The arrest of Julian Assange

Outside the court, Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens said:

WikiLeaks will continue. WikiLeaks is many thousands of journalists around the world. A renewed bail application will be made.

We have heard the judge today say that he wishes to see the evidence himself. He was impressed by the fact that a number of people were prepared to stand up on behalf of Mr Assange. In those circumstances I think we will see another bail application.

They [those offering surety] were but the tip of the iceberg. This is going to go viral. Many people believe Mr Assange to be innocent, myself included. Many people believe that this prosecution is politically motivated.

I’m sure that the British judicial system is robust enough not to be interfered with by politicians and that are judges are impartial and fair. I hope I can say the same about Swedish prosecutors in the future.

In an op-ed appearing today in The Australian, Assange wrote:

The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:

The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran ‘s nuclear program stopped by any means available.

Britain’s Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect “US interests”.

Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.

The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay . Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”. The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

Glenn Greenwald writes:

According to The New York Times’ Brian Stelter, Matt Lauer — when announcing Assange’s arrest in London this morning — proclaimed: “The international manhunt for Julian Assange is over” — as though Assange is Osama bin Laden or something. I don’t know if it’s sheer empty-headedness or excessive servile-to-power syndrome — probably both, as is usually the case — but that claim is both painfully dumb and misleading. There was no valid arrest warrant in England for Assange until yesterday; he then immediately turned himself into British law enforcement. There was no “international manhunt.” How long before Matt Lauer and his friends start featuring playing cards with all the WikiLeaks Villains on the them (“and here we have Julian Assange, the Terrorist Mastermind, who is the Ace of Spades!”)? Answer: as soon as the Government produces them and hands them to the media with instructions to use them.

The one thing WikiLeaks did not need to leak — it spills out freely of its own accord — is the venality of American journalism.

And for those in the press corps who find it difficult to contain themselves from expressing their personal disdain for Assange, Jack Shafer appropriately commented: “sure, he’s a pompous egomaniac sporting a series of bad haircuts and grandiose tendencies. And he often acts without completely thinking through every repercussion of his actions. But if you want to dismiss him just because he’s a seething jerk, there are about 2,000 journalists I’d like you to meet.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Facebooktwitterrss
Facebooktwittermail

5 thoughts on “The arrest of Julian Assange

  1. Vince J

    SHAME ON GILLARD, suposed prime minister of a soverign country, FOR NOT PROTECTION ASSANGE, AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN.
    Gillard went on Nartional TV parroting the War Crminal H. Clinton discourse about the disclousure of diplomatic cables.
    Australians are xenophobic bunch of ignorant sheep. They bash muslims on a daily base on TV, swallow cheap Murdoch propaganda, and get all hiped up about “I was born here, you flew here” type of imbecilities. Yet, when Assange does not get protection from his own government against the Rogue State of North America, they shut up.

  2. seamus o'bannion

    Wikileaks is far more important to the world than the US commercial media, which is part of “the team” and will publish – or not publish – what the team leaders, government and business, decide should be published or not published. The press itself is a very strong member of the business half of that conspiracy.

    I hope America wakes up before we pass a point of no return.

    SOB.

  3. seamus o'bannion

    Wikileaks is far more important to the world than the US commercial media, which is part of “the team” and will publish – or not publish – what the team leaders, government and business, decide should be published or not published. The press itself is a very strong member of the business half of that conspiracy.

    I hope America wakes up before we pass a point of no return.

  4. Christopher Hoare

    One can understand the outrage of so-called journalists and ‘news’ media when they have been so soundly beaten at the business they believe themselves to lead. To identify the most incompetent it would seem that the extent of their outrage is directly proportional to their lack of competence and/or journalistic integrity.

  5. eddy mason

    Seamus, I’m sorry mate but I think the paranoid responses to Wikileaks that are coming from the USA political and media machines show that the point of no return has been left behind in the dust!

Comments are closed.