Don’t let facts get in the way of hate…

21 Jun

In December 2010 when the WikiLeaks cable dump hit the headlines, Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared: “I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website – it’s a grossly irresponsible thing to do and an illegal thing to do.”

A couple of days later, Ms Gillard was at a loss to explain her inflammatory comments.

“The foundation stone of it is an illegal act,” Ms Gillard told reporters in Canberra.

But the “foundation stone” was the leaking of the documents to the website, not the publishing of the cables.

“It would not happen, information would not be on WikiLeaks, if there had not been an illegal act undertaken,” Ms Gillard said.

Mr Assange’s lawyers have said they are considering defamation action against Ms Gillard after she accused the whistleblower of “illegal” conduct over the leak of US documents.

Thus our Prime Minister launched a campaign of misinformation about both Wikileaks and Assange, based solely on her personal opinion and clearly with little if any regard to her legal training.

The government then attempted to find legal cause to withdraw Assange’s Australian passport, in spite of the fact that he had broken no Australian laws.

Hardly surprising then, that Assange and his team of lawyers have come to believe he’s been abandoned by his government. While it may be true that Assange has received whatever consular support is due to him, Prime Minister Gillard had Assange hung, drawn and quartered from the get go, and she has never retracted her accusations and her condemnation.

If we follow Ms Gillard’s logic, then the newspapers who published the leaked cables they obtained from Assange, newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Guardian, The New York Times et al, are also acting irresponsibly and illegally because ““It would not happen, information would not be on WikiLeaks [or in the SMH, the Oz, the NYT, the Guardian et al] if there had not been an illegal act undertaken.” 

At this point I quote Anna Funder, winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary award:  I have spent my professional life studying totalitarian regimes and the brave people who speak out against them. And the first thing that someone with dictatorial inclinations does is to silence the writers and the journalists.

 

 

This is a link to an account by The Guardian of the events in Sweden that have led to Assange being accused of sexual misconduct. As you can see, the circumstances as described are unsavoury, though they would not all necessarily be considered sexual offences in Australia. They are also entirely a matter of she said/he said.

I have no idea of their veracity and I believe Assange, for his own sake, ought to have the opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him.  As well, the complainants are entitled to have their allegations addressed. It is puzzling that Swedish prosecutors are delaying the resolution of the women’s complaints by demanding, against, apparently, their own Supreme Court decision on interviews (see below) that Assange return to the country, rather than conduct a video link interview with him.

Bjorn Hurtig, Assange’s early Swedish counsel, makes these observations in his witness statement:

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 person in the UK. The Swedish authorities have consistently refused these offers, demanding extradition instead. Assange continues to offer to answer the allegations via video link from the Embassy of Ecuador.]

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).

The problem for Assange with returning to Sweden is explained here. Briefly:

Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the WikiLeaks founder in the US, said Assange and his legal team considered it highly likely that he would face an onward extradition to the US if he were sent to Sweden.

The concrete reality [is] that he was facing a political prosecution in the US, he was facing the death penalty or certainly life in jail. Faced with that, he had extremely limited choices.

The US empanelled a secret grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and Assange in May 2011, but has not issued any requests for his extradition to the UK or Sweden. However, Ratner said both he and Assange believed it was “more likely than not” that a sealed indictment had been drawn up.

According to a Human Rights Watch report, Sweden has form. In 2001 Sweden was involved in the illegal US rendition of  two asylum seekers suspected of terrorism from Stockholm to Cairo. This involvement violated the global ban on torture. Both asylum seekers were tortured when they arrived in Egypt, despite assurances given to Swedish diplomats.

The UN Committee Against Torture concluded that Sweden violated the Convention against Torture by illegally expelling him [Al Zari] to Egypt, and stated that “procurement of diplomatic assurances [from Egypt], which, moreover, provided no mechanism for their enforcement, did not suffice to protect against this manifest risk.”

The US has imprisoned Private Bradley Manning, the WikiLeaks cables source, in a manner that has been described by Glenn Greenwald as “conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.”

One need not be a conspiracy theorist to see where this is headed. The bizarre refusal by Swedish authorities to question Assange by video link in an interview which is designed to establish whether or not there are grounds for bringing charges against him. The oft -forgotten fact that Assange has already been questioned on these matters while in Sweden, the allegations were dismissed, and he was allowed to leave the country.

And on the matter of these allegations it’s worth reading this brief interview with Oscar Swartz, author of A Brief History of Swedish Sex: How the Nation that Gave Us Free Love Redefined Rape and Declared War on Julian Assange.  Swatrz claims that  in Sweden: “Sex is being increasingly used to control communications – and as a political weapon,” and says his book shows “how Sweden descended from one of the western world’s most sexually liberated nations to its most repressive.”

The hatred expressed against Assange in Australia is frightening, and much of it seems to be based on personal antipathy. A great deal of it seems to originate with journalists and has from the start, as I wrote in these two articles in December 2010

It is even more frightening in the US where there have been calls for his assassination and demands that he be hunted down like bin Laden. Hatred such as this, and the unworthy example of presumption of guilt set by Prime Minister Gillard at the start of the story obscures the complexity of the narrative, and reduces it to a George W Bush story of good versus evil.

Personal opinions about Assange and his character ought not to blind anyone to the bigger picture unfolding here. There is something rotten in the manner in which these events have been and continue to be handled by the Australian, Swedish, and US governments. This should sound alarm bells for all of us, especially, one would think and hope, for journalists and writers whose responsibility it is to hold governments to account and protect us from dictators. WikiLeaks efforts to do this may have been clumsy, and at times carelessly cavalier. However, to my mind, Bradley Manning, Julian Assange & WikiLeaks have struck a blow for transparency in high places that in spite of claims to the contrary has struck nerves. For this they have my admiration and my ongoing concern for their welfare.


 

 


 

  

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351 Responses to “Don’t let facts get in the way of hate…”

  1. Mindy June 21, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Can you please explain how having sex with someone who has not consented is not a crime in Australia? Previous consent does not = consent, nor does withdrawn consent. Sleeping is not giving consent. This bullshit that “it’s not a crime anywhere else” is exactly bullshit. Also, the US government have said they aren’t interested in applying to Sweden to get Assange. Why wouldn’t they just get him from Britain if they wanted him so badly, or Ecuador for that matter? We only have Assanges’s assertions that they are after him, but apparently that is unquestionable.

    • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

      Mindy, dont talk crap. They werent dragged off by the hair, they consented.
      You know better, so does everyone else.
      Stop LYING about Julian Assange, you narrow-minded bigot.

      • hudsongodfrey June 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

        I won’t make any more contributions to this thread, but I’ll happily let Bob Ellis have a crack for me…

        http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2012/06/24/6597/

        S’cuse me if I happen to think this was practically written for this page :)

        • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 7:20 am #

          Thanks HG, Ellis also wrote yesterday that he believes Assange will be killed by sniper fire when he leaves the Ecuador Embassy, and the Met Police will issues statements that we begin with “We regret….”

          I didn’t want to close down discussion on this thread, I was attempting to intervene in the personal acrimony. Please keep commenting everyone if you wish.

          • hudsongodfrey June 25, 2012 at 11:53 am #

            I disagree with what I hope is an exaggeration, but hoping and being willing to risk are two different things. If I were Assange?

            • Mindy June 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

              I think he may be in for a long stay at the Embassy if that threat is in any way credible. I hope Bob Ellis is wrong, because if he isn’t something is deeply rotten and that isn’t good for anyone. I also hope Bob Ellis isn’t just headline seeking because that is irresponsible.

    • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      If the accusations are Bullshit designed to act as a form of entrapment then what? Guilty until proven innocent!?

    • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      The accounts of what took place are not at all clear-cut to me from the link I provided. Refusing to use a condom is not an offence in Australia. No one is claiming that she was raped. The woman who said she was sleeping apparently decided to continue having sex with Assange after expressing concerns about condom use. I also wrote “may not” be seen as crimes in this country. While it is true that previous consent does not equal consent, no charges have been laid against Assange, and no crime has been proved in Sweden.

      I don’t consider it wise to accept any government’s assurances at face value.

      • jo wiseman June 25, 2012 at 8:52 am #

        Refusing to use a condom isn’t an offence in Sweden either. They are accusing him of rape – sex without consent. They say he “consumated unprotected sexual relations” with one of the women while she was asleep (she woke up during) even though she had refused consent unless he was wearing a condom. Sex without consent is an offence in Australia.
        The facts that are missing here are what the alleged offences are. It might be an idea to provide a link to something other than unexamined defenses of Assange that ignore the two women and what they say he did.

        • jo wiseman June 25, 2012 at 8:58 am #

          After the abuse poured on Mindy I hesitated about coming back here but somebody needs to give a thought to the alleged victims even if just for an instant.

          • Anonymous June 25, 2012 at 9:10 am #

            MindyJune 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm#

            Fuck off Paul. No one consents to sex while sleeping. What is so fucking difficult to understand about that you fuckwit.

            jo, aren’t you being a bit selective about who’s pouring abuse here…and this is Mindy at her best behaviour.

            • helvityni June 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

              Now that’s the missing post of mine that appears under Anonymous….it seems to have come back :)

              • helvityni June 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

                If it is not clear from my post ( anonymous), the paraghaph I’m quoting is from Mindy’s post, I do not swear, the abuse is coming from Mindy….

        • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 9:05 am #

          I thought I’d already done that somewhere, but will provide it again.

          • jo wiseman June 25, 2012 at 9:29 am #

            Thankyou for those links Jennifer. Of course the accusations by Assange’s defence team against the alleged victims are themselves just allegations. We can’t try the case in the media or we shouldn’t. The place to do that is in court.

    • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      “Also, the US government have said..”

      File under,
      I drive better when I’m pissed.
      I won’t **** in your mouth
      No more taxes
      World peace
      Justice for all. etc

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

        Right because no government can ever be trusted? Some ideological blinkers of your own there perhaps?

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

          I see what I see,Mindy.
          I no doubt do have ideologies which drive me.I hope so.
          I also hope they help me filter out apologist bullshit now and then.

          The yanks may wear the white 10 gallon hat,but that is a not a license to stifle justice to protect their brand, when the brand has gone feral, many a time,itself.

          If they cannot practise it consistently, then shouldn’t preach it incessantly.

          Gillard should do a deal.
          We get Assange back and they forgo pursuing him, (On the allegations of sexual assault, he can be tried here if need be) and they can have their proposed army base back.
          Win/win.

          • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

            Can he be tried in Australia under Swedish law? Couldn’t he be tried in Sweden, if the case gets that far, and if the US gave an undertaking to give him back and got their proposed army base? Is the army base even in doubt?

            • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

              No I mean ‘they can have their proposed army base BACK, as in jam it.
              It’s like they think it’s an asset more than a target.
              Which it would be when the war on terror ends,which will be never.

              Are we to end up being the sandwich meat of US and China, Al Quaeda??
              “Terror Australis”

    • Marilyn June 23, 2012 at 5:14 am #

      They did consent, can’t you read?

      • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 7:52 am #

        How do you consent when you are asleep? Consent is not an unlimited licence. How hard is that to understand? You seem to have trouble comprehending this. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Just because you have started doesn’t give you an automatic right to continue until you orgasm. If the condom breaks and you are asked to stop then consent is withdrawn and further sexual penetration is rape.

        • gerard oosterman June 23, 2012 at 9:11 am #

          Yes, but in mid-flight it might be somewhat tricky if not a bit of a downer to ascertain if the condom has broken or not. Do you stop and both take a peek every now and then?
          Look, it’s a new day and the sun is out in full glory.

          • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 9:21 am #

            Thoughtful lovers use s “Downhole Camera”.

            http://www.omega-completion.com/downhole_downhole_camera.html

          • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 11:27 am #

            I have to admit Gerard that when I first heard the allegation about sex with a person who may or may not have been asleep I imagined some similar kind of scenario. If you’re so lousy in bed that she drops off to sleep before you’re done do you commit the greater offence by repeatedly waking her to secure consent or simply suffer the indignity of being unsatisfying in silence?

          • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

            But if you do find out and then someone asks you to stop consent is withdrawn. If you get to the end of things and find it broke, well then you just have to hope that your pharmacist believes in giving women contraception.

            • samjandwich June 25, 2012 at 10:27 am #

              Without having read most of the comments here, I’m sort of with you on this Mindy. Being woken up by a sexual incursion that you had previously insisted against certainly puts you in a difficult position. Sex should be a mutual activity. Is ‘reluctant consent” merely halfway to rape? What if you “give” it in the heat of the moment, and decide later that you shouldn’t have?

              I think the transnational pursuit of Assange over this is pretty unwarranted, but if the Guardian’s description of events is accurate then he could hardly be described as a gentleman, and at the very least probably deserves a good bollocking.

  2. gerard oosterman June 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I don’t fully understand why this case of Assange seems so steeped in controversy. He has now gone into a foreign Embassy, breached his bail and seems to have lost the $350.000.- bail money that, according to my understanding, was put up by his friends.
    This morning I listened to Bob Carr saying that they have given him all the consular support possible and will continue to do so if he finally ends up in Sweden.
    He further stated that he (Bob Carr) has not been given any information that America seeks his extradition and further stated that, if they (US) wished to do so, it would be far simpler to do this from the UK as from Sweden. As far as I have followed both the UK’s and Sweden’s political shenegans over the last few decades, I would put England far closer and chummier with the US than Sweden who generally keep things as neutral as possible. Surely, if Assange was treated so unfairly and extradited to the US, the stink would be far greater if done through a neutral Sweden than through the UK who swings a far mightier pro US right-wing punch.
    Assange lost his lawyer through defaulting on payments, he lost his friends money towards his bail and yet keeps on about an unfair world. His former partners in Wiki-leaks are not very complimentary about past dealings with him either. I so wish that I am wrong, but could it just be that his stance is a bit over the top?

    • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Its a fair point that you make Gerard and I respect your opinion and those of others here on the matter, but I also think that the principle is bigger than the bloke involved here, difficult as it may prove to keep defending him if he carries on as he does.

      As I’ve said I feel asylum may be a good fit for someone in his situation. What I fear most of all that if the US manage to “get” him while the misdeeds revealed in the leaked cables go unpunished then it really does prove once and for all that democracy as we thought we knew it is pretty well dead and buried.

    • doug quixote June 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      He certainly appears to be mortally afraid of extradition, Gerard.

      I am thoroughly sick of hearing about his soap opera. The plot would win no awards.

      • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

        Maybe should you find out what they have done to Manning before you rubbish Assange, Doug.
        Since it’s all clean fun, Why don’t you offer to go in his stead, just to prove him wrong. But what if you cant get out of jail again. Forrgotten Habib and Hicks, also?
        Let them get him today, maybe tomorrow they’ll come for you…

        • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 6:04 am #

          If I was Assange, I would probably do just what he has done over the last 2 years. Fight tooth and nail to avoid extradition, and if all that fails to seek asylum anywhere which will have him and is not beholden to the USA or to Sweden in particular, and with no extradition treaties with them.

          It limits the options somewhat. US tentacles and influence are everywhere on the globe. Assange won’t really be safe anywhere; Ecuador is likely to receive economic pressure to do a deal, rendition of some sort; perhaps a snatch, Mossad style.

          The USA do not like being thwarted.

          That doesn’t mean I want to hear about it in every news bulletin.

    • Marilyn June 23, 2012 at 5:17 am #

      The problem is that Assange is only wanted to answer questions.

      The question is not about Assange, it is the general principal of detention without charges of any kind both in
      England and Sweden.

      • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 6:52 am #

        Agreed Marilyn, detention without charges is a revolting reaction/overreaction to the 9/11 terrorism crisis, which is used as an excuse by governments the world over to tighten security and increase police powers and discretions. It is horrible.

  3. Mindy June 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Fuck off Paul. No one consents to sex while sleeping. What is so fucking difficult to understand about that you fuckwit. Things like that make rapists and me think you support rapists. I’m not a bigot just because I don’t think Assange is the fucking messiah.

    @Jennifer: Not using a condom in not a crime. Not stopping when the condom breaks and your partner asks you to stop is. Pretty clear to me. The woman involved said she asked him to stop. The other woman said she woke up and he was on top of her. No consent there either.

    @Godfreyhudson – Assange is claiming entrapment. Of course he is. Why are the women suddenly liars then? Why can’t Assange be lying?

    • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Yes it is very clear, if that is what happened. However Assange denies allegations in both instances. He is entitled to presumption of innocence. Every human being is entitled to presumption of innocence.

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

        Except the women making the allegations apparently? They are either gold diggers, lying bitches, or trying to entrap this helpless man. Why no presumption of innocence, except perhaps from bad choice of sexual partners, for them?

        Why can’t it be possible that they feel he acted wrongly, while he disagrees? Why is it supposedly so clear cut that they are in the wrong and he is right because he is Julian Assange?

        • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

          I believe the complainants are entitled to have their allegations fully investigated as I wrote in the piece. I have NEVER used such terms to describe the complainants. Nothing about this is clear cut & I’m not claiming Assange is innocent or guilty. It is a she said/he said situation. It isn’t clear cut to me that they are right and he is wrong, or vice versa. The only possible proper outcome is that Assange is questioned again about the allegations, a prosecutor makes a judgement on whether or not to lay charges, and the process is followed. This is all we have. The law.

          • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

            Come on JW, don’t be seen letting the ideology of misandry down.(again)
            Look what happened last time when you dare tackled the last taboo.

            There is no room in this battle for a fair go. There are nuts to be cracked.bla bla bla…
            Radfem good, penis bad.Get with the program.

        • AJ June 22, 2012 at 10:23 am #

          Mindy, do you find it odd that the following night they invited, indeed welcomed him to a dinner party the very next night? That doesnt sound like something that someone that felt they had been raped would do? There’s clearly more to this regarding motives than the night’s events itself. Just sayin…

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 10:28 am #

            Actually AJ there is no rule book for how alleged rape victims have to behave. Everyone reacts differently. I speculate that they discussed him afterwards and discovered that unprotected sex had occurred – hence going to the police to see if a HIV test could be demanded and perhaps got advice from the police that further charges could potentially be laid. But as I say all speculation.

          • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 10:31 am #

            I’m not a rape apologist, and I do consider that odd.

        • Marilyn June 23, 2012 at 5:18 am #

          Piss off Mindy.

          • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 7:52 am #

            No. Is that the best you can do?

            • paul walter June 23, 2012 at 8:55 am #

              At least she involves herself in real world issues involving real world suffering for real people. What’s left of you after the nebulous ball of ignorance and narcissism is removed?
              When you grow up, If you become a tenth the woman Marilyn is, I’d be amazed, you spoilt, phony little middle class brat
              Welcomed your comment on the refugees, first time ever you were able to escape your cocoon of self to think of others outside it.

              • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

                Some interesting assumptions you’ve made about me there Paul.

            • helvityni June 23, 2012 at 9:22 am #

              Paul, you are right, Marilyn has a heart, and therefore I do not mind her colourful language, she also writes under her own name, what you see what you get…we need more Marilyns.
              I do know who Mindy is, she has used much worse language than Marilyn ever would…..Of course she has many pseudos….Mindy is the latest…I think.

              • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

                Sorry Helvi, Mindy is my name and I have been writing under it for years. You have confused me with someone else. :)

    • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      You ask why can’t the women be liars. So I’ll answer it as best I can given that we’re judging things on second hand information at best. The facts of the matter are that Assange’s story has been consistent whereas his accusers have changed their stories at least once throughout the course of events during which it seems highly likely that political pressure was brought to bear in order to encourage them to do so.

      Moreover rape in the case of the Swedish law against “Sex by Surprise” (I’m quoting their description not mine), is NOT a crime commensurate with a fucking life sentence! Which is clearly how this shit goes down should they get a hold of the guy and deliver him into the waiting arms of vengeful bully boy America.

      Profanity is fine by me and Jennifer allows some latitude. I also accept that for you and others who may come from this topic from a different perspective that emotive issues around rape are out there and boil to the surface. But don’t take licence to abuse people you don’t know just because they disagree with you, those are your issues not Paul’s and what you’ve written is very much out of order.

      • lauredhel June 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

        “the case of the Swedish law against “Sex by Surprise” (I’m quoting their description not mine)”

        No, you’re not. You’re quoting an lie from a media report, one repeated gleefully by rape apologists all around the world.

        Here’s one English-language explanation by a Swede. Excerpted:

        “First of all, let me put this straight: there is no such crime as “sex by surprise” in Sweden. Assange is charged for rape, sexual harassment and duress, and this is, what is called in Swedish legal terms, on “sannolika skäl;” a classification that means that the prosecutor has enough evidence to make her believe it is likely the verdict will be in her favour. There is fairly strong evidence, then, it is not charge pulled out of thin air. “Sex by surprise” or överraskningssex as it would be translated in Swedish is slang for rape. It is a term that is used when speaking about rape, but jokingly, or keeping it light, a word that brings with it positive connotations, which makes the word inappropriate in itself, but it is nevertheless synonymous with rape.”

        Or, if you prefer it straight from the horse’s mouth, the Swedish Prosection Authority:

        “18 November 2010
        Marianne Ny orders the arrest of Julian Assange, with probable cause, suspected of rape, three cases of sexual molestation and illegal coercion. ”

        This was not difficult information to find.

        • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

          OK I’m going to insist on a ground rule. Assange has not been charged. On this I am the language police.

        • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

          Okay lauredhel, here’s where it sits, and you’re right the information is easily found on the internet, and your ability to quote it selectively is quite exceptional.

          What happened in the first instance seems to have been that a condom broke and Assange was asked to submit to a HIV test. As you rightly pointed out the Swedish media at the time characterised what was initially alleged in a rather offhand and dismissive fashion.

          What has transpired since has been a hardening of attitudes by the Swedish prosecutor and indeed it seems the public in that country against Assange. What hasn’t happened is the laying of any charges so much as you may want to speculate as to what kind of outrage may or may not have been committed. All we know is that it was relatively minor, and that as yet despite his volunteering to be interviewed in the UK he has not been granted that opportunity.

          What you’re not hearing here is that any of these crimes are NOT commensurate with the life sentence Assange risks if the US have their way with him. There is a strong suspicion of coercion in terms of how the dismissal then re-escalation of these charges followed within days of Wikileaks most damaging releases. And regardless of whether he’s the messiah or just a very naughty boy there are higher democratic principles to be defended first.

          I don’t wish to deny the Swedish women their day in court, but given that one of them gave evidence by telephone the fact that Assange has been denied that privilege seems darned suspicious to me.

          Meanwhile in the good news stakes…

          http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/australian-senate-backs-aid-to-julian-assange/story-fn7x8me2-1226404424251

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

        Paul and I have locked horns before. He claims to know the women consented. Why then, if he was there as he must have been to know that, has he not furnished Assange’s defence team with this info?

        • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

          Paul was a little immoderate with you without what seemed like sufficient provocation so I can only imagine your past exchanges have been…. interesting!

          All snide remarks and facetious counterpoints aside, one thing to remember is that Assange’s defence team in the UK haven’t been defending him at all on the molestation charges, but against extradition to a jurisdiction where he has reason to fear a threat to his ongoing liberty from the US. This much is clear and generally undisputed, so that what I think you’re completely missing here is that even if the guy himself is a complete shit the principle of seeing him locked up for publishing in inconvenient truth is one we have to defend against. And nobody seriously imagines that if he does get locked up then the message that sends isn’t as a consequence of his Wikileaks activities.

          • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

            I have serious doubts as to whether the danger of him being taken from Sweden and locked up is really that great. However, I agree that being taken from Sweden directly to the US is not on.

            I also disagree that the Aust Govt will do nothing if he is charged with something in the US and faces the death penalty. We have strong laws on that and do not allow people to be taken from Australia to the US if they will face the death penalty. See Gabe Watson and Jean-Philippe Wispelaere. They weren’t even citizens. The fact is that so far there has been nothing happen to Assange that requires more than consular support.

            • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

              Okay thanks for that reply we seem to be talking on a more level footing.

              It may suffice to say that I have serious doubts about your serious doubts.

              However our policy of defending Australians against the death penalty is neither a matter of law nor would it apply in international jurisdictions, much as we might like it to. It comes down to diplomatic appeals for clemency and the like.

              Equally I accept that the law is a bit of an ass in this matter seeing that we can hardly defend against US extradition unless and until papers are served. Hardly surprising though that they wouldn’t be served yet given that it would have strengthened his defence against being hauled off back to Sweden. That’s why I think asylum is a better fit because the standard to apply to is a well-founded fear of persecution. Clearly some of the vitriol directed towards Assange in the days that followed the US Cable releases would amply establish that he has such a fear.

              Overall it is hard not to see this as a battle wherein his continued liberty comes to symbolise defiance of the will of the US state, and frustration of their attempts and those of others like them to bully Wikileaks into silence.

              • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

                I thnk he certainly has a fear of persecution. Whether it is real or in his head really makes no difference. I am a bit suspicious that this is a stunt to get out of facing possible charges in Sweden but you may be right. I hope Ecuador is a nice place, I think he may be stuck there for a while.

                • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

                  Well I know we re-settle asylum seekers to other countries, and I wonder whether he might under similar terms be repatriated here…

                  I’ve asked somebody who I hope may know and I’ll keep you posted if I find out more.

          • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

            Jennifer knows of the mobbing tactics and selective censorship applied elsewhere.
            These people don’t debate, they harass.
            If you don’t accept their take on an issue, down to micro detail and in strict doctrinal accordance to their warped ideology, you are automatically set upon as some sort Boston Strangler. She is not a newcomer to the Assange issue, but despite all the threads, all the same points mentioned over and over, she will doggedly persists with the bullsh-t in the post.
            I see another Volgon, Lauredhel has turned up, so it must be a raid.
            Hey, what are you guys going to do now that you haven’t got equally biased mods and a posse of crackpots railing like drunken cats with you, to win your point?

            As the title to the thread goes,
            “Dont let the facts get in the way of hate…”/

            • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

              Paul,

              Don’t you think I know all that. I’ve heard it before and frankly I still wonder what motivates this ill will towards Assange that some posters appear to have.

              As for the tactics used, well obviously there are red herrings and straw men strewn about to suck us into debates about side issues they think are important, but we can resile from falling into those traps if we want to.

              Scan about a bit and you’ll see I defended you at one point, because it is unpleasant to read, and because trading insults is seldom settled by the protagonists themselves when such exchanges occur.

            • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

              If you want to believe overblown conspiracy theories so be it. But I don’t have to listen to rape apologism and ignore it just so you don’t get upset. You weren’t there you don’t know if those women consented. Don’t let the facts get in the way of your long held ideas will you. And you call me a bigot.

            • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

              Okay Mindy,

              If you’re going to go about calling people rape apologists that is both wrong and offensive. You’d better be able to back that up or back the hell away apologising for what you’ve written as you go!

              If you can’t understand the need for the punishment to fit the crime or the difference between a condom breaking and intent to violate then I feel sorry for you. Whatever your issues are we want to sympathise and connect with you as a human being, but we can’t and won’t be likely to attain that warm fuzzy glow while you’re effectively casting epithets about like some kind of bridge dwelling troglodyte….Do you get my drift?

    • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

      You’ve only their word for it. Why don’t you give Assange a similar go?
      Why didnt they want to press charges later?
      Unlike you, even they had a conscience?

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

        I haven’t said he is guilty, I don’t like his behaviour post accusation. Problem with that?

  4. hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Well put Jennifer,

    Asylum seems now to be the appropriate fit for Assange given that somebody with a well founded fear of persecution can claim it without necessarily being able to offer specific details of material threats beyond the fact of who or what they are and why others might bear them serious ill will.

    While I’d very much prefer to see him clear his name with regard to the sexual allegations against him there are a couple of important principles involved that ought always to have been taken into consideration for justice to properly be served. The first is the principle of reciprocity whereby the punishment must not be disproportionate to the crime, whereupon in this case it is argued that effectively deliverance in to US hands would be an excessive penalty for “surprise sex”.

    The second and more important principle is freedom of expression in that Assange acted in no material way differently from any other modern day journalist in publishing what he did. And by that I do mean even with respect the the unfortunate matter of the non-redacted cables. Wikileaks stands accused of committing no crimes under any of the laws of any of the jurisdictions in which it has operated.

    I see it as vital to everyone who ever reads or receives news through any media source whatsoever to bear witness to the principle that justice is not done by visiting punishment by proxy upon Julian Assange for the offences others committed in leaking embarrassing secrets. And the thing that makes this doubly true is that punishment for any of the misdeeds revealed in the leaks has to date been conspicuously absent.

    Australia of all places should be doing far more to guarantee his safety in securing if needs be his protection and return to this his home country as soon as possible.

    The message that is being sent by the Gillards of this world in conjunction with the Swedish authorities acting as they are in accordance with what the US State Department no doubt wishes is that authority derives from the willingness to use power to maintain a credible treat against anyone who dares challenge it.

    That’s it. Pure and simple, abrogation of democratic principles.

  5. Mindy June 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Where is the evidence that the US is going to take him from Sweden, apart from Assange’s claims? Why couldn’t they just extraordinarily render him from the UK if they are so damn keen to get their hands on him? Why go through this legal farce? Even if they wanted to entrap him don’t you think they might have people trained to do that? Is he going to be any safer in Ecuador? I don’t care if he buggers off there though.

    • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      Mindy,

      Even if you think that the US does not want to snaffle JA, (even that they actually said it) do you seriously believe for one second with Americas reputation on such things that they would pre-warn him of those intentions?
      Really?
      You’re talking about a bloke who has covered the face of the American military and their many heinous acts thereof, with mega egg. Splashed across the net, to millions of viewers.Do you think they would pass on a chance to fry his ass?
      He has corporate and military enemies everywhere.
      He is the ‘in your face’ ultimate whistle blower.
      He has not just been caught out pinching bubble game.
      He is despised entirely by authorities everywhere.

      He does not need to go anywhere to answer the initial allegations (That fact does not in any way devalue the women’s charges or evidence)
      Nor should our govt allow him to be placed into a position of greater peril than he is in at any given time.No matter what he has done.He is not Osama Bin Laden,PolPot or Idi Amin et al.

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

        If that is true why haven’t the US done it already? Why would they go through this shemozzle? Is he going to be any safer in Ecuador? Why does this have to be a huge conspiracy theory?

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

          Mindy, Have you not heard of form?
          Why were Hicks and Habib locked in GB if the evidence was so strong?
          Why ?
          Why so long?
          Why was the Howard gov’t totally happy to look away.
          Because they could.
          I think you confuse conspiracy for pattern, previous form or work methodology, Mindy.

          I’ll say it again.If the yanks want to demand justice they must display it.

          Not only is it naive to think the US does not want Assange,I’d go so far as to say Assange is close to the top of a list.
          I wonder if he has one of those ‘open me if they touch me’ back up plans filled with the egg bomb to end all egg bombs.

          • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

            Howard is not Prime Minister anymore. This has nothing to do with him. If they want him so badly why haven’t they grabbed him already?

            • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

              Timing is everything, Mindy.
              As soon as Assange is in the right place, or makes the wrong move BAM!

              And for someone so keen to accuse others of blind ideology….
              I have barely mentioned the ‘accusation of sexual assault’ for that reason.You seem to have made your mind up there yourself.
              As for Howards damage,it will ripple for generations.
              Even Labor has caught his disease.

        • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

          As if you’d be worried about his safety.
          Youd’ve had him hung, drawn and quartered, without charge, without trial and precious little evidence beyond testimony from a couple of people as unbalanced as you and your lynch mob of cranks. And charges were withdrawn anyway, after the women sensed they were being used for something way out of proportion with what they themselves claim happened.
          But by that time, the US had told Sweden of withdrawal of secret sharing, if Assange wasn’t fitted up.
          But you already have known this, from dozens of other threads in different places, and you persist with your genderist version of a bloodlibel.

          No, he won’t be safer in Ecuador, because they will then probably issue an Executive
          Order and a hit squad will come for him. But at least he won’t have to die like a vegetable, like Manning will be after they’ve
          finished with him.
          I suppose the only people who wont regret his death will be a few psychotic fanatics in denial, the US neocons and the Zionist Lobby.

          • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

            Having fun typing with one hand Paul?

            • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

              I may type slow but at least what I type isn;t a load of hate-filled,psychotic guff.

    • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Stop LYING.

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

        I’m not. Show me the documents. I will believe you if you can show me the evidence. Come on.

  6. Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    IMO,
    A US warrant will spring the moment the UK plod snaffle him.
    (The section where the date is written will be well worn with eraser marks!)
    He now appears to be toast unless a miracle happens.
    (He can be strapped to the leg of a carrier pigeon and flown to Heathrow,directly into a foreign plane headed for Ecuador.)

    However if his wikileaks actions are to be weighed against him in the public arena/debate, as reckless and or irresponsible,then the behaviour of those exposed by his hand, should be held under a similar light IMO.

    And he could quite as easily be asked questions (that is what Sweden demands), from anywhere on earth.
    The Aust govt. does not want him returning here because the yanks will expect that he be handed over, forthwith.
    Labor are not that brave.It is a political godsend to both versions of the Liberal Labor clone, that the UK must deal with this US target.
    I believe he will be deported to Sweden, and then to the USA, (with or without a sex assault trial) or if arrested in the UK over bail conditions,whilst he’s in custody the Yanks will pop the warrant and he will never even see a trial in Sweden.
    Unless he survives decades of unlawful detention in downtown Hicksville Cuba, of course.So at best he will do time and dubious treatment a la Hicks,for yonks and then head to Sweden for another lengthy sojourn.

    There’s a principle here that is bigger than Assange.
    And yes, ‘if’ he committed a crime he should face justice.But equally the events leading up to the timing and motivations of the charges (which reappeared after his profile raised) and all discussions held behind closed doors, discussions alleged to have occurred between non Swedish justice officials, should be provided to Assanges legal team.
    The Aust govt/Consulate should already be privvy to every little detail of this extradition Every detail.If not , surely Bob Carr and the entire govt could find themselves in deep doodoo.

  7. Mindy June 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Still waiting for evidence that the US can’t just extradite him from wherever he is. Anyone? Bueller?

    • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      I’m no expert but from what I can discover the UK cannot extradite him to the US because Sweden got in first with extradition request. The UK can’t extradite him to two countries at once.

      • jo wiseman June 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

        Let’s be sure I’ve got this straight. Assange can’t be extradited to the US from the UK because he’s being extradited to Sweden. So if he wasn’t being extradited to Sweden, he could be extradited to the US. This is why he’s made appeals through the High Court all the way up to the Supreme Court to stop being extradited to Sweden.

        • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

          It turns out that this may not be true Jo, competing claims for extradition being more usually adjudicated in order of either precedence or worthiness. It might be interesting to see what the UK would do, but even more interesting to see how hard Sweden would continue to press their claim under those circumstances.

          Either way it seems clear that the US feels disinclined to embarrass it’s closer political ally in the UK with an extradition claim in this case, at this time. I wonder if Australia would receive similar deference if he came here, as I fear Ecuador won’t.

          In the meantime the thrust of you question seems to be to disbelieve there’s a credible treat against Assange. I think you’re wrong and wager that Bradley Manning might also beg to differ.

          As I’ve said to others here Obama is popping of “terrorists” with drones across international borders with impunity and you seem to by intimating that you think Assange is the problem!?

          • jo wiseman June 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

            Assange is the problem? What problem? I’m confused.

            • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

              We know.

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

          Jo, are you asking or telling?

        • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 6:55 am #

          I suspect it may be more complex than that. The US hasn’t requested his extradition from the UK. Sweden has. More than one country can request extradition of an individual, but obviously a choice has to be made by the relinquishing country. I don’t know on what basis such a choice would be made by the UK.

          • jo wiseman June 22, 2012 at 7:37 am #

            Doesn’t that take us back to Mindy’s question about why the US can’t just extradite him from the UK? jennifer to your credit you said you were no expert but your explanation was the best you could discover. It doesn’t sound very convincing though.
            Yet you seem certain the US cannot extradite him from the UK and just as certain that the US will be able to extradite him from Sweden.
            This is a crucial point because unless you are correct about both then you need to look for some other reason why Assange is prepared to accept two years of restricted liberty in the UK, and who knows how long a stay in Ecuador, to avoid extradition to Sweden.

            • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 9:12 am #

              Rubbish.

            • jo wiseman June 22, 2012 at 9:46 am #

              Rubbish? I see. Thank you for supplying that fact because I had completely missed it. Lovely visiting. It’s been real.

            • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 10:00 am #

              Common sense tells us a person can’t be extradited to two countries at the same time. If the UK has chosen to accede to Sweden’s request, they can’t also accede to a request from the US, not that there’s been one. If the US had made such a request, the UK would have to decide which request to prioritise and to which country to deliver Assange, Sweden or UK. Of course the US has extradition agreements with the UK & can request Assange but they won’t get him if the UK has already agreed to send him to Sweden. The US would then have to extradite him from Sweden wouldn’t they?

    • doug quixote June 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      The US can apply to extradite him from any country they have an extradition treaty with : see

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

      Not surprisingly, Ecuador is not on the list.

      The US have not applied to anyone for his extradition as yet. If the Swedish application had failed, they would probably apply, and the three ring circus would start again.

  8. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    I cannot escape the feeling that something, or perhaps even some number of things, at some time around the time of Assange’s visit to Sweden went unexpectedly disastrously wrong for those US interests that have been intent upon pursuing Assange with a view to his being taken into US custody.

    This whole protracted debacle has been, and is continuing to be, a snowballing PR disaster for US relations with the ordinary populace within its staunchest and most long-term allies. It is also becoming a snowballing electoral disaster for the largely mute politicians of all persuasions of those same US allies.

    To my mind there has been an unhealthy degree of focus upon Assange’s Australian passport, what with Prime Ministerially tolerated intimations of the withdrawal of that passport in the absence of any conviction, anywhere, yet being recorded against Assange. Indeed, the threat elicits a certain amount of deserved ridicule of the Australian government for adopting such a ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’ sort of impotent response. It makes me ask myself why would any element within the Australian government, Prime Ministerial or otherwise, make themselves such a laughing stock?

    Could it be, I ask myself, that Assange is known or thought to have some other passport as well? It is not inconceivable that he could quite legitimately also be the holder of a British passport. Many who are Australian by birth are entitled to a British passport. As I understand it, anyone having one English grandfather may be so entitled. I do not know whether Assange is so entitled, but it would not surprise me if he was. Has anyone within our MSM enquired into such elementary background information, I wonder?

    If Assange was entitled to claim a British passport, it could well have facilitated the sort of travel within the European Union of the nature that Assange is understood to have seen himself required to do. Not having to go through Customs, not having to line up in the ‘foreign and others’ line for entry at British airports, and such like administrative advantages could be seen as being quite valuable.

    It could have been that an entrapment of Assange in Sweden had been intended around August-September of 2010, but that the relevant security agency responsible for the surveillance flagged only Assange’s Australian passport, with Assange just happening to have used an unflagged British passport that triggered no interception when he left Sweden, as far as he then knew, in the clear, shortly thereafter. There was some report, if I recall correctly, of there being no record of Assange having re-entered the UK after his Swedish visit of 2010. Why would there be, if he was travelling within the EU (quite legitimately) on a British passport?

    We do know that Australian passports do get flagged by US surveillance authorities at other than the request of Australian security authorities, witness the recent claim of a ‘no fly’ status posted against Assange legal team associate Jennifer Robinson in an attempted obstruction to her departing Heathrow to return to Australia.

    Could it be that the putative ignorant presumptuousness of those seeking to entrap Assange that failed to identify a right to a British passport then spilled over into an equally ignorant presumption that if his Australian passport was to be withdrawn whilst Assange was on bail in the UK, that such withdrawal would somehow convert Assange to being a British citizen and thereby immediately subject to the disgracefully one-sided UK Extradition Act 2003?

    How irritating it must have been to certain US interests that as of August-September 2010 the US had not secured what I think is described as an HSPD-6* style agreement with the Kingdom of Sweden! You would think those interests would have then been asking themselves what they could do to move the sluggish and complacent Swedes along in that respect, wouldn’t you? Lots of things become clear if you ask yourself the right questions, don’t they?

    So with that, for now, I will conclude this post with the suggestion that Jennifer Wilson’s Assange timeline needs to be extended back in time to at least the year 2008, for the shedding of more of the light of hindsight upon what has become, for the US, the Assange debacle.

    *HSPD-6 standing for ‘Homeland Security Presidential Directive No.6′

    • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Jennifer’s passport wasn’t flagged by the Australian government. It was more likely a fuck up at the airport.

      • Jennifer Wilson June 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

        Oh that’s too weird. My passport WAS flagged last time I left the US from LAX and I was wondering how on earth Forrest knew about that, then I saw he meant Jennifer Robinson. Aaaaargh! Getting paranoid.

        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

          No, not paranoid. Et tu JW. And for exactly the same reason as was Jennifer Robinson, I suggest. You are suspected of being able to read, and make links. That makes you a problem.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

        Thank you Mindy for explicitly amplifying one aspect of exactly the point I was making. It wasn’t flagged by the Australian government. In an environment subject to an HSPD-6 style agreement, as at Heathrow, what other government would be able to exercise a surveillance function that could assign a ‘no fly’ status to a would-be passenger?

        Clue: Two letters, beginning with U, and ending with S. Its their database that is used under an HSPD-6. Its access to it that is denied unless another country signs up.

    • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      All interesting stuff, but you do know that in a choice between a conspiracy and a stuff-up the latter is odds on to win!

      BTW His Ancestory is examined in some detail under “Early Life” on the Wikipedia page about him, and there don’t seem to be the necessary familial links to qualify him for a UK passport.

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

  9. gerard oosterman June 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    This from Reuters 5hrs ago:
    Two days before claiming asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Julian Assange partied with some of his most famous and well-heeled supporters. He did not mention that, in order to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual-assault charges, he was about to potentially forfeit the bail money they had posted.

    • gerard oosterman June 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      In future ,can you leave the link Gerard?
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/20/us-assange-bailmoney-idUSBRE85J1KR20120620
      Sorry.

      • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

        Aha,
        I see you have discovered the missing link Professor Oosterman.

        And here’s me thinking they all reside on opposition front bench.

    • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      Maybe the bloke in the embassy is his double?
      Has he slipped through the net?
      All it would take is a white wig to dupe plod on a dark damp London night…..
      Mwhahahahahahaa

  10. Mindy June 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    Looks like you have started a trend Jennifer.

    http://castancentre.com/2012/06/21/the-surprising-escape-bid-of-julian-assange/

    Good post, answers some of my questions.

  11. Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Is a breach of bail a recorded conviction?
    If so what does that do to change or trigger the US desire to grab JA?
    I think that is where this is heading.

    • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

      If he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy without being granted asylum he will be arrested for breach of his bail conditions. Or he will have to live in the Embassy.

    • doug quixote June 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

      No.

  12. Mindy June 21, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    @hudsongodfrey – I understand that you don’t have a lot of knowledge about rape myths. Claiming that the women consented and they ‘weren’t dragged by their hair’ is perpetuating a rape myth that women must have fought back or the rape couldn’t possibly have occurred. This is rape apology and no I will not apologise for raising it. I’m not saying Assange is guilty, but if events occurred as claimed the actions were legally rape both in Sweden and in Australia.

    I don’t like Assange because he immediately called on his squads of supporters to blacken the women’s names and called them liars and made claims of being persecuted and entrapped. He has done his level best to destroy them and their reputations and encouraged all his followers to do the same. I think this is despicable. It is not the rape allegations that made me dislike him, it was his subsequent actions and acting like he is above the law.

    The facts are that the US has made no extradition attempt. The Australian government has provided him with consular assistance, despite the fact that Assange has gone out of his way to embarrass the Gillard Government and then had the hide to turn around and demand special assistance above and beyond what any other citizen gets. He claims special privileges because of who he is. Who he is is someone with an inflated opinion of himself and probably a misogynist to boot. There are many reasons not to like Mr Assange.

    Also, if Jennifer doesn’t like my comments she is perfectly able to ask me to stop commenting here.

    • paul walter June 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Well, she’s already spotted most of the paranoid garbage you pass off as fact or argument,as have (most) of the rest here. Whether she likes you or publishes you, I don’t know, but if she spots the sort of bunkum I’ve read, I doubt whether her regard for you will grow much.

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        Well this is her blog so her rules. I’m paranoid, now that’s a good one.

    • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

      Mindy for whatever reason, you seem driven by the desire to rid this world of an imaginary scenario where all men adhere to this ‘rape culture’ construct but to accuse others of being ideologues seems to have been consumed by your, well your ideology.
      What ideology?
      “I don’t like Assange” just the black and gold kind.

      The main topic does not take anything away from the rights of the women.
      Which part of NOT CHARGED is difficult for you?

      as for this,”I don’t like Assange because “he immediately called on his squads of supporters to blacken the women’s names and called them liars and made claims of being persecuted and entrapped”.

      there are others saying the opposite.
      Plenty of others, and no I won’t be doing your homework.Google it yourself.

      “probably a misogynist to boot”

      The misandric projections continue.
      (Pot/Kettle/Black/Blacker/Blackest.)

      As for the political projections, well, where to start.
      Assange has gone out of his way to embarrass the Gillard Government
      He claims special privileges because of who he is

      You need to get out more.
      If JW chucked you out you would wear it as a badge of honour.
      Hounded out by the ‘rape culture’ dudes etc.

      Many a person has allowed the fire in their belly, become the ice in their heart.

      • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

        I haven’t said he is guilty. I don’t like him, so sue me. I know others have supported the women. That doesn’t make his actions any better. Assange wasn’t thrown out of the country – do you have any evidence of this?

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

          Mindy your man hate words are all over the place.
          It’s a chip on your shoulder.Your chip.
          Your words….
          “And yet if we say anything we are humourless feminists trying to ruin everyone else’s harmless fun. Does the right of older males to perve on young girls override the right of young girls to grow up happy and well balanced? Apparently so.”

          Could it be you see all men this way?

          • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

            No. I don’t hate men, I just refuse to pander to the ones who try to dismiss women who think differently to them. Some men find that really difficult to accept. I really don’t care.

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

          Where did I say anyone was thrown out of a country?

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:32 am #

            My bad, I misunderstood when you said if JW(?) chucked me out I’d wear it as a badge of honour.

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:35 am #

            Sorry, you mean Jennifer. No I’d apologise for putting her in a position where she felt the need to do that. I’m not here to get banned. I’m here to talk about this topic. Just because I disagree shouldn’t (and hasn’t) got me banned. But I stress this is Jennifer’s blog and if that’s how she chooses to moderate it then that is her business. I have no issue with that.

  13. hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Hello Jennifer,

    Following this link http://wlcentral.org/node/2652 that you posted in with the article is kinda scary. This is the sort of crap that the likes of MTR would probably love to institute here and it is worrying indeed. It also makes me think about what perspective some of the comments we’re getting here may be coming from!

    • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      Nope sorry, not where I am coming from. MTR’s views are her own and I don’t subscribe to them. She doesn’t speak for me. Is it really that hard to believe that I have looked at the facts of this case and come to a different conclusion to you?

      As I see it – for what I think could be true all I have to believe is that Assange could be an arsehole in bed. For me to believe that this is an attempt for the US to get him I have to believe in a vast, badly done conspiracy theory involving multiple countries. Maybe he isn’t just paranoid, maybe they are out to get him. But really I think that the US is probably finding keeping him paranoid about what they might do far more effective. They don’t have to do anything just sit back and watch and wait. I don’t envy him or the stress he is under and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But I still don’t like him.

      • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

        You’re a man and an older one Gerard,don’t expect a civil response.
        The best you’ll get is what the teach at misandry 101,in the first book.
        Chapter one Rape Culture, Chapter 2 All men are in on it etc.

        Recognise Mindy yet?

      • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

        Mindy,

        Your comments below seem to intimate that you expect to be banned, whereas in response to me you’re self identifying with a generalisation I made in a comment to Jennifer while in almost the same breath you’re vehemently disassociating yourself with the allusion that I made. Maybe I wasn’t referring to you. It seems I wasn’t. So why the duplicitous reply? Why not leave it alone?

        If on the other hand you have looked at the facts of the case, they are all laid out for you in Jennifer’s article. You haven’t brought fresh information or even as much as offered a contrary interpretation before now.

        So Assange is what George Negus might regrettably call a dud root and an “arsehole” to boot. Many of his former colleagues seem to concur about the latter, as for the former I never as much as kissed the guy so how would I know? What have you to add from personal experience, or are you just being a touch inclined to breaking the guy’s balls for no material reason here? I wonder!

        The allegations may be true but they may not. Guilty until proven innocent does not become justice in any of its forms. There have been opportunities on both sides to resolve this some of which have been refused by the Swedish authorities. They should have taken them. This call al be over by now.

        Assange is subject to a well-founded fear of persecution from the US. How they regard these leaks is clear on two fronts. The brutalisation of Bradley Manning. Contrasted with the absence of action against the guilty parties as revealed by the leaked material. Justice is seen to be out the window. Obama is killing “terrorists” in foreign countries using drones and justifying civilian casualties by designating them as terrorists also. You don’t care about this? You think Assange is safe? Or you don’t care about him either because you don’t LIKE HIM!

        Liking him has stuff all to do with it. I don’t know him either and yet I doubt we’d be mates, but what matters is that his liberty stands as an affront to the US and its sycophantic conga line of toadies who would rather see him swing for raining on their parade than concede that in a real democracy it is they who are accountable to the people and not the other way around!?

        Please go over to YouTube and type in the words Collateral Murder, then come back and decide who’s side you’re on because frankly the only right answer to that shit is “Not in my Name”.

        • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

          +1

        • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 7:14 am #

          a dud root. lol.

          • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 10:39 am #

            One of the best things about not being censored by the straight laced ABC mods is that here at least we can occasionally have a joke at the expense of a serious subject without being too precious about not offending anyone.

        • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:40 am #

          I accept that his fear of persecution is well founded. I don’t accept that Sweden has anything to do with an intricate plot against him. The US isn’t the Keystone Cops. If this was their doing they would have stopped the farce long ago.

          • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 11:26 am #

            You are it seems thinking in line with the dictates of the relevant laws, which is to say that unless a material impediment exists to excuse the accused from being subject to this extradition then he is attempting to make an exception of himself which he isn’t entitled to.

            In so doing I get the sense from you that you feel not making any exception to legal proscription against rape is more vitally important that I think it is. And you’d be right about that in this case because I think that the law seems to be incapable of doing justice to the well-founded fear of persecution that Assange has.

            Perhaps it would have been better should the Swedes have been willing to wait until after the US grand jury finished sitting, but since I really don’t know how that legally changes much the problem I’d still have is in allowing a minor justice to precipitate a major injustice.

            • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

              I’m just not convinced that a minor justice will precipitate a major injustice. But I can afford to be wrong.

              • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

                Julian Assange however cannot.

                My point.

                • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

                  Did you read my comment?

                  • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

                    The notifications flagged it up to me, yes.

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

                      Then why do you feel the need to tell me something that I already said?

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

                      It needed clarification.

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

                      So you can imply but I can’t? Interesting.

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

                      You’re welcome to imply what ever you like!

                      Hypocrisy for instance.

                      But when clarification reveals a different truth you resile from it.

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

                      I don’t resile from the fact that I can afford to be wrong on this issue and Assange can’t. That’s is what I said in the first place. You are reading things into my comments that aren’t there.

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

                      I am prepared to take you at your word. Now that it is clear.

      • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

        “I have looked at the facts of this case and come to a different conclusion to you”

        Facts according to who?
        You are right about one thing,the fear and paranoia Assange has for what the yanks will do is punishment enough.
        Clever innit?

        • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:38 am #

          I think it is awful actually. But I don’t know enough about international law on these matters. Is it illegal to push someone to the brink of mental illness? (I am not saying Assange is or ever will be mentally ill).

          I have looked at the same reporting of this case as you. I just think differently.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      As soon as I read that I thought of the MTR band. I suspect they would love Sweden these days. Interesting because a few years ago they would have despised it.

      • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 11:15 am #

        I’m a terrible scan reader, having read in sentences rather than words for as long as I can remember. Which is weird I know because I abuse sentence structure all the time when I try to write. The upshot of which is that I only managed to revisit some of the links belatedly.

        On this occasion some of the responses prompted me to want to say something like, “what do you mean you don’t understand, all the information is presented to you in diligently compiled cogent detail”, which it was. Something I came to appreciate when mindful of what I wanted to prompt others to do I went back and picked through the links again at my leisure.

        I have to say that the idea this one prompted that these attitudes could ever migrate to our country brought a faint taste of bile to my mouth. It doesn’t surprise me that the Swedes can be like this but it disappoints.

        I’m put in mind by this whole episode of the kind of hypocritical double standards I most resented as a schoolboy. Being told that you can’t hit girls, well you can’t hit anyone really, but especially never girls. Even a kid’s mind goes what the?

        “Does that mean if she hits me I can’t hit her back mum?”
        “If a girl hits you it won’t really hurt. Not as much as if you were to hit her anyway.”
        “Even been hit in the nuts mum?”

        To me to say that this kind of rape is a sacred cow in line with the deliberate and forcible violation of another human being that the word “rape” conjures up, is something that I do struggle with and ultimately distrust. So the fact that Assange’s behaviour may have been somewhere between churlish and downright abominable simply doesn’t fit with the amount of fuss and the likely consequences of the Swedes’ response to the allegations.

        Listening and reading the reports around Assange this morning it occurred to me that in addition to assenting to reasonable offers to be interviewed from within the UK the Swedes could also have been asked for a stay of proceedings until after the US grand jury comes back. If ever a person had the right to be even a teeny bit paranoid then I think it might be Julian Assange.

  14. gerard oosterman June 21, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Part of the problem for me is that Sweden has given the world what it needed; Abba and Ikea. England on the other hand; eating cold gabbage, cricket and standing up while drinking. This makes it perplexing why Assange is not running to Sweden instead to inside the Ecuadorian embassy.. Sweden is hardly Bulgaria or Tierra del Fuego.

    I am as suspicious of American justice as a frog being asked to jump in the frying pan but balancing that to Sweden as country that would be falling over themselves to put Assange there, beggers credibility too far. I loathe the US with their rendition methods and will never visit a BigMac, watch ‘I love Lucy’ or drink their vile Coke, but….

    Again, I suggest England far more likely and willing to do that than Sweden. Did any of you watch tonights news with the Swedes on the street being somewhat perplexed as why Assange would be given over to the Americans so easily. This is a free country, they said.

    Perhaps I am just a bit biased or guileless but I prefer the possibilitry that Assange is wanted in Sweden to be interviewed and charged with offenses against their laws.

    Anyway, I hope I haven’t spoilt my chances of remaining part of the Sheep’s army of contributors. I am just not seething with discontent over this issue. We shall find how this pans out soon.

    • gerard oosterman June 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      Spellcheck Gerard : Cabbage! Oh garbage.

      • Hypocritophobe June 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

        What a great word, gabbage.
        May I borrow it now and then Gerard?
        I will let you know the context when I do.

        As in, “The airport mixed up their baggage.All that remained was two lots of unrecognisable gabbage”

        And many more,no doubt…

    • Mindy June 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

      I think your chances are good Gerard, Jennifer hasn’t banned me yet. Or she might just be enjoying a leisurely dinner.

    • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

      Well Gerard I don’t know what you could possibly have against cricket, but standing up while drinking is a practical necessity for the English, because falling over let’s them know when they’re drunk.

      If I had to guess, and it would only be speculation as opposed to wanting to mount overblown conspiracy theories, then I’d wonder that the yanks might find it easier to pressure the Swedes than the Brits. And I think that they’d almost like to be seen to bring pressure to bear on somebody, Assange included of course, because what this is all about now is the art of the credible threat.

      Nor do I disagree entirely that it wouldn’t be better that Assange face his accusers. I only argue that in the bigger picture the consequences could be dire for him to a degree that is out of proportion what he’s accused of, and that in the broader scheme of things his affront to US bullying is one that I would hope stands to make them reform their behaviour. What with Obama taking out terrorists using drones and a set of baseball cards!

      As for your stature here it remains undiminished in my eyes as do other whom I know share a conviction that Assange is a hard guy to like. But we may have to put you on notice for that crack about cricket!

      And I still read your posts from time to time over at the Pub, I seldom comment because I’ve seldom either the cause or the wit to, doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the writing though! Keep it up.

      • gerard oosterman June 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

        I have nothing against cricket but live in Bowral where everone, apart from wearing red jumpers, is obliged to understand the game, which I still don’t. It’s hard to mea culpa this at social events but I generally manage to steer the conversation to a babble about the nice prawns or pierced bit of ham wrapped around the gherkin.. A bit tricky really but… c’est la vie.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 7:11 am #

      Oh Gerard, as if! Nobody’s excluded except that person I should have banned months ago and now have. I’m not banning Mindy either, difference of opinion is no reason for anyone to be banned from Sheep.

      • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:44 am #

        Let me be clear here: I don’t think Assange deserves to be treated like Bradley Manning. I don’t think anyone deserves to be treated like that. I think he and his accusers deserve their day in court in Sweden. I don’t believe the US will try to grab him from Sweden.

        • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am #

          I have no idea what the US will do. Given its track record, anything is possible.

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 10:12 am #

            That’s one of the problems. The other is that there is effectively nothing the Aust Govt can do until the US does something. They can’t interfere in Sweden’s legal process on the basis that the US might request his extradition.

            • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 11:14 am #

              I think the PM could retract her very prejudicial and damaging description of Assange as being a criminal who has committed illegal acts, especially in view of the fact that the AFP advised her he has done no such thing in our country and as yet has not been found guilty of anything, or even charged with anything anywhere else in the world either. I think this is where the sense that the government has abandoned him originated.

              • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 11:49 am #

                I wholeheartedly agree she should do that. I get that she was angry, but if it’s not illegal then it’s just too bad.

        • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 10:27 am #

          Your last sentence.
          Then why doesn’t the US (who want all sorts of things from us now we are buddies to China) make a formal legal commitment to our PM, who declares publicly that the US has no intention of arresting/taking/harassing Assange.
          Further the PM will arrange for a video hearing from London to Sweden,with Assange’s lawyers having ‘all’ requested documents related to any alleged assaults presented.Assange can be in the Ec Embassy for the whole thing.
          If a charge is then made, the same procedure can be undertaken.A proxy venue.
          Let’s get it done.
          Too many people are using Assange case to inflame prejudices one way or the other.
          And that includes pushing of either barrow,be it misogynistic or misandric barrows.
          The complexity of this case goes way beyond the bedroom,whether we like it or not.
          All that said I don’t share the view that the yanks don’t want Assange.
          They want him big time.
          As we have already said, a justifiable ‘fear’ process seems to have begun already,and they haven’t lifted a finger.I must also say it is a very human behaviour thing in that, at one point Assange was surrounded by loud cheering support mechanisms, and he was safe in this spotlight.It seems the ship has sunk and the rats have mostly fled.

          Surely the US consider Assange (an Australian) to be an enemy and/or a cyber terrorist, because of his actions.(Didn’t Gillard say something along those lines?)
          It would be naive to think they would/could let that go.So I cannot understand in any way how you could form a view that if the US could get Assange from Sweden,they would decline.
          This is very David Hicks.

          • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 10:29 am #

            NOTE

            Mindy,
            My post above June 22, 2012 at 10:27 am # is a response to this ‘last sentence’

            “I don’t believe the US will try to grab him from Sweden.”

      • AJ June 22, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Interesting update on this on the wikipedia site. The end of this link says “Ecuador is required by international law to consider his application, but he would have to show that he was being persecuted in his home country, Australia.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange

  15. Mindy June 22, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Okay, have discussed this with someone else who doesn’t have an interest in this case who still thinks that the US are desperate to get Assange. So I will concede that point. But I don’t think they will try to get him from Sweden, too messy politically. Did you read the link I put up yesterday? It goes into some explanation why (not written by me)

    The PM could ask for the US to do that but why then should she get involved in the video link stuff? Australia doesn’t have any right to tell Sweden how to run their legal affairs, even if an Australian citizen is involved.

    • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      Looks like a brick wall then
      Because to me the real question is not ‘why should she’, it is ‘why hasn’t she?’.
      (Meaning us, his home country /government)

      It’s obvious to most.

      • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        Because it isn’t our job to tell other countries how to run their legal affairs? I agree an undertaking from the US would be good, but we can’t force them to do that either. Diplomatically we are minnows.

        • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 11:13 am #

          Now that we have the wall,I will bang my head on it once only.

          The fact that the Australian governemnet has not even asked for the commitment, and that the yanks have not offered it should get your(and others) synapses ticking over.
          And I know “you think’ the US won’t snaffle him.

          Back to the old ;
          File under,
          I drive better when I’m pissed.
          I won’t **** in your mouth
          No more taxes
          World peace
          Justice for all. et

          Have a nice day, Mindy.
          I’m off to wallow in blind ideology.

          • gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 11:35 am #

            Gee Hypo, I thought gabbages was cool but now you gave the world ‘governemnet’. Superb!

            I am making meat balls for tonight, have soaked some bread in milk and will mix this with fresh capsicum, onion, chives and Moroccon mixture plus some sugar& salt with the lot stirred into beef mince. Then cooked in chopped up Italian tomatoes slurry.
            In the meantime will get a nice Shiraz. What do you reckon? Some relief from Sweden and Assange.
            Can’t wait.

            • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 11:38 am #

              As long as they aren’t Swedish meatballs. I have now found a brilliant reason never to go to Ikea again and I’ve been looking for one for some time. I am boycotting all things Swedish. It’s political.

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 11:50 am #

              Yes Jennifer the Swedes do practice torture as anyone who’s ever shopped an Ikea must know :)

            • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

              ‘Sorry about that chief’.
              Would you believe I was trying to portray a highly confused minority government, by arranging the letters accordingly, and throwing in a spare e for good measure, (e = Slipper) ?

              No?

              You’re right,Gerard.I’m speaking gabbage.
              The meal sounds good, along with a nice warmed crusty buttered bun (not battered bum!) or garlic and herb bread.Maybe some poached pears,touch of cinnamon and hot thick custard…………
              And a nice rich single shot of tawny port for a nightcap.
              Aaagh…

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 11:50 am #

            Read my comment – I’m talking about the PM setting up a video link with Sweden – this is not her job. We can’t tell Sweden how to run their legal system.

    • paul walter June 22, 2012 at 11:50 am #

      No. It is not, “too messy politically” for them all, if they are interested in crushing whistle-blowing and dissent in general.

      Rendering, the security laws, media dumbing down, illegal invasions of countries of interest to the Wall St Elite, over throw of democratic regimes in favour of kelptocrat regimes eager to sell their countries interests to outside interests; are all fascist behaviours of a hegemon emboldened by the realisation that no force can effectively challenge it. There is now, effectively, no global law beyond the whim of the Executive Order.
      And if a US proxy is thuggish in the treatment of subject peoples, such as with the long term antics of Israel and the brutalised Palestinians, there will always be a media blitz to dupe people into accepting this. Consider the difference between the treatment afforded Israel, gentle encouragement for a entity whose brown shirted nature has been apparent to all who look on for nearly three generation and Saddam Hussein. The military thug was orginally a US proxy the US was happy to help install and keep in power when it suited them despite the brutality (“restoring order”) and after his usefulness as a block to Iran finished, the following two decade rape of oil-rich Iraq itself, after Saddam was cast off like a Toorak Med when he was no longer useful.no longer useful.
      Millions of lives lost, global suffering in fact, has meant nothing nothing to them, why would they concern themselves with the rights of dissidents like Manning and Assange?
      See them for what they are and get that perspective and sense of proportion that differentiates the Assange case and what it really is- a
      blood libel to distract. and what REAL obscured criminality and viciousness is.

      • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

        I have a problem with Assange being treated as a saviour because I think he is nothing of the kind. I am not ignorant of the US and their actions. I don’t think it is as clear as Assange = good guy, US = bad guy. I do agree that if US got Assange it wouldn’t go well for him. At that point I would expect the Australian Government to step in.

        • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

          Ghandi had his critics, JFK was a pants man extraordinaire, we were all terribly disappointed? Perhaps.

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

            I don’t agree that what Wikileaks did, after the initial release of video footage which was sorely needed and a game changer, was a good thing. How did trying to embarrass the Gillard govt achieve anything?

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

              What exactly was it that you think Wikileaks did to try and embarrass Gillard?

              • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

                Releasing diplomatic cables.

                • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

                  The first batches were redacted and the bulk of those released through five major new organisations. Do we blame them for their journalism?

                  Later is emerged that the remainder were exchanged with one of the newspaper journalists via a file sharing site. After the journalist mistakenly revealed the password Wikileaks under pressure from various quarters decided to release the remaining material knowing it was compromised either way. I consider it a mistake on their part to have done so but a less egregious one than opponents appear willing to make of it.

                  And what if embarrassing Gillard. Has she not acted in a manner thoroughly deserving?

                  • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

                    No, she is the Prime Minister. Assange doesn’e get to decide what is good for the country or not, she does. Misogyny I think. He doesn’t deal well with women in my opinion.

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

                      Bullshit!

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

                      Meh, we can agree to disagree on that one. But I do think that Assange/Wikileaks doesn’t know enough about what he is releasing, or enabling to be released to be doing it.

                      The guy who left Wikileaks and was going to set up his own website was talking about tossing a coin if they couldn’t decide to release something or not. Really? You decide whether to endanger someone’s life on the toss of a coin? Even the US doesn’t do that.

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

                      No they use baseball cards apparently.

                      But seriously if every journalist was to be held accountable for the unintended consequences of their reportage or perhaps even the intended one of their propaganda then what sort of society would result?

                      Do we not wish that rape could be deterred in every small way by making a cad accountable? I do.

                      But do we not credit the lives saved by a timely report a wise analysis or the revealed truth of tyranny? I think I have to do that too.

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

                      But that’s a bit different, Wikileaks and whatever the other mob are called aren’t journalists. Taking large reams of data and dumping it isn’t journalism (although given the current status of the MSM etc etc). Good journalists analyse, report and write. You don’t get all the details just the pertinent ones that actually tell you something. I also believe that you don’t need to know every little thing the Government does.

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

                      A journalist is precisely what Assange is. Welcome to journalism in the computer age.

                      I agree some analysis is useful, but the kind we’re getting from a MSM that exchanges the opinions of their masters for the facts of the matter is almost completely useless to anyone.

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

                      Care to expand on Assange/journalism?

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

                      He’s a journalist and internationally recognised as such. What more would you like to know?

                    • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

                      Your definition of journalist and who recognises him as such. I’m serious btw.

                    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

                      From Wikipedia because I don’t have time to compile my own list…

                      Recognition as a journalist

                      Assange received the 2009 Media award from Amnesty International for Kenya: The Cry of Blood – Extra Judicial Killings and Disappearances and he has been recognized as a journalist by the Centre for Investigative Journalism. 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. Alex Massie wrote an article in The Spectator called “Yes, Julian Assange is a journalist”, but acknowledged that “newsman” might be a better description of Assange. Alan Dershowitz said “Without a doubt. He is a journalist, a new kind of journalist”. Assange has said that he has been publishing factual material since age 25, and that it is not necessary to debate whether or not he is a journalist. He has stated that his role is “primarily that of a publisher and editor-in-chief who organises and directs other journalists”.

            • Nick June 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

              hg, I’m not sure that’s 100% sustainable. Wikileaks provides the barest level of editorial framing imaginable ie. the documents it brokers are accompanied by some basic catalogue information. You could more accurately call Assange a librarian. Or as Henry Rosenbloom wrote: “You might as well call a book publisher an author, or a singer’s manager a singer.”

              OTOH, I don’t see why it’s that important – or why it should impinge on his first amendment rights in the States for example.

              I’m quite happy to accept Wikileaks is a form of press or publishing house with Assange as its editor-in-chief. As such, I would have thought he had all same legal rights as the ‘journalist’ he would suddenly begin to call himself. I have mixed feelings about his decision to go with that tactic…

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

              Nick,

              I’m hoping this can somehow come to your attention in terms of how it appears in the thread.

              Basically they did redact and collate material for release up until the last big dump of cables after the information was compromised anyway. So by and large there has been some editorial oversight with respect to the public interest from Wikileaks as I understand it. That test of whether something is in the public interest being the salient one in terms of journalistic conduct with respect to the notion of freedom of the press in most modern societies.

              Interestingly I was having a similar discussion with a colleague this afternoon around the idea of whether journalists should have any kind of agenda that allows them to act as censors of the raw data or whether indeed it ought better to be unfiltered on the basis that in a democracy people should be entitled to decide for themselves. While I maintain that what the public may be interested in isn’t always in their interest, if there’s some piece of information that would cause people to act differently were they party to it then regardless of how unpleasant it is to be the bearer of that news they probably do have the right to know.

            • Nick June 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

              Good points, hg!

              “I have mixed feelings about his decision to go with that tactic…”

              On reflection, this has little to do with what him or anyone else wants to call what he does…that’s not really the issue I have. As mentioned previously, I think he made a mistake aligning himself with the big publishers. I do have trouble seeing him as “the new kind of journalist” from that point on, even with the raw unfiltered data still available…

              Personally I’ve always preferred ‘activist’. But heaven forbid one of those unemployed slobs tries to embarrass our Prime Minister!

              Sorry to be brief, but have to run…

            • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 6:24 am #

              Assange is not a journalist in any reasonable meaning of the term. He was (and is?) a publisher of leaked documents, an entrepreneurial publisher. That is the best definition, I think.

      • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

        Peace brother I think I know how you feel. It’s frustrating. The questions you ask are too big. For anyone.

        Whether it is not possible that any good idea no matter how perfect once seized upon by ideologues will inevitably be used to justify that which we know to be unjust. If I’m right I can be righteous and therefore tolerate no dissent. Is this not obvious?

        And I’m really not sure that I want to know what a Toorak Med even is…

  16. gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Do the Sheep think this has been a dream come true for a schoolboy, or…. has he been traumatized for the rest of his life?.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-22/woman-arrested-over-sex-with-schoolboy-claims/4086558

    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

      Why should he be traumatised? It is not his fault.

      But she has wronged him and she does not honour the trust that we place in teachers of children. If she is traumatised by this then so she probably should be.

    • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

      Look above your post Gerard. ;-)

      My take is that the Sisters of the Misandry had better show this female teacher the same short shrift across the internet prairies, which the reverse situation would get from their howling,lest they be blatant hypocrites.
      Don’t hold your breath, though.

    • gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

      Great minds think the same.
      I feel for those females though. They are put on the list of pedophiles ,lose there jobs and have their lives ruined. Somehow I don’t think that if the sex has been consensual and no complaint been made, the law should be so severe as to ruin a life, even though teacher and pupil sex should never be condoned.
      How does this compare with the firefighter who bashed his partner making her lose sight and a baby and yet getting an Australian bravery award?

      • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

        Award retracted?(Quote from internet message)

        “Last night the Royal Humane Society emailed me to say that they had revoked the bravery award they gave to the man who bashed me, left me blind in one eye, and killed my unborn child.

        For years, I’ve been reliving what he did to me. And the bravery award just made it all so much worse. He made my life a living hell, leaving me permanently disabled — and yet society was holding him up as a hero.

        But that all started to change when I saw Melinda Liszewski’s Change.org petition. Suddenly it felt like people were on my side again, standing with me against what he did. Knowing more than 18,000 people signed Melinda’s petition gave me the courage to publicly speak out.

        So yesterday I delivered the 18,961 petition signatures to Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle (also a Vice President of the Royal Humane Society). I did interviews about the petition on the nightly news for Channel 10, Channel 7, Channel 9 and ABC. I was interviewed on 3AW, and the campaign was covered in the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Australian and in lots of other places.

        For me this was never about just one award. It was about sending a bigger public message that brave men don’t bash women and that as a community there must be zero tolerance for anyone who commits such a vile act.

        Thanks to this petition, the Royal Humane Society has finally agreed with me. After all of the media coverage yesterday they convened a crisis meeting and voted unanimously to strip him of the award.”
        _____________________________________________________________
        You could be right about the teacher student thing Gerard,but you (I/we) are looking at it through older eyes now.(placing all titillation and fantasy aside)
        So the question is this.
        Why should a male teacher be treated differently, if you consider the offence to be one which destroys (or not) any teachers career.?

        Can a teenage boys consent be more acceptable/strident/lawful etc than a female students?
        How so?

        I know as males we ‘often’ view the scenario differently to the reverse situation,but the radfems want to nail the nuts of any male transcender to the mast.What’s the diff?
        It ‘may’ be every schoolboys dream,but probably every mothers nightmare.
        I think the whole equality thing has serious flaws.
        This scenario exposes a chink.

        Anyhoo the feminist morphs are so various and broad,(still fighting over the permission to use the word) I’d need to be a million blokes to engage in the inevitable cul de sac discussion.And then I’d still get ruled out by one faction or another on a technicality.
        Anyway aren’t most men’s (when a boy) first sexual encounters with a schoolgirl…..
        What was that Sting song about again?

        • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

          Okay Hypo, but if you want to play that game be careful because there are more sexualities than the two most common types. If a gay teacher were to proposition a student much less that actually engage in “consensual sex” then I’m not laying odds that it would turn out well.

          The consistent factor is that consent is not deemed possible below the “age of consent”, (see its in the title).. Legally speaking willingness and consent are two entirely different animals.

          • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

            I take your point entirely HG.
            It’s complex.
            The volume level of outrage which tends to oscillate between the two most common scenarios.Depending on the chorus gender.
            (And sometimes inexplicably.)
            Applying the same parameters to non heterosexual participants would probably even attract the death penalty in many places.I certainly cannot throw any light that way,I’m struggling as it is.

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

              I’m similarly challenged to come up with a better system that the current one that we have, and frankly I don’t profess detailed knowledge of it anyway.

              I think a number of people will struggle with the distinction between pre-pubescent a pubescent children as opposed to the age of consent that is always set at late puberty or early adulthood. Which is just to say that I know some distinctions are made but not whether the law recognises them at all.

              That I think is pertinent to your question simply because due the mechanics of our genitalia while penetrative abuse of girls and young boys by males is physically possible the case is obviously for the most part different for female sexual predators.

              It seems that as age of the abused drops, especially below puberty then the level of natural revulsion that we have for the abuse rises. And given the lack of distinction that most people draw I think it is fairly obvious why the male predator is the most reviled.

          • gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

            This is why in The Netherlands where the age of consent is also 16, if sex is consensual and no complaint made by the couple or by the parents, police generally do not charge anyone with consensual sex above the age of thirteen.
            Consent might not be deemed possible below ‘the age of consent’ but it happens a hell of a lot.
            Simply put; to adhere to the law is regarded as more damaging than not to (adhere).
            A bit like the marijuana laws in Holland.

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

              The age of consent here is also generally 16 and there’s often a defence if the partners are over 12 and within two years of each others’ ages or married.

              I think it’s been a while since charges of the nature you describe were laid here either, but in a school setting I think that there’s always going to be a certain level of trepidation around responsible adults taking what anyone might regard to be liberties.

  17. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Given that in this discussion contributors are but presenting arguments in the court of public opinion, and are not faced with the prospect or responsibility of convicting any natural person of a crime, I am going to suggest that the standard against which evidence or claims should be measured is that of ‘on the balance of probabilities’, rather than that of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.

    One thing the dump of Wikileaked US diplomatic cables (a dump seemingly precipitated not so much by Assange, but by the fame-whoring manoeuvrings within a tame but envious MSM as they strove to take some credit for an outsider’s work) revealed was a cable identified as ’2008/11/08 STOCKHOLM 748′.

    Here are links to some posts made to OnLineOpinion around and just after the time of Assange surrender of himself to UK authorities.

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104817 . Jewely, posting a link to cable ’2008/11/08 STOCKHOLM748′ and asking what it meant.

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104863 . Forrest Gumpp, explaining STOCKHOLM748 to Jewely.

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104883 . Forrest Gumpp, continuing explanation to Jewely.

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104640 . Refers to claim of no record of Assange’s re-entry to UK from Sweden.

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104405 . Refers to Hew Griffiths case, citizenship and the Australian Constitution. Arguably unconstitutional disfranchisement of British permanent residents.

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104750 . Jewely, on the discovery that British lawyer Gemma Lindfield had misled the court as to Sweden being responsible for appealing against the granting of bail to Assange: it was the British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)!

    http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=11370#193561 . Forrest Gumpp, suggesting an explanatory scenario for the first-ever terrorist attack upon Swedish soil on 11 December 2010.

    With the believable possibility, on the balance of probabilities, that the terrorist blast in Stockholm on 11 December 2010 may have been orchestrated by some covert consortium of US and/or British and/or Swedish security instrumentalities, and not genuinely by an allegedly ‘radicalised’ Islamic Swedish citizen who had just happened to have been a long term resident within the UK at the time of his demise, and with this interpretation of events made believably likely only by virtue of the leaking of the cables, it is not hard to see the reason for the pursuit of Assange at all costs. Plain desperate vindictiveness, with many careers and reputations threatened if what seems the likely truth ever got out or came to be independently verified.

    Terrorism conducted by those who claim to be fighting it!

    Involvement in a possible extra-judicial killing for no other purpose than provision of a ‘hateable’ stage-prop at a bomb scene! The blast itself intended to bully the Swedish public into acceptance of a Swedish government’s ‘reluctant’ acceptance of an HSPD-6 style agreement whereby any of its citizens could become subject to extradition request by the US just for the asking!

    It looks like there may be a need for a huge cover-up of the US and/or some of its allies having themselves indulged in terrorism directed against the general public of the Kingdom of Sweden.

    The two Swedish women, to the extent that they may have been victims at all, were in this scenario victims not of Assange, but of a ‘honey trap’ that could produce a suspicion of the commission of a criminal offence of a sexual nature that could be obtained nowhere else that Assange was likely to travel, and one that offered prospect of his being taken into custody in Sweden in the absence of any HSPD-6 agreement, but with the prospect of the US taking advantage of the ‘temporary surrender’ provisions of its existing extradition agreement with Sweden. Either or both of them may, or may not, have known of their intended role.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Sorry Forrest WordPress caged you because links. Now you are free!

      • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

        JW what is the last thing on the Nigella page all about?
        The Google thingy?

        • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

          The Google + thing you mean? I think people click it if they’re in that Google thing and they like the post. But actually, I haven’t got a clue.

        • Jennifer Wilson June 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

          Oh I know what you mean. It was a spambot got through the defences

  18. Mindy June 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    From this feminist re: female teacher and under age student – they should throw the book at her. Male or female student and male or female teacher makes no difference. There is a power differential between the two and it is the teacher’s responsibility not to cross that line. There have been many teachers able to wait until their loved one finished school, and was thus an adult, before starting a relationship. There is no excuse for not waiting or for not acting like an adult and just not going there.

    I think that often boys in this situation are expected to think ‘their dream has come true’ but I think it is more stealing their innocence. Sure teenage boys day dream about nice teachers but daydreams are where it should stay IMHO.

    Of course I speak only for myself.

    @HG – thank you for providing that detail re Assange and journalism. Not sure I am personally convinced, but if international journalism organisations recognise him a such then what I think obviously doesn’t matter.

    • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Mindy, with respect I don’t see how the student teacher thing could be a feminist issue. Its about what is right or wrong in terms of adults taking advantage. Insofar as I’m aware of it disapproval of that kind of behaviour crosses gender boundaries more or less undisputed.

      Whether we should throw that book at her or not really depends on the amount of harm done, and frankly while she hasn’t done no harm at all I do wonder if we don’t allow our sexuality to define us just a little more than is healthy sometimes.This is something that’s going to cost her a career in teaching, but not in my view something worthy of attracting a gaol sentence.

      As for whether what you think matters; well it had better bloody well matter I’ve put enough effort into trying to persuade you already. So it matters to me that you may have actually considered a conversation about ideas worth entertaining. Or at least that it somehow trumps the kind of fare you’re liable to get in the MSM or talk back radio.

      • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

        hudsongodfrey – I do appreciate the effort you have gone to and I have certainly put a lot more thought into these issues since we began conversing. You have not necessarily changed my mind, but I am now more certain of my position. Definitely better than the guff that passes for reporting in the MSM. I avoid talk back radio like the plague.

        I don’t think predatory teachers are necessarily a feminist issue, I was responding to a comment from someone else (further up the thread) that thought feminists would be more likely to defend such a teacher because she is female. I was pointing out that for this particular feminist that is not true. Nor is it true for other feminists I talk to. But again I don’t speak for all of feminism.

        As to the feelings of the student involved from the report I understand he is undergoing counselling. Whether it is deserving of a gaol sentence is hard to know without knowing all the facts. The reports suggest there may have been other students ‘groomed’ as well. I think a one off infatuation is a bit different to a string of such indiscretions.

        • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

          Agreed or as Hypo might say +1 (I think its a google fetish?)

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

            :)

        • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 6:38 am #

          To Mindy and HG : a good exchange, and the reason we engage in these forums.

          As for me, I recall fantasising over two (in particular) of my female teachers at High School. An approach from either would have been welcome; but the likelihood was tiny, and the likelihood would have been greater that any approaches would have been unwanted approaches by some other teachers, if any had ever been made.

          To protect all children from such approaches is surely the best result; and to achieve that result sometimes those who are only very slightly culpable will have to be punished.

          In other words, this teacher will need to take the fall to protect the greater good.

          • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 10:23 am #

            I tend to agree Doug, though the “fall” I would have them take would probably be a lot less “punishing” than society currently tends to mete out. But I do think some of the reactions to cases where a taboo is broken with an older child tend to be extreme in the light of the kind of thing you’re reflecting here.

      • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

        I threw a feminist hand grenade earlier in my observation of the double standards or should I say selective blindness/hearing, HG.
        This is what Mindy is probably addressing.
        But I find it strange that she endorses a sexual lay-by system as though the two parties would never communicate beyond a ‘see you when you are legal’ commitment. How would emotional the contract go? I’ll look you up when there’s more hair?Stunning.
        That to me is a wrong on top of wrong, if the first wrong is acknowledged.

        • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

          EDIT
          How would emotional the contract go? = How would the emotional contract go?

        • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

          Not a layby as such, more a we will maintain a proper student/teacher relationship until such time as we are both free to pursue our options as adults. It is not unheard and generally between senior students i.e. 17 or 18 yr olds still at school and teachers fairly recently out of training and so still close in age.

          That may still squick you out.

          • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

            Triffic.
            That makes it OK then.????????????????

            8-(

            • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

              I don’t have an issue with two people being attracted to each other, as long as if they are teacher and student they keep it professional until the student is no longer a student. Once the student has left school there is no problem as far as I am concerned.

        • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

          I dunno Hypo, seems like the sexual lay by system would be a bit weird but if thinking about it is a crime then we’re in even more trouble than we were to begin with.

          • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

            Criminal/ethical/moral.

            or just Lolita?
            Stunning.

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

              Sorry I don’t quite follow where you intended to go with that comment and a guess might do you a disservice so I won’t.

            • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

              Rephrase for HG;
              (I was hoping to avoid a manuscript answer,(tired), as I thought the anomalies would be stark)
              How does a teacher express a physical desire (or vice versa) during the time they( teacher student) discover they feel something, without crossing a moral ethical line,in this scenario.What would the conversation sound like?
              Is there no ethical/moral imperative (regulation/rule) to suppress / deny counsel or seek independent counsel for the the minor?
              The ONLY feasible option in my eyes is for a parental approach.
              How would that pan out? “Honest Bruce, I think Tiff is hot and I intend to do the right thing.” “No worries Mr Chipps,I’ll hook up the chastity belt!”
              (Look I’m no prude, (nor in a teacher student position!
              and I’d leap to the old’ go for it,if you can get away with it, and good luck’ mantra, but I think that is likely to fail the first hurdle resulting in a public lynching. So I’ am curious as to the nuances of the navigation around teacher student layby.)
              I am not saying this does not happen by the way.
              I am however interested at the level of hypocrisy of finger pointing which ‘appears’ to be levelled at some, by some.
              It wouldn’t surprise me if students and teachers shag like rabbits already.
              looks like a few get caught out,though.

              “Look I love you too,Tiffany, with all my heart, but it’s wrong,(at the moment) here’s my mobile number. I will pause my feelings till you graduate.We will have no contact till then.
              My turgidity awaits.”

              You may recall in the last few weeks the WA police academy tossed out several instructors for having physical relationships with police cadets.
              All parties were consenting adults.How does that compare?

              Levity aside.
              Someone explain this lay-by system.

            • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 11:16 am #

              Yes Hypo, I get you now, and that is the most troubling aspect of it to me as well. We seem in my view to place an inordinate emphasis on prohibiting physical acts of sex and next to none on being emotionally vested in a relationship with another person.

              Now we know that a lot of the problem stems from religious attitudes that coalesce around an outdated approach to the reproductive aspect of sex, and sexual hygiene. Preventing unwanted pregnancy and disease. But were it not for some of the side effects of those attitudes sexual hygiene would be more ubiquitous than it already is and lack of contraception virtually unheard of.

              That’s the theory anyway. I know some are probably less than convinced and this is a more complex topic that we may have to revisit. But to do that is to introduce the emotional side of sex, which is precisely what I think we should be concerned about.

              It seems to me that it is precisely because of the above mentioned understanding of sexual hygiene including contraception that the act itself aside from all the emotional aspects has become almost completely harmless. So that what we need to understand is that harm if we are to identify it properly exists principally in terms of the emotional fallout of intense relationships on the one hand and the compounding impact of others condemnation of such relationships being inappropriate because it breaches sexual taboos.

              So once we start asking those kinds of questions we get several different kinds of relationships.

              1. The purely emotional connection between a couple who maintain celibacy because at least one of them is below the age of consent.

              2. The openly sexual relationship between a couple despite at least one of them being below the age of consent.

              3. The discrete relationship between two people where at least one of them is below the age of consent but whatever it is that they do, they don’t get caught.

              And in each of these three imagine either two teens or a teacher and a teen.

              I hope that at least somebody sees that leaving taboos to one side seems to be for the best, At which point I’d love to know what we don’t or can’t?

              I also wonder if anyone agrees with me that, assuming sexual hygiene, the sex act itself matters to the extent that it expresses an emotional connection. The fear may be that for young people having a broken heart can come as an unwelcome distraction from academic studies among other things. In fact when you really think about it I don’t think we’d have too much trouble coming up with any number of reasons why we don’t want teachers pursuing relationships with their teenage students.

              At a younger age in particular we’re looking at a whole different scenario that possibly involves what many including those in the medical profession regard to be a mental illness.

              Here I think it makes better sense to say that the whole love on lay-by idea is as poor a one as the one we actually only condemn when a sex act occurs, and that some of those taboos we have that are more to do with other people’s issues than the welfare of the couple involved ought to be dispensed with.

        • helvityni June 23, 2012 at 11:34 am #

          I only read these posts this morning, so many of them so I’m not even sure who brought up this idea of sexual lay-by system…

          Anyhow as a young high school teacher, I had to supervise a school dance together with another female teacher. The students were the school leavers, 17-18 years old, we about 23-25..
          Many of the boys were very attractive, and they were keen to dance with us…we had to be careful to make sure the girls, their classmates, were not left out to be wall flowers…
          We were young and tickled pink with all the attention, but just sensible enough not to do anything ‘silly’…
          Luckily it was the end of the year, and the students moved on to to their summer jobs or went overseas…god only knows what would have happened, if they would have come back…the mutual attraction was there.

    • gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      I agree that teacher pupil sexual relationships are wrong. It does happen. I just question the severity of the punishment when compared with so many other crimes or misdemeanors. I mean the listing on a peodophile list? The woman’s life is finished.
      I further have some qualms about a nineteen year old boy needing counseling as a result of a sexual experience brought about by a mature woman when he was fifteen.
      Do people wait for sexual relationship till adulthood? Is that true here in Australia? How come then the unwanted teen pregnancies rate is so high in Australia? How do people get initiated into sex here? I suspect the same as anywhere and in many varied ways and manners
      A fifteen year old boy still innocent? He might have been uneducated in sexual matters when he was eleven or twelve but whose fault could that be?
      I am straying from Assange and Sweden somewhat but know that when it comes to matters of sex and growing up, Australia is lagging in preparing and educating our young ones badly.
      Mindy’s assertion that quote ” many teachers able to wait until their loved one finished school, and was thus an adult, before starting a relationship. There is no excuse for not waiting or for not acting like an adult and just not going there” unquote. This is very simplistic.
      A fifteen year old boy or girl would and should know how to resist any unwanted advances in most circumstances, no matter where or how it comes about.

      • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

        Teen pregnancies most commonly come about from teenagers having sex together with little or no idea about contraception etc.

        In the case being discussed the teacher was in her late 40′s and some form of grooming allegedly took place. I don’t know all the details but it doesn’t sound like spur of the moment thing.

        • gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

          Any fifteen year old boy ought to have been well versed in ‘piss off’ if the stroke on the thigh or brush through the hair was not welcome. A high school head master and friend tells me that’s what students tell teachers all the time now.

          • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

            Perhaps but some children are more susceptible to being groomed. Without knowing exactly what she did it is hard to judge.

            • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

              Apply the last sentence to Assange.
              How’d it go?

              • Mindy June 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

                Still doesn’t mean he didn’t act inappropriately as alleged.

            • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

              By gosh Hypo methinks you may have a point there +1 for you too.

          • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

            Granted Gerard,

            But the distinction that’s made isn’t between whether it was welcome or he was willing, but whether he was old enough to provide consent with an adult understanding of anything beyond his own impending gratification.

            Maybe he has a briefly satisfying dalliance which ends messily as it is bound to, and he has to live with the consequences for as long as it takes a kid to pick himself up and either sink or swim emotionally.

            Otherwise it winds up as it has done and who knows whether the counselling he gets helps or alternatively backfires reinforcing his sense of victimhood and making things infinitely worse for him.

            Either way I tend to move better that it had never happened to the top of my list of outcomes.

            • Hypocritophobe June 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

              @ Mindy for
              “Still doesn’t mean he didn’t act inappropriately as alleged.”

              That’s a bipolar position.
              Which is it ?
              You ‘KNOW’ he acted inappropriately, or it was alleged he did?
              You cannot keep demanding both.

              From the beginning, and has Paul has ‘alleged’, your mind has been made up.
              The evidence is mounting to support this.
              I think there are some who see Assange as a ‘role model’ to demonstrate further proof of a ‘rape culture’.
              Maybe he is is.If such a thing exists beyond a mindset.
              But is there also an underlying ‘guilty until proven innocent’ culture.
              Sometimes I wonder.
              Wondering is often a mere demonstrable dataset away from proof.

              • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

                Who knows which it is the point is we considered the matter with a view to changing one another’s perspective and that’s quite possibly more important among bloggers than winning is.

                I was listening tonight to an account of how if you want to win (or get laid) a lot then all you have to do is to listen to people. Listen and acutely observe people to the point where you begin to take in every thing they say, every detail of their dress and personality, give nothing of yourself in the process, but concentrate totally on them. Something about that process allows them to feel gratified and places you in a position of power over them to quite an influential degree. So I’m told. There’s just one drawback, only a sociopath can do it without feeling themselves reduced to complete and utter filth, lower than low, afterwards.

                My point, not to you in particular, but to anyone who finds these conversations worthwhile, is that winning ain’t everything in a debate. Sometime just being in the conversation you take away from it what you already knew and wanted to affirm about yourself and others when you first engaged. Other times you meet people you DON’T wind up liking.

            • gerard oosterman June 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

              In the case of the fifteen year old boy. We will not know. The introduction of sex by an older female to a young man has been the subject of thousands of books and movies. It need not result in trauma or counselling and legislating on human behaviour is fraught with failure.
              All I know is that my meat balls were a huge success and the Shiraz terrific.
              Good night all.

              • hudsongodfrey June 22, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

                If you’re trying to say that it is less of a big deal than some people make of it then I tend to agree.

                I still don’t think she’s cut out for teaching though.

                And as long as meat balls and Shiraz trump sex then there’ll always be more to life than judging others.

            • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 6:41 am #

              And see my latest post above.

              This teacher will have to take the fall to protect the greater good – that no such approach should ever be made.

  19. Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    …and yet when the crunch came, you’d drag their sorry ass out of a fire…..anyway………?

  20. Mindy June 23, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Hypo you seem determined to misunderstand me so I’m making one last attempt. Do you act on every impulse that you have towards those you are attracted to? Or do you, as most people do, accept that you find that person attractive and get on with your life only acting on that attraction if it is reasonable i.e you and the person you like feel the same, are not in a situation where acting on mutual attraction could be a bad thing (e.g. both being with another partner, in a boss/subordinate situation or teacher/stiudent) etc. You seem determined to believe that I am thinking of teachers acting like spiders lying in wait. I’m not. The relationships that I know of that have progressed, sometimes even to marriage, have occurred between senior students and young teachers not long out of training. Few people would have an issue with a 17yr old having a partner in their early 20′s it is quite common. Only when it is a 17yr old student and a 24yr old teacher is it an issue.

    Gerard – I don’t think 15yr old boys are emotionally mature, nor 15 yr old girls for that matter. If someone made a 15yr old feel like they were special then it just turns out was using them to make another ‘virginity notch’ on the bedpost then I think they have every right to be upset. When that person is supposed to be someone you can trust to look out for you…

    HG – listening is an important part of getting to know someone. You don’t have to act like a sociopath to take the time to really listen to someone rather than just thinking about the next thing you are going to say. Having someone really listen is attractive. It doesn’t mean you have to say nothing at all. Next time you are in a mixed group stop and listen to who does most of the talking. Then google the studies that have been done on who does most of the talking. You may be surprised.

    Yes I do have a particular view of Assange, but so do you. Think about that.

    He is entitled to the presumption of innocence =/= I have to believe that he is innocent. Just as the women are entitled to the same presumption =/= you have to believe that they are not lying.

    • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 9:17 am #

      No Mindy I am not deliberately misunderstanding you.I am asking you to justify.

      “Few people would have an issue with a 17yr old having a partner in their early 20′s it is quite common. Only when it is a 17yr old student and a 24yr old teacher is it an issue.”
      This may be so.I think for teachers etc it IS completely different.Don’t you?
      Explain to me how the successful relationships YOU are familiar with got through from inception to success.
      What were the initial ages of the two, which sex was which.

      Of course I follow through on every impulse/flirt/wink/nod/tingle.
      And with huge success.Are you flirting with ME?

      • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

        No sorry I’m not flirting. Of the ones I know the teacher was male and the student female. There was four or five years age difference. The student made their feelings clear and the teacher also made it clear that while there was a mutual attraction there was going to be nothing happening while the student was still at school. End of story. Once the student has left school there is no conflict of interest.

    • gerard oosterman June 23, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      I know lots of fifty year olds lacking in maturity. When you think about it, all that going up and down is a bit silly anyway. I mean, it’s not as if you ended up in Newcastle or even Coober Pedy.
      I know, I know, it has driven me my whole life but as Woody Allen once remarked; it is the feather that is important not the whole chicken!

    • helvityni June 23, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Mindy, I wish you could start listening…who is doing all the talking here…
      You are also eager to tell others what they should do,or not to do… go and google yourself…
      Why not also sometimes give your own un-googled opinion….

      • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

        I do, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m not reading what you say.

    • paul walter June 23, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      “Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood”- Eric Burden and the Animals.
      No.
      We actually understand you far better than than you know or you’d like us to know.
      You know full well that politics colours the issue of a fair hearing for Assange, but persist insisting that there is no possibility in even the remotest sense, that a warped judicial system possibly impact on how things turn out, as you continue to refuse acknowledgement of the refusal of authorities to allow for neutral conditions for his interview, or guarantee from Sweden that he will not be then extradited to the USA after the pretext had served its purpose.
      Is this wilfully perverse, or is there something autistic at work, given the mound of information you’ve been offered the last nearly two years to ameliorate your delusions re the subject?
      If you wouldn’t be prepared to substitute yourself in gaol for Assange, if the “impossible” happened and he was rendered to a Gitmo, therefore you have no right to expect someone no worse than yourself to stick their head in a noose for a trumped up politically motivated perversion of justice cooked up between the gormless Swedes and the yard bully, the USA.
      I could reproduce Kants Imperative here, but doubt whether you would understand it.
      I’ll put it another way, you can guarantee Assange is NOT rendered?
      If not, Do you even understand what”rendition”is?
      What you want for Assange what you would never countenance for yourself, why wish it on another who offences are petty at worst, if actual offences at all.
      Have you ANY morals or ethical standards, t all?

      • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

        Goodness me you have conflated a lot of things in there Paul. What a mess.

    • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

      Mindy you’re offering all kinds of sage advice that I don’t think you’re actually practising all that well when it comes to listening. You see the point I tried to make is that this shouldn’t be about winning an argument as such.

      I’m going to skip past the who teacher student sex thing because I think it has been done over anyway, and the only real link with the topic at had was an exploration of the nature of how we think about Justice, and to some extent how prejudicial things like taboos can get in the way.

      With that in mind I wonder if you might be open to considering the nature of justice here in light of the fact that sometimes simply relying on what someone else has codified isn’t enough.

      A good deal of justice for example relies on the principle of reciprocity. You may have rights up to the point when you transgress upon other’s rights, and when you transgress we reciprocate in turn by punishing you. That’s all well and good until it comes to the case of a genocidal maniac who has but one life to give for those of countless numbers.

      So if we have to think of the best modicum of justice that we can extract as opposed to the most perfect kind in some matters then we need to decide what it is that we value most and do the best that we can to prioritise that thing. This in my view is what is argued for the Assange case, because the idea that he can be brought to heel and silenced indirectly thorough bringing unrelated charges perpetrates an injustice in itself against the higher idea of freer speech.

      I’m sick to the back teeth of legalistic analysis of which jurisdiction takes precedence while the US grand jury sits on its hands and waits for an opportune moment to take their unjustified revenge and the guilty are all excused. The codes and precedents we follow in civil and common law are frequently useful and not lightly flouted, but frankly the fact remains that they’re imperfect and demonstrably so when such a transparent international trap can be set for a person who deserves extraordinary protection more than any of us because he took extraordinary steps to stand against the tyranny of a global hegemony.

      Why should we indulge your apologetics or suffer to be called poor listeners until you hear this.

      • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

        How many times can I say I don’t believe in the conspiracy? I don’t think that Assange deserves to be handed over by Sweden to the US, I think he deserves to front up in court in Sweden and face his accusers. I’m starting to think that him being granted asylum in Ecuador would be the best thing so this all goes away.

        What exactly are you expecting me to do? I make a comment and I’m accused of sockpuppeting, using a different name, flaming people. I have disagreed with some of you. I’m not impersonating anyone and I’m not slagging off Jennifer.

        Re extradition, extraordinary rendition or whatever Monica Attard ponders some of these questions in the article I linked to.

        • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

          It’s not the conspiracy you deny. There is none. Its your own capacity to recognise justice that you’re repressing.

          And for what its worth I don’t care who you are be it Gina Rhinestone or Mr Rabbit in drag! If you’re going to discuss ideas you’re welcome to engage me, but if you’re going to carry on like a solipsistic little miss righteousness then you can go forth and multiply!

          • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

            No thanks, two of the little buggers are enough. I’m interested in this capacity to recognise justice that I’m repressing but I have to say I’m not entirely sure what you mean.

            • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

              I just explained at length that justice is better served when an international legal trap is thwarted in this case. You cannot argue independently for justice to be directed against Assange and injustice to be done for the victims of US hegemony that Wikileaks exposed. In those very terms the modicum of justice we would rescue from this mess doesn’t even exist. We can’t be expected to all go home to our comfy beds and relax secure in the knowledge that nasty old men who have sex without clear consent or allow their second rate condoms to break will be held accountable. And the US gets to Kill with impunity. So everything’s good? Two thumbs up… Hooray for us!

              • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

                Did I say that? If I did I’m sorry because that is not what I think at all. I wish that the two cases could be kept separate but the waters are so muddied.

                Would you be willing to answer this question for me? The US will apply to Sweden to extradite him, okay, but what does Sweden gain from the exchange?

                • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

                  Your wish to have the cases be separate is your wish to be able to rationalise away the reality of injustice.

                  It doesn’t matter what lever is pulled to secure the Swede’s acquiescence, if Assange’s silence is secured and his liberty taken away then the injustice is complete.

                  Let me try once again to offer you the insight you overlooked….

                  Were you or anyone arguing that justice could or should be done with regard to the revelations of the Wikileaks cables then there might be some modicum of balance in the justice stakes. Strangely it doesn’t even come up!

                  • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

                    So the case in Sweden must give way for the greater good? Assange = Wikileaks? Surely the organisation can go on without him, or will it fold because of the threat posed to the people left running it?

                    So the release of the cables led to only good things happening and evil doings being revealed? No one was harmed by the release of the cables or are they just collateral damage?

                    • hudsongodfrey June 24, 2012 at 10:25 am #

                      You’d argue that black was white if it could get you to avoid the fact that the the voice of authority wants to stamp the imprimatur of a credible threat on Julian Assange’s forehead.

                      Not allowing that to occur may well be less important than the revealed truth of the leaks but even that is only important if you value justice as cut from the whole cloth. That’s why allowing injustice to be done to Assange isn’t the kind of pyrrhic outcome that is called for here.

                      Refusing to see that is like wondering if the light at the end of the tunnel might not be a train coming towards you when you’re tied to the track. Common sense should have told you not to shoot the messenger but it’s too late for you now!

  21. Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Is Mindy American by birth Helvi?

    • helvityni June 23, 2012 at 9:47 am #

      Hypo, not by birth…
      Better not say any more, I’ll be shot soon :) Oops, sorry, Mindy does not like smileys…

      • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 9:51 am #

        Helvi,
        This is a private chat between you and me.
        Would she listen in? ;-) ;-)

        PS: If you feel threatened hide behind Gerard’s ‘love gun’. ;-) ;-) ;-);-) ;-) ;-)

        • gerard oosterman June 23, 2012 at 11:26 am #

          I did fall for a high school teacher and it worked out fine.

          • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 11:29 am #

            How nice of you to say :)

            And it explains a certain amount of spell checking that goes on around here….

          • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

            Was it Sidney Poitier? ;-)

  22. Mindy June 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Helvi we don’t know each other, so I’m not sure how you can be so sure of yourself. Well, perhaps I can but we won’t go there. :)

    • helvityni June 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Mindy, I believe we know each other pretty well from the shared blogs. If you always behaved as well as on this thread, i would not have any problems with you.I actually agree with your take on Assange, but that does not take away from the fact that you have behaved extremelly badly on some of the blogs. What upset me most are things you have said about Jennifer…

      Read one of the your replies to Paul higher up and you’ll know what I’m talking about, also your post above to me says it all, a little insinuation…

      I feel safe on UL, because they don’t allow any personal abuse that you so love to dish out…:) I know all your seven tricks that you are so proud of.

      • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

        UL? Do you blog or comment under another name because I don’t recognise your gravatar or your name? What shared blogs do we frequent together?

        • paul walter June 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

          Don’t be an arsehole Mindy. You know full well which blogs she is talking about, as does Jennifer.

          • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

            Paul I seriously do not. I commented as Mindy on Larvatus Prodeo as long as it was running. I have only ever commented as Mindy. It is my name.

            • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

              Would you like me to rattle off your ABC personas?

              • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

                I would actually. I’d like to know who you think I am because I frankly am stumped.

            • hudsongodfrey June 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

              Lord Lucan?

            • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

              If no-one else does, I’d like to know. Too many people like to comment as if they are trying to make up a quorum, and even agreeing with themselves, if no-one else will.

              Name pseudonyms and alter egos, please.

        • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

          I’ll be the mug : who or what is UL?

          • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

            Could it be Un-Leashed as in the Drum?

            • doug quixote June 23, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

              Is that all? I thought it was something exotic!

              I always think of it as “The Drum Unhinged”

  23. paul walter June 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Sorry, you haven’t acknowledge your lie to Helvi. I wouldn’t touch a link of yours, in case it was full of viruses.

    • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      If you want to read it, it is on the Hoopla website. I don’t know what website she is talking about from the initials. Could I buy a vowel please?

      • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

        Time to stop feeding the Troll people.
        She came here to flame,nothing else.

        • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

          And you were named Hypocritophobe at birth, yes? At least my name is my name.

          • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

            No, not at birth, Mindy. I’ve been working towards it.
            Lets just say I hate bullies (A combination of things has led me to have little time for arseholes, even if at times that’s exactly what people consider me to be.) and to seek a fair go for ‘real’ underdogs.
            For the sake of drama, let’s say a 3 legged rabbit waved a wand and said that whatever I hated most would become my ‘number plate’.

            Enter Hypo.
            Like it or lump it.

            • Mindy June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

              So Assange = underdog against the US? Is that the only reason you support him, and I have no issues with that I think it is certainly true, or do you believe in the work of Wikileaks too? I’m just curious.

              I’m still not sure who you think I am, but I’m pretty sure I’m not who you think I am.

            • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

              Given there is no reply button under your post (Mindy June 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm #here goes.)

              You are thick lady.Thick.You are so thick you shame all the true intellects of the feminist cause

              I was simply answering your stupid question about where my pseudo came from.

              It means ‘hypocrite hater.’

              Get it yet?

              The yanks are fucking hypocrites and you are defending their military dominance/murder/destruction/control of innocents merely to raise your internet hits.
              You are playing childish games using the principles of natural justice as a piece of shit paper.

              What’s more your dislike of this ‘particular blog owners position’ on certain aspects of feminism has led you to act like a dick here, so your patch avoids the stains of the pusillanimous vomit you regurgitate.
              Get it yet?

  24. Mindy June 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    I know what your name means. I was trying to engage with your arguments but I see you are not interested in doing that. I do not hate Jennifer, I have nothing against her, I wouldn’t comment on her blog if I did. Again, I don’t know who you and Helvi think I am but I am not.

    I give up, it seems that what I am accused of you are guilty of also. I don’t think there would be that many people bothered googling my name to be worried about internet hits.

    • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

      So that’s what an exposed agenda/ulterior motive looks like.

      • paul walter June 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

        Smell a rat, Hypocritiphobe?
        All reminiscent of someone else who wants to obscure where they’re coming from, to peddle their line.
        Why would that be?

        • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

          Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

          She sure does sound like a Yank, though.

          • paul walter June 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

            Maybe from, “Bwooklin”?

          • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

            Are you referring to mummy pw?

    • paul walter June 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

      What is your grudge against Wikileaks? I would have thought there was some thing to respect in a person who whistleblows on fascism, or do you support it, which is why you’ve come here to disrupt npfs?
      How you must delight in poor Manning’s incarceration and yearn for Assange’s.
      How can I figure your weird obsession with Assange; this hatred that gets in the way of the truth for you.
      Are you control-freaky and a bit defensive about your own sex life?
      Loosen up, babe!
      You have problems with normal sex for any normal people without a written request six months previously?
      Hypo, I think she is like the bible bashers, very “odd” about sex, except with her it’s ideological, as in, “fanatic”.
      What would be a life goal?
      To be appointed to the Swedish Sex Police and camp po-faced in people’s bedrooms with a gang of other authoritarian gestapol tape measure on the ready, to measure every individual stroke in case its enjoyed, like in Attwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale”?
      Hypo, you notice Mindy never comments on any thread that isn’t about SEX (drama shock-horror), nothing on something as trivial or beneath dignity as ninety poor people drowning a couple of days ago,how can a person be so unmoved by the plight of real people? This “sex” thing, must be on her mind an awful lot, you’d wonder?
      There must be healthier ways of dealing with “emotional” issues, most of us have found ways.
      Cold shower for you, Mindy, you need to clear your brains of unhealthy obsessions, deal with what is really causing all this turmoil and preoccupation with other peoples sex lives.
      In the meantime, remember Mencken’s comment,
      “A Puritan is someone who knows someone, somewhere, is having fun”.

      • Hypocritophobe June 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm #

        I think you’re probably right,pw but all this ‘sex’ talk is probably arousing her and I would hate to think we were responsible for her mum walking in and springing her in a ‘forbidden’ situation.
        Especially when it’s so close to the 4th July.

        • paul walter June 24, 2012 at 12:29 am #

          Seriously, what-is-her-problem?

        • Nick June 24, 2012 at 12:59 am #

          Sorry to spoil the party, but you guys are being jerks…

          “How you must delight in poor Manning’s incarceration”

          Stuff like this paul. I don’t really care what arguments you’ve had with Mindy in the past, whatever her position is, that’s not it, and she doesn’t think that.

          You both have different reasons for feeling strongly about this.

          Deal with it without being so frickin hurtful.

          • Anonymous June 24, 2012 at 9:54 am #

            The bully gets a taste how sad..

          • paul walter June 24, 2012 at 10:06 am #

            Nick, you’re joking, you jerk!
            This a troll in no way prepared to participate in good faith, that refuses to acknowledge or address others point on even terms, or to personally deviate from a rigid ideological line regardless of ANY evidence presented.
            Fanatics are detestable and the thread starter ought to be recalled:
            “Don t let facts get in the way of hate”,
            a heading Mindy obviously missed.
            Whatever she’s here for, its NOT an open exchange, card s on the table of ideas, on the issues.
            What’s the REAL agenda here?
            Yes, I’ll l say it again,,
            “How you must delight in poor Manning’s incarceration” .
            The only thing more evident is the vindictive drive to punish Assange for no reason other than the bloke is male and a attempt to hijack a thread to peddle a rigid doctrinal position regardless of whether that fits with the realities, or who is harmed regardless.
            Sorry. As with mal rank-hard tits , my BS detector warns me I need to know where this character is coming from, pretends a neutral stance , but, as with the equally furtive Christian fundies on the sex trail, I sense disclosures are in order,for context and background. Other s here share in good faith, what ‘s her problem?
            On the contrary, there seems a pathology or bloodlust driving an irrational agenda that is a faux travesty of genuine feminism and genuine humanity, reflected both in her spiteful pursuit of Assange, and posters here.
            But Nick, you, too are selective, aren’t you?” You have ignored the worst of her comments to bag NPFS ers, the old imbalance remains the same. If someone tells you to “get fucked”, you would consider that acceptable?
            She’s come looking for a stoush, the issue itself is of no interest to her beyond its potential for causing trouble or attempts to settle scores, or to stuff her warped version of rad feminism down people here’s throats.

            • Hypocritophobe June 24, 2012 at 10:36 am #

              Nick or Nicky?

            • hudsongodfrey June 24, 2012 at 10:43 am #

              If I’m astride the situation at all here then I think it would validate nothing at all if we were to sanitise the debate by reducing ourselves to a homogeneous readership intolerant of dissent.

              By the same token there’s no point bashing your head against a brick wall. What I think is important when you see that happening is that in a marketplace of ideas we don’t debate to defend a position so much as to elevate our ideas from being good to being better.

              It doesn’t matter to me how many times I win or lose. Changing somebody else’s mind is less valuable than changing my own anyway.

              The only thing that frustrates me are hypocrites and solipsists. And I try not to let them drag me down to their level.

        • Nick June 24, 2012 at 2:41 am #

          The scene in Stalker where he refuses the gun. It says everything. It’s where someone like Malick has nothing to say (the guy that blew up the Daintree).

  25. doug quixote June 24, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    An interesting question : How many of those willing to believe that Assange is being entrapped/conspired against are also willing to agree that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was entrapped/conspired against?

    The reaction to Bob Ellis’ and my own view of Strauss-Kahn has been roundly pooh-poohed and I don’t recall seeing many retractions after the revelations about the woman in question.

    I ask as a matter of interest.

    • hudsongodfrey June 24, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      Sorry Doug, but I missed your detailed views on that subject. By all means cut and paste something. Basically it seemed like yet another sex scandal whereby we’re always saying “these people couldn’t organise a root in a brothel”, and when we find one who could we want to get rid of them!

      Maybe the comparison in that sense is better made to Thomson.

      As for the salient difference between Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Julian Assange, it is clear that the former was of the establishment being attacked for breaking its codes of behaviour, whereas the later is from without being attacked not in my view primarily because he sought to challenge the authority of the world’s great hegemony.

      In Strauss-Kahn’s case the details of the sex scandal seem to be the only thing at issue. I for one regard that as being anything but the case with Assange.

      • doug quixote June 30, 2012 at 5:53 am #

        The similarity is that sex charges were/are being used to impugn a major public figure. Assange may well be as guilty or as innocent as Strauss-Kahn may or may not have been. Slipper and Thomson are botched Australian attempts to do something similar.

        We must fervently hope that the terrorists and secret agents and the would-bes out there ih the real world remain as incompetent as they always have been.

        • hudsongodfrey June 30, 2012 at 10:19 am #

          Okay Doug,

          I think we’ve had that discussion. Despite being somewhat similar the difference is that the others were straightforward sex scandal designed to embarrass and undermine public figures in terms of their having violated sexual taboos. Whereas I think that in the Assange case either it has somewhat backfired because outside of Sweden the charges themselves are regarded as something of a technicality whereas a good number of people also surmise that they’re part of a larger extradition gambit on behalf of the US.

          Laudable as it may be that someone who argues the points of view you’ve put forward in the past might tend to overlook those factors I think that you should by now be at least aware of how others in quite large numbers have come to regard this situation.

          Others may not articulate it in the same way but I think we’ve come to see the legal arguments as secondary to the larger questions about what true justice should look like in cases such as these.

  26. Mindy June 24, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Thanks Nick, but the person they believe me to be is far from the person I am so I’m not worried. I enjoy Jennifer’s Saturday night fiction too. What does that make me?

  27. Anonymous June 24, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    Butter wouldn’t melt in a misandrists mouth

    http://apublicblogging.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/are-you-looking-for-an-alternative-feminist-blog/

    • Mindy June 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      I am not Linda. She is a radical feminist, I am not. If you think I am a radfem you really need to do some more googling.

  28. paul walter June 24, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    When all is set and done, what do you make of someone so eager to (maliciously?) deny an other (Assange) the basic rights that they would expect, as a matter of course, afforded them under the same circumstances.
    I asked Mindy early about the Kantian Imperative as it applies with her pursuit of Assange, it was of course side stepped, avoided as happens whenever any of the mass of contradictions in her position are exposed and she cant find a relevant answer or wont offer meaningful engagement to resolve the oppositions.
    Would YOU buy a used car from this sort of person, given the traits manifestly on display?

    • Hypocritophobe June 24, 2012 at 10:39 am #

      Nope.
      And I wouldn’t let them baby sit my pets,either.

  29. Mindy June 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Thanks for hosting this discussion Jennifer, it has been quite interesting.

    • helvityni June 24, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Mindy, you went against Jen’s wishes, only to have your much-coveted last word…fitting of your typical behaviour patterns….have to do better to throw us off scent…

      • Mindy June 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

        Well don’t say I didn’t try to tell you next time you interact with her and she has no idea what you are talking about. :)

    • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      I didn’t want to close down discussion, I intended to intervene in the personal jabs in the eyes.

  30. doug quixote June 25, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    Sorry Jennifer but I think this one still has ‘legs’. please see :

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/nick-cohen-julian-assange-paranoia

    A fine summary.

    • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Thanks DQ, this is indeed a well written and well argued piece. Worth a read, IMO. Not because it changed my mind but because it’s one of the few anti Assange pieces I’ve read that doesn’t depend on criticism of his personality.

    • hudsongodfrey June 25, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      That’s as fine a foil as any to Bob Ellis’ argument against you and others. I read it with interest myself.

      Let’s be clear here though that while strongly supporting Assange for different reasons I think both the extreme position that tends towards radical feminism and the equally extreme appeal to paranoia on the part of his supporters are both unhelpful.

      Perhaps Bob is just a touch used in political life to grabbing and running with the ball so to speak. That is to say despite my view that not every argument that serves a purpose strikes the right balance. When it doesn’t then I think we can trust people to see through it at some point and probably shouldn’t invite opportunities to have a good cause discredited by putting up the poorer case alongside the core ethic that you really do want to defend. With that in mind I wouldn’t discount the thought that just as I think you or someone who likewise doesn’t see great merit in Assange’s defence may genuinely believe the legal remedy sufficient to the task or the threat exaggerated, so I would not discount for one minute the great likelihood that Bob is genuine in his views.

      Someone once described arguing with Christopher Hitchens as being like arguing with a traffic cop, you pretty much knew who was going to be right! If Bob Ellis wants to argue with me then I don’t rate myself a contender, but that doesn’t mean we always agree, just that I occasionally lack the skills and knowledge to articulate my reservations as well as I ought to.

      To the point of Nick Cohen’s piece I’d simply say that arguing Paranoia and arguing a well-founded fear of persecution are as different as arguing consequences that are deserved and those that are unjustified. All those factors are in the mix and on reflection I would have to say that people who take Assange’s side are arguing for an exception to be made on his behalf in what is an extraordinary case.

      There is as much reason on the known facts to make the kind of subjective interpretations as to say that he has been set up as there is to say that he’s being too paranoid. So neither side will probably make headway by arguing those interpretations.

      Instead I think that the issue turns on peoples disposition towards the view that an exception for Assange should be made to counteract the exceptions that the various authorities make for themselves in keeping secrets that are clearly not in the wider public interest. It may be difficult to see the worth of this less conventional kind of journalism, but I find it equally difficult not to see Assange as a dissenting voice subject to attempted bullying.

      On the legal front I find myself repeating that if the law can overlook recourse to the deeds of Bush, Blair, Howard et al conducting a illegal war on an illegitimate premise in Iraq then why are we so worried whether their accuser catches a break? Perhaps we realise as grown ups often do that the lessons of History are not a morality tale. But then isn’t it always painfully self serving when victors conspire to forget their guilty past.

      If I could separate the naughty boy from the man who symbolises Wikileaks then I would, and if I could separate myself from the guilt at what was done in my/our name then I might, but I can’t and maybe there is a reason for this….

      “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
      Alekasndr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (1973)

      • doug quixote June 26, 2012 at 6:46 am #

        Thank you HG – well said and a picture of moderation as always.

  31. helvityni June 25, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    The above post is by me, I did not realise that I had to fill in my details….do I have to do it each time I comment here?

    • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      No, Helvi you shouldn’t have to do that. Not sure which post you mean? The one to Mindy?

      • helvityni June 25, 2012 at 10:53 am #

        No, I’m not talking to Mindy, I was replying to jo, and my post appeared as anonymous….I had to fill in my details for this one as well, the previous post landed under your post…

        • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

          OK will check it out. Anonymous might have gone to spam!

          • helvityni June 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

            It was up, maybe it got deleted.

            • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

              I found an anonymous & attempted to restore it, doesn’t seem to have worked- maybe you should just post it again!

            • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

              Helvi I’ve checked everything and I can’t find any reason for you to have to fill out your email etc. I haven’t got any restrictions in place at the moment. There must be a hiccup with WordPress so I’ll contact them.

              • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

                “There must be a hiccup with WordPress so I’ll contact them.”

                Why am I so utterly unsurprised?

                • hudsongodfrey June 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

                  Gee Forrest I hope you mean by that to impugn WordPress?

                  • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

                    Impugn? No!
                    Lookin’ for a ‘back door’.
                    Hoo, hoo, hoo
                    Lookin’ through that ‘back door’!

                    • hudsongodfrey June 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

                      Right! Well that clears up everything then….

  32. paul walter June 25, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    What’s the point? If people haven’t worked it out after eighteen months, you can say the very saints themselves would fail, because it’s pointless talking to brick walls.

  33. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    “Returning to Article 1 of the Memorandum …

    Assange is guilty, GUILTY we tell you, of
    having a bad attitude toward women!

    It is because of this that we say that it is
    only just that he should spend the rest of his
    life in prison, or have his life taken judicially
    (or even extra-judicially) for having facilitated
    exposure of the outwardly complacently careless
    regime for the handling of sensitive US government
    information that we find so suits our purposes*,
    after we obtain his temporary surrender from the
    Kingdom of Sweden consequent upon his extradition
    thereto.”

    - with apologies to those who wrote the script for that old film, set on the Yangtze, ‘The Escape of the Amethyst’, from the days when everything was black and white.

    My apologies, too, JW, for the tract of links that saw my earlier post get caged as spam. I, too, generally detest tracts of links in blog posts or comments, but sometimes they do seem necessary, which is why I accompanied each with an abstract for viewer convenience, were any to be reading rather than just talking tangentially to this subject.

    As you have said, I am now free. I hope I am not misinterpreting your meaning of ‘free’ in trying to continue to comment to your subject line in response to the invitation recorded here: http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/05/31/assange-in-sweden-the-facts/#comment-29135 , or your meaning of ‘enough’ as still permitting a post perceivably on-topic in this thread.

    Over recent years, beginning with the extradition attempt mounted by the US against film director Roman Polanski, seeking his surrender by Switzerland into US custody, I have engaged in several online contentions related to US-sought extraditions. One common factor in the public discussion often seems to be a commencing, or subsequently-to-be-introduced, allegation as to some form of sexual impropriety on the part of the subject of the extradition request. Another seems to be prowess in the information technology arena.

    The attempt at extradition of Polanski was, I believe, seen by certain interests within and around US executive government as a ‘trial balloon’ for a mechanism for the whipping up of public frenzy against the subjects of US extradition requests. In that case it started quite overtly with the resurrection of an over thirty-year-old claim that Polanski had fled US jurisdiction in a matter involving his having had sexual relations with a then under-age partner in the State of California (where the age of consent had been 18 since 1913). In terms of the whipping up of public frenzy, the ‘trial balloon’ was resoundingly successful. I remember having described the outpouring of anti-Polanski ‘Twitter hate’ on that hashtag as “mindlessly baying [Polanski's] guilt like a pack of hounds at a slave-hunt”. Those seeking Polanski’s extradition held an absolute lay-down misere in one leg of their case, that as to establishing his ‘guilt’ of having had relations with an under-age partner: Polanski was held to have confessed to it in a book he had written during the over thirty years that his alleged ‘fugitive from US justice’ status had been somehow allowed to lie dormant. Perhaps a neat way of trashing the Fifth Amendment without being seen to do so, if you think about it.

    The second leg of the US extradition of Polanski relied upon the unquestioned acceptance of the claim that Polanski had been from the time of his departure from the US a fugitive from its justice. The Swiss, to their credit, asked to view, in Switzerland, and before surrendering Polanski, documentation that would have established whether Polanski had indeed served the sentence imposed in 1977, or was truly a fugitive as claimed by the US. The US declined to provide such access to documentation, and the Swiss, to their even greater credit, declined to extradite Polanski. He is now able to move freely between France and Poland, of which countries he holds dual citizenship, and Switzerland, where he owns property.

    Perhaps the Swiss decision in Polanski’s case was helped along by the Swiss discovering around this time that there had been intrusion into, and compromise of, their foreign affairs department’s computer network, for which it appears they were using proprietary software.

    While viewing the ‘#Polanski’ hashtag conversation, I became aware of the extradition sought by the US from the UK of British citizens, now husband and wife, Brian and Kerry Howes. The ostensible reason extradition was being sought was for the supply of chemicals, chemicals trade in which was quite lawful within the UK, that were viewed as being pre-cursor chemicals for methamphetamine manufacture in States-side illegal drug labs. Brian Howes had IT prowess, and, before long, allegations of sexual improprieties committed 20 to 30 years earlier in the US by him became part of the public discussion that surrounded his incarceration without charge, extradition hearing, trial, or conviction in the UK. You can see how that panned out on OnLineOpinion alone, here: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=3148&page=0#75076 (Viewers will need to be familiar with the use of a scroll-wheel.)

    Lest it should appear that I am drifting off-topic, I will again mention what is already well known, that Assange is of acknowledged interest to the US as a target for extradition, is the subject of sexual impropriety allegations in Sweden from whence he could be ‘temporarily’ surrendered if the US so requested, and needless to say has displayed over the years some degree of IT prowess.

    Is a pattern starting to become evident in these extradition matters?

    Oh, and should I add that the only other Wikileaked cable, with which I have some familiarity via an OLO discussion, gives me a hint as to why our own Prime Minister (or Foreign Minister, for that matter) had to have any name but Kevin? Enough for now, perhaps.

    *Some thought should be given to the number of persons within the US apparatus of government that had clearance to access such material as that which we have come to know as ‘Collateral Murder’. I am given to understand it may have exceeded a million! I should imagine the genuine ‘need to know’ with respect to such would, in a competently managed environment genuinely concerned with national security alone, be relatively limited. Wider access could conceivably serve to establish a tacit acceptance throughout the executive branch of government that ‘This is the way things really get done! Learn to live with it!’. A blame or accountability-free way of establishing a prevailing culture within that branch of government. It would be interesting to know how many other users having clearance viewed, for example, the ‘Collateral Murder’ material, without apparently having technically breached security by discussing it with uncleared others or posting it on the internet. I’ll bet that is a question upon which, if they ask it, Bradley Manning’s defence team will encounter extreme obfuscation!

    http://twitpic.com/9zx85k

    • Jennifer Wilson June 25, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      My “enough everybody” only referred to people insulting one another. Discussion continues! I had quite forgotten the Polanski situation.

  34. Nick June 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Paul, I’d say the same thing to my best friend, and have done on many a late night out that’s turned a bit screwy. And I’ve have the same thing said to me many times. Don’t take it personally please.

    Yourself at 2:25pm, and then Mindy back at you at 2:50pm (which helvi quotes)…tit for tat, takes two to tango.

    Later, Mindy accuses you and others of being rape apologists.

    You and others accuse her of being a torture apologist.

    I don’t believe either is true, no matter what anyone has said or written to suggest otherwise…

    This the debate we’re gonna have if we frame it in the terms Ellis has – a parody of (structuralist 101 fail) Murdochian rhetoric.

    As hg notes, he’s a gut instinct kind of guy. Occasionally he’s very very right, other times…

    Later again, I thought you guys became far too personal, and it became a pile on. That’s about it. No hard feelings.

    • paul walter June 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

      Ok, Nick, but you’ve again missed the vital first cause, the initial post at 2.19.
      You really have to wonder at what a person putting up a post like that is drinking.
      Ok, I shouldn’t have reacted tersely to having the mickey taken, but Mindys refusal of further explanation or context for such an absurd comment only worsened things- people don’t like having their leg pulled when adults are trying to discuss a serious situation seriously.
      Ok, so you will say that I might consider Mindy an “unreliable witness” from this point and you could be right I’d probably take anything she says with a grain of salt, this is one metaphoric used car you wouldnt buywithout a written guarantee and a read of the small print..

  35. Nick June 26, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2012-06-25-the-endgame-assange-running-low-on-support-and-options

    “We are free press activists. It’s about giving people the information they need. That is the raw ingredient that is needed to make a just and civil society. Without that you are just sailing in the dark.”

    Assange has been patently unable to do what he set out to do…at every turn he’s stuck himself front and centre between the raw information and the people it’s intended for. Or, stuck the tabloid press there instead…and didn’t he squeal like a stuck pig when they screwed him over. Sorry, Julian, but you don’t get to make those kind of deals with the *free press*. Two sets of rules.

    • hudsongodfrey June 26, 2012 at 11:20 am #

      It’s like you’re trying to say that he wasn’t enough of a martyr for you!

      • Nick June 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

        No, hg. He isn’t a martyr. He hasn’t sacrificed himself at all.

        Arguably, everything’s he done has been about protecting himself.

        In short, he’s no Manning.

        But that wasn’t what I was talking about anyway…

        • hudsongodfrey June 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

          Nick,

          As far as I’m concerned its okay to say what you think rather than what you don’t.

          Maybe Manning did set out to be a martyr, I don’t know. He really didn’t appear to position himself as disobedient solider under the auspices of something like the Nuremberg defence to unlawful orders whereby he might have made similar kinds of claims to justify his actions as did Daniel Ellsberg.

          But I’m loathe to sit here wondering whether Assange has done enough when few apart from a few unrelated activists and other members of Wikileaks have done anything like as much to challenge US authority in the same way.

          My feeling is that his continued attempts to frustrate those authorities who want to see him brought down are important because of the defiance that they symbolise. I argue that if and when he goes, and depending on how he either bows out or is taken out, will affect our sense of how free speech really is in the future.

          If we’re forced to say that Wikileaks tried to take on US secrecy, and lost then I think that’s sad. It will also be fodder for conspiracy theorists who are, often with some justification, routinely ignored while the same old tactics of force and coercion are practised with relative impunity by people whose lesson to be learned from this is that the people won’t do anything even if the secrets are revealed.

        • Nick June 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

          “Maybe Manning did set out to be a martyr, I don’t know.”

          I don’t believe so, hg. Bob was way off to call him “poor, mad, romantic Manning”.

          “few apart from a few unrelated activists and other members of Wikileaks have done anything like as much to challenge US authority in the same way”

          There’s the rub. Wikileaks wasn’t about “challenging US authority”, or whatever other banners people want to project above Assange’s head. It was supposed to be about delivering unfiltered information…

          • hudsongodfrey June 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

            I don’t think it was supposed to be about delivering unfiltered information so much as delivering information that was and/or is still in the public interest in line with the kind of code of integrity that journalism applies to.

            The only difference was that Wikileaks availed themselves of means to publish this material online without being censored or otherwise sued.

            If you want to call censorship or threats of legal action filters then I suppose that you can. But just avoiding those doesn’t mean that somebody at Wikileaks wouldn’t, for the most part at least, check that what goes out is reasonably genuine and apply the public interest test.

            • Nick June 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

              Yes, granted, I was asking the word ‘unfiltered’ to do a lot of work. I wasn’t trying to imply information wasn’t vetted before releasing. Wikileaks set itself precisely those two criteria:

              1) Is it in the public interest?
              2) Is it genuine?

              Another way to put it is that they originally set their sights above and beyond the codes of integrity of journalism.

              Newspapers and the like being such fabulous models of integrity. Ever ambulance chased all the way back to knocking on a dead child’s grieving parents’ front door because there *might* be a story there, your editor has no idea really, but it’s your job this morning to find out?

              If journalists (journalists in, say, Iran or China perhaps?) and their codes of integrity can be trusted by whistle-blowers, why did Wikileaks have a market in the first place?

              Worth reading their original ‘about us’ (and the sample analysis they provide):

              http://web.archive.org/web/20070202031222/http://wikileaks.org

              and their original faq here:

              http://web.archive.org/web/20070202031222/http://wikileaks.org/faq.html

              Ok, so we don’t always achieve quite what we set out to…two business partners having a bust up can ruin any organisation…things can spiral out of control in many ways you’re not prepared for. There’s a lot to the story.

              I won’t push it any further for now. It’s not what this thread’s about obviously.

              But what I’m interested in learning and thinking about is how you might do things differently, not repeat their mistakes, and go about putting something in place which lasts longer than 3 years.

              Not lynching Assange, or taking swipes at what he accomplished, just for the sake of it.

              (all just another reason I won’t be giving this Labor government my first preference, btw)

              • hudsongodfrey June 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

                All fair enough I suppose that doesn’t seem to leave you and I disagreeing about much but then I’m not sure we ever did except to say that I think the symbolism of defiance matters as much as the actuality of it at this stage and I’m not sure you were so convinced.

  36. paul walter June 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Well, at least you’ve dropped the neutral observer and revealed your membership in the posse. Thanks, may be a bit of honesty earlier might have helped.
    The issue is not Assange; he has committed no crime worthy of the name that warrants being harassed, let alone Gitmoed and if he has committed an infraction of bedroom etiquette, he’s certainly paid for it by now.
    Anyway, anyhere but a neurotic, middle class place like Sweden, the thing would have been laughed off for the Rabelaisian fluff that it actually is.
    I wonder at the Hobbesian minds that want Assange and Manning down and crushed to Cuckoos Nest stupidity, despite his effort to show international politics for what it actually is.
    If what he done is worthy of being Gitmoed, then who amongst us wouldn’t be candidates?At least Assange’s “crime” wasn’t derived of malice- would malice be a guillotinable crime, if so, would some of you need look out?
    My belief is, the hegemonic state demands sainthood from its subjects whilst behaving like a bastard itself.
    I have no intention being gulled into becoming a “faux” progressive aligning myself with the hegemon, its obsession for secrecy at any cost. Its international thuggery and mean economics that kills or maims huge numbers of people with everything from Drones and cluster-bombs, to the murder of millions through sheer indifference in that giant, open air concentration camp called Africa, even if it does deny a few misguided radfems some pound of flesh sort of symbolic revenge on the male sex
    But you and your friends stick with the “real” crime and like Tony Blair you’ll all be no doubt delighted with a David ( weapons of mass destruction) Kelly result, involving suicide.

    • Nick June 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

      “Well, at least you’ve dropped the neutral observer and revealed your membership in the posse.”

      I made my position clear last week. I’m hardly a neutral observer. I just don’t agree with you and hypo or Mindy.

      I reject your notion of ‘posses’ and all the strawman crap you just wrote about ‘what I think’ and ‘what would no doubt delight me’.

  37. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Nick Cohen’s piece in The Observer of Sunday 24 June 2012, to which Doug Quixote has posted a link in his post of June 25, 2012 at 5:58 am, contains this little near-buried assertion:

    “… The poor man [Assange] did not know that
    Britain has a notoriously lax extradition treaty
    with the United States, which the liberal-minded
    have condemned for almost a decade. …”

    The drift of Cohen’s piece being that Assange is a fool to have been so pre-occupied with the significance of an extradition to Sweden when he could so much more easily be sought at any time by the US from Britain, if the US really wants him.

    I would, to the contrary, suggest that Assange would have been aware very early on as to the notorious laxity of the UK Extradition Act 2003. The problem for those seeking his extradition to the US being, that in the absence of any crime committed against US or UK law while Assange was resident within the UK, it would seem that Assange’s status as an Australian citizen would have required that the US and/or UK governments would have had to negotiate, through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, any proposed extradition of Assange with the Australian government. A further problem being that the Australian Foreign Minister throughout this period was Kevin Rudd, formerly Prime Minister, removed prior to commencement of the public attempt to extradite Assange, in what the Australian public has increasingly come to see as some sort of unexplained coup d’etat. A Foreign Minister that throughout his tenure steadfastly refused any suggestion that Assange’s Australian passport be cancelled.

    Such negotiations, had they occurred, would have emphasised the necessity for, and doubtless increased public participation in, public debate within Australia as to whether Assange should face any extradition. What may have been revealed had that occurred could have been a big and unhideable divide between the Australian politician class and the Australian general public on this matter, something a US administration may have had many reasons for wishing to avoid.

    Of course, it is easy to overlook the fact that had Assange’s extradition notwithstanding been sought direct from the UK, it would have to have been effected without the luxury of the salacious background of allegation as to sexual improprieties (the like of which could only be given even superficial credibility in one place, Sweden) upon which a largely uninformed public could sanctimoniously pontificate while distracted from the real issues at stake.

    I really could not believe the way a challenge for the leadership of the ALP was recently allowed to be talked-up, until it came to a head and was resolved in the manner that was inevitably going to be the case, with the removal of Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister. Rudd’s refusal to withdraw Assange’s Australian passport must have been a real sore point with those in the US so heavily invested in obtaining Assange’s extradition! It makes one wonder that did they think by stranding Assange in the UK without an Australian passport, whether or not that he may have also held a British one, that he would be effectively abandoned to the provisions of the UK Extradition Act 2003 and its ‘due processes’?

    It is all the more interesting to see Australia’s new Foreign Minister seemingly give the green light, so far as Australia is concerned, to such an extradition with his recent comments as to his perception of the ease with which such could be sought direct from the UK. A Foreign Minister we got not via conventional electoral process, but via the initiation of a vacancy in our Senate by a former Senator mentioned by name as a ‘protected’ US informant in one of the leaked US diplomatic cables. It is not hard to see that very convenient resignation as being in response to the instructions of a ‘handler’, rather than for any altruistic reasons that may have been offerred up to the public.

    All of which, in the circumstances, begs the question as to what it was that Kevin had done, or was effectively threatening to do, that resulted in his sudden, so far as the public were concerned, removal as Prime Minister. All the more so when reports of behind-the-scenes activity in this respect were revealed in those same leaked diplomatic cables in a manner that bore all of the appearance of a reporting-back as to progress, rather than that of simply fortuitously obtained advanced inside information.

    All of which also only serves to explain the tenacity with which certain US interests cling to obtaining the extradition of Assange.

    What HAD Kevin done, I wonder, and did he even know he had done it?

    • Jennifer Wilson June 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Good points, Forrest. There is also the matter of temporary surrender agreements. Sweden has one with the US that allows the suspect to be “loaned” to a requesting country rather than extradited. There seems to be some doubt as to whether or not someone who is temporarily surrendered has the same rights to appeal and due process as someone who is extradited.

    • doug quixote June 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      News to me : The removal of one psychopath was part of a plot to get another psychopath! A conspiracy theory too far, I deem.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 27, 2012 at 8:41 am #

        Doug Quixote,

        You posted the link to Cohen’s piece. Jennifer Wilson, in her post of June 25, 2012 at 7:15 am, commended that linked item as being “… indeed a well written and well argued piece. Worth a read, IMO. Not because it changed my mind but because it’s one of the few anti Assange pieces I’ve read that doesn’t depend on criticism of his personality.”.

        I then read it myself and found what I thought to be an unsound assertion as to Assange being unaware as to the ‘notoriously lax’ UK Extradition Act 2003, and what seemed implied to be his exposure to extradition from the UK under it. I thought it to be an unsound assertion because I considered it most unlikely that Assange would have been unfamiliar with the long drawn out attempt by the US to extradite Gary McKinnon for alleged intrusion into US defense department computers, from the UK.

        Given that Cohen’s argument in part rested upon this dismissive view as to Assange’s accuracy of perception of his own position, and that I thought the assertion for good reason to be unsound, I felt it especially appropriate to point this out in an “… anti Assange [piece] … that [didn't] depend on criticism of [Assange's] personality”. Don’t blame me if I actually read the piece you linked to in the light of my own (limited) familiarity with extradition from the UK to the US, and found the undermining of Assange’s credibility, that was the drift of the piece, to be resting in part on a likely falsehood.

        You describe Cohen’s piece as a “fine summary”, yet after my attempt, in my post of June 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm, to explain the significance of various aspects of this whole imbroglio, now proceed to describe both Assange and Rudd as ‘psychopaths’ and claim that the removal of one of them (Rudd) was part of a plot to ‘get’ the other (Assange), labeling it all as a ‘conspiracy theory too far’. No. I assert no connection between the two events whatever, except that it was the cable dump that seemed to cast some light as to there being foreknowledge of an attempt to remove Rudd as PM couched in language that implied some direction of that attempt from the US end.

        For the US it was just the sheerest of bad luck* that the embarrassing inferences as to foreknowledge, or even involvement, in the removal of Rudd as PM was revealed in a cable dump that took place before a likely long-standing plan to ‘get’ Assange could be concluded, were able to come into the open.

        Why do you seem so threatened by these observations, Doug?

        * Speaking of luck, and sharks: “Why, in Australia its actually considered to be a sign of good luck to spot a shark swimming around in your backyard swimming pool, and exceptionally bad luck if you don’t!” – Sir Les Patterson

        • doug quixote June 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

          Not threatened at all – just rather amused at your earnest partisanship of Assange. He is nobody’s hero.

  38. paul walter June 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    It is good to see at Truthout, an article, “Prominent Americans Urge Ecuador to Accept Julian Assange’s Asylum Request”, from the Guardian.
    Included on the list of signatories are Naomi Wolf, Michael Moore, Sibel Edmonds, Glenn Greenwald Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Daniel Ellsberg and a raft of professors including a long list of women, at a more detailed exposition at “Just foreign Policy”.

  39. paul walter June 28, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Interesting news from Ecuador. Apparently President Corea has rescinded further participation for Ecuador in the notorious US School of the Americas. This from SOA Watch, in the ‘states.

  40. Hypocritophobe June 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    Julian Burnside has some interesting things to say(Twitter) about Assange,
    Including

    “19 Jun julianburnside julianburnside ‏@JulianBurnside

    Support Assange by emailing Ecuador Embassy in London: ecugranbretania@mmrree.gob.ec and ask them to help him”

  41. paul walter June 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Doug Quixote, apparently others have drawn attention to Julian Burnside on Assange.
    My question is, you’d obviously agree that halfwits like Burnside, a mere QC, would not have a fractile of your intrinsic, even esoteric, meta-wisdom and knowledge on the subject of Assange and his so-called offences.
    I remain in awe of you, smarter than ten Julian Burnsides, this is wisdom that “surpasses all understanding”.

    • doug quixote June 30, 2012 at 5:25 am #

      Hi Paul. Burnside has his own agenda, as does Geoffrey Robertson and all the others who appear to be at Assange’s side. I might add that his most heartfelt supporters seem to be 20,000 km away from him. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” and all that.

      I don’t think Assange is necessarily guilty of anything, but he has been ordered by the British Supreme Court to be sent to Sweden to be “questioned”. The Swedes want him in their custody as it is their practice to question and charge immediately thereafter.

      Not ‘smarter’ than Burnside, necessarily, but disinterested.

  42. Hypocritophobe July 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    The impending Wikileaks Syrian revelations might instigate a squirmathon.
    Stay tuned.

  43. paul walter July 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    Excellent news!
    4 Corners is doing an episode on Assange next Monday night, 23/7.
    The lies will finally be flushed around the “S” bend.

  44. Pink Splotchy Thing August 5, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much regarding good investigative or courageous journalism from 4Corners or much of the mainstream Australian media in a hurry, though sometimes they have been known to surprise. I remember once getting a post card from 4Corners with something like “Sorry your case is too politically sensitive” scrawled across it when trying to get at least some interest in a matter relating to entrenched corruption and blatant criminal activity under a certain former corrupt WA premier.

    If the media is scared of reporting a story at the state level where they only needed to look at a couple of publicly available documents to see how a government minister and surveyors had signed, forged and altered documents then had also submitted yet more false and misleading evidence in court to again conceal the truth, then I’m not surprised if the media would avoid the truth on pretty much anything that is politically sensitive.

    I should thank the dear old former premier, who along with the other serving gentlemen, cultivated a particularly corrupt culture from the top at State cabinet, which worked it’s way through most government departments including Public Prosecutions, and finally made it’s way into Local Governments throughout WA. I was young and naive, and then these prominent members of the community taught me that the rule of law, honour, decency, respect and fairness are but mere illusions when they choose to ignore the law. Foolishly, like many others I presume, I believed Justice was an inherent right available to all Australian citizens.

    I believed that if you worked hard at your own business, treated all others with respect and kindness, contributed generously in your local community, then you would have a means of redress through fair and open legal proceedings. If ever your family, home or business became a target for those who would abuse their power and position. If they tried fraudulent means to gain your business and property, or drive you from it by means of a long and drawn out campaign of victimisation, intimidation and sabotage, then I believed you would be protected under the law and that anyone who committed such acts would have to answer for their crimes. I was wrong. Don’t expect the justice system to work at all sometimes, especially if they have friends in government, then you are on your own.

    The vast majority of charges prosecuted against politicians are trivial and never involve their colleagues. If the government doesn’t want a political scandal in the papers then the justice system will ensure it’s promptly covered-up or that any criminal proceedings that do take place take years. Governments always seek to limit the amount of exposure and any pending complications, rather than get to the bottom of the matter, the truth, and the real consequences that may significantly affect the lives of real people who often remain unnoticed and without any resolution to their problems.

    Government does not function ideally, like the Justice system too, it is subject to the leadership of it’s current leaders and the culture that is allowed to exist within it’s many departments. Corrupt and self serving individuals can systematically abuse the inner workings of Government departments to benefit themselves and their cronies, especially when a culture of silence exists in regards to reporting corrupt and criminal behaviour.

    Whistle-blowers are sometimes the last and only defence against institutionalised corruption. Remember the tools a corrupt department head or government minister has at their disposal may include surveillance equipment, phone taps, bugs, maybe even a couple of senior detectives. They have wide access to many government documents, an often thorough understanding of the complexities and loopholes in government legislation, and they are often involved with making decisions over whether to proceed with any internal investigations and also whether or not to act on any recommendations.

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