Is Australian Wikileaks founder at risk of rendition?

Julian Assange has revealed in an interview on SBS Dateline program that he fled Australia after the arrest of Private Manning over the release of the Collateral Murder video of civilians being killed by the U.S. in Iraq. Sources indicated the U.S. had requested his detention and interogation as a "counter esponiage" request. This fear of reprisal from the U.S. has greatly increased since the release of the Afghan Diaries, over 90,000 secret U.S. documents on the Afghan War recently.

Calls for crack downs on Private Manning, Wikileaks and Assange personally have appeared in the U.S. press. Omninously Marc A. Thissien in the Washington Post in a column entitled "Wikileaks must be stopped" called for the rendition or kidnapping of Assange.

Showing the scary arrogance of the U.S. establishment he added “we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.” The left needs to stand with Julian Assange, Wikileaks and Private Manning as brave anti-war figures who are risking all to expose the immoral wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If our government will not speak in Julian Assange's defence then we must before another Australian citizen - this time a leftist not a Muslim ends up in Guantanemo Bay for their beliefs. Never forget that "first they came for the Muslims".

Below is an excerpt from Marc Thiesan's piece via a good analytical piece from the World Socialist Web

“WikiLeaks is not a news organization; it is a criminal enterprise,” Thiessen declared. “Its reason for existence is to obtain classified national security information and disseminate it as widely as possible—including to the United States’ enemies.” He argued that there is ample precedent for using the powers of “rendition” exercised by the CIA against those engaged in “material support for terrorism”

“Assange is a non-US citizen operating outside the territory of the United States,” he wrote. “This means the government has a wide range of options for dealing with him. It can employ not only law enforcement but also intelligence and military assets to bring Assange to justice and put his criminal syndicate out of business.”

Thiessen contended that if Iceland or Belgium refused to extradite him, “the United States can arrest Assange on their territory without their knowledge or approval.” Under existing US law, he claimed, “we do not need permission to apprehend Assange or his co-conspirators anywhere in the world.”

A website has been set up to offer solidarity to Private Manning -

More links:
Australian Government and media block discussion over Wikileaks Revelations

War Criminals threaten Wikileaks and Manning

The Whistleblower on Dateline




For the crime of being just too lazy to redact the names of poor Afghan informants and villages before releasing them...

You need to step back from this situation and really think through his actions. Assange could still release those documents with names redacted. It's trivial to automate the removal of names from electronic documents. Utterly trivial. Assange can write a script that hides the bulk of the names in minutes. A more robust solution would take maybe a day's work (leisurely at that).

Don't make this guy the poster face of the antiwar effort. That is obscene. Assange deliberately endangered peoples' lives for whatever reason. This idea that if only the Pentagon held his hand he could have saved those people is absolute bullshit.

This is not a black and white world. You don't have to support Assange if you want peace. Assange himself has demonstrated he is willing to commit "collateral murder" to carry out his own agenda (which I increasingly feel has more to do with his ego than anything noble).

The claim that Wikileaks has "Blood on its hands" is Orwellian rubbish that would be funny if it wasn't so serious. For the U.S. Government and miitary to be attacking Wikileaks for revealing documents that show how THEY have killed thousands of civilians in Afghanistan is outrageous. It is the U.S. and its allies including Australia that have bombed, shot and tortured Afghani's for the last nine years. The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan far and in the linked conflict in Pakistan far outnumbers the numbers of people killed in 9/11 - the attach which supposedly justified the invasion in the first place. When you factor in the hundreds of thousands of dead in Iraq at the hands of the same Governments the claims become all the more ridiculous. Assange and Wikileaks are releasing information to show the true criminal and murderous nature of these wars that have been hidden from the public. This is a strong ANTI-WAR statement.

Read some good analysis ont the World Socialist Web
Blood on whose hands

It sounds like, if you believe what you read on the internet, that the US has started asking various countries to help secure Assange.
Would Australia, Assanges home nation, give up a citizen to an aggressive country known for abusing human rights (think guantanamo bay)?

I rather would hope that the Australian government sticks up for its citizens, and values freedom of the press, and truth, and all those other fairy tales.

With that in mind, after having been given the idea by another forum somewhere (lost it now, sorry) I have added my name to the list of people nominating Julian Assange for the 'Australian of the year' award.

Surely our government would not hand over an 'Australian of the year' to the CIA ?

Please go to and nominate Julian Assange for Australian of the year.
I think he deserves it!

sean thanks for the link - nominated by me and I will pass the link on.
I also share your hopes.

Newser) – The US has asked Britain, Germany, Australia, and other allies to consider arresting Julian Assange for leaking Afghan war documents. Washington believes Assange’s WikiLeaks, and organizations like it, pose a national security risk, and suspects Assange has worn out his welcome in many countries, officials tell the Daily Beast. “It’s not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking,” says one diplomatic official, but NATO troops in Afghanistan as well.

The official said that it’s asking those allies to “review whether the actions of WikiLeaks could constitute crimes under their own national security laws.” The US hopes to limit where the nomadic Assange can roam, and discourage his acolytes in the process. A military official also says the US may review its relations with Iceland, since Assange was recently based there.

Read more:

Post from Ireland Indymedia

They're in There For Us, We're on the Loose for Them!

Last Monday I went to Conway Hall in downtown London to welcome Joe glenton out of 4 months in a military prison in Colchester.

By the end of his 7 month tour with the British military in Afghanistan, Joe was traumatised and was opposed to the war. When he was being redeployed to Afghanistan he went AWOL and moved to Australia to avoid the British authorities. He was not in good shape when he landed in Australia. He then met a woman, who he was to marry, who helped him process what he had been through in Afghanistan. After two years in Australia they resolved to return to England to publicly denounce the war on Afghanistan. Joe surfaced at an anti-war demonstration in London last year. He was arrested and sentenced to 9 months in March 2010.

Report on Joe glenton's Conway Hall speech July 2010

Youtube of Joe glenton Speech before Court Martial July 2009 (3 mins)

Last Monday was also the day Wikileaks released 90,000 secret military reports from U..S. forces in Afghanistan. The other 6 anti-war speakers at Conway Hall mentioned and celebrated this significant event. I was pretty distressed that none of the speakers mentioned the 22 year old soldier who was at that moment in a Kuwaiti jail cell accused with the leak to Wikileaks. Brad Manning had been fingered by a U.S. hacker working with the Feds.

Brad Manning has been charged with 7 military violations in relation to the earlier release of footage of U.S. helicopter gunship slaughtering unarmed Iraqis. See footage here...,life,video,video-us...leaks

Brad Manning will probably face further charges in relation to the Wikileakes expose. He may face up to 52 years in jail. Last week he was transfered from Kuwait to military prison in Maryland, U.S.A.

The "Courage to Resist" folks are helping to organise a legal team for Brad and are calling for solidarity Check their website for tips on how you can show solidarity with Brad Manning and oppose the war on Afghanistan

The present reality is that more serious resistance to the war on Afghanistan is coming out of the U.S. and British military than the U.S. and British civilian peace movements. We have to be ready with proactive solidarity whereever nonviolent resistance to this war surfaces. Without nonviolent resistance the wikileak revelations become merely words.

Endgame in Afghanistan: 'It's taken a year to move 20km'
As the war in Afghanistan enters its final chapter, Sean Smith's brutal, uncompromising film from the Helmand frontline shows the horrific chaos of a stalemate that is taking its toll in blood. Warning: contains distressing scenes and strong language

Activists protested this weekend outside the Virginia Marine Corps base where Bradley Manning is being held, calling for the alleged source of WikiLeaks' secret document trove to be released. "We are here to say that if he, indeed, was the whistle-blower, then we are proud of him," the founder of Code Pink tells CNN. "In the United States that I know and love, transparency is a positive thing."

But about 300 yards away, a smaller handful of counter-protesters held up a sign showing Manning with bloody hands. "He has already put his fellow soldiers at risk," said one pro-military blogger. "There is no 'right to know' secret information." Click here for a detailed look inside Manning's isolated life.

Read more:

This article by Guy Rundle from The Sunday Age - explains the likelihood of U.S. dirty tricks against Assange over the recent accusations of sexual misconduct made in Sweden.