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The WikiLeaks / Assange plot thickens

WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange, accused of harassment and facing a reopened investigation into rape charges, has sacked his lawyer Leif Silberksy, and hopes to be represented by Bjorn Hurtig, another high-profile defender.

Assange told Crikey he still has not been informed of alleged “new information” that the prosecution service claims led to the reopening of rape investigations. The prosecution service is due to make an announcement next week, and the court has to approve Assange’s change of legal team.

Assange’s move comes as fallout continues from a piece on US website The Daily Beast, alleging that the accusations against Assange are causing conflict within the WikiLeaks organisation, centred on Icelandic MP Birgit Jonsdottir’s statements that Assange should take a less-visible profile in the WikiLeaks organisation.

However, as reported by Luke Miller in Crikey yesterday, Jonsdottir alleges that she was selectively quoted to give the impression that she gave more credence to the allegations against Assange than is the case. Jonsdottir has also expressed doubts as to the veracity of the unnamed “insiders” quoted in the Daily Beast article, commenting: “I do not know who WikiLeaks insiders are but feel they should step forward and show some transparency themselves.”

Swedish director of prosecutions Marianne Ny has released no further information about the case. However, Assange told Crikey this week that he is still yet to be presented with any specific accusations about rape:

I have been asked nothing about [accusations of] “rapes” ever, at any stage. All this is running  entirely without my input. I have not even seen the statements.

He also clarified his position on the involvement of other forces, in an interview with TV4 Sweden:

I said very clearly what we knew, which was that on the 11th we received a warning, and that this was a smear because it is not true … That doesn’t mean that intelligence agencies are behind this, nor does it mean they are not behind it, nor does it mean once this has happened, for other reasons, that they are not capitalising on it.

In the absence of any further statements by the prosecution service, the two women accusers, or their lawyer Claes Borgstrom, the rumours continue to swirl.

Increasingly, attention has been focused on the role of Anna Ardin, the more visible of the two complainants. Her apparent mix of establishment cred, together with her varied activist/political career radical feminist, Christian social democrat, ambitious political intern seems to flummox non-Swedish commentators, who don’t understand that that is an establishment career in Sweden.

Ardin has not only worked as an intern in the Swedish foreign affairs department, including a tour of DC and Cuba (from which she was allegedly deported), but has also interned on the op-ed page of the Gothenburg afternoon paper GT, part of the Expressen stable, owned by the right-wing Bonnier family (yep, Sweden has right-wingers).

It was to the relentlessly anti-left Expressen that the story of the initial charges of rape against Assange were released (a breach of Swedish law), in the small window of time before they were rescinded by a higher prosecutor.

Were there accusations of violent rape involved in this case, I’d be a lot more circumspect about reporting some of this, but it seems no one is asserting physical coercion. So here goes: two separate sources from the Swedish left have told me that they regard Ardin as more than a little over-the-top, and subject to some compelling obsessions. Another source said he was pretty sure of the identity of SW, the other complainant, and that some people had held suspicions about her bona fides as a member of the left.

So, all to be taken on advisement. But in assessing the possibility that more is going on than lerv gone wrong, one has to bear in mind that Sweden is a conflicted establishment; the Social Democrat party that has run it for decades has actively opposed US foreign policy in Vietnam, Chile and a hundred other places, and stayed out of NATO.

But in the Cold War, Sweden ran its own substantial army, and security service with intensive back-channel US-Swedish co-operation and co-ordination. The pro-US forces within the Swedish establishment extend across the right (the Moderate(!) Party) and the right of the Social Democrats, who have far more animus to the assorted Swedish left (especially the libertarian-left) than to their rightward opponents.

The involvement of Claes Borgstrom, a Social Democratic party heavy and the party’s current spokesperson on gender equality, is very interesting in that respect, not least because his sister Annette Kullenberg is a leading journalist (and, inevitably, novelist and TV thriller writer), who works for … Expressen. I’m not suggesting anything other than a suffocatingly tight establishment, but it’s a picture in miniature of how Sweden works.

So deep breath … if you were to set out to destabilise a Sweden-based global whistleblower organisation, one easy way would be to have someone set off a chain of sexual chaos that gets a high-profile uber-activist and one who’s previously written a guide to sexual revenge spinning like a top, and drawing in Sweden’s expansive sex-crime and harassment laws, marshalling the very scenario that would make it difficult for the left to throw in accusations of obvious manipulation and entrapment.

You’d then leak stories of internal dissent to a journalist with US intelligence connections, and widen any cracks of trust in the organisation, however small. Further internal dissent would be created by misapprehension created by the story of initial internal dissent, and recriminations about such. And round you go. It’s a well-worn tactic used by US agencies on “enemy” groups domestic and foreign.

Indeed it’s already been written down by the US Army Counterintelligence Centre, in its report on what to do about WikiLeaks:

Wikileaks.org uses trust as a centre of gravity by assuring insiders, leakers, and whistleblowers who pass information to Wikileaks.org personnel or who post information to the Web site that they will remain anonymous …

The identification, exposure, or termination of employment of or legal actions against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could damage or destroy this center of gravity …”

Hmmmm.

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  • 1
    paddy
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Glad you’re on the case Guy.
    This one just gets Curiouser and curiouser.
    The backgrounding on the Swedish “establishment” is very useful to those of us on the other side of the planet.
    The whole business smells as fishy as a rollmop.

  • 2
    Acidic Muse
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this is what a politically driven smear campaign looks like but surely no one is surprised it’s happening?

    Hopefully Julian can remain cool calm and collected and just ride it out. There is absolutely no point whatsoever speculating about a deeper covert or intelligence driven conspiracy theory until the evidence has actually been presented

    In the meantime Birgit Jonsdottir certainly isn’t doing the Wikileaks brand any favours calling for a leaker (real or contrived) within the whistle-blower organisation to be putted.

  • 3
    Socratease
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I can’t pretend to follow the legal side of this. I would have thought that Assange, assuming he’s innocent, should have his own attack dogs yelling loudly and constantly ‘put up or shut up’ to every Swedish bureaucrat involved.

    In other words, bring on the formal charges.

  • 4
    Troy C
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    If Mr Rundle has some evidence that these two ladies are liars, he should tell us about it. Otherwise, he should shut-up. Belittling rape victims is sad, to say the least, but not unexpected from someone on the political Left.

  • 5
    Tess Lawrence
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Onya Guy, thanks for your incisive analyses and for including Assange’s TV4 comments. Your last 5 salient pars are spot on. The truth does not always
    set one free. Sometimes it imprisons us.
    Tess Lawrence. Journalist/Advocate. Les adultes terribles.

  • 6
    Sausage Maker
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    This smells like classic COINTELPRO. Credit to the US spy agencies for pulling it off. While I admire and respect what wikileaks does if they (specifically Assange) didn’t see this coming then they are incredibly naive and have a lot to learn.

    I’m guessing Assange and Wikileaks after the release of those thousands of documents and all the rubbish written about the US government attacking wikileaks directly by arresting Assange or physically shutting down the servers got fooled into thinking that their attackers would be coming in from the front door.

    Naive, very naive.

  • 7
    Richard Wilson
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Re: Ardin has not only worked as an intern in the Swedish foreign affairs department, including a tour of DC and Cuba (from which she was allegedly deported), but has also interned on the op-ed page of the Gothenburg afternoon paper GT, part of the Expressen stable, owned by the right-wing Bonnier family (yep, Sweden has right-wingers).

    This kind of background has all the hallmarks of “agent”. I think Wiki might like to run a full background check on this person for the sake of “transparency”.

    And in that vein, I am sure that Wiki might be able to assemble some very interesting background on Ms. Ny as well.

    The “rat” is really starting to go off now and that bastion of “free speech” Sweden, is in danger of losing credibility not only internationallly but more importantly domestically.

  • 8
    davidk
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I never doubted that this was a set up. Far far far too coincidental following as it does the argument with the US militar,y but no doubt it will influence some. Not mentioning any names Troy C.

  • 9
    seanbedlam@gmail.com
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Belittling rape victims is sad, to say the least, but not unexpected from someone on the political Left.”

    Yep, here in our inner suburban, green, progressive, left bubble we sit around sipping lattes and….belittling rape victims. Sometimes it takes all day.

  • 10
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Troy C demonstrates that just an accusation is enough in these days of sex hysteria.

    They are not ‘rape victims’ Troy. They are alleged victims.

  • 11
    EngineeringReality
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Its obvious the CIA honey-trap has been activated x2.

    We all knew it was coming - even Assange - but its sad to see so many people going along with it.

    Just like David Hicks - caged like an animal for 6 years on trumped up fallacies and convicted by a joke of a process - a few officers sitting behind a fold-up table in an army camp on a Cuban beach - behind barbed wire and suddenly everyone is calling him a terrorist.

    Assange is doing important work standing up for the truth and oppression - and it shouldn’t be so easy for the forces of Darkness to take him down - esp after publishing their manual telling us how it was going to be done!

  • 12
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    As PADDY says, the whole thing is right into Looking Glass Land.

    ”but it seems no one is asserting physical coercion. So here goes: two separate …”

    Hold it right there. HTF can rape occur without physical coercion?

    The whole thing smacks of a USA set up. The British love reading about sex, the Swedes are very parochial-or so the Danes and the Norwegians would have one believe. I have even been told by several Americans that the Australians are the most promiscuous people on the planet.

    However, it takes an American to cook up a story about sex. They spend their entire lives telling other people what to do in bed, then being scandalised when other people are having sex to begin with.

    It all sounds like a plot from John Le Carré where a double agent decides to become a quadruple agent. Confusion reigns. Nyet?

  • 13
    karmick
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    That’s alleged rape victims Troy C. You would get on well with my mum.

  • 14
    TheEvilOne
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    When a dispute as to whether a case of sexual intercourse constitutes rape or is consensual those not intimately involved owe the benefit of the doubt to both sides in the dispute. Automatically assuming that the accuser is telling the truth is unfair to the accused if innocent and automatically assuming that the accuser is lying is unfair to that person if she/he is telling the truth. This means that prosecutions where the only evidence is he said, she said should result in acquittal, but this should not be assumed to imply criticism of the accuser. Rape cases should only result in conviction where the evidence of multiple alleged victims of the same accused is mutually corroborating.

    In the case of accusations against Julian Assange there are two accusers and this should normally considered corroboration of a sort. However the fact that J A has mightily pissed off governments not afraid to carry out wars based on lies, torture, mass murder and targeted assassination and that documents indicating the CIA was proposing to use disinformation to discredit Wikileaks should make us cautious. The only thing certain is that J A was unwise in taking advantage of any opportunities for intimate contact offered by stunning apparently leftist Swedish chicks.

  • 15
    Bob the builder
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    @TroyC
    Great parody of a right-wing idealogue suddenly giving a shit about s*xual assault. Tomorrow can you do ‘political correctness gone mad’ and Monday how about ‘feminists are out of touch with ordinary women’?

  • 16
    kayt davies
    Posted Thursday, 9 September 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a sequel to Wag the Dog.

  • 17
    rawveterannews
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    this is a good read if you have the time to consider that ‘rape’ and ‘molested’ can be a revolting news-media headliner word to achieve certain responses. I went and did some digging and found this interesting cyberpunk stuff about wikileaking etc.

    http://www.wikileakileaks.org/

    WikiLeaks Gets a Dose of Its Own Medicine
    John P. Mello Jr., PC World Sep 1, 2010 7:57 am
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/204582/wikileaks_gets_a_dose_of_its_own_medicine.html

    READ the DemiGod article, its a screamer and gives some insight into Assange’s view of himself as a ladys man which is quoted from his now-defunct personal blog.

  • 18
    Sausage Maker
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    @EngineeringReality

    No, Assange didn’t see this coming. After all the right wing press in the USA calling for him to be arrested (like a terrorist, rendition style) and wikileaks servers around the world being forcibly shut down its obvious that Assange was expecting the US to come in, guns blazing to arrest him and shut him down.

    The Conservative media in the USA served as excellent misdirection.

    And of course there is right wingers in Sweden. Every Western country has conservatives and thats why this is such a well executed move against Assange. The public perception of Sweden is that they are all extreme left wing socialists that are the complete opposite of the USA.

    The average person out there is thinking “if the Swedes are investigating Assange then he MUST have done something bad.”

    And now wikileaks and Assange have been discredited and more harmed than any attempt to arrest Assange and shut down Wikileaks ever could.

  • 19
    guytaur
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Let us assume that the allegations are one hundred and ten percent correct. How does that change what Wikileaks does?
    The information leaked is so damaging because it is verifiably true. So what Mr Assange did or not do in Sweden has no bearing on the role of WikiLeaks the organization.
    When you realise this you then realise exactly how much of a smear campaign this really is.

  • 20
    Bob the builder
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    @ everyone speculating if Assange saw this coming
    Unless someone can see into his mind or he says anything different, we can’t really know, but…
    Given everything I’ve seen of him, I’d be very surprised if he didn’t see this coming, and given his fairly unflappable reaction that would seem to confirm it. But what could he have done otherwise?

    Until the allegations are tested publicly, it doesn’t mean much.

    On another note, wouldn’t it be funny if Wikileaks leaked the backstory on this?

  • 21
    Elan
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    And these accusations/allegations are achieving their aim.

    There is rumbling in the ranks. That is the greatest danger to the effectiveness of Wikileaks.

    Having said that, I believe that trouble was inevitable;-even without rape allegations. Wikileaks is not just Assange, it is a very hard working group who have given us an alternative by slashing through public spin-and shining a light on truth (make your own judgments on ‘truth’).

    I know that Assange as the public face has set himself up to take the fall-and thus faces far more danger than others within the group;- I believe members of the group ought to remember this.

    BUT Wikileaks IS a group of gutsy people-yet it is publicly perceived as just Assange. This was bound to lead to some negativity and frustration. It is the nature of us all, when we work equally hard..

    One thing is absolutely critical: divided they WILL fall; united they WILL stand.

    And it is crucial to a democratic world that they stand.

    Remember that Wikileaks.

  • 22
    twobob
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid for some little know Labor backbencher in a marginal electorate.
    I am afraid that some similar exercise will be constructed to force a by-election and overthrow the balance of power. I am expecting an accident on a quiet back road or a sexual scandal to force him from office. Please let me be wrong, but I am expecting it in time to derail any media ownership changes that must happen once the senate balance of power switches to the Greens.

  • 23
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    RAWVETERANNEWS: Based on the evidence you have provided, Julian Assange is certainly guilty of another heinous crime.

    The person writing about himself is a plagiarist of no mean order. The syntax and the style of these revelations could have come only from some Victorian bodice-ripper.

  • 24
    Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Been there, done that. In my 25 years as an American grassroots organizer, I have belonged to numerous groups that have been broken up by fictitious sex scandals and rumor mongering. Unfortunately the first time it happened I thought it was real. Fortunately I learend quickly. I write about this, as well as a close encounter with an even nastier side of us intelligence in my recent memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF A US REFUGEE (www.stuartbramahll.com). I currently live in exile in New Zealand.

  • 25
    ed moran
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Jehane Sharah
    wearing skinny jeans hopefully!
    surely this would be case dismissed for Julian

    fast ed

  • 26
    Elizabeth
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I am visiting this blog for the first time. All your comments here are so positive and intelligent that I hope I can pass the Crikey link to most American Press. I had blogged on various websites supporting Assange as I found this allegations quite creepy and well planned. We do not need a rocket scientist to know the childish games of the cheap shot played on in the end by using “sex” to trap a man. How awful can this get!

    I am on the Swedish blog and my goodness they are totally in denial about their feminazi role. I don’t know what else to call? The language is a great barrier of communication with the Swedes and they miss out the grammar unlike the Brits and OZ’s. I am sure Assange has a great problem understanding the meaning of “rape” or perhaps it meant that he did not really commit an act? Or he just ignore the girls? I am kidding!

    Yes, it is a trap and they are going to drag to get international attention. I believe that this needs to be hurried. I am looking forward for international pressure on Sweden by the Press and the wonderful folks here on the blog.

    Talk to you soon!

  • 27
    A. N. Onymus
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, I tried to go to the link you provided (www.stuartbramahil.com) and got a “cannot find” error. When I changed it to match your posted name (using http://www.stuartbramhall) I wound up at stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com — is that correct, or have we both made mistakes?

  • 28
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    ELAN: “”One thing is absolutely critical: divided they WILL fall; united they WILL stand.”“

    Hear hear!

  • 29
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Just to get this clear on the public record: As a sort of precedent example.

    Milo Dunphy set up the preposterously ambitious Total Environment Centre in 1972 with others like Bob Walsh here in Sydney. Milo’s wife designed the TEC letterhead used for the next several decades. They had kids as he campaigned as a tained architect with near perfect copperplate handwriting, for Utzon regarding Sydney Opera House, to running as probably the first ‘green’ style candidate in the Lake Pedder campaign in Tasmania in the early 70ies.

    Milo is the business of activism, or more correctly was. I witnessed him stand up and hold a placard in Environment Minister John Faulkner’s face in 1994 at a meeting in Sussex St. The younger ones all winced at Milo’s chutzpah.

    Milo told me a year or two before his death in 1996 about when he was campaigning against sand mining on the NSW Central Coast, said to be for rare earth metals needed in the US arms industry. This may have been in the 80ies or even 70ies. At this time he started getting unsolicited printed porn arriving in his letterbox potentially to be found by his wife and children. There is no doubt he believed it was foul play by the military industrial complex to destabilise his home life and capacity to work. Who can really say who it was. Certainly it was shameful tactics in a democracy.

  • 30
    Elan
    Posted Friday, 10 September 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I know it well Tom. 25 years ago I turned what is now called whistleblower against a large Government department.

    It was a battle that took 3 years of my life ending in the Supreme Court. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that they were calculatingly going for my mental health;-no doubt that they intended to break me;-they very nearly did.

    If one is involved in any way shape or form in ‘bucking the system’, the attacks on credibility are pernicious and generally covert. They are soul destroying.

    May Milo rest in peace.

    Dr SJB: because I am unfamiliar with you, I say that if you are genuine-you too have my utmost sympathy.

    What has to be done though…HAS to be done. I want never to go through what happened to me again, but I regret it not one bit.

    Those who are able to say ‘that is not true’-‘I challenge that’, MUST continue to do so. Without that we will inevitably slip into a Brave New World.

  • 31
    Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
    Posted Saturday, 11 September 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Someone has just pointed out that I typed my website wrong it should be http://www.stuartbramhall.com or http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com. Thats for pointing that out.

  • 32
    Elizabeth
    Posted Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    The quote from Jehane Sharah writes: Re. “Rundle: WikiLeaks — I haven’t seen accusations, says Assange, as plot thickens” (yesterday, item 1). Your reporting of the Assange case is getting pretty disgraceful. I’m all for the presumption of innocence but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to trash the alleged victim of s-xual assault.

    I mean, mentioning that she’s an activist and a feminist to raise doubts about her? What next? Was she wearing skinny jeans?

    I almost didn’t renew my subscription because I found your reporting of the Bill Henson case so one sided. The same with the Internet filter.

    Maybe you could address your reporting of the Assange case before you lose significant numbers of your female readership. It’s really off- putting.”

    The whole case is bizarre in my opinion. There is a faction that is supporting the Woman No. 1 as she had first leaked the news to her friends via text and to the police or to the Expressen. The handling of the case by Maria Kjellstrand, the Chief Head Prosecutor Marianne Ny, and Chencellor’s Office Anna Skarhead has been one-sided rather than collaborating with Assange’s previous attorney and the new one. I believe that Anna Ardin the woman No. 1 has political support from these women and can prolong for the sake of hurting Wikileak or Assange. I get the impression that the prosecutors wanted Assange to admit that he had relationship with these women. What are they trying to get his confession to undermine his credibility to be the resident of Sweden? Or there is much more to it.

    Here’s the news that I found on wikileak: http://twitter.com/wikileaks

    Even Assange’s new attorney is perplexed on the handling of this case. This is what he had to say:

    Something Wrong

    Assange is to meet on Thursday with his new lawyer Björn Hurtig who’s expressed concern about the legal circus. ‘There’s something wrong about this’, he says.

    Resuming a case yet again and not even being called for questioning is rather remarkable. Particularly when you consider the degree of suspicion [Assange] has hanging over him.’

    Normally this type of suspicion leads to incarceration. But there’s something strange about this entire case and we’re going to see if I can do anything about it.’

    I usually let the prosecutors work a bit on their own. But there’s something here that doesn’t feel right. That’s something I believe everyone feels who reads about this and has a basic grasp of law.’

    I want them to dismiss the entire case as soon as possible and leave Julian Assange alone.’

    That said, we are not attacking the women, but rather their incompetency in telling the truth. I hope Anna Ardin has not collected the waste condom and dropped the stuff on her clothes to nail Assange. Anything is possible with the Swedish twisted version of politics.

  • 33
    Raymond gowers
    Posted Sunday, 12 September 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone know if there has been an official response by the Pentagon/CIA re the murder of the Iraqi civilians and the 2 Reuters reporters by the crew of the Apache helecopter in Baghdad shown on the released video?
    Clearly it is being ignored as an issue; instead we have Wikileaks and JA being accused of putting lives in danger??

  • 34
    AR
    Posted Monday, 13 September 2010 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Twobob, Tom & Elan - so it was, so it remains. The only ray of hope is the sheer ineptitude of the spooks, their psyches so hamstrung & constrained by moral myopia, sexual inadequacy and terror that somewhere, someone isn’t as weak & obedient as themselves.

  • 35
    Elizabeth
    Posted Monday, 13 September 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Raymond,

    The Pentagon/CIA response was not one of accountability because all is fair in war game and with this mindset, the audience from the right wing who initially drummed the war in Iraq were defensive and have become the spokespeople for the Pentagon/CIA. The psychological maneuvering was to blame Assange/WikiLeak for the exposure of the documents and that such an exposure would put U.S. soldiers in harm’s way. Instead of openly taking responsibility for their deadly actions which the U.S. population and the Iraqi reporters/civilians deserves to hear, they are planning to create public consensus to ban either Wikileak or impose restrictions on the cyberspace for freedom of speech by trying to circumvent the Constitutional rights of the people.

    I don’t believe that Afghanistan informants have been killed or they have attacked U.S. soldiers in retaliation. This is a big lie from the U.S. right wing news propaganda. They are killing for sports and fun, I guess. Or just to engage in the act of war by having some run of shots. Although, I am a Conservative, I stand neutral trying to weigh the pros and cons from both parties. I would like the truth to be applied in all circumstances.

  • 36
    Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
    Posted Monday, 13 September 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    RE: charges against Assange

    What I have learned from another site (I will look for the link and try to post it) based on information from other Wikileaks volunteers is the following:

    Both women - who from their interactions with Assange sound a little like groupies - report having consensual sex with Assange and the official charges have been reduced from rape to sexual molestation. Apparently they have this charge in Sweden and it has something to do with refusing to wear a condom or refusing to be tested for sexually transmitted disease (I admit to being confused by the legal aspets) after unprotected sex.

    In the case of the first woman the condom reportedly broke and the woman demanded Assange be tested for sexually transmitted disease. When he refused (after comparing notes with a second woman who also goes to all his public appearances), she reported him to the police.

    The 2nd woman reports that Assange refused to wear a condom at all and again, when he refused to be tested for sexually transmitted disease, she and the first woman went to the police to make a complaint against him.

    It appears that in Sweden women have the right to have men charged with sexual molestation for refusing to be tested for sexually transmitted disease.

    As a woman, I have always taken responsibility myself for having myself tested after engaging in unprotected sex. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. However my common sense tells me that unprotected sex is something men and women share equal responsibility for. Perhaps it’s my advanced age showing, but it doesn’t seem totally fair to make the man criminally responsibility for it.

    I also question why any woman would want to drag something that in my mind is intensely private into the public arena - unless some spook was either paying or otherwise encouraging her to do so.

  • 37
    Elan
    Posted Monday, 13 September 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Interesting posts. We need to maintain an ongoing interest in what happens here. I’m not conversant at all with Swedish law, but as a lawyer I find the comment by Assanges’ lawyer to be spot on with regard to the current legal state of play.

    Irrespective of the broader suspicions that we all have, the legal moves to date, very much warrant the comment: “something wrong”.

    It is worrying.

    Assange; his credibility, are not the only things at stake here,-there is something much more fundamental-and that is the possible(!) attempt to shut down dissension and truth.

    That too is worrying.

  • 38
    Elizabeth
    Posted Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Dr. Stuart J Bramhall & Elan,

    I agree with your commonsense about the consensual affair that should have been kept private between the two parties irrespective of whether the man wore the precautionary element or not. It is dragged to the public not as a civil matter, but as a political one.

    I am not a professional as you both are, but having psychology and criminal profiling background myself - a grad student continuing with my thesis, I find this case to be unwarranted and beyond substantial criminal law. I think JA has been terribly ridiculed and I wish no person goes through such a humiliation before the world.

    I hope this case will be distracted by other important and serious news such as:

    Human rights group details Iraq prisoner abuse | AP http://bit.ly/aLwrVD

    I was stunned by 30,000 Iraqi detainees to be held in prison camps and are tortured. I wish that U.S. and NATO’s Human Rights Movt., will be serious enough to investigate such brutality upon the civilians just for defending their country. We have a twisted version of the “Just War Theory.” We all know that U.S. with the help of Britain invaded the country of Iraq illegally and who is interrogating whom? It should have been the other way around; Iraqis imprisoning the U.S and NATO for their brutal acts of rape and torture. We need to join our voices in stopping such acts of violence against humanity. This is called usurpation of powers globally.

  • 39
    Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
    Posted Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I’m with you on the torture, especially the sodomy of Iraqi teenagers. This is a large part of the reason I remained in New Zealand. I pay rather heavy taxes here (I get my money’s worth from an excellent national health service). There is no way I will allow my taxes to subsidize sodomy. I’m sorry that’s where I draw the line. I would rather live on the streets and eat out of dumpsters.

  • 40
    Posted Tuesday, 14 September 2010 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    DR STUART JEANNE BRAMHALL: “”There is no way I will allow my taxes to subsidize sodomy. I’m sorry that’s where I draw the line. I would rather live on the streets and eat out of dumpsters.”“

    Yet you appear to have no problems with your taxes being used to fund religious schools? Here I am assuming that the New Zealand government behaves like every other western government, in subsidising religions.

    The Catholic church does a nice line in sodomising children, and when the culprits are found out the church merely finds another playing field for the priests to further their practise.

    And when whole countries complain about the devastating treatment of the children-tortured, as they are,-at the hands of sodomites. What does the Catholic hierarchy do to make sure it can’t ever happen again?

    Bugger all.

    They do not even apologise. Or even acknowledge these crimes happened.

    Personally, I find no distinction between sexually abused Iraqi teenagers and sexually abused children who had the misfortune to have been born Catholic.

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