The news that Assange is a person of interest and he could be eligible for the death penalty if the US get their mitts on him also means he can be assassinated in any jurisdiction, taken out by drone or sniper or mortar fire in a speech on the embassy balcony, or wherever.
This is because assassination is now official American foreign policy. In imitation of Mossad, the Taliban, the Spanish Inquisition and al-Qaeda it has a licence to kill.
This follows the Bush Doctrine of ‘pre-emptive strike’, an imitation of Pearl Harbor and 9/11, hit them before they hit you. It is the definition of a tyranny, execution without trial, what the Mafia does, what the Crusades and the Third Reich did to Jews.
So America is a terrorist nation now, it trades in fear, and unjust punishment, like Richard III, and it wonders why it has no true friends in the world any more. It has become what it fears, what it most fears, a bogeyman.
Not that it matters. But Assange is right to fear for his life. And William Hague is right to want to ‘diplomatically’ save him if he can, by moving him to the Ecuadorian embassy in Stockholm, where he will be shown to be innocent of everything, and safe still, if he stays there, from extradition.
But the question will then arise of his coming home. Will he be safe from extradition if he comes here to see his mum? Or be interviewed by Phillip Adams? Or appear at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival? Or receive the Sydney Peace Prize? Of course he won’t. He’ll be arrested for touching up Bronwyn Bishop and held until the Americans after the mid-term elections in 2014 ask Prime Minister Abbott or Shorten or Joyce or Newman to send him handcuffed to Guantanamo.
It is wrong of us, very wrong, as Lindsay Tanner said on Wednesday, to defend America’s hurt pride so expensively, with Australian lives piled up in sacrifice without point or purpose or end.
Julian Assange should not be one of them. Not now. Not ever.