The Eerie Silence Surrounding the Assange Case has been broken…in Australia

First, from Mike Head at wsws.org June 12, 2018: ‘Demands grow that Australian government act to free Julian Assange’

Head writes that last Sunday one of Assange’s attorneys, Australian Jennifer Robinson, was on channel 7’s ‘Sunrise Weekend’ giving a 10-minute interview.  He called it a significant break from the long media silence in Australian media on Assange’s seven year detention in the Ecuadorian Embassy.  Robbins had apparently issued a clear message to the Aussie government to  carry out its responsibility to an Aussie citizen and give him his freedom.

I’d tried, but failed, to find the interview both on youtube and on Channel 7’s site.  He writes that her challenge came as an international movement to fight for the freedom of the courageous journalist who has done more for transparency regarding war crimes, mass surveillance, and regime change operations around the world.  Now I’ll offer here that at their site, you’re able to see in the middle column just how hard the world wide socialists have been working to build that global movement.  Back to Mike Head:

“One of the central demands of this campaign is that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s government act immediately to secure Assange’s freedom and his right to return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from any US request for his extradition on conspiracy and espionage charges. These charges can carry the death penalty.

Robinson’s interview came three days after she accompanied two Australian consular officials to meet with Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he sought political asylum on June 19, 2012. The visit was the first made by Australian officials to the Australian citizen in the six years since he has been effectively imprisoned inside the embassy, denied the right to obtain medical treatment or sunlight and outdoor physical exercise.

In her “Sunrise” interview, Robinson posed the pressing question: “What diplomatic representation is the Australian government willing to provide to protect Julian Assange from the risk of US extradition?”

Robinson pointed out that the Trump administration had taken “a far more public and aggressive stance” against WikiLeaks and Assange than even the Obama administration, under which a Grand Jury indictment was made for Assange’s arrest.

Since Trump’s election, Robinson explained, key members of his administration had called for WikiLeaks to be “taken down,” and for ways to be found to prosecute Assange, regardless of the US Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing free speech.

“When will the Australian government, which is uniquely placed to provide a resolution to this case, step forward to provide assistance?” she asked.

Robinson said Assange was willing to “face British justice, but not the risk of US injustice.” He is prepared to face court for breaching his British bail conditions when Ecuador granted him political asylum, but must have a guarantee against extradition to the US.

Such a guarantee was “standard procedure,” Robinson said. “If the Australian government would come to the fore, the case could be resolved quickly.”

As Robinson emphasised, both US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, had made clear their intent to imprison Assange and shut down WikiLeaks, which Pompeo last year described as a “hostile non-state intelligence service.”

He goes on to say that threats against Assange escalated after the organization has released CIA Vault 7 documents which demonstrated massive capabilities to hack, covertly [and extraordinarily illegally and unconstitutionally, of course], surveil, and conduct cyber-warfare against US and planetary citizens.

“As the WSWS reported at the time, the documents indicate that the CIA has developed “more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses and other ‘weaponized’ malware” allowing it to seize control of devices, including Apple iPhones, Google’s Android operating system and devices running Microsoft Windows. By hacking these devices, the CIA can also intercept information before it is encrypted on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Weibo, Confide and Cloackman.”

He then reminds readers that Assange was further silenced on March 28, being allowed no communication with the world outside his virtual prisoners, no visitors save for legal counsel, and then steers us to an op-ed at New Matilda by human rights activist and attorney Kellie Trantor, which I did find: ‘Pressure Builds On Australian Government To Act On Assange Stalemate’, Kellie Tranter, June 12, newmatilda.com

Head brings the pithiest parts:

“She detailed documents, obtained by freedom of information requests, showing that Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had refused to “seek to ‘resolve’ Mr Assange’s case.” Bishop’s refusal followed the February 2016 findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that Assange was being arbitrarily detained by Britain and Sweden in violation of international human rights law.

On February 12, 2016 Bishop, a former lawyer, signed a Ministerial Submission stating “we are unable to intervene in the due process of another country’s court proceedings or legal matters, and we have full confidence in the UK and Swedish judicial system.”

Tranter disclosed two further statements from Bishop’s department, on June 7 and 8 this year, adhering to the refusal to act on the WGAD verdict, even though in May 2017 Sweden finally dropped its trumped-up “investigation” into the sexual assault allegations against Assange. Among the exposures made of the politically motivated and dubious character of these allegations was a detailed examination undertaken by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Four Corners” program on July 23, 2012 (see: “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange”). [<if you click the arrow under the video you can read the transcript.]

…and that given Sweden’s having dropped all charges against Assange, he’d be glad to answer the remaining, relatively minor, bail-jumping charges while in Australia. He adds:

“As a legal analysis published yesterday by the WSWS explained, both international and Australian law establishes that the Australian government clearly has the “discretion”—that is, the power—to take action against the United Kingdom in order to protect Assange, including, potentially, legal action in the British courts.”

and

“On May 28, the WSWS and the International Committee of the Fourth International called for international action to defend Assange  and endorsed the vigil being prepared by WikiLeaks’ supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19, and other vigils being organised around the globe.

In the same statement, the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), with the support of journalist and film-maker John Pilger, announced a demonstration to be held at Sydney Town Hall Square on Sunday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m. The rally will demand that the Turnbull government honour its responsibilities to Assange and intervene to secure his right to return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from any US extradition request.”

From his hyperlink to 5/282018 above:

We urge all defenders of WikiLeaks and of democratic rights to circulate information about the June 17 demonstration as widely as possible. Organisations that endorse and intend to participate in the demonstration should inform the SEP (Australia) at sep@sep.org.au. Endorsements will be published on the WSWS beginning tomorrow.”

I did manage to up solidarity vigils scheduled so far…around the globe here at classconscious.org; there may be other sites, but on these Twitter hashtags scheduled events in some locales are featured: #FreeAssange! and #Unity4Assange.

Now the title of this diary comes from  ‘The Eerie Silence Surrounding the Assange Case’, June 9, 2018, consortiumnews.org, Dennis Berstein interviews John Pilger

By way of a teaser; Bernstein opens with:

“In a recent communication between Randy Credico, an Assange supporter, comic and radio producer, and Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, Assange’s fear of arrest and extradition to the US was confirmed by the leader of the Russia-gate frenzy.

Credico received the following response from Schiff after meeting the Congressman’s staff, in which Credico was trying to connect Assange with Schiff: “Our committee would be willing to interview Assange when he is in U.S. Custody and not before.”

Dennis Bernstein spoke with John Pilger, a close friend and supporter of Assange on May 29. The interview began with the statement Bernstein delivered for Pilger at the Left Forum last weekend in New York on a panel devoted to Assange entitled, “Russia-gate and WikiLeaks”.

 

But jeezum crow; I just found the Robinson interview on…WikiLeaks’ Twitter account. I’ll embed it in comments.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon by way of a PSA)

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wendy davis's picture

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QMS's picture

@wendy davis these days in good old London town I wonder. Ain't no truth serum methinks. Officials would not speculate on the matter, according to the 'Press Secretary of Truth'. Security issues, you know.

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Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

wendy davis's picture

@QMS

it was two consulars of the aussie HigH Commission who'd visited assange, lol. but after six years, of course. still, progress of a sort from increased international pressure? we can only speculate at this point.

thanks for caring enough to read and comment, QSM.

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CS in AZ's picture

@wendy davis

She’s very well spoken and clear, and the show hosts were respectful and let her speak. Very good to see. Now let’s hope it helps. I hate to say it aloud, but I fear it’s unlikely that Australia will step up and piss off the US, which is determined to have his head on a pike.

I liked how one host asked her about the fact this started under Obama, so he questioned blaming “the trump administration” and she agreed it was under Obama when this persecution started, but says it’s gotten significantly worse under the current regime.

I’m not sure how that’s the case, as I think Julian Assange had no chance of getting out under Obama either. But that doesn’t matter so much now as, when will it end.

I hope this helps and Australia does step up. If she’s right and they *can* actually get him out and bring him to Australia, then they should.

Thanks for the essay Wendy.

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wendy davis's picture

@CS in AZ
but yes, former CIA pompeo ramped it all a few notches up: CIA vaults 7 (and 8).

sorry to be so lethargic; wildfires in the area have me down. not close, really, but we're in exceptional drought on the US drought monitor, and the sounds of the slurry bombers remind me/us of when we were forced in evacuation some years ago.

they've closed the entire san juan forest (1.2 million acres) until 'further notice' (as in RAIN).

but i agree: australia's turnbull's not likely to piss of the 'leader of the free world'.

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CS in AZ's picture

@wendy davis

I didn’t know you were near that fire, I saw it on the news today... not to sidetrack this great topic, but just to say I feel for you. My husband and I moved from Arizona to Southern California back in the late 1990s. We lived there about six years. And we left because of those insane goddamn fires.

We had to pack up once and evacuate, spent two days in a motel in Palm Springs with our dogs. Our house was ok, that time, but the devastation in some areas was just mind blowing, and those fuckers move *fast* — it is terrifying. I told my husband, I can’t live here.

We moved back to Tucson. I loved living near the ocean, but I can’t do fires like that.

Be safe, let us know if your area gets into trouble!

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wendy davis's picture

@CS in AZ

and i should have said 'amiga' then? i'll let you know if anything comes closer, and while i like to think there's nothing left to burn here...that's rubbish, of course. mr. wd said that on noaa's website a storm is brewing in the baja, and *could* bring us a whopping .30 inches of wet, lol. wildfire does seem to be almost a live entity, doesn't it? i just spent ten minutes trying to get into my flickr account to how you the results. failed, of course, lol. they'll mail me my cursed password. O dan balz!

on edit: here is the link to some of my wildfire photos on flickr. the one of webber mountain covered with ash i took on the way home once we were given the okey-dokey. there must have been a breeze, even caused by slightly hot ash, but it literally vibrated, made me think of a chimera. for months the seams of coal would and smoke, and aye god the BLM finally believed my photos and spent a lotta bucks digging into seams and stopping the burning. whooosh.

edited out the link for the wrong er...year. sounds as though some of the planes may be spotters rather them old b-52 or whatever slurry bombers. hell for i in know they upgraded the fleet; the old ones were akin to death traps as they wouldn't turn worth tiddly-pom.

heh, we were on a quest to find a new place to live, got within 100 miles of tucson and turned north to the white mountains: tooo hot. bwak, bwak...

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ggersh's picture

but tptb just don't give up and they seem to
have the world by the ----'s

speaking truth to power isn't the 21st century
template, at least not at this juncture.

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“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

wendy davis's picture

@ggersh

but when i do something inordinately clumsy, i'm apt to yell "oh, dan balz!" ('member him?)

well, they've disappeared him digitally already, the maxim being: 'thou shalt not tell the truth about government doings'. can unity day events help? who can say? can't hurt, anyway. imagine what he's been thinking, feeling, esp. since he was silenced and held incommunicado.

as john pilcher said: 'instead he should have been given the nobel peace prize'.

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Sigh

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

what's left by now but the Unity4Assange vigils? thus, this PSA, i guess.

i gotta shut down for the night, and given the patti smith quote in the melbourne art at the top: 'WikiLeaks was formed as an act of love'--Patti Smith....i'd considered her 'people have the power' as a lullaby. but 'rise like lions' and all that aside, on this occasion we don't, tragically. so i'll go instead with the last thing the late great john trudell recorded before he 'caught his ride' to the great beyond. he says the truth of this in a nutshell.

good night all, sleep well, dream well if you can.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis Untimely is making a very timely quote:

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

theoden, aragorn son of arathorn! ride out meet them!

if utimely had been pinging exactly that, i will say that not a few commenters at different sites massively in support of julian have suggested that 20000 doughty civil justice warriors...barge into the ecuadorian embassy and *provide him* with safe passage.

and thanks for reading, and...you're welcome.

as a very side note: i hung a print from a calendar on the wall above the bathtub. it's a painting of aragorn kneeling in front of galadriel in a mallorn forest. our erstwhile shrink friend saw it and smirked a bit about my choice, lol. ah, yes, wd requires obeisance was in his mind, of course.

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@wendy davis
After one of the brothers died, the survivor seems to have put up pretty much all of that original art for sale. i was surprised by the "relatively" low prices the paintings fetched. i would have imagined there were plenty of silicon valley gazillionaires who would have paid big bucks, but no. IIRC, the awesome Eowyn vs the Lord of the Nazgul painting sold for about 20K, which I wouldn't have thought would be enough to have commissioned a painting by the H bros 20 years ago.

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Sigh

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

and my stars, you brilliant mofo, this!:

bless yer pea-pickin' ♥. a carved wooden whale pair pair hang on clear filament from the ceiling to the right; i can lie in the tub, put my lips in an O and blow (not whistle)...and they twist and swim...

and thanks for the metaphor from helm's deep. if it were, of course (smile).

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mimi's picture

all I can hear in the whole story, is that they (US and Australia and Sweden and Great Britain) want Assange dead. They kill him the cruel way, digitally first, physically second.

Who would know, when he actually dies? I bet he is already at risk dying from the conditions of his imprisonment.

They murder him slow motion and hidden from the public. That's just what this is.

Shame on Australia. Oh, fuck the whole world. Really, I am done with it.

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wendy davis's picture

@mimi

would be his attorneys that they'd allow in to see him. if they were blocked for some bogus reason or another, they would let the world know. but what good would that be if he's dead, goddess forbid?

but no, theresa may won't even give him safe passage to hospital as luke harding and other storytellers at the guardian say he's faking, and the docs who'd examined him are lying. what was that pinheads 'former wikileaks team's' name? somebuddy ball.

but say the turnbull gummint did offer him safe passage, no extradition to the US, would julaian assange expect they would keep their word?

not hard to get sick of the world, especially the parts we're allowed to see, mimi.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Lookout's picture

Screen Shot 2018-06-09 at 5.59.55 PM_0.png

I hope the tide is beginning to move in Julian's favor as this article suggests...
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-09/zeitgeist-finally-shifting-fav...

Thanks for the essay and the interview with his lawyer.

PS hope you get a rain soon!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

and i'd read it at disobedient media; all worthy suggestions, of course, that i'd failed to provide here and to untimely as well. but in answer to the big Q: it's hard to think the modest change in the zeitgeist is enough to stem the tide against him. yep, the answer of a cynic, perhaps, but i've covered the MSM smears against him for ages, including at the Intercept, so to me his support is pro forma. yes, GG claims he has no influence, and didn't have influence over getting wikileaks kicked of the freedom of the press foundation...that julian had helped start and for which he'd provided the seed money.

thanks for reading and caring.

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Lookout's picture

@wendy davis

as you suggest. Maybe I'm Pollyanna, but I hope things are turning in Julian's favor...he's the hero not the villain.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

wendy davis's picture

@Lookout

he's pretty much enemy no. 1. aussie foreign minister julie bishop's quotes were utter rubbish, but on the sidebar is her quotes on the 135 assassinated palestinian during the march of return. and the fact that the US and australia condemned the (failed) proposal of a UN investigation into the killings by the idf.

but from your panglossian mouth to the gods' ears, lookout. i'd imagine that next weeks' global vigilists will be doin' their damnedest to get him freed, and will be armed w/ art, bumper stickers, and those postcards. and cameras, of course.

i'll try to cover events on twitter, and i know wsws will at their website, and will have journalists on the ground in some cities.

i send prayers for assange (even my rather atheistic sort).

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wendy davis's picture

from wsws’s eric london today:

“On Monday, the Spanish newspaper El Diario exposed previously unknown facts about the Ecuadoran government’s illegal surveillance of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. For the last year of his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the government of both current president Lenín Moreno and predecessor Rafael Correa “spied on every movement of Julian Assange in its embassy in London,” El Diario reports.

The El Diario report is based on new documents obtained from UC Global Security Consulting, the firm contracted by the Ecuadoran government to spy on Assange under the guise of “protecting” him.”

El Diario also noted that the intelligence reports compiled about Assange were rife with false information about Assange and the people with whom he met:

“The intelligence reports to which eldiario.es has had access are filled with errors and incorrect statements. Some names of visitors Assange received are not correct, there are misspellings and on some documents, and the Ecuadoran embassy is referred to as the Colombian Embassy. There are also mistakes in identifying the people with whom the WikiLeaks founder has access, like when the report speaks of Renata Avila, who it refers to as one of his Spanish lawyers from the office of Baltasar Garzon. Avila is not Spanish and she is not a lawyer in Garzon’s office.”

The revelation that intelligence reports included false information about Assange and his connections is a major blow to efforts to portray Assange as a shadowy manipulator. The international pressure campaign against Assange, led by the US government with support from its British allies, has focused on Assange’s alleged connections to various Russians and Trump representatives. The Democratic Party is currently suing Assange and WikiLeaks, claiming he illegally manipulated the outcome of the 2016 election.”

“El Comercio reported on June 8 that one of Valencia’s top priorities must include solving the Assange “problem,” which is “generating political and economic obstacles” and must be dealt with “quickly.” Valencia most recently served as Ecuador’s representative to the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS) [the org that had brought the report on ‘Nicolas Maduro’s crimes against humanity’.] He was educated in the United States and received a master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School of Government.” and more

and of course the former ecuadorian foreign minister María Fernanda Espinosa was elected to a one-year term as president of the United Nations General Assembly. james cogan wrote last week, i hadn’t read it:

“It appears Assange is being used as a bargaining chip in sordid negotiations between the U.S. and Ecuador. On June 4, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met Moreno. Amid the stepped-up persecution of Assange, Pence issued a statement lauding their discussion on “opportunities to reinvigorate the bilateral relationship” between the two countries. In words dripping with what sounded like imperialist deceit, Pence said the two countries would work together “to protect and promote freedom” and “build prosperity, security and democracy.”

Such “freedom” apparently does not include freedom of speech or freedom of the press, at least as far as WikiLeaks is concerned. “Democracy” apparently does not include the right to expose war crimes and other misdeeds of the U.S. and other Western governments. The “freedom” espoused by Pence means submitting to the world’s wealthiest interests.

Moreno’s evidently friendly discussion with Pence, and Espinosa’s victory in the UN, follow Moreno’s own attacks on Assange last week.”

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wendy davis I've never understood what the point is of even hiring a firm to do surveillance if they're going to lie about the target. If you want a simple hatchet job, hire a consultant. Why the pretense of trying to find anything out? Just hire someone to do the smears and be done with it. Who do they think they're fooling?

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt-out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

wendy davis's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

'eldiario.es has had access. a whistleblower in aid of the promotion of the firm's psyops? that's all i can figure.

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magiamma's picture

in Australia. Jennifer Robinson is such a great advocate for him. The PTB have upped there responses to protests and demonstrations. Sigh.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

i'd run into a couple more of her interviews on the channel 7 show, may have been the weekend sunrise show, i've er....forgotten now.

on the #unity4assange on twitter, i'd also grabbed this from one of the related sites, look as though the list is growing; 5 vigils just in australia:

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magiamma's picture

@wendy davis @wendy davis
Here is another interview with her by ABC Australia

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/lawyer-jennifer-robinson-on-julian-assanges-e...

(edited typos)

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation
http://hotair.magiamma.com/

wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

i'll check it out.

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wendy davis's picture

Saudi-led coalition launches attack on Yemen’s ‘humanitarian lifeline’ of Hodeidahat the café. might not be prime time, so i doubt i'll cross-post it. folks'll now soon enough, but bernhard at MoA had called it two days ago.

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travelerxxx's picture

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

i'll check out her diary, prolly tomorrow. we're busy watching sorta local wildfires blow up, and i'm trying to answer comments on six different threads on two sites. in my dotage, i'm not that brilliant at multi-tasking as i used to be (smile). but while not a complete fan of johnstone, she has been a tried and true warrior for justice for julian assange.

peace when you can manage it, i'll try to come back to feature a good night lullaby before i shut down for the night. oh, bugger, it's already close to 8 here already....

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

her title was so intriguing in turning the issue about why australia ahould give assange his freedom...on its head, and boy howdy, did she make the case of what it would do for australia, but really: australians who have no sense of who they are by now. i could kiss her for it, and you for bringing it.

what an unflinching look at the founding of australia as a convict colony and the mass genocide of aboriginals, which has just...slowed down from the sound of it, much like in amerika. i hadn't known of the 1975 uk/us spook coup, nor the history of gough witlam who paid the price for reversing the crown's colonization for a short time. whoosh; i hadn't time to finish john pilger's excellent eulogy for him at the guardian, but clearly that sort exposé is one of the reasons they quit carrying his work over time.

i also loved that she wrote that she and julian grew up in those days, so both would have been infected w/ the revolutionary fervor of those heady days. my stars, no wonder his mum and dad are so proud of him, eh? and likely...of caitlin, one of his best and most eloquent champions.

wouldn't it be lovely if the 'new matilda' would publish it? i expect it's linked on the #unity4assange by now, but i hadn't seen it earlier. i tend to stay away from the rather dictatorial sounding 'must read'...but this time i'll call it that very happily.

thanks again, and i'll take it over yonder with a h/t to you.

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wendy davis's picture

will be by another truth teller they'd tried to silence: santee sioux american indian movement chairman for yearsjohn trudell. his biography tab is still available, a bit from it:

“On February 11, 1979 Trudell had burned an American flag during a demonstration in front of the J.Edgar Hoover building, the headquarters of the F.B.I. In Washington, DC, Trudell explained his motives for the flag-burning. “In the military, they said if the flag has been desecrated, the only way to properly dispose of it is to burn it. But they defined desecration of the flag as if it drops on the earth. I say injustice and racism and classism and your whole way of life desecrates whatever you say this thing’s supposed to mean.”

About 12 hours after the flag incident, in the early morning of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, a fire “of suspicious origin” burned down Trudell’s home on the Shoshone Palute reservation in Nevada, killing Trudell’s wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother. Not surprisingly, the F.B.I. declined to investigate, and the blaze was officially ruled an “accident.” But Trudell flatly stated “It was murder; they were murdered as an act of war.”

trudell is one of the few who'd gone on to turn that insane poison into the most incredible medicine imaginable. 'rich mans war', someone else provided the images. good night all, and thank you..

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