Deep thoughts from Senator Ludlam on Julian Assange


blog The personal blog of Greens Communications Spokesperson Scott Ludlam continues to be excellent value. Last week the Western Australian Senator took some time out to pen more than 1,300 thoughtful words on the potential future of maverick WikiLeaks activist Julian Assange, whose fate is very much in the hands of several global legal systems.

And unlike most of those who comment on the ever-controversial Assange, Ludlam very much knows what he is talking about here. The Senator actually travelled to both London and Sweden to observe the recent court proceedings of Assange’s case, and he is well-versed in the specific details of the laws which may see Assange end up in the hands of a vengeful US Government — and how Australia’s Government can prevent that from happening. Some of our favourite paragraphs from his rumination:

“The Australian Government has been slow to react to the possibility of the publishing organisation known as WikiLeaks being crushed by a wounded superpower, it still doesn’t appear to understand the threat of Mr Assange’s rendition to the US, and our Prime Minister appears mainly concerned with keeping her head down in the hope this will all go away.

The thing is, it won’t. Time is now very short. If Mr Assange ends up jailed in Sweden, Australia has the ability to repatriate him under the International Transfer of Prisoners (ITP) scheme. Australia must strongly insist that there will be no rendition to the US under the ‘temporary surrender’ mechanism.”

At this stage, Ludlam seems to be implying, we should be asking ourselves why the Federal Government hasn’t stirred itself to assist Assange, who is, after all, an Australian citizen. Clearly it has done so in other cases, such as the teeenager who was arrested in Malaysia with a small quantity of marijuana. Of course, the reason is probably fairly simple: Most Australians in difficulty overseas haven’t threatened the foundations of the modern state in the same way which Assange has. But then, perhaps that’s the kind of free thinking which we need more of in Australia’s fairly stolid (if highly stable) democracy.

Image credit: New Media Days, Creative Commons


  1. Even if you don’t like everything the Greens have to say (and as a paid-up member, I certainly don’t), you have to admire Scott Ludlam’s depth of thinking on many issues, especially those that affect or are affected by our hyperconnected society.

    I look forward to the day he is the leader of the Greens. Senators Brown and Milne should retire gracefully.

  2. I am inclined to believe Scott Ludlams interpretation of the Assange situation. As an American, It seems the United States government may well attempt to bring serious charges against him which would be disasterous not only for him, but also for Wikileaks and all of America. It seems that ever since 9/11, our goverment has narrowed the field of acceptable freedom of speech. Unfortunately the Patriot Act has been used against many anti-war groups, including dissidents who speak out about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who voice opinions that are contrary to those in charge. I thought we did have a constitution that allowed for freedom of speech, and not a punitive one that encouraged repression.
    Perhaps more Americans and supporters of Assange should work together to encourage the Australian government to do more than they have to keep Julian Assange out of the hands of the United States and not allow themselves to be bullied by the American government.

  3. Another example of how free speech is free speech, as long as you don’t piss off the yanks.

  4. The absurdness that the accusations against Assange is part of an American conspiracy must stop. It is just impossible to believe that Britain, America, Sweden and Australia are all working against Assange by framing him on accusations of rape. It isn’t surprising to see an elected official like Ludlam embraces a fringe idea.

      • I must say it’s a danger I never considered with condoms as birth control. Being taken to court by a girlfriend for rape if it breaks.

      • Denial has so far worked against Assange to get the accusations dismissed. This is two stories of a boy and a girl. Both stories have the same boy. Unfortunately for the boy the girls from both stories are upset for very similar reason.

  5. Julian Assange needs help from the Australian government right now! He has contributed enormously to World Peace on a global scale and won many awards for his efforts; yet he is facing the possibility of a corrupt and dishonest law system in Sweden or possibly the U.S. The world’s citizens support Julian Assange yet it is really embarrassing that our own Prime Minister has not made the effort yet to stand up for him and support the right to freedom of speech!

  6. I am ashamed of our gutless Prime Minister who is more intent on making us another state of the US than protecting our citizens. Julian Assange has broken no laws nor endangered anyone’s life. And that has been proved time and time again. The US has killed millions and still endangers the lives of our soldiers. And are not punished? How insane is that. As for the rape claim. he has not been charged and if every women who’s man woke her up with an erection or whose condom broke charged them with rape the world would be a sorry place. Personally when my man wakes me up with love, kisses and wanting me I feel loved, not raped.

    • If Assange did wake someone up with love, kisses and wanted to make that person feel loved he would be accused of rape. However, that is not what the accusations are about. If a person refuses copulations and the refused person forces copulation then that is rape. Feigning outrage in no way helps Assange address the issues that he is being accused of. What is starting to emerge in a indecision of whether or not to couple the accusations with a wider conspiracy. It kind of amusing.

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