Why Assange matters: a brief primer

27 Feb

Forgive my speaking with a little less of that nuance and gentleness of tone which has long won friends, influenced people and earned untold plaudits for my skills as a true-born diplomat. It’s even possible I may today come across as a tad patronising but, fuck it, I’ve been up since four-thirty with ne’er a sip of coffee.

A good few conversations over the years with well meaning children in adult form have inclined me to a degree of indulgence, since they know not what they do. On Julian as on so many other subjects the root error, of a well meaningly clueless ‘woke’, has been excessive trust in ‘liberal’ media independence from the agendas of power.

(Indeed, some are so far gone they don’t even recognise there is such a thing as ‘power’, in the sense I mean.)

Hugely aided by the Guardian, which threw Julian under a bus and has neither retracted nor apologised for the lie that he met felon and Trump fixer Paul Manafort in London’s Ecuador Embassy, 1 many (I don’t say all) of the wokerati had a free pass to give this courageous man a guilt-free swerve. And now? Their purposes served and the damage done, neither rape smear nor hole-ridden Manafort nonsense feature much – i.e. at all – in ‘our’ public discourse.

Did you too give Julian a swerve? Not your fault – well, not for the most part – and anyway it’s not too late to catch up. A good start can be made, in the context of last week’s hearing at the Royal Court of Justice, with the video below, hosted by Democracy Now’s  Amy Goodman and featuring a member of Julian’s legal team.

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  1. Salon ran a crisply forensic takedown, more than five years ago, of Luke Harding’s lie, which was Editor in Chief Katharine Viner’s too since she backed him all the way before both went uncharacteristically quiet – and to this day remain so. But their lying killed two birds with one stone. Recall how the traducing as “antisemitic” of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn benefited both Labour Right and Israel lobby? In similar fashion did this Guardian smear, about a meeting which could never have taken place in the world’s most heavily monitored building, benefit not only those ready to backstab Julian. (Luke Harding’s spite being fully in tune with a Guardian boardroom literally spooked, post Snowden, by MI5 attention.) Guardian and most of its readers had no doubt, given their inability to take in the extent of empire barbarity, that Hillary Clinton – who bragged of Gaddafi’s appalling death, and demanded WW3-inducing No Fly Zones for Syria – was preferable to Donald Trump; placing Harding’s fibs at the service too of a now debunked “Russiagate”.

7 Replies to “Why Assange matters: a brief primer

    • His “small government” politics ain’t mine, Chet – though mine are in constant flux as I perceive more each day of the scale of change now taking place in this troubled world of ours – but I like the Judge. Like other of the gamekeepers turned poacher so symptomatic of our times, his is an important voice.

      And I love the way all his guests are “my dear friend”!

      Yours is my second mini clip today from Judge Napolitano. Haven’t checked yours out yet but here’s what Dave Hansell sent me on Aaron Bushnell’s act of – whatever else it might be – extraordinary courage and ultimate commitment this weekend:


      • Very powerful video.
        Also, I agree with your overall summation of Judge Napolitano, whose strength – I feel – comes more from foreign policy than domestic policy.
        For that matter, while I’m on it, I also appreciate your blog immensely for all your points, politics as well as nature.

  1. Sadly, even the positive noises coming from the UK appeal court judges can’t now undo the harm already caused to Julian – or the deterence to free speech, investigative journalism that his experience constitutes. Nevertheless extradition to US should and would be an outrage.

    • I attach little weight to those ‘positive noises’ from the judges, Bryan. In the final ruling of my own tiny dust up with Sheffield Hallam University, I was sure the judge was going to find against me. Later my solicitor and barrister told me they knew he wasn’t. Judges often do wrong-footery in summing up, for fear of leaving too much leeway for an appeal from the losing side on the ground they “gave insufficient consideration to” ya de ya da.

      What does give ground for hope methinks is the Oz government, not before effing time, now opposing extradition. If there’s any sanity and realpolitik left in Washington – a big if, I know – it might conclude on the one hand that it’s made its point to the world about what befalls those who incur its wrath; on the other that, given its efforts to contain China in the South Pacific, publicly snubbing Canberra is rank bad salesmanship.

      Or to put it another way, as we all know, Julian’s fate will be decided by realpolitik, not the musings of a pair of m’luds!

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