Archive for June 16, 2012


Julian Assange is Dead!

This morning at nine o’clock while writing a post titled “Some Australians are More Equal Than Others”, that deals with issues relating to the deportation of Julian Assange, I was interrupted by a message that lasted for only a second or less.

My post was replaced by a deep blue screen with a smaller bordered message in the centre.

The message simply stated “He’s dead Jim”

The message instantly disappeared and my computer shut down.

At first I struggled to work out what had happened and why. On reflection I thought someone or some large organisation must have been responsible. How did they know my name or that I use the shortened version Jim, while my co-blogger also named James always uses his full name?

They, whoever they are, must also have considerable surveillance resources because I was only part way through my blog when the message flashed on my screen.

Who would have the technical ability to so quickly override my computer?

Despite its clarity and simplicity, the message has an ambiguity that needs to be considered. It was not saying I was or would be dead. The tone did not seem overtly threatening to me. It was almost like friendly advice or a simple statement of fact.

So was the message an implied threat? Or was it a whistle-blower warning me of the certain fate awaiting Julian Assange?

The certainty of the message “He’s dead ..”, would imply that the author strongly believes or knows that Assange’s future is fait accompli.

Perhaps that now Assange has lost his appeal, everything has been arranged for his extradition or rendition to the USA with the active support of Sweden and the compliance of the Australian Government.

So who would intercept my blog and send me such a message? There are a number of possible suspects who might have an interest but few with the resources, and all of these are linked to Governments.

We at theinterpretor would like to know if anyone else has had the same or a similar experience?

 Some Australians More Equal Than Others

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her ministerial team have chanted a well-rehearsed mantra when questioned about their lack of assistance to Julian Assange, who faces extradition to Sweden even though he has not been charged or found guilty of any offence in Sweden.

 The mantra used is “We are providing the same level of consular support that we provide for every other Australian citizen who is facing difficulties overseas.

When asked if her government has asked the USA Government  if it intends to apply for Assange to be extradited to the USA from Sweden, Julia Gillard and her Ministers give exactly the same answer that “they have not provided us with that information”. Clearly she is avoiding the question because the true answer would be unpopular with the electorate which strongly supports Assange.

Do we compare Assange’s “equal treatment” to that given to David Hicks who was illegally incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay where he was brutalised and put through an illegal kangaroo court process. Or can we compare it with Mamdouh Habib who was left to rot after he was seized by the US forces and sent to an Egyptian prison where he was incarcerated without trial and tortured.

In each case the Howard Government made no complaint against their illegal and brutal treatment or even demanded that they be given a fair trial. Prime Minister Julia Gillard proclaimed Assange as being guilty even though he has not been charged with any offence in Australia or abroad.

The current government is too ashamed to allow the truth of its position to be known. Following freedom of information requests from Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam for documents recording discussion between the Australian and US Governments relating to Julian Assange’s extradition; Senator Ludlam was provided with FOI documents that had so much of the printing blacked out “for security reasons” that no sense could be made of the information.

Perhaps Senator Ludlam would have learned more if he had asked Anonymous.

Contrast the above treatment of Australian citizens with that of Melinda Taylor, an Australian lawyer working for the International Criminal Court, who has recently been imprisoned in Libya. The Australian Government has made strong public and consular statements in support of Ms Taylor.

 The Foreign Minister Bob Carr was quickly sent to the Middle East to pressure the Libyan Government to in turn pressure the local officials holding Ms Taylor to set her free.

Our ambassador is working closely with his international counterparts, with the ICC and with Libyan authorities to seek full consular access to Ms Taylor and a swift end to her detention,” Senator Carr said.

This great variation in the level of protection provided to Australian citizens can be only be explained by looking at who is imprisoning them. In the case of Hicks and Habib it was the US military and with Assange it is likely that the final destination is again the US military who would like to silence him. At no stage did an Australian Minister intervene or even complain about their torture.

Ms Taylor while unfortunate to be caught up in a power struggle between the central government and local officials is lucky that she is detained in a small newly created “democratic state”, rather than by a large superpower so powerful it can ignore international law, and the concerns of the rest of the world with impunity.

The implications of a failure of courage by middle sized countries to stand up to the excesses of the superpowers has worrying implications for the future of everyone on the planet. We will not have a world free from conflict and tyranny unless all of us stand up for justice without regard to whom it applies.

If we are silent about the rendition and imprisonment of those who expose the truth of such tyranny and injustice, we are choosing to live in a world that will become our own prison.

Rupert Murdoch joined in an “over-crude” attempt by US Republicans to force Tony Blair to accelerate British involvement in the Iraq war a week before a crucial House of Commons vote in 2003, according to the final volumes of Alastair Campbell‘s government diaries.

%d bloggers like this: