Skip to main content

View Diary: Family & Friends Blame U.S. Attorney for Aaron Swartz's Death (181 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  John Walker Lindh was the first target (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    evergreen2

    Way back in 2001, the US Government set the tone for political prosecution by railroading John Walker Lindh into a 20 year sentence for fighting with the Taliban  - and he has been pretty much forgotten by progressives and civil libertarians. Like Aaron Schwarz, he was an unusual  and perhaps foolish young man who  made some very risky choices but he certainly did not deserve to be tortured and pressured into a guilty plea. Whatever he did, he did it before the US was at war with the Taliban. Our great ally Saudi Arabia was the primary supporter of that same Taliban regime during the very years Lindh was their foot soldier and there are no plans to diminsh the vast aid we send to Saudi Arabia.

    Julian  Assange was another young man who may have made some unwise decisions regarding his sexual partners in Sweden but he certainly did not deserve the harassment that has overtaken him. The fact that the NY Times and other major papers published the secret files he gave them did not lead any of their reporters or editors to face any charges at all.

    And Aaron Schwarz may well have broken some laws by breaching JSTOR's rights to their data but he certainly did nothing deserving  of the huge over charging by the DOJ, which may have driven this fragile young man to suicide.

    The USG has had made it a practice to come down very hard on individuals whose primary offense seems to be that they dissent from the dominant points of view. In the meantime, major criminals, such as the torture masters of the CIA or the tycoons who engineered the 2008 Wall Street crash, have faced no charges at all.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:50:36 PM PST

    •  To hell with that. (0+ / 0-)
      Julian  Assange was another young man who may have made some unwise decisions regarding his sexual partners in Sweden but he certainly did not deserve the harassment that has overtaken him.
      If you f*** a sleeping girl to work around her explicit and repeated refusal to consent to your preferred form of sexual activity you DAMN WELL deserve whatever "harassment" (aka, people trying to make you stand trial) that "overtakes" you.  It is NOT harassment to make a person stand trial for rape.  Can we all agree to stop playing down rape on this site for god's sake?
      •  Political charges of rape (0+ / 0-)

        happened to an activist in my community, and he almost got hard time.

        I haven't read enough of the tainted evidence, yes or no, about this case to form an opinion. However, I have read statements that it isn't a common practice for Sweden to pursue rape internationally. To take the example of my home town, they didn't rape charges against police (later had to pay a huge civil settlement), didn't charge a police officer with involuntary manslaughter when he accidently killed a 14yo, but went against an activist.

        Whether or not Assange is guilty of rape, the REASON for the prosecution is political, and I don't trust the trial to be fair.  

        I won't go as far as Valatius, above, who defends Assange, but I don't want a show trial.  

        Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

        by julifolo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:48:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, right. (0+ / 0-)

          EVERYONE accused with rape calls it a setup.  It always turns into "smear the victims".  The rate of falsely reported rates is, statistically, extremely low, but that doesn't change the fact that, hey, they're always a bunch of jealous sluts or part of a plot to ruin some poor innocent man's life.  Who cares whether the guy has a mile long history of this sort of stuff in the past.  No, Julian Womens'-Brains-Can't-Do-Math D'Assange could never do something like this!

          Five courts have ruled against him.  Five.  In two countries.  Including two supreme courts.  Two were specifically focused on the evidence that he committed the crimes he's charged with.  

          The reason for the prosuection is that THERE'S COMPELLING EVIDENCE THAT HE RAPED A GIRL.  I don't give a damn how pathetic the normal rate of rape prosecutions is anywhere, that doesn't change the fact that if someone raped a girl, They Belong In Jail, Period.  Not out there giving "woe is me, I'm so persecuted" speeches.

          And no, Sweden goes after international fugitives all the time, including for rape.  And Sweden has the highest ranked judicial system in the world in terms of fundamental rights (their weakest category? "Effective criminal justice", aka, they let off people too easily).  Assange thought so much of the Swedish judicial system before that he referred to it as his "shield" and was applying for a residence permit there.

          •  the activist in my community WAS targeted (0+ / 0-)

            and nearly framed.

            Before I react to the rest of your reply, does

            Yeah, right. EVERYONE accused with rape calls it a setup.
            mean you believe setups can never happen?

            Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

            by julifolo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 07:26:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's possible that it was aliens, too. (0+ / 0-)

              That doesn't make it likely.  And neither is it likely that five separate courts reviewing his case all came to the same conclusion ruling against him means it's all a giant nonsensical setup (would have been FAR, orders of magnitude easier to extradite him to the US without this complicated legal tangle - this would be one of the most difficult ways imaginable to extradite to the US).

              And did you ever consider the possibility that your activist friend actually did get away with rape - like most rapists?  The conviction rate is pathetic.

              •  Not a friend, but I trust his supporters (0+ / 0-)
                And did you ever consider the possibility that your activist friend actually did get away with rape - like most rapists?
                I was in favor of the activist work he was doing, he was making comparision videos of police traffic stops in white and black areas ... and certain police officers didn't like him.

                The accuser had a warrent out that was withdrawn after she agreed to testify. In the police investigation no physical evidence was taken -- they didn't collect finger prints at the woman's apartment where he allegedly entered without permission and raped her. In other words, the police didn't treat the investigation seriously, but they sure were enthusiatic about putting him in prison for serious time.

                Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

                by julifolo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:30:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  So... you're saying.... (0+ / 0-)

                  a girl said she was raped... and the police did a crap job... and that means she wasn't raped?

                  Wow.  Just wow.  One in four women will be raped in the course of their life, but because you like the guy and the police suck, hey, that means she wasn't raped, everyone!!!!

                  •  Sorry... (0+ / 0-)

                    I shouldn't let my emotions change me from keeping a level tone in this debate.  It's sort of a personal issue for me.

                    •  I did not intend to upset you. (0+ / 0-)

                      The reason I replied to your comment was that I thought you were implying that there was no other reason that someone would call what is happening with Assange "harrassment" than that they are "playing down rape".

                      The perceived reasons why prosecutors persue a trial matter to me because I have seen local corruption, and real harm done locally because of that corruption.

                      I think it reasonable that honest progressives can believe that Assange is being "harrassed" because of their own horrible experiences with police and prosecutor corruption ... and not be rape apologists. This conversation is getting far from the topic of the diary ... which is a lot about the excesses of the prosecutor who had targeted Swartz. The crap prosecutor for my county has some similarities to the crap prosecutor who targeted Swartz.

                      I get the impression you think I am a rape apologist because I believe that the local activist was falsely accused, and never had doubts about the conclusions of his lawyers and supporters.

                      a girl said she was raped... and the police did a crap job... and that means she wasn't raped?
                      I'm sorry I implied that was the only reason I didn't believe he was a rapist. There were many problematical aspects, and I only remember a few. I mentioned the lack of fingerprints (the failure to even search) as an example. The lawyers who defended the activist and his supporters (who know more of the story than I do) believe the "crap job" the police did was deliberate. Because if they had searched for his fingerprints in the woman's apartment they would not have found any. Because they were attempting to frame him.

                      Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

                      by julifolo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 02:14:06 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  As for how (0+ / 0-)

              compare the rates of rape with the studies on mens' opinions and reported behaviors:

              Link

                 *  One in four college women have either been raped or suffered attempted rape.
                  * 84 percent of the women who are raped knew their assailants.
                  * 57 percent of the rapes occurred on a date.
                 * One in 12 male students surveyed had committed acts that met the legal definition of rape.
                  * 16 percent of male students who had committed rape took part in episodes with more than one attacker's gang rape.
                  * 33 percent of males surveyed said that they would commit rape if they could escape detection.
                  * 25 percent of men surveyed believed that rape was acceptable if the woman asks the man out,  the man pays for the date or the woman goes back to the man's room after the date.
              That particular stat is from Koss, M.P. (1988).  But it's hardly alone.  Lisak & Miller also set out to find the rate of undetected rapists in the population (also studying college-aged males) and found 6%.  McWhorter studied Navy inductees and found a 13% rate of rape or attempted rape.

              Now compare those nunmbers with how many people actually get convicted.  Or even charged.

              Most rapes go unreported because victims don't want to subject themself to the Assange-style you-re-a-lying-conspiracy-slut witchhunt for a slim chance of success.  Most of those which are reported go unprosectuted, for lack of sufficient proof.  Most attempted prosecutions fail.  But there can be no disputing that a DAMNED lot of women are being raped and a damned disturbingly high percentage of men are doing it.

              •  And to put *that* into perspective... (0+ / 0-)

                ... that whole 6%/8%/12% rate of rapists in the young male population... let's just say 10% in the general population...

                Go onto Facebook.  Select all of your friends and paste it into a list.  Eliminate the women (although a very small but non-negligible percentage of them will rape, too).  Count them.  Divide by 10.  That's roughly how many of your Facebook friends have raped someone.

                You may not like that fact, but it's what the data says.  And it's why such a disturbingly high percentage of women end up raped at some point in their lives.

              •  I've read about that Navy study (0+ / 0-)

                which explains a lot: there's a lot of men who do things that are "rape" but the rape culture condones rape, says that "real" rape is stranger rape ... which means there are rapists who don't think they are rapists.

                On the other hand, if the driving motivation of the Assange case is political (or, to many people, that's the appearance) then I don't think it helps get rid of the rape culture if there's a perception that the authorities don't go after rape unless there's a political reason to do it, that still leaves women (and non-ruling class people in general) as "2nd class".

                Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

                by julifolo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:42:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for that information. (0+ / 0-)

            I certainly would never donate to a defense fund for Assange. (I have not in the past, nor did I contribute to Wikileaks before.)  

            That doesn't change my opinion that this has the appearance of an opportunistic charge. I see no good solution to the Assange situation. The Hegemony has basically gotten what it wants anyway: the debate is now about Assange, not Wikileaks & I think Wikileaks has basically been shut down.

            I'm sorry you don't respect my local experience of rape accusations being used politically.

            Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

            by julifolo on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 09:25:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site