Julian Assange:

Luke Walladge writes: Re. Yesterday’s Editorial. I must protest. Crikey‘s editorial yesterday repeated a canard that has been propping up the Assange apologists for years now, namely that “…being extradited to Sweden increases the risk that he will be surrendered to the United States where an uncertain fate awaits.”

This is wrong.

Anyone possessing the remotest familiarity with the extradition treaties of both countries vis a vis the United States knows that it is in fact harder for someone to be extradited from Sweden than from the UK. Not only is the 2003 UK-US extradition treaty notoriously favourable towards Washington (the celebrated “NatWest Three” case being a particular example of this in action), but the Swedish treaty explicitly states that an accused may not be extradited for either a political crime, or for any crime that carries the death penalty.

Any arguments, such as those advanced in public by Assange and his defence team, that rely on the alleged use of Sweden as a sort of transit country in a vast conspiracy to get him to American shores — and therefore the assertion that the r-pe charges are trumped-up and false — fall flat at the first hurdle, exposed for the fraudulent, self-serving, egomaniacal paranoid delusions they truly are.

Whether or not Assange is guilty of s-xual misconduct I don’t know. What I do know is that any other man in his position should have been required to answer plausible accusations of r-pe years ago, not be coddled by people who should know better than to make and believe half-arsed conspiracy theories.

John Richardson writes: I thought yesterday’s editorial analysis of the current state of the Julian Assange scandal was lazy, to say the least.

While Crikey seems keen to accept the possibility that our government may not have legally “abandoned” Assange (contrary to the available evidence), while spuriously and rather limp-wristedly condemning its alleged failure to defend his right of free speech, it blithely ignores the obvious and more serious parallels in the situation evident from the earlier experiences of other Australians (Hicks, Habib), who were callously abandoned to imprisonment and torture at the hands of our “special friends” by the Howard government.

If the rest of the planet can see what is happening to Julian Assange, how come Crikey finds it so difficult?

Kyle Wilson writes: Like the ABC, Crikey continues to ignore the fact that Julian Assange agreed to present a current affairs program for Russia Today, the Russian government’s English-language television station, and did so. Clearly Crikey considers this an unimportant element of the Assange story.

Both Crikey and Assange purport to be concerned about journalists’ rights — but not, it would seem, in Russia, home of Anna Politkovskaya and quite a few more dead or maimed journalists. With some regret, I give up on Crikey: back to the BBC and Al Jazeera.

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Rundle: Assange makes his escape into a diplomatic storm” (yesterday, item 1). Guy Rundle’s alternative escape plan for Julian Assange — slipping into international waters by cyberpunk yacht — is probably more sensible than it sounds.

Assange is safe, for now, in the Ecuadorian embassy, but camped outside are British police, who now have a valid reason to arrest him. Even if he is granted asylum, this only extends to the embassy walls. How long does he really want to stay couped up there?

Seeking asylum in embassies didn’t work for Najibullah, Manuel Noreiga, or Cardinal Mindszenty. In fact, who has it worked for?

Justin Templer writes: Given the notable failure of our government to provide support to Australian citizen Julian Assange, one can only conclude that he must at some time have lived on Sydney’s North Shore.

ACP Magazines:

Deborah Thomas, ACP Magazines, writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (Tuesday, item 7). Your tipster (“Goss from the glossies”) obviously isn’t aware that the highly talented Kellie Hush, formerly editor of GRAZIA, was announced as Harper’s BAZAAR editor a week ago (please see this release, which was covered extensively in the media).

It is business as usual for the magazine, including its fashion and ad sales teams, as the bumper double June/July issue attests and upcoming August issue will confirm. Hearst are thrilled with Kellie who will be announcing her team shortly. We would appreciate it if you could please correct this mistake.

Missing the Mark:

Mitchell Holmes writes: Re. “Tips and rumours” (yesterday, item 7). You mentioned the name of a dual Olympic gold medalist trap shooter as “Mark Russell”. I think you’ll find his name is Russell Mark.