December 7th, 2010

Assange in custody

Julian Assange is in police custody in England pending a hearing on his Swedish rape charges. The judge has denied bail.

There are a few surprises here. One is that the British have had the will to follow through on this. Another (at least to me) is that Assange came willingly to the police station; I would have thought he’d have continued to hide. This tells me that either he thought he’d be granted bail and/or he thinks he won’t be extradited to Sweden by the Brits and/or he thinks the Swedes won’t convict him even if he stands trial. And what of the “insurance” file? Does it get activated now?

When I wrote “Swedish rape charges” in that first sentence, I didn’t just mean rape charges in Sweden. “Swedish rape” appears to be a different animal than rape as we know it in most places in the world. It includes murkier issues of consent given and then withdrawn as the act is in progress due to such things as non-condom use. It’s also the case that the conviction rate for rape in Sweden is only 10%, and so if Assange believes he’ll be found not guilty, this may have a very good basis in fact.

However, from the BBC coverage we learn that the rape charges against Assange may not be so mild as we’d been previously led to believe. One of the women charges that not only did he have unprotected sex with her, but it occurred while she was asleep (or at least, I’ll assume it began when she was asleep; if she continued to sleep all through the entire act, that doesn’t say much for Assange as a lover or a rapist). That scenario sounds to me like what even Whoopi Goldberg might call “rape-rape.”

And in a sidelight, who was among those willing to bail Assange out? Why, John Pilger, that’s who. Fellow-Australian and fellow US-hater extraordinaire Pilger has been making “documentaries” and crying “The USA is an imperialist pig!” ever since he cut his teeth as a journalist in Vietnam war era days.

8 Responses to “Assange in custody”

  1. expat Says:

    Via Hot Air: the Daily Mail has more on the case:

    These women sound like total a**es. Assange should be made to answer for his real crimes, not for dumping groupies.

  2. expat Says:

    Here is a very interesting article by P.J. O’Rourke and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. While we are all talking about leaks right now, it’s good to remember how lucky we are to have access to the info we do have.

    When Jeff Gedmin was running Aspen Berlin, he was fantastic. He did talk shows and wrote a regular column for Die Welt. He was one of the few voices to present the American point of view during the Bush administration, and he did it well–not argumentative, but not boot-licking either. I guess I would say he was informed and competent. I have a lot of faith in his ability to run RFE/RL. I hope it doesn’t lose funding.

  3. colagirl Says:

    Looked at the DailyMail link. Sheesh. All these people deserve each other. 😛

  4. gs Says:

    1. Neo posted: “Swedish rape” appears to be a different animal than rape as we know it in most places in the world.

    I wonder if Antioch College’s sexual harassment policy is based on Swedish law or vice versa.

    2. I shed no tears for Assange, but it concerns me that it’s not only scumbags that can be ensnared in the kind of web in which he is caught.

    3. In particular, consider Holder saying that they’re looking for something to charge him with. That just rubs me the wrong way. In effect, the government is going on a pretext-hunting expedition through volumes and volumes of legislation, some of which perhaps has not even been read by the Congress that passed it.

  5. br549 Says:

    Looking at the photo of Assange on Drudge……he’s a dweeb.

  6. Mike Mc. Says:

    Something is not right here. It’s too convenient. The leaks. A rape charge. The odds of two notorious and very different acts being committed by the same person. Then the Brits, who let Islamic rapists, murderers, kidnappers and terrorists roam free without the slightest bother at all decide to get tough.

    Something is off about this whole thing from the beginning.

  7. strcpy Says:

    “Something is off about this whole thing from the beginning.”

    Yes, after generations of work infiltrating and leading some of the top anti-American groups in the western world the CIA plants have finally had their trigger pulled. Good thing the CIA began with their parents in the movement followed by many decades of funding anti-American propaganda and personally leading the charge the two females in question are finally out in the open. Idiot Assange, openly going back to their apartments to have sex with them just gave the CIA the ammunition they needed.

    Err, well, maybe not. I’ll at least buy that they are lovers scorned (it isn’t like it is uncommon in Sweden for that – thus the 10% or less conviction rate).

    Assange went to Sweden to seek political asylum. Whilst there he went on some invited lectures and bedded the women in charge of the event. Either he did as they claim and actually did rape them (even by Whoopi’s rape-rape standards) or they are angry over his leaving them and screwing other women.

    At best he found his adoring fans not so adoring after screwing them (in more than one sense of the word) and some governments are willing to enforce laws due to Wikileaks. But then Sweden is known to *not* be that way, thus why he asked Sweden for asylum (and they pointed out what should be the obvious thing to most people – you don’t need asylum from the US, Britain, Australia, Italy, Spain, etc – piss off someone who actually *does* kill and then we will talk. Though with one of his latest leaks with cables from the US to Russia he may have done so and it appears as if it was only after the release that he and others realized that Russia looks at it as a leak against them, not the US).

    Either way the big bad Intelligence Agencies of the world – as you imply and many directly state – could only *dream* of this ability to manipulate. If they could Assange would have been murdered well before it ever got to this point. I’m reminded of the “brilliance” of Karl Rove as the Democrats tripped over their own feet as he did *nothing* – it only “stinks of something” if you assume the party getting the short end of the stick is actually competent.

    Assange is a megalomaniac idiot and is just proving it. The Intelligence Agencies don’t have to do *anything* for him to self destruct. Really, we can see that now with our own politics – the Republicans are incompetent yet Obama keeps making them look good. It only has to be a vast plot if Obama was actually competent and being repressed – sadly his gaffes are of his own making and his opponents have no need to do anything (indeed, the few times they have tried to capitalize on it they lessened the impact of his failures and generated sympathy). Assange is little different – he has more than enough rope to hang himself and lacks the internal ability to avoid it.

    With that in mind there is nothing off about the whole thing. It is only off if Assange is a Jame Bond level agent and is fighting the vast powers of the western intelligence agencies bent on his removal though highly visible yet subtle means that only the enlightened ones could even guess at (not to mention that this whole operation would take longer to plan and engage than Wikileaks has been more than an insignificant blip on the radar – the Intelligence Agencies have to be both grossly incompetent and brilliant beyond imaging to do that).

  8. expat Says:


    I agree that there is little chance of a long-term CIA conspiracy here. There is a chance that the revival of the abuse charges which led to the arrest warrant may be part of a plan to shake his network, and it may be having some effect:

    I also found it interesting that Jemima Khan, the little rich British girl and socialite who was married to Imran Khan, is an ardent Assange supporter.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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