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The stitching-up of Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg.

So while we sit on our arses and fiddle with our fingers a brave son of Australia is about to be thrown to the wolves.

It would pay us well to read, and reflect upon, the following transcript between the President of the United States, his National Security Adviser, and his Attorney General.

The background to the transcript is that a journalist had just published an article in The New York Times. The article was the first installment of seven thousand pages of highly classified documents that exposed the decision-making process that had led the United States into an interminably long and destructive war.

Earlier, on the same day that the transcript was recorded, June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court, citing the First Amendment, ruled 6-3 that the Times had the right to publish the stolen documents.

The journalist who published the article stated that “It was just an exquisite moment of vindication for the freedom of the press in this country and how important it is.”

The President, on that very same day ordered his Attorney General to discredit the source of the documents, a man who had just been indicted by a federal grand jury under the questionable strictures of the Espionage Act of 1917. Sound familiar?

The redactions in the transcript are mine.

President: Don’t you agree that we have to pursue the … (redacted) case?

Attorney General: No question about it. No question about it. This is the one sanction we have, is to get at the individuals …

President: Let’s get the son of a bitch into jail.

National Security Advisor: We’ve got to get him, we’ve got to get him …

President: Don’t worry about his trial. Just get everything out. Try him in the press. Try him in the press. Everything, … (redacted), that there is on the investigation, get it out, leak it out. We want to destroy him in the press. Is that clear?

Attorney General: Yes.

So even though the highest Court in America ruled that the release of the documents was both lawful, and in the public interest, the President and his administration sought to go after, jail, and demolish those who were involved in the leaking of the documents.

And so Julian Assange sits rotting in a British jail while a case is concocted against him. And so our Australian Government sits on its arse and does not have the fortitude to confront Trump and his administration, and so the majority of our Quiet Australians (those perennial supplicants at the altar of the Big Lie) sit on their arses, while a brave son of Australia is thrown to the wolves.

There are some here in Australia who have had the courage to speak up, but far too many more of either political persuasion have not had the moral courage to speak up.

I don’t know what books Julian Assange has access to in his jail cell, but if he has access to the one I have just read, I don’t doubt that he would be reflecting upon the depth of betrayal, and the rankness of the betrayal, that has been sent his way by his own people, his own Australian people. Let alone what his thoughts also might be about the Americans at the highest level of power who are going for his jugular.

We all like to think that the ability of those in power to suppress truth and to threaten the journalists who publish that truth is diminished by a long societal memory of previously exposed scandals, and by the very vigilance of an informed and concerned populace. Well, that is simply not so. We live in an era where truth is far more strongly suppressed than it ever was, where the populace is apathetic and supportive of political populism, and where the journalists who expose that suppression of truth are pursued with the full force of the State.

Those of you with a knowledge of history might well ask what parallel is there between the cases of Daniel Ellsberg and Julian Assange, between the release of The Pentagon Papers and the Wikileaks Documents? For that is the question that I have unfolded above for you to think about. The transcript quoted above was recorded in 1971 and Daniel Ellsberg was the target. The transcripts concerning Julian Assange are being recorded right now.

I think you are intelligent enough to work out the multiple parallels between both cases for yourselves.

The transcript participants (recorded on June 30, 1971): President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, John Mitchell.
The transcript and other relevant information quoted from the book: The Vietnam War – An Intimate History, by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns, 2018.
The documents: The Pentagon Papers.
One source/author of the documents (target of the transcript): Daniel Ellsberg.

Here in Australia some of our journalists and others are currently being pursued by the full force of a middle-ranking state because of the disclosure of secrets that our government wished to keep quiet about – think East Timor and Afghanistan. Internationally, one of our journalists, for that is what he is, is being pursued by the full force of the American State because he published material, damning material, that the American State wished to keep quiet.

The stitch-up of Julian Assange is well underway. But it will be many decades before the transcript of the tapes of White House manoeuvring to indict him are released for public reading.

We, the people of Australia, need to step in right now and stop the tapes. We need to bring Julian Assange home to freedom.

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18 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    Never mind imagining a dinosaur with terminal diarrhoea, the biggest unwiped anus in this world is the dumbo Drumpft, the son of a family of bludging, self fixated, runaway, nontrustworthy fascist type slimes, a disgrace to any civilised public position.

  2. Harry Lime

    Unfortunately TM ,the UK have another truth averse,entitled tosser who will break every law in the book to endear himself to the rug wearing pussy grabber.

  3. kim southwood

    Well! I’m one Australian person who has signed a number of petitions over the years inviting/demanding the Australian Government to intervene and bring him home.

    I don’t see it as helpful to reduce the argument against the US or British governments to base insults against individuals, no matter how personally satisfying that process may be.

    Can the AIM Network extrapolate on exactly how the Australian people can most effectively “step in right now and stop the tapes”?

    Have we any idea how many people we are reaching with this highly justified appeal and just how deeply the Australian people empathise with this call to action (ie. are we united in our grievance)?

    Do we have the sound, articulate, legally-entrenched narrative to put out a convincing case for returning Julian Assange? If not, we will lack the credibility essential to take on the power structures we’re up against.

    Do you anticipate a ‘yellow shirts’ style rebellion for our democratic rights? Australians do not seem demographically geared to such passionate mass displays.

    In short, how do we channel our support for Julian Assange’s freedom to greatest effect? I feel very small, alone and inconspicuous in my ability to make a real impact.

  4. Jack sprat

    Arguably the most famous living Australian in the world who tried to show us the cost of our colonial mentality in kow towing to USA and UK foreign policy. He should be defended at all cost for exposing the dogs of wars and the worst extremes of imperial capitalism . So much for freedom of speech which the west proclaim at every given opportunity when decrying other totalitarian regimes . One wonders who will be imprisoned next for exposing government sponsored war crimes.

  5. Keith Davis

    Hi Kim Southwood … the AIMN cannot extrapolate … they simply provide the platform for all of us to express our opinion. I really do like your last question … “In short, how do we channel our support for Julian Assange’s freedom to greatest effect? I feel very small, alone and inconspicuous in my ability to make a real impact.”

    If Assange’s case was simply one of justice and the law, then I very much doubt that he would be currently sitting in a British jail. His case is one of entrenched power using that power to push aside any form of reasoned opposition … not an easy thing for people power (Hong Kong as an example) to stand against, let alone a single individual like Julian Assange.

    By asking your question you have made an impact on everybody who read your comment, including myself.

  6. Alan Nosworthy

    John Pilger, Phillip Adams, and Geoffrey Robertson are three notable Australians totally invested on the side of the angels in Assanges case. Many in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S. are mobilised to pressure their own courts and the International Justice system, but, we have the 3 stooges in bojo, smoko, and dodo with executive decision in their own countries. This unfortunate fact seems to rule out a just outcome through political pressure as all have proven immune to the wishes of their populace on at least one previous occasion. A deal with the devil, Rupert Mudrake? An entity with improper power in all 3 countries primarily involved in the Assange case.
    Like Kim I have also signed many petitions and feel increasingly impotent to effect any meaningful impact on a just outcome. Fortunately I am just one mug Australian retired tradesman and many better people are doing their best to restore dignity to Julians life.

  7. Keith Davis

    Kim and Alan … I’ve thought about your comments in combined form.

    In my article the underlying story was the similarity between the treatment of Daniel Ellsberg back in 1971, and the unfolding treatment of Julian Assange in the current era. But your comments have totally dragged me into the present.

    To my mind, the issue of Julian Assange cannot be divorced from the larger big picture issue of press freedom.

    Here in Australia both the government and the press and even our society pulled in strongly behind the issue of the release of the journalist Peter Greste. And so they should have. His imprisonment was a travesty. And look at what he is achieving post release.

    You cannot compare the cases of Julian and Peter, because the material that they reported on was quite different, and one is a citizen journalist whereas the other is a recognised masthead journalist and now an academic, which makes no difference where I am concerned because they are both journalists, and they are both great men, but where you can make a nuanced linkage between both of them is in the fact that both men brought out into public view certain facts that certain powerful people around the world did not want appearing in the public domain.

    The right wing press in Australia is currently bleating about government inroads into press freedom in Australia, but it appears to be a very strangely qualified bleating. Julian Assange does not write for The Australian, he is not a darling of the Murdoch Press, he is not under the protective shield of the press group that supports and promotes the current Coalition government of Australia. You will not see a banner headline in The Australian Newspaper calling for the release of Julian Assange.

    So, we live in a world where a certain percentage of the press are strong supporters of truth, and where a certain percentage of the press are collusive, in partnership with government, in the manipulation of truth. Julian Assange is a victim of that manipulation of truth, both within Australia, and internationally.

  8. Lambchop Simnel

    It has been a test case for the subsequent persecution of more recent whistle blowers both here and off shore.

    It is why we have the three clowns who rule the Anglo empire now in power and able to get away literally with murder and looting on an unimagined scale in the increasing absence of scrutiny.

    It has been a n oddly similar thing to asylum seeker policy in that operates on several levels over along time, like a slomo tramwreck, first in pursuit of the stated objectives, eg securing of the state, secondly as a means for the populist right to milk issues by way of propaganda and parallel, to justifying increasing detention, censorship and surveillance power.

  9. Alan Nosworthy

    Fair comments Keith the bigger question of press freedom, cash for comment, and truthful reporting in journalism is larger than the predicament of Julian Assange. But not unrelated. The precedent that would be set by a sucessful extradition of Assange has concerning implications for us all even when allowing for American exceptionalism as the biggest bully in the yard who has consistently shrugged off international opinions and international rule of law with impunity. That this thuggish behaviour is usually only to the benefit of U.S. corporations and political donors has its parallel in the Howard governments protection rackets for Woodside to Timor Lestes detriment.
    I have enclosed a link to Phillip Adams latest effort to make our positions known to the decision makers of the U.K. whose court the ball is now in.

    https://www.change.org/p/free-julian-assange-before-it-s-too-late-stop-usa-extradition/u/25529624?cs_tk=AmHA_AQfAXxmIatJCF4AAXicyyvNyQEABF8BvLMyL-fOgVUVJNFKELhgwak%3D&utm_campaign=00d7dcec8d584c0ab045fde0bb7693e7&utm_content=initial_v0_2_0&utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_term=cs

  10. Keith Davis

    Thanks Alan Nosworthy … good post!

  11. Terence Mills

    In Hong Kong there have been ongoing riots and demands to abandon an extradition process, that would allow Hong Kong residents to be extradited to a foreign jurisdiction with a secretive and punitive justice system, has received much international coverage and support – including from our Prime Minister and Trump.

    Yet, the extradition of an Australian citizen from the United Kingdom to Trump’s principality with its politically appointed judiciary warrants little official interest.

    Why is it so and why in the interim hasn’t Assange been granted bail particularly after the Swedes finally dropped their charges against Assange ?

  12. Robyn

    I have, over the last few years, emailed my Federal MP many times, I’ve emailed relevant Canberra MPs including the Leader of the ‘Opposition’ and, most recently, signed an organised petition to various Federal MPs. My local MP replied to my first email years ago on the topic with a polite letter informing me that Julian was free to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy any time he pleased. After that, neither the local MP nor any of his Canberra colleagues has replied – not a word from any of them.

    I have also, via comments under articles, corrected anyone who referred to rape ‘charges’ against Julian and written to any radio/podcast hosts or guests who made the same mistake. I have directed people repeating lies about Julian to web sites where they can find the truth.

    Mine is a miniscule contribution compared with the efforts of John Pilger, Roger Waters, Pamela Anderson, and other people who have a large audience. There are also the efforts of Nils Melzer, and the various multi-signature letters to influential people asking that Julian be released or his conditions relaxed, excellent articles like the above (mostly on alternative sites) and there are Julian’s distraught parents expressing the fear that Julian will die in that dreadful prison.

    I have been disappointed at the comparatively small numbers of protesters who turn up whenever there is a court date for Julian because I think that the only hope for him is massive public demonstrations on his behalf since, obviously, nothing any influential public figure has done has made the slightest difference.

  13. Phil

    Assange is a dead man walking. Unless his supporters are prepared to storm the prison to get him out he’s gone. For mine he will never leave the shores of the UK, not alive anyway. The last thing the Brits want is Assange extradited to the U.S. and water boarded to implicate the Brits in any of the full scale corruption they’re well known for and meddling in the politics of other countries. It wouldn’t be beyond the realms of fantasy that Assange knows who killed Epstein, oh that’s right he committed suicide didn’t he? Who could forget Spycatcher? Assange knows too much and for that he is probably going to pay with his life. All these people screaming for Morrison to intervene, have probably bought the Sydney Harbour bridge before. We are moving into a fascist state and Assange will soon be a side issue, there will be more things to worry about i.e. feeding your family.

  14. Keith Davis

    Phil … bit of truth in some of that.

  15. Phil

    Phil … bit of truth in some of that..

    Yea a bit. An opinion based on being a political activist and dissident for over fifty years. My telephone has been bugged. I know exactly what these syphilitic fkers are capable of. It is time for people to get their heads out of their collective arses, we are headed into a fascist state. Btw I come from a family that has been victims of Mosley’s fascists. Still as we know the cricket is on, you can still buy piss if you have a job and the world for these people for now, turns. There is trouble coming and our media are avoiding that eventuality like the plague.

  16. Keith Davis

    Phil … we disagree on Cricket … gosh how could you not like it … but fair enough. If you dig about a bit on AIM and find my article titled ‘The Australian Dark Age’ you will find where I sit on matters regarding the growth of Australian fascism.

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