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Assange/WikiLeaks: The Betrayal of Sweden's Cultural Elite
A pint and a bit of afterthought at the Publicist Club once it's all too late. By Olle Andersson.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be summoned to Stockholm for further interrogations in the next few days. If he doesn't turn up, he'll be sought internationally, according to informed sources. Not because he is guilty of rape - if he was, then half of Sweden's male population would be behind bars - but because he's to be destroyed.
Assange is high on the hate list of the US: anyone with a hand in the Afghanistan/Iraq cookie jar wants him silenced for good. But instead it's the Sweden of freedom of speech and freedom of the media who fell him, in good company with the opinion builders who kept silent about the macabre sex crime investigation because a molested woman never lies.
Remaining we have an Australian who gets to continue his lonely street race without any support whatsoever from our most common social debaters. Assange is bedraggled and the reputation of WikiLeaks is dragged through the gutter. The leftists wash their hands. But where's the heinous crime that silences the defenders of freedom of speech? Yep, the man's had unprotected sex with two women, and in the one case he's supposed to in addition have deliberately broken a condom.
This is the only reason those two women went to the police. They wanted to know if Assange could have a contagious sexual disease and if he could be forced to submit to a medical examination. That was all. This was never about rape. And then a number of remarkable twists when the social democratic crony and solicitor Claes Borgström enters the stage with his old colleague Marianne Ny in Gothenburg. Suddenly it's about rape after all.
Or as Borgström cryptically expressed it on the radio programme Ekot: 'a deed similar to rape which would have been considered a crime a few years ago [sic]'. The debate should have lifted the roof at this point. Do Borgström and Ny claim that unprotected sex is the same as rape and this is why Assange was hung out in the media with his name and everything?
The paradoxical happened: there was a deafening silence in the cultural media, the editors held their tongues. If this had been murder, espionage, or terrorism, the media would have jumped all over each and every detail, scrutinised the claims of the prosecutor, and dissected witness testimony into smithereens. The cultural media would have hunted the prosecutor with a blowtorch.
But now it's about suspicion of rape and suddenly the subject matter is protected by taboo and uncorroborated claims are regarded as sacrosanct. No one questions why Marianne Ny is sitting there and saying nothing for over two months, letting Assange boil in the kettle without even defence attorney Björn Hurtig knowing what the accusations are about. Just as unique is the rejection from the Migration Authority. Hurtig has been denied details of why Assange was denied residence and work permits. This is otherwise the norm only in cases of terrorism where the Swedish Security Police are involved, says Hurtig.
The alarms should be going off.
At whose behest are the Migration Authority acting? Does 'official Sweden' regard Assange as a convicted criminal - or worse: a terrorist? Aftonbladet's Åsa Linderborg is obviously not interested. She says only 'it's common for non-Europeans to be denied residence permits' - a lie when it's about well educated self-supporting occidentals.
Linderborg also thinks the drawn-out investigation is totally OK: 'sometimes investigations take a long time, there's nothing strange about that'.
Yes it can be expressed like that. But the dilemma is that the prosecutor's stalling tactics and the cowardice of the cultural elite have given ammunition to the media in the US for their propaganda war against WikiLeaks. Thus CNN could harass Julian Assange in the studio without risking a backlash and CBS news anchors could demand the guilty be punished - in other words WikiLeaks and the rapist and not the war criminals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The side effect became the main effect in the media. A media expert from the US tells Al Jazeera that WikiLeaks is living on borrowed time, soon it'll be over. George W Bush's former speechwriter warns in the Washington Post on 3 August that the FBI have the right to arrest Assange anywhere in the world, no matter that it's against the law. The noose is tightening whilst our cultural bosses busy themselves debating antisemitism in cartoons.
All those involved should be held up to the same yardstick. For example, pawing around the backgrounds of the two women. What's the relevance that one of the women's been a comet in the workers movement, targeting a seat in parliament in 2014, someone who already knows everyone worth knowing in the media establishment?
The same woman who described her time with Assange as 'a wonderful night' on her website and who coquettishly boasted she'd been a classic provocateur of high US standard in Latin America - at least until the Swedish Security Police yanked her by the ear, the one who took the initiative to go to the police?
Is it a forbidden thought in the world of Linderborg and others that the other woman might be obsessed with Assange and continued to stalk him after the 'rape' only to feel scorned and dumped? The international media reported thoroughly on the police interrogations just as with any other high profile case.
So what's the problem here at home, which toe is hurting? Julian Assange has in a few short years accomplished more for free speech than the collected Parnasse will do in a lifetime. If the defenders of free speech in Marieberg and Skanstull had done their job, we would have had everything on the table a long time ago. It's too cowardly for words. Journalists and civil courage are a rare combination. And it'll end up as it always does: a pint and a bit of afterthought at the Publicist Club once it's all too late for Assange and he's applied for asylum in Switzerland.
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