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Julian Assange Oslo Freedom Forum 2010

Posted by DeadAnarchistPhil on February 23, 2011

With the verdict on Julian Assange’s extradition case being delivered tomorrow, and extradition expected, I thought I’d post this speech by him. I’m doing this to show why it’s happening to him and why he does what he does and why we should too. It took place in Oslo, Finland. I had read this before but to my shame I only skimmed it, and so did not really pick up on Its importance untill just thirty minutes ago when I had an interesting but worrying conversation with my friend Sam.

If you’d rather watch than read then watch the video at the bottom of the page. If you do choose to read I recommend you take your time and take it all in properly because it’s important. I know I so that a lot, but it truly is. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Julian Assange of the website Wikileaks.

So, we have heard a lot here [At the Oslo Freedom Forum] about the problems in the developing world and in the work that I have done, certainly I have covered many of those and we are censored in all of the rogues gallery States, China, Iran, Israel . I don’t want to talk however, today, too much about that, because censorship in the West is also a problem. Censorship in the West is used to legitimise censorship in other countries and abuses in the West of enlightenment ideals, which we should all hold dear. And the corrosion of those ideals not only impoverishes Western countries it is also used as an excuse for terrible abuses in other countries. In particular, countries that followed the common law that was set up by the British Empire. For example abuses of Libel Law were used in Africa to imprison some fine journalists in severe conditions based, on precedents set in the UK.

So I’m not sure how many people here are familiar with the basics of my work and I’ll just try and go very briefly through that, so you can try and understand where I’m coming from. As a journalist and as a programmer and as a someone who was involved in the embryonic internet and bringing the internet to people and bringing that great tool of information and publishing freedom to people, I saw that we could achieve a lot of reform with a little bit of work. Of course you all know this and you should remember Solzhenitsyn’s words “In the right moment one word of truth outweighs the world”. Solzhenitsyn was referring to a world of lies. This still is true for information across the world and it is also true for the information in the West. That in some cases one classified video can possibly stop a war and maybe fifty definitely can. So, we tried to pull together a system to automate that process. To get as much new material, censored material, restricted material – material that we thought would achieve political reform into the historical record and keep it there. We have in the process become the publisher of last resort. We have in the past three years been attacked over 100 times legally and have succeeded against all of those defenses by building an International multi-jurisdictional network, by using every trick in the book that multi-national companies use to route money through tax havens. Instead we route information through different countries to take advantage of their laws both for publishing and for protection of sources. That endeavor has been successful in putting over a million restricted documents into the historical record that weren’t there before. That is more pages of information than is in Wikipedia, that we have gotten into the intellectual record, that had been restricted.

In 1953 after Stalin died, Beria the NKVD Chief (the Chief of the Secret Police) fell out of favor and was executed. The great encyclopedia of the Soviet Union had an entry on Beria three pages long, and the publisher sent out a replacement to say that this must be removed and be replaced by an expanded version of the Bering Strait (that body of water between Vladivostok and Alaska). Into every library that bit of paper passed and was pasted in some cases by some librarians, but not in others, into the Soviet encyclopedia and ripped out in some cases but always the glue still visible. That’s not true anymore in the West because archives of information have been centralised on computers. The Guardian’s archives are only in one place, they’re not in libraries all across the nation that people look for, they’re only looked for on the internet and because of copyright legislation they’re not copied elsewhere to other places on the internet. So when something disappears from the archives, the electronic archives of the West, to which all information is moving into, it is gone forever. It is not only cease to have existed it is ceased to ever have existed. And when you go to those webpages that have been removed from Western papers you wont see the tale lines, you will just see ‘page not found’, you wont see anything in the index at all. We are now approaching the state of Orwell’s dictum, perfect dictum. That: “He who controls the present controls the past.” He who controls internet servers, controls the intellectual record of mankind. And by controlling that controls our perceptions of who we are. And by controlling that he control’s what laws and regulations we make in society. So the specific example that I’d like to give and there are many, many hundreds of these, and no doubt most of you are not aware of them, is a litigious billionaire by the name of Nadhmi Auchi the 5th richest man in the UK at one stage. Who’s birthday painting was signed by 146 members of the House of Commons. A very well-connected man. Connected politically connected in business and connected in the Social Establishment of the UK. He attempted to remove through legal threats, articles about his conviction for corruption in France in 2003 in the ‘Elf Aquitaine scandal’… And he just sent legal threats, he never went to court. And The Guardian removed four articles about that case from its records that were over five years old and it never told its readers. They were removed from the index, when you follow links to them you just see ‘page not found’. And so did The Times and so did the London Independent and so did major internet companies in the United States. But, that’s just one example of a litigious billionaire and there are hundreds. In the UK right now there are 300 secret gag orders. Those are gag orders that not only prevent the press from reporting corruption and abuse, they prevent the press from reporting that the press has been gagged.

This is not the liberal democracy that we had all dreamed of, this is an encroaching privatized censorship regime and just like everything else in the West that becomes privatized and fiscalised: censorship also is not only a mechanism that is implied by the State it is something that can be hijacked by wealthy plutocrats. By big companies to use the coercive mechanisms of the State through the judicial system, through unequal access to the judicial system, through patronage networks to have material removed permanently from the historical record. So in the West and we are after all in Norway, we should not be too proud about our sense that there is no State censorship, because we have privatised State censorship. We have made it more complex and not as obvious. It is not a brute hammer anymore it is a sophisticated device. Like money laundering through Caribbean tax shelters is a sophisticated device where the brutality is hidden in its complexity. Similarly, when we see the path that countries like the United States which once had a proud tradition of ‘freedom of the press’, is going down. We have to question whether it is really holding those values anymore and what we should do about it, because if we don’t have Western countries as a beacon on the hill for enlightenment values, what countries are left to hold that value?

You may, those of you who are familiar here with World War II, may remember the statement that was put by the Nazi’s on the front of the concentration camps that “Work brings freedom” an idea that Himmler had when he himself was in prison. But, in my investigations of exposing documents which include many abuses by the United States Military, which include the main manuals for prison camps like Abu’ghraib, Bagram and Guantanamo. I have seen pictures on the front of those camps of their slogans. So guess which camp has “Honour Bound to Defend Freedom” on the front of it. “The defense of freedom as a value” is on the front of Guantanamo Bay. And I say as a perversion of the truth that that slogan is worse than ‘work brings freedom’. And we in the West should be aware of that perversion and understand that the alliance that once existed between liberals and libertarians and the military industrial complex in opposing Soviet abuses in the cold war, is gone. That once upon a time people who stood up for enlightenment values domestically in Western countries, that stood up for Human Rights and Freedom of the Press domestically in Western countries. Libertarians, liberals and the press itself were in a tacit alliance with war hawks, they were in a tacit alliance with those people who opposed the Soviet Union merely for geopolitical reasons and that alliance was to pick up a moral stick and to beat the abuses, the terrible abuses of the Soviet Union in relation to censorship. But, as of 1991 that artificial alliance, that temporary alliance has dissipated and so now we see a split and a reversion back to a different standard. Where the natural interests of authority, the natural interests of intelligence agencies, the natural interests of the military is in stifling press reporting of abuse and it has been reasserted in Western countries.

So in this broader framework of what we do, it is to try and build a historical record, an intellectual record of how civilization actually works in practice now, from the inside. Everywhere in every country around the world because all our decisions , individual decisions, our political decisions are based upon what we know. Humanity is nothing but what we know and what we have and what we have can be replaced and degrades quickly. What we know is everything and it is our limit of what we can be. So before we embark on any particular political stratagem we first have to know where we are because if we don’t know where we are, it is impossible for us to know where we’re going. Likewise it is impossible to correct abuses unless we know that they are going on.

So I ask you to think about the words of Machiavelli, think about them in their negative when he said: “Thus it happens in matters of State for knowing a far off which is only given a prudent man to do. The evils that are brewing, they are easily cured but when for want of such knowledge they are allowed to grow ’till everyone can recognize them, there is no longer any remedy to be found”. So this secret planning is secret usually for a reason because if it is abusive it is opposed. So it is our task to find secret abusive plans and expose them where they can be opposed before they are implemented because if they are exposed by the implementation, by people suffering from that abuse then the abuse has already occurred and then it is too late.

                                                           Oslo Freedom Forum Part One:

                                                           Oslo Freedom Forum Part Two:

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21 Responses to “Julian Assange Oslo Freedom Forum 2010”

  1. Hey,
    Excellent posting as ever my friend but for this week, I am not getting any discussion. I really just wanted to spend this week not thinking about anything that troubles me and focus on the challenges and new job that lie ahead for me. But I will make a note to come back to it and digest it and the implications of freedom it could possibly represent.

    It has been weird this week. I was absolutely determined not to let anything get to me, enjoy the week some and relax but frankly, every time I turned on the TV or picked up a newspaper, I just wanted to scream. I am seriously thinking of just cutting myself off and just living in my own little bubble…..but that would be no fun. For the last 12 months I have lacked stimulation to examine what is going on in the world – I expect the grey matter to get going again this week and I am positive it will have a very positive effect on my thought processes.

    Have a good weekend my friend
    Pete

    • BY the way….thanks for the link to my blog…..I wondered why my traffic had increased a little!!

    • Hiya Pete,

      I only wrote the first bit, and translated and corrected some bits and bobs. I don’t deserve any props for it, really.

      I understand you not feeling up to it, not everyone does, and you know I only pay attention more often than I should because I’m too easily wound up. So it’s all good, mate, I know you understand what’s going on anyway and why Assange does what he does. I’ve felt the same in the last few days myself.

      I can’t cut myself off, as I said, if I get wound up I have to so do or say something. It does my head in if I don’t. I may be shouting in the darkness, or the blogosphere, but at least that alternative opinion or truth is out their for other people’s consideration. So I understand what you mean by wanting to cut yourself off from it all, I’d like a break for a while, but I can’t!

      Mate! Even when you run at a fraction of the capcaity you used to, you’re still better, know and think more than the average person! But I still hope you come bacl to full capcaity, because I miss the old blogs, even if the story you blogged about pissed me off. But as I said, needs to be done!

  2. hrhdaf said

    Heeeeeeeeeeey Phil!
    Trying to leave a comment about this is giving me a headache cos there are so many issues it raises. First Julian Assange the man. Did he actually rape anyone and if he did then surely he should be tried like anyone else would? And given the bizarre laws concerning sex in Sweden, shouldnt he have been a bit more savvy in the first place? If this case played out and what happened was he was sent to Sweden and fairly tried then whether he’s found guilty or innocent I see no reason for moral outrage.
    However the concern is obviously that he’s then handed over to the US with regard to his activity with Wikileaks. At the moment Sweden is saying they wont let that happen and if the US try to force their hand the European Court of Human Rights will step in, but the vague wording of these reassurances is cause for concern and if there was a U turn there I wouldnt be in the least bit surprised.
    Course the sad thing about all of it as you rightly say is the fact that Wikileaks its self could go under because of all of this. I suppose you just gotta hope that there are enough people involved in it that care enough to keep it running anyway.
    Aaaaaaaanyway remains to be seen what happens today dunnit? ;O)
    Moocho love n huggles Daf xxx

    • Hiya Mate! 🙂

      He didn’t rape anyone, Daff, I wouldn’t call his trial a farce if he was guilty. He had consesnual sex with both the women, they even admitted it, but then changed their minds. One of the ones he supposed to have raped carried on letting him stay at her house while she set up a party for him there! Doesn’t sound like something a rape victim would do, eh? Let me get you the story to read: here There’s so many inconsistancies!

      And I agree with you, he brought this on himself, he should’ve been more savvy! I even said that in my last blog about him, he went down in my estimation for that. He shouldn’t have acted like an over sexed Rock star!

      He lost his case a few mins ago! The Court of Human Rights hasn’t got a problem with him being extradited. I think he’s fucked! He’ll go to Sweden and be sentanced there, even if he isn’t the U.S. will have him, because he can only go there if the UK Secretary of State signs for him to go! And William Hague is a little spinless wanker who rims the U.S. any chance he gets because he “Believes in the special relationship”. So He’ll sign it to please his masters! Read the minutes here

      With Assange not the head of the Org now, I don’t think Wikileaks would survive. We’ll have to see!

      Moocho love and huggles AND hugskis back at tha Daf one! :O) xx

      • hrhdaf said

        See that article doesnt convince me either way whether he did it or not. Cos to be honest there are a couple of things on it that I know are wrong.

        Police never take testimony from former boyfriends?
        Having had a close friend accused of rape not that long ago (incidentally I totally knew it wasnt true but thats not the point) the police took statements from looooads of people and totally wanted to know about both parties previous sexual behaviour. So yes they interviewed previous boyfriends and girlfriends.

        Police never pursue complaints in which there is no indication of lack of consent?
        Consent with any form of coersion can still be considered rape and action can be brought.

        Prosecutors never let two alleged victims have the same lawyer and A lawyer never typically takes on two alleged rape victims as clients.
        Well thats just rubbish. People often band together for big law suits. For example a bunch of neighbours could band together and sue another for unreasonable behaviour or a bunch of workers could band together to sue a company thats working conditions caused ill health. Also saying a lawyer never ‘typically’ does anything doesnt mean they dont, just that its unusual, and anyway the law evolves all the time. Old cases are often cited and then a judge will make a new ruling and then that case is then cited. Its not as fixed as this article makes out.

        I know Im playing devil’s advocate here and Im not saying everything in this case has been done in a way it should have been. All Im saying is regardless of eeeeeverything else thats goin on around it, the mans been accused of rape and in these circumstances anyone else would have to go to court so he should.

        When I said the Court of Human Rights was talking about getting involved it was if he was extradited to the US from Sweden who are currently saying they wont let that happen. Anyway the first thing they said after the decision was made was he’s gonna appeal and that decision wont come til the summer.

        To be honest I think what Im trying to say is that I see whats happening to him almost as a different issue because at the end of the day he’s set himself up for a fall.

        What I do wonder is though, if Wikileaks did go down the pan, do you think there’d be something come and replace it?

        Anyway this comments gone on foreeeeever so Im gonna shush now and make some lunch ;O)
        Hope your having a good day amigo!
        xxx

        • ‘ello Daf! 🙂

          First of all, I’d just like to say I’m not an expert in Swedish sex law or Swedish Court procedure… not yet anyway! 😉

          You raise some good points, and it’s hard to see if we’re getting the UK system mixed up with the Swedish one! You said the Police took statments from people about your friend when he was accused? Well, under the ‘Sex Shield Law’ you can’t use it in court, so why did they even ask? Past history isn’t meant to be brought up, right? That’s my understanding of it anyway.

          “Consent with any form of coersion can still be considered rape and action can be brought.”

          Any woman could say that if they were vindictive enough. This woman apparently didn’t and changed her mind later, she wasn’t quite sure she’d been raped, so she threw a party for Assange.

          Doesn’t make any sense. Also, there’s so much room for false accusations to be taken seriously, and this has actually happened before with cases. The rape case already went to court, it was thrown out because both women said it was consensual, but said “…then turned in to abuse.” WTF? It took them all that time to decide? Only a charge of molestation remains, which is something an arrest warrent can’t be issued on him for.

          They can’t legally arrest him, though he is required for questioning by the ‘victim’s’ layer. Which is what this is all about. She could have easily rang him up and sorted it. Understandibly he’s scared of going back to sweden for obvious reasons.

          To be honest Daf, I’m still pretty confused about the whole ruling that’s just taken place! I’ve only read 2 pages of the 28 document of the court ruling. And not understand Swedish law doesn’t help. I need to time read up on it all and then blog it.

          All in all I think he’s innocent, but they’re going to nail him for his moment of weakness! And you’re right, he did set himself up for a fall, he should’ve known better, I think many Wikileaks activists would agree.

          Lunch? I missed mah lunch! Grrrr haha Hope you’re day’s been minted! Moocho loveski! 🙂 xxx

  3. prenin said

    Unfortunately he’s dead right.

    America is throwing everything they can at him and now he’s facing altered allegations and threats in Sweden so as to remove him from the UK and into the reach of the USA who ‘Own’ Sweden…

    This is madness and proves just how despotic the USA has become.

    Prenin.

    • And the U.S. is supposed to be becon of freedom and liberty! Yet they do this to a man who embodies everything the United States stands for? Well, when I say the United States, I mean the old United States, not the new United States post World War II!

      I hope he gets off today! If he doesn’t, well… I think you know what that means for us all.

      Hope ya well, Prenin! 🙂

  4. I noticed you got part one and two mixed up man, you put the second vid at the top and the first at the bottom lol

  5. Freedom, by the way said

    Very enlightening. Thanks for posting. Love his line “What we know is everything and it is our limit of what we can be.”
    More light needs to be shed…and more people need to look at the light that is already shed.

    • Thank you for your support! I agree, more light does need to be shed on what’s going on with and around Assange! It still boggles my mind that the average person isn’t really interested in this. As I said to ‘Glenbeckstears’, the people who should be involved with supporting this are nowhere to be found.

      I hope he’s not extradited tomorrow, because if he is, it will most likely be the end of him! And also, possibly of Wikileaks because I fear the Org may not last under the pressure without his leadership!

  6. Thanks for reposting this m8, tis a shame we’re the only ones to have done so at least at this length.

    • 31,000 search results for this story! 31,000! 98 million for a certain blonde pop star! No one gives a fuck! And if they do, they do it apathetically, as if to say “We already know this happens, it’s nothing new”. But they miss the point because what this man is doing is not only exposing it, he has a soloution to it! And hardly anyone cares!

      Where are all the Left-wingers at? Do they only come out of their bed rooms when there’s a far-right group to battle? Is this battle not important enough? I’d say it’s a million times more important than fighting the BNP or National Front! But they’re no where to be seen! Not just them, where’s all the Human Right’s Groups? Making me wonder what they’re playing at!

      • The left and the right are a farce, there is only truth and false, there is no left and right in the real world. There is only stuff backed by evidence, stuff that hinders or hurts, and stuff that doesn’t work.

        • ‘Double Think’ springs to mind! Believe one thing, while believing another that is false! However, that implies they were actually thinking about two things at the same time in the first place, and we all know that’s impossible!

      • And the human rights groups have been a sham for a while now. Only people i’ve really seen make a difference work on their own. I don’t know why this has happened but it has

        • I believe they still do a good job but they are nowhere near what they’re supposed to be what their names denote! The fact Assange has had to resort to selling merc to support Wikileaks and possibly his defence (correct me if I’m wrong) just shows how no one is helping him. And his rights are being infringed! That case in Sweden is a farce! A complete farce!

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