In this piece for the Fairfax press, Truth of Assange is stranger than fiction Elizabeth Farrelly 12 Apr 2012, writes about the strange twists in the Assange case.
The picture that Farrelly paints, it is like Julian Assange is the eye of a cyclone, with all the drama swirling around him, which seems to be even more bizarre than the original story of the man behind wikileaks.
I’m not given to conspiracy theories, incompetence being so much easier to imagine, but one thing gives credibility to Clive Palmer’s otherwise nutty CIA phantasm about US influence in Australia.
It is Julian Assange, a story that hinges on the uncomfortable relationship between truth and power.
We expect truth-telling from our four-year-olds but not from our politicians. In the case of Assange, truth is actively and repeatedly punished.
This implies that, as you move up through society’s power strata, there’s a point where morality flips.
A sort of moral inversion layer, beneath which the rules apply but above which they’re reversed.
The modern Labor Party seems to illustrate this as well as anyone.
Labor’s special amendments to the Extradition Act allow the same, prooflessstreamliningof extradition from Australia. Its so-calledWikiLeaks Amendmentallows ASIO to spy, at the Attorney-General’s discretion, on known supporters – despite the AFP’s view that no law has been breached. And its controversial Cybercrime Security Bill allows routine collection and surveillance of private emails, texts and other personal data.
As Gillard told Barack Obama last year,you can do anything today. Assange’s story will make a great film, in years to come; Jason Bourne with a dragon tattoo. But it’s not fiction. It’s real. We may yet be forced to recognise that Gillard’sanythingmay include totalitarianism by stealth. And this is Labor.
Although Assange supporters keep denying that it is a left-right issue. It seems to be that accusation leveled against those defending or questioning Assange that is is a left-right issue comes from those on the right, attacking those on the left, as being on the right for daring to raise any questions about Julian Assange himself.
The left have let Assange down! Yes, and the right have been quite happy to sit back and watch it all happen.
You ask too many questions and the spotlight turns on you, as the feminist Katha Pollitt found out being accused of waging a right-wing campaign against WikiLeaks co-founder Assange. Defend Assange unquestioningly or prepare for everything the leftwing media can throw at you.
Is it true that Assange despises the left? He has raised the idea of standing in Gillard’s seat, although with little chance of winning, wanting to unseat the Prime Minister and force regime is a tactic we would be more used to see in the Murdoch media. But in the end, does it matter? Should how someone votes be a deciding factor in whether or not they get their legal rights?
Despite a possible tilt at the Senate or taking a sitting Prime Minister’s seat, Assange is still an Australian citizen and deserves the full entitlements that come with having citizenship. He has every legal right to try and unseat a government. An American billionaire tries it every day in our national newspapers, and no one seems to worry about that.
And, while Assange supporters are attacking the incompetence, or perhaps wilful abandonment, of an Australian under threat of extradition to a legal blackhole of US Military prison, do people really expect that an Abbott government would have acted any different. Muhamed Haneef, Mandouh Habib, David Hicks, Scott Rush… perhaps not. Whatever has happened under the current government, it would be naive to think it would be better with Abbott in charge.
Extradition Without Proof, Spying Without Proof laws do not just apply to Assange. And if they weren’t the Wikileaks Laws, they might have been the Coal-Seam-Gas laws or Anti-Terror laws or Pirate-Copyright-Law.
All Australians will have to realise that each and everyone of us are now living under these laws, and things won’t be getting better any time soon.
text by @redglitterx
reference to any person in this post is in no way intended to imply that the person or people quoted would in any way endorse the contents of this post or blog