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Anti-establishment hero or rapist?


The Guardian has more information on the allegations against Julian Assange:

The allegations centre on a 10-day period after Assange flew into Stockholm on Wednesday 11 August. One of the women, named in court as Miss A, told police that she had arranged Assange’s trip to Sweden, and let him stay in her flat because she was due to be away. She returned early, on Friday 13 August, after which the pair went for a meal and then returned to her flat.

Her account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg as they drank tea, before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she “tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again”. Miss A told police that she didn’t want to go any further “but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far”, and so she allowed him to undress her.

According to the statement, Miss A then realised he was trying to have unprotected sex with her. She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had “done something” with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.

[…]

The following day, Miss W phoned Assange and arranged to meet him late in the evening, according to her statement. The pair went back to her flat in Enkoping, near Stockholm. Miss W told police that though they started to have sex, Assange had not wanted to wear a condom, and she had moved away because she had not wanted unprotected sex. Assange had then lost interest, she said, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had sex at least once when “he agreed unwillingly to use a condom”.

Early the next morning, Miss W told police, she had gone to buy breakfast before getting back into bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no. “According to her statement, she said: ‘You better not have HIV’ and he answered: ‘Of course not,’ ” but “she couldn’t be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night. She had never had unprotected sex before.”

[…]

On Wednesday 18 August, according to police records, Miss A told Harold and a friend that Assange would not leave her flat and was sleeping in her bed, although she was not having sex with him and he spent most of the night sitting with his computer. Harold told police he had asked Assange why he was refusing to leave the flat and that Assange had said he was very surprised, because Miss A had not asked him to leave. Miss A says she spent Wednesday night on a mattress and then moved to a friend’s flat so she did not have to be near him. She told police that Assange had continued to make sexual advances to her every day after they slept together and on Wednesday 18 August had approached her, naked from the waist down, and rubbed himself against her.

There is a lot more. Regardless of whether you believe Assange is guilty or innocent you should read it all. But here is a money quote:

The co-ordinator of the WikiLeaks group in Stockholm, who is a close colleague of Assange and who also knows both women, told the Guardian: “This is a normal police investigation. Let the police find out what actually happened. Of course, the enemies of WikiLeaks may try to use this, but it begins with the two women and Julian. It is not the CIA sending a woman in a short skirt.”

For those of you who think this is a lynch mob, think again. The two women in this case have had their names, photographs, addresses, phone numbers and other personal information posted around the internet. They have been accused of being everything from vengeful sluts to spies. That is wrong.

The article explains the timing of a allegations against Assange – it was based on when the alleged sexual assaults occurred. A legal process has been initiated and while Assange remains innocent until proven guilty, he has thus far tried to avoid the law.

Yes, he did “turn himself in” when Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest. But he did so in England and he is fighting extradition to Sweden where the crimes allegedly occurred.

I have yet to hear a rational and reasonable argument for Assange to be fighting extradition. Sweden is hardly some puppet government that can be counted on to railroad Assange on CIA orders.

Generally the only reasons to fight extradition are a claim of wrong identity or the lack of jurisdiction. Neither of those apply here.

The other possibility is where the suspect has reason to fear persecution on account of their membership of a social group or political beliefs. I’m sure that is what Assange will claim.

But Assange doesn’t get to litigate the allegations from England. If the warrant is deemed valid he should be turned over to Swedish authorities.

And while Assange has been exercising his right to remain silent, his lawyers have been spreading misinformation about the case. “Sex by surprise” and sex without a condom are not crimes in Sweden. Sex without consent is a crime.

We should all be wishing for this matter to be resolved as soon as possible. The truth is what it is, and let the chips fall as they may.


NOTE:

The comments here and at other blogs on this issue have been getting overly heated.

While I tend to believe the stories of the two women in this case, that is just my opinion and others will surely disagree. But regardless of your opinions I am assuming all the regulars here are a people of good character and not dupes or rape apologists.

Feel free to disagree with me and each other, but please keep it polite and don’t make it personal.


Uppity Woman keeps it real

Vodpod videos no longer available.
(Fredster wrote it)

This is an open thread


Friday Folderol


Let’s start off with some Joseph Cannon at his tinfoily best:

The parts left out of the Abramoff movie — or: Of Jack and Barack (Part 1)

Here is a fact reported by Associated Press writer Vickie Chachere on September 26, 2001 — not long after the attack on the World Trade Center. Although the talking heads will probably never talk about Cachere’s report, her words are no less true:

SunCruz Casinos has turned over photographs and other documents to FBI investigators after employees said they recognized some of the men suspected in the terrorist attacks as customers.

Michael Hlavsa, chairman of the gambling cruise company, said Wednesday two or three men linked to the Sept. 11 hijackings may have been customers on a ship that sailed from Madeira Beach on Florida’s gulf coast.

These visits occurred shortly before the terror attacks, at a time when Abramoff owned the SunCruz ships. That AP story was not the only one of its kind. A flurry of reports appeared in the Florida press linking the 9/11 hijackers to Abramoff’s boats.

At that time, those ships were under investigation for money laundering.

If you visit the above-linked website, you’ll see a compendium of stories indicating that the 9/11 hijackers spent a lot of time visiting casinos, both on the high seas and in Nevada. These Islamic fanatics don’t seem to have had any interest in gambling. Something else was on their minds.

You have to read the whole thing cuz there is simply no way to summarize it.


Next, from Gawker:

The Creepy, Lovesick Emails of Julian Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of the world’s most notorious secret-sharing operation, has some embarrassing documents in his own past. We’ve obtained a series of emails detailing his stalkery courtship of a teenager in his pre-Wikileaks days.

If you wanna be the world’s leak geek you gotta expect some payback


The jokes make themselves on this next one:

NOW goes after Hooters for catering to kids

The National Organization for Women filed complaints against local Hooters restaurants Thursday, but not for exploiting its scantily clad waitresses by subjecting them to leering and groping customers.

The subject this time was Hooters’ catering to children.

Kids shouldn’t have nothing to do with Hooters.


Here’s a scary story:

Health judge fears ‘broccoli’ mandate

In a federal courtroom Thursday, Judge Roger Vinson questioned how far Congress’s authority would go if it can legally require nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance.
Could they “mandate everybody has to buy a certain amount of broccoli?” Vinson questioned, comparing the positive impact both could have on health. The comments came during oral arguments in the constitutional challenge 20 states have brought against the health reform law—just days after a federal judge in Virginia struck down the same controversial piece of President Obama’s signature legislation.

What’s the difference between boogers and broccoli?

Kids won’t eat broccoli.


Better late than never:

Hollywood’s Growing Chorus of Obama Criticism

Hollywood’s adoration for President Obama has never really been all that shocking, but what may be surprising is how famous singers and actors are increasingly saying they aren’t so happy with the commander-in-chief.

It turns out that Mel Gibson isn’t the only racist in Tinseltown.


Famous events on December 17th:

1965 Astrodome opens, 1st event is Judy Garland and Supremes concert

1962 Beatles 1st British TV appearance

1928 John McGraw backs NL President John Heydler’s designated hitter idea


Born today
:

1975 Milla Jovovich, 1962 Richard Jewell, 1954 Bill Pullman, 1945 Ernie Hudson, 1945 Chris Matthews, 1935 Cal Ripken Sr., 1930 Bob Guccione

Died today:

2008 Sammy Baugh


Opening today in theaters: