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Wikileaks, Sex and Afghanistan: What Matters Now

by fairleft Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 02:49:00 PM EST

Photobucket

SEX! criminal charges have a way of drowning out substance and dominating the mainstream media take on a `story'. And, so, Julian Assange being briefly charged over the weekend with rape and still facing allegations of sexual harassment ('molestation' is a misleading translation) can't be particularly good for making the `Wikileaks story' about the routine killing of large numbers of Afghanistan civilians by the U.S. and NATO (continuing as we speak), or for bringing widespread attention to that aspect of the story.

Certain important things, however, are now fairly clear about the 'Assange charges' story (the best account of which is now here):

1.    The facts we know point away from a conspiracy of intelligence operatives generating the initial and quickly dropped rape charge or the now being investigated ‘sexual harassment’ (or 'unwanted sexual contact') charge. The rape charge looks like it was just a mistake made by a "late hours special prosecutor' not familiar enough with the charges and/or applied Swedish law. However, no one inexpert in the facts and relevant Swedish law should rush to drag the apparently mistaken prosecutor through the mud just yet.


2.     The sexual harassment charges are based on testimony from two apparently independent alleged victims, neither of whom seems likely to have been a CIA, Pentagon, or Interpol dupe.

3.    Especially for media-outgunned causes, credibility matters and conspiracy mongering damages that; sensitivity to potential victims of sexual harassment also matters. So neither Assange, nor prominent pundits such as Glenn Greenwald, nor leftist media critics such as Gavin MacFadyen should have immediately asserted the charges were probably part of some CIA or Pentagon smear. Even, yeah, when there was a 'perfect' conspiracy feel to the way things 'went down'.

4.    If Assange is guilty, from what I gather the crime appears have been insisting on and then having unprotected sex with the two women, despite their refusals. To clarify: the women are charging that although the sex began as consensual it became non-consensual to some extent (to what extent I do not know) when Assange refused to wear a condom. In other Western countries, perhaps in Assange's home country of Australia, this may or may not be a crime, but that doesn't matter. He was in Sweden, both alleged victims are Swedish, and they have a right to be protected by their country's laws.

5.    This affair likely will not go away for awhile, despite antiwar activists' wishes. So it may matter that antiwar activists figure out how to use the Wikileaks revelations to focus on civilians and the war 'despite' a sex-hung-up media's desires.

6.    But let's face it: the `Wikileaks story' was already largely disappeared from mainstream (though not `alternative') news by the time of the charges against Assange. The antiwar movement needs to stay reality-based, and one aspect of that is that the Pentagon and the news `masters' didn't `need' this incident/story.

7.    Wikileaking will not stop the war in Afghanistan; truth telling and punditeering can play only an antiwar support role. They are supposed to support a robust antiwar movement, by a citizenry angry about its young men and women getting killed for no reason, angry about killing Afghanistan civilians for no good reason, angry about wasting half a trillion dollars a year on military imperialism when that money needs to be spent at home, and then expressing that anger massively and in ways that cannot be ignored.

8.    What matters about Afghanistan in 'The West' is that there is virtually no antiwar movement in the world headquarters of imperialism, the United States. Please, college students, as you come back to school over the next several weeks, wake up from Obamaism and apathy and change that!

Display:
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 03:32:24 PM EST
Age challenged terrorists.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 03:56:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether
a) two women discovered that they slept with the same man, which heightened their concerns that they might have contacted some disease from a promiscuous man and led to the police reports, or
b) this is spin created by a woman with an agenda, or
c) this is a Pentagon-inspired honey trap, or
d) this is something blown out of proportion by a Swedish police with an agenda;
...it is certain that the Wikileaks documents add only little to what is out in the wide open in the daily news, was obvious at least eight years ago already, but the MSM won't draw the conclusion: this war is a lawless, pointless bloodshed. No news is new.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:37:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Western law has a nominal presumption of innocence. Far from 'assuming' that 'none of the victims are CIA etc dupes' it's not possible to assume anything about the case at all - beyond the fact that there was a charge of rape which was dropped almost immediately, apparently for lack of any evidence whatsoever beyond a phoned-in charge by the police which the prosecutor initially took in good faith and then retracted when no evidence was provided.

Given Assange's high profile and the fact that honey traps are an absolutely standard intelligence tool, and given that Assange presumably isn't a total idiot, a certain level of wariness about the convenient timing of the accusations is understandable.

Obviously if there's solid medical evidence of bruising, DNA, or other tell-tales, that would change the story.

But so far as anyone can tell there isn't. If there were, the prosecutor would have had no reason to withdraw the case.

The fact that the case was withdrawn within hours doesn't say anything positive about the quality of evidence supporting it.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 03:33:48 PM EST
As you'll note, All I am 'assuming' is that there are allegations of sexual harassment/molestation that the Swedish criminal authorities are investigating.

Based on the Guardian's story, the women are charging that although the sex began as consensual it became non-consensual to some extent when Assange refused to wear a condom. If that wasn't clear in my rendition of the facts, I apologize.

The fact that 'honey traps' are a standard intelligence tool isn't evidence.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 03:49:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you're implying very strongly that the allegations have substance and that they couldn't possibly, in any shape or form, be anything other than what they seem to be.

I don't think that implication stands up given the available evidence, which is so flimsy that it had to be withdrawn almost immediately.

As for honey traps - I'll just assume you know more about those than I do, and that you're presenting your lack of evidence about them in good faith.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:15:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The available evidence hasn't been withdrawn, the charge of rape has been withdrawn. The Swedish prosecutor is investigating the 'sexual harassment/unwanted sexual contact' allegations, and will tell us more this week.

There is nothing 'flimsy' about two witnesses alleging that crime. Eyewitness testimony is generally accorded a great deal of weight in any legal system I've ever heard of. Being taken seriously has long been a very sensitive issue for women alleging sexual assault and misconduct, and I'm hoping you'll keep that in mind in future comments.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that the prosecutor downgraded the charge is extremely significant. It means that the police was over-selling the charge to such an extent that the prosecutor had no choice whatsoever but to downgrade the case. Scandinavian prosecutors are not independent by any means - they don't do anything to antagonise the police unless they know that they'll be laughed out of court (by the judge, not the public) unless they do so. Particularly when the case involves people who are unpopular with the Serious People. And the lowest courts are very accommodating of the police's version of events.

But that doesn't detract from the point that Assange enjoys the presumption of innocence, and that witnesses enjoy the presumption of good faith. These principles should not be mutually exclusive. Particularly not for people relying on second-hand information.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fact that the prosecutor downgraded the charge may or may not be significant. It may mean that the prosecutor let the police tell her what the law was, or that they sold and she bought an exaggerated version of the evidence, which is in line with the general sense that the 'substitute prosecutor' was relatively inexperienced. But I don't see how the remaining allegations, which are the potentially significant thing going forward, are affected in any particular way at all by the overboard rape charge story.

Generally, prosecutors everywhere are at one with the police, but also don't like to be embarassed by judges and well-paid defense attorneys. It sounds like Sweden is nothing special in this regard.

But that doesn't detract from the point that Assange enjoys the presumption of innocence, and that witnesses enjoy the presumption of good faith.
. . . Particularly not for people relying on second-hand information.

We all should take note of the italicized passage and make sure we look into a mirror while doing so.

We also should try to find a way to try to keep as much focus as possible on the political priority, raising consciousness about the Afghanistan tragecy. Justice for Assange and his alleged victims is important, but still trivial relative to what is going on to Afghanistan.


fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 05:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may mean that the prosecutor let the police tell her what the law was,

It doesn't normally work that way. Certainly not with high-profile cases like this.

But I don't see how the remaining allegations, which are the potentially significant thing going forward, are affected in any particular way at all by the overboard rape charge story.

The credibility of the allegations is affected in that they represent a political compromise between what the police wanted and what the prosecutor was prepared to give them. Which means that there is a non-negligible probability that they are still exaggerated.

It's a pattern we've seen before in Scandinavia: Pretty much every time the police pick up some lefties or more or less random brown people, they go straight to the press and present their catch with great fanfare. After a few hours, it is quietly announced that the prosecutor told them to let most of the suspects go because they had no good reason to detain them in the first place. As they move up through the tiers of the judicial system (higher courts are generally more independent of the police and political pressure than lower courts) it becomes increasingly clear that the case is garbage.

What we've seen so far is consistent with this picture, although of course we've hardly seen enough to start extrapolating yet.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:46:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't question the 'usual case' you outline, but this case violates it right from the opening description: the police did not 'pick up some lefties'. Instead, two women on their own went to a police station with allegations of improper conduct (neither thought they rose to the level of rape) that the police exaggerated, apparently, and then brought to the 'weekend substitute prosecutor'.

By the way, it's not confirmed, but most news sources indicate that at least one and maybe both of the women are widely known individuals, not Mata Haris, who have worked for several years or more in Sweden at sort of leftist/alternative jobs, or for those sorts of organizations.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 11:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The police certainly didn't pick up and interview Assange, which might have been a reasonable first step if the case had any credibility. Apparently the prosecutor's office didn't even try to contact him, which is surely bizarre in the circumstances.

Was he detained/charged at all?

As for 'widely known sort of leftists' - sources?

Interestingly:

CORRECT: Swedish Prosecutor To Look Into Assange Case This Week - WSJ.com

Under Swedish law, molestation is defined broadly and can refer to anything from groping someone to inappropriate, non-sexual behavior, for example, disrupting public order.

As I understand it Swedish law has an extremely broad definition of rape which includes almost any non-consensual or inappropriate activity. So if the rape case has been dropped, I'd suggest that makes a conviction for molestation somewhat unlikely.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:22:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That the prosecutor didn't contact Assange for a statement is neither bizarre nor unusual under Scandinavian jurisprudence. Taking statements isn't the prosecutor's job, it's the police's job. What is bizarre (but unfortunately not unusual) is that the prosecutor didn't tell the police to do their job properly and in full before they bothered him.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 02:14:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No - it is bizarre not to tell the accused about an arrest warrant when the rationale for the warrant is to prevent the accused from fleeing the country.

In this case the press found out about the warrant immediately but Assange didn't - which certainly seems bizarre to me.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 06:58:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the person who seems to be most aware of how they operate, Jake S, it is pretty much standard procedure for the apparently right-wing police to release 'damaging to leftists' info to the press immediately, presumably before they've notified the leftist. This notion that something 'bizarre' is going on is without evidence at this point. Just standard right-wing-assholes-worldwide police and prosecutors.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:44:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fairleft:
We also should try to find a way to try to keep as much focus as possible on the political priority, raising consciousness about the Afghanistan tragecy. Justice for Assange and his alleged victims is important, but still trivial relative to what is going on to Afghanistan.

On this we agree... But then why did you write a whole diary solely dedicated to these accusations against Assange and why do you focus all your comments on supporting them?

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 07:12:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How to dismiss instead of getting sucked into irrelevancy is a key skill for leftists, one we obviously are pretty clueless at. Evidence here in the comments section. I'd like to talk about that skill learning, but instead have been responding to comments that say in one way or another that I'm biased toward the alleged victims or otherwise treating Assange unfairly.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:48:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
New Details Emerge in the Case Against WikiLeaks Founder - Newsweek
The Guardian reports that neither of the women involved in the case had originally wanted the case to be prosecuted. The paper says that Ms. W wanted to report the alleged rape to police but didn't want them to bring charges against Assange. The paper says Ms. A went with Ms. W to the police to offer moral support, but then became entangled in police questioning. The Guardian notes that neither police nor prosecutors have spoken to Assange to get his version of events.

Now - as someone who has indirect experience of rape/molestation claims from when an ex of mine decided to visit a so-called spiritual guru who abused her, the interesting thing about claims like these is that legal authorities rarely prosecute, precisely because of lack of solid evidence.

In my girlfriend's case it took months for the Crown Prosecution Service to decide that a prosecution wasn't going to happen.

And in this case we have evidence which was only presented when someone 'became entangled in police questioning' - but which led to an almost instant arrest warrant.

Perhaps they're simply far more efficient in Sweden. But it would be interesting, wouldn't it, to compare this story with the progress of comparable cases.

New Details Emerge in the Case Against WikiLeaks Founder - Newsweek

The Guardian says Ms. A also told the Swedish paper: "The charges against Assange are, of course, not orchestrated by the Pentagon. The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who has a twisted attitude to women and a problem with taking 'no' for an answer."

Of course. And someone who was reporting rape or molestation would doubtless have that fact foremost in their minds to the point where they'd be sure to mention it in an interview with a newspaper. Because after you've been raped and/or molested, talking to newspapers who just happen to find out who you are, even though rape claims are supposed to be anonymous, is certainly something you're going to want to do immediately.

I can confirm that international politics and newspaper interviews were absolutely foremost in my girlfriend's mind when she was sobbing and describing her story to the policewoman who interviewed her in my living room.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 05:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here we have two eyewitnesses alleging certain actions: that is not a "lack of solid evidence." Yes, Assange will likely offer a different version of events, but, frankly this is not a 'he said she said' case. It's a "he said she said she said' case, which I think the courts will look at as favoring the two women. But a lot depends on how independent the testimony of the two alleged victims is. Were they interviewed separately and privately by the police, did they discuss what they would say to the police before they arrived at the police station, and so on.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 05:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly they weren't interviewed independently because one of the victims became 'tangled up in police questioning.'

But anyway.

  1. Is it usual for an arrest warrant to be issued immediately in cases like these? Or is it more usual to bring suspects in for questioning, check forensic evidence, and build up a case that is based on more than hearsay?

  2. How long does it usually take the Swedish prosecutor's office to decide that a case is viable?

  3. Is it usual for anonymous victims to give press interviews immediately after a warrant is issued?

  4. Is it usual for anonymous victims to give press interviews that reassure everyone that the Pentagon isn't involved?

  5. How did the Swedish press find the identity of the anonymous alleged victims?

And as it happens, even the Swedish prosecutor's office PR team don't seem entirely convinced by the story.


by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:09:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A long CNN story I've blockquoted from below answers some of your questions. Frankly, it sounds like it's pretty standard in Sweden (and almost everywhere?), this abusive to alleged perpetrators way of doing things. On the other hand, the alleged victims' attorney, Claes Borgstrom, says Assange got special treatment:

Borgstrom also criticized the prosecutor for not questioning Assange immediately in the case.

"It is obvious that he is a suspect of sex crimes, and if he leaves the country, then we may never be able to hear his explanation," the attorney explained.

The fear that Assange might leave Sweden was apparently what provoked the warrant last week, according to a statement posted Monday on the Sweden Prosecution Authority's website.

The prosecutor "decided that Julian Assange was to be arrested," based on information that police gave her over the phone about the allegations -- a typical procedure, authorities said.

"The prosecutor was also made aware that the individual concerned was a foreign national and that he was about to leave the country," the chronology said. One reason for issuing the warrant was "that there was a risk that he would have time to leave the country before authorities had time to interrogate him. There was also a risk that he could have interfered with the investigation."

A group that claims to work to protect individuals' legal rights in the Swedish justice system said Monday that it has reported the on-call prosecutor to the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman of Justice. It was unclear what action, if any, the ombudsman could take against the prosecutor.

"We can see that, time after time, prosecutors don't follow the Swedish objectivity laws," said Johann Binninge, founder of the Organisation for Safe Legal Proceedings.

"When accusations come in, prosecutors don't even check facts before they take coercive measures, and this is contrary to Swedish laws. In this case, the prosecutor only listened to one individual's story but didn't bother checking the other side of the story before accusing Mr. Assange of a very serious crime. This is why we have reported her."

News of the warrant reached a Swedish media outlet, the prosecution authority said, but "the authority does not know how this happened, and the authority is not allowed to investigate this." Under Swedish law, news outlets are protected from police investigations into their sources.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/08/24/sweden.wikileaks.assange/

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:16:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is it usual for an arrest warrant to be issued immediately in cases like these? Or is it more usual to bring suspects in for questioning, check forensic evidence, and build up a case that is based on more than hearsay?

I don't know, but I'd advise that in this case "similar cases" means "cases where the accused is a foreign national." Police is usually more trigger-happy when dealing with foreigners, because they suspect (or, in some cases, pretend to suspect) that said foreigner will abscond to a foreign country if he gets the chance.

Is it usual for anonymous victims to give press interviews that reassure everyone that the Pentagon isn't involved?

That could have been in response to a leading question. Newsies usually Bowdlerize their interviews, so it's the next best thing to impossible to tell what she was responding to unless you have a taped conversation where you can see both interviewer and interviewee.

How did the Swedish press find the identity of the anonymous alleged victims?

That's easy: The Swedish police leaks worse than a sieve.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:55:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
Is it usual for an arrest warrant to be issued immediately in cases like these? Or is it more usual to bring suspects in for questioning, check forensic evidence, and build up a case that is based on more than hearsay?

It appears that yes it is common for the prosecutor to issue an arrest warrant as soon as there appears to be a case. In Sweden, the police can only arrest independently if a crime is being committed or the suspect is escaping the scene of the crime. Otherwise the prosecutor must issue an arrest warrant first. So an arrest warrant is often issued before the police picks the suspect up for questioning.

Swedish press of course knows this and used to not print something based solely on an arrest warrant.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Aug 30th, 2010 at 09:51:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian says Ms. A also told the Swedish paper: "The charges against Assange are, of course, not orchestrated by the Pentagon. The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who has a twisted attitude to women and a problem with taking 'no' for an answer."

Of course. And someone who was reporting rape or molestation would doubtless have that fact foremost in their minds to the point where they'd be sure to mention it in an interview with a newspaper.

Well, though the article ATinNM unearthed does indeed indicate the possibility of a rather biased media manipulator, I note that the Pentagon remark from "Ms. A" was foremost in her mind because she was reacting to earlier talk from Assange's side.

He said he had been warned that the US Pentagon was planning to use dirty tricks to spoil things for WikiLeaks.

To be precise, the above is translated from an Aftonbladet interview of Assange appearing a day after that of "Ms. A", however, there were similar utterings earlier. I wasted time following back the sources:

  1. "Ms. A" tells in the Aftonbladet interview that she came forward to react to stiff in that morning's Expressen.
  2. She probably references, among others, this Expressen article on Assange's and Wikileak's reaction to the news of the arrest warrant, which was to say that they were warned to expect "dirty tricks" and now they have the first one. Expressen gives an interview with Norway's Dagbladet and twitterings as source.
  3. The Dagbladet article, and another with a different Wikipeaks figure. WikiLeak twit.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 09:13:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I added the following to #4 for clarity:

"To clarify: the women are charging that although the sex began as consensual it became non-consensual to some extent (to what extent I do not know) when Assange refused to wear a condom."

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 03:54:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And that is evidence?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Eyewitness testimony by two witnesses, apparently independent witnesses, saying roughing the same thing about Assange's actions is strong evidence.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two different women who approach the police with an exactly similar but extremely difficult to verify complaint about events that are alleged to have taken place in the same week...

What people say about somebody's actions is not yet "strong evidence".

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:47:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it is, if it was a crime. The important matter is whether the two allegedly independent witnesses were truly independent. If they were and their stories about Assange's behavior are similar (thereby corroborating the other witness's testimony), then that's pretty strong eyewitness testimony.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 05:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm somewhat amazed that you see this as a purely gender or feminist issue. A situation in which the US of A is on the other side, and security is the issue, and billions of dollars are at stake, and events are synchronous, means that black ops should not be discounted.

Eyewitness testimony is indeed powerful in cases that clearly involve only sexual behaviour. But the circumstances (and thus the circumstantial evidence) would imply that such eyewitness evidence needs a more detailed examination than is standard such cases.

Assange was specifically warned about the dangers of such situations. Or so we are told.

I have no idea what the truth is, but it seems to me we should take a very close but fair look at any evidence.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:58:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course I don't see it as purely a gender/feminist issue. But we all acknowledge there is a political context for the allegations: gender/feminist politics is one aspect of that, which we should not discount in our efforts to defend Wikileaks' Afghanistan revelations.

I'm not discounting 'black ops' but there hasn't been ANY evidence provided that they took place. The fact that no evidence has been presented is important. Finally, the circumstances of the alleged incidents, and who the alleged victims are, is not at all clear. So, the "more detailed examination" you feel is needed should not discount the testimony of two apparently independent eyewitnesses to conduct allegedly in violation of the law. If Assange's excellent defense attorney turns up 'dirt' on the two witnesses, or on the police or prosecutors, fine, but why not wait and see what he can turn up?

I agree, let's take a look at all the evidence: allegations of conspiracy are not evidence.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:02:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Media reports are not strong evidence.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 07:23:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
apparently independent witnesses

Nope.

Prosecutors may decide today on charges against WikiLeaks founder | Media | The Guardian

On Friday last week, Ms A and Ms W together approached police in Stockholm and reported that they had been sexually assaulted by Assange.

...One source who is closely involved said neither of them had originally wanted the case prosecuted; that Ms W had wanted to report the alleged rape to police without their pursuing it, and that Ms A had gone with her to give her moral support and then become embroiled with the police, who had insisted on passing a report to prosecutors...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 02:44:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it's not completely clear, but I lean in your direction. But, we don't know the details of how Ms A's testimony came out or was taken. "Embroiled with the police" is not enough detail. Were they interviewed on the details of their complaints separately? But, we can assume from the circumstances that they discussed Assange's alleged behavior before visiting the police.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:53:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it is completely clear that witnesses who went to police together are not independent, and that's why I highlighted the relevant passages by bolding.

As for the insufficient detail in "embroiled with the police", that's relevant to the question of how much police influenced to flow of events on its own initiative, not the independence of witnesses...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:12:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What potentially matters is how independent their testimony is. That's uncertain.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:34:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They talked before, therefore it is certainly not independent. Wanna walk a few more circles around the obvious?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:38:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The degree of independence matters. We don't know that. Yes, they talked, but we don't know the level of detail of their prior talks.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, they talked

So they were absolutely not independent, but you may separately talk about the degree of prior agreement between what they said -- just like in the case of any other non-independent witnesses. Do you want to walk yet another round?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 01:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure 'independent' legally, but let's say colloquially it means (at least in this context) more or less that the two witnesses weren't working as a team, hadn't worked out what to say beforehand, and/or that one witness's testimony hadn't been 'contaminated' by the recollections of the other witness. In that context, and despite your certainty, it is not certain whether the two witnesses are 'independent' or not, and how 'independent' their testimony was at the police station.


fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:50:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oops, That start should be:

I'm not sure 'independent' legally means much,

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:51:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it is not certain whether the two witnesses are 'independent' or not, and how 'independent' their testimony was at the police station

Given how competently and honestly the police has handled everything else in this case, I would be exceedingly surprised if they had properly separated the witnesses while interviewing them.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 06:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'A politically charged screw-up" is how I'd sum up so far. The Swedish police seem entirely capable of making this mess on their own, without shadowy assistance by cross-national spy agencies, but we'll see.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's enough material here to inspire the British spy novelists to get back into action. Sorry for the cynicism, but this diary is disturbing.

by shergald on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 04:55:24 PM EST
In what way is it disturbing?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 05:04:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Really, people are overdoing the 'spy novel' stuff, in my humble opinion. We may never know what really 'went down', but think about motive: the Wikileaks revelations were fading into 'non-news' before this story came out. 'The Pentagon' didn't need these charges.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 06:04:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the Wikileaks revelations were fading into 'non-news' before this story came out.

I do not think that the importance of these and future leaks is to be judged by the loudness of immediate media coverage. The impact of the Wikileaks document dumps could be felt long into the future, e.g. if they support charges brought before American or international courts against US staff, institutions, and contractors currently involved in Afghanistan.

Calomniez, calomniez; il en restera toujours quelque chose.
Keep the lies coming, something will stick.
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799)


You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 07:39:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghanistan and Iraq are the main wars of our times, and they are what Wikileaks is currently exposing the U.S. and its allies on. And yet those exposures simply have not had anywhere near the same effect of the equivalent, the Pentagon Papers, 40 years ago.

What the Pentagon, the ruling elite, and the rest of us likely learned or should've learned -- before the weekend Assange incidents -- is pretty unpleasant: that most Americans don't care much (or nearly enough) about the obscene, and brutal to civilians, way the U.S. conducts its wars. I just don't think, after the relative low-keyness of the outrage over the Wikileaks revelations, seeing how little real impact it seemed to have, that the Pentagon and the powers that be in the U.S. worry that with the next slew of revelations 'the U.S. public will get really mad.'

Wikileaks is not a big deal to the powerful. Still, to teach him a lesson I suppose there is some motivation to 'teach Assange a lesson'. Just not a real strong one.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 at 11:33:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I'm sure he has more interesting things to reveal than a few tedious old war atrocities that no one serious cares about.

The next doc dump, due imminently, is going to concentrate on the CIA.

Meanwhile trust in justice is at such a low ebb now that the Swedish case seems to have convinced almost everyone of Assange's honesty and credibility.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:36:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not "he" it's Wikileaks.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:24:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First we have:

Assange prosecutor cited for secrecy breach

The prosecutor who issued the warrant for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange  has been reported for violating rules on the confidentiality of preliminary investigations, newspaper Dagens Juridik (DJ) reported on Tuesday.

Due process organisation Rättssäkerhetsorganisationen (RO), which had previously notified the prosecutor through the Ombudsmen of Justice (Justitieombudsmännen, JO) for her conduct in connection with the decision to issue the warrant, has now supplemented its notification, the report said.

According to the organisation, the prosecutor violated the confidentiality of preliminary investigations by giving the media information about this case, DJ reported.

There is this that is being confirmed by several sources:

It appears that the tabloid Expressen got the information about the arrest order directly from the person who is accusing Assange for molestation. She has worked for Expressen and if this is the sinister revenge action many believe the goal for all this is to smear Assange.

Also NordisK Tribun | Anna Ardin bekreftet å stå bak anmeldelse av Assange  [Anna Ardin confirmed to stand behind the review of Assange]

[Google Translation of story]

Anna Ardin met with a younger woman on the police station in Stockholm City on Friday. She reported when Assange of abuse. The other woman who will be 20-years came ostensibly to consult with the police and claimed that Assange had raped her. She did not go to the review, but in serious cases such as suspected rape, it is standard procedure that the police themselves are creating a review.

This was indeed done and prosecuting authorities by Maria Häljebo Kjell Beach Friday night went out with the arrest warrant for Julian Assange. When Eva Finn took over the case Saturday morning, the rape charge dropped, but according to prosecuting authorities, he is still under investigation.

It was not long before the Express had a large bulletin board on the matter. Anna Ardin has previously been known newspaper writer and reporter Niklas Svensson who originally disclosed the matter in Expressen.

It was not long before the participants of the Swedish Internet Forum was able to identify Anna Ardin, the eldest of the two women.

Suspicion was further strengthened when Ardin soon after began to remove various Twitter messages referred Assange, and password protected his blogs. Blogs are still available through Google's archives, and many of her speech illustrated her problematic relationship with men and male roles.

And this

Anna Ardin, the woman who accused Assange for sexual molestation is cousin to Mattias Ardin, lieutenant of the Swedish Army in Mazar-el-Sharif on November 25,  2005 when two Swedish soldiers, Jesper Lindblom and Tomas Bergqvist were killed and several injured in Afghanistan.

This case is beginning smell like a Limburger cheese left in a heating duct.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:02:58 AM EST
It appears that the tabloid Expressen got the information about the arrest order directly from the person who is accusing Assange for molestation. She has worked for Expressen

For those not fluent in Swedish newspapers, Expressen translates roughly to New York Post, The Sun or Bild Zeitung. It is also, incidentally, where the Swedish police prefer to go when they have collected some innocent brown people on a paper-thin excuse and need a forum where they can bullshit to their hearts' content without committing perjury.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 04:39:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does "Nordisk Tribun" translate as?

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No idea. I'm not fluent in Norwegian newspapers.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:18:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:36:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nordic Tribune

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:51:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(jesus, trying to do too many things at the same time.)

Nordic Tribune is a Norwegian newspaper.  

That's all the info I can find in the time I have available.  I'll look, later today, and report back.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 01:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bounced.

Seems to be a on-line only news source.  The wikipedia entry for Norwegian newspapers was recently updated, it says here, and doesn't have it.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 10:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure if people still remember me from back in the days.

But anyway, Nordisk Tribun, or Nordic Tribune, is a Norwegian/Scandinavian internet newspaper we're building.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Alexander G Rubio (alexander.rubio@gmail.com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:22:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell us more. Provide a link....

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:53:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The direct link to the Nordisk Tribun frontpage is: http://nortrib.com/ .

We're still in a low gear mode, as we've had to spend years building our own content managements system, as we hit a technical wall with our old one on Bits of News, our English language site (still linked on the European Tribune front page, I see. Thank you, Jerome. :D ).

Hopefully we'll have NT up to full speed, Bits back up and running and a few other related projects off the ground in the weeks ahead.

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Alexander G Rubio (alexander.rubio@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 10:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
congratulations on your venture.  I wish you every success.

we've had to spend years building our own content managements system

eek!

Building a CMS from the ground-up is a royal PITA.  

Building a CMS from the ground-up while simultaneously getting the newspaper out must be a nightmare.  Have you gotten any sleep in the past couple of years?  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 11:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. You have no idea how many times I've grumbled to myself, "We should have just stayed with bloody Joomla..." We'd had a couple of years where we could have focused on.. well... writing...

But in the end none of the other CMS's had the features we wanted combined with the flexibility (our Leviathan CMS also had to work as the framework for two Digg/Reddit style aggregators we're working on).

Of course we may have gone a bit overboard doing parts in a C/ASM hybrid we call Linnormr...

And yes, there have been some sleepless nights, not least from worrying if we'd EVER haul this whale to shore. :D

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Alexander G Rubio (alexander.rubio@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 12:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you happen to need another technical consultant who won't return your emails ... I'm your guy!!!

Take care & keep a sense of humor about It All.  I've been there, tho' not quite there-there, and from experience I can tell you in ten years, or so, you'll look back and realize ...

this was the Fun Part!!!

(LOL)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 01:55:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How true. The Act of Creativity is our greatest achievement, its completion a relief, and appreciation by an audience is the reward that reinforces us.

I have always thought myself very fortunate for stumbling into a broad industry where one's efforts become concrete. But I've had many conversations with people doing other work who are similarly moved by the fact that their work has a discrete result. An accountant told me how pleased she was when the books balanced (this was before ubiquitous computers). But recently a building labourer I was giving a lift to took pride in pointing out buildings he had worked on.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 02:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, indeed. :D

Some people are just compulsive builders, the ones who play Civilization or Age of Empires and look at combat as a nuisance diverting focus from building the ultimate megalopolis. ;)

Bitsofnews.com Giving you the latest bits.

by Alexander G Rubio (alexander.rubio@gmail.com) on Sat Aug 28th, 2010 at 09:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An old client in the Finnish MMORPG industry burnt through 500K € before going belly-up recently. Too much building of the megalopolis, and not enough on profiling and communicating with potential users ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Aug 30th, 2010 at 11:33:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I do remember you and regretted you vanished into the woodwork.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 11:49:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See also:

How to smear a hero « Nicholas John Mead

Anna Ardin worked as a trainee (praktikant) under the foreign office at several locations in Sweden and abroad, two of them of particular interest.

In 2004 at the defense unit at the swedish embassy in Washington DC organizing conferences and having a partial assignment to the Swedish military intelligence MUST.

In 2005 AA worked with civil crisis management at the foreign office unit for European security policy in Stockholm.

http://resources.statsvet.uu.se/repository/1/polmag/PraktikutvVT05_del2.PDF

She has agitated against Castro, and is involved in an extremist Christian organisation.

Not quite the typical hippy leftist.

She also arranged Assange's visit. And just happened to have links to Expressen, having written for it in the past.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 07:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Careful!

How to smear a hero « Nicholas John Mead

I made a mistake. It is not Anna Ardin that worked at the two assignments in Washington DC and Stockholm.

To repeat: It was not Anna Ardin that worked at the two assignments in Washington DC and Stockholm.



"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 08:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good catch.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 08:22:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Based on the inaccuracies, "How to Smear Anna Ardin" might've been a better headline. Anyway, this jumping to conclusions (How does Mead know, now, that the allegations are a smear?) is entirely unecessary and may backfire to the detriment of the left and the Wikileaks organization.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure the Left, Assange and Wikileaks will be taking your sincere concern for their welfare under advisement.

But that blog does at least have some facts posted on it, which is more than this thread had originally.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:38:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Inaccurate allegations were there too, mixed with the stuff you feel are facts. Credibility matters. This diary was and is about the 'non-factness' of the situation involving Assange. So why jump to conclusions? Especially, why write a diary calling the whole thing a smear? You're confident of that, now? How does that help 'the left' or Wikileaks (which is not the same thing as Assange: it's important to remind people of that, which is a fact)?

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confident you're trying - in an entertainingly ham-fisted and downright transparent way - to smear Assange and blow clouds of fud around the issue.

I'm confident of that because anyone here who can read - which most of us can, it seems - can see that you've been taking prosecution and media comments at face value and giving them the benefit of the doubt at every point, while not offering the same courtesy to Assange himself.

Who is surely guilty of rape - no, sexual molestation, no, er, molestation, no, make that non-specific but definitely non-sexual harrassment.

According to the prosecutor's office. And the very reputable newspaper that ran the story, when a former employee mentioned it to them in passing.

You're right about one thing - if it's a smear job, it's a fiasco.

Perhaps someone should start a lol-spooks site? I can haz tradecraft n meeja skillz?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 01:21:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your comment is wrong, and just makes me sad. Are you sure being caught out on two lies about Anna Adlin shouldn't have shaken your confidence in that "I'm sure it's a smear" article you quote from? No, you're more confident than ever. Sad.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What would have shaken my confidence would have been a pattern of substantive investigation or sourced evidence on your part.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 09:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confident you're trying - in an entertainingly ham-fisted and downright transparent way - to smear Assange and blow clouds of fud around the issue.

ET contributors enjoy the presumption of good faith, until they've demonstrated the contrary. And while I disagree with some of the particulars, fairleft's line of reasoning in this thread is not absurd. Stubborn, perhaps, but stubbornness in pursuing a line of argument does not show bad faith as long as the data remains open to interpretation. Which it does as long as we're relying on press clippings.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 07:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't consider unambiguous presumption of guilt based on tabloid tittle-tattle, innuendo, run-arounds, gratuitous repetition, misdirection, and deliberate attempts to play down and ignore real evidence to be good faith. Not when the charge is this serious.

Good faith would be 'Well - this is dramatic, but let's wait and see how it plays out.'

And now it's clear that there is no rape case, there was no rape case, and that any case that remains is so ambiguous and poorly defined that not even the prosecutor is sure what exactly Assange is supposed to have done.

Admittedly, this may change. But with what's known today, it's a fair guess that it's not looking likely.

But still - I'm curious why Fairleft followed through this diary through with such persistence.

What was the point? Why keep repeating 'They say there's no smoke without fire...' over and over?

I don't think it persuaded anyone that Assange is a rapist or pervert, or that Wikileaks is a bad thing, or that the war in Afghanistan is a good thing.

I don't even think it convinced anyone that Assange might be a rapist, given the chance.

I'm more perplexed by the energy expended on a diary with no clear point to it - beyond a nonsensical one - than about the details.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 09:37:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure where you get this presumption of guilt in fairleft's writings here. I don't get that vibe at all - I get a vibe of presumption of good faith on part of the witnesses. Which, perhaps due to an excess of zeal, occasionally seems to slide over into a presumption of good faith on part of the people who report what the witnesses say.

There's a fine line in dealing with this sort of cases: On the one hand, the accused and the witnesses enjoy the presumption of innocence and good faith (resp.). On the other hand, the police and the press do not. How far one should go in digging into witnesses' background in pursuit of deconstructing the official police and press line is at least partly a matter of personal taste.

Now, in my personal opinion, the fact that one of the witnesses went to the press herself (and to Expressen of all places) makes her a perfectly valid target for enquiry. But reasonable people can disagree on that point, particularly given the hearsay/fact ratio of the information we have on everyone involved at this point.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 07:07:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My evil side is hugely enjoying the whole spectacle: it seems contrived expressly to drive the anarchistic left insane. On one hand, accusation of sexual impropriety, which have to be taken very seriously, of course, on the other it's all awfully convenient for a lot of very powerful people. <heads explode>
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 07:13:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, this fairleft, highly suspicious writing a diary that says we should withhold judgment on all involved in this mess, and shy away from conspiracy generation unless there's real evidence for that.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:24:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:

She has agitated against Castro, and is involved in an extremist Christian organisation.

Not quite the typical hippy leftist.

No, but a fairly typical soc-dem. Agitating against Castro is standard to demonstrate that you are not a commie. And I suppose that the extremist christian organisation would be Broderskapsrörelsen? It is in effect the organisation of Christian soc-dems, and fairly harmless.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Aug 30th, 2010 at 10:39:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So it was Niklas Svensson was it?

Famous for actually being fired from Expressen (though apparently back now) after being implicated in a scandal in 2006 when the liberal party hacked the soc-dems election planning.

Also famous for making shit up.

d y s l e s b i s k .: Niklas Svensson Facts
Niklas Svensson Facts
  • Niklas Svensson bryter aldrig mot god publicistisk sed.
    Han utvecklar den genom att addera gott publicistiskt godtycke och god publicistisk fantasi.
  • När Niklas Svensson uppfann Gonzo-journalistiken gav han äran till Hunter S Thompson för att han själv skulle kunna "kartlägga" dess uppkomst.
  • När Niklas Svensson känner sig kränkt eller orättvist behandlad vänder han sig inte till Allmänhetens Pressombudsman.
    Han vänder sig till sig själv.
  • Niklas Svenssons tre viktigaste källor är Niklas Svensson, Niklas Svenssons skvaller och bloggar om Nicklas Svenssons skvaller.
  • Niklas Svensson använder inte kalendern för att planera framtiden. Han använder den för att justera det förflutna.
  • Niklas Svensson gör inte research. Han lyssnar till sin inre röst.
  • När Niklas Svensson hörde att Finland vann melodifestivalen började han hoppas på att Dan Brown ska få Nobelpriset i litteratur, Leila K Polarpriset och han själv en Pulitzer eller två.
  • När Niklas Svensson halkar på en isfläck, är det folkpartiets fel att det blivit vinter.
  • Albert Einstein skapade relativitetsteorin efter att ha lyssnat till Niklas Svenssons föreläsning "Kronologi, källkritik och vikten av sanning".
  • Niklas Svensson är inte anställd på Expressen. Han är Expressen.
Niklas Svensson Facts
* Niklas Svensson never breaks with good journalistic practice.
He improves it by adding good journalistic discretion and good journalistic imagination.
* When Niklas Svensson invented Gonzo journalism, he gave credit to Hunter S Thompson so he himself could "identify" its emergence.
* When Niklas Svensson feels offended or unfairly treated he turns not to the Press Ombudsman.
He turns to himself.
* Niklas Svensson's three main sources are Niklas Svensson Niklas Svensson, gossip and blogs Nicklas Svensson gossip.
* Niklas Svensson does not use the calendar to plan the future. He uses it to adjust the past.
* Niklas Svensson, do not do research. He listens to his inner voice.
* When Niklas Svensson heard that Finland won the Eurovision Song Contest, he began to hope that Dan Brown should get the Nobel Prize in Literature, Leila K Polar Music Prize, and he himself a Pulitzer or two.
* When Niklas Svensson slipps on a patch of ice, it is the fault of the Liberal Party that it has becom winter.
* Albert Einstein created the theory of relativity after listening to the lecture Niklas Svensson's "Chronology, source criticism and the importance of truth."
* Niklas Svensson is not an employee of Expressen. He is Expressen.

From 2006 but still true.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Aug 30th, 2010 at 10:31:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jack of Kent: Rape Allegations and Due Process
News is breaking that Julian Assange of Wikileaks has been charged[* see below] with rape and molestation by Swedish prosecuting authorities.

The timing and nature of this news seems somewhat convenient for the US government.

But we must be careful not to jump to the conclusion that it must be a smear.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 06:59:01 AM EST
Prosecutor's office has dropped one complaint against Assange.  Investigation is continuing into Complaint #0201-k246336-10 and the chief prosecutor Eva Finné has directed police to question Assange.

Website for the Swedish Prosectuion Authority Åklagarmyndigheten.

Swedish Text:

Beslut av chefsåklagare Eva Finné.

I ärendet föreligger två anmälningar från två olika kvinnor. Anmälan nr 1 rubricerades från början som våldtäkt och anmälan nr 2 som ofredande.

Anmälan nr 1     K246314-10
De uppgifter som framkommit vid förhör med målsägaren är, som tidigare meddelats, sådana att misstanke om våldtäkt inte längre föreligger. Detta innebär inte att jag inte fäster tilltro till hennes uppgifter. Jag har studerat innehållet i förhöret för att se om misstanke om annat brott kan anses föreligga, i första hand ofredande eller sexuellt ofredande, men finner vid min analys att så inte är fallet.
Förundersökningen läggs därför ned vad avser denna anmälan eftersom det inte föreligger misstanke om brott.

Anmälan nr 2    K246336-10
Misstanken om ofredande kvarstår. Jag kommer att ge direktiv till utredaren att höra den misstänkte.




She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:12:16 AM EST
BTW, "att höra" is being translated on some websites as "interrogate."  The literal translation, subject to correction by those who know more best gooder Swedish than I ;-), is "to hear" or, in idiomatic English, "to question."

"To question" is a neutral term.  "Interrogate" has harsh semantic clusters.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
merde, shit, scheisse

"Interrogate" has harsh semantic clusters associated with it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:31:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more of a 'hearing' or interview that takes place in the process of evidence collecting. After a suspect has been charged (and legally represented), further interviews might then be called interrogation.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:55:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweden operates under Scandinavian Civil Law ... about which I know nothing.  

Apparently, then, the prosecutor has an active role during the investigation?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 10:14:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure about the role of a Swedish prosecutor. But the info is in here somewhere.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 02:51:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. If for no other reason then because the prosecutor has to show up in court and present the police's case for why they want to continue to detain the suspect(s) beyond N hours (with N being 6 in Sweden to 24 in Denmark). I gather that Swedish prosecutors also function as the formal head of investigations, but I'm unclear as to the details.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 06:55:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure, but I think N is 72 hours in Finland - depending on the seriousness of the potential charge measured by the maximum length of potential imprisonment.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 01:18:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hearing, Anhörung, questioning.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the dodgy English translation, it looks like prosecutor investigation into suspicion of 'sexual harassment' has been dropped, but the possible charge of 'harassment' is still being investigated:

Chefsåklagaren har givit utredare i uppdrag att förhöra Assange med anledning av misstanken om ofredande.

- Det får utredaren och Leif Silbersky komma överens om när det ska ske, säger Finné till Aftonbladet.

Den första misstanken, som till en början rubricerades som våldtäkt, avskrevs redan i lördags. Finné har nu även avskrivit misstanken om sexuellt ofredande i det fallet. Finné förklarar att det inte innebär att hon misstror kvinnan.

http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article7673691.ab

Bing translator (emphasis added):

The Chief Prosecutor has given investigators to interrogate Assange by reason of the suspicion of harassment.

- It is the investigator and Leif Silbersky agree on when it will happen, "says Finné to Aftonbladet.

The first suspicion, as initially as rape, was removed from the register rubricerades already on Saturday. Finné has now also written off suspicion of sexual harassment in the case. Finné declares that it does not mean that she distrusts the woman.

 

http://www.microsofttranslator.com/

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 12:22:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No "sexual harassment", but the "strong evidence" (by hearsay) was that Assange forced two women to accept penetration without a condom.

What's left of this clumsy smear job?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's left is an investigation into suspicion of 'harassment' whatever that means in Swedish law (it is apparently a very broad statute).

Whatever becomes of the allegation, "Eyewitness testimony by two witnesses, apparently independent witnesses, saying roughly the same thing about Assange's actions is strong evidence."

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 03:59:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Under what law is it strong evidence?

How many African-Americans have ended up on Death Row thanks to that kind of justice?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 04:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what exactly is that "eyewitness testimony"? Do you have the faintest idea?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 04:17:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you? Okay, so we're even and neither of us should jump to conclusions. Is it possible two women had some sort of unpleasant encounter with Assange, and reported those experiences to the police? Yes. Is it possible nothing 'wrong' took place and the two women were enacting a 'smear job' against Assange by bringing false charges to the police? Yes. Do we have any idea which of the preceding is most likely? No.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 04:29:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course it's possible, and of course women who go to the police to complain of abuse should be taken seriously and listened to. But allegations are not in themselves evidence.

And, in this case, the immediately-offered media stories have changed so often and so quickly (despite being apparently circumstantiated by details such as the condom which are no longer being spoken of), that the notion of a put-up job is an extremely possible one too.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 04:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a storm in a tekopp. There is a simpler explanation: jealous revenge.

One of the two women, an expert on the law on sexual offences through her work, sought out contact with Assange (who she did not know) before he arrived in Sweden. This is evidenced in cached tweets that she sent at the time, now removed - presumably by herself. For instance she heard that Assange would be attending a private crayfish party and sought to get an invitation to it.

To actively seek out contact with someone, and then to engineer an accusation against them says only one thing to me. I say engineer, because there was never a direct accusation made by the woman, but it was reported to the police in such a way that they would have to act.

The cause of the desire for 'revenge' is murkier. But there are several scenarios that do not involve the CIA, the Pentagon or any other sinister organizations.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the two women, an expert on the law on sexual offences through her work, sought out contact with Assange (who she did not know) before he arrived in Sweden.

The more the evidence rolls in the more it looks like a classic "Honey Trap."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 11:41:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may well prove to be such, but for the moment there are more obvious, more parochial explanations.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 12:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One's conclusions depends on one's paranoia index?  Mine is set fairly high; I try to keep it under control.

O/T, BTW:

Hope you're anchoring the shelving properly.  Remember they will have to hold 10,000 books when the ET Refuges move in.  

:-)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 02:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I am. I even bought an electronic stud detector (no jokes there please). But there's a lot of BTUs in books, and we have a standard Finnish tiled stove upstairs - one of the most efficient burners in the business. Heat or knowledge - it may be the choice one day ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 02:48:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One's conclusions depends on one's paranoia index?

And how allergic one is to tinfoil.

Me, I'm perfectly willing to ascribe mendaciousness to the police and the press - but I find coordination with the Americans hard to believe. For one thing, it's not necessary. Every back-scratching little wannabe-Quisling on the continent knows that Assange is a high-profile pain in the US' ass. For another thing, you can't keep that sort of operation a secret in Sweden... as the MPAA learned to their misfortune when they went after TPB.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 07:21:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(where's me hat?  OH!  Here it is!!!)

This kind of thing needs a couple of people talking to a couple of people in the right place(s).  

We're not going to know who, what, when,and why for a couple of months ... if ever.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 12:05:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scandinavian societies are far more transparent than the Anglo. We'll know what happened this end quite soon.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 12:17:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Outright fabrications require political initiative in high places, because low-level bureaucrats are allergic to sticking their necks out like that (or they will soon cease to be bureaucrats). But exaggeration only requires that everybody knows what the boss would like to hear. So far, I'm betting that this is a case of exaggeration by the police and press based on their being suffused by the Conventional Wisdom of the Serious People.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 12:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a source for your suspicions/allegations?

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The two women alleged they were eyewitnesses to Assange's behavior. "I say I saw this" is the strongest evidence you have in these sorts of intimate, one-to-one contexts. If courts didn't consider it 'strong evidence' then we'd pretty much never get any convictions for crimes that happen in intimate, one-on-one contexts.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 03:44:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We pretty much never do get convictions for crimes that happen in intimate, one-on-one contexts.

It also depends on the credibility of the witnesses in question. But the credibility of the witnesses is a matter for the courts of law to decide, not for the courts of public opinion.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 07:30:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the states many are convicted of 'sex-or-abuse-related' crimes on such intimate testimony. It's one of those 'who do you believe' deals for either a judge or a jury. This has long been considered a difficult and 'feminist' issue, because if you don't credit such testimony to some extent then certain sorts of 'non-violent' incidences of sexual abuse and rape become very difficult to 'prove' beyond a reasonable doubt.

Anyway, 2 witnesses against 1 would not have been helpful to Assange, but now things may get down, according to shaky press reports, to one woman's word against his.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Fri Aug 27th, 2010 at 10:16:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Emphasis added:

WikiLeaks founder cleared of sex allegations
By MALIN RISING
STOCKHOLM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange no longer faces sex abuse charges in Sweden after a prosecutor decided Wednesday to investigate only one of two complaints against him, and not as a sexual offense.

Assange -- who has denied both accusations -- is still suspected of molesting a woman on Aug. 13, but molestation is not a sex crime under Swedish law, said Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

It covers a wide range of offenses, including reckless conduct or inappropriate physical contact with another adult, and can result in fines or up to one year in prison. . . .

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9HQLNSO0.htm

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 04:03:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US government has played this game before:

Psychological Warfare From the Outside: The FBI and police used a myriad of other "dirty tricks" to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.

"Harassment Through the Legal System: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, "investigative" interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters."

COINTELPRO is merely the best known example.  The FBI and other Federal government agencies have a history of such tactics going back to the "Palmer Red Raids" of the 1920s forward to alleged operations against the anti-war movement in 2003/4.  

If the record of the US government's respect for law and the rights of non-US citizens is even worse.  We know employees of the US government have kidnapped, tortured,  and murdered under the 'saving grace' of The Global War on Terror; people are being held without trial and without judicial review; it is enough for them to be denounced by a "qualified" - who says they are, how do we know they are - informers.  

These are not charges but facts, as can be proven by anyone spending thirty minutes on a search engine.  

Now let's return to a news story running in several publications and venues on August 6th:

"Wikileaks' Julian Assange defies Pentagon threats"

The founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, was today remaining defiant in the face of intense pressure from the US military to hand over tens of thousands of classified files. In a televised statement yesterday, the Pentagon threatened to "compel" the whistle-blowing website to return the documents.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said: "If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, then we will figure out what other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing. Let me leave it at that."

And - mirabile dictu! - out of the blue in a country that takes sexual harassment VERY seriously (unlike the US, I point out) comes charges of rape and molestation thereupon the prosecutor's office violates - I understand - proper procedure(s), the police certainly violate proper procedure(s), and within less than 8 hours Mr. Assange is being globally headlined as a sexual pervert.

Now we are finding out the rape charge is bogus, the molestation - the word, in the US, has a strong semantic cluster association with/to pedophilia, just by the way - charge has been reduced to a non-sexual offense.

And all this before Mr. Assange has even been questioned by the proper authorities.

It has been suggested in various places that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could be behind this.  I take the opportunity to remind anybody still reading the US Federal government has a host of "alphabet soup"  intelligence agencies and bureaus and the Department of Defense has another soup bowl, to boot.   And, it may be, a concoction of a particular slime-rag ... beg pardon, "newspaper," I'm sure ... to that has, if nothing else, gotten several hundred million krona free advertising out of the deal as well as, I'm willing to bet, a sudden upswing in sales over the weekend.

What seems to be clear, de minimis, is some group circumvented proper Swedish legal procedures causing an international ad hominem attack against Mr. Assange and, by implication, Wilileaks.  Who and Why are questions still be to answered.  The weight of the circumstantial evidence for 'Who would want to' strongly suggests the US government; the weight of the operational evidence 'Who could have' points to the Swedish prosecutor and police organizations.    

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:36:30 PM EST
The weight of the circumstantial evidence for 'Who would want to' strongly suggests the US government; the weight of the operational evidence 'Who could have' points to the Swedish prosecutor and police organizations.

As the investigations into the unconstitutional harassment of The Pirate Bay (and their ISP, and several customers of the same ISP who had nothing whatsoever to do with them) demonstrated, the two are virtually coterminous in cases with any sort of international relevance.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 07:21:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From your link:

The Swedish public broadcast network, Sveriges Television, cited unnamed sources claiming that the raid was prompted by political pressure from the United States, which the Swedish government denied. Sveriges Television claimed that the Swedish government was threatened by the World Trade Organization with trade sanctions unless action was taken against The Pirate Bay.

Soon after the police investigation of The Pirate Bay finished in 2008, the lead investigator, Jim Keyzer, according to Keyzer's since-deleted Facebook profile, left the police force briefly to work for MPAA member studio Warner Brothers.

So here we have evidence that the Swedish government or some members of the Swedish government previously 'doing the dirty' under pressure from the US government or some members of the US government.  We also have evidence of 'rogue elements' within the Swedish prosecutors office knowingly directing police actions outside the protections of Swedish Law.

This thing only gets better the more we learn.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 11:28:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Local is now reporting:

The allegations against the [Assange] appeared to be linked to his refusal to leave the woman's home when she asked him to go, [Aftonbladet] reported.

At the rate we're going tomorrow the complaint is going to be he left dirty dishes in the sink overnight.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 11:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He probably left the toilet seat up...

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
by Melanchthon on Thu Aug 26th, 2010 at 01:06:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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