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Assange lashes out


The Christian Science Monitor:

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder compared to terrorists by Vice President Joe Biden, to Thomas Jefferson by the activist-journalist John Pilger, and to Martin Luther King by himself, went on the offensive today against, well, everyone.

In a series of interviews, he lashed out at the Guardian newspaper, one of his closest collaborators in the controlled release of the trove of US diplomatic cables that has infuriated Mr. Biden and many others in the US government. The Guardian and a few other news outlets were given the full data dump, while the number of cables provided to the public so far remains below 2,000.

Mr. Assange told The Times of London that two women who have accused him of rape in Sweden were probably motivated by a desire for revenge or money. He also told the BBC that he was fighting extradition to Sweden because he could expect “no natural justice” there.

[...]

Assange’s falling out with former allies may come as little surprise to many who have worked closely with him. Former WikiLeaks No. 2 Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who formerly went by the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt until breaking with the group earlier this year, has described Assange as “dictatorial” and has said he’s creating a rival group dedicated to releasing government secrets in a more open and transparent manner.

While plumbing Assange’s motivations has become a cottage industry for journalists and pundits, perhaps his most interesting comments published today were aimed at the Guardian. In an interview with the rival paper The Times, his primary complaint seemed to be that the paper had published a leak. About him.

Assange complained that confidential documents about his rape accusations were leaked to the Guardian, that the paper used the information “selectively,” and that it was published as part of an effort to convince a British judge not to grant him bail on Dec. 16.

“The leak of the police report to the Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application,” Assange told The Times. “It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning…. The leak was clearly designed to undermine my bail application … someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison,” he told the paper, referring to himself in the third person.

The Guardian, for its part, says no documents were leaked to it, though it was allowed to read some of the documents pertaining to his case. The paper says it only published a story with that information after his bail was granted Dec. 16. On his Twitter feed, the Guardian’s David Leigh, who leads the paper’s team combing through the 250,000 US embassy cables provided by Assange, dripped with sarcasm.

“The Guardian published too many leaks for Assange’s liking, it seems,” Mr. Leigh wrote. “So now he’s signed up ‘exclusively’ with Murdoch’s Times. Gosh.” Australian-American media titan Rupert Murdoch owns The Times.

Nick Davies, the Guardian reporter who first reached out to Assange over the summer and suggested he collaborate with established news outlets, also appears to have soured on Assange. “Assange finally admits ‘no evidence of honeytrap’ on Swedish sex claims but does not apologise for misleading the world,” he wrote, referring to sexual assault allegations leveled against Assange.

Jeebus, what a piece of work! This guy reminds me of Obama – fanatical followers and the more I learn about him the less I like.

Here’s another interview:

The 39-year-old Australian suggested allegations by two women of sexual assault amounted to a “smear campaign,” and said the case was politically motivated.

“I was [in Sweden] for some five weeks after these initial allegations were made. They were dropped within 24 hours of them first being made,” he said. “The most senior prosecutor in Stockholm reviewed them and they were dropped. Then politician Claes Borgstrom became involved, other forces became involved and the case, the investigative part of the case, was taken up again.

Assange said he believed the most probable explanation for the rape allegations was that two women “found out that they were mutual lovers of mine and they had unprotected sex and they got into a tizzy about whether there was a possibility of sexually transmitted diseases.”

It was a “ridiculous thing to go to the police about,” he added.

Of his accusers, he added: “I have also never criticized these women. We don’t know precisely what pressures they have been under, exactly. There are powerful interests that have incentives to promote these smears. That doesn’t mean that they got in there in the very beginning and fabricated them.”

Asked about his seeming reluctance to acknowledge the seriousness of the rape charges, he said: “If they want to charge me, they can charge me. They have decided not to charge me.”

He said prosecutors were free to travel to the United Kingdom to questions him, “or we can do a video link up, or they can accept a statement of mine. They have rejected all of that. And they have asked, as part of their application that, if I go to Sweden and am arrested, that I am to be held incommunicado. Entirely incommunicado. They have asked that my Swedish lawyer be gagged from talking about the evidence to the public.”

He added: “I have an organization to run. I have my people to defend. There are other things at stake here… I have a serious brewing extradition case in relation to the United States. I have a serious organization to run. People affiliated with our organization have already been assassinated. My work is serious. I do not have to run off to random states simply because some prosecutor is abusing a process in those states.”

Well, actually they have filed charges. That is a precondition of the warrant for his arrest.

Extradition Act of 2003

2003 c. 41, Part 1 Introduction, Section 2:

(a)the person in respect of whom the Part 1 warrant is issued is accused in the category 1 territory of the commission of an offence specified in the warrant, and

(b)the Part 1 warrant is issued with a view to his arrest and extradition to the category 1 territory for the purpose of being prosecuted for the offence.


I find it interesting that the generally accepted view of Sweden has suddenly changed. Until very recently Sweden was considered to be the model of a socialist democracy. Now it is a right-wing dictatorship and a puppet of the United States.

Assange says he never criticized the women, only he did. It’s not the first lie he’s told.

Guilty or innocent the man is an egotistical prick.


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78 Responses

  1. Open Letter to Mr. Michael Moore

    [...]

    A little digression into the Swedish language. In Sweden we have a saying that has recently become popular. We talk about ”foliehattar”. A foliehatt is a hat made by tin foil. It is used by people who wants to protect the brain from mind reading and other intrusions, for instance by the Government. I am not sure, but I think that the hat may also be used to block out signals from a transmitter that has been hidden in someone’s teeth.

    When a person is called a foliehatt it’s often because she’s a conspiracy theorist. The Assange case is a wet dream for the conspiracy theorist. Some talk about ”dark forces”, others about ”honey traps”, and you pitch in a little story about ”a conservative MP” that supposedly influenced the prosecutors in Sweden to change their position.

    People forming these arguments we call foliehattar in Swedish. It is difficult to take such arguments seriously. Some of these arguments may turn out to be, in reality, true or somewhat true. But it seems unlikely. It seems unlikely that an advanced CIA/Mossad/SÄPO trap would use these kinds of accusations. They crimes that Mr. Assange has been accused of are not the kind of activities that would put you in jail for a very long time. It seems unlikely also for a lot of other reasons. Even the wikileaks people in Sweden seem to think so. But what do I know, maybe it’s all part of the plan.

    Instead of “Tinfoil Hat Tuesday”” we can have “Foliehatt Fridays”

  2. *sigh* Yeah, if this story be accurate, then Assange is a strange piece of work.

    I still don’t want him behind bars, because that would be a victory for The Owners, but he did tarnish his own image with some of his remarks, if the story be accurate.

    • I don’t know IBW, he seemed pretty sleazy to me right from the start. If he is guilty of rape, then he should go to jail.

  3. He strikes me as a seriously disturbed person. Not necessarily criminal, but a slime. Enjoys being the “persecuted crusading bad boy” a bit much, IMO. Doesn’t mean that some of the info he released didn’t need to see the light of day. I’m glad some of it came out.

    But I wouldn’t touch the man with a ten foot pole, or trust him further than I could throw him. He rings my alarms, bigtime, and I’m old enough to have learned to trust my instincts. Big fat grandiose ego, with a side of creepy. No thanks.

  4. Well, actually they have filed charges.

    I don’t believe that’s correct. The last I checked, they still hadn’t filed formal charges.

    • No charges have been filed. Assange is under investiigation. That’s it.

      • Wrong.

        The law of extradition (quoted above) does not allow somebody to be arrested and extradited just to investigate.

        If you think about it, it is absurd to extradite someone for questioning when they can invoke the right against self-incrimination.

        I took the time to research this. If charges haven’t been “filed” then a complaint exists and they are just waiting for him to be returned via the extradition warrant to “file” it..

  5. Notice how CSM never even looks at the legitimacy of painting Assange as a terrorist. When I read Biden’s attack, I was appalled because by painting Assange as a terrorist, the administration can send a drone, a CIA killing, or picking him up in the middle of the night and send him to some prison for terrorists.

    The Christian Science Monitor is koolaid central. I used hold CSM in high regards (I had a subscription) and it deteriorated before my eyes. I still read it for stories that are not political in nature, but everything out of CSM when G.W. was in power was written to support G.W.’s policies. Now the newspaper does the same for Obama.

    I’m not surprised by their take on Assange.

    To CSM, Obama is already the comeback kid.

    • I really don’t pay much attention to what Joe the Talking Donkey says.

      Morality aside, killing Assange would be a huge tactical mistake. It would turn him into a martyr.

      It would be better just to leave him alone and let him wear out his welcome.

      • Exactly. That would be the smart thing for The Owners and their tame pet governments to do.

        However, The Owners and their pets have shown many times that they’re not all that bright. :razz:

    • I agree. When I say I think the guy’s a creep, I’m not excusing the govt’s reaction to him. It’s way over the top, and they are acting like fascist pigs. Everything is not “black and white, pick a side, being opposed to A makes one an approver of B”.

      Nope. I don’t get forced into someone else’s paradigms. It’s bullcrap, and I refuse the premise. I honestly don’t see any heroes here. Not inclined to cheerlead for any of them.

      • There you go again, thinking and forming your own opinions and stuff.

        When are you ever gonna learn?

      • It’s a very Roman tactic. One of the favorite methods of disabling an opponent during the waning days of the Republic (besides outright assassination) was to tie him up with charges and lawsuits so that he had to exhaust all of his resources in defense.

        • If Queen Elizabeth suspected one of her royals of plotting disloyalty she would pay him an extended visit, bringing all of her court.

          By the time she left they were too broke to be a threat.

        • I don’t think Assange is really that innocent. They guy gave me the creeps the first time I saw him. I have great instincts about people.

  6. Off topic: Is anyone else having problems with slow response on this site? :???:

  7. Myiq:

    I don’t like any of this. Nor do I trust any of it. Nor do I think it is of value when discussing the importance of WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks can continue on sans Assange.

    With that said, here is my two cents worth on your post:

    1. Leaking of prosecutorial material against a charged defendant is abhorrent to me. And it is against every code of ethics for prosecutors I’ve ever seen. Sam Shepard, back in the day, got his murder conviction overturned because of pretrial publicity. Any lawyer who leaked this material should be disbarred and subject to civil liability. (This is NOT the same as leaking information about the government, for which, by the way, Bradley Manning sits in solitary. It is about justice – and a fair trial – for a criminally accused.)

    2. Women who have been raped or sexually abused are enormously unfairly treated by the criminal justice system and by society in general. (The they-were-just-asking-for-it mentality is sickening. As are any of the other disgusting rationalizations for male entitlement.) Back in the day, I consulted with an attorney about filing a sexual harassment suit against the judge for whom I clerked. I chose not to proceed, even though I kept immaculate records, because the toll on my children, in having my sex life paraded before the public, would have been too great. The situation remains horrific to this day. The allegations here, as I have read about them, appear to have substance and should not be minimized.

    3. At this point in time, no judgment should be passed on Assange or the women involved. None. We do not have enough data. Assange may be a jerk, I don’t know, but I wouldn’t believe a damn thing written by any media. None. Everybody has an agenda.

    I don’t think I’ll be commenting again – until there is some real evidence presented in a court of law. It strikes me as a monumental diversion from WikiLeaks and from the Depression into which our country is now about to free-fall.

    • Leaking of prosecutorial material against a charged defendant is abhorrent to me

      Then there is also the public’s right to know. Assange and his attorney’s have been spreading misinformation for weeks. Assange admits one of the reasons he doesn’t want to return to Sweden is because the judge intends to issue a gag order.

      I never said a word about this case until Michael Moore went on Countdown and declared the case was a “bunch of hooey”

      • There is no public right to know anything in a criminal prosecution – before trial – beyond what the accusing instrument alleges. None. Zip. Zero. A defendant may defend himself/herself in the court of public opinion (though that is a risky proposition, since every word can later be used against him/her). But a prosecutor may not prosecute in the court of public opinion. That includes rebutting “misinformation.”

        Just because Moore is a total jackass does not change the rules.

        It is for the factfinder to determine the facts. Not The Guardian. Not Michael Moore. All of this is such propaganda. All of it.

        • Thanks for calling bs what it is.

          • Please don’t start with me.

            If you do I’ll expect you to provide the specific rule of professional responsibility that was violated.

            In SWEDEN

            (because US law doesn’t apply to this case)

    • I don’t get this double standard on leaking. Sounds to me like breaking and entering is okay just as long as it’s not the lawyer’s house.

      • Say what? There is no double standard. There is, on the one hand, supposed transparency for the government and, on the other hand, an individual’s right of privacy.

        Furthermore, here, the government is not a criminal defendant. (If Cheney, as a gov’t official, were charged with war crimes, you better believe his lawyer would be out there talking to all takers.)

        Assange is a criminal defendant. I don’t care if it’s Sweden, I cannot believe for one second that pretrial publicity against a defendant is okay there. Extremely prejudicial. Sweden is certainly advanced in understanding what constitutes rape, so I find it hard to believe that leaking unproven and untested allegations against a defendant is kosher.

        This is incredible to me. That anyone would defend the leaking of allegations against a defendant. What is the matter here? What happened to reason? There are allegations only. No proof. Character assassination without evidence. “Egotistical prick” does not equal guilty of rape.

        Myiq seems to me to be on a mission – for what I don’t know. To prove his feminist bona fides? This is trash. It belongs in the garbage. Not on this very fine blog.

        • Transparency for the government? Tens if not hundreds of billions will now be spent making government and industry less transparent. Huge boost to the security business…lots of new jobs. Assange is an idiot patsy. Privacy for the individual? Why hasn’t the professional left gone after Google. They make 20 billion every year digging into people’s privacy…ten times more than Facebook, for now. That would easily pay salaries and benefits for 100,000 full time journalists and writers. Jobs that used to exist until Google decided pirating the news was good business. Right, you’re just talking about the courtroom.

        • Myiq has turned into Markos, (or he was always one). It’s hard to distinguish his posts from Markos’s prikish behavior in 2007-2008.

          Whether Myiq has an agenda (quite possible) or just a huge ego (oh, the irony), doesn’t matter to me. What’s matters is that I have lost all respect for him here.

          All his posts are meant to destroy Assange personally. The GUARDIAN has a daily rundown of wikileaks cables if you are interested. I am really disappointed in a lot of blogs I read. For a lack of better term, I call them HIllary supporters’ blogs. The attitude is:
          – ignoring the story all-together
          – personal attacks against Assange (in many variations)
          – pretending that the leaks against the governments and leaks against a defendent are one and the same (!!). That is, intelligent people pretend to not know the difference between transparency of the government and the privacy of the individual.

          I don’t care whether JA is a prick, has a huge ego, etc … etc… all that matters is the leaks and what they signify. With the exception of CannonFire, few people has examined the leaks itself.

          • If you think this is bad wait until you see my next post.

            If I’ve changed it’s because I’ve become more restrained in my rhetoric.

            What’s different is you don’t agree with me on this issue.

  8. It seems unlikely that an advanced CIA/Mossad/SÄPO trap would use these kinds of accusations. They crimes that Mr. Assange has been accused of are not the kind of activities that would put you in jail for a very long time.

    That assumes that the aim is to put Assange in jail for a very long time, rather than to discredit Wikileaks itself. By the time Wikileaks gets around to leaking the BofA stuff, nobody will be reading them anymore.

    As an aside, I don’t see why Mossad would be interested in harming Wikileaks at all, since the leaks seem to be biased towards military action against Iran.

    • That’s one of the main reasons I’m skeptical of WikiLeaks.

      What have they really “leaked” that we didn’t already know?

      Who does it help?

      • Or, as we say in the Old Country, “cui bono”.

        It’s not like “Karzai’s a crook” or “Ahmadinejad crazy” is exactly page 1 news.

        • We already knew the wars weren’t going well and we were accidentally killing innocent civilians.

          I’m often reminded of the “secret” war in Laos.

          The Laotians knew we were there. So did the North Vietnamese, the Cambodians, the Chinese and the Russians, not to mention thousands of US servicemen. The media knew too.

          The war was only “secret” from the American public,

        • Or that civilians are casualties in wars.

        • Cooey Bono? Wasn’t she Sonny’s first wife? :mrgreen:

          [No, it's not original. I read it somewhere.] :)

    • Sarah Palin on Iran.

      Iran continues to defy the international community in its drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Arab leaders in the region rightly fear a nuclear-armed Iran. We suspected this before, but now we know for sure because of leaked diplomatic cables. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia “frequently exhorted the U.S. to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program,” according to these communications. Officials from Jordan said the Iranian nuclear program should be stopped by any means necessary. Officials from the United Arab Emirates and Egypt saw Iran as evil, an “existential threat” and a sponsor of ter-rorism. If Iran isn’t stopped from obtaining nuclear weapons, it could trigger a regional nuclear arms race in which these countries would seek their own nuclear weapons to protect themselves.

      • So far WikiLeaks is helping the neocons make a case for war with Iran.

        • That IS the plan, as far as I can tell.
          Wasn’t McCain singing “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” back in 2008?
          My guess is that the ME allies (aka countries like Saudi who buy a lot of US Treasuries) want this.

      • Jordan is not likely to be happy about Iran’s nuclear program, since every time Israel and Iran decide to lob missiles back and forth they have to overfly Jordan’s airspace. But now Jordan wants a nuclear program of their own, so says the King.

        • Okay, Ii give up, why didn’t Spammy like that last one?

          • He get’s kinda twitchy when the topic of Is-real pops up.

          • Gotcha.

            You can’t sing Christmas carols in Jordan if they have that word either, since it sounds the same in Arabic. Leads to some odd lyrics. “O come O come Emmanuel, O come O come Emmanuel, that mourns in lonely exile here…” And a cab conversation in English had better be about The Other Side.

  9. I will say that if Assange’s ego were any bigger, he could give Obama a run for his money in the narcissism department.

    • Can you imagine the two of them in the same room?

    • Obama is your typical ambitious narcissist, but Assange has crazy and neurosis on top of the narcissism. He really takes the cake. We do not need this guy as the face of progressivism. I’m glad to see his former allies begin to turn against him. I have no doubt in my mind that some of them are also jealous narcissists who want their 15 minutes of fame and fortune, but I have read enough from this guy to believe that he is dictatorial.

      • Apparently many lefties are susceptible to messianic types.

        Not much different from the fundies.

        • I didn’t realize lefties could desire messiahs until 2008.

          I’m starting to get bad vibes off JA, too.

          I might have picked them up earlier if not for my guilty-until-proven-innocent attitude toward The Owners and their minions, against whom he had set himself up. :???:

  10. For me the really troubling issues about Wikileaks are none of the above. I wonder if a hack outfit can get into secret or top secret US Govt cables/data—get into B of A corporate in house communication at the highest levels—what does that mean for any of us just regular people? If the US govt can not stop this invasion, what chance do I have? I do understand that privacy is absolutely gone but how do we live naked in this world?

    • There are lots of issues with WikiLeaks that its enthusiastic supporters either haven’t thought of or don’t care about.

      Besides WikiLeaks itself, there’s the question of who are their sources are and what their motives. Are we getting everything or are these leaks strategically selective?

      What if they leak something that gets people killed?

    • I’m sure they were happy to take her money and royalties from the Harry Potter films. I hope she stays with her boyfriend, moves out of that abusive home, and continues her career in London. Don’t give her father or brother a dime of her money. And I hope she one day has the courage to be an advocate for women’s rights, especially for the UK Muslim population.

  11. Now Assange says he will only leak exclusively for Rupert Murdock’s Times. So what will that mean to have future leaks behind a paywall at a conservative British paper?

    Chicago’s immortal Mike Royko, who quit the Chicago Sun-Times when Murdock bought it, said no self-respecting fish would be wrapped in a Murdoch paper.

    And Assange’s estranged former business partner says he is going into the leak business for himself. Are we about to witness capitalism in action?

    • Is that a joke?

      Murdoch the arch-wingnut [or maybe just the guy who likes making big money catering to the wingnuts] wants Assange leaking for him?

      Ever since the Cold War ended, political alignments have grown much more complicated. :???:

      • I just read it somewhere but now I can’t find the link. It’s believable though if NYT and the Grauniad just published the leaks from the Swedish police.

      • Here it is on twitter, but it is being denied:

      • Ah, of course, it’s in myiq’s link to Christian Science Monitor above.

        The Guardian, for its part, says no documents were leaked to it, though it was allowed to read some of the documents pertaining to his case. The paper says it only published a story with that information after his bail was granted Dec. 16. On his Twitter feed, the Guardian’s David Leigh, who leads the paper’s team combing through the 250,000 US embassy cables provided by Assange, dripped with sarcasm.

        “The Guardian published too many leaks for Assange’s liking, it seems,” Mr. Leigh wrote. “So now he’s signed up ‘exclusively’ with Murdoch’s Times. Gosh.” Australian-American media titan Rupert Murdoch owns The Times.

        Assange did give an interview to the London Times complaining about the Guardian:
        http://www.timesplus.co.uk/tto/news/?login=false&url=http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article2851127.ece

        but the interview is behind a paywall)

    • Julian  Assange earned a place in the record books yesterday, by becoming the first alleged sexual predator in history to ­secure a 25-minute slot to explain himself on the BBC’s Today programme. It was a remarkable and revealing performance.

      ‘Women have been extremely helpful and generous to me,’ he said. ‘That’s what I am used to.’ He is resisting extradition to Sweden to face questioning about two alleged sexual assaults because there is ‘no natural justice’ there; rather than being a ­civilised country as John Humphrys suggested, it is ‘more of a banana republic’.

      The Swedish prosecutors have not followed ‘proper process’ and: ‘I don’t have to run off to random states; I have an organisation to run.’

      Dickwad

      • Ass-ange certainly does make one want to take a shower. Two wild guesses here: more women come forward with allegations; the little pendajo (sp) did indeed leak the information on the charges himself– look at the play it’s netting him (really- insulting Sweden- really?) Prosecutorial misconduct — it’s a big happy for a defense with a losing case. How totally festive in an anarchist’s mind to f up the proceedings as much as possible– leak the information yourself and cry foul play on the opposition. The information would have come out at trial anyway– but putting the rap on the prosecution– I would think perhaps hard to resist for mr. Ego.

        • Ugh, what woman in her right mind would come forward NOW, after all the vitriol aimed at the first two? If there are more women with sexual assault allegations against Assange (not saying there are, IF there are), I think the probability of coming forward now is vanishing small. They’d be better of walking across flaming glass shards in bare feet.

    • Sounds like a wannabe cult leader. Charles Manson wanted to bring down the establishment too, but he did it wrong.

      • Internet has definitely spawned its share of wannabe messiahs. Horrible economy, declining institutional religion, fading worship of money, and these secular pseudo-political prophets step into the vacuum. Blogosphere is where they recruit.

      • Eeeeuuwww. There’s an analogy I hadn’t thought of. :eek:

  12. Look at it this way, would a rational human being do this and bring down the wrath of several governments on their head?
    If Assange & crew were normal we wouldn’t have Wikileaks.

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