Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, is being held in London after turning himself in to face extradition to Sweden for total bullshit sex-crime charges. (Al Jazeera story) He was denied bail and has an extradition hearing on December 14. There’s a lot to this story, and I’ve mentioned it before. I’m a bit disgusted by this. It seems that the release of several thousand diplomatic “cables” has motivated the rulers of the world to put a stop to this man, and this is very sad.
- November 28, 2010 – On the day that the site was planning to release some 250,000 US State Department cables, Wikileaks reported on twitter that the site was under a massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. The site was down for several hours. (link)
- November 29, 2010 – Twitter user, th3j35t3r, claimed responsibility for the attack, that it was “for attempting to endanger the lives of our troops and other assets.” (link)
- Wednesday, December 1, 2010 – Amazon.com announced that it would cease hosting Wikileak’s “cablegate” site that could be found at cablegate.wikileaks.org after being pressured by government assholes, including the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s committee on homeland security. (link) Fuck Joe Lieberman. I really hate that guy.
- Thursday, December 2, 2010 – EveryDNS.net unlisted wikileaks.org, meaning that typing the address into a browser brings up the Wikileaks website, which can currently be found at ip address: 22.214.171.124/ and at wikileaks.ch/. EveryDNS.net cited threats to their infrastructure (from DDOS attacks) as the reason for removing the listing and stated that they had no objection to the content. (link)
- Saturday, December 4, 2010 – Paypal closed Wikileaks account, stating “our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.” Paypal was Wikileaks primary source of donations. (link)
- Monday, December 6, 2010 – Julian Assange’s Swiss bank account was closed, reportedly because he had given false information, namely that he was a resident of Sweden. (link)
- Monday, December 6, 2010 – Mastercard stopped allowing payments to Wikileaks. (link)
- Monday, December 6, 2010 – A warrant was issued for the arrest of Julian Assange in Britain. (link)
- Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – Visa followed suit and also stopped payments to the website. (link)
- Tuesday, December 7, 2010 – Assange held and denied bail in London.
There are a lot of links for that last one. This article at the Daily Mail is a good source on how things got to be this way. Presumably in fear of Britain’s rape shield law, the identities of the accusers are not given. They are confusingly referred to as Sarah and Jessica. Sarah’s real name is Anna Ardin and Jessica’s real name is Sofia Wilen. In the following quote, the names have been corrected and bolded to implicate the guilty:
What happened next is difficult to explain. The most likely interpretation of events is that as a result of a one-night stand, one participant came to regret what had happened.
Sofia was worried she could have caught a sexual disease, or even be pregnant: and this is where the story takes an intriguing turn. She then decided to phone Anna — whom she had met at the seminar, and with whom Assange had been staying — and apparently confided to her that she’d had unprotected sex with him.
At that point, Anna said that she, too, had slept with him.
As a result of this conversation, Ms. Ardin reportedly phoned an acquaintance of Assange and said that she wanted him to leave her apartment. (He refused to do so, and maintains that she only asked him to leave three days later, on the Friday of that week.)
How must Anna have felt to discover that the man she’d taken to her bed three days before had already taken up with another woman? Furious? Jealous? Out for revenge? Perhaps she merely felt aggrieved for a fellow woman in distress.
Having taken stock of their options for a day or so, on Friday, August 20, Anna and Sofia took drastic action.
They went together to a Stockholm police station where they said they were seeking advice on how to proceed with a complaint by Ms. Wilen against Assange.
According to one source, Sofia wanted to know if it was possible to force Assange to undergo an HIV test. Anna Ardin, the seasoned feminist warrior, said she was there merely to support Sofia. But she also gave police an account of what had happened between herself and Assange a week before.
The message here is be careful who you fuck in Sweden, especially if you’re famous. I suppose if you’re not you can use a fake name and a throw-away phone.
Much has been written on this story. There are people who think Ardin is an agent of some sort and even people who think that Assange is. I particularly like the perspective of Israel Shamir at Counterpunch, which I discovered via W.F. Price of The Spearhead:
Rape is a horrible crime, and it should not be stretched to encompass minor misdemeanors and moral failings (like the failure to give an encouraging phone call the next day). Tellingly, when the complainant’s advocate was asked why the young women were unsure whether they were raped, he replied: “They are not lawyers”.
That’s right, you gotta be a lawyer to know when you’ve been raped.