Taking A Leak: The Latest on Julian Asssssange

Like everyone else, I've been furious that Julian Asssssange has been able to travel the world releasing sensitive American documents with impunity. But, I've also grown to agree that many of his State Department leaks (the military leaks were contemptible, inasmuch as the Left was eagerly hoping to find - finally! - evidence of war crimes) were actually useful for providing a truer vision of American diplomacy and the world order than we do from official communiques or the American MSM:

Gideon Rachman at the Financial Times says WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange deserves a medal rather than prison. “He and WikiLeaks have done America a massive favour,” he writes, “by inadvertently debunking decades-old conspiracy theories about its foreign policy.”

He’s right. And I suspect Rachman’s tongue is firmly planted in cheek when he says Assange should be rewarded. If the United States wanted all that information made public, the government hardly needed his help getting it out there.

Anyway, Rachman points out that many rightists in China and Russia, and leftists in Europe and Latin America, assume that whatever American foreign-policy officials say in public is a lie. I’d add that Arabs on both the “left” and the “right” do, too. Not all of them, surely, but perhaps a majority. I’ve met people in the Middle East who actually like parts of the American rationale for the war in Iraq — that the promotion of democracy in the Arab world might leech out its toxins — they just don’t believe the U.S. was actually serious.

And let’s not forget the most ridiculous theories of all. Surely somewhere in all these leaked files there’d be references to a war for oil in Iraq if the war was, in fact, about oil. Likewise, if 9/11 was an inside job — or a joint Mossad–al-Qaeda job — there should be at least some suggestive evidence in all those classified documents. If the U.S. government lied, rather than guessed wrong, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, or if NATO invaded Afghanistan to install a pipeline, this information would have to be written down somewhere. The State and Defense department bureaucracies are far too vast to have no records of what they’re up to.

But, isn't it curious how the Obama Administration was "powerless" when Asssssange was publishing the "war crimes" (sheee-yeah right!) leaks, but is suddenly all gung-ho now that he has revealed the true state of affairs in the world's foreign ministries.

Asssssange, meanwhile, continues to grapple with the lame Swedish "rape" prosecution. In perhaps the unkindest cut, the entire 84-page report setting out the facts alleged by his accusers has been leaked and published in the NY Times:

Ms. A told the police that arrangements had been made for Mr. Assange to begin his visit to Sweden by staying at her Stockholm apartment for a few days while she was out of town. But the report said she returned Aug. 13, sooner than expected and, over dinner with Mr. Assange, agreed to allow him to stay in the apartment.

The details of their sexual encounter that night were redacted from the copy of the police report obtained by The Times. But The Guardian reported Saturday that Ms. A told the police that Mr. Assange had stroked her leg, then pulled off her clothes and snapped her necklace. The report quotes her as saying that she “tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again.”

According to The Guardian, Ms. A told the police that Mr. Assange pinned her arms and legs to stop her from reaching for a condom. Eventually one was used — but, she told her police interviewer, he appeared to have “done something” with it, resulting in its tearing.

Ms. W, 25, lives in the town of Enkoping, about 30 miles north of Stockholm. A few weeks before Mr. Assange arrived in Sweden, she saw him on television, according to the police interview in The Times’s version of the police report, and found him “interesting, brave and worthy of admiration.” When she discovered that he would be speaking in Stockholm, she contacted Ms. A to volunteer her help.

Her offer was not taken up, but she decided to attend the lecture anyway, where she met Ms. A in person. After the speech, she told the police, she sat next to Mr. Assange at a group dinner. He flirtatiously fed her bread and cheese, she said, and put his arm around her.

The group dispersed after dinner, leaving Mr. Assange and Ms. W alone, the police report said. They decided to go to a movie, where, the report said, the couple began caressing, then moved to a back row, where they continued. Two days later, Ms. W and Mr. Assange met again and walked around the city’s old town together, according to the police report. It said they decided to go by train to Enkoping after Mr. Assange balked at staying in a Stockholm hotel. Ms. W then bought his rail ticket, for about $16, after Mr. Assange told her that he did not have any money, and that he feared he could be traced if he used a credit card.

The unredacted police report obtained by The Guardian says that after arriving at her apartment the two had sex using a condom. In the report, she described waking up to find him having sex with her again, without a condom. Later that morning, Ms. W told the police, Mr. Assange “ordered her to get some water and orange juice for him.” She said “she didn’t like being ordered around in her own home but got it anyway.”

Jesus, this is lame. If this really is a CIA/Swedish black ops maneuver, we are a long way away from poison tipped umbrellas, or even kidnappings in Milan. If, as is more likely, this is a case of morning after regrets from a couple flakey strumpets, we are a long way away from "no means no" and "Take Back the Night" rallies.

Meanwhile, Bradley Manning, and the other leakers in the military and State Department continue to languish in obscurity when in fact they are the ones who should be getting hounded by the government and the press. By rights, they should be getting the full Asssssange treatment, but instead languish in obscurity.

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