After seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Julian Assange was arrested by U.K. authorities on Thursday, on charges of failing to surrender to the courts and also on a U.S. extradition warrant.
Footage of the arrest was dramatic: a struggling white haired man dragged bodily into a police van shouting about the unlawfulness of his arrest against a rather grey London backscape. The first thing everyone noticed was his appearance: long white beard, white hair bunned up, and a lot heavier than we had seen before. But he always went for dramatic effects — the shock of the white hair, the stark contrasts but still it was striking. Finally everyone noticed what Assange himself wanted us all to see – Gore Vidal’s “History of the National Security State” with its cover right in our face.
And now, the real news
“History” was published in 2014, two years after Vidal’s death (July 31 2012). It is a transcribed discussion of 4 interviews between Vidal and Paul Jay, the Canadian CEO and senior editor of the Real News Network, a nonprofit news organization based in Baltimore, Maryland, and an interlocutor (radio host) Jon Wiener. It discusses the rise of the American Empire and the history of the National Security State and how in his life, both in politics and literature, he has tried to stop it.
The Real News, CEO, Paul Jay’s uncle was Ted (Herman) Allan a militant communist, several of whose books were made into motion pictures. Mr. Jay also has made some money selling things to Hollywood, as has the actor Danny Glover, and the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez supporter, who is also on the board. They are doing well using the profits from commercialism for their “non commercialist” enterprise. It reminds me of the Stalin quote that “Capitalists will sell you the rope to hang him with.”
Real News suggests that Assange was surrendered for an Ecuadorean IMF loan. It sounds plausible, and the President Lenín Moreno, did describe the WikiLeaks founder as a ‘stone in our shoe,’ because holding him was costing the country heavyily — an Aussie paper says that the cost is around 9 million Australian dollars, or 5 million British pounds or 6.5 USD or so ).
And now, the real news
“History” was published in 2014, two years after Vidal’s death. It is a transcribed discussion between Vidal and Paul Jay, the Canadian CEO and senior editor of the Real News Network, a nonprofit news organization based in Baltimore, Maryland. Real News has the actor Danny Glover, and Hugo Chavez supporter, on its board, it suggests that Assange was surrendered for an Ecuadorean IMF loan. It sounds plausible, but last year the Embassy said that the costs were mounting up (9 million Australian dollars, or 5 million British pounds or 6.5 USD or ) and said they were hard pressed by it.
As for the Real News, CEO’s Paul Jay’s uncle was Ted (Herman) Allan a militant communist, several of whose books were made into motion pictures. Mr. Jay also has made some money selling things to Hollywood, as has its most notable luminary and former Hugo Chavez supporter, Danny Glover, on board. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Real News has a news channel on Youtube as well as a free newsletter.
Chelsea Manning, the other side of the Assange coin, ran for Congress last fall (she lost) in Baltimore. It does not seem that the RN supported her candidacy.
Back to the Book
The Vidal book is about the dangers of the security state, written by a man who is the cousin of the Vice President Albert Gore, who, in 2004, said, “The United States is not a normal country. We are under military surveillance and military control.” The back cover says “the historical events that led to the establishment of the massive military-industrial-security complex and the political culture that gave us ‘The Imperial Presidency.’”
It also features a quote from the author himself “I think everybody should take a sober look at the world about us, remember that practically everything you’re told about other countries is untrue.” (Vidal, openly homosexual, had been living overseas since the 1960s because of previous sodomy laws.)
It is the perfect ending to his historical books starting with Washington D.C., followed by Burr, Lincoln and 1876 — that were more history than fiction. Then he switched gears for a novelistic approached with Empire (1987) and Hollywood (1989) both picking up the same characters, primarily Caroline as the focus of the narrative, from Washington D.C. but in youth and early middle age as she moves from a “Tribune” press pioneer — shades of Orson Welles and the Hearst Tribune — to a movie actress. It is rather good how he captured that turn of events from sensational journalism to outright Entertainment Tonight but honestly Welles did it first in Citizen Kane and to a better effect.
Still “History” makes sense in the larger Vidal ouevure of course finishing off his United States Essays (1952-1993), the Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace (and how we got to be so hated) but also harkening back to one of his earliest books, A Search for the King (it was Arthur of the Round Table before the era of Camelot).
The book also makes sense for Eugene Luther Gore Vidal in his role as Chairman of the People’s Party he founded in 1971 as a Viet Nam peace and freedom party. It was a legitimate organization , running Dr. Benjamin Spock (for whom the Star Trek character was named) for the 1972 presidential elections that included “free medical care for all, legalized and paid abortion, legalized marijuana, a guaranteed minimum wage, the withdrawal of American from all foreign lands.” Sounds familiar doesn’t it AOC and Bernie? the only difference being Vidal was anti-open borders as he believed that “small ethnic communities enrich a culture,” but then they become large and overtake it, they “change and run it.“
And now the Charts
Attached are the transit charts overlaid onto Assange’s green natal of July 3 1971 in Townsville, Australia. The second chart in gold (Australia’s colours are green and gold) is the arrest. Mercury transiting is conjunct his Pisces 30 Part of Fortune (HS) “the Nobel Prize” and the quality of undying remembrance that transcends current time and place, which maybe prophetic as journalists around the globe are championing him as the ultimate Deep Throat and encouraging a source to provide him with information.
Uranus transiting in the sixth opposite Uranus in the natal eleventh brings home the various opinions on whether Assange is just a working journalist who encouraged a source to commit illegal activity to break a story — transiting Uranus to transiting Mercury conjunct Venus using Manning in this case. The passing Uranus is also opposite the natal Moon in the twelfth highlighting Assange’s, and Manning’s, joy of wrecking havoc with big government particularly as Luna is square Assange’s natal Midheaven and South Node. Could this be a fatal mistake? Possibly, but if it is, Assange seems to be hankering for it – natal Mars on the third-fourth house cusp opposite the transit PoF in the tenth — as though he yearns to be a martyr for his cause or is that he created a cause so he could be a martyr for it?
Natal Jupiter and Neptune in the first conjunct one another do suggest that he tends towards grandiose gestures and with both of them conjunct his ascendant opposite his natal Mars he does see himself larger than life.
The UK judiciary has set the trial for June 11th 2019. It will rule on the validity of the US extradition request. British courts though maybe less willing to entertain appeals since their last foray with an US computer hacker back in 2002, that did not work out well. Assange’s defense lawyers are likely to make a range of arguments against his extradition arguing “that this is a political case, and that he is being sought for reasons extraneous to the underlying offense,” said Rebecca Niblock, an extradition expert and partner at the UK law firm Kingsley Napley LLP. Though personally I do not see how they can separate the two, so perhaps Niblock is throwing out a red herring.
With Jupiter retrograde, dredging up the past so we can all get re-familiar with the show seems to be all the focus, whether it is the Assange-Manning spectacle or Game of Throne’s. The big guy will be retrograde for the next two months, including Assange’s trial date, so we doubt anything we be settled either fast or furiously.
Calendar wise, Western Palm Sunday is tomorrow; US Tax Day is Monday; Passover is on the 20th and Western Easter the next day on the 21st. Eastern Pascha shows up on 27th, unless you are still on the Julian Calendar in which case its on Mother’s Day. With so much going on, maybe we should all just kick back and listen to Victor Hugo’s magnificent Hunchback of Notre Dame, and not care whether the Imp, or Snow make it to the finals.