Julian Assange: weirdo or what?

It’s funny what the mainstream  media conccntrate on. Except you’ve glued your eyes shut (bad idea) or thrown your TV out the window (possibly good idea), you’ll know that Julian Assange has been plucked from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and is in police custody, awaiting possible extradition to the US. He looked a weird figure, as he was hauled off : long white hair, white beard, holding a copy of a book titled History of the National Security State   and shouting that the British government shouldn’t have arrested him or set him up for extradition.

Why did Assange emerge clutching  History of the National Security State, which is a series of interviews with  Gore Vidal, the highly intelligent American who has always been withering in his criticism of US governments? That was Assange’s way of telling the public that the secrets he revealed showed the US engaged in activities which the American people would have disowned. I’m not surprised the media didn’t go into detail about the book. It might have complicated the story of a white-haired weirdo.

Why, after seven years of sheltering Assange, did the Ecuadorean embassy allow British police to come in and carry him out to a police van?  I’ve no idea but I do have a suspicion that it might have to do with currying favour with the US, given that the UK is hell-bent on leaving the EU and desperately wants a trade deal with the US.

Why did Assange stay in that pokey embassy for SEVEN YEARS? It’s hardly what you’d call palatial. Compared to it, being under house arrest would be luxury, if you had a half-decent house. Assange went there and stayed for so long because the Swedith authorities wanted him on charges of rape and molestation.  Oddly, those charges have now been dropped. The big thing now is, the thousands of US government documents Assange leaked to the public.

What was in those government documents? Oh, a huge amount of stuff. Like the “procedures manual” for Guantanamo Bay. You remember it? The place the US took suspects from the Middle East and… well, we don’t know what they did but there are strong suspicions it may have involved water-boarding and other forms of torture.

The leaked mother lode also contained a video which showed an American military helicopter firing at and killing two journalists and a number of Iraqui citizens.

Then there were some 90,000 documents that related to the Afghanistan war.  And quite a few classified documents related to the war in Iraq. And diplomatic cables from several US embassies. And some 20,000 emails that appeared to show the Democratic National Committee favouring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in their bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

I could go on but I won’t. The key question is not how did Assange manage to hack all this stuff, but should he have hacked all this stuff and put it out there?  My vote is yes. Of course it was stuff that the US government had declared secret and classified. That’s the whole point:  the people elected and funded by the citizens of the US were doing stuff that they didn’t want the public to know. In other words, public servants were engaged in dirty work. Sound familiar?

Should the UK extradite him? Au contraire. Assange should receive US government compensation for being kept incarcerated in a pokey London embassy for seven years.  And Theresa May’s government should for once grow a pair and tell Trump and Co to go to hell or Guantanamo Bay, whichever is nearer.  

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