What I have learned so far:
— the prosecutor in delivering his opening statements openly stated that he was addressing the media;
— many of the journalists left the courtroom after the prosecution set out its case and did not stay to hear the defence;
— information that has been public knowledge for ten years (published, in the public domain) that Wikileaks and Assange personally went to great lengths to remove sensitive names and sources from their files before they were released to the public means nothing to those in power: they still have the audacity to accuse Assange of not redacting key information and names;
— that the U.S. is allowed to target an Australian for exposing war crimes and the Australian government will not object.
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11 thoughts on “The Assange Hearing”
This is a very sensitive issue for me. Thank you Neil for seeking truth and justice in this matter. About 10 years ago I started meeting with the SAWC group in Sydney (Support Assange and Wikileaks Coalition). Julian’s father, John Shipton, used to attend on occasions. We group held several protests and fund raising events and sent aid to Julian in London. Some of us even visited him there. We championed his cause by marching in the G&L Mardi Gras 2 years in a row, and demanding the release of Private Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning. We struggled to make an impact on public opinion. Our government is well and truly won-over by the US Lobby, believing that we should by all means err on the side of caution and please the US in case one day we need them as an ally. What they do not concede is that the threats they are afraid of are in fact brought on by the actions of the US itself, propogating its military-industrial economy. SAWC continues and I encourage anyone interested in supporting Julian to join and follow. It is very hard for SAWC to get a message across. Most people simply do not care about Julian or feel that our government will ultimately protect us from a greater threat.
Tonight Wed. 26/2/20 6pm I will be attending a presentation “Bring Assange Home” organised by Australians for War Powers Reform at the NSW Parliament offices . It will be very interesting and I will try and get a transcript or podcast. If I can get it I can put a link in this blog. There may be still room iof you wish to attend, call 02 9230 2526 to Shaoquette Moselmane NSW ALP’s office. Speakers include Bob Carr, former NSW Premier and Federal Foreign Affairs Minisiter (2012-2013). I am hoping he has “done a Malcolm Fraser” and come to his senses in support of Julian. It will be hosted by Shaoquette Moselmane NSW ALP. Other speakers include Greg Barnes Julian’s Lawyer and Alsion Broinowski former diplomat. I have known Alison Broinowski for about 5 years. The following is her bio :
My final remarks again thanks to Neil for raising the issue and I’d encourage you to our PM to ask that he reevaluate our ties with the US and stand up for our citizen.
Some info on SAWC is at :
Thanks, Peter. Can you clarify the source of the quoted section, please? I see it on SMH’s site: https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/an-issue-of-freedom-us-treatment-of-assange-risks-souring-alliance-20200101-p53o6x.html — Did you mean to post something more specific to Alison Broinowski?
Alison sent this to our Peace group. I haven’t read the SMH. Do you want to join us this evening and you can meet her ? You’d need to call the RSVP number I gave.
I wonder how many of those reporters think that they’re actually journalists!
Julian knows himself and knew what to expect. This was his profile for the OKCupid dating site in 2006 when he was 36 years old:
Leigh, David, and Luke Harding. 2011. Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. London: Guardian Books. p. 32
Last night’s meeting (26/2/20) “Bring Assange Home” in NSW Parliament House was hosted by SIPIA, the Sydney Institute for Public and International Affairs.
Former Defence Minister Bob Carr spoke boldly on, in my words, the hypocrisy of those in power who prefer to prosecute a journalist who exposed war crimes, than to admit that the war crime took place. I think it was him also who emphasised the threat to democracy that a guilty verdict for Julian would bring, where non-US citizens, on non-US soil could be prosecuted by the US. Parallels to the David Hicks case (so called “enemy combatant”) were suggested.
Mary Kostakidis spoke among other things on the suffering that Julian is experiencing, she having met him three times in London
I remember protesting against Bob Carr in 2012 or 2013 in our SAWC mardi gras float in the parade in Sydney, when he was Defence Minister. I think it’s great how he has changed his position from indifference to action. I asked him last night how our Australian government could ever change it’s policy of alliance with the US, which I believe is the key to why Julian is not back home now. He said that it’s time our government was willing to have disagreements with the US yet stay friends. He didn’t go far enough for my liking.
Former Australian Ambassador to Mexico, Vietnam and South Korea, Richard Broinowski asked Mr Carr if he would go to the office of the current Defence Minister, Maryse Payne and put the wishes of the meeting to her. He said he’d give it some thought.
The resounding conclusion of the speakers of the meeting after Q&A was that it is absolutely invaluable that we Australians who care about Julian’s plight and the right to freedom of speech and holding governments accountable should form groups of local voters and arrange a meeting with our Federal Member of Parliament, bring the facts to him /her and asking what they are doing in government to see justice carried out for Julian.
I’m still looking for the audio / video link or podcast of the meeting to share.
Meantime, let us please all call our local member asap.
Thank you for the update.
Readers may be interested in the observations of the Assange courtroom process on the website by Craig Murray, a controversial writer and ex-diplomat native to my present home-town in Norfolk, England.
My god! These are horrific reports. It’s what one expects to read of Stalinist show trials.
On Contact: “On the show this week Chris Hedges talks to Joe Lauria, editor of Consortium News, about his coverage of US prosecutors in London attempting to extradite Julian Assange to the United States to face trial for allegations of espionage.”
Here are the speeches by Bob Carr, Mary Kostakidis, Greg Barns and Alison Broinowski at the NSW Parliament offices meeting on 26/2/20 :
I urge all concerned Australians to make an appointment with your Federal MP for theis support in the Parliament to bring Julian home.