Thursday, December 23, 2010

Julian Assange and K. ---- The Trial --- Before the Law

In Orson Well's version of The Trial, just as K. denounces the vast conspiracy, the attention of the audience as well as his own are seized by the spectacle of brutal sex, as at the back of the Court the Law student begins a brutal sexual assault disguised as passion on the Wife of the Jailer.

"What has happened to me," K. went on, rather more quietly than before, trying at the same time to read the faces in the first row, which gave his speech a somewhat disconnected effect, "what has happened to me is only a single instance and as such of no great importance, especially as I do not take it seriously, but it is representative of a misguided policy which is being directed against many other people as well.  It is for these that I take up my stand here, not for myself."

....There can be no doubt --- " said K. quite softly, for he was elated by the breathless attention of the meeting; in that stillness a subdued hum was audible which was more exciting than the wildest applause--- "there can be no doubt that behind all the actions of this court of justice, that is to say in my case, behind my arrest and today's interrogation, there is a great organization at work.  An organization which not only employs corrupt warders, oafish Inspectors, and Examining Magistrates of whom the best that can be said is that they recognize their own limitations, but also has at its disposal a judicial hierarchy of high, indeed of the highest rank, with an indispensable and numerous retinue of servants, clerks, police, and other assistants, perhaps even hangmen."

The speech is immediately forgotten by all, including the speaker, in the spectacle of sex although the import of the speech lingers throughout the book.  Do Assange's sexual acts and the wrongs that they might reveal invalidate or erase the actual cables that were leaked or the other thousands of pages that Wikileaks has published documenting corporate and governmental deceptions and crimes?  Not at all.  However, the megalomania and desire for power that Assange despises in the State are no less in evidence in his treatment of women and in his comparing himself to Martin Luther King, Jr. and other "martyrs".  Perhaps the problem with Asange is that he is so easy to disparage, while the work of Wikileaks is actually quite important and necessary.  Once the story became about his personality, then the full weight of the leaks were lost, just like the audience at K.'s hearing turned away from him to gaze upon the more enticing  spectacle.

"Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: "You'll risk lives! National security! You'll endanger troops!" Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can't be both. Which is it?....In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth." ---Assange
 "No," said the priest, "it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary....  "A melancholy conclusion," said K.  "It turns lying into a universal principle."
K. famously does not know the nature of his crimes and as Assange's lawyer stated, neither did they, although others say that they in reality know a great deal about their crime but will not accept it.  K. as well denies knowledge of his crime, pleads innocence, hires an attorney to delay his trial and indeed comes to understand that he always knew his crime.

"What's this about a 'pornograph'"?  asked K.'s Inspector in Welles' Trial 
"All this gibberish.  It won't look good in the record" said the Inspector.