“To radically shift regime behaviour we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not, “ Julian Assange.
Julian Assange is a 'war' hero in the battle of words and concepts, the argument for freedom of speech and the pursuit of various justices – however all sides, and there are many, in this war have their various heroes, some heralded like Julian, others not.
As intertwined as WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are nevertheless they are not one and the same; one has its origin in the other however with the umbilical cord cut comes the outright ownership of individual responsibility - and responsibilities are not transferable. WikiLeaks must be protected at all costs, its capacity for hyper dissemination is requisite for a world where the ability to discover the truth is outstripped by the capacity to manifest deceit. But despite the need to demarcate we must be reminded at all times that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are also one and the same, the vision intertwined and still sapling, its nurture crucial. At this time it appears Julian Assange may be extradited to Sweden to inevitably face the ordeal of prosecution under Swedish law for alleged non-consensual sex despite at this time the claim by the Prosecutor that the warrant is merely to ensure "questioning". Once the appeal to the Supreme Court and subsequently to the European Human Rights Commission are done and dusted in this contemporary rights issues slugfest in that extradition to Sweden could mean his penultimate extradition to the United States of America it appears that time alone is the only restrain from the loom of major philosophical conversations that may well shake humanity's political landscape. For better or worse this is how humanity works - sluggishly and at times tempestuously, however grace, thanks to those who often give with great risk and expense, often arrives.
But no person should suffer unnecessarily, or without bona fide warrant, but this is the case, that many narratives under the sun are of ordeal, of suffering, of inhumanity, and that others remain complicit by silence.
It appears for some that a utilitarian philosophy has underlain much of the public emotion for Julian Assange – the founder of WikiLeaks – and for some it appears that this whelm of support has come at the expense of the rights of the two women he has been alleged to have "raped" and "molested" and whose rights Sweden’s Department of Prosecutions seeks to ferociously uphold even more so what the women question may seek to pursue. In fact are there questions of "rape"? No. Or about "consent"? It is all about a "broken condom". So why are some news media publishing stories around the premise of "rape"?
The two women continued in friendly relations it has been ascertained with Julian Assange post the alleged incidents. The first woman posted on her blog site just before going to a friend in the police that there are any number of ways to exact retribution against a lover who jilts.
Allegedly the two women met up. Allegedly they visited the Swedish police, one a friend of the first woman. Only the first lady eventually signed a police statement. But the news media has hounded Julian Assange as a "rapist" and has predominated its coverage around this allegation. It has not ferociously investigated WikiLeaks' hyper dissemination just prior these allegations of so-called classified "cables" and of the "Collateral Murder video" - where is the sustained coverage on the incident that saw near carefree US militia mow down civilians? It has petered into the ether as did random shootings and mass burials in the Panama (in pursuit of General Noriega) by US militia.
Should Julian’s extradition to Sweden be denied because of the scare-mongering that he could be extradited to the USA – and because of the belief that an American Grand Jury, behind closed doors, has spent thereabouts 12 months on binding a warrant for his extradition, sealed in an envelope? Let us remind ourselves, that Julian Assange has effectively been a wanted person, a fugitive of sorts in the theatre of public opinion and and in the circus of fair and unfair comment, by various spheres of influence in the USA for quite some time, and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the USA’s Justice Department have long considered filing charges against him – and let us remind ourselves that these considerations have been in effect prior to the raising of the very serious sexual misconduct allegations that thanks to many in the news media now dog him. Julian Assange has had to live a life near clandestine at times to thwart the manifest belief of potential arrest, and he has had to move about the world with the littlest of fanfare in order to resist the threat or loom of arrest - be it real or not.
For myself, the work of WikiLeaks is of heroic stuff, of a Homeric level, however it is fair comment when we consider the tensions of our times and the incumbent structures and the polity within which Julian Assange has moved where good meets bad, and all the shades in between, while many of us are confused with which way to go and what to do. Julian Assange's journey with WikiLeaks is not dissimilar to the Iliad and the Odyssey – that much he may not have wanted, however always would have known would be the case, would come his way and meet him head-on - the bad and the ugly, and not just the good. The paranoia like pursuit of him on the mongered threat of charges of treason, conspiracy, and myriad more is part of the territory he travails - it all comes with the territory that we have to live in this world and would always have appeared the majorly likelihood even before he took his first step at the dawn of the whole notion of it all. There is nothing new under the sun here.
I doubt that Julian Assange had never considered that someday he would be incarcerated as a political prisoner – a prisoner of conscience – surely he did, he is after all an intelligent and worldly person. He may have considered it his destiny while in being able to achieve some of his objectives; to challenge the pillars of the dominions that WikiLeaks was specifically and justly set up for.
However, allegations have been brought against him by two women, one in particular, it has been said, but the gauntlet of these allegations, with their origins in a cast of aspersions more so, has been run by a Swedish prosecutor, not by the women despite one of them having signed a statement. In terms of their rights, yes they have the right to speak out to an injustice. For these two ladies, logically any reasonably-minded person, any compassionate human being must imagine for them personal dishevelment and frustrations to have been intertwined with someone portrayed as a moral crusader however who allegedly disregarded their own physical, emotional and sexual rights and well-being that is under Swedish laws and mores.
They have their right to be heard, and to be respected and to be treated by the law and by public opinion as equal among others. But everyone has the right to question what is the truth despite allegations raised. Everyone has the right to cast serious doubts on the veracity of allegations raised, and especially so when someone has to flee a country, Sweden, for fear of persecution, for fear of the contrived, for fear of extradition. Everyone has the right to cast a suite of aspersions when all of a sudden the pursuit of Julian Assange also is the pursuit of WikiLeaks. When within days when an edifice of pressure is brought upon Mastercard, Visa and Paypal to cripple WikiLeaks, and they do so, financially crippling WikiLeaks, then people have the right to cast a suite of aspersions on the motives of all involved. Why is WikiLeaks targeted when it is Julian Assange that is sought for questioning? Because maybe it is WikiLeaks that is the obvious target.
In the plight to protect the rights of Mr Assange who has committed no crime, because no crime has been proven, no charges raised, Sweden, the Swedish Department of Prosecutions and Swedish law have been lampooned by various justifiable and non-justifiable hysteria in the world's news media and by WikiLeaks supporters – and much scaremongering has been unfairly bandied in reference to Sweden's ‘closed courts’ which are specifically set up to hear sexual misconduct allegations; however, indeed the ‘closed court’ set up for these types of allegations is to protect the rights of the victim, and believe it or not also of the alleged perpetrator – ‘the closed court’ is not a foreclosure of anyone’s rights and rather a protection of people's rights and particularly from the prejudices, biases and simplicity of the public domain - it protects people from the erosion of their very identity, their very person. But what may have happened because of a covert ferocious pursuit of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is that Swedish laws, the Swedish prosecutors and the Swedish "closed court" system have been misused, abused and compromised. Cultures of favour dispensation and crude but effective nepotism have been tapped into.
Should not the Swedish prosecutors have picked up a phone and talked to Julian Assange?
Should not the Swedish prosecutors have offered videoteleconferencing with Julian Assange rather than insist only that he must be returned to Sweden for questioning?
Is any of this unreasonable and especially in a climate of fear? Obviously of real fears when Strathco is brought into the light of day.
As long as these two women have wanted the allegations considered, though only one has apparently signed a statement, and where bona fide propriety permits hence pursued against Mr Assange and where the Swedish Prosecutors consign them weight, hence they are entitled to have their day in court – in Sweden and before Swedish law. But Julian Assange cannot face the the threat of extradition to the United States of America, from where it is more than likely he will never see the light of day again other than in a prison courtyard. Therefore Sweden should have provided extra-judicial assurances that he would not be extradited under any circumstance. And then his rights too, alongside the rights of the two women, would have considered. One cannot forego their natural rights for the rights of another, this only occurs in sacrifice and in martyrdom.
It is fair to comment that these women are not likely to be dupes of any wider conspiracy as they were known to Mr Assange, and they were known and part of WikiLeaks it has been said but is also fair to comment that people are often compromised, with great pressures brought upon them, and it is fair to comment that great deceits occur under the sun by what is humankind. It is fair to make the analogy of the pressures brought upon Mastercard, Visa and Paypal to withdraw services to WikiLeaks, and this has been evidenced, then therefore these same pressures may well place themselves upon individuals they select to target.
It is also fair not to trust an inflexible process when there are mitigating factors of a scale never-before-seen.
Various news media has argued various associations which cast legitimate aspersions however even the darkest pall of aspersions should not outrightly dismiss the rights of any person - assumptions and associations are often determined by degrees of separation and should not prohibit natural justice - procedural fairness.
Crikey reported various associations - Without an informed citizenry we cannot trust in the will of the people. Democracy depends on the will of the people but democracy does not exist as intended without the people being informed.
It may be argued as disgraceful to impugn these two women who were once associates of the person and the organisation. It is both sexist and discriminatory to do so. Should someone be protected from the rule of law because of who they are in terms of their station and should they be protected as if with some degree of immunity from various prosecution because of how the law may arguably impact unfairly on them and their practices? The arguments thus far against the imputation of the prospect of charges being heard in 'closed court' in Sweden would have been tenuous if not for Strathcor, if not for the fact that one of the women has not signed a statement, if not for WikiLeaks. The rights of the women matter as much as Julian's and therefore they cannot be separated as much as some cheap journalism has clearly done. Every jurisdiction, including the news media, and the various public institutions of the public domain must insist on demarcation between the various issues and the various rights-at-large but they must not disassociate what is also intertwined. The real prospect of Julian Assange extradited to the United States of America must stand above all other rights, for in terms of a measure of risk to any of the parties involved he indeed is burdened by the greatest threats to his natural rights. Therefore indeed his rights must be protected first and if this means prevail, then this must be the quantum.
It will be a grave wrong if Julian Assange is extradited from Sweden to the USA however if this were to happen then it would have always been inevitable that it would have occurred whether from Sweden or wherever in our world – at this time in human history the influence and reach of the United States is huge, immense and difficult to reproach, and it would have been the destiny of Julian Assange, in the brave challenges he has set up with Wikileaks, to continue on as a prisoner of conscience similar to Nelson Mandela and Aung San.
However even the prospect of a grave wrong by the Swedish government to belittle itself to any prospective warrant by the USA to have Mr Assange extradited should not by any means stand in the way, breach or contravene the rights of these two women. However, why should Julian Assange become a prisoner of conscience when the legal process may be compromised and therefore only to taint him, to discredit him, and hence to divide the peoples of our world?
If it were not for the allegations raised against him by Swedish prosecutors he may well be by now in various jurisdictional custodial predicaments in the USA or directly fighting extradition warrants on behalf of the USA's Justice Department. In all likelihood if we are to believe the imputations from what has been argued thus far if he is to return to Sweden and even if we are to consider the political landscape that predated the alleged incidents between Julian Assange and the two women then therefore penultimate extradition would have been unavoidable had not allegations by the two women, lawful within the prescription of their rights, been brought to the fore. The narrative took on a new chapter, however it is only an additional chapter, and the chapters that will come after have been written years ago – once the rights of the two women are upheld then the book will read as the original manuscript intended. However in the meantime opportunity was grasped by Mr Assange and many of his supporters, the blind and the wise, to highlight various issues not to do with the alleged injustices to the two women however with the cause that the metanarrative he is consumed by – the text between himself and the two women he has sacrificed for a little time, for the time being, probably much to the anguish of the women, in pursuit of his political calling, however he could arguably best serve the justice of the metanarrative when he returns to Sweden, faces either of the two women in ‘closed court’, if that prospect were to arise, and they speak their truths and justice and when this is done as best it can be under the rule of law, a law presumed without tampers, and we can only pray that the execution of the law will be fair which is always the intention (but not a reality), and hence he can continue unfettered with his role in the metanarrative – WikiLeaks and its pursuit of a just and civil humanity. If it were to be this story of untold great sacrifice, and hyper exposition by his sacrifice, presuming the extradition, then th cultural wave will build as it did in South Africa with the demolition of Apartheid and as it is in Burma. He may have to journey to the United States and play his role as a prisoner of conscience, or it may happen that he is never extradited to the USA, for what a stain shall it be on the USA and on Barack Obama if Julian Assange is extradited to the USA? But let us remind ourselves that more whistleblowers have been prosecuted under the current US administration than by any previous administration. Would he choose to go to the USA of his own free will and carry humanity with him - a cultural wave, a mass social movement? Would he face off with the American people and bring the focus of the world upon some of the instruments of the United States of America but once again let us remind ourselves that such a person is doing this, Bradley Manning. Yet his detainment has not served freedom as well as it could had he remained at-large within freedom. His detainment has stalled the hopes of our unfolding social justice vocabulary. Julian Assange best serves humanity at-large within freedom, and he best serves humanity through WikiLeaks, not incarcerated and oppressed.
JULIAN PAUL ASSANGE has won one major award after another – the ones that matter, and he has won the admiration of many and will win many more admirers long after his narrative is done, long after he is gone. In an unfolding human rights language, with much of it yet undefined, Julian Assange has contributed heroically and with the immense risks alongside his great sacrifices, and with the real threat of martyrdom.
WikiLeaks is the citizen media that many knew would soon arrive once the super information highway (the Internet) was unleashed, and we all knew that it only needed someone like a Nelson Mandela and Aung San to do so.
WikiLeaks has published materials, many of them "classified", about the Iraq and Afghan wars, further exposed Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib atrocities, revealed extrajudicial killings in Kenya, toxic waste dumping in Cote d’Ivoire, Church of Scientology manuals, and of the improprieties of banks like Kaupthing, Goldmann Sachs and of Julius Baer. WikiLeaks challenged the most powerful nation on this earth, the USA, by publishing its diplomatic cables.
Was this a crime by WikiLeaks? No. But various legislation has been created to have us believing it is a crime. There is legislation purely intended to deny the ordinary citizen, therefore the majority of humanity, the right to understand the national interest, and most certainly to prohibit them from contributing to the definition of the national interest, let alone the interests of so-called global village.
In 2009 Mr Assange won the Amnesty International Media Award, he was 2010 TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, and the 2011 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism recipient. He has also been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Julian Assange was born 1971, in Townsville, Queensland. The diversity of his ancestry makes him a citizen of the world – Diogenic – his surname is an Anglicisation of Cantonese heritage “Ah Sang”. At 16 years of age he was a computer hacker under the name “Mendax” and with two others formed “International Subversives”. Their prescribed policy was, “Don’t damage computer systems you break into; don’t change the information in those systems and share information.” The Australian Federal Police (AFP) uncovered the hacking and they were charged and fined. Though he never said, it was revealed that at the time of his prosecution he provided Victoria Police Child Exploitation Unit with technical advice.
WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 and Julian Assange outlined its philosophy with the following, “To radically shift regime behaviour we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not.”
He also said, “The more secretive or unjust an organisation is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie… Since unjust systems, by their nature, induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.”
WikiLeaks has released more classified documents than the rest of the world press combined.
In the pursuit of perspective and in the pursuit of truth, in the pursuit of change agency, let us fall back on the facts – before the August 2010 allegations of so-called sexual rape and various misconduct raised against Julian Assange, the greater pursuit of his arrest because he is WikiLeaks predated. This is self-evident despite Strathco, despite Grand Juries, despite all that we now know and understand. It is understood that in June 2010 Pentagon officials were seeking the whereabouts of Julian Assange, who had been effectively forced into moving from country to country in near-clandestine-like ways.
Speculation had been rife after the arrest of Bradley Manning that Julian Assange would need to be brought before a Court to give testimony. It has been said that Julian Assange himself was concerned that he was one step away from being arrested.
On November 28, 2010, WikiLeaks released some of the 251,000 American diplomatic cables, of which 53% were unclassified, 40% confidential, 6 % classified. The response from Australia came from then Attorney-General Robert McClelland that it appeared that what Mr Assange may have done was illegal and that his office would investigate and he warned that if Mr Assange returned to Australia he could face charges and even went as far as not ruling out the possibility that his Australian passport would be cancelled! The Prime Minister Julia Gillard backed up Mr McClelland, however the AFP found that Mr Assange had not done anything illegal. The US Justice Department launched criminal investigations and has reportedly considered charges.
Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who released Pentagon papers, said “(Julian Assange) is serving our democracy and serving our rule of law precisely by challenging the secrecy regulations, which are not laws in most cases, in this country.” He continued, “I think (Julian Assange’s) instincts are that most of this material deserves to be out. We are arguing over a very small fragment that doesn’t. He has not yet put out anything that hurt anybody’s national security.”
Many within the news media recognise Julian Assange as a journalist – WikiLeaks won a Walkley last year. Alan Dershowitz said, “Without a doubt, he is a journalist, a new kind of journalist.”
The release of Australian government briefings, copping them on the hop, evidenced that the government had discussed in secret the charging of Julian Assange with treason. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has never disclosed this and had limited herself to underwriting any future prospect of this occurring with describing his actions “as illegal”. However to be fair to the Australian government there are ministers who have said it appears he did not do anything illegal, and this includes Dr Craig Emerson, and similarly with members of the Coalition. The Coalition’s Senator George Brandis said, “As far as I can see, he has not broken any Australian law, nor does it appear he has broken any American laws.”
Julian Assange has said that he will contest a seat for the Australian Senate, and similarly he will have a candidate contesting the seat of Lalor, the Prime Minister’s seat in a direct challenge to her. Whether or not Julian Assange and others alongside him are elected – effectively a WikiLeaks Party – they will most certainly do well in the voting. Julian Assange is a very real chance of being elected to the Australian Senate given the opportunity to do so.
After WikiLeaks released classified documents about the Aghan war, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairperson, Mike Mullen said, “Disagree with the war all you want, take the issue with policy, challenge me or our ground commanders on the decisions we make to accomplish the mission we have been given, but do not put those who willingly go into harm’s way even further in harm’s way just to satisfy your need to make a point. Mr Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is, they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”
Julian Assange responded to the comments, “There is, as far as we can tell, no incident of that. So it is a speculative charge. Of course, we are treating any possible revelation of the names of innocents seriously. That is why we held back 15,000 of these documents, to review that.”
In December 2010, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank LaRue said (WikiLeaks) should not face criminal charges for any information they disseminated. He said that “transparency works” and eliminates “corruption.”
I was at various rallies last year and earlier this year when supporters of WikiLeaks argued the rights of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and they argued them in terms of freedom of speech, in terms of the greater good, the common good however I was disappointed, very disappointed, and I intervened, when on several occasion I saw protestors, self-professed rights activists, in support of Mr Assange however trying to turn away Women's Rights activists and campaigners from Reclaim the Night who had turned up in their own silent protest with banners supporting the rights of the two women. The common good is about everyone - and I know that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks knows this, they live and breathe it; we should not demean the cause, the metanarrative, the narrative, the texts and sub-texts - we need to be on the same page however demarcated the issues may appear and are, but in the end many remain intertwined.
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it", Evelyn Beatrice Hall attributed to Voltaire
The fear of those who prosecute whistleblowers like there is no tomorrow is that many more of them may be in the wings. We can only hope so, but we too must lead the way, and speak our minds and stand alongside the truth. It is important to be a good human being at all times.
WikiLeaks: 544 days of banking blockade - no process
Assange: 541 days detainment - no charge
Manning: 738 days in jail - no trial
Grand Jury: 624 days US secret Grand Jury into WikiLeaks - no transparency
We are forced to put all our efforts into raising funds to ensure our economic survival. For almost a year we have been fighting an unlawful financial blockade. We cannot allow giant US finance companies to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket
FOREIGN Minister Bob Carr has rejected criticism the Government has done nothing to help Julian Assange fight his extradition from the UK to Sweden
ANNA Ardin is, as alleged in numerous reports, the woman who claims Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sexually molested her
Sex claim women in Julian Assange case say this is nothing to do with the Pentagon
Swedish prosecutors told AOL News last week that Assange was not wanted for rape as has been reported, but for something called “sex by surprise” or “unexpected sex"
The shielding of sex-crime accusers is a Victorian relic. Women are moral adults and should be treated as such
Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape. That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage its reputation as a model of modernity
n discussing rape allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Moore appeared to dismiss the accusations as “hooey” (although he was actually referring to what he views as the use of the allegations as a pretext to silence Assange), and repeated the false claim that Assange is only accused of having a condom break during consensual sex
Bradley Edward Manning (born December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the whistleblower website, WikiLeaks
I stand for due process. I stand for a nation of fair and just laws. I believe the public deserves to know the truth
As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces extradition to Sweden to be questioned over an alleged sexual assault, world-renowned feminist Naomi Wolff has come to the whistleblower’s defense
We are of assistance to peoples of all countries who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and institutions
Then in late May, Assange vanished. The reason soon emerged. The story did not attract much media attention, but the Pentagon on May 26 had arrested US Army Private Bradley Manning, 22, on charges of illegally downloading hundreds of thousands of classified US documents, including—reports said at the time—a trove of State Department cables on Iraq and Afghanistan
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world