The Russians call it Kompromat – the use by the state of sexual accusations to destroy a public figure. When I was attacked in this way by the government I worked for, Uzbek dissidents smiled at me, shook their heads and said “Kompromat“. They were used to it from the Soviet and Uzbek governments. They found it rather amusing to find that Western governments did it too.
Well, Julian Assange has been getting the bog standard Kompromat. I had imagined he would get something rather more spectacular, like being framed for murder and found hanging with an orange in his mouth. He deserves a better class of kompromat. If I am a whistleblower, then Julian is a veritable mighty pipe organ. Yet we just have the normal sex stuff, and very weak.
Bizarrely the offence for which Julian is wanted for questioning in Sweden was dropped from rape to sexual harassment, and then from sexual harassment to just harassment. The precise law in Swedish, as translated for me and other Sam Adams alumni by our colleague Major Frank Grevil, reads:
“He who lays hands on or by means of shooting from a firearm, throwing of stones, noise or in any other way harasses another person will be sentenced for harassment to fines or imprisonment for up to one year.”
So from rape to non-sexual something. Actually I rather like that law – if we had it here, I could have had Jack Straw locked up for a year.
Julian tells us that the first woman accuser and prime mover had worked in the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC and had been expelled from Cuba for anti-Cuban government activity, as well as the rather different persona of being a feminist lesbian who owns lesbian night clubs.
Scott Ritter and I are well known whistleblowers subsequently accused of sexual offences. A less well known whistleblower is James Cameron, another FCO employee. Almost simultaneous with my case, a number of the sexual allegations the FCO made against Cameron were identical even in wording to those the FCO initially threw at me.
Another fascinating point about kompromat is that being cleared of the allegations – as happens in virtually every case – doesn’t help, as the blackening of reputation has taken effect. In my own case I was formerly cleared of all allegations of both misconduct and gross misconduct, except for the Kafkaesque charge of having told defence witnesses of the existence of the allegations. The allegations were officially a state secret, even though it was the government who leaked them to the tabloids.
Yet, even to this day, the FCO has refused to acknowledge in public that I was in fact cleared of all charges. This is even true of the new government. A letter I wrote for my MP to pass to William Hague, complaining that the FCO was obscuring the fact that I was cleared on all charges, received a reply from a junior Conservative minister stating that the allegations were serious and had needed to be properly investigated – but still failing to acknowledge the result of the process. Nor has there been any official revelation of who originated these “serious allegations”.
Governments operate in the blackest of ways, especially when it comes to big war money and big oil money. I can see what they are doing to Julian Assange, I know what they did to me and others (another recent example – Brigadier Janis Karpinski was framed for shoplifting). In a very real sense, it makes little difference if they murdered David Kelly or terrified him into doing it himself. Telling the truth is hazardous in today’s Western political system.