"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Dec 9, 2010

Assange, the man, is not what Wikileaks, the group, does. And he may very well be a rapist. Deal with it.

Someone scribbles a bunch of dots on a list and events and traits, related to one of Mr. Assange's accusers, and then draws a number of lines betweens those dots, without much of an explanation (as in, none) as to why the reader should assume they are all connected:

"She’s a gender equity officer at Uppsula University – who chose to associate with a US funded group openly supported by a convicted terrorist and mass murderer. She just happens to have her work published by a very well funded group connected with Union Liberal Cubana – whose leader, Carlos Alberto Montaner, in turn just happened to pop up on right wing Colombian TV a few hours after the right-wing coup in Honduras. Where he joined the leader of the failed coup in Ecuador to savage Correa, the target of the coup. Montnaner also just happened to vociferously support the violent coup in Honduras, and chose to show up to sing the praises of the Honduran junta."

Someone else decides that these drawn lines paint a reliable portrait, and muses:

"It’s all a bit too coincidental, isn’t it? That a woman of this background accuses the person who has to be numero uno on the US state’s hitlist of sexual assault at exactly the same time as he is embarassing them again. Suddenly the story is no longer on what’s coming out of the leaked cables, but on whether or not Julian Assange is or is not a sexual sleazeball. Even if the charges are dropped again, or come to nothing, the insinuations will stick to him. It’ll be mentioned in any future profiles and op-ed pieces on Wikileaks, further discrediting him and the organisation."

I was uncomfortable with this argument the first time I read it. I actually kept the browser tab open for the better part of a day, waiting to decide if I had anything to write about it. So, whatever:

1. Working for right wing Cuban terrorists is not the same as "being connected to them." And it's that assumption of a unity of purpose, based on the assertion of undemonstrated connectedness, which oiled (however, sadly, momentarily) the rusty gears of my underused cranial contents, to consider and reject the conviction that it's okay to...

2. Trust Assange implicitly, while simultaneously assuming that his accuser belongs to a nefarious plot to undo the good work he has done...

3. Because Assange doesn't need to be a decent mate to do what he has done. I think some people really need to believe that Assange is a paladin in order to valorize his actions, his organization and his aims...

4. But I don't really see how Assange the man has any real bearing on Wikileaks, the group, and Wikileaks, the idea...

5. And in fact, perhaps the best thing for Wikileaks, as a technology (and a limited one) for disrupting state secrecy is for it to lose all the personality associated with it.

Which brings us back round to that personality. There's no reason to valorize Assange. And there's certainly no reason I can think of to assume that his accusers are lying, just because Assange has stuck a digital finger in Uncle's eye.

Especially in light of this (h/t Shetterly):

"The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

The second charge alleged Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.

The third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on 18 August 'in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity'.

The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home."

I'm not going to sign off on prisons and cops and lawn order if Mr. Assange's accusers can accurately demonstrate that he raped them, anymore than I would if I argued that Roman Polanksi is a rapist pig (he is; he really is).  I will type this, though:

Assume she tells the truth. Assume it. And a guy who puts his dick in a woman while she's asleep and without her consent is a rapist. You don't fucking parse that. You don't blame right wing proponents of Disney Cuba. It's not Eric Holder's fault, even if he takes advantage of it after the fact, in order to draw Assange into his terrorism dragnet.

A man who rapes a woman...

...is a rapist.


On a completely unrelated note, I laugh in delightful and lighthearted mockery at "Green Marxists" who defend the rules of capitalist military organizations and capitalist state superstructures, with muscular impotency. Amusement abounds.


BDR said...

I can vouch for the Green Marxist's autobiography re: deeds done, even if I wonder at his self-appellation.

Wikileaks is the best box of mirrors ever. It will never be fully unpacked by its very nature.

Thanks for Kind words here yesterday.

Jack Crow said...


I don't assume your kin is lying. I just obviously don't agree with the interpretation or the labels.

I've held the economic fate of hundreds (probably thousands) of people in my hands. I've had the very real power to impoverish - immediately - a person by filing a piece of paper and hitting enter on a keyboard.

That I've done so doesn't necessarily or automatically say anything at all about my current view of the world, although it's reasonable to assume that the experiences lodged in my memory color that view.

Autobiography might help explain worldview, but it is not identical with it.

Respect to you always,


Jack Crow said...


I also want to say I agree with you about WL's more lasting effect - especially following Thoreau here:


WL is a very limited technology. But it has disrupted the hell out of how we understand state secrecy, journalism and our own social selves.

Bonus net double plus good.



edgar said...

Sex with a woman willingly spreading for a man despite his refusal to wear a condom, and then feeling regret about her sluttiness the next day, is not rape.

Jack Crow said...


If a person at any point during sexual congress says any version or variant of "stop" or "hey, I didn't agree to that" and the other party or parties push on - you've got rape.

And we're not talking about bondage play with contractual safe words, here.

We're discussing a dude accused of agreeing to use a condom and then not using it. A dude also accused of sticking his dick in a sleeping woman, who by virtue of not being awake, could not possibly give consent.

As for "sluttiness," what the fuck, man?

It's funny (not funny-hah-hah) how for you the girl has "regret" that she's a "slut" and that makes the guy (she has accused of) violating her wishes the actual victim.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear. One of the loveliest ways of waking up is with my partner's penis gently moving inside me....

I did not feel raped.

Hell, he stayed the night, right?

Randal Graves said...

C'mon, Jack, bros before hos.

In all seriousness, I can't imagine holding such economic power, even on the small scale you had (in comparison to the top dogs) nor would I want it.

As for Elric's commentary, I share BDR's take about the inevitability of the 'digital panopticon' but whether Wikileaks is going to speed it up or make it worse or whatnot, given that surveillance is already a lucrative industry financially and culturally, I can't see how this is going to affect it all that much.

AlanSmithee said...

Didn't the Oslo DA drop this bullshit case once already?

Jack Crow said...


I wish this wasn't so grand-narrative cliche, but the first person I ever fired was a pregnant girl who was the sole provider (when I took over the site, I had to transfer her boyfriend to another location, and he quit because he wanted to work with her, and the rules didn't allow it).

She couldn't make it to work one day because she was managing a home crisis precipitated by the same (I would later find out, abusive) boyfriend. As she had already been previously maxed out on her "progressive counseling" any disciplining of her would result (love that passive phrasing? that shit is so corporate) in her "termination."

I pulled the trigger. I called my own boss (who was not a micromanager) and he said a solid truth, at least from a management perspective: let her get away with it, and you'll be putting out fires for a job. He didn't make me do it. I did it. Because I didn't want to spend my 10-14 hours a day managing personal crises. I wanted to make my bonuses, and run my location as smoothly as possible. I also wanted the remaining staff to know that, despite all my easygoing tolerances and happy-go-lucky plucky get-in-the-dirt-with-them good cheer, I could in fact take away their ability to feed themselves.

That's actual power - and I write about it as often as I do because I have used it. Not the grammatical formulations that people who think about "power-sharing" and ideal democracy dream up. The real, dirty, ugly organizational muck of it. I used the role and rank so many times that I eventually forgot to even feel guilty and ashamed about it - until I'd internalized the organizational rules and could send a twenty year old college student dashing to the unemployment office, desperate not to lose the income with which he fed himself and paid his tuition, and turn right back to a conversation about EBITDA with a co-manager, without a hint of concern for what I'd just done.

edgar said...

Sorry Jack, it’s more complicated than that. If a girl says no, then the sane and responsible thing to do would be to stop, I acknowledge that. But as usual, a girl may say one thing and mean another. And despite half-hearted protests, sometimes she wants you to go for it, while feigning some kind of resistance. But that would be a big risk to take, and as we can see, you could easily be accused of rape. I don’t condone it, if that is indeed what happened, but you should acknowledge that with rape, there are many shades of gray.

"We're discussing a dude accused of agreeing to use a condom and then not using it."

So now every man who’s ever had a condom break, or who had condomless sex with a woman who agreed to the sex despite her misgivings, is a rapist. You just indicted half the male population I’m guessing.

“A dude also accused of sticking his dick in a sleeping woman, who by virtue of not being awake, could not possibly give consent.”

Yep that's rape, if it did indeed happen. Its really all he said/she said though. I would suggest looking at her tweets after the fact; they don’t show the mental space of someone who just got raped...

“As for "sluttiness," what the fuck, man?”

Bad word! Bad word! How dare I?

“It's funny (not funny-hah-hah) how for you the girl has "regret" that she's a "slut" and that makes the guy (she has accused of) violating her wishes the actual victim.”

Weird right? Girls have regrets about sleeping with a lot of guys who could care less about them. Damn social stigma! But don’t worry; it is always the woman who is the victim, never the man.

Jack look, this case is extremely flimsy evidence-wise. The circumstances point to a spurned lover rather than a rape victim in my estimation. And the fact that the global elite is currently hunting Assange really kills it.


Jack Crow said...


The case was never closed, if I remember correctly.

What makes it bullshit, all the same? Doesn't a person who accuses of rape deserve the benefit of doubt?



Jack Crow said...


We have irreconcilably different definitions of rape.

Jim H. said...

Good post; good discussion. Just want to put in my two pennies:

Rape is rape. Sexual assault is sexual assault. etc. Notwithstanding, we (none of us) know the facts about what allegedly happened on such-and-such nights b/w one J.A. and two separate women.

My experience here: prosecutors for political reasons exaggerate claims in the press. I know, I know: it's shocking; but they do. Defendants, too, you know, tend to downplay whatever it is they're accused of. Go figure.

All I'm saying is: it's a bit premature to form judgments just now.

Jim H.

Jack Crow said...


It's a distinction I definitely didn't make. With forethought. I don't have an opinion about Assange's guilt, or his accusers' honesty - because I've got a big old case of insufficient data.

The women could be lying and Assange could still be convicted of the crimes with which he's been charged, serve a two or four year sentence in a Swedish prison and then find himself extradited to the US to face charges which, while not more personally serious than rape, carry a much heavier price tag in terms of punishment.

One could be lying, one telling the truth.

Or Assange could have raped a sleeping woman and walk away a free man. Or not have raped either of them, be found innocent of those charges, but still find himself extradited to the States. Or Russia.

I just wanted to focus on two somewhat related topics. Assange doesn't have to be a good person for Wikileaks to accomplish any number of results. And I think it's sleazy and contemptible to disparage women who've accused a man of rape, or sexual assault, conjure up a C-theory, and pretend it's all just a smear, cuz'y'know, sluts get what's coming to them.



Landru said...

the rusty gears of my underused cranial contents

It appears that you got better.

the first person I ever fired


I know, I know. The endless semantics bit about power that you accidentally spawned was discourse, not a claim to golden beatification. Took me a moment to get that one under control, though. It appears that I got better.

Jack Crow said...


Saw a comedian on the telly once who had a bit about Armenian names being almost like English names, but different enough to make you pause. Wish I could remember who it was, so I could correctly attribute and link the bit.

Sometimes, when reading you, I get the same feeling.

This is a compliment. And because I'm not sure what "...not a claim to golden beatification. Took me a moment to get that one under control, though. It appears that I got better..." means I'm a'justa gonna ask.

Whatcha mean?



AlanSmithee said...

Swedish prosecutor drops WikiLeaks rape charge

August 21 2010

WikiLeaks was embroiled in fresh controversy on Saturday after Swedish prosecutors dropped rape charges against Julian Assange, the founder of the website which is embroiled in a dispute over the release of classified US war documents, hours after they had issued a warrant for his arrest.

“I do not think there is reason to suspect that he committed rape,” said Eva Finn, chief prosecutor at the Swedish National Prosecutors’ Office.


Sweden drops Assange rape charge
Accusations against founder of whistleblower website Wikileaks "unfounded".

Swedish prosecutors have cancelled an arrest warrant issued for Julian Assange, the founder of controversial whistleblower website Wikileaks.

The warrant was issued following a sexual assault complaint against him.

But on Saturday, as international media outlets were beginning to pick up the story, Eva Finne, Sweden's chief prosecutor, announced that Assange was no longer wanted.

"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape," the chief prosecutor said, but declined to go into any more details.

Jack Crow said...

I stand corrected on that account, Alan.

I don't see any cause to assume dots, and connections between them, though.



Landru said...

On a careless reading, one could have formed a notion that your discussion of power, lo those many weeks ago, was a claim to personal purity as regards the exercise of power over others. It wasn't. I knew at the time that it wasn't. I knew it damn well.

Despite that, when I read the bit referring to your real past life*, I flashed on that discourse and the ensuing hilarity, and it took me a moment to control the brief reanimation of the wildly incorrect notion that you had lodged some claim to personal purity therein.

See? I know, I really should control my inner secret language. But I just find myself too fucking adorable. It's a fault. I haven't gotten better.

Love always,

*Dear Ethan: No! I don't believe it! No! No! No! You're imaginary and you live in the corner of my dining room! So there!

AlanSmithee said...

I don't see any cause to assume dots, and connections between them, though.

You don't see any connection between the Assange case being dumped and then restarted again?

Jack Crow said...


I see no cause to assume they're necessarily connected. Same with the "associated" and "connected" with a group that a Cuban right winger supports. Could be? Sure. But that's not a solid case. Insufficient data, again.


Treblegotcha. The error could be mine - I didn't exactly give context, then. I was trying hard to strip the argument down to fundamentals, to an algebra of thought. I have a predilection for paring my terms down. I blame Par Lagerkvist, who wrote the only perfect novel and forever poisoned my well of language.

Landru said...

Fucker. Making me look up bookish Svedes I never heard of down here in my closet full of filleted dead trees with Swastikas on the covers.

No error. I wasn't worried about the context, then (or now), and I got your formulation, and I reallyreally figured out that you weren't claiming purity, just turning navelgaze into math. Which I thought kinda cool, and I thought the aftermath...entertaining (heh). My error was brief, kneejerk, and unarmed...a ghost of passing thoughts past, reacted to and dismissed in less than a second, but a long enough second to get my attention when the thought echoed (and echoed again with Ethan's note at the dogplace).

Hey, maybe your pared-down terms and my prissy logorrhea ballet can be something like the next Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.

AlanSmithee said...

And the plot sickens...

Report: Assange accuser flees to Middle East, may not be cooperating with police

One of the two Swedish women who have filed sex complaints against the founder of WikiLeaks has reportedly left Sweden and may no longer be cooperating with the criminal investigation.

According to a report at Australian news site Crikey.com, Anna Ardin has moved to the Palestinian territories to volunteer with a Christian group working to reconcile Arabs and Israelis.

Jim H. said...

Okay. Yes. I think I was agreeing with you, Jack; the two things are not related—except that they kinda' are: in Romantic America, character assassination and smears obfuscate the message. That's the way we do business because that's the way we are. We live in the cult of personality. That's our knee-jerk reaction when someone disagrees with us: ad hominem.

And, yes: The Dwarf!

AlanSmithee: Are you the same guy whose syndicated movie reviews used to be in my Journal-Constitution? Loved 'em. Irreverant, relevant.

Landru: You got me going with that 'fatal flaw' bit, but you did answer a big question I've long wondered about BDR.

Jack Crow said...


The "only perfect novel" is the "The Dwarf."

You are no longer allowed to rent that duplex in my head.


More thoughts tomorrow. Fantasy football, me being trivial.


I still think the PAMFP should be our Peanut Butter Cup.

Night and shit, respect,


fish said...

On a completely unrelated note, I laugh in delightful and lighthearted mockery at "Green Marxists" who defend the rules of capitalist military organizations and capitalist state superstructures, with muscular impotency. Amusement abounds.

Yup. Had the same reaction.

AlanSmithee said...

Are you the same guy whose syndicated movie reviews used to be in my Journal-Constitution?

No, that guy was an impostor. I'm usually too busy making movies to watch them. As a matter of fact, I can proudly say that I haven't seen a single movie since 1947. (Even my own!)

Ethan said...

Hah, only just saw Landru's bizarreness here, and wanted to express appreciation.

Richard said...

Something that gets lost in all this is that Assange has not been charged, and that the Swedish authorities have successfully persuaded Britain to arrest him for the purpose of returning him to Sweden for questioning. In the US, as bad as things have gotten, this would still be considered either ludicrous or frightening, as the prosecutorial authorities must determine if they have a case without recourse to questioning of the potential defendant if he or she exercises his right to remain silent. If Sweden has a case, let them charge him. If not, drop it. But, instead, the incarceration of Assange under the warrant is clearly being used for the purpose of buying time so that the US can look into procuring his return to the US on other criminal charges related to wikileaks.

I don't think Assange is ever going to be tried on anything in Sweden, whether he is charged or not. If he is ever going to be tried for anything, it will be on something cooked up by the US government.

anna a. said...

I didn't realize I had been raped until later. I mean, it isn't like I didn't remember everything that happened when we were together, it's just that I didn't regard what happened as rape until I had had a long talk with Sofie W. and we agreed after that talk that Julian's actions could be construed as rape-like. So shoot me, is there some statute of limitations on re-construing another person's actions?

Jack Crow said...

If you agree to a safeword with a partner and that partner ignores it four hours later, the terms of your consent are violated - even if you don't understand it fully right away.

Richard said...

Assange's attorney said again today in a TV interview that Assange is currently being held on a warrant that alleges no charges, and the Swedish prosecutors have not publicly filed any

hence, it is becoming increasingly dubious to speculate what he did or did not do based upon what is essentially tabloid news coverage of the story, and to suggest that he "may be a rapist" and that we have "deal with it" is presumptuous to say the least

so, for now, Assange is caught in the middle of a situation where people can make reference to what they believe the facts to be about his case, in order to highlight their perspective about rape and heterosexual sexual relations

it is all very interesting and important, but, at this point, I'm not willing to admit that it has anything at all to do with Julian Assange, as, for now, he is merely the Hitchcockian MacGuffin that has gotten the story in motion

just by way of perspective here, I used to work as an attorney in the criminal courts in California

it was not an uncommon occurrence for the DA to bring charges against someone based upon witness statements, but to subsequently dismiss them when the witness did not back up that statement at the hearing

here, we don't even have any charges yet, so I'm not going to get into whether Assange is a rapist or not, or even make the suggestion, until we see some

anna a. said...

continuing jack's thought:

even if you don't understand it right away... even if you have been so indiscreet as to tweet about your 'conquest' and don't understand the proper construal of the sexual partner's behavior until you have compared notes with another successful rival for that partner's sexual attention.

Jack Crow said...


it doesn't matter what she tweeted or did not tweet. if at any point during their interaction she withdrew consent or had the terms of her consent violated, it's sexual assault.


I'm not saying Assange is a rapist. I'm saying I'm really uncomfortable with the fanboy narrative, that the "bitch must be lying."

anna's conscience said...

The question is what evidence could there possibly be on which to decide who is telling the truth about any of this? Neither of the accusers is in a position to assist in verifying the other's claim. Neither apparently regarded Assange as a rapist until after they had discovered that they had both had sexual intercourse with Assange.

Yes, Assange may be a rapist, but what is doing in prison on the basis of these unprovable accusations, which he denies?

Richard said...

Jack: I understand, but I believe that there are better ways to attack the misogynistic 'fanboy' attitude about this case than speculating about whether Assange is a rapist in the absence of any charges, and then emphasizing that Assange is not wikileaks.

No one is undermining the credibility of a potential case against Assange more than the Swedish authorities themselves. By filing the appeal against Assange's ordered release on bail, they are creating the impression that the whole thing is spurious, and driven by collaboration with the US. If the alleged victims have good reason to want Assange prosecuted, the Swedes are not doing them any favors. It has long been past time for the Swedes to put up or shut up.

Given that, I think it is inappropriate, bordering on character assassination, to publicly talk about whether Assange is a rapist or not, when he has not been charged as such, and it feeds into the US governmental narrative to discredit him. A common tactic of prosecutors in a high profile public case is to parcel out information to sympathetic reporters and prejudice the public against a defendant (or, in Assange's case, a potential defendant), without any evidence being presented, and they could be the source of the tabloid news coverage to date.

Jack Crow said...


In any situation where a woman accuses a man of rape, I assume the woman is telling the truth.

I don't care about "character assassination" or harm to reputation. [Assange is not exempt from the consequences of his dalliances, or his sexual misdeeds.]

I assume she's telling the truth.

If later demonstrated otherwise, I revise my opinion.

Richard said...

and what exactly are they telling the truth about?

and, what is the source for those claims?

I guess I'm just not willing to accept what is filtered through to me by tabloid journalists

when I actually see something of substance, I might change my mind

but, as you seem more willing to form an opinion based upon what has come through various media sources, you might find it interesting that it has been reported that one of the alleged victims is no longer cooperating with the prosecution

and, another story says that the authorities don't intend to charge him with rape, but merely something considered an infraction, "sex by surprise", which has a fine of $75, or a little more than 1/4 of the cost of parking in a fire lane in California

which, of course, I give as much credence to as everything else that I've heard to date, which is to say, not much

it will be interesting to see if the Swedes provide some actual evidence at the extradition hearing, or continue to leave all of us in the dark

Jack Crow said...


It's not about media sources. It's about the claim itself. I don't know if Assange raped two women or not. I just have no inclination to assume a woman is lying when she claims so.

Do I find it odd that Sweden wants to prosecute him when it otherwise has a low rape conviction rate and rarely (as in, never) asks Interpol for help in pursuing rapists?


That still doesn't mean I'm going to alter my default position on rape. Assume the woman is telling the truth.



Anonymous said...

Your default position is what is generally called a prejudice. Do you have any idea how you arrived at this prejudice?

Richard said...

Jack: hate to be hypertechnical here, but the Swedish prosecutors haven't said that they want to prosecute him, merely that they want to question him

the extradition warrant does not set forth any charges against him

when I see reports of a criminal indictment, witness statements, all the things that go with a prosecution and put people on the record, then I'll start paying attention

been through this before in 2002 with the media in regard to claims of Iraq and WMD, not going there again

Jack Crow said...


Good point about the warrant. I'm just not inclined to doubt women who make rape accusations.


Does that sophomoric socratic trick work with the high schoolers?

Anonymous said...

Just answer the question.