Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Swedish media's censorship in the Assange case

Why to indulge in this hypocrite dichotomy between “the man” and “the project”, “the legal case” and the “ideological case”? What ultimately it is behind the flagrant injustice in the case against Assange IS ideology. It is the ideology of power abuse, of those governing by the rule of neglecting the integrity of their citizens, seizing their human right to free will and transparent democracy. It is the revenge of the state against the libertarian judging THEIR wrongdoing.  This is the essential truth that some in the Swedish media pretend to filter with help of "technical censorship"
by Marcello Ferrada-Noli


Naomi Wolf is a world known author and a liberal-progressive political activist as well distinguished in the intellectual leadership of the Feminist movement. Her biographers have signalled her as the leader spoke person of the Third wave of the feminist movement after the publication in 1991 of The Beauty Myth.

To the best of my knowledge, neither the Environmental Party, The Swedish Left Party and the Pirate Party have endorsed such critical theses, or similar, or contested  the Swedish official version in the proceedings against Assange.
In Sweden, her theses have been, beyond an intellectual-argument confrontation, simply characterized as hostile to the Swedish rape legislation, as put forward in Svenska dagbladet (SvD), or scorned in circles of the Swedish blogosphere hostile to Assange and the WikiLeaks project. Naomi Wolf’s analyses infuriated also Swedish politicians such as the former chairman of the Swedish Vänster partiet Gudrun Schyman - afterwards chairman of the Feminist Initiative party - which wrote a column about it in Newsmill. 

 It is worth to mention that all the Swedish political parties, including the so called progressive parties – honouring the best of the Swedish “consensus tradition” I have described elsewhere (see chapters The “duck pond” and Sweden Is Not Neutral in Does Sweden Inflict Trial by Media against Assange?) have turn their back to Assange on chauvinist grounds, pretending to ignore what it is really at the stake for the benefit of world’s society as a whole: The odds for a successful, radical change, towards transparent political governments, of trust enjoying trust. For better chances of world peace.

For the WikiLeaks project brings about in facts the fight for the integrity issues that other parties in Sweden claim in words, and Assange’s project gives concrete shield to the oppressed and the humble against power abuse - and eventually have helped to avert their genocide - which is what “progressive” parties have only claimed rhetorically. Why to indulge in this shameful, hypocrite distinction between “the man” and “the project”, “the legal case” and the “ideological case” while everybody knows that behind the flagrant justice-anomalies and accusations in the legal Swedish case against Assange are ultimately the corporative powers determined to keep the rule of an injustice world?

Several intellectual personalities outside Sweden, progressive and undoubtedly engaged in a truly feminist cause, have indeed a different, wiser stand. Among them, as I mentioned Naomi Wolf, who has also authored in current times notorious analyses on the Assange case. Her opinion on issues around this case is widely quoted and due respected also on the fact that Naomi has 26-years experience in the supportive management of rape victims. This has given her considerable experience. In other words, she knows what she is talking about.

Naomi Wolf also wrote on February 10, 2011, a guest-column in the Swedish based Professors Blogg with reference to the case Assange. The article was titled, “Karl Rove, Sweden, and the Eight Major Aberrations in the Police Sex Crime Reporting Process in the Assange Case”. Among other matters, the article mentioned Karl Rove’s potential involvement in the Swedish case against Assange, which background I have described here and here.

Wolf’s opinions in Professors blog have, however, met a solid barrier in the Swedish establishment in control of the public debate, particularly the media.

However her column had a huge impact among Swedish blog-readers (Bloggar.se picked her column Feb. 12 to be its top-recommended reading on the Assange theme and Knuff.se cited the article in its front page) others in the Swedish media apparatus objected the article for it spreads the notion that Rove might be relevant to the Assange case, or even to the Sweden’s governing Moderate Party. Roland Poirier Martinsson - a Swedish right-wing political columnist (Svenska dagbladet) formerly based in the USA, and who affirms he was the one that invited Rove to Sweden – issued the following appeal in an email about Noemi Wolf's publication in Professors blogg:

"it would be nice if we are keeping away from see that it spreads in the Swedish blogosphere" ["det vore trevligt om vi slapp se den spridas i den svenska bloggosfären"].

Roland Poirier Martinsson's email referred above was published in makthavare.se, as an appendix- commentary to the post “Naomi Wolfe: Karl Rove arbetar åt moderaterna””. The email is said to be addressed to makthavare.se’s publisher Andreas Henriksson (seen here in a picture with Rove published in Henriksson’s blog).

Also, or ensuing, the linking of Wolf’s article to the main Swedish newspapers as Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), Aftonbladet and Expressen, was further denied.

This is what happened:

Because the linking process did not function as normally for these articles as they normally have for years worked for Professors blogg, I decided to phone from Italy Karin Thurfjell, the journalist of Svenska dagbladet who authored the article which I had tried unsuccessfully to link Wolf’s contribution. I had chosen particularly Thurfjell’s article first because in my opinion it is one of the best, objective and balanced news-article, written in Sweden on the Assange case connected to the risks posed to Sweden by the international-wide criticism.

The journalist said she did not know anything about the problem and referred me to SvD web-redaction.

After several calls and emails, the head of this unit, Johan Silfversten Bergman, finally communicated to me that my request was beyond their ability to meet because the (links) “selection is done purely technical and it is something we cannot manoeuvre” (“Detta urval sker rent tekniskt och är inget vi kan styra”).

Then, I sent an email directly to journalist Karin Thurfjell based in SvD’s published announced policy about news-suggestions from the readers. I asked her to consider the information and analysis provided by Naomi Wolf on the investigation process about the case Assange in Sweden (as they were of public interest), giving to the journalist the articles’ links. Karin Thurfjell never replied.

At that point, I was unaware of the public appeal to blockade Naomi Wolf’s article in the blogosphere done by Poirier Martinson (the 2008 host of Karl Rove’s stay in Sweden). Therefore, I still considered the problem as due to a technical error. So, I repeated in detail the Wolf article in yet a new blog post in Professors blog, and I posted that link again to the newspaper’s article. This time, I tried to link it also to other articles on the subject Assange then currently in the Swedish media, among other in Dagens Nyheter (DN).

I call DN afterwards with the same questions about the malfunctioning link of Wolf’s article from the DN-articles. They suggested I send my question per email and assured me that I would get a written answer (per email), the day after at the latest. DN never replied.

By then, I had published in Professors blog a new guest-column by Andrew Kreig, the prominent Washington base attorney, journalist, and human-rights advocate. Kreig's article was a new updated material based in his research on the alleged connection Rove/Sweden under the title “Karl Rove’s Swedish Connections: The Controversy And The Facts”. I repeated the usual link-procedure and tried to link the article to publications at SvD, DN and Expressen. The link containing this new article touching upon the issue on Rove was neither accepted.

The linking-system used by the above mentioned Swedish newspaper is run by a company called Twingly.se (or Twingly.com). Martin Källström, Twingly’s Chief Executive Officer, wrote the following in addressing a question by blogger Hanna Lävquist, as given in her post:

“The newspapers which are connected to Twingly get reports from their readers if the content of a blog is inadequate. When such report arrives in Twingly’s administration-gear, intervenes the “moderator” (newspaper’s Web-controller) and look into the blog’s content. . .” “You have a serious and good blog, I cannot think that some newspaper would blockade your article.”

In the above phrase “some newspaper would blockade your article” Twingly unequivocally admits that a Swedish newspaper would exercise censure against the publications which content are estimated as inappropriate. The question is still who had authored the request for censuring BOTH Naomi Wolf’s and Andrew Kreig’s articles on the theme Karl Rove, Assange and Sweden, published in the Swedish based Professors blog?


Does Sweden inflict Trial by the Media Against Assange?

See also in Professors blogg on the Swedish case against Assange:




Media 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, 13, 14
, 15, 10, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25


Ivan Johnson said...

Hello, and thank you for your many interesting articles on the Assange case. You may be interested to know that links to your blog are allegedly being censored on the Guardian website, for "legal" reasons.

See link http://rixstep.com/1/20110225,00.shtml

Marcello Ferrada de Noli (Italy) said...

Thanks Ivan,

I saw your comment only now (8/2 2011) and purely by accident. It was categorized by blogger.com as "spam" !?! so it was not meant to be seen, and published, at least in the easy way.