Monday, March 26, 2012

Australian Attorney General's Non-Response on Assange

A WikiLeaks supporter sent me this response from the office of the Australian Attorney General, Nicola Roxon.

Like other Form Letter responses from Australian Labor Party MPs and Senators, it includes some fine language about general principles while pointing out that the Gillard government has managed to do the bare minimum in response to the USA's witch-hunt of Julian Assange.
Roxon's department insists "the Government's role is to seek to ensure due process is followed" and that they have "obtained assurances from the Swedish Government that Mr Assange's case will proceed in accordance with due process." One can only assume that they have not bothered to examine all the facts surrounding this case in Sweden, because "due process" has already been ignored many times over.

The letter also notes that the Australian Government "is not currently aware of any changes against or indictment for Mr Assange being planned by the US Government." Oh really?

Have they not read about the US Grand Jury investigations? Have they not seen the Stratfor emails? Of course they have! And they have also had consular officials sitting in the courtroom at Bradley Manning's court-martial, so they have heard defence concerns that Manning was being pressured to make a case against Assange. How much more will the US government be allowed to do before Australia can admit there are "changes against or indictment for Mr Assange being planned by the US Government"?

Finally the letter assures us that "should Mr Assange be extradited to the US, the Australian Government would seek the same assurances in respect of any legal proceedings that might arise as were sought from the Swedish Government." How reassuring is that? It's virtually a promise to do nothing. Again.

Meanwhile, the Australian government is voting in new laws that will make it harder for groups like WikiLeaks to operate legally. And the Washington Post quotes a "senior Australian official" (speaking anonymously of course) boasting about increased military co-operation, including a new base for US Marines in Darwin.

Both major parties in Australian politics support these new laws, along with closer military co-operation with the USA, while the only party prepared to even discuss Julian Assange's dire plight is the minority Greens party. If YOU are not happy with this state of affairs, please contact your elected representatives and let them know that YOUR vote depends on their response.

UPDATE: 

It gets worse. @Karwalski has just tweeted a 2nd response from the AG's department which is even more anti-Assange, calling the release of US Government documents "reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous". A photo of the letter is here and details should be on @Karwalski's blog soon.

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