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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Assange spills the coffee as well as the beans

The Sydney Morning Herald headline Revealed:US plans to charge Assange" led to a coffee spill here this morning.The SMH and other media report that WikiLeaks release of internal emails from the shadowy Strafor company include one from January 26 last year in which the company's vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report with the comment:
''We have a sealed indictment on Assange.''
Suitably tagged with warnings to ''Pls [please] protect'' and ''Not for pub[lication]''.

So you might imagine I was calling "stop the presses" after cleaning up the coffee because my predictions for press freedom developments in 2012, all published this week in the February-March edition of The Walkley Magazine include as prediction No 1:
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks will continue to feature prominently in "freedom discussions" and despite the fact it's election year, Assange will not face charges in the United States."
Too late of course. Over another latte I figured the best line is what would Stratfor know (gulp)? To Walkley readers, keep faith, I'm not done yet. Neither is Assange.

The Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is asking questions according to AAP:
"What we need to know is whether the Australian government was tipped off, or whether the prime minister read about this in The Sydney Morning Herald this morning," he told reporters in Canberra. The Australian government needed to take "a very straight line" with the US on the issue. "That we will not permit, and we will not tolerate his transfer to the US, to face charges that could potentially land him in prison, potentially for decades."

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