Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 28,821
Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 28,821
Has nothing to do with the NSA, "empire," authoritarianism, or one's views of government. Assange's fate is entirely separate from Wikileaks. The information he helped make available to public is still there, and the website continues. Wikileaks is far more than Assange. It is possible for two things to be true: Assange can have made a major contribution to the public through Wikileaks and still be a sexual assailant. The court record shows that he is in fact an accused sexual assailant under Swedish law, and the courts there have issued a warrant for his arrest under allegations of sexual assault.
The International Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange
There are four allegations as set out in box (e) of the warrant:
On 13th – 14th August 2010, in the home of the injured party in Stockholm, Assange, by using violence, forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party’s arms and a forceful spreading of her legs whilst lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.
On 13th – 14th August 2010, in the home of the injured party in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.
On 18th August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity i.e. lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.
On 17th August 2010, in the home of the injured party in Enkoping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state.
It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.
The framework list is ticked for “Rape”. This is a reference to an allegation 4. The other three allegations are
described in box (e) II using the same wording as set out above.
So there is indeed a legal order from Sweden and the EU ordering Assange's arrest on allegations of sexual assault.
That led to an order of extradition, which Assange appealed. The following link is the legal ruling from the UK Supreme Court rejecting Assange's appeal.
I request, in fact insist, that everyone read the above legal documents before responding to the OP. It's a long document but you can skim through to the parts that deal with the facts of the case, the status of the investigation, and Assange's standing as the target of a Swedish arrest warrant. I will not brook continued disinformation. This is a legal case, therefore the legal record is the most relevant piece of documentation. The linked legal ruling is from the UK Supreme Court in response to Assange's appeal to overturn the extradition order on the group that no charges had been filed--the same argument many here make. The court gives its reasoning for rejecting that argument and shows why Assange is an accused person under Swedish law.
The beginning of the legal ruling deals with the issue of whether the Swedish prosecutor represents a binding legal authority under EU law. The UK Supreme Court ruled it did, and therefore the arrest warrant is valid. The facts of the case begin at number 83 in the linked document. The final ruling is near the end of the document and there the various justices give their reasons for rejecting Assange's appeal. They in fact declare invalid many of the arguments members here have made in defense of Assange.
I see all kinds of blatantly false information spread by DUers in defense of Assange. They insist the victim recanted. False. A victim has been widely shamed: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/i-was-targeted-after-i-made-assange-sex-crime-claim-says-accuser-of-wikileaks-founder-8613006.html She has been shamed just like the victims in Steubenville were shamed, just as were the young high-school girls gang raped and later shamed on social media before they committed suicide.
People insist no charges have been filed against Assange. This is a technical matter invoked to deceive. As the court record shows, Assange is an accused person under Swedish law, not merely a suspect. The Swedish prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for Assange. http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2012/22.html He is evading a Swedish court order to appear for final questioning. In the Swedish system, charges are only filed at the very end of an investigation. They do not operate under the same legal rules that the US does. It presenting the excuse of "no charges," people distort the record in order to create a false impression that he is merely a suspect. If there were no Swedish legal proceedings against Assange, there would be no order of extradition. That order is to compel him to comply with a Swedish court order to face the allegations against him.
People argue that Assange is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in order to avoid being grabbed by the US. Yet the US has far closer relations with the UK than with Sweden. If they wanted to grab him, they could have more easily done so in London. Additionally, if the US were to issue charges after he went to Sweden, Assange could just as easily take refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in Stockholm at that time. The facts simply do not support the idea that Assange is evading anything but allegations of sexual assault.
There is no principal in shielding Assange from prosecution. The fate of Assange in sexual assault proceeding has no bearing on Wikileaks, the NSA, the US military, or any other arm of the US government. The information Assange released remains in the public domain. Defending Assange does not advance anti-authoritarianism or freedom of information. It defends a single man that many have imbued with heroic qualities and think too important to have to face the legal consequences of alleged sexual assault. You can support the actions of Assange at Wikileaks without shielding him from legal proceedings in Sweden. His being able to avoid those charges does not advance freedom. It shields a single man from sexual assault allegations. Make no mistake about it. That is all you are doing by defending Assange. Laws prohibiting rape and sexual assault do not exist solely for men you do not like or respect. Everyone must be held to the same legal standard in the respective country where the assaults occurred.
Defending Assange is no different from the people of Steubenville who protected generations of rapist football players until video evidence made it impossible to do so any longer. Like Assange's defenders, they believed those football players too important. They refused to believe they could actually be rapists. The women must have been lying. Assange is now the favorite quarterback, and defending him is no different from what happened in Steubenville. Here we are witnessing the active propagation of rape culture. Making excuses why someone should not face charges makes it easier for rapists to reoffend. Whether the person you seek to shield is a football player or owner of a website that publishes government secrets, refusing justice to their victims denies the basic human rights of rape victims. It is a morally unconscionable position and part of the reason that so few rapists are punished for their crimes.
Assange has not yet been tried, so he is not a convicted sexual assailant. He like every accused person deserves his day in court. Yet Assange has gone into hiding to avoid facing the court. Only by going to Sweden can he clear his name or face the legal consequences of his actions.
The question for now is what you each of us here on DU is: Are you someone who believes some people too important to face charges of sexual assault? Or do you rape victims deserve to have their allegations heard, and that no one should be above the law, even someone who has made a great contribution to public knowledge like Julian Assange?
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 06:09 AM (400 replies)
The problem is sexism is so great that too many assume the man is telling the truth and the woman a liar, when the fact is false allegations account for only 4% of rape reports. To pretend there is equal probability that Assange and the two women are telling the truth is a ridiculous and absurd contention. He has every opportunity to clear his name, if he abides the Swedish court order to appear there. Yet he is hiding out to avoid prosecution.
But of course you don't know the state of the investigation because you haven't bothered to read the legal ruling provided at the top of this OP, a ruling that has been public for over two years now, and has been posted repeatedly on this website. The only reason charges weren't filed is that in the Swedish system charges are filed at the end of an investigation. He stands as an accused person under Swedish law, as UK Supreme Court document at the top makes clear. The question is why are you distorting the facts to protect an accused rapist? If you haven't bothered to examine the actual evidence, I want to know why you consider those women's lives too insignificant to inform yourself when sources are put in front of you?
When people think only people they don't like should be held account for sexual assault in the legal system, it makes a mockery of women's struggles, indeed for all rape victims, for equal rights under the law. if you want to stand behind an accused rapist, that is your choice. We all have our values in life. Mine is to oppose rape, rape culture, and those who work to make the world safe for rapists.
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 12:17 AM (0 replies)
Because the night from an Italian tv show. Unfortunately learning English or even the lyric wasn't required.
Posted by BainsBane | Sun Dec 8, 2013, 02:39 PM (31 replies)
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:55 PM (0 replies)
The Pogues, "Fairy Tale of New York."
What's your favorite winter holiday song?
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 11:28 PM (95 replies)
In a state run system, like Cuba before the fall of the USSR, there was very little private enterprise, so not much space for porn. Porn is a commerce. It yields profit. If a society is not built around profit, there would likely be some underground porn passed around between people but not the massive for-profit industry that results in tremendous labor exploitation and even slavery.
If on the other hand you are imagining a European social democratic system, the principal difference would be that a guarantee of a basic fair wage for work likely reduce the numbers of those who would choose to work in porn.
Neither of these scenarios, of course, account for the international commerce of porn and the internet.
My point, however, was not to imagine different forms of government that would eliminate porn but rather to point out that the emphasis on individual liberty that is the justification for porn--along with much else in American society--comes to us courtesy of capitalism. Our notion of rights as resting in the individual rather than the people as a whole is itself a capitalist notion. Our constitution is a liberal document--representing liberalism in its classical sense, in keeping with Adam Smith, John Locke, etc. . . Liberalism emerged as the political ideology underlying and justifying capitalism, which came to displace mercantilism.
Not only are notions of liberty tied to the emphasis on the individual essential to capitalism, but in reconciling competing rights, the marketplace--meaning corporate profit--becomes the determining factor. Money is defined as free speech because the ruling class benefits from such a notion. The Second Amendment emerges as inviolate because that conception guarantees profits for gun manufacturers, while porn is justified according to free speech and liberty because it yields profits for pornographers. Whenever rights come into conflict, as they very often do, they tend to be reconciled in ways that further the accumulation of capital (corporate profit).
Posted by BainsBane | Fri Nov 29, 2013, 12:37 AM (1 replies)
32,000 families have one less seat at the Thanksgiving table this year due to gun violence.
Below are faces of children, age 0-16, killed by guns from May-Aug. Keep them in your thoughts this holiday season, and work to keep all of our families safe by supporting sensible gun control measures.
Posted by BainsBane | Thu Nov 28, 2013, 11:48 PM (15 replies)
One based on individual liberty and the other on the social good. In my view, the problem with placing such high value on the individual's rights is that it elevates those with wealth and status above those without, which often tend to be women and people of color. Capitalism, and hence the US form of government, is based on the rights of the individual to acquire property, wealth, and privilege with little regard to those affected as a result. I see porn much like any capitalist industry, not dissimilar to gun manufacturers. Those who own companies and can afford to purchase goods assume their rights are universal. Of course they are not. They are the product of varying degrees of wealth and privilege that exceed the status of workers in those industries and those hurt by the violence both engender. In my view, Ignoring the social good in favor of the individual's liberty leads to even further inequality and exploitation. Socialism envisions a greater role for the state to correct such imbalances, but of course this is not a socialist country. Individual liberty, wielded disproportionately by the privileged, trumps the social good. Capitalism requires such a conception of individual rights in order to justify the accumulation of capital and exploitation of labor integral to the system.
Even those without significant wealth or status vigorously defend the rights of the individual because they have been taught those values, which ultimately serve to justify capitalist accumulation and inequality. Or they defend the individual rights they see as benefiting them. For example, many here insist rape porn is protected by the First Amendment while rejecting the idea that money equals speech. Some insist the 2nd Amendment is inviolate while others reject that notion. Despite such differences, all of these conceptions of rights center around the individual because they come from the US constitution, which is the quintessential liberal document. That is, liberal in its classical sense, as the political corollary of capitalism.
Access to brutal porn is framed in terms of individual liberty. As with all rights based on the individual, it inevitably overlooks consequences to the greater society.
Posted by BainsBane | Thu Nov 28, 2013, 05:44 AM (5 replies)
Remember who harvested your food this Thanksgiving.
Posted by BainsBane | Thu Nov 28, 2013, 01:28 AM (12 replies)
That the mantra about "banning" violent rape porn, to those who not in fact advocated banning, is a transparent effort to silence those who question privilege. The hue and cry about "authoritarianism" is rather a concerted effort to silence the free speech of those who assert the rights of women and rape victims, male and female alike.
We too have a right to choose, and we have a right to speak.
Since the subject has come up: This OP was prompted by blanket condemnations and accusations of trolling visited on another poster, not myself. No one silences me.
Posted by BainsBane | Wed Nov 27, 2013, 02:56 PM (303 replies)