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Assange: transparency is 'not for individuals'

AFP/The Local · 24 Dec 2010, 12:03

Published: 24 Dec 2010 12:03 GMT+01:00

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Speaking by telephone from Britain to Brazil's Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, Assange accused Britain's The Guardian newspaper of being manipulated and improperly making public details of the case.

Assange said The Guardian's reporter "chosen to receive the information (about the rape allegations) was a known critic of our organization.

"The Guardian didn't ask why these documents were made available before a court hearing. What were the motives? These are questions that haven't been answered," Assange told the daily.

A week ago, The Guardian printed details of the Swedish rape and sexual molestation inquiry against Assange, saying it had access to documents relating to the case. It denied allegations made by Assange elsewhere that it had selectively published sections of the documents.

Assange argued that he and other individuals should not be held to the same standard his whistleblowing website leveled at governments and officials whose secrets WikiLeaks is revealing.

"Transparency is for governments. Not for individuals. The aim of revealing information about powerful people is to make them responsible. When a government gives legal material to a newspaper to prejudice someone, that is an abuse," he said in the interview, published in Portuguese.

AFP inquiries to Estado de Sao Paulo and to WikiLeaks about the interview were not immediately answered.

The Guardian is one of several newspapers around the world working with WikiLeaks to publish thousands of US diplomatic cables revealing embarrassing interactions and observations by US embassy staff and the US State Department.

In his interview with Estado de Sao Paulo, Assange said US government actions against him since WikiLeaks started publishing the US diplomatic cables "was akin to the McCarthyist period," when supposed Communist sympathizers were hounded by US officials in the 1950s.

He also said the United States was applying pressure "on allied countries such as Australia, Britain and Sweden to spy on me and prosecute me."

Story continues below…

Assange said WikiLeaks was poised to reveal further information "that would have a big political impact on the US government and other governments." As in other interviews he has made, he declined to elaborate.

There were also "thousands and thousands" of other documents, including "on banks in Switzerland, Iceland, the Cayman Islands, the United States and Britain" in WikiLeaks's possession, he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:53 December 24, 2010 by Ken114
Seems that transparency is not near as much fun when you are the subject
13:10 December 24, 2010 by Swedesmith
Modern twist on an old saying: Many who live in glass condom(inium) shouldn't throw stones.
13:12 December 24, 2010 by amirhosein
The day a news reporter can write an unbiased article on The Local is far from today.
13:38 December 24, 2010 by Luckystrike
The Local has been biased against Wikileaks and JA since the start...Not suprising though, seeing as they are best friends with Stockholm US embassy officals.
14:35 December 24, 2010 by teslar
Pot, kettle.... that is all.

And Trow, whistleblowers have existed before wikileaks and they will exist after wikileaks. Look back to exposures of corrupt government practices, how many of those were thanks to wikileaks? Assange may believe he is something special but he isn't. I fully agree that a safe outlet for whistleblowers is a necessity in our world and I appreciate that wikileaks used to be that. But Assange is in a personal vendetta against the US government, which goes against the entire point of being unbiased.

At the end of the day. whistleblowers = good. Assange deserves a medal for facilitating this but a punch in the face for developing delusions of grandeur and turning the system into a personal vendetta machine. And complaining about receiving a taste of his own medicine is just ludicrous. He is not a private individual; he is the public face of a large, politically important organisation. Of course the world deserves to know what he is up to.
14:49 December 24, 2010 by landofthesheeple
What Next,

Looking at the picture posted above it looks like a possible cover shot for the next Time Magazine issue for "Man of The Year".

Stranger things have happened albeit. lol
14:53 December 24, 2010 by procrustes
Are people really so dense that they cannot see the massive difference between institutions of PUBLIC trust and PRIVATE individuals?

For the record, I believe all this scandal magazine crap should be illegal. I don't buy that because someone is famous they do not have a right to privacy.

The recent expose about Sweden's King and Queen are despicable, and those who enjoy reading that sort of stuff are morally flawed. (As an aside, I believe that embarrassment of the King is perpetrated by radical feminist who want Victoria as Monarch now.)
15:29 December 24, 2010 by sendia
you are a powerful individual too Mr. Assange.
15:46 December 24, 2010 by Borilla
Q. What is the most dangerous place in the world?

A. Standing between Julian Assange and a microphone.

What a terrible situation. The facts are released and Assange and his flacks can no longer spin things any way they want. The question before the Swedish court is not whether Assange should or should not have released information that threatens the reputation and even the life of government employees,diplomats and private citizens. The question is whether he is guilty of rape under Swedish law. The world is entitled to know the facts of that charge, not what Assange and his minions want to hide. To quote an old saying:" What is good for the goose is good for the gander."
15:59 December 24, 2010 by dwb5555
Many people don't think that as the government has power over what happens in our lives, so do powerful individuals. So if you believe in transparency for one why not the other. As for wikileaks, they have continue to hide information about its donors and the people who work for them. If these people want to be hero as they claim they would come out. Now that would be transparency.
16:52 December 24, 2010 by Jan M
Let's not confuse Julian's negligible qualities as a human being with the role of Wikileaks in releasing documents. In fact soon we'll be able to separate the two. Openleaks will go on leaking and then Julian can be dealt with as the disrespectful piece of attention-seeking scum he really is. You guys won't need to worry about the freedom of information thing. It'll go on without him.

18:12 December 24, 2010 by procrustes
"If you believe in transparency for one why not the other."

Privacy is essential for people to have a life. Public institutions owned/controlled by the public should not have that kind of privacy with respect to those it serves. There are not one and the same.

And as far as Mr. Assange is concerned, I'm sure if the truth is ever allowed out, there will be two very ashamed women and an embarrassed Swedish public. I wonder how those two women feel about what has happened to Mr. Assange? I hope they're ashamed. I wonder how they will feel if physical harm comes to him?

This is a shameful business all around. The primary reason individual need privacy is because people love to judge others, and is the thing people are least able to do fairly--that's why countries have elaborate justice systems. When people judge unfairly, and they almost always do, harm is done.
18:13 December 24, 2010 by saraswed
he choose not to answer any question on the rape/molestation or whatever its called on BBC interview.he called them private issues .this guy likes talking on TV to make himself look good but its not working.he isn't even good enough to publish anything about someone else.maybe another person should.

why should i trust an organization marred with secret agenda and not able to answer private question.founder who isn't responsible in my definition of a man almost 40.I GUESS he will not release anything on UK while there.shame .

before people start attacking me its my opinion better say yours and leave me out of it period .god jul allihopa
18:59 December 24, 2010 by procrustes

How are you going to feel if harm comes to him? Sounds like you're already suffering with it.

When one is charged with breaking the law, one is STUPID to opine on the charges or offer any king of public defense. He has to wait for his day in court.

I fear this will end up tragically for Mr. Assange and the two women who "reported" him.
19:13 December 24, 2010 by sgt_doom
Speaking of transparency, I thought attorney Thomas Bodstrom, over in the USA with his family right now, (partner in the law firm of Borgstrom & Bodstrom, involved in a political-bankster vendetta against Julian Assange of Wikileaks) was a married man?

Then why was he at this speed dating event with someone other than Mrs. Bodstrom?

19:32 December 24, 2010 by GLO
HA! Ha! Ho! Ho! Jerks Revenge.... Ha! Ha!.....
19:39 December 24, 2010 by saraswed

for me why should anyone attack him.what for ?if he actually raped any of those girls.its even more worst for him what am saying is.he is not the right one to do what ever he is doing.he is neither an angel.he should fasten the process and stop refusing extradition .he needs to confirm what he actually did like he is exposing what other people did.what is the difference. why is assange different here
22:32 December 24, 2010 by JoeSwede
What was Assange trying to do with mindless release of all the documents?

Maybe I could see releasing some documents that speak to a particular issue but wholesale release of diplomatic emails makes little sense. What comes around goes around....
23:28 December 24, 2010 by redfish
But there are individuals working in government, trying to do their jobs. And releasing leaks about them can be a way of smearing them for political purposes.

Is Assange upset at the government or individuals in government?

The government has to be transparent, but there are already legal procedures for this. Its called the Freedom of Information Act. The government is required to give up internal documents unless it can make a case in court that its within the interests of national security to keep them private. In these cases, court justices will be privy to the information, and the executive branch held to scrutiny.

If the Freedom of Information Act needs more provisions to aid whistleblowing, we should add them. Assange doesn't care about proper procedures though.

Another example is when WikiLeaks released documents from a corporation that were currently being examined in a court case, because the judge decreed they not be released to the press.
00:39 December 25, 2010 by procrustes

He is following the advice of his lawyers. He can say nothing now that will change anyone's minds--that can only happen through due legal process. I'm guessing that he's fighting extradition to Sweden because he's had a taste of their "peculiar" legal system. One prosecutor drops the charges against him out of hand, but then as I understand it, the Justice Minister (a radical feminist) pressured another prosecutor to reinstate the changes AFTER he had been told he was free to go. Then they issue a fugitive warrant for his arrest. Would you want to trust your freedom to that system?

The other people he is exposing are ELECTED officials, government employees or people who have a duty to the public--their actions need to be transparent. He is a journalist, not a public employee. Individuals must have a private life or you will see the total breakdown of society. If everyone knew how everyone lived their private lives I promise you extremists, those who are convinced they have the "truth" would be lynching people right and left.

One other thing. He had not been charged with anything. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. And, please be careful using the world "rape". What is alleged to have happened is not even close to what people think when they hear that word. Describing what went on as rape demeans the real tragedy of raped and abused women. They have a hard enough time getting the support they deserve as it is. Misapplication of that powerful word makes their plight even worse.

These two women have started a firestorm that blew completely out their control. As I wrote before, do not make judgments until all the facts come out, if they are allowed to come out.

Finally, there is nothing to stop Swedish officials from flying to England to interview him. They're not serious. They appear to have gotten what they wanted, to discredit him. However, what they have really done is publicized and focused the public's opinion that leaks about wrongdoing by institutions of public trust is right, proper and necessary.
03:40 December 25, 2010 by för30årseden
Assange wanted to decide himself what the rights of privacy are. He does not think that democratic governments should be allowed to do that. And he does not believe that democratic governments should be allowed to protect themselves from autocrats and fanatics. I seriously doubt that he consciously sympathizes with autocrats, but I'm sure that he sympathizes with fanatics.

He doesn't believe that anyone else should make up the rules but Julian Assange and someone else decided to make up the rules for him -- boo! hoo! He's a self-righteous whining twerp!
05:06 December 25, 2010 by Nomark
Why must an elected government be transparent about everything it does ? As part of its mandate an elected government gets to set the rules regarding disclosure, with certain information remaining classified. If it was the will of the people that, eg, diplomatic cables become routinely available for all to see then it would be an election issue. I must have missed it but I don't recall freedom of information, to the extent envisioned by JA, being an issue in any democractic country. At best JA is anticipating what he thinks is good for people rather than them getting what they voted for (they in fact get the opposite of what they voted for which is a set of governments committed to maintaining the information status quo). If information is to be released (except in specific whistle-blowing cases) it should be as a result of statute and not due to the actions of an autocratic individual who thinks he knows best.

Regarding the rape allegations being a private matter, this argument doesn't wash. JA and his legal team have long associated it with a conspiracy - they were the ones who made it part of the Wikileaks issue. If they had kept to a very simple "this is a private matter and I am (a) not even charged and (b) 100% innocent" line rather than using language such as "honey trap" and hinting at a conspiracy then I would have sympathy for his position. However, thanks to him, this is a wikileaks issue and therefore one of general interest.

It is ironic that the man who cries loudest for freedom of information is most content operating in the shadows (hacking, wikileaks etc) . Its a pity that he can't see that governments are themselves made of individuals and that government behaviour is simply human nature writ large. Like many intellectuals (who usually are not particularly intelligent individuals) he prescribes that others must conduct themselves to a standard which he himself is unable to match. History books are littered with instances of such people and their badly thought through schemes - he should start with "Intellectuals" by Paul Johnson.
06:52 December 25, 2010 by Nomark
Maybe JA should reflect on the privacy of innocent Afghans whose lives are now at risk owing to the release of non-redacted documents. Or perhaps that Algerian dissident he exposed...
11:45 December 25, 2010 by johnny1939
Iam not a fan of Assange as a person but I am grateful to him for leaking the information. At least he has made people sit up and notice what is going on and what fools some countries are making of the rest of us. Still the entire saga is USA's fault for being so sloppy w/ their housekeeping. I would very much like to know what actually is happening to pvt. Manning and how he is being treated. I wonder if Amnesty can look into this?

Swedish "rape" laws suck. I am swedish and I never eralized how weird the are. I am giving up sex w/ strangers
18:41 December 25, 2010 by wxman
This POS can dish it out, but he can't stomach it himself. Typical hypocrite.
19:42 December 25, 2010 by Luuke
What nut jobs in Sweden...A laughin stock
20:38 December 25, 2010 by Tomexpat
These Justice officials, Marianne Ny and Barbara Ask, seem like such puritanical radical feminists. They appear to be misusing the Swedish justice system to further their own radical political agendas. How do people in Sweden feel about this? IS THERE ANY HOPE THESE RADICALS COULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE?

I am interested in relocating to Sweden, but I don't want to come if there are these radical feminist laws and radical feminists in charge of everything over there. I will move somewhere else. Anyone presently living in Sweden have any thoughts?
21:03 December 25, 2010 by Nomark
Tom - if consent was given for protected sex and he chose to have unprotected sex without the other party's knowledge then this appears to be illegal (no great surprise, it exposes both parties to a health risk). *If* there is evidence that this was the case here, then why shouldn't it be pursued ?

You mention Ask's and Ny's radical political agenda. Can you please elucidate and give some (reliable) sources for these agenda and how the JA case is seen to further them ? At present your post comes over as rehashed sloganeering (and I think there's been enough of that, from both sides). Not having met either person or studied closely their work I'm unable to form a sensible opinion.

There is a lot of over-the-top feminism in this country, as illustrated by the award-winning SVT documentary Könskriget. However, I'd like to see evidence that the JA case isn't the result of a genuine complaint and subsequent initial inquiry which suggested that a law could have been broken. We should also bear in mind that JA is simply wanted the questioning i.e. he hasn't even been charged. Much of the media circus could have been avoided by him returning to Sweden (and avoiding talking about conspiracy theories). He (like all of us) can't expect the justice system to dance to his tune and be interviewed at a time and place of his choosing. The law can sometimes be an ass but some people can also be (criminal) asses as well.
21:21 December 25, 2010 by Luuke
Nomark...U make 0% sense ....read yr first para and tell me how interpol has become trivial ....Stop makin excuses for probably livin in Sweden ....What a nu7j08
21:31 December 25, 2010 by Nomark
Luuke - I have no idea what you're talking about and I suspect you don't either. However, it may be amusing if you try to explain further what it is you're whinging about. Please do.
03:41 December 26, 2010 by för30årseden
The real Wikileaks scandal is that it has exposed no scandals. A few interesting tidbits perhaps, but there is nothing here to see. No dastardly plots have been revealed. It's most just U.S. diplomats having conversations with foreigners and expressing surprise and confusion over how many really corrupt, crazy people the world is full of.

The U.S. Government could save a lot of money by closing all of its embassies and communicating with foreign governments by phone and e-mail. If they wanted to read about how corrupt and confusing the rest of the world is -- they could get a newspaper subscription. No one needs an embassy to know that Russia is run by a kleptocracy and Sweden has confusing rape laws written by militant feminists.
05:28 December 26, 2010 by redfish

Governments need to at least be transparent enough that the citizens know with certainty that the government officials are acting within their lawful powers.

But, like I pointed out, Western democracies already have such rights established by law, and if there's an issue in dispute where revealing information might threaten national security or make it impossible to conduct diplomatic discussions, then its always possible for it to go to court, where a judge will decide.

Julian Assange is acting like he's in a time warp to the 50s and there's no such thing as the Freedom of Information Act. And if you read his essays, he's very conspiratorial, he has a very paranoid view of government.
06:37 December 26, 2010 by Nomark

I wholly agree that governments need to be sufficiently transparent. As you point out, FoI legislation (including whistle blower protection) exist in many countries. If JA wants more then it is up to him to make the case for the law to be changed. However, he seems to prefer his shadowy activities rather than participating in the democratic process.

I've read his essays and his earlier blog. He comes over, curiously, as a misanthropic demagogue.
13:15 December 26, 2010 by Rebel
Men and women both need to refuse to have sex with radical feminist Swedish women!
13:35 December 26, 2010 by Jezen

Can you not see further than your own nose? We all know the current general American attitude toward JA. If they had the opportunity, they would happily have him assassinated. It is obviously in JA's best interest to save his own skin.

Anyone with half a brain can see through this hopelessly transparent and predictable government scheme of discrediting the head of a whistle-blowing organisation in pursuit of maintaining order and control over the people. This new freedom of information provides opportunity for a power struggle, which is obviously not in the governments' best interest.

Any blind man can see that the "rape" allegations made about JA are an unjust farce. Is B. Ask furthering a political agenda? Well it couldn't possibly be that way, could it? She has nothing to gain, it would seem. Oh, bear in mind that some people do succumb to the pressure instated by Washington.
14:12 December 26, 2010 by Nomark
@Jezen - implying someone is stupid/blind because they don't agree with you or demand evidence is not an argument. Its much more the absence of an argument.
14:22 December 26, 2010 by Nomark
Trowbridge - how about attacking the argument rather than the person ?
14:32 December 26, 2010 by mojofat

"We all know the current general American attitude toward JA. If they had the opportunity, they would happily have him assassinated."

You're referring to perhaps the general conservative attitude, but the average attitude? Unlikely. Wikileaks has a great amount of support from many americans, including Michael Moore who posted a part of his bail.

"Anyone with half a brain can see through this hopelessly transparent and predictable government scheme of discrediting the head of a whistle-blowing organisation in pursuit of maintaining order and control over the people."

...and then...

"Any blind man can see that the "rape" allegations made about JA are an unjust farce."

If it's so obvious then where is the actual proof? Even Assange has publicly stated that the it was unlikely a government conspiracy against him. So, what is it you know that he and his legal team does not?
14:36 December 26, 2010 by Jezen

My retort was that the reasoning behind JA's "shadowy" behaviour is so obvious that it doesn't need to be explained or questioned.
14:45 December 26, 2010 by Nomark

On the contrary, there is much that he can and should explain which have nothing to do with his any fears (grounded or ungrounded) regarding security. For example, he refused to detail the policy implemented to protect innocent people who may be exposed in the leaked document. This (failed) policy has put people's lives at risk. Why can't he explain the methodology he used ?
14:48 December 26, 2010 by Jezen

Michael Moore was vocal about his feelings towards whether or not the "rape" charges had anything to do with Wikileaks. I don't believe it is normal behaviour for charges to be thrown out by one prosecutor and then reinstated by another.
15:19 December 26, 2010 by freepress
Where can we find the amount thus far spent by the Swedish governement to persue Assange?
16:55 December 26, 2010 by j joy
Rose Mugabe is suing a large Independent newspaper in Zimbabwe, for $5 Million dollars. The newspaper used Wikileaks cables to accuse Mugabe of being involved in the illegal diamond trade. Sweden is not the only country who will be trying to get their hands on Assange.
16:55 December 26, 2010 by Nomark

My arguments on this thread are straightforward and summarised below. Its not my fault that you're so busy with your utterly ridiculous belief that I'm a SIS agent that you miss them..

(1) My description of JA - An opinion based on his blog and his essays.and mentioned in response to a poster who asked if I had read his writings.

(2) The redaction policy - what is it ? Its simply not good enough he comes up with his own policy and this is kept secret. Lives are at stake - he is demanding openness of others supposedly to protect lives. Why does he keep his own stuff secret ? Is it that he didn't do a rigorous job and behaved in a cavalier way with other people's lives ?

(3) Why does JA go against the democratic process ? If the aim is full government openness then this can only be achieved by statute not by occasional leak At present, none of the governing Western parties, which have been given an electoral mandate by popular vote, support JA's idea of openness,. If he wants universal openness then he should be prepared to do it by statute and the democratic process i.e. why aren't JA and his supporters campaigning ?

Try not to twist the above too much out of context.
18:08 December 26, 2010 by Nomark
@Trowbridge: Regarding Johnson's book, you wrote: "Thinkers like Rousseau, Marx, Bertram Russell, Chomsky and some others who Johnson detests represent the sum and substance of what intellectuals have contributed to Western thought in the modern age?"

Do you have a problem with someone looking critically at their output ? Be sure you're not suffering from sacred cow syndrome. As Johnson pointed out, much of the misery of the 20th century could have been avoided had Marx bothered to actually visit factories and the working class and and had not restricted himself to his intellectual "theories" of the working class which bear no relation to the way things really are. There is a powerful lesson there for you Trowbridge - most theories are rubbish and non-cherry picked experimental data are always needed if one wishes to build a theory which describes nature,society etc.
18:17 December 26, 2010 by redfish

Despite what some people are saying, if Assange were ever extradited to the US it would be difficult to convict him. He'd be tried in a civilian court, and the US court system is very friendly towards free speech. They'd consider him equivalent to a journalist.

If there was no set up to get Assange extradited (or no threat of a charge were he extradited), he could have just complied with the whole process; the girls tell their story, he tells his. It would be his word versus theirs, and Assange would have been released.

The rape allegations definitely look like a farce, but a farce concocted by these women and not by the US govt.
19:35 December 26, 2010 by Jezen

The problem is, throughout history it is rather well documented that journalists that work with such controversial material have in many cases been dealt with outside of the law.

It is difficult to say who concocted the farce of allegations, but they key factor in this case is motive. Consider how these allegations might benefit two relatively normal women, and compare this with how the allegations would benefit the Swedish government and their relationship with the US.
19:36 December 26, 2010 by redfish
>>Mr Assange regards himself as a victim of radicalism. "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism," he said. "I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism."

20:32 December 26, 2010 by Nomark
Can someone please tell me the methodology used for the selection and redaction of documents to try to protect innocent parties from being exposed ? JA refuses to answer this question. There are reasons to believe he has been cavalier with other people's lives. For example, one Wikileaks volunteer was very concerned:

' "The release date which was established was completely unrealistic," says 25-year-old Herbert Snorrason, an Icelandic university student who until recently helped manage WikiLeaks' secure chat room. "We found out that the level of redactions performed on the Afghanistan documents was not sufficient. I announced that if the next batch did not receive full attention, I would not be willing to cooperate." '

The lives of innocent people are at stake. What went on ? Does anybody here know ? So many people here give their unqualified support to this organisation and yet seem to know so little (or even care) about how decisions are made and innocent lives protected/put at risk. The (anyway baloney) argument about "secrecy for security" can't apply here - all I want to know is the methodology used for deciding which documents to put out. I'd like to be reassured that sufficient care was taken such that someone doesn't get dragged out of their bed in Kabul and shot.

Sorry if this is one of these "difficult questions" you complain about Trowbridge. However, it gets to the heart of a major issue of concern: who watches the world's self-appointed watchdog ?
01:20 December 27, 2010 by Jan M
If Julian were locked up or anything happened to him of course the activities of Wkileaks would continue. This is what makes any conspiracy theory so ridiculous. Everybody knows that Wikileaks' activities would not cease simply by targeting an individual. That being so why would such an individual step behind a conspiracy plot to fight against returning to a country in which he claims he has committed no crime? If he is innocent he has a particularly stupid way of saying it. My view is that this is an example of the power of the internet. It has allowed a social misanthrope to create a persona far larger than his character is able to sustain. For those who have seen interviews by him do you see an eloquent white knight fighting for justice or an emotionally scarred self-obsessive using the internet and us as convenient vehicles to make himself feel important? If he is a hero and that's the best we can do God help us. Pathetic.
02:41 December 27, 2010 by chokes
Perth, Australia: Lloyd Rayney charged with Murder & Bailed for AUD$250,000 (AUD$1 = USD$0.99)

Alabama, USA: Gabe Watson charged with Murder & Bailed for USD$100,000

London, UK: Julian Assange NOT CHARGED & Bailed for GBP240,000 (=@ USD$370,000)

You better pray Marianne Ny doesn't want to ask you a few questions.

So much for The Swedish & British Justice Systems.

Meanwhile, still no charges from the US Govt about WikiLeaks "illegal" activities.

Their electron microscope still hasn't found where a law has been broken by the messenger.
03:09 December 27, 2010 by redfish

Assange fled justice, that's why his bail amount was so high. Fleeing justice is a crime in itself, you get several years in jail for that alone. The less you work with the system, the less leeway you get. Don't make the issue so complicated.
03:32 December 27, 2010 by Nomark

I managed to to pick up the following from your post which came close to addressing the quesion I asked:

"There are no innocents, fighting these wars, as Assange and Wikileaks have well documented, only the collateral damage caused to innocent people by all sides in the conflicts."

Don't be so ridiculous. Of course there are innocents. What about the Algerian dissident exposed by Wikileaks ? Its easy to write sweeping statements like yours from the comfort of a cozy western society. Its also naive and disrespectful to those who are exposed. I find it ironic that nobody is able to answer the question I posed : i.e. how were the documents redacted - was the process done carefully and rigorously to avoid loss of life ? Its much easier to ignore that one, attack me or write rubbish about there being no victims. This is weak. The armchair warriors seem not to want to admit their favourite cause has any responsibility for anything.
04:55 December 27, 2010 by chokes

Assange did not flee "justice". Check the timetable of events. He obtained permission to leave Sweden and made his whereabouts know to the British Police in the UK. Subsequently, Ny issued the warrant.

You might also want to check the reference to the conduct of the Swedes by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression on 21 December.


fact are inconvenient things . .
06:35 December 27, 2010 by redfish

I don't know the time table, but I know he's still refusing to return to Sweden, so it makes the same difference in the end in so far as anyone is concerned.

I also expected it to be very easy for Assange to find someone to pay his bail, and I would guess the judge expected it also, so I still don't see where any off motives come into play.
07:37 December 27, 2010 by Mad Mac
This is not the first time in recent years that the Guardian has strayed from its long established role of championing civil rights and resistance to the American Empire and its collaborators in Europe.

Journalists, as Julian Assange knows very well, understand what they are doing, and some of them, unlike Mr Assange, are blatantly for sale. Either the Guardian's editors are guilty of a serious lapse in vigilance (not their first!), or they too had their price - and it seems that no price is too high for the American Empire to pay in its campaign to persecute someone who has blown a much needed whistle on their international regime of violence and corruption in furtherance of the interests of the US ruling class.
07:40 December 27, 2010 by Rick Methven

If I you where to be extradited to another country to 'answer questions' about a possible crime that you had not been accused of ,but when you got to that country you would be held incommunicado, in isolation and without access to your lawyer, would you go freely?
07:52 December 27, 2010 by Tomexpat

"if consent was given for protected sex and he chose to have unprotected sex without the other party's knowledge then this appears to be illegal (no great surprise, it exposes both parties to a health risk). If there is evidence that this was the case here, then why shouldn't it be pursued ?"

How does a guy have unprotected sex without the "other party's" knowledge?

A woman can easily tell if a guy is wearing a condom. Are we to believe they completed having sex and then she noticed there was no condom afterward? She would have seen, or felt, there was a condom. Adult women have brains and senses. I don't buy the "I only consented to protected sex and you have unprotected sex with me because I didn't know until after that you were unprotected." The allegation is completely absurd.

What are you trying to prove Nomark? With all that is going on in the world, this is what you, Nomark, are concerned with? JA had sex with some female and she said that she only wanted to have protected sex, and they had unprotected sex, and she didn't know they had unprotected sex because she temporarily went into a coma, so she wants to file criminal charges even though she was there and could see what was happening and was overjoyed about having sex with him based on her bragging about it with her friends afterwards - and then bragging to the world by Twitter??? Makes no sense.

I believe you have some other agenda. The sex allegations are a pretext to try to discredit Assange through the sensational charge of sex crimes and rape.

I would also like to point out that Assange is NOT a fugitive from justice as you wrongly stated. He was given permission by the authorities to leave Sweden in September and did so LAWFULLY. I don't blame him for CONTESTING the Swedish warrant to return for questioning. He has a legal right to do so. Ask the British courts. If you're from Sweden, and you are any indication of the place, then its obvious there is a constituency there that is willing to act in BAD FAITH to prosecute people criminally in order to further some political agenda. This is not a good sign for a supposedly democratic country.

On the other hand, these events could be a good thing. If the rest of the populace of Sweden is as mean-spirited as you appear to be, it's a good thing that this has come to light, because it will put fair minded people on notice of this and save them the trouble of going to the place and getting caught up in similar nonsense.
08:17 December 27, 2010 by redfish

He'd have the same right to be a seek asylum in the UK if he did flee. In either case the UK takes their responsibility in sorting out the matter seriously. I was just responding to the issue of whether the bail was set unreasonably high.

@Rick: Assange doesn't have a right to an attorney in the Swedish system? @Tomexpat: His case can't be appealed to a higher court in the Swedish system if it turns out the judge and prosecutors are corrupt?
09:01 December 27, 2010 by Nomark

Its not always the case that a woman can tell if a condom is being used, as many women find out to their cost, eg http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index...12091355AAN9ngj .

Regarding my "motives", I'm simply trying to find out what happened, like everyone else. If someone, like you, makes an assertion and smear against people I would rather like that person to back it all up with evidence. This would be beneficial for everyone and this you haven't done, despite my request. Its ironic that you smear people you know little of and yet you call me mean-spirited :).

Regarding you pointing out that JA is not a fugitive, I assume that this isn't a response to my post ? Your post is directed to me (and replete with ad hominem remarks) so mine is a fair comment. This would then be a strawman argument since I never said or implied anything of the sort. Strawman arguments, like ad hominem attacks, are weak and intellectually dishonest ways to argue anything.
09:14 December 27, 2010 by Rick Methven
@redfish Assange doesn't have a right to an attorney in the Swedish system?

he has a Swedish lawyer but the prosecutor Ny has requested he be sent to Sweden in handcuffs and held incommunicado , without access to his lawyer. A bit of a strange way to treat someone who has not been charged with any crime in a democratic country. More like the behaviour of the banana republics set up by the USA
22:18 December 27, 2010 by Tomexpat

I read the supposed source for your claim that women are unaware of whether a guy is wearing a condom. There is nothing of the sort at the link.

What are you trying to prove Nomark?

Why hasn't it been reported that accuser #1, Anna Ardin, took a trophy photo of Assange? What would have happened if a man, such as Assange, took a trophy photo of a woman naked?

Here is my source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/wikileaks/wikileaks-founder-baffled-by-sex-assault-claims/story-fn775xjq-1225976459286

From all the facts in the public domain, I don't see how any fair minded person can conclude anything other than these two women made up these charges for some reason - either petty revenge or the possibility of trying to cash in by going to the tabloid press. Probably a combination of both.

Why would any man who has the ability to go elsewhere to to Sweden? The place seems like a nightmare for any guy as apparently it has been taken over by radical feminists.

Hopefully, now the place has been exposed and men will know to stay away from the place.
03:18 December 28, 2010 by Nomark
@Tom - the link was a question written by a girl who didn't know if a condom was used or not. Read it carefully.

Regarding the rest of the stuff, newspapers write cr*p all the time. Sometimes things are exaggerated, sometimes things are planted, sometimes the truth is written, sometimes things are made up. I have no idea if the JA stuff you cite is true or not, and neither do you. Simply believing the bits that fit your theory and disregarding the rest is not the way to go forward. That's why we tend to use a justice system in which evidence is put forward and prosecution and defence lawyers make arguments. If he has no case to answer then it will be thrown out of court assuming it even gets there. Sweden is not a banana republic although lots of excitable people would like to believe otherwise.

I wouldn't presume to be an expert on another country's justice system and society based on a couple of newspaper reports on a controversial case in which incomplete information is available.

Furthermore, unlike you, I wouldn't violate the anonymity of someone who makes an accusation of sexual assault unless I *knew* that her story is invented. You know little about this case though you pretend otherwise.
16:13 December 28, 2010 by Tomexpat

"I have no idea if the JA stuff you cite is true or not, and neither do you."

Wrong. You have no idea whether the ACCUSATIONS are true...because there is no proof. The photographs, videotapes, and Tweets on the internet showing exculpatory evidence are indisputable. The camera doesn't lie. Just the videotapes and Tweets alone prove a time line and true intentions of the accusers to make their claims laughable. Only prejudiced people refuse to accept the plain facts. You are presuming guilt when the opposite approach is the standard in every bona fide justice system and civilized culture...which Sweden is apparently not.

Anybody who makes accusations, especially ones where the evidence shows them to be false, should be exposed, and exposed as far and widely as possible. You're just ignorant and unable to think beyond hysterics.

This case indicates plainly the major problems in the Swedish "justice" system. Stop burying your head in the sand like an ostrich. I didn't make the Swedish justice officials take such unjustified actions, such as filing for an Interpol "Red Alert" for a person who is only wanted for questioning, when they already answered questions and were given permission to leave the country. And that is just one example. Selectivel leaking the materital is another.

My respect for Sweden has plummeted. If the country can't uphold basic principles of justice, a person would be a fool to spend meaningful time there. The United States offers better civil rights protections...and that's saying something!

BTW, true victims of rape don't take "Trophy" photos of their rapists, throw parties for them where they invite all their friends, and put Tweets on the internet bragging about their friendship with the "rapists". People who believe the earth is flat have a more open mind. At least they can point to the horizon and say it is flat. There is NOTHING in this case that independently supports the claims of the accusers and their motivations for making the false claims are well documented. Including the publication of a guide entitled "7-Step Guide to Getting Revenge on Cheating Lovers" which was published on accuser #1's own website which I have read personally. Da-Nile ain't just a river in Egypt pal.
19:10 December 28, 2010 by buckrogersday
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
04:00 December 29, 2010 by Nomark
Tom - writing in upper case doesn't strengthen your argument. As I mentioned above, you know little about this case, only the stuff you pick up in the newspapers. You have no way of knowing if this is true or not or if it represents a balanced view of the case. However, you still carry on as if you do. Can you please show your sources, verify their reliability and show how any other information you may be missing isn't relevant for your argument ? That last bit is really important btw - its the difference between a judicial system, however imperfect, developing a case in advance of a possible public trial in which evidence is put forward which can be disputed by the defence, and Tomexpat getting excited with snippets of information he gleaned from the web.

Also, I note you you no longer push your silly argument about women being aware if a condom is used - this is welcome but also a little strange since you were so persistent earlier . What happened ? I wonder if there is anything else you are persistent about which is flawed - hence my request above for a full evidence base ? Furthermore, I see on a related thread that you rant that "other people, particularly men, are so insistent that Assange is a "rapist"?". Can you name some men who are insistent that he is a "rapist" ?
13:19 December 29, 2010 by Nomark
@Trowbridge - don't take yourself, me or this web forum too seriously.

BTW asking someone to show and verify sources is far from being a strawman argument.
13:58 December 29, 2010 by Nomark
@Trowbridge - can you explain why asking people to back up their statemetns is not promoting further understanding ? If the only responses I get are ad hominem attacks then this says an awful lot about the factual basis underpinning their assertions.

Why do you think that, eg, MI6, would have an agent writing in the discussion session of the Local ?

I refer back to my earlier post: don't take yourself, me or this site too seriously.
14:26 December 29, 2010 by Nomark

My questions are perfectly reasonable. For example:

(a) What was the methdology for redaction of the leaked documents ?

This is very important since innocent lives have been put at risk.

(b) Why believe that the two women who complained about JA are not genuine complainants who feel they have been victims of a crime ?

If someone is going to spread sh*t about women who have alleged sexual assault then they should have something a bit more than web tittle-tattle to go on.

(c) What is the evidence behind your various conspiracy theories ?

These questions are never answered though it is interesting to see how you avoid answering them.
18:01 December 29, 2010 by Nomark

If a poster says that X=Y or writes sh*t about people they don't know it is not unfair to ask them to show supporting evidence.

I also know very little about Assanger's accusers which is why I don't join in the universal condemnation of them. It is not unfair to demand that those who join the mob show the evidence which led them there.

What type of evidence do I expect ? The type of evidence that managed to convince the poster in question. If that evidence is weak/biased etc. then that says a lot.

Regarding your theories, please look at any of our recent discussions. An example is the length of time for the JA case to proceed compared to some other case you were banging on about. You made your famed declaratory statement and I asked you to show that you had taken all relevant factors into account when arriving at your conclusion. This triggered the usual ad hominem attacks.

Regarding who I am, I'm just a normal poster, as I've repeatedly maintained. Its not my fault if you think I'm a SIS agent.
09:35 December 30, 2010 by Nomark

If person X makes an assertion, it is up to that person to discuss and defend that assertion. I prefer this to be a forum for discussion and not one-dimensional rants. Whenever I make an assertion (and I've made a lot of such posts over the years) I will defend that i.e. I practice what I preach. When it comes to JA I know very little and therefore wish to probe those who think they have some type of knowledge I lack. Sadly it turns out that they lack this knowledge or have not thought through their assertions.

That fact that I prefer to remain anonymous (as recommended by this site's management) is irrelevant. If someone wishes to remain anonymous I certainly do *not* demand they are named.

Regarding MI6, I have denied this on a number of occasions. The fact you still believe it to be true without a shred of evidence is utterly daft. Over the years I note that you have accused other posters that they work for intelligence agencies, again without any evidence.
10:54 December 30, 2010 by Nomark

'Let's go through your post step-by-step

(1) Wikileaks is devoted to openness - not whistle blowing in specific cases of wrong doing. They are different concepts. That you think I imply Wikileaks is a terrorist organisation is pure fantasy on your part.

(2) Nobody comparing themselves to the suffering of the jews in any circumstances is being sensible. Its simply very bad PR and JA is in need of good PR right now.

(3) I do not state that nobody suffers from supporting Wikileaks. This is, again, your fantasy. I made the case that innocent people have been exposed by the leaks.

(4) I have systematically gone through your claims on a number of threads. If you like I'll provide the URLs. You do not provide evidence, you simply move to ad hominem attacks when pressed for evidence and reasoning.

(5) I remain anonymous because it is sensible and it is recommended by the site management. In this respect I am no different from the vast majority of posters.

Now, you accuse of my fouling the discussion. I have listed above several examples of your fantasies. If you think I'm wrong then prove it. Come on, it should be easy. Cut and paste my posts (the full paragraphs and not just isolated, twisted, words). In other words - provide the evidence and not the insults.
12:53 December 30, 2010 by Nomark
I wrote: "Wikileaks is devoted to openness - not whistle blowing in specific cases of wrong doing. They are different concepts. That you think I imply Wikileaks is a terrorist organisation is pure fantasy on your part".

You replied: "And you certainly inidcated the Wikileaks was a terrorist organization, committed to helping destroy innocents when you posted this justification of whistleblowing, only to whiningly deny it in Wikileaks' case: "Whistle blowing when there is evidence of wrong doing should be encouraged. However, this is not what Wikileaks is doing."

This is such a distortion that I don't quite know where to begin. I stated, with evidence, that Wikileaks redaction policy was a failure. That, however, does not imply that JA deliberately sought that innocent parties would be exposed to risk by his actions. Terrorism is defined as "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion". Wikileaks has not sought to coerce anyone through actions against innocent parties, nor did I state or imply this. The innocent parties were exposed due to Wikileaks' failure. Your interpretation is ridiculous.

I wrote: "Nobody comparing themselves to the suffering of the jews in any circumstances is being sensible. Its simply very bad PR and JA is in need of good PR right now." This is my opinion - its simply not good PR. Others may disagree. How you can be outraged about someone expressing an opinion regarding their PR is beyond me.

"I have systematically gone through your claims on a number of threads. If you like I'll provide the URLs. You do not provide evidence, you simply move to ad hominem attacks when pressed for evidence and reasoning"

http://www.thelocal.se/30584/20101203/ - here you claim that the Nine and I are in league .

http://www.thelocal.se/30332/20101120/ - here you claim that the timescales involved in JA's extradition attempt and another one indicate a conspiracy.
14:00 December 30, 2010 by Nomark

.I listed the two most recent cases of you alleging a conspiracy and then being unable to back it up with evidence and then moving to ad hominem attack.

Regarding the allegation that I consider Wikileaks a "terrorist organisation" is ridiculous. Repeating your allegation is not same thing as quantifying and justifying it.

Similarly, the fact you think I'm a SIS is also ridiculous.

I could go on....
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