The left is at war over Julian Assange
Published in: Daily Mail
The current contortions on the Left over Julian Assange are providing a gloriously comic spectacle of seasonal merriment — despite the damaging consequences of his actions.
For our most sanctimonious campaigners have managed to hoist themselves simultaneously on not just one, but multiple politically correct petards.
Until very recently, Assange was heading for canonisation as the Left’s all-time hero.
He was the man who had set about damaging its number-one global villain, America, through publishing on WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables between the U.S. and other governments.
Accordingly, The Guardian newspaper proudly trumpeted the fact that it had obtained access to these files, and set about publishing as many of them as it could.
The fact that Assange seemed to be motivated by an all-pervasive nihilistic rage did not trouble The Guardian.
So besotted was it by the prospect of humbling America that it wasn’t even troubled by the allegations against Assange of rape and sexual assault which suddenly emanated from — of all places — Sweden.
Never mind that, for the Left, this liberal nirvana is normally the country which can do no wrong. This inconvenient contradiction troubled neither The Guardian nor its comrades, who dismissed the case against Assange as a ‘witch-hunt’.
The fact that Sweden — not the U.S. — wanted Assange extradited to investigate claims against him of offences committed in Sweden — not the U.S. — was nevertheless held up as further proof that America was behind these charges. Obviously!
For the whole world-view of the Left rests upon its iron-clad conviction that America is a global conspiracy of evil from which all bad things ultimately emanate.
So the Left knew for a certainty that the rape charges were false and that Assange was a martyr. Assorted luvvies such as socialites Jemima Khan and Bianca Jagger, journalist John Pilger and film director Ken Loach noisily denounced a ‘politically motivated show trial’, while American writer Naomi Wolf claimed Assange was a victim of the ‘international dating police’.
Doubtless this was the first many of us had ever heard of this particular and terrifying phenomenon.
Assange was duly borne aloft as a hero from the hell of his Wandsworth Prison cell to altogether more agreeable ‘mansion arrest’ at Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk estate of former British Army officer and journalist Vaughan Smith, who provided hospitality as ‘an act of principle’.
And then something very strange indeed happened. On Saturday, The Guardian published explosive leaked revelations from the Swedish prosecution case against Assange.
These contained explicit details of the charges levelled by the two women who claimed he had subjected them to rape and sexual assaults, forcing them into unprotected intercourse, and even had sex with one while she slept.
The point was that it was The Guardian that was publishing these sordid claims — the kernel of the legal case against their supposed hero — and in great detail. Suddenly the paper appeared to have joined the ranks of the witch-hunters.
And yesterday we learned further that a senior Guardian journalist, who worked closely with Assange and helped broker the deal that gave the paper privileged access to the WikiLeaks cables, now refuses to continue dealing with him.
To understand why there is such an ear-splitting screeching of brakes from The Guardian, it is necessary to consider the mind-bending contradictions of what passes for thinking on the Left.
For it believes certain things as articles of faith which cannot be denied. One is that America is a force for bad in the world and so can never be anything other than guilty. Another is that all men are potential rapists, and so can never be anything other than guilty.
The problem presented by Assange was that suddenly his actions appeared to advance both of these articles of politically correct faith — which were nevertheless in direct conflict with each other. He couldn’t be feted as a symbol of anti-Americanism if he fell foul of the feminists.
So The Guardian decided to hang Assange out to dry — because it suddenly realised that it had far too much to lose by supporting him. Not least because the assumption that men accused of rape must be presumed to be guilty is the odious drum that has been beaten by that paper and the rest of the Left for years.
Any protests that sometimes women do make false accusations of rape — particularly in cases of ‘date rape’ — have always been dismissed with contumely.
The fact remains, however, that we don’t know the truth of these accusations against Assange. To make a judgment about what happens between the sheets after consensual sexual activity has started is extremely difficult, since all there is to go on is the word of the accuser and of the accused.
But unlike lesser mortals who entertain these qualms, the feminist Left generally scorns trifles such as truth and justice in the face of the all-consuming belief that men are intrinsically violent and that women never lie.
Yet until this past weekend — weeks after the rape allegations emerged — the Left was overtaken by a strange amnesia over precisely this point. Feminist outrage had been silent, replaced by anti-American fervour.
But then The Guardian suddenly flipped over, apparently deciding that ‘all men are rapists’ trumped ‘all Americans are war criminals’.
As it piously intoned in its editorial: ‘It is unheard of for a defendant, his legal team and supporters to so vehemently and publicly attack women at the heart of a rape case.’
Ah, yes. Publicly suggesting that women might make a false claim about male sexual violence is to desecrate the holy of holies — an outrage before which even the crimes of America pale.
More hard-headedly, The Guardian might also have been more than a little influenced by the fear that just possibly Assange would be found guilty of rape, for then it would have been seen to have endorsed and fawned over one of the very enemies of humanity against whom it parades its conscience at all times. Truly, a fate to make all of us shudder.
Meanwhile, others on the Left are stunned by The Guardian’s perceived treachery.
As far as the luvvies are concerned, the Swedish revelations merely add fuel to the anti-American fire — and they are happy to throw Assange’s female accusers into the flames.
Thus ‘human rights campaigner’ Bianca Jagger has directed her Twitter followers to a blog suggesting that one of the women had links to an anti-Castro Cuban group. So much for the sisterhood!
Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens, meanwhile, declared that he still considered it possible that Assange had been set up by a CIA ‘honeytrap’.
Oh dear. Stephens may be a celebrated lawyer, but someone should tell him that when you are in a hole, the first rule is to stop digging.
But then, the Left never has any insight into itself and how ridiculous it seems.
So John Pilger has even complained about the impropriety of leaking secret prosecution documents into the public domain — as part of his defence of a man who has leaked thousands of secret official documents.
Such a pitiless spotlight couldn’t be shone upon a more priceless bunch of idiots.
You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh. Happy Christmas.