HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » No exception for Assange:...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:34 AM

No exception for Assange: Rape apologetics and the left

Matt Fodor
Michael Laxer
February 13, 2013

... It is difficult, to put it mildly, to take the claims that Assange would simply be handed over to the U.S. seriously. Espionage is considered a political crime in Sweden and Swedish law as well as its extradition treaty with the U.S. prohibits extradition for political crimes.

Consider the case of Edward Lee Howard, a CIA agent who sold secrets to the Soviet Union, devastating U.S. operations in Moscow, and who was arrested for overstaying his visa in Sweden. The U.S. government requested Howard’s extradition, which Sweden refused. The prime minister of Sweden at the time was Carl Bildt, the current Foreign Affairs Minister who Assange supporters claim is a U.S. ‘lapdog’ who would immediately extradite Assange after “a single phone call” from the White House.

One final question that is never answered by Assange supporters: wouldn’t it have been far easier to extradite Assange to the U.S. from the U.K., which is much more of a ‘lapdog’ than Sweden? The U.K., unlike Sweden, does have an extradition treaty with the U.S. for espionage. Indeed, it would be much more difficult to extradite Assange from Sweden, as it would require the support of the governments of both Sweden and the U.K. Both are signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights which forbids the extradition to countries where the accused could face the death penalty. He cannot just simply be handed over to the US ...

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/michael-laxer/2013/02/no-exception-assange-rape-apologetics-and-left

8 replies, 1409 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply No exception for Assange: Rape apologetics and the left (Original post)
struggle4progress Feb 2013 OP
GeorgeGist Feb 2013 #1
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #2
KarenRei Feb 2013 #6
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #7
fasttense Feb 2013 #3
struggle4progress Feb 2013 #4
fasttense Feb 2013 #5
yurbud Feb 2013 #8

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:57 AM

1. Only one small hitch ...

Assange hasn't been charged with a crime.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:45 AM

2. The UK courts have dealt exhaustively with procedural questions, raised by Assange's lawyers

during a year and a half before the judges, and some of those questions were directed against the differences between legal processes in the UK and in Sweden

I suppose it would greatly simplify such matters, if all countries followed exactly the same process, but in fact the various processes evolved at differing times and in differing cultures speaking differing languages, with the result that one cannot map the notions of proper UK legal procedure one-to-one upon the notions of proper Swedish legal procedure, nor can one blindly translate translate Swedish legal terminology into English

The judges in the UK grappled with these issues, and they ultimately concluded that Assange was wanted by Sweden so that he could be prosecuted for rape

You are, of course, free to hold the view that the Swedes are not entitled to their own prosecutorial process, and that the Swedish system is illegitimate, insofar as it does not entirely coincide with the system used by the UK, and you are free (if you insist on so doing) to hold that view that Swedish legal terminology is suspect, whenever its ideas do not translate instantly into recognizable phrases from the English common law; but if you hold such views, I will think you harbor gross nativist biases that render you unfit to comment on international matters, because you will be unable to understand any culture but your own

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:29 AM

6. Linguistics

More specifically, Assange has been "anklagad", but not "åtalad". I agree with a Swedish site which suggest that the best translations are "anklagad=charged" and "åtalad=indicted". The process of being anklagad involved a court, and it has been upheld on the evidence by multiple courts, including the supreme court. Once åtalad, however, the trial must commence within two weeks (which clearly can't happen when he's not in Swedish custody).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KarenRei (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 08:15 AM

7. Thanks for that!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:11 AM

3. And yet all those Americans who tortured POWs

and authorized torture of POWs are running around free to make speeches. Even though there are both national and international laws against torture.

But Assange seems to this blogger a more vital concern?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fasttense (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:33 AM

4. If you have even the faintest glimmer of an idea about how to solve the political problem

of prosecuting people for the crimes of the Bush era, I'm all ears. But I suspect, based on examples elsewhere in the Americas, that the political climate will protect the guilty parties for several decades, as was the case (say) in Chile or in Argentina.

Apparently, there is hardly anyone who wants to consider this political problem seriously, but it seems to me a real problem

The Bush administration came to power by means equivalent to a coup d'état, but that coup required widespread political connections, and the power base underlying it did not simply vanish with the 2008 election: we see constant signs that it still exists and still has power

My own guess is that anyone, who wants to see the Bush-era criminals brought to justice, should be working towards increased international acceptance of the notion of universal jurisdiction: then, when it has become much more than indisputably evident that the US criminal justice system will not prosecute the criminals, charges can be brought abroad

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 02:26 PM

5. It is NOT the laws that are lacking but the political will

to prosecute as you describe in your post.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fasttense (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:46 PM

8. that's one thing we should have learned during the Bush years: when it comes to the rich...

laws are just a goddamned piece of paper.

Laws are for the little people, especially when we get in the way of the rich, like damaging their carefully crafted PR narrative as Assange, Manning, and other leakers and whistleblowers have done.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread