Some of the best comments on the Julian Assange/Wikileaks affair have come not from journalists or bloggers but from Christine Assange. Indeed, she puts to shame the politicians and the meally-mouthed journalists and assorted commentators around the world who only seem interested in protecting their bit of turf or scoring points. In absolute contrast to the disingenuousness and duplicity of Julia Gillard (Prime Minister of Australia), the weasel words of her ‘I know nothing’ about a Wikileaks Grand Jury side-kick, Bob Carr (Foreign Affairs Minister) and small-minded journalists – and they know who they are – of much of the world’s mainstream press, Christine Assange has shown everyone that she is a fighter who in her persistence and dignity and sheer love for her son has focused on the facts of what is really happening with the bigger picture, as well as the politics and anomalies of the more immediate legalities. Moreover, she has clearly been a Wikileaks champion from the very beginning.
Below, are some of her comments, as well as links to recent articles about Wikileaks and – at the end – a slightly mischievous scenario on the future of Australia…
Though, first, it needs to be re-emphasised that, as we said in an earlier posting none of this affair was ever about Sweden but a global war by the USA against truth, against free speech and against anyone in the world who exposes what America is really about… A regime that hides the truth while pretending it is the land of the free; a country that honours free speech, but where its politicians are the first to want those who speak out to be murdered or tortured; a land where many of its citizens are destined to a life of poverty and no health care while being told it’s a privilege to be American. Wikileaks exposes these lies and that is why the USA and it’s parasites in business and politics are so keen to see Assange dead and Bradley Manning condemned to prison for life. Some might say that America is sick, addicted to violence and immature notions of patriotism, its society poisoned by successive wars – though there are millions in the USA who seek another way, where truth is once more paramount and people like Nobel Peace Prize nominee Bradley Manning would be lauded as a hero.
Comments from Christine Assange (compiled from transcripts in Green Left Weekly, Urban News, and from an interview with Mary Kostakidis, SBS Television):
On beginnings of Wikileaks:
Initially, Julian and I were talking about the world, as we would, and what would change. What would it take to change the world? And Julian said to me I think there are only two things that will change the world, the way that it’s going, the way the power imbalance is and the suffering of people. Either a huge accident of some kind, a meteorite or another catastrophe, or technology. And the technology was the dropbox for WikiLeaks. Initially, it was supposed to help the Third World. That was why it was set up, to help the Third World, to expose the dictatorships. But he had no idea he’d get a drop from America. That came as a complete surprise.
On the allegations of rape:
The time that everything really changed for me was August 21, 2010. I was sitting in bed watching a movie and the phone rang. At the end of the phone was a foreign voice. He said how do you feel about the fact that Julian has been charged with rape? And my instinctive reaction was he wouldn’t do it. My second reaction was he’s been set up. That’s an instinctive reaction. But for me to help Julian there had to be more than just a mother’s instinct that he was set up. I knew I wouldn’t get the truth in the mainstream media… Both women involved in this “sex scandal” never alleged rape, but insisted that the sex was consensual and not violent. Woman SW has actually complained about being railroaded and was so upset that Julian was charged with rape that she refused to sign her statement. Woman AA, who took a condom to the police saying that Julian had deliberately torn a condom during sex, went for an examination that proved there was no DNA from either her or Julian in it… Within 24 hours the chief prosecutor of Stockholm, Eva Finné, said that there was absolutely no basis to the rape allegations and the allegations were dropped.
On the politics of the case in Sweden:
Interestingly, there is a domestic political agenda involved in Sweden. When the rape allegations were made on August the 20th, in one month’s time there was to be local and general elections in Sweden. And, “coincidentally”, woman AA, the police officer that interrogated woman SW, and both the lawyers in the law firm that picked up the case against Julian after it was dropped by the chief prosecutor, were all running for the same party, in the same elections, on the same platform of widening the definition of rape within consensual sex… The two laywers involved, Claus Borgstrom and Thomas Bodstrom, have previously been in the Swedish government. Claus Borgstrom knew AA. And they all know Marianne Ny, who is the Swedish prosecutor, because they all worked together on widening the sex offences for the last 10 years. Thomas Bodstrom, the partner of the woman’s lawyer, had in 2001 signed off on CIA torture flights for two Egyptian refugees who were tortured in Egypt and subsequently found to be innocent and in 2003 Sweden had to pay up compensation.
On how her son was keen to meet the allegations head on:
So some of the facts that were not [reported] right were that Julian offered himself for interview numerous times in Sweden and was knocked back by prosecutor Ny with various excuses. The particular chosen officer, the only one in Sweden, was sick, or was away. He offered to fly back in — no that couldn’t be done either… Unsuccessful in obtaining an interview with the prosecutor, Julian had business to attend to in releasing Cablegate and had to meet with media partners abroad. Marion Knight gave him permission to leave and he went to do his business. He found out that Nye now wanted to do an interview with him as soon as he’d left the country. He offered to fly back in on the 9th and 10th of October and she refused saying that it was a weekend, he offered to fly back on the 11 th October, she refused saying it was too far away. And this was all around the time of Cablegate coming out. The US knew that this was happening because Julian had contacted them and asked them to help with the redaction and they refused. So they knew it was coming up. Collateral Murder was out on the 4th of April. The Gillard coup was the 26th of June. The Afghan War Diaries was the 25th [of July] and the sex allegations were on the 20th of [August]. So it is all working quite nicely for them isn’t it?
On the legal process re. her son:
The Swedish prosecutor had refused to interview Julian when he was there [in Sweden] and refused to interview him via Mutual Legal Assistance. That is the stated way [under the European Arrest Warrant Framework Decision] that people can be interviewed in another country. The UK and Sweden are signatories to this agreement. The British government is completely happy with the whole process. It has executive powers allowing it to intervene, overrule the courts and reject an extradition but it has refused. The British government did that a few years ago when it came to the [extradition of] Chilean dictator Pinochet. In other words, the British government over-ruled the extradition of a dictator, but supports the extradition of someone who has exposed the crimes of the US, British and other governments.
I’ve heard that there already is an editorial in the Washington Post that indicates the US will be putting pressure on Ecuador through trade sanctions. America is doing what it always does, and that is to bully smaller nations.
On the Australian Government and journalists everywhere:
The prime minister, the attorney general and the foreign minister act like US-made robots that have only got room for one or two chips. They just repeat the same inane, factually inaccurate statements, over and over again, hoping that journalists won’t challenge them. Journalists, unfortunately, are not challenging them and they have to begin doing it.
On the US sealed indictment:
[Bob] Carr claimed last week that he didn’t know what a sealed Grand Jury indictment was. What sort of Australian foreign minister wouldn’t know this? There are only two propositions here: either the prime minister, attorney general and foreign minister are grossly incompetent and should resign immediately, or they are deliberately misleading the Australian population and acting as stooges for the American government, and this is what most people believe. The Australian government is wilfully misleading people and have even introduced legislation that makes it easier to extradite Julian from here.
On communicating with her son:
I can’t talk openly because our phones are monitored… Julian can’t express to me how he feels so I write poetry to him.
On Wikileaks and transparency:
The Pandora’s Box is open. People have now seen something of the power and corruption going on behind the scenes, and this is distributed around the world, through the Internet, within seconds. Governments can’t close down the Internet but they’re ushering in laws everywhere, with the US setting the trend, introducing police-state measures and restricting the democratic rights of its people. The Western world is now seeing what the Third World has had to live with for years and years. If the people don’t stand up and fight for freedom for Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks, then they can expect decades of oppression. The rights we have today were won because generations before us struggled for them. Everyone therefore has an inherited and collective responsibility to stand up and defend these rights for their children and grand-children.
[Note: Julian Assange in his endeavour to avoid extradition to the USA, either direct or via Sweden, has received support from Noam Chomsky, Gareth Pierce, Helena Kennedy, Ken Loach, Daniel Ellsberg, Naomi Wolf, John Pilger, Jemima Khan, Danny Glover, Scott Ludlam, George Clooney, Michael Moore, Tariq Ali, Mary Kostakidis, Geoffrey Robertson, Michael Mansfield, Phillip Knightley and many more. As stated above, this is not just about Assange but about the future of how information is controlled (by the USA and its puppets) or otherwise…]
Talk by Scott Ludlum, Greens Senator, Australian Parliament.
Talk by Jennifer Robinson, Julian Assange’s Australian lawyer.
Article by Kellie Tranter, Australian Human rights lawyer.
Videos of talks by Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam and others.
Commentary by Patrick grmmmph!burn in The Independent on the Julian Assange case.
Commentary in The Guardian on Julian Assange and political asylum.
Finally – and here is the mischievous bit
Imagine an Australia that no longer has the farce of corrupt, caucus-led politicians who are at the beck and call of the USA…
Imagine an Australia that has ditched its mainstream parties in favour of a new form of democracy that enables all its citizens to decide on their future regularly and without so-called leaders deciding otherwise…
Imagine an Australia that is completely open in all its dealings, past, future and present, and where everyone has access to information without fear of being spied upon…
Imagine an Australia that is no longer beholden to its mining lobby and where the media is no longer owned by a small number of individuals who are only interested in their own agenda…
Imagine an Australia that puts the environment above the greed of a few…
Imagine an Australia where poverty is a thing of the past and where crime is almost unheard of.
How? Let’s suppose the following scenario…
Christine Assange stands for Parliament (she has already indicated this is a possibility) in Julia Gillard’s constituency at the next election and wins the seat as a Independent MP. In the same election every constituency in the country is contested by the Greens. Disillusioned by mainstream politics, the Australian population vote for radical change and the Liberal and Labor parties are decimated. The Greens have the opportunity to take power but in line with their philosophy they decide to hand that power back to the people, where it ought to reside anyway, with the Government truly acting as servant not master. The USA is then told to see to its own affairs and for once Australians no longer feel they are being ruled from overseas. Australia offers to be the publishing centre for Wikileaks and files show the extent of corruption of previous governments in Australia and how the Gillard Government had beenhand-picked by the USA. Inspired by these changes, people in other countries opt for quiet revolution and peace, with real democracy gradually becoming the norm throughout the world.
Impossible? Maybe. There again, someone once said that we are but confined in our possibilities by the limits of our imagination.
May a thousand Wikileaks bloom…