Chris Selley, National Post
The genius of the international conspiracy against Julian Assange is that the shadowy figures involved managed to set him up on rape charges in Sweden, that frozen paradise of social justice where everyone lives to 105. Who’d ever believe virtuous, lily-white Sweden, envy of the progressive world, would cave to the forces of darkness and volunteer two members of its bikini team for a classic “honey trap” sting?
For that matter, who would believe Sweden would be so guileful as to set him up on such borderline charges? With all the might of 10 Downing Street, the White House, the CIA and the Bilderbergers behind them, they could have turned him into Julian the Ripper. Instead the lawyer representing his two alleged victims says they weren’t even sure he’d committed a crime until a police officer convinced them.
Lots of reasonably smart, reasonably mainstream people believe it, as it turns out. They think Mr. Assange’s two accusers are in cahoots with the CIA, and they’ve got corroborating evidence, courtesy of an article by Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett, published in September on the left-wing website Counterpunch.
Here is that evidence: One of Mr. Assange’s accusers has been to Cuba, where “she interacted with the feminist anti-Castro group Las damas de blanco (the Ladies in White),” which “receives U.S. government funds.” And she subsequently “published anti-Castro diatribes” in a periodical that “is the product of a well-financed anti-Castro organization in Sweden,” which in turn is “connected with [Spanish anti-Castro group] Union Liberal Cubana,” which is “led by Carlos Alberto Montaner,” whose CIA ties have already been “exposed” — meaning, it turns out, that some people think Mr. Montaner possesses information that only could have come from the CIA, and that he refuses to account for his whereabouts for every day of his adult life and for every penny of income he’s ever received.
As Michael C. Moynihan noted this week on the Reason magazine website, this tenuous theory has been linked to nonchalantly by everyone from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann to New York University media studies professor Mark Crispin Miller and big-time liberal website Firedoglake.
Mr. Moynihan notes that in contrast, Mr. Shamir is not at all what you’d call mainstream. He consorts with anti-Semites and calls Ernst Zundel a “German political prisoner of Zion.” The only reason to take his word at face value is if you’re desperate to stick up for a political hero– which Mr. Shamir himself seems to be. ( “We need him,” he and Mr. Bennett wrote of Mr. Assange. “We need our captain Neo, whether chaste or womanizer, in order to uncover the secret doings of our governments behind the Matrix.”)
Of course, you don’t need to be a hardcore conspiracist to think there’s something fishy. Isn’t the timing of Mr. Assange’s arrest at least “weirdly convenient,” as a Toronto Star columnist put it this week? Maybe. But put the question another way: Would it be shocking if someone sociopathic and narcissistic enough to effectively hold hostage the lives of spies, informants and pro-democracy advocates insisted on not wearing a condom, or had sex with a sleeping woman, or otherwise behaved in a manner not in compliance with Sweden’s strict sexual assault laws? I don’t think so, really.
It’s certainly likely that the Swedish government faced pressure from Washington not to let the case drop–though it claimed otherwise on Thursday. I can certainly believe a less infamous character would be less enthusiastically pursued. But that’s hardly unique. Nor does it seem strange, on its face, that charges were laid, then abandoned and then revived based on new information or legal opinion. I wouldn’t find that strange if it happened in Toronto.
The weirdest thing for me has been watching progressives line up in defence of an accused rapist, thus either implicitly or explicitly calling his accusers liars.
“Like Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods, Assange has angered the great powers, and he will suffer grievously for it,” wrote an intelligent blogger and sometime contributor to the National Post’s comment website. “Perhaps it will be the bogus ‘rape’ charge that fells him.”
Bogus, eh? One of Mr. Assange’s accusers says he had sex with her while she was asleep. I don’t know if that qualifies as rape in Canada, but I’m sure that if you’d taken a poll a year ago you’d have found 90% of Mr. Assange’s supporters would have said it should. There need be no contradiction here: He can do the lord’s work by spilling all the evil governments’ secrets and be a rapist. If you can’t admit that to yourself, you might want to consider whether it’s the truth you’re really after.
Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/12/10/chris-selley-maybe-julian-assange-is-just-guilty/#ixzz17lqi02VM