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Dear Michael Moore:

I read your diary. While I can't claim to be any kind of official representative of the Swedish government, I am however a half-Swedish American, who's lived in both countries for substantial periods. I'm even writing this from Stockholm.

I'm a fan of most of your work, actually, but your diary painting Sweden as a paradise for rapists upset me a lot. Not because you're badmouthing Sweden, and certainly not because I think rape isn't taken seriously enough. No, I'm upset because the picture you painted is simply dramatically wrong, and unfair. So I'd be grateful if you took a minute to hear the "other" side of the story.

First, some context:

Sweden (and the Nordic countries in general) are arguably the most progressive countries in the world. You might've noticed that your movies do well there, Mr Moore. I even heard people talking about you positively on the Stockholm subway just a week or two ago. Their progressive attitudes are not limited to a generous welfare system, universal health care, free education, and so forth.

Progressive attitudes extend just as much to moral and rights issues, to gender and sexual equality, to children's rights, and so forth. Women's issues have an important place in Swedish attitudes and politics, far more so than in US politics. Abortion is not a hot-button topic, it's a non-issue. It would be tantamount to political suicide to propose it be banned, which hasn't really been a topic of any real debate since the 1970's. Sweden has extensive legislation on gender (and sexual) discrimination. They have extensive legislation on payroll equality. Parents have the legal right to 16 months of paid parental leave, they have government-subsidized daycare that'll watch your kids for a fee capped at about $200 a month, regardless of the number of kids.

And they're progressive in the sexual arena. "Abstinence-only" sex education is unknown, and sexual education is mandatory no matter what your religious views might be. Sweden is still one of all-too-few countries with legalized gay marriage (real marriage, not partnership) and gays in the military has been around so long nobody even remembers when that was; probably around 1970. It has the only former state church (and really big one) which performs gay marriages. (And on a gender-related note, the priesthood is on the verge of becoming a female-dominated profession there)

Don't get me wrong: My point here isn't to say "Oh, but on the other hand these things are good." My point is: Doesn't it strike you as very strange, that such a progressive country would, for some reason, have a gigantic blind spot for sexual violence? It strikes me as extremely strange, and counter to all my experience of the place.

Sweden and rape
The simple fact of the matter is that it's not like that. Sweden is not a rapist's paradise, and it's not a country that doesn't take rape seriously. It's the exact opposite. Which is what you'd reasonably expect as well, if you know the place. Let's get down to brass tacks, Mr. Moore: All the statistics you cite are true. But your interpretation of them is grossly wrong. Let's start with the very high number of reported rapes:

First off, the number of reported instances of a crime does not correlate to the number of actual crimes. That's a fairly well-known fact to criminologists. Just to take an example, about ten years ago there was a huge spike in the number of reported murders in Sweden. This didn't have anything to do with any new murders in Sweden, but was actually due to the fact that Spain had arrested Pinochet, and a large number of Chilean exiles reported their "missing" relatives in hope of justice. They ended up accounting for almost half the reported murders that year (if memory serves)

Second: This is especially true for rape. I don't think I need to lecture on this site about how 'traditional values' have long lead to stigmatization and shame for rape victims, to rapist husbands walking free. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest rape statistics in the world. Do you really think it's because there's that much less rape there?

Having mentioned spousal rape, BTW, Sweden was the first country to ban spousal rape, in 1965. (For comparison, North Carolina, as the last US state, banned it in 1993.) Sweden has had an active and vocal discussion (can't really call it a debate) in the last 10-15 years, on getting rape charges higher priority from the police and prosecutors, to getting women to report the crimes more often, and so forth. This includes active campaigning by the government.

So, is it any wonder then that the number of reported rapes has increased? No, that's a good thing, and also a completely predictable result of the active campaigning. I don't view the fact that Sweden has a high number of reported rapes as a bad thing. The fact that the conviction rate has dropped is an equally predictable consequence, since women have become less hesitant to report 'doubtful' cases, and prosecutors have starting pursuing cases that they would previously not.

Third: There's no solid evidence that the actual number of rapes has increased. To quote Jerzy Sarnecki, a well-known criminologist in Sweden: "They may have dropped, even." (link in Swedish, sorry. He's talking about violent crime in general in that article, but there are others about rape.) There's no general perception in Sweden that the amount of actual rape has increased dramatically.

Fourth: The Amnesty report you mention does not exactly "single out" Sweden; it's a report on the Nordic countries complied by Amnesty's local branches there. It too relies heavily on the reported-crimes statistic.

The Assange thing
Oh dear, now that's a quite a hot topic. Let me start out by pointing out some factual errors in your diary:

Then a conservative MP put pressure on you and, lo and behold, you did a 180 and reopened the Assange investigation.

The Assange police investigation was never closed. The prosecutor dropped the charges, and later brought them back. That's not the same thing, or even unusual. Second: Which conservative MP? I haven't heard of it. I haven't even heard any major Swedish politicians say much of anything about Wikileaks or Assange.

Sweden has separation of powers not only between executive and legislative, but between the 'political' government/cabinet and the bureaucracy. The Attorney General of the US may choose which cases the government wants to pursue, but for the Swedish Minister of Justice to do the same would be illegal and unconstitutional. Even more so for an MP. In a high-profile case like this, he'd immediately end up in a hearing in the parliamentary constitutional committee (Konstitutionsutskottet), which has oversight in those matters. No such hearing has been held, which means either there's no evidence whatsoever, or not a single other MP felt like reporting it (which is all it takes to get a hearing).

The case against Assange was dropped by the prosecution authority. That decision was itself appealed, by the representative of the women. In Sweden, victims in rape cases have the right to an attorney who guards their personal interests, much like a public defender. The irony here is that this is one of the many rules Sweden created to make sure rape charges are taken seriously in court, and not dropped on the whim of, say, a single sexist prosecutor.

Except you still didn't charge him with anything. You just wanted him for "questioning."

Yes? The Swedish legal system has a formal distinction between being "under suspicion" of a crime and being under arrest. He was under suspicion, and he had received formal notice of that fact, and the fact that he could thus be asked to submit himself for questioning. When he ultimately refused, they issued a warrant for his arrest. That was tried in court, with Assange's lawyer present, and then appealed by his lawyer and upheld. I don't know in what way you seem feel his right to due process has been infringed.

I don't pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants (all I know is what I've heard in the media, so I'm as confused as the next person). And I'm sorry if I've jumped to any unnecessary or wrong-headed conclusions in my efforts to state a very core American value: All people are absolutely innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

I'd say that's a universal element of justice, not a value we as Americans have any kind of monopoly on, much less any special relation to. I think you might need reminding that that also means you shouldn't imply that the prosecutors are guilty of corruption, as well as some unnamed politician, and that the women who reported it are guilty of falsely accusing someone.

I don't know what happened in that bedroom, and I'm honestly damn tired of people who seem so darned sure that they do, no matter what they think of Wikileaks. As a filmmaker, I'm sure you know Rashomon.

Finally
The bottom line is this: In your attack on Sweden, you seem to forget the entire reason why Assange was there to begin with, and why he'd applied for permanent residency there.

Swedish politicians don't particularly hate Wikileaks. Wikileaks is perfectly legal there. The right to publish classified information, and conceal your source is constitutionally protected there. It is illegal for the government to even ask a journalist who his sources were.

While Sweden's not devoid of scandals, it's still consistently ranked as one of the very least corrupt countries in the world. Uncoincidentally, it also has one of the most transparent governments. All government documents are constitutionally public by default, with the only exception being the 'obvious' for defense, active police investigations, diplomacy and personal privacy matters. Stig Bergling, the biggest spy in modern Swedish history, served a 20 years in prison for treason. That's not much by international standards.

Wikileaks is not particularly controversial in Sweden, and I see no motivation for the Swedish government to help in some dirty, misguided and frankly, bizarre, conspiracy to 'smear' Assange. With conservatives in the US openly calling for his murder, I hardly see how 'alleged rapist' would do so much to that effect. Nor has the Swedish government taken any steps towards shutting down Wikileaks itself, despite that it has servers hosted in Sweden, and despite the fact that they're getting money through the Swedish payment service Flattr.

Sweden's not a US ally or NATO member. It has no history of doing the US many great favors, especially in foreign policy. The US broke off diplomatic relations with Sweden for a while during Vietnam after the PM compared the bombing of Hanoi to the Sharpeville massacre. The Swedes, and their politicians, opposed the Iraq war across the board. They oppose torture across the board. Wikileaks own leaked cables showed that Swedish military intelligence busted a CIA plane for making a stopover in Sweden on one of their rendition flights, and the US ambassador was given a dressing-down for it. (and it hasn't happened since) Yet somehow, they're supposedly blatantly violating their own constitution to help the US government cover their dirty secrets relating to wars they always opposed? The USA can exert pressure, but I don't see why the Swedes would ever do that much 'dirty work' for the USA for such a stupid reason. They certainly can't extradite him for something that's not a crime in Sweden.

Sorry but the conspiracy theory is just that; a conspiracy theory - in the worst sense. I've lived in more than just two countries and visited many more, but I honestly can't say I could think of many countries less likely to engage in corrupt behavior on the USA's behalf, or many countries less likely to not take a rape charge seriously.

Originally posted to BluePlatypus on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:03 PM PST.

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    •  Good diary. Disagree with the end however (35+ / 0-)

      I presumed this was going to simply be a personal attack (counter-)diary on Michael Moore as often happens here, but it was actually very informative.

      That said, what Wikileaks is showing us is that what we know on the surface about our countries and the relations between them is very limited. Much is kept in the dark. Because Sweden has presented itself as neutral, and Olof Palme was harshly critical of it during the Vietnam War, does not mean that is simply it. Case closed. Olof Palme himself was a CIA informant before becoming prime minister. Sweden used to house the largest number of CIA agents in Europe. Recent cable leaks have shown that Swedish intelligence has worked outside of the normal procedures with US intelligence agencies, which is a big story in Sweden atm. Many US allies opposed the Iraw war, at least publicly. Sweden has troops in Afghanistan. They have sold arms for the use in wars for decades.

      All of this can be true and Assange can still be guilty or innocent of the accusations against him. It's best for us to let the court case play out, if he ever is officially charged (if not, we simply cannot judge him guilty because the accusations were made) and at the same time do everything we can to ensure no one gets away with foul play.

      •  You mean a kangaroo court, or volleyball court? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul
      •  I am a dual citizen of the U.S and Sweden (17+ / 0-)

        and found Moore's diary to be extremely fictional and without factual merit. I have a lot of respect for Moore and the issues he has raised in his movies. However, I really think he is desperately attempting to grab the headlines by thrusting himself into the forefront of the case against Assange. The rape charges were filed and the case was in the Swedish press long before wikileaks started making headlines in the U.S media. Assange is not an angel by any means and the Swedes are not lackeys of the U.S government. Sweden is a progressive country that maintains a neutral posture in International Politics. The other riduculous aspect in this saga is that Michael Moore was not the only one who contributed to Assange's $315,000 bail in the U.K. The irony is that Moore couldn't wait to get on T.V and talk about the $20,000 he posted towards Assange's bail. This was a turn off for me. I never thought of Moore as a publicity hungry desperado. Assange's rape case in Sweden is merely coincidental and has absolutely nothing to do with the wikileaks info dump.

        Don't throw rocks if you live in a glass house.

        by occult777 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:00:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope (17+ / 0-)

          The charges are from August, in Sweden.

          Wikileaks has been making massive headlines since last spring with the release of Collateral murder, and the Iraq documents. And earlier for those of us who have been following them for a few years now.

          In June or July  Assange also mentioned that they have some interesting Bank of America info upcoming. And big Pharma stuff.

          :)
          Maybe not connected. But many are getting the feeling they all are. Too many odd things with this whole "case".

          We shall see.
          In the meanwhile, what MM does is draw attention to things that interest him. The sour grapes contingent usually attacks.

          A Creative Revolution- - To revolt within society in order to make it a little better- Krishnamurti

          by pale cold on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:41:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I would think (8+ / 0-)

          since the "right" would criticize Moore for doing this (posting bail), he decided to get his reasons for doing it out FIRST.

          Oh, look.....I get a tagline. I better not waste it. I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

          by sd4david on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:45:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's naive (4+ / 0-)

          to think that Assange's international legal troubles are not in some way connected to WikiLeaks. I have no doubt, though, that Michael Moore is first and foremost into Michael Moore. He makes entertaining movies but strict factuality is not his strong suit.

        •  I agree with this 99%, especially the $20K out (0+ / 0-)

          of $315K bail payment, then run to the press, jump in the spotlight, and strutting around really turned me off as well.  That's part of Moores's hustle I suppose, and he needs to eat too, while advancing liberal causes.

          The 1% I disagree with is the idea that this rape case was that charges were filed and this case was in the courts long before it hit the US press.  It may be true that it hit the press after charges were filed, but the US govt knew about Wikileaks and Assange long before it hit the US press, and the US govt certainly could have been planning and executing whatever black op required to bring Assange and wikileaks down.

          Time will tell.  

          If people really think wikileaks is going to bring govt down, or elect Nader in 2012, then think again.  If anything, it will make govts improve the security and protection of classifies documents and communication.

          Of course, Assange has made, and will continue to make, a pile of cash out of all this.  YAY Julian...I like the Lennon Julian much gooder.

          "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

          by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:00:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  this is a pet peeve... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            poxonyou

            If people really think wikileaks is going to bring govt down, or elect Nader in 2012, then think again.  If anything, it will make govts improve the security and protection of classified documents and communication.

            A lot of documents shouldn't be classified. Classified status should be reserved for documents that really need to be kept secret. When you classify things that don't need to be classified, then you have to give more people access to classified documents, and there are more of them to keep track of, and I think that would make leaks more likely (just look how much Private first class Bradley Manning had access to...). The Bush administration especially--but this goes back to Clinton, and Obama is guilty of it too--made basic info hard for journalists to get. People handing over large amounts of documents to Wikileaks is the consequence.

            In short: overclassification and poor information security are two sides of the same coin.

            ORGANIZE early, ORGANIZE often.

            by bicycle Hussein paladin on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:41:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  We can judge him guilty (3+ / 0-)

        One thing I find frustrating about this entire discussion is this oft repeated notion that we must reserve judgment in the absence of a criminal conviction.

        When has that ever been a standard of judgment at dkos?

        Was Larry Craig convicted of a crime?  No.  But we didn't hear cries that we had to reserve judgment.

        We are capable of weighing the evidence we have.  We can conclude that it is insufficient, but I hardly think that conclusion is ever required, just because it is insufficient to convict in a criminal court.

    •  I was born and raised in Sweden. (43+ / 0-)

      Michael's diary irritated and upset me too; Although Sweden like all contries have issues, paiting them as a Nation who supports rapist is just plain wrong. Blue, thanks for this diary!

      •  High rate of alcoholism (11+ / 0-)

        Sweden and its neighbors acknowledge a serious alcohol problem. If awkward sex in Sweden is legally treated as rape, considering how awkward sex becomes among drunks ... there's no question but that Sweden is going to have extraordinarily high rape statistics.

        Despite the ridiculous price of a single drink, Stockholm is brimming with bars packed with young people from early in the evening on. Personally, I approve of that. But bringing the state into the midst of that half-conscious swarm of sexuality is just about as perverse as some of the sexuality itself is going to end up being after the 10th round.

        And then we have the strange fact that the older of the two women who seduced Assange previously posted to her website step-by-step instructions in how to use the legal system to humiliate former boyfriends. In some parts of the world abusing the legal system to achieve a personal vendetta like that is itself a crime. What's the Swedish view of that?

        •  Irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vernonbc
        •  Are you really trying to call Swedes a bunch of (0+ / 0-)

          drunks?  Any idea what their life expectancy is?  Once upon a time, the US Surgeon General said that people could expect to live longer if they consumed a drink a day.  Then one drink was upped to 2.  Perhaps that's why Swedes live longer than us on average.  Well, I guess Swedes also don't suffer from the same rates of gun disease as we do.

          And are you really saying that these probably drunk women seduced poor old Julian?  So, maybe Julian should file counter-charges?  That's pretty rich.

          "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

          by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:23:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've obviously never been out in Stockholm... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            borkitekt, MixedContent

            ...on a Friday night. Swedes don't generally stop at one or two drinks. When they drink, they drink like Finns and Russians.

            Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

            by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:31:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And that is relevant, WHY? The fact as alleged (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VickiL

              is that Assange was drinking tea with one of his alleged victims before the assault, but here you and others are trying to paint Swedes as drunken, sexual perverts.

              Let me clue you in.  Even if Assange and these 2 women were drunk as skunks, that is no excuse for sexual assault.  NONE.

              You keep talking about a timeline.  The only timeline that matters is when the alleged rapes and assaults were reported to authorities.

              blah, blah, blah...Stockholm on a Friday night.

              Have you ever been on almost any college campus or in almost any college town on a Friday night?  Saturday night?  How about Thursday night?  Wednesday?  Forget college, how about most American high schools on a Friday or Saturday night.

              Here, this stat puts Sweden's alcohol consumption per capita about 2 liters less than USA, and about 3 liters less than Australia's, Assange's home country, but that doesn't stop you and others from insinuating that Swedes, and by association, these women are drunken, sexual fiends.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              I can't believe I'm even having this discussion of DKos.  You'd think I was on Free Republic.  The left can be just as nutty as the right, and therein lies our problem.

              "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

              by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:08:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are a liar. Fuck off. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                borkitekt, MixedContent, KiB

                No one is accusing Swedes of being "drunken, sexual fiends."

                You keep talking about a timeline.  The only timeline that matters is when the alleged rapes and assaults were reported to authorities.

                And what the women did between the alleged crimes and reporting them. Like tweeting about their sexual conquests, throwing a party for their alleged attacker, tweeting about being with "the coolest people in the world," text messaging AND THEN TRYING TO SCRUB THEIR TWEETS AND TEXT MESSAGES.

                Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:59:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Correction. Forgot the blockquote button. (5+ / 0-)

                You keep talking about a timeline.  The only timeline that matters is when the alleged rapes and assaults were reported to authorities.

                And what the women did between the alleged crimes and reporting them. Like tweeting about their sexual conquests, throwing a party for their alleged attacker, tweeting about being with "the coolest people in the world," text messaging AND THEN TRYING TO SCRUB THEIR TWEETS AND TEXT MESSAGES.

                Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:04:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You mostly refer to woman A. Woman B (0+ / 0-)

                  appears to make more serious allegations.

                  For example, woman A is the one who tweeted about the "coolest people".  She wants Assange testes b/c the condom broke.  She also claims that Assnage pinned her down at first, but then consented to Assange's advances.

                  The other woman is the one who claims that Assange raped her while she slept, but you conflate the 2, as do most of the people trying to absolve Assange from any responsibility.

                  It's sick.  If you are cool and admired, then you can ignore rape charges and call the alleged victims lying, drunken sexual perverts.  Wow.

                  I already linked you to statistics which contradict your weak, anecdotal evidence that Swedes drink more than normal.  Read it.

                  "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                  by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:25:03 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Those statistics mean nothing. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    borkitekt, MixedContent

                    Do you know what percentage of the population doesn't drink at all? The smaller-than-average pool of drinkers means that those who do drink drink more than in a country where drinking is more widespread.

                    Do you know, for example, that most Swedes who do drink only drink on weekends? That means more binge drinking for the same amount of annual consumption.

                    Twenty years of living in Stockholm and going out to the bars with Swedes is not "weak, anecdotal evidence."

                    In fact, I know more about Swedish drinking habits than you ever will.

                    And woman B did not say that Assange "raped her while she slept."

                    You need to stop talking out of your ass.

                    Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                    by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:52:04 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BrooklynJohnny, expatjourno, Sandino

          And then we have the strange fact that the older of the two women who seduced Assange previously posted to her website step-by-step instructions in how to use the legal system to humiliate former boyfriends.

          I actually think this might be relevant. It is relevant to what I think, anyway. Is there a link, please?

          And while I like Sweden, I think that "the Assange thing" is highly suspicious.

          First of all, if you want to get at a political "enemy" like Assange, accusations of rape can come in handy. Especially if you really have nothing else you can actually accuse him of.
          In this case, it is even more complicated- he is supposed to have ...coerced the women into unprotected sex? or something? But they had agreed beforehand. And then? There is no talk of wounds or marks which show they have been forced.(That's all I have so far been able to get from the media, I am not saying I know everything about this case).
          I don't know how you would prove or disprove something like that. Now, if the two women tell the exact same story that might count for something- but unfortunately they had already talked to each other even before they went to the police.

          For me, there are two probable options: - this was encouraged by the USA or some other secret service or diplomats
          -it is a revenge thing. Maybe the women were pissed off because he changed partners so fast. This kind of being pissed off is understandable but it shouldn't lead to charges.
          Of course, it could also be a combination of the above.

          I believe it is relatively improbable Assange committed some kind of rape. The background makes it appear rather probable that there were other motives for the charges.
          Apart from that, if the Swedish prosecution wants to ask him questions, why can't they question him where he is? Honestly, if I were him (and as I presume, innocent) I would be highly suspicious of all of this and I wouldn't budge. I wouldn't go to Sweden if I could avoid this.
          Because to me, this all stinks to high heaven. And it doesn't matter to me, that Sweden is concerned. It could be France, Germany, Italy...
          My advice to Mr Assange would always be the same: if you can avoid it - don't go there.

        •  I live in Norway (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          borkitekt

          and I don't know any alcoholics here.  They seemed to be everywhere I turned my head in America.
          That's just anecdotal, but my sense is that violent crime is just plain unusual here.  Violence just doesn't even occur to Scandinavians as a solution to an issue the way it does to Americans.
          I think part of the problem in this discussion is one of perspective and degree.

          "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

          by Andhakari on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:56:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You say the abortion issue was laid to rest (27+ / 0-)

      yet Anna Ardin, one of the accusers, is a Christian feminist who opposes abortion.

      She also work(s/ed) for the conservative Gothenburg newspaper that illegally reported these accusations before any prosecution had occurred.

      The politician who helped move this prosecution to Gothenburg... his sister also works at that conservative newspaper that spread the slander against Assange.

      While your viewpoint on the how & why of rape laws in Sweden is appreciated, you wipe away too easily the outlines of the disproportional politicization of the "law" as it was applied against Julian Assange.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:52:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't publish her name here (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bill W, RainyDay, Bright, borkitekt, Lujane

        I realize the names of these women is all over the Internet, but since they have not come out publicly, they deserve to have their privacy respected.

        I am not taking any position on Assange's culpability (although it seems this would be an extremely difficult case to prosecute succesfully), but as a matter of principle, we should not disseminate the names of crime victims, even if their status as victims may be in doubt.

        I am not active enough on this site to have TU status, but if I were, I would HR this comment for that reason.

        •  You do realize that she tweeted extensively (23+ / 0-)

          about her time shared with Assange while he spent a week or longer staying with her?

          Furthermore, you would have to go through numerous diaries and thousands of comments... and on other sites too... in an attempt to HR and hide public knowledge that the women themselves put out.

          You do realize that her employer... a conservative newspaper... somehow got wind of the accusations and published rape charges against Assange when no charges had been filed and publishing/slandering his name was illegal under Swedish law?

          And it really is a question as to whether she is a "victim" of Assange or a "victim" of seeking fame and money.

          Friends and tweets from the two accusers say the two women tried to sell their story for money.

          Assange's defence team had so far been provided by prosecutors with only incomplete evidence, he said. "There are many more text and SMS messages from and to the complainants which have been shown by the assistant prosecutor to the Swedish defence lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, which suggest motivations of malice and money in going to the police and to Espressen and raise the issue of political motivation behind the presentation of these complaints. He [Hurtig] has been precluded from making notes or copying them.

          "We understand that both complainants admit to having initiated consensual sexual relations with Mr Assange. They do not complain of any physical injury. The first complainant did not make a complaint for six days (in which she hosted the respondent in her flat [actually her bed] and spoke in the warmest terms about him to her friends) until she discovered he had spent the night with the other complainant.

          "The second complainant, too, failed to complain for several days until she found out about the first complainant: she claimed that after several acts of consensual sexual intercourse, she fell half asleep and thinks that he ejaculated without using a condom – a possibility about which she says they joked afterwards.

          "Both complainants say they did not report him to the police for prosecution but only to require him to have an STD test. However, his Swedish lawyer has been shown evidence of their text messages which indicate that they were concerned to obtain money by going to a tabloid newspaper and were motivated by other matters including a desire for revenge."

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:56:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Assange is a public person (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jiffykeen, Lujane

            Fame comes with the cost of having your name in the public eye, and gossip and slander is par for the course. If Assange cared that much about his privacy, he should have remained anonymous and not become the global spokesman for a high profile organization.

            As far as the women are concerned, I agree that things don't look good in regards to their credibility. However, at this point, all we have to go on is the stuff that is put out by Assange's lawyers and supporters - hardly unbiased sources. The women may well be exactly what you think they are, but before all the facts are on the table, we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. You seem ready to convict these women of pretty serious offenses based on what is necessarily an incomplete set of facts, and that is what I object to.

            And obviously the women's anonymity cannot be restored. But that doesn't give you the right to smear their names any further.

            To put it differently, naming these women does absolutely nothing to further the discussion in this or any other diary. The only thing it does is compound harm on two individuals that have done you personally nothing wrong. They may deserve it, but it is not our place to mete out punishment on people we have never met, and frankly know very little about.

            •  No. Absolutely no. Neither one of those women (14+ / 0-)

              will be convicted. How dare you make light of the disproportional weight of prosecution that has ignored centuries of rule of law in its pursuit of Assange.

              Neither one of those women will spend so much as one second in a filthy putrid dungeon in solitary confinement.

              Those women will be convicted of nothing. They only have the notoriety of having screwed Julian Assange because they told everyone and his brother about it.

              Assange OTOH has been hunted down like a dog, no evidence whatsoever has been presented to him or his attorneys and yet he was put into solitary confinement in a dungeon for 10 days. He's still not free and is under house arrest and curfew and electronic tagging.

              Assange's attorney are under a gag order in Sweden and they cannot get access to materials nor evidence against their client.

              I don't give a fig about those women. That is true. Because they aren't going to jail and aren't hunted like dogs. They have their freedoms and rights and full use of their lives.

              Assange OTOH does not.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:39:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Like a dog? (4+ / 0-)

                Really? Look, all he has to do is appear in court and answer the charges. If there is evidence of a crime, it will be presented. A jury will assess the evidence. Is that so hard to deal with?

                •  Frivolous all the way arent' you? (3+ / 0-)

                  The prosecutors have refused to provide Assange's attorneys with access to evidence.

                  You think only the prosecution should have the evidence? To feed it to the jury as the prosecution sees fit?

                  How in the hell does someone defend themselves if the evidence is hidden away for only the state to use as it pleases on its way to a conviction?

                  That is called railroading. And it should put a chill down your spine that it is happening.

                  But, your zealotry for feminism rises to the top and the law can be damned. And it makes the world a poorer place.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:28:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  He's a public person, so they should KNOW that if (8+ / 0-)

              they seduce him, that news will get out.

              And to pretend that they seduced him withOUT intending to brag about it -- is just absurd in my opinion.

              Uh, especially since they did brag about it, including tweeting friends while with him. (#2)

              This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

              by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:14:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then that can be presented in court (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                foldingBicycle

                What's the problem with having him face his accusers in a court of law?

              •  Where is this "they seduced him" nonsense coming (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                foldingBicycle

                from?

                Please tell me how a woman seduces a man, when she is asleep, or when the man has her arms and body pinned down with his weight?

                "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:40:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  When she invites him (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BrooklynJohnny, Sandino, MixedContent

                  to stay at her apartment and have sex. I hate to break this to you, but women are capable of seducing men. It happens. Do you not know what the term "seduce" means?

                  If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

                  by miasmo on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:34:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  When a guy agrees to stay at a woman's apt, who, (3+ / 0-)

                    by the way, is organizing a lecture for him, and the guy accepts, who is seducing whom?  And I doubt she invited Assange to stay at her apt stating she wanted or expected sex.  That's ridiculous.  Did she return home early to meet this famous person?  Perhaps.  Does that mean she had it coming?  If you even think "maybe so", then you are an idiot.

                    And, more to the point, per allegations, when a guy uses his weight to pin the legs and body of a woman down, again, who is seducing whom?

                    The allegations against Assange are rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. He's accused of pinning one woman's arms and using his body weight to hold her down during one alleged assault, and of raping a woman while she was sleeping. In both cases, according to the allegations, Assange did not use a condom.

                    What the Assange case says about rape in America

                    From the Guardian:

                    Her account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg [but you tell is that she seduced him ] as they drank tea [not the drunk Swedes having random sex as asserted above], before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she "tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again" [more wily female seduction I suppose]. Miss A told police that she didn't want to go any further "but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far", and so she allowed him to undress her.

                    According to the statement, Miss A then realised he was trying to have unprotected sex with her. She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs [more seduction]. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had "done something" with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.

                    Does that sound like Assange was seduced?

                    Yes, I understand what "seduce" means, do you?

                    I suppose you may know what "seduce" means, but you really haven't a clue about the alleged facts of the case, relying solely on distortions and half-truths from Assange's defense team.

                    So, if the condom broke, and Swedish law provides for mandatory testing in that case (would be smart law), then Assange should comply or face whatever charge that merits.

                    "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                    by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:37:38 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Look at the timeline. n/t (3+ / 0-)

                      Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                      by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:38:40 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The timeline his defense team asserts? Oh, I'll (0+ / 0-)

                        get right on that.

                        "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                        by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:45:29 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, the timeline in the police report. (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          bronte17, MixedContent

                          It's here.

                          Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                          by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:57:44 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you read your link? Did you miss this: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foldingBicycle

                            But The Mail on Sunday has managed to obtain copies of the women’s police statements, which are made available to the media in Sweden.  Though heavily redacted, with details of the sex allegations blacked out, they make uncomfortable reading.

                            And then it even interweaves the redacted police report with statements from unnamed sources:

                            One source close to the investigation said the woman had insisted he wear a condom, but the following morning he made love to her without one.

                            Redacted statements and unnamed sources and statements from Assange's defense team.  Great investigating, Sherlock.

                            As for your highly regarded timeline, this isn't like a football game, where if you can snap another play off before the other side throws its challenge flag, then you are in the clear.  No, they can report whenever they believe that they were victimized AND they are ready to report.

                            The two women talked and realised to their horror and anger that they had both been victims of his charm.

                            They BOTH realize that Assange probably sleeps with a whole bunch of women, and doesn't like to use a condom.  That present a very real problem and health concerns.

                            The issue of unprotected sex left a fear of disease. It is believed that they both asked him to take a test for STDs and he refused.

                            Woman B was especially anxious about the possibility of HIV and pregnancy.

                            And it was in this febrile state that the women, who barely knew each other, walked into a police station and began to tell their stories.

                            Woman A said afterwards that she had not wanted to press charges but had gone to support the younger woman, who wanted police advice on how to get Assange to take a medical test.

                            In any event, the police woman at the reception and two male officers, one from the sex crimes unit, believed there was enough evidence to call the female duty prosecutor, who issued the warrants.

                            The article even says that woman A didn't really want to press charges, but she wanted Assange tested.

                            Woman B, however, claims that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she was asleep, though that seems to be redacted from that police report.

                            And this is just one link, one report, among many conflicting accounts.

                            I just find it reprehensible that anyone would call these women "liars" or try to paint them or Swedes as drunken, sexual perverts.  And to see this on DKos truly make my head explode.

                            And, to have Michael Moore, KO, Wolf, and Klein contributing to the summary dismissal of the alleged victims' claims, make me want to throw my pc out the window.

                            "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                            by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:42:00 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are ignoring the timeline. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            MixedContent

                            You can repeat the allegations all you like, but that doesn't alter the tweeting, the attempts to scrub the tweets, the first woman throwing a party for Assange after the alleged "crime," etc.

                            And it is a fact that the women only decided to go to the police AFTER they found out about each other.

                            As for Swedes and drunkenness, I have lived in Stockholm for 20 years. What the fuck is YOUR expertise?

                            Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                            by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:54:03 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, like Naomi Wolf (0+ / 0-)

                            doesn't know what she's talking about.

                            It never crossed your mind that she actually might know something about the subject, did it?  

                            Here's what she wrote:

                            How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden's treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don't involve the embarrassing of powerful governments. ...

                            I started working as a counselor in a UK center for victims of sexual assault in my mid-twenties. I also worked as a counselor in a battered women's shelter in the US, where sexual violence was often part of the pattern of abuse. I have since spent two decades traveling the world reporting on and interviewing survivors of sexual assault, and their advocates, in countries as diverse as Sierra Leone and Morocco, Norway and Holland, Israel and Jordan and the Occupied Territories, Bosnia and Croatia, Britain, Ireland and the united States.

                            After several detailed paragraphs in which she describes her extensive experience in this area, she concludes:

                            In other words: Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting victims of sexual assault around the world have I ever heard of a case of a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail in advance of being questioned -- for any alleged rape, even the most brutal or easily proven. In terms of a case involving the kinds of ambiguities and complexities of the alleged victims' complaints -- sex that began consensually that allegedly became non-consensual when dispute arose around a condom -- please find me, anywhere in the world, another man in prison today without bail on charges of anything comparable.

                            And therefore:

                            Anyone who works in supporting women who have been raped knows from this grossly disproportionate response that Britain and Sweden, surely under pressure from the US, are cynically using the serious issue of rape as a fig leaf to cover the shameful issue of mafioso-like global collusion in silencing dissent. That is not the State embracing feminism. That is the State pimping feminism.

                            None of that matters, of course, if you don't want to be confused by any damn facts.

                •  The women are lying. Obviously. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MixedContent

                  The timeline proves it and is available all over the place. This comment sums up the holes in the prosecution's case quite well.

                  You are assuming the charges have a basis and were not concocted by two jealous women abusing the legal system. Again, look at the timeline.

                  Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                  by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:37:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So, you're willing to take Assange's defense (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    Superskepticalman

                    team's word for it?

                    The 2 women have completely different allegations and probably different charges.

                    One women claims she was asleep when Assange had unprotected sex with her.

                    How do you know she is lying about that?

                    Don't bother responding.  You obviously don't have a clue who is telling the truth and who isn't.  But you are perfectly willing to call these women liars.  You are repulsive and your attitude sets back attempts to increase reports of sexual assault back at least 100 years.  Congrats!

                    Now go kiss Assange's ass, and hope he doesn't try to plug you.

                    "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                    by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:43:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Nope. Not under Swedish law. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BrooklynJohnny, MixedContent

              It was illegal for prosecutors to confirm that Assange was being investigated.

              And if the women cared about their privacy, they shouldn't have leaked Assange's name to the press.

              Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

              by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:52:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh right (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            AllisonInSeattle
            Hidden by:
            Superskepticalman

            We all know that defense attorneys would never lie .... or say anything to help damage the credibility of their client's accusers. Everything they say to the media must be true.

            (Warning: comment may contain sarcasm)

            •  You feminists had better be careful in your (7+ / 0-)

              zealotry to protect these two less than credible women.

              You would give up centuries of rule of law, protects and rights that future women and NOT just Julian Assange may well come to need.

              Before you twist and subvert the legal system, you better make damn sure it doesn't come home to haunt you later.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:44:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am a bit of a feminist myself, I think. But I (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moira977, expatjourno, skohayes

                agree with you that the two women concerned do not appear very credible.
                Having said that, I didn't like the "you feminists" bit.
                What do you want achieve with this? Do you dislike feminists?

                •  Doesn't it bother anyone else when so many (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  expatjourno

                  want to toss out the right to an attorney and the right to a presumption of innocence and the right to see the evidence which will place you in a dungeon in solitary confinement?

                  This issue is basically another pie fight on this site and I've been in the middle of it for many days now.

                  I am female and consider myself a feminist. But, obviously not of the more extreme end of the spectrum.

                  When we move from hypotheticals to assassination and incarceration in dungeons in solitary confinement without access to evidence to defend oneself and worldwide guilt of rape smeared on your name without full opportunity of rebuttal... that zealotry loses me.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:43:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have already spoken about (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    vcmvo2

                    how I see the Assange's situation. We probably don't disagree such a lot on it.

                    But how can you call yourself a feminist and then attack other people as "you feminists"? That's beyond me and I am sorry to say, not very credible.

                    Would a Democrat call other Democrats "you Democrats" when attacking them? He could do that but not without revealing that he doesn't really consider himself part of the tribe.

                    If you think people are being carried away or are overdoing it then tell them exactly that. Don't attack them as a bunch of overzealous feminists because that implies that you don't have much respect for feminists and feminism as such.

                    •  It's the militant feminism that rubs the wrong (0+ / 0-)

                      way.

                      The lawyer for the women... Claes Borgstrom... claims that all men carry a collective guilt for violence against women.

                      The declarations of Assange's guilt and how he should be locked away (and worse)... it's over the top and my comment was meant to deflect some of that zealotry.

                      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                      by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:26:36 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ? I don't think anybody (0+ / 0-)

                        said that Assange is guilty because men are guilty in general. That, obviously, would be rather strange.
                        But please correct me if I have overlooked it.

                        I think rape is a difficult topic and people might sometimes react very emotionally- but you don't know why they do that. Maybe a girlfriend of theirs has just had to experience sexual violence, maybe something else has made this an even more sensitive subject for them than usual. Maybe they have experienced rape being treated as a very minor offense and the victim as the target of aggression, humiliation and condescension. That does happen, you know.

                        And some people might just disagree and think, other people have been blinded and because Assange is a star and talks about freedom of information he's not automatically innocent. And you never know, maybe they are right, although I do think that Assange is (in all likelihood) innocent.

                        But my point was that you are not a feminist, if you  start a verbal attack with "you feminists". You can't seriously assume you can change your affiliation back and forth several times in a day and still be taken seriously. Being a feminist certainly doesn't mean you have to agree with every other person who sees themselves as a feminist- just as, as a Democrat, you wouldn't have to agree with every Democrat.

                        •  I provided a link for the "all men are guilty" (0+ / 0-)

                          quote from Claes Borgstrom. He's the attorney for the accusers and he is a politician and government official in Sweden.

                          It's his quote. I found it radical and militant and extremely bigoted.

                          And you pulled together excellent examples of the whys and hows of this issue of rape. I fully agree with you.

                          As to my lack of bonafides... well I am a feminist. Regardless of whether the crowd wants to have me. My lack of decorum from time to time can't strip it from me.  

                          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                          by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 12:52:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SingularExistence

                            I didn't really need the quote from the guy (I believed you without the quote) but I wanted to know whether anybody here had held that because all men are guilty, Assange is guilty and must go to prison. I think nobody did.
                            And I don't think Swedish authorities think like that - they would have to put every male behind bars then. Whatever the reason this attorney said this, it can't have been to prove that Assange was guilty in any legal sense. Maybe he said it to create an atmosphere which was favourable to the prosecution (not that I would find that adequate).

                            And you pulled together excellent examples of the whys and hows of this issue of rape. I fully agree with you.

                            Thank you. There is another thing we agree on, then.

                            As to my lack of bonafides... well I am a feminist. Regardless of whether the crowd wants to have me. My lack of decorum from time to time can't strip it from me.  

                            I am certainly not a crowd but I can tell you, that even your concern over this can't really convince me.
                            If you identify with a group you won't attack people based on the fact that they belong to the same group. You might attack them for things they say and so on, but not for the fact that they belong to this group. You simply don't because you identify with the group. This has nothing to do with decorum, it's basic psychology.

                            Look, maybe you are sympathetic to many feminist issues and maybe you will be a feminist (or, as I call myself, a bit of a feminist)in the near future. For me you are not one now (and that doesn't mean something like "you are a bad person"), it is not a matter of subscription (withdrawn one minute but renewed the next to be withdrawn again when you feel uncomfortable about what one or another feminist says) but of positions, concerns and identification. And it doesn't imply you have to subscribe to everything each and every single feminist says.

                            All the best!

                          •  Feminism breaks down into various components (0+ / 0-)

                            Equal rights for equal pay. The economic component.

                            And the cultural aspects.

                            These are salient in my book.

                            Many other feminists consider the sociological and gender differentiations as their salient points. Whereas these don't ring my bell.

                            And your basic psychology is off-kilter there for you to state people will not attack others of a group which they identify with... based on the fact they belong to the group.

                            I'm not a psychologist, but that is a ludicrous statement from you. Sub-groups and subsets exist within any number of groups. And the subgroups most certainly do argue and attack the others over their identification.

                            And reading your finally paragraph there... you really assign to yourself quite a bit of importance... Princess-like there... to inform me that I am not a feminist because you say so. That's some serious self-importance you've got going on there.

                            Like I said, the militant strain of feminism doesn't ring my bell. Collective guilt placed on men or the radicalization of sexual positions and movements (calling it assault because a condom broke in mid-consensual-sex or when Assange pinned her arms over her head for a few moments during a consensual sexual incident or pressing his penis into her back during a consensual sexual encounter as "sexual assault") is too much for me... when it entails an INTERPOL international arrest warrant and imprison in a dungeon in solitary confinement for 10 days without any evidence whatsoever provided.

                            Sexual playfulness and sexual movements will vary from person to person. Both women admitted that Assange was not violent nor did they fear him.

                            And whether you "think" people here did not say Assange was guilty and should go to jail "based on the Borgstrom "collective guilt" quote... doesn't make it true.

                            <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                            by bronte17 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 01:42:01 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  "you feminists"? (6+ / 0-)

                Jeez.

                I know this site has gone downhill, but I thought feminism was still a hallmark of progressive values.

                "I can't come to bed yet! Someone is WRONG on the Internet!" - XKCD

                by SingularExistence on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:05:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not when feminism places itself on a shelf (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Superskepticalman

                  above the rule of law and would dislodge rights.

                  Too many here have thrown Assange and the rule of law under the bus. They want horrible things to happen to him and have zero concern for full justice.

                  It's the zealots of feminism to whom that was addressed.

                  <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

                  by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:34:59 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The only defense attorneys that lie (0+ / 0-)

              are the stupid ones, and they don't stay in that line of work very long. The able ones don't because they know that not only does the particular client pay the price but so does every future client.

              Prosecutors? Hell, they lie all the time and get away with it. After all, who is going to arrest them?

              Donut for you.

              "Ask not upon whom the wheels of the bus turn, they turn upon thee." - Not John Donne

              by Superskepticalman on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:39:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You realize that that entire quote is from the (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Anna M
            Hidden by:
            Superskepticalman

            mouth of Assange's defense attorney and team.

            No reason to expect them to be telling anything other than the absolute truth, right?

            "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

            by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:36:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  For heaven's sake. One of the women stalked him (18+ / 0-)

          Stalked him, scoured the Internet to find out where he was, then found a seat in a front row of his talk, wearing a pink sweater dress and tights.

          And now wants to associate something called "rape" with the fact that she had sex with him a day or two later? -- Which was her clear intent all along, to seduce him?

          The other gal?  Had heard of Assange via Internet, and via connections, offered to host him in her apartment. She was supposed to be gone, but returned home early or something like that.

          Folks, if this was a male offering the apartment to a very-currently-famous, good-looking female -- would you believe the "accidentally returned home early" bit? Would you believe that the apartment owner gave ZERO thought to bedding the person while offering the apartment?

          Of course not.

          So here's my problem with this. Women plot like this to land men. They flirt AND as part of that process, they lie, cheat, fake stuff, pretend things, on and on. I should know. A) I'm a woman and have the genetics for all that. B) I'm a woman and countless women have confided various of their machinations to me over the years.

          So here's the deal. Both women made pretty significant efforts to put themselves in contact with Assange. By self-admission (bragging to friends/ twittering) both had sex within 24-48 hours with this person they'd just met. If the freaking condom broke, the condom broke: crap happens. Leaving aside the absurdity of having sex with someone you've just met (who coincidentally is famous), condoms break in long term relationships.

          Stories are that they both were shocked, shocked, that he had sex with both of them in a 4-day period. I wonder if either of them inquired about that? "Have you had sex with someone else recently? Do you have a steady gal-friend who you don't brag about, so she can have some privacy?"  Or did each gal initially view him as a conquest, a "notch on the bedpost" as it were?

          Additionally, gal #2 was apparently twittering about him, so... gee, she really wanted her privacy, didn't she?

          So what upsets me is this: Women want to be "equal". They want to have the ability to use birth control and bed whomever they want. Fine. I'm all for it. Been young, have done things like that.

          Yet they want to yell "rape" when something happens between them and their partner. And while outing HIM, they want to maintain their own privacy?

          Honey, I just don't think it works like that. If you want to be a delicate flower, go for it. But if you want to start hopping in the sack with people you've known 24-48 hours, rest assured crap is going to happen. And then -- just don't ask to be treated delicately. Expect to be treated as indelicately as the man you're slinging accusations against.

          This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

          by AllisonInSeattle on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:11:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let it be presented in a court of law then (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vernonbc, foldingBicycle

            If what you say is true, then that will count in his favor. But even so, let's imagine a young woman becomes infatuated with a rock star and he notices her after she "stalks" him. He lets her spend time with him and then decides he wants to have sex with her. If, at some point, she changes her mind he is obliged to cease trying to have sex with her. Are you saying that this hypothetical young woman got what was coming to her? If so, there are lots of guys all over the world that would nod their heads and a lot of women who would shake theirs.

          •  I'm sorry (5+ / 0-)

            But are you freaking serious?

            But if you want to start hopping in the sack with people you've known 24-48 hours, rest assured crap is going to happen. And then -- just don't ask to be treated delicately.

            Wow, how's the view back there in the 1800's lady?

            I don't care if I know a guy for 5 fucking minutes...if I say NO that means NO.  And most men would take no for an answer.  Rape isn't about sex - it's about POWER.  Most men are not rapists.

            I don't care if the guy is inside me at the time - it's my body and if I say get out he needs to get out.

            Goddamnit are people actually saying that women shouldn't have the right to control what is happening to their body?

            I'm disgusted.

            You don't have to be from Waco to know that when the Pentagon makes crooks rich and doesn't make America strong, that it's a bum deal ~ Ann Richards

            by JustJennifer on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:30:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is just painful (3+ / 0-)

            I should know better than even trying to respond... but I will try to stay focussed.

            There are many levels of sexual assault.  A woman can be perfectly happy to have protected sex with a man, even one she met '24-48 hours' prior, and not at all consent to having unprotected sex with him.  She could even have protected sex him many times, be excited about it, tell her friends about, she could sing it from the rooftops.  None of that means she consents to having unprotected sex with him.  

            So, seducing someone doesn't mean there can't be rape.  If I hit on a girl and was all jazzed about hooking up with her, and I told everyone it was going to be awesome, and then when we got back to her place she decided to put on a strap on and peg me without my consent?  I'd be pretty upset.  I'd be even more upset if people told me that I obviously wanted it, cause I was so excited about having sex with her.

            Additionally, for some sexual predators this kind of situation is ideal.  I a guy gets off on a bit of power or dominance, in a way that makes him feel like slipping off a condom in the middle of sex without consent, then he can target a girl in this kind of situation.  People who commit varying levels of sexual assault know that certain people in certain situations are less likely to be believed.  

            I speaking more generally here, and not to the specifics of the Assange situation.

            •  painful indeed... (0+ / 0-)

              If I hit on a girl and was all jazzed about hooking up with her, and I told everyone it was going to be awesome, and then when we got back to her place she decided to put on a strap on and peg me without my consent?  I'd be pretty upset.  I'd be even more upset if people told me that I obviously wanted it, cause I was so excited about having sex with her.

              People often come up with extremely weak, inane, illogical,  far-fetched and utterly ridiculous  analogies (or anal-ogies) to "back up" their political views, especially at 3:42AM Eastern, but the one above is an all-time great!

              Imagine a world where women are incapable of seducing men, but are capable of pegging men without their consent...  

              Well, Mr. Snuffleupagus, thank you for showing me that world!

              OK folks, and now I'm done!  Great weekend everyone!  Viva Julian!  Viva Sweden!  Viva Michael Moore!  Viva stupendously stupid strap on hyperbole!

          •  Seriously? She had it coming b/c she was wearing (3+ / 0-)

            a pink sweater dress and tights and sat in the front row?  

            That's quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen on DKos.

            What if the guy is color blind?

            Even if she wore no clothes and sat on his lap, he still doesn't legally get to sex her WITHOUT HER CONSENT.

            "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

            by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:49:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, because she came there to pick him up (4+ / 0-)

              She said she was obsessed with him.

              It amazes me that people want to discuss this as though women never plan to seduce men.

              She searched the Internet to find out where he'd be speaking. Wore something provocative -- I do that, women do that. Nothing unusual about it, nothing to downplay, yet noteworthy. Flirted with him from front row.

              Invited him home... had sex with him... her stated goal from the beginning of pursuing him. Was miffed that he continued to work via computer while spending time with her. A casual read about the man would reveal (shock, awe) he's a work-a-holic. Many people are, nothing particularly remarkable there.

              AFA after first consensual sex was there a time when he initiated sex while she was asleep? I don't know. I do know that there was a time when my husband was working a different shift than I was, and there were countless times when one or the other of us tried that. Often with little success, sadly. I just don't think it's something unique or noteworthy, I doubt we invented the concept.

              When you're having sex with someone you've known 24-48 hours (72?), a celebrity you pursued, surprise is likely, as you... don't know each other.

              This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

              by AllisonInSeattle on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:50:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you or your husband, or anyone else, is having (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SingularExistence

                sex with people who are asleep, then you should get their permission to do that before they fall asleep and in perpetuity, b/c technically, without their consent, you would be raping them.

                I still don't know why you keep mentioning what she wore, and that she pursued him, and length of their time together, NONE OF THAT IS RELEVANT.

                The only thing relevant is whether or not she gave continuous consent to Assange during the entirety of their tryst.

                Also, other Swedish laws may apply.  

                I am not a lawyer, I am not Swedish, and I don't speak the language, but your attitude towards alleged victims of rape is bizarre and repulsive.

                As far as Julian being a "work-a-holic", which you find "shock[ing]" and "awe[some]" and perhaps sexy and seductive, I'm afraid you might be disappointed.  How hard is it to upload 100K documents to a website, link to a donation page, and wait for the cash to roll in?  

                Now, if you told me Assange worked 60 hours a week as an auto mechanic, carpenter, plumber, or teacher, then I could understand the awesomeness.  But you may find that boring.  Not very James Bondy, is it?

                But Julian gets on his computer for an hour or two, perhaps to check his latest donated cash balance from stolen documents, and you swoon with the vapors.

                "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

                by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:12:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  This is amazing... (0+ / 0-)

            ...the woman wore a pink sweater so Julian didn't do it and shouldn't have to answer questions? Wasn't there a judge in the south that let a rapist go because the girl was wearing a short skirt? Isn't this a progressive site?

            Nice study in competing values...womens rights againts...well you tell me. Then again they are drunken swedish women giving Julian back what he gave the US so all women should be thrown under the anarchist's/journalist's bus.

            I shake my head side to side and sigh...

            I try not to come here more often then I do.

            by Maroon watch on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 12:58:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um, that ain't (0+ / 0-)

              what Allison said, and the fact that you reduce it to

              the woman wore a pink sweater so Julian didn't do it

              when Allison actually wrote (in part)

              Both women made pretty significant efforts to put themselves in contact with Assange. By self-admission (bragging to friends/ twittering) both had sex within 24-48 hours with this person they'd just met.

              When you ignore that and a bunch of other stuff Allison actually wrote, and try to turn her into a misogynist Southern judge who said nothing beyond "she shouldn't have worn that skirt", it doesn't say much for your intellectual honesty.

              •  The point is... (0+ / 0-)

                ...I honestly believe starting out with "a pink sweater" tainted the remainder of her arguments. Why should I read further when the writer lost me at that point?

                I try not to come here more often then I do.

                by Maroon watch on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:47:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AllisonInSeattle

                  You've just effectively labeled your own reaction as knee-jerk.  If that's how you like to argue, then fine.  And thanks for the information about how to view your posts and gauge your ability to reason clearly.

                  •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

                    Mostly I just quit replying, because anything written other than complete support for the female(s) was going to be jumped on. Which is, IMO, sad, and detracts from the possibility of true equality for women. But hey, it's just one person's opinion.

                    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

                    by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:32:58 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  You nor I made the choice to go out and (0+ / 0-)

                  seduce a celebrity that day.

                  The woman now accusing him of "rape" did make that choice.

                  It's relevant detail, along with her personal statements that she became obsessed with him after seeing him on TV and researched to find out where he'd be and how she could meet him.

                  Groupies do things like that regards rock stars, and later brag about sexual contact with them. There's little new under the sun.

                  My original point was that if you chase down a man and dress to seduce him -- fine, your choice, that doesn't bother me. Women dress to seduce or arouse often, I've certainly done it, and would again (married or not).

                  I just don't think that AFTER you do that, you should complain if you find out that the fellow you bedded didn't perform like the hero in a romance novel. (That is, seduce you in a way that precisely dovetails with every detail of how you want sex.) Or, conversely, did perform like the hero in a romance novel. (Ripped your bodice -- but you found that wasn't titillating to you, as it was when you read it in the book.)

                  The odds that people who barely know each other who "pick each other up" in a bar, or at a Wikileaks presentation, are going to be thrillingly compatible in the sack and want to spend endless time together... have been proven via extensive experimentation by the human race... to be vanishingly small.

                  In real life, when people have sex after knowing each other a short time, very few of those encounters result in exhilarating, long-lasting love.

                  Your reaction to this scenario shows either
                  -- a lack of familiarity with the non-violent accusations being leveled
                  --a knee-jerk reaction that all women who accuse men of sexual misbehavior should be thought of as saints, and believed every time.

                  I personally think that genuine violent rape deserves 1000 times more attention than it gets. It's despicable, vile, etc. Yet our societies never seem effective at prevention, prosecution, etc. with regards to rape.

                  In light of that, it annoys the heck out of me when people focus on situations where grown women pursued celebrities, bragged about their conquests, and also want to complain about details of their sexual encounters with someone they truly didn't know.

                  This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

                  by AllisonInSeattle on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:29:52 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have a right to be annoyed... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AllisonInSeattle

                    ...and so do I.

                    But first, as I understand from the Guardian reports, one of the women was concern about STDs just wanted him to get a test. In my book unprotected sex while knowingly infected with a STD is pretty violent. I thought that was a reasonable request she made no matter how they ended up in bed and I could see how his refusal would have highten her concerns maybe leading her to contact the police.

                    My annoyance was directed at the often used device in cases like this of attacking the accuser with side issues. I also believe in this case, from what I read, Julian could have avoided this crap at any turn and chose not to do so. He made his bed and should go climb in. Wikileaks doesn't need him, according to his own words, so why drag it down with.

                    Also if govs are truly trying to stiffle Wikileaks through a couple of women and trumpted up charges why not go to Sweden and clear his name or fall on his sword for the cause? Private Manning did. Where is the courage on his convictions? This is only a minor offence after all and no I don't buy the CT about Sweden and the US using cruise pickled herrings or luktfish dropped from drones taking him out.

                    I think this story will just fade away eventualy but what will live on will be a reinvigorated tactic I find realy annoying.

                    And no I don't think you hate women. I suppose my sensitivity come from being close to seven sisters and a daughter.

                    I try not to come here more often then I do.

                    by Maroon watch on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:55:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, misogynist language much? (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe you ought to go back to that diary in which you were lowing about "The Roots of Empathy," because you ain't got none of it. Honey.

        •  Since Anna Ardin likely leaked Assange's name... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pasadena beggar, MixedContent

          ...to Expressen, I don't think she's entitled to privacy herself.

          What is more, Swedish prosecutors BROKE SWEDISH LAW by confirming the allegations to Expressen.

          Sweden has very strong protections when it comes to publicly naming the accused.

          Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

          by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:50:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Baloney and more baloney (3+ / 0-)

        The reason the prosecution got moved to Gothenburg isn't sinister in the least!!!

        There's an appeals process.

        The attorney for the women objected to the rejection of the more serious charges against Assange, and he appealed that decision to the group that one appeals those kinds of decisions to!

        And that group, and Marianne Ny, is in Gothenburg!!!

        That attorney, Claes Borgstrom, announced he'd appeal the decision on August 31st!

        Later still, Claes Borgstrom, a lawyer who represents Assange’s two female accusers, said he would appeal the decision to close the rape investigation to a higher authority. The fate of that appeal is expected to be one of the issues resolved when Ny makes her decision public on Wednesday.

        These baseless conspiracy theories are disgusting!

        •  Borgstrom is a politician and his sister works (8+ / 0-)

          for the conservative newspaper in Gothenburg.

          The same newspaper that Anna Ardine worked at.

          The same newspaper that illegally printed a story about rape by Assange before any charges whatsoever had been filed and that is illegal under Swedish law.

          <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

          by bronte17 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:46:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope, not true (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vernonbc, Jose Bidenio

            But thanks for providing links to back up your allegations - oops, that's right, you didn't actually provide any links, either in this post or in your previous one.

            You might want to start by reading this to disabuse yourself of several of the mistaken notions you have.

            He's not a politician. He's a lawyer. He's a member of a political party. He's active in their party's initiatives. He's never been in political elected office.

            And the newspaper reported on it before Borgstrom had been hired! The paper reported it on Friday night. He wasn't hired until after the second prosecutor had read the newspaper report and decided to eliminate the most serious charges and run with the lesser charges and investigate more.

            There's zero evidence that it was the women or Borgstrom who leaked the news to the newspaper. It could have been Assange himself, looking to allege that he was being unfairly attacked - he's done that kind of pre-emptive accusation before. He did it again when his lawyer, who couldn't possibly have known what Eric Holder was going to do, asserted that the USA was going to indict Assange. We even had diaries here asserting that it was happening - ABC News covered it, asserting that it was going to happen, but the only "evidence" they had was the assertion from his lawyer!

            •  Yes, true. Claes Borgstrom is a TOTAL politician (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MixedContent

              whether I provide links or not. This has been a pie fight here for many days now. I am not going to hunt down and place links in every single comment I make over these many days.

              Borgstrom is a politician and he ACTIVELY seeks to influence policy and he has politically-charged radical ideas. He is the spokesman for his political party AND he has served as a government official. So, what the hell are you thinking?  And you provide a link to yesterday's Guardian article to prove... what?

              And Borgstrom says ALL men carry COLLECTIVE GUILT for violence against women?! What the hell?

              Claes Gustaf Borgström (born 21 July 1944 in Stockholm) is a Swedish  lawyer  and Social Democratic politician.

              Borgström earned a law degree from Stockholm University in 1974.[1] Thereafter he started to work as a lawyer. He has worked on several high-profile criminal cases, most notably as a defence counsel for convicted mass murderer Thomas Quick. Between 2000 and 2007, Borgström was appointed by the Swedish government as the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman (Swedish: Jämställdhetsombudsmannen, JämO). He retired from this post in 2007 to start to work as a lawyer again. At this time he started up his own law office together with Social Democratic politician and former Minister for Justice Thomas Bodström. Since 2008 he is also the Swedish Social Democratic Party's spokesperson on gender equality issues.

              As Thomas Quick's attorney, it was questioned whether he had neglected to protect his mentally disturbed client's objective interests in being judged not guilty.

              Borgstrom has often attracted attention with a series of controversial proposals and moves. He claims that all men carry a collective guilt for violence against women, and has in this context supported Gudrun Schyman's "Tax on Men".

              And Borgstrom's sister works(ed) at that newspaper. Along with Anna Ardin. So, of course the conservative newspaper got the scoop on the accusations and blasted it to the world before any charges were ever filed.

              As for your attempted smackdown of Assange and how "crazy" he is with this alternative "pre-emptive accusation" against Holder and the US government... the NYTs said the Swedish prosecutor raises possibility of extradiction of Assange.

              It isn't some figment of Assange's imagination that this incident is being choreographed.

              Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor who asked British authorities to detain Mr. Assange and send him to Sweden for questioning about possible sex crimes, discussed the possibility of sending him to the United States in a statement posted on the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s Web site on Tuesday.

              Perhaps prompted by speculation that Mr. Assange might be indicted by a grand jury meeting in secret in the United States to consider charges against him related to the publication of leaked American military and diplomatic documents, one section of the Swedish prosecutor’s statement, under the heading, "Facts About Extradition of a Person Who Has Been Surrendered," reads:

                 Due to general agreements in the European Arrest Warrant Act, Sweden cannot extradite a person who has been surrendered to Sweden from another country without certain considerations. Concerning surrender to another country within the European Union, the Act states that the executing country under certain circumstances must approve a further surrender.

                 On the other hand, if the extradition concerns a country outside the European Union the authorities in the executing country (the country that surrendered the person) must consent such extradition. Sweden cannot, without such consent extradite a person, for example to the U.S.A.

              In other words, the prosecutor said that Britain would have to agree to allow Sweden to send Mr. Assange to the United States even if he ends up in Swedish custody.

              So, the extradiction HAS BEEN DISCUSSED BY SWEDISH PROSECUTORS.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:18:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't care what Wikipedia leads with (0+ / 0-)

                Did you really think that citing Wikipedia's depiction of Borgstrom would help your case?

                Really? You're that clueless?

                And you really don't understand that the requirement to document one's assertions doesn't simply go away because one has supposedly made the point before? Really? Because it doesn't.

                A politician is generally considered to be someone who was elected to office. He's never been elected to office.

                And he's not currently working for the government.

                And no, the Swedish prosecutor did not "raise" that issue. She was responding to the claims by Assange's lawyers - the same claims that were later pushed by many in the MSM!

                I swear, get a freakin' clue!

                Those who were pushing the "Assange might be charged by the USA" meme on Decemeber 10th.

                And so tell me how a story from the 14th could possibly have influenced stories from the 10th?

                Like I said above, get a freakin' clue!

            •  Furthermore, US says EU Human Rights an irritant (0+ / 0-)

              The US is annoyed with the European Union's stance against those secret renditions and secret prisons and rules on extradition. The US mocked the EU as having an "inferiority complex" and denigrated the EU as thinking of itself as the "last bastion of democracy... the best hope for defending the rule of law..."

              US officials regard European human rights standards as an "irritant", secret cables show, and have strongly objected to the safeguards which could protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from extradition.

              In a confidential cable from the US embassy in Strasbourg, US consul general Vincent Carver criticised the Council of Europe, the most authoritative human-rights body for European countries, for its stance against extraditions to America, as well as secret renditions and prisons used to hold terrorist suspects.

              He blamed the council for creating anti-US sentiment and hampering the US war on terror. "The Council of Europe (COE) likes to portray itself as a bastion of democracy, a promoter of human rights, and the last best hope for defending the rule of law in Europe – and beyond," Carver said. "[But] it is an organisation with an inferiority complex and, simultaneously, an overambitious agenda.

              "An investigation [by the Council of Europe] into renditions and 'secret prisons' in Europe connected to the US war on terrorism ... created a great deal of controversy and anti-US sentiment in the Council of Europe," wrote Carver.

              <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

              by bronte17 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:02:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This has nothing to do with anything I wrote (0+ / 0-)

                But thanks for showing everyone that you're not above a irrelevant rant to show everyone how serious you are after your entire argument has fallen apart!

                Borgstrom couldn't have leaked info he didn't have.

                He wasn't hired until after the newspaper article came out.

                He was hired because the second prosecutor read the newspaper article and decided that the charges were too severe for the crime committed!

                And so, there's no way that he leaked info to the newspaper! I understand that makes your entire conspiracy theory fall apart. I understand that much of what fuels the anger here at DK is now conspiracy theories that are recced up and enthusiastically supported.

        •  Claes Bergström also thinks men should pay. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MixedContent

          ...a special "man tax" just for being men. Yup.

          What's more, as a defense attorney for accused serial killer Thomas Quick, he withheld exculpatory evidence. Yup.

          Go google Claes Bergström.

          Google Marianne Ny while you're at it.

          Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

          by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:45:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Finest diary I've read on this subject. (7+ / 0-)

      Hope Michael Moore takes the time to read it. He'll be missing a lot if he doesn't.

      It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

      by Fishgrease on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:01:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what's done to prevent false accusations? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno

      Sweden has had an active and vocal discussion (can't really call it a debate) in the last 10-15 years, on getting rape charges higher priority from the police and prosecutors, to getting women to report the crimes more often, and so forth. This includes active campaigning by the government.

      In the U.S., men who are convicted for rapes they did not commit stand a good chance of being raped for real in prison.  When an accusation is made in the U.S., the press does not report the name of the accuser, but is happy to report the name of the accused.  A pretty shitty deal if you turn out to be innocent, just ask the Duke Lacrosse guys.

      So is it all kept out of the press until there's a verdict?  Are charges pressed against false accusers?  Otherwise, it's a system ripe for abuse - same thing would apply if it was easy to accuse other people of crimes to have them investigated.

      "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

      by Uberbah on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:43:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The main thing Will be what Geoff Robertson (8+ / 0-)

    Does to British extradition laws.

    http://www.geoffreyrobertson.com/...

    one revolutionary defends another. It'll be better that John Lilburne's trial.

    A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

    by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:18:59 PM PST

  •  An interesting counter-point (47+ / 0-)

    Thanks for some useful background. Deserves to be on the rec list.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:20:16 PM PST

    •  Particularly the point about reported rapes (28+ / 0-)

      not reflecting actual rapes.

      The whole point of the DOJ's Violence Against Women law (pushed by Joe Biden in the 1990s) was to get the reporting numbers up.  Because it's widely known that where numbers are very low there are serious problems. Under-reporting on college campuses is used as a bad sign, not a good sign, for example.

      Getting the numbers closer to the known statistics of actual incidence is a huge step toward lower incidence of rape.

      •  IRS nails Capone (5+ / 0-)

        That is the point of the Moore diary. Sweden sex laws are the IRS, Assange is Capone. The UK are the Stooges (all three when you include Sweden and the USA).

        I never sat down and contemplated as to whether I was a "cat or dog" person until the night my house started on fire.  

        •  The UK extradition laws (0+ / 0-)

          And EU warrant system might well be destroyed by Assages legal team, and the judges In the UK might be rooting for this to happen.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:51:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There's no evidence that's true (3+ / 0-)

          It's all conjecture and unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.

          And it's all been refuted by those who know.

          The two women were WikiLeaks supporters. The reason the case got appealed was because the woman's lawyers appealed it.

          There's not a shred of evidence that it's some attempt to back-door Assange. Michael Moore had no legit reason to attack the prosecution based upon that study nor upon the other comments about Sweden and rapes there.

          Correlation is not causation.

          •  Coincidink? (0+ / 0-)

            Other coincidinks?

            Iraq had no WMDs after we knew they had them.

            Katrina, only the guys working behing the scenes (storm trackers, billion dollar tracking systems, looked alot like Star Wars) saw it coming, they forgot to call George.

            Enron and rolling blackouts in California, a few stockbrokers messing around, no harm intended.

            September 2008 finacial meltdowns? Knew since March but had no plan for 6 months, never happened, a coincidink.

            9/11 PB warnings? Nope, George thought that was "old mail" left over from the last guy in officie.

            FBI, CIA collecting data (never looked)called data mining, should never have happened, illegal, coincidink resulting from America demanding that the Twin Towers won't be hit again. No coincidink George made good on that promise.
            The ultimate Coincidink?

            It's all conjecture and unsubstantiated conspiracy theory.

            Any backup on that other than that conjecture and conspiracy shit?      

      •  so are grossly overinflated numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MixedContent

        Under-reporting on college campuses is used as a bad sign, not a good sign, for example.

        Except some people then swing to the other end of the scale, a la with the '1 in 4 women will be raped' canard that never had any basis in reality.

        "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

        by Uberbah on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:35:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this perspective. n/t (18+ / 0-)

    "There is no safety in hiding." The late, great Senator Ted Kennedy, Worcester, Mass., August 1968, after the death of his brother Robert

    by klnb1019 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:23:26 PM PST

  •  good diary (21+ / 0-)

    thanks for a well reasoned argument.  tipped and rec'd.

    A point in every direction is the same as no point at all.

    by oblios arrow on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:29:07 PM PST

  •  Thank you (15+ / 0-)

    Very useful information.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:30:37 PM PST

  •  Sorry - I'm all in on Tax & Economy Diaries. (6+ / 0-)
    But this is well done. I just am so frazzled by the economic state of the country and world - and the politics thereof - that I can't rec.

    But I tip heartily!

    Thanks for the perspective.

  •  One thing. (27+ / 0-)

    The charges were not "brought back".  The investigation has been reopened.  No charges have been laid.

    "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

    by marigold on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:34:19 PM PST

    •  This is a distinction that's irrelevant (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease, vernonbc, foldingBicycle, KiB

      There are "charges" against Assange. There have always been "charges" against Assange. Not every "charge" is a criminal charge. As the dictionary says, it can mean

      To make a claim of wrongdoing against; accuse or blame

      The "charges" were never dropped, as I've explained elsewhere repeatedly and in this diary.

      The senior prosecutor simply determined that the level of the seriousness of the charges was inappopriate in her mind, but they never decided that no charges would be filed against him.

      They are under an obligation to investigate the alleged crime, and part of that investigation will include questioning him.

  •  Very good points (17+ / 0-)

    I thought that diary was a CT and I thought it absurd to villainize Sweden the way he did.

    The Assange police investigation was never closed. The prosecutor dropped the charges, and later brought them back. That's not the same thing, or even unusual. Second: Which conservative MP? I haven't heard of it. I haven't even heard any major Swedish politicians say much of anything about Wikileaks or Assange.

    Rape is a charge that should be answered. The whole Assange thing has become a cult of personality. What Mr. Moore would criticize some for doing with President Obama.

    In our sleep,pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes understanding through the awful grace of God RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:34:48 PM PST

    •  It's three different prosecutors. (8+ / 0-)

      Raising dropping raising again.

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:04:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  While it certainly appears that there is (5+ / 0-)

        something odd about their method of making charges or investigating things, I can't jump to any judgment without a better knowledge of how this was approached.

        I'm a lawyer but I'm an American trained one. I went into criminal defense so I'm familiar with how we do things here, but I know Europe has a different system. One way or the other Mr. Assange has to answer these charges. I am sure that he will get the chance to mount an aggressive defense. I wish that more people charged with a crime got such a chance.

        We have to keep in mind that the presumption of innocence means that a charge or an accusation does not prove guilt. People accused of crimes are quite often not guilty of what they are charged with. The presumption of innocence is best protected when an accused person is well-defended. At this point Mr. Assange should be presumed innocent, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't have to answer questions.

        In our sleep,pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes understanding through the awful grace of God RFK

        by vcmvo2 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:59:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And it's because Sweden does care about that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, vernonbc, vc2

          About treating potential defendents fairly, that's why they aren't officially charging him specific crimes until they get to talk to him.

          Currently, they believe the two women - that's why they're contemplating the charges. If he can convince them that the women aren't credible, then it's likely that no charges would be filed.

          It's appropriate that no charges have been filed yet - it's not a flaw in the Swedish prosecutors case or process that no charges have been filed yet!

      •  Nope, no charges were dropped (0+ / 0-)

        Gosh, I keep having to explain this.

        The seriousness of the crimes that they were contemplating charging Assange with was rejected by the second, more senior prosecutor, but he was never cleared of all charges!

        It was always thought that he had done something illegal. And those first charges only related to the second woman's allegations, not to the woman who forcibly had her legs spread so that Assange could resume having intercourse with her sans condom.

  •  Why the arrest warrant? (20+ / 0-)

    Not buying that it's  just impossible that Mr. Assange's arrest is politically motivated.

    Nor has the Swedish government taken any steps towards shutting down Wikileaks itself....

    Arresting Wikileaks' Editor-in-Chief is not a significant step toward shutting it down?  Confiscating servers just in Sweden would not have the same crippling effect as making this arrest.

    Perhaps Mr. Assange sought refuge in your fine country because he thought that Sweden was more liberal on free expression than it actually is.  Perhaps you do too, diarist.  Speaking here in the US as one who is still coming to terms with just tattered our own First Amendment has become.

  •  I would not take it too personally (27+ / 0-)

    Moore is looking for any angle to get Assange off the hook.  If Assange was indicted in Belgium, Moore would have written this up as an indictment of the Belgian legal system.

    I also don't think the fact of these being sexual assault charges is relevant to Moore.  If Assange was indicted for tax evasion instead, Moore's article would have been an assault on the Swedish tax system.

    No, Moore's article this has nothing to do with Sweden. It has nothing to do with sexual assault.  In a certain sense, it has nothing to do with Assange.  It is an exercise of creative license by a talented film maker seeking to ensure the script reads the way he needs it to - as the brave struggle of the forces of light against darkness.

    The charges against Assange, if true, would shoot a hole too big for any editing to cover up.  Moore and many Wikileaks supporters have too much invested in Assange as a symbol now to let that happen.

    •  Same goes for this hero... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cedar park

      ...of the legal and intellectual community in the UK.

      http://www.geoffreyrobertson.com/...

      Australians in Europe and all that.  

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:12:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, Moore was just-a-lookin' (4+ / 0-)

      for an angle. Good job. At least you keep to the same talking points.

      Wolf:scumbag who looks to stop rape charges
      Moore: scumbag male who hates women
      Anyon-who-does-not-jump-to-calling-someone-a-rapist-just-because-someone-says-so: Duke

      371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive"

      by cedar park on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:20:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shoot a hole in what? (11+ / 0-)

      The charges, even if true, tell us nothing about the ethics and value of his work, or the importance of Assange's cause, which will go on with or without him.

      Even though Moore admires what Assange does -- I do, too -- I'm a little surprised he's gotten so far out front trying to shoot down charges that he clearly knows little about.

      The timing of the charges does raise questions; on the other hand, it's hard to imagine that several women are involved in a conspiracy, so the only wise course of action seems to be to wait and see, and to meanwhile defend his work and decry the actual, obvious persecution of Wikileaks being perpetrated by American pols.

      •  what you said :-) nt (0+ / 0-)

        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

        by grannyhelen on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:58:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have said numerous times... (7+ / 0-)

        ...Assange has the presumption of innocence.  I just wish others - like Moore - would let the Swedish justice system deal with this.  

        I agree the charges have nothing to do with Assange's other work.  However, if the allegations stick they will not inure to the benefit of Assange's image.  Many supporters seem to conflate the man and the cause to an extent that they see a diminishment of Assange as a diminishment of Wikileaks itself.  So they, like Moore, are lashing out to protect their hero.

        If Moore had not posted his diary, I would not have seen fit to comment.  I have yet to post my own diary on Wikileaks nor do I intend to.  I keep busy though responding to the madcap allegations and bizarre theories that pro-Wikileakers keep posting on DKOS.

        •  I hardly see how Moore (4+ / 0-)

          is hindering the Swedish justice system in its dealing with this.

          Unless you think he had a moral obligation not to help with the bail money, in which case I'd say you were making up your precepts as you went along.  So surely you weren't doing that.

          •  Did I say anything about bail $$ etc? (3+ / 0-)

            I had nothing to say about bail so not sure how that comes up.  Neither did I accuse anyone of obstructing justice.  

            My comment should be read on its merits - that Moore is floating innuendos without evidence and in the process implying - his wink-wink disclaimers notwithstanding - that these women were put up into making false charges.  They are pawns of dark forces, suggests Moore, and he makes these claims without a scintilla of evidence.  These are serious charges.

            And some people are going beyond speech to conduct, sabotaging the women's lawyers website.  How would you like to file a complaint with a court and then have hackers descend on you?  Or have all these Hollywood personalities start attacking your credibility based not on who you are or what the substance of the charges are, but because you have made the wrong enemies?  It is the flip side of what Wikileaks is supposedly fighting against.  And now you have folks releasing the supposed private emails of these women in an attempt to discredit them.

            None of what I say will matter to the true Wikinauts - the absence of evidence just proves the conspirators are devilishly good at hiding their tracks.

            If it is shown that these Swedish charges are a high level government conspiracy to get Assange, I will pledge to donate to his defense fund myself.  But the smoke and mirrors campaign being waged by Moore and others is - until evidence appears - just that.

        •  Quite wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul

          Geoff Robertson should blast the entire EU warrant system to smitherines. This case unleashes a beast, and Robertson is the guy to annihilate the extradition system.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:46:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  color me sceptical (0+ / 0-)

          as per Wikileaks cables (ironic):

          I just wish others - like the US - would let the Spanish justice system deal with this.  

          "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

          by Euroliberal on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:27:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Heh.. (0+ / 0-)

      I like this quote:

      It is an exercise of creative license by a talented film maker seeking to ensure the script reads the way he needs it to - as the brave struggle of the forces of light against darkness.

      MM, who I mostly agree with, is first a propagandist.  Now before I get tarred and feathered, let me say that our side needs propagandists too, and that propaganda can also be true.  But the point is, MM uses communication as a weapon in a struggle.  What he does is not exactly the same as a Frontline documentary.

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:30:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Michael Moore, (20+ / 0-)

    for all his good qualities, tends to be a conspiracy-whacko. In the days after 9/11, he was floating a theory that the plane that crashed in Pennsilvania was actually shot down by the Air Force and our government was covering it up.

    After Ferienheit 9/11 was released, I (as a high school history teacher) had students who thought bin Laden and Bush were conspiring.

    Thank you, BluePlatypus, for exposing another bit of silliness from Moore.

    •  re: the plane crashing in PA (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously the passengers brought it down in the struggle. All those cell phone records don't lie.  But I don't doubt for a minute that the plane was probably about 30 minutes away from being shot down. As morbid as it may be for me to say that, shooting it down would have been more responsible and humanitarian than letting it reach NYC or Washington.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:30:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        Within the week, Dick Cheaney admitted to interviewers that he gave the order to shoot down such planes if necessary.

        What I found silly was Moore's belief that the government would cover up such an action. Had the government shot down that plane under those circumstances, few would have blamed the government, and mostly it would have just fueled America's outrage against bin Laden and our fearful willingness to rally behind Bush.

  •  I think you just made some Kossacks (26+ / 0-)

    consider moving there. T&R, thanks for the perspective.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:43:52 PM PST

  •  Recommended for making a strong case (22+ / 0-)

    for a perspective that we can't get in the U.S.

    I still think there is something fishy about the way this case is being handled, but I appreciate your solid work to present a Swedish perspective.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:47:46 PM PST

  •  Moore has unwittingly revived one of the (8+ / 0-)

    wingnuts' favorite statistics/talking points:  the correlation between crime and immigration in Scandinavia.  This is not a road down which we should go.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 04:53:15 PM PST

    •  One statistical oddity (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, gmb, caul, i like bbq

      Is that the Swedes tend to convict foreigners for crimes that ethnic Norse tend to skate on.

      Which blows a fairly large whole in the rather enviable social democratic reputation of the place.  

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:06:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is that an empirically demonstrated (5+ / 0-)

        fact or merely a claim?

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:40:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (5+ / 0-)

          Immigrants or foreigners are five times more likely to be investigated for rape there than a Nordic Swede. 25% of their prison population as of 2005 was foreign born.

          Apparently there was a study by the Swedes in 2005 on this subject. I was kinda surprised to see that stat. I'd have thought prosecutors would have noticed a selectivity like that sooner. I'll get the links.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:55:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Investigated or accused? Or is it possible that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naranjadia, DollyMadison

            women are more likely to report a rape if it was from a stranger and not their Scandinavian boyfriend?

            Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels - may we vow to get off of this sauce. Shoo away the swarms of commuter planes...and find that train ticket we lost.

            by terra on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:59:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Investigated or accused? Or is it possible that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DollyMadison

            women are more likely to report a rape if it was from a stranger and not their Scandinavian boyfriend?

            Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels - may we vow to get off of this sauce. Shoo away the swarms of commuter planes...and find that train ticket we lost.

            by terra on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:59:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Stats are your friend. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not a fucking criminologist.  Seems problematic on the face of it. If you are not A native born Nordic you are more likely to be investigated and arrested and incarcerated.

              A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

              by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:16:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  For good reason. (0+ / 0-)

                A disproportionate amount of the criminal activity is by foreigners and immigrants. I have neighbors and in-laws who are on police forces.

                You have no idea what this place was like 20 years ago. For example, in those days, a woman could stay out drinking until closing time at midnight and then toddle home alone without any worries at all about her safety. Not anymore.

                Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

                by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:36:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  All these guys are in prison because they have (0+ / 0-)

                been accused by a woman of raping them, and subsequently convicted. You can deduce that the law doesn't come down hard enough on Swedish-born men - and I agree with you. I think that is likely that police are more likely to pursue an accused if they are an immigrant, and courts are more likely to convict. But that doesn't mean that immigrants did not commit the crimes that these women say they did, only that a segment of society is being overlooked in the pursuit of justice. Don't infer that women have falsely accused all these foreign-born men of rape.

                Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels - may we vow to get off of this sauce. Shoo away the swarms of commuter planes...and find that train ticket we lost.

                by terra on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 07:02:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, you can't (0+ / 0-)

                  You can deduce that the law doesn't come down hard enough on Swedish-born men

                  You can suspect, sure.  But that statistic alone is not evidence that

                  a segment of society is being overlooked in the pursuit of justice.

                  You'd need to establish, rather than assume, that rapists are equally distributed among all Swedish (male) residents, regardless of their country of origin.

        •  Seems consistent (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, caul

          http://super-economy.blogspot.com/...

          they do not like thier foreign element do they?

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:01:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Kriminalstat (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, caul

          http://www.kriminalvarden.se/...

          can't translate but seems like they really don't handle foreigners with much care.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:06:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  please explain this then.... (12+ / 0-)

    I know you said some things about statistics but what I'm asking is why the UN and some Swedish human rights groups made such statements if all's so swell in Sweden?

    There's just one thing that bothers me -- why has Amnesty International, in a special report (described in detail here by Naomi Wolf), declared that Sweden refuses to deal with the very real tragedy of rape? In fact, they say that all over Scandinavia, including in your country, rapists "enjoy impunity." And the United Nations, the EU and Swedish human rights groups have come to the same conclusion: Sweden just doesn't take sexual assault against women seriously. How else do you explain these statistics from Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape:

    Michael Moore's diary :: ::
    ** Sweden has the HIGHEST per capita number of reported rapes in Europe.

    ** This number of rapes has quadrupled in the last 20 years.

    ** The conviction rates? They have steadily DECREASED.  

    Axelsson says: "On April 23rd of this year, Carina Hägg and Nalin Pekgul (respectively MP and chairwoman of Social Democratic Women in Sweden) wrote in the Göteborgs [newspaper] that 'up to 90% of all reported rapes [in Sweden] never get to court.'"

    •  A huge percentage of rape cases in the best case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease, Jose Bidenio

      Don't make it to a trial!

      MM failed to give us a baseline upon which to judge Sweden.

      And the linkage between the results for all of the Scandanavian countries and Sweden? Bogus too. If you actually read the PDF that MM provided a link to, you'll see that Sweden is pretty good, and its good numbers help make the bad numbers from Finland balance out somewhat.

      •  how about the UN and Amnesty? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Euroliberal

        plus the EU and Swedish womens rights groups? Are they all wrong or is there a problem? You can't really blame it all on stats can you?

        •  Thanks for providing links to back you up (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vernonbc, Jose Bidenio

          Oops, that's right, you didn't provide a single link, did you?

          Rape is a vastly underreported crime in almost all countries. Women are mocked and derided and their claims are ignored and minimized.

          But in Sweden, that happens less often than in other countries, and in Sweden, they were one of the first nations to call marital rape "rape", and in Sweden, they call many things that other nations declare is simply sexual assault "rape".

          Looking at raw numbers without that background info is unfair and may verge on delusional. That's what Michael Moore did - rip numbers out of context to paint Sweden unfairly!

          No one here has said that Sweden has solved all their issues resolving rape and sexual assault on women by men. No one. But I sure can blame misuse of statistics for the dishonest portrayal that Michael Moore did in his diary.

  •  Guardian pub details of JA sex crime accusations (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, wvmom, shenderson, al ajnabee

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    This is why we have to be careful jumping to someone's defense or prosecution without knowing hardly any details. Read "Miss A"s account of what happened.

    Now, we don't know how true these stories are, so it would still be foolish to presume he's guilty just because the details of what he is accused of are known now. They have to decide to have a proper trial against Assange though. Atm, just accusing him of such things and not pursuing it further is not enough to run around saying he's a rapist.

    At the same time, we should be careful going out of our way trying to dismiss the allegations or suggest because the US govt is evil, this is all a setup. We have no direct evidence of this. Or, it can't be serious because one accuser is doing work in another country atm. Or, Sweden rarely prosecutes rape allegations (the reasons why are more complicated than them turning a blind eye to rape), so it shouldn't pursue this either.

    (Don't really agree with the idea of this counter-diary and haven't Rec'd it, but it's the most relevant diary on the Rec list at the moment since Moore's has fallen off and I'm too lazy to make my own diary on this news.)

    •  Correction above in the tip jar eom (0+ / 0-)
    •  Thanks - two things of note there (0+ / 0-)

      Assange's Swedish lawyers have since suggested that Miss W's text messages – which the Guardian has not seen – show that she was thinking of contacting Expressen and that one of her friends told her she should get money for her story. However, police statements by the friend offer a more innocent explanation: they say these text messages were exchanged several days after the women had made their complaint. They followed an inquiry from a foreign newspaper and were meant jokingly, the friend stated to police.

      And

      Assange's solicitor, Mark Stephens, said: "The allegations of the complainants are not credible and were dismissed by the senior Stockholm prosecutor as not worthy of further investigation."

      Nope. The second, more senior prosecutor did not ever think that the case was not worthy of further investigation, nor did she think that the complainants weren't credible. When she decided to withdraw the original contemplated charges, she was still investigating it - she just didn't think that his offenses rose to the level of criminality that the junior prosecutor was alleging!

      And all she was reviewing was one woman's charges, not both.

  •  Thank you for letting us know that Sweden (13+ / 0-)

    hasn't lost it's collective mind like we seem to have done here. However, as someone who spent many years answering a rape crisis line I can't help but feel that the way the Assange case has been handled has done a serious disservice to rape victims. I hope we will get more clarity on the issue in the days to come.

  •  To reopen sounds as if it was closed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, corvo, Valhalla

    Doing nothing is very easy for Republican party to do ... you never know when there finished. Me 2009

    by army193 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:02:55 PM PST

    •  It was never closed (0+ / 0-)

      What changed was that a prosecutor decided she wanted to interview Assange, something the first prosecutor on the case had decided was not necessary. The second prosecutor also decided that the charges warranted a rape charge and not a much more minor "misconduct" charge, which is why she thought it reasonable to issue the arrest warrant.

      I have no position on guilt or innocence here, but give the details that have been made public I have a hard time seeing that Assange could be convicted, unless there is some major piece of evidence we are not aware of.

      I don't think the prosecutor is necessarily acting because of political pressure. But she is probably influence by the notoriety of the case, and so may want to send the message that she takes rape charges very seriously.

  •  Superb Diary (6+ / 0-)

    There are many Americans who make all types of judgements about non-Americans who know very little of those countries, much less even visited them. And traditionally, we associate the worst of it with Republicans who embrace an "America First" and and "American Exceptionalism" attitude. But, the past few months has shown that even some self-describled progressives can show an exceptional level of ignorance, to wit Michael Moore's diary, and many comments I've read here regarding the Assange case, the UK, Sweden, and EU justice. My favorite head shaker was a diary/comment which denounced Sweden by propping up a strawman that said that this is the same country (Sweden) which released a mudering terrorist to Lebanon. Later in some back and forth in the comments it became clear that the diariest was referring to the Lockerbie case which was about Scotland and Libya, not Sweden and Lebanon. Then, in a lame attempt to recover, he claimed that Scotland wasn't a country and that it was really the UK which was trying to release the Lockerbie bomber. (facepalm).

  •  Good contribution to the debate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, foldingBicycle, French Imp

    Tipped and Recc'd

    We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

    by twigg on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:05:41 PM PST

  •  Yeah, but Michael Moore's version... (13+ / 0-)

    ...gets more attention for Michael Moore. Which is likely his point.

    Excellent diary.

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:09:16 PM PST

    •  Yeah, right. Moore seems totally uninterested in (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, Salo, wvmom

      important social causes. He a regular Kim Kardashian.

      "I got news for you, pal... They're gonna nail us no matter what we do, so we might as well have a good time." -Otter

      by The House on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:40:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just because one is not Kim Kardashian (0+ / 0-)

        does not mean one is not interested in self promotion, even if that person is interested in social causes

        Barack Obama for President '08

        by v2aggie2 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:36:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never said he wasn't, but it is a matter of (0+ / 0-)

          perception as to whether one thinks his primary goal is self-promotion rather than positive social change. I think the reality is clear on where Moore stands there, and that his detractors are terribly misguided.

          "I got news for you, pal... They're gonna nail us no matter what we do, so we might as well have a good time." -Otter

          by The House on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:04:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Just like Ralph Nader (0+ / 0-)

        He only selflessly works for important causes and his ego never causes collateral damage.

        (sarcasm is fun for everyone!)

        •  I'm sorry, if I never emphasized that the man is (0+ / 0-)

          not perfect. I'd have thought that might go without saying. I'm glad you are perfect though, Sarcasmhero!
          Please, have another perfect-self day for yourself.

          "I got news for you, pal... They're gonna nail us no matter what we do, so we might as well have a good time." -Otter

          by The House on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:06:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm astounded (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The House

            You sarcastically used a straw man (exaggerated Huginn's point to an helpful level), so I did the same thing to yours.  

            I wasn't trying to actually say that you think Moore is perfect, I was trying to mirror your own comment.  But, you just got upset at my straw man and my unhelpful sarcasm?  Without seeing how unhelpful it is in your own comment?

            Anyway, I was not trying to suggest anything substantive.

            •  Did you happen to see the "Which is likely his (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Snuffleupagus

              point." (non-sentence) sentence? I don't think I exaggerated anything really. And I am far from upset, thank you though. Lastly, why try to say anything if it is not meant to be substantive... unless comedy is your reason for being in the discussion? Nothing wrong with that, but I don't find much about this topic to be very funny. Maybe that's just me. I don;t mean to be dickish. It's just that people arguing as though they think it is good to turn a blind eye to injustice can often get me focused.

              I want for everyone to to well, and to be able to feel good about life and being alive. Sometimes in the course of discussions things tend to get down to bickering. That is what the idea that arguing that Mr. Moore is only interested in personal attention seems like to me. If I have been offensive I apologize for it, and I will try to do better.

              "I got news for you, pal... They're gonna nail us no matter what we do, so we might as well have a good time." -Otter

              by The House on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 12:28:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Intercepted SMS Traffic Exposes SETUP...REVENGE.. (7+ / 0-)

       Marianne Ny and her friends in Stockholm have access to the SMS traffic between Anna Ardin, Sofia Wilén, and their friends and have even shown this traffic to Julian Assange's Swedish solicitor Björn Hurtig.

       The traffic shows unequivocally how Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén conspired to fabricate charges against Julian Assange as a form of '7 step revenge'. But Hurtig's been gagged by Marianne Ny and the Swedes refuse to disclose this information to anyone in Britain.

       The stink of harridan setup has become the foul stench of political skulduggery.

     

    Anna Ardin, who took it upon herself to scrub her online presence, has been famously unsuccessful, getting caught deleting incriminating tweets, redacting her now notorious '7 steps to revenge', removing her CV (with details of her escapades at Swedish embassies in a number of countries) from her blog and website, and finally reducing her Twitter feed to a single tweet.

      'I'm so sick of it all. Will it never end? At any rate I want to say the other girl's just as much to blame.'

    More at Source...

    "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

    by Mr SeeMore on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:09:51 PM PST

  •  Naomi Wolf on serial negligence on rape (9+ / 0-)

    Sweden's Serial Negligence in Prosecuting Rape Further Highlights the Politics Behind Julian Assange's Arrest

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Doing nothing is very easy for Republican party to do ... you never know when there finished. Me 2009

    by army193 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:09:58 PM PST

    •  LOL Naomi Wolf. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vernonbc, DollyMadison

      Her 15 minutes are loooooooong since up.

      •  Yes, it's all about their 15 minutes being up, (8+ / 0-)

        isn't it?

        Naomi Wolf is soooo over, Michael Moore is a conspiracy theorist, blah, blah, blah.  There are many in this community who love people until they become popular or are listened to by others.  Or maybe it's that they get fans who fawn all over them, I don't know.

        But make no mistake, if someone with a known name shows up here, you can bet that for every drooling fan there is an equal and opposite "who cares? They're sooo over" type in response.

        I like facts.  And facts are stubborn things.  So I'm not inclined to love or loathed based on fame.

        How about the rest of you?

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:12:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Moore is so obviously (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jconn

          A verbose propagandist that it's almost funny when people waste the bandwidth to point it out.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:40:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not just point it out, but do it with acrimony. (7+ / 0-)

            Verbose propagandist he may be, but I wouldn't trade one of his kind on our side for a million Glenn Becks.  So why are people so scathing?  Is it jealousy or what?

            I will say one thing.  The only movies I ever go see at a theater are documentaries and I've seen some fine work from the left that doesn't get nearly the eyes it should.  But Michael Moore's movies pack the house, and his are the only ones I've been to that left nearly all of the audience in tears and received standing ovations at the end of them.  Would that we had more propagandists on our side of the divide that got that kind of attention.  So I don't see that as necessarily a bad thing, and I don't understand why others do.

            "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

            by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:51:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  In fairness, Got a Grip, (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lisa, Naranjadia, Got a Grip, vernonbc, Loli

          you should follow Naomi Wolf's paucity of links, if you think that her work is somehow vastly superior to the diarist's.  Wolf has a history of playing fast and loose with her sources (including getting things completely wrong in her nonetheless ubiquitous Shock Doctrine), but let me point out one of the only three links in her HuffPo article that you're offering up as a sane counterpoint to the diarist.  Here's what Wolf wrote:

          Sweden's horrific record in prosecuting all the accused rapists and men accused of sex crime in Sweden who are not Julian Assange drew consternation from as high up as the UN. UN rapporteur Yakin Ertürk warned in February 2007, that there is a shocking discrepancy "between the apparent progress in achieving gender equality and the reports of continued violence against women in the country."

          Embarrassingly for her, she actually links to the source of that quote.  It's not a warning, and it's certainly not "shocked": it's the title of a fact-finding mission whose results she hasn't read, a missions whose apparent purpose was to assess the difference in reportage and incident.  It's surrounded by pages of titles of similar missions.

          She lied about the context of that quote.

          Not 'misrepresented'.  Lied.  Bald-faced.  

          That's why people like me tend to be suspicious when Wolf is cited as a reference for anything.  She's a sloppy, intellectual dishonest hack writer.  She may even be correct, on occasion.

          You know I respect you a lot so I don't want to turn this into a fight, but I'm really chafing over the aspersions you've cast over people who read and rec'd this diary, especially since you've got an enormous mote you need to pull out of your own eye first.  I enjoyed reading this diary because it does offer information - not enough links, you are correct - but information especially about the legal system that hasn't been discussed anywhere else.  

          If the diarist is painting too-rosy a picture - and that's not the sense I got from the diary at all - then your providing counterevidence is entirely appropriate.  Your slamming other users is not.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:54:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And to clarify for other people, (4+ / 0-)

            the UN study was prompted by exactly what the diarist addresses: that there was an apparent discrepancy between the strides the country had taken to ensure better standards for women and the fact that the numbers weren't going down as a result.  Jennifer Heape, linked in Wolf's article, also takes note of the UN study but more soberly notes that the discrepancy was the subject, not the "shocking" result, of the study.

            More damning for the diarist is that the problems aren't with reporting, where the increased number of reports may be interpreted as a good sign (versus Saudi Arabia), but with prosecution, where the statistics are abysmal, according to Heape.  That's harder to dismiss, and a legitimate point of criticism against the diarist's version.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:10:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Chafe not, oh wise one. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pico

            I'll give you Wolf's paucity of links and the wrongness of her claim to the link you've highlighted.  It wasn't the best thing I could have chosen.  But I've been reading other articles and studies, and they all point to Sweden and the entire Nordic region as having a poor record on rape.

            If I sound strident, it's because the subject of rape and domestic abuse hits very close to home for me, and this whole stew of Moore/Assange/rape makes me very edgy with regards to how this plays out for women.  I think you understand how an issue that is personal to you can drive you to ask for accuracy in a diary like this and perhaps wonder about why others would find it compelling without it.

            "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

            by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:12:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I totally understand. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Got a Grip

              Didn't mean to be confrontational.  Been a long week, etc.  Hope things are well.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:27:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You weren't confrontational. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pico

                You were fair and honest as you always are.  And you know I count on you to back me down when I've gone too far.  It is I who owe apologies for getting riled up.  No good can come of it.

                Get some rest, kiddo.  You've earned it.

                "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:36:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  That's Naomi Kline "Shock Doctrine". Wrong Naomi. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Euroliberal, pico, Got a Grip
            •  Sorry, hard to read that with all the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              David PA

              egg on my face.  Mea culpa.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:27:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Assange could be an abuser or criminal (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Euroliberal, pico, pvmuse

                rather than perhaps just a cad. Maybe he's not even a cad and the story line just got out of hand. We've heard that the women initially just wanted to get in touch with him and then elevated it to an assault when they could not find him. We've also heard that sex was forced. There's a huge difference there. The latter charge is clearly very serious. Were the women just unhappy with Assange, or was he really an assaulter? We don't know now. We should eventually know ...

                Wolf's point, though, has at least some validity. Among all the sexual assault charges filed in Sweden of this level of severity - and we know there have to have been many of them of this level of severity and worse - how many would lead to a call for extradition and a red alert arrest warrant being issued via Interpol?

                •  Well, I certainly agree on the last part: (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  vernonbc, David PA, tardis10

                  I don't know how INTERPOL works but I don't think they make a habit of going after people charged with this.  It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and it's so clearly political that it makes it hard to evaluate the merits of the charges themselves.

                  That being said, the diarist does have a point about how far Moore overstepped his boundaries in order to make the points that he was making.  Moore tends to get carried away, and this is a pretty good example of the kind of problems that can cause.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 12:23:54 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Agreed about diarist's points.It's so politically (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Euroliberal, pico, foldingBicycle

                    charged as you note that it made Moore go overboard. I'm a fan of Moore's passion and conviction, but don't like, or want, to see him go further than the facts allow.

                    •  I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

                      but don't like, or want, to see him go further than the facts allow.

                      but it sure feels like somebody has to go there sometimes.

                      I remember the 2003 Oscars when MMoore called shame on Bush.
                      They cut the music and called him a fat slob. A million dead later, he lost some weight but he will always be a fat slob for them.

                      "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

                      by Euroliberal on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:51:52 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  I see (0+ / 0-)

                you wrote a long comment to put "egg on her face" because you thought your "facts" could stand scrutiny but then, it's all good; mea culpa.

                "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

                by Euroliberal on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:46:09 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah. I admitted I was wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                  That's typically how one does it, ya know?  I know that's a no-no on the blogs where people are supposed to preserve their sense of 'right'ness no matter what the cost, but I don't play that game.

                  Meanwhile the commenter above and I are cool, so what's your problem?

                  Naomi Wolf's article is (at best) badly sourced and (at worst) dishonest.  I stand by that, and if you'd like to disagree, you're welcome to address my criticisms.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:06:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  There is no doubt that absent Wikileaks (12+ / 0-)

    There would not be the international exhibition for these same allegations.

    You can put lipstick on a pig but Sweden is still being a tool (lackey) for America in this case.

    •  There's no evidence of that (0+ / 0-)

      All there is is conspiracy theory pushed by Assange's lawyers and rabid fans of WikiLeaks.

      There's significant evidence that these charges are not politically related. Correlation is not causation.

      •  Possibly. But Naomi Wolf sure makes a convincing (0+ / 0-)

        case that the charges against Assange are being pursued so strongly because it's all about the international political outfall from Wikileaks here.

        •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

          Naomi Wolf has been discredited multiple times.

          And in this case, she mis-portrays multiple things.

          First off, we don't know why he's in solitary confinement. I suspect it's to protect him, not to punish him. Of course, his attorneys aren't going to portray it like that, but it's almost certainly the reason for it.

          Secondly, she states that most men aren't treated the way he's being treated. But most men who commit sexual assaults don't behave like Assange did! And they don't have the money Assange has. And they don't have the history of trying to cover up one's tracks to avoid detection like Assange has done.

          And so any direct comparison between him and a regular Joe who's charged with a sexual offense is an unfair comparison! That's a huge, undeniable, red-flag kind of failure that she doesn't even recognize she made!

          Third - she brings up totally irrelevant instances of grossly disturbing treatment of rape victims in what only can be assumed is an effort to enflame the reader, as it has nothing to do with anything in Assange's case! She says "want more typical cases?" She never should have brought up those first cases, since they have no relevance!!!

          Fourth - again she brings up the way Assange is being held, without bail. He was considered a serious flight risk. He still is! That's why he's being heavily monitored and had his passport revoked. He is a flight risk. Denying that is denying the undeniable!

          Fifth. It's hard to get convictions for sex crimes. So what? That disproves the furor here about the Amnesty International report that supposedly indicted Sweden (but didn't, really - it unfairly indicted Sweden for offenses mostly from Finland).

          The fact that many sexual assaults and the rapists who commit them go unpunished means nothing when we see one person being held to account for his behavior! And then she grossly and unfairly exaggerates the way that rapists are held to account when the woman might have had some alcohol in her system or been raped by an acquaintance. That rarely still affects any criminal proceeding anymore, yet she pretends that those effects are still pervasive. They aren't.

          Then she gets something right, but still gets it wrong! Sixth - it's hard to get a conviction. So what? And many cases are pled down. So what? 90% of criminal cases are settled with plea bargains. Yeah, that's right - 90%. We don't have the money, as a nation, to take every case to trial! So, it's hard to get a conviction on any kind of a he said, she said case, and it's hard to try everyone here in the USA (and in most developed countries too), but that has no relevance to this guy being one of the ones who has been arrested!

          Her point that she's never seen a similar case is her seventh and her fatal flaw.

          So what? Assange is NOT like most other potential sexual assaulters! And so his treatment has been different than most. And when one adds up all the differences, his cause is pretty nearly unique, and so the strange thing would be if he WERE treated like someone else! He's internationally known. He's a tremendous self-promoter.

          But he wasn't being held in solitary confinement because of the crime he is alleged to have commit. And if he were in Sweden, and not a flight risk, he wouldn't be held before questioning either - they'd go ahead and question him. He was being held without bail because of the crime either - it's because he refused to cooperate while he was still in Sweden to be interviewed. He then left Sweden, promising to return in mid October, but didn't. He then demanded that he be interviewed in England, but Swedish law doesn't allow for that! And you can be certain that this was explained to him and his lawyer, yet none of them have ever told the public that in statement they've made, have they?

          Eighth - there's absolutely no evidence that he's being held the way he is because he's pissed off the USA! That's a conspiracy theory that he and his lawyers and his supporters have repeatedly pushed for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever! None. He was first investigated in August of this year. The women wanted the cops to force him to take an STD test when they first went to the cops. They were WikiLeaks supporters, for cripes sake. The totally false and unsupportable belief that this guy was targeted unfairly is ridiculous!

          Her argument falters on every level. Every one.

          Please, try harder next time - this was a massive fail.

  •  Balance... (14+ / 0-)

    God knows we need it here. Thank you.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:13:01 PM PST

    •  Why is a fact-free diatribe considered "balance?" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, caul

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:06:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What do you mean "fact-free"? (3+ / 0-)

        The diarist explains a number of things about the Swedish system that most people probably are unaware of. I don't see how you can be more fact-based than that.

        I was born are raised in Sweden. Every word of this diary rings 100% true. There is for instance no question that if it ever came out that a politician had tried to influence the decisions of a prosecutor, he or she would have no choice but to resign instantly - it would easily be the political scandal of the year, if not the decade.

        So I very much doubt there is any conspiracy here. That does not preclude the possibility that the prosecutor is influenced by the lime light, and is going much farther here than she would in a more routine case. But the possibility of a politically motivated persecution is very remote.

        •  Do you see any links supporting those claims? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, Euroliberal

          Bully for you, you were born in Sweden and have lovely childhood memories.  I was born in Missouri and spectacular memories, too, and could provide, if I so choose, rose-colored assessments on subjects ranging from education to the treatment of people with color.  But my memories do not speak to the reality that was lived by so many others in areas not so far away yet different from my niche.

          So go look at the links I posted in this comment and check out some of the other comments with links that others have posted here.  Just because you didn't live it doesn't mean that others haven't.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:01:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, I've provided several links (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sybil Liberty, vernonbc

            And so have other people in this diary, and so have I and other people in all the other diaries on this topic.

            And quite a number of the links that have been provided back up what this diarist has written.

            •  Apparently you're not reading what I'm saying. (0+ / 0-)

              I have not defended Mr. Assange.  I have stated in this thread that if Mr. Assange committed a crime then he should be punished.  I've read your link and it has nothing whatsoever to do with the facts as they pertain to how Sweden pursues rape cases other than Mr. Assange.

              I am talking about the meat of this diary, NOT the case against Assange or how anyone feels about Michael Moore's involvement in it.  This diary makes claims that Sweden is just great when it comes to prosecuting rape, and I've posted links showing that it does not.

              So what, exactly, is it you think you're educating me on?

              "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

              by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:14:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Geesh, you can't even keep stuff in context? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vernonbc

                You might want to read your post that I was replying to in order to figure out the context.

                It's not rocket science.

                The links you provided do not show what you claim they show. They are numbers without context. As I explained in the MM diary, that's disingenuous at a minimum to fail to acknowledge that lack of context and comparison to other nations in the Amnesty International report.

      •  what? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vernonbc

        "diatribe"? that's a bit over the top even for someone who likes the current conspiracy theory.

        Whether you choose to believe it or not, there's nothing vaguely "diatribe" about this diary. Don't be ridiculous.

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:57:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  even with six daughters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill, borkitekt

    the spouse and i have a very hard time talking about the crime of rape when it is topic du jour in the news. must be the hormones that there is usually a lack of common ground on definitions.

    will have a flash of what have i been doing for the last thirty years then we compromise on some point based on a local story that is less abstract. hope it makes john boehner cry.

    before i married my roommate was dating a swedish immigrant. there is a pop singer in sweden with my daughter's czech names. a college friend from washington state had a u.s. hospital birth certificate in swedish. it feels like the neighborhood. i have had a sweet spot for the country in my heart.

    Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living~~Mother Jones

    by CA Berkeley WV on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:14:17 PM PST

  •  Meta Point (11+ / 0-)

    This is the kind of diary that makes Kos great:
    Logical, fact based, intelligent, passionate.
    And yet celebrity posts like Moore's get all the accolades. I hadn't read his piece until you linked to it (as a rule, I try hard not to read his posts), but the opening lines reminded me why I avoid him. Yes, let's joke about meatballs and Ikea in a diary about Rape.

    Thank you for offering us a unique (and I think true) perspective.

    •  This diary is neither logical or fact-based. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, Anak

      You may not like Michael Moore, what he said or how he said it, and that's just fine.  But this diary is not fact-based or logical.  Here are some facts in PDF format for you courtesy of Amnesty International.

      But hey, don't let actual facts get in the way of your perceptions or your loathing of a celebrity.  It would be a shame to, you know, search for real facts when the ones you've made up in your head are so much more pleasing.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:15:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In that case I am neither fact-based nor logical (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Naranjadia, vernonbc, DollyMadison

        After reading MM's diary yesterday, I wanted to write this diary myself. BluePlatypus made a much better job than I could have, but the points s/he raises are virtually exactly those that came to my mind, and likely would occur to most any Swede after reading Moore's diary.

        As a Swede, I can assure that this diary is very clearly based on a first hand knowledge of Sweden and the Swedish system. And as much as I like Michael Moore, he frankly has no clue what he is talking about.

        •  You said it, I didn't. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, Anak

          Would you have included any links that support your assumptions and remembrances?  Or would you just write from the heart on a subject that is complicated and volatile?

          Believing what someone tells you and embracing that based on your personal childhood recollections won't fly here.  And as someone who reads reputable studies and articles, you frankly have no clue about what you're talking about.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:07:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The diary was not about rape. The details of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, Anak

      those charges seem to stink to high heaven... condoms breaking, sex by surprise? One would think that if Assange had any history of such behavior as despicable as rape that that would be out. And if not, then it seems far fetched to think that just after the docs release there are two such charges at the same time by women who apparently know each other and have communicated with each other about the charges. At nearly 40 years old he is suddenly a sexual predator? The whole thing smells very bad. And as far as facts go, well there exceedingly few apparently. No one could, and no one will ever know whether he in any way forced himself on these women, that is besides the three of them of course.

      "I got news for you, pal... They're gonna nail us no matter what we do, so we might as well have a good time." -Otter

      by The House on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:18:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Moore (9+ / 0-)

    Honestly, I wanted to HR Michael Moore's diary about Sweden, but given that people here seems to think he's as much a saint as Saint Julian, I didn't think it was a good idea.  The hypocrisy over this case is disgusting.  I don't know if Saint Julian is guilty of being anything other than a sanctimonious asshole, but this attack on the women who complained against him and now the country where he's charged is vile.

  •  I'm not familiar with the diarist, (8+ / 0-)

    but I am familiar with Micheal Moore, what he has said, what he has done, and his multiple movies and documentaries.

    Without having any firsthand knowledge and experience, I chose to believe the entity I know... until he's proven wrong.

    Up next: Hawaiian vacation. How about you? "Now watch this drive."

    by gooderservice on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:23:26 PM PST

  •  Excellent response (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, French Imp

    Nothing beats on-the-ground experience coupled with original research.

    Bring them home now. It's time.

    by llbear on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:35:59 PM PST

    •  Wouldn't links be nice? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, Anak

      I like a first-hand perspective as much as the next gal, but real facts, as I put in this comment and this one bear more weight for me than a fact-free diatribe like this diary.

      I am shocked at the number of people I consider to be part of the reality-based community that have recced this diary and encouraged the author in their false claims.  I truly am.  I guess it just goes to show that we can all be swayed by our own perceptions and words strung together in a pleasing fashion.  It's disconcerting and more than a little frightening.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:27:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have done lots of research on this case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear, French Imp

        And provided many, many links on this topic over the past 3 weeks.

        I can't tell you how many times I've debunked nonsense about how terrible the Swedish prosecutors are behaving - with links documenting that they're actually behaving just as they should be.

        I'm the person who actually read the PDF that MM linked to, and discovered that the link that he was alleging condemned Sweden didn't actually do that at all - generalizations about Nordic countries don't work well with Sweden, and that's explained in that link - but MM went with the story that fit his preconceived notions!

        And what "false claims" has the diarist made?

        I've gone through all of your comments on this diary, and you haven't documented a one. And no, he Amnesty International link that was in MM's diary isn't one - if one actually reads that, it indicts Nordic countries in general, but not Sweden in particular.

        •  Here, Miss "Ive done the research." (0+ / 0-)

          From the Amnesty Internation Report that I link to.  I have no idea what Michael Moore linked to, I didn't get my info from him.  I like to read things for myself.

          From page 3 of the report

          The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has, in the case of Sweden, pointed
          out that, while an impressive level of gender equality has been achieved in the so-called public
          spheres of work, education and political participation, these achievements seem to have
          halted at the doorsteps of private homes. The unequal power relations between men and
          women continue to be fuelled by deeply rooted patriarchal gender norms that are reproduced
          within the so-called private spheres of family life and sexual relationships.3 Accordingly, the
          equal opportunities agenda is a necessary but insufficient strategy for achieving full gender
          equality and ensuring women’s right to a life free from violence.

          From page 5

           In Sweden, 20 per cent of the reported acts of rape resulted in a court trial in 2008,7 a
          marked increase from the previous two years when less than 15 per cent of cases were tried
          by a court. There are no available statistics on how many reported rapes end with conviction,
          as official statistics report how many people are convicted. In 2008, 262 persons were
          convicted of rape.
          A number of cases are closed because the perpetrator is never identified, but the majority of
          cases are closed because of the "state of the evidence" or because "it cannot be proved that
          a crime has been committed". Even if cases do go to trial, the acquittal rate is very high. There
          is therefore a common cause for concern about the lack of legal protection for victims of rape
          in the Nordic countries.

          from page 6

           In Sweden, close to 25 per cent of the victims who reported rape in 2008 were between 15
          and 17 years old and in 98 per cent of these cases the victim was female.

          snip

           In Sweden, the proportion of reported "intra-relationship" rapes almost halved over a 10-
          year period and accounted for 17 per cent of all reported rapes in 2006. However, the actual
          number of rapes in intimate relationships reported to the police increased by 24 per cent over
          the same period.

          from page 7

          In Sweden, rape committed by a superficial acquaintance accounts for approximately 40 per
          cent of all reported cases. In addition, rapes in situations where the victim and perpetrator
          have just met, for example in restaurants, bars or clubs, have increased in Sweden.

          There's much more but for the sake of brevity let's cut to page 22 and be done with it

          NEED FOR LONG-TERM REHABILITATION SERVICES IN SWEDEN
          In Sweden, rape victims are generally cared for by women’s clinics in public hospitals. There
          are, at present, only a few specialized centres for victims of sexual assault. Since the public
          discourse on gender-based violence in Sweden clearly defines it as a matter of public concern,
          it is difficult to understand why there is, at present, no public system providing specialized
          support centres for victims of rape and other sexual offences. One explanation could be that
          support for victims of sexual violence, such as that given by women’s shelters in Sweden, is
          generally provided by non-profit organizations.
          A national programme on care for victims of sexual violence has been developed and is
          currently being implemented to ensure legally secure procedures for sampling and
          documentation, but it does not address the need for long-term rehabilitation, including
          psychological help.

          There are other human rights organizations that have reports such as this.

          From your comments it looks as though you have a grudge match with Michael Moore and Assange.  That's your problem.  This diary claims that Sweden is just hunky dory
          when it comes to deal with rape, and all the evidence points to the contrary.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:55:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, without a comparison to other countries (3+ / 0-)

            Those numbers are worse than useless.

            And those numbers don't make Sweden look very bad when one looks at them in context!!! In the USA, about 5% of rapists go to jail. That means that the vast majority of rapists don't go to jail, just like the report above says about what happens in Sweden!

            And the strict view of data without understanding it in context is another sin that the report makes. Rape in one country is not equivalent to rape in another country, and so direct comparisons can't be made.

            Facts aren't bad. It's the correlation between the facts in one nation compared to the facts in other nations that make one nation look bad and another look better. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the fact that they reel off statistics about what happens in Sweden means that it's bad news what happens in Sweden. But one can't come to that conclusion given the facts we know!

            And no, my grudges are strictly against people like you who make assertions that are dishonest or disingenuous because they omit relevant information or distort available info!

            This diary doesn't make the claim you allege it does (that Sweden is hunky-dory), nor does all the evidence contradict that point. You're the one not being honest.

            Sweden has more gender-equality than almost any other nation. So, it's not perfect, but can you really think that just because it's not perfect, that gender-equality in other realms hasn't helped it out? Really? Amnesty International is saying that Sweden's not perfect. So what? No one said that they were! They're much better than most countries - that's the important measure - keeping their patterns of behavior in context!!

  •  So why then is Sweden sold out to CIA? (14+ / 0-)

    I mean seriously?
    They have lost all credibility as a country to me.

    Hopefully other folks inspired by this will look into their records and see if they did any funny business like the banks in Iceland and Greece did.

    Also why doesnt interpol put out red warning for all men accused of sexual assault?

    Sorry man, you should be on the side of truth and justice, and fake charges out of what is considered a trusted country is beyond the pale.

    •  Very good point -- why Assange only? (8+ / 0-)
    •  That's the really hilarious part. (7+ / 0-)

      Western Europe is flooded with women from Eastern Europe, Asia, etc., who have been more or less sold or forced into slavery and who work as prostitutes in Western European brothels (if they're not entirely unlucky) or on the streets (if they are.)  Interpol doesn't seem to be too terribly devoted to rooting any of this out.

    •  I'm also part Swedish (4+ / 0-)

      and I am with you, not the diarist. I used to be proud of my Swedish heritage, Sweden was all the good progressive things the diarist lists, or so I believed. The majority of Swedish people are probably still like that, but it sure as hell looks like their govt. is caving to US interests. The allegations, which are not even charges yet, stink to high heaven

      -7.75, -6.05 And these wars; they can't be won Does anyone know or care how they begun?-Matt Bellamy

      by nicolemm on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:13:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sweden has not sold out to the CIA (0+ / 0-)

      Some of the cables Assange has on his servers expose NATO, US and Swedish contingency planning on the defense of the Baltic States. Others describe US-Swedish collaboration on investigations of Islamist individuals and organizations.  Could it be that perhaps the Swedish government itself is angry at Assange?  Or that they might have good reason to be angry?  But no... everything is a CIA plot.  Every decision that one disagrees with must be a case of the US controlling other governments, because CT is so deeply ingrained in our being that this is the only possible explanation.

      I know that most people on this site (a) feel that governments are not entitled to secrecy (b)assume that all secret information covers up scandal and don't give a shit about whether secret information on defense planning remains secret (c) can't distinguish between whistleblowing on specific violations of international law versus wide-scale exposure of classified information and (d) assume that any action against Assange must be craven capitulation to the US government.

      I have no idea whether Assange is guilty or not of sex crimes.  I don't think Sweden is a leading abuser of women's rights.  I do suspect that the Swedish government is upset at having its secret information held on websites that it can't control, and is not thrilled to have defense planning information released. Assange is not going to find a home anywhere outside Ecuador, even if he manages to escape this problem, because while some of what he does is legitimate whistleblowing, he is basically an information anarchist and mostly he's about creating as much chaos as possible.  That's all well and good, and I know he is a hero to many who need to believe in heroes right now.  But it's hardly surprising that even a liberal constitutional government like Sweden has it out for him.

      "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

      by ivorybill on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:00:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Officially neutral but... (10+ / 0-)

    Sweden is a totally awesome progressive country, but they're not perfect.

    Sweden is officially a neutral country, but they also make and sell a lot of military weapons to the US and NATO, and currently have troops in Afghanistan under NATO command.

    One example from a few years ago:
    "American forces in Iraq will shortly start using new high accuracy artillery shells, incorporating explosives and other key parts from Swedish company, Bofors."
    http://www.thelocal.se/...

    "just give me some truth" --John Lennon

    by vernon nackulus on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:37:25 PM PST

  •  I Hope Sweden Stays Vigilant in Prosecuting Rapes (7+ / 0-)

    I am very wary of the current media theme, though, which goes something like this:

    Assange has been accused of rape; therefore, Wikileaks is criminal espionage.

    The promise of Social Security is not negotiable.

    by bink on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:40:11 PM PST

    •  But on the other hand, (6+ / 0-)

      you can be a crusader and still be an asshole. Assange is no saint; we have to take the potential bad along with the potential good.

      Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

      by Cali Scribe on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:51:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My Gut Instinct (6+ / 0-)

        This guy is a real creep.

        But I think that this is a separate issue than any legal questions surrounding Wikileaks.  To be honest, I don't see what the grounds might be for charging Assange with breaking any law here in the U.S.  He hasn't done anything that the New York Times hasn't done, many notable times over the years.

        I think that the Village has a problem with Assange because he's not a sanctioned part of their power system.

        The promise of Social Security is not negotiable.

        by bink on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:55:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  gotta agree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bink, ivorybill, Naranjadia

          This guy is a real creep.

          But I tend to feel that way about people who so excessively seek attention.

          It wouldn't surprise me if he committed crimes, just as it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't. Ditto Sweden, maybe they trumped up charges, maybe they didn't.

          I'm much more interested in the WikiLeaks project than I am in Assange.

        •  The same people who want to go after Assange (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal, tardis10

          would love to do the same to the NYT and other papers that dare to question authority (not that there are many out there anymore -- most would rather curry favor than rock boats).

          Can't really see where there'd be a case against Assange here in the States -- though the folks that fed Wikileaks the info are definitely in deep crapola.

          Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

          by Cali Scribe on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:12:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It would have to start being vigilant before (0+ / 0-)

      it could remain that way.  The statistics don't bear out the way this diarist would have you believe.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:31:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think from the government's viewpoint it's (0+ / 0-)

      the other way around.

      Wikileaks is criminal espionage, therefore Assange is accused of rape.

      It's the most farcical rape charge in history and should enrage any woman who has actually been raped - but you gotta give the CIA this: they don't have to care.

      Our outlaw government has a firm ally in Sweden, and they are using every weapon they can come up with to get their bloody hands on Assange.

      We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

      by obiterdictum on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:51:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  17 diaries Jun-Nov 2009, 0 raings, 0 comments (9+ / 0-)

    (until this tip jar), and now this.

    Who are you?

    I don't agree with your interpretation of the statistics, but Michael Moore wasn't 100% right, either.  

    However, divineorder and cacamp make excellent points, and my opinion is that what they say outweighs all the statistics. Of course, I am no statistician.

    Btw, who are you?

    •  I don't mean to say that you have to be somebody (6+ / 0-)

      to have credibility. Your argument is your argument, with or without you. However, this is a topic that with an unusual amount of power and money on one side, and anyone who comments on it is subject to some scrutiny.

    •  tipped for links n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, ej25, Got a Grip, Aranfell
    •  Fallacies, fallacies, everywhere (4+ / 0-)

      Yesterday, Michael Moore tries to paint his hero as a good guy and justifies it by reminding us that our government always lies.

      Yesterday, Michael Moore tries to paint his hero as a progressive activist who was unjustly imprisoned. He uses his own reputation as an activist to prove the unjust arrest by giving $20k of his own money to free his hero from the horrors of prison. He didn't offer to fund health care for the needy in the US, for some reason. I guess it wasn't on his mind.

      Yesterday, Michael Moore tries to tell us that the government is deliberately charging his hero with false sexually-related charges. His proof is that we shouldn't be so naive to believe that our government won't go to any lengths to attack someone.

      Yesterday, Michael Moore's hero posts bail and states that the US is secretly drawing up criminal charges against him. He want the US to be transparent in all details as they build a case against him. Think about the astonishing stupidity behind this "secrecy" bullshit. Yeah, hero, like somebody is going to warn you in advance.

      Today, Michael Moore tries to tell us that Sweden is complicit in this attack on his hero by deliberately inflating the sexually-related charges. He proves this by complaining that Sweden doesn't prosecute rapists unless it's politically expedient to Sweden and the US.

      Today, the above comment attempts to claim something or other, and the argument is to discredit the diarist by "poisoning the well".

      Michael Moore is clearly convinced that there is a deliberate conspiracy to silence or imprison his hero.

      Michael Moore has not offered one whit of credible evidence. Just a bunch of illogical and fantisized conspiratorial agendas. Nada.

      How many more fallacies can he claim?

      "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:16:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  GrumpyOldGeek, what is your take on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Got a Grip
        •  Sweden has sold out to the CIA? (0+ / 0-)

          Again, just supposition or a desire to "prove" some sort of pre-determined theory.

          The fact is that it's absurd to think that the CIA is involved in any way. The US Justice Department has formal mechanisms to coordinate police activities in other countries. There are FBI liasons that work with Scotland Yard and the authorities in Sweden. Each of these countries has liasons that coordinate activities in the US.

          The CIA is the US spy agency, to simplify their mission. Countries use police liasons for police work, certainly not spies. We deport spies regardless of their national affiliation. We arrest those who don't have diplomatic immunity. The laws vary by country.

          There's no doubt that Assange has put himself in the concerns of other countries. He flaunts it arrogantly. If he has convinced himself that he's safe to keep soliciting secrets and exposing them, he's very, very wrong. It's pretty much a guarantee that every move he makes will be watched closely from now on. The instant he does something illegal and a case to procecute can be made, he'll be arrested again.

          The US is not desparate to lock him up. They most certainly won't do anything to jeopardize any charges from holding up in court. The is no conspiracy to build any fake evidence or to frame him. That would be beyond stupidity.

          It helps to know where he is. So far, this has been accomplished.

          Michael Moore is simply making shit up to fit his US-government-is-evil belief. There is no conspiracy. There is a coordinated police presence.

          By the way, a foreigner is always going to get more attention in rape cases because of the obvious flight risk. The claims I see here are that Sweden just doesn't prosecute rape cases if it involves Swedish men. I don't think that convincing yourself that Sweden somehow suddenly stopped enforcing laws for serious crimes is a way to convince yourself that Sweden is out to get Assange. Yet some are actually buying this bullshit logic here. Proof? No, just imaginary demons, it seems.

          To Kill A Mockingbird is the source for current statistics? Set in 1836 in the deeply racial South? Have you noticed that Assange isn't an illiterate black man living in 1936 who's been accused by false testimony of murdering a white girl?

          Yes, there is bias based on sex, race, and citizenship. But you have to have some sliver of real evidence to back up such claims. There is none. Nada. Zilch.

          "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:27:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  That is: (6+ / 0-)

        Also why doesnt interpol put out red warning for all men accused of sexual assault?

      •  If you are foreign (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, ej25, The House, Got a Grip

        You are six times more likely to be investigated for Rape charges than an ethnically Nordic swede. Moore might be a fabulist twat but Assange is being pro Bono represented by esteemed barrister Geoffrey Robertson who has stopped about 100 capital cases in the carribean from being carried to Grizzly conclusion.

        What about Geoff Robertson? Hack, self promoter? Shill? No he's a real living breathing hero.  

        A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

        by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:29:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So Assange has a capital charge now? (0+ / 0-)

          Let's try to come down a little closer to Earth, m'kay?

          Geoff Robertson isn't self-promoting by doing pro-bono work for the highest of the internationally reported criminal of the moment? Do you really believe this? He might be great, but it's clearly self-promotion.

          The crime is that a goddamn condom broke during consentual sex. This is a crime in Sweden. Assange needs a high-profile heroic lawyer for this? Assange is obviously very worried about the next shoe that drops.

          "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:37:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, grannyhelen

    I love Sweden! I visited there last year and I'm heading back in March for another week. I'd move there in a heartbeat if I could.

    •  And what does this have to do with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, caul

      the topic at hand?  I love Egypt!  Yes, I really do.  I lived there for a short while a few years ago.  It doesn't mean I closed my eyes to the myriad evils that go on there.  In fact, I'd say it's imperative to explore what a country's policies are, their attitudes and behaviors, both on a political and personal level, before I trot myself out in public there or extol their claimed virtues.  It can be dangerous to do otherwise.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:00:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Huh. (11+ / 0-)

    Here's an article Naomi Wolf, who can hardly be considered a rape apologist, who disagrees with you.  In fact, it appears that Amnesty International disagrees with you.

    It's lovely that you're half-Swedish and all, really, just lovely.  What does that have to do with anything?  You make a lot of statements in this diary, but your only link, your ONLY LINK, is to some guy I've never heard of written entirely in Swedish.

    I can provide you links all day long to reputable sources that sort of shit on your claims.  So I guess you could say I'm just not feeling what you're saying here.  And as a woman who takes crimes against women very seriously, I find your diary dubious, as dubious as I find the possible charge of "sex by surprise" against Mr. Assange.  

    And let me state here that whether or not Mr. Assange did something atrocious with or to those women doesn't change the nature of what Wikileaks has released to the public.  If he's done the crime then he should do the time, but if this is being used to put him in a position to be punished by our government for showing the emperor has no clothes then I'll have his back.

    "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

    by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 05:56:24 PM PST

    •  6% of Swedish population is foreign (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, caul, corvo, Got a Grip

      But 25% of inmates are immigrant or entirely foreign.

      http://www.kriminalvarden.se/...

      lovely. Well, what bunch of purists they are.    

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:09:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, this kind of diary reminds me of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, caul

        the American penchant for believing we're somehow "exceptional."  Or a travelogue of the goodness to be found in the great expanse of Nordic whiteness, as long as you're, well, white and can blend in.

        I find the lack of links disturbing.  I like facts.  Well written crap is still crap. Pig with lipstick, sow's ear to silk purse, etc., etc. pick your metaphor and run with it.  I just don't buy it.

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:30:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had thought they were much nicer than this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, Got a Grip

          Looking at their criminal justice stats however indicates that if you are foreign you are in for a very interesting time if you offend the Nordic sensibilities of the place.

          Assange counts as a stranger to that culture in my book.  

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:36:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Please (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vc2

        Immigrants in western europe tend to be poorer, tend to live somewhat segregated lives, and like it or not, poverty equals higher crime rates.  It's not unexpected that if most of those 6% are in the  lowest income quintile that most of the crime would happen in that group.  No different than any other country.

        Whatever the merits or lack of merit of Michael Moore's latest diary, I cannot fault Sweden for their immigration policy - one of the most generous and decent in Europe.  I personally know an Iraqi that ran an LGBT safehouse in Damascus for refugees.  When he was arrested and deported back to Iraq, it was Sweden that took him in and protected him.  I have no tolerance for Sweden being criticised for an immigration and refugee protection policy that is perhaps the best in the world and is light-years ahead of the US immigrant and refugee policy.  

        "Die Stimme der Vernuft ist leise." (The voice of reason is soft)

        by ivorybill on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:07:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  But all the other BluePlatypus diaries have tons (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, caul, corvo, Got a Grip

      of links -- maybe BluePlatypus got tired of last year's BluePlatypus writing style with all the links and decided to start fresh!

      •  I'm quite amazed at some of the people who recced (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, caul, ej25

        this diary.  People who themselves write wonderful diaries full of links to reputable sources, and who often call bullshit on this kind of factual wasteland.  This isn't a meta diary, after all.  This is a topic of great interest right now, a controversial and inflammatory topic, and sourcing is of great importance if you're going to wade in, call names and makes statements where there are facts to be found to the contrary.  

        Is there something in the water around here all of a sudden?

        "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

        by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:43:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  fine, if Sweden wants its good reputation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, corvo

    it can drop all the charges against Julian Assange and tell the USG where to stick it.

    And pull their troops out of Afghanistan, and pull out of NATO, and..

    Then again we are talking about a country so progressive that they finally abolished slavery - also known as conscription - in June 2010.

    PayPal is a rip off. Close your account now!

    by canyonrat on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:09:06 PM PST

    •  Sweden is not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rimjob, cotterperson, foldingBicycle

      a member of NATO, so to say they should pull out of NATO makes no sense.

      The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

      by PSzymeczek on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:49:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they currently have troops (0+ / 0-)

        in Afghanistan, and I believe Kosovo, under NATO command, so pardon me for mistaking them for a NATO member.

        I will give Sweden kudos for rejecting the Euro, and in what is now the distant past for their having welcomed Vietnam War resisters, but frankly their obvious politically motivated persecution of Julian Assange and going to the extreme of using Interpol to seek his arrest over minor non-charges puts Sweden in the worst possible company of rogue states right now.

        PayPal is a rip off. Close your account now!

        by canyonrat on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:11:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antoniomachado

    The whole thing is somewhat of a curiosity.

    Even assuming that Sweden and the U.S. are in cahoots (the diarist points out that this is unlikely, at least for the purpose of bringing someone like Assange down, and I agree) there are many better ways to take him out.  So if there is indeed some nefarious back channel deal with the U.S., I'd think it would take a less contrived form than this.  And remember that if he beats the rap, he'll have plenty of money and publicity and I'm sure there are plenty of Swedish politicans who would use this as an opportunity to settle their scores with the incumbent government.  I also would think that being perceived as a stoolie of the CIA is not a good way to get ahead in the Swedish public sector.

    Oh, yes.  Right now he's in England under something fairly close to house arrest.  Great Britain, unlike Sweden, does have close relationships with the U.S. and could probably twist their Official Secrets Act to do whatever they want to him.  So why would they extradite him to Sweden, where it's much harder for the United States to rough him up?

  •  This diary is ridiculous (7+ / 0-)

    I am a big fun of Sweden myself, but the diarist seems to be completely ignorant that Sweden has currently a right-wing government.   The whole case against Assange is a VERY obvious ridiculous set-up to silence him.  It does not take to be a genius to figure that out.

  •  huh? (11+ / 0-)

    Sweden's not a US ally or NATO member. It has no history of doing the US many great favors, especially in foreign policy.

    How would this be explained?

    The Iraqi refugee Hameed Al-Obaidi was offered to be the informant for SÄPO’s behalf. He refused – then rejected his asylum application. Today he is waiting to bounce trapped in the Immigration Service detained in Flen.

    "They said they wanted me to be their eyes and ears. I was particularly interesting for them because I speak seven languages and has worked without compensation as an interpreter – to spy on several different communities simultaneously, "said Hameed al-Obaidi of worker Zenit.

    Since 2003 he had been active against the occupation and the new government and has published critical articles in numerous newspapers and on the web. He was arrested, imprisoned for 18 months and tortured.

    And, of course, this:

    According to the Washington Post, declassified Swedish government documents "noted that 'the American side" had offered to help in the deportation "by lending a plane for the transport" and that ""the transport from Sweden to Egypt was carried out with the help of American authorities."

    Airport records obtained by Kalla Fakta show that a Gulfstream V jet registered with an American company identified by the registration/tail number N379P, the same plane that transported Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed from Karachi to Cairo, flew from the Swedish airport to Cairo that night.

    Agiza and Al Zery were held in the Masra Tora prison, which is just south of Cairo. Agiza's mother, Hamida Shalaby, says they were tortured there. She told Kalla Fakta,

      The mattress had electricity. The mattress. He would lay on it - like this - and his arms in chains on both sides and his legs in chains too. When they connected to the electricity, his body would rise up and then fall down and this up and down would go on until they unplugged electricity.

    Shalaby said this happened four times from December 19 to February 20, and "every day" her son was tortured with electrodes while stapped to a chair. She told the Washington Post that

       told her during separate visits that he was given electric shocks and that prison doctors tried to cover up scars on his body by applying a special cream. "He couldn't even pick up his arms to hug me," she said in an interview. "He was very slow and very tired and very weak."

    My point is that the Swedish government is obviously under tremendous pressure from the US to keep Assange under legal threat (a "holding charge" they call it) until he can be extradited to face Holder's trumped-up indictment (due any day now). ALL of the Swedish government's actions in Assange's case are COMPLETELY unprecedented.

    Sure, Sweden isn't as militaristic as the US; but if you don't believe that the charges against Assange are politically motivated, you're not paying attention.

  •  Assange needs to get on to more important things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antoniomachado, DollyMadison
    like going after Wilt Chamberlain's "record" for the number of starry eyed women that he bedded . Why do so many support this Assange guy who just wants to get his freak on ? His homies started their own organization because they were tired of the cult of personality crap that Assange is using to get laid. A website for whistle blowers should be about the whistle blowers not about some horny publicity hound.
  •  Still waiting (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, caul, Got a Grip, nancat357, Anak

    for the diarist, or anyone for that matter, to show that Sweden has ever, even once, posted a Red letter on Interpol for investigation of accusations (not even charges!) of the crimes for which Assange has been accused.  Even once.

    And still waiting for someone to show that Sweden has ever extradited a person being investigated for the accusations (not even charges!) of the crimes for which Assange has been accused.

    Anyone?

    Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

    by Simian on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:48:42 PM PST

    •  Here's a snip about the Interpol warrant (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, Simian, Got a Grip, Anak

      from [the AFP via the Daily Telegraph in Australia] Dec. 1:

      NTERPOL has alerted member states to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on suspicion of rape on the basis of a Swedish arrest warrant.

      "There is a public 'Red Notice' on behalf of Sweden," a spokeswoman said, confirming that Interpol had posted Sweden's request for assistance in tracking down the 39-year-old Australian on its website.

      Sweden's International Public Prosecution Office in Gothenburg issued an arrest warrant for the secretive activist on November 18, citing "probable cause of suspected rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion."

      http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/...

  •  HYPERBOLE DIARY IS HYPERBOLE... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, caul, The House, Got a Grip, Anak

    You say you are a fan of most of Mr. Moore's work. If that is the case, and especially considering the wording, tone and sentence used in his latest diary, it should be plainly obvious how he intends the remarks about Sweden to be taken.

    Hyperbole. He was trying to make a point.

    Welcome to the Endgame. Task: Survival.

    by That Damn Librul on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 06:55:26 PM PST

  •  Brilliant diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DollyMadison, Wham Bam

    Moore is a pompous ass! His supporters here give the brain dead a bad name.

    The liberals always get discouraged when they do not see the measures they are interested in go through immediately. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by OIL GUY on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:04:12 PM PST

    •  You know, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, tommymet, obiterdictum, Anak

      it's really pissing me off to see so many people crowing about how "brilliant" this diary is.  I mean really, really pissing me off.

      There is not one fact in this diary.  I have posted several comments that have actual links to reputable sites that dispute the horseshit in this diary.  Nordic nations have a decidedly bad record when it comes to rape (not to mention how they treat anyone who isn't a glistening shade of titanium.)  

      Diaries like this add to the degradation of women who have been sexually assaulted by glorifying countries where rape is swept under the rug.  And if it turns out that the charges against Assange are as trumped up as they appear to be on the surface, that will be another slap in the face for women everywhere, and our government as well as Sweden's will be shown to be a bunch of venal assholes and bullies.

      I don't give two hoots about Michael Moore or Assange or whether they are loved or loathed by this person or that.  But I care a great deal about the mistreatment of women and I resent being bullshitted on such an important subject.  

      The diarist should provide links to reputable sites that support their claims, which they CANNOT DO, or they should delete this diary.  And all y'all that have some sort of a chip on your shoulder for Michael Moore or think Assange is an egotistical ass should try really hard to separate those feelings from the facts at hand and stop encouraging this crap.

      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

      by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:53:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  so intercepting these women's private messages (0+ / 0-)

        and hacking their attorney's computers is part of the struggle to eradicate rape?

        i didn't know that

        pues falta condon perra? y que?

        •  I'm sorry, but who, exactly are you accusing of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The House, Anak

          this?  Are you suggesting that I would support such a thing?  And what does this have to do with this diary full of bullshit?

          Perhaps you could read my comment that you've commented to again and tell me how what you've said relates to it.  Go check out the links I've posted in this thread and the other links posted by others.  Then you tell me how your anger about anonymous hacking, which I don't support, has to do with anything I've said either in my comment or any of my comments in this thread.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:50:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, you haven't provided links that do that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DerAmi

        Clearly, you still need to get a grip.

        The diarist should have provided links.

        But I've been providing links for weeks, and still have to debunk the same nonsense, diary after diary, day after day!

        The research I've done back up what the diarist wrote.

        Your links don't dispute a thing she wrote, since the Amnesty International report that MM linked to doesn't say what he alleged it said about Sweden. It condemns the Nordic countries in general, and actually gives Sweden a pass on most things and distorts the information provided in other instances.

        And I already made this same point about the links in his diary IN his diary.

        •  And you can't read. (0+ / 0-)

          I read the Amnesty International report, and it does not give Sweden a pass.  And I didn't read it in Michael Moore's diary, I didn't read his diary at all.  I opened this diary because I've been here a long, long time and call-outs are usually nasty things that ought to have verifiable facts behind them to be taken seriously and found a fact free, link free piece that the diarist can't even be bothered to participate in in comments.

          You seem to be confused.  On the one hand you downplay what Amnesty International and other human rights organizations say about Sweden's dismal record on rape while at the same time positively foaming at the mouth promoting what may or may not be the truth of the allegations against Assange.  I've stated to you elsewhere, I am not defending Assange, nor do I care one way or the other what Moore said or did.  I care about the veracity of this diary and its claims of Sweden's glory record on rape, and it is bullshit.

          Now go some place quiet and try to connect the dots of what I'm saying.  I'm not the one who needs to get a grip.

          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

          by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:28:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's you who apparently can't read (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            foldingBicycle

            The report makes accusations of how bad "Nordic countries" are, but in that same report, whenever it lists a measure that makes them bad, it tells us that Sweden looks much better than the other nations! The report does give Sweden a pass on most things - I didn't say on all things, I said on most things, and it does do that again - I just reread it!

            The report doesn't paint a fair picture of Sweden. It may paint a fair portrait of the Nordic countries in general, but not of Sweden in particular.

            Sweden doesn't have a dismal record on rape. They were the first country or so in the world to make marital rape a crime.

            And yeah, you need to get a grip. You've lost touch with reality if you try to allege that Sweden has a dismal record on rape - apparently you don't understand how the vast majority of sexual assaults aren't reported in any country! Sweden's major sins, according to that report, are in how they fail to take care of sexual assault victims and their mental health needs after they've been assaulted.

            As another poster documented on the MM diary, underreporting is not a problem restricted to Sweden.

            •  I'm thinking that if you had any idea of what the (0+ / 0-)

              last six months of my life were like you'd stop using my user name as an insult and be ashamed.  I'm giving you credit for some level of humanity here, and I have nothing to base it on but your comments, but I'm giving it to you anyway.  So cut it out and stick to the topic.
              Or do as you wish.  Defend Sweden if you must using whatever you need.  I'm angry now, and for the moment that means I'm done here.  Good luck to you and goodnight.

              "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

              by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:21:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't care about your personal story one bit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vernonbc

                It has no relevance here. None whatsoever.

                This isn't about you.

                Your screen name is from years ago, not six months ago. And if you didn't want your screen name to ever be used in such a way, then you shouldn't have picked a name that could be used in such a way.

                I am "sticking to the topic", which is the content of your posts, and the accuracy of those posts, and the reasonableness of those posts, and the way those posts either are relevant and rational or distortions and irrational and not adhering to the known facts. And that's all my posts have been about - that you don't have a reasonable basis upon which you're making your assertions.

                Your personal circumstances have nothing to do with my comments.

                I am not "defending" Sweden. I am refuting unfair attacks on Sweden.

                •  That's exactly how I feel about you, (0+ / 0-)

                  and the content of your comments.  We're done here.

                  "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                  by Got a Grip on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 10:49:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, actually not (0+ / 0-)

                    You did go after me unfairly, suggesting that if I only knew your personal history more, I wouldn't be making personal attacks.

                    But I wasn't making personal attacks, and so your allegations were baseless and unfair.

                    You and I aren't coming from equivalent places here. I understand that you'd like to pretend that we are, because it would put your comments in a better light, but we aren't.

                    •  Calling you out for making my user name an insult (0+ / 0-)

                      is going after you unfairly.  Okay.

                      There's another Michael Moore diary on the rec list today.  I haven't read it, but surely your time would be better spent there, shouting and exclaiming at whatever he's got posted, than trying to justify your behavior to me and whining about how unfair I apparently am.

                      But if that won't keep you busy, here's a PDF with which to keep yourself occupied.  I have other, more pressing matters to deal with that don't include a back and forth with the likes of you.  Likewise, you should find something productive with which to occupy your time, lest I stumble upon some other means to treat you "unfairly."

                      Again, we're done here.  It's time for you to put the aggression down and back away.  Peace to you, if that is at all possible.

                      "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                      by Got a Grip on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:40:18 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yet again, you're lost in space here (0+ / 0-)

                        And yes, you calling me out for pointing out your failings in this argument was inappropriate and wrong!

                        I didn't "insult" you. Just as it's not an insult to call Son of Sam a murderer, it's not an insult to point out how your argument failed miserably, and how you didn't seem to have a good grip on reality!

                        And sorry, but I don't need your advice on what diaries I should spend my time on, or about what replies to my posts I should reply to. When I need your advice, I'll be sure to let you know - but given your behavior so far, I doubt that day will ever come, so don't hold your breath waiting for that request!

                        You pretend to be polite, yet you aren't. You'd have rather gotten away with that pretense, rather than having your behavior called out. Too bad, so sad.

                        And your PDF? What a jerk you continue to be. As I have repeatedly explained, without a baseline from which to compare Sweden's behavior, and without an understanding of how Sweden's definition of rape has changed over the past few years, touting an increase in the number of reported sexual assaults proves nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        I understand you would have rather gotten away with making your posts and not gotten called on them.

                        Too many posters here want to be able to leap to unsupportable, kneejerk conclusions without sanction. Again, too bad, so sad. Not my problem.

                        •  Meh. (0+ / 0-)

                          What about "we are done here" do you not understand?

                          I'm not interested in you opinion on this issue since you clearly have an agenda that precludes cogent argument.  I'm not interested in your opinion of my personal character as you are not qualified to judge me on this or any other topic.  Your own "kneejerk conclusions" on how I comport myself, or whether I'm capable of reading and assessing documentation is of little import.  I'm not interested in having any sort of conversation with you, as you do so in bad faith.  I'm not interested in anything about you.

                          Once again, and for the last time, we are done here.  If you continue your insulting behavior in this now dead thread I'll take other steps to end it.

                          "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

                          by Got a Grip on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:31:40 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yet again with the baseless personal attacks? (0+ / 0-)

                            You just can't stop digging that hole, can you?

                            I don't have "an agenda that precludes cogent argument", and there's absolutely nothing I've said that could lead sane, rational person who has a good grip on reality to come to that conclusion!!!

                            I certainly can and will make judgments based upon what you post here. That's all I've done, yet you are so desperate to defend yourself from your indefensible remarks that you create a strawman argument that I've been the one behaving badly!

                            I don't ever interact in bad faith. Ever. You, on the other hand, have been doing that repeatedly, and I've provided evidence of that behavior by quoting you!

                            And all I'm doing is replying to your posts, just like you are replying to my posts. If that's "reportable", and someone deserves to be sanctioned for doing so, it's news to me, but if it is, then you're just as guilty of it as I am, so I am baffled as to why you think that you can demand to get the last word "or else". Go ahead, take "other steps" to your heart's desire. I am not sure why you think I should be scared by your threat, or why you think making a threat like that is acceptable behavior.

  •  Sweden is not a monolith (5+ / 0-)

    Why can't the country be a place full of good people and yet still have some people in power with political agendas?

    Honestly, it would be nearly impossible for Sweden to get a conviction on these charges in a fair trial. Why pursue it if not for political reasons?

  •  I assumed this was the case (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    French Imp

    From what I read, Swedish rape laws are similar to those codes at American universities. If your casual sex partner has a few alcoholic drinks, you put yourself at risk of a rape charge even if sex was consensual. I think the bar for a rape charge is lower in Sweden than it is in the USA.

    One thing about Swedes I met both in Sweden and abroad, they can and do drink. A lot. It's a drinking country. I can only guess that this might have something to do with the strict rape laws.

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:11:16 PM PST

  •  As a person of Swedish heritage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    borkitekt, vernonbc

    ..who wished to God I had some Right of Return, who views Sweden as a paradise of equality compared to this shithole, thank you.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:23:56 PM PST

  •  The Swede who denied US contact: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, poxonyou, Anak


    Swedish Foreign Minister
    Carl Bildt denied on Wednesday that there have been contacts between Swedish and US authorities on the possible extradition of beleaguered WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    Keep it casual so Parliament can't object

    "The MOJ team expressed their appreciation for the flexibility of the U.S. side in regards to memorialising any agreement," said the cable.

    "They expressed a strong degree of satisfaction with current informal information sharing arrangements with the U.S., and wondered whether the putative advantages of an HSPD-6 agreement for Sweden would be offset by the risk that these existing informal channels, which cover a wide range of law enforcement and anti-terrorism co-operation, would be scrutinised more intensely by Parliament and perhaps jeopardised.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    •  There hasn't been contact about extradiction (0+ / 0-)

      Again, it's been WikiLeaks and Assange supporters who have distorted what's actually happened with respect to contact between the USA and Sweden.

      I've provided links to document that several times - not going to waste my time looking for them again = you find them.

  •  This is about AMERICA not Sweden (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canyonrat, conchita, The House, nancat357, Anak

    Your defense of Sweden is eloquent, but you are not facing reality if you think the U.S. is unwilling or unable to influence Swedish politics.  Moreover, it's not just the U.S.  Most world governments are outraged by the very idea of Wikileaks.  The Swedes would have be very brave and quite maverick NOT to pursue the Assange case. Australia was ready to revoke Assange's passport until its citizens cried out in protest. If certain politicians in Australia are willing to sell out its own son, why should it be so hard to admit that certain powers in Sweden have no problem throwing Assange under the bus?

    Sweden has no problem handing over suspected terrorists to the U.S.  Assange is certainly considered to be one by many in the U.S.  If a trip back to Sweden simply meant Assange facing his rape accusations, I would support it.  I believe there's more than enough doubt on his side.  The reason why I object and why so many others object is because we believe these accusation are about (1) destroying Assange's character and (2) crippling his ability to work and (3) getting him in place for an extradiction to America.

    Is Sweden so perfect, so Christ-like, so Divine that you can't conceive of some politicans being motivated to do the wrong thing?  

  •  Excellent piece of work. Mr. Moore, pay heed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, DollyMadison
  •  Good diary, I agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies, cs, French Imp

    I am not against Wikileaks or Michael Moore, but I am glad to see a diary in defense of Sweden.  When I was there, the gov't seemed very well-run and the people much more progressive and egalitarian than anything we have in the United States.  I do think they are the most likely to give Aasange a fair hearing/trial/etc.  God help him if the U.S. Gov't gets their hands on him, I expect his treatment would be Gitmo-style, if not worse.  I frankly hope,  regardless of the outcome of the case, that Sweden takes him in and then refuses to hand him over to anyone else.

  •  Good information (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc

    Another thing I find appalling is the number of people who read TABLOID news or a defense attorney's remarks and assume they have all the facts in the case.  Like a defense attorney would never lie for their client?

    Many of the "news" sources don't even have links or real sources.  One source writes or speculates on it and others spin it around - just like FOX NEWS does.

  •  Thank you for this diary n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, DollyMadison

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:46:17 PM PST

  •  Thanks for a wonderful diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, French Imp

    Just a couple of pieces of additional info.

    Charges were never dropped. The second, more senior prosecutor decided that the most serious charges weren't justified. But Assange was never cleared of all potential criminal charges - that second prosecutor simply didn't think that the one woman's allegations reached the level for the charges being made.

    They had only been investigating one of the woman's charges in that first involvement with the prosecutors.

    The attorney for the women demanded that the potential case be reviewed by the prosecutors who are in the appeals dept, specially designed to help victims! That's Marianne Ny.

    And, as I explained in the other diary by MM on this topic, that study on rape in the Nordic countries? MM unfairly portrayed Sweden as being represented by that study's results on all of the countries - but Sweden is the exception among those countries. If you read that study he quoted, Sweden looks pretty good!

    •  Just wanted to provide a link (0+ / 0-)
      It was the attorney for the women who wanted to appeal the decision.

      The second, senior prosecutor,

      ...decided that the rape investigation on Assange--based on allegations from one of the women with whom he had trysted--should be closed. But this prosecutor also decided that there was sufficient evidence to instruct police to question Assange in connection with an allegation of "molestation" made against him by the other woman.

      The charges were never dropped - they simply were trying to figure out what the appropriate charges were going to be!

      And all they'd initially been looking at were the charges from the second woman, the one who was penetrated while she was sleeping - and that's the only case that Assange answered questions about. Once they looked into the first woman's case, the one where he allegedly forced her legs apart to resume intercourse after he'd removed the supposedly broken condom, despite her clear desire to not have sex without a condom, they decided that there was some "there" there.

  •  BluePlatypus (7+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this very clearly written and useful diary.  I hope it sorts some things out.  But I doubt it will achieve much.

    The logic of the die-hard Assange could do no wrong crowd is simply tautological.

    1. Assange is great man, he could not have done what he is accused of.
    1. So the accusers must be liars, CIA stooges, etc.
    1. Thus, the only evidence against Assange is from liars and stooges, and thus not reliable.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 07:58:05 PM PST

  •  this sums up Michael Moore... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishgrease, vernonbc, DollyMadison

    "All the statistics you cite are true. But your interpretation of them is grossly wrong."

    He often finds causation in things that have loose correlation.  He has no formal education beyond high school so it doesn't shock me he gets twisted so easily with those concepts.  Thats not meant as a knock either....  Roger and Me and Bowling for Columbine are two of my favorite movies of all time.

    In one post here on health care he suggested that health care and health care alone was the difference in the US populations health and France's populations health.  He stated, seriously, that french people smoked a lot and eat a lot of cheese so they are just as unhealthy as US citizens.  He often simplifies very complex issues, possibly unintentionally, to fit his world view.  Some college courses in math, statistics, physics and philosophy would help.  

  •  I wonder... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cs, DerAmi

    Is there any data from Sweden that shows the % of crime in which a firearm is used? It would be interesting to see how that country criminal activity associated with the ability to carry guns compares with that of the US

    "America is a Thing you can move very easily" - Netanyahu In 2001 http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleId=731025&sid=126

    by duende on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:26:34 PM PST

  •  Outstanding diary (6+ / 0-)

    I commented in Moores diary to the effect that it was mystifying to me how Sweden got the reputation for being some kind of radical republican paradise where they trump of charges of rape for political purposes.

    I am Blackwaterdog! I support Barack Obama and the Democratic Party!! Want some? Get some SUCKERS!!!

    by Adept2u on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 08:41:07 PM PST

  •  Do you agree... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canyonrat, Anak

    that a person is innocent until proven guilty? (If so, Assange is currently innocent).

    Do you agree that a person has the right to remain silent and not answer any questions? (If so, then Assange is entitled to not answer any questions that Sweden currently want to extradite him to Sweden to ask of him.)

    In summary: Sweden wants to extradite someone who is innocent until proven guilty, and keep them in a prison while they interrogate the person, while this person is entitled to execute his right to remain silent and not answer any questions during his interrogation.

    What Sweden is attempting to do is perceived by many as a crime. You may not perceive it as a crime, but you are going to have to get used to living with the repercussions from those who do.

    •  Total misinterpretation of what Sweden is doing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease

      He is wanted for questioning.

      They believe the woman, but rather than charge him based solely upon their testimony, they are willing to give him a chance to assail the women's credibility. If he does that, they'll adjust the charges.

      What Sweden is doing is not a crime. If some perceive it that way, they're messing up! They're the delusional ones who need to get a clue!

      •  "He is wanted for questioning". (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        ...which has also been expressed in the media as, "he is wanted for interrogation."

        He is legally entitled to NOT answer any questions during interrogation and reserve his Right-To-Remain-Silent.

        You claim that to answer questions will, "give him a chance to assail the women's credibility".

        I would like to point out that answering questions gives the Swedish prosecution the chance to use his answers in evidence against him.

        The defense counsel of Assange is highly unlikely to be as gullible as you are in believing the concept that answering the Swedish prosecution counsels questions will "give him a chance to assail the womens credibility".

        •  He's got a right to say nothing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          swarf, vc2

          but Sweden has got a right to ask im questions.

          •  But has Sweden got a right to extradite? (0+ / 0-)

            The next issue that Assanges defense counsel are scheduled on 11 January to address is: Invalidating the rights of Sweden to extradite Assange from England to Sweden.

            I expect his counsel has many legal defense options available for use in an English court to attempt to prevent this current extradition request for questioning.

            An option that I am suggesting is that Assange states at his extradition hearing that if extradited to Sweden he will reserve his right to remain silent. This would make the extradition pointless and hence unnecessary. In fact, if Sweden was to continue to pursue extradition knowing that they will not be getting any answers from Assange, then it would highlight that the extradition is being done on grounds other than their stated reason of "asking questions".

            Extradition on grounds other than the one that has been stated would be a form of deceit and no doubt be a violation of English law.

            •  Sweden has every right to ask for (0+ / 0-)

              extradition. It's for UK to decide whether UK extradites or no.

              •  Yes, in the same way that: (0+ / 0-)

                Sweden has every right to ask for the UK to switch to using the Swedish krona as the official British currency.

                Its for the UK to decide whether they keep using the British pound or switch to the Swedish krona.

            •  Basically you're saying that (0+ / 0-)

              anybody can commit any crime in any country and then leave the country and be safe, provided he declares that he won't answer questions in any case.

              •  I am saying: (0+ / 0-)

                Anybody can commit any crime in any country and then leave the country.

                ...But, if that country then applies to extradite the person for questioning, then the extradition should be denied, as it is already known that the person has the right to remain silent and not answer questions as the answers could be used as evidence against them in a future court case. In this case the person should be "safe" from extradition.

                ...However, if instead, that country publishes what crime has been committed, all the evidence they have, plus charges the person with the crime, then that country should be able to have the person extradited back to where the crime was committed and taken to court to face the charges. The decision to extradite will be based on the laws of the country where the person is now residing, but that doesn't mean the person is "safe" from extradition.

                It is also worth considering that once in court the person will once again have the right to remain silent, and it is highly unlikely they will take the stand and allow themselves to be questioned under oath by the prosecution. Any witnesses that the prosecution provide will be subject to questioning under oath by the defense counsel.

    •  Sweden applies the law (0+ / 0-)

      People may percieve this a a crime: it's not news that some people are misinformed.

      •  Britain applies the law. (0+ / 0-)

        The issue is whether or not extradition on the current grounds is perceived as a crime.

        It will be under the application of British law that the case for extradition will be determined.

  •  Folks need to know that Assange and his lawyers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Themistoclea, vernonbc

    can hold press conferences to make their case, repeatedly and often. They are.

    Those two women cannot. The Swedish legal system won't let them, until they're in a court of law.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:13:57 PM PST

  •  It's not unusual to drop charges, then (0+ / 0-)

    bring them back?

    Yeah, right

  •  wonderful posting! thanks 4 speaking out, n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, DerAmi

    'Fear Hate/ Hate Fear' (button at the "Restore Sanity and/or Fear Rally', Wahington, DC 10.30.10

    by TULIPS4DOLPHINS on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:57:39 PM PST

  •  One of the best, and most interesting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, French Imp, DerAmi

    diaries I have seen here. Thank you for a well written and thoughtful commentary.

    "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

    by StratCat on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 09:58:37 PM PST

  •  Very Detailed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canyonrat

    I appreciate your taking the time to write a detailed response.

    However, it still seems a bit strange that this charge was pursued immediately following Wikileaks putting this information on the Internet. The serendipity is just a little too convenient.

    Sweden is rightly considered on the forefront of human rights. That does not mean they are immune to pressure from the U.S. I suppose that we'll only know what kind of pressure that might be if Wikileaks releases copies of that correspondence.

  •  rec'd for being civil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, DerAmi

    while admitting I could give a flying fuck about Assange or WikiLeaks and don't know a thing about Sweden/Swedish law other than that Peter Forsberg was, and always will be, my favorite hockey player.

    But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have laid my dreams under your feet; tread softly, because you tread on my dreams. -- Yeats

    by Bill O Rights on Fri Dec 17, 2010 at 11:28:21 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this additional view. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DerAmi

    I mentioned in my comment in Michael Moore's diary about Stieg Larsson's using statistics re: violence (specifically sexual assault) against women in Sweden to preface his book sections. Troubling.

    (My only personal beef with Sweden —and Norway, for that matter— has to do with length of daylight: not just the short days in winter, but the waaaay too long days in summer.)

  •  One of the best diaries I have ever read. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vernonbc, French Imp

    Michael Moore, like Cenk, Sirota and others, enjoys spamming improvised explosive diaries (IED) to garner fame, attention and profit.  You never see him and others stick around after they light the fuse, do you?  Hell no.  They run for their lives.

    One other thing.  Anyone from Sweden wanting to marry so that you can enjoy some groovy US citizenship, let me know.  :P

    "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes" -Marx

    by Jose Bidenio on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 12:37:16 AM PST

  •  Logged in to Recommend. (4+ / 0-)

    Haven't been checking The Daily Kos very often; it does get ugly here sometimes.

    So a very big thanks for saying what needs to be said about this topic. I am an American living in Germany and have found that many people "back in the States"* have very little understanding of anyplace else in the world. Many do not even understand differences between Alabama and Wyoming, or Texas and Indiana. Mr. Moore does seem to be painting himself into a corner here and maybe, hopefully, he will read this diary and gain some understanding.

    * (phrase I never thought I would be using)

    Dear President Obama, You must do the right thing; even if it is the most difficult. Investigate George W. Bush for war crimes!

    by DerAmi on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 01:33:59 AM PST

  •  It's typical for progressives like MM (0+ / 0-)

    To pull that kind of crap.  It's why, while even if I agreed with MM on point, i just can't be on his team.

  •  This is simply not accurate (5+ / 0-)

    Sweden's not a US ally or NATO member. It has no history of doing the US many great favors, especially in foreign policy. [...] Wikileaks own leaked cables showed that Swedish military intelligence busted a CIA plane for making a stopover in Sweden on one of their rendition flights, and the US ambassador was given a dressing-down for it. (and it hasn't happened since) Yet somehow, they're supposedly blatantly violating their own constitution to help the US government cover their dirty secrets relating to wars they always opposed? The USA can exert pressure, but I don't see why the Swedes would ever do that much 'dirty work' for the USA for such a stupid reason. They certainly can't extradite him for something that's not a crime in Sweden.

    Don't be so naive. Sweden's "neutrality" is not what it once was, by a long shot.

    First and foremost, you may be aware that Sweden is among the countries fighting America's dirty war in Afghanistan?

    Secondly: A rough translaion from Norwegian TV2:

    In a secret cable the US Embassy in Stockholm writes that even though Sweden’s official policy is one of non-participation in military alliances in peacetime and neutrality in wartime, the Swedes still play a very important part.

    Sweden’s military and civilian intelligence organizations are strong and reliable partners in a wide range of areas. [...] Due to political considerations, the extent of this cooperation is not known throughout the Swedish administration, and it would be useful to keep a tight lid on this, as a disclosure of this cooperation could lead to criticism of the Swedish government.

    Thirdly, you may also remember this:

    Among the first to vanish was Ahmed Agiza, an Egyptian asylum seeker who had been living in Sweden with his wife and children for three years. Hanan, Agiza's wife, told us how on December 18 2001 her husband failed to return home from his language class.

    "The phone rang at 5pm. It was Ahmed. He said he'd been arrested and then the line went dead. The next day our lawyer told me that Ahmed was being sent back to Egypt. It would be better if he was dead." Agiza and his family had fled Egypt in 1991, after years of persecution, and in absentia he had been sentenced to life imprisonment by a military court. Hanan said, "I called my mother-in-law in Egypt. Finally, in April, she was allowed to see Ahmed in Mazrah Torah prison, in Cairo, when he revealed what had happened."

    On December 18 2001, Agiza and a second Egyptian refugee, Mohammed Al-Zery, had been arrested by Swedish intelligence acting upon a request from the US. They were driven, shackled and blindfolded, to Stockholm's Bromma airport, where they were cuffed and cut from their clothes. Suppositories were inserted into both men's anuses, they were wrapped in plastic nappies, dressed in jumpsuits and handed over to an American aircrew who flew them out of Sweden on a private executive jet.

    Agiza and Al-Zery landed in Cairo at 3am the next morning and were taken to the state security investigation office, where they were held in solitary confinement in underground cells. Mohammed Zarai, former director of the Cairo-based Human Rights Centre for the Assistance of Prisoners, told us that Agiza was repeatedly electrocuted, hung upside down, whipped with an electrical flex and hospitalised after being made to lick his cell floor clean. Hanan, who was granted asylum in Sweden in 2004, said, "I can't sleep at night without expecting someone to knock on the door and send us away on a plane to a place that scares me more than anything else. What can Ahmed do?" Her husband is still incarcerated in Cairo, while Al-Zery is under house arrest there. There have been calls for an international independent investigation into the roles of the Swedish, US and Egyptian authorities.

    Ahmed Agiza was rendered from Sweden to Egypt by U.S. agents through Bromma airport. However the U.S. agents were assisted by the Swedish secret service. He was tortured in Egypt and sentenced to 25 years later reduced to 15. His lawyers sued in Sweden for damages and won. He was awarded 330,000 Euros--but is still in jail!
    The Swedish government was also directly involved. The rendition was approved by Anna Lindh who was at the time the Minister of Foreign affairs but also the minister of Justice. Lindh was later assassinated.

    There are many forces at play in Sweeden, as is he case in most countries. And the US has more influence than most.

    Now as for women's rights in Sweden, I agree with a lot of what you're saying, and many of your points are well made. However, I think you're missing Michael Moore's point: He knows very well that Sweden is one of the most progressive countries when it comes to women's rights. It seems to me he is, with some irony, pointing out the how the heandling of this particular case seems rather strange, considering the large number of reported sexual assaults. And make no mistakes, regardless of Assanges actions, there is a lot that does stink in this case.

    Sorry but the conspiracy theory is just that; a conspiracy theory - in the worst sense.

    You simply don't know this, and the Sweden's previous behaviour indicates that anything is possible, really.

    Here comes sunshine.

    by LodinLepp on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 02:53:17 AM PST

  •  Sweden caved to political pressure, and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    canyonrat, PhilK, LodinLepp

    that is the simple point.  All the rest of your response is arguing what color to paint the walls in the middle of an earthquake.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 03:17:03 AM PST

  •  I am also a dual citizen of Sweden. (6+ / 0-)

    And while your description of the Swedish system is accurate, in theory, there is also an extreme bias in favor of accusers in rape cases. Like the Duke lacrosse team persecution on steroids. The Billy Butt case is an infamous example.

    As for Swedish neutrality, it is a fiction for domestic political consumption. Wikileaks exposed the defense and spying cooperation with the U.S. I'm surprised you ignored the cable from the U.S. Ambassador calling Sweden a reliable ally behind the scenes.

    Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

    by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:08:32 AM PST

  •  Good diary. When clueless claim conspiracy. (0+ / 0-)

    It sounds better and gets more readers.

    Read my lips, no tax extension for the rich.

    by buckshot face on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 04:27:52 AM PST

  •  Well said. Very nicely written. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  According to The Guardian, one of the co-founders (3+ / 0-)

    of Wikileaks found Miss W to be "credible." The article was published yesterday and I ran across it just now.

    That doesn't mean that the charges are true, but it does cast Sweden's actions in a different light.

    I've been robustly defending Assange against what looked to me like trumped up charges and selective prosecution. I certainly think he is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but after reading the article, that's as far as I would now go.

    Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

    by expatjourno on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:31:52 AM PST

    •  well done! Not many rethink their position (0+ / 0-)

      Mine has been that if it was CIA and trumped up charges for political reasons they would have one that is a little easier to prosecute.

      That said, given his prominence any normal prosecutor is going to take extra care not to dismiss out of hand (or the reverse, to charge out of hand..warrant for questioning is not charging). It is political in that sense, the same as when any high profile media figure be it a sports star or wikileaks founder is accused.

      I have been bothered about the absolute trashing of the accusers.  I don't believe in calling Assange guilty because I don't know, but definitely don't believe in calling the victims liars until more is known.  

      anyway glad you are willing to be less certain given the article

      Barack Obama: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism." may21, 2010

      by vc2 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 08:56:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  after reading that article, (0+ / 0-)

      especially this part:

      Police spoke to Miss W's ex-boyfriend, who told them that in two and a half years they had never had sex without a condom because it was "unthinkable" for her. Miss W told police she went to a chemist to buy a morning-after pill and also went to hospital to be tested for STDs. Police statements record her contacting Assange to ask him to get a test and his refusing on the grounds that he did not have the time.

      if it is corroborated then I agree W is sounding credible.

      The difficulty may be in what is considered rape here and in sweden but her actions are those of someone who is telling the truth whether it would be a crime in North America or not.

      To be honest reading the whole thing re ms A., she sounds credible as well, i can see her sort of taking responsibility for it getting to that point at all and trying to ignore the rough sex part until she heard W's story at which points Assange looks more dangerous than just "overexcited" as she might have tried to excuse it with just her.  Lets just say I am less skeptical about her reason to go along with W to the police.

      She admits that she had already let it get to far even though she made tentative or what might be seen as token efforts to say no, so she went along with it, I have done the same..it seemed easier and I had no reason to think he was anything but being an idiot..typical date rape thinking but not necessarily one I would have changed considering what I knew of the person as a whole.  The broken condom and not stopping? thats a whole different ball of wax but again, until she heard Ms W. she may have thought of it as a bad experience to never happen again.

      One thing for sure, if the police report is accurate they have a hold of, neither woman is making it to be something bigger which they could have.  A. could have said flatly, he broke my necklace and forced me to make her look better.  W. could have been less forthcoming with the consensual aspects as well.  If its a set up, its a damned lousy one

      Doubt he will be convicted if charged. Doesn't mean he was innocent of them and doesn't mean he was guilty just rather difficult to prove given the statements, defense will have a field day

      Barack Obama: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism." may21, 2010

      by vc2 on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 09:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dear BP: Moore has a new diary up. Read it. (0+ / 0-)

    We don't need a third party. We need a second party.

    by obiterdictum on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:45:45 AM PST

  •  BRAVO(A) fora diary well-written! (0+ / 0-)

    thank you so much for writing this and making a strong case for what many of us here (well, maybe not HERE) feel - that this case should not be ignored or dismissed because assange releases confidential cables,etc.

    they are two seperate issues.  

    god knows, there are many many cases of powerful people (and, yes, unfortunately, imho, assange has become a powerful figure) abusing their "power" when it comes to women and sex.

    i want to see what comes out in this case before jumping to any conclusions.

    good diary - and, btw, LOVE sweden!  even my HORSE is swedish (his sire was born there and brought here in '86)

    MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

    by edrie on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 06:51:02 AM PST

  •  Also (0+ / 0-)
    I am getting tired of hearing "Sweden prosecutes more rapes since they changed/amended rape laws so more rapes must occur there" Meme from so-called progressive misogynistic men.  

    It makes sense that if a country actually starts to change laws that affect the rape culture, more rapes are going to be reported.

    Like Duh.

    For more, please read this blog post here:

    http://tigerbeatdown.com/...

  •  Great article, but one thing is missing: (0+ / 0-)

    the exact number of rapes also depends on the very definition of rape. If you change that definition to include, for example, not informing a partner of when a condom breaks (which, in my opinion, is a very good reason never to have sex with that person again but shouldnt be classified as rape) then of course you'll have ten times the number of both reported and actual cases.

    Science adjusts its views based on what's observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved. Tim Minchin - Storm.

    by FudgeFighter on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 07:09:34 AM PST

    •  Condom breaking? (0+ / 0-)

      I had that happen before. Guess what? Neither of us realized it until we were done with the sex and I pulled out. This has happened MORE that once. I think that making the assumption that he knew that the condom was busted is pure BS. So to classify this as "rape" is quite a stretch. As soon as Sweden can prove that they have prosecuted every single previously reported rape case to its conclusion, Sweden has no excuse for going after this sketchy case, unless, of course, some other country is pushing for it, cough. This does not pass the credibility smell test. Oh, by the way, where are the WMD's in Iraq? The US government and the media never lie to us, right? Right????

  •  i understand defending your country (0+ / 0-)

    but really, no one takes Moore seriously. he's a self-described 'provacatour'.

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