blog Remember how Mastercard and VISA blockaded donations to whistleblower site WikiLeaks, cutting off the organisation’s main source of funds in a move which appeared designed to hobble the site and the activities of its maverick founder Julian Assange before they got too far out of hand? Well, that activity is still ongoing, and outspoken Crikey writer Bernard Keane has dug into why. According to Keane (and as usual, we recommend you click here for the full article), part of the problem is that the card groups are still relying on outdated comments by Australia’s Federal Government:
“Giant US financial intermediary Visa is partly relying on the Gillard government’s claims that WikiLeaks acted “illegally” to justify its ongoing financial blockade of the whistleblower and media outlet, new material obtained by WikiLeaks has revealed.”
Given that the statements by then-Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Prime Minister Julia Gillard about Assange’s supposed criminality have been discredited by the Australian Federal Police, which has said there is no evidence that Assange has broken Australian law with his activities, it seems incumbent upon the Federal Government to issue a new statement on the situation. The Assange camp certainly appears to feel like something should be done — after all, it’s still debating suing Gillard for defamation. Perhaps it’s time for a Prime Ministerial mea culpa? Or at least a token effort by the current AG, Nicola Roxon? Fair go, Labor.