HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » Definition of paranoia: s...

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 08:05 PM

Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange

The right does not have a monopoly on paranoia, as the conspiratorial fantasies of the backers of Julian Assange show
Nick Cohen
The Observer, Saturday 23 June 2012

... The right does not have a monopoly on paranoia, as the conspiratorial fantasies of supporters of Julian Assange show. Glenn Greenwald, Glenn Beck's namesake and mirror image on the American left, made it embarrassingly obvious in the Guardian last week that a paranoid "leftist" defence of an alleged rapist was the order of the day. Greenwald argued that Assange was not a coward who dare not face his Swedish accusers but a true dissident, who was camping out in the Ecuadorean embassy because he had a genuine fear of persecution. America "would be able to coerce Sweden into handing him over far more easily than if he were in Britain", he explained.

It was a small country "generally more susceptible to American pressure and bullying". The poor man did not know that Britain has a notoriously lax extradition treaty with the United States, which the liberal-minded have condemned for almost a decade. Nor did he blink at what must be the crankiest request for refugee status ever. Assange is the first asylum seeker to claim persecution at three removes. He wants to renounce his Australian citizenship and become an Ecuadorean because (and you may have to bear with me) the Australian government failed to help him fight an attempt by the British government to extradite to him to Sweden, whose government may, at some undefined point, extradite him to the United States or maybe not, because there is no extradition request ...

Reasonable doubt cannot stay the tongues of Ken Loach, Tariq Ali, Jemima Khan, Naomi Wolf, John Pilger and their comrades. They lament western wickedness with the reliability of professional mourners. For them, America is a demonic empire with supernatural power and reach. The constraints that bind ordinary nations cannot contain it. I refuse to call their conspiracy theories "leftwing," and not only because most of the British liberal left behaved honourably during the WikiLeaks affair. Hofstadter's caution needs to be remembered too paranoia turns everything it touches to dirt. The professed principles of sufferers are no exception. The American right's hatred of immigrants makes a nonsense of its belief in free markets, which require the free movement of labour. Its opposition to gun control makes its claims to be tough on crime equally ridiculous. Mutatis mutandis, the leftwing defenders of Assange are equally willing to destroy their own beliefs.

Conservatives throw around the phrase "leftwing feminist". They do not understand that although most feminists are on the left, it is far from clear that all leftwingers are feminist. If the indulgence of Islamists who believe that divine law mandates the subjugation of women did not convince you on this point, the treatment of Assange's alleged victims ought to make you think again. Some of Assange's supporters say that the women have no right to put allegations of sexual abuse before a competent court. Instead, they denounce them as "feminazis" in language so extreme that the women's lawyer said his clients were "the victims of a crime, but they are looked upon as the perpetrators". I doubt that posterity will recall much that Assange said. But it ought to remember his assertion that "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism". In one sentence, Assange encapsulated the special pleading and misogyny of a rotten "progressive" culture ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/nick-cohen-julian-assange-paranoia?newsfeed=true

16 replies, 2721 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange (Original post)
struggle4progress Jun 2012 OP
freshwest Jun 2012 #1
tblue Jun 2012 #2
struggle4progress Jun 2012 #3
EFerrari Jun 2012 #6
OnyxCollie Jun 2012 #7
EFerrari Jun 2012 #8
Daniellesbian Jun 2012 #10
Kaleko Jun 2012 #4
OnyxCollie Jun 2012 #5
Daniellesbian Jun 2012 #9
EFerrari Jun 2012 #11
Daniellesbian Jun 2012 #15
treestar Jun 2012 #12
Daniellesbian Jun 2012 #13
treestar Jun 2012 #14
Daniellesbian Jun 2012 #16

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 08:30 PM

1. Interesting list of characters. Bookmarking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 09:20 PM

2. Nothing like a broad-brush generalization.

The writer seems to have a need to put everybody down.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tblue (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 09:30 PM

3. ... "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism," he said. "I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary

feminism" ...

WikiLeaks founder baffled by sex assault claims

by: Marie Colvin
From: The Sunday Times
December 27, 2010 12:00AM

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/wikileaks/wikileaks-founder-baffled-by-sex-assault-claims/story-fn775xjq-1225976459286

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tblue (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 11:26 PM

6. Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen is a columnist for the Observer and New Statesman. He writes occasional pieces for many other publications, including the London Evening Standard and New Humanist. Cruel Britannia, a collection of his journalism, was published by Verso in 1999, and Pretty Straight Guys, a history of Britain under Tony Blair, was published by Faber in 1999. Our Friends on the Left, an examination of agonies, idiocies and compromises of mainstream liberal thought will be published by 4th Estate in 2006.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to EFerrari (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 11:38 PM

7. A step up from Newsmax.

Or maybe a step on the way down to Newsmax.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 24, 2012, 01:56 AM

8. That's next. Or maybe World Nut Daily. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tblue (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 01:08 AM

10. Nothing like a broad-brush generalization -- indeed.

Last edited Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:16 AM - Edit history (1)

The comparison of award-winning investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald to loudmouth Glenn Beck and his speculative "charts" is silliness. I remember well when Greenwald's name was gold, when he was exposing "Scooter" Libby. Clearly this article is meant to stigmatize those who share the well-founded concern that the regime whose second-in-command called a Assange a "high-tech terrorist" haven't just dropped it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 10:50 PM

4. Garbage going straight to the trash. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Sat Jun 23, 2012, 10:54 PM

5. Definition of authoritarian: struggle4progress.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 12:50 AM

9. Just because you're paranoid ...

"Many commentators have been dismissive of Assange's claims he is at risk of politically-motivated United States espionage charges. ...

Against this background it is reasonable to ask just what evidence there is of a US desire and indeed intention to prosecute Assange.

The short answer is a great deal of evidence from the public statements of the US government, Australian diplomatic reports released to Fairfax Media under freedom-of-information laws, and disclosures in the pre-court martial proceedings concerning US Army private Bradley Manning who faces 22 charges, including the most serious one of "aiding the enemy" by disclosing classified military information. There has never been that much secrecy about the US government's determination to pursue WikiLeaks. ...

US Attorney-General Eric Holder told a Washington press conference that the Justice Department was pursuing "an active, ongoing criminal investigation" into WikiLeaks.

"This is not saber-rattling," Mr Holder said. "To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law . . . they will be held responsible.""

http://www.smh.com.au/world/are-assanges-fears-justified-20120622-20u6i.html


"Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you" ~Nirvana

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Daniellesbian (Reply #9)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:16 AM

11. Welcome to DU, Danielle. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to EFerrari (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 01:33 AM

15. yAy ~! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:13 AM

12. This gets more and more interesting, as it may be that the US does not even have a case:

From the link:

More pertinently, Greenwald and the rest of Assange's supporters do not tell us how the Americans could prosecute the incontinent leaker. American democracy is guilty of many crimes and corruptions. But the First Amendment to the US constitution is the finest defence of freedom of speech yet written. The American Civil Liberties Union thinks it would be unconstitutional for a judge to punish Assange.

The authorities can threaten the wretched Bradley Manning and hold him in solitary confinement because he was a serving soldier when he passed information to Assange. But WikiLeaks was in effect a newspaper. From the 1970s, when the New York Times printed the Pentagon Papers, to today's accounts of secret prisons and the bugging of US citizens, the American courts "have made clear that the First Amendment protects independent third parties who publish classified information". Maybe the authorities could prosecute Assange for alleged links with hackers. I don't know unlike Assange, I cannot see the future. But why would they bother to imprison him when he is making such a good job of discrediting himself?


Very possible there is not even a thing to be afraid of - he may not have even violated a US law - and there's no charge pending and no request for extradition, and Sweden is less likely to extradite him to the US than the UK is - it's all BS to avoid a condom charge in Sweden (and get attention).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:26 PM

13. i HOPE you're right

... about intent, and ability, to prosecute. Did the regime whose second-in-command has labeled Assange a "high-tech terrorist" just drop it? They should just come out and SAY SO.

"US Attorney-General Eric Holder told a Washington press conference that the Justice Department was pursuing "an active, ongoing criminal investigation" into WikiLeaks.

"This is not saber-rattling," Mr Holder said. "To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law . . . they will be held responsible.""

They have seemed keen on criminalizing possible communications between Manning and Assange. "(T)he First Amendment to the US constitution is the finest defence of freedom of speech yet written" -- indeed, but just as Nixon tried to, there is real concern that the current bunch may seek to do real damage to that finest defense.

They should just come out and say they are not seeking to prosecute, rather than have foreign officials make statements of classic "plausible denaibility".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Daniellesbian (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 05:31 PM

14. They can't criminalize anything that was not already a crime

They would have to have a crime to charge and the usual grounds for charging it. And to win a conviction, have evidence for it. That would not be easy given the international nature of it. And look at how generously our law allows people who leaked even classified documents to a newspaper not to suffer any penalty.

Holder properly stated "to the extend we find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law" - it is his job to look into it and if he finds something or doesn't, would not make it wrong for it to be considered.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to treestar (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 01:41 AM

16. Then why not just say so?

We have undertaken a grand jury investigation and have made many, official, public statements regarding the criminality of the actions of the news publisher, WikiLeaks, and its editor, Julian Assange. We have found no grounds on which to prosecute a credible case. -- I might accept that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread