07 December 2010

Julia Gillard on WikiLeaks

A short while ago Canberra political journalist Latika Bourke posted two tweets on comments made by the Prime Minister in relation to the WIkiLeaks issue, the first in response to a question from her:

latikambourke Latika Bourke
on #wikileaks, asked JG what Australian laws Assange has broken she said 'The foundation stone of it is an illegal act.' #cablegate

latikambourke Latika Bourke
Then JG said 'People would be aware that there’s also the issue of a warrant relating to an alleged sexual assault in Sweden.' #cablegate

The first comment is a bit of cunning wording because the illegal act to which she makes reference is not, of course, an act by Julian Assange, it is the act of a security cleared United States citizen on the US Government payroll.  So as a response to Bourke’s question, “What Australian laws has Assange broken”, I will take that as a “None”, confirmed by the fact that the Government has had a task force of military personnel, intelligence officers and officials attempting to ascertain whether Assange has broken any Australian laws and if he had I am sure we would have heard about it by now.

The Prime Minister’s second comment is fascinating. Ostensibly there is no connection between the allegations of sexual assault (actually a complaint in relation to consensual sex) in Sweden and the publication of leaked US diplomatic cable traffic. The fact that the two issues are juxtaposed in the Prime Minister’s mind must make one wonder, however.

If you read Guy Rundle’s account here of the legal steps in relation to the alleged sexual assault, published in The Age, Sunday 5 December, they are so bizarre one is forced to wonder whether or not this matter is connected to WikiLeaks’ earlier file dump on Iraq and Afghanistan.

The feeling of unease is reinforced by the article When it comes to the Assange rape case, the Swedes are making it up as they go along, by Melbourne barrister James D. Catlin, who acted for Julian Assange in London in October. The article appeared in Crikey on Thursday 2 December (access it here).

What on earth is going on?


Anonymous said...

Also ponderous is why, with specific mention in the Crimes Act of release of prescribed documents to "overthrow" the Government, the PM has not persued the leaker from within the ALP with more diligence, given the cabinet leaks clearly were meant to do exactly that.

Tim said...

Between JG's comments and the refusal of Australian companies to host mirrors, I'm becoming increasingly embarrassed of this country and its apparent tendency to elect either fascist or spineless leaders.