With friends like the International Socialist Group, Assange doesn’t need enemies

For the last five days the International Socialist Group has had an article on their website, an article they know to be a piece of witch hunting drivel. This article (penned by a Sarah Watson) begins thus: “Assange committed rape and should face trial in Sweden.”

I cannot for the life of me work out what the point of a trial would be if Assange has already been found guilty? Strikes me that Sarah Watson’s ‘trial’ would amount to nothing more than a kangaroo court, a show-trial worthy of Josef Stalin himself.

The lie that Assange is a confirmed rapist is repeated several times, backed up by the comments section following the offending article by some of the liars who helped Rupert Murdoch smash the Scottish Socialist Party to pieces.

Sorry, ‘comrades’, but regardless of what passes for justice in your warped little brains, Julian Assange is innocent until proven guilty. The ‘evidence’ of Assange’s guilt was an alleged confession which turns out to be nothing of the sort.

For five days this outrageous lie has been pointed out to Sarah Watson and the rest of the International Socialist Group. Clearly they believe that throwing mud in the direction of Julian Assange will prove as effective as those lies eventually exposed by Leon Trotsky in his ‘Stalin School of Falsification’. The ISG would appear to believe that if you tell a big enough lie, repeat it often enough, you’re bound to get away with it, primarily by intimidating those who know better to keep their heads down. And that, in turn, leads to an ever expanding vicious circle of misinformation.

The International Socialist Group have had long enough to correct their ‘mistake’. I say the entire organisation has exposed itself as beneath contempt. There is one other point I’d like to add about Sarah Watson’s disgusting article.

As an apologist for Sarah Watson reminded me a day or two ago, the ISG article does parrot the insistance of the genuine left that Julian Assange must not be sent to The United States to face prosecution for his work as public enemy number, an accolade won due entirely to his whistle blowing activities. Alas, this is so much bullshit coming from that source.

Sarah explicitly – and the editor of the ISG website (presumably on behalf of his organisation) implicitly – declare Assange over and over and over to be a rapist.

These people consciously peddle the lie that Assange and his lawyers concede he is a rapist. This is a contemptible lie intended to damage his reputation beyond repair and, in the process, smear all of us with the integrity to fight for his right to secure a fair trial. We do not fight for a fair trial because we know beyond reasonable doubt that Assange is innocent. We fight for a fair trial because we know that someone has committed a serious crime, and we are as determined as anyone else to get at the truth.

We fully accept that if the truth turns out to be Assange’s having been guilty all along, so be it. Assange would, in such circumstances, deserve to lose all authority he had so painstakingly built up in the progressive movement globablly. And he would, rightly, face a substantial prison sentence as a deterent to others.

But whether Assange is guilty or not is a matter for a jury. It is not a matter for me as an individual to find Assange guilty or not guilty. Nor is it a matter for Sarah Watson or her comrades. Nor for Owen Jones, nor any number of the armchair clairvoyants I’ve had the misfortune to have to deal with the last few days. And it is certainly not a matter for William Hague, Hilary Clinton, Rupert Murdoch or Mark Thompson.

If Julian Assange manages to convince a jury that he has been innocent all along, it is hard to imagine how he could succeed in doing that without suggesting why he has been so falsely accused. Alas, we cannot go very far down that road without casting aspersions on his accusers. And they have as much right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty as Julian Assange himself. Tempting though it might be for me to explore these issues, I don’t think I can – not given the nature of these allegations and the genuine problems that genuine victims of rape have winning justice.

I do not know what happened between these three people anymore than any member of the ISG does. The difference is that I am not going to pretend I do know or that it doesn’t matter what happened, only what I wish others to believe happened.

What Sarah Watson and her ISG comrades demand from the left is a mere rubber stamping of the verdict concocted in her head. Sorry, Sarah. No can do. As for the rest, how exactly does Sarah and her International Socialist Group co-thinkers plan to guarantee the Swedish authorities don’t send Assange to the United States?

The Socialist Workers Party, The Socialist Party, Counterfire, and everybody else who wants Assange to be given his day in court (either to face the music, if he’s guilty, or to clear his name, if he’s not) are unbending in our defence of Assange vis-a-vis the wikileaks issue. We all know precisely what that commits us to.

The ISG, alongside Owen Jones and his uncritical fan club, smear Julian Assange by means of drip drip propaganda. That in turn is regugitated lies spoonfed to them by the BBC, SKY News and Channel Four News. All the above are openly hostile to those of us who insist upon legally binding guarantees over Julian Assange’s safety.

The Swedish authorities clearly have no intention of questioning Assange other than in circumstances that will allow the world’s most powerful state terrorist to drag him out of commission for the rest of his life. And that could turn out to be rather short. Whatever life would be left Assange  in such circumstances would definitely involve his facing excruciating torture. That torture would be deployed to ensure that all whistleblowers known to Assange are identified, hunted down and given similar treatment. I for one would not be surprised to discover that one or more of them would face sex crime smears, to allow gutless so-called socialists to do the state’s dirty work for them.

[… ] I have deleted the link to the ISG’s website because, not for the first time, my anti-virus software has flagged up the site as a carrier of malicious software, warning me to get the hell out of there. If I’m not willing to take the chance I don’t see why I should invite others to hop along. Besides, I don’t think they’ll leave their article on the internet for very much longer.

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8 Responses to With friends like the International Socialist Group, Assange doesn’t need enemies

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