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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  • John Yates

    The whole of the “Media” press and television, are doing everything possible to blacken Julian Assange and his refuge in the embassy. The whole “media circus” is a not very subtle assault designed to shift public opinion towards removing him from the embassy and consigning him to Sweden where he can be grabbed by the United States for another show trial.
    If the Swedish authorities are so desperate to interview Assange, they should come to Britain to ask their questions and drop the requests for extradition. Then any suspicion that Britain and Sweden are conspiring with the United States would be removed. Regardless of all the media hype and hysterical distortions to the contrary, the credibility of the allegations (no charges have yet been made) grows weaker every day. This whole situation is farcical and is perpetuated by the Swedish/UK subservience to American demands.
    This pathetic Daily Mail article is indicative of the depths to which the media is sinking and is indicative of a very unhealthy facet of reporting in this country.

  • Jim Larkin

    I think the use of the term “mainstream media” is misleading and should be avoided. The corporate media does not represent the mainstream. It represents the views of a very narrow plutocratic elite–the bourgeois establishment.

  • The Akh

    a self confessed user of prostitutes & attender of sex parties is accused of rape & has no case to answer.

    another man is involved in a relation of sorts with a woman who then decides to allege rape & in the eyes of the world he’s guilty.

    one is a former head of the IMF & the other is a whistle blower …… any prejudice or political aspect involved?

    No of course not

    now that’s what I call a justice system.

  • Tom Welsh

    “Gardner argues that what I said was not illegal, but that we need a new law to stop me saying it!”

    That would be funny if it weren’t so twisted. As far as I can gather, Expressen newspaper in Sweden published a transcript of Assange’s inteview with police on August 30th 2010. Exactly 2 years ago!

    Does anyone have an English translation of that newspaper article? It seems to me it would be quite useful. I know Assange’s name was plastered across the front page in giant letters, as being accused of some crime or other. But were Ardin and Wilen named in that article?

    If so, Mr Gardner will have some difficulty framing his new law. It will have to prevent some British people repeating, two years after the fact, Swedish (front-page) newspaper stories.

  • KK

    ‎Craig, I’ve said this elsewhere and I am repeating it here. What you describe as Miss A’s effort to “publicise her allegations” was essentially an attempt to rebut the charge – being repeated by you here – that she’s a Pentagon shill. Consider her condition, if you can bring yourself to: she believes she has been raped, approaches the police (which is never easy, as you know), then finds herself being attacked as a whore and a lackey. Then – after her identity has been outed – she tells a newspaper that her complaints “were not orchestrated by the Pentagon” and that Assange “has a twisted attitude toward women”. I am not sure if this qualifies as “publicity”. But what you’re doing is certainly specious and utterly shameful. You did something appalling – but rather than apologise, you are attempting to cast yourself as a victim here. What’s even more shameful is your belief that your view – that she’s a shill – trumps the judicial process. Just do the decent thing. Apologise.

  • Tom Welsh

    “I think the use of the term “mainstream media” is misleading and should be avoided”.

    Jim, I recommend Paul Craig Roberts’ (I think) term “presstitutes”. It seems to sum up the essence of the matter.

  • Tom Welsh

    KK, please just go away. No one here is interested in your pathetic distortions, and you are wasting our valuable time.

  • Jim Larkin

    In the excellent Australian documentary “Sex, Lies and Julian Assange”, the Swedish lawyer for the accusers has no problem speaking their names. Incidentally, he is a partner in a high powered corporate law firm. The other partner was the former Minister of Justice who OKed the extraordinary rendition of asylum speakers to Egypt where they were tortured.

  • Komodo

    It’s all they’ve got on Craig right now. They’ll make up some better smears if this one doesn’t work.

  • John Goss

    Anna Ardin was not mentioned in Expressen’s article yesterday but anyone reading it knows who the woman was. Expressen was the Swedish newspaper which broke the ‘Double rape’ story which put Assange in so much trouble. Yesterday’s article hints at collusion between Ardin and the female police interrogator, a woman with an interest in particular sexual pressure groups, and lesbian rights. To my mind it is a little too much of a coincidence that the police interrogator and one of the two women in this serious farce were friends and Anna and Sofia just happened to turn up at the police station at the start of the interrogator’s shift. This interrogator may be the person who originally leaked to the press. Nobody is answering any questions. I cannot understand why none of the mainstream British media has taken up on this claim against the interrogator when they were so gleeful and compliant over Expressen’s ‘double rape’ story. Or rather, I can understand.

  • Gary

    It is all about trying to knock the debate off course. After Galloway made his comments it provided the opportunity to discuss the ethics of rape and naming alleged victims rather than why is it that whistleblowers get hit with unrelated allegations after they disclose that are designed to erode the credibility of thier claims. Western establishments are quite good at quickly moving to make people who say or disclose uncomfortable facts look non-conformist or extreme even when they are in reality the opposite.

  • craig Post author

    Tom Welsh

    I always value your contributions, but KK was perfectly entitled to put forward that view. I think the real response to her is the “Four Corners” documentary and the fact that Anna Ardin’s behaviour was utterly inconsistent with her subsequent story. If I had even the slightest fear Anna Ardin was a rape victim, I would be taking a very different line.

  • Komodo

    No apologies for reposting this, from ‘Red-Herring Breath’ on the previous thread:
    Say, speaking of rape, and who’s a misogynist and who’s not, and who broke the rubber, and which gnat’s-ass legal niceties of extradition apply, how did it turn out when the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court went through the Wikileaks Afghanistan files for evidence of war crimes by the various parties? What with all this va-va-va-voom kinky sexytime stuff, I almost forgot about the stuff Assange published, the overwhelming probative evidence that the US committed crimes of concern to the international community that are subject to UNSC referral of charges in the ICC.

  • ToivoS

    Dear Craig, more power to you. I just read the Telegraph article and despite how they have obviously twisted your words it must still cause great emotional strain. You have our support and love.

  • Mary

    Just a reminder that Bill Keller used to be the editor of the NYT. He is married to Emma Gilbey Keller whose ‘vapouringa’ sometimes grace the pages of the remainder of what used to be called The Guardian.

    Note that Keller, the son of a powerful industrialist landed that job at the NYT.

    Emma’s last oeuvre. Revolting.


    She must have put Trevino up for the job?


    Emma Gilbey Keller

    I am a contributing writer to the Guardian US. You can see my work there.

    My office is on Twitter.

    I have just finished the first in a four part series of middle school books about four 8th grade girls in a New York City private school who solve a computer hacking mystery. Stay tuned for publishing info…

    In 2009, my book The Comeback: Seven Stories of Women Who Went from Career to Family and Back Again was released in paperback by Bloomsbury. That same year I wrote and edited at where I created the ‘Your Comeback’ blog – a section that covered all the transitional moments in a woman’s life. And I’ve traveled around the country talking to women of all ages in professional associations, colleges, parenting groups, church halls and schools.

    My first book, The Lady: The Life and Times of Winnie Mandela came out in 1994. It was published by Vintage.

    When not at my computer, on the road, or staring into space, I live in New York with my husband, Bill Keller, our two daughters, Molly and Alice and our faithful hound (ok. cavalier King Charles spaniel) Bella.

    How sweet!

  • craig Post author

    John Goss

    I had been too busy to read the Expressen article. Amazing! And astonishing that it had not been picked up in the UK.


  • Jim Larkin

    When viewing the spectacle of the British corporate media blackguarding Assange and those who defend Wikileaks, we should bear in mind that behind it all is a sense of acute embarrassment and fury on the part of the British, US and Swedish political classes. The very IDEA of a Latin American country offering political asylum to a person being persecuted in allegedly democratic European and North American countries is such an affront and an insult to their political egos that they can barely maintain their composure. It is ironic in the extreme. In the past, it has always been the other way round of course. The British press is merely reflecting this embarrassment and fury and of course the allegations of some kind of sexual impropriety on the part of Assange is extremely handy for distracting attention away from the actual issue: Western warmongering, extraordinary rendition, torture and the massive erosion of civil liberties since 9/11.

  • N_

    Let’s get this straight.

    The Swedish prosecutors are cooperating with the Daily Telegraph on selling a propaganda line that is obviously, verifiably, absolute rubbish.

    They are doing this in order to attack Craig for saying that the sexual allegations against Julian Assange, and the extradition attempt which relies on them, are part of a put-up job – namely that they are dirty tricks carried out by state forces which specialise in such tricks, rather similar to dirty tricks they used against Craig himself.

    In short:

    * Swedish prosecutors and the British judiciary and executive are cooperating in the extradition effort

    * Swedish prosecutors and British government TV (BBC), together with the MI6 house journal (Daily Torygraph), are cooperating in putting out obvious lies to a British audience regarding Craig’s supposed obstuction of justice – in other words they are cooperating on dirty propaganda in support of the dirty extradition effort.

    So we have the same people cooperating with the same people, for the same end, grabbing Julian Assange.

    Are any Swedish newspapers whatsoever quoting the Swedish prosecutors as saying Craig has obstructed Swedish justice?

    I would be amazed if any were.

  • Komodo

    Er…Craig, you’re astonished that the Expressen article wasn’t picked up here. Well, you probably have more experience of national journalists than I do, but my impression is that the current crop of college – stamped hacks read only what is emailed to their workstation from the government or a press agency. Makes cut-and-paste so much easier, you know.

  • conjunction

    What the whole Assange episode shows to me is how many people seem to be happy to come out with an opinion without really considering the facts. Of course unless one is a lawyer oneself it may be possible for lawyers, so-called and otherwise, to blind one with science. Thank goodness therefore for that wonderful ‘Four Corners’ documentary and also the likes of Naomi Wolf who helped to blow the fog out of my brain.

  • N_

    The Daily Telegraph say that Assange is “currently at the centre of a diplomatic row involving six countries on five continents“.

    Which countries are they, then?


  • Komodo

    Australia, US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador…we need another continent, don’t we? Antarctica? No, gotta be Asia. Who do we know there, unless the EU let them in when I wasn’t looking?

  • Jay

    Round and round the garden like a teddy bear, one step two step tickley under there.


  • N_

    @Komodo – I doubt the Telegraph would want to admit that the US is ‘diplomatically’ involved.

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