Julian Assange's 10th year in prison.

Innula Zenovka

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I simply meant that it all started with an attempt to extradite him to Sweden (as the result of an accusation by someone known to be associated with the CIA). The fact that the CIA had not long before kidnapped someone off the streets of a european city (Milan IIRC) doesn't help your attempt to ridicule the possibility of a 'plot'.


"All those who made an error of judgement in the past will be punished for it forever."

I still think the whole thing is political revenge for embarrassing the powers that be. You would appear to disagree.
Takes deep breath, which might easily be mistaken for a sigh.

Counts to ten.

Scenario one: prosecution version of facts is broadly correct -- Assange and complainant meet and she agrees to have sex with him provided he wears a condom. He complies, and they have consensual sex before falling going to sleep. She wakes up the following morning to find he is attempting sex with her, without wearing a condom. She submits, more or less reluctantly, says nothing initially but later makes police complaint.

Scenario two: Assange version -- pretty much the same as the prosecution version except that intercourse the following morning was consensual and the whole thing was a plot spanning two continents and the governments of at least three countries to discredit him.



The English courts deal all the time with cases of alleged rape or sexual assault where the defence is that the events took place pretty much as described by the prosecution except that intercourse was consensual -- it's nothing unusual, and generally ends up with the defendant being acquitted not because the jury believe him, particularly, but they don't feel able to discount the possibility that he might be telling the truth.

Had Assange not been famous -- he was a simple Freedom of Information activist attending a conference in Sweden, and nothing more -- then there would have been no question about whether he should have faced trial in Sweden, though probably few people would have given much for the prosecution's chances.

The facts alleged in the complaint, if the court chose to believe them, clearly disclosed rape or sexual assault in both English (and, we are told, Swedish) law. While we may doubt whether the prosecution would have been able to persuade a Swedish court to the criminal standard that the facts were actually true, that's a matter for the court, not anyone else.

The fact that the complainant was a human rights activist who had worked with Cuban dissident groups that also enjoyed the clandestine support of the CIA is, I would suggest, hardly a principled reason for disbelieving her.

So much of the pro-Assange story is Q-Anon level nonsense, to my mind.
 
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Chin Rey

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In the light of the CIA kidnap in Milan Assange's fears had a much firmer basis than your ridiculous 'flat-earth' analogy.
Don't get me wrong, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the US authorities were willing to violate other countries' territories and abduct people they wanted. What does not make sense, is the idea that the Swedish government or high ranking Swedish politicians/officials were involved in it. And the idea that it would be easier for the Americans to get him from Sweden than from the UK is ludicrous.
 
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Arkady Arkright

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Takes deep breath, which might easily be mistaken for a sigh.
Counts to ten.
Sorry if I'm boring you...
Scenario two: Assange version -- pretty much the same as the prosecution version except that intercourse the following morning was consensual and the whole thing was a plot spanning two continents and the governments of at least three countries to discredit him.
Scenario two: Assange version -- pretty much the same as the prosecution version except that intercourse the following morning was consensual and the whole thing was then employed as part of a plot spanning two continents and the governments of at least three countries to discredit him.[/QUOTE]
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Don't get me wrong, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the US authorities were willing to violate other countries' territories and abduct people they wanted. What does not make sense, is the idea that the Swedish government or high ranking Swedish politicians/officials were involved in it. And the idea that it would be easier for the Americans to get him from Sweden than from the UK is ludicrous.
Sweden is a member of NATO, and located quite near Russia. Having a good working relationship with the USA is crucial for Sweden, so enough reasons to do some dirty work together below the radar is there anyway.
 
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Chin Rey

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Scenario two: Assange version -- pretty much the same as the prosecution version except that intercourse the following morning was consensual and the whole thing was then employed as part of a plot spanning two continents and the governments of at least three countries to discredit him.
Let's examine that scenario in detail then:

First, Julian Assagne was invited to Sweden by the "Christian Society of Social Democrats" as a keynote speaker at a seminar held by the "Social Democcrats' Brotherhood Movement". I think the names alone are enough to tell you these aren't likely to be organisations that would willingly work with the U.S. government. Yet it was a key member of them and one of her friends who accused Assagne of sexual molestation in the first place. (Not rape btw - that's actually a mistranslation allbeit a very common one.)

Sweden, like most western European countries, have something called "checks and balances" (you should try it, it can be quite useful). Among other things, it means that the courts of justice are apolitical and independent of the government. The idea of a king, president or prime minister openly influencing which cases are examined and which are dismissed by a court is outrageous, it simply doesn't happen. The concept of politically appointed judges is beyond outrageous, the very idea is incoprehensible to a Scandinavian. That doesn't mean shady stuff doesn't happen of course but if it does, it'll have to be kept very hidden and low key because whoever commit such atrocities run a seriously big risk.

The Assagne case is anything but low key and Sweden, like most western European countries, has something called free, investigative journalism (you should try it, it can be quite useful). For those not familiar with the concept, here's a comedy clip from YouTube showing what happens when an American big brass faces real journalists for the first time in his life. It's from the Netherlands but it's the same as Sweden.

Every word said in every court case against Assagne in Sweden and every letter in every court document will be scrutinized by an army of journalists, lawyers and ordinary mortals all eager to find the slightest hint of something fishy. This is true both for the sex accusations case and an extradiction case.

Any Swedish politician, official or public person who get involved in a scheme like this would be running a huge risk - I'd say there's more than a fifty percent chance it will backfire and ruin their carreer(s) - and even if they do get away with it, there soesn't seem to be anything for them to gain from it.

Of course Sweden want a good relationship with the USA but not at any cost and this one is far too expensive if all they get in return are some vague informal promises. All nations have to dance to Uncle Sam's fife to some degree of course, he's one of the big bullies after all, but each nation handles it in a different way. The UK is usually the first to join the dance, often with quite a bit of enthusiasm even. Sweden is exactly the opposite. It always thries to kips its head down and stay away from any drama if at all possible. This "Scenario Two" conspiracy theory stipulates that Sweden is happily willing to help USA with a deed so dirty it makes even the UK cringe. That does not seem very likely to put it mildly.
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Still there? Still not convinced?

Oh well, here's the clincher then: If Assagne had been extradited from the UK to Sweden, it would have been impossible for Sweden to extradite him to USA afterwards without UK's consent. This is according to Swedish law and there is no exception to this. And of course, if the UK is willing to give such a consent, they might as well send him the directly across the Atlantic.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Sorry if I'm boring you...

Scenario two: Assange version -- pretty much the same as the prosecution version except that intercourse the following morning was consensual and the whole thing was then employed as part of a plot spanning two continents and the governments of at least three countries to discredit him.
Please do lay out what you say was the sequence of events rather more clearly between the complainant and Assange having consensual sex and the governments of the USA, the UK and Sweden hatching this plot together, and in particular why they didn't simply plant drugs on him, or images of children being sexually abused, or arrange for him to have a fatal accident.

I can assure you that, whatever else I might think about your explanation of how this scheme was put together, I'm unlikely to find it boring.
 

Arkady Arkright

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Please do lay out what you say was the sequence of events rather more clearly between the complainant and Assange having consensual sex and the governments of the USA, the UK and Sweden hatching this plot together,
A scenario - the alleged rape took place before the leaks. The relevant people looked for weaknesses in Assange's position, came across this prior allegation, and persuaded the complainant (who was known to them, and had worked for them before) to make it an accusation instead.

and in particular why they didn't simply plant drugs on him, or images of children being sexually abused, or arrange for him to have a fatal accident.
Too bleedin' obvious ?

Why create a brand-new scenario when there was one already hanging about just waiting to be activated ?
 
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Innula Zenovka

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A scenario - the alleged rape took place before the leaks. The relevant people looked for weaknesses in Assange's position, came across this prior allegation, and persuaded the complainant (who was known to them, and had worked for them before) to make it an accusation instead.


Too bleedin' obvious ?

Why create a brand-new scenario when there was one already hanging about just waiting to be activated ?
And what do you say was the sequence of events? Did the complainant set out to seduce Assange in order to compromise him, or did she report the encounter to her CIA paymasters who then saw the opportunity to discredit him by concocting this enormous conspiracy that any competent lawyer could have told them was placing unnecessary obstacles in its way by requiring the connivance of two judicial systems, not one, to succeed?

And where's your evidence for this? We have two possible explanations for the same set of facts, one involving a massive conspiracy and one not involving any such thing, and you insist on preferring the once involving the conspiracy to the simple one. Why?

Seems to me that you're determined to make the evidence fit the theory.

To my mind, there's no conflict between the proposition that, on the one hand, Julian Assange and Wikileaks performed a valuable service in exposing wrongdoing by the governments of the USA and other countries, and, on the other, that Assange was guilty of rape or some form of sexual assault, possibly because he didn't, at the time, properly understand the idea of consent, which a lot of people, men and women both, didn't then and many still don't.

Assange's supporters, on the other hand, seem either incapable of accepting the proposition, or unwilling to accept it, that having once done something they applaud, Assange could later do something they would condemn, so they're forced to construct elaborate conspiracies to explain how the whole thing was a plot got up by the CIA to discredit him -- theories which were never advanced before any court, and could never be advanced, according to Assange's supporters, because the CIA planned, with Swedish connivance, to kidnap him from Sweden before he ever got to court.

It's all an example of classic conspiratorial thinking -- it assumes that Assange is an innocent victim of a plot to discredit him, and interprets everything in the light of that assumption, including any attempt to test the evidence against him in the normal way, at a criminal trial, since the trial was said to be a mere pretext to get him to Sweden in order to kidnap him before he ever faced a court.

It's completely circular, and no more susceptible to reasoned argument than is belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
 
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Eunoli

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I'm defending a man who has been isolated for 10 years because he published, legally, leaked documents describing a massive abuse of power. YMMV.
You mean a man who assisted the Russians in carrying out a plot to help Donald Trump get elected as president, thus inadvertently causing the unnecessary deaths of over three hundred thousand people, putting hundreds of children into cages at the borders, rolling back planet-necessary climate change policy and propping up dictators everywhere.

He didn't just hurt America. He harmed the entire world.
 

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He was isolated because he jumped bail. This did not just happen to him. Assange made spectacularly stupid choices to get here.
 
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CronoCloud Creeggan

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Sweden is a member of NATO, and located quite near Russia. Having a good working relationship with the USA is crucial for Sweden, so enough reasons to do some dirty work together below the radar is there anyway.
Sweden is notoriously NOT a member of NATO. Goddess save the world from pretentious Edgelords with a grudge against the US.
I'm defending a man who has been isolated for 10 years because he published, legally, leaked documents describing a massive abuse of power. YMMV.
So why didn't Assange and wikileaks publish Putin's emails? Or Orbans. Or Erdogans, or Qi's in China or Lukashenko's in Belarus.

I'm going to say this again:
The thing is, America's a safe target. Some German, Finnish or Romanian edgelord hacker isn't going to hack Putin's emails...there's a high chance he'd end up eating Plutonium. Same goes for the leaders of China or Orban in Hungary or that despot in Belarus. And also the Russians can take advantage of the resentment too many of these guys have for SJW's or American Hegemony for their own purposes.

Yes, the US isn't perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than Russia, Hungary, Belarus, Turkey, or China.

Goddess save the world from fucking edgelords.

He jumped bail because he saw the show trial coming.
The ONLY reason you're in THIS thread is because Assange embarassed one of your favorite punching bags, Hillary Clinton. Oh wait, I mean "The warmongering all-powerful witch-queen Killary" You want him to get off because you just want to burn shit down when you don't get your way.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I'm defending a man who has been isolated for 10 years because he published, legally, leaked documents describing a massive abuse of power. YMMV.
No, you are defending a man who chose to spend however long it was in the Ecuadorian Embassy because he didn't want to face trial in Sweden for rape and sexual assault.

He said to the public, but never to any of the various courts, all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights, who considered his case that this was all a conspiracy to discredit him by the CIA and, should he be extradited to Sweden, kidnap him, and you choose to believe him without any evidence.

That's your choice, but you can't expect the courts to work on that basis.

All we know for sure is that he jumped bail because he didn't want to face a rape trial.

So are plenty of defendants (and complainants) frightened of attending rape trials, too, for more mundane reasons, but nevertheless they manage to overcome their misgivings and attend (and if they don't, and deliberately absent themselves, then they must take the consequences).

There's as much evidence for this conspiracy against Assange as there is for Trump's claims that the election was rigged: Trump and his supporters say the election must have been rigged because Donald J Trump would never lose an unrigged election, and Assange and his supporters say Julian Assange would never have had non-consensual sex, and we must take their respective words for it about these conspiracies against them, whether organised by the CIA or another organ of the deep state.

Assange's conduct, as described by the complainant, was non-consensual, and therefore rape in, English and Swedish law both. The Court of Appeal certainly took that view.

Assange does not accept her account of events, and says that everything was consensual.

If the defendant were anyone but Julian Assange, I am sure that you would have no hesitation in agreeing that the matter should be resolved by a criminal trial.

Why do you want to treat Julian Assange as if he was above the law? Do you think Prince Andrew is entitled to similar treatment?

ETA: I've been thinking about one of the questions the defendant is always asked in a consent case, "You've told us what happened, but that's not what she's just told the court, under oath, and has been cross-examined about. Why would she make such an accusation, and put herself through the ordeal of the trial process, if it wasn't true?"

Assange's answer is what we know it is, and he's got plenty of evidence he can show the jury that he says will support his case.

That's fair enough,, and the court must make of it what it can,, based on the evidence.

But things never got that far. Assange's position, and that of his supporters, about the rape charges was "He shouldn't be extradited because he's not guilty", and then the fact of the extradition request itself became one more piece of evidence of the plot against Assange. "Assange should not be extradited because his defence to the criminal charge is true."
 
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Chin Rey

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A scenario - the alleged rape took place before the leaks.
No. The sequence of events is not disputed and it all took place after the leaks.

He jumped bail because he saw the show trial coming.
Absolutely not! To repeat myself, you don't know much about Europe, do you?

That being said, Assagne may well believe in those conspiracy theories himself. Or maybe he simply couldn't face the fact that there are woman in this world who wouldn't be delighted to have unportected sex wih him? Or maybe both? There has to be some reason why he chose ten years of self isolation in an embassy rather than risk a few months in a Sedish prison. Obviously not a rationalr eason but irrational ones count too.
 
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Chin Rey

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Assange's conduct, as described by the complainant, was non-consensual, and therefore rape in, English and Swedish law both.
Just to correct two minor errors, it's complainants in plural - there were two of them. And I don't think all the allegations would have been valid in the UK or USA, probably not in Assagne's native Australia either. Women's rights are much stronger in Scandinavia than in these countries and Swedish sexual abuse laws are very strict even by Scandinavian standards.

I think the second case is particularly telling here. He and the alleged victim had already has consensual protected sex earlier the same night and were sleeping together. He woke up and decided to go for seconds - skipping the condom this time - while she was still asleep. For all I know, this may be perfectly normal macho behavior in CANZUK-American culture and it's quite possible he never udnerstood that such behaviour is not koscher in Scandinaiva.
This is of course anotehr possible explanation for his irrational behaviour: He genuinely doesn't understand that what he is accused of is against the law and accepted behaviour in civilized societies so he had to turn to conspiracy theories to make sense of it all.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Just to correct two minor errors, it's complainants in plural - there were two of them. And I don't think all the allegations would have been valid in the UK or USA, probably not in Assagne's native Australia either. Women's rights are much stronger in Scandinavia than in these countries and Swedish sexual abuse laws are very strict even by Scandinavian standards.

I think the second case is particularly telling here. He and the alleged victim had already has consensual protected sex earlier the same night and were sleeping together. He woke up and decided to go for seconds - skipping the condom this time - while she was still asleep. For all I know, this may be perfectly normal macho behavior in CANZUK-American culture and it's quite possible he never udnerstood that such behaviour is not koscher in Scandinaiva.
This is of course anotehr possible explanation for his irrational behaviour: He genuinely doesn't understand that what he is accused of is against the law and accepted behaviour in civilized societies so he had to turn to conspiracy theories to make sense of it all.
Sorry, I should have made myself more clear. There were two complainants, one of whom alleged conduct that amounted some sort of sexual assault in English law -- I remember there was some discussion of this because the exact offence in Sweden doesn't exist here, but it was some sort of sexual assault, and the second case most certainly was rape in English law.

That's not just me -- that was argued in the Court of Appeal. There's no doubt that that the conduct described in the extradition request amounted to rape in English law (not that many people familiar with the law on consent doubted it, but Assange's team did raise it, and the Court of Appeal did make a clear ruling).

However, I do remember at the time some people certainly questioned whether it was rape, but there's no way he could reasonably have assumed she consented (which is the test).

But I agree, it's very likely he didn't think of it as rape at the time. A lot of men then wouldn't have, I'm sure. But the Sexual Offences Act 2003 did.
 
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Casey Pelous

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...To repeat myself, you don't know much about Europe, do you?...
To be fair, she doesn't know much about anything else, either.