Awhile back, I remarked on how interesting and odd the timing of those sexual assault charges against Julian Assange was. Today, once more, I am reminded of just how very interesting and odd that timing was, indeed:
Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer says a newspaper report casts doubt on whether the sex abuse investigation against the WikiLeaks founder was carried out in an impartial manner.
Swedish tabloid Expressen reported Thursday that a police officer involved in the initial phase of the probe had personal and political links to one of the two women accusing Assange of sexual misconduct.
Expressen also said the officer, Irmeli Krans, described Assange as a “bubble ready to burst” on her personal Facebook page.
“If this information is correct, then one should carefully consider whether the nature of the investigation is such that he can be assured a fair trial,” Assange’s lawyer Bjoern Hurtig told The Associated Press.
…”whether the nature of the investigation is such that he can be assured a fair trial”.
That’s just it, isn’t it? The nature of the investigation is such that he can’t be assured anything of the sort. The timing of the charges tells me that already.
Meanwhile, there is also a conflict-of-interest issue tucked in here:
Expressen said Krans knew one of Assange’s accusers from their involvement in Sweden’s left-wing Social Democratic Party. Krans didn’t answer calls and an e-mail seeking comment Thursday.
Stockholm police spokesman Ulf Goranzon rejected any conflict of interest in the investigation. He said Krans didn’t interview her supposed friend, but the other woman, and wasn’t involved in the investigation after that.
As for the Facebook comments, Goranzon said “it is important for police officers to contemplate what they say and how they say it on social media.”
Nice dodge there, Mr. Goranzon.
The very fact that the investigator was friends with one of the accusers should have meant that she was not impartial enough to pursue this case, even if she only interviewed the other one (the one she presumably didn’t know).
And if the conflict-of-interest that comes of being too friendly with one of the accusers wasn’t enough to disqualify her, surely the vindictive, triumphalistic comment she wrote on Facebook would have to be. At least, in anything purporting to resemble a fair trial, it would…
But that’s just it. I do not believe for one instant that the trial of Julian Assange will be a fair one. I believe this entire proceeding to be politically motivated, and that securing justice for rape victims everywhere is the furthest thing from the actual political motive behind it. This has all the markings of a show trial, and behind all the sudden, touching and uncharacteristic concern for sexually assaulted women, there lies something much squirmier, something much more averse to the light of day.
Rape is a serious matter, and a traumatizing one, but you’d never know it to look at the way it’s being used here. Throughout history, rape has never been about the rights of women, only about the whims of men. The very origin of the word is in reference to property theft, not assault on a person. Women have always been regarded as property, and nothing has changed, even in this case, which is being seized upon by right-wing asshats as evidence that Sweden is “run by feminists”–a preposterous contention if ever there was one. Rape is not only a weapon of war; it’s also a casus belli. In the case of Julian Assange, it is a casus belli in the undeclared war against freedom of information.
And rape is clearly nothing more to these people than a pretext to get Julian Assange into custody, by whatever means possible. When they can legally extradite him (not to Sweden, but to the United States), just watch: They will drop the rape charges for the real ones, the ones the US is dying to press. Namely, those of espionage.
But even espionage, like rape, is nothing but a flimsy pretext in this case. Julian Assange did not spy for anyone, nor did he spy on anyone, nor was anyone’s life demonstrably endangered by the Cablegate documents he published. All he did was take some documents that were voluntarily given to him, and make these available to the general public via Wikileaks.
And the contents of these documents, classified or not, don’t even come as a surprise to those who have seen them–they only serve to confirm what we have all long suspected. And sometimes, to embarrass those who don’t deserve to enjoy a good reputation anyway. So what is the earthly point of keeping them a secret? Only to enable warmongers and imperialists, who have scant respect for human life in general, and female human life in particular.
The lives of Afghans and Iraqis, as well as secret agents and CIA assets, are not the real issue here, any more than is the question of whether two Swedish women were sexually assaulted by Julian Assange. They are all being used as pawns in a cynical ploy to stop the free flow of information, and nothing more.
And it will do them no justice if he is found guilty.
PS: You really must read the Expressen story. It’s all in English, and while the translation is imperfect, it’s explosive to say the least. Here’s a sampling:
When the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet recently let it’s [sic] readers chat with Assange the interrogator commented:
“What the heck is this??? Judgement zero!!!”
The day before she wrote in a status update on her Facebook-page:
“Way to go, Claes Borgström!!!”
In another status update from late February the police interrogator wrote about “The overrated Assange bubble ready to burst”.
In their blogs, the police interrogator and the woman who reported Julian Assange have been open about their friendship. As recently as February 10 this year the woman commented a status update that the interrogator had on her facebook page. The woman still links from her homepage to the private blog of the police interrogator. The interrogator in turn links to her party friend and lawyer Thomas Bodström, who has a vested interest in the Assange case through his law firm.
Conflict of interest. Quod erat demonstrandum, baby. Go read it all!