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John Passant

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May 2019



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Do not send Assange to the US

As readers would know, I have no love for Julian Assange. I want him sent to Sweden to face inquiries and possible prosecution over allegations of sexual misconduct (e.g. rape.)

I oppose sending him to the United States for any reason. The reality is the ruling class there want to imprison, if not execute, Assange for revealing the truth. The US is a vicious, brutal military machine serving the interests of its own big capital. It is an imperialist power which carries out crimes against humanity, as Assange has clearly shown. See for example his Collateral Murder video.

At this very moment President Trump is considering pardoning a number of US soldiers guilty of war crimes in the countries they have invaded over the last 20 years. He has already pardoned one. So, the intentions of the American ruling class seem clear – destroy anyone who exposes their war crimes, and free those who commit them.

The two messages are clear. By the latest pardon and proposed pardons, Trump is telling his invading troop it is OK to kill innocent people. It is fine, indeed encouraged, for US service men and women to commit war crimes. President Trump will protect you.

At the same time Trump is telling journalists not to expose those war crimes, or else. We will imprison you (or rather attempt to imprison you) under the Espionage Act. Look at what they did to Chelsea Manning for providing the information exposing US crimes to Assange.

She was in jail for seven years. In 2017 Obama commuted her sentence. She has since recently been jailed twice under the Trump administration, both times for refusing to testify against Assange in US Grand Jury investigations into his alleged crimes. She is at this very moment in jail, and will remain there while the current Grand Jury continues its persecution of Assange.

The initial US charge against Assange was one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. On Thursday the US filed 17 additional charges under the Espionage Act.  This Act is normally used against spies or whistleblowers and leakers from the US intelligence members.  Or, I might add, against the left.

Apart from Assange and Manning, for socialists and anarchists familiar with history, those charged and sometimes imprisoned include, according to Wikipedia:

Victor L. Berger, labor leader and five-time Socialist Party of America candidate, Eugene V. Debsanarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, … Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel EllsbergCablegate whistleblower Chelsea ManningWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.’

In other words, the Espionage Act can be a tool to suppress dissent. In Assange’s case it is a tool to punish him for revealing unhelpful truths about the American dictatorship and to suppress others who might be tempted to do the same.

Clearly Assange is a journalist. Bringing secretive government information to the attention of the public is journalism. Indeed Assange and Wikileaks won a Walkley Award from the MEAA, the Australian journalists’ union (my union) in 2011 for their revelations. It was an honour from Australian journalists given to a journalist for great journalism.

The Australian government has been very quiet about defending Australian Assange from US imperialism. Prior to the election Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after Assange’s arrest that he would get the same treatment as everyone else. This is a devious way of saying he will get no help from the Australian government against the US.

This should not surprise us. The Australian government is a partner with US imperialism. That partnership strengthens Australian imperialism in the region.  The Morrison government will do nothing to upset the close military and economic ties it has with the US.

So, while our government is talking about in effect legislating ‘religious freedom’ for anti-gay hate speech, it does nothing to defend free speech. In Assange’s case it supports suppressing it. The Australian government will sacrifice Assange on the altar of the US Alliance.

Assange won’t be the last, as the other victims of the Espionage Act listed above hints at. If the US can prosecute him under the Espionage Act it will be able to prosecute journalists anywhere for the ‘crime’ of revealing US war and other crimes. It will shut down the release of powerful dissenting material.

For example, many mainstream media outlets revealed the Wikileaks material. Will they too be prosecuted under the Espionage Act? Possibly not, but they will likely err on the side of silence in the future.

Trump may have overplayed his hand. In attacking Assange he is attacking the capitalist press. More importantly from my point of view he is attacking you and me and curtailing even further our already limited ability to read about and understand the crimes our governments carry out, let alone report on them.

We must defend Assange against extradition to the US.



Comment from Glenda Marteene
Time May 27, 2019 at 8:25 pm

To the Australian Government. Julian Assange should not be extradited to America because his life will be in danger. He will be tortured. Scott Morrison please don’t do to Julian Assange what China does to their people when they speak out about injustice. Start looking after your people.

Comment from Brien Doyle
Time May 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Was Assange in America when he broke America’s laws!??!!

Should we send ‘blasphemers’ to Pakistan or Saudi because we offend their laws ???????

Comment from Pat Wheeldon
Time May 29, 2019 at 7:19 am

Horrified that this individual is being persecuted for revealing the truth – get over yourselves. Stop the horrific victimisation. The world is watching!

Comment from Avril Robertson
Time May 29, 2019 at 8:04 pm

Julian spoke the truth that people needed to HEAR. Look after our own who courageously put their life on the line to share the TRUTH about the wars being created for profit.

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