Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sweden Shame

Julian Assange has been under grave threat since founding Wikileaks in late 2006.

Wikileaks promised to open a window onto high-level corruption and war crimes, and they hugely succeeded. The internet suddenly became a true & real threat to elite & powerful "leaders" around the globe. Wikileaks turned a spotlight on dirty people beyond law who previously could commit high crimes, even genocide, but simply growl "Fuck You" and retreat to their palaces and ill-gotten wealth.

But after taking on Swiss banking corruption, collateral murder by the "Coalition of the Willing" in Afghanistan, and US diplomatic indiscretions, for the past five years Wikileaks has been very quiet.


Because Julian Assange has been run to ground and effectively silenced by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, Åklagarmyndigheten. Assange is officially sought for suspected rape, three cases of sexual molestation and illegal coercion.

There's no way we can judge here if Assange is guilty of these terrible crimes. In parallel to pissing-off the globally powerful, did Assange suddenly become a despicable sexual predator? His reputation has been tarred and he's effectively been quieted... surely convenient for many far-worse scum. Is Assange guilty or innocent - who knows?

What we can know is Sweden has responded poorly.

The Assange case is shameful to Sweden for many reasons. Perhaps the easiest and clearest criticism is in a simple timeline:

2010 Aug 11
Assange arrives in Sweden amidst huge political notoriety.
Assange stays with "Miss A" at her apartment.

2010 Aug 14
Assange gives a public lecture in tumultuous international limelight. Afterward he returns to the apartment of "Miss A" - that night there's sexual activity between the two parties.

Assange continues to stay at the apartment over subsequent days.

2010 Aug 17
Assange reportedly has sex with ''Miss W'' - a woman he met at the August 14 seminar.

2010 Aug 18-19-20
Sometime over these days, the two women meet and discuss their sexual encounters with Assange.

2010 Aug 20
The Swedish Prosecutor's Office issues an arrest warrant against Assange for two separate allegations- one of rape and one for molestation. Assange is in Sweden but he is not arrested.

2010 Aug 21
The arrest warrant is withdrawn; the molestation charge remains. 

2010 Aug 31
Assange is questioned by police in Stockholm and formally told of the allegation(s) against him; Assange denies wrongdoing (link) and submits these were consensual sexual encounters. Is this a smear campaign against Assange?

2010 Aug 31 to Sept 27
Assange stays in Sweden. Public opinion is polarized: did the 39-year old became a sudden sexual predator? Wikileaks is considered under attack.

2010 Sept 27
Assange departs Sweden for the UK.
Åklagarmyndigheten later issues an arrest warrant for Assange.

The sordid tale still continues... 

One key question for Swedish justice officials:
In 40 days between 18 Aug and 27 Sept 2010, when Assange was in Sweden, he could have been arrested for any crimes. The Swedish Prosecution Authority chronology (link) manages to evade the fact that 40+ days passed when Sweden failed to provide justice for anyone -- but they did manage to shut-up Assange. Dictators, murderers and the ultra-corrupt are surely grateful!