Australian Delegation of Bipartisan MPs Meeting With US Over Assange Case

A delegation of Australian MPs is reportedly meeting with their US counterparts to discuss the Julian Assange case. They want the case against Assange dropped.

It’s going to come off as a broken record at this point, but there are growing calls to have the case against Julian Assange dropped. Back in February, 22 human rights and digital rights organizations called on the new Biden administration to drop the case against Assange. The united message is that journalism is not a crime, nor should it be treated as such. In response, the Biden administration rejected those calls and filed an appeal to have Assange extradited to the US.

The US has long cast aside the distractions and cover stories in their efforts to go after Assange. The case is now purely about Assange’s journalistic activities that helped to expose an unprecedented amount of corruption through the diplomatic cables and war diaries among other leaks. In response, the US is simply out for revenge and is trying to target the whistleblowers who made it all possible. The aim is to ensure that Assange is the last person to ever expose the dark underbelly of American international activities. If it means breaking a decade’s old policy of not using espionage to target and take down journalists, that is now a sacrifice they are willing to make.

Now, a bipartisan delegation of Australian MPs are meeting with American officials. They are the latest voices to call for the case against Assange to be dropped. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

A cross-party delegation of Australian MPs has met with Washington’s top envoy in Canberra in their continued attempts to encourage the United States to drop its extradition attempts against the WikiLeaks founder.

Nationals MP George Christensen, Independent Andrew Wilkie and Labor’s Julian Hill lobbied the US embassy’s charge d’affaires, Michael Goldman, on Monday morning, arguing the Australian citizen should be allowed to return home.

Mr Wilkie, a whistleblowing intelligence officer-turned-MP, said the delegation raised numerous issues with Mr Goldman, including the increasing cross-party and public support for the US extradition of Mr Assange from the UK to be dropped.

The trio argued the US was at risk of “reputational damage” over the inconsistency that WikiLeaks source, Chelsea Manning, had her sentence commuted while WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, was still being pursued.

Indeed, there has been a growing chorus of voices calling for the case to be dropped. From rights organization to the United Nations, the calls have been pretty much a constant drum beat at this stage. It’s been quite tiring for a lot of people given that this story has been going on for more than a decade now. Assange is still more or less paying for the US’s pursuit and US government friendly sources are still trying to demonize him at every turn. The only things that has really changed is the US dropping all pretense and admitting that they are after Assange for the publications and that there are fewer people still undecided about the case.

Whether this latest effort will make any real difference remains unclear. Assange is an Australian citizen, so it makes sense that Australia is trying to talk some sense into American officials. It’ll be interesting to see if a deal can actually be struck in all of this. Until and if that actually happens, we have to wait and be on the lookout for any new developments in the case. Waiting – long time observers should be more than accustomed to that by now.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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