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Assange/CIA: A Gift of Coincidence
The luck of Langley? You couldn't make this up.
Put on your tinfoil hat for a moment and try out this scenario.
1. WikiLeaks - now with an exposed frontman - release the Collateral Murder video, exposing the Pentagon as blatant liars. Then they follow this up with the release of some 75,000 documents on the US 'involvement' in Afghanistan. And they do this with the help and auspices of three major world news sources.
2. The powers that be in the US are already concerned. They've documented their situation in another document leaked to WikiLeaks. Their sole opportunity to stop WikiLeaks is by making whistleblowers feel unsafe to leak documents. Yet everything WikiLeaks do makes it obvious whistleblowers are in fact safe.
3. Suddenly a spurious article appears at a lesser Swedish website implying that Swedish source protection won't help WikiLeaks much. The fact that WikiLeaks run their submission system through an intricate offshoot of the EFF's TOR onion router and that WikiLeaks won't keep any data trails anyway is astutely sidestepped.
4. The WikiLeaks Twitter feed responds by downplaying the article, the clear message being that WikiLeaks whistleblowers are not in danger.
5. WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange decides to go for full Swedish source protection anyway, despite it being mostly irrelevant. The tactic will be to seek residence in Sweden and then apply for the so-called utgivningsbevis.
6. Julian Assange decides to surface in Sweden to make formal applications for both documents from the Swedish authorities.
7. A rather notorious rabble-rouser contacts Assange, inviting him to talk at a small conference. Assange also sets up a meet with Rick Falkvinge of the Pirate Party. Falkvinge wants to sponsor some WikiLeaks servers. These servers will then be placed in the 'bunker' run by Swedish ISP Bahnhof and located in a huge compound under Vitabergsparken in Stockholm.
8. Now someone else gets into this circle - a girl from outside Stockholm who in her few years has spent considerable time abroad, studying in both Paris and Wales and exhibiting her photography in Brooklyn in the US.
9. She tells rabble-rouser she's fascinated by Assange and would like a ticket to Assange's speech. The rabble-rouser announced that tickets would be given 'prio press' - priority to the media. Girl #2 - 'T20' - comes as a photographer.
10. Assange's speech is online at YouTube. You can see T20 sitting in the front row, in front of the rabble-rouser and across from Assange at the other end of the room. She has her single lens reflex camera and keeps going 'click click click' all through the speech.
11. T20 hangs out at the back entrance to the venue afterwards, hoping to get a moment with Assange. She succeeds. She chitchats her way into his circle and when Assange explains they're going out to lunch, he asks her if she'd like to follow along. Now we're getting there.
12. T20 flirts with Assange at the lunch table, doing otherwise silly things like asking him if his ordinary nondescript knäckebrödssmörgås tastes good. She's literally talking about a piece of quite common Swedish hard bread with a piece of cheese on it. She's batting the eyelashes, has his attention, her perfume's in his nostrils, her seductive smile distracting him. He responds in quite an expected manner by giving her a piece of the sandwich.
13. Things intensify now. She takes him to a small cinema to watch a low budget movie. Not a lot of people there, mostly empty theatre.
14. After a while they move to the back of the theatre for more privacy. Things are moving along nicely now.
15. They go to a nearby park after the movie where Assange takes a twenty minute 'power nap'. He's going to a crayfish party that evening and is very tired.
16. T20 suggests they meet again - this time at a hotel. Assange is smart enough to not accept the offer. Too easy to be a setup. He instead opines for her flat outside Stockholm. They'll be doing this three days later.
17. Assange goes to his crayfish party, everything is frid och fröjd for the next three days, then he meets up with T20 again.
18. T20 and Assange make the journey out of Stockholm and spend the night in T20's flat. Assange leaves the honey trap the following morning.
As the former US military brass at Fabius Maximus said on numerous occasions, there are just too many coincidences here for this to be believable. Circumstance would in such case have delivered Assange's head on a silver platter to the CIA - literally a gift of coincidence.
If you can't take the frontman out, if you can't discredit the organisation to scare whistleblowers away, you can at least try to screw things up for them for a while. As Max Forte at Zero Anthropology pointed out, as soon as you produce a single global head for an otherwise amorphous organisation, decapitation becomes a real threat.
If Assange - or whatever face WikiLeaks put on their operations - were to visit Singapore, you might have tried with drugs or child pornography. But when he decides (or is 'encouraged') to visit Sweden, there are far better and far easier methods.
Rape cases are extraordinarily difficult to prove. Not always - but some of the time. The Swedish solution to this dilemma was to remove the requirement for proof. Simply put: any Swedish woman can report a rape without providing any proof, cook up a good enough story, and take it through the court system.
The magistrates will determine if the 'victim' is believable. They will also make an assessment if they can think of any reason she'd want to fabricate such a thing. And on that basis alone, will put people away in prison.
Rape cases are appealed from district court level to the appeals court all the time. And it's not exactly uncommon for the magistrates in the appeals court to come to entirely different conclusions. All they're doing - in both courts - is size up a supposed victim's testimony, trying to divine - as human lie detectors - whether the plaintiff is telling the truth. The other version - that of the suspect - is of no consequence. It doesn't matter if the suspect denies everything - most criminals will deny everything anyway. The suspect's testimony's ignored, the verdict's based on a single story, no evidence is ever needed.
19. The powers that be decide to try to lure Assange into a honey trap, get a girl to seduce him, and then cry 'rape'. This isn't your ordinary rape either - it boils down to the use or non-use of a condom. For you want to make a charge stick long enough to do damage.
Sweden has a huge discussion forum in Flashback.org. In a country with a mere nine million residents, Flashback can boast nearly a half million members. Do the math there. And the discussion thread about Assange has grown to over ten thousand posts over the past fortnight. And it's become the #1 hunting place for foreign reporters who want to find out what's going on.
The contributors at Flashback are far better journalists than the hyenas from the mainstream who watch over them. They've really dug into things, uncovered the identities of the two girls, lots more. This is where most of the international media got their information - together with the clumsy Google Translate of course.
Trying to connect the dots, trying to see what's really happening, has always been the ultimate goal at Flashback. But almost everyone there has been looking in a single direction - towards the 'rabble-rouser'. Towards one Anna Ardin, a queer/lesbian militant feminist, cofounder of the first lesbian nightclub on her home island of Gotland, author of the Swedish version of the seven step programme for exacting revenge on enemies and several other masters degree papers on the Cuban resistance and the systematic use of rape in matriarchies (!) to preserve power. She seemed a likely target and was already widely hated for her previous actions.
And Ardin seemed to play into everyone's hands by scrubbing her Internet presence, by getting her name removed from a Pirate Party press release, by password-protecting her website, by pruning her Twitter history, and so forth. This of course was considered highly suspect by the detectives at Flashback.
That T20 did the same thing didn't mean as much to them. And yet the facts remain: T20 is not only the instigator of the relationship with Julian Assange, the one who suggested they take their passion to a hotel - a strange thing in Sweden - but she's also the one who contacted Ardin - not the other way around.
T20 seems pretty good at getting what she wants and making it look like other people wanted it. T20 contacted Ardin. We can only speculate about what that conversation was all about.
It could have started with T20 telling Ardin she'd slept with Assange. So did I, replies Ardin. How was he? asks T20. He was [OK/heavenly/boring], says Ardin. And the following morning I got paranoid the rubber broke, sort of lost it a second there, reveals Ardin, haha.
T20 now has an approach. I too had a problem with a rubber, T20 tells Ardin. It wasn't that it broke - he suddenly didn't want to use it anymore!
Ardin is the perfect person to tell this to. It doesn't take much to fan her flames - not when she's once cited a colleague for paging through his notes when a feminist friend of hers was speaking onstage. Ardin is like an explosion waiting for a spark. T20's got a box full of matches.
Ardin might have been trying to be helpful. After all, it's T20's story that turns into a rape charge, not Ardin's. Perhaps T20 snuck in the bit about being afraid of HIV. That's a good one too: you can't see if you're positive for perhaps only two weeks, perhaps half a year. So ask Assange if he's tested himself or make him test himself now.
[No mention anywhere if either of the girls actually contacted Assange in this matter of course.]
Can we get the police to force Assange to test himself? asks T20. Ardin is the perfect assistant - she's been working with hysterical sex crime charges for years. She knows the law. She's also the perfect dupe.
Ardin and T20 somehow end up at the Klara police station. T20 gives an extended one hour forty minute long story to the people at the desk. Ardin's story is already complete. Ardin might have already summarised T20's story for them in addition to giving her own.
Someone in the police station rings up the prosecutor on duty - who just happens to be Maria Kjellstrand, whose husband works in the office of Beatrice Ask, who is Sweden's minister of justice, a position previously held by Thomas Bodström who gave away The Pirate Bay to the White House and who today runs a law firm with Claes Borgström who's made a career out of supporting militant radical feminist ideas - and who magically appears out of nowhere later on to become the two girls' legal counsel, despite being obscenely expensive.
Someone leaks a story - at this point known only by four other people - to Expressen. One of their reporters is already home and speeds at 135 km/h and runs lights to get back to the office ASAP. But Expressen has source protection so you can't know and can't even try to find out who leaked it. There were only four people at that point who knew of the circumstances - three policemen and Maria Kjellstrand. One of them leaked. Or it could have been T20 according to plan.
Now Expressen rings up Maria Kjellstrand. She's asked to confirm the details. This is of course illegal: Kjellstrand can lose her job and face prosecution for breaking the law of secrecy. All state employees sign secrecy agreements which are in effect up to two years after leaving their employment. Nothing may be revealed.
This holds for hospital workers, social workers, everybody. Nobody says a word, no one reveals any identities. You sign your agreement to abide or you don't get the job. And if you're a low snake and violate the agreement, you'll have hell to pay.
Not so for Maria Kjellstrand. This is the one crime that's been proven so far along in the Assange affair but it will never go to trial. There's been a JO-anmälan against Kjellstrand, but that's not the same thing. The wheels of justice might still be able to turn, but it won't be as easy as convicting a man of rape.
They couldn't take Assange out. WikiLeaks have a lot of people who can be a frontman. They have an impressive board of directors and close to 1,000 collaborators across the globe. They have a close association with the legendary German Chaos Computer Club where Daniel Schmitt has been a frontman for WikiLeaks. Any one of a number of people could step up to get the headlines, to keep up public support, to continue to fill the coffers.
They can't scare whistleblowers from leaking info. The WikiLeaks system is just too sophisticated, source protection or not. There are no sources in the WikiLeaks system. WikiLeaks operators never worry about the authenticity of the sources - they concentrate solely on the authenticity of the documents. They spent quite some time in Baghdad before releasing Collateral Murder, meeting with the families of the victims involved - even meeting with the two children from the van. The WikiLeaks system is too smart for the CIA spooks and the credibility of the organisation is just too high.
So what's left? Not much. You can always try messing with them for a while. If there's nothing else left, if you're pissed. A smear campaign. A honey trap. And truth be told: if the CIA wanted to damage Assange, the way things turned out is exactly how they'd have gone about it. Don't trust a single website on this - but if a collection of former Pentagon brass say it has to be this way, then you have to give them the benefit of the doubt and take the suggestion seriously.
OK, you can take your tinfoil hat off now. And ask yourself if the above story is still as plausible without it.
Postscript: Who's Kidding Who?
There's an incredible propaganda campaign going on right now. The latest trick is to refer to Assange simply as 'the rapist'. There are right wing hawks from hotbeds such as those used by Condi Rice and Richard Perle involved.
Their tentacles reach all over the world. This is an exclusive club. From formal spook agencies to boards of directors for powerful companies to their friends and colleagues in comparable offices in other countries, to local spook organisations there, and so forth. It's all buddy-buddy.
The hysteria on sites such as Twitter has died down somewhat, and lacking any reliable information on the case, this is probably for the best. But the number of unwitting dupes who ostensibly can't bother reading but continue to post links to smear articles seems to continue almost unabated. Many of these 'twitters' use techniques to sidestep provisions in the Twitter system to filter out spam.
Some of them have tried to defend their actions by claiming they're not taking sides. But their actions belie what they're really doing.
Being victimised by a media smear is not something for those who keep on top of a story. A media smear is only effective on those who don't keep on top of it - those who browse through news sites and only see the headlines. They don't read the story - they see only the headline. The headline is what sticks in their mind.
Such is the nature of the smear campaign.
A Swedish 'legal expert' published an op-ed at one of the big sites recently. The article itself was fairly neutral - and even came out in express support of the whistleblowers, even going so far as to encourage news sites to take their chances with prosecution if it means preserving the integrity of news reporting.
But you wouldn't know that by reading only the headline for the article. Whether by bad luck or by evil intervention, the headline served to put a little fear in the hearts of whistleblowers. Not a good thing and certainly not accurate.
So too with the spurious story from the Daily Beast claiming to have had an interview with Julian Assange's good friend Birgitta Jónsdóttir where she describes him as a bit of a male chauvinist.
Birgitta's too smart to say anything like that in the first place. Scandinavians don't hang their laundry in public, as they say. Despite several inquiries by a great number of people, she's not come forward to either corroborate or deny the Daily Beast story. Her second last tweet at time of publication is a link to Nicholas Mead's excellent 'How to Smear a Hero'.
A few years back a friend and colleague was contacted by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet. The reporter began by asking if he was the famous computer security expert by the same name.
'I don't know if I'd call myself a computer security expert but I'm probably the one you want. What's on your mind?'
'We'd like to know if you have anything to say about the new computer virus set to spread throughout the country in the holiday season.'
'I never heard of it.'
'Well there's supposedly a new computer virus that's going to attack in the holiday season.'
'But I never heard of it. So I can't comment on it, can I?'
'OK. But what would you say if there was a big computer virus set to hit Sweden in the coming weeks?'
'That wouldn't be good. Obviously. But again: I've not heard anything about any computer virus coming to the country so I really can't comment.'
'OK. Thank you for your time. Good-bye.'
The 'security expert' went shopping a few hours later and saw his name splashed all over the headlines at the kiosks, the grocery stores, the convenience stores.
'SECURITY EXPERT WARNS VIRUS WILL HIT SWEDEN DURING HOLIDAY SEASON'
'I'll never talk to those scumbags again', he said.
More than ever it becomes apparent 'source material' such as provided by WikiLeaks is the only way to know the truth.
I'm so sick of it all. Will it never end? At any rate I want to say the other girl's just as much to blame.
- Anna Ardin
Apparently Swedish laws are unique. If you have a penis you're half a rapist before you even get through customs.
- Scott Adams
If I am able to reveal what I know, everyone will realise this is all a charade. If I could tell the British courts, I suspect it would make extradition a moot point.
- Björn Hurtig
I can tell you that the Swedish prosecution still hasn't provided copies of those SMS texts that have been referred to. Those texts are some of the most powerful exculpatory evidence. In Australia prosecutors have a very grave duty to disclose such evidence to courts when seeking the grave exercise of a court's power against an individual. Yet in Sweden in this case, in the first hearings to obtain an arrest warrant, those texts were not submitted to the Swedish court, which is highly improper.
- James Catlin
The prosecutor 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 this. The Swedes are making it up as they go along.
- James Catlin
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
The truth will out, the truth wins out. Let no journalist ever again speculate into what the protocols say. Six months of digging and the people at Flashback have the actual documents. The sleaze printed by rags such as the Daily Mail, Sweden's Aftonbladet and Expressen, and perhaps above all the toxic Nick Davies of the Guardian, can stand no more. Yet more: these documents are an indictment of the 'news organisations' who've printed deliberate inaccuracies all along or even worse: refused to print anything at all. Nick Davies' account of the protocols was maliciously skewed; both Aftonbladet and Expressen had copies early on and printed nothing. Bloggers had copies but arrogantly kept the information to their Smeagol selves.
- The Assange Police Protocol: Translator's Note