Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Wikileaks, Julian Assange and a North American Torture-State (the President is Mr B Obama)

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Wikileaks, Julian Assange and a North American Torture-State (the President is Mr B Obama)

Lots of cowardly junk has been published in Mainstream Media Outlets about the Assange / Wikileaks case; the key feature is a determination to avoid resisting the North American torture-state offensive headed by its leader Barack Obama.

Susan McKay’s August 24 Opinion Piece in the Irish Times is typical of this worldwide trend :

The Assange affair is not just about WikiLeaks, stupid – Susan McKay 

McKay alleges :

Assange has not sought political asylum because of WikiLeaks. He is on the run from allegations of rape. These alleged crimes are defined as both serious and non-political. Political asylum is a hard-won human right – Assange has abused it. In doing so he has endorsed a real witch hunt – against the women who allege he sexually coerced them.”

Mocking the threat to Assange McKay tells her readers :

We are expected to accept by now that a vast international conspiracy exists whereby the extradition order is merely a ploy to get Assange into Sweden so that the US will be able to extradite him in relation to WikiLeaks, sling him into Guantanamo detention centre and maybe even sentence him to death.”

A little research gives us compelling and clear answers to McKay’s claims.

The Irish Times opinion piece is on stronger ground attacking the comments of one politician, George Galloway – Eamonn McCann also wrote about this British MP on August 24, in the Belfast Telegraph – and McCann’s opening paragraph can be read as the polar opposite to McKay’s analysis :

There is no excuse for George Galloway. Even if it turns out – as well it might – that Julian Assange is entirely innocent of the allegations against him, Galloway’s remarks about rape will remain indefensible.

It may eventually emerge that the allegations are not just groundless, but have resulted from a vile conspiracy orchestrated by Western security services to discredit WikiLeaks’s revelations of war crimes. But that won’t exculpate Galloway, either.”

Galloway’s rape claims no help to war crimes victims – Eamonn McCann

The New Statesman legal correspondent, David Allen Green – like Susan McKay – attacks Ecuador for granting asylum to Julian Assange :

Allen Green asks :

By giving Assange asylum, Ecuador is protecting freedom of the press”

and answers :

“This is perhaps the strangest proposition.

Ecuador has a woeful record on freedom of the press. It is 104th in the index of world press freedom, and even the quickest glance at the examples of press abuse in Ecuador accumulated by Reporters Without Borders and Index on Censorship indicate a regime with a starkly dreadful and illiberal record on freedom of expression.

It has even recently been reported that a blogger called Alexander Barankov is to be extradited by Ecuador to Belarus, of all places, where he may face the death penalty.

Whatever the reason for Ecuador granting political asylum to Assange, there is no basis for seeing it as based on any sincere concern for media freedom either in Ecuador or elsewhere.”

Legal Myths About Assange Extradition – David Allen Green, New Statesman

Allen Green’s analysis is demolished in this Glenn Greenwald Guardian Article

“Human rights critics of Russia and Ecuador parade their own hypocrisy”.

Any leftists taken in by Mr Allen Green should carefully read Greenwald :

“(Apparently, activists should only seek asylum from countries with pristine human rights records, whichever countries those might be: a newly concocted standard that was conspicuously missing during the saga of blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng at the US embassy; I don’t recall any western media outlets accusing Guangcheng of hypocrisy for seeking refuge from a country that indefinitely imprisons people with no charges, attacked Iraq, assassinates its own citizens with no due process on the secret orders of the president, bombs funerals and rescuers in Pakistan, uses extreme force and mass arrests to try to obliterate the peaceful Occupy protest movement, wages an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, prosecutes its Muslim citizens for posting YouTube videos critical of US foreign policy, embraces and arms the world’s most oppressive regimes, and imprisoned Muslim journalists for years at Guantánamo and elsewhere with no charges of any kind.)”

Human Rights Critics – Russia, Ecucador

A selection of articles is below which makes the issues in this case crystal clear :

The bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange – Glenn Greenwald

We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited – Katrin Axelsson, Lisa Longstaff

Assange, Wikileaks – Where Should the Left Stand – Lindsey German

Tariq Ali, Ex-U.K. Ambassador Craig Murray Praise Ecuador for Granting Asylum to Julian Assange

Don’t lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange – Seumas Milne

Serious allegations of rape are being made against Julian Assange – Like Eamonn McCann I do not know if the Swedish allegations are true or not.

But, I freely admit to bias, I am suspicious.

The track record of powerful states – Britain and the United States – which are trying to hunt down Julian Assange should sound the alarm.

Craig Murray, a whistleblower like Assange, is a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, and he was viciously targeted by his government bosses.

 In 2002 Murray was appointed British ambassador to Uzbekistan at the relatively young age of 43. He was dismissed from that post in October 2004.[2] In July 2004 he told The Guardian that “there is no point in having cocktail-party relationships with a fascist regime”, and that “you don’t have to be a pompous old fart to be an ambassador”.[11]

In October 2002 Murray made a speech at a human rights conference hosted by Freedom House in Tashkent in which he asserted that “Uzbekistan is not a functioning democracy” and that the boiling to death of two members of Hizb ut-Tahrir “is not an isolated incident”.[16] Later, Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan confronted Uzbek President Islam Karimov with Murray’s claims.[11]

Murray was summoned to the FCO in London and on 8 March 2003 was reprimanded for writing in a letter to his employers, in response to a speech by President of the United States George W. Bush, “when it comes to the Karimov regime, systematic torture and rape appear to be treated as peccadilloes, not to affect the relationship and to be downplayed in the international fora … I hope that once the present crisis is over we will make plain to the US at senior level our serious concern over their policy in Uzbekistan”

“Discipline charges

In July 2003 some of the embassy staff were sacked while Murray was away on holiday. They were reinstated after he expressed his outrage to the FCO. Later during the same holiday he was recalled to London for disciplinary reasons. On 21 August 2003 he was confronted with 18 charges. These included “hiring dolly birds [pretty young women] for above the usual rate” for the visa department, though he claims that the department had an all-male staff, and granting UK visas in exchange for sex. Most of the charges were not supported by any evidence and others were petty. The FCO gave him a week to resign and told him that discussing the charges would be a violation of the Official Secrets Act 1989.[11]s

He collapsed during a medical check in Tashkent on 2 September 2003 and was airlifted to St Thomas Hospital in London. After an FCO internal inquiry conducted by Tony Crombie, Head of the FCO’s Overseas Territories Department, all but two of the charges (being drunk at work and misusing the embassy’s Range Rover) were dropped. The charges were leaked to the press in October 2003.[17] Immediately upon his return to work in November 2003, he suffered a near-fatal pulmonary embolism and was again flown back to London for medical treatment. The FCO exonerated him of all 18 charges in January 2004 after a four month investigation but reprimanded him for speaking about them.”

from Wikipedia.

Craig Murray – Wikipedia

Sound Familiar?

John Meehan August 27 2012

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