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Posted: 19 Jan 11, 15:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Okay, this actually makes me feel slightly guilty and voyeuristic.  But it made me laugh, uncomfortably mind you, more.   To be fair anybody that has ever done online dating stuff may have a profile or two in the past that would make them cringe now but even allowing for that that  Julian Assange's squirm worthy alleged 2006 festival of narcissim is kind of apalling in a OMFG kind of way.  Note the 'Harry Harrison' handle which is almost certainly a reference to a sci-fi author who wrote among other things the story that produced the classic 'Soylent Green'.   And, he unsuccessfully stalked a 19 year old a couple years earlier.  Again, one can have some sympathy as men do generally bear the brunt of the work and risk in courtship, but thundering Jesus...STILL. Whatever one thinks of his politics and his choices, one can see how he might have gotten into some trouble with sane women in Sweden.

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Posted: 20 Jan 11, 03:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh I'm fairly convinced he's a flat-out bunny rapist.  Sick of people sticking up for him.  Sick of him complaining about his private details leaking out, when leaking other people's crap is basically his full time 'job'.

I hope his worthless book leaks in PDF a month before release.


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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 07:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Where is the stalking in the link you posted, GF? There is just a bunch of emails - nothing "lovesick" or creepy" as the headline suggests. The article ends saying that the girl found him funny and felt never threatened. What a sensationalist crap! How "creepy" can it be to find out a phone number of someone I walked home the night before? There is something called the White Pages and it does not need hacker skills to check it for a phone number under a name and address. And funny that the girl kept all the emails but not her replies - and how credible. Oh yes - she talked him up first. .Anyway - she did not claim that he stalked her, period.

As to the rape and sexual abuse claims in Sweden: The charge is not rape, it's "sex by surprise" and Sweden is the only country where such a "crime" exists. Basically, the charge is that a condom broke during sex with one woman and a couple of days later he had sex without a condom wit another woman - allegedly against her wishes (the sex was consensual, only the condom was the problem). When the two women met and found out they both had sex with the same man without protection they requested a STD test which Assange refused to do. These charges had been brought forward and declined while Assange was in Sweden last year. Only after the US diplomatic documents were released the charge was brought up again. Never before has such a minor offense led to an interpol arrest warrant and the whole thing is so bizzarre that it is hard to believe it is for real.

Maybe Mr. Assange is not a likeable person and maybe he is not driven by greater motives but by  selfishness and maybe he is narcist and full of himself. However - we have to rethink if he does not have the right of free press like everyone else. Why doesn't anybody attack the NY Times, the Guardian or the Spiegel? They publish the documents, as well. We cannot give Nobel Prizes to Chinese journalists and writers and allow the Western "powers" to persecute a journalist only because the US government is embarrassed by the revelations of WikiLeaks.

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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 09:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote: "Sick of him complaining about his private details leaking out, when leaking other people's crap is basically his full time 'job'."


There is a massive difference between leaking diplomatic cables, and leaking private details. He never leaked Hillary Clinton's phone number, bank details or anything else private; he leaked what she, an employee of the state, and other employees of the state thought about and said to other employees of other states. Was it appropiate that he leak all the information? I'm of two minds myself, but regardless of where you stand on this, you can't compare what he does professionally to hos private details being leaked.

I will say, however, that the American reaction (*politicians and journalists calling for him to be executed, calling him a terrorist etc...) is increasingly making me more of one mind: for the leaks.

*While Palin, Joseph Lieberman, Mike Huckabee and others don't surprise me with their extremism and predictable reactions, Biden's calling him a terrorist really disappointed me. He's usually much better than that.

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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 17:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote: Where is the stalking in the link you posted, GF? There is just a bunch of emails - nothing "lovesick" or creepy" as the headline suggests. The article ends saying that the girl found him funny and felt never threatened. What a sensationalist crap! How "creepy" can it be to find out a phone number of someone I walked home the night before? There is something called the White Pages and it does not need hacker skills to check it for a phone number under a name and address. And funny that the girl kept all the emails but not her replies - and how credible. Oh yes - she talked him up first. .Anyway - she did not claim that he stalked her, period.

As to the rape and sexual abuse claims in Sweden: The charge is not rape, it's "sex by surprise" and Sweden is the only country where such a "crime" exists. Basically, the charge is that a condom broke during sex with one woman and a couple of days later he had sex without a condom wit another woman - allegedly against her wishes (the sex was consensual, only the condom was the problem). When the two women met and found out they both had sex with the same man without protection they requested a STD test which Assange refused to do. These charges had been brought forward and declined while Assange was in Sweden last year. Only after the US diplomatic documents were released the charge was brought up again. Never before has such a minor offense led to an interpol arrest warrant and the whole thing is so bizzarre that it is hard to believe it is for real.

Maybe Mr. Assange is not a likeable person and maybe he is not driven by greater motives but by  selfishness and maybe he is narcist and full of himself. However - we have to rethink if he does not have the right of free press like everyone else. Why doesn't anybody attack the NY Times, the Guardian or the Spiegel? They publish the documents, as well. We cannot give Nobel Prizes to Chinese journalists and writers and allow the Western "powers" to persecute a journalist only because the US government is embarrassed by the revelations of WikiLeaks.

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=======================================

It definitely is a bit morally sticky to be rifling personal correspondence and private events never meant for outside consumption and never meant to be juxtaposed against events still years in the future. I actually had the thought "I wish I was better than this", but apparently I'm not. More than anything the information made me curious about what, if anything, it says about Assange. Though there is a question of whether it's even a useful exercise at all as failings in private life - if one even perceives failings in these snippets - can certainly be entirely separate from competencies and accomplishments in public and work life.

That said, Julian Assange has cast himself as a defender of victims and smasher of bastards, and because he is sorting the victims and the bastards with some degree of omnipotence and personally altering the path of history, the keenness of his judgement and his ability to accurately perceive situations matters.  His ability to balance his own goals and pursuits with the very real rights of others matters.

You're right that we don't have the other half of the correspondence with the girl, and to be fair to him reading the tea leaves in the rituals of courtship can be very confusing and frustrating, particularly because an indentical action can be recieved in very different ways contingent on how much one likes the other in the first place.  But I do think that correspondence became  stalkery, and I don't think most men would have ridden that roughshod over those signals.  He caused her some degree of psychological discomfort, and then pretty much trashed her for not being interested.  That's not particularly normal, and not particularly indicative of a person that consistently recognizes and/or respects limits. When she called him a 'funny bugger' I read it in that context as odd, unusual or strange rather than fun or amusing.

He is now targeted by some powerful interests and the legal process in Sweden must be watched carefully to assure he is treated fairly, but I think that minimizing the actions he is in trouble for is a mistake.  One of those women was sleeping and awoke to him trying to penetrate her without a condom.   Ignoring a person's requests to have some level of control over what ends up in her body until she gives up trying is not a degree of consent most men and an increasing number of jurisdictions are comfortable with.  While not all women would have pursued a legal recourse in similar circumstances, I think they would have all felt uneasy.

It seems to me that there is a smiliarity in his dealings with these women and with the world's secrets, and if one tends to see Wikileaks as a force for good through the results it achieves or the principles it sees itself as upholding you might conclude that it's going to take a  man with steely focus who is unhindered by conventional limits to accomplish that.  You might conclude that any stumbles in his personal life are unintended collateral damage of that necessary personality.  If you wonder if he is a person potentially more dangerous to the course of history than not, you might see him more as a self interested and self mythologizing man on an inappropriately glamourized mission, and without the necessary insight and morality for such a consequential undertaking.

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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 22:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"massive difference between leaking diplomatic cables, and leaking private details"

The cables were private.  They wouldn't be 'leaks' otherwise!  He can't fucking have it both ways.  It sure is hilarious watching him try, though.  He's a grandstanding sociopath and I can't wait for him to be out of the freaking news.


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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 22:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

" One of those women was sleeping and awoke to him trying to penetrate her without a condom."

People keep conveniently ignoring this.  I swear they're the same mentally inept apologists that stood up for Polanski.


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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 22:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Never before has such a minor offense led to an interpol arrest warrant and the whole thing is so bizzarre that it is hard to believe it is for real."

What's actually bizarre is that a famous person has to be involved before anyone takes a sex related crime seriously.

Also, I dunno if Assange himself referred to the situation as a 'honeypot' but it's the most retarded thing I've ever heard.  A store window full of widescreen televisions is not a honeypot.  If someone smashes the window and steals one, they were not tricked into doing it.  They're a fucking criminal.

This asshole made his bed, and now he can lie in it.  Stains and all.  If his organisation is truly worth anything, they'll find a way to continue without him.  In which case; who gives a flying fuck about his lawbreaking arse?  Let him rot.


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Posted: 21 Jan 11, 22:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For me it comes down to this; why should I trust Julian Assange any more than I trust (or don't trust, as the case may be) the government?  

When he had a big old cry about his private information leaking, it got me thinking.  He is trying to decide what should be private and what shouldn't.  He is making a decision on MY behalf on what is "Need To Know" and what isn't.  That's fucking rich, I tell you.  Why should this man be making that decision for anyone?  Who made him God?  From what I've seen, his idea of where the line should be drawn between 'public' and 'private' rests entirely on his self interest.  

If he wanted to have any privacy, he should've quit the rockstar nonsense.  Anonymous did pretty well making an embarrassment of Scientology without having any real figureheads.  He is now on the receiving end of society's idea of what we should and should not be told, and surprise - he doesn't like it.


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 03:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

@ GF - as to the "stalking case" : While the emails and the quotes by the "stalked" girl do not  provide any evidence for stalking (which is, after all, a punishable crime) you and the writers of this article keep calling this failed attempt to build a relationship "stalking". Stories like these happen by the millions each day and nobody thinks any crime or illegal or even highly immoral behaviour is happening. It's only because it's Julian Assange, the devil, that people blow such an  insignificant story totally out of proportions. It's the usual tabloid method: take something insignificant, create a sensational headline that is not even substantiated by the story and the headline will stick.

@ Scott - I am not minimizing sexual abuse. I also think it's despicable to neglect the wishes of your sex partner. I also think that an adult woman who has a one-night stand with a stranger should take some responsibility herself. These two women did report the offense when they realized there had been two one-night stands and Assange was arrested. The Swedish prosecutor did not see a case and Assange was released and free to leave the country. It was only AFTER the diplomatic documents were released that Sweden resumed the case and all of a sudden the offense was so severe that they issued an international search warrant. I find this bizzarre and it is not minimizing sexual offenses at all.

People often make the connection between Assange's personal conduct and his work with WikiLeaks. It does not matter if he is a nice guy or an utter asshole: with WikiLeaks he has not done anything illegal and to persecute him for matters like not using a condom is typical for a dictatorship like China or Iran but it should not be okay not for a free country like Sweden or England. It is easy to defend the freedom of the press when it is about other parts in the world - we must protect it if we ourselves do not believe that the published material is doing us any good.

If you think Assange publishes documents you do not want or need to know - just do not read them. Only because you or me or the government of the USA does not like his publications his right to publish them cannot be touched. There cannot be a limit to the free press only because the USA is put to shame by the helicopter video that showed the crew hunting and murdering civilians. WikiLeaks claim there were documents from the war in Afghanistan they are holding back out of responsibility - we do not know if that is true. But the funny thing is that they can lock away or even kill Assange but the material is out there and the internet cannot be shut again, sorry


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 04:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Oh, there's a big precedent for governments taking action against people who have irked them, where they might not otherwise bother.  (John Lennon's deportation proceedings for a bullshit possession charge, when other rockstars with similar records were allowed to come and go from the US as they pleased).

I don't deny for a minute that the Swedish authorities are putting in way more effort than they would if he was some average joe.  That's not my assertion - my assertion is that he is getting the treatment that he should of gotten in the first place.  I find it mostly frustrating that he had to get up the nose of a few world leaders before they finally went after him.  I don't want to see him get away with unacceptable behaviour the way that Polanski did - and I don't give a shit about whether or not it affects Wikileaks because I feel that, for better or worse, the people in that organisation can continue what they are doing in some form or another.  

It wouldn't even be accurate to say that I oppose the leaks themselves - what I take strong objection to is that, like I said, it's Julian Assange choosing what government information should be leaked, whilst expecting blind trust from the public regarding his private life.  He is simply not in the right line of work if he wants double standards of that magnitude, and from the interviews I on Australian TV almost a year ago, I just don't feel that he's exceptionally deserving of my trust.  

When people claim that lives might be put at risk by some of the leaks, I'm not really sure what to think.  It sounds a bit like a knee-jerk government thing to say on the one hand, but on the other it comes back to that thing that I object to - that Julian Assange is picking what's too risky and what isn't.  I'm skeptical of the government at the very best of times, and since all I know about Assange is that he's a sexual creep, then I ought to be pretty freaking skeptical of him too.

And ... whether one likes the leaks or not, what's done is done - they're out there.  Who needs him now?  I sure as hell don't.  Lock him up.


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 05:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote:

What's actually bizarre is that a famous person has to be involved before anyone takes a sex related crime seriously.

*this.

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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 05:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't see how any of us here can know what happened in a bedroom between two adults. If I'm reading this right, sex took place but it wasn't forced sex. The circumstances of that are in dispute. The forensic evidence appears to show only that they had sex, but there were no injuries. Given that, and no matter how slimy Assange appears to be, it would be a serious injustice to charge him with any kind of sexual assault. If that was the standard of proof, any woman could make this claim against any man, and there would be no defence (unless, of course, every man and woman signs a contract before every sexual encounter, laying out the groundrules of what can and can't be done -- a bit of a passion killer that: "I will not wear a Batman costume, but I am willing to shave my chest") ;) 

As for his leaks, this is usually the only way we ever get to find out what those in power are really doing and thinking. The Pentagon Papers is a great example of this. If you trust the Govt to tell you the truth and if you're happy for them controling the flow of information, what you get in return is corruption, illegal wars, vendettas against private citizens, state terrorism etc.


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 09:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote: "The cables were private. They wouldn't be 'leaks' otherwise! He can't fucking have it both ways."


My god, Zebonka, do you not see that there is a difference between leaking personal details and between leaking diplomatic cables? It does not matter whether or not the cables were private (BTW leaks happen all the time so it's not as if he has done anything uniquely wonderful or horrible), there is a massive difference between them and his private life and so he absolutely can have it both ways.

Don't forget, he has not leaked Hillary Clinton's phone number, or what she does in bed with Bill, or anything else personal. There is a difference between institutional privacy, which he violated, and personal privacy, which has nothing to do with this. Throughout history, newspapers and journalists have leaked confidential papers; do you therefore believe that these journalists should have their personal details revealed? Many journalists have leaked private documents, yet they somehow manage to have it both ways.

Zebonka, you may not like what he is doing, but it is simply absurd to suggest that there is any similarity between leaking diplomatic cables and leaking his own personal details. There is simply no similarity, and not even his biggest critics have suggested that there is any similarity (they focus instead on calling him a terrorist and calling for his murder).

Furthermore, it can be argued (as I do) that some of the leaked information is in the public interest. One can not say the same about personal details, which is completely different.

"It sure is hilarious watching him try, though. He's a grandstanding sociopath and I can't wait for him to be out of the freaking news."

No, he's not a sociopath at all. If he were, and he isn't, it would be wiser not to diagnose him on the internet (and that's assuming you have psychological expertise). Nonetheless, even using the generic/non-medical defintition, I don't see how you can call him a sociopath. As far as I'm concerned the real 'sociopaths' are the ones calling for him to be killed.

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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 11:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"do you not see that there is a difference between leaking personal details and between leaking diplomatic cables?"

You say that as though there's an absolute answer, and there isn't.  Where precisely does one draw the line between personal privacy and state secrets?  I say this again - I have not yet been given remotely sufficient reason to trust Assange in his judgement of what is appropriate for the public to be privy to.


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 11:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"do you therefore believe that these journalists should have their personal details revealed?"

That's frigging cradle-of-mankind logic.  I'm assuming that's a rhetorical question but I'll answer it anyway; No, I am not a big believer in 'an eye for an eye', but when someone does something provocative they shouldn't be excessively surprised when there's a negative response.  He pissed off a lot of people, and got away with it for a while.  He was onto a fairly good thing, and now it's come back to bite him thanks to his own irresponsibility.  There's a difference between "he had it coming" and "he could've predicted the obvious backlash here".


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 11:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

" I don't see how you can call him a sociopath"

Because it's fucking funny :D


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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 14:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote: ""do you therefore believe that these journalists should have their personal details revealed?"


"That's frigging cradle-of-mankind logic.'

That doesn't make sense, nonetheless, I would suggest it's perfectly logical.

"I'm assuming that's a rhetorical question but I'll answer it anyway; No, I am not a big believer in 'an eye for an eye',"

You completely missed the point. It has nothing to do with an eye for an eye, or revenge. The point is that numerous journalists publish leaked material, and yet we allow them to keep their privacy. Assange is no different.

"but when someone does something provocative they shouldn't be excessively surprised when there's a negative response."

Perhaps not, but it doesn't excuse some of the responses.

"He pissed off a lot of people, and got away with it for a while. He was onto a fairly good thing, and now it's come back to bite him thanks to his own irresponsibility."

His irresponsibility? I disagree. Firstly, nothing can justify the extremism and hatred that has been the reaction of some of his critics, not to the mention that the Swedish thing is quite fishy IMO. Secondly, it is entirely debatable as to whether or not he was ever irresponsible. I think there are legitimate arguements either way, although I'm more for the responsible side than the irresponsible side.

"There's a difference between "he had it coming" and "he could've predicted the obvious backlash here"."

Well, yes, but I don't see your point.

"Because it's fucking funny :D"

I disagree. You often are funny, but that was completely unfunny.

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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 14:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote: "do you not see that there is a difference between leaking personal details and between leaking diplomatic cables?"


"You say that as though there's an absolute answer, and there isn't. Where precisely does one draw the line between personal privacy and state secrets?"

It's not that difficult. There is much difficulty in determining whether he did the right thing, but I don't think there is much difficulty in determining the difference between 'personal privacy and state secrets.'

"I say this again - I have not yet been given remotely sufficient reason to trust Assange in his judgement of what is appropriate for the public to be privy to."

That is entirely different though. Many people object to it for that reason. However the arguments that he must therefore accept his personal details being exposed are completely absurd.

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Posted: 22 Jan 11, 23:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Nobody is accusing him of criminal stalking YV.  The word is used loosely  in the vernacular all the time.   I don't think Julian Assange is the devil. Truthfully I feel my knowledge of world affairs and world history is too shallow for me to have a solid opinion either way on Julian Assange's activities with WikiLeaks. I'm neither seeking to credit nor discredit him, and those email notes simply are what they are. I do think they demonstrate, at least in that place and at that time, an unusually awkward yet entitled approach to interpersonal relations that would more likely than not leave a person uninterested in his affections uncomfortable.  In a perfectly ethical world, that woman would not have released private correspondence, Gawker wouldn't have published it and we wouldn't be choosing to read it. But she did, they did, and we are. I've already listed the many pitfalls and caveats in trying to make it mean anything important at all, but it's not completely unenlightening either.

It would of course be wildly dumb not to acknowledge that Assange is potentially vulnerable to abuse of power in the Sweden situation.  But from the very beginning in August he has cast the accusations as a politically motivated smear engineered by dark forces unhappy with WikiLeaks, and it would be equally dumb to dismiss the possibility of a person trying to bury potentially criminal behaviour under the popularity of his whistleblower project.  The warrant to compel him for questioning on suspicion of rape, coercion and molestataion ('Sex by Surprise' is a dismissive slang term for rape which his lawyer invoked, not a legal term) was requested in Sweden a couple of weeks before the diplomatic cables were released.  The whole investigative timeline, which is detailed in Julian's wiki page, doesn't look to be unduly influenced by outside events to me.

I don't see this as a feminist issue, or an issue of unfairly pathologizing and criminalizing male behaviour. I see this as a common sense and common decency issue.   The law of the land is not supplanted by the law of the jungle the moment two adults enter into a sexual situation.  Forget WikiLeaks for a moment, and forget Julian Assange.   Make the encounter between two anonymous men if you want.  When proven, effectively denying someone safe sex against their wishes for your optimal gratification is not a trivial thing.   Societies have spent decades pouring blood, sweat, tears and capital into campaigns to make people use condoms consistently in uncommitted relationships, and I don't think people who are repsonsible enough and strong enough to enforce condom use should be effectively told to call a wahmbulance just because they elected to have a one night stand. The events as detailed in The Guardian make the notion that he is being persecuted simply because Sweden has decided they do in fact need to have him respond further to the allegations a thin one.  I don't think he's guilty of rape, but neither do I think the question of coercion should be dismissed out of hand.  There are dozens of explanations that could fit around the alleged facts that if true would absolve Assange of anything more than being a bit of a jerk.  It's not asking too much that he go make them.