“I have never met Julian Assange. It is very likely that I would not like the man if I were to meet him. I am not interested in Julian Assange. What I am interested in and concerned with is Julian Assange’s rights as a man and a journalist,” said a friend of mine after I told her that I was writing a blog about the character assassination of Julian Assange in the media. I agreed with her that it was important to discuss whom or what I was supporting writing for this website. The media has characterized Julian as a rapist, a molester, an egotist, a Don Juan, a terrorist, a hero, a hacker, and etc. Any and all of these characterizations dilute and diminish his rights as a man and as a journalist because they distract from the core issues in his legal battle. There is an old litigation strategy where the party who has the weight of evidence working against it, makes up for the lack of evidence with attacks on the opposing party’s character and credibility.
The strategy is to distract from the issues in dispute. I have noticed a similar pattern since Mr. Assange has been sent to a prison in the UK without a bail. The attacks on him have turned into a smear campaign in order to assassinate his character. Once his character has been dehumanized then it will be matter of little consequence what will happen to this non-human monster formerly known as Julian Assange. A similar pattern played itself out in the case of the ex-Marine and UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter—who had become one of the most persuasive opponents of the attack on Iraq. He had repeatedly and presciently insisted that there was no evidence of WWD. Scott Ritter became a subject of a media smear campaign and was accused of child molestation.
The campaign against Mr. Assange has gone a step further and has taken a nefarious turn. Mr. Assange has become a thing of mockery and ridicule. I watched Glenn Beck on Fox News “defending” Julian of rape charges while my mind performed cartwheels. Beck’s performance was at par with a Clockwork Orange mind-control experiment. Simultaneously, Beck defended and scorned Mr. Assange. His eerie performance was so unnervingly hypnotic and wily that I turned up the sound to make sure that he was not playing Beethoven’s fifth in the background.
Let us not be distracted by the propaganda machine. Let us turn down the sound of the Fifth Symphony. Our focus must remain on Julian Assange’s rights as a man and as a journalist. His persona, his charisma, his ego, his management skills have no place in this saga. We will be defeated in our efforts to support him if we allow “them “to distract us from the core issues. What are some of the core issues?
Were the charges filed in Sweden valid to trigger a most wanted notice from the Interpol?
Is there a ground for extradition to Sweden?
Why the Court in England refused to post a bail?
Why did the Court consider Julian Assange a flight risk when he turned himself in?
What charges are going to be filed by the US government against Julian?
What international laws protect Julian’s rights as a journalist?
How Julian’s conviction could quash free speech around the world?
There are many other issues that need to be considered. This is not an exhaustive list by any means.