Thursday, December 09, 2010
Was Julian Assange Guilty only of Sexual Promiscuity?
I'm a bit baffled by the wikileaks-Julian Assange-sex allegations-extradition possibility thing. Let me list my confusions; I'd not be surprised if they coincided with most people concerned with this issue.
1. I don't automatically assume Wikileaks' revelations are justified as many of the left have done so in a knee jerk reaction. It's good to know what is happening- and a news junkie I've loved the revelations- but you must be a fool to think that diplomacy can be conducted within the full light of publicity. Diplomats it seems to me must be allowed confidentiality when about their business and those who confer with them must have it too. Anyone who has been involved in delicate negotiations of a legal or emotional nature must know privacy is an essential prerequisite. So my personal jury is still out on what Assange is doing; not so The Economist which thinks wikileaks' actions deserve punishment. However, I would wholly oppose any victimisation of the guy who I think operates on the basis of seeking to do good.
2. I'm not clear at all regarding the accusations of rape against the guy made in Sweden. This article yesterday suggested Assange was invited to give a talk to a group in Enkoping in Sweden and then was invited to stay the previous night in the flat of the woman (A) who had fixed up the talk. They ended up sleeping together though had to endure a split condom. (So far, so typical of leftwing gatherings I would say.) The next day the talk duly took place but another woman(W) then met Assange over lunch before going to the cinema where she gave him a blow job. (Things hotting up here)
They then slept together that night and did not use a condom. Following this both ladies became acquainted and both went to a police station to to 'seek advice' on making a complaint against Assange. Woman A claimed he had deliberately ripped the condom whilst W said unprotected sex had been without her consent.
3. I may be chauvinistically naive or blind but I fail to see that consent was denied in either case and view the accusation that he split the condom on purpose to be incomprehensible. Were the ladies maybe annoyed he slept with both of them in succession? It looks a bit like it and indeed, it would seem from the second article linked that Julian is a tad incontinent when it comes to indulging the opportunities with which his celebrity has provided him.
4. But another version of events is given by the lawyer representing the two ladies. Yet my hazy understanding after reading this article suggests Sweden has very eccentric laws on the subject of rape.
5. Indeed, yet another article reports that an activist for Women Against Rape, Katrin Axellson suggests it is indeed a put up political job:
"Many women in both Sweden and Britain will wonder at the unusual zeal with which Julian Assange is being pursued for rape allegations … There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety."
So there we are. A fascinating but opaquely confusing story which maybe time will clarify. But it does seem as if, contrary to their(no doubt undeserved) national reputation, Swedish women circumscribe sexual encounters with a series of unwritten rules alien to sexually active males in Australia, or, indeed the UK.
Mind how you go.
I do find your patronising tone vaguely irritating have to say; nor can I say I found your friends meandering bar room rant of a post enlightening.
This does lead to a question namely whether Julian Assange would get a fair trial in the USA, if and when their Justice department can frame charges against a foreign national. The hysterical outbursts from US politicians including calls for his assassination do bring into question the committment to due process and indeed innocence before trial. I might hope that the Home Secretary would refuse any request from the USA on that basis. Indeed it might be reasonably concluded that Gary McKinnon should not be extradited for the same reason in the climate created by ex Governor Palin, Newt Gingrich and their ilk.
I know nothing of Sweden's rape laws, and I hold somebody innocent until proven guilty. In this case, I would say on the strength of both versions that a police inquiry into the allegations is amply justified, although guilt is still far from proven.
However, I think it should be pointed out that this has been rumbling around for a while, and the only reason it hasn't been prosecuted before is that the Swedish Prosecutor's Office kept messing up the paperwork, and Assange kept dodging those areas where he might have been arrested. Suddenly, his high profile and everyone's unwillingness to protect him make him a much softer target for a European Arrest Warrant and an Interpol alert. The timing is indeed interesting, but it may well be a coincidence due to this reason.
Certainly, I think his suddenly very high public profile may well mean there is extra reporting of the case - which is not the same thing as an extra pursuit of the case. It may be a conspiracy, but I think on the whole Assange's counter-charges are more likely to be paranoia.
The first woman claimed they had consentual sex but the condom broke.
The 2nd woman claimed they had consentual sex and that the condom also broke.
Did he break the condom on purpose?
The 2nd woman claimed she did not mind having sex with him on condition he wore a condom.
The 2nd woman claimed later he had sex again with this time without a condom, without her consent. She was half awake and probably assumed he was wearing a condom the 2nd time but he wasn't, agianst her wishes.
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