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      Friday
      Nov192010

      Swedish Justice on Trial in WikiLeaks Case

      Julian Assange at an October press conference in London. (Felipe Trueba/European Pressphoto Agency)Sweden’s issuing of arrest warrants for Julian Assange yesterday seems designed to further defame the WikiLeaks whistleblower whose network has released embarrassing secret documents on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The charges may increase pressure on mainstream news organizations to cease cooperating with WikiLeaks in the further disclosure of thousands of documents that have not yet been released.
       
      The silencing of WikiLeaks will deny people around the world, including the American people, vital information about secret operations by US forces, which have resulted in higher civilian casualties than previously reported.
       
      New developments in the case raises troubling questions, among them:

      • What the New York Times account calls a “baffling on-again-off-again process that featured disagreements among prosecutors” over whether to arrest Julian Assange [NYT, Nov. 19].
      • Whether it is only coincidental that the warrants were issued on the eve of the NATO meeting in Lisbon.

      After Sweden’s recent national elections, which brought to power a center-right coalition, the Swedish state is becoming a satellite of the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies, and seeks a closer relationship with NATO.  
       
      Gone apparently is the era when the Swedish government stood up to the Great Powers as an independent sanctuary for freedom and dissent. A government, one which under
      Olof Palme would have protected Julian Assange, has been replaced by a regime that functions as a virtual arm of the Pentagon. In October, the Swedish immigration board rejected Assange’s application for residence, which might have protected WikiLeaks’ servers from possible suppression, and now Sweden’s prosecutors seek to arrest him for “questioning”.

       
      We soon may see the spectacle of Julian Assange in shackles, a sight which might cause orgasms among his enemies. The speculation is not far-fetched. In Iraq, Derek Harvey, the lead Defense Intelligence Agency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, said that secret assassinations gave him orgasms. [Woodward, The War Within, 2008, p. 380]
       
      The trial of Julian Assange, if it ever takes place, may provide a window to defend himself before the eyes of the world. The state will attempt to narrow the evidence to such matters as broken condoms, while the defense maintains that Assange is innocent and being persecuted.
       
      The driving force in this case is a separate office created by the Pentagon where hundreds of high-tech information warriors work around the clock to contain or suppress the WikiLeaks underground from further leaks. At the same time, a US Justice task force is considering charges of espionage, which would require extradition and trial in the United States.
       
      A network of whistleblowers in the US, including Daniel Ellsberg, and noted civil liberties firms, are exploring ways to defend Assange against extradition.
       
      But the first line of defense will likely be in Sweden, where the state’s core identity could be on trial.

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      Reader Comments (3)

      Coincidently, Julian Assange is accused of a sex crime after he refuses to keep quite while the military industrial complex makes trillions off of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.....or is this just my tax dollars hard at work in the pentagon?

      November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter McNamee

      Firstly, that swedish goverment is crawling for the US is not new, and actually was worse when the Social Democrats were in charge (After Palme). Of course enemies to JA tries to take advantage of the situation. However, the situation is most likely created by the influence of the crazy extreme feminist movement we have in Sweden and there is no need to believe there have been a setup to frame JA. In sweden, you are guilty by gender. As a male, you go to jail ;) Just that simple. No proofs are needed, actually, if they really would like to frame JA, they would have lied about what happend (and not tell a story about something that only is ilegal in Saudi-Arabia and Sweden). That would be very effective since you don't need any technical proof whatsoever to sentence a male person to jail accused of rape.

      November 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGuapo

      While I support free press, i am not certain that stealing intelligence--that is the personal view of bureacrats of foreign leaders is worthy of the newspaper. Further, i don't think that stealing information and printing it is protected under the constitution. Ellsburg, i believe, got away with it because Nixon sent his boys into his office to gather embarrassing information on the doctor. That should not be overlooked, Tom.

      November 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin George

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