Email to Jemima Khan re her about face on Assange

RE: how the Wikileaks founder alienated his allies

Dear Jemima Khan:

Your wrote in this piece about Assange that

“Yet even WikiLeaks had revealed that in 2006 Sweden stopped rendition
flights for the US.”

You make it sound like Sweden was merely flying airplanes for the USA –
not kidnapping and torturing. Sweden refuses to charge, never mind
prosecute, Swedish officials and US agents who kidnapped, sexually
assaulted and tortured two Egyptian men IN SWEDEN. [1] That constitutes
ongoing collaboration with US crimes. Intentionally or not, your
statement helps maintain the impunity the perpetrators continue to
enjoy. Your remark also hides the gross political bias and criminality
of which Sweden is capable when dealing with a case that interests the
US government.

You suggest that Assange is trampling the rights of his accusers:

“Assange’s noble cause and his wish to avoid a US court does not trump
their right to be heard in a Swedish court.”

The Swedish executive branch has the final word on extradition – not
its courts – and it has refused to assure Assange that he will not be
extradited to the USA because of his work with Wikileaks. That is what
the Ecuadorian state (most significantly because it is protecting
Assange) has asked of Sweden. There is no legal, much less moral,
impediment to Sweden offering such assurances. Sweden’s intransigence
stands in the way of the case moving forward, not Assange.

The filmmaker whom you have funded, Alex Gibney, stated to Democracy
Now that Assange is asking to be placed “above the law.”

In fact, Assange and Ecuador are merely asking for assurances that
Sweden will not violate its own laws – as it continues to do in the
case of the Egyptian men kidnapped and sexually assaulted on Swedish

You offer a long list of former Assange collaborators turned critics –
and in some cases outright enemies. Your list is largely composed of
corporate journalists. Perhaps there is something of importance there,
but not what you suggest. Anyone who significantly exposes the wrong
doing of powerful states should think very long and hard before working
in any way with the “liberal media”.

Joe Emersberger

[1] Background on this case is here, here and here

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