Julian Assange the Gathering citizen
The assessment is temporary, since whatever he might be, liberated, kept in prison or anywhere else, for a long time to come, minds will remain by him haunted. His borderless achievements cover vast areas; thanks to whistleblowers who were the first to pay the price for their actions, he has shaken state powers throughout the world. He mobilized against him and WikiLeaks a shovelful of Western secret services, the denounced crimes leading to other types of crimes, unvealing as never before the judicial institutions dependancy on a reason of State which has become so meaningless that Machiavelli and even Hobbes (note 1) would despise the subterfuge ; despite of him, he shed harsh light on what is now painful to call the news media, and projected a pale light on regimes associated with a notion more distant from its etymology than the words in all the dictionaries combined : contemporary democratic regimes.
Assange all categories combined
From the United States to Iraq to Thailand, from Sweden to Egypt to Sudan, from the United Kingdom to Ecuador to Brazil, from France to Algeria, a myriad of territories are affected by the revelations he has conveyed. The consequences are unfathomable. Many planet inhabitants have seen and felt the effects, often beneficial for their democratic struggles, but also dramatic for some of them. The effects are global and very localized at the same time. For example, the Algerians who have been pounding the pavement since February 2019, bring in their pockets the evidence of the Bouteflika clan's schemes. Algeria-watch.org naturally drew on WikiLeaks' publications, which also explicits former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's clemency towards a dictatorship which financed her foundation. Julian Assange is an ally for Algerians, whether they are masons, civil servants, workers or oil refineries middle managers.
During pro-Assange actions, actors, carpenters, office workers, presidents, computer engineers, overworked journalists, tireless women active since 1968, young teachers, first, second and Xth generations of immigrants all together share the same goal. Among them a majority of women devote their energy, in France at least. Perhaps do they more easily understand the farce of this so called « rape » ; explanation among others. People take from Assange what they perceive of him, or what they are willing to see through him. The WikiJustice collective sees it first and foremost as a man whose fundamental rights are trampled on despite national and international laws and conventions. Our edition sees in him exemplary ethics, or at least it uses him as a means to put ethical concerns back into politics, which through exacerbated criminality in the name of counter-terrorism, make ethics sink downto limbo. Others take Julian Assange as a hacker comrade ; others as a symbol of freedom, a « hero ». Newspapers headlines inherited from WikiLeaks are unnumbered, as well as the resulting income ; some lawyers reduced Julian Assange subject to their current hobbyhorse, freedom of press.
We have our own horses of battle, too. One of them is to turn upside down the Kantian categories. Oh, nothing much theoretical ; simple case : when President Macron vilifies « French jealousy » in 2017, he just adds up a categorical stratum to the pre-existing stacking. Mentioning Emmanuel Kant who reworked the Aristotle or Plato concepts, simply helps deconstructing the deeper layers of the as old as earth « divide and rule » leitmotiv, backed by causes that are sometimes understandable, but are most of the time orchestrated for the sole purpose of preserving power (more comments in the appendix). If Julian Assange helps us to break down these artificial barriers, it is not only through his actions and collateral effects, but also through his undetermined character aspects, political on one side (his ethics are more apparent than his political vision), personal or intimate on another side.
The child tossed around among 37 schools, God knows which ones, only appears in the registers at the age of 16. With or without his elementary diplomas, he enters university to study computer science. His public life begins at that time, his singular childhood letting us imagine his social or mind shaping backgrounds. This gap period is quite poorly illustrated through anecdotes and testimonies from family or friends. Assange is generally described by « he was this », « he did that », very rarely by « at such date in such location he did this, he told me that when I was at that time doing... ». From this point of view, his public period, which starts up gradually from the age of 26, only marks a relative break. So that he is perceived especially through his framed interviews, or through his collective rather than individual actions ; the « co-founder » of WikiLeaks is accompanied by changing and rarely appointed collaborators, with whom the unavoidable dissensions are never questioned in situ. When they are commented, they are from the outside. Like the ones from James Ball hired by the Guardian after three month work within WikiLeaks. He expresses his point of view as if he was a long term collaborator with the here-after legitimacy to value his harshly critical opinions about the WikiLeaks decision process. Ask any manager how far this is absurd ; except Guardian’s, of course.
The fabliaux about the Swedish affair and Assange's alleged collusion with the Russian government returned by their own to their fictional status, too smoothly and without publicity ; on that matter the highly questionable legal-team strategy brings their responsibility high up the stairs.
Finally, to make their own idea of who is Julian Assange, people have in hands his actions and their consequences, which we consider largely beneficial, but from which it is impossible for us to identify Julian Assange's individual part. The lack of curiosity of journalists is an aggravating factor in this respect.
Julian Assange gathers beyond words
Stupefaction. Such is our reaction while finding out that Julian Assange had a « mentor ». His function? Director of WikiLeaks. When was his relationship with WikiLeaks announced by the New York Times? The day after his death, October 23, 2016. His name is Gavin MacFadyen.
Pause. Rewind. Julian Assange had a « mentor » who was the « beloved director of WikiLeaks » according to the tweet written by Julian Assange himself.
It is preceded at 1:39 am by a message entitled « A bloody year for WikiLeaks ». John Jones, died in April 2016; Michael Ratner on May 11, Mac Fadyen on October 23. Exhaustiveness is not guaranteed; because ethics forbids them to add the Democratic Party employee Seth Rich, murdered in July 2016, possible source of the DNC Leaks ; recently published elements go into this direction. The « bloody year » does not really fit the cause of the « short illness » tweeted according to RT USA (« but that line has now been removed ») by his wife Susan Benn, which does not match the « lung cancer » finally retained. Having published a paper in the form of an « Obituary » on November 6, The Guardian depicts MacFadyen as a « WikiLeaks ally » excluded from title and introduction ; the macabre series hitting WikiLeaks' relatives do not hurt the editor, nor does the conjunction of his death with the political and media storm triggered by the DNC leaks in a country focused on the American presidential elections.
A journalist from the Muckrock US website does not let the British phlegm drown her; Emma Best follows the FOIA (*) procedure triggered to obtain valuable FBI information about Gavin MacFadyen's juvenile peregrinations. For several decades, thousands of MacFadyen-stamped FBI files landed on the desk of Director Edgar P. Hoover, a tiny portion of which was declassified in 2017. Beyond his academic period in Chicago in 1962, while his leadership skills were embedded in socialist or Trotskyist movements, let us focus on two key facts. First, the FBI is puzzled by Gavin MacFadyen's filiation, based on an attached form in which Dr. Douglas MacFadyen is described as a « stepfather ». In other words, the US services supposed to be the better informed inwards, is not able to solve contradictions among official ID documents, wondering who is the genetic father of a man they are tracking with concern. Second, the « study tour » planned by student Gavin MacFadyen reported by the FBI is worthy of a head of State tour. From Australia to Belgium to Sweden, the sixteen countries listed bear witness of a young man avid of discoveries who will, unsurprisingly, become the prolific investigative journalist focused on the worst war zones, founder of the CIJ training centre for fear free reporters, and end up as Julian Assange's mentor inside WikiLeaks. It's a dam that the media neglect such passionate characters ; they are missing opportunities to sell themselves better, for sure. The question of what kind of guide Gavin MacFadyen was for Assange is probably less lapidary than the statement of the editors of Veterans Today, who, without revealing their motivations, write their collective conviction that he has been a MI6 agent « for a very long time ». As we told you, placing people into categories does not satisfy us.
* : The FOIA, Freedom Of Information Act, is a legal process for declassifying State documents deemed confidential.
When Assange attracts Trotskyist fringes
The a-partisan pacifist Julian Assange is not really supported by the social democrats, the neocons (except when Donald Trump finds his own interests), the tories, the right sided, the communists... But there is an organization well-known from twitter followers of @Unity4J or @AssangeMrs, whose omnipresence within the defense of Julian Assange contrasts with the non-engagement of the political parties ; its name is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and wears an Anglo-Saxon Trotskyist trend, in the sense that they do not share tangible affinities with historical European Trotskyist parties. Since 1998, the SEP's information organ communicates through wsws.org, namely the World Socialist Web Site. Often cited alongside WikiLeaks' official defence structures, its presence is singular in several respects: it does not match either Julian Assange's apolitical character, nor the defend.wikileaks.org which for instance, is in direct contact with the clearly liberal Leigh Bureau.
Through their publications about WikiLeaks lawyers, the traditional « class struggle » style grid analysis is difficult to perceive. Yet we have recently shown how the perfect fit of Daughty Street Chambers' lawyers with the political-media system skews Julian Assange's defence strategy ; the interview with lawyer Jennifer Robinson on August 9 in Melbourne, for example, does not question at all the strange decision to abandon the appeal challenging the 50 weeks jail Assange sentence. The decline of critical thinking definitely attaints the most informed intellectuals. Citizens' defence collectives, struggling to find institutional support, can only welcome the involvement of such a solid and internationally established structure; and ordinary citizens left or right sided who are surprised or embarrassed by it, probably ignore that Karl Marx was at first a philosophical tool useful for marxists as well as capitalists.
In any case, it is an undeniable Julian Assange’s success for having reconciled the opposites against the elementary principles of the Cold War, even if it has lost its former consistency.
Lawyers, media, Julian Assange and the horizon
Certain isolated facts are worth the more solid bundles of presumption; one of them deserves to be repeated, completed and hammered: the famous abandonment of the appeal of July 18 by the defence of Julian Assange, detailed in The ghost lawyers... Released by major Anglo-Saxon press companies, the information was not even taken up by the newspaper Le Monde, the French reference concerning international domains ; scepticism, reluctance, indifference or embarrassed silence, the range is large. Not contesting the prison sentence currently undergone by Julian Assange has the major consequence that the appeal hearing scheduled in October will not take place ; a missed opportunity for exciting dialogues between lawyers and judges, press conferences and related media reports, together with citizen mobilization. As if the media silence wasn't heavy enough. Fourty days later, the lawyers have still not commented on the decision. Only one man made this possible, the editor of WikiLeaks Kristin Hrafnsson, who confirmed the news on July 19 (CN live video, 6th minute) in place of the defenders empowered to do so : the lawyers. The decision is difficult to revoke though ; well, lawyers know better. But the Julian Assange's apology letter, pretendly sent the same day, nothing prevents from contesting it. More than that, it is null and meaningless. Because all the statements that have since been talked out by all Julian Assange's relatives, before and after July 18, testify the deterioration of his state of health, while as early as June 14, he was officially declared unable to reason properly. Unless lawyer Per Samuelson words were denied by the judges, with evidence to support it ? The denial of this letter can only be done through the most direct judicial channels ; the responsible fellows let the logics of the decision unexplained ; and there is still missing any official medical statement about Julian Assange’s health. The media gente did not question these incongruities, not to say scandal.
Looking backwards, Julian Assange's accomplishment in this area is a masterpiece. The who’s who of the editors in chief offering to our eyes, gathered in conventicle with their heads down into sandpit, forming a circular hedge of rears in sight, held bent by the firm hands of the financial army of Z X Y foundations managers, smoking with the right hand their cigar lit by the assistants supposed to govern their territories.
Though it is not guaranteed that the beloved MacFadyen would be at his side, we are convinced that one day, as late as possible of course, Julian Assange, refuged in this part of Olympus where reigns the goddess Poliad Protectress of the Cities, would contemplate besides Jerome Bosch the painter, with a shared delightful relish, the masterpiece of the century.
The limits of the gathering around Julian
Paradoxically, Assange's family has difficulty gathering at his bedside when he needs it most. Those who are genetically or intimately closest, to begin with. His mother did not come from Australia. Her son conceived with the musician Leif Meynel (or Leif Hamilton depending on sources), Assange’s half-brother, was not heard of. His biological father John Shipton visited him, that's right. But separated from his mother before his birth, he is said to have met his son only once or twice, three times from now on ? The other half-brother, son of John S., who visited Julian in Belmarsh and witnessed at Roger Waters' concert, was up to now not known to either Eve or Adam. Not sure that the vague relationship they had with Julian Assange, makes them the ones that he was expecting to meet for comforting exchange. The mother of her French daughter and her daughter herself were not heard of for a long time. Family is what's left when the sky comes down on you. And quite frankly, we are extremely sad to know that he could not get the comfort of the people closest to him.
But who knows who Julian Assange feels closest to ? The message and picture of him alongside Gavin MacFadyen published after his death, make Gavin a possible adoptive father with whom Julian Assange found real comfort and joy. MacFadyen's highly questionable role within WikiLeaks, in relation to his Curriculum Vitae, unfortunately draws a huge doubt as to the full reciprocity of their relationship ; Gavin, for sure, will not visit him.
Note 1: In The Prince, Machiavelli justifies the gap between popular and state morality through the necessary power practice conditions. We believe that the current gap is shattering these already highly questionable conditions. The Machiavellian reason of State, for example, was radically challenged by Emmanuel Kant ; his very interesting arguments add up to the necessity of taking problems to their roots.
Today the appendix part is more central than ever, as several important elements were just found by our collective nébuleuse.
First : Continuation of Family related chapter
During his adolescent hacking period, Mendax (Julian Assange) was mainly working with Trax and Prime Suspect, the three of them being finally caught by the Australian police. Their common fate can be considered as shaping a hacking family. Eight month ago, an Australian citizen tried to provide proof that he was the so called Prime Suspect. He claimed he decided to stop hiding his identity in order to permit Julian Assange to contact him. This can be explained while Assange has no internet connection since 2016.
Rodney Lomax sent a letter to the Ecuadorian embassy : « Dear Julian, It has been far too long my young friend », « I have still been working in the shadow as a passenger in my train, a very educational journey ». The « political pressure » would push him to provide his help to Julian. His multiple posts show both the effort to bring clues about his hacking related identity, and his fight against Australian government which he considers not respecting elementary democratic rules. His last message was posted few days after the Assange April 13 kidnapping. Born in 1960, his age is 5 to 10 years older than Prime Suspect pretended age in the various Assange biographies, but this does not prove anything. Hiding his age could have been a protection.
The Australian police knows the Prime Suspect identity. If Rodney Lomax is not Prime Suspect, it should be straightforward for them to deny it. Australian citizens have means to interrogate Australian authorities. And this guy might need some kind of help from other citizens.
Prima Appendix : The concert - testimony of September 2 in London
Roger Waters' initiative, his direct and improvised speech is to be saluted. His call to relearn the collective elaboration rejoices us, as do his energizing and empowering interpellations. He talks to us from his position of committed artist and we heard him perfectly. We did not get the same perception from the very poor intervention of the journalist John Pilger, who had the legitimacy of a political, ethical and intimate speech, in a context where media exposure is rare ; skeptical we are about the choice of the organizational team to place the Don't extradite Julian Assange banner, which we would have written Restaure Justice, Free Assange immediately. We would have liked to ask Roger Waters the question: « Is Rock'n Roll such dead, that you find yourself alone defending a persecuted man who has contributed and still contributes to unveiling crime in its most inconceivable forms ? », and explore with him the field opened by his relevant musical register choice.
At the end of the concert, John Pilger answers Russian journalists: « I don't expect him in the short term to get out of there, but he's got good lawyers that are working to change the regime... ». Don't worry, they are not working to change the political regime, but the prison regime that is slowly killing him. How are they trying, we still haven't understood it. He also reports Assange's point of view during his visit : « Julian himself said, this is not just about him, this is about an attack on free speech, basic freedoms… ». Is this the only important thing Julian Assange told him, impossible to say, but these reported statements fully converge with the defense line of the « good lawyers » whom John Pilger expressly trusts. Here is the artist Ai Weiwei’s statement after his Assange visit in June : « … today it’s very much like a person holding the last straw [and] worried about his life » ; holding the last last straw, would Julian still discuss free speech ?
Following Pilger’s footsteps in front of the microphones, WikiLeaks editor Kristin Hrafnsson says that defending Assange means acting « in the interests of everyone, democracy and press freedom ». At the risk of repeating ourselves, Assange is in a critical situation not because freedom of the press is in danger, but because it is already muzzled to the point of alternating ethical errors with inexplicable silences regarding the handling of the Assange case. The mythical music of the Pink Floyd is followed by the same haunting lullaby that has been played for weeks. Did you hear how wrong it sounds ?
Prima'prim Appendix: Writing to Julian, a tough job
Everyone remembers the pile of mail spread under the Assange's cell bed at the end of the stolen video. We know one thing, they are not those of those who wisely followed the instructions of the writejulian.com site, recommended via some official twitter accounts.
The instruction is clear : write the recipient's name and date of birth, no more and no less, « Address your letter exactly as above ». Well, that's not true. The prisoner number is mandatory. Very poorly informed, the authors of the site are nevertheless quick to act. Dated 15 April, the site was created two days after Julian Assange's kidnapping. We give a call (sound below), and the Belmarsh's receptionist makes it clear that without prisoner ID number, the letter is not delivered. Meanwhile few days ago, the error was still in site. Did you hear those who produced that massive mistake or diffused it without cross-check, apologize ?
There are things happening in the air. Did you hear that resonance ?
In France more than elsewhere, the entry ticket to the higher social categories is the diploma. In order to appreciate it, one must go back to the Napoleonic era, which marked the definitive victory of the bourgeoisie over the aristocracy and the popular will. The Grandes Ecoles are created to train the elite of a Republic under construction. The effectiveness of the corporations invested in the republican adventure is reflected in the 19th century industrial revolution but also in the colonial administration, and the resulting accumulation of wealth. Learning conditions strengthen the skills acquired in an ever-increasing dynamic of specialization within a « positivist » approach that will eventually rhyme with « reductionist ». Beyond skills, the Grandes Écoles promote networking, which means that competence requirements are slowly being replaced by cooptation closer and closer from what we call « copinage ». Mutual trust, loyalty and complicity are qualities that increasingly exceed the qualities of the acquired knowledge and the diploma. « Montrer patte blanche » is not a vain expression (not too far from « showing one’s credentials ») ; graduates from « working-class neighbourhoods » know something about it, especially if their non-white origins are readable. But whether or not one is accepted by the seraglio, the feeling (inscribed in the statistical institutes) of belonging to the « upper social categories » provides a feeling of superiority that induces a mental distantiation, to different degrees and among other factors obviously. The legitimacy of this feeling of superiority has always been questionable (on what criteria? Which « intelligence », what is the « work value » ? Who judges the nature or usefulness of work ?... ), but today it is less legitimate than ever, more and more harmful in that it fosters moralism and condescension from one population side downwards others ; the resulting blindness, in a situation where human rights are attacked within democratic states, becomes a huge problem.
And we come to the question of yellow vests, which by their omnipresence in Julian Assange's defence actions London May 2d, and in France systematically, require twice to be talked about. What else than a despising and moralizing distantiation from a section of the population can best explain the lack of reaction to the on-going government repression, which many of us do not hesitate to describe as state terror ? The policies that caused the anger expressed on the street have since been aggravated and intensified the attacks to dignity, source of the rebellion start. The recipe is simple : light a fire, throw oil on top.
There is a bunch of categorical distortions besides media myopia. The demand for decency, self-respect and respect for others is one of the driving forces behind the yellow vests. This is why they can not be classified professionally-wise. Profession or social status is a second order criteria, not prime. Like Julian Assange, yellow vests are much better defined by the observation of their collective action* (with an ethical rather than political content, which is reflected in the media criticisms that highlight the illegibility of their political claims) than by any categorization. One example : our governors try to privatize the beneficiary airport networks without any convincing financial nor strategical argument. Yellow vests contest it as they require understandable decisions at first. These are common sense ethics more than politics, right.
The benevolent « thinkers » who urge the yellow jackets to « organize » were mostly unable to understand the collective intelligence lesson professed by this « movement »: that of letting numerous spokespersons who respect the undetermined diversity of yellow jackets be heard, that of calming the ardour of those too attracted by the light and in fine the powers, that of not letting themselves be manipulated, until now. The conquest of their own temporality.
The name Gilets Jaunes is still justified for reasons of efficiency (internal or external), but from now on yellow vests of soul and heart without jackets are running the streets.
* The vast majority of « violence » (particularly random damage and looting) is not caused by yellow jackets, neither so called Black Block ( their targets are identifiable political symbols). From this point of view, the attitude of yellow vests is essentially an attitude of defiance towards the government, defiance expressed in front of the policemen whose role is to defend republic. We know that an increasing number of police officers are wondering what kind of republic they now defend. Defiance can obviously lead to violent forms of expression ; Gandhi wrote about it among many others.
Appendix X : Conspiracy Theorists
Let's be frank: if we were afraid of being accused of conspiracy, we would have given up long time ago ; the articles of our collectives are lengthened, purged, conditioned, decompressed, seconddegrized sometimes. The decentralized editorial staff of Veterans Today, mentioned above, is classified as « Conspiracy » by people who are clean about them. We don't have enough knowledge of VT, just enough to say that the more it goes, the more we have to start from the information available on these kinds of open sites, given the poverty of the mainstream press on a growing number of topics.
The American media Consortium News is much more « presentable », while often providing in-depth bare information. In the article about the re-start of the Seth Rich investigation by a wealthy Trump supporter through a FOIA addressed to the NSA, the columnist Ray MacGovern makes a historical reminder : the anti-conspiracy sauce has its origins in the counter-fires set by the CIA after the assassination of President Kennedy, and this is what the « legendary CIA director Allen Dulles » himself said. MacGovern adds: « The “conspiracy theorist“ tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now. ».
When the « conspiracy » accusation comes from an identified camp, « c’est de bonne guerre » (asymmetrical though) ; we analyzed here how confusion can be brought through anti-conspiracy papers.
When the accusation of « conspiracy » comes from well-informed citizens collaborating with us, we have the choice between depressing and writing this appendix.
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