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Tom Hayden says there’s nothing to a US conspiracy against Julian Assange, and he’s got the nothing to confirm it

What an ugly hit piece against Julian Assange, by Tom Hayden in The Nation. Formerly of the American Left, Hayden used to need no introduction, now he mistakenly cross-posts assignments for the State Department (see A view from Sweden). Hayden dismisses notions of a US-led conspiracy to render the Wikileaks mastermind from the UK to Sweden and thence into the US torture system, along the logic that such accusations only anger the Swedes and make the outcome self-fulfilling. Hayden’s argument is to shoehorn Assange to Sweden now, to take his licks, before you make Dad really angry.
 
Based on everyone he’s talked to, Hayden says there’s no conspiracy. Seriously, that’s his logic. And he admonishes us against speculating wildly about unknowns. Whenever a writer prefaces their investigation with “some facts will never be known” I can picture them already leaning on the shovel. Even if Hayden intended to dig, it’s like he’s come upon a suspect’s backyard full of holes. Glancing into each one he concludes, yep, no evidence here.

You wonder what Hayden would make of a document completely redacted.

That’s right, what the Swedish prosecutors won’t tell us, what the USG won’t say, the extraordinarily swift synchronicity of legal actions against Assange kept under a veil? Not even question marks. More important to Hayden are questions he can load, like this one:

Why is the United States pursuing Assange as the conspiratorial mastermind of WikiLeaks, when his reputation, credibility and organization have been so damaged?

I think Assange’s reluctance to be sucked into the black hole that Sweden has become, is reinforced by the fact that the Nation Magazine has to get its “view from Sweden” from an American.

My best clue about Hayden’s focus is when he pretends to restore perspective by reflecting that aspersions cast against Assange (each with an assist by Hayden, if you’re keeping score), be weighed against the good which Wikileaks has done. Thereupon Hayden lists revelations we owe to Wikileaks. But they’re body counts from the Iraq and Afghan documents and nothing from the diplomatic cables, about the Middle East, North Africa, etc. I guess that underlies why Hayden can’t find probable cause for US forces to ally against Assange. It’s the “nothing new here” talking point.

Based on everyone I’ve talked to, Hayden’s an idiot. I’d rather give him less credit.

At the Frontline Club forum on Saturday, Assange said what’s needed now are troves of files from the CIA and FBI, and he added temptingly, the New York Times, the pace car of American media. Assange related that he’d just learned from Daniel Ellsberg that the NYT had 1,000 pages of the Pentagon Papers one month before Ellsberg leaked them. We know the corporate press prints “all the news that’s fit” but wouldn’t it be great to get confirmation?

Don’t worry about Hayden’s nothing, he already has all the confirmation he wants.

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