The Assange case 211


Many thanks indeed to “Me in Us” for this transcript.

00:12 ONN: Hello. We’re here today at the home of Craig Murray, the whistleblower and former ambassador to Uzbekistan. Craig, thank you for being here with us on ON today. On Sunday you spoke out publicly defending Julian Assange in giving a speech in front of the Ecuadorean assembly. What made you want to stand up and be counted as among his supporters?

CRAIG MURRAY: Well, the main reason is that I’ve been a whistleblower myself and active with other whistleblowers, and I’ve seen so many whistleblowers fitted up with false charges, and as soon as anybody blows the whistle, particularly on any aspects of, if you like, neoconservative foreign policy and war, you’re going to get fitted up and you’re going to get defamed with false charges, and if you’re male I think in every case those charges are going to involve sexual allegations. So I could just see, if you like, a miscarriage of justice in the process of being done, and I wanted to do anything I can to help stop it.

01:16 ONN: You said that individual whistleblowers are not charged with political offenses, they are fit up with criminal ones. Would you care to elaborate on that?

CRAIG MURRAY: Yes, certainly, and I’ll give a few examples. James Yee, who was a chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, he blew the whistle on torture and mistreatment of inmates at Guantanamo Bay. He was first of all charged with espionage and acts of espionage benefiting a foreign country. Then those charges were dropped and he was charged with adultery, which apparently under US military law is an offense, and he was charged with having pornography on his government computer at work, and he was convicted of both of those, and then later the conviction was overturned.

Brigadier Janis Karpinski was the lady in charge of all Iraqi prisoners of war in Iraq, not just at Abu Ghraib. She was in charge of all military installations. She wasn’t actually at Abu Ghraib, and actually she’d only ever been to Abu Ghraib once. When the story broke about all the torture at Abu Ghraib, she came forward and she said that she had personally seen a document signed by Donald Rumsfeld detailing forms of torture to be used at Abu Ghraib, including stress positions, including threatening naked prisoners with dogs. She said those techniques were detailed in the document which was signed by Donald Rumsfeld. She was recalled to the United States, and the day after she returned to the United States she was allegedly caught shoplifting and charged with shoplifting.

Scott Ritter was an Iraqi weapons inspector on the same UN team as David Kelly. He was a captain in the US Marines. He stated that there were no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. On his return to the United States he was entrapped in a computer sex honey trap by an FBI agent, and this was admitted in court, that it was an FBI agent who entrapped him.

03:51 ONN: For those who don’t know, what does this term “honey trap” refer to?

CRAIG MURRAY: Honey trap is where you put, if you like, sexual bait in order to catch someone, to entice someone into a sexual act which they otherwise might not have committed had you not put the temptation right in their way. It’s a term frequently used in espionage and diplomatic circles because it’s a well-known technique of the security services. And Scott Ritter fell for this honey trap and he was actually convicted of pedophilia, because although the agent in concern was an adult female, she was using an Internet persona of an underage person. But — and Scott Ritter’s case is the only one where I think there may be any truth at all in the allegations, and in his case it wouldn’t have happened, the whole thing wouldn’t have happened had the FBI not set up the situation and gone out to get him.

And I should say these are all people I knew personally. Two of them are people I knew before they were accused. And it happens to everyone. And the same thing happened to me. I blew the whistle on British complicity in torture, MI6′s complicity with torture in Uzbekistan and on extraordinary rendition. I was immediately charged with sexual allegations, in effect with extorting sex from visa applicants. It took me, you know, 18 months of real hell, to be honest, to clear my name. Because, you know, I know once people throw those kind of allegations at you, it tarnishes your name forever. It’s very easy to destroy someone’s reputation by sexual allegations.

So, for me, the absolutely extraordinary thing is that, you know, after this has happened to James Yee, happened to me, happened to Scott Ritter, happened to Janis Karpinski, they pulled the same trick again and again, and now it’s pulling it with Julian Assange, and anybody taking seriously these accusations astonishes me, because the idea that people just can’t see what is happening in the world and the way that whistleblowers are being persecuted, to me it’s astonishing. And the fact that none of what I’ve just said to you will you find reported in the mainstream media, you know, ought to really, really alarm people about the kind of world we live in.

06:30 ONN: Yes, there does seem to be a rather consistent failure by the mainstream media to address these issues. I mean, in your opinion, are journalists doing their job right?

CRAIG MURRAY: No. I mean, it seems to me there is very little actual journalism in the what you might call the paid media. And part of that, of course, is that, you know, the media is owned by a very small number of people, and really people have to write what their bosses want them to write. It’s very, very difficult to get the truth into the media on any subject at all. On top of which also, of course, newspapers actually employ far less journalists than they used to. There used to be a time when individual newspapers in Fleet Street had 30 or 40 foreign correspondents per newspaper. There aren’t actually now 30 or 40 foreign correspondents between the whole of the British newspaper industry. So just the number of them has gone down, and mostly they spend their time, you know, cutting and pasting government press releases and putting out the story, the story which the people who own the papers want them to hear.

The same goes for broadcast media, which again has precisely the same restricted private ownership, unless it’s owned by the government. Though the government of course is owned by the same people who own the newspapers — it really doesn’t make a great deal of difference.

08:10 ONN: So what do you think about the actual allegations, the actual substance of the allegations made against Julian Assange? I mean, is there any evidence at all that you can see of – ?

CRAIG MURRAY: I mean, to some extent it almost doesn’t matter because, as I say, having been through it myself and having seen all the whistleblowers I know go through it, it was only a matter of time before they did it to Julian Assange. So the question of what they charged him with or what evidence they managed to fake is almost irrelevant.

I would say, I think, you know, choosing rape and sexual allegations is very clever. The CIA do know what they are doing. Firstly, because nothing tarnishes your name in that way. People might forgive you for being a bank robber, they might even eventually forgive you for being a murderer, if you said you did it in the heat of the moment, but nobody will ever forgive you for being a rapist or a pedophile. So the choice of allegation is very clever.

Also, it splits the left. If the Birmingham Six had been charged with rape, they would still be in jail today, because nobody would ever have been allowed in public campaigning to query the evidence against them, because unfortunately, because of the genuine problems with rape, genuine rape, going unpunished in society, the reaction to that has been that many perfectly decent people think the only way to correct that imbalance is by removing essentially all protection to people accused of rape. And that view is deeply held by genuine and decent people who are concerned about the position of women in society. But once you have a social acceptance that you ought not to be allowed in public discourse to challenge people making accusations of rape, that makes it the perfect tool for a security service to use, because everyone has agreed in advance that it’s the one crime that no one’s going in campaigning against miscarriage of justice to challenge the evidence or challenge the accusers.

And, as I say, you have so many people on the left whose primary political concern is feminism, who are being used as useful idiots by the CIA, who have been sidetracked into vitriolic attacks on Julian Assange, who are calling people like me rape apologists, just because the CIA has been very, very careful to choose the one accusation which they will always uphold, be it true or not. That’s the main problem with the allegations.

But, no, I mean, it is well worth studying the detail both of the allegations themselves and of the people making the allegations and of the procedures which have been adopted. Because even if you didn’t know all the background I’ve given you about how whistleblowers are always fitted up with these allegations, even if you didn’t know that, just from a careful close examination of the evidence in this case, which is widely available on the Internet, anybody would conclude this was a fit-up. I don’t see how anyone can seriously study the facts of the case and not think it’s a fit-up.

11:46 ONN: You mentioned the other day, you were giving an interview, and you mentioned one of Assange’s accusers by name, Anna Ardin, and this caused a big uproar. I’ve been doing some digging and I found out that she is in fact a Social Democrat politician. Do you feel that these are facts that need to be made widely available to public? Do you stand by the fact that you named Anna Ardin as one of his accusers?

CRAIG MURRAY: Absolutely. The most important single point in this is that Anna Ardin named herself. She has given a number of interviews to the media under her own name accusing Julian Assange, the first one of which I can find was in August of 2010. But I found at least 30 media interviews that she has given where she is reported as Anna Ardin making these accusations. Now the idea — and saying that she does not work for the CIA. It was interesting that she feels the need to say that. Most of us don’t go around denying we work for the CIA. And also saying that, you know, Assange is a misogynist and a rapist and goodness knows what else.

The idea that you should be able to make such accusations to the media – I don’t mean privately in court – that you should be able under your own name to make such media accusations and nobody should be allowed to reply to you and nobody should be allowed to use your name, even though you put it yourself in the newspapers, is sort of Kafkaesque. I actually cannot understand for the life of me why I ought not be allowed to use it when she openly puts it in the public domain herself.

And there are, you know, over 200,000 Google hits on her name, and she has been named in the mainstream media of every single major country I can find except for the UK She’s been named in the New York Times. She’s been named in the Times of India. She’s been named in Paris Match. She’s been named in La Republica. She’s been named in Der Spiegel. The UK is actually the only country where she has never been named by the mainstream media, which again is very strange.

But, no, she herself is a character with a very, very interesting history and very, very interesting ties, political ties, which don’t relate only to the Social Democrat Party in Sweden but that network of people in the police, the prosecution and Anna Ardin who are all connected, who are all working on this case together, who all have party links, is something which would itself make the case inadmissible in any decent jurisdiction. But she also has a history that relates to work with CIA-funded agencies in Miami and Cuba and Buenos Aries. So the more people study Anna Ardin, the better.

15:04 ONN: You’ll be referring, of course, to the Ladies in White, a feminist organization in Cuba based in Miami as well. Is that –

CRAIG MURRAY: That’s right. Look, she has an interesting and varied history of working in causes which, let’s say where there’s a mutual area of interest in South America with the CIA.

15:33 ONN: It’s also interesting now that it is Ecuador that has come out, that originally granted protection to Assange within the embassy and has now granted him full asylum. So if extradited to Sweden, what do you think would be the fate that would await Julian Assange there?

CRAIG MURRAY: Well, his fear is that he would very quickly be extradited on from Sweden to the United States, either extradited or rendered. And the Swedes actually now have a sort of legal rendition law for speedy temporary rendition to the United States, as it’s called. That’s what is worrying Julian Assange. Though I should say, I mean, my experience of the way they treat whistleblowers and my experience of what we have seen of the process in Sweden, I would say there must be just as big a fear that he will be unjustly convicted of rape, which I’m quite sure he hasn’t done. But if he arrives in Sweden, he will immediately be jailed. There’s no provision for bail. And the thing which most people don’t understand is that rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret, so nobody would ever see any of the evidence. The next thing we will hear is the verdict. My own view is the most likely scenario is that it’s been cooked up well in advance and that verdict will be guilty. And it’s very possible to do that because not only is the trial held in secret but there is no jury.

Now I’m not one of those people who believes that only the British system of law is okay. Many countries have different systems and often those systems work very well. But what you do have with the jury system is a situation where ordinary men and women do have that chance to stand up to the authorities and to say what they believe to be true. It may not be a chance that they take very often, but that possibility is there. Where you don’t have a jury, as in Sweden, the chances of the government if it wishes to seriously influencing the result are pretty firm.

18:15 I would look at the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest, for example, in the United Kingdom. In that case, the judge, who’s appointed by the government – and remember that it’s basically a government decision not just which judges get appointed but allocating judges to particular cases. In that case the judge, and sadly his name’s escaped me because he was a complete bloody disgrace, he gave a summing up which was totally tendentious and in which he said that the jury would not be allowed to return a verdict of unlawful killing, and he would only give them the choice of two verdicts, one of which was an open verdict, and the other one was that the killing had been lawful, but he wouldn’t let allow them to bring a verdict of unlawful killing, he would rule that verdict out of order, which again is a complete disgrace. He made absolutely plain that the verdict he wanted was that it was lawful. But it didn’t happen. The jury came back and said no, we’re going to bring back an open verdict. And they did, much to the annoyance of the judge.

19:37 The Clive Ponting case, when he leaked the fact that the Belgrano was actually sailing away from the Falkland Islands at the time it was destroyed with hundreds of people killed, he was charged with that under the Official Secrets Act. There was no doubt he was guilty. He was undoubtedly technically guilty. The judge said so, pretty well, in his summing up of that case. And the jury basically told the judge to get knotted and found him not guilty. So there’s always that possibility with a jury system.

Assange wouldn’t have a jury. He would be judged by a professional judge and two lay assessors. And the lay assessors are actually party political appointments, quite literally. One will be appointed by the Swedish Conservative Party and one by the Swedish Social Democratic party. The Swedish Conservative Party is very strongly aligned to George Bush and the neocons and the Social Democratic Party are precisely the people that Anna Ardin and the prosecutor and the police investigator and Anna Ardin’s lawyer all come from. So, there is every chance that this secret process would result in a complete stitch-up.

And I think although people have focused on the fear of him being extradited from Sweden to the United States, and I think that’s true and I think it’s legitimate, my personal view is an even bigger danger is of a secret trial where nobody ever gets to know what the evidence was and they announce to a complacent media that he’s been found guilty of rape at the end of it.

21:17 ONN: And then it’s a done deal and there can be no preventing it.

CRAIG MURRAY: Exactly. Then it’s a done deal and they shove him in jail for 10 years. Then when at the end of that period he comes out, he’s sent over to the United States and tried on terrorism charges, whatever, and by that stage, of course, he’s a convicted rapist as far as the media is concerned, and anyway 10 years have passed and nobody cares anymore.

21:40 ONN: That would be a terrible outcome. What would you think, do you think would be the result if William Hague carried out his threat to storm the Ecuadorean embassy at this point?

CRAIG MURRAY: Well, it’s an absolutely astonishing threat. I should say that I know for certain from colleagues, ex-colleagues within the Foreign Office, that in issuing that threat, William Hague was very closely pushed by the Americans. He was under a lot of pressure from the United States of America to get Assange to Sweden. Which again, you know, rather contradicts those who say he would be under no fear of extradition if he went to Sweden. Why are the Americans so keen to get him there? Why are they interested?

But it was an astonishing threat, because everyone in the world, except perhaps the heads of government in the United Kingdom and the United States, would view that as a grossly illegal act. It would be an absolute diplomatic outrage and it would be a, you know, a crime of aggression against Ecuador. The diplomatic repercussions would be astonishing for the United Kingdom. First of all, no British embassy would be safe around the world, because everyone would say, “Well, we can do the same as you, we can de-designate your embassy and move in and take it over.” And secondly, our relations with not just Latin America but most of the developing world at least would be very, very seriously set back.

And you must remember that we have enough problems in Latin America already. First of all we’ve got the crazy jingoistic, on both sides, dispute over the Falkland Islands. Then you’ve got the fact we would not extradite Pinochet when we’re so keen on extraditing Assange for offenses which even if they were true wouldn’t add up to a hundred thousandth of what Pinochet did. And then you have, of course, as I said earlier, the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. The idea that the Metropolitan Police, having killed Jean Charles de Menezes, we would let them launch a physical attack on a Latin American embassy, is just astonishing.

So you know the repercussions would be enormous. And I think Hague has absolutely made a fool of himself because he’s made a threat which it would be totally disastrous were he to carry it out.

24:24 ONN: And what about the legality of such a thing? Using the 1987 Diplomatic Consular Premises Act is what Hague said, the legislation he said he’d use?

CRAIG MURRAY: Well, this is just utter nonsense because it can’t trump international law. You can’t have domestic legislation which is in conflict with international law, particularly an international treaty to which we are a party. We were actually I think the second signatory on the 1961 Vienna Convention, and it’s the single most subscribed to international treaty in the world. And interestingly enough, even the 1987 act in itself says that its provisions must be in accordance with international law, and it actually says that even in the 1987 act. Well it would be completely against international law for Hague to do what he’s planned to do. Article 22 of the Vienna Convention, Part 1, states absolutely baldly, without any qualification at all, that diplomatic premises are inviolable. Full stop. And they are. You know, you’re not allowed to enter anybody else’s diplomatic premises.

Even in the chaos of Afghanistan, Britain abandoned its embassy in Afghanistan, withdrew all its diplomats. I’m not sure of that. I don’t think we were chucked out. I think we left voluntarily. But at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Britain withdrew, and our embassy sat there empty for decades, through the Soviet occupation, through the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and the embassy building was only opened up again – although eventually we moved to new premises, it’s not the building we’re in now – but the original embassy building was only opened up again after the invasion in 2001, 2002. But it had been, for 20 years, it had sat there empty, under the Soviets and under the Taliban, and neither the Soviets nor the Taliban had entered the British embassy. Even though there was nobody there except a resident Afghan caretaker, they accepted the inviolability of embassy premises and they didn’t enter it, not the Soviets nor the Taliban. Now William Hague is proposing we should act much, much worse than either the Soviets or the Taliban, and this to me is absolutely astonishing. It beggars belief.

27:18 ONN: Okay, just one more question before we wrap up here, which was, what do you think the actual chances of Julian Assange running the gauntlet, so to speak, and making it to Ecuador safely? Do you see a way that he can manage to leave Britain now and get there to South America in safety?

CRAIG MURRAY: Physically it’s going to be very difficult. The chances of getting to Ecuador from the embassy in the middle of London without the agreement of the British authorities are limited. You can, you know, we can all think of sort of physical escape scenarios, but they’re not easy. There’s going to have to be a diplomatic solution. My guess would be that it will take a long while in coming, I think six months from now. There’s not going to be much public awareness that anything has changed, although talks will have been going on behind the scenes.

The obvious solution is for the Swedes to agree that they won’t extradite him to the United States, but the Swedes absolutely refuse to do that, and the United States refuses to say that it won’t apply for extradition, because frankly there’s no doubt whatsoever that the United States has convened a grand jury to look at prosecuting Assange and Wikileaks and has every intention of extraditing him to the United States. So all of that is very, very difficult.

You can see a kind of Lockerbie solution. The alleged Lockerbie bomber, Mr. Megrahi, was tried in the Hague under Scottish law by Scottish judges because they didn’t want to send him to Scotland and they agreed to hold the trial on mutual premises, and the Dutch agreed that a court in the Hague could actually be in effect under Scottish law for the period of the trial. It’s not the happiest precedent, because I think the trial was itself a stitch-up and a miscarriage of justice, but it does set a precedent for somebody being tried by another state on somebody else’s territory, so there is a precedent in international law if people were looking for that.

Now, as I’ve said myself, my own view is that a condition of any trial should be that it should be public. I think this case is so high-profile that people are entitled to know what evidence has been given, are entitled to know what the defense is, and frankly the defense is so strong that it would make it very, very difficult to do a stitch-up conviction. So something along those lines.

I really do not know at this stage what the end game is. The hope of the British government is that the Ecuadorean government will change. There’s an election coming up in Ecuador in the not so distant future. The British and American governments are relying on President Correa’s opponents — and his opponents are of course backed by the CIA anyway – will manage to win that election and then cancel his diplomatic asylum and hand him over, and that’s the end game as far as the British and Americans are concerned. So my guess is that they will wait for the outcome of the Ecuadorean election. I don’t think they will make any compromise at all until after the Ecuadorean election, in the hope that the government of Ecuador changes and that they will get a, basically a US puppet administration in Ecuador which will just hand him over.

31:49 ONN: Well, thank you very much for speaking with us today, Mr. Murray. It’s been fascinating and very informative. And thank you to our viewers. Thank you for watching this ONN interview. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Okay.

CRAIG MURRAY: Thank you.

* I have added in italics phrases on one particular point where I thought my meaning was obvious in context, but evidently from comments on another thread it was not.


211 thoughts on “The Assange case

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  • John Goss

    This morning I ‘phoned the Independent newsdesk to try an find out why there had been no mention of the Expressen newspaper article in the British media and why the slant was always against Assange. The person I spoke to was not familiar with Expressen so I sent him the following link with an email message which read:

    “Further to our telephone conversation a few minutes ago I am embedding a
    link to available information that shows there is another side to the
    Julian Assange ‘rape’ case to that reported in the media. I should like
    to see this addressed rather than listen to Joan Smith and Gavin Esler
    shouting down Craig Murray on Newsnight for mentioning the name of Anna
    Ardin.

    http://johngossip.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/the-rape-of-julian-assange.html

    A man’s life is being toyed with in this dreadful vilification by all
    and sundry without anyone giving helpful support. It is like ganging up
    on Gandhi. The press should be ashamed.

    John Goss”

    I copied in the Press Complaints Commission.

  • Rich Tea

    We have corrupt politicians, corrupt police, corrupt judiciary and corrupt media.

    Julian Assange provides the perfect distraction for all the above to obsess about and thereby deny media space to other, infinitely more important, issues. Such as LIBOR rate fixing. The criminal incompetence of George Osborne and the coalition in general (David Laws return to the cabinet is a prime example). And the BBC doling out millions in public money to sock-puppets newsreaders who display an incredible lack of curiosity (Paxman, Esler, et. al.).

    These people love talking endlessly about Assange and then have the temerity to ask (as Paxman did on Newsnight last week) why are *WE* so obsessed with the case.

    I am not interested in Assange one bit. He is a tool.

  • nevermind

    Maybe he has a few cables left in his secret emergency stash of incredibly important messages, Komodo, the only thing the establishment seems to fear these days, who knows, it could highly personal information of Israel’s cabinet members, dare I mention sexual proclivities here without starting anyone off..:).

    @Burton mint Viscount, indeed well said, just as with the clandestine trucks serving the twin towers in the early morning, this would have to be done under the disguise of nightly work or ‘maintenance’.

    Norways public should strongly ask itself why his brethren free masons had nothing proofed no help at all to the prosecution, knew nothing. Why was Ms Phillips not asked to appear, or Pam Geller, at least one of them had an email exchange with him. So many dead ends which were never pursued,
    The BBC’s Goebbels should explain themselves for repeatedly spreading Nazi propaganda salutes, why they gave Nick Griffin a half hour time on Radio fascist FM Radio 5 live, during elections, and much more, their public broadcasting brief is sooo shot to fuck its not true and still we hear apologist come up with excuses.

    The BBC needs breaking up, yesterday.

  • CE

    Mary,

    Thanks for the link to Green’s excellent piece. Could you point me in the direction of this ‘bilge’ you refer to? Seems like a sober, rational assessment of the facts to me.

    A lot of talk(smearing) of AA on here, but what about SW? Is she a Karl Rove run CIA plant as well?

  • John Goss

    Komodo, Israel has yet to answer for its dreadful mistreatment of Mordechai Vanunu (who is still a virtual prisoner in Jerusalem) the man who broke the news that Israel had nuclear weapons. Now Israel is preparing to go to war on Iran for allegedly trying to develop the same weapons. Like Macky says they don’t want the stuff we don’t know about in the public domain.

  • Komodo

    Oh, and on interesting thing about Shamir. There is some tangible support for the assertion that he is, or has been, a Swedish citizen…coincidence?

  • Komodo

    Shamir in his own write:
    http://www.israelshamir.net/FAQs.htm

    For a one-state solution (see home page). Fatal, mate. Obviously a holocaust denying self-hating Jew [can’t have him Jewish – ed], Nordic fascist beast.

    Incidentally, is the Pollard to which Shamir refers the editor of the Jewish Chronicle and BICOM stooge, Stephen Pollard? I think so.

  • macky

    @Komodo, no need to apologise, a good point is worth making more than once; besides you were more concise & elegant than me !

    @John Goss, if Wikileaks had been around at the time, it could have saved Mordechai Vanunu serving 18+ years in prison (11 of which were in solitary confinement, vindictive & using the sheer terror of this form of torture as a deterrent to others).

  • technicolour

    And in the Guardian Hague provides reassurance that Assange will not be extradited to face the death penalty – no comments allowed so one can’t point out that this is already a part of EU law, not a special concession, as it’s being presented.

  • Macky

    “Probably because Wikileaks’ very existence potentially threatens to lift the lid on all sorts of US/Israeli dirty secrets, with very damaging consequences for both, and their relationship.”

    Further to my own quote, as just one example of this; I recently read somewhere if there were a leak of Israeli files that confirmed their WMDs, the US would been in a tricky situation as it is prohibited from giving any sort of aid to countries in possession of prohibited nuclear weapons, which is also why Israel never officially confirms it has them, but always “refuses to confirm or deny”.

  • Komodo

    Hmmm…peripherally, what do you say to a state which builds uranium concentration facilities which could be used to produce a bomb? Naturally, you get assurances that this is for peaceful purposes and that it will permit inspections.

    Which is what JFK did.

    From Israel.

    http://www.jfkmontreal.com/dimona.htm

  • CE

    John Goss – “It is like ganging up on Ghandi.” 😆

    I know it’s only noon, but surely a winner already for the most ridiculous statement of the day.

    I don’t remember Ghandi getting into bed with people like Putin or Chavez, or being accused of crimes like this; “in the home of the injured party Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep was in a helpless state.

    It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used(according to an ex, she had a pathological fear of unprotected sex), still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.”

    As DAG writes, in view of the significant protections he would have against onward extradition to the United States from Sweden, it would appear that the only rational (as opposed to subjective) explanation for his refusal is not that he is seeking to avoid any onwards extradition; it is that he simply wants to avoid interrogation and any prosecution for allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.

    My Hero.

  • Komodo

    So what is the objection to either Hague (who can) or the Swedes (who can) giving Assange a clear and binding assurance that he will not be extradited, and calling Assange’s (as you would put it) bluff? Are they interested in trying him or smearing him or passing him on to the Yanks?
    Both Assange and Ecuador have expressed their willingness to have Assange questioned here.
    Doesn’t wash, CE, even assuming you’re serious.

  • Jon

    “… in view of the significant protections he would have against onward extradition to the United States from Sweden”

    I think that identifies the unresolvable difference I have with your position. I think onward extradition is a risk, and you don’t, even though we both have looked at the copious evidence.

    “My Hero”

    CE, I am perplexed why you alternate between reasonable and mean-minded sarcasm – it makes me wonder (again) whether you are here in good faith. I agree that some Assange-worship exists, but not much on this board that I’ve seen. I think he is a flawed character, but that doesn’t make him any less worthy of due legal process.

  • CE

    He’s a bail skipper evading questioning on extremely serious allegations. He has no right to dictate the terms and conditions of his arrest /questioning. You or I would not have that luxury, why should Assange?

    BTW, DAG has rebuffed GG’s assertion that the Swedes could provide the assurances you mention.

  • Jon

    “[Assange] has no right to dictate the terms and conditions of his arrest/questioning”

    No, but there’s a strong public interest case for it. The public interest has every right to affect such terms, and there’s precedent for it too. Hasn’t this particular point been resolved on previous threads here?

  • CE

    Jon, I am a certainly here in good faith. I am genuinely interested in and appreciate those (like yourself) who have an opposing view to mine and have helped moderate my own views somewhat on some aspects of the case.

    I attempt to be reasonable, and I’m open to changing my mind, it’s just some of the hero worship sticks in the craw a bit. I mean ganging up on Ghandi? Come on.

    Considering some of the abuse I have to take, surely a little bit of mean spirited sarcasm is allowed? If not I shall refrain.

    Again, I’ll ask the question, since AA has been ‘outed’ as neo-con, CIA, honey trap, is the same true of SW?

  • Jon

    @CE, thanks. I didn’t mean that sarcasm would be moderated out (we’d have to delete the whole board 😉 ) – just that some modes of interaction don’t add much to the debate. FWIW, I’m not in favour of people being abusive towards you, or any other people they disagree with.

  • craig Post author

    CE

    You are very welcome here. Almost all views are welcome, though there are red lines (racism, most importantly).

    My own reading is that SW is an innocent party, who has indeed been exploited by Anna Ardin. It is worth noting that Sofia Wilen refused to sign and to this day has not signed the police evidence statement containing the only “rape” allegation against Assange. Wilen says the statement is not a fair summary of what she said. The interview – contrary to all Swedish police protocol – was not video taped or audio taped. Anna Ardin – again contrary to protocol – was also present throughout Wilen’s interview. Wilen’s unsigned statement would not be admissible as evidence in the UK but according to Marianne Ny, Swedish prosecutor, it is eligible in Sweden as there were two witnesses to Wilen saying it – one of whom is Ardina and the second a pre-existing friend of Ardin, the campaigning lesbian feminist policewoman to whom Ardin specifically took Wilen.

    I have answered your question. I should be interested if you could tell me if there is any of what I just wrote you did not already know.

  • Zoologist

    @CE If you are here in good faith why don’t you read the links here and understand that this is so much bigger than the Swedish allegations, whatever their merit.

    Read this and understand the geostrategic importance of what has happened and what is happening. It’s nothing to do with Assange per se. I think he is a POW at best.

    http://globalnewsandviews.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/the-change-is-beginning-by-nicola-di-cora-modigliani/#entry

    I think this is really relevant and really important. I’m genuinely interested to know if you think I am wrong but first you have to read it.

    If you do, then tell us honestly, did you know all of the facts?

  • Villager

    CE
    “He’s a bail skipper evading questioning on extremely serious allegations.”

    You cannot be serious! The more serious allegations have to do with the way the whole ‘case’ investigation by the Swedes has gone so far. Including all the redeeming evidence, not limited to, SW refusing to sign a statement, AA being photographed smiling at a working lunch offering Assange herself as his press secretary and so on and so forth.

    For these reasons, Assange has stated that it is quite possible that the case will be dropped. More pressure needs to be brought to bear for an internal investigation in Sweden on the case investigation process so far. Alongside more pressure needs to be brought to complete the first step in this apparent international stalemate, for the Swedes to now question Assange all they want in London. Even Superman puts his trousers on one leg at a time and Sweden would do itself a favour by cooperating and not appearing to be the US’s poodle. Don’t forget, Assange was hanging around Sweden for most of Sept, yet his lawyer received no request for questioning till Sept 22. Are the Swedish police that incompetent that they couldn’t track him down earlier or even intercept his departure at an airport on Sept 27, given how important this ‘case’ seems to be?

  • CE

    Craig,

    First of all, many thanks for allowing my somewhat against the grain views to be aired and shared. I know many, if not most, blogs across the political spectrum where I would be summarily dismissed as a stooge and banned (although I’m sure this would please some of your more partisan contributors who think I’m being paid). You also seem to have chosen your mods superbly, despite my many disagreements with them, I can’t praise their courtesy and good manners enough.

    With regards to SW, I was aware her statement may not be admissible under UK protocol, but I was unaware that the statement I quoted from was in fact unsigned by SW. I would think that both of these women have been placed in a terrible situation. They undoubtedly support wikileaks, and I would like to think the Social Democratic movement, and do not want to be seen as ‘betraying the cause’.

    Zoologist, thanks for the link, I’m a bit pushed for time at the moment, but will read it later.

  • John Goss

    CE, I hope you are here in good faith, and that you come to accept that a little hyperbole adds colour to the language. Assange may not be Gandhi, but he is being persecuted. If I choose to defend him against a media that has done nothing but persecute him despite him having given that media some newsworthy stories, rather than the insipid lies, then I have that right. Welcome to a great blog!

  • Jon

    CE – much appreciated. I try to be fair to everyone, and hope I get it right more often than not.

    Craig – yep!

  • CE

    Hi John Goss,

    I would argue a little (or a lot in your case) of hyperbole, does a lot more than ‘add colour to language’, it encourages people to take you less seriously and promotes division rather than compromise. Hyperbole over factual accuracy? Isn’t that what we castigate the MSM for?

    It’s also incorrect to say the media have ‘done nothing’ but persecute JA. Seamus Milne and GG write almost daily columns for the Guardian defending him.

  • Villager

    CE: “Seamus Milne and GG write *almost daily* columns for the Guardian defending him.”

    I may be wrong, but isn’t that one statement hyperbole in itself. Anyone have the facts to nail that one?

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