WikiLeaks: Hollywood Hatchet, Swedish Swindle

The problem with how Sweden, the UK, and the United States have been treating Julian Assange of Wikileaks, has dragged on for years. It’s left the foremost journalist in the world stuck in a London apartment building that houses the Ecuadorian Embassy where Assange is trapped as a political prisoner. He sought asylum from the Swedish extradition order, and Ecuador granted him that request. Assange’s home country of Australia has sided with the United States in wanting him imprisoned and taken offline, because they’ve failed to negotiate his safe return to Australia or Ecuador where he could be free.

In February there was a great response to a New Statesman article by a former Assange supporter who has now betrayed him by working for Hollywood/CIA who is set to smear him in a widely distributed film.

Khan complains that Assange refused to appear in the film about WikiLeaks by the American director Alex Gibney, which she “executive produced”. Assange knew the film would be neither “nuanced” nor “fair” and “represent the truth”, as Khan wrote, and that its very title, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, was a gift to the fabricators of a bogus criminal indictment that could doom him to one of America’s hellholes. Having interviewed axe-grinders and turncoats, Gibney abuses Assange as paranoid. DreamWorks is also making a film about the “paranoid” Assange. Oscars all round.

It’s also worth reading this summary by WikiLea’s J. Farrell, of Assange’s present legal and political problems:

Over a lunch you [, Khan,] questioned this fear of extradition to the US, and when I asked you what you would do in his position you refused to answer the question. I asked you more than six times what you would do in his shoes. Having offered to cooperate with the Swedish investigation non-stop for the past two years and been refused with no proper explanation, and believing that you would end up in an American prison for decades, in solitary confinement and under SAMs, what would you do? You never gave me a concrete answer. Instead, you skirted the question with another question and discounted the numerous legal opinions out there, favouring instead an article by David Allen Green. I reiterated that Julian had never said that it would be likely in practice that he would face the death penalty, although the Espionage Act permits this. But more to the point, and one that everyone always ignores, there was (and still is) the fear of being extradited to face life imprisonment and almost certainly torture or other inhumane and degrading treatment for his publishing activities.

I told you that the Swedish authorities could, if they wanted to, charge Julian in absentia. Even if they were to do that, they should, according to their own procedures, conduct an interview with him before requesting his extradition. I repeated that he remains available even in the embassy for questioning by the Swedish authorities should they wish to employ the standard procedures they use regularly in other cases.

I think it was David Allen Green who I was arguing with once on Twitter about WikiLeaks. He’s clearly not very objective, and is out to present the situation in a way that will result in Assange ending up imprisoned.

In response to the sexual assault allegations, here are people who recognize what is going on:

Khan is rightly concerned about a “resolution” of the allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. Putting aside the tissue of falsehoods demonstrated in the evidence in this case, both women had consensual sex with Assange and neither claimed otherwise; and the Stockholm prosecutor Eva Finne all but dismissed the case.

As Katrin Axelsson and Lisa Longstaff of Women Against Rape wrote in the Guardian in August 2012, “. . . the allegations against [Assange] are a smokescreen behind which a number of governments are trying to clamp down on WikiLeaks for having audaciously revealed to the public their secret planning of wars and occupations with their attendant rape, murder and destruction . . .

“The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will . . . [Assange] has made it clear he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step to their investigation? What are they afraid of?”

They are afraid of Skype, or a plane flight to London. Here’s a fricken map for them to find Julian Assange for that interview they claim to want on behalf of Assanges’ accusers.

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6 responses to “WikiLeaks: Hollywood Hatchet, Swedish Swindle

    • One important point of clarification: There are NO charges against Assange in Sweden. There are two accusations, which when taken to the prosecutor, were initially not acted upon, he was allowed to leave the country, then when Cablegate made WikiLeaks much more famous, the prosecutor in Sweden suddenly decided to proceed without any additional input from the accusing women. It’s a set-up, and Assange can’t get a fair trial or process in Sweden regardless of his guilt or innocence. The UK should honour Ecuador’s asylum, and give him safe passage out of their country (as they’d expect the same in return for similar circumstances).

      • It is true as I understand it that he isn’t actually charged at this point. I’ve always thought this very weird, and possibly a giveaway that the plan isn’t to try him for anything but to let the Americans have him. Much easier if they can say “Well, he wasn’t actually charged with anything so we don’t have to keep him for trial and/or imprisonment in Sweden.”

        I’ve seen arguments that this lack of charges is normal, but they seemed thin and were contradicted by counterarguments, some from Swedish sources, that no it is not.

      • The Swedes are saying they have to have him in Sweden to charge him. Beyond the still dodgy behaviour of the Swedes, it remains the case that in his brief to the UK court, Assange admitted to behaviour that is tantamount to sexual assault.

      • The Swedish prosecutor has declined to travel to the Embassy, where she knows she can find the suspect and interview him. This lays bare their intention – to hold him in place and cripple Wikileaks, not to seek swift justice for his accusers.

        Assange’s lawyers comments via that blog do worry me, but as PLG suggests, I think Assange would agree to serving some jail time in Ecuador to atone for the alleged crime, over chancing a Swedish and then American Gulag forever.

    • It’s a problem. Maybe if the Swedes were to try him in more-or-less absentia, with maybe a bit of Skype presence, and he and the Ecuadorian authorities could agree that whatever sentence the Swedes handed down he would serve in Ecuador.
      Because if I were him, there is no way I’d go somewhere that would probably hand me to the Americans.
      Meanwhile, it might be argued that given the generally more rehabilitation-oriented Swedish justice system, it being a first offence, and so on, he may well have already served as much time as they’d have handed him just by being stuck in the embassy since how long ago now? If community service and counselling were also in the mix, I’m sure the Ecuadorian community needs as much service as the Swedish community does, and have no doubt there are perfectly good psychologists and counsellors in Bogota.

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