Sunday, February 27, 2011


There is a case now to be considered by the US Supreme Court that bears on investigating issues of child sexual abuse; in this case, the accused is within the immediate family, which makes the issue especially pivotal.

Further, the case raises points and issues relevant to the larger SO Mania, and I always like to take a look at any such material I come across.

The case is Camreta v. Greene. The various filings can be looked at here . The case started in a Federal District Court, went up to the 9th Circuit, and is currently on the US Supreme Court docket. The most recent Opinion is that of the 9th Circuit, and at this link you will be able to click on that text. There are also 29 Amicus Briefs in the case (8 in support of the State, 2 in favor of nobody, and the rest in favor of the family subjected to the whole investigation process); I haven’t had the time to read all of those Briefs, but if you’ve a mind to, you can always find interesting bits out by looking them over.

Interestingly, among the Briefs in support of the target-family, there is a wide spectrum encompassing both Left and Right, Liberal and Conservative, organizations. (I use the terms loosely here, just to give an idea of how broad the spectrum is.)

There is an article from AP that actually does a decent job describing the gravamen of the case, here.

Eight years ago a social worker and a uniformed police officer went to an Oregon school and interviewed a 9 year-old girl, technically “seizing” her and bringing her out of class and into a another room in the school. They were investigating whether her father had abused her and this was their first contact with her.

They did so without a warrant, without the mother’s (or non-offending parent, as it were) permission or presence, and in the absence of any clear emergency created by, say, the potential for immediate and clear sexual abuse.

The 9th Circuit found for the parents against the social worker and police officer in the most crucial elements of the matter.

The State of Oregon had argued that it couldn’t get a warrant in cases like this because a parent was the possible suspect, and hence the criminal-justice system couldn’t do its job if it had to get permission from a suspect in order to carry out an investigation by interviewing a potential complainant/victim over whom the said suspect/parent otherwise had complete control. Also, that if there isn’t enough evidence to justify a warrant, then the State has to still find some way to determine if the crime of abuse has taken place. And anyway, said the State, it’s a “proven method of investigating child abuse”.

You can see at a glance, perhaps, what the core problem is here: the criminal justice system in a Constitutionally limited government is not set up, was never set up, and is quite possibly unable to ever set up to be operating within the family-home venue in matters where parents are simultaneously ‘parents’ and ‘suspects’, and where their children are simultaneously ‘their children’ and ‘victim-complainants’, in matters – on top of everything else – of such nuanced, vague, and complex intricacy as ‘abuse’.

For the government to try to somehow surgically ‘solve’ these almost intractable complexities (i.e. respecting parental and 4th Amendment rights while simultaneously investigating – and in a Correctly ‘victim-friendly’ way – whether their children have been victims of possible crimes that have not risen to the point where palpable evidence has been created) is the equivalent of Shylock trying to extract his proverbial pound of flesh without taking any other physical material (blood, for one thing) or creating any other deleterious consequences for the complex living system under his knife.

It can’t be done. The targeted system is too densely interwoven and dynamically intra-dependent for any external agency to make so gross an intervention without impacting everything else in the system. You cannot develop ‘options’ that are going to avoid slashing one or another of the many dynamic elements under your knife. (Nicely, Obama has been saying for a while that he wants ‘options’ in the Afghan War mess; the assumption being the loosey-goosey and optimistic one that for Americans there are always ‘options’ beyond the rock-solid hard choices of Win or Lose. That’s the trouble with ‘wars’ that aren’t actually wars: you can’t be George Washington, Grant, Marshall or Eisenhower or Churchill (a popular historical figure for this sort of thing) when you aren’t actually in an all-out-war situation.)

This has always been true of the Sex-Offense Mania Regime: you can’t respect the rights of alleged (or even proven) perpetrators as Citizens while simultaneously trying to prosecute – or even prevent – what you have declared to be extraordinarily evil crimes through the judicial and police authority of the State in order to ‘protect’ other Citizens, while all the while preserving not only the Constitutional integrity of your vision of the rights of every Citizen (especially in criminal trials) but also preserving the classic jurisprudential safeguards evolved in the West over many centuries precisely to protect against the intrusive and abusive power of the State and its sovereign police and judicial power.

Of course, in the sad and shocking history of European revolutionary praxis the solution to such complexities has been to use the bayonet and the pistol to eliminate ‘complexities’ and go with what the Party has decided is best. And if THAT causes even more complexities, then you simply apply more ‘elimination’. And the beat goes on.

As early as the early 1950s, over here, such thinkers as John Kenneth Galbraith were writing books suggesting that America needed to become a “vanguard democracy”. This was a well-intentioned gambit that tried to take the dynamism of Soviet and Nazi ‘vanguard elites’ – those dedicated cadres who really did ‘get it’ – and apply it in a now hugely complexified American reality: the colossus that had come out on top in World War 2 in every respect and now had both to manage its own vastly complex business, military, and economic affairs and at the same time pretty much function as Sheriff for the rest of the sheep-like residents of the planet (and, of course, organize them to resist the Enemy on the other side of the Iron Curtain).

I’m not saying Galbraith was a Communist. He was no doubt impressed as a technician with the ‘efficiency’ of Nazi and Soviet performance during the war and all technicians love Efficiency, a god that knows no country and is a virtue-unto-itself. And he could legitimately draw on half-a-century of the American Progressive thought that most people really can’t be trusted to think very much, let alone come to the necessary conclusions. Hence, Progressives concluded, while it was all very well and good to call America a ‘democracy’, most of its folks really couldn’t be trusted to think a lot or decide well. Better for those ‘elites’ who were gifted enough, dedicated enough, and maturely disinterested enough in personal gain, to form the pool of dedicated public servants who, much like the British Civil Service, would actually keep the country going as this and that elected politician came and went through the cycle of ages.

Having convinced themselves that such a (mythical) species of secular-saint actually roamed the American scene in good-sized herds (like benevolent and competent unicorns), Galbraith and his ilk were able to confidently proceed with getting ‘vanguard democracy’ accepted in Washington City (now The Beltway) as a perfectly effective, completely American, and urgently necessary New Way to define governance in the America that had now hugely outgrown its quiet beginnings as a republic 150 years before.

‘Vanguard democracy’ now became a thoroughly ‘liberal’ approach, with the conservatives (mostly but not all Republicans) left behind as isolationist, traditionalist, musty old fuddy-duddies who were stuck in the horse-and-buggy era and the days of sailing ships.*

But I digress.

The elite-revolutionary approach to the awful complexities of trying to implement a Sex-Offender Mania Regime through the power of a Constitutionally limited government was – as it pretty much had to be – to smash through a whole lot of carrying-walls while assuring everybody it was just some long-needed rehab and remodeling.

And an emergency.

But now matters have expanded (as these things always do) to the point where the parents themselves – the adult citizens on whose behalf, initially, all the damage was done in order to ‘inform’ them so they could do whatever it took to protect their children – are the ‘predators’ (to use the Standard Script, and you can immediately see how inadequate the old Mania Script is for this scenario).

Good-guy/gal government rushes in with bugles and flags to rescue decent-Citizen parents from screaming hordes of predator savages besieging homesteads and towns … that’s the type of script and scenario you can make good box-office (or voting-booth) with.

Intrusive, martial-law army breaks into homes to drag out protesting citizen-parent suspects in order to rescue children from their savage and evil clutches … this script not so much. And as parents in Germany found out some decades ago, you can watch ‘them’ come for the couple down the street today, and realize it could be you next week: kids were notorious for mentioning within earshot or suggesting to a fox-eared teacher that their parents ‘listened with their ear up against the radio late at night’. Nor did the boys in the black sedans need ‘probable cause’ in such vital matters, once they had been put on the scent.

The government – urged on by the well-intentioned and by the enterprising as well – having had great success in charging with sabers at the hordes of savage predators besieging the town, now finds itself trying to adapt its tactics to the problem of charging into the Family circle, the hearth, and the vital, profoundly basic and intimate precincts that were precisely the sites of civic and personal freedom that the Framers sought to protect from just such an invasion.

One thinks of von Paulus’s Sixth Army, having romped and thumped across the steppes of Russia, suddenly running into house-to-house, room-to-room fighting in the streets and alleys of Stalingrad. Where, as is well known, no suitable ‘options’ were ever developed.

This is what happens when individually dangerous streams are crossed and blended (recall Egon’s advice to Dr. Vinckman in the original ‘Ghostbusters’). And indeed, the nation’s legal system has come to resemble one of those grand hotel ballrooms, set up for a banquet, that the Ghostbusters pretty much reduced to smashed and smoking kindling in their eager pursuit of assorted monsters; that’s the trouble with Mania – it is not a monster-buster but actually a monster itself, and once you give it a badge and a pile of blank warrants and a hearty public send-off and turn it loose, it will make a hash of everything because (paging Buffy Summers!) that’s what demons and monsters do.

Among those streams (and they are not all ‘bad’ or even ill-intentioned) are radical feminism in its assault on both men and the Family, Victimism especially in its crime-heavy American variant, and this mutation of Identity Politics and ‘demographic-base’ politics and the reduction of all politics to eliminate ‘deliberation’ and simply go for the most workable ‘deal’ that keeps all parties at the Beltway table happy. And, of course, the age-old deep pools of vengeance and scape-goating that Western justice evolved precisely to prevent. And the eternal tendency of sovereign governments to want to expand their writ, which was precisely what the Constitution was devised to avoid and, indeed, prevent.

The DA in the original phase of the case puts it candidly: "Should we have a system that errs in favor of preservation of the family, or that errs in preservation of the child's safety? … To me that's an easy decision. ... The most important thing is best interest of children.”

Which used to be a decision left up to the parents. Now, the DA presumes, it’s up to the government. And I’m going to imagine that this DA learned this in law school, and is not some ‘rogue’ or ‘bad-apple’ DA who got carried away.

And the track record of the government’s use of its sovereign and elite competence in such things as the economy and the successful prosecution of necessary wars has been far from impressive.

But the whole Mania Regime is government-heavy as well as crime-heavy.

Thus the great battleship of sovereign police power is going to be brought right into the island cove so that it can fire its massive guns in order to rescue children trapped in this or that evil cottage. That the discharge of the big guns so close to the thatched roofs and walls of the village is probably going to level most of the village in the process … well, that’s just the way the cookie (and the village) crumbles. In best American fashion, there is a plan to relocate the children – perhaps now deprived of flattened parents – to a State-run orphanage or alternative life-arrangement. If the tykes haven’t themselves been flattened.

As the attorney for the parents, herself an experienced litigator in this type of case, puts it: "Whether people are on the left or right politically, battered women or fathers' rights groups, they all recognize that the family relationship is important, and children don't exist in a vacuum," she said. "They are not creatures of the state, and armed police officers can't just remove them and question them without any constraints."

I can’t disagree. I’m not saying abuse has to be accepted as the necessary cost of doing business as a Constitutional democracy and republic; I’m saying that there has to be a way that doesn’t destroy the village in order to save it – which is a lesson some might think the government should have learned some decades ago.

And if it is to be asserted that it’s no longer the village that counts but only ‘the children’ … well I think that’s nonsensical on its face. The government surely isn’t capable – elitely advised though it may be – of providing the sustained care and relationship essential to the raising of children.

This attorney continues: "What the police and child welfare people are asking is a very broad ruling giving them the green light to interrogate kids whenever they think it's reasonable, without any court telling them, 'No, you can't' ... (and) without the threshold of it being an emergency." Governments, especially in their police authority, always like to see the road ahead of them nothing but a succession of green lights. Who doesn’t?

The government’s encroaching on parental rights is of concern across the spectrum, Left to Right, as the long list of Amicus Briefs demonstrates clearly.

But the Family has been under attack for quite some time now, and the ‘victim’ – especially the ‘child’ – has proven quite a handy bit of leverage and – not to put too fine a point on it – a useful pretext to mask the consequences of police-power expansion.

The 9thCircuit’s Opinion contains some nice points, and I’m only going to touch upon some of them here.

There is a “delicate balance of competing interests here”. On the one hand the government has a legitimate interest in “protecting its most vulnerable members” and the number of allegations of child abuse are “staggering”: in 2007 there were “3.2 million reports of child abuse or neglect”.

On the other hand, of the 3.6 million investigations conducted in 2006, only a quarter were deemed valid. (And I note here that while this case has to do with alleged sexual abuse, the statistics quoted include all cases of any type of “abuse” and also include “neglect”.)

And in light of this “discrepancy”, the Court says: “This discrepancy creates the risk that ‘in the name of saving children from the harm that their parents and guardians are thought to pose, states ultimately cause more harm to many more children than they ever help.’” The Court quotes here a book nicely entitled “Storming the Castle to Save the Children”.

So now in this case the social worker and the police officer have gone to the school and taken the child out of class; the social worker takes an hour (the child says two) to interview and, it is said, wouldn’t take No for an answer. The police officer just sits there, in uniform, badge and gun and all. Realizing she is going to miss her bus home, the child finally said yes in order to end this little ordeal and get home on the bus. You can wear any adult down – and much more so children – by demonstrating that if they do not produce the desired answer, but rather stick to their original (and undesired) answer, then the interview will go on and on and on. A sense of helplessness is induced in the interviewee, who may well at some point just figure they’d like to get out of this unpleasant situation and go home. They will say what they were desired to say all along and hope that things don’t get too far out of hand come the morrow.

The Court notes that the interview with the child was not recorded when the social worker and the police officer conducted it at the school.

In regard to interview techniques, I think it always has to be remembered that the police objective – understandably – is to get the information or statement or confession that you need to make the case. There are many techniques and stratagems for accomplishing this, and anybody who thinks that such an interrogation is simply one seeker of truth conducting a rational discussion with a rational and truthful person in order to arrive at the truth doesn’t quite grasp what is going on at all. And it is this type of approach that has surely been employed in the SO Mania, surfing as well on the huge and hugely helpful waves of public outrage and jurisprudential and evidentiary ‘reform’ that help intimidate witnesses and suspects alike that they are in a ‘victim-friendly’ legal system and have a snowball’s chance of doing anything except going along.

The social worker and officer eventually decided it was time to visit the home, where – you can’t make this stuff up – they told the parents upon departing that the parents were not to speak to the child about the case. Think about that for a moment. What would dinner-table conversation be about that evening, d’ye think? But this is where you wind up when you try to impose the criminal-investigation template upon the Family and the parent-child relationship.

The father-suspect was indicted but released; he was ordered not to have any contact with the child – which, naturally, meant moving out of the house. The mother claims she told the social worker she would come up with the money both to house the father elsewhere and also retain counsel. The social worker filed a sworn statement to the Court stating that since the wife claimed she had no money for alternative housing he presumed the father would remain in the home and that therefore the children should be removed under a Protective Order.

At a Hearing at Juvenile Court (for which, the Opinion notes, there appears to be no transcript or record) it was Ordered that the child be tested for sexual abuse and that the father not have unsupervised contact the child.

The mother accompanied the daughter to the abuse-testing agency, but was told that she could not accompany the child into the tests (which was not a prohibition included in the Order).

In the event, the test-facility could not establish abuse but was still “concerned”.

The father stood trial and the jury could not come to a verdict. Threatened with a re-trial, the father accepted an Alford Plea (meaning that he acknowledged that there were sufficient facts to establish his guilt were a trial to be held). This is the type of ‘persuasion’ that can be deployed at the trial level, beyond the police-investigation level: you are be threatened with yet more trials, even if you have prevailed in this instant trial, unless you ‘accept’ this offer by the DA and admit your guilt in the Plea and thus avoid actually being put through a second trial. It saves face for the DA and it grants the defendant an exit from the ongoing tribulation of another trial.

The mother filed her suit in Federal District Court, claiming violation of Constitutional rights (the 4th Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure (to wit: her child); under the 14th Amendment in that false information was presented to the Court by the social worker and also by the mother’s being refused permission to accompany her daughter in the test-facility.

That court found for the social worker, the police officer (a deputy sheriff actually), and others.

The mother appealed to the 9th Circuit.

The Court notes that the State asserts its right to conduct such investigations of children under the “special needs” doctrine where a situation “beyond the normal need for law enforcement”. This legal doctrine holds that warrantless entry for a building inspection (lest errant owners prevent the official discovery of dangerous conditions) is not unreasonable; it has since been expanded to cover drug-testing of transit employees after an accident and other types of drug-testing of students and certain public employees. The State wants to include child-abuse investigations as just such a “special need” category; the government has a “special need” to protect children from sexual abuse. This reflects the doctrine that sexual-abuse is so utterly beyond the pale that conventional jurisprudential and law enforcement restrictions cannot be allowed to interfere.

No dice, says the Court. In the special-needs doctrine, any information gathered by such warrantless entry and search is not allowable as evidence in any subsequent criminal trial.

Further, since a uniformed police officer was present at the initial interview with the child (although he said nothing and did not actively participate), then either he was there with an eye to gathering information for police and criminal-prosecution action, or else he was there to, by his mere presence in uniform, intimidate the child or somehow induce her to trust in the social worker’s authority and questions.

Nor, the Court nicely says, have we forgotten “the general rule that the constitutionality of a search or seizure cannot turn on the subjective intent of the government officials”. This throws a bit of a monkey wrench in the overall Mania element that insists upon the unquestioned ‘good intentions’ of police officers in their campaign against suspected sex-offenders. Overall, the social work and the police aspects of the State’s involvement are ‘entangled’. It’s one thing to conduct civil investigations to stop abuse, and another thing entirely to conduct a police investigation for the purpose of securing or assisting criminal indictment and prosecution.

And of course, good intentions, even when genuinely held, don’t justify evil means that might be used to fulfill them. Nor, come to think of it, do good intentions guarantee success – as might be obvious to a modestly acute observer of Middle Eastern affairs.

The Court notes that the parents have “a right to be free from judicial deception”; that means, in this case especially, that they have a right not to have incorrect information about them or their actions submitted to a court under government authority; which is precisely what the social worker did: “a warrant obtained by judicial deception” (swearing officially to the court and falsely) violates the 4th Amendment.

The Court found for the parents in the most important matters brought before it in this case.

This Saturday, the same day the court case came to my attention, I came across a book review** that discusses John Ford’s 1962 Western “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”. The plot, in essence, is that in the early days of the frontier an unreconstructed Western tough guy (John Wayne) killed from the night shadows an unreconstructed bandido (Lee Marvin) who had been challenged to a classic shootout by the tenderfoot young legal eagle (James Stewart) who had come West to bring law and justice to the frontier, who takes credit for winning the gunfight. Now, in the time of the film’s later setting, the former tenderfoot legal eagle, now a U.S. Senator and former Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s, has come back to attend the funeral of Wayne’s character (who, uncharacteristically for the time and place, had died peacefully of old age).

The book’s author notes that “What this suggests is that the conditions necessary for law and political order are doubly morally problematic. First, there can be no law unless the lawless are eliminated and controlled, but given what the lawless are willing to do, this violent elimination cannot itself be just or fair, cannot play by the rules … Second, it seems that a civilized order must view itself as founded by heroic and unproblematic violence, so this truth about the founding must be hidden by a lie.”

“It is”, the reviewer notes, “a lie that establishes and sustains” Stewart’s Senator in his reputation as the fearless lawgiver of the West.

If he were making any comment about current affairs in this commentary, the author would no doubt be making it about America’s foreign entanglements in the postwar era.

But it struck me strongly that the same dynamic applies to the founding and sustaining dynamics of the Mania Regime. It is a double lie: first, that there are incurable and uncontrollable (and male) monster sex-offenders who haunt hearths and highways seeking to impose violent sex upon the entire spectrum of living things; and second, that they are opposed by utterly virtuous and heroic forces through utterly virtuous and constitutionally legitimate means.

In a remarkably acute secondary theme, the local newspaper editor, apprised in the end of how things actually happened that dark night long before, delivers his editorial philosophy: “This is the West. When the legend becomes the fact, print the legend.” This line delivered as he consigns to the flames the sheaf of papers that give proof of how things actually happened.

Nailing it down with another blow, the author quotes Ahab’s first mate, the well-intentioned but morally weak Starbuck, as he caves in to the vigorous, robust, manic self-confidence of his (lunatic) captain: “Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory. I look deep down and do believe.” Consultation of your old high-school literature notes will remind you of what happened to the ship, the crew, and Starbuck himself as Ahab’s supremely confident mania drove them to find and arouse the Great White Whale.

When you think of the manipulation and deliberate stampeding of the public and public opinion, and of the acquiescence of so many among the official ‘crew’, and of the willing collaboration of far too many of them, you can, I think, grasp with a stunned clarity, just how valuable truly great films and literature can be in reminding any who care to notice how vital and yet fragile moral principles and public integrity really are. And, for that matter, how easily a form of public insanity can masquerade as robust vigor and decisiveness.

But, one last point, my education last Saturday had not yet stopped. In the evening, trolling the satellite channels, I came across a film that I had never seen before (and I’ve seen more than a few): Fred Zinneman’s 1948 “The Search”. The plot, set in Berlin in the immediate postwar period, revolves around a young single American soldier – Montgomery Clift in his first film (to be followed quickly by “Red River” with John Wayne) – is entangled in that deeply subtle ballet in which a homeless war orphan singles him out as somehow a source of help, and the decent but lonely soldier takes him in. (No, there isn’t a scintilla of sexual tension in the entire film.) Eventually, through the good offices of an amazingly competent and sturdy Army matron responsible for trying to re-unite displaced children and their searching parents, the boy is re-united with his mother and Clift gently lets him go. The End.

It brought home to me what I had sensed some time back when looking over now-classic newsphotos of postwar Europe: homeless and orphaned children, perhaps – as the child in the film – even former camp inmates with tattooed numbers on their arms, captured by the camera in the depth of their loss and abandonment, or exhilarated by the discovery of a bit of bread or the gift of a pair of shoes. I could never master that much tragedy; there is an awful yet also awe-full mystery to it, that warns every hope of resolving it while demanding every effort to address it.

I bring that sense of things to the reality of child-abuse.

But I also bring the sense of how those children wound up in that situation to begin with: when dedicated and aroused persons, organized to a shared purpose, thought they very much knew what they were doing and were just absolutely sure that they had a solution to the ‘emergency’ and therefore insisted that no law or principle of law could stand in the way of their enthusiastic enlightenments.

We must always retain the ability to be called to a great need. But we must also always retain the ability to respond in a way that doesn’t create even more harm than it seeks to remedy.

If that’s the first principle that doctors – they say – are taught, then it must also be the first principle of each individual and each Citizen: first, do no harm.

And if a ‘realist’ says that governments, like bulls in china shops, can’t move in any direction without harming somebody and it’s really only a matter of figuring out who gets harmed when the new helping machine is switched on, then policy must most certainly be set in a genuinely democratic mode, and not in smoke-filled (or not) rooms populated by elites, lobbyists, and politicians who see themselves as nothing more than used-car dealers trying to make the close before 5PM.

And the Family, I would say, is at the very least an institution that qualifies for Churchill’s judgment of democracy: the worst system that can be devised … with the exception of all the rest.


*You could take a look at some of Galbraith’s books. “American Capitalism” (1952), “The Great Crash” (1954), “The Affluent Society” (1958), and “The New Industrial State” (1967). Christopher Lasch (“The True and Only Heaven”, published in 1991) is also a great guide for looking at how reliance on elites overrode trust in the reliability of the citizenry during the 20th century; he’s a meaty and readable walking-guide through some very vital American history and ideas.

**”Guns and Roses”, by Clive Sinclair; in ‘The Times Literary Supplement’, issue of February 18, 2011, p. 5; reviewing the book “Hollywood Westerns and American Myth”, by Robert B. Pippin; Yale University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-300-145779.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


An article appearing today offers more food for thought in this curious matter that was the subject of my immediately previous Post.

Brown, it appears, now says that he did tell his mother a short while ago – and thus it wasn’t quite accurate that she would find out for the first time when she read the book, which he had previously stated.

The District Attorney with jurisdiction for the matter – that Christian summer camp (and there is only one) is located down on Cape Cod – offered to open an investigation. Brown has refused that offer. (A DA has to ask the allegant for permission to open up a child-sex-abuse investigation?)

Brown, rather, is ready to move on with his life and anyway, he notes, the alleged abuser is “about 70 now” – which seems neither here nor there given standard practice in this field; surely there are priests, to note just one target population, who are not only older but are even – not to put too fine a point on it – dead and yet are allegated-against in impressive numbers. And, literally, Brown says he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.

And in an almost predictable irony, this has incurred for Brown the censure of one of the area’s most successful civil-litigators, the same attorney (Mitchell Garabedian) who has made millions settling lawsuits (not criminal cases and not even civil trials in most instances) against Roman Catholic dioceses (Boston, especially) in the alleged cases of numerous priests, largely dating back decades.

The attorney points out, quite logically in terms of the reigning philosophy, that “ ‘it is highly unlikely that Brown was the counselor’s only victim and there probably were many more who are too fearful or embarrassed to come forward.

“ ‘It’s very important to expose child predators,’’’ Garabedian said by phone. “ ‘Everyone should know who their neighbors are so the children are safe and the sexual abuse ends. Sex predators don’t stop until they either die or get caught.’’’

I note the legitimate trope that there is concern for sexual-abuse of children. However there is still some question – more usefully handled in a criminal trial than a lawsuit-settlement horse-trading session – as to just what this 20-something was up to when he acted out, in the story, against the 10 year-old Brown.

I also note the easy conflation of this groper with a “predator”, which quickly raises the old and vivid image of the monster stranger child-raper and abductor. There is a lot of conceptual and clinical daylight between what this young counsellor is alleged to have done and what constitutes a (using the non-clinical term) ‘predator’.

I also note that according to proper SO Mania thinking, ‘getting caught’ doesn’t stop a ‘predator’ – and of course, if you are going to get into the ‘potential recidivism’ bit then they can be kept or tagged for a lifetime. This is demonstrably not true, but victim-friendly and truth-friendly, as I have said in several recent Posts, turn out in all this to be not quite the same thing. Genuine pedophiles – those driven to commit sex acts with infants and small children – are clinically distinguishable as having deep-seated, profound problems that need serious and extensive work. But a 20-something groping a 10 year-old in a semi-public bathroom does not easily fall into that category – at least without further investigation into the facts.

Further, the attorney then tosses in this bit, regarding the almost half-century that has passed since the incident allegedly occurred: “Garabedian said it was not unusual for victims to wait years to reveal they were sexually abused, and then wait even longer to identify their attackers”. This may be true in matters of awful and sustained assaults, but can it also be reliably the case in matters of a boy groped by a somewhat older male in a bathroom?

Ditto when the attorney asserts that “’it’s an incremental process’”. I can’t see any psychological necessity that would ground this assertion, and indeed – assuming that it’s not about a family member or some such close relationship – it seems not to be the case: if you have brought yourself to the point of coming-forward with the revelation of the incident, why and how would you not then psychologically be ready to identify the alleged perpetrator?

Yes, there might be motivations to do so that are beyond the psychological, but if there are other motives at work in the allegator then those should also be brought to light. But that, of course, gums up the victim-as-pure-and-truthful element of the usual Script, and also opens up an allegant to the complexities of lesser motivations or at least strategic motivations. And it has always been an objective of the Victimist approach never to permit the allegant to be sullied with such (legitimate) questions.

Further, this entire assumption had far more credibility in the early days – now decades ago before the Mania Regime – when these matters were not widely discussed. But that can hardly be said to be the case now; it’s almost a case of refusing to stop shooting any Japanese national you encounter after the surrender in September, 1945 because ‘they attacked Pearl Harbor’: yes, but events have moved on from there and the situation is rather largely changed. What was valid as a justification and a reason at one point in time may not be valid at a later point in time.

Neatly, however, the DA – and presumably with Brown’s apparently necessary approval – says that his office will be glad to entertain anybody else’s allegations of abuse, from this particular counselor of 40 years ago or others. And that serves the purposes of a number of varied interests, as always, while keeping Brown from ever having his story tested in a court of law (even with the distortions introduced through ‘victim-friendly’ ‘reforms’).

Of course, there is also the fact that the actual gravamen of Brown’s allegation – a groping – does not rise legally to the level of qualifying for a Statute of Limitations-busting eligibility for prosecution; it just wasn’t that big of a deal even in current SO Mania law. And yes, that point may elicit the response that therefore the laws must be even further ‘reformed’ so as to make even ‘groping’ a sufficiently heinous charge, but I wonder if the assorted interests want to be publicly seen trying to create a fresh ‘emergency’ and ‘outrage’ over it at this point.

There are a couple of ancillary points to make, and I am not taking part in ‘politics’ here but rather I am noting what possibly relevant factors might be creating their own dynamics in this SO matter.

The article itself mentions that Brown will be speaking about his book at celebrations of Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday anniversary observances and celebrations. This adds a note of a somewhat queasy political calculation, and the ‘coincidence’ of the book with its revelations appearing just at this point. Which must be added to political strategic thoughts voiced by some (see the previous Post) that Brown happens now to be receiving a great deal of publicity as a junior-Senator just as the re-election run of another former junior-Senator (and now President) of the opposition Party is heating up.

And that the Republicans – Brown’s Party – may well have hit on a way of appealing to what might have been formerly a more Democratic ‘base demographic’ while proving themselves ‘concerned’ and ‘sensitive’.

And that, as has happened for so long, a Sex-Offense and especially Child-Sex-Abuse brouhaha would serve nicely to distract from concerns about how both Parties have made a rather lethal hash of the national economy over the past two or three decades.

Which certainly also offers ‘The Boston Globe’ a golden – and urgently needed – opportunity to re-align itself away from a more avowedly Democratic-friendly stance.

I don’t raise these points to comment on politics, but rather to recall just how the originating and sustaining dynamics of the Mania Regime have always operated: creating something of a ‘perfect storm’ of political calculation, vote-getting, appeal to ‘bases’, vivid ‘issues’ created so largely by exaggeration and selective emphasis on desired bits of information while ignoring others (and can you say ‘Iraq War’?), while simultaneously enlisting the mundane interests of attorneys, professionals and ‘professionals’, scholars and ‘scholar’s, advocates and entrepreneurs … the whole caboodle.*

And lastly, and this may be a result of my own technical limitations, I have the impression that many of the Brown articles on the paper’s online site do not seem to allow for ‘Comments’; what Comments I saw when the earliest articles about this came out seemed to contain either a noticeable bunch of deleted-by-the-paper comments, or many rather too-candid victimist assertions, or more than a few skeptical thoughts. In regard to this latter category, the paper may not want to expose itself to the Politically Correct charge that it is giving ‘voice’ to thoughts that do not deserve to be heard in the public forum (because they are ‘insensitive’ or ‘uninformed’ or ‘backlashing’ or what-have-you).

Such are the complexities of trying to figure out what’s actually going on in a time of Mania. We need to borrow some attitude from the citizens of the USSR during the bad old days, who approached every issue of ‘Pravda’ or ‘Izvestia’ looking not so much to what was actually printed but to what was not-said, looking to try to construct a mental picture of the story that is printed and then see if all the dots connect or if, as so often was the case, there were many gaps. Because it was there – in those blank gaps – where the real dragons be.


*A recently published book, “Mao’s Great Famine”, relates Mao’s effort to quickly impose ‘progress’ on China in the years 1958-1961. Among other things, Peking/Beijing ordered that all farming be collectivized ruthlessly, the small private farm being erased, merged into larger and larger collective schemes. The result, in short order was famine on a scale not seen in modern times: tens of millions of Chinese starved to death at the hands of their own government.

But the plan could not have been implemented without the willing cooperation of millions of “unscrupulous cadres”, not inaptly termed “Mao’s willing executioners”, who saw the orders from the capital as an opportunity to settle old scores, consolidate local power, enhance their status, and generally surf the wave emanating from the center for their own profit and advantage at the expense of their hapless fellow citizens.

Worse, after Mao actually received criticism from more prudent senior leaders in 1962, he sought to reinforce his now threatened position by unleashing the “Cultural Revolution” of 1966-76 (it collapsed with his death in that final year): suddenly ‘the young’ were named the bearers of the country’s future, and were turned loose on anything ‘old’ (including the accrued wisdom of those dissenting senior leaders). And once again, hordes of willing cadres went forth and laid waste to Chinese culture as it still existed, and all of its principles and all of its ethos and traditions. The very ground of Chinese personal and civic life – such as it still remained in a Communist nation – was ripped out from under generations of Chinese.

I mention this not only because it exemplifies the dangers – and dark dynamics – that can somehow take over even the best-intentioned (‘modernization’, in Mao’s case) ‘sweeping reforms’. I mention this also to demonstrate what happens when government power is unleashed like a powerful tidal wave and is then ‘surfed’ by all manner of interests as the tide bursts into this and that local venue.

And because it was the ‘example’ of Mao’s ‘enlightenment’ and ‘robust willingness to try new things’ that inspired the New Left – already soused with the Marxist nostrums adapted piecemeal but whole-heartedly by ‘progressive’ elements in this country – to undertake all manner of center-directed reform hatched by vanguard elites who figured that they ‘got it’ and the majority of the lumpish citizenry ‘just don’t get it’. The roots of the SO Mania Regime are deeply intertwined with these dynamics, although it took until the 1990s, with the demise of America’s great Cold War rival, that the dynamics of such ‘reform’ could be unleashed here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


It’s a crowded day: Up in Boston US Senator Scott Brown is reported to be telling ’60 Minutes’ on Sunday that in his new book (due to be released next Monday) he will reveal that he was ‘sexually assaulted’ as a 10-year old at a Christian summer camp.

This has prompted the standard complementary ‘report’on what victimist advocates think of that (they like it a lot). And ‘Salon’, the online kinda lefty mag has weighed in with a curiously schizoid article.

Brown has recently co-sponsored legislation in regard to sex-offenses here and here.

Meanwhile in the UK, apparently under the prodding of the European Court of Human Rights, the government is most reluctantly now going to give (see here and here) convicted “rapists and pedophiles” (however defined) a formally-established opportunity to petition for removal from the SO Registry.

Each of these links raises some worthwhile points so I am going to go over what strikes me as significant.

The ‘Boston Globe’ has never encountered a victimist or sex-offense initiative it didn’t like. But a couple of things stand out in the review of Brown’s book (the paper got an advance copy).

First, Brown – about 50 now – recounts a life “punctuated by violence” due to abusive step-fathers and extensive shoplifting (which in at least one instance landed him in front of a judge). He also posed nude for ‘Cosmopolitan’ and was also, for a while, a male model (whether that’s polite code for anything else I don’t know and the media should really put out code books now … but then, that would perhaps defeat the purpose of their code-words).* The point that strikes me is that this recounting works against the Conventionally Correct implication that abuse victims were leading perfectly fine and normal lives, were abused (definition uncertain) and suddenly were wrecked for life and became substantially damaged and often failed adults.

That is NOT to imply that a significant abuse experience or – more likely – pattern of abusive experiences at the hands of adults would not create consequences that could derail an otherwise mostly normal development track. But there seems in this case to be more than enough indicators that this kiddo was going to have some ‘issues’ whether sexually abused or not.

But then the ‘abuse’: at age 8 he recalls a 13 year-old neighborhood boy who pulled a knife on him and tried to force him into some kind of sex act out in a field; Brown hit the boy in the face with a rock and ran away. This strikes me as not so much a sex-offense matter as teen bullying, perhaps by a teen with violence issues at least as deep as any sex issues. Which is not to minimize the thing, but I note that if the government is going to start dismantling constitutional firewalls to get at behavior at this level then the Mania is – theoretically at least – committed to a long, extensive, and pervasive ‘war’ indeed. (So eerily similar to the Afghan War now being waged, as I mentioned in a recent Post, until the Afghans accept American-style feminism root and branch.)

The center-piece abuse incident, however, happened at a “Christian” summer camp when Brown was in the 4th-grade and around 10 years old: having gone to the infirmary, and then into the bathroom to take a wiz, he was followed by a counselor – a youngish male – who made a reach for Brown’s phallic area and – according to the article – “fondled” him, although Brown himself says he screamed and ran out and that the ‘act’ was “not consummated”. Which is kind of vague and, at any rate, this is an incident of ‘fondling’ or ‘groping’.

While it is still unacceptable and constitutes a violation, it is food for thought just how much psychic damage is going to be caused by such an experience. Yes, in a sufficiently unstable or fragile youth this could create more than simply pain and actually set in train some notable developmental derangement. That is an ‘evil’ of life that any decent society should be working to address.

However, again, if the government is going to deploy the criminal law – and derange its own constitutional and jurisprudential principles – to stamp this type of thing out, then again the Mania is going to be a long, pervasive, and invasive war indeed.

And you have to ask yourself if the American penchant for resorting to ‘war’ – whether domestically through the criminal law and government invasiveness or internationally through outright military invasion – is really working well for Us.

I haven’t seen the book yet; I think it would be relevant whether Brown – who clearly is ‘together enough’ and ‘strong enough’ to talk about all this in a book and apparently on an already-taped episode of ’60 Minutes’ – actually identifies this counselor (who couldn’t be more than 60 or so at this point). For that matter, has Brown ever brought charges under the Mania relaxation of Statutes of Limitation that have applied for quite some time?

At this point, really, as so often happens in this sort of thing, we are left with just a ‘story’.

Oddly, he says that he has never told his mother and that “she will find out for the first time ever when she reads the book”. He hasn’t told her prior to all this publicity? Or – pardon me, but you have to think about these things in a time of premeditated and sustained and professionally-advised Mania – is he setting the stage for a camera-ready scenario where his mother is taped reading the book’s story for the first time and producing a victim-friendly version of a ‘reality-show’? Does this oft-praised ‘family man’ intend for his mother to find out about this episode in the bathroom in a book? Or – more likely – as the media start banging on her front door (as they most likely already have started to do)?

This is the same mother one of whose consorts badly beat Brown as a child, but is also the mother whom he doesn’t blame for staying in an abusive relationship because “she had no profession or identity of her own”. Which, it has to be said, reads directly from the Conventionally Correct Script as to how one should conceive of women who purposely remain in abusive relationships yet are to be considered helpless victims. Without getting into a discussion of the pros and cons of the Script, I can’t help but note that Brown follows it even in terms of wording.

So he was abused but it wasn’t consummated, had a mother whose relationship decisions subjected him to substantial violence but he doesn’t blame her because she was just an example of just what feminism says is wrong with society and culture, and so is simultaneously a victim of male sexual abuse who hasn’t had sex with males and a victim of poor maternal choices who actually supports the feminist agenda. I can’t help thinking of Jesse Jackson, caught on tape some decades ago, telling a group of young drug addicts that he too was once addicted to drugs – although “under a doctor’s care and it never got out of control” (I’m quoting from memory here): which means that Jackson got the creds with his audience for being an addict himself while simultaneously denying each of the symptoms (self-medicated and with no control over usage and intake). It’s amazing what PR advisers can do for you.

Or rather, in this case, a ghost-writer, and the same one who helped Laura Bush to tell her story.

The ‘Globe’ then has an accompanying article that stenos the predictable but rather revealing comments of assorted victim advocates, heads of this and that group, and at least one interested attorney.

Leading off with a general summation, the piece reports that the overall gist was that these types “hope his acknowledgment will prompt elected officials to strengthen laws against predators, and convince more victims to come forward”. Which is OK, but again I note that if ‘predators’ now include 13 year-old neighborhood pals and groping camp counselors, then just how much ‘strengthening’ of the laws is going to be required here? Especially since the Family – with stable parental influence maternal and paternal – is itself under corrosive and sustained attack and it's the parents - especially the father with young males - who teaches the boy-child.

And while I think that it certainly helps a genuine victim to be able to confront his/her own experiences by telling the story, that’s best achieved in a therapeutic setting. Because once the setting becomes either a news-camera or police tape-recorder, then you exponentially and dangerously complicate the whole thing, in ways not necessary to therapeutic efficacy but ways which may well awaken a whole nest of demons not easily controlled by individuals, groups, or governments (among which: status-seeking, greed, revenge, and profit, just to name a few).

Another straw in the wind is that the focus of almost all of the commenters – as is true of Brown’s own material – is ‘child sexual abuse’, although the SO community is aware that while the ‘child’ is pushed forward like the hostage in the escaping-robber scenario or like those adorable baby fur-seals in the old environmentalist ads, the Mania laws somehow are aimed at a much larger and wider bunch of selected targets.

Another group boss singles him out for extending the Statute of Limitations so that an allegator (allegant, I suppose, if you wish) has 27 years after the 16th birthday to take legal action. Just last year Brown cosponsored legislation regarding restricting RSO’s from certain jobs (see below) and just last month cosponsored legislation under the rubric of international child-trafficking (ditto). Several years ago he also “called sexual abuse the number one public safety issue” facing the Commonwealth (of Massachusetts), so you can get a sense of where he’s been heading for a while.

Another group’s boss – her group had given him an award for his efforts – reported that to her the news of his own abuse was “shocking” but, she gushes, this just proves how strong he is. “He’s amazing, he really is”, she confesses, in accents that somehow evoke images labeled ‘McDreamy’.

“Other advocates said yesterday that they hope the Legislature will go even further in rolling back the statute of limitations and other protections for child predators.” I’ll be dealing with this sort of thought a bit further on, but suffice it to say that Thomas More’s character in Robert Bolt’s 1966 play “A Man for All Seasons” pretty much nailed it: You say you will flatten every tree in the forest of law in order to get at the devil and deny him a place to hide, but when then the devil turns round on you, what protection will you have, the laws being all flat?

You recall that this discussion involving More arose over the use of the government police and judicial power to eradicate those who did not fully support Henry VIII’s divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn. The ‘devil’ is supposed to be those who were ‘evil’ enough to obstruct the King’s will (in the first clause) but is the King’s sovereign police power itself (in the second clause).

“Hopefully, Senator Brown’s revelation will send a message to the Legislature, which will serve as a wake-up call with regard to the statute of limitations and the need to abolish it.’’ Thus opines the civil action tort attorney who has not only represented hundreds of allegators in the Catholic abuse civil settlements (and made many millions for himself in the process) but who also recently released a list of all the priests on whose behalf, as it were, the Church was willing to pay settlements rather than undertake hundreds of separate defenses in civil trials. To this type of practice, the repeal of Statutes of Limitations will, by the most amazing coincidence, open up huge new vistas of potentially successful settlement-ventures. From a tort attorney’s point of view, it is manna from heaven, as it were.

A co-director of one of the specifically-focused priest-abuse group websites said that “she hopes Brown will be the elected official from the Massachusetts delegation who emerges as a leading voice for victims in Washington”. I find this a curious comment since Brown is a Republican and his election in mostly Democratic Massachusetts (he took Teddy Kennedy’s seat – the same having gone to face his own victim from Chappaquiddick and an unfixable Judge, perhaps waving a Plenary Indulgence and Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card signed by the heads of all extant feminist and victimist groups on the Beltway lobby roster) – most of the victim establishment would presumably be welded to the Democrats.

Does this mean that the Dems are trying to quietly back away from the SO Mania? Or realize that there are actual problems (the economy and the parlous state of American wages and jobs, perhaps the Afghan War) which require more attention?

And this is a Republican male, for heaven’s sake.

But perhaps there is some new thinking – or calculating, more accurately – going on among the cadres and co-directors. If Brown looks like he might actually be a major contender for greater things and higher elected office (than the US Senate … ummm … if you get my drift), then maybe for these certain interest groups a pinch less emphasis on ‘progressive’ and a dash more emphasis on ‘law and order’ might easily change the valence of their potion from Democrat to Republican?

Funny how the political night moves. Or rather, the creatures that are at home in it.

And this would fit in with the curiously schizoid article in Salon.

The writer acknowledges outright that Brown is “ambitious”. And that he “is looking more and more like a man who would like to be President”. Which in the present circumstances introduces the added possibility that this is an opening shot in yet another junior-Senator-to-President story.

But more along those lines, revealingly: that he might be able to wrest the Party from the Tea-Party types. I am not going to get into politics here, but there is a possible political motive here that also involves the SO Mania: if the current Republican establishment is thinking in such an anti-Tea Party mode then they could construct a genuinely marvelous vote-gobbling monster by making a ‘sensitive’ Republican, victim-friendly and thus, in the Republican mode, leaning to law-and-order, which in its essence is what the SO Mania Regime’s legislation and dynamics are all about, for all the roots in radical-feminism and sensitivity and victimism. And – although it is un-Correct to notice it – kinda hunky, which could appeal to additional sub-demographics.

And such a book-about-self gambit as this one of Brown’s could also be a pre-emptive strike in support of a Presidential candidate with a personal history that makes Bill Clinton’s I-smoked-but-didn’t-inhale history look like child’s play. Honest, victimized, vulnerable, shtrawng, and hunky-kewt … a potent vote-monster if some lab were interested in constructing the thing.

Let us pray.

And that Brown felt that being fondled, groped, grabbed – or not – was at the time “very traumatic”. Which I accept, after making the standard subtractions: that the term, which comes from surgical usage (traumatic amputation, traumatic fracture … that sort of thing) where you really are confronted with the indisputable objective catastrophic evidence of ‘trauma’, was shrewdly adopted by psychological types (the repressed-memory vaudevillians, you recall, have re-titled themselves ‘traumatology experts’ to keep up with the times and to keep a step ahead of Nemesis). So now it’s not only that the word applies to the mostly invisible realm of emotions (rather than the palpable realm of blood, guts, skin and bones); it’s also that in this invisible realm it’s not the doctor who gets to say what is and isn’t traumatic – but rather it’s the self-declared traumatized person him/herself.

So, really, who knows any longer what is and isn’t trauma? You have to take the claimant-individual’s word for it, much like ‘spectral evidence’ in the old witch trials. You can’t see it, nobody else can see it, but it must be accepted as true and cannot – effectively – be questioned.

But this is Salon, after all, and the New Left is what it is. Apparently (the link is in the article) the CBS website is already logging a lot of comments about Brown being a wuss for whining in public (the possibility that this is a calculated gambit for political-positioning seems to have escaped a lot of folks). This, the Salon writer sniffs, simply proves that the Internet has given a whole bunch of un-Correct yahoos a chance for a week of “victim blaming”. Mais oui.

“For all the attention childhood sexual abuse has received in the last few years -- tragically, because it's such a common experience -- the stigma of it remains.” Again I say that if it is “such a common experience” then the criminal law is no way to deal with it. There’s a reason why no State Police agency in the country actually WANTS its troopers to stop every speeder on the roads. But then too, if it is so common, how can it be so traumatizing, at least from the point of view of stigmatization ... ? It would be common knowledge among kids and this would especially be true nowadays (again, the SO Mania and its cadres continue to run many of the same game-plays as almost quarter-of-a-century ago, but they no longer make sense in the now-changed societal context: kids, however accurately or inaccurately, expect just about all adults to be potential gropers and grabbers and I can’t even imagine how pediatricians and clergy go about working with them now).

But the Cadre Talking Points have an answer to that: “It's a particularly taboo subject for men, thanks to the ease with which ignorant, petty minds leap from child abuse to ‘Dude, that’s so gay’.” But then, these generations of kids (and now 20-somethings) aren’t really uptight about orientation like kids and youth were 50, 40, or 25 years ago.

Worse – funny how the politically-Correct night moves – she now has to somehow blame the public for being duped by decades of Correct (but now suddenly no longer useful) propaganda: “And, unfortunately, plenty of people can't wrap their heads around the idea of a victim who isn't a tragic mess curled up on a shrink's couch. If you're not crying and broken and damaged-looking enough it didn’t happen. They put qualifiers on abuse, deciding that if it wasn't ‘consummated’ or it was just some ‘groping’ it wasn't bad enough to qualify as important.”

But this image was precisely what Americans were bombarded with for quite a while in order to lubricate the emergency** that putatively required the SO Mania Regime in the first place. So if you actually bought into all the agitprop imagery, you must now – necessarily and for the good of the Cause – be derided as an uninformed and unthinking lump who – wait for it! – just doesn’t get it. (And you thought that buying into all that propaganda precisely proved that you DID!) Take consolation: you may be a broken egg, but you were broken in the cause of the Revolution!

Just last month, Brown cosponsored S.185, a Bill to stop international sex-trafficking by erecting a consortium of countries whose governments will sign on to do what it takes. Let me say right off that I am not in support of sex-trafficking.

But the Bill lets a cat or two out of the general SO Mania bag.

In Sec. 3 (5) “Minor” is defined as anyone “who has not attained the age of 18 years”. You can, in this country, sign up as a military recruit (a rather adult matter) while still being a ‘child’ for purposes of the SO Mania Regime. And with the one exception of this definition line, the Bill’s text refers to “children”.

In Sec. 6 (d) (1), discussing the programs that participating countries must adopt, the Bill spells it out: they have to undertake “evaluations of legal standards and practices and recommendations for improvements that will increase the likelihood of successful prosecutions”. The American SO community knows this high-sounding and abstract code for the treacherous swamp it really is: undermine any constitutional or jurisprudential principles that obstruct the untrammeled power of the government to successfully prosecute. This objective, of course, is utterly antithetical to the core thrust of Western law since at least Magna Carta; and you can go further back if you assume that the Church’s canon-law, itself built on Roman law, stood as an ‘international’ model of putting limits on local sovereignties that sought to gather unlimited and un-boundaried power to themselves.

In Sec. 6 (d) (4) there is the simple and bald statement “Creation of victim-friendly courts”. Not, say, Truth-friendly courts ... no, this isn’t about truth or Truth; it’s about politics and the ‘victims’ (through their advocates) want to run things. Truth, as it was in the days of any and all of the historic tyrannies, can go take a hike. Or better, languish downstairs in some cell with the rest of the ‘obstructionists’.

This Bill, which died in the last Session, has been read twice and referred to the Foreign Relations committee. Since it calls for voluntary participation by other countries, at least it doesn’t authorize military invasion.

In December, Brown cosponsored S.4029, the “Preventing Sex Offenders Access to Children in Our Communities Act of 2010”. This Bill is sponsored by Charles Schumer (D-NY), last seen trying to wangle millions in pork and NCIC-access authority to the Megan’s Law advocacy group so that it can continue to hunt for sex-offenders even if the police won’t or can’t expend the resources.

The Bill seeks to amend the master SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) “to prohibit registered sex offenders from (1) accepting a position of employment, including a volunteer position, which by the inherent nature of the position places such sex offender in direct and substantial contact with minors or (2) obtaining a permit or permission to carry out an activity or performance that would present direct and substantial contact with minors.”

The prohibited activities seem too vague to survive judicial scrutiny, but it is certainly a text that your office can fax to this particular ‘base’ to show that you’re right in there takin’ a bite outta sex.

I also note that the Bill continues to rely on the thoroughly-disproven and thus now lunatic presumption that any RSO or SO is a threat to children.

But there’s more: “Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants and enter into contracts with public agencies or nonprofit private organizations to establish a community accessible sex offender tips and support program to provide for anonymous or confidential tips regarding sex offenders who are not complying with registration or other applicable requirements”. This, by amazing coincidence, sounds just like Schumer’s and King’s (R-NY)(in the House) gambit to get pork for the Megan’s Law bunch that are looking to spackle up the police and run the hotlines where anybody can anonymously call in and ‘report on’ somebody. As the money runs out and the danger is that the entire Mania will fail to maintain sufficient ‘airspeed’ such that folks will no longer simply accept it uncritically, then it will be necessary to get reliable cadres into ‘official’ or apparently-official positions so they can somehow harness what power the government has left to keep up the numbers.

But there is some possibility that this type of thing on the legislative level merely represents a cynical pandering in that the sponsoring pols don’t actually expect anything to pass, but merely that they can go to gatherings of this ‘demographic’ and proudly show copies of what they have ‘Introduced’, avoid the rubber chicken dinner, and get on to the next stop.

Lastly, per decision of the British Supreme Court, the UK now has to allow convicted rapists and pedophiles (however defined) the right to appeal their Registration on the Violent and Sex Offender Register. (Yes, the UK has already gone there and blended the two.) The decision stemmed from a pair of cases, one of which was an 11 year-old convicted in 2005 of raping a 6 year-old and who, his attorney submitted, should not have to be forced to be on the Register for the rest of his life and should have the right to appeal “as he matures”.

The Home Secretary, one Theresa May, is greatly unhappy. Although such persons must wait 15 years after release from prison, and can only then appeal once every 5 years thereafter if denied, and though it is the police – not a court – that will make the decision ... she is not pleased. And in her grief, lets a few cats out of the bag.

May told the House of Commons that "the government is disappointed and appalled by this ruling - it places the rights of sex offenders above the right of the public to be protected from the risk of re-offending”.

This is treacherous ground. The SO Mania scheme has always been to get the government – and, worse, the Citizenry – to accept that the common identity of Citizen should be overridden by the distinction between sex-offenders and a putatively ‘decent and good’ public. It’s a sort of Identity Politics, except with the valence reversed from positive to negative.

Worse, this distinction implies that the rights of Citizen are not primary, and opens the awful door behind which lies the ominous and ancient terror that anybody, any Citizen or group of Citizens, can suddenly become a declared ‘enemy’. Martin Niemoller’s rueful observation about life in Nazi Germany comes to mind: he let ‘them’ ‘come for’ this group and that group that was suddenly declared to be bad and evil and he did not ‘speak up’, until suddenly ‘they’ came for him and “there was nobody left to speak up”. You can, if your cardiologist permits, permit yourself a few minutes’ contemplation of the nation that took the point against Nazism adopting that monstrosity’s legal praxis decades later (just as over here you can do the same as the country that stood against the Soviet tyranny caved into Marxist-Leninist thought and practice while the corpse of the USSR was still warm).

It also continues the discredited presumption that most SO types have high re-offense rates (which is only conceivable if you believe that all men are sex-crazed and all sex is some form of rape).

The Brits, though, only allow the police to look at the Register. Although it also now has some modified version of a Megan’s Law policy whereby parents can also go to the police and make a “discrete check” if they have a reason.

Most other European nations, the article notes, “have chosen not to compile national sex offender registers, citing potential infringements on civil liberties” – perhaps governments and countries that either recall Nazi occupation or more recent Soviet occupation. Scotland, distinct from England and Wales, requires judges rather than police to hear appeals.

There is a dual complexity that also arises in regard to the courts. Some are angry that the judiciary is interfering in legislation passed by Parliament. In the US, the separation-of- powers and checks-and-balances traditions support judicial-review of legislation; while none of that proved effective in the formation of the SO Mania Regime (quite the opposite) it is only the courts, in the person of this or that judge or banc of judges, who have made any official remonstrance against the workings of the Regime at all.

No pol has come forward, nor do I expect that Mr. Brown is going to be doing so.

There is also the complication that the European Court of Human Rights – sitting in judgment over laws of member States – arouses in Brits the sense that foreigners, and foreign judges at that, are telling them how to run their country.

But when something has clearly gone wrong – and a country is violating even its own most fundamental principles – then it’s not a bad thing that some official body somewhere has the authority to point out the problem. (You may recall a discussion of the European Court and the British tradition in the recent Post about the Julian Assange matter.)


*Curiously, nothing interfered with his admission to law school or admission to the Bar, nor – more curiously – with his acceptance in the military legal corps, the JAGs. I have often noted the ominous similarities between SO Mania law and the working dynamics of military-justice (not to be mistaken for the assorted bits of Constitutional furniture artfully placed on the stage). His Wiki entry notes shrewdly that he served “as a defense counsel”, apparently in an effort to distance himself from the vital, sharp-end of the job: prosecution in that rigged system. I can only think of the former SS officer recognized by a former subordinate in Billy Wilder’s 1961 classic Cold-War Berlin comedy “One, Two, Three”: said the former officer, now cornered, “Eet izz true eye vass in ze SS, baht eye vass only a pastry chef!” Ja!

**In his recent book “The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America” the British politician Daniel Hannan observes acutely that “most disastrous policies have been introduced in times of emergency”. I agree. Stovepiping – that by-passing of any potential objectors who have actual knowledge about something you have already made up your mind to do – wasn’t invented by Bush and Cheney in order to make sure they’d get no opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Propagandistic manipulators of Left and Right have for a century realized that you want to establish a quick and unobstructed flow from Public Emotion (either actually whipped-up to frenzy or made to appear numerous) up to the government authority. Then the government authority can either be cowed or – if it simply needs an excuse to be ‘responsive’ – can claim public support for whatever it has made up its mind to do. Adept deployment of one or another element of this game-play has been a hallmark, I’m going to say, of the SO Mania Era.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


A Hearing was held today in the U.K. on the matter of extraditing Julian Assange – Wikileaks founder – to Sweden on allegations (they are not yet ‘charges’) of sex offenses comprising some form of abuse and some form of something that may or may not rise to rape (not being snarky here; read on).

Here’s what I’m going to do. There are several articles and I’m just going to review them quickly for a couple of choice and relevant points. Links provided and I always urge you to read them yourself.

THEN I am going to review (you of course get the link to the document itself) the Submission made by Assange’s lawyers to the U.K. court. I consider it to be hugely revealing not only of matters relevant to Assange’s case (the man is, in this regard, somehow caught up in the toils of the SO Mania) but also reveals stunning material about how the Regime works in Sweden and yet also some of its more hidden dynamic principles.

So let’s get to it then.

First is the AOL article which appeared on here.

Swedish rape trials are held in secret (in camera is the Latin legal term for it, like the Courts of Star Chamber which the Framers most assuredly did NOT want happening . More on this when I get to the court filing.

In response, the British lawyer representing Sweden in the British court pooh-poohed the problem thus created by cheeribly pointing out that the evidence – such as it might be – “will often be published after the trial and recited in the judgment”. Note that first of all there is no guarantee that the said ‘evidence’ would be revealed. And second that there is absolutely no way to independently confirm that what you are getting in the official publishing is what actually was presented in the trial.

Note also that this taking-the-government’s-word-for-it is not a classic American principle. Quite the opposite. Note also that since the days of the SO Mania’s establishment the US government has really amped up the insistence that we just take their word for it and ‘trust them’ – and now there’s all that torture stuff and so on. But Americans were to trust the government, that it would never do anything wrong or dumb while exercising the freedom that public trust in government secrecy confers.*

The article respectfully repeats the conventional excuse, here made by the Swedish government, that the rape trials are held in secret “to protect the alleged victims”. But – and this will come up again in the review of the court filing – the need for openness in court trials is so profoundly important that no other consideration, no matter how legitimate, can be accorded primacy over it. This was PRECISELY the vital jurisprudential and constitutional firewall that Victimism’s lurid and stagey-cagey emphasis on ‘outrage’ and ‘pain’ was designed to overcome: get people so worked up that they would allow the destruction of key principles that constitute the foundation of the American system of law and government.

Assange’s attorneys note that he has not even now been charged with a crime. This will be dealt with in the court-filing commentary, but suffice it to say here that the fact undermines the validity of the warrant issued for his apprehension.

The crime for which Assange is not yet charged is known in Swedish law as “minor rape” – a concept which fails so many tests on so many levels that you start to wonder if the Swedes haven’t actually set out here to parody themselves and all of feminist/victimist -inspired rape law.

Assange’s attorneys raise the point that if he is extradited to Sweden, there is no small chance that he will somehow wind up being extradited to the U.S. or into U.S. control on some form of charges arising from the Wikileaks document release, with the sex-offense stuff either being disposed of or ignored for the pretext that it may well always have been. The Swedish government insists that such things would not happen because there are “strict rules”, but in matters of the SO Mania there is a strong tendency for government to ignore the rules, or at least to ignore those rules which it has not already subverted in the name of ‘reform’.

The article helpfully points out that in Sweden it is considered a crime to have sex with a sleeping person. I am not contesting that any actually nonconsensual sex is reprehensible. But I can’t get my mind around how one can have sex and actually remain asleep through it. But I am not widely informed on the subject, through reading or experience. Unconscious, is one thing – but simply ‘asleep’?

‘The Guardian’ newspaper (a U.K paper that used to be the old ‘Manchester Guardian’) has taken a different tack. It sent a reporter over to Stockholm – as best I can make out – so that she could file a report that would enable feminists to do some damage control for themselves (thereby also fronting for the Swedish government and doing some of its dirty work for it) before anybody actually got to look at the court filings.

This conforms to the cynical assumption that most uncommitted folks will simply go with whatever ‘story’ captured their attention first. And that the committed ‘true believers’ would simply need to be given a set of talking points (and thinking points) that would enable them to go on believing.

It may also be of relevance that Assange had at one point threatened to sue the paper for libel.

Aside from reading a bit like a script treatment with a story-like setting of the scene, the article’s gambit is to present the feminist position as one that “many Swedes” espouse in the case, hoping to create some actual support by ‘reporting’ that it already widely exists.

She interviews a columnist, Johane Hildebrandt, for a major Swedish paper: while Hildebrandt is all for Wikileaks and internet freedom, yet “with the rape charges, Julian Assange lost all credibility”. Which is a bit odd for a major professional journalist: if these are only charges (and they haven’t even risen to the level of legal charges yet, after all this time) then how can she so quickly and totally have her mind changed? And is there any proportion between the (lack of) seriousness of the charges and the profound issues that Wikileaks has brought to light? And even if the ‘charges’ were true, how could they affect Assange’s credibility? Indeed, what ‘credibility’ is involved? He isn’t publishing his own opinions – he’s simply publishing documents.

Hildebrandt, of course, isn’t being interviewed for intelligent comments; she’s there to get the Memo out to the cadres courtesy of her sister ‘journalist’ and the good offices of the axe-grinding ‘Guardian’. Thus the article gives her the chance to lay down the mantra-lines: “What’s he afraid of in Sweden? What’s he hiding?”

This is a familiar gambit in the SO Mania, and a treacherous one: If by any chance the accused – on his own or through counsel who know how bad things are under the Regime – decides to avoid putting himself into the teeth of the thing, out of prudence and a hardly-unjustified fear of how this wild thing will maul him, or if he gives comments that don’t play into the desired script, then you accuse him by insinuating questions: What’s he afraid of if he’s innocent? What’s he hiding? Verrrrrry kewt.

But then Hildebrandt tries to lay it on even more thickly, is faithfully ‘reported’ by her sister colleague, and winds up going through the weird door: “In my view, Julian Assange was a priest who turned into a clown when he started criticising the system here. A freedom of speech priest who wanted to reveal everything but his own story.”

Say what?

The ‘priest’ bit is a clumsy (one might almost say stupidly clumsy) attempt to somehow tie in Assange to the priest-abuse scandals. The idea, I think, being that he was supposed to be a trusted authority figure who turns out to do all the things he tells other people not to: in this case, he was a free-speech advocate who was being very secretive about his own life. I imagine that this trope will start to turn up in assorted group sessions all over the place.

Hildebrandt is then quoted as saying that “one hears frequently from Swedes” (meaning this is what she wants you to think about what the Swedes are thinking) that they have gone from being supporters of Wikileaks to saying ‘We’ll see when the trial is up’. Again, are Swedes really as dumb as Hildebrandt seems to be … that somehow Assange’s sex life is a valid indicator of how much they should trust the Wikileaks document publications? But this gambit does, I think, show that it is a major dovetail objective of both feminist-victimists and of the Swedish government to somehow discredit Assange: either as a male or as a revealer of governmental skullduggery.

But there is a bit of ‘the other side’, nicely. A former Swedish chief prosecutor can’t see why Assange “is being sought in Sweden for questioning when he was permitted to leave the country, and has not been allowed [by the Swedes] to be interviewed in Britain”. As a prosecutor, he says, you’d want to interview him as quickly as possible so as to see if you had a case at all, and then the extradition problem wouldn’t arise.

But of course that’s not how the Swedish prosecutor has gone about things.

Still, he has to keep his union card. While he admits he certainly wouldn’t have done things the way they’ve been done in this matter, he pooh-poohs any idea that there are any outside pressures that are distorting the process, nor does he think that the current prosecutor has made so many mistakes (been so “unorthodox”) as to render the whole thing legally illegitimate. (Think of him when you see what the court filings reveal.)

A former prosecutor “who frequently works on rape cases” (I’m thinking not for the defendant male) says that in regard to the sudden reversal of the reversal of the prosecutorial dismissal of the initial case you have to realize that any prosecutorial decision can be appealed and that “10-13%” are actually reversed, so - she says – “it’s quite common”. One out of ten doesn’t strike me as quite common; you certainly wouldn’t stay in business with a track record of a 10 percent fail or success rate.

As for the attorney who represents the two allegators, who was asked whether his clients fully support the move to proceed against Assange, he responds "Yes, yes. They do. At the same time, maybe, if they had known from the very beginning what would happen, maybe they would not have gone to the police at all. I don't know." So, if you had trouble following the bouncing ball there, it’s: Yes, Yes, I don’t know.

I will not descend to Swedish jokes but just how does anything get done in conditions of such general and deep confusion?

A Swedish feminist and the justice minister – thank ya verrry mutch - “has worked hard to educate police and prosecutors about sex crimes, resulting in increased confidence in victims to report crimes”. The SO community is familiar with such ‘education’, and that the increased confidence has been purchased at the stunning expense of fundamental legal principles whose corruption effectively removes any danger of being held accountable for false reports, false accusations, perjury, or obstruction of justice. And when you are a cop and the Justice Minister is doing the ‘educating’ … well, how’s that going to turn out, d’ye think?

Madam Ministrix cawn’t think why (she is “bewildered”) there would be any suggestion of “political pressure” from the US or anywhere else. Ovvvvvvv courssssssssssse. The US would no more consider exercising pressure on a sovereign foreign government than the victimist-feminists would consider twisting arms in the law enforcement system once they got a few cadres into big-office and gold-badge jobs.

“For what reason would there be political pressure?” she asks. This woman is either promoted wayyyy above her competence level or else she is not telling the truth. The reporter stenographs it all respectfully – this is, after all, an important Memo for the cadres.**

Lastly, ‘The Daily Telegraph’ (another U.K. paper) adds a interesting point. A former Swedish Appeals Court judge appearing as an expert, “described the behaviour of [the Swedish prosecutor] as ‘extremely peculiar’”. It’s peculiar in the extreme because, the former judge says, Assange could have been interviewed in any number of ways (over the phone or internet video) without any of this extradition brouhaha at all.

Well what is going on here then?

The judge has an answer: she thinks that the prosecutor (prosecutrix?) “had a rather biased view against men in the treatment of sexual offence cases … they seem to take for granted that everyone under prosecution is guilty … it looks malicious … I think maybe she wants to make him suffer”. That has a familiar ring to it.

But the judge isn’t finished yet: the prosecutrix is “involved in sexual politics” and that’s “very much” a political issue over there. Over here too.

But I still can’t rule out that sexual-politics in the feminist-vicitimist and SO Mania mode dovetails nicely with – and actually shares blood lineage with – governmental skullduggery, secrecy, and the undermining of the rule of law as it has been evolved in the West over long centuries.

So much for the articles.

The 74 pages of the Assange attorneys’ Skeleton Argument (the formal British legal term for it) are remarkably readable, more so than many American legal documents. I would urge you to look it over yourself, not only for the material I will mention here as relevant to the SO Mania but so that you can see for yourself just how much of a dragon these knights are facing. The SO community here will not be surprised at any particular point, I think, but to see the sum of this thing as it has mutated … you realize just what has been created that is now threatening the foundations of the West.

I mean that. Reading this filing, I suddenly got a sense of what the old Godzilla movies were actually driving at in the early 1950s: the advanced nations actually aroused an ancient monster and created this present threat and now it’s running around loose. But at least in the old Godzilla movies, people had the wit to recognize the threat for what it was, and government had the decency to send in the military to try to stop the thing. Nowadays – a sign of how far worse off we are than the early-1950s folks – the monstrous threat is taken for ‘progress’ and, at worst, a cheeky and prickly transgressiveness. It is a dragon and it is here.

The link to the pdf of this document is here.

Number 3 (pp.2-3) lists quickly the 8 major points that Assange’s attorneys will raise as they proceed through the Argument. Since I’ll be saying a bit about each as we go along, there’s no need to do so here.

Number 6 (pp.6-7) gives a factual Overview of the original matter. Among other things, he had gone to the Swedish police station and been interviewed at that level ; the current prosecutor (Marianne Ny) is not a national-level prosecutor but a gender crimes prosecutor in Gothenburg who somehow overruled the Senior Prosecutor in Stockholm (the national capital) and then re-opened the case and appointed herself as the case prosecutor; she refused Assange’s offers to be interviewed before he left Sweden - very legally – in late September; and in late November issued – claiming she had the authority to do so – a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) claiming all along that she sought to ‘interview’ Assange.

Further (Number 15, p.8) Ny did not submit her Statement in response to this filing until 12:30 pm on the afternoon of the Hearing, giving them – and I won’t accept ‘by coincidence’ – almost no time to include her remarks in their filing. Eiither Ny is verrrry incompetent or she is trying verrrry hard to screw things up.

To further gum up the works, the prosecution (Sweden, represented in this British court by a British attorney), while demanding that Assange’s attorney produce their Expert Witnesses for cross-examination, introduced Ny’s Witness Statement but did not make her available for cross-examination. This is not the behavior of folks who are trying to either get to the bottom of the matter or are trying to air a strong case in full view.

The first issue (starting at Number 16, p. 9) is that Ny did not have the authority to issue the EAW in the first place. The European statute requires that each State (national government) appoint “competent judicial authority” for issuing these EAWs. Ny is a prosecutor, and not even the chief prosecutor (Prosecutor General) of Sweden. The EAW itself merely refers to its issuing authority as “the Swedish prosecution authority”; no name, address, or phone number is given for it, which is not surprising, really, since no such entity exists in the Swedish government.

She further describes herself in the EAW as the “director of Swedish prosecutions” and – wait for it – no such Office exists in the roster of the Swedish government. She’s sort of – I can’t resist it – playing dress-up here.

Thus, say Assange’s attorneys, the EAW is invalid on its face and it is a mystery how the (British) Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) should have certified the thing as legitimate in the first place. A most curious and significant oversight by presumably professional top-level law enforcement.

Worse, when queried on the point by Assange’s attorneys SOCA simply referred them to a Swedish government document that, SOCA said, would demonstrate that Ny had the authority to issue the EAW and it turns out upon reading it that the document does nothing of the sort. So Ny “does not hold that non-existent office, and has not been [formally noted by the Swedish government] as an issuing authority”. (Number 20, p.11) When last head from, SOCA – which certified the EAW as valid – merely claims that it has no power to withdraw the EAW, quietly evading the key question as to whether it has the power to withdraw its own Certification of the EAW such that British law enforcement authorities must enforce the EAW in Britain.

The second issue, flowing from the first, is that Ny is not a “competent judicial authority” (starting at Number 22, p.11). With a refreshing British directness, though always polite and understated, Assange’s attorneys state that “to describe a prosecutor as a competent judicial authority is a contradiction in terms”. (p.11) Clearly, a prosecutor is not an impartial judge but rather a “partisan” player in the trial process.

The third issue (starting at Number 26, page 13) is that Ny actually committed an “abuse of process” by issuing an EAW, reserved for the arrest of accused and charged defendants, merely for the purpose of getting him to Sweden for ‘investigation’. This is quite possibly prosecutorial misconduct on an international level. At the time (December 10, 2010) she issued the EAW she had stated that she did not intend to prosecute him, as is required for the EAW to be valid. (Number 31, p.14) She had even stated so clearly in a letter responding to the Australian Ambassador’s (Assange is an Australian citizen) request for clarification. (Number 35, p.15)

She couldn’t claim that she wanted to prosecute him, actually, because then she would have been required at that time to make available to his attorneys all the relevant materials pertaining to the charges against him – and she has proven remarkably reluctant to show Assange’s attorneys any evidence she claims to have against him.

In a pithy summary of the corner into which she has now painted herself, Assange’s attorneys point out that either A) she has made the decision to prosecute him and therefore she is legally – even under Swedish law – required to turn over all the evidence to his attorneys; or else B) Assange is not being sought by Sweden for the purposes of prosecution, in which case there is no basis to the EAW and no grounds for extradition. (Number 39, p.17)

It also comes out here (Number 40, p.18) that she signed her Witness Statement on a Friday afternoon before a Monday Hearing, thus guaranteeing that it would not be delivered to Assange’s attorneys until the day of the Hearing, by which time they would not have been able to fully incorporate her Statement in their Skeleton Argument filing. Again, either incompetence here or else a sleazy effort to gum up the workings of justice.

Thus, having refused to interview him in Sweden and having even personally allowed him to leave the country legally, her claim in the EAW that all efforts to interview him had failed are – again to put it politely – “highly inaccurate”. (Number 42, p.19)

Contrary to normal usage, in which the sought-party is characterized as the ‘accused’ or the ‘offender’ or the ‘defendant’, Ny’s EAW simply and consistently refers to Assange by name with no characterization whatsoever. (Number 48, p.21)

Indeed, she is also not accurate when she claims (Number 50, p.22) that Assange’s absence is the “sole impediment” to completing the investigation. She has still failed to interview key witnesses who allegedly can provide exculpatory evidence and the condom (one allegator claims he deliberately ripped the condom before using it for sex) is still being examined by a laboratory “which reports that it has no expertise to do the analysis”. (Number 50, p.22)

In Number 65 (starting on p. 27) Assange’s attorneys list further evidence of Abuse of Process: contrary to Swedish law, an acting prosecutor illegally released Assange’s name to the media as a ‘suspect’ in a rape investigation; the appeal which led to the reinstatement of the complaint was a secret process from which Assange’s counsel was excluded – a blatant breach of applicable European judicial regulations and procedures; the repeated refusal to interview Assange except on Swedish territory constitutes unreasonable demand – again a breach of applicable European judicial regulations and procedures; Ny’s office continues to refuse all requests to make evidence available to them in English (she had sent some initial reports along in Swedish); Ny’s office has made excerpts of evidence available to the media.

Additionally – and rather stunning it is to find this out – the Swedish government will pay for an attorney to publicly attack the credibility of an accused rapist even before he is formally charged; thus in this case one Claes Borgstrom, noted feministical supporter (quoted above as saying Yes, Yes, and also I don’t know). Apparently the dangers of character assassination and prejudicing a fair trial are not  high-priority concerns in feminist-victimist shaped Swedish rape law.

The fourth issue (beginning at Number 66, p.28) is that the EAW is not valid because it is not for the purposes of prosecution and fails to provide sufficient particulars.

Nicely, European law and courts hold that “mere suspicion that an individual has committed offences is insufficient to place him in the category of an ‘accused’ person”. (Number 67, p.29) This is contrary to the American Mania approach, shaped by feminist-victimist demands, whereby one must ‘believe the pain’ and one must not ‘re-victimize the victim’ by daring to assess any allegations; rather one must assume that any self-declared victim is by virtue of said claimed victimhood a genuine and invariably truthful allegator who must be believed as a point of justice and in order to get the healing and closure processes rolling (one politely refrains from using the V – vengeance – or R – revenge – words).

More strikingly, the EAW claims in Swedish that Assange is wanted for ‘lagforging’ (Number 75, p.33) which Ny’s office translated into English as ‘prosecution’ but which an official Swedish translator points out actually means the more general ‘legal proceedings’, which is not only far less specific but could also apply to civil as well as criminal process. There are other Swedish words for ‘prosecution’ in the criminal sense. A curious mistake for a professional law enforcement office to make, but convenient to Ny’s purposes. As Assange’s attorney’s point out, this is a “fatal” ambiguity that undermines the integrity of the EAW.

The fifth issue (beginning at Number 85, p.36) is that the EAW is disproportionate given his willingness to be interviewed; there’s no need to issue an EAW and subject Assange to all the legal ramifications.

The EAW, after all, “is a draconian instrument that affects individual liberty”. (Number 89, p.37) So you shouldn’t go throwing these things around like they were party favors. But of course, the radical feminist-victimist assumption is that the ‘emergency’ of male sexual abusiveness is so great that you can’t really go overboard in combating it. Curiously, where Barry Goldwater was laughed off the American political stage in 1964 when he claimed that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”, yet less than 20 years later extremism in the defense of victimism was no vice – except that you couldn’t even call it ‘extremism’; it was ‘sensitivity’ and ‘responsiveness’ and ‘reformist’ and ‘progressive’ and fill in the blank and etcetera and etcetera and etcetera.

The attorneys also point out that if this EAW is allowed, then prosecutors all over Europe are going to be throwing these EAWs around like confetti (my imagery). (Number 92, p.39) And especially in SO matters or in what appears to be a semipermanent new skullduggery: governments looking for a handy and publicly acceptable tripwire pretext to neutralize or obliterate persons they have come to dislike.

The sixth issue (starting at Number 93, p.39) is that the claimed offences do not rise to extradition offences because the alleged conduct is not an offence in English law.

There is here a ‘double criminality’ element to extradition law: the alleged or charged behavior has to rise to the level of crime in both the requesting country and the country receiving the EAW.

The issuing authority that sends the EAW must as “a duty of good faith” inform the accused (and the potential arresting and extraditing nation) the particulars of the charges against him. (Number 99, p.41) This, of course, is to the victimist way of thinking mere sinister obstructionism: no government owes, or can owe, any duty of good faith to a victimizer once he has been painted as such by any allegator.

In this regard, Assange’s attorneys note that in the matter of one of the two allegators, there is no allegation either that the female refused consent or that Assange had reason to believe that she did not consent to sex. (Number 103, p.43) And there’s a reason for that: “the two elements are not alleged because they cannot be alleged: the court dossier clearly shows that the complainant told police that she had consented”. (Number 104, p.44)

Further, “there is no English law designed to punish conduct that ‘seeks to violate sexual integrity’, a phrase far too vague to be the basis of a criminal charge in this country”. (Number 105, p.44) How on earth could you define ‘sexual integrity’? Morally? Psychologically? Legally? Do you lose it when you lose your virginity? (THAT clearly cannot be the case.)

I have to quote Number 106 (pp. 44-5) simply because this type of clarity and candid acuity is so often lacking in American SO legal discourse: “This is a hopeless charge. 1) It does not specify a date. 2) The description of ‘conduct designed to violate sexual integrity’ is much too vague a charge to be an element of an offence in this country. 3) There is no allegation of the ‘actus reus’ – namely that B did not consent. 4) There is no accusation that A did not reasonably believe that B had consented.”

The seventh issue (starting at Number 108, p.45) is that one of the offences “is not an extradition offence because it is wrongly described as rape and the conduct alleged does not answer to that description in European law”.

Again nicely, the attorneys point out that “’minor rape’ (the term used by Ms. Ny in para 13 of her statement) is a contradiction in terms”. What Ny describes does not include force or lack of consent, but only that the allegator was “in a helpless state … due to sleep”. But a witness who had seen the full investigation dossier claimed that the allegator had claimed she was half-asleep (which, Assange’s attorneys astutely calculate, meant that she was “half awake”). It is also here (Number 110, p.46) that the existence of text or Tweet messages is mentioned; apparently Assange’s initial Swedish counsel was able to see or hear them but was not permitted copies of his own; these messages indicate that the Allegator was not at all under the impression she had been raped in the days following the incident, and indeed planned, hosted or attended parties and generally had a good time (busily texting or Tweeting all the while).

Sweden’s especially broad definition of rape measured by whether the victim was in a “helpless state” rather than according to the criteria of force or lack of consent is not typical of European rape laws. (Number 118, p.49) The Swedish law includes “improperly exploiting” a person’s ‘state’ … is there a proper exploiting? Perhaps the Swedes do understand a bit about human nature after all.

Ominously, and the attorneys note this (Number 120, p.50) there is no ‘mens rea’ for this ‘minor rape’ of exploiting a helpless person: it appears to be a statutory sort of thing: once helplessness and penetration are established then sex with a “helpless’ person is rape and that’s that. And, of course, that leaves open the questions of who defines ‘helpless’ and how and when?

Interestingly, the Minister of Justice of Denmark had said that it was “not natural” to call helpless-exploitation ‘rape’. The Swedish Bar Association had tried to raise the same point in a letter to the Swedish Minister of Justice in 2004, just before – alas – the Swedish rape reform laws of 2005 were enacted: “The proposals … mean that crime terminology with a long tradition now come to have another meaning … More dubious is the fact that the crime terminology includes acts that do not reflect the terminology. Rape is one example of where acts are included which do not need to contain any aspect of assault or sexual coercion, acts that do not involve any force.” (Number 129, p.54)

This elasticity of terminology is lethal both for potential defendants and for the public: I have often used the examples of sexual ‘abuse’ – which can now mean anything an allegator wants it to mean – and ‘battering’ – which can now legally include keeping your mouth shut in a telephone conversation.

The eighth issue (starting at Number 132, p.55) is that extraditing Assange would constitute a violation of his right to a fair trial and flagrantly violate the U.K. principles of due process and freedom of expression.

“The crucial basis for this submission is that rape trials in Sweden are held behind closed doors so the court is being asked to surrender a man for a secret trial”. Such as the Star Chamber trials of the 17th century in England itself.

The attorneys continue in the same Number: “The facts are short, stark, and astonishing: in all rape trials (and at their preliminary Hearings) the doors of the court are closed and the press and public excluded so that they cannot hear or report the evidence”. And that “Ms. Ny concedes that rape trials are ‘often’ heard in private ‘so that complainants are able to give the best evidence …’ This concedes the real risk of a secret court and hence of a trial unfair to a defendant”.

Why is evidence ‘best’ when given in secret? This cannot be the real reason – some implied desire to get the ‘best’ evidence. Something else is going on here.

The attorneys provide an acute assessment of the consequences (Number 135, p.56): “The public will not be able to judge whether the court is giving him a fair trial … The inconsistencies in the complainants’ stories will not be revealed because they will be cross-examined in secret and no one will know Mr. Assange’s account or that of his exculpatory witnesses. The complainants will be able to lie with impunity since friends and acquaintances who know the truth will not know that untruths are being told and will not come forward therefore to contest their evidence. Any sense of justice, any sense of fair play, revolts at this Swedish practice. It is not merely a difference between our systems; it is a fundamental breach of Europe’s commitment to open justice and it should not be countenanced.”

And as they will say a bit further on: “Justice unseen is no justice at all”.

So much in encompassed here.

You can see where a system like this is queasily and treacherously designed to provide the classic ‘self-licking ice cream cone’: the secrecy prevents public revelation of any mischief on the part of any allegator: at the very worst, an allegator will fail in a case but there will be no publicity and hence no pressure for sanctions to be applied for false report, false accusation, perjury, or the obstruction of justice. Concomitantly, the entire SO Mania is preserved because its most lethal and egregious consequences will be hidden from public view and its enablers and allegators left free to carry on next time.

The attorneys rightly point out that this Swedish approach is hell-and-gone from the “European” approach. I would say from the Western approach. The Swedes did not get this secret court crap from the West.

But from the East, as it were. The Swedes, I would say, got it from Russia, especially Soviet Russia. And they got it through the Socialists (once a powerful and very large Swedish political party) who, finding themselves out of a Cause as the USSR declined and imploded, took up radical-feminism – which itself had derived much of its theory, jargon, and conceptual discourse from Marxism (as I have said before: reading ‘deep’ feminist thought is unavoidably reminiscent of reading old Marxist-Leninist tomes, with ‘women’ substituted for ‘the masses’).

‘Revolutionary justice’ – in the Soviet system – meant that anything that supported the Revolution and the Cause was ‘justice’ and anything that opposed same was a crime pure and simple; against which the job of the court was not to discern truth but to strike the enemy-of-the-Revolution with the weapon of the statutes. The court in the Revolutionary scheme was merely the procedural middleman – window dressing really – between the Enemy-of-the-Revolution and the firing squad (or Siberia).

Radical feminism and victimism found this approach verrrry congenial indeed. And the Swedes, never quite fully European, deformed by their admittedly scary proximity to the Eastern colossus, slid down the road of Revolutionary justice … it was just a different Revolution from the Soviet one.

To the American SO community, none of this will seem strange. The attempt to ‘reform’ American law to bring it more in conformity with Revolutionary justice struck first in the SO Mania Regime(s). But I think SO’s were simply the first test-run. The only thing that might save this country from a robust expansion of Revolutionary, non-Western justice is that the money will run out. But huge damage has already been wrought to jurisprudence, law enforcement, legal education, and to the public’s own ability to judge what is going on and the difference between a ‘reform’ and a lethal corrosion. You don’t ‘reform’ a watertight bulkhead by drilling numerous holes in it; you destroy its integrity and its ability to protect you from the chaotic power of the sea.

But it gets worse, as will soon be seen as the document continues.

Jurists like Blackstone and thinkers like Bentham insisted that openness was a vital pre-condition of English justice, “particularly to safeguard against judicial error”. (Number 137, p.57) As Bentham put it, “publicity is the very soul of justice … It keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial”. I wouldn’t agree with Bentham that publicity is the soul of justice, but it is essential.

And the US itself, after 40 years where elites of the Beltway, whether of Right or Left, have been running their favorite game-plans and playbooks through willing legislators, has not been well-served. For that matter, the Pentagon Whiz Kids of the Kennedy-Johnson era didn’t do very well with Vietnam. The coterie that figured Iraq would be a “cakewalk” also could have used some public input.

But then too, Bentham never envisioned the type of purposeful manipulation of public opinion that by the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th was elevated into a frighteningly cynical and ruthless weapon against entire citizenries.

And that was the matrix and seed-ground of the SO Mania Regime(s).

“Moreover, publicity deters perjury, in that witnesses are likely to come forward to confound lies when they learn they are being told.” (Number 139, p.58) I wonder if this is a particular reason why the SO Mania Regimes here had to be ratcheted up with so much politically-correct victimist lockstep: so that people who knew truth would not want to come forward for fear of being labeled – cartoonishly and treacherously – as ‘insensitive’ and ‘enablers’ if they tried to defend a declared ‘enemy of the Revolution’.

Surely, the vast majority of priest-abuse cases here have, as I mentioned in a recent Post, precisely not been subjected to public examination. And I wonder if not only courts but the media are harmed by the lack of openness.

It may seem strange to suggest that the media are harmed by not being ‘public’ but the very dynamic of political-correctness, I think, has been to prevent people even from criticizing skewed and selective or outright inaccurate reporting. Not only the courts but even the ‘press’ are insulated from public examination and public judgment.

“A criminal trial is a public event.” (Number 141, p.58) In the Revolutionary system, this is true only if you can guarantee the outcome you want and thus make the trial an ‘educational’ experience for the onlookers (the message: THIS is what can happen to YOU if you don’t go along). Stalin turned the entire Soviet judicial system into his instrument; Hitler not quite so much (Germany had a Western heritage) – he had to institute special Party-run courts to ‘try’ defendants whom regular German courts were too decent to grind up. But you get the idea of what Western justice has always been aiming at with this idea of openness – and in that regard political-correctness is an element of ‘closing’ courts and ‘hiding’ justice.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) went so far as to insist that Russia could not hold secret trials even for the purpose of protecting victims' and witnesses' safety due to the gravity of the charges. “This could not justify the restriction of such a fundamental tenet of judicial proceedings as their openness to the public.” (Number 144, p.60)

Contrast this with the disregard for ‘fundamental tenets’ in this country’s law schools and among its legal ‘elites’. Who would dare allow such a ‘male abstraction’ and such outdated formalism as ‘fundamental tenets’ or musty principles stand in the way of ‘sensitivity to pain’? All pain must have a cause, the cause must be something that will not upset the constituent, and then the cause thus identified must be eradicated: that’s the hash of politics and legal thinking as it has mutated here.

Can you imagine any public official telling the Maniacs that no matter how painful it may be for an alleged victim to participate in public process, the fundamentals of American law (and, really, its legitimacy) depend upon it? This is how far the country has declined.

But this all leads to what I imagine the Swedish government – however it allowed itself to get into this Assange mess – always wanted to avoid: the attorneys here submit to the court that through this matter of secret trials, which up to now have been a quiet (and dirty) little secret the Swedish government kept to itself, it is clear to them that “Sweden is in fundamental breach of” of basic European Union law and treaties. (Number 150, p.62) The terms “flagrant” and “deliberate” are also in the attorneys’ mix.

Sweden now stands accused of being in serious breach of EU law, its little secret of secret trials having been brought to light in the litigation that Sweden itself rendered necessary.

The attorneys then tick off a list of non-legal factors which also militate against extradition: one of them is Trial by Media (Number 155, page 64) which was fueled by the illegal release of information about Mr. Assange.

A second one is – you can’t make this stuff up – politically appointed lay judges in rape trials (Number 156, p.64): yes, the 5-judge panels that sit on these things include only 3 trained jurists, and the other 2 are laypersons appointed by pols – no doubt in case the real judges might tend to give more weight to the law than to the allegator’s sensibilities and pain. (In this case they remind me of nothing so much as the Political Officers assigned to the Red Army at all command ranks to ensure that the professional military men didn’t let actual military concerns interfere with Comrade Stalin’s desires and thoughts.)

In Swedish rape cases prosecutors have the right to hold rape suspects without bail, incommunicado, for months (there is no limit to pre-trial detention). (Number 163, p.67) Interestingly, Ny asked in the EAW that the Brits hold Assange incommunicado: which nicely prevents the man’s story from getting out and allowing the prosecution (and the allegators and the attorney paid for by the Swedish government to attack the accused’s credibility) to have a field day unhindered by any possibility of their ‘stories’ and spin being disputed.

And then Assange’s attorneys drag another of Sweden’s hitherto unnoticed secrets into the light: in 2009 the EU commission that keeps an eye out for torture and degrading treatment of prisoners failed Sweden, which had done nothing to improve in this area since the committee’s 1991 visit. By amazing coincidence the greatest site of concern is the Gothenburg Remand Prison – and Gothenburg is the city where Marianne Ny is a prosecutor. (Number 164, p.67)

Assange’s attorney conclude with several Numbers concerning the real danger of Assange being extradited from Sweden into the U.S.’s labyrinth of terrorist-related black holes, stretching across Europe and the Middle East (with stop-overs and friendly support-services provided by – wait for it – Sweden).

And again another dirty Swedish secret: in 2005 the UN Committee Against Torture had determined that Sweden had violated the UN Convention Against Torture (Number 173, p.70), and then had obstructed the Committee’s investigation of the charge. (Number 174, p.71).

And that the UN Committee on Human Rights had found that Sweden had violated the prohibition against torture contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (Number 175, p.71)

And that the Swedes had done so multiple times by taking the ‘diplomatic word’ of US and Egyptian (!) agents that a suspect the Swedes were turning over to them would not be tortured (again, I will NOT make a Swedish joke here – nobody can really be this dumb). (Number 176, p.71)

The attorneys, therefore, are not impressed by Swedish government assurances that it will not turn Assange over to the US, several of whose prominent political persons (Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin are mentioned by name) have implied or explicitly called for his execution or assassination, whichever is more doable. (Number 178, p.72)

And that’s the Assange Skeleton Argument.

I say again that the American SO community is remarkably well-positioned to grasp what is going on within and beneath the SO Mania Regime here and – alas – in other putatively advanced countries, even ones which have always seemed to Americans the very soul of pleasant, small-scale, decent polities.

The American people have a lot of hard lessons to learn as hard rain falls with increasing intensity here.

As they emerge into a harsh light, far reduced from their former estate, they will resemble in some way those German burghers rounded up by Allied troops to go look at that ‘camp’ just outside of town. There will be many dark things to see, and corrections to be made.

What will shock and stun many Americans is what has been the daily burden of the SO community for two decades and more now.


*Mario Vargas Llosa’s latest novel, El Sueno del Celta – true to his consistent authorial interests – “explores the evil to which people sink when they have too much power” and, using among others the vivid example of Leopold II’s brutalization of Congo natives when Belgium ruled that unhappy place, “the way evil can take over in places where there are no limits to the power of those in charge”. Secrecy confers such ‘power’. And governments can create even more damage than individuals – AND even then distract everybody by using its power to create alternative ‘bad guys’. See the ‘Time Literary Supplement’, print edition of December 17, 2010, pp. 20-1 for the quoted review. Online access is by subscription or purchase only.

**In a Feb.10 statement, made thus 3 days AFTER the initial Hearing discussed here and a day before the Friday final Hearing tomorrow, this Minister – Beatrice Ask – urged Assange to “turn himself in”. Which is mighty odd indeed, for a country whose extradition case is already before the U.K. court. And it sounds like the gambit of a country that realizes its case is not going to prevail in court. She further claims that Sweden takes great care in administering its legal system and Assange has nothing to worry about … ovvvvvvv coursssssssssse. The unspoken bit is the difference between what is legal in Swedish and Mania rape law and what is just.


I just came across this article in which a witness testified that he dug up the Tweets that were made by one of the allegators.