Rusbridger’s New Wig 143

Judging by his picture in today’s Guardian, Alan Rusbridger has invested in a new wig which plumbs new depths of unconvincingness, even by Rusbridger standards. He is moving past Donald Trump territory in the direction of Danny La Rue.

The great mortification of my own life is that Nadira insists upon dyeing my hair – there are evident cultural differences over the acceptability of the practice, to the extent that Nadir’s distress at a white-haired partner even exceeds my own shame and embarassment over the dyeing.

But what, you ask, does my or Rusbridger’s hair dishonesty have to do with our work or opinions? Nothing, really. But the Guardian seems to prize such pointless character assassination, like this from Polydor Airhead on Julian Assange:

But when Assange appears, he seems more like an in-patient than an interviewee, his opening words slow and hesitant, the voice so cracked as to be barely audible. If you have ever visited someone convalescing after a breakdown, his demeanour would be instantly recognisable. Admirers cast him as the new Jason Bourne, but in these first few minutes I worry he may be heading more towards Miss Havisham.

Which is an untrue description to the point of being an absolute lie. I have spent a lot more time, including insude the Ecuadorean Embassy, with Julian than Ms Airhead, and I can assure you that the most striking thing about Julian is he is very normal. Intelligent and interesting, but normal. These attempts to dehumanise him by portraying him as a weirdo are deeply sinister. It is also completely untrue that he does not meet many people in the Embassy. I am willing to bet he sees more visitors than Ms Airhead. And her speculation on who he is sleeping with is disgusting.

Rusbridger – a man more disgusting than his wig.

143 thoughts on “Rusbridger’s New Wig

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  • Arbed

    Heretic, 2.22pm

    “His argument that he will be arrested and deported to the US if he goes back to Sweden is, I’m afraid to say, simply nonsense.”

    You haven’t been paying enough attention. There’s heaps of evidence of US efforts to do exactly that. This was posted in Craig’s blog over a month ago:

    The US will request extradition from Sweden if Assange gets there and Sweden will drop its sex investigation and comply. That’s just based on what I know about the Grand Jury investigation and debates in Congress about “off-shoring” Assange (yes, literally named in a detailed discussion on how to move the case via a FISA court ruling that he’s an “enemy of the US” and therefore out of the federal court system down to military jurisdiction in Guantanamo. It’s on C-Span and in the Congressional record) and suchlike (formal attempt to get Wikileaks designated as an FTO – Foreign Terrorist Organisation; formal request by Rep Peter King to the Secretary of State that she liaise with Sweden to get Assange extradited to the US; a letter from Dept of Justice General Counsel Harold Koh setting the grounds for indictment, etc – all in the public record; confirmation in June 2012 that there’s still about 16 federal and military law enforcement agencies currently working on the Wikileaks Grand Jury (from testimony at Manning’s hearings, etc)), and the geo-politics of Sweden’s position.

    Here’s those documents, plus a couple more:

    The “off-shoring to Gitmo” Congressional discussion – specifically about Assange

    Rep Peter King (Chair of the Homeland Security Committee in Congress) letters to Attorney-General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (scroll down):…

    Letter by US Dept of Justice General Counsel Harold Koh to Wikileaks – lays the groundwork for formal indictment:

    Confirmation that the Grand Jury’s still active (2 July 2012) by Dean Boyd, DoJ spokesman:

    Dianne Feinstein’s (Chair of Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee) 2 July 2012 call for Assange to be prosecuted for espionage:

    The 4 or 5 subpoenas to the Grand Jury already issued to Wikileaks-related people (remember the statute numbers mentioned in the subpoena here – I’ll come back to those):

    And there are all sorts of subpoenas still under seal that have been identified. Read what Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic MP who was involved in producing the “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks video, has to say about her own State Dept’s advice not to travel to the US, despite US assurances that all was fine, she had nothing to fear:…

    Then there’s the Grand Jury case number – 10GJ3793 (guess what that 793 stands for…) And the FBI Wikileaks investigation file of 42,135 pages mentioned at Bradley Manning’s hearings, only 8,741 pages of which relate to Manning – per the US government prosecutor’s at his pre-trial hearings.

    And this is the list of US law enforcement agencies that it’s been confirmed are STILL working on the Wikileaks Grand Jury case:

    Department of Defense (DOD): including CENTCOM, SOUTHCOM, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) for US Army Cyber Command and the 2nd Army and US Forces Iraq (USFI), as well as US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU). Within that or in addition to that three military intelligence investigations.

    Department of Justice (DOJ) Grand Jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigations

    Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)

    Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National CounterIntelligence Executive (ONCIX), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    Investigations into WikiLeaks have also been conducted by the House Oversight Committee, National Security Staff Interagency Committee and the PIAB (President’s Intelligence Advisory Board).

    Phew! That’s an awful lot of resources to expend if you have absolutely no intention of indicting someone…

    But… here’s the kicker. It’s a Congressional Research Service survey of available legislation with which to prosecute WikiLeaks:

    A few points to bear in mind:

    1) who commissions the Congressional Research Service? That’s right, Congress. This survey was published in June 2012, I think. Not sure when it was commissioned exactly, but it does suggest there is still a very high-level push in the US to extradite Assange.

    2) Count the number of ostensibly ‘criminal’ rather than ‘political’ charges in there – computer-related crimes, theft of documentation, etc. A US extradition request will clear the Swedish judicial system – with all its checks and balances against extradition for ‘political’/death penalty crimes – with NO problems WHATSOEVER.

    Likewise, there is a way for the UK to agree to onward extradition to a third country AND avoid that decision going through judicial review in the UK courts. The Home Secretary (Theresa May, God help us…) simply has to waive the ‘specialty’ clause, Section 58, of the 2003 Extradition Act. It’s all in here:

    There ya go, all done at the stroke of a pen! How to achieve desired political outcomes by utilising our treasured, impartial and fair, legal and judicial systems.

  • Mary

    Ptolemy will miss the old boy. Any man who likes cats is alright by me.

    Apart from the fact that Moore was a Thatcherite and a bit of a misogynist, he communicated his passion for astronomy to the public so well and made it understandable.

    There are some nice tributes coming out from Brian May, Brian Cox and Prof Colin Pillinger amongst others. One of the last English eccentrics is no more.

  • Arbed

    Heretic, 2.22pm

    Bonus feature: You may have seen a recent article in which a “Top EU official” agrees with you that Assange’s fears are all nonsense, all rubbish. Well, here’s a bit of a ‘backgrounder’ on that:

    Cecilia Malmstrom featured in a London Evening Standard article headlined “Top EU official tells Julian Assange: ‘Just go to Sweden and answer the charges’”:

    Swedish politician Cecilia Malmstrom claims to know very little about the Swedish sex crimes allegations – she simply can’t see why the US would extradite for sex crime allegations: “I don’t believe for a minute that’s why he would go to the US,”

    Is she really trying to play that stupid? Nobody, but nobody, has ever thought that the US would attempt to extradite Assange for sex crimes.

    But she’s not that dumb at all. She’s fully complicit in the US attempt at extradition:

    Here’s a Congressional C-Span video showing Cecilia Malmstrom sitting at the same table as US Attorney-General Eric Holder as he confirms they’ve had “informal talks about Wikileaks” and their supposed threat to “US National Security” at a 9 December 2010 US/EU conference about cyber-security and cyber-crime:


    On 9 December 2010 US Attorney-General Eric Holder and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with their European counterparts Viviane Reding, Principal Vice-President of the European Union, EU Council Interior Minister Annemie Turtleboom and Justice Minister Steefan de Clerck, and Cecilia Malmstrom, a Swedish politician currently serving as European Commissioner for Home Affairs to discuss US-EU cyber-security and cyber-crime partnerships. Eric Holder stated:

    “We had, I think, informal conversations about the WikiLeaks matter and the concerns that it has raised in the minds of all of us. The hope here in the United States is that the investigation that we are conducting will allow us to hold the people responsible accountable” and “I think that the release of this information has put at risk American National Security, and whatever is to come… will be consistent with the concerns that I have expressed.”

    In fact, Cecilia Malmstrom and Eric Holder co-authored an article only the day before her Evening Standard piece. How chummy…*.html

    I doubt such close and friendly relations between an EU Interior Minister and the US Attorney-General are entirely unrelated to the former’s insistence in the Evening Standard that Assange MUST go to Swedish to face the (non-existant) charges…

    To further dispel any lingering doubt about Ms Malmstrom’s motives, the date of the conference at which her own “informal conversations” about Wikileaks with the US Attorney-General are confirmed – 9 December 2010 – is only one day after the Independent newspaper confirmed on 8 December 2010:

    “Informal discussions have already taken place between US and Swedish officials over the possibility of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being delivered into American custody, according to diplomatic sources”

    Given her own involvement in similar US/EU talks only one day later and her position in Swedish politics, if Cecilia Malmstrom is now claiming to have no knowledge of high-level diplomatic discussions about “delivering Assange into US custody” – and that’s precisely what she is doing in the above Evening Standard piece – then she’s lying through her teeth.

  • Jon

    [Deleted two off-topic items from Heretic. More sock-puppeting means more deletions].

    [Deleted two items from Tony Roma – you’re veering too close to homophobic abuse. Stay on topic please]

  • BrusselsLout

    News quality plunged since women started writing for newspapers.

    Oooh, a misogynist? Just the facts. Before WWII almost only men read papers. The news consisted largely of foreign affairs, politics and the occasional development in science. Men’s stuff.

    Then, editors discovered that by including horoscopes, celebrity gossip and local crime, they could capture women readers and make a killing. They could even use women writers to add appeal. It worked.

    Now, the likes of Decca Airhead form the norm. A piece on freedom fighter Julian Assange is written in shallow gossip style.

    Mr. Assange and his three associates Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmermann have brilliantly identified the form of the chilling order the world is moving into. Not before time. They have even analyzed this down to details.

    But Airhead’s take? She quotes and dismisses. It’s as if her message is “ooooh men! Aren’t they silly?”.

    This reflects the Guardian’s angle as a whole. And the Independent’s and the BBC’s. The world’s policeman and greatest superpower has committed untold war crimes but news on Mr. Assange is focussed on lovers’ tiffs and broken condoms.

    Written for women. Much of it written by women, the rest by men who think like women.

    Messrs Assange, Appelbaum, Müller-Maguhn, Zimmermann, Craig and Shamir, a few others too, have arrived on time. Unless men — who actually THINK like men — move back into the driving seat the world doesn’t have a hope.

  • John Goss

    Four days ago I emailed the following to the President of the University of Calgary and I am still waiting for a reply.

    ‘Dear Dr Elizabeth Cannon

    Professor Tom Flanagan should be stripped of his professorial degree for
    his comment encouraging the US President Obama to put out a contract on
    Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, to be killed by a drone.
    Professors, when I was at university, debated with people who held a
    different viewpoint by using reasoned argument. They did not threaten to
    have other academics killed. Professor Flanagan’s remarks are the kind
    expected to be heard from terrorists, not academics. And then to defend
    them by saying he felt rather ‘manly today’ only added to the disgust
    felt by reasonable people hearing his comments. Using drones to kill
    anybody is not an act of manliness; it is an act of cowardice.

    He has brought disgrace on the University of Calgary. His chair should
    be removed from him. I am offended that anyone, let alone a professor,
    could comment in such a way without censure. I should like to know what
    action the University of Calgary is taking for this offence since the
    video, which I have only just seen, is, as it should be, in the public

    Yours sincerely

    John Goss
    B Soc Sc (International Studies with honours), University of Birmingham
    M Litt, University of Birmingham’

    Email addresses for Dr Cannon and Professor Flanagan are: [email protected], [email protected]

  • BrusselsLout

    John — good informative post.

    But I’m just wondering how they could kill JA by drone and not stir up panic in the UK.

    Would they attempt to cover it up? I think news suppression on that level would be difficult.

    Or perhaps it could be somehow tied in with the recent phantom lung infection? An insect with a virus tip starts off a disease? They would say they told us so.

    But a craft any bigger than an insect would be seen by many thousands. That Knightsbridge/South Ken area is busy all the time. (Except nights?)

    How could they do it?

  • Arbed

    Hi John,

    I don’t know if R.S. did – I certainly posted it a couple of places. By the way, very well done on your contribution to the open letter to the Nobel Laureates. The above email to University of Calgary is a corker too!

    By the way, did you see my question on the Why I’m Convinced thread (also in pole position on this one) about if anyone wants to meet up at the Ecuadorian embassy on 20 December, 7pm for the speech Assange plans from the balcony:

    I was the mad idiot who brought along all the balloons in the colours of the Ecuadorian flag the crowd was holding during the last balcony speech (I get these deranged ideas from time to time… have you ever tried to bundle 150 filled balloons in the back of a transit van? Never again…) but that won’t do this time as it’ll be dark.

    Dunno, I feel the urge to do something batty, something with a bit of entertainment value, to mark the occasion but I’ve no idea what. It really needs something like the illuminated Santas and reindeer displays people put out on their yards in the States – parked just alongside the lines of police cordon they’ll set up no doubt, or besides the (apparently 80-man) police surveillance unit that’s parked permanently outside the embassy – but I’ve no idea where to source that kind of thing…

  • Arbed

    John Goss, 6.14pm

    Oh, sorry, I’ve got my wired twisted. If you mean did your latest info on McCormac turn up in Flashback, yes it did.

  • John Goss

    Arbed, I did see your invitation. If possible I will be there with a friend. We can try to link up although I expect it will be choc-a-bloc.

    My new information was not what I posted on this blog. But I’m not on Flashback so I do not know if it is the same. It related to McCormac in the US and investments. Was that the one?

  • Mary

    Thanks John for writing to Calgary Univ. What an outrage. I will tell Kim Petersen, one of the editors of Dissident Voice. He is a Canadian.

    It was sad to read that Hugo Chavez is ill again and that he needs more surgery. Bad news for him and for his country.

  • Arbed

    Oh-oh, just watched it again (long time since I first saw it) and Flanagan isn’t in this one. It’s still shocking though.

  • John Goss

    I think 8.59 pm is trying to sell something. Mods, that is not what this blog is for. [Mod/Jon: yep, it was spam, now deleted]

    Thanks Mary and Arbed for your comments. As to Flanagan I would quote Mandy Rice Davis “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?” Even after he has committed academic hari-kari he continues to say that Julian Assange is irresponsible and puts lives at risk. What about the lives that the US military really put at risk as exposed by Julian Assange or rather Wikileaks? Flanagan’s trying to save his skin.

  • arsalan

    Message for craig. Dye your bloody head. What is your problem? You know No one will notice if you dye it, it is not like she is making you dye it ginger or something.
    Bloodyhell, some people!

    While your at it work out a bit.

  • Roderick Russell

    As a fellow resident of Calgary, I was sorry to hear back in 2010 that Professor Flanagan had foolishly called for the murder of Julian Assange. My thoughts back then were that the Prof. couldn’t have really meant what he said; but it is certainly true that Canada’s “Harper” Government seems to put the interest of power elites ahead of the rule of law, and appears comfortable when Canada’s Spy agency acts outside the law to terrorize innocent citizens.
    And of course Prof. Flanagan is very influential with the government here — having been both the academic Mentor (Guru) and political Campaign Manager for Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper — and is surely in a position to know that we need organizations like Wikileaks to help us get at the truth.
    For example, it was Wikileaks who first told Canadians that the former Chief of our Spy agency CSIS had finally admitted, in a cable to the Americans, that CSIS was illegally “Vigorously Harassing” Canadian residents. Since our media is too fearful of our security / intelligence apparatus to report the truth about this type of issue, Canadian Citizens would never have known about these criminal tactics without Wikileaks. My own story of persecution, intimidation and harassment is outlined on this URL:
    Prof. Flanagan’s former pupil – Prime Minister Harper – is aware of the issues I have raised since they have been put before him several times. And many of these incidents are well-witnessed too. Indeed a friend of my wife’s, who is also known personally to the Harpers, was surveyed and stalked just for having lunch with my wife in a restaurant that is only 5 minutes from Prof. Flanagan’s university.

  • Heretic

    “You haven’t been paying enough attention. There’s heaps of evidence of US efforts to do exactly that.”

    Sorry, but evidence of US efforts of extradition over Wikileaks and Swedish intent to investigate a rape allegation are not the same thing.

    What is being done here is that those investigating the rape allegations are, quite rightly, *unable* to offer Assange an immunity deal and that is being treated as suspicious. If you or I get asked to help the Police with inquiries into a robbery what do you think they would say if you went “OK, but promise not to ask me about any murders”?

    Mr Assange should have more faith in his fellow countrymen and the legal process of his native country. As I already said, his financial backers can provide him with the best legal team ever seen in a Swedish court house.

  • Heretic

    ‘what do you think they would say if you went “OK, but promise not to ask me about any murders”? ‘

    Assange is not only saying that but he is also saying that they can question him about the ‘robbery’ but not under caution, cannot take statements and are not allowed to charge him, which makes this whole approach as an attempt at a ‘defence’ to the allegations legally irrelevant.

  • nevermind

    heretic you are juddering, how can you possibly move with no legs to stand on?

    Tahnks for the excellent link John Goss, why should Mr. Flannagan use such past IRA tactics on Mr. Assange, he should take his hat and retire, I shall also write him a little ditty about using his head to think before speaking, next time, rather than his backside.

    To let you in on a secret. Rusbridger is green, because after wearing this ex Japanese breast toupee in for him, for two sweaty years, it is nowe adequate soft enough to fit his soft head.
    I’m glad that is cleared up.

    @ Mary. This is for you, I know you have a soft spot for her, i.e. from 30.000ft into an Irish peat bog. Read the news, Choe Smith is wedding soldier boy.

  • Arbed

    Oh, ok Heretic, I can see how misinformed you are about the whole case if you are under the impression that Assange is of Swedish nationality.

    I had thought the statements you make here were because you had taken a real interest in the case, albeit a badly misinformed one. Sorry, but I’m not going to go to the trouble of correcting your false statements or providing the true facts if you’re not going to make any effort to inform yourself about the case.

  • Kempe

    Oh come on anyone can see Flannagan is not being serious; obvious from his expression and his tone of voice.

    The article claiming Sweden and the US were plotting Assange’s onward extradition is two years old. Not a lot seems to have happened since, still no US warrant for his arrest. Once again it hinges on the hoary old myth that it would be easier for the US to extradite him from Sweden than the UK and nothing could be further from the truth. To begin with it would require the consent of both the UK and Swedish judiciaries which could take years.

  • Arbed

    Kempe, 11.36pm

    “The article claiming Sweden and the US were plotting Assange’s onward extradition is two years old. Not a lot seems to have happened since…”

    You – and Heretic – are conveniently ignoring my 9 Dec 3.19pm post setting out how a top Swedish (and EU) politician, who called on 3rd December 2012 for Assange to “just go and answer the charges in Sweden”, has herself been working closely with the US Justice Department to facilitate Assange’s transfer to the US.

    Here’s the full history of Swedish politician Cecilia Malmstrom’s liaison with Eric Holder on the “fight against cybercrime” (aka “Get Wikileaks”). Use Google translate. Note the dates – 14 April 2011… 2 May 2012… 3 December 2012.

    Nothing’s happened for two years? You mean, nothing’s been trumpeted in the press for two years. Hmm, wonder why they try to keep these things quiet…?

    By the way, this is just one small piece of all the political manoeuvring that’s been going on behind the scenes. Just one small piece. Believe me, there’s plenty more.

  • John Goss

    Roderick Russell 12.29 am. Thanks for that additional information. Another point of interest is that the three ambassadors to Israel, from Canad, US, and UK, are all Jewish. If any poor sod (citizen that is) from Canada, US or UK needs their embassy in Tel Aviv unless they are Jewish, they can forget it. I think this is to ensure that the Israeli war machine can proceed without hindrance.

    On a separate topic the Saudis are illegally despatching condemned prisoners to destabilise Syria.

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