The Gillard Labor Government and the Liberal Opposition squirmed today regarding the threat of prosecution in the USA of Julian Assange, who is both an Australian citizen and founder of Wikileaks.
Given the close relationship between Julia Gillard and President
Barrack Obama, it is surprising that the Australian government claim
complete ignorance of any pending charges against Julian Assange.
Either Australia’s largest ally is keeping the government in the
dark, or Julia Gillard is lying. Given the Prime Minister’s recent
problems with matters of fact, it would appear that she is again being
convenient with her use of language when it comes to matters of fact and
In the Senate today the Greens communications spokesperson, Senator
Scott Ludlam, asked Labor Senator Chris Evans – the Prime Ministers
representative in the Senate – what the government knew of the currently
sealed Grand Jury indictment against Julian Assange.
According to a press release issued by
Senator Scott Ludlam, the Australian government claims to be completely
unaware of any charges against Julian Assange by the US Government.
Now, lets put this in perspective for a moment. Australia is one of
the United States’ closest allies. We host important intelligence
gathering bases such as Pine Gap, without which the USA could not
operate many of it’s secret military communications satellites or tap
into communications of foreign powers around the world. Indeed, on more
than one occasion Julia Gillard has boasted of Australia’s close
relationship with the United States and has pointed out on national
television that the United States and Australia regularly share
Senator Scott Ludlam pushed the matter further in the Senate. He
asked what the Australian government would do if the United States
attempted to extradite Julian Assange. The government had no answer.
In what reeks of a complete cover up the Australian government seems
to be sitting on it’s hands while Julia Gillard uses officials and
diplomats to do the dirty work for her. Julia Gillard obviously makes
her wishes known to officials but wants to be able to completely deny
knowledge of or any hint that she has instructed actions one way or
another. This is how she gets away with appearing on national television
and saying “I have no personal knowledge of such matters”. Gillard is
clever, there is no doubting that.
Senator Scott Ludlam moved a motion in the Senate to acknowledge that
Julian Assange had been recognised as a Journalist by organisations
such as the British High Court and the Walkley Foundation. Both the
government and the opposition voted down a list of seven indisputable
facts relating to this motion.
There is no doubt in Canberra that Julia Gillard is furious that the
fact these US charges exist found it’s way into the public domain, now
the world knows what she knew all along, that the Australian government
at some level have been complicit with our largest ally, the United
States of America, in hiding their intention to hunt down and prosecute
Julia Gillard should be ashamed. Is it not bad enough that she does
nothing to intervene when foreign powers hold our citizens in
questionable legal circumstances ? Is it not bad enough that she turns a
blind eye when torture and extraordinary rendition is carried out by
the US government ? Will she not exercise any of the influence she has
with Washington to assure Julian Assange, who has committed no crime in
Australia, be protected from an out of control legal process in the same
country that had it’s politicians calling for Julian Assange to be
hunted down and killed ?
Why was it ok for one of the power brokers who placed you into office, Mark Arbib, to provide intelligence about the Australian government to US Diplomats
while at the same time not ok for Julian Assange to work for an
organisation which has revealed the repulsive and reprehensible actions
of foreign powers ? Mark Arbib was an active US intelligence asset, why
has he not been prosecuted ?
Julia Gillard, you have obligations. You have an obligation to
protect Australian citizens. The Australian public expect you to ensure
Australian Citizens are protected. Pick up the phone to the UK and have
Julian Assange brought home. These arrangements can be made through
diplomatic and intelligence channels as you well know. Do not allow
yourself to have another David Hicks on your hands.
Senator Scott Ludlam’s press release is here
bye Julia com