Julian Assange Jailed, No Bail

Wikileak's founder Julian Assange is in jail in Great Britain. A judge has denied bond, ruling he is a flight risk, even though he voluntarily appeared at the police station this morning.

Five people, including journalist John Pilger, film director Ken Loach and Jemima Khan, the sister of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, stood up in court offering to put up sureties. But District Judge Howard Riddle refused bail for Australian Mr Assange and he was remanded in custody until 14 December.

Assange will appeal the decision. And his lawyer says Wikileaks will keep on publishing. ""We are on cable 301 and there are 250,000 secret cables."

The Swedish charges against him are based on the allegations of two women, "Ms A" and "Ms W": [More...]

  • Unlawful coercion - used his body weight to hold down Miss A in a sexual manner.
  • Sexual molestation - had unprotected sex with Miss A when she had insisted on him using a condom.
  • Deliberate molestation - molested Miss A "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity".
  • Had unprotected sex with Miss W while she was asleep.

Just like in this country, the accuser's name is protected while the name of the accused is blasted all over the media and his character is besmirched, even though charges are merely allegations. That's a policy that needs to change. It perpetuates the absurd notion that being the the victim of a sex offense is something to be ashamed of. Victims of robberies, assaults, homicides and kidnappings do not have their identities shielded. Neither should "Ms. A" and Ms. W."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Without knowing a thing about what did (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:16:14 PM EST
    or didn't happen between Assange and his two accusers, I TOTALLY disagree with the notion that alleged rape victims should be named. There are rock solid reasons why alleged victims' identities are protected, and lashing out at them simply because we may not agree with Law & Order's motivations or conduct toward the alleged accused in one specific case does not negate the need to protect alleged victims.

    This (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:28:49 PM EST
    shield (not sexual history restrictions- though I agree with those to a lesser extent) laws are freaking essential- while I agree with some people that they can be abused, I think its pretty obvious why such laws are necessary in the modern world given the shall we less than ideal nature of rape prosecutions- Rape is at least to my knowledge the only serious crime that is reported less than 50% of the time and prosecuted even less- its disgusting and sad as it is to say somehow the US is actually better at holding rapist to account than most European countries outside of Scandanavia (though obviously post-conviction our Justice system is at best as good and generally worse than that of comparable nations).

    Given the personal nature of the crime, and the reaction by many to rape, either: "[victim] is lying" or "[victim] was asking for it-- or in some way shares culpability" not hiding indentification is freaking insane.


    Then (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ks on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:40:32 PM EST
    The "shield" shoud extend to the accused as well at least until he/she is convicted of a crime.

    Not sure how you would do that (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:52:09 PM EST
    Sicne court cases, motions, and trials, are public.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#46)
    by ks on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:54:25 PM EST
    That doesn't make sense.  Your rationale would apply to the alleged victims as well and there doesn't seem to be much of a problem protecting their identities.

    I would argue (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:57:52 PM EST
    That people who are the victims of regular assault or robbery don't usually have people coming out of the woodwork to say they how easy they are because they walk down dark alleys or leave their houses open.  Rape is a completely different kind of crime.  To compare rape victims to people who've had their houses robbed is completely ludicrous.

    and that's how the stigma (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:39:14 PM EST
    is preserved. Rape is a crime of violence, it should be treated as such. It is demeaning to withhold their identities but not the accuseds' as if they have something to hide.

    Perhaps when it begins to be treated as such, (5.00 / 3) (#76)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:56:26 PM EST
    Rape is a crime of violence, it should be treated as such.

    and much more seriously in our culture than it currently is, then withholding identities will no longer be necessary. They way that rape victims are treated in reality (not in theory) still necessitates the shield laws IMO.


    It's tough and weird (none / 0) (#57)
    by sj on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:07:39 PM EST
    But you can't "unmake" the damage to one's reputation caused by a false or flawed accusation either.  The phrase "can I have my life back?" represents a real and permanent cost.

    I suppose that's true of all criminal charges, but not all criminals have the public target on their back for the rest of their lives.

    I don't know.  I have mixed and conflicting feelings about it.


    What are you talking about? (none / 0) (#58)
    by ks on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:09:15 PM EST
    You are off on a tangent.  I didn't do any comparison.  I stated that the identity shield given to accusors should also be given to  accused at least until there is a conviction. You replied that the latter would be a problem because trials and whatnot are public matters and, I'm assuming, as such the accuseds identities couldn't be shieled

    As I said, that doesn't make sense because your "public" angle would apply to the accusors and, again, their identities are shielded.

    Now you are off on your tangent.


    I'm not sure what you don't understand (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:17:35 PM EST
    You aresaying those accused of sexual assaults should have their name shielded because their accusers do.  I asked how would you do that - all that stuff is public knowledge, and the public has a right to attend court hearings and see court filings and such where they will see the accused.  Would you have the accused wear a mask for pre-trial motions and appear as "Mr. X"?

    And, by the way, laws that forbid the media from reporting accusers' names have been found to be unconstitutional.  The reason the names aren't revealed is that it is up to the discretion of the media outlets who choose not to run their names.

    You are the one on a tangent.


    What? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by ks on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:53:06 PM EST
    No, Im saying that the shield should be extended to the accused at least until conviction.  The "because" is yours.  To your "How would they do that?" question, they already do that for the accusors!  They could do the exact same thing for the accused.  Duh.  Do the accusors wear masks in court as part of their identity shield during court proceedings?  Um no, so why would the accused?  

    Also, I know why the media doesn't normally identify the accusors.  So?  You're not making much sense here.


    Seriously, (none / 0) (#61)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:11:45 PM EST
    How come leaving a window open or a door unlocked doesn't mean a homeowner was "asking for it" ? What if that person has a lot of parties- shouldn't that be evidence- I mean they let tons of people into their house why would breaking an entering be a crime if they're just giving it away?

    Missed point... (none / 0) (#79)
    by BigElephant on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:10:40 PM EST
    I think he/she wasn't saying that.  They were saying that since you can protect the identity of the victim they should also be able to protect the alleged criminal.

    I think his point is (none / 0) (#59)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:09:25 PM EST
    that shielding the accused is much, much harder than shielding the victims and that attempts to do so would basically result in the creation of a shadow court system for civilian criminal proceedings (the same kind of Kafkaesque court system we denounce in Terrorism proceedings).

    I'm sorry.... (none / 0) (#67)
    by ks on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:21:27 PM EST
    But, if that's his point, it's nonsense.  It wouldn't be "much, much harder" or harder at all.  If you routinely shield one side of the proceeding you can certainly shield the other side.  Also, where do you get the notion that it would become a Kafkaesque? "shadow court system"?  That's seems more dramatic imagining than potential reality because the proceedings and trials would take place exactly as today except for the added shield until a conviction.  

    One of the alleged victims may be linked to CIA. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Mitch Guthman on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:27:25 PM EST
    There is another aspect to this question of whether to identify alleged victims of rape.  In this particular case, there would seem to be a very strong case for having identified one of the alleged victims.   It has long been a contention of the Assange camp that the charges against him were a frame-up orchestrated by the American government.  Now, it looks like the talk about a CIA honey-trap might have some substance after all:  http://my.firedoglake.com/kirkmurphy/2010/12/04/assanges-chief-accuser-has-her-own-history-with-us-f unded-anti-castro-groups-one-of-which-has-cia-ties

    This arguably exculpatory information about the alleged victim's possible motives to falsely accuse Assange would never have been unearthed had her identify remained a secret.   So, I strongly disagree with the idea that an alleged rape victim's identity should never be disclosed.  I think there is clearly another factor to be added into the equation, as this situation demonstrates.


    This is the same outfit... (none / 0) (#80)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:20:56 PM EST
    that once used working girls to dose mobsters with LSD...anything is possible with the CIA....anything.

    If you really wanted to know (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:32:40 PM EST
    who these women are, it wouldn't be hard to know.  They have been given precious little real protection. There are enough details given about them that they could easily be found.  One has even been pointed out and exposed in a youtube video watching an Assange news conference.

    Yes, the two women (none / 0) (#87)
    by Nemi on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:04:04 PM EST
    have, as you say, been given "precious little real protection" (doubly so!), and were outed months ago (actually the very night they reported to the police) and has been harassed both in real life and in media/on blogs ever since!

    Seems to me... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:40:41 PM EST
    the best thing to protect the alleged victim  and the accused alike is to release no identities until there is a conviction/acquital.

    Hard to argue those falsely accused really get the shaft under the current system, and I see why the alleged victims need their identity protected.  If the free press sniffs out names, so be it, but the authorities should release no names out of fairness for all involved.


    Okay that (none / 0) (#62)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:14:53 PM EST
    solution seems fair- I don't see any reason the press should report on accusations prior to conviction (unless the accussed is free, and is accused of crimes the repetition of which would endanger the public- then it could be argued that the press has a duty to report about the accusations from a public safety standpoint- much like how product safety concerns are reported but not stated as fact prior to a finding of such).  Its a thorny issue.

    Star chamber problems (none / 0) (#66)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:19:50 PM EST
    If nobody knows a person has been accused, at what point does the court decide not to tell the person s/he has been accused of rape? the day the trial begins?

    The problem is how people think-- "Oh, so and so was arrested, s/he must be guilty." Deference to the power and infallibility of the state is attitudinal, but keeeping things quiet is dangerous.


    If the press wants the name... (none / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:35:47 PM EST
    it won't be hard to find...the state loves to do the press' work for them when it suits the state, and stonewall the press when it doesn't.

    The problem is the authorities want praise and publicity for arrests, they should wait on a conviction for that, an arrest don't mean sh*t.  


    So (none / 0) (#65)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:18:34 PM EST
    The media should never report on any arrests for any crimes?

    Just askin'


    Free press is free to report... (none / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:27:35 PM EST
    on anything they deem newsworthy they can dig up..I'm saying the state shouldn't issue a press release with the accused's name in bold and the accuser's identity withheld...that ain't right.

    iow the press can report but the state doesn't have to deliver the dirt on a silver platter...ioow using the press as an arm of the law.


    nice try (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:40:19 PM EST
    reporting can be done with the initials of both the accuser and the accused.

    In every criminal case? (none / 0) (#74)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:49:10 PM EST
    was my question to kdog.  

    Okay, on the one hand, (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:43:18 PM EST
    we have this kind of thing in play:

    Now that Julian Assange is in custody of British authorities on a warrant for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, Obama administration officials may well be working behind the scenes to secure his extradition to the United States, an international criminal law expert tells Salon.

    Assange has not been charged with a crime in the United States -- though it's possible that there is an arrest warrant or indictment under seal. The Obama Justice Department has repeatedly suggested that it is going after Assange, though offiicals have not said what law they believe Assange has broken (and experts say that making any case against him could prove difficult).

    Attorney Douglas McNabb, who specializes in federal criminal defense and international extradition cases, says that extradition requests can also be made under seal. And he has had clients who have been the subject of Interpol Red Notices -- the international call for arrest that Sweden used to pursue Assange last week -- that have not been released publicly. So it's possible that the U.S. is already using these avenues.

    And on the other hand, we have, shall we say, the important parts of this that almost no one is looking at:

    WikiLeaks has posted to its website only 960 of the 251,297 diplomatic cables it has.  Almost every one of these cables was first published by one of its newspaper partners which are disclosing them (The Guardian, the NYT, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, etc.).  Moreover, the cables posted by WikiLeaks were not only first published by these newspapers, but contain the redactions applied by those papers to protect innocent people and otherwise minimize harm.


    Just as they did prior to releasing the Afghanistan war documents, WikiLeaks -- according to AP -- "appealed to the U.S. ambassador in London, asking the U.S. government to confidentially help him determine what needed to be redacted from the cables before they were publicly released."  Although the U.S. -- again -- refused to give such guidance, WikiLeaks worked closely with these media outlets to ensure that any material which has no valid public interest value and could harm innocent people was withheld.  And Assange's frequent commitments to engage in "harm minimization" when releasing documents gives the lie to Gitlin's assertion that he is "fighting for a world of total transparency."


    To recap "Obama justice":  if you create an illegal worldwide torture regime, illegally spy on Americans without warrants, abduct people with no legal authority, or invade and destroy another country based on false claims, then you are fully protected.  But if you expose any of the evils secretly perpetrated as part of those lawless actions -- by publishing the truth about what was done -- then you are an Evil Criminal who deserves the harshest possible prosecution.

    David Dayen weighs in:

    Visa has now suspended payments to Assange. This is a lightning-quick, coordinated effort to freeze out someone publishing the same items that the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, Der Spiegel and El Pais has been publishing all week

    I think the reaction of the government is alarming, and even people who don't normally pay a lot of attention to these things - like my husband - have begun to notice and question why the full-court press.

    Are we atill allowed to ask that question?

    You can ask... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:00:32 PM EST
    but I wouldn't be surprised if it lands ya on a "domestic extremist" list.

    "You have the right to free speech,
    provided of course, you're not dumb enough to actually try it."
    - Joe Strummer


    now THAT was a band (none / 0) (#73)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:44:59 PM EST
    "What of the neighbors and the prophets in bars?
    What are they saying in the public bazaar?
    We are tired of the tune
    You must not relent

    "At every stroke of the bell in the tower there goes
    Another boy from another side

    "The bulletins that steady come in say those
    Familiar words at the top of the hour

    "The jamming city increases its hum
    And those terrible words continue to come

    "Through brass music of government hear those
    Guns tattoo a roll on the drums

    "No-one mentions the neighboring war
    No one knows what they're fighting for
    We are tired of the tune
    You must not relent"

    --from INOCULATED CITY by Strummer/Jones


    This one goes out to Julian... (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:07:04 PM EST
    Lets seperate out the Rape Accusations (none / 0) (#56)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:07:01 PM EST
    and the Wikileaks thing- on the former I think government maliciousness is obviously wrong and frankly abhorrent on  the latter its understandable and defensible- seriously, what is the state (speaking of the governments of all involved nations) supposed to do- just let stuff that at least in this case (as opposed to some but not all of the previous military leaks-- I say not all due to the partisan editing of certain items and the pointless leaking of certain names and details) undermines its ability to protect its citizens by defusing tensions through diplomacy rather than force?   (I will note that Wikileaks has essentially focused on nations that are hesitant to retaliate physically against the press- you don't see reams of Russian diplomatic cables being leaked for example).

    Does "morale of the troops" (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:21:22 PM EST
    trump the 1st Amendment?

    wonder (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:32:47 AM EST
    if we will now see the threatened poison pill doc dump.

    I think wikileaks is now bigger (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:39:29 AM EST
    than one Julian Assange.  I doubt this obstructs much that was planned and being worked on.

    I hope so (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:00:39 PM EST
    I want enough people doing this, that the US stops focusing on one person.  Of course, Obama loves going after whistle blowers so maybe they figure if they can take one down, others will be cowed.

    It didn't work when it came to (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:03:19 PM EST
    shutting down their domain.  Like they wouldn't have a plan B for that.  And now Wikileaks has so many mirrors, soon it could evolve into a laser :)

    Someone could post a classified doc on facebook (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:37:29 PM EST
    tomorrow.  Then what would they do?

    If I worked for wikileaks that's exactly what I would do. Focussing on the publisher is no way to protect secrets.


    To clarify before I get arrested (none / 0) (#38)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:45:43 PM EST
    IF I worked for wikileaks and IF my goal was to publish classified information. I don't and it's not.

    Facebook (none / 0) (#64)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:17:38 PM EST
    would probably have to pull it or move its servers/incorporation offshore- I think its a lot like Child Pornography- there is no right to post illegal material within the borders of the nation where said material is restricted.

    Every enterprise needs money (none / 0) (#55)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:05:28 PM EST
    to function.  Visa and Mastercard are blocking payments to Wikileaks.

    That's why I'm of the opinion it has got to be more people so that our Corporate controlled govt can't target one entity.

    Unless they have something really destructive to the Obama regime, threats aren't going to work because our media is corrupt also.

    I have to admit, you have to force yourself to remain at a distance, but it is interesting to watch a nation declining faster than I thought it was going to.  It is amazing what a destructive force corrupt conservative ideology is.


    I actually read up on this today (none / 0) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:38:26 AM EST
    unwanted condomless sex is involved.  Apparently the laws in Sweden don't condone someone just going ahead when your past sex partner says no to not wrapping the package.  I think its criminal too, and can happen at the strangest of  times.....you say no nicely, they are after all a past accepted sexual partner, and you are probably in a prone position when this happens, and they just ignore you and go ahead.  The younger woman is concerned about STDs and HIV, and she should be, Julian obviously gets around a bit and doesn't take condom use seriously.

    Yes, but what really happened? (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:47:07 AM EST
    A lot of adults choose to have sex without condoms---mutually.

    True (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:56:09 AM EST
    I don't suspect this to have been a set up though.  Both women admit to having sex with him, the issue was that at first he was willing to wrap it and then later on he wasn't and bullied his way into a "compliance".  I did not read about the sex while asleep thing though until now.  Of what I read today, it just doesn't ring true though that this is a set up.  Two women ticked that he was nailing everything in site perhaps has something to do with inspiring them "talking" to each other, but these women aren't stupid...neither of them.  I would be shocked to find out either one of them subscribed to unprotected sex.  When I was single I think I owned more neatly wrapped condoms than most men :)  My husband was sort of shocked when we were dating the first time he viewed my condom stash.  Get real though, he wanted a smart girl :)

    There is every reason to suspect dirty tricks (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Mitch Guthman on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:20:57 PM EST
    I think there is every reason to suspect some kind of dirty business by the CIA.  I am intrigued by the fact that one of the accusers would appear to be an unlikely supporter of WikiLeaks in light of her association with several CIA-supported anti-communist and/or right-wing groups.  She has even been linked to the convicted right-wing terrorist Luis Posada Carriles (http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir09142010.html).

    Why would someone of her background volunteer to help WikiLeaks?  How did she become involved with Assange? I know it's a small world but talk about strange bedfellows.  I don't think you have to be wearing a tinfoil hat to think that's maybe she's working for the CIA.  Maybe her job was just to keep track of things and the sex was just a personal frolic and detour (that quite possibly went down just as she says---I hold no brief for Assange and don't know him at all).  But if what's been revealed in the press is accurate, it's not crazy to suspect a CIA honey-trap.

    More relevant to our discussion of victim shield laws is that her past associations would normally be very powerful impeachment evidence in a criminal trial.  But none of her disturbing associations would be known to the defense had her identify been kept secret.  


    Well, I find it totally bizarre that (none / 0) (#8)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:58:10 AM EST
    allegations of that nature can place Assange on the Interpol most wanted list.

    Sweden obviously has very different (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:00:20 PM EST
    laws governing sex and sexual acts :)

    Not what I'm getting at. (none / 0) (#13)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:08:28 PM EST
    I just checked, and Interpol has 290 people on its "wanted" list. To my mind, it's obvious he's not on the list because of the rape charge (which was dropped in August, previously).

    I don't think it was techinically (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:13:40 PM EST
    "dropped", if I remember correctly they wanted further investigation into it before they decided if there were actual grounds and evidence to pursue it.  One thing that I do think about though is that Sweden feels placed under a magnifying glass where Assange and sexual charges are concerned.  It is political death to ignore things like this when someone is famous, because if you don't pursue them then you are accused of protecting the wealthy and the famed.  It's sort of a damned if you do damned if you don't situation.

    According to the link from CNN (none / 0) (#16)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:16:39 PM EST
    from Lasanu,
    The arrest warrant filed Friday had also mentioned a molestation charge, but molestation -- which is not limited to child victims in Sweden -- is not a crime punishable behind bars in Sweden.

    So he's been extradited for a charge which doesn't even carry jail time?
    I'd say there's a good chance he's being put into custody to torture, kill and disappear.


    He's facing a rape charge too (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:20:47 PM EST
    I don't think (none / 0) (#40)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:48:03 PM EST
    he would be jailed if the molestation charge was the only charge he was facing- its essentially an add on.

    This (none / 0) (#29)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:39:21 PM EST
    and frankly given Sweden's low crime rate, this is actually a pretty big deal relative to the country- I mean if you're a nation with a high murder and forcible rape rate I can see this being low priority but if you have little crime then every case is probably major.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:40:51 PM EST
    Sad too from an American woman perspective

    And yet (none / 0) (#45)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:53:03 PM EST
    according to basically all global feminist literature I've read the US while certainly not the best in the world (that distinction to almost all experts belongs to the Scandanavian countries) is ahead of places like the UK (and much of mainland Europe)- (where seriously a major study in the last few years showed a sizable majority actually view the victim as culpable in many cases) its akin to 1970s attitudes over there, and while I'm less familiar with Asia (aside from Japan) I believe rape prosecution in many places is essentially limited to forcible rape by a non-sexual partner (spousal rape, rape by deciet, date rape etc are either not reported due to cultural norms or are not prosecuted).

    When we were in South Korea (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:04:32 PM EST
    very little rape there but something really devastating to witness, women were sold into prostitution.....often by their families.  Also a lot of Russian girls were sold into prostitution there via trafficking.  If you can believe this, one of our friends fell in love with such a woman and bought her from the guy who owned her, they are married now and I think she is a U.S. citizen now too.  Not a lot of physical violence in their culture though, and small children are very protected and looked after if they are middle class or more affluent.  And being a past prostitute seemed to hold little stigma later in life in their culture, but it was still horrifying to me seeing the young girls who were essentially slaves and women shipped in.

    Lack of stigma... (none / 0) (#60)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    A significant part of the lack of stigmatization for prostitution dates to the Japanese invasion and war against the Chinese in the 1930s-1945. Korean women were taken and forced to work in military brothels as 'pleasure girls.' the entire female population? no. However, enough for the culture to look at the situation quite differently than western cultures.

    Later, after capturing the Philippines, the females from there were forced to do the same. Don't know of Chinese or other groups being forced into prostitution, but would not be surprised.


    It is bizarre and hurtful in a way for me (none / 0) (#77)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:01:17 PM EST
    while being at the same time interesting.  Thank you for providing some historical info.

    That is exactly the point (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:40:25 PM EST
    Even if the charges are not politically motivated, the reaction certainly is.

    While I know the same (none / 0) (#25)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:34:36 PM EST
    thing isn't prosecuted under the same name- I have to think what Assange is accused of doing is illegal here as well right? You can't just claim you have a condom on/ slash not inform your partner if the condom breaks? (The second accusation is much more troubling- from what I've read the woman asked him to wear a condom it broke, she asked him to stop and he refused- which at least in the US would be rape).

    The way the United States is about (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:37:48 PM EST
    protecting its women from sexual abuse, I would never report such a thing.  You would probably be laughed out of the police station along with being told you asked for it, what did you expect?

    Upon further thought I think it would be a crime (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:45:58 PM EST
    if and only if the man in question had HIV/AIDs- and even then only if the victim was a woman. Its more than a bit telling about the priorities/values of our society- that Sexual Crimes against everyone other than children are lower priority than basic property crimes like theft, possession/sale/use of controlled substances (as opposed to the crimes related to said p/s/u) or large-scale vandalism. Its like how robbing a convenience store is worse than looting a pension plan/ embezzlement.  

    Oh yeah (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:52:20 PM EST
    if you were a guy in the United States and you had unprotected sex forced on you by anyone....forget about it.  You had better take that one to your grave.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:55:32 PM EST
    its a joke essentially- hell, remember the Teacher-Student cases people were all but calling for High Fives and brews for the victims where if the genders were reversed theyed be the first to spark a lynch mob (especially if the genders were reversed and it was minority on white girl).

    Um, no it wouldn't, according to (none / 0) (#27)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:37:31 PM EST
    articles I just read.

    If someone is HIV positive it has been (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:39:57 PM EST
    considered a crime.  It probably is a crime on some level even if they aren't because everyone is at risk.  Not that I would ever likely pursue it.

    In that case it would be assault, not rape, (2.00 / 1) (#36)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:43:50 PM EST
    in the US.
    And if slashed her throat, that would be a different crime too. Let's stick to the known facts, sparse as they are.

    whatever man (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:49:45 PM EST
    sparse facts my behind.  I even have a photo of one of the unnamed evil witches.

    And just because it is considered (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:50:35 PM EST
    a different sort of crime here doesn't mean it isn't a crime.  And assault will land you behind bars.

    Old news in the US (none / 0) (#47)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:54:56 PM EST
    At least in Texas in 1996.  Of course, the defense was bunk from the start:

    A jury recommended today that Joel Rene Valdez be sentenced to 40 years in prison for rape in a case that centered on his victim's insistence that he use condoms to protect her from disease and pregnancy.

    With the jury's decision, which was accepted immediately by the judge, Mr. Valdez, 28, must serve at least 10 years before he is eligible for parole. The same jury had convicted Mr. Valdez of aggravated sexual assault the day before.

    The case had attracted widespread publicity when the first grand jury investigating the assault refused to indict Mr. Valdez because some jurors felt the use of condoms provided by the victim may have suggested her complicity in the encounter. The defendant maintained that use of condoms during the Sept. 16 sexual assault implied the woman's consent.

    Different circumstances (none / 0) (#49)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:57:14 PM EST
    in that case I believe the entire encounter was non-consensual where as in the Assange case the Women say consent was granted but then withdrawn after Mr. Assange refused to wear a condom.

    The point was (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:59:30 PM EST
    Ae in both cases, the defense is claiming it's not rape because of condom use, or lack thereof.

    Needless to say (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:44:05 AM EST
    The timing of these charges is VERY curious.

    toothless West (none / 0) (#7)
    by diogenes on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 11:57:42 AM EST
    If someone draws a picture of Mohammed or writes an offensive book (i.e. Rushdie), then all sorts of Islamists issue fatwas and try to kill them.
    We're squawking about an arrest here.  Heck, he's probably safer in a British jail than outside it.
    Since Assaunge is seeking political asylum in Switzerland, don't you think that he is a flight risk?
    Why don't the Swedes drop the charges and let the UK extradite him directly to the US?  Assaunge's best bet is to get a two year sentence in Sweden for "sex charges" to let all this cool off, hoping that the US gives up on extradition.

    I'll take a fatwa... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:44:51 PM EST
    on my head by islamo-loons over a cage anyday.

    One is a threat that will likely never be carried out...a schoolyard taunt. The other is a very real form of physical and mental torture.


    Danish Cartoonist (none / 0) (#97)
    by diogenes on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 06:42:55 PM EST
    Someone broke into the apartment of the Danish cartoonist.  
    Tell Rushdie that it was a trivial fate.
    How about a test--reprint the Danish cartoons on YOUR facebook site and see what happens.

    The question is, why was he arrested at all (none / 0) (#12)
    by lausunu on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:04:54 PM EST
    Sweden drops rape accusation against founder of WikiLeaks

    August 21, 2010|From Per Nyberg, CNN

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-21/world/sweden.wikileaks.charge_1_julian-assange-molestation-charge -arrest-warrant?_s=PM:WORLD

    Because (none / 0) (#22)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:31:20 PM EST
    that drop wasn't the end of the case?

    This seems excessive (none / 0) (#18)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:21:51 PM EST
    and I say this as someone who fully supported the house arrest of Polanski. The difference- at least to me- is that one (Polanski) is a demonstrated flight risk, while the has, at least to my knowledge, no prior history of eluding justice.   That said if the charges against Mr. Assange were to accumulate (that is to say if more women stepped forward) I'd understand this simply as a "protect the public" issue.  

    Segue: Polanski. And al-Awlaki decision. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:54:36 PM EST
    Federal district court judge sd. perhaps al-Awlaki could appear from hiding via video-conferencing.

    APfederal district court re U.S. citizen iman


    I think theres a bit of a difference (none / 0) (#93)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:37:16 PM EST
    between al-Awlaki and Polanski- one essentially had his day in court, then fled to avoid punishment to rule that Polanski didn't have to appear to contest his case would have essentially incentivized fleeing, while al-Awlaki has never been convicted in a court of law and given the possible consequences of showing up this solution seems just.

    Of course. (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 04:44:42 PM EST
    Greenwald says it all and he's been saying (none / 0) (#19)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:24:32 PM EST
    it all along. Greenwald, today: Anti-WikiLeaks lies and propaganda - from TNR, Lauer, Feinstein and more. The story also includes a link to the following:
    I [Grenwald] was on Democracy Now this morning talking about Assange's arrest; in particular, I was describing why and how I believe that these attacks on WikiLeaks are a literal war over who controls the Internet and the purposes to which it can be used (see my post yesterday for some of that explanation)...[all emphasis added].

    Here's another current Salon story by Justin Elliott: How the U.S. can now extradite Assange:

    Attorney Douglas McNabb, who specializes in federal criminal defense and international extradition cases, says that extradition requests can also be made under seal. And he has had clients who have been the subject of Interpol Red Notices -- the international call for arrest that Sweden used to pursue Assange last week -- that have not been released publicly...McNabb believes that an aggressive lawyer could drag out an extradition case against Assange for as long as two years. But as bond has been denied, he might spend that time in a prison cell. The Guardian has more on the legal intricacies of extradition here.

    Greenwald (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:30:40 PM EST
    may be letting his understandable support of Wikileaks cloud his assessment of the case- If I remember correctly he did the same thing a couple times when US soldiers were accused of War Crimes- only to later be exonerated.

    If you're going to accuse GG of (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by observed on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:33:41 PM EST
    something, take the trouble to be 1/10th as meticulous as he is. I mighta sorta heard he's very careful with his facts.

    And in most cases (none / 0) (#52)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 12:59:31 PM EST
    I'd agree with your assessment wholeheartedly- but for him to essentially be saying Assange was set up- when there is no way he has any real familiarity with the Swedes evidence is more than a stretch its ludicrious accusation akin to those who the day after 9-11 blamed the whole thing on the Mossad or Iraq.

    One victim has possible CIA links (none / 0) (#84)
    by Mitch Guthman on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:36:30 PM EST
    I don't think that the people who suspect CIA involvement are crazy conspiracy theorists.   After the name of one of the alleged victims leaked out, a number of journalists were able to develop information that she was a member of CIA-supported anti-communist and/or right-wing groups.   If these reports are true, it means that at least one of the accusers has a significant link to the CIA.  That's just too big of a coincidence for me to buy.

    By the same token, the fact that this information about the victim is public knowledge raises another question:  Were the Swedish authorities aware of these allegations and did they investigate them?  How does this ex-CIA asset explain her interest in WikiLeaks and account for her relationship with Assange?    If she really was on the CIA's payroll (albeit indirectly), don't you think it's a pretty amazing coincidence that she's the one accusing Assange of rape?  I'm not saying it absolutely disproves her allegations, but if you were a prosecutor, wouldn't this make you think twice or even thrice about her story?


    Nuttiest Indictments I ever heard (none / 0) (#70)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:32:13 PM EST
    Let's take them line by line

    1.  Unlawful coercion - used his body weight to hold down Miss A in a sexual manner.

    Have Swedes ever had sex before?  If you don't hold the other "in a sexual manner", both of you might fall down.

    2.  Deliberate molestation - molested Miss A "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity".

    I have absolutely no idea what this means.  Miss A and Mr A are fornicating which is a violation of Jewish/Biblical/Muslim law.  So, yes, if you believe fornicating violates "sexual integrity", he broke the law.

    3.  Had unprotected sex with Miss W while she was asleep.

    You know, when you're sleeping with another person, there's always the chance the other person will initiate sex while you're asleep.  This happens in marriages all of the time.  Yes, it's true.  I would guess it happens to unmarried couples too.

    4.  Sexual molestation - had unprotected sex with Miss A when she had insisted on him using a condom.

    This is probably the most serious charge.  But then if he really did force her to have even though she refused (because he wouldn't wear a condom), presumably they could charge him with rape.  That they don't do so is an indication even they don't believe rape occurred either.

    Here's an actual quote from one of the women:

    One of two women involved told Aftonbladet in an interview published today that she had never intended Assange to be charged with rape. She was quoted as saying: "It is quite wrong that we were afraid of him. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him."

    Speaking anonymously, she said each had had voluntary relations with Assange: "The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl lies with a man who had attitude problems with women."

    Is it just me? (none / 0) (#75)
    by vicndabx on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 01:51:07 PM EST
    I'm sorry, but while I can appreciate the perspective that less gov't secrets are better, we can't seriously believe it's a good thing that leaks such as this (protracted, largely inconsequential information) are good for either the US foreign policy or morale of it's troops.  These folks are talking about 250K more docs fer crissakes.

    Further, I thought it was supposed to be about if the woman says no, that's all there is too it?  Who cares what the guy does for a living?

    Nothing to back it up (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by waldenpond on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:30:29 PM EST
    It's a huge positive.  I'll ignore that there is nothing disclosed that hasn't already been discussed in the past by actual journalists.  

    More people are killed by govt deceit and corruption.  There is nothing to back up the opinion that it is 'bad'.  What foreign policy change has the US made once they found out that they had a leaker?   What effect do you think being pookie faced is going to have on the country?

    I don't think the accusations against Assange would meet a rape definition in the US....  "It is quite wrong that we were afraid of him. He is not violent and I do not feel threatened by him."  would negate what we think of as a physical assault.


    Why not... (none / 0) (#86)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 02:54:59 PM EST
    if the state is doing it, writing it, wiring it...why can't we know about it?  It's our dime Vic...maybe if we keep a closer eye the state won't get us in so much trouble and debt.

    And some of us are skeptical of these charges...one accuser might be a CIA operative fer cryin' out loud...I would say that is very relevant to credibility, wouldn't you? CIA agents and operatives lie for a living.


    Wonder, where BBC (none / 0) (#89)
    by Nemi on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:37:15 PM EST
    got what they call "the Swedish charges" from, mentioned in this post? There's no link, it's not from the Swedish Prosecution Authorities, it's not from the lawyer representing the two women, so ...

    Rumours? Hearsay? Gossip?

    Wikileaks? (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 07, 2010 at 03:39:54 PM EST
    Heh! :) (none / 0) (#95)
    by Nemi on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:06:56 AM EST
    ... but maybe more true than you'd initially think.

    I agree with Jeralyn on this (none / 0) (#96)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 07:36:10 AM EST
    I agree -- it's shielding the name that perpetuates the idea that rape is shameful and should be a source of embarrassment for the victim. That's not a good way for a free and open society to operate. I have long been opposed to this idea and its ugly paternalistic overtone. Furthermore, false accusations of rape do happen--why should those accusers stay unnamed, any more than those who falsely accuse people of other crimes?