Assange and Anglo-Saxony

Last Sunday I awoke to news that police had surrounded the Ecuador Embassy feeling – in the words of poet and IT contributor James Byrne – ‘sick to the balls’.

William Hague’s tweeted decree was that England would not grant Julian Assange ‘safe passage’ to Ecuador. England, as we know it, will only grant Assange safe passage to Sweden so that Sweden in turn can grant Assange safe passage to the U.S.A.

Again, in spectacular style and on the international stage, the Tories have shown their true colours. ‘Little Ecuador’ is a phrase that pops up in the newspapers; but it is misleading. How about ‘Little England’? Ecuador is willing to stand upto the combined might of the U.K. and the U.S.A. in the name of freedom. Latin America is still capable of a left-wing behaviour that Anglo-Saxony abandoned decades ago. It is joyful to witness the South American nations lining up to denounce the U.K. for its machinations, and even making threats. Conservatives have been here before and have outraged South America before. They claim they cannot override a European Arrest Warrant for Assange issued on behalf of Sweden, yet in a previous incarnation they blithely ignored a Spanish arrest warrant to allow Pinochet safe passage to Chile. Today’s Tories pride themselves on defying Europe, but not in this case. Hague is playing Pontias Pilate with Assange. ‘It’s more than my jobsworth…’ The Tories are thus refusing safe passage to a revolutionary hero, though they happily granted it to an evil dictator. In the eyes of Anglo-Saxony, however, Pinochet is a revolutionary hero for defeating the left in Chile, and Assange is… Satan.

It’s hard to think of another white Ango-Saxon protestant who faces such a high level of demonisation. Currie Jean has looked at manifold and various angles of the international smear. http://www.helium.com/debates/431848-is-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-the-subject-of-a-smear-campaign/side_by_side
Undoubtedly, the same corporate media who profited by publishing Wikileaks material are biting the hand that fed them, even as they sense their own incomptence, if not obsolescense.

The question begs: what’s in it for England? The U.S.A. will not extradite Americans to Britain in return, via anywhere. We can only imagine that any country who assists America’s powers-that-be in the satisfying of its indomitable will is rewarded discreetly and unofficially. The poodle will have its dog biscuit. It’s surprising that a supine U.K. hasn’t discussed the possiblity of a B.O.G.O.F deal with Gary McKinnon thrown in.

America wishes to apprehend its ‘Batman villain’. It regards Assange as a traitor even though he’s not an American citizen and therefore is innocent of treason. Assange, they subliminally feel, is a traitor to Anglo-Saxony. A ‘secret indictment’ has already been prepared using the new National Defence Authorisation Act (N.D.A.A). See this interview with another famous whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2IX8qBf-e4&feature=autoplay&list=PL50BDB9BCCFAF09CA&playnext=1 

How frustrated the U.S. must be by the slow-moving and liberally cautious nature of British justice, by the unpredictable nature of Swedish justice which failed to disallow Assange’s ‘safe passage’ to London, and now by those pipe-blowing, poncho-wearing, Spanish-speaking Indians who dare to defy the Superpower’s masterplan by offering Assange an ‘El Condor Passage’ to South America. Then again, he’s lost his freedom already. Since he woke up to find ‘Assange/Rape’ as the number one google search of all time, Assange has been under effective house arrest in England, including ten days solitary confinement chez Her Majesty, more comfortably a friend’s secluded mansion in Norfolk, and now the basement of the Ecuadorean Embassy at 3 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London Sw1, where only an airbed cushions him from what must be a living hell. The slow grind progresses and gives the Pentagon plenty of time to prepare the gallows.

Lefty-liberal reaction in the west is rabidly divided and is all to do with the controversial nature of the charges against the Australian dissenter. His fellow-countryman and maverick, John Pilger, believes the rape allegations are ‘concocted charges’. He is probably Assange’s most illustrious and intelligent defender. The less travelled and more politically correct Owen Jones believes the charges are too serious not to be tried in a court of law. Inevitably, many males side with Assange, many females side with his alleged victims; but there are plenty of notable exceptions, like Jones. Amazingly, Women Against Rape have sided with Assange, believing that he is the victim of a powerful conspiracy. Writer Naomi Foyle, interestingly, was more sympathetic to Assange until she read his own statement seeming to admit having sex with one of the women as she slept. One would almost like the case to go to court just to observe the logic – or otherwise – that ensued.

‘Rape’ is such an emotive word that reason often fails in its presence. Is ‘rape’ the same as ‘date-rape’? The modern consensus is that all rapes are rape, but why – if so – do we have such a term as date-rape? (Sensitive readers, please note: these are questions, not statements). All we know for sure is 1) that Assange is the most wanted man in the Western world, and that 2) he had consensual sex with two Swedish women, followed by – it’s alleged – unconsensual sex.

There are two issues seemingly at stake. One is the right of a major dissident not to be persecuted by a coalition of oppressive regimes. The other is the right of two women to bring their alleged attacker to justice. However, we must in all conscience ask: are the British and American governments really concerned with either of these issues, or with the human rights of these three individuals whose private lives have become so sensationally public? Does William Hague really care about the two women? Does the Tory government really care about the two women? Do the American authorities really care about the two women? The answer is not. Women Against Rape don’t think so. Naomis Wolf and Klein don’t think so either. The action of the British and American governments seem to be all about the incarceration of a man who has done more than anyone in the modern era to make the international ruling-classes look stupid, and more than that, to expose their evils more verifiably than ever. Has any alleged date-rapist ever been so doggedly pursued by a triumvirate of nation-states?

Only Sweden may care about the women’s fate, but Swedish law can be bizarre. In another case, a man got away with having sex with a sleeping woman because she hadn’t been able to say ‘no’. But even if there were no difficulties about what does or does not constitute rape, fine principles are irrelevant when the situation is rigged. George Galloway does not believe the stories of either woman and claims the accusations are a ‘set-up’. This kind of thing has been seen before. Mordechai Vanunu leaked secrets of Israel’s nuclear arsenal to the British press and was honeytrapped by a Mossad agent. A hero to the anti-nuclear movement, he spent 18 years in prison. There are men and women willing to do such work, and the CIA can magic up any kind of ‘reality’ it wants. Assange’s two women are still officially anonymous in this part of the world though one of them has been named on British TV. They should be completely anonymous, but the Craig Murray-named woman gives interviews regularly in newspapers and television all over the world. Detractors allege the two accusers have dodgy political connections and that they both received payments from the U.S.A. days before making their claims.

The same named, nameless woman worked in Cuba with Las Damas de Blanco (The Ladies in White), a U.S. funded anti-Castro group chaired by Carlos Alberto Montaner who is connected to the CIA. Las Damas also counts another CIA associate, Luis Posada Carriles, as a supporter. She is also perceived, by Assange and others, as a ‘Christian radical feminist’ who wrote a misandrist article called Seven Steps to Legal Revenge. This is par for the course, though. What is damning about her allegation is that she was seen in Assange’s company at various social occasions after the alleged incident and even threw a party in Assange’s honour. What rape victim has ever thrown a party in honour of her rapist? During this party she ostentatiously texted to friends that she was hanging out with the ‘smartest, coolest people in the world. It’s amazing!’

This photo and article indicates the approach Assange’s legal team and witnesses for the defence will be taking, should the rape allegations become charges and trial commence: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2193641/Julian-Assange-rape-claim-Is-photo-clear-him.html

That two women are making allegations is even more damaging for Assange, though supporters dismiss this as the CIA upping the ante. If Mossad can throw one honeytrap at Vanunu, the CIA can throw two at Assange.  What I am writing – as with most commentators – is only an opinion column, and anyway one cannot research the secret world until decades after the event; but my overwhelming belief is that the two accusers are not the only people behind these charges.

A Facebook page may or may not be dedicated to their campaign.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sofia-Wilen-and-Anna-Ardin-Support-Network/124127494316321

Naomi Wolf does not believe the women either and in her own 23 years experience working wth rape victims was astonished at the ‘multiple consent’ she noticed in their statements to police. She had never seen such a high incidence of ‘multiple consent’ in the statements of any rape victims. She also claims the case has been interfered with at the highest level:
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/something-rotten-in-the-state-of-sweden-8-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-by-naomi-wolf/

If you want proof that the case is corrupted, try this: the leaked police documents, in Swedish. We should not be able to see them: http://www.scribd.com/doc/48110314/Facsimile-from-Forsvarsadvokaterna-23-11-10Sokbar

Not believing the accusations, I do not believe the trial should go ahead. A politcally motivated and interfered with trial will probably not produce a trustworthy outcome. Assange supporters would reject a guilty verdict. If it came, he would serve a short sentence and in theory be free to enjoy the intellectual freedoms of Sweden that attracted him there in the first place. He is not avoiding the trial. Assange’s legal team see the ‘honeytrap’ as having led to a ‘holding charge’. They claim that once he is safely back in Karl Rove’s Sweden he will be extradited to America. The rape and sexual molestation charges may even be dropped, so that Assange can enjoy American hospitality all the sooner.

Those who are against Assange and for the two women need to ask themselves honestly if they are not being fooled by U.S. skullduggery. And when will we ever see the perpetatrators of such dirty tricks facing the trials they deserve?

Australia is the other Anglo-Saxon nation to exude the special hypocrisies of the democratic way. It has failed to do anything to protect its most famous son. In his own words: ‘It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin-American nation’. Assange’s biological father was called John Shipton, his mother was a Hawkins; he too is Anglo-Saxon, as well as a ‘sixth generation Australian.’

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called Wikileaks’ publishing of diplomatic cables “a grossly irresponsible thing to do and an illegal thing to do” even though her own attorney general was investigating the legality of WikiLeaks’ actions at the time, and hadn’t yet reached a conclusion.

I side with that other Australian dissenter, John Pilger. I side with Galloway, with Craig Murray, with Women Against Rape, with Naomi Wolf, in their differently nuanced interpretations of the mystery. Political correctness can be challenged from the left. I refuse the subterfuge. It is far more disturbing to witness the scourging of a modern day culture hero than to contemplate the sufferings of honeytraps. Shills are ten a penny in the annals of history, and it is not only the Russians, the Chinese, the Israelis that deploy them. It would be nice to add that Assange’s women must also be presumed innocent until proven guilty – but they are not on trial. We may not know the truth until some freedom of information request decades from now reveals how they were ‘recruited’ or ‘run’ or ‘turned’ or ‘got at’. They may even be unwitting collaborators, duped by sinister forces.

It is not only Western capitalism we are dealing with here; we’re also dealing with Christendom, where – in the words of another poet, Harry Fainlight, – ‘the government religion is the execution of the rebel leader.’ Who really wants to be part of the manipulated mob that voted for Christ’s crucifixion? Admittedly, Assange is a bit of a creepy Jesus, but he’s all we’ve got, for now.

The continuing presence of the London Met, and better-dressed friends, outside the Ecuadorian Embassy is a slur on Britain’s reputation as a nation who harbours refugees from persecution and injustice.

 

Niall McDevitt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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69 Responses to Assange and Anglo-Saxony

  1. johnny void says:

    What fucking ignorant misogynist nonsense.

    Assange was in Sweden because of their laws protecting whistle blowers. That’s why he claimed residency there and planned to set up wikileaks in the country. He was quite happy to remain there right up until he was accused of rape at which time he decided that in fact the country is a puppet of the US.

    Hague has no choice, under European law, to refuse to grant the extradition to Sweden. There is no conspiracy and nothing unusual in this decision. Assange has already been allowed to challenge the European Arrest Warrant up to the level of the Supreme Court, something which no-one has been able to do before. The motivations of the US are legally irrevelent, however the US have made no attempt, as yet, to have Assange extradited, something which would probably be illegal under Swedish law and even more difficult to achieve should Assange be involved in legal proceedings in Sweden. Assange was almost certainly safer from US extradition, charges against him or not, in Sweden than he is in London. Yet he chose to come to London. It could be suggested that this is because he was attempting to avoid the charges made against him, and not extradition to the US.

    It really matters not at all whether the UK Government cares about the rights of the alleged victims. The UK Government is following it’s treaty bound requirements, to do otherwise would place it in breach of EU law. This is how these things work.

    The silly comments about date rape do not even really deserve attention, except to point out that the definition of rape is the sexual penetration (by a penis in UK law) of another without their consent. In fact the rape charge, should it be brought, is likely to be Minor Rape, as Swedish law does discriminate between supposed severity in rape cases. This is just one of four sexually related charges. It has been accepted by the UK courts that the charge of rape would apply under UK law and that the other charges would amount to sexual assault charges – this was all covered in Assange’s appeal against the European Arrest Warrant.

    Hopefully this clears up some of the misunderstandings of the legal situation in this piece.

    It is the wider argument of the piece which is by far the most troubling. There appear to be two positions being attempted. Firstly that this represents some kind of honey trap, and secondly that it’s not rape – that these positions contradict each other is not particularly relevant except to further highlight to incoherence of the arguments.

    Both of the women’s names have been leaked to the media, and one of them was a reasonably well known activist in Sweden who had indeed previously published articles on the internet – although has not spoken publicly about this case.

    The attempt to smear her because she has worked with a feminist Cuban organisation, established to support jailed human rights activists and journalists in the country, is frankly laughable. Perhaps it is her interest in journalistic freedom that also led to her agreeing to help Assange in Sweden and offer him the use of her flat?

    The two women were not friends prior to the events and there is no evidence that the first woman manipulated the second into making rape allegations. They met at a conference which Assange was due to speak at and around the times the alleged assaults took place. The first woman was one of the organisers of the conference and was contacted by the second who wished to volunteer. The story, as alleged by both of the women, and supported by testimony of others who were present during the events, is that the second woman, distressed after Assange’s behaviour to her, contacted the conference organisers who she met whilst with Assange, and complained about his behavoiur. She enquired if there was any way Assange could be forced to take an STD test and said she intended to ask the police for legal advice. The first woman, on hearing this, and believing that Assange had acted in a similar way towards her whilst he had been staying at her flat, agreed to support her and go to the police with her. It was then, when interviewed, both women made very similar allegations about his behaviour, that the police decided to initiate investigations.

    The honey trap argument does not stand for several reasons. It would have to involve a multitude of individuals, and two state agencies, completely unlike the Vannunu case mentioned. It would have required Assange to act exactly as he was hoped to do, and choose to have sexual relations with the women. It would require the friends of both of the women, and Assange, who have given witness testimony to either be in on it or act in the appropriate manner. The second woman’s brother and two colleagues as well as a former partner have also provided statements. Are these people all state assets to carry out what is a pretty flaky plot on behalf of another country’s intelligence agency, that if anything makes it even harder to extradite Assange to the US? Assange himself does not deny the surrounding circumstances of the allegations, although he has not yet been questioned about them in full. It is shameful that some who claim to be on the left should immediately jump to wild conspiracy theories in an attempt to slur to women who have claim to have been sexually abused. As the piece notes, the women are not on trial. Sadly it appears the writer wishes they were.

    Equally shameful and somewhat shocking is the rhetoric that one of the women is a radical feminist, as if this should count against her. Readers may find themselves checking that this is not some Peter Hitchens rant in the Daily Mail.

    But perhaps it is the writers presumption to judge whether or not these women are feeling any trauma due to the events which is the most contemptible. Not only are women alleging rape to be smeared, to have their motivations questioned, to be attacked for not acting the perfect rape victim after the attack, but they should also be told it’s not that serious anyway with the implications they should shut up and stop complaining about male violence towards women. It is telling that this piece opens with a reference to the writer’s own male genitalia. Perhaps he should try thinking with a different organ next time.

    For the sake of clarity the allegations against Assange are:

    Unlawful coercion
    On 13-14 August 2010, in home of the injured party [A] in Stockholm, Assange, by using violence, forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party’s arms and a forceful spreading of her legs while lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.
    Sexual molestation (1)
    On 13-14 August 2010, in home of the injured party [A] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.
    Sexual molestation (2)
    On 18 August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party [A] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity; that is, lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.
    Rape
    On 17 August 2010, in the home of the injured party , Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state. It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s integrity.

  2. I believe Pilger before I believe Void.

  3. johnny void says:

    That’s because you’re too lazy to look into the facts of the matter yourself. Pilger is wrong, not for the first time, but even he wouldn’t go near rape apologist drivel like this.

  4. I think you should have a little read of this before you get apoplexy:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/women-against-rape-julian-assange?cat=commentisfree&type=article

    The charges that Void has so dutifully reproduced – as if they were convictions – are disputed by the great John Pilger as ‘concocted’. Geroge Galloway also contests them. Craig Murray also ridicules them. Unlike myself and Void, Pilger/Galloway/Murray know the world they are opining about. They have been in the corridors of power and met those in the corridors of power. Unlike Void, they are no dupes.

    But should you contest their gentlemen’s agreement, WOMEN AGAINST RAPE do not think Assange should be extradited to Sweden either. They are much cooler than the hysterical Void. Their position is interesting. They are so convinced that Assange is being persecuted that they don’t even wish to discuss whether or not the allegations are true or not:

    ‘Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued. Once again women’s fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes. The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will, usually to increase their powers, this time to facilitate Assange’s extradition or even rendition to the US. That the US has not presented a demand for his extradition at this stage is no guarantee that they won’t do so once he is in Sweden, and that he will not be tortured as Bradley Manning and many others, women and men, have. Women Against Rape cannot ignore this threat.’

    My position is perfectly clear. I do not believe Assange’s accusers. To disbelieve two women does not make me or anyone else a misogynist. Of course, it’s only my opinion. But any presumptions I make are based on my opinion. If I’m wrong I’m wrong and my whole case is wrong.

    Void, it’s good to see you defending William Hague. It’s good to see you trotting out the case for the authorities. It’s good to see you citing their dodgy dossiers as if it made you less ‘ignorant’ than you claim me to be. It’s good you think nothing’s going on beneath all the legal and political psychobabble. It’s good to see you adding your own psychobabble to theirs.

    Loiuse Mensch tweeted that you can tell people by their friends and Assange’s friends include Craig Murray and George Galloway.

    William Hague’s friends – who’d have thought? – include Johnny Void!

  5. johnny void says:

    The dodgy dossiers you refer to are simply the transcripts of all those questioned in the case, including Assange and which you were too lazy to read. The charges listed are the offences which Assange is wanted for allegedly committing.

    I am not trotting out a case for the authorities. I was explaining how the legal process works relating to European extraditions because you don’t seem to understand it. Assange has not been accussed of robbing a bank or shooting a copper – he is charged with a serious offence, by and against two of his supporters. There is no evidence that he is at risk of extradition in Sweden anymore than he was before the allegations were made or than he was in London where he fled to.

    You give no reason for not believing the two women, yet you uncritically accept Assange’s position. You raise the spectre that date rape isn’t proper rape. You lie about the nature of the woman’s relationship and attempt to smear the women on the flimsiest of evidence. You accuse them of lying about being abused, and attempt to claim that one of the women’s feminism – a belief in equality between women and men – makes her somehow suspect. You have the gall to decide that even if the allegations are true the women have no right to be traumatised. You suggest that the women should be presumed innocent, as if it is them who should be the accused. That you can’t even see the misogyny behind your claims is even more troubling.

    You have no evidence for this position. No motive as to why the women would make false allegations beyond deluded conspiracies about a honey trap. You seem completely unprepared to consider the facts of the case and the legal implications surrounding it. Like Galloway you declare my enemy’s enemy is my friend, forever and unconditionally. Galloway has plenty of form for this and knows exactly what he’s doing. Unfortunately he drags some poor saps along with him.

    I could also present a list of people who agree with my position. But not being 12, I prefer to have a discussion based on the facts. Women Against Rape I believe have got this very wrong, but their position is a million miles away from your own so you don’t get any points for trying to drag them into your misogynist shit.

  6. WOMEN AGAINST RAPE have got it wrong but Johnny Void has got it right? I somehow doubt it. As they would point out, you are merely aping the techniques of Assange’s persecutors in your hysterical tirades against my point of view, emotionally orchestrating, rather than intelligently reasoning. It’s extremely right-wing behaviour. No one has evidence, least of all you. All we can offer is opinion columns.

    My subtleties, you translate into crudities.

    As WOMEN AGAINST RAPE courageously demonstrate, political correctness must be abandoned when it is being used as a net to ensnare a public enemy no. 1. Branding me a misogynist and defending William Hague’s machiavels show you up for the weasel wordsmith you are. You are obviously still in kindergarten if you don’t know that political correctness can be challenged from the left.

    I don’t care a fig for the legalese, journalese or Whitehallese that is being used for the purposes of the ‘extraodraordinary rendition’ that is so clearly going on in front the eyes of anyone that can see. They are the fine spiderwebs of authoritarianism, the endgames of the controlling intellect, and yet you quote them as gospel. You remind me of the ex-students’ union leader, Aaron Porter.

    The two women are the pawns of the international ruling classes. Lord forgive them, for they know not what they do. I feel sorry for them that they got too close to the secret world and have thrown away their beauty, integrity, intelligence and potential to assist the Thought Police in their apprehension of a heroic and famous man. What’s in it for them? Ultimately, regret.

    As for you, it’s a funny sort of Judas who’ll betray the left for thirty hits on a blog.

    I believe Pilger, and Galloway and Murray because they’ve seen the infernal machine from the inside. They are not Peter Hitchens. They speak as truthfully as they can from their different vantage points on the left. They are trying to prevent a major injustice, they are interceding voices in a grand drama, a drama we’ve seen in ancient history and which is unfurling before our eyes again. Call yourself an anarchist? The achievements of Assange and Wikileaks have infuriated all Western governments and beyond, and they surely represent one of the great anarchist coups in modern history. Bradley Manning is being tortured in an American prison, yet all you can do is defend Hague’s deployment of police at the Ecuadorian Embassy by explaining the legal process.

  7. johnny void says:

    eugh, politics as pop music with no thought, analysis or intellect required – follow our leaders, gormless george and a disgraced toff – all to defend a capitalist accused of rape

    investigating charges of violence towards women is political correctness now is it, political correctness gone mad perhaps?

    your misogyny is showing again

  8. The most ridiculous of your assertions is the following:

    ‘Assange has not been accused of robbing a bank or shooting a copper – he is charged with a serious offence, by and against two of his supporters.’ You don’t think robbing a bank or shooting a copper is a serious offence? If Assange had killed a copper I wouldn’t be supporting him. That’s not my brand of anarchism.

    Assange’s ‘offence’ is Wikileaks, not Dikileaks.

  9. ajdehany says:

    Do read this piece on the “Legal myths about the Assange extradition” before we go any further..
    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

    I’ve found part of both sides of the present comments to be of value. But I’m very concerned that Assange himself has politicized the rape allegations in order to elude them, which would explain why he came to London better than the explanation about American rendition, given that the UK is more likely to extradite Assange than Sweden.

    Assange *is* being pursued by the establishment and he *is* at real risk; commentators in the USA have said publicly that Assange should be killed for “treason” and if not killed ‘legally’ then killed ‘illegally’. If the rape allegations are simply a way that was dreamed up in order to find something to throw at Assange (akin to the tax evasion charges used to nail Al Capone), this is very frightening indeed, but I am not confident that Assange is not using his pursuit as a way to confuse the issue and avoid being charged for his sexual offences, the reality of which noone seems to dispute in quibbling over perceived gradations of rape.

    However, it were better that we try to think of Assange’s pursuit by the establishment as a separate issue to the allegations. Unfortunately his supporters maintain that they are about the same issue. If the allegations are motivated not by political interests, then it is Assange who has politicised them in order to avoid them, which is an abuse of his supporters. I’m not convinced this is not what he has done. Regardless of whether they are politically motivated, he should have faced the accusations; if he were in a kangaroo court we would be able to see it, I hope; but he has not done this – I’m concerned he has used the context of being pursued by the establishment as a blind to avoid being charged. I’ve said this three times now. I think he needs to face the allegations but he knows he’d be found guilty, so he’s used as his getout that this is all political. Do you think that even if they are ‘concocted’ Assange should not face the accusations? Surely if they’re bogus they will crumble? Though if the accusations were bogus, I’d find it extremely scary that his pursuers managed to throw it together. At the same time, Assange hasn’t really disputed the facts has he? He’s said the women got in a “tizzy” – silly women with their silly tizzies – deeply disturbing offhand language making light of the accusations rather than disputing them; similarly Galloway ‘s backfiring defence of Assange rested on making light of facts rather than disputing facts, which is I think derived from an ultimately misogynistic notion of proper sexual behaviour.

    • AJ, the New Statesman piece is so heavily slanted against Assange and his legal team that it’s tantamount to a hatchet job, disguised in pseudo-neutral legalese. This is a lefty-liberal corporate media betrayal of Assange. It’s a western snare.

      It’s also been vigorously repudiated by the Ecuador govt.

  10. Naomi Foyle says:

    I have to say Niall, knowing that our friendship is beyond doubt, that I fear you have got this case seriously wrong. You make wild assertions about the legal motives that simply do not stand up to scrutiny, and you also bandy about seriously dodgy claims about the two women involved. You also favourably invoke Galloway (whose intellect is sleeping), thus appearing to agree with his recent appalling statements about rape. Rape is non-consensual sex. Women have the right to decide if they consent to taking the risk of getting a disease, or getting pregnant. Women also have the right to go to sleep without fearing that they will be penetrated without their consent. They also have the right to refuse sex with a partner. You cannot seriously believe that violating these rights is simply ‘bad etiquette’?

    Johnny Void on the other hand, presents an argument largely based the facts of the two legal systems involved, and rooted in the principles of due process, and women’s rights over their own bodies. I don’t agree with all Johnny’s points, or values, but he has done his research here.

    In regard to the supposed threat of extradition to the States. First – Assange took his case all the way to the UK Supreme Court. Along the way his lawyer misled the court, meaning that many people still believe the myth that the Swedish prosecutor didn’t try to interview him in the country – she did. But the fact that Assange was in court here, means that IF the US tries to have him extradited, they will have to get permission of both Sweden and the UK. So he would actually be safer there than here. Second, European Law means he cannot be extradited to face torture or the death penalty. Third, Sweden cannot give assurances they won’t extradite him because no request has even arrived yet, and the case has not been tried. There is no precedent for such an extraordinary promise to be made to any individual, and some commentators suggest that it would be unconstitutional to do so. Finally, European Law offers considerable protection to journalists, so it is highly likely that any ‘crimes’ the US accuses him of would not be crimes in Sweden, hence preventing his extradition. The link provided by Ajdehany covers most of these points.

    I agree with Ajdehany that Assange appears to be exaggerating the risk of extradition, and politicising it purely in order to avoid the rape charges. These are not concocted, as this account of his own statement reveals:

    http://studentactivism.net/2011/07/12/assange-lawyer-concedes/

    His lawyer appears to be arguing that once a man has physically overpowered a woman, if at some point she ceases to resist, or caves in to his will, this should be taken as retroactively giving consent to his forced entry. I find his statement sickening.

    One reason rape is a horrible crime because it undermines a person’s integrity in the most visceral way possible. It is also commonly perceived to be the woman’s fault – and as a result many survivors struggle with feelings of guilt, of having invited the experience. It is therefore quite likely that at some point in an assault by a partner, one might give up resisting, and pretend it’s okay. And it is certainly not impossible that one of the women may have thrown a party for Assange afterwards. How confusing would it be, to be sexually assualted by your hero. Quite possibly, you might think it was all your fault. I am surmising here, of course, as no-one can tell what actually happened except the people involved. Not John Pilger, or Craig Murray, or Grotesque George. None of them were there during the alleged offences, and are hardly authorities you can cite with confidence on this matter.

    I would also like it on the record that I did not support Assange until I read his statement. I have always supported the women’s right to a hearing in court. I have become more vocal since I read his statement, because his own words make it patently clear that this is nothing like a ‘honey trap’, and Assange supporters are blind to the case he must answer in Sweden. Obviously it is for the courts to decide if he is guilty or innocent.

    I wrote to Women Against Rape yesterday and told them how furiously disappointed I was in their Guardian article. They are supposed to be defending the rights of women, and educating the public about rape. I think the two writers of the article should apologise or resign.

    Niall, I really do think you should rethink this. There are two separate issues here, and bunging them together seriously runs the risk of minimizing rape, and dismissing the human rights of alleged rape victims. He may have done some great things, but equally Assange may be guilty of rape. There is a strong case against him, and he should stop wasting everyone’s time and taxpayer’s money, and face the music.

  11. What everyone is failing to understand is that those who carry out the dirty work of governments – male or female – do not deserve respect, sympathy, or support.

    Shills are ubiquitous in the history books. At best they are motivated by national security issues, at worst by financial gain and notoriety.

    There is a huge and collective intuition that Assange is being framed. I am adding my voice to those who are using their intuitive faculties in this way inc. WOMEN AGAINST RAPE. I refuse to add my voice to the smear campaign against Assange. Smear campaigns are odious. Void’s research and rehashing of the case against Assange is not commendable. He is supporting the smear campaign, as well as running another one of his own against myself.

    I have suggested that Assange is a ‘creepy Jesus’. His utterances have been clumsy and he smells of the ‘manarchist’ at times. But I’d rather hear this than the highly polished solecisms of his legal, journalistic and political accusers. It’s not me who’s confusing the two issues. Again, WOMEN AGAINST RAPE: ‘Once again women’s fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes’.

    Assange should avoid the showtrial.

    Crucifixion is the most serious crime there is.

  12. Dave Tomlin says:

    Johnny Void made mention of something early on in this ding-dong which might be interesting to look at and question. What is likely to be the final outcome for Assange?
    ‘… the US have made no attempt, as yet, to have Assange extradited, something which would probably be illegal under Swedish Law…’ (Johnny Void)
    Well of course they haven’t, they’re not totally stupid; that issue can then be consigned to Assange’s paranoia while they wait for him to leave his sanctuary before putting in the iron fist.
    I am presuming that the second part of the phrase is meant to be some sort of joke. The idea that the US gives a monkey’s jot or tittle about legality, (Ha ha) I have to say, made me almost laugh out loud. Whatever happens now, there will be no place safe for Assange, unlike Rushdie he is definitely not a national treasure so who will guard him from US vengeance, wherever he goes, in the final analysis the CIA will always find him.

  13. johnny void says:

    Women Against Rape also recently said:

    “We hear comments like George Galloway’s all the time but I’m not going to defend people who are full of shit about rape, they are out of their box. Dinosaurs. ”

    Their position is that Assange should be questioned in the UK, not that the allegations are swept under the carpet.

    There has been no smear campaign Niall, despite you furiously re-editing your comments and launching a string of ad hominem attacks.

    You wrote a load of misogynist shit on the internet and hadn’t bothered to check your facts.

    You got called out on it. That’s all.

  14. johnny void says:

    ” The idea that the US gives a monkey’s jot or tittle about legality, (Ha ha) I have to say, made me almost laugh out loud. ”

    Wrong government, it’s the Swedish who would have to agree to an extradition request. You’re right that he’s fucked, the US may well act in an extra-judicial way – that is, if anything, more likely should he find himself in Ecuador.

    Quite possibly the safest place for Assange right now is Sweden, although it will mean facing the allegations. Assange believed this himself – which is why he applied for residence (which he didn’t get). Strange isn’t it that Assange was fighting to get into Sweden right up until the point the potential charges emerged and now he’s fighting to stay out of the country.

  15. Dave Tomlin says:

    Yes the Swedes would have to agree to extradition request but it is for the US to apply, so my statement still stands.
    ‘they may well act in an extra-judicial way’. Are winding me up? a large proportion of what they do is extra-judicial. If they really want him, and of course given the nature of his act they REALLY do, then it will take some genius thinking to get him off this hook.

  16. ‘Strange isn’t it that Assange was fighting to get into Sweden right up until the point the potential charges emerged and now he’s fighting to stay out of the country.’

    No it’s not strange. What’s interesting is that the country which – before Ecador – was offering itself as a safe haven, suddenly became a dangerous haven. Sweden, like most Western countries, does not wish to cross America.

  17. ‘You wrote a load of misogynist shit on the internet and hadn’t bothered to check your facts.’

    While you’re busy explaining why William Hague is justified, I’m busy trying to surmise how two provocateurs are operating their sting. If the provocateurs are females and are using sex as an integral part of the strategy, it naturally makes for a loaded discussion. Void’s kneejerk political correctness has more of the dinosaur about it than Pilger, Galloway, Murray or myself, a political correctness that must be a boon for the dirty tricks departments of the various security services.

    Agreed – Naomi – that Pilger, Galloway and Murray were not in the respective bedrooms, but as Galloway said, there were no CCTV cameras either.

    The thing about honeytrap relationships is that they are real – for a while.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/12/the_history_of_the_honey_trap?page=full

  18. Naomi Foyle says:

    Unfortunately, reasonable and factual contributions are being ignored in favour of ‘collective intuitions’ – AKA hysterical presuppositions – and alleged rape victims are being put on trial: accused of being shills and government agents. It’s beginning to sound like a witch hunt to me.

    Niall, Assange has himself admitted to the substance of the accusations – did you even read my link? There is no need for CCTV footage. There is a need for due process – a trial at which the women’s stories can be heard, and he can defend himself honourably.

    As for questioning him in the UK – in the Swedish system, questioning comes late in the game, and needs to be followed quickly by arrest. They are questioning him with intent, because they feel they have enough evidence to charge him. Again, based on his own admissions. They want to question him in Sweden so he can’t then drag out the process of arrest for another 500 days.

    If the US tries to extradite him, I will support his right as a journalist to make information freely available without fear of arrest. However, I do not support his current flight from justice, and his refusal to acknowledge the human rights of the women who have accused him. Again, these are two different cases, two different issues.

  19. Assange is being witch-hunted.

    When we look back on the trials of Socrates, Christ or Joan of Arc, we naturally laugh at their accusers, and we shake our heads at the theological arguments that were used to speed them to their deaths.

    What appals me is the level of pedantry involved in the Assange debate, with everyone citing the langauage games of vested interests, respectfully, and patting themselves on the back for having done their research. Researching a web of disinformation put out by security services/corporate media/western government to discredit Assange – and the technicalities of the legal snares that are being set for him – isn’t much of an achievement.

    Dave Tomlin doesn’t regard Assange as a ‘national treasure’, unlike Rushdie. It’s an interesting comparison. Rushdie was not a national treasure but an Indian pain-in-the-arse for the British security services, a refugee from persecution, chased not by the CIA but by fundamentalist Muslims. Rushdie did nothing heroic; he merely blasphemed provocatively against Islam. Yet Britain offered him a protection it cannot offer to Assange. Not only is Britain’s usual welcome for the persecuted not on offer here, Britain won’t even allow him to go somewhere else that is making that offer. That is what sickens.

    Assange is an international treasure, and yet many seem to ignore this and merely engage in speculation as to when and where he will be caught, as if they were watching a bloodsport. People do not understand what they are witnessing, or endorsing, whether by speaking out in support of his capture, or by not speaking out. This is a crucial moment in the history of the 21st century, but most observers are thrashing about in nets that have been spun for them by the engineers of the spectacle.

    My admiration goes only to the voices who speak loud and clear in favour of Assange, all of whom run the risk of being branded as ‘rape apologists’ even before any conviction.

    Another Naomi, Naomi Wolf, who has done extensive work with rape victims, says that in her 23 years of experience working with violated women, she has never seen so many instances of ‘multiple consent’ in their testimonies as she saw in the testimonies of Assange’s accusers. She is still intuiting, like all of us, but her intuitions are based on ‘facts’.

    I’m sorry to read that the Occupy movement is divided in its support for him and cannot issue a unanimous statement in his favour. The plot to discredit him has been so fiendishly clever that even those who try to defend him end up being discredited. Occupy are willing to admit that they probably couldn’t have come into being without Assange and that Assange has been one of their greatest supporters, and yet the smear campaign has worked its black magic on some of its members. We don’t expect average people to defend Assange but we would expect dissenting people to do so. Undoubtedly, that the issue of violence against women is one of the hottest debates in the modern anarchist movment – especially after the incidents in the Tent City – means that the allegations against Assange will be taken at face value.

    John Pilger’s defence of Assange is thus also heroic. He’s clearly not on auto-pilot. He knows what’s at stake and he knows the gaming-table. What’s happening to Assange is the kind of thing that might have happened to Pilger, or Chomksy.

  20. johnny void says:

    The Messiah complex is spreading.

    Seriously, do you have idea of how much of a knob you sound?

  21. johnny void says:

    Celebrity culture at its most grotesque.

  22. Thus spake the troll on the dole.

  23. This from Naomi Wolf:

    Eight BIG PROBLEMS with the “case” against Assange (MUST-READ by Naomi Wolf)
    Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange
    Exclusive to News from Underground

    Now that Andrew Kreig, of the Justice Integrity Project, has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden.

    Dr. Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University, explained on Kreig’s radio show last month that Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Kreig also reported, in Connecticut Watchdog, that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodström helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured. This background compels us to review the case against Assange with extreme care.

    Based on my 23 years of reporting on global rape law, and my five years of supporting women at rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters, I can say with certainty that this case is not being treated as a normal rape or sexual assault case. New details from the Swedish police make this quite clear. Their transcript of the complaints against Assange is strikingly unlike the dozens of such transcripts that I have read throughout the years as an advocate for victims of sex crimes.

    Specifically, there are eight ways in which this transcript is unusual:

    1) Police never pursue complaints in which there is no indication of lack of consent.

    Ask Sweden to produce ANY other police report in which any action was taken in a situation in which there is no stated lack of consent or threat of force. Police simply won’t act on a complaint if there is no indication of a lack of consent, or of consent in the face of violence. The Assange transcripts, in contrast to any typical sex crime report, are a set of transcripts in which neither of the women has indicated a lack of consent. (There is one point at which Miss W asserts she was asleep – in which case it would indeed have been illegal to have sex with her – but her deleted tweets show that she was not asleep, and subsequent discussion indicates consent.)

    The Assange transcript is therefore anomalous, as it does not suggest in any way that either woman was unconsenting, or felt threatened. On this basis alone, therefore, the Assange transcript is completely aberrant.

    2) Police do not let two women report an accusation about one man together.

    The transcripts seem to indicate that the police processed the two accusers’ complaints together.

    This is completely unheard-of in sex crime procedures; and the burden should be on Clare Mongomery, QC, or Marianne Ny, to produce a single other example of this being permitted.

    Never will two victims be allowed by police to come in and tell their stories together–even, or especially, if the stories are about one man.

    Indeed, this is a great frustration to those who advocate for rape victims. You can have seven alleged victims all accusing the same guy — and none will be permitted to tell their stories together.

    It doesn’t matter if they coordinated in advance as the Assange accusers did, or if they are close friends and came in together: the police simply will not take their complaints together or even in the same room. No matter how much they may wish to file a report together, their wishes won’t matter: the women will be separated, given separate interview times and even locations, and their cases will be processed completely separately.

    The prosecutor, rather than being able to draw on both women’s testimony, will actually have to struggle to get the judge to allow a second or additional accusation or evidence from another case.

    Usually other such evidence will NOT be allowed. Miss A would have her case processed and then Miss W — with absolutely no ability for the prosecutor to draw form one set of testimony to the next.

    The reason for this is sound: it is to keep testimony from contaminating separate trials–a source of great frustration to prosecutors and rape victim advocates.

    Thus the dual testimonies taken in this case are utterly atypical and against all Western and especially Swedish rape law practice and policy.

    3) Police never take testimony from former boyfriends.

    There’s another remarkable aberration in this transcript: the report of a former boyfriend of “Miss A,” testifying that she’d always used a condom in their relationship.

    Now, as one who has supported many rape victims through the reporting process, I have to say that the inclusion of this utterly atypical–and, in fact, illegal–note will make anyone who has counselled rape victims through the legal process’ feel as though her head might explode.

    There’s a rape shield law in Sweden (as there is throughout Europe) that prevents anyone not involved in the case to say anything to the police, whether it be positive or negative, about the prior sexual habits of the complainant. No matter how much a former or current boyfriend may want to testify about his girlfriends’ sex practices — even if that woman wants him to — the courts will, rightly, refused to hear it, or record it, or otherwise allow it in the record.

    4) Prosecutors never let two alleged victims have the same lawyer.

    Both women are being advised by the same high-powered, politically connected lawyer. That would never happen under normal circumstances because the prosecutor would not permit the risk of losing the case because of contamination of evidence and the risk of the judge objecting to possible coaching or shared testimony in the context of a shared attorney.

    So why would the Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, allow such a thing in this case? Perhaps — bearing in mind the threat that Assange will be extradited to the US once he is in Sweden — because she does not expect to have a trial, let alone have to try to win one.

    5) A lawyer never typically takes on two alleged rape victims as clients.

    No attorney–and certainly no high-powered attorney– would want to represent two women claiming to have been victimized by the same man, for the reasons above: the second woman’s testimony could be weaker than the other one’s, thus lessening the lawyer’s chances of success.

    There also is a danger that the judge may well object to the potential cross-contamination of the women’s stories.

    Again, the only reason why a lawyer would thus weaken his own clients’ cases us that s/he does not expect the case to come to trial.

    6) A rape victim never uses a corporate attorney.

    Typically, if a woman needs a lawyer in addition to the prosecutor who is pursuing her case (as in the Swedish system) she will be advised by rape victim advocates, the prosecutor and the police to use a criminal attorney — someone who handles rape cases or other kinds of assault, who is familiar with the judges and the courts in these cases. She will never hire a high-powered corporate attorney who does not specialize in these cases or work with the local court that would be hearing her sex crime case if it ever got to trial. Given that a law firm such as this one charges about four hundred euros an hour, and a typical rape case takes eight months to a year to get through the courts – given that legal advice will cost tens of thousands of euros, which young women victims usually do not have access to – it is reasonable to ask: who is paying the legal bills?

    7) A rape victim is never encouraged to make any kind of contact with her assailant and she may never use police to compel her alleged assailant to take medical tests.

    The two women went to police to ask if they could get Assange to take an HIV test.

    Sources close to the investigation confirm that indeed Assange was asked by police to take an HIV test, which came back negative. This is utterly unheard of and against standard sex crime policy. The Police do not act as medical mediators for STD testing, since rapists are dangerous and vindictive. A victim is NEVER advised to manage, even with police guidance, any further communication with her assailant that is not through formal judicial channels. Under ordinary procedures, the women’s wishes for the alleged assailant to take medical tests would be discouraged by rape victim advocates and deterred and disregarded by police.

    First, the State normally has no power to compel a man who has not been convicted, let alone formally charged, to take any medical tests whatsoever. Secondly, rape victims usually fear STD’s or AIDS infection, naturally enough, and the normal police and prosecutorial guidance is for them to take their own battery of tests – you don’t need the man’s test results to know if you have contracted a disease. Normal rape kit processing–in Sweden as elsewhere–includes such tests for the alleged victim as a matter of course, partly to help prevent any contact between the victim and the assailant outside legal channels.

    8) Police and prosecutors never leak police transcripts during an active investigation because they face punishment for doing so.

    The full transcripts of the women’s complaints have been leaked to the US media. The only people who have access to those documents are police, prosecutors and the attorneys. Often, frustratingly, rape victims themselves cannot get their own full set of records related to their cases. In normal circumstances, the leaking of those transcripts would be grounds for an immediate investigation of the police and prosecutors who had access to them. Any official who leaks such confidential papers faces serious penalties; lawyers who do so can be disbarred. And yet no one in this case is being investigated or facing any consequences. It seems quite likely that the Assange documents were leaked by the police or prosecutors because they got a signal from higher-ups that they could do so with impunity.

    Indeed, these are all major aberrations–suggesting that somebody at the top has interfered.

    And who is at the very top in Sweden? Players working with Karl Rove, who was a party to the Swedish government’s collusion in the Bush regime’s rendition/torture program. As Britain holds its hearings into Julian Assange’s fate, we must take careful note of that connection.

    Naomi Wolf is a prominent feminists and social justice activist.

    Related Posts:
    Sweden doesn’t prosecute REAL rape, but locks up Julian Assange (for “rape”)
    Assange not wanted for rape, but something called “sex by surprise”
    Swedish case is a “holding charge” to get Assange extradited to US

  24. johnny void says:

    Found a new hero? Nowhere does Wolf approach your contention that this is all some grand conspiracy and the women have been operating some kind of honey trap. Neither does she attempt to judge the validity of any trauma experienced, raise the spectre that date rape isn’t rape, make prejudgements based on the women’s alleged behaviour after the alleged incidents or attempted to smear them for being feminists.

    In case you’ve forgotten, and I fully understand why you would try and move the goal posts, this is why you got called out for misogyny.

    Wolf raises a couple of interesting points, although they have been challenged by people familiar with swedish police procedure. There’s no smoking gun there at all, a couple of anomalies in police procedure does not a grand conspiracy make. There may well have been pressure from above, which is all Wolf really claims. The women’s lawyer and the prosecutor have reputations as being pro-feminist – rape conviction rates are poor in Sweden – it’s quite possible they fancy a high profile case in an attempt to demonstrate that these kinds of offences will be pursued regardless of who is accused.

    That’s speculation of course, but just as plausible as the idea this is an american led grand conspiracy for an extradition order that doesnt exist to prosecute a crime they havent even come up with yet.

  25. Naomi Foyle says:

    I’m going to ask you for the third time Niall – please read Assange’s statement. As you don’t appear to have done so, here are the salient points:

    His own lawyer describes ‘Assange as penetrating one woman while she slept without a condom, in defiance of her previously expressed wishes. . .’

    Of another charge, he states:

    “[The complainant] was lying on her back and Assange was on top of her … [she] felt that Assange wanted to insert his penis into her vagina directly, which she did not want since he was not wearing a condom … she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom. [She] says that she felt about to cry since she was held down and could not reach a condom and felt this could end badly.”

    Elsewhere, one woman says she felt ‘shocked and paralyzed’ by the penetration, as she had never in her life had sex without a condom before.

    How on earth can you continue to claim the charges are concocted, or a government plot, when Assange himself is admitting their substance? His only defense is ‘retroactive consent’, which I don’t buy for a moment, but he has the right to give it a go. He doesn’t have the right to dictate how the Swedish system should deal with him.

    I read the Naomi Wolf piece too, and as Johnny says, the comments on it call her out on several inaccuracies, including mixing the two women up (the deleted tweets were NOT deleted by the allegedly sleeping woman), and being ignorant of how Swedish law operates.

    Assange is not a superhero. He’s human and fallible. He may not be a rapist, but on the strength of the evidence he may well be. It’s not for the internet community to judge that. Or Naomi Wolf. It’s for the courts. The UK can’t offer him political asylum because he’s not being politically persecuted: he’s being accused of a serious crime against two women. The charges are genuine, Niall, and they are a result of his own atrocious behavior.

    TBH I am starting to have less sympathy for him overall. Look at Pussy Riot – they challenged the state and are courageously taking the consequences with pride in their achievements. What did he think when he started Wikileaks – that the US would give him a medal? He needs to grow up and take responsibility for his actions.

  26. Naomi I have read that statement before this debate, and not on the STUDENT ACTIVIST blog where it’s juxtaposed with anti-Assange bile and cherry-picked for effect.

    I’ve also already commented that I find him personally ‘creepy’ and perhaps old-school ‘manarchist’. I think he’s a member of the awkward squad at every level. I don’t much warm to him, but I admire his awkwardness. It smacks of integrity. It’s the same awkwardness that made him take the virtually unprecedented step of walking out on his own autobiography just before publication, and often walk out of live television intervews. I don’t think he could have done what he did as a freedom fighter without being awkward squad. And perhaps to take on the world in the way he did requires being something of a creep.

    What interests me here – and the details don’t sound very pleasant, which is why Galloway regards him as ‘sordid’ as well as innocent – is that he is nonetheless being weirdly, even naively, honest. He’s not coming up with a superslick counter-argument.

    You defend his accusers; I defend him. These are our gut feelings and we’re not going to change eachothers’ minds. I’m not calling you ‘seriously wrong’, as you call me, but I am sticking to my belief that he is being framed and that the accusers are pawns in a game.

  27. International Times is a radical magazine. As one of its contributors, I’m proud to defend an illustrious radical on its site, a man who has actually changed the world for the better.

    As another of its contributors, all Void can do is to dismiss the Assange affair as ‘celebrity culture at its most grotesque’. This is shallow, jaded and cynical.

    What we are witnessing is history in the making, not a tabloid throwaway. Now isn’t the time for cynicism, sentimentality or equivocation. Two camps are forming: the truthful and the duped. Rise to the occasion, or fall for it.

    And where’s the radicalism? It’s on plenty of other blogs. And it’s outside the Ecuador Embassy, and inside.

  28. johnny void says:

    His accusers don’t need to be defended, they are not on trial.

    Niall, you have little understanding of radicalism. There is nothing radical about endorsing a world where women (or those of any gender and none) who allege sexual abuse are automatically dismissed as dupes, traitors, liars or prostitutes as you appear to endorse. That’s not a political movement I want to be a part and thankfully, outside of a few stalinist attention seekers like Galloway and clueless conspiracy theorists who’ve fallen behind him, the radical left does not, on the most paty, share your view that this was a honey trap.

    Assange is not Wikileaks, he founded the website (with others) and hundreds of other people leaked documents, ran the website at considerable legal risk, raised money etc. Many left because of Assange’s increasingly messianic behaviour. Wikileaks became all about Julian Assange, he chose to make himself a target. A plain speaking critique of why this is a bad idea can be found at: http://sabcat.com/julian-assange-lessons-from-ned-ludd/

    Assange is an avowed free market capitalist and an egotist. He has, if anything, been a malign influence on wikileaks, which is now all about Julian Assange and is doing little of the good work they were undertaking previously.

    That alone should make any genuine radical wary of Assange as it is a clear tale of how hierarchy, and one man’s ego, can destroy collaborative effort.

    That said, few would support Assange’s extradition to the US. There s no evidence he is at any greater risk of that should he face the charges than he was in London. Should the US decide to act outside of the law, which I suspect they won’t in this case, then he is probably safer in Sweden than anywhere else.

    There is no evidence of a honey trap. The evidence we have suggests it’s a preposturous idea. The two alleged victims of Assange’s behaviour both have traceable histories in Sweden. One is active within the Swedish liberal left. Both of these women, and those who have written statements in support, are liable to face cross examination at some point in court. No security service operation would leave two assets so exposed. It is not credible. It is conspiracy theory and makes you look silly. And incidentally, this grand plot you speak of, involving scores of people all working together to trick Julian Assange into behaving the way he did, didn’t fucking work. He isn’t in Guatanamo Bay, he’s holed up in an Embassy in London. Do you honestly think after all the effort the American and Swedish plotters would have let him leave Sweden?

    My reference to celebrity culture was in direct relation to your uncritical hero worship.

    There is nothing radical abut such hero worship, there is nothing radical about conspiracy theory, there is nothing radical about men thinking they can treat women’s bodies as they choose and these is nothing radical about other men attempting to sweep such behaviour under the carpet. These are all fully reactionary and very old ideas – ones which genuine radicals have fought hard against.

    And I have never called Helen a fascist. Stop lying.

    • No radicalism without idealism.

      That you cannot impute a single higher ideal to Assange says more about you than him. He could not have achieved anything like what he did without having much higher motives than the average man. Very cooly, he says of himself: ‘I like crushing bastards.’ There’s a lot in that understatement. And not only did he reveal what was going on behind the scenes, he hampered it. After Wikileaks, everything was potentially ‘on the record’. Suddenly there was incontravertible evidence – not rhetoric – to show that Western politicians really were war criminals.

      Naturally the bastards are turning the tables, and seeking to crush him. Sadly, for him and for us, the big-game hunter has become big game. And in case you hadn’t noticed there’s a worldwide campaign to prevent this from happening. It too is motivated by radicalism, by idealism.

      I haven’t seen an ounce of radicalism in your input to this debate. What you are peddling is the same realpolitik sold by the mainstream media. Your latest critique of him is highly demoralizing, to me and to his many supporters. Researching and regurgitating realpolitik is not radical.

      If you were to go to the Ecuadorean Embassy with a megaphone and trot out the arguments you’ve been trotting out on IT, no one would think you were from the radical left. If you addressed the crowds and said Assange is a rapist, a capitalist and an egotist, you might get a round of applause from the police. If you told his supporters that they are rape apologists, they would assume you were a crackpot. If you then explained to them that – despite Britain’s great tradition of harbouring refugees from persecution, and despite Britain’s and the Tories’ notorious Euroscepticism – that poor William Hague has no choice but to arrest and extradite Assange in accordance with the dictates of the EWA, that’s he’s just another English jobsworth after all, they’d assume you were from the right, not the radical left.

      To be a Hague apologist is not radical.

      What’s radical is WOMEN IN RAPE putting to one side their most dearly cherished principles to argue for Assange’s protection.

      What’s radical is Ecuador and its South American allies successfully forcing the British Foreign Office to admit and withdraw its threat of invading the Ecuadorean Embassy.

      http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFBRE87O0EV20120825

      Cynicism isn’t radical. Fighting it is.

      • Here’s another example of radicalism, cyber attacks by Assange supporters:

        ‘Cyberattacks

        Hundreds of Internet activists mounted retaliatory attacks in early December 2010 on the Web sites of multinational companies and other organizations they deemed hostile to WikiLeaks and its jailed founder.

        Targets of the attacks, in which activists overwhelmed the sites with traffic, included the Web site of MasterCard, which had stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks; Amazon.com, which revoked the use of its computer servers; and PayPal, which stopped accepting donations for Mr. Assange’s group. Visa.com was also affected by the attacks, as were the Web sites of the Swedish prosecutor’s office and the lawyer representing the two women whose allegations of sexual misconduct were the basis of Sweden’s extradition bid.

        The cyberattacks in Mr. Assange’s defense seem to have been coordinated by Anonymous, a loosely affiliated group of activist computer hackers. Anonymous claimed responsibility for the MasterCard attack in Web messages and, according to one activist associated with the group, conducted waves of attacks on other companies. The group said the actions were part of an effort called Operation Payback, which began as a way of punishing companies that attempted to stop Internet file-sharing and movie downloads.

        The cyberattacks on corporations were seen by many supporters as a counterstrike against the United States. Mr. Assange’s online supporters have widely condemned the Obama administration as the unseen hand coordinating efforts to choke off WikiLeaks by denying it financing and suppressing its network of computer servers.’

  29. Dave Tomlin says:

    Whether Assange was directly responsible or not for wikileaks is irrellevant, as are most of the foregoing arguments. He has deservingly or not come to be seen as its representative. This is why he is taking the blame. Holy gurus are sometimes rumbled by their disciples and discovered to have been having it away with the cleaning lady and even drinking whisky.
    So what? The question is, did you get the message? ‘Blow that whistle loud and clear’. Unfortunately establishing such axioms in the status quo is costly and someone always has to pay the price, it is the sacrifice the powers that be demand.

  30. johnny void says:

    I think you’ll found that the person taking the blame is currently holed up in a military prison with little chance of release.

  31. The dismissal of all conspiracy theory is Void’s blind spot.

    If Mossad can throw one female agent at Vanunu, the CIA can throw two at Assange.

    No one has explained why the woman threw a party in Assange’s honour – ‘Assange’s honour’ seems a funny concept after all the smearing – after the alleged rape. When has a rape victim ever thrown a party in honour of her rapist?

    And what about Karl Rove being appointed as special advisor to the Swedish prosecution, reunited with his old friends in the Swedish govt?

  32. This from Pilger

    ‘His tormentors make the point of Assange’s persecution. Charged with no crime, he is not a fugitive from justice. Swedish case documents, including the text messages of the women involved, demonstrate to any fair-minded person the absurdity of the sex allegations – allegations almost entirely promptly dismissed by the senior prosecutor in Stockholm, Eva Finne, before the intervention of a politician, Claes Borgström. At the pre-trial of Bradley Manning, a US army investigator confirmed that the FBI was secretly targeting the “founders, owners or managers of WikiLeaks” for espionage.

    Four years ago, a barely noticed Pentagon document, leaked by WikiLeaks, described how WikiLeaks and Assange would be destroyed with a smear campaign leading to “criminal prosecution”. On 18 August, the Sydney Morning Herald disclosed, in a Freedom of Information release of official files, that the Australian government had repeatedly received confirmation that the US was conducting an “unprecedented” pursuit of Assange and had raised no objections. Among Ecuador’s reasons for granting asylum is Assange’s abandonment “by the state of which he is a citizen”. In 2010, an investigation by the Australian Federal Police found that Assange and WikiLeaks had committed no crime. His persecution is an assault on us all and on freedom.’

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/politics/2012/08/pursuit-julian-assange-assault-freedom-and-mockery-journalism

    Though I can’t hold a candle to John Pilger, at least I’m not parroting the same type of ‘mockery journalism’ that is, alas, appearing on this site.

  33. johnny void says:

    “That you cannot impute a single higher ideal to Assange says more about you than him. He could not have achieved anything like what he did without having much higher motives than the average man.”

    and so your ‘anarchism’ is revealed as a sham .

    more gods, more masters

  34. johnny void says:

    Interesting angle from Greg Palast, who has done very similar work to Assange

    “Question: Do you remember the reporter who put his byline on the story of Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers? Of course not; because the Times reporter didn’t risk a thing. Julian Assange didn’t risk a thing either – except excess TV exposure and an excess of blonde groupies. The hero of the Wikileaks/Guardian/Times/Spiegel exposure is Pvt. Bradley Manning.

    NO ONE gives a fruit fly’s rectum about this heroic man now rotting in Obama’s prison cell, facing a 52-year sentence. That includes Mr. Assange, who did nothing to protect Bradley and is doing nothing now.

    My only hope is that, when Judgment is passed, Assange will join his fellows in that ring of Hell devoted to those who wear the mantle of courage stolen from others.”

    http://www.gregpalast.com/wiki-creep-assange-the-scamppvt-bradley-the-champ/

    • A Tory is one good example of an average man. You think everyone’s a genius? Assange was the front man because of his ‘near genius IQ’ according to colleagues.

      He is obviously a massively intrepid human being with the ability to inspire others to join the crusade against the establishment. He reminds me of Hagbard Celine from the ILLUMINATUS trilogy, an anarcho-pirate extraordinaire.

      Not sure what Palast’s beef is. Manning is in prison, Assange is under house arrest. Wikileaks is struggling.

  35. johnny void says:

    infowars lol

    and so any remaining credibility disappears in your campaign to smear women who allege sexual abuse.

    • My advice to the only two women I am talking about – those whose actions have directly led to Assange’s house arrest by the British government – is a Christian paraphrase: ‘Smear not that you be not smeared.’

  36. Naomi Foyle says:

    I am going to leave this conversation now, with thanks to Johnny Void for demonstrating that feminism as a movement has been worthwhile, though Niall’s blind allegiance to Assange, Pilger, Galloway etc obviously indicates that it has a fair ways to go. I am very disappointed Niall, that you have strenuously avoided all opportunity to denounce the penetration of a sleeping woman, or the use of force in pursuit of unwanted, unsafe sex – both actions your hero admits. Instead you admire him for his honesty. You also have refused to try to imagine what it might be like to be sexually assualted by someone you trust and respect. Assuming for a moment that the allegations are true, perhaps the alleged victim had planned her party for Assange some time in advance, and felt she couldn’t call it off; perhaps he was putting emotional pressure on her to forget the alleged assault. Many victims of domestic abuse forgive their attackers and return to them, time and again. You need to seriously re-examine your views about rape and other forms of sexual assault.

    The difference between you and me on this issue is that I have not convicted Assange – I simply hold that his own statement indicates he has a case to answer. You, on the other hand, are libelling the alleged victims. As Johnny says, even Women Against Rape didn’t do that. I stand by my initial statement that your approach here is defiantly wrong-headed. And I reiterate that I would oppose Assange’s extradition to the US, should that ever be attempted.

    • Thanks for contributing.

      It’s very magnanimous of you to promise that if JA grows up and goes back to Sweden, you’ll then oppose his extradition – a word which now seems like Newspeak for Extraordinary Rendition – from Sweden to America. But sorry to say, as forceful a campaigner as you are, your opposition would have no effect.

      I prefer WOMEN AGAINST RAPE’S feminism to Johnny Void’s.

      Perhaps you might share their reply to your email to them?

  37. Niall McDevitt says:

    Women Against Rape – though they’ve worded their statement carefully to suspend any judgment on the case itself – are clearly more concerned about the plight of Assange than that of his accusers or they wouldn’t have made their extradordinary and enlightened gesture.

    They have also pointed out – Void, please note – that Britain refused to extradite Pinochet to Spain, in spite of a warrant, but now says it has no option but to extradite Assange, because of another warrant:

    ‘In 1998 Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London following an extradition request from Spain. His responsibility for the murder and disappearance of at least 3,000 people, and the torture of 30,000 people, including the rape and sexual abuse of more than 3,000 women often with the use of dogs, was never in doubt. Despite a lengthy legal action and a daily picket outside parliament called by Chilean refugees, including women who had been tortured under Pinochet, the British government reneged on its obligation to Spain’s criminal justice system and Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile. Assange has not even been charged; yet the determination to have him extradited is much greater than ever it was with Pinochet. (Baltasar Garzón, whose request for extradition of Pinochet was denied, is representing Assange.) And there is a history of Sweden (and Britain) rendering asylum seekers at risk of torture at the behest of the US.’

    Why Women Against Rape’s feminism is so impressive is that it goes beyond offering a partisan ‘women against rape’ viewpoint to an illuminated and illuminating viewpoint which sees and sheds light on the big picture.

    The Assange/Pinochet comparison forces us to contemplate the awful fact that the same Conservative Party that is holing up a revolutionary hero in a basement in Knightsbridge, and claims to have no option under European law but to extradite him to Sweden, have previously offered safe passage to Pinochet, one of the most evil men of modern times.

    • johnny void says:

      Still reproducing arguments from a group which say your opinions of rape are full of shit?

      You should be fucking ashamed to attempt to misrepresent them to support your vile position.

      • Void, my opinions of rape have not been aired in this discussion, only my opinion of Assange’s accusers. We’re arguing about alleged rapes. Many intelligent people believe the alleged incidents did not happen and that the impending trial is already corrupted. It may never be possible to determine whether or not the allegations are true. Naomi Wolf says the case has already been interfered with at the highest levels of Swedish and American government. Not many Assange supporters would believe a guilty verdict, should the trial go ahead.

        My belief about the falsity of Assange’s accusers does not apply to anyone else, and I have repeatedly stated that it’s only an opinion, and that these are only opinion columns. Your contributions too are only opinion columns.

        It is vaguely possible that decades from now, some freedom of information request might show that the women were indeed shills, confirming my – and many other’s – belief. Realistically, none of us know now or are likely to find out in our lifetime.

        I have the right to freedom of speech and it is essential that right now, as we face one of the defining moments of our time, we are able to freely discuss the ramifications of this case, including the distinct possibility that Assange has been honeytrapped.

        Honeytraps happen all the time. Mordecai Vanunu:

        On the film, Mr Vanunu says that after he arrived in London he cautioned himself to “be careful”. But within three weeks he met “Cindy”, who was posing as an American tourist, and was seduced.

        He said: “It was the honey pot trap. She was standing in a place to buy cigarettes and I saw her and talked to her. I asked if she was a Mossad spy. She said, ‘No, no, no. What is Mossad?”‘

        He says that he went with her to Rome because he thought Mossad agents were looking for him in London. “Her job was simple: to bring me to the place where they could kidnap me. She was not interested in what I said and did.”

        The ease with which his suspicions about “Cindy” were allayed confirms fears of newspaper executives at the time that Mr Vanunu was, as one put it, “desperate to get laid”.

        (Chery Bentov was Jewish-American, not Israeli, but she’d married an Israeli secret agent and was recruited hersef to Mossad.)

        Here’s a charming article about modern Chinese honeytraps:
        http://theweek.com/article/index/211717/beware-chinas-honeytrap-spies

        • johnny void says:

          There seems to be little point continuing as you have made it abundantly clear that you are not interested in facts or evidence and have based your opinion solely on your crush on Assange.

          That you imagine this to be one of the defining moments of our time is as daft as your claim that Assange is the most wanted man in the Western world.

          But to address the ludicrous honeytrap scenario – Vanunu’s case was completely different, as he said himself, all she had to do was get him over the border.

          This case involves two women, both with checkable histories in Sweden and one who was active in soft left politics. Both were Assange supporters. Apart from the specific allegations the events which took place have been confirmed by Assange, friends of both of the women and supporters of Assange. The second women’s colleagues, brother and a former partner have given statements. Both women will be subect to cross-examination when the case comes to court and if there is any doubt as to their integrity Assange’s legal team will be all over them like a shot.

          Intelligence operations don’t leave themselves exposed like this, and the CIA dont have teams of agents covertly placed in minor swedish political groups on the offhand Julian Assange may turn up and go to bed with one of them.

          And for what. This whole operation that you claim was created to get Assange to Sweden happened whilst he was in Sweden. He left shortly afterwards, coincidentally when the investigation hotted up. He was not extradited to the US when he arrived in London. He was not remanded to custody even when he broke bail conditions. He was given unprecedented access to appeal the European Arrest Warrant in the courts. And yet you smell conspiracy in the fact that William Hague didn’t immediately throw european policing into a constitional crisis to protect an Australian hacker accused of rape.

          That’s not a defence of Hague, but governments acting exactly as you’d expect them to is not evidence of a grand secret conspiracy.

          I, along with others, have explained why your initial post was rooted in misogyny. Yes you have freedom of speech. If you are attempting to be taken seriously then you should also make some attempt to check facts, present a balanced arguments and not rely on fruitcakes like infowars of knobheads like Galloway to make your argument.

          The message being presented, and by no-one with perhaps the exception of far right clown alex jones as vehemently as you, is that if people are sexually abused or raped by a prominent comrade then they should keep quiet about it or face being accused of being a cop or having their personal lives dissected on the internet. That the chaps should gather round their leader and attempt to brush the incident under the carpet, by smearing the accusers if necessary without even any regard as to whether the accusations are true.

          You seem to think this is anarchism. In fact it is grotesque and thank fuck its remained largely on the cranky fringes of conspiracy theorists – anything else would mean that that the radical left cannot be considered a safe space for women to engage in.

          • The Assange persecution is one of the grand narratives of the 2ist century so far. It has worldwide repercussions. Assange is a symbol of global resistance. The beheading of him will not affect the movement intellectually, but it will be symbolic, and will effect the movement emotionally. Fear. The clampdown on Wikileaks and punishment of its movers and shakers fully demonstrates – and is designed to demonstrate – that the radical left is not a safe place for anyone.

            Assange’s legal team used the term ‘honey trap’ but what you don’t understand is that people use metaphors. His lawyer claimed ‘The honey trap has been sprung’ but has since changed the wording. ‘Honeytrap’ is not a literal thing. Assange’s team believe that in this case the honeytrap is is designed to result in a ‘holding charge’. Once he is returned to Sweden, they claim, he will be held, then extradited to America, and the charges against him will be conveniently dropped. (Incidentally I have never claimed anywhere that ‘the whole operation was to get him to Sweden’. It is that now, yes). They fear a deal has been struck between Swedish and American authorities. It is not known – is it ever until much later? – exactly how the ‘agents’ were recruited, or got at, or bribed, or even duped themselves. The secret world is supposed to be secretive. The destruction of Assange would not have been possible without the collaboration of the two accusers, even if the collaboration was unwitting. The Judas-kiss is indispensable. However they’ve done it, the CIA – which you seem to assume are a vicious rumour and who never conspire to do anything – have somehow made contact with the accusers and have been instructing them, or ‘running’ them to use the parlance. An agent can be recruited in ten seconds. One of the women’s traceable CV details includes working with CIA-funded groups alongside CIA-connected indviduals in the enemy territory of Cuba. She wasn’t working for Castro either, but against him. Who can doubt either that as soon as a gathering of international radical left intellectuals had assembled in Sweden, and was busy making the U.S. look like dummies, that there would not be serious er penetration by the CIA? Again, your anti-conspiracy theory instinct is ridiculous. It’s obvious that Wikileaks have been plotted aginst. And that the plot has been resonantly effective.

            No one is presenting the message that you claim. It’s a much larger more sordid drama than male comrade rapes female comrade and other male comrades protect him. What are you saying abut the radical left in cooking up that little scenario? You think Pilger is putting his enormous stature on the line to protect a sex criminal and that that’s standard practice among manarchists? Sick stuff. You’re protesting too much.

  38. Dave Tomlin says:

    A minor nit which seems worth exploring now that the major issues have been confronted. It seems strange that the loudest and most righteous voice clamouring for strict observance of rape law, should come from our foremost and self-declared Anarchist.
    The rapist is a sexual anarchist who refuses all conventions when engaged in the wooing of his fancy.
    The Law however insists that these conventions are enforcable, for instance: Once engaged, is the lady allowed to change her mind half-way through and then do him for rape if he doesn’t comply?
    It is a syndrome similar to the one that says if you shake your willie more than once in the toilet then it counts as a w…

    • johnny void says:

      You have a surprisingly tabloid view of what anarchism means. Sexual violence is one of the more unpleasant manifestations of power – of one person taking authority over another by violating without consent their very bodies. Why does it surprise you that anarchists would object to that?

      Just as a point of order, I haven’t called for Assange to be punished for rape, he is innocent until proven guilty after all.

  39. johnny void says:

    John Pilger is not of the radical left, something you would be aware of if you actually knew anything about the politics you spout.

    As to the rest, wild speculation and conspiracy theory, not worthy of serious comment, embarrassing even. Why not copy it out in green ink and send it to your MP.

  40. Dave Tomlin says:

    This is a side issue I know but… Most definitions of Anarchy (outside of the tabloids) has it as:
    ‘Without government or law’ – ‘Lawlessness.’ This is why it is surprising that an Anarchist should be up in arms about the rape issue. However, I suppose it is possible to be a gentleman Anarchist, although not a gentleman rapist.

    • According to all the psychologists, rape is about power, not pleasure. Sexual anarchism – if there is such a thing – is not that.

      • Dave Tomlin says:

        Niall McDevitt quoted: ‘According to all the psychologists, rape is about power, not pleasure. Sexual anarchism – if there is such a thing – is not that.’

        To consider that there is no personal pleasure in the wielding of power shows a lack of insight into the deviouseness of the darker aspects of human nature. Furthermore, the satisfaction gained from demonstrating that power lasts longer than that obtained through sex.

  41. johnny void says:

    Anarchism means no rulers, not necessarily no rules

  42. Great interview with Daniel Ellsberg – another famous whistleblower – congratulating Ecuador on standing upto the ‘British Empire.’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2IX8qBf-e4&feature=autoplay&list=PL50BDB9BCCFAF09CA&playnext=1

  43. johnny void says:

    Someone else who hasn’t bothered to learn the facts of the case.

  44. This argues reasonably from the accusers’ point of view and has good links: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/08/30/Assange-Rape-Allegations/

  45. ‘Sometimes we defence lawyers joke that soon you’ll need written permission before you can have sex.’ See more, and the three categories of rape accrding to Swedish law: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/world/europe/08sweden.html?_r=1

  46. Assange’s mother accuses the international powers-that-be of gang-rape: http://www.thelocal.se/32244/20110224/

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