September 24, 2018
Article revised 26/9/18 to reflect that Mr Assange was never formally charged with any criminal offense.
Craig Murray’s allegations about the extent of the selectivity and frank dishonesty underpinning the Guardian’s recent “reveal” regarding Julian Assange and his alleged (and seemingly entirely invented) bid to “escape” to Russia, should shock us all. Even those of us all too familiar with the Graun’s decline, and with self-styled journalist Luke Harding’s previous collisions with basic ethics and confused relationship with veridical reality.
For those not familiar with the story, here’s a quick recap.
On Friday September 21 the Guardian published a piece titled “Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Assange escape from UK”. It was authored by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Dan Collyns and our very own pulp plagiarist Luke Harding. Even without Murray’s subsequent revelations, there was a lot to be concerned about both in the headline and the article itself.
The headline worryingly invoked the idea both that Assange was effectively a prisoner of the UK (which the UK government has always denied), and that, as far as the Guardian was concerned, this was actually fine, and the only real problem might be Russia’s alleged plan to “help him escape.” This is worrying because it betrays the depth of estrangement from basic ideas of ethics, legality and morality that the current Russia-hysteria embodies. The headline has been composed by people who think anything Russia does and anyone Russia associates with is so automatically evil that merely invoking the name renders all ethical/legal/moral questions nul.