Sunday, March 02, 2014

Was the reopening of the Sweden case, part of the US request to prosecute Assange by any means?

– Part II of the Series "Undressing a Swedish juridical charade" –

By Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli

  Image above: Edmond Dulac, "The Emperor's New Clothes" [1]

See Part I here


Introduction – 1. The Intercept exposures and Swedish collaboration with the US – 2.  The revealing silence on The Intercept revelations from the part of the Swedish authorities and media – 3. The extent of a geopolitical servitude.


“A vain Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothes from ‘a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position’. The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all” [2]

After nearly four years of the message in Professors blogg on the case Assange, my 250 analyses and articles, one book, and nearly 1,000 comments, I have to admit that the international debate on the Swedish case against Assange is still futilely devoted to “the legal aspects” of the case. The discussion has been made up from the beginning around “technical” arguments, and where court verdicts or utterances of legal folks have been paramount attraction. As an illustration, the Swedish online forum Flashback, mainly dealing around such legal aspects, has produced up to now nearly sixty thousand comments (N= 59 257) that have been viewed nearly six million times (N= 5 723 806). And from the part of the Swedish press, the only opinion articles accepted for publication on WikiLeaks or its founder Julian Assange are those bound to contribute to the “legal discussion”, hence, towards the ever blowing smoke-curtain encouraged to hide the real case.

Likewise, as soon the establishment’s media monopoly prints a declaration – often repetitions – by lawyers working for the perpetuation of the “Assange case”, the international social media is inundated with exegetic comments trying in vain to elucidate if any novelty might be at sight. Like when the people tried to describe the Emperors clothes while he walked in front of them, as blunt naked as his deceiving.

My position is instead: there is not such a “legal case”; it has never been. Plainly: there is not legal ground for a prosecution of Assange in Sweden on the base of the alleged behaviours. Arguments from the part of the Swedish prosecutors in the form of vague insinuations of “undisclosed” reasons for pursuing the issue of an interrogation with Assange (at the same time that they neglect carrying out such interrogation in London) emerges after four years as a pure and simple bluff. And this bluff shall be certainly “called” if an interrogation ever is to be performed. Ergo, the case is postponed indefinitely.

Which in turn is the reason explaining why the prosecutor has first neglected such interrogation while Assange was still in Sweden, and the afterwards deferring of the interrogation by the prosecutor while Assange has remained in London.

Which in turn explains the unreasonable reiteration of the prosecutor’s bluff done recently by Claes Borgström, on that the interrogation of Assange should take place in Sweden.[3] For both the prosecutor and Borgström – and for that part the Swedish legal establishment as a whole – are certain that, unless the Swedish government would not issue guaranties about no-rendition of Assange to the USA, Julian Assange will never risk travelling to Sweden.

After all, as already recorded in History, the company Bodtsröm & Borgström, in the person of former Justice minister Thomas Bodström, has allegedly its hands blooded with the rendition to the CIA of prisoners kept in Swedish territory to be transported for torture elsewhere. To the best of my knowledge, Claes Bogström has never publicly taken stance against such deeds, or commented his own main partner and political peer Thomas Bodström on that issue.

So, in my opinion, what it is required about this case’s stalemate is to shift from the time-consuming developing on the legal technicalities that actually refer to a non-existing “legal case”. What it is necessary is a creative international criticism changing focus to the actual political plot and the denouncing of its main actors. In other words, when nearly four years has passed, may I ask to realize that the legal garments of Emperor Sweden have never existed? For in the main, the Swedish Versus Assange has been from the beginning a case aimed to disrupt the publishing endeavour of the anti-secret organization WikiLeaks.

It emerges now clearer that the “Assange prosecution-case” was a request from the US government. And most interesting, the dialectics of this deception is double fold. On the one hand explains the diathesis of the case, its origins and bogus character; on the other hand it explains the impossible situation of the Swedish prosecution authority. They cannot afford to finish the interrogation, now under the world scrutiny, because the bluff would be called of when the public will realize that there has never been a legal base for initiating such prosecution – after that it was dismissed by Chief-Prosecutor Eva Finné in 2010.

This being the genuine reason for the excuse-finding series produced for the protracting of the case; such as the last publication in SvD by politician Borgström, mentioned above. The same regarding the bogus European Arresting Warrant issued nominally by Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny and publicly defended by Prosecutor-General Anders Perklev; as I explained in a recent analysis,[4] such EAW had as real target not the detention of Assange, but the creation of an extradition process leading to the subsequent stalemate of the case and the immobilization of the WikiLeaks founder. It is highly the time we denounce this in the first place and mobilise in accordance politically. For the deadlock of a political case can only be broken down by political means. 

In these days, new revelations published by The Intercept (18 February 2014) on US efforts to get Assange prosecuted by allies elsewhere, confirm to a great extent main theses that I have put forward on the Assange case 2010 and onwards.

Although the Greenwald & Gallagher revelations in those regards are not new (for the same information has been released on at lest two occasions in 2010, see below), this new actualization has deserved widespread attention. Partly, for the information it was ascribed to Edward Snowden documents, and partly because it comes almost simultaneously with the publication by Alexa O’Brien (17 February 2014) of a thorough and inedited documentation she obtained, pointing to the US preparations for indicting Assange and WikiLeaks.[5] In agreement with the author, I newly republished Alexa O’Brien’s documented analysis in Professors blogg.  in In this article I discuss the above-mentioned findings and actualizations against the backdrop of the Swedish political-prosecution itinerary.

Finally in this Introduction, I wish to state that my contention on a paramount political diathesis of the case is not a “working hypothesis”, or much less a “conspiracy theory” – as Expressen’s Editor-in-Chief Tomas Matson referred to my standpoints in a debate with him at Swedish Radio One.[6] I am a Swedish/US educated scientist, not a Swedish journalist; [7] and I am professor of empirically based medical sciences, not else. Meaning: my analyses on the Swedish case against Assange are not other than the review of facts as they have truly happened in the societies involved. And, beyond opinions, I have never met a rebuttal on the facts I have put forward.

1. The Intercept exposures and the Swedish collaboration with the US Department of Justice

On the 18 of February, based on Edward Snowden documents, Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher revealed in The Intercept [8] important evidence, in my opinion direct relevant to the Swedish case against Julian Assange. Summarizing the news with Kevin Gosztolas headline in The Dissident; [9]

“Manhunting Timeline’ Further Suggests US Pressured Countriesto Prosecute WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief”. 

Accurately, the Snowden document referred by Kevin Gosztolas stated the following (the full document has not been available, to the best of my knowledge; the excerpt is contained in the above referred article by Greenwald & Gallagher):

“The United States on 10 August urged other nations with forces in Afghanistan, including Australia, United Kingdom and Germany, to consider filing criminal charges against Julian Assange, founder of the rogue WikiLeaks Internet website and responsible for the unauthorized publication of over 70,000 classified documents covering the war in Afghanistan. The documents may have been provided to WikiLeaks by Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. The appeal exemplifies the start of an international effort to focus the legal element of national power upon non-state actor Assange and the human network that supports WikiLeaks.”

It should be clarified, as also is stated in The Intercept article, that findings refers to an early publication, or “scoop”, done by Philip Shenon, former NYT investigative reporter. He published his report on US urging allies hounding Julian Assange and WikiLeaks already on the 10 of June 2010, in the Dailybeast.[10]

a) The first thing striking me was that the communication in which the US government urged certain countries to initiate a prosecuting against Assange was directed to “other nations (than the US) with forces in Afghanistan”. Ergo, this includes Sweden, unmistakably.

This is an item not been highlighted by the above-cited articles of Greenwald & Gallagher, or Gosztolas, or by the article reproducing the interviews of Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Centre for Constitutional Rights on the recent exposures based on the Edward Snowden documents.[11]

In fact, the press secretary of the Swedish Foreign Office, Anders Jörle, was asked by that time (8 September 2010) whether they have been contacted by the US on the stance Sweden should be held about WikiLeaks. Most interesting I that the answer provided by the Foreign Office representative did NOT deny a contact from the US government’s on any such request to Sweden. He only said that no contact has been carried out on the issue between USA and officials the Swedish Foreign ministry “through the official channels”.

The said interview was conducted by Expressen’s journalist Oscar Joulander and published on September 8th, 2010. I quote from the Expressen’s report:

“They have not been in contact with us through the official channels in Stockholm or at the embassy in Washington”, says the Foreign Office spokesman Anders Jörle”. [12]

But this is exactly what WikiLeaks denounced in the Diplomatic Cables on Sweden: that the contacts on matters of Intelligence operations between the US Government and the officials at both the Swedish ministries of Justice and of Foreign Affairs were conducted “in secret”, and even hidden from the Parliament.

In the context, we shall consider that Sweden represent for the US government the staunchest ally in Europe (together with he UK) in that kind of operations. Regarding which countries are “closest allies” in Intelligence operations is not any longer a guessing. They were exposed initially as the “Five eyes” countries. However, some moths ago it emerged that Sweden has been in fact the secretly closest collaborationist European country of the Bush and Obama government. Sweden has during last times repeatedly been referred in the international media as to “the Sixth Eye” of the SIGINT alliance under US command.[13]

b) The second aspect being that this request to these countries (including Sweden) was put forward on the 10 of August 2010. It would be enough for the reader to check the document “Affidavit of Julian Paul Assange” to realize the timing of the request from the US to Sweden and the timeline of its implementation.

It is well known that on the 20 of August, only ten days after the above-referred date, [14] Expressen published the “scoop” that Assange has been “arrested for rape”. Expressen interviewed Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, the Swedish prosecutor that had issued the arresting order, and quotes:

“It is rape, confirms Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand” [15]

But what is less known, in fact, to the best of my knowledge never been mentioned before in the debate, is what journalist Emanuel Karlsten “anticipated” in his article in the same issue of Expressen on that 20 of August:

“Internet is boiling with rumours that the US government is exercising pressure on its allies to arrest Assange. Departing from that, and from this notification (the Swedish prosecutor arrest order) I assume that it will be extensively conspired about that CIA finally has managed to infiltrate even the Swedish authorities.”

Well, who was really conspiring on the 10 of August 2010?

c) The third relevant aspect being that charges were asked to be filed against “the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange”.

That was the case all along, that the Swedish prosecution (the “accusations”) was initiated under request because Assange was the founder of WikiLeaks, and for the “damage” WikiLeaks had infringed to NATO interest and in particular in exposing the secret agreements between the US government and “neutral” Sweden. In fact, these were the first words I published on the case Assange back in in 2010: [16]

“As the detention of Julian Assange is now implemented on behalf of Sweden, it would be necessary to clarify some issues for non-Swedish speaking audiences. Possible equivocal terms based on 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.”

The media strategists of the requested operation skilfully mastered the item. They managed to revert its presentation by appealing to a false notion of “all equal under the law”. Meaning, “just because he is a celebrity he will not be excused”.  Another trick engulfed by the Swedish public, which did not realize that it was exactly the opposite. It was because Assange is the WikiLeaks forerunner and indicated as main responsible of the exposures.

Further, no one has cared to statistically examining the prevalence of such “legal measures” from the part of the Swedish authorities among a cohort of average Swedes accused of similar behaviours, cases with about the same degree of “evidence” or personal-affective motivation behind, as it is purported being the case “of the two women” accusations against Assange.

But it is also an item I have been insisting in clarifying all along. That we should not let pass uncontested that the case against Assange is presented at the media divorcing “the person Assange” from the fact he is the founder and forerunner figure of WikiLeaks. This is a mistake also contained in several interventions from the part of WikiLeaks supporters, who unfortunately did not realise it was part of the smear-accusation strategy. That has been the strategy assayed by Swedish journalists and in general among the Anglo-Saxon media, separate “Assange” from “Wikileaks”, a mantra still going strong in the social media particularly Twitter.

All this, but principally the above-mentioned revelations done by Alexa O’Brien, would bring support to the hypothesis defended in these columns (the “stalling hypothesis”) about the protracting of the case from the part of Sweden in order to allow the completion of the indictment in preparation in the US against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. In other words, the findings by O’Brien also indicate the real nature of the Swedish case VS. Assange, as she clearly demonstrates that US investigation of WikiLeaks is now entering its 5th year.

Why selecting Sweden for the Assange op?

One answer could be found in the content of the first reports from Fox TV, the Daily Telegraph, etc., back in 2010-2011.  Those reports nearly highlighted that Sweden is “neutral”, and expressly anticipate the argument around these terms, “it is unconceivable that a neutral country like Sweden, and which remained neutral during the Second World War, would be doing this on orders of another country.” In other terms, the image Sweden as a neutral country would show the “objectivity” of the accusations and the subsequent State-sponsored arresting warrants and extradition requests. But the image of a “neutral Sweden” was deceitful, as demonstrated by the facts exposed in the 2011 article “Sweden, NATO and Assange”,[17] answering to Clarie Harvey’s piece in Daily Telegraph. [18]

2. The revealing silence on The Intercept revelations from the part of the Swedish authorities and media.

After five days of the Intercept scoop, particularly when the item concerning WikiLeaks and Assange has been referred in principal international media outlets, not a single word has been uttered by the Swedish press or broadcasting services, public or private. This, considering that according to Google, the item referred by the scoop of Greenwald & Gallagher to Assange and Wikileaks in conjunction to “prosecution”, has been referred 402 000 times on the Web so far in these five days.[19]

The scandalous touch is given by SvD. The paper is running today (23 of February) an extensive article in the Culture section precisely on the theme of Edward Snowden’s exposures and in the main context of The Guardian journalist Luke Harding’s book ”The Snowden files”. The title is even headed “A matchless reportage on Snowden and the scoop of all times”. [20] The article even reports expressly the launching of The Intercept, “completely aimed at exposures based on the Snowden documents”. But WikiLeaks is only mentioned in the article as an organization once despised by Snowden; and Greenwald is only portrayed as a bitter journalist “irritated that Harding has stolen his scoop”. And about the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a target for international prosecution as described in that launching of The Intercept?  Not a word.

It is not believable that the Swedish media would not consider relevant to Sweden, if not highly relevant, the revelations done by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher in The Intercept. I will first explain this relevancy for the Swedish scenario. Then I will enumerate some central myths cultivated by the Swedish authorities, the Swedish legal system and their servant media about Assange and the “legal case”. For in these behaviors is to found the real reasons why the media is absolutely mute about the last Snowden revelations. For it exposes the bluff.

3. The extent of a geopolitical servitude

At the very same time the right-wing conservative SvD published politician Claes Bogström’s new utterances in support of a prosecutor authority, this time on the Assange case, Sweden’s Riksdagen (the Congress) was holding its yearly debate-session on “Swedish” foreign policy. Main actors in this nationwide-broadcasted parody were Carl Bildt, US government informer and foreign minister of Sweden, and Urban Ahlin, a right-wing spokesperson in foreign affairs of the main “opposition” party, the social democrats, party comrade of Bogström & Bodström and also a conspicuously visitor of the US Embassy in Stockholm. [21]

To give an idea of the extent of Sweden’s geopolitical servitude, it will be enough to mention that even the staunchest pro-US newspaper in the Swedish MSM, right-wing conservative SvD, run on the 19 of February 2014 an article with the headline:

“USA dominates parliament’s distorted worldview”.[22]

The article, published the day after of the afore -mentioned debate, ensued with statistics showing the thematic distribution of partisan interventions on foreign policy done in the Parliament during the last decade. But it was not clear difference among the Swedish parties. This is the country were even the former feminist Communist Party, which changed the name to “Vänster” (means “Left”), voted for Carl Bildt’s proposition of sending jetfighters to Lybia, and most recently, announced its support for the Swedish participation with troops in the military occupation of Mali.

One important aspect in this “deformity” consisting in, according to Anna Jardfelt (CEO of the Swedish Foreign Policy Institute), that Sweden is taking part militarily, with troops, in regions of the world that are not in the political priorities of Sweden.[23] This military participation of Sweden is said to be implemented in the frame of EU-cooperation. But the truth is that these operations basically correspond to NATO design and operative command.

No doubt Sweden has revealed itself been the closest collaborationist European country of the Bush and Obama government, and nowadays has repeatedly been referred in the international media as to “the Sixth Eye” of the SIGINT alliance under US command.

I found strange that this association with Sweden, as a country receiving the request from the US government to pursue a prosecution against Assange, has not been found (it has not been mentioned or developed) amidst the different interviews or articles dealing with the report by Greenwald and Gallagher in The Intercept.

References & Notes

[1] Wdmond Dulac (1882 - 1953)

[2] Michael Nus. ”The Emperor’s New Clothes. . .”.  Michaelnus, blog, 11 Jul

[3] Claes Bogström. “Därför är ett förhör i England otillräckligt”. SvD, 19 Feb 2014.

[7] Swedish journalists have in multiple occasions conspired to protect the interests of those in power. One illustration I given during the anti-WikiLeaks campaigns of 2012 which I referred as a “Plan Z” aimed to save minister Carl Bildt. See a) “Anatomy of an untruthful scoop: Sweden’s psychological warfare against WikiLeaks, and the political case VS Julian Assange. Part One”, 23 Feb 2012, and b) “Plan Z: the latest nationwide anti-WikiLeaks campaign in the Swedish media”, 2 March 2012.

[8] Glenn Greenwald & Ryan Gallagher. “Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters”. The Intercept, 18 Feb 2014.

[10] Philip Shenon. “Pentagon Manhunt.” The Dailybeast, 10 June 2010.

[11]Documents Reveal NSA and GCHQ Efforts to Destroy Assange and Track Wikileaks Supporters” Interview transcript by Anton Woronczuk. Truthout, 21 Feb 2011. Michael Ratner (President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin) says: “And what the substance of it is is it says that we have to make an effort to get Julian Assange prosecuted everywhere in the world. And at that point they pointed to four, maybe five countries–the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, the U.S., Iceland. Those are the countries that are going to go after him in. And, obviously, there are other countries added as they go along.”

[12] Oscar Joulander. “Assange: I am the only victim”. Expressen, 8 Sept 2010. Excerpt:

“På det svenska Utrikesdepartementet förnekar man att man kontaktats av USA.

– De har inte varit i kontakt med oss den officiella vägen. Varken i Stockholm eller på ambassaden i Washington, säger UD:s presschef Anders Jörle.”

[13]Sweden’s Intelligence Agency has Access to NSA’s XKeyscore system”. Info Security Magazine, 12 December 2013:

 “Sweden has sometimes been called the ‘Sixth Eye’ – referring to the English-speaking Five Eyes SIGINT alliance – suggesting a close working relationship between Sweden’s FRA and the NSA and GCHQ. New documents suggest that it has access to the XKeyscore tool, and has helped in the Quantum hacking program.”

[14] “…internet kokar av rykten om att USA utövar påtryckningar mot sina allierade för att gripa Assange. Jag utgår från att det i och med anmälan kommer att konspireras flitigt om att CIA till sist lyckats infiltrera även svenska myndigheter. In:

[15] “– Det är våldtäkt, bekräftar Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand”. In Diamant Salihu & Niklas Svensson: “Wikileaks grundare anhållen för våldtäkt”. Expressen, 20 Sept 2010.

[16] Glenn Greenwald & Ryan Gallagher. Op. Cit.

[17]Sweden, NATO and Assange”. Professors blog, 3 Nov 2011.

[18] In an article on the case Assange in The Daily Telegraph, Clarie Harvey referred to Sweden in these terms,: a “proudly independent nation that remained neutral even during World War II”.

[19] Search in retrieved (See searching terms) 23 Feb 2014, 6:27 PM.

[20] Sam Sundberg. “Omistligt reportage om Snowden och tidernas scoop”. SvD, 23 Feb 2014.

[21] The “shadow foreign-affairs minister” Urban Ahlin has also been disclosed in the Wikileaks diplomatic cables. Swedish paper Expressen published at that occasion the article  “Wiklieaks discloses: Ahlin wanted to sell the (Afghanistan) war to the Swedish people in this way“. Namely, Urban Ahlin had asked at a meeting in the US Embassy in Stockholm, that US should send to Sweden a local politician from Afghanistan in order to tell the Swedes “affective-impacting” stories. This would further increase the support from the Swedish people towards the military occupation, reasoned Ahlin. Urban Ahlin has of course tried to deny that such conversations had occurred and dismissed it as “Wikileaks’ lies”. Nothing happens afterwards; he was not further questioned by any Swedish journalist and he is still Sweden’s “shadow foreign-affairs minister”.

[22] USA dominerar skev världsbild i riksdagen, SvD, 19 Feb 2014.

[23] Id. Excerpt: “Det finns också en säkerhetspolitisk dimension av den skeva fokuseringen, påpekar Anna Jardfelt, Utrikespolitiska institutets direktör.– Flera av de konfliktländer där Sverige deltagit med trupper inom ramen för EU-samarbetet är inte så politiskt prioriterade, enligt undersökningen. I och med EU-medlemskapet borde det bli ännu viktigare för Sverige att diskutera situationen i fler länder än bara de som vi traditionellt fokuserat på. För i och med EU-medlemskapet blir Sverige än mer direkt engagerat särskilt i Mellanöstern och Afrika, säger Anna Jardfelt.”

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