Rusbridger’s Lies are Sacred and Neo-Con Comment is Free 100

Today’s Guardian editorial quotes directly from my speech at the Ecuadorean Embassy, in a sneering way:

their remarks concerned western Europe’s “neocon juntas”

The Guardian editorial makes the direct claim that I, and the other speakers, omitted all mention of the sexual allegations against Julian Assange in Sweden. That is a direct lie by the Guardian. In fact over half my speech – 23 sentences to be precise – were dedicated to the allegations against Assange and putting them in the context of the irrefutable evidence of the serial use of such allegations against various whistleblowers, including myself, in order to damage their reputation and brand them as criminals unconnected to whistleblowing.

Despite quoting my speech in its editorial, and mentioning it three times in its liveblog of the rally, the Guardian at no stage made any attempt to indicate the gist of what I actually said. Even the New York Times, without giving any of my explanation, at least got the point when it reported that:

a former British diplomat, Craig Murray, asserted that Mr. Assange had been “fitted up with criminal offenses” as a pretext

Of course the Guardian did not overlook what the NYT picked up. You could not overlook all 23 sentences of it. But simply the Guardian wished to run an editorial arguing that the Swedish allegations had been completely ignored. The facts did not suit Rusbridger’s comment. So Rusbridger’s comment remained free and lies were sacred.

The Guardian’s shrill and vitriolic campaign against Assange is extraordinary in its ferocity, persistence and pointless repetition.. The sad truth is that its origins lie in the frustration of the Guardian’s hopes to make a great deal of cash from involvement in Assange’s putative memoirs. That such a once great paper should fall sway to such a mean-minded little neo-con lickspittle as Rusbridger and his Blair supporting coterie is a great tragedy.

This is what, contrary to Rusbridger’s lies, I actually said:

Anybody with time and patience might like to keep posting links to it under the Guardian editorial once they open comments on it tomorrow morning.

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100 thoughts on “Rusbridger’s Lies are Sacred and Neo-Con Comment is Free

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  • Jives

    I’ve said it before Craig and it bears repeating:

    Thank you so much for your principles,integrity and sheer bravery in these vital matters.It’s so important for our future.Your intelligence,compassion,dogged determination and seemingly inexhaustible energy,against so many draining odds,is a true inspiration.

  • Sandi Dunn

    I sent this official complaint to the BBC tonight using their complaint on line system – what are the chances it will be answered: “Re last night’s BBC 2 Newsnight programme item on Rape and Julian Assange . Having just watched it tonight 21 Aug, on iplayer, I want to make an OFFICIAL COMPLAINT of bias in how the interview was conducted by Gavin Esslar.

    The dignified ex British Ambassador, Craig Murray, had great trouble trying to explain his rational reason for supporting Assange But the supposed supporter of women’s issues ( I am left wing and feminist too but I would not want to depend on her black and white, prejudiced view to look after my interests) was allowed to speak over him. Why was Craig Murray’s highly relevant point about the usual practice of accusing whistleblowers of sex and similar crimes not given the space to be aired properly, especially as he had a string of recent high profile examples, including his own to tell of? (I read he was accused of exchanging sex for visas).

    The Independent Paper’s Joan Smith sounded unreasoned. One would have expected her to have had a more measured response and some sympathy for this ex Ambassador who lost his job and had to fight to clear his name for taking a brave stand against the the UK government over its secret part in rendition and torture. It is a wonder she didn’t end with an “all men are rapists so Assange must have done it” as this is the underlying message the BBC are peddling against JA and his plight, – on all London Radio 94.9 progs too. The real story for News Night (and The Guardian) is the Ambassador’s story so please cover the sex accusations that he raised as viewers might not be familiar with these highly relevant details as others are..His story gives important context to this whole affair.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Went to comment on the Guardian editorial when i first read your blog post here Craig. It said comments would be opened the next morning – by the next evening when i went to comment on it again, they’d closed comments on it – and they seem to be closing comments on every comment article referring to the Assange case within hours to a day instead of the usual several days.

    Their latest editorial – on Galloway and Akin’s comments doesn’t even allow comments on it. They’ve also repeatedly misrepresented Galloway’s comments. While he expressed it in a slightly strange way i’m pretty sure what he meant was that if two people are in a sexual relationship, they don’t always formally ask “do you want to have sex?” followed by a reply – they just have sex. That is not condoning rape.

    Because he used “sleeping with each other” to mean sex (and its commonly used to mean that) some commenters on some CiF threads were even ridiculously claiming he’d said it was ok to have sex with someone while they were sleeping.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    oh wait – they do at least have comments still open on Seumas Milne’s comment article arguing the US wanting to get hold of Assange and close down wikileaks is the reason for the whole thing

  • Duncan McFarlane

    and is this BBC account of Galloway’s podcast accurate? If so maybe the CiF commenters were right (unfortunately)

    ‘In a podcast on Monday, Mr Galloway, MP for Bradford West, created a storm by suggesting that one of the women concerned had consensual sex with Mr Assange and then “woke up to him having sex with her again” – arguing that this did not constitute rape.

    He added: “It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, ‘do you mind if I do it again?’ It might be…bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”‘

    I don’t think he’s entirely wrong here, but i’m starting to wish i hadn’t commented on any of this at all

  • Duncan McFarlane

    The Guardian is still much better than most newspapers and allows a far wider range of comment pieces than most.

    The editorial with it’s facts wrong is probably down to laziness (i suspect the editor didn’t even bother to watch a video of Craig’s speech). I suspect it’s laziness – but it’s ridiculous that the Press Complaints Commission never enforces its own rule that if the PCC finds a claim in a newspaper was false then a correction “as prominent as the original” has to be published. Instead papers get off with tiny little side columns hiding away corrections, even of completely false claims that were in front page headlines. That’s because of self-regulation, which doesn’t work.

    That said i’d still take it up with the PCC, Craig, in order to encourage them to check their facts before reporting on what you’ve said.

    We need a better system of regulation – but we have to be careful we don’t end up letting the government set up a system that allows them to label any fact or argument that embarasses them and big donors to party funds false and have it suppressed. That would be even worse than the shambles we have at the moment.

  • Abe Rene

    A splendid speech Craig, keep up the good work. I suspect that William Hague will regret speaking under the influence of 28 pints (or whatever) about invading Ecuadorean sovereign territory.

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