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Another Bonnier Sunday

Force feeding the ducks again.

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DUCKPOND — It's another Bonnier Sunday in the duckpond. Bonnier flagship DN.se came out with both a thick paper edition and a refined web edition.

The practice of the increasingly political Bonnier empire when smearing is to put the really dirty articles in the paper duckpond edition so the world at large won't see what prevarications they're coming with, and to put a sweetened version online so expats with a clue and other curious plebes from the world at large think they're playing nice for once.

Today they did it again - with a special dedicated supplement called 'The Many Faces of Julian Assange'.

What do the Bonniers know that no one else knows? Not about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks per se - they succeed in getting most facts wrong and twisting the little truth that remains. But what could this powerful family know about the outcome of the case before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom?

Flashback Backlash

The doyens of Flashback were all over this one with Trenterx first posting about it, after which the comments flooded in.


It's the same old rubbish as always with the notable exception that their author Clas Barkman couldn't even get Assange's cyber name right: not Mendox but Mendax. I get a feeling we can expect that UKSC verdict any day now - as if the Bonniers are paving the road.


WEEEEOOOOO WEEEEEOOOOO WEEEEEOOOO!!!! I don't know if this is really anything to laugh at. Actually it's terrible when you think of how many wise, well educated, well meaning people DN.se use as sources. And when you think of how easy it would be for Clas Barkman of DN.se to find out what Assange is really accused of - if he were at all interested.

So the Bonnier strategy is to force feed the entire country with lies until they cry 'uncle'? Fuck you DN!

Kaita is more optimistic.

We can still find a certain modicum of balance if you compare this to what's been written previously. Above all the article makes it clear that the accusations are without basis. The women only wanted to get JA to test for HIV - that's why they went to the police. Neither of them thought JA had committed a crime, according to this new article.

And they let JA's lawyer Per E Samuelson give his views on the case.

The more they write about the Assange case, the more difficult it becomes for Swedish authorities to play dirty.

GoodwinStrawman doesn't completely agree.

The agenda of DN.se is too obvious. And Barkman is not only smearing JA - he's smearing the entire WikiLeaks organisation by claiming their technical solution for an anonymous submission system is not secure, this with regard to what happened to poor Bradley Manning. This is an outright false claim. Bradley Manning outed himself by being loose in the jowl. It's hardly reasonable to hold WikiLeaks accountable for what their sources say to third parties.

Legal eagle Theron.

OK so we get a long article with a chronology. But already when Clas Barkman writes that Assange is still under house arrest at the elegant mansion Ellingham Hall in Norfolk we can see him running off the tracks.

The article ends by citing Claes Borgström.

'In all articles and posts about this case it's only about how Assange is faring in house arrest in England. Nobody knows how the women are doing. It's as if they didn't even exist despite being victims of a crime.'

And with a long detour into the issues of a possible extradition Clas Barkman attempts to distract his readers from the matter of the bilateral agreement between Sweden and the US on temporary surrender. And that's the final straw.

GoodwinStrawman's back with an afterthought.

I'd say Barkman's article ran off the tracks already in the planning phase. They state already in the ingress that 'Assange will be brought to court' - which precipitates the order of events: Marianne Ny has not reached any decision on prosecution yet.

Janeman points to a statement from WikiLeaks who were solicited for comments.

Dear Clas, given the degree of fabrications and media distortions appearing in the Swedish media, Mr Assange only gives interviews in full, untranslated form.

But it's retired journalist Old Wolf who puts the cherry on the tart with a full takedown of his own at his blog.

Everyone who's followed this case knows that Assange isn't charged with a crime. He's been arrested in absentia for questioning only. By beginning this article with the claim 'Julian Assange will have to answer these charges in court' the whole article falls apart. Sure - we can read farther farther down that it's only about questioning - but how many people will read that far?

The next smear is about Daniel Ellsberg instead.

'He was sentenced to 115 years in prison for espionage but escaped his fate when Nixon got too vengeful.'

But Ellsberg was never convicted. The Nixon regime committed a great many crimes - they burglared the offices of Ellsberg's psychologist and made plans for the murder of Ellsberg - and they tried to smear him and thereby avoid the political catastrophe the Pentagon Papers represented. These crimes were found out and the court acquitted Ellsberg.

The third error is about Bradley Manning where Clas Barkman regurgitates the latest circulating in the Swedish media.

'Today we know that the idea of total source protection didn't work. The likely WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, then a 24yo intelligence analyst in Iraq, was arrested in May 2010 shortly after the secret helicopter film footage was released by WikiLeaks.'

But it shouldn't be a secret for Clas Barkman precisely as for Dan Josefsson that it was Adrian Lamo who betrayed Bradley Manning and outed him for the authorities in the US - not WikiLeaks.

And Barkman can't resist using Daniel Domsheit-Berg as a source - he's described by Barkman as Julian's best friend! Domsheit-Berg had an agenda with his book - to smear Julian Assange and promote himself. The book's also seen as a contract job [published by the Bonniers] that was supported in the Old Media almost as much as their recent smear book about the Swedish king.

Barkman moves on now to try to spread a rumour that's long since been debunked over and over.

'WikiLeaks have also been criticised by former enthusiasts at Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders for wantonly publishing material where individuals could be identified and perhaps be threatened.'

I dealt with this in a previous article 'How Bitter is Thomas Mattsson?'

Keller's 'WikiLeaks has blood on its hands' argument is made without any concrete evidence. Keller expects us to take him at his word when he says he's been told that 'a few exposed sources fled their countries with US help' and 'others were detained by authorities'. This is just another restatement of an allegation that is largely pure fabrication.

Who are these 'sources'? Keller doesn't mention that the Associated Press did a review that found no sources were threatened. The State Department refused to 'describe any situation in which they've felt a source's life was in danger'. The State Department would not 'provide any details on those few cases' of individuals that had been relocated.

Keller doesn't note that when WikiLeaks went ahead and published all the cables in August and September 2011 without any redactions, the cables were already out in public somewhere for anyone to download. Governments that wanted to read them could download the file, use a password published by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, and begin to hunt down the individuals named therein.

A lesser error is when Barkman writes that Assange's hacker name was 'Mendox' instead of 'Mendax'. We can also accuse Barkman of slipping on the truth when he takes quotes from what he calls 'Assange's autobiography' when everyone knows it never was approved or authorised.

To note in conclusion:

'Dear Clas, given the degree of fabrications and media distortions appearing in the Swedish media, Mr Assange only gives interviews in full, untranslated form.'

I can understand Assange, even I'm an old hack. Clas Barkman's article is ambitious but riddled with factual errors. These are factual errors that recur in article after article in our Old Media and constitute living proof that a lie, if repeated often enough, becomes regarded in the end as the truth.

See Also
Flashback: The Bonnier Sunday Supplement
The Wind Whispers My Name: Spot the Errors About Assange

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