Yesterday I received this letter from the Attorney-General’s office. It was sent to my work address. It says “Thank you for your recent correspondence…” but I never sent them any correspondence. The only thing I can think of that might have spawned this mealy-mouthed reply was a tweet I sent to Julia Gillard a week or two ago, admonishing her for her pathetic lack of support for Julian Assange – an Australian citizen who is being harassed by several governments of the world although he has not been charged with any crime. And the Federal Government sends me a LETTER to my WORK as a response??
This raises a couple of interesting thoughts.
1. They are listening.
2. They know where I work.
3. Instead of tweeting a reply, the went to the trouble to send a long, nonsense letter.
I assume this is a form letter and that many of you have received one just like it?
PDF Doc: AG Dept 1
As for the content of the letter, I take issue with quite a few of Annette’s statements.
“… the large scale distribution of …. classified United States Government documents is reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous.”
But not illegal.
“Being informed of government related matters does not entail an automatic right to every document within the government’s possession.”
Who is talking about automatic rights? This seems like an attempt to spin the argument away from Assange and Wikileaks. Nobody has argued that anyone has automatic rights to government documents. An American whistleblower handed the documents to Wikileaks who, in turn, has published some of them. What’s that got to do with automatic rights? Either Wikileaks’ actions were illegal or not. If they were, why hasn’t Assange been charged by the USA? If not, then the Australian government should say so and speak out in his support.
“Certain information must remain confidential in order for governments to carry out their role of protecting the national interest.”
How do we know the government *is* protecting the ‘national interest’ (whatever that is?!?) if they keep what they are doing a secret? Are we supposed to trust them implicitly? That doesn’t sound like democracy to me.
“… a commitment to strengthen laws to protect whistleblowers.”
What commitments are those? In March 2010, the government intended to ‘introduce legislation implementing the Government’s response (to the report “Whistleblower protection: a comprehensive scheme for the Commonwealth public sector”) this year’ (i.e. 2010).
But did it happen? I don’t think so. I’ve been searching for any more news on it but haven’t found any.
But anyway, this isn’t about Australian laws to protect whistleblowers. This isn’t about automatic rights. This is about the Gillard government supporting an Australian citizen who, whether they agree with his work or not, has become a very high profile character on the international geopolitical stage and who has been threatened by a range of high profile American politicians and influential media personalities. As yet he hasn’t been charged with a crime and the Australian Federal Police have advised that Assange has broken no Australian laws.
So why isn’t he getting at least verbal support from the Gillard government? Is it because she is, as the diplomatic cables suggest, in bed with the US government?
Last night Chrissy & I chatted for an hour about Wikileaks. We point out the mistakes a lot of people on Twitter (mostly Americans) are making when it comes to Wikileaks. We talk about the major stories that Wikileaks have broken with Cablegate, as well as the truth behind the Assange “rape” allegations. Chrissy also talks about how her perspective of US politics has changed in the 18 months she’s been living in Australia.
1. Do you think its possible that the US govt has ever committed acts of violence or been involved in corruption of any kind?
2. If so, do you think the public deserve to know about it?
3. If so, do you think they would ever admit to it publicly of their own accord?
4. If not, do you know of any other way it is likely to come out other than via whistleblowers?
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to express my disgust at your government’s treatment of an honourable Australian citizen, namely, Julian Assange.
Here is a man who represents the embodiment of what we consider the Australian ethos – a “fair go” for everyone. By exposing the lies, deceit and hypocrisy of United States’ diplomats and elected officials, he is helping bring about a more honest and transparent geo-political landscape.
Your lack of political, legal and moral support for Assange and your Howardesque pandering to the United States will be the downfall of your political career and your historical legacy. It’s such a shame to see Australia’s first female Prime Minister, an atheist no less, turn out to be as reprehensible and reprobate as the former Howard government.
It further reduces my trust in Australian politicians.
Everton Park, QLD.
You can email the PM here.