December 8, 2010

Rudd and Assange, together again

Hell's bells, stuff everyone in the antipodes already knew:
''Rudd … undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia's foreign policy. His performance so far, however, demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly,'' the embassy bluntly observed in November 2009.

The cables show how initially favourable American impressions of Mr Rudd, as ''a safe pair of hands'', were quickly replaced by sharp criticism of his micromanagement and mishandling of diplomacy as he focused on photo and media opportunities.

In concluding his assessment, Mr Clune suggested that Mr Rudd's ''haphazard, overly secretive decision-making process'' would continue to generate foreign policy problems.

Seven months later, Mr Rudd lost the prime ministership, but he remains very much in charge of Australia's diplomacy.”
Rudd, as is his way, shrugged off the vigorous content of the diplomatic commentary.  

Meanwhile, in an instance of our taxes being used appropriately, Rudd has confirmed that Julian Assange is receiving Australian support in London:

"Mr Rudd said Mr Assange had the right to the presumption of innocence.

He said he spoke on Wednesday morning with Australia’s high commissioner in London to ensure Mr Assange was getting the assistance he was entitled to as an Australian national.

He said Australian consular officials attended Mr Assange’s London court hearing and had arranged to have regular visits with him.”
Good.
 
Irony upon irony, Rudd's public statements about Assange have been superbly diplomatic and crisply measured. Unlike our PM, who has backed down on her initial brassy comments, when she was urgently in search of a law under which to charge Assange in this country. She now seems to think that the "leak" was illegal, rather than the publication of such. (Yeah, she has a law degree; just took her a few days to remember where she'd put it.)

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