Saturday, December 4, 2010


You might not expect too much reliable to flow from Fox News, but I’m of the opinion that regardless of intent and agenda and assorted other subsurface tides, one can still find interesting bits in ‘reports’ from all over the spectrum.

So here’s this piece from just this morning.

Assange remains free in the UK, “protected” – Fox would like to think – “by the slowly grinding wheels of the law”. Ah those pesky wheels! In this Fox and the SO Mania Regime, its flames eagerly fed by both Left and Right, are of one mind: a legal process that gets in the way of what you want to see happen (vengeance for the alleged victim, vengeance for the nation, “security concerns” for all) is a baaad thing.

You wonder, after a while, why Left and Right just don’t come right out and declare the American Experiment over and demand a whole new approach – something a little or a lot less obstructed by the rule of law. Victimology – the perfect storm Trojan Horse of Left and Right – pushes for one of those more government-heavy, order and organization polities that the Enlightenment thinkers and administrators sought to build upon the backs of the European peasantries. And which the Framers soundly rejected. (But what did they know – being patriarchal, oppressive, violent, essentially rapist ‘men’?)

Assange is “wanted” in Sweden “to face allegations” … which makes for a sorta police-procedural script easily recognizable to Americans whose knowledge of law comes mostly from TV anyway. Except that you don’t face ‘allegations’ – you face “charges”. Without noting any of the foregoing, the article mentions, by the by, that neither the US (for his Wikileaks document dump) nor Britain (for nothing I can discern) nor – wait for it – Sweden has actually charged him with anything.

The Assange case is a target of a European extradition process which “normally takes months to produce an arrest”. If you put aside the cartoon-world of Fox’s old ticking-bomb show “24”, which helped assure the Beltway elites that they were doing the right thing half a decade and more ago, you might wonder if this isn’t a good thing in a case where nobody seems to be bringing any actual charges.

When you consider the alternatives to extradition’s process – say, the much more efficient and highly successful ‘black ops’ kidnapping and spiriting away (“how refreshingly Nazi” as ‘Family Guy’s Stewie might say) – then ‘process’, an integral bit of the old Rule of Law, doesn’t seem such a bad idea.

As the SO community knoweth full well.

Fox being Fox, it notes that Assange’s defense lawyer, apropos of nothing, is also counsel for some fellow charged for hacking into NASA and military computers “back in 2001”. Fox no doubt wants you to presume the guy was guilty and that it is the ‘process’ (and that pesky Rule of Law) that is the only thing standing in the way of vengeance (politely called ‘justice’ not to stampede the herd too early in the script); but there is also the clear possibility that after 9 years no evidence has been produced or the delivering-country (the UK in this case from 2001) can’t be sure the guy won’t simply be ‘disappeared’ (like in the bad old days of Augusto Pincochet).

Sweden has apparently fixed it’s ‘warrant’ up a bit and has now sent it along to the UK. There was a formality about disclosing the maximum penalties for the charges lodged against the person being sought for extradition. But since there actually are no charges, then this is like sending a tub of frosting without the birthday cake itself and expecting the party to be successful.

Thus when Fox then says that Assange “denies the charges” it is playing fast and loose with the truth: in the actual sense of formal legal charges, Assange has nothing to deny even if he wanted to. The ‘charges’ are merely those questions asked by Fox.

But then this simple single-sentence paragraph with its attendant bombshell: “Swedish prosecutors questioned Assange on Aug. 30.” BUT the whole reason for this current brouhaha is that the prosecutors precisely have NOT – they swear – been able to interview him (at least, not in Sweden, though they could have hopped across the North Sea at Assange’s expense and interviewed him in the UK and they have consistently refused … this reminds me of a problem child who refuses to eat dinner unless it’s served in the rumpus room in front of the TV, and then calls the police to claim child-starvation).

The Brits, as I noted in the previous Post, have all Assange’s contact information, provided by him.

The article also refers (apparently) to Swedish prosecutor submissions to the court that the two alleged and self-reported ‘victims’ filed their “complaints” six days after the alleged events. This is another bit of strategically vague ‘reporting’: a formal legal Complaint is precisely what the two ladies did not do: they merely went to the police station, ‘reported’ what they felt happened, and ‘asked for advice’. Of course, having already consulted with a feminist-friendly lawyer they no doubt already knew that in SO law – even in Sweden – even the merest ‘suspicion’ of a sex-offense requires the police to act. Neat – the ladies haven’t actually filed a false police report, but now the police have only ‘suspicion’ and the prosecutors have no actual ‘charges’ to bring.

Hence this burlesque kabuki about interviewing him ‘in connection with’ the whole thing.

But gets even MORE interesting. Sweden actually may not have filed an arrest-warrant with Interpol at all, but only a “red notice” – and that is not the same thing; it is a notification to all 188 participating countries that Swedish police would take it very kindly if the subject of the Notice were noticed, sort of an APB or be-on-the-lookout-for … and yet Interpol, the article reports, says that only “a few” of its member countries consider a Red Notice to be equal to an arrest-warrant. The official definition notes clearly that a Red Notice is specifically not an “international arrest warrant”.

Now this IS curious. Except, perhaps, to the SO community.

To show just how heavy are the hands manipulating what they are trying to present as merely a simple working out of justice, the article inadvertently gives hints of much larger and darker games going on: the Brits would be on the hot-spot if the US tried to also extradite Assange on some charges related to the Wikileaks dump, because there is a growing public sense there that the US is capable of shockingly repugnant skullduggery nowadays when it comes to ‘terrorist’ or terrorist-supportive prisoners (and the definition of terrorism and terrorism-support are verrrrry loosely, vaguely, and broadly defined – no surprise to the SO community).

BUT if the Swedes were to have a trumped-up pretext for getting Assange back to Sweden, then the US could request his extradition from them, perhaps claiming that US ‘terrorism’ charges are more important than any Swedish sex-offense charges (if they ever come); therefore with Assange in the hands of the Swedes, the US could get its hands on him legally – so to speak – without putting the already shaky ties to the Brits in jeopardy. Let’s not forget that cutesy, nice little Sweden was part of the black-ops ‘extraordinary rendition’ circuit by which persons were shuttled around the planet, most often to torture-friendly sites.

In which case, this whole sex-offense thing is quite possible a pretext; a pretext so shaky that even under the mushy prosecution-friendly conditions of SO Mania Law the Swedes cannot bring themselves to lodge actual charges (which is a complication the American SO community hasn’t often experienced).

There are two aspects of this that strike me strongly. First, that the actual SO Mania approach, so prosecution-friendly and government-friendly, reveals just what can be done with ‘law’ once the underlying seriousness and integrity of a legal system are undermined. And that in the age of instantaneous communication, the consequences of this Mania Law can be transmitted almost instantly around the world.

Second, that the entire cynical, play-dough approach that underlies the SO Mania Law Regime (who cares if it makes sense or is compatible with basic principles so long as it’s in what we consider a good cause?) has spread to international diplomacy and politics, the monster ‘sex-offender’ now being merged with the ‘terrorist’ – both defined with gross plasticity – and aimed at whatever targets the government wants to go after.

The plague is spreading.

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