On The Arrest Of Julian Assange

from the this-is-what-we-cover? dept

To date, I had avoided all of the stories both about the allegations against Julian Assange in Sweden, as well as his arrest this morning. But people keep asking us to cover it. Frankly, I'm not sure what to say about it. Assange's former lawyer's writeup for Crikey, in which he presents a compelling, if extremely one-sided view of how Sweden appears to be "making it up as it goes along," is an interesting read but, again, it is extremely one-sided. Slate's more level-headed analysis of questions concerning consensual sex laws is also worth reading.

The reason I have not covered this is, while this whole thing has obviously become political, these charges do not, officially, have anything to do with Wikileaks. Perhaps the two cannot be separated but there's a lot of FUD flying from all sides on this right now and it seems rather early to comment on all of this.

However, I think the larger point is that too many are looking to connect this issue more closely to Wikileaks than it deserves to be connected. We're interested in Wikileaks from a public policy perspective and what it means for free speech, whistleblowing and journalism in a distributed world. I have no idea what happened between Assange and those two women in Sweden and it's difficult to see how adding any commentary on the matter at this stage really adds anything to the discussion.

Filed Under: arrest, julian assange, sweden, uk, wikileaks


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  1. icon
    Rose M. Welch (profile), 8 Dec 2010 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: What's to get here?

    I don't think that is ground to be considered a crime. A jerk move perhaps but a crime no.

    Sex without consent is a crime. It's called rape. I'm not saying that's what happened, but the definition stays the same.

    Unless the guy moved on in the middle of the night and had sex, but if both were having it already the consent was given at the beginning of that act...

    In many backwards-ass states in America, this is legally
    true. Once penetration has occurred, anything that occurs afterwards isn't rape. However, any idiot can tell you that if your partner says, 'Stop, that hurts!' or 'Stop, the condom broke!' or even just 'Stop!', that they have withdrawn consent, and to continue is rape.

    ...she could have gone away if she didn't like it...

    Wow. Just... Wow. When are they supposed to just 'go away'? When they're asleep? When they wake up, pinned down by someone else? And even if the person in question did 'just go away', the fact remains that if the sex act started without consent or continued without consent, it was still rape.

    ...but she didn't, she stayed the course and fall asleep.

    They didn't say that she withdrew consent by falling asleep during an act already consented to. The allegation is that he began and possibly completed the act while she was asleep.

    Again, not saying that this is what happened but someone who has taken medication, or had a nightcap and gone to bed, cannot give consent.

    I woke up with women on my d. should I call the police and have them arrested for raping me?

    If you didn't give consent, then yes. That's what it is. Giving consent once, twice, or five thousand times isn't some sort of 'permanent' consent. Even marriage isn't permanent consent.

    Your view of this situation shows that you probably haven't thought very much about rape, aside from watching some SVU. Do yourself, and any women in your life, a favor and Google the term 'rape culture'.

    Or just start here.

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