The Wikileaks rape charges

August 24th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Many will have seen the story about the Swedish Police announcing charges had been filed against founder . The charges have now been dropped.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. In fact I like to mock people who think Bush planned 9/11 etc.

But I have to say that when I heard of the rape charges against Assange, my first reaction was to wonder “How the hell did the manage to arrange that?”

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36 Responses to “The Wikileaks rape charges”

  1. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    I didn’t wonder that at all. Political powers who can’t silence critics with the usual standard of smear (“…and her car was parked there all night“) often resort to trumped up criminal charges, usually of a sexual nature because these have the dual benefits of relying on flaky he said / she said evidence and making most people shun and avoid the accused.

    My first thought was “Sweden? The idiots… there’s not wnough corruption there for it not to be dropped once someone with integrity gets it on their desk”.

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  2. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Agree – it’s hard not to see it as a smear attempt.

    But I do find it blazingly ironic for him to be so upset about being smeared.

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  3. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Worst case of glass houses and throwing stones I’ve ever seen.

    You would think he’d be wanting to attact LESS attention.

    Question is how did they manage to get the juducal system to participate if this is a smear. Most smears don’t invlove anything that can be tested in court.

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  4. ben (2,386 comments) says:

    My reaction exactly. Much too obvious.

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  5. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Sympathy for Assange………………………….. Nup, can’t do it.

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  6. SteveO (76 comments) says:

    In some of the more remote regions of the blogosphere (e.g. The Register’s comments section) commentators are postulating that Assange got word of an upcoming smear campaign so got in first with a deliberately weak self-inflicted one so that when the real attack turns up no one will believe it.

    Other commentators believe that the CIA did it, making it look like Assange did it himself with a deliberately weak self-inflicted attack that would reflect badly on him so that when the real one comes along . . .

    Yet others claim to have found a link between one of the complainants and the Swedish newspaper that broke the story and note that circulation is up for this particular edition.

    And those are just some of the saner conspiracy theories.

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  7. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    they should just off him.

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  8. tom hunter (4,010 comments) says:

    Well if it was the NSA or the CIA – or any of the other 15 or so “intelligence” agencies in the US – it would simply prove their incompetence once again.

    By that I mean that it would take an incompetent spy to think that a mere rape or molestation conviction (let alone just a charge) is ever going to shame this guy in the eyes of the Left. Not after Mugabe, Che, Fidel,………..

    Hell, even on the more superficial level of semi-celebrity, look at Michael Moore, Polanski, Gore, Edwards, Robert Bryd…..

    Shame? Hah!

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  9. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Do you speak Russian Tom?

    You’re welcome.

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  10. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Analysis here: http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/08/the-war-against-wikileaks-.html Make of it what you will.

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  11. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    Murray:

    Judges (sometimes even a JP) will issue an arrest warrant solely on the say so of a police officer. No demand to see even the flimsiest of evidence, let alone test it. They figure “it’ll all come out at trial” and thus throw warrants around like confetti.. overlooking the damage to lives, reputations, families, businesses etc that result.

    For the smear to work it doesn’t have to get to a trial. It can even be thrown out of court, or the complainant (who normally either is in trouble herself and co-operating with police, is after compensation, likes the attention, or is emotionally damaged and thus manipulable) can withdraw it and admit she lied.

    Doesn’t stop it being used to smear you by anyone who wants to silence your opinion. Just ask metcalph, who dragged out my arrest and subsequent acquittal when we were simply debating whether Barlow was guilty of the crimes for which he’d been convicted. Hardly crucial, earth-shattering stuff (except for Barlow of course) but the strategy is to create as much doubt and prejudice around your target as possible so that those with no integrity or scruples have something to throw when you stand up for what you believe.

    And enough people have this idiotic “where there’s smoke…” belief (ignoring the fact that, as Graeme Edgeler pointed out on the Barlow thread, the vast majority of people plead guilty and you generally profess your innocence only if you believe you are, because you’re sure to get a harsher sentence if you lose).

    So getting back to your original question, the judicial system is a sucker for a man in a nice blue uniform at that stage of proceedings, and often the charge is all that is needed to successfully lodge the smear in the public mind… anything else is a bonus.

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  12. tom hunter (4,010 comments) says:

    I thought you weren’t the cryptic type Murray?

    You’re implying that they were very competent during the Cold War. Could not agree more (well, apart from some strange ideas about the Soviets always being with us).

    But that was a different time. Thank you James Angleton and co.

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  13. DaveDustin (13 comments) says:

    Call me cynical, but is it also conceivably possible that Wikileaks initiated the whole thing?

    First they hint that dirty tactics are going to used, and then come the allegations, followed by an announcement a few days later that Wikileaks had previously been told by the Australian intelligence service that something like this was going to happen.

    Good way to make their “enemies” look bad in the eyes of the public, and if they do it a few times, you get a “boy who cried wolf” situation, where even if Wikileaks do do something wrong, nobody will believe the claims.

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  14. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    you seen a lot of terrorist attacks in the US Europe and Britain recently tom? I’ve seen a loto have been foiled by your incompetant intelligence agencies.

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  15. eszett (2,271 comments) says:

    SteveO (18) Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    In some of the more remote regions of the blogosphere (e.g. The Register’s comments section) commentators are postulating that Assange got word of an upcoming smear campaign so got in first with a deliberately weak self-inflicted one so that when the real attack turns up no one will believe it.

    Yeah, right.
    How very plausible.

    They are trying to smear us, so let’s smear us ourselves, debunk it and then make it look like they tried to smear us.

    How stupid would such a tactic be? Why would the CIA/NSA/Whoever actually hold back the their accusations just because some other accusations are already out there? Wouldn’t 2 smear campaigns be more effective than one?

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  16. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    Interesting to see that the documentation being put up by Wikileaks for the world to see/review/dabate is being likened by some to the vague allegations against Assange (that have now been withdrawn.)

    I guess on the WhackJobO’Sphere you pick and chose the reality you want to believe in, and accept/discard whatever info is put in front of you based on whether or not it affirms the reality that you know in your heart to be true…

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  17. Fot (252 comments) says:

    The left have no shame, rushing to the defence of a man accused of rape.

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  18. RRM (8,994 comments) says:

    Fot, what part of “The charges have now been dropped” is confusing to you?

    I could accuse you of rape, right now. Doesn’t mean much on its own, does it?

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  19. tom hunter (4,010 comments) says:

    …..you seen a lot of terrorist attacks in the US Europe and Britain recently tom?

    Depends what you mean by “a lot”.

    – The Detroit Christmas Day bomber (foiled by passenger)
    – Major Abdul Hassan (yeah -I count the military’s own intelligence sections as part of the deal)
    – The Times Square Bomb (foiled by terrorist incompetence)
    – The CIA team killed in Khost by a Taliban double agent

    1 and 3 could have killed hundreds, but perhaps I’m being too harsh. As the IRA bastards once said – You have to be lucky every time. We only have to be lucky once

    Then there is this on the Khost bombing from a former CIA agent: A dagger to the CIA

    Kathy knew that there was a time when only seasoned field operatives were put in charge of places like Khost. Not only would an operative need to have distinguished himself at the Farm; he would’ve run informants in the field for five years or more before earning such a post. He probably would have done at least one previous tour in a war zone, too. And he would have known the local language, in this case Pashto. Kathy skipped all of this. Imagine a Marine going straight from Parris Island to taking command of a combat battalion in the middle of a war.

    But don’t tell me. You’ve either already read it!

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  20. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    And, ever obliging, Fot rides in to prove my point that you don’t have to convict someone of a sex crime to have Neanderthals emerge from their caves carrying clubs and burning torches every time their name is mentioned, you just need to get them charged (an extraordinarily easy thing to do if you’re a corrupt government or police officer).

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  21. tom hunter (4,010 comments) says:

    I guess on the WhackJobO’Sphere you pick and chose the reality you want to believe in,

    But of course!

    Naming Valerie Plame – Left-Wing response:
    An outrageous, cynical attack on our national security. Hypocrites. Jail for Cheney

    Naming of Afghanistan people who help NATO forces – Left-Wing response:
    A bold and noble attempt to stop a horrific and immoral war

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  22. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    And we all know Bush is too stoopid to have planned 9/11. It was Cheney and Rumsfeld.

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  23. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Well you would never get Allies, like the French, blowing up unarmed vessels in NZ Waters would you?

    Oh wait……..!

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  24. Whoops (139 comments) says:

    @Fot. You were presumably endowed with a brain at conception/birth. Have you ever used it?

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  25. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    First they hint that dirty tactics are going to used, and then come the allegations, followed by an announcement a few days later that Wikileaks had previously been told by the Australian intelligence service that something like this was going to happen

    Yeah, like Asio is going to help a person who is knowingly putting Australian lives in even more danger…

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  26. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I thought danger was part of a soldier’s job description.

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  27. toad (3,654 comments) says:

    insurance.aes256

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  28. Repton (769 comments) says:

    Yeah, like Asio is going to help a person who is knowingly putting Australian lives in even more danger…

    Like John Howard?

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  29. ephemera (563 comments) says:

    The NSA couldn’t have done it. It is an agency concerned purely with codebreaking/cryptography.

    [ /pedantry ]

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  30. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I thought danger was part of a soldier’s job description

    So if you were alive during the time, I take it you would you have approved of lets say a UK citizen publishing the names of resistance fighters during WW2 in public media? Or the publishing of the plans for Operation Overlord? Cause you know – the public has a right to know….

    Like John Howard?

    Your nimrodicity knows no bounds. John Howard was the Prime Minister of Australia. Spot the difference?

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  31. Fletch (5,726 comments) says:

    I don’t have any sympathy for him either. OK, the US may have done some bad things, but who fights fair in war? Who says war has to be fair? It’s WAR people. If he was American they should have and would have charged him with treason. It undermines what the US is trying to do, hurts their soldiers’ morale and gives support and sympathy to the terrorists.

    The man doesn’t know the harm he is causing. He is indirectly helping the enemies of the West.

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  32. eszett (2,271 comments) says:

    # Fletch (1,283) Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I don’t have any sympathy for him either. OK, the US may have done some bad things, but who fights fair in war? Who says war has to be fair? It’s WAR people. If he was American they should have and would have charged him with treason. It undermines what the US is trying to do, hurts their soldiers’ morale and gives support and sympathy to the terrorists.

    The man doesn’t know the harm he is causing. He is indirectly helping the enemies of the West.

    It is not about fairness, no one claims that war has to be fair.
    It is about being truthful and upfront about what you are doing. If you claim to have the morale high ground, then expect to be measured against it.

    Why conceal civilian casualties and friendly fire incidents?
    Who is undermining the war, the killing of civilians and your own troops and lying about it or the leaking of the documents about those incidents?

    Of course it is always convenient to hide your head in the sand and blame the messenger.

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  33. eszett (2,271 comments) says:

    # tom hunter (1,144) Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I guess on the WhackJobO’Sphere you pick and chose the reality you want to believe in,

    But of course!

    Naming Valerie Plame – Left-Wing response:
    An outrageous, cynical attack on our national security. Hypocrites. Jail for Cheney

    Naming of Afghanistan people who help NATO forces – Left-Wing response:
    A bold and noble attempt to stop a horrific and immoral war

    As with the naming of the Afghan people who helped NATO forces, you have to ask yourself how well were those names secured in the first place, when they are named abundantly in all these reports? Could those names already have been placed inadvertently into the wrong hands if security was this lax? After all, a number of those names were already dead before the documents were published.

    Well, if you are so outraged by Assange, what do you think of what Dick Cheney did with Palme? Does the double standard that you are complaining about apply to you as well? Dick Cheney a hero, Assange a traitor?

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  34. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Assange is a traitor to a country he’s not a citizen of? Don’t worry, eszett, I realise it’s not you who’s framed it that way (it came up in the last thread somewhat relating to Assange here on Kiwiblog) – although I’m not sure it’s been explicitly stated in this thread by anybody but you it’s been implied.

    Also, have there been official declarations of war? If so, against what?

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  35. tom hunter (4,010 comments) says:

    Could those names already have been placed inadvertently into the wrong hands if security was this lax?

    Security is “lax” if outsiders can get in and steal information, or if it’s accidently distributed – not if the information was in the hands of an insider, the hardest of all such things to be secure about. The US military trusted Manning and he betrayed that trust. Beyond implanting control chips in people’s heads there is not much more that security can do in such cases.

    Does the double standard that you are complaining about apply to you as well? Dick Cheney a hero, Assange a traitor?

    Oh dear. The bit about Cheney was actually my little joke at the expense of the Left. Unfortunately I did not account for the fact that you actually believed your own side’s propaganda.

    As JiveKitty points out, Assange cannot be a traitor since he is not a US citizen. However, the little shit who supplied those documents from within the US military, Pfc. Bradley Manning, is a traitor by any common understanding, though it remains to be seen whether he will ever suffer more than a dishonourable discharge.

    It would seem that you are unaware that Plame’s name was actually first leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, deputy to then Secretary of State, Colin Powell – and no friend of the Cheney group. It turns out that several people in the media knew about her – including Mr Watergate himself, Bob Woodward, also via Armitage. Fitzgerald found all this out quite early in his investigation. He also found out that Valarie Plame, according to the law, was not a covert agent: she was sitting at a desk at Langley, had been for five years, all her neighbours knew she was CIA. There was no security risk to anybody, contrary to her self-serving husband’s claim. That was why Fitzgerald was forced to pursue Libby along the “ignorance is no defence under the law” track – in that, when reporters asked Libby whether he’d heard the name Plame and he confirmed he had, he did not know she was not a covert agent.

    If you want a good precis of the facts, have a look at this excellent article post-trial, which details exactly how the whole thing was a “beat-up” from start to finish (it’s from the WaPo, which is funny, considering their role in banging the drum on all this at the beginning). In the end, all that happened was a conviction that Libby’s testimony to a Grand Jury had contained false statements – something that the article points is inevitable when witnesses are called before such a jury five times! Cheney haters can argue that these false statements covered for Cheney’s alleged misdeeds in outing Plame – but the facts tell us that it was not him or anybody on his staff who outed her and that even if he had, it would not have been a crime. That’s why Fitzgerald went no further: he had nothing else.

    The double-standard here is not one on the facts of each situation and therefore not one you can simply switch around. The double standard I’m highlighting is one of your narrative.

    In the Plame case there was a months-long, left-wing scream that a national security breach had allegedly occurred and that the culprits (who were conveniently their political enemies) should be held accountable and made to pay a steep price. The facts did not support that narrative – but if those groups who screamed had actually meant what they said they would be making the same demands and raising the same levels of outrage about the Wikileaks case now. But they’re not.

    In this case the perps are being held up by many sections of the Left as exemplars of decency and honour, and their crimes as being the right thing to do. The facts do not support that narrative either. A national security breach actually has occurred and a direct connection can be made between it and the likely deaths of Afghanistan allies, a connection already made courtesy of none other than the Taliban, who have announced that they’re looking at the documents with great interest to identify “traitors”.

    If Cheney and co had ever released the name of a covert agent, even accidently, that compromised national security, I would want him prosecuted and jailed. Same with Manning. So no, no double standard applies to me.

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  36. Gwilly (154 comments) says:

    They should try and fabricate a story about him being involved in anal sex – Malaysian style like what happened to Anwar, except that it is legal in Sweden.

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