Leon Brittan vs Julian Assange 114

Young children are unlikely to recognise senior politicians. When young children are living in institutionalised “care” and suffering traumatic physical, sexual and emotional abuse they are likely to have only a very fuzzy recollection of places to which they were taken or the identities of people who were hurting them there. Thirty years on recall will be even more difficult. On top of which, people who have suffered institutionalised abuse are likely to be emotionally shaky and easily influenced.

Those are my words but I believe them to be a very fair summary of the argument which last night’s Panorama on the “VIP Paedophile Ring” was attempting to make. It was very bad journalism, with little cogent argument, merely an attempt to build up a picture that those alleging abuse are flakes. One example was the treatment of retired social worker Chris Fay who is evidently elderly and struggling in a number of ways. The camera showed his tawdry flat and furnishings and zoomed in to a tight close up shot of an apparently filthy container in which tea-bags were stored. It was a classic propaganda technique to undermine the image of a man and what he was going to say. Just an old duffer who can’t even clean his flat.

The programme built up to a climax of bad journalism with an interview of a very obviously damaged abuse victim, his voice replaced by an actor. The victim was pushed by very leading questions to say that he may have been led falsely to identify Leon Brittan. The fact the victim had apparently correctly described the birthmarks on Brittan’s face, which had led to the production of the photo he identified, was skated over. What the journalist did certainly prove is that a vulnerable victim can be led to say anything: the victim was doing it before our eyes, pushed by the BBC. But the police are expert in questioning so as not to lead, and were not pushing an agenda.

Panorama however was pushing a very obvious agenda indeed.

What was most notable was what was missing from the programme. Not all victims are such poor witnesses. There are also some other very compelling witnesses – policemen who were told to drop investigations because of VIP involvement. Panorama did not interview any of those. Nor did they interview Tom Watson, despite continually referring to his “political interference” which they implied was the only cause of the accusations. There was also a peculiar absence of Greville Janner from the story.

Nothing can excuse this amazingly biased programme. But the BBC do have a point. Those accused of sexual abuse are entitled to the presumption of innocence, and those making the accusations should not be exempt from scrutiny of the credibility of their allegations.

Except that the BBC adopts the precisely opposite principle in the case of Julian Assange. The BBC believes it would be absolutely wrong, disrespectful of the “victims” and potentially prejudicial to a trial for there to be any questioning or scrutiny of the allegations against Assange. They take an absolutely opposite view of how to treat Assange and how to treat establishment VIPs.

Indeed, the BBC has decided that, given the accusations against Assange are so risible, it would be wrong for any detail at all of the accusations to be given out. Therefore the BBC has never reported the fact that the allegation they describe as “rape” is that, during the act of consensual sex, Assange allegedly tore a condom with his fingers whilst wearing it (of which I doubt the physical possibility). The second sexual molestation accusation is that again consensual sex took place, but after they fell asleep in each others arms, Assange awoke and initiated a repeat of the sex act without requesting permission again.

Despite the fact that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen have given press conferences in Sweden promoting their allegations, the BBC has made no attempt to interview them. The BBC has not reported that, the day after the condom splitting “rape”, Anna Ardin hosted a crayfish party for Assange and tweeted her friends from it that she was with the coolest man in the world. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin had invited Assange to share her flat and her bed. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin produced a torn condom to police but police found it had no trace of Assange’s DNA – a physical impossibility if he used it. The BBC has not reported that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen only made accusations after the two of them got together and cooked up the story. The BBC has not reported that Stockholm’s chief prosecutor dismissed it as no case to answer, and that Ardin then took it, as Swedish law allows, to another prosecutor, Marianne Ny who has a campaigning feminist agenda.

The BBC has not reported any of that because it would be quite wrong to doubt the word of victims of sexual abuse. It would be wrong to put them under pressure, or look sceptically at the evidence for their stories, both direct and circumstantial. It would be quite wrong to prejudice possible legal proceedings.

It would be quite wrong if the accusations are against Julian Assange. But it would be absolutely right if the accusations are against Westminster VIPs.

I do so much look forward to the Panorama on the Assange sexual abuse allegations. When do you think we will see it?

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114 thoughts on “Leon Brittan vs Julian Assange

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  • Herbie

    “Britain hasn’t bombed Syria”


    Are these UK pilots terrorists, then.

    Has the ICC prosecuted pro-Western terrorism and slaughter, or is it just another of their many frauds.

    I suspect that the only possibility for prosecution of the authors of Western terrorism and slaughter over the past 25 years is the emergence of a multi-polar world.

    The Russians do seem to be making public notes of every Western breach of Intl Law.

    And it ain’t the silly stuff that Washington, London, Brussels and Paris continually slobber about.

  • fred

    “Are these UK pilots terrorists, then.”

    They weren’t in British planes or under the command of the British air force so they do not count as Britain.

  • Herbie

    “They weren’t in British planes or under the command of the British air force so they do not count as Britain.”

    Were they just doing their own individual mercenary thing?

  • fred

    “Were they just doing their own individual mercenary thing?”

    No they were American planes and they were under the command of the US air force.

  • Herbie

    “No they were American planes and they were under the command of the US air force.”

    Did Britain agree to this, or did these British pilots just make their own individual arrangements with the Americans?

  • fred

    “Did Britain agree to this, or did these British pilots just make their own individual arrangements with the Americans?”

    Makes no difference, it still wasn’t Britain bombing Syria.

    The RAF personnel were on exchange, they became part of the American Air Force under the command of the American government in exchange for American airmen becoming part of the RAF.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Though their basic needs are met, blah blah etc”

    You have obviously not seen many Russian villages recently. Plenty of people die far to young from plenty of things rather more fundamental than sweatshop tat – yet many of the new Russians, not a few from the old nomenklatura, are billionaires paying income tax at 13%, and investing Russia’s natural resources anywhere but Russia.

  • Resident Dissident

    When my mother in law visits her dacha she usually takes several loaves of bread with her – some for herself but most for the locals whose bakery closed many years ago. I’m afraid you have to see the poverty in the villages to believe it – if it wasn’t for plenty of bootleg vodka their would be rots.

  • Tony M

    «Coming Soon»

    Hammer & Sickle Productions
    P R E S E N T
    In LuridColor®
    Bloodbath at the House of Saud

    The issue of employment at Faslane is obscured in a fog of lies. Most of the UK jobs related to Trident WMD, are carried out in Barrow-in-Furness. The surrounding area of which are strongholds for parachuted in Blairite New Labour neo-con MPs ripe for unseating. In Scotland Trident employs 500 at most, including military.

    As many if not more jobs are based in the United States in the constant maintenance and rolling component replacement required to keep the missiles and warheads functional and (debatably) safe. A significant part of the civilian workforce actually on site at Faslane itself are bussed in from NE England, staying in barrack like accomodation part of the week, then bussed back down south. With internal base retail stores, licensed premises, even barber shops and other services, staffed by these same bussed in from afar workers, there is little or no interaction with the local community and negligible benefit to the local economy.

    So the ‘threat’ of job losses at Faslane is massively overplayed, it simply isn’t the Scottish people’s concern, the issue of jobs is utterly trivial compared to having a target painted on the most populous part of the country, plus the huge risk of accidents with disastrous consequences, constant ongoing leakages and using the bottom of the lochs as a waste dump, the few jobs ‘lost’ in Scotland would be more than offset by plans for siting Scotland’s naval defence forces HQ there or any other usage.

  • Herbie

    “Makes no difference, it still wasn’t Britain bombing Syria.

    The RAF personnel were on exchange, they became part of the American Air Force under the command of the American government in exchange for American airmen becoming part of the RAF.”

    That’s convenient.

    Bit like the way the US and UK snoop on eachother’s citizens and then share the info.

    Thereby getting around eachother’s legal obligations in their respective territories.

    Cute sophistry, to be sure.

    Any other tricks the International Court needs to know about?

  • DonNeedNoStinkinUserName

    Craig @9.41 – 8th Oct Thanks for that Craig. That’s probably right what you say. (I unfortunately had a %age of my older info & links, etc. lost in a crash when my back up HD became full & a new one hadn’t been purchased – Lesson learned)
    It’s sad (I’d written “amazing” in there b4 changing to “sad”) how little the vast majority seem to actually know about the Assange case . . . . apart from the fact that he’s probably guilty and if he’s not why then doesn’t he just go to Sweden and have “his day in court”. Of course when one tries to explain that as soon as he steps out of the embassy he’ll end up in some secret court in the US, you run into this “Oh that would never happen – bastion of free speech – blah, blah, blah”.. I always make sure there are no large pieces of wood or sharp instruments within reach before engaging in these discussions as the temptation to use them becomes quickly overwhelming. ( ͝° ͜ʖ͡°)

  • Tony M

    ResPis. The same OECD site puts Russian life expectancy at around 80 years. Average for OECD members. In parts of Glasgow male life expectancy was found to be about 47.

  • fred

    “That’s convenient.”

    That’s normal practice, the exchange officer system has been in place and has been going continuously since WWII not just between Britain and America it’s normal between other countries as well.

  • Tony M

    CM: I stand corrected, it said 70, not 80. Quite a different picture from that painted by RD above, and the comparision with Glasgow is still stark.

    The actual quote on the OECD site says: “In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the Russian Federation is 70 years, close to a decade below the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 76 years, compared with 65 for men.”

    Interesting that the word ‘troll’ is firmly back in the lexicon.

  • Mary

    ‘The U.S. Bombing of a Doctors Without Borders Hospital Must Be Investigated

    As fighting rages in parts of Afghanistan, Doctors Without Borders has been on the ground, operating an emergency trauma center in Kunduz, bringing healthcare to those who need it. Now, its hospital has been destroyed by a U.S. airstrike. Many lives have been lost.

    We join Doctors Without Borders in demanding an independent investigation into how and why this bombing took place.

    Tell President Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter: The Doctors Without Borders bombing requires an independent investigation. We will not tolerate evasion, silence or inaction.’

    Action Goal: 25,000/15,922


  • Briar

    “Are these UK pilots terrorists, then.”

    All pilots of war planes are terrorists – as are those who fly in them and order them to be flown.

    Just imagine yourself on the ground as one of these vile terror weapons fly over, waiting for the bomb to hit. Ask anyone who lived through the London blitz, hearing the buzz bombs fly over.

    Now we send out the buzz bombs and kill civilians indiscriminately, pretending to be doing it to protect them.

    But when the Russians do the same as us, then we cry foul.

    Only then.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The sinister and repulsive Nicholas Soames and all the usual apparatchiks and agents of influence of the security state are out in in force to try and bring down Tom Watson. this may be partly because they are closing ranks wrt the industrial-scale child abuse/security services links, etc. and partly because they realise that getting rid of Tom Watson – the mainstream Labour Deputy Leader – is the first step to isolating Jeremy Corbyn and everything Corbyn represents. Do not be surprised to hear of a sudden ‘revelation’ about Watson. Dirty tricks all over the place. Are witnesses clandestinely being set up to discredit and/or pressured to withdraw accusations? Sounds somewhat Mafiosi-like to me.

  • Macky

    Re the police being removed from the Embassy;

    “The Associated Press reports that “British police have removed the officers standing watch over Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, but say they will still do their best to arrest the WikiLeaks founder who has been holed up there since June 2012.”

    Arrest? Really? Assange has already spent the last three years and four months under de facto house arrest, trapped in the embassy and prevented from traveling to Ecuador proper, where he’s been granted political asylum.

    And let’s make no bones about this: Assange is a political prisoner.

    In November of 2010, Sweden’s Stockholm District Court issued a falsified European Arrest Warrant for Assange. Such warrants may only be issued pursuant to actual prosecutions, not preliminary investigations.

    To date, Assange has been charged with a grand total of zero crimes in Sweden. Director of Public Prosecution Marian Ny wanted to interview Assange, not arrest him, about spurious (and almost certainly politically motivated) rape and molestation allegations.

    On the basis of the bogus warrant, the UK held Assange (on “conditional bail,” which also amounted to house arrest at the home of a supporter) for extradition proceedings. After exhausting his appeals, he sought political asylum in Ecuador and took up lodgings at the embassy.

    Assange has offered, more than once, to submit to the “interview” NY has requested – in the UK or at the embassy. He has even offered to return to Sweden voluntarily, given a guarantee that he wouldn’t be handed over to the United States for political prosecution over his work with WikiLeaks. The negative response from Swedish authorities to all these reasonable offers demonstrates exactly the ulterior motive Assange has suspected from the start.

    The US Department of “Justice” wants to get its hands on Assange and take vengeance on him for exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as for publishing US State Department cables that revealed various instances of US diplomatic malfeasance (up to and including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attempts to have the offices of UN diplomats illegally bugged by State Department operatives).

    Former US Army private Chelsea Manning is already serving a 35-year sentence – imposed after an entirely illegal military show trial – for making the material in question available to WikiLeaks. Assange knows that he can expect no less if the US gets its hands on him.

    The United Kingdom’s government should appreciate the shame it has brought upon itself by conspiring with the Swedish and US regimes to illegally detain Assange for lo on five years now. It’s time to free him, publicly apologize to him, and indemnify him for imposing such an entirely unjustifiable loss of freedom on him for so long.”

    Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism. He lives and works in north central Florida.


  • Suhayl Saadi

    Macky, I agree.

    Just as when in 2013 I argued against a NATO direct attack on Syria – similarly I received hyper-aggressive attacks on social media for suggesting that the allegations against Assange might have been politically-motivated.

    On the ‘Syria’ occasion in 2013, a prominent and much-feted public figure (to whom no-one seems able to say, “Boo!”) and who keeps getting invited onto BBC TV to argue for such an attack denounced me and told me he would never speak to me again.

    Here he is:


    On the ‘Assange’ occasion, for simply raising the possibility, I was denounced by ‘liberal’ supporters of US foreign policy (aka permanent war and global hegemony) as a “rape apologist” and a promulgator of “hero rape”. I was ‘Unfriended’ and ‘Blocked’.

    Agents of influence, they are everywhere.

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