Friday, December 10, 2010

Putin Asks "Why Was Assange Hidden In Jail?"

It's not like me to agree with Vladimir Putin, nor am I a fan of Julian Assange of Wikileaks. But even Putin can ask a reasonable set of questions now and then, which he did this week. MOSCOW - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday led growing support from some world leaders for the beleaguered WikiLeaks founder, describing his detention in Britain as 'undemocratic'. Mr Putin railed against the detention of the 39-year-old Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the website which has been releasing thousands of secret US diplomatic cables as well as Pentagon communiques. 'Why was Mr Assange hidden in jail? Is that democracy? As we say in the village: the pot is calling the kettle black,' Mr Putin said. 'I want to send the ball back to our American colleagues,' Mr Putin added. Full article at The Straits Times... As for "calling the kettle black," perhaps the black kettle is calling the black kettle black. I know, that's a bit confusing. But then, so is Russian politics. Putin may have a point on the Assange issue, but he's no friend of democracy himself. Just ask Mikhail Gorbachev, who has noted the fragile nature of Russia's political tundra previously, but issued a more ominous advisory this week. "Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that Russia's undemocratic political landscape is threatening its stability," reports The Associated Press. "Gorbachev said in an article published Friday in Novaya Gazeta newspaper that the lack of political competition, flawed elections, shrinking media freedom and rampant corruption have slowed down Russia's development." AP quotes Gorbachev as saying, "If we fail to overcome undemocratic trends, all our achievements of the previous years will come under threat." RELATED: Putin Slams West for Wikileaks' Assange Arrest ABC World News Gorbachev on WikiLeaks: Fire Diplomats‎ Alex Jones on Coast to Coast Radio: Assange is just a scapegoat Wikileaks Founder: Bigger Bombshells On The Way