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Julian Assange : Arrest Warrants Issued
November 21, 2010 1:40 AM   Subscribe

Arrest warrants have been issued for wikileaks founder Julian Assange. He is wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion - charges he denies. The warrants follow a detention order issued on Thursday by the Stockholm District Court after a request from Sweden's Director of Prosecution, Marianne Ny.

Two warrants have been issued by the Swedish National Police - a European Arrest Warrant distributed through the Schengen Information System and an International Arrest Warrant lodged with Interpol.

Assange's Swedish lawyer Bjoern Hurtig has appealed the detention order, and the appeal is expected to be heard on Monday. If the appeal is successful, the arrest warrants are likely to be canceled. Assange's British lawyer Mark Stephens has admitted that he is in Britain but refused to disclose where.

Rape Allegations Previously. Wikileaks previously, previously, and previously.
posted by Ahab (216 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't help but feel that someone in Sweden is being leaned upon by the good Ol' US of A.

It seems like this is being handled not as if it were in the cause of justice, but as if the goal is to make the case as high-profile as possible. He's willing to be questioned at the Swedish embassy, but that's not good enough? They'll only be satisfied if he turns himself in in Sweden? They file charges, drop them, file them again?

Even the if this turns out to have no factual basis, what's really terrible about it is that the smear will still stick.
posted by Ickster at 1:57 AM on November 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Wow! Does this mean those helicopter gunships didn't kill all those unarmed people and grievously wound the children in the van after all?
posted by Grangousier at 2:44 AM on November 21, 2010 [88 favorites]


He may very well be innocent. Or, you know, he might actually be guilty. Perhaps we should wait for a bit before either condemning an innocent man or giving a rapist a free pass.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:48 AM on November 21, 2010 [32 favorites]


Next time the filth come looking for me with a warrant, I'll have to remember this strategy.

"You want to interrogate me? You can do it in Skype or by email."

I suspect it wouldn't work for me, but then I couldn't afford a senior partner at Finers Stephens Innocent.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:57 AM on November 21, 2010


Never activate Reston5 if she says no.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 2:57 AM on November 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


Perhaps we should wait for a bit before either condemning an innocent man or giving a rapist a free pass.
Oh come on. He totally looks like a nonce. Case closed, fetch the rope.
posted by Abiezer at 3:08 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is a transparent frame job by the American intelligence services. Rape is a perfect smear, since it totally ruins a reputation; moreover it's a charge that often relies entirely on testimony of the victim. If the victim is being paid by American intelligence services to make her testimony, there's not much that can be done to undermine her story.

As Counterpunch points out, the main woman in question, Anna Ardin, has CIA connections; the second victim is a friend and kind of hanger-on of Ardin herself.

The Counterpunch article linked is written sort of sloppily, but I think its basic premise is sound. And it merely provides confirmation of what plenty of people expected all along.
posted by jackbrown at 3:09 AM on November 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


The Wiki article on European Arrest Warrants is interesting:

An EAW can only be issued for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution (not merely an investigation), or enforcing a custodial sentence.

So, he can't actually be extradited unless he "consents to surrender" because the warrant is invalid? He can however be detained anytime he enters or leaves an EU country as long as the warrant stays in the system. (There have been problems with before.)

Can anyone confirm this?
posted by nangar at 3:42 AM on November 21, 2010


This is a transparent frame job
We all weren't there when his condoms did whatever they did, or he didn't do whatever they say he didn't (like: stop) [or not] (no Stockholm syndrome here... it clearly worked the other way round),

but if he was framed, someone did their homework in picking the right location; no European country is quite as full of some species of dour self-righteousness in matters of law as Sweden.
posted by Namlit at 4:13 AM on November 21, 2010


All heroes come with tragic flaws. Assange has attacked many powerful people and they are counter attacking him where he is weakest.
posted by caddis at 4:28 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow! Does this mean those helicopter gunships didn't kill all those unarmed people and grievously wound the children in the van after all?

No, that did happen, but it was leaked by an alleged rapist molester, so y'know, which is worse?
posted by the noob at 4:34 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is a transparent frame job by the American intelligence services.

Or not. And if there's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape. The only evidence of a "CIA connection" that that Godawful Counterpunch article provides is that Anna Ardin has had the sheer audacity of questioning Cuba's human rights record, speaking to the families of Cuban political prisoners, and cooperating with "fake leftist" organisation Reporters Without Borders. Apparently all of them highly immoral activities, according to Counterpunch, which totally deprive her of any credibility as an alleged rape victim.

The presumption of innocence certainly still applies to Assange, but it applies even more to Ardin, and you should be ashamed of yourself for ventilating such insubstantiated innuendo. If Assange is innocent, he should be capable of defending himself without smearing Ardin, and if he's guilty, you still should be capable of defending freedom of speech (which BTW, like unrestricted Internet access, is not something very common in Cuba) without providing moral cover to a rapist.
posted by Skeptic at 4:35 AM on November 21, 2010 [48 favorites]


If Assange is innocent, he should be capable of defending himself without smearing Ardin against the combined US and Swedish intelligence services.

FTFY.
posted by digitalprimate at 4:44 AM on November 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


"I can't help but feel that someone in Sweden is being leaned upon by the good Ol' US of A"

I think this is one of those cases where the question "who benefits?" will lead you astray. The most salient feature that the accusers and the Prosecution share is not a love for USA but their ties to, some would say, radical forms of feminism.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 4:48 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


If Assange is innocent, he should be capable of defending himself without smearing Ardin against the combined US and Swedish intelligence services.

FTFY.
posted by digitalprimate at 4:44 AM on November 21 [+] [!]


Eponysterical. Is it OK for you to assume that an alleged rape victim is part of a CIA/SAPO conspiration to frame an innocent man, merely on the basis that she's shown concern for human rights in Cuba?!
posted by Skeptic at 4:48 AM on November 21, 2010


Skeptic : The presumption of innocence certainly still applies to Assange, but it applies even more to Ardin

No, it doesn't - Cases like this one amount to he said / she said, and her unprovable claims win out over his. Without an airtight alibi, he loses by default.

And thus, you get so much hate for the "victim" here, where the situation has far too much contamination from peripheral details to read as a simple case of sexual assault.

Did he do it? Possibly; only two people on the planet know for sure. But can we trust the word of a CIA plant in a rape-after-the-fact accusation? No way in hell.
posted by pla at 5:11 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I frankly don't get the hero worship in this thread. You guys would have been vociferously accusing an English conspiracy of the charges against Gilles de Rais. I should seriously consider some way of annoying the Pentagon, if this will give me the same sort of immunity from prosecution which you appear to advocate for Assange ("A parking ticket? The warden must be working for the CIA!").
And pla, you are aware that, by calling Ardin a "CIA plant", without any factual support whatsoever, you're ever-so-slightly slanting your rhetorical question, right?
posted by Skeptic at 5:30 AM on November 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Pla is really good at unsupported claims.

Anyhow-I think that Julian Assange's choice to be a high profile public facing personality ahead of wikileaks made this happen. The information that the organization has leaked is powerful. Powerful enough that it doesn't require anyone telling us WHY it's important. If Assange hadn't been prancing around the world playing espionage and submitting to profiles in major magazines everywhere, I think these charges would be less an issue.

If these charges weren't brought as part of a political conspiracy, his profile at this point will do nothing to help him in court.

If they were brought as part of a political conspiracy, it's most likely because Assange chose to put himself out in front of the organization in a visible and provocative way.
posted by orville sash at 5:45 AM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is a transparent frame job by the American intelligence services.

no, this is a transparent frame job by assange trying to discredit the swedish and while he's at it the international justice system.

face the court.
posted by krautland at 5:45 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is a transparent frame job by the American intelligence services. Rape is a perfect smear, since it totally ruins a reputation.

None of that is really true. The article you linked does not make the claim that there is a straight-up frame job. Undoubtedly the fact that there is political pressure against rather than for Assange makes prosecuting him a whole lot easier. Furthermore in the case of Assange being guilty of sexual harassment or even rape, it doesn't really bear on the other stuff he does. Unless of course you are the kind of person who thinks criminals are automatically lesser human beings and their other good work is somehow tainted by their crime.
posted by Authorized User at 5:48 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


How often does Interpol get involved in rape allegations in a single country? Was he raping people throughout the EU?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:50 AM on November 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


I am anything but a hero worshipper of Assange. I am firmly in agreement with John Young, of Cryptome, that wikileaks should never have had a public figurehead, that it would have been equally effective and much less compromisable without having a single person (or anyone at all) assume the media face of the organization. I believe the wikileaks people actually approached John Young and proposed that HE be the face of Wikileaks and he rather brusquely turned them down, telling them they should avoid having a public face at all.

Wikileaks when it started was going to be an anonymous cooperative that anonymously exfiltrated secret documents to the light of public scrutiny. There would not be a public face to it at all, the documents would simply be presented for press and public consumption.

Essentially, I think Assange was a fool for allowing his name and face to become so bound up with the Wikileaks "brand." The fame obviously got to him, and he is now going to be destroyed for his hubris.

None of this however detracts from the fairly obvious nature of the attack on him.
posted by jackbrown at 5:53 AM on November 21, 2010 [24 favorites]


if there's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape

We really don't want to go there. At all. As said before, there's no way for the general public, at this moment, to see where this story came from and where it's heading. There is no "worse" in this specific discussion. We're lacking the details.

But you're giving a good demonstration of why Sweden is such a good place for this.
(No, it's not their "radical form of feminism", as someone else said. Swedish women have to fight, on a daily basis, a nauseating office-hurf-dude culture which somehow isn't ever truly questioned in the interactions, and which has failed to make the international headlines. Male cafeteria-and-work-meetings-dominance is a true problem; of course the reactions to it tend to be strong.)
One of the favorite Swedish public-discussions-twists in topics like this (or low-carb discussions, or how communal school buses are managed, or why taxpayers should finance Jazz instead of Baroque Music, go on), almost in a knee-jerk type of way, is to "skuldbelägga" the opponent, that is, to re-assign guilt in order to shut everyone up. It works both ways, it is always wrong without some actual facts in hand, and it is a brilliant motor for the perpetuation of fruitless public discussion. If you want some decent, what was the phrase? Turd-coating?? done, there's no better place than that straight-laced, reasonable, democratic, orderly country.
posted by Namlit at 5:55 AM on November 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm really surprised at the dogmatism in this thread; I don't know what happened in this case, and I don't think anyone else here really does either. I am not dismissing the possibility that this is a set-up and an attempt to discredit Assange, and I am also not dismissing the possibility that a woman was raped and that it took a lot of courage to come forward knowing that the reaction would be immediate doubt from many people.

I don't think that even if Assange IS guilty that it negates the work he's done.

I think that this is a complicated situation about which all of us know very little. Discussion is one thing, but drawing conclusions and saying that they are obvious is another. I think we as a community can do better than this.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:57 AM on November 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


Perhaps President Obama will bring this to an end by reminding us that in instances of alleged criminality "we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards."
posted by Karmadillo at 6:06 AM on November 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


Skeptic : And pla, you are aware that, by calling Ardin a "CIA plant", without any factual support whatsoever, you're ever-so-slightly slanting your rhetorical question, right?

You've hit the nail on the head, here - We have a lack of facts by either side.

We do, however, have a plethora of motivation by various government agencies to destroy Assange.

We have a victim that wrote her Master's thesis (in part) on the use of rape as a weapon in promoting matriarchy. Who tried to purge the internet of her public presence (for example, her discussion of the finer points of properly getting revenge on her blog). Who has a cousin serving as deputy head of ops in Afghanistan.

We have nothing at all but circumstantial evidence. But we have too much of it to ignore.
posted by pla at 6:06 AM on November 21, 2010 [17 favorites]


Unless of course you are the kind of person who thinks criminals are automatically lesser human beings and their other good work is somehow tainted by their crime.

How dishonest. I'm reserving judgement on this matter, but I can easily see how Assange's good work might be tainted by his alleged crime, and it has nothing to do with what kind of person jackbrown is. The effect Assange's actions and reputation have on Wikileaks really isn't up to him, or any of us.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 6:12 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


BTW, orville sash, you missed the point. We have no facts, because unless a miraculous hidden camera sex tape shows up, we have nothing but allegations in every direction.

You would call me out for denouncing one person as a CIA plant - Which I consider fair. But under Swedish law, Assange doesn't get that same benefit of calling out his accuser for a complete lack of evidence.

That, I have a problem with.
posted by pla at 6:13 AM on November 21, 2010




jackbrown Now you're making the best argument against this being a CIA conspiracy. I know perfectly that Assange is nothing but a figurehead, a spokesperson. So, presumably, does the CIA, just as they'll know that discrediting Assange will hardly disrupt Wikileaks (other than momentarily disturbing a couple of journalists nonetheless entirely dependent on Wikileaks for their juicy, juicy scoops). If anything, this would be grounds of suspecting Assange of having been planted by the CIA to discredit Wikileaks with his misdemeanour. Or perhaps he's simply the sort of egocentric sociopath most likely to have perpetrated the sort of crime he's being accused of...
posted by Skeptic at 6:17 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Assanage's lawyer's reponse:

The only way the accused and his lawyers have been able to discover any substantive information regarding the investigation against him has been through the media. Over the last three months, despite numerous demands, neither Mr. Assange, nor his legal counsel has received a single word in writing from the Swedish authorities relating to the allegations; a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must e informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”.


From his Swedish counsel:

I then tell her [Ny] that Julian is indeed willing to participate in a hearing. But I remind her that I asked her in writing (14 of September) if he was free to leave Sweden for doing buissines in other countries and that she called me and said that he was free to leave. This is important because it means that Julian has not left Sweden in trying to escape the Swedish justice. Then I reminds her that Julian and I several times have tried to give them dates when he could come to Sweden and participate in a hearing, for example I spoke to the second prosecutor Erika Leijnefors during week nr 40 and told her that Julian could participate in a hearing the 10 of October (a Sunday) or some day the following week. The prosecutor in charge (Marianne Ny) said no to this. Other times Marianne Ny has said no to our proposals due to that one of her policeofficers were sick or because the time did not suit her. This is also important because it shows that Julian has tried but Marianne Ny has said no. I go on remembering her that Julian has suggested that he could participate over a phone line and from an Australian Embassy. She has said not to this also. Then I tell her that Julian is willing to participate through a videoconference or to make a written statement over the accusation and the questions they may have. This is of utmost importance, since it shows his willingness to participate. I remind her of a ruling from our Highest Court; NJA 2007 s.337, in which the court did not put a man in custody although he was abroad and did not come to Sweden to participate in a hearing. It was not proportional to do such a thing, since he left Sweden rightfully (just like Julian) and thus did not try to escape the Swedish justice, he was willing to participate via phone or in writing and so forth.

So, they're not serious about prosecution - if they were, they're now completely unable to convict, as it will be tossed out on the grounds that his rights as the accused were violated - and boy, were they ever.

Another thing to note is that both women claim the encounters were, at the time, completely consensual - they decided to remove their consent a few days later. This is a cultural difference which may be tough for some to understand - and it can only be applied legally under certain circumstances.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:22 AM on November 21, 2010 [29 favorites]


Wow! The Counterpunch article linked by jackbrown pointed out that his accuser Anna Ardin once reported a male students for sexual harassment because he was looking at his notes in lecture instead of looking at her during her lecture.. and apparently Cuba once deported her for working with CIA backed anti-Cuban groups.

Why doesn't Assange just take this to trial and parade her around as a CIA agent? I'm sure the Swedes would love all that the excitement!
posted by jeffburdges at 6:22 AM on November 21, 2010


You've hit the nail on the head, here - We have a lack of facts by either side.

What do you know? The Swedish prosecution first withdrew the accusation for lack of evidence (thus disproving that Assange is completely defenceless), then reinstated it after an appeal by the alleged victim. There's good reason to believe that, before issuing this arrest warrant, they've been thoroughly investigating and considering the case. If not, the trial will be public, and extremely high profile: we're certain to learn if the charges are weak, or the trial otherwise botched. Until them, I'm reserving my judgment. It's you who seems to be rushing to yours.
posted by Skeptic at 6:30 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah I answered my own question about Interpol. The international arrest warrant in question is not an international arrest warrant (although it can result in someone getting arrested in another country).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:30 AM on November 21, 2010


That's the thing ... this won't be allowed to go to trial. The damage is being done now.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:34 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


double
posted by EarBucket at 6:35 AM on November 21, 2010


Can someone explain to me how you can remove your consent a few days later?!
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:54 AM on November 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Wow! The Counterpunch article linked by jackbrown pointed out that his accuser Anna Ardin once reported a male students for sexual harassment because he was looking at his notes in lecture instead of looking at her during her lecture...

Yeah, the article actually "pointed out" that a "Swedish forum reports" these, um, facts... which on the internet is about as content free of a statement imaginable (Something Awful reports that... 4Chan's /b/ reports that...)

and apparently Cuba once deported her for working with CIA backed anti-Cuban groups.

As far as I can see it actually says that she wrote articles for a publication that is "the product of" and organization "with a connection to" another organization which is led by someone that another blog reported has connections to the CIA (which this individual denies) and that she was deported from Cuba for "subversive activities" and that while she was there "she interacted with" a group that "receives US Government funds."

I don't know what actually happened here but what some seem willing to accept as facts to hold the opinion that this is some sort of CIA skullduggery is a stretch. Anybody here actually read the supposed Masters thesis sections on "use of rape as a weapon in promoting matriarchy"? Or just that characterization of it in some blog? In any event that Counterpunch article is an unmitigated piece of unsubstantiated garbage with the sort of poorly supported innuendo which I get real uptight about when the bottom line is asserting that some woman "cried rape" to get at some man. And in many other contexts I strongly suspect you all would not be so quick to accept this sort of "evidence" either.
posted by nanojath at 7:01 AM on November 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


Nowadays very few Swedish male-female couples marry in the church, or get married at all; most Swedish gay couples, however, are proud to become “man and wife” in the church. This is all good news for wealthy Swedes

OK that counterpunch article is pretty weird.
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 7:05 AM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure I think it would be especially surprising that someone who thinks the rules don't apply to him in the public arena would also believe the same in his personal interactions.
posted by lullaby at 7:09 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


How dishonest. I'm reserving judgement on this matter, but I can easily see how Assange's good work might be tainted by his alleged crime, and it has nothing to do with what kind of person jackbrown is. The effect Assange's actions and reputation have on Wikileaks really isn't up to him, or any of us.

I am sorry I did not mean it as an personal slight. I just meant that while a sexual molestation charge will certainly harm the reputation of the organization he is the public figurehead of it doesn't really make the content any less or more reliable.
posted by Authorized User at 7:13 AM on November 21, 2010


So, they're not serious about prosecution - if they were, they're now completely unable to convict, as it will be tossed out on the grounds that his rights as the accused were violated - and boy, were they ever.

uhm... that is what assange lawyer says. who is paid to say things like this. only a moron would draw conclusions from just the arguments one side is making. a lawyer is a personal lobbyist.
posted by krautland at 7:32 AM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can someone explain to me how you can remove your consent a few days later?!

Someone who's Swedish will doubtless let me know I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression it's a defense against womanizers and others who will say anything, true or not, to seduce you. I'm actually in favor of something like this being law here, too, as emotional manipulation sucks - but in this instance, it looks like it's being seriously misapplied.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:33 AM on November 21, 2010


> Can someone explain to me how you can remove your consent a few days later?!

Yeah, I'd like to understand this one, too. Which is my polite way of saying "WTF!?!"
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:36 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


All heroes come with tragic flaws. Assange has attacked many powerful people and they are counter attacking him where he is weakest.

caddis, is there something that makes Assange particularly vulnerable to a honey trap?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:42 AM on November 21, 2010


Something seems amiss with this prosecution.
In it's first few hours, a prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for two rapes on the basis of a telephone conversation.
The next morning the prosecutor's boss countermanded the warrants.
A few days later, a new charge was laid for a single much lesser offence of sexual molestation, and then the previously dismissed rape charge was resurrected.

The former Swedish chief prosecutor, Sven-Erik Alhem, stated that he found the actions of the prosecutors bizarre and confusing. He also apparently stated it was hard to imagine a rape conviction being secured when a senior prosecutor had previously announced publicly that there was no evidence of such a crime. “This is a case where you would want to be a defence lawyer,” he said."

It was Anna Ardin who apparantly invited Assange to Sweden. She is a radical feminist not well known outside her home country. In January she posted a blog entry 7 steps to legal revenge.
posted by adamvasco at 7:47 AM on November 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


caddis, is there something that makes Assange particularly vulnerable to a honey trap?

Currently, all evidence points towards the fact that Assange is a human being.
posted by christonabike at 7:49 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The counterpunch article is a little over the top when it comes to footnoting, but yes, the flip side of what I said above in modification of the "radical feminism" statement is, unfortunately, that there are strong mechanisms in place in Sweden to point fingers at men - in general; for simply being; or, sometimes, for daring participating in a discourse of any kind at all.
Especially the term härskarteknik, translated here as "master suppression techniques" (should be singular), is a concept that has been perverted in practice by people totally over-using it for anything that smells faintly like a confrontation, or even if one of the discussion partners is quieter because he [sic] has to think before answering [See me grinding an axe... Btw., I am not taking back what I earlier said about male dominance issues in Swedish society].

Sweden’s reputation as a bastion of free speech is a joke. Free speech behind meticulously closed doors, any time.

[I promise I'm done now]
posted by Namlit at 7:52 AM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Flat out, my main problem with all of this is that a few months ago me and all my sassy political junkie friends were like, "Woop! Watch out, Assange, keep tweaking noses and next you know you'll be hunted around the world on some kind of trumped-up rape/molestation charges! Hahaha!"

And now he's being hunted around he world on rape and molestation charges. No facts, no 'accusing the victim', no reality either way to discern the actuality in process; just a real uneasy feeling that what we jokingly assumed was too extreme to happen, has happened. There is a whiff of blatancy about it. Coincidence? Hmmmm. OK. Maybe. I guess....
posted by umberto at 7:54 AM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Whoa! 7 steps to legal revenge. Now there's a concept that can backfire big time (especially when you have blogged about it)! I mean,
what
posted by Namlit at 8:00 AM on November 21, 2010


Thanks for that last link, Namlit! People do the same things here in the US, but it's nice to know somebody made up a word for it. (English Wikipedia had some links to some English-language pdf's.)
posted by nangar at 8:22 AM on November 21, 2010


Currently, all evidence points towards the fact that Assange is a human being.

Well, certainly. Not only that, he's a guy.

But caddis said he's being attacked "where he is weakest", due to a "tragic flaw". Now, I think I'm about as horny as the next guy, but I don't consider it my greatest weakness, or a tragic flaw (except to the extent that it can be considered part of the tragedy of the human condition). So I'm wondering whether caddis has reason to believe that Assange is particularly vulnerable to a honey trap. I'm not saying caddis is wrong. I'm just interested in why he said what he said.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:29 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Think about it. You don't have to "blame the victim" to raise an eyebrow about this.

Assuming the rape/molestation charges are true ...

It would be a remarkable coincidence that Assange's accuser just happened to have been involved in shadowy political activity with organizations that have credible connections to the CIA, which has every reason to want to destroy Assange.

It would be really remarkable --- like a one-in-a-billion chance --- that he would just happen to have raped someone who had these connections to the organization that is feverishly trying to figure out how to destroy him.

If he did in fact rape her, he lucked out because his defense was sort of handed to him on a silver platter.
posted by jayder at 8:34 AM on November 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


I was counting the days until he would be accused of something or something bad would happen to him. You know, him being found dead underneath an open window.
Thankfully it wasn't the latter.
posted by joost de vries at 8:51 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a set-up, which is made only more obvious by the lengths to which the Swedish government and various authorities (Interpol etc.) are being coerced to go in order to prosecute this accusation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:53 AM on November 21, 2010


I'm not sure I think it would be especially surprising that someone who thinks the rules don't apply to him in the public arena would also believe the same in his personal interactions

This is my reaction, too. He strikes me as a very driven and very committed person, but also one who is very focused on his own interpretations of morality and ethics and who is in some ways quite socially awkward. That doesn't make him a bad person, nor does it make him guilty of these charges, and certainly there is a long tradition (at least in the US, I don't know about Sweden) of false accusations of crimes in order to discredit political opponents.
posted by Forktine at 9:03 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


So the two possible explanations (according to this thread, at least) are 1) A case of rape, and 2) A CIA frameup.

In the 1st the plaintiff's presumed objective is personal justice. In the 2nd the presumed objective (I guess) is to discredit the information Wikileaks shared with the world, namely that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are dysfunctional disasters. Or at least to distract us from talking about the wars and instead discuss whether Assange is a huggy bear or a nasty pervert.

If 1, the conversation is mostly pointless. The general public knows nothing about the alleged encounter. (Although, I have been a little fascinated by what seems to be some eccentric Swedish laws.)

If 2, mission accomplished!

Either way, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are dysfunctional disasters that provide no significant benefit to anyone but the arms dealers.
posted by fartknocker at 9:06 AM on November 21, 2010


To assume automatically that Am intel is behind this is of course to show a leftist bias
that is predictable. that the lady might have some sort of CIA connection bothers me mostly because wherever I seem to look, I find that I remain one of the few people without a connection to that outfit. Jut want to note that another group that specializes in posting stuff that the govt would prefer not be posted, they seem to suggest that Assange is working his site for making big bucks for himself. And we do know is that those who have till now have worked with him are leaving to establish their own site to carry on what Wikileaks has done up till now, though why they are cutting themselves lose from the Assange site is not stated.
posted by Postroad at 9:10 AM on November 21, 2010


Just as a little tidbit of information that might come in handy if you're not very familiar with Sweden and is trying to do your own research on this issue.

When people quote things that have been written in "Expressen" or "Aftonbladet", feel free to disregard it. Those are not serious newspapers in any way or form, they mainly write about the sexual escapades of reality TV stars and the like. "Dagens nyheter" and "Svenska dagbladet" should be held in higher regard though.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 9:17 AM on November 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


So it's a radical feminist plot? I was just thinking last night while contemplating watching a documentary about the pentagon paper that nobody even seems to care about wikileaks. From a political standpoint the CIA or whoever we want to pin the frame job on has very little reason to even bother with this. This will just keep it in the news that much longer, and the material leaked would still be out there.

As for shadowy political activity vis a vis the alleged victim. Seems logical that Assange surrounds himself with shadowy figures and isn't cruising plentyoffish.com for potential partners.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:18 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know whether or not the accusations are true or false, but this is one very, very strange case. I can certainly understand the skepticism. I'm pretty skeptical myself, although I haven't made up my mind either way.
posted by wierdo at 9:20 AM on November 21, 2010


If they were brought as part of a political conspiracy, it's most likely because Assange chose to put himself out in front of the organization in a visible and provocative way.

Oh, so he brought it on himself. Got it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:33 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd expect the overall goal would actually be dissuading people from contributing to or otherwise helping wikileaks. Yes, you'll make the existing leaks worse by keeping wikileaks in the press, but anyone who's going to kill Iraqis who've work with the U.S. already has the leaks.

In the long term, the goal might be steering the organization away from leaks that jeopardize American interests, perhaps by involving more people who take CIA pay checks.

To clarify, there is nothing wrong with working for the CIA, especially when they're paying you for honestly researching human rights abuses in Cuba. As an American, I'd frankly be ashamed if the CIA wasn't paying almost everyone doing exactly that, indirectly when they might refuse said funding.

In particular, I'm completely happy assuming that Anna Ardin has received CIA funding in the past. Why not? I'd take their money if I cared enough about Cuba.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:35 AM on November 21, 2010


I wholeheartedly agree with you, fartknocker. But moreover, if I was the CIA, nothing would be further from my mind than trying to discredit Wikileaks. It provides a comparatively harmless outlet for disgruntled whistleblowers who could otherwise turn to foreign intelligence services. It also provides a formidable channel for dissemminating misinformation, and for obtaining other countries' secrets. The Pentagon may dislike it, but for the CIA and other intelligence services, Wikileaks is a dream playground. Far from attempting to destroy it, in their place I'd be infiltrating and bugging the heck out of it...
posted by Skeptic at 9:37 AM on November 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Can someone explain to me how you can remove your consent a few days later?!

Someone who's Swedish will doubtless let me know I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression it's a defense against womanizers and others who will say anything, true or not, to seduce you. I'm actually in favor of something like this being law here, too, as emotional manipulation sucks - but in this instance, it looks like it's being seriously misapplied.



Doubt no more, I'm here to let you know you are wrong. There is no such law. If you have managed to lie your way to getting laid, you might have done something wrong but you are no criminal. I should know, not only am I an astronaut, I've also been a legal consultant for royalty all over the northern hemisphere. Just ask my girlfriend, she will tell you the same thing...and how sexy it is.
posted by JeNeSaisQuoi at 9:40 AM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


As I've said before, there is one very good long term solution for preventing further leaks that jeopardize American interests : Create more powerful internal processes for congressional review.

I'd envision every U.S. senator having the right to aides with high level security clearances. There would be a process by which every citizen who held a security clearance could submit a report detailing questionable activity to several of these aides, along with the document identifiers of relevant classified documents.

I'd imagine the institution holding the classified material could redact portions of these reports, but they could not redact the document identifiers contained there in. And the aides with security clearances could presumably review the report or those documents on-site if the senator became interested.

We would obviously face vastly more internal reports for these cleared senate aides than we see leaks now, but that's great---just means more questionable stuff gets reviewed. And incidentally it'll create a nice career path into politics for people working in the military or intelligence communities.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:42 AM on November 21, 2010


So -- is really true that if you cry rape in Sweden you automatically ruin somebody's life? I.e., is it terribly terribly difficult to defend a rape case in Sweden? If you are accused then you are automatically doomed?

Because if not this seems like a terribly inefficient way to go about discrediting Wikileaks.

I must admit I am biased because I am totally emotionally tied into the whole trying to discredit a victim of rape is not a good thing.

Unless the Swedish judicial system is totally fucked, and then I can understand the level of agita. If not, maybe let the Swedes handle the case?
posted by angrycat at 9:50 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Chilling effect got it. Leak shit and we will fuck you up.

If I were the CIA I would just have hundreds of people leaking fake documents. Maybe to a polarizing figure in Europe.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:50 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


If not, maybe let the Swedes handle the case?

Nobody is doing otherwise. Do you see anyone rounding up vigilante mobs here?

The reason people are so suspicious is because the taint of this accusation will hang around Assange forever, even if he is acquitted or the charges are dropped. It's not as though his name will ever really be cleared, no matter what the prosecutors or courts do. Which would seem to be what you would want if you were trying to smear and discredit someone.
posted by enn at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2010


I'm amazed at the volume of some of the comments in this thread.

I suppose you can't fill a plot without astroturf.
posted by paradoxflow at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2010


Even if the charges are dropped again, I should say.
posted by enn at 9:57 AM on November 21, 2010


Even the if this turns out to have no factual basis, what's really terrible about it is that the smear will still stick. -- Ickster
Well, we'll never know will we? If these girls say he raped them, how will we ever know who's telling the truth and who's lying?
He may very well be innocent. Or, you know, he might actually be guilty. Perhaps we should wait for a bit before either condemning an innocent man or giving a rapist a free pass. -- Joe in Australia
And how exactly do you suppose we go about finding out?

---

Anyway, I find the accusation pretty unbelievable. I guess we'll see.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on November 21, 2010


Nobody is doing otherwise. Do you see anyone rounding up vigilante mobs here?

The reason people are so suspicious is because the taint of this accusation will hang around Assange forever, even if he is acquitted or the charges are dropped.


No, no vigilante mobs, but when there is an examination of an alleged victim's master's thesis to determine whether or not she was raped, this feels like a not great public effort to discredit an alleged victim. I understand your point, but this is the dynamic that is making me really uncomfortable.

Finally -- if Assange was a rapist, even was a pedophile (not that anybody's accusing him of the latter, I'm just trying to think of an ickier charge than rape that is also sexual) -- I'm not really seeing how that would change the impact of say, the release of the video of U.S. soldiers gunning down civilians. I mean, I do understand the taint on a personal level, and I understand humans are irrational, but it would be really really really irrational to say, "Hmm. Yes this video may show X horror, but the head of the organization is a rapist. Therefore this video is fabricated."

I mean it doesn't compute, you know?
posted by angrycat at 10:07 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


It computes fine. You're overthinking it. The point is not to make people think the video is fabricated. The point is to change the story. "Hey, Wikileaks released some crazy new stuff today, you should see what the US was doing in Afghanistan in 2009!" "Oh, huh. Say, whatever happened with that weird rape stuff?"

Anyway, this isn't an ordinary rape accusation, and I don't think the ordinary impulse to trust the accuser is really a very helpful one when governments and intelligence agencies around the world are so eager to shut up the accused.
posted by enn at 10:14 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


"If they were brought as part of a political conspiracy, it's most likely because Assange chose to put himself out in front of the organization in a visible and provocative way."

AKA "she should have known what was going to happen when she visibly and provocatively wore that dress." Victim blaming: it's apparently what's for dinner.
posted by jaduncan at 10:16 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, that did happen, but it was leaked by an alleged rapist molester, so y'know, which is worse?

It's still the helicopter gunships and the 60,000 previously undocumented Iraqi civilian deaths.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, so he brought it on himself. Got it.

Erm...pretty much? Wikileaks could have existed very capably as a decentralized organization with no public facing leader. He not only chose this fate, but spent a lot of time reveling in his "hunted man" status as opposed to trying to keep a low profile. I'm not at all suprised this is how it's being dealt with.
posted by orville sash at 10:39 AM on November 21, 2010


He is a terrible human being with no moral. He is a benefactor to mankind through his efforts to show the seamy side of American involvement in war crimes.
as they say in art criticism: judge the art and not the artist.
posted by Postroad at 10:41 AM on November 21, 2010


He not only chose this fate

what
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:45 AM on November 21, 2010


here's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape

Yep
posted by KokuRyu at 10:51 AM on November 21, 2010


I think we can pull this full circle as the original argument was apparently about Condom use.
The debate therefore is if Assange is a male prostitute he is allowed to wear a condom but as he obviously isn't a male prostitute his conscience, as shown by his work with wikileaks forbids him to wear a condom because an old man who wears strange clothes and a funny hat says he shouldn't. Goodnight.
posted by adamvasco at 10:54 AM on November 21, 2010


the ordinary impulse to trust the accuser

The what now?
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:55 AM on November 21, 2010


Maybe someone who is more versed in criminology can chime in here, but I was wondering if someone who commits a rape is given to such behavior repeatedly over time. I mean, Assange is not 20 - he has a few years on him, for a pattern of a certain kind of criminality to occur. And here is a guy, who is not accused of doing a "one-off", but two rapes on different women. Sounds like a pattern. So were there allegations of such behavior, or near-behavior (sexual harassment) against him otherwise? I mean, he's not exactly obscure - he's a public figure. Many public figures have crazies making accusations against them - certainly if there were real victims out there, wouldn't they come out? Or at least come out now that he's already been accused?

Again, I'm not a specialist in rape psychology or rapists, but is this plausible? I have not made up my mind one way or another, just hoping someone has some kind of data here - because that might bear on the plausibility of this whole thing.
posted by VikingSword at 10:55 AM on November 21, 2010


here's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape

Both are acts of violence that destroy lives. I wouldn't be so quick to rank one above the other. It is called character assassination for a reason.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2010


So it's a radical feminist plot?

We'll have to see what LeCarre has to say in a year or so. Normally, his version of framing involves baits who are sort-of-but-not-really in on the game. So that would mean, it only looks like one.

Here, lemme have a try (multiple spoilers inside):

- Bad Foreign Nation picks a country with a prominent feminist lawsuit record.
- Bad Foreign Nation goes for a stroll on Gotland and finds Militant Feminist picking her blueberries, swearing under her breath about drunken Stockholm weekend tourists who keep driving their BMWs into her stone wall.
- Bad Foreign Nation goes home, sits down, and fabricates a case that makes Militant Feminist want to Take Revenge on Julian.
- Bad Foreign Nation contacts Militant Feminist and presents case.
- Even if she would do her own research, she would still Take Revenge, first because Bad Foreign Nation has built in some kind of safety hatch of the basic "if you read he's a good guy, that's because he actually is even worse"-principle, and second because Militant Feminist is Anyway Angry (and a little, hum, lost, apparently).
- Plot now unfolds.

I only don't know how you get a condom break on cue, but they're the professionals now, no?
posted by Namlit at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2010


The what now?

Do you have an actual question?
posted by enn at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2010


Hey! Hey! Hey!
Free Gilles de Rais!
posted by stinkycheese at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2010


"here's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape"

An alternate viewpoint.
posted by Manjusri at 11:03 AM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


As a community, how do we feel about posting the names of sexual assault victims/alleged victims, a practice that violates the standards of almost every reputable media outlet?
posted by Ralston McTodd at 11:05 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you have an actual question?

No, I was just suggesting glibly that I think you may be overly optimistic about how ordinary that impulse is (in general, not in this particular instance).
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:13 AM on November 21, 2010


So -- is it really true that if you cry rape in Sweden you automatically ruin somebody's life? I.e., is it terribly terribly difficult to defend a rape case in Sweden? If you are accused then you are automatically doomed?

You realize that this is terribly difficult to answer. There has been a high presence of that kind of cases over the last years in the Swedish press, locally as well as nationwide. I suppose the fact that there are only 9 million Swedes ensures that this kind of stuff gets more general attention than in a larger country; no matter the geographical size, stories quickly become a your-own-backyard thing (otherwise unrelated point in case: it took minutes after the news of Anna Lindh's death was on the news, for random people in the main station of Gothenburg, where I was at that moment, to begin to talk to each other, like members of a large family).

I think I remember at least one case close to where I normally live, where a teenage kid accused one of her parents of sexual abuse, and afterward it wasn't true. In such a situation, public opinion very quickly turns against the accused, yes. It's a matter of the culture, and not necessarily of the legal system.
If this here was framing (repeat: we don't know yet), it plays on these sentiments, and not necessarily on an expectation that the Swedish legal system will actually condemn Assange.
posted by Namlit at 11:17 AM on November 21, 2010


here's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape

I don't understand this view. It's illogical.

We don't know whether she is a rape victim or not. You seem to suggest that our bandying about of possible explanations for this accusation (ranging from "he raped her" to "this is a complete fabrication diabolically hatched by the CIA") is somehow disrespectful to her. But what would you have us do? Not discuss these possibilities for fear of hurting or offending her? Should we attach some credibility to the accusation without having heard a shred of evidence suggesting it happened? Should we put aside the possibility that a government may be trying to frame Assange, put it aside out of respect for a victim who may not in fact be a victim?

To say that openly expressing skepticism about whether she is a victim, is disrespectful to the victim, is really a question-begging move ... Your condemnation of us requires that you assume the truth of the very thing we are accused of being disrespectful by questioning.

There are two possible victims here: Assange and Ardin. Do not accuse us of being disrespectful to Ardin because we are speculating that Assange may be the real victim. To put it in your terms, you're unfairly "smearing" Assange by trying to foreclose discussion of the possibility that she is lying and that he is the real victim.

Anything you do to defend yourself against a bogus rape charge could be interpreted as "smearing" the alleged victim, because you are accusing the victim of lying.
posted by jayder at 11:19 AM on November 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


He may very well be innocent. Or, you know, he might actually be guilty. Perhaps we should wait for a bit before either condemning an innocent man or giving a rapist a free pass.

Agreed. We don't have facts on either side of the ledger. Although I think a "CIA frame job*" unlikely, that does not mean these allegations are true.

*since Assange is likely to be charged under US law for conspiring to criminally obtain classified documents.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:35 AM on November 21, 2010


lullaby: I'm not sure I think it would be especially surprising that someone who thinks the rules don't apply to him in the public arena would also believe the same in his personal interactions.

Oh? Which rules exactly does he not think apply to him in the public arena, in your view? The rules against disseminating documents classified by the American government applies to American citizens, a class of people Assange does not belong to. Which is why he's never been charged with it. Or were you referring to some other rule of the "public arena," like settling down and living in one place like a nice boy?

many, throughout the thread:
  • just as they'll know that discrediting Assange will hardly disrupt Wikileaks
  • Because if not this seems like a terribly inefficient way to go about discrediting Wikileaks.
  • etc. (too lazy to re-read entire thread to find more)
The original charges, even after withdrawn, did enough to smear Assange's reputation that he couldn't have a single interview about the massive trove of Iraq War documents Wikileaks had just released without people bringing it up. Hundreds of thousands of documents providing evidence that America had been lying about the progress/status in Iraq, and journalists thought the bigger story was a series of charges that prosecutors had dropped. Do you guys seriously not remember this? The subject came up on Larry King, some other CNN reporter was so determined to talk about the charges (and not the leaks) that Assange walked out of the interview instead of dignify the smear, etc.

The charges have ALREADY discredited Assange and disrupted the effectiveness of Wikileaks. Leaking massive piles of classified documents detailing 109,000 civilian deaths and military corruption can't even be the big story anymore, now that Assange has been accused of molestation. You don't think that's efficient?
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:38 AM on November 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


The entire topic of Assange and Wikileaks has long been hysterical and dogmatic on Metafilter. And this is just too much.

This is (from what I can tell) a case with very serious accusations coming out of Sweden. And there are baseless statements flying all around this thread about what the Swedish legal system is like, along with baseless statements of character about the victim, all pointing to the (apparently obvious) conclusion that this MUST be A Big Government Conspiracy Against Freedom and The Internet, as well as an effort to keep you from knowing the things that They don't want you to know.

I very strongly doubt that anyone who has posted here before has any firsthand (or even moderately unbiased) information about the specifics of any of this.

This is thermite in the rubble all over again, and it really makes me sad. To be fair, I don't post much and have only been a regular visitor here for a year or so, but I was attracted to Metafilter because I thought that it was, first and foremost, a corner of the internet that didn't really behave like the internet. Where the same trope 'memes' (I hate that term) wouldn't dominate every post, or where reasonable people could have reasonable discussions about events.

Maybe I was just fooled by the good grammar and coherent sentence structures I saw here, but I'm really disappointed by all of the Assange hero worship/tinfoil hat conspiracy-mongering. Beyond the termite, this is also similar to a situation wherein a star quarterback is accused of rape. Whenever that happens, countless fans of his team will immediately assume that (a) 'she definitely wanted it' or (b) 'the bitch is lying'.

Of course it's possible that when a high-profile man is accused of rape or sexual assault, he is the victim of a false accusation. But you're just not being clear-headed if you start with that assumption and look for 'circumstantial evidence' to prove it. And if that circumstantial evidence is filtered through thousands of miles and even more internets, you're submitting yourself to so many logical fallacies and emotional biases that you really shouldn't be discussing the situation at all.

So to summarize: of course it's possible that these charges are a false accusation meant to harm a man's public standing. And, I'll concede, it's even possible that there are many people (or even institutions) encouraging this to happen. But by starting with a distrust of the CIA and hero worship of Assange virtually guarantees that any rational thought on this issue can be possible.

But I suppose that I'll be taken as a sheeple or a clandestine agent posting from wi-fi within my black helicopter for saying this.
posted by graphnerd at 11:39 AM on November 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


I don't think it matters whether he is innocent or guilty of the rape charge. There are plenty of people/organizations that simply want to "detain" him for any reason. Once detained, it's going to be hard for him to avoid being transferred around to face other charges.
posted by samsara at 11:40 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, this thread seems to have centered on theories that the CIA is behind these charges, based on some very tenuous links with Ardin. If the charges are false, I don't think it's the CIA behind them, I think it's the military. Think about it: I think the Pentagon has more to gain by stemming the flow of classified documents that lay bare its fuckups than the CIA would from.... unsure what their motivation would be.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:45 AM on November 21, 2010


Forgot to add the additional obvious bullet point that WikiLeaks published a ton of embarrassing documents about the war in Afghanistan as well.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2010


The information that the organization has leaked is powerful. Powerful enough that it doesn't require anyone telling us WHY it's important.

Hardly. It told us nothing new, and related only to things done by low-level people several years ago.

Much more of a hero is the guy who leaked th Abu Ghraib photos.

That's why I've always seen him as a charlatan and someone unwilling to do the work that is required to ensure mass document dumps don't hurt others. Amnesty International and others have sharply complained about the release of names of their people to Assange.

Nor has he lived up to the promise of legally defending his leakers. That private who sent him all that data rots without any legal help at all from Wikileaks.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:50 AM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, the internet. Where I go to get supposition compounded by bias and fantasy.
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]




The charges have ALREADY discredited Assange and disrupted the effectiveness of Wikileaks.

I think putting everything in the hands of this one dude is the real problem. This isn't his first run in with the law--although first on sex charges. This whole post-sex withdrawal of consent is nuts, though.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:59 AM on November 21, 2010


Ironmouth:Nor has he lived up to the promise of legally defending his leakers. That private who sent him all that data rots without any legal help at all from Wikileaks.

Oh, this is just dishonest. The fact that he's rotting in prison isn't from WikiLeaks's lack of effort. From Manning's defense site:
Lawyers associated with WikiLeaks approached the US Army in June with the intent of assisting Pfc. Bradley Manning.

The Army has kept Manning in isolation since his arrest on May 29. He has been in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait during this time. This has allowed the Army to intentionally limit Manning’s ability to understand all of the legal defense options available to him.

His appointed military defense JAG (Judge Advocate General) representatives seem to have steered him towards “not making this case a big deal”, and possibly forgoing civilian representation altogether. Besides the military defense JAGs, who are stationed hundreds of miles away from the detention facility, his only other (limited) communications are with a relative.
and
Last month WikiLeaks announced that donations towards Manning’s defense could be made via the WikiLeaks website. Since then WikiLeaks has expressed appreciation to the Bradley Manning Support Network for the formation of this grassroots effort dedicated to Manning’s defense, as WikiLeaks has been busy carrying out its primary mission.

Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks has pledged a “significant amount” towards Manning’s legal expenses. I do not know how much WikiLeaks has collected for Manning’s defense; however, it is my assumption that WikiLeaks’ contribution will be significantly more than the donations they received.

I expect WikiLeaks will transfer funds directly to Manning’s eventually selected defense counsel.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 12:00 PM on November 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hardly. It told us nothing new, and related only to things done by low-level people several years ago.

This is patently untrue. It has demonstrated in myriad ways how the American government was lying to the American people about the volume of civilian casualties, the fact that they were tallying civilian casualties, the fact that the American military gave tacit approval to atrocities committed by the Iraqi army, how hideous torture continued at Abu Ghraib, and so on and so on.

I mean, what constitutes "new" information for you? Do we have to find out that the military has been grinding up civilians into hamburger patties and serving them in school lunches?
posted by orville sash at 12:03 PM on November 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


The information that the organization has leaked is powerful. Powerful enough that it doesn't require anyone telling us WHY it's important.

Agreed. Assange can't be killed without it looking obvious, so this is the next best way to discredit his work, by leading people to draw associations of immorality with WikiLeaks, and therefore lack of credibility. It's classic FUD.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 PM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


But by starting with a distrust of the CIA

I have no opinion one way or the other about CIA involvement in this particular case, but starting with a distrust of the CIA is the only rational stance to take in any situation. Are you not aware of the history of the CIA? They have proved themselves to be highly untrustworthy many times over - and that's just based on the stuff that they haven't managed to keep hidden.

Looking at this case in particular, I think we can safely assume that the US (the Pentagon, the CIA, or whichever other groups) is working hard to discredit Wikileaks and Assange. Whether or not that extends to this particular case is hard for anyone here to know, but it isn't "tinfoil hat conspiracy-mongering" to think that it might be.

this is also similar to a situation wherein a star quarterback is accused of rape.

It isn't at all. There is a clear motive here to discredit Assange (something that is not the case with some football player). There are also weird facts about the case (charges laid, then withdrawn, laid again, the accusers changing their minds about the whether a sexual encounter was consensual after the fact, etc.). This isn't a similar situation and it isn't reasonable to smear people here in this way. If you want to have a reasonable discussion here, why don't you go first instead of accusing people of conspiracy-mongering.
posted by ssg at 12:28 PM on November 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Also, this thread seems to have centered on theories that the CIA is behind these charges

I long ago started assuming that when people shout CIA, what they really mean is "some-big-scary-organized-conspiracy-that's-so-secretive-we'll-never-know-what-it-really-is-even-if-someone-eventually-publishes-the-proof-because-we'll-all-be-terminally-confused-by-all-the-disinformation-by-that-point". In other words, we'll never really know for absolute sure who killed the Kennedys, what exactly happened on 911, what the story is behind Area 51, whether Mickey Mouse is gay ... and so on (including the details underlying this particular incident).

So where does that leave us? Forever arguing our biases? That's boring. How about just not being so darned CERTAIN of anything which we personally haven't observed/experienced? And (here's a real cool trick) what if we actually got critical of our own initial gut reactions to things? What if we used situations such as this to question our biases, dissect them, maybe eviscerate them?

EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG, said the graffiti on the wall. But it applied to someone else, not me.
posted by philip-random at 12:31 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Agreed. Assange can't be killed without it looking obvious...

That hasn't mattered before before.
posted by clarknova at 12:35 PM on November 21, 2010


"It's essential to remember that given the will and the relevant orders, [WikiLeaks] can be made inaccessible forever"

Tea? I do not have TIME.
posted by clavdivs at 12:36 PM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreed. Assange can't be killed without it looking obvious

It must be very stressful dealing with all these accusations.
posted by fullerine at 12:38 PM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, the thing that gets me here is that - if we assume this is a good-faith investigation, actual charges, not a CIA plant, etc - I find this warrant for interrogation outright impossible to reconcile with what the prosecution had to say a few months ago. The whole interview's revealing, but the 2 minute mark actually discusses bringing him in for questioning.

"Surely it would be the first step to contact the person at the center of such an allegation [...]"
"I can't give you any details"

...
posted by pahalial at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is certainly possible that Assange is a rapist.

But it is undeniable that the whole thing has been handled in a manner that seems more designed to smear him than to accomplish anything. The first time this came up a warrant was issued to great hooplah and then retracted.

Assange repeatedly volunteered to meet with the police, to be interviewed, etc and they told him it wasn't necessary.

Now, again to great hooplah, a new warrant is issued after the police repeatedly refused to interview him, after they said there wasn't a case, etc.

It doesn't seem tinfoil hattish to suspect that this has been engineered with the intent of maximizing the bad press for Wikileaks.
posted by sotonohito at 1:02 PM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Confused about a couple of assumptions in this discussion (and in some of the news stories and web postings on the topic).

First, people are writing and/or assuming that Sweden has some bizarre-oh rape law that defines rape in some strange way, or allows people to withdraw their consent to sexual encounters days later. I've poked around some legal websites and can't find any evidence of this. Sweden does include marital rape, but so do most Western countries.

Second, people are stating that the complainants are conceding that they consented until days after the sexual contact. Again, I can't find any evidence of this. The complainants state that the sex began consensually, and then became nonconsensual during the encounter (see, e.g., Wired story, "According to local news reports, the woman told investigators the sexual encounters began as consensual, but turned non-consensual when Assange refused to stop despite condom mishaps."). The accused states that the sex was consensual throughout.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 1:03 PM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I mean, what constitutes "new" information for you? Do we have to find out that the military has been grinding up civilians into hamburger patties and serving them in school lunches?

What is in there we didn't already know? That the US abused detainees? What?

Look at the other giant leak cases--Abu Ghraib, the Pentagon Papers. They told us stuff we didn't know. This is more of the same. Note it is mostly low-level reports that tell us nothing about policy, because a 22-year old kid was doing the download.

Its had zero impact on the debate.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:04 PM on November 21, 2010


nd
Last month WikiLeaks announced that donations towards Manning’s defense could be made via the WikiLeaks website. Since then WikiLeaks has expressed appreciation to the Bradley Manning Support Network for the formation of this grassroots effort dedicated to Manning’s defense, as WikiLeaks has been busy carrying out its primary mission.

Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks has pledged a “significant amount” towards Manning’s legal expenses. I do not know how much WikiLeaks has collected for Manning’s defense; however, it is my assumption that WikiLeaks’ contribution will be significantly more than the donations they received.


The judge is keeping Manning from Counsel? Total bullshit. If he's so 'isolated' how in the hell would we know? Manning is represented by JAG personnel. They take their job seriously. Most of what we know about Gitmo comes from their work.

Where's the money for the civilian lawyer? This lawyer knows that one needs defense immediately, not months later. Assange hasn't done shit to help Manning NOW when it is needed. The organization has very few employees and is mainly run by volunteers. They never had the capacity to do what they promised.

The hero worship of this fool makes no sense to me.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:11 PM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Allegations Against Him are False

Statement by Julian Assange's Counsel Mark Stephens

LONDON, 1pm Thursday November 18, 2010

On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of “rape” involving two Swedish women.

However, even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape; as various media outlets have reported “the basis for the rape charge” purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event. Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other’s relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.

The warrant for his arrest was rightly withdrawn within 24 hours by Chief prosecutor Eva Finne, who found that there was no “reason to suspect that he has committed rape." Yet his name had already been deliberately and unlawfully disclosed to the press by Swedish authorities. The “rape” story was carried around the world and has caused Mr. Assange and his organization irreparable harm.

Eva Finne’s decision to drop the “rape" investigation was reversed after the intervention of a political figure, Claes Borgstrom, who is now acting for the women. The case was given to a specific prosecutor, Marianne Ny.

The only way the accused and his lawyers have been able to discover any substantive information regarding the investigation against him has been through the media Over the last three months, despite numerous demands, neither Mr. Assange, nor his legal counsel has received a single word in writing from the Swedish authorities relating to the allegations; a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must “be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”. The actions by the Swedish authorities constitute a blatant and deliberate disregard for his rights under the Convention.

We are now concerned that prosecutor Marianne Ny intends to apply for an arrest warrant in an effort to have Mr. Assange forcibly taken to Sweden for preliminary questioning. Despite his right to silence, my client has repeatedly offered to be interviewed, first in Sweden, and then in the UK (including at the Swedish Embassy), either in person or by telephone, videoconferencing or email and he has also offered to make a sworn statement on affidavit. All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate. Pursuing a warrant in this circumstance is entirely unnecessary and disproportionate. This action is in contravention both of European Conventions and makes a mockery of arrangements between Sweden and the United Kingdom designed to deal with just such situations. This behavior is not a prosecution, but a persecution. Before leaving Sweden Mr. Assange asked to be interviewed by the prosecution on several occasions in relation to the allegations, staying over a month in Stockholm, at considerable expense and despite many engagements elsewhere, in order to clear his name. Eventually the prosecution told his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig that he was free to leave the country, without interview, which he did.

Our client has always maintained his innocence. The allegations against him are false and without basis. As a result of these false allegations and bizarre legal interpretations our client now has his name and reputation besmirched. Thousands of news articles and 3.6million web pages now contain his name and the word “rape”. Indeed, three out of four webpages that mention Mr. Assange’s name also now mention the word “rape”—a direct result of incompetent and malicious behavior by Swedish government prosecutors. My client is now in the extraordinary position that, despite his innocence, and despite never having been charged, and despite never receiving a single piece of paper about the allegations against him, one in ten Internet references to the word “rape” also include his name. Every day that this flawed investigation continues the damages to his reputation are compounded.

Mark Stephens

Finers Stephens Innocent http://www.fsilaw.com
posted by Postroad at 1:21 PM on November 21, 2010 [19 favorites]


Cobra_High_Tigers:

That site is not Manning's defense site. It is unaffiliated with Manning and is run by an organization known as "Courage to Resist" Although its author purports to know of privileged communications between Manning and his lawyers, he can have no such knowledge. The communications are privileged and are not to be disclosed, or the privilege is waived. Only an idiot would disclose such information.

Assange woefully underestimated the needs of such a defense or the time needed to get the money to Manning. Of course, there's another problem? What if Manning pleads out and provides statements against Assange? Legally, if such a deal was on the table, legal ethics would require me to recommend that if it resulted in the best possible result for Manning. Is Assange gonna pay for Manning's defense then?

Let us be clear. That site is not run by any person who has ever spoken with Manning and is not his site.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:23 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trying to think of snappier word for American Imperialist aggression than 'rape'.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 1:24 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: for the sake of WikiLeaks, I hope they lock this guy up and throw away the key. I don't even care if he did it or not; Julian Assange is a dolt, and he's totally useless. WikiLeaks will go on just fine without him; they don't need a deranged figurehead who's constantly making them look like idiots. And they will be better off when he's gone.
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 PM on November 21, 2010


So the CIA talks to a guy who talks to a guy and voila! Job done.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 1:34 PM on November 21, 2010


"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: for the sake of WikiLeaks, I hope they lock this guy up and throw away the key."

What a thing to say. Are you even trying to make your words work in with a world where people have to live?
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 1:38 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


sotonohito: “It doesn't seem tinfoil hattish to suspect that this has been engineered with the intent of maximizing the bad press for Wikileaks.”

Why? Why would anyone want to maximized the "bad press" for Wikileaks? Has anyone seriously thought this through? Oh yes, I'm sure the CIA is intent on making sure Wikileaks gets a bad public image, right? Because if nobody likes them, maybe they will stop doing what they do and go away!

It would be equally silly if the CIA is trying to get Julian Assange out of the way. They must know as well as anybody else that Julian Assange has very little to do with the actual operation of Wikileaks, that pretty much all he does is select various little bits of data and prepare press releases from them and generally make an idiot of himself. In which case they know that if he goes to jail or dies or something Wikileaks will keep on doing what it's doing.

In fact, the interesting thing about all this is that there's one group that benefits more than any other from this bad press. Who? Wikileaks themselves – because an megalomaniacal idiot like Assange is the perfect cover for a careful and thoughtful network of people sharing information. As long as people keep on thinking that Assange is actually in charge over there, and this media circus surrounding him continues, they'll be able to keep doing their work in peace. I actually have a strong feeling that's why they chose him as their spokesman in the first place.
posted by koeselitz at 1:39 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gamien Boffenburg: “What a thing to say. Are you even trying to make your words work in with a world where people have to live?”

I have a hard time making the phrases you've used in this sentence make any sense in my mind. My words have never gotten in the way of other people living, if that's what you're getting at; I can't really imagine how words could stop anybody's life in the first place.
posted by koeselitz at 1:41 PM on November 21, 2010


Where are Salander and Blomkvist when you need them?
posted by uosuaq at 1:43 PM on November 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


The entire topic of Assange and Wikileaks has long been hysterical and dogmatic on Metafilter. And this is just too much.

Again, if the CIA hadn't done things like assassinate leaders of foreign nations in the past, we wouldn't have reason to suspect their hand.

This is (from what I can tell) a case with very serious accusations coming out of Sweden. And there are baseless statements flying all around this thread about what the Swedish legal system is like, along with baseless statements of character about the victim,[...]

Metafilter's userbase is broad enough that there very well could be someone like that in the discussion.
posted by JHarris at 1:44 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


> The entire topic of Assange and Wikileaks has long been hysterical and dogmatic on Metafilter. And this is just too much.

Just don't get them started on the topic of pubic hair trimming!
posted by stonepharisee at 1:49 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I have a hard time making the phrases you've used in this sentence make any sense in my mind."

Maybe you need to go outside and freshen up then.

"I can't really imagine how words could stop anybody's life in the first place".

Oh, so you're just hanging around online talking shit? That's trolling. Enjoy.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 1:52 PM on November 21, 2010


Relax.
posted by philip-random at 1:54 PM on November 21, 2010


Hear, hear.
posted by koeselitz at 1:55 PM on November 21, 2010


here's something even worse than smearing an innocent with a fake rape, it's smearing a rape victim with fabricating the rape

I'm not sure which is worse. There is a long and terrible history in the United States of rape charges being used as a pretext for violence, especially racially motivated violence. I'm fairly convinced that the best thing for, say, William Brown and two others who were killed in the Omaha Race Riot of 1919 would have been great suspicion regarding the charge of rape.

In general, I don't want to doubt someone who claims they have been raped. But there are times when caution is advisable.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:07 PM on November 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, so you're just hanging around online talking shit? That's trolling. Enjoy.

If that's trolling, then I have never done anything but.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:08 PM on November 21, 2010


Delmoi wrote: If these girls say he raped them, how will we ever know who's telling the truth and who's lying?

Lots of court cases come down to things like this. Suppose it wasn't rape; suppose it was something like: Fred Smith alleges that Mr Bloggs agreed to hire him, but there's nothing in writing. How do we tell who's telling the truth and who's lying? Well, you look at the circumstances - were the two parties together at the time that Fred alleges the deed took place? Did Fred talk to other people about the alleged employment? Is Fred a reliable person? Is Mr Bloggs a reliable person? Does Mr Bloggs have a history of this sort of thing? The court weighs all the evidence and then decides. You might say that a criminal case like rape requires (at least here in Australia, I know nothing about Swedish law) a higher level of confidence than a civil matter like employment, but in fact the principle is exactly the same.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:11 PM on November 21, 2010


Again, if the CIA hadn't done things like assassinate leaders of foreign nations in the past, we wouldn't have reason to suspect their hand.

True story (and please don't use it for your book because I've already done so) some time during the cold war the CIA implanted a microphone in the tail of a kitty and set the kitty to spy on the Soviet embassy. The kitty (sob) ran into traffic and was killed on his/her first outing. Millions of dollars gone.

It doesn't follow from this that they are now implanting microphones in dogs in Iran or North Korea. They might, but given that it didn't work out so hot for them before, they might not be.
posted by angrycat at 2:12 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do we have to find out that the military has been grinding up civilians into hamburger patties and serving them in school lunches?

SALISBURY STEAK IS PEOPLE! (It explains so much, really.)
posted by sonika at 2:39 PM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Shorter Ironmouth: This lawyer knows nothing more than the people supporting Manning with Courage to Resist. Baseless assumption about "hero worship," aaaaand out!

Forgive me for calling that "Manning's defense site" when I should have more clearly said "the site operated by two dozen concerned community members and military veterans dedicated to supporting military war objectors who have hosted similar defense funds for at least eleven other military defendants since 2004, and who have been in contact with Manning's relatives and WikiLeaks."

On the other hand, your qualifications for making statements about Manning's current legal representation and WikiLeaks's plans for his defense are "being on the Internet." Also, are you saying that, by confirming that Manning is aware that people are raising legal funds on his behalf, his JAG just waived Manning's privilege as to all matters of his defense? Because that's the only communication they say they've had with his counsel.

Also, you're pretty goddamn optimistic about how eager the military must be to let him have access to civilian counsel of his choice. The dude's being held in a military prison in Kuwait. I've spoken with several (private, non-JAG) attorneys who represented Guantanamo prisoners and their clients were denied representation for fucking YEARS. And most of them were mere teenagers suspected of jackoff minimal offenses like being near a hut where someone threw a grenade at a soldier, not leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military documents
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 3:05 PM on November 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, all I can add is that I have had condom failure issues, ummmm, midstroke in the past, and I must confess that I didn't stop, as I was, ermmmmm, in the moment.
posted by Samizdata at 3:16 PM on November 21, 2010



Where are Salander and Blomkvist when you need them?
Thanks uosuaq Good question.

I don't know, but this sounds an awful lot like something from one of the as yet unpublished or unfinished novels of the late Stieg Larssen's Millenium series. The third of those books gives a very disturbing picture of how a secret department in Sweden's security services serves to protect its own interests. And it may be worth noting, also, that Larssen, who actually edited a magazine much like Millenium, worked to expose real life corruption in politics and industry in Sweden before he turned to writing fiction and then died prematurely. But who knows. Truth, as they say, can be stranger than fiction
posted by donfactor at 3:28 PM on November 21, 2010


angrycat: “True story (and please don't use it for your book because I've already done so) some time during the cold war the CIA implanted a microphone in the tail of a kitty and set the kitty to spy on the Soviet embassy. The kitty (sob) ran into traffic and was killed on his/her first outing. Millions of dollars gone.”

That's true – heard about it in an Adam Curtis documentary myself – and the larger point of the story is also applicable: in any given situation, the CIA is more inept, more bungling, and more stupid than anyone ever gives them credit for. Iran is a good example; their 'adventures' there in the 1970s constituted less a sinister plan for domination and more a long series of poorly planned enterprises that were mismanaged and handled badly from beginning to end.

This is not to say that the US military hasn't done terrible things; nor that the CIA hasn't tried to pull off sinister shit. But it is to say that it's debatable whether they've even once succeeded in their diabolical plans, at least in any appreciable way beyond causing lots of trouble.

So the notion that they've hoodwinked the Swedish judicial system with plants, moles, paid 'victims', and trumped-up charges? Yeah, I'm not buying it. I will bet you dollars to donuts that the CIA is vastly a more mismanaged and poorly-structured organization than the Swedish Police Force and the Swedish District Courts. And I'll place the same bet on the claim that, if the CIA even tried for a moment to pull wool over anybody's eyes in either of those institutions, they would be roundly pointed up and laughed at.

I guess it's possible they've pushed forward the accuser and paid them to make these claims. But it's not really likely at all, in my mind, that the CIA would be able in any way to influence the Swedish government. The Swedish government isn't necessarily all sparkling and pure and unfouled by corruption – I know there are situations where they look the other way on some things, and that's not a good thing I grant – but they aren't such complete idiots as to trust the CIA on anything.
posted by koeselitz at 3:52 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


@koeselitz : Why? Why would anyone want to maximized the "bad press" for Wikileaks? Has anyone seriously thought this through? Oh yes, I'm sure the CIA is intent on making sure Wikileaks gets a bad public image, right? Because if nobody likes them, maybe they will stop doing what they do and go away!

Text from the NY times article linked above :

"He had traveled to Sweden in search of a secure base under the country’s broad press freedom laws, but that effort faltered amid the sexual accusations, and Sweden’s immigration board announced last month that it had rejected his request for residence. "
posted by silence at 3:52 PM on November 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Ironmouth : The hero worship of this fool makes no sense to me.

I find it odd how much you seem to loathe Assange, and insulting that you would pretend to care about Manning.

I would point out (not for the first time to you) that, your assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, Assange couldn't actually violate US law. He doesn't come from, live in, do business in, or run Wikileaks from, the United States. We can make all sorts of yapping noises about it, but the US simply lacks jurisdiction to do a damned thing about him.

Manning, OTOH, actually did break the law. I personally respect him greatly for doing so, but can find no especially compelling reason to excuse his transgressions. He made a choice that I would like to think I'd have made in the same situation (but probably wouldn't risk my freedom for, and yeah, if that makes me a hypocrite, so it goes) - But he made that choice, broke the law, and now has to deal with the down side to his decision.


What is in there we didn't already know? That the US abused detainees? What?

The little details can mean so much more than just revealing the existence of actual incidents that hadn't yet come to light. They can demonstrate intent. They can prove a pattern of activity rather than a collection of isolated incidents. They can highlight complicity (or even encouragement) from higher in the food chain.

Put simply, if we didn't already riot in the streets during Bush's eight stolen years and hundreds of thousands of murders, I don't see it likely to happen now; But when the war crimes tribunal starts looking for sacrificial goats, we can at least pray they come from the top rather than the guys "stop loss'ed" into risking their lives in the name of (though not much more than in name) of our freedom.
posted by pla at 4:53 PM on November 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


The original charges, even after withdrawn, did enough to smear Assange's reputation that he couldn't have a single interview about the massive trove of Iraq War documents Wikileaks had just released without people bringing it up.

Assange needs to get lawyers and PR people. Politicians get questions that are off message all the time and the best ones or perhaps the ones withthe best handlers learn to deflect.

Q: R U Rapist
A: candy/Larry/Keith/Rachel/NyTimes/etc.No, and uncortunately I can't talk about this while there is an ongoing investigation. Did you know in our files we have evidence of N-thousand unpunished rapes in Iraq
Q: r u sure u no rape, maybe a little, did you just sex with them?
A: I wish you'd been this persistent asking the military about casualty counts.
Q: can you tell us what happened on that night.
A: I've got intelligence agencies following me, maybe you should ask them, or are you afraid that they would start following you as well. Tell me how does it feel to be a pawn of the CIA.
posted by humanfont at 4:59 PM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sweden’s immigration board announced last month that it had rejected his request for residence
Oh but they do that all the time. It's in the papers almost every day.
posted by Namlit at 5:21 PM on November 21, 2010




But when the war crimes tribunal starts looking for sacrificial goats, we can at least pray they come from the top

I'm afraid the only "recoking" that will come to our nation will look either like Stalinism or the Chilean death squads.
posted by clarknova at 5:46 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, your qualifications for making statements about Manning's current legal representation and WikiLeaks's plans for his defense are "being on the Internet." Also, are you saying that, by confirming that Manning is aware that people are raising legal funds on his behalf, his JAG just waived Manning's privilege as to all matters of his defense? Because that's the only communication they say they've had with his counsel.

Incorrect. Please review the actual words you posted:

His appointed military defense JAG (Judge Advocate General) representatives seem to have steered him towards “not making this case a big deal”, and possibly forgoing civilian representation altogether.

These statements purport to give an overview of the legal advice given to Manning. Information of this sort would constitute a waiver of attorney-client privilege for the statements made. Again, when making statements, please check for accuracy.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:02 PM on November 21, 2010


I don't get it -why don't they just use a drone?
posted by newdaddy at 6:09 PM on November 21, 2010


I don't get it -why don't they just use a drone?

Assange was already on Larry King.
posted by ryoshu at 6:15 PM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


But Larrys' not a weapon but the simila......
posted by clavdivs at 6:21 PM on November 21, 2010


But I suppose that I'll be taken as a sheeple or a clandestine agent posting from wi-fi within my black helicopter for saying this.

Shame on you for doing this.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:32 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


clandestine sheeple use microwave
posted by clavdivs at 6:55 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shame on you for doing this.

WHAT
posted by orville sash at 7:06 PM on November 21, 2010


...I was wondering if someone who commits a rape is given to such behavior repeatedly over time.

I think this is an interesting point, especially in light of the recent Metafilter post about the case of the vanishing blond. In that case, the rapist is identified as a serial rapist because of the cool professional manner in which he disposes of the woman's body in a suitcase. I haven't followed the Assange case closely, but I haven't heard any reports of him acting especially professionally, or in a planned and studied manner. Rape is often a crime of opportunity, and I suspect that the social environment surrounding Assange has changed since he became the semi-famous Wikileaks founder. I could imagine that he might be more persuasive to beautiful women, etc. Not that that means anything, but I don't think it rules anything out. I feel like there simply aren't enough facts on this case out side of your pre-existing biases to make any worthwhile judgments.
posted by fermezporte at 7:11 PM on November 21, 2010


Where are Salander and Blomkvist when you need them?

Beck?
posted by ovvl at 7:13 PM on November 21, 2010


1. The bumbled public history of the case against Mr. Assange does not bolster the credibility of the authorities making the assertions.

2. Mr. Assange's public persona is not consistent with the charges - e.g., as say a gangsta rap star's public persona might be.

3. The U.S. does appear to have a motive for discrediting Mr. Assange (despite the fact that some have pointed out that Wikileaks may serve a better purpose for U.S. interests if left alone or otherwise managed - personally I think it may give them too much credit to appreciate the machiavellian nuances of the situation)

4. The idea that the U.S. agents may be fabricating or exaggerating past events is consistent with what we know about past U.S. intelligence practices.

5. Though the Swedes pride themselves on their independence from political pressure - particularly from the U.S. - they don't have a perfect record. (After initially standing up to the U.S., they caved in to pressure on the release of Scientology documents in the 1990's, contrary to Swedish law and legal tradition that goes back hundreds of years.)

As far as counter arguments go, there don't seem to be any other than the assumption that the victims would not undergo this if there weren't something to it. Of course, the evidence has not been presented, either, and this is fundamental.

We will just have to wait and see, but so far, the little public information there is appears to be more consistent with it being a smear job on Assange, and not a legitimate charge.
posted by Xoebe at 7:37 PM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mr. Assange's public persona is not consistent with the charges - e.g., as say a gangsta rap star's public persona might be.

Are you for real with this? Can you please cite one example of a gangsta rapper being charged with sexual assault? Or any rapper at all? I can't think of one off the top of my head and using it as an example implies a pretty nutty prejudice.
posted by orville sash at 7:42 PM on November 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


1. The bumbled public history of the case against Mr. Assange does not bolster the credibility of the authorities making the assertions.

I can't speak about Sweden, but in the United States, charges are filed and dropped and refiled all of the time. The public history of the case is not "bumbled" at all. As more evidence comes in, charges are often dropped and refiled based on the new information.

3. The U.S. does appear to have a motive for discrediting Mr. Assange (despite the fact that some have pointed out that Wikileaks may serve a better purpose for U.S. interests if left alone or otherwise managed - personally I think it may give them too much credit to appreciate the machiavellian nuances of the situation)

This I don't get. How does "discrediting" Assange help the US? The US has never denied the accuracy of the documents, ever. So its not like they are going to make people not believe them--the Afghan documents were responded to by the current administration by stating that these are the things we have been saying all along.

The Swedish authorities will handle this matter in their own good time. I can't see how this really benefits the US at all. The ideal situation for the US is that Bradley Manning brings forth information that Assange encouraged him to turn over documents in violation of US law. This whole rape charge is a distraction.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:53 PM on November 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mr. Assange's public persona is not consistent with the charges - e.g., as say a gangsta rap star's public persona might be.

I have no opinion on the guilt or innocence of Mr. Assange, but I gotta say that's bullshit. Your assertion is flawed in its premise. There is no public persona for rapists. If there was, we wouldn't date them, get into taxis with them, make friends with them, choose them as our doctors, or marry them. Rapists come from all walks of life, all economic classes, all educational backgrounds, all religions.

Being white, 39, well educated, well known, occasionally well spoken and reasonable looking is not a reason to exclude him from suspicion.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:05 PM on November 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Mr. Assange's public persona is not consistent with the charges - e.g., as say a gangsta rap star's public persona might be

Yeah, I've listened to a fair share of gansta rap, because I like rap in general, and although as a woman and feminist I've cringed quite a few times at some of the messages, never once have I thought "Huh. I wonder how many women X has raped lately."

I don't think that about any public persona -- i.e., that because X person presents as X, they must be inclined to rape.

I guess if there was anybody out there yelling about how great rape is and how he likes to do it that would be a different matter, but I don't know of any cases of this.
posted by angrycat at 8:08 PM on November 21, 2010


This whole rape charge is a distraction.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:53 PM on November 21 [+]
posted by clavdivs at 8:37 PM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


continual 'open' surveillance by a neutral nation gives a degree of protection from non-neutral interests.
posted by clavdivs at 8:41 PM on November 21, 2010


no denny terrio jokes
that is all
posted by clavdivs at 8:43 PM on November 21, 2010


"I am firmly in agreement with John Young, of Cryptome, that wikileaks should never have had a public figurehead, that it would have been equally effective and much less compromisable without having a single person (or anyone at all) assume the media face of the organization. I believe the wikileaks people actually approached John Young and proposed that HE be the face of Wikileaks and he rather brusquely turned them down, telling them they should avoid having a public face at all."

Young has gone as far as to suggest that Wikileaks is actually run by the CIA:

Cryptome: Yes, Wikileaks is a clever intelligence front. And jokes about it to conceal the truth, "we would welcome CIA funding," laughs Assange. In turn, Wikileaks accuses others of being clever intelligence fronts, in particular snitchy Wired, bitchy Mother Jones and crotchety main stream journalists except for those recently lending les mains sales to its bombshelling stunts.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 9:15 PM on November 21, 2010


My point is that it is less likely that an educated man with a vested interest in maintaining serious credibility around the globe may be less likely to commit a particular type of crime - say, sexual assault, as opposed to disclosure of secret information - than a man who builds a career based on celebrating his associations with violence, drugs, and a well documented cultural theme of misogyny.

Does that have the whiff of prejudice and stereotyping? Yes, perhaps it does. It doesn't make the original statement any less valid.

Assange's public persona - because I don't have any idea of what he is like personally, he may be a leering pervert who is a serial rapist for all I know - is not consistent with the kind of character one might expect do that.

Ask yourself this: were you surprised to hear that rape charges had been filed against Assange? No? Really? You expected it? You said to your self "Oh that Julian Assange, we knew he was a bad apple, likely to prey on women, or perhaps shoot up a New York dance club?" Bullshit. Would you be surprised to discover your favorite gangster rapper was actually a federal agent responsible for the handling sensitive military information? You wouldn't? Bullshit. You have your own prejudices and stereotypes, too.

I am not excluding Assange from the class of people who can or do commit rape or other crimes. He may well be guilty. Given the nature of the situation and in light of other things we know, I would be more surprised to find he is actually guilty, than that this is a smear campaign. Did you miss that point?

Don't straw man this either, making it sound like I am saying gangsta rappa's are rapists. Would you be more surprised to discover that Julian Assange raped a woman - or two - or that someone who makes a living singing about "bitches and hoes" did? I am not suggesting that gangsta rappers are rapists - I am asking you to assess your own intuition and see how you feel about this. There are seeds of truth in stereotypes and prejudice. The key to not being a prejudiced person is that you treat human beings with respect, and not make decisions based on your prejudices. But don't claim you don't have any.

The situation surrounding Assange and the accusations do not ring true to me. He may be guilty. He may be a serial fornicating freak. But I do not know anything of that, and I suspect that few posting here do.

As someone pointed out, there is no public persona for rapists. Well, no kidding. My point is that it appears to be more likely based on what we know about Assange - his public persona - that he would not do this. It is perfectly possible that he did. It is perfectly possible that not only may he have committed a technical form of rape only defined in the broadest of legal terms, but it is perfectly possible that he tied these poor women up in a basement and burned them with cigarette butts, sodomized, and urinated on them. I don't know. I would be far more surprised to find it was the latter and not the former. Wouldn't you? No?

My point is, that Assange may have raped anyone, especially in the sense that we conventionally use the word rape, is not likely. It is not likely, based only on what we know about Julian Assange. It is not likely because it is not consistent with the character that he presents in public. Unless you have been secretly wiretapping Assange's telephone and spying on his everyday activities with a secret camera ordered out of the back of a comic book, and you know something about him the rest of us don't, you don't know any more than the rest of the people posting in this thread. There is a lot of conjecture - hell there is nothing but conjecture in this thread, and damn little information.

It is important to identify what we do know. We know how Assange presents himself in public. He presents himself professionally and is somewhat, though not entirely, dispassionate. He is not a raging demagogue spouting spittle flecked diatribes. He is not celebrating his outlaw drug addled misogynistic lifestyle. He is articulate and intelligent, cool and professional.

I would be more surprised to find that Assange raped someone than to find out that this is a campaign of character assassination. Wouldn't you? I listed the reasons why. If you think that it is more likely that he raped someone, please, let us know why you think that.
posted by Xoebe at 12:28 AM on November 22, 2010


"My point is that it is less likely that an educated man with a vested interest in maintaining serious credibility around the globe may be less likely to commit a particular type of crime - say, sexual assault, as opposed to disclosure of secret information - than a man who builds a career based on celebrating his associations with violence, drugs, and a well documented cultural theme of misogyny. "

Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar.
posted by klangklangston at 12:59 AM on November 22, 2010


Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar.

Consensual sex was a crime? Only if you were a Republican.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:47 AM on November 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bill Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar.

Which also makes him a rapist, apparently.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:32 AM on November 22, 2010


What i want to know is how he managed to enter the UK without immediately being detained at the airport while a FBI light aircraft is sent over to pick him up. Britain is usually diligent about handing over to the US anyone or anything they want, from extraditing allegedly dodgy British bankers to handing over servers used by left-wing groups to the FBI.
posted by acb at 2:35 AM on November 22, 2010


Oh please. Anyone think Hans reiser would kill his wife? It's always not likely until it is.

To me it seems more likely that he did it, or there is some other more personal explanation, than there is a vast conspiracy.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:02 AM on November 22, 2010


To equate Reiser and Clinton with Assange without any proof of wrongdoing whatsoever is the height of ridiculousness on Metafilter, and that's ignoring the vast differences in the people involved, the crimes in question, and the significant body of circumstantial evidence in Assange's defense.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:16 AM on November 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just don't think you can make any determination about whether someone is likely to commit a crime based on their public persona.

Reiser killing his wife seemed pretty unlikely at the time.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:22 AM on November 22, 2010


Reiser killing his wife seemed pretty unlikely at the time.

Given how uncommon murder is, that can probably be said of any murderer, save perhaps for the most foamingly psychopathic. It's the same problem as trying to profile for terrorists.
posted by acb at 3:35 AM on November 22, 2010


Well according to the post above there are certain people, like the ones with with outlaw drug addled lifestyles , who you can point to and say " yeah that makes sense".

We are always shocked when people we think we know, people we can even identify with, like Assange , Reiser, and probably a few others are accused of a crime . There are no outward signs , they seem so normal, so like us. What does it say about anyone's capacity to commit crimes.

We may never really find out I guess.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:46 AM on November 22, 2010


Reiser killing his wife seemed pretty unlikely at the time.

Pretty sure Reiser didn't embarrass a world power with justifiably notori-famous dirty-works dept.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:50 AM on November 22, 2010


Yeah I'm not sure anything can embarrass us anymore. Wikileaks tweeted the next dump will be 7 times the size of the last one, smart Internet money is on area 51 coverup or maybe Reagan was actually an animitron.

This doesn't seem to be slowing them down though.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:11 AM on November 22, 2010


Ad hominem: "smart Internet money is on area 51 coverup"

So this isn't about Assange, right?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:17 AM on November 22, 2010


Just a joke. Too much reddit.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:22 AM on November 22, 2010


or maybe Reagan was actually an animitron

The version that I've heard claimed that the assassin's bullet did actually kill Reagan, though doctors managed to preserve his brainstem and replace the higher parts of his brain with a radio receiver. From then on, a crack team of CIA puppeteers controlled Zombie Reagan as he appeared on the world stage.
posted by acb at 4:55 AM on November 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Does that have the whiff of prejudice and stereotyping? Yes, perhaps it does. It doesn't make the original statement any less valid.

Seriously? How deep are you going to dig this hole? It's a strange one too, since it basically amounts to "This person does not meet my conception of a rapist, therefore it's impossible he is one. But let me bring up my thoughts on young black men, who do fit the profile. Truth hurts, I know."
posted by yerfatma at 6:01 AM on November 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


It would be really remarkable --- like a one-in-a-billion chance --- that he would just happen to have raped someone who had these connections to the organization that is feverishly trying to figure out how to destroy him.

It doesn't seem odd to me in the least that someone trying to uncover war or governmental secrets would be in contact with someone on the so-called other side, or even end up in a sexual situation with someone on the other side. I mean, have you never seen a James Bond movie?
posted by aught at 6:15 AM on November 22, 2010


Reiser killing his wife seemed pretty unlikely at the time.

Actually, the surprising thing was that Hans Reiser was more of an asshole in real life than he was on the Internet.
posted by ryanrs at 6:26 AM on November 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


To equate Reiser and Clinton with Assange without any proof of wrongdoing whatsoever is the height of ridiculousness on Metafilter, and that's ignoring the vast differences in the people involved, the crimes in question, and the significant body of circumstantial evidence in Assange's defense.

This is both right and wrong. We are not in a position of examining any proof. We are strangers on the internet. We have never examined the evidence in this case, which consists of statements of witnesses and perhaps the accused. We have no access to any evidence, circumstantial or otherwise. We are reading news reports and are one and all spectacularly uninformed about the circumstances of the alleged crime.

I have no opinion on guilt here. I dislike the man for other reasons. I do think if the CIA was doing this or some military agency, it would be spectacularly stupid, because there is no reason to "discredit" Assange, because the government has admitted he has authentic documents. Discrediting him does nothing to put the documents back into the vaults, nor make people believe anything different.

And look at what has happened regarding the documents? Nothing. It barely made a blip on the national radar. There have been no new protests, no new shocking exposes, nothing. Putting Assange into the spotlight even more through somehow pressuring the Swedish government only brings attention to Assange and Wikileaks, which has been falling apart at the seams for months without any help from Uncle Sam. In short, 'framing' Assange is the most counter-productive strategy the US government could engage in. Arresting him for a violation of national security laws is the most productive strategy for the US government.

Part of Assange's problem is that he made Wikileaks about him, not about the leaks. And having sex with groupies is stuff that goes along with this. The smart play is to not go on high-profile trips and surround yourself with hangers-on. Assange did not do this.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:13 AM on November 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


well said Ironmouth
posted by caddis at 8:31 AM on November 22, 2010


Nice to see "Bros before Hos" is alive and well on Metafilter. I hope if in the unlikely event I ever get charged with rape, I too can claim the accuser is a radical feminist CIA plant.

Hey, why don't we just use the Polanski defense for Assange? That is, even if Assange allegedly did rape these alleged women (Who are all undoubtedly radical feminist CIA plants who *gasp* criticized Cuba), the man's work is just too important and valuable to be troubled by trifles such as the legal system. In fact the women should be honored by the alleged fact that Assange graced them with his alleged sperm.

I mean seriously, if she didn't want it, she wouldn't have been walking around in public criticizing Cuba's sterling human rights record.
posted by happyroach at 8:44 AM on November 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


We know how Assange presents himself in public. He presents himself professionally and is somewhat, though not entirely, dispassionate.

?? This is so *not* my impression of Assange, including from before the sexual assault charges. He seems very "off," also angry, to me. But I also know that impressions are not evidence.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:46 AM on November 22, 2010


Part of Assange's problem is that he made Wikileaks about him, not about the leaks.

This too. Though I also argue if you are going to be the celeb leader of the cause then you need to build a team of handlers, lawyers and others around you. You need professionals who will arrange your interviews, set the conditions, and let you sound out your talking points. Ralph Nader has a team around him to make sure he doesn't get derailed.
posted by humanfont at 8:46 AM on November 22, 2010


And having sex with groupies is stuff that goes along with this. The smart play is to not go on high-profile trips and surround yourself with hangers-on. Assange did not do this.

"She shouldn't have worn that dress."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:09 AM on November 22, 2010


Xoebe: “It is important to identify what we do know. We know how Assange presents himself in public. He presents himself professionally and is somewhat, though not entirely, dispassionate... If you think that it is more likely that he raped someone, please, let us know why you think that.”

Look, this is a bit of a canard – 'could you present the reasons why this person might have committed rape?' is kind of a pointless question, since rape is a very serious charge and really no one should point that finger unless they have first-hand knowledge of the crime. We can all sit around and say that Julian Assange is creepy all day, but being creepy doesn't make somebody a rapist, I know.

However, you can't precisely say that he "presents himself professionally and is somewhat, though not entirely, dispassionate." He's always seemed creepy. I've quoted this before here, but I'll do it again, as it still seems pertinent; this is from his blog, circa 2006:
I've always found women caught in a thunderstorm appealing. Perhaps it is a male universal, for without advertising this proclivity a lovely girl I knew, but not well, on discovering within herself lascivious thoughts about me and noticing raindrops outside her windows, stood for a moment fully clothed in her shower before letting the wind and rain buffet her body as she made her tremulous approach to my door and of course I could not turn her away.

But then, just when one might suspect that men are krill to the baleen of female romantic manipulation, I found myself loving a girl who was a coffee addict. I would make a watery paste of finely ground coffee and surreptitiously smear this around my neck and shoulders before seducing her so she would associate my body with her dopaminergic cravings. But every association relates two objects both ways. She started drinking more and more coffee. Sometimes I looked at her cups of liquid arabicia with envious eyes for if there were four cups then somehow, I was one of them, or a quarter of everyone one of them...
I don't say this stuff implicates him on rape charges. But... creepy? Unprofessional? Yes. And at the very least, he's always been a somewhat unexpected choice as Wikileaks' spokesperson.
posted by koeselitz at 9:52 AM on November 22, 2010


"To equate Reiser and Clinton with Assange without any proof of wrongdoing whatsoever is the height of ridiculousness on Metafilter, and that's ignoring the vast differences in the people involved, the crimes in question, and the significant body of circumstantial evidence in Assange's defense."

Uh, the point was that simply declaring that someone was educated and had a vested interest in preserving their public persona is not good evidence of their good behavior, and Clinton did more than Lewinsky, including perjuring himself in a sexual harassment lawsuit. That someone is educated and has a vested interest in a public persona means that they aren't a rapist is an incredibly classist assertion, and would be a better target for your pearl-clutching "height of ridiculousness" rhetoric.
posted by klangklangston at 10:11 AM on November 22, 2010


And having sex with groupies is stuff that goes along with this. The smart play is to not go on high-profile trips and surround yourself with hangers-on. Assange did not do this.

"She shouldn't have worn that dress."


Huh? You are equating me calling out Assange's personal decision to have sex with these women with the crap that rape-justifiers say about women who were raped? Please tell me I got this wrong.

My point is that you can expect consequences if you are a public figure and you have casual sex with groupies.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:19 AM on November 22, 2010


Is it an established fact that they were "groupies"?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2010


that blog excerpt is really fucking creepy
this is not to say he's a rapist just -- jeez
posted by angrycat at 11:43 AM on November 22, 2010


I do think if the CIA was doing this or some military agency, it would be spectacularly stupid...

We are talking about the CIA and the entire US Intelligence community, here. I think spectacular stupidity is a reasonable assumption. How's the hunt for bin Laden going, guys?
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:48 AM on November 22, 2010


Well, all I can add is that I have had condom failure issues, ummmm, midstroke in the past, and I must confess that I didn't stop, as I was, ermmmmm, in the moment.

That's adorable, Samizdata. Did she tell you to stop and you didn't? Because if so -- which is apparently what's alleged here -- I would have no problem with calling you a rapist.
posted by Dolukhanova at 11:51 AM on November 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


My point is that you can expect consequences if you are a public figure and you have casual sex with groupies.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:19 PM on November 22 [+] [!]
posted by clavdivs at 1:13 PM on November 22, 2010


Assaunge has taken upon his self to be an independant medium to make public secrets some nations want keep 'private'.
The matter of his courage is evident. But there are consequences, as there are to any action. His intent is opinion and fact. To treble and treble conjecture of anything in this matter would be entering into a 'wilderness of mirrors'.

A hammer is not the best tool in this solution. But having one is a start. Secrets never hold firm as the water and river move. Ceasing this cannot be done in totality.
posted by clavdivs at 1:28 PM on November 22, 2010


Wikileaks next release will be 7x size of Iraq war log. Apparently this is the cache of US State Department cables.
posted by humanfont at 1:52 PM on November 22, 2010


chaff
posted by clavdivs at 2:06 PM on November 22, 2010


"Wikileaks next release will be 7x size of Iraq war log. "

To be fair, they set it in courier and used really wide margins.
posted by klangklangston at 2:45 PM on November 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


the assassin's bullet did actually kill Reagan, though doctors managed to preserve his brainstem and replace the higher parts of his brain with a radio receiver. From then on, a crack team of CIA puppeteers controlled Zombie Reagan as he appeared on the world stage.

SWEDISH AUTHORITIES ISSUE NEW INDICTMENT FOR INTERNET POSTER "ACB"
posted by whir at 2:57 PM on November 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Rape. Of all crimes, why did it have to be rape. Rape is one of those things where even an allegation will turn people against you, regardless of the outcome of the case. He'd be better off, PR-wise, if they were hunting him on a murder charge.
posted by tehloki at 4:56 PM on November 22, 2010


Rape is 'universal' horror. It's use in the 'Honey trap' has few 'legs' in garnering substantial HUMINT Intelligence. The 'Accusation of Rape' is planned as to leave little if no doubt to the accused character wether the charge 'sticks' or not. When done by a professionals it can deployed efficiently without sophisticated means. A murder 'frame' requires more sophisticated means and can have more 'direct' end results.
posted by clavdivs at 5:30 PM on November 22, 2010


klang, why wade though copper when the gold is in the bag;>
posted by clavdivs at 5:34 PM on November 22, 2010


Rape is one of those things where even an allegation will turn people against you, regardless of the outcome of the case. He'd be better off, PR-wise, if they were hunting him on a murder charge.

That's one of the weirder things I've read this day. Nay, this week, this month, this year, even.
'Cause, why, like there'd be no dead body and he'd say where is the dead body there is no dead body HA I WIN THE CASE
posted by angrycat at 7:03 PM on November 22, 2010


Rape. Of all crimes, why did it have to be rape. Rape is one of those things where even an allegation will turn people against you, regardless of the outcome of the case.

That's probably why they chose that particular allegation to hang on him.
posted by Aquaman at 8:39 AM on November 23, 2010


eee classifying the mere allegation of rape (as opposed to conviction) being put into such a class of WMDs -- that's pretty dang problematic, coming from the rape victim's point of view
posted by angrycat at 8:45 AM on November 23, 2010


Assange's appeal against detention order denied.
posted by Ahab at 10:52 AM on November 24, 2010


{"well yeah"}

(no offense Ahab on your comment. 3 IS' with tight telegraphic brevity.)
you rule. you and Chinese Jet Pilot. rule.


posted by clavdivs at 11:15 PM on November 24, 2010


Nice to see "Bros before Hos" is alive and well on Metafilter. I hope if in the unlikely event I ever get charged with rape, I too can claim the accuser is a radical feminist CIA plant.

Yes, yes, that is exactly what is happening here. And yes, should anyone ever be accused of rape under any circumstances, the accuser will certainly, on 100%-of-all-cases basis, be painted as a CIA plant. The speculation around this particular news item is definitely the product of some kind of strange, intentional, and measured misogynistic protection of The Brotherhood. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, no possible motive that the charges might have ulterior motivation, and thus this is a completely arbitrary defense of rapists everywhere. That is Metafilter: providing everlasting support, sanctum, and succor for rapists of all walks of life.
posted by Tikirific at 2:33 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was trying really hard not to get worked up over the false allegation of rape thing, because it's a difficult issue for me, so I stayed far away from the "bros before hos" language (although I've said far worse in another thread where this issue came up).

Yet I sympathize keenly with the sentiment in the language. Dealing with it in over the top irony seems to me to be a needless mockery of the idea that all accusations of rape, whether against a skeevy subway flashing perv or against a crusader for a sympathetic cause, be taken seriously.
posted by angrycat at 8:59 PM on November 27, 2010


Wikileaks: "The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined."

News reports all say thousands of US State Department documents will be released soon.
posted by lullaby at 8:45 AM on November 28, 2010


Wikileaks' Newest Leak Leaked on Twitter as WikiLeaks claim ‘mass distributed denial of service attack’ on website.
The full tranche of cables is apparently scheduled to be released by Wikileaks this afternoon at around 4:30 pm EST in concert with The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel.
NYT preview and Guardian Live update
posted by adamvasco at 10:29 AM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is going to take weeks, perhaps years to fully feel the impact of these cables. Some intereting revelations from the NY Times analysis:
-secret dealings to purchase nuclear material in Pakistan
-corruption in the Karzai government
-secret dealings between Bulesconi and Putin
-Gitmo deals
-Putin's struggles to deal with Russian beauracracy
-South Korea trying to buy the North from China

Still the fact is this move is super dangerous for Assange. He's should run now and disappear before he's disappeared. Members of the wikileaks team will prosecuted and pursued. It is going to get very ugly.
posted by humanfont at 10:47 AM on November 28, 2010




Two thins interesting to me on the arrest warrant side of things are:

Although initial media reports cited an Interpol press release as their source for the fact that an international warrant (presumably a red notice) had been issued, that press release hasn't been publicized on the interpol site. Most are. Subsequent media releases have been.

Secondly, he's not showing up as wanted or a fugitive on the interpol site. That might just be delay in posting, but you'd think if they were going to announce he was wanted, they'd get the details online. You know, they've got all their Romanian chicken thieves and Israeli hit men/women up there in full photographic glory. Why not Julian Assange?

I think Interpol might have been holding off on the formalities so that they could see just what nasty shit the American State department had to say about them.
posted by Ahab at 12:09 PM on November 28, 2010


From Homunculus' link to the Guardian I have learned that the cables reveal:
  • Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme
  •  Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime.
  •  Devastating criticism of the UK's military operations in Afghanistan.
  •  Claims of inappropriate behaviour by a member of the British royal family.
These hitherto unexpressed revelations may shake the world.

I know, I know, it's the details and the fact that they've been released as official opinions.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:19 PM on November 28, 2010


An Interpol red notice (second link is a pdf) has now been formally issued for Assange and he is on their wanted list. Assange has lodged a second appeal against his arrest warrants, and Ecuador has offered him asylum.
posted by Ahab at 3:58 AM on November 30, 2010


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