Assange: not a rapist, but an arrogant creep

August 26, 2010 at 4:54 pm (Afghanistan, cyberspace, Guardian, Jim D, media, twat)

The rape charges against  Wikileaks boss Julian Assange have been dropped by the Swedish authorities, though a charge of “molestation” of a woman remains. Both the women who brough the claims of sexual assault against Assange have denied being part of a Pentagon plot to smear him (a claim that Assange and his supporters have, of course, been trumpeting), one of them telling Aftonbladet, “the charges against Assange are, of course, not orchestrated by the Pentagon. The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who has a twisted attitude to women and a problem taking ‘no’ for an answer.”

So he’s not a rapist. But he is a vile, arrogant creep who  doesn’t appear to give a damn about putting the lives of Afghan civilians at risk at the hands of the Taliban:

“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.

“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.” (Observer interview by Carole Cadwalladr, 1st Aug 2010 – link above)


  1. resistor said,

    Denham is regurgitating Pentagon propaganda and repeating unsubstantiated allegations. But hey, that’s his style!

  2. BenSix said,

    Not sure that’s entirely fair, Resistor. After all, it’s the Pentagon who’ve said they’ve “yet to see any harm come to anyone in Afghanistan that [they] can directly tie to exposure in the WikiLeaks documents“.

  3. Max Dunbar said,

    David Aaronovitch said, and I agree, that it’s a bad thing that comment on the rape allegations has been split over pro/anti Wikileaks lines.

    On the leaks themselves I’m not entirely convinced that Assange has done enough to protect anti-Taliban Afghans from reprisals.

  4. scott neil said,

    long may that continue eh, BenSix (fingers crossed, as that link of yours is from August 11th i believe; this, incidentally, is something a bit pertinent from two days before that date).

    any recriminations are mainly, of course, on the Taliban (i.e. the people doing the physical harm; i gather there has been something of an uptick in assassinations of teachers, doctors, officials, aid workers, etc, in Afghanistan this year).
    there would be something on Wikileaks, however.

    Josh Foust has a 17 minute long interview on PBS, dated August 1st, embedded in his blog that is worth watching and listening to, if you haven’t already seen it (apologies for posting old material)

    as Foust says “I’m in the awkward position of being in favor of whistleblowing—that is, exposing crimes—but deeply opposing Wikileaks’ indiscriminate posting of classified material on the internet.”

    he makes some very good points. (incidentally, approx. 14.5 mins into the interview he cites a Times reporter, Tom Coghlan, who knows of one person who has been killed for collaborating w the USA; naturally, the Times will have different sources and information to the Pentagon, and vice-versa.)

  5. resistor said,

    But Ben,

    ‘The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has lashed out at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

    “Mr Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family,” Admiral Mullen said.’

    The fact is that The Pentagon refused to help Wikileaks redact any potentially harmful information.

    Julian Assange can be assured that being called, ‘an arrogant creep’ by Jim Denham is like being called ugly by a frog.

  6. Egg on your face said,

    (boring, stupid, predictable)

  7. arf arf said,

    “being called, ‘an arrogant creep’ by Jim Denham is like being called ugly by a frog.”
    Or being called ugly by Jim Denham, for that matter.

  8. maxdunbar said,

    So what do you look like, handsome?

    Going to post a photo?

  9. FlyingRodent said,

    And, yet again –

    Afghan civilian deaths caused by coalition action – Tens of thousands? More?

    Afghan civilian deaths caused by Wikileaks – 0.

    If you’re more annoyed by the latter than the former, then you need to go back to the drawing board because your reasoning is all messed up and funny in the head.

  10. arf arf said,

    “So what do you look like, handsome?”
    Well I have been compared to dashing New York TV chef Anthony Bourdain, if you must know.

  11. Duncan said,

    What FlyingRodent said.

    Are Afghan civilians endangered more by the continuous presence of coalition forces in the country or by the documents posted on Wikileaks?

    It would be interesting to know how many civilians have been killed or injured by the actions of the coalition forces since the documents were posted online. Somehow, whatever the figure, I can’t imagine people like Admiral Mike Mullen getting overly worked up about it.

    Assange is a hero for releasing these documents and many others on the site.

  12. jim denham said,

    It’s not just me who’s worried by Assange’s apparent indifference to the safety of Afghan democrats and anti-Taliban people: five human rights organisations including Amnesty International and the Open Society Institute have written to Wikileaks to express their concerns:
    …so has Reporters Without Borders:

  13. maxdunbar said,

    Shouldn’t the Taliban also enter into that little calculus you’ve reduced the war to?

  14. Boadacia said,

    It’s the very fact that Assange *is no’t* creeping about, that worry’s the Pentagon. Yours, alike many others I’ve read, is based on zero evidence and a cart load of opinion, as usual.

    As for whether he appears to give a damn, one would come to the opposite conclusions by the dangerous circumstances he exists under, dancing with the psychotic wolves.

    Can we read better next time please?

  15. charliethechulo said,

    Open letter to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange: ‘‘A bad precedent for the Internet’s future’’
    Published on 12 August 2010

    Julian Assange

    Dear Mr. Assange,

    Reporters Without Borders, an international press freedom organisation, regrets the incredible irresponsibility you showed when posting your article “Afghan War Diary 2004 – 2010” on the Wikileaks website on 25 July together with 92,000 leaked documents disclosing the names of Afghans who have provided information to the international military coalition that has been in Afghanistan since 2001.

    Wikileaks has in the past played a useful role by making information available to the US and international public that exposed serious violations of human rights and civil liberties which the Bush administration committed in the name of its war against terror. Last April’s publication of a video of the killing of two employees of the Reuters news agency and other civilians by US military personnel in Baghdad in July 2007 was clearly in the public interest and we supported this initiative. It was a response to the Obama administration’s U-turn on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act. The White House broke its word in May 2009, when it defied a court order and refused to release photos of the mistreatment of detainees in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    But revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous. It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks.

    Defending yourself, you said that it was about “ending the war in Afghanistan.” You also argued that: “Principled leaking has changed the course of history for the better; it can alter the course of history in the present; it can lead us to a better future.” However, the US government has been under significant pressure for some time as regards the advisability of its military presence in Afghanistan, not just since your article’s publication. We are not convinced that your wish to“end the war in Afghanistan” will be so easily granted and meanwhile, you have unintentionally provided supposedly democratic governments with good grounds for putting the Internet under closer surveillance.

    It is true that you said that “a further 15,000 potentially sensitive reports” were excluded from the 25 July mass posting, that they were being “reviewed further” and that some of them would be released “once it was deemed safe to do so.”

    Nonetheless, indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports reflects a real problem of methodology and, therefore, of credibility. Journalistic work involves the selection of information. The argument with which you defend yourself, namely that Wikileaks is not made up of journalists, is not convincing. Wikileaks is an information outlet and, as such, is subject to the same rules of publishing responsibility as any other media.

    Reporters Without Borders has for years been campaigning for a federal “shield law” protecting sources, one that would apply not only to the traditional media but also to the new Internet media without exception. This is why we condemn all forms of harassment of Wikileaks contributors or informants – such as the recent arrest of Wikileaks researcher Jacob Appelbaum – by government agencies and immigration officials. We also condemn the charges brought against US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who is suspected of leaking the video of the Baghdad killings. However, you cannot claim to enjoy the protection of sources while at the same time, when it suits you, denying that you are a news media.

    The precedent you have set leaves all those people throughout the world who risk their freedom and sometimes their lives for the sake of online information even more exposed to reprisals. Such imprudence endangers your own sources and, beyond that, the future of the Internet as an information medium. A total of 116 netizens are currently in prison in a dozen countries because of the comments they posted online. Can you image the same situation in the country of the First Amendment?

    Wikileaks must provide a more detailed explanation of its actions and must not repeat the same mistake. This will mean a new departure and new methods.

    We look forward to your reply,


    Jean-François Julliard
    Reporters Without Borders secretary-general

  16. Whitney said,

    You know, it’s possible that Assange is a rapist AND an arrogant creep. And also an important man.And a hero to some folk. And a guy who will open doors for old ladies.

    I think that the timing and the manner of detainment in Assange’s case is politically motivated. But that doesn’t mean that the charges are politically motivated. Why not let a court of law figure out the merit of the changes?

  17. charliethechulo said,

    “Why not let a court of law figure out the merit of the changes?” Absolutely. And exactly what contributors to ‘Shiraz’ have been arguing all along.

    • Whitney said,

      Yes, but the title says “Assange not a rapist”. Inferring that he’s not guilty. I understand innocent until proven guilty, which is why in cases like this, typically people say “maybe a rapist” or “allegedly a rapist”.

  18. maxdunbar said,

    Good point Whitney. He may well be a rapist.

    All the more surprising that there is loads of focus and celebrity endorsement for Assange (bailed in comfort) and almost nothing for Bradley Manning, the man who made Assange’s name (23 hour solitary, facing 52 years)

  19. Whitney said,


    Yeah, we don’t see Michael Moore offering to bail Manning out of jail, are we?

  20. Ed Duncan Laurence said,

    #18 `Good point Whitney. He may well be a rapist.’

    I heard he’s an anti-semite as well as a rapist.

  21. Rosie said,

    Jim – the date on this posting is Aug 26 2010. Is that a mistake? Could you repost it for today?

  22. Rosie said,

    Sorry – looked again – evidently an earlier post that’s been commented on again.

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