|Home » Rants
Assange in Sweden: A Time to Smear
It took only a few short generations.
As the whole world waits to see where Edward Snowden next turns up, as goodwill and donations again stream into WikiLeaks as thanks for their help in orchestrating the Great Escape of the Century, little neutral insignificant Sweden, today a vassal state of the US, felt it incumbent to stop these frightening trends at the shores of their classless duckpond. One can't conduct a successful show trial against the WikiLeaks founder, based as it is on ridiculous trumped up charges, without turning 'Svensson' against him.
Enter Julian's old colleague Jan Helin and his notorious rag Aftonbladet ('The Evening Page'). Using an unknown reporter (Lisa Röstlund) and access to Alex Gibney's fiasco film 'We Steal Secrets', still not available in Scandinavia, Helin concocted what must rank as one of the most blatant smear pieces ever written, at any time and anywhere, at least in an Assange context.
'Anna, 34, speaks out about Assange's assault', reads the headline on both the article and the website's front page. Anyone reading the police protocols would have a tough time finding any 'assault' in Anna Ardin's testimony, and anyone familiar with the machinations of Anna Ardin, her seven-step programme of revenge, her neurotic vacillation between impossible extremes, her hysterical support for hostile social groups, her maniacal Twitter tantrums and rages, is not going to have a difficult time seeing what's really going on. And yet her sorry story is but a parking fine in the greater context, in the country's crumbling court system. Fartsy misdemeanours that can't generate an EAW or a Red Notice, can't do more harm than make sleazy headlines.
'Since then she's been persecuted and threatened', the piece continues, neglecting to mention how it's been Ardin persecuting Assange, not the other way around: her publication of a nasty smear piece after the case was dropped, her affiliation with the notorious 'talk about it' campaign, her part in turning Sweden's Pirate Party against Assange, and so forth. Unparalleled fury. Wild fury. This isn't a girl running from predators - it's a girl who herself is the predator, and a notorious one.
But again: Ardin's but a misdemeanour, save for what can happen to her for falsifying evidence (the famous DNA-free condom). That crime, for which she is guilty, is a felony that carries a penalty of two years imprisonment. But you won't find that mentioned here, just as you won't find anything at all about the condom.
After following the Gibney script and trying to make the wobbly narrative her own, weaving her unprofessional way through ridiculous sound bites from characters like Daniel Berg and James Ball, who were both kicked out of the WikiLeaks organisation for what's rumoured to be significant pilfering, Röstlund gets to the threats against Assange and WikiLeaks by the 'crazy right' in the US following the release of the diplomatic cables (Cablegate) whereby the Scandinavian country's tenuous support for the 'right' things morphs into Jante Law hatred. There are no heroes in Sweden, and a new one - a real one - from Australia is not welcome.
But right in the middle of the controversy there suddenly come police complaints as two women - finally outed by name as 'Sofia' and 'Anna' - reported that Assange had defied them, and despite their express wishes, taken off the condoms in use for sex between groupie and celebrity.
Of course none of that is true, but Röstlund and Helin don't care. The article targets the Swedish sheeple, and they'll swallow anything. Neither Anna nor Sofia ever claimed a condom had been 'removed'. What Anna said was that there was difficulty with one of the condoms from that old pack in her dusty drawer, Assange withdrew for a moment to see what was wrong, she couldn't see what he was doing but she heard a 'popping' sound, he came back to her, she felt for the base of his penis to be sure he was still wearing the condom, and he was indeed wearing it.
No removed condom.
Sofia never said anything about removed condoms either. What she did say - and hold on, for this is the entire basis for the worldwide Red Notice manhunt and the standoff today in the embassy in Ecuador, this and nothing else - was that she and Assange had begun dozing off to sleep after a night of exchanging bodily fluids four times, the most recent time only minutes earlier, when she felt him nudging at her from behind. The ensuing conversation is world-famous today, but here it is again.
She: 'What are you wearing?' He: 'I'm wearing you.' She: 'I hope you don't have HIV.' He: 'No of course not.'
And after that she was OK with more sex, she was into it. It doesn't matter what she later says she was thinking - she didn't say 'no', and her actions indicated a strong 'yes', for they went ahead and had sex a fifth time, and no man, not even an Assange, is a mind-reader.
And yet you can see the smear in the headline in Aftonbladet. Julian Assange took off the condom. Not once, but twice. When actually he never did anything of the sort and no one ever claimed he did.
The Röstlund rhetoric gets even better with the following juicy paragraph:
Sofia uppgav dessutom att hon, efter att ha haft frivilligt sex med Assange, vaknade av att han hade sex med henne utan skydd mot hennes vilja.
Sofia also said that she, after having had consensual sex with Assange, was awakened by him having sex with her without protection against her will.
Actually again: Sofia never said anything of the sort. That wording comes from the description of the 'crime' delivered to the magistrates court in Great Britain. The actual 'sex' they had without a condom lasted but a few seconds, there was no real 'penetration', they had already had sex nicely four times that night, and the old 'half asleep' also means, as Björn Hurtig astutely pointed out, 'half awake'. Any other suspect and the case would have been thrown out on its own impossibility, and in fact, that's exactly what prosecutor Eva Finné did: she threw the case out. And from that moment, it's been overtly political. And nothing but.
And now the obligation of the Swedish duckpond media to stick to the truth is no longer a worry either - it's all political.
Kvinnorna ville via polisen tvinga Assange att testa sig för könssjukdomar, men polisen bedömde händelserna som brott.
The women wanted the police to help them force Assange to test himself for STDs, but the police saw the events as criminal.
No, that's not true either. That's a story Anna Ardin tried to spread around. The report by receiving officer Linda Wassgren, commissioned by Eva Finné and completed Sunday 22 August 2010, says explicitly that both girls immediately talked about rape.
Now we have to skip a bit, or otherwise the filth of the Swedish system will start to become visible. So we jump from the original arrest warrant Friday 20 August to all the way in December.
And it's OK to do that, because the Swedish prosecution authority did it too on their otherwise very detailed website: completely left a gap for this period (before removing all data altogether - welcome to Minitruth).
No mention is made of the warrant being rescinded the following day by a more sensible prosecutor, no mention is made of how the case became politicised, no mention is made of how yet another prosecutor attempted to 'ambush' Assange on his return to Stockholm in October, and no mention is made of the new prosecutor's refusal to interview Assange (who is not a Swedish resident and who was denied residence under very uncommon conditions and is therefore on a limited visa) in the five weeks he remained in the country, for one reason only, twiddling his thumbs and USBs all the while: to clear his name and neutralise the damage to him and to his organisation perpetrated by a corrupt prosecutor's office and a corrupt Swedish media.
Nor is it mentioned that whilst the new prosecutor Ny refused to meet with him, she did in fact tell him she wouldn't be needing him for a while, and yes, it was OK to leave the country finally, and the tone was such that legal counsel Hurtig expected the case to completely collapse.
Then a number of strange things happened. On the same afternoon Julian Assange left for the Stockholm Arlanda airport for his direct flight to Berlin to meet Kristinn Hrafnsson and Stefania Maurizi from Italy's l'Espresso magazine, an arrest warrant for Assange was in fact issued.
But the warrant had no viability as Assange was in no way a fugitive: had Ny asked him to come to an interview, he would have come. He was still in the country asking her for an appointment.
What's totally stinky about this is that the warrant, issued several hours before Assange arrived at the airport, should have blocked his exit. It would have been put in all the computer systems and made it impossible for him to even check in.
But such wasn't the case. It was as if something else was in play. And that 'something else' was waiting behind the Lufthansa checkin counter to confiscate Assange's luggage (three additional laptop computers) as soon as he'd checked them in.
Assange was mostly alone on that early evening flight. His luggage - his computers - never made it on the plane. Assange asked Hurtig to initiate an inquiry for the lost luggage, but the Swedish authorities effectively buried the request.
Agents of one of Sweden's intelligence agencies also reported that all three of the country's surveillance organisations were tracking Assange's every footstep inside the country, from arrival to departure. None of this is part of an ordinary court case, and none of it is mentioned in Röstlund's deliberately misleading article.
Then perhaps the most bestial:
Sedan ett år gömmer han sig i London på Ecuadors ambassad som beviljat honom asyl, för att undvika att utlämnas till Sverige.
Assange has been hiding the past year at the London embassy of Ecuador which granted him asylum so he can avoid extradition to Sweden.
Typically of the Swedish media, they completely hide the reason Assange was granted asylum: the Swedish position was political and indefensible, and the risk Assange would be delivered to the US upon arrival was tangible.
Röstlund goes on to diss the concerns for a honey trap (by Wilén and with the further objective of getting Ardin into trouble - hey it worked) as well as people such as Michael Moore. Because all those people are full of hooey. Because we've seen the Gibney mockumentary.
'I have been threatened sexually', says Ardin in the movie. Ardin hasn't been threatened at all. Not more than her friends threaten to castrate the entire male population, cut them into small pieces, or shoot them in the head like their idol, the homicidal maniac Solanas. Not more than other friends of Ardin's who've openly suggested things for Assange on a par with the US right wing. For a broken condom.
Then there's a quote from James Ball, introduced in the article as 'an earlier spokesman for WikiLeaks', something Ball never was. A thief? Yes. That's agreed on. Spokesman? Never. He did an interview with Kristinn once. But that was before he was officially (all told for about a month until he got the stuff David Leigh sent him in to get) part of the WL team.
Julian Has Four Children
Daniel Berg - DDB - has claimed on more than one occasion that Julian told him he had four children spread about the globe. Julian also told him, as DDB relates in his excellent boys adventure novel, that his hair turned white because something went wrong with the hobby nuclear reactor he'd been building in his cellar.
It's pretty apparent that Julian Assange understood that Daniel Berg was not just a bit thick, and although that can be debated, it can't be debated whether Berg in fact is considerably thick. Obviously he is.
Yet first Gibney, then Aftonbladet, use this preposterous unsubstantiated claim, and again turn it into a glaring headline.
This terrible excuse for journalism ends with quotes from Donald Boström. You remember? The one who told the media Anna Ardin had lied to him five times but that she was very believable? The one who took his Israeli body parts story to the rag owned by the ashkenazi Bonniers? Rubber mallets are sharper shed tools than Donald Boström, and Boström's been exploited more than once in this fashion. Boström ends the catastrophic piece with a quote that's deservedly his own, which demonstrates just what isolationism the duckpond represents.
Huvudansvaret ligger ju hos svenska myndigheter, som borde åka till London och förhöra honom. Det har gjorts förr, exempelvis i Trustoraffären. Men mitt råd till Assange är fortfarande att han tjänar på att ta sig hit så fort som möjligt.
The blame is primarily on the Swedish authorities who should go to London and question him. It's been done before, for example in the Trustor affair. But my advice to Assange is still that he'd benefit by getting here as soon as possible.
Again, whether by hook or by crook, the actual reason for asylum in Great Britain is not mentioned at all. Nor is it mentioned that Assange has repeatedly asked to be interrogated. What Aftonbladet and the powers in the duckpond don't want people to do is reason through the affair themselves. Swedish sheeple are more sheeple than others. They've never tried thinking on their own. 2 and 2 can indeed be 5, if their government and authorities tell them so. Better still if their media make it into a big fat headline. 2 and 2 can be anything they want.
What's curious about this piece is not just the lack of respect for facts. Or the blatant attempt to smear. Or the rabid attitude that one knows the truth before reviewing the facts, so the facts must be made to fit this 'truth'. No, what hurts the most is knowing the reason this pathetic piece of journalism turned up when it did.
Assange has wind in his sails again. He's again all over the news, and again being hailed as a hero. The powers that be in Sweden can't have that. They need the unwashed ducks to feel an irrational rage towards Assange as they otherwise feel towards Emmanuel Goldstein. They need that so they can break their own laws and send Assange onto the US the same day they succeed in getting him back to Sweden. If indeed that will ever happen (it's very unlikely).
For the ultimate irony is Assange could broadcast to the Swedish authorities right now that he didn't want to fight it anymore, let them convict him in one of their ridiculous courts with no jury and but a single educated magistrate (but a handful of opportunistic political appointees) and what would happen? Nothing at all. For even if they stiff him with the maximum penalty under the law, he's already served that time - and then some - according to jurisprudence in both Sweden and the EU.
That's right: even on a conviction, Julian Assange would walk. And he knows it. He'd walk right out of the courtroom a free man. His reputation would forever be tarnished, and he'd surely take the matter through the entire Swedish court system and then onto the European Court of Human Rights, for Julian Assange never gives up (and that's a Good Thing™). But he'd still walk. He'd have already done the time, and he'd walk. A free man.
Unless of course the CIA/FBI/NSA were waiting for him.
For Swedes who love their country, people who used to respect the country and its people and institutions, including the media, today's new low at Aftonbladet must really hurt. Formerly deserving of the respect of the world, the Swedish people have in a few short generations turned into the basest cutthroat mercenaries ever.