Is this thing on? Hello? Hello? ….

Ah, thats better. Comcast, which every day seems to do something to piss me off, had a major sub-regional outage for the last several hours, it would seem. So, we’ve been floating free of the Internet and a few things have accumulated.

First, this: Remember the rape charges brought against WikiLeak’s Julian Assange? It would seem that with the latest Wikileaks leaks, the nature of and the stakes related to these accusations are taking on a new form, and we are starting to see conspiracy theories with a misogynist slant emerging to excuse Mr. Assange of his legal responsibilities in this case. Interesting. Read this post to get oriented then check out the links therein, where you will see the breathless conspiracy theories.

Well, shotgun deer season has started in Minnesota, and we’ve already had one serious accident, as yet not fully explained. The whole point of shoguns is that when you miss the deer, the projectile becomes less deadly quicker and falls to the ground in a shorter distance, so when you accidentally shoot at someone’s house, perhaps you merely dent it rather than kill an occupant as might be more likely to happen with a rifle. Interestingly, unlike the opening of rifle season, we seem to have far fewer accidents. I wonder why?

We are totally losing the War on Christmas. Yesterday we stopped at Macy’s to pick up a Chanuka present to bring to our combined Huxley Birthday Party and Chanuka dinner at the relatives. Standing in the middle of the Macy’s Christmas Present Section and asking people who worked there “Where is the Chanuka section” and recieving blank stare after blank stare seriously amused Julia and I. Well, whatever. Chanuka is all about not having enough oil anyway. It’s hard to signify that with a present.

Comments

  1. #1 Benton Jackson
    December 6, 2010

    I was in that regional Comcast outage too.

  2. #2 Bill
    December 6, 2010

    If you want to kill someone just take ‘em hunting.
    “I thought it was a deer” is usually an adequate excuse.

  3. #3 Nemo
    December 6, 2010

    I don’t think one need be paranoid to imagine a conspiracy against Julian Assange, what with big-name politicians and pundits calling openly for his death.

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    December 6, 2010

    Nemo, who is saying anything about paranoia?

  5. #5 Azkyroth
    December 6, 2010

    I’m not familiar with the case against Assange, but given that manufactured charges, of a sort likely to discredit if not outright demonize, are entirely consistent with the way US intelligence services have dealt with opponents for the entirety of living memory and the way the US in general has dealt with critics since at least the Bush years, how exactly has this explanation been ruled out?

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    December 6, 2010

    Azkyroth, who’s saying anything about ruling out a conspiracy?

    Guys, if you want to argue with my point, or Greg’s points which are dependent on mine, perhaps you should read my post?

  7. #7 Eric Lund
    December 6, 2010

    @Bill: As usual, Tom Lehrer has been there:

    People ask me how I do it,
    And I say, “There’s nothin’ to it,
    You just stand there lookin’ cute,
    And when something moves, you shoot!”

  8. #8 sailor
    December 6, 2010

    It seems more like “sex by surprise”, which just might mean he said he would use a condom but didn’t, or it dropped off, or whatever.
    If the woman showed unwillingness at any time that is one thing. But rape charges have to be substantiated by some sort of evidence, and if it is a question of a condom (wear/didn’t wear it) how the hell do you get that unless the victim preserved some fluids. It seems the Swedish legal system might have got to the point of political correctness you had better not piss off your girl friend or she can find some reason to bring charges.
    Given Assange’s exceptionally high profile, and the juicy publicity that is bound to follow such a charge and possible help from the CIA or whatever, I would not put too much reliance on a “he said she said” situation involving the wearing of a condom.

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978761324

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    December 6, 2010

    sailor, you’re saying it’s mere political correctness to follow up on rape charges with no physical evidence?

  10. #10 Rick Pikul
    December 6, 2010

    Well, whatever. Chanuka is all about not having enough oil anyway. It’s hard to signify that with a present.

    Empty bottles?

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    December 6, 2010

    Please remember that these rape charges happened way before the recent “wikirelease” which is way, way bigger than the earlier releases. I think that matters. at least a little.

  12. #12 Dunkleosteus
    December 6, 2010

    Don’t forget that his rape charges were already dropped once, but the case was reopened in another town, which is highly unusual. You must be very naive to think that there’s no political pressure behind it.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    December 6, 2010

    Dunkleosteus, you are suggesting that someone (though I’m not sure) is naive to think that there is no political pressure related to these charges. But I’m looking and I’m not finding who said that.

  14. #14 Kengi
    December 6, 2010

    Not a Comcast customer, but have a friend who is. He told me that the problem has been with the Comcast DNS. He programmed Google’s public DNS addresses (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) into his router and bypassed the “outage”.

  15. #15 Azkyroth
    December 6, 2010

    sailor, you’re saying it’s mere political correctness to follow up on rape charges with no physical evidence?

    I (without comment on its merit) interpret his comment as suggesting that there’s a reason winning or even trying a criminal case usually requires physical evidence, and as second-guessing what he perceives as an argument in favor of an exception to this principle.

  16. #16 Jeremy
    December 6, 2010

    The media reporting of the Assange rape accusations has been fairly inaccurate. I’m sorry to sound pedantic but Assange has not been charged with rape. He is wanted for questioning in relation to accusations of rape, but has not been formally charged for any crime relating to these issues. The media uses the words “accused” and “charged” interchangeably, but “charge” has specific legal meaning, and when they talk about “rape charges” they are wrong – there are none at this stage in this case.

  17. #17 Christopher
    December 6, 2010

    Jeremy, who cares? Assange is the master of the extra-legal accusation. Consider the comparison people make between the cables and the Nixon tapes. What they forget it that the Nixon tapes were revealed as part of a legal process, and the diplomatic cables were revealed as a form of public masturbation by an out of control egomaniac. Sure, it is great to have the information out there in many cases, but Assange is in no position to be defended over the technical use of terms like accuse and charge. If the charges or accusations are fully made up, that is bad, but if there is something to that, don’t bother with the violins, it is offensive.

  18. #18 CherryBomb
    December 6, 2010

    I think Mr Assange’s aggravations have just begun. The CIA, and at least a half dozen other national intelligence services, will be looking for any opportunity they can find to make his life miserable. I can’t say I have a lot of sympathy; the wholesale release of diplomatic cables seems more like vandalism than courageous reporting to me.

  19. #19 Jeremy
    December 6, 2010

    @Christopher

    I’m not defending Assange, or trying to suggest that he’s guilty or innocent. I’m just saying that he hasn’t been officially charged with any offences, criminal or otherwise, at least in this matter.

    On an issue like this where there is so much uncertainty, it seems foolish to make any judgements. A quick perusal of the “blogosphere” shows crazy conspiracy theories, more realistic conspiracy theories, statements of absolute guilt and innocence, claims that the charges (there are none remember) are about to be thrown out, claims that the girls have not made any accusation of rape, claims that one of the alleged victims wrote a book about how to convict cheating lovers of rape, claims of pretty much everything.

    We have so little information about what actually happened, no genuine evidence for us (as in us personally, we don’t know what the prosecution has) to look at, a possibly complicated foreign legal system and a lot of people with biased opinions for or against Assange. Defending or attacking him at this point is speculative and meaningless.

  20. #20 Christopher
    December 7, 2010

    I am not saying you are defending him. I am pointing out the irony of asking that he be held to normal legal and social standards.

  21. #21 Elipson
    December 7, 2010

    @ Christopher

    I don’t know about Mr. Assange being held up to different social standards, but surely he should be held to the same legal standards as everybody else. That’s the whole idea behind the rule of law, if I am not mistaken

  22. #22 JThompson
    December 7, 2010

    @Christopher: While you’re correct that the Watergate tapes were released as part of a legal process, it isn’t as if there’s a process for that anymore. Thanks to the nonsensical War on Terror anything the government wants to stay secret stays secret. Even from the courts.

    And the Obama administration has shown they’re perfectly happy to keep absolutely everything as secret as possible. “Transparency” must mean something different to him than it does to the rest of us.

  23. #23 sailor
    December 7, 2010

    “sailor, you’re saying it’s mere political correctness to follow up on rape charges with no physical evidence?”

    No Stephanie, I agree with you a man should never go against a woman’s will, and sure the police should check these things out. However women are not angels. There has been more than one man sent to jail for rape where the woman later recanted. I would not want to have a legal system where the woman’s testimony is held to be truer than the man’s as several bloggers claim happens in Sweden (or the other way around.) If someone is going to jail there should be evidence involved. In this particular case in which the sex was agreed to be mutually agreeable, and the dispute may about whether the condom was worn (and surely a woman can keep her eyes open long enough to make sure it goes on)I am suspicious, especially given the fame of the person concerned, and the fact operatives of the most powerful country in the world are out to get him.

    Greg, the rape investigation did precede this latest release, but he had already released documents and was quite famous, which may have been one of his attractions for women. And as others point out he has not been charged or even accused, he is wanted for questioning.

  24. #24 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    @Christopher

    I don’t understand what you’re saying. I’m not saying that the legal system is mistreating him, I’m saying that the people, such as the New York Times, Greg Laden and Stephanie Zvan and others, who claim that Assange has been charged with rape are wrong – he hasn’t been charged with anything. It has no bearing on whether he’s found guilty or not or how he’s treated or should be treated. It’s just a mistake in talking about the facts of the case. There are no rape charges. There was one made initially, but it was issued before either of the alleged victims had given a formal statement and so was correctly withdrawn.

  25. #25 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, there are specific charges. From the Metropolitan Police:

    The spokesman said that Assange voluntarily came to the London police station, where he was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant from Swedish authorities for “one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010.”

    Those are charges. How the timing of filing them works in Sweden, I don’t know, but they are charges.

  26. #26 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    I’m saying that the people, such as the New York Times, Greg Laden and Stephanie Zvan and others, who claim that Assange has been charged with rape are wrong

    You presume my dogmatisicm. Though I used the word rape in the post, I stand corrected on the technical matter. Right now, to quote Barbara Drescher, ICBS everywhere. Broken condoms are regulated by law, yes followed by no is not sexual abuse or rape of some kind, and a bizarre law called “surprise sex” I do not know if this is a charge or accusation of rape or something else.

    he hasn’t been charged with anything.

    Seriously? He’s been arrested on “sex crime” charges. Perhaps being arrested is not the same as being charged, but really, at this point this is just a semantic game. Yawn.

  27. #27 Dunkleosteus
    December 7, 2010

    He is now in trouble possibly about to be tried for treason.

    AFAIK he–a citizen of Australia–has not broken any Australian laws. How can he be tried for treason?

  28. #28 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    I don’t know if he can be tried for treason or not. I would think not, in a US court, because treason is a special thing where you probably need to be a citizen (and thus there is a presumed loyalty). On the other hand, maybe the Aussies are mad at him too…

    But the actual discussion on this is not about treason, but rather, about espionage. Treason aside, a citizen of any country can be accused, tried, convicted, etc. of a US crime in a US court, potentially. Unless he declares Wikileaks a separate country and goes for diplomatic immunity …

  29. #29 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Greg, to the best of my understand “surprise sex” is “It’s not really rape because she let me get that close and besides it has a different name. See? That can’t be rape, so I’m not a rapist because rapists are really bad, evil people and I’m not evil, so it can’t be rape.” Or something like that.

    sailor, read the fucking post Greg links to.

  30. #30 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    We need George Carlin to explain this in his own special way.

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    So, is this actually a case of people trying to scrub the rape charges to avoid besmirching a hero?

  32. #32 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Or going after the powerless women pressing rape charges with extra viciousness in the place of doing the work to confront the governments directly threatening Wikileaks?

  33. #33 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    The UK charges were issued after they received the correct warrant from Sweden. They are not charges from Sweden, they are the reason why the UK police had authority to take him into custody, but he will never be tried on those specific charges – they are a UK thing, not a Sweden thing. At this stage the likely scenario is that he’ll be extradited to Sweden where he will be questioned, and then either formally charged or released.

  34. #34 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, source for your information?

  35. #35 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    Whether or not he’s been formally charged is more than a semantic game. Assange’s lawyers claim that the prosecution has confirmed that both women agree that the sex was consensual and there the only crime is that he made an excuse to have sex without a condom and the girls agreed in both cases, then talked to each other and thought that his excuses not to use a condom in both cases were more than coincidence, and amounted to coercion. If he has been charged of rape in Sweden this makes the lawyer’s story almost certainly false. If he hasn’t been charged in Sweden then it’s likely that the story is at least partially true and the matter is complicated enough that how Assange responds to questioning will determine whether he’s charged and with what.

  36. #36 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    @Stephanie – what kind of source do you want? Specifically whether Assange has been charged in Sweden or not, or whether the extradition charges in the UK amount to formal charges that he’ll be tried for or not?

  37. #37 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    Whether or no Julian has been charged in Sweden;

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/03/3083458.htm

    “Assange has not been charged and he denies the allegations.”

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/08/wikileaks-what-you-missed-overnight/

    “11:37pm: No clear news on whether Swedes have formally charged Assange #wikileaks” etc.

  38. #38 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, Assange’s attorney’s are saying the accusations are that consensual sex occurred without a condom. The accusations are that the sex stopped being consensual when Assange was told to stop and did not. Given that, why are you giving them any credibility whatsoever?

    What I’m looking for in a source is something stating that the quote from the Metropolitan police that I gave in comment 26 describes not what it actually says it does–the Swedish charges–but some “UK thing.” You seem to think you’re very clear on what’s going on, but you haven’t said why, or why those tiny distinctions are so much important to you than the fact that mysogynistic rape myths are being freely flung about.

  39. #39 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, that second link still doesn’t say that those charges are UK charges rather than a statement by the UK court of the Swedish charges, which is how other media outlets are representing them. What makes you so sure?

  40. #40 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    then talked to each other and thought that his excuses not to use a condom in both cases were more than coincidence, and amounted to coercion.

    Hahahahaha!!!! That is making me ROFL. Secret, private information got leaked and these women put two and two together and discovered that there was a conspiracy.

    Hahahahaahah!!!!!111!! That is really the best thing I’ve read all day.

    I mean, Wikileaks is great and all, but the poetry here is outstanding.

  41. #41 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    A UK court can’t charge a person on behalf of a court in another country. That’s not how the legal system works. My only source for that comment is law text books, lectures and professors. The UK charges should be seen as just a statement that: “These are the grounds on which you’re being arrested to be extradited to Sweden.”

    I wonder if you mind me asking what your European Law legal qualifications are?

  42. #42 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    I wonder if you mind me asking what your European Law legal qualifications are?

    Oh man, you’re in trouble now.

  43. #43 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, I don’t need European legal qualifications to recognize someone who’s just making assertions with no backup. It does tend to make me curious, though.

    It takes just a very quick search to discover that the extradition is being done under EU law, using something called a European arrest warrant. If you’re interested, you can now read up on that and find out how it works.

    Or you can just keep talking without knowing what you’re talking about.

  44. #44 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Oh, it also doesn’t take much looking to discover that the prosecutor in the case was representing Sweden. Of course, it helps if you know enough about international law that you can do a search on the specific charges that were “read out” to Assange. And are willing to look.

  45. #45 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    From your link;

    “The WikiLeaks founder was remanded in custody in London on Tuesday after being arrested under a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system for his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.”

    “Khawar Qureshi, a Queen’s Counsel and international law specialist, said that under European agreements, British courts are not entitled to look at evidence against Assange in making their decision to extradite him.

    Instead their role is to simply check that paperwork is in order.”

    Note that there’s no mention of being “charged” with anything, but instead he is “wanted for questioning.”

    Here is the UK Extradition Act 2003;

    http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?activeTextDocId=820518

    Again not that it says nothing about “charging” people with anything (apart from procedure if they’re also being charged with crimes within the UK).

    Here’s one of the numerous links about the arrest warrant;

    http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/swedens-new-arrest-warrant-for-assange-20101204-18k3x.html

    “The Stockholm district court had ordered on November 18 an arrest warrant for Assange for questioning on suspicions of “rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion” in Sweden in August.”

    Note the language – “for questioning.” This is not a formal charge.

    Here’s an article explaining the events;

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/julian-assange-arrest-extradition

    Note this sentence:

    “Swedish criminal law experts said this morning that little was known about the allegations Assange is facing in the country, in line with legal requirements to protect anonymity and preserve confidentiality for sex crimes.

    The activation of a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) by UK police suggests Assange has been formally charged by Swedish prosecutors and could face a period of detention upon his return.”

    Note that it’s saying that they don’t know whether Sweden has issued formal charges yet or not (but think that it suggests that they have). Note too that it makes no other mention of any charges.

  46. #46 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    So, he was being charged in a British court with a Swedish charge?

    This is more complicated than the Minnesota Recount.

  47. #47 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    From your link;

    “The Magistrates court has 21 days to start an extradition hearing, which will decide if Assange will be sent off to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on rape charges.:

    Note that it says he’s “wanted for questioning.” Being wanted for questioning is different to being charged.

    Here’s a (rather poor, but good enough) legal definition of “charged”

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/charge

    “charge n. 1) in a criminal case, the specific statement of what crime the party is accused (charged with) contained in the indictment or criminal complaint.”

    And for the record “Indictment,” Criminal Complaint” and “extradition”

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/indictment

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/criminal+complaint

    Note that an extradition is neither a indictment nor a criminal complaint. Note that in the Extradition Act 2003 that the first hearing is just to identify the person. Note that the extradition hearing will not view the evidence for extradition.

    Note this comment from his lawyer reported on Monday;

    http://www.allvoices.com/s/event-7513066/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5uZXdzMjQuY29tL1dvcmxkL05ld3MvV2lraUxlYWtzLWZvdW5kZXItdG8tdGFsay10by1VSy1jb3BzLTIwMTAxMjA2

    “”Julian Assange has not been charged with anything,” Mark Stephens told BBC television.”

    His lawyer doesn’t think he’s been charged with anything, but you with all your legal knowledge know that the legal authority working directly on the case is wrong?

  48. #48 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    That’s the EU.

  49. #49 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    That’s what I figured.

  50. #50 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, fuck you and the hobby horse you rode in on. I haven’t claimed any particular knowledge of law, simply a willingness to dig into this that you’ve not demonstrated except when you’re trying to explain why charges aren’t really charges.

    In fact, you’ve worked so hard at this that you don’t even remember what you’re arguing against. Neither Greg nor I ever even said that Sweden had charged Assange. We both referred to the charges against Assange. Period. Those charges were read out in a British court today. Go get a fucking life and something more worthy to consume your time.

  51. #51 Jeremy
    December 7, 2010

    I was complaining about ignorance and misreporting of the legal system in the media and it being repeated throughout the “blogosphere” uncritically.

    So now you’re saying that nobody has been charged, but the charges exist? Did you read the legal definition of “charge” that I posted? There are no charges, at least as far as has been made public. I’m sorry that you blindly believe the media on issues that you’re ignorant about and start your blog posts by saying “I don’t know whether the rape charges against Julian Assange are valid. I do know, however, that they are rape charges,” when they’re actually are no rape charges. That must be embarrassing for you.

  52. #52 Stephanie Z
    December 7, 2010

    Jeremy, would you like to explain what charges were read out in a British court today if there are no charges? Wait. Do you know what reading out charges means in Britain? No, I’m guessing you don’t, given that you referred me to a dictionary of American law on a matter of Swedish, British, and EU law. It means formally informing the accused of the charges against them. Charges against them.

    Whether those charges have been filed is an entirely separate question from whether those charges exist and are generally known. Also, I told you that hours ago, on my blog, where you posted the same cocksure, uninformed bullshit.

  53. #53 Greg Laden
    December 7, 2010

    “The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by London police on behalf of Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape.”

    source: http://xrl.in/6s1i

  54. #54 MacTurk
    December 8, 2010

    Mr Laden, the link in post no 54 goes here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/12/bringing_the_war_on_christmas.php

    This is your post headlined “Bringing the War on Christmas Into your Very Living Room”, which is interesting but has nought to do with Mr Assange.

    Re the guy in question, he went to the Metropolitan Police voluntarily. He has been refused bail(as a presumed flight risk), and is in detention. The charges stem from Swedish law which aparrently make consensual sex without a condom a criminal offense(this needs clarification, and my swedish is non-existent). The Magistrates’ Court has to decide whether he has to first of all be extradited. If arrested on foot of the European Arrest Warrant, providing no bars exist(none evident so far), he will be extradited within 90 days after the hearing.

    There does appear to be an element of “star fucking” in the whole sorry mess. The two women both state that the sex was consenual, and at least one boasted about it on social media(and later tried to delete it). Then one informed the other, and they both cooperated with police and prosecutors in the subsequent investigations.

    Looking at all that has come out so far, I would say that the chances of the charges being thrown out of court in sweden are quite high, while he still has not been informed if he wil be extradited from Britain yet.

    The man has yet to be formally charged in the court which claims jurisdiction. He still has the presumption of innocence.

  55. #55 Stephanie Z
    December 8, 2010

    MacTurk, you’re repeating misinformation about the charges and refusing to provide the same presumption of innocence to Assange’s accusers that you’re providing to him. Stop that.

    The charges against Assange, as read out in the British courts yesterday:

    She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of 14 August in Stockholm.

    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.

    Would you like to explain what’s consensual about that?

  56. #56 sailor
    December 8, 2010

    “sailor, read the fucking post Greg links to.”

    I did read it. It is hard to judge Assange with the little information at hand. But given his notoriety at this stage he does not have to be paranoid to think people are against him.

    Let us consider:
    He became the number 1 most wanted man by Interpol for a crime that did not involve any violence, and would probably not be a crime in any country except Sweden. (I am not passing judgment here on whether it should be a crime, it probably should, but evidence for certainty of guilt would be very hard).
    The Swedish charges against him are dropped then reissued later.
    His defense account in Switzerland is frozen.
    All around the same time.
    He may be innocent he may be guilty but people are sure out to get him.

  57. #57 sailor
    December 8, 2010

    Oh yes and I forgot the credit card companies won’t let people make contributions to him using their cards, also Paypal I think

    It seems he has some supporters however:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/08/mastercard-down-hacked-wikileaks-ddos_n_793625.html

  58. #58 Stephanie Z
    December 8, 2010

    sailor, no one around here is arguing that Assange is definitely guilty. The reason I told you to read that post is that you somehow seem to think this “surprise sex” thing isn’t rape or that sex that doesn’t meet that violates the terms under which consent was given isn’t rape. You needed a reminder of what rape actually is.

  59. #60 rork
    December 8, 2010

    Hunter story accurate:
    The hunter being shot happened in Iowa.
    It was the first day of their “shotgun season”, which is their big firearms season – it just happens that you don’t get to use rifles there (some exceptions).
    In Michigan’s most southern counties you also aren’t allowed to use rifles (except muzzleloaders), mostly for safety reasons. I haven’t studied Minnesota regs.
    There are even less humans shot by arrows – in fact we used to claim that would be “inconceivable”, but some idiot falsified that a few years back, combining stalking with your hunting partner with ethanol, darkness, and a large dose of stupid and perhaps other substances. It’s not easy.

  60. #61 SocraticGadfly
    December 8, 2010

    Stephanie and Greg both apparently overlook the fact that false rape charges aren’t that uncommon.

    http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2010/12/assange-rape-duke-lacrosse-sweden.html

    Duke lacross team, need I say? Tawana Brawley?

    And, in both those cases, the original false rape charge was exploited for political reasons. And, false rape charges are not that uncommon, especially among younger women. Don’t know Ardin’s age, but one close friend of hers is 26.

    Knowing more about both Greg and Stephanie from my own experience, and further insight from an online friend, I don’t doubt I’ll get attack-dogged.

    No problem. Considering Greg still hasn’t pulled in his horns on NASA fluffery (I guess your motive is promoting shoddy science, and see-through PR?) I’ll not worry about that.

  61. #62 Greg Laden
    December 8, 2010

    SocraticGadfly, go adjust your meds.

  62. #63 Stephanie Z
    December 8, 2010

    Gadfly, you do understand that the link you posted to claim false allegations of rape makes no distinctions between domestic abuse cases (in which real victims are well-known to recant rather than see their partner prosecuted), mistaken identity cases (in which real victims make a mistake in identifying their attackers), victims who “recant” because they can’t deal with the trauma from the criminal justice system and others continuing to pry into their lives, cases which prosecutors decline to take on because some kinds of rape leave no physical evidence, and actual false allegations, yes? But thanks for joining the party of those who give Assange a greater right to be considered innocent than they’re willing to give women.

  63. #64 SocraticGadfly
    December 8, 2010

    Several other points:
    1. Greg, to call you out on timing … the original charge, before the latest WikiLeaks dump, was dropped for lack of evidence. Forgot that?
    2. He cannot be tried for treason because he’s not a U.S. citizen. Geez, are you not smart enough to know the definition of treason?
    3. Good thing you’re NOT a lawyer, if these differences in words is just a “semantic game.” Then, “yawn.” WTF? I’m sure folks like Obama and Bush like that idea in their chipping away at civil liberties. Jeremy is spot on, and if this is really a “yawn” for you, no wonder you don’t believe the idea that the U.S. government could be after him.
    4. To Stephanie … “nice” response to Jeremy. No wonder you team up with Greg to be his pit bull or whatever.

    ===

    MacTurk, given that the U.S. government can indict people “under seal,” I’m MUCH less optimistic than you. Given Sweden’s involvement with Bush-era CIA extraordinary rendition, and other stuff, it’s got motive to accept a U.S. extradition request.

    ===

    Finally: Greg, thanks for giving me “ammo” for a blog post. Does ScienceBlogs have a Peter Principle?

  64. #65 Greg Laden
    December 8, 2010

    1. Greg, to call you out on timing … the original charge, before the latest WikiLeaks dump, was dropped for lack of evidence. Forgot that?

    You do not have permission to ever use the phrase “call you out” in reference to me on my blog. In any event, I made no comment on this charge, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

    2. He cannot be tried for treason because he’s not a U.S. citizen. Geez, are you not smart enough to know the definition of treason?

    You can get help with your inability to read, you know. Maybe at the YMCA or something. I did in fact say that he could not be tried for treason.

    3. Good thing you’re NOT a lawyer, if these differences in words is just a “semantic game.” Then, “yawn.” WTF? I’m sure folks like Obama and Bush like that idea in their chipping away at civil liberties. Jeremy is spot on, and if this is really a “yawn” for you, no wonder you don’t believe the idea that the U.S. government could be after him.

    Where did I say that I didn’t think the US gov is after him? It is utterly obvious they are after him. Why are you so confused? Is this part of your mental illness? That would be OK if it is, just let us know.

    You are now on very strict probation. You are not allowed to leave a link back to your blog on my site, and you need to stop your irrelevant and distracting paranoid rantings. Comments that indicate that you have not read the original text you are critiquing will be summarily deleted, and personal insults initiated by you will not be tolerated. Personal insults OF you will be tolerated, of course, becasue you’re certainly are asking for it.

    Failure to adhere to these rules may lead to your permanent banning from this blog, and if you don’t adhere to that, you will be banned from the entire internet.

  65. #66 MacTurk
    December 9, 2010

    Quoting Stephanie Z’s quotes
    “She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of 14 August in Stockholm.

    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”

    The first, she said, then he said.
    The second, ditto.
    The third, I have no idea, but it is a wonderful catch-all.
    The fourth would seem to be another issue of “he said, she said”.

    And the issue of “star fucking” would still apply in this sorry mess.

    With regard to the statement that I am somehow “refusing to provide the same presumption of innocence to Assange’s accusers that you’re providing to him. Stop that”. What are you blathering about?

    How in the name of Dog does “presumption of innocence” apply to alleged victims? They have not been charged, nor are they going to be on trial. They do not fall into the qualifying category for “presumption of innocence”.

  66. #67 Greg Laden
    December 9, 2010

    There is an American tradition that assumes that a woman that is raped b someone other than a stranger (including a man she met that day as a non-stranger) was in some way complicit in that rape. I think (but she can correct me if I’m wrong) that Stephanie was referring to the idea that we should not make that presumption of the alleged victim. (That the victim is partly “guilty” of the act.)

    Separate from the issue of molestation, rape, or surprising lack of a condom, etc. , as I watch the behavior of people on the Internet (their attitudes and some actions) I do have to think that J.A. has become something of a cult figure.

  67. #68 MacTurk
    December 9, 2010

    A careful reading of the charges, as quoted by Stephanie Z, and reported here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/07/julian-assange-refused-bail-over-rape-allegations
    would cause some people to conclude that, with the exception of the last, this is an argument about contraceptive methods during a one-night stand which has now achieved an international judicial dimension.

    The last, if it occurred, would be rape.

    Mr Assange is apparently planning to fight extradition. He has very little chance. Basically, there are five bars to extradition. These are:
    A) The arrested person has already been convicted or acquitted of the same offence or an offence relating to the same facts as those described in the EAW.
    b) Extraneous considerations (e.g. a risk that the person will be prosecuted or prejudiced at trial due to race, religion or political opinions).
    c) Passage of time (extradition would be unjust or oppressive given the time elapsed).
    d) The person’s age is below the legal age of criminal responsibility.
    e) The physical or mental condition of the person makes it unjust or oppressive to extradite.

    From what is known, none of the above apply, and in that case, the judge is OBLIGED to order extradition. There is provision for an appeal against that order, but given the terms of the EAW agreement, that will be unlikely to achieve much. He will probably be on a flight to Stockholm within four months.

  68. #69 Stephanie Z
    December 9, 2010

    MacTurk, you want to smear the victims in public because they haven’t been charged with anything? Go ahead. Understand, however, that it’s really not hard to see that this legal principle is applied far more broadly than in the courts. It’s become a de facto social principle as well. Unless you want to see people going around telling the world what a despicable human being Assange is because he committed rape, it’s time to wake up to the fact that you’re applying a double-standard.

  69. #70 Stephanie Z
    December 9, 2010

    MacTurk, if consent is dependent on use of a particular type of contraception, and that contraception is not used, there is no consent. Care to explain why that’s not rape?

  70. #71 MacTurk
    December 9, 2010

    Mr Laden, is it you, PZ Meyers or Mr Ed Brayton who has the comic interest in WorldNewsDaily(better known as WingNutDaily)?

    Just they have two articles about DADT which might be considered to be against the cultural flow.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=236681

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=236681

  71. #72 Stephanie Z
    December 9, 2010

    Here, MacTurk, a little blog post (“joke” included!) just for you.

  72. #73 Greg Laden
    December 9, 2010

    Those two articles are very, very similar. I suspect a conspiracy.

  73. #74 MacTurk
    December 9, 2010

    For that collection of loons, two dogs sniffing each others’ bottoms is a satanic conspiracy. Everything else is a bigger conspiracy.

    My apologies for diverging from subject. It was Mr Brayton, I believe.

  74. #75 sailor
    December 9, 2010

    “sailor, “you somehow seem to think this “surprise sex” thing isn’t rape or that sex that doesn’t meet that violates the terms under which consent was given isn’t rape. You needed a reminder of what rape actually is”.
    That is not the case, however, in the case of the condom thing it is very hard to prove – a he said/ she said thing. My point is that no one should be convicted on someone else’s word, unless they agree that word is true or there is other evidence. Otherwise every time some guy leaves a girl and she gets pissed enough she can put him in jail.
    This becomes particularly true when the accused has some fame, as it gives an increased motivation for someone to bring false charges.

  75. #76 Stephanie Z
    December 9, 2010

    sailor, legal disputes are settled all the time by judges and juries weighing the words of two individuals. That includes criminal matters, particularly in cases of fraud. Should no one ever be charged with those crimes? Because no one ever jumps up and down screaming that people lie about fraud. What makes rape so special?

    And what makes you so sure that there’s no evidence in this case? Very few details have been released, but you’re comfortable coming to conclusions.

  76. #77 sailor
    December 9, 2010

    Stephanie, there is nothing special a about rape in what I am saying. Yes there may be evidence in the Assange case, we have no idea. As for judges making judgments about people telling the truth, yes they do it all the time, but they also get it wrong a lot. We have had a huge number of people convicted of murder that have not done it. I heard an interesting radio special on NPR a while ago, unfortunately I have no link to give you, but the gist of it was police interrogations are so powerful that some 40% of convicted people, later proved completely innocent by such means as DNA, had actually signed confessions!
    In as much as things have been weighted against women over a long period of time, to a point where women would probably not even say “stop” if they wanted things to stop (especially in a casual situation where they are not that confident), laws that clearly spell out their rights are good if they give them that confidence. But once we get to the point of judges deciding he said she said cases with no other evidence, I am sure a lot of innocent people will end up in prison and a lot of guilty people will get off.
    One of the scenarios that has been reported in this case (which may or may not be accurate) is that it was a broken condom. In this case a charge does not make much sense to me, unless it was deliberately sabotaged, maybe it does to you.
    You are looking at things from a rape perspective, fair enough in as much as this guy has been charged with that. But the context means something – there are a lot of people out to get him. The main accuser is reported to have spend considerable time working with an anti-Castro group with links to the CIA. (you can check this on Google).
    This may be a normal rape case, but given the man and the power of those who want to crush him, it may equally not be.
    In all your posts you are making the assumption this is a normal rape case. Who really knows? You certainly cannot be sure it is, and I have no idea whether it is, but I am willing to considier other possibilities given his notoriety.

  77. #78 Stephanie Z
    December 9, 2010

    Yeah, cause when the condom breaks and he holds her down because she wants to stop, that’s totally not a rape case.

  78. #79 MacTurk
    December 10, 2010

    Quote from Stephanie Z “MacTurk, you want to smear the victims in public because they haven’t been charged with anything? Go ahead” I smeared no-one. I repeat, the alleged victims of the alleged crime are not in any category which requires them to need the presumption of innocence. I have not at any time attempted to smear anyone. It could be, and is being, argued that Mr Assange is being smeared.

    “..Unless you want to see people going around telling the world what a despicable human being Assange is because he committed rape”. Eh no, I never expressed that wish either.

    “..it’s time to wake up to the fact that you’re applying a double-standard”. Do supply some proof, please.

    The events from which this case of alleged rape arose are as follows;

    A prominent/famous/notorious male human goes on a lecture tour in Sweden. This begins on August 11th(Wednesday), when he arrived. In Stockholm, by agreement, he stayed in the apartment of one of the two alleged victims(as yet no court case). She was absent, planning to return to attend his seminar on Saturday(August 14th).

    In the event, she came back one day early(Friday, August 13th), and she arrived home to find him there. According to police reports, which were leaked to various media, they spoke, agreed he could stay, and went out to dinner. Subsequently, sex happened, and a condom broke at some point. Neither party disputes this. On Saturday, she hosted a party for him at her appartment.

    The seminar happened on Saturday, at the headquarters of the Swedish Trade Union movement. This is where Mr Assange met the second alleged victim. After the seminar, Mr Assange and the 2nd alleged victim went off to lunch, then to the cinema. They agreed to meet later, as Mr Assange had to go back to the first alleged victim’s apartment to attend the party she was hosting for him. It was also at the seminar that the two alleged victims met each other for the first time.

    Mr Assange and the 2nd alleged victim met in Stockholm on (Monday, August 16th), and agreed to go to her town(Enkoping), which is some 78km from Stockholm. she bought the train tickets for both of them, as Mr Assange apparently feared being tracked by the CIA and/or other security agencies if he used a credit card. They went to her appartment, and had sex there. A condom was used. On Tuesday morning(August 17th), they had sex again; he refused to use a condom on this occasion. He went out with the alleged 2nd victim for breakfast, then she paid for his ticket back to Stockholm.

    The 2nd alleged victim then contacted the 1st alleged victim, and mentioned that she had had unprotected sex with the 1st alleged victim’s house guest. At this point, the 1st alleged victim is reported to have demanded that Mr Assange leave her place. He disputes this.

    On August 20th(Friday), the two alleged victims went to the police. After several interviews, the duty prosecuting attorney, a Ms Maria ­Kjellstrand, decided to go after Mr Assange on rape charges. When this came to the attention of the senior prosecutor for Stockholm(Ms Eva Finné), the case was dismissed(http://www.thelocal.se/28534/20100823/).

    At this stage things got messy. There are reports that approaches were made to tabloid newspapers. There are reports about politicians becoming involved( lack of Swedish means I cannot confirm this). What is true is that the case was revived by a prosecutor in Goteborg(Gothenburg), which is clear over on the west coast of Sweden.

    From then on, it is in the legal systems of Europe.

    It is clear that the Swedish legal system has not been very efficient. It is a bit embarrassing to have to resubmit a European Arrest Warrant, because your people did not fill out the forms properly in November.

    It also clear that one of the alleged victims has attempted to remove some postings on social media. Whether this will be viewed as prejudicial by the court(s) remains to be seen.

    Stephanie Z, your strident self-righteousness is boring. Your automatic default to personal attack, when someone has the temerity to disagree with your views, is both predictable and tedious.

  79. #80 sailor
    December 10, 2010

    “Yeah, cause when the condom breaks and he holds her down because she wants to stop, that’s totally not a rape case.”
    Stephanie, your sarcasm is not exactly helpful, though if it makes you feel good that is fine with me.
    Clearly if he held her down against her will that would be rape.
    This is the closest I can get to the case:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1307137/Supporters-dismissed-rape-accusations-WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange–women-involved-tell-different-story.html

    He should take an STD test for sure. He is a jerk, maybe it takes a jerk to run wikileaks. The women might want to reflect on their decisions too.

  80. #81 Jeremy
    December 14, 2010

    @Stephanie – No “charges” were read out at the British Court. The British Court has no power to charge somebody for Swedish crimes. The Swedish prosecution made the case for why he should be extradited, which involved listing the alleged crimes he is wanted for questioning over. The media called these “charges,” but they’re not.

    Look, here’s his lawyer speaking last night claiming that he still hasn’t been charged. Assange’s lawyer still knows less about the case than you do?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/12/15/3093387.htm

    Quote; “There are no formal charges against him.” – Jennifer Robinson.

  81. #82 Jeremy
    December 14, 2010

    Here’s a good article on the fiasco despite making the same mistake about “charges.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/jaccuse-sweden-britain-an_b_795899.html

  82. #83 Greg Laden
    December 14, 2010

    Jeremy, I’m not sure what your point is. “Formal Charges” would be what happens at an arraignment or equivalent. That would require being in a courtroom in the country making the charges, but at this point he seems to have left the “scene of the crime” as it were. But it is not as though some legal thing that some people might call “charges” or something else, but that constitutes the first step or two in the legal process, is not extant with more steps pending. I’ve seen this a zillion times. A higher level police official, prosecutor, or government attorney stands there on TV and says “We’re charging this person with X, Y and Z. As soon as we get him.”

    Nobody, say in the press, describes such an event as “There are no formal charges against this person at this time” but rather “This person is being sought on charges of X Y and Z.” (Well, the lawyers often point out about the charges, but that’s a “watch the monkey” thing more than anything else.)

    In other words, your insistence that he is not formally charged is silly. Of course he isn’t. He’s being extradited from one country to another to stand certain charges because the latter country is charging him on those charges, for which he’ll be formally charged when he gets there.

  83. #84 Stephanie Z
    December 14, 2010

    sailor, why the “if”? I quoted the charges and gave you a link to the source. That makes this a case of rape.

    MacTurk, your running away when presented with evidence only to come back later to what some would consider a dead thread could be viewed as prejudicial by the readers of this blog. But, you know, that’s totally not a smear.

  84. #85 MacTurk
    December 15, 2010

    Running away? Where to? I do not generally do anything internet related on weekends. That is family time. “…viewed as prejudicial.”? To what or whom? Facts are facts.

    I did mention your reflex tendency to head for the personal abuse earlier, did I not?

    Dead thread? I posted last on December 10th. Your accusation was posted on December 14th

    Re your constant harping about Mr Assange being charged, you might care to read this from the BBC:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11946652

    Could I draw your attention in particular to the section under the heading “Questions to answer”?

    It reads, in part; “The case may turn on if or when consensual sex turned into non-consensual sex – is a male decision not to use a condom a case of that, for example?

    Under Swedish law, Mr Assange has not been formally charged. He has merely been accused and told he has questions to answer.

    The process is for the prosecutor to question him to see if a formal criminal accusation should then be laid before a court.

    There would then be a hearing in front of some lay people to see if that formal charge should go to a formal trial”.

    I do try to know what I am speaking about. I try not to impose my knowledge of my county’s legal system on to other states’ systems.

  85. #86 Stephanie Z
    December 15, 2010

    MacTurk, if you don’t like “viewed as prejudicial,” don’t use it to talk about the women and then insist you’re not smearing them. I simply used your language but aimed at your head.

    And yes, of course the entire case is about consent. No shit. Did you read the blog post Greg linked to that started this thread? This case isn’t about whether the women talked to each other. It isn’t about how they were dressed when they met Assange. It isn’t about whether they had stars in their eyes when they gave their conditional consent. It isn’t about whether they’re nice people or acted as though nothing had happened after whatever happened happened. It is entirely about whether they consented to what was done to them. If they did not, it is rape, whether Assange can be convicted or not.

  86. #87 Jeremy
    December 15, 2010

    The arrest warrant is just for his questioning. It’s perfectly legal to charge somebody in their absence and happens all the time. Assange didn’t flee. As the interview I posted shows, his lawyers continually tried to contact Swedish officials both while he was still in Sweden and then later while he was in the UK. They received no responses or requests for him to come in for questioning until the arrest warrant was issued, which is almost a unique response from law enforcement, as was the fact that he was initially charged before the accusers had made any formal statements.