What does alleged Julian Assange sex scandal remind you of .. sober second thoughts on WikiLeaks?

Dec 9th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief

One of the “two women at the centre of the sexual assault scandal involving Julian Assange” — as depicted by the Mail Online site in the UK: the faces apparently must be “obscured,” for some kind of obscure legal reasons!

“Many of our national security issues,” Gary Wills wrote recently, in the November 25, 2010 issue of the New York Review of Books, “are not meant to deceive the enemy, but to keep Congress and the American people in the dark about what our government is doing in our name.”

Given the time lags in such publications, Wills no doubt set these words down before the rise of the current controversy over the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, and its editor in chief, the “Australian journalist, publisher and Internet activist,” Julian Assange. The words nonetheless nicely summarize the case for trying to do what Assange claims he is trying to do on WikiLeaks.

At this point only a very great fool would rush in to predict just where both WikiLeaks and Julian. Assange will be six months from now. My own feelings on this key current issue in the global village have been changing almost hourly. About 24 hours ago, I thought the powers that be had resolved to just put a stop to Assange’s annoying habits, and, the world being what it is, were likely to succeed soon enough. Thomas Walkom’s December 8 Toronto Star column, “WikiLeaks battle new version of story the bad guys usually win,” captures the mood.

Anna Ardin, said by some sources to be the one of the two women at the centre of the sexual assault scandal involving Julian Assange whose face is obscured in the photo above.

Having since stumbled across angles to the story I hadn’t quite connected with, last night at a local holiday political gathering, I am starting to wonder a little more. As matters stand, Assange is in custody in the United Kingdom, as a result of allegations about sexual misconduct in Sweden that date back to this past August. He has already faced one preliminary extradition hearing, and has been “remanded in custody pending another hearing on 14 December.”

These allegations about sexual misconduct in Sweden have nothing directly to do with the latest WikiLeaks release of confidential government records, that is in some cases perhaps quite justifiably irritating so many in or close to positions of authority in what Thomas Walkom has characterized as “a vengeful state” (with special but hardly unique reference to the United States). I have now spent a little time looking into the growing mountain of Internet data on these allegations. For the moment, the exercise has made me at least somewhat less confident about the ability of the powers that be to turn it all into the kind of “story the bad guys usually win.”

The other of the “two women at the centre of the sexual assault scandal involving Julian Assange” — as depicted by the Mail Online site in the UK: the faces apparently must be “obscured,” for some kind of obscure legal reasons!

I won’t even try to go into any serious detail at this juncture. But it is easy to note a few sources that have started to make me think twice. On the allegations about sexual misconduct in Sweden, eg, try “Pictured sitting opposite WikiLeaks founder at political seminar, the blonde who claims she was raped hours later” from the Mail Online in the UK, back to back with “Sex accusers bragged about ‘conquest’” from the Times of India. Two Swedish women are involved in these allegations, about events that happened during a Julian Assange speaking engagement in Sweden this past summer. The  Mail Online calls these women “Sarah” and “Jessica,” and claims their identities must be “protected because of the ongoing legal proceedings.”  But the Times of India explicitly (and it would seem correctly) identifies them as “31-year-old Anna Ardin” and “26-year-old Sofia Wilen.”

Right here, off the top, so to speak, we may be bumping into certain new realities about law and information in the Age of the Internet that lie at the bottom of the larger WikiLeaks/Assange issue. And governments  may ultimately find that they have less control over these realities than they are accustomed to having in such matters. This could of course be a very over-optimistic hypothesis, replete with many different pies in the sky. In the very end it may still turn out that the WikiLeaks battle really is just a new version of a story the bad guys usually win. Only time will tell — even if it is a bit more time than I thought myself a few days ago.

Sofia Wilen, said by some sources to be the other of the two women at the centre of the sexual assault scandal involving Julian Assange.

Meanwhile, here are 10 other related items from the world wide web — all of which seem to suggest that, whatever else, this is likely enough to prove a more complicated tale than many in assorted corridors of power nowadays would like it to be: “Julian Assange: Neocon Tool?” ; “Ex-WikiLeaks spokesman to publish tell-all book next month” ; “WikiLeaks ‘fearlessly’ publishing facts: Assange” ; “Assange Accuser Worked with US-Funded, CIA-Tied Anti-Castro Group” ; “Julian Assange rape allegations: treatment of women ‘unfair and absurd’” ; “WikiLeaks Fallout: Unease Over Web Press Freedoms” ; “Judge gives Assange’s lawyers a window to test sex assault case” ; “Hackers strike back at MasterCard, perceived enemies of WikiLeaks” ; “Ex-Harper adviser regrets ‘glib’ call for retaliatory WikiLeaks assassination” ; and “Tom Flanagan threatened me over WikiLeaks comment, Toronto woman says.”

One very final thing I can tell already: Having waded through even just these comparatively few items as quickly as I could manage, I have been left with the strong impression that, whatever else again, Julian Assange is almost certainly a very egotistical man.

Yet this is hardly surprising. And it is certainly not illegal, however unattractive many of us of more ordinary disposition may find it. If it were, the great majority of our political and economic and virtually all other leaders, around the world, would already be in jail themselves. [UPDATE: For links to additional source material click on “Read the rest of this page” and/or see below.]

UPDATE December 9, 2010, 2:05 PM ET: The World Spinner website, which keeps trying to get free advertising space here by submitting disingenuous comments which the counterweights editors do not post, does have some interesting material on the two Swedish women involved in the current alleged Julian Assange sex scandal:

World Spinner on Anna Ardin ;

World Spinner on Sofia Wilen, including a video of Julian Assange talk in Sweden, August 2010.

The excellent crikey site in Assange’s home country of Australia has some further intelligence on Ms. Ardin: “Assange accuser may have ceased co-operating … Anna Ardin, one of the two complainants in the rape and sexual assault case against WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, has left Sweden, and may have ceased actively co-operating with the Swedish prosecution service and her own lawyer, sources in Sweden told Crikey today … The move comes amid a growing campaign by leading Western feminists to question the investigation, and renewed confusion as to whether Sweden has actually issued charges against Assange. Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, and the European group Women Against Rape, have all made statements questioning the nature and purpose of the prosecution.”

Finally, for continuing to follow and monitor this continuing key current issue in the global village, see “Julian Assange” on guardian.co.uk.

(I should note too that an esteemed counterweights editors colleague has pointed to the imminent release of financial system data by WikiLeaks as one potential reason for increased pressure on Julian Assange in the more recent past. It is dangerous enough to mess around with what Thomas Walkom calls the “vengeful state.” But in our kinds of societies when you start messing around with the financial establishments you are really looking for trouble, etc, etc.)

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  1. Another good site is the world socialist web site. The social equality party will be a rising force in Australia. They have 2 stories currently about this subject. I have long been dis-enfranchised with our 2 major parties here in Australia, so this group seems to have given me some hope for the future. You can go one of two ways, bury your head in the sand, or change the way we do things.
    The s.e.p seems to want to change things. They will gather support, trust me, no matter what happens in the Assange,Wikileaks drama, the seeds have already been sown, by the reaction from America. Most countries have now got their eyes open, daily reports are making more and more noise. Another thing i have noticed, the defening silience from the music industry and sportsmen. I expect it from the media and business, but seems like the saying goes, if it does not effect me, why should i care. ? Enjoyed the read.

  2. Obviously the U.S Government threatened or payed these women to initiate such allegations, jee what are the odds that such dirt would arise on Assange than now, when the U.S is fighting so hard to incarcerate him….rape is just another motive.

    Free the messenger

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