I must admit to being shocked at some of my friends, who take a fiercely anti-establishment stance, taking the line that Julian Assange is a “rapist” and “should be extradited to Sweden” and “deserves all he gets”. For those who have not followed this news, Assange is an Australian, and leader of a website called Wikileaks, which has gained notoriety for exposing government secrets, particularly those of the USA, which suggest that the USA isn’t the open democratic society it pretends to be.
You would have thought that the first thing you might think of is this: how credible are the rape allegations? Well according to this documentary on Australian TV (it’s 45 minutes but good viewing), there does seem to be an agenda other than bringing a rapist to justice. Despite rape complaints going up over the years in Sweden, convictions have gone down and it seems that the authorities haven’t taken it very seriously at all. In this case, the charge does seem to be politically motivated. Even the organisation “Women Against Rape” believes this, here is a letter they wrote to the Guardian, in which they make it clear that they don’t like the abuse of the safety of women.
There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women’s safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman. Women don’t take kindly to our demand for safety being misused, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst.
Trade Unionists in the UK will have been aware of spurious allegations of racism being used to persecute four Unison activists, I knew one of them when he was in my union and led a strike in his office against a committed member of a racist organisation, so I know how laughable were those charges. But when the establishment want to get those of us who won’t conform out of their hair, they know that allegations of rape or racism will lose them the support of their fellow lefties. Fortunately in the case of the Unison 4, no-one fell for it!
Several disturbing things are revealed in the video. One is that the notice requiring Britain to extradite Assange to Sweden is Red, which is normally only used for the most dangerous international terrorists. Despite the fact that rape is a brutal crime, such a notice would never be served for someone wanted for rape. Another is that the two women knew that Assange had slept with both of them, and went to the police together, not to report a rape, but to ask if there was a legal means of forcing him to take an STD test. One of them continued to allow Assange to sleep with her after the first alleged incident, even when others offered to put him up eleswhere. Yet another one is that Sweden has never, ever, refused an extradition request from the USA, even when one broke all its own laws. And there’s much more besides.
If the Swedish government was to state categorically that, should Assange return to Sweden to face the charges of rape, he would not be extradited to the USA to face treason charges, then he has made it clear that he would go voluntarily. Failing that, why should he? One of the people who supplied him with information which wikileaks later reported on line, was a US Soldier Bradley Manning, who has been kept for 2 years in the USA without trial, in conditions which, according to Amnesty International, amount to torture. Manning blew the whistle on a shooting of civilians from a helicopter, while the soldiers laughed.
It’s not normal for me to write something as involved as this, but I keep seeing little snippets about the case on Facebook walls, all of which seem to consist of people jumping to conclusions based on their own prejudice. I believe that the system is founded on lies, and websites like Wikileaks try to get to the truth. That people like Assange who seek the truth at the expense of possibly their own safety and life, are all that stands between us and a blissfully ignorant dictatorship.
There is an excellent article from The Guardian which is long but worth reading.