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Sound & Fury: Howard Riddle
Shakespeare put it best.
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Rixstep) — Will Shakespeare would have summed it up well if he'd witnessed the events of the past half year.
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
- Macbeth act V scene 5
And that's about what the Swedish case against Assange leaves us.
Learning to Read I
Judge Howard Riddle is the one who initially put Julian Assange in Wandsworth and denied him bail. He's back at it again. The verdict was bewildering to people who've followed the case closely. It was as if Riddle had been sitting in another courtroom on 7 and 8 February.
The case boils down to four accusations leveled against Assange by Marianne Ny and Claes Borgström. And remember that Claes Borgström is the one who said that:
- All the allegations are actually allegations of rape; and
- He himself wouldn't have pursued such a case if it had been up to him.
Let's look at the four allegations as presented to the British courts. They caused minor shockwaves amongst those present in the courtroom when their 'titles' were first read out; they caused heavy laughter when the actual details followed.
Taken from today's verdict:
Let's take them one by one (and try to refrain from laughing).
Allegation #1 concerns Anna Ardin and an event that took place on Friday 13 August 2010. Ardin engaged Julian Assange under contract and part of this contract was to provide Julian Assange with travel tickets and local accommodations.
But Ardin decided it would save her organisation considerable money if she could get Julian to stay in her flat instead of in an expensive downtown hotel. Luckily for her at the time, he agreed. Unlucky for him in the long run, he agreed.
The arrangement was Julian would have the flat at his sole disposal through Saturday 14 August; he was to stay with members of Sweden's Pirate Party starting 14 August when Anna Ardin returned. But Anna Ardin broke the contract and ambushed Julian Assange by returning a day early.
A strange man in a strange town; the flat was crowded - very much so according to journalist Johannes Wahlström. Julian had nowhere to go and there was only the one narrow bed and a tiny sofa. Gee what did Anna Ardin have in mind?
I'm so chuffed ('skitstolt' - 'shit-proud') to have the world's coolest guy in my flat and in my bed.
- Anna Ardin
So then they had dinner and some clumsy sex. Ardin is known to be a lesbian; her encounters with men haven't been famously successful as evidenced by her '7 steps of revenge' blog post. Things weren't a modicum of grace in her bed. She had condoms in a night table drawer and evidently was trying to reach them as she simultaneously tried to remember how guys and girls 'did things' together.
There were no screams, no protests; she was simply trying to reach the night table drawer. And when Julian started to notice she was behaving strangely even for Anna Ardin, he stopped and asked her what she was doing. 'Trying to get a condom from the night table drawer' was her answer. 'Oh sure' was Julian's. And she got the condom, one of them put it on him, and things continued. That's it.
Assange asked after a while what Anna was doing and why she was squeezing her legs together. Anna then told him she wanted him to put on a condom before he entered her. Assange released her arms and put on the condom Anna got for him.
Allegation #2 concerns that same act of sad sex the same night - but now brings up the matter of a mysteriously broken condom. It defies imagination how anyone could manually break a condom - unless of course the condom was past its expiry date (ahem). But even then the thought someone could or would be able to break one whilst still in bed and romping around is of course absurd.
Allegation #3 concerns Julian and Anna sleeping together, still in her lusciously narrow bed with the world's coolest guy, and Assange getting an erection as they slept and this piece of tissue rubbing Anna's back. The only possible comment is that AA should get a full psychological evaluation ASAP.
Allegation #4 is about another groupie - Sofia Wilén of Enköping north of Stockholm. She's been reported to have been riding the groupie trail before - notably stalking Lou Reed according to 'informed sources'.
Wilén brought a boyfriend back from Brooklyn on one of her expensive journeys into the world but he'd since left her to study at Hyper Island with its shady political connections and she'd been alone again for several months with a cold bed.
He was a little confused as they'd not had contact for several months.
Anna Ardin might conceivably be called a political opportunist to those who want to be nice to her but Sofia Wilén was totally groupie. She had no connections in politics, worked as a hourly wage employee at a museum north of Stockholm, knew nothing about Anna Ardin's people or their organisation.
Yet she literally pushed her way into their entourage and inner circle. Something that caused several members of this group to question her presence and to ask her point blank: who are you?
It's a little gang that lingers, when all the journalists have dropped out so there's only a few left. And there's also a woman standing there that I've seen during the seminar, whom I don't know and I don't know who she is. So polite as I am I say hello to her and ask, are you also a brotherhooder like that. No not at all she says, uh, I just asked if I could help out.
Uh, and then I understand that it's one of those, you can call them groupies or stalkers or those who are attracted by his starshine.
Uh precisely, so she not only pushed her way in but she also...
But she's a capable social engineer, that one, and got herself invited both to the conference and to the exclusive lunch afterwards. Where the others at the lunch table really felt discomfiture at her presence and especially when she felled that cringeworthy (and today world famous) line about hard bread sandwiches.
Does it taste good?
She competed after the lunch with no other than Johannes Wahlström who was Julian's unofficial host and guide in town. And she was able to wrestle Julian away from this well known journalist.
She took Julian north of town on the Stockholm T-bana line towards Mörby centrum, got them off at the Universitetet stop, finagled a pass key to get into the museum on her day off, made out with Julian in the Cosmonova theatre, then immediately bragged to her friends she'd done so with none other than Julian Assange, then gradually split with him for the day as he was going to a crayfish party and she wasn't invited.
She pursued him even the week after when back at work at the museum and got him to agree to meet her early in the week after a downtown meeting. She specifically asked him to take a hotel room so they could satisfy their lusts but he said 'no' and so she decided they'd go to her place north of Stockholm instead.
That's not at all as romantic as an expensive Stockholm hotel like the Grand or the Strand or the Esplanade or the Diplomat or the SAS Royal Viking - but it'd have to do. Yet things everyone must do every day suddenly become very mundane.
They brushed their teeth together - it felt banal and boring.
And so they finally started going at it - four times all told if her count is correct. It evidently took them some time to get out of the starting blocks. And four times in one night means not much sleep.
And then she went off at 08:00 AM - exactly when the food store ICA opened - to buy a few things for breakfast she should have had at home. And then came back to bed. Where they did it yet again. And then started to doze off.
But things were better now than they'd been earlier in the evening when Julian seemed to only want to go to sleep. Sofia's memory fails her a bit here but what the heck - let's all go along with it.
Julian said he was going to go to sleep. She felt rejected and shocked. She asked what was wrong, she didn't understand. He pulled the blanket over himself, turned away from her, and fell asleep. She went out and got her fleece blanket because she was cold. She lay awake a long time wondering what had happened and exchanged SMS messages with her friends. He lay beside her snoring.
She must have fallen asleep for later she woke up and they had sex.
But now it's morning, now they've found their groove, now she's been out shopping banal and boring food, now they have sex again, and now they start to again doze off. Small wonder: they'd been awake fucking all night.
Then this happens.
They fell asleep and she woke by feeling him penetrate her. She immediately asked 'are you wearing anything' and he answered 'you'. She told him 'you better not have HIV' and he replied 'of course not'.
And then they got down to business again. She never said 'no'. (Anna Ardin didn't either). Julian didn't read her autobiography before she took him to her flat. He started something; she asked two questions and got two answers. Things would have been quite different if she'd explicitly asked him to stop as he didn't have a condom but she didn't.
(Things would have been quite different for Anna Ardin too if she'd ever uttered the word 'no' - that word she claimed Julian Assange couldn't take as an answer. But she never said it either.)
Learning to Read II
It's obvious Howard Riddle never read the transcripts of the police files. They're available in English - not only at this site but at a number of places. And the Assange defence team reportedly paid £30,000 for a court-approved version. So Riddle could (and should) have read them at any time. Before rendering a verdict of course.
The translated transcripts were probably available before his first court hearing as well - the hearing where he denied Julian Assange bail.
Howard Riddle desperately needs to learn how to read. (And to type as well, judging from all the typos in his verdict.)
Belmarsh & Beyond
And in the meantime?
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
- Macbeth act V scene 5
Anna Ardin, Sofia Wilén, Petra Ornstein, Claes Borgström, Thomas Bodström, Gudrun Schyman, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Beatrice Ask, Carl Bildt, Eva Lundgren, Johanna Koljonen, Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, Mats Gehlin, Linda Wassgren, Karin Rosander, Margareta Winberg, Ireen von Wachenfeldt, Carina Rydberg, Gunilla Ekberg: these people have shamed Sweden.
Their conspiracy theories about satanists controlling the United Nations and every aspect of Swedish public life from the cabinet to the parliament to the doctors in the hospitals to the... And men are animals, don't you agree? Actually to call a man an animal is to give him a compliment! For we are going to completely eradicate the male of the species and create a new female-only society!
We've already forced our universities to accept only research results which prove our wacky theories. We protested against a sane sex crime law reform in the 1970s and now what do we have? We spend millions trying to get women to study computer programming. But they don't want it! We spend further millions trying to get women to become full fledged firemen (firewomen) but they don't want it!
And Claes Borgström tells a packed auditorium of some of the most bloodthirsty feminists in the country that the worldwide recession is due to - the male sexual power structure! And even they don't believe him!
And then they stand up in the parliament and say Swedish men are as bad as the Taliban and they should all pay an extra 'man tax' - and of course they get Claes Borgström to support them!
They write suspense novels about high school girls hanging foetuses in each other's lockers - and then complain there's something wrong with the male of the species. They live on tax-funded grants, take bottles of pills every week to stay halfway sane - and then complain there's something wrong with the rest of the world.
Where did they come from? Who closed Happy Acres? And how did they get their claws in Julian Assange of all people?
Sweden used to be an admired country. Today it's a shamed country. Sweden used to be a country citizens could be proud of. Carrying a Swedish passport meant smiles and welcomes everywhere. Today all that remains is derision and rightful hatred for a country where loons were let loose to take over.
The goal of Julian Assange's WikiLeaks is transparency. And odds are no one - certainly not even enough Swedes - would have noticed how sick their country'd become if he hadn't collided with that hornets nest. For that we can thank him.
But Sweden needs to be shamed. The rule of law must prevail. The weeds choking the society must be rooted out and health and good living must be restored. It's a long process but it might as well start now.
Until then? Only sounds of idiots signifying nothing. Sounds people outside the duck pond laugh at, steer clear of.
WMC: Findings of facts and reasons
Assange in Sweden: The Police Protocol (Translated)
WikiLeaks: Support WikiLeaks
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