769 Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and Sex

Now it’s time to write about Julian Assange, and - yes - WikiLeaks. I had always been on WikiLeak’s - and by association Julian Assange’s - side, but what evolved last week I had reason to call “hugely disturbing” (blog 761): The question was asked (by SMH reporter Chris Zappone) …

“What role did Assange play in the election of this abnormal candidate (Trump)? More precisely,  how was it ever OK for Assange to pound away at Hillary Clinton's reputation  and that of the Democrats with data hacked by an enemy government  (Russia)?”

… one question - among many - that got him blocked by WikiLeaks on Twitter.

But back to Julian Assange. Today in the paper (SMH) at long last an account of what really happened and what lead to the sexual harassment and rape charges against Assange. I had known that it was not the woman he had sex with who raised charges against him … it was the Swedish police.

They had to, because it had come to their attention that apparently an assault had occurred; in Sweden it's a crime to have sex with a person who's asleep, because it naturally is without their consent (see, how could they consent if they’re asleep?)

How did the police become privy of that information? The woman had wanted for Assange to have a test done for STDs … she (reasonably, since the sex was without a condom) wanted to know if he had a sexually transmittable disease. Why she had to go to the police for that - i.e. did he not consent to such a test? - I don’t know.

So this is the question: Is Julian Assange a rapist ... or is his persecution politically motivated? Assange has a history with the US of course. He has remained at the embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden to answer questions about the alleged rape. 

Assange fears that if he exits the embassy, or travels to Sweden, he will ultimately be arrested and extradited to the US, where he could stand trial for his role in the Cablegate leaks and be given a long sentence such as that received by Chelsea Manning, the US soldier found guilty of giving the classified documents to WikiLeaks. Manning was sentenced to 35 years' jail in 2013  (SMH Chris Zappone).

This is Assange’s side of the story (SMH):

“In an extradition hearing in the UK, Swedish prosecutors alleged that the woman, known as SW, was asleep in the same bed as Assange and so was not capable of consent to sexual intercourse.

"This is false," Assange said. "I was certain 'SW' was not asleep. I was also certain she expressly consented to unprotected sex before such intercourse started. This is also evidenced by SW's own text messages."

According to his statement, the texts include - and this really should settle the case:

   On 17 August, after all sex had occurred, "SW" wrote to a friend that it "turned out all right" other than STD/pregnancy risk

—  On 20 August "SW", while at the police station, wrote that she "did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange" but that "the police were keen on getting their hands on him"; and that she was "chocked (sic shocked) when they arrested him" because she "only wanted him to take a test"

—  On 21 August "SW" wrote that she "did not want to accuse" Julian Assange "for anything", and that it was the "police who made up the charges (sic)"