The British magistrate court has decided to surrender Julian Assange to the Nordic Amazons who were hunting for his head – pending appeal. Thus the long Saga of the Broken Condom, or whatever name by which it will become known to posterity, took a definite turn for the worse. The judge decided to honor the European Arrest Warrant issued by man-eating Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny. Julian has appealed to the High Court, ensuring that the saga will go on as a side divertissement to the main story, Cablegate.
We shall not delve again into what happened between Julian and the two women; this has already been covered in previous installments. Today we turn to the dramatic events that occurred immediately afterwards. We live in an age of leaks, and this story is no exception. The Swedish police papers pertaining to Assange case have surfaced on the web – and there are some shocking revelations. One revelation concerns the investigative editor of The Guardian, David Leigh and his accomplice Nick Davies. They were given the leaked police papers well before they were made public, and Davies constructed a story that revealed his special “unauthorised access”. Now the original documents (in Swedish) have been published on the site flashback.org, and the English version is now available on Rixstep.com with this touching foreword from the translator:
“The truth will out, the truth wins out. Let no journalist ever again speculate into what the protocols say. Six months of digging and the people at Flashback have the actual documents. The sleaze printed by rags such as the Daily Mail, Sweden’s Aftonbladet and Expressen, and perhaps above all the toxic Nick Davies of The Guardian, can stand no more. Yet more: these documents are an indictment of the ‘news organisations’ who’ve printed deliberate inaccuracies all along or even worse: refused to print anything at all. Nick Davies’ account of the protocols was maliciously skewed; both Aftonbladet and Expressen had copies early on and printed nothing. Bloggers had copies but arrogantly kept the information to their Smeagol selves.”
Once again we can compare the raw data with the official story, and once again we can confirm that Leigh and his partners are brazen, busy little cooks. They cooked the Embassy Cables, as we reported in CounterPunch, and now we can see exactly how they cooked the Assange police papers too. Leigh and his supporters have loudly proclaimed that his deletions and redactions were due to British libel laws. In this story, he proves how empty was his rhetoric. Every damaging accusation against Assange was given a place of prominence; the true and disturbing picture has remained buried until now.
Our story begins on Friday, August 20, 2010, when the two women of our story, Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen met in Stockholm, compared their experiences and discussed how to commemorate their weekend with Julian. Manipulative and ambitious, Anna Ardin had decided to get some sweet revenge on our breezy, festive Julian, who had drifted like a butterfly away from her bed and over to the bed of the younger Sofia. Anna’s plan was to stay out of the limelight – she convinced Sofia to make out the complaint. But she did arrange for it: Anna took Sofia to see the police.
But Anna did not take Sofia directly to the nearest police station. No, Anna had already arranged an appointment with her good friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans. Anna Ardin and Irmeli Krans were once political running mates for a city hall election – Irmeli came in at 38th place and Anna won 12th. Irmeli is a well-known gender activist, a member of the LGBT movement and the Gay Police Union. Krans’s blog is full of pictures taken at gay parades from Riga, Tallinn, and Stockholm. It might appear as if this stern criminal investigator treats her police work as a hobby while her real work is attending gay parades all over Europe, but she dropped everything for the Assange case.
Anna delivered Sofia to the police station only after the main force had gone home at 4 pm, leaving Anna’s friend Irmeli to handle the distraught Sofia. At 4:21pm, Irmeli began writing what would later be described as “the interrogation of Sofia Wilen”. Anna Ardin was always present in the room: she brought Sofia in and introduced her to the policewoman, but her presence was never mentioned in the protocols. This is a gross violation of law: fellow witnesses are never present during police questioning! Furthermore, every person present at the inquiry must be listed, yet Anna unaccountably remains invisible. She gave no evidence at all.
In the end, all this careful police-room theatre was spoiled with a too-hasty denouement. The interrogation was not even over before a different policewoman, as if on cue, called the prosecutor and obtained an order to arrest Julian in absentia. It almost seems as if a thoughtful hand had prearranged it all. The prosecutor issued the arrest warrant without having read the complaint and before Anna had made a statement or even a complaint. The climax of our drama took place at 6 pm on Friday, and yet the very next morning (Saturday, August 21st), the sleazy right-wing tabloid Expressen, a Swedish clone of the New York Post, had already published all of the police allegations, featuring a photo of Assange on the front page and the headline ‘DOUBLE RAPIST’.
That was a Pentagon threat coming true. The US military demanded from Assange to destroy all the files, or else. “If doing the right thing is not good enough for them (WikiLeaks), then we will figure out what other alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing,” the Pentagon spokesman said. The sex case was a device to compel Julian, and Sofia’s feelings were of no importance.
The leaked police papers reveal that Sofia was heart-broken when she learned of the charges; she never expected Assange to be charged with rape. As we learn in testimony from her American boyfriend, Sofia was raised to have a hysterical fear of unprotected sex. After a lifetime of horror stories, she feared the fatal consequences of unprotected sex; she was terrified at the thought of viruses crawling over her body, and the only thing she wanted from the police was to force Julian to take an STD test immediately. Julian was willing but the labs were closed for weekend.
Even Irmeli Krans, our man-hating interrogator, could not help but think there was no crime committed. Apparently Irmeli had made plans to comfort Sofia, and voiced her intentions to her superiors; she was promptly taken off the case and her boss Mats Gehlin took over. The first thing he did was order her to fix the record of the Sofia interview. Irmeli knew this was wrong, and she wrote him a message saying “With the risk of appearing difficult I do not want to have an unsigned document with my name circulating in DurTvå-space. Particularly not now when the case has developed as it has.“ But he kept pushing her, and eventually she submitted to his authority. The computer system (DurTvå) however, would not allow her to falsify the records – instead, the system re-dated the protocols to August 26, a sure sign of tampering. So now the original protocol does not even exist. Yet even after doctoring the records, the interrogation of Sofia Wilen is a most peculiar one: she did not sign it and there is no voice recording, so we can only guess what went on in there. Discrepancies in Swedish police records might not be news, but that night of August 20th – the night the prosecutor authorized Julian’s arrest – was a very busy night for a pandering political party and its pet journalists.
That evening there had been a lavish crayfish party at Harpsund Slott, the Prime Minister’s summer residence. Harpsund is a fabulous place, and every important guest of the Swedish government has visited it: from Nikita Khrushchev to Angela Merkel. Besides the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, there were present several politicians and political journalists, among them Niklas Svensson, a political journalist for Expressen. Svensson was fired from Expressen in 2006 for hacking into an opposition party computer and stealing an important document, the party strategic paper for elections. Later he was reinstalled and rewarded for his strong political sympathies for the ruling right-wing (and very pro-American) coalition.
That night Svensson received a message on his cell phone describing the double complaint against Julian, although we know that at the time there was still only one reluctant statement. We don’t know whether or not he shared the good news with the ministers and Ambassadors at the party, but I don’t see how he could have contained himself. The elections were scheduled in thee weeks’ time, and the government was eager to placate the Americans, upset at Julian’s new Swedish base of operations. Svensson called the police and the prosecutor, and they confirmed the news as an official press release from the police department.
The next morning, policewoman Sara Wennerblom telephoned Anna Ardin and told her that she would have to give evidence. They did the interview by telephone that same day. In this phone interview Anna said that she freely consented to have sex with Assange, but that she wouldn’t have let it happen if she’d known he didn’t have a condom. So much for the rape charge! A few hours later, the warrant was voided when another prosecutor, Eva Finne, looked at the reports and concluded that no crime was committed. Case closed.
But the closed case was soon to be reopened. Pro-American right-wing forces in Sweden wanted to do as much damage to Julian as possible. They were worried that Sweden might become Wikileaks headquarters, and they knew that allegations of sexual misconduct would (and did) prevent Julian from obtaining permanent residency. The right-wing Swedes were supported and guided by Karl Rove, the American political operator who has been advising Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt for the past two years. Reinfeldt would like to be considered “the Ronald Reagan of Sweden”; he has tried for years to dismantle Swedish socialism and bring them into NATO. The American lawyer Roger Shuler has argued that Rove’s fingerprints are all over the Assange case.
In order to reopen the case, a law firm run by two political heavyweights was brought in, Bodstrom and Borgstrom. Thomas Bodstrom was once a Justice minister whose claim to fame is that he delivered two hapless Swedish-resident Arabs to a CIA rendition plane so that they could be tortured in one of Mubarak’s jails. Claes Borgstrom was once a minister for equality, no, not social equality, God forbid, but “gender equality”. Feminism is always a good career move for a Swedish man, at the very least as a way to atone for his offensive gender. Borgstrom is a super-feminist, forever calling for a more expansive definition of rape. He famously stated that no woman could know for sure whether or not she was raped; only the lawyers can tell for sure. Swedish bloggers noticed that he “defended the European Data Retention Directive on the grounds that it helps ‘catch more rapists’.”
Borgstrom spoke to his old comrade Marianne Ny, and together they prepared new laws that stretched the definition of rape so far that “if a woman doesn’t have multiple orgasms during hetero sex, the man can be charged with rape”, in the witty words of a sister feminist. Ny is heading a ”development center” specializing in sexual offences, and is attempting to take feminism to the next level. Retired judge Brita Sundberg-Wietman writes this about Marianne Ny: She is known to have said that when a woman alleges she has been a victim of assault by a man, it is a good idea to have the man detained, because it is not until he is arrested that the woman has time to think of her life in peace and realize how she has been treated. According to Ny the detention has a good effect as protection for the woman ”even in cases where the perpetrator is prosecuted but not found guilty”.
Marianne Ny is a prosecutor in far-away Gothenburg, but Swedish laws allow her to take on any case as long as there is some new development. And lo and behold, under Borgstrom’s guidance new evidence suddenly appeared: ten days after Julian’s arrest and release, Anna Ardin carried a soiled condom into a police station. The condom was checked, and the examination came up blank: the condom showed no sign of being used at all. But Marianne Ny did not need a positive result, all she needed was a “new development”; and so she re-opened the case.
Afterwards, she did nothing. From time to time she called a witness to be interrogated, but Julian was not called up again. It was only much later, when he was in the UK, that Marianne Ny decided to demand his extradition. This was a smart move. If she had called him in for questioning while he was in Sweden, the case would have immediately collapsed. Since he will now be brought into Sweden against his will, Ny and Borgstrom will be able to lock Assange up for months until the trial, as Swedish law does not permit bail. Once in custody, Julian can be shipped to the US, or directly to Guantanamo without even returning to Sweden; as a detained foreigner he can be deported at the pleasure of the Swedish government.
Our hero has found himself in quite a mess. And meanwhile, in order to create more confusion and undermine Julian’s unflagging popularity, the Guardian team has cooked up a new charge: this time it is anti-Semitism. It is much easier to shout “Anti-Semite!” than to defend The Guardian against these very real accusations: falsification of cables, plagiarism, manipulation, deliberate smearing of Julian Assange… The best answer to their newest baseless accusation is given in this fabulous Julian Assange kicks little kittens video.
Anna Ardin: Follow Up
If Anna Ardin hoped to enjoy her revenge, it misfired badly. She ran in the local elections just after the story broke; she received 6 (six) votes altogether, while the next lowest contender pulled 1500 votes. In a classic case of cooking your own goose, Anna Ardin became the biggest turn-away name in the country. Her only chance at rehabilitation lies in the fact that she may be sought out by Black PR agencies for her negative public relations capabilities.
We wrote in CounterPunch that the young lady had some CIA connections, and that she was deported from Cuba for that very reason. Many feminists pointed out that a lady might be called many such names “after suffering at the hands of the brutish Assange”. However, we have now a confirmation from a sterling source: the BBC.
As Alexander Cockburn quoted him in his CounterPunch Diary three weeks ago, their man in Cuba, Fernando Ravsberg reported:
“Anna Ardin, the Swede who is accusing Julian Assange of rape, appears to have worked for some Cuban dissident faction. Dissident sources confirmed that Ardin supported the opposition in Cuba for years. “
“Manuel Cuesta, a leader of the Arco Progresista admitted that this political connection lasted from 2004 to 2006. The activities of the Swede in Cuba had little to do with those of a normal tourist. The opposition leader assured that she “advised us on how to form a political party, we exchanged bibliographies and her group gave us a minimal amount of economic assistance.”
“It seems everything was running along fine until she tried to “make us pay the cost” for her services. According to the opponent, “she tried to influence us too forcefully on how we should lead Arco Progresista. Our reluctance generated certain uneasiness on her part.”
Manuel Cuesta described her as a very beautiful woman, “Self-centered, having a strong personality, committed, intelligent and very Eurocentric. Her principal virtue is her determination and her worst defect is her Eurocentric arrogance.”
Cuesta told Ravsberg that in 2006 Anna established some tie with Carlos Alberto Montaner, who is seen by some as a CIA contact. Montaner vigorously denied knowing Anna.
Ravsberg concluded: “Arco Progresista has few certainties but many suspicions. Manuel told us that all of this “enters into an intriguing realm of political jockeying, and it amazes me a little. We’re thinking back so we can piece things together, because it’s evident that there’s something strange in all this.”
ISRAEL SHAMIR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org