Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Swedes Are Smearing Assange & Encourage U.S" -- John Pilger
December 19, 2010

I don't regard the Guardian article as revelatory but as more of what we know, plus scuttlebut. There are serious omissions. The impression is given that Julian Assange refused to attend a meeting with the Swedish director of prosecutions on 14 October. This is false. Assange offered to attend on the 15th and 16th. When these days weren't suitable, he offered a complete week instead.

What happened in Sweden was a public smear, and trial by Swedish tabloid media. The chief prosecutor, Eva Fine, understood this. After making her own inquiries, she cancelled the arrest warrant. "Julian Assange is not suspected of rape," she said. It was only the intervention of a leading political figure, Claes Borgstrom, that reactivated the case.

After the "crime", one of the women wrote on Twitter that she was with "the world's coolest smartest people". And when asked whether Assange should leave her flat, she replied, "No, it's not a problem. He's very welcome to stay here." Referring to their night together, she said that she "felt dumped" when he left her bed to work on his computer.

This may help to explain why Assange is not charged with any crime, and why the director of prosecutions has appeared so reluctant to provide the defence with documents. The first official document arrived on 18 November, three months after the alleged offences.

Whether or not the smear is a "CIA conspiracy", it is clear that Assange's name has been blackened. Also, the women's details have been hauled across the internet. And his very serious enemies in Washington have been hugely encouraged to pursue their vicious campaign against him. Meanwhile, we have the spectacle of the US Attorney General trying to concoct a specious law to prosecute Assange for revealing the lies and obsessions of rapacious great power, which, under the First Amendment in the land of Thomas Jefferson, is not a crime. He deserves all our support.

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