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Tony Grist

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On The Arrest Of Julian Assange [Dec. 8th, 2010|12:19 pm]
Tony Grist
When you set out to make enemies of the governments of the world you would be well advised to live like a monk.

[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2010-12-08 01:01 pm (UTC)
If it isn't sex it is tax evasion.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-08 01:43 pm (UTC)
Anything that comes to hand.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2010-12-08 01:04 pm (UTC)
Also helpful - not being a grade-A ass and megalomaniac.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-12-08 01:10 pm (UTC)
Or looking like a Bond villain.

On the other hand, if he'd been celibate they'd have made something of that.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-12-08 01:38 pm (UTC)
They must think we were born yesterday - Coincidence? I don't think so. I read something the other day saying that this Swedish woman, who has known CIA contacts, is not saying he raped her. She is saying he had sex with her without using a condom. Since when has the unwise act become a crime? And who is going to prove it anway, what evidence do they have? Nobody can do a DNA test on a non-condom. did they do a DNA swab of HER at the time? If these are indeed the facts of the case then they should be shooed out of court, but the British establishment is probably smarting from the whole Wikileaks thing and might be complicit in trying to teach Mr Assange a lesson.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-08 01:53 pm (UTC)
Apparently it's a criminal offence in Sweden.

I think it's odd he wasn't allowed bail- especially when he had so many famous people willing to vouch for him.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2010-12-08 02:09 pm (UTC)
Its all very odd, and hopefully will get resolved soon. But still, the Wikileaks - so the US Government allegedly despises most other countries. Tell us something we don't know...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-08 02:39 pm (UTC)
It's one thing to know these things- and another to have the written evidence.

And some of this stuff is new- for example this morning's revelation that Gadaffi was threatening the British government with reprisals if it failed to release Megrahi.
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[User Picture]From: chiller
2010-12-08 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought the same. We will never know what happened with these women. Assange's own team have said one of the cases brought by the women involves a "dispute about condom use", so that one at least appears to have some legs (on the basis that the team hasn't said "he never met that woman! Who is she?").

But rape or no rape, Wikileaks remains an enormous tool for good in the world, and is a separate issue. I don't know if you saw the article in Legalweek (dot com) about the case, asking whether the US has any legal basis in their Constitution with which to prosecute Assange. The article was brief because the answer is "no". Not only that, but the US Constitution expressly forbids making anything illegal so you can prosecute someone for it retrospectively. So at this point the US doesn't appear to have any legitimate way to get Assange out of the way.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-08 03:03 pm (UTC)
I'm open to the possibility that Assange is a misogynistic arsehole, but- as you say- this has no bearing on the good work he has done through WikiLeaks.

Yes, I saw that article- or a report of it. WikiLeaks, it would seem, is in exactly the same position as the newspapers that have carried the material- and whose right to do so remains unchallenged.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2010-12-08 03:59 pm (UTC)
I'm always surprised by the arrest of robbers who have (insanely) run a red light or used an incorrect turn signal, and inside their cars are lots of merchandise from various robberies!

Assange SAYS he has, in case he is killed (as in a thriller movie), friends who are standing by to mail off some REALLY good stuff.

We shall see. So far, it was just an embarrassment, I hope.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-08 04:12 pm (UTC)
I understand WikiLeaks has only released a fraction of the material it holds.

First thing I do every morning is turn to the front page of the Guardian to see the latest revelation.
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2010-12-08 07:39 pm (UTC)
It's a difficult thing to do. Assange probably thought he had become enough of a public figure to get away with anything.

The other helpful thing is to make some friends, too. If there'd been something in the cables which was more than just embarrassing, he'd have allies. There isn't, so he doesn't.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-08 07:58 pm (UTC)
I think he's chosen to be friendless. So far, so monkish; it's just a pity he couldn't keep his pants on.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-12-09 11:42 am (UTC)
I doubt it matters in the slightest. Were it not minor sex charges it would be something else. Assange seems to like the attention and in the game he is playing I doubt there is any such thing as bad publicity.

The thing to bear in mind is that the project WikiLeaks has set in motion is working as intended. The arrest of Assange was anticipated and does not alter the fact that the project continues to work as intended. Whether the project will achieve its immediate goal remains to be seen. In the long run, if WikiLeaks 1.0 fails in its mission, doubtless WikiLeaks 2.0 will benefit greatly from the lessons learned and will present a much more formidable challenge.

Whether Assange or his colleagues are still at liberty to author WikiLeaks 2.0 themselves is probably irrelevant.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-12-09 04:08 pm (UTC)
I would like to think you're right.

Assange has provided WikiLeaks with its public face, but there seems no reason why the work shouldn't carry on with someone completely anonymous at the helm.
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