Andrew Bolt fulminating on his blog about Julian Assange’s supporters at midnight on Tuesday:

Assange arrested. The Leftist tribe protects its own

It’s not a great charge to be defending for a man claiming persecution as a whistleblower:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by British police on a European warrant issued by Sweden over allegations of s-x crimes including r-pe, London’s Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.

UPDATE

What is extraordinary is how cleanly Assange divides the Left from everyone else, inspiring a truly tribal response from the class of the Perpetually Irresponsible. There’s the traditional joint-signature letter …

And here is Caroline Overington writing no more than an hour earlier on the media diary blog:

Julian Assange writes for The Australian

Julian Assange has written an Op-Ed, to be published in The Australian tomorrow. It was due to go live at midnight AEST, and it is already in early editions of the newspaper, due on the streets at 2am.

Now we hear reports that Mr Assange has been arrested. I have permission from my Editor in Chief to publish a snippet of what will go live at midnight…

Overington went on to quote from the Op-ed’s defence of speaking truth to power, using as an example Keith Murdoch’s debunking coverage of Gallipoli.


She was joined the next day by The Australian‘s editorial writers:

“…The free flow of information is the lifeblood of democracy, and we share WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s abhorrence of unnecessary secrecy. In fact, we support leaks of all sorts. That Mr Assange should be tried, let alone hanged, for the so-called crime of releasing 250,000 intelligence cables is ludicrous …”

They were joined later by John Howard — who said that Assange had not done anything wrong:

“Any journalist will publish confidential information if he or she gets hold of it, subject only to compelling national security interests … I would expect the Australian government would ask for him to be dealt with like any other foreigner in that situation and that he be given the assistance he’s entitled to …”

Which sounds a lot like:

“Prime Minister we ask you … to provide assistance and advocacy to Mr Assange; and do everything in your power to ensure that any legal proceedings taken against him comply fully with the principles of law and procedural fairness …”

Which is from the letter Bolt was so irritated by. As all-out war erupts on the internet this morning, led by Anonymous, safe to say this issue is a little more complex that framing it in any left/right divide.

Peter Fray

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