Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 25/04/19

A Distraction Burglary Of Freedom

The dragging of the journalist and editor Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London a couple of weeks ago was troubling in so many ways.

Firstly, it was a prime act of cowardice and disgrace by the current President of Ecuador (an act rightly fulminated against by his more principled and more independent-minded predecessor), who used the case to make good on his toadying to Washington for big bucks from international finance and a chance to cover up the financial scandals enveloping his régime.

Secondly, it became clear in short order that Assange's claim that he was in mortal peril was not the 'conspiracy theory' that hacks had dismissed it as being, as the Metropolitan Police were forced to admit that their original statement that the kidnapping was simply in relation to a case of alleged bail-jumping was an outright lie, and that their purloining of Assange was done in pursuit of a demand for his extradition by The Great Trumpire, which is mighty miffed at Wikileaks' exposure of its high criminality around the world, and seeks to quell any attempts at genuine investigative reporting on those and other atrocities.

Thirdly, the sight of those self-same hacks who have spent most of the last decade sneering and smearing both Wikileaks and its senior editor practically (as I believe they say in the racier domains of the Web) creaming their pants at the unclean spectacle of Assange's forced removal from safety, showing once again that most self-identifying 'journalists' nowadays wouldn't recognise a principle or ethic of that profession if it sneaked up from behind and anally raped them.

And fourthly, the attempts - already eminent but now ramped up to new levels of the emetic - by not only the hacks but by their similarly faux-liberal political and punditocratic confrères (and, more to the point here, consœurs) to justify their refusal to see the immense danger to a free press in whatever form which this case demonstrates by trying to turn people away from recognising that peril by either trying to make it all about Assange's personality or by trying to make it about the alleged sexual offences of which Assange was accused in Sweden.

On these last two points, I can no more judge the accuracy of the claims about Assange's general demeanour than could anyone else who has never met him, and it is worth bearing in mind that many of those claims have come straight from the foreign ministry in Quito; and, with regard to the last matter, it must be remembered that the Swedish authorities ultimately dropped all accusations against him, despite pressure on them from London not to do so. Not that this stopped the usual cavalcade of soi disant 'centrists', fake feminists and others from the ranks of the terminally insolent dipping their talons in green ink and sending a letter to the current Master of Compulsory Compliance Sajid Javid (which, of course, the Guaraniad published prominently) demanding that Assange be deported in chains to Stockholm to face charges which have never been levelled against him. Not only does such an egregious act of false concern ignore the near-certainty that, once in the hands of the Swedes, he would be handed meekly over to the US, but - more shamefully still - it does the dirty on the real victims of real sexual violence. Not that such an act would be in any way beyond chancers such as Stella Creasy, Jess Phillips and the entire cast of the Tiggytubbies, of course.

The fact that an editor and publisher can - at a time when free journalists are being murdered by the week all around the planet - be placed in such a position, and that such a fate is being cheered on by preening 'liberals' and 'progressives', should not come as much of a surprise from those whose primary - if not sole - concern is their own present maintenance or future advancement. The equally simple fact that, should the US get its way and Julian Assange spends the rest of his life in a 'Supermax' somewhere on the outskirts of Buttfuck, Wyoming (and a similar fate befall Chelsea Manning, still held without trial after refusing to bend the knee to that obscenity against justice called a 'grand jury'), then no journalist anywhere on the planet can consider him- or herself in any way protected, to the great disadvantage of the rest of us who could never again be made aware of the criminality of those who claim to rule us.

This issue must not be allowed to be obscured in such ways, which is why I have written this piece to draw attention to this fine analysis by Jim Kavanagh in Counterpunch. I also recommend two of the articles he links to: this one by the former Grauniad reporter Jonathan Cook; and this savagely satirical take by C J Hopkins.