Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wikileaks buried Swedish official myth on Neutrality

Updated 10 April 2012

We should recall the particular psycho-social phenomenon arisen around the beginning of the 1800’s Industrial Revolution in England and in the rest of Europe: The angry workers – in fact scared – that furiously hit and slammed the new arrived innovative machines which they though it would replace them, make them unemployed and deprive them of bread. In today’s Wikileaks News Revolution we witness instead journalists’ daily slam of Julian Assange, David Leigh’s style. Meanwhile in Sweden - even if leading state-journalists continue with their attacks by default against the WikiLeaks founder (today's turn the President of the Swedish Publicists' Association Ulrika Knutsson) -  NOT all Swedish journalists support Scum. There is much civil courage left, and more is to be shown if Julian Assange ends extradited to Sweden.

In approaching the Supreme Court judgement day - about the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder requested by Sweden - I review here some main inaugural theses explaining the Swedish "legal" case, and that I published in Second-Opinion [1] and in the Professors blog [2]. For a brief background with the essentials on the political motivations of the case see This is Why or visit SwedenVersusAssange for detailed information.

Professors blogg have answered the concepts by the President of the Swedish Publicists' Association Ulrika Knutsson in a two-articles series (links here below). The articles are in Swedish but a summary in English is included in the Third Part of the Media Analysis to be published soon in these columns.

Updated analysis
by Marcello Ferrada-Noli

The Hunt. Oil in canvas. De Noli, Rome 1974

The hunting goes on unabated

A constellation of offended abusing powers – large greedy economic powers abusing the world's miserable, or tiny scared vassal powers abusing the passivity of its citizens, or media powers abusing people's common sense – have managed to deprive WikiLeaks of important logistics; although not of support. And the political hunting down of its founder goes on. And as they cannot kill him in person, they try to kill his character. The smearing campaign continues.

We should recall the particular psycho-social phenomenon arisen around the beginning of the 1800’s Industrial Revolution in England and the rest of Europe: The angry – in fact deeply scared – workers and heirs of the bygone artisanal era furiously hit and slammed the newly arrived innovative machines which they though it would replace them and deprive them of bread. In today’s Wikileaks News Revolution we witness journalists’ daily slam of Julian Assange, David Leigh’s style.

I believe that in the Future - in the World Tomorrow - the above will be referred in the history of journalism as one pathetic social-psychiatric phenomenon of our century. And while the names of the David Leighs or of their employers and newspapers have long been forgotten, the fighters for democracy still will be whispering the name Julian Assange - and evoking the example of WikiLeaks.
And we have seen only some inches of the tip of the iceberg so far surfacing in 2010’s history. We have seen the North African revolutions, the Occupy movement, and the Chilean student uprising and anew inspiring the Latin-American youth movement. All of these happenings directly connected with the emerging cyber phenomena communicating the WikiLeaks’ messages and the natural strategies for action that such disclosures demand. Christine Assange put it pristine clear, "We are at a crossroad in history here with democracy, where Internet technology is intersecting with democracy . . . Which way are we going to go? Are we going to repress all the citizens of the world for speaking out?" [3] (See my comment inThe WikiLeaks flag”). [4]

In spite being a revolutionary idea in journalism and communications, Wikileaks is not the revolution, neither the causes of it. This would be important for those in power to have in mind while trying to decimate Wikileaks or planning or advoating the killing of Julian Assange and his followers. For it will be useless.

What is happening is what has been happening for a long time, but now has been revealed a little (more disclosures are inevitably to come with the years). It has to do with power abuse. It has to do with corruption in government or among their corporatist counterparts. It is about most serious survival motivations In sum, the aggravating causes impelling political changes for the reestablishment of true Lincoln democracy, worldwide, has to do with huge greedy, huge profits, in contrast with huge misery, hunger and death. There are literarily lives at stake. The lives that are told their chances are equal in a democratic society they discover it is a lie, because democracy-benefits has been hijacked by those in power. It is just natural that humans would fight to get their rights back.

WikiLeaks buried the Swedish official myth

I quote from my previous article. I have said it before and I will say it again, Sweden is a wonderful country. The people are for the most part amiable and sincere, hard working and honest. Some years ago the country enjoyed a notable international prestige among both developed and third world countries across nearly all-social and cultural strata. This was mainly due to the balanced Swedish position in international politics - which is not to be equated with "neutrality" in foreign affairs: Sweden had an active international role in pursuing peace.

But that stand was with the years transformed in active collaborationism with NATO-lead military occupations ultimately aimed to the “plundering” of Third world natural resources, such as the Iraqi oil, Afghanistan, not to mention “Lundin’s” Sudan oil, etc.

However, the public opinion does not seem to react against it. The press and the National Television do not question this. In fact, all the Swedish political parties from the right-wing side (with the exception of the relatively small new party Sweden democrats) to the left-wing spectra supported in the Parliament the vote approving Sweden’s military intervention in Libya.

The international opinion wonders what it this, was not Sweden “neutral” and pro Third World countries? And then WikiLeaks tells the audiences in the Third World that in fact Sweden has been secretly cooperation with those endeavours since long. The trust of these countries towards Sweden is then severely shaken. Follows risk of severe detrimental in the profitable Swedish business, and in the "cultural" or ideological Swedish export among Third World countries that had been accomplished in the main  thanks just to Sweden's neutrality stand.

No more international political prestige or respect for an "independent" and proud Sweden. Wikileaks buried forever Sweden neutrality myth and its front figure Julian Assange is now due to a filthy, vulgar vendetta from the part of some government officials and journalists that docile represent their interests.  

As the detention of Julian Assange is now progressing on behalf of Sweden, it would be necessary to clarify some issues for non-Swedish speaking audiences.  Possible equivoques of terms based in direct translations of Swedish dispatches may refer not only to the Swedish case against Assange, but also on the responsibility of Swedish authorities in the production of the aggravating secret agreements with American Intelligence services and that were exposed in the diplomatic documents leaked by Assange’s organization. 

Most compromising cable leaks

In the main, Assange´s organization Wikileaks has documented diplomatic traces of several agreements between Swedish government officials and envoys from American Intelligence services that occurred relatively recently, among other 2008. The program Dokument inifrån of the Swedish Television, 5 December 2010, reported the content of these agreements. [5]

Officials of the Swedish government would have themselves presented a formula to the Americans consisting in a disinformation system towards the Swedish Parliament and by extension also betraying the Swedish public as a whole. The system, euphemistically called “the informal” channel or procedure, consists in to secretly keep the nature of the contacts (and the agreements on gathering and/or transference of intelligence that ensued), letting them unknown by the constitutional and legislative powers (the Parliament).

In practice, the ultimate rationale of   the “informal” procedures proposed by the Swedes is that it could guarantee a vast more extensive using of the Swedish information data, a more enhanced penetration in the integrity of Swedish citizens, etc. than the agreement on Intelligence cooperation that could eventually be accepted by the Swedish Parliament, even considered by the standards of its right-wing majority.

Swedish officials got the impression they were working under direct orders of the CIA

Apparently trying to save both the prestige of the country and the stability of the government (and the survival of the Intelligence agreements) the Swedish conservative media have tried to present the facts above as an opposition of the Swedes against the American pressures. Swedish officials are subtlety presented in these media like “heroes”.  Svenska dagbladet, SvD, run for instance this thesis in an article reporting a presumably opposition of the Swedish government against the use of Sweden for CIA’s prisoner-transport [6]. In fact, the alluded WikiLeaks telegram referred to initiatives taken by some Swedish integrity-minded SÄPO and military intelligence officers (which stopped one of the rendition CIA flights in Swedish soil). The newspaper instead attributed - unfairly, in my opinion - this act to government politicians.

It is not so that USA exercises against Sweden that kind of excessive pressure that the Swedes have to heroically oppose, as it is contended. In true, it was not the USA government and its envoys that wanted to deceive the Swedish Parliament. The Americans wished instead a formal and correct agreement. However, the even more pro American-benefit proposition (than the one from the American themselves) was all on the part of the Swedish government officials, inspired perhaps by the now public own affective allegations of the very Minister of Defence Sten Tolgfors such as the celebre “I love USA”.  Further, it is extremely unlike that agreements of that calibre have not been initiated or sanctioned by the Swedish ministers of Defence, Justice and Foreign Affairs. 

In fact, those “informal” agreements have placed the Swedish security and military intelligence so heavily under the control and command of the Americans, that, as reported by the newspaper Expressen,  7 December 2010, referring to the years ensuing 2003, Sweden Intelligence officers got the impression that they were working under direct orders of the CIA ( “Under de kommande åren förändrades svensk underrättelse-och säkerhetstjänst på ett sådant sätt att enskilda tjänstemän uppfattade det som att de arbetade på direkt beställning av CIA”). [7].

"Cultural" factors fail in explaining betrayal

In many countries, public disclosures of this kind (agreements made by government officials in benefit of a foreign power and in detriment of national citizens) - particularly if were intentionally devised to keep the all thing secret not only for the public but also the country’s highest legislative institution - would lead to trials for nothing less than treason. In other countries would lead to constitutional processes and imminent change of government, besides of the legal consequences for the individuals involved. 

The Washington Post wrote "Although the parliamentary investigator concluded that the Swedish security police deserved 'extremely grave criticism' for losing control of the operation and for being 'remarkably submissive to the American officials,' no Swedish officials have been charged or disciplined." [8].

If this “natural” course of events is not likely to happen in Sweden, to a great extent would be explained by the conscious manipulation of the cultural trick “Swedish consensus”. In other words, journalists and researchers, or politicians supposed to criticize or condemn the awful doings of their authorities will instead “understand” them because “this is the Swedish culture”, “we are not for conflicting”, and ergo all wrongdoings might be justified by a natural conflicting-avoiding character and the strive to be regarded by the world as “peaceful”.  And modern. 

But this is not completely true. In fact Swedes are NOT naive, as some few sometimes conveniently may play they are. Swedish officials and journalists are instead highly educated, well informed, and well politically aware of what they are doing. One alternative explanation may be that by trying to keep things secretly, the Swedish officials had estimated the possible damage for Sweden’s prospective political gains and economic trade with countries of other latitudes. These have in the past in many cases been possible just thanks to the Swedish declared neutrality-stand. The journalists would not like to agitate research articles against that balance. The truth is then buried. This is what we are now witnessing.

Damage control 

In an outstanding piece of intellectual rescuing – using the above mentioned cultural trick “Swedish consensus”, professor colleague Wilhelm Agrell (called in for damage control by Dagens Nyheter, the main Swedish newspaper) publish today a debate article on the issue of the secret agreements commented above. [9]

In the main, Wilhelm Agrell excuses the current government with the notion that other governments since about six decades ago have practised the same “double” attitude! He will not get into concrete propositions about ending such praxis, neither would he care to analyse the negative consequences of the last agreements for the integrity of the Swedish citizens (and for our national security!), or the catastrophic effects that these revelations would have for the Swedish stand elsewhere in the international scenario. Because one thing is that, judging from their political preferences, most of Swedes feel rather happy with their American strategic-minded leadership. Another thing is, however, that every single Swedish institution, not only the government but universities, foundations, etc., have profit their international prestige and positive affection from their counterparts all over world based precisely in the notion of a neutral and pacifist Sweden. 

And there is yet another issue that could not go missed by Professor Wilhem Agren. Namely, the genuine risk for the national security of Sweden posed exactly by these secret agreements. The interpretation by the USA Ambassador, according to the telegrams, was that there is strong reason to believe that Sweden would not become a direct target for terrorists (SvD 6/12 2010). [10]

I genuinely hope that the Ambassador is still right, and he shall remain right in this point.  But there is also strong reason to believe that terrorists had not then perceived – as neither the absolutely main part of the world – how engaged Sweden was and is, and eagerly wishes to be, an active part in that war. Not only regarding intelligence gathering, but also above that the active Swedish military intervention in Afghanistan. It is absurd to blame Assange for the consequences (for Sweden) of those unnecessarily subservient decisions on spying their own or getting into other's belligerent operations, amid decisions taken by Swedish government individuals in their “love” for America – but risking Sweden as a whole.

Not charged, just smeared
As for Julian Assange, he is not convicted by any crime in Sweden; neither is he formally prosecuted for the crime “rape” in the sense as it is commonly conceived in the world outside Sweden, namely a violent act without partner consent and which is not here the case. Normally translations  (for instance into English, Italian, or Spanish) exercised by the foreign press of texts in Swedish give often a false meaning of those “juridical” concepts with regard to the juridical culture or common sense prevailing in countries with normal, democratic, non gender-alienated judicial systems.

As to the “rape” suspicions (not charges) issue - as preposterous or even ridiculous as it may sound to the foreign reader (the world is actually laughing at this) - according to different lawyers’ reports the all thing would in true refer to the use of a malfunctioning condom! For reasons of space, I shall develop in more detail some whereabouts of the “legal” case against Assange in a separate post. 

Finally, I would like, warmly and genuinely, to invite the readers to subscribe to this statement by Åsa Linderborg in Aftonbladet 6/12 2010:

”Anyone who have claimed stand in defence of freedom of expression must declare that they fully shall support Assange, if USA or other attacks him or the distribution of Wikileaks’ information. The one who scoff at this demand shall never again pretend being a democrat”. [11] 

Not all Swedish journalists support Scum. There is much civil courage left, and more is to be shown if Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden.


[1] "Assange buried the Swedish neutrality myth", published in Second Opinion December 2010

[2] Id. Republished in Professors blog, December 2011

[3] Christine Assange. AAP, "Assange's mom tells government to grow up". The Telegraph, 17 November 2011:

Quoting Christine Assange, adressing a meeting with PMs and Senators in Canberra:

"We are at a crossroad in history here with democracy, where internet technology is intersecting with democracy. "Which way are we going to go? Are we going to repress all the citizens of the world for speaking out?" 

[4] M Ferrada-Noli, “The Wikileaks flag”, Professors blog, November 2011

[5] ”De hemliga telegrammen”, SVT, Channel 2,  5/12 2010

[6] Mikael Hollström. ”Sverige satte sig i respekt hos USA”. SvD 5/12 2010

[7] Mike Ölander. ”CIA krävde att Sverige skulle utöka samarbetet” Expressen 6/12 2010

[8] In Craig Whitlock's article "New Swedish Documents Illuminate CIA Action", The Washington Post, 21 May 2005

[9] Wilhem Agrell. ” ”Det är sammagamla lik som trillar ur garderoberna”. Dagens Nyheter 7/12 2010

[10] Mikaela Åkerman, Sebastian Chaaban. ”Samarbete med USA skulle inte visasupp”. SvD 6/12 2010

[11] Åsa Linderborg. “Varför är Assange skurken?” Aftonbladet 5/12 2010

Wikileaks, J Assange, Assangeyttrandehefrihet, , , intressant,

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