Assange and Robertson
Everything I have read about Julian Assange suggests that he is a self-righteous glory seeker, unconcerned about anyone’s privacy, rights or welfare except his own.
The argument that the public is entitled to access to private business or government documents is a nonsense. Frank assessments of other nations, their leaders and policies, are vital to negotiations on trade, defence or other forms of co-operation.
The same applies to business. Without the assurance that discussions and negotiations can be conducted in confidence, whether in politics or commerce, participants will not speak freely, problems will not be uncovered, agreements will be made which do not benefit theose entering into them. Enough of that happens already.
To claim that because the people elect politicians to govern on their behalf, the people have a right to know every detail of every assessment or negotiation, strikes me as being manifestly absurd. Something like a spoilt little boy refusing to go to bed because he wants to know what the grown-ups are doing, and is worried he might miss out on something.
That, of course, is exactly what Assange gives the impression of being – a spoilt little boy.
Julian Assange is wanted by Swedish police for questioning in relation to accusations of sexual assault. Swedish authorities are seeking to extradite Assange from the UK so he can be questioned and possibly charged.
Demands by Assange’s mother that Kevin Rudd should fix things for her boy or resign confirm the spoilt brat impression. According to her, Rudd should:
… make a strong and urgent representation to Sweden, to drop the extradition case against Julian on the grounds that he cannot now receive a fair trial. If you do not act I can only conclude that you’ve been gagged or intimidated, possibly by the very person who deposed you from your prime ministership eight months ago. Alternatively, you are choosing freely to be derelict in your duties as Australian Foreign Minister.
Meanwhile, Olympic class publicity seeker Geoffrey Robertson, who seems to have been drawn to Assange like a pirate to stolen treasure, has been relentlessly critical of the Swedish legal system, claiming that the prosecutor in the case is an irrational man-hater, that the complaints are trivial, that they are politically motivated, that his client will end up in Guantanamo Bay or on death row in the US if the extradition proceeds, and that the Swedish legal system cannot be trusted.
Not surprisingly, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is annoyed by these slurs:
Since Julian Assange came under police investigation for rape in Sweden, several international debaters have questioned the Swedish legal system. In the most extreme conspiracy theories the accusations have been mentioned that it is controlled by CIA.
Prime Minister Reinfeldt says to the newspaper Expressen that the right for women to start a legal process when they claim they have been victims of abuse is at stake. He says that Sweden has reached far when it comes to not accepting any kind of sexual abuse and those who attack the Swedish legal system is trying to limit the right for women to take a claimed sexual abuse to court.
Reinfeldt also comments in Expressen on Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens’ claims that Assange risk not getting a fair trial if he is sent to Sweden.
This (the false information on the Swedish legal system) is unfortunately the consequences when, in order to defend a client, one describe other countries legal systems in a patronizing way. But everyone who lives in Sweden know this is not true. The Swedish legal system is independent and work in accordance with the law.
Claes Borgström, the former Equality Ombudsman and legal representative of the two women who accuse Assange for sexual abuse, says to Svenska dagbladet (SvD):
There is a lot of false information about the Swedish legal system, about me and above all about my clients.
Geoffrey Robertson’s response to these perfectly reasonable expressions of frustration is to claim that Fredrik Reinfeldt has declared Julian Assange to be ‘public enemy number one,’ and that in doing so he has created a toxic atmosphere in which it will be impossible for Assange to get a fair trial.
Nonsense. The only person who has said anything of the sort is Geoffrey Robertson.
The women’s claims are not trivial. If true, they amount to rape. Whether ultimately upheld or not, they have a right to be heard.
That Assange is popular in some circles does not void that right.