The antithesis of all journalistic decency has finally come to the dead end which he has relentlessly pursued for more than a decade. Ecuador has withdrawn both Assange’s internet access and his accessibility to visitors for more than a month now. Naturally his enraged supporters are invoking a UN estimate of two weeks solitary confinement as torture. Yet most of my colleagues are celebrating the development, though leaving it to the less timid to do so in a professional capacity.
While his side disputes it, Ecuador maintains that Assange had promised to do no more political agitating when, for that reason, they cut off his internet once before. I don’t know about you, but if someone on a life support system that I oversee promises not to criticise my associates and then does precisely that, well, I am not about to go wobbly at the notion of pulling a tube or two, or perhaps mixing in a whiff of mustard gas with the oxygen for enhanced effect. I’m just kidding of course.
But it would be nice to hear a bit of a gurgle, and especially since his ilk prevailed upon on editors to retract my statement that he was charged with sex offences by the Swedes. He’s a monumental pain to get in a tangle with, so it’s no wonder they dropped the case soon after interviewing him. They should never even have had to travel to London for it, just as they rightly insisted for years with the additional point that it seemed legally impossible to do so. The complainants waited seven years for nothing after having complaints initially dismissed, reconsidered, sensitively cleansed of negations of any rape being involved, and then advanced by a new team bound by prior political solidarity. Perhaps it was this that enabled the group to subsequently prove so stolid and patient, even despite protest from a complainant, right to the final graceful bow due to foreseeable lack of cooperation from the accused. Though their cases and representations could not have been more excellent, mercifully the state of Sweden will at least be spared costs of file storage and whatever horror lurked around the corner. While some may naturally wonder why prosecutors should drop any case, for instance, against a viscous drug lord, just on account of lack of cooperation, this should only help clarify how Assange is in a criminal class of his own. One might sooner square off with a black hole. Indeed, the suffering of these two women, complete with needless protraction and final, devastating sidelining, pales beside the rest of what Julian Assange is no less patently or solely responsible for.
Don’t even get me started on his centrality in the real-life and successful conspiracy to release proof of the DNC discretely tilting against Bernie Sanders. Those who claim that Sanders had the numbers need to think again. After he was sidelined, election day began with the NYT giving Clinton a 95% chance of winning. Does anyone imagine the entire US intelligence community and media could be thrown that far from the truth without a scale of Russian interference that would ensure a Trump victory regardless of the opponent?
So here’s to Ecuador’s current president Lenin Moreno. Fortunately he is not overly accountable to his citizenry (which ironically includes Assange of late) to uphold the “defence of human rights” which most Ecuadorians somehow regard as relevant here. With increasing support of the US, as a result of security meetings just days before Assange’s little blackout, Moreno can clearly afford to trade off part of his base, even if it opens him to the hysterical charge of becoming persecutor-in-chief on behalf of foreign puppeteers. I can certainly verify that radicals in South America never tire of such themes, though only the likes of Telesur propagate them, and I’ve heard nothing unflattering about the role of the US in South America from a decent western source in decades.
We also need to be clear about the fact that nobody has ever detained Assange for political reasons, regardless of the express ruling to that effect by the UN. Most don’t even know of this risible ruling, since informed journalists have become increasingly jaded with the UN and its growing list of visceral embarrassments. From the moment Assange walked into the Ecuadorian embassy, when US officials derided the notion of being interested in apprehending him, till the Justice Department declared his arrest a high priority, and indeed to this very day, Julian Assange has been utterly free to skip out the embassy door and have his case heard on the matter of skipping bail (for the laughable reason of pursing rights to political asylum).
I suppose, in a strange way, I will miss the long, grinding spectacle of his demise. After all, I have dined out on it for years thanks to my regular observations concerning his depravity, as have the vast majority of my peers handling the topic under the employ of the most reputable publishers in history. But it concerns more than just cash and dignified camaraderie. I really feel like its coming to a sort of cosmic anticlimax. Surely there might be another engaging twist of some kind. Perhaps a medical emergency–I always did hope claims from visiting doctors were true and that Assange was suffering pain that could easily be treated in hospital. Is this enduring caricature of a psychotic vigilant really going to be quietly smothered beside Harrods? No loss if so, but he must have more entertainment potential left than that.
Yet it seems most realistic to consider the health stories a ploy to get the UK to relent on its refusal to assure that he will not be extradited to the US if he leaves the embassy. I do hope they keep doubling down on that refusal even as some public outrage is bound to stir now that he really is under the thumbscrews and Uncle Sam is “baying for his blood.” As a conscientious journalist I will strive to ensure that this particular fiend gets never gets any such reprieve. Nor do I think my “less churlish” colleagues would lend him any support, though they may certainly prefer being quiet to cheering current developments, lest that seem distasteful. But they sink in fashions’ wake because savagery is fast becoming hip and all can see a page of history coming down hard on Julian Assange. Clearly only fools will fight it.