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Sunday, February 13, 2011

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Surely the more serious failure of imagination resides in called his site openleaks? Imitation, flattery, etc.

Media keeps saying this guy was WL "2nd-in-command," but I don't get that impression from anyone else involved in WL.

Here's some more fun stuff about Mr. Saboteur:

* He intends to work closely with Reporters Without Borders in the future, which I feel is very significant, and not just because accuser Anna Ardin worked closely with them (and other anti-Cuban revolution) groups for a long time. (Although that is a bit odd for two European "leftists.")

Reporters Without Borders aka RSF, is a group that has nothing in common with Doctors Without Borders, just as the Cuban/CIA group "Ladies in White" copied the style and tactics of the ideologically quite opposed "Mothers In White" from Argentina... it has previously "blasted" Wikileaks for it's "incredible irresponsibility" in publishing US war documents.

RSF is relatively well established as a CIA front group, opposing the socialist government of Cuba and left-wing groups in Latin America more generally while providing cover for repressive regimes linked to the US. (Which, just to be clear for the "conspirophobes," obviously doesn't mean they can't do good work or that everyone involved in the project is part of some detailed, evil agenda.)

I could go into this more deeply, but to start consider the fact that they were apparently given an ongoing grant of $50,000 a year by Otto Reich, who was head of the "Office of Public Diplomacy" in the 80's, a govt. PR operation designed to propagandize the US population (illegaly and deceiftfully, according to our own GAO) and responsible for, among many other high points, attacking "anti-Contra" US reporters with the smear that they had been paid off in sex by "Sandinista prostitutes," I'm not even kidding. And that yearly grant is just a small example of US govt. support for Reporters Without Borders, with much larger funding coming from the NED, IRI, USAID, Center for a Free Cuba, and "private" groups of Cuban/Latin right-wing immigrants who themselves have a long history of CIA funding.

These groups have funded the paramilitary groups that overthrew elected leaders like Aristide, Zelaya, and Chavez (temporarily). They have backed, financially and diplomatically, confessed terrorist bomber Luis Posada Carriles and similar conspirators, and I could go on. And RSF's publications sometimes match their worldview in strange ways, claiming for example that the Bolivian govt's persecution of journalists was more serious than what goes on in US-allied Gulf States, etc.

RSF also dismissed WL's publication of war documents not only as "dangerous," but since, in their words ”the US government has been under significant pressure for some time as regards the advisability of its military presence in Afghanistan, not just since your article’s publication.” So since other's have tried to end the war and failed, why should anyone else get involved? And this is a "human rights" organization!

* His wife is head of govt relations for Microsoft Germany, a position that almost certainly makes her a go-between for national security issues between a US ally and one of the world's biggest tech companies. (Maybe this is just a coincidence, but for a supposed anti-establishment hacker to marry someone with such a profession... how many vegans marry butchers?)

* After claiming to speak for Wikileaks' German NGO backer, the Wau Holland foundation, the foundation stepped in to say he doesn't speak for them and that they continue to fully support Wikileaks and no other specific leaking site.

Sorry for the typo, an RSF publication was claiming WL's war leaks were not necessary BECAUSE "the US government has been under significant pressure for some time as regards the advisability of its military presence in Afghanistan, not just since your article’s publication.”

Just one more thing... since when I posted similar information on other "progressive" sites I was verbally smacked down as a crazy conspiracy theorist or defender of the patriarchy or whatever.

I know enough about people to know that it's very likely (maybe even the most probable explanation) that Domscheit and Ardin are not on anyone's payroll, that they're just incredibly narcistic, short-sighted and annoying human beings who think their own personal crusade (in which they are the protaganists) trumps the viability of an organization that to me represents the most encouraging thing to happen to social progress since the civil rights movement.

However, given even the tip of the iceberg that we know about things like COINTELPRO, US manipulation of media/academy, etc., etc., and given that the highest levels of our govt have declared Wikileaks a top national enemy and are spending huge sums to "attack" it (as are apparently private companies like HB Gary) it's incredibly naive to assume that a small handful of individuals couldn't simply be paid to infiltrate and disrupt WL.

We may never know which is true, whether people are serving the interests of the powerful for money or just for personal pettiness, or if it's a spectrum.

It doesn't mean we shouldn't keep all those possibilities in mind though, is what I'm saying. (And, yes, considering that means you have to use your own mind to analyze probabilities and facts and not just have them fed to you whether by mainstream media or "truther" sites or whatever.)

...defender of the patriarchy...

Hilarious.

We may never know which is true, whether people are serving the interests of the powerful for money or just for personal pettiness, or if it's a spectrum.

Agreed. I generally apply Occam's Razor in these situations unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise, since it's often the case that there's no practical difference between the two options you mention (or no real benefit in differentiating them).

Isn't "nimrod" the most terrific word ever, appropriate for all sorts of occasions?

Thanks for exposing this - well, twit.

We may never know which is true, whether people are serving the interests of the powerful for money or just for personal pettiness, or if it's a spectrum.

It's as likely as not that Dumbshit-Berg and his cronies are simply what the Bolsheviks used to refer to as 'useful idiots'. They need only have done what they were predisposed to have done anyway; perhaps with a little encouragement at the right time, as needs be; but something as gauche as actual infiltration or payoffs was probably not even necessary.

Isn't "nimrod" the most terrific word ever, appropriate for all sorts of occasions?

It works best when said with a Bugs Bunny Brooklyn accent. Unfortunate, really, as Nimrod was a mighty hunter and tyrant with no use for God, and doesn't seem otherwise to be deserving of having his name used in this way. But there you go; gotta denigrate the nonbelievers.

Uh about the supposed CIA ties, even an anti CIA cuba site has doubts about that:
http://machetera.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/on-anna-ardin-israel-shamir-and-glass-houses/

and the charges are actually rather comprehensive:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/if-youll-pardon-the-presumption/
http://mattcornell.org/blog/2010/12/doyleandme/#disqus_thread
So No, technically it's not "Sex by surprise" or a pure conspiracy altogether, sorry lads.

Yeah, yeah. So maybe if you cherry-picked an article or two from after the appeal actually started, as opposed to back in December of last year? Like, maybe, this?

Jenny I don't want to start a fight because obviously I don't know what really happened with the allegations and I don't want to belittle sex crimes, but I've been looking for a supporter of the allegations who could answer any of the following... what do you think about the claims (some of them from the women themselves) that:

A) They were never afraid of him and there was no violence or threats.

B) They had consensual sex first and then in the incidents in question they DIDN'T say "no" or "stop" but felt "reluctance."

C) They continued to spend time with Assange later, pay some of his bills, brag to friends about hanging out
with him, and were angry that he didn't return phone calls.

D) They later texted each other about how to extort money from Assange, and these texts along with previous texts/tweets about how cool he was (sent to friends after the supposed rape) they apparently tried to destroy or hide, along with Ardin's online guide on how to get revenge (including legal revenge) on "unfaithful" men (something that Assange obviously was).

E) Ardin had a history of making many complaints about sexual harassment that were judged by the institutions involved to be somewhat dubious, including reporting a student because he didn't give her enough eye contact when she lectured (I'm going off a forum post for this so maybe it's not verified).

F) In their own words their main complaint related to fears of STDs, but they didn't work it out with him personally as 99.999% of people in the world would do and instead decided to make an international criminal case against one of the most legally vulnerable people in the world resulting in 10% of all references to the word rape on the internet now also referencing his name. My favorite thing is when their lawyer says, "This is perfectly normal behavior..." Uh... no. Even if Assange was a huge asshole to them that is not normal behavior for anyone I've ever met or can imagine.

Let me ask you, in addition to your thoughts on these points, if their concern was STDs and Assange tested totally STD-free, should they still have the right to see him in jail?

You linked to an article claiming the charges against Assange are "rather comprehensive." I read the article and see this: "she never indicated to Assange that she did not want to have sex with him. They also say that in a text message to a friend, she never suggested she had been raped and claimed only to have been "half asleep".

Uh.... half asleep? Like, tired?

"She couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night."

So she couldn't be bothered to tell a man she didn't want to have sex with him, but she could be bothered to start an international manhunt for him on criminal charges?

Ardin claims Assange sabotaged a condom so it would break, something not born out by the forensics. Speaking as a man who doesn't like the feel of condoms this is still something I could never imagine anyone doing.

She claims she was "held down by his body-weight," (but not by his arms or anything else apparently)... so... kind of sounds like "missionary position," the most common sexual position in the western world?

My last question, and this is a very serious one... at what point do allegations that these kind of details constitute rape, at what point does that become seriously offensive to rape victims, like women in Congolese war zones etc.?

Sorry if my tone seemed a little harsh. Defenders of these women have really taken me by surprise, the only other time I've been so weirded out by women claiming feminist goals was when I heard that the election of Hilary Clinton (pro-war, pro-wealthy elite) would have been a big step forward for women around the world.

"She claims she was "held down by his body-weight," (but not by his arms or anything else apparently)... so... kind of sounds like "missionary position," the most common sexual position in the western world?"

She wanted to stop, but he didn't. It's rape and with the condom, she wanted him to wear a condom, he promised to wear a condom, but didn't or at least continued with a ripped condom. Did you even read any of the links I gave you?

As for the whole "hanging out thing":
http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/07/julian_assange_rape_accuser_smeared/index.html

http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32306


P.S.

"They later texted each other about how to extort money from Assange, and these texts along with previous texts/tweets about how cool he was (sent to friends after the supposed rape) they apparently tried to destroy or hide, along with Ardin's online guide on how to get revenge (including legal revenge) on "unfaithful" men (something that Assange obviously was).

E) Ardin had a history of making many complaints about sexual harassment that were judged by the institutions involved to be somewhat dubious, including reporting a student because he didn't give her enough eye contact when she lectured (I'm going off a forum post for this so maybe it's not verified)."

Cite for both please.

And one more time about the hanging out/ previous consensual sex/ etc: There is such a fucking thing as acquaintance rape.

You may not want a fight, but your ignorance shows you need an education.
one more:
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/12/20/naomi_wolf_vs_jaclyn_friedman_a

Please note Friedman's quote:
"I’m talking about it right now. They are coming forward, and they’re saying these things aren’t taken seriously in Sweden, and this is an opportunity to prove that the Swedish government can take these issues seriously. This is an opportunity to set the international bar higher for the way we take seriously rape charges.

Now, let’s talk about those charges. Those women did not consent. If she was consenting, he had no need to hold her down. A woman in her sleep cannot consent to sex. Consent is not a light switch, OK?"
And later..
"Just because you’ve consented to choose one sexual activity, say, taking your clothes off with someone, does not mean you’ve consented to all sexual activities."

And by the way, there is no such thing as sex by surprise:
http://feminismandtea.blogspot.com/2010/12/sex-by-surprise.html

But never mind, you're never gonna read any of this anyway.

Okay, sorry to spam, but one more good one here:
http://almostdiamonds.blogspot.com/2010/12/how-must-she-behave-to-have-been-raped.html

And Nomad, that's just a claim from the opposing lawyer, a claim. Hell, he didn't even have a transcript with him. Even if they did and if he's actually guilty, I can't blame them for seeking revenge.

Some links for your points, lcl: Anna Ardin's "7 Steps To Legal Revenge", the deleted tweets, and other background.

And one other thing: Ardin and Wilen apparently didn't intend (or even want) to charge Assange with rape--that was a decision by the Swedish prosecutor's office, which rapidly withdrew the charge (citing "no evidence") and then reinstated it months later right as the State Department cables were about to break, which makes the political use of the charge crystal clear.

Capitalizing on the rape charge has been a brilliant move by the forces arrayed against Assange and Wikileaks, since a charge of rape is like catnip to far too many left feminists, who throw the presumption of innocence out the window as soon as they hear it. So they're spending their time doing the dirty work of Assange's (and by extension, Wikileaks') enemies for them, wittingly or unwittingly--just like Domscheit-Berg. Thank goodness for feminists like Naomi Wolf and Naomi Klein ("Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that women's freedom was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up!"), who've actively refused to take the bait. And I was glad to see this great article by Furry Girl ("The feminist left versus Julian Assange: how a fanatical belief in every sex crime allegation hurts everyone") as well.

"She wanted to stop, but he didn't."

Did she tell him to stop? Based on what I've read she didn't, if you have a link that specifically claims otherwise from her own reports I would like to know.

I read all the links you sent, please let me know if I missed something specific of relevance. (I've followed the case since it was first announced so I wasn't really surpised by anything unless I read too carelessly.)

How would she know if he knew the condom was ripped? Did she tell him it was and therefore that he should stop?

"There is such a fucking thing as acquaintance rape."

It would be outrageous to suggest otherwise, which of course I didn't. Their choice to keep hanging out with him (without resolving their issues with him on a person to person level) combined with far more damning facts from the list, it just adds one more curious piece to the puzzle.

Please explain my ignorance. I watched that debate and found Wolf convincing and polite while Friedman sounded immature and rude to Wolf.

"If she was consenting, he had no need to hold her down."

I seriously question that he held her down (especially with no arms), if so, a rational adult would have told him to stop.

"A woman in her sleep cannot consent to sex."

Sofia Wilen said she was "half-asleep" / half-awake. That is me 95% of the time. I can't consent to anything?

"Just because you’ve consented to choose one sexual activity, say, taking your clothes off with someone, does not mean you’ve consented to all sexual activities."

You also, as an adult, have the responsibilty to say stop when you want to stop something. To be treated as an adult you need to take the responsbilities of an adult.

And all of this is based on the extremely generous assumption (given their behavior) that every single thing they've said about the incidents is true. I'm basing everything I'm saying about the events on what I've read of THEIR testimony only, not Assange's or any elses.

"But never mind, you're never gonna read any of this anyway."

Jenny I'm not some male-monster that you've imagined or have had the misfortune to deal with in real life. I'm a person who cares about social justice, which is why I read this site.

Of course I appreciate that you took the time to write back and therefore am happy to read everything you wrote to try and understand your position better.

So far I'm not convinced, but I can still learn from the process.

I'm a bit worried about your non sequitir and ad hominem asides... yeah I understand sometimes it is okay to attack the messenger, but I'm not the rape-denying person you seem to imagine based on absolutely no evidence.

Thanks John for the links... about Ardin's sexual harrassment claims in the past, it was translated from a Swedish forum, supposedly by people who worked at her university. It's mentioned in the counterpunch article and many other websites, I can't locate the original Swedish forum due to language skills. I believe it's called "Flash" something.

About the women conspiring to extract money from Assange, it comes from a recent DN headline which has since been DELETED... (I should write them about that), but the reporting is widely available, for example here:
http://morrisonworldnews.com/?p=40505

I'm willing to believe that maybe Assange seriously mistreated these women, although I don't think it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Is there anything that could convince you to consider the possibility that these women are either A) exploiting / exaggerating events for petty personal reasons or B) are being exploited by much bigger and more nefarious forces?

Your willingness to have a real debate does you credit, lcl, but in the years she's been posting here Jenny hasn't ever engaged in a real discussion with anyone; "non sequitir and ad hominem asides" (as you observed) and half-relevant link dumps are all she's ever offered. I've warned her that I'd block her from the site if she kept up the personal attacks, but she apparently didn't take it seriously.

Personally I don't see any reasonable argument that the rape charges aren't being exploited by bigger and more nefarious forces, though it's impossible (and I'd say unnecessary) to tell whether or not Ardin or Wilen are directly involved in that. The fact that the charges are being exploited also says nothing about whether or not they could be made to stick in a Swedish court, of course, nor whether or not they have any merit otherwise.

Actually I should have been more careful with my phrasing, since Assange has never been formally charged with rape--he's just been tarred with the insinuation by the Swedish prosecutor's office ("I request the District Court of Stockholm to detain Mr. Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion"), and they're almost certainly the source of the leaked investigation files as well. All of which makes it clear that their real purpose is to smear Assange in the court of public opinion.

I wonder how many other wanted notices Interpol has issued for people who haven't been charged with a crime?

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