julian assange bob carr
(Images: AAP)

That was then, this is now Ah, the luxury of being a former politician, when you finally have the platform and influence to really make a difference. Just days after former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop lamented the cuts in the foreign aid budget -- a process she had overseen and defended in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 -- we have Bob Carr, who continues his newfound interest in the case of Julian Assange:

"He faces the prospect of a living death inside an American prison, in very cruel conditions, because he let the world know about an American war crime," he told Nine News. Not much to quarrel with that.

So why, back in 2012 (when Carr held the obscure post of Australian foreign affairs minister), did he say of Assange: "There’s an amorality about what’s been at work here; secrets being released for the sake of being released without inherent justification.”