Why I am Convinced that Anna Ardin is a Liar

by craig on September 11, 2012 1:05 pm in Uncategorized

There are so many inconsistencies in Anna Ardin’s accusation of sexual assault against Julian Assange. But the key question which leaps out at me – and which strangely I have not seen asked anywhere else – is this:

Why did Anna Ardin not warn Sofia Wilen?

On 16 August, Julian Assange had sex with Sofia Wilen. Sofia had become known in the Swedish group around Assange for the shocking pink cashmere sweater she had worn in the front row of Assange’s press conference. Anna Ardin knew Assange was planning to have sex with Sofia Wilen. On 17 August, Ardin texted a friend who was looking for Assange:

“He’s not here. He’s planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening, but not made it. Maybe he finally found time yesterday?”

Yet Ardin later testified that just three days earlier, on 13 August, she had been sexually assaulted by Assange; an assault so serious she was willing to try (with great success) to ruin Julian Assange’s entire life. She was also to state that this assault involved enforced unprotected sex and she was concerned about HIV.

If Ardin really believed that on 13 August Assange had forced unprotected sex on her and this could have transmitted HIV, why did she make no attempt to warn Sofia Wilen that Wilen was in danger of her life? And why was Ardin discussing with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and texting about it to friends, with no evident disapproval or discouragement?

Ardin had Wilen’s contact details and indeed had organised her registration for the press conference. She could have warned her. But she didn’t.

Let us fit that into a very brief survey of the whole Ardin/Assange relationship. .

11 August: Assange arrives in Stockholm for a press conference organised by a branch of the Social Democratic Party.
Anna Ardin has offered her one bed flat for him to stay in as she will be away.

13 August: Ardin comes back early. She has dinner with Assange and they have consensual sex, on the first day of meeting. Ardin subsequently alleges this turned into assault by surreptitious mutilation of the condom.

14 August: Anna volunteers to act as Julian’s press secretary. She sits next to him on the dais at his press conference. Assange meets Sofia Wilen there.

Anna tweets at 14.00:

‘Julian wants to go to a crayfish party, anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow? #fb’

This attempt to find a crayfish party fails, so Ardin organises one herself for him, in a garden outside her flat. Anna and Julian seem good together. One guest hears Anna rib Assange that she thought “you had dumped me” when he got up from bed early that morning. Another offers to Anna that Julian can leave her flat and come stay with them. She replies:
“He can stay with me.”

15 August Still at the crayfish party with Julian, Anna tweets:

‘Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing! #fb’

Julian and Anna, according to both their police testimonies, sleep again in the same single bed, and continue to do so for the next few days. Assange tells police they continue to have sex; Anna tells police they do not. That evening, Anna and Julian go together to, and leave together from, a dinner with the leadership of the Pirate Party. They again sleep in the same bed.

16 August: Julian goes to have sex with Sofia Wilen: Ardin does not warn her of potential sexual assault.
Another friend offers Anna to take over housing Julian. Anna again refuses.

20 August: After Sofia Wilen contacts her to say she is worried about STD’s including HIV after unprotected sex with Julian, Anna takes her to see Anna’s friend, fellow Social Democrat member, former colleague on the same ballot in a council election, and campaigning feminist police officer, Irmeli Krans. Ardin tells Wilen the police can compel Assange to take an HIV test. Ardin sits in throughout Wilen’s unrecorded – in breach of procedure – police interview. Krans prepares a statement accusing Assange of rape. Wilen refuses to sign it.

21 August Having heard Wilen’s interview and Krans’ statement from it, Ardin makes her own police statement alleging Assange has surreptiously had unprotected sex with her eight days previously.

Some days later: Ardin produces a broken condom to the police as evidence; but a forensic examination finds no traces of Assange’s – or anyone else’s – DNA on it, and indeed it is apparently unused.

No witness has come forward to say that Ardin complained of sexual assault by Assange before Wilen’s Ardin-arranged interview with Krans – and Wilen came forward not to complain of an assault, but enquire about STDs. Wilen refused to sign the statement alleging rape, which was drawn up by Ardin’s friend Krans in Ardin’s presence.

It is therefore plain that one of two things happened:

Either

Ardin was sexually assaulted with unprotected sex, but failed to warn Wilen when she knew Assange was going to see her in hope of sex.

Ardin also continued to host Assange, help him, appear in public and private with him, act as his press secretary, and sleep in the same bed with him, refusing repeated offers to accommodate him elsewhere, all after he assaulted her.

Or

Ardin wanted sex with Assange – from whatever motive.. She “unexpectedly” returned home early after offering him the use of her one bed flat while she was away. By her own admission, she had consensual sex with him, within hours of meeting him.

She discussed with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and appears at least not to have been discouraging. Hearing of Wilen’s concern about HIV after unprotected sex, she took Wilen to her campaigning feminist friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans, in order to twist Wilen’s story into a sexual assault – very easy given Sweden’s astonishing “second-wave feminism” rape laws. Wilen refused to sign.

Ardin then made up her own story of sexual assault. As so many friends knew she was having sex with Assange, she could not claim non-consensual sex. So she manufactured her story to fit in with Wilen’s concerns by alleging the affair of the torn condom. But the torn condom she produced has no trace of Assange on it.

Conclusion

I have no difficulty in saying that I firmly believe Ardin to be a liar. For her story to be true involves acceptance of behaviour which is, in the literal sense, incredible.

Ardin’s story is of course incredibly weak, but that does not matter. Firstly, you were never supposed to see all this detail. Rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret. There is no jury, and the government appointed judge is flanked by assessors appointed directly by political parties. If Assange goes to Sweden, he will disappear into jail, the trial will be secret, and the next thing you will hear is that he is guilty and a rapist.

Secondly, of course, it does not matter the evidence is so weak, as just to cry rape is to tarnish a man’s reputation forever. Anna Ardin has already succeeded in ruining much of the work and life of Assange. The details of the story being pathetic is unimportant.

By crying rape, politically correct opinion falls in behind the line that it is wrong even to look at the evidence. If you are not allowed to know who the accuser is, how can you find out that she worked with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in Havana and Miami?

Finally, to those useful idiots who claim that the way to test these matters is in court, I would say of course, you are right, we should trust the state always, fit-ups never happen, and we should absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of those who campaigned for the Birmingham Six.

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  1. This is all very interesting but you are not judge and jury. The case needs to go to court.

  2. excellent analysis Craig Murray

  3. Andy

    I see you did not read as far as the final three paras. And there is no jury. In fact, it is so obvious from your comment you did not actually read the article – and your comment appeared within 120 seconds of my posting it – that I am genuinely concerned at your motivation in getting in incredibly quickly to post a derogatory comment under something you did not read.

    I don’t believe anybody can really read through that article and write and post a comment under 120 seconds.

  4. Cross posting this from Medialens.

    Is this true about the Assange case, and sex and politics in Sweden
    Posted by walter on September 11, 2012, 10:50 am

    From Christine Assange:

    “Interestingly, there is a domestic political agenda involved in Sweden. When the rape allegations were made on August the 20th, in one month’s time there was to be local and general elections in Sweden. And, “coincidentally”, woman AA, the police officer that interrogated woman SW, and both the lawyers in the law firm that picked up the case against Julian after it was dropped by the chief prosecutor, were all running for the same party, in the same elections, on the same platform of widening the definition of rape within consensual sex”.
    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/50089

    If this is true it seems odd. Imagine someone being prosecuted in the UK by four Tory party members (candidates?) – specifically for something that falls within the new boundaries of the changing definition of a crime they were politicizing just before an election.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1347357023.html

  5. @Andy, I’m certainly of the view that any serious legal allegations, if they lead to prosecution, should be tested in court. Of course it is not clear that the allegations relating to AA will get to court, since Assange has to travel to Sweden first (and everyone knows why he will not do that at present, even if they don’t agree with the reasons).

    As I keep saying, there are good public interest reasons why Swedish prosecutors should have a formal interview with Assange over a telephone or video link. It has been suggested that they could not come to see him, since that starts a timeframe in which they have to prosecute or desist, and that the travelling to and fro could make that difficult. I seem to remember that period being two weeks. If this is so, it still does not explain why it could not be done remotely.

    I’ve heard it said that Assange should not be able to demand concessions or special treatment. In fact, I agree totally – the reasons why I think this case should be treated on its facts is the precedent it sets for everyone in the UK. Extradition to various places is still rife with injustice – the Natwest Three, still languishing in the US, come to mind.

  6. Oh yes – I should qualify my first paragraph with concerns, as Craig says above, about there being no jury. I hear that this is something that has been the subject of criticism in Sweden for some time, rather than just in relation to this case.

  7. No surprise here.

    Full details of WikiLeaks & Assange Ofcom complaint over documentary “WikiLeaks: Secrets & Lies” / Monday 10th September, 15:30

    http://www.wikileaks.org/The-public-relations-state-full.html?nocache

    For reference – the OFCOM Board. I see Craig’s old friend Dame Lynne Brindley from the British Library is on it.
    Chairman

    Ed Richards
    Chief Executive

    Lord Blackwell
    Board member

    Dame Lynne Brindley DBE
    Board member

    Tim Gardam
    Board member

    Dame Patricia Hodgson DBE
    Deputy Chairman

    Stuart McIntosh
    Board member

    Mike McTighe
    Board member

    Jill Ainscough
    Board Member

    Click on their names. An incestuous circle. Banks, global accountants, Blair, Brown. Those connections are all there. They nearly all have seats in other organisations.

  8. I somehow deleted Colette Bowe’s name. She is the Chairman of Ofcom.

    Her Register of Interests as a case in point.

    Colette Bowe (Chairman, Appointed 11 March 2009)
    Board Member, Morgan Stanley International (2010 – 2011)
    Chairman of Electra Private Equity plc (Board member from 2007, appointed Chairman 25.5.2010).
    Board Member, London and Continental Railways Ltd, (2008 – 2011)
    Board Member, Camden Peoples’ Theatre (2002 – 2010)
    Trustee, the Wincott Foundation (2003 – May 2011)
    Board Member, UK Statistics Authority (2010 – )
    Member of the Supervisory Board, Axa Deutschland GmBH (2008 – )
    Governor of Bancrofts School (2009 – )
    Trustee, Tablet Trust (2010 – )
    Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation (2011 – )
    Chairman, Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (24 July 2012 – )
    Board Member and Chairman of the Audit Committee, Axa Investment Managers (July 2012 – )

  9. read through that article and write and post a comment under 120 seconds.

    Darn fast reader, I should say!!!!!!!!!

    Craig,

    At last you have understood:

    ….. we should trust the state always, fit-ups never happen, and we should absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of those who campaigned for the Birmingham Six

    Now all you need to do is recount that Karimov never tortured his people, he never boiled them alive, and you mistook his “spoiling” of his people, because you are not all that fluent in Uzbek!

    Presto you may even get invited to be a director of one of Gulnara’s many companies, and get your post back in FCO and even made into a TV celebrity judging Britain has big boobs competition!

    I despair at the extent of the illiteracy of a bunch of zombiefied and uniformed mob who help to assail my human rights and reduce the quality of my life to that of a hermit crab.

    Keep up the good work guy.

  10. Agreed 100% Mr. Murray.

    But just to play devils advocate on your question “Why did Anna Ardin not warn Sofia Wilen?”, never underestimate the motives and perversions of evil:

    “All fascist cults need demons to vilify, and feminism is no exception; its misandric propaganda typically hides from truth and reality for its survival. Feminists need women to be victims, they have no vested interest in improving the wellbeing of women; they value them too highly as morbid object lessons, to be pickled in jars of oestrogen. Meanwhile, the few real male criminals, act as vectors to spread the disease of feminism via hysteria; hence feminists have a symbiotic need of bad men, rather than a need of safe women; which is why the feminised legal system generates unjust laws to provoke men, and insinuate their guilt. The induced paranoia of women, and the feminisation of law, ensures no incentive for truth or justice.”

  11. I think you’ve pretty well nailed it there. Like you say the evidence of any serious intentional wrongdoing on Assange’s part is so flimsy it is a wonder so much has been made of it. Or not, since the motive is ulterior, to get Assange to the US via Sweden. I’ve blogged on why they do not want to extradite him directly from the UK.

    http://johngossip.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/why-uk-has-not-extradited-julian.html

    Yes fit-ups never happen. Did anybody watch Hillsborough – the search for the truth on Channel 5 last night. What a cover up!

  12. Neil Saunders

    11 Sep, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    Apropos “incestuous circles”, there’s a mealy-mouthed admission to an FoI application that some Ofcom personnel have attended Common Purpose training courses. (Incidentally, I’d be cautious about dismissing concerns about this secretive organisation merely as symptoms of a “right-wing conspiracy theory”, although I’d also like to know a lot more about some of CP’s foes and THEIR motivations.)

  13. The idealist in me would like to see Assange stand trial in Sweden, have the evidence properly litigated, and see the court reach the correct verdict.
    .
    But in what universe does a court – especially in a highly politicised case – turn round to the prosecution presenting the flimsiest of evidence and tell them to piss off? Never happens, of course.
    .
    The Lockerbie trial was when I had my eyes opened.

  14. @Mary Chairman of Ofcom and Leaks

    How ironic?

    In 1986, during the Westland Helicopters affair, Colette Bowe was chief press officer at the Department of Trade and Industry. She was named in the House of Commons as having leaked a letter in which the then solicitor-general, Sir Patrick Mayhew, attempted to discredit Michael Heseltine.

    Westland stayed independent, Heseltine walked out of a Cabinet meeting, and Brittan was posted to Brussels. Bowe stayed at the DTI for 10 months before moving to a similar job at the Independent Broadcasting Authority, predecessor of the present Independent Television Commission.

    (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/profile-personal-and-most-decidedly-private-colette-bowe-the-westland-affair-behind-her-the-head-of-the-personal-investment-authority-plays-it-strictly-by-the-book-william-kay-met-her-1367620.html)

  15. Another good article on the subject. The main point still being that Anna Ardins accusations are completely and totally belied by her subsequent actions.

  16. AA would certainly have a lot to answer under a proper cross-examination. I doubt it would get to court since it would be too embarassing and would weaken the case regarding SW. I could see her being called as a hostile witness for the defence – if such were allowed.

    I’m now hoping some kind of diplomatic solution can be cooked up to allow a trial in Sweden, since the case is weak.

    I do fear Assange could still be convicted on very weak evidence and the trial and even the verdict could end up being kept secret.

    It’s ultimately Assange who’d have to run the risks of jail time (or worse) so it it’s up to him how he handles it. Many fools are quick to caste aspersions but few if any of us are willing to go to jail (even if guitly) if we can possibly avoid it.

  17. Where allegations of rape or child molestation occur there is a percentage amongst society that react emotionally to the words alone, their personal disgust of the connotations of the words alone has them hating the recipient of the allegation to such an extent that guilt by association with those connotations takes place. I have personal experience of the level of illogical insanity that can take place in such occasions as follows……..
    .
    I was a Trades Union representative at a company where a young lady who worked there had the grave misfortune of having a father that was convicted of child molestation. The man on the face of things was a respectable middle class family man, wife, daughter, good job and nice suburban family home, both his family and social acquaintances were completely oblivious to his dark and deviant double life. He was arrested, tried, convicted and sent to prison for his hidden deviant life, his name being published in the local papers along with his crimes. Now at this point any right thinking human being cannot fail to see that his family, who were absolutely unaware of what he was doing are every bit victims in this case, their lives devastated, the revelation that husband and father a secret depraved sexual monster I cannot begin to understand how you deal with, it must tear your reality wide open and life would never be the same again. But here is the bit I for the life of me do not even begin to understand……… This family that had just been torn apart by the revelations of what this man had secretly been doing was, whilst he was now locked away in prison, subjected to hate mail, dog shit posted through the letterbox and various other forms of harassment, I became involved in it through a series of events that occurred in the workplace, his daughter who worked there was increasingly subjected to harassment, was having a great deal of problems from this and her manager had completely failed to address it in any way at all. One woman who worked in the same department as her had actually said to her, “I don`t know how your boyfriend can touch you knowing what your fucking father is”, the illogical emotional response and insane hatred that develops in a sector of society in these events I found hard to understand, but I witnessed it and it was horrendous. As if this young lady had not already suffered enough in her life at the emergence of the knowledge of what her father had secretly been doing, this pious, self righteous and deviant sector of society reacting to those connotations created from words such as rape and child molestation enacted gross cruelty upon the mans family, completely indifferent to their suffering in this they set about getting their pound of flesh for his crimes by destroying them? In the end things had gone too far with that element at the company and I forced a frustration of the employment contract on the company through their neglect in protecting her within the workplace, secured her a substantial compensatory payment and luckily managed to arrange alternative employment through the help of the Union Branch office for her, but I felt no victory or satisfaction in doing so because the emotional scars that remain on her can never be compensated for or made right.
    .
    This allegation that has been made against Assange is far removed from the severity of the realities of that case I was involved in, but from my experience of the above case I know full well there is a sector of society that will, even if he is proved to be innocent, have already deemed him guilty through association of the allegation because of the dark connotations the allegation creates in their own mind, there really are people that exist that are that crass, illogical and emotionally unbalanced that they judge in such terms and because of that you only need in this world to sling mud and you are absolutely sure that some of it will indeed stick. Such crimes as rape and child molestation are heinous, but because of the reaction of society to them false allegations of such crimes are equally heinous too.
    .
    I have read through some of the statements made by the ladies making the allegations and have to agree with Craig that there are sequences of events that are rather hard to fathom and comprehend in this, they are certainly questionable to a high degree and Assanges alleged guilt in this is vague and not clearly defined at all. Hand on heart I could with no level of certainty proclaim him guilty or innocent with any level of certainty, but the series of events does leave me with grave doubts that he is a rapist.
    .
    The one comment I will make because I am absolutely certain of it, when I look at this case although in the words Tweeted by Anna this group of people were “The world’s coolest smartest people”, what I see is a group of people who may be academically smart, in some areas have excelled, but in their social life are little better than moronic celebrities and celebrity groupies, Assange trotting around like a bed hopping rock star and a myriad of groupies quite blatantly inviting the star into their beds and it saddens me, it saddens me because because the world we live in is a world of shit, homelessness, poverty, fiscal attacks on the disabled and needy, unemployment, global neocon warmongering for power and corporate profit and mass suffering that ensues from all of it and at the top, either on the side of creating injustice for profit or purportedly standing against it, what we see is that in one way or another they are all the same, egotistical power junkies, self seeking deviants lost in a world of celebrity illusion and insanity, all wrapped up in ego and bullshit and it does not bode well for the poor, oppressed and unfortunate at all.
    .
    The time is long overdue that we bring the whole damned lot crashing down, but I fear that even if that day comes they would be replaced by little more than more of the same who would take their place. What we need to do is not remove those that are at the top, what we need to do is take a good hard look at the power/celebrity ass kissing and ego obsessed society we live in, see just what a degenerate, counter productive and illusionary world it is and once and for all call a halt to it and develop something real which would be to the benefit of all and not just the ego tripping few.

  18. Craig,

    Your post sums up what seems to be a “fit up”. I remain astonished that the mainstream media do not seem to be examining this case at all.

    On the 19th Aug 2012, The Guardian published a piece on Julian Assange.I don’t really want to repeat myself but the Guardian were “moderating” and then disappearing anything which suggested that Ardin’s story needed examining.

    I find it deeply worrying that this is happening – it really smacks of press control.

    I do start to wonder if the tinfoil hat chaps have a point.

  19. Splendid comment Dale.

  20. Dale, thanks for your comment – I agree entirely. And how odd that people would behave in that way to the man’s family, it beggars belief.

    As for “bringing it crashing down”, yes – if we could inject some democratic accountability into the media, enshrined in law, it would change societal perceptions over the long term, and people would generally become less consumerist, and more altruist – both of which I consider healthy developments.

  21. Arnold Bocklin

    11 Sep, 2012 - 3:27 pm

    The way to test these matters is in court.

    It’s truly horrifying to see Craig suggesting otherwise.

  22. Keith Crosby

    11 Sep, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    Why worry about HIV when mundane gonorrhoea is more likely?

  23. Keith Crosby

    11 Sep, 2012 - 3:40 pm

    ~~~~~The way to test these matters is in court.

    It’s truly horrifying to see Craig suggesting otherwise.~~~~~

    Find me one that’s not bent and I’ll agree with you.

  24. “As for “bringing it crashing down”, yes – if we could inject some democratic accountability into the media, enshrined in law, it would change societal perceptions over the long term, and people would generally become less consumerist, and more altruist – both of which I consider healthy developments.”

    The road to hell is paved with Guardian Readers.

  25. Dale at 3:04pm on 11th Sept 2012, that’s a deeply evocative narrative at every level, thank you so much for posting it.

  26. JimmyGiro – I dread to ask – you think reducing consumerism and increasing altruism in people, through a media that is more reflective of social justice, are bad things to aim for?

  27. “Why worry about HIV when mundane gonorrhoea is more likely?”

    The problem in a world of political correctness, with its moral-relativism and equivocations, is that Guardian Readers don’t know ‘arse from quim’.

  28. Jon dreaded:

    “JimmyGiro – I dread to ask – you think reducing consumerism and increasing altruism in people, through a media that is more reflective of social justice, are bad things to aim for?”

    You can aim for what you like dear, but your previous comment suggested making it law for the rest of us.

    Read up on Hayek’s “Road to serfdom”, then ponder on why it’s stupid to push string.

  29. it is 3.59pm. Where is Andy?

  30. JimmyGiro – in other words, you won’t say. Much like your answers to my many questions to you over these years, you struggle to provide straight answers. I should have known, but hope springs eternal :)

  31. Anna Ardin is not a credible witness if all accounts, including much of her own, are to be believed. Militant feminists, and their pathetic male supporters, do not like the characters of alleged rape victims to be questioned, let alone discredited. There is a myth that has been created that the usual rules of justice do not apply to rape victims. Rape victims are special, different, more reliable as accusers. And any male involvement in the proper investigation of the truth is vilified as mysogyny and conspiracy to deny a victim of justice. It’s funny how these malicious accusations never apply when the female victim is murdered, not raped – I wonder why?

  32. Jon beamed:

    “…I should have known, but hope springs eternal :)

    Crumbs… does that mean you feminists are planning a 3rd wave !?

  33. @JimmyGiro
    11 Sep, 2012 – 2:06 pm

    Ripper quote. Can you please advise who wrote/spoke it? Maybe a link?

  34. Arnold Bocklin,

    Let’s have an open court with public and media access and cross-examination, and you will have my hearty agreement. You won’t get any of those in a Swedish sex trial.

  35. Jemand:

    “Ripper quote. Can you please advise who wrote/spoke it? Maybe a link?”

    Forgive me Jemand, but being the product of a thundering Irish protestant father, and a screeching Italian fascist mother, I’m naturally naaaaarcissistic, and quoted myself:

    http://jimmygiro.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/fear-of-mens-impending-and-inexorable.html

  36. Julian Assange should be applauded not persecuted for hearing the sound of suffering that our leaders are causing in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and more.

    It was in the Iraq war and more recently in Afghanistan, innocent men, women and children are being murdered and maimed in what the Red Cross describes as the greatest civilian carnage…

    Julian’s WikiLeaks documents have allowed us to ponder the judgements and decency of our leaders and their decision makers. To examine the massive duplicity and deceit the leaked documents reveal. We realise our own establishment is an undemocratic institution that does not represent it’s own citizens, operating independently of the Justice system and in conjunction with a mass media providing an arm of executive power broadcasting lies and propaganda far more often than it exposes them.

    In the illegal Iraq war I can advance with a degree of certainty that terrible and hideous torture employing electric drills, acid and more [Ellen Knickmeyer] and mass murder has occurred. Julian’s cables reveal Mr Blair et al. bear a major responsibility for these warcrimes, among the worst since the end of WWII. These zombies people are still free to lavishly spend their vast wealth obtained from exploiting others.

    I ask here can you ever image the magnitude of revenge from the murder of hundred of thousands of Muslims if/when Iran is smashed next?

    God forbid.

    It is in this light I applaud Craig Murray for his consistent support for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

  37. Excellent post Craig.

    A powerful and most thought-provoking comment from Dale also.

  38. @JimmyGiro – thanks Jimmy, I”ve saved your link in my free thinkers resource kit.
    Irish + Italian, great combo, hah!

  39. I don’t really think a court is the right place to scrutinize these vague, confused, contradictory, and not least unprovable allegations. What good would a trial do? How would one prove who was telling the truth, without physical evidence and without any witnesses to the alleged crimes? Assange is unlikely to incriminate himself and the prosecution can’t prove anything the women say actually happened the way they remember it. So, under these circumstances a trial would be a waste of time, do to the extraordinary weakness of the prosecution case.

    It would seem incredible that this case would be allowed to even lead to charges being made, let alone a trial, given the above. But this isn’t how things work in Sweden. Often the state, prosecutor and police, arrest someone and keep them in solitary without bail, which like jury trials doesn’t exist in Sweden, for months. This is an “unofficial” way to punish someone without the need of a trial. And it happens over and over again. One can look at the issuing of the EAW as part of this process too, a way to punish Assange for over-stepping the unwritten rules of Swedish sexual conduct, namely, don’t treat respectable women like groupies, even if they act like groupies. In this context Assange has already been punished more than adequately for his “crimes.”

    What’s truly appalling and frightening is the hysteria and witch-trial atmosphere among the UK hacks, especially many of the liberal/leftie feminist types, like the ridiculous Laurie Penny, who are almost totally uninterested in the facts and details of the case, and the glaring and obvious weakness of the state’s case against Assange. Their premise seems to be that Assange should face the music in Sweden, clear his name, and effectively fight to prove his innocence, which kind of turns due process and the presumption of innocence on its head.

  40. @Jemand – I’ve nothing against Jimmy personally, but I’d advise caution with his advocacy. Do a search for “feminism” on this very site, and you’ll find plenty of his railing against Marxist Feminazis (yes, really) and one of the most persistent sets of question-dodging I think we’ve seen here (and there are several strong contenders).

    I do agree that genuinely problematic takes on feminism (“militant”) are in danger of discrediting the much more even-handed versions (i.e. the incremental equalisation of women’s rights in spheres where their power has traditionally been secondary to men). Some responses to the former – Jimmy’s included I think – are taking the form of Mens Rights Activism (MRA) which are, consciously or otherwise, forwarding intellectual arguments for misogyny.

    Thus, MRAs and militant feminists are largely the same thing, except each prefers the supremacy of a different gender.

  41. @Jon
    11 Sep, 2012 – 3:49 pm

    “JimmyGiro – I dread to ask – you think reducing consumerism and increasing altruism in people, through a media that is more reflective of social justice, are bad things to aim for?”

    Jon, isn’t the problem inherently one of media ownership? Ownership based primarily on profit-motivated private shareholdings, with advertising revenues, cannot be reliably expected to discourage consumerism and increase altruism. Although, I’d prefer the media to focus on truth, knowledge and accountability. The ownership could be in the hands of the consumers themselves, each shareholding vote being equal, voting being voluntary. Maybe a news organisation can be divided into two independent parts – the business side that ensures viability and an editorial side that ensures quality of content. As it is, the MSM have simply become part of the establishment and without fundamental change to ownership and structure, it is unlikely to ever change.

  42. Dale – powerful post – I agree completely with what you say about the egocentric and celebrity obsessed culture that surrounds us all; it’s a degrading and insidious factor. (Craig’s post re Anna Karenin alludes to a film director with an eye problem) How to counter it though? I do my small bit with grandchildren by pointing out the crassness of the ads that are directed at them and challenging their unthinking and careless use of language. They’re polite kids and don’t actually laugh in front of me – but I’m not sure how effective I am at raising their awareness, although I find humour helps.

  43. Craig old man,you were wasted as a diplomat, you would have made an excellent defense lawyer….just showed your post to a collegue that was convinced he was guilty…she is now questioning her belief..keep it up…oh, and by the way, I would take an evening with Kiera rather than Andy any day, but then I am stuck in a remote village in South Sudan so I may be biased !

  44. It is strange how the story of Assange & Wikileaks has morphed from being about serious disclosures of scandals and errors in diplomatic communications/public policy matters into one of unproven sex issues in another country. I would always be suspicious of “kompromat style” issues when they surface so conveniently against someone whom the intelligence/security apparatus has a problem with.
    .
    I wonder if there is still any serious risk of Mr. Assange being extradited to the US now, and risking further huge public disclosures at a future trial over there, when Mr. Assange’s enemies already seem to have achieved much of their objective with Wikileaks appearing to have been silenced, the discussion morphing into one about sex, and Mr. Assange “locked up”, albeit in an Embassy.

  45. @Jon
    11 Sep, 2012 – 5:25 pm

    Re feminism, various forms.

    I’ve always been in favour of justice and fairness for all but my personal experiences with feminists is emotionally equivalent to that suffered by victims of racism. Intimidation, ridicule, harrassment, bullying – it’s all the same to me, whatever the reason. I have visited blogs run by feminists and the language is no less hate-filled than what you would expect on some neo-nazi or homophobic blog. It is utterly vile.

    The fundamental problem, I believe, is the permanent division of society into two competing groups. Tribalistic psychology drives the development of a hostile ideology that seeks political and legal concessions, privileges etc. The idea that one side seeks only equality is a bit too hopeful. That would imply that feminism would eventually become irrelevant and society would dismantle feminist infrastructure and slowly forget the culture that grows around it. Can you ever imagine the day that universities close down their Women’s Studies courses? I see the Swedish experiment spreading to other parts of the West with concommitant problems.

    We might have to agree to disagree on this subject.

  46. AFAIK JA is not accused of rape, yet. The Swedish prosecutor wants to interview him regarding the allegations by the sluts. The whole thing is a media show. The prosecutor(s) had ample opportunity to talk to JA while he still was in Sweden, had they wanted to. But they choose not to.

    Something else is going on here, AA is a crazy woman, a liar and well connected in parts of the establishment, no doubt. But the other one, SW is also very interesting, she came from absolutely nowhere right into the underwear of JA in just a few days, seems to me she was there on a job. And not only a blow-job.

  47. @Sunflower…moderation mate..

  48. It is that morphing that worries me Roderick and why my post addresses the positive angle of Julian’s WikiLeaks blurred by the fog of sexual allegations that have been outed in my book as an attempt to destroy his reputation and WikiLeaks to boot. I do not however want to undermine the splendid and honourable attempts to demolish the flaccid accusations calculated to ultimately silence the truths uncovered forever.

  49. @Sunflower – I don’t think “sluts” is helpful language. If we are not in favour of the use of sexual shame to denigrate Assange, I don’t think we should be in favour of the use of sexual shame to denigrate the women in question. This approach is regressive in all its forms, imo.

    @Jemand – excellent replies on media and feminism, thanks. I will come back to them both in due course, tied up atm :)

  50. Apologies for my bad choice of word. Should have been “women”.

  51. Sunflower wrote:

    “Apologies for my bad choice of word. Should have been “women”.”

    Surely it should have been feminist:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1385469/Thousands-scantily-clad-women-march-London-SlutWalk-protest-reaches-UK.html

  52. technicolour

    11 Sep, 2012 - 6:44 pm

    I see. So we are not allowed to believe that feminism is about equality, because otherwise the universities would have to close down their Womens’ Studies courses. We are urged to believe that the problem lies with feminism in Sweden, not US and UK foreign policy. We are encouraged to treat as rational people who hurl around sexual insults in a case which is political, or nothing. Along the way we’ve had a nice look at someone’s unfortunate experiences with something called ‘feminism’ (no details) and accusations of ‘feminist blogs’ which are like neo-Nazi sites (no links).

    All of which, as Roderick and Mark point out, serves to trivialise and distort something which, at the start of this, seemed reasonably serious.

  53. Craig,

    Great article!

    One important factual inaccuracy though… the original police report states that there were in fact TWO condoms analysed from the homes of two different people, one had DNA and the other didn’t:

    a) There was a complete condom from the home of someone referred to in the report as “MA2″ which had (as you say) no DNA, and

    b) There was a condom tip from the home of SOMEONE ELSE who is referred to as “MA1″ in the report. This condom tip DID have male DNA on it, and it matched the male DNA from a vaginal swab taken from MA1. This condom tip was stated to have been found under the part of the bed where Assange had been adjusting the condom, and had been cut off with a knife or scissors.

    So presumably MA1 is Anna Ardin (condom bit with DNA), and MA2 is Sofia Wilen (DNA-less condom.)

    This raises a contradiction between Anna Ardin’s statement that she had heard him (Assange) tearing the condom, and the lab analysis which states that it’d been cut with something sharp (knife or scissors) – which would presumably have sounded quite different to tearing.

    Not to mention, how do you exactly “tear” a condom, so as to neatly remove just the tip? They are phenomenally strong.

    So… is she (Ardin) saying Assange carried a set of condom-snipping scissors to his love-making activities, just in case? Or did there just happen to be one handy in the bedroom??? Or was this (as I strongly suspect) a plant?

    The length of time between the complaint being made and this condom tip being “found” (12 days later I believe) would have given plenty of time to fabricate and plant evidence, if this were the case.

    Plus, Anna Ardin is known to be a liar, as she lied to eg Donald Bostrom about not having slept with Assange, when she in fact already had. (At least, according to Donald Bostrom, who seems to be an impartial witness.) And Ardin’s testimony changes over time, which makes her doubly-suspect.

    See http://samtycke.nu/eng/2011/07/sex-lies-no-videotape-and-more-lies-false-accusations-in-the-assange-case/ for an excellent summary of the evidence.

    We also have to wonder why MA2 (Sofia Wilen) provided an unused condom to the police for analysis… if she were an unwilling complainant and didn’t want to press charges, and just wanted Assange to take an HIV test, this would back that assertion up.

    Keep up the good work!

    David

    Full lab report on broken condom: (With thanks to Komodo)
    http://www.samtycke.nu/doc/ass/police_condom.pdf

  54. @Tech
    You’re gonna just lurve the comments on the next page ref: “no-tits-Knightly”

  55. @JimmyGiro Sorry, I didn’t want to use the f-word. So I tried a less abusive one, obviously that was too much as well.

  56. Craig has omitted another interesting (and in my view incriminating) fact about Miss AA. Apart from the fact that she acted as ‘sexual liaison officer’ for a Swedish university (and would have therefore known that you can’t go to the police to request someone to take an STD test), several months before meeting Assange, she had posted a blog on the internet called: ‘Seven steps for revenge against an unfaithful lover.’

    She subsequently tried to delete this blog – but the cache was retrieved by those who know how. This woman’s behaviour is very strange.

  57. It is really depressing to read this post and see that really common and understandable behaviour by someone who claims to have been a survivor of rape is being used to brand her a liar. This is profoundly unhelpful to other survivors of rape to see such scorn poured on this woman because the case concerns a powerful man and has been seized upon by state interests to use for political persecution.

    Maybe, right, AA didnt warn Sophia because to do so would force her to confront directly what had happened to her. For some rape survivors, especially those whose experiences dont match the stereotypical but statistically rare rape by an aggressive stranger trope, coming to terms with havibg their agency taken away and being abused in this way takes time.

    It is also not uncommon for survivors to stay close to their attackers as they try to convince themselves that everything is OK, that their attacker would never do that etc.

    Look at this article written by a rape survivor recounting her experiences and mindset and you will see exactly this type of behaviour and her rationale: http://herbsandhags.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/how-i-became-rape-victim.html?m=1

    Are we to assume that she is also lying? That she is only concerned with ruining a man’s life?

    Beyond all this, the obvious reason why AA didnt warn Sophia is that she will have known, as most survivors of rape come to realise, that if she claimed that a powerful and respected man such as Assange had raped her she would face aggressive and humiliating scrunity and examination of her character, her lifestyle and every decision she made in her relationship with Assange.

    And what do you know? She was right.

  58. Have we got exact times for the Wilen and Ardin police statements?

    It seems obvious that after Ardin took Wilen across town to meet Krans, it was Wilen who talked to Krans first, in Ardin’s presence. Was Ardin involved in the conversation at all? What a shame that the police broke the internationally well-known rule on interviewing witnesses who allege rape, and (what a coincidence!) they also didn’t manage to record the interview either, so there is no record of Ardin’s role in the interview.

    And then – oh dear, after all that trouble – Wilen refuses to sign the statement that Ardin’s friend Krans asks her to sign.

    Was it at that point that Ardin, wondering what on earth she’s going to say to her CIA case officer, decides to make her own statement accusing Assange of assault against herself?

  59. Yes, Albanov, her blog was down for a while. It is up now and cleaned up.

    http://annaardin.wordpress.com/

    I notice among the blogs she visits, this is not one of them. Well, not yet.

  60. Skipjack,

    Except that Anna Ardin was not an impressionable 18 year old like the alleged victim you link to, but a mature woman with a history of campaigning on and writing on feminist issues, including the question of “white men” considering they had the right to define consent (on which she had previous internet correspondence with Irmeli Krans), and publishing detailed schemes for legal action as sexual revenge.

    Actually I think your thesis, that female victims are easily controlled and dominated by powerful men into not even realising they were raped, is gross sexual stereotyping and demeaning to women. Not to mention tendentious post-hoc rationalisation, in this instance.

    I am also sorry to say, Skipjack, that I do not necessarily completely believe every nuance of the story you link to. For those who keep saying Assange must face trial, to quote as irrefutable evidence alleged facts which have never been put before any jury, is somewhat strange. The story reads to me too perfectly calculated to advance precisely the point you are making, and it is without reserve stated by its author to be put forward in favour of that argument. But again, even if precisely true, I would again state that what is claimed to have been the psychology of a young woman some decades ago, is not the psychology of a modern, rather older woman in Sweden politically active on precisely these frminist sexual issues.

  61. And Skipjack, it’s all right for you to point out that many genuine rape victims behave irrationally, but the police are supposed to follow procedures which are designed partly with the aim of ensuring that enough proper evidence is gathered, where rape really has occurred, for the rapist to be brought to justice – and you can say it’s common for this and common for that, but why were so many rules broken which practically any police officer with responsibility for interviewing alleged rape victims should have known like the back of their hand?

    Ardin’s record looks very very CIA. That explains her actions. Bodstrom, Borgstrom, and Bildt are all CIA as well.

    You talk about some rapes not matching the stereotypical case of rape by a stranger, which is a fair point, but why then use the word “survivor” in the present context – a word which calls up images of people being in fear for their lives or believing they are in danger of being gravely physically injured, which nobody is alleging applies to either of these cases?

  62. Thanks Albanov I had forgotten about the blog entry. For those interested here are those steps:

    7 Steps to Legal Revenge by AA

    Step 1: Consider very carefully if you really must take revenge. It is almost always better to forgive than to avenge . . .

    Step 2: Think about why you want revenge. You need to be clear about who to take revenge on, as well as why. Revenge is never directed against only one person, but also the actions of the person.

    Step 3: The principle of proportionality. Remember that revenge will not only match the deed in size but also in nature. A good revenge is linked to what has been done against you. For example if you want revenge on someone who cheated or who dumped you, you should use a punishment with dating/sex/fidelity involved.

    Step 4: Do a brainstorm of appropriate measures

    for the category of revenge you’re after. To continue the example above, you can sabotage your victim’s current relationship, such as getting his new partner to be unfaithful or ensure that he gets a madman after him.
    Use your imagination!

    Step 5: Figure out how you can systematically take revenge. Send your victim a series of letters and photographs that make your victim’s new partner believe that you are still together which is better than to tell just one big lie on one single occasion.

    Step 6: Rank your systematic revenge schemes from low to high in terms of likely success, required input from you, and degree of satisfaction when you succeed. The ideal, of course, is a revenge as strong as possible but this requires a lot of hard work and effort for it to turn out exactly as you want it to.

    Step 7: Get to work.

    And remember what your goals are while you are operating, ensure that your victim will suffer the same way as he made you suffer.

    Well, revenge is personal and in this case animus. The strange part is this lady has escalated her revenge to societal and invoked justice on weak evidence. Here lies the rub and why the prosecutor is silent. There is no judicial case yet Julian’s reputation has been destroyed already.

  63. Zooming out of the JA story a little bit, I find myself slightly haunted by the last para of the post (“Finally, to those useful idiots who claim that the way to test these matters is in court, I would say of course, you are right, we should trust the state always, fit-ups never happen, and we should absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of those who campaigned for the Birmingham Six.”).

    Note that “haunted” does not mean I disagree with it – just that it makes me think. If we distrust the courts even of our supposedly liberal democratic regimes – and I agree that after Guantanamo, Birmingham Six, possibly Lockerbie (I know too little about that case) et al. it’s very much arguable that too many mistakes happened in our courts – what is our alternative?

    I.e. if someone is accused of something (and again, this is really not about Assange now), but we believe the courts will not give him a fair trial, what do we do? It’s not really possible to just “do nothing”, because then every murderer, fraudster, thief etc. would just be walking free forever. Yes, in theory there’s the possibility of democratic justice – the thing where your entire village/neighborhood assembles to judge you. Unfortunately, if you have a quick look at Switzerland, you’ll find that direct democracy can be pretty nasty as well (minaret ban…) – my personal guess is that “direct democratic justice” would just lead to hanging burglars and torture of kidnappers, but perhaps I’m too pessimistic.

    Thoughts?

  64. @ Michael

    “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against. We’re after power and we mean it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.

    [Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged]

  65. Michael,

    I think we can trust our courts and our governmental institutions most of the time. It is the belief that the government is always benign which is crazed.

  66. @Skipjack

    Beyond all this, the obvious reason why AA didnt warn Sophia is that she will have known, as most survivors of rape come to realise, that if she claimed that a powerful and respected man such as Assange had raped her she would face aggressive and humiliating scrunity and examination of her character, her lifestyle and every decision she made in her relationship with Assange.

    And what do you know? She was right.

    No, she wasn’t. If this were logically true, the same thing would have happened to Sofia Wilen, which it hasn’t. The problem with AA is that her story is so obviously made up, including the claim of the torn condom tip, which turns out in fact to have been cut with a knife or scissors, all (supposedly) in the heat of a sexual interlude. And left lying there, waiting to be found by police a full 12 days later. A story which is, frankly, all but totally unbelievable.

    Have you read the article I posted earlier at http://samtycke.nu/eng/2011/07/sex-lies-no-videotape-and-more-lies-false-accusations-in-the-assange-case/ which details the inconsistencies in her various testimonies at different times, and conversations with her friends? (This article also, incidentally, gives a good account of Sofia Wilen as her statements are internally consistent and don’t change over time.)

    I mean, are you defending AA for the sole reason she is a woman making an allegation of rape? Is no such person ever to be criticised? Even if they are making a false allegation? And, how is one to decide if it’s likely true or false?

    If you take the position that it should be left to a judge and/or jury (never mind for the moment that Sweden doesn’t even have juries), then that’s dodging the question, as courts are also made up of human beings – so how are they supposed to judge the merits or otherwise of the case?

    Or are we, as members of the public, just supposed to put up and shut up?

    Of course, it goes without saying that women have been oppressed for centuries (millenia) by men, and that rape has been part of this process, and women are only in recent decades receiving the support they need to come forward and identify and prosecute their assailants.

    I don’t think this discussion is about this at all – but about what seems to be a clear miscarriage of justice.

  67. Craig

    Your summary of Ardin’s case is both perceptive and accurate.

    I had reached a similar conclusion, only in my case I spent half the night creating a spray diagram charting all the iconsistencies in Ardin’s acount of her relationship with Assange. When spread out on the floor the finished chart covers most of the carpet. That’s how silly Ardin’s account is!

    Still, I got there in the end (though I had to use of lot of A3 paper in order to do it). :-)

  68. @JimmyGiro

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    -John Rogers

  69. Since a partial lie is still a lie, then partial trust can not be trusted.

  70. Craig, what an excellent question!

    Mark, o. m. g. (Are there past lovers of AA who can testify to the aftermath of their affairs? It sounds like these are the scripts she loves to write and play in and has a history of.)

    Here’s my followup question, though — could Sofia countersue Anna in Sweden for … I don’t know what you call it, reckless endangerment, or material support, or conspiracy or complicity in her “rape”?

    It sounds to me like at the moment of truth when Anna could have warned Sofia but didn’t, Anna could have been calculating that she would get more sexual revenge satisfaction potential against Julian by using Sofia against him, that in fact it’s a kind of calculus she engages in and is proud of her prowess in, see Mark’s 7-step list. Step 4!

    Step 4: Do a brainstorm of appropriate measures for the category of revenge you’re after. To continue the example above, you can sabotage your victim’s current relationship, such as getting his new partner to be unfaithful or ensure that he gets a madman after him. Use your imagination!

    Not saying Sofia even needs to be able to prove anything conclusively or win a verdict to win the case — as Craig says, the accusation is its own reward. Maybe the best way for Sofia not to let herself be socially raped (what’s the best way to say it?) by Anna is for her to put Anna on the defensive? Maybe if Sofia can’t withdraw the charges by not signing the police statement, maybe she can enlarge upon them by including Anna as a defendant?

    Maybe maybe maybe … ???

    P.S. What kind of feminist lets another woman be raped? Me on the jury wants to know. And if I was me on the grand jury, would I have the chance to authorize charges against Anna?

  71. JimmyGiro: and your conclusion from this is?

    Craig: okay, fair. And I guess as a card-carrying member and supporter of several NGOs which spend most of their time and money on campaigning against governments, I’ve hardly ever thought that the government is “always benign”. My philosophical problem however really starts in those instances where we don’t trust the government:

    1) Where do I draw the line? That is, if I believe that the (Swedish/British) government are making up fake charges against Assange for ulterior motives, and if I believe that our court system is not able to protect Assange from this, why should I believe that the government AND the judiciary will be more truthful in the case of John Doe from down the road, who was also accused of rape? Should I now mistrust the government on principle? And no, I can’t make a case-by-case decision because I don’t have the resources to read through all case files for all current criminal trials (in the way that you guys are reading through the Swedish JA case files) – and no newspaper will do that for me. 98% of the criminal trials in this country never even get more than a one-liner in the newspapers, if that

    2) Again my question from above: Let’s say that we have a case where we established that gov’t and “establishment” (incl. judiciary) might have ulterior motives. Let’s say that Jane Smith is accused of murdering someone but at the same time we know that she is a former MI5 operative who (we suspect) may know too much about our government’s secret programs. So now we face a dilemma. We consider the UK courts to be biased and unfit. At the same time, can we really just say “Let her walk free, we figured out that the case against her is too shady”? In that case we just replaced “trial by court” by “trial by vox populi”, or at least that part of the vox populi who bothered to give a view on a blog etc. – we’ll probably never hear from the silent majority, not even if we did a referendum in every such case. Seriously, what would be the way forward?

  72. @Technicolour
    11 Sep, 2012 – 6:44 pm

    For your information, and the benefit of others, my statement to Jon was a brief explanation, not a rambling essay or dissertation like so many other posts here. I didn’t post links or provide any further details because none is required. I am not debating anyone here, least of all some rabid feminist.

    However, I will expand on one point I alluded to earlier. Feminists use rape as a propaganda weapon against all men. It is central to their identity as innocent targets of perpetual male aggression and to the casting of all males as a natural enemy in their ideological universe. And for this crime, they seek a special status for victims that is never afforded to victims of other crimes, including murder. Interestingly, feminists do not see rape as a criminal manifestation that combines the instense male sex drive with psychopathic violence. Rather, they see it as just one form of male expression of power and control over women that pervades their universe. 

    I’m not going to selectively post links that others could, justifiably, claim were chosen simply because they support my comments. Instead, I encourage readers to google the subject matter, read what’s out there and discern for themselves the accuracy of my observations.

    The relevance of my comments relates ultimately to the motives of those who wish to destroy Wikileaks and a new found awareness that ordinary people can participate in the exposure of major crimes by our governments and private institutions. 

  73. Michael,

    Absolutely the right questions, and the answers are not easy, and I think have to be developed ad hoc. Only advice I have is, where you do achieve certainty, fight with every fibre of your being.

  74. technicolour

    11 Sep, 2012 - 9:39 pm

    The thesis that some people stay close to their aggressor in order to make it seem ‘ok’ is proven: both women and men can stay in abusive relationships/marriages for years, not just days. Age is not, I think, relevant: what one person will do at one age not only differs between people but between situations. Nor is abstract knowledge necessarily experience. I can also think of another reason why one woman would not warn another: they thought that it, whatever it was, was their fault; that they had somehow ‘deserved’ it; that it was a singular event, not a pattern.

    To return to Assange: nothing has been shown to suggest that his behaviour is a pattern. But the case, if there is a case, does not surely depend on the nature of some of the attempted defences: these women were ‘sluts’, or they were effectively incapable of being raped – or sexually pestered, even. The case, if there is a case, should depend on forensic evidence and the evidence of both parties, and other witnesses. There is enough evidence that the US want to extradite Assange, and enough background on the attacks on whistleblowers, for it to be in the public interest that this case is heard in public, before a jury: I agree with Craig. However, it seems that this is not an option. What, then, is the next stage?

  75. technicolour

    11 Sep, 2012 - 9:42 pm

    Which leads me to wonder, can Assange counter-sue?

  76. Rhisiart Gwilym

    11 Sep, 2012 - 9:43 pm

    Skipjack, these descriptions of the distress of genuine rape victims are true, of course. But there’s definitely a fit-up going on to try to destroy JA, and — if possible — to get him into the US gulag archipelago concentration camps. The two Swedish women, like anyone who may have suffered rape, deserve proper investigation and justice. JA deserves the same. Are any of them at all likely to get their deserts, looking at the huge media screechfest that’s erupted around them? And looking also at the obvious fact that criminal elements within the US, English and Swedish power-establishments are trying to render and disappear JA, and are quite willing to use the two Swedish women as expendable pawns in the process.

    Commitment to intelligent and sensitive justice for vulnerable women in rape cases is excellent and essential. But so too is commitment to intelligent realism about black, criminal realpolitik. Which of course doesn’t give a damn about justice, democracy, the rule of law….

  77. @Jemand, on a media that is biased in favour of social justice. I think I pretty much agree completely with your position – yes, ownership. I suggested law to lock in democratic accountability earlier, but equally a co-operative ownership model might do the trick.

    Focussing on “truth, knowledge and accountability” – they would be good too. My approach was that if you can get people to care about strangers/humanity, in a deep sense, then wanting those other things in a media/political/economic system will become second nature. I wonder too about how what we are has been replaced by what we have, and hence reversing that trend might get people to connect a bit more. But, ultimately, we sound like we’re after precisely the same thing here – great!

  78. technicolour

    11 Sep, 2012 - 9:55 pm

    Jemand: “Feminists use rape as a propaganda weapon against all men”

    Jon is a self-proclaimed feminist (hope you don’t mind if I repeat that, Jon?) Do you think he uses ‘rape as a propaganda against all men’?

    There has been this argument at length before, on a thread with Jimmygiro, in fact. He too failed to provide any backup for his extraordinary statements. The fact that a minority of very disturbed and abused women may have gone down this route does not make every feminist a man-hater or rape-cryer, any more than the sick men who rape make every man a sick rapist.

    Surely that should be clear?

  79. It might be instructive for some to appreciate the significance of Mr. Murray’s term: “useful idiots”, in regards to this case and to the subversion tactics deployed by the KGB in the west.

    I’m convinced that feminism is a subversive evil, deliberately deployed to destroy the family and other aspects of our culture. Originally funded by Moscow [second wave feminism], it now is being deployed by our own State for precisely the same ends. The old soviet union used feminism to destroy Britain’s resolve to fight in NATO: c.f. Greenham common.

    Our State continues the use of feminism to destroy our culture, so that the bureaucracy can take over without requiring democratic imput: c.f. dumbing down of schools, filled with feminist teachers, that use Ritalin on boys; advocacy of gay-marriage to devalue heterosexual family culture; the rise of the feminist dominated social services, that wilfully kidnap children from their heterosexual parents on the slightest pretext of ‘abuse’, only to foster them to same sex couples if they can, or dump them in state care, noted for its real child abuse. The feminist laws that favour employing women over men, is a means to destroy the culture of independent men, making them drastically less likely to marry and support a family. And once they have destroyed the family and hence the culture, the peoples capability to think for themselves is diminished, and the State assumes absolute control over all aspects of life.

    The ‘useful idiot’ term applies here to feminists, as they need to believe they are doing what they are doing for some ‘greater good’, such as ‘equality’; even though misandry has nothing to do with fairness or justice. Once the feminists have destroyed the family and men’s financial independence, then the feminists themselves will be cut loose from the Nomenklatura, and dumped among the men to share their slavery.

    For a one hour lecture from the ‘horses mouth’ regarding subversion, and why the Trojan Mare feminists are going to get dumped, once used, see the seven short clips by Yuri Bezmenov, of which this link is the first:

    http://www.cosmolearning.com/documentaries/yuri-bezmenov-lecture-on-subversion-1983/12/

  80. Skipjack: thank you for that link, I found it extremely moving and compelling in its honesty too. I agree that “the case concerns a powerful man and has been seized upon by state interests to use for political persecution”, and that this is no reason to resort to stereotypic tropes to discredit the women involved. I don’t see that Craig was doing that: he is questioning the apparent testimony of one of the people involved, and he is not his commentators (me included).

  81. Jemand, on feminism:

    The idea that one side seeks only equality is a bit too hopeful.

    Well, I’d start by saying there aren’t just two sides to feminism. Choose at random a set of views on (a) the rape issues raised by the Assange case, (b) the impact of the sex industry on women, (c) the impact of the fashion industry on women, (d) whether feminism can be defined and shaped by progressive people of all genders, (e) how to increase the number of successful rape prosecutions (etc) – and you have one particular strand.

    I hear you when you say you’ve come across feminists of a certain stripe, but I think it is important not to tar all feminists with the same brush. Naomi Wolf is a tireless campaigner for women’s rights, but broadly comes out in favour of Assange – a decision which comes from balancing complex, competing legal and civil rights. I don’t get the impression – having read articles from her before – that she is “militant”. Ditto plenty of other feminists (of both genders).

    That would imply that feminism would eventually become irrelevant and society would dismantle feminist infrastructure and slowly forget the culture that grows around it. Can you ever imagine the day that universities close down their Women’s Studies courses?

    To answer that point, let me first say this: I moderately agree with positive discrimination used as a tool to fix ancient wrongs, and if there is a small rebalancing (say, to the tune of 5%) in favour of women, black people, people of minority sexuality, older people etc, then that’s the price we pay for having permitted the injustice in the first place.

    With that in mind, do I imagine that positive colour discrimination would be shut down when racial equality is obtained? Yes, I do – and I see attempts to balance gender discrimination (either in academic studies, or in women shortlists etc) in the same way.

    Incidentally, a friend of liberal feminist views recently said to me that, in the UK at least, the term “Gender Studies” is now preferred rather than “Women’s Studies”. She felt it was a good development, since it reflected a more nuanced thinking:

    * Men can be feminists
    * Men are affected by changing the position/power of women in society
    * Feminism needs to be inclusive, especially since all the other anti-discrimination movements “reached across the divide” years ago

    In summary, I am sorry your experience of feminism has thus far been poor, but we are out there! Perhaps we don’t shout about how moderate we are enough ;)

    By the way – @Technicolour has put forward views on feminism on this blog before, and they are certainly not rabid. I think you mistook her post for the angry brigade you mention, but if you were to engage/discuss, you’ll find that’s not the case.

  82. @Jon, I bring a question over from the last thread, you asked,

    “Aside from the predictable establishment/neoconservative perspectives, I wonder whether the bias in the Swedish media is due in some part to national pride?”

    Yes definitely,

    * The necon/lib big media and newspapers corporations have the same issue as i guess around the world
    * The public service and left leaning media channels and blogs has been outraged about the rape accusations
    * and absolutley everyone has been completly around the twist in regard to the percived challange to the Swedish national prestige.

    Maybe just for the sake of curiosity’s, a recent investigation (Asp 2011, University of Gothenburg) into the political affiliations of working journalist in Sweden, showed that 72% have sympathies with “left” side in Swedish politics, either the social democrats, 16%, the communist party, 14%, or the green party, 42%.

    In regard to public service, this ratio is even higher, above 80%, and public service i.e. Swedish Television and Swedish Radio still has a dominant postion in the Swedish media landscape.

  83. @technicolour – ah, our posts cross in the ether!

    That’s totally fine, yes – encouraging liberal feminist thinking in men, and challenging certain strands of feminism to accept it, is something that I find very interesting at the moment.

  84. Jeez, Jon, it’s not just tokenism. Anything – common sense too – will tell you that including all parts of society equally in stuff is a good thing, for society, for the environment, for children, for all those rich white men too. If we’re just talking women, these surveys tell you:

    “The stock prices of small and mid-size companies with at least one female board member have performed 17 percent better over the past six years than those without one, the survey found. The difference is even wider at large companies, where female-friendly boards perform 26 percent better.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/01/women-board-members_n_1725251.html

    Simply put, more women leaders is correlated with higher levels of philanthropy as well as increases in other CSR areas, such as environmental CSR

    Read more: http://thegrindstone.com/career-management/study-shows-putting-more-women-in-charge-at-companies-is-better-for-society-and-earth-too-602/#ixzz26CO119Lq

    Sure there are doubtless equal surveys about the benefits of including dead people too – who could make a bigger mess of our economy and our environment than the current shedload? But the point is, this is not about suggesting a ‘takeover’; it is about just including more voices: 41 percent of companies globally have no women on their boards. Women still earn less than men in 90 percent of job types:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/08/four-decades-on-equal-pay-yet-to-come

    And so on. What on earth is this about?

  85. Craig: “I think we can trust our courts and our governmental institutions most of the time. It is the belief that the government is always benign which is crazed.”

    Jon: “I suggested law to lock in democratic accountability earlier, but equally a co-operative ownership model might do the trick.”

    If you do not trust the Government then why trust the state it engenders or the law it imposes?

    Shoplifting is a crime but cheating parliamentary expense is against the spirit of an agreement. Fiddling your dole gets you disapprobation and a criminal record. Fiddling LIBOR gets you a promotion and an estate in the Bahamas.

    Small crimes are penalised but large crimes are, well, not crimes.

  86. Hi Tech:

    Jeez, Jon, it’s not just tokenism.

    I am pretty sure we’re in agreement, but I am not sure what I said that prompted that response. I want full opportunity for equality for everyone, across each of the discrimination divides.

    Anything – common sense too – will tell you that including all parts of society equally in stuff is a good thing

    Yep :)

  87. Jon, it was this bit: “I moderately agree with positive discrimination used as a tool to fix ancient wrongs, and if there is a small rebalancing (say, to the tune of 5%) in favour of women, black people, people of minority sexuality, older people etc, then that’s the price we pay for having permitted the injustice in the first place”.

    what I think I’m saying is that it’s ‘not the price we have to pay’, but the value society could be adding, and is currently discarding, at the cost of its own well-being.

  88. I dont know how well known this is, but when the issue of Assange broke out in Aug 2010, he was actual on the verge of being contracted as a columnist for our biggest, and left leaning tabloid, Aftonbladet.

    And the initial reactions and articles in all media after the story broke, were to my mind very correct, cautious and objective in treating the matter, at least in our big national morning newspapers, Dagens Nyheter (DN) and Svenska Dagbladet (SVD).

    But already on the 26 of August 2010, “Expressen”, the opposite right leaning tabloid, had a fiercily indignant editorial that I think really changed the tone of voice. Some selected excerps, (my translation)

    ‘Which girls will dare to report? Foul young men and women in the blogosphere represents an acute threat aginst gender equality.’

    ‘At the same time as the super leaker is bewailed and hailed something horrifically is happening’

    The author then reprints some comments she has come across on the internet…

    ‘ ‘On reasonable grounds suspected to have sprayed in the pussy!’ one bloggers laugh, and continues that ‘you do not engage the state just because you have had a bad sexual experiance.’

    ‘In reality only a few percent of alla reported rape allegations to prosecution, and the numbers that don’t register complaints – the unreported cases – are belived to be large.’

    ‘Net bullying will probably cause the the number of unreported cases to increase’

    This touches on so many of the really highly charged political buttons in the Swedish gender and sexual political landscape, and was to my mind nothing but a sounding rallying cry for all the gender equality forces in Sweden.

    This really marked the case, and also set the tone, or finally placed the case in the mind of many journalists and observers i believe, and it was from now on, if not soner, firmly seen as case in the fight for gender equality.

  89. I too am a feminist!

    Like many things, it comes down to defining a word. If you define feminism as “women who accuse all men of rape” then that’s not really me. But should you use “someone who likes a strong, free-thinking wench” then count me in.

    Jon, perhaps we should get together and have a big girly night in. I’ll wash up. Do you like to discuss Marx by any chance?

  90. Jon, ignore Phil – won’t do the washing up or Marx but will discuss Raymond Williams & pea soup. It’s your choice…

    Phil, serious, right. Why would anyone define feminism, given its fairly recent history – struggle for votes, equal pay, property rights, right not be raped in marriage etc – as ‘women who accuse all men of rape’?

  91. @technicolour – thanks, I’m with you.

    I should have explained why positive discrimination might be considered in itself a negative, and it’s why I think it can be useful but isn’t always the right solution. Whatever rebalancing mechanism is used to correct old discriminations, there will always be a section of people who take a reactionary line against it, in most cases because they feel that a fresh injustice has been perpetrated against them.

    Ultimately if positive discrimination works i.e. helps tip the balance of justice across gender/race/sexuality divides, then yes, that’s an advantage, I completely agree. But I do try to sympathise with people who get caught up in this process, since anyone around today didn’t cause the discriminatory imbalance in the first place :)

  92. Lastbluebell: very interesting; have been reading Stieg Larrson’s journalism; and noted what he said about the increasing right wing slant of Expressen. So it is as if in the UK the Daily Mail had run a hate piece: but the difference is that Swedish people are not laughing at Expressen as they are used to doing here at the Mail? And the other papers were scared off as a result? Is that right?

  93. Jon, I don’t think it’s about ‘positive discrimination’ but reality. And if the current system can’t accommodate reality then it will expire. I would prefer it not to, as I don’t want anyone to die, since life is always better, and I certainly selfishly don’t want it to take the rest of us with it…

  94. @Technicolour

    Not sure if I fully understand what you are asking but I guess I was unsuccessfully parodying “all men are potential rapists”. I just had to wjkipedia Raymond Williams but I will wash up.

    I tend to see positive discrimination as a patronising gift. But that’s just the council estate talking now.

  95. anyway, this is so interesting, but have to go to bed! up with the (non gender specific) chickens..

  96. phil, no, it was funny!

  97. “I tend to see positive discrimination as a patronising gift. But that’s just the council estate talking now.”

    yep and hurrah.

    good night all. sweet dreams, what a lovely few people to come across.

  98. @Technicolor, yes something like that, if I understand you correctly, (and I don’t have so much experiance reading the daily mail to be honest but I think I understand what you mean).

    If you notice someone you know buying one of the big tabloids in Sweden, (Expressen or Aftonbladet) many will be a little embarrassed, “oh I just buy it for the sports section you know…”, but we do continue to buy them, and read them (alot), and my subjective feeling is that we still take them much more seriously and trust them more then you do in England.

    But the crucial point is the issue, and all the insinuations and connections made, sexual/rape/gender/bullying/internet hate. The current climate in Sweden is such that I believe that when it was well made public like that, the other news media could not stand aside without risking to lose credibility, or be accused trying to hide/supress or downplay victims and potential abuse of the women because it was a famous person, or because he was an “idol” of the “left” etc.

    It is a very highly charged and extremly sensitive issue in Sweden.

  99. Lastbluebell

    12 Sep, 2012 - 1:00 am

    @Technicolor,

    A thought just hit me, literally, but one way to maybe visualize it is if you picture a small rural village or town in the 16th centy, and someone suddenly turns around, shouts and points, a witch a witch…

    Maybe not always so important who shouted first, but that someone did…

  100. Michael, 8:07 pm
    “Unfortunately, if you have a quick look at Switzerland, you’ll find that direct democracy can be pretty nasty as well (minaret ban…) – my personal guess is that “direct democratic justice” would just lead to hanging burglars and torture of kidnappers, but perhaps I’m too pessimistic.

    Thoughts?”

    My thought is this – why was the outcome of that particular referendum “nasty”? I know very little of the arguments put forward by For and Against campaigners – a process that is integral to referenda in Switzerland. Do you know more?

    ‘Nother thought – if this is the worst example of the effects of DD, then I’m all for it. The other kind, indirect, ‘representative’ democracy or ours – has a track record of delivering death to millions of innocents. Which one do you prefer?

    I think you are pessimistic. The Swiss have had DD for over 150 years. Plenty of time to find it main faults I would think. The other important aspect not to lose sight of is the legal constraints on the media in CH to present both sides of the argument in advance of referenda.

  101. Something else occured to me regarding feminism and feminists. Direct democracy is the ultimate solution since there can be no oppressed minority when it comes to simple gender politics :-) No need to explain to anyone why being in favour of equal oportunities does not imply expectation of equal outcomes. Just take a vote if you feel sufficiently strongly about it.

  102. A minor point but one which has stayed in my thoughts – how long do people normally keep used condoms?

  103. The definition of ‘equal opportunity’ is: Eight men, black and white, placed on the level behind a straight line ready to run freely for one hundred metres after the sound of a shot.

    The definition of ‘equal outcomes’ is: Seven men, black and white, lined up for their racial arrogance at striving to be better than the average man, waiting to be shot.

  104. Jemand
    11 Sep, 5:28 pm
    “Jon, isn’t the problem inherently one of media ownership? Ownership based primarily on profit-motivated private shareholdings, with advertising revenues, cannot be reliably expected to discourage consumerism and increase altruism. Although, I’d prefer the media to focus on truth, knowledge and accountability. The ownership could be in the hands of the consumers themselves, each shareholding vote being equal, voting being voluntary. Maybe a news organisation can be divided into two independent parts – the business side that ensures viability and an editorial side that ensures quality of content. As it is, the MSM have simply become part of the establishment and without fundamental change to ownership and structure, it is unlikely to ever change.”

    Very well put. My thesis is that in order to function democracy needs two things of roughly equal importance – good information and popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty is effectively delivered via direct democracy mechanisms tried and tested in Switzerland and increasingly adopted around the world most notably Uruguay, Venezuela but also Europe and USA at state level. The other part – information, is tricky because few realise that it is perhaps more important to know what your choices should be than to be able to make them for yourslelf. Jefferson is attributed the quote “I would rather live in a country without elections than in a country without newspapers”, evidently recognising the power of the news media of the day to shape politics whether democratic or otherwise. The reason I think information so important is because if we imagine making choices on the basis of zero information, the likelihood of making favourable choices would simply reflect the ratio of favourable to unfavourable choices in the mix (since only random selection is possible). However if the selection of choices that we are presented with excludes favourable ones largely or altogether then we may be continuously manipulated into making unfavourable choices, against our best interests. Clearly any talk of democracy is meaningless then but I believe this is largely where we are in the UK now.

  105. Hi Craig,

    A few thoughts;

    1) A Jury trial is by no means a guarantee of a fairer trial than a Judge led trial.
    2) The Birmingham Six? Don’t really see the relevance at all in this emotive comparison to the JA Case. Of Course people should campaign against unsafe or unsound court decisions reached with dodgy evidence, but because JA hot-footed it out of Sweden we’re not even getting the chance of decision being reached. Surely these matters should be given a chance to be settled in a court of law and not just the court of public opinion?
    3) If they even got that far, as I concur with your analysis that AA is lying.
    4) I would guess that she is lying not because of her Langley paymasters but in some form of hell hath no fury no revenge.
    5) None of this diminishes the extremely serious and separate allegations concerning SW.
    6) Maybe rape trials are held in more restricted conditions in an attempt to protect victims?
    7) The Useful Idiot tag could just as easily be applied to some of JA’s more sycophantic supporters who seem unable to remove the wikileaks tinted specs when judging his behaviour.

  106. @Jon

    Re media ownership, making better people

    It must have been discussed so many times before, how to successfully transform the existing paradigm of media ownership into one that delivers palpable improvements in public information. Compare Rupert Murdoch to the fictitious Citizen Kane (or the real Willy Hearst). We haven’t come very far in nearly 80 years, have we?

    To make progress on this, I really believe that corporations law needs to evolve to include a form of structure that I call consumer-oriented corporate ownership. This form of ownership can first be applied to services that have traditionally been state-run enterprises which are being increasingly sold off to profit-motivated entities. Instead of paying dividends to greedy private interests who have no interest in quality of service and other issues, the dividends can be paid as a discount on the price of the service. This kind of structure would suit large enterprises with monopolistic infrastructure and captive markets – eg energy, roads etc. and I think it can be applied to media without stifling competition.

    But as for altruism and improvements to human appreciation of each other, I think that’s like trying to teach appreciation of Jazz – some people just don’t get it.

    @Evgueni – thanks for the discussion. Yes, the quality and reliability of information is key to the realisation of democracy. Now when I look around, there is so much noise competing with signal on so many issues, it’s like feeling trapped in a Mandelbrot fractal. We can’t see the forrest for the trees for the forrest for the trees, ad infinitum.

  107. @Jon - Re feminism.

    Thanks for your discussion. I note that Technicolour has tried to drive a wedge between us, perhaps confident that you will sort me out for her entertainment.

    Clarification – The “one side” I referred to was women (vs men), not moderate vs radical feminist.

    The goodwill you have expressed is no different to mine. In fact, I pretty much share all your sentiments but none of your confidence. It’s funny how much we invest in the definition of a word like “feminism” to then see how that definition becomes the source of conflict rather than the issues that it is intended to represent. 

    Feminism has a dictionary definition, competing popular definitions and a personal definition that may or may not bear any resemblance to any of the former. But feminism is also a like a collection of animal species with a taxonomy of its own. It is no different, in that regard, to religion, political ideology or primates. Militant feminism vs Radical feminism, Trotskyism vs Stalinism, Catholicism vs Protestantism, Common chimp vs Bonobo. These are merely evolutionary groups within or adjacent to other groups.

    And all these abstract animals germinated from some primordial convergence of factors (amino acids, superstition, injustice), grew legs and teeth, became sentient, fought for survival and reproduction (proselytizing) and territorial domination. You can see this behaviour even in something as benign as a charity or local football club.

    JimmyGiro correctly identifies “waves” of feminism but this is simply an observation of a staggered linear evolution of feminism in his political analysis of the movement. I don’t share Jimmy’s apparent view that feminism was created as a disposable product of a larger political scheme, although I think it has and continues to be used by those with ulterior political agendas. Feminism clearly grew its own legs in the soup of injustice provided by a hostile social environment, scarce resources and a fundamental biological dichotomy. And then it evolved into the animal that exists today – fangs, claws and all. I hear the colourful ones are the most venomous.

    But Jon, why do you have to, or want to, call yourself a feminist? Is it a badge or a white flag to indicate you are a friend and not a foe? Why can’t you just be a humanist with an awareness of female justice issues – free to roam the trails of philosophy and explore the caverns of knowledge, beholden and answerable to none? Joining the ranks of feminism is like joining an army with a reputation for war crimes. I refuse to wear the uniform.

    Lastly, I didn’t want to rehash this subject because it has been done to death. Why should we have to drag out and read the whole story every time someone objects to a transient point? I’m not referring to you Jon, but to the usual “watchers” who jealously deconstruct our every comment looking for evidence of thought crimes and when they find one, point us out with an accusatory siren of abuse.

  108. Technicolour, and others,

    While interpreting Jemand’s remarks above, bear in mind the following retort he addressed to another’s comment in a recent thread on IK/SW’s statement:

    “@Goran – it was the sauerkraut recipe your mother was taught by those handsome German officers she “entertained” during the years of Swedish collaboration during the war. Now if you could just post that delicious recipe, I’d appreciate it.”

    And compare with another more balanced comment by AAMNV on the same matter:

    “Goran Rudling appeared suddenly on this site and ruffled a few feathers. Not only was he brandishing disturbing facts he was abrasive and used words like ‘liar’ and ‘flee’ – which to most of us seemed excessive. Well – I think he would have got a fairer hearing with a milder, softer tone but it’s up to him. He was never abusive and he was ready to explain (if not retract) his language.”

    How ready he was not just to be abusive but also draw in his mother. You can see where he stands on women.

  109. @Observer

    You are selectively quoting like a politically correct copper. Jermand has a funny, wicked streak. We could quote other comments from the same thread and say we know where he stands on Chines circus performers and Led Zeppelin.

  110. Lastbluebell, who are the chief powermongers behind Expressen and Aftonbladet? In this country our press and other media outlets are fed soundbites from Reuters and other suck teats and much of the real news comes through the blogosphere on sites like this one of Craig Murray’s.

  111. Jermand:
    “I really believe that corporations law needs to evolve to include a form of structure that I call consumer-oriented corporate ownership.”

    Evolution of corporate law will only lead to more of what we have. Power corrupts. It is irresistible. So take away the temptation. The worker owned business is a better model, both productively and socially.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=worker+owned+success

  112. Evgueni:

    1) Switzerland has not had direct democracy for more than 150 years – the referendum process for laws adopted by parliament exists since 1874, the popular initiative to amend the constitution since 1891. But that’s just for the record ;-)

    2) As a Swiss citizen, who has followed Swiss politics rather closely for many years (albeit sometimes from abroad), let me assure you that the discussions in advance of referendum or initiative ballots are much less factual than one would hope. (I’m not saying parliamentary democracies are necessarily better at this, I’m just saying that direct democracy is far from paradise as well).

    3) I don’t know where you got the idea from that media in Switzerland are required by law to present both pro and contra arguments. That only holds true for the state radio and TV channels (i.e. our BBC equivalent), though certainly not for the other media, including all newspapers. On the contrary, some of our weekly newspapers are famous for very partisan approaches to all voting campaigns, try “Weltwoche” for (very) right-wing commentary or “WoZ” (“Wochenzeitung”) for (very) left-wing commentary.

    4) The problem in Switzerland is not unlike that in the UK. In the UK, Parliament says “we are sovereign” and therefore happily overrules or ignores court rulings (“prisoner voting” comes to mind…). In Switzerland, probably the majority of politicians and certainly the majority of the people thinks “the electorate is sovereign” and therefore free to overrule court rulings. That becomes very problematic then, when the electorate passes laws which are in conflict with fundamental rights and international law.

  113. @evgueni

    The occasional referendum is not direct democracy. Switzerland is a place of apparent contradiction. Yes, political power is somewhat decentralised and yes the people are trusted with guns. I remember my shock when I first saw a gun cupboard! However, the tax system insanely favours the supremely wealthy. And their finance sector rivals the city of london in it’s readiness to make money from the misery and murder of others.

  114. @Observer – Yo mama’s so fat that when she sits around the house, she sits A R O U N D the house!

    @Phil – thanks for delivering the ol’ one-two uppercut for me.

    Re worker ownership. Hasn’t this been done before in different countries? What’s the outcome? With workers as shareholders, they still want a profit as the difference between the production costs and selling price. They also want job security. So the quality of the product/service ends up suffering. I take the view as a consumer that we invented shoe factories because we wanted good shoes at a fair price. Not jobs for people or a cash cow for the greedy.

    Even workers want good shoes. But currently, we have reasonable shoes at a cheap price made by very poor workers enriching wealthy scumbags who drive mercedes benzs on pot-holed roads. If we let those poor workers take over, they will give themselves a pay rise and start making crap shoes for the same selling price. Costs go up and internal disputes lead to problems. Then they go on strike against their own company.The business owner can flee to another poor country and start up operations there. He’s called “mobile capital”. It’s a perk of being obscenely wealthy while poor workers are stuck in a their geographical economic prison.

    Why can’t we, the shoe buyer (we are workers too), vote for a management team that delivers good shoes at a fair price under working conditions that are reasonable? I know it’s easy to draft a utopian model with the plasticity of words. But we are all consumers and we are sick of bad service, bad products and high prices. Can this be a possible solution?

  115. Adriana

    It is a very good point. Keeping a used condom for 10 or 12 days is very weird, especially as we are being urged by Ardin’s apologists to believe she had not psychologically realised she had been “assaulted”. So if she did keep the genuine condom, why?

  116. That’s yet another discrpancy to add to my wallchart! :-)

  117. Now because of this feminism issue, I have been down-classed to “awaiting moderation”. I don’t think I’ve thrown a punch here yet that wasn’t in reply to a spit in my face.

    Thanks.

  118. Jemand

    It is an automatic filter. We don’t always know what triggers it, but usually it’s too many links. It is not sensitive to feminism as far as I know! Mods get people out of moderation several times per day.

  119. In the dark days and nights when I used to fumble about with condoms I disposed of the used ones as quickly as possible in a proper manner, that is, I tied a knot at the open end and discarded the package in a waste bin. Oh, that others were so considerate! But to keep one as a trophy. Why would anyone?

  120. @Craig – Fair enough. Thanks for clarifying that.

  121. technicolour

    12 Sep, 2012 - 9:52 am

    Jemand: as a humanist myself, I find your deconstruction of feminism almost salaciously inhuman, to the point of being nonsensical. “like a collection of animal species with a taxonomy of its own” – what a peculiar way to describe a civil rights movement.

  122. @Jemand, thanks.

    FWIW, I don’t think @technicolour has tried to drive any wedge – part of my post did need clarification, and I was happy to provide it.

    I call myself a feminist because: the ancient religious discrimination against women has caused a rift in society that maintains animosity between the genders; feminism has not evolved to the same degree as the other anti-discrimination movements*, and needs the assistance that comes from joining into the debate sympathetically; and, as naive and abstract as it sounds, because I believe in justice.

    * I find it interesting that anti-racist movements comprise people of all colours, and anti-homophobia movements welcome people of all sexualities. Feminism however isn’t generally welcoming of men, and this is its core weakness – yet there must be plenty of progressive men who are interested in healing this divide.

    I don’t at all find the label “feminist” to be divisive, but I appreciate you do because of your poor previous experience. Hopefully you now at least have a mixed view of “feminists”, since you’ve now met some moderate ones!

  123. @Technicolour

    Thanks for the comment as it proves what I already know about you feminists. When a perfectly sound analogy or comparison is made, all sorts of emotional objections are made.

    I take it then that you do not object to my comparison of political evolution to animal evolution? That is perfectly acceptable provided there is no mention of women.

    Reminds me again of racism and its equally noxious counterpart, hysterical anti-racism. I once described to some colleagues an experience of visiting a Vietnames restaurant and the dreadful and dishonest service I encountered. My Asian colleague pointedly implied that I was racist. Being caucasian, I have discovered that simply saying the word “Asian” is racist. Similarly, being a male, I have discovered that simply saying the word “woman” attracts the same automatic, offensive reaction. It’s all part of the same process that is a cultural revolution in the West. I reject it.

  124. @Jon – I have no problem with your position, you don’t need to explain anything. Obviously we walk common ground on matters of fairness and due process. But I don’t see you as a feminist. Don’t be offended, it’s a good thing. You are the Oskar Schindler of Feminism. Take it as a compliment.

  125. “I take it then that you do not object to my comparison of political evolution to animal evolution?” – well, you can compare apples to jumbo jets, if you like. Let me just point out that a Marxist can, and sometimes does, change to being a Tory. A chimpanzee cannot change into a Bonobo.

    As for ‘hysterical anti-racism’ being as bad as racism – there’s a Ku Klux klan of anti-racists, stringing up good old white boys, is there? Not to mention the centuries of exploitation, slavery, poverty and the discrimination which still exists on a global and personal scale today?
    How interesting.

  126. @Technicolour

    Yes, how interesting that you should tacitly endorse workplace harrassment of white people for the sins of American slave owners.

    “As for ‘hysterical anti-racism’ being as bad as racism – there’s a Ku Klux klan of anti-racists, stringing up good old white boys, is there?”

    Yes again. They were called The Black Panthers – you would have liked them. Unfortunately, the FBI, which is made up of “good old white boys”, stopped them in their tracks before too much damage was done. I think they later reinvented themselves as Sesame Street. Maybe you can find out. And while you’re at it, do some research into slavery inside Africa and the Rawandan Genocide. It just might make for some uncomfortable reading for a person who clearly hates white males.

  127. Me, I love white males. None of the ones I know would try to compare the Black Panthers, a self-defence movement who called for “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace” to a group of racist lynchers and murderers. Nor would they try and disguise the reality of UK and US participation in and exploitation of racism and the slave trade. What a peculiar anomaly you are, ‘Jemand’.

  128. @John Goss, To be honest, I know to little about exactly where the real power reside, and I also think the prerogative varies somewhat between areas and subjects. I am not a journalist, and my nascent interest in this is of a fairly recent date.

    At a quick glance, the official owner structure looks like this, (numbers refers to daily print editions),

    Schibsted media Group, is the majority owner in:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schibsted
    —————————————–
    Aftonbladet, largest tabloid, (Independent Social democratic, ~210 000)
    Svenska Dagbladet 3:e largest morning newspaper, (Liberal conservative, ~ 185 000)

    The Bonnier Group,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnier_Group
    —————————————–
    Dagens Nyheter, Largest morning newspaper, (Independent Liberal, ~280 000)
    Expressen, 2:nd largest tabloid, (Independent liberal, ~150 000, if you add local editions of GT and Kvällsposten, ~250 000)
    Sydsvenska dagbladet, 4th largest morning newspaper, (Independent Liberal, ~110 000)
    TV4, biggest commercial TV channel

    Stampen media group,
    —————————————–
    Göteborgs-Posten, 2:nd biggest morning newspaper, (Liberal, ~215 000)
    22+ local newspapers around Sweden

    Public Service,
    —————————————–
    Sveriges Television (SVT)
    Sveriges Radio (SR)

    SVT still dominates TV, with its prime channels SVT1 & SVT2 that reaches 45% and 25% every day, TV4 reaches 37% and the next, TV3 17% (reaches = the relative number of individuals that watches >5min each day)

  129. Technicolour asked: Which leads me to wonder, can Assange counter-sue? Good question. As Mr. Murray explained the evidence of AA’s case is so weak because normally such a rape case in Sweden isn’t conducted in public.

    Which leads to the question why supporters of JA can’t seek publicity to reveal the flaws in the Swedish juridicial system. Why not set up a political tribunal to test the evidence and evaluate the political implications? As Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre did in the sixties. Paradoxical partly in Stockholm. Venue now a neutral country, for instance Switzerland, Denmark or the Netherlands (The Hague). What’s your opinion about that, Mr. Murray?

  130. Lastbluebell, thanks very much for your help. I will try and do some digging with the facts you have presented.

  131. @Technicolour

    “.. Nor would they try and disguise the reality of UK and US participation in and exploitation of racism and the slave trade.”

    You’re not a very honest person are you? So you have nothing to say about man’s inhumanity to man, unless it’s white inhumanity? Yep. You’re a typical feminist and denier. But not a very well educated one. Say, why don’t we do each other a favour and just pretend we never even met.

  132. Another swipe at the female gender by the ‘peculiar’ Jamend, incorrigibly digging his hole:

    “@Observer – Yo mama’s so fat that when she sits around the house, she sits A R O U N D the house!”
    —-
    Technicolour, please be warned you are dealing with someone not just peculiar but plainly abusive. Tho only one he is courteous with, in eventual disagreement, is Jon where you will observe him sucking up to the moderator (no encouragement, of course), e.g.:

    Jemand: “@Jon – I have no problem with your position, you don’t need to explain anything. Obviously we walk common ground on matters of fairness and due process. But I don’t see you as a feminist. Don’t be offended, it’s a good thing. You are the Oskar Schindler of Feminism. Take it as a compliment.”

    when Jon had just told him (worth repeating):

    “I don’t at all find the label “feminist” to be divisive, but I appreciate you do because of your poor previous experience. Hopefully you now at least have a mixed view of “feminists”, since you’ve now met some moderate ones!”

    Good summary, and response, too Jon!

  133. Technicolour opined:

    “Me, I love white males. None of the ones I know would try to compare the Black Panthers, a self-defence movement who called for “Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice and Peace” to a group of racist lynchers and murderers[the KKK].”

    Which brings us back to Anna Ardin and Julian Assange; because the ‘good old boys’ in the KKK, were lynching and castrating black men on the grounds of protecting white women, who had accused said black men of raping them.

  134. technicolour

    12 Sep, 2012 - 1:35 pm

    “You’re not a very honest person are you?” – good grief.

    “you have nothing to say about man’s inhumanity to man, unless it’s white inhumanity?” – sorry, your posts keep making me snort. Actually, let’s just remember who brought up these ideas:
    “feminists use rape as propaganda against all men”
    “Joining the ranks of feminism is like joining an army with a reputation for war crimes”
    “hysterical anti-racism is as bad as racism”
    “banging your thumb with a hammer is like being shot in the face with a machine gun”
    - oh, the last one was me.

  135. @Jemand
    “Even workers want good shoes. But currently, we have reasonable shoes at a cheap price made by very poor workers enriching wealthy scumbags who drive mercedes benzs on pot-holed roads.”

    Exactly, I don’t buy cheap shoes and walk tall having not contributed to slave labour. It may mean I only have two sets of shoes, one work, one best, but that’s ok because I despise fashion.

    “If we let those poor workers take over, they will give themselves a pay rise and start making crap shoes for the same selling price.”

    Actually history tells us otherwise. Yes they no longer work for pittance but the quality of the shoes get better. Really, this happens. I am not talking about the diabolical soviets which were not worker run at all. I am talking about UK factories, Spanish farms, US techs…the list is far bigger than you would believe from the corporate media.

    “Why can’t we, the shoe buyer (we are workers too), vote for a management team that delivers good shoes at a fair price under working conditions that are reasonable?”

    Well the worker’s normally vote in a management team. That team are paid a wage and are ultimately answerable to the workers rather than lord muck.

  136. For Technicolour, and her considered opinions:

    http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/raceriots/default.html

    ” There is a thorough account of a lynching, in 1920, in Duluth Minnesota at a site maintained by the Duluth Police Department. As in so many lynchings, this one arose out of charges that black men raped a white woman. As in so many lynchings too, the charges were demonstrably false. Not all lynching victims were black, although the vast majority were. In 1913 Leo Frank was lynched in Marietta, Georgia, the hometown of the girl he allegedly murdered, thirteen-year-old Mary Phagan. A photograph of Frank’s body hanging from a tree became a popular postcard. The lynching persuaded American Jews of the necessity of creating an Anti-Defamation League. In 1915 the case helped launch a very different sort of organization, the second Ku Klux Klan. Its initial cross-burning was at the gravesite of Mary Phagan. There is a brief but thorough account of the Frank case at a site maintained by the American Jewish Historical Society. There is a somewhat fuller account at Cobb Online.”

  137. A little light relief.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nIrLS3gI8A&feature=context-gau

    Enjoy and spread please.

  138. “The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.”
    - Big, bearded, bonking, butch Oscar Wilde. The terror of the ladies. 114 illegitimate children, world heavyweight boxing champion and author of the best-selling pamphlet “Why I Like To Do It With Girls.”

  139. Lastbluebell

    12 Sep, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    @John Goss, I actually think John Pilger did some investigative work into the power structures of Swedish media already sometimes back in 2010/2011, but I can not seem to find it now, so maybe I misremembered.

    @Everyone,
    Another thing that have peaked my interest, (also in regard to the latest string of comments) is in regard to the discussion of feminism, and its influence.

    It is hard to succinctly describe the situation in Sweden, and I have little to compare to. But in 2010 The public service television in Norway, (NRK) and Harald Eia, did an investigative series of 7 episodes into gender and the debate of nature and nurture, and in the extension, gender and equality politics in Norway, called “hjenevask” or “Brainwash”. I think Sweden and Norway are similar in many ways, so it could be informative as a context. On a personal note, I think subjective that the its influence on politics in Sweden is much greater and deeper then in Norway.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwashing_%28TV-program%29

    The series had a dramatic impact (to say the least) in Norway, and in its wake the national state science founding council in Norway retracted (all?) 60 million Nkr (approx 6 million £) of founding as a direct result of what was exposed in this series (if I understand correctly).

    The series has not been aired in Sweden.

    It has in total 7 episodes of appriox 40 min, see Wikipedia link for episode details, and participating scientists, which include Simon Baron Cohen, Steven Pinker, Judith Rich Harris among others, and local Norwegian scientists and politicians.

    http://vimeo.com/19707588 part 1, The Gender Equality Paradox

    http://vimeo.com/19889788 part 7, Nature or Nurture

  140. Lastbluebell

    12 Sep, 2012 - 2:26 pm

    correction/addition to my last post

    What it was ment to read was that,

    Norways science founding council retracted 60 million of founding into, “gender reasearch”.

  141. Nice one John Goss @12 Sep, 2012 – 2:02 pm

  142. @JimmyGiro
    “As in so many lynchings, this one arose out of charges that black men raped a white woman”

    Sure, yes the cry of rape was a common pretense to lynch black men. But I strongly suspect that if you do the research you’ll find the brothers and fathers of the not raped women were the accusers. To hold women responsible, with the information you posted, is nuts.

  143. @ Phil

    And how many of those ‘Southern Bells’ stood up and said: “Stop the lie, this man is innocent!”

  144. @Jemand – I think you’ve got Tech wrong – she is not the militant you assume. I am not offended though – you may choose to not call me whatever you like :)

    I don’t think citing Black Power as an equal supremacist force to the KKK is at all valid. Black Power was a response to severe racial intolerance, and would in itself not have gotten a foothold if not for the injustices that went before it.

    I certainly see your point about the problems caused by the counter-reaction to anti-discrimination: the gay recipient of positive discrimination feels patronised; the white middle class male feels aggrieved because he feels newly discriminated against; a person of colour uses an accusation of racism to deflect attention from their own wrongdoing etc. So, this reaction has to be taken into account when deciding whether positive discrimination (PD) is worthwhile in each situation – will the resentment caused outweigh the repair that is being attempted?

    I think such repair is worth trying, and even as a while middle-class able-bodied male myself I tend to support it. PD in point-scoring systems (say, for job or academic entrance) only accounts for a small percentage, and meanwhile I am confident enough about my abilities to try again if I get rejected.

    If PD is counterproductive, what then – if anything – should we use to correct ancient mistakes? One theory is that we should just build an equitable society, and the mistakes would correct themselves. That’s probably true enough, but at present, the equitable society is retreating, and the everyone-for-themselves society is looming large.

    The other corrective is/was political correctness, and I’ve never been sure how much of an effect that has had. In its original intention – the modification of language to reduce subconscious bias – it was a good idea. But in some cases it goes too far, and of course there was a similar aggressive counter-reaction. Again, if not PC, then what? I am not sure the injustices should be left uncorrected.

  145. @JimmyGiro

    How do you know they didn’t? but they were ignored? I doubt if ‘Southern Bells’ had much authority regarding lynchings, or anything else that the men decided to do.

  146. Hard luck on those who were the victims in these cases. Why has it taken so long to unearth these miscarriages of justice and what has happened to the cases? Where are the remedies?

    Detective Ryan Coleman-Farrow faked police records
    Coleman-Farrow pleaded guilty to 13 counts of misconduct

    A detective constable who specialised in rape cases has pleaded guilty to faking police records.

    {..}

    ‘The 13 counts Coleman-Farrow pleaded guilty to relate to 10 rape cases and three cases of sexual assault.

    The offences he should have investigated were committed between January 2007 and September 2010, while he was an officer at Kingston-upon-Thames, south-west London, working for Scotland Yard’s specialist Sapphire unit.

    The court heard he failed to send items for analysis, take witness statements and falsified witness statements.’

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19567298

  147. Nuid wrote:

    “How do you know they didn’t? but they were ignored? I doubt if ‘Southern Bells’ had much authority regarding lynchings, or anything else that the men decided to do.”

    The answer, alas, has “Gone with the wind”.

  148. @JimmyGiro – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Kill_a_Mockingbird

    @Phil – you can keep your Bulgarian workers party shoes, i’ll stick with some shabby Nikes made in the 1980s.

    I read your link on worker owned companies and recognised one – Golder and Assoc. To get into that company, you have to pay US $50,000. Now that was for an engineering associate in 2009. But I suspect that with other successful worker-owned companies there is a high barriers to entry and strict conditions on participation in ownership.

  149. Mary @ 12 Sep, 2012 – 3:30 pm

    His problem was that he made the wrong kind of mistake. If he botched evidence that would otherwise free innocent men, then he would have been promoted, along with all the others. But because he botched evidence to incriminate men, he was hung up by the ku-klux-BBC.

  150. “But because he botched evidence to incriminate men, he was hung up by the ku-klux-BBC.”

    Don’t you mean evidence “against” men, Jimmy?

  151. “If he botched evidence that would otherwise free innocent men, then he would have been promoted, along with all the others.”

    Usual supposition by you, Jimmy. Something that can neither be proved nor disproved.

  152. @JimmyGiro

    I find your level of bias very worrying. I don’t know what your background is, or what happened to you, but nevertheless, I find your attitude scary. You remind me of a guy I know (other side of the world) who had his children taken off him by family services, and custody given to his wife, who promptly took them several hundred miles away. He hasn’t stopped talking about ‘Feminazis’ since.

  153. The Witch of Buchenwald? LOL!
    I don’t suppose it would be of any help if I told you I’m squarely behind Julian Assange, would it? Or if I told you that the guy on the other side of the world was using drugs and sleeping with every woman he could find? That’s what he told me, much later. I don’t personally see why the children had to be taken so far away … But I can see how the custody thing happened.
    Anyway, thanks Jimmy.

  154. Thanks again LastBluebell. I’ll try and locate the Pilger film.

  155. @JimmyGiro – I think Nuid’s comment [12 Sep, 2012 - 4:03 pm] is very generous and understanding towards you. In general I note you are quite open about your life/real identity on the web, so perhaps you could blog about how you came by your perspectives on women/feminism? You mentioned your mother earlier in a way that seemed relevant.

    Critical self-examination is tricky, but fascinating once you get into it. Getting a psychoanalysis is one way to do that – I got mine, and although some of it is arguably conjecture, it is eye-opening. Depends how much stock you put on it, I suppose.

  156. @Jon

    Re Positive Discrimination. I dont’ have a problem with PD for indigenous people. When a problem is so bad that it looks like it’s not self-healing, some experimentation is ok. Some people resent it because they’ve had to work hard without assistance but they are unaware of the big picture benefits. But trying to force equalisation of other groups might be fundamentally impossible. Some see dragging down others to a lower level achieves the same outcome.

    On matters related to “racial” equity, I think the solution is education. Not propaganda, not brainwashing, but quality education. I find it rare to find genuine racism among the educated people I know and work with.

    However I also think there is another factor that nobody talks about. Personality. You can meet people with the very same personality completely unrelated to their so-called race*, religion, national origins, intelligence level or sex. There are some profound differences between personality types that manifest as social problems that are mischaracterised as some other problem. Sometimes these personalities are strongly associated with neuropsychological differences. No one to my knowledge has addressed this issue nor, obviously, offered solutions. We are only just coming to terms with the reality of workplace psychopaths and what we can do to identify them and prevent them from doing damage.

    *http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm

  157. @ Jon

    Check this link; it’s it explains where your ideas come from:

    http://www.cosmolearning.com/documentaries/yuri-bezmenov-lecture-on-subversion-1983/12/

  158. technicolour

    12 Sep, 2012 - 4:47 pm

    God, Jimmy, you poor person.

  159. Technicolour offered:

    “God, Jimmy, you poor person.”

    I don’t take gratuities from strange wimins, but thanks for being “generous and understanding towards me”.

  160. JimmyGiro, your link isn’t an answer to my question – though I accept I probably won’t get one! I’d ask why you post here, given that you very rarely give a straight reply to anything, but then you likely won’t answer that either :)

    As to your video series, I’ll see if I can get time to watch some of them. They look interesting, though – in my view – of no relevance to the topics in hand.

  161. What a pity the Far Right – opportunists, if nothing else – has jumped on the bandwagon, travelling in both directions.

    ‘Race’, gender, class…

    And so, voila! We have the amusing spectacle of the Far Right (Neocon tendency) suddenly, for the first time in their lives, finding their feminist bone (ah, the chevaliers!) and having a love-in with supposedly loony-Left, supposedly social engineering, definitely Scandinavian Sweden, and the other Far Right (Xenophobes) finding – presumably in the closet, somewhere behind the black shirts and white hoods – their deeply-held passion for (Rebel Yell!) anti-militarist, hippie-hacktivist liberty.

    Strange fruit.

    None of this does anything for whistleblowers or the search for truth, far less the struggle against militarism, imperialism and so forth. Quite the opposite.

  162. @JimmyGiro + Jon

    I am watching the series and it is very interesting. Thanks Jimmy.
    What you take from it will depend I think on how much you are prepared to accept that what Yuri Bezmenov discusses, is actual working policy in the foreign operations departments of intelligence agencies, or at least the one-time KGB. And also to what extent people are able to be manipulated for strategic geopolitical outcomes. Anyone remember the 20th century?

  163. technicolour

    12 Sep, 2012 - 6:11 pm

    “I dont’ have a problem with PD for indigenous people”

    What does that mean?

  164. @jemand
    “I read your link on worker owned companies and recognised one – Golder and Assoc. To get into that company, you have to pay US $50,000. ”

    Well, that’s certainly not the model I was advocating. I hope workers take it at no cost – but understand that is a minority opinion at the moment.

    “you can keep your Bulgarian workers party shoes, i’ll stick with some shabby Nikes made in the 1980s.”

    No nikes regularly worn last that long. Do you keep heels in the closet?

  165. “None of this does anything for whistleblowers or the search for truth, far less the struggle against militarism, imperialism and so forth. Quite the opposite.”

    Neither does moral relativism.

    People need to reconnect with virtue; and assert their understanding of right and wrong; to know the difference between a hawk and a heron; and to judge the sexual aesthetics between ‘quim and arse’.

    Failing to make moral distinctions, is a divorce from humanity.

  166. CRAIG:

    Here is some more information for you.

    http://www.neurope.eu/blog/sweden-s-other-rape-suspects

  167. @TFS

    I note that you link to an article by Naomi Wolf. An interesting article.

    She uses the creative trick to relocate important events in the case to another town in Sweden in order to try to prove that Swedish authorities are involved in some shady business. I have been told it is not appropriate to call Naomi Wolf liar. She is geographically disadvantaged and just made a “honest” mistake like so many that support Julian Assange.

    http://samtycke.nu/eng/2012/09/the-assange-case-naomi-wolf-errs-on-facts-and-basic-geography/

  168. @Michael, 8:05 am

    Thanks, it is good to have first-hand information from a Swiss national. Although you appear to be contradicting my argument, in fact I think we do not disagree except for minor details. On the point of how old Swiss direct democracy is, the establishment of the abrogative referendum in 1847 is considered by some to be the beginning of Swiss DD at state level. Of course at canton level DD dates back even further. But this is minor detail, the point I wish to make is that DD in Switzerland has been tried and tested long enough to draw conclusions.

    I accept without reservation that pre-referendum discussions are imperfect and less factual than they should be. I do not wish to portray DD as a panacea but in my mind there is no doubt whatsoever that a more democratic system is preferable to a less democratic one, and the Swiss system is vastly more democratic than ours in the UK.

    As for the media laws in Switzerland, I cannot recall precisely where I got my ideas and I was only vaguely aware of some obligation to give even coverage. A quick scan of the Swiss Constitution reveals that you are right, only TV and Radio are obliged to be impartial: “Radio and Television …shall contribute to the free formation of opinion.. They shall present events factually, and reflect diverse opinions fairly and adequately.” Already this is a great improvement on the situation that exists in the UK with regard to media bias. On the other hand I have said before that the Swiss democracy only has one good leg, so to speak – popular sovereignty is strongly established there. The other leg – popular, “agenda-setting” news media to use a Chomsky & Herman term, suffers from the same structural weakness as ours here in the UK and indeed around the world. It is for the most part privately owned, for-profit, advertising revenue driven. Constraining it by law not to be too biased and partisan is, I agree, a sticking plaster. Anyway thanks for your suggestions regarding Weltwoche and Wochenzeitung – sadly my attempts to learn Schweize Deutsch during my stay in Zuerich were foiled at every turn by the natives who insisted on speaking perfect English :-)

    As for popular sovereignty versus a sovereign Parliament, for me it is popular sovereignty every time. Simply because – the problems of less democracy are demonstrably greater than those of more democracy. Our sovereign Parliament rubber-stamps wars of aggression, can you trump that with a particularly ‘nasty’ referendum outcome?

    Bis spaeter!

  169. @Phil
    12 Sep, 2012 – 8:08 am

    “The occasional referendum is not direct democracy” – I beg to differ, along with many others better informed than me and you. That includes the Swiss federal government. You need only google the relevant terms.

    “Yes, political power is somewhat decentralised” – Switzerland is a confederation, to be precise. That means, in layman’s terms: ‘as centralised as necessary, as decentralised as possible’. Authority is ceded from local to national government level as necessary but can in principle be taken back.

    “However, the tax system insanely favours the supremely wealthy. And their finance sector rivals the city of london in it’s readiness to make money from the misery and murder of others.” – I didn’t notice this particularly during my 2 year stay. But let’s assume this is true – why shouldn’t it be? Aren’t you fundamentally misconceiving democracy? Democracy is for the benefit of those who participate. You and I do not participate in Swiss democracy. Why would we expect the Swiss to sort out our super-rich for us. And what of the banking sector – if it exploits people around the world who cannot participate in Swiss democracy, few people in Switzerland would notice or care enough. Just like few notice or care in the UK, most of those that do are probably here on this blog already.

  170. Jemand,
    I dig your evolutionary analogy for ‘isms’. I’ve thought along similar lines. Once a “committee for the eradication of …” is established, what are the chances of it disbanding itself on account of it succeeding in its objectives. More likely the objectives will evolve, the challenge will turn out to be ‘greater then previously thought’, so long as a decent living can be made out of the pursuit. Goodbye, rational thought!

  171. @Mary 11 Sep, 2012 – 1:18 pm

    You ask a good question. Is what Christine Assange is saying about the case true? To answer simply, no she is not telling the truth. I’ve read the links you referred to and there are so many factual errors it will take me all night to correct them. So I will just comment on the lines that are below.

    “Is this true about the Assange case, and sex and politics in Sweden
    Posted by walter on September 11, 2012, 10:50 am

    From Christine Assange:
    “Interestingly, there is a domestic political agenda involved in Sweden. When the rape allegations were made on August the 20th, in one month’s time there was to be local and general elections in Sweden. And, “coincidentally”, woman AA, the police officer that interrogated woman SW, and both the lawyers in the law firm that picked up the case against Julian after it was dropped by the chief prosecutor, were all running for the same party, in the same elections, on the same platform of widening the definition of rape within consensual sex”.”

    It is correct that there was a general election in Sweden on 19 September 2010.

    It is correct that AA and the police officer Irmeli Krans were running for seats in the local Stockholm assembly (Kommunfullmäktige) for the Social Democratic party.

    The Social Democrats did not have a platform of widening the definition of rape. They have never had and they still don’t. I will deal with the so called “widening the definition of rape within consensual sex” later. It is a total misunderstanding by law illiterates.

    I don’t know what you mean by “the law firm that picked up the case against Julian”. To me that suggests a totally different role of the individuals involved. It is a case of willful misrepresentation of facts.

    In Sweden since 1988 a victim of a serious crime like rape is entitled to assistance paid by the state. The person that is appointed by a court to support the victim is called “målsägarbiträde”. He/she is an assistant to the plaintiff. The function of the “målsägarbiträde” is to provide support and assistance to the injured party and defend his/her interests in the case. It is also the duty of the “målsägarbiträde” to look after the economical interests of the injured party. To call him the “lawyer” for the two complainants could give quite the wrong impression to an English-speaking audience who are unfamiliar with the role of “målsägarbiträde”. The “målsägarbiträde” is not active in the trial. A “målsägarbiträde” often is a lawyer, an assistant in a law firm or an individual that knows how police and prosecutors investigate a crime and how a trial is conducted.

    The court appointed “målsägarbiträde” for AA and SW is Claes Borgström. One of his partners is Thomas Bodström, Minister of Justice until 2006. Both are Social Democrats. It is fair to assume that both men would have played important roles if the Social Democrats would have won the election. They didn’t. AA and Irmeli Krans did not win seats either.

    Now, what is “widening the definition of rape within consensual sex”. It is a term mostly used by a sub-group of men that are law illiterate and very loud. Maybe male chauvinists is a fitting description, you get the idea. The origin of the term comes from a willful misunderstanding of the sex law reform from 2005 (Thomas Bodström being Minister of Justice). One of the changes in the law was that having sex with someone asleep or incapacitated was defined as rape. In earlier legislation it was regarded as unlawful sexual exploitation. The change in the law was in my opinion cosmetic. Men that don’t think that sex with someone asleep is a crime is the group using the term “widening the definition of rape within consensual sex”. Christine Assange has picked it up without knowing how ridiculous it is.

    The discussion in Sweden is not about “widening the definition of rape” as some are suggesting. The discussion is about basing the law on consent instead of as it is now, based on the use of force. What I want and the people that are for consent is that we should have laws similar to the laws in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc. Laws that are easy to understand. As a matter of fact Swedish law defines rape much narrower than countries with a law based on consent. There are many acts that are rape in England that are not even criminalized in Sweden. That is why we need a reform. The punishment is also much tougher in England, Australia, Canada etc. Our legislation is actually very similar to medieval legislation. That is why I say it is very discriminatory against victims, read women.

    What are the Social Democrat’s position? They are against consent and have been so as far as I can remember. Thomas Bodström was the architect behind the sex law reform 2005 and he is very much against a law based on consent. I do not regard Claes Borgström or Thomas Bodström activists for new sex legislation. They are actually against it. Hopefully they will change.

    The people that talk about “widening the definition of rape within consensual sex” are mostly misogynists that believes that a law based on consent means that you have to sign a contract before sex. They claim that a law based on consent as it is in England and Australia does cannot work. How they ended up in that position beats me. But following the Assange case, many people’s positions are very difficult to understand.

  172. @Evgueni – If I may quote you. Your comment is absolutely bang on and worth repeating. — “As for popular sovereignty versus a sovereign Parliament, for me it is popular sovereignty every time. Simply because – the problems of less democracy are demonstrably greater than those of more democracy.”

    As I have learned the hard way, representative democracy, such as we have under the Westminster System, doesn’t even adhere to the concept of rule of law where the establishment is concerned, and is no real democracy at all. It may, of course, be that it is difficult to fit Monarchy into a democratic system. When one looks at the other major Monarchies of old Europe (Russia, Germany, Austro-Hungary, Ottoman) that were got rid of post WW1, it is noticeable that none of these countries or successor States have every invited them back again.

    Incidentally I have just spent a month in Zurich and I too was most impressed; clearly they have a system of government that is worth emulating since it seems to work well for the people as a whole and not just for self power elites.

  173. [Preface: 2nd para not trolling]

    Well, Craig, I see that you’re clearly some kind of bigoted, victim-blaming, misogynist monster out to oppress women and perpetuate patriarchal rape culture! Don’t you have any sympathy whatsoever for the trauma that is sexual assault? The nerve you have, to write a post like this one as a white heterosexual cisgendered male! How dare you?!?! Don’t you know that being a woman in this society is hard enough without being disagreed with?

    Seriously, though, fabulous article, Craig. I think I’ll link to it from my campaign. I’ve only just begun to look into your work since you started becoming vocal in regard to Julian’s case, and since I have, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve come across. You’re a brilliant writer, and your take on so many issues is simply spot on. I would love to read one of your books sometime. Major respect.

  174. @Technicolour – it means for people in genuine need, not harpies like you seeking concessions for phony disadvantages. It’s unfortunate that everything has to be spelt out for you. Why don’t you actually contribute something here of value instead of asking sneering rhetorical questions?

    - – -

    @Evgueni – Remember the “Real IRA”? Or the fictitious American pop band “The Monkees”? There’s always a residual element that doesn’t want to disband. I’m not sure if the IRA would appreciate being compared to the The Monkees tho’.

    This reminds me a little of a book called “Freakonomics”. It looks at social issues and uses economic theory and thinking to identify interesting patterns. It compares apples with oranges, something that stupid people who use the cliche just wouldn’t understand. There’s a chapter on the decline of the KKK, and another that compares crack dealers with McDonalds store managers. Available as a pdf online – you’ll have to look.

    - – -

    @Phil – I fix my shoes when the sole wears out. I’d like to hear some economist explain to me how the disposable society is more efficient than one that makes goods to last.

  175. @N_ 11 Sep, 2012 – 7:31 pm

    There are many factual errors in this Craig Murray article and the one about Irmeli Krans.

    “Have we got exact times for the Wilen and Ardin police statements?”

    I don’t know if you got them. I have them of course. Anna Ardins complaint was registered at 16:31 by Linda Wassgren. Sofia Wilén’s interview started at 16:21. Anna Ardin left the police station before 18:02. This is hard proof that Anna Ardin was not present for the full length of Sofia Wilén interview as Craig Murray claims. In fact there is nothing that support the claim that Anna Ardin was present at all. Just another made up story.

    It seems obvious that after Ardin took Wilen across town to meet Krans,.
    There are no facts supporting the idea that “Ardin took Wilen across town”. The chosen police station was the nearest and best choice for the two women. Geography proves it. Just look at a map of Stockholm. You don’t have to be Magellan to see it. Just another made up story.

    “What a shame that the police broke the internationally well-known rule on interviewing witnesses who allege rape, and (what a coincidence!) they also didn’t manage to record the interview either, so there is no record of Ardin’s role in the interview.”

    There aren’t any facts supporting the idea that Anna Ardin was present during Sofia Wilén’s interview. The police did not break any rules. Just another made up story.

    “Wilen refuses to sign the statement that Ardin’s friend Krans asks her to sign.”

    Irmeli Krans never read back the interview to Sofia or offered the interview for reading for the simple reason the interview was not typed up before Sofia left. This means that Irmeli Krans never asked Sofia to sign the interview. A normal person would understand that under those conditions it would be difficult to refuse to sign it. The claim that Sofia refused to sign the interview is a totally false claim.

  176. @Craig 12 Sep, 2012 – 8:46 am

    “It is a very good point. Keeping a used condom for 10 or 12 days is very weird, especially as we are being urged by Ardin’s apologists to believe she had not psychologically realised she had been “assaulted”. So if she did keep the genuine condom, why?

    The condom was not kept for 10 or 12 days. Guess again.

    It is obvious that you haven’t read all relevant police documents. Why pretend?

  177. @ David Landy 11 Sep, 2012 – 6:48 p

    Regarding condoms.
    Mä 2 is Anna Ardin
    Mä 1 is Sofia Wilén

    A more detailed analysis is here.

    http://samtycke.nu/eng/2012/03/the-assange-case-the-condom-speaks-out/

  178. @Göran Rudling
    13 Sep, 2012 – 4:55 am

    The link Goran provided is interesting, but perhaps not for the point he wants to make. There is a predictably scornful comment on the site that attempts to discredit the claim that identifiable DNA should remain on a condom for many days after normal use. What this overly confident poster seems to be unaware of is the fact that DNA lasts such a long time that one can extract mappable DNA from a fingerbone of a 50,000yo Denisovan woman. I have a friend who is a molecular biologist and will consult with him on this issue. I will report back on this point when I get a response from him.

  179. Yep, they are trying to get DNA out of Richard III at the minute. Goran specialises in talking nonsense with an air of great authority. Must ve the subglasses.

  180. Nice to see Craig Murray conducting his own little internet kangaroo court here. He wasn’t there, doesn’t know all the evidence, has presumed that the accused is innocent and the accusers are guilty – and hey presto! Judge Craig Murray pronounces a verdict! And he says we shouldn’t trust the state. I have yet to find one good reason why we should trust anything that Craig Murray says without question.

  181. Göran Rudling,

    Facts are useful, but only if you use them for understanding.

    Do you understand?

  182. Göran Rudling equivocated:

    “Irmeli Krans never read back the interview to Sofia or offered the interview for reading for the simple reason the interview was not typed up before Sofia left. This means that Irmeli Krans never asked Sofia to sign the interview. A normal person would understand that under those conditions it would be difficult to refuse to sign it. The claim that Sofia refused to sign the interview is a totally false claim.”

    IF what you are writing is true, then that makes the whole statement from the Police Set-up, even more likely to be a chimera of Wilen’s words, and Krans’ ‘understanding’ of Wilen’s testament; which I would regard as even more damning than what Mr. Murray has stated.

    Facts are useful, Göran Rudling, but understanding is as cool as blue tinted spectacles. By the way, what colour is your guide dog ?

  183. Sofia Wilén’s complaint was registered at 16.11, according to line 9 (not counting the line at the very top), page 5 of this link containing original police records in Swedish

    http://info.publicintelligence.net/AssangeSexAllegations.pdf

    The interview starting at 16.21 must have taken place after Sofia had already told her story a first time, enough of it for the police to file a complaint. Donald Boström’s police interview shows that Anna Ardin was present at some time when Sofia told her story to the police, but it could have been before the 16.21 interview, before the complaints were registered.

    From the English translation of the interview with Donald Boström found at
    http://rixstep.com/1/20110202,04.shtml

    And then Anna rings again and says now we’ve been with the police and Sofia told her story and, yeah because I sat there so I added a comment of my own. This is very ‘word for word’ and as I remember her telling me. Uh, aha I say, and what was that comment. Yeah that comment was that I think Sofia is telling the truth because I experienced something similar Anna says then.

  184. It would be interesting to know at what time Donald Boström got that call from Anna Ardin.

  185. @Jemand 13 Sep, 2012 – 10:35 am

    Can you please point out the “scornful” comment. I cannot see it, but English is not my mother tongue.

    “There is a predictably scornful comment on the site that attempts to discredit the claim that identifiable DNA should remain on a condom for many days after normal use

    What I do write is “The absence of large amounts of DNA is puzzling.” I don’t think it is that condom you are referring to.

  186. technicolour

    13 Sep, 2012 - 1:17 pm

    ‘Jemand’ resorting to personal abuse rather than answering the question, I see. Tsk, tsk. Remember, you are trying to look reasonable here.

    Evgueni, Roderick: “As for popular sovereignty versus a sovereign Parliament, for me it is popular sovereignty every time. Simply because – the problems of less democracy are demonstrably greater than those of more democracy.” – exactly.

  187. @ Craig 13 Sep, 2012 – 11:13 am

    “Goran specialises in talking nonsense with an air of great authority. Must ve the subglasses.”

    Jumping to conclusions again. Are we?

  188. JimmyGiro
    “IF what you are writing is true, then that makes the whole statement from the Police Set-up, even more likely to be a chimera of Wilen’s words, and Krans’ ‘understanding’ of Wilen’s testament; which I would regard as even more damning than what Mr. Murray has stated.”

    You have to explain this section. It does not make sense to me.

    Mr. Murray states that Sofia Wilén refused to sign her statement. That is not true. In your world “that makes the whole statement from the Police Set-up, even more likely to be a chimera of Wilen’s words”.

    Do I understand you correctly? The more false claims Mr. Murray makes up out of thin air and ignorance the more likely it is to “be a chimera of Wilen’s words”

  189. @Jemand – I don’t see how abusiveness is going to help you persuade people towards your cause, and meanwhile I am concerned that you are treating my very similar views a great deal better because of gender dynamics. You’ll hear a male feminist out, but one of those *female* feminists – must be a harpy militant by definition!

    May I suggest you smoke the peace pipe, and stick to non-combative argumentation?

  190. @Jimmy, yikes!

    People need to … know the difference between a hawk and a heron; and to judge the sexual aesthetics between ‘quim and arse’.

    Your posts sometimes remind me of those clever bots people put on Twitter to auto-respond to particular phrases, with often mirthsome results. Maybe I should set up a JamesGiro emulator! Every time the word “feminism” is mentioned, it could pick from a grab-bag of nonsensical Tweets, like “You need to learn the difference between quim and arse!”, “It’s obvious you’re a Marxist Feminazi!”, etc.

    The Twittersphere will never work out the difference.

  191. “Do I understand you correctly? The more false claims Mr. Murray makes up out of thin air and ignorance the more likely it is to “be a chimera of Wilen’s words””

    Dear Göran Rudling’s guide dog,

    Woof… woof-woof, bark woof grawl… woof woof woof!

  192. Jemand – 3:46 am
    I already suspected that you and I have read some of the same books :-)

  193. Jon

    “@Jemand – I don’t see how abusiveness is going to help you persuade people towards your cause, and meanwhile I am concerned that you are treating my very similar views a great deal better because of gender dynamics. You’ll hear a male feminist out, but one of those *female* feminists – must be a harpy militant by definition!

    May I suggest you smoke the peace pipe, and stick to non-combative argumentation?”

    Jon, well said, even if a tad overdue, you’re doing a very effective job of moderating, despite the pressure of traffic in the last few days. Re: “you are treating my very similar views a great deal better because of gender dynamics.”, i’m not so sure though its certainly plausible. I think the other reality is that you are the moderator, as was alluded to earlier in the thread. You set a fine example of diplomacy, yet never failing to make your point clearly. Good if people can emulate that.

  194. Orb,

    I understand that you would like to know what happened at Klara Närpolisstation on the 20th of August. I can understand it is difficult since there is so much disinformation and flat out lies about this event. I will try to explain it based on the police interviews, memos and talking to people involved.

    The two women arrived about 14:00. They were met by police officer Linda Wassgren. Very soon the women started talking about the crime rape and that both of them were victims.

    As soon as Linda Wassgren understood that the women wanted to make complaints about a serious crimes, she separated them and interviewed them one at a time in order to get more information. After the interviews Linda Wassgren made some phone calls to superiors. The phone calls made her convinced that the complaints amounted to rape. She called the prosecutor in charge and subsequently Julian Assange was arrested in absentia. Expressen was informed by some unknown and the story exploded.

    The prosecutor in charge started a “förundersökning”, a formal police investigation.

    Sofia Wilén’s complaint is registered at 16:11. Sofia’s interrogation started 16:21. Anna Ardin’s complaint is registered at 16:31. Most likely Anna Ardin left the police station around 17:00. There is a note that Anna Ardin was not present at the police station at 18:02. Sofia’s interrogation was not finished until 18:40.

    It is evident that some of this time the two women talked to Linda Wassgren together. They must have, we know they arrived together. But what is important is that Linda Wassgren interviewed the women separately. It is also evident from the facts that Anna Ardin was not present for the beginning of Sofia Wiléns interrogation and not in the end. It is extremely unlikely that Anna Ardin was present at all during parts of Sofia’s interrogation.

    Anna Ardin was interrogated over the phone the following day, 21 August, by Sara Wennerblom. It is important to note that the reason for the interview was suspicion of rape.

    A memo by Linda Wassgren is below. There is no mentioning of talk about STD-tests or forcing Julian Assange to take a test. The story that the women went to the police to force Julian to take test is another made up story.

    http://samtycke.nu/doc/police_pm_p29.pdf

    Facts are that there were two interviews and one interrogation at Klara Närpolisstation on the 20th.

    Now to the false claims that are most important. Mr Murray has an opinion about the case. It is evident that Mr Murray makes up stuff to support his opinion. He fabricates wildly in order to try to make the case look like some kind of set-up. Mr Murray seems to be what we call a “foliehat”, a tin-foil hat, a conspiracy theorist with little regard for facts since facts can destroy a good story.

    I will in this post not mention all of Mr. Murray’s fabrications. It will take too long. Some important ones are below:

    “Ardin sits in throughout Wilen’s unrecorded – in breach of procedure – police interview” There is not any evidence suggesting that this is true. It is fabrication.

    He also goes on claiming that Sofia refused to sign her interview even though information in the interview clearly states that is not true. Fabrication.

    In another article, about Irmeli Krans, Mr Murray makes an even more ridiculous claim, “They [the two women]arrived at 2pm and rather than see another officer, they waited two hours until Krans came on duty.” The memo and the “Brottsanmälan” proves that Mr Murray is fabricating.

    What is worse. Mr Murray goes on and on and repeating fabricated stories even though he should know by now that they are fabrications. Why Mr Murray behaves like this is difficult to understand. It is more than willful ignorance.

  195. @Jon – No, you are wrong. You have been polite and she has been snide. When someone falsely implies that I am a racist (I call that abuse) I reserve the right to respond. I am surprised that you cannot see this. Disappointed in fact. Remember, I did say that I thought we might have to agree to disagree but you wanted to elaborate on the matter with your friend snarling at me like a Rottweiler. I admire your positive attitude but it should not be spoiled by a bias in favour of your friends.

    You also warned me about Jimmy, and I could see he has some digs at you, but I have not yet seen any abusiveness from him. Admittedly, I have not witnessed the history of posts between you all and nor should I have to. That is a matter between you two – maybe in time it’ll sort itself out.

  196. @Goran

    I only saw two posts, neither appeared to be from you.

  197. @Goran

    I only saw two posts, neither appeared to be from you.”

    I don’t know what you are referring to. Can you help?

  198. @Evgueni

    “I already suspected that you and I have read some of the same books”

    I bet you’ve read a whole lot more than me. Would like to see your list of favourites, maybe I could source them off the intergoogle. :)

  199. Goran raises a very important point is his usual fashion, is there actually any evidence that AA was present during SW’s interview? Where does this information come from?

    This seems to be another one these ‘facts’ about this case that don’t stand up to scrutiny.

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