Whistle-blower Julian Assange Is in the News Again

Assange has been under house arrest for almost five hundred days, awaiting judgment from the Supreme Court in London on the issue whether he can be extradited to Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

On Tuesday, he launched a weekly show, The World Tomorrow. Its twelve episodes are carried on state-funded RT – Russian Television – with a link from its website. The program is produced by Assange’s Quick Roll Productions company. He says he chose RT because it is seen by more people in the U.S. than Al Jazeera. RT has the right to show the shows first.

In the opening program, he interviewed Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah whom he reached by computer video link. Nasallah is blacklisted in the West as a terrorist, but not by Russia, and spoke from a secret location in Lebanon.

Nasrallah said that Hezbollah, while supporting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in the conflict, had also contacted Syrian opposition groups. He said Hezbollah wanted “to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime, but these parties rejected dialogue.”

The New York Times comments:

“Unlike RT, Mr. Assange supports the opposition forces in Syria. He took Mr. Nasrallah to task for supporting every Arab Spring uprising except the one against Syria and asked why he wasn’t doing more to stop the bloodshed.”

In a promotional interview, Assange said he expected to be called an “enemy combatant, traitor (for) getting into bed with the Kremlin and interviewing terrible radicals from around the world.”

Sources: National Post, Agence France Presse


One response to “Whistle-blower Julian Assange Is in the News Again

  1. This story relates to your one for April 24 on the Norwegian murderer: who should be ‘allowed’ to speak, or who(m) should we be ‘allowed’ to hear? I am inclined to think we should hear more rather than fewer voices, but it is a good thing to have it done in contexts where an interviewer is willing to challenge the speaker. (‘As It Happens’ is often good at this.)

    At some point one has to draw the line at outright incitement to violence, but even there an interviewer underlining the implications can be a reality check for the audience’s emotions:’so, you are saying that I and my neighbours should go out this evening and kill members of [group X].’ or ‘… that I should go across the street and kill Mr and Mrs Y because they are members of [group X]. That’s a lot more blunt than the general fear-mongering about group X, but if the person is actually hoping for the violent result, it is better rather than worse for him to be called on it.