Julian Assange is The Stig

A last word on Julian Assange, at least until he gives www.adamshand.com.au the exclusive interview on just what happened in Sweden with the two women he is supposed to have molested.

The molestation allegations are the Free World’s best chance to lock up the pesky Assange because it’s arguable that he has committed no crime in publishing 250 000 confidential State Department cables. Or at least no crime US authorities can find in the statute books.

 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called Assange’s actions “an attack on America” which has endangered innocent people and sabotaged “the peaceful relations between nations.”

Sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations? I thought that was the US Government’s job, given their track record in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Central and South America, plus countless nations during and after the Cold War.

Wiser heads, such as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, have suggested the leaks have generated nothing more than embarrassment. The story is not in the material but the disclosure.

 The Washington Post newspaper reports that almost half the cables are “at the confidential or the secret level” There are, in fact, no top-secret documents included in the cache of documents.

There is no specific law in the US preventing the disclosure of classified documents. There are laws preventing the release of specific classified information such as the identity of covert operatives or “codes, ciphers or cryptographic systems.”, but that’s it. Anything beyond used toilet paper gets classified in Washington.

 US Congress tried to enact such a law during Bill Clinton’s presidency but he sensibly vetoed that. The US Government has never prosecuted media outlets for publishing leaked classified documents, but if they did they would have to rely on a 1917 Espionage Act which makes it an offense to wilfully disclose information regarding national security. The prosecution must prove the publisher knows the material is detrimental to the national interest and that he is breaking the law.

Assange is not a spy. If he was, he would be the kookiest spook in history. Why would any self-respecting spy disclose to his targets what he intended to do and and when. Prior to the document dump, he invited the US Government to suggest redactions to his material, and later wrote that WikiLeaks had: “absolutely no desire to put individual persons at significant risk of harm. “ Nor did they “wish to harm the national security of the United States.”

He didn’t even demand ransom money. Maybe he should have. He looks like he could do with a holiday and a decent feed. 

Assange was conducting himself as a journalist would, seeking confirmation and comment from the source of the material. Until the US Government bans journalism, there is very little they can do to him. Not so the government insiders who leaked to Assange, they face prosecution for treason, espionage. Long jail terms await. The leakers, not Assange, are the real heroes of this story.

So the best the international community can hope for is that the Swedes have a strong case against Assange on the sex charges. He seems an unlikely rapist. From his reported history, he would rather spend all night banging a keyboard than any female. But let’s see. If he has molested these women, he should face the consequences.

A few points on the media coverage: When Interpol issues “a red notice”, it is seeking a person for an interview, nothing more. It’s not an arrest warrant.

Assange is not hiding. His UK lawyer Mark Stephens says Scotland Yard and Interpol know exactly where his client is. Of course, we knew where Osama bin Laden was and we couldn’t catch him. Sometimes hiding in plain sight is the best ruse. 

Meanwhile Wikileaks is up and running again in Switzerland at www. wikileaks.ch .

 Go and give it your full support.

Or you could share the love and unburden yourself of any classified documents right here.

Meanwhile, Bank of America shares dropped 3 per cent on Friday after rumours swept the market that it would be the target of Wikileaks’ next document dump. Let’s see if Hillary Clinton is as quick to defend the bank, one of the architects of the sub-prime mortgage crisis that has ruined the lives of so many ordinary Americans.

10 thoughts on “Julian Assange is The Stig

  1. I have something of a school girl crush on Julian Assange and I’m beginning to think you do, too 🙂

    Good series of posts on Assange. Those molestation charges smack of a conspiracy though IMHO.

  2. Dear Melanie,
    I know your taste in men is a little off-beat but Julian is something else again. I am sure he would be very pleased to hear it. You may end up being bait for the authorities trying lure him out…thanks by the way.

  3. Conspiratorial, controversial, conniving and corrupt = frequent hallmarks of US policy,’international relations’ and trade manifested in neurotic tail- chasing, where individuals such as Assange are used to divagate and deflect public interest from the above. What a ruse! God bless ’em!

    • Thanks Ad, No people, I am not having a conversation with myself. This is Adam Eric Shand,internet freedom crusader and sometime spiritual ascetic, and Weta Digital e-man of the year, Welcome from wherever you are. Is Julian with you?
      I should add that journalists seek to do what Wikileaks does all the time. It’s just that they have been much much more successful than the average hack. The government could use the Espionage Act against journalists everyday, but they don’t because otherwise they shut down the press. Much of the argument rests on whether government accepts that Wikileaks is a media outlet. I think the article is correct legally but is a technical reading of the possibilities. This case needs to be read with other competing legislation that protects freedom of expression. Thanks for the insight Adam

  4. I like your take on all this Adam.. The unctuous hypocrisy spilling from the Gillard government is a comedy that brings no laughs.

    • Thanks Tintin,
      I wish I got in first with grabbing Tintin for a handle, at least for this blog. I even bought the small white dog and hang around seafaring bars looking for dissolute mariners to befriend…but that’s another life.
      My overall sense is from this affair is that governments (read political parties representing vested interests) tolerate journalism as long as it doesn’t reveal too much. The commercial media makes platitudinous noises about scrutiny and holding accountability but when push comes to axe handle around the head, they opt for status quo and what is commercially safe. I was scouring the Sunday Herald Sun for a mention of this story this morning and surprise, surprise (as Gomer Pyle would say) found not a syllable.

  5. J. Assange has certainly made Wikileaks one of the most interesting sites regarding freedom of the Press which is paramount in our Democratic world.

    • I’m enjoying reading your posts on Assange and would like to hear more as I suspect this saga will remain newsworthy for some time, certainly keeping the players on their toes and it will be very interesting to see how all this pans out, what changes it may bring.
      While the International Community may live in hope Assange is locked away in Swtizerland somewhere, it may also be the safest place for him to be, but it won’t stop the leaks will it?

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