Ania Nowakowska June 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm
I’m very curious to know how Assange’s critics justify their accusations of his ‘narcissism’, ‘petulance’, egocentricity’, ‘hubris’ and ‘intellectual arrogance’. Do they know him personally? Could they please point out examples of all these less than flattering qualities? Because in all my reading of the Assange interviews, and in all video footage I have seen of him, I have seen an incredibly bright, well read, articulate, thoughtful, and relatively humble person.
Doug Quixote June 25, 2012 at 5:52 am
You are entitled to your opinion; many share it. I do not – do not – want to see him killed. Or even punished by being put in gaol, for any crime which he may or may not have committed.
It may be that the Swedes will not even proceed to trial; but unless he stands trial in Sweden and is convicted, he should not be imprisoned. At all.
The relevance of his character is to the greater issue : should we really invest such moral and ideological capital in defending him and being partisans in his cause, come hell or high water. Is he really worth abandoning our principles for?
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 6:22 am
No, no, no, no. It is absolutely plain that he is innocent as charged, or he would have been charged by now in the eighteen months since he was accused, and they want him in Sweden for another reason. Each girl was seen amiable in his company after each ‘offence’. Neither complained until they colluded. Each wrote of getting money out of him. He is not charged and could be interviewed by skype.
So he is on the face of it innocent. You will recall that I alone wrote that Thomson was innocent, and this now proves likely as his accuser, Kathy, proves madder and madder and the hooker was in another country on one of the nights. You will recall as well that not I but others have shown that Slipper was probably framed. This is another example of right wing plotters diverting public attention from the main game — a casting vote in parliament under attack, the exposed lies of tyrants and war crimes of the US — into sexual speculation.
Assange is innocent: remember that. He must be, or he would have been charged and extradited a year ago. Assange is innocent.
It is the only explanation.
And all else you say is but a collusion in his killing.
Doug Quixote June 25, 2012 at 6:33 am
You misunderstand the Swedish system of justice.
They wish to question Assange before laying charges. The British Supreme Court have accepted that he should be extradited.
Did you read Cohen’s article (see ref below) Bob?
It is paranoia to see this as a huge plot to murder Assange. Surely you cannot be counted in that number.
Bob Ellis June 26 at 3.40 pm
Is there, was there, a huge plot to kill or torture Bradley Manning for giving Assange those things that Assange then printed?
Why should that plot not extend to the messenger?
Reader2 June 25, 2012 at 6:38 am
No, Bob, we don’t know he is innocent. We ave not seen the evidence. That is what the Swedish legal system is trying to find out it it’s stubborn North-German way.
No legal system in the world would interview a witness by Skype or anything similar.
I agree it would have been simpler for them to go to England to do it, but that’s not the way they do things.
And by the way, the stuff you posted acknowledges that the Swedish prosecutor did want to interview him before he left Sweden.
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 6:53 am
You have seen the evidence. The girls smiled in his company and continued to lodge him after each ‘offence’. They texted each other talking of getting money out of him. That is collusion. That is blackmail. That is a stitch.
Under law, I am obliged to presume innocence, and you have breached this law.
Reader2 June 25, 2012 at 6:58 am
Nonsense. The texts were a lawyer’s recollection of some he said he had seen but did not takes notes from. That is not evidence.
The presumption of innocence does not apply under the continental legals systems. They say we don’t know so let’s find out. That’s what the Swedes are trying to do but A refuses to co operate.
l’Inconnu June 25, 2012 at 8:24 am
Chapter 23, Section 20 of the Swedish Code of Criminal Procedure reads “Upon the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, a decision on when to instigate a prosecution shall be issued.”
The preliminary investigation does not come to an end until there is an interrogation of Mr Assange with the opportunity for further enquiries.
He hasn’t been charged because the investigation has been stuck in the preliminary stage by Assange’s legal appeals.
So what is absolutely plain to you is not in fact the case.
A series of British judges with access to all the facts, not just the uncritically repeated proposals of Assange’s defenders, went through all this at great length several times.
You are only left with smearing the alleged victims.
Patrick Dignam June 25, 2012 at 11:31 am
Quixote: “should we really invest such moral and ideological capital in defending him…..Is he really worth abandoning our principles for?”
For these question, upon which you appear to stake the bulk of your argument, to have any relevance whatsoever you must articulate the terms and address these specific questions:
(i) What is the moral/ ideological capital are we asked to give in his defense?
(ii) What exactly are “our” principles that you see as being “abandoned”?
Without a clear definition of these questions we encounter two insurmountable problems (with the argument): first, your argument is without substantial, logical foundation, thus highly suspect, and two, we (the reader) have no idea what you mean, or the exact nature of your motive.
Personal animosity aside – these questions need answering if the discussion is to advance in any meaningful way.
Act Rationally June 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm
It is amazing what someones ideological bedfellows will excuse if the cause is worthy enough. Perhaps people performing seemlingly worthy roles should refrain from acts which could bring their reputation into disrupute and therefore maintain their reputation. Or perhaps people should be allowed their day in court to prove whether their claims are fraudulent or not. Lest they only be judged in the court of opinion. Or they could just run away from it all.
allthumbs June 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm
“Perhaps people performing seemlingly worthy roles should refrain from acts which could bring their reputation into disrupute and therefore maintain their reputation.”
That’s a hell of a lot to ask from a human being AR.
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 6:27 am
Like asking Abbott not to force his knocked-up girlfriend to give up her baby and marry someone else while he became a priest.
Reader2 June 25, 2012 at 6:42 am
At least he accepted that he was the father ( though it turned out he wasn’t) and did not continue disputing it even after DNA evidence was produced.
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 6:54 am
Didn’t refrain, though, did he?
Reader2 June 25, 2012 at 6:59 am
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 11:21 am
No. And…? That means…? What?
My Girl Pearl June 25, 2012 at 9:26 am
What is with you on this one Bob? At the risk of being labelled a Liberal again, I’m still going to pull you up on it. Abbott did nothing different to countless other young men of his generation, so stop trying to use it as some example of evidence of character. As Reader2 points out, unlike many other men, Abbott at least acknowledged his relationship and fatherhood and while I’m no Abott fan I think the way he handled that situation was admirable.
My Girl Pearl June 25, 2012 at 9:27 am
By which I mean how he handled it when the story became a public one and when it was learned he was not the father.
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 11:13 am [Edit]
I have no quarrel with anything Abbott did when so confronted. Nor with anything Assange did when so confronted, including skip bail. Abbott had a career to lose if he was not skilful.
Assange has a life to lose.
Any man or woman so placed by greedy conspirators will do what she/he must.
Like Craig Thomson.
Or Peter Slipper.
It is really irksome when you, like them, are innocent as charged.
hudsongodfrey June 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm
In Doug’s defence I think he is genuine in believing the the consequences for Assange may not exist. I have argued the matter with him before and we disagree, but on that basis that while I don’t know what is going to happen to the man in the kind of specific and graphic detail that Bob fears will unfold, I think the consequences for the principle he stood for are crystal clear. If they can get at him then they’ll get at the next person too because the imperative to preserve secrecy is the stock in trade of autocratic bullies everywhere. It is the tactic of the credible threat writ just as large here as on the kneecaps of any victim of Mafia thuggery in a forsaken alley.
I state that I have a problem with this legal form of entrapment in those terms, and others for their sins state that they have a problem with the idea that we would beg to ride roughshod over legal process. I argue the principle of justice over the letter of the law. Others are less convinced.
Doug once responded to me that Justice is a bitch, blind and toothless, or words to that effect. In the case of Saddam who had but one life to give for the countless numbers he extinguished I had to agree with him. In the case of the three horsemen Bush, Blair and Howard there may be even more reason to be disconsolate. Yet if only in a small way my piss weak bleeding heart tends to weep at the thought of collateral murder in all its guises, then what doubt is there that Assange and Wikileaks were about the pursuit of justice?
On balance I ask less of myself and maybe I’m a little ashamed of that, but in terms of the credible threat or his defiance thereof I think I’m unmistaken about what Assange’s freedom represents.
Polybius June 24, 2012 at 11:30 pm
No-one has said this. as you know.
M Ryutin June 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm
No matter what we see in his interviews, or assume from his actions and backflips, his (mostly former)friends testify to narcissism. As for his holy principles (trying to claim the release of the Climategate emails as his doing as an example) just look at his ‘show’ on the new Pravda “Russia Today” or his wanting to get to Ecuador which has no free press and will soon have nothing but government mouthpieces allowed.
When you deal with real autocrats, Guantanamo seems like a holiday camp.
Helvi June 25, 2012 at 12:19 am
There are plenty of people who see a narcissist when they see Assange, and Doug is not the only one, I certainly think that as well…
Funnily enough many women seem to think that, but many a man as well…
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 6:29 am
What if he were as arrogant as Peter Costello? What then?
My Girl Pearl June 25, 2012 at 9:40 am
I don’t think anyone is arguing Bob that his character flaws are a reason to knock him off or deny him due process, but in light of attempts to cast him (as you do) as some kind of hero figure, I think it is worthwhile us getting a sense of who the man is, what motivates him and whether he is a man of integrity. You yourself claimed in an earlier post he was as popular in Australia as Fred Hollows. In the first instance I’d like to know how you arrived at that conclusion. And in the second – so what if he was? Is that supposed to mobilize us around him? should that be an argument for stopping him going through due process.
For those of us who aren’t familiar with the detail of the processes underway, it’s very difficult to get to the truth of what’s happening behind all of the hype.
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 11:15 am [Edit]
He is a hero. He changed the shape of the world as we know it by helping begin the Arab Spring.
Ask about in Tahrir Square. Tomorrow.
Helvi June 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm [Edit]
My Girl Pearl, totally agree with your post, and of course Assange ought have due process…did Manning get that…
Hollows might have been a rake( according to my neighbour who knew him), but he was a good man, good enough to be called a hero
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm
He was a rake, a drunk, and a rat with women.
And as popular as Ned Kelly.
And like Assange a saviour of millions.
Canguro June 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm
I see this word narcissist tossed around and defended in relation to Assange’s character.
Did you all satisfy yourselves as to the accuracy of the labelling, and why are we so intent on trying to justify our characterisation of him as thus? Are we suddenly all expert armchair psychologists?
Does he really fit this definition … [having an] excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance (Concise OED)?
I humbly suggest his preoccupations are elsewhere.
Doug Quixote June 25, 2012 at 5:20 am
Thank you for your excellent summary of the matter Bob.
May I refer you to Nick Cohen writing in the Observer yesterday/today :
“what must be the crankiest request for refugee status ever. Assange is the first asylum seeker to claim persecution at three removes. He wants to renounce his Australian citizenship and become an Ecuadorean because (and you may have to bear with me) the Australian government failed to help him fight an attempt by the British government to extradite to him to Sweden, whose government may, at some undefined point, extradite him to the United States – or maybe not, because there is no extradition request.”
The article summarises the absurdities of the paranoia of the (mainly leftist) case for Assange
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Was Bradley Manning right to be paranoid?
What is the difference?
What is wrong with you?
See me in Aussies tomorrow at 11 for a dressing-down.
Doug Quixote June 25, 2012 at 5:25 am [Edit]
“Reasonable doubt cannot stay the tongues of Ken Loach, Tariq Ali, Jemima Khan, Naomi Wolf, John Pilger and their comrades. They lament western wickedness with the reliability of professional mourners. For them, America is a demonic empire with supernatural power and reach. The constraints that bind ordinary nations cannot contain it. I refuse to call their conspiracy theories “leftwing,” and not only because most of the British liberal left behaved honourably during the WikiLeaks affair. Hofstadter’s caution needs to be remembered too – paranoia turns everything it touches to dirt. The professed principles of sufferers are no exception. The American right’s hatred of immigrants makes a nonsense of its belief in free markets, which require the free movement of labour. Its opposition to gun control makes its claims to be tough on crime equally ridiculous. Mutatis mutandis, the leftwing defenders of Assange are equally willing to destroy their own beliefs.”
Surely I cannot add Bob Ellis to that list of Nick Cohen’s. But some others . . .
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 6:35 am
Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug. He is afraid he will be killed. He is afraid he will be treated as Bradley Manning is presently being treated, by a government whose drone missiles frequently blow up opponents of its policies in foreign countries, illegally. This is not paranoia. This is logic. It is connective thought. Several presidential candidates and a hundred million Americans want him assassinated.
He is right to be afraid.
hudsongodfrey June 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm [Edit]
I don’t know if his fear is justified. People say it isn’t. I believe you are genuine in your convictions that they’ll kill him as others are that they won’t. We can’t all be right.
But if I were Assange then I think I would have the right to be afraid and to behave accordingly. People who think he’s either not enough of a martyr or not enough of a saint are starting to become tiresome to say the least.
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm
The premise is that he should risk twenty years of torture on his trust in the eccentricities of Swedish law and the likelihood of a fair trial, after all that publicity, in that country.
If the risk of my death or torture were even one chance in a hundred I wouldn’t take it.
And it’s probably fifty-fifty.
Patrick Dignam June 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm [Edit]
Apart from parroting Cohen’s assessment how about you detail why YOU see it as “absurd paranoia”?
Because it looks quite sensible and justified to me.
I keep reading the words of others under your name. Do YOU have an argument or should I just wait for you to cut and paste from another’s mind/opinion?
William Soil June 25, 2012 at 8:54 am [Edit]
It is ridiculous this charade has continued, Khan – exonerated, Thompson – Innocent.
Assange is something else. The what do you call them, “I think you are misunderstanding the Swedish justice system” c’mon Doug.
US troops in Darwin, sex charges.
Hung Parliament, Brothel.
What does Julian Assange represent? Nothing?
Who does Julian Assange inspire?
John Howard meets the Queen, Bob Brown retires without ever ministering to a ministry.
Hundreds of citizens of the empire have rallied behind him, despite the bollocks about the lost bail money.
Ya’d have to be daft not to see through it.
I will continue to assert that the US want Assange for what he knows, what he has, not what he has done, after all he hasn’t achieved anything at all besides stardom right?
Bob Ellis June 25, 2012 at 11:18 am
Well said, that budding poet, finalist elsewhere for a prize of good whisky.