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Dear Swedish Government:

Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your Volvos, your meatballs, your hard-to-put-together furniture -- we can't get enough!

There's just one thing that bothers me -- why has Amnesty International, in a special report (described in detail here by Naomi Wolf), declared that Sweden refuses to deal with the very real tragedy of rape? In fact, they say that all over Scandinavia, including in your country, rapists "enjoy impunity." And the United Nations, the EU and Swedish human rights groups have come to the same conclusion: Sweden just doesn't take sexual assault against women seriously. How else do you explain these statistics from Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape:

** Sweden has the HIGHEST per capita number of reported rapes in Europe.

** This number of rapes has quadrupled in the last 20 years.

** The conviction rates? They have steadily DECREASED.  

Axelsson says: "On April 23rd of this year, Carina Hägg and Nalin Pekgul (respectively MP and chairwoman of Social Democratic Women in Sweden) wrote in the Göteborgs [newspaper] that 'up to 90% of all reported rapes [in Sweden] never get to court.'"

Let me say that again: nine out of ten times, when women report they have been raped, you never even bother to start legal proceedings. No wonder that, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, it is now statistically more likely that someone in Sweden will be sexually assaulted than that they will be robbed.

Message to rapists? Sweden loves you!

So imagine our surprise when all of a sudden you decided to go after one Julian Assange on sexual assault charges. Well, sort of: first you charged him. Then after investigating it, you dropped the most serious charges and rescinded the arrest warrant.

Then a conservative MP put pressure on you and, lo and behold, you did a 180 and reopened the Assange investigation. Except you still didn't charge him with anything. You just wanted him for "questioning." So you -- you who have sat by and let thousands of Swedish women be raped while letting their rapists go scott-free -- you decided it was now time to crack down on one man -- the one man the American government wants arrested, jailed or (depending on which politician or pundit you listen to) executed. You just happened to go after him, on one possible "count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape (third degree)." And while thousands of Swedish rapists roam free, you instigated a huge international manhunt on Interpol for this Julian Assange!

What anti-rape crusaders you've become, Swedish government! Women in Sweden must suddenly feel safer?

Well, not really. Actually, many see right through you. They know what these "non-charge charges" are really about. And they know that you are cynically and disgustingly using the real and everyday threat that exists against women everywhere to help further the American government's interest in silencing the work of WikiLeaks.

I don't pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants (all I know is what I've heard in the media, so I'm as confused as the next person). And I'm sorry if I've jumped to any unnecessary or wrong-headed conclusions in my efforts to state a very core American value: All people are absolutely innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. I strongly believe every accusation of sexual assault must be investigated vigorously. There is nothing wrong with your police wanting to question Mr. Assange about these allegations, and while I understand why he seemed to go into hiding (people tend to do that when threatened with assassination), he nonetheless should answer the police’s questions. He should also submit to the STD testing the alleged victims have requested. I believe Sweden and the UK have a treaty and a means for you to send your investigators to London so they can question Mr. Assange where he is under house arrest while out on bail.

But that really wouldn't be like you would it, to go all the way to another country to pursue a suspect for sexual assault when you can't even bring yourselves to make it down to the street to your own courthouse to go after the scores of reported rapists in your country. That you, Sweden, have chosen to rarely do that in the past, is why this whole thing stinks to the high heavens.

And let's not forget this one final point from Women Against Rape's Katrin Axelsson:

"There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman. Women don't take kindly to our demand for safety being misused, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst."

This tactic of using a rape charge to go after minorities or troublemakers, guilty or innocent -- while turning a blind eye to clear crimes of rape the rest of the time — is what I fear is happening here. I want to make sure that good people not remain silent and that you, Sweden, will not succeed if in fact you are in cahoots with corrupt governments such as ours.

Last week Naomi Klein wrote: "Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that 'women's freedom' was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up!"

I agree.

Unless you have the evidence (and it seems if you did you would have issued an arrest warrant by now), drop the extradition attempt and get to work doing the job you've so far refused to do: Protecting the women of Sweden.

Yours,
Michael Moore

Originally posted to Michael Moore on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:20 PM PST.

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      •  Any place with a longitude near the 60s (22+ / 0-)

        has a lot of reported rapes and a lot of whiskey consumption. Not kidding. Check out the reported rapes per capita in alaska. Also very high.

        Your suggestion has only one flaw - it is logical and fair which seems to deny it Republican support. - Jay Inslee

        by psilocynic on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:37:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  you actually don't know that (26+ / 0-)

        the charges could be entirely true, and accusations of rape need to be taken seriously.

        Now what could entirely be true is that the only reason they care so bad NOW is because it's an excuse to silence him, and otherwise they wouldn't give a damn.

        But what you don't know is that these are trumped-up charges, any more than anyone who disagrees with you knows for certain that Assange is guilty.

        oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

        Twitter: @DanteAtkins

        by Dante Atkins on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:48:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. We know for a fact the charges are trumped (20+ / 0-)

          up because of the way he's been pursued, hounded, almost denied bail, etc.

          All for a crime that most others convicted in Sweden only received a fine and STD tests.

          Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are.

          by Musket Man on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:01:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, you don't (27+ / 0-)

            selective enforcement, perhaps. trumped up charges? You have no idea. Trumped up means false. You don't know that one way or another. I feel that ignoring possible rape is never a good outcome. I'm sorry you feel differently.

            oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

            Twitter: @DanteAtkins

            by Dante Atkins on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:03:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sure you'd be fine with (15+ / 0-)

              arresting five excellent female students that live in a house in a college town because they're violating the "anti-brothel" laws dating 150 years back and no longer enforced but still on the books.  Turns out one of them blogged about the Dean's illegal practices.

              Just some good ol' selective enforcement, right?

              Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are.

              by Musket Man on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:09:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no (21+ / 0-)

                malicious prosecution for violating an ancient statute that is no longer enforced is not nearly the same thing as, say, an accusation of sexual assault, unless you're willing to say that in Sweden, laws against rape are so rarely enforced that any actual enforcement of said laws constitutes malicious prosecution.

                I'm not willing to go there. The degree to which they're going after him on these charges is most likely politically motivated, otherwise they wouldn't care nearly so bad. That much is extremely likely. But that's a far cry from saying that the charges are trumped up and shouldn't be pursued.

                One could wish that Sweden pursued all cases of sexual assault allegations as seriously as they're taking the case of Julian Assange.

                oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

                Twitter: @DanteAtkins

                by Dante Atkins on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:14:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  From the numbers Michael Moore presented, (17+ / 0-)

                  it would seem that Sweden's rape laws, let alone this pseudo-rape law, are quite rarely prosecuted.

                  Interesting that they decided to initiate an international manhunt this time :)

                  Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are.

                  by Musket Man on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:26:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  To be fair, (9+ / 0-)

                    and it's horrible,

                    but most country's rape laws are not adequately prosecuted, including the US's.

                    Also, rape statistics are notoriously difficult to compile because of the societal pressure on women not to report rape crimes and the pressure on police forces not to take them seriously.

                    I find it interesting that Sweden is such a bad actor when it comes to rape because its legal system is generally as progressive as they get when it comes to women's rights. A wild hypothesis might even speculate that incidents of rape in Sweden aren't necessarily higher than the rest of Europe, but reports of rape are, mainly because women feel less pressure there to deny it. I'm not saying that's actually the case, and even if it is, the low rate of prosecution is still a travesty.

                    Whatever the case, with Assange, I'm sure his recent actions have more to do with their pursuit of him. But this is an age-old trick that governments use to round up criminals - real or perceived. The US did it to Al Capone, but we also did it to Charlie Chaplin.

                    Writing an open letter to an entire country (and mocking them during the course of it) when it's likely only a small cadre of government officials making this decision, seems like a bit of a stretch to me. I'm happy Moore helped bail Assange out, for sure, but this is hardly the time for Americans to go around mocking and cajoling other countries.

                    And my baby's my common sense, so don't feed me planned obsolescence.

                    by vadasz on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:18:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, no (8+ / 0-)

                    If one actually looks at the numbers that Michael Moore provided, Sweden is not similar to Finland.

                    Lumping all Nordic countries together makes Sweden look much worse than it really is.

                    And ignoring the way that sexual assaults are underreported and rapes aren't often prosecuted all around the world to give one a baseline from which to compare Sweden is another one of his logical flaws.

                    But users here are so in favor of what WikiLeaks does that they ignore those massive problems with his logic and his argument in order to recommend something that fits their own agenda and their preconceived biases.

                    DailyKos is supposed to be better than this.

                    •  I am amazed (4+ / 0-)

                      at the degree to which hero worship and emotion trumps logic.  People here are so profoundly angry at the US government that they rush to depict Sweden as a lapdog of the US, or as some human rights abuser, when Sweden ranks higher than the US on nearly every measure of freedom, respect for individual rights and legal protection.  This whole discussion is about the incandescent (and in many ways deserved) anger at the US government, not about Sweden and barely even about Assange.  

                      I understand the reasons why so many people on DailyKos consider the US government to be an illegitimate government, their enemy really, and that so many of them applaud release of any and all classified information regardless of whether that information is related to violations of law, or merely confidential diplomatic cables. I don't much like it though, and it leaves me a little sad that a majority on the site cannot differentiate between whistleblowing and vandalism.

                      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

                      by ivorybill on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:49:00 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Face it - Sweden is acting as the US lapdog in (7+ / 0-)

                        this particular situation.  And I think most people point out hat Sweden is usually better than this and that's one of the reasons we're so upset about the way the Swedish government is acting now.  

                        You might want to rethink your condescending attitude toward those who don't agree with you on what constitutes vandalism vs whistleblowing.  It is, actually, a matter of opinion, not fact, and it could just be that you're the one that's wrong.

                        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                        by gustynpip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:53:56 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Sweden (0+ / 0-)

                          Does not particularly want information on Baltic defense, or collaboration on investigation in alleged terrorism cases made public.  As I have said elsewhere, I don't think Assange should be railroaded on sex charges.  It doesn't reflect well on Sweden to do so.  On the other hand, I'm not sure by what constitutional process Assange was elected and given the authority to release confidential information on Swedish government policy or actions.  I'll make a deal with you - I'll grant that some of Assange's actions are legitimate whistleblowing (and retain my opinion that much of what he's done is vandalism), if you will consider that maybe Assange has pissed off Sweden and that they may be after him for their own reasons.

                          "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

                          by ivorybill on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:00:15 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll consider it and grant you that it's a remote (5+ / 0-)

                            possibility.  I doubt very much Sweden has much to be concerned about, though.  

                            It doesn't require Assange to be elected to anything.  He's acting as a citizen.  If governments actually kept secret only that which was needed to be secret to protect its citizens, then I'd be on the same page as you.  But they instead elect to keep secret anything that might reflect badly on themselves.  Since they have no right to do that, but instead citizens have the right to have as much information as possible so we can judge the kind of job they're doing more accurately, I'm on Assange side completely.  I don't believe anything truly needed to be kept secret is being released; it's just embarrassing stuff.  Until something that was actually entitled to be kept secret in the first place is actually release, I'll stick right with Assange, as opposed to those elected officials who might well have been elected only because of our lack of knowledge.

                            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                            by gustynpip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:08:50 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Face it - you have no evidence of your assertions (0+ / 0-)

                          There's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this prosecution is being done because of WikiLeaks. None.

                          And after saying

                          Sweden is acting as the US lapdog in this particular situation.

                          You have a lot of nerve suggesting that someone else should worry about how hard they push their opinion, and suggesting that someone else is confused about what's an opinion and what's a fact!

                          •  LOL! You don't like me too much, do you Dolly? (0+ / 0-)
                            Breakin' my heart.

                            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                            by gustynpip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 03:31:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I have NO feelings about you (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't care if you're naughty or nice or nasty or friendly.

                            I simply replied to your post - the content of your post.

                            You, on the other hand, made a baseless personal attack, instead of following proper debate techniques.

                            I understand you would have preferred to get away with that personal attack without being called on it.

                            Too bad, so sad.

                            I understand that you would have preferred to have gotten away with your baseless assertions about what we know and what we don't know.

                            Again, too bad, so sad.

                            I understand that you'd have elected to attack another poster for expressing an opinion without you being called to account for your expression of an opinion and pretending that it's a fact.

                            Too bad, too sad.

                •  No one said that a criminal offence (22+ / 0-)

                  was not committed ... That was not what Michael Moore meant by "trumped up".

                  He meant that the charges (which, as yet, don't exist) were manufactured not to protect the women concerned, but to pursue JA.

                  The women in this allegation are being abused by the authorities in a quite despicable manner, in that it is very clearly the harassment of JA that is the motive, not justice for the two women.

                  We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

                  by twigg on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:10:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, but I'm getting the argument from (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mrkvica, zedaker, Adept2u

                    Micahel to be to not pursue Julian rather than pursue the other possible cases in Sweden just as much. It shouldn't be to back off simply because Julian is charged, while timing is unfortunate, but rather to step up...you either aree for womens rights in all instances or you only are when it's convenient and fits your political agenda. There is no other model.

                    •  That, and it's a dare for them to show their hand (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mrkvica, zedaker

                      since the manhunt was not for someone charged, but someone wanted for "questioning" (who had presumably already been questioned).

                      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                      by Robobagpiper on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:32:21 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  But MM's argument doesn't hold up (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Adept2u

                    When one looks that the info he provided.

                    He tars Sweden with a broad brush that lumps it in with other Nordic countries that do a much worse job.

                    He ignores the progress that Sweden has made recently in that area.

                    And he fails to acknowledge the sorry state of protecting women from sexual assault all around the world!

                    And you didn't read MM's 'letter' very well if you don't realize that he is implying that the charges can't actually be substantiated.

                    The women in this allegation are not being "abused by the authorities". Their lawyer has made it clear that's not true, and it's not "very clear" that harassment of Assange is their motive here - in fact, it's very clear that harassment of him is not the motive. You guys see causation when all there is evidence of is correlation.

                    •  Oh, DollyMadison is back. Nice to know that, as (4+ / 0-)

                      usual, you can read other peoples' minds, including Michael Moore's.

                      Is it really necessary to criticize everyone who does a piss poor job at something before criticizing one?  Do we have to wait until everyone else is perfect, or at least better, before urging them to improve?  That'll slow down progress for you.  Especially when that one is using the same system they use so seldom for real justice to go round the world for a minor charge.  But no.  I'm sure the US has absolutely nothing to do with Sweden's super high level of interest in these particular charges.  And I've got a bridge in Arizona to sell you, too.

                      But you go right ahead and maintain your outrage that people are so easily able to see through these ploys that you, in your great wisdom, are sure don't even exist.

                      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                      by gustynpip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:04:13 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks for stalking me, jerk (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        xysea

                        Michael Moore was really offensive in this diary.

                        That's undeniable.

                        And so, since you can't actually defend him, you attack me.

                        You build a strawman, pretending that I think that I am without sin, and unless I really am without sin, I purportedly can't address a thing that MM said? Really?

                        I didn't "read his mind". I read the PDF he linked to, documenting the behavior of Nordic countries, and thereby unfairly tarring Sweden with the offenses that are mostly in the other Nordic countries.

                        I didn't try to read MM's mind at all!

                        And you have no evidence that there's a causation here - correlation is not causation. There's not one whit of evidence that this prosecution has anything to do with WikiLeaks. Not even a tiny bit of evidence. And there's all kinds of evidence that it's not linked to that.

                        Facts - ya gotta love 'em unless they disprove what you're saying, like the facts disprove what you've written!

                        •  Stalking you? Because I remember you because (0+ / 0-)

                          you're so particularly nasty to people?  Sorry babe, but you're far from important enough to me to bother stalking.  I've never once bothered to check on one damn thing about you.  You're just so memorable, is all.

                          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                          by gustynpip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 03:32:55 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I know that being called out is uncomfortable (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            xysea

                            Too bad, so sad. You're not a victim here.

                            I am not "nasty" to people. I do forcefully defend the truth, and so people who want to get away with pushing lies, distortions, omissions of relevant info and misinformation don't like it when I refute their bogus assertions. That's not being nasty.

                            And yeah, what you did above is stalking.

                            If you read the FAQ's, you've stalked me before and today too with false charges. Like in this diary, or this diary, where you repeatedly distorted what I was writing, what I meant, and what one could infer from what I had written. Or this diary, where your arguments totally fell apart, and as a result, you went after me in a totally personal and baseless way?

                            Or how about this diary, which was basically a total distortion of the things I'd said, where you called me out by name?

                            The stalker? You.

                          •  ROTFLOL! You're the one going back and checking (0+ / 0-)

                            previous diaries and comments and you accuse me of stalking.  But that's pretty typical for someone like you.  Too thin skinned to take any criticism, but are constantly dishing it out.  Hilarious!

                            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                            by gustynpip on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 08:30:02 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, I went back and checked diaries (0+ / 0-)

                            Because someone who makes an assertion of stalking is supposed to do that, asshole.

                            I am not too thin-skinned to accept criticism I deserve.

                            You, on the other hand, are too dishonest to admit to your stalking behavior, and too weak in your debate skills to actually refute a thing I've written.

                            Going back and documenting your behavior is not stalking, idiot. Get a clue.

                •  Do you understand that the issue is the (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattman, mrkvica, blueoasis, lostinamerica

                  use of a condom.  rape by surprise.  Not an attack.  A difference of he would not naturally use a condom and he did not and she did not consent to it and therefore wants a STD test?  This is a third degree rape by Swede definition.

                  In our country, it would be too bad much less even considered rape.  Once you open you legs in America what you get is beside the point.

            •  I've read some European media that is stating (24+ / 0-)

              flat out, that the 'rape' charge is due to:

              1. a sexual encounter in which a condom broke or was not used (I've read both versions)

              and

              1. the day after, the accused refused to answer phone calls from the accuser, who states that she was trying to get him to submit to STD tests

              I'm not conversant in Swedish law, but in what universe do these claims from the 'victim' rise to the level of "rape"?

              I am confused.

              "in Order to form a more perfect Union"
              Basta de Guerra. No más. Enough War. No more.

              by Angie in WA State on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:15:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. That was the story line that Assange's lawyer (6+ / 0-)
                has been trying to promote. It's flatly untrue to say that those things are categorized as sexual assault in Sweden. This is what happens when your sources are "some media," and you ignore respected sources like the Guardian.
                •  Exactly (8+ / 0-)

                  The issue was that the women in question allegedly withdrew their consent when Assange initially agreed to use a condom and then continued to have sex after it broke, and then had unprotected sex with a woman who was unconscious and unable to consent to the change in ground rules.  Assange's lawyer, like all lawyers, is trying to make his client look good in the press, and based on the way that Americans have reacted, he's succeeded at the expense of Swedish law and two women.

                  •  Although there is no statement to the effect (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mattman, Kentucky DeanDemocrat

                    that the women ever said to stop.

                    So it appears to me that the law in Sweden is, that if you obtain permission to have sex on the basis of using protection, the act of the condom breaking constitutes a change in that condition, and therefore permission is automatically withdrawn.

                    Now in general, under such circumstances where a couple agrees to have sex with protection, and the woman mid-act realizes she forgot to put in her diaphram, but doesn't say anything, then she could be brought up on these same charges.

                    •  Absolute baloney (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      xysea, antimony

                      Although there is no statement to the effect that the women ever said to stop.

                      The first woman had her legs forced apart and his weight used to hold her down so that he could 'complete' the intercourse without a condom - the intercourse they consensually began with a condom!

                      A woman holding her legs together is saying "stop" very clearly.

                      And the second woman? She was asleep when he began, and so she could not possibly have given consent!

                      This has been explained repeatedly. How is it that  you don't know this, and how is it that no one in the past 2 hours corrected your misstatements?

            •  The definition of "rape" in Sweden (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CitizenOfEarth, DollyMadison

              may not be the same as in the U.S.

              Before there's a lot of conclusion jumping, read this

              The female interviewing officer, presumably because of allegations of a sabotaged condom in one case and a refusal to wear one in the ­second, concluded that both women were victims: that ­Jessica had been raped, and Sarah subject to sexual molestation.

              "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

              by marigold on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:26:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting link -- and it raises questions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kentucky DeanDemocrat

                Case 1: He could  have forced them to have sex without a condom after they said they wanted him to use one. Thus he would be guilty.

                Case 2: The two women could have been pissed that he slept with them both within the past few days. And once they both discovered it. And they could have cooked up a story to punish him.

                It's only the word of Assange vs the two women on what happened. And the time delay between when the sex occurred and when the crime was reported introduces a level of suspicion to support case #2.

                Tuff call IMO.

                Go ahead. Make believe it's not just Madness.

                by CitizenOfEarth on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:03:08 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I agree we don't know the truth of the charges. (14+ / 0-)

              But there's no "perhaps" about the selective enforcement.  Or can you point to any other case where someone accused of this crime has warranted an international arrest warrant, incarceration in solitary, first refusal of bail and then the setting of an extraordinarily high bail along with strict electronic monitoring requirements?

          •  They scrubbed their cellphones (7+ / 0-)

            And tweets from the next day. Apparently neither woman knew she had been molested for several days. That is why there are so many "rapes" in Sweden, and non enforcement: the word is debased beyond recognition.

            •  Um, you know NOTHING about (9+ / 0-)
              the nature and complexities of rape trauma. This is sheer rape apologia, and you have absolutely no right to define appropriate behavior for women that have been raped. Rape is as ubiquitous as it is at least in part because know nothings like yourself promote creepy edicts as to what appropriate female and female victim behavior consists of.
              •  Fair enough, but ... (8+ / 0-)

                I think we're treading into dangerous ground if we cannot even consider the circumstantial evidence of the alleged victims' actions after the alleged assaults.  There is such a thing as false accusation of rape, unfortunately.

              •  So how come (11+ / 0-)

                One of them threw a party for Assange two weeks later. Both of them were bragging on their cellphones and tweets, then suddenly changed their minds and scrubbed them.

                Mind you, this apparently didn't happen until they got together and compared notes.

                Sorry, but for me that sounds more like trying to get revenge when you discover that your lover has been sleeping around.

                FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

                by Spoc42 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:17:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mattman, J Royce, Anorish, lostinamerica

                  I'm with you on that.

                  Hard to have any belief they are "victims" when they are twitting how wonderful he is after the event.

                  •  It's not uncommon for victims to behave this way. (6+ / 0-)

                    Often victims have self-doubt and maybe these two women weren't sure if Assange should be forgiven for this, because of the good things he's doing, or if they should report him. Victims will often try to normalize relations with the attacker if he's somebody they know.

                    I do find it kind of odd that they would be promoting him so enthusiastically if they really felt violated by what he did, but it's not damning evidence against the accusations either.

                    ORGANIZE early, ORGANIZE often.

                    by bicycle Hussein paladin on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:20:16 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't know. (2+ / 0-)

                      But I wish these men who are trying to fight the powers that be would realize they need to do it without screwing women because that's how they are all taken down.

                    •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                      The facts of the case are impossible to know.  The women should not be dismissed for the very reasons you state - their accusations may very well be true.  On the other hand, people should be highly skeptical of the charges, given the shitstorm Assange created with the latest huge document dump.

                      The only certain thing is that Assange has managed to piss off just about every constitutional democracy except maybe Ecuador.  Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of personal opinion.  He's not getting out of this with his freedom intact, and sooner or later he will be in prison. Whether you think of him as a heroic whistleblower or a damaged messianic vandal, or something in between, governments require a measure of secrecy and they will stop Wikileaks type behavior once it reaches a certain point.

                      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

                      by ivorybill on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:01:51 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I do know something of the nature of rape (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Phoenix Woman, zedaker, Anorish

                having been raped and molested as a child. I'm not there and wasn't when it happened, but something doesn't feel right in these allegations.

                "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

                by high uintas on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:57:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Read the tweets and the history of the case (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zedaker, J Royce, lostinamerica

                All judgement doesn't get suspended because of the word rape is used, and for a broken condom no less, or while asleep.Your presumption and outrage is precisely why such charges are leveled to begin with. We are not dealing with children here, but adults. war criminals are safe from these revealations but the messenger is accused of rape when what he is accused of wouldn't even be a crime in any other EU country. Interpol arrest warrant,bail denied and then granted under more onerous terms than what was granted to a man accused of murder. Do you think this is normal?  

          •  We most certainly do not (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Anna M, Adept2u, antimony, DollyMadison

            Thank you for joining in the smearing of two women whose stories you do not know.

            Julian Assange should face his accusers in court.  Period.

          •  you need to stop saying that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            antimony

            you're sounding like a rape apologist asshole. You were not in those rooms, and neither was I. Until we have more information as a result of a trial at least to make a more informed decision, it is insulting for you to refer to these charges as "trumped up".

            It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.

            by DoGooderLawyer on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:58:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  How many rape victims tweet about how cool... (19+ / 0-)

          ...their alleged attacker was and throw parties for him afterwards?

          Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

          by expatjourno on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:19:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is that the timeline? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            expatjourno, mrkvica, Anak

            These parties were held after the alleged rapes?

            If so, this makes me think the whole thing is a brilliant move by Assange to create a PR stunt and reveal the hypocrisy of the legal system.

            Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
            The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

            by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:19:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, and she tweeted something (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              expatjourno

              like "I'm with some of the coolest people on earth!" She later took down that tweet.

              Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

              by Anak on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:50:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you Dante! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DollyMadison

          This issue needs to work it's way through Sweden's legal system.

          But what you don't know is that these are trumped-up charges, any more than anyone who disagrees with you knows for certain that Assange is guilty.

          Exctly

          In our sleep,pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes understanding through the awful grace of God RFK

          by vcmvo2 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:23:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read the details of rape by surprise? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mattman, Euroliberal, lostinamerica

          the government is cooking up definitions that could be used against everyone should they decide to do so.

          I had an 18 year old client whose family was paying big bucks to the government for molestation with a foreign object.  In my days it was called petting.  If convicted he would have to register as sex felon for the rest of his life.

          He looks 15 the girl involved looked 20 although she is 15.  And a nosy neighbor set this all off.

          Is this what you are supporting--that somehow we don't know the facts?

          What happened to actions speak louder than words and the Swedes actions as a country on this issue leave a lot to be desired and the facts have been specifically addressed by Michael and others.

          I wrote this to you because you of all people surprise me.  We are supposed to have some common sense about a preponderance of evidence that is why people do so much talking in front of the TV before gag orders can be issued.

      •  And about these "trumped up" (9+ / 0-)

        comments designed to discredit the accusing witnesses?  Oh, but Michael Moore gets to play it both ways -- he's taking the posture of defending the rights of rape victims, while displaying the very mindset used to discredit women who bring the charges.  The very suggestion that this "isn't really rape," is really just another way of saying the women have nothing to complain about.  

        And innocent until proven guilty doesn't have one iota to do with the right of a government to bring charge and to petition the court for certain limitations on the accused's freedom of movement -- that applies to both the sexual assault charges and the possibility that Assange might have violated U.S. law.  Either way, the great progressive hero Michael Moore shouldn't be out there posing as a defender of womens' autonomy while parroting the very lines that are used every day to discredit women who accuse people other than Julian Assange of rape.  

        Sure, it's probably politically motivated, and if anyone argues against the contrary position, it's attacking a straw-person.  On that perspective alone, the diary is a massive failure.  But it really boils down to, does Sweden have the right to prosecute Assange under the facts and circumstances?  The answer is an unambiguous yes, because rape is not a joke.  The fact that rape is under-enforced doesn't mean it should (or is) never enforced, and it does not support the inference that Assange's accusers are lying.  Or, as Michael Moore suggests, weren't violated in the way forbidden by the "most serious" Charges.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:08:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Woah ... right there. (19+ / 0-)

          Who said the women were lying?

          The women in this case are being abused as much as JA.

          Rather than have their allegations investigated with a view to justice, their case is being used in a manhunt, for other reasons. When it was investigated before the political pressure was applied, it was dropped.

          You don't get to make up rubbish like this to smear someone who's track record fighting injustice is there for all to see.

          We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

          by twigg on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:18:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What fucking thing (10+ / 0-)

          did the Swedish govnt do for these women so far?

            1. Did they treat them like true victims when they refused to prosecute when Assange was in their jurisdiction?

            2. or, when they let the case cold for months?

            3. or, when they only issued a warrant for him to be questioned?

          MMoore never interfered with their actions.

          "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

          by Euroliberal on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:28:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What it really boils down to... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HiKa

          ...(at the moment) is:

          Does Sweden have the right to extradite Assange for questioning?

          Under questioning Assange has the Right To Remain Silent. So he is entitled to respond to all questions with nothing but silence. He could state at his future extradition hearing in London that upon his arrival in Sweden for questioning he will not answer any questions and will remain silent.

          As the whole world, including Sweden, would then know all the answers to the Swedish prosecutions questions, it would make his extradition unnecessary.

          •  or, as he has suggsted, (8+ / 0-)

            conduct the interview in London or at a Swedish consulate, which seems pretty simple seeing as how a Swedish delegation of prosecutors are in London for the proceedings anyway.

            Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

            by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:38:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And if he actually is guilty? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DollyMadison

              And the Swedes did as you suggest?  

              I'm curious.

              •  Well, there is a procedure in the Swedish (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mattman, NonnyO

                system just like there is in the US, of course.

                I'm assuming that this is just still somewhere around a grand jury/discovery type of phase where they are still trying to investigate what happened- at least, that is their claim.

                It might be that in this process we find there is no physical evidence but verbal admissions that they even had sex at all, so, I wonder what they will claim as a basis for any charge.

                Assuming that they meet the burden for all these things, maybe if even the victims are willing to even testify or support charges against him, then it could move at some point to a trial, and then a verdict.

                I don't think they can find him guilty through questioning alone.

                Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

                by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:36:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  WHY didn't these two women... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... report these alleged rapes AT THE TIME they allegedly happened?

                  WHY wait a month before reporting when it's impossible to do a rape kit at a hospital ER to get the proper evidence?

                  Bragging about a sexual conquest doesn't sound normal for a rape.

                  I know things are different now than they were about 50 years ago when - if a rape occurred - women never talked about it, never reported rape.

                  Still, where these two women bragged about the sexual conquest of Assange..., and then, when they found out about the other one and compared notes, all of a sudden they wanted to inquire about STD/AIDS tests, at which point it became a rape case that was dismissed because the sex was consensual, then 'consensual sex without a condom' or 'consensual sex when a condom broke' - and where the one is writing a book to tell how to make sex seem like rape for a court case to entrap a man - it seems like this is more of a contest between the two women distrusting each other than it is about Assange.  He's just the patsy between their spat.

                  The only other ones who could make a fight over a boy as dramatic would be teenage girls, so it doesn't bode well for the mental maturity of either woman.

                  Then there's the matter of the silence of the two women, and isn't it the one with the CIA ties that has taken off for Israel or a nearby country, so she's not even interested enough to stay around and pursue the case?

                  That's what I don't get.  Why haven't the two women been talking non-stop about their sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated by the most well-known man in the world now?  That's what would happen in the idiotic media in the US....  We'd even find out if he had a birthmark on his penis.

                  This whole case stinks to high heaven of a conspiracy against Assange and background US ties to get him to stop leaking information that should never have been kept secret in the first place since the Bushista regime over-used the 'Classified' and 'Top Secret' and 'Secret' stamps and now Obama and Holder and their DoJ are trying to protect Obama's predecessors.

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:49:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Charge him with a crime. (6+ / 0-)

                At that point, extradition would doubtless be granted.

                •  extradition would doubtless be granted... (0+ / 0-)

                  Maybe not. His defense counsel at his extradition hearing may succeed in discrediting the charges to an extent that results in a ruling for the extradition to not proceed.

              •  The interview does not make him guilty. (0+ / 0-)

                He is innocent until proven guilty.  Proving him to be guilty is what the prosecution has to do in a Swedish court.

            •  Or perhaps the Swedish delegation (0+ / 0-)

              of prosecutors could request to be permitted to ask him the questions at his extradition hearing in London.

          •  And if he says nothing, he'll be charged! (0+ / 0-)

            The reason he has not been charged yet is that, while they believe the women, they want to see if there's anything Assange can say that will discredit the women.

            If he says nothing, then the women aren't discredited, and he'll be charged.

            Most likely, there's nothing he can say that will discredit the women's story, and so he'll be charged, but if he can discredit both women, he won't be charged!

            That's why they haven't charged him yet - because they're doing this the right way!!!!

            The idea that the fact that he hasn't been charged yet means that they're doing it the wrong way is ridiculous!

            •  Assange is under no obligation... (0+ / 0-)

              ...to personally discredit the women. In fact, if he wishes, he is legally entitled to say absolutely nothing and never answer any questions.

              Being formally charged would be a step forward. Assange can then have his legal counsel review the charges and the evidence that's been provided.

              Remember that Assange is innocent until proven guilty. It's up to the Swedish prosecution to prove his guilt.

              Assange does not have to prove his innocence, that is already assumed.

        •  Assange MIGHT have violated U.S. law? (19+ / 0-)

          AFIK no charges have been filed in the U.S. because it isn't even clear that Assange might have violated any U.S. law.  What is clear is that the DOJ is working overtime to find something to charge him with.

          Likewise,  Sweden has filed no charges, but have only had him pursued internationally and imprisoned for questioning.  

          Guilt or innocence has not yet been determined on any charges primarily because there are no charges.  The fact that Assange is being pursued and vilified absent charges speaks volumes.

          "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

          by ovals49 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:07:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it doesn't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adept2u

            As I explained above, it says nothing but good things about the Swedish prosecutors.

            So far, with the evidence they have, they believe the two women.

            But they want to give him a chance to discredit their stories!

            That's the way they should be doing this.

            Any fools who claim otherwise aren't being honest.

            •  He met with them already on this, in August. n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Phoenix Woman

              "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

              by ovals49 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:23:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  ONLY about one charge (0+ / 0-)

                And not with the prosecutor who is now investigating this.

                You don't know what you're talking about.

                I do.

                They haven't charged him with a specific crime because they want to give him a chance to give his side of the story.

                This is not rocket science!

                •  But you know it all... (0+ / 0-)

                  .....because they want to give him a chance to give his side of the story.

                  The only way you know this is if you are one of the prosecutors, or Carnac the Magnificent himself.

                  "If you do not read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."--Mark Twain.

                  by ovals49 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:26:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, no, I need not be a mind reader (0+ / 0-)

                    To know this.

                    Prosecutors have said this, first off.

                    Secondly, it's logic - if they didn't believe the allegations of the two women, they'd not be pursuing him. And the way charges work, if one can call the credibility of the witnesses into question, then one doesn't go forward with the charges. And if one can't call the credibility of the witnesses into question, then the charges stand.

                    This is not rocket science.

                    But thanks for showing that you're so wedded to this portrayal that you don't care about reality and so you'll stoop to a baseless personal insult to try to succeed.

                    And as Time Magazine allowed the prosecutor to explain,

                    Lead Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny says the latest arrest warrant was issued because Swedish law prohibits formal legal interviews over a telephone or video link. "We had a case in the southern Swedish city of Helsingborg where a suspect was heard via telephone, and it was heavily criticized by the Ombudsmen for Justice as not being in accordance with existing law," she tells TIME. "The Swedish embassy in London is not Swedish territory in the sense that we can hold interrogations there without formal approval of British authorities."

                    Asked why she did not request that Assange voluntarily submit to questioning rather than face arrest, Ny replies, "I am not at liberty to disclose all the details regarding different actions we took in order to hold a hearing with him. But since we are unaware of his whereabouts, and we are by law prohibited from conducting hearings via telephone or video link, this was the only legal action left."

                    They want to give him a chance to tell his side of the story.

                    Despite reports that Sweden had opposed his bail, media are now reporting that the Swedish public prosecutor's office never asked for bail to be denied, and that instead it had always been the UK prosecutor's call.

                    However the Swedish public prosecutor's office has said that it wants to talk to Assange before making a final decision on whether to prosecute him for the alleged sex crimes.

            •  your above logic is so convoluted (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              swarf, elwior

              you should be given some kind of Mobius/Escher Award for distortion of reality.

              blink-- pale cold

              by zedaker on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:02:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, actually, not at all (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adept2u

                My logic isn't convoluted in any way whatsoever.

                With a crime like this, where there's no concrete evidence of the crime (as contrasted to what one would have in a robbery or a murder, for example), the prosecutors rely upon the victim's allegations and the perpetrator's denials/explanations!

                And so, as of right now, the prosecutors believe the women. And because he hasn't gotten a chance to explain to the appeals prosecutor, the people who are now looking into this, they haven't charged him yet.

                •  Here's the problem.... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zedaker, Akonitum

                  The prosecutors orginally said the allegations did not meet the criteria for charges.

                  Months later, after the Wikileaks dump, the investigation to determine whether or not charges are to be laid is re-opened, at the behest of the womens' lawyer.

                  The timing, coming as it did, rises at least to a level of finding out all of the relevant facts before deciding he's a rapist.

                  An article from the Guardian with statements from the womens'lawyer

                  The probability of the prosecution going ahead is around 50-50, or perhaps a little more than that, Borgström said.

                  "In Sweden, like in other countries, the burden of proof lies upon the prosecutor. The prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that a client is guilty of the crimes. Beyond reasonable doubt is very high – I don't know whether she can reach that level. And history tells you that you can reach different judgments on the same material depending on how you interpret that material."

                  I am suspending judgement on whether or not he is guilty of a crime he hasn't been charged with.

                  "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

                  by marigold on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:43:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, the prosecutors didn't say that (0+ / 0-)

                    They said that the original allegations didn't reach the crime that was being alleged!

                    They never said, not ever, that no crime occurred.

                    Never was that said - in fact, that was actively denied at the time. Of course you wouldn't know that if all you read were the breathless diaries on this topic.

                    But you would know it if you'd read the links I've previously provided on this site multiple times!

                    If you can find me a single citation directly from any legal authority in Sweden clearing him of charges back in August, then you might have an assertion worth making. Until then, without a direct quote from that legal authority in Sweden, you have an unsourced rumor and nothing more.

                    The diary doesn't "show that he was cleared." What happened back in August was that he was wanted for questioning in a rape case, but after that was dropped, he was still under investigation for molestation at that time. They dropped that warrant, and then have created a new one recently.

                    He wasn't cleared back in August. One senior prosecutor decided that they didn't have enough info for a rape allegation, after a junior prosecutor initially believed that they did. Now they have more info.

                    I provided this link back on November 30th! There have been other stories that have quoted the Swedish spokespersons which back me up!

                    They never thought he wasn't culpable for some wrongdoing. Never ever.

    •  One of these days I'll be able to visit... (14+ / 0-)

      ... Europe. And when I do, I might just skip Sweden. I've always considered them one of the better nations on earth, but if they're gonna start drifting to the right, and grovelling at the feet of the U.S. Empire -- as this witch hunt against Assange seems to show -- I won't be giving them my money. Assange and Wikileaks, on the other hand?... check's in the mail.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:36:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well they have just had "terror" (7+ / 0-)

        And there are factions in their government, media, etc... just as there were here on September 10, 2001 that are prepared to use terror to change the Swedes way of life.

        The question is whether the Swedish people will be sheep like Americans were.

        In our defense, we never knew what was coming.  

        But then, you never do.

        Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

        by maxschell on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:02:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure the Swedes are not going to give Assange (0+ / 0-)

        the benefit of the doubt on anything... anything at all.  I do not know if the charges are trumped up, or whether there is some factual basis for them and the Swedes are going to prosecute to the full extent of the law.  

        Are the Swedes lapdogs of the Americans?  Are they just a client state doing the bidding of the State Department?

        Of course not. So what possibly could cause the Swedes to be pissed at Assange?  

        While the US and some of its Nato allies are eager to take on wider challenges and a more global role, a number of Nato's central European members are more concerned about the potential threat from an old enemy - Russia.

        The small Baltic states in particular have long argued to be included in Nato's contingency planning to meet any resurgent Russian threat.

        A cable from January confirms that "Eagle Guardian" - the code-name for plans for the reinforcement and defence of Poland - are to be expanded to encompass Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

        But this and a related cable make it clear that Washington wanted no public discussion of this decision, largely it seems for fear of upsetting Moscow at a time when its support was needed on crucial diplomatic issues like Iran.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/...

        Sweden is one of a number of countries participating in military planning regarding the Baltic states.  Assange basically released information secret details that NATO has expanded the defense contingency planning for Poland (an EU member) to include Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia. and the cables include information on the units to be deployed for this purpose. This is the sort of thing that governments don't talk about in public, for all sorts of reasons. This is the sort of thing that actual real spies try to obtain.  

        Now people may have several responses to this, including perhaps: Russia is not an imminent danger.  Government secrecy is bullshit and if NATO wants to defend the Baltic states, they should have an open meeting and invite the Russians. Assange merely released the information, so let news organizations decide what to publish.

        But the fact of the matter is this:  Governments have reasons for keeping some things secret, and if a person has managed to piss off Sweden - which remains one of the top nations in the world in terms of civil and political rights, despite Michael Moore's attempts to discredit them on the issue of sexual assault - then you need to wonder whether maybe you have gone a bit too far.  I respect whistleblowers.  Want to release information on US war crimes?  Great.  All for it. Want to download 250,000 diplomatic cables on servers and disclose delicate information on NATO plans to protect Baltic states from Russia at the exact time the US is trying to negotate with the Russians over preventing nuclear weapons in Iran?

        Sorry folks, but that's vandalism. People can claim that Assange is some sort of a hero, and if he had restricted his work to exposing crimes, perhaps he might be.  But I'm not buying it.  I certainly don't want him sent up the river on false sex charges, but neither do I ascribe to his theories on radical transparency.  I may be a minority, but I do feel there is still a legitimate need for some degree of confidentiality in the conduct of foreign policy.

        "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

        by ivorybill on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:31:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention: the coincidence of "terror" (21+ / 0-)

      Is it an accident that "terror" all of a sudden appeared in Sweden during this episode?

      "They" are giving some players in Sweden the same thing they gave to the 911 chickenhawks here: an excuse to brownshirt the population.

      It worked here.  Will it work in Sweden?

      That is a question for the Swedish people.  I hope they will respond with more dignity and intelligence then Americans did.

      Send your old shoes to the new George W. Bush library.

      by maxschell on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:50:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timothy J, kareylou

      isn't that from Sweden?  

    •  I live in Sweden and you are wrong mr Moore (22+ / 0-)
      The reason why there are more rape charges here is simply that we have a much broader definition of rape than the rest of the world, as a result of feminism being stronger here. Also, we have a more feminist culture which allows women to press charges.

      So, if you are a leftist you should applaud Sweden for doing what other countries should do - admit that certain acts which are presently not considered rape, are in fact rape. The US statistics would be the same if you had the same legal and political culure as in Sweden.

      Then you could criticize that so few rapists are convicted, but that could be because of the difficulties in proving what has happened. You know, we also respect civil liberties unlike your country.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:31:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not more feminist to expand the (14+ / 0-)

        definition of rape and yet do nothing about it. How does that benefit women?

        It doesn't.

        I am  glad you confirmed what I thought - that greater numbers of rape are due to wider definition of it. But really what good does that wider definition do for women when the cases aren't pursued legally even after being reported presumably primarily because they're unprovable? Seems like merely lip service to women, "see? We are a feminist enclave! We care about womens rights! Were tough on rape!" except you're not. If no one pursues my reported (broad definition) rape, because i cant prove it happenedI actually feel MORE powerless, actually. It seems broadening the definition of rape, although probably well intentioned, weakens everything and is no real value to women.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

        by mdmslle on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 03:24:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Uh, he LIVES in Sweden (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susanw, DollyMadison

          Which you don't.  I think he probably knows more about the country and its legal system than Michael Moore does.

          •  huh? (18+ / 0-)

            I am responding directly to this commenter. It doesnt matter that he lives there and I haven't disputed his primary premise which is that MM's stats are based upon the greater, broader definition of what constitutes rape in that country.

            I happen to agree with the commenter on that point.

            HOWEVER I disagree with the poster's implication that Sweden is more feminist friendly because of its broader definition of what constututes rape.

            As a woman, I don't believe that broadening the definition of rape and then failing to prosecute it is progressive at all. So what? So what if i can file a charge of rape because of a condom issue IF the prosecutor can't or won't pursue it.  Rape cases are hard enough to prosecute, unfortunately. But this broad definition and larger numbers of reports only means as a woman I am subject to "my word against his" and the fact that Sweden pursues so few of these cases is indicative of the trouble inherent in proving the case the report is based on.

            As a woman, that gives me little solace. So rape is any of these 2000 things. And I can report any of those 2000 things. But in the end, it won't be pursued because it's he said/she said and I don't ahve bruises.

            THAT is not, IMO, a progressive pro-feminist position as the commenter explicitly stated.  In fact, I think it's more DISEMPOWERING than anything. I don't believe Sweden intended for it to be that way. I think they are probably pretty progressive and enacted these broadened definitions with good intention. I don't think, however, that the broadening delivered on their intent as can be clearly seen from the lack of rape prosecutions or even pursing charges.

            And, I'll add, I have every right to pos my comment and make my opinion on it heard regardless of where I live. YOU ought to reread the commenter's original commend then mine and then yours and you'll see a very major disconnect. You didnt really read either comment well.

            Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

            by mdmslle on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:06:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe that's Mr Moore's point (8+ / 0-)

        in his posting.

        It's the hypocrisy of the selective hounding and prosecution of one man that is the issue here.

        Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
        The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

        by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:46:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I love Sweden (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, Anna M

        I was there last year and I'm returning in a few months. I've never felt safter while travelling as a solo woman as I did in your country. Not even when I was in Malmo in the middle of the sniper stuff.

        I totally understand what you are saying and dissagree with Mr. Moore (and that's unusual. I usually side with him).

    •  a few corretcions: (5+ / 0-)

      The newspaper you cite is most likely Göteborgs Posten based in the town Göteborg (pr- Yuhta-boary) which has now officially changed it's name to the more pronounceable Gothenburg.

      Regarding "Swedish rapists" it should most likely read 'rapists in Sweden.' To the frustration of many Swedes, most people's names and especially nationalities are officially hidden in statistics as to not promote racism or xenophobia, so most here don't know what the statistics are but are hinted at slightly in various places articles in the press.

      However, Norway does post these numbers, and they most likely reflect Sweden's with the associated increase due to increased refugee migration from the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

      Oslo rape statistics shock

      The study is the first where the crime statistics have been analyzed according to ethnic origin. Of the 111 charged with rape in Oslo last year, 72 were of non-western ethnic origin, 25 are classified as Norwegian or western and 14 are listed as unknown.Rape charges in the capital are spiraling upwards, 40 percent higher from 1999 to 2000 and up 13 percent so far this year.Nine out of ten cases do not make it to prosecution, most of them because police do not believe the evidence is sufficient to reach a conviction.

      Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

      by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:33:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your diary is inconvenient (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman

      for the Assange posse.

      ...his...appointments showed that he had no intention of honoring the promises he made... He's a liar and a cheat. -Dallasdoc

      by Words In Action on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:11:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Awesome diary! Thank you, Michael. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  I wish Sweden, Britain, the US (34+ / 0-)

    would simply charge Assange with "exposing our naughty, immoral, and illegal dealings."

    It'd be the first honest thing they've done since this WikiLeaks fiasco started.

    Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are.

    by Musket Man on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:25:51 PM PST

  •  Nate Silver: The Motivation Is Political (55+ / 0-)

    Disparate justice is not justice!

    The handling of the case has been highly irregular from the start, in ways that would seem to make clear that the motivation for bringing the charges is political.

    Does that mean, however, that the underlying charges themselves are spurious, trumped up, outright false, or otherwise dubious? (Some have speculated, for instance, that Mr. Assange may have been entrapped.) No, not for certain, of course — but it does have an impact on the probabilities.
    ...

    What is less ambiguous here, however — as in the case of my bullet train analogy — is the underlying context. The handling of the charges suggests that the motivation for bringing them against Mr. Assange is political. If the motivation is political, then the merits of the charges might matter less. Even if they fail to result in a conviction, the authorities might nevertheless succeed in, in essence, incapacitating Mr. Assange for several months, and preventing him from releasing further documents through WikiLeaks. They might also injure Mr. Assange’s reputation among the public: certainly I have learned more about details Mr. Assange’s personal life in recent days than I would care to know.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes...

    It's a fascinating post by Silver, and one I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend to read in full. This is highly dubious behavior on the government of Sweden's part. Disparate justice is not justice...

    Mel Gibson makes movies that look like snuff films shot by Abercrombie & Fitch's photographer. -9.38, -5.18

    by Nulwee on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:26:53 PM PST

    •  recommend reading* (7+ / 0-)

      Mel Gibson makes movies that look like snuff films shot by Abercrombie & Fitch's photographer. -9.38, -5.18

      by Nulwee on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:29:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sweden already did their part (14+ / 0-)

      Assange is under house arrest and without a passport.  Holder will make the next move.

      www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

      by chuckvw on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:30:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Leave it to Nate (13+ / 0-)

      to think of it in probabilities. Probability alone makes it dubious. In fact lately all of the so called reality we see is highly improbable and unbelievable too boot.

    •  Thanks! Check out this part: (14+ / 0-)

      Most unusually still, Sweden had issued an Interpol red alert for Mr. Assange’s arrest, something they have done for only one other person this year accused of a sex crime: Jan Christer Wallenkurtz, who is suspected of multiple cases of sexual assault against children.

      Give me a break, fricking Christer Wallenkurtzidurzi, my ass... The condom broke! The condom broke!

      Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

      by Anak on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:44:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except that there was (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, shenderson, kareylou, DollyMadison

        more than one accuser, and Assange allegedly persisted in having sex, using force, after the woman told him to stop.  He's also accused of having sex with a woman while she was asleep.  To say "the condom broke," implies that the actions were accidental, and that the woman only withdrew consent after the act was completed.  Neither fits the bill of what he's accused of.  

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:12:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I addressed this below (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          itsbenj, JVolvo, Lujane, JesseCW

          right after a comment of yours about the charges.

          And as Naomi Wolf says, I'm not saying Assange shouldn't answer to the charges.

          Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

          by Anak on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:17:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm pretty sure that's not what your (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kareylou, DollyMadison

            comment below is saying.  Forcibly holding someone down is the missionary position?  The women were "duped" and out for "revenge?"  If that's what you believe, then tell me why should Assange have to answer to those charges?  

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:22:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As the long-time feminist Naomi Wolf said (8+ / 0-)

              all rape allegations should be investigated. But what is happening here is the "pimping of feminism by the State and an insult to rape victims."

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

              by Anak on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:28:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wolf has been creamed on the feminist blogs (6+ / 0-)

                She does NOT speak for a lot of feminists, and has been roundly criticized.  Check out Pandagon, Feministing, and Feministe to see other analyses.

                •  I've read some "feminist" writings that are (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Euroliberal, mrkvica, Anak, DruidQueen

                  as batshit insane as the wackiest wingnut screeds. That tends to happen when you push ANY position past its logical extreme.

                  My "reasonable" position is that Assange is a horndog and quite possibly a scumbag, but until and unless he is actually tried and convicted on charges of rape - which he has NOT been as of this date, he has not even been charged - he gets the benefit of the doubt.

                  Meanwhile, watch the actions of everyone involved, for actions speak at least as loudly as words.

                  If it's
                  Not your body
                  Then it's
                  Not your choice
                  AND it's
                  None of your damn business!

                  by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:18:35 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No doubt. Which is why (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't read those 3 sites. There's lots of newer, better, more up-to-date feminisms out there.

                  I did like Feministing back when Jessica Valentino (?) was there. I think she is at The Nation now.

                  Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

                  by Anak on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:50:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  There is no clear accusation in the (0+ / 0-)

          public domain that either woman ever told him to stop.

          That's a conclusion you're jumping to.

          The accusation is that the condom broke, and that he "held her down with his weight".  No accusation at all that she said no or stop.

          So, unless you've got the the police interviews or something...

          The Democratic Platform won 235 seats. Betraying it lost 42.

          by JesseCW on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:02:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, that's baloney and you know it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            susanw, Adept2u

            One woman was asleep - unless you think she told him right before they went to sleep

            I know that tonight, while I was awake during sexual intercourse with you, I insisted upon you using a condom, and you agreed...

            but feel free to initiate intercourse with me tomorrow morning without a condom if you awaken before me.

            Then her failure to give him consent is undeniable!

            And the evidence we currently have tells us that the first woman held her legs together and he forced them apart and used his weight upon her to complete the sexual intercourse without a condom after beginning it with a condom.

            Stating that one was held down against one's will and one's legs were forced apart to resume intercourse after a condom was removed is "saying no" under any definition of consensual sex.

            How is it that you don't know that?

            If your daughter were forced to spread her legs and have intercourse, held down with the weight of her attacker, you'd call it rape in a heartbeat, and you'd admit that she had removed her consent!

            •  So...inventing discussion for the purpose (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Euroliberal

              of ginning up a case in the media is not beneath you.

              Good to know.

              And the evidence we currently have tells us that the first woman held her legs together and he forced them apart and used his weight upon her to complete the sexual intercourse without a condom after beginning it with a condom.

              Except, it doesn't.  There is no public statement about anyones legs being pried apart.

              You've invented this from whole cloth.

              How is it that you don't know the difference between actual facts and things you kinda sorta heard and then missremmembered in a way that (shockingly) gives you an excuse to attack someone you despise for political reasons?

              The Democratic Platform won 235 seats. Betraying it lost 42.

              by JesseCW on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:40:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, you're lying here (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                susanw, Adept2u, Escamillo

                There sure have been public statements describing that behavior!

                I know what "evidence" is.

                And the evidence we have right now has come from severely redacted police reports and the women's lawyer's statements.

                That is evidence.

                You're the one who's gotten his butt handed to him several times with respect to you not understanding what evidence is.

                Here's what the prosecutor said.

                One woman, identified as Miss A, claims that on Aug. 14, Assange "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving," "then had intercourse without a condom" despite her protests.

                See the quotes? That's because the prosecutor was quoting the victim!

                This is not rocket science!

                And it is evidence!

                The dishonest person in this discussion is you.

                The Crown Prosecution Service presented the four Swedish Prosecution Service accusations: two were of a specific Swedish crime called ''ofredande'', or misconduct (misleadingly translated as molestation), one being that the defendant ''pushed his erect penis against the complainant's back, thus violating her sexual integrity'', the other for unsafe sex ''against the complainant's explicitly stated wish''. There is one charge of sexual assault, which alleges that Assange had sex with Wilen while she was asleep, and the most serious charge is that he held Ardin down with his body weight, forced her legs open, and had sex with her.

                I didn't invent anything.

                •  Hmmm, crickets (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Adept2u

                  He gets proven totally, 100% wrong, and then fails to acknowledge that.

                  And what do you want to bet that he'll push the same nonsense in another diary on another day, ignoring this debunking?

                  That's a tactic that used to be reserved for rightwingers. It used to be disgusting to do it here on DailyKos! Now it's recommended!

    •  Political motivation? Look in the mirror, Assange (6+ / 0-)

      fans.  It's YOU guys that are dismissing the allegations who have a political motivation to do so.

      Also, your appeal to authority is an extremely poor one, for why would anyone care what Silver has to say on this?  He's a statistitian.  He has no more insight on this than anyone else.  Good grief.

      •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, DollyMadison

        It's nice to see someone else who isn't rushing to defend Julian Assange because he's the new Daniel Ellsberg.

        Also, mad props to the Carmen/Nero Wolfe reference....

      •  "dismissing the allegations" (7+ / 0-)

        That says everything I need to know.

        Thanks for your concern.

        Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
        The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

        by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:39:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee

        It is shameful so many people are giving the thumbs up to the ridiculous nonsense Michael Moore has written.  I had thought that, at the very least, DKOS readers would assume two things as a given:

        1.  Assange has the presumption of innocence - no worries there on DKOS, although on the right wing web sites Assange is often not getting this presumption.  But here everyone seems to agree this is fair
        1.  That the female accusers deserve the presumption they are making a legitimate claim; not that they are alleging the truth, but that they are not simply making something up or trying to pass off a fraud upon the police.  Sometimes the truth is not easily determined, which is why we have investigations, evidence and courts.

        On number 2 is where things have completely broken down on DKOS.  The default "progressive" position here, without any hard evidence whatsoever, is that Assange is the victim of state misconduct.  The corrolary of this is that the women are liars who are part of a conspiracy.

        It is chilling how quickly a mob forms to defend someone who is famous.  You saw it with Michael Jackson fans and the child molestation charges.  You saw it with Hollywood and Roman Polanski, where his drugging and sex with a 13 year old was not considered "rape-rape."  And now you see it with Assange and these charges, which absolutely, positive MUST be part of a trumped up conspiracy.  

        It is actually worse with Assange.  In the Jackson and Polanski cases, the judicial system at least was allowed to function - pleas were made, trials held, etc.  Michael Moore and his cheerleaders want the charges dropped BEFORE an investigation is completed.  

    •  Nate is my hero (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, JesseCW, Anak

      More than anyone, he demonstrates why we must look at these accusations very critically.  Bravo, Nate!

    •  Nate Silver should stick to what he knows (5+ / 0-)

      Which is not either sexual misconduct, rape laws, or Sweden.

      •  Name the legal charges filed against Assange. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Euroliberal, JesseCW

        Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
        The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

        by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:38:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why, don't you know them? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          susanw, Adept2u, antimony

          I've posted links repeatedly to those charges. He's charged with 1 count of coercion, 2 counts of rape and 1 count of sexual assault.

          What's your point?

          Translated from Swedish, the charges include, in summary

          Assange listened as prosecutors read charges, detailing the accusations from two Swedish women that include rape, sexual molestation and coercion.

          One woman, identified as Miss A, claims that on Aug. 14, Assange "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving," "then had intercourse without a condom" despite her protests. On Aug 18, he allegedly coerced her again.

          A second woman, labeled Miss W, said on Aug. 17 that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she was asleep.

          Here are a couple of the laws that they allege have been

          broken.

  •  Michael, I appreciate all your great work, (15+ / 1-)

    I really do.

    But I would be a wee bit careful about putting all my eggs and reputation in the Assange basket.

    The guy just seems sketchy as hell to me.

    "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

    by Jose Bidenio on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:28:32 PM PST

  •  I was surprised by the high rate of rape in (18+ / 0-)

    Sweden. I started checking into some background after reading Steig Larsons books.

    As you say their prosecuting record sucks and their actions in this case are suspect.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:28:48 PM PST

    •  and what did you find? (0+ / 0-)

      just numbers?

      Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

      by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:23:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I found that Sweden is NOT the utopia (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dazy, mrkvica, JVolvo, Akonitum, DruidQueen

        I had always thought it was. They do have a lot of crime. Steig Larson worked much as the Southern Poverty Law Center here does to expose hate groups.
        They seem to have a lot of them. He was under death threats so often that the government helped keep all his private info secret.

        This all came as quite a surprise to me.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:18:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's probably the same everywhere. (0+ / 0-)

          in fact, we have alot of anti-hate groups which are 100x more visible than pretty much anything any hate group does.

          In fact, I think it's the case that there is probably much more hate directed at hate groups as I seem to recall a few instances where one group wants to demonstrate, the other wants to counter demonstrate, and more or less kick their asses.

          There was also a case involving someone of the Swedish Democrats (Xenophobia party) who was tortured a bit by some immigrants who I imagine didn't like views.

          Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

          by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:37:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh yes, I don't think Sweden is worse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt

            than any other country. In my mind I've just always thought they were SO much better. I think they are still better, the crime statistics just surprised me.

            Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

            by ZenTrainer on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:55:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, as I point out elsewhere, (0+ / 0-)

              there has been an influx of refugees and immigrants which many blame for this, though I'm not sure on what level one can place blame.

              But, part of me thinks that this society, being quite free and trusting as it's been for ever, is just now coming to be exploited by people who are used to either another culture, come from a war torn country and either have mental issues relating to that or believe they can get away with various crimes.

              Sweden's not a police state and they're really never had to be with a relatively good society, so, I imagine, with an influx of immigrants and the same increased migration to cities, civic services are slow to catch up. This can be seen in the healthcare system, with roads, and, well, you do hardly ever see the police anyway.

              Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

              by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:20:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Not higher than in the US, just different definit (8+ / 0-)

      ions.

      I will copy what I wrote above:

      The reason why there are more rape charges here is simply that we have a much broader definition of rape than the rest of the world, as a result of feminism being stronger here. Also, we have a more feminist culture which allows women to press charges.

      So, if you are a leftist you should applaud Sweden for doing what other countries should do - admit that certain acts which are presently not considered rape, are in fact rape. The US statistics would be the same if you had the same legal and political culure as in Sweden.

      Then you could criticize that so few rapists are convicted, but that could be because of the difficulties in proving what has happened. You know, we also respect civil liberties unlike your country.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:34:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glad you spoke up on this. Sweden is light (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DollyMadison

        years ahead of the US on such social issues and to think that Michael Moore chose this poor crutch of an argument to create a false conspiracy theory about the Swedish Government in support of Assange makes me think that he has finally jumped the shark fatally. I wonder who now is ever going to take him seriously.

    •  VIKINGS rarely asked permission..... (0+ / 0-)

      ... from what I've read. Though, neither did British Kings and Nobles on any commoners wedding night.

      •  "Droit de seigneur" is another zombie myth (0+ / 0-)

        There is NO historical evidence that it was ever practiced in ANY medieval country - nor for that matter in the Roman Empire that preceded it.

        The whole idea seems to trace back to one of Herodotus' written-down rumors that the kings of ancient Libya were entitled to choose bedmates from among all women about to become brides. (Herodotus wrote down a lot of stuff that he did not or could not personally verify, some of which turned out to be hogwash.)

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:41:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Agree with you but absolutely gobsmacked (26+ / 0-)

    about the Swedish rape information. It's overtaking my Assange outrage right now.

    In 2006 six people were convicted of rape though almost 4,000 people were reported". They endorsed Amnesty International's call for an independent inquiry to examine the rape cases that had been closed and the quality of the original investigations.

    The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. (Niels Bohr)

    by begone on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:29:17 PM PST

    •  See my post above, you have to look at the defini (3+ / 0-)

      tion of rape. That makes the difference. Plus a more woman-friendly culture which allows women to press charges.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:36:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are missing the context here. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      begone, klompendanser, DollyMadison

      Listen more carefully to Joe B. Sweden is far more advanced than other coutries in sex equality. The figure that should pleasantly surprise you is the very low number of rape convicitions of 6. The other figure is of alleged rapes  of 4000 which when looked at with the context that the definition of rape is wider and women being more free are able to press charges more than women in other countries is actually indicative of a good healthy judicial situation. Unless of course you are suggesting that everybody charged with a crime should be convicted of it. What about the principle of innocent until proven guilty? Yes maybe the problem here is that of weak charges that do not stand up in court but is it better to have these charges tried than to have women suffering silently and giving a country nice statistics but a brutal repression of women underneath? I mean how many rapes would you expect to have reported in Saudi Arabia and would Amnesty International pronounce the nice statistics of few rapes from that country excellent and completely ignore the context. The truth is bigger than the sum of it's factual parts which should always be illuminated by proper context before being taken at face value.

  •  thank you, michael, (18+ / 0-)

    this needed to be said as clearly as you have said it.  many have leapt to declare assange guilty simply because he was charged.

    "To suppress the truth in the name of national security is the surest way to undermine what we claim to be preserving..." I.F. Stone

    by conchita on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:32:27 PM PST

    •  I think that is (6+ / 0-)

      what they use to discredit the work that wikileaks does which many find scary and threatening as it brings into question the narrative they  believe in and support. They would have to face the truth and this is dangerous to their rationale for supporting the authority of the state and it's actions. Hard to deny what comes from the horses mouth. I also think many people are not able to unhook authority from persona and look at this as they do a pol or a leader. They can't comprehend an organization that leaks truths to the world and threatens those they trust,support and give authority.      

    •  he has not been charged (8+ / 0-)

      he is wanted for questioning

      Yeah, I'm pitchfork mad like that.

      by lisastar on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:52:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you're right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        i considered writing that he is wanted for questioning, but then figured someone would correct that because he was charged originally and then the charges were dropped.  so both in the end could be considered correct.  frustrating!

        "To suppress the truth in the name of national security is the surest way to undermine what we claim to be preserving..." I.F. Stone

        by conchita on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:07:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some are going ape shit over Moore, Olberman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita

      seeming to defend a "rapist". I've read quite a few blog pieces with (left leaning) people ranting about this.

      I think Moore and others need to be extremely careful in the way they defend Assange, but at the same time, we need to remember that he has not been charged or convicted.

      It's just as bad to assume he is guilty at this point, and that anyone defending him hates women and will defend a rapist if that person suits their agenda. Moore and others need to stick with the political angle and defer the rest to the justice system (regardless of past statistics), of course, keeping an eye on that to make sure foul play isn't involved and if it appears to be, shine a light on that as much as we possibly can.

      •  not sure i agree with this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon

        i think the rape issue is being used to cloud people's perception of wikileaks.  it's a tough one to navigate, but i think moore did it right.  to ignore it allows people to continue to create a villain out of assange. he may have something to answer for in how he treated the two women, and i believe the courts should properly deal with that.  but i think if nothing is done to counter the spin, then the allegations threaten the work wikileaks is doing.  hearing the way some are immediately presuming his guilt makes it clear to me that the spin has worked.  

        "To suppress the truth in the name of national security is the surest way to undermine what we claim to be preserving..." I.F. Stone

        by conchita on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:13:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No legal charges are pending against Assange. (6+ / 0-)

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:37:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, this is true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, joanneleon

        but there were at one time until they were dropped.  either way i wrote the sentence it could be argued with.  but i do agree, at this point in time there he has not been charged, but is simply wanted for questioning.

        "To suppress the truth in the name of national security is the surest way to undermine what we claim to be preserving..." I.F. Stone

        by conchita on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:09:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  information (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Escamillo, kareylou, Loge, DollyMadison

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

      Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations.

       She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of 14 August in Stockholm.

       The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

       The second charge alleged Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.

       The third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on 18 August "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity".

       The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

    •  This needs to be said (5+ / 0-)

      what Michael Moore is doing in this diary is trying to paint HIMSELF as the defender of women, even while saying the charges weren't "the most serious" and were "non-rape."

      Yeah, it's a pretext, but what he's accused of is real, and there should be more, not fewer, extraditions.  Anyway, if he violated U.S. law (not an unreasonable proposition), then he could be extradited for that, too.  

      This diary reeks of fail, and was already rebutted by Kate Harding better than I ever could do:  http://kateharding.info/...

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:52:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's this supposed to prove? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, haensgen

      The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

      Sounds like the missionary position.

      The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

      Sounds like morning sex. Lots of my lovers have waken me up with a "good morning" blowjob.

      As I wrote on another diary, I'm starting to think that Anna Ardin was not a honeypot, rather she (and her defenders) are being duped. The two accusers went to the cops only because because they were worried about STDs and couldn't contact Assange. Looks to me that at the station this transformed into rape charges:

      According to one source, Jessica wanted to know if it was possible to force Assange to undergo an HIV test. Sarah [Anna Ardin], the seasoned feminist warrior, said she was there merely to support Jessica. But she also gave police an account of what had happened between herself and Assange a week before.

      The female interviewing officer, presumably because of allegations of a sabotaged condom in one case and a refusal to wear one in the ­second, concluded that both women were victims: that ­Jessica had been raped, and Sarah subject to sexual molestation.

      Why would they allow this change? Well, one possibility is revenge. After all, earlier in the year, Anna Ardin posted on her blog about 7 ways to get revenge on men:

      Entitled ‘7 Steps to Legal Revenge’, it explains how women can use courts to get their own back on unfaithful lovers.

      Step 7 says: ‘Go to it and keep your goal in sight. Make sure your victim suffers just as you did.’  

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

      Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

      by Anak on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:53:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, you're a true blue defender (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, Adept2u, Escamillo, DollyMadison

        if you, like Assange, think information, however sensitive, should just be thrown out on the internet (in this case, the accusers' names, which most media outlets don't publish).  And saying the women are out for "revenge," is just a classic rapist-defending tactic, to say nothing of the claim that Miss W couldn't possibly have been raped because you engaged in separate consensual sex acts with other people.  

        This is truly disgusting to see on a liberal site.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:19:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i never thought i'd see the day (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, Adept2u, antimony, DollyMadison

        that posters on here tries to explain away rape accusations...

      •  not recommended (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland

        We don't know the full details. It's possible someone else exaggerated normal sex acts that the accusers described, as you think, but if these charges are exactly what the accusers said, then it's quite awful to try to dismiss them as nothing. We simply don't know enough details.

        Yeah, Ann Ardin does have a very interesting background. Again, we are not in the position to try to link her past statements or that her brother works for Swedish intelligence, or that she's been involved with CIA supported anti-Castro group, to what is happening here. If foul play is involved, some ulterior motive, hopefully that will come out. At the moment, we have no way of knowing this so bringing up these points to try to dismiss the allegations is wrong.

        •  We know where she is and what she's doing NOW (0+ / 0-)

          She isn't hanging about Sweden panting to defend her honor in a court of law. She's on the West Bank of Palestine trying to promote peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

          Seems that's more important to her at this point.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:49:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like rape to me. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, Adept2u, Loge, DollyMadison

        But I guess having sex with sleeping women and holding them down is a pretty subtle fact situation for you, so we'll just have to have it come out in court.

        Denounce someone else's lack of courage from safe distance and anonymously!

        by Inland on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:07:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except he might not ever make it (0+ / 0-)

          to court in Sweden. He might be extradited straight to the US instead. This is why I speculate that people are being duped.  

          Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

          by Anak on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:35:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  A said that B said that C said that D said... (0+ / 0-)

      and two essential words have dropped out between "wanted" and "in connection".

      Those two being "for questioning".

      The Swedish government wants to get his side of the story, under oath. What they will do about it when (and if) he cooperates is still unknown.

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:46:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speculation on My Part. Boy Who Cried Wolf (0+ / 0-)

    In Sweden could it be those who cried rape.

    Swedish criminal laws regarding sex offenses are not necessarily all that much stricter than the laws in many other European countries, Mr. Borgstrom said.

    But Swedish women, backed by a strong consciousness of women’s rights and a history of a very public discussion of the scourge of sexual violence, may be more willing than most to look to the law for help.

    The number of reported rapes in Sweden is by far the highest in the European Union, according to the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics, which cites 53 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. Britain has the next highest rate, at 24 per 100,000.

    Could rape charges be made on a debatable definition of what rape is so often that it is discounted by courts?

  •  Moore crosses the line (15+ / 0-)

    To paraphrase a formula for a different situation, people should judge Assange for wikileaks as if there were no rape accusation AND judge Assange for the rape accusation as if there were no wikileaks.  We have no idea what happened in Sweden.

    You can't wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.

    by ClaudiusTheGod on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:43:28 PM PST

  •  You kick ass, dude. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, Anak

    Last year, we got to watch Bowling for Columbine in our Senior Composition class, in a publicly funded, federally controlled high-school. Imagine that!

    You make a good point about this, but you are preaching to the choir... go post this at freerepublic, those disphits could use the lesson.

    Welcome to the Endgame. Task: Survival.

    by That Damn Librul on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:43:39 PM PST

  •  It really does stink (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, JVolvo, Anak

    I find it telling that some people find it easier to believe that Julian Assange is a dangerous rapist under such blatant trumped up charges, then allow the truth to be leaked for all to read. Thanks for making your voice heard and standing up to power. Without people like you and those at wiki leaks we be in so much worse shape then we are. The truth is out there and it will leak out with help from people with courage.  

  •  This diary frames the issue perfectly. (9+ / 0-)

    A lot of ink has been spilled on this issue but none as articulate as this. Bravo, Michael Moore!

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:49:38 PM PST

  •  Good journalism, Mr. Moore (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, haensgen, Anak

    Shame we won't see the professional journalists lift a finger to expand on this story.. let alone cover it at all.

  •  Thanks again, Michael (6+ / 0-)

    That quote from Naomi Klein says it all.

    (-8.50, -7.64) "Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal', must necessarily be 'inferior'." - Hans Asperger

    by croyal on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:50:52 PM PST

    •  Is it Naomi Klein (0+ / 0-)

      or Naomi Wolf?

      To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

      by kareylou on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:06:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe Wolf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kareylou

        She's written at least 2, maybe 3 articles on this. I believe Naomi Klein did tweet something about this too, however.

        Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

        by Anak on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:04:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It couldn't have been said better! (3+ / 0-)

    It's time to cut through the nonsense and expose this for what it is... A fraudulent, politically motivated attack.

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

    by reflectionsv37 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 09:51:49 PM PST

  •  I am sickened by all of this (12+ / 0-)

    I feel terrible for all the real victims of rape who will now have an even harder time getting justice because of this political witch hunt against Assange. Not only has Assange's name been forever tarnished, so have all of the claims of women who have been raped. People who were inclined to be suspicious of rape accusations will be even less likely to believe them now.  There are no winners here. Sweden should be ashamed of itself.

  •  Thanks, Michael! (9+ / 0-)

    And don't forget what Naomi Wolf said the other day:

    the pretext of using these charges against Assange is a pimping of feminism by the State and an insult to rape victims

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Depende de la conciencia de la necesidad del cambio y la certeza de la posibilidad de este cambio revolucionario. - Ernesto Guevara

    by Anak on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:02:06 PM PST

  •  Very suspect (6+ / 0-)

    when a blind eye is turned to the horrors covered up by the American government but an eagle eye is kept  on a very sketchy sexual situation involving the person who is embarrassing the American government.

    If I didn't know better I'd say justice was the one getting raped.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:06:16 PM PST

  •  Sweden insults our intelligence when they claim (5+ / 0-)

    that there's no political pressure behind this prosecution.
    Even if it's 100% true, it's insulting to ask us to believe it.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:07:47 PM PST

    •  It's ridiculous for any conscious person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209

      to believe that. It's obvious there are vested corporate interests and their political tools pulling strings all over the place here.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:35:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kate Harding rips Moore's lame argument to shreds (11+ / 0-)

    calls him out by name too.
    http://kateharding.info/...

    The rape apologism on this site is getting ridiculous.

    •  I have no idea (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, happymisanthropy, melpomene1

      of his guilt or innocence in any rape case.

      He's still a hero for WikiLeaks.

      42 million Americans on food stamps. Clearly we need to cut Paris Hilton's taxes.

      by tiggers thotful spot on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:17:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My bad, Kate doesn't call out Moore herself. (3+ / 0-)

      I misremembered.  She didn't call out Moore, but plenty of the comments to her story call out Moore by name, as well as Wolf and KO.

      Never thought I'd see the day where rape charges were mocked and dismissed out of hand by a "progressive" site like DKos or a "progressive" icon like Moore.  But then again, DKos isn't a "progressive" site, is it?  No, it's rather a "TRUE progressive" site, which is a completely different thing.  "True progressives" (unlike mainstream progressives) live in a parallel universe where the rules change to fit the circumstance.  So if Saint Julian is accused of rape, then the accusations MUST be bogus.  But if it were say, Tim Geithner or Rahm Emanuel that were accused, this site would be all over it, not giving any benefit of the doubt, nor any presumption of innocence.

      •  That's not true at all (0+ / 0-)

        Whenever anyone is accused of any crime, we're generally pretty fair about trying to look at it clearly and critically.  

        If Rahm Emmanuel were accused of rape by a date but still counted the president as his friend, I would be likely inclined towards the victim until/unless more facts came out.  As far as we know, RE doesn't have poweful enemies.  Even then, I would still try and give RE the benefit of the doubt until we saw some proof as to his guilt.

        We are being very fair here.  

      •  if you can calm down for a second (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, mrkvica, JVolvo, poxonyou, Anak, PhilJD

        did we miss something? has he been charged?  Last I heard they just wanted to question him.

        Yeah, I'm pitchfork mad like that.

        by lisastar on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:41:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow..u r awesome!! nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaurenMonica, DollyMadison

        "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

        by Jose Bidenio on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:34:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  While there are indeed some folks... (14+ / 0-)

        ...here who have taken what I think is a dodgy, dismissive stand with regard to these allegations against Assange, there are plenty of us who support Wikileaks's release of documents but who simultaneously do not dismiss the allegations. Just as there are some here who oppose the release who have jumped almost gleefully on those allegations.

        Solely on the issue of giving these women and Assange their day in court, I stand with those here who don't dismiss the allegations.

        But I think it would be highly instructive to see exactly how many allegations of this sort have gotten the full-court press adopted by Sweden, Britain and Interpol in this matter. How many cases with similar allegations to those in the Assange case has Sweden actually prosecuted in the past? Is this standard procedure? Or something else?

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:13:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  perhaps if you reviewed the facts of the case (0+ / 0-)

        surrounding both personally and with wikileaks you might see how complex this is.

        Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

        by borkitekt on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:01:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  so, it's "progressive" to assume (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, mrkvica

        someone's guilt when you have no idea one way or the other whether they are guilty? stop pretending to know whether he is guilty or not, just stop it! you have no idea one way or the other.

      •  Using the (alleged) personal behavior (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheMomCat, mrkvica, burlydee

        of Assange as a means to discredit his actions in a field totally disassociated from these charges is a classic ad hominem argument.

        It's entirely possible both that the charges against Assange are true and that Wikileaks is a bastion against world tyranny.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:55:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Scottsboro Boys? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        So we risk our "progressive" credibility if we ever question a rape charge?

        What about a murder charge?  Like rape, it's a serious charge.  Should we just accept it?

      •  You are wrong. Moore/KO never said these things. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, Escamillo

        Or at least, Moore is the only one who said "Wake up and smell the set-up." Keith Olbermann did not. By having Moore on his show, he presented a forum to someone who strongly believes it's a set-up. But that doesn't mean he agrees in every way, shape and form.

        As for the rest of what Kate Harding says, did either Moore or Olbermann say any of it? Let's take a look...

        --Did they fail to acknowledge Assange has been accused of real crimes? No.

        --Did they deny the possibility that Assange, even if they support Wikileaks, could do something they really disapprove of? No. Questioning whether he did is not the same as saying "It's impossible."

        --Did either one venture forward any potential "excuses" used to discredit rape victims? Only Moore. I think at one point he mentioned the "broken condom" thing as something he "believed" was one of the accusations. Olbermann has said nothing in any way, shape or form to express or venture in the direction of any "it probably wasn't rape" statements.

        --Did either one fail to express skepticism of claims that are used to discredit rape victims every day? Reread the above. No.

        --Did either one express opposition to a fair trial for all? Not that I can see.
           
        --Did either one say that "because nobody cares about prosecuting rape under normal circumstances, it is somehow an insult to rape survivors to prosecute Assange for it now"? Not that I can see. Naomi Wolf, maybe. Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann, no. Belief in reserving judgment until the facts are in, combined with healthy skepticism about the reasons Assange is being pursued the way he is, do not equal rape apologia, or saying "If you're not going to prosecute the others, don't prosecute him at all."

        --Did either one of them even bring up the subject of "sex by surprise"? Not that I can see. So why accuse them of having dismissed it as no big deal?

        I agree that rape is "the refusal to stop putting your penis inside someone who’s told you to stop." But I think that if you asked Moore or Olbermann, they would define it the same way. Or, at least, I have yet to see either one expressing any public opinion that "Assange can't possibly be guilty because a broken condom and 'surprise sex' do not qualify as rape." Neither one of them. Yet they're being treated as if they have.

        Olbermann recently signed off Twitter (at least for a cooling-off period) because he felt frustrated and upset by progressives (so they said) calling him a "rape apologist." Supposedly, they called him this for the following reasons: a) he had Moore on his show to explain why he posted bail for Assange; b) he provided a link, without comment or judgment, to something written by Bianca Jagger in which she apparently decried the charges; c) when he tweeted the link, which included Jagger's quotes around the word "rape," he failed to remove the quotes--which some took as a sign that he himself did not take the accusations seriously. (I.e., they were interpreted as his own judgmental "air quotes.")

        I find this terribly sad. Olbermann is one of the strongest progressive voices we have in the media and, from what I can see, one of the best friends that feminists, LGBTs, people of color, the poor, and many other marginalized people have had. Yet, because he is a white male who is affluent as a result of his choice of career, not to mention used to work in sportscasting, it seems he constantly has to defend himself against accusations by fellow progressives of being an utterly sexist swine. The same appears to be true of Moore.

        I don't think either man is perfect. But I do think they have earned better from progressives than to be attacked and derided merely because of their position on Assange. It seems to me that they're both capable of supporting the work of Wikileaks while, at the same time, acknowledging the possibility that Assange is a rapist--and, if so, justice needs to be served.

    •  A common thing here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      is to accuse someone of something heinous in order to silence debate.  It is obvious to me from your postings that you are against what Assange has done in regards to wikileaks.  It is also becoming obvious that you are using these accusations of "rape apologists" to silence anyone who may disagree with you.  it won't work, but nice effort.  

  •  I hear the term "rape" used... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, farbuska

    whenever governments (or politicians) are trying to demonize an individual. They use this allegation as a weapon of propaganda. They know the public has a visceral reaction, so they throw it into the mix of crimes of their subject.
    I've seen it used a hundred times, always a lie.

    Bluto was a big bully. If not for spinach, Popeye would've been his bitch.

    by steelman on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:09:22 PM PST

  •  Dismayed that none of the MSNBC hosts (8+ / 0-)

    bothered to mention the antiwar protest in Washington earlier in the day. And Nighty News was the only one that mentioned anything about further developments of the ongoing Assange/Wikileaks saga. It's disappointing that with four progressive hosts, one of them can't break out of the talking head/political speculation format and go the Amy Goodman route.

    •  I'm not sure they're progressive (0+ / 0-)

      To me, Sawyer, What's-his-name, and Couric are merely corporatist shills.

      "Blessed are they who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed." ___My late mother

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:46:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was taking about MSNBC: Schultz, Olbermann, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shpilk, JVolvo, Jose Bidenio

        Maddow and O'Donnell. Frankly, I'm disappointed in how The Ed Show has turned out, and I love "The Ed Schultz Show". I was hoping he was going to bring in something fresh, but instead he's merely a more liberal version of Hardball. The jury is still out on O'Donnell, but  there's only so much talking heads you can take. Maddow is the only one of them who thinks to try different things, and get out of the studio now and then.

        Sometimes I think Bill Moyers Journal was the last progressive show I really liked.  

  •  I'm not sure just what charges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Jester

    will finally be lodged but the original "sex by surprise" was punishable by a fine of about 750 dollars. Anyone know what the maximum is under Swedish law for the current proposed charges?

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:33:12 PM PST

    •  The CRIME alleged was.... (3+ / 0-)

      ... Sex by surprise. Not that the sex was a surprise, the women was engaged in consensual sex, but that during THE CONDOM BROKE.... surprise!

      In other words, there is no crime of any kind at all. It is all made up bullshit that won't last 2 seconds in an actual court. All the rest of the theatre is just that, while Holder et al desperately try to make up something under US law that can be used to go after the Bunnyman.

      The US govt flails in its impotence, as usual.

      •  not quite (0+ / 0-)

        As i understand it, one of the issues is that the condom broke and Assange insisted on continuing against the wishes of the woman. That puts this in a rather different light.

        How the other woman is involved, i have no idea.

      •  Total baloney (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u, Jose Bidenio, Escamillo

        What you described is not accurate at all.

        The condom breaking is not a crime.

        Continuing on with intercourse, contrary to the agreement that he and the woman had come to with respect to sexual intercourse needing to include a condom meant that it had to be an intact condom that was used from the beginning of sexual intercourse until the end of the intercourse - not just for part of it - and the part where bodily fluids weren't exchanged either!

        The crime was not "sex by surprise". That's a gross distortion/mistranslation of what he is charged with.

        He is being charged with 2 counts of rape, although it's the least aggravated of the 3 types of rape one can be charged with in Sweden - it's still "rape".

        You'd call it rape if it had happened to your daughter.

        •  Aren't you exhausted yet? Seriously, you have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo, DollyMadison

          repeated your posts, what, 20 times, for the people who still have not been able to soak up the rudimentary allegations surrounding this case:  arms pinned down, legs forced open, other woman asleep.

          On what planet is that considered "consensual sex"?

          Hint:  It's def not in our solar system, nor in our galaxy, and likely not anywhere in out universe.

          "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

          by Jose Bidenio on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:40:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I suspect another translation error (0+ / 0-)

      There have been a number of truly awful Google translations floating around in this case.

      Since I've found nothing about "sex by surprise" in the Swedish penal code (in Swedish) -- not that it is necessarily exhaustive any more than statutes alone tell you everything about American law -- I suspect this may be another translation error.  Could be accidental by anyone or on purpose by Assange's PR team.

      The closest concept I find is sexuellt övergrepp, meaning an incident of sexual abuse, molestation, assault, etc. -- literally, "going too far" in an offensive and outrageous way. It seems to me quite possible that Swedish precedent might define some behaviors as "rape of a lesser degree" and classify them as this lesser offense.

      Although Google's translation TODAY handles the term reasonably, I don't know what it was doing weeks ago when "sex by surprise" became a hot topic.  It might have been coughing out "sexual surprise," as might conceivably someone with a poor grasp of Swedish or English.  I've seen equally bad mistakes in official translations.

      Certainly a RawStory.com article last week outrageously misquoted one of Assange's accusers.  Although I was puzzled at first, I then realized they were merely repeating Google mistranslations.

      Ms Ardin never said she was accused of being "...flat and fatally in love with a man.  Can one even be all those things at once?"  (An odd non sequitur, had it been correct.)  She said she was accused of being "a dyke [sic, more or less] and fatally [or hopelessly] in love with a man."  Similarly she never wrote "MasterCard, Visa, Paypal -- belt 'em now!" as RawStory ridiculously claimed.  She wrote instead, "MasterCard, Visa, Paypal -- get a clue!"  Or get a grip, or get a life, or get real, or even watch out, depending on what she was really thinking.  But certainly not "Belt 'em now!"

      This "sex by surprise" term is getting far too much repetition for something nobody can specifically point to in the law.  I think it's quite likely that Assange's team has put this bogus translation into circulation to trivialize the accusation.  There's also conflation going on between accusations and charges, but there's plenty of discussion about that distinction already.

      ------
      I say, Jeeves, bring me another strumpet, would you?
      This one's gone a bit stale.

      by Alden on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Assange's legal team invented sex-by-surprise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u

        ...it has been a brilliantly successful ploy.  Everybody's using this term instead of rape, and ridiculing it far and wide.

        I have no idea what really happened with Assange and these women, nor how much state actors have been involved in muddying the waters, but I would ask this: doesn't ALL rape happen by surprise?  So why is sex-by-surprise inherently some trivial and ridiculous accusation?

        ------
        I say, Jeeves, bring me another strumpet, would you?
        This one's gone a bit stale.

        by Alden on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:29:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Michael Moore, I love you. (9+ / 0-)

    You have the courage to say what few public figures do.

    Also, I'm a rape survivor and a former rape crisis advocate (first responder at hospital).  I've thought from the beginning that this was crap.  The allegations don't make any sense from a criminal standpoint.  And it course it's rather convenient for the county in which the server was hosted to charge him with something.  It reminds me of that terrible movie with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro where Pacino rapes a girl because he had to do something so heinous it couldn't be forgiven.  It's like the heads of state sat down and thought this up.  It breaks my heart that Obama is involved in this.  He disappoints me more everyday.  And I'm ranting.

    Funny how Kobe Bryant who was actually arrested and charged can share smiles with the President, and Assange is wanted by Interpol.  This is the biggest conspiracy I can think of in modern times.  And it pisses me off that they're using false rape charges (as if we don't have to combat that stereotype enough already--less that 2% of all reported rapes didn't happen) to discredit him.

    •  The alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ribletsonthepan, DollyMadison

      confessed that she lied and they had consensual sex. And Charges against Kobe were dropped after the woman confessed.

      Diffenrent story with Assange.

      Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

      by LaurenMonica on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:38:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't know "the story" with Assange. (0+ / 0-)

        He hasn't been charged of a crime.

        But apparently, it's really easy to just assume he's guilty.

        Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
        The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

        by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:31:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't assume he was guilty. I just pointed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DollyMadison

          out that charges against Kobe were dropped and the alleged victim backtracked her accusation and confessed that she lied.

          At this moment, none of the alleged victims in the Assange case has yet backtrack the accusation.

          Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

          by LaurenMonica on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:50:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well when one of them goes off to Palestine (0+ / 0-)

            to pursue making peace, it says something about her priorities.

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:53:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, actually, it doesn't at all! (0+ / 0-)

              There's no need for her to continue to be a victim of this guy by remaining in Sweden until his trial.

              As of right now, the prosecutors believe both women. That's why they're contemplating filing charges against him.

              But they want to hear from him - if they can be convinced by him that the women are not credible, they won't file charges.

              Unless he can do that, they'll likely file charges!

              Her going on with her life while the charges are being contemplated is not evidence at all that the charges are bogus or weak or anything at all!!!

              It's not her job to prosecute Assange if he is charged. There's no reason for her to "prioritize" remaining in Sweden. She's already given a witness/victim statement to the prosecutors.

              I swear, many on your side of this issue really need to get a clue!

              •  Just remember one thing (0+ / 0-)

                We wouldn't be talking about this AT ALL, it wouldn't be an issue AT ALL, if the...let's say, the suspect (since he isn't even officially accused at this point) weren't the mastermind behind Wikileaks.

                And in all probability the governments of the UK and the US would never have gotten involved if the case involved some Sven Schmendrick of no importance.

                When you factor in the possibility of retaliation and/or pre-emptive action to avoid further international embarrassment, the whole thing starts to stink like week-old dead fish.

                If it's
                Not your body
                Then it's
                Not your choice
                AND it's
                None of your damn business!

                by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:28:10 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We wouldn't be talking about it (0+ / 0-)

                  But that doesn't mean that he wouldn't have been sought for questioning without him being famous for WikiLeaks!!!

                  There's no evidence that it wouldn't be an issue at all! None whatsoever, actually. It's your side in this discussion that hasn't got a leg to stand on, not mine. People who do good things in some ways can do bad things in other parts of their lives.

                  But my post was about your bogus allegation that the travel to Palestine by one of the women meant something about her skewed priorities, and it doesn't mean that at all.

                  But thanks for totally failing to mention that in any way in your reply! Avoiding admitting that one is wrong is one side of a failed argument. Moving the goalposts is another. Making strawman arguments to try to denigrate one's debate partner is yet another. You did all three.

                  And, as I've explained multiple times, he hasn't been charged yet because he has refused to talk to the police/prosecutors about his view of these events! So far, the prosecutors believe the women. Unless he convinces those prosecutors that the women aren't credible, he'll likely be charged.

                  •  That's the whole point (0+ / 0-)

                    These sorts of accusations would not normally warrant a follow up, but Assanges celebrity give officers and prosecutors a slice of the limelight. Assange will easily be vindicated in court.

                    A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

                    by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:15:27 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                      If he did what he's being accused of, he raped both women!

                      You think that the breaking of an agreement about how consensual sex will be accomplished is a victimless crime, then the next time your daughter gets forced to have sex against her will, please be sure to not complain at all about it!

                      These sorts of accusations should always warrant a follow-up. Swedish prosecutors never decided that he was wholly innocent of any charge. When the second prosecutor to look at this event determined that he wasn't culpable for the most serious rape charges, she never thought that he wasn't guilty of any charges.

                      •  Pretty goddam big IF, chum (0+ / 0-)

                        And you need to answer the question of why the allegations were originally dropped, and not brought up again until Wikileaks had publicly embarrassed the US government and was threatening to wash the Big Banks' dirty laundry in public.

                        Coincidence? Like a bird flying overhead and you finding poo in your hair is "coincidence".

                        If it's
                        Not your body
                        Then it's
                        Not your choice
                        AND it's
                        None of your damn business!

                        by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:54:21 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  With Geoff Robertson on his side (0+ / 0-)

                          I doubt the British extradition laws will even remain intact after the hearings.  He has a habit of taking cases and radically altering British laws by his skilled defenses. I bet money Assange doesn't even get extradited.

                          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

                          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:24:27 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  The charges weren't originally dropped (0+ / 0-)

                          And so, no, I don't need to address that!

                          I've provided links in multiple threads documenting that the second prosecutor didn't think that he wasn't culpable for any offenses. She simply didn't think that the allegations rose to the level of the most severe level of rape, and so she removed that allegation - but she didn't think that all charges/all allegations should go away!

                          The investigation into what charges should be filed against him didn't stop and then restart, as you allege, when WikiLeaks embarassed the US Gov't. That just didn't happen. The investigation into the charges by two women began again in earnest on September 1st. The first charges were only based upon the allegations from one of the two women.

                          And again, I've provided links to this info multiple times on threads about Assange!

                          The initial allegation by the first prosecutor was withdrawn, but charges were never dropped, and the investigation re-started like 2 days later! The statements you've made are contrary to the evidence we have.

                          There's no "if" that if he did what he's accused of doing, he violated the agreement that he and the two women had, and he raped them both.

                          •  Judge jury and executioner (0+ / 0-)

                            Pleased to meet you, Judge Dredd. Not.

                            If it's
                            Not your body
                            Then it's
                            Not your choice
                            AND it's
                            None of your damn business!

                            by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:54:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So, this is how you behave (0+ / 0-)

                            When your argument is totally demolished?

                            Good to know that you're incredibly immature and don't understand that baseless personal attacks are inappropriate and unjustifiable.

                            I have never written anything that could allow any sane, reasonable person to assert that I was attempting to be judge, jury and executioner.

                            If the allegations are true, he raped those women. That's not being any of the things you asserted with your strawman argument.

                          •  You are not worth responding to (0+ / 0-)

                            especially since you never showed up in this thread until I posted in it.

                            Are you stalking me?

                            Turkey Chili Dip

                            2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
                            1/2 pound ground turkey breast
                            2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
                            1 medium onion, finely chopped
                            1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)
                            2 tablespoons dark chili powder, or about 2 palmfuls
                            1-1/2 teaspoons cumin, or about half a palmful
                            1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
                            1-1/2 bricks (12 oz) cream cheese
                            2 tablespoons (a handful) of chopped green olives with pimiento
                            PREMIUM Multi-Grain Saltine Crackers

                            Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and brown the turkey, then add garlic, onions, and seasonings. Cook 10 minutes, then add tomato sauce and heat through. Cut cream cheese into pieces and stir in to melt and combine. Transfer to a bowl and top with chopped olives. Serve with crackers.
                            Makes 3-1/4 cups or 26 servings, 2 tablespoons dip and 5 crackers each.

                            If it's
                            Not your body
                            Then it's
                            Not your choice
                            AND it's
                            None of your damn business!

                            by TheOtherMaven on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:10:28 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                            I swear, delusional people here.

                            I didn't go after your posts - you went after mine. That's the sign of a stalker.

                            I didn't bring up your obnoxious posting history - you dishonestly portrayed mine. That's another sign of a stalker.

                            I understand you'd rather that I hadn't called you out. But you're not a victim here. You're the perpetrator.

                      •  Big if. (0+ / 0-)

                        Geoffrey Robertson QC (google him) is probably going to coordinate the defense and that probably means the case against Assange is bogus on a few levels.

                        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

                        by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:00:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a little disturbed... (12+ / 0-)

    that your outrage is not about the apparent epidemic of rape in Sweden that you describe, or the Swedish government's inability or unwillingness to do anything aobut it, but instead, your outrage is about the government being hypocritcal -- something we never see, right?

    I realize that combatting violence against women isn't your cause or your point here, but it seems a bit callous of you to exploit those horrifying numbers just to make your larger point about one man being arrested.

    "I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism." -- Sarah Palin

    by Kaili Joy Gray on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 10:56:33 PM PST

    •  No epidemic, probably less raping than in the US (3+ / 0-)

      See my posts above.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:37:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is not my point. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u, amelia b, DollyMadison

        Michael Moore was criticized this week for being dismissive of the allegations of rape. When I started reading his piece, I thought this was his way of addressing those criticisms by shedding some light on the very real problem of rape in Sweden.

        But that wasn't his intention at all. He was just exploiting those statistics to further defend Assange, not to address the problem of rape in Sweden.

        Quite a shame, really.

        "I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism." -- Sarah Palin

        by Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:27:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He shed some light for me... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, susanw

          ...because I had no idea that Sweden's government turns away from investigating rapes.

          I thought all people, including women, had a pretty decent life in Sweden.  I guess theirs is just as mysogynistic as ours.   Makes me wonder about other countries now (e.g., Holland) and whether they do a good job of investigating and prosecuting rapes.

        •  This piece does shed light on the problem of rape (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica

          in Sweden. Moore lists appalling statistics and points out Amnesty International's statement -- this is information that I, for one, didn't have before.

          Sure, he's also pointing out that Assange may be being framed here, but he clearly says that the case should be investigated thoroughly, not dismissed outright.

          If you reread without expectations that the piece should only be about the problem of rape in Sweden, perhaps you'll feel differently. Why should it only be about rape? That's not the only issue in question.

          •  I'm not saying it should only be about rape. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            susanw, amelia b, DollyMadison

            I'm saying Moore is using the rape statistics to make some other point about one guy being arrested that he thinks is more important than an epidemic of rape. And he represents this problem as if it is somehow unique to Sweden, as if rape and violence against women isn't a world-wide epidemic.

            The truth is, Sweden isn't special. Look at rape statistics in the United States. Overwhelmingly unreported, and those that are reported are overwhelmingly not prosecuted, and those that are prosecuted are overwhelmingly not convicted.

            Most rapists on this planet get away with it. Sweden doesn't have a monopoly on a failure to address this problem, nor does it have a monopoly on hypocrisy.

            But Moore paints this picture, as if Sweden is the world's worst offender -- a sanctuary for rapists -- so that he can make some other point for his cause du jour.

            "I want to help clean up the state that is so sorry today of journalism." -- Sarah Palin

            by Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:02:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, he left off the context (0+ / 0-)

              By failing to compare Sweden (not all countries near Sweden, but Sweden alone) and their rape statistics to other developed nations, he failed to provide the necessary context.

              And given that necessary context, Sweden doesn't look worse than other nations! But Moore didn't tell us that, did he?

          •  Nope, it doesn't (0+ / 0-)

            It unfairly tars Sweden by painting all Nordic countries equivalently, and that's unfair to Sweden.

            They don't have the same pattern of behavior/prosecutions/etc that some of the other countries have.

            Moore unfairly smears Sweden for the sins of other Scandanavian countries.

  •  Well Sweden! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair

    What do you have to say for yourself?

    We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

    by twigg on Thu Dec 16, 2010 at 11:12:00 PM PST

  •  What kind of society do we want? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, defluxion10, Salo, Knucklehead, JVolvo

    For the record, I believe Assange to be innocent. Just to play devil's advocate though, let's pretend for a second the accusations against him were true.  Would this case actually hold up in court if he had a fair trial?

    No and here's why:

    1. Both women continued to socialize with him after the alleged attacks. One threw him a party. The other had breakfast with him and bought him a train ticket. This would raise doubts about their stories.
    1. Neither cases have any physical evidence that we know of
    1. The women spoke to each other, before going the police, and their testimony could be considered tainted
    1. Both women have motivation to lie because he slept with both of them the same weekend and they could have felt hurt by his behavior.  This doesn't mean they did lie, but the MOTIVE for lying would undercut their testimony.
    1. One of the women is described as being a fangirl and obsessed with Mr. Assange. Once again, this would undercut her testimony.
    1. Both women came to the police so they could track Assange down for an STD test.  The idea that they had been raped was not their own but fed to them by the police, who were surely aware of Mr. Assange's reputation as an infamous journalist

    You know what that adds up to?  Doubt.  Reasonable Doubt and Beyond.  Doubt so big and wide you could drive a mack truck through it.  Such a case brought against a regular guy would never win in court and no prosecutor would waste their time on something they could not possibly win.

    Charges are brought against people when there is a at least a chance that those accused might be convicted. That's why the state can't just throw known mobsters or known gangsters in jail.  They have to have some kind of evidence that might stick.   Unless the jury pool is tainted by enmity towards Assange, this case would be dead on arrival.  The Swedes know this and the Brits know this.  Why is Sweden pursuing a man it cannot possibly convict in a fair trial?

    I know that rape is such a terrible crime and sometimes very hard to prove.  That sucks. Life is not fair.  But we can't have a society or a criminal justice system were the accused is assumed guilty and must prove his innocence.  The burden should always be on the state because it's to darn easy for the state to abuse its power. The people who are ready to believe Assange is guilty - when there is so much damn reasonable doubt - frighten me.  Either they are too blinded by their hatred of WikiLeaks or they honestly think accusations themselves are more than enough evidence.  Neither of these types is thinking logically, rationally or clearly.  

    •  Many countries DO make you prove innocence (0+ / 0-)

      Does Sweden? Are people presumed innocent in Sweden?

      O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

      by Kevanlove on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:23:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On what planet is thus question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        A response to the parent comment?

        A monkey could defend Assange and he'll beat the charges. There's enough (and Scandinavian law is the same) to raise serious doubts about the accussations.

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:26:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shine a Little Light (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quadmom

    Thanks for shining a little light into what turns out to be a very dark corner. Apparently, there are more places that need to have their secrets revealed than just the U.S. diplomatic corps.

  •  Bravo, Michael Moore. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, JesseCW, DruidQueen

    I just finished reading the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's terrific The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and each section was prefaced with some of the same kinds of horrifying statistics about violence against women in Sweden. For a country so socially progressive, this is absolutely mind-boggling.

    I totally agree with your all of your points re: Assange, assault, and stinking hypocrisy.

  •  If mm had posted this two months ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Wham Bam

    Independent of the wikilinks thing, that'd be admirable.  Now it just seems like he's taking an issue and expoiting it.

    Bummer for you mike you didnt give a flying crap about rape in sweden until now.

  •  While i try to asses this community (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Inland, DollyMadison, Wham Bam

    I think this might be important.

    If a no name blogger posted a diary 6 months ago about rape in Sweden would it have scrolled qickly off the list?

    I'm trying ti figure out if mr moore's sudden preoccupation with rape in Sweden is offensive or not.  My gut tells me it might be.

    Well.  Maybe not offensive.  If any good comes from the whole Julia Assange thing it's that it brought another important issue, at least tangentially, to light,

    So lets see if Michael moore is still consumed with concern over rapes in sweden a couple months from now after this cause celebre blows over.  I for one think he might follow through.... Yes.... No....what say the rest of you who recommended this diary?

  •  Sick that people are prepared to defend a rapist (5+ / 0-)

    , if that is what he is. At least he should be tried in court. There are other guys and organizations taking over after Assange, you know. This is not a one man show, but a question of information technology and the power of free information.

    Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

    by Joe B on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:41:06 AM PST

  •  the legal definition of rape in sweden... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, Adept2u, DollyMadison

    is so broad that it would make sense that there has been a rise in accounts and a drop in convictions.  Rape is not legally a constant held across all countries so to compare stats is misleading.

  •  The USA and torture. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk, aliasalias

    The EU has human rights laws which prevent people from being extradited to countries that torture.

    It seems that Bradley Manning may be under coercion (and by some definitions torture). Might it not be possible that Assange faces the same threat?

    The USA's human rights standing has sadly deteriorated in recent years, especially under Bush and Obama. If I were Assange's legal team I'd be preparing to fight extradition on the grounds that Americans cannot be trusted to treat prisoners humanely.

  •  Dear Michael Moore (6+ / 0-)

    Leave Sweden alone.  And stop encouraging the smearing of Julian Assange's alleged victims.  It's possible to support Wikileaks without giving unqualified support to a man who is, at the very least, a grade A sleaze.

    Thanks.

  •  But he may be guilty. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, LaurenMonica, DollyMadison

    I don't pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants

    That seems to be the only important point in the entire diary; whether the man is a rapist, and that we are entirely ignorant of the facts of whether or not the man is a rapist.  Yet, it's buried with an aside.

    Denounce someone else's lack of courage from safe distance and anonymously!

    by Inland on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:02:58 AM PST

  •  Poor diary Michael (9+ / 0-)

    You want Sweden to protect women but not in the case of your friend.  

    What a load of crap.

    Rape is serious - in every case.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:19:11 AM PST

  •  Moore accuses Sweden of rape...wait a minute. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, charliehall2

    Wasn't that what Moore was accusing Sweden of accusing Assange of?  Is that what political opponents do when all else fails, accuse the other side of sexual misconduct?

  •  How do you know they're not right this time? (5+ / 0-)

    I can't believe this piece of crap diary is on the rec list.  Very sad.  

    I'd like to see the shaded area in the Venn diagram for "transparency advocates" and rape apologists.  

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:16:19 AM PST

  •  Who Raped YOU??? (0+ / 0-)

    While the United States is systematically and purposely being RAPED and cannibalized by traitors like Summers, Geithner, Lieberman, Obama, and many members of Congress, some people are here worrying about trumped up rape in Sweden.

    Who is raping the banks in USA? Who is raping the treasury here? Who is raping the US Constitution thru unnecessary wars based on lies? Who raped the American mortgage industry? Do you know?? If they raped your girl friends or sisters or mothers or wives, would you know when and how??

    To be honest with you, you people deserve what is coming to you when this country is completely destroyed by the same rapists and traitors who are now framing Assange.

    It is not a matter of how – it is already coming to your doorsteps and you will suffer 3000 times more than you want Assange to suffer.

    It was Robert G. Ingersoll who said that "wealth and position are generally the enemies of genius and the destroyers of talent". Your real enemies are in the WH, Congress, and in top positions of the present administration, and they have been doing a good job destroying and raping your talents while you are here spewing your useless bile on Assange.

    You elect the traitors into positions of power to do the work of the nation. What do they do once they get into office? They become the enemies of the masses. They begin in earnest to destroy and rape the genius of the Founding Fathers of America.

    While people like Daniel Ellsberg, Bradley Manning, and Assange are willing to go to jail or to lose their lives to expose the deliberate raping and destruction of America through unnecessary and costly wars, you are here talking rubbish about nothing.

    May God punish your heads, and may your talents and skills be completely packaged and shipped out to China and India!

  •  What if he really raped those women ? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, charliehall2, DollyMadison

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:34:34 AM PST

  •  as Americans its hard to accuse other countries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, Alden, mrkvica

    of hypocrisy. Yet Sweden has always had a problem with this. It plays neutral most of the time. Yet one of its biggest industries is selling arms.  

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:57:03 AM PST

  •  without freedom of press there is NO justice. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, mrkvica

    I am a sexual assault survivor with a journalism back ground. I am all for prosecuting rape and clearly this is an issue for women around the world. That said, censorship is the hammer used to keep and subjugate all of us.

    Socially, sexual assault of women has a grave impact. But I would say that the social implications of charging Assange as a means to block him from publishing materials that might be embarrasing or might even blow the lid off our shadow government or banking corruption are far more destructive than his alleged sexual assault. Fine prosecute him but do NOT stop censor the information he has. Allow him to pass it on to someone else. Without freedom of press...as a check on government, we are all in the dark, we have no means for which to know our reality or stop oppression anywhere on this earth.

    Rape laws in general...any law that protects WE THE PEOPLE is at risk when this kind of censorship occurs.

    Regardless of his guilt or innocense this is censorship. We should all stand up against this...for rape victims across the world.

    The greatest gift you can contribute to the goal of world peace is to heal.

    by wavpeac on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:14:16 AM PST

    •  This has nothing to do with censorship (0+ / 0-)

      Wiki-rapes Assange is just one person, and the organization is more than him.  That material could be and could have been released without the media hype and cult of personality.

      Two women have accused this man of not taking no for an answer.  That one man is not so important he gets a rape license.

      I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

      by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:08:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If he did it, he should be punished (0+ / 0-)

        until then, how about some actual charges?  In any event, the astonishing coincidence of these charges with Assange's elevation to chief world-wide pain in the ass requires more, not less, due diligence buy legal authorities.

        Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

        by TheGrandWazoo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:02:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed, what these trumped allegations (0+ / 0-)

      against Assange [there are no legal charges, just allegations] has done is to create and embolden a whole redundant network of tens of thousands of people to carry on Wikileak's work.

      If Assange could have planned in advance a way to ensure the work would go forward, he couldn't have done a better job at it.

      The facts are quite clear in one case, and in one case only: the legal system is being used as a tool of political repression, the influences of corporations and the wealthy are being used to distort the legal system in an effort to repress the truth.

      I'm beginning to think that there's a possibility that these women are making these allegations at the behest of Assange, in a brilliant play to reveal the hypocrisy of the legal system.

      If Assange is guilty of these sexual assaults, where are the scores of other
      women who should be coming forward? Surely, one does not suddenly become an abuser.

      Where's the other allegations?

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:00:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This proves that Moore is no progressive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Adept2u, Loge

    Blaming politics for a sexual assault charge is what I expect from Rush Limbaugh.

    Further proof is that back in the 1990s the US rape rates were about as high as those in Sweden today. Where was Moore then? Why didn't he make a documentary about that if he feels so strongly about it? The 100,000 women annually who were raped might have appreciated the consciousness raising.

    Hypocrite.  

  •  I'm disgusted with DKos (5+ / 0-)

    that this POS made it to the rec list.

    Rethugs will have a field day. Betraying secrets is fine, but rape accusations should be ignored. Disgusting.

  •  Dear rape apologist (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, susanw, antimony, DollyMadison
    Hidden by:
    burlydee

    When a woman says no and stop it means no and stop in civilized societies.  It doesn't matter if the assailant is important or doing important things, a woman has the absolute right to control her body.

    Your minimization of the accusers of rape is disgusting as are you.

    I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

    by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:04:50 AM PST

    •  I don't know if (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanw

      that is what happened here. Some good can come out of this, maybe assange really is a rapist, well hopefully Sweden starts going full bore after all rapists now otherwise it's hypocritical.

      •  the women complained (0+ / 0-)

        Most societies will investigate a womans claim of rape, and prosecute the accused.  Ask Mike Tyson.

        I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

        by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:17:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not sweden apparently (0+ / 0-)

          well maybe michal moore is lying in this diary.

          •  Yes he is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pozzo, Jose Bidenio, DollyMadison

            Sweden actually considers it rape if a woman tells you to stop and you don't and they will investigate and prosecute it like that.  Julian Assange is just a man he is not wiki-leaks he is not the information.  It's weird what heroes people choose, and then in the same breath will accuse others of hero worship.

            I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

            by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:53:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You may be right about him, but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bob Love

              Why do you think that they originally withdrew the arrest warrant back in August?

              CT or not CT, it is extremely curious that the day after he announced that he had info on B of A, a different prosecutor in another part of Sweden to issue a warrant.  It is further curious that they have not made formal charges against him.

              That is why they could not extradite him from England to Sweden.  In order for two EU states to honor their extradition treaty, a formal charge must be made, and that hasn't been done yet.  The Swedish warrant wants him to report to authorities for questioning.

              But I don't like this diary either, and I am a huge supporter of Mr Moore.  It serves no purpose, and it is irresponsible either to assume his guilt or innocence until the case has played out.

              See this editorial for more, I agree with not all but much of it.

              Harry Ried is a good, decent, and smart guy, but perhaps we need a different Majority Leader...

              by Indiana Bob on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:29:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

                I do know that women go through lots of emotions during such an investigation.  If I were to speculate, how about she began to see how the world was treating her and didn't feel like being put through the its her fault ringer.  I actually don't care to speculate.  I'm content to allow the Swedish justice system run through it's course.

                Yes it's just CT.  When did Sweden become like the arch hater of freedom willing to go after the wiki-dude in defense of all that's evil?  

                I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

                by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:38:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Why did they withdraw the original charge? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adept2u

                Because one prosecutor felt it didn't fit the crime.

                But she didn't drop all the charges - she simply felt it didn't rise to the same level of offense that the initial prosecutor did.

                Charges were not ever dropped!

                A "different prosecutor" was used because the decision by that second prosecutor was appealed - and so it went to an "appeals" prosecutor.

                There's nothing underhanded with that happening!!!

            •  We have no way of knowing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adept2u, DollyMadison

              at this point whether the allegations are true or not. But what I find odd is that so many are unwilling to at least consider that they might be true. Some of these are the same people who will no doubt tell  you that "Women don't lie about these things." If the identical allegations, were made against an American frat boy, there's no way he'd be getting the pass that Assanage is.

            •  That's what it is: Hero Worship. Assange (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adept2u

              and Moore should be partners on Dancing with the Stars; they'd get mad votes, and happy ones.

              People also love to tear Heroes down after they build them up, as Obama knows too well.

              It's pretty amazing what this Wikileaks has actually revealed so far:

              1.  Moore, KO, and Klein are fallible.
              1.  The American "Left" hates Chavez.

              On the plus side, shining a spotlight on issues of rape reporting/investigation/prosecution, victim privacy and trauma, consensual sex, condoms/protected sex, and std's can only be a positive.

              "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

              by Jose Bidenio on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:50:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  If he is a serial rapist, where are all the (0+ / 0-)

        other women who should be coming forward?

        Of did Assange just take up being a rapist?

        Something reeks badly about this.

        Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
        The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

        by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:41:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those close to HR worthy territory. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, burlydee, JesseCW, Knarfc

      Next time, read the goddamn diary, rather than make accusations because you hate Michael Moore.

      There should be some sort of administrative sanction against people who respond to diaries with ad hom attacks, and you richly deserve it.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:19:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bite me I read the diary (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jose Bidenio, antimony, DollyMadison

        I don't pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants (all I know is what I've heard in the media, so I'm as confused as the next person).

        So if the dumb ass doesn't know then he shouldnt go passing judgements about the motivations of the accusers.

        This tactic of using a rape charge to go after minorities or troublemakers, guilty or innocent -- while turning a blind eye to clear crimes of rape the rest of the time

        There is a long history of minimizing the accusation of rape, and questioning the motivation of the accusers.  This is all about a charge of rape, and should be left at that.  All this political motivation shit is really CT, but no one gives a fuck about that cause Wiki rapes dude is now beloved.  

        I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

        by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:23:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Continue on with your mindless hate of Moore. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, JesseCW

          As usual, I've put you on "full ignore".

          Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
          The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

          by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:51:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Geoffrey Robertson (0+ / 0-)

          Is a name you are about to become familiar with. Impeccable human rights and anti authoritarian track record. Best legal mind in the world and he representing Assange for nothing.

          The extradition case is probably doomed.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 03:54:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I did HR, the attack was disgusting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica

        and completely baseless.  

    •  Well, now we know the OFA position (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, mrkvica, Fixed Point Theorem

      on Assange.

      DoublePlus UnGood SexCrime

      Gotcha.

      There has been no public claim by either alleged victim, or by the prosecuter, that either woman ever said "no" or "stop".

      Even if there was, however, Assange would still be innocent untill proven guilty.

      While I'm sure your rant was fun for you, it was a complete non sequitor.  Absolutely no one in this conversation, least of all Moore, is arguing that "no" doesn't mean no.

      Your minimization of the very concept of trial by law, and your desire to replace it with trial by media enraged mob, is disgusting.

      As are you.

      The Democratic Platform won 235 seats. Betraying it lost 42.

      by JesseCW on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:21:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Total bullshit, JesseCW (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u, Jose Bidenio, antimony

        There have been publicly quoted statements from the women included in many news reports.

        A woman who is asleep can't consent to intercourse.

        A woman who has her legs forcibly spread is saying no.

        Your insistence on making this assertion is bullshit.

        If this same thing happened to your daughter, you'd call it rape every day and twice on Sundays!

          •  I've provided them in this diary (0+ / 0-)

            Look them up.

            I've provided them in many other diaries on this subject.

            They were very easy for me to find.

            One woman, identified as Miss A, claims that on Aug. 14, Assange "forcibly parted her legs, preventing her from moving," "then had intercourse without a condom" despite her protests.

            The quotes are quoting one of the prosecutors, quoting one of the women.

            JesseCW is trying to make an issue of the fact that we haven't heard that a woman literally said "No" or "Stop". But that's not necessary - they didn't have to say one of those two words in order for it to be sexual assault and a violation of the agreement Assange and either of the women had with respect to consensual sex.

    •  Funny, in all that I have read, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      not even in the tabloids was there a claim that these women ever said "no".

      These allegations were made weeks after the encounters.

      Delusional hate towards Michael Moore on display, lies used as ad homs.

      And some people uprate that shit.
      Awesome.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:44:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah so a woman who makes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, Jose Bidenio, DollyMadison

        An allegation is a liar?

        No wonder women are so abused in this society.

        There are women who are raped the night before and have to wake up and make their rapist breakfast.  

        Julian Assange is just a man one person, and you have flat out no idea if the allegations these women have made are true.  It's just the worst form of CT with all this focus on them.  The focus is on the accused rapist.  He will have his day in court in a system far more just than this one.  Until that day I believe the women as I know how difficult it can be for them to make the accusation.  You have celebrities like MM above who call your ordeal hooey.

        How would you like it if some man came all up inside you without your permission?

        I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

        by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:51:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dear Adept2u (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, mrkvica, burlydee

      Please read the diary.

      None of what you accuse him of is actually in this diary. If you are referring to his comments on Olbermann's show about the charges being "hooey," please say so.

      But this diary seems to be an apology for that, and an explanation of what he meant. Also, he's right about Sweden being full of shit in terms of protecting the rights of women. They have a terrible track record of doing so.

      Thank you kindly,

      DruidQueen
      A Feminist
      A Woman
      and someone who doesn't give a shit about Assange

    •  Hide Rating You for Abuse and Name-Calling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      The fact that you would call someone a rape apologists, when they did no such thing, in an effort to silence them and is complete crap.  Why can't you have an actual conversation about this instead of resorting to name-calling?  

    •  Glad Not Everyone Buying what MM selling... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antimony

      Glad to see there are some people on DKOS who are taking a principled position on these sexual assault allegations.  The pro-Assange frenzy of conspiracy theories plus disparagement of the Swedish laws and these women reminds me of the pro-Polanski movement.  There is a separate set of rules for the powerful/popular, even sadly it seems on the left.  

      •  To Clarify (0+ / 0-)

        I don't support calling Assange a rapist, however, as this commenter did.  Assange has the presumption of innocence.  I do object to people who are seeking to minimize the assault allegations before all the facts are in and the Swedish judicial process runs it course.

  •  Swe4dish Arrest Warrants (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    OK!  Now, in the interest of showing that Swedish justice is truly fair, let's see an arrest warrant for George W. Bush for War Crimes.  I can think of a few other Administration officials from the George Bush Regime that will also qualify Swedish Arrest Warrants, and I am also certain that American courts will duly consider their extradition.

  •  Yeah, the hypocrisy and selective prosecution (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, An Affirming Flame, JesseCW

    of the Swedish government is shouting out "interference".

    If this man was anyone other than Julian Assange, it's a given that the Swedes would be doing nothing.

    Moore and Klein are correct.

    The opinion of highly respected legal scholars in the UK is that the UK government allowed the legal and law enforcement process to be used as a tool of political repression. Legally, the UK system should have rejected the Swedish request to detain Assange.

    Whether or not Assange is guilty or not of these charges in Sweden, the facts remain - he has not been chaged. These are allegations.

    If Assange is guilty of crimes of espionage or rape governments need make the charges or STFU.

    Ironically, this smear campaign is turning Assange into some kind of damn "folk hero", which is repellent to me, on another level.

    ------------

    What this whole incident reveals is that the legal system in Europe is truly a joke, used to apply political pressure and repress individuals. The puppet strings of a corrupt United States government corporate run Fascist regime are all over this.

     

    The legal system  

    Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
    The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

    by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:18:23 AM PST

    •  the legal system worldwide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      An Affirming Flame, JesseCW

      is BROKEN .. it serves the interests of the rich, of the powerful, and the criminals who hold this thing we call "political power".

      Criminals.
      All of them.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:48:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting perspective (0+ / 0-)

    and by "interesting" I mean "self-contradictory and offensive".

    This diary appears to reduce to the following:

    1. Sweden must do more to prosecute rape, especially date rape;
    1. Sweden must not investigate Assange for allegations of date rape.

    Err, the need for them to turn around their prosecution system's handling of rape demands that they do not drop Assange's case just because he's an infamous figure.

    And actually it's a little difficult to really extract meaning from the statistics without items of context that are conspicuously missing. What was the actual number of rapes 40 years ago? What is the trend in total number of convictions? See, without those context items we don't know whether the increase in reported rape is indicative of a serious and deeply worrying problem, that more rapes are occurring, or actually a positive sign, that laws are rightfully bringing things like date rape into the statistics and/or that changes in attitude by the police and society in general are causing more victims to come forward.

    "Figures never lie, but liars figure" is rarely more true than when dealing with crime statistics. Michael Moore is probably more aware of this than most, since that's especially true of the use of crime statistics in the firearms debate.

  •  Don't forget (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, tekno2600

    Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your Volvos, your meatballs, your hard-to-put-together furniture -- we can't get enough!

    Don't forget ABBA.  We've never gotten our fill of ABBA.

  •  #MooreandMe (7+ / 0-)
    Mr Moore:

    As a woman who endured and still suffers from her sexual assaults, your campaign is an affront to me.   Sady from Tigerbeatdown says it much better than I ever can:

    "But hey, Michael, you know what exposes a Big Lie, a lot of the time? Rape allegations. You know who knows all about big lies? Women who have been raped. Raped, sometimes, by powerful men within our communities; raped by men who were beloved and supported by those communities; raped by our fellow progressives. And we didn't report, because we knew no-one would believe us; because we knew we'd be shamed and smeared and lied about and harassed until we agreed to go away and let the Big Lie continue to exist. You want to employ the phrase "secrets killed them?" Women who have been raped know all about how secrets can kill people. And how, often, it's telling the secret that gets you killed. Ask the women who are pressing these charges -- their names have been so widely leaked, in one case by your fellow "progressive" media dudebro, Keith Olbermann, that it is possible to find their home addresses, their personal blogs and social media accounts, and to track their activities and personal lives. I'd imagine that they are very much in fear for their lives, due in large part to people like you, Michael Moore, who are insisting that they should not be believed."

    http://tigerbeatdown.com/...

    Please read the whole post, Mr. Moore.

    As Sady said, you were a personal hero to me, Mr. Moore. I worked in Lake Forest area, and CHEERED when you stormed the beach on TV Nation. I passionately defend you, and your work all the time.   This, these actions you have taken in defense of someone who is trying to escape being tried in a court of law, where as you say, "convictions are low" and where you make the women who make these accusations sound stupid for being "pawns of teh evil governments who hide secrets", they break my heart Mr. Moore.

    I am standing outside the Rape Apologist Tower Mr. Moore, just like you did in Roger And Me to GM. I am standing with Sady and other women, waiting for you to come down from your office suite and explain and make this right.  

    When will you do so, Sir?

  •  Additional memo to Sweden (6+ / 0-)

    If it looks like Lutefisk, and it smells like Lutefisk, and it stinks on ice like Lutefisk, it's probably not prime rib.

    Given the data in this diary, I would suggest that you provide some reasoning as to why Mr. Assange is of such interest.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:46:31 AM PST

  •  Assange has been charged with nothing so far (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, mrkvica, JesseCW, BlueDragon

    Whenever this is brought up, the folks calling Moore a "rape apologist" have nothing to say.  Why is that?

    I agreed with Olbermann when he said there's a 157% chance Assange is an asshole, but that's not a criminal offense.
    He's not under indictment.
    There is currently no arrest warrant.  
    If he's charged with rape or indicted for it, that changes everything.  If he's a rapist, he should pay for his crime.  

    Has anyone considered the fact that perhaps the Swedish government(or another government) is leaning on the accusers here, trying to get them to make statements against Assange?  If so, it wouldn't be the first time that happened for political reasons.  

    •  The legal system has been compromised (0+ / 0-)

      worldwide. It serves the purposes of the powerful, those who control the governments behind the scenes. There's no 'justice' in cases, without any approval from people who control the strings of public servant 'puppets'.

      Decisions are made behind closed doors by individuals, in boardrooms. Anyone who thinks that decisions are made in Capitol Buildings and Halls of Assembly by politicians or even judges has fully drank the Kool Aid.

      Guilty of being a jerk? Maybe Assange is all that. But most of what Wikileaks has released was already reported and ignored by the mass media by others. That's the hilarious part, that this is mostly an exercise in public relations, this whole Wikileaks thing is like a huge cat and mouse game.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:11:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know that in the past in some.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Native American tribes, if a woman was physically assaulted by her husband, it was her duty to the tribe to kill him.  Her duty.  It was expected that she would kill him.  There wasn't much violence against women in those tribes either.

    When socities give women power to stop men from abusing them, there is much less abuse.

    The late Harvard psychologist, B.F. Skinner, said, "Behavior is a function of its consequences."

    •  Violence? Are there any allegations of that? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, JesseCW

      How does one make the leap into presuming there was physical violence in this case?

      These are allegations.

      There are no legal charges.

      Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
      The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

      by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm making a comment about... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the diarist's point that in Sweden rapes (i.e., violence against women, although I realize men and children are raped too) are not taken seriously at all, and as such, they are on the rise there.

        I never once mentioned Julian Assange.

        •  The context of the diary on a poltical (0+ / 0-)

          blog would lead me to think the discussion is about that. The women who are making allegations are not claiming violence was committed against them, so I guess I'm sort of confused at the tangential approach.

          Sweden's higher report of these incidents  may be indicative of a more free society which gives individuals empowerment to make charges like these. But the implication that physical violence is necessarily the primary factor is something I don't pick up here.

          At what point does one come to the conclusion that all sexual activity is a type of physical violence? I don't think the example you stated is applicable to this instance, at all.

          Obama/Democrats: The Earth is round. Republicans: No! it's flat!
          The compromise: The Earth is a triangle.

          by shpilk on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:35:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you OK... (0+ / 0-)

            seriously?

            you said:

            At what point does one come to the conclusion that all sexual activity is a type of physical violence?

            My comment was about "rape", not "all sexual activity."  

            Rape (emphasis mine):

            According to the American Medical Association (1995), sexual violence, and rape in particular, is considered the most under-reported violent crime

            And, contrary to what you think you are divining, I've come to no "conclusion" other than what I've stated:

            When socities give women power to stop men from abusing them, there is much less abuse.

            For whatever reason (and it's nothing I've said) you are hellbent on trying to insist my original comment pertains to Julian Assange and his alleged victims.  For whatever reason you are hellbent on not seeing that my comment is a general one about women's lack of power in socities and how that is related to violence against them.

  •  WHAT RAPE?... the CONDOM BROKE. (0+ / 0-)

    The entire matter centers on... THE CONDOM BROKE.

    Why isn't this a product liability civil matter, sue the condom manufacturer.

    There is no rape, yet our media, just as when the Duke Lacrosse story first came out, is running with the most damning spin possible to hype up a ridiculous sillyness into something diabolical.

    •  That is a complete falsehood (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susanw, Adept2u, DollyMadison

      A lie spread by Assange's lawyers and supporters to trivialize the case against him.

      The case against him involves several distinct allegations. That he started having sex with one of the women while she was asleep (that's the rape charge). That, on a different occasion, after the condom broke, she withdrew consent but he physically restrained her and continued having sex (that's the sexual assault and molestation charge).

  •  You've got to be kidding me (4+ / 0-)

    You've got to be kidding me.  47% of the Swedish Parliament is female, the second highest in the world.  Sweden is arguably the most pro-women/feminist country in the world, with a much higher standard of living for women than possibly any country in the world.  I'm pretty sure it's not a refuge for rapists.  If the prosecution rate is low, it's because reporting is high.

    A large part of the Swedish economy is US/NATO military contracts.  Ever consider maybe that's why they're doing Uncle Sam's bidding in this case?  I guess reporting that would keep you from making the overwrought emotional bs distractions that get you onto late night talk shows.

    "just give me some truth" --John Lennon

    by vernon nackulus on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:23:06 AM PST

  •  Flawed reasoning! (7+ / 0-)

    Claim 1: "Sweden has the HIGHEST per capita number of reported rapes in Europe."

    Is this indicative of more rape in Sweden? Or that it has finally become more accepted that rape should be reported, and that women are increasingly doing so? The data is open to interpretation, but I think it rather obvious to be the latter:

    Claim 2: "This number of rapes has quadrupled in the last 20 years." The number of reported cases have quadrupled. When rape happens, it is indeed good that it is reported. Does anyone really believe that the number of actual rapes, i.e. reported and unreported combined, has increased in any substantial way? Is that really plausible?

    Claim 3: "The conviction rates? They have steadily DECREASED." That is the only expected outcome when the number of reported cases are increasing, and increasingly will include improsecutable cases ("he said/she said", with no more evidence.)

    Please, fight for Assange if you want to, but please don't shit on the fact that more women choose to report it when they are raped! The reporting part is a good thing!

    It is time to bring back this time-honoured tradition: We never go to war because we want to, we only go to war because we have to.

    by PoliticGeek Pro on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:24:05 AM PST

    •  Could it be that Swedish law defines "rape" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M, FG

      more expansively than in other countries?  (That would also create a greater incidence.)

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:33:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sweden has the most feminist laws in Europe (0+ / 0-)

      Women there are not afraid to report rape like in many other countries (including the US) where women know they will be blamed and victimized by the justice system.

      A quote from Assange's Laywers:

      "Some of the laws regarding rape are rather extreme, and the way they are applied in court is sometimes unbelievable. "To be accused of a sex crime in Sweden is considered very serious. Swedish courts tend to believe what the woman says."

      Oh the horror! – they believe women?!  

      It's like the Swedes have a better-than-Europe record for dealing with Sex Trafficking, because according to their law it's illegal to "buy" sex - they arrest the pimps and johns and consider prostitutes victims. It's a legal system informed by feminism and the male-oriented societies are baffled and outraged.

      People complain about Fox News being bad with facts - do they actually think tabloids like "The Daily Mail" are credible sources of information?  

  •  syllogism: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, susanw

    1
    : a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion (as in “every virtue is laudable; kindness is a virtue; therefore kindness is laudable”)
    2
    : a subtle, specious, or crafty argument

    I'm not discounting your point mrmoore, but in your effort to CYA, I seriously don't expect many women will applaud this diary, most particularly those who have been victims of rape.

    'Sweden doesn't bother prosecuting rapists, therefore mr assange cannot be guilty of rape in Sweden'

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:30:09 AM PST

  •  How does Swedish law define "våldtäkt" (0+ / 0-)

    Is it defined more expansively than in other countries?

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:31:10 AM PST

  •  Well Mr Moore, I guess you are now (0+ / 0-)

    going to have to speak of "freedom meatballs" and "freedom ivy."

    Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear... Aesop

    by mr crabby on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:45:31 AM PST

  •  Epler og appelsin? (apples and oranges?) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, susanw, Anna M, Adept2u

    I appreciate Moore's arguments, and I'm sure 90% of the investigation is about politics and power and not rape or justice, but I imagine high rape statistics for Sweden (with which I'm not familiar) may have something to do with increased opportunities for reporting along with a liberal definition of rape.
    I've lived in Norway for several years and it's perfectly normal for young women and children to be out alone after dark without any significant danger to themselves.  I don't live in a large city, and my experience is hardly universal, but I don't think there are many safer places to live in all the world.

    "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

    by Andhakari on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:53:29 AM PST

  •  I am done (0+ / 0-)

    You say they care about national security, so they need to go after Assange.
    I say fine, you are right that America needs to be saved from Assange.

    Question: Who are out there in the fields fighting to save America?
    Answer: The soldiers.

    Question: When the soldiers come back to America, what happens to them when they are sick or homeless?

    Answer: Find out in the following videos, especially on Video #1 and Video #2.
    You should watch them all, but if you do not have the time start at 11:33 on video #1 and end on 2:27 on video #2. You will learn how America treats homeless veterans. Hearing this made me sick. You will also learn how Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Stewart, and Colbert are constrained to speak their minds on this issue. I know that Keith and Rachel are good people, but it seems there is a limit to what they can say and report on their programs.

    My New Year resolution starting today: This will be my last visit and participation at dailykos. I am done. Also, I am done watching any news TV station in America. I want to remain oblivious to news and news events. I can’t stand this unnecessary wickedness any more. In my spare time, I will only watch movies, read books, and read from European news outlets like The Guardian, Common Dream, etc.

    Good bye!

    Here you go:

    Video #1

    Video #2

    Videos #3 to #5
    http://www.youtube.com/...
    http://www.youtube.com/...
    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Supporting article (read at the beginning of video #1):

    Obama Was Used, And Is Now Used Up
    by Robert Freeman
    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Barack Obama was used. Of course, he knew he was being used when he made the deal. But what he didn't know was how quickly he would be used up. Now he has to face two years of humiliation knowing that he betrayed the people and the country he claimed to champion - and knowing that everyone else knows it as well - but also knowing that he's gotten what's coming to him.

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

  •  I wonder why anyone would use rape charges to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica

    target political foes...reads comments...oh never mind. Good diary. T & R

    I understand your hesitation...but we will have to start talking about a revolution pretty soon.

    by reddbierd on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:03:33 AM PST

  •  Were you defending Roman Polansky as well? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease
  •  Dear Government of Sweden ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gustafgrapple
    Please remember your former military prowess (OK it was 300 years ago but it took Peter the Great and shit loads of Russians to contain y'all, but still, you guys rock!) and invade us and take us over.

    Please?

    Thanks!

    "The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did... they always will. . ." Governeur Morris

    by Dave925 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:30:59 AM PST

    •  PS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustafgrapple

      I am not concerned about your recent water carrying for the US Elite, but knock it off. Just come and give us a fair government interested in its people's welfare.

      "The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did... they always will. . ." Governeur Morris

      by Dave925 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:35:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ironically, (0+ / 0-)

    the Swedish probably aren't going to get their prosecution because the UK will say the US gets him first.

    That lets the British pander to the US and avoid the "broken condom" charge which they aren't inclined to honor anyway.

    The US Attorney is probably readying an indictment as we speak.

    "Raise your hand if you think Social Security and Medicare are Socialism."-Lawerence O'Donnell

    by AZphilosopher on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:38:27 AM PST

  •  Took a few days for me to believe (8+ / 0-)

    you were actually taking sides in a rape case, Michael. On CNN today I saw Mr. Assange say that Wikileaks is more than just him and a backpack. He's says it is a large organization.

    "People like to present WikiLeaks as just me and my backpack -- that is not true we are a large organization," he told reporters. "It is resilient, it is designed to withstand decapitation attacks and our publication rate actually increased during the time I was in solitary confinement."

    What leader of a large, credible organization wouldn't resign in a situation like this, so as not to discredit the larger cause and/or rob attention away from the leaks it is publishing. Wikileaks obviously can't suspend Julian Assange. It's not a democracy. What Assange says, goes. So in that sense, it IS just Assange and his backpack making the decisions. And his decision is to use Wikileaks to fight a rape charge.

    I've read all your books, Michael, and I've seen all your movies and purchased the DVDs. I've read what you wrote here today as well as your diary before this. Now I want you to read a couple of things Kate Harding wrote.

    The rush to smear Assange's rape accuser

    Still, the notion that consensual, unprotected sex equals rape in Sweden (despite millions of Swedish fathers walking around free today) continues zipping around the Internet. One wonders if today's statement from Swedish authorities, which elaborates that Assange is accused of "using his body weight to hold [a woman] down in a sexual manner" and having intercourse with a sleeping woman, among other things, will even slow them down.

    Public evidence, as the Times noted, is scarce. So, it's heartening to see that in the absence of same, my fellow liberal bloggers are so eager to abandon any pretense of healthy skepticism and rush to discredit an alleged rape victim based on some tabloid articles and a feverish post by someone who is perhaps not the most trustworthy source. Well done, friends! What a fantastic show of research, critical thinking and, as always, respect for women.

    Some Shit I’m Sick of Hearing Regarding Rape and Assange

    And what do we call "continuing to put your penis inside a woman who’s told you to stop," boys and girls?

    When I first started questioning all this on Daily Kos, I felt goddamned alone. Not now. The tide is turning. Upthread, I see Dante Atkins is saying some of the same things I am. It's going to be difficult for me to set some of my heroes aside. Michael Moore. Naomi Klein (I have all her books too). But compared to joining you in taking sides in a rape case we know almost nothing about, that's going to be easy.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:56:30 AM PST

    •  Moore doesn't claim that Assange is innocent (0+ / 0-)

      or guilty.  Only that in the context of Sweden's criminal justice system, or lack of it, it looks like a political prosecution.  Which it probably is.  That doesn't settle the guilt question.  A trial does that.

      A somewhat relevant example of how a person could both be guilty of misconduct and be persecuted for political reasons is the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

      If he is not guilty, and he feels the persecution is unjustified, then by resigning he gives his pursuers what they want, and he loses any leverage he has to keep from being locked up without charges somewhere for the indefinite future.  Our government claims the right to do that to anyone now.

      If Assange is found guilty of rape, he should face punishment for that.  But efforts of our government and the Swedes to stop him have been based, at least in part, on lies and the kind of scare tactics that got us into the Iraq war.  When I read claims that he has blood on his hands (Gates pushed back), that he has indiscriminately dumped documents into the public sphere (NYT removed that from its site yesterday), that he should be executed (pick your Fox), he (an Australian citizen) is a US traitor, and so on, I have no confidence that any kind of justice will be done where he is concerned.  

      I did notice that they started closing in on him when he announced that a big bank would be the next target.  It's one thing to publish Iraq war secrets.  Our overlords know we have lost interest in that anyway.  But the banks run the place, as Durbin observed.

      Just as with the Iraq war, we have the media poohbahs whipping everyone into a froth.  In this case they should pause to consider whether they are advocating taking a red pencil through the First Amendment.  If Assange can be prosecuted for accepting, or even soliciting, information from a government leaker, just imagine what should be done to Bob Woodward.  The media watchdogs are pretty toothless as a class, but there are a few out there, like Pincus, Scahill, and Hersh, that I would be really sorry to see in jail.  That is the logical consequence of the arguments that are being made against Assange by people who should know better.

      I share Michael Moore's sense that we are in danger of losing our Constitution, and it is at times like this that we should speak out.  If we required all of the victims of government repression to be admirable, we would have lost it long ago.  I don't have an opinion on whether Assange is guilty of rape; I have no idea.  But I think Moore is right to raise the issue of whether what is being done to Assange has nothing whatsoever to do with guilt or innocence on those charges.

      Take the pledge on Social Security

      by 2laneIA on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:07:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say he did. (0+ / 0-)

        Wait. Let me read what I wrote there again.

        Nope. Didn't say that.

        Thanks anyway.

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:57:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not about him. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fishgrease

          That's my point.  I think it's Michael Moore's point.  If being a misogynist jerk is illegal, I have some people I'd like to bring attention to.  But the point is:  he can be a misogynist jerk, a rapist, even, and still there is a Constitution worth defending that is threatened by what is being done in this case.

          Assange's personal deeds and character are not an issue I care about much.  But if he is used as the excuse to drag us another step closer to the day when you dare not speak out against the government--and we're getting closer--then what is happening to him is relevant to all of us.  

          I have deep respect for you and your coverage of the BP catastrophe.  Don't you think that the oppressive control of information about the spill, keeping reporters off the beaches, lying in the media, and more, is in the same time zone as trying to silence a source of information about topics such as Wikileaks has exposed?

          Valerie Plame was probably outed as a warning to others who might do as Joe Wilson did.  She was not the first person to be thrust into the role of antlers over the fireplace.  Do you think that there will be a rush of leakers after what has happened to Assange, whether or not he is guilty of rape charges?

          This is really over the top, and from you it's disappointing:

          See, this is what Assange is doing. He's getting people like you to believe that prosecuting him for rape is the same thing as prosecuting Wikileaks for espionage.

          I never said any such thing, or anything that should even be interpreted that way.

          Take the pledge on Social Security

          by 2laneIA on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:42:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can see why you believe what I wrote is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            2laneIA

            over the top. The two sentences of mine you quoted are poorly written, in that they assume things about you I've no right to assume. My apologies.

            I do think he's trying to get people to equate the two.

            I don't need lectured on the importance of what Wikileaks is doing, nor it's goodness. I agree with that. My government was stupid in refusing Wikileaks' offer to allow them to participate in the redaction process. More than stupid.

            But as you say, none of that has the least thing to do with Julian Assange's problems in Sweden. He's being accused of sexual assault and one or another form of rape. Those accusations do not stem from his association with Wikileaks. There, the assertion Michael Moore, and you (by the way) are making is weak -- supported only by things Assange's supporters and lawyers have said -- supported by nothing the Swedish legal system or government has said or done.

            So I ask you, why hasn't Assange resigned from Wikileaks, thereby breaking the connection you're so certain exists? Wikileaks would do fine without Assange, better as a matter of fact. Wikileaks doesn't need Julian Assange right now.

            It does appear that Julian Assange needs Wikileaks.

            It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

            by Fishgrease on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:09:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apology accepted. (0+ / 0-)

              There, the assertion Michael Moore, and you (by the way) are making is weak -- supported only by things Assange's supporters and lawyers have said -- supported by nothing the Swedish legal system or government has said or done.

              I think we will just have to disagree on this.  Selective prosecution is a reasonable conclusion to draw from the fact that the prosecutor dropped charges, a Swedish politicianraised a stink about it, and a diferent prosecutor reinstated them.  They claimed that all they wanted to do was talk to him, he offered to be interviewed at the Swedish embassy, and that offer was rejected, etc.

              Those accusations do not stem from his association with Wikileaks.

              Really?  How do you know that?  Consider Daniel Ellsberg.  Scott Ritter.  The charges were dropped until they were politicized.

              I do not have an opinion on guilt or innocence.  I think either outcome could be true, and Assange is entitled to have a real trial, not a media trial, to determine that.  But my opinion is that the weight of the evidence thus far is that the prosecution is a political one, whether or not it is justified.  People can draw their own conclusions about why that might be so.  But I agree with Glenn Greenwald's pieceon the danger to press freedom presented by the attack on Wikileaks by our government and its compliant press lapdogs.  An attack on press freedom is an attack on our democracy.  After a week of watching the oligarchs get their way, I am not in the mood for excusing their efforts to prevent us from learning what they did to us, and are planning to do.  I hope that the bank documents will see the light of day before Assange "commits suicide" like David Kelly.

              On the resignation question, I think I answered it above.  1.  If he hasn't done anything to merit prosecution, then why should he give up the work he is obviously committed to?  2.  If he resigns he loses any leverage he has to avoid the incredible effort by the US government to shut him up by any means possible, including locking him up without charges the way we have done to Manning. 3.  How do you know what the impact would be on Wikileaks if he did?

              You and Cavnar were all over the lies told during the time the well was spewing oil all over the Gulf, and the efforts to keep the media from seeing or filming damage.  Is it possible that there is some relationship between the government not wanting us to know how damaging that was, and not wanting us to know that we have been lied to in other areas, like the Iraq war and the near-collapse of the financial system?  Geithner fought tooth and nail against the disclosure that Sanders and Grayson finally got passed.  I suspect that we are in for a good deal more if Wikileaks survives that long.

              Take the pledge on Social Security

              by 2laneIA on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 11:37:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  What? (0+ / 0-)

        If Assange can be prosecuted for accepting, or even soliciting, information from a government leaker, just imagine what should be done to Bob Woodward.  

        What the hell are you talking about? See, this is what Assange is doing. He's getting people like you to believe that prosecuting him for rape is the same thing as prosecuting Wikileaks for espionage. He's doing a good job of it.

        This is a picture Julian Assange posted on a dating site:

        Along with that, he posted:

        I seek innate perceptiveness and spunk. Do not write to me if you are timid. I am too busy. Write to me if you are brave.

        Just how much of a misogynist jerk does this guy have to be for you to see through his bullshit?

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 03:06:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  English common law (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease

    We are one of the few countries to use English common law as the basis of our legal system (with the exception of LA)-I do not know what system of law that Sweden utilizes but most European countries utilize the inquisitorial system of justice as opposed to our accusatory system.  You cannot compare one aspect of their legal system to one aspect of ours and end up with anything other than incoherence.  Their system may not even be a statistically based system at all or may be closer to Sharia law in which most criminal offenses are settled privately.
    Has Assange broken Amaerican law?  I don't know we don't have enough facts.  Did Assange violate Swedish sex laws?  I don't know we don't have enough facts.  Let's wait to the hot air cools and see reality.

    PS  Sweden had to have an arrest warrant to make an extradiditon request (That is one thing which I do know)  Why do you think he was in gaol?

  •  The FBI went after Capone on tax charges. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias

    Now Swenden is not the FBI, and Assange is not Capone.

    But my point is there are precedents of going after "wanted" individuals using whatever approach appears most likely to be effective.

  •  A Measure of the Smear (0+ / 0-)
    * Google search on keyword "rape" returns 49,500,000 results

    * Google search on keywords "rape" and "Assange" returns 9,250,000 results

    That's 18.7%.

  •  Geez, do you think they might (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Cliss

    have been going after Mr. Assange, our hero whistleblower extraordinaire, for political reasons?

    Is Sweden intimidated by the U.S.?

    Can't wait for the WikiLeak cable showing Sweden officials were given an ultimatium.

    In the meantime, perhaps Sweden will come clean on this in advance of the cable.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 12:20:14 PM PST

    •  U.S. rumored to be threatening to cut off intel (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Einsteinia

      about terrorism from Sweden:

      The Justice Department also may well have brought pressure on the Swedish government to enlist Interpol in the pursuit of Mr. Assange for surreal sexual offenses, still unstated, that prosecutors have been fondling for two months. (Allegedly Washington is threatening to cut off intelligence sharing to the newly frightened authorities in Stockholm).

      Michael Brenner: Obama's War on WikiLeaks -- and Us.

      Figures.  It was by making the same threat to Britain that the U.S. got the British court to not release a U.S. document it had about the torture of Binyam Mohamed.

      Makes the timing of that bombing in Stockholm earlier this week food for thought.

      Then, there's also this: About 200 violence-prone extremists in Sweden - intelligence:

      STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Some 200 possibly violent Islamic extremists live in Sweden, according to an intelligence report released Wednesday after the country's first-ever suicide bombing narrowly missed Christmas shoppers.

      CIA up to its old Gladio tricks with the strategy of tension?

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 01:27:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for this info. My God, Sweden (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lysias, Cliss

        needs to be the whistleblower and show what kind of free world we at the U.S. belong to!

        Outrageous that they are strong-arming for deception!

        Let's teach that to our kids about the "American Way."

        Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

        by Einsteinia on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:28:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lysias, Einsteinia

          Sweden has entered into a "marriage of convenience" with U.S. corporate interests.  This has been going on for a long time.

          I just read that Sweden is even profiteering in Afghanistan, arms manufacturers, lots of dirty deals.

          About 5 years ago, I read that the Swedish government made secret deals for Sodexho-Marriott to provide all food delivery to all the schools in Sweden.  Also hospitals and other care.  This was a contract worth $millions for Sodexho (U.S. corporation)

          Faustian Bargain, Svenskar.

  •  Michael Moore is disgracing himself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adept2u, Escamillo, Huginn and Muninn

    Assange deserves the presumption of innocence.  And the Swedish women that came forward to file charges, likewise, deserve to have their claims fairly considered.  Let the justice system handle it.  

    Moore - and the Wikileaks supporters following him on this - should be ashamed of themselves.  Without evidence, they are spinning all sorts of conspiracy theories and casting aspersions on the alleged victims.  All of this is based on political calculation.  Not a word would be written about the Swedish charges if the accused was a common laborer from Goteborg.

    •  Um, just about everything Wikileaks posts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, Cliss

      has already been vetted and written about in the major newspapers.

      Also, please read for comprehension - Michael Moore is saying that Assange is being railroaded.

      Allegedly.

      •  Moore not saying Assange Railroaded... (0+ / 0-)

        ...he is casting doubt on the charges themselves.

        Being railroaded means that, whatever an allegation is, the accused is being denied due process or a right to defend himself.  That is NOT what is happening with Assange, who has rich people lining up to bail him out and has competent legal counsel up the wazoo.

        No, Moore is not saying Assange is being railroaded - he is claiming selective prosecution, which is entirely different.  On what basis?  None, except for the conspiracy theory that this is all happening because Assange is "...speaking truth to power."

        I can read and understand very well, thank you.  Supporters of Moore's screed should reconsider what it is they are backing here - it is basically an attempt to put political pressure on a judicial system.  It is particulaly shameful that it involves women making sexual assault charges.

        Already, a lot of voices are being raised that Sweden needs to weaken its sexual assault laws, etc., all on the basis of the accused in this case being Assange.  How's that equal justice?

        •  To further elaborate... (0+ / 0-)

          ...Moore is alleging the Swedes are bringing this case as a political gesture to the US.  To believe this, you also have to necessarily cast doubt on the veracity of the women.  Moore slyly tries to have it both ways, saying he doesn't know what the truth is, then going on to argue that circumstances indicate this is all a frame-up.  

          Moore's attempt to undermine the women's case while salving his liberal conscience is pathetic and despicable.

    •  Intercepted SMS Traffic Exposes SETUP...REVENGE.. (0+ / 0-)

      Marianne Ny and her friends in Stockholm have access to the SMS traffic between Anna Ardin, Sofia Wilén, and their friends and have even shown this traffic to Julian Assange's Swedish solicitor Björn Hurtig.

      The traffic shows unequivocally how Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén conspired to fabricate charges against Julian Assange as a form of '7 step revenge'. But Hurtig's been gagged by Marianne Ny and the Swedes refuse to disclose this information to anyone in Britain.

      The stink of harridan setup has become the foul stench of political skulduggery.

      Anna Ardin, who took it upon herself to scrub her online presence, has been famously unsuccessful, getting caught deleting incriminating tweets, redacting her now notorious '7 steps to revenge', removing her CV (with details of her escapades at Swedish embassies in a number of countries) from her blog and website, and finally reducing her Twitter feed to a single tweet.

      'I'm so sick of it all. Will it never end? At any rate I want to say the other girl's just as much to blame.'

      More at Source...

      "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

      by Mr SeeMore on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 03:37:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Amen. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, Mr SeeMore

    The treatment of Assange mirrors that of whistleblowers around the world.  False or inflated accusations, and little or no due process before imposing extreme penalties.  Assange is not, technically, a whistleblower himself; but his organization has given a voice to many whistleblowers, and thus there is a huge incentive to silence him.

    I have said before that the most valuable of Wikileaks' disclousres is not in any document, but in the reaction of powerful government and corporate leaders, who have demonstrated that they act as one, and are quite willing to use authoritarian, even murderous, measures to keep the public in the dark.  As we saw in the Nixon administration, it's not the truth itself, but the efforts to cover it up that are most damning.

    "Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne." - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:13:35 PM PST

  •  Some comments: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Mr SeeMore

    One of the problems from this whole mess has been the way Sweden conducted itself.  They first brought charges, then changed their minds, then brought charges, made stupid statements in the press.  

    The end result is that people are very suspicious of the Swedes' motivations.  Lots of people, even in Sweden, suspect that Sweden is just acting as the U.S.'s errand boy to go grab Mr. Assange because he kicked sand in the Empire's face.

    At the same time the Wiki Leaks divulged a lot of secret deals, double-dealing, a lot of stuff that even the government was not aware of.

    This has caused a huge uproar.  The scandals went all the way to the Justice Minister Beatrice Ask. She might lose her job over this.

    Coincidence?  I'm saying this as a Swede who grew up in Sweden. I read the Swedish news each & every day.

    Sweden has changed.  You can't trust them any longer.  

  •  Balls (0+ / 0-)

    I think if I were the accused and knew I was innocent I would fly to Sweden and face my accusers. But then that's just me. Julian...grow a couple.

    I try not to come here more often then I do.

    by Maroon watch on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 02:48:28 PM PST

  •  Well that's that then (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, Cliss

    I've been on the fence about these charges but that just about settles it for me.  They are clearly politically motivated even if the underlying complaint has merit.

    Another thing that's been bothering me, though, is how much the media is making this all about Assange personally.  It's typical "shoot the messenger" MSM bullshit designed to take the focus away from the information the establishment wants to cover up.

    This is about what's in the leaks.  Not the guy that served them up to the world.

    •  Assange made himself the issue. (0+ / 0-)

      He didn't have to reveal himself, but couldn't stand the thought of missing out on the spotlight, the 15 minutes of fame, etc, so he revealed himself in order to bask in the glory and the hero worship.  Along with that comes scrutiny on Assange himself, and yes, the story becomes about Assange himself.  It is very ironic that Assange's thirst for personal aggrandizement has cause Assange himself to drown out the leaks.  That's called "poetic justice".

      •  That's like saying John Wilkes made himself the (0+ / 0-)

        issue.  

        Assange's release and statement to cheers was really a Wilkes and Liberty moment.

        The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

        by lysias on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 08:18:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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