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.


138 thoughts on “The Pathetic Vapourings of the Establishment

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  • Dr Javier Pérez

    The Swedish & English Establishments have their nickers in a twist

    Swedish woman “A” met Mr Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him. She now claims that “I woke up to him having sex with me again”. THIS IS NOT “RAPE” BUT SWEDISH CRAP.

    If Swedish and British women need to be asked before each insertion, I can now understand why foreign women claim that British men are “shy” with women and Swedish men are “slow frogs”. I don’t blame the British and Swedish men as I wouldn’t touch the women myself unless my lawyer is present.

    Yours sincerely

    Javier Pérez (Dr)

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Brendan and John Goss – Interesting points which I am glad Craig has picked up on. My analysis of the Julian Assange ‘setup’ digs deeper but right now remains supposition until my determination can be backed up with evidence. Thank-you John Goss we are getting closer.

    Oh by the way I am being ‘premoderated’ on the Guardian ‘Comment is Free’ and the ‘Don’t lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange’ thread has given me the ‘heave ho’ regardless of content.

  • Komodo

    I do understand your point, Craig, and I respect it. More, I admire the extent to which you have persisted in the face of malicious and mendacious opposition. But, still, the traction a detainee in US custody can exert is minimised (assuming he is not held incommunicado) by negative public perception of his case, surely? From many comparable cases I have no doubt that once Assange entered the US justice (or whatever could be cooked up to bypass it) system, it could and would do exactly what it liked with him, short of the death penalty, for which Sweden refuses extradition. World opinion? The US is absolutely relaxed about that, as we have seen many, many times.

  • ironical

    IK5, And your legal qualifications for making such assertions are what exactly?

    Having followed this forum, I am at a loss to recall any contributor that has described Assange as a “brave lion”.

    Can you provide authoritative links to verify your claims of lives lost due to Wikileaks exposures?

    Finally, surely, if you are “fed up” with reading about it, perhaps you ought to consider directing your attention and curiosity elsewhere?

  • Jives

    IKS,

    Thats blowhard nonsense and bluster.

    You mean Assange will get a fair trial and process in the US just like Bradley Manning?

    The US want his encryption keys and he’ll be waterboarded, mind-fried and brutalised for as long as it takes to get these.

  • Giles

    I’m not sure why you expected better from the Telegraph. Much as I enjoy it from time to time, it has never been anything much more than a propaganda rag. They knew they were on shaky ground berating Assange for having published private data as they themselves had done so with the MPs’ expense claims and the massive data-dump that constituted the Climate-gate emails. That’s why they’ve chosen to go for Assange the man*, hoping to convince enough people of his unpleasantness as an individual, while ‘left-wing’ rags and the BBC concentrate on dividing his (largely left-wing) support-base and in unison the establishment media engage in a mopping-up operation to round up his most prominent supporters.

    Galloway having done a good job at discrediting himself they have turned their attention to Craig, who, having named the alleged victim, has, unfortunately, enabled them to adopt a (false) legal and moral high-ground, even though, as Craig’s post today makes clear, such a high-ground is thoroughly contrived with regard to the woman’s activites after the alleged rape took place. Detail, context, the woman’s naming of herself and other such trivialities are irrelevant as they now have Craig by the balls. As Gavin Esler said after Craig raised the matter of the crayfish party, “I’m sure that’s all very interesting…” and carried on with the task of condemning him for having named the woman, even though the woman-naming was obviously going to be edited out of the broadcast. In my view, if they were going to edit out the naming then they ought to have edited out all other references to it, but that would be missing an opportunity to discredit Craig.

    *This cheap attempt at character assassination from the newspaper’s Pakistan correspondent, Rob Crilly, came with the caption, “Warning: don’t get too close” and proceeded to critique Assange’s hygiene habits:

    I hope for their sake he is showering more regularly in the enclosed confines of Ecuador’s embassy than when he was still pals with The Guardian. Staff there had to be asked not to refer to the WikiLeaks hygiene habits in emails, for fear his potentially libellous nickname would reach the pages of Private Eye.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/robcrilly/100176950/julian-assange-is-kicking-up-a-stink-again/

    Perhaps Crilly was just pissed off that while the Telegraph obtained all its major stories on Pakistan from Wikileaks, poor Rob was left hanging around in Islamabad, hoping for a few crumbs.

    Likewise, Brendan O’Neil, one of the paper’s most accomplished comment-trawlers, went straight for the man and aside from calling Assange a “twat” in his piece, dwelt on religious imagery throughout, managing to cram in Mother Teresa, beatification, Mother Teresa (again), Nelson Mandela, messianic embodiment of truth, Holy Trinity, Jesus of Nazareth, Moses, and even Jason Bourne. None of whom Assange has compared himself to, but all of which led O’Neil to conclude that Assange must have a very lofty opinion of himself.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100176958/heres-why-julian-assange-is-the-most-annoying-and-arrogant-person-in-the-whole-world/

    And for good measure, Lord Walsingham of Merton Hall, Norfolk, chipped in with a letter to the Telegraph:

    SIR – Mr Assange may abseil down from a back window. They should put the SAS round the back of the embassy. Laundry baskets going out should be gassed.

  • Jives

    Doesnt matter either way Lizardly One.

    In the insane paranoia of US septics they’ll do a heavy number on Assange because their twisted minds will assume there are.

  • Póló

    Re Craig’s comment on the Telegraph saying he “alleged” that the BBC repeatedly named Ms Diallo, the accuser in the DSK rape case, while the case was still ongoing.

    There seem to be two current uses for the “a” word:

    (i) to legitimately protect the interest of the reporter where a person has not been convicted, and,

    (ii) where there is a statement of fact that the reporter is too lazy to check out.

    No surprises there, then.

  • Mary

    Can anyone predict what happens next? A friend wrote:

    Mary – have been following closely on Craig.
    One worrying aspect of it all is that Correa is not particularly popular
    having upset the real Leftwing big time earlier in the year. My cousins
    tell me that he will have to fight quite hard and part of that fight is
    using Assange. The CIA have always played a huge part in Ecuador’s
    politics and of course they will once again be involved with the whole
    process. What happens if Correa does not get re-elected and some other
    candidate makes it? Assange will then have a mighty problem. Perhaps we
    will know more after the meeting on Friday.

    ~~~

    Any views on this?

  • N_

    @Craig – “A great deal of the establishment public opinion which has so succesfully been turned on Assange, would have gone the other way if he had been cleared of sex crime but bundled off in an orange jumpsuit.

    I doubt it.

    The deportation of this Australian citizen from Sweden to the US probably wouldn’t be given much coverage in the UK.

    Maybe he’d get a few more column inches than the UK citizens and residents who have been held and tortured in Guantanamo. One UK resident is still there. He’s been held for 11 years without charge.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the Brits have been at the elbow of the US, when the US has been giving Sweden its orders.

    Unless the FCO has been solely motivated by honouring its obligations to Sweden, which few commenters here appear to believe!

    Not that the Swedes need much encouragement. Step forward Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister, Karl Rove’s friend whom Wikileaks have shown to be a US asset; and Carl Bodstrom, Ardin and Wilen’s lawyer, former Justice Minister, son of a former Foreign Minister, who helped the CIA kidnap a couple of Egyptians to be taken off for torture.

    The press in the UK are fawning lickspittles. The last time they weren’t was Suez in 1956, and even then, it’s interesting that the US administration opposed the British war effort.

  • John Goss

    I have now read both police statements from Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen (Wilen’s statement was originally taken on 20 Aug 2010 and ‘doctored 26 Aug 2010). I am trying to establish who the interrogator (not mentioned by name) was in the Expressen article yesterday and it is almost certainly Irmeli Krans. Google the name and it comes up with all kinds of man-hater sites from long ago. So this appears to have been long in the public domain. Something very unorthodox has gone on in the preparation of the police statement. And some of the original unsigned statement appears to have been removed by the prosecutor.

    http://rixstep.com/1/20110131,00.shtml

  • Komodo

    The crystal ball is clearing:
    Correa will fold eventually. Someone will make him an offer he can’t refuse. If he takes it, he’s doomed politically, of course, but if he doesn’t the same, courtesy of the CIA’s assets, will be equally true.
    Assange will be ejected into UK custody. By this time the grand jury’s sealed indictment will be complete if it isn’t already. Assange will be extradited to Sweden, interrogated, charged and held as long as necessary for the US to complete its arrangements. Cue extradition application: granted – silence from the UK and silence from Australia, which in any case has effectively washed its hands of him. He will then be tried. The case should never have been brought in the first place, and hasn’t a hope. It will collapse: immediately thereafter Assange will be detained on an extradition order citing some applicable part of the indictment, and goodbye Assange.

  • nevermind

    Comments on CIF are not free, indeed the Guardian operates under a blacklisting. Those who persistently offer information they do not condone, who point to angle’s their now lesser journalism does not cover, are banned from commenting.

    This post from yesterday, now forwarded to max keiser for perusal, adds a sinister twist to this story which will make it impossible to find justice in Sweden.

    seekingjusticeuk

    21 Aug, 2012 – 3:51 pm

    WHY IS SWEDEN REALLY AFTER JULIAN ASSANGE?
    WHAT SWEDISH – U.S. TIES ARE REALLY AT WORK?

    Follow the money to a connection worth billions of dollars, or Swedish Kronors.

    Sweden’s Big Trade Deal For Assange. Who profits most?

    Cui bono? What has been lacking in reports of the Karl Rove – Prime Minister Reinfeldt connections is how either would benefit.

    It is highly unlikely Karl Rove—no friend of the Clintons nor the Democratic Party—would spare Hillary Clinton embarrassment over the WikiLeaks exposure of U.S. Embassy cables.
    Is he then still covering and enabling his own Republican party’s involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? Is Karl Rove trying to take down Julian Assange and WikiLeaks out of pure loyalty to the war machine? He doesn’t have the political power. Rove is known as an architect of dirty schemes.

    In mid-December of 2010, Investor initiated the purchase of an extremely large portion of the U.S. NASDAQ OMX (stock exchange). Investor’s purchase of millions of NASDAQ shares would give the Wallenbergs/Investor a seat on the board IF U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder approves it.

    January 11, 2011 the publisher and editor of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, appears again in the London, U.K. court regarding the warrant filed by the Swedish government over allegations of sexual misconduct. Will the U.K. Court order extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden? The next court date regarding extradition to Sweden is scheduled for February 7, 2011.

    Is it just a coincidence, that the DOJ deadline for the ABB review of Anti -Trust matters got extended on January 11, 2011 for the third time?
    The new date in February to once again coincide with Assanges court date over extradition to Sweden, is very suspicious.
    http://www.abb.com/cawp/seitp202/cf41de865d4968d9c125781500

    BINGO! “Badda bing, badda boom”
    On February 17, 2011, Börje Ekholm was elected to The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. Board of Directors. Mr. Ekholm is currently President and Chief Executive Office of Investor AB (Wallenbergs), the Nordic-based industrial holding company, where he has held a variety of management positions since joining the firm in 1992.
    http://ir.nasdaqomx.com/nasdaq-omx-group.cfm

    Attorney General Eric Holder worked for Lehman Brothers and understands the importance, financially and psychologically, of a return on an investment.

    Obama, Hillary and Holder get Julian Assange.

    Jacob Wallenberg/Investor AB get a massive NASDAQ OMX purchase approved and a seat on the board of NASDAQ, along with the merger of ABB and Baldor.

    FYI:
    “Esse non Videri” or “To be, and be not seen” is the motto of Sweden’s politically powerful Wallenberg family.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallenberg_family

    http://open.salon.com/blog/anonymous_operation_want/2011/01/13/swedens_big_trade_deal_for_assange_who_profits_most

  • Jives

    Dragon,

    Yes thats one way it could play out.But dont forget there is allegedely thermo-nuclear info held by Assange/Wikileaks that has been threatened to be released if this happens that is meant to be seriously incriminating for the US/UK and others.

  • Mary

    This neocon outfit have Julian Assange as ‘a true face of evil’ in their latest product. Presumably these are given to children as toys. Just like the dreidls for Hannukah after which Cast Lead was named.

    {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Really_Big_Coloring_Books}

    We Shall Never Forget 9/11 – Vol. II: The True Faces of Evil – Terror Graphic Coloring Novel – Terrorist Trading Cards
    http://www.coloringbook.com/NeverForget9/11TerroristTradingCards.aspx

  • OldMark

    ‘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.’

    Spot on Jim Larkin. This helps to explain why Esler was in such a state of agitation, seized on the ‘naming’ of AA, and thereafter dropped any pretence of being an impartial umpire betwen Craig & Joan Smith.

  • Komodo

    Jives:
    Somewhere in cyberspace there is a little server. In it lives a ‘bot. The bot lives only to hear from Julian daily. If it doesn’t….that’s the way I’d do it, anyway. Though I’d think of a couple more wrinkles, just to be on the safe side.

  • glenn_uk

    Cover of the latest Private Eye…

    Picture of Assange making his speech at the embassy, caption “Assange taunts Hague over embassy blunder”, saying “He threatened to force an entry without consent”.

    A photographer replies, “You’re the expert, Julian”

    I wonder about P.E. sometimes.

  • John Goss

    I feel cheated. If only Expressen had named names. Then we would have been able to find all the stuff on Irmeli Krans in the public domain (but not in the mainstream media). How can anybody claim there is no political agenda?

  • Komodo

    PE: I shall write a snotty letter to Hislop and cancel my subscription forthwith…but it was funny. And I don’t subscribe, come to think of it.

  • Jives

    Dragon,

    Do you think the Andrea Davidson matter-also seeking asylum from Ecuador-is connected to the Assange affair more than we realise?

  • Jives

    If even PE is playing the Establishment game some serious favours have been called/arms twisted.

    The US must have some serious goods on Scameron and Co.

  • CE

    So Karl Rove is orchestrating the CIA agent AA to frame JA? Seriously, does anybody believe this nonsense?

    In good news, Gorgeous George has been removed from Holyrood Magazine for his inappropriate and offensive comments about rape;

    Dr Alison Phipps, Director of Gender Studies at Sussex University said his comments were “horrendous.”

    “I think George Galloway’s comments are absolutely horrendous and show how some (not all) representatives of the British left are not only gender-blind, they have also let their anti-Americanism take precedence over any other politics.”

    Dr Amy Russell, Deputy Director of Leeds University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, told The Huffington Post UK that Galloway’s comments were hurting women.

    “The conviction rate for rape is disgustingly low in this country and while the legal system is fundamentally flawed very few rapes even get reported. The under-reporting of rape can be attributed to attitudes like Galloway’s; that disbelieves rape survivors.

    “Julian Assange’s politics are a separate issue to his behaviour towards these women and the two should not be confused in an attempt to defend him. “

  • Dr Brian Robinson

    Craig – First, Wow! for this http://tinyurl.com/73z34nz The Expressen story “Interrogator in the Assange case friend with woman accusing Wikileaks founder”. The thicker the murk seems to get, the clearer the view seems to be getting.

    I agree of course it’s objectively irrelevant whether one likes or dislikes Assange, but I “confessed” that bit because more or less up to yesterday I had allowed my ambivalence about the man to colour my judgement of the case against him. I suspect I’m far from alone in that. Someone else has wondered if the tide is turning. Maybe.

    Senor Moment aka Roger Gough. Yes, thanks, I’ve had to do more rethinking on that one. Another confession — I was influenced by David Aaronovitch lauding the Swedish justice system the other day. (OK, OK, don’t say it!)

    Thanks also, Craig, for restating what, were you in Assange’s position, you would do. I agree that only he is in his position and he has the right to choose. I’m only saying that I’d respect him more if he did decide to take that course. People (I think, at the moment) want heroes. But heroes have to undergo and survive terrible things. Viz Bradley Manning.

  • Nicholas

    Hi Craig,

    The Expressen article on Ardin is actually from March 2011 and one of many disturbing issues the media simply ignore. I’ve been on the Assange story from the moment it broke in Sweden and you will find the comment thread here interesting:

    http://nicholasmead.com/2010/08/21/how-to-smear-a-hero

    I’ve also analysed media coverage of the Assange case which may also be of interest to you:

    http://nicholasmead.com/2012/01/31/julian-assange-trial-by-media/
    http://nicholasmead.com/2012/08/19/4-things-the-media-wont-tell-you-about-assange/

  • Komodo

    As you quote, CE.
    “Julian Assange’s politics are a separate issue to his behaviour towards these women and the two should not be confused in an attempt to defend him. “
    Doesn’t stop you trying, does it?

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