These last few weeks have had the papers and blogs full of the intransigence or otherwise of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
Now I am a fellow Aussie and Assange was born the same year as my younger son so I am familiar with the free style upbringing he had in Queensland as I lived in Mullumbimby where free lifestyles are the norm.
So I have a certain sympathy with Assange and his philosophical outlook on life and on his activities. I am appalled by the actions (or rather inaction or anti-action) of the Australian PM Julia Gillard and her Attorney General Robert McClelland.
This whole (so far) episode and its promise in the future shows the most enormous blight on western governments everywhere.
The United States of America is up to its old tricks, pulling manipulative strings to enforce its own agenda and Sweden is caving in like the good little dogsbody it appears to have become. I smell the CIA in there somewhere, even if it is supposed to have been dismantled. It still lives on, a hero in its own lunchtime, lurching from one disaster to the next.
At least there are some dissenters in Sweden albeit in a bunker prepared to add their name to servers dotted all around the world simultaneously hosting Wikileaks website.
It is 98 feet underground built in 1943 in the middle of Stockholm.
The argument pushed in all the government manipulated newspapers is that diplomatic relations have been severely damaged by the cables copied and apparently leaked to Wikileaks by one seemingly disenchanted American soldier Bradley Manning. Wikileaks has so far published some 2,000 of these cables. Watch out everyone. Small wonder Manning is being treated like shit and the big THEY want to incarcerate Assange.
It is reported that some 250,000 cables have been copied and leaked to Wikileaks during May 2010. Manning’s arrest and incarceration is another story all together. It is reported on World Watch that he has not been convicted of any crime but is being held in ‘inhumane’ conditions.
Well, I stand firmly behind Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens. Again, I stand behind Daniel Ellsberg (arrested for the 80th time on Thursday); I signed and donated to the GetUp! campaign in Australia to fund advertisements in the New York Times.
Assange has been released on bail into the safe keeping of a friend Vaughan Smith who happens to own a palatial home called Ellingham Hall in Suffolk. Mind you, I have difficulty with the whole very shonky looking and sounding court proceedings to start with. I am convinced the Brits have lost the plot.
With wonky Americans like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and others calling for Assange’s incarceration as a terrorist and his execution, it is small wonder Assange and his lawyers fought any extradition to Sweden. Sweden has an extradition agreement with the US and the US is severely embarrassed by these cable leaks.
It is like the US, preening itself in front of a global mirror of its own making, has suddenly been caught with its pants down and it ain’t a pretty sight.
The utter hysteria unleashed by countries whose diplomatic behaviour has been brought into question merely lets the rest of us know that we have allowed this form of government too much leeway and licence.
It is time to show it up for what it is. A house of cards easily dismantled if only we have the fortitude and persistence. Not much hope in a world where a 15 second sound bite masquerades as concentration and memory.