Time for Wikileaks to sack Julian Assange

December 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm (Afghanistan, internet, Max Dunbar, Middle East)

There’s an interesting fault line opening up on the left between Julian Assange the Wikileaks hero and Julian Assange the potential rapist. Cath Elliott makes some good points in response to John Band’s nasty, dismissive piece about the Assange rape allegations. Of course we know that leftwing males will indulge misogyny when it suits them – we know that from their response to female dissidents from the Islamic world. The point here is that LibCon writers could just say ‘I applaud Wikileaks commitment to freedom of information, but I don’t trust Assange the man.’ Unfortunately there’s still a tendency to hero worship that gets in the way of rational judgements.

Assange over recent months has become a celebrity in his own right. He’s like a Benny Hill version of the Scarlett Pimpernel. Possibly it has gone to his head. Serious reports suggest that all is not well at Wikileaks Towers. The Independent‘s sources paint a picture of a transparency organisation hijacked by one man’s ideological crusade. An Icelandic freedom of information campaigner and ex-Wikileaks volunteer told the paper that ‘Key people have become very concerned about the direction of Wikileaks with regard to its strong focus on US military files at the expense of ignoring everything else’ – particularly ‘the dramatic increase in submissions from whistleblowers within closed countries, dictatorships and corporations.’

Assange also doesn’t seem to understand the potential consequences of simply releasing everything you find into the public domain. We need to know about NATO crimes in Afghanistan. We don’t need Assange to write the Taliban’s hit list for them. The decision to publish the names of Afghans working with NATO was apparently Assange’s alone – and condemned by Amnesty, Reporters without Borders and many Wikileaks staffers. Icelandic parliamentarian and Wikileaks colleague Birgitta Jonsdottir said ‘We were very, very upset with that, and with the way he spoke about it afterwards… If he could just focus on the important things he does, it would be better.’ The Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr asked Assange in person: ‘What about these named sources? Might [you] have endangered their lives?’

‘If there are innocent Afghans being revealed, which was our concern, which was why we kept back 15,000 files, then of course we take that seriously.’

But what if it’s too late?

‘Well, we will review our procedures.’

Too late for the individuals, I say. Dead.

You can see Assange’s cavalier regard for human life when he boasts about an expose of a corrupt Kenyan politician that apparently influenced the extremely violent 2007 election. ”1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,’ says Assange.’

Of course Wikileaks is here to stay and over time it will become one source of valuable information among many. But reading through his petulant and tyrannical response to criticism from within Wikileaks and without (not to mention his Vogon poetry) it’s clear that Assange the man is an embarrassment who is rapidly bringing the organisation into disrepute. As I write, Assange is on remand in Wandsworth. God knows what his fate is. But whatever happens, I think Wikileaks would prosper if it had a figurehead with a little more steadiness and self-awareness.

Also: read Christopher Hitchens and David Allen Green. And don’t miss this Zionist conspiracy theory, via Martin Bright, from a guy called Tariq Shahid of the Palestine Think Tank who notices one glaring omission in the cables:

Browse through all the news sources available on the latest Wikileaks revelation, and try to find even only one revelation that actually damages Israel, even though so many of the revealed documents are directly or indirectly connected to Middle East politics, and to a large extent to Israeli affairs. Did you find any document among them that either creates difficulties for the government of the Zionist entity, or even slightly embarrasses it? Think about it well, you will find that the answer is a very simple ‘No’.

The plot thickens!

Update: Loads of recommended reading here. Alastair Campbell on Wikispin. US feminist Amy Siskind responds to a weak, stupid satire by Naomi Wolf. Anyone who still doubts the misogyny of many Assange groupies should read Esther Addley’s essential piece.

Amanda Marcotte gets to the heart of it for me.

It’s possible both that Wikileaks is a necessary curative for government overreach and that its leader is out to serve his own ego needs above all. Anyone who thinks that’s impossible needs to think harder about what’s going on when politicians get sentimental on the campaign trail.

Why can’t the left piss and whistle at the same time?

More: Jim Denham highlights a letter in the Guardian that denounces the ‘dubious charges’ against Assange, and is signed by the usual establishment-left, pro-totalitarian scum.

Alan A points out that the Daily Shriek and Socialist Unity’s Andy Newman have basically the same view of the allegations:

An attractive blonde, Sarah was already a well-known ‘radical feminist’. In her 30s, she had travelled the world following various fashionable causes.

While a research assistant at a local university she had not only been the protegee of a militant feminist ­academic, but held the post of ‘campus sexual equity officer’. Fighting male discrimination in all forms, including sexual harassment, was her forte.

-

well at least two of the women who have commented here are radical feminists, who have highly negative views of all men; and one of them has a vendetta against tommy Sheridan.

82 Comments

  1. SteveH said,

    Shit article.

    “There’s an interesting fault line opening up on the left between Julian Assange the Wikileaks hero and Julian Assange the potential rapist.”

    He could be both but we know for a fact he is one.

    Assange and Wikileaks is challenging a political culture that is centuries old, it goes the the very heart of an international system of ‘diplomacy’ and ‘secrecy’ that has literally destoyed millions upon millions of lives. It has the potential to herlad a new epoch in international relations, to smash apart the existing system. It has immense revolutionary potential. This is why the reaction has been so hysterical. Fucking support Wikileaks you idiots.

  2. maxdunbar said,

    Erm… Assange and Wikileaks are not the same entity.

    I support Wikileaks the organisation but challenge Assange the international man of mystery

    Read it again. Use your index finger. Learn the distinction.

  3. resistor said,

    Time for the AWL to sack wamongering chickenhawk Max Dunbar!

  4. socialrepublican said,

    Weather Assange is being stitched up or a foul dick holder is not for me to say. However, the sheer banality of the “exclusives” that were within the Wikileaks dump had been mind-boggling. SHOCK! Karzai a mentalist….SHOCK! Russia a bit dodgy….SHOCK, Kim Jung Il not entirely rational….SHOCK, Diplomats use diplomatic language. Wowee.

    As for “an international system of ‘diplomacy’ and ‘secrecy’ that has literally destoyed millions upon millions of lives”….Monks nuts. Power has taken life, not the clothes it wears. One does not blame the apparell of the message.

    This is a perfect media storm where the story is the conceit rather the policy. Interesting and soon forgotten

  5. china!h said,

    Shoot the messenger,comes to mind.

  6. Assange debate has nothing to do with feminist men selling out – it’s a different compulsion « Raincoat Optimism said,

    [...] rape (this is what stung Andy Newman and John Band). See for example this comment by Soeren Passer: Well described post and [...]

  7. Steve said,

    “Erm… Assange and Wikileaks are not the same entity.”

    But neither can they be entirely divorced. Your article is critical of Wikileaks. Read your own work again!

  8. johng said,

    why would shirazsocialist sack anyone for being a chickenhawk. its a chickenhawk site.

  9. modernityblog said,

    I don’t often read Shiraz Socialist nowadays, and part of that is the inability to see beyond the bleeding obvious.

    If you make a SERIOUS attempt to look at the chronology of these allegations, the collusion between the two women, and the information on the blogs, and twitters then something is decidedly wrong.

    If you then make an effort to realise that the first prosecutor rejected these charges back in August 2010, you might want to think why?

    And why they were resurrected **after** the major Wikileaks came out\?

    Anyone remotely familiar with the activities of governments, security services, etc would naturally conclude that is hardly coincidental.

    So I wonder what the headline will be on Shiraz Socialist when Assange is knocked off or deported to the US, will you say “Fuck me, I never saw that coming….”

    Or will the slogan be “Close the Books, we don’t want no transparency”

  10. Martin Ohr said,

    there’s too much cart-before-the-horse going on in a lot of the left defences of Assange.

    I generally don’t buy conspiracy theories of the sort Modernity spins, he/she is usually above all that; although I don’t doubt that the US would like and might well try to have Assange extradited or worse. In any case -to add another equine idiom- why bolt the stable door now?

    The problem with this as with all conspiracies theories is that a straightforward non-conspiratorial version of events is much more plausible. Prosecutors are much more likely to take up dormant charges -of any sort- when someone becomes a much praised/reviled international celebrity. (I reckon Padstow town council might chase me for the £80 parking fine I’ve been dodging for 2 decades were I to win X-factor)

    In fact there is an equally plausible conspiracy theory that says that Assange has created an audacious plan to escape justice by founding wikileaks.

    Granted there’s a valid argument in all this that says Assange won’t get a fair trial, or risks a mendatious attempt by US justice and so should not have to face his charges- but so far no-one is actually saying that.

    Natural justice demands that Assange should face up to the allegations, no more or less than any of the rest of us.

  11. Steve said,

    “In fact there is an equally plausible conspiracy theory that says that Assange has created an audacious plan to escape justice by founding wikileaks.”

    Wikileaks was founded in 2006 and the alledged crimes relate to August 2010?? Some conspiracy. But secret services have used sex to gather information and bring down enemies for decades and longer. It is an established tactic of espionage, not some fanciful conspiracy akin to corn circles!!

  12. anonymous said,

    He DIDN’T FUCKING RAPE ANYONE. He slept with two women in quick succession, completely consensually, and didn’t use protection. One of them found out about the other one and got all pissed off.

    Assange should sue for libel when all this is over.

  13. modernityblog said,

    Another reason I don’t read Shiraz Socialist is the inability to digest others’ arguments, I am NOT advancing a conspiracy theory.

    I am suggesting that governments can work a certain way, and it would be naive and politically stupid to think otherwise.

    It would be especially so for someone on the Left.

    Let me state this clearly

    1) Assange and wikileaks have annoyed seriously powerful people.

    2) Are we left to assume that they wouldn’t seek revenge? That would be uncharacteristic of these governments and security services.

    3) Are allegations against Assange substantive? Not really, one of the Swedish prosecutors acknowledge that, by cancelling the prosecution in August 2010.

    4) Is there documented evidence of collusion between the women? Yes, as anyone with the wits to use the Internet can find.

    5) Should we see this as a single event or as traditionally most socialists did, within a wider political context? How the leaks really embarrassed very powerful people who might want to get back at Wikileaks? Obviously so.

    I fully appreciate that asking questions here is a bit futile but you might momentarily try to ponder these issues for yourself.

    Again, just in case you didn’t get it. I am NOT advancing conspiracy theories, merely a plausible explanation.

    If you don’t understand my points or how governments work might I recommend reading the CIA diaries by Philip Agee, or Wright’s Spycatcher.

  14. Assange debate has nothing to do with feminist men selling out – it’s a different compulsion « Though Cowards Flinch said,

    [...] rape (this is what stung Andy Newman and John Band). See for example this comment by Soeren Passer: Well described post and [...]

  15. BenSix said,

    I’ve no particular attachment to Julian Assange and should he leave Wikileaks I doubt the world would implode in dismay. On the other hand…

    Assange also doesn’t seem to understand the potential consequences of simply releasing everything you find into the public domain.

    That isn’t true. (They don’t release everything).

    Too late for the individuals, I say. Dead.

    That isn’t true. (The Pentagon have said they’ve no evidence of people coming to harm.)

    The point here is that LibCon writers could just say ‘I applaud Wikileaks commitment to freedom of information, but I don’t trust Assange the man.’ Unfortunately there’s still a tendency to hero worship that gets in the way of rational judgements.

    That’s just silly. (Firstly as thus far there’s no reason to distrust Assange more than, well, anyone else and secondly as no one’s argued he couldn’t have committed rape; Band’s assertion, wrong though it was, was that he wasn’t even accused of it.)

    Of course we know that leftwing males will indulge misogyny when it suits them – we know that from their response to female dissidents from the Islamic world.

    That’s just silly. (It just is.)

    Martin,

    The problem with this as with all conspiracies theories is that a straightforward non-conspiratorial version of events is much more plausible.

    The “non-conspiratorial version of events” behind, say, Gladio, Iran-Contra, Iraq, the Mosaddeq coup, the Gulf of Tonkin, CIA’s drug smuggling, the cover-up of Unit 731, Operation Mongoose, MKULTRA, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, COINTELPRO and others have, presumably, been lost to history.

    • Martin Ohr said,

      BenSix, I think you are failing to see the wood for the trees here; there’s no denying there are conspiracies, but these are usually not the stuff of conspiracy theorists.

      But in simple terms, then if these are trumped-up charges, they will be easily defeated in the Swedish courts, and Assange would have been better to resign from Wikileaks and face the charges early- he’s let himself become a side-show in all this rather than letting the leaked cables speak for themselves.

      • Martin Ohr said,

        and to repeat my earlier point- the apparent zeal with which Assange is being pursued is disproportionate, but only ot be expected

      • BenSix said,

        My point is that “conspiracy theories” is a practically meaningless term.

        Were Assange to resign I suspect that he’d provoke another shitstorm of publicity; allied, naturally, to insinuations that it represented an admission of guilt. He might be a publicity hound for all I know, but the horse – or, well, the hound – has long since bolted.

  16. Rosie said,

    Whatever the facts behind this case Naomi Wolf’s piece of satire is appalling, and could have been written by by a bunch of frat boys. I’ve always thought her writing a lot of modish wank. Amanda Marcotte’s piece is good. It’s perfectly possible for a guy to take risks for some reasonable principle and be a total shit in other ways (Koestler springs to mind).

  17. bensix said,

    (Yes, though, Wolfe’s article is less refined than the howlings of the Men’s Rights blogs that morbid curiosity compels me to frequent.)

  18. modernityblog said,

    So hang on, a Chilean dictator, who was responsible for the 1973 coup d’etat and the murder of many many people can’t be deported, is given bail, etc

    But some Australian who had consensual sex with two women, one who held a party for him, afterwards, and if found guilty would probably be fined a maximum of £1000, will be shoed out of Britain before you can say “do you like this new Gitmo?”.

    And there is no anomaly there?

    Are we so atomised and consumerised that we forget basic politics, how governments work and history?

    Really, please…..think about the issues, do some research, it is all over the web…

  19. Jenny said,

    I agree with your post,but I didn’t see the party about the Kenyan politician in Cadwalladr’s piece.

  20. modernityblog said,

    I dug out the original Carole Cadwalladr article.

    It is a shame that the post uses cherry picking on this source and in the process, loses all of his counter arguments.

    1. Afghanistan:

    “”Well, anything might happen but nothing has happened. And we are not about to leave the field of doing good simply because harm might happen … In our four-year publishing history no one has ever come to physical harm that we are aware of or that anyone has alleged. On the other hand, we have changed governments and constitutions and had tremendous positive outcomes.”

    If Afghan informers are at risk, he says, the fault lies squarely with the US military. “We are appalled that the US military was so lackadaisical with its Afghan sources. Just appalled. We are a source protection organisation that specialises in protecting sources, and have a perfect record from our activities.

    “This material was available to every soldier and contractor in Afghanistan …It’s the US military that deserves the blame for not giving due diligence to its informers.”

    2. Kenya.

    “The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country. “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange. It’s a chilling statistic, but then he states: “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shilling being debased.”

    It’s the kind of moral conundrum that would unnerve most people, that made some wonder last week what the potential ramifications of the latest leak might be, but it is a subject on which Assange himself is absolutely clear: “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can’t lead to a good conclusion.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/aug/01/julian-assange-wikileaks-afghanistan

  21. BobFromBrockley said,

  22. bensix said,

    (Even the poem is by some bloke called Daniel Mathews.)

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070110200827/http://iq.org/#Ifyousaw

  23. Jenny said,

    I really, really wish he went into detail about why and how the deaths occurred, the only thing I could find about the former leader was amnesty international’s 2000 report about human rights abuses and that was before the leak was released:
    http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=AF95118DFE41371C802568E400729F0A&lang=e

  24. anonymous said,

    If they really think that Assange is guilty of rape, then liberal scum like Shiraz and Harry deserve to arsefucked by this and every other government.

  25. Andrew Murphy said,

    Lets look at this objectively, what exactly did Assanage do that a newspaper or even somebody like Bob Woodard does when he writes in his books what happens in White House situation rooms?

    All the cable leaks were first published by the New York Times, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, and The Guardian before they were up at WikiLeaks.

    Wikileaks is simply the messanger, to the best of our knowledge they did not steal the classified documents, they simply published them. In essence, If this was 1971, Julian Assange would be the New York Times not Daniel Ellsberg.

    And as the US Supreme Court ruled in 1971 with New York Times vs United States, publishing classified documents is NOT A CRIME, only stealing such documents as a crime

    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=403&invol=713

  26. Steve said,

    We should not play down the significance of Wikileaks and the heroic job they are doing. What the internet has allowed through the brave souls at Wikileaks is an unfiltered treasure trove of information about the secret dealings/actions of those in power. In the past the newspapers would take information from certain sources, have editor meetings to determine what could be printed and couldn’t etc etc. We are in a whole new era here and the ruling classes know it. Which is why they have been so hysterical in their reaction, the plebs are actually being given the facts, straight.

    This issue is not trivial but of huge importance and all lovers of Freedom (to get all Bush for a second) should be doing all they can to defend this brave new world.

  27. modernity said,

    Martin,

    It is a pity that you lack the intellectual integrity to defend your own position, when you have thrown around accusations of conspiracy theory.

    I didn’t really expect much, and you lived up to it.

    The inability to engage with the nature of the State, the past precedents, the coincidental timings or see the wider picture is indicative of a rather politically parochial view of the world.

    I look forward to the Shiraz Socialist future headlines:

    “Assange, Gotcha!”

    “Assange deported to US for trial, never saw that one coming”

  28. Martin Ohr said,

    Mod,

    OK let me re-state my opinion on this:
    the most plausible explanation for the allegations coming from Sweden is that there is a case to answer and that the Swedish legal system has pursued Assange with a zeal because he is suddenly an international celebrity. Assange should return to Sweden and face the music and not let this become a distraction from the work Wikileaks does.

    I don’t believe that Assange has become a mere pawn in some worldwide spooks chess tournament, nor do I think that the US could actually get him extradited from any EU country if they tried.

    That’s the long and short of it.

    If you want to see the conspiracists really spiralling out of the realms of reality then: http://www.socialistunity.com/?p=7324 enjoy.

  29. modernity said,

    Martin, but when you’re proven wrong I doubt that you will admit it.

    Please, write yourself a letter to be opened when Assange is deported to the US, which says something like

    “the US secret services have been sitting on their hands since August 2010, and they certainly wouldn’t want revenge on Wikileaks or Assange”.

    If you believe that then you’ll believe anything.

    Have you ever read the CIA diary?

  30. Duncan said,

    We don’t need Assange to write the Taliban’s hit list for them

    I think The Daily Mash effectively skewers the people who think Wikileaks are responsible in any way for the ongoing carnage in Afghanistan.

    A bit of perspective:

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/unmanned-wikileaks-drone-destroys-afghan-village-201011293295/

  31. Duncan said,

    Forgot to add to the above, the fact that you think it’s a good time for Wikileaks to ditch Assange when leading American politicians are calling for him to be killed is staggering.

  32. modernityblog said,

    What Duncan said.

    To reiterate one of my previous points, the problem with the Afghan intelligence is there was little attempt to intelligently guard it.

    That’s for two obvious reasons:

    1) they should have used pseudonyms, a common practice.

    2) it was available to all US military personnel and *contractors*, meaning that it could have been leaked from any one of those people, etc etc

  33. Steve said,

    “the fact that you think it’s a good time for Wikileaks to ditch Assange when leading American politicians are calling for him to be killed is staggering.”

    You are obviously new to this blog Duncan, staggering is what they do!

  34. jim denham said,

    Libby Brooks writes sense in today’s Graun:

    The speed with which this latest episode in the WikiLeaks saga has been reduced to weary tropes about honeytraps, castrating feminists and undeserving victims is depressing. In an apparent plea to haul the debate back from the soup of smear and counter-smear, Naomi Klein argued that “defending WikiLeaks is not the same as defending rape”. But the fact that the defence of Assange has spawned such naked and vitriolic misogyny should be of concern to all women and men who find it as distasteful and counter to the pursuit of truth as the attacks on WikiLeaks itself.

    Read the rest here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/09/nobody-gains-from-misogynist-defence-of-assange

    And on the letters page, a statement signed by some well-known friends of tyranny and their hangers-on, who rather prove Brooks’ point: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/10/support-for-julian-assange-wikileaks

    Note the bit about the “dubious charges.”

    • maxdunbar said,

      I love that the signatory Ben Griffin is followed by ‘(former soldier)’

      What’s that got to do with anything?

  35. paul maleski said,

    Julienne Assemblage and his sheepish broth.
    Assange has simultaneously raped the truth and disseminated his conveniently obtained pro Zionist toxic selective/redacted propaganda, by the all too receptive ‘I want to keep my job’ obsequious media. Julian Assange tells the world that 9/11 conspiracy theories are naive nonsense circulated by misinformed malcontents, . Assange is an antipodean mountebank, mercifully, his deceit has started to boomerang, courtesy of more inquisitive, incisive, independent Internet observers. I would argue that Assange fraudulent antics were planned, coordinated and financed by some very powerful, dangerous individuals: obviously, the Rothschild’s are top on the ‘unwanted’ suspect list and their toady henchmen George Soros and co. Assange’s embellished pitiful humdrum disclosures has nothing whatsoever, to do with legitimate enlightening revelation but everything to do with being posited as a plausible excuse/reason for Zionist influenced governments, introducing illegitimate Internet censorship. What do you reckon Mr. Assange? You are quite simply, too good to be true!

  36. Rosie said,

    What do you reckon Mr. Assange? You are quite simply, too good to be true!

    So are you, Mr Maleski.

  37. paul maleski said,

    Rosie: O sacred hunger of ambitious minds.
    I am too bad to be untrue. Best wishes.

  38. jim denham said,

    Too mad to be untrue, methinks.

  39. paul maleski said,

    Jim Denham thinks!
    All I have argued is that Julian Assange is obviously a shill. If this well balanced postulation suggests that I am mad, I willingly confess to possessing this tragic affliction,and that I am the maddest loony on the planet. But there is something odd about Assange’s family background and his meteoric ‘whistle blower’ acclamation from the Zionist media which gives me great concerns. I must confess that I am both naive and a trifle paranoid, but this doesn’t necessarily make me wrong in my assessment.

  40. anonymous said,

    So there you have it from the so called “radical left”. A genuine hero is in the pay of the CIA, and the fact he’s being framed for rape is unimportant.

    Meanwhile, the centrist left are stupid enough to actually belive this blatant horseshit. Yeah, and I heard those student protesters are all outside agitators, too!

  41. Nathan Rothschild said,

    I would argue that Assange fraudulent antics were planned, coordinated and financed by some very powerful, dangerous individuals: obviously, the Rothschild’s are top on the ‘unwanted’ suspect list and their toady henchmen George Soros and co.

    Maleski knows too much. Instead of engaging in debate with him, why aren’t you useless tossers hacking into his credit card account?

  42. maxdunbar said,

    ‘Oh, Julian, I can’t help but wonder what mischief you’ll get into next week’

  43. Dr Paul said,

    Let’s take a step back and look at the broader questions here. Why is it that these allegations against Assange have been released now, just as Wikileaks has released a whole lot of revealing communications from the murky world of international diplomacy?

    That’s a bit suspicious, isn’t it? Why not when Assange is alleged to have misbehaved with these women? Why only now? May there not be a causal connection between these two events?

    Now we must ask ourselves: Cui bono? — Who benefits from raising these allegations at this moment? Who benefits from having him banged up in jail, rather than able to do his job, issue statements, meet journalists, and so on? Who would like most of all, even more than Mr Dunbar, to discredit the figurehead of Wikileaks?

    It’s pretty obvious that the ruling classes of all the big powers have a reason to discredit him; their responses to the release of the documents show that they are pretty miffed about it. How the mechanics of this ruling-class annoyance translates into the raising of charges against Assange, I can’t tell. But the raising of these charges cannot be purely coincidental.

    And what an effect the raising of these charges has had! The radical world has been split asunder. Some feminists immediately accept as kosher all the allegations (it ‘proves’ their preconceptions about men); the context in which they have been made is overlooked. Some defenders of Wikileaks immediately see the allegations as a fit-up, with no possibility that they mayhave some validity. In between, there are all manner of views. Confusion abounds. What has happened is that the importance of the documentation for observers of world politics has been buried under a barrage statements and counter-statements about Assange’s alleged conduct with two women. Once again; Cui bono?

    Now it might be that the allegations are trumped up, or at least partially so. It might be that the women concerned have a personal gripe, and may also have been encouraged now to raise the allegations: in other words, manipulated by people with a broader agenda than the welfare of the two women. It may also be true that Assange’s behaviour with these women was unacceptable. The fact is that we don’t know.

    My own feeling is that a proper, independent investigation into these allegations is necessary, but it should not detract us from the broader picture behind the belated revealing of the allegations, nor from the importance of the documentation that has been released to the general public. As for sacking Assange, let us first find out whether he was guilty of the allegations before we make any decision.

  44. maxdunbar said,

    Paul

    If the US government can fabricate rape charges against Assange why couldn’t it protect its information from Wikileaks?

    • bensix said,

      Eh? Because maintaining the security of a network millions of people have access to is remarkably difficult while fabricating charges is, as COINTELPRO showed, perfectly doable.

  45. Steve said,

    “If the US government can fabricate rape charges against Assange why couldn’t it protect its information from Wikileaks?”

    What a cretinous question! What an absurd juxtaposition! Somebody somewhere can leak the info and at the same time some other branch of the secret services can use sex to bring down opponents, which has been a tactic of espionage going back decades!!!

  46. jim denham said,

    None of us knows the truth or otherwise of the rape/molestation charges against Assange (though the sexist reaction of some of Assange’s supporters is a disgrace).

    He has a right to due process on those charges and neither his critics nor the likes of Pilger should pre-judge the matter.

    What cannot be denied is that Assange was willing to put the lives of anti-Taleban civilians in Afghanistan at risk and seemed not to give a damn about the consequences:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/world/24assange.html?_r=4&hp
    Even some of his closest supporters (not to mention Amnesty and Reporters without Borders) have condemned him over that shameful, irresponsible act. He may not be a rapist: he’s certainly a complete shit.

  47. Steve said,

    You are shit Denham, no really, you fucking are!

  48. jim denham said,

    …and, eh, how exactly am I a “shit”, Steve?

  49. Steve said,

    See all the shit that you spout as exhibit A.

    There is no exhibit B, I rest my case.

  50. maxdunbar said,

    I’m thinking of Richie’s line from Bottom:

    ‘Because a) everything I say is great per se and b)… well, we don’t need a B because the A was so GREAT’

  51. Rosie said,

    @43 Dr Paul

    I do agree that if you wanted to disunite the Left on whether to support Assange or not the best way would be a charge of sexual assault. However we can only wait for more information to see if this charge is reasonable or not.

    My own feeling is that a proper, independent investigation into these allegations is necessary, but it should not detract us from the broader picture behind the belated revealing of the allegations, nor from the importance of the documentation that has been released to the general public. As for sacking Assange, let us first find out whether he was guilty of the allegations before we make any decision.

    The relevations from Wikileaks are a mixed bunch, from the trivial to the highly significant. Wikileaks would continue minus Assange, though wouldn’t it? My understanding of it is that it’s a clearing house for inside information, and Assange is not essential for it to carry on running. And as for sacking Assange – would, say, the editor of the Socialist Worker or a financial columnist on The Times be allowed to stay in his job if he was being taken into custody on a charge of sexual assault? He would be suspended, wouldn’t he, until the charges were dropped, or until a trial had found him not guilty.

  52. paul maleski said,

    Hackers and hucksters feel free to scrutinize my credit card account.
    And no doubt, your beady eyes will feast on lonely zeroes, and distressing minuses. In reality, the only life long conspiracy I have tragically endured, is a very un ‘Ickean’ avaricious financial assault on my meagre coffers by uppity women. Money alone, cannot buy you good health and it definitely cannot buy you dire poverty. Mysteryman Assange’s stage managed plight comes straight out of Richard III, ‘A whore, another whore, my Trojan horse Kingdom, for a johnny bag.’

  53. maxdunbar said,

    Rosie

    This is it. You can support Wikileaks without supporting Assange or having to make excuses for his stupidity, recklessness and unpleasantness. Because they have so much invested in Assange as hero, the left can’t see this.

  54. paul maleski said,

    Rosie. Unglucklich das Land, das keine Helden notig hat.
    Julian Assange is most definitely not stupid, his presumed feckless, recklessness, is merely a convenient smokescreen, an ingenious, deft ploy, orchestrated by some extremely devious, highly intelligent agent provocateurs. This martyr mythology is aggressively promulgated by well paid, high profile media pundits, fearful lackeys, who engage in an understandable job defensive pro Assange offensive. Read more of Joseph Goebbels and his informative examination of Khazar jewish intellectualism. and the pernicious tentacles of worldwide Freemasonry. I am a Left wing national Socialist and right, You’ll probably thinking ‘etymology’ and that I inadvertently put moron into this apparent oxymoron. Keep up the good work.

  55. jim denham said,

    “Read more of Joseph Goebbels and his informative examination of Khazar jewish intellectualism. and the pernicious tentacles of worldwide Freemasonry. I am a Left wing national Socialist …”

    In other words a Strasserite Nazi. So fuck off and die.

  56. jim denham said,

    Is he? It’s so difficult to tell these days. Sorry if I missed the joke.

    • Rosie said,

      I think it’s unlikely that a ” Left wing national Socialist …”” would quote Brecht.

  57. paul maleski said,

    Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.
    Rosie–I can assure you, categorically, that I am a fully committed national Socialist. I want our OAP’s to walk on safe streets, I want our well educated kids to play in freedom, I want our Unionized working class, to enjoy their human rights and secure well paid employment with decent pensions and health care. I want our citizens to feel privileged to have been born in God’s country, and that a hard working decent street cleaner is worth infinitely more to society than any indecent scrounging aristocrat, in England’s green and pleasant bowers.

  58. Ten Thoughts About Julian Assange and WikiLeaks | Andy Worthington said,

    [...] it afterwards. If he could just focus on the important things he does, it would be better.” As Shiraz Socialist pointed out in a recent post, the following exchange took place in July, when Carole Cadwalladr of [...]

    • Rosie said,

      The link above is really worth following for a coherent, thoughtful piece on Wikileaks.

  59. Ten Thoughts About Julian Assange and WikiLeaks « Dandelion Salad said,

    [...] it afterwards. If he could just focus on the important things he does, it would be better.” As Shiraz Socialist pointed out in a recent post, the following exchange took place in July, when Carole Cadwalladr of [...]

  60. Creative-i : Ten Thoughts About Julian Assange and WikiLeaks By Andy Worthington said,

    [...] it afterwards. If he could just focus on the important things he does, it would be better.” As Shiraz Socialist pointed out in a recent post, the following exchange took place in July, when Carole Cadwalladr of [...]

  61. modernityblog said,

    Forgive me if I don’t comment again, but the political lessons of Assanage’s arrest are fairly obvious.

    It is a pity that people can’t see it.

    And a shame that the bigot, paul maleski, is allowed through the moderation queue.

  62. jim denham said,

    I’m not sure what to do about maleski: he will certainly be kept under review. By the way, it’s not only obvious fascistic nutters like him who are spearding the “Zionist conspiracy” theory about Wikileaks. Ramzy Baroud, writing in Tuesday’s Morning naturally approves of the leaks that have most embarrassed the US, but also smells a rat – the usual sort of rat (or should that be “entity”?), of course:

    “While there were numerous insulting comments about the leaders of almost all the countries discussed in the cables some revelations were particularly suspicious.

    “For one it seems strange that Israel, a nuclear power with ongoing military adventures was spared much of the embarrassment.

    “Iran’s nuclear programme-related documents were bewildering as they comprised the only case with a consistent and consequential narrative.

    “This was embraced by the Israeli Jerusalem Post which described the findings as vindicating to Israel because the leaks alleged that the desire to eliminate Iran’s nuclear programme was also shared by others in the region.

    “The timing of this revelation seems suspicious in light of Iran’s scheduled nuclear talks in Geneva and the increasingly warming of relations between Iran and various Arab countries.

    “It seems as if someone – or some entity – wants to enliven the conflict with Iran and spread it throughout the Middle East. ”

    Read the rest here: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/98752

    • Rosie said,

      Mod/Jim – Maleski’s theories are so wild and OTT I thought he must be a spoof. However I may be wrong.

  63. paul maleski said,

    Rosie: I am a plucky fella and I’ve just got to tell her.
    Your state that my theories are so wild and OTT. But are they? Tomorrows’ fair-minded historians will be the ultimate arbiters of the truth. I have single handedly declared a lonely war on the family destructive jewish Frankfurt School, the queer Tatchellite ideology disseminated by the likes of lesbo jews, such as viciously racist Susan Sontag and P.C. obsessed Mulatto opportunistic parasitic Linda Bellos, and media exalted multicultural Utopian, over-paid. over here, clever Trevor Phillips. I proudly, promote and defend the rights and interests of white Christian peoples’ throughout the civilized world; especially,our white British Working Class, because as I see it, they have been betrayed and treated with utter contempt by the likes of Tony Blair and jewish financed New Labour. I digress:Take it from Paul Maleski, Julian Assange is a shill!

    • bensix said,

      Take it from Paul Maleski, Julian Assange is a shill!

      Dude, the only thing I’d take from you is advice on hallucinogens.

  64. paul maleski said,

    Bensix—What does Dude mean?
    My only colourful experience of hallucinogens, I can vaguely recollect, is what I happily endured, was when I was a tender hippyish 15 years old, at the 1969 Isle of Wight Pop Festival. Judas Bob Dylan’s ‘Zimmerman’ wannabee Nashville performance left much to be desired, The Nice and the Bonzo Dog Dooh-Dah Band, however, more than compensated. Bensix, you have obviously been around a bit, a lot more than me. I recommend, that if you want advice on hallucinogens, that you should contact the UK National Health Service, for they are only too willing to prescribe ‘mother’s little helpers.’ Sounds crazy but we are blindly creating an Orwellian Pharmocracy by default! Best wishes.

  65. charliethechulo said,

  66. charliethechulo said,

    Catherine Bennett in today’s Observer, cuts through the crap surrounding the Assange/WikiLeaks case, with her usual finely-honed precision:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/19/julian-assange-wikileaks-sex-offences

  67. jim denham said,

    More good stuff on Assange and the disgraceful role of people likle John Pilger:
    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/12/17/what-happened-to-the-real-john-pilger-assange/#comment-216042

  68. charliethechulo said,

    Jack of Kent takes apart Pilger (and Loach) on Assange:
    http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2010/12/pilger-on-assange-legal-commentary.html
    .
    Wednesday, 15 December 2010
    Pilger on Assange: a legal commentary

    I thought it would be helpful to provide a commentary on today’s New Statesman article by John Pilger on Julian Assange.

    JP: “Guardians of women’s rights” in the British liberal press have rushed to condemn the WikiLeaks founder.

    Reply: In fact, they have not. Feminist and non-feminist writers have instead condemned the downplaying and denials of the sex crime allegations by supporters of Assange.

    JP: In fact, at every turn in his dealings with our justice system, his basic human rights have been breached.

    Reply: Julian Assange has now had two bail hearings in open court, at both of which he was represented by leading solicitors and barristers of his choice. At the second bail hearing he was granted – not denied – bail, although with conditions. This decision to give bail is now being appealed and so there will be a further hearing tomorrow.

    JP: It seems the lesson must be learned all over again as a group of media feminists joins the assault on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, or the “Wikiblokesphere”, as Libby Brooks abuses it in the Guardian. From the Times to the New Statesman, apparent feminist credence is given to the chaotic, incompetent and contradictory accusations against Assange in Sweden.

    Reply: Mark Stephens, the lawyer for Julian Assange, has complained his client still does not know the evidence on which the prosecution is relying. It is thereby inexplicable how Mr Pilger is any position to regard the accusations as “chaotic, incompetent and contradictory”

    JP: On 9 December, the Guardian published a long, supine interview by Amelia Gentleman with Claes Borgström, the “highly respected Swedish lawyer”. In fact, Borgström is foremost a politician, a powerful member of the Social Democratic Party. He intervened in the Assange case only when the senior prosecutor in Stockholm dismissed the “rape” allegation as based on “no evidence”.

    Reply: This is simply an ad hominem attack on Mr Borgström and carries no weight.

    JP: In Gentleman’s Guardian article, an anonymous source whispers to us that Assange’s “behaviour towards women . . . was going to get him into trouble”. This smear was taken up by Brooks in the paper that same day. Ken Loach and I and others on “the left” are “shoulder to shoulder” with the misogynists and “conspiracy theorists”.

    Reply: This sequence of contentions is at best unpersuasive. For example, Brooks did not take up this smear. Of course, the reference to “misogynists” (plural) can only be taken to mean the supporters of Mr Assange.

    JP: The Australian barrister James Catlin, who acted for Assange in October, says that both women in the case told prosecutors that they consented to have sex with Assange.

    Reply: If this is indeed the case, then this is for the defence to rely on in the event any charges are brought. However, quoting a defence lawyer is of course not determinative of any allegation.

    JP: Following the “crime”, one of the women threw a party in honour of Assange.

    Reply: Placing the word crime in inverted commas is to pre-judge the case, but even Julian Assange and his lawyer say they do not know the prosecution evidence. Mr Pilger is thereby not in a position to dismiss the alleged offence so casually. If such a party took place, and what it proves, then that is for the criminal trial and not an extradition hearing

    JP: When Borgström was asked why he was representing the women, as both denied rape, he said: “Yes, but they are not lawyers.”

    Reply: There is no direct evidence available to Mr Pilger as to whether the complainants have or have not denied rape. If the evidence of the complainants does not support any offence for which he is charged, then this would a matter for the criminal trial.
    [*]

    JP: Catlin describes the Swedish justice system as “a laughing stock”. For three months, Assange and his lawyers have pleaded with the Swedish authorities to let them see the prosecution case.

    Reply: It would appear that they should perhaps have asked Mr Pilger.

    JP: This was denied until 18 November, when the first official document arrived – in the Swedish language, contrary to European law.

    Reply: Yes, Mr Assange is fully entitled to have the case against him set out in a language he understands. However, as already mentioned, Julian Assange still does not have access to the evidence on which the prosecutor is relying.

    JP: Assange still has not been charged with anything.

    Reply: No, as this is an arrest warrant.

    JP: He has never been a “fugitive”. He sought and got permission to leave Sweden, and the British police have known his whereabouts since his arrival in this country. This did not stop a London magistrate on 7 December ignoring seven sureties and sending him to solitary confinement in Wandsworth Prison.

    Reply: The test for bail is not sureties alone. And it is understood that Mr Assange himself asked to be placed in solitary confinement.

    JP: At every turn, Assange’s basic human rights have been breached.

    Reply: As noted above, there will be a third hearing in respect of bail tomorrow, in open court, where Mr Assange will have full legal representation.

    JP: The cowardly Australian government, which is legally obliged to support its citizen, has made a veiled threat to take away his passport.

    Reply: In fact, the Australian High Commission in London is providing assistance to Mr Assange.

    JP: In her public remarks, the prime minister, Julia Gillard, has shamefully torn up the presumption of innocence that underpins Australian law. The Australian minister for foreign affairs ought to have called in both the Swedish and the US ambassadors to warn them against any abuse of human rights against Assange, such as the crime of incitement to murder.

    Reply: The ease with which Mr Pilger makes these serious accusations of criminal activity against others contrasts with the ease with which accusations of criminal activity are dismissed when they happen to be against Mr Assange.

    JP: In contrast, vast numbers of decent people all over the world have rallied to Assange’s support: people who are neither misogynists nor “internet attack dogs”, to quote Libby Brooks, and who support a very different set of values from those espoused by Charles Reich. They include many distinguished feminists, such as Naomi Klein, who wrote: “Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women’s freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up!”

    Reply: As with Mr Pilger, one presumes that Ms Klein has had no access to any evidence against Mr Assange.

    JP: To hell with journalistic inquiry. Ignorance and prejudice rule.

    Reply: Indeed.

  69. paul maleski said,

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.
    I want to know more about the ‘. Daltons of this world’ who are financing Assange’s well co-ordinated machinations. The failed parasitic criminal state of Israel is a convenient starting point!

  70. jim denham said,

    Oh my gawd, another nutter. Why don’t you go away and have a good chat with ‘star’?

  71. paul maleski said,

    I can’t have a burning chat with our nearest star, the sun because it is too far away.

  72. paul maleski said,

    Truth monger or traitor?
    All I am requesting is that the public should be provided with, concrete accurate background information, on this mysterious ‘lonely stranger who rides into town whistle-blower:’ Just where does he obtain his money from? What is his real selective/redacted propaganda objective? Who provides him with ‘leakable’ risible doctored documents. If he is being financed by the CIA, MI6, Mossad or whoever: How long has he been on the payroll? Why is he regarded as a dissident hero throughout the Zionist controlled media? Meanwhile, the ‘ Heretical Two’ languish in prison for merely telling the world that Tony Blair and New Labour were financed by wealthy jews! The boot-licking media never came to their defence for disseminating the truth.

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