Christine Assange speaks: US wants revenge on Julian

Sunday, November 13, 2011
Christine Assange.

WikiLeaks has awakened many people to the cynical and violent workings of the political, military and corporate entities that run the world. For Christine Assange this awakening has been heightened because her son is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — now the target of the powerful 1% who have not appreciated his contribution to transparency.

“I started off on this journey saying WikiLeaks is great in theory but … I’m not going to support it publicly before I’ve read everything I can on it,” she told Green Left Weekly. “It was quite a journey for me.”

“I’m really just the average Mary Smith … Now I am horrified, both about the threat to Julian, and about the threat to global democracy, that I discovered from investigation and reading of my own.”

Her journey is taking her to Canberra on November 17, when US President Barack Obama is addressing the Australian parliament and meeting PM Julia Gillard. She will join anti-war protesters opposing the Australia-US alliance. She accused the Australian government of “arse-covering” for the US over WikiLeaks, and failing its obligations to an Australian citizen for the sake of the US alliance.

“In my opinion we have become nothing more than a franchise of the US and Julia Gillard has traded my son for her position as prime minister … I’m going right to where the buck stops, which is Canberra, and I’ll be talking to people about this case.

“The only way we can get protection for our citizens — because if they won’t protect Julian, they won’t protect anyone else — is to let them know, so I’m asking the people to make November 17, not ‘celebrate Obama day’ but ‘support Julian Assange day’.”

Pointing out the government spends money encouraging people in schools and workplaces to stand up to bullying she said: “We’ve got a global bully arriving here on November 17, we’ve got to tell him where to go … We can renegotiate ANZUS and say ‘we’ll go with you on some things but not other things’.

“They’ve dragged us into so many wars that in hindsight were no good … There are many military and ex-military people [in the US and Australia] who are unhappy with the way the wars are being run … In fact, a veterans’ organisation called Stand Fast will be protesting in Canberra.”

She said most Australians support WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. “If this parliament does not represent us — and our human rights, free speech and democracy — then they need to go … If the Greens are the only ones to support him, maybe what the average Aussie should do is vote in the Greens next election.

“I believe the only hope for Julian now is for a grassroots democracy uprising.”

On November 3, Julian Assange lost an appeal to the British High Court against extradition to Sweden for questioning on sexual assault allegations. He has not, so far, been charged over the allegations, made last year. Christine Assange is sceptical about the fairness of the legal processes in Sweden and Britain, and fearful that he will end up in US custody.

“This was a political case, right from the word go,” she told GLW. “There are documented abuses all over his case, even Swedish judges have come out and said that. The banking blockade against WikiLeaks, the release of the US diplomatic cables and the ‘red notice’ [international arrest warrant] all came out within 10 days of each other. To say this case is not political is naive in the extreme.”

As if to confirm this, on November 10, a US judge ruled that Twitter must give the US Justice Department access to the accounts of Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks, including Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir.

Jonsdottir told the British Guardian: “This is a huge blow for everybody that uses social media. We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline. Imagine if the US authorities wanted to do a house search at my home, go through my private papers. There would be a hell of a fight. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”



Julian Assange has been given three weeks to apply, to the same High Court judges that made the November 3 ruling, for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. “If they agree, then it goes up to the Supreme Court, but if they don’t, which is more likely, then in 10 days he will be in Sweden.”

Christine Assange said her son could get an unfair trial in Sweden, where there are provisions for incommunicado detention and secret trial, and where cases are not heard by juries but by a panel of three: a judge and an appointee from each of the main political parties.

However, she was more fearful that he would be sent to the US. This could happen through “extraordinary rendition”, the program of illegal abductions, under which thousands of mostly innocent people were tortured by the CIA in secret “black sites” all over the world or sent to pro-US dictatorships to be tortured under CIA supervision. She questioned whether Obama had followed through on his election promise to end this practice.

He could also be extradited from Sweden to the US. Under European law, Sweden should be able to extradite him to a third country only if approved by the British extradition hearing. “The way that the US gets around that is that they’ve got a bilateral treaty with Sweden for what they call ‘temporary surrender’, which has none of the safeguards a normal extradition treaty has.”

Christine Assange described in some detail the inhuman torture and humiliation to which US Army Private Bradley Manning has been subjected since he was arrested and charged with leaking information to Wikileaks.

She said: “PJ Crowley, the State Department spokesman, resigned over it [because] it violated the US Constitution’s amendments banning cruel and unusual punishment and pre-trial punishment.”

She said the torture was aimed at coercing Manning into giving false evidence against Julian Assange as US authorities were so far unable to build a credible case under their espionage and national security laws.

But Christine Assange is not just a mother campaigning for her son’s safety. She cited three exposes by WikiLeaks that particularly affected her. One revealed then PM Kevin Rudd had assured the US that Australia would look the other way if their shipping violated laws to protect the Great Barrier Reef from oil spills.

Another showed US officials describing Haiti’s 2010 earthquake as a “gold rush” for US corporations and an opportunity to stop the Haitian government raising the minimum wage. The cable showed the US also manoeuvring to stop Venezuela providing aid.

She said she was also shocked by the WikiLeaks’ coverage of Western human rights abuses in Iraq, such as the handing over of protesters against corruption to Iraqi police for torture.

“I’m not internet savvy … It was a real journey and what I found was that if you get your information from mainstream media, you wouldn’t get enough information, or you get skewed information.”

This journey has taken her to being a campaigner against the Australia-US alliance. “Julia Gillard likes to be seen as tough,” she said. “But all I’ve seen is her be tough on single mothers, tough on people with disabilities, tough on orphaned refugee children and tough on Australian animals. I’ve yet to see her be tough as leader of the country, to stand up for the country. I’ve yet to see her show any courage like my son has shown.”

From GLW issue 903

Comments

Christine's talk today on ABC radio

Christine, I heard you on ABC radio today in your home area of the sunshine coast. You made a lot of sense, you spoke honestly and forcefully on behalf of your brave son and for the ideals of freedom and openness. I learned the answer to something that puzzled me - why would Sweden so easily give up Julian to the US? You provided the answer: that the US and Sweden have an Arms deal (why should that not surprise me?!) I feel for you and for the threat that hangs over Julian. The UK government should allow him to be questioned in the Swedish Embassy in the UK, or even unimpeded in Sweden, as you said.

In contrast, following your talk, I then listened to the hyprocritical posturings of Obama on ABC TV, which because of his clever well paid speechwriters, may persuade some of the uninformed and gullible. I was disgusted by the genuflexions of our so-called " leaders" Gillard and Abbott. We are becoming - have become - another client state of the US. I will make representations to my local Federal MP, the lazy, useless slug. You have my support, always as does Julian.

how about infiltrations?

The boats with load of 10,000 people who have also arms are landing soon in NT. Plus more behind them.
Indeed, Obama must undertake the humanitarian agenda through interventions in Australian detentions where asylumseeker refugees are kept up to two years unreasonably and inappropriately.
That is why my first demand in order to back-slash against Gillard, is to reengage the asylum swap deal with Australia like year 2007.

A bad phase

It is one of those terrible phases. It will pass over. But, JP Assange needs, human rights activists and legal experts to closely guide him in his speech and action during this ordeal. Moreover, he has got impressive support from the masses and he has no prior 'criminal' past. Though, it goes without saying that he is being targeted singularly for the 'information democracy' he advocates. It is a mean political vendetta to 'teach' any body a lesson who tries to question the reeking system and structures. Best wishes for JP Assange for a fair treatment.

Journey on

Christine, we wish the best outcome for Julian. “To say this case is not political is naive in the extreme.” --This is quite true, if not an understatement. The ability of global corporate repressive powers to extradite Julian, in this manner (without even a charge being laid) opens the door for the justification and reinforcement of state murder, torture, the police state, the hyper exploitation of planet and its people, accompanied by perpetual war. This can’t be allowed to go on. It was precisely Wikileaks’ exposure of these very measures that’s contributed to the global political awakening and made you a target. We can only salute the courage that you, Julian and many others have shown. We’re with you.

Couldn't agree more. How can

Couldn't agree more. How can I contact her?

Christine, you must be so

Christine, you must be so proud of your son!!! thank-you for having raised such a brilliant and brave human being.

My Voice and your voice

Stand Tall !! Thank you for been a voice to many !! I had no voice, we have been suffering for many years for exposing corruption and still people do no act and Gov.Officials just keep covering it up..........
For the last nine years I have been trying to expose corruption, Plz read my blog http://marinameadowsDOTwordpressDOTcom/, find out what is been done to our family, how the medicals records have been used to harm us, medications tampered, isolation, & manipulation of internet, mail & phones, how my 3 sons have been manipulated, the roll of the Police & Gov.Officials allowing this abuse mental, emotional & physical to go on for years, to cover all the wrong doing, No hesitation in destroying our whole family, adding that the father of my sons & his mother, both UK citizens passed away very sudden...??? Here we still suffering, almost collapsing without any one doing anything to help us; now after 3 months able to text a bit I come to understand how tainted & corrupted things are, manipulated by well-connected individuals, corporate executives & politically motivated Gov.Officials who simply buried the truth inside a shadow legal system inaccessible to everyday ordinary American citizens. So I give thanks to God for the strength given to us and for people that help make the truth come to light!!! By the way if any one out there with some humanity can do anything for us, we appreciate very much the help!!! We need a pro-bono Lawyer ASAP, my mother loosing her eye sight, and we all perishing.........We exist !!!
Spanish/Espanol
En los ultimos nueve anos he estado tratando de exponer la corruptcion en Miami, Florida, Por favor lean mi blog http://marinameadowsDOTwordpressDOTcom/, encuentren lo que nos han hecho, como es que han utilizado nuestros records medicos para hacernos dano, medicinas alteradas acabadas de comprar en las farmacias, como nos han isolado de amigos y familiares, manipulacion y bloqueo de la internet, el correo y los telefonos, como las vidas de mis tres hijos han sido manipuladas y ellos tambien manipulados, el papel que ha jugado la Policia y los Oficiales del Gobierno permitiendo que nos sigan abusando todos estos anos, abuso mental, emocional y por ende fisico, cubriendo las cosas mal hechas desde el principio, sin importarles la destruccion de nuestra familia, tambien quiero adicionar que el padre de mis hijos y su madre murieron repentinamente, los dos ciudadanos Ingleses. Nosotros nos encontramos sufriendo y casi collapsando sin que nadie nos ayude; ahora despues de tres meses que he podido estar escribiendo un poco en la internet me he podido dar cuenta de cuan corrompidas y manchadas son las cosas, manipuladas por individuos muy bien conectados, ejecutivos corporativos y Oficiales Gubernamentales motivados politicamente los cuales simplemente entierran la verdad dentro de uns sombra de sistema legal inaccesible a los ciudadanos ordinarios de cada dia. Asi que le doy gracias a Dios por la fuerza que nos da y por que existen personas que hoy en dia ya estan exponiendo la verdad tal y cual es!! Y a proposito si alguien por ahi con algo de humanidad, puede hacer algo por nosotros, lo apreciaremos muchisimo!! Necesitamos un abogado pro-bono ASAP, es Urgente pues mi madre esta sin medicinas y perdiendo la vision pues tampoco poder hecharse sus gotas de glaucoma, estamos pereciendo.....pero somos reales, existimos !!!

more detail on assange case