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

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  •  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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