The above cheeky chappie is Julian Assange who is founder of Wikileaks and - shall we say - not the most popular person on the planet so far as the US government is concerned. The rabbit has refrained from commenting on the barrage of leaks of US government material hitherto but would comment that when Hillary Clinton etc complain that they imperil lives, the rabbit thinks they do protest too much. The leaks are really in the realm of the embarrassing only so far. And many of them are less than surprising. From a British perspective, it is unremarkable to learn that David ('Dave') Cameron and his understrapper Gideon ('George') Osborne are 'lightweights', albeit that the source of this opinion namely The Governor of the Bank of England is somewhat eyebrow raising. Equally that Prince Andrew is a boorish oaf hardly constitutes much of a disclosure.
Ranging further abroad, the US government assessment that it is hard to tell where the Russian government ends and organised crime begins seems a statement of the obvious. That the bloke with the pointy beard in charge of Saudi Arabia would like the Americans to whack the Iranians and that the Chinese would be prepared to abandon Kim Il-Bonkers etc and see Korean reunification is more surprising but not exactly a sensation. What is more interesting is the reaction to the fact of the leaks.
US senator Mike Huckabee would like whoever it was in the US government who leaked the above stuff and the rest executed for treason but there is a general consensus that Huckabee is not playing with a full deck. Another US senator, Joe Lieberman has struck in that his call for amazon to stop carrying the Wikileaks feed has been successful. 'I call on any other company or organisation that is hosting WikiLeaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them' yelped Lieberman. As the rabbit is neither a company or an organisation this blog will continue to carry the Wikileaks feed and there is a message for Lieberman from Spokane below. 'If amazon is so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books' commented Wikileaks.
However, the really weird thing is this. Assange is in some trouble in Sweden. On 20 August 2010, an investigation was opened against Assange in Sweden in connection with an allegation that he had raped a woman on the weekend of 14 August after a seminar, and two days later had sexually harassed a second woman he had been staying with in Stockholm. The evidence in relation to the rape allegation appears to be nonexistent and the harassment allegation tissue thin at best. Ha! cry the conspiracy theorists: we have a US attempt to frame and by extension destroy Assange here. As to what actually happened, I copy and paste from UK journalist Dennis Spence on the Charon QC blog: 'the complaint was lodged by a radical feminist Anna Ardin, 30, a one-time intern in the Swedish Foreign Service. She’s spokeswoman for Broderskapsrörelsen, the liberation theology-like Christian organization affiliated with Sweden’s Social Democratic Party. She had invited Julian Assange to a crayfish party, and they had enjoyed some quality time together. When Ardin discovered that Julian shared a similar experience with a 20-year-old woman a day or two later, she obtained the younger woman’s cooperation in declaring before the police that changing partners in so rapid a manner constituted a sort of deceit. And deceit is a sort of rape. The prosecutor immediately issued an arrest warrant, and the press was duly notified. Once the facts were examined in the cold light of day, the charge of rape seemed ludicrous and was immediately dropped. In the meantime the younger woman, perhaps realizing how she had been used, withdrew her report, leaving the vengeful Anna Ardin standing alone'.
A crayfish party?
For further details read here. So far so bonkers and it looks as if Assange was a victim of some - erm - curious Swedish approaches to sexual crime except it seems that the story still has legs. Assange's details was added to Interpol's worldwide wanted list last Tuesday under 'sex crimes' and says the warrant has been issued by the international public prosecution office in Gothenburg. Swedish prosecutors said yesterday that they would issue a fresh arrest warrant in respect of Assange, the last one apparently suffering from technical defects.
So, what to make of all this? The rabbit reserves judgement. The allegations look thoroughly silly and we have - sort of - been here before. The fact that they suddenly resurrect at this point with a serious international attempt to arrest Assange seems odd but, though the rabbit is partial to a good conspiracy theory as the next warren dweller, we shall have to see. Oh and allegedly the British police know where he is but are doing nothing.
Here is the rabbit's response to Senator Lieberman via a street sign in Spokane, Washington. On a completely different topic, there was a wholly unexpected but nice comment on my piece on - among other topics - Len Shelley from Richard Purnell, who used to live with him. Here is the link to his obituary for Len Shelley and his wife Ang.