Posted on December 20, 2010 - by Venik
I am at work, filling my office with clouds of cigar smoke and reading Jim Goad’s “Julian Assange’s Honey Trap: That’s Rape in Sweden“, perhaps the most entertaining account to date of Assange’s Stockholm adventure. And a seemingly redundant question popped into my head: why exactly did Assange go to Sweden? I know, he went there to give a speech at a seminar organized by one of Sweden’s opposition parties. But why go to Sweden? Why attend this particular small event? Ah, but what I failed to realize is that this seminar was organized specifically for Assange. He was the main and only attraction at this event. And the organizer was the 31-year-old Swedish uber-feminist Anna Ardin working on behalf of Sweden’s “Brotherhood Movement”, aka the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, who’s president Peter Weiderud hosted the event.
And so we have a religious-political movement that is a magnet for feminists despite its “Brotherhood” name, advocating greater gender equality in the country where gender equality laws already border on psychotic, invite Assange, who generally likes feminists (especially the pretty ones) to give a quick speech to a small audience of party members, some of whom already had sex with Assange, while others were still in the planning stage. This whole sequence of events just strikes me as too far-fetched to be entirely genuine. As in “not planned for weeks in advance by the CIA”. I mean, if you are going to accuse someone of rape, what better venue is there than Sweden? Well, maybe Pakistan. But I doubt even the CIA would have been able to get Assange to go there.
If all of this was planned, it wasn’t a bad plan. Get Assange to rape-obsessed Sweden; accuse him of rape; make sure there are two different accusers, so things don’t look too suspicious; turn the accusations into a public smear campaign; put the investigation on simmer and allow Assange enough time to get fed up; give Assange a reason to go to the UK (the same reason that drew him to Sweden – play on his ego and invite him to a public speaking event); make sure prosecutors in Sweden develop a sudden need to chat with Assange by giving them some new “evidence”; have them issue an international arrest warrant that would land Assange in a British jail. I don’t know, maybe I am just being Russian.
And a bit of good news. During last Friday’s interview with the NBC, Joe Biden was asked if there was any hope of preventing further information leaks by Wikileaks. Biden said “We are looking at that right now. The justice department is taking a look at that.” In Bidenese this means “I have no idea, go bother someone else with your questions”. With all due respect to Biden, some of his remarks in that interview just beg for a few smartass comments.
“I would argue it is closer to being a hi-tech terrorist than the Pentagon papers. But, look, this guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of people in other parts of the world. He’s made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends. For example, in my meetings – you know I meet with most of these world leaders – there is a desire now to meet with me alone, rather than have staff in the room. It makes things more cumbersome – so it has done damage.”
(“Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden“, by Ewen MacAskill, Guardian, Dec. 19, 2010)
If by “occupations of people in other parts of the world” Biden meant the US occupation of Iraq, then, yes, Assange did put that in jeopardy. As to conducting business “with our allies and our friends”, they are sure to be eager to learn the distinction. But of course Assange’s most grave transgression against the US is that he made Biden’s work “more cumbersome”. What was that Aussie thinking? Biden is not exactly a young man. Who needs “cumbersome” at his age?
But then again, Biden did make one relevant point in his interview (which is not bad at all, as far as Biden’s interviews go):
“If he conspired to get these classified documents with a member of the US military that is fundamentally different than if someone drops on your lap…”
This seem to be a recurring theme in the latest Assange-related statements by various US government functionaries. The Department of Justice would love nothing more than to charge Assange with espionage. But it wants the charge to stick and so the DoJ is likely to settle on a conspiracy charge. Americans hold a wild card in this game: the 23-year-old Private First Class Bradley Manning, the man supposedly responsible for uploading classified information to Wikileaks’ servers. There are already reports that Manning is being mistreated in jail. Indeed, with a little bit of work Manning would make a perfect witness for the DoJ’s “conspiracy” case against Assange. The guy is twenty three, sitting in solitary in a military prison and looking at life in jail or worse. I doubt it will take much convincing to get him to collaborate whatever story the Department of Justice cooks up.