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    December 2010
    S M T W T F S
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    • The Lack of Belief In Good
      Are humans good, bad or neutral? It’s an old philosophical debate, and not just in the West. Confucius thought they were born neutral, for example, while the later Confucian Mencius felt they were good, noting that everyone who saw a child fall into a well would be horrified. Others, including many Confucians and the Christian church, with original sin, have […]
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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:

83 Responses

  1. Dandy Tiger is already waiting in line for this one:

  2. Re Hollywood: Well it looks to me that essentially instead of giving him an expensive down pillow, they’re going for polyester plus goose down. But the Hollywooders are still giving “the One” a pillow.

    • I agree. The “criticism” is so incredibly lame. They say, “Gee…yea…we’re all a bit disappointed, but only because we thought he was Jesus, and now he’s not.”

      Streisand: She did add one final accolade though, “Obama. And he’s cool. And he’s very smart.”

      Where is all this ‘cool’ crap from? I’ve never seen him as ‘cool.’ He’s cool like an high school kid who is pretending to be cool so he’ll be “The Man.” Detached and lacking in empathy is not the same as cool people. And this ‘smart’ thing again. Show me how/where. I just don’t get it. Swinging your head from side to side to read a teleprompter does not make you a genius. The debates? Nope. His governing style or negotiating skills? Nope.

      Where? Where is this mythic genius?

    • Hollywood has not forgotten the Black List post-WWII. They might be wise not to poke this tiger right now, IMHO.

  3. It’s Howdy DUdie time! The “Obama got his swagger back” edition

  4. LOL, if DADT is repealed it will be in spite of Obama:

    Publicly, President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his support for repealing the policy this year. But the White House is quietly pushing far more aggressively for the new START treaty, signaling it may be open to punting the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal until after the new year if it can get enough GOP votes on the treaty for ratification, according to several senators and Democratic aides.

    “I’ve heard rumors of that, but it would be unconscionable,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a leading repeal advocate in the Senate. “It really would be immoral because we have fought hard for this for a long time. It’s wrong, and we have to change it, and we’ve got the votes. And we can’t let people run the clock out on us when we’re talking about basic American rights.”


    When Joe Lieberman has the upper hand in a morality debate you know you are in trouble.

    • (just shaking head)

      good grief.

    • {bangs head on desk}

    • Interesting that the Ops (the young computer pro WikiLeaks) folks took a look at Joe Lieberman and then he came out fighting for the DADT repeal. Interesting as the young folks have some information viral thing, that I still don’t understand and the EFF Co-Founder Barlow was saying that Joe Lieberman was a ‘private citizen’ which I took to mean to lay off the guy (message too to the ops young computer folks too).

      WikiLeaks Hearing Stresses Over-Classification More Than Assange

      A House committee held its first hearing on the WikiLeaks controversy Thursday, but those on the panel focused mainly on the problem of government over-classification and how, if at all, Congress should revamp the Espionage Act rather than if WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange should face criminal prosecution.

      Geoffrey Stone, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, kicked things off by saying that WikiLeaks-related legislation recently introduced by Sen. Joe Lieberman is clearly unconstitutional. The Shield Act would amend the Espionage Act and make it illegal to publish the names of military and intelligence informants, but Stone said that while it might be constitutional to apply that to government employees, applying it to private citizens would violate the First Amendment.

      So, Joe is now a REPEAL DADT Advocate, since he is now known as the Internet KillSwitch Senator who said we needed one too, because China has one. Oh, OK, and so yes, one does begin to worry about Joe Lieberman taking the Lead on the Repeal of DADT, because it could just be a case of GOOD COP vs BAD COP, and in the end NO REPEAL and Joe Lieberman gets some good press, while FULL STEAM ahead on his KillSwitch legislation.

  5. Why is it that all the bad stuff being thrown at Assange is somehow sexual in nature? That makes me suspicious. Honey traps are easy to set and allegations of sexual misconduct, deviancy are titillating, headline-brabbing and appeal to the public’s prurient nature. I’d prefer to hear that the guy doesn’t pay his taxes, makes money illegally or ANYTHING that isn’t sexual.

    MYIQ. I’m sort of disappointed in your take on Assange. I don’t know if he’s a hero. I don’t believe in heroes; nor need them. I know he’s caused a lot of headaches in a lot of places; and for that I take my hat off to him.

    But then I think you’re taking your cue from Anglachel. Just by the way: everything she writes isn’t golden.

    • So true about Anglachel. I find her irritatingly full of herself and only sometimes sensical.

    • Gillard completes U-turn on WikiLeaks

      Friday, 17 December 2010 | By Cyril Washbrook (contact the writer)
      Most of the 250,000 cables obtained by WikiLeaks have not yet been released

      The AFP has “not established the existence of any criminal offences” by WikiLeaks

      The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has confirmed that WikiLeaks did not breach Australian law by publishing leaked diplomatic cables, forcing the Government to make an embarrassing backflip over the legality of the website’s release of the documents.

      In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, the AFP said that following a two-week examination, it had “not established the existence of any criminal offences where Australia would have jurisdiction”, and hence did not intend to open an official investigation.

      On other Assange news…

    • One would think that after Bill Clinton was trapped, one be more discriminating when assessing that type of information.

  6. I don’t know if the Assange emails are legit. However, they really sound like a creepy uncle I literally have. This is definite stalker stuff whoever wrote it.

  7. Patricia of Ca. NOW chapter is concerned about the growth of our children? Really, she’s concerned about “verbal” behaviors?

    I’m still outraged when she supported the “W-word”
    from Jerry Brown’s campaign. She didn’t think it would hurt anyone, wouldn’t hurt the children.

    Here we go, NOW telling us how to live, where to eat, and how to express yourself with the new era
    of verbalization.

    I haven’t been friends of NOW since the 2008 election, and don’t even think they are reasonable, or understanding of women and children, they are psychopathic.

  8. Assange has no prob releasing embarrassing and damaging info on others . but when it done to him its not all good its it .

  9. I think Anglachel is right on the money when it comes to Assange.
    Something stinks when he releases diplomatic cables exposing to ridicule (and, perhaps, danger) the very people working so hard to prevent wars.
    Daniel Ellsberg, he ain’t.

    • Daniel Ellsberg doesn’t agree with you.

      • Not a good comparison. Ellsberg leaked the documents – he may be comparable to Manning. Assange may be compared (somewhat) to the NY Times – as the publisher of the leaked information, except this isn’t a case of prior restraint. In that case , the government sued to prevent the publication of the Pentagon Papers – not bring criminal charges against them. It is nothing like this case.

        • The government (US at least) hasn’t brought criminal charges against Assange. They’re using proxies instead.

          Anyone who thinks the US Government isn’t behind all this is hopelessly naive. Whether it’s doing this as retribution for prior leaks or acting as the agent of the as-yet-unnamed bank whose information Assange was planning to leak next is anybody’s guess.

          • Honk!
            The U.S. government has unleashed a dirty war against Assange. It doesn’t take a genius to see the smell the sh*t that’s being thrown hoping it sticks.

          • The point is – all these comparisons to Ellsberg make no sense, but many left-blogs keep trying to make the comparison. It’s like fitting a square peg in a round hole.

            And of course, he DID publish classified information – let’s not forget that.

        • That was my point.

      • Exactly, and Daniel Ellesburg has said that these allegation were brought up against him and he even pointed out how someone got into his therapist’s office to retrieve files…gee a little like breaking into a person’s mind or into the confessional.

        Oh, speaking of confessional, the hacker that turned Bradley Manning in was pretending to be a priest…hemmm… I personally have wondered if Lamo (sp) isn’t pointing over there, like kids that start fires… Never mind the Spy Act he lives in a Three Strikes State and they have sent people up the River for Life for stealing a bike and pizza (a slice).

    • Anglachel is out to lunch. She is a great writer, but her original post on wikileaks was embarrassing, and the followup isn`t much better. Her attitude reminded me of that of Washingtonpost in response to Dawning Street memos. Nothing to see here … everyone knew this … move on …

      Assange has exposed lots of things besides comical diplomatic cables. For example, the Afghan minister taking $50 million out of country.

      Yes, someone with an agenda has also tried to use wikileaks, but you know what?? It`s not exactly news that life is complicated. Whoever leaked the cables also wanted to embarrass Hillary, as a side thing, for reasons simple or complicated (who knowo)?

      But that also doesn`t excuse US position executed by Hillary in collecting personal information on UN diplomats and SG. At least one plausible theory is that info was wanted in case US wanted to set someone up.

      I have been a fan of Hillary from Day one, but life is complicated, and I am not going to ignore the elephant in the room because it would be inconvenient to mention it.

      • Clinton didn’t order anyone to collect information, that was all debunked (here and elsewhere). The evidence collection directive went out froma CIA intellience group, and since it was sent to State as an entity, Clinton’s name went on it:

        In Clinton’s case, since the original order was sent to the State Department as an entity (just like it was sent to the Commerce Department as an entity), Clinton’s name appears as the originator of the State cable providing further instructions.

        So that was, as is par for the course among “progressives” with terminal CDS, a big fake brouhaha.

        • Thanks for the link. I will check that for sure.

          As to CDS, I definitely don`t have it.

          • Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply YOU have it, just that the source of the framing was CDS-driven.

  10. I really don’t understand why people are motivated to defend Assange from these rape charges and from the woman who talked about his stalking behavior. It doesn’t seem odd to me that a guy who is into lording power and control over an entire country, would also have that same need for power and control when it comes to women. Assange is not some humble whistleblower, he hasn’t released a darn thing that the public doesn’t already know. Instead he likes to spend his time threatening to release info, toying with the government, toying with the people, “threatening” to release bank scandal info. He’s all about showing people how important he is, how much power he has because he could humiliate them at any time, by releasing some private email that serves no purpose beyond mild embarrassment.

    What exactly do people believe Assange is going to reveal? That we went to war under false pretenses? That the banks and financial industry committed the con of the century? Is any of this breaking news?

    Meanwhile the private who took this info sits in solitary confinement, completely forgotten, while Assange promotes himself as somebody worthy of admiration and adoration, which really seems to be his only motivation.

    • Agreed. He’s a self-promoting weasel, IMO. I do worry about that young private whom Assange seems to have completely forgotten.

      • wow – rarely have a I seen formerly objective folks more overtaken by a smear campaign. Please read Greenwald for the list of items released by Wikileaks which are new information.

        In what way has Assange been promoting himself? You think he’s releasing US government documents for publicity? Really? Gee, I know I’d want the force of the world’s superpower to be smearing my name and trying to shut me up /snark. Certainly, Assange would have expected nothing less. Also, he has nothing to do with the leaker, the young private. What would you have him do?
        Think more about this. Whether he’s guilty of the sex crime or not – that’s really a side show.

        • Relax. I don’t think Assange should be prosecuted or anything, but sorry, I don’t think he’s some sort of hero journalist.

          • Either the stuff he’s released is new and/or important or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then why the hue and cry?

            I haven’t heard him claim to be a journalist. Those who say he’s a journalist are making an analogy to a newspaper publishing information that it got legally and their right to publish same.

            Some people love the guy, some people hate the guy. What’s rattling my cage is that it seems no one is objective.

          • I don’t really think dumping a bunch of gossip between diplomats is actually a great thing to do. I am being objective. I have no emotional bias one way or the other. I don’t think he’s a criminal, and the objective opinion I’ve formed of him is he’s a a bit of a grandstander. I don’t know if he raped those wome or not, but I think it is beyond hypocrisy for Wolfe and Moore to just pooh pooh the allegations, when if this is someone for whom they didn’t like, they most certainly would not be acting in kind.

          • Masslib,

            There are no saints in life. And Assange is courageous and has done what people dare not do. We are literally being taken over by Big Brother, and we are nitpicking.

            Assange case is honestly similar to Clinton impeachment trial. I don`t know the details, but he may have been a jerk. But really, does it justify Interpol putting him on `most wanted` list, which has only 250 names on it? With all the warlords, drug traffickers, those who kidnap young women and sell them for sexual slavery, etc…. that`s what interpol should spend its time on?

            Like Clinton impeachment trial, it`s not easy defending Assange in the case, but it doesn`t mean I join the mob chorus.

          • Actually, to me the Assange rape allegations are playing out much like the Anita Hill hearings. Much, much effort is going into dismissing the accusers, portraying them as crazy (this is a misogynist classic, btw), raking through their backgrounds for the least sign of political motivation, unbelievably credulous propagation of spin from his defense attorneys, rampant concern trolling on sexual assault, and belittlement of the charges, all without the least bit of knowledge of the actual evidence. Pretty much everything that played out during the Hill hearings.

            The only difference is now it’s people on the other side rushing to defend the accused.

            I don’t know whether Assange is guilty or not. And neither does anyone else, minus Assange and the women in Sweden.

            Assange can be a rapist and provide a public service through Wikileaks. He can be a rapist and the focus of a politicized investigation. Or he may not be. There is nothing inherent in the act of publicizing confidential govt docs, no matter how appropriate, that prevents him from being guilty or innocent.

    • Accusation proves guilt now? I didn’t get that memo.

      The Owners’ real intent, of course, is not to convict Assange in a court of law, but to draw and quarter him in the court of public opinion. If they can actually sentence him, they’ll call it a nice bonus, but that’s not their primary goal.

      The Owners are succeeding, judging from some of the comments I see on this blog, from some of the last people I would expect to see fall for a confidence scheme, seeing as how they all saw through Obummer’s confidence scheme.

      • Smearing him in the court of public opinion?? He’s publishing private information that was stolen in an act of espionage! That’s what Private Manning stands accused of. What am I going to do, ruin his good upstanding name?

        On right wing blogs, some people have called Assange a traitor, they want him charged, etc. You know what’s so damn funny about that? (And by funny, I mean it sucks). The view him as a slimeball, a traitor, but for goodness sakes, don’t slam the man’s good name by accusing him of rape! That would be going too far. Oh yes, the right wing is also concerned about this man’s good name. Even traitors have a right to their manly reputations, you know.

        In fact, Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Naomi Wolfe are all in complete agreement with the likes of Newt Gingrinch. Congratulations people, we finally have bipartisanship. Unfortunately what they’ve all come together over is the need to support and defend the rape culture.

        • The rape culture is indeed despicable.

          May I see your proof that Assange belongs to that culture, or am I required to shut up and join the lynch mob?

          • You don’t seem to understand that there is no lynch mob. Assange has money, attorneys, and will be having his day in court.

            The only thing that resembles a lynch mob, at least in terms of public opinion, is that one that has been unleashed on those women. Moore, Wolfe, Olbermann, etc, have already judged them to be liars or “crybaby sluts” was the term used. Does anybody in this debate even care about those women or their reputations? Nope, they’ve already been tried, convicted, and found guilty.

          • Ivory Bill Woodpecker i dont think you realy want to see proof . and if you did you probley would dismisse it as part of a smeer campaign.

          • yttik, i agree with you 100 %

          • boogie. Hard to show evidence when it hasn’t been presented yet. Just WTF happened to “Innocent until proven guilty” here? Or has mentioning a legal principle now become a lynch mob against the accuser? What a load of bullshit.

          • RalphB, as far as a lynch mob is there one out there you betcha and they have done there work . yttik, is dead on this one . they have been unleashed on those women like a pack of jackals.

        • Smearing him in the court of public opinion?? He’s publishing private information that was stolen in an act of espionage!

          The government should never use the media against a defendant. You should know that.

    • Uh, no. But the other side of the coin is that the words of a criminal defense attorney, speaking to the media, should always be taken with a grain of salt. Their job is first and foremost not about the truth, but zealously advocating for their client.

      • It’s true, their job is either to declare innocence or to trivialize the crime.

        That’s what ticks me off about some of these media people that have leapt on the bandwagon, they know that, they should know better than to repeat what is said by a defense attorney as the God given truth.

    • There’s usually a pattern for those who commit sex crimes. After he starts releasing massive U.S. government information, he gets accused of a sexual crime. That stuff smells of a set up. I’m not saying it was, but it smells. The way the Swedish government handled it has the markings of a set up.

      Btw, Assange’s lawyers have not gotten anything from the Swedish government in terms of evidence. Nothing, nada.

  11. myiq, please read this. I strongly feel this is the crucial issue to be discussed re Wikileaks/Assange. Normally your observations are very objective. In this case, it seems not so and I would encourage you to continue to consider about it.

    Good link to Cannon today, thanks.

    • From the article.

      How have we reached this point? The obvious answer is fear — fear exploited by self-serving elected officials whose own political interests trump their oath of office to protect and obey the constitution of the United States of America. Fear and the craven behavior it spawns. Supposedly we are a people whose bravery keep us free — supposedly.

      Truer words were never written. We have become basically a nation of impotent cowards. Apparently we don’t know how to react to someone who is not so afraid.

    • I read Harding’s piece. I don”t disagree with anything in it. But what’s your point? My point is the only reason we’re there’s so much discussion of these rapes in Sweden is because the alleged perpetrator is Assange.

      The guy that kidnapped and raped Elizabeth
      Smart was convicted recently; sure it made the news, but in the blogosphere it was a non-event. Not to minimize anything about rape. Right now there’s a serial rapist running around my neighborhood and he’s gone from just raping his victims to beating them when he’s done.

      Once again we’re only discussing what supposedly happened to these two women because they say Assange did it. It’s about Assange, not the women or the rape.

      So since that’s my feeling, I refuse to follow the blow by blow.

    • Let me put it this way – even if the rape charges are 100% true and Assange is guilty: it has NOTHING to do with Wikileaks or the information provided there.

      It’s kinda like Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton. I don’t care who he screwed, it’s what he did as president that’s worth examining.

      • Um, if he is guilty of RAPE, it isn’t a matter of him just “screwing” someone. Rape is a crime of power – not sex.

        • She’s not saying rape is just “screwing” someone for chrissake! She’s saying the rapes, even if proven true, have nothing to do with Wikileaks or the propriety and legality of leaking the documents

  12. Do the women in question have a legitimate complaint?

    I don’t know but I expect that the governments involved, Sweden and the U K to follow the law instead of interning American citizens of Japanese decent.

    I think panties are wadding up cracks on both sides of this argument and another schism is coming. Agree to disagree agreeably.

    After reading Joe Cannon the question I have is did Abramoff or one of his companies have anything to do with cyber-security at the DoD or State?
    That would explain a lot about how easy it was to obtain classified documents and e-mails.

  13. Bit OT, this Google Ngram thing is all the rage. Check out for instance this graph of the aggregate occurrence of the words “god,” “men” and “women” in books over the past 200 hundred years. The most recent 15 years are interesting.

  14. David Dayan at FDL:

    This was the trade made in the Senate last night; the Dems will get legislative repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a couple judges, and probably the new START Treaty, and the Republicans will get the chance to massively cut spending early in the 112th Congress.

    If I’m a Republican, I take that trade.

    • Doubt they get START but DADT repeal is probably a done deal. It would have been anyway since they had 60 votes for it.

  15. Great roundup, myiq — thanks!

    Lots of heated discussion about Mr. Assange, I see. Respectfully, to all, here are my thoughts.

    He may or may not be guilty of rape or sexual assault in Sweden. He should not be treated differently than any other suspect in regards to such a crime. He probably is being treated somewhat differently, perhaps unfairly, because of Wikileaks.

    However, the women’s charges sound serious and should not be dismissed or poo-pooed, especially by liberals. Even if he is being treated differently and/or unfairly, he still may be guilty of the charges in Sweden. (Jut because you are persecuted, it doesn’t mean you are not guilty.) We will have to wait on that, for trial. In the meantime, the women should not be harassed or intimidated and I fear they may well be.

    Is he guilty of any crime with respect to Wikileaks? Perhaps, if Wikileaks conspired to steal secret government documents. That would be the most likely charge I can think of and it might not be true. The situation could be just like the NY Times and the Pentagon Papers, with the NYT not guilty of anything. That said, I am also not sure he or Wikileaks are on the side of angels. As many have pointed out, with a few exceptions, the leaks have largely targeted the peacemakers and promoted the idea of war with Iran. Did he select the disclosures? Again, not sure, but Mr. Cheney could not have planned it better.

    I think the Wikileaks operators just like throwing a spanner in the works and are not concerned what damage that may cause or who gets hurt.


  16. As long as we’re doing tinfoil Friday, here’s something interesting from the Guardian.

    WikiLeaks’s spokesperson and conduit in Russia has been exposed in the Swedish media as an anti-sem-ite and Holo-caust denier; his son, who represents the organisation in Sweden and is handing out stories to selected papers there, has been involved in an earlier scandal where a story he wrote about the supposed Is-raeli control of Swedish media was withdrawn after several of the people in it complained of being misquoted.

    While this does not affect the credibility of the WikiLeaks revelations, it does raise uncomfortable questions for the whistleblowers’ organisation.
    The two men involved are Is-rael Shamir, a J-ew who has converted to Orthodox Christianity and passionate antisemi-tism, and his son Johannes Wahlström. Shamir was listed as a co-author of a story in Counterpunch, which suggested that the woman who brought a complaint of rape against Julian Assange was a CIA plant. But he has a longer and stranger past than this would suggest.

  17. Aw, no go on the Guardian story? I thought it was Je-wish conspiracy day, courtesy of Joe Cannon.

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