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WikiLeaks Calls For Assange To Step Down 565

Posted by Soulskill
from the clean-out-your-desk dept.
Stoobalou writes "A member of Iceland's parliament and prominent organizer for whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has turned on the site's spokesman, Julian Assange, urging him to step down over rape allegations made against him in Sweden. Birgitta Jonsdottir told news site The Daily Beast that she did not believe Assange's repeated assertion that the allegations of rape and molestation made against him were part of a US-backed smear campaign to distract attention from documents posted on the site laying bare US involvement in the war in Afghanistan and further promised revelations."
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WikiLeaks Calls For Assange To Step Down

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  • And so it begins (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @03:13PM (#33490848)

    When somebody is doing something that is not wrong, but offends, they attack him, till everybody turns against him. Or possibly her. Just ask the lady from Georgia.

    Now I can recognize how terrible it is to pretend that the king can do no wrong, or to let the king get away with all sorts of crap, but it is equally wrong from the other way, to take even the slightest, flimsiest excuse and use it to tear down a person in authority.

    Tough choice.

  • Oh yeah? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @03:18PM (#33490902)
    Well, Birgitta Jonsdottir hates kittens. It's true because I made the allegation. She should step down.
    • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:05PM (#33491456) Journal

      Someone on the Internet claiming to be only 15 told me a story last night to the effect that Birgitta Jonsdottir raped him. If this is true, it could be said that Birgitta Jonsdottir is a child rapist. I'm not sure that a potential child rapist like Birgitta Jonsdottir has the authority to speak on allegations of molestation. Indeed, Birgitta Jonsdottir may be trying to deflect attention from the child rape she could have engaged in. Child rapists, as Birgitta Jonsdottir may be, should step down from any position of responsibility or trust.

      Anyone else here on /. heard of anyone else she may have raped, especially someone under 18? If we have two accusations of child rape, then it seems appropriate to investigate Birgitta Jonsdottir for child rape, and to drown out all relevant news about her or her organisation in the media while the question of whether Birgitta Jonsdottir is a child rapist is carefully considered.

      • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday September 06, 2010 @06:03PM (#33492522)

        Anyone else here on /. heard of anyone else she may have raped, especially someone under 18?

        It is well-known that Birgitta Jonsdottir has allegedly raped many children under the age of 18.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @03:23PM (#33490966)

    For the record, Jonsdottir is not part of WikiLeaks but of IMMI. So the title is wrong.

  • by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Monday September 06, 2010 @03:25PM (#33490996)

    They've already said they've withdrawn the charge of rape http://www.thelocal.se/28504/20100821 [thelocal.se], and are now only pursuing him for the molestation charge -- which in and of itself is a charged statement. The sex was said to be consensual and that the molestation charge hinges on weather or not knew the condom broke during intercourse and if it was intentional or not.

    So, why does /. continue to perpetuate the assertion that he's being persued with a 'rape' charge?

    • by mml (38960) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:09PM (#33491500)

      It sounds like you've missed the latest turn in the sequence of the prosecutor flip flopping. Here's a recap:

          20. August 2010: Duty prosecutor Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand decides it looks like rape
          21. August 2010: Higher ranking prosecutor Eva Finné decides it doesn't
            1. September 2010: Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny decides actually it does look like rape

      Source #1: http://www.thelocal.se/28704/20100901/ [thelocal.se]
      Source #2: http://www.aklagare.se/In-English/ [aklagare.se]

  • Not enough info (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki (895364) on Monday September 06, 2010 @03:28PM (#33491040)

    There is a bit of a problem with not enough information about this case, so I'll try to summary what I know so far.

    1: Two women who had sex with Assange went to the police and were adviced to file charges of rape
    2: A prosecutor releases the accusations publicly to the press (not a common thing here in Sweden afaik)
    3: The case is withdrawn because they realize Assange cannot be nailed for rape. The remaining charge is something akin to sexual harassment.
    4: The rape charges are revived
    5: ...
    6: Profit?

    No seriously I'm starting to wonder what the fuck is up with the swedish legal system.

    • Re:Not enough info (Score:5, Informative)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:16PM (#33491584) Homepage Journal

      There is a bit of a problem with not enough information about this case, so I'll try to summary what I know so far.

      1: Two women who had sex with Assange went to the police and were adviced to file charges of rape
      2: A prosecutor releases the accusations publicly to the press (not a common thing here in Sweden afaik)
      3: The case is withdrawn because they realize Assange cannot be nailed for rape. The remaining charge is something akin to sexual harassment.
      4: The rape charges are revived
      5: ...
      6: Profit?

      No seriously I'm starting to wonder what the fuck is up with the swedish legal system.

      ftfa: "He acknowledges that the allegations might complicate his plans to obtain a residency permit to remain in Sweden, which has broad press freedom laws that could be used to shield WikiLeaks from American prosecutors. "

      You want to have legal protection in Sweden? We'll give you legal TROUBLES in Sweden! Your move, skinny boy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:01PM (#33491394)

    Birgitta Jónsdóttir
    things are being very seriously taken out of context... i think it is important to note that i am not suggesting that julian steps aside except as a spokesperson for wikileaks while this case is ongoing - it is important the messenger wont ...become the message - as it seems then it is obvious that weaving together personal matters of this nature with wikileaks is not justifiable - as someone that has put effort into better support for rape victims and battered women i feel it would be out of character to write the allegations off in this case as a conspiracy - if people find me to be a traitor for not taking sides on such serious matter then so be it. i do not claim that Julian or the women are guilty or innocent until we have all the facts.

    So she's saying that Assange should temporarily step aside as spokesman for Wikileaks until the facts of the case have been sorted out. Not quite the earth-shattering denunciation the media has hyped, huh? Of course, I don't see how she couldn't anticipate this kind of reaction from all of Wikileaks detractors in the media. That was just naive.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:03PM (#33491418) Homepage

    Other Wikileaks people are urging him to separate this personal situation from Wikileaks. Really? Why? So far, I haven't seen any evidence and so all I know is that I have heard there is a rape and a case of molestation against him. I also know that the charges were initially dropped and I can only assume it was because the evidence is shaky if non-existent.

    It seems to me that this has all come about because he is in charge of Wikileaks. If he were to go quiet and let someone else run the show, who knows what they will do? I'm not sure it is in his best interests to disconnect himself from Wikileaks.

    Let's see some evidence. Let's get some details. If he was a "nobody" that no one has ever heard of and had nothing to fear from world governments, that would be one thing. But this guy is an enemy to some very powerful individuals and organizations. Remaining in the spotlight is all he has to defend himself at the moment. Asking him to give up his post now would be a problem.

  • wikileak thyself! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hex0D (1890162) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:15PM (#33491562)
    It could be a good opportunity for wikiLeaks to show they are truly committed to posting all information in the public interest by posting the police reports and other documents relating to the case. Redact the potential victims names, etc, and put up something that may be damaging to yourself would really show commitment to the ideals you've espoused, IMHO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by El_Muerte_TDS (592157)

      Julian Assange, the person, is not of public interest, it's private interest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Courageous (228506)

        The treatment of Julian Assange, the person, but as conducted by the government in question, is without a shadow of a doubt a subject of public interest. There may be other interests, such as his right to privacy, but the public interest is certainly there, on several levels.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

      It could be a good opportunity for wikiLeaks to show they are truly committed to posting all information in the public interest

      They've already done that at least once when they leaked their own donor list. [theregister.co.uk]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nedlohs (1335013)

      So get your hands on them and submit them then.

      Their thing is to publish leaked ionformation supplied to them, not to dig up that information themselves.

  • Kind of obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:25PM (#33491666)

    I'm not a conspiracy nut but....
    If it looks like a horse, smells like a horse, sound like a horse and feels like a horse, it is most likely a horse.
    Government officials tell directly to the public that if Assange doesn't hand over the files they will get him by other means and one week later you see rape charges.
    How come there are still people thinking that something might be even remotely true concerning these allegations.

  • by purpleraison (1042004) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:31PM (#33491726) Homepage Journal

    Sure, the allegations could be true, but - Birgitta Jonsdottir is a politician, and like everyone else has a price to do or say anything. It is within the realm of probability that she has been paid to take this highly public stance.

    The fact is, a smear campaign is not just a simple accusation (in this case two coincidentally made on the same day), but rather a string of questionable accusations presented to people. Sure each one can easily be disproved in most cases, but if you make enough false allegations and pay a few people (especially those who appear to give credibility to an accusation) then these lies appear to be true.

    Does ANYONE actually believe the USA can illegally invade another country, kill hundreds of thousands of people and manage to hide it.... yet would just stop at a simple rape allegation?? Uh, no! It has been widely covered that the US government is actively trying to destroy credibility of wikileaks, and sadly that will involve putting US operatives or paid rats inside wikileaks with the ultimate goal of taking this organization down.

    The CIA has set up dozens of puppet governments in similar ways, so taking down an enemy website by 'framing' those who run it will happen. Truth be told, that "Collateral Murder" video makes much of what has happened look like a child's birthday party. For example, the blast and shockwave from the MOAB bomb can destroy about 8-10 blocks radius of a city, and we used these in Iraq... how many people who be disgusted if we saw the aftermath of just one?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by KarmaMB84 (743001)

      For example, the blast and shockwave from the MOAB bomb can destroy about 8-10 blocks radius of a city, and we used these in Iraq...

      Citation needed cause I'm pretty sure not a single MOAB has ever been detonated outside of military test ranges.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mikael_j (106439)

        True, but its predecessor, the BLU-82 was used in both Vietnam and Afghanistan (retired and replaced by the MOAB in 2008), in Afghanistan one of the reasons for using it was actually to demoralize enemy troops.

  • by chainLynx (939076) on Monday September 06, 2010 @04:32PM (#33491736) Homepage
    It does not seem like the organization is calling for him to step down, rather a supporter of the organization.
  • by rbrander (73222) on Monday September 06, 2010 @08:50PM (#33493668) Homepage

    I've noticed a difference between some political systems I know best - British, Canadian, American. British and Canadian Members of Parliament, cabinet Ministers, and so on, generally will resign at the drop of an accusation that stands a chance of lasting more than a few news cycles - anything even debatable. If they don't, the PM tends to ask for a resignation. It's nothing to do with guilt; it's about Party Vs. Member.

    The political agenda is in the hands of the Party, and even the PM is expected to put it ahead of his own career. You resign, not because you're guilty, but because it's bad for the Party (capital P!) to have the news be about the accusation story. It should be about whatever bill or program they're flogging this week. So the guy resigns, the accusers do a dance of victory - and are staring at another person in the position the next morning, one with the same agenda and probably the same qualifications. It makes it a very minor victory.

    (The resigner, by the way, is generally rewarded with the best jobs the party can hand out...and if the problem does turn out to be minor, they show right back up in public office soon after, trumpeting their heroic sacrifice for the team at rallies. Long-run, being a smear victim is probably a career plus...)

    American politicians, on the other hand, seem to regard resignation as confession, and fight to the bitter end, past where EVERYBODY knows they're guilty. (OK, Nixon resigned...after his friend Barry Goldwater told him that impeachment was certain and that he had maybe SIX votes in the Senate.)

    So she may be just saying "The material's good enough to keep the news filled with police and court statements for weeks or months, so Do The Right Thing." ... and there'll just be another Wikileaks rep on the job in the morning.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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