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Monday, December 27, 2010

Julian Assange: WikiLeaks founder baffled by sex assault claims

Julian Assange: WikiLeaks founder baffled by sex assault claims from The Australian via The Sunday Times by Marie Colvin.

ONE of the women claiming she was sexually assaulted by Julian Assange took a "trophy photo" of him lying naked in her bed, he says.

The white-haired computer impresario had been invited to stay in her empty flat when he visited Stockholm to give a lecture last August, shortly after WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of classified US documents on the Afghanistan war.

Mr Assange, 39, and unmarried, said the woman had returned home early and insisted he sleep in her bed. He does not feel he needs any excuses for what happened next. "We went to bed, and things went on from there," he said.

However, the 31-year-old woman, who is identified in legal documents as Miss A, subsequently went to the police.

Her claim was that although he had reluctantly used a condom at first, he then appeared to have ripped it. Having unprotected sex without a partner's consent can be considered a crime in Sweden.

Mr Assange believes her intention in going to the police was to put pressure on him to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, but the case was investigated as an alleged sexual assault.

Mr Assange, who is staying at Ellingham Hall, the mansion where he has lived since being arrested and released on bail pending an extradition hearing, said he was bewildered by the allegations. He argued that Miss A's behaviour, beginning with the taking of the photograph, had given no indication of any problem between them.

"The day after this incident, she invited friends around to her flat for a dinner in honour of me," he said. "Does that sound like someone who was upset by what had happened? And at the dinner were a couple who had offered to have me as their guest. Instead, she insisted I remain with her. I stayed the rest of the week."

Mr Assange, whose WikiLeaks organisation has infuriated US officials by releasing a stream of classified information, has led a nomadic life in recent months, moving from country to country "as the threats against us shifted", and has become the object of attention from women drawn by what they perceive to be the glamour of his mission.

Mr Assange has also been accused of sexual assault by another young woman he slept with during his trip to Sweden.

According to him, the woman, named only as Miss W, arrived at a lunch in a revealing pink cashmere sweater, flirted with him, and took him home.

She says they had consensual sex but she woke up the next morning to find him having intercourse with her to which she had not consented.

When she asked him if he was wearing anything, he had allegedly said: "I am wearing you."

He said he believed his accusers became angry when the younger woman, Miss W, contacted Miss A and they realised he had been to bed with both of them in swift succession. They went to the police station together, apparently to seek advice. A policewoman who heard their stories is said to have suggested they could pursue criminal charges.

Mr Assange is now wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual coercion and sexual assault. It is important to him that it is known he has not yet been charged with any crime anywhere else.

Mr Assange regards himself as a victim of radicalism. "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism," he said. "I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism."

Most recently, however, he has been preoccupied with financial problems as Mastercard, PayPal, Amazon and Visa cut off donors' payments -- under pressure, he claims, from the US government.

He is at pains to emphasise that he had nothing to hide.

"I was in Sweden for five weeks after the claims," he said. "I have offered to give evidence by video, or to British police, or to Swedish police if they come over here."

Link: The Australian via The Sunday Times by Marie Colvin

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At 1:03 am, Anonymous Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall said...

I think it’s important to remember two important facts in the current feminist/Wikileaks controversy: 1) the US government effectively infiltrated and smashed the feminist movement, just as they did the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and the progressive movement and 2) the angry, arrogant, ball-breaking stereotype feminists enjoy in the mainstream media is mainly the one the US government created for them. Unfortunately the US intelligence role played by America’s feminist poster girl Gloria Steinem is still largely invisible, even on the left. In 1976 Steinem blocked Random House from publishing details about her CIA past (see http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg02217.html). A great pity – as its publication might have changed history for American women. Steinem went on to undermine the work of the National Organization for Women in their efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (NOW co-founder Betty Friedan publicly confronted Steinem for being an agent provocateur). Steinem also very effectively used Ms Magazine to create massive divisions between professional and working class feminists and between feminists and progressive men. More recently evidence has surfaced about an operation Steinem created and ran for the FBI to plant so-called “black feminists” in civil rights organizations to break them up (see http://rah.posterous.com/black-feminism-the-cia-and-gloria-steinem-fwd. In my recent memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE (www.stuartbramhall.com), I write about my encounter with some of these nasties in the African American community it Seattle. I currently live in exile in New Zealand.

At 1:15 am, Anonymous Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall said...

The media storm around Assange reminds me of the whole O.J. Simpson circus in a way. I recall it very distinctly because I was a single payer activist. The week of his arrest (1993) was the same week health care reform (after being headline news for a year) died a quiet death in Congress. So what is the corporate media trying to conceal by beating Assange's sex life to death? Most of the information in the recent cables release is already widely available on the Internet. At the same time I find it surprising to find absolutely nothing about the "strategic" reasons the US is at war in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nothing about the Pentagon agenda to foster the secession of oil and mineral rich Balochistan from Pakistan as a US client state - just like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and other former Soviet republics. Nothing about CIA support for the Baloch separatist movement. Nothing about the CIA training young Baloch separatists in bomb making and other terrorist activities to disrupt operations at the Chinese-built Gwadar Port (intended to transport Iranian oil and natural gas via Pakistan to China). I blog about this at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/11/28/afghanistan-and-the-road-runner/


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