Academic bravery does happen. But how few in the academy are willing to seriously challenge the state itself?
There’s no need for the entire DVD collection of James Bond films when there’s the unfolding intrigue of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Deakin University’s senior lecturer in international relations, Dr Scott Burchill, is keeping a close eye on proceedings because he has been helping Assange with his legal defence, along with intellectual gents John Pilger and Geoffrey Robertson. Burchill hasn’t dealt directly with Assange, saying: ”I know people who have known him for a while. I strongly support his actions and I’ve got no doubt that the legal action is an attempt to try and thwart his political activities.” Burchill said Assange would ”vigorously” contest his extradition to Sweden over the alleged sexual assault of two women. Despite Assange being under siege, Burchill believed this wouldn’t deter the world’s most wanted man from releasing more cables. Burchill predicted: ”There’s lots of embarrassment to come in the following weeks.” It’s worth noting the name of the London law firm representing Assange: it’s Finers Stephens Innocent. You read it correctly.