Sunday 24 April 2022
Peter Hitchens writes:
Only Home Secretary Priti Patel now stands between the journalist Julian Assange and the spiteful fury of the US government, who hate him because he embarrassed them.
The courts have accepted Assange’s extradition. This is quite wrong, because it is for a political offence, and unfair because the USA would never give up one of their citizens to us in a mirror-image case.
I say again here that I do not like Mr Assange or share his views, but I would count myself a coward if I did not oppose this state-sponsored kidnap.
May I ask anyone else who loves freedom and wishes to safeguard our independence to write, courteously and briefly, to Ms Patel, asking her not to send Mr Assange to the USA, as he has committed no crime.
Also, Britain has a proud record of giving sanctuary to political dissenters, which is what he is.
The address is: The Rt Hon Priti Patel, Home Secretary, The Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.
Last Wednesday was the annual Holy Day of Marijuana users. A sickly cloud of cannabis smoke hung in the warm air above Hyde Park as they gathered to praise and consume this mind-destroying poison.
Despite its ‘soft’ image, its users often become insane and commit acts of hideous violence. Possession of marijuana carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and an unlimited fine. It is a hard and dangerous drug which ruins thousands of lives every year.
But you would not have known it from the relaxed response of the police, who long ago gave up any serious attempt to enforce the drug laws they are paid rather a lot to apply.
Despite this, you may be sure Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee will shortly be told, during its latest inquiry into the issue, that there is a ‘War on Drugs’ in this country which has ‘failed’ and must therefore be abandoned.
There is a long queue of blowhards waiting to tell them this. They say we must ‘treat’ voluntary drug criminals as if they suffered from a compulsory disease. Much of the evidence submitted to the committee is of this sort.
But I and a few others have put in evidence urging enforcement of the law, as is successfully done in Japan and South Korea.
We hope to impress on the committee chairwoman, Yvette Cooper [in fact, it is now Dame Diana Johnson], that plenty of people don’t want legalisation.
I have pointed out here before the shocking fact that the war in Ukraine is actually between the USA and Russia. Ukraine and its suffering people are being used as a battering ram by both sides.
Some people think I have imagined this. Let me give you two good reasons for believing that I am right.
The first is a recent statement by Leon Panetta. Mr Panetta was Secretary of Defence in the US government from 2011 to 2013.
He was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011. He was White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997. He knows what he’s talking about.
And on March 17 he said in an interview with Bloomberg Politics: ‘It’s a proxy war with Russia whether we say so or not. That effectively is what’s going on.’
The second is that there is no serious effort to make peace, from any direction. Why is this? This is a disgusting war, and we have only seen a small part of its horrors.
What aim can possibly justify it continuing a second longer than it has to? Shouldn’t serious statesmen be straining to bring it to an end? But I see no sign of this.
I am sorry to tell you that there are people in Moscow and Washington who want this war to last, and hope to gain by keeping it going.
Why is the British Government so involved in fuelling the fighting? Our last intervention in Ukraine, the Crimean War, ended in 1856, and turned out to be a complete waste of lives, money and time.