Julian #Assange’s #Rape Case Has Nothing to Do With Free Speech
Julian Assange’s Rape Case Has Nothing to Do With Free Speech
by Adrian Chen - Gawker
The latest Wikileaks farce came to a head this weekend, with Julian Assange thundering from a balcony at the London Ecuadorian embassy that Obama must end the “witch hunt,” against Wikileaks. That Assange is holed up in the embassy after seeking asylum in Ecuador to avoid two-year-old Swedish rape and sexual molestation accusations, not a U.S. government investigation, proved no obstacle: His supporters are now seized by one of their periodic spasms of delusional op-ed writing, blogging and tweeting in the hopes of throwing up a screen of bullshit thick enough to hide the fact that this is a very straightforward case of a dude allegedly being a sex creep—not a shadowy conspiracy against a free speech champion.
Michael Moore and Oliver Stone
The charge is being led this time by the filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone. They argue in a Times op-ed today that Assange’s Ecuadorian asylum bid is an important struggle for “global free speech” instead of a struggle by Julian Assange to not go to jail for rape. Moore has thankfully backed off of his most offensive argument, that what Assange is accused of is not really rape, as he claimed to the BBC back in December of 2010 after donating $20,000 to Assange’s bail fund. (In fact one of Assange’s two accusers claims Assange forcibly held her down while having sex with her; the other claims she woke to find him having sex with her without a condom.)
Moore and Stone concede that the allegations should be “thoroughly investigated”; but then argue that the attempt to extradite Assange to Sweden in order to investigate the claims is a secret ploy to send him to the U.S. to face trial for Wikileaks’ classified diplomatic cable release. “Taken together, the British and Swedish governments’ actions suggest to us that their real agenda is to get Mr. Assange to Sweden,” they write.