Leadership chatter. Assange’s passport. Blonde girls in short shorts

24 Jul

There is no way chatter about ALP leadership is going to stop before the next election, the next leadership change, a decision by the party to close ranks and stop white-anting, or a blackout by the media on the topic.  The latter is the most unlikely option, so we might as well resign ourselves to endless speculation, and learn to stick our fingers in our ears.

I’ve now arrived at what I like to call the “shit or get off the pot” point. It’s that place in the mind you reach when you’ve had a gut full of listening to the same narrative over and over and over again. Usually I’m hounded to this place of ultimatum by people who are deeply dissatisfied with their intimate relationships and feel they have to tell me about it because I’m a good listener. Over a period of years they reiterate their complaints against their partners with a monotony that makes me feel like pulling out my fingernails with pliers, on the theory that the resultant physical pain will  distract me from the mental anguish I’m enduring by having to listen.

It’s a human failing, that we can be so afraid of change we choose instead to remain in a state of miserable grievance. Indeed, the very act of complaint becomes a raison d’être. The  whine: “Oh, if I could only be happy” replaces any possibility of actually finding happiness because one has, without even thinking about it, chosen whining as a way of life rather than risking satisfaction.

There is of course the opposite situation in which there seems to be a destructive addiction to superficial change while the underlying matters remain un-addressed.

As with all things, it is necessary to find the middle road, grasshopper.

But I digress. I don’t care who will lead the ALP to the next election. Being an ALP leader is a poisoned chalice. Anyone mad enough to take it on has my sympathy, but only in the abstract. The present leader, Julia Gillard, is drinking deep of the tainted wine and nothing good will come of it for her, just as nothing good eventuated for her toppled predecessor, Kevin Rudd. What this says to me is that the problems are not entirely to do with party leaders, and that continuing to change the leader will do nothing to resolve the problems.

I know there are good people in the ALP who deliver results for their electorates. My own federal member, Janelle Saffin, is one of them. It does seem that in politics the good people are either not interested in taking prominent roles or are not considered prominent role material by the back room boys and girls who determine these matters. The criteria the back room crowd use to arrive at their choices is puzzling. I strongly suspect those moral and ethical qualities we don’t talk about anymore, lest acknowledging our loss breaks our hearts, do not rate highly in their list of necessary leadership qualities.

Of course one could also argue that on becoming leader a good person may well undergo a transformation, goodness and leadership seemingly anathemas in today’s political world. According to ALP legend Kevin Rudd, who seemed decent enough, became the antichrist when they won government.  I liked Julia Gillard as deputy PM. Enough said about both.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the unsettling Julian Assange story as aired on Four Corners last night, was the effort by then Attorney-General Robert McClelland, presumably supported by the PM, to rescind Assange’s Australian passport at the time of the Wikileaks cable dump. Footage of PM Gillard declaring Assange’s actions to be “illegal” without any evidence at all for that declaration, also gave pause for thought.

The US, of course, was the nation-state most grievously affected by the dump. Our government’s rush to condemn one of its own citizens looks sadly like a an ill-considered attempt to show what good and loyal friends we are to the US, by cutting Assange loose without bothering to establish his innocence or guilt. This is an example of what I mean about the incommensurability of goodness and power.

I would hate to think I live in a country where anyone’s passport can be taken away from them because the government says so, without any investigation and without any evidence that the accused has done anything to justify such drastic action.

Assange has committed no offence against his own country. It is yet to be determined whether or not he has committed any offences in any country. Yet our PM declared him guilty of illegal activities, and decided he should be relieved of his passport. This is very scary stuff, and we should not take it lightly. According to Four Corners, plans to relieve Assange of his most important document were abandoned when it was pointed out that leaving him in possession of his passport would make tracking his whereabouts that much easier.

And people wonder why Assange is worried for his future?

I was baffled during the programme, by the blurred and recurring shots of a young blonde woman in short shorts walking away from the viewer along a train station platform. This young woman seemed to bear no resemblance in dress or manner to the two women who have accused Assange of sexual misconduct. She did seem to signify sexual availability, and presumably the long blonde hair referenced her Scandinavian origins. I have no idea why this image was necessary, except to imply a certain stereotyped lasciviousness in young Swedish women which might by association be extrapolated to the complainants. Hmmm. Tacky, anyone?

And just who wears short shorts?

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128 Responses to “Leadership chatter. Assange’s passport. Blonde girls in short shorts”

  1. zerogra1 July 24, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    I recommend you read “Underground” by Suelette Dreyfus and Julian Assange before drawing any conclusions as to guilt or innocence here or overseas. The book is widely available but theres also a free version at the link posted below.

    http://suelette.home.xs4all.nl/underground/justin/contents.html

    • Jennifer Wilson July 24, 2012 at 9:21 am #

      I don’t think I’ve have drawn any conclusions as to guilt or innocence here or overseas. That’s my point.

      • zerograv1 July 24, 2012 at 9:31 am #

        Fair enough….still worth reading if you have the time though. It not only provides a lot of background, but explains the evolution of Assange to where he is today.

        • Jennifer Wilson July 24, 2012 at 9:35 am #

          Thanks for the link. I see the author has piece in the Drum today.

          • zerograv1 July 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

            Forgot to mention, any story about “Mendax” refers to Assange himself.

            • hudsongodfrey July 24, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

              This was published a long time ago. It was actually reasonably funny in places, or let’s just say I “got” the geek sense of humour.

              Does it make any real difference to events in the current day?

              I don’t think so. Far from really hacking they were making mischief in ways and places where some would say that they probably shouldn’t in ways that we’d find surprisingly easy compared with today’s arrangements. And I believe that they left it long enough before publishing so that no real harm would come of reading it.

              • zerograv1 July 26, 2012 at 8:47 am #

                Theres a philosophical bent among the early hackers that seems to have been officialised today in sites like wikileaks and openleaks. My main interest came from being part of the BBS community in the early part of the book and recognising some of the handles. Hacking and phreaking were never of interest to me back in those days even though a lot of “lists” were, and still are available for that kind of thing. I ran a small BBS in those days and was often aware that the intense privacy that some loved probably indicated “grey” activity. All the same I beleive there is a certain naivety in the supporters of Assange – this type of activity DOES have some moral justification in righting wrongs, but theres a mixture of piousness and intrusion and to some degree misplaced entitlement (You’ve been owned/hacked) that counter balances that. These people are far from lily white which I think is a point the book makes well. I agree with you though that most of the early hackers were primarily motivated by fascination, addiction and a “do no harm curiosity” on how these systems worked.

                • hudsongodfrey July 26, 2012 at 9:10 am #

                  Yes well, when it comes to some of those issues of entitlement that have all too often gone unexamined, maybe the boot is finally on the other foot.

          • zerograv1 July 26, 2012 at 8:40 am #

            Interestingly she appears to be part of a team hosting a whistleblowers survey. There’s an interesting “lean” in the type of questions asked.
            https://whistleblowingsurvey.org/ for anyone interested.

  2. annodyne July 24, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    so frustrating. how many times does Bart have to write on the blackboard
    Assange was part of creating a website. Manning dumped on the website.
    Assange was part of creating a website. Manning dumped on the website.
    Assange was part of creating a website. Manning dumped on the website.

    Yes the shorts and hair thing was vile, but we all knew why and ignored it.
    The US wants to kill manning so bad. So far, they need to prove he conspired with Assange to do so. They can only get this if they waterboard JA.

    The US is promising Sweden to build some huge thing there (forget what) and withdrawing this promise is the carrot on a stick that caused the reversing of the decision to not charge him with a crime, and is preventing the Swedish DA from merely going to London to speak with JA.

    GREAT ILLUSTRATION.

  3. Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Is there any single micro dot of evidence to suggest that our government is ‘not’ just following orders from over yonder?

    And can anyone seriously suggest for one nano-second that the US will do all it can to grab JA?

    Try him in Australia.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 24, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      But try him for what?

      • Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 10:27 am #

        Let me rephrase that,JW.
        Given his obvious status as a political figure,a target etc, he should be returned to Australia for any legal proceedings,This is an extraordinary set of circumstances (unprecedented)
        Notwithsatnding his current asylum, I doubt he can get a fair trial anywhere,if he does get charged.
        If not Sweden should arrange a video court scenario in the embassy where Assange is held up, and then if need be move to the next stage.
        I think as already stated JA has good reason not to risk Sweden.

        These are extraordinary circumstances,all round.

  4. Polybius July 24, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    The US government does not give the Australian government orders. It requires a substantial mental effort on their part to remember that Australia exists.

    (Remember McNamara in Fog of War talking about Vietnam: “We were alone! None of our allies would go with us!”)

    Australia’s obsession with having a great and powerful friend requires that we anticipate what their wishes might be in an given situation, and arrange matters accordingly.

    And then wait for a pat on the head.

    • Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      Oh yes.Automatic subservience.I forgot.

      Silly me.Our leaders know who is boss and act accordingly.

      Australians all let us rejoice,for we are young and free…….

  5. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 24, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    JW writes:

    “According to Four Corners, plans to relieve Assange
    of this most important document were abandoned when
    it was pointed out that leaving him in possession of
    his passport would make tracking his whereabouts that
    much easier.”

    I didn’t see the Four Corners program, but the statement JW has reported smacks to me of an attempt at the deliberate placement of misinformation in the public domain. What need was there to ‘track’ Assange’s movements? Was Assange not in the UK, and known to be so, at the time of the cable dump? To me, the claimed initial attempt at relieving Assange of his Australian passport WHILE HE WAS LEGITIMATELY TRAVELING OVERSEAS smacks of an attempt to deliberately strand him in the UK.

    Why might an ‘Australian’ government have wanted to do such a thing?

    Could it have been part of an attempt to prevent Assange returning to Australia, and thus involving the ‘Australian’ government directly in a growing political embarrassment with its own electorate of having then to deal directly with US pursuit of extradition of Assange in regard to these matters?

    Or could it have been a half-baked scheme to purportedly make Assange, an Australian citizen, appear, in circumstances of having had his passport withdrawn, to be subject to UK jurisdiction, and thus to the extreme ease of extradition to the US under the UK Extradition Act 2003? Particularly so, should it have been that Assange also held a British passport, as many Australian-born Australian citizens are entitled to do.

    So who, or what governmental entity, did the ‘pointing out’ referred to in JW’s quote? And does, or did, Assange possess a British passport, and did he use such while travelling within the EU? Is the Australian MSM asking any penetrating questions at all in respect to this issue and the ramifications thereof? Or is it so in generality ‘embedded’ that it is no longer capable of framing penetrating questions?

    I have posted tangentially to this post here: http://noplaceforsheep.com/2012/06/21/dont-let-facts-get-in-the-way-of-hate-2/#comment-33620 That post may help formulate some questions seemingly unasked by ‘our’ ABC, and the MSM generally.

    • paul walter July 24, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Forest, all I can say is, watch the 4 Corners, it’s a definitive update because it is painstaking at the presentation of the sequence of events leading up to the present.
      I will be watching the repeat for the reason you mention; the sequencing leads to logical conclusions, but you have to be able the detail, as Jennifer and others seem to be, to communicate what you’ve found out from it, to others.
      It is obvious now that both Assange and the Swedish women were patsied fearfully by the authorities.
      The problem has rested with the US, Swedish, British and Australian governments, all of whom are shown to be utterly beneath contempt, both in the thoroughness of the smearing of Assange and in the ruthlessness with which they were prepared to have Wilen and Ardin destroyed as collateral damage, to get at Assange whilst justifying themselves.

      • jo wiseman July 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

        A painstaking report that doesn’t outline the accusations against him and uncritically airs even the flimsiest conspiracy theory “evidence”. How about that bit where his lawyer complains that Gadaffi was only issued with an Orange Notice when Assange was issued with a Red Notice?
        Congratulations to Jennifer for picking up on that cheap footage trick with the shorts.
        Yes, it was painstaking alright. But not about presenting a realistic appraisal of the known facts. It was a painstaking whitewash.

        • Jennifer Wilson July 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

          I think the programme assumed some prior knowledge of the case.

          • paul walter July 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

            You’d assume prior knowledge after nearly two years, Jennifer?

            • Jennifer Wilson July 26, 2012 at 7:24 am #

              No, I wouldn’t, but I think Four Corners did.
              As I just wrote to Jo, I didn’t think that episode was their finest by any means.

          • jo wiseman July 26, 2012 at 12:32 am #

            Four Corners said that Julian Assange had been told he was free to go before he left Sweden, which was true at one stage, but didn’t say that later his lawyer in Sweden had been told to get him in for questioning and he left the country soon afterwards without showing up. I think many people wouldn’t know that.
            Four Corners said that Assange got a red notice while Gadaffi only got an orange notice, without telling us that they are two different kinds of notice and not different levels of the same kind of thing. It made it look as if the notice that Assange got was worse which just is not how it works. Hard to see why they would assume we knew that.
            Four Corners picked on aspects of the women’s behaviour that didn’t match with how most of us might guess victims of a sexual assault are supposed to behave … a bit of an icky argument really.
            Four Corners propagated the confusion over the Swedish legal process and allegations of unfairness of the extradition process with no attempt to explain them or indeed even a mention of the public explanations already provided by the British courts that approved the extradition order.
            Four Corners never even stopped to consider why the USA would need to get Assange to Sweden to get him extradited instead of just extraditing him from the UK. Can’t think why they’d assume we would know that. I remember Jennifer making a guess that I didn’t find very convincing, but I’m not saying I know she was wrong.
            I suppose these could be assumptions of prior knowledge but then they did repeat an awful lot of the unfairness and conspiracy allegations we’ve all heard over and over before.
            I don’t think you have to take sides about the guilt or innocence of Assange to find the Four Corners presentation very partisan.

            • Jennifer Wilson July 26, 2012 at 7:21 am #

              All the points you made are fully addressed in the acres of information available about the Assange case on the internet, so I won’t address each one of them here.

              I don’t think the Four Corners episode was all that good either, I’ve seen much better. Because I’ve read so much about the situation, as a viewer I wasn’t annoyed by the things they didn’t say, but I can see that if that wasn’t the case, the programme would appear partisan.

              Assange’s best hope, I imagine, is that the case is kept in the public view as much as possible. To this end, because I believe whisking him off to disappear without proper process is wrong and dangerous, I’m in favour of Four Corners and everyone else keeping the topic alive for the public.

              The case against him wasn’t re-opened until after Assange had been given permission to leave Sweden. Swedish law allows for interviews to be conducted via video link in another country, & Assange continues to offer to do this. It is difficult to understand why the Swedish authorities continue to refuse to ask their questions via this method, and instead demand he be returned to the country. If you read the witness statement of Assange’s first Swedish lawyer, you’ll find that in refusing the video interview, Sweden is in breach of its own laws.

              • jo wiseman July 26, 2012 at 9:37 am #

                That would be the lawyer that was censured by his association in Sweden for lying to the prosecutors office, and called out by the English judge who first validated the extradition for lying to the court and misleading witnesses who subsequently testified on behalf of Assange.
                Assange has had a very long time to drag his spurious objections to the extradition through the court system. No hint of whisking off.
                The program appears partisan not because it didn’t mention all the facts but because the facts it left out were the ones that debunk many of the implications it included.

                • Hypocritophobe July 26, 2012 at 10:52 am #

                  So do you think the facts were left out;
                  Accidentally
                  Deliberately
                  or by sheer incompetence
                  other?

                • Jennifer Wilson July 26, 2012 at 11:28 am #

                  You know, I could make the same kind of negative claims about the prosecutor who re-opened the case, and a million negative assertions about the two complainants. But what is your point? What fight are you attempting to have with me?

                  The fact is that the Swedish authorities can question Assange at any time via video link, and refuse to do that.

                  I don’t know if Assange is guilty or innocent of the sex allegations. It seems to me that if the Swedes give a damn about this, and about clearing the matter up for the well being of the two women involved, they’d go ahead and question Assange by any method available. Instead they are trying to extradite him to ask questions they could have asked a long time ago, and one does wonder why.

                  You are perfectly entitled to claim the program was partisan, for whatever reasons you choose. I agree the program was unsatisfactory.

                  I do not agree with your statement that Assange’s objections to extradition are “spurious” Your use of that word indicates to me that you have made up your mind on the matter.

                  • Hypocritophobe July 26, 2012 at 11:58 am #

                    Obviously the mind is made up.
                    Why else would the focus be “The program appears partisan not because it didn’t mention all the facts but because the ****facts it left out ****were the ones that debunk many of the implications it included.”
                    In other words not happy with the slant and therefore the result.

                    And then go on to bicker about the way ‘she’ used the word partisan to demonstrate partisan behaviour.
                    ?????????????????????????????????????????

                    There’s a question up there about those ‘bits left out’,when she is ready.

                  • jo wiseman July 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

                    I’ve made up my mind that the extradition objections are spurious based on the rejection by three British courts of every objection they have considered, which includes the objection about requiring him to be questioned in Sweden.
                    I haven’t made up my mind about his guilt or innocence of the allegations that the extradition is for. I’m not even remotely interested. I don’t think it has any bearing on the legitimacy of Wikileaks either way, and I don’t have a prurient interest in the sex lives or even sex crimes of distant strangers, other than a belief that fame, talent, social status, contacts and politics shouldn’t put anyone above the law.
                    The things you dismiss as negative claims are matters of public record. Has the prosecutor who re-opened the case been accused by a judge in an official judgement on a case in which she was involved of lying to the court and to her own witnesses? Or has she been later warned by the Swedish bar association about it? Have the complainants? If not then I would dispute your ability to be able to be able to back up the same kind of claims about them with evidence, even if you were for some peculiar reason to make such claims, which I can’t see that you even would because why would you want to?

                    • Jennifer Wilson July 26, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

                      You are quite free to dispute my abilities on any matter at all. I have no ego investment in the Assange case.

                      If we were having this exchange around the dinner table I would thank you for your interest, and turn to another guest.

                      It might be useful to point out that there was/is considerable legal discussion surrounding the judgements on the extradition matter. I think we do not share the same faith and belief in the unquestionable rightness of legal judgements, simply because they are legal judgements.

                    • jo wiseman July 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

                      I hope it didn’t seem as if I was disputing your personal abilities. If so I apologise unreservedly. I should have said “I dispute ANYONE’S ability to etc. etc. “.
                      If we were at a dinner party I would consider that a prickly response and make a note to myself not to discuss that topic with you in the future for fear of causing offense, unless you yourself brought it up.

                    • Jennifer Wilson July 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

                      I think we argue from very different perspectives on this matter, and the possibility of agreement is slim. So the question I ask is what is the point of argument in such circumstances, and what can be achieved by it? I am more than content to respect your right to your point of view, without feeling I need to attempt to change it. I do not need to win, or convince you to change your mind!

                • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

                  jo wiseman,

                  May I suggest that your timeline with respect to the extradition of Assange does not extend far enough into the past. If it did, the sexual misconduct allegations may be able to be seen as the ‘scenery’ they in likely truth were always intended to be by those seeking to deliver Assange into US custody via the pathway of ‘temporary surrender’ from Sweden.

                  With this likely resort to the ‘temporary surrender’ provisions of the extradition agreement existing between Sweden and the US, the quality of any Swedish case against Assange for sexual improprieties was never going to be a matter of real concern, for Assange would have been intended to be temporarily surrendered to the US BEFORE ever any Swedish trial could take place.

                  The problem the Swedish government faces is that any questioning of Assange in respect to these allegations outside of Swedish jurisdiction is likely only to further reveal inconsistencies and lack of substance to the case. That is why Sweden dare not even charge him in absentia, for that act would only sharpen the focus upon already known inconsistencies, as well as perhaps revealing more as yet unrecognised as such.

                  By extending the timeline back to at least 2008 (the time when the negotiations recorded in cable STOCKHOLM 748 took place) it becomes possible to see the whole scenario whereby Wikileaks operations were being attracted to Sweden as part of a scheme to entrap Assange, who seems otherwise to have been being very careful not to break the law anywhere he went. It had to be Sweden wherein he was to be entrapped, for only there could someone being careful not to break any laws be charged, because “that’s rape in Sweden”, whether or not any improprieties were actually involved. And, being Sweden, there was ‘temporary surrender’ that could be exploited.

                  The attachment of allegations of sexual improprieties to persons the subject of attempted extradition to the US for other reasons seems to have become a modus operandi. It was done with Roman Polanski. It is/was done with Brian Howes (what has happened to Brian Howes? Disappeared?). It is being attempted with Julian Assange.

                  Somehow the attempt to entrap Assange in Sweden came off the rails. He was able to return to the UK. I suspect it may have had something to do with flagging the wrong passport to be placed on an ‘inhibited list’.

                  • jo wiseman July 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

                    This is the first time I’ve seen a claim that Julian Assange was tricked into setting up Wikileaks operations in Sweden in order to entrap him, and also the first time I’ve seen a claim that Roman Polanski was the subject of an attempted extradition to the US for reasons other than sexual impropriety.

                    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) July 27, 2012 at 9:10 am #

                      jo wiseman,

                      I’m pretty sure I’m not the first to view the attraction of Wikileaks to Sweden as itself being a prelude to entrapment of Assange. The ‘Sanctuary’ general discussion thread of late 2010 on OLO is indicative of that: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=4159#104863 and scroll a bit.

                      I can understand your not realizing that there was something other than sexual improprieties involved in the 2009 attempt to extradite Polanski from Switzerland to the US. The ‘something other’ was the assertion by the US of fugitive status in respect of Polanski. Granted that the crime for which Polanski had 30-odd years previously been charged, and in settlement of which Polanski had pled guilty in a plea bargain and was duly sentenced by the California court, was one involving sexual impropriety. However, when Polanski left the US in 1978, travelling on his own passport, he had completed the sentence imposed by that court.

                      It is to be noted that only after the death of judge Rittenband, who had imposed that sentence, was a claim as to Polanski being a fugitive from US justice resurrected.

                      To cut a long story short, to resolve the extradition request the Swiss authorities asked to view, in Switzerland, and before surrendering Polanski, the documentation relating to his sentencing in California in 1978 in order to determine whether Polanski had served the sentence that had been imposed. The US declined to meet this request. The Swiss, to their great credit, in turn declined to extradite Polanski.

                      Now whether assertion of fugitive status in respect of Polanski had its origins in US government policy-making circles, or was merely a grandstanding opportunity seized upon by the LA District Attorney for career advancement purposes, is perhaps a moot point. Let’s just say that seeing the associated tweetstorm by and large “mindlessly baying Polanski’s ‘guilt’ like a pack of hounds at a runaway slave-hunt”, some involved in US extradition policy-making circles saw advantage to be gained from smearing, wherever possible, those sought with allegations of sexual improprieties. Playing to the Circus Maximus.

                      Thank you for at least engaging in this discussion, jo wiseman. Why is it left to such as us to have to pose these questions and make these observations?

            • Hypocritophobe July 26, 2012 at 9:34 am #

              To imply that 4Corners shows partisan trends is to imply we still have two different major political parties.
              Let’s not dwell on something which was the norm a decade ago…

              • jo wiseman July 26, 2012 at 9:39 am #

                I hope you don’t accuse me of implying that 4Corners shows partisan trends. I simply said outright that the recent program was clearly partisan about the Julian Assange extradition to Sweden.

                • Hypocritophobe July 26, 2012 at 10:50 am #

                  Heaven forbid

        • Marilyn July 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

          But Assange really has not been charged with anything in Sweden. How can that fact known all over the world be whitewashed.

  6. Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-24/labor-support-drops-in-latest-newspoll/4149602

    Tony has a new mantra

    “Only a coalition government* can stop the votes.”

    (* = a very helpful media, also)

  7. Sam Jandwich July 24, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    What I think is interesting is that Julian Assange has chosen not to make a martyr of himself through all this, like I’m sure a lot of people in his situation would be tempted to do.

    For me this is a pretty good indication that, reckless philanderer though he might be, he is not crazy, and this makes what he says worth listening to. I hope Ecuador can secure his safe passage out of the UK because I’m sure he would be an asset to the country… and another contribution to the Australian brain drain.

    • paul walter July 25, 2012 at 3:49 am #

      The object of the game would not necessarily be to corner him to, ultimately, the point of a desperate suicide the way the Brits did with Dr. David Kelly. That wouldn’t do at all.
      Although, it may have been the agenda, except that Assange made that last desperate lunge at the Ecuadorian embassy.
      Short of the first objective, a public and humiliating death or landing him at Ft.Bragg or Gitmo, they are left with a slow-mo media crucifixion of him as a message to prospective enthusiasts not to contemplate similar resistance, at some time in the future.

      • zerograv1 July 25, 2012 at 4:10 am #

        If that is their object they are falling for the illusion that Assange is more powerful than he is…Wikileaks is highly networked with plenty of less visible specialists and supporters all over the world. Given that I don’t for a moment think the Swedish investigation has any substance and is instead politically motivated, those pursuing the organisation are on the same sort of wild goose chase that Bush’s obsession with Al Qaeda insipred. The difference is large though, since if the original purpose of Wikileaks is adopted the prosecutors and USA arent chasing a terrorist organisation this time – just one dedicated to exposing graft lies and corruption in governments and large exploitive businesses. I will say though that since all this blew up, Wikileaks has tended to become over proud and represents now as some sort of political force of its own – far removed from its original aims.

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

        A grim exercise in deterrence, perhaps. Assange doesn’t strike me as someone who would suicide, but anything is possible under such extreme pressure. I must say he copes with this extremely well.No doubt he has annoying, even unpleasant personality traits, who among us doesn’t? Nevertheless I continue to admire him. He seems to adapt well to being holed up in various places, something that would drive me nuts. Imagine, he can’t even walk out the door in London!

        • zerograv1 July 26, 2012 at 8:52 am #

          “Imagine, he can’t even walk out the door in London!”
          Perhaps he is seeking asylum from bad food and tepid tea in the average London cafe!

  8. paul walter July 24, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    The other issue Jennifer raises is the decline of the ALP.
    The cause is quite simple: the stranglehold the faction apparatchiks have on administrative and preselection processes and the decline of branch membership participation, as this has become more oxymoronic.
    The Howes, Dastiary etc types are unperturbed at the prospective loss of government because they will remain as salaried officers of the party or affiliated unions.
    Since it is the right faction that is dominant inside and out of parliament, it also means that Labor continues to present neolib economic, lickspittle foreign affairs and social conservative social policies nearly identical to Coalition policies, mutually loathed by the public, legal experts, cultural scholars and independent economists alike.
    The only thing that could save Labor is the removal of the toadies, and this would be akin to operating on metastatic cancer. They ought to go, thirty odd seats left out of a hundred and eighty in NSW and QLD stands as mute testimony to the failure of right faction rule, but they are too cretinous to do the decent thing and get out before they drag everyone else down with them.
    I noticed someone above dishing out lines for people who can’t differentiate Assange from Manning.
    I’d say another culprit was responsible for disruption of QA- Christopher Pyne being naughty again.
    Despite four grown-ups being on the panel, Pyne’s performance was perversely, deliberately disruptive, a little reminiscent of the Aurora killer in intent if not results. You would have loved to have seen him hauled off to the headmaster’s office for a caning, except that he probably would have enjoyed that.
    Funny thing, Roxon was on that panel at short notice, yet had begged off on a 4Corners interview, pleading holidays.
    The climax of last night’s episode was yet another revisit of the V word, with a disrupted-by- Pyne Jane Caro noisily in the van, particularly after Roxon had claimed the high ground of motherhood, proclaiming that her daughter had been told about this curious artifact of women the, you know, front-bum, which detonated Caro beyond retrieval.
    “not that again, its a vagina, its a vagina…” and again yours was left truly wondering as to how many bums women actually think they possess..
    Perhaps they meant, “mouses ear”?

    • Jennifer Wilson July 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      I didn’t last the distance with qanda last night, but sorry I missed the vagina bit by the sound of it!

  9. Marilyn July 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    And the other good news today is that Brandis was kicked in the teeth again after interfering in yet another case.

    In case people are not aware of this it was Brandis in senate estimates over many months who hounded the AFP about Hicks – Brandis has been utterly repudiated and Hicks cleared.

    I was at the first rally for Hicks in 2002, not long after he was sent to Gitmo – there were not enough people to fill the little cage Terry Hicks had with him.

    I met Michael Mori a number of times and am as pleased as can be that he has migrated to human rights law in Australia, I gave Josh Draytel the Al Kateb case to read because he failed to understand why Australia were so happy to see Hicks jailed without charge for years on end. He and Mori were shocked that such a vicious law could exist in a democracy.

    At the last rally before Hicks came home the entire Rundle Mall was taken over with a candle light vigil and around the country tens and tens of thousands of others did the same.

    Hopefully David, Terry, the lawyers and all those who have worked so hard for so long for David can now rest and I can tell my grand daughters with pride that I was right to rally for his rights.

    • paul walter July 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

      Good one Marilyn, so few see the forest for the trees.

    • doug quixote July 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      I agree Marilyn. I’m not sure who is the worst potential A-G; Brandis, McClelland or Abetz. Equal worst ever, perhaps?

      • Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

        Abetz?
        Can an alien life form really hold that position?

        • paul walter July 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

          Is it the smug false piety oozing from every pore of Erica’s skin, or the galling hypocrisy?

          On another issue covered elsewhere here, 730 Report also reported on the decision of one of the abuse victims from the recent 4 Corners child abuse episode has instituted a legal process against Father F.

          Finally, am stunned by how much better Sales performs and how much more ABC the 730 Report is, in the absence of Chris Uhlmann

          • Hypocritophobe July 24, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

            Chris who?

      • Jennifer Wilson July 25, 2012 at 9:02 am #

        I love this Beatles song:

        Have you seen the little piggies
        Crawling in the dirt?
        And for all the little piggies
        Life is getting worse
        Always having dirt to play around in

        Have you seen the bigger piggies
        In their starched white shirts?
        You will find the bigger piggies
        Stirring up the dirt
        Always have clean shirts to play around in

        In their styes with all their backing
        They don’t care what goes on around
        In their eyes there’s something lacking
        What they need’s a damn good whacking

        Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
        Living piggy lives
        You can see them out for dinner
        With their piggy wives
        Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon

        (One more time…)

        source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/b/beatleslyrics/piggieslyrics.html

        • paul walter July 25, 2012 at 9:18 am #

          But they ran like pigs from a gun this week in the wake of 4 Corners.
          And what would be wrong with Combet?
          They need someone relatively fresh, make a fresh start and start finally making a few decisions.

        • doug quixote July 25, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

          Indeed Jennifer! Lennon was a great fan of Animal Farm by George Orwell, and the influence is not hard to see.

          • Will July 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

            Is this comment a reply to the post containing lyrics? If so, ‘Piggies’ is a George Harrison composition. Otherwise, your point is entirely valid.

            • doug quixote July 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

              Well spotted Will! Though they lived in each others’ pockets for years and John was a dominating personality; good on George for penning it.

          • hudsongodfrey July 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

            There’s always an authorship dispute!

            Nonetheless… The missing verse is Very indicative of Orwellian Influences.

            Yeah, everywhere there’s lots of piggies
            Playing piggy pranks
            And you can see them on their trotters
            Down at the piggy banks
            Paying piggy thanks
            To thee pig brother

            • Jennifer Wilson July 27, 2012 at 6:54 am #

              Oh, how could that be left out of the lyrics! It’s the best verse!

              • Hypocritophobe July 27, 2012 at 9:44 am #

                Perhaps ‘that’ little verse went wee wee weee, all the way home?

                • Jennifer Wilson July 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

                  everybody, I’ve been attacked by advertisements am attempting to get them stopped until I do suggest you use your block ads button.

                  • paul walter July 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

                    Fascinating. I, too have been invaded silly jumpy things the last week or so.
                    BTW, just came from an FB site alleging that the government intelligence select committee is recommending a new suite of exceptionally intrusive computer laws… wondering if any one else has heard anything on this.

                    • Hypocritophobe July 27, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

                      Old news,but something which will happen either in broad daylight and mass protest,or under the cloak of darkness.

                    • Jennifer Wilson July 29, 2012 at 6:47 am #

                      I sent an email to WordPress in CAPITALS and look! They stopped the ads!
                      It’s pointless putting ads on Sheep because none of us would bother to look at them.

  10. doug quixote July 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    I have the misfortune to have McClelland as my local member. I honestly cannot remember any useful thing he ever did as A-G or as a local member; a true waste of space. It rather points up the quality of Rudd’s supporters that he is thought of as a potential; minister again, as a reward for (dis)loyalty.

    • Marilyn July 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      He did repeal most of the discrimination against gays in same sex relationships.

      He did have the human rights framework committee drawn up and passed through parliament (not that they take any notice), he actually did repeal the Hicks law last year before the AFP brought their stupid case.

      • doug quixote July 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

        Thanks Marilyn, I’m glad to know he did something useful in three years. However, the report card is not good.

  11. hudsongodfrey July 25, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    On “shit or get off the pot”, I think you may be premature. I have the view that to flip Rudd back in would be fraught with the danger that this far out from the next election is time enough for Australians to remember why they fell out of love with him first time round. And most other contenders from within the ranks seem likely to be divisive in that your Rudd and Gillard camps might equally be equivocal in their support. So if personality politics it has to be then parachute in Carr or some other hopeful much closer to the election than right now.

    If on the other hand policy is to changed then let’s know how and equally ask the clear and simple questions as to why another leader is required in order to sell a policy shift or shifts.

    On Assange I pretty much agree entirely that you don’t have to take sides to smell a rat there.

    And on short shorts. The answer for some reason seems to be 12-14 year old girls, in noticeable numbers.

    • Jennifer Wilson July 25, 2012 at 7:23 am #

      Bob Carr seems to me to be one of the few politicians who actually conducts an intellectual life that allows him to really think. He’s more interesting to listen to than practically anyone else, and seems to have common sense as well. Of course, as PM all that might be as nought – but he might be the best of a bad lot, as my Grandmother would say.

      • hudsongodfrey July 25, 2012 at 10:49 am #

        What Carr lacks is a seat in the lower house, meaning that they could do a “Newman” and offer him a safe seat in the run-up to the election if they wanted to whereas I suspect now would not be the right time. Can we read anything into speculation that Peter Garrett may be weighing his options?

        On the man himself, well he seems more enamoured of America than most Australians appear to be, and he has baggage from his long premiership of NSW. I know when I’ve floated these ideas elsewhere some have been quick to jump on them for the latter reason, which I’m not fully across as I felt from a distance that the wheels only seemed to fall off after he stepped down.

        On the other hand he seems socially left and he’s certainly a poised and experienced media performer, so again if it is personality politics that come to the fore in terms of what it takes to resist the spectre of an Abbott government then it might succeed.

        In the meantime, I still take the view that Labor really ought to be reclaiming their place with policy and sensibly principled stances. The sort of poll driven knee jerk policy that they’ve been doing has been disastrous for them and I think that they ought to own rather than reject their relationship with the Greens if they want to give a creditable account of what their positions really are.

        • Anonymous July 25, 2012 at 11:44 am #

          The greens are a political liability to the ALP. 1. They cause sqabbling and disunity on the left – eg Melbourne by election 2. They have some unsutainable policy not practical when actually in power ut nevertheless brokered into vote deals to retain support. It is only seat count that keeps them allied at all. I hazard a guess that if the ALP had an outright majority at present, we would be seeing significantly different ALP policy development and a lot less media coverage of the Greens.In some cases green philosophy directly opposes ALP policy although the left of the ALP wouldnt agree. An example is the current fiscal restraint the ALP is attempting federally vs the greens spend more approach.

          • Hypocritophobe July 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

            The greens are, who Labor was.
            No matter how the current morph of new Labor paints it.
            Labor flip flops more than the testing range at the thong factory.
            Working Aussies who have union membership should be suing the current Labor party for murdering the core values.

            And you say,
            “I hazard a guess that if the ALP had an outright majority at present, we would be seeing significantly different ALP policy development and a lot less media coverage of the Greens.
            In some cases green philosophy directly opposes ALP policy although the left of the ALP wouldnt agree. An example is the current fiscal restraint the ALP is attempting federally vs the greens spend more approach.”

            Stunning.You have stumbled across political reality.

            As a sports caller once said,”if that ball had carried to a fielder and he had caught it,the batter would most definitely be out!”

          • hudsongodfrey July 25, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

            I’m not so sure that the Green’s policy is as unsustainable as you say, just because it is radically different from the normative version of unsustainable activity that we tend to pursue by default. So whereas I can see how radical change has clear tendencies towards throwing out babies with bathwater, I can also see that questioning the status quo has to be done from time to time. The idea of governments as neutral caretakers tend to leave things too wide open for corporate power on the one hand and minorities on the other to take the lead in promoting narrowly self interested agendas.

            Agreeable as it may be to say that we wish that Labor would reclaim its political core positions and maybe move back to the left where the sensibilities of many syphoned Green supporters lie, the problem for political party’s positions are defined by the policy positions that they take on issues of the day.

            It isn’t being less like the Greens that would redefine Labor as palatable, but being more open to some of the policies that people the Greens have poached from the left want to see a major party emulate. If I were to list the kind of policy changes I want Labor to adopt then they’re all closer to Green party thinking than to the coalition’s.

  12. Marilyn July 25, 2012 at 6:28 am #

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/aboutface-on-hicks-a-victory-for-the-bullied-20120724-22n3x.html

    Mary is the only one to mention the bullying by Brandis, who was also responsible for the bullying of Craig Thomson.

  13. 730reportland July 25, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    The way Joolya (and Roxon) have treated Assange,
    just shows how much like the J W Howard Regime
    (Hicks, Haneef, Habib)
    the Joolya Regime is. Declaring Aussies Guilty,
    without evidence nor hearing, but being Yank puppets.
    Is this is how `our` Parlimentarians should treat us
    in our so-called Democracy?

    • Hypocritophobe July 25, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      I guess Labor want the most elusive Holy Grail of them all.

      The farmers vote.

      • 730reportland July 25, 2012 at 11:09 am #

        The farmers seem to be happily pop-riveted to the National tonka trucks, delivering them the smallest load for 12 years. Doubt they`ll go alp.

        • Hypocritophobe July 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

          I was being facetious.Farmers live out of troughs.They have forgotten how to feed themselves,let alone the nation,In 5-8 years most significant rural properties will either be in the hands of miners or corporate agriculture anyway.
          The miners have started to do ag stuff in NW WA already.
          Too many of the shiny bums want to drive tractors for the likes of BHP for $200,000 PA, to let the chance go by.
          They intend to suck the Northwest dry by way of dust suppression or growing hay.
          One way or t’other. Very inciteful,isn’t it?
          In the SW miners want to set up beef processing facilities,much to the chagrin of the locals.
          The southwest is headed for Dustbowlville about 35 years after the WA wheat-belt gets blown to Victoria.Which should happen in around 2 decades if the current trends continue.Although by then,the salt will have gobbled up the lions share anyway.
          Driest July on record in WA, and July is their wettest month.

          The percentage of farmers who would EVER vote Labor would number 0.00000000000000000001% of the nation.Not that this will apply beyond the election,because Labor will also be dust, but trying to woo farmers to the left is a waste of oxygen, time and energy.

          • paul walter July 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

            Hypocritophobe’s comment is an example of the comment hudsongodfrey makes re the economic rationality of Greens thinking.

            • Hypocritophobe July 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

              Unless you are referring to this,you have me,Paul.
              “I’m not so sure that the Green’s policy is as unsustainable as you say”

              I’m not inclined to hear in tongues,Paul, and I apologise if I have offended any Labor sympathies you have,but please elaborate on what you are alluding to.

              BTW This:
              “The miners have started to do ag stuff in NW WA already.
              Too many of the shiny bums want to drive tractors for the likes of BHP for $200,000 PA, to let the chance go by.
              They intend to suck the Northwest dry by way of dust suppression or growing hay.”
              Refers to the lazy retiree miners(shiny bums) who have managed to convince their foreign masters to set up a cosy little outback lifestyle for them.This will be a growing trend,whether you care to swallow it,or not.
              BTW2,
              As a little by way of background,I come from farming stock and have always lived in the country and have worked in ag science.Still have rellos farming.
              BTW3 I haven’t actually read any greens costings for their policies.I thought though,that they would be a lot less than either of the 2 biggies and in proportion to any social policies introduced.
              What I do know is that as predicted, the knives were out for the greens on the refugee decision long before any vote was due, and I’ll need someone to pass me the sick bucket if either two majors claim the moral high ground, on that political game play of wanton misery.

            • hudsongodfrey July 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

              Well what I was saying earlier if expanded upon really builds on the notion, that in times of war the dominant and unquestionable paradigm becomes patriotism. Today the same could be said of growth. And if we keep going the way that we have been then it may become ecological sustainability coupled with population reduction.

              But we could be wrong. I mean in the 15th century it was God to Galileo’s great misfortune. And if we keep on going the way some people are headed then it seems likely that positions we’d be forced to take with respect to terrorism could figure in an equally dangerous orthodoxy that similarly to all the others has the mind-bendingly nauseating quality of being argue from authority rather than from reason.

  14. paul walter July 27, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Has it gone away yet?

  15. paul walter July 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Yep, You can expect there is a bit of thuggery going on behind closed doors.
    Ecuador is only a small country, if they are as subtle with Ecuador as Romney was with the poms, you begin to suspect how difficult life could be getting for them.

    • paul walter July 28, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      You know,the silly thing about so much of Assange is this; the women didn’t want him busted for assault, just checked out to see if he had any bugs after the condom apparently burst. It was the state that took it from that point, not the women, Wilen at least was said to be horrified that the prosecutors wanted to take it further and refused further cooperation.

      • zerograv1 July 28, 2012 at 11:49 am #

        Which is why I think the whole Swedish situation is completely political

      • zerograv1 August 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        The BBC history of events mentions that Rape charges were only thought of after the women (who expected to be paid) werent! This is the first time I have heard of this. Link is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

          Thats news to me, too. I have read your link, but cannot see any reference to what you have claimed. Can you be a bit more specific as to where you saw it?

          • zerograv1 August 18, 2012 at 7:56 am #

            Either I imagined it (Don’t think so!), or that page has been edited (It might also have appeared on a referenced link from that page however) For now, I have to agree with you it doesnt appear. I’ll see if I can find that reference for you. Watch this space.

  16. 730reportland July 29, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I have been enjoying this thread discussion and I think what most are missing on the 4corners part is, we, on the web have dug up a lot more of the Assange/Wikileaks story and/or followed it more than the regular TV viewer that 4corners has targeted. Like reading a book, we are up to chapter nine, but 4corners has just read chapter two to its viewers.

    The shorts wearing blonde wandering around the railway was pointless TT/ACA footage, not worthy of 4corners and, didn`t `value-add` to the story.

    Some are critical of what was in and what was out of the broadcast. But remember, there was a lot of info to stuff in to their 50min timeslot. Overall, I thought they did reasonably well putting a coherent story together. I particularly liked the code being explained about the usa grand jury in Virginia, the state that headquarters the cia at Arlington, also new buildings are suspected homeland security.

    As far as I`m concerned, the `distrusted-sources` in this story are, usa, sweden, uk, and australian governments.

  17. zerograv1 July 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    http://xkcd.com/834/

  18. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 15, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I have just watched again a recording of the Four Corners program on Assange. In it I noticed a curious little piece of apparent audio-visual dislexia, of what significance I am not sure.

    Around 25 minutes into the program, the reporter, Charles Wooley, commenting on a photograph of Assange, Mr Falkvinge, Anna Ardin, and another woman taken at a social gathering, says:

    “… Thats Ardin on the left. …”

    I understood Wooley to mean by that ‘on the left of the picture’, as a viewer of the program would see it.

    Wooley’s comment identified a woman standing off just a little from the next person in the photo, Mr Falkvinge, as Ardin. Assange was the third person from the left of the photo as it would be seen by the viewer, standing just to Falkvinge’s left. The fourth person in the photo was another woman, standing right up close to Assange on his left hand side such that it seemed her right arm may have been either around Assange’s waist, or linked around his left arm. The body language was not at all that of someone uneasy at being in the company of Assange, and neither did it appear as if people had had to stand close just to get into the photo.

    Earlier in the program, around nine minutes in, Anna Ardin had been identified to viewers, highlighted, in footage taken of Assange addressing a conference in the Stockholm Trade Union building. It was the same woman who had been highlighted in that footage that was standing up close to Assange in the photo upon which Wooley later (at around 25 minutes in) was to comment “… Thats Ardin on the left. …”. Now had Wooley said ‘Thats Ardin on the left OF ASSANGE in the photo’, everything would have been quite clear, but he didn’t.

    It seems strange that such an experienced reporter would not have noticed the ambiguity inherent in his comment as it would have gone to air. Stranger still that the show’s production staff would also have not noticed the prospect of confusion of the program’s viewers by the statement as it stood. After all, everything could have been made completely clear by addition of the words ‘… of Assange’, or ‘to Assange’s left’.

    So my question is, were such words originally present, but edited out before the program went to air?

    If that photo was taken after the time at which it is alleged Assange had had what could arguably have been claimed to have been non, or only semi, -consensual sex with Ardin, then the body language of Ardin in the photo would seem to belie such claim. That is why I question the prospect of some of Wooley’s words having been edited out. If words were edited out in this context, it would be of comparable seriousness to the knowing provision by the prosecution of an anachronistic photograph to the jury in the trial that resulted in the now-overturned conviction of Gordon Wood for the murder of Caroline Byrne.

    Someone who knows their way around the traps at ‘Aunty’ should follow that up, shouldn’t they?!

    • 730reportland August 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

      That is odd. When viewing together a stage, screen or photo, viewers will say to each other Z is in the center, X is on the Left, Y is on the Right. Meaning the photo. (or stage or screen)
      ie X-Z-Y

      Got a screen capture?

      • Anonymous August 15, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

        It won’t matter.
        What America wants,America gets.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 27, 2012 at 6:58 am #

        It seems I may have been in error in identifying the woman standing immediately to Assange’s left in the 4 Corners footage 25 minutes into the program.

        Yesterday I found this news item, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2193641/Julian-Assange-rape-claim-Is-photo-clear-him.html , published at 21:57 GMT on 25 August 2012 in the UK Daily Mail. It has a photo, somewhat less cropped, but of the same scene, so far as I can tell at this point, as shown in the 4 Corners program. The caption in the Daily Mail version identifies the woman immediately to Assange’s left as one Anna Troberg, with another woman cropped out of the 4 Corners footage, a Sara Sangberg, who looks nothing like Anna Ardin.

        Anna Troberg is, according to the Daily Mail item, the deputy-leader of the Swedish Pirate Party. A Google search using the term ‘Anna Troberg’ yielded images that match the face of the woman shown next to Assange in the 4 Corners footage. https://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=Anna+Troberg&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=OuY5UIcYqZWIB4aegbAG&biw=1023&bih=544&sei=S-Y5UJGnBYeciAfArIHQBw

        It thus seems as if Charles Wooley, in saying “thats Ardin on the left” did in fact mean on the left of the screen as seen by the viewer. At this point I cannot completely confirm that this is likely to be correct, because the image of what is inferred in the Daily Mail version of the scene to be Anna Ardin is pixellated for legal reasons in the UK. Two Annas in the one photo that could be mistaken for each other by those who do not know both of them well!

        The Daily Mail item does claim that scene to have taken place on the evening of 15 August 2010 at the Glenfiddich Resteraunt in Stockholm, AFTER the alleged sexual molestation of Ardin claimed to have occurred on the night 14-15 August 2010. http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=11353#192294

        I have the 4 Corners footage recorded, and will see if I can post a screen capture as requested. If anyone else finds an unpixellated version of the Daily Mail photo, please post a link.

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

        Here is a link to a screen capture of the scene in the 4 Corners program at the Glenfiddich Resteraunt in Stockholm on 15 August 2010 attended by Julian Assange and Anna Ardin, who, according to Falkvinge, the host’s, narrative arrived together and left together, not 24 hours after the alleged later claimed molestation had taken place. http://twitpic.com/ao7edy

        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 29, 2012 at 5:50 am #

          I should correct a mistake that will have been rather obvious to any who have both viewed the 4 Corners program and read my preceding posts in this thread: the reporter who is doing the narration is Kerry O’Brien (who works for the ABC), not Charles Wooley (who reports on the Channel 9 program ’60 Minutes’).

          Apart from that unfortunate mis-identification of the voice that I was hearing when viewing the program before copying it to DVD for purposes of getting the requested screen capture, everything else in those preceding posts stands.

          So we have, between the claims made in the Daily Mail news item of 25 August 2012 linked to above, and those in the 4 Corners program, the following circumstances:

          1. At or around the time later claimed to have been the time claimed by Anna Ardin as that of the reported molestation, we have the Google cache record of a tweet by her that places her at the crayfish party basking in the reflected glory of Assange and others. Not a hint of any interpersonal problem with Assange.

          2. Not 24 hours later, as shown in the same photograph as reproduced by both 4 Corners and the Daily Mail, we see in the un-pixelated version on 4 Corners Anna Ardin seemingly at ease in a social setting with Julian Assange, the same Julian Assange as was later (so we are told) that was the subject of a complaint by Ardin of sexual molestation.

          3. The 4 Corners footage has Rick Falkvinge, the host at the resteraunt dinner on 15 August 2010, stating that Assange and Ardin both arrived, and left, together on that occasion not 24 hours after what we are told by Swedish authorities claiming to have a complaint by Ardin was the occasion of a sexual molestation by Assange!

          Something does not add up. I’m wondering as to whether, at any stage, Swedish authorities had any substantial claims as to molestations by either of the two women allegedly involved. The 4 Corners program certainly claims Sophia Wilen refused to further proceed with any alleged complaint once she seemingly realised it was to be used against Assange. Could Ardin, too, have been a relatively naive tool of others planning a legal entrapment scenario for Assange in starting a paper trail that select persons within the Swedish justice apparatus could use to justify seeking to take Assange into custody?

  19. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    The events presently surrounding the Ecuadorian embassy in London are surreal, almost farcical. As JW has already tweeted https://twitter.com/NoPlaceforSheep/status/235858738924380160 :

    “UK threatens to storm Ecuador Embassy? International incident just over #Assange? All because the US DOESN’T want him? #WTF”

    To view the implicit threat to the diplomatic immunity of the Ecuadorian embassy in London as only farcical, and merely a major foreign relations bungle on the part of the UK government, is, in my opinion, a serious mistake.

    I believe that we are seeing preparations, a scene-setting, for the planned extra-judicial killing of an Australian citizen, one effectively in custody, who has not yet even been charged, anywhere, of any crime, on British soil. Whether that Australian citizen, Assange, is to be killed during a prospective break-in to the Ecuadorian embassy by police, or perhaps during an effectively State-sponsored anticipated riotous disturbance in that vicinity that is yet to take place, I cannot say. What can be said is that police were sent in to establish a cordon BEFORE any significant gathering of people in the locality had occurred.

    Why should this, on the face of it seemingly crazy, allegation be made?

    It is my opinion that Assange remaining alive, even if only within the confines of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, is seen in some quarters within the UK (lets call such ‘quarters’ for convenience, if not accuracy, MI6) as a standing threat of disclosure, eventual proof even, of MI6 involvement in an earlier possible extra-judicial killing, that of the allegedly radicalized Islamic Swedish citizen and long-term resident in the UK that was found dead after the explosion of that terrorist bomb in Stockholm on 11 December 2010.

    Now the possible connivance of a person or persons unknown within the government apparatus of Sweden with two foreign states to procure an explosion on a public street in Stockholm might not, as the saying goes, “be rape in Sweden”, but it would likely be seen as a conspiracy to commit a terrorist act just about anywhere else in the world. It would be particularly embarrassing if the foreign states suspected of being involved proved to be leading states in the ‘war on terror’, wouldn’t it?

    I’m guessing that while Assange may not at the time of the cable dump have realized the significance of the content of cable STOCKHOLM 748, should he come to the view that the entire attraction of Wikileaks to Sweden had been a scenario of entrapment, he would be just the person to be able to join up all the relevant dots in a picture only now just starting to emerge. He might even know how to turn up proof as to involvement!

    And the ABC’s Drum beat ‘Shoot the Wikileaks messenger. On who’s instructions?

  20. Hypocritophobe August 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Time for Gillard to protect our citizen from embassy to airport.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-16/ecuador-announces-julian-assange-granted-asylum/4204480

  21. paul walter August 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    After today, any more horseshit about “rape” as to this?

  22. paul walter August 17, 2012 at 12:15 am #

    Of course, Forest Gump.. the trouble is that others are so thick-headed that a mountain range seems skinny by comparison.

  23. doug quixote August 17, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    It is all part of Britain ramping up the pressure on Ecuador to not grant asylum to Assange. Talk of removing the credentials from a foreign embassy over the presence of one possible fugitive from justice seems a little over the top. But as I have written elsewhere Britain seems determined to become a police state; almost indefinite detention and the destruction of the right to silence are just some of its recent measures, heading that way.

    Stop Press is that Ecuador has granted asylum; Britain insists he will be arrested upon leaving the embassy.

    Britain’s recent record appalls many of its citizens, but it seems governments of any stripe are all to keen to follow the “law and order” agenda to grant police more powers and restrict the rights of individuals.

    This issue is far beyond Julian Assange. And Barry O’Farrell wants to bring more of it to NSW, starting with destroying the right to silence. We need it like we need a hole in the head.

    • zerograv1 August 17, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      Suggestion for Julian Assange, see if he can invite John Ingam (From “Are you being served”) to the Embassy, when leaving the police might arrest the wrong guy and Julian can slip off un-noticed out the back door while they celebrate the arrest. Has anyone else noticed how similar they look?

      • helvityni August 18, 2012 at 7:49 am #

        zero, another suggestion, why don’t you go there in drag impersonate Assange,and safe him……. he is an Australian, your countryman….

        Ingham is English, yes?

    • paul walter August 17, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      It’s bad right across the western world at the mo, you wonder if someone isn’t pulling even Obama’s strings. I reckon its a ramped up version of what’s been going on for the last decade, anyway. Dr Haneef was bad, we thought the current lot would get rid of that crap, but they stayed in lockstep with all the rest.
      Could this lot be a smokescreen for an invasion of Iran?

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) August 17, 2012 at 10:11 am #

        Your first sentence poses exactly the right sort of question, paul walter.

      • doug quixote August 17, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

        Obama is the President, not the dictator. He has advisers and departments of government who each have their own agenda, and the US national interest figures in all of it as an overarching theme.

        Whatever the US sees as its national interest, it certainly does not include its secrets being spread all over the internet by an (ex) Aussie who is big on self aggrandisement, narcissism and self-centred self-promotion. Whatever Obama’s good points, he is still the US President.

        • Hypocritophobe August 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

          I guess the US always gets their man.
          In the same way a US president signs off on wars which murder innocents,I guess he also end up signing a ‘virtual’ death warrant for Assange.
          I doubt that the dark forces would let Assange off lightly if they get their hands on him.
          No matter who the president is,that particular country has a lot of blood on its hands,(more and more of it is becoming in-house) and Assange exposed it,which is why the US will do whatever it can to get him.Even if that means remind the UK about who rules the planet.

          When GW Bush gets dragged to the Hague along with Howard and Blair, that’s the time to revisit the crimes and misdemeanour’s of Assange.Until then he can be interviewed and subsequently tried (if need be) in the UK.
          To do anything else is just a prelude to political assassination,either physically or by some other form.
          I can concur with most or your superficial analysis of Assange’s ego,but even those attributes do not justify risking his acquisition by the security forces of the USA.

          • doug quixote August 17, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

            Of course not. Please pardon my throw-away lines.

          • paul walter August 18, 2012 at 5:39 am #

            And what’s the reality of US global (eg the rule of TNC oligarchs) rule..the bloodbath in South Africa at the foreign owned platinum mine?
            This gets very close to what the German SS envisaged (Godwinned) with the Harz Mountains forced labour complex of camps owned by the SS, Wermacht etc, during WW2 ( not to mention the business angle applied at Auschwitz-Birkenau).

  24. zerograv1 August 31, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    This is the most detailed account of the nature of the investigation into Assange I have found yet. With the extra detail given on this page, I have changed my view that Assange is closer to guilty than I previously believed (primarily because of the invitation to dinner the following day) . Its still not beyond doubt either way but certainly makes a strong case for him to answer questions about this..

    http://www.legalweek.com/legal-week/blog-post/2201955/the-assange-case-defining-rape-and-consent

    • Anonymous August 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      I’ve read your link, zerograv1, but cannot agree with you that it is a “detailed account of the nature of the investigation into Assange” you claim it to be. It is a fairly detailed exposition of what could be considered rape both under Swedish law and UK law, the concurrency of which is normally one of the conditions necessary to justify extradition, in circumstances on the one hand of the withholding of consent unless a condom was to have been used, and of proceeding without one in circumstances where a partner was to have been asleep but would have been known to have withheld consent had she been conscious.

      A detailed account of the nature of the investigation into Assange is something that has had to be progressively assembled from a variety of sources, something the MSM has been slow to do.

      Your link does provide one important building block for such account, however. Felicity Gerry’s 30 August 2012 article, in paragraph 12, in which she quotes from the Queen’s Bench Division (Julian Assange v Sweden [2011] EWHC 2849 (Admin)) report, after having explained that had Assange proceeded with partner ‘AA’ without using a condom that such may have been within the technical definition of rape, puts before us the admission that “… AA told him she wanted him to put on a condom before he entered her. Mr Assange let go of AA’s arms and put on a condom which AA found for him.”

      That is, that so far as AA is concerned, there was, by admission, no offence, technical or otherwise, committed. There would have been had he continued without the condom, but he didn’t.

      The allegation as to Assange having had unprotected intercourse with a partner while she was asleep, in the full knowledge that had she been awake she would have insisted upon his use of a condom, is an allegation in relation to the other woman, Sophia Wilen. We learn, by assembling another building block into blogosphere-produced detailed account of the nature of the investigation into Assange, this time from the 4 Corners program, that this is a complaint upon which Wilen was and is unprepared to sign off.

      Two red herrings.

      I am at a loss to understand as to how the attendance of both Anna Ardin and Julian Assange at the dinner on the following day to that of the now, by admission, consensually continued relations of the previous night intensified your belief in the prospect of Assange being guilty. Can you elaborate?

      There may have been another building block for the detailed account needed come to light. This is a tweet that I saw yesterday: https://twitter.com/jm111t/status/241099778342137857 . Within it is a link that delivers one to this page: http://wikileaks.org/Stratfor-Sydney-Based-Watch.html . It forms part of the Global Intelligence Files, leaked emails of the Stratfor corporation. An extract:

      <>

      The significance of this email is that it is of the nature of corroborative testimony as to a lack of substance to allegations from a source for an organisation that might otherwise be considered hostile to Assange, and that it was sent in late 2010. It is significant that it speaks of there being only one complainant at a time when information was only just starting to come out from other sources as to there being two complainants. It would seem to corroborate the 4 Corners claim as to Sophia Wilen having refused to cooperate very early on.

      • Anonymous August 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

        Anonymous above in this case is me, Forrest Gumpp. For some reason the blog has failed to insert my quote-within-a-quote before the last paragraph, but you can pick its substance up in the link within the first few paragraphs.

        • paul walter August 31, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

          Onya Forrest.
          Its a never ending chore trying to correct the perverse and even malicious misreadings of Assange’s mishaps.

      • zerograv1 September 3, 2012 at 7:49 am #

        “I am at a loss to understand as to how the attendance of both Anna Ardin and Julian Assange at the dinner on the following day to that of the now, by admission, consensually continued relations of the previous night intensified your belief in the prospect of Assange being guilty. Can you elaborate?”

        Apologies in that it seems I didn’t expess myself well. I was initially of the view that Assange was being trapped using a spurious claim of sexual misbehaviour under Sweden’s rather sensitive definitions of what would be considered unlawful conduct – and it seemed to me they have a very touchy definition that includes almost everything – thus I saw the police inquiry into his actions as being motivated by something other than a need for the police to prosecute a sex crime. I remember reading elsewhere that Sweden (and indeed the UK) have a previous history of creating an issue using sexual dismeanors to justify appeasement of US extradition requests – thus I was VERY cynical that there was any substance at all to the allegations, especially given the Swedish Police’ initial disinclination to pursue the matter and the apparent desire by the two females to request nothing other than an STD test. To explain my change of view, all I was trying to say was that the link provided by myself gave quite a bit more detail than I was previously aware of. Assange’s behaviour isnt for me to judge, but I can see given what was disclosed that their might be more to the case than I first thought. I’m not saying anyone is guilty (or not) but have simply changed my view from “this is an unsubstantiated nonsense trumped up enquiry” to “ok there may be some grounds for at least questioning Assange further” – I hope that answers your question.

        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 3, 2012 at 9:08 am #

          That clarifies things significantly, zerograv1. Do you agree with the analysis of the present Swedish position here: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=5317#145180 ?

          • ItsBouquet September 3, 2012 at 9:20 am #

            Yes, Forrest – an astute post.

            When all is said and done, the crowning signifier of this farce would have to be the British threat to remove the embassy status of Ecuador to get to a man wanted for “questioning” regarding a dubiously handled case in Sweden.

            That action speaks for itself really.

            • doug quixote September 3, 2012 at 11:59 am #

              I agree – it beggars belief that a Statute brought in to stop terrorists using the Libyan embassy as a safe haven could be even considered remotely appropriate to evict Assange from his place of asylum. We note that Britain has since backed away from this position.

              • Hypocritophobe September 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

                But the US takes FEP ( facial-egg-poisoning ) ultra seriously,which is why it relies heavily on its trans-Atlantic and Indian Ocean colonies to fulfil its ‘justice adjustment’ demands.
                A pity the hypocrites are not a little more generous with info when it risks the security and sovereignty of the latter colony.

                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-03/revealed-us-flew-drone-missions-from-australia/4236306

              • paul walter September 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

                Doug Quixote, it does seem the modern era is one characterised by abuses of principles of justice in the pursuit of very dubious outcomes on behalf of vested interests.
                The disgusting event that had the South African government arrest 270 striking miners for murder on the basis of the deaths of 40 odd strikers earlier at the hands of trigger happy police has just come to an end with the shame-faced release of the prisoners.
                The naked injustice and absurdity of accusing the miners with murder after denying the possibility of murder because the shootings came from police action must have finally dawned on the SA government, over and beyond even the probable bribes paid their way to smash the strikes by the multi-national running the platinum mine.

                • doug quixote September 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

                  Quite so, Paul and Hypo. I have posted elsewhere that Britain is slipping dangerously close to becoming a police state, with its surveillance of just about everything, armed response groups (amazingly, no-one got shot at the Olympic security-fest) and abuse of its own laws in overreaction to any security threat.

                  The democracy index sees Britain well down the list, at no.18, not that far above the ‘flawed democracies’ category.

                  (BTW Australia sits at no.6, behind the Scandinavian countries.)

        • paul walter September 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

          You are to be applauded for that statement, Zerograv.
          For my part, I’d say It’s obvious that women in large numbers are subjected to brutal treatment by men and in turn will employ even doubtful cases in an attempt to protest this violence and in an effort to develop some form of overall deterrence.
          So far, on what I make of it, a fair cause but wrong example.

  25. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 2, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    This post is by Forrest Gumpp. For some unknown reason, WordPress seems to have thrown out my Twitter egg avatar and my nice blue NPFS coat. I quite like that blue coat. It goes well with reading my posts in the voice of Sir John Geilgud, as I am told by some they should be read. It would be nice to be able to get it back.

    Browsing through my OLO user history, I’ve just received a blast from the past, which, in the light of hindsight as applied to current events in relation to Assange, is most intriguing!

    This is a link to a post I made to OLO on, of all days, Remembrance Day, 11 November 2009: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=3156#76032 . The post is in hindsight significant not only for its content, but because of whose General Discussion topic, ‘How secure is your internet from eaves dropping?’, to which it was submitted, that of Brian Howes.

    The name ‘Brian Howes’ probably does not ring a bell with many, if any, viewers of Dr Jennifer Wilson’s blog ‘No Place for Sheep’, as what little publicity there was surrounding his case was getting out via the Twitter hashtag conversation ‘#extradition’ and his own website http://extradition.org which he was able to run while under house-arrest conditions similar to those recently applying to Julian Assange until his seeking of asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.

    Suffice it to say that Brian Howes has been a victim of ‘#Sextradition’ to the US from the UK.

    Back in October 2009 I, along with many people, knew nothing of Julian Assange or Wikileaks. I now realize, however, that in posting upon OLO in relation to the Brian Howes extradition, and having communicated with him via Twitter, I may have put myself upon the radar of such as have an interest in monitoring internet traffic. Back on 5 October 2009, when I put up the first comment to then Deputy-Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s OLO article ‘Driven by indignation at injustice’, little did I know (as I now do, courtesy of ‘Cablegate’ and Wikileaks) that she was already the intended replacement of PM Kevin Rudd in a political coup Australians were yet to see happen.

    A Google search using the term “Driven by indignation at injustice” will give the viewer, in the second search result on the first page, a link to the comments thread to that article, but to save viewers the trouble, here is the link: http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CCkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.onlineopinion.com.au%2Fthread.asp%3Farticle%3D9513&ei=SU5CULKZE46XiQfN7YDYDQ&usg=AFQjCNFl61ITiKuIHmeyW1qbMAkg-RWCPA

    The viewer will look in vain for a first comment in that thread by me, Forrest Gumpp. That is because, even back then, the posting of a challenge to the Deputy-Prime Minister to look into the denials of natural justice, and what any reasonable person might expect to be due and proper process, in the attempt then being made to extradite Brian Howes from the UK to the US, was perhaps considered so sensitive a matter as to justify a request to OLO to take that post down. It remained up for only around an hour or so before a request was lodged that it be taken down as being ‘off topic’. In a way it was, and I didn’t dispute Graham Young’s moderation decision to do so. Indeed, Graham suggested I might submit a General Discussion topic as to that challenge to Julia Gillard, which in effect I did by posting in a way that was arguably on-topic to a then-continuing discussion I myself had started, ‘Power without pride going belly-up?’. My original post that was taken down remains up to this day on OLO contained as quotes within several posts of mine following this one in that thread: http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?discussion=3050#73310 . Viewers are warned that that was a somewhat satirical thread so far as much of the rest of its content supplied by me is concerned.

    For those who can’t stand scrolling or satire, here is a Twitpic of a screenshot of a copy of that deleted first post: http://twitpic.com/aq46l8 . Clicking the ‘View full screen’ mouse-over option at the top of the Twitpic image will make that copy of the post more readable. Remember, that post was made on 5 October 2009, before Cablegate, and before any public knowledge of any attempt to remove Rudd from the Prime Ministership.

    It is just too co-incidental that my post to Brian Howes’ OLO Discussion ‘How secure is your internet from eaves dropping?’ outlining the difficulty I was having with ‘Server errors’ in attempting to establish the topic ‘An Apology to Klaas Woldring’ on OLO, was in relation to the 2009 Electoral Reform Green Paper. I now consider Rudd’s promotion of that issue under the auspices of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet was seen by some interests as threatening an already-operating clandestine system of ‘automatic electoral enrollment and transfer of enrollment’ in Australia. I think it was his perhaps unwitting threatened trespass into matters of electoral legislation and reform that was the underlying reason Rudd was seen by some as having to go.

  26. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) June 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I think this is the most recent blog post of Jennifer’s dealing expressly with Assange, which is why I have chosen it as where I should place these notes on developments possibly bearing upon the Assange case that have emerged months after the bulk of most discussion.

    It transpires that one of the persons charged with the recent machete killing of British Army Bandsman Rigby at Woolwich on Wednesday 22 May had been a possible subject of recruitment by British security services in 2010. See:

    There has also been the recent revelation as to email conversations between officials at Britain’s Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ) of the existence of the view, shortly after the 2010 Assange visit to Sweden, that the sexual misconduct allegations in connection with which Assange was ostensibly being sought were ‘just too convenient, and [having] to be a fit-up’.

    I have posted elsewhere as to the speculation that the person claimed to have been responsible for the Stockholm bomb blast of 11 December 2010, a Swedish citizen but long term resident in the UK, may also have been the subject of possible (false flag?) recruitment by British security services (at around the same time that it seems Adebolago, the alleged machete killer at Woolwich, appears to have been). The prospect exists that such possible ‘false flag’ recruitments may have been of use in the procurement of ‘terrorist style’ events to order by those involved in the ‘War on Terror’ itself.

    How curious that, eight days after the machete attack on Drummer Lee Rigby, British police are being reported as STILL “calling for information on the blue Vauxhall Tigra, registration N696 JWX, that hit Drummer Rigby last Wednesday afternoon”. Almost makes one think that it may have been a vehicle on charge to some entity connectable to some part of the UK security services, doesn’t it? If so, how awkward!

    • doug quixote June 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

      It makes sense to try to recruit someone who would have some credibility in the organisation they are trying to infiltrate.

      Why do you see anything else in this scenario?

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