Anna Chen – 31 July 2023
There’s something monumental and mythical about the Promethean figure of Julian Assange having his liver pecked out every day by the US eagle for taking information from the self-styled gods and giving it to us humans.
In Graeco-Roman mythology, Prometheus was the Titan who stole fire from the gods of Mount Olympus and passed it on to humanity, thereby earning their everlasting wrath. Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock to have his liver pecked out each day by an eagle. To prolong the agony, the liver grew back every night so his punishment could start all over again the next day.
It was the mark of small-minded vengeful deities given to spite, not the magnanimous forgiveness of the New Testament Bible, the purported bedrock of the One Nation Under God.
Without Assange & Chelsea Manning (now released), we’d never have known about the US killings of the Reuters journalists and their associates in Iraq. We would never have learnt there was no massacre in Tiananmen Square. Or a slew of more of the kind of information journalists are supposed to expose.
Australia now fails to defend its own citizen, who’d broken no Oz laws nor threatened its democracy. (Assange actually held back information that risked lives.) It has humiliatingly buckled under Blinken’s renewed persecution of his helpless quarry in this vicious fox-hunt: the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable.
A democracy can only exist if its populace is given accurate information with which to make informed choices at the ballot box. This clearly isn’t happening. Instead, the people trying to keep us informed are threatened with death by the state or actually killed. Blinken’s snub to Australia’s subdued pleas for an end to Assange’s prosecution exposes the unequal relationship between the US and its vassal states.
Australia’s once-excellent trading relationship with China is in tatters, while the US scoops up the lost deals. It’s been dragged into America’s jealous war with an upcoming rival at enormous cost and jeopardy. And now it can’t even defend its own.
If the UK is Airstrip One, what does that make Australia?