This morning I’ve seen a host of blog and Twitter posts in which the rape charges in Sweden against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange were attributed to “the Pentagon.” (The rape charges have since been dismissed but the “molestation” charges have not.) The Pentagon has been very displeased with the release of the Afghan war documents.
A large group of people seem enthusiastic about following Wikileaks’ lead in attributing these charges not to possible misconduct on Mr. Assange’s part, nor even to Sweden’s hyper-sensitive legal system, but to a secret conspiracy by “the Pentagon.” OK. I’m willing to entertain the possibility. But here’s what I want first.
- An explanation of the motives. Even if all the charges stuck, I’m not sure this would discredit Mr. Assange. And even if it did, I’m quite certain it would not make the 91,000 documents disappear. So explain to me how it would achieve the Pentagon’s goals to do such a thing. Explain it in detail.
- Which person, people or group within the Pentagon is responsible for hijacking another country’s legal system? Again, be specific. Is there a “dirty tricks’ intelligence group within the Pentagon? What’s it called? Who runs it? Describe some of their previous actions.
- How was this person or group able to push the government and law enforcement of an independent country, one which is not particularly enthusiastic about the U.S., out of the way to effect the charges? Did they blackmail them? Is the head of the Swedish police in the pay of the Pentagon? Was it a favor done for the Pentagon by Swedish politicians? Please be specific.
- If this theoretical group were able to do such a thing, how did the most serious charges wind up getting dismissed? Was it the Pentagon’s plan all along? (In the same way that losing football teams are won’t to tell reporters that their trailing at half-time is a product of a complex plan that will lead in the end to victory?) Or was the Pentagon so powerful it could change a country’s law enforcement but not strong enough to make the changes stick?
- Provide me with one additional example of the Pentagon influencing Swedish actions covertly.
- Why would the Pentagon do this at this point, when they were attempting to talk with a legal representative of Wikileaks only days before?
- Oh, yes. And how do you know “the Pentagon” was behind the charges? Who is your source? I mean generally, of course. I wouldn’t expect you to give up the name of the person you spoke to, if it was a person. However if your source is documentation, you should publish it in toto, unless it would result in a human source getting in hot water.
It’s possible that an intelligence group attached to the Pentagon did such a thing. Many things are possible. But it asks a great deal of suspension of disbelief. It asks that we think a group that couldn’t stop a host of Saudi terrorists from hijacking an airplane – with an intelligence report warning of such an eventuality – could infiltrate and take over an independent country’s justice system. It asks us to believe that a charge of rape, at a time when everyone will be suspicious of anything happening to Mr. Assange, would be given countenance. It asks us to believe that the eccentric and self-regarding Mr. Assange is incapable of acting out inappropriately.
Until someone gives me the answers to the above questions, however, I will continue to find it most likely that either Mr. Assange got drunk and gross and handsy (the Swedish legal system defines “ofredande” [molestation] as including “hitting on someone and not stopping when they tell them to fuck off”) and/or a couple of women saw an opportunity to get some TV time and possibly sue Mr. Assange.
Without backing these accusations of Pentagon “dirty tricks” up with attribution, with research or at least with a complete enough argument to obviate the above questions, the accusers come off about as credible as an Islamist imam or a Christian identity preacher. If there is any truth to these accusations, they do everyone a grave disservice by not showing their work.