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How's this one going to end?
'Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,'Julian Assange has said in a recent interview. 'I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism.'
get over himself and stop faffing about with his silly website.
But enough about Evil Sean Adams. What about Assange?
it does look like he's been set up. It gets on my wick that all the leftie elite are loving this as a chance to play the old CIA-conspiracy-theory card though. I suspect the truth is closer to the quote you just posted.
This is interesting: a balanced view from the Daily Mail (seriously!)
didn't know the CIA could make someone become a rapist
I don't believe the CIA conspiracy theory angle for one second - seems more to be about a woman (or women) scorned. It also seems like the sexual assault laws in Sweden are far more detailed than here and that he may indeed have committed a crime. If so, then he should face trial there
do you think they'd have a hope of winning the case over here? I'd have thought our juries would be quick to acquit given how hard prosecuting rape is, although I'm not sure how it would play in Sweden.
(Obviously, we don't know what actual testimony and evidence would come up.)
Reading that article I posted suggests that the sex was consensual. May or may not be true, and I don't think we'll get nearer the truth unless he stands trial
Take this paragraph, "What happened over the next few days — while casting an extraordinary light on the values of the two women involved — suggests that even if the WikiLeaks founder is innocent of any charges, he is certainly a man of strong sexual appetites who is not averse to exploiting his fame." The *values of the women involved*? Fuck me, is this the 50s.
It's full of that kind of sly, "oh they seemed happy enough to everyone else, no matter what they claim happened," sort of rhetoric.
I do think it raises some interesting points about what allegedly happened though.
but the one thing that is absolutely infuriating is the frequent suggestion (put forward by his own defense, too) that the thing he is accused of doing is not 'really' rape. having sex with someone who is asleep or otherwise not conscious (without prior consent to do so) is rape. holding someone down and having unprotected sex with them when they have insisted on a condom is rape. whether or not he did these things, it's astounding that there still seems to be a debate over the fact that they are crimes
that is to distinguish between how much against someones will something is.
For instance, the woman might have been perfectly happy to have gone with him had she been awake, it might have been that she was annoyed because he had done it whilst she was asleep, so it is his behaviour that she is objecting to mostly and this is a very different thing from someone who you would never have considered to go with, forcing themselves on you, possibly with threats and fear and violence.
I suppose the issue is that for what is rather a mild case (Im sorry that sounds like Im an apologist and I feel like a monster for saying it, but I am just saying this relative to other more horrendous examples) there is a lot more effort being spent trying to do him.
More effort than is normally spent trying to do men for worse offenses against women.
This is the peculiarity of the case, what he did was wrong, but not as wrong as some other things which often get less attention from the prosecutors
I've definitely seen someone say they thought it couldn't have been pulled up as a rape charge in this country and it was to do with Sweden's laws.
and eventually she was like 'go on then' and then regretted it. This might be causing people to examine the case with this sort of attitude
probably rape though
although there are cases where a person has said 'oh go on then', which the courts in th UK have held to be rape, but only because it was so overwhelmingly obvious to the objective bystander that the consent was not freely given.
The only way to find out is to go to trial and let the facts be established so that the lawyers can opine on to what degree consent was given and/or withheld and whether that amounts to rape at law.
'sweden's radical 'surprise sex' laws!!!' meme
I don't know exactly what's happened, but it's not impossible to make someone accuse someone of something. Particularly if there's a reward in it. I'm not sure that this has actually happened, but it's not beyond reason to suggest that it has. Particularly with the timing of the whole thing being INCREDIBLY suspect.
Also, the Swedish authorities are more than able to question him, which is all they allegedly want to do, over the phone. They are choosing not to do so, in spite of the fact they are legally more than able to. So... y'know, I don't know if he did rape these women or not, but there's enough about the case to smell a bit of a rat, to be fair.
In all honesty though, I don't know what he can actually be tried with in the US, and get convicted of, that would cause him to face the death penalty.
I believe her. Why is it so hard for people to believe that these women have come forward? In all of the interviews about this, e.g. the excerpt that I quoted above, he makes really spurious points trying to explain why his behaviour is ok and why he's the real victim. Which kinda makes it possible that this isn't the first time he's abused someone, but that due to notoriety, he's now become easier to target.
He hasn't actually challenged their version of events at any point and is perfectly willing to argue that it's just a quirk in the Swedish legal system. It isn't. I suggest people read some actual sources and not the disinformation that's being spouted from his side
The President of the Queen's Bench Division said:
"In the present case, as is accepted there is nothing on the face of the EAW which states in terms that
Mr Assange is accused of the offences. ... The fact that the term “accused of the offence” is not used
does not matter if it is clear from the EAW that he was wanted for prosecution and not merely for
questioning." (para 148)
."In our judgment Mr Assange is on the facts before this court “accused” of the four offences. There is
a precise description in the EAW of what he is said to have done. The extraneous evidence shows
that there has been a detailed investigation. The evidence of the complainants AA and SW is clear as
to what he is said to have done as we have set out. On the basis of an intense focus on the facts he
is plainly accused. That is ... decisive." (para 151)
I understand you have political reasons for thinking this, and that's fine. But it's not something I can subscribe to in every instance, and especially not this one, so...
You can argue your point with someone other than me, seems pretty futile to try and do it with the strength of belief that underpins, and sometimes overrides, all of your reasoning.
Although that aside I agree that to simply assume no one would ever claim rape and be lying is dangerous ground. There may well be few liars but that doesn't mean they're insignificant enough to discount.
But I presume women who say they have been raped are not lying. It's not that radical a stance to take.
that presumption of guilt (of the accused) until proven innocent is indeed a radical position.
Out of interest would you give a man claiming he was raped the same assumption.
To be clear I certainly presume it's very unlikely any woman would falsely claim to have been raped but there are a lot of very nasty, weird and mentally disturbed people in the world. I can't conceive of killing someone in cold blood but that doesn't mean I discount the possibility; so while I can't conceive of claiming rape falsely I don't discount that either.
*possibility of someone else doing it, I mean, obviously.
Believing in the need and I guess paramount importance of the presumption of innocence within legal institutions is quite a different thing from what I'm talking about.
I can entirely conceive of someone making a malicious or false allegation of rape and that it even happens. But justice is always incomplete and I have little faith in any legal system that exists today to bring rapists to justice. If a court cannot find someone guilty beyond all reasonable doubt, they should not be punished. But women, or men, who say they have been assaulted or raped have to be supported and given every opportunity to seek justice. This can only be done if we treat their complaints as legitimate and honest.
Don't think we actually have that divergent views on this. I'm just fairly unequivocal that we have to believe women.
although, you have to be very careful about how you out that into practice. Certainly something has to be done to change the way victims of sexual assault are treated.
but to turn the presumption of innocence on its head is a very dangerous proposition to make. by all means personally believe in an accused's guilt from the outset of a claim, but I'd urge you to separate rigorously this personal belief from any professional stance you might take, otherwise you're going to run into a great deal of trouble at the Bar.
It's a shitty state of affairs and of course should never be the automatic assumption of any rape allegation likewise it should not be ''She says it I believe her; therefore that man is a rapist'' without a proper trial.
Who is pressing charges?
My understanding of events is that the women asked as 'advice' about the legal status of the alleged incident and - as is law in Sweden - the Police & prosecutor decided to press, then change, then drop, then press charges
not trying to be facetious or claim conspiracy or lies or anything but this entire case, the circumstances, the timing of the original report, its immediate leak to the tabloids, the prosecutor striking off the case, Assange remaining in Sweden and offering himself for questioning, another (junior) prosecutor in a different district (with at least one spouse of a Government official in her office)picking it up, more failure/refusal to question - all of this set on a background of US Government intervention and pressure on Visa, Paypal etc. to choke funding sources to wikileaks
and all of THIS on top of Sweden's poor record on dealing with rape and sexual molestation against women - particularly minors incidentally
reported rapes; 4,134
brought to trial; 313
whether Assange is a rapist or not the whole process has been FAR from typical and that can only lead to people being suspicious and clearly has lead to Assange spouting ill-advised and daft paranoid bullshit
what a mess
and he still hasn't been officially charged with anything
So, even without believing the CIA caught him in a honey trap or some crap it's clearly evident that, for political reasons, his case is being treated differently due to Wikileaks
Is he a rapist or not? I can't judge
If he IS convicted of rape will that discredit or somehow lessen the impact of watching gung ho US helicopter pilots murder civilians & a journalist in cold blood on Iraqi streets and then cover it up?
Not a chance, not in my eyes. Why should it?
the victims of rape and sexual molestation
don't all 4,134 rapes deserve the same level of thoroughness ?
Bring Assange in for questioning (whatever) by giving him a deal that guarantees non-extradition.
but the prosecutor refused that - Assange's lawyers ask for it specifically
forget about the lack of justice shown in the non-investigated cases (well, don't forget about; you know what I mean) — they're not even taking *this* alleged assault seriously.
that's precisely the point, surely: if you take the stance that all rape cases should be treated with the utmost seriousness, it's difficult to get on board with the idea that when one IS treated that way we should dismiss it because there might be ulterior motives
i do recognise the profound difficulties with this particular case, but it's pretty unpalatable to take the angle of 'well, most rapes aren't taken seriously so it's unfair to take this one seriously just because they were lucky enough to be raped by someone the US hates!'
We're just being cynical, and hope that if he is done for it, then he is punished in sweden and it does not lead on to him being extradicted to the USA, because if that IS the ulterior motive, then they are using extra resource to bring him in under the pretext of it being for a crime against this woman, when in actual fact it, the extra effort is for another reason. THis would be a dishonest use of the swedish justice system.
I do appreciate that his celebrity/notoriety might increase the resource used to prosecute him for something, that is kind of natural, but it shouldnt be so he can be extradicted.
my angle is that it is suspicious and HIGHLY doubtful that justice can be done and be seen to be done when a politically expedient case is treated this way when (almost) all other victims are denied such justice
I'm NOT saying that all victims should be treated shoddily nor am I saying that all accused should be pursued as vehemently/calamitously as Assange --- what I AM saying is that with such unevenness it gives Assange a strong claim that he won't get a fair trial
and has consequences for the victims of other sexual assaults, perhaps directly in terms of other cases being sidelined due to the drain on resources of pursuing this one
I think the Swedish Prosecutor should have agreed to question Assange via video or in person in the UK but the Prosecutor instead decided to pursue extradition
one can't help but thinking the only reason for this is to have him isolated in custody and at that point the process changes from prosecuting him for his alleged offenses into using his alleged offenses as a means to disable his political activity - and that denies justice for ANY victims of sexual assault as their personal injury becomes secondary and insignificant to the power play of aggressive forces with their own agenda
and i don't think this is an easy case to take a stance on. i'm just acutely aware of how nasty and rape-apologising a lot of the discourse surrounding it has been, which makes one extremely sensitive to the possibility of playing into those minimising narratives
a lot of the discourse has been NNNNNNNGGGGGGHHHH from all sides - it's been open season for misogynists, war perverts, conspiracy theorists, trolls, Assange idolisers, etc. etc.
unreasonable or ill-informed militants everywhere discussing this
I'm definitely not a rape apologist for the record
It's a massive victory for someone though(whether engineered or not) that the State-sponsored slaughter that is still ongoing has been almost completely sidelined in this debate
this is far more succinct and less clumsy.
But I did want to add that I am sure that some of these 4000 odd cases would have been considerably nastier than this case.
though we're on VERY dodgy ground if we try and judge and compare other people's suffering and humiliation on some kind of rating system
not wrong, because I think that it is very naturally human to want to spend what limited resource you do have on locking up the nastiest ones, OK I know in an ideal world then all, but it isnt an ideal world.
I dont know, its a very difficult area.
and this is just the most appalling thing imaginable
or maybe it's worse when a county Police Chief and Principle of the National Police Academy serially rapes teens and his colleagues look the other way for years and then when he is eventually charged on 23 counts and convicted on 17 of them has his sentence of six and a half years reduced on appeal (despite none of the convictions being overturned)
If you have a strong stomach google Göran Lindberg
and these are the ones that are convicted (mostly) eventually - there's 3,500 reported every year that get thrown out and how many more go unreported?
I just don't think I can have a rational debate with DD on the issue, and all of its permutations, because we bases from which we're looking at it are completely different. So - best politely bow out now before it turns into one of those tedious slogs that this message board specialises in.
I totally respect her opinion - there's just no value in my spending my time engaging with it in this instance, I don't think.
makes it impossible for me to talk to people who deny the prevalence of rape.
...who are denying the prevalence of rape??
I couldn't tell by your tone.
And completely unhelpful if you genuinely wish to engage with people and get them to consider your viewpoint. Sorry.
If I've misunderstood your point, my apologies.
That aside, the real issue here is extradition bullshit.
These women want justice in a court and it's being denied to them because Sweden will just ship Assange off to the US to face fairly bullshit charges. Maybe they'd get their trial but I'm not even convinced of that, to be honest.
i thought he wanted people to think he was the victim of a conspiracy
how deep does this thing go
im gonna need more coffee this morning
I think paranoia is an understandable reaction in his current circumstance. Regardless of what he's guilty of, I have no doubt HE thinks he's innocent.
when they stormed the embassy and got their man, before having to get their arses covered for slightly botching the job
Hawaii 5-O and Dr Who are about it.
unfortunately for him, the moment he leaves the embassy he's going to get arrested, as Britain ain't going to grant him safe passage. so either he lives under house arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy for the rest of his natural, or he goes and stands trial for the crimes he's accused of
as for guilt, well maybe there is a conspiracy, maybe there isn't. but what there is, is a man wanted for sex crimes in Sweden who really ought to stand trial there because he's wanted for sex crimes. if someone has raped someone else and IS ALSO the victim of a government conspiracy for something else, you can't let them off the former just because of the latter. that's not justice.
then Danny Glover shooting him before replying "just expired" at the end of Lethal Weapon 2
a whole thread in itself
should be fought purely through the use of Mel Gibson quotes? Maybe the reason Syria is dragging on is because no-one has started quoting Braveheart?
I'm not convinced that he'd get to stand trial in Sweden before the US whisked him off, even if there isn't a conspiracy.
why is there the assumption that sweden is more likely to extradite him than the UK? i mean, we're the ones with the reputation for being extremely pliable to US interests... is there any good reason to think he's at higher risk of extradition in sweden?
But I assume that if we wanted to we'd have done it before he ran to the embassy. Or maybe it's only possible once he's arrested so that's why it can only happen in Sweden.
In general govts want to stay on the US's side, though. There are a lot of economic things it can do to you, etc. if you don't. And it's one man. I just don't think any govt really values Assange that highly.
there is a special extradition agreement between the US and Sweden. Sweden has never contested an extradition order from the US
It's fuzzy legalese but my reading of it is that if a prisoner is in custody in Sweden and wanted for charges in the US that it can be made a condition of their parole, release or bail that they must consent to being given directly to US custody
So he'd be extradited before the trial took place? But it also sounds like he has the right to refuse, so he must be assuming they'd take him against his will, right?
it's fuzzy and impenetrable Swedish legalese but my understanding of it is that as soon as he is in Swedish custody he is essentially in US custody should they chose to find anything to charge him with
from what I can tell of this case he would be held without bail while being questioned and then would be held without bail pending charges/trial so it seems, to me at least, that his transfer to the US could come before a trial if the extradition order was submitted between questioning and being charged/brought to trial
but yeah, he'd be pretty definitely guaranteed to be going to the US against his will the moment he is placed in Swedish custody
On the one hand, he's quite possibly being set up.
On the other, well, he does look like a bit of a creep.
He does seem to naturally give off a huge amount of smug.
Keep on rocking (the hypocrisy) in the free world.
DD is to feminism (threads) what you are to plolitics (threads) innit.
For a minute there I thought I was wasting my time with this trolling lark. I'm glad to have been validated.
If it were to go according to normal Swedish legal practice and he went to face questioning and got a 'fair' trail (by typical Swedish standards) the rape charge would be dropped and he'd be found guilty of 1 or 2 counts of sexual molestation and serve a maximum of 2 years and be fined
How's it actually going to end?
Car crash, plane crash or similar is my evil-conspiracy guess - how safe would he even be in Ecuador? I dunno
More prosaically, perhaps the above 2 years followed by extradition and years waiting for trial in the US
according to the Declaration of Human Rights, people can seek asylum when they're persecuted, or for "a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion" in their home country."
given that the Aussies are not involved in this, and Assange is not "persecuted" for political/race/social etc reasons, but is someone facing criminal charges, Ecuador are really going out of their way here to interpret what asylum means, are they not, legal minds?
except for being all too willing to hand him straight over to the US should he ever set foot on Australian soil again.
...can't countries essentially grant `asylum` for whatever the fuck they want, in essence? So if Ecuador want to grant Assange asylum, they don't really need to justify it to anyone else other than themselves...
This is my understanding of what Assange is trying to exploit... could be wrong mind.
though as robluvsnic says he is totally persona non grata in Australia
I don't know what's in it for Ecuador though if Wikileaks moved their operation wholesale their digital infrastructure would get a massive boost
maybe that's what they're after - to become the global home of data, security and data-security shizzle
idk if he still is
Is it not possible to arrange an extraordinary trial for the swedish women in a UK court and then sentence him in the UK? Would the women be agreeable to this? OK so the law in sweden is different. Could a swedish court not be temporarily be held in the UK and then any sentence they issue be carried out in the UK?
I know this sounds unprecedented, but the issues surrounding this case are, and however extraordinary it is, I am sure that the main parties involved would find this satisfactory
i.e. the victims and the accused. Also this would draw a line under a major part of this whole thorny issue.
Yes it would require effort, but the reason for that is demonstrably clear to people, and the amount of effort would not exceed the amount of hoo ha and problems this is creating at the moment anyway.
So lets make the effort and be pragmatic?
It's kind of happened before, with the Lockerbie case being tried under Scottish law in The Hague.
There was a storyline about foreign embassies and diplomatic immunity and stuff. Can't remember any other details. And that was the only episode I ever watched. A friend used to be well into it. As it happens, she was one of the earliest people to challenge my prejudices on a number of fronts. Quite a formative influence, all told. Introduced me to PJ Harvey's 4 Track Demo's album, for which I will be forever grateful. Very pretty, with long ginger hair. A couple of years older, so always in another league. Into tie-dyed skirts and incense etc. But it was the 90s - weren't we all? Lesbian parents (I think - it was never made explicit, didn't really get questioned). They had a whippet type dog. Dunno what she's up to now. Something to do with recruitment, iirc.
Sorry, what was the question?
A mountie always gets his man (oo-er!).
He's fleeing political charges! They're diplomats from South America's main source of hemp! Together they're...DIPLOMATICALLY IMMUNE!
Officials are growing increasingly tired of finding Julian shaving in the toilets whilst reciting Julius Caesar lines in the mirror, whilst a chance visit by the Peruvian minister of the interior provides mishaps aplenty for the ambassador! Contains graphic realpolitik.
Arguably he has himself to blame for giving America the opportunity to spook him via the Sweden case.
He's going to be self-imprisoned in the Ecuadorean embassy for a while until it becomes clear if the police will try to enter. Regardless of the posturing, the police won't enter - it's a line that governments can't cross.
I'm not sure I can see him lasting years of his life stuck in that embassy. All he can do is buy himself time to help him for when he is extradited to Sweden. This time may give him time for legal preparation and donations for his legal fees.
It is though a pretty selfish and shitty course of action he's taken regarding to the bail bond his supporters stumped up from their own personal finances.
They won't enter while it's an embassy, but can't the UK government revoke its embassy status? That's the impression I got from the radio this morning.
'Julian fancy a cigarette trick' and then shove him out the fire escape.
I imagine the Ecuadorean embassy is pretty pokey.
Everyone would be happy then.
What I mean is - Britain has no actual issue with Ecuador, and so by taking such a step just to get Assange, we're actually setting a pretty nasty precedent against ourselves in front of the countries who we do have noxious problems with, e.g. Argentina.
Is that something we're really prepared to do, when really Assange is not something we feel evangelical about, and when it's obvious that the guy won't be able to live in the embassy forever? All this now is posturing to intimidate the Ecuadorians/Assange, because if we have to play the waiting game it's going to make him look like a martyr.
Get him on newsnight
if he manages to get into a diplomatic car, the police can stop the car, but they can't enter the car. there's a chance we might get the most ridiculous siege/stand-off in British history, somewhere on the side of the road to Heathrow.
they won't let him get into the car
does Ecuador have a helicopter at their disposal? Does the Embassy have a rooftop?
The driver can use the 'Olympic' lane and play the Dipomatic Immunity card
Do Assange supporters think that the women who have accused him of sexual assault are shills or do they just not care about the women's right to justice (if he did it)?
not directly Assange supporters in any case
a lot of talk from some online seems to be borderline messianic and that whatever he did (or didn't) do to those women doesn't matter because he is situation.
Which is an oddly uncritical (and anti-woman) approach from people who tend to fancy themselves the radical left.
Just wait until the police find out he's hiding in the Big Brother house.
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister bringing the smackdowm to US, Australis, UK & Sweden ... bless him
can anyone think of any other circumstances in which a country would threaten to storm another country's embassy in order to retrieve an ordinary rape/sexual assault suspect ?
Ecuador has granted him full asylum
they're going to revoke Ecuador's Embassy status aren't they?
The UK would be opening themselves up to anyone else doing passing a law and doing exactly the same thing around the world (and in places far more dangerous than Ecuador)
seriously though - how do you see this unfolding?
Mr fucking conspiracy theory on overdrive
as they say on the Internets:
Assange is a dick. Any of the good work he may potentially have done via his wikileaks site has been tainted and ruined by this whole sorry saga
If he IS convicted of rape will that discredit or somehow lessen the impact of watching gung ho US helicopter pilots murder civilians & a journalist in cold blood on Iraqi streets and then cover it up?
Not a chance, not in my eyes. Why should it?
nothing more than a smear campaign like with that Strauss-Khan business a while back
but the salient point remains that even if Julian Assange is a rapist it doesn't mean that the US war machine, individual crimes against humanity, lies, corruption, complicity, torture etc that has been revealed and released via wikileaks is all a figment of his imagination
those civilians won't be un-murdered or un-tortured no matter how nasty Assange is or turns out to be
It's all about trusting the source
is not Julian Assange
it is actual classified primary source material
unequivocal and undeniable
"Everyone should be held accountable for their actions, including Governments. Well, except me of course. I'm special."
he was in Sweden for 5 weeks after the alleged incident was first reported
he offered himself for questioning
he sought permission and clarification on whether it would be OK for him to leave the country before he went to the UK
He turned himself in to the Police in the UK at the issue of an international arrest warrant against him
his lawyers sought to get questioning underway so he could answer the accusations via video link or in person in the UK - the Swedish prosecutor said no
his lawyers sought to agree a deal that he would return to Sweden to face accusations if he was guaranteed to not be extradited to the US - the Swedish prosecutor said there would be no guarantees
It seems also today that the Ecuadorian Embassy once again sought to resolve the issue of extradition by offering the same bargain guaranteeing non-extradition to the US - the Swedish answer... no
all of these 'no's from the Swedish prosecutor have denied the alleged victims in this case their chance for justice and have crippled Assange's ability to attempt to clear his name
Governments should be held accountable for their (and by complicity OUR) actions
Apart from one thing - Assange is denying the alleged victims in this case the chance at justice by claiming asylum and not going to Sweden. No one else
The extradition to the US is a completely separate issue
it should be, but its not.
in my opinion
Sweden want him to answer a case of alleged rape. If whilst he is in Sweden, the US form a charge around the leaking of teh cables, the swedish courts will deal with it separately.
Him going to Sweden doesn't mean he'll be on the next plane to Washington in chains and an orange boiler suit
Unless I have missed something?
one thing that you've missed and that I think a lot of people have overlooked and that the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister pointed out today
Asylum application is not an escape from the law - it is part of the framework of international law
And I have missed some good (and bad) stuff.
You should definately check out these two links
(pasted from below)
Some interesting links:
One is particular to the Swedish Government extradition section. Apparently Sweden never extradite someone to a country for political offensives or a country with the death penalty
And this one, where the details of the the defense team of Assange tried to argue what he did wasn't rape, pretty grim read
And this where their defense of "its not rape in the UK" is shown to be balls
in the sense that *should* US prosecutors come up with legitimate charges for Assange in the future he can't be placed above the law, which is what that sequence of events sounds like he wants.
it's called state sovereignty.
What's more, denial of extradition (even where extradition treaties between the two countries in question exist) is commonplace.
but the charges Assange faces in Sweden are completely unlinked to any potential charges he may indeed face in the US
An extradition request to the US would be an entirely separate case, a different judge etc etc
everyone who mentions their position does it as if it is completely unreasonable that they wouldn't grant him what he wants but its quite possible that they have reasons beyond 'as soon as you land it's onto the Hercules and off to Gitmo brother'.
How are we to know?
It's one thing for the Swedish to say 'we're not doing this is in order to extradite you and completely another to say 'we won't extradite you no matter what happens in the future'. There's no reason why they should do that. Or indeed if they genuinely do just want to deal with the rape charges, why they should cede terms to a suspected rapist in order to get him to agree to stand trial.
Wasn't that one of the arguments dismissed in detail in the extradition appeal paperwork? I can't actually remember what was said now but I thought it wasn't strictly true?
there have still been no formal charges, he is still only wanted for questioning
the semantic difficulty in the extradition was over the word 'accused' and DD clarifies that point upthread
first he would be questioned
then possible charges brought
then a trial date set
then the trial etc.
he could have been questioned in the UK but the Swedish prosecutor refused
I feel like I'm repeating myself now
I tink you're managing to be incredibly semantic now. Clearly standing trial would be an ultimate consequence of them charging him if he was felt to be guilty.
Again, I'm not really sure why the Swedish prosecutor is supposed to negotiate term with suspected rapists and only agree to interview them where they want to be interviewed. If I was wanted for a crime I wouldn't necessarily expect a negotiation as to where the interview would take place. And again, the bit that he was only wanted for questioning was disputed by the Swedish prosecution in the extradition case I think.
But let's not repeat ourselves. Instead I want you to do something else.
Read this (which I wasn't aware of at the beginning of the thread) and tell me if it's a massive, massive misquote or if this is really the guy who's being defended here. I'd heard all this stuff about the accused being possibly jilted lovers or in cahoots with the US but Assange's lawyer seems to accept very disturbing this happened:
If the lawyers are quoted having said this (and, as pointed out below, that would be illegal under UK law if true) then is there really a reason he shoudn't stand trial?
were your words
you're getting ahead of the situation somewhat
there are legal precedents in international law and questioning that the Swedish prosecutor has not extended in this case
you & gringo suddenly seem to have discovered the same links - don't have time to read them now but re extradition - Sweden has NEVER refused an extradition request from the US
also, it co-operated in rendition flights with the CIA that resulted in torture
Also, it has on several occasions in the last decade refused to grant asylum and deported individuals to countries who later tortured and in at least one case sentenced to death and executed an individual - in these cases breaking its own laws or pledges
I wasn't interested in the extradition so much as the admission from Assange's lawyers that he fucked a girl whilst she was asleep and attempted to penetrate another whilst she tried to fight him off and get a condom.
he is still innocent until proven guilty
as for the rest I am not a rape apologist nor have I been defending Julian Assange personally ANYWHERE in this thread
my views on this have already been posted elsewhere in the thread
the subthread that starts here http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/social/4401433#r6939931 sums up most of them
and maybe you want to go back here again http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/social/4401433#r6941098 I dunno
And that's the crux of it. Proof.
There is no proof the US will try to extradite him. There is no logical reason why the US wouldn't just try to extradite him from Britain if that was the aim.
There is no proof his life is in danger if he goes to Sweden.
And - thanks to his refusal to cooperate with the legal proceedings* - the establishment of his proof or innocence can never ever take place. So, yes, he will still continue to be legally innocent. And that's how the courts should be. But he'll also remain, given his lawyers' own accoutn of the situation - a deeply, deeply troubling man to be defended.
His lawyers have described a chain of events that, in their own words, are deeply disturbing. In their description of the distress of the victims and their admission the distress is genuine they've indirectly admitted the claims that his accusers were US agents or spurned lovers are a lie and that he did - in their own words- deeply disturbing things that the women involved were very uncomfortable with. By implication, the whole idea that the rape allegations themselves are a smokescreen** has been discredited by his own legal team.
So what we are left with is a man who is suspected of committing sexual crimes who, due to other political fears that may or may not be genuine, refuses to involve himself with the legal proceedings. And so will remain innocent until proven guilty.
*feel free to raise the 'he agreed to be questioned here' argument if you like but the High Court threw that out on pretty solid legal grounds.
**which isn't to say the US or Swedes might not be exploiting them.
I think you've lumped me in with a load of other people saying something different
But I wasn't talking about what you'd said.
For all the well-meaning attempts to separate Assange the political activist from Assange the alleged sex offender, sparing Assange the political activist from extradition means sparing Assange the alleged sex offender from possible legal consequences of his actions and extraditing Assange the alleged sex offender means Assange the political activist is arrested too. It'd be dishonest of either of us to shy away from the reality of that here.
I've not seen any evidence to suggest Assange will definitely be extradited to the US but I'll accept it's not impossible it will happen. Certainly the consequence of Assange not being extradited is that he won't ever have to answer the accusations against him.
how many times has a country threatened to storm another country's embassy in order to retrieve an ordinary rape/sexual assault suspect ?
go back and read this http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/social/4401433#r6940072 and stop fighting shadows
Yes, they're making a damn sight more effort with this particular alleged rapist than they do with other alleged rapist. And, as I acknowledged, you cannot separate the fact that the reasons for that are bound up with the fact he's made himself a high-profile political figure who I'm sure the UK and many other governments are much more motivated to bring to justice once he's accused of a crime for host of non-altruistic reasons.
But none of that changes the fact that, if Assange doesn't get extradited, then a consequence of that is that a high-profile alleged sex offender never has to face legal proceedings. (Just as, if he does get extradited for sexual offences, the consequence of that, is that political capital will be made of it). And, whilst I'd certainly agree that are many disturbing ramifications if he does get extradited on this and subsequently extradited to the US, I'd also argue there are disturbing ramifications if a high-profile figure stands accused of having sex with a sleeping woman and his claim that it was okay 'cos she'd consented before stands unquestioned. And there are disturbing ramifications if a high-profile figure stands accused of having sex with a woman and trying to force himself into her whilst stopping her from accessing contraception. The fact that Assange's supporters and lawyers are arguing these are okay things to happen and this never will be tested in a court of law (whilst claiming these things would be legal in the UK) are also harmful. Whatever the outcome here, harm will be done.
I'd argue anyone claiming there's an easy and obvious solution to what's right here is fighting shadows and, given I'm arguing for one particular side, it's perfectly fair for you to accuse me of that. But neither sides really in the right here as there is no right.
My entire reason for posting on this thread in the first place was because I was deeply troubled by the people outside of the embassy defending Assange and cheering when he was granted asylum, just as I've been troubled whilst this has been going on by people claiming the entire court case is a smokescreen based on a tissue of lies and unreliable witnesses. That doesn't mean I support the US (who I'll reiterate still haven't actually implied they'll initiate extradition proceedings) or that I don't think there's a political motive to how heavily this is being pursued. Just that the fact that the authorities have particular reason to want to purse this case doesn't necessarily mean there is no case to answer or that Assange shouldn't be expected to answer it.
if Assange goes to Sweden he will have a fair and due process and will be sentenced according to his crimes (if proved) and that will be the end of it?
or maybe a maybe
Sweden isn't exactly a tin-pot dictatorship ... it scores much higher than Britain does when it comes to have a clear open just and uncorrupt society.
It's one of the top four countries in the world for that sort of thing.
Sweden is spectacularly uncorrupt, they do things by the book. Assange's side has tried to make this a big issue by saying he could be extradited to face the death penalty, when that literally cannot happen, or by saying that Sweden was unreasonable in refusing to promise that he will never be extradited to US, which would've effectively given him immunity from law and was a silly thing even to ask.
A Swede would never lie or cheat, a Swede can't be bought or leaned on
and no one has ever been brought to justice for it, or indeed the murder weapon ever recovered
did you know that trial by a jury of peers or indeed trial by jury of any kind doesn't exist in Sweden?
did you know that Sweden has no common law and that everything is procedural and technical?
did you know that Sweden has the highest per capita rape statistics in the EU but has the lowest ratio of reported rapes to convictions?
Did you know that one of Sweden's top Police officers was a serial rapist of teenage girls and is currently serving a six years sentence for 17 charges including 3 rapes, one aggravated rape (of a 17 year old - he's in his 60s) and 8 counts of paying for sex?
not saying any of these are necessarily relevant, just wondered if you knew
Sweden certainly has a good reputation abroad
but when it comes to external and independent ratings for how countries behave on justice and transparency it scores very highly and I don't see why it should necessarily treat Assange a lot differently to anyone else.
Why do you think that he wouldn't receive due process in one of the most highly ranked nations in the world?
Or do you think that sheeple like me should wake up and see what is really happening here?
also, it's interesting that when it comes to social indicators Sweden does indeed score very highly
but if you've lived here for any time (I've lived in Stockholm for 9 and a half years) or have studied the modern political history of Sweden it's plain to see that when it comes to international espionage Sweden is like a world hub - a truly MASSIVE amount of behind closed doors activity has gone on here during the cold war and continues to go on here
there are an awful lot of strategic and military interests in Sweden - particularly when it comes to cybersecurity
spectacularly uncorrupt in the international league tables. nobody's perfect.
I'm not an expert on Swedish law, but they certainly seem to have a good reputation. re: Palme's murder: conspiracy theories have been flying around for decades but it's still all talk, isn't it? And there is certainly no smoking gun to prove the whole society is rotten, but since you've lived there, you must know more.
Re: rape statistics, maybe they take "beyond reasonable doubt" very seriously, just saying, or maybe there's a culture of not taking rape seriously, in any case, what where talking about here is a man who is suspected, if not yet charged, of serious crimes, and if his lawyer's statements are anything to go by, he's not disputing what he is said to have done, only about some details that might work in his favour (the ladies said yes afterwards, or after he started, am I mistaken?). and the bottom line is that in a civilised society he should face those charges, if he is charged, like anyone else.
So if Sweden has a low conviction rate it probably isn't too far off the curve.
That doesn't mean he doesn't have questions to answer.
If nothing else for a man who preached openness, the moral behaviour of nations and all of that he seems to have a pretty funny attitude to it when it comes to his own actions.
but if he feels that he won't be granted a fair trial - and let's be honest here, the actions of the authorities in the manner they have pursued him is COMPLETELY ATYPICAL
which takes me back once again to here;http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/social/4401433#r6940072
and here http://drownedinsound.com/community/boards/social/4401433#r6941098
there is a very real chance that he will be turned over to US custody
now, if it was simply a case of him facing questioning for his alleged misdeeds involving the two Swedish women then for fuck's sake get him on the plane and have it done BUT IT ISN'T simply that
he has a legal right to seek asylum if he feels he will be unduly treated - people regularly seek asylum and it is an integral part of the framework of international law
for the sake of the two Swedish women in this case the matter should and could have been dealt with 2 years ago when Assange was in Sweden for 5 weeks after the incident and offered himself for questioning and sought permission to clarify his status before he left the country
It seems clear from everything I have read that he is willing to face the charges in Sweden but he is not willing to risk being shipped to the US
You might think he ought to stand up and face the consequences of those actions too - you might even think he deserves to serve maximum sentences in a US jail for his part in distributing classified information - that's your opinion possibly and you're entitled to it
you might think Sweden is manned by only the fair minded who would never dream of betraying
the women in this case by using them as pawns in a larger game but I can tell you that Swedes are humans too with all that entails
and I'm sorry if this is hard for people to understand but despite the fact I don't care much for Assange and am more than willing to entertaining the idea that these women were raped as per their descriptions IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT NOR SHOULD IT DISTRACT FROM THE FACT THAT Wikileaks has released tons & tons of information that proves that our Governments regularly murder and torture and kidnap extra-judicially, take part in war crimes and cover them up, lie to bereaved families, lie to the press and change the very nature of the world we live in by carrying out such actions and then render them SECRET or classified
and WE SUPPORT this action in fact it wouldn't be possible without our support
so, and this is the bottom line as far as I'm concerned
I'd accept it possible - if speculative - that it might not have been the original intention but it's much more in their interests to do nothing and make Assange look like a fringe conspiracy nutter with wildly unfounded fears about how evil the US is - especially if they get the bonus of him being a convicted rapist to boot - than to apply for extradition and, in doing so, suggest that Assange's view of them is correct.
(as distinct from what *is* the case), on the other hand, well there's a whole lot of developments in International Law that need to be made before the appropriate principles and procedures, checks and balances, are in place to at least minimise the potential for your preferred sequence of events to lead to serious miscarriage of justice.
Darwin Dude - over to you.
Use of sarcasm ITT = brave/daft.
At least when CG does it it's more obvious
...which is a shame, because I would rather she answered the question I put to her upthread because I consider it quite important... Not sure why she's gone quiet - she's been in other threads since.
Although personally I'd not really listen to the preachings of "protection of free speech and government conspiracies/cover ups" from a convicted rapist, it just doesn't give him any gravitas any more.
That's not to say that I don't agree with alot of what wikileaks have done. But their approach to these allegations have been ridiculous
I'm not convinced that Assange is not a dick, and I certainly wouldn't call him a hero of any kind. Whatever good might have come out of the leaks was largely accidental, since they merely took all raw material they had and dumped it in public domain, at the same time endangering the lives of named individuals in Afghanistan and other countries, and interfering with the sensitive political and diplomatic games between countries like China and North Korea without considering the consequences . . .
wikileaks did not take <<all raw material they had and dumped it in public domain, at the same time endangering the lives of named individuals in Afghanistan and other countries, and interfering with the sensitive political and diplomatic games between countries like China and North Korea without considering the consequences . . . >>
they didn't do that at all
they redacted that information
when releasing info wikileaks first releases for download a zip file with all the unredacted info on for security purposes
this info can't be read - it's encrypted
then they filter out releases through news organs redacting sensitive material
what happened in the case you're referring to is this;
If wikileaks hadn't released the encrypted file in the first place
But my point still stands. The unfortunate leak by the Guardian of the unredacted cables would not have happened if wikileaks hadn't released the encrypted ones in the first place
I'm not sure that still stands
by posting an encrypted zip then wikileaks guarantees that the information is accessible without putting any lives at risk
then they work through the information, distributing it to journalists to be disseminated into the public domain in a safe way, or as safe a way as possible
the mistake was made by a Guardian journalist not by wikileaks
And the encrypted file was posted by wikileaks, which the guardian then got hold of and published (unredacted). If they'd not posted the encrypted file in the first place, the guardian wouldn't have made the error.
Wikileaks people out of all the people would have known that even giving someone a chance to access all the content, regardless of how many security steps you want to try to put in, the likelihood of stuff going wrong or getting leaked is high.
Even in the best possible scenario it would've still been up to a bunch of journalists and wikileakers to make the calls on which bits can be released or not. and even if they had released something sensitive with the names or other identifying details taken out, they still could not have been sure that the secret police in Afghanistan or China or wherever is not going to start investigating how many potential suspects they have with blowtorches and pliers . . .
so we shut keep quiet about our carrying out ACTUAL murder and torture because some of our guys MIGHT get murdered or tortured by the evil foreigners
of course there are risks - one of the biggest risks is believing that we are the good guys and continuing on a murderous path with our head in the clouds and our self-righteous xenophobia intact
Both sides utterly fucked up. The Guardian claims Assange had claimed the documents/encryption code was temporary so thought they were safe to publish it after the event.
Due to a fuck-up during the DoS attacks on servers loads of people ended up with the Wikileaks cables hidden on their computers. That wasn't the Guardian's fault.
And I think there were a good seven months before the leak where there was a prominent book about Wikileaks with the Wikileaks password prominently displayed into it linking to files that were on Bittorrent and apparently nobody within Wikileaks felt the need to take them down.
Leigh made the biggest fuck-up but the information was anything but safely stored.
whereas I'd argue that Wikileaks definition of safely stored would mean accessible to the public
the accusation is that wikileaks exploited that information and put lives at danger by not taking due care with it, that they are somehow a rag tag irresponsible bunch who care nothing of the consequences of their actions - I'd say that that is a misrepresentation of the facts of the event
So, on the one hand, you're blaming the Guardian for the information leaking out and saying that wasn't Wikileaks' intention.
On the other hand you're saying Wikileaks wanted the information to be accessible the public. You can't argue both sides simultaneously.
I'd say, if Wikileaks did want all the cables to be in the public domain then - given those cables included details of people who'd risked their lives opposing dictatorships and still faced punishment if caught - they showed scant regard for the consequences of their actions. If they didn't want the cables to be in the public domain then they failed to take adequate steps to prevent it from happening. Either way it reflects almost as poorly on them as it does on David Leigh.
or <<dumped>> in the public domain
Do you actually understand what you're arguing? You seem to be flailing here. If it managed to leak out to people they didn't want it leak out to and that was because of their negligence then it was not safely-stored.
I do - not flailing at all
the password and encryption has been a standard Wikileaks failsafe since their inception - do you not understand why?
One thing I can't understand from your side is if you're going to have a reductive argument about the nature of this data and the harm it would cause (citation needed) to be released unredacted and so on have you not considered the fact that the cablegate cables to which we are referring were all available to roughly 1 million Americans and most of them available to roughly 3.2 million Americans i.e. the US security industry has 1 million people employed at a clearance level that would grant them access to this unredacted info and a further 2 million plus who would have access to all but the highest classification of these cables if they'd so wished to seek them out
did you know this?
what do you think accessible means exactly?
Do we follow your line of logic and say that in fact it was the US defense department who were negligent in not safely storing what was after all /their/ data and thus presumably their responsibility ?
Or do we in fact understand that the encrypted zip is a de facto storage facility in which the raw data is kept (spread through networks so as not to be destroyed at one source) while the information within it is worked through with the aid of news organisations, trusted journalists and media outlets with the relevant and important details then presented to the public through the mainstream media
It's pretty straightforward. And it seems clear that a trusted source either breached that trust or a mistake was made - the same is true for both the data storage at the Pentagon and at Wikileaks.
I'm not entirely clear why you think there has to be one guilty party here. It's a clusterfuck of fuck-ups.
Re the second paragraph, I wouldn't say I knew that but I'm equally unsurprised by it.
The bottom line here remains there was an extended period where highly-sensitive information could be accessed via anyone who had the encrypted password and that password was in a published book. Either Wikileaks fucked up by not intervening and removing the data/changing encryption keys or Wikileaks didn't fuck-up and let it happen. If that happened to confidential info in a government department (or indeed if someone trusted with security clearance breached that trust) then there would be utter Hell to pay. As there has been with Bradley Manning in fact.
But the bottom line in handling confidential and potentially sensitive data is you should ensure it's stored in such a way that people who aren't cleared to get it don't get hold of it. They didn't and should accept responsibility for consequences of that. Both Wikileaks and the Pentagon.
but that's a LONG way from <<they merely took all raw material they had and dumped it in public domain, at the same time endangering the lives of named individuals in Afghanistan and other countries, and interfering with the sensitive political and diplomatic games between countries like China and North Korea without considering the consequences>>
which is the oft-touted misinformation that got us started down this particular path
to which you could flatly add that creating a war theatre in the middle east was probably the thing that endangered the lives of most of the individuals concerned
some of the consequences and the comparisons that can be made between official public record and classified private truth are remarkably illuminating and keeping this information hidden endangers lives too
And confidential and private information is a deeply dangerous and complex thing and the consequences of hiding/releasing certain information can be a hugely dangerous thing. Which is pretty much exactly the reason why I've never been comfortable with a load of confidential information being in the hands of an unelected body that's not accountable to anyone and makes there own decisions on what to hide and what to release. And I'm not naive enough to pretend that doesn't unfortunately apply to a lot of intelligence agencies within democracies as well as Wikileaks. But doesn't change my view that such confidential information should only be in the hands of people who are electorally and legally responsible for it and my opposition to anyone who fails to accept legal responsibility for it having access to it, be it Wikileaks or shady government services as - have both have shown - there's no guarantee information will be safe when that happens.
and re: what I said up there about information-dumping. I'm willing to back down as far as taking out the word "merely" because Wikileaks perhaps attempted to encrypt data, in a stupid and misguided way, or possibly they just wanted to appear to be doing so, while being happy about the stuff leaking anyway as some of their actions may indicate. and taking out the "merely" may be too generous.
I can't see how it's misinformation that lives were possibly endangered, and by revealing confidential correspondence between diplomats and officials they were meddling with issues they didn't have a clue about.
there is a culture of hiding misdeeds and corruption (even by elected officials!) through simply classifying information or citing national security or prevention of terror or whatnot because very often the people who engage in these activities are the people who can grant classifications
Wikileaks seeks to expose that culture
which is not the same as undermining National Security by the way - the over eagerness to classify and engage in secrecy concerning such misdeeds itself takes away the accountability of elected office and erodes security and trust
Stuff like what happened to this guy
And I would certainly agree there's a clear problem with unreasonable censorship and with governments being able to cite security concerns and hide anything they want. And there needs to be a way that democratic government have to be much more accountable and have a clear and testable threshold to ensure things are classified for national security reasons only in genuinely necessary cases. Which clearly doesn't happen at the moment and I'd support any attempt to change that.
And I don't doubt that Wikileaks has the best intentions in trying to expose that. But I still think placing that information in the hands of an unelected activist group is a dangerous to happen and means you can't guarantee the security of the information. And the leaks and encryption code errors are an entirely foreseeable - though unintended - consequence of the information ending up in the hands of people who aren't bound by any rules in how they handle it. And, whilst governments are obviously big and powerful enough to look after their own interests, there will be individuals named in those cables as doing things that could put their lives in danger (I think they name Chinese dissidents and anti-Taliban informers though I could be wrong). And that's obviously a bad thing to happen and cannot be controlled.
are rather putting their own lives at risk wouldn't you say?
Which is why they deserve protection from details of their actions appearing on the internet.
significantly increases their personal risk to the point that other information, MASSES of other information on the actions and lies of Governments the world over should be hidden from view?
I also don't claim to have all the answers.
can you find any proof that any harm came to any of those individuals as a result of the information being made public?
because in the entirety of Iraq documents and cablegate documents there are MOUNTAINS of proof - 1st hand primary evidence - that individuals have come to harm at the hands of Government forces and their subcontracted partners
-it's not all or nothing. Wikileaks chose to dump everything they got out there (encryption fiasco etc taken into account here). they chose not to go after specific targets, did they not? they didn't have the manpower to sort out the material, or they had what I think was a misguided belief that everything should be out in the open. Was it necessary to expose Chinese dissidents, or mid-ranking diplomats ungguarded comments as a collateral damage to going after war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan?
-Can you find any proof that any harm came to any of those individuals? - are you saying that as far is documented, nobody got killed, so the original action was ok. that doesn't change the fact how negligent it might have been. and we simply don't know whats' happened behind scenes to, for example, a chinese dissident whose username got linked back to his identity, or a North Korean official who said something out of the party line in a private conversation.
and real willful ignorance of what the actual cable releases & Iraq files show us about the true nature of military 'diplomacy' worldwide
One expert on Wikileaks has claimed they were responsible for 1300 people dying and 350, 000 being displaced as a result of the 2007 Kenyan election result. But I've said elsewhere in the thread that I don't trust that particular source.
Otherwise it's a difficult question. Yes, named informants on Wikileaks docments have been killed but I cannot prove or disprove whether that was as a direct result of Wikileaks. And, to be honest, with the situation in Afghanistan being still pretty muddled, it'll be years until we known for sure.
But it isn't an either/or question. You can believe governments need to be more legally transparent without believing it's safe for unelected interest groups to obtain and publish confidential papers.
I just don't think it's a strong enough reason by any stretch to discredit the actions of wikileaks, especially as it was not done intentionally and it is an oft trotted out line in these kind of debates
also, you can believe what you like but it doesn't mean it's ever going to happen if the status quo of secrecy isn't challenged
I'll accept, in so far as the known facts of what happened and what the Twitter message really referred to, there's no proof they leaked them.
There's plenty of proof they were massively negligent with sensitive information.
Given this wasn't ever a conversation as to whether who's worse - Assange or the US - and it's a bit reductive to turn it into one.
this whole subthread comes from a comment by gringo that Assange being a dick & a potential rapist undermines the work wikileaks have done so in a sense this part of the conversation is EXACTLY about which is worse
Meanwhile, Julian Cook, professor of international news stories at Reading University, explained: “Everyone that America has been spying on would have already assumed that America was spying on them and if they didn’t then they are even more cretinous than these leaks confirm them to be.”
He added: “Nevertheless, the point about Wikileaks undermining the safety of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan would have some validity, if only it wasn’t such a humongous vat of liquidised monkey-shit from start to finish.
-“Because – and you might want to write this down and keep it somewhere safe – the key thing that has undermined the safety of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is them firing their big fucking guns at Iraqis and Afghans.
“And of course that is usually on the orders of weasely little inadequates with penis issues who like to keep everything secret in a bid to make their imaginary cocks even bigger”.
But sources at the Ministry of Defence confirmed that Professor Cook’s comments had already put lives at risk in Belgium and Ecuador, adding: “And of course, he’s also a rapist”.
but certainly someone with access to the Wikileaks Twitter announced where to find them...
All the sexual assault stuff aside - If Assange is so proud of what Wikileaks does then why is he so adverse to being extradited to the US? Surely if he believes it's all for the greater good he should be willing to take his punishment for something which is clearly against the law and as far as I'm aware may have released some incredibly sensitive diplomatic documents? It all seems a bit give-it-out-but-can't-take-it.
I've decided I really don't care.
that putting yourself in the public eye means any crime you do commit are more likely to be discovered and reported. Part of the reason sexual assault allegations are a go-to option is often because sexual assault is quite common, even if people only listen to the victims when it's in their interests to do so.
I completely agree with your last paragraph. And I think the crucial thing is that it's a pretty provable thing. The UK government have claimed Assange won't go to the US and the Swedish prosecutors have done the same. If they suddenly extradited him to the US it would be very public, very transparent and there would (quite rightly) be a huge outcry. People can debate as much as they like how evil politicians and governments are but they're not outright stupid.
It's too much of an open goal for political opponents - no matter what the values at stake are, nobody likes hypocrisy or dishonestly and they're always vote losers. If the Swedes or Brits secretly planned for him to go to the UK there'd be much more measured words than outright denials.
I don't rule out the possibility that it's a set up. But I also don't rule out the possibility that it's equally convenient for Assange to claim it's a set-up to avoid prosecution for something he didn't do. I'm suspicious of anyone who chooses to believe either side until the evidence gets heard. And that can only happen if he faces the charges in a court of law...
For all to see, in Time Square, in Picadilly,
Play it all, play it all, play it all back!
Pay it all, pay it all, pay it all back! ...
So many woolly wimpy liberals pretend to be offended by the criminality of US and British foreign policy, but retreat repidly when it's time to choose sides.
Wikileaks continues to help to expose the murderous behaviour of Western foreign policy and the lies that support it. Take a side: Are you an apologist for CIA and SAS atrocities or are you a supporter of human rights? There is no happy dippy middle-ground where people whinge about Assange's arrogance or flakiness.
Assange's freedom is an important political objective, unconnected to the man himself.
It's a key principle of all human rights and liberalism that anyone who exposes Western foreign policy should themselves therefore be above the law.
Read up a bit and try harder next time.
Ha what a load of old bullshit.
or think that the assault charge should have been brought at such effort with the underhand intention to get him to sweden so he can be extradicted to the US.
i mean is it going to change anything?
Clinton sanctioned the release of US records documenting the enormity of US bombing of Cambodia and Laos, this was deliberately hidden from congress, even when it was initially revealed to congress it was lied to about how long that it had happened for, as it turned out .
Has anything changed from that?
Kissinger still has his Nobel Peace prize ffs.
If the majority of voting is unaffected, nowt will happen. - big fat meh! Democracy is meh and weak, even if it has the truth, it is in no position to demand that anything is changed
The conspiracy is that the rape charges are false and they want to send him to Sweden so that the dastardly Swedes - those well known enemies of human rights - will deport him to America where who knows what will happen to him, right?
Question: Does the UK not have a pretty solid relationship with the US and a history of sending people over there? In fact, isn't our extradition treaty pretty much one of the ones that makes it easiest to send folk to America if the yanks want them?
It doesn't need to be rational or make any sense.
but who — whether from laziness, gullibility, or who knows what — can't be bothered to inform themselves and so agree amongst themselves that any criticism of the way the case is being handled must be no more than the idiotic rantings of conspiracy theorists.
For example the legal reasons for supporting the extradition make quite interesting reading and essentially accuse Assange and his lawyers of misrepresenting facts and laws and making fairly spurious legal arguments that don't really stand up to scrutiny.
and there's no doubt that, as BitT says up ^there, "a lot of the discourse has been NNNNNNNGGGGGGHHHH from all sides - it's been open season for misogynists, war perverts, conspiracy theorists, trolls, Assange idolisers, etc. etc".
It's just that I can't help feel that there's nothing lazier than throwing about the phrase "conspiracy theorists" — particularly 150-odd posts into a thread of which a significant portion provides some pretty well-reasoned arguments as to why there's something particularly odious about the case, including a number of points that speak to the so-called argument why the position held by the "conspiracy theorists" is putatively at odds with reality.
or he has nothing to answer and they've been dressed up in Sweden to get him there so they can send him to the US to face trial there for the cables he's been publishing?
That said, now that he has been granted some asylum by Ecuador there are diplomatic conventions which should be respected - even if he as odious coward/righteous freedom fighter on the run from the evil US govt.
And if you *really* want to know what I think and why (as distinct from sticking with the easy route of mumbling things about "conspiracy theories"), you can read BitT's various posts prior to mine and after it (and everywhere throughout the thread).
who started the Swedes will send him to America talk I don't see why the C word shouldn't have some place in the conversation.
But then none of us know if those plans are true or not just the same as we don't know if he sexually assaulted anyone or not.
Clearly his status means that this is not a normal case, with the British authorities going in quite heavy to try and get him and Assange himself trying to get himself some position of advantage in above what you or I would be able to receive in regards to guarantees from the Swedes.
And, if that were the case, it would mean people had been making deals behind closed doors to do that and then got supposedly-independent judges and prosecutors to carry out their bidding and wilfully manipulate the law to frame someone for something they hand't done. Which would be a conspiracy. And is a theory.
its an outlandish claim that the courts can succumb to political pressure. I mean money is all it take usually to sway high profile cases.
I mean what do you think the US are actively doing right now? Do you think they are there twiddling their thumbs going 'hmm alright lads, well we'll wait and see if he stands trial then just wait patiently to see how that turns out and then if all goes well we'll get someone to have a word with those lovely swedes and see if they'll let us chat with this rapist guy.'
I very much doubt they are passive observers.
We've all seen the movies. We all know that conspiracies involve a well-defined group of evil, powerful, untouchable individuals meeting in dimly lit rooms, drinking scotch and smoking cigars while they hatch their plans, which are simply carried out by their unquestioning underlings, who have no thoughts, interests, values or aspirations of their own other than strict obedience to their masters. We know that conspiracies have hit men — probably even Manchurian candidates — in place, ready to take out that one public official who isn't playing ball, to bump him off in a hit and run, or maybe to slip some poison into his drink. We know that there's nowhere safe to hide from an all-powerful conspiracy, whose dastardly plans are able to be carried out right under people's noses, and must be so, because if a member of the public (as would any reasonable person) would scandalised to learn of the conspiracy and it unthinkable goals.
We all know, consequently, that "conspiracies" are pure fiction, laughable fantasies, the products of the deluded whack-jobs. And so to call something a conspiracy theory is, first and foremost, before any putatively denotative labelling, to paint the proponents of the so-called conspiracy theory as total nutters, paranoid delusionals, who can't tell the difference between fact and fiction, and who don't understand that the world doesn't work like the movies. The effect (whether intentional or unwitting) of describing someone's argument as a conspiracy theory is the dismissal of it as devoid of any reason so that any specific arguments put forward by the "conspiracy theorist" need not be engaged.
2. If "conspiracy theories" are nothing but the delusional fantasies of crackpots, the *charge* of conspiracy theory produces its own fantasy, on that is far more pernicious for being rarely recognised and critiqued as they fantasy that it is. Where the conspiracies depicted in films paint a picture of an iniquitous but highly mechanised operation, the flip side is an image of social and political processes as being utterly benevolent and all the more mechanistic for it. When the outlandish claims of conspiracy theorists are named so, we are reassured that of course these underhand things don't happen, that public and political institutions are thoroughly good organisations run with strict adherence to procedure (procedures which themselves allow no room for interpretation, inconsistency of application, favour, etc.) by people who have no thoughts, interests, values or aspirations of their own other than strict conformity to these perfectly unambiguous, perfectly coherent and perfectly operational procedures. The *charge* of conspiracy theory, by dismissing all the worrying observations, speculations, etc., as so much *fantasy* helps project an image of public and political processes as perfectly functional, perfectly benevolent, perfectly democratic, and thereby helps to protect such processes from scrutiny.
3. Strip away the mechanistic aura of compliance and direct cause/effect (powerful conspirators decide something evil must happen and so it just happens), the coding of secrecy as concealing goals/strategies that would be scandalous to any and every living human being who is not part of the conspiracy (as though secrecy is always about deliberate concealment rather than a banal by-product of the routine non-disclosure of the millions of decisions, acts, etc., that are made each day in political institutions), and the implication that legal and other procedures aren't open to a certain degree of interpretation, variability in enforcement, etc. — strip away all that and I think your account of what the "conspiracy theorists" think is a pretty accurate account of what's going on. What's more, I don't think there's anything exceptional about that account, and in fact what you've described goes much regularly by the name of "politics". Take away the fantastic elements of unquestioning compliance, unspeakable evil, etc. that are only there by virtue of the charge "conspiracy theory" and what you're talking about is political strategy, the exercise of influence, diplomacy and international relations: i.e. the kind of stuff that happens constantly and as a matter of course both between governments (in the form of international relations), between government departments as well as within them. And if you can't appreciate that, then I'll have to revisit the main clause with which I opened this post.
But you *do* appreciate that, as many of you subsequent posts up ^there indicate. So the question is 'why?'. Why do you seek to discredit the criticisms of the extradition attempts as so much conspiracy theory, even though you're actually aware that the situation and likely outcomes aren't as fanciful as the charge of conspiracy would suggest? Why, indeed, is either of us in this debate? what principles or values or loyalties are we seeking to defend (and, discussion for another time, it does make a difference as to whether it's a principle or a value or a loyalty). The "debate" appears to reduce to a choice between seeing the alleged crime of rape as trumping the alleged crime of political persecution (though muddied by a general antipathy towards Wikileaks as such) or vice versa.
However, I refuse the polarisation of the alternatives in this way, and the worst part about this whole debate for me is not the implication that anyone critiquing extradition attempts is a fruit-loop conspiracy theorist, but the implication that they are denying either the prevalence or the seriousness of rape and that they don't believe there's a case to be answered here. As I've said up there, give Assange a guarantee of non-extradition and bring him in to answer the case. The counter-argument to that is effectively, 'why should Assange get special treatment? Isn't that yet another denial of the significance of the crime of rape?' My response is that Assange should get special treatment because he is *already getting special treatment*. From the way "prosecution" has been carried out (esp. in the context of Sweden's track record in prosecuting rape charges) to the fact that we have just produced a 200+ post thread debating the case on an internet forum — all that is special treatment. High profile cases *are* special cases, bringing massive public attention, scrutiny, prejudice, etc. to the case to a degree that cases do not ordinarily receive. You might not want them to be special cases, you might think that they shouldn't be special cases, but the fact of the matter is that it's too late. Cases become special by virtue of their becoming high profile. Throw in the fact that the US, a pretty fucking powerful nation state, whose potential influence over other nation states is not to be simply brushed away, is super pissed over wikileaks, and you've got a pretty fucking EXTRAordinary case.
There is nothing routine or normal about this affair, so it is, to my mind, stupid to try to pretend that it is or could be simply because it should be. And in that context, the refusal to guarantee non-extradition so as to continue questioning and possible prosecution is just another way in which Sweden is refusing to take allegations of rape seriously.
And if you've managed to read this far, congratulations and thank you. That'll be my last post on the topic, because while I agree with what you said to BitT up ^there about the whole thing being a mess and harm resulting no matter what happens, and while I think that's *precisely* the reason why the "debate" needs to be had (even though neither of us will change our minds), at this point I'm exhausted by it, and I'm just sorry that, coming so late in the piece, what I wrote probably won't get read. But thankfully, I'm sure others will have said similar to what I said in much more readable and catchy ways.
If we're talking about definitions here, I don't think saying something is a conspiracy theory automatically includes the accusation that the theorists are nutters.
On one side, conspiracy theorists want the world to have order and often discount any human factor (why weren't all public buildings in Washington DC evacuated within 10 mins of a passenger plane going off the route? -who would make that call immediately with no precedent), in this case maybe there's a temptation to combine the two separate cases Assange is facing because it makes more dramatic sense, rather than having two storylines going: a) wikileaks b) he can't keep it in his pants and has a possibly dubious approach to sexual encounters, to put it mildly.
The flip side of conspiracy theories is a world that is messy. JFK can be killed by a lone gunman, people were sleeping in their jobs on 9/11 etc. *
* sorry to even refer to these, this thread has already ran from rape issues to political debates, and we don't need another 9/11 discussion.
not all conspiracy theories come from the David Icke school of thought.
The argument for asylum ties together the rape cases, the Swedes, the British and then the secret plot to send him to America is that behind the scenes this has all been arrange and once he is in Swedish custody he will be whisked away for torture and even capital punishment (depending what you read).
This would require secret backroom plotting, collusion of governments, multiple judiciary, the use of the women (shills or legit? is he a rapist and govts are using it as a way to get to him?) and the compliance of the media to discredit him.
It may have happened, it may not, but that doesn't mean that this string of events isn't a conspiracy. If it's false it's the paranoid rantings of an ego maniac with a victim/messiah complex, if its true then it just shows that various western powers are working together for their own ends.
Conspiracy doesn't automatically mean chemtrails, NWO, lizard royalty, 9/11 truthers, birthers and UFO cover-ups.
And considering that the US hasn't, publicly, asked for Sweden or Britain to give them Assange then all there is in relation to that aspect of the case is conjecture, speculation and yes, the suggestion of conspiracy.
Yes – that's exactly what he's saying.
He's making the same point as you are.
when he was talking through the first few points.
apologies if he was saying that this legitimately can be called a conspiracy
but I'd add that the fact that the term 'conspiracy theory' has acquired such a pejorative term of phrase is precisely because so many spurious conspiracy theories exist based on such spurious evidence. And certain ones like JFK, the moon landings and 9/11, have made it into the mainstream of public debate and been presented as fact by disturbingly credible people.
Which in turn creates a problem where as soon as anyone starts claiming a conspiracy it unfortunately immediately sets alarm bells ringing.
-"This would require secret backroom plotting, collusion of governments, multiple judiciary, the use of the women (shills or legit? is he a rapist and govts are using it as a way to get to him?) and the compliance of the media to discredit him".
-"secret backroom plotting"? Wha? Right now, right this very second elected members of your parliament are talking to some people or other (lobbyists, other members of cabinet) about what needs to be done on X or Y issue (say, problem gambling) and how to go about doing it. You don't know about it, because you're not there and neither is any member of the press. SECRET BACKROOM PLOTTING!!!!!! Of course, not, just your ordinary everyday political strategising and negotiation. Of course, calling it "secret backroom plotting" gives it a sinister air and thereby helps to make it sound fanciful that there has been any strategising or negotiation or hardballing to get Assange in the US to shut him up.
-"collusion of governments"? wtf exactly does that mean? what is a government? a collective of elected officials numbering in excess of 100, plus their support staff, etc? How often do you think that entire collective from one state gets together with the corresponding collective from another state to make deals? Or is it not rather the case that that strategic goals are sought piecemeal, through a handful of relevant ministers, staffers and/or diplomats exchanging and trading and negotiating over issues of shared or competing interest, where Assange is one item to be bargained over and prioritised amongst a whole bunch of other, less "hot potato" topics like the effect of A's pollution taxes on B's automotive industry, President B's plans to visit A in the Spring, and the implications of the upcoming elections in C on A and B's shared interests in D's growing commodities market. What you're calling "collusion of governments" happens ALL THE TIME and there's nothing in the slightest that's underhand or controversial about it. But calling it "collusion of governments" sure as hell makes it sound that way.
-"multiple judiciary"? Again, referring to an entire institution as though it's some monolithic entity helps to paint a fanciful picture, but in what way would entire judiciaries play any part in this? For instance, prosecution agencies are not to be conflated with presiding judges and the (debatable) neutrality of legal procedure. Not sure about Sweden, but in the US prosecution is backed by the power of the state, and while not simply and directly answerable to the US govt in a straightforward sense (though again, what's a government, here?), it's certainly open to political pressure, and that kind of pressure is applied relatively frequently enough for it to be unremarkable that it might turn out to have been applied in this case.
-"the use of women"? your very phrasing gives it away. An opportunity presents itself and political agents exploit that opportunity for politically self-serving ends. Is political opportunism really so rare in your world that what we're talking about in this instance deserves the name "conspiracy"?
-"compliance of the media"? whatchootalkin' about Willis? In what sense does anything that's going on here depend upon *compliance*? For starters, there are critiques of the attempts at extraditing Assange and there are news reports on many of the relevant (as well as many irrelevant) aspects to the whole situation, including reports that more or less favour Assange. Second, are you seriously suggesting that, in the face of a large number of "negative" pieces on Assange, or a mass of reporting on his alleged crimes, the only choices here are that either there's plenty of truth to those crimes or the media have been given the official line on Assange and are happily, obediently reproducing that line? Might it not rather be the simple uncoordinated, unconspiratorial *confluence* of effects? Stories about morally flawed public figures, the fall from grace of a previously imagined "hero", etc., are a hell of a lot easier to write and a hell of a lot more appealing to broad readerships than the details of political machinations. To the extent that there's a great deal of reporting on Assange's alleged crimes and his attempts to avoid extradition at the expense of investigative reporting into the facts, etc. behind the US's attempts to get hold of him, there's no reason to believe that this is because of media "compliance". It's just business, pure and simple.
The implication in calling the theories "conspiracy", even non-David Icke conspiracies (don't know who he is, sorry), is that, if these theories are true, then some quite remarkable (and remarkably clandestine) masterminding has been going on. But that's bullshit. There's nothing remarkable, in that sense, going on here. It's just plain old politics. The only thing remarkable about all this is the lengths that some people are willing to go to in order to delude themselves that there's nothing worthy of comment or critique or objection in what the various political agencies (principally those of the US and Sweden) are doing around this case.
Nothing I'm going to outright argue with there.
I guess the problem I have is that, whilst this is undoubtedly a deeply, deeply complex case and I certainly don't think everyone who defends Assange is trying to play down the seriousness of the allegations - though sadly I do think nearly everyone, and I'm willing to accept I'm probably not immune to this, does tend to simplify and play down opposing viewpoints in arguments 'cos it's a damn sight easier then to accept the consequences of what you argue. It's much easier to defend Assange's right to avoid persecution if we try to block out the consideration he might have raped people just as much as it's easier to claim Assange should face trial for rape if we block out the consideration that he might face persecution. It's shameful but it's human nature to give more weight to arguments that support your views than the arguments that oppose them and countless psychological studies have shown that. I don't claim to be immune to that very human tendency.
Going back to conspiracy theories, the simple problem is that people who've claim America is engaged in secret evil schemes* tends to have their credibility undermined by the people who'll believe any anti-US argument no matter how fanciful. The fact is a lot of the websites and bloggers defending Assange are people who believe 9/11 was a cover-up, JFK was assassinated etc. Even Assange is alleged by Ian Hislop, who had no reason to lie, to have claimed he's being persecuted by a Jewish conspiracy. Furthermore in all of those cases there's lots of oft-quoted facts that often later turn out to not be entirely true. And, whilst my memory is hazy and I can't be arsed to do the research, I remember reading reports of the High Court Summary is the Assange judgement and commentators around the case suggesting certain facts being put forward weren't strictly true (that what Assange is accused of wouldn't be a crime in the UK, that he was only wanted for questioning and there was no warrant for his arrest etc.) I can't remember the exact details and, as I say, I can't be bothered to check them because it's a fucking dull and long document (which I accept weakens my argument but I've got too much to do!) but I'm pretty sure I remember there are some compelling reasons in the high court summary why Assange's claim he was willing to be questioned shouldn't be taken entirely at face value.
Now, of course, a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day and it might well be the case that this is the one conspiracy where the bloggers and websites etc. are dead on, and I don't want to say I know what will happen, but I've not seen any compelling evidence the US definitely want him extradited nor have I seen any compelling evidence the Swedish definitely want him extradited. And still nobody has explained to me why the US can't extradite straight from the UK. That said, I certainly wouldn't be surprised at all if the US is leaning on Sweden and the UK to ensure that he is prosecuted. Although I'd also point out the US aren't the only country to have vested interest in people who leak sensitive documents are neutralised so I doubt the UK or Sweden actually need that much further motivation.
On the other hand I have seen compelling evidence (Assange's lawyer's own statements) implying many of the original claims around the case - that these accusers are US collaborators or spurned lovers out to frame him or that he's not wanted for rape but sex without a condom - are factually untrue. So, without doing further research, I'm reluctant to take many of the things I'm being told are definitely the case about the prosecution from the Wikileaks side of things at face value. They might be true but, as I already know some things they've claimed have turned out to be false, it is causing me to doubt their credibility. It might therefore be that I'm wrongly lumping people as conspiracy theorists and I can only apologise if that is the case.
Nonetheless I agree the debate needs to be had and I do sympathise with the arguments you're making. This is an utterly extraordinary case and certainly the argument that perhaps he should get special treatment because he is already getting it an extraordinary case is certainly a compelling on. I also agree with a point I think BiTT made that he would find it very difficult to get a fair trial at the moment, although I think his own actions have been partially the reason for this.
I also think neither of us are going to change our mind and there isn't that much point in stretching the debate further. But I have been impressed by your arguments.
*which ironically they probably are in many ways but in much more subtle ways than they're usually accused of.
*which ironically you could argue it does, just not in the cartoon supervillain way that sometimes comes across.
(I did read it, though)
Who I've frankly got no more sympathy or respect for than I have for the Michael Jackson fans who hung round the court room protesting his innocence.
I can, to an extent, sympathise with people feeling the rape charges came at a very convenient time for the anti-Wikileaks governments. And I accept there's certainly some truth in the argument that an ordinary suspected rapist wouldn't get this much attention or focus on his capture (though I'd argue that's not a reason why the authorities shouldn't be trying to extradite a suspected rapist, given they know where he is and how high profile the case is).
But hanging outside an embassy celebrating because a suspected rapist - who you can't possibly know is guilty or not - isn't going to face charges is deeply depressing behaviour.
He can still be arrested the very second he leaves the embassy... it makes it a touch more difficult to face charges but it certainly doesn't mean he's evaded them.
Still, this might increase the likelihood of Sweden questioning him by the other means available to them... if indeed they are serious about carrying out a thorough investigation.
You seem to be taking quite the high ground on this. Fair enough. Although I can't see how any of us would act much differently if we were in the same position...
...how he could avoid being given to Sweden and, supposedly, face swift extradition to the US where he fears being killed then, I imagine most people would. None of us wanna be killed, dude.
I could be wrong on that score though, but his actions seemed borne out of a horrible desperation.
If I were accused of a crime I knew I hadn't committed and believed I was being wrongfully prosecuted then I might well seek asylum. I'm not sure I would - I think I'd actually want to defend myself.
If I were accused of a crime I knew I had committed and believed I could persuade people I hadn't then I might (but hopefully wouldn't) try to paint it as part of a conspiracy against me and seek asylum. But hopefully I wouldn't commit said crime in the first place.
If I had an ambiguous sexual encounter that I understood to be consensual and someone was later framing that as rape then I'd damn well want to defend myself.
...`if I go to Sweden to face these charges, then it'll most likely lead to me being killed by the US government`. Would that not cause you to act a little... differently? Seems to me to be the most plausible train of thought here.
I mean this may be a massive ruse that he's constructed through his own conspiratorial paranoia, sure. First time I've heard that argument though.
I'm sure his supporters believe he will be. And I'm sure he believes he will be. And I accept, despite assurances to the contrary, it's possible he will be. But I've never seen any evidence - except Assange and Wikileaks' own claims that's what will happen - to suggest that's the most likely outcome.
Some interesting links:
One is particular to the Swedish Government extradition section. Apparently Sweden never extradite someone to a country for political offensives or a country with the death penalty
I hadn't read this:
Up to now I'd not read much about the actual case and thought it was all something of a grey area. If his lawyers have been quoted accurately, it really, really isn't.
...that's fair enough. Although you seem to be speaking with a bit of flippancy about the power of the worst case scenario in this.
However... there's one way, and one way only to sort this out. And that's if the US says `if Assange is sent to Sweden, we won't attempt to extradite him`. Until the US do this, do you not think he's got reason to believe they would try and get hold of him? (Seeing as they've got no real business being involved in a Swedish rape case in the first instance?)
That said, I've still got no idea what he'd actually be arrested for/tried with in America...
We're as easy, probably much easier, to extradite from than Sweden. So the whole 'this is a front for future extradition' doesn't really hold up to me.
The UK is a much easier place to extradite people to the US
...but the US haven't stated that they wouldn't so... that's the rub.
It could be an unpopular move, for the country that does extradite him.
Plenty of interesting stuff I'd not seen before there.
"But hanging outside an embassy celebrating because a suspected rapist - who you can't possibly know is guilty or not - isn't going to face charges is deeply depressing behaviour."
I can't possibly know whether you fiddle with five year olds or not.
As I have no idea whether or not you engage in either bestiality or incest in your spare time.
So I imagine, were either of us accused of a crime, no matter how unsavoury, we wouldn't get a bunch of supports outside attempting to defend us on crimes to which they had no access to the evidence just 'cos they quite liked some other things we did.
If your band had sold a few million records and had a fair few insane super-fans you'd very likely have people turning up outside the trial where you're accused of fiddling with your five year old minotaur half-brother.
Pretty depressing but no different to the public grief after Diana's death and any number of similar events.
And insane super-fans is pretty much exactly how seriously they should be taken.
I hope I could take them less seriously, but having just read the comments sections on articles on a couple of respected broadsheets, I'm just depressed and horrified by seemingly sane and informed people's ability to ignore their basic belief in rape=bad, and their convoluted attempts to explain why not all rape is that serious, why some people should be above the law and anyone saying otherwise is a pawn of the New World Order. We're doomed as a species.
To sneak a big bloke like Assange out of the embassy and onto a boat is not going to be easy.
trying to invent a new alien world and monsters that weren't in the games really took away from how much fun the ones based directly on games had been.
1. The Swedish/US Bilateral Treaty gets around safeguards of normal extradition with a fast-track "Temporary Surrender" clause.
2. The US Grand Jury convenes in secret. There are 4 prosecutors, no defence, and no judge. It can issue indictments for Extradition with no proper legal process.
3. Sweden has NEVER refused an Extradition request from the U.S.A.
4. In 2001 Sweden gave two innocent Egyptian refugees to the CIA for rendition to Egypt, where they were tortured.
5. The Swedish Justice Minister who signed off on the CIA rendition torture flight was Thomas Bodstrum who is now the business partner of Claes Borgstrum( the politician/lawyer of the two Swedish women in the Assange case)..
point 3 seems wrong:
hows that for research!
to imply the Swedes blocked the extradition
I'm struggling to decide which is worse.
and no amount of rape apologists, Assange evangelists and wikileaks retweets of WAKE UP SHEEPLE are going to change that for the moment.
seriously NO ONE that I know or in this thread at all is arguing that
and I'm just really curious to see HOW it ends up. Essentially, neither personal freedom nor sexual assault are as important to me as getting to the end of an engaging story, even if it dragged a bit at the start of the second act.
This is the 21st century and I can't be expected to have the required attention span for this story- I need explosions and sudden death counts. This is too complicated now. Perhaps an assassination would liven it up. Or the SAS storming the embassy. Everyone loves it when that happens don't they?
I have always maintained that he should - like anyone else - be given a fair opportunity to defend himself in light of the allegations
I have also, since the very day the original accusations hit the headlines, maintained that - given my knowledge of standard practice in Sweden the likely outcome of his facing charges would be an arrest on 1 or two counts of either sexual molestation or 2nd or 3rd category rape and should he be found guilty he would expect to serve 2 to 4 years in prison
although of course there is a chance that he could be acquitted or charged with the lesser category sexual molestation only and get 1 or 2 years - acquittal rates for rape in Sweden are 33% - that's 33% of the 12-13% that actually reach trial
Owen Jones doesn't mention the fact that he was already questioned and charges by one prosecutor were dropped and he was given permission to leave the country
He also seems to be slightly misinformed about the Swedish legal system - Assange could be question at the Swedish Embassy for instance. Prosecutors have travelled to Bulgaria to interview a murder suspect for instance. The Swedish authorities co-operated with the CIA in the rendition of two Swedish nationals to Egypt where they were tortured for instance. ...and so on
If he believes he will not get a fair trial then he can apply for asylum - it's not running from the law it is part of international law and it isn't special treatment, we can all do the same
It may (or may not) be interesting to note that Ecuador had not decided one way or the other to accept his asylum request until they were threatened by the UK Police & Home Office - it seemed to push them in his favour, though obviously I can't be sure of that. However, they did make their position quite clear as to their views;
* Mr. Assange shared privileged documents and information generated by various sources that affected employees, countries and organizations with a global audience;
* That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger his safety, integrity, and even his life;
* That, despite Ecuador’s diplomatic efforts, countries which have been asked togive adequate safeguards for the protection and safety for the life of Mr. Assange have refused to facilitate them;
* That Ecuadorian authorities are certain of the possibility that Mr. Assange could be extradited to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
* That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, it would be unlikely for Mr. Assange to receive a fair trial, and likely that he would be judged by special or military courts, where there is a high probability of suffering cruel and degrading treatment, and be sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would violate his human rights;
* That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defense;
* Ecuador is convinced that the procedural rights of Mr. Assange have been infringed upon during the investigation;
* Ecuador has observed that Mr. Assange lacks the protection and assistance that should be received from the State of which he is a citizen (Australia);
* That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and the US, it is inferred that these governments would not respect international conventions and treaties, and would give priority to domestic law, in violation of explicit rules of universal application and;
* That, if Mr. Assange is remanded to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), a chain of events would begin that would prevent further protective measures from being taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.
Thus, the Government of Ecuador believes that these arguments lend support to the fears of Julian Assange, and it believes that he may become a victim of political persecution, as a result of his dedicated defense of freedom of expression and freedom of press as well as his repudiation of the abuses of power in certain countries, and that these facts suggest that Mr. Assange could at any moment find himself in a situation likely to endanger life, safety or personal integrity.
that could be followed as
he shouldn't be sent to Sweden because they'll give him to the Americans
he would be given defacto immunity from these charges because by failing to return to face Swedish questioning he is evading the accusations.
Especially with his hosts describing them as laughable and a lot of his supporters online doing likewise - from the twitter traffic you can read on the issue.
I have ctrl+f'd (actually apple+f'd) <<laughable>>
<<That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defense;>>
the case being dropped, his being free to leave the country then after some time an international arrest warrant put out for him in which the conditions of his extradition and custody in Sweden deny him access to a lawyer and/or keep him held incommunicado
to be clear:
The cops record the "case" but drop it because there is not enough evidence of a crime. Months later, a political elected official takes it upon themselves to reopen the complaint and request that he be extradited from the UK to Sweden
Assange's lawyer doesn't dispute the women's version of events. I'd say, if Assange is admitting what the women say happened happened and there's now ample evidence that the women do indeed feel they were raped and that, by his lawyers own admission, Assange has a case to answer. Even if you can claim there's politically-motivated reasons for bringing it.
is a legal declaration of non-prejudice against the character of the witnesses and their version of events. It is NOT some kind of tacit admittance that he's really on their side and is about to abandon his client.
It may well be an indication that his line of defense should it come to charges is to plea guilty to sexual molestation but not guilty to rape via a legal interpretation and/or argument... it may even be an indication that his client simply intends to plead guilty to all charges - but to infer any of this is simply speculation
who felt there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
No more evidence has been tabled as far as I know.
Can't be arsed to re-read it so could be wrong on that.
nothing new has come to light, who is he facing up to?
why do they need to extradite him just to "answer questions" again?
they need to do it somewhere they have jurisdiction
so we should probably disregard it.
If the Ecuadorans airlift him out of the Embassy by helocopter and zoom him off to a private airfield somewhere.
That would make pretty cool news footage anyway.
The Ecuadorian embassy is on the ground floor
then promote him to Ambassador.
BOOM - easy street!
ready or not ...