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The Brits get a bit heavy handed with the Ecuadorians over Assange

The British are attempting to strongarm the Ecuadorian embassy in London into handing over Julian Assange, who sought refuge there earlier this year to avoid extradition to Sweden.  The BBC reports that Assange fears he will be turned over to the Americans if he’s extradited to Sweden on allegations that he sexually assaulted two women.

Ecuador was prepared to announce his asylum status tomorrow.  The Ecuadorians are not pleased, saying “We are not a British colony”.  You can watch a livestream here but it’s not very robust.  New Livestream here.  Judging by the previous lifestream, expect the authorities to jam the signal.

So, speculation anyone?  Katiebird, Marsha and I have been tossing this one around and here’s what we’ve got:

1.) The Ecuadorians are pretending to be outraged.  Otherwise, why not just give Assange asylum and then announce it, and not the other way around?

2.) The diplomatic cables were a big nothing burger.  Assange must be sitting on something big to make everyone so desperate to get their hands on him.  AND, one wonders why the Ecuadorians would offer Assange this much asylum.  He had to have given them information they found valuable.

3.) How many embassies in the world offer known rapists sanctuary?  That’s right, none of them.  So, either he’s not a convicted rapist or there’s something else going on here that is preventing Assange from facing charges of sexual offenses in Sweden.  Sweden.  We’re not exactly talking Afghanistan here.  He’s not going to be stoned to death.  If convicted (of what, we don’t know yet), his stay in a Swedish jail wouldn’t be so bad. It certainly wouldn’t be worse than staying trapped in an Ecuadoran embassy indefinitely. So, it’s not Sweden he’s afraid of.

4.) Why do the US and Britain think it’s ok to throw people in jail, deny them their rights and use the state secrets acts to prevent them from going to trial?  Is it for the PR value?  Do they get more bang for their buck by making average citizens terrified to step outside the envelope?

5.) Marsha wonders if he hasn’t been smuggled out already. Update: It seems like the British police units think he’s still inside the embassy.

Any other ideas?

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107 Responses

  1. LOL! A dominos pizza was just delivered to the Embassy.

  2. The pizza was declined. No one ordered it.

  3. The poor pizza guy is being stalked. He’s trying to deliver the pizza again.

  4. twitter speculation that assange will walk out in handcuffs in order to avoid an international incident.

    • Nah. Assange would have to be delivered to the Brits. It would never be his choice to be sent to a U.S. jail.

      • I don’t know about that. Embassy ground is like sacred territory. People are usually persuaded not to make their lives difficult. It could get ugly if the Brits set some kind of precedent. No political target would be safe anywhere in the world.

  5. Maybe he left the embassy disguised as the Dominos pizza guy.

    • Maybe Assange can get our of the embassy hidden in a car, bearing the flag of Ecuador (that’s foreign soil), and go to another country, like Spain, if that agrees to allow safe passage out of the country.

      • correction: …like Spain, if that country agrees to allow safe passage out of the country.

    • Or, as Katiebird suggested this AM…as a member of the Ecuadorian Olympic Team.

  6. Did Assange make sure to get his name on the “Do Not Kill” list?

    • He said that he had damaging information that if something happened to him, the information would be made public. But no one knows if he’s bluffing.

      • I believe him. Maybe it’s not as damaging as he seems to think but I’m guessing it would get a lot of attention.

  7. Maybe he’s already in Ecuador?

  8. It sounds like they’re going in. If the Brits take him, I really hope they send him to Sweden and not here.

    • What I have read in the past is that the reason he didn’t want to go to Sweden is that Sweden would send him here.

      • There’s no question in my mind that the U.S. would ask for extradition and the Swedes would pack him to the U.S.

        He’ll be treated worse than Bradley Manning. He’d be another foreigner without any rights. Heck, B. Manning didn’t have any either. He too has U.K. citizenship. It’s the new progressive government under Obama

    • This opens a scary can of worms

  9. From twitter: “It would be hilarious if the UK did raid the Ecuador’s embassy only to discover Assange left with Ecuador’s Olympic team.”

  10. I hate to say this but if he does end up getting sent to the US from Sweden, the dogmatic feminists who insist that he raped these women and the charges were not the result of some political finagling are going to be seriously discredited. Not that it will stop them from calling Assange a rapist, but who the f^*( will be listening?

    • Who will be discredited if Assange is sent to Sweden and convicted of sexual assault?

      • If I were Assange, I’d want to go to Sweden to clear my name or go to trial. Swedes are notoriously decent to their prisoners, if that’s where he ended up. We’re not talking about a violent rape in either case. I’m not sure what you would call it. One of the women wasn’t even going to report it. But let’s say he is a violent rapist.
        Why would a small insignificant South American country risk its diplomatic relations with Britain over a rapist? Not only its relations but the diplomatic powers that all other nations are granted to protect asylum seekers. All this to protect a rapist? Suddenly, Ecuador is going to become the safe haven for misogynist creeps and rapists. How do you get the minister of tourism to work with that message?
        Let’s not forget that he hasn’t been charged with anything so for all we know, he hasn’t done anything wrong. But let’s say he did.
        All this and jeopardizing international relations and political asylum seekers the world over?? For a rapist to be tried and convicted and jailed in Sweden What planet are you on to believe that such a scenario makes any damn sense?
        You’re going off the deep end, myiq. I blame the company you keep. Except for DandyTiger, they’re not as smart as you are.
        No country risks this much in international standing, and I’m talking about both Britain and Ecuador, for an alleged sexual offender. If that was all it was, the Ecuadoreans would never have let him in to begin with. It wouldn’t be worth it.
        What would make it worth it?

        • Pfffft.

          Let’s say the police go in and grab Assange. Ecuador makes a big stink for a few days. Rafael Correa gets street cred for standing up to the Yankee imperialists.

          Assange goes to Sweden. Life goes on.

  11. ‘Extraordinary threat’

    The Ecuadorian foreign minister gave a very brief press conference this morning. He was expected to grant Julian Assange asylum.

    Instead he has given an extraordinary claim that the British government has written to the Ecuadorian government expressly saying that they will go into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrest Assange if he is not handed over.

    He has denounced this as a break in international norms – he says ‘we’re not a British colony, the colonial times are over’ and he has attacked them for even suggesting they could go on to Ecuadorian soil in such an aggressive way.

    • He has denounced this as a break in international norms

      What about the international norms against providing aid and shelter to fugitives from justice?

      • Oh, come off it, Bozo. Your real beef with Assange is that he’s been a thorn in the side of the Pax Americana.

        • myiq’s problem is that he’s fallen in with a bunch of unquestioning authoritarian followers who believe it’s better to jail first, ask questions later- if necessary. He’s not really interested in justice or he’d be furious with Sweden.

          • I suspect those authoritarians aren’t really upset with JA because they think he’s a rapist, but rather because he and his fellow Leakers had the temerity to inconvenience their god, the Empire.

  12. Some protestors getting pushed out of the way

    • I do think that it would be more than extraordinary for the British to successfully remove Assange from the Embassy if Ecuador didn’t want to give him up.

      Like impossible. They’d be sending in the Army… Not just a couple of cops.

      • It looks like they have several vans of the equivalent of the DHS parked outside the embassy. It’s not a large building and although the Ecuadorans share it with Columbia, I’d be very surprised if the occupants weren’t quickly overwhelmed. It wouldn’t take an army, that’s for sure.

  13. Maybe he already sleeps with Osama and his escape and disappearance will be linked to his clever camouflage abilities— in the same vein as all UFO’s are alien space craft. Cue Bourne V.

  14. I can’t remember if I posted this, Q&A: UK can enter embassy, says law expert

    Donald Rothwell is Professor of International Law at Canberra’s ANU.

    Professor, there’s many diplomatic layers to this story, can the UK legally enter the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Mr Assange?

    Well, under international law, the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations makes it quite clear that the Ecuadorian embassy enjoys protection in which it claimed to be which would preclude the UK authorities from entering the embassy. However, it seems the United Kingdom has also reminded Ecuador that under the provisions of the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act it may revoke that protection in extraordinary circumstances and apparently the United Kingdom has formed the view that situation concerning Mr Assange has reached that level.

    … emphasis mine.

    • Twitter keeps mentioning something called the Diplomatic Protection Group, which I interpret as the transportation group that gets foreign ambassadors out of the country. So, assuming that the UK intends to revoke diplomatic privileges to Ecuador, necessitating the diplomats to use the DPG to exit the country, you have to wonder what it is that Julian Assange has that would force a small insignificant country to take such measures to terminate its diplomatic mission with a major country. It has to be really important. An uninvolved third party wouldn’t go to the mat for a rapist.

      • What about Britain’s extradition treaty with Sweden?

        Assange is not a diplomat, he is a fugitive from justice. If he steps outside of the embassy he has no legal protection from arrest.

        If Britain invokes the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act that doesn’t affect diplomatic immunity or revoke diplomatic privileges to Ecuador, it just allows the police to enter and arrest a fugitive.

        Ecuador could respond by closing their embassy but they don’t have to.

        • Your “fugitive from justice” schtick is getting old. First, you need to prove that we still have a justice system.
          There are two issues here. Is Assange guilty of sexual offenses? So far, nobody knows. But let’s not stop that fact from throwing his ass in jail, right? The court of public opinion has already convicted him. The justice system of myiq has forgotten that people are innocent until proven guilty. That’s justice???
          The other issue is, is he guilty of receiving and disseminating documents of a sensitive nature? Yeah, probably. Is this a crime? If someone gave you proof that Barack Obama conspired with finance industry people to steal the Democratic nomination by fraudulently flooding the caucuses with people who had no right being there, would he still be guilty? I don’t know that what he did was a crime. So, some dude who had access to the documents passed them on to Assange and he released them. Where’s the crime in that? Go off and sputter like a teakettle about it but you’ve got to come up with something serious to accuse him of before you decide to deprive him of any human rights and bury him in a US prison without access to an attorney.
          Hey, do you remember the days when we had habeas corpus and due process and shit like that and insane Klowns from California didn’t have the power to whip his merry little band of morons into a frenzy to condemn people for crimes or non-crimes that they may or may not have committed? Remember speedy trials and juries of your peers and 5th amendments and stuff like that? I do. Those were the days.
          These days, nothing, not even diplomatic immunity, can prevent a bunch of authoritarian assholes from ignoring your human rights to stick you in a prison indefinitely without charges.

          • When I was a child, this country was still a republic.

            Now it’s an empire, and its more brazen enthusiasts even openly call it one; indeed, they boast of it.

            I think I know how old-style Romans must have felt.

  15. I wonder if little Ecuador is the battleground masking some bigger players like Russia or China who won’t get too directly involved in this intrigue. The Wikileaks cables released to date aren’t mountain-moving but they are embarassing, and they undermine US credibility in general.

  16. Here’s a Twitterer who seems knowledgeable: https://twitter.com/avilarenata

    and here’s Glen Greenwald’s twitter feed. He’s following her and others: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald

  17. Check this tweet:

    Media Services AP ‏@MediaServicesAP
    BREAKING: Reports #assange not in #Ecuador embassy @abcnews24

  18. No matter what you think of this Assage guy remember that Mr. Hope-n-change has a hand in this. I guess if Ecuador grants asylum Obama will be launching Predator drones.

  19. Will the English one up the radical Islamic Republic of Iran? Probably…stay tuned

  20. Draw your own conclusion:

    [...]
    The harsh conditions forced upon Bradley Manning in military detention have been laid out in detail as part of a court filing in which the US army is accused of a “flagrant violation” of his right not to be punished prior to trial.

    The Article 13 motion, published Friday by Manning’s civilian lawyer David Coombs on his website, claims that Manning, who is accused of leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks, was held in a 6×8 ft cell for 23 to 24 hours a day. In addition, when not sleeping, Manning was banned from lying down, or even using a wall to support him.

    The motion also claims that Manning was punished through “degradation and humiliation”, notably by forcing him to stand outside his cell naked during a morning inspection. This, his Coombs claims, was “retaliatory punishment” for speaking out over his treatment.
    more at link

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/10/bradley-manning-military-code-lawyer

  21. He is a rapist. I am surprised so many of you are showing more concern for him than his rape vicitm. But I guess if he were accused of a hate crime against a muslim, you would be insisting that he would have to face charges in Sweden, regardless of whether he is extradited to the US. It amazes despite the sexism you all faced in 2008 being Hillary Clinton supporters you still stand with liberals who defend this rapist and abuse the rape victim. Sweden wants him extradited to face rape charges which the media conveniently calls sex crimes. Regardless of whether he is extradited to the US he still needs to face those charges

    • No. He’s been charged.

    • This website is more to your thinking.

      http://crayfisher.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/what-if-they-sent-in-a-drone-to-blow-his-ass-up/#comment-80782

      You don’t need to put down others for not seeing the world according to Yasmin. That you are surprised only shows how narrow your worldview is. Disagreement on any issue is extremely common.

    • Do you have absolute proof of that, yasmin?
      How could you be so stupid? Why would a country like Ecuador risk it’s diplomatic status with Britain to protect a rapist? We’re talking about Sweden, yasmin. When it comes to treating suspects and even convicted criminals, they’re not exactly ogres. If it were just allegations of sexual misconduct of an ill-defined nature, and that’s what it looks like from here, this ordeal could have been over with by now.
      Assange isn’t afraid of Sweden. He’s afraid that the Swedes are going to turn him over to the US so he can be buried alive in a maximum security prison in the US without trial or access to an attorney.
      Either you know this already or you’re dumber than a box of rocks. Don’t pull that rape culture feminism shit around here.

      • Rape Culture Feminism Shit. Sounds exactly like those who were telling you to not pull the sexist shit in 2008 when you had to deal with that being a Hillary Clinton supporter. I guess when you can and so many here can pull the same crap they did, then you really lose the right to complain about 2008. Excuse me if I don’t feel sorry for a Rapist. Liberal and Progressive males do not mind the torture a rape victim has to go through, mental torture they are more than happy to inflict themselves but a Rapist should be protected.

        • Oh, silly me, I totally forgot that some how Clintonistas have an obligation to condemn people without due process and trials. What was I thinking?
          Jeez, Yasmin, you should be able to do better than that. Whatever happened to logic? I want a better class of troll.

        • Do you know that Sweden has not formally charged Assange?
          That’s what wikipedia says. To jump and say that Assange is a rapist is over the top.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assange_v_Swedish_Prosecution_Authority

        • I know, right? He hasn’t even been formally charged with anything. And from what I read, what he’s been accused of is like a low level sexual misconduct thing. I’m not trivializing rape by any means. In fact, I think the people who are jumping straight to the conclusion that Assange raped are trivializing it. In their minds, sex is fully consensual or fully rape. There is no gray, ambiguous in between where one party sees it one way and the other party sees it the other way. There’s no possibility that where one party thinks it’s seduction, the other thinks it’s offensive. No possibility of miscommunication or that the charges are fabricated or exaggerated in order to extradite Assange to the US.
          To me, excluding everything but an assumption of his guilt trivializes the accusations and makes it more likely that potentially innocent people will be accused of rape in the future. The practice may become common enough that we will all come to be cynical about rape accusations even when they’re totally justified. Who will be served by that?
          This sounds like something the Obama administration would be fully onboard with. I’m not so sure the State department would want to see rape charges cheapened like this.

          • There is no gray, ambiguous in between where one party sees it one way and the other party sees it the other way. There’s no possibility that where one party thinks it’s seduction, the other thinks it’s offensive. No possibility of miscommunication or that the charges are fabricated or exaggerated in order to extradite Assange to the US.

            Do you know the best way to resolve this?

            In court. The prosecution presents their evidence. The defendant gets to cross-examine witnesses and present his own. The lawyers argue. Then a jury decides.

            Why are you opposed to that?

          • Shorter Clown: “Four legs good, two legs bad!”

            Or is it “Four legs good, two legs better!” this week? :twisted:

            Tsk, I need to quit missing the Two Minutes’ Hate (to mix Orwell novels), or they might throw me in Room 101…brrr, Shatner records… :mrgreen:

          • To MIQ actually,

            I am just a total layman, obviously . . . . but if I thought your hypothetical description of what Assange would face upon going to Sweden bore some relationship to what will actually happen, then I would agree that Assange has nothing to fear, and both he and we should welcome the process unfolding as you hypothetically describe.

            But since this is all really about pseudo-legally “kidnapping” Assange so as to “extraordinarily render” him to the United States so he can be dungeonized for life and possibly subjected in the meantime to modern scientific sensory deprivation torture in the very same way that Padilla was . . . perhaps in the very same Naval Brig cell that Padilla was sensory-deprivation tortured in . . . I find it understandable that neither he nor we would care to see this experiment run. He because he doesn’t care to be dungeonized for life (or possibly assassinated in dungeon), and we because the successful dungeonization (or assassination in capitivity) might well
            terrorise any future recipient of leaked material from making it known . . . to our information-deprivation detriment and to the delight of the government forces who are pursuing this conspiracy against information-publicization.

        • Begging Yasmin’s pardon, but . . . on what legal basis are you labelling Assange to be a Rapist? Any conviction secured? Or even trial held? Or even charges made?

          • No, of course not! He’s a rapist because ALL men are rapists. Some of them just get caught. Due process and innocence before proven guilty is just a distraction.
            Yes, some women really think like this even though I’m pretty sure that all men are NOT rapists. Hey, maybe it’s because I’m 5’9″ and look like I’d put up a fight (and have) but I can say without reservation that all men are not rapists, even if they are thinking like rapists.
            If you’re smaller, YMMV.

  22. The whole Assange case is weird. Sweden demanding that Assange answer the questions in Sweden, not in the U.K. is simply strange at best. He has repeatedly said that he’ll answer all questions, but not in Sweden.

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Sweden demanding that he show up in person to answer questions. Guilty or not, Assange has nothing to fear by going to talk to the Swedes. He’s not the Boston Strangler. He’s not going to face decades of prison time for the allegations as we know them. If he’d gone to Sweden when they first wanted him for questioning, this whole affair, including any possible jail time, might be over by now.
      It’s not Sweden he’s afraid of, well, not directly anyway.
      It might be better if all countries involved would drop the pretense of the sexual violations because they just don’t wash anymore.

      • Assange has a lot to fear from Sweden. They have no intention of trying him or even charging him. If they cared about their case they wouldn’t have leaked the entire testimony from the women to the press. What he is accused of is not using a condom during consenual sex. Not a violent rape.

  23. Here’s a link to the English Translation of the Reuter’s Live feed from Quito: https://t.co/1iDDvQlp

  24. RD said:
    “If it were just allegations of sexual misconduct of an ill-defined nature, and that’s what it looks like from here, this ordeal could have been over with by now.

    What Assange have been suspected of doing and about what he’s been wanted for interrogation has been there from the start. For anyone who cared to search for it. From the website of the Swedish Prosecution Authority:

    18 November 2010
    Marianne Ny [Director of Public Prosecution] orders the arrest of Julian Assange, with probable cause, suspected of rape, three cases of sexual molestation and illegal coercion. This measure is taken as it has been impossible to interview him during the investigation.

    So yes, it could – and should! – have been over with by now. For the sake of everyone involved not least the two women. If it wasn’t for the dickisness of Assange. And, admittedly, fumblings in the start by the Swedísh authorities.

    RD again:
    Assange isn’t afraid of Sweden. He’s afraid that the Swedes are going to turn him over to the US so he can be buried alive in a maximum security prison in the US without trial or access to an attorney.

    Sure. That’s what Assange and the media have – successfully – tried to make us all believe all this time: That Sweden would turn A. over to the US. Pardon my French but what the eff makes anyone think Sweden would do that? Seriously! (Are the US authorities even interested in him?)

    As I see it Assange has managed, unwittingly or not, to make a mockery not only of Wikileaks, his own ‘invention’ for g’s sake, but also of true whistleblowers – the organization WL in my opinion is a hacker-o. not a whistleblower-o. – asylum-seekers, rape, inter-national extraditions, the legal system in several countries, on and on.

    Personally if I never hear or see anything about this selfcentered, narcissistic dickhead ever again, it won’t be too soon!

    Having followed this case closely from the start, among the bloggers I’ve read who’s covered the case, myiq is one of the very few who’ve actually gotten to – and made an effort to get there, before opining! – the matter of this case. And along with everything else he’s said, in this thread and elsewhere, about the case I totally agree with this:

    Assange goes to Sweden. Life goes on.

    … and wishfully hoping, I’ll add ‘End of story!’

    • I just listened to Ecuador’s Foreign Minister say that Ecuador asked for Assurances that Sweden would not send Assange to the US. No such promise was made. Sweden was given the opportunity to question and interview Assange at the Ecuadoran Embassy… That offer was rejected.

      I listed to the English Translation of the Foreign Ministers announcement. He explained the circumstances where Asylum can be granted. He explained Ecuador’s history in granting asylum and how refugees are integrated into general society – not in refugee camps. He explained the concept of human rights and how sovereign states are required to respect them. Explained how Assange’s situation fit those circumstances. Then he announced that Ecuador had decided to grant Assange asylum.

      • katie, according to Swedish law and to The European Convention, of which Sweden is a member, Assange can’t be extradited to any country, the US included, that executes capital punishment. So there’s actually no need for Ecuador to ask Sweden for such an assurance.

        • So, put him on a boat and arrest him somewhere west of Denmark.
          Again, I don’t think assange has anything to fear from Swedish justice. It should make you very curious why the swedes went to the trouble of going to another country o question a murder suspect but for some reason feels like it has to create an international incident to get assange to sweden. Why aren’t you asking that question? Are you so determined to charge him with rape that all of the other possibilities aren’t even on your radar? Why would Ecuador offer sanctuary to a suspected rapist? Why risk everything for a potential criminal?
          I can’t take you seriously until you bother to come up with some answers.

          • I’m not really sure what question you’re expecting me to ask of myself as I have no idea what Ecuador is up to. And frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.

            And for Pete’s sake can you please leave out the accusation that I want Assange to be charged with rape! What’s with the hostility anyway? Why do you act almost as if you feel threatened whenever cases of rape/ alleged rape or the like is being discussed and some of us look more favorably at the point of view seen from the woma/en involved than that of the man?

            But look: Assange goes to Sweden for some seminar. He sleeps around, both in the sense of living for free at other people’s homes and of being promiscuous. Two women, present at the seminar, later find out that they have both had consensual sex with Assange, but that they have also both, against their will, had unprotected sex. And I’m not going into details as I don’t know what happened in these bedrooms! And it’s none of my business anyway. Not my business to know and not to discuss.

            So fearing that they migt have contracted HIV they contact the local police to find out if there’s any way they can demand of Assange that he gets a HIV-test. The police officer, sensing that all is not right about what the women have experienced, and by Swedish law therefore is required to contact the prosecution authorities about this, does just that. The receiving on-duty person at the prosecution office agrees – note, not the two women! – that it appears that that the women have been raped and decides to make an arrest warrant for Assange.

            At this point a journalist at a Swedish tabloid gets hold of the story, finds out that Assange, a celebrity, is involved, and from then, there’s obviously no turning back.

            Succequently the two women have been vilified, harassed, persecuted, hated, stalked … in short their lives have been made hell. Stories have been made up, the whole world seems to have been opining, most without any actual knowledge of the facts.

            All that is asked of Assange is that he goes to Sweden and answer questions. Too much to ask? I happen to think no.

            YMMV.

          • Yes, it is too much to ask.
            Considering that Sweden has made exceptions with other suspects. And what with the US being run by authoritarian assholes these days that would just as soon drone you first and ask questions later, yeah, I think a guy like Assange has a lot to be worried about, rape accusations being the least of his worries.

            You said:

            But look: Assange goes to Sweden for some seminar. He sleeps around, both in the sense of living for free at other people’s homes and of being promiscuous.

            So, are we saying that just because a person sleeps around, couch surfs and is promiscuous that they should be considered to be more likely to rape and be dishonest?

            Where did you go to college?

            Once again, this attitude reminds me of the people who wanted to lynch Casey Anthony because she was a partying type. Dancing at a bar doesn’t make you a murderer. Someone has to prove it.

            You know, here in the US, it used to be that the justice system had the burden of proof. You don’t need to answer questions without a lawyer, you don’t need to let police into your home without a warrent, in short, you don’t need to make it easier for them to arrest you. Those are basic civil rights built into our constitution. It doesn’t matter whether you are guilty or innocent. In fact, you should listen to the This American Life episode called The Convert about FBI informants at Islamic mosques. Muslims in this country are advised to NEVER, EVER talk to an FBI agent without the presence of a lawyer. Not even if they think they are just being helpful.

            In this country, it used to be the case that you were at liberty and didn’t have to participate in your own persecution. We used to have habeas corpus and right to speak to an attorney, the right to a trial by a jury of your peers. That’s all gone now.

            It could be that Assange is a rapist and guilty and just using the Ecuadorans. But he’s taken some actions that the countries involved consider to be much more serious than rape and they are now showing you exactly what lengths they will go to get someone, even someone who has asylum.

            As I said before, your argument is falling on deaf ears with me. There is nothing you can do to persuade me that Sweden shouldn’t move heaven and earth to vindicate Assange’s accusers and the fact that they refuse to do so is an indication of something else going on here.

            On the other hand, your comment does say an awful lot about your attitudes towards sex and other things that people my age and younger just sort of take for granted. It’s just an interesting observation. Myiq tends to attract more conformist and conservative types instead of people who rely more on reason than social conventions. I thought you might be different.

            I guess not.

          • Where did I go to college? Seriously?

            This (and you, sorry to say) is getting ridiculous.

          • Oh, just one more thing: Im attracted to myiq now? Really? And that makes me a conformist and a conservative? LOL, now you’re really embarrassing yourself! This obsession of yours with myiq just isn’t sound. Just saying.

            I’ll never get what’s up with all the lashing out at all and anyone. All the time. And still you claim this site is a confluence? As if.

    • I’m surprised with you, Pips. I know exactly what Assange is *alleged* to have done and so far, I don’t think it’s a case of rape. If it were, there are a lot of rapists running around unprosecuted, not just Assange. Maybe that bothers you but I think there are cultural and social issues here that confuse the issue. It’s not straightforward. I’m not going to blame the victims but even I knew when I was a young, randy 20 something that if I didn’t want anything else to go on in bed, then it was time to get up and leave. Are young women incapable of deciding to to this anymore? And I don’t buy the accusation that Assange started sex when the *alleged victim* was sleeping. No one sleeps that soundly. You can disagree but there are degrees of sexual offenses, from what I can remember of Swedish law when it first broke.
      But that’s not the point. I’m surprised you’ve been sucked in.
      So far, what we have here is an *alleged* rapist. Can I get you to agree that he hasn’t been found guilty? You apparently see this as a case of a guy fleeing a rape charge. And that’s exactly what the authorities involved want you to see. It muddies the situation and affects many people on an emotional level. We have studies that show that when people are angry and emotional, they tend to make bad decisions.
      The bad decision would be to extradite him to a country, with which he has nothing to fear, to be handed over to a country with which he has MUCH to fear.
      If the US gets its hands on him, do you think they’re going to prosecute him for rape? Let’s say that he goes to Sweden and the Swedes either clear him of rape or send him to the US without giving a shit that he’s a rapist. Are you still going to be angry that he wasn’t hung by the balls because he was an *alleged* rapist? I would think you were the biggest fool in the world if you didn’t demand justice for the two *alleged* victims.
      This is not about rape. This is about the rule of law and due process. We’ve been asked to throw all that shit out the window since 9/11. Now, any of us could be accused of anything and thrown into prison indefinitely without charges. If that weren’t the case, I’d have no problem with the US intercepting him and *trying* him for publishing secrets he had no business knowing. But is that even a crime??
      Lots of people spill the beans.
      The point is not what he has or hasn’t done. The point is that you know and I know and Assange knows that whatever it is he’s done is going to be beside the point. The point is to capture him and stick him somewhere where he’ll never be seen or heard from again. It’s a fate fit for Osama bin Laden but not for the rest of us. Any of us could have done what Assange has done. The Pentagon Papers came out under similar circumstances. But we gave Daniel Ellsberg a trial. This time around, we’re holding Bradley Manning in indefinite detention without a trial. Assange has a very good reason to think the same will happen to him.
      All that has to happen for Assange to come out of that embassy and face charges in Sweden is for the US to restore habeas corpus and due process. Ask yourself why that hasn’t happened and if you aren’t sick to your stomach, then there’s nothing left for us to talk about. If you really cared about Assange’s *alleged victims*, you’d want the US to get it’s human rights laws and justice system back where it was 12 years ago.

      • This is about the rule of law and due process.

        Exactly!

        The rule of law and due process is what Assange is trying to evade.

        • Don’t be stupid, myiq. We don’t have rule of law in this country. We don’t have due process.
          Remember Jose Padilla?
          Did you read what Katiebird said about Sweden? They refused the request to interview Assange at the embassy and they refuse to assure the Ecuadorans that he wouldn’t be turned over to the US. If this were about an *alleged* rape, wouldn’t the Swedes be interested in seeking and obtaining justice for its own citizens? If I were the *alleged* victims right now, I’d be outraged that my own government won’t do what has been asked of it.
          From what I can recall, Assange was already in Britain before the Swedes said they wanted him for questioning. AFAIK, Assange hasn’t broken any laws in the UK. There was no reason for the Brits to intercept him and I’m guessing that they didn’t want the US to carry out any interceptions on British soil. That would be an outrage to British citizens. A little like the US treating England as a colony. So, they’ll do it through Sweden, with whom they seem to have come to some sort of arrangement. I don’t know what it is, I am not an international lawyer. Maybe they intend to send him back by boat and intercept him in international waters. That sounds like it would be a “hands washed clean” solution for both Britain and Sweden.
          In any case, this isn’t about rape and just about everyone but some furious red-tent feminists and whipkissers like you can see it. It’s *OBVIOUS* to the rest of the world. In fact, I think the Swedes are doing a great disservice to the accusers by using their allegations as a decoy to get Assange for the Americans. It cheapens accusations of rape and virtually assures that it will be used again for other infamous whistleblowers, making such allegations the source of mockery in the future. Who will believe a future accuser if Assange is NOT brought to justice in Sweden? Every feminist should be really pissed off by that.
          I gotta admit that Ecuador is not the place I might have fled to in these situations. He must have provided Ecuador with some mighty valuable information for them to go to the diplomatic mat for him.

          • Actually, I think that Assange is just a suspect in Sweden – I consider someone who has actually been charged an “alleged” rapist. I seem to remember someone by the name of Roman Polanski who evaded extradition to the US for thousands of years…and I think he was convicted of rape. The UK (US) doeth protest too much…unless they/we have other plans for Assange.

            Congratulations, Ecuador!

      • And I’m surprised with you, RD that you, without knowing all the facts would rather opine – “I don’t think it’s a case of rape” – than leaving it up to the Swedish authorities, who I’m sure know more about both the case and about Swedish law, than both you and I, to decide on that.

        And please don’t give me neither the “you’ve been sucked in” nor suppose, with nothing to back up that claim, that I see this as “a case of a guy fleeing a rape charge”. Give me a break! Read what I wrote instead of trying to interpret my words into something they are not.

        As I just replied to katiebird Sweden does not extradite people to countries that execute the death penalty. So I’m simply not going to participate in the speculation (and hasn’t most of what’s surrounded this case from the very start been just that: Speculation?) of “What if … he’s extradited to the US.” I’d much prefer to focus on the actual case. Which is about Assange vs Sweden.

        Are you still [still?!] going to be angry that he wasn’t hung by the balls because he was an *alleged* rapist?

        I won’t even reply to that one. I thought you were better than that, RD.

        This is about the rule of law and due process.

        Exactly. Swedish law.

        The point is that you know and I know and Assange knows that whatever it is he’s done is going to be beside the point.

        No, I most certainly do not know such a thing! But he, Assange, wants you to “know” that. He’s apparently succeeded in ‘sucking’ you in, eh? For you it’s now all about what Americans will, or can, or might, or want … to do to Assange. For me it’s for him to go to Sweden and be interrogated. Simple. His fear, real or not, about being extradited to the US is bs.

        • 1.) No, it doesn’t sound like rape to me. We went over this when the allegations first came out and I simply disagree with you and many other women who immediately accepted the accusers’ accounts without question. But it’s not up to me, it’s up to the Swedes and a jury or whatever they do over there in Sweden to examine ALL of the evidence and accounts and get to the truth. I think in the end, it will come down to not being rape but maybe some other offenses. And there’s not a damn thing you can say that will persuade me otherwise. That’s my view of it. He’s innocent until proven guilty and the accusations as reported do not meet my standard for rape but since I am not a Swede, I can’t make this call. And neither can you. You need to yield to a court of law and not the court of public opinion, which happens to be divided.

          2.) If Sweden is really serious about getting to the truth and punishing the guilty, assuming there is guilt and that it is proven, then they need to assure assange that he won’t be carted off to some other desitnation when he gets to Sweden or en route. And the reason this is important is because the other issue is his publishing secret documents. In that case, a huge and important country wants to nail his ass to the wall.

          If Sweden does anything less than try to get at the truth and/or prosecute him in Sweden, guaranteeing that he won’t be intercepted on the way by the US Navy or Interpol, then they should do everything short of making the earth move to make sure it happens. You seem to forget that the Obama administration has a “kill list” and as far as I can tell, it doesn’t seem to care about other countries’ laws about extradition to the US. I think we can both agree that it is morally wrong to endanger the life of a person who is simply wanted for questioning about a crime that may or may not happen. Without any guarantees from the US or Sweden or the UK for that matter, there’s no telling what will happen to Assange once he leaves the embassy.

          Otherwise, Sweden is not serious about the accusations of rape.

          Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Don’t get mad at me. Take it up with Sweden. Either it gets to the bottom of the problem in any way possible to defend these women against accusations of lying or it lets the charges hang there without resolution and allows an international incident to continue.

          I can’t be sure but I ASSUME that you want Assange to be innocent until proven guilty and that if he is proven not guilty, that he is released. And come to think of it, why not try him in absentia? Oh that’s right, he hasn’t been charged with anything. He still needs to be questioned.

          So, if Sweden can track down a suspected murderer in another country and question him, why not go to the Ecuadoran embassy and do the same for Assange? I’ll tell you why. It’s because Sweden is not really serious about the charges.

          You need to accept this. Sweden is not serious about the rape allegations and is cheapening the charges.

          Go vent your ire at Stockholm, not here.

          • It doesn’t sound like rape to you? I guess you just are not old enough to remember when that was what every rape victim heard from the police, legal system as well as friends and associates. Thanks for the memories.
            The fact is that none of us know, that is what we and Sweden and other nations have legal systems for.

          • No, Theresa. Just because a person is saying they were raped doesn’t mean that they were raped. Not all men are rapists. Not all accusations of rape are true. They need to be proven.
            And no, I don’t consider what I’ve heard about the charges to be rape. I simply don’t. I think women need to take charge of their sexuality and when they feel ambiguity or uncomfortable about a situation, they need to assert themselves. Otherwise, any man could be the subject of this kind of prosecution. Signals get mixed, what looks like consent might not be, and I’d be damned if I EVER believe you could sleep through sex even partially. You’d have to be on some kind of drug.
            I find that part of the story completely unbelievable.
            Sorry, that’s my perspective. I’d chalk it up to some bad social interactions but not rape. He deserves something but not jail.
            You may have a different perspective but it’s unlikely to persuade me. The Swedish justice system will have the final word on the subject and what you or I think about it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
            In case I haven’t made it perfectly clear, you can type til you’re blue in the fingers, you can’t convince me that the guy is guilty without proof. Give up on it already. You are not right about this issue in the absence of a trial. Your personal experiences make you uniquely unqualified to judge this issue fairly or objectively.

        • BTW, your defense of myiq is ridiculous. I suspect that if myiq was issued a court order to attend a hearing to determine whether charges were to be brought against him, he’d just not show up.
          He’s a smartass, stubborn klown but in the end, he’d give the justice system the finger.

          • LOL. You really don’t read what I write do you!

            No RD, it doesn’t sound like rape to me either. But then I wasn’t there and don’t know what happened.

            No RD, I never “immediately accepted the accusers’ accounts without question”. See my reply upthread, if you care, about how the accusation came about.

            No RD, it’s neither up to you nor me, but “up to the Swedes and a jury or whatever they do over there[!] in Sweden to examine ALL of the evidence and accounts and get to the truth.” As I’ve actually repeatedly said as you might – or maybe not? – have noticed.

            Yes RD, I too believe that it could in the end “come down to not being rape but maybe some other offenses.”

            And no RD, I have never tried to, nor wanted to, say anything to persuade you to think otherwise than you do. Don’t know what made you come to that conclusion.

            “He’s innocent until proven guilty and the accusations as reported do not meet my standard for rape but since I am not a Swede, I can’t make this call. And neither can you. You need to yield to a court of law and not the court of public opinion, which happens to be divided.” LOL. Pretty much what I’ve been saying all along.

            As for your 2) and 3) did you happen to see my – repeated – comments about Sweden not being in a position to extradite Assange? The Swedish foreign minister is quite taken aback by the false claims from the Ecuadorian sos about Swedish law. To be continued I’m sure.

            And btw your claim that I’m defending myiq is laughable. Acknowledging when someone makes a thorough research before joining a debate has nothing to do with defense. Whatever else can be said about myiq (lots I’m sure, lol) I’ve never ‘caught’ him presenting personal opinions as facts. Which, with all the gossip around and spinning of the truth everywhere, I truly appreciate. And when someone presents facts there’s not much to agree or disagree about. Or defend for that matter.

          • Oh, I think you’d be surprised at what myiq might do.

      • I’ll bet that others could admit that Assange has not been found guilty, if you could admit that he is not automatically innocent just because the lefties want it to be so. You’ve been hanging out with the lefties too long. I grew up with them and they are just as sexist as the righties. When I was a kid and was molested and raped it was because lefties think they are immune from sexism and that all rape is seduction. I feel sick reading some of what you have written.
        But then I am a 2nd waver and I think the motto of the 3rd wave feminists should be “power through pole dancing”….forget who said it first but love the phrase. My opinion is that the 3rd wave is nothing but the undertow… women afraid of pissing off the men who are still in charge of about EVERYTHING, including the lefty movement.

        • I stand by everything I have printed on the subject. An accusation does not make you a rapist. The accusers are not automatically truthful and honest. If you have been molested as a child, you might not be the most objective person on the subject of Julian Assange’s current sexual offense accusations. We still need to assume that he’s innocent until he is proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt.
          On the other hand, if you are one of the accusers, you’ve got to be pretty pissed off by now that the Swedish government isn’t making alternative arrangements to question and charge him. It gives the appearance that the government isn’t really taking this accusation seriously and it looks like the Swedes are being used to carry out some other agenda.
          Finally, it’s not all about rape. Those of you who are concentrating on the rape issue to the exclusion of everything else are actually undermining the case for extraditing Assange to Sweden. By excluding the real obstacles to getting him into the Swedish justice system, you are going to make it impossible for him to face any charges.
          Sometimes, you have to go backwards before you can go forwards. Insinuations that he is a rapist avoiding prosecution doesn’t change the very real issues that are at stake here. Ecuador wouldn’t go to the mat for a fricking suspected rapist. They would only do this for a much bigger reason.
          Just because you choose to ignore that bigger reason doesn’t make it go away or make extradition to Sweden any more likely to happen.

    • I couldn’t disagree more. As Katiebird’s sister has noted in this recent FB post:

      The facts, m’am. Just the facts:

      “…[B]e aware that: 1. Assange has not been charged with a crime. He is wanted for questioning. 2. He has always agreed to face questioning either in England or in Sweden with the guarantee that he not be extradited to the USA. (Assange and his supporters want him to be questioned about that which he is accused). 3. Sweden refused him those assurances. 4. It was, before this case, unheard of for Interpol to be involved in something on the level of this, no-charges-brought, Assange situation. Interpol is being used here in a new way. 5. A grand jury has been meeting in secret in the US to bring charges of espionage against Assange, for which, if convicted he could face life in prison or death.”

      In the United States of America in 2012, point 5 is a definite reality.

  25. How are the Kosholes justifying Obama’s actions today?

    This drama playing out in the U K is all thanks to him.

  26. My workplace-computer-exposure time is limited so I can’t do the site by site by site by site research which this subject deserves. I have more potential time at the crappy little publik liberry computers but they have near zero capabilities compared to these computers. So I can only go partway on memory as well as what I read lately.

    Somewhat over a year ago Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism (and her commenters) went into Wikissange in fairly exhaustive detail. I don’t have the time or energy to perform the grinding search to find those posts. I assume they still exist. Yves Smith is running a fresh post on these new developments just lately, I believe. I do remember how some commenters reminded the readership of the traditional use by intelligence agencies of sexual enticement operatives to perform sexual blackmail or sexual extortion or to set up the target for sex-crimes prosecution. Assange was already deeply hated by the U S government at that time and the possibility was raised that one or more of these young women might have CIA associations, in other words; that they might be part of a honeytrap operation.

    People who take for granted that Assange would stay in Sweden if sent to Sweden to face Swedish justice in Sweden have yet to convince me of that. Given the intensely expressed intense interest of the US Federal Authorities to lay hands on Assange to subject him to prosecution under the Espionage Act, there is no reason to think they would suddenly lose interest if Assange were sent back to Sweden. The authorities’ interest in Manning is preliminary to their interest in Assange, and revelatory of how they hope to treat Assange should they get him. Is Assange wrong to think the Swedish government shares the revenge-interest that many governments feel towards counter-government mass-leakers of secret government documents?

    Yasmin may be offhandedly dismissed as a lynch mobber.

    Pips’s comments are serious and deserve serious answers. But first, let me say that my finely honed sense of paranoid hypervigilance
    allowed me to pick up this sentence from one of Pips’s comments:
    . . . some of us look more favorably at the point of view seen from the woma/en involved than that of the man?” Oh REALly . . . . not Equally favorably . . . More favorably, eh? If looking at the man’s point of view more favorably would be misogyny, than looking at the woman’s point of view more favorably would be misandrony, would it not? It would be, and it is. The biased dishonesty revealed in that sentence led me to wonder what other clever deception might be buried in your further comments.

    I notice that you pretend to believe that Sweden could not by definition send Assange to America because Sweden does not, by definition, send people to countries with a death penalty. But when
    France was satisfied that America truthfully promised not to seek the death penalty in the Ira Einhorn case, France went ahead and sent Einhorn back to America. And since you are educated enough to know about that case, I suspect you knew all about that case, that promise, and that extradition even as you pretend to believe that Sweden “could not would not” send Assange to America to face dungeonization for life for publishing revealed secrets.

    I also find your pretense not to know why the US Federal authorities
    would be interested in capturing Assange to be disingenuous in the extreme, and a piece of utter and absolute deceit on your part. Will it work? Not on me it won’t.

    That said, there is a lesson in all this for every member of the WikiLeaks organization. Beware beWare beWARE of intelligence operatives and the enticement-honeytrap operations they will mount against every single one of you at every single opportunity.
    Each of you, all of you, every single one of you . . . run the risk of taking hidden Ultimate Stakes Darwin Exams every instant of every day, without even knowing you are being set up. Beware BeWare BeWARE.

    • Turns out Yves Smith was not running a fresh post on this. I believed a rumor. I was wrong. One would have to go back to find
      Yves Smith’s legacy posts on this matter.

  27. I read a very informative article concerning the charges against Assunge the other day. I’m trying to find the link, but the artivcle listed several ways the case against Assange has been pruseued is outside normal rape cases. These includ:

    1. THe women were allowed to go in and file statements together. This is never done. They should have been in separate rooms and given their statements separately.
    2. The women hired the same lawyer to represent them. Aggain totaly a conflict of interest for the lawyer. Their attorney y the way is a corporate lawyer, not a crmininal or civil lawyer, and he has close ties to the government and the US governemtn
    3. The boyfriend of one of the women was allowed to give a statement concerning her sexual history. This is completely outrageous. This would seem to open the women’s sexual history open for investigation by Assange.
    4. The women are claiming they want Assange tested for HIV. Again this is not done. If they are worried about HIV they are expected to get themselves tested, because that is the real concerns, isn’t it?
    5. Assange has offered to be questioned via teleconfference which is common practice. He has offered to speak to prosecutors if they come to Britain. This is also a common occurance. Sweden has refused.
    6. Several prosecutor inSweden have stated that the behavior by the DA has contaminated the case so that it would be unwinnable. But it is assumed they would never have to try the case, because that is not the goal.

    I am a woman. I really do not like defending someone accused of rape. But, if the rape charge is real, why hasn’t their corporate attorney objected to the violations of law and investigation norms that harm his clients’ case? why has Sweden allowed the case to be completely contaminated? The only conclusion I can come to is that the entire thing is fabricated to snare Assange for the US.

    • apishapa, no offense intended but is this one ‘very informative article’ you’re referencing (and please note, he hasn’t been charged) all you need before expressing your own strong opinion about the case? Wouldn’t you want to find out more about the veracity of the claims in the article before voicing your opinion?

      1. “This is never done”. So, is your claim that two people have never before contacted the police making a report or an inquiry together? In regard to their later statements, I find it quite improbable that they weren’t interrogated separately.

      2. Why do you see it as a conflict for the lawyer to be representing both women?

      I don’t know whether or not Claes Borgström calls himself a ‘corporate lawyer’ but his expertise covers among other fields Criminal Cases, Public Defender, Counsel, Discrimination Law and Tort – on top of which from 2000 to 2007, he served as Equality Ombudsman (a Swedish/ Scandinavian word for an institution with Swedish/ Scandinavian roots btw) for the government and since 2008 he’s been his Party’s spokesperson on Gender Equality. I’d say he’s pretty well up to the task. And were I in the women’s place I certainly wouldn’t object to his representing me.

      As for his alleged “close ties to the government and the US governement” I don’t know about the latter – what makes you allege that? – but as he’s a Social Democrat I doubt his ties to the present government, which is a liberal-conservative coalition and has been for the past 6 years, are all that close.

      3. Never heard of the boyfriend before. To whom did he give statements? The prosecutor, the tabloids, the lawyers? And how does he or his alleged statements have any impact on the case?

      4. Do you know for a fact that the women weren’t tested for HIV.

      5. Do you know for a fact that it’s “common practice” to be questioned via teleconference? And that it’s a “common occurance” for prosecutors to leave it up to suspects wanted for questioning to set up the terms, time and place, for the interrogation? Doesn’t sound probable to me.

      6. Can you name any of the “several prosecutors” that have criticised the “behavior by the DA”? And don’t name Per E. Samuelsson – a notorious and long time critic of the Swedish juridical system btw – or anyone else of Assange’s numerous lawyers. It’s their job to be critical on behalf of their client. (You could try reading the counter perspective by Professor of Law at the University of Stockholm Mårten Schultz, e.g. his article “Justice for Sweden”.)

      Then you claim that “what he is accused of is not using a condom during consensual sex. Not a violent rape.” Does that mean, that you agree with Whoopie Goldberg, that this isn’t ‘rape-rape’? That rape is only rape when it’s violent?

      It’s not for me to tell you where to get more (solid) information, but as you present yourself as a woman who doesn’t normally like defending someone accused of rape, you might like to read this article from almost 2 years back by Jessica Valenti. The majority of the comments are pretty good too.

      • Sfaik, Whoopi was saying that “sex with a minor” (which is all that the man was on record for) was statutory rape not rape-rape. (Imo Whoopi didn’t know about the drugging and how young the victim was.)

        What Assange is ‘charged’ with is quite different. The count with the most severe penalty (4 years maximum?) is “sex with a sleeping person” which falls under the Swedish category translated as “minor rape” or “rape less serious”. Sex with a sleeping person is illegal in US law also, but our laws label it differently, iirc.

    • apishapa, on August 18, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Apishapa, thanks for good sense. I’d disagree on one point: I don’t think the whole thing was fabricated in the sense of being a honey trap from the beginning, with the women recruited for that purpose beforehand. If it were, they would have done a better job.

      I looked at a lot of reports from sources in the UK (and posted them at my LJ), and my take is that the women were sincerely asking only for help in finding ASsange for a STD test, and over zealous police found a possible charge in the fine print and took it from there, and then some ambitious Swedish public figures saw easy prey: a foreign high profile trophy whose own government wouldn’t help him. So far, it doesn’t need US pressure, though I’m sure encouragement from the US didn’t hurt.

      Where I’d look for real international pressure (from US and others) is in the issuance of a Red Alert Interpol warrant. Can you find any more details on that? Was it really way out of line to issue this for such ‘charges’? Is it true that Sweden in many months had only issued one other such warrant for ‘sex offense’ charges, and that was for a violent serial suspect?

      • Bemused: totally agree with what you’ve written. I don’t think this was a case of entrapment but opportunity. Unfortunately, Assange seems to bring out the worst in “feminists”, which the propaganda artists have been stirring ruthlessly since this whole thing began.
        Ironically, I would have no problem with the US attempting to try Assange for receipt and dissemination of classified information, if he could be extradited. The problem is that the US doesn’t try people anymore. We just lock people up and expect the world to forget about them. It reminds me of the worst of authoritarian and brutal governments. And as long as we’re in the business of doing that, I hope that Assange stays out of our clutches.
        I’m not sure that publishing the cables served any useful purpose. None of those cables was going to trigger a nuclear meltdown but they did make it much more difficult for the US to reestablish good relations with other countries in the wake of the disastrous Bush years. So, Julian just made an enemy of a huge and powerful country without much of a payoff. It was more like a kid throwing rocks through windows instead of making a gigantic and sizable impact.
        May I suggest that in the future Assange target international financial institutions? Cause the biggest money men to lose their shirts? That would be a better use of secret information, not some piddly cables from ambassadors who are trying to size up the locals.

        • I believe I remember that Assange was threatening to do just that with “one of” the Big Banks, and governmental interest ramped up sharply just after that threat. And I believe he hasn’t actually done it, nor have any of the other wikileakers. It makes me wonder if they have been quietly threatened with assassination of themselves and friends and family members if such emails get published. But then that’s the way my little tinfoil mind works.

          • “I believe I remember that Assange was threatening to do just that with “one of” the Big Banks, and governmental interest ramped up sharply just after that threat.”

            Yes. That’s about the time that PayPal and some other big money movers froze his legal defense fund and stopped accepting donations for Wikileaks. And it was in a key time as far as Swedish police action went.

    • Apishipa,

      A few days ago, blogger Professor Juan Cole (Middle East Studies–University of Michigan) ran a blogpost with a long comments thread about the newest stages of the Assange affair.

      http://www.juancole.com/2012/08/ayatollah-cameron-threatens-to-invade-ecuador-embassy-re-assange-or-whitewashing-iran-for-the-us-national-security-state.html

      Several of the comments in the thread marshal various bits of evidence to accuse Assange’s accusers of being Intell Ops honeytrappers. But as Riverdaughter and Bemused Leftist note, they may well have been Assange aquaintances acting in all innocence and feeling aggrieved by Assange’s behavior. That said, bits of a couple of late-thread comments seem germane enough to deserve cutpasting here:
      “There’s no rape and no charge. Pay attention. He is wanted for questioning in relation to allegations that he committed something that translates to “sexual misconduct”. Why is there no charge? Well, the original prosecutor said there is absolutely no basis on which to charge Assange (so the prosecutor was replaced by the swedfish government). One “victim” didn’t even go to the police to report a rape, but to check if Assange could be compulsorily tested for STDs. The other continued to associate with him for weeks after the events in question (which doesn’t disprove any “rape” claim, but doesn’t exactly support it either).”
      I will cutpaste again a sentence from the cutpaste just above which really grabbed my eye . . . “Why is there no charge? Well, the original prosecutor said there is absolutely no basis on which to charge Assange (so the prosecutor was replaced by the swedfish government). ” Replaced the first prosecutor with a kangaroo prosecutor, eh? That’s what makes me think this is Sweden’s early-stage part in an elaborate get-Assange-for-wikileaks conspiracy. As I understand (hopefully correctly) Riverdaughter to have said . . . the fact that Sweden would exploit its alleged “concern” with the complainants’ reports against Assange as a crowbar for furthering an international conspiracy to judicially kidnap Assange for renderization into the Padilla Suite for giving him the Full Metal Manning Treatment indicates the depth of Sweden’s own disregard for the seriousness of these complaints AS complaints.
      One need not feel as if one is “defending rape” when one notes the exploitation of the two women’s sexual conduct complaints against Assange as a tool of psycholgical blackmail by various Intelligence Operatives in order to divert attention away from the ongoing international conspiracy to kidnap Assange and render him to the U S government for political and physical persecution in revenge for his having published this leaked material.

      • Just my take, but istm that the earlier the US spooks got into it, the more severe charges they would have come up with. And the Swedish government would not have given Assange their blessing when he asked if he might go on to his schedule in UK.

        Remember Bill Clinton’s impeachment after the Paula Jones trial? Jones (and Brodderick) were not plants. The GOP impeachment crowd didn’t invent those sex charges, or get very involved till the charges had got some traction from lower level enemies of Bill.

        • If the Swedish government took these sexual misconduct questions seriously (which it does not), then it would not be co-operating with the transnational conspiracy to capture Assange in order to rendition him to the Padilla Suite. The fact that the Swedish government seeks to exploit these questions for transnational conspirapolitical ends shows just how frivolously the Swedish government in fact regards these questions.

          One wonders if the complainants themselves can sue the Swedish government into dropping out of the transnational rendition conspiracy against Assange and give Assange all the “no kidnapping and no renditioning” guarantees he says he needs so that he has no plausible reason left to say he feels unsafe in Sweden. If the complainants were to win such a lawsuit against the Swedish authorities, then there is a chance they could get Assange sent back to Sweden (and nowhere else after that) so that he could face whatever serious investigation and possible consequences that the complaints and the complainants deserve and require. That is clearly the exact opposite of the Swedish rendition-conspiratorial government authorities seek as of this moment.

  28. Okay. I’ve been out of town, then at work, but I did go find the articlw I was reading. I was written by Naomi Wolfe on 2/11/12 and is titled “8 BIG Problems with the case against Assange”

    1. This is not the first articl I’ve read about this case, it is the first time I’ve ever commented on it. I chose to talk about this article because it describes the issues from a respected authority on women’s issues.

    2. Here are the eight reasons as cited by Ms. Wolfe in her research and dscussions with several world renowned experts on rape law in Sweden.

    ” 1) Police never pursue complaints in which there is no indication of lack of consent… (she goes on the explain why)

    “2) Police do not let two women report an accusation about one man together.

    The transcripts seem to indicate that the police processed the two accusers’ complaints together.

    This is completely unheard-of in sex crime procedures; and the burden should be on Clare Mongomery, QC, or Marianne Ny, to produce a single other example of this being permitted.

    Never will two victims be allowed by police to come in and tell their stories together–even, or especially, if the stories are about one man.

    Indeed, this is a great frustration to those who advocate for rape victims. You can have seven alleged victims all accusing the same guy — and none will be permitted to tell their stories together.

    It doesn’t matter if they coordinated in advance as the Assange accusers did, or if they are close friends and came in together: the police simply will not take their complaints together or even in the same room. ..”

    “3) Police never take testimony from former boyfriends.

    There’s another remarkable aberration in this transcript: the report of a former boyfriend of “Miss A,” testifying that she’d always used a condom in their relationship.

    Now, as one who has supported many rape victims through the reporting process, I have to say that the inclusion of this utterly atypical–and, in fact, illegal–note will make anyone who has counselled rape victims through the legal process’ feel as though her head might explode.

    There’s a rape shield law in Sweden (as there is throughout Europe) that prevents anyone not involved in the case to say anything to the police, whether it be positive or negative, about the prior sexual habits of the complainant. ..

    “4) Prosecutors never let two alleged victims have the same lawyer.

    Both women are being advised by the same high-powered, politically connected lawyer. That would never happen under normal circumstances because the prosecutor would not permit the risk of losing the case because of contamination of evidence and the risk of the judge objecting to possible coaching or shared testimony in the context of a shared attorney.

    “5) A lawyer never typically takes on two alleged rape victims as clients.

    No attorney–and certainly no high-powered attorney– would want to represent two women claiming to have been victimized by the same man, for the reasons above: the second woman’s testimony could be weaker than the other one’s, thus lessening the lawyer’s chances of success.”
    6 ) A rape victim never uses a corporate attorney.

    Typically, if a woman needs a lawyer in addition to the prosecutor who is pursuing her case (as in the Swedish system) she will be advised by rape victim advocates, the prosecutor and the police to use a criminal attorney — someone who handles rape cases or other kinds of assault, who is familiar with the judges and the courts in these cases. She

    “7) A rape victim is never encouraged to make any kind of contact with her assailant and she may never use police to compel her alleged assailant to take medical tests.

    8)Police and prosecutors never leak police transcripts during an active investigation because they face punishment for doing so.

    The full transcripts of the women’s complaints have been leaked to the US media. The only people who have access to those documents are police, prosecutors and the attorneys. Often, frustratingly, rape victims themselves cannot get their own full set of records related to their cases. In normal circumstances, the leaking of those transcripts would be grounds for an immediate investigation of the police and prosecutors who had access to them. Any official who leaks such confidential papers faces serious penalties; lawyers who do so can be disbarred. And yet no one in this case is being investigated or facing any consequences. It seems quite likely that the Assange documents were leaked by the police or prosecutors because they got a signal from higher-ups that they could do so with impunity.”
    This is me again. The experts she cites seem to be knowledgable. I believe them when they state that this case has been pursued in a way that would seem to preclude conviction. WHy would they be so careless unless they have no intention of prossecuting on those charges?

    http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/

    • apishapa, on August 21, 2012 at 1:20 am

      Apishapa, do you know anything about the Red Alert Interpol warrant? Is it normal in such cases? How many other Red Alerts for ‘sex offenses’ has Sweden sent out lately?

    • What about the Red Alert warrant?

      RD, I’ve made longer posts with this question but they don’t show. Am I in moderation or something? I’m trying to post as bemused_leftist, but sometimes fsteele comes up and I don’t notice it.

      • Ok, this post did come up.

        Apishapa, I’ve heard that Sweden issued a Red Alert Interpol warrant for Assange, which is unusual for them in a ‘sex offense’ case. Is that correct?

        I suppose Assange would be considered a high risk for flight, though scarcely a serious threat of violence.

      • Spammy is just cranky some days. :P

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