Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Time to drop the "case" VS. Assange. Debunking Sweden's political alibi

 – Part I of Series "Undressing a juridical charade" –

Against the backdrop of a drastic falling of Sweden’s international status, the "Assange Case” emerged as the Swedish rulers' political alibi. Now when the plot has been debunked, it has come the time for dropping the "case".

But the Swedish Foreign Office is not the only Swedish political force profiting of the "case". While Carl Bildt uses the Assange "case" as cover for the failure of the current Sweden's geopolitics, "radical feminists" Claes Bodström, Marianne Ny, and Thomas Bordström are having a common ideological agenda: to enhance criminal meanings in the sexual behavior of the Swedish  people. The "Assange Case" was declared "symbolic issue" .

by Marcello Ferrrada de Noli

Published in Professorsblogg.com 3 Feb 2014

Initiating a Series of four analyses introducing the book "Human-Rights Issues In The Swedish Case VS. Assange"
Ny's govt assignmentFrom the book, Chapter "Duckpond in the Swedish Legal System, Page 152:
"Prosecutor Marianne Ny had – at the time of her initiative to reopen the case against Julian Assange in August 2010 – an assignment from the government. She was appointed expert in the Swedish Committee ensemble to propose a broadening of the criminal concept of rape in the context of hardening the legislation of sexual-offences.
This is contained in a letter – see it in box- sent to the Ministry of Justice (Chefen för Justitiedepartementet) by judge (rådman) Nils Petter Ekdahl : “The Government decided on the 17 of July 2008 to appoint a special investigator with the assignment of evaluating the applicability of the 2005 sexual-crimes legislation. . .” “To assist the investigation, Marianne Ny (named among the six appointed experts) was appointed (förordnade) from the 10 of September  2008 . . .”
Although many knew of the charming Kingdom of Sweden for a variety of reasons, what has most drawn the world attention to this nation in recent years is the political case against Julian Assange. For instance, Google News searching for “Sweden” in association with “Assange” gives twice as many hits as its association with previous trademarks such as “Nobel Prize in Medicine”, or three times more than hits in association with “Abba”. [1]

The official version given by the authorities and the media to the Swedish public, is that the international criticism on Sweden a) concerns only the legal system, and b) it was brought up, in PM Fredrik Reinfelft own words, “in conjunction with the court procedures on the extradition of Julian Assange”. [2] In further elaborations by government officials or by the media, it is asserted that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange himself directly author the said “discredit campaign”. [3]
Neither of the above official versions is truthful.

Nevertheless irregularities in the legal system do exist, [4] the core of the international criticism has to do a) partly with the abandonment of a sovereign foreign policy and other geopolitical behaviours that Swedish rulers have deployed in the years after the assassination in Stockholm of PM Olof Palme; and b) partly with multiple violations perpetrated by Swedish government officials – including ministers at the government - against Human Rights conventions of which the country is a signatory. These behaviours have comprised severe violations of the UN Absolute Ban On Torture, for which Sweden has been sanctioned by the UN organ for Human Rights [5] and other international committees.

I find relevant to note in the context, that one of the ministers accused as main figure in the decision-making of the extraordinary renditions to the CIA that led to the above-mentioned UN and European sanctions, is the former Justice minister Thomas Bodström, co-owner of the law firm Bodström & Borgström. I develop on this aspect in some chapters in this book a cause of the important implication of these two politicians in the diathesis of the “Assange case”. For instance:
  • a) At the time of the accusation done nominally by Ms "A" against Assange, Bodström was member of the same internal political phalange (Brotherhood) [6] within the Swedish Social Democratic Party to which the accuser Ms. A belonged; while Bodström was a senior, top-ranked politician in the group, Ms A was the “political secretary”;
  • b) While Tomas Bodström himself has proclaimed that it is his (and Borgström’s) law firm the one “representing the plaintiffs”, Claes Borgström has acknowledged in an interview with The Guardian that it was he who took the initiative for the reopening of the case upon the prosecutor office;
  • c) The actual prosecutor turned out being Ms Marianne Ny, who had previously participated together with either Bodström, or Borgström, or both, in committees set by the government to study the enhancement of the sexual-offences legislation. [7]
  • d) Interestingly, the new proposals in the legislation (under study) include precisely the type of “criminal behaviour” within “grey zones” which all along has been implied in the accusations against Julian Assange.
In recent developments, during an important voting at the Human-Rights organ of the United Nations in November 2012, Sweden obtained the lowest preference from the voting country-delegates. The election concerned Sweden’s own candidacy towards becoming a member of the United Nations Human Rights organization. Also in recent years and for the first time in modern history, the government of Sweden has been obliged to face the burning of Swedish flags by angry protesters in countries as far away as Pakistan.

Motive for those actions were found in the reaction of normal, law-abiding citizens of various countries, which felt insulted by the permissive stance of the Swedish government and Swedish media around the “Muhammad drawings controversy” of 2007, provoked by the racist Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. The native-Swedish cultural elites appealed to the “freedom of expression”. Which was used as a pretext to further reproduce the offensive material. This was done in conscious disregard towards the numerous groups of immigrants and refugees, which, in spite of being of diverse nationalities, share peacefully Islam as their religion or culture.

The behaviours implemented by the Swedish political and cultural elites on the Vilks affair, added Sweden’s military occupation of Afghanistan were specifically given as reasons [8] by the suicide-bomber for his terrorist retaliation blast of Stockholm in December 2010. The straightforward SÄPO chief Anders Thornborg acknowledged that to the international media. [9] However, this was not publicized in Sweden, in spite it was the very first time that the centenaries-quiet streets of Stockholm witnessed a suicide-bomber action.

Further, the Swedish government provided Vilks with National Security-police escort during his visit to New York on the 2 October 2012, where the racist cartoonist addressed anew an anti-Islam speech. [10] The irritation grew amidst the immigrants’ high-density marginalized areas of Stockholm.
Only some months after, the Guardian announced, with some stupefaction, the following headlines, “Swedish riots spark surprise and anger – As inequality and segregation start to rise”. Initiated in the “suburb” of Husby, mainly allocating social discriminated immigrants, the protested were triggered by the shooting of an older immigrant by a member of the National police, during an investigation proceeding. Hundreds of cars were burned in Stockholm and other major cities by the rioters.

Again, the Swedish government and the Swedish Main Stream Media (for brevity, called henceforth MSM) neglected to connect the domestic reaction to their policies and deeds, in the same fashion as they neglected to connect the drastic fall of the international status of Sweden with their own turn in the geopolitical arena.

There was no Swedish MSM-article whatsoever, nor government analysis, connecting those happenings with the actual deeds conducted by the Swedish government or institutions. Not even at the occasion of the surprising explosions in the centre of Stockholm – or at the above-mentioned race riots that debuted simultaneously in Stockholm and other major cities - did Swedish journalists made any reference to behaviours of the government, including cases of institutional discrimination against immigrant minorities. Or those for which Sweden have received sanctions by the United Nations, or with Sweden’s military occupation of Northern Afghanistan under U.S. command.

In my late years I have been lecturing on Epidemiology under Swedish assignments in a variety of universities, including central Africa and Latin America.  In Chile, on occasion of a lecturing at the School of Public Health, at the Medical Faculty of Chile University, I saw painted in walls at Providencia, not far from the Swedish Embassy, “OTAN Sueca fuera de Afganistan” (“Swedish NATO”, get out from Afghanistan). Diplomatic people from Latin-American or African countries that I have met in connection with those academic activities have confide: “no more business with Sweden in the first place, as it was before”.

And the anti-Sweden sentiment abroad grows. Who to blame?

The "case" as political alibi
Instead, the strategy of the MSM (which in Sweden it is subsidized by the State) and in conjunction with the State-owned “public-service” media has been to use the “case Assange” and WikiLeaks as a blunt alibi. And this is done with a not so subtle appealing to national chauvinistic sentiments.

As mentioned above, already in 2011 PM Reindfelt was connecting in front of the public the international criticism on Sweden with the case Assange. Two months after, the State-owned TV broadcasted repeatedly over several days this headline:

“How could the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange get the world into questioning Sweden’s credibility?” [11]

The reader should note the emphasis SvT is doing on “WikiLeaks founder” (my cursives), a status that it should have nothing to do with a case, which as Sweden has repeated to the international forum, is against an individual and for his individual behaviour.  In true, the case is ultimately about what WikiLeaks disclosed on Sweden and fundamentally on USA. And the Swedish Ministry of Defence goes farther in this line.

On the 29 February 2012, the National Television of Sweden aired a long reportage program focused on WikLeaks and Assange during the main news program Aktuell. The reporter, a Military-Intelligence trainee then working as envoy for Swedish Television, interviewed Mike Winnerstig, a high-rank representative of FOA (a military-research institute under the Ministry of Defence).  Winnerstig’s angle in the sending to the Swedish public was that WikiLeaks and Assange have an “agenda” consisting in targeting USA and allies (Sweden) but not Russia (Sweden’s “archenemy” state). Secondly, Winnerstig said expressly that Assange exercises blackmail against Sweden. He refers to the “disclosures” Sweden was expecting around Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

In other words, Assange is clearly presented in Sweden not as a “crime suspect individual” but as the enemy of Sweden; the agent that has caused “the world into questioning Sweden’s credibility”!

Carl Bildt’s Office contradicts itself

I am aware that this may be difficult for non-Swedes to understand this context, since the “Assange case” is presented outside Sweden as a “legal case”.  But here is a further contradiction.

If it were so, as Sweden’s rulers say, a) that the case VS. Assange is “only legal” and only pertinent to the judicial system, and b) that Assange is a figure in decay, isolated and deprived of influence, etc., one question is; How come that the case deserves (for the first time in the history of Sweden, to the best of my knowledge) special information pages in Swedish and English in the official websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well of the Prosecutor Authority? Why would the very Prime Minister of Sweden care interfering publicly in “the independent legal case” of an “insignificant Assange”? [12]

During 2012 several demonstrations in main cities of Sweden started to call for Bildt's resignation. This was an odd event in "consensus" Sweden, but the news about the fall of Sweden's international prestige was reaching domestic dimensions. It was then when the MSM sat in motion "Plan Z – Saving Minister Bildt". The government had an alibi, it was not Bildt's wrong doings; it was WikiLeaks, particularly Julian Assange, characterized as Sweden's No 1 enemy. But it was not any longer the version of Assange attacking Sweden, but of WikiLeaks and Assange "targeting" concretely Carl Bildt.  Which of course it was demonstrated a blunt lie. How the "case" Assange was used with this purpose I describe in detail in "Plan Z: The anti-WikiLeaks campaigns in the Swedish media. – Saving Minister Bildt?"

Further, the “radical feminist” organizations acting in public events with the Swedish politicians that pushed the reopening of the case, [13] refer unequivocally in public banderols or press releases to “the case against the WikiLeaks founder”, which also denotes anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks as being the real target behind the “legal” pretence. This, in its turn, leads us to the superpowers and satellite governments that have been exposed by Assange’s organization.

I am not referring to the Swedish feminist movement in general, neither to all “radical feminists”. I personally now many of these cadres and for whom I praise trust and respect. I am only referring to the fascist-wise feminists, often right-wing, which in spite of characterizing themselves of being “radical”, do not have the focus on societal issues – including gender inequality. They are instead focused in a “gender war” against men as such. In fact, they are more motivated by gaining positions of hierarchy amidst the cultural, political and corporate elites. They are, in alliance with fundamentalist academics carrying extreme, irrational anti-men positions, main ideological pillars of Swedish State Feminism.

I argue that:

i.   Behind the Swedish “legal case” against Assange, there is a political case. Although Sweden is acting against the backdrop of the known WikiLeaks disclosures on this government, in the main is following Sweden’s current geopolitical and military alignment with the US ­– partly concretized in “secret Intelligence agreements of collaboration”. [14] According to facts, Sweden is not a “Neutral” country.
ii.  The political aim in the case goes even beyond the destruction of WikiLeaks; it also aims to counteract the whistleblowing movement, among other measures, by means of terrorizing ad hominem. [15] In this regard, the Swedish mainstream media and State-owned media apparatus have deployed a consistent campaign, what has constituted a “Trial by media” on Julian Assange.
iii. Sweden has further used the case for ideological purposes within its foreign policy; for instance, as a vehicle to proselytise ideological claims of Sweden’s state-feminism.
iv. The management of the Swedish case has comprised breaches in the human rights of Julian Assange.
v.  In the context of the above issues, the characteristics of the Swedish legal system would not guarantee per se a fair trial of Julian Assange.
vi. At the contrary of what is stated by Swedish sources, it is the Swedish government – and not the judicial system - which ultimately can decide the issue of extradition to a third country. The government is fully entitled to issue guarantees of a non-extradition.

References & Notes

[1] Retrieved 24 Jan 2014
[2] Fredrik Reinfeldt’s declarations in: “Beklagar att kvinnors rätt och ställning väger så lätt. Statsminister Fredrik Reinfeldt (M) om Assange-fallet”. Aftonbladet, 8 Feb 2011.
[3] See Part II, ”The Trial By Media”.
[4] See Part V, on the Swedish legal system.
[5] UN Committee Against Torture, CAT/C/34/D/233/2003, 24 May 2005
[6] ”Broderskap” (Brotherhood), nowadays renamed to ”Faith & Solidarity”, is a Christian phalange within the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
[7] For sources, see chapter Duckpond In Swedish Legal System, in Part V in this book.
[8] The rationale was given both in written message, and in videotape.
[9] See my post ”Afghanistan, Lars Vilks, bomb, Sweden”. Professors blogg, 13 Dec 2010.
[10] SvT, ” Lars Vilks - konstnär och provokatör eller rasist? Uppdrag granskning, 28 Sept 2012.
[11] Trailer of the anti-Assange documentary by the Swedish National Television, SvT-1. 7 Apr 2011.
[12] Fredrik Reinfeldt has publicly implied that the Assange case is about a) the right of the two women b) to make the world to respect the Swedish legislation on sexual-offences.
[13] Politician Claes Borgström, formerly Ombudsman for gender issues appointed by the Persson government. His partner in the law firm Bodström & Borgström is the former Justice Minister of the same government, later a resident if the U.S. at Virginia.
[14] Some of the secret agreements on the Intelligence collaboration of Sweden with the US – mainly disclosed by the WikiLeaks Dipolmatic Cables of 2010 and subsequently by Edward Snowden revelation of 2013 – have been analysed by Prof. Wilhem Agrell, e.g. “Det är samma gamla lik som trillar ur garderoberna” (DN, 7 Dec 2010); “FRA spionage mot Ryska civila mål” (SvD, 7 Dec 2013).
[15] After the Assange case initiated in 2010, attacks ad hominem have followed also suit, e.g. against Aaron Swartz, Jeremy Hammond, and Edward Snowden.


No comments: