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Assange Update 2010-12-02
Happy holidays everyone. Serious revelations herein.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — It's the individual against the institution. It's the citizenry against the government. The lines are drawn and more distinct than ever. A huge shift has taken place in US government form. More and more people are suddenly aware again there's meaning to life, that life can truly be worth living again.
And all this even as the intensity of Cablegate increases and the desperation of those exposed does so as well.
Glenn Greenwald summed it up perhaps better than the rest.
As soon as Scott Ritter began telling the truth about Iraqi WMDs, he was publicly smeared with allegations of sexual improprieties. As soon as Eliot Spitzer began posing a real threat to Wall St criminals, a massive and strange federal investigation was launched over nothing more than routine acts of consensual adult prostitution, ending his career (and the threat he posed to oligarchs).
And now, the day after Julian Assange is responsible for one of the largest leaks in history, an arrest warrant issues that sharply curtails his movement and makes his detention highly likely.
Mark Stephens suspected Marianne Ny wouldn't know how to put together a 'red notice' and he was right: she screwed up.
'According to UK law the maximum penalty for all alleged crimes must be specified. Ny's original application only specified the maximum penalty for the most serious of the allegations', admitted Tommy Kangasvieri of the international unit of the Swedish national police. Kangasvieri said he hoped they'd be able to fix things by this afternoon. (This of course remains to be seen.)
Kristinn Hrafnsson spoke at Frontline's 'First Wednesday' yesterday evening.
We have had threats from governments and commentators, some of them totally preposterous, even calls for the assassination of Julian Assange.
He is justified in being concerned for his safety. When you have people calling, for example, for his assassination, it is best to keep a low profile. He is in a secret location and working on the project with a group of our staff. It is necessary in the circumstances to keep his location secret. We know the interest of the US government in bringing down WikiLeaks.
US: You Can't Find Him?
The egregious Jeffrey Toobin said yesterday on CNN that he agreed with the news anchors that US TLAs already have an arrest warrant ready for Assange and then added the following (which deserves deep meditation).
You cannot rub the United States government's nose in committing repeated illegal acts and expect to get away with it.
Both the London Times and the Independent claim British police have known all along where Assange is located but haven't been able to act because Ny's application for the 'red notice' was incorrect.
But he simultaneously insists he's been in close contact with British police all along and they never mentioned Ny's application was b&oringlrked.
Goes to show. And all this for allegations of rape during consensual sex.
The Forbes cover story reveals that WikiLeaks will next take on the banks. A piece in SvD brings up the following.
According to Michael Lewis, Goldman Sachs knew already back in 2006 and 2007 that the bubble was going to burst and that the paper they'd pushed onto unsuspecting commissioners worldwide would soon be worth more as origami - something internal mail traffic could surely prove.
At least Swedes can today hold their heads high in one regard: they finally made it onto Cablegate. The first four of nearly seven hundred cables have been published.
The above cables show that Swedish governments have been lying about their affiliation with NATO for some time. Sweden alliance-free in times of peace and neutral in times of war? Yeah right.
And so far not a word from the current government of Reinfeldt and Bildt.
No Permit Again
Julian Assange was denied a residence permit in Sweden and now his Swedish legal counsel Björn Hurtig has been denied a supreme court permit as well.
One must namely first apply for a permit to appeal to the Swedish supreme court before actually appealing. Something that to some might not seem all too appealing. But the all-wise fat cats there who will soon rule on The Pirate Bay have denied Hurtig the permit to appeal. The ruling was announced at 11:15 local time.
A permit is needed in cases like this for the court to rule on an appeal. A permit can be granted if a ruling by the supreme court is important for the application of justice and a permit can also be granted in exceptional cases, namely when there are obvious reasons for a supreme court ruling.
But evidently not in this case, a case condemned worldwide. The Swedish supreme court might not like it but it's Sweden on trial here more than Julian Assange. And certainly not AA and SW who theoretically face stiff prison sentences for bringing false accusations but in practice won't be touched by their sisters in the prosecutor's office.
Julian's mum is back in the news today, interviewed by another of Rupert's nonpartisan organs in their home country. She doesn't even own a computer but she's been keeping up with developments through the media.
Whether you agree with what Julian does or not, living by what you believe in and standing up for something is a good thing. He sees what he's doing as doing a good thing in the world - fighting baddies if you like.
She also mentioned what a job her son did for his son Daniel - not only rearing (which began when Assange was 18) but the drawn-out battle to safeguard him, a battle mother and son shared and which resulted in her going into PTSD therapy and his hair turning white. (City U students please take note.)
She also brought him up to understand that 'evil flourishes when good men do nothing' - something it would seem very few parents worry about in today's tabloided world.
Saving the best for last.
Assange's Australian counsel James Catlin had a few things to say about the twisted Ny and her crazy Swedes. Considering Catlin's pedigree there's every reason to take him very seriously.
It's also revealed for the first time that this case has always been about 'revenge' as Anna Ardin espouses it, including the two girls plotting to deliberately fabricate the accusations and then themselves leak the story to Expressen.
But this doesn't matter to Ny and Borgström because unknown to anyone else, both were working on an expanded definition of rape and a new way of determining it after the fact.
Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape. That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage its reputation as a model of modernity.
Sweden's Public Prosecutor's Office was embarrassed in August this year when it leaked to the media that it was seeking to arrest Assange for rape, then on the same day withdrew the arrest warrant because in its own words there was 'no evidence'. The damage to Assange's reputation is incalculable. More than three quarters of Internet references to his name refer to rape. Now, three months on and three prosecutors later, the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo the sex was not consensual.
For three months Assange had been waiting in vain to hear whether media statements by and for the two female 'victims' that there was no fear or violence were going to be embellished so the charges might be carried forward due to greater seriousness. Such statements would stop a rape charge in any western country dead in its tracks. Rape is a crime of violence, duress, or deception. You can rape someone by deluding them into thinking you are someone else or by drugging them or by reason of their young age but essentially it's a crime of violence.
The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.
That further evidence hasn't been confected to make the charges less absurd does Sweden no credit because it has no choice in the matter. The phenomena of social networking through the Internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the 'crimes'.
In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange's honour at her flat after the 'crime' and tweeted to her followers that she is with the 'the world's coolest smartest people, it's amazing!' Go on the Internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the Internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén's mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Neither Wilén's nor Ardin's texts complain of rape.
But then neither Ardin nor Wilén complained to the police but rather 'sought advice', a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other's evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now.
Of course, their celebrity lawyer Claes Borgström was questioned as to how the women themselves could be essentially contradicting the legal characterisation of Swedish prosecutors; a crime of non-consent by consent. Borgström's answer is emblematic of how divorced from reality this matter is: 'they (the women) are not jurists'. You need a law degree to know whether you have been raped or not in Sweden. In the context of such doublethink, the question of how the Swedish authorities propose to deal with victims who neither saw themselves as such nor acted as such is easily answered: you're not a Swedish lawyer so you wouldn't understand anyway. The consent of both women to sex with Assange has been confirmed by prosecutors.
Proposed reforms of Swedish rape laws would introduce a test of whether the unequal power relations between the parties might void the sincerely expressed consent of one party. In this case presumably, the politically active Ardin, with experience fielding gender equity complaints as a gender equity officer at Uppsala University, had her will suborned by Assange's celebrity. The prosecutor coming as she does from a prosecution 'development unit' could achieve this broadening of the law during Assange's trial so he can be convicted of a crime that didn't exist at the time he allegedly committed it. She would need to. There is no precedent for it. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.
A great deal more damning evidence is yet to be revealed about what passes for legal process in Sweden, such as Assange's lawyers having not received a single official document until 18 November 2010 (and then in Swedish language contrary to European law) and having to learn about the status of investigations through prosecution media announcements - but make no mistake: it is not Julian Assange that is on trial here but Sweden and its reputation as a modern and model country with rules of law.
The truth turns out to be more bizarre than the TLA honey trap.
Julian Assange will surely learn that considering what WikiLeaks has published, he's got a few enemies in the Pentagon, the CIA, and the White House. Sweden began an investigation into rape which was later dismissed. Assange was even denied residence in Sweden. One can only speculate to what extent the security agencies of the US were involved. And considering the obvious interest of the US to silence WikiLeaks, is it likely Assange will have an accident of the 'Boston brakes' kind in the coming years? Or will he be snared with compromising information of the 'honey trap' kind?
- 'Drozd' at Flashback 23 October 2010
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