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August 23, 2012

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How about: What Assange is accused of by the U.S. (if anything) isn't a crime under U.K. law and therefore not extraditable pursuant to the U.S.-U.K. treaty, whereas it is in Sweden?

E.g., would the U.S. extradite someone to a foreign country for criminal prosecution of actions that took place in the U.S. which are Constitutionally protected (let's ignore the terrorism exception)?

I'm making that up off the top of my head but it sounds good.

Skip the first dozen or so paragraphs, and you'll find Greenwald making a case here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/22/julian-assange-media-contempt

To say that I'm not entirely persuaded is something of an understatement, but it's certainly a case.

Gnawing little confusions: Oysters Rockefeller.

Sweden does seem to have some pretty good press freedom laws -
http://www.freedominfo.org/2012/04/sweden-decides-against-changing-press-act/
- which Assange has praised in the past.

The respective country reports from Amnesty don't suggest much either way:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/sweden/report-2012
http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/uk/report-2012

Can't find much.

It is fairly clear that Assange is right to fear extradition to the US, but whether he has more to fear from Sweden than the UK is not obvious to me.

Of course, while the extradition to Sweden in connection with the sexual assault case remains unresolved, the UK could not extradite him to the US, the prior case taking precedent - but this is not much of an argument.

Nigel beat me to it--I was about to post the Greenwald link and Greenwald himself links to some others.

I'm no lawyer, but from a PR standpoint I would think extradition from Sweden after he has faced the rape charges wouldn't look quite so funny as extraditing him directly from Britain to the US. Not that I'd support extradition to the US in either case (to put it mildly), but if he were found guilty of rape in Sweden then most of what little sympathy he has in the mainstream press will dry up.


In the meantime, how are all those investigations into US war crimes coming along? Yes, I know, sarcasm. But nothing brings it out in me more than this subject. Assange should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I looked at the wikipedia list of past recipients and obviously standards are very low. link

Ugh, that first Greenwald link is a monstrous case of one sided whininess and speculation. It is kind of fascinating that he can believe the press hates Assange, that the UK government hates Assange and than step without pause into an argument that the UK is a safe place for Assange when compared to Sweden. Good heavens, just paragraphs of ranting about poor put upon Assange. "There are several obvious reasons why Assange provokes such unhinged media contempt. The most obvious among them is competition: the resentment generated by watching someone outside their profession generate more critical scoops in a year than all other media outlets combined (see this brilliant 2008 post, in the context of the Clintons, about how professional and ego-based competition produces personal hatred like nothing else can).

Other causes are more subtle though substantive. Many journalists (and liberals) like to wear the costume of outsider-insurgent, but are, at their core, devoted institutionalists, faithful believers in the goodness of their society's power centers, and thus resent those (like Assange) who actually and deliberately place themselves outside of it. By putting his own liberty and security at risk to oppose the world's most powerful factions, Assange has clearly demonstrated what happens to real adversarial dissidents and insurgents – they're persecuted, demonized, and threatened, not befriended by and invited to parties within the halls of imperial power – and he thus causes many journalists to stand revealed as posers, servants to power, and courtiers."

Really?

Even after wading through all that, Greenwald's explanation of the legal reasons why Sweden is less safe with respect to extradition than the UK is still murky.

Extradition takes a long time for some cases in the UK? That isn't really an argument about the overall likelihood of extradition, but rather how long it takes--something which I can see appealing to Assange, but not really of interest to the rest of us. Sweden won't commit to avoiding extradition request that hasn't been made? Neither will the UK so far as I can tell. The only thing that comes close is that Sweden extradited Mohammed al-Zari and another Egyptian in December 2001 and that this subsequently has been found to implicate Sweden in al-Zari's torture. This is true (though almost certainly mitigated by the date of transfer) but it is also true that the transfer has caused enormous outrage in Sweden. This suggests that the political tone in Sweden is against such transfers, not for them. Greenwald's main complaint is that the process tends to be secret in Sweden.

After reading the two Greewald articles, I can tell that Greenwald is passionate about Assange, but I don't have any better handle on the legal legitimacy of the claim that the UK is less likely to extradite.

I tried to look up the original extradition papers and found that the UK has already agreed to extradite Assange, quite quickly, to Sweden. see here which makes the argument even more confusing if seen in a 'is the UK likely to extradite' light.

I'm not any more enlightened about whether or not Assange's argument makes logical/legal sense than before. Chalk it up as example X of 'reporters cannot report substance well'.

"and he thus causes many journalists to stand revealed as posers, servants to power, and courtiers."

Really?"


The difference between Glenn and most reporters that I see or read in the MSM is that Glenn actually gets outraged over torture and lies about drone strikes that kill civilians (one of the Wikileaks revelations was about the strike in Yemen that killed dozens of civilians that the US tried to pretend was done by Yemen) and he acts like the people responsible should be held accountable. Well, they aren't. But there is accountability for whistleblowers. Glenn gets angry about this. He's like some child who has just discovered that the world is a nasty cynical place and that talk about accountability is drivel that the powerful put out there, but it doesn't apply to them and it just drives him nuts. So if you don't in some way empathize with that pov you'll look at Glenn and think he's a lunatic.

I'm trying to remember when I've ever seen a discussion about wikileaks on TV that mentioned the sorts of issues that Glenn mentions. Maybe on the Chris Hayes show. Nowhere else that I can remember.

Now whether Glenn is right about Assange and the relative likelihood of being extradited in different places I couldn't say.

Going offline for a few days, btw, so any further devastating takedowns of GG will go unanswered by me.

As a Finn, I feel for Sweden. From my POV, the main thing here is about the effectiveness of the EU. The European Union builds on mutual trust: a Swedish court will judge Assange quite as fairly as a British, French or German one. And we have a newly-minted extradition system where anyone accused of crime should be extradited speedily into from one EU member state to another. The time should be closer to a week than two years. Good thing is that the UK supreme court approved the principle and future extraditions are going to be easier.

Second, Assange is simply playing time. He is accused of a crime (a non-aggravated sexual assault not really rising to the level of rape) for which the statute of limitations is short. I would venture to say it's about five years. It's possible for him to stay that long in the Ecuadorean embassy.

Third, if Assange is found guilty, he will likely receive a probational sentence. The maximum he can wait for is about a year in an open prison. That's less than the home arrest he has done until now. After that, he will likely be deported from Schengen area, with an exclusion from Schengen area for five years. The country where he will be deported to is likely to be either his homeland New Zealand or Ecuador, where he has an asylum.

Or how about: the UK has first hand knowledge of what the US does to its political prisoners and thus won't extradite, but Sweden is still in the dark?

Damn that's cynical.

"....Assange has clearly demonstrated what happens to real adversarial dissidents and insurgents – they're persecuted, demonized, and threatened, not befriended by and invited to parties within the halls of imperial power – and he thus causes many journalists to stand revealed as posers, servants to power, and courtiers."

"Really?"

Yeah. Really. GG is making sense as far as that quote is concerned. What part of seems improbable or unrealistic?

As far as Assange's choice of countries for refuge, the UK has extradiction laws that have an edge in his favor compared to Sweden's.

Oh, forgot to include the fact that, technically, Assange is no longer in the UK. He is in Ecuador, even if it is only the Ecuadorian embassy at this point.

That the embassy containing Assange happens to be located in the UK is of little consequence at this point.

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/five-legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

Above is the url for article in New Statesman about the Assange matter and the extradition issues. It has been a matter of considerable comment in the Legal Blogs in the UK and - to put it mildly - what Assange and his supporters say about extradition is nonsense. It would be far easier for the USA to extradite Assange from the UK than from Sweden.

Blackhawk, Since I read in one of the big papers yesterday that the UK is talking about revoking the embassy's status over this, I wouldn't be so sure that Assange is as secure there as you think.

Walklikeacat, I'll look at that article.

I have incredibly mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, government secrecy can be bad, is often used to hide government wrongs, and is almost certainly overbroad. On the other hand, Assange went much too far in the leaks thing (targeted leaks exposing government misconduct or illegality are one thing, wholesale info dumps of secret info are another). However I'm perfectly willing to admit that the timing of the rape allegations is nastily convenient. But I'm also not willing to dismiss these women's allegations merely on timing--so Assange's attempts which appear to be avoiding dealing with the charges seem bad too.

Which is why I would love to get a better handle on whether or not the attempts to avoid Sweden are a legitimate worry about being more greatly exposed to US extradition or not.

It could be so easy. If Sweden would give a written official guarantee that Assange would not be extradited (or allowed to be abducted), the ball would be in Assange's court. I would cost Sweden (I assume) nothing but call his bluff (if it is one). Should he then refuse to go to Sweden, he would be discredited in the eyes of a significant portion of his supporters.
I might add that the same would not be true for any assurances from the US since those are traditionally completely worthless (another thing the US have in common with (ancient and papal) Rome).

From what I can tell, Sweden can't give such a guarantee because it can't prejudge an extradition request that doesn't exist, and the government can't rule on an extradition request without the Prosecutor General's opinion, which again can't be formed without reference to an actual extradition request. See here.

See especially (from the first source):

Third, the Swedish extradition agreements with the US does not allow extradition when the offence is purely military or if the offence is a political offence. See article 5(4)-(5) of Convention on extradition between the United States of America and Sweden, 24 October 1961. See also the supplementary convention from 14 March 1983. Cameron and et. al write the following on p. 177: "No definition is given in the Extradition Act of what offence constitute a political offence. In Swedish extradition law, as in many other countries' extradition laws, a distinction is made between absolute and relative political crimes. Absolute political crimes are those exclusively directed against the state... espionage is an absolute political crime according to the travaux préparatoires". One may add that in Swedish law, as opposed to English law, travaux préparatoires is as source of law.

As I understand Ecuador has granted Assange political asylum, i.e. Ecuador is arguing that the US is seeking Assange for a political offence (espionage). Moreover, they fear that Assange will be subject to the death penalty and/or torture. As explained above, extradition from Sweden would for several reasons not be granted in such a case.

It is theoretically possible that i) the US might charge Assange for an other (non-political) crime than espionage and that ii) the US would be willing to issue a guarantee that the death penalty will not be issued. The latter has happened before - see for example the aftermath of the Soering case. Could Sweden extradite Assange in such a case? The answer is yes provided that the UK also approves, but I have great difficulties to see what kind of non-political crime that would be. We can of course discuss all kind of theoretical cases which I do all the time with my students at the University. The question is if sovereign states such as the UK, Sweden and Ecuador should take action on such theoretical cases, regardless of their likelihood and basis in reality?

I am not deeply proficient in UK law, and even less so in Swedish law, so I can't vouch for the authority of those writers.

"......the UK is talking about revoking the embassy's status over this, I wouldn't be so sure that Assange is as secure there as you think."

I think that is a bluff on the UK's part. They're not going to start ripping apart the embassy system over Assange - or at least that would be my bet. Then again it is only Ecuador, but it's still a slippery slope that I think the UK wants to avoid.

"I have incredibly mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, government secrecy can be bad, is often used to hide government wrongs, and is almost certainly overbroad. On the other hand, Assange went much too far in the leaks thing ...."

Yep. I hear you. I have the same mixed feelings. The again, Assange wasn't sworn to secrecy or loyalty. So I'm not sure what crime he actually committed. His fear is being swept away by the US gov't and held without charges or trial and, perhaps - perhaps likely - tortured.

"I'm also not willing to dismiss these women's allegations merely on timing...."

Have you actually read exactly what it is he is accused of? At the risk of setting of a vicious spastic response by the usual suspects, I think calling it "rape" in at least one case, is stretching things quite a bit. He is accuses of having sex without a condom with a woman that already had concesual sex with a condom earlier the same night. The charge isn't even rape. It's more along the lines of what actually allegedly did. So, yeah, it looks like a spook set up.

Sebastian: "...The only thing that comes close is that Sweden extradited Mohammed al-Zari and another Egyptian in December 2001 and that this subsequently has been found to implicate Sweden in al-Zari's torture. This is true (though almost certainly mitigated by the date of transfer) but it is also true that the transfer has caused enormous outrage in Sweden"

Got nothing to add to the bigger question but as a Swedish citizen i can say that concerning the case of Ahmed 'Agiza and Muhammad El-Zari i can assure maybe 1 person in 100 would know those names. It caused a bit of a stink when it was revealed but they were basically forgotten in next weeks newscycle.

I've been living in sweden for some time. A few years back when Karl Rove was ducking testifying in front of congress he popped up in, of all places...SWEDEN. More specifically a big political confab held at a baltic island resort. Huh?
Turns out Karl Rove is a political advisor to the Reinfeldt administration. Not much has been made of this connection but even before this revelation I was amazed at the similarties between the Bush presidency and the Reinfeldt administration. I think Rove has more than a little influence with the current swedish government.
If you are talking about leaks of war crimes in the Bush years, all roads lead to Rove. Rove probably has more to fear from Wilileaks than anyone in the world. Democrats can't prosecute Bush or Cheney but they would love to fry Karl Rove. And then there is the Hague.
Politics makes strange bedfellows. Speaking of bedfellows, these sexual assault charges have had a stink of BS from the begining. No doubt Mr. Assange has a clearer view of how this all came togeather. It ain't paranoia if they really are out to get you.

Before he lost his appeal and slipped into Ecuadoran Embassy, Assange was not in the grip of UK authorities. Can't extradite what you don't have.

Depending on what actually happened between Assange and his accusers, his subsequent actions can be read:

1) as the gyrations of the guilty (in which case all the extradition stuff is smoke);

2) as the gyrations of the innocent (nothing happened, Assange has seen first hand just how reliable the Swedish judicial system is (not at all), and the extradition stuff is fire).

But good luck learning what actually happened.

IOW whatever Assange actually did, it wouldn't qualify as a legitimate rape.

DaveC:

You're *really* going to use the phrase "legitimate rape"?!? REALLY?!?!?

Listen, you ... guys (this blog's policy prevents me from using the adjective/noun combinations that first come to mind). When a man who has taken on the responsibility of protection (against pregnancy as well as disease) decides to not bother this time, he's saying -- in no uncertain terms that the woman's bodily integrity and indeed her life are not worth bothering about. It is an *assault*, with a chance of leading to serious or long-term damage.

Yes, it is unusual (or maybe unique) for Swedish law to recognize this as assault. But whatever the legal reality, that's what it is in practice.

Unless you've had the feeling of hot-and-cold panic and nausea because your period is late, you don't get to dismiss Assange's behavior as unimportant or trivial. He broke his word and exposed a woman to fear and loss of bodily integrity, just because he felt like it. And that's the core of rape: when the assailant's desires overpower the victim's bodily integrity.

If you don't think that's important (yeah, Blackhawk, I'm looking at you) then as far as I'm concerned you're objectively pro-rapist.

I think DaveC thought he was sarcastic (and clever) there and his remark was not intended to say anything about rape but about perceived liberal hypocrisy (attacking the 'pro-lifers' for 'alleged' misogyny but shielding an immoral guy like Assange).
Just mind-reading on my part though.

"And that's the core of rape: when the assailant's desires overpower the victim's bodily integrity."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

The above link is a relatively robust account of what happened and what Assange is accused of. I think most reasonable people would agree that a) Assange is a loser jerk concerning sexuality but that b) the women involved in *this* incident certainly carry responsibility for risking - and/or continuing to risk - their own bodily integrity and that c) regarding what happened with at least one of the women would not rise to the level of a crime in the US. and Finally d) that the women are suspicious characters as are their accusations given the recorded circumstances.

It seems that the women themselves do not consider Assange to be a "rapist" per se. Rather, they were concerned over the possibility of STD contraction and made the official report only to force an STD test after Assange procrastinated or indicated that he might not ultimately voluntarily have one performed.

My point being that labeling him a rapist is a tactic that is designed to defame his character in the MSM and to turn public opinion against him and to diminish the reaction if he was to be extradicted to the US and then secreted away without due process.

Thus, by playing on the ultra feminist card and pushing the envelop of the definition of rape, one is, in one's own small way, potentially being a tool of the US government in its efforts to bring down a man that embarassed it.

Having penetrative sex with a sleeping woman would be rape in the UK also.

Having sex with someone, without a condom, after they specifically told you that they wouldn't have sex with you unless you had a condom on, and trying to evade that because you slept, is real rape.

The fact that DaveC+Blackhawk7 are this confused about consent astonishes me. How can anyone function in the world if they don't understand consent?


Look, the women clearly consented to having sex with Assange.

If he then refused to use a condom and the woman then refused to have sex (withdrew consent), but Assange forced himself on the woman, then that would be rape. Obviously. That doesn't seem to be the case here. That's not what's being alleged. One woman says Assange deliberately tore the condom. That's her main complaint. Assange says he did not. Good luck prosecuting that in any country.

Just curious, If a female claims to be using birth control and isn’t, can she be charged with rape? If a female lies by saying she does NOT have an STD, but actually does, is that rape as well?

If a female claims to be using birth control and isn’t, can she be charged with rape?

Only if the male is at risk of becoming pregnant. How is this not a stupid, heartless question?

If a female lies by saying she does NOT have an STD, but actually does, is that rape as well?

I believe the law says that's assault or some other tort, but IANAL.

Blackhawk7, here's a framework to help think through your hypotheticals.

If Alice and Bob (or Adam and Betty) choose to have sex only under condition X and then one of them willfully ensures that X does not hold, then there is no consent. Do you know what we call sex without consent?

"If a female claims to be using birth control and isn’t, can she be charged with rape?

Only if the male is at risk of becoming pregnant. How is this not a stupid, heartless question?"

Not stupid, perhaps it is not a physical threat to the male, but it is an emotional, financial threat.

And before Phil jumps in with it's his fault, sure it is.

The question is if he says he doesn't want to have sex without birth control and she lies about it what is HER level of responsibility to him?

"How is this not a stupid, heartless question?"

In an important way it is not, if one is objective.

If a man consents to have sex with a woman only after being assured that the woman is using birth control, IOW, the consent is contigent on her use of birth control, without which the consent would be withdrawn, how is it so different than these women in the Assange case who consented to have sex contingent on Assange using a condom?

playing on the ultra feminist card and pushing the envelop of the definition of rape

Once again I come up against the fact that saying what I'm really thinking would mean I'd have to ban myself, which would be awkward.

Read Laurie Penny's post, It's trigger warning week. Is calling what Penny experienced rape "pushing the envelope of the definition of rape"? I guess it is, in practice, because the rapist didn't think it was "rape-rape" or "legitimate rape": she didn't fight back! She didn't scream! He thinks he's a nice guy, and he would know, wouldn't he?

Yes, we ULTRA FEMINISTS *are* pushing the envelope of the definition: we're pushing it to actually include all rapes, not just "violent stranger rapes of virgins where she goes to the police".

I'm sure it is unintentional, but you're missing key facts. With the second woman, Assange wanted to have sex without a condom, the woman insisted that he have a condom. Despite repeated pressuring she continued to insist on a condom and eventually stopped what they were doing and went to sleep. While she was asleep he had pentatrative sex without a condom.

That isn't legal in the US the UK or Sweden.

If you must have hypotheticals, a man repeatedly pushes for anal sex with a woman. She repeatedly says no. She has vaginal sex with him. She goes to sleep. He shoves his cock in her ass.

We all understand that is rape, right?
[minor edit for clarity]

Thank you, Sebastian.

In fact, I know a woman who had the *exact* experience you give as a hypothetical. She only consciously realized it was rape *years* later, when she was talking with someone else. It took so long because it's *really hard* to believe that someone you love and who says he loves you would be a rapist. Especially in a world where everyone says that kind of behavior isn't really rape, or if it is it's your own fault.

Blackhawk:
how is it so different than these women in the Assange case who consented to have sex contingent on Assange using a condom?

What part of the words physical integrity are you finding so hard to understand?

"While she was asleep he had pentatrative sex without a condom.

That isn't legal in the US the UK or Sweden."

I didn't miss that. I'm still not sure thqat rises to the level of rape - as legally defined - and I don't think the Swedes even see it as such. I think the charge is something lower pertaining to unprotected sex.

"What part of the words physical integrity are you finding so hard to understand"

None. I am questioning the whole concept.

If a man hits a woman with his fist he has violated her physical integrity, but it isn't rape. It's assualt and battery. If he runs her over with a car it's vehiclura homocide, not rape. So "physical integrity" alone cannot be suffcient.

You would need to add some qualifiers pertaining to sexual acts. And then things would still be very murky. What if a guy does something with a woman, during consented sex, that he has done with a dozen other women who either enjoyed it or at least were ok with it. His intent is merely to increase enjoyment for himself and his partner. Yet, this 13th partner, for whatever reason, finds this thing he does to be offensive. Is that rape? By the Dr Science definition it seems it would be.

By the Dr Science definition it seems that the only way for people to ensure a positive (and non-criminal) sexual encounter would be a) pre-sex, to mutually create and sign a detailed contract and b) to video all encounters so as to have evidence of conformity to the contractually agreed upon conditions.

I suppose this opens up a whole new field of opportunity for the lawyers among us.

Fortunately, no legal system on earth recognizes the Dr Science definition, nor will one ever. It just isn't realistic.

"Once again I come up against the fact that saying what I'm really thinking would mean I'd have to ban myself, which would be awkward."

It must be difficult to be you.

I refer you to the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Section 75 lays down that "the complainant is to be taken not to have consented to the relevant act...[if]...The complainant was asleep or otherwise unconscious at the time of the relevant act". And Section 1, "Rape", states that "A person commits an offence if he intentionally penetrates the vagina...of another person with his penis [and that person] does not consent to the penetration"

There's not ambiguity about it, in the UK this is rape as legally defined.

This has never presented me with a problem. No, it's not necessary to have a written, or even a verbal contract for everything you do. But if you're not sure that she consents, ask her. How hard is that?

And more importantly, in Assange's case if the report is true, if you know she doesn't consent, don't do it.

A point that folks seem to be missing is that Assange isn't worried about *legal* extradition. He's worried about getting grabbed, put on a plane, taken to [classified], and being subjected to classified interrogation techniques. Given the treatment of the guy accused of being the other end of the pipeline (Bradley Manning), I'd say he has a legitimate worry.

As a Commonwealth citizen, I'd guess that he has more protection in the UK than in Sweden. In addition, Sweden has been very willing to violate its own laws for the benefit of the RIAA/MPAA in the Pirate Bay case.

And before Phil jumps in with it's his fault, sure it is.

Your mention of me is the first time my name has appeared in this thread. What's your problem? I don't go around dragging you into fights that are not yours.

How about you grow the hell up? Would that work for you?

It appears that Blackhawk7 (and perhaps others) are arguing simply that the legal definition of rape is wrong.

That is, they do not seem to be contending that what Assange did does not fit the legal definition. Rather they are arguing that what rape "really means" is different from the legal definition.

In short, the legal definition ought, in their opinion, to be changed. It's like arguing that you are not guilty of theft if you steal from someone who is rich, because "theft is only when you steal from someone poorer than you." It's not an argument which can be countered by citing the legal definition of the crime, simply because their actual argument is with the legal definition.

"How about you grow the hell up? Would that work for you?"

Made my day, very funny. Thanks Phil.

So the answer is "No," then. Noted, and moving on. Don't drag me into crap I'm not involved in.

"That is, they do not seem to be contending that what Assange did does not fit the legal definition. "

Negative. Not even close. I am saying that what Assange did does not meet the legal definition. I think the legal definition in most of the US is pretty well structured and pretty realistic regarding what allegations can be supported by evidence in court, at least where there is a presumption of innocence.

Despite Sebastian's, "....She goes to sleep. He shoves his cock in her ass." and Dr Science's, "....She only consciously realized it was rape *years* later", no jury is going to believe that an educated and sexually experienced woman, as both accusers in the Assange case certainly are, is so stupid or shocked that she didn't realize she had been "raped" and then go on to not only fail to report the incident, but to cook meals for Assange, invite him to social events and continue to allow him to stay in her home. No jury is going is going to believe that such a woman would not be empowered enough to tell Assange to stop and then get up and get dressed if she felt that something was being done to her against her will. This is why some element of force or coercion is necessary in US law. She says stop, he won't and she attempts to get up off the bed. He grabs her and holds her down and then continues. That is rape.

All these other definitions are impracticle in a real world, unless, again, there is a prepared detail contract and video to prove contractual non-adherance. And there would still be too much murkiness between what constitues bad manners, unapreciated or just plain bad sexual technique and rape.

And remember the feminist definition of rape as proffered by Dr Science would have to cut both ways, yes? If a woman did something sexual to a man that the didn't like, he could file rape charges against her, right? Or are only men rapists?

The bottom line is that anyone who goes to bed with strangers, man or woman, is likely to encounter all sorts of bad manners and weirdness and, as adults, they should accept that it is the risk they take and if they can't find a way to deal with someone of Assange's style without involving the police, then they should should take up a different life style. We don't need to use the criminal justice system to enforce decency, food manners and sexual prowess. It doesn't work.

Phil,

I certainly wasn't involving you in any negative way. I was trying to actually see if someone would address the actual statement that Doc said was "stupid". As off topic as it might have been, it wasn't stupid. I was happy to let it go with just a quick question. Sorry to have mentioned your name but i was, I guess unwelcomed, agreeing with a point you have made many times in an attempt to limit the question.

I am bemused, to amused, that you objected so vigorously. But I meant no harm.

Blackhawk7

The Greenwald argument (or arguments) is that Assange has a reasonable fear of extradition and also that many in the so-called adversarial press act like lapdogs to the government and hate Assange. I think that's correct. Whether Assange is guilty of sexual assault is a completely separate question, one that he should have to answer in Sweden, but I also think he has a legitimate right to want some sort of assurance that he won't be extradited to the US and given the Bradley Manning treatment. But if Sebastian's description is accurate--the one here--

" With the second woman, Assange wanted to have sex without a condom, the woman insisted that he have a condom. Despite repeated pressuring she continued to insist on a condom and eventually stopped what they were doing and went to sleep. While she was asleep he had pentatrative sex without a condom."

Then yeah, that's rape. The question would be whether it happened that way and that's for the courts to decide. If it ever gets that far.

I am bemused, to amused, that you objected so vigorously.

I laughed out loud when I read the same comment you quoted, Marty, so I know what you mean. I'm don't know if Phil's trying to be funny when he writes stuff like that, but it usually is funny, at least to me. I'm not even really sure why that is, but it just seems to work out that way.

Blackhawk7: you tell us that what Assange allegedly did would not be classified as rape in the USA. I'll take your word for it, but so what? It would be rape according to the law in Sweden and in the UK.

Incidentally, the rape law in the UK is not symmetrical between the sexes, because sex is not symmetrical. Rape is defined as sticking your penis in someone without their consent. What's problematic about that?

"Then yeah, that's rape."

If that's the way it went down, then I agree; with the caveat that the woman is irresponsible and unrealistic. And Assange, again, an irresponsible jerk. In fact, all characters in the story fail to ellicit my sympathy. But, yes, still, technically rape.

However, other accounts have the chain of events differently and such that the rape line wasn't crossed; not even by Swedish standards. In fact, originally the chief prosecutor decided to NOT file charges because she didn't see where rape had occurred. Later, I believe many months later, the prosecutor suddenly decided to go ahead and investigate to see whether or not charges should be filed. That's where things get suspicious.

Right now Assange is not charged. He is merely asked to be questioned related to the investigation and the Swedish govt wants the questioning to occur in Sweden.

Why not take a statement over the phone/video conference? Why not accept Assange's lawyer's appearance and statement? Unless there is a desire to arrest and perhaps extradict.

"Rape is defined as sticking your penis in someone without their consent."

Ok. So there's 1 for rape is only and can only be committed by men. Thanks for clarifying.

When rape laws were written it was seen as physically impossible for a woman to rape a man (the idea of strap-ons did not occur seemingly). Main reason: no way to force an erection in the victim and if there was one that could be seen as proof of at least partial (at least bodily) 'consent' on the part (no pun intended) of the male.
The invention of erection inducing drugs in a form available to the public changed that but the law has not yet caught up with this in most places. I remember a case a few years ago where a man got gang-raped by women who used high doses on him. He was in a similar situation as female victims, feeling ashamed and finding it very difficult to have authorities believe him. In certain aspects he had the worst of both worlds ('what, you complain about being he sole male at an orgy? Lucky bastard!' vs/plus 'What kind of man are you that women can force you to do their will and not the other way around?'). Iirc even after establishing that he did indeed speak the truth the legal system found it difficult to do him justice because the laws were unprepared for that situation. I can't remember the outcome.

Clarification: I do not intend to claim that female on male rape is nearly as common as male on female. My guess is that it isn't by orders of magnitude.

I'm don't know if Phil's trying to be funny

DO NOT MENTION THAT MAN'S NAME IN THIS THREAD AGAIN!

Or I will do the Beetlejuice-three-times thing, and no one wants that.

justice for Ted White served...finally. I hope justice still awaits Tina and Richard.

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Whatnot


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