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Sat Sep 1, 2012, 08:56 AM

The Nation: For Julian Assange, Justice Foreclosed


For Julian Assange, Justice Foreclosed

JoAnn Wypijewski
August 29, 2012


Every once in a while, a situation arises that so completely captures the spirit of the time—in this case, the horror moving like an amoeba under the surface of our pleasant days, our absurd distractions, our seemingly serious politics—that ordinary assumptions, ordinary arguments and their limited conclusions serve only to obliterate honesty, and so any hope of grappling with the real. Such is the case of Julian Assange now.

He is the wanted man. Wanted for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings, ostensibly on sexual misconduct allegations in Sweden, but maybe not; maybe on charges of espionage or conspiracy in the United States instead; maybe to face indefinite detention, maybe torture or life in prison. It’s so hard to know… But one thing is not mysterious: the law is no more capable of delivering justice in his case today than it was for a black man alleged to have raped a white woman in the Jim Crow South.

I am not comparing the founder of WikiLeaks, a white man benefiting from not only white-skin privilege and straight-man privilege but also class and celebrity privilege, with black men on the other side of a lynch mob. This is not about the particulars of oppression; it is about the political context of law, the limits of liberal expectations and the monstrosity of the state.

Liberals have no trouble generally acknowledging that in those rape cases against black men, the reasoned application of law was impossible. It was impossible because justice was impossible, foreclosed not by the vagaries of this white jury or that bit of evidence but by the totalizing immorality of white supremacy that placed the Black Man in a separate category of human being, without common rights and expectations. A lawyer might take a case if it hadn’t been settled by the mob, but the warped conscience of white America could do nothing but warp the law and make of its rituals a sham. The Scottsboro Boys might have been innocent or they might have been guilty; it didn’t matter, because either way the result would be the same. ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thenation.com/article/169632/julian-assange-justice-foreclosed#



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Reply The Nation: For Julian Assange, Justice Foreclosed (Original post)
marmar Sep 2012 OP
xchrom Sep 2012 #1
Cleita Sep 2012 #2
bemildred Sep 2012 #4
leveymg Sep 2012 #3
snot Sep 2012 #5
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #6
polly7 Sep 2012 #7
idwiyo Sep 2012 #8
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #9

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 08:59 AM

1. du rec. Nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 09:11 AM

2. Thank you for putting this up here before

the DU Assange hit squad arrives, who have already decided to be jury, judge and executioner, when the emerging facts of the case indicate that they probably don't have one.

About the state, though, there must be no illusions. A nation that goes to war on fraud, that insists “We don’t torture” when evidence to the contrary abounds, that kidnaps foreign nationals and puts them on planes to be delivered to dungeons, that spies on its people, asserts its right to lock them up indefinitely and lets documented CIA torturers off the hook of accountability because they were only following orders: that nation will plot, and it will double-cross, and it will kill. Sweden participated in the US program of extraordinary rendition. The United Kingdom has threatened to storm Ecuador’s embassy. The United States now says it does not recognize the historic right of persons to seek diplomatic asylum. Assange’s lawyers have said that he will go to Sweden if he gets an absolutely firm guarantee from the Obama administration that it will not arrest him. Such a guarantee is impossible in an empire of lies.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 10:33 AM

4. "that nation will plot, and it will double-cross, and it will kill"

And that is an observable fact, we brag about it publically, when it suits us, so one has to be a fool or gullible to assume otherwise.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 09:22 AM

3. There's an apt term for loss of individual identity within the warfare state: Creeping Meatballism

It thrives wherever people crowd together for safety and the comfort of approval. It's everywhere, and it's been growing since the 1950s. Those who try to disturb or resist it are usually slimed and liquidated.



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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 12:19 PM

5. K&R'd.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 01:53 PM

6. It's another muddled and fact-free Assangist hallucination: the foregone conclusion,

implicit in the text from the beginning, unsupported by anything particular, except the author's unbreakable conviction that Assange is a very great man, who is being done a very great wrong

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 02:24 PM

7. Good article, thank-you for posting it. nt.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 07:50 PM

8. K&R! Thank you for posting this article.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Sep 2, 2012, 11:26 PM

9. Wypijewski's piece shows just how much analytical power the Left has lost, by abandoning

historical materialism in favor of smug rhetorical tricks

"The law" (Wypijewski smirks) "is no more capable of delivering justice in <Assange's> case today than it was for a black man alleged to have raped a white woman in the Jim Crow South." She adds: "I am not comparing the founder of WikiLeaks .. with black men on the other side of a lynch mob." But she does make exactly that comparison, at the same time she denies it: "The Scottsboro Boys might have been innocent or they might have been guilty; it didn’t matter, because either way the result would be the same." This dishonest gambit is called apophasis -- and it never adds anything of value to a discussion

The Scottsboro defendants were nine black hobos, riding a freight through Alabama in the early spring of 1931. The youngest was twelve and none was as old as twenty. They were accused of rape and, going to trial within two weeks, all but the youngest was sentenced to death almost immediately by the jury

They were, in fact, lucky not to have been lynched soon after they disembarked the train, having been protected first by the sheriff and later by the National Guard. From 1921 to 1930, there were at least 275 lynchings in the US -- and 90% of the victims were black. It is sometimes tempting to gloss that long ugly thread of Americana, simply as the unkind treatment of a minority group by the majority -- but an examination of the class interests involved shows something else: Jim Crow was an economic system. Antebellum slavery had provided easily-identifiable underclass to exploit and had mystified the exploitation with an elaborate racial ideology. Jim Crow later retained both the underclass and the mythologies used to justify its exploitation, although legal slavery itself was replaced by other forms, such as share-cropping, debt-bondage, and prisoner chain-gang labor. Like slavery before it, Jim Crow depended on violence and unequal protection of the laws. The lynching of black Americans, always without consequence for the perpetrators, was not simply a matter of white people being unpleasant to blacks: it served a distinct purpose in the economic structure, conveying a message to the underclass that their lives simply did not count and that resistance could lead only to pain and death. The violence of the Jim Crow lynchings was a result of carefully-crafted hatred, but it was not merely a result of hatred: it was also an explosive result of the psychological tensions and contradictions required to maintain the irrational ideological views associated with the entire system of oppression

Comparisons with the Assange affair are ridiculous and become more distasteful each time Wypijewski makes such a comparison while simultaneously disavowing the comparison. If Assange's case had resembled in any way the experience of the Scottsboro Nine, he would already have been sentenced to death twice by now

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