Assange in Sweden: the facts

31 May

The origins of Julian Assange’s current legal predicament are all too easily forgotten in the drama of his ongoing appeal against Sweden’s request that the UK extradite him to answer allegations of sexual misconduct in that country. However, in the opinion of this opinionista, they are crucial to the story, and what we might make of it. With the invaluable assistance of the BBC News Europe I’ve gone back to the beginning.

11 August 2010

Julian Assange arrives in Sweden on a speaking trip partly arranged by “Miss A”, a member of the Christian Association of Social Democrats. He has not met “Miss A” before but reports suggest they have arranged in advance that he can stay in her apartment while she is out of town for a few days.

14 August 2010

“Miss A” and Mr Assange attend a seminar by the Social Democrats’ Brotherhood Movement on “War and the role of media”, at which the Wikileaks founder is the key speaker. The two reportedly have sex that night.

17 August 2010

Mr Assange reportedly has sex with a woman he met at the seminar on 14 August, identified as “Miss W”.

Some time between 17 and 20 August, “Miss W” and “Miss A” – the woman who arranged his speaking trip – are in contact and apparently share with a journalist the concerns they have about aspects of their respective sexual encounters with Mr Assange.

18 August 2010

Mr Assange applies for a residence permit to live and work in Sweden. He hopes to create a base for Wikileaks there, because of the country’s laws protecting whistle-blowers.

20 August 2010

The Swedish Prosecutor’s Office issues an arrest warrant for Julian Assange. Karin Rosander, head of communications, says there are two separate allegations – one of rape and one of molestation.

Both women reportedly say that what started as consensual sex became non-consensual.

Wikileaks quotes Mr Assange as saying the accusations are “without basis” and that their appearance “at this moment is deeply disturbing”. A later message on the Wikileaks Twitter feed says the group has been warned to expect “dirty tricks”.

21 August 2010

The arrest warrant is withdrawn. “I don’t think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape,” says one of Stockholm’s chief prosecutors, Eva Finne.

Ms Rosander says the investigation into the molestation charge will continue but it is not a serious enough crime for an arrest warrant.

The lawyer for the two women, Claes Borgstrom, lodges an appeal to a special department in the public prosecutions office.

31 August 2010

Mr Assange is questioned by police for about an hour in Stockholm and formally told of the allegations against him, according to his lawyer at the time, Leif Silbersky. The activist denies the charges.

1 September 2010

Swedish Director of Prosecution Marianne Ny says she is reopening the rape investigation against Mr Assange, eleven days after a chief prosecutor announced the arrest warrant had been dropped. Ms Ny is also head of the department that oversees prosecution of sex crimes in particular.

“There is reason to believe that a crime has been committed,” she says in a statement. “Considering information available at present, my judgement is that the classification of the crime is rape.”

Ms Ny says the investigation into the molestation claim will also be extended. She tells AFP that overturning another prosecutor’s decision was “not an ordinary (procedure), but not so out of the ordinary either”.

18 October 2010

The Wikileaks founder is denied residency in Sweden. No reason is given, although an official on Sweden’s Migration Board tells the AFP news agency “he did not fulfil the requirements”.

18 November 2010

Stockholm District Court approves a request to detain Mr Assange for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Sweden’s Director of Prosecution Marianne Ny says he has not been available for questioning.

Mr Assange’s British lawyer Mark Stephens says his client offered to be interviewed at the Swedish embassy in London or Scotland Yard or via video link. He accuses Ms Ny of “abusing her powers” in insisting that Mr Assange return to Sweden.

20 November 2010

Swedish police issue an international arrest warrant for Mr Assange via Interpol.

30 November 2010

Interpol issues a “red notice” for Mr Assange, asking people to contact police if they have any information about his whereabouts.

8 December 2010

The Wikileaks founder gives himself up to London police and is taken to an extradition hearing at a Westminster court. He is remanded in custody pending another hearing on 14 December.

Below are extracts from a witness statement written by Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, to his English counterpart, Mark Stephens on December 14, 2010. The pdf  can be accessed here: “downgraded to ’minor rape’

The case is one of the weakest cases I have ever seen in my professional career.

I have been refused access to the [full case file] orally, by Ms Ny, the Swedish Prosecutor. I know that the file contains extremely important exculpatory material, for example showing the fundamental inconsistencies in the complainants’ accounts of the key events.

In my opinion it is highly uncertain whether Mr Assange will be prosecuted at all, if extradited. If prosecuted, I consider it highly unlikely that he will be convicted.

I can confirm that I have been trying for many weeks to arrange for [Mr Assange] to be questioned by Ms Ny. All these attempts have been rebuffed by her. 

[Here follows a time line in which Mr Hurtig lists these attempts, and the excuses proffered by Ms Ny in refusal, including that she wanted a specific policeman to interview Assange, and he was not available.

On September 15 2010, Ms Nye confirmed to Mr Hurtig that Mr Assange was free to leave Sweden.]

Mr Hurtig continues: I also think it unreasonable that in a case of this kind, where extensive mutual assistance between the UK and Sweden would readily permit a video-link interview, for the prosecution to be so absolutely insistent that Mr Assange return (and at his own expense) to face questions that could easily be put over the video-link. [Assange has many times offered to do this, and offered to engage in interviews with Swedish officials in the UK. The Swedish authorities have consistently refused these offers, demanding extradition instead.]

I note that at least one of the complainants have been interviewed by telephone and the insistence that Mr Assange come back to Sweden merely for an interview is, therefore, unreasonable and contrary to the decision of our Supreme Court (NJA 2007, p. 337).

In his interview with human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson on the 7.30 Report yesterday, ABC TV’s Chris Uhlmann repeatedly referred to “the charges” against Assange. Mr Robertson corrected him, explaining that no charges have been laid against Assange. Allegations have been made. The Swedish authorities wish to extradite him for questioning about those allegations, having refused point-blank all other methods of interview.

After questioning Mr Assange, a decision will be made as to whether or not there are grounds for proceeding to charge him.

This process has already been completed once in Sweden by Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne, who decided the complaints were not sufficiently serious to issue an arrest warrant.

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116 Responses to “Assange in Sweden: the facts”

  1. ann odyne May 31, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    when I blogged everything you just have I was attacked by second-wave feminists. they would hang him now. Bradley*Manning is still naked in a concrete cell after years, and all he did was expose the US*Military as evil. I am concerned this will happen to JA because of those fame-whoring girls from a country KNOWN world wide for decades as a place of sexual*freedom.
    The poxy UK judiciary all probably wearing black leather knickers and fishnets under their gowns, and Australia should be expelling all Sverige diplomats from their cushy postings. I won’t be buying a Wolwo today either.

    • Hypocritophobe May 31, 2012 at 11:59 am #

      Righto Content Warning:
      If you like Volvos,look away now!

      The worlds ?safest? car designed for a place where no-one drinks and drives or takes road risks anyway.
      A brick.A quirky status symbol would be middle class aspirants and uni students studying art?

      Great investment for overseas folk?
      Sure,if you have money to burn for repairs and can wait years for any obscure spare parts.
      A car with a name that sounds that close to a body part is to be admired.Owned? No thanks.
      If people want to pretend to be w*nkers,doctors or arty buy a Merc a Beemer or a VW Beetle.

      If the yanks get their hands on Assange, he is toast, and the Aussie diplomats/govt will not be of any assistance.
      Where’s Jelly-Back Garrett?

    • Jennifer Wilson June 4, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      The standard of commentary on this blog is spectacular. So many comments ought to be blog posts in their own right. I am honoured to have you all.

      I mean on all the posts, not just this one.

  2. Hypocritophobe May 31, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    “Chris Uhlmann repeatedly referred to “the charges” against Assange.’

    It appears to be his modus operandi,we just need to know his motives.
    Be warned, waiting for that, should not be seen as a breath holding exercise.

    Is that line / content of questioning somewhere between incompetent or unethical?
    Both?
    I wonder if Assange has leaked anything about the Vatican or Pope, or is that the work of butlers only?

    Perhaps Chris sees himself as Australia’s resident journalistic Catholic superman.

  3. Hypocritophobe May 31, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    http://suite101.com/article/catholic-priest-abuse-revelations-by-wikileaks-a320073

    From a search
    “wikileaks catholic church”

    http://www.google.com.au/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&biw=&bih=&q=wikileaks+catholic+church&meta=&oq=wikileaks+catholic+church&aq=f&aqi=g1g-K1&aql=1&gs_l=firefox-hp.12..0j0i30.2625.9681.0.16321.25.25.0.0.0.0.1200.6135.8j4j9j5-3j0j1.25.0.ckh.1.0.0.XWnIvL2XR00

    Try this too.

    wikileaks vatican

  4. ann odyne May 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    The US is needed by Sweden (forget why but it’s big) and the prosecuting woman was advised of this AFTER her initial dismissal of the ALLEGATIONS. one of the fame-whores, Anna*Ardin, is well experienced at bringing charges by the way. read here for a 2010 timeline including her pre-Assange public lectures on getting revenge on men for just being men.,

    and it contains a description of a standard swedish joke that ‘everything is rape’.
    Assange has fallen into a bermuda-type triangle of the confluence between Sweden, the US and the UK. The world may find him guilty of being too smart and not-a-nice-person.
    Now that Bob Carr has commendably expelled the Syrian ambassador, I wish he would forcibly repatriate JA to AUS ( oh wait, we are sucking up to the Yanks because they are pouring big cash into something new out there near their Pine Gap. sigh.)

  5. paul walter May 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    It’s sparked some argument in the past between pro Assange and anti Assange people, who feel he is likely an offender and urge his return to Sweden.
    Personally, am pro Assange,I thin k the system has been bypassed yet coopted into crucifying him not because he is likely a criminal, but for foreign affairs reasons and for the urge of some to see someone made an example of over what they are convinced (evidence?)is inappropriate sexual behaviour.

  6. hudsongodfrey May 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    It is always very difficult to regard rape as having occurred where consent was given and then later withdrawn. Difficult but perhaps not impossible.

    The crime itself however needs to be condemned by reason of violation of another’s person and would if in this case it was proven to have occurred. What seems more likely however is that this is at the low end of the scale of crimes and indeed to the extent that the facts have already been examined any prosecution, should it even come to that, seems relatively unlikely to succeed. What we would have on the face of it then is a case that at worst attracts a very slight penalty.

    The real consequences of this case are quite different. To superimpose on a parallel timeline the unfolding events with respect to Wikileaks’ activities would prove even more instructive. This was happening after the release of the Collateral Murder video taken July 12 2007 and released by Wikileaks April 4 2010. I’ve posted a link below and those of you who haven’t seen it should know that it is not for the faint hearted.

    In late February 2010 Wikileaks had already released the so-called Reykjavik 13 cable, followed by the release of State Department profiles of Icelandic politicians a month later.

    In July of the same year, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan.

    In October 2010 they released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination with major media organisations that chronicle every death in Iraq, and across the border in Iran.

    It was coincidentally on November 28 2010 that Wikileaks delivered perhaps its greatest insult to the US military and government when in collaboration with the five other major media organisations* it released a further 220 redacted State Department cables. These are believed to be from the same source as the Icelandic cables, the leaks of which Bradley Manning was arrested in May 2010 on suspicion of having committed.

    It is hardly surprising then that opinion around Assange’s guilt or innocence of these on again – off again rape charges seems generally to rest on whether people support Wikileaks activities, or indeed whether the threat of extradition to the United States where politicians as well supported as Sarah Palin have called for him to be “hunted down like a terrorist.” The U.S. Army, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Justice Department have mooted criminally prosecuting WikiLeaks and Assange “on grounds they encouraged the theft of government property”

    In Manning’s case he has been charged with communicating national defense information to an unauthorised source and aiding the enemy, a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty.

    What ultimate consequences Assange may be subjected to as a by product of being extradited to Sweden which has a history of acquiescing to US pressure to extradite.

    Julian Assange is internationally recognised as a Journalist publishing material under similar auspices to El País, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, The Guardian and The New York Times. * The papers with who he collaborated in the aforementioned cable releases.

    Assange has been a member of the Australian journalist union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, for several years, and in 2011, was made an honorary member.

    Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has come under widespread condemnation after calling the leaks “an illegal act” and suggesting that his Australian passport should be cancelled.

    At the time of writing the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr claims to be supporting Julian Assange, but is doing so in ways that still fall short of showing willingness to protect him from the US.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-31/carr-defends-government27s-handling-of-assange/4044590

    We are entitled to believe that he should at least be offered protection from consequences that do not befit any of crimes alleged against him. He is entitled to protection from the repercussions of having baited one of the world’s biggest bullies. That in my view and I’m sure those of many like me is the real truth of the matter.

    • Hypocritophobe May 31, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

      But haven’t Rudd and/or Gillard pretty much stated publicly Assange is a threat to world and national security and totally irresponsible.Not sure what the chook yard side had to say,but I doubt they are in the Assange camp.
      Which says that what America wants America gets.
      We as a Nation will be in there ensuring he gets 3 square meals a day in US custody as the case drags on for 10 years before going to trial,or he dies inside.Whichever comes first.
      We learnt nothing from the Hicks saga.Justice is a luxury unless the Yanks tick the box.

      • Marilyn May 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

        No Rudd has defended him all along.

        It is only Gillard who said he was a criminal.

        I find it offensive to the rule of law that someone can have a warant issued simply for questioning.

        I don’t think I have ever heard of anything so bizarre.

      • hudsongodfrey May 31, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

        I reflected on Gillard’s comments and Bob Carr in the news today towards the end. You may have missed that part I don’t blame you if you thought I overdid it for a comment.

        What I really wanted to establish was a timeline of some of the events as an overlay to Jennifer’s research because I think the two together tell a very different story.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 1, 2012 at 7:05 am #

      Many thanks for this, HG. As you note, this timeline needs to be read in conjunction with the alleged sexual misconduct timeline. While it doesn’t negate the sexual assault allegations, it places them in the wider context.

      • hudsongodfrey June 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

        Thanks Jennifer,

        I want to reiterate that I’m not arguing to make light of the sex charges against him in the least, but to ensure that the law being the ass that it is doesn’t contrive to deliver him into the waiting arms of those wishing to take vengeance upon him for a very different matter that is NOT a crime.

  7. doug quixote May 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I may not be popular for this, but Assange to me is entirely undeserving of our sympathies.

    He is recklessly indifferent to the mayhem he may have caused by publishing as he did, totally narcissistic and psychopathic.

    The issue he faces in Sweden is beyond doubt one that requires his presence; Swedish procedure is to question a person and then put the charges , much later in the proceedings than we in the common law jurisdictions are used to.

    Let the legal process be followed, as it inexorably will be.

    • hudsongodfrey May 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Okay Doug,

      History may judge differently but I gave you the timeline up to the point of his arrest. Now read on….

      The remaining cables were published in September 2011 after a series of events compromised the security of a WikiLeaks file containing the cables. WikiLeaks volunteers had placed an encrypted file containing all WikiLeaks data online as “insurance” in July 2010, in case something happened to the organisation. In February 2011 David Leigh of The Guardian published the encryption passphrase in a book. He had been given it by Assange so he could access a copy of the Cablegate file, and believed the passphrase was a temporary one, unique to that file.

      It became public that an encrypted version of WikiLeaks’ huge archive of unredacted U.S. State Department cables had been available via Bittorrent for months, and that the decryption key was available to those who knew where to look.

      WikiLeaks decided on 1 September 2011 to publish all 251,287 unedited documents.

      Over 130,000 of the cables are unclassified, some 100,000 are labeled “confidential”, around 15,000 have the higher classification “secret”, and none are classified as “top secret” on the classification scale.

      This information is available on the public record, but it appears that a lot of what passes for information these days takes the form of commentary and influences the way we come to view certain things..

      I look at it from the point of view that the failure to redact these documents was at root a failure of Wikileaks’ attempts to pass information to The Guardian in the first instance. You must remember in judging this that by September 2011 the organisation was besieged by actors working in support of the US government against them. So yes it is regrettable that this information was released in raw form without due consideration for the safety of individuals or perhaps the same discrimination in relation to whether it was in the public interest. On that level I think it was a misstep taken under pressure with the probable intent of trying to alleviate the pressure they were under not to publish by doing the one thing that might render further attempts to stop it pointless, actually releasing the data.

      What has been revealed by the releases has subsequently been shrugged off by may and embarrassing but largely less compromising than was first feared. And while I don’t for one minute intend to argue that two wrongs make a right, I’m not above pointing out that some very real wrongs were revealed in those cables. I think that tells us that there was some public interest there and that at the very least it seems hypocritical in the extreme to target Assange without firstly also holding to account those people who the cables’ secrecy formerly protected in their wrongdoing.

      The real message of Wikileaks has to do with the hope that the US as the world’s sole remaining superpower is nonetheless meant to be accountable to its own democratic system of government if only servants of that government cannot conspire to act with impunity by keeping their dirty deeds hidden from its people.

      I may remain cynical regarding the value of such high ideals in a society that gave us the Bush years and has since failed to change much under Obama, but I nevertheless don’t see how holding and acting upon them makes Assange a criminal. I think it probably makes him a very effective Journalist who revealed some inconvenient truths.

      • Hypocritophobe May 31, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

        +1

      • Jennifer Wilson June 1, 2012 at 7:07 am #

        And again, many many thanks for this HG.

        • hudsongodfrey June 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

          I assure anyone reading what I’ve posted that the information was far from difficult to find. I suspect the timeline Jennifer outlines needed a good deal more research than what mine did.

      • doug quixote June 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

        I know all that. It changes nothing. In fact it is worse.

        • hudsongodfrey June 1, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

          Doug, How worse?

          • doug quixote June 1, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

            He surrendered any claim he may have had to the high ground once he released completely unredacted material.

            • Hypocritophobe June 1, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

              Yes, I guess he’s lucky Abetz didn’t kick his ass in court for stealing his methodology.

            • hudsongodfrey June 1, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

              I guess that criticism is the one that concerns me the most as well.

              But you see we don’t get to test that case under the current circumstances, and I’m far from convinced that this alone would be the charge that US authorities care about most. What they don’t like above all else is having the veil of secrecy the hides the emperor’s new clothes rent in twain!

    • Ann O'Dyne May 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      with respect, ‘reckless indifference’ is not an offence, and this extradition is for Swedish law to question JA about the allegations by 2 women who had sex with him. This extradition is not about the Wikileaks publication.
      Anna and Sofia say they were ‘raped’. At the time, the Swedish prosecutor found there was no case to answer, JA made himself available for interview and was told ‘not required’. He went to London. He is not a lovely man, but that is not an offence in law either. He is not a lovely man but he did not stalk or attack or physically damage either of those 2 swedish women who willingly had sex with him. Their allegations were born of vengeful spite. One of them, Anna*Wohlin, has been associated with CIA activities in the past.

      • doug quixote June 1, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

        No-one said it was an offence; but the claim is that he deserves our support. I say he deserves nothing more nor less than the consular support we give to any Australian in such a position.

        • hudsongodfrey June 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

          I think that the kind of law we ought to be applying to the Assange case is more in the nature of the provisions under which Asylum is granted. He has a reasonable fear of persecution.

          As it stands the law can only deal with the facts and circumstances before it. That is to say those that pertain to the allegations of sexual crimes. And I’d join you in supporting due process in those matters were that all that is at stake here. Strong circumstantial evidence suggests that it is not.

          There are good reasons to believe that the consequences for Mr Assange could be far worse than that. And my question for you in that vein would be whether it is a matter of a difference of opinion as to whether he deserves protection from the US that influences your apparent antipathy towards him.

          I’m openly willing to declare that it is because I think he does deserve protection from the US that wholly and solely informs my view that he should not be extradited to Sweden at this time.

          • doug quixote June 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

            Best of luck with creating, much less applying, and even better with enforcing such a law. Let me know how you get on.

            • hudsongodfrey June 1, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

              I think the principle is there and a precedent of sorts exist in the case of asylum so I don’t see a case couldn’t be made for it.

    • Marilyn June 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      Reckless?
      What about the cretins he exposed? They are reckless and have cost the lives of millions of innocent people based on bogus stories.

      You can’t kill the publisher because you don’t like the frigging message.

  8. paul walter May 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Doug,, you certainly are not with me.
    Despite the the material in the leaks and what they showed of the hollowness of international justice and foreign relations, despite the fact that these people have been hounded and persecuted by authorities for daring to point out the emperor has no clothes; to tell the truth for our benefit, you want him crucified too?
    The reckless indifference you see is the reckless indifference of corporate thugs, diplomats and pen-pushers, and tin pot lackeys in states “failed” because of western foreign and economic policy.
    It hasn’t occurred to you that the Swedish charges are a beat-up to get Assange for the Americans?
    Duh!
    Never mind,
    As AnnO’Dyne has pointed out, folk with far more illustrious CV’s than us also failed on these issues elsewhere.
    But before you go, Doug, just ask yourself why the Swedish authorities vetoed the idea of Assange being interviewed on neutral territory. And you reckon his return to Sweden wont be exploited by the authorities there, to grovel to the Americans?
    ha, ha, ha…
    When law is no longer law and justice no longer justice, people have a right to get up and fight it.

    • doug quixote June 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

      No, no crucifixion – proper legal process. Not more, not less.

      • Marilyn June 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

        There is no legal process though, he is not wanted for anything but questioning which could happen on the frigging moon.

      • paul walter June 1, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

        “Proper legal process”.
        What is the definition of “proper”?
        The dismembering of Justice across the world is the defining characteristic of world events, so far this century.
        With Assange, we have some thing more akin to Dr Haneef than the sight of a working justice system operating.
        No habeas corpus, instead withholding of charges, access to legal counsel, and indefinite detention and barbaric interview techniques employed at verballing a response to offences defined in the most nebulous and open ended legalese you’ll ever hear.
        And for what?
        A love of Justice?
        More about the staging that is necessary for facilitation of actually quite sinister policies and ideology, as we saw with weapons of mass destruction. No terrorism, why then, you dont need draconian laws that can also be applied to dissidents or providers of proper information reaching the public, concerning these sinister developments.

  9. Sam Jandwich May 31, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    I think it’s worth pointing out that it’s an election year in the US, and that the position of the Labor government in Australia continues to be tenuous, so the application of political pressure is not going to be in JA’s favour.

    Whatever he did in Sweden, it does seem to me that if he weren’t the person he is then there would not have been the effort put into pursuing him in the way that he has been – and I think that’s a sign of things to come.

    But as to what that might mean, the possibilities are endless. It may well be the case that there is enough popular opposition to what is going on to influence the outcome, but then again there very well might not.

    And how will the man himself react? He appears to have the resilience to stand up to whatever injustice he is subjcted to, but at the same time I can’t help but feel as though the analogy of the suicide bomber is a little bit relevant here as well. Certainly many people in in various parts of the world have given their lives for far less significant reasons. When does it become worth it?

    In fact, is that what it comes down to? I’m not entirely sure that publishing that material will prove positive in the long term or not. It’s certainly been enlightening, but at the same time if it were me I would probably have attempted to try to engender a bit more balance in what was released – say, try to simultaneously publish internal cables from Russia and China, who in their own way have long histories of troubled relations with Muslim populations in or near Iraq and Afghanistan.

    But for me, the publication of those documents, and the undeniably banal, not-altogether surprising nature of their contents, presents the opportunity to advance the idea that actually, what does anyone have to hide? All they are about is power, money, self-agrandisement through the pursuit of relatively petty outcomes. Have we forgotten that this is what led to the unnecessary, widescale slaughter of last century’s world wars?

    It would be so easy for us all just to get along, but it seems as though the only thing that’s ever going to unite us as a species is an alien invasion!

    • Jennifer Wilson June 1, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      To me, the power of Wikileaks lies (lay?) in the challenge they threw at governments’ penchant for secrecy, some of it quite absurd. The raw demand for accountability and transparency inherent in Wikileaks mission wounded the US and the US responds like an enraged animal trying to kill its attacker.

      I certainly haven’t read all the cables. I’ve found some very interesting, some damn silly, and some horrific. The point for me is that I was able to read them at all, thanks to Wikileaks. Secrecy is power, and Wikileaks made a serious dent, albeit temporarily.

      • Sam Jandwich June 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

        Unfortunately governments won’t see it that way. Instead they will simply tighten up their security standards, so that for wxample people in Bradley Manning’s position simply won’t be given such wide access to material… and in future people will just have to be more clever and take more risks in the effort to extract that level of information.

        And I guess this is a reference to something Hudson said above:
        -“The real message of Wikileaks has to do with the hope that the US as the world’s sole remaining superpower is nonetheless meant to be accountable to its own democratic system of government if only servants of that government cannot conspire to act with impunity by keeping their dirty deeds hidden from its people.”

        The thing is, the US isn’t the world’s only remaining superpower… in fact I think you could almost say that it was George W’s (and whose-ever was behind him) overestimation (or “misoverestimation”?) of US power during the post-September 11 period that led it to overcommit itself and to end up in the mess that it’s in currently. And I suppose what I’m most uncomfortable about is, as I said before, the lack of balance.

        It is true that when the US starts doing things like invading Iraq without adequate justification, banging people up in Guantanamo and waterboarding them, or sending them to Egypt to be tortured, they wil naturally incur the ire of people of those who would safeguard human rights – and perhaps in this regard you could say they brought the wikileaks thing on themselves by going too far overboard.

        Ultimately though, we live in a world full of superpowers who have the ability to cause massive disruption to the global economic and security balance and the stroke of a pen. Many of these are far less trustworthy and far more dysfunctional than the US… and in this situation it is necessary to keep secrets secret. Unfortunately under these conditions, having someone like Wikileaks releasing the secrets of the US is just going to cause them to be even more secretive.

  10. Hypocritophobe May 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I kind of agree with a fair bit of DQ’s raw observation, and much of Paul’s position here as well, and I’ll ‘try’ to explain.
    Whistle-blowing, as a concept, is the opposite to ‘dog-whistling’. It is way too undervalued, and far too often undermined.
    Personally I’m not 100% convinced Assange is totally, unequivocally altruistic.But that view needs to be weighed up against what is rapidly appearing to be a clumsy entrée to US incarceration.(read potential Guantanamo Bay injustice)
    I am not convinced Assange is either a psychotic anarchist – “destroyer of everything”, or merely a pompous, egotistical Scarlet Pimpernel.Or something altogether different.(He’s obviously a geek, but he is no Martin Bryant!) He could well be be narcissistic.(I think the net has unleashed and given birth to plenty of them suckers! Trolling anyone?Climate change inaction?)

    Not sure either,who eventually gets to stick the *official* label on Assange anyway.But why should *he* have *less* justice or less perceived justice?

    We should ALL share DEEP concern that there is no visible / audible signal / message from our elected representatives, that they would actually protect Assange from American extradition.I’d go so far as to say it’s a done deal.Albeit something we may need to wait 30 years to confirm, or otherwise.

    And it’s equally obvious, even to a rock, that there are nations,despots,corporate war machines, and world bankers, quite happy to fill the streets with the blood and guts of women and children, to fatten the bottom line.
    ( And then there’s apathy.Don’t get me started)

    By way of what Assange has done, by way of Wikileaks,
    Should mothers and fathers, families, and all people not know;
    Whether a war, which destroyed their lives, there future was justified ?
    That a church protects predators to save face and preserve millions ?
    That mining companies poison the water of innocent villagers?
    Which atrocities warrant covering up? Why?

    When SHOULD we turn away?
    When confronted with the ‘fiscal convenience’ of pragmatic accidental-genocide, for share market whims?
    There are governments standing in front of, and up for, those corporate bodies, toxic individuals and entities, for any number of reasons.Willing or otherwise.

    Shit ! , Blair (proud Godfather to a Murdoch) practically, if not actually, admitted governments WON’T / DON’T / CHOOSE not to deal with this stuff. WTF????
    In the end it MUST come down to the basic principles of a fair and just civilisation, if we are to swallow ‘big picture aspirations’ or spin.
    Meaning, politically, if the US wants to talk it, (home of the FREE???) then they need to walk it.Ditto for us.Wars are fought for the *principles* these nations (us too) *purport* to espouse / value / BE!
    Let them (and us) apply those principles to all.Even Assange.
    For obvious reasons Assange is a special /unique case, and even if he is tried for crimes against the USA, Australia should demand that he be tried at home, with his own legal team, and any penalty served in Australia (ditto for any ‘remands in custody’)

    I would have hoped that Assanges exposures would lead to all those ‘whom he exposed’, ‘doing the right thing’ in future.
    I presume he,if not most Wikileaks folk would hope that this was a desired outcome if not THE desired outcome.(Wikileaks is quite obviously more at the altruistic/idealistic end of the spectrum)
    In reality, the Firewalls and web security progs of the culpable (The Coalition of The ‘You Can’t Do That To Us!!) will just get beefed up, and more ‘sticky beak’ people will just ‘disappear’ one way or t’other.
    Culpabilty will again be relegated to the back of the bus.Back to a ghetto.A town camp.A back shelf.Someone else’s pending tray.Under a carpet.The bin.

    Some of Wikileaks exposé’s may have been reckless, and even dangerous,but the idea that nations / powers / anyone can enact inhumanity to further a corrupt / or even evil cause, devalues every tenuous, fragile, human aspiration/ principle. And why should this ‘so called’ accountability be Assanges uniquely, universal burden? Duty of care is indeed a UNIVERSAL concept.All encompasing
    Either we want to be better,fairer and more democratic or not.

    Assange MAY be guilty of the Swedish charges, but let’s see a fair trial.

    Assange may indeed warrant a severe ‘legal arse-kicking’, for some of the things he has done which ‘may’ have compromised PEOPLE, doing the right thing, BUT, we are equally entitled to hear how the perpetrators of his ‘exposures’ justify the means to their ends. And prove whether he also KNOWINGLY put people in peril,if indeed they EVER were.The ‘legal test’ of that ‘alleged imperilment’ must also be put to the test.Must be.

    Allegations of sexual assault aside,(as I said earlier, let REAL justice sort that out) No-one, not even (ESPECIALLY) the US should be permitted to enact retrospective pseudo-laws about internet protocol, to get their man.
    And the imminent whiff of that, has been wafting about for quite some time now.

    Perhaps the box tickers / designers of the initial ‘Web concept’ should / could have used *due diligence* to pre-empt this scenario,long before this inedible omelette was cooked.
    One thing is for sure, the law, and it’s relationship with the net, is something which will see the legal profession hand rubbing for decades to come.
    And that it’s hard NOT to to view Assange as an example waiting to happen.
    A sacrificial lamb.
    We should all try to remember that Assange is / was also a whistle-blower.
    And we hear a lot, from vested interests, and offended parties, about the damage he has created.
    But in that ‘whistle-blowing’ role he may have actually saved lives.Possibly (directly or indirectly) someone close to any one of us.
    I hope we haven’t passed or even bypassed the point where we should have asked ourselves;
    Why is there a stigma attached to whistle-blowing, for the greater good?

    I don’t want Assange ,unelected third parties or *anyone else* risking the lives of anyone in battle or in the security of the masses, by way of inappropriate or irresponsible behaviour, or decisions they make.
    But then,I apply the same principle to our government.
    If Assange gets nailed then Howard and Blair should start arranging asylum in the USA ASAP.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 1, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      Hypo, is anyone 100% altruistic? I doubt it. Aside from that, I agree with your observations. What Assange and Wikileaks have brought about is a greater scrutiny of authority and its ways. Authority must be scrutinised IMO and I salute anyone who takes that risk. Whistle blowers practically never come out of things well.

    • doug quixote June 1, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

      Very reasonable post, Hypo. I want justice for Assange, from due process of law. His wikileaks may have served a useful purpose, and at first even a fairlypurpose with reasonably benign release of documents kept secret to avoid embarrassment, rather than genuine secrets.

  11. annodyne May 31, 2012 at 11:24 pm #

    Apologies and corrections: 1. my comment above should have been prefaced In Reply To DougQuixote, and 2, the woman is Wilen. (‘Anna Wohlin’ is the Swede who was with Brian Jones when he was murdered.)

    Journalist Alexander Cockburn, December 2010:
    ‘Asked how the US could prosecute Assange, a non-US citizen, Eric Holder US Attorney-General said, “Let me be clear. This is not saber-rattling,” and vowed “to swiftly close the gaps in current US legislation…”

    In other words the espionage statute is being rewritten to target Assange, and in short order, if not already, President Obama – who as a candidate pledged “transparency” in government – will sign an order okaying the seizing of Assange and his transport into the US jurisdiction. Render first, fight the habeas corpus lawsuits later.

    Interpol, the investigative arm of the International Criminal Court at The Hague, has issued a fugitive notice for Assange. He’s wanted in Sweden for questioning in two alleged sexual assaults, one of which seems to boil down to a charge of unsafe sex and failure to phone his date the following day.

    This prime accuser, Anna Ardin has, according to Israel Shamir, writing on this CounterPunch site, “ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba…Note that Ardin was deported from Cuba for subversive activities.”

    It’s certainly not conspiracism to suspect that the CIA has been at work in fomenting these Swedish accusations. As Shamir reports, “The moment Julian sought the protection of Swedish media law, the CIA immediately threatened to discontinue intelligence sharing with SEPO, the Swedish Secret Service.”

  12. annodyne May 31, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    At CounterCurrents.org this translation from Swedish re the happy Twitter remarks made after the alleged assault, which were deleted after the allegations were made :
    ‘Anna’s perfect 7-Step Programme for Legal Revenge failed. One deletion too few. And the Google cache. Too bad, Anna. The ways of the Lord are truly mysterious.

    I’m very surprised that christian feminist ‘equality’ women can so idolise a WikiLeaks hero that they do all in their power to get him into bed as soon as they have the chance. And then, when they realise he’s not as interested in them as they are in him, go to the police and accuse him of rape. This demonstrates an extreme contempt for the women who are real victims of violence and sexual crimes. Their behaviour is unconscionable.’

    my own Disclaimer: my passion for this Assange case is because I have been raped, real rape, and mine was one of the thousands not reported to the Victoria Police. One reason why – my rapist is a Melbourne Barrister. Not known prior to stalking and forcibly raping me. I want to punch these swedish dimwits on behalf of all victims of violence.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 1, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      Did you see this piece by Naomi Wolf at the time? She is in agreement with your position as a woman who has experienced rape. I can understand your anger given your experiences. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/jaccuse-sweden-britain-an_b_795899.html

      • paul walter June 3, 2012 at 1:26 am #

        Put away thou thy Shulamith Firestone, thy Andrea Dworkin,
        Pick up thy Wolff.
        Ok, no rough-hewn second wavers, little or no following feminist critiquing of society to add to the wider field of social and cultural criticism of today.
        It was good that Wolff could discriminate concerning the Assange case on one hand and the vast numbers of quite vicious and openly sanctioned genuine crimes, involving millions of women and kids right across the world that are quietly ignored by the same people baying for Assange’s blood.

    • helvityni June 1, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      annodyne, why are you not angry at the Australian Barrister who raped you, what have the Swedes got do with your case. Take the Melbourne layer to court…

      • annodyne June 2, 2012 at 9:43 am #

        Pls read my comment carefully. Those women knew the man and agreed to have sex with him. They cheerfully bragged on Facebook about the thrill. Read my links. What they did after, is an insult to real victims of rape everywhere.
        My rapist was not known to me at all. he stalked me home from a public social event, and physically forced his way into my home. He is an immensely rich and infamous barrister. Think for two seconds how successful I would be in court against his fraternity – he would have a QC and be fighting for his entire career remember. Barristers cannot practice if convicted of anything.

        • helvityni June 2, 2012 at 10:50 am #

          annodyne, I feel for all the rape victims,for you included, as an eighteen year old I avoided it by using psychology and asking my would be rapist if he remembered my brother from high school…( I knew the rapist)…OK, I know, it does not allways work, my daughter was too young to use anything….

          I don’t know how powerful the Melbourne lawyer is/was, and I don’t know what really happened between those Swedish girls and Assange…
          I’m sorry to say that I find him slimy…by all means call all Swedish ‘dimwits’ if it makes you feel better…

          • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

            Assange is of course regarded in some quarters as some what of an egoist, Helvi.
            He no doubt sensed he was being tracked by US intelligence quite closely, that he originally went to Sweden to arrange for a move to Sweden to avoid what’s happened in the Brit courts, who have knuckled under to outside political pressure.
            But being a clever fellow, a little bit of ego, Anna Ardin’s attentions proved a bit tempting for him- the idea of not only thwarting the US but scoring a bit of bums on top sheets action to celebrate, with someone he thought to be an ally rather than an enemy.
            Not keeping his cock muzzled has proven to be the down fall of yet another naif who thought he was on top of things.
            But if he’s not a perfect person, then very few are. And he is entitled to a fair hearing, not a kangaroo court of the sort being manipulated into being by his sicker enemies.

            • helvityni June 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

              Maybe I have wrongly assumed that Assange has had very good lawyers…?
              Has there been any help for poor Bradley Manning ?

        • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

          Hmmm, I read annodyne again and am brought to contemplation of the unhappy Eugene McGee case in Adelaide.
          This commenced many years ago, as lawyer Eugene McGee, well-lubricated after a long and salubrious Sunday lunch, took out a cyclist driving home, then fled and hid, arranging for mates to get him out of strife.
          Meanwhile, in coming years, a family man’s widow would fight for recognition of the injustice done the dead cyclist.
          The last half dozen years have had the Adelaide legal and political establishment throw up a virtual cordon around McGee, who has suffered no consequence for his actions, beyond a certain embarrassment as the details of the case, now heard publically several times over several years, as these reached an eager press, media and public..
          So, McGee got away with it. The widow didn’t get justice in the legal sense, to assuage the grief, but everyone knows what really happened…
          But McGee’s head must be a strange place at the mo, He wears to the grave, or lacks the conscience necessary to experience life in a human way.

          • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 11:52 pm #

            Too many posts in one day, but another point Helvi raises, is beyond significant and that’s the vile treatment meted out to Manning, over quite a long time, now.
            The system is broken.
            Stalinism and Fascism do this, not a democratic government operating in the name of democracy, civilisation and the consciousness that derives from it and can advance it yet further, building from the great achievements of ten thousand years buried amongst all the poverty and violence.

        • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

          Hmmm, I read annodyne again and am brought to contemplation of the unhappy Eugene McGee case, here in Adelaide.
          This commenced many years ago, as lawyer Eugene McGee, well-lubricated after a
          long Sunday lunch, took out a cyclist driving home, then fled and hid,
          arranging for mates to get him out of strife.
          Meanwhile, in coming years, a family man’s widow would fight for recognition of the injustice done the dead cyclist.
          The last half dozen years have had the Adelaide legal and political establishment throw up a virtual cordon around McGee, who has suffered no consequence for his actions, beyond a certain embarrassment as the details of the case, now heard public several times over several years, as these reached an eager press, media and public..
          So, McGee got away with it. The widow didn’t get justice in the legal sense, to assuage the grief, but everyone knows what really happened…
          But McGee’s head must be a strange place at the mo, He wears it to the grave, or lacks the conscience necessary to experience life in a human way.

          • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

            Il’l be buggered, I did a bit of a draft how did it get up as well the post?
            tangled up in typewriter tape!

            • Jennifer Wilson June 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

              Do you want me to take one out?

            • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

              Whatever.
              Cutting a mud pie in half makes it no more edible than it would have been in one piece.

        • Nick June 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

          Hi Jennifer and everyone. I came across your blog last night, and I’ve been enjoying reading the discussion here.

          annodyne, I have a bit of a different take on this to you…

          When people think someone is interested in them, they can and do let slide all sorts of behaviour, especially when alcohol is involved.

          He was just drunk, he’s under pressure, I’m sure he’s not like this all the time.

          It’s more than possible for the women to have been excited enough about sleeping with a celebrity to tweet about it. And then later discover he’d lied to them and actually had no interest at all, and speak to one another about: ‘That arsehole! I put him up at my house, and do you know what he did the other night? Pretended he was wearing a condom, and only later I realised he’d taken it off half way through’…’Really? I wasn’t going to say anything, but I woke up with him on top of me and told him to stop and he didn’t!’

          And then go to the police to see if they could compel him to take an STD test.

          None of that diminishes the far more serious crime that you suffered. The crimes Assange is alleged of having committed are much less severe than those that Melbourne barrister would be charged with, and sentenced for, in an ideal world.

          That doesn’t mean they didn’t take place, or that two women going to the police are ‘an insult to victims of rape everywhere’.

          It’s also doesn’t mean there weren’t politicians and members of various legal systems ready to pick the case up and run with it for all it was worth. Assange gave them exactly what they were waiting for…

          I think a lot people find it distasteful that he refuses to shoulder any of the blame for his own part in what took place — and instead chose to publically accuse the women of ‘acting out of spite and jealousy’…

          • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

            Caveat emptor, Nick.
            The Swedes had the choice, Ann O’ Dyne didn’t.
            Monumental difference. A dud root is not the same as rape.
            And when are some of you finally going to “get” the politics involved or will you have Assange ending up like Weapons of Mass Destruction farce whistleblower, David Kelly, driven by shadowy forces to sitting on floor with a big bottle of sleeping polls, to end the nightmare?

            • Nick June 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

              Hi paul. I was living in London when David Kelly died. The news made me feel physically ill.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kelly_(weapons_expert)#Fatality_of_ulnar_artery_cuts

              “On 15 October 2007, it was discovered, through a Freedom of Information request, that the knife had no fingerprints on it”

              At the time Kelly was being hounded by shadowy forces, I don’t remember him planning to run for the Australian Senate, or publicising his hosting of international debates. I think he had more important things on his mind.

              Really not sure where Assange is at right now. I respect what he achieved, and don’t for a second think he deserves to end up languishing in a US prison, and I’ll support any attempts to prevent that occurring. I should leave it at that. To reiterate – I don’t see much value in attacking the women he slept with.

              Good to read your thoughts, as always.

          • Jennifer Wilson June 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

            Hi, Nick & welcome!

            • paul walter June 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

              Hi Nick.
              No one is necessarily attacking the women per se, but it’s not unfair to question their and their governments bona fides and conduct, and consequent loud exclamations of surprise, at certain anomalies.
              And yes, given what Ive read over time, that would include questions as the mental condition of the two women, that an adult would ask as to any situation like this, particularly in light of Ardin’s co-ed “revenge” nonsenses.
              As I understand it, when the issue was co opted by Swedish authorities the women, especially Wilen, had doubts about the thing being pursued further. That’s ok, bit if that’s true, why no press conferences and reportage to set the record straight?
              But yes, from this point it becomes the cringing remnant of a once healthy soc dem party, in a similar state of deterioration to Australian Labor as to lickspitty grovel to Uncle Sam. They immediately knuckled under when the Obama admin threatened to withdraw intelligence sharing if something wasn’t cooked up, to “get” Assange.
              Ny and her superiors in government then went to work to come up with this vicious, mangy piece of sick sh-t that ends with Assange’s Gitmo death in life.
              And for every moment Assange is straight-jacketed at this private Gitmo, I”ll pray that those people’s consciences prick them unmercifully, altho that’s as likely as Australians feeling sorry for civilians killed by drones and cluster bombs in Afghanistan.
              But really, are these women such wallflowers that a little scrutiny will have had them collapse back into their own frailty?
              Nick, its a point you make- but to me no more than that, not least because I reject the underlying proposition that underlines your position, that there is actually some sort substantial issue of conduct at the bottom all this that Assange needs to account for even in Sweden, let alone with his life, at Gitmo.
              If people were genuinely interested in what happened, the Swedish authorities would have adopted Assanges lawyer’s suggestions that inquiries and if necessary charges, be heard on a neutral site that also protected Assanges rights- but as with many other things as to Assange,the resulting silence is has been deafening.
              Thanks for taking time to talk it over, Nick.
              But no, I can’t for the life of me understand the anti Assange position and that’s that…

        • doug quixote June 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

          annodyne, it may not be much comfort, but consider it this way (assuming all you say is true) :

          this man thought you such a threat to his ego that he sought you out and attacked you. Rape is a matter of dominance – whether male over female, male over male and sometimes even female over female or female over male. That he felt the need to dominate you says a lot about how much you threatened his ego and self-image.

          In a way, you were victorious; if you can see that his victory over you was ephemeral, you are the winner in the contest.
          Please consider this way of looking at it.

          • Bwca Brownie (@Bwca) June 2, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

            good point Senor Tilter. I cannot imagine Assange feeling threatened by any woman, and here from Taki Mag – ‘ in an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, Anna Ardin denied that Assange had engaged in what Whoopi Goldberg has charmingly referred to as full-blown “rape-rape.” Ardin said:
            “It is quite wrong that we were afraid of him. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him….In both cases, what started out as voluntary sex subsequently developed into an assault. The other woman wanted to report rape. [The] responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who has a twisted attitude to women and a problem with taking ‘no’ for an answer.”

            http://takimag.com/article/julian_assanges_honey_trap_thats_rape_in_sweden/page_2#ixzz1wcPPBGM2

            • doug quixote June 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

              My post has no reference to Assange; he is a non-issue to me.

          • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

            Doug Quixote, if you feel annodyne should be comfortable with the spoils of defeat, why not commend the same leniency from the Swedes for a vindictive action against Assange for sick reasons and the slimy behaviour of Swedish politicians.These heirs to the murder of Olaf Palme, concoct a “crime” out of virtually nothing, to please US intelligence; odyne herself specifically draws our attention to this in all those posts she’s written, that no one seems to have read.
            Aomething that is not even mole hill compared to what happened to annodyne.
            Blogsites defeat me sometimes; the logic employed by some defeats me…

            • doug quixote June 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

              Not at all, paul. I simply offer a different way of looking at it. If one sees oneself as a helpless victim who has no redress and no chance of revenge, is that not the ultimate in frustration?

              If instead you can see that physical violence was the only way the aggressor could try to restore his damaged ego, are you not then better equipped to live your own life ?

              Call it reverse psychology, if you wish.

              • Jennifer Wilson June 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

                DQ has a valid point I think. However, it can take a victim/survivor quite some time to come to that way of seeing. It took me years, and is still a work in progress. In the end, although at first blush it may not seem that way, violence is an expression of impotence and fear.

            • doug quixote June 3, 2012 at 7:59 am #

              Thank you Jennifer. None of this is easy; I have never suffered in the way that others here have suffered, but I have given these matters a lot of thought over many years and I have known many victims personally.

              Some seek solace in religion, if that is their wont – and who could blame them? The comforts of philosophy and psychology are not for everyone, as we well know.

  13. lynot June 1, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    “Where’s Jelly – Back Garratt ” ? Indeed. “U.S. Forces get the nod yada yada yada yada.” You know it’s funny for us lefties who have been around for over half a century or more that anyone,and I mean anyone, should be questioning Assange’s motives. Who gives a flying F&%$ why he did it? The point is, Assange confirmed what we have all thought but couldn’t prove, like forever. That the world is run by the worst load of unctuous, slimly, lying toads,that God ever shovelled guts into. We know that most politicians are born bullshit artists, diplomats like drinking champagne and eating fine cheese at our expense, and live a life of luxury whilst making bullshit a f&*(^%$ science.

    The Swedish angle is just a load of old bollocks, it is just an excuse to get Assange out of the U.K. to get him in a cell next to that poor schmuck Bradley Manning.

    I bloody despair.

  14. paul walter June 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Yes,Jenifer Wilson. This annodyne is a more than one dimensional character, by quite some degrees.
    She has the same fire as Jennifer and Marilyn.
    It’s a good vibe, when people can say what they need, without sniping from idiots.
    Keep on shining, you are white fire diamonds.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 2, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      :-)

      • annodyne June 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

        thanks PW. Doug Quixote is worried that I am a helpless victim but he need not as my spirit is robust, and smart enough to not offer my rich life up to the tabloid TV which would result from a barrister in The Defendant’s box, and the crucifixion by his Defence Counsel. His ex-wife had a restraining order against him apparently.
        The Assange case will never be heard in court – the US will have him in shackles so fast. Has everybody here actually seen the film of the US forces knowingly deciding to kill an innocent family in their car near a building that was bombed because it ‘might contain’ enemy Iraqi?
        Exposing that cold-blooded murder has upset the 5-star generals pretty damn seriously. They hate JA for showing us how vile they really are.

        • doug quixote June 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

          I’m glad to hear it, ann, but some others who will perhaps read my comments may not be so resilient.

          • Anonymous June 2, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

            You will always be welcome in my fan personal club headquarters Doug.
            It scrubbed up pretty well for an old red phone box!
            ;-)

            (It gets a bit echo at times)

            • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

              Anonymous, it wouldn’t be so bad if there weren’t Daleks waiting every time you tried to skip out for a stroll.

          • Hypocritophobe June 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

            How strange.
            Normally WPress loads my pseudo and email address simultaneously, and this time I turned anomalous.(Mind you the bat wings look OK.)
            Anyway DQ it was from moi. ;-)

            • Hypocritophobe June 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

              personal fan club!

            • doug quixote June 3, 2012 at 11:35 am #

              Douggie’s personal fan club is a very select group Hypocritophobe. Should I be jealous?

            • Macabre June 3, 2012 at 11:39 am #

              Strange, this one came out on Douggies; it’s supposed to be mine – Helvi has the same trouble with gerard . . .

            • Macabre June 3, 2012 at 11:41 am #

              And why’s my avatar thingy got bat wings too???

            • helvityni June 3, 2012 at 11:56 am #

              …. most macabre….wings.

        • paul walter June 2, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

          Hi annodyne. Let’s not underestimate what happened. I think you were put through the wringer by a thug who’s outer splendour must obscure a chaotic inner life. His psyche would be all over the place like a madman’s dinner.
          I am like Doug, I think I wish you no more strife in your life and commend him for his gentlemanly concern for a fellow traveller on the Pilgrimage to Canterbury.
          Once is enough with these things, It was for me ending up in hospital with burns some years ago. I was complacent for a nano moment and sure enough, a particular machine “got” me, as a couple of work makes had jokingly predicted.
          But there is a nasty psychological element involved in assault cases.
          Severe, advanced bullying, even attempted annihilation of a sort is involved,
          PW can best relate to the concept of rape and psychological stuff in recalling being bullied and physically assaulted then feeling utterly abnegated because I couldn’t deal with what happened, that someone far bigger than me had inflicted m. Fear and guilt for failure Is what I experienced, yet what was I supposed to against a big bastard in a leather jacket.. Comparatively small beer, but I suspect it’s a sure method of at least partially grasping what happens with sexual assault and why its a slower recovery than a straight accident, to relate it to some thing really ugly in my own life and mentally ticking off a set of propositions concerning anxieties for safety, trauma from the even itself and an anxious wait for complications to do with injury, then disease or pregnancy, must be a very Hicks or Assange-like experience, given what they also been put through by a sick system.

          • doug quixote June 3, 2012 at 8:19 am #

            Thank you, paul. The issue of physical bullying is difficult too, As a youngster, whenever a person bigger than me tried it on, I tried this approach, with some success :

            Strike back immediately. They will hurt you, certainly, in return, but they usually have little tolerance for pain inflicted on themselves.

            In other words, if you can inflict pain on them, they will look elsewhere for a victim in future. You may suffer in the short term, but if you do not make it painful for them now they will keep coming after you. For as long as they can get their sport.

            Alternatively, if you really cannot manage the above solution, find a protector – someone willing to “be around” and to bully the bully, so to speak. The problem here is that the bully may still be able to get at you when the protector is not around.

            This advice is primarily for children, but there may be some applicabilty for adult bullying as well.

            • paul walter June 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

              Thanks Doug.
              This actually happened that way between my self and one character at high school when I was cornered once too often. With nothing left to lose I let fly. We had a bit of a punch up and it eventually got broken up before he could seize the initiative. But I got a couple of people off my back for a while and have subsequently lived long enough to tell the tale, here at NPFS.

  15. hudsongodfrey June 4, 2012 at 12:14 am #

    We’ve taken a deviation from the subject at hand into subject matter that has more to do with the subject of rape, assault and bullying that is does with the Assange case. Which is fine. It is clearly helping some people to talk about it and I too hope I’ve something to contribute.

    I’ve stood up to bullies, and ultimately regretted it because it led me to meet their violence with violence of my own. I found out then that I don’t like violence or what it makes me if I’m to use it. In the moment when I lashed out, seeing and hearing the sickening results of my actions and afterwards realising the potential consequences of my blows I was sickened and repulsed by myself but at the same time carried away with the elation of the adrenaline rush and the thrill of surviving my ordeal both unscathed and victorious.

    This time the other person came off with only a few minor bruises, but later I realised that the capacity to damage another human being was never ultimately something to be either proud not boastful about. I am ashamed to say that the person I was then lacked the skills to meet adversity with either non-violence or at least a less excessive version of self defence. I realised that had I been known to the victim I’d could well have spent some of the time I’ve since devoted to thinking about my regrets doing so in custody.

    Yet there’s an opposite end of the scale that has to do with what I regard to be the insulting notion that society ought to step and act as a prophylactic to all manner of unpleasantness and conflict to such a degree that resolving it depends less on people acting well and increasingly upon the constraints we try to impose in order to stop them acting upon their more intemperate impulses.

    When lessons in conflict resolution aren’t learned and society’s ability to protect and prevent simply can’t cover every possible contingency then the kind of individual who relies overly on being constrained by others may confront another whose means to protect themselves are momentarily absent. Then the kind of incident that may ensue is likely to be more excessively violent than would have been the case were there some other factor at work which dictated force should only be met with a proportionate response or that there might be better ways to resolve their differences.

    In my case I was given “permission’ to use violence perhaps because our society through all the cinema and television I’d seen up to that time so values decisive action, I took it upon myself to lash out in a way that I later came to realise was both disproportionate and probably unnecessary.

    In short I don’t think that deterrents really work anywhere near as well as understanding of how to avoid violent situations where you can and diffuse them without resorting to violence when you can’t. If you can confidently do either or both then you have something to be proud of much as I think victims are able to take a certain amount of pride in overcoming their fears as they recover from the rude shock of their person being violated by another. I’ve come to regard them as infinitely more heroic for having overcome their fears and faced life anew despite its injustices.

    Somehow the impulse to sanitise society or protect us from things like harassment and bullying seems to want to take away the dignity and sense of achievement that is to be found in dealing with those more minor forms of adversity. So although I fully acknowledge that in an ideal world unkindness of any sort wouldn’t exist I feel oddly disinclined to the view that we require a policeman wherever a better kind of moral resolve might suffice.

    • helvityni June 4, 2012 at 10:22 am #

      A very thoughtful post, Hudson, there’s plenty for us all to ponder about…

    • doug quixote June 4, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      We’ve deviated because there is bugger all we can do about Assange, either way. He has the best lawyers who will put up with him.

      • hudsongodfrey June 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

        I think there’s quite a lot Australia could do for him by sending a clear signal that regardless of the outcome of the sexual charges we’d be receptive to the US publicly guaranteeing not to attempt extradition.

        • Doug Quixote June 5, 2012 at 6:52 am #

          The USA is not a monolith. They have 50 States, every one of which is its own jurisdiction. Potentially any District Attorney could file a request for extradition, if he or she could find grounds for asserting that a crime had been committed in their district. It is an impossible can of worms.

          • hudsongodfrey June 5, 2012 at 9:46 am #

            The States simply don’t have jurisdiction over matters involving Assange’s international activities, and the State Department whose cables were leaked is a federal Instrument. I think that the high hopes that we once had for Obama would be at least partially vindicated in an election year by putting this matter behind them.

            The only real problem anyone is likely to have with this comes about because Assange himself is inevitably viewed as a loose cannon. So politically I think that the US would probably prefer some form of detente with Wikileaks of the kind that other media organisations have usually been held to concerning their ability to publish or have suppressed matters claimed to affect “Security” or diplomatic relations.

            If we didn’t know what has now been revealed then the only valid question would be why should we trust Wikileaks with this kind of sensitive information. However the fact that Wikileaks acted on their suspicions and were somewhat justified in thinking that the US and others couldn’t be accountable for using the power of secrecy responsibly blows some of those trust issues wide open.

            The way forwards and out from here quite seriously shouldn’t be discussed wholly and solely in terms of the Assange cult of personality that we’re in danger of reducing it to.

            If anything matters more then it has to be how governments should be changing the way that they use the power of secrecy and commit by their actions to meet their obligation to be accountable to democratic principles both domestically and internationally.

            The clear subtext to all this is that people are wary of trusting too much power to others, and that since the US clearly has accrued too much power to themselves they are perhaps rightly treated with this kind of suspicion.

          • Hudson Godfrey June 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

            Hey Doug, did you see that they were digging up your avatar’s-sake on time team?

            http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/22445

            • doug quixote June 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

              Thank you HG – No I had not, but I have seen it now. Edward De Vere had an enormous fortune, but he thought it was infinite, and discovered his error a little late. To die of plague in 1604 and be buried almost anonymously was a final insult.

              He always assumed that he would remain anonymous as the great poet and playwright he was; The Bard.

  16. Nick June 4, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Some late night thoughts after finishing work and the first season of Borgen…good series, but don’t read the wiki unless you want it spoiled for you.

    I think Wikileaks showed us that secrecy is not power.

    The revealing of secrets changes nothing, ends no wars, stops nobody from being killed, or tortured or detained or persecuted.

    What changes those things is the slow evolutionary process of humans gradually learning there’s nothing to be afraid of.

    Not the humans who are actually in clear and present danger. The humans with all the existential bullshit drummed into their skulls.

    Once upon a time we were all scared to death of nuclear war. We’re not so much scared of nuclear war now. Why? Is the world any more secure? Do we know more now than we did then? Was a secret revealed to us that changed everything?

    No. We imagined the worst. We got sick of imagining the worst. We got over it.

    Same sex marriage is next. And as far as our deep set retrograde socio-biological fears are concerned, it’s a big one. It will change more for the better than a lot of people think.

    • Hypocritophobe June 4, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      “What changes those things is the slow evolutionary process of humans gradually learning there’s nothing to be afraid of.

      Not the humans who are actually in clear and present danger. The humans with all the existential bullshit drummed into their skulls.”
      Ergo it (that evolution) will never happen.We will be extinct before it ever happens.In fact with overpopulation,food and water shortages and the continuing collapse of economies it will worsen and/or accelerate.

      As for the standing up against bullies or not,or teaching to deal with conflict,that too is bathed in futility.
      As long as society,pushed along by our social adherence too, and our national worship of ‘sports’ winners,where the pedestal is the place of envy,winning is everything and it begins early and is rammed home at school, losers will always be less desirous outcome.
      Ironically there are bullies who are athletic and those who are not.
      “The fat kid’ bullies are usually just re-bullying.
      Popping the bully on the nose may not end his career,it may not be the solution for all, but it has some chance of success.It’s interesting that the laws on bullying in NZ are changing and our own domestic welfare laws are changing.One would hope both moves will see a reduction in violence and a slowing of the bullying faction.
      Don’t hold your breath.
      Whenever you breed and worship champions you make a big statement about where the ‘also rans’ fit. (or not).

      In case you haven’t noticed those who have God on their side and influence society,government etc, are often the biggest hypocrites and bullies of them all.
      Now if religion were to evolve or better yet devolve,the contents of the pike pan would be a lot different………………

      (That is not to say same sex marriage will not get up.)

      • helvityni June 4, 2012 at 11:24 am #

        Another good post, hypo…you are all in good form this Monday morning..

      • Nick June 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

        “Ergo it (that evolution) will never happen.We will be extinct before it ever happens.In fact with overpopulation,food and water shortages and the continuing collapse of economies it will worsen and/or accelerate.”

        Fuckin’ protect our food man! We’re going to lose everything!

        Hypocritophobe, that’s the kind of thinking that causes wars.

        There ain’t no front page newspaper scoop or wikileaks release that’s going to change our response to those oncoming realities.

        We like to imagine there are two sides to newspapers. There’s the reasoned discussion and debate which happens over months and years and has the power to make things gradually sink in. One morning a reader wakes up and says, “Yeah ok! I get it now… I see what they’re saying…it was unreasonable of me to think otherwise.”

        And there’s the sensational front page scoop. Which is the newspaper acting as nothing but a “revealer of secrets”. What good have those kind of stories ever done except sell more newspapers? They’re the stories which 99 times out 100 don’t change anything for the better.

        It’s obviously not that cut and dry, and newspapers have never been paragons of human virtue anyway. The first mode can just be as damaging as the second in the wrong hands — but the argument, if it holds, is that the second was always incapable of doing any good. It appeals to the wrong set of instincts.

        Which mode did the Wikileaks model naturally align itself with as a result of Assange getting fearful and jumping on board with the big publishers so he call himself a “journalist” and avoid breaking the law (to sum up in a nutshell)?

        “The fat kid’ bullies are usually just re-bullying.”

        C’mon, Hyp. Let’s not drag Christopher Hitchens into this…

        • Hypocritophobe June 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

          Too late to protect ‘our’ food water etc Nick.
          The horse has bolted.Take it as dooms-daying if you want,I just consider it facing reality early.
          You won’t find me starting/supporting a war based on borders, either.
          I am not one of those who agrees with the Flannery view that we can support another 6 billion and then the population will plateau and sort itself out.
          I have both eyes open to the fact that we can’t/don’t won’t feed the starving now.
          Come August the world will be discussing this stuff.A lot.

          These days newspaper doesn’t even cut it as a bum wiper.
          Content included.

          I thought Clive would be more apt than Hitchens?

          • Nick June 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

            Btw, Hypocritophobe…my partner wants to know, which Clive? I had to admit I didn’t have the foggiest!

        • Nick June 4, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

          :) I don’t think Hitchens ever shied from admitted it. It was the schoolyard bullies who made him who he was. Personally, I saw him as the guy who always had to find bigger bullies to hide behind.

          “I have both eyes open to the fact that we can’t/don’t won’t feed the starving now.”

          Exactly. What have we got to lose. We’re not going to end up extinct. The worst is we end up living like half the world’s population already lives (actually most of us will be dead anyway — file under existential fears). A big dent in our Western pride, but suck it up Western pride. And sure, I don’t for a second expect everyone to see things that way right now.

          But I’m not going to spend my life clinging to the fear of things to come either.

          Or teaching our children that there’s no bloody hope at all.

          People need to know that they can afford to lose quite a bit and they’ll still be ok. Ok, I ripped that one straight from the speech in the last episode from Borgen. Girls, for all its faults, has some pretty astute things to say on the matter too.

          Earlier this year a thirteen year old girl in the States coded a piece of software to help eliminate errors in reading mammograms for malignant breast cancer. It works 5% more successfully than every million dollar commercially available package on the market. And then she released it as open source. Things change over generations.

  17. Hypocritophobe June 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    The one who runs QLD and the Federal coalition.
    You know the one who can somehow lie about local politics and the CIA and yet he still lives and breathes.
    Follow the coal dust encrusted strings back from Tony’s Blunderbirds, and you will see him all all his athletic glory.
    He reminds me of a character called ‘The Barron’ in the film Dune.

    • Hypocritophobe June 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      EDIT ‘In all his athletic glory….’

  18. Hypocritophobe June 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    FYI
    Nick

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Harkonnen

    PS What happened to YOUR Avatar?
    I think WordPress is melting down……………….

    • Nick June 5, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      Hah! That Clive…lol, I can’t dislodge that image of him from my brain now.

      And yep, devoured Dune and the rest of Herbert’s books as a young teenager…and Lynch is still one of my favourite artists.

      Not sure…I posted that comment from my phone, and think I may have just typed my email wrong!

  19. hudsongodfrey June 20, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-20/assange-seeks-asylum-in-ecuador/4080674?WT.mc_id=newsmail

    Interesting development.

  20. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 21, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    How good is it that Sheep does not close comments to posts!

    This post is made in response to a Twitter exchange yesterday between @NoPlaceforSheep (Dr Jennifer Wilson) and myself, the commencement of which can be viewed here: https://twitter.com/ForrestGumpp/status/215204593397805056 . (Interestingly, at least on my computer, when I attempted to use the Twitter ‘view conversation’ feature this morning in an attempt to reference JW’s response, I encountered some sort of garbled super-imposition of tweets. Today, of all days!)

    I have long felt that some of Jennifer Wilson’s most important online work has been in making the observations, and posing the questions, that a largely seemingly spineless or unperceiving MSM has failed to make or pose in relation to the Assange/Wikileaks issue. Yesterday, I made the suggestion that the ‘#MTRsues’ defamation threats with which she is continuing to have to deal may have been ulteriorly motivated by her posing of at least some of the penetrating questions, ones that at least the Australian MSM is largely failing to ask, that are seemingly called for with respect to the Assange issue.

    Dr Wilson has stated that she would like to see me expand upon that theory.

    The opening post in this comments thread records an excellent illustration of what seems to be the almost unfailing conflation of what are presented as being feminist issues surrounding salacious accounts of alleged sexual improprieties anywhere these days where, in the name of ‘The War against Terrorism’, US executive government wants to make an intimidating example of what it can do to anyone using their freedom of speech in its own, or its allies, jurisdiction, notwithstanding the protections afforded in law that otherwise operate to protect individuals against what may turn out to be abuses of executive authority. Thank you, Ann Odyne.

    I must confess to some disappointment that this comments thread has in large measure followed what have constituted, to my mind, several red herrings surrounding this issue, rather than focussing upon that of provision of proper Australian government support for an Australian citizen abroad who has committed no offence against either Australian law, UK law, US law, nor even against Swedish law (within which jurisdiction he once presented himself for questioning and was dismissed as free to leave that country), where any charges have as yet to be laid despite the much publicised and long-winded attempt at obtaining his extradition accompanied by a sustained vilification campaign within the Swedish MSM.

    Back to the ‘#MTRsues’ defamation threats. The long and the short of it is that the defamation threats were put in process BEFORE the ‘#MTRsues’ tweetstorm had occurred, in fact before the hashtag had even been decided upon. Nobody, except possibly an entity skilled and experienced in manipulating public opinion through the media, could have anticipated the extent of the outrage that was to ensue. It follows then that Dr Wilson was targeted BEFORE any of what was subsequently to be described as ‘Twitter hate’ had exploded.

    Given that what little that Jennifer Wilson had said in what was claimed to be the basis of the defamation concern could be clearly seen to be nothing more than the taking up of an invitation at large earlier given by MTR herself, to “… call me anything you like, I don’t care …”, one has to suspect that the defamations concerns letter, as an opening gambit in an attempted shutting down of the No Place for Sheep blog, may have been crafted by person or persons unaware of MTR’s claimed stance with respect to being ‘called’ anything.

    Either MTR had forgotten, or had been insincere about, where she had claimed to stand with respect to her tolerance of public criticism, or her public profile was being used (with or without her conscious recognition) to advance some ulterior aim held by others. I’m plumping for the latter. I think MTR is/was just being used in what was thought to be a tried and proven ‘false flagging’ technique for silencing or discrediting independent-minded public discourse, discourse like what JW is wont to open up on No Place for Sheep. Like discourse, for all that it did not go far in this particular thread, on the Assange matter.

    Now, given that there are so many seemingly uncommented-upon dots lying unconnected around the scene of this national disgrace of an abandonment of an Australian citizen abroad by his own government, I will end this introductory post amplifying my theory as to the defo threats. Perhaps JW may wish to reposition this post within Sheep, lest it appear somehow out of place, before it becomes unwieldy. I now think I need to get a new CMOS battery for my computer, as I have observed certain strange behaviours of it just lately, like the loss of part of a draft post which I was sure I had saved, and irritating spontaneous shutdowns while I am online.

    More when I have eliminated a low CMOS battery as the possible cause of my annoying and disrupting little computer problems.

    • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

      FG,
      Perhaps set auto save up to protect data and also put a neat program on called recuva which can do just that.
      Small safe and reliable like all the makers products.
      You may yet recover it.
      Give your C Drive a good clean too, and defrag it.

      I turn lots of little things off to keep any stuff going in and out too.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

        Thank you for the suggestions Hypocritophobe, but alas, I have no C drive to clean or defrag. As you will be able to see from the logo at top left if you look at the screenshot shown in this Twitpic: http://twitpic.com/9yqt8p , I am running Ubuntu Linux. Defragging is simply not ever required under Linux, due to the fundamentally different way in which the OS is designed. Likewise, viruses pose a virtually non-existent threat.

        I am a relatively non-geek plodding user. I am constantly reminded that I am running an old version of my Mozilla Firefox browser that is vulnerable to online attacks, but I have just been lothe to update it. I do note that the spontaneous shutdowns I have been experiencing have occurred only while I have been online. I have never replaced a CMOS battery in the three or four years I have had this particular computer, so for the $2 or so that one costs, it is high on my list of possible corrective action that could be taken.

        There is little of value to be gained from any intrusion into my computer, unless it was to be that an intruder valued my opinions.

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

          NoScript is a useful addon for FFox,not sure if it works with Linux though.
          If so it will assist your control of what pops up etc and can be cust/ized if needed.
          Throw in Adblock and its Element hider and you should save some resources and clear the skyline a bit.
          I’m Windowing with XP and FF 9.It is nowhere near latest but still guzzles.
          Was running FF circa version 3 until recently!!!!
          Good luck.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      I was targeted before the “Twitter hate” claims, that’s true. Because of information I’m not able to reveal at the moment, I have reason to believe I wasn’t then and am not now the only blogger targeted in this way, in an attempt to close down our blogs through legal threats. I have certain strong suspicions that I also can’t discuss until others are ready to go public.

      In our very small way, we are all Wikileaks.

  21. gerard oosterman August 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    What amazes me is that so many seem to have the most intimate and minute details of what happened or not underneath the blankets of Assange and his women. One condom was supposed to have slipped off and yet another was found to be empty or waiting keenly to be filled. It seems that a whole army of investigative journos must have been present underneath the bed, scrutinizing every sigh, every hump and movement, with all levels of moisture and liquids carefully measured and analysed.

  22. paul walter February 15, 2014 at 2:33 am #

    I can’t find a thread more relevant,
    so will employ this one to mention the Melbourne Age article, 14/2/14, by respected journalist Philip Dorling;

    ” Assange story: Media watchdog dismisses complaint against Four Corners”.

    “A lengthy investigation… has found the 4 Corners program, “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange”…July, 2012, did not breach the ABC’s guidelines”.

    The episode was, of course, the famous, coherent and convincing episode presented by Andrew Fowler that created such a flurry of denialism from the motley murder of anti Assange-ists eager to see him lynched for various unsavory reasons of their own.

    An upshot was a couple of frivolous complaints against Fowler, provoking a “lengthy” (eg, Star Chamber ) investigation of the episode.

    But even they find no case to answer..

    The corollary is, if that episode is a valid expose on the Assange story, what does say as to the credibility of the witchhunters?

    Malice…prejudice..

    Or just plain incompetence, at best..

    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumppXVI) February 15, 2014 at 7:45 am #

      Thanks, pw, for that reference. A Google search came up with a link to that article by Philip Dorling also in the SMH as its top result:

      http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/assange-story-media-watchdog-dismisses-complaint-against-four-corners-20140214-32qv2.html

      “The ABC submitted that the program
      included “a broad range of principal
      relevant perspectives, none of which
      were unduly favoured over any other.
      It is important to understand that
      impartiality does not require that every
      perspective requires equal time, nor
      that every facet of every argument is
      presented.””

      The ACMA agreed with this part of the ABC submission.

      “The program also included footage of
      the former US ambassador to Australia,
      Jeffrey Bleich, saying Mr Assange’s
      circumstances were “not something that
      the US cares about, it’s not interested in it,
      it hasn’t been involved in it.””

      It would be interesting to find out who the two complainants were who triggered this investigation. I will be unsurprised if an MTR connection is revealed.

      • paul walter February 15, 2014 at 11:29 am #

        Thanks Forrest.

        Can you ever get your head around the malice, the idiocy; the dishonesty involved in so much of this saga?

  23. doug quixote February 15, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Of course, it is just possible that there is no link between Assange the Wikileaks publisher and Assange the narcissist abuser and sexual assaulter of women.

    No link that is except that one happens to be in the same body as the other.

    • hudsongodfrey February 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      You don’t think that its even slightly odd that there has to be an investigation into why an Australian citizen’s character wasn’t impugned enough in an ABC report?

      Granted that we may agree to disagree as to the true value of all wikileaks’ activities or even the veracity of the accusations made against Assange as its figurehead, but enquiries rarely ever occur unless the public interest is deemed to be represented in the observance of a particular truth about the subject at hand. If we’ve gone so far towards trying Assange in the court of public opinion already then clearly the kinds of high handed appeals to balance and process serve one goal and one only. That is to ensure that no one is allowed to express how deeply our support for Assange is informed by how much we distrust the system and all those who sail in her!

  24. paul walter February 16, 2014 at 2:31 am #

    You really are a perverse creature…despite all the evidence presented, including through that 4 Corners, you still want to smear a good person who is also fighting for your freedom..

    What’s the crackpot grudge?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Don’t let facts get in the way of hate… « No Place For Sheep - June 21, 2012

    [...] Hurtig, Assange’s early Swedish counsel, makes these observations in his witness [...]

  2. Imagine Your News « 730reportland - September 6, 2012

    [...] Receiving truth today [...]

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