(First published in Independent Australia)
It is now the Swedes’ plan, and their ally America’s plan, for a ‘Lee Harvey Oswald moment’ when, emerging handcuffed from the embassy gates, Assange will be shot from a high window across the street in an ‘incident’ Scotland Yard will profoundly regret, and his funeral will be watched by half a billion viewers across the world and the assassin get away.
This is their plan now. Their previous plan was not to try him for rape in Sweden, since his accusers were plainly right-wing conspirators who publicly kissed and hugged him for days and days after the supposed offence, but to beat him to death in gaol, in an ‘incident’ the authorities would profoundly regret.
This was always their plan. This is why they never charged him with anything, wanting only to ‘question’ him in Sweden. Though they could have questioned him in London, he had to be in Sweden. There can be no other reason for this, as any fan of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will tell you, but to kill him there.
It is not far-fetched or paranoid to say this. Four American presidential candidates have called for his death, two by assassination. His informant, Bradley Manning, is under torture and facing execution. Drone missiles take out, once a month, America’s political opponents without an arrest, or a lawyer, or a period of detention, or a day in court, just a sudden explosion in the house which they – and their children, sometimes – live in. Assassination is American foreign policy now, and an assassinated Assange is on their menu.
How are we to save him? Well, we could ask the Swedes to interview him in the embassy, and find him, as they did before, a person of no interest. Or we could ask the British to send him home. Once here he could be questioned on what happened, and the accusers flown out to be questioned too. If they have a case, he can be tried by Skype from Sweden and, if found guilty, if a fair trial is possible after the publicity, gaoled here.
And his life preserved.
It is not too large a thing to call him our Dreyfus. For Dreyfus too was accused of giving information to the enemy, amid newspaper headlines that divided a nation, and the nation’s families with it, for decades. Dreyfus was found to be guiltless of any breach of the law in any jurisdiction.
It is a pity that the now all-too-common alliance of American hubris, Fox News hysteria and the far right wing has brought this world hero, the truthful, stern, impelled auteur of the Arab Spring, to this mortal pass with the craven assistance of Australian inertia, Swedish greed and mendacious American vengefulness.
Or perhaps you disagree.