Julian Assange: Sex, Lies and Extradition
By Colin Benjamin
Whatâ€™s really going on here? Is this really about rape, or, regret about the casual manner in which Assange had sex with these women? Or is sex the tactic being employed to discredit Assange and bury the larger stories Wikileaks have exposed?
[Speaking Truth To Empower]
With Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition case in England ending; is the Swedish extradition request a ruse intended, ultimately, to send Assange to the United States?
Last week, Assange’s extradition hearing, at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, in south-east London, came to a close. The court’s ruling is scheduled for February 24. Sweden has requested the extradition of Assange, allegedly, for sex crimes against two women.
The curious timing of those charges, coming in August 2010, after Wikileaks’ July 2010 publication of the explosive Afghan War Diaries, raised suspicious eyebrows worldwide. The Afghan War Diaries are a collection of military logs that paint a more insightful picture of the war—complete with entries about the massacre of civilians, while highlighting the true strength of
Assange, who was in Sweden for a free speech seminar, admitted having sex with the two women ages, 26 and 31, but, denies the rape allegations. He was questioned by police, on August 30, 2010, then let go. The rape charges were initially dismissed by Sweden’s Chief Public Prosecutor Eva Finne; however, she kept open an investigation regarding sexual molestation.
Apparently, on the appeal of this decision by Claes Borgstrom, a lawyer representing the women, Swedish Director of Public Prosecutor Marianne Ny reopened the case on September 1. Then, on November 18, 2010 Ny asked a Swedish court for a warrant against Assange. Scotland Yard notified Assange of the arrest warrant on December 6, 2010.
In Sweden, Assange will face some of the toughest sex crime laws in the world. Assange is being accused of at least two counts of molestation. One molestation charge alleges he had sex with one of the women identified only as “Ms. A” without using a condom. He is also accused of having sex with “Ms. W” without a condom, while she said she was “half-asleep.”
Assanges’ U.K. lawyer, Mark Stevens, characterized the allegations as being concocted by “dark forces.” He added “After what we’ve seen so far you can reasonably conclude this is part of a greater plan.” English journalist John Pilger calls the case a “political stunt.”
Not surprisingly, many see the extradition hearing as a ploy to transfer Assange from Sweden into the waiting hands of the United States. Sweden has an extradition treaty with America. Some legal experts argue Sweden’s legal system is less sophisticated in matters relating to extradition—unlike England which also has an extradition treaty with America.
Many American politicians, both Republican and Democrats, have called for Assanges’ head. The Justice Department has said it’s conducting criminal investigations into the matter. Some have demanded Assange be prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917. However, others have stressed such an attempt would be futile and may result in serious First Amendment issues.
Assange maintains as a journalist he is protected by the First Amendment. Not surprisingly, some are arguing he isn’t a journalist—since this will make prosecuting him easier. Some argue Assange should be prosecuted because he, supposedly, has endangered lives. What about those who’ve caused the death of hundred of thousands, in war, because of lies and war-profiteering motives? Why didn’t any of these people demand the prosecutions of those who revealed CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity as political retribution against her husband, Joe Wilson?
Some analysts are now trying to make connections between ongoing assassinations, executed by the Taliban and others, to the classified documents Wikileaks released. These attempts have, so far, amounted to nothing more that weak, unsubstantiated suppositions. However, these same people refuse to connect simple dots which show war crimes were committed in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the warmongering architects roam free in America. How do they expect to
encourage credibility with this sort of transparent hypocrisy?
Rape is one of the most horrific crimes. If Assange is in fact guilty, he should be punished. However, judging by the puzzling statements, reportedly, coming from Assange’s accusers his guilt is very questionable.
The primary sticking point—from both women according to their statements—seems to be that Assange was reckless in not wanting to have protected sex, with a condom. “Ms. A”—who reportedly helped to organize Assange’s trip to Sweden—admitted she had sex with him, at her flat but, alleges he had “done something” to the condom causing it to rip. Assange denies this.
A couple of days later, another woman “Ms. W,” admitted to having sex with Assange, at her home, after, "he agreed unwillingly to use a condom." She also claims she woke up the next morning to find Assange having sex with her, without a condom. Both women, eventually, compared notes and realized they both had sex with Assange. Some time later they went to the police. “Ms. A” also posted a blog entry, on her website, entitled 7 Steps to Legal Revenge—about punishing unfaithful lovers. She has since removed it.
While it’s clear the Wikileaks’ founder has a healthy libido, not much else is clear. What’s really going on here? Is this really about rape, or, regret about the casual manner in which Assange had sex with these women? Or is sex the
tactic being employed to discredit Assange and bury the larger stories Wikileaks have exposed?
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