The Assange extradition affair exposes several murky facts. First, despite all the overblown protestations of treason and espionage, it’s clear that no lasting damage has been done. Nothing has really been revealed which any informed observer would not have known or suspected. Nobody has been murdered, no retaliatory action has been taken by any of the parties involved. It’s all about embarrassment and the infringement of US power to run the world in the way they want without any external fetter. If that is the real charge against Assange – and it is – why is Britain now doing the US’s dirty work for them?
Why did Britain arrest him when the evidence for the rape allegations has never been produced? And even more significantly, when Assange’s lawyers sought bail, why did the CPS put around the story, which they knew to be untrue, that the Swedish authorities were insisting that bail should be refused? It has now emerged that the Swedes were entirely relaxed about the granting of bail; so why did the CPS lie about this?
It’s clear that the US, incensed at the challenge to their power which these untimely revelations of the truth entailed, were determined at any cost to have their revenge on Assange. As usual the UK presented itself as the willing junior accomplice: one aspect of the ‘special relationship’ has always been for the UK to lean heavily on people the US authorities don’t like (the one-sided unbalanced 2003 US-UK Extradition Treaty being a prime example). However, it suited neither the US nor the UK for the latter to be seen in this case so subserviently doing the bidding of its US patron, so the blame was parked on the Swedes.
Then there’s the question of the rape charges. Rape is an extremely serious offence and should be given far more attention than in the past. However, rarely if ever has a rape allegation been pursued with such relentlessness and on such uncertain, even flimsy, foundations. Again it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the US is scouring around for every conceivable charge it can throw in its vendetta against Assange, and whilst espionage or solicitation might well not stick, rape is a good stick with which to start.
This is the ugly face of US power. But what is so utterly contemptible is the way that the UK (the Cameron-Hague axis) parades itself yet again so gratuitously as the cheap and dishonest lackey of US interests when, as in this case, they are so disreputable.