone on long enough. The prime minister has said this. The foreign minister has said this. I’ve said this. I will say it again: it has gone on long enough but we’re not going to conduct our representations to the government of the United States in public. I’ll say no more about that.

    I think you will find that discussions are taking place in the corridors of power both in the US and the UK and after seven thousand people called for Assange’s freedom at a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London, I think we will start to see some movement.

    AC sorry to have disturbed your reverie but whenever I hear about dodgy political malfeasance I immediately default to John Howard who spawned the embryo of neglect in Australia that encouraged his successors to ignore an Australian citizen journalist in his time of need.

  12. A Commentator

    I’ll bite then.
    My comment to New England Cockey was demonstrating my restraint.
    I was going to remind him of (one of) his previous rants, back in Jan/Feb- that the media reporting of a likely Russian invasion of Ukraine was a Murdoch media plot, to allow Morrison to have a khaki election
    That view hasn’t aged well. Most rants don’t

  13. Michael Taylor

    ”That view hasn’t aged well. Most rants don’t.”

    Oh, the irony. 😁

  14. A Commentator

    Yes MT, I was aware of the potential for that , or someone suggesting I take a look in the mirror!

  15. calculus witherspoon.

    The oligarchy has fouled its own nest reputationally in its warped pursuits of various whistle blowers.
    The deadly dirty tricks revealed have driven the bastards to react viciously toward the truth-tellers and put a lot of pointed context in certain events globally.

  16. Canguro

    I’m aware that a number of commentators on this site continue to defend the actions of the United States, and rationalise their views on the basis that it’s perhaps better the devil you know than the one you don’t, or that they’d prefer to have the backing of the States should the shit hit the fan and a hot war ensue at some hypothetical point in the future, or perhaps even more ludicrously that that they’re like us in language and custom (nah, I just made that last bit up – no-one’s recently written that to my knowledge), and I’m also willing to go out on a limb and suggest that if anyone has ever taken notice of my previous comments regarding the USA – granted, not a given – they’ll know I’m not a huge fan of the oligarchic war-mongering hegemonic travesty of a so-called champion of democracy and example to the rest of the world of what a best-practice culture looks like.

    Chris Hedges along with like-minded journalists are among the smallish coterie of brave correspondents who have demonstrated a willingness to call bullshit on the facade and say it as it is, and for their bravery they deserve to be applauded.

    Here he is, last week, on Assange.

    Chris Hedges: The Puppets & the Puppet Masters.

  17. Michael Taylor

    Canguro, it always baffles me that the POTUS is regularly referred to as “the leader of the free world.” 🤷🏻‍♂️

    I think, during Trump’s reign (at least), that most of the planet would have given that title to Angela Merkel.

    We are fast running out of options.

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