Taking The Piss

Al Capone committed all sorts of nefarious and dastardly crimes during his reign in Chicago. He was nailed on tax evasion.

Any number of criminals have been arrested and jailed on minor charges from littering to jaywalking, nuisance infractions that are enforced only in the most extreme circumstances, or when they really need to hold someone, but have no real charges to post.

This, however, smacks of illegality:

PARIS ”” Interpol has placed Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing organization, on a so-called red notice wanted list following allegations of sexual misbehavior by a Swedish prosecutor, according to the police organization’s Web site on Wednesday.

The notice said Mr. Assange, 39, was wanted for ”œsex crimes” on an arrest warrant brought by the international public prosecution office in Gothenburg, Sweden. Interpol is based in Lyon, France. Mr. Assange’s whereabouts were not immediately known.

Now, I don’t really want to get into the merits of the charge–and if you feel strongly about them, comments are open– although that does play a part in my analysis.

You may recall that over the summer (on August 20) an investigation was opened in Sweden, accusing him with one rape and another case of sexual harassment. The rape charge was dropped almost immediately, then re-instated a week later. Assange admits to having sex twice during the period in question, alluding to the possibility that it was with both women. He also says it was consensual, if unprotected (which might under Swedish law be an issue).

In other words, this really becomes a “he said, she said” matter (although I’m sure there must be some physical evidence tying him to the events), and consequently the purview of local authorities. A criminal investigation was handed up in November, and an arrest warrant handed down. This has ballooned into the current Interpol order.

There seems, however, to be some conflicting details about Assange’s cooperation. His lawyer claims he’s offered to meet on neutral territory (including a Swedish embassy), but the Swedish prosecutor has insisted he return to Sweden to face the charges. Of course, the prosecutor denies this.

Now, a Red Notice is Napoleonic in nature. The fugitive has to prove his innocence before it’s lifted, and he is presumed guilty of the charges until he’s tried and exonerated. There are actually two Red Notices: one is an arrest warrant, the other is for a fugitive who has been tried, convicted, and sentenced. Interpol claims that there is no arrest warrant on Assange, meaning he’s wanted for fleeing a sentence.

Um, excuse me? He hasn’t even been tried yet. Effectively, he’s being chased down across the globe to be arrested, but yet, there’s no international arrest warrant other than the Swedes own BOLO.

This disturbs me. Here we have two events that involve no physical evidence of a crime being committed, only evidence that the events happened. Yet, Assange is being equated to Osama bin Laden in criminality.

That’s simply not right. Whatever you think of the leaks (the Libertarian in me thinks he did signal service, but the American in me wishes he had been a little more cautious in what he leaked), for a state, or group of states, to hunt down a person internationally on the word of two women, neither of whom has to come forward to reveal their identities is a New World Order writ small.

The timing of all this is a little suspect, as well. Who has ever heard of an international probe launched for sexual misbehavior within months of the event? It’s not like Assange killed women he slept with and would be an imminent danger to be around. In July of this year, Assange released the Afghan war documents, internal Pentagon documents that detail secret conversations and discussions of the war in Afghanistan. In August, he’s accused of rape. By December, he’s on what amounts to an international terror watch and presumably could be assassinated by a trigger-happy cop in whatever country he lands in.

All because he spoke the truth.

Like it or not, support him or not, this has to send a chill down your spine.

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  • Assange couldn’t have committed the crimes. But the timing sure is damn convenient.

    It’s infuriating how some alleged victims are more important than others. I’ve never heard of Interpol/states caring enough about mass rapes carried out by common thugs in east DRC to round up habitual human rights violators.

  • Kissinger can’t transit through several European countries because of war crimes indictments and he’s still considered a wise statesman.

    But, yeah, this has nothing to do with what Assange did or didn’t do in Sweden and everything to do with trying to nail him to a cross.

  • Suddenly I find myself interested in the circumstances of Assange’s little sex party. Not from a prurient standpoint, but a tactical one.

    Who were these girls? How old were they? How did they know Assange? How did they happen to meet him? Why then? Why the sexual interest?

    We know that Julian Assange is in his late thirties. Highly intelligent, sophisticated, apparently at least somewhat wealthy, since he’s a world traveler.

    There is a possibility that this whole affair was a setup. Would the conspirators Assange’s activities threaten be cunning enough and ruthless enough to send a couple girls his way, later to accuse him of rape? It is a blackmail scenario common to espionage stories. Defeat your enemy by miring him in legal trouble.

    Described as Actor has done, the highly unusual and illogical Red Notice now takes on a darker tinge. It is as if Julian Assange is being hunted.
    Cows get milked, rubes get bilked,
    And fat cats dine on fools and cream.

  • they just haven’t sent a drone after him already. When he first pissed of the USG, you just knew they would move heaven and earth to nail him – for anything they could get him on. The sex charges strike me as too good to be true, both from a timing angle and subject. Rape charges smear much more effectively than, say, jaywalking. When he was in Sweden, the authorities dropped the rape charge. If you think the USG didn’t apply some pressure to get the charge reinstated, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you.

    Question: If he went down, would it destroy wikileaks? There was talk after releasing the war diaries that he should keep a lower profile and share the public interface with others in the organization. Maybe the others are waiting to see what happens to him before they go public?

  • At the same time, Assange should have resigned when prominent members of his board insisted that he do so. It’s like Clinton hanging on. What’s right, technically, isn’t necessarily what works. In this case, once again Assange is the issue not the leaks.

  • not much happens. Threaten banks….. and we’ll read of a drone attack and a dead man. Next up – the vampire squid itself – Goldman Sachs. (Some authors say B of A.) Read developments over at Zero Hedge.

    BTW, the most lucid and reasonable response to the Wikileaks document dump has been from Stephen Walt.


    He has two postings regarding the implications of Wikileaks there, both of them compelling, in my view.

  • Anybody have any actual insight on what common Swedish / INTERPOL practice is in cases like this? You know, like data?

    Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent. ~ Pierre Trudeau

  • Didn’t take long, did it? I just saw this after posting about it myself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqtIafdoH_g 1 min 22 sec

    Advisor to Canadian PM Harper calls for “assassination” of Julian Assange by “taking out a contract on him” or “a drone attack.” University of Calgary professor Tom Flannigan said this on TV yesterday, apparently.

  • …what I really want to know is what common Swedish practice is WRT these specific types of charges and INTERPOL.

    Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent. ~ Pierre Trudeau

  • I hope that if there is a drone attack it’s launched while Assange is in a TV studio in New York or something.

    More seriously, this is another example that suggests that Assange is accomplishing his real goal.

  • leaks of the phone calls and emails circulating around in the CIA, White House, and Pentagon regarding the charges, and his persecution.

    Apparently there are sources willing to leak. They will find the people the need to hook up with.

    I think they are going to be frustrated. The logic is a fail. You are not going stop the phenomenon that Wikileaks started any more than the record industry could stop file-sharing by persecuting Napster. Or that everything would be solved in Iraq by toppling Saddam. Or that if you could kill Bin Laden (assumming he isn’t already dead from illness) all international terrorism will end.

    This is the lashing out of a giant who has been hit smack in the head by a well-aimed slingshot.

    This is a gamechanger, because it’s now clear that the old classification system for covert communications has been compromised in a very basic way.

    It will be interesting to see how governments respond. They are choosing the crimefighting model, apparently. But that won’t be enough. They are going to have to rethink and redesign the whole technology and strategy of covert action. Because the old ways they used to conceal their activities have just been busted wide open.

    Even if Assange walked in and surrendered and pleaded guilty to all charges, we live in a different world now.

    You know there’s closed door meetings going on to deal with this. It would be really interesting to be a fly on the wall at some of those meetings.

  • …that they were folks that he had met somewhat circumstantially – one he was staying with, one became an acquainted after covering some of the media / PR stuff.

    The thing that bugs me about it is that the guy knew that the classic honey trap was a hazard. To the point, IIRC, that there was even stuff out there about the possibility before this blew up. And he still went ahead and doinked two people he barely knew. That doesn’t speak of someone with the strategic chops required.

    This whole thing has been a fly by the seat of your pants, “utopian technocrats used to manipulating complex technical systems coming up against messy social/political interactions they don’t begin to understand, playing to the cheap seats on a shoestring, in a world where it’s about the least bad option” boondoggle. [I’d trademark the phrase but it doesn’t roll off the tongue.]

    There’s a reason cryppies aren’t let near the NIE. ~ not-Pierre Trudeau

  • That’s where Wikileaks has been successful and that’s how/why the state is failing against Wikileaks’ success.

    These dumps are a successful attack on the way that nation-states, particularly the US, operate. That appears to be the plan rather than the leaks compromising individuals or pushing for (or against) particular policy. You’re right, the game has changed. Probably permanently.

    The State reaction is counterproductive, and much like terrorism* the overblown response from the State is far more damaging to the State than the attack itself.

    *This is not so much terrorism, though we could call it information terrorism we shouldn’t because of the modern connotation of the word. This is revolution of a sort that is new for the 21st century. It is, however, like terrorism in that it’s effectively spreading fear…only this time within governments rather than a population.

  • …And this is hopeful. Maybe, just maybe, the Brits aren’t buying the schpeel. In any event, one can only hope. The U.S. should be approaching the end of their line of lies…

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them,and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows,or with both~FDouglas

  • So common that interpol has one out on Kissinger? He’s been indicted in at least one European country for war crimes (and cannot transit through for fear of arrest), but it doesn’t seem like interpol’s put a red notice on him…though i could be wrong.

  • I’m of two minds about the set-up theory.

    On the one hand, it fits nicely, and given the ambiguous nature of the charges, makes it impossible to definitively prove one way or the other.

    On the other hand, you’d need the cooperation of at least one of the women, if not both, and that would mean she’d have something on you to expose as well.

    Now, let’s assume he was set-up somehow. Why would he fall for that?

    Ego. Look, how many guys have gotten caught in the “didn’t bring a condom” roll of the dice? It’s no great leap to think Assange let his ego get ahead of himself.

  • Look, how many guys have gotten caught in the “didn’t bring a condom” roll of the dice? It’s no great leap to think Assange let his ego get ahead of himself.

    He’s an attention whore, so it’s ego. As for getting caught in the no-condom scheme, that’s stupidity, not ego. It’s not your partner’s job (male or female) to protect you from pregnancy. So it’s ego and stupidity.

  • he made the decision to be the target. While everyone is paying attention to him, the others can continue what their doing. I had no problem with Clinton hanging on, there was enough irregularities(Fl,Mi…) and popular vote for her too.

  • Maybe this is why:


    The guy here seems to think Assange has an ace in the hole, some chunck of data rigged to a “deadman swtich” ready to be released if he should mysteriously disappear.

    If Assange does have such a fail-safe cache of information, it must be damning indeed, and it must cover more than simply the powers that be in America. In fact, we can assume that it is considerably more incriminating than anything Assange plans to release about Bank of America, which he compared to the Enron tapes. Imagine that for a moment – a cache of information that makes the Enron revelations look relatively insignificant.

    Moreover, it would be essential to Assange’s security that the perpetrators implicated in his secret cache of information be made aware of its existence. Would that be enough to stay the finger from pressing the Smite button?

    Oh hell yes, it would.
    Cows get milked, rubes get bilked,
    And fat cats dine on fools and cream.

  • …operate (not sure about degree of success right now, but clearly this seems to be the target – intentional or not). What’s unclear to me is how these specific actions and targets help if the real target is authoritarian conspiracies as suggested by Assange’s prior writings.

    I actually see something different WRT the parallels to terrorism. The response of State is worse than the attack in terms of credibility in domestic US eyes. I don’t think that’s nearly as true in terms of the United States’ relationships with other nations.

    Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent. ~ Pierre Trudeau

  • …and couldn’t find one for him.

    Let us overthrow the totems, break the taboos. Or better, let us consider them cancelled. Coldly, let us be intelligent. ~ Pierre Trudeau

  • as Actor noted, and then a couple of weeks later another prosecutor decided to reinstate the charges anyway and saddle up Interpol. Strange system thereabouts.


    The first gal doesn’t want to press any charges and the second is Anne Ardin, the politico who invited him to Sweden in the first place and quickly became his bedroom buddy. Some months ago she posted interesting online instructions for jilted lovers on precisely how to extract maximum revenge.

    A real sweetheart.

    Apparently he original source of the information was a Swedish right wing tabloid called “Expressin”. It reported that the complainant had voluntary sex with Assange but he crossed her personal boundaries. Whatever that means.

    “”There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall”” – Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)

  • Rough translation but you get the drift. What nasty girls. (And please, no jokes about Assange and leaks. That would be very declasse.)


    Rape allegations directed at the founder of Wikileaks revealed. Anne Ardin called involved, questioning the leaky condoms and venereal disease test. The accusation of rape had been canceled by Swedish prosecutors. Later, the British newspaper the Daily Mail get copies of two women, a statement made by the police.That statement indicates Julian Assange sex with two women. But the woman went to the police because Assange refuse to use condoms and STD testing (tests of venereal disease).Anna Ardin who helped bring Assange to Sweden to discuss the engagement, allegedly allowing Assange living room apartment in Stockholm.They go to dinner and, according to police sources quoted by the Daily Mail, “when they return, then having sex but there are problems with the condom, where condoms are leaking.””Ardin think that this is intentional, but Assange asserted that it was an accident.”Ardin told the Swedish newspaper that Assange has a “bizarre behavior toward women and it’s hard to say no.” Ardin reject the accusation has been fabricated by the Pentagon.Another woman, call it the B woman obsessed with Assange and follow all the news about the man.A few days later met the woman Assange and B and spent the afternoon in his apartment.But he complained that B “she more attention to computers than I do.”The couple were having breakfast in the morning and split up afterwards, and then will to Assange call her but she did not.The woman then contacted Ardin and they both realized had been the victim Assange. They were both afraid of pregnancy and STD tests because Assange rejected (test venereal disease), these women went to the police.Last week, Assange claims that the rape allegations are part of Pentagon operations.Assange said on Al-Jazeera Australian intelligence had warned of “dirty tricks”.But Defence Ministry spokesman said “the defense intelligence agency was never associated with or interested Assange personal problems.” Last week, the New York Post reported close friends in Sweden Assange sure the sex allegations were personal hatred that comes from Assange relationships with the women

    “”There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall”” – Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)

  • Gawker by Adrian Chen.

    Wikileaks Founder’s Molestation Police Report Leaked: His Top-Secret Moves Revealed

    Wikileaks Founder’s Molestation Police Report Leaked: His Top-Secret Moves RevealedThe Daily Mail has managed to secure a copy of the police report detailing Julian Assange’s alleged molestation of two Swedish women. Inside, we learn that Assange’s preferred method of seducing groupies is to feed them cheese.

    The report certainly supports the “Julian Assange Banged His Groupies” theory over the “Pentagon smear campaign” explanation of his recent sex scandal. We’ve already heard about Assange’s fling with Anna Ardin, the leftist politician who helped bring him to Sweden. The Daily Mail elaborates on the second, younger woman, “Woman B.” The 20-something became fascinated with Assange after hearing of Wikileaks’ huge Afghanistan war documents leak. According to the Mail, “over the following two weeks she read everything she could find about him on the internet and followed news reports about his activities.”

    Wikileaks Founder’s Molestation Police Report Leaked: His Top-Secret Moves Revealed
    Woman B at Assange’s press conference

    When she heard Assange was headed to Sweden, she staked out a press conference, wearing a “shocking-pink cashmere jumper.” Afterwards, she got herself invited to lunch with Assange and two male companions. This is when Assange started to deploy his highly classified moves according to the police report, as reported by the Daily Mail:

    The Cheese Feeding Strategy

    Assange seemed pleased to have such an ardent admirer fawning over him and, she said, would look at her ‘now and then’. Eventually he took a closer interest.

    She explained in her statement that he was tucking into cheese served on Swedish crispbread when she asked if he thought it was good.

    Assange looked at her directly and started to feed her.

    The Ask-for-a-laptop-charger Approach

    He told her that he needed a charger for his laptop, and she eagerly offered to help…

    They went on a vain search for the charger. She bought him a travel card for the metro because he said he didn’t have any money.

    The Movie Theater Heavy Petting Plan

    At 6pm they entered a bijou cinema to watch a short film about the ocean, called Deep Sea. In the darkness Assange became amorous.

    At one point they moved to the back row, where it is clear from the woman’s statement that the pair went far beyond kissing and fondling.

    The “I Can’t Pay for My Train Ticket Because The U.S. Government Is Tracking Me” Ploy

    She wanted to go to a hotel, but he said he would like to see her home.

    Again she bought his £10 train ticket because he had no cash and said he didn’t want to use his credit card in case his movement was being tracked.

    He spent most of the 45-minute journey surfing the internet on his laptop, reading stories about himself and twittering or texting on his mobile phone.

    The Have Sex In the Morning, Get Her to Buy You Another Train Ticket Then Never Call Her Again Tact

    They parted on friendly terms and she bought his train ticket back to Stockholm. When she asked if he would call, he said: ‘Yes, I will.’

    But he did not and neither did he answer her calls.

    Woman B then called Anna Ardin, whom she’d met at a seminar, to talk about her experience. When they realized they’d been double-crossed, they went to the police. (Ardin said she merely went to support Woman B, who wanted to inquire about making Assange take an STD test, as he didn’t use a condom despite her insistence.) Then things got weird, the police issued an arrest warrant for rape in Woman B’s case and quickly withdrew it. The molestation charges are still pending. The police reports are heavily redacted so it’s hard to tell exactly what Assange did to warrant the accusation, but it appears to be related to his refusal to wear a condom.

    “”There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall”” – Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)

  • Crikey.au Dec 2

    by Melbourne barrister James D. Catlin, who acted for Julian Assange in London in October.

    Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape. That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage its reputation as a model of modernity.

    Sweden’s Public Prosecutor’s Office was embarrassed in August this year when it leaked to the media that it was seeking to arrest Assange for rape, then on the same day withdrew the arrest warrant because in its own words there was “no evidence”. The damage to Assange’s reputation is incalculable. More than three quarters of internet references to his name refer to rape. Now, three months on and three prosecutors later, the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was not consensual.

    For three months Assange had been waiting in vain to hear whether media statements by and for the two female “victims” that there was no fear or violence were going to be embellished so the charges might be carried forward due to greater seriousness. Such statements would stop a rape charge in any Western country dead in its tracks. Rape is a crime of violence, duress or deception. You can rape someone by deluding them into thinking you are someone else or by drugging them or by reason of their young age but essentially it’s a crime of violence.

    The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.

    That further evidence hasn’t been confected to make the charges less absurd does Sweden no credit because it has no choice in the matter. The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes”.

    In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Niether Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

    “”There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall”” – Cyril Connolly (1903-1974)

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