Jack D. Ripper Would Have Seen This Coming

Hrmm:

Interpol has issued an international warrant at the request of a Swedish court for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in connection with alleged sex crimes.

The Stockholm Criminal Court last week issued an international arrest warrant for Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. Sweden asked Interpol to post a “Red Notice” after a judge approved a motion to bring him into custody.

You know what? Maybe he is a pervert and a rapist. But you don’t exactly have to be Alex Jones or Paul Watson or drinking grain and rain water to think this is a little sketchy. Especially the way it just sort of appeared after the military document dump, and now after the latest dump, the arrest warrant is issued. It is just getting too convenient (Ritter) that every time someone throws a fly in the ointment, this kind of thing happens. Maybe there is something in the personality type and it is all just a big coincidence. Or maybe not.






145 replies
  1. 1
    Morbo says:

    In b4 soonergrunt.

  2. 2
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    Are you going to make me search your archives for Vince Foster?

  3. 3
    Crusty Dem says:

    I’m reminded of the X-files movie and Martin Landau’s line “Oh God, not the kiddie porn stuff again..”

  4. 4
    matoko_chan says:

    America can’t have him whacked.
    the gharani massacre video is in the Insurance file, and it goes youtube viral if they do.
    the only way America can beat wikileaks is by becoming China.
    is that what we want?

  5. 5
    Cat Lady says:

    Who will play Assange in the movie? Too bad David McCallum got old.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Calouste says:

    According to Assange’s lawyers in the Guardian, the arrest warrant isn’t valid because Assange hasn’t been charged with anything, and is just wanted as a witness.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    freelancer says:

    drinking grain [alcohol] and rain water to think this is a little sketchy.

    FT4U.

  10. 10
    celticdragonchick says:

    I think somebody snuffs him within two years.

    My bet is on the Israelis. Mossad dosn’t give a fuck and they make public hits.

  11. 11
    Nellcote says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Who will play Assange in the movie?

    Keifer Sutherland

  12. 12
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    @John Cole: Too soon?

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Can we please read the dump he has on American banks first. (maybe that’s why they want to silence him)

  14. 14
    lamh32 says:

    This isn’t actually on topic, but it fits in the general topic of the wikileaks. Josh Marshall over at TPM links to Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski on the NewsHour comments on Wikileaks Diplomatic Leaks. I thought Zbigniew brought up a really good angle.

    The real issue is, who is feeding Wikipedia on this issue — Wiki — Wiki — WikiLeaks on this issue? They’re getting a lot of information which seems trivial, inconsequential, but some of it seems surprisingly pointed.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what are you referring to?
    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Well, for example, there are references to a report by our officials that some Chinese leaders favor a reunified Korea under South Korea.This is clearly designed to embarrass the Chinese and our relationship with them. The very pointed references to Arab leaders could have as their objective undermining their political credibility at home, because this kind of public identification of their hostility towards Iran could actually play against them at home.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what is it — what are you worried about with regard to the knowledge that…

    ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: It’s not a question of worry. It’s, rather, a question of whether WikiLeaks are being manipulated by interested parties that want to either complicate our relationship with other governments or want to undermine some governments, because some of these items that are being emphasized and have surfaced are very pointed. And I wonder whether, in fact, there aren’t some operations internationally, intelligence services, that are feeding stuff to WikiLeaks, because it is a unique opportunity to embarrass us, to embarrass our position, but also to undermine our relations with particular governments. For example, leaving aside the personal gossip about Sarkozy or Berlusconi or Putin, the business about the Turks is clearly calculated in terms of its potential impact on disrupting the American-Turkish relationship.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    After the fisting he gave the world on the State department cables, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a hit squad of Amazonian Cannibals show up at whatever rock he’s hiding under.

  16. 16
    burnspbesq says:

    Or maybe the Swedish prosecutors are competent and conscientious, and took the time to conduct a thorough investigation and determine that there really is good reason to move forward.

    Occam’s razor, y’all.

  17. 17
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Johnney Depp

  18. 18
    Bnut says:

    Would not be the first time a man who thought a lot of himself and in a position of authority/power used it to coerce and force women into sex.

  19. 19
    Cat Lady says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Too Young Hollywood.

    @Nellcote:

    Too old.

    Liev Schreiber.

  20. 20
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Bnut:

    The guy who was the Max Factor heir comes to mind, but he used old fashioned alcoholic mickies (GHB, I think< in their drinks)

  21. 21
  22. 22
    4tehlulz says:

    @celticdragonchick: Bibi’s too busy creaming in his pants about the Iran revelations to order the hit.

    My money’s on the Russians. With a ricin suppository.

  23. 23

    @Morbo:
    damn, i was hoping to inb4 m_c, but I see she’s too fast for us cudlips.

  24. 24
    Roger Moore says:

    @lamh32:
    Or maybe we just have enough skeletons in our closet that any big leak will have some documents that make us look bad. Those are the documents that will naturally filter to the top in any news about the leak. If that’s true, and I think it is, the damage is just an inevitable result of any leak. That may be a deliberate goal or it may be accidental, but you can’t necessarily learn anything about the leaker by knowing that the leaks make the USA look bad.

  25. 25
    burnspbesq says:

    @Calouste:

    Did you read the entire article you linked to? Assange’s lawyers admitted that the entire basis for their assertion of the EAW’s invalidity is a translation of what’s in the Swedish media. They’re doing crisis management, not law.

  26. 26
    Turgid Jacobian says:

    @John Cole: sorry, I just couldn’t resist.

  27. 27
    Calouste says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Heath Ledger.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    @Calouste:

    LOL, post mortem production

  29. 29
    Cat Lady says:

    @Bnut:

    Oooooh. Good one. Win.

    @Calouste:

    Heh.

  30. 30
    Calouste says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I interpreted it (but IANAL), that they thought it was invalid because they hadn’t been served with any official charges from the Swedish prosecution, even though there are lawyers in Sweden working on Assange’s behalve, and that therefore the only thing they knew about it was what was in the media.

  31. 31
    THE says:

    China has blocked access to Wikileaks.
    Link.

  32. 32
    scav says:

    It will be no end amusing to see the little black helicopter crowd cheering on Interpol.

  33. 33
    celticdragonchick says:

    @4tehlulz:

    My money’s on the Russians. With a ricin suppository.

    They really do like that poison thang.

    Especially exotic radioactive poisons that scream “Russian State Intelligence!!!”

  34. 34
    jl says:

    I would be more enthusiastic if the same confidence could be placed in what Wikileaks is doing right now as in Ritter’s professional work.

    But, the coincidences are beginning to add up. And if this legal action is a frame up or abuse of process to discredit the idea of whistle blowing then it should be opposed.

    I guess, for me, the hope that Wikileaks might have some interesting stuff on the US financial carnival of crime will be sufficient motivation if there are petitions to sign or legal funds to contribute to.

    But Wikileaks better not BS around on future stuff. And that is what I think the current Wikileaks release is, BSing around.

    I am no friend of the security state, so I get pissed when a supposed major and powerful force opposing the security state starts BSing around. I may be wrong about the current release, but that is my opinion right now.

  35. 35
    Chyron HR says:

    @matoko_chan:
    @burnspbesq:

    Can’t you two fight to the death or something? It seems unfair that we have to be berated both for not worshiping Assange and not reviling him.

  36. 36

    @THE: Oh, Jesus. We shall now be treated to the spectacle of Sarah Palin, that red-blooded patriotic American, holding up Communist China as an example of how to deal with threats like Wikileaks, and why can’t we, and American exceptionalism, and gosh darn it all.

  37. 37
    lamh32 says:

    This is SOOOO amazingly not on topic, but I just thought I’d announce that Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer is on CBS right now!

  38. 38
    jl says:

    @Turgid Jacobian:

    “Are you going to make me search your archives for Vince Foster?”

    That was surely before I discovered the Tunchblog, er, I mean BJ. Now, where is that search widget? Oh, there it is, right down there.

    But, I will probably forget about it by the time I get back from the ski trip.

  39. 39
    celticdragonchick says:

    @lamh32: \

    My son is watching it right now.

  40. 40
    soonergrunt says:

    @Morbo: Actually, no, because I already anticipated this:

    The only idea dumber than the idea that US should try to assassinate Assange or damage his reputation, is the idea that the US IS actively trying to damage his reputation or assassinate him…

  41. 41
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Why not? We got her teabagging buddy Joe MIller telling us we should have border security like East Germany.

  42. 42
    soonergrunt says:

    @Chyron HR: I like pie, my good sir/madam. You will like pie too.

  43. 43
    suzanne says:

    I’m actually surprised that he hasn’t had a tragic accident already.

    And Sean Penn plays him in the movie.

  44. 44
    scav says:

    @lamh32: how’s Rudolph OT? He’s a well-known Socialist-Commie sympathizer aiding and abetting another man in Red bringing gaily wrapped unearned subsidies to individuals that are miniature but potent leaches on society. Both agents have strong geographic to polar regions which are, hint hint, right next to Sweden . . .

  45. 45
    celticdragonchick says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I don’t think we will…but I would bet real money that somebody is going to get him. That is, somebody who doesn’t give a flying fuck about the blowback or public perception. Assange has stepped on some very sensitive and poweful toes…and the owners are not forgiving people.

    Also, pie is delicious.

  46. 46
    burnspbesq says:

    @Calouste:

    If Assange is actually not guilty of anything, he is getting both bad legal advice and bad PR advice. He should have gone to Sweden two months ago and killed this thing. And if he is actually in the UK, his ego is writing checks that he can’t cover.

  47. 47

    @suzanne:
    Oh, c’mon, all – it’s got to be Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    @soonergrunt:

    To be fair, a number of countries have motive to put pressure on Sweden to do something about the site. But the U.S. will probably get blamed.

    BTW, thanks for your information about the ‘top secret status’ of the info in the most recent release, or rather lack of such,

    Do you know whether releasing most of that kind of stuff is against any U.S. law? Do you know antything about the regs and laws regarding the millions of lesser workerbees who have access to it?

    From my limited time working with classified information, I am very cynical about it. Bigshots can get away with a lot, as long as they are among the ‘in crowd’, but lesser beings will be punished, one way or another for lapses on stuff that does not really have classified status at all. That was what I remember from my short but surreal time working in the classified information world.

    Edit: as a commenter above noted, if Wikileaks is just the publisher, and did not have a hand in obtaining the documents, hard to see how it, or anyone in it, broke U.S. law. But, IANAL.

  49. 49
    dr. bloor says:

    @jl:

    I think anyone counting on Assange to be their champion in terms of selectively exposing abuses of power is barking up the wrong tree (and I’m not accusing you of this). The impression I get from him based on his comments in interview is that he’s amoral (or maybe apolitical), with some sort of idee fixe on putting secret information–any information–into the light of day. I don’t think he sees a point in trying to sort “meaningful” from “BS,” and he seems to have no interest or feel any obligation to protect anyone, however large or small their sins might be.

  50. 50
    JAHILL10 says:

    At this point it is a legal proceeding, not a hit squad, so I assume that the Swedish court system will have to produce evidence of wrongdoing. And if they can’t make a convincing case, my guess is JA will be out leaking soon enough.
    Sorry, but the tone of some of the arguments sound a bit like the crap that was being peddled when people were arguing that Roman Polanski drugging and raping a 13-year-old didn’t count because the girl was all grown up now and did not hold a grudge, and Polanski is a great artist, and oh, look! Shiny object!

  51. 51
    Suck It Up! says:

    @suzanne:

    Sean Penn is the winner. he’d be perfect.

  52. 52
    lamh32 says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I forgot to add my fav version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

    The Amazing Temptations: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

  53. 53
    celticdragonchick says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Great actor, but wrong body type and I’m not feeling the right sort of flighty, flaky asshole vibe from Hoffman that you need for the role.

    Sean Penn could do it. (Not saying he is a flake and an asshole…but he really knows how to do it)

  54. 54
    celticdragonchick says:

    @lamh32:

    :)

  55. 55

    @celticdragonchick:
    but PSH is method enough to pull it off. He did capote, after all.

    As an alternative, John Malkovich? very flighty.

  56. 56
    John Cole says:

    @JAHILL10: Did you really just compare Assange to Polanski? I’m laughing.

  57. 57
    burnspbesq says:

    He’s too old now, but 20 years ago Willem Dafoe would have been perfect.

  58. 58
    celticdragonchick says:

    @jl:

    Edit: as a commenter above noted, if Wikileaks is just the publisher, and did not have a hand in obtaining the documents, hard to see how it, or anyone in it, broke U.S. law. But, IANAL.

    Since when did that ever matter to a prosecuter with an axe to grind?

    Don Siegalman could probably say a few things about that.

  59. 59
    jl says:

    @dr. bloor: From my very limited time reading his statements, and listening to clips from his interviews, I thought about that angle. I don’t have an opinion one way or the other, I don’t have time to follow his statements that closely.

    I would prefer Wikileaks serve a ‘meaningful’ function, but since the big Iraqi ‘secret info’ dump (which like this one, did not contain much that was really all that secret, IMHO), I have suspended judgment about what Assange thinks he is doing.

  60. 60
    celticdragonchick says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Malkovich would rock in this role.

  61. 61
    fuzz says:

    All these efforts to kill or discredit him are pointless anyway, is there really anything in these new leaks that you couldn’t learn if you just read the NYT and the Economist? A lot of it is basically open secrets, like the China hacking network and the Arab states not liking the idea of a nuclear Iran (or a powerful Iran). Personally I thought a lot of it made the government look somewhat hapless and incompetent and not at all evil and menacing. Trying to extort Slovenia into taking a Gitmo detainee by saying they won’t otherwise meet Obama is strange and dumb, not conspiratorial. Otherwise it was just basic bickering between nations and diplomats.

  62. 62
    Ash Can says:

    @jl: I think this is a very good point. Assange managed to piss off a host of people with the diplomatic leaks, around the world and across the political spectrum. It’s not difficult to imagine that everyone and his brother-in-law is out for blood now. If someone were to succeed in locking him up, taking him down, or whatever, and it were to throw a monkey wrench into Wikileaks releasing something that really should be made public (like might happen with the supposedly upcoming bank dump), I’d be pissed.

  63. 63
    JAHILL10 says:

    @John Cole: I’m pointing out the similarity of the arguments being made. Person A (Polanski, Assange) does something I admire, therefore Person A cannot be guilty of any wrongdoing. Let the evidence decide, is all I am saying.

  64. 64
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @lamh32:

    ..the business about the Turks is clearly calculated in terms of its potential impact on disrupting the American-Turkish relationship.

    Any nation that did that would purposely dump info to Wikileaks in order to negatively affect our relationships with the Muslim world would have to need our defense establishment to back them up, possess a ruthless intelligence service and the capacity for limitless self-justification.

    I can’t think of any nation like that, can you?

  65. 65
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    *Cough cough*

    Nope! Can’t think of any nations formed in 1948 like that at all!

  66. 66
    D-Chance. says:

    Hey, Cole, are you gonna die tomorrow? It’s for a good cause…

  67. 67
    Nick says:

    sooooo, we don’t like Sweden anymore?

    He’s been under investigation in Sweden since August.

  68. 68
    miwome says:

    My understanding was that Assange was already being looked at in this case before the most recent dump and it’s just that the warrant hadn’t been issued till now. I can’t find the New Yorker article I was reading that gave me this impression (I read it on–gasp!–dead tree in a waiting room, so I don’t have the issue at hand here), so possibly I’m misremembering.

    What I am certain I remember correctly is that Assange was asked about it by Larry King, and responded by saying it was “a trivial matter.” Larry King basically hit him upside the back of the head and explained to him that rape is not, in fact, trivial, and in his situation you say the allegations are false, not stupid.

    That little exchange doesn’t incline me to give Assange too much benefit of the doubt.

    PS I’m on Team Franco for the movie casting

  69. 69
    John Cole says:

    @JAHILL10: The cases aren’t remotely the same. Assange has never admitted to anything, no proof has ever been offered, and he has never been convicted and fled the country. You’re allowed to be skeptical about him.

    Polanski, on the other hand…

  70. 70
    miwome says:

    @Ash Can: Don’t forget Wikileaks isn’t a one-man organization. Other people work there who presumably know what they’re doing.

    Even if Wikileaks did go down, Sully actually made a good point earlier today:

    Trying to crack down on the organization would only give it more publicity, which would allow it to attract more leaks. Going after Assange directly – an idea various congressmen are toying with – would backfire spectacularly. Even if Wikileaks were brought down, its death would launch a thousand imitators. Remember what happened when Napster was shuttered?

    I think the Napster analogy is a good one. Once that wall is down, there’s no going back.

  71. 71
    burnspbesq says:

    @D-Chance.:

    I wonder if we could turn that around, and get them to agree to stay off social media forever if the target amount of money is raised. I would refinance my house and strip out whatever equity we still have in order to help out.

  72. 72
    Peter J says:

    If Assange is actually not guilty of anything, he is getting both bad legal advice and bad PR advice. He should have gone to Sweden two months ago and killed this thing. And if he is actually in the UK, his ego is writing checks that he can’t cover.

    Assange asked, while he stayed in Sweden, to be interviewed by the prosecution. They weren’t interested, and then they told him it was ok for him to leave the country. So he did.

  73. 73
    scav says:

    Whatever the real situation is legally in Sweden, the timing of everything is embarrassingly suspect at best. I somehow don’t think this lot, whoever they may be, are expert publicity and hydra-wranglers. I’m not entirely sure they’re not peeing petrol on this particular campfire.

  74. 74
    p mac says:

    To those citing Occam’s razor and the like as evidence of Assange’s guilt: you are wrong.

    The number of reported rapes per year is something like 1 per 10,000 people. Chart here

    The argument is that Assange went to Sweden for a week, but has strangely never been charged in his home country.

    The odds of either a complete frame-up or some kind of honey trap are a lot higher than 1/10000.

    Add in the timing of the charges, at most a few weeks after a major leak, and the odds become astronomical in favor of a set-up.

  75. 75
    celticdragonchick says:

    O/T

    Sully links to this story about a UK company tha sold a modern version of a dowsing rod to Iraqi government agencies for millions. The device was supposedly powered by static electricity from walking, and was claimed to be able to find bombs, firearms, ammunition, dead bodies, drugs, truffles (!) and contraband ivory behind walls, under water, in vehicles or even airplanes flying overhead.

    Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have been killed from using the worthless items, which only had an anti theft chip inside and therfore did not find the bombs, etc before the hapless users were blown to pieces.

    Free market, bee-yotch.

    PT Barnum is laughing somewhere.

  76. 76
    Cat Lady says:

    @John Cole:

    Did you really just compare Assange to Polanski?

    One’s a high profile gadfly with international stature, movie star looks and complicated entanglements with members of the opposite sex … and the other’s a film director.

  77. 77
    soonergrunt says:

    @jl: I am not a lawyer either, but my understanding is that unless there is evidence of an explicit quid-pro-quo relationship between Assange and Manning, and that relationship was established before Manning committed his breach, that Assange has not violated any US laws.
    Manning, OTOH, is pretty well fucked.
    As I noted earlier, there doesn’t appear to be any Top Secret level documents in this batch that we’ve seen. Embassies use the military’s SIPR system because it already exists and such systems are expensive to build and maintain. Why duplicate the effort and expense? Also, as John noted a couple of days ago, putting the stuff on SIPR makes it available to lots of people who might put it to use, ahem, legitimately.
    Regular email can be intercepted. SIPR can’t (at least so far as I know), but can be compromised from within the system.
    There is a movement to get as much Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU–non-secret level) traffic off SIPR as much as possible, but it’s going to take years, because old habits die hard, particularly when they are bad habits. We finally have the infrastructure in place to do this on a wide scale within DoD. I can’t speak for the other departments.
    And a note about the number of 3 million people who have access to this stuff–no, they don’t. Having eligibility for a clearance does not result in getting one. Having a clearance dose not grant access to SIPR. That’s entirely different. I don’t know how many SIPR accounts exist but it damn sure isn’t 3 million. In an office of cleared people, there might be 10 people with active security clearances. Two or three of those people will have SIPR accounts. Having a SIPR account does not grant access to a SCIF. The vast majority of persons with security clearances are not authorized unsupervised access to cleared spaces.
    I can tell you that dealing with classified information is frequently more of a pain in the ass than it’s worth. Anyone who’s ever had that level of access has probably seen stuff that doesn’t seem to need to be classified. Many times, the reason for classification is not readily apparent, and many times it’s just plain bullshit, imnsho. However, telling the two apart isn’t something most people including me are expert at.

  78. 78
    jl says:

    @D-Chance.:

    “Hey, Cole, are you gonna die tomorrow? It’s for a good cause…”

    Heck, I’ll contribute money to keep those celebs off the glass ether intertubes. But I don’t think it works that way.

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t see anything those celebs contributing a million bucks themselves. Maybe that would be too much ‘dying a little bit’ for them.

    Cole could deny the world the BJ pet pix.

  79. 79
    burnspbesq says:

    @scav:

    “the timing of everything is embarrassingly suspect at best. ”

    What would have been better timing? A day after the statute of limitation runs out? There’s never a time to perp-walk a high-profile public figure about which you couldn’t say that. Conscientious prosecutors go where the evidence leads and file charges when the investigation is complete.

  80. 80
    eemom says:

    oh, fuck all this stupid shit.

    You know what’s gonna happen to Assange? Sooner or later people are going to notice that none of these “woo hoo, this is the BIG one! THIS time the sky’s REALLY gonna fall on yer big powerful asses, mothafuckas” dumps makes jack shit’s worth of difference to anything that actually, like, HAPPENS in the world.

    And then Turkey Lurkey et al. will get bored and find some other Chicken Little to tell ’em the sky is falling. The End.

  81. 81
    Peter J says:

    Not sure what the evidence for the rape charge is (first he was charged with rape, then it was dropped, and then another prosecutor readded the charge, and from what I read, the decisions were all based on the same evidence), but the sexual molestation charge is about Assange ripping the condom during the act…

    I wouldn’t compare this to Polanski.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    JAHILL10 says:

    @John Cole: You’re allowed to be skeptical, but you’re not allowed to discount charges of rape out of hand or write them down to international conspiracy. Narcissistic types like Assange have demonstrated tendencies for this type of behavior. So there may or may not be any “there” there. Again, since he has been under investigation since long before the latest document dump, I think the courts should decide this. Besides when did Sweden make the top 10 black ops happy government list?

  84. 84
    scav says:

    @burnspbesq: All I was saying is that the correlation of leak to sudden movement by legal authorities, while not evidence of anything, looked dinky. One can certain get a pattern of head-tail-head-tail-head-tail a thousand times by utter chance but people will prick their ears all the same if it happens.

  85. 85
    ChrisNYC says:

    Christ, John Cole. Stick with the facts.

    A Swedish court approved the warrants on November 19, four days before Wikileaks announced the State Dept release.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11.....sange.html

    http://blogs.journalism.co.uk/.....documents/

    But sure, don’t like the warrant, call it a plot. After all, what good is judicial review if it doesn’t come out the right way? Yay principle!

  86. 86
    Peter J says:

    I don’t think there’s a lot of international warrants issued for suspects charged with one account of rape and one account of sexual molestation.

    Besides when did Sweden make the top 10 black ops happy government list?

    Extradition of Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery.

  87. 87
    jfxgillis says:

    John:

    It is just getting too convenient (Ritter) that every time someone throws a fly in the ointment, this kind of thing happens.

    I know this is getting even a little more weird, but I think Ron Carey, the brilliant Labor leader who led the only major successful strike in the U.S. in the last twenty years, and believe it or not, Rod Blagojevich–who, people forget, stood up for the working class in the Windows & Doors Company struggle just days before he was accused of “corruption,”–were similarly conveniently dispatched.

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    C’mon people. James Spader plays Assange in the movie.

  89. 89
    soonergrunt says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Let the evidence decide, is all I am saying.

    Good luck with that one.
    @ChrisNYC:
    Two words: Ben Roethlisberger

  90. 90
    magurakurin says:

    Fuck Assange. He’s fucked himself. Yep, the big boys play rough. By his own admission he’s set himself up as taking a swipe and the Establishment, which is big, brutal and heartless. But, his first two punches have been fucking lame ass and weak. The Afghan dump didn’t tell anyone anything they didn’t know by reading the newspaper, and a lot of the “information” he released was hastily written cables as people we’re assessing battles as they were happening. I suppose it was interesting in getting a chance to see how those sort of operations progress, but it was hardly some earth shattering revelation.

    This latest dump strikes me, and a good deal of others, as just irresponsible. The information isn’t so much “secret” as it is things that were spoken or discussed in confidence. This is how diplomacy works. It actually is encouraging to know that the Chinese are willing to accept a unified Korea under Seoul, but it is extremely depressing to also realize that Assange has now actually, probably delayed such a reality for quite some time. If the Chinese officials were discussing such issues in back channels, it was because they had to. Not every culture, not every government runs like the US House of Representatives or the House of Commons. Open debate isn’t the preferred way in every country.

    Now, if Assange really does have information on actual efforts of a large bank to commit fraud, that would be something useful to reveal. But, sadly he probably isn’t going to get the chance. What is that old saying, if you strike at the King you better kill him?

    Sayonara, Julian, we hardly knew you…

  91. 91
    eemom says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Aw c’mon. Everybody knows the Swedes are tools of the CIA, and always have been, ever since —

    uh, ever since —

    well, shit, why should I tell you what you already know?

  92. 92
    Keith G says:

    @eemom: But we need outrage. There must be outrage.

  93. 93
    Peter J says:

    A Swedish court approved the warrants on November 19, four days before Wikileaks announced the State Dept release.

    And the State Dept was, at least since June, aware that cables had been leaked.

  94. 94

    @Corner Stone: Oh, I may have to abandon team Franco for that one.

  95. 95
    someguy says:

    I don’t see what the problem is with WikiLeaks. Obama promised the most transparent government ever. Now we’re getting it. You wanted transparency, you got it. A little late for the outrage, just because it embarasses the U.S. Just goes to show you how deep the corruption runs in this country and how impotent we are as a result of BushCo.

  96. 96
    Jay B. says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Narcissistic types like Assange have demonstrated tendencies for this type of behavior.

    That’s an airtight diagnosis there, doctor.

  97. 97
    eemom says:

    Obama promised the most transparent government ever.

    Yeah! Obama promised that every utterance by any employee of the federal government anywhere, anytime, about anything, would be instantly posted on Google! And all incoming utterances from all employees of foreign governments too!

    oh God.

    The stoopid. The stoopid.

  98. 98
    suzanne says:

    @Corner Stone: I hope not. I want to actually WATCH the movie, not just masturbate for two hours in public.

  99. 99
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: No way. Benedict Cumberbatch.

    @suzanne: You and Paul Rubens

  100. 100
    Anne Laurie says:

    Jude Law would be the perfect Assange. Check out his performance in Wilde (a great movie) and AI (a terrible terrible one, but Law did an amazing turn).

    But I doubt Law would take the job, so my next choice is Matt Damon, who most certainly would.

  101. 101
    burnspbesq says:

    @scav:

    That’s fine.

  102. 102
    JAHILL10 says:

    @Jay B.: I’m the one arguing for the courts to decide this. I didn’t convict the man. A bunch of folks around here seem to think that because the man leaks documents he must be squeaky clean and the victim of a global conspiracy. Good diagnosis yourself.

  103. 103
    RinaX says:

    @eemom:

    Admittedly, maybe some bombshell will eventually be dropped, but so far, I’m not impressed. All I heard was about how this was supposed to blow things wide open and…yeah.

  104. 104
    ChrisNYC says:

    @soonergrunt: But Jesus, because there has a been a false rape allegation EVER, then all allegations are false. Part of the fucking system is that false allegations may sometimes get by but we trust courts to usually make the right call. And here, the only call is preliminary. Assange says he didn’t do anything wrong but he can go prove that. All he has to do is give evidence. Sweden is HARDLY fascist.

    Nice, too, that he asks for special treatment. Apparently he wants to appear in London. Too bad everyone else dealing with crim accusations doesn’t get to make the rules. I myself have a definite lack of international airplane tickets, safe houses and international celebrity, so I guess I get plan B, if falsely accused. But, sure, Julian’s super special (just look at his hair!) and any judicial system should make sure he’s treated as such. Because that’s really what courts are for.

    Also, Assange has no problem throwing baseless accusations. But, I guess that’s ok, because, you know, he’s Assange. Some animals are more equal.

  105. 105
    soonergrunt says:

    @someguy: I don’t remember seeing Julian Assange running for US President.

  106. 106
    THE says:

    @magurakurin:

    it is extremely depressing to also realize that Assange has now actually, probably delayed such a reality for quite some time

    I really hope you are wrong. Because to me also that was the most hopeful thing to come out of this irresponsible release. My reaction was that if China was really going down that road, then that was a real act of statecraft that would change Northeast Asian security enormously for the better.

    It would be well-worth accepting a neutral, non-aligned, Korea for the sake of ending the NorK crazy for ever.
    I hope China still sees the point that a prosperous, reunified, neutral Korea is in everyone’s interests.

  107. 107
    Jay B. says:

    @magurakurin:

    You miss just about everything that’s important about WikiLeaks, what they’ve dumped and what it’s stated mission is, but other than that, spot on!

    First, your premise is like saying that since it’s already been reported, history books are useless. The documentation gives us a much fuller understanding of what it actually is that we’re doing around the world. Second, it makes the State nervous — The Obama Administration freaked out enough to close down connections to classified servers. China turned off WikiLeaks. So either you are right in dismissing it, or the State actors are right to be afraid. There’s also the argument that these dumps actually foster conversation, about these things. What is the role of the state? What should or shouldn’t be confidential, classified? Why is something done in the name of the state not admissible into the public record, but private conversations between private people can enter the public realm if the state wants? Is security insignificant? Is it warranted? After all, if you think this is all terribly boring and insignificant, what are they trying to keep secret for “diplomatic” reasons?

    Assange has said he’s trying to force invisible government to show itself or disappear. He is trying to give us what libertarians always talk about, but never deliver, “perfect information” — to allow for the consent of the governed to make a proper decision. These may be nothing but little glimpses at the slip and yet, by all accounts, they and their media lapdogs are scandalized by the exposure. By my lights that means Assange is doing something right.

    There’s nothing that can be released at this point that would do anything but, at worst, confirm what I already think about government or business and the people who worship them — but, having found my way around original documents now and again, I completely support the effort to disseminate the vast majority of them on behalf of the people our government are purported to serve.

  108. 108
    soonergrunt says:

    @ChrisNYC: Are you disagreeing with me, agreeing with me, or both in turns?

    And yeah your point about fame and money is well taken. Most the time these kinds of accusations, true or not, result in immediate arrest, denial of bail, and usually conviction and a lengthy prison sentence.

  109. 109
    Jay B. says:

    @JAHILL10:

    I didn’t diagnose him as a narcissist, who, as a type, are prone to rape and sexual assault. I admire what he’s doing regarding Wikileaks. I don’t have to admire what he’s done. Pretty basic concept, I’d think, without trying to giving him a mental disorder.

  110. 110
    soonergrunt says:

    @suzanne:

    . I want to actually WATCH the movie, not just masturbate for two hours in public.

    Who cares what you’re watching?!?!
    ;)

  111. 111
    Ash Can says:

    @Jay B.: If you understood how diplomacy works, you’d know that everything you said here is nothing more than word salad. Magurakurin neatly and accurately summarized everything that’s wrong about the diplomatic document dump. Wishing it were otherwise won’t make it so.

  112. 112
    Phoencian in a time of Romans says:

    @John Cole: You’re allowed to be skeptical, but you’re not allowed to discount charges of rape out of hand or write them down to international conspiracy.

    True enough – but we also remember what happened to Scott Ritter.

    Assange’s computers are locked up tighter than the Pope’s porn collection. If they weren’t, I’d be expecting a “convenient” find of masses of kiddie pornography on them.

    Narcissistic types like Assange have demonstrated tendencies for this type of behavior.

    And you know he’s a “narcissistic type” or “an asshole” – how exactly? Are you his psychiatrist? Have you met him?

    Or are you, you know, just listening to the “general consensus” on the guy, a “consensus” open to manipulation by both the mainstream media and the US government?

  113. 113
    Peter J says:

    Assange says he didn’t do anything wrong but he can go prove that. All he has to do is give evidence.

    Once again, he stayed in Sweden for a while after the first time he was charged offering to do just that. The prosecution weren’t interested. He didn’t leave the country until they said he could.

    I myself have a definite lack of international airplane tickets, safe houses and international celebrity, so I guess I get plan B, if falsely accused.

    And Interpol wouldn’t issue an international warrant for you. Plan B looks a lot better if you’re falsely accused.

  114. 114
    jcgrim says:

    The timing of this latest warrant is awfully suspicious.

  115. 115
    gizmo says:

    I think the specific information contained in the Wikileaks release isn’t the real issue, and it isn’t why the World Establishment Club of Good Old Boys is so freaked out. They are feeling threatened because Assange is not only broadcasting shit via Wikileaks, but is also building a worldwide electronic network of diverse whistle-blowing sites that has the potential to undo the the Great Big Nefarious Money Scheme that has had its way with us for so long. The nexus of government and corporate interests are feeling the heat, Bravo Assange!

  116. 116
    Martin says:

    My prediction is that nobody will touch Assange. He’s done a good job of making himself visible and he’s grown his service to a point that it’s going to be a lesser evil very soon.

    If Assange gets hit, the replacement for Wikileaks is going to be extremely invisible, won’t bother retracting documents, and won’t give warning on document dumps. If Wikileaks is embarrassing, their replacement will be dangerous and unpredictable. My guess is at this point the Pentagon will give grudging protection to Assange vs having him rubbed out. Better the enemy you know, and all that.

  117. 117
    soonergrunt says:

    @Peter J:

    And Interpol wouldn’t issue an international warrant for you.

    Except that Interpol would do that very thing. Assisting law enforcement to apprehend accused persons who are in other countries is kind of the whole reason they exist.

  118. 118
    someguy says:

    C’mon. If this happened on Bush’s watch we’d be jerking off with joy over it, gettin’ our hate on over how incompetent and evil and duplicitous he and Crooked Candy were. Right now I think most of us are only pissed because it’s jamming up Obama. I don’t remember anybody bitching about classified leaks of any sort during the Bush administration… well, except for Plame’s being outed. *That* was treasonous…right?

  119. 119
    ChrisNYC says:

    @soonergrunt: Disagree. I don’t think false convictions are a reason to give a fish eye to every accusation. Innocent until proven guilty, if stuck to is enough.

  120. 120
    Peter J says:

    Except that Interpol would do that very thing. Assisting law enforcement to apprehend accused persons who are in other countries is kind of the whole reason they exist.

    I know what Interpol’s purpose is. But they do it if the country in question requests one. And if you believe that every citizen or visiting foreigner accused of rape who flees abroad ends up with an international warrant then you will be disappointed.

  121. 121
    Michael says:

    @magurakurin:

    It actually is encouraging to know that the Chinese are willing to accept a unified Korea under Seoul, but it is extremely depressing to also realize that Assange has now actually, probably delayed such a reality for quite some time. If the Chinese officials were discussing such issues in back channels, it was because they had to. Not every culture, not every government runs like the US House of Representatives or the House of Commons. Open debate isn’t the preferred way in every country.

    Whooptie shit – so China prefers a unified and prosperous Korea on its border.

    Tell me something that isn’t intuitive.

    What this really says is that when we classify just about everything, leaving the integrity of a large volume of vaguely sensitive communications to the hands of a 19 year old PFC seems not only reckless, but also goes to whether this info was that sensitive in the first place.

    As a nation, we’re a fucking joke. Info that embarrasses the government comes out, and the wingnut half the country wants to hang the purveyors as traitors – even when, like Assange, they’re not even American citizens. They acted like that over Ellsberg, they acted like that over My Lai, they acted like that over Abu Ghraib, and now they act like that over Assange.

    Fuck ’em. I’m going to root for the Chinese when they take over.

  122. 122
    Ash Can says:

    @someguy: You raise a decent point, but upon reflection, I think I’d be more troubled by the dump if it took place during W’s misadministration. Having to sustain diplomatic relationships under leadership that most of the rest of the world considers dangerous and destabilizing is not an enviable situation, and messing up those lower-level relationships at a time when sociopaths have the nuclear codes would be nothing short of nightmarish.

  123. 123
    timb says:

    @celticdragonchick: Why do people keep thinking killing Assange means Wikileaks is done? There is absolutely no proof that he is the one and only employ of Wikileaks. Someone will rise up to take his place.

  124. 124
    Peter J says:

    To further make my point.
    There are in total 9 red notices issued by Interpol on the behalf of Sweden.

    1. CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN, SEX CRIMES
    2. CRIMES AGAINST LIFE AND HEALTH, CRIMES AGAINST LIFE AND HEALTH ATTEMPT
    3. CRIMES INVOLVING THE USE OF WEAPONS/EXPLOSIVES, DRUGS RELATED CRIMES
    4. SEX CRIMES
    5. FRAUD
    6. CRIMES AGAINST LIFE AND HEALTH
    7. FRAUD
    8. SEX CRIMES
    9. CRIMES INVOLVING THE USE OF WEAPONS/EXPLOSIVES, FRAUD

    If you believe that there’s only two people accused of rape who has fled Sweden and haven’t been captured, then I got a bridge you might want to buy.

  125. 125
    Lori says:

    @John Cole
    I share your skepticism of the charges against Assange. Who else are you talking about, though?

  126. 126
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Peter J: First, he didn’t offer to be questioned when he was charged. He was charged in August and the warrant was withdrawn within hours. He said it was the first of “dirty tricks.”

    He offered to meet with the prosecutor before he left Sweden, three months ago, after the first warrant was withdrawn. But, again, he doesn’t get to say, “Well, I offered to talk. Window closed govt of Sweden.” Over the course of three months it’s certainly possible that the investigation produced questions for him that could not have been asked earlier. It’s like saying, “Can’t talk to me now that you got info from the informant. I wanted to answer questions when you knew less.”

    Unless it’s all rigged. Which I guess we know. After all Assange says it’s dirty tricks. Therefore, dirty tricks.

    On Interpol warrants, I believe that Interpol tracks non-celebs. I think the only req is that you be a suspect or a convicted person who flees in one member country and believed to be in another member country. See, e.g., 1500 Interpol warrants request by Russia — they all can’t be super special, right. Certainly they are not all at the bosom of a multi-country network devoted to protecting them. And, from what I can tell, they don’t command the attention of the world media by opening their mouths. So my guess would be that they are the happy recipients of Plan B.

    http://en.rian.ru/russia/20101124/161470929.html

  127. 127
    wengler says:

    Reading some of these comments is both hilarious and depressing.

    Your leaders lie you into wars that kill hundreds of thousands, set up international torture networks and black prisons, and take away most of your rights.

    And then you yell that an Australian guy is attacking the security of your country by unleashing a large cache of low-level classified documents.

    I am beginning to understand now how the richest criminals in America were not only able to ransom the country for 700 billion dollars and get away with it, but are now wallowing in their stolen money while you stand in the soup line. I think in that line I hear someone with no shoes and tattered clothes mumble “He must’ve deserved it” before ranting about how illegals destroyed America.

    I have never seen a group of people in my lifetime so dedicated to their own self-destruction.

  128. 128
    ChrisNYC says:

    nothing

  129. 129
    celticdragonchick says:

    @timb:

    Why do people keep thinking killing Assange means Wikileaks is done? There is absolutely no proof that he is the one and only employ of Wikileaks. Someone will rise up to take his place.

    Why does anybody ever retaliate for anything?

    It doesn’t have to be rational as you see it. It just has to be a matter that somebody in power is pissed or afraid, and decides to send a message that won’t be missed. Other people may be able to do the same thing, but they may change their minds when photos of their kids at school arrive in the mail.

    See what happened to journalism in Mexico.

  130. 130
    eemom says:

    @wengler:

    And then you yell that an Australian guy is attacking the security of your country by unleashing a large cache of low-level classified documents.

    no, actually, I’m not yelling that. I’m yelling that none of all this much ballyhood leaking is going to end up mattering worth a shit to national security or anything else.

    I have never seen a group of people in my lifetime so dedicated to their own self-destruction.

    That is fortunate. Now that you’ve seen it, maybe your self-righteous ass ought to get the hell out of our self-destructive faces before it gets caught in the crossfire.

  131. 131
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    No way. Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Dude. Cumberbatch should’ve been cast as Zuckerberg in Social Network. Perfect for that.
    But I’m going all in on Spader for Assange.

  132. 132
    Peter J says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    I base my view about this on a lot more than what Assange says.

    I didn’t say that Interpol doesn’t track non-celebs. It’s not run by TMZ. But that he’s a celeb, and even more that he has pissed of a lot of countries, I’m pretty sure that has a lot to do with an international warrant being issued.

    Assange offered to cooperate, asking the prosecution to set up meetings to be questioned. He didn’t flee the country, he left after the prosecution said it was ok for him to leave. And yet he’s now one of two persons that Sweden has requested a international warrant for sex crimes not involving children.

    Somehow I think there are others who have fled the country after being accused of rape, refusing to cooperate. Others whom Sweden didn’t request warrants for.

  133. 133
    timb says:

    @celticdragonchick: entire planet/internet versus Northern Mexico….bit of a geographic difference.

    Whether folks want to acknowledge it or not, the governments capable of hurting Assange are exactly the governments who make rational choices like “if we kill him, won’t 12 more replace him and while we wallow in a public relations disaster”

    That’s why nothing important has happened nor will it. BTW, I hear Ecuador is a beautiful country

  134. 134
    fordpowers says:

    @Jay B.:

    Assange has said he’s trying to force invisible government to show itself or disappear. He is trying to give us what libertarians always talk about, but never deliver, “perfect information” — to allow for the consent of the governed to make a proper decision.

    I mentioned this on an earlier thread – but this is the part all this that really fascinates me.
    This article hit on that for me and gave me some perspective of this guys actual objectives in this whole thing

    There’s nothing that can be released at this point that would do anything but, at worst, confirm what I already think about government or business and the people who worship them — but, having found my way around original documents now and again, I completely support the effort to disseminate the vast majority of them on behalf of the people our government are purported to serve.

    and Damn right.

  135. 135
    Nutella says:

    This latest leak of diplomatic cables does seem odd compared to the previous war leaks and makes one wonder what Wikileaks’s overall plan is. Apparently the plan has been published as a pdf. Very interesting reading.

    (Got that link from somebody here at BJ but don’t remember who.) edit- same link as @fordpowers

    I read about the rape charges in Sweden when they first came out. I don’t have a link but I remember it described as completely consensual sex with two Swedish women in two days. What led the women to bring a criminal complaint is that they found on comparing notes that both had experienced condom breakage which Assange claimed was accidental and they figured, since it happened twice, it must have been deliberate. That would, I think, be considered a type of sexual assault here in the US but not rape. This ambiguity probably accounts for the odd on-and-off nature of the charges. It surely would be a tough case to prove if the description I read is accurate.

  136. 136
    celticdragonchick says:

    @timb:

    Whether folks want to acknowledge it or not, the governments capable of hurting Assange are exactly the governments who make rational choices like “if we kill him, won’t 12 more replace him and while we wallow in a public relations disaster”

    As noted above, the Russians didn’t seem to give a shit when they openly poisoned political leaders in neiboring republics or a high profile ex KGB agent in the UK.

    The Israelis have gunned down or blown up suspected Black September types in public (and killed innocent bystanders as well…)

    Some rational actors may make a rational decision to ignore blowback and just make a particular problem maker come to a messy end. It happens…and the guys friends will definitely notice it if Assange has a fatal accident or shows up with an exotic and deadly toxic radioactive heavy metal in his bloodstream (like Polonium-210).

    Or a bullet.

    Ask Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko or Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko. The first two might be a tad difficult, since the Russian assassination attempts against them happened to be successful. Yushchenko (The former President of Ukraine!!!!)of course was poisoned with dioxin but survived. The accused would-be assassin is still in Russia despite extradition requests from Ukraine since 2002.

  137. 137
    Gus diZerega says:

    Wengler (127) got it right in my opinion. I am depressed with the number of abject servants to power here who find such time to spill their venom about Assange. Not everyone to be sure, but too many IMO.

    We have had thousands of people killed by dishonest leaders doing their nastiness in secret. The current president has done nothing but cover up for them. The number of crimes covered up or ignored by Democrats and Republicans alike stinks to heaven. Government serves the ultra rich, banksters, and corporations. It screws over most Americans.

    And hardly anyone has bothered to read and rebut Assange’s arguments about why he is doing this. Had they done so the fact that most of what is revealed is not a blockbuster is not an argument against what he is doing.

    So-called patriotic citizens of a democracy spend their time attacking Assange who is making the job of those who oppress us more difficult and embarrassing. Our Founders would likely throw up.

  138. 138
    Abbott says:

    On the charges and in defense of Assange:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir09142010.html

    [earlier one here:

    http://counterpunch.org/shamir08272010.html

    ]

  139. 139
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    It is strange so many treating Assange like he’s an enemy … Illegal wars, torture and rendition as US policy, false intelligence, massive financial fraud … and you want to help the establishment hide their actions and cheer on a state-sponsored HIT?

    Who and what are you defending … and why?

  140. 140
    Pococurante says:

    He just needs to appear on The View. Whoopie will back him regardless. Those gals love them a crusading sex fiend.

  141. 141
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    This. You made my point, and did a much better job.

  142. 142
    Nutella says:

    @Abbott:

    Curses on those castrating feminists!

    Somehow the phrasing in that article you linked to does not inspire confidence in its accuracy.

  143. 143

    […] for is far different than what Americans traditionally (and legally) define as rape)(and it’s possibly fixed) as second, and imminent-mysterious-assassination-at-the-hands-of-the-Russian-oligarchy as an […]

  144. 144
    lawguy says:

    Perhaps Mikel Blomqvist could help him.

  145. 145

    […]   I genuinely have no opinion of the validity of those allegations, but what I do know — as John Cole notes — is this:  as soon as Scott Ritter began telling the truth about Iraqi WMDs, he was […]

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  2. […] for is far different than what Americans traditionally (and legally) define as rape)(and it’s possibly fixed) as second, and imminent-mysterious-assassination-at-the-hands-of-the-Russian-oligarchy as an […]

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