The Strange Case of Julian Assange

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Julian Assange has been in the news almost on a daily basis, ever since top secret US military reports and innumerable diplomatic cables were leaked by him two years ago.

Julian Assange

This move was courageous if not daring, and the general public ought to be grateful that so many secret documents within the US government machine have been made public, showing terrible evidence about the war in Iraq, treachery, wide-spread corruption, illegal spying. Yet there are more, many more compromising documents and scenarios waiting to see the light of day and the US government is making tremendous efforts to get Mr. Assange under their control.

Mr. Assange is to be extradited to Sweden where dubious allegations over sexual assaults were made against him. The obvious and devious spin behind the allegations is to get him back to Sweden and whisk him from there to the USA and throw away the key.

He has fought this extradition in the British courts and after 18 months of legal battle, the British Supreme Court surprisingly rejected Mr. Assange’s argument against extradition. After a court hearing of barely ten minutes, the decision was delivered by the 74 year-old president of the court, Nicholas Phillips, in one of his last major decisions before retirement this fall.

Mr. Assange is currently under the protection of the Ecuadorean embassy. The Ecuadorean government has found that Mr. Assange’s application for asylum is justified; additional material he submitted shows that he has a well-founded fear of political persecution, and risks torture or the death penalty in the United States in connection with the publication of truthful information of matters of interest to the public through his work with WikiLeaks.

Ever since Tony Blair and George W. Bush became best cousins and went to war against Iraq together, it appears British authorities are still in a lingering embrace with American authorities. Otherwise why would the British government make such a dim decision as to threaten Ecuador to suspend their embassy’s diplomatic status if they continue to shelter Mr. Assange, and moreover, threaten to have the British police enter the embassy building by force. The latter threat was later denied, denied, denied…

All this about one Australian man who is being sought merely for questioning (no charge or conviction) over sex crime allegations in Sweden? A diplomatic stand-off, accusations flying left and right while most of South America’s nations back Ecuador, scores of police surrounding the embassy building besieged by an unprecedented hostile British media who went even as far as accusing Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, of being a corrupt dictator. The spin doctors who wrote this script did an awful job and it is obvious that America, the self-styled sheriff of this planet, is behind it all. Again.

As reported by the Guardian on August 21, 2012, “A grand jury in Virginia has been preparing a case against Assange and WikiLeaks for espionage, a leak earlier this year suggested that the US government has already issued a secret indictment against Assange, while Australian diplomats have reported that the WikiLeaks founder is the target of an investigation that is ‘unprecedented both in its scale and its nature’.”

At this point in the developments we might want to recall the allegations made against Osho while he was staying abroad on his world tour, and most notably while in Uruguay, a country with a government that had the guts to grant him a one year visa. However, the American government in their witch hunt against Osho managed to put so much pressure on the Uruguayan government that they were compelled to ask Osho to leave:

The American government has been telling all the governments of the world that I should not be allowed, even as a tourist, in their countries. One small country, Uruguay, in South America, was very happy that I had come there, because the president had been reading my books, and he had not dreamt that I would ever come to Uruguay. So he said, “We will make every effort to give you land, so that you can create a community. Because not only will we be enriched by your presence and your disciples, but thousands of pilgrims will start coming; and we are a poor country – it will be a financial gain too.” And he immediately managed a one-year residence visa for me.

But when the American president, Ronald Reagan, became aware of it – the American ambassador in Uruguay informed him – he threatened the president of Uruguay: “Within thirty-six hours Osho should leave the country. Otherwise you will have to return all the loans that we have given you in the past, and all the loans – billions of dollars – which we were going to give you in the coming two years will not be given. So you can choose.”

Now, Uruguay cannot manage to return the money and cannot afford not to take billions of dollars in the coming two years, because her whole planning is based on those billions of dollars. The whole economy of the country would collapse. The president had tears in his eyes when he told me, “Your coming to our country has at least made me aware of one thing: that we are not independent. We have been living under a delusion.

“You will have to leave. It is illegal – because you have a valid residence visa for one year; and you have not committed any heinous crime – that is the only reason that a residence visa can be canceled.” And I had only been there one month. And he said, “It is unfortunate that I have to do it. I am doing it against my own conscience.”

Even this much the American president was not willing to concede: that I should simply leave the country. My plane was standing at the airport… I said, “There is no problem; I can leave the country. I will not put your country into such jeopardy.”

He said, “The American president insists that you should be deported; you should not leave the country without being deported. I am forced to commit crimes: first, to tell you for no reason to leave the country; you have done nothing. Second, to deport you. But I am absolutely helpless. Still, I want one thing: that on your passport there should be no stamp of deportation from Uruguay. We have a small airport – so move your airplane to that airport, and in the evening leave without informing us; so we can say, `He left without informing us. There was no time to deport him.'”

But he was wrong. As my jet moved to the small airport – the American embassy must have been watching – the American ambassador was there with all the stamps and the official whose business it is to deport people. I was delayed there, because they had to fill in all the forms, and as I left the country, I said, “It doesn’t matter….” In fact, my passport has become a historical document: I have been deported from so many countries without any reason.

Osho, The Rebellious Spirit, Ch 25, Q 1

Same spin and movie script, isn’t it?

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Originally published in Osho World Newsletter

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