During their addresses to the UN General Assembly, both Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Honduran President Xiomara Castro called for Assange to be freed. Lula stated, “It is essential to preserve the freedom of the press. A journalist like Julian Assange cannot be punished for informing society in a transparent and legitimate way.” Castro struck a similar chord, calling Assange a “faithful defender of free expression.” Both Lula and Castro are left-wing leaders who were elected as part of what’s been dubbed in Latin America as a second or resurgent “Pink Tide." Lula had previously served as Brazil’s president during the original Pink Tide.
Six members of the Australian parliament landed in Washington D.C. on Tuesday armed with a bi-partisan agenda and the backing of an entire nation as they try to convince Congressmen and State and Justice Department officials that the American pursuit of Australian publisher Julian Assange is wrong and must be stopped. The cross-party delegation is spending two days in the U.S. capital arguing Assange’s case ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s state visit to the White House at the end of October, where it is expected that Assange will be brought up (as well as Australia being used to test U.S. hypersonic missiles).
More than 60 Australian politicians have called on the United States government to drop the prosecution of Julian Assange, warning of “a sharp and sustained outcry in Australia” if the WikiLeaks founder is extradited. The letter comes ahead of announcements that a contingent of parliamentarians are coming to Washington D.C. this week in hopes of securing Assange’s freedom. In the letter, the 63 MPs and senators said they were “resolutely of the view that the prosecution and incarceration of the Australian citizen Julian Assange must end”. The letter will be taken to Washington D.C. where it will be presented to US Congresspeople and others as part of the cross-party delegation made up of Senators Alex Antic, David Shoebridge and Peter Whish-Wilson, Barnaby Joyce MP, Monique Ryan MP and Tony Zappia MP.
More than 60 Australian federal politicians have explicitly called on the US to drop the prosecution of Julian Assange, warning of “a sharp and sustained outcry in Australia” if the WikiLeaks founder is extradited. With a small cross-party delegation due to fly to Washington next week, the Guardian can reveal the lobbying trip has won the open support of 63 members of Australia’s House of Representatives and Senate. In a letter, the 63 MPs and senators said they stood in support of the trip to the US and were “resolutely of the view that the prosecution and incarceration of the Australian citizen Julian Assange must end”.
Six members of the Australian parliament will land in Washington D.C. on Sept. 20 armed with a bi-partisan agenda and the backing of an entire nation as they try to convince Congressmen and State and Justice Department officials that the American pursuit of Australian publisher Julian Assange is wrong and must be stopped. The cross-party delegation will spend two days in the U.S. capital arguing Assange’s case ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s state visit to the White House at the end of October, where it is expected that Assange will be brought up (as well as Australia being used to test U.S. hypersonic missiles).
Australia has too often behaved as a doormat to the United States, to the point where Australia is threatening its own security by going along with an aggressive U.S. policy towards China, which poses no threat to Australia. But this time, Blinken got an earful. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reiterated that he wanted the Assange case to be dropped. Certain members of Parliament brusquely gave it back to Blinken. Assange was “not the villain … and if the US wasn’t obsessed with revenge it would drop the extradition charge as soon as possible,” Independent MP Andrew Wilkie told The Guardian‘s Australian edition. “Antony Blinken’s allegation that Julian Assange risked very serious harm to US national security is patent nonsense,” said Wilkie said.
The May and November 2021 fuel leaks of 19,000 gallons of fuel at the 80-year-old Red Hill fuel storage facility into the drinking water aquifer of Honolulu gave toxic exposure to over 93,000 persons. Many are suffering from toxic poisoning that will have lifelong effects. 27,000 gallons of fuel had “leaked” in January 2014. Some families who have lived in the 19 residential areas served by the Red Hill well report they have had health conditions for many years prior to the November 2021 spill that went directly into the Red Hill well. They feel that these health issues may be attributable to the leak in 2014, nine years before.
Recently (29 July 2023), US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, on a visit to Australia, rejected the call by his Australian counterpart to put an end to the U.S.’s judicial persecution of Julian Assange. Blinken justified his refusal by saying that Assange, with his revelations of US/UK war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, had “risked causing very serious harm to [US] national security.” But notice his choice of words. Blinken did not state that Assange had actually caused harm (as was claimed at the time of the revelations); he is simply alleged to have risked – hypothetically – causing harm, which is a different story.
At every stage of its proceedings against Julian Assange, the US Imperium has shown little by way of tempering its vengeful impulses. The WikiLeaks publisher, in uncovering the sordid, operational details of a global military power, would always have to pay. Given the 18 charges he faces, 17 fashioned from that most repressive of instruments, the US Espionage Act of 1917, any sentence is bound to be hefty. Were he to be extradited from the United Kingdom to the US, Assange will disappear into a carceral, life-ending dystopia. In this saga of relentless mugging and persecution, the country that has featured regularly in commentary, yet done the least, is Australia. Assange may well be an Australian national, but this has generally counted for naught.
Three Australian members of Parliament have dismissed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s strong statement in support of prosecuting imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange as “nonsense.” Independent MP Andrew Wilkie told The Guardian‘s Australian edition that Assange was “not the villain … and if the US wasn’t obsessed with revenge it would drop the extradition charge as soon as possible.” “Antony Blinken’s allegation that Julian Assange risked very serious harm to US national security is patent nonsense,” Wilkie said. “Mr Blinken would be well aware of the inquiries in both the US and Australia which found that the relevant WikiLeaks disclosures did not result in harm to anyone,” said Wilkie.
When I was at the CIA, I was taught that David Hicks was a very bad man. As a teenager in Australia, I was told, his school principal once called him “one of the most troublesome kids.” He was expelled from school at the age of 14 and began using alcohol, and drugs. He was particularly fond of stealing cars, according to a former partner. He was later accused of beating his girlfriend, although no charges were ever filed. In 1999, Hicks converted to Islam and began studying the faith’s fundamentalist Wahhabi strain at a Saudi-funded mosque in Adelaide, Australia.
Thousands of people have rallied in cities and towns across Australia to back a campaign to recognise the country’s Indigenous people in the constitution in advance of a referendum later this year. The gatherings on Sunday, organised by the Yes23 campaign, were part of a nationwide “day of action” to rally the public after a recent dip in support for the constitutional change. The proposal, which will be put up for a referendum between October and December, seeks to establish an advisory body – the Indigenous Voice to Parliament – to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a direct say in policies that affect them.
Joe Biden was due in Sydney Wednesday where he’s facing increased pressure to let Julian Assange go. Biden cancelled the trip but a rally in Hyde Park sent him the message anyway. Stella Assange, Scott Ludlum, John Shipton, Gabriel Shipton, David McBride and Stephen Kenny addressed the rally Wednesday morning. Stella Assange, on her first trip to Australia, vowed that she would return with a liberated Julian Assange and their children to his home country.
A cross party delegation of Australian legislators met on Tuesday morning in Canberra with Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador, to discuss the continued U.S. prosecution of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. U.S. President Joe Biden is due in Australia in two weeks as the pressure continues to mount on him from presidents, parliaments, the public and human rights and press freedom groups to free Assange. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Senator Andrew Wilkie, who took part in the meeting with Kennedy, as saying: “This is an intensely important time with the US President about to visit. It would be very unhelpful if he comes to Australia and this issue is still unresolved, it will hang over us all in an uncomfortable way.” “The US and Australia have a very important and close relationship, and it’s time to demonstrate that,” Wilkie said.