Row Breaks Out Over Assange in Australian Senate

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong was asked point blank whether the prime minister raised Julian Assange with Joe Biden in San Diego last month. Chaos ensued.

(Photo collage: Cathy Vogan)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Greens Party Senator David Shoebridge asked the foreign minister a direct question in Parliament last Thursday: Did the Australian prime minister raise the case of Julian Assange with the president of the United States last month when they met and did he ask for the charges against Assange to be dropped?

Wong did not answer the question. She said Australia could not intervene in the legal process of another country and sarcastically asked Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who spoke out, whether he wanted the Australian military to intervene against a court.

In the face of Wong’s comments, Assange’s father, John Shipton, and his wife, Stella Assange, have continuously argued that the case is political and needs a political, and not a legal resolution.

Despite Wong’s statement, the Australian government has through diplomatic intervention won the release of six Australian citizens from foreign jails since 2007: David Hicks (U.S./Guantanamo), Melinda Taylor (Libya), James Ricketson (Cambodia), Sean Turnell (Myanmar), Kylie Moore-Gilbert (Iran), and Peter Greste (Egypt).

The legal process in Turnell’s case, for instance, was still ongoing as, like Assange, he had only been charged, but not convicted. Australian foreign affairs minister at the time, Marise Payne, issued a statement demanding Turnell’s release, something the Labor government refused to do for Assange. Payne said Turnell :

“… is a highly regarded adviser and member of the academic community in Australia … We called in the Myanmar ambassador into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to raise our concerns in relation to this, and we will continue to do that and press strongly for Professor Turnell’s release.”

The Hicks case is starker. He was never put on trial by the U.S. after years in Guantanamo.  Yet Australia intervened to free him while that legal process played out.

The row over Assange continued on Twitter as citizens weighed in. (Tweets follow video of the confrontation in Parliament): 

43 comments for “Row Breaks Out Over Assange in Australian Senate

  1. LeoSun
    April 5, 2023 at 12:02

    “Our” life in proverbs, i.e., “Asking leads to knowledge;” AND, f/heartbreak; AND, more questions, i.e., 1) Who made Ms. Wong, “Lady Jesus?” 2) Whom in D.C., do we call, to get justice for Julian Assange? 3) Why does Australia fear taking the lead in doing the right thing?

    “The BEST favour is to rescue the one in most need,” JULIAN ASSANGE. The BEST practice, END the the Persecution. STOP the Extradition. FREE, Julian Assange. PLEASE, “GIVE The MAN, Freedom. Cut the f/tentacles!!!” LIFE outside of Belmarsh, yesterphknday, is over-due!!!

    Onward & upwards, “We, the People,” “grasp tightly what is real in life;” regardless of how despicable, it really is, The NEWS, oh, joy, i.e., B.H. OhFbama on a $peaking Tour, “down under,” Sydney + Melbourne = BANK!!! Over 1 (ONE) Million USD’s…,

    The distraction, diversion, deception “lives.” It’s black & white! A whole lotta people suck it up. Imo, inadvertently or not; BUT, But, but; and, what moves Con$umers, around The World, is OhFbama &/or DJTrump aka The “Company” Men. And, in The Divided $tates of America MSMedia’s TV Press saturate the viewing market w/ The “Orange Man” & his Trumpawteers. THEY cru$hed it! THEY rai$ed $7 (SEVEN) Million USD’s. “Make Me Great Again.” MR. FISH w/HEDGES @ “The Donald Trump Problem,” hxxps://

    Indeed, “Asking leads to knowledge.” A colossal shout-out to the journalists & citizens of the universe, that @ every opportunity he/she asks the question, “Who’s gonna do the right thing?’ “When?” B/c it shoulda, coulda, woulda been yesterday if the f/“powers that be,” weren’t; and, “WE, the People,” ruled & rocked the world. TY, CN, KEEP IT LIT!

  2. Kay
    April 4, 2023 at 20:56

    Are USA and Australian governments just waiting for him to die? I feel so much urgency to have Julian Assange released right now.

  3. CaseyG
    April 4, 2023 at 18:47

    Julian Assange is a truth teller. Neither Biden, nor Blinken nor Nuland knows anything about Truth. However, I would hope to know what Biden’s son was doing in Ukraine—and why would that idiot son be paid $50,000 for anything? Julian Assange is still alive, but you Biden appear to be brain dead about truth, honesty and justice .
    Do not run again for president , as you appear to be useless and careless about the future of this nation

  4. Litchfield
    April 4, 2023 at 11:12

    Wow. Weasel Wong.

  5. Vera Gottlieb
    April 4, 2023 at 10:32

    Australia could not have made it any clearer the US vassal state it is.

  6. Robert
    April 4, 2023 at 08:25

    Thank you for your comment. I’m 100% with your reasoning. Like you I have benefited financially by Washington D.C.’s 75 year practice of strong arming governments around the world into submission. But in the process we have become the world’s wrecking ball. Ask the people of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and now Ukraine whether they are in a better situation or worse situation after our attempts to “liberate them from evil”. Eisenhower was prophetic. He was part of the military but he knew the risk to the world that a powerful military brought with it. That risk has materialized and non western world governments are finally saying no to a unipolar world.

  7. Afdal
    April 4, 2023 at 01:44

    Is it time to say enough is enough to politician duplicity?

  8. wilem malten
    April 3, 2023 at 23:34

    having her hand in her pants pocket, seeking for it again and again, only illustrates the arrogance of power.

  9. Rustic
    April 3, 2023 at 19:51

    Assange will never be brought to trial. The case against him is thin indeed and the exposure of what might emerge in court would be highly embarrassing, as well as focus international attention on the atrocities perpetrated in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East for the duration of the trial. The delays in his extradition play into US government hands. If and when extradition takes place prosecutors will stall as long as they are able, hoping for (or perhaps even encouraging) his demise in prison from illness, assault or from suicide, Epstein style.

  10. ian fraser
    April 3, 2023 at 19:35

    The Arse Lickers Party grovels again before the Us selling our sovereignty following the Yanks into a series of Losing WaRS SINCE 1945…. Korea, Vietnam,Iraq, Afghanistan….etc to appease domestic concerns these grubs might very well give us back Assange (health fucked) and swap Daniel Duggan.Its time to alter the lyrics of lAURIE HAS A lAPDOG to Biden has a Lapdog , He calls it Albanese

    • lester
      April 4, 2023 at 14:23

      REagan did manage to defeat Grenada ….

  11. Kiwiantz62
    April 3, 2023 at 18:20

    The Australian Govt has & will do nothing to help free Assange, they are Cowards, quisling lackeys of the US Empire & are a willing Vassal of the Americans, just as Germany is, they will even sacrifice their Economic wellbeing by jeopardising losing their largest Trading partner, China, if need be, again just like Germany has done, to appease the US? Why? Who knows? It defies reason, logic & common sense! The only way Assange will be free is if he unfortunately leaves prison in a pine box? So Australia with its dopey, irrational support of a rapidly dying US Empire has committed itself with AUKUS, to its own self inflicted suicidal destruction, painting a huge Nuclear bullseye on its Country for no good reason other than it wants to think it’s a Big boy wearing Big boy pants & footing it with the Superpower nations? Australia will be the Ukraine of the South Pacific, the next sacrificial lambs for the slaughter, don’t send in the Clowns, send in the Aussies, who knows maybe the mighty “Diggers” will prevail like at Gallipoli, oh hold on, they got whipped there & sent packing back to Wollongong like a Wombat fleeing from a Bushfire? When the inevitable defeat of NATO & the US Neocon Project of Biden comes to a disastrous & humiliating end as they slink out of Ukraine under the cover of darkness just like in Afghanistan & pack up their Clown Show Tent to move it to Taiwan, well Australia will be their to hold the baggage & the water bottles for the decrepit Americans like the good lackeys they are! Assange will go down in History for his courage & moral stance against War criminals & Warmongering Nations like America & it’s Western Vassals & their quisling, cowardly Leaders? Can anyone remember any Australian Leader apart from Gough Whitlam, who took a stand against American Tyranny, even today in recent History? No, there’s not one, courageous Men are remembered but Cowards are forgotten!

    • ZaSu
      April 4, 2023 at 10:09

      “American empire”?
      This is the continuation of the British empire using their bully cousins, the Americans, to do the dirty work of the Western economys, of which the “OG’s of Racism”, the Brits, started.
      The Aussies, who have been the Brit’s biotches for years don’t get a pass in all of this either.

    • Jack Stephen HepburnFlanigan
      April 4, 2023 at 23:15

      Kiwi! Never in my life did I expect to read such a clear and comprehensive commentary from the other side of the ditch.
      I totally agree with everything you have written. I can only conclude that you must have been resident here in Aus to have acquired such insight into the level of Australian duplicity and stupidity. It has taken me a lifetime to arrive at the same conclusions.

      Keep up the good work


  12. dave from Canada
    April 3, 2023 at 17:59

    Perhaps you could get seniors involved in pushing for Julians release. Most of them, like myself, are against this kind of injustice because when we were young we weren’t as self centered as kids are today. We stood up for ourselves and our beliefs. We don’t mind getting into the governments face. We stopped the Vietnam war by taking to the streets. That is the kind of support Julian Assange needs. He needs people who can wade through the bullshit the governments are continuously throwing our way and stuff the truth into their heads.

  13. April 3, 2023 at 14:09

    Very much related to this, and giving some background context is this article by Caitlin Johnstone. In it she includes some links that give further context that possibly explain why Australia, just like Britain, France, Germany, et al refuse to oppose any move by the U.S. government- whether w/r/t Assange, or Russia (Ukraine) , or the rapid pivot to China. In fact, the Washington and Wall St.-centered Imperium is actively using all its vassals to conduct proxy wars to try to keep the dollar’s position and power to control all life on the planet. Of course, the more desperate the Imperium becomes in trying to stave off the inevitable, the more reactions to it will hasten its demise. As an American who has both enjoyed the fruits of that economic system but who holds justice and sustainability more important, a truly multipolar world can’t emerge fast enough.

    • April 3, 2023 at 14:10

      Caitlin’s article is at: hxxps://

  14. Robert Sinuhe
    April 3, 2023 at 11:07

    If I get the facts right, President Obama declined to charge Julian Assange because if doing so would necessarily indict the New York Times as well. Too many things have happened to this man as a result of revealing an uncomfortable truth. He is placed in a dungeon and tortured while awaiting an extradition. Threats against his life were planned by the CIA, an arm if the U.S. government. If he doesn’t die in prison, he faces an almost certain fate at the hands of a Justice Roy Bean court and will certainly be convicted and placed in a super max prison in the United States. If the law of the jungle reigns, as I feel is the case here, I’m surprised that a clandestine force has not materialized to break him out of prison. Cheers would erupt all over the journalistic world.

    • Blessthebeasts
      April 3, 2023 at 15:10

      Sadly, there aren’t that many real journalists left in the world.

    • onno37
      April 3, 2023 at 17:13

      US tyranns rule the courts in USA & laws are only used if they’re a convenience to the government & Washington in particular. No wonder the USA is a LAWLESS society controlled by the old Wild West rule by the GUN!!

    • Henry Smith
      April 4, 2023 at 04:25

      Re. “Cheers would erupt all over the journalistic world.”
      No they wouldn’t ! Why do you think Assange is able to be locked away ? It’s because of MSM compliance with repressive government. The MSM Journalists are totally guilty and directly responsible for the abuse of Assange. If they spoke up and published the truth, the western governments would not be able to get away with this abuse.
      It’s only the underground press that print the truth and the masses don’t read that because it’s hidden from them.

      • Kay
        April 4, 2023 at 20:49

        Well said, Henry!

  15. Carolyn Birden
    April 3, 2023 at 10:58

    There needs to be a pressure group in the U.S. that urges members to (1) threaten not to vote in the coming elections – not for Biden, not for anyone – and further to (2) remove ourselves from the Democratic Party rolls – if the U.S. does not intervene to release Assange now. The Washington Post and the NYTimes deserve to be ignored and destroyed for having used Assange and now deserting him and, in the process, real journalism. Shame on them both.

    • Juan Luchador
      April 3, 2023 at 13:39

      Regarding your recommendations of a pressure group in the US to get them do the right thing and release Assange – I don’t need to threaten to not vote in the next elections because I already do not, I am not alone – I’ve already removed myself from the D-party rolls, as so many have – the duopoly doesn’t care if we vote or don’t vote, they don’t care what we want and won’t hear us anyway. I already ignore the NYT and WaPo . . . so who is going to put pressure on those already ignoring us. Real journalism is simply not permitted in the Land of the Casi Libre. Shame on US for allowing our erasure.

    • Adam Gorelick
      April 3, 2023 at 18:37

      Perhaps Foreign Minister Wong would consider it more prudent and wise to pursue quiet diplomacy regarding Julian Assange after he’s died in a U.K. or U.S. prison. Bureaucratic stiffs like Wong are essentially Ned Price with a pay rise. Jake Sullivan, Merrick Garland, and even Joe Biden are just the revenants that spit shine the machine – one that is operational regardless of who’s in power, serving an inhuman grotesque agenda. But Wong does obliquely convey a grim reality – for Assange, Australia, America, and the world. Assange is an obsession for the U.S. because he represents a possible future contrary to the corporate totalitarian one that’s steadily creeping along as planned. This isn’t a conspiracy exactly, but more the logical, if not preordained, direction for a post-democratic democracy to be moving. Though hiding the nasty stuff from the public is a top priority. Australia of course is a client state of the United States. As this article points out, many Australian citizens in foreign prisons, sentenced or not, were successfully released through diplomacy. But Assange is the Eugene Debbs of our time – from America’s perspective, what he is and does and represents absolutely must be smothered; lest the corporate-captured government lose it’s hegemonic death grip on us and the world. If condemned, Assange’s fate in this actual, non- hyperbolic, Trial of the Century will affect all of us in ways yet imagined.

      • Litchfield
        April 4, 2023 at 11:38

        I too fear that Assagne will never be freed.
        If he were . .
        (1) The whole world would be talking about it, and why he has been in prison in the first place.
        (2). The whole world might realize they have been lied to.
        (3) The whole world would know that the world’s high-profile press has been complicit in hiding the abuse of Assange, and the reasons for his incarceration. There would be a major Barbra Streisand effect regarding not only the spurious incarceration of Assange but also the original US crimes that he and Wikileaks exposed.
        (4) If Assange managed to get out of Belmarsh without being totally destroyed—mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally—he would immediately be a world leader, like Nelson Mandela. And he would continue his truth crusade. He would have enormous moral authority. Some people might even want him to run for office.

        In sum: Assange is much to dangerous to be treated with justice.

        He is the canary in the coal mine, the SOS, the upside-down flag, the emergency siren for the whole Anglosphere. And, it looks like he is going to be left to die.

  16. Mithrandir
    April 3, 2023 at 10:43

    It’s clear for everyone to see that Julian Assange is a verboten topic. The military-security complex want him to die in prison, by suicide if not by other causes. WikiLeaks was instrumental in Trump getting elected through the John Podesta leak (thank you, Seth Rich) but Trump wouldn’t pardon him! Apparently, he was warned not to.

  17. April 3, 2023 at 10:38

    Australia has the Canadian disease… blind unquestioning obedience to the empire’s tyranny which only deepens the tyranny.

    • lester
      April 4, 2023 at 14:49

      But Australia does not share a border with the USA, the way Canada does.

  18. Robert Nothhouse
    April 3, 2023 at 10:36

    Those Australians better mind their Ps and Qs, or we won’t sell them those subs they don’t need. Release Assange and give him a Hero’s Parade!

  19. A Concerned Westerner
    April 3, 2023 at 09:17

    The Australian people should rise up and demand the release of Julian Assange to Australian custody and threaten to not participate in this absurd submarine garage payment of $368 B USD for nuclear submarines Firstly, the man is a journalist and publicised material that was given to him by insiders in the US military. Severe war crimes committed by the US military that strangely no substantial discussion has been had about sanctioning the USA fro those war crimes, nor bringing Barack Obama to be tried in front of the Internatinla Criminal Court for a plethora of war crimes committed by him and his country. No…the US government and MIC have been focusing on the legal actions taken by one man to inform the world of US war crimes instead of admitting the US government culpability and apologising to the Iraqi people for these crimes. It shows the despicable and evil nature of US politics and the wimpy, ass kissing behaviour of all thier “friends” in the Five Eyes group, the G20 group, etc The reality is the USA has no friends at all, just countries it bullies and exports for its own greed and illegal activities. Russia and China will show the world how useless is the ICC and how hypocritical is the USA.

    The glory days of the USA are over. Now it is time for the ROW to wake up and stand up to the US for its abysmal behaviour for the past 100+ years. The mechanisms are being built as we speak- SCO and BRICS as economic alliances against the US, and they will work.

    But why should Julian Assange suffer for all these international issues that are best dealt with by politicians and diplomats? The brutality, cruelty and vindictiveness of the USA against one man is disgusting and the lack of courage by Australia to confront the USA about it is even more disgusting. The Aussies always present themselves as tough and ready to fight. Where has that spirit gone in the fight to protect one of your own?

    • Selina Sweet
      April 3, 2023 at 12:17

      Powerful points all. Realistic.Thank you.

  20. Piotr Berman
    April 3, 2023 at 08:42

    “The process drags too long…”, if this is the only concern, Australia (‘s government) is dismayed that Assange is not in a super-max already. Australia (‘s government) despises Assange every bit as much as USA (‘s Administration) and UK (‘s government). But they are mostly mute about it.

    One obvious point is that Australia could get a better treatment of Assange. “Meng Wangzhou spent three years under house arrest in Canada while fighting extradition to the United States.” Dependent on details, house arrest can be very painful, but of course it is orders of magnitude more humane and proper for a person who was not sentenced. Needless to say, the conditions of detention and eventual release of Meng Wangzhou were strongly influenced by the government of her country, and the same happened six Australians mentioned in the article , even if the means were not as “energetic” as in the case of China.

    One can argue that such posture is against Australian national interest EVEN if we assume that alliance with UK (holding Assange) and USA (requesting Assange) is “precious”. Any alliance has issues how costs and benefits of joint or coordinated actions should be distributed, and “only glad to please” assures getting a short stick. And I know no better and more clear example than the saga of Australian submarines to be, with the last two events being that Australia replaced a deal with France for a more expensive deal, 50 billion USD were mentioned, with USA+UK, and not that was replaced with 250 billion USD deal. No trace of discussions with Australian input in either events. Properly understood, national dignity is essential to defends wallets and other interests.

  21. torture this
    April 3, 2023 at 08:12

    The lady liar in the video made it perfectly clear that the PM didn’t discuss Assange with Biden and that they prefer that he be extradited. At least Australia has some politicians that are on the right side that can get the truth out even if it’s thinly veiled by second rate propagandists. She kinda reminds me of Kamala Harris.

  22. Henry Smith
    April 3, 2023 at 05:41

    The rules based order:
    Rule 1. You do as we tell you.
    Rule 2. We do as we like.
    This abuse of rights is rife throughout the western puppet regimes and the western governments are complicit in this abuse. Everyone in the west needs to realise when they are queuing up to vote in their great democracies that the people they are voting for don’t give a damn about your rights, they answer only to Washington, to no one else, they will not fight your corner and they don’t have your back.
    What is even more galling is that the US does act in the cases of US citizens apprehended overseas but its western puppet regimes are incapable of even raising the issue.
    Why do people continue to vote for these cowardly, corrupt clowns ?

    • April 3, 2023 at 18:57

      Thank you for your comment, I’ve always wondered what the so called Rules are for the “Rules based Order” as they don’t seem to be written anywhere? It’s nice to know that there are only Two simple Rules, that you mentioned so eloquently, although they are unspoken & unwritten ones by the Americans, it’s just assumed by their arrogance & hubris that everyone must know them! Cheers for that.

    • Chris N
      April 5, 2023 at 11:48

      Put in a slightly different way:

      1. We make the rules.
      2. You follow our orders.

  23. Rafael
    April 3, 2023 at 04:03

    The contrast with Turnell says a lot. It bespeaks the WASP-supremacist attitudes that have always reigned in Australia (albeit less overtly now than in the days of the White Australia doctrine).

  24. Graeme
    April 3, 2023 at 01:52

    The story continued later that day, when former Senator Rex Patrick received a response to an earlier Freedom of Information request he lodged with the Department of Foreign Affairs (Wong’s Department).

    Patrick writes:
    ‘Two and half hours later, in the last working minute of the day that Parliament was set to rise until May, the Department of Foreign Affairs sent me the response to an FOI request for “all cablegrams sent between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, since 24 November 2022 that relate to Julian Paul Assange”. They advised:

    “Thorough searches conducted by the Consular Operations Branch and the United States, United Kingdom & Canada Branch found no documents.”

    The scam is, that while the government purports to be working quietly in background on the release of Julian Assange, the reality is that they are doing nothing.
    It’s disgraceful deceit.’

    One of the most telling of Shoebridge’s statements was when he commented:
    “How could a conversation between President Biden, PM Albanese and PM Sunak, which he was in just two weeks ago, not be the most important kind of quiet diplomacy to use to free Julian Assange? And why wasn’t it used?”

    So much for Prime Minister Albanese’s intimations that Julian be freed – intimations he made during the run up to last year’s elections. His comments deliberately engendered hope, yet were vague enough to provide a loophole for what we’re seeing now: gross inaction.

    In related Julian news
    As a consequence of a request made by John Shipton, Stephen Smith will become the first Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom to visit Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange in prison.
    But don’t expect any major moves on Julian’s freedom.
    As Smith said:
    “My primary responsibility will be to ensure his health and wellbeing and to inquire as to his state and whether there is anything that we can do, either with respect to prison authorities or to himself to make sure that his health and safety and wellbeing is of the highest order.”

    Of course the great fob-off continues as p[politicians who could actually do something repeat their mantra that it’s “a matter for the courts” – a line that Penny Wong herself has uttered; yet those who’ve committed atrocities and war-crimes evade prosecution.

    ‘Julian Assange – when “quiet diplomacy” means diddly squat,’ by Rex Patrick, Mar 31, 2023.


  25. Andrew Nichols
    April 3, 2023 at 01:47

    A weak duplicitous woman who’s fooling noone. This govt is beginning to irreparably damage the ALP for yrs to come. The dam will burst soon over AUKUS and travesties like this. Expect the ALP’s remaining small group of loyal progressives to head Green by the next federal election. Isnt it becoming disturbingly apparent how labour/Social democratic/centre-left parties globally in the Western Mainly White Minority World are expunging anything remotely left of centre from their makeup and in the process becoming more and more like their conservative opponents once were before the latter went feral. eg The US Democrats, the German SDP and Greens the French Socialists, Starmers Labour in the UK, Trudeaus Liberals and now even the NZ Govt with the Hipkins govt…all embracing the Washington empire…What’s going on? It’s scary

    • Valerie
      April 3, 2023 at 04:13

      “A weak duplicitous woman who’s fooling noone”

      That’s saying it politely Andrew. I believe she was anticipating those questions because to me it seemed she was reading from a script. But i’m glad Mr. Shoebridge asked the same question again. (Even though he never got a straight answer) However, when she said there were legal processes blah blah blah, it did make me wonder (and hope) that perhaps they are just waiting for Julian to be extradited (if the bloody brits continue down the same path) and then he will be released. (Or am i being really naïve)


    • Roger Hoffmann
      April 3, 2023 at 13:12

      Re., “Isnt it becoming disturbingly apparent how labour/Social democratic/centre-left parties globally in the Western Mainly White Minority World are expunging anything remotely left of centre from their makeup and in the process becoming more and more like their conservative opponents once were before the latter went feral.” :

      – Yes, it is both now obvious in all the examples you note here; and deeply disturbing. Blame it partly on imperial propaganda; and blame that success on a steadily stupefied population that enables them.

      • Rafi Simonton
        April 3, 2023 at 22:15


        Re: “steadily stupified…” Yet summa us blue collar worker peasants cain, rede, wraht, an thank–like me an muh grampa the Wobbly. We haven’t been heard from since the New Deal. Who among the educated and monied elites wants to speak with us, the irrelevant masses lumped together in that infamous “basket of deplorables”?

        The 1%ers figured out decent public education was a huge mistake. We lessers then did pesky things like vote and form labor unions. People now barely making it paycheck to paycheck and living in constant fear and stress no longer have the wherewithal for pleasant civil engagement with local government like school boards. To blame them for everything is not only appallingly inhumane, but also further enables rule by the econ/pol elite.

        I view progressives as all to often just one more elite–one convinced it knows what’s best for us inferiors. Why then the deer in the headlights visage? Paralyzed, unable to act? Looks like “stupified” is an apt descriptor here, doesn’t it?

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