Thursday, December 9, 2010
Julian Assange not to blame says John Howard
Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard doesn't blame Julian Assange. "Any journalist will publish confidential material if he or she gets hold of it, subject only to compelling national security interests. The issue is whether any of this material and the publication of it will endanger people's lives or endanger individual countries. The bad people in this little exercise are the people who gave the information to him because they're the ones who breached the trust. They deserve to be chased and prosecuted."
He went on "And I would expect the Australian government would ask for him to be dealt with like any other foreigner in that situation and that he be given the assistance he's entitled to." But he said claims that Assange had been abandoned by the Australian government weren't entirely true. "Any Australian citizen who leaves this country can't expect to carry any special protection under Australian law in another country. We are all subject to the laws of the country in which we operate."
Yesterday humiliating comments were released about how the Americans thought Kevin Rudd was an abrasive, impulsive contrl freak when he was Prime Minister. Now as Foreign Minister, he vowed to give consular support to Assange, despite heavy criticism from his Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
"I'm the Foreign Minister of Australia and I'm responsible for the consular wellbeing of all Australians and therefore I just want to make it perfectly clear first of all that Julian Assange has contacted the Australian Consul-General in London and asked for conular support" Mr Rudd said. "We have confirmed that we will provide that as we would do for all Australian citizens. What we do for Australians in strife anywhere in the world is that we take the view that our responsibility is to ensure that consular rights and legal rights of all Australians abroad are protected. And that includes Mr Assange."
Julia Gillard is now between a rock and a hard place. For years we've been falling over ourselves to please the Americans but now it's crunch time and she has to decide one way or the other. This man, Julian Assange, has changed the world forever.