The vast majority of the people of Australia, and for that matter, many people in many other countries are supportive of the work of Wikileaks.

Despite this, Julian Assange has been sacrificed by an Australian Government which like many of its predecessors puts the rights of Australians to know the truth a long way behind its subservient relationship with the United States of America.

There was a time when Australian Prime Ministers like John Curtin and Billy Hughes were prepared to stand up for Australia, not only against the demands of the United States, but also the whole world if that was necessary.The Gillard Government by contrast is hiding behind deceptive language trying to disguise its true position. It is clearly playing a part in a coordinated plan to have Julian Assange sent to the USA where he can be charged with espionage and face the death penalty. 

Our small neighbour New Zealand has shown that it has the courage to do what it believes right. Despite threats of economic devastation if they resist US pressure to conform to US military demands NZ refused to port US nuclear warships.

The Australian media is also lacking in courage, preferring to mount a campaign of character assassination against Assange rather than stand up for the principle of free speech they claim to adhere to. Perhaps they are ashamed they were champions of the illegal war in Iraq and that they failed to shine a light on war crimes that only Wikileaks had the guts or sense of human decency to expose.

The USA is an important ally, but many of their recent actions in the Middle East and Guantanamo Bay and also the illegal rendition of individuals to places of torture was an appalling breach of international law and a blot on the character of the USA. Especially as many of those tortured were innocent of any crimes. In the long term this behaviour is damaging to the United States and to all of us who silently acquiesce to this criminality. It also provides justification for retaliation that may also breach normal standards of engagement.

If we are to have a free society and a peaceful world we must always speak out against injustice and thuggery, whether it is done by our friends or by our enemies. Truth only wounds those who have acted badly and do not want their actions exposed. We the people need to ensure that those among us who have the courage to expose the truth, are protected from dishonest totalitarian governments if we want to live in a free society.

The author has no desire to prevent Julian Assange from facing a fair trial if he has broken the law, but is dismayed that the Australian Government has not demanded an agreement from the Swedish Government that it will ensure that Assange is not sent to face another of the US kangaroo courts that sentences people who have been tortured to force confessions.