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The Hunt After Wikileaks And Julian Assange …

  • December 8th, 2010
  • Posted by 7thmin

assange-julian.jpgCOMMENTARY: Julian Assange who presented himself to British police on Tuesday (7.12.10) has been arrested under a European warrant, and remanded in custody pending possible extradition to Sweden.

COURT ACTIONS

The Australian editor in chief of the Wikileaks online project was accused of sexual offences against two women in Sweden, in the aftermath of the release of thousands of American diplomatic communications, on the website.

(See documents, http://213.251.145.96/cablegate.html).

British legal observers have asked for more details about the process in Sweden, where prosecutors are said to have dropped the complaint, only to see it picked up and revived in a regional jurisdiction.

Officials in that country say it’s a “personal” matter, nothing at all to do with Wikileaks.

UNITED STATES

The United States government is reported to be gearing up to get the man from Stockholm for a possible espionage trial.

Where espionage can be a capital crime, is Julian Assange in line to be hanged, shot, electrocuted, or put down by chemical poisoning – depending on which legal territory they might carry out the execution?

The Australian government, which has condemned Assange over the Wikileaks affair and expressed some thoughts about suspending his passport, would have to oppose that, in line with its commitment against the death penalty.

(Another case is current, that of the American Gabe Watson,  the “honeymoon killer” ; after serving an 18-months sentence for the manslaughter of his young wife while diving off the North Queensland coast, he was extradited to face a murder change for the crime in the USA last month — only after his home-state of Alabama undertook not to execute him).

In line with government undertakings, the Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has affirmed that Julian Assange will be given consular assistance.

The Minister is himself mentioned in the Wikileaks documents, which have an American analyst saying he was “secretive” with “control freak tendencies”.

He’s said such diplomatic commentary is commonplace.

“This is just water off a duck’s back; I could not care less”, he told Australian radio today, and the  US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has contributed the view that Mr Rudd shows “vision”.

COMMENT

As for the case of Wikileaks, the US documents, and anger over it in America, in these libertarian times:

If liberal thought and a liberal democratic system give over to a more radical neo-liberal model, some developments can be expected, for example:-

Billions of dollars will move across from the public domain to private hands – via top-end tax cuts, bargain basement privatisations, companies vesting  funds with trusties from the CEO pool or various boards.

Government policy options will become subject to dictates of the “Market”, on stock exchanges or the money markets.

Certain corporate leaders will take the anything-goes freedom idea to heart and get into major crime.

And, indeed, there’ll be computer hackers running around with confidential diplomatic cables.

Sporting footnote

In a climate of great suspicion, speculation abounds. Julian Assange “turned himself in”, in London, just as the Australian cricket team succumbed to an horrendous defeat at the hands of England, at Adelaide – by an innings and 71 runs. Selfless or not, he may have served to distract gloating English news media.

Weird footnote

magnetic-island.jpg

A tropical island enters the case. Julian Assange spent his early years on Magnetic Island, a Euro backpacker haven close to the city of Townsville; it’s a training and departure point for dives on the celebrated Yongala wreck, where Tina Watson, 26, was killed by her husband in 2003.

Reference

Kim Sengupta,  “Assange could face espionage trial in US”, The Independent, London, 8.12.10. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/assange-could-face-espionage-trial-in-us-2154107.html, (8.12.10).

Los Angeles Times, LA, “U.S. may seek extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange”, 8.12.10. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-assange-legal-20101208,0,2435271.story, (8.12.10).

Wikileaks, “Secret US Embassy cables”.  http://213.251.145.96/cablegate.html, (8.12.10).

Pictures 

Julian Assange – Wikipedia, Magnetic Island, North Queensland

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