ASSANGE AND ASYLUM. WHAT’S NEXT?

Whatever the current upfront technical or legal wrangle pivots around, (sexual accusations, bail infringements, etc.), everyone knows that the real issue is that Julian Assange provided a showcase for exposing the secret machinations of the economic, political and financial capitalist elite. The real substantive wrong-doing of Assange – in the eyes of the US and UK establishment – is not in transgressing the rights of females within relationships, nor their rights to chose who and when to partner with. They overwhelmingly ignore these rights when it suits them. Assange’s real crime is in providing a secure publishing organization for whistle-blowers. Their capitalist system is economically, financially and morally approaching a series of end-game crisis points. They will do everything in their power, to prevent full transparency of what they are up to.

The capitalist and pro-capitalist elite are eminently capable of paying someone to lie or fabricate charges against someone they don’t like, in order to get their hands on them. This has been done in the past and will continue to be done in the future. The real reason that the US and the UK have not provided emphatic guarantees, that they will not pursue extradition, is because that is exactly what they wish to do. Perhaps that is also why the Swedish authorities have refused to interview him in the Ecuadorian embassy. The ruthlessness the US intend to pursue has been demonstrated by the case of Bradley Manning and his degrading incarceration. It is also demonstrated by the antics the US and UK have previously got up to with regard to Guantanamo Bay and numerous extraordinary renditions, leading to torture and death.

A death sentence, is a highly unlikely punishment for Assange, even though right-wing US politicians have openly called for such penalty, but incarceration and harsh treatment certainly is. One also only need recall, how the close allies of the US elite in Israel (who routinely work together in such matters), dealt with the atomic bomb whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu. They pursued him relentlessly using all kinds of misinformation and intrigue, including being trapped by using the intimate sexual attractions of a female secret service operative. Those in power and privilege will go to any lengths to prevent or silence those who in any way, small or large, threatens to expose the nature of their continued rule.

The granting of asylum by Ecuador to Julian Assange, ramps up the diplomatic tensions around this issue. Clearly those currently in power in Ecuador, who themselves (as with other Latin American countries) suffer from the devious and subversive machinations of the US capitalists and state forces, have some sympathy with Assange‘s project to expose the US. How far, this sympathy will extend is as yet unknown and remains to be seen. They could of course, grant him Ecuadorian citizenship, in some way and even appoint him later to some diplomatic status. He could perhaps be elected in absentia to a parliamentary position in a supportive Ecuadorian community.

They could perhaps even consider employing or appointing him as a junior minister of information, in the Ecuador government. Alternatively, the UK government’s actions and threats, in particular, could be challenged in the human rights courts. Any tactics such as these would increasingly create problems for the UK and the US. However, the repercussions which the vindictive elites in these latter two countries would go to, perhaps make such actions unlikely. It would be a very courageous – and game-changing outcome – if such strategies were adopted by Ecuador. Meanwhile it is to be hoped that whatever the outcome, other internet activists can replicate what WikiLeaks pioneered and continue to provide an avenue for those people who are horrified, sickened, or both at what the economic, political and financial elite perpetrate against their fellow citizens, yet strive to keep secret.

Roy Ratcliffe (August 2012)

PS.

The issue of Julian Assange, and the publicity around the granting of asylum by Ecuador,  has sparked off a high intensity debate among some sections of the left.  There are those who are vehemently for his extradition to Sweden and those equally adamant that he should not. It has split the left in a most debilitating and destructive way. Most of the opinions, for that is all many of them are, concern the allegations made in Sweden by two former sexual partners.  I do not know whether there is substance in the variously (and conflicting) reported allegations or not, but I do know prejudice when I read it.

For white prejudice, it is enough for a black person to be accused of crime, for guilt to be assumed.  For homophobic prejudice, it is enough for a gay person to be accused of immorality, for guilt to be assumed. It is enough for religious prejudice, to assume, without evidence, that an atheist lacks morals.  For male chauvinists, it is enough for a female  to be  declared irrational, for it to be considered true. For radical feminists, it is enough for a man to be accused of sexual harassment, for it to be assumed true.

Now it will undoubtedly true, that (as with white people) some black people will commit crime, some  homosexuals (as with straight people) may be immoral, some atheists (as with some religious people) will lack morals, many women (as with men) will be irrational at times, many men may be guilty of sexual harassment – but in all such instances it will not be all. In such cases of prejudice the supposition is – guilty until proven innocent!  It is a dangerous supposition from the standpoint of the oppressed who would suffer from it most – and which is the opposite of the modern concept of – innocent until proven guilty.

The rational position in such cases is to demand sufficient and substantive  evidence and the rational response of those accusing is to present that sufficient and substantial evidence. Only in the eyes of those already prejudiced (including those on the left) is it a failing or crime to remain neutral until such time, and as in this Assange case, which has a further dimension, to consider that other dimension.  This issue of dispute, as with others, reveals the lack of maturity of the left in general and the anti-capitalist left in particular, along with its own self-entrapment in dualistic modes of thinking. In this bourgeois mode of thinking there are but two basic principles.

1. In any dispute, you must choose one side or the other; one side must be right, the other side must be wrong. Or mostly right and mostly wrong.

2. You are entitled to make up your mind on any issue based upon ‘official’ or ‘authoritative’ assertions and the flimsiest piece of evidence, particularly, if it fits your pre-conceptions.

These two principles infect, not only bourgeois thinking in all aspects, from the scientific to the religious, but also inflicts the bourgeois forms of socialism outlined by Karl Marx.

In the real world, it is not necessary to take sides on an issue, particularly where it is muddied by lack of information, contradiction and distortion. In the real world  both sides of an issue can be wrong. In the world as understood, by the revolutionary-humanism of Karl Marx, you only make your mind up after lengthy, careful and prejudiced free analysis and even then maintain it with doubt for new evidence may arise, which causes a reappraisal of your analysis.

See also article at Links

RR

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