Monday, February 4, 2013

My Assange Journey

Wikileaks, headed by Julian Assange, revealed the hideous atrocities of the USA in Iraq and elsewhere.

Right on cue, the liberal corporate media went into its traditional (and stupid) attack mode. "Assange has blood on his hands!" said the blood-soaked US government, on the specious grounds that the leaks might have compromised some US quislings. "Assange has psychological problems!" brayed the media whores at the orders of their psychopathic masters.

Mainstream media and political figures called for the arrest, imprisonment, torture and execution of Assange for "treason" and other spittle-flecked ravings.

Then, Assange was accused of sexual assault in Sweden.

Then, CounterPunch hosted articles by a writer who said that one of Assange's accusers was CIA and that the charges were bogus. The Swedish prosecutor had an axe to grind and was twisting this in partnership with the USA in order to defame, discredit and destroy Assange.

I myself, upon reading the article referred to the charges as "bogus."

That made female participants on the discussion board EnMasse uncomfortable and they told me so. I apologized but tried to say why I felt the way I did in this particular case of what seemed "he said, she said."

It turned out that the CounterPunch writer was a sexist, anti-Semitic nutbar.

It also turned out that some of the details as presented by him, turned out to be true, revealing murky abuses of process by the Swedes.

Assange was questioned. Released. The charges were re-opened. He asked to be interviewed again. He was met with silly delays. He went to England. The Swedes called for his arrest and extradition to Sweden.

Assange's charges eventually became crystallized as his having had sex with one woman that at least began when she had been sleeping and not having used a condom (when this had been requested) with the other woman.

The response of some male defenders of Assange (such as George Galloway who said that all he was guilty of was "bad sexual etiquette") rightly came in for condemnation.

The debate became "Is Assange in danger of being placed into diplomatic limbo and extradited to the USA for torture and permanent imprisonment, or is he a rapist who is using his celebrity status to avoid justice."

All this time, the charges against him appeared to me to be a "he said, she said" thing. I very much wanted Assange to be innocent. If only to spit in the eye of the imperialists. There was enough bizarre behaviour on the part of the Swedes to make the idea of a plot against him sound plausible.  If he was rendered into the hands of the US government, we'd never hear about the sexual assault charges anyway.

I didn't know that in his statement to the British court against his extradition to Sweden (which he lost) that Assange admitted to the charges against him, which (as you'll see) are much worse than "bad sexual etiquette." Assange does not contest raping those women. He only (stupidly) argues that since they submitted, it became consensual.

Emmerson went on to provide accounts of the two encounters in question which granted — at least for the purposes of today’s hearing — the validity of Assange’s accusers’ central claims. He described Assange as penetrating one woman while she slept without a condom, in defiance of her previously expressed wishes, before arguing that because she subsequently “consented to … continuation” of the act of intercourse, the incident as a whole must be taken as consensual.
In the other incident, in which Assange is alleged to have held a woman down against her will during a sexual encounter, Emmerson offered this summary: “[The complainant] was lying on her back and Assange was on top of her … [she] felt that Assange wanted to insert his penis into her vagina directly, which she did not want since he was not wearing a condom … she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. [She] says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.”
As in the case of the first incident, Emmerson argues that subsequent consent renders the entire encounter consensual, and legal.
Assange might be a hero to some. But hero status is not a free pass to rape. All oppressions must be resisted. It's as simple as that. I said as much long ago.
Oppression is oppression is oppression. Whatever the roots of oppression: whether economic exploitation, or sexism, racism, militarism, or any other form of domination, they are to be targeted by the anarchist critique.
I am no longer a defender of Julian Assange in this matter.

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