Dreyfus/Assange: The Similarities

(First published Independent Australia)

Like Dreyfus, Assange is dividing his nation. He is said, like Dreyfus, to have helped our enemies and imperilled our friends. Like Dreyfus, he is imprisoned, and innocent of any crime.

Unlike Dreyfus, he has not been charged with any crime, and will have, soon, a widely watched television show in Russia. He will soon be running his own television interview show, probably, and outrating Piers Morgan.

And this is a new thing in the world, and everybody is coping with it very badly. Gillard called what he did ‘illegal’. Hillary Clinton called it ‘treason’, unaware at the time that he was not an American. John McCain called for his execution. Perry, Palin, O’Reilly and Hannity urged that he be hunted down and killed. And even worse are some political female friends of mine who wanted him gaoled for two sex crimes of which he is, by his own victims’ testaments, innocent.

“Swedish woman worked so hard to get these laws passed,” one said, “and they have to be affirmed.”

“But he is innocent,” I said. “He sexually surprised no-one. He had sex without a condom with no-one. They said so. The two women said so.”

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “He should go to Sweden, and face the music.”

“But if he does he fears he will be killed. And if there were only one chance in ten of that, I wouldn’t, either.”

“He should go and face the music.”

I argued with this eminent Labor woman for a long time, saying one woman repeatedly had sex with him after the ‘surprise’ and the other woman tried to; but to no avail. I said his crime was to show a US helicopter gunship crew to be unpunished killers and lose the US all respect in the Middle East, and they would kill him for this loss of esteem if they could, as they killed Osama bin Laden. I said he had caused, or helped cause, the Arab Spring and thus liberated, perhaps, half a billion souls. But he endangered some diplomats’ lives, she said. And that outweighed all that. Name one dead diplomat, I said. And she couldn’t.

Murdoch and wowser feminists are killing a hero and I resent it. I am told by these underinformed women that because he is ‘arrogant’ or ‘self-seeking’ or ‘hubristic’ or ‘contemptuous of the lives of others’, he should be killed. This was never said of Bob Dylan. It was never said of George Orwell. It was never said of Dan Ellsberg. Or Norman Mailer. Or Hunter S. Thompson. Apparently being curt, now, or a rat with women, is a capital offence.

No, it’s not. No, it’s not. It’s just the right wing hanging round the neck of a left-wing person (Bill Clinton; John Edwards; Mike Rann; Don Dunstan; Craig Thomson) the rotting albatross of sexual suspicion. It is a technique. It is what they do.

And the wowser-feminists have bought it — hook, line and sinker. They cannot distinguish what is unimportant from what is world-altering. What Assange did with America’s secret cables ended its imperial influence forever. What he did to the two girls barely even distressed them. He is being railroaded by their ignorant righteousness into forty years of torture, or a sudden beating to death in gaol, and they think he deserves it.

They are not fit to wipe his shoes, or to wash his underpants, in my aggravated view. They do not know. They do not know what they are doing.

More and more friendships will be broken over this — as they were over Dreyfus, and Lindy Chamberlain. And then he will be killed, and a moment of clarity, too late, will irradiate the world — as it did after Martin Luther King was killed, in his fortieth year.

And then it will be too late.

Leave a comment ?


  1. What I don’t understand is why, if the US is so keen to get Assange, he isn’t there already? Our extradition treaty with the US virtually guarantees extradition; it’s difficult to imagine Sweden’s treaty being any more friendly to the US.

  2. The whole case is peculiar. I don’t like Assange, but I do want to see him treated fairly, and certainly not murdered or tortured.

    It seems to me fairly remote that any reasonable court could convict him of the sexual crimes of which he may be charged eventually. But I sympathise with the feminist view that he should undergo the due process.

    The USA want to destroy him as an example, I suspect, that no-one should affront their dignity and get away with it.

    I hope it all has a happy ending, but I doubt it.

  3. As an American who thinks that Assange is doing wrong, I think he should be returned freely.

    Clearly he felt that all countries and governments are of equal worth, for which I will never agree. Therefore, he released all documents he could with the help of a treasonous soldier. I repeat, he was not treasonous but Manning was and is.

    Assange may be wrong in not realizing that America has been the best and most gracious superpower in man’s history, but he is not a criminal. It is wrong and terribly destructive to not realize this, but not criminal.

    • No, America as a superpower has killed in wars about forty million people needlessly, and with its economic system twenty thousand children a day.

      It is so gracious it kills in their own beds its opponents with drone missiles in countries it has no permission to be in.

      It will act, as tends to, in Assange’s case illegally.

      And your assurances, Yank, are worthless.

  4. Assange might have something to worry about. IF he assisted Manning to download those stolen cables, as has been suggested. The torture stuff is just rubbish of course and he really seems to want to dodge the ‘sexual assault’ tag.

    And why is Dunstan on your “innocent” list? “It’s grossly Improper” was a great read and Dunstan was lucky he never had an ICAC in South Aussie when he was there.

  5. I was at a small demo on behalf of Assange last weekend and mentioned the allegation to a group of young women.
    One said that rape was too serious an issue to be trivialised in the way it has been here as to the so-called offences and exploitation of the political issues exploited; the concept of rape dgraded for political reasons..

    • No rape took place; according to the two women’s testimonies. Not even ‘sex by surprise’, or sex without a condom. According to the women’s own testimonies.

      This is why he has not been charged. With anything. :lol:

      The Swedes do not want him and the Americans do.

      This is the sum total of it.

      And he is rightly afraid.

  6. As for the other, you’d expect no better from the Right, but how do you explain the psychotic reaction of a minority of feminists, who you’d think would know better?
    Some feminists have behaved quite despicably over Assange, former campaigners for human rights morphed into weird fascists.

  7. They are shrewd comments from Doug Quixote and allthumbs.
    allthumbs, if only the west would embrace third world “others” instead of snubbing them.
    These people retreat into paranoid reactionary modernism in response to our long term indifference to their harsh lives, now openly expressed in the drone bombings of their subsistence level villages.
    There was a time, a couple of generations ago, during the wind down of colonialism, when people in Africa, West Asia and other parts sought to embrace western ideas, but we responded by “othering” them, replacing colonialism with corporate neocolonialism, backed up by local tinpot kelptocrats acting as guard dogs for western interests who meanwhile armed them. These armings of local satraps came at the expense of debt incurred to finance military spending, when precious dollars needed to spent on infrastructure instead of blowing it up.
    As life became worse for the masses, little wonder they retreated to religious fanaticism, with its simplistic Manichean solutions, we had offered them no consolation or way out.

    • Tell ‘em to take out their frustration on the nearest feminist. These people, if you can call them that, are worse than cockroaches, undifferentiated and everywhere, with a hand on every gear and lever. Worse than Enron, Goldman Sachs and Newscorp combined. Punish those bitches for they know not what they do. It would benefit them to be taught some logic, if only they were capable of seeing past the fog of hormones and hysteria. Which they aren’t, because after all…

  8. Reader one, how do we differentiate between cockroach rad feminists and GoldmanSachs/Newscorp types when they agree on the lynching of Assange?

    • So does Doug, you need to throw Doug into the mix. How do we differentiate between Doug, Anne Summers, Enron and Murdoch? There’s not a sliver between them.

      • R1, as you and Doug are on the same page on Assange, why not talk about your own views here rather than defer to DQ ?
        Throw yourself into the mix, be transparent and honest for a change.

        • not defer, REFER

        • hudsongodfrey

          Loving your work here Helvi, but I suspect the others may have been joking because in the right light if you squint you can tell the difference between Anne Summers and Rupert Murdoch!

          • Oh, I don’t know HG; Rupert and I are long lost twins. Like Schwarzenegger and De Vito. And as for Anne Summers - she may well pass for forty three in the dusk with the light behind her . . .

          • Helvi doesn’t have the mental hardware to compute basic requests so I will ask this of you, Hudson. Please give a single instance when I have not been honest and transparent. Also, what is the difference in practical terms between Doug’s views espoused in these pages recently and the views of so called wowser feminists who we don’t know? Why do we hunt down one and not the other?

            • hudsongodfrey

              Reader I think Helvi is pretty clever actually. But we all disagree from time to time.

              Doug and I manage to do so like gentlemen. I credit him with that because I’m given to intemperance with the trolls of this on-line world.

              You do not attack me or say overtly unkind things, so I don’t have an issue with you either. Unlike Bob I lack the imprimatur to ban you, but be neither flattered nor insulted if I have to report that I don’t know of instances where you’ve been dishonest because I don’t read all your comments that carefully.

              And proving negatives is a mug’s game anyway.

              • You need to transcend up a rung in order to escape the realm of the purely personal. You think you are being impersonal with your rationalising but knowledge that has not been lived and experienced is not knowledge at all. When you transcend up a rung, you can start to shift sideways on the same plane, or issue. It’s a much more variable and flexible perspective. The issue here is this - two people, same views, different treatment for both. It’s not the fact of it, it’s the reasons why that ought to be looked at. Or you can just congratulate Helvi on accusing me of being dishonest baselessly. Because she is such a remorseless sucker upper to men, it actually comes back around full circle as self-congratulation. So why not do it?

                • Reader1,

                  I really don’t know what your issue is with Helvi because I can’t see where she called you dishonest, so I wasn’t meaning to take sides in a spat I didn’t know about.

                  I took the initial exchange in a light hearted kind of way. It seems you have no sense of humour about feminism. That’s a pity.

                  Nor do I see why being “a remorseless sucker up to men” is more her problem than your own. Flip that one on its back and the note on its belly reads I hate men. Do you perhaps see how I might not take your side in that?

                  • Huson Godfrey throw yourself into the mix, be transparent and honest for a change.

                    • hudsongodfrey

                      Read my posts anywhere and you’ll learn that I’m really not backward in coming forth with ideas.

                      To be honest and transparent one needs merely to speak for themselves and from the heart. I think I do that but if you’ve questions then ask them.

                    • Alright I question how you can’t see that asking someone to be transparent and honest for a change isn’t the same as calling them dishonest. Unless you meant literally that you couldn’t see Helvi’s comment when you looked for it.

                    • hudsongodfrey

                      You’re right I took little notice of the remark. If I had I might have simply interpreted it as a plea for more honesty rather than an accusation of dishonesty.

                      Is there really the need to make it all about personalities rather than ideas?

                    • Next time you take little notice of a remark it might be a good idea not to reply to it saying “Loving your work here Helvi”. It makes it look like you were agreeing with it.

                    • How am I supposed to me more honest? I was never dishonest. Why say I was? Why do it? And go shove your humourless, manhating feminist stereotype up your bum, you ancient cruddite. That’s too low class for my delicate sensibilities to prod with a ten foot barge pole. Gruesome and distinctly inferior. Also, enough with your egalitarianism and your brain impulses. It is no counter to or argument for or proposal of anything.

                    • I never said you were dishonest.

                      And I’ll ignore your facetious theatrics.

                      I’m buggered if I know what I’m supposed to say after all this so I might as well ask an impertinent question. I’ve always been honest about my beliefs or lack thereof. But I begin to wonder whether the source of some of the tension between various posters is religious?

                      It is one of those things in our society that we often show deference for and frankly a lack of transparency about.

                      There seems to be an elephant in the room and I’m just trying to find out what it is.

                    • I’m not religious. Wow, this is scintillating conversation. Any more labels you got? Or is that it? You’re shatterring the boundaries of my orbit with all this varied nuance.

                    • hudsongodfrey

                      Well then if you’re unable to be transparent about what the real source of you’re ire with me then I remain at a loss. There’s nothing I’ve said that’s anything like the risible amount of bile you’re spewing at me in defence of what? Your delicate sensibilities. Grow up and get a sense of Humour.

        • Please give me a single instance when I have not been honest and transparent. You do not know what my views are, and you haven’t asked.

    • R1,
      I doubt whether Ann Summers is that brainless and you have missed the subtlety in the last couple from DQ.
      As for those still standing shoulder to shoulder with Goldman Sachs and Halliburton, go for it, am sure the road to hell is paved with bad intentions.

      • This is exactly how discrimination works. Doug has made his views clear only recently and he is not a big Assange fan. Meanwhile, these so called feminists don’t get to count as individuals, don’t hold individual viewpoints and don’t have any reasons for their viewpoint. When does a single wowser feminist get to be named, shamed and analysed, or should we all bear the brunt of any passing wrath, just in case we are hiding any wowser feminist views under the table? When it’s fine for some to hold a particular view whereas others are hated for holding the same view, that is pure misogyny and double standard and discrimination and “othering”, which you were so worked up about a short time ago when it came to third world women genociders being mercilessly driven to their acts by western feminists. Just like Doug was mercilessly influenced to his view by wowser feminists as he so subtlely pointed out. It’s not his fault, point the finger at others, it’s fun.

        By the way, do you know Anne Summers views on Assange? Eva Cox’s? What other public feminists are there in this country?

        • “Doug has made his views clear only recently”

          Pardon? I think I said last year or even the year before that Assange is a narcissistic psychopath who is recklessly indifferent to whatever damage he might do with his publications, or words to that effect. I’ve mellowed a little since, but not too much. Bob doesn’t like my view on Saint Julian.

          • So .. Galileo was wrong to publish the truth? And Solzhenitsyn? And Ellsberg? And Keith Murdoch? And Emile Zola? And David Marr? Because it might endanger some careers, or lives?

            How can you argue this?

            • Those who published the truth about Lindy Chamberlain endangered careers and lives.

              What sort of argument is that?

            • I don’t think that I am arguing anything of the sort. No doubt much that Assange has published has been beneficial, ultimately. That does not mean that the ends justify the reckless and indiscriminate publication of documents stolen from whatever source they could be stolen from, indifferent to any lives and liberties endangered.

              • The contradiction in your post is simply too big.
                Even for you.

                • One can hate the man yet applaud his effects. It is arguable that Hitler was necessary, a safety valve for the pent-up frustrations and pressures in Europe; the end results of his regime - World War II and the Holocaust - were truly horrible; but was it ultimately cathartic?

  9. Imprisoned? You appear to be a touch behind in the Assange news, Bob. He’s not imprisoned, he got out on bail over a year ago on condition he spent every night at the country mansion where he was put up as a guest by an admirer. Then he (melo)dramatically applied for asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he presumably still is.
    He will be imprisoned however when they arrest him for skipping bail.
    During the loooooong bail period three successive English courts dismissed his misleading claims as to why the extradition warrant was invalid (sex without consent isn’t against the law in England indeed!).
    So all you’ve got left is badmouthing the victims, trying the case in the media rather than in court, and now bad-mouthing those who don’t believe that being admired should put him above the law.
    Pretty tacky stuff.

  10. What you call ‘badmouthing’ I, Jen Robinson, Julian Burnside and Geoffrey Robertson call ‘evidence’. He has been charged with nothing because he is guilty of nothing illegal, according to the two girls’ own testimony.

    He attempted sex without a condom but when reproved put one on. The ‘sex by surprise’ girl was awake at the time and had sex with him three times thereafter and asked to be taken on as his permanent assistant. This is in the girls’ own statements.

    ‘Badmouthing’, is it?

    If being confined to a small embassy is not imprisonment, what is?

    Why lie? Why tell lies?

    Who are you working for?

    What do you hope will happen to him?

    Please answer this.

    • I have reread your letter and decided I hate you.

      You are scum.

      I will continue to publish you on the condition that you know this.

      ‘Looooong’, you say. How cruel is that.

      You are clearly a friend of secrecy, employed by ASIO perhaps, and you want him dead.

      I despise you.

      Please answer this, as often as you like.

  11. Was it when I said ‘tacky’? Perhaps that was unfair. You really seem to have your heart set on the whole USA death plot angle with the Swedish extradition, although it doesn’t stand up to even the most casual scrutiny, so it would follow that you think it fair to badmouth people in order to save Assange.
    Of course it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. As you said before if the US wants to kill Assange they can just shoot him as he leaves the embassy. Or even if there was someone with an IQ above room temperature, any time in the last year or so before he entered the embassy. Or extradite him from the UK. If you stop to think about it the whole idea they have to get him to Sweden in order to get their hands on him is absurd. Think about it for a minute. The USA can’t touch him unless he’s in Sweden. Really? However if it was true the very last thing they would have done is to revive the sex assault thing after it seemed to have been dropped. Then he would have just stayed in Sweden.
    Yes you called the alleged victims right-wing sluts, and that is bad-mouthing. You said that women who want to see the law applied to him the same as it would be to anyone else are wowser feminists not fit to wash his underpants, and that is badmouthing.
    Geoffrey Robertson is a legal advisor to Assange and of course it is his job to think of arguments why Assange should go free. So far all of his arguments that have been legally tested have been found to be false. Any argument he makes about Assange’s innocence, including the time-dishonoured argument of singling out aspects of the victims post alleged assault behaviour, will be tested in a Swedish court. They are certainly not inviolable truths.
    It’s a huge leap from not wanting someone to be above the law to wanting them dead, and frankly you have no moral right to make that leap or to tell me what I think.
    Obviously it’s your blog and you obviously have a right to silence dissent but not a moral right to do it by badmouthing me.
    It’s up to you though.

    • P.S. For what it’s worth, the looooong wasn’t supposed to be cruel. It was a bit of exasperation at the prolonged grandstanding that he’s chosen to make in an effort to evade responsibility for his alleged actions.

      • So if I make a false allegation against you, you are responsible for my allegations?

        • I make no claims of legal expertise Reader1, but I believe that in many cases the answer will be yes. There would have to be enough supporting facts for the prosecutor to proceed. (In our case that evidence doesn’t exist. But in the public forum, mud sticks.) If false allegations weren’t investigated we would save a lot of money on courts and judges, wouldn’t we?
          People are found not guilty in court very often.
          In this case I don’t go for the US conspiracy false allegation theory. The collective sum of stupidity or carelessness is just beyond belief. Assange would need to be so stupid or careless about his own security that he decided that Sweden was a good place to apply for residency without even a cursory investigation. This doesn’t fit with his reputation. The Swedes would have to be so stupid that they denied him residency even though they were colluding with the US to keep him there, and scared him off by not dropping the sexual assault allegations. The alleged victims would have to be so careless or stupid that they behaved ambiguously.
          But I’m not going to try the case here. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he was found not guilty.

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