Julian Assange, Rapist?
revevilgod at gmx.com
revevilgod at gmx.com
Mon May 30 16:02:57 PDT 2022
Ousted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London earlier this month, Julian Assange is now being held in Belmarsh prison, having been arrested both for jumping bail way back in 2011 and because the U.S. has had an extradition warrant on him for nearly as long. Assange was quickly found guilty of the jumping bail charge and is currently awaiting both his sentencing for that charge and the much more serious May 2nd hearing on his extradition case. He could be extradited to the U.S. or, if Swedish authorities reopen the investigation of the rape allegation against Assange, he could be extradited to Sweden. What will the Swedish authorities do?
70 British parliamentarians have already signed a petition calling on Britain’s Home Secretary to extradite Assange to Sweden if the investigation of the rape allegation against him is reopened. In releasing their petition, the signatories say that they mean to show that they “stand with victims of sexual violence.” And Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for Assange’s accuser, has tweeted that her legal team is going to do everything it can to have the investigation re-opened because “no rape victim should have to wait 9 years to see justice be served.”
While Assange and his supporters have long claimed that he is the victim of a “honey trap,” (i.e. female agents working for unnamed sources used their seductive wiles to capture him in a compromising situation), this argument has never seemed credible to those who know the facts of the case. The truth of the matter is much more mundane: Assange had sex with two different women during his stay in Sweden and then lied to one of them about it. When the second woman learned that she had been lied to, she demanded that Assange get an HIV/STD test. He demured. And so the two women went to the police together to try a have Assange compelled to be tested. Had he been tested, he wouldn’t have found himself under investigation for four charges ranging from sexual assault to rape. There was no honey trap; there was only Assange’s arrogant refusal to establish, to the second woman’s satisfaction, that when he had unprotected sex with her, against her expressed wishes, he did not compromise her health in the process.
This mundane explanation for the root cause of Assange’s troubles in Sweden doesn’t cancel out the fact that, at the time, the U.S. was eager to get Assange to America, where he could be prosecuted for the publication of state secrets, facilitating the theft of state documents, and conspiring with a member of the U.S. military to work against the intrests of the state. The events in Sweden occurred in 2010, years before now President Trump famously declared that he “loves WikiLeaks,” when the U.S. was trying to cut off Wikileaks’ access to the internet by whatever means necessary. That the U.S. was hotly pursuing Assange and that Assange got himself into trouble entirely of his own making in Sweden can both be true.
The time-limit for charging Assange for three of the sexual assault allegations against him expired in August 2015, while he was still a resident of the Ecuadorian embassy. The most serious allegation, that Assange knowingly had unprotected sex with a woman against her expressed interest while she was half-asleep, will expire on August 17, 2020, some sixteen months from now. While there is much chest-thumping about “no one being above the law” among those who want to see Assange brought to justice for his actions in Sweden, the truth is that if Assange were anyone else, Sweden would not be concerned to extradite a man who had sex with a woman four times in a sixteen hour period, three times consensually, one time not (the third time).
If Assange is extradited to Sweden, he is, I believe, likely to be convicted, but not because he was the victim of a honeytrap or because Sweden’s definition of rape is overly broad (something else Assange’s most ardent supporters claim); it will be because his own statements about what happened that night, the statement by the woman he was with, and the sworn statements of the women’s friends, family, and former boyfriend together establish that Assange had unprotected sex with the woman, against her wishes, lied about his sexual history, and then resisted getting tested to ease the woman’s mind about the possibility that she had contracted an STD as a result of the encounter. In seeking refuge in a honeytrap conspiracy, Assange and his supporters aim to exempt him from the consequences of his own, freely-chosen actions on the micro-level of sexual relations. However one may feel about Assange’s revolutionary actions on the international stage, his actions behind closed doors while he was in Sweden weren’t admirable, inspiring, or anti-hegemonic. They were criminal.
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