One wonders if the breathless Julian Assange supporters who have ralled for their hero’s freedom have ever been able to see past their own noses, let alone peer carefully into the dark intellectual Mirkwood where Assange rules. Their fears that Julian cannot get a fair trial anywhere are based on the simplest and most enduring lefty global mantra – the spectre of American manipulation of international extradition treaties, where the CIA et al will have their brilliant boyo spending the rest of his life in some Stateside crowbar hotel. These supposed truths as proclaimed by the Assangeristas deserve a critical airing.
For these fearless defenders of free speech, Assange is the digital new-age Scarlet Pimpernel, the crusader poised to rescue the Western world from its secretive oppressors. His infamous Wikileak ‘dumps’ are supposed proof that left to its own devices, US interests will stop at nothing to get their man. Assange inspires a patriot-like fervor in his global constituency, one united in its purported love of freedom from government manipulation. These dupes are played by Assange like a badly out of tune stringed instrument.
As the peerless Samuel Johnson told his Boswell, ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel’ – the Tea Party screamers are only the latest American proof in a long, sorry line where McCarthy’s anti-communists and Nixon’s plumbers claimed love of country as their guiding light when more sordid motives seemed likely. As lord of his global kingdom, Assange riffs from the same songsheet. He has decreed to the faithful that he cannot get a fair trial on Swedish sex assault allegations (note – not yet charges), where two women allege that fair Julian put an interesting spin on how consent principles operate between intimate adults. He refuses to return to answer his accusers, preferring carefully scripted proclamations of innocence passed along through a fawning and compliant media. He exhausts all available British legal avenues to battle requested Swedish extradition. He breaks the bail that he had consented to in 2010, to finally find comfort in the welcoming arms of Rafeal Correa, President of Ecuador, the fresh new face of the international human rights movement. Ecuador will not consent to any attempted Assange extradition, anywhere, on the basis of a ‘political issue’ – Hallelujah! Free at last! Our Julian is free at last!
Such bilge…like any other messianic tyrant, Assange is prosecutor, judge, and jury… of his own case. His principles are revealed as so pathetic and self serving – perfectly suited to tin pot quasi-dictatorships and his new Ecuadorian home-sweet-home. Sweden has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s most committed liberal democracies, its justice system constructed on the rule of law and the presumption of innocence. ‘Swedish justice system corruption’ is a problem that seems to have previously escaped international attention. The Assange sycophantics who fear the American reaper seem out of step with those of us who might point to Sweden’s 1970s triumphs over sex censorship and world-class social programming as the defining beat of an uncompromisingly liberal vibe. But Assange will have none of it. And good news, people of Assange, if the duplicitous Yanks had wanted to do the dirty on your King Julian, weren’t they more likely to have pressured staunch US ally Britain to arrest him on their behalf sometime in the past 18 months while he tilted at his extradition windmills?
Where are we left with Julian Assange? Unrepentant sex offender? Incomplete data, and innocent until proven guilty. Accessory to treason and associated violations of US law through the Wikileaks releases? Ditto, allegations only, and if spurious they are readily rebutted. Intellectual fraud? Really, really guilty.