I think it’s fair to say that only if you had been entirely outside the Western world could you have escaped the news of the Julian Assange case. Attack and counter-attack both judicially and in cyberspace are likely to continue for some time with the pro- and contra Wikileaks factions slugging it out. Assange’s case is more clear-cut, he is seen as the figurehead of Wikileaks, Wikileaks embarrassed the Americans and therefore it (and by extension Assange) must pay. There is little doubt that no matter what the outcome of this latest round of judicial bartering there is some serious political pressure being brought to bear which is why Assange remains in custody despite being granted bail. Come what may the US government will get him, the question is merely how and when and what the consequences will be. If you believe that Assange is being made a scapegoat for US blushes then what remains is to figure out how best to help him in his plight. My view is this:

The large media presence and celebrity interest is not doing Assange any favours, this merely bolsters the view for the Americans that he represents a seriously important figure in this side of the movement and that his removal and incarceration represents a victory. If Wikileaks were to carry on regardless, if the system were appear to see Assange’s arrest as no more than a minor blip and Assange himself as part of many that formed the inner cadre then he is of far less interest to the Americans. If he becomes less interest to the Americans I don’t think it would take a genius to assume that he will be of considerably less interest to the Swedes. It is ironic and a hell of a gamble to seem to be advocating ambivalence but I suspect were it to look as if the world had lost interest Julian Assange would be a very much safer man. It could well be the case that he would in fact be safer in Sweden than in Britain, Sweden has far less a history of lap-dogging to the US and is unlikely to go nearly as far as Britain has done in the past, any subsequent extradition would have to be approved by two countries rather than one which is difficult. Furthermore his legal team suggest that the charges in Sweden are sketchy to say the least and there is little likelihood they would be able to make a conviction out of it. it may well be that Sweden is simply the holding pattern whilst the US machine mobilises itself.

By all means herald Julian Assange as one of the movers and shakers of the current wave of anti-establishment feeling and action but if one looks at Anonymous, their great strength is the lack of perceived figurehead, it is far less easy to decapitate an organisation that has no identifiable point of reference with whom to start. To ensure Assange’s safety I think we might have to appear to afford him no respect at all.

Song Of The Day ~ Wavewalkers – A Quiet Revolution

Advertisements