Assange is not a rapist but neither is he a hero

September 20th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A devastating critique of Julian Assange from Nick Cohen of the Guardian:

As soon as WikiLeaks received the State Department cables, Assange announced that the opponents of dictatorial regimes and movements were fair game. That the targets of the Taliban, for instance, were fighting a clerical-fascist force, which threatened every good liberal value, did not concern him. They had spoken to US diplomats. They had collaborated with the great Satan. Their safety was not his concern.

David Leigh and Luke Harding’s history of WikiLeaks describes how journalists took Assange to Moro’s, a classy Spanish restaurant in central London. A reporter worried that Assange would risk killing Afghans who had co-operated with American forces if he put US secrets online without taking the basic precaution of removing their names. “Well, they’re informants,” Assange replied. “So, if they get killed, they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.” A silence fell on the table as the reporters realised that the man the gullible hailed as the pioneer of a new age of transparency was willing to hand death lists to psychopaths.

Ouch, and it gets worse.

James Ball joined and thought that in his own small way he was making the world a better place. He realised that was not what it seemed when an associate of Assange – a stocky man with a greying moustache, who called himself “Adam” – asked if he could pull out everything the State Department documents “had on the Jews”. Ball discovered that “Adam” was Israel Shamir, a dangerous crank who uses six different names as he agitates among the antisemitic groups of the far right and far left. As well as signing up to the conspiracy theories of fascism, Shamir was happy to collaborate with Belarus‘s decayed Brezhnevian dictatorship. Leftwing tyranny, rightwing tyranny, as long as it was anti-western and anti-Israel, Shamir did not care.

Nor did Assange. He made Shamir WikiLeaks’s representative in Russia and eastern Europe. Shamir praised the Belarusian dictatorship. He compared the pro-democracy protesters beaten and imprisoned by the KGB to football hooligans. On 19 December 2010, the Belarus-Telegraf, a state newspaper, said that WikiLeaks had allowed the dictatorship to identify the “organisers, instigators and rioters, including foreign ones” who had protested against rigged elections.

Wikileaks did some great stuff in their early days, when they were the enemies of dictators. With Assange involved it is hard to see how they can recover.

In Ethiopia, however, Assange has already claimed his first scalp. Argaw Ashine fled the country last week after WikiLeaks revealed that the reporter had spoken to an official from the American embassy in Addis Ababa about the regime’s plans to intimidate the independent press. WikiLeaks also revealed that a government official told Arshine about the planned assault on opposition journalists. Thus Assange and his colleagues not only endangered the journalist. They tipped off the cops that he had a source in the state apparatus.

What fine work.

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32 Responses to “Assange is not a rapist but neither is he a hero”

  1. big bruv (14,165 comments) says:

    “Assange is not a rapist”

    I am not so sure about that DPF, he is a low life and the evidence is strong that he might be a rapist.

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  2. ephemera (557 comments) says:

    He needs to step aside from the whole thing, instead of building a cult of personality for himself. He enjoys being part of the story far too much, and as a result, the content suffers.

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  3. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    The court in his extradiction hearing ruled that the criminal conduct which he was accused of was criminal conduct in the UK. If it had not made this finding, he couldn’t have been extradicted.

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  4. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    ““Well, they’re informants,” Assange replied. “So, if they get killed, they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.” A silence fell on the table as the reporters realised that the man the gullible hailed as the pioneer of a new age of transparency was willing to hand death lists to psychopaths.”

    This guy is seriously sick.

    Is there a reason we don’t shoot traitors anymore?

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  5. Longknives (4,889 comments) says:

    Lee01- Agreed, Your post summed this slimy little creep up perfectly…

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  6. 3-coil (1,222 comments) says:

    I’m looking forward to Nicky Hager’s defence of his chum Assange (let’s not forget that Hager helped Assange sort a lot of this material before it was released).

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  7. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Hager is cut from the same cloth 3-coil.

    If the west was the psycotic overlords that both of them make out they’d be sharing the same resting place at the bottom of the ocean.

    [DPF: Umm to be fair to Nicky, he probably does share Assange’s world view politically, but he does protect confidential sources and he doesn’t have Assange’s personal habits]

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  8. dime (10,136 comments) says:

    Where is he on the Green Party list? top 10?

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  9. gump (1,664 comments) says:

    I’m no fan of Assange.

    But it bears repeating that Assange didn’t release the cache of unclassified cables. A reporter with the Guardian published the decryption key in his book.

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  10. thedavincimode (6,880 comments) says:

    dime

    I believe he’s Keith Locke’s love child. ;)

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  11. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    “That the targets of the Taliban, for instance, were fighting a clerical-fascist force, which threatened every good liberal value, did not concern him.”

    The problem is that the Taliban’s replacement is NOT liberal. Try criticizing Islam in Afghanistan. Try being a homosexual. It is rather disingenuous to try and portray the fight against the Taliban as a fight for liberal values because those values are simply not acceptable to the local neanderthals. So is Obama much different than Assange? He is sending in good people to die for no good reason as far as I can tell. Getting Osama was good, had to be done after what he did. But if we’re going to be in Afghanistan for as long as there are crazy muslims willing to kill us then we’ll be there forever.

    Don’t get me wrong I think Assange is full of himself and I’m not agreeing with releasing information that would put people at risk, but those people shouldn’t be there and it is concerning that western governments need to keep more and more secrets supposedly to defend “freedom”.

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  12. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Assange is a supporter of dictators and tyrants.

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  13. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Check his bank accounts Mark. Could be some interesting transactions for Mr Transparency.

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  14. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    If people want confidential information to be released in an ad hoc manner then what do they expect?

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  15. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “So is Obama much different than Assange? He is sending in good people to die for no good reason as far as I can tell.”

    Al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies are still a threat to the West and to countries like India. I don’t care one bit for liberal values, and I’m opposed to spreading democracy by force. But I do think there is a case to be made from a realist pov that groups intent on using global terrorism must be stopped. And the best way to stop terrorists is to kill them.

    “The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”

    Romans 13:14

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  16. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    I seem to recall that George W Bush’s – in a fit of pique that Trevor Mallard would be proud of – outed Valerie Plame, a CIA operative. I must have missed DPF’s fury at a President behaving in such a disgusting manner. What fine work indeed.

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  17. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “outed Valerie Plame, a CIA operative.”

    You mean the fact that she was a Democrat?

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  18. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    Metcalph,

    “The court in his extradiction hearing ruled that the criminal conduct which he was accused of was criminal conduct in the UK”

    Well, yes, but rape is rape in the UK as much as it is in Sweden. The rule of extradition is that you cannot be extradited for a crime that does not exist in the country you are currently in.

    The fact that Assange’s extradition was ordered does not mean he is guilty, merely that the crime he is accused of fits within the extradition rules and that there may be a prima facie case to answer. With rape usually being a “he said, she said’ type of offence, it is not surprising that he would be extradited.

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  19. gump (1,664 comments) says:

    ross said:

    “I seem to recall that George W Bush’s – in a fit of pique that Trevor Mallard would be proud of – outed Valerie Plame, a CIA operative. ”

    ——–

    George Bush didn’t leak Valerie Plame’s role as a CIA operative – an official within his administration did it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scooter_Libby

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  20. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    Ah, Ross, and Gump, not a lot to do with GWB or even “Scooter” Libby. It was a career State Department man, Richard Armitage, who has confessed to “outing” Plame. He confessed to this in an interview, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/07/eveningnews/main1981433.shtml

    It is arguable that Plame wasn’t in fact a covert agent at all, and it is true that she connived at having her husband carry out a trip to Africa regarding Saddam Hussein trying to obtain Uranium ore. He reported (falsely, deliberately so) that Saddam made no such attempt. It appears that an unsuccessful attempt was made but that for partisan political reasons that information was deemed unsuitable to report. Plame was outed in relation to this piece of chicanery, she had denied being involved in obtaining the job for her husband whereas in fact she had directly lobbied for it. A messy business where Plame appears to have been guilty of various crimes including perjury herself, but having successfully made herself into the victim in a partisan atmosphere, escaped any official investigation.

    Libby however was not prosecuted for outing Plame, but for being deemed to have been less than fully forthcoming in the investigation about who did. So, although not guilty of the original crime, and also apparently unaware of who had outed Plame, he was convicted of Perjury on the basis of some rather dubious evidence. That’s not to say that he didn’t commit perjury necessarily, just that the evidence that he had done so was predicated on the fact that it was he who did the leaking, and as was subsequently revealed, he didn’t.

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  21. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    FE Smith,

    DPF has blogged before (unwisely) that what Assange was accused of was not criminal conduct in the UK. Hence his categorical statement in the header that Assange is not a Rapist. Whether Assange is guilty of the alleged conduct is another matter, the Swedes want to extradite him for questioning rather than to face trial. If Assange ever does face trial in Sweden, I hope that he gets a better lawyer than the one who told lies left right and centre to the Brits.

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  22. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    fair enough, metcalph.

    My understanding was that there was an alleged withdrawal of consent during sexual activity that was ignored by Assange?

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  23. Bob R (1,393 comments) says:

    ***Al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies are still a threat to the West and to countries like India. I don’t care one bit for liberal values, and I’m opposed to spreading democracy by force. But I do think there is a case to be made from a realist pov that groups intent on using global terrorism must be stopped. And the best way to stop terrorists is to kill them.***

    Not true. The best way is to stay out of their countries and to prevent Muslim immigration into Western countries.

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  24. Scott Chris (6,177 comments) says:

    Assange is in the same mould as Cameron Slater IMO. I don’t think either of them are really motivated by politics.

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  25. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “Not true. The best way is to stay out of their countries and to prevent Muslim immigration into Western countries.”

    I certainly agree with an end to Muslim immigration to the West. As to “staying out of their countries” you may be right, but that horse has bolted, and in the meantime Al-Qaeda and related groups must be stopped. They will not discontinue their campaigns even if the Western nations were to cease having anything to do with the Muslim world. Remember that one of the reasons bin Laden cited for attacking the West was the 15th century reconquering of Spain. I don’t think anything we do is going to satisfy them, short of total capitulation, which, not being a metrosexual limp wristed leftie, I’m not in favour of.

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  26. Weihana (4,607 comments) says:

    “and the best way to stop terrorists is to kill them.”

    Given that the terrorists killed themselves by flying planes into buildings I find it hard to believe that death is much of a deterrant.

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  27. gump (1,664 comments) says:

    Ed Snack said:

    Ah, Ross, and Gump, not a lot to do with GWB or even “Scooter” Libby.

    ————

    Thank-you for the correction. I enjoyed your well written and informative post.

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  28. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    I’m with DPF. Assange isn’t a rapist.

    Foolish beyond measure, yep. Rapist, nup.

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  29. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    Ah yes, “Plamegate”. Always a good laugh to hear how Bush outed someone who’s supposedly secret identity was already published in “Who’s Who”.

    But also sobering at just how easy it is for the left to paint themselves as a victim when in fact they are the aggressor.

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  30. idb (2 comments) says:

    “Given that the terrorists killed themselves by flying planes into buildings I find it hard to believe that death is much of a deterrant.”
    Deterrence isn’t necessary if they’re dead.

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

    # gump (72) Says:
    September 20th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Ed Snack said:

    Ah, Ross, and Gump, not a lot to do with GWB or even “Scooter” Libby.

    ————

    Thank-you for the correction. I enjoyed your well written and informative post.

    Problem is Gump, our Ed has a habit of inserting his ideological biases, which results in non-facts. Look at this:

    Saddam Hussein trying to obtain Uranium ore. He reported (falsely, deliberately so) that Saddam made no such attempt.

    You need to be careful of Ed’s “facts.” Since we now know that Saddam did not have a WMD programme, why would he want to import uranium? In fact, we also now know that Wilson’s (Plame’s hubby) report was acccurate. you would have to ask Ed why he clings to the discredited justification for yet another US orchestrated orgy of killing “others.”

    I think eventually, when the protagonists are no longer with us, we will find Dick Cheney and Karl Rove’s fingerprints all over this one. The rest are just the fall guys.

    But that’s just my opinion.

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  32. mikenmild (11,795 comments) says:

    Luc

    I thought the deal with the Niger yellowcake was that although the Iraqis had made some attempt, there was never any likelihood of them achieving a supply from Niger. Wilson confirmed this, but his report was willfully misinterpreted and used as a basis of GWB’s assertion. When Wilson wrote about this, his wife was ‘outed’ by the administration.

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