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FOOL’S ERRAND: Greens senator photo-bombing on Julian Assange’s infamy

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has spent taxpayers’ time and money flying around to Sweden to establish whether the country respects the human rights of its prisoners and passing on his findings to accused sex offender Julian Assange.

Sweden is very well known for its respect for human rights, indeed, its prison system is considered to operate on the most generous and eccentric Scandinavian terms where it’s one big Ikea-furnished smorgasbord of comfortable living.

In an amusing tale, three Israeli rogues had been jailed in Sweden. The Embassy did what foreign embassies tend to do, show up and offer assistance in doing everything they can do to help them get home, where they’d serve out the remainder of their sentence.

But these three blokes wouldn’t be in it, some even refusing to meet the consular official fearing they’d be sent to a normal run-of-the-mill prison in Israel rather than the “five-star hotel” arrangements in place in Swedish prisons, where there’s sparkling clean facilities, cable TV, a tour of Stockholm every six months to get out and about, conjugal visits for three days in a three-room luxury apartment in the prison, excellent food, including high-quality steaks the prisoners can grill up themselves,

The mystified Consul-General from Israel declared:

“I left with a feeling of a hotel, rather than a prison,” Shoshani concluded in his report to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

It appears Ludlam couldn’t avoid these truths:

“There is nothing out of the ordinary in that respect; if he is sent there … it appears his human rights will be protected.”

Of course, it is extraordinary the extent to which Sweden treats prisoners – and those like Assange accused of serious crimes – well.

Ludlam’s trip was little more than a silly publicity stunt.

Not everyone is happy about Swedish prisons, with one young chap causing a stink last year in a “series of concerted attacks” on staff where he repeatedly farted in the presence of prison guards.

“I had an upset stomach while I was playing cards but did not want to fart there. So I went over to the guards instead,” the 21-year-old convict told the prison authorities.
When challenged over his behaviour and summoned for questioning, the prisoner claimed that his “farts were all noise and no fragrance”.

With any luck he’ll be housed next to Assange, who not only stands accused of sexually assaulting a number of women in Sweden in circumstances he’s already admitted involved unfortunate behaviour by him but also released unredacted secret US government cables and information that disclosed the sometimes previously secret identity of democracy activists in some of the world’s worst tyrannies who sought help from the US government.

The publication of this material in that way was nothing less than the most brutal attack on those campaigning for human freedom in the darkest corners of the world.

Assange’s judgment as a publisher was clearly influenced by a visceral hatred of America.

His willingness to endanger others so he could “big note” himself was highlighted by the way the US diplomatic cables were released, en masse, without care or concern for the individuals doing much more for “justice” than Assange ever has.

It appears his direct role in Bradley Manning’s stealing 700,000 documents from the US government could be the source of serious legal trouble for Assange, far more serious than the sex offences of which he’s been accused in Sweden:

In a March 8, 2010, chat, Manning asked Assange for help in cracking a password so he could log onto the classified computer anonymously, Fein said.

“Any good at IM-Hash cracking?” Manning asks.

“Yes,” is the reply. “We have rainbow tables for IM,” the interlocutor says, citing a tool that can be used to decipher passwords.

Manning sends a string of numbers.

“Passed it on to our guys,” is the reply.

His treatment of Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking much of the information that made Wikileaks notorious, is particularly disgraceful. Assange took millions from gullible donors, promised to back Manning’s legal defence, evneutally only handed over $15,000, and only then after Manning’s supporters had been publicly critical over the failure to provide the promised assistance. Manning is likely to spend as many as thirty years in jail.

Like the farting Swedish prisoner, Assange is a true stinker. Or a pig, as he has admitted himself.

So much so that it appears he’s also outstayed his welcome at Ellingham Hall, the country estate owned by his supporter Vaughan Smith. The New York Times in September suggested there were a few tensions in paradise.

Ludlam explains today Assange has moved to Kent, closer to London, because of “logistical issues.”

Sounds like more than a few secrets being kept there.

Ludlam has explained his desire to campaign for Assange here in a strange webcam interview where he declared his enthusiasm for the publication of secrets, arguing that the “truth is powerful” in combating the excesses of those who wield power:

“The bigger the secrets you hold, the bigger the conspiracy, the more you have to hide, the more you have to lose.”

“The greater the degree of secrecy… the more there is to lose from transparency.”

And this from a party that bans the media from its party conferences.

 

 

Discussion

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  1. Julian Assange is a real Aussie patriot and the 2 Swedish women that asked his to say at their homes and then invited him into their beds (on separate occasions) are either jealous whores (what I wasn’t really special!) or part of a Yankee plot to arrest and silence our hero.

    Every week we hear about US military incompetence and US political naivety as far as foreign policy is concerned (eg) bombing a dug-in Pakistan Army platoon on the border with Afghanistan last week and the loss of a drone over Iran the week before. Not to mention the murderous shooting up of journalist in Baghdad that Wikileaks exposed.

    Also read today’s Age newspaper (26 Dec 11), page 19. A former US Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich and Viet Nam veteran has a piece titles “The Grave of Failed Ideas” about the fact the US Army can not be relied up on to win wars anymore and the USA’s misguided confidence in its global superiority and dominance

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | December 26, 2011, 15:30
  2. Further proof that any loony can be elected to the Senate.

    Posted by What the ? | December 26, 2011, 17:19
  3. Dear Mr Landeryou, your annonymous article is the typical Goebbelian mix of facts and lies aimed at distorting the truth. It lies that that Assange disclosed “previous secret identity of democracy activists”. I challenge you to support this claim by naming at least one such secret activist who was unknown before the Wikileaks publication.
    The article distorted the facts when it assured us of Assange’s “willingness to endanger others” by releasing cables “en masse, without care or concern”. The fact is that it was the Guardian that published secret password which allowed access to the unredacted documents on internet before Wikileaks published them on their site. Assange’s concern about the Guardian’s breach of the password security is in his Wikileaks statement preceeding publication.
    Similarly your assurance that “Manning asked Assange for help in cracking a password” is baseless since the identity of the interlocutor remains unknown.
    Considering the 2005 spin story about your alleged “escape to Costa Rica from prosecution in Australia” you are in the best position to understand how personally damaging such mix of facts, allegations and lies can be.
    Whatever scathing tone your article has, the undeniable truth is that Assange is indeed an Australian hero for exposing political lies and war crimes.

    Posted by Dominic | December 27, 2011, 0:13
  4. It’s great when people start blogs to share ideas and thoughts, but if they are completely unresearched and/or biased we are all the poorer for it really .. we have enough bad journalists out there with poor quality selective reporting and they certainly don’t need enough help.

    One of the main references above is almost a year old and clearly out of date and have been superseded by fresh information since then which contradicts many of the assertions made above.

    Another simply reports allegations made by military prosecutors who would be struggling in a civilian context to meet any burden of proof. Luckily for them military tribunals don’t have to worry about such trifling matters …

    First, a prison is a prison no matter how ‘nice’ it is, especially if it is arguable whether someone committed a crime or not. Assange hasn’t even been charged yet with any crime let alone committed and sentenced, so whether Swedish prisons are holiday camps or not is largely irrelevant.

    We must also consider the Swedish laws that were allegedly broken and be reminded that if Australia had similar laws on sexual assault, probably the entire Australian rugby league would be in prison by now … of course, if you enter a country you have to abide by THEIR laws, bu hen again as noted above there have no actual charges against Assange to date; only allegations.

    As for financial support for Bradley Manning by WkiLeaks, donations made to WikiLeaks are generally made by supporters to keep WikiLeaks going. While Assange offers support to Manning it is clear that the illegal financial blockade by PayPal, MaterCard and Visa has virtually destroyed WikiLeaks’ ability to raise funds so there is little money available and what there is is just barely enought to keep WikiLeaks going.

    Of course PayPal, MaterCard and Visa are gong on about alleged illegal activities by WikiLeaks to justify their illegal financial blockade, however no formal charges have been laid against WikiLeaks to date.

    Also, if those financial services providers are so concerned about illegal activities, why continue to support subscription service for News Limited given the now well detailed criminal activities engaged in by that organisation in the UK, or the KKK and othr white supremacist organisation who still accept donations via credit card, or Israeli settlements on occupied territory that’s illegal under international (and even Israeli) law!

    Lift the illegal blockade of funds and there would be plenty of money to go around!

    Of course money would be little assistance to Manning in his military trial, which is nothing more than a show trial, with the US President already declaring him guilty, with his biased prosecutor being deeply involved in investigating WikiLeaks, with most of his witnesses rejected by the military tribunal and with his charges including releasing material to the Internet which brings the US armed forces into disrepute … This latter is a favourite charge of oppressive regimes such as Egypt when they have little good reason to lock someone up and throw the key away!

    Also one would think that the US army doing a pretty good job in bringing itself into disrepute without any outside help :-)

    Finally, there is a little something called the Nuremberg Principles. Number IV says that it is not a good enough excuse by a soldier that he or she was following his or her superior’s orders. Releases such as the ‘Collateral Murder’ video has unveiled war crimes being committed by US troops (thus my comment above on the US troops being no help to bring themselves into disrepute) and it was both a moral and legal obligation to release that material, even if that was in breach of the military rules … see Nuremberg Principle IV. Clearly our liberal democracies cannot be so far gone that such principles have become a mere inconvenience!

    Of course, there is likely to be a much simpler reason for the desperation to get Assange extradited to Sweden especially in circumstances where he hasn’t even been charged, as we all know that extraditing him to the US would be a breeze for Sweden, compared to the UK or even Australia once any bogus US charges are finally made up against him. But I suppose you do bring this kind of treatment on yourself when you embarrass the US and reveal too much inconvenient truth about global geopolitics :-)

    As for the allegedly ‘irresponsible’ release of information by WikiLeaks, the US has been unable to pinpoint a single person who has been hurt as a consequence of those releases … but both before and since that release the US military continued to cause enough collateral damage in civilian deaths to fill a small town … Ah the ‘fog of war’ such a convenient excuse for common war crimes and crimes against humanity!

    Posted by Stephen | December 27, 2011, 5:22
  5. Sexual assault claims are pretty much the hardest charges to defend yourself against.

    Once a claim is made, how do you “disprove” it?

    It’s no co-incidence that its a sexual assault claim thats been made against Assange.

    Posted by Anonymous | December 27, 2011, 7:59
  6. Ludlam paid his own way – it has been repeatedly stated in the media that this trip was at his own expense.

    Opinion is opinion, but your lead paragraph contains a blatant error of fact.

    Posted by Emilio Jones | December 27, 2011, 9:47
  7. Hearing Scott Ludlam’s own words is an important place to start.

    Ludlam like many of Assange’s supports are in denial of the seriousness of the accusations against Assange.

    Posted by OneBird | December 27, 2011, 14:24
  8. Wacko Jacko, go back to your anti-Semitic rants please – they make more sense than the above.

    Posted by Anon | December 27, 2011, 16:40
  9. “Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has spent taxpayers’ time and money”?

    No he hasn’t. The trip was at his expense – even the Daily Tele and Herald Sun know that.

    In almost every report on this it has mentioned that Ludlam was paying his own way. Opinion is opinion, and facts are facts.

    Posted by Excuse Me | December 27, 2011, 17:17
  10. Assange’s release of classified information is inexcusable and treasonous. Send him to the U.S. and let them deal with him.

    How many people fighting for freedom were exposed due to his psychopathic narcissism?

    Posted by Bob Down | December 27, 2011, 18:02
  11. Bob Down – treason only applies to your own country, in this case Australia, and our government has not layed any charges because he has not committed treason.

    Bob I am an Australian; are you a mad hatters tea party right wing republican American?

    Wikileaks mainly showed us what diplomats thought of other countries and their leaders, some of it not flattering, but who care it was funny and an eye opener.

    The Baghdad slaughter of journalist on foot but a US Army gunship helicopter needed to be exposed however only Pte Bradley Manning is in trouble but not the trigger happy aircrew. Typical arrogant Yank attitude to non US human life.

    Remember this incident did not occur during the invasion but a few years after the US occupation of Iraq so the fog of war can not be used to protect the “rambo” aircrew.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | December 27, 2011, 18:25
  12. Classification range from unclassified, restricted, confidential, secret and top secret.

    An army training manual on say infantry tactics or weapons operation, is restricted but does not need to be. I have some at home even thought I retired from the Army in 1995.

    Most of the Wikileaks information was not highly classified.

    Why should a military slaughter be covered up with a security classification. The slaughter of the journalist was a war crime and an embarrassment to the Yanks only and not a breach of US national security

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | December 27, 2011, 18:36
  13. Julian Assange deserves the presumption of innocence over the serious allegations of sexual crimes. However, he must face his accusers and answer the allegations truthfully and fully. He will then be judged fairly and his innocence or guilt determined in accordance with law.

    While he has from time to time published some amazing and very appropriate leaks, I am concerned about the decision he made to expose some of the US diplomatic cables as this placed lives at risk – not just directly but indirectly as well.

    The USA is the greatest force for good in the modern world. Any action that attacks the USA or makes it harder for its government to engage with other nation states is an attack not just on the United States of America but on all countries that value democracy and freedom.

    Such action may not be treason but it is treachery and arrogance and a reckless disregard for the compromises that are faced each day.

    Adrian Jackson’s visceral hatred for the United States betrays an inability to recognise the good guys in the white hats.

    I will always defend the United States of America because it gets it right almost all the time. It would be churlish to highlight its flaws and failings without praising its strengths and successes.

    No other country is more envied – and hated by its enemies while being so envied.

    God bless America, the land of the free.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | December 27, 2011, 22:29
  14. “Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has spent taxpayers’ time and money flying around…”

    Incorrect. The trip and all associated expenses were met by Ludlam personally, not by the taxpayer. Ask any journalist who has covered this issue. It can also be confirmed by Parliamentary Services, or Ludlam’s own office.

    Opinion is opinion, and facts are facts.

    Posted by Captain Facts | December 28, 2011, 1:48
  15. Posted by Captain Facts | December 28, 2011, 1:57
  16. The accusations against Assange would amount to rape under Australia’s law. This doesn’t mean Assange has committed any criminal offense.

    Included are two links on issue

    http://www.aifs.gov.au/acssa/pubs/sheets/rs1/index.html
    http://www.yarrowplace.sa.gov.au/booklet_law.html

    The above are two sources that contain a lot of information about Sexual assault laws in Australia.

    The accusation are “Indictable offenses” which “typically include more “serious” crimes; for example: murder; sexual assault/rape; and armed robbery.”

    There are “variations in the type of behaviour that constitutes sexual assault or rape.”

    The have been changes in Australia rape laws which include the noted.
    – use of force;
    – complainant is asleep or otherwise unconscious (including as a result of voluntary consumption of drugs/alcohol);
    – recognition that rape in marriage constitutes a criminal offense.

    According to the law, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt that.
    – the victim was not conssenting; and
    – the defendant was aware ate the time that the victim was not consenting.

    The legal definition of rape

    The definition of rape under the Criminal Law Consolidation (Rape and Sexual Offences) Amendment Act 2008 is:

    A person who has sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that other person:

    a. Knowing that that other person does not consent to sexual intercourse with him/her
    b. Being “recklessly indifferent” as to whether that other person consents to sexual intercourse with him/her
    c. Continues with sexual intercourse when consent is withdrawn

    Shall (whether or not physical resistance is offered by that other person) be guilty of rape.

    (end of legal definition)

    A person acts “recklessly indifferent” if:

    – They are aware of the possibility of lack of consent but proceed regardless
    – They are aware of the possibility of lack of consent but fail to take reasonable steps to ascertain consent before proceeding
    – They do not give any though to consent.

    None of this means that Assange is guilty of any crime, but it is the law in Australia.

    The disturbing fact is that it is suspected that “85% of sexual assault
    never come to the attention to the criminal justice system.” With the viral attacks against these two women, and off hand dismissal of their claims is one reason why. Why would a woman come forward when she thinks no one will believe her. These two women are more courageous that Assange will ever be.

    Greens Party Senator Scott Ludlam is defending the indefensible. He should take the time and actually read the law on this issue.

    Posted by OneBird | December 29, 2011, 13:06
  17. Why didn’t Scott Ludlam paddle a canoe? Instead, this CO2 warrior chose a gas belching jet. Dear Scott, learn to paddle. Oh, I forgot, Assange probably has a dirt file on you. Are you prepared for its release to the public?

    Posted by Futureproof | December 30, 2011, 11:06
  18. JA is a hero. History whill show him to be a positive force against the regimes.

    Folks in glass empires
    ought not fly drones.

    Posted by Major Variola (ret) | December 30, 2011, 12:24
  19. Julian Assange should be praised for exposing the truth behind the US government’s lies and deceit.

    He is a modern day Daniel Ellsberg who was previously considered the Most dangerous man in the USA. Daniel Ellsberg exposed many of the lies and deceit about the Vietnam war. His actions help put an end to the US aggression in South Eat Asia.

    Assange’s crime is no different to the expose of Watergate in the Washington post. The charges bought against him “Sex without a safety device” have been trumped up. This is not a charge that would be subject to indictment in Australia. The Australian government should be doing much more to protect his constitutional civil and human rights.

    Posted by He is a modern day hero | January 3, 2012, 5:30
  20. Phew!!! How do I tell the esteemed Sir Les he needs Pamolive Gold? Lately his personal hygiene has significantly deteriorated.

    Posted by Fill Weary | January 3, 2012, 19:43
  21. Yi ha Adrian Jackson.

    Wrong wrong wrong. I am true blue and never been to the USA. You sound like a typical leftist troll with no brains and an over inflated sense of self worth.

    True, treason it is likely not (no charges from the govt is irrelevant)… espionage is the more likely result. Either way he should be proverbially hanged.

    Posted by Bob Down | January 6, 2012, 11:37
  22. Bob Down – I am sure that if you were in 1930’s USSR, 1940’s Germany or 2000’s USA you could have been a good concentration camp guard.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | January 6, 2012, 21:09
  23. Speaking of ‘bobbing down’ that is what I’ll be doing later tonight at the Berwick Inn Over 28s.

    Posted by Wenchy | January 6, 2012, 22:21
  24. Well, whatever you think of Assange, you can’t deny the positive impact wikileaks has had on the world:

    The Arab Spring. (Maybe not so great for Israel, definitely good for the Arabs.)

    The Palestine Papers and the momentum that created for actual change rather than humiliating faux peace talks.

    The exposure of gross corruption in Kenya.

    Like him or not, Assange has had a positive impact.

    Posted by Zaf | January 11, 2012, 13:45

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