Published On: Sun, Nov 28th, 2010

Julian Assange: Dead Man Walking?

Julian Assange

Loathed by some and loved by others Julian Assange is a man in a suitcase as he keeps one step ahead of an international posse out to settle scores. The Australian founder of WikiLeaks is renowned for embarrassing mainly but not exclusively western governments. He and his team of journalists and informers work in the shadows; they hold up to the light the darker sides of war and its effects.

The man in a suitcase could become the man in a casket if he puts a foot wrong. It is doubtful if any man on earth has more crosshairs on him. He even has an ‘insurance policy’ on his life; a devastating cache of embarrassing secrets that will be released should anything untoward happen to him. Spain’s formidable El Pais newspaper is one of the few prepared to publish and be damned.

AMERICA PRONE TO ASSASSINATION

America is prone to the dark arts of assassination. Since 1865 more U.S. heads of state have been murdered than in any other country. These four hardly mask the series of failed attempts. The better known are Presidents’ Theodore Roosevelt (1912), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933), Harry S. Truman (1950) and President Ronald Reagan (1981).

Throughout the world there are countless convenient suicides and fortunate accidents; again America appears to lead the field. The most interesting after the ‘accident’ that killed U.S. General George Patton was the death of James Forrestal, U.S. First Secretary of Defence in 1949: Deeply depressed he ‘fell’ from an upper floor window of his hospital. President Nixon when needing an operation refused to be admitted to the recommended infirmary; he declared he would never emerge alive. He chose another hospital and lived.

DODGY SUICIDES

Lest it be said that America is unique in disposing of those off message other unfortunates include German diplomats and scientists, Ernst von Rath and Wilhelm Gustloff. Nazi General Reinhard Heydrich was killed by British-backed Czech agents. The British were also responsible for the death of Giovanni Gentile, the Italian intellectual who refused to denounce the Mussolini regime.

British agents were instrumental in the capture and delivery to Communist partisans Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia) like Patton had a road ‘accident’. The British were often on the receiving end: Lord Moyne was gunned down in Palestine in 1944; so incidentally was Swedish UN mediator Folke Bernadotte. It is likely that UN Secretary-General Swedish diplomat Dag Hammarskjöld was killed in an ‘unfortunate’ aeroplane accident.

Airey Neave, M.P, Sir Anthony Berry MP and Lord Mountbatten, the queen’s cousin were killed in bomb blasts. An attempt was made on the life of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984. Others like Deputy Prime Minister George Brown and Enoch Powell had their characters assassinated.

THE REBEL THEY DON’T WANT DEAD

Jan Masaryk, the Czech Foreign Minister fell from a second storey window shortly after the Soviets occupied Prague, revolutionary Leon Trotsky was felled by an ice pick.

Mahatma Gandi was coincidentally gunned down during a successful campaign against British imperialism. The iconic figure Indira Gandhi, the world’s longest serving prime minister, was assassinated. Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered shortly after she revealed the identity of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh as the killer of Osama bin Laden. The latter is unique in being more important to the West alive than dead. Such distinction may not apply to Julian Assange.

Image credits.

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  1. It would seem that any of a couple dozen very powerful entities might explore ways to ‘quiet’ Mr. Assange. This isn’t surprising since he himself apparently seems unable to control his impulse to stir up trouble. Those looking for trouble very often find it…and I’d suggest it’s rarely to their liking. It seems highly unlikely that, one way or another, Mr. Assange (and those like him) will be allowed to do what he does without severe consequences. Rightly so. It is true…Mr. Assange must be held accountable for any and all harm he causes.

  2. Tony Smith says:

    Mr.Walsh,
    the best part of your article is the picture of the soon-to-be deceased Mr. Assange; good job. The first paragraph was digestible. But then you clearly demonstrate that you really have no plot at all. I cannot see the relationship between Assange and your rantings about U.S. Presidential murders or attempts at murder dating back 145 years, or those affecting the Royal family and other foreign heads.

    As an American, I have not had the pleasure yet of using the word “dodgy”, but if I were to try I would assume that it is synonymous to the way you reach out to piece together a story. I once observed a retarded child trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with the painted sides facing down. I think the child had better results.

    Your history is ancient and copied from old texts…just like Assange, and your article lacks something very important…an author. Truly 5th grade work.

    T.

  3. [...] America’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, is Julian Assange, whose life is surely in the balance.   Those whose feelings have been bothered, from the US and across the board, are well-known for [...]

  4. Lindsey Gibbins says:

    Mr Walsh,
    Excellent article. I feel that the world is entitled to the truth, and I personally support wikileaks in their endeavor. As for Mr. Smiths’ comment, you call yourself an american…but you’re too willing to give up a little bit of freedom to gain a little bit of security. Unfortunately without people like Mr. Assange we wouldn’t be informed of any of the menacing details of the corruption around our world. We need organizations to uncover misdoings and break stories to society. Without them we’re just moving in the direction of a 1984 George Orwell way of life. I’m not saying that everything in Wikileaks is sensible and hard, compact evidence; but it is a great way to educate oneself on the other side of things. To gain different perceptions. Thanks!

    -Lindsey

  5. C says:

    Exposing the truth is so vital. That i believe. But it seems that Mr Assange is not attempting to do so with the info he has leaked. He has now, by revealing military assets of the US and British governments, entered into the world of aiding terrorists. He is now, unfortunately, a terrorist and should lose his his freedom and yes maybe his life. He did not release the list of British and American high value sites to reveal truth. He did so with the thought of harming these two countries. His actions and threat of actions if arrested are an attempt to blackmail several governments. He will and should pay for his actions.

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