Why Zero Dark Thirty is not an apologia for torture, or, don’t shoot the messenger

10 Feb

Kathryn Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty, the controversial account of the killing of Osama bin Laden by US Navy Seals in a CIA-led operation in Pakistan on May 2, 2011, has been described by feminist Naomi Wolf in The Guardian as “the handmaiden of evil,” and a successor to Germany’s notorious first female film director, Leni Riefenstahl.

Riefenstahl’s most famous work was the 1934  Triumph of the Will, regarded by many as an instrument of  Nazi propaganda, as well as by others as a brilliant aesthetic and technical achievement.

It has not taken us long to arrive at Godwin’s Law.

The opening sequences of Bigelow’s movie portray torture, including waterboarding. This is carried out rather genially by the male CIA interrogator and witnessed by the film’s central character, Maya, a young female agent who has made it her mission to hunt down Osama bin Laden. Initially Maya struggles with her role as witness to inhumane cruelty, but she rapidly overcomes this squeamishness and enters into the zeitgeist. This depiction of Maya’s rapid moral disintegration from someone capable of discomfort in the face of torture to someone who wholeheartedly embraces the process, signifies early in the film the deadening and dehumanising effects of torture on its perpetrators.

Yet here, to me, is where critics of the film have confused the narration of events with apologia. Torture at that time was fully endorsed by the Bush administration, and renamed “enhanced interrogation techniques” in order to normalise the practice and make it publicly acceptable. Interrogators conducted their dark craft fully supported by their CIA masters, and their government. It is not Bigelow who endorses torture. It was the entire apparatus of the state. Bigelow is quite right, when she claims in her defence that her movie realistically depicts the situation that existed at the time, and depiction does not, and should not be assumed to, correlate with endorsement.

Not only do the scenes of torture provoke horror in the viewer, it seems that Bigelow’s refusal to take a moral position  also provokes profound unease. How can she not use this opportunity to convey the absolute wrongness of the act? Why does she veer from the well-trodden path of traditional story telling, in which there is good and there is evil and the author has a point of view?

It’s true that if one stands by and allows certain events to take place, one can be held morally culpable. However, it is a different matter when one is narrating past events, and the climate in which they took place. At that time, the President of the United States encouraged his agents to torture. Do I really need anyone to spell out the horror of that for me? Has Bigelow failed me by not pointing this out in her film?

In declining to impose a moral vision, critics claim Bigelow has opted for what has been described as an “obscene neutrality.”

I am not sure that what Bigelow chooses is an “obscene neutrality” because I am not certain that neutrality in art is “obscene.” I think of The Sopranos, for example. Is David Chase similarly  guilty of “obscene neutrality” because of his morally neutral depiction of the unspeakable violence repeatedly perpetrated by Tony Soprano and his mob? Is it not the creator’s privilege to refrain from expressing a moral viewpoint? Is it not an expression of the creator’s trust in her or his audience to thus refrain, and in so doing, respect the audience’s ability to think for itself without authorial imposition?

Is it inevitably the artist’s responsibility to take a moral perspective in her or his work, and if she fails to do this, can her work be described as “obscene?”

And why, out of all the unspeakable horrors wrought by human beings on one another, should torture be singled out as the one that must not be portrayed “neutrally?”

Slavoj Zizek writes in The Guardian that “to depict torture neutrally – ie to neutralise this shattering dimension – is already a kind of endorsement,” and goes on to say that “with torture one should not think.” Of course he is right in his call for a world in which the notion of torture is unthinkable, however, that is not the world in which we live. Given that torture remains a weapon of the state against its enemies, of course we must think about it, and of course it must be depicted in our art forms. Nobody ever changed or prevented anything by not thinking and not talking about it. That we must have this particular conversation is indeed indescribably sickening, but have it we must, otherwise there will be no opposition to torture. This is our reality. This is the reality Bigelow so bravely portrays. The critics are shooting the messenger.

I also find it difficult to agree with the description of the torture scenes as “neutral.” They were horrific and horribly confronting.  I cannot find any way to interpret those scenes as “neutral,” and I cannot find anything in the film following those scenes that  goes anywhere near “neutralising” them. I find it difficult to understand the mind set of a viewer who allows the impact of those scenes to be ameliorated by subsequent conversation and justification.

Indeed I would argue that Bigelow’s stark depiction of torture conveyed as nothing else could the abhorrent inhumanity of the practice. Nothing she did afterwards could erase that impression, indeed CIA justification only made things worse, as far as this viewer is concerned.

Bigelow seems to me to be a director who makes a conscious decision to withhold moral judgement, at least in her last two movies, The Hurt Locker & Zero Dark Thirty. The former, which is perhaps the most terrifying film I have ever seen, is told without embroidery of any kind: Bigelow embeds her audience with the  bomb disposal squad on its tour of duty in Iraq, and leaves us to make of it what we will. In interviews she’s stated that “what we are attempting is almost a journalistic approach to film” and this approach is supremely successful in The Hurt Locker.  Of course she is referring to journalism as it used to be, before it became opinion.

In Zero Dark Thirty there are later scenes in which Maya is warned that torture is no longer acceptable in the new administration of Barack Obama, indeed, television footage in the background shows Obama famously stating that America does not torture. It’s clear Maya may find herself held to account if she continues the practice, and the original genial interrogator quits in the nick of time and returns to Washington.

Critics claim Bigelow’s movie implies that torture led to the discovery of Bin Laden’s hideout. This is the CIA’s position, though it is increasingly contested within the organisation. The victim supplies his interrogator with a name, over a civilised post torture lunch, after he has been sufficiently broken. This name, together with a myriad of other intelligence, eventually leads the operatives to Bin Laden’s hideout.

Bigelow does not endorse or contest this sequence of events. In my opinion she does not need to, and I would not have welcomed a directorial intrusion at this point. It is obvious that the CIA would justify the use of torture exactly as Bigelow depicts. Bigelow is not inventing this story. She is telling it how it is.

Earlier torture scenes demonstrate the unreliability of information gained through inflicting pain, when the victim claims any of the week as the date for the next terrorist attack as he is forced, after waterboarding and other vile humiliations, curled foetal-like into a hideous box.

Bigelow made her film with extraordinary co-operation from the CIA. There is no doubt the story she tells is the CIA’s story, and indeed at this point there is no other story to tell. One day a Seal or a CIA operative may break ranks and reveal another point of view. It’s hardly likely the survivors of the attack on Bin Laden’s compound will have much to say, and who would believe them?

This has brought condemnation down on her, as if in the very telling of the CIA’s version of events she has inevitably aligned herself with that organisation and its methods. She should have deconstructed the CIA story, she should have critiqued their methods, she should have made another film altogether and by god she should have taken a moral stand, otherwise she is agreeing with it, or so some critics would have it. To me, as audience, I needed no authorial or directorial instruction on the morality of the CIA and its methods in this event. I wanted to know what was done at the time, and the justifications that were made in the context of the times. I didn’t need to know what Kathryn Bigelow felt about it.

I can see how Zero Dark Thirty can be interpreted as an apologia for torture. I believe that is a limited interpretation, and we need to push ourselves harder than that. I don’t believe for a moment that Bigelow intended to make a pro torture film. The director put a great deal of perhaps misplaced faith in her audience. She treated us with respect, and honoured our intelligence. She did not expect to have to tell us that the CIA’s story is horrifyingly flawed, she expected us to recognise that.

It is not Kathryn Bigelow who is the apologist for torture. It was the Bush administration, the CIA and the revenge society that sought to kill bin Laden, rather than arrest him and publicly try him for his crimes. In focussing on Bigelow, the bigger issues are lost. She is the chronicler of the times, not the advocate.

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218 Responses to “Why Zero Dark Thirty is not an apologia for torture, or, don’t shoot the messenger”

  1. Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    There seem to be growing number of discussions in the public arena where interpretation has started to swallow up intention.Or where ‘leanings’ are being attributed to content, and more and more the MSM is running with it.The whole petition/outrage is driven by such self righteous drivel.

    The perfect example was the public evisceration of the senior exec in Jenny Craig, where it appears it was assumed she was guilty of big corporation exploitation of children before she opened her mouth.
    While it is OK to call a group feminists who want the betterment of the world for women in children, it seems success is measured purely on whether you fit a narrow definition.
    This is but one example.The trouble with how society is gauged on this stuff is unmeasurable due to electronic media and social media.Every time we click on a story or comment,it adds to the total hits.The total hits is what the polling bases govt policy knee jerks on, not ‘what is the right thing to do’ or the majority view.
    Which can indeed be two different things in many cases!

    John Howard’s govt was also on the apologists side of torture by way of their attitude to our citizens in Guantanamo, and their constant cries of ‘sucked in’.
    Wasn’t/isn’t Downer the most sycophantic US flag waver of all?
    The man is a colonial tragic.

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  2. doug quixote February 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Because the only sensible rule is not to comment on a work of art you have never seen, I will pass no comment on the movie as yet.

    But torture cannot be acceptable in a civilised society and it is tragic that the post 9/11 US administration sought not only to use it but to try to justify its use to the world.

    However, the matter of putting Bin Laden on trial is where I diverge from most of my leftist brethren. I put it to them to explain to the parents of several hundred children executed one by one after a terrorist take-over of a school, demanding that Bin Laden be released immediately.

    Repeat that dose every year or so that he would be kept in a high security prison, and you may realise just what was probably averted by the US hit team doing its job.

    Sometimes the “greater good” argument really does apply.

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    • Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

      His trial is moot.

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    • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      Doug,

      I think you’re talking utter rubbish here, about the “greater good” as justification to assassination without trial.

      Take the case of any figure so abhorrent in our minds as to put guilt beyond question and you may well write the kind of warrant that ends in the words “Dead or Alive”. But please don’t let us kid ourselves that their defence might be immaterial to the bigger picture of what is wrong in any given situation.

      Both Hussein and Bin Laden had former links with the CIA, probably had their trust betrayed and might very well have had something to say about that which would have been instructive to any society that cared as deeply about peace and freedom as America claims to. The real truth is we don’t want to hear it, can’t hear it and thanks to the actions of torturers and murderers won’t hear it.

      “It” in case your wondering is the truth that the nature of the difference between the good guys and the bad. “It” isn’t a moral superiority before, during or after the fact, but only much later. After the victors write their revisionist histories and paint themselves in the light of a just cause.

      Or at least that’s what is made to seem to be happening when they go about things in a way that meets violence with equal and opposite violence in all its forms. Violence is vindicated. long live violence. Violence keeps us free!

      Free from what? Certainly not violence….Anyone who can’t see what’s wrong with that picture is more of moral void that any of us had any right to imagine.

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      • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

        DQs argument is as mindless an argument as ‘good guy with a gun versus bad guy with a gun’, or shoot the kid with a hoody just in case.
        He is really showing his age and his uncontrollable drift to the right in his sedentary years.It is a common and debilitating ailment link to zinc deficiency.Accelerated in those who practise law or work in senior govt roles.
        You’re wasting your time helping him across the road.He doesn’t like the journey or the destination.Looks like he’s more than happy in the John Howard Memorial Bunker bunker.

        BTW
        the movie is not on my to do list.I guess it will be one of those DVDs I watch in 10 years or so, if the planet/community/grid holds together that long.
        The principle of whether it is an apologia seems to single it out with selective eyesight.That selection makes a mockery of many movies/docos if the premise is to be evenly applied.Did anyone ask the creators of the movie for their view,yet?
        Does depicting Jesus on a cross also license torture?

        I’d say if people want to tackle enabling violence they need look no further than the US society in general.The everyday one.Plenty of work to do there,folks.(People in glass houses, and all that.)
        Gun lobby, job number one, which will require the obvious clarification and amendment of the second amendment, which I think should be done by an international court, not the Supreme Court. They are hardly like to change a thing, given they are surrounded by trigger happy gun cuddlers.

        We should file this film criticism in the bulging archive of Get a Life.
        Like JW, don’t shoot the messenger. Salman Rushdie, anyone?

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        • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

          I love Salmon Rushdie, Doug can probably answer for himself, and I know that I’ve probably said that they ought to make war movies about the darker side of actual war but that when they do then I seldom have the inclination to endure them!

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          • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

            Is ‘Salmon’ Rushdie your secret fish dish recipe,or a typo,HG?

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            • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

              Typo Sorry 😦

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            • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

              I run a spelling checker in the browser

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              • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

                I am sure there are those out there for a recipe for Salman!

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                • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

                  I heard that dinner had been cancelled.

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                  • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

                    Salman-ella outbreak?

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                    • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

                      No I was being serious, the Fatwa was cancelled.

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                  • doug quixote February 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

                    Just a little game to you two, is it not? Concentrate a little longer than a goldfish.

                    I still wait in vain to read any sort of remotely sensible refutation of my posts.

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                    • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

                      No.Not a game.
                      Although your score card reads like a weird sport.
                      Refugees? X
                      Assange? X
                      Torture? Tick

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                    • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

                      Doug,

                      Despite a the small talk and byplay that transpired due to Hypo’s interjection, I invite you to read my original post again and respond to it as I think you must if you’re in the least bit serious about the comments you’ve made here. It was neither insensible or thoughtless, but a serious contemplation of what transpires when we excuse violence because it happens to be our own.

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                    • doug quixote February 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

                      When a reply starts “I think you are talking utter rubbish” I tend not to consider it further.

                      What do you do?

                      The body of the text could well be read as sanctimonious waffle, if I didn’t know you better. 🙂

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                    • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

                      It was “utter rubbish” actually and I stand by it. Pity you don’t stand by yours, though on this occasion I’d very much hope you’d be persuaded to reconsider.

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                    • doug quixote February 12, 2013 at 12:33 am #

                      The ultimate question is whether given the chance you could have killed Hitler in 1938. Could you? Even though he’d only killed a few hundred by then?

                      To say that they did not have evidence enough to hang Bin Laden ten times over insults the intelligence.

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                    • hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 9:51 am #

                      Read it again and get the question right though. I’m not actually saying that the fate of a man who has but one life to give for the thousands he has taken necessarily hands in the balance. I am saying that justice which is not seen to be done is no justice at all.

                      At the very least if the purpose of capturing such a person is to end a conflict then it isn’t over until his accomplices, who he might implicate, and the reason for his crimes are also accounted for.

                      Otherwise in the eyes of many all we have is the extra-judicial murder of a convenient scapegoat!

                      Please don’t try to tell me you couldn’t have worked that out for yourself.

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                    • doug quixote February 12, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

                      In the eyes of which “many” is that? Justice for whom? Seen to be done? You raise more questions than you answer, HG.

                      I expect 10,000 words from you on this subject, or you could simply agree with me. 🙂

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                    • hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

                      Doug,

                      I’m just going to say that I suppose by definition there can only be justice if it is just for all involved. The idea that you can have justice for the victor alone is perhaps at the very foundations of your error.

                      So I’ll give you one sentence. You’re wrong about this and should admit it. 🙂

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  3. helvityni February 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    I have not seen this movie,but reading about it, I thought that perhaps Bigelou, by not condemning the torture, not telling us who the baddies, who the goodies were, is leaving it to us to decide, us to to confront the violence….

    I also think that by killing Bin Laden in front of his children , we sank to to his level, we became killers…and allowed his innocent children to witness it.

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  4. paul walter February 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Jennifer Wilson’s thread starter is on shaky ground if we accept the underlying premise that Bush was an aberration and Obama the Great Man who reversed the Wickedness, returning things to Normal.
    Not so, I fear .
    Obama’s administration is an extension of the Bush Cheney agenda, by other means.
    Obama maybe a better leader than his predecessor, you could draw a parallel with Rudd/Gillard here, but his presidency has defined the limits rather than strengths of the US system, against the background of the obstructionism of the Tea Party Right and its wealthy backers, driving Obama closer to the Wall St Establishment, instead.
    To my thinking, there HAS been a qualitative and quantative rupture of democracy in the West, we are now ruled by Citibank, Goldmann Sachs and co, quite definitively.
    When Obama shocked everyone by signing into law EO and arbitrary detention, he was doing no more than acknowledging the change of game and his own relegated role as “manger of decline” for civilisation,in the era of the triumph of neoliberal globalisation.
    Yet over all I Iiked the thread starter.
    Like Jennifer Wilson I start to detect a distant but increasingly loud sound of music. Is it the “Horst Wessell lied”?
    Too many modern day Eichmanns and Reifenstahls, deluded by false conciousness, only obeying orders and taking the money; you can see the parallel in the expensive black propaganda Psy-ops campaign against Julian Assange.
    And because torture is now the default rather than the aberration, every one is becoming just a little more careful in what they say and where and when they dissent.

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    • Poirot February 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Good post, Paul.

      Civilisation is more than cities and technology.

      We need to remain vigilant lest we regress.

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    • Jennifer Wilson February 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      Yes, I agree that Obama’s decree against torture may be empty in practice. Torture probably returns to the underground, where it has always been, rather than ceases. Bush made it mainstream for a while

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      • doug quixote February 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

        Of course torture will happen. Don’t roll over so easily Jennifer!

        We have here a wonderful collection of “High Ground Holders” who have never had to make a hard decision and think that the world should be run on tooth fairy principles, a kiddie’s book of utopia.

        I hope the real world never impinges on their delusions. I really do.

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        • paul walter February 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

          I would have thought a “hard decision”, under the circumstances, would be the like of the one Obama avoided, in signing up for arbitrary detention and EO.
          You worry me, DQ.
          How is objecting to torture, totalitarianism, genocide, ethnic cleansing and rape in war to do with “tooth fairy principles” drawn from a “kiddies book of utopia”.
          Were I to see you being kicked over by thugs, I should move on with a sense of equanimity, reassured in the understanding that this is just the normal way things?

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          • paul walter February 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

            typo, last sentence should read “the normal way of things”.

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          • Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

            I think DQ can easily provide others with a list of circumstances he thinks violence is suitable for.

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          • doug quixote February 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

            In the real world, good men like Obama are forced to make life and death decisions every day. It is fine to sit on the sidelines and blow raspberries at the referee.

            That is the point. Object all you want to whatever you want but realise as you do so that your right to do so is protected by those who aren’t so comfortably placed.

            I worry you? Wilful blindness worries me.

            Some support occasionally wouldn’t hurt either, from the more sensible amongst the readership.

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            • Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

              “more sensible amongst the readership.” Ouch!

              “real world, good men” On no ! Am I a bad guy?

              “We have here a wonderful collection of “High Ground Holders” who have never had to make a hard decision and think that the world should be run on tooth fairy principles, a kiddie’s book of utopia.”
              You cut so hard, so deep, DQ.
              😦

              Such compliments,DQ.Why wouldn’t anyone here race to support thee?

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              • doug quixote February 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

                But I’m not accusing you! You may well be a good man making hard decisions, I do not know. Are you?

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                • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

                  Both and vice versa.

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            • hudsongodfrey February 11, 2013 at 10:22 am #

              You lost me at referee. Who appointed one?

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            • Marilyn February 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

              What was life and death about this though? They knew he was not armed when they entered, why not arrest the man and put him on trial?

              Probably because in spite of years of ranting the US lacked one ingredient for a trial.

              EVIDENCE.

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              • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

                It turns out Pakistan is no friend of the Yanks either, and unless and until the Yanks stop ‘Sheriffing’ the globe, and refuse to ask themselves ‘why us’, they will continue to live a life surrounded by home grown gun toting nut-jobs as the life in terror waiting for the next big hit.
                Prevention is a strategy the US has never heard of.
                Humble is something America will never be.
                Contrition a concept too far away.
                This rot is set to continue till the globe becomes ice or fire,whichever comes first.That fate will be expedited in no small way by guess who?

                Given we will soon be saturated with faux-Labor approved American bases, I guess we should also prepare for the backlash.Will the real Peter Garrett stand up?

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                • Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

                  EDIT
                  ” they live in terror

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        • Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

          Are YOU seriously accusing OTHERs of being high ground holders?
          Really? And you support faux Labor and say that without choking on the irony?
          ROFL

          How TF would YOU know what decisions people make in their lives and who TF do you think you are, to say they are not profound and all encompassing decisions?

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      • redjos February 13, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

        Torture under Obama continues apace – Bradley Manning has been tortured for nearly 3 years since he was betrayed by someone he thought he could trust. And let us not forget about Julian Assange holed up in an embassy in London because of threats from the US government!

        Obama said he would close Guantanamo and hasn’t done so and in the end he is no better than Bush.

        This is not a film I would go and see anyway, but it should be borne in mind that Osama Bin Laden was not captured and given a fair trial, was presumably murdered and his body secretly disposed of.

        Now another story emerges of an Australian man found hanged in an Israeli high security prison. All secretive, all Mossad or CIA or all equivalents and we are left with an ugly world getting uglier.

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        • doug quixote February 14, 2013 at 8:01 am #

          He tried to close the Guantanamo prison and bring the prisoners to the USA for trial, but Congress was having none of it.

          Obama is not a dictator, redjos.

          But I agree about not wanting to see the movie, except perhaps as a fictionalised documentary.

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    • Marilyn February 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      Well said. I won’t watch it simply because hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians have been slaughtered to get a man who was not even fucking there.

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  5. Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Is what is happening offshore to refugees also not a form of torture for some?
    It may not be identical to Guantanamo Bay, but the harm it does to innocent children or even adults may be similar in psychological damage levels.

    Our journey down the road of ‘devaluing humanity’ is well down that road, when you couple this to the treatment of indigenous issues.
    We cook people alive and beat them to death for the petty crime of drunkenness.
    History shows this sinister road to be One Way.

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  6. goodrumo February 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Reblogged this on iheariseeilearn.

    Like

  7. hudsongodfrey February 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Maybe presenting torture dispassionately is even worse than presenting it as an endorsement of hatred. At least with hatred we can understand what is going on, whether we thing of it as right or wrong. But being confronted with the possibility that under the right circumstances humans may lack the qualities of empathy that we so revere in humanity and depend on for our view of where morality is seated…. that’s more than a little scary!

    So I’m not going to shoot the messenger, but nor do I have to like the message. Nor have I seen the movie, so I’m not in a position to critique it as a piece of cinema. Perhaps the reason I haven’t is because asking the question as to whether the taboo on torture could actually be weaker than we think might not be an inviting prospect.

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  8. AnnODyne February 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    “Cry Havoc & let slip the dogs of war”. WAR is filthy big business and there are. no. rules. I would not go near either of Bigelow’s films, but I am glad she got a big prize for her previous one. “oh a woman a woman” everyone shreiked at the time. yes and a ‘woman’ Lindy England, aka Lynnddiiee England (of course) tortured prisoners at Abu Ghraib and was silly enough to be filmed doing it. go here and read what type of retarded skank human can torture another.
    Having said that, I confess I could do vile things to a person who wittingly did a vile thing to an animal – Malaysians who poison elephants, Indonesians who kill orangutangs, Australians who send live sheep to the Saudis, or to those 5 Indian losers who raped that student girl with a pipe so viciously that she died. Pipe boy is 17 and I could make him wish he had never drawn breath. So let’s hear a vote for justifiable torture?

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    • Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Justifiable torture?
      Ha!

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      • paul walter February 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

        Hi Hypo, just caught your comment re Asylum seekers and will allow you the comfort of knowing its a problem for me also.
        In a sense it’s what made me mention Julian Assange earlier- if someone like that cannot be established to be in possession of basic rights, what hope billions of other people?
        Justifiable torture ( and surveillance and drones, arbitrary detentions, censored media to suffocate dissent and flow of information).
        Yep, it will be justifiable torture, but only the torture the people running things say is justifiable, so at least we can draw breath and return to Big Brother, equilibrium restored, on that score…

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        • Hypocritophobe February 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

          Justifiable torture falls under the same banner as vigilantism and state sanctioned terrorism.Fail.

          Most victims probably don’t want revenge.I think we already established that,somewhere.Life is cheap and getting cheaper.Funny how capitalism does that.

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  9. jo wiseman February 11, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    The film acts as an apologia for torture whether it is one or not – viz. torture is horrific and horribly confronting and abhorrent … and it got us Osama bin Laden. In the popular American psyche that is a QED for torture justification. It got us bin Laden trumps all.

    It had to be challenged in simple headline form and Zero Dark Thirty an Apology for Torture does the job. You can’t really include But Bigelow Might Not Have Realised This And Anyway Her Intentions For Including Torture Might Have Been Good .

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  10. paul walter February 11, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    Just wondering if some of you saw the crazy doco on Jack Abramoff and his strange group of “friends” in the USA on SBS last night?
    I alway go back to “Wall St” as the definitional movie for our Age, much as F Scott Fitzgerald with his novel “The Great Gatsby” unpacked the Roaring Twenties.
    The “popular American psyche” would probably be unremarkable, except that it is the psyche that effectively runs the world… talk about kids with matches.

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  11. Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    “The ultimate question is whether given the chance you could have killed Hitler in 1938. Could you? Even though he’d only killed a few hundred by then?

    To say that they did not have evidence enough to hang Bin Laden ten times over insults the intelligence.”

    You’re too simple for words, at the mo, DQ..
    First you play the Godwin card, then you rely on hindsight for a defence.

    One word.
    Israel.

    Like

    • doug quixote February 12, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

      Godwin is irrelevant on a blog which examines these difficult issues. Difficult and complex issues to which you and HG have no good answer. I still await any sort of refutation.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

        So if the SEALS had stormed into Bradley Manning’s room when he was uploading confidential data,which exposed the US killing machine, you would obviously approve of such action?

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

          Just to clarify my post above
          by ‘such action’, I mean state sanctioned assassination.

          Like

        • doug quixote February 13, 2013 at 12:12 am #

          No.

          Next question?

          Like

          • doug quixote February 14, 2013 at 7:43 am #

            You don’t want to ask the next question, Hypo?

            I’ll do it for you : “Why not?”

            Because Bradley Manning is not the venerated leader of a world wide terrorist organisation, and no-one would give a shit about his arrest and trial apart from do-gooder hand-wringers and those who sought to profit by his ill-gotten information. No-one would take over a theatre and hold 850 people hostage killing one every few minutes until the great leader is released. qv Moscow theatre in 2002.

            And besides that, the results of Manning’s crimes are rather unclear, certainly not the direct and self-admitted deaths of thousands.

            Like

            • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 10:23 am #

              The results of what Manning’s leaks partially achieved and certainly intended were to hold accountable unsanctioned use of power under the cover of secrecy in the so called public interest to do things that the public clearly wouldn’t assent to.

              The kind of unaccountable action that plays to a shoot ’em first write the history later kind of mentality when Bin Laden should also have been taken and held properly accountable. Why because, as I’ve tried to point out to you repeatedly, it is made to seem as if the scapegoat caught it while the rest of his henchmen live to fight another day Big Brother’s perpetual war on an abstract noun being the business of the day.

              And don’t quote Beslan at me as if two wrongs make a right? I suppose you expect somebody to assassinate Putin for this?

              Like

            • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 10:37 am #

              Was Manning in Moscow?
              Behind the event, somehow?

              You seem to be like many other critics from the right.
              Claiming that somehow those who denounce acts of terrorism by the west, are supporting those who use violence AGAINST the west.
              It’s a bizarre and common twisted view.The “whole” state violence cause is being condemned.

              If only the guys in the red white and blue hats practised what they preached.
              This debate is about whether, as a civilised society we should tolerate the behaviours we find abhorrent, from others.Torture being one.
              Do you honestly think that hits such as Bin Laden’s, lessen or increase the chance of more attacks form his Brethren.
              Do you think a significant number of them hung up the cause or think twice about the outcome they have in store?
              Do you think the Taliban or Al Quaeda are running scared?

              How is Iraq going since Saddam was hung?
              How is Afghanistan trotting along since Bin Laden was topped?
              How are the Americans good buddies Pakistan doing?
              Are they next?

              I imagine that any surviving members of an innocent family (from anywhere on earth-any society-any religion) having their bodies blown to smithereens, ,in the middle of night, ( men women and children ) would consider the event an act of terrorism.
              So what does that say of the perpetrators?
              What does it say of the subsequent denials and cover ups?
              And more to the point, what does it say about a third party who alerts the world about the event and its cover up.

              DQ I am reasonably aware of the pragmatism of war.I am just not convinced that there should be ‘several’ sets of rules, terms of engagements etc, and I am not convinced that the USA of all places has earned the right to claim the moral high ground.I hope that at some point in our life times we both get a chance to see a change.
              The tragic thing is that since Wikileaks exposed the initial atrocities, they are probably still occurring as per usual , only in a far more underground way.

              I bet the people in Afghanistan and Iraq are hoping it (Peace via American/Western intervention) has all been worth it.
              It’s not looking real flash, is it DQ?

              Should we agree not to waste time speculating on what might have occurred without that intervention?
              I’ll accept the outcome may have been different, but given the human toll, I cannot declare it would have been worse.

              Under all of this, and at a particular moment in time,perhaps Manning was so moved by what he saw, it was so overwhelming, at that moment that he saw himself ‘foremost’ as a human, before he regarded himself as an American?

              To me his outcome is an immense tragedy.I think it suits many to paint him as something he isn’t.Assange complicates it even further.
              But lets not forget that Americas security agencies have previous form, on the other side of the ledger, with Bin Laden, which complicates the situation even more.Shall we also acknowledge that Syria’s leader was also once “Americas flavour of the month”. I wonder how long before we get dragged into that mess?

              Like

              • Doug Quixote February 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

                Thank you for that reply. There is much food for thought there, although I do not agree with many of your rhetorical questions.

                Like

            • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

              “Terrorist organisation”? No, Manning is NOT the President of the US, last I checked..

              Like

      • Nick February 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

        “I still await any sort of refutation.”

        Try this one, Doug. You are using fantasy future scenarios to justify murder.

        I never took you for a Bush Doctrinist.

        Like

        • hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

          Nick,

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that our Doug has read one too many pieces by the late great Christopher Hitchens and decided to become a contrarian.

          Hitch thought after Kosovo that there was such a thing as a just war and I agree with him up to a point. That point however in my case did not extend to overlooking lies and illegality in Bush’s justification for going into Iraq. I wish I could’ve said that same for Hitch, and it was a pity.

          As for refutations I’ve offered several, good ones! But Doug’s not listening…. Hitchens I believe did likewise.

          Like

          • niche20008 February 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

            Indeed, hg! He’ll come around eventually though.

            Did you read Jemima Khan in the New Statesman?

            http://www.newstatesman.com/2013/02/jemima-khan-inside-story-how-julian-assange-alienated-his-allies

            Like

            • paul walter February 13, 2013 at 1:46 am #

              I’d doubt whether HG is much interested in Jemima Goldsmith’s lies, since this is only part of a wider Psy-ops campaign to discredit the whistleblower Julian Assange.
              Whether he will be driven to suicide like Dr. David Kelly,who exposed the Weapons of Mass Destruction lie, or very recently the cyber-activist Aaron Schwarz, remains to be seen..

              Like

            • hudsongodfrey February 13, 2013 at 8:18 am #

              Thanks for that link Nick. I had read something of what she had to say on the BBC last week, interestingly it didn’t get much of a run here.

              I think she makes a very good point by the way, but I also wonder that if things had turned out differently what might have happened. What if the guilty had been punished root and stem, and the whistle blowers thanked for their valuable work and sound conscience in bring misdeeds to light. What then?

              By the way the photo of Assange fading away that goes with the New Statesman article is a gem.

              Like

              • Nick February 13, 2013 at 11:46 am #

                Assange would rightly be celebrated as a hero. The world would be a slightly saner place to live in. The problem is his opponents sussed him out a long time ago. Even the dimwit-est of Republicans who called for his execution – what do they have to say about him now? Nothing. Neither confirm nor deny. Just say nothing. Leave the guy who’s *locked himself* up in solitary confinement to fight imaginary battles against…nobody.

                Yes, it is a very good image.

                Like

                • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

                  Americans (politically) epitomise hypocrisy and license the rest of the Western world to follow suit.
                  There was hardly a fart or blink when the world discovered 30 years on, that the CIA had supplied the weapons to their North Vietnamese ‘declared enemy’ who used them to kill young Americans and others, in another one of Americas ‘battles for freedom’.
                  Those who defend torture obviously applaud the use of agent orange as well.
                  Which as we know was even used in Western Australia by government employees who also succumbed to the carcinogens within.

                  Assange is a hero alright, but people (his critics) justify their hate for him under the guise of his ego or personality.It is a ruse.
                  He may have had other reasons than altruism for his mission, but they were sure as hell more morally connected than any of the evil shit he exposed as routine behaviour by the so called. ‘good guys with a gun’.
                  Our governments treatment of him proves emphatically that no matter who we install, the US military always gets its way.We make more fuss over drug smugglers than over whistle blowers.
                  Allies don’t threaten their partners,either overtly or by stealth.
                  And I doubt we are getting more US bases because we want them or need them.It’s merely a choice we had to make,like it or not.
                  Can the real Peter Garrett please stand up?

                  Like

                  • paul walter February 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

                    Good to see someone else, “gets it”, Hypo.
                    The case against Assange fails for lack of anything a sane person could describe as evidence that would stand up in an open court.
                    That is, that in a world where the Law is no longer an absolute applying to all without fear or favour and a plaything of a dominant group, applied by whim,subjectively and even maliciously, the point of someone like Assange being forced to comply with singular conditions that apply to no one else, would render his compliance to corrupted law crosses the line into absurdity.
                    Why Nick and others persist with this rubbish that Assange would be safe in going to Sweden, continues to baffle me.
                    Evidence, as with an open letter promising non-interference from Obama, that disproves that thesis?

                    Like

                    • paul walter February 13, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

                      Then there is the Zygier/Alon case, just reported by ABC, as to the “disappearance” and suicide in detention of an of Australian of Jewish extraction a couple of years ago in Israel.
                      What’s that all about?

                      Like

                    • Nick February 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

                      “Evidence, as with an open letter promising non-interference from Obama, that disproves that thesis?”

                      Right there you miss the point, Paul.

                      Obama is under no obligation to assure Julian Assange of anything.

                      Since when does the President of a country go about providing ‘letters of assurance’ for every last crackpot (please read for nuance, when I use words like this) who thinks the ‘US is out to get him’?

                      One minute you think his opponents are out to discredit him. The very next you expect to them to legitimise him?

                      Like

                    • paul walter February 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

                      That is a worse comment than anything from naive DQ, Nick.
                      it is a worldly, cynical and perhaps ultimately despicable response. So cold- exponentially worse and deliberately callous, even against anything DQ has come with.
                      I think from folk like you, old Nick, we get infinitely closer to a new Reich and it’s a shame.
                      Obama can write off EO’s for people he is prejudiced against, but can’t find an equal moment to “do right” and call off the SS, as to Julian Assange?
                      Why bother to teach your children to be honest and decent, if this is the dead end up which we have disappeared?

                      Like

                    • Nick February 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

                      No, Paul, none of what you said. Fact: Assange made a decision to attack, and attempt to discredit, and destabilise, the US military and state. Excellent, I have no problem with that. I wish more people would, in any non-violent way they can think of. I don’t for second support the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan. They are both entirely unjust wars.

                      But I’m also not blind enough to fancifully imagine that once you’ve done that, they’re going to roll over to help you out of a jam.

                      I’ll make it clearer. Assange played into their hands. When your opponents have publically accused you of hubris and narcissism, you honestly think it’s a good idea to start demanding from a balcony that the President of the United States write you a personal letter?

                      And when that letter is non-forthcoming, as it was always going to be, what do you do next? What’s your next move? Abandon your life project, and stay put in a room forever?

                      Why would the US go to the trouble of trying to extradite him, and suffer massive public opprobrium as a result, when he’s conveniently and effectively locked himself up for them? They can wait this out a lot longer than he can. Because, quite frankly — they don’t care. They’ve got more important things on their minds than some guy who’s faded from the zeitgeist.

                      Like

                    • Nick February 13, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

                      For those whose only aim is to preserve the status quo, a stalemate will always work fine.

                      Paul, instead of taking cheap shots about me being some kind of Nazi who’s going to bring out about the end of progressivism as we know it, try putting your brain to use. Christ, Hypo, and you want to talk about personalising the debate…

                      How do you recommend he breaks it?

                      Like

                • hudsongodfrey February 13, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

                  I think you’re exactly right there, but I don’t think they wouldn’t try to get him if they thought that they could.

                  Like

                  • Nick February 14, 2013 at 12:58 am #

                    I don’t disagree with you, hg. As I said, they can afford to wait it out. I don’t envy him at all, and he would naturally want to find a course of action sooner rather than later.

                    But faced with that predicament, more than a few people would suggest that just maybe it’s better to try to remain on good terms with those who are trying to help you, and keep your message, and your story alive in a public eye which has the attention span of a retarded goldfish.

                    Like

                    • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 1:12 am #

                      (i) Of course you’re absolutely right, Nick.
                      Khans motivation is 100% altruistic and the Wikileaks cause is something she would obviously rot in jail for, (if need be) for an indefinite period, so strong is her loyalty to the cause.I mean somewhere, sometime I’m sure she has vowed to continue the Wikileaks mission should anything happen to Julian.
                      Only she will do so with much modesty and humility, for such is her way!
                      😉
                      Maybe she could sign a deal whereby if Assange goes to Sweden, whatever fate he suffers outside of Sweden, and beyond the hearing there, she will stand in for?
                      A ‘proxy’ victim of his fate, to demonstrate her belief in fairness and justice, and to underline her devout confidence that his fears are unjustified?

                      Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 1:33 am #

                      Nobody’s motive is 100% altruistic. She’s a journalist. She would be remiss not do her job properly. She is also publicising a film about Assange. That much is clear. I don’t believe she ever said his fears are unjustified – in fact, she repeatedly said the opposite. That they were very justified. But also that the legal situation he is in isn’t just going to magically disappear for him.

                      Like

                    • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 9:58 am #

                      Okay Nick, let’s just assume that Assange the person, the flesh and blood human being under a reasonable amount of stress given his circumstances that he has in no small part contributed to reaches the point where he’s totally lost it. The question then becomes how did he reach that point and why? All his fault? Or symptomatic of a situation where he set out to expose wrongdoing including that of the global superpowers and quite possibly bit off more than he could chew. Because when I can honestly say that we’re entitled to say that the US are held accountable for conducting the war in Iraq illegally in a way that ended by creating the circumstances for what I saw in the collateral murder video, then and only then might I care less where Assange should or should not have obtained his information from. And nor am I impressed than for his trouble Bradley Manning has been so exceptionally ill treated. His crime isn’t really breaking the law, it is instead raising the possibility that those who conduct themselves with relative impunity behind cover of secrecy provisions exceeding any authority their own people would assent to might instead be held accountable.

                      So Assange the man may have never been the messiah of free speech in a dessert of Murdochs stretched out before us. Maybe we expected too much. But does his personal story continue to matter beyond what his standing now is? Or should we not remain focussed on what the leaks have told us, achieved and could continue to achieve if allowed speak for themselves against his enemies. Atonement may be necessary, but I can forgive the sexual awkwardness that passes for rape in Sweden. What I can’t get past are the images of innocent people torn apart by gunfire in the streets, or the accompanying audio of their jeering slayers. And if justice doesn’t set murder as the minimum standard for what we’d be willing to condemn then officiously pursuing accidental rape is a hypocrisy too far for any right thinking person to stomach.

                      Assange isn’t a messiah but he does continue to defy the wrath of superpowers and does for better or worse symbolise an independent exercise of conscience in so doing.

                      Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

                      Well said, hg. A few gripes perhaps if I was interested in arguing just for the sake of it, but I’m not.

                      Like

          • doug quixote February 13, 2013 at 12:24 am #

            A just war? Yes there is; war against Hitler and the Empire of Japan was just. Perhaps Kosovo was just, and most of the world seemed to cry out for intervention in Libya. As they recently cry out for intervention in Syria.

            The difficulty is, once you are in a war you must try to win. That involves – wait for it – use of tactics and strategies!
            Oh yes, and quite a few dead bodies. Not all of them the enemy, and some of them innocent.

            War is hell.

            Like

            • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 12:53 am #

              Good to see you’re back on the T-Shirt slogan trail again.
              No more holding your breath DQ,it plays havoc with your blood pressure ,which in turn makes you go all Jack Nicholson in “The Shining”.

              Like

            • hudsongodfrey February 13, 2013 at 8:25 am #

              I agree ultimately that the war against Hitler and Hirohito was basically just, maybe even unavoidable. But even then I find unequivocal support for Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki impossible. As was the blind eye turned by many, including the pope, towards what was happening to the Jews.

              War may be Hell Doug, but it is like the mythical place of legend occupied by devils of men. It is the duty of the just to ensure that we are not become the enemy!

              Like

              • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 10:30 am #

                There’s more chance of preventing a war, than preventing a war monger.
                Warmongers need oxygen to survive.
                The attitude reflected in DQs post is common and it feeds into the oxygen supply.

                Like

              • paul walter February 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

                Some historians will question the”Justice” even of the two world wars, claiming that Imperialism had rendered the global BoP invalid, forcing Germany (twice) to breakout of an imagined encirclement and slow economic strangulation and likewise the Japanese, in WW2.
                I wonder if people in countries western troops police regard these as protectors or sturm and drang occupiers, as many French felt toward Germany before many joined the resistance in WW2.
                And what was the Nazi excuse? “Protecting” Europe from communism and wiping out neanderthal inferiors like Freud and Einstein, who “threatened” the nice “civilised” people back in Nuremberg.

                Like

                • hudsongodfrey February 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

                  Nicholson Baker’s, Human Smoke is one such publication.

                  Like

                • doug quixote February 14, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

                  I doubt anyone who knows anything about it thinks the Great War (WWI) was just in any way.

                  In WWII the Germans and the Japanese had their justifications, self serving and despicable though they were. I doubt that the fate of the Jews was ever front and centre of the Nazi excuses, much as hindsight and the tragic events of the time suggest that to many today.

                  Extermination of the Jews was a means to an end, the creation of lebensraum for the master race. Some of the Nazi evidence suggested to me that the Slavs were next on the list of inferior races to be eliminated, had the Germans triumphed.

                  A just war does not become unjust because the means used to fight it and win it are repugnant to civilised thinking.

                  “Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.”

                  (The often misunderstood and misquoted words of the Duke of Wellington after Waterloo.)

                  Like

        • doug quixote February 13, 2013 at 12:17 am #

          Very likely realistic scenarios, I would have thought. But “Bush Doctrinist” seems like an oxymoron of sorts. W just wanted to finish off Daddy’s unfinished business with Saddam, in an illegal war for which he should be on trial, along with Blair and Howard.

          Like

          • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 12:49 am #

            Yep.Agree with the trial bit.The front seats would have to be sold by lottery.

            Like

          • Nick February 13, 2013 at 2:08 am #

            “Very likely realistic scenarios, I would have thought.”

            Al-Qaeda suicide bombers morph into something resembling the plot of an early 90s Bruce Willis film? That’s very likely and realistic? They’re trained to blow stuff up, not stuff around taking hostages for days on end, and making impossible to satisfy demands…nobody is stupid enough to think the US would release him once they’d got him, no matter what they did.

            Like

            • doug quixote February 13, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

              Maybe not, but I would rather not find out.

              I refer you to what happened in a Moscow theatre over Chechnya in 2002.

              Like

        • doug quixote February 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

          Try Moscow Theatre 2002. Chechen rebels took 850 hostages and made their demands. Fantasy scenario, is it?

          Like

  12. Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Further to my one word ^ to DQ.

    (Israel)

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-12/prisoner-x-foreign-correspondent/4514806

    Like

    • hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      Israel the very object lesson in the case for pacifism if ever there was one!

      I seriously believe if ever there was an un-winnable war then this would have to be it. Short of complete and utter genocide even nuclear annihilation would only result in groups of survivors fighting for space to worship at the rim of the crater!

      And even then to be fair when we say Israel we also mean Palestine.
      A. because they’re recognised now
      and
      B. because their behaviour has been just as bad and the injustice they’ve suffered just as unjust as Israel’s.

      Does any other sample of humanity inspire misanthropy quite like these?

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

        North Korea?
        Win win?

        (Joke)

        Like

      • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 12:51 am #

        There is another aspect. We may well criticise Israel for its paranoia, but given its location with a global hotspot, I doubt if it is any worse than the Arabs- or us.
        Our night terrors; our participation in the global paranoia, takes on a tender hue, pale sunset pathos, as we fearfully watch the world to our north from the point of view of it being some thing out of control.
        We are so insecure we can countenance the suffering of many of our own indigines and tens of thousands of hapless asylum seekers locked away in a closed vault in our collective memory, as we watch dismayed, Canute in reverse, as the oceans about that used to guarantee our “lucky country” as peculiarly for “us” seem to recede by the moment. Piquant is the word ?

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 1:00 am #

          And Paul,
          700,000 civilians have fled Syria and we think we can stop the boats.
          Some of us think(given our political choices and support for unjust wars) how dare we even consider it.

          Like

        • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 9:09 am #

          If I’ve said this once……

          An accident of birth should not be the main determinant of privilege in the world!

          But dangerous and compromised though our attitudes may be they’re not set headlong and ignorant on the direct path to annihilation that the peoples of the Middle East are.

          Like

  13. Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    @ Nick.
    You have lost it mate.
    When you can cogently rationalise the maltreatment of any Australian citizen(Assange) or anyone else) for exposing American atrocities and civilian deaths I will engage with you.
    Your naivety is breathtaking.
    I do not accept your claim that Assange declared a cyber-war on America or risked her sovereignty merely by exposing potential war crimes and civilian atrocities.Who else is doing that?
    Why do YOU support suppressing the truth about signatories of the UN when they kill/murder/threaten/kidnap etc civilians?Or break the rules of war/Or of peace?
    I can’t find a basket which reeks enough to categorise your hypocrisy,and the open devaluing of life.
    If America resifted the actions it wishes to not be visited upon it’s own citizens it could lead by example and then we would not need an Assange.
    I’ll have to assume you are either American or an Israeli, or just trolling.

    Napalming villages ring a bell?
    Depleted uranium?

    I think I will pencil you in as one of the good guys with the gun.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

      EDIT
      If America resisted..

      Like

    • Nick February 13, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      What did you think of Khan’s article Hypo, or are you also going to refer to her by her maiden name, and thereby write her off as the lying daughter of a conservative jew tycoon?

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

        V

        Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

        “Khan’s article praised WikiLeaks for exposing corruption, torture, war crimes and cover-ups but criticised it for a ”with us or against us” mentality that was detrimental to its cause.” Agree.But the US must address the content, explain it fully, before trying Bradley Manning.

        “She wrote that she was among those who had found the timing of the sexual abuse allegations against Mr Assange suspicious”
        Agree
        “as they came at the height of the furore over the revelations on WikiLeaks, but had come to the conclusion that the allegations had to be dealt with through Swedish due process.Disagree.They can be dealt with anywhere.”

        ”The women in question have human rights, too, and need resolution.”
        Agree.It does not matter where he is tried.His US Wanted label makes this case extraordinary.

        “Assange’s noble cause and his wish to avoid a US court does not trump their right to be heard in a (Swedish) court,” Disagree.If Khan has suspicions, as above what are they if not for his safety and his apprehension and a sting involving the allegations and the USA authorities.
        The timing is suspect.Khan is under pressure to not be seen as being in support of a, alleged potential ‘rapist’.She does not want to be tarred that way.

        “she wrote, referring to Mr Assange’s fears that Sweden could be a first stop on the way to an espionage trial in the United States.”
        I agree Very justified fears.

        Khan is either suspicious of the timing of Assange’s rape allegations,for good reason or not.I suspect she (Khan) is back pedalling to save her reputation.nothing more.
        She is probably under enormous pressure from sectors of the women’s lobby, or other players who have now hitched their wagon to Khans retreat.
        She cannot have it both ways.How many women/girls have American soldiers raped on foreign shores over time?
        If not for the likes of Assange, who exposes the crimes?

        I couldn’t give a fat rats arse what she is worth in money, but I do give a shit about what she considers her principles to be worth.
        Only the deluded consider Assange’s extradition to Sweden is not a stopover to US apprehension.

        Like

        • Nick February 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

          Sorry, I’m missing something. Why are you quoting and critiquing snippets of a Reuters article, not the content of what she actually wrote, which was linked to up-thread?

          Like

          • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

            Is there something I have quoted that she said with which you are disputing?
            Is it inadmissible?
            Why?

            BTW if getting my opinion on Assange is something which you are in need of to blow your hair back, or because it helps to fuel your justification to continue being anti Assange, I warmly welcome you to revisit articles here about Assange.
            I have no intention of regurgitating it all again, simply because someone raised your hackles on twitter, or elsewhere.
            Revision.
            What Assange (Wikileaks) did by alerting the world to Americas continual disregard for human life, while claiming the moral high ground,was ONLY a betrayal to those who committed and authorised/denied the acts.
            Therefore the action is justified.

            I’d like a peer reviewed list of the people killed as a result of this Wikileaks event and then a corresponding list of the civilian deaths and friendly fire events by the US forces.
            Based on the result I may join you in your blistering outrage.

            Whistle-blowers,who needs them, eh?

            Like

            • Nick February 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

              “Is there something I have quoted that she said with which you are disputing?” Yes.

              “Is it inadmissible?” Yes.

              “Why?” Because you’re quoting a wire-feed summary without the foggiest clue of what was said in the other 2500 words she wrote.

              I don’t use twitter. It is you and Paul’s heckles who are raised. Admittedly, I don’t appreciate be called a Nazi, but I probably should have let that one through to the keeper …

              Like

              • paul walter February 13, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

                Does anyone recall me drawing attention to the current “prisoner X” / Ben Zygier escapade that has just erupted in Israel?
                I did ask Nick what he thought of it, as to the new global arbitrary detention (*rendition?) regime but he unaccountably failed to get back to me on it.
                Can anyone else do better, it looks like the spooks are trying to shut down investigation into the bizarre death of this young Australian on an Israeli high security facility?

                Like

                • Nick February 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

                  I’m very interested to know more about Ben Zygier. What you were doing, however, was directly evading the questions I asked you by changing the subject.

                  At the moment, I’ve only read the article Hypo linked to yesterday. I don’t think anyone knows much more about it yet. Suffice to say, at this stage, I agree you with and Hypo. And if Wikileaks were to ever receive documents relating to his incarceration without trial, his torture, and his death, of course I would support their release, and the legal right of WIkilieaks to do so.

                  Who you do think I am? Don’t shoot the messenger, Jennifer asks…

                  Like

                • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

                  It looks like that despite the fact that Reuters article reflected what Khan said, it is inadmissible.
                  Whilst I won’t use the N word, Nicks response is shallow and tyrannical.
                  I would not/have never disputed that Assange could be the King of narcissism.
                  That’s not even on my RADAR,
                  So DILLIGAF to that bit.

                  FWIW maybe other readers can see a very interesting vent / timeline to the way Khan has done, what she has done, (said what she said ) and the strange (apparent) desertion of the original core principles/timing of her media article linked by Nick.
                  I think a falling out is one thing.I even think acknowledging it is another.
                  There seems to be an element too suspect to deny in Khans turnaround,her abandoned alliance and her involvement in something which she speculates will help Assange somehow, which even Blind Freddy knows, that the opposite is true.
                  Her article ‘seems’ to be a failed attempt to justify out her shallow opportunism and what appears to be a deep betrayal of principles.
                  If so, one could ask what could Julian have possibly done to bring that on?

                  Or is she just wanting to steal Assange’s thunder.

                  Either way my take is that a lot of what Khan said in the article creates more questions about her, than it does about Assange.

                  Bail for the charges Assange is on would not be taken lightly for his financial supporters.
                  So at the point she ‘gave it did’ she explicitly say Assange should front court or front court in Sweden.
                  Because the nitty gritty of what Khan has left out, is the bit that really matters.

                  Like

                • Nick February 13, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

                  “Whilst I won’t use the N word, Nicks response is shallow and tyrannical.”

                  It was neither of those things.

                  “If so, one could ask what could Julian have possibly done to bring that on?”

                  You still haven’t read the article. She states clearly that she wrote to ask him to respond to interview questions, he told her to come in and do a photo shoot. Needless to say, she was insulted. He also criticised her for her involvement in a film he hadn’t seen, but disliked the title because it didn’t sound “pro-Assange”. He then tweeted snide untruths about the film’s screening, which he has refused to correct or retract.

                  “Because the nitty gritty of what Khan has left out, is the bit that really matters.”

                  Again, so much speculation.

                  Like

                  • Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

                    So Nick, you cannot even see the ‘possibility’ of an ambush from someone who felt (claimed to be ) so supportive of the Wikileaks cause,turning around around and involving herself with something which had the ‘most’ likely possibility of totally undermining (if not destroying) the fundamentals of the cause she claimed to support? And apparently she ‘so’ supportive of the cause she felt the need to conceal a project which risked it?Isn’t that what transpired?
                    I read enough of the article (most) to know that ‘I’ found her claims completely deficient,which ‘to me’ makes yours even more deficient.
                    You both ‘come across’ as adamantly, ideologically anti Assange, for its sake.
                    Which to me,automatically puts you into the camp who refuse to require the US to explain what was exposed by Wikileaks.
                    And likewise (IMO) for Khan.
                    You both seem focussed on nailing one person, whilst turning a blind eye to the victims of the regime exposed.It’s a priority thing.
                    I personally think that makes you and Khan inconsistent at best, and even with a strong wind behind you and a vivid imagination supporting you, I find it all too much to consider the focus you both have, as being worthy of a second glance.

                    Maybe I’m wrong and Idi Amin was a good bloke who bought a rogue hammer, with a mind of it’s own.

                    Let me see, Assange and his ego V the concealing American atrocities?
                    Priorities kids, priorities.

                    Maybe Khan is doing what she can to save her arse by distancing herself from Assange.

                    If so (it is not so fanciful a concept) ask yourself why that would be, and then imagine a world where no-one felt safe enough to ask it.

                    Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 1:21 am #

                      “Which to me,automatically puts you into the camp who refuse to require the US to explain what was exposed by Wikileaks.”

                      I would support any politician who sought to lobby the US to explain what was exposed by Wikileaks.

                      That is one of several reasons I will be giving my local Greens member my first preference this coming election, and not Labor.

                      I would also sign any petition you asked me which requested the US should be required to explain what was exposed by Wikileaks. FWIW, I’ve also engaged on other forums in improving on the hack jobs and manipulations performed wilfully or otherwise (most likely otherwise) by the Guardian in analysing some of the documents they had. You want to talk about letting the US off the hook for its behaviour and atrocities.

                      If you don’t like what I’m saying, fine. But let me add that I have no problem with you or Paul supporting Assange, and the last thing I’m trying to do is dissuade you from doing so.

                      Like

                    • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

                      “…inconsistent at best”.
                      Was just thinking the same thing, as to that latest group of comments from Nick.
                      You admit far greater evils may have been done by those persecuting Assange than Assange himself, yet you leap on the anti Assange bandwagon, desiring of him that he risk his skin in a situation where you, no doubt, would do exactly as he is doing.
                      I stand by yesterdays comment, that Assange has a reasonable fear of persecution, only amplified by the perverse refusal of authorities to acknowledge this.
                      He should not be criticised by any rational person who would do as he has done in his situation, its just hypocrisy avoid.

                      Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

                      “He should not be criticised”

                      Thanks, Paul. You epitomise Khan’s point perfectly.

                      Do you think a one-sided portrayal of Assange minus his flaws is going to be at all helpful to the next young activist with the brains and the guts to do what Assange did, but who might possibly want to seek to avoid the mistakes he made, and the pitfalls and shortcomings that tripped him up, along the way?

                      Other than that, as always, I agree with most of what you say.

                      Like

  14. paul walter February 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    Back here to see if Nick had the cheek to continue his nonsenses. Hypocritophobe was waiting for him instead and has done a far better job answering his formulaic “questions” than ever I could have.
    Hypo, to you “I doffs me lid”, to quote CJ Dennis.
    Nick. your comments reassure me that I would have done very little good for myself in coming back in the expectation of a reasonable discussion on the electronic Gulag cum Panopticon real people have had imposed upon them from above..

    Like

  15. Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    NATO bomber or US bomber?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-13/10-civilians-reported-dead-in-nato-airstrike/4517772?section=justin

    Given this:
    “The incident is likely to raise tension between the US and the Afghan government.”

    I declare the question above rhetorical question.

    Like

  16. Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    This is for you Nick.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

    Sleep well.

    Like

  17. Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    There is no REPLY button, so I say a big thankyou to

    hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 9:58 am #
    For saying clearly, what my growing frustration required, to be said.
    Very well said
    Cheers

    Like

    • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      Lest hudson godfrey not risk perpetuating Assange Legal Myth 1, exploded in this link from Khan’s article
      http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition
      , it might be well to replace “I can forgive the sexual awkwardness that passes for rape in Sweden” with
      “I can forgive the the sexual awkwardness that passes for rape in Sweden and England”.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

        At the risk of actually enlightening readers, can you actually say what you mean?

        Like

        • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

          To save them the trouble of clicking on the link? Alright. I’ll quote from the article.

          ‘ Legal myths about the Assange extradition

          One: “The allegation of rape would not be rape under English law”

          This is flatly untrue. The Assange legal team argued this twice before English courts, and twice the English courts ruled clearly that the allegation would also constitute rape under English law.’

          hudson’s original wording risks perpetuating Myth One.

          Like

          • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

            Jo,
            The language/terminology of “Assange Myth1” seems to assume the position of an outcome,not an accusation.
            The reason Assange’s trial (which is in fact, merely a hearing at this stage) should be treated differently, is obvious.Wiki-pariah, and all that.
            I am not claiming his innocence on these charges.I am challenging the location of the hearing, because it affects the freedom of an Australian citizen, in principle, and he (IMO) is at grave risk by way of American security forces.
            If you doubt that premise please read what ‘mysteriously’ happened to Ben Zygier.

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-14/israel-breaks-silence-on-prisoner-x/4518250

            The Big Myth 1 is actually that America (and essentially Israel as it’s proxy and vice versa) are a morally superior species.
            In regards to the Assange case, all else follows that.Including how and why British law found what they did.

            Like

            • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

              Now it is my turn to remain unenlightened. I referred to a legal myth about the Assange case, you refer to a myth about America and Israel. You say British law made the “would be rape in England” finding based on a myth about American morality? I can’t argue with that. I think it’s self-evidently wrong but I can’t think of a single argument that would carry any weight with someone who believed it.

              Like

              • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

                Sorry Jo, your response to Hypo re Ben Zygier?

                Like

                • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

                  An object lesson not to accept recruitment offers from Mossad.

                  Like

              • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

                Jo, stop being stubborn and actually read what Hypo says. She differentiated quite clearly one issue from the other.

                Like

                • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

                  You called me stubborn. I can’t argue with that either. You win.

                  Like

                  • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

                    Well, why don’t you bloody read what others say- just for once- instead of being so closed minded and vindictive.
                    Imo, you have a grudge against Julian Assange that precludes you from considering evidence and thinking that is contrary to your preconceived notions or doesn’t suit your prejudices.
                    “Contempt prior to investigation”.

                    Like

              • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

                Jo,
                No you don’t get what I said at all.
                Probably because it suits you NOT to.
                So for the other more ear enabled / eye enable people,

                It means that a staunch (read obedient) ally of Americas would find a suitable interpretation at law, as a means the the ends the US security forces demand by way of White House requests or otherwise.

                John Howard was also ultra compliant when our own Australian citizens wanted out of the US’s filthy torture camps.
                You have no argument as to why Assange could not have a hearing outside of Sweden,nor do any of the main critics of Assange.This includes the high profile Khans of the world and the London bobbies, whose recent bedmanship with Murdoch attests to their ethical standards, and the even more recent events will see more plod heads roll.

                Like

                • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

                  Two separate British courts made the “would be rape in England” finding to suit the purposes of US security forces?

                  Like

                  • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

                    And?
                    Two heads are better than one?
                    Keep in mind I am pointing out the cosy relationship between the three countries who ride the white horses,here.
                    The ones who claimed Saddam had WOMD, etc.
                    I doubt selling a pissant legal interpretation like this, would ruffle a feather on a warmongers back.

                    Where were the three amigos stellar legal and democracy champions when Hicks was tried by the military?

                    Like

                    • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

                      I was just looking for confirmation that I had understood you correctly. You are alleging that US security forces or their agents are in control of the British court judges. I would ask why in that case they don’t extradite him directly from England, but we obviously aren’t going to approach a meeting of the minds on this.

                      Like

                    • Poirot February 14, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

                      Have a read of this, Jo:

                      http://justice4assange.com/Declaration-of-Abandonment.html

                      Like

                    • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

                      It sounds very exciting Poirot.
                      All that torture, all that conspiracy, all that bribery and coercion – the Australian government, the Australian High Commission in London, the Swedish Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Minister for Justice , the British court judges, the UK Home Secretary, the European Court of Human Rights, the Department of Justice, the Swedish Prosecution Authority, and many others that I won’t mention because I didn’t get that far.
                      What about those idiots who set up Guantanamo Bay! They could have just told the US courts what to do.
                      If Ecuadorians weren’t incorruptible and fearless Assange would be a goner.

                      Like

                    • Poirot February 14, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

                      Jo,

                      “It sounds very exciting, Poirot.”

                      “….All that torture and conspiracy..,, coercion…..”

                      (It’s a real larf, aint it!)

                      Sweden doesn’t do that sort of thing, does it?

                      Yes it does….

                      http://www.hrw.org/news/2005/05/19/sweden-violated-torture-ban-us-help

                      Like

                    • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

                      I don’t find it credible that US security could bribe or coerce all the people and organizations I’ve listed (and the rest in the link you gave) to all come together for the purposes of getting Assange onto US soil, or killing him, or whatever the purpose is supposed to be. It’s an extremely convoluted and expensive approach that only needs one of the links in the extraordinarily complex chain to go wrong in order to fail.
                      You disagree with me.I have no interest in convincing you to change your mind. I came into this on the issue of whether the alleged rape would be rape in England. The answer I got was it doesn’t matter because US security forces are in control of the UK court judges. Obviously since I didn’t agree with that I wasn’t going to agree they’re also in control of all these other people, so why ask me in the first place?

                      Like

                  • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

                    At last, you get it..
                    Same as the Swedes were forced to concoct the faux issue involving Julian Assange, on the basis that if they didn’t, they would have intelligence feeds cut off.
                    But you knew that already, from all the other threads where this has been discussed.

                    Like

                • Nick February 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

                  “the London bobbies, whose recent bedmanship with Murdoch attests to their ethical standards, and the even more recent events will see more plod heads roll”

                  A story Jemima Khan broke, as it happens.

                  Like

                  • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

                    So?

                    Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

                      So? You flat out accused her of being a liar, Paul. Why? What were you basing that on? Things she’s done in the past?

                      Or is that you often not have the faintest fucking clue what you’re talking about, and just ignorantly fling mud and accusations and hyperbole at whoever you see fit?

                      Answer that please.

                      Like

                    • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

                      Answer is simple..Thirty pieces of silver, or some arm twisting behind the scenes.

                      Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

                      Column B then. She’s the ‘lying Jemima Goldsmith’ because of something your imagination concocted. Glad we cleared that up.

                      Like

                    • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

                      Nick, that is not very nice language to use in mixed company- think how Jo would feel, nasty male swear-words?
                      As it happens am not favourably disposed toward you, for misrepresenting the sense of my comment earlier concerning people sitting in judgement of Assange.
                      What I said and you know full what I was actually saying, was that people should not expect Assange to do what they wouldn’t do themselves..
                      Do you REALLY expect us to believe that you would be hopping on a flight to Sweden, given the risks you would be taking?
                      How about thinking of a few reasons why Assange SHOULDNT risk going to Sweden, including the probablity that probability he has committed no crime whatsover and knows he’s being set up by foreign powers for drawing attention to the dirty stuff they get up to behind closed doors.

                      Like

                    • Nick February 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

                      “As it happens am not favourably disposed toward you, for misrepresenting the sense of my comment earlier concerning people sitting in judgement of Assange.

                      What I said and you know full what I was actually saying, was that people should not expect Assange to do what they wouldn’t do themselves.”

                      And what I replied was – I agree with most of what you say. That I think there’s a lot of truth to it. I see no reason not to criticise Assange quite simply because nobody is beyond criticism. However, I also took your point, what you were actually saying, and will bear it in mind in future.

                      On the other hand, people all over the world take exactly the same risks all the time. That is what freedom fighting is. Deciding that the risks and consequences to yourself pale in light of something you believe to be of greater importance. I can’t blame Assange for the decisions he’s made since his arrest, they’re very understandable, but I’m sure as hell not going to celebrate them.

                      “Nick, that is not very nice language to use [full stop]”

                      You’re right on that too. I’ll tone it down. Sorry, Paul. Lack of sleep and trying to do four things at once atm.

                      Like

          • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

            I’m not arguing the letter of the Law Jo, (see below). I’m arguing the content of the justice we get when Assange languishes, Manning is tortured, and the guilty…. of collateral murder?…. Of abusing secrecy to conduct an illegal war? Okay okay… they can just go free, claim diplomatic immunity, or be given cushy jobs in private industry where they’re less likely to kill some poor fucker!

            Like

            • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

              I missed that before hudson. Alright! High five! Some honesty. You don’t think it’s fair that Assange should even submit to the possibility of being jailed when he did a really good thing exposing bad guys who conduct illegal wars and other people who helped the bad guys get to go free and live in luxury.
              I see where you’re coming from and I really relate to the feelings. It doesn’t work that way and it can’t work that way. The Swedish women didn’t conduct an illegal war.

              Like

              • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

                Sure the Swedish women didn’t conduct an illegal war but I find it really difficult to believe that these events aren’t somehow perverted either to have used them as pawns, or at the very least to serve their interests a very distant second to those of people who want somehow to get at Assange. Circumspect as I think we both may be about the man’s character.

                Like

                • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 10:12 pm #

                  Now that, Hudson, the serving other people’s interests, that’s a distinct possibility. There’s no doubt the law can be used to harass people. It’s a far smaller stretch of the imagination for US security to lean on someone who leaned on the Swedish prosecutor to follow up the case more zealously than it might otherwise have been. She could also be a man-hater, if you’ll excuse the oversimplification, who saw going after a high-profile suspect as good for her cause. She might see going after a high-profile suspect as good for her own profile, and the same thing springs to mind when thinking of lawyers and other people assisting Assange.
                  He should have been more careful about the people he stuck it in and the circumstances under which he stuck it. Now he’s compounded whatever the Swedish situation was and I can’t help wondering if he would have been better off if he hadn’t managed to flee Sweden or if his lawyers weren’t so willing to go along with his conspiracy theories and take his autobiography publishers money in payment.

                  Like

                  • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

                    More a case of Assange being careful who stuck it into him, I’d a thunk,,

                    Like

                  • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

                    We all can’t help wondering things sometimes, but on a good day we stop short of taking seriously the ponderings that are least credible.

                    It may raise an interesting point about whether our attitudes towards sex affect how we relate to allegations of rape. Given a puritanical attitude that regards most sex as guilty and holds promiscuity in considerable disdain one still has all their work ahead of them to explain why the man is to blame any more than the woman unless the facts are really clearly laid out. The kind of speculation we’re verging on is to be avoided other than to say what I said before. The law can be misused and justice perverted by anyone in any case who is willing to offer falsified testimony. I think bearing credible witness against Julian Assange in this instance is probably nigh on impossible because it has already been tried and retried in the courts of public opinion and minds of conspiracy theorists on both sides.

                    As to the fraught autobiography, would it ever have been even mooted had not the money been needed to cover court costs. Some of his counsel having donated their services and in at least one case an attic.

                    I think that they’d be better off now to try the case in absentia, or take what depositions they’re prepared to by video link, and then agree to have him serve any penalty under the protection of either Australia or Ecuador. If anything it seems likely he’d either be acquitted or serve a relatively short sentence or fine, none of which for all intents and purposes serves justice all that much better by being carried out in Sweden.

                    Like

              • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

                There you go distorting content again and being a smart-arse about it.
                That is trolling 101.

                Assange does not murder civilians with impunity, and cover it up, and then and go on the attack when exposed.But you missed that irrelevant little side show didn’t you?
                Not unexpected.The state murder circus is in town 24/7.

                And no-one here (that I can recall) has said the women don’t deserve justice.
                Nor that there MAY be something in their claims.

                I think America is up to their guts in the whole thing.They have some severe ‘form’ and you know it.
                And on the issue of what constitutes rape/sexual assault, you have used that to enable your underlying assumption of Assange’s guilt, so don’t piss in other peoples ears about our view on the low acts US security forces stoop to, as a matter of course.
                Of the two premises, one has so much previous concrete evidence, that ONLY a troll or some sort of mindless windbag would ignore deny.

                You come here to press buttons.Every time.

                It must be your BIRD seed diet regime.

                Like

      • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

        Jo,

        Let me be perfectly clear about this. I’ve heard all about the “legal myths” and what I have to tell you is that I think we need to take greater care of justice than of the letter of the law,

        Assange has had an entire team of eminent lawyers arguing quite differently to what is asserted by your link, in ways that I think are more considerate of the politics of the matter than the legalities of it. I think they’re entirely correct to do so, but that unfortunately sometimes the law is an ass. And not just any ass but one which strives officiously to pursue the letter of statute rather than the interests of justice.

        You can characterise the rape Assange is accused of as seriously as you want, even while it isn’t proven. But what I’ll wager you can’t categorise it more seriously than is the shit that went down in the cables Wikileaks released. And that to me is a problem effectively of freedom of someone who is working as a journalist to report on something that aims to keep power accountable without being strong armed by proxy.

        Natural justice would not be well served by doing anything that risks delivering Assange into the waiting hands of the US, or effectively conspires to silence him, leaving his critique of such egregious wrongdoing unanswered.

        If there were a red notice for the arrests of Bush, Blair Howard and Cheney over the Iraq war then I might consider the law somewhat up to the task of delivering justice. But when you have to chase Assange’s sorry ass for “accidental rape” while slaughter on a calamitous scale is simply excused behind a veil of secrecy and diplomatic immunity, then people are entitled to conclude that someone’s bullshitting us!

        I do conclude that! I conclude I’m being lied to and that due process for Assange is immaterial to the fact that I don’t believe any of what’s been levelled against him while the guilty simply go free. That’s not justice, sorry to use harsh language, but that’s Fucked Up!

        Like

  18. Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    More questions than answers
    Mossad,what else would we expect.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-14/israel-breaks-silence-on-prisoner-x/4518250

    Like

  19. paul walter February 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    It’s a disgusting story, isn’t it?
    Have read elsewhere that he may have ended up working for the US, trying to locate the Mossad deep throats in US intelligence, whose penetration has been of concern for some time for US authorities.

    Like

  20. Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    @jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Before I waste any more ink on your games answer me this,if you can extract another layer of logic from your mind, so as to find out whether you just deny for denials sake,what do you think about AGW?

    And as for my point about British legal opinion on the Assange case, ooh yes scary shit.There may be elements in law who can deliver opposing views.And oooh even scarier, they may say just want the Yanks want.
    How low can the law go?
    Well they tried to defend Murdochs hackers,didn’t they?
    I suppose you think Mossad runs creche for Hezbollah and has the Mr Whippy run on the West Bank, too.

    C’mon, Jo, is AGW real or just crap?

    Like

    • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      I think the earth is warming but don’t waste any more ink.
      As I just said to Poirot, I came into this on the issue to clarify the alleged rape would be rape in England according to two British courts. The answer I got was it doesn’t matter, or it wouldn’t be (I’m not sure which) but US security forces are in control of the UK court judges and compelled them to lie about about.
      I disagree but I have no interest in convincing you to change your mind. We aren’t going to agree. Playing games seems a waste of ink.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

        Yep,What he said.
        Point wasted though, HG.
        (not on everyone,thankfully)
        Jo is not interested in the big picture, just the wine after the exhibition.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

          My reply(above) is for the HG post at 8.19pm today

          Like

      • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

        The answer you should have got was from me, you challenged my comments not anyone else’s. So here it is. If you think justice is well served by naively believing allegations that were made, withdrawn and remade, when we can’t call the diplomats and politicians who have an interest in silencing and discrediting Assange to the stand, then I think you’re very much mistaken.

        But no I didn’t and don’t dispute the letter of the law. Assange’s legal team who may in fact be more eminent and expert than the authors of your articles on the “myths” do! And since in this case the politics are such an important element, demonstrably ignored by strict adhesion to due process, I reserve the right to my opinion that the law has gotten it wrong.

        Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

        Reply To jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

        You said “The answer I got was it doesn’t matter”

        I read

        ” there are things more dangerous for all of us to be concerned with ”

        In effect you would argue that as the plane heads towards the mountain, the pilot unconscious, we need to be sure he had a shower this morning.
        Me ,I’d want to address the gravity issue first and foremost.

        Are you really so gullible so as to think that the possibity of a legal opinion is not open to interprtaion, and or corruption?
        Really?

        Are you sure you’re not American?
        Southern state?

        If you post your bank details I’ll send you your winnings in the Nigerian lottery.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

          EDIT
          ….. that the possibility of a legal opinion is not open to interpretation,…..

          Like

  21. paul walter February 14, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    Jo: “What about those idiots who set up Guantanamo Bay”.
    You don’t get me that way, everyone knows that Gitmo is just leftist rumour-mongering. Same with that “rendition” crap.
    And Zygier just got his neck tangled up in his sheet, and we bomb places like Iraq back to the stone age just as a favour for them.
    The West NEVER does nasty things like that, only those sly lefties and mossies.
    And YOU call US naive, wtf?

    Like

    • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      pw: I’m not interested in getting you. I conceded defeat a while ago. You called me a name so you won. Then you called me more names so you won even more. I believe all the name calling between us has been on your side – I haven’t called anyone naive.

      Like

      • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

        Stop with the diversions, alleged “name calling” is just an attempt to divert attention from theissue.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

          Seems to be wisemans style.
          Visits here.Throws grenades.Refuses to answer.Spits it.Pisses off.Vows never to return.Another pseudonym rolls up ten seconds later and ‘strangely’ attacks for a while,then disappears.
          A few weeks later the cycle recommences.
          I guess trolls walk a lot like ducks.

          Like

          • jo wiseman February 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

            I’d prefer to agree to disagree without being called a troll and falsely accused of attacking, spitting the dummy, having another pseudonym that I use to attack , but it’s not my decision.
            A lot of what gets written here seems to be in good faith, but name calling and flimsy accusations aren’t one of them.
            That’s quite discouraging and I may never return but it’s not a promise. I have no interest in returning against your will, you were here first.

            Like

            • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

              Right on cue.

              Like

          • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

            Except that it doesn’t walk like a troll. It walks and talks like someone who disagrees and who is clever enough to limit that disagreement to terms of a debate she can win. The fact is that I haven’t accepted her premise, and if she fails to accept mine then we’ll agree to disagree. I think I’ve been clear enough now in saying that legal argument alone does not justice make, and in expressing the depth of my utter outrage at the politics behind these issues.

            Like

            • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

              Semantics trumps justice in Jo’s world.

              I hope she never leaves the door ajar.

              Like

              • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

                A fair point I suppose.

                Like

            • paul walter February 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

              Yes, but doesn’t that seem a bit a pathological? Are these sites up for current affairs conversations or just as amusement parks for the mentally ill?

              Like

              • Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

                I think the fact that some people hang around long enough to keep engaging, despite vehement disagreements and conflict, and return to flesh out issues, indicates an adult willingness to progress our societal evolution ( VERSUS idiots who press buttons ( “fuck communicating and possible solutions / progress, let’s just destroy”) indicates the net has some serious flaws.
                But we all know that.
                But I guess, if free speech is the Holy Grail, I guess we have to put up with fucktards.(For a while) However if ‘their’ desire to be fucktards consumes the goodwill of ‘some level of rational discussion’, I personally have no problem with this blog owner throwing their (trollsters) shit-words (THEY call dialogue) into the sewer from which they originate.But this is JW (JenWilson) site.

                I have seen the antithesis. The deadwood sites.
                The white bread sites, where the red-neck rightoids completely sanitise all incoming comments to create an illusion of uniique agreement without dissent.
                One such site is owned by one of our previous professional trolls.Also a button pusher (coincidence???) It is as boring as a a truck full of batshit, without the batshit or the truck.

                .

                Like

              • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

                Depends! I used to think we were the last few sane ones but now I’m not so sure 🙂

                Like

                • doug quixote February 14, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

                  All the world is mad save for me and thee, and I’m not so sure about thee . . . 🙂

                  Like

                  • hudsongodfrey February 14, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

                    Paraphrased to be sure!

                    Is it attributed?

                    Like

                    • doug quixote February 15, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

                      Paraphrase, of course. Robert Owen said something of the sort in the 1830s, so I claim no originality. 🙂

                      Like

  22. Hypocritophobe February 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    The site is currently doing weird things,a mongrel to load and scroll and the Avatars are missing.

    Infection or just everyday Wordpus behaviour?

    Anyone else?

    Like

  23. Hypocritophobe February 15, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    Surprise surprise.
    I guess Jo Wiseman will be rushing in here to defend Zygier’s lawyer, in order to prove Jo’s faith that all the legal profession are honest and true.

    Or are Jo’s observations flexible and selective.
    With only the pommy ones, being just and true.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-14/shedding-light-on-the-case-of-prisoner-x/4519798

    And of course Israel and the US could never hurt a fly

    Like

    • paul walter February 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

      Have read it, Observe no responses, did no one else bother?

      Like

  24. paul walter February 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Or does the silence indicate the message is finally getting through?

    Like

  25. paul walter February 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    It’s a pity my linking skills are poor or would also include John Pilger’s latest, (long-New Statesman; short, at the Guardian. including a pointed refutation of the great Khan’s mischiefs.

    Like

    • Nick February 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      “Absent entirely were the lies, spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus of a few who claim the right to guard the limits of informed public debate.”

      Yet Khan – someone who “claims the right to guard the limits of informed public debate” – was more than happy to publish Pilger’s response.

      Like you Paul, he identifies no lies – but feels more than free to accuse of “spite, jealousy, opportunism and pathetic animus”, and of being an “axe-grinder”, a “turncoat” and a “hater”.

      “The sum of Khan’s and Gibney’s attacks is that Ecuador granted him asylum without evidence. The evidence is voluminous.”

      That was not the sum of her ‘attack’. She never even mentioned it.

      “To Khan, the Ellsbergs and Yoko Onos, the Loaches and Knightleys, and the countless people they represent, have all been duped. We are all “blinkered”. We are all mindlessly “devoted”. We are all “cultists”.

      No. What she said was she believes “its supporters are [increasingly being] expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.” She did not accuse anyone he mentioned of being these things.

      “both women had consensual sex with Assange and neither claimed otherwise; and the Stockholm prosecutor Eva Finne all but dismissed the case.”

      Whether you believe them or not, absolutely they claimed otherwise. As I understand it, and I could be wrong on this, Eva Finne dismissed the rape charge, but not the molestation charges. In any case, Khan directly stated there were numerous mishandlings on the part of Swedish prosecutors, and that Assange and the public at large had every right to be suspicious of the process, and the timing with which it took place. There is a personal interview with one of the women in Khan’s film btw.

      “Khan makes no mention of the damning, irrefutable evidence that Peirce presented to the Australian government, warning how the US deliberately “synchronised” its extradition demands with pending cases and that her client faced a grave miscarriage of justice and personal danger.”

      Khan made no mention of many things, but she never denied the personal danger, or his right to be fearful.

      “As Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape […]”

      Appeal to authority (see, even a *rape victim support group* agree with what I’m saying), which holds no authority, just an opinion which agrees with his own. I could easily find ten other rape victim support groups who strongly disagree with him. So what? Pilger wants this tried in the court of public opinion? Not a good strategy.

      Pilger’s article unfortunately verges on the ridiculously polemic. His accusations are overly aggressive and baseless – the only claim he offers in support is the lawyer Assange hired who charged him too much money – and it once again epitomises the central point Khan was making in her article. More than ever with Wikileaks, it’s ‘you’re either with us or your against us’.

      It was poorly written, unbalanced, and incredibly unhelpful. I would have expected better from Pilger. At the same time, I don’t doubt his good intentions, and I’m very glad to see that he is still strongly behind Assage, and more than willing to go into bat for him.

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey February 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

        I don’t know that John’s ever been short on Polemic, and I suppose finding a reasonable answer may require more compromise that his ideals would bend to. But having already said as much as I can in recent days on this subject nothing new occurs to me to have come out of a reading of either Khan’s or Pilger’s pieces other perhaps than to reflect on where their personal allegiances now lie and how their egos are coping with the loss of their bail stake.

        Perhaps though it would be instructive to consider what might have been the situation had the rape issue never been raised? Navel gazing or not, does anyone really find it affects their position on the value of Wikileaks? Maybe it feeds a suspicion confirming how unsettling these kinds of leaks are for authority centres like the US? Maybe some of us have completely flipped over the very mention of the word “rape”, but I sincerely doubt that. I spend more time wondering why the leaks seem to have dried up?

        Like

  26. paul walter February 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    I suppose a more current update to the Zygier incident comes from Haaretz, 15/2/13.
    This is is entitled,
    “The Prisoner x issue was a disaster for Israel and must be Investigated”.
    Nick has trouble, still, in working out what this thread is about.
    Am referring him to this for a CLOSE reading, in the futile hope that the penny finally drops…

    Like

    • Nick February 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      It’s about not shooting the messenger.

      As much as I detest the Jerusalem Post beyond words, and wouldn’t trust most things they publish as far I could throw them, they are also worth reading for information atm.

      (I’ve replied to hg, but I think it might be stuck in moderation)

      Like

  27. Nick February 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    I’m with you, hg. I’m done for now with the egos too – Khan’s and Pilger’s. Khan has every right to publish why she feels she can’t support Assange any more (at least not in the way he wants her too) – but Hypo and Paul are correct to say that once you’ve done that, you can’t exactly start advising him publically that “the best thing for you to do is just go to Sweden”…

    Which is how her article comes across to a large degree.

    She is someone who can’t even get answers to her questions any more – how then, is she any position to advise what’s best for him…

    I’m happy to take Hypo’s cue and reshift my focus. It’s been too long since I’ve looked through information clearing house.

    “I spend more time wondering why the leaks seem to have dried up?”

    Because of Bradley Manning, who the US military was always going to punish as severely as possible as an example to others of *what will happen to you too*.

    Because it’s clear that Assange and Wikileaks can’t offer whistleblowers the secrecy and protection he claimed it could. Especially not now that its communications are monitored 24/7.

    Because Wikileaks, for many reasons, has largely been reduced to a Facebook sideshow. Almost the only updates I ever get are yet another request to buy a T-Shirt.

    Because his mathematical correlation that if everyone has the information, nobody has the power, was ultimately flawed, and, by logical extension (and since he handed everything over at once to the press…a decision I will always regard as a serious, if understandable, error on his part) also means that Wikileaks no longer has any power.

    Because as Cersei says in Game of Thrones – “Information is not power. Power is power.”

    Like

    • hudsongodfrey February 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

      I’d propose an amendment to that “information is power” quote in this context.

      Information may be power, but with power comes responsibility and ordinary people don’t necessarily want to take responsibility. Especially I might add on the left in certain quarters, where there’s always been way too much talk for my liking about “them” and what “they” should do about “it”.

      We didn’t need Wikileaks to tell us that good ol’ governor Bush stole a couple of elections on a plea bargain from cousin Jeb, did we? But did Americans actually DO anything about that? Apparently they’re armed to the teeth in preparation to defend their democracy…. and yet? Hell I think it was after Obama’s second year before some of us even hear the penny drop!

      Like

  28. paul walter February 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    You trouble me Nick.
    I have a pet theory as to who “Nick” might actually be.
    In the unlikely event this fancy were to be proven true, I should wonder that such a person would be involved in some thing as squalid as the midwifing of a smear campaign against a defenceless whistleblower.
    I’ll quote from Keynes:
    “Practical men, who believe themselves quite exempt from intellectual influences are usually slaves to some defunct economist”.
    Never mind. how good are my principles, either, when it comes to the crunch, of course, as virtually the same preconditions apply to me as anyone else.
    Was actually going to wait until Jo’s unaccountably overdue post arrived and write a doubleheader, but will have to forgo the pleasure of Jo’s deep thought and delightful company for some solitary reflections on a strange week.
    .

    Like

    • Nick February 15, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      In Australia, politicians were wanting everyone to carry around an Australia card. Almost nobody could see that ten years later everybody would be voluntarily purchasing and carrying around something far more efficient – a personal location device in the form of a mobile phone. It can be used to identify where you are at any time. It can also be used to identify ‘who are those people we’re looking at on camera right now’. It is also enormously funky and awesome, and will do more to transmit information freely, and to educate children and adults this century than a Sesame St or Mechanics hall library ever could.

      Keynes was implying that by the time real change occurs, nobody will notice anyway. Julian helped set in motion changes, and his work continues to effect changes. Information is not power. But a more well-informed public is more well-informed, and can more sensibly make use of the power it does have at its disposal. Secrecy is vastly overvalued. The only way corporations can avoid Jonathan Moylan-style sharemarket hoaxing – something companies, but not activists, have been doing for years – is to become more transparent. They are slowly realising this.

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey February 15, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

        It’s starting to sound to me a bit like some people have been watching a show about Keynes on SBS and trading in notions that they’ve picked up in along the way.

        I’ll agree to disagree about the nature of change. There are some that are fought for and achieved like Feminism and the Union movement. There are others that are part of drift in the natural order of things under the influence of science, technology or nature. The later are more subtle and in cases where they’re done to us and seem pretty well irreversible they may be more profound, it may even be the case that some call them progress and others beg to differ. But it is the former category that we ought to mean to discuss in political discourse because they involve things we can really effect if we unite behind getting them done. They’re also the most frustration and often disappointing when not everyone can agree on an agenda as opposed to an ego trip…. And so it goes!

        Like

    • Hypocritophobe February 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Nick jumps around like a yoyo .
      I have no idea where he sits on anything on this topic (other than thanks for your diligent work Mr Wikileaks good luck with the thumb screws.) because it seems to vacillate every few posts.
      I won’t go over the points (one step fwd, two steps back and vice versa) one at a time, because, frankly I can’t be bothered, and anyone reading the comments from end to end should pick it up, anyway.

      To me Khan (as said ^) appears to be a born again opportunist who seems to be distancing herself to save her arse or raise her profile, or both.Someone who places bail on such a grave case, and then does was she has done is IMO opinion nothing but a disloyal coward.With friends like that….
      She claims to be a ‘serious’ journalist, and is a supporter of what Wikileaks stood for, and to me her actions/words indicate something a lot less.
      She seems to be in an awful hurry to write ‘a version’ of history, and it seems to be a version which will probably suit Assange’s enemies.
      I can see why Assange would be a little (understated) pissed off.

      Like

  29. Hypocritophobe February 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Speaking of shooting the messenger, (and not having anywhere more relevant to put this),no doubt many are following the Oscar Pistorious case.
    Isn’t it a typical of the MSM pattern, that all the talk is about a ruined sports hero and bugger all about the victim and her family.
    “Poor Oscar.Poor Olympics.”

    Even South Africans on the street(on the reports) hardly mention anything but “poor Oscar.”
    I wonder how $ many $ the MSM will screw out of this?

    Like

    • doug quixote February 17, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      Totally agree Hypo. The bastard allegedly murdered her and tried to blow her head off and all we hear is crap about the athlete!

      Shades of OJ Simpson, only this time with a smoking gun it seems.

      Like

    • jo wiseman February 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      It’s as if some people think there should be different rules for heros. Like, if a hero commits an alleged crime, they want to believe it couldn’t really be a crime. They don’t want their hero to be tarnished. They don’t want to think about the alleged victim as a victim, they are wholly concerned with the effect on their hero.
      We’d never be like those people.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

        I guess that makes us all “pedestal-philes”

        Like

      • hudsongodfrey February 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

        I presume you mean Obama detaining Bradley Manning?

        Like

        • doug quixote February 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

          That is absurd. Manning was a serving soldier entrusted with some of his country’s military and diplomatic secrets. Should Obama order his release? Could he possibly order his release if he wanted to?

          Manning will spend most of his life in gaol for his crimes.

          Like

          • hudsongodfrey February 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

            So its prisoner of conscience versus political prisoner of a government that exceeds its authority at ever turn! Because that’s what they’ve done in relation to the material he leaked, started an illegal war on false pretences and divided the spoils in full view.

            Like

          • Hypocritophobe February 17, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

            You lectured us recently about men having to make hard decision.Manning chose one.
            He chose humanity over military murders and cover ups.
            That Manning will serve gaol -time,as you said,while you ( and the anti Assange army) stay mum over Bush,Blair and Howard, warmongers, and their exposure by Wikileaks, kind of shows the hypocrisy.
            You should applaud Assange for what he has done, not call for his head for who he has embarrassed.That would be the ethical thing to do.

            Like

            • doug quixote February 19, 2013 at 12:24 am #

              Well, if you think Manning is a hero, go for it. You are entitled to your opinion. Just don’t expect too many to agree with you.

              As for Assange, he is merely a publisher, a chancer with an enormous ego and no apparent conscience or empathy with any one, not even Manning.

              I think the accurate use of the word psychopathic applies quite well.

              Like

              • Hypocritophobe February 19, 2013 at 12:35 am #

                Now DQ you are web renowned for demanding a choice of the lesser of two evils.
                I was asking you to do that on an issue bigger than Gillards survival.

                As outlined above, which is worse Manning’s behaviour, or Americas war atrocities and civilian deaths?
                (Which have continued with drones ordered by Obama)

                As for staying mum, if you cannot see the connect between the US silencing whistle-blowers a and orgs like wikileaks as they are shut down, or whistle-blowers being too scared to come forward when crimes against civiliansetc, are committed in illegal wars and sunsequent cover ups etc, you need to eat more fish and get more sleep.

                Like

                • doug quixote February 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

                  “Whistleblowers come forward” !!! What a joke! Manning sent Assange reams of information with little care and less concern over what Assange did with the stuff, for motives best known to himself.

                  He endangered hundreds if not thousands of US and allied citizens, recklessly and without any concern for their fates.

                  Calling Manning a whistleblower is like calling Jack the Ripper a person of interest.

                  As for wanting a lesser of two evils, I do not see it as a straight choice, black or white, Julia or Tony, life or death.

                  Manning could have done his “whistleblowing” far more selectively, and Assange was at one stage redacting and issuing selectively, until he became strapped for cash and more than a little paranoid.

                  You need to try harder with the comprehension, Hypo. I think I can see your school report cards now :

                  “Master Phobe must try harder in his English Comprehension.”

                  “Little Hypo has potential to be a good student if only he paid more attention in class”

                  LOL

                  Like

                  • Hypocritophobe February 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

                    :- [

                    Like

                    • paul walter February 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

                      Agreed, hypo.

                      Like

            • doug quixote February 19, 2013 at 12:25 am #

              And who the fuck is staying mum over Bush Blair and Howard! They should all be on trial in The Hague for starting an illegal war in Iraq.

              Like

      • paul walter February 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

        Yes, that could well apply to Anna Ardin and co.
        Alleged by who, that’s the question. Apart from whether committing an alleged crime is the same as committing a real one.
        Is an alleged crime a proven crime?

        Like

      • hudsongodfrey February 19, 2013 at 8:03 am #

        People aren’t here worshipping Pistorius, and I would suggest OJ Simpson is a pariah in Hollywood. Their victims were called Reeva and Nicole. I hope people don’t forget their names.

        So even when we’re not making separate rules for heros what we are doing is making them for power. They’re called diplomatic immunity and other such exemptions from justice extending officially or otherwise to Presidents, Prime Ministers and other politicians on occasions when the minor transgressions we choose to overlook include starting illegal wars. And I’m sorry but it just isn’t good enough!

        Like

    • redjos February 19, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      In fact Obama has tortured Manning for the last 3 years against all the legislation covering such situations in the US army – an abuse of power, human rights abuses, and holding Manning for so long before any sort of trial, either fair or otherwise.

      Fair it cannot be under the circumstances and Guantanamo is still operating!

      Mannie De Saxe

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 19, 2013 at 12:25 am #

        Best to remember this detail for quiz nights Redjos.
        Apparently;
        “Obama is the GOOD guy with the gun.”

        (He now has the photos to prove it.)
        **************************************************
        Politics has become, “oh well at least he/she is better than the other guy.”
        And we lose a slice of democracy each and every time we utter those words.
        We enable policies by stealth, which we would never normally tolerate.
        Somehow the dreamers think it will all be unravelled next time around.
        Democracy, to some, is going to a booth once every few years and after that sitting on your bum, biting your tongue till the next go.And if ‘your’ team is batting nothing they do could possibly be wrong.
        Scary really.

        Like

    • redjos February 19, 2013 at 12:10 am #

      A blood-stained cricket bat was found with her blood on it, and apparently her head had been bashed in already before the shooting.

      South Africa is a violent society and apparently Oscar was a collector of guns and was awaiting licensing for a new one.

      Mannie De Saxe

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe February 19, 2013 at 12:16 am #

        His family will crawl from denying he did it, to denying he could do it,to she must have asked for it as the evidence comes in.
        Still the media celebrate his life as though hers was expendable.

        All he needs to do now, is hire OJs lawyer.

        Like

        • jo wiseman February 19, 2013 at 10:15 am #

          He’s already hired Geoffrey Robertson among many others. OJs lawyer isn’t qualified to practise in the UK or Sweden.

          Like

          • hudsongodfrey February 19, 2013 at 10:43 am #

            Are pronouns confounding you or are you getting the wrong “he”?

            This had changed subject to Pistorius, whereas Assange has Geoffrey Roberston on his team I hadn’t head that of the so called Blade Runner.

            Like

          • Hypocritophobe February 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

            Jo,
            There’s a segue you missed up yonder with regards to Pistorius.
            Somehow I can’t imagine GR racing to defend Pistorius.

            Like

  30. paul walter February 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Here is a response to some dichtomous thinking, re Pistorius. Observing the down fall of Pistorius is a Shakespearian thing, the down fall of an exceptional public figure. It raises a separate set of legitimate and specific considerations for further thinking on the disabled, global media tabloidism and individual characteristic exhibited during an event.that create tragic outcomes.
    It does not preclude sympathy for Pistorius’ equally tragic girlfriend, but we know less of her, so simply haven’t commented.
    Assange of course can most likely double for Pistorius partner, with the the destruction of her similar to the paranoiac responses of controlly folk l ike Obama and Netanyahu.toward Assange.
    But,since we are doing Shakespeare, who bags Anna Ardin for the role of Iago in the Assange case?

    Like

  31. puzzles online games December 31, 2013 at 10:36 am #

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  1. Dutton’s message: torture works | No Place For Sheep - August 20, 2016

    […] Many angry critics have  described the film as CIA propaganda advocating torture, and accused Bigelow of making an immoral argument that torture works. That wasn’t my reading as I argue here. […]

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