The furore surrounding Wikileaks editor-in-chief & ex-hacker Julian Assange’s current predicament, holed up inside an Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to the Scandinavian isles of Sweden is quickly becoming the stuff of legend. The most recent signpost in this escalating state of affairs had Assange addressing his congregation (named thus for the almost religious fervour that they follow their leader with) from the low-slung balcony of the embassy, evoking scenes of Eva Peron addressing her beloved Argentinian people from the balcony of the Casa Rosada more than half a century ago.

The astonishing thing in all of this is that Assange addressed the media to discuss the threat of being extradited to The United States to face espionage charges relating to the leak of classified documents allegedly provided by Private Bradley Manning (currently languishing in a U.S. military prison for over 800 days without trial)

No mention was given to the sexual assault allegations (and at this stage they are just that, allegations) currently levelled against him by several Swedish women, both of whom he had prior relations with before the alleged occurrences took place. Such is the power of the U.S. diplomatic and military machine that Sweden has not ruled out allowing the U.S. to pluck the Australian from their country to face the far more severe espionage charges that they are pursuing against him. In addition, the U.S. has by no means stated that it won’t come after Assange if he winds up in Sweden.

“…and that was the last time I ever went to Sweden…”

If you believe Assange (and I tend to), the sexual assault charges laid against him are nothing short of spurious. That’s an incredibly difficult call to make when dealing with the very delicate topic of ‘he said, she said’, where making the wrong decision can have dire consequences for the victims. That said, it’s not as if Assange has been accused of hiding in the bushes at the local park in Stockholm, waiting for a victim to walk by so that he can pounce on them like a silver-haired fox… in both cases it was the second time that he’d ‘had relations’ (as Bill Clinton would say/deny) with each of the women. Hell, one of them continued to host Assange at her flat after the alleged assault occurred. Assange is stated to have promised to call the other, but burned her.

Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. The point is, The U.K., Sweden and the U.S. need to allow him to go safely to Sweden, face the allegations and prove that he didn’t (or conversely have the authorities prove that he did) without the threat of espionage charges hanging over his head. The most ridiculous part of all this is that nothing has yet been proven, it’s all just allegations and hearsay.

There’s one thing that not enough people are asking right now. Where the fuck is the Australian government in all of this? It has a responsibility to Assange as an Australian citizen to protect him. The issue is that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are too busy giving Barack Obama a tag-team rusty trombone (the only bipartisan effort that these two have completed successfully during their collective time in office) and raving about how much Australia loves the U.S. to even dare sully the waters with a request to leave the man alone.

I guess it’s socially acceptable for the government to get involved when it’s a slightly attractive 20-something hairdresser with a boogie-board bag full of dope getting banged-up in Indonesia, but if a hyper-intelligent civil libertarian is accused of ‘being a bit rapey’ we put the Australian diplomatic gun back in the holster…

Corby sells more New Idea magazines, though.

Fucking pathetic.

/end communication

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