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Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, US Politics.

We will get to see whether Julian Assange is “trialled” in the United States in 2012.

The probability is high that this will be the case, although this court display will be contingent on the fate of Bradley Manning. Timing can be arranged, especially when justice has become irrelevant.

We may look with quizzically at the United States and its descent into a from of fascism masquerading as democracy, but with an empire there is always an excuse, and much historical precedent. Fascism can be defined, in part as the rule of corporations, although perhaps it has other features.Such a fate could hardly be forestalled, despite the best endeavours of the writers of the Constitution informed by the development of Common Law and the history of tyranny. Democracy in any true sense was never meant to be the rule of the supper-rich, whatever the intent of the eighteenth century men of property.

A contemporary American historian, taking a less extreme view, observes:

We are headed towards uncharted territory: a modern state and economy without effective government. The Obama Administration has slowed, not interrupted, the trend. . . The great adventure of the Enlightenment, the design of a government to assure justice and meet the needs of the people, is for the moment at an end in the United States. We shall need a new and more flexible view of history to integrate this epochal fact into our world view.

But dare we not engage in self reflection? In The Sydney Morning Herald, Michael Pearce, after reminding us that Julian Assange was accused by certain political persons of breaking the law but who then were unable to say which one, observes:

Imagine instead that he was the citizen of a country not obsessed with security at the expense of liberty; a country mature and self-confident enough to distinguish its own interests from those of its allies; a country whose political leadership could tell politics from policies; a country not riven by culture wars and marred by character assassination; whose citizenry could take offence at obvious injustice to one of its own and do something about it.

That would be as to imagine that Pluto was a planet and the Earth was a large item in the whole scheme of the universe.

A number of people, including Noam Chomsky, have signed a letter to Kevin Rudd, the prime minister in waiting.

(I had not realized that this letter, with its 72 signatories was coordinated by Bernard Keane of Crikey. ABC News reports:

He says the signatories fear that if Mr Assange is placed in custody in Sweden, where he is accused of sexual assault, the US will extradite and prosecute him over what Keane says is “legitimate journalism”.

“Concerns about the treatment of Julian Assange go beyond whatever people may think about WikiLeaks,” Keane said.

“We’ve seen before the circumstances in which an Australian Government fails to do the right thing by an Australian citizien who for whatever reason the Americans have decided they have a problem with.

“We just don’t want to go back to the sorts of circumstances we saw with David Hicks where there was a widespread concern that justice was just not being seen to be done.”)

Meantime the pre-trial hearing continues of the person thought to be the source of the documents that Wikileaks released.Bradley Manning has friends, it seems, even though he is locked in there:

Naturally, and with qualification, it seems, Daniel Ellsberg is among Manning’s friends:



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