The Guardian and Assange

Julian Assange was in court in London recently for a case management hearing.

This is ex Ambassador Craig Murray’s piece on this sorry pretence of ‘justice’. This is John Pilger’s piece on RT.

This is the Guardian’s piece. A few extracts and comments:

The WikiLeaks founder’s legal team requested more time to submit evidence and the postponement of the full extradition hearing, while claiming the charges against him were politically motivated

It is hard to think of another case which could be more politically motivated. The Guardian is of course correct to say “claimed” but it does contrast in a jarring way with the readiness the paper has to say “falsely claimed” whenever they report on, say, something which Trump says with which they disagree.

Mark Summers, defending Assange, claimed the US had been spying on his client

It is unlikely perhaps that the surveillance operation carried out on Assange by the Ecuadorian Embassy was not in part at least shared with the US. The Guardian themselves ran a strange story about Assange meeting with a Trump associate in the Embassy – a story which referenced a “well-placed source” and which appears to be based on surveillance. [1] Still, let the Guardian use “claimed” – but a pity they don’t use it, for example, when the US claims that, say, Assad has carried out a chemical attack in Douma. Here, “says” is preferred. [2]

Assange last appeared in court in May, when he was jailed for 50 weeks for skipping bail by going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. Back then he was facing extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted in connection with sexual offence allegations

The sexual assault charges which have been so extraordinarily helpful for getting liberals off the hook here are currently not going anywhere. The last attempt by the prosecutor to request an arrest warrant for Assange was denied by a Swedish court. [3]

Information released by WikiLeaks revealed the extent of state surveillance in western countries and the conduct of the US troops in the Middle East, which Assange alleged proved war crimes had been perpetrated.

I can let the Guardian have “claimed” whenever Assange puts his point of view but “alleged” here is too much. This signals how the Guardian is simply walking away from a brave man – with whom they at one point collaborated – who revealed US war crimes in Iraq. There was nothing “alleged” about them. These are extracts from one report in the Guardian at the time of the leaks in question:

Iraq war logs: secret files show how US ignored torture [4]

A grim picture of the US and Britain’s legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes. [4]

The new logs detail how… A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender [4] (Apparently the legal advice of a US army lawyer was that it is not possible to surrender to a helicopter and so the first incident referred to here was not a war crime. Nonetheless anyone who has watched the ‘notorious Baghdad incident’ in which two journalists were murdered will get the feel for the way the US helicopter gunship pilots approached their work. – Furthermore, we can recall that the sheer presence of the US army in Iraq was illegal and so the defence that US forces were engaging armed men who were a threat to them is simply a cover story for wanton butchery).

Now, as they wash their hands of their former partner, these matters are simply “allegations”. There seems to be a moral abyss at the Guardian newspaper.

Notes

1. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/13/uk-denounces-claims-it-was-behind-staged-syrian-gas-attack

3. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/03/swedish-court-rejects-request-to-detain-julian-assange

4. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/22/iraq-war-logs-military-leaks

 

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer