Monday, December 13, 2010

The Assange conspiracy

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you. I'm warming to the notion that the rape charges against Julian Assange are part of a plot, at the centre of which is not the elder of his two accusers, Anna Ardin, an activist who has hogged most of the media's attention, but the other woman Sofia Wilen, who has more or less disappeared since the charges were framed.
Consider the timeline (based on one of Guy Rundle's articles and an interview with Claes Borgstrom):
August 13: Assange has sex with Ardin, who hosts him in Stockholm during his Sweden tour.
August 14: Wilen attends a meeting addressed by Assange, makes contact with him, gets herself invited to a party that evening.
August 16: Assange is invited by Wilen to her home in Enkoping, and has sex with her twice; once with a condom, the second time without.
August 18: Wilen gets in touch with Ardin and they share notes, after which they decide they've been raped.
August 20: They file charges, which are immediately leaked to the press.
August 21: Eva Finne, chief prosecutor for Stockholm, rejects the rape charges. The same day Ardin says in a newspaper interview that Assange was not violent and she didn't feel threatened by him.
August 23: Claes Borgstrom, a lawyer - politician, inserts himself into the case.
August 30: Borgstrom approaches a prosecuter in Gothenburg, Marianne Ny, who agrees to resurrect the charges against Assange.
August 31: Assange gives a deposition before the prosecutor, and applies for a Swedish work and residency permit.
After Assange leaves the country, the prosecutor decides his deposition wasn't enough; so an Interpol notice, an international manhunt, and an incarceration in London follow.

It was apparent for a long time before Assange's application for residence that he was thinking of moving his centre of operations to Sweden. It would have been politically embarassing for Sweden to be the headquarters of Wikileaks, but such embarrassment was preempted thanks to the rape charge. A well-connected politician and a pliable prosecutor got in the mix, but they needed a complaint first. Most people have pointed fingers at Ardin as the plotter, but she just seems like a borderline loony activist to me, a curious mix of right- and left-wing ideologies. After the complaint was made, she erased embarrassing blog posts and tweets, but they remained easily accessible through caches. Wilen, on the other hand, has whitewashed her cyber presence with great proficiency; techies say only a professional could manage such a thorough job. Unlike Ardin, Wilen appears to have no history we can track; she just appears, seduces Assange, gets in touch with Ardin, cries rape, and vanishes. Very suspicious.


seana graham said...

I feel too uninformed to really know what to think about Wikileaks, although my gut reaction is to think that there is a great deal of 'blame the messenger' in all the furor.

I don't think we can possibly know if there was something that could be called rape involved here, and I don't want to give the guy an easy pass based on the side I'm on politically, but it looks like a trap, and at the very least, the use of the charges is incredibly cynical.

Personally, I blame Swedish crime fiction. It looks like too many of the wrong people have been taking note of all the plots.

Girish Shahane said...

Yes, some of the correspondences between fact and fiction are bizarre.

Anonymous said...

Wilen may have had help whitewashing her history via her (ex?) boyfriend Seth Benson. Benson is an American citizen studying in Sweden and can be see here .

Interesting that this is yet another connection to the USA. The first and foremost is that Claes Borgstrom's law partner, Tomas Bodstrom, is currently in the USA and has been there since this case was resurrected by Borgstrom back in August.

Anonymous said...

Fact is indeed stranger than fiction, I don't think anyone can make this stuff up. The only thing I find in all this mess is how " free " a country is America ? Is it free as long as it isn't hurt ? if it gets hurt, what does it do ? Can't wait for this plot to unfold. on similar lines, i think this would change the way diplomatic talks would be held ..Srikanth