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April 15, 2024

Editorial: What 4 Corners missed about Julian Assange

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Guest editorial by Phillip Frazer

On Monday night, ABC’s 4 Corners did a Julian Assange update. Herewith my four takeaways:

(1) In almost an hour of reporting, reporter Michael Brissenden barely glossed the crucial stories Assange has published: American interference in the internal affairs of dozens of countries (including invading many of them), US phone-tapping of world leaders, how and why the Democratic Party subverted Bernie Sanders in 2016, multiple financial outrages of global corporations and high-rollers.

(2) Hillary Clinton’s adviser Neera Tanden claimed Assange’s basic goal was to ‘undermine democracy’, which she clearly considers synonymous with America and the Democratic Party. More Americans are losing faith in this crock of KoolAid every day, and most people outside the US never swallowed it. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Hrafnsson and Uruguay’s former London consul Narvaez, clearly shared Assange’s premise that the United States is the most powerful but often the most dangerous country on Earth. That doesn’t make him Vlad Putin’s running dog.

(3) Former US officials, while swatting Assange like a mossie, were clearly more alarmed by the Trump mob’s plan to jail him in solitary forever – if they can’t execute him.

These people are members of the Washington establishment, which Trump isn’t, but they also believe in some of the noble principles in the US Constitution, which Trump doesn’t. They may be Assange’s best chance.

(4) Mike Brissenden’s report gave the last word to former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who said ‘Julian’s not American, he’s Australian’.

So if we are saying that somebody who’s not a citizen of the country he is writing about is bound by their security laws and can be extradited to their country to spend time in their prisons, where does that leave us?’ To which New York Times reporter Scott Shane answered: ‘A New York Times reporter or editor [could be charged] with publishing information the government said should be secret’.

Nothing could be a more clear and present danger to the exceptionalism of American journalists than that.

Assange is part cyber-libertarian and part Byron hippy-socialist, who saw that Hillary’s deep-state USA needs to be deconstructed – but he should also have seen how destructive the Trump presidency would be.

He needs to sort out his bad behaviour with two women in Sweden, we need to stop treating his inappropriate emotional responses as a hanging offence, and Canberra needs to bring him home.

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  1. I have never been sure about Michael Brissenden. I know Four corners is much bigger than it’s presenter but I’ve always felt he’s either a liberal party plant or one of those ABC journos who got the jitters from sustained liberal attacks on auntie!

  2. Assange was “part cyber-libertarian and part Byron hippy-socialist”?

    He was born in Townsville, schooled at Goolmangar while living in North Lismore … no mention of Byron in any biography I’ve read of him.

    Has Lismore been absorbed by Byron (heaven forfend) – or is there something about Julian’s early history that I’m not privy to?

  3. Breaching bail in London lands him in high security prison Belmarsh.
    Depending on the offence jumping bail usually leads to a modest fine or at most a months worth of prison time.
    So why in a lockup known as UK’s Guantanamo?
    Why are they afraid of one man and his keyboard?
    Could it be that the keyboard is indeed mightier than the sword ,the drones, the helicopter gun ships and bombs.?
    And as for the Australian government’s cowardly subservience to their US masters around the fate of one of our own-along with the mainstream media they are knowingly complicit in the injustices being perpetrated on Assange.
    Free Julian Assange and bring him home.!

  4. It is interesting that several authors have previously targetted the US and its disgraceful interference in the affairs of other countries – not infrequently where there was a democratically elected leader in power, who just happened to be someone the US didn’t like. Vietnam, Chile, Guatemala, Iran – it is a long list of places the US has interfered in. Assange is not the first and should not be the last.

    I am in two minds watching the ABC. On the one hand, I find Assange to be a massively flawed character who made a deliberate choice to target, to some extent, Hilary Clinton because he did not want her elected. For that, I think he should rot in jail – how does that interference afford him any superior morality to the US interfering in other countries? He was a pompous twat who made a deliberate choice to be a moral arbiter – and got what he wished for.

    On the other hand, the pursuit of him by the US seems to absolutely involve a denial of justice, with the US using furtive influence over the UK (its “special relationship” with the US, which means the UK crawling up the a** of the US) and Sweden to engineer the return of Assange on inflated charges. And that is an outrage. Moreover, Australia seems to be publicly silent on this. Assange, for all his ego-driven flaws, is an Australian and our government should be leaping to his defence – except of course that Australia also has a “special relationship” with the US – also known as “crawling up the US a**” – when the UK isn’t doing it.

    • “I find Assange to be a massively flawed character who made a deliberate choice to target, to some extent, Hilary Clinton because he did not want her elected. For that, I think he should rot in jail – how does that interference afford him any superior morality to the US interfering in other countries? He was a pompous twat who made a deliberate choice to be a moral arbiter – and got what he wished for.”

      On the other hand, you are sitting in front of a computer, casually condemning a man who you’ve never met, for a personality fault which is to be discerned more in the smears of media and UK judges than in anything Assange has done or said. If I think that you’re a pompous twat, can I get you extradited for espionage and jailed for 175 years?

      In any case, how is Assange to blame for releasing *true* information, when Clinton’s campaign focused on making Trump the Republican frontrunner in the primaries, and the US media gave him so much space? If she’d paid attention to the voters instead (say, to the Black population who didn’t turn out to vote because they didn’t like either candidate), she might have been elected and World War III could be well under way.

  5. Just saying… Hillary would’ve been at war with Russia by now. Russia’s been stockpiling gold for some time, China buying in also. The two countries have got together to provide an alternative currency to the US dollar.
    So when the US sanctions or threatens a financial squeeze on a country, there is an alternative currency for the country to work with. This has been very upsetting for US hegemony, hence *Russia *Russia *Russia.

  6. Your last two paragraphs fall into the same bullshit represented by the ABC Four Corners Program. If Four Corners didn’t report all the “crimes” of Assange, or at least the content of his exposures/leaks, and all the mass Corporate media has been engaged in a smear campaign of the man for that reason, why do you do the dishonourable thing and suggest that there may be any truth to the lies regarding women in Sweden. Nobody believes this crap. It’s the oldest trick in the book to set someone up in a compromising situation. Watch Andrew Fowlers Four Corners program on the Sweden Lies. It’s all there.

  7. “Canberra needs to bring him home”… yes indeed.

    Someone in Canberra, who is not Penny Wong, needs to grow some balls.

    Australia has been bent out of shape by pandering to the will of the corrupt and violent successive US governments. Whitlam, Hicks and now Assange. Even Facebook is being prudish evangelists of nipple-hiding on our behalf. They treat the rest of the world like we are other states and impose their warped (lack of) moral code upon us all.

    Our government is gutless and has abandoned us at every turn. Just watch the war-games develop in the NT while the Chinese and Americans jostle for #1 spot in the ports…

    Assange has suffered enough already… for essentially doing the right thing. Just bring him home and tell the US to go mistreat some more Latino children to get their jollies.

  8. “He needs to sort out his bad behaviour with two women in Sweden”
    – The Swedish prosecutors need to sort out whether they really have anything to charge him with or not. After hanging an extradition order over his head for several years, they recently applied to a Swedish court to raise another one – and were rejected. Their next step, given that, would be to raise a detention order and question Assange in London – but they’ve decided that now is as good a time as any over the last 9 years to “analyse the evidence”. If they need to analyse the evidence in order to question him some more (this would be the third time), I would respectfully suggest that they should have analysed the evidence before they tried to raise a second extradition order. Or, maybe before they raised the first extradition order and proceeded to fail to progress the case of seven years.

  9. *Like* I imagine those unloaded on by the Apache gunship felt different threat priorities than some nebulous claim of a threat to democracy.

  10. Sadly the Australian government betrays citizens.
    No matter how twisted you are what has happened to Assange is horrible a stain on the UK, Sweden, US and Australia. The US soldiers who shot innocent Iraqis were never punished.

  11. Four Corners did a gutless backhanded hatchet job on Assange when they should have been screaming at the Canberra quislings to stand up for their own citizens.
    What a shameful waste of taxpayer money. Australia is now blindly following the Washington neocon deep state into their plans to bomb the middle east into “democracy TM” for the Saudi/Israeli cabal to spread their evil.

  12. Does anyone seriously believe that our democratically elected governments run the country?
    The Powers That Be (PTB) run the country, not the democratically elected governments.
    Who is the PTB? Good question.
    An SBS newsreader once sued her employer because she had had to read a piece of ‘news’ that she knew from her own life to be a pack of lies. She lost the case on the ground that her job was to read whatever she was given to read. The truth has nothing to do with it.
    Fake news is ubiquitous and carefully designed to deceive the public into thinking it’s a fair representation of what’s really going on in the world. No, it is not.
    I once knew an ABC producer who resigned and withdrew to the bush on learning that as a producer he had no say at all about what to produce or how to produce it. It’s all prearranged from ‘above’, he said. Now who is that PTB?
    An engineer friend told me that after developing with friends a device to fit into a car engine to make it run more efficiently, they were visited by ‘men-in-black’ who confiscated their equipment and told them that if they were ever to start up such research again, they would all end up dead.
    Now who is that PTB?
    Why is LSD, which is entirely non-toxic and non-addictive, and an extremely valuable therapeutic tool, illegal, while the highly addictive and highly toxic alcohol and tobacco, which kill hundreds a year in Australia alone, legal? Because the PTB know that LSD awakens the mind to the absolutely marvellous living presence within and beyond our normal miserable trickle of consciousness, and that if enough people wake up to that then puff goes the power and authority of the PTB.
    Why did the American Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) spend the past eight years obfuscating over releasing information about UFOs, information that the investigators have a legal right to under the relevant Freedom of Information Act? The investigators are now suing the DIA. I would not gamble on them winning.
    Who is that PTB? Perhaps don’t look too close or you might end up dead.

  13. Yes I am amazed the Australian Government has been so silent on Julian Assange. I think he has been punished enough. Julian so called crime does not compare with what George Bush Jnr did to the Iraq people.

  14. Thrilled to see the Trolls have left this issue alone for a change and that there are still some enlightened and fearless people among us who are unafraid to speak the truth. Thank you all.

  15. Secret is a dangerous mania.
    Our local crooked council is wrapped in secrecy.
    The churches secret so child abuse is hidden.
    Fleecing the taxpayers is top secret.
    Viva Assange.

  16. We live in very dangerous times. We turn
    truth into a lie. The government is all
    sabotage, gutless & a mean-m for MEN.
    Any way the wind blows. Indeed the
    mania of hushing can’t be forgiven.
    ScoMo, have the guts to bring Assange


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