The Pathetic Vapourings of the Establishment 138

A number of mainstream media attacks on me today. Astonishingly, not a single one admits that Anna Ardin gave media interviews accusing Assange and put her own name in the public domain. Despite the fact I spent most of yesterday being interviewed by journalists and repeating that point over and over again.

Anna Ardin herself went to the media, under her own name, as long as two years ago to publicise her allegations against Assange. From the New York Times, 25 August 2010:

Anna Ardin, 31, has told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the complaints were “not orchestrated by the Pentagon” but prompted by “a man who has a twisted attitude toward women and a problem taking no for an answer.”

So Ardin went very very public herself. 190,000 internet articles – a great many from major mainstream media – and 10 million mentions on twitter and two years later, I use her name on Newsnight and am attacked for “revealing it”.

Fortunately the public recognise a fake campaign of indignation when they see one. Where the mainstream media have online comment threads, they are overwhelmingly supportive of me. Even in the Daily Mail! They have a voting system on their comments and the results are very interesting.

The Headline of that piece is “Former Ambassador Sparks Anger”. It would better have been “Former Ambassador Sparks Overwhelming Agreement from our Readers”.

The Telegraph makes a claim that I was censured by the Swedish Prosecutor’s office, out of a statement in which they did not mention me at all. They rather make the perfectly reasonable point that they would prefer people, in general, not to name victims of crime. The Telegraph failed to ask the Swedish prosecutor what they thought of Anna Ardin having already named herself all over the Swedish media. They also failed to ask them why the Swedish Prosecutor’s office themselves two years ago leaked the allegations against Julian Assange to the Swedish media, and thus the world.

You may be surprised to know that I regard the Telegraph in general as one of the few places real journalism can still be found. I am therefore genuinely disappointed and surprised that they do not mention the key fact that Anna Ardin revealed herself in statements to the Swedish media, a point which I explained to their journalist repeatedly yesterday afternoon. They also say that I “alleged” that the BBC repeatedly named Ms Diallo, the accuser in the DSK rape case, while the case was still ongoing, as though there could be any doubt about the truth of the matter.

A couple of pieces from the blogosphere. My favourite piece is this very considered one from James Kelly, which makes some very valuable points.

But the all-time prize goes to Carl Gardner, former junior government lawyer and now the go to right wing “legal expert” brought out by the BBC and the Guardian. In his blog “Head of Legal” (Gardner has never been head of anything), Gardner argues that what I said was not illegal, but that we need a new law to stop me saying it!

Yes! Absolutely! What this country lacks is enough laws to stop people bloody well saying things! I feel Mr Gardner is going with the zeitgeist here.

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138 thoughts on “The Pathetic Vapourings of the Establishment

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  • Jon

    @Phil, it’s not that simple in this case though, is it? There are a lot of competing interests here, including anonymity for alleged sexual assault victims, the right for alleged sexual assault victims to have a case heard, the right to a fair trial, protection from malicious prosecution, and how to ensure whistleblowers can publish material in the public interest.

    I think there is a path that satisfies all of those interests, and it has been mentioned many times in the comments on the last few posts.

  • ironical

    Phil, I presume that you are incensed then that Assange’s anonymity was leaked by the Swedish police?

    Are you also aware that the woman in question broke her anonymity herself by speaking to the press in the US? I would have thought that such an action negates any criticism of Craig’s mention of her.

  • Derek


    Were you similarly outraged when the entire British media named Nafissatou Diallo the New York chambermaid who accused Dominique Strauss Kahn of rape?

    Did you write to all the newspapers who named her, or do you only get upset when someone you do not like is accused?

  • John Goss

    While this is not a funny subject there’s an old tale about a Scot who had a still for making his own whiskey in a shed at the back of his garden. When the authorities came for him, even though they found no evidence of him having made whiskey, they charged him on the presumption that if he had a still he was by association guilty. “If that’s the law” he said “I’d like to plead guilty to rape.”

    It occurs to me that poor Julian Assange managed to get through life without a single accusation of rape against him, and then, like the number 11 bus, two come along at once. It beggars belief – not the number 11 bus though – they’re notorious for it!

    Sorry. no, I’ve not been drinking. Not yet anyway. And I do take rape seriously. Serious rape in particular. But the more I read about this the more I realise the false accusations have gone too far. It is revenge. And there may be outside (CIA) involvement and certainly political invovlvement. I also believe that the police interrogator and gay rights’ activist, Irmeli Krans, who now appears to describe herself as a politician, may well have been guilty of ‘guiding’ Sofia Wilen in her statement.

  • Blue_Bear

    @John: No. 11 in Brum? It’s the longest route in Europe – and circular. A bit like this situation with Assange – never-ending…

    @Amy: I can obviously understand your comments – some of the language used here and on other forums has been poor at times and I can see how it may feel like people are belittling rape. I genuinely believe some of the foolish things people are saying are generational though and more akin to the language my grandad may have used.

    However, I hope you understand that the reason so many of us are angry is because there is a very good chance that the powers-that-be including many governments, the BBC and other media


    have deliberately belittled the phrase themselves, misused it’s seriousness and played on people’s basic fears and hatred just to capture someone who has brought attention onto war crimes. When we fall for these tricks we enable people like you to be offended, then people like Viva Equador will react to your comments and before we know it we’re all missing the point. There’s more to suggest that the BBC and the government take the meaning of the word less seriously than anyone else.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for that link Mark G. We had intense night flying activities here during the last 48 hrs.
    So Ms. Merkel, having got her law through parliament, allowing German troops to be assertive and take an active part rather than just joining in, feels she can have a go now.

  • Chris2

    “Thanks for all the rape isn’t real rape stuff, I feel so much better knowing I wasn’t really raped. I guess I should let the police know so they can release the man who didn’t rape me. And I should stop having the nightmares and stuff…”

    The truth, Amy, is that if what happened to you is what Anna Ardin claims happened to her, then it wasn’t rape, and if anyone is in jail because of it, he should not be.

  • Mary


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  • Roderick Russell

    In a strange way this ongoing press persecution of Mr. Assange is all very understandable. He has unleashed great powers of change that even he, himself, may not fully understand – though there are prominent journalists who feel that their careers are threatened by these changes.
    For years the Press/Media has had an all too cosy relationship with the secret security services, MI5 and MI6. Who was it who said “a spy in every newsroom”? As David Leigh of the Guardian wrote in British Journalism Review – “journalists are being manipulated by the secret intelligence agencies”. Now one suspects that it is nothing too sinister – a few nice lunches, MI* written articles and leaks that make a journalist look good, a little extra money, a nod ahead for one’s career for those who play ball with the secret services, etc.. And for those who don’t play ball? – Well, perhaps they find their career stagnates – though a full blown Zersetzen persecution can result for those who really scare the secret agencies as happened to former Sunday Times journalist “Denis Lahane”.
    Now along comes Wikileaks and publishes wads of information that a free press would have published years ago. Some of what Wikileaks has published critically questions the quality and integrity of our Media and there may be some journalists / publishers who feel threatened by Wikileaks and Mr. Assange. More and more we are coming to understand the unhealthy relationship that exists between segments of the media and MI5, MI6. A democracy requires a free press, and Wikileaks has shown that we don’t have one.

  • Gordon

    Come on Craig, why not reply to my direct e-mail to you regarding Ms Tara Andrea Davison aka Ms Tara Davidson aka Ms Tara Davis.
    One of 4 daughters of deceased Senior Conservative.
    Following her MOLD Crown Court Trial in July 2012 now A convicted criminal, on the run from the Law. Holed up and protected by the Ecuador Government with Julian Assange in an Embassy
    62 Circ 1989-1994 ex ARMS to IRAQ / IRAN Investigator, Intelligence Advisor to the Select Committee of the DTI under Sir Kenneth Warren, MP (I have a Little List) Peter Lilley. Secret and Classified Document runner between the DTI and the office of the Prime Minister.

    Mind you, she claims she was running this Fake ID Factory for MI5 / MI6 an Identical set up run by David Mackenzie Donald Mills, the Husband of MP Tessa Jowell for the Italian PM and Mafia.

    Come on Craig, when your in front of the World Press and TV Cameras, tell them about TARA or rather Ms BIGGS-DAVISON and the over 7000 Arms to Iraq Docs the 13 Derby Police seized in their raid on her Fake ID Factory in Bangor North Wales on the 13/1/2010

    I mean, Assange is Australian, Tara’s British and she’s already a CONVICTED CRIMINAL and on the run from a 2 1/2 year prison sentence.

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