Tag Archives: Julian Assange

Assange and human rights

Julian Assange on balcony
Tomorrow, Julian Assange is invited to speak on human rights and diplomatic asylum, via weblink from his room in Knightsbridge, at a UN event for permanent representatives to the UN General Assembly.

From Live on RT, which is to broadcast the event:

Julian Assange will address permanent representatives to the UN General Assembly at a high-level talk on the legal and ethical legitimacy of diplomatic asylum. RT has exclusive rights to broadcast the event live from the UN headquarters in New York. [Note: this will be at 8:30pm in New York, so half an hour into Thursday morning in London.]

Among those joining Assange for the panel discussion at the 67th General Assembly Debate on Wednesday will be Ricardo Patino, Foreign Affairs Minister of Ecuador, and Baher Azmy, the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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Jeremy Duns, ‘Maria James’, and Julian Assange

It will surprise no one to know that I am a firm and fervent supporter of the right to pseudonymity on the Internet.

Maria James “jerermyduns-watch” 12th September:

It is probably not a surprise that Jeremy Duns and his little club of right-wing thriller writers have accused me of being a man.

Duns has stated clearly that I am Steve Roach.

I guess in his public school/spy circles, a women’s place is in the kitchen, or the bedroom. It obviously has not occured to him that a mere women might be capable of having a debate, and even questioning a man on points of principle.

I note with interest that “Maria James” has a profile on her blogspot, and that links to GooglePlus and doesn’t share anything with anyone. I find this of interest because if I wanted to set up a fake profile for myself that’s exactly what I’d use:

Because they’re worried about trolls faking up Google Plus identities, the folks behind Google Plus have set up a mechanism to report suspect accounts, have them frozen, and demand verification of identity in order to unlock them. Gary Walker went to work and tested this, with predictably hilarious results (well, hilarious if you haven’t just had your GMail account deleted for the temerity of having a name beginning with Mac- or O’-):
….
I’m not going to give you a TL;DR summary of Gary’s findings; let’s just say they’re extremely alarming. Send a poison pen email and you can get an account suspended until the owner verifies their identity by sending a scan of some ID. Use Photoshop to bolt together a fake driving license with a fucking spree killer’s face on it and you can get an account re-enabled. I’m willing to bet that the process for hijacking someone else’s account is not much more complicated.

Now let’s move on to the Twitter conversation today.
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Filed under In The Media

Yes, Julian, because it’s all about you

Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack:

On Tuesday [11th September] night a group of extremists attacked the US consulate building in Benghazi, setting it on fire, and killing one US diplomatic officer.

On Tuesday the US state department confirmed that one of its employees had been killed by the mob that stormed the US mission in Benghazi, incensed by a US film that they deemed blasphemous to the prophet Muhammad. Libyan officials said Stevens and two security staff were in their car when gunmen fired rockets at it, Reuters reported. The official said the US military had sent a military plane to transport the bodies to Tripoli and to fly them back to the US.

One witness told the Guardian on Wednesday that a mob fired at least one rocket at the US consulate building in Benghazi and then stormed it, setting everything ablaze. “I was there about an hour ago. The place [consulate] is totally destroyed, the whole building is on fire.”

Apparently Julian Assange himself is curating the @Wikileaks account:

By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies round the world.

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Naomi Wolf says sorry… sort of

Consistently, since her original “Dear Interpol” letter in the Huffington Post in December 2010, Naomi Wolf has been the most high-profile self-identified feminist to argue that Assange did not rape or sexually assault either of the two women. In February 2011 she wrote a much-cited essay Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange. She’s been outspoken in interviews and at parties – Naomi Wolf slams feminists’ response to the Assange rape prosecution (Thursday, 17th November 2011).

She’s been cited with relief from Cory Doctorow to Reuters:

Even well-known feminist Naomi Wolf criticized the international judicial hunt for Assange, writing that she personally knew “1.3 million guys” with similar complaints made against them by women.

But she had never faced an interview like Mumsnet, yesterday lunchtime (Thursday 6th September) Nor did she seem to be aware that Mumset had launched a campaign in March this year:

called We Believe You, and it has two simple aims. First, we want to shine a spotlight on the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in women’s lives; then, we want to pull apart the many myths surrounding rape, which make so many women feel that they will not be believed if they report this crime.

To all those women, we say: we believe you.

Mumsnet interviewed Naomi Wolf, and it didn’t go as Wolf wanted.

Not even in the questions being posted before Naomi Wolf arrived.

  • Are we allowed to ask questions about J****n A*****e?
  • Hi Naomi, How does a woman say ‘no’ if she’s asleep? thanks.
  • Dear Naomi, Why do you speak so authoritatively on Swedish law when you can’t read Swedish and are not a lawyer? Do you have a response to these criticisms of your statements about the Assange matter? You got so many things factually and legally wrong. Thanks!
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Sense of entitlement

This post has trigger warnings.

It’s mostly about rape.
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Filed under Human Rights, Women

On a point of principle

Because 6% of college-aged men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act—and that’s the conservative estimate. Other sources double that number (pdf).

A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?

Rapists do.

They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.

Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. –Feminism 101: Helpful Hints for Dudes, Part 3

Last night on Newsnight Craig Murray decided it was his job to give the name of “Fröken A” – the first woman that Assange admits to having had non-consensual sex with (though Assange and Galloway and even Todd Akin are at one in agreeing that just because the sex wasn’t consensual this doesn’t make it you know actual rape).

Dear George Galloway:

So, the first point outlines pinning a woman down in order to force her into sexual activity. The second is tricking a woman into sexual activity to which she had not consented. The third is non-consensual–albeit non-penetrative–sexual activity. The fourth is having sex with a woman who is completely unable to consent. The fifth is exactly the same as the second.

You’ll notice, George, that the recurring theme throughout all of this is that the women were not consenting. There’s a word for sex without consent. Rape.

I find it rather concerning that you dismiss this as merely, as you put it, “bad sexual etiquette”. Bad sexual etiquette is not saying “thank you” before leaving. What Julian Assange is accused of is far more than that. It’s rape, George. It’s rape.

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Filed under Human Rights, Justice, Women

Could the US extradite Assange?

On 7th December 2010, Dianne Feinsteinn wrote in WSJ:

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released his latest document trove—more than 250,000 secret State Department cables—he intentionally harmed the U.S. government. The release of these documents damages our national interests and puts innocent lives at risk. He should be vigorously prosecuted for espionage.

The law Mr. Assange continues to violate is the Espionage Act of 1917. That law makes it a felony for an unauthorized person to possess or transmit “information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”

The Espionage Act also makes it a felony to fail to return such materials to the U.S. government. Importantly, the courts have held that “information relating to the national defense” applies to both classified and unclassified material. Each violation is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Dianne Feinstein is the US Senator from California since 1992: she was also Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. She graduated from Stanford University in 1955: her degree is in History. She is not a lawyer, any more than I am, and while I respect her decades of political acumen, I doubt that she took legal advice before she wrote that column in the Wall Street Journal.
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Ecuador is to grant political asylum to Julian Assange

Stories that you’ll never now hear from Wikileaks:

On 19 November 2011

the President of the National Assembly, Fernando Cordero, issued a public warning against Betty Escobar, an Ecuadorian citizen who lives in the United States. Through the micro-blogging social network Twitter, Cordero warned Escobar to “change her language or she would soon regret her licentiousness,” after she tweeted a comment that was critical of the official.
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Filed under In The Media, Justice, Women

Why didn’t @YourAnonNews credit @Stavvers?

At 23:49 15th August, Stavvers tweeted:

At 23:56 15th August, Anonymous tweeted:

Character count shows it would have been perfectly possible for Anonymous to RT it giving Stavvers credit, rather than steal it outright.

Why then the violation of the law of Twitter – repeat, retweet, but credit?
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Filed under Justice, Unanswerable Questions, Women

Julian Assange plays pity card for Ecuador

On 18th August 2010, Julian Assange applied for a residence permit to live and work in Sweden, hoping to create a base for Wikileaks there, because of the country’s laws protecting whistle-blowers. Swedish law prohibits extradition for political crimes: Swden have repeatedly said that the ECHR would intervene if Assange were to be extradited to face inhuman or degrading treatment, such as Assange claims to fear in the US.

If Julian Assange were genuinely afraid of being extradited to the US more than anything else, he would have stayed in Sweden. He fled because he did not want to be questioned by the Swedish police about the allegations of rape made against him by two women in August 2010. He has spent two years trying not to go back to a country where he wanted to live and where he would be safe from being extradited – but where he might well spend up to six years in jail for rape, if the Swedish authorities decide to charge him and if he is convicted.

Government sources in Quito, Ecuador, confirmed today the President, Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, intended to grant Julian Assange asylum in Ecuador. They also admitted that the offer of asylum was made to Assange several months ago – before he walked into the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge on 19th June, following “confidential negotiations” with senior staff at the embassy.
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