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 truth.
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 information.
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 Julian Assange.
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
Filed under: Julia Gillard
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