WikiLeaks · @wikileaks

5th Aug 2012 from Twitlonger

Australia: Here is the rhetorical trick used by the Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon when abandoning Australians overseas.

1. Claim that Australia can't "interfere" with the formal judicial processes of another country. This is rarely what Australians in difficulty overseas are asking for. All nations are free to ask the executive of another nation to consider taking one step or another or to provide information. Ecuador has done it several times in the Assange case. It is the foreign executive that controls what applications are made to its courts and how its prisoners are treated. Asking an executive to consider taking a step does not challenge the independence of the judiciary, which is free to reject such steps, should the matter be truly judicial.

2. Claim that Australia can't act until there is an imprisonment, sentencing, trial, extradition or execution. In the Assange case there are already a number of legal processes underway in the United States (Grand Jury, FBI investigation, subpoena fights, Manning's case, and Assange's interventions in Manning's case) and in other countries (Iceland, Sweden, UK, Colombia, Ecuador). But Assange hasn't yet been formally changed in any of them.

The trick is to say that either these processes are not yet sufficiently formal for Australia to act, or to claim that Australia cannot interfere with a formal processes. This covers all possibilities. Isn't it magic?

For the U.S. A.G. Roxon says the processes are not formal enough to do anything. For Sweden she says they're too formal to do anything. Yet they are equivalent - Assange hasn't been publicly indicted in either country and is under "investigation" in both countries.

Using this rhetoric, Roxon, the PM, and senior bureaucrats are spared from doing anything, ever. Which is important. With the Australian Labor government sinking, it is the patronage they flatter in U.S. circles that will see them through the rough times out of government.

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