Conspiracy theories around the arrest of Julian Assange were a given. God bless George Noory who’s nightly radio program, Coast to Coast AM, is a regular who’s who in conspiracy theories and crackpot science. It came as no surprise that last night’s featured guest, Alex Jones of Info Wars would take to the air waves claiming a CIA set up of the currently beleaguered Assange. I believe I am the winner in the office pool. When it comes to attacking the politics of the United States sooner or later someone is going to blame the intelligence community, not that they haven’t earned that reputation.
The article posted on the Info Wars site claims that a CIA operative is using the claims of “two jilted women” to set up Julian Assange in an effort to silence him and possibly destroy the alternate media. Perhaps! But, I am always concerned when women are accused of fabricating their rape allegations. That the original prosecutor reportedly all but “laughed the case out of court” means nothing. Sweden does not have a great track record when it comes to violence against women and sex crimes.
The European Union Sourcebook of Crime and Statistics cites 53 offenses per 100,000 people. This is a very high rate. It is, in fact, the highest in Western Europe. This has caused Swedish legal authorities to have a very low tolerance for sexual assault. It also has created definitions for rape and other sex crimes that are wider then most other places in the Western World. Katrin Bennhold, writing today in the NY Times, offers a decent rebuttal for the Info Wars assertion that these are two “jilted women” who got upset that Mr. Assange refused to wear a condom. His refusal made the sex non consensual at that point. This may, indeed, meet the Swedish definition of sexual assault.
That the CIA and other agencies of the US Government are seeking to silence Assange should be no surprise. The man did leak proprietary documents, most likely obtained illegally, damaging not only the United States, but affecting other countries where we have our embassies. If you are going to tangle with the world of diplomacy and international intelligence you need to expect to have some difficulties.
As far as the rape charges the Wiki Leaks founder is facing I would like to see due process work its course. Whether or not the behavior of the alleged rape victims seems weird or suspicious doesn’t matter. People often behave in what appears strangely to the rest of us when having suffered a trauma. Whether or not allegedly bragging about the conquest, as the Info Wars article states, could be a part of that I am in no place to say.
All in all there is no real evidence being offered to prove that these allegations are a trumped up part of some political hit designed to destroy and discredit Julian Assange either. It is up to the Swedish court system to determine whether or not a crime involving sexual assault was committed. Until then it is best to remain suspicious of any theories attempting to make these charges part of an elaborate cover up. Far too many women have been dismissed by courts around the world and denied justice for crimes against them. The only real scandal here is the alternate media’s attempt to use them as a defense for Assange. Maybe Assange needs to man up and quit fighting extradition. He can get a chance to face his accusers.
Naturally he is afraid of extradition. He is afraid and rightly so that the United States will be able to get their hands on him. Again, I would like to see due process work its course. Assange should welcome his day in court. Far more people seem to support him and his work than don’t. He could be vindicated. Instead he has been on the lam for sometime. If you want to fight you have to have the courage to stand up on the battlefield, so to speak. Cowards run. The courageous stand their ground. Think of the woman suffragettes who were beaten and abused and thrown in jail here in the United States as they fought for the right to vote. Broken bones, noses, black eyes and shattered jaws were among the violence visited upon these activists. Now that is courage. And they won.
The Wiki leaks debate is far reaching beyond the free press and the worries of the so-called alternate press who may be justified in their concerns. But, in this cyber age the internet makes shutting down the underground press a near impossibility. Yes, we should be concerned. But, we should also be concerned about what crimes, if any, were committed. Stealing state secrets is a crime no matter what country you are in. That an Australian national had possession of ours may very well make him guilty of espionage and other crimes. My suspicion is Assange knows this.