For the first time in more than a decade there’s cause for hope.
First published in ‘A Secret Australia,’ December 2020 Every act of repression offers a choice between retreat or defiance, fear or anger. In the comfortable West for as long as I’ve been alive, that word – repression – was crafted as something distant. Repression was something unleashed in Eastern Europe, or Tiananmen Square, or the back blocks of Nairobi. It was something that advanced and civilised democratic nations stood against, buttressed by the human rights instruments they had drafted after the defeat of fascism in the 1940s. Like most fairytales, this origin story has taken grains of truth and
Way back in the 1920s, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach formalised a scheme for diagnosing schizophrenia that involved showing abstract patterns of ink blots to patients, and drawing conclusions about their mental state from how they interpreted the images. Where one subject sees a butterfly in the enigmatic splatters, maybe you see a pair of wolves poledancing, or whatever, it’s on you. First published at Crikey The WikiLeaks organisation has operated as a kind of political Rorschach test since at least 2010, when they exploded into mass consciousness with the Collateral Murder footage of journalists and bystanders being executed by
“We don’t discuss intelligence matters,” Australia’s bewildered Prime Minister told the media again this morning, making him the only person left on earth not discussing intelligence matters. Finally, seven months after the fuse was lit, the scandal of the US National Security Agency surveillance state has finally detonated in Australia.
By now, anyone following the extraordinary twists in the WikiLeaks story will have heard the Government, from the Prime Minister on down, insisting that they have provided full consular assistance for Julian Assange, and don’t know anything about US plans to prosecute him. These statements tend to be delivered in a tone of wounded innocence, as though the Government can’t believe that people don’t appreciate the strenuous efforts they’re making to support this Australian citizen. It is a peculiar form of consular assistance that is being delivered here. It extends to the Prime Minister pre-emptively judging the work of