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View Diary: "If you f*** up, I'll hunt you down and kill you." (94 comments)

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  •  You're mixing things up. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, wilderness voice

    Charge 3 is the "pressed his naked erect penis" charge, and is molestation.  Charge 4 is:

    4.  On 17th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Enkoping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state. It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.
    For charges 1-3, the document describes in detail that they are still extriditable under "double criminality" - that is, if they're illegal in the UK also - which the court then goes on to show they unambiguously are.

    For #4, it's not necessary, but they do it anyway.

    although to me the evidence for the charge appears thin, maybe enough to prosecute but not enough for a conviction.
    Two Swedish courts have already looked at the evidence.  The Svea court looked at it in detail and ruled against Assange's request to terminate the investigation.  They appealed and lost the appeal to have it be heard.

    Part of Assange's problem in regards to #4 is that his defense team has admitted too much already.  They haven't contested what happened before SW went to sleep, only trying to argue that she was in a state to consent and chose to consent to unprotected sex.  But this leads to a really implausible argument.  SW has a "paper trail" a mile long of being utterly paranoid of unprotected sex, including having a boyfriend of 2 1/2 years who not only did she never sleep with him unprotected, but even had him get STD tested before protected sex.  Adding to that a night of refusing unprotected sex, that puts his team in a very difficult situation to argue that she suddenly changed her whole philosophy in the middle of the night, and was cogent enough to consent in doing so.

    Unfortunately, they were kind of put in a bind of admitting as much as they did because of the forensics.  They have a condom from Assange's earlier activities with her, with his DNA.  They also have a DNA swab from inside of her, matched to his DNA on the condom.  They could have tried to deny the protected sex the night before, but they'd be put at risk of being exposed timing wise.  And they clearly couldn't deny the later unprotected sex.  So they didn't really have many options.

    Anyway, though, these are all issues for a court of law to take up.

    Didn't leave or make him leave
    Yes, this isn't Hollywood here, where rape victims run screaming, half-naked and bloody through the street straight to a police station.  Victims in the real world are in shock and confusion and have no clue how to react.  I let my rapist walk me back to my car.   I've known a number of women who even actually dated their rapist to try to make what feel less like rape.  At least one of whom is a fellow Kossack.  Want to tell her that she wasn't really raped?  Want to tell me that?

    It is extremely difficult to come to terms with date rape.

    Who is surprised that a man has sex with someone he is sleeping with? Really? Really?
    Oh, pleeease don't tell me that you're actually going where I think you're going with this one....  Let me phrase this carefully: are you actually saying it is your view that if a person consents to something, then there's a free license to do whatever they want to them while they're sleeping?

    Not even talking about legality (that's unambiguously illegal in most developed nations, including the UK and Sweden) - just about whether you actually support that.

    •  Rei, as a point of pragmatism, it is ill-advised (0+ / 0-)

      to sleep with another person if sex with them is out of the question. Seriously. It is ill-advised to be alone and vulnerable with someone you don't know at three in the morning. It is ill-advised to be asleep in bed with someone you don't know well.  Why? Because somebody might hurt you. Forget what should happen or what's right or not. This is basic survival.  

      I'm not from Sweden and their sexual mores are probably different from mine, so maybe people flop in and out of each others' beds without a second thought, sleeping together without the expectation of sex all the time, or not. I suspect most of the world is not like that. I don't even know what the laws are where I grew up, but I am certain this situation there, unlike Sweden, would be laughed out of court, so let's not discuss legality. Hmm. I guess that would make my a priori assumptions different than a gently raised Swedish girl's, certainly less trusting.

      To answer you question, I'm saying I'm not surprised at the outcome; it was extremely predictable. There is no "free license" even when people are awake, involved, and consenting. Reality bites, however. Not everyone deserves trust. It's probably better not to sleep with strangers, because they may not care what you want or don't want.  That's predictable too.

      It is difficult to come to terms with date rape.  I read your very poignant diary when you posted it, but hadn't connected it with the poster who despises Assange until you provided that link. I can see where this is more personal for you, then, and perhaps your crusade against him is part of your process of coming to terms with harsh events, but please don't make the mistake of thinking others don't understand rape.

      You've made a good case for Assange being a jerk, and I even agree with you, he's a pig.  He may even be guilty, in Sweden or the UK, and deserve a maximum of two years (I believe that's what the document said, but you would be the authority on that; I defer to your closer reading)  but that's not why he is being extradited. They couldn't extradite Pinochet for murder, for heaven's sake!

       Assange is right to seek asylum.  The danger he faces in extradition to the US far outweighs the charges against him. Not being a trusting sort, I would not rely on the UK to save him from the Americans.

      •  Whether or not Assange is guilty isn't my issue. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, wilderness voice, Rei

        THIS piece of BD IS what I object to in your statement here, the notion that it iis ill-advised

        to sleep with another person if sex with them is out of the question. Seriously. It is ill-advised to be alone and vulnerable with someone you don't know at three in the morning. It is ill-advised to be asleep in bed with someone you don't know well.  Why? Because somebody might hurt you. Forget what should happen or what's right or not. This is basic survival... There is no "free license" even when people are awake, involved, and consenting. Reality bites, however. Not everyone deserves trust. It's probably better not to sleep with strangers, because they may not care what you want or don't want.
        I don't think you intend to do this (at least, I hope you don't) mean to imply that the victim deserved it. Or that consent to sex once is consent to sex always? Because it sure sounds like it when you say this occurrence is extremely predictable.

        Maybe with a guy like Assange it is. But I've NEVER had a man I've slept with for the first time ignore my wishes about condoms nor try to have sex with me while I was asleep. I'm not a slut but at 62 I've had enough sex partners to have some awareness of reality.  On the other hand, I am not attracted to arrogant assholes who view themselves as arbiter of knowledge for everyone else--and I wouldn't have let Assange come anywhere near me for the same reason I don't sleep with Republicans.

        On the condom thing not really being rape because she'd consented to protected sex earlier and Assange apparently prefers bareback--I wrote an article years ago on rape for a start-up magazine in Baltimore County, circa 178. One of the people I interviewed was the Asst. State's Attorney for Baltimore COunty who was in charge of rape prosecutions. He was currently prosecuting a case in which the victim met the rapist at a club, had breakfast withhim, invited him in for coffee and things got hot and heavy. Clothing was off, and the woman said, "I need to put my diaphragm in before things go any further." SHe tried to get up. He pinned her (and my husband  and I did a re-enactment of this one night; it is well-nigh impossible for a woman to break out of a hold in which the man has her arms pinned and is sitting/kneeling on her legs--and I fought like hell) and forced himself into her despite her objections.

        At the moment she voiced objections, her consent was withdrawn and it became rape.

        The ASA KNEW it was an uphill fight because it had been a pick-up in a club, but he also knew it was rape and believed the  perp deserved to be brought to trial.

        I am inclined to say that if Assange KNEW she wouldn't agree to sex without a condom and proceeded anyway, he KNEW she would not consent and went ahead when she was unable to protest. IF he pinned her, it would have been hard for her to push him off and she may have chosen not to fight for fear of being hurt.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 10:34:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where I stopped reading was: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluedust
          I'm not a slut but at 62 I've had enough sex partners to have some awareness of reality.
          So how many sex partners does a woman need to have before she's a slut? I completely reject this framing. Do we really have to define our sexuality in 'male' terms?
          •  Get over it. I'll match my feminist (0+ / 0-)

            credentials against any here. The point I was trying to make is that I DO have some experience--and the person to whom I was responding is the sort who DOES seem to see things in male terms.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 01:54:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  My comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bluedust

              was not an attack on your feminist credentials but on your framing of female sexuality. I understood your point and the fact that you took this as an attack on your feminist credentials is a failure to communicate properly on my part. We all could do with confronting and rejecting the way we have socialised and internalised norms about our sexuality.  The point is that in that sentence, you were participating in rather than rejecting male-centric views about the expression of female sexuality and women's sexual choices and by doing so, reinforcing and legitimising those views. You were also reinforcing the views of one faction of Assange's supporters who attack and denigrate the 2 women who are accusing Assange by calling them, among other things, sluts.

            •  You are mistaken. (0+ / 0-)

              I have some experience myself and because of that this is advice I give my kids, because right or wrong is meaningless at the moment you are holding a broken injured soul.  I would rather keep them safe in a harsh world, and believe me, I know how harsh and ugly that can be, and how long the wounds take to heal into scars.  I think your anecdote actually supports my statement. Of course it was rape, although as your ASA pointed out, somewhat hard to prosecute. It would be better if she were not raped, but that's not what happened, because some guy was a dirt bag.

              I  conclude that some people are total dirt bags and not to be trusted and sometimes it's hard to tell who they are.  That's not a male point of view.  It's the point of view of many many victims of rape.

        •  Didn't I say there is no "free license"? (0+ / 0-)

          That means no blanket consent. I'm not blaming the victim either. Not everyone as fortunate as you, in terms of luck and judgement. In a world when one in three women, an unknown number of men, and a high percentage of the middle ground is a victim of sexual assault in a lifetime, the reality indicates that there are a lot of bad people out there who will exploit an individual's vulnerabilities.  

          I think it's a bad idea to sleep with strangers for safety reasons, not moral ones.  The odds are not good.

          I don't see anyone here trying to give Assange a free pass for rape. I see a concern that he will be extradited to the US and charged with espionage, an event that would have a chilling effect on journalism and free speech, and since Sweden has not been forthcoming in assurances to refuse to extradite Assange to the US, it's a credible threat.  If those assurances were given, Ecuador would send him to Sweden for trial.

          •  If you don't see anyone (0+ / 0-)

            trying to give him a pass for rape, you haven't been paying attention.  Even in this thread someone included a link to Craig Murray trying to argue that the women weren't really raped and are just lying sluts.

            . I see a concern that he will be extradited to the US and charged with espionage,
            Yes, this is the paranoid fantasy being pushed by his defense team.  The argument is all based on that Sweden - because it had one incident 12 years ago where two people, in the country illegally, who were identified to them as convicted terrorists, were handed off to be sent back to their countries where they were abused - and when the truth came out, they cut off all cooperation with the US on such issues (in 2006, as leaked by... wait for it... Wikileaks!), gave the victims residence, and paid them a large financial compensation.  

            This is the single most controversial event in the entire modern Swedish judicial system, 12 years ago.  Every country has something you can point to, and most have a damned lot more than that.  The International Justice Project ranks Sweden #1 in the world in basic civil rights.  Assange had thought so much of it that Wikileaks referred to the Swedish judicial system as their shield.

            But it wouldn't just be Sweden.  For Assange to be extradited to the US, all of the following would have to happen:

            1) The US would have to actually request him, which is far from certain.

            2) The Swedish Judicial system would have to approve.  In Sweden, as per all of the EU, it is illegal to extradite where there is a risk of human rights abuses or the death penalty.  It's also illegal in Sweden to extradite for intelligence or military issues.

            3) The Swedish government would have to independently approve.  They have already pledged to the Australian foreign minister that they wouldn't if the situation was in violation of the abovementioned Swedish or EU laws, which is the maximum amount they could legally pledge to do without directly pledging to violate their extradition treaty

            4) As the "sending state" of the EAW, the British courts would have to approve.  In Britain, also as per the European standard, it is illegal to extradite where there is a risk of the death penalty or human rights abuses.

            5) The British government would likewise approve.  They have pledged in a written letter to parliament not to do so within the aforementioned bounds, which again, is the maximum they can legally do.

            6) The European Court of Human Rights would have to approve.  The court exists precisely for the purpose of preventing people from facing human rights abuses or political prosecutions, and is far more often accused of overstepping its bounds in blocking legal actions than of the opposite.

            It would be difficult to conceive of a more difficult extradition system if you wanted to.  The easiest way to have extradited Assange to the US would have been from a friendly non-European nation - no constraints (Assange famously being a jetsetter, this would not have been a challenge).  No appeals, no EHCR, nothing.  The next easiest would have been a more US-friendly country in Europe than Sweden, with no complicating charges like rape.  Sweden would have been even harder because not only are they generally less compliant on extradition requests, they also have the no-intelligence-extraditions complications on their extradition treaty.  Then it'd be even harder while he was still in Sweden but was facing complicating charges of rape, which would have priority.  Then it becomes even harder when he gets to the UK with international warrants.  And then it gets even worse after being extradited to Sweden under an EAW.  

            In short, the conspiracy is precisely the opposite of anything that makes sense.  It gets even crazier when you extend the conspiracy to believing that the women are really secret CIA agents as part of an elaborate setup.  Lets see if I've got the Shadowy CIA Conspiracy(TM) down pat.

            1) For reasons only beknownst to them, they can only nab Assange from Sweden, not the US's biggest partner in the global extradition scheme, the UK, or any of the vast numbers of countries that Assange regularly globetrots to.  No, it has to be
            Sweden.  Let's just take that as a given for some Unknown Shadowy CIA Reason.

            2) Now, Assange was applying to live in Sweden when the Shadowy CIA    Conspiracy decided, "Instead of waiting until we're ready to nab him for our charges, since he's planning to live here, wouldn't it be so much more fun to  frame him for rape? "

            3) They furthermore decide, "Let's not only do that, but let's frame him for rape that's not like a Hollywood-style rape, but like rape in real life where there's consent to certain actions but not to others, where there are delays and complications and in general the women live their livesas though they're about to be judged in a trial, instead of trying to make an open-and-shut phony "knife to the throat" type rape case."  Why?  Because the Shadowy CIA Conspiracy just rolls that way.

            4) Now, let's install CIA plants all throughout the Swedish judicial system to keep the case going.  We can then have our CIA Plant, Ms. Ny, prosecute him.  But let's have her take several weeks to do so, and let's let the news totally leak out during the time that they're getting ready to arrest him so that Assange can run.  And
            let's just let him flee the country, and not tell Sweden so that they can stop him, even though it'd totally derail our plans if he decided not to come back.

            To people who believe that it's a giant conspiracy, I ask, is this how it went down, in your mind?  Great job, Shadowy CIA Conspiracy.  Who's heading the CIA these days, Bozo the Clown?

            The reality, which I know is very hard for many people to accept, is that famous people, even ones who've done good things, do actually still sometimes also do terrible things.  And we exist in a world where we care about the rule of law, and the rule of law involves people not picking and choosing whether they want to face trial because they've also annoyed other people elsewhere in the world.  In a world with the rule of law, if there's an arrest warrant for you, you go to jail and face trial.

            And sort of a tangent, but:

            I think it's a bad idea to sleep with strangers for safety reasons, not moral ones.  The odds are not good.
            Please be so kind to recognize that different countries have cultural differences.  In conservative places where there's no acceptable sex before marriage, they'd apply that same argument to American cultural attitudes toward sex.  Here in Iceland, on the other side of the spectrum, the standard order is "Meet -> Sex -> Get to know each other (over sleeping together several more times) -> Going places together -> Kids -> Possibly get married, but probably not".  
            •  I think you have more faith in governments (0+ / 0-)

              than I do.  As you correctly pointed out, extradition is difficult from the UK, so much so that, as I pointed out, General Pinochet, a dictator known to have tortured and murdered his opponents was unable to be extradited, in part because he was a friend of the US establishment, Kissinger to be precise. Nevertheless, Assange is to be extradited for a much much lesser crime. When I juxtapose those two occurrences, I find myself more cynical about governments than you appear to be.  

              I agree that Assange should go to trial for rape. I looked at your previous post on the assurances to the Australians that Sweden would not extradite, and I appreciate that you have laid out the procedure here.  First, I point out he doesn't have to be extradited for espionage; he could certainly be extradited for a lesser charge, such as an obstruction of justice charge that falls short of the death penalty. Since America no longer binds itself to the Geneva Convention, the definition of human rights abuse is up for grabs. An obstruction of justice charge would not trigger the carefully worded UK assurances either, since the death penalty is not in play, so neither the Swedish nor the UK protections would apply. Once in the States, anything could happen; Assange has made a lot of powerful enemies. Second, assurances given to the Australians are immaterial. Sweden should properly direct itself to Ecuador, and preferably put the assurances in writing. Ecuador has indicated that upon receiving such, they would return Assange to Sweden. Significantly, that hasn't happened.  Third, although you are correct that famous people who do some admirable things can also be cretins and that Assange is no exeption, it is no longer true that America adheres to the rule of law. We have one illegal war, Iraq, numerous violations of the Geneva Convention, criminal fraud by banks unpunished and more. Doesn't Assange claim to have dirt on BofA? So what then? If you can, you try to face trial when you are certain everyone else will adhere to the rule of law. I am positive that he will eventually be brought to court for that charge.

              Other people have laid out arguments like this, probably much more elegantly and cogently than I have, and you seem unable to accept any nuance in the debacle. It's interesting that you are so narrowly focused on prosecuting Assange for rape, that you cannot see any information that complicates or delays that end.  Nevertheless, thank you for the abundant information and thought provoking discussion.  I am certainly better informed than I was. I doubt we will ultimately agree on every part of the issue, so I think we will have to agree to disagree.

              Tangentially, since I brought up the cultural differences myself, you can assume I am most aware of them.  It occurs to me that cultural differences may be partly responsible for some of the derision that Assange's charges have been subject to, especially in the non- developed world. I note the more liberal mores didn't prevent these two women from getting hurt, although they could certainly prosecute after the fact.

              Good luck to you.

              •  No, Pinochet was not extradited... (0+ / 0-)

                because he qualified for the health exemption in British extradition law.  Same as the Libyan bomber who got out for the same reason.  Now, if you think Assange is dying, maybe you could recommend he try to qualify for the same exemption.

                Laws are not "make them up as you go along".

                First, I point out he doesn't have to be extradited for espionage; he could certainly be extradited for a lesser charge, such as an obstruction of justice charge that falls short of the death penalty.
                Can't do that.  Just ignoring that your example doesn't work on its own (obstruction of justice must have what justice they're obstructing tied to it, and it would also fail the "double criminality" test), you should google "doctrine of speciality".  If a person is extradited, the country must promise to prosecute them only for the crimes they applied for them to be extradited for, and then either be allowed to leave or returned to the country from which they were extradited.
              •  Also, about Pinochet, that's a great example of... (0+ / 0-)

                how hard it is to extradite anyone controversial.  In his case, the courts (actually, at the time, the House of Lords) ruled that he needed to be extradited.  But the British government overruled them.  It also could have been the other way around, the British government thinking he needed to be extradited but the judicial arm overruling them and blocking any extradition.

                In this case, there's not just 2 bodies with the ability to be "showstoppers", but a whopping five.    Plus the complication of being wanted in Sweden, plus the complication of Swedish extradition law banning extradition for military or intelligence offenses.

          •  I wasn't fortunate. I was smart in the men (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rei

            I chose. I am also a former rape crisis hotline volunteer, so I know the facts pretty damned well.

            Yes, there are bad people, and not all of them look like bad people. But from the interviews I've seen with Assange, he comes across as an arrogant, superior ass with a major god complex. That type is NEVER someone who respects women--hell respects anyone who doesn't worship at his feet. Avoiding men like that  is a good place to start--along with never leaving your drink unguarded or accepting a ride home with strangers.

            My point was simply that contrary to what a lot of people were implying, it is NOT all right to do what Assange plainly did (DNA samples do not lie).

            My issue isn't extradition. It's rape. PERIOD. THE END> GET THAT? Yes, I am shouting.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 03:14:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm. I meant you were fortunate to have good (0+ / 0-)

              judgement.  Clearly others are not so well-endowed, including those with the misfortune of sleeping with Assange and many other types of asses.  

              I'm happy that you advocate for these others; it has made a huge difference for many women.

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