|Is the casual Carr of the blog |
to dematerialise utterly, forever?
As for Assange, Carr holds a composite view that seems to be at odds with the views of both supporters and detractors. For a start, he called Assange "an under-educated [egomaniac]" for WikiLeaks (post of 17 December 2010), which he regretted because "Lives could depend on ... confidentiality." In a post dated 13 February 2011, Carr explained his rationale more fully:
Daniel Ellsberg did not breach secrecy for its own sake. He was acutely conscious of the risks of disclosure and did not circulate documents betraying live diplomatic efforts to end the fighting. The Wikileaks dumped on the Web allow endless mischief. They can be data-mined and pattern-mined by the Chinese and private companies. Amoral – nothing in common with Ellsberg’s intervention aimed at exposing US lies about Vietnam and ending the killing.Some might counter that the difference between the Pentagon Papers (what the material Ellsberg revealed is called) and WikiLeaks disclosures is merely a matter of scale, and that Carr's rearward view is tinted rosy merely by dint of the mellowing effect of time's passing. But Carr, it seems, believes that modern technology has changed the game, so that the potential for undesirable damage has now increased to a critical point. (Carr doesn't include a search tool on his blog, probably for the same reason; to find blog posts here you have to go to the monthly lists and scan.) Nevertheless, Carr takes a compassionate view regarding the treatment of Assange, although we must reason that the scale of his empathy is tempered by the association he makes between one element of the Assange case and a personal hobby-horse of his about a charter of rights (he doesn't think we need one). On 2 February 2012 Carr explained his thinking:
If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times. Australia, the advocates said, had an inferior rights record to Europe because all the countries of Europe were stitched up in its charter of rights.
And how do you explain the treatment of Julian Assange under European jurisdictions, that of the UK and Sweden?He goes on to list his objections to the Swedish process in respect of Assange. The prosecutor is the same person as the judge, he scoffs. The hearing would be held in secret, without the presence of the public. The accusation (he says "charge" although there has been no formal charge) involves rape but the sex was consensual. The complainants talked together about revenge. "Hang on," Carr muses.
None of the above happens here. Would anyone disagree that Assange would be better off in an Australian court? In a system, that is, without a charter or a bill of rights?