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Assange Asks For New Lawyer, Denies Blaming CIA 274

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the these-make-me-cringe dept.
Tootech writes "Julian Assange has requested a new lawyer to represent him during a rape investigation in Sweden because his previous brief, Leif Silbersky, was not engaged enough with the case. Assange wants Bjorn Hurtig to represent him as authorities continue to investigate the allegations, according to AP. Assange told Sweden's TV4 that he had never blamed the CIA for the 'smears.'"
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Assange Asks For New Lawyer, Denies Blaming CIA

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  • All a great diversion from the real [twitter.com] jaw dropping news...
    • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:30AM (#33508958) Homepage

      Is this [twitter.com] the link you wanted?

      I wish Slashdot would fix clipboard paste not working in Chrome, this is getting really annoying...

  • The Register???? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:12AM (#33508726) Homepage Journal

    From TFA: "Assange wants Bjorn Hurtig to represent him as authorities continue to investigate the allegations, according to AP"

    Why not link the AP's FA? [google.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:26AM (#33508920)
      To give slashdotters a chance to post a link for an easy +5 informative
    • by BobMcD (601576)

      From TFA: "Assange wants Bjorn Hurtig to represent him as authorities continue to investigate the allegations, according to AP"

      Why not link the AP's FA? [google.com]

      I assert that either you're new here, or 'Tootech' is a sockpuppet in a gigantic karma whoring scam.

      This is Slashdot, for crying out loud. Every single post goes to some irrelevant blog with a three line synopsis of the actual article.

      Further, your UID demonstrates that you are NOT new here. Thusly, cue Admiral Ackbar.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I always bitch about /. sending me to some blog instead of a meaty article (and it's usually even worse.) Half the time they send me somewhere that's firewalled off at work, or TFA isn't any more informative then TFS.

        What's exasperating is sometimes there's a really good FA, like this one [physorg.com] (still not yet posted, it's showing up for subscribers).

        As to tootech, I just looked him up. If he's a karma whore, he isn't very good at it; no +5s at all. If you mean you think he's MY sock puppet, I have no need for one

      • Wait, there are links in the summary now? And people click on them? How bizarre.
  • If he's going to keep releasing stuff that embarrasses powerful government, he had better get used to being smeared in every way conceivable. At least he's too high profile to assassinate. But I would be very careful about flying if I were him (a lot of people have pissed off the CIA and had tragic airplane accidents shortly thereafter).
    • At least he's too high profile to assassinate.

      The only people who get assassinated are high profile people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044)

      Yea or this guy could just be a shuck with an ego the size of Sweden.

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        I think you mean "schmuck." Also, it could just be that my sense of proportion was dramatically altered when i was 14 and drove to Alaska and back from Virginia with my dad, but is Sweden really that big?

    • by M. Baranczak (726671) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:30AM (#33508960)

      I agree that there's a significant chance that this whole thing is a CIA smear campaign. But there's also a significant chance that he's actually guilty. Or that it's a smear campaign unrelated to the CIA. You know what they say about assumptions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You know what they say about assumptions.

        That they make you a famous, filthy rich political pundit overnight? I'm not sure how that applies to this situation...

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:40AM (#33509082)

        A guy goes 39 years without a criminal record with anything more significant than a hacking charge on it. And then he suddenly decides to become a rapist 2 weeks after releasing a cache of documents that embarrasses the world's most powerful government and threatening to release more? Are you kidding me?

        Do you REALLY think that's just a coincidence? Come on. Even I knew [slashdot.org] this was coming. Or maybe you think I'm just psychic.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Suki I (1546431)
          Might want to look into Sweden's "rape" and "molestation" laws. They cast a broad net. Also, see the nature of prosecutors/lawyers.
        • by Americano (920576) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:56AM (#33509248)

          Sure, it could be a CIA plot, but he's specifically disavowing making that allegation, so clearly he has no evidence that it is.

          Lacking evidence that it's a CIA plot, it's just as likely the story plays out like this:

          A guy goes 39 years without amounting to much more than a hacking charge. And then suddenly he gets his 15 minutes of fame by embarrassing the world's most powerful government, and has his face plastered all over newspapers around the world. Suddenly he starts feeling pretty powerful - people say he's a hero, people want to hear him talk, people care about what he has to say - hell, some girls are even throwing themselves at him! So maybe he gets a little overzealous, or starts feeling overly entitled, because after all, he's *important* - and behaves like a jerk and pressures a girl into doing something she didn't really want to do. Or maybe he just pisses off the wrong girl by not calling her, and she decides to start a little smear campaign of her own.

          I mean, since we're speculating without evidence, that story reads as far more likely to me than it being a CIA smear campaign, since the smear campaign would require:
          -- the 2 girls to be in the service of the CIA;
          -- Most of the world media to be dupes of the CIA;
          -- The entire criminal justice system of Sweden to be easily manipulated by the US;
          -- an Icelandic MP (and ardent supporter of Wikileaks) to suddenly be in the employ of the CIA;
          AND, the kicker:
          -- That the bumbling organization that can't keep PFC Manning from stealing all its data is simultaneously capable of pulling off a black op of this scope just to discredit the guy, rather than simply making him have an accident, and eliminating the problem.

          • by elrous0 (869638) *
            Well, I guess then I *am* just psychic. Palm reading, anyone?
          • by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @12:39PM (#33509824)

            -- That the bumbling organization that can't keep PFC Manning from stealing all its data is simultaneously capable of pulling off a black op of this scope just to discredit the guy, rather than simply making him have an accident, and eliminating the problem.

            Because clearly PFC Manning was the subect of the entire agency's scutiny, and "preventing" him would not have meant spreading resources to prevent all of the other PFCs that were doing similar work. A regular Joe off the street can pay a woman to sleep with a guy and cry rape. It doesn't require a conspiracy, but that doesn't mean that a conspiracy couldn't have ordered the regular Joe to pay her.

          • Assange knew he was marked; why else would Wikileaks post a digital dead-mans switch [abovetopsecret.com]?

            Given that level of concern and wariness, I doubt he'd be "full of himself".

            Also, the CIA and other TLAs are very very good at doing much more nasty things [huppi.com].

            I'd say, the combined probability of each logical linkage and Occam's Razor imply that the most obvious and clear answer is probably the most correct, and yours is a bit more complex than the GP comment.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Americano (920576)

              Assange knew he was marked; why else would Wikileaks post a digital dead-mans switch?
              Given that level of concern and wariness, I doubt he'd be "full of himself".

              So you're saying Assange posted this *because* he felt he had nothing to fear from the CIA? Who did he know he was marked by then? What exactly DID he have to fear, if not the CIA?

              You are arguing that it was CIA involvement, after Assange himself has said "I've never said it was the CIA after me." He didn't need to, the brainless Assange supporte

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Xyrus (755017)

            -- the 2 girls to be in the service of the CIA;

            Trivial. They don't even have to be employed in the traditional sense. They could just be paid really well.

            -- Most of the world media to be dupes of the CIA;

            You don't need the majority, you only need the biggest and the loudest. In the US, for example, you only need one station to spout idiotic nonsense loud enough and long enough to convince a non-insignificant percentage that their own president is a Kenyan Muslim.

            -- The entire criminal justice system of Sweden to be easily manipulated by the US;

            Again, you don't need all of it. You just need the most powerful and influential. It's also quite impressive what a little green grease will d

          • by afabbro (33948) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @02:32PM (#33511402) Homepage

            I always find it hilarious that people assume the government (CIA, military, etc.) is capable of this type of sophisticated organization. Have you never gone to the DMV? Have you never worked with a government employee?

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          LOL!!!!

          You mean we are supposed to be shocked that a criminal, with an ego the size of a country might have committed yet another crime? A crime, I might add, which requires an ego the size of a country? Who could possibly imagine such a thing...

          Let the police do their job. They are investigating. Or do you believe the world police have all be bought off too? The evidence, as reported thus far, does suggest there may be credibility to the police investigation.

          Take a wait and see position to see what happens

        • by c6gunner (950153)

          A guy goes 39 years without a criminal record with anything more significant than a hacking charge on it.

          How many times did he go to Sweden in those 39 years?

          Also, given his looks, how often do you think he managed to get laid, prior to his newfound fame?

          Do you REALLY think that's just a coincidence? Come on. Even I knew [slashdot.org] this was coming. Or maybe you think I'm just psychic.

          No, I just think that, like all conspiracy theorists, you're confusing coincidence for conspiracy. The 9/11 twits base pretty much their entire argument on the same logical fallacy.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nomadic (141991)
          A guy goes 39 years without a criminal record with anything more significant than a hacking charge on it.

          Actually, 24 hacking charges.

          And then he suddenly decides to become a rapist 2 weeks after releasing a cache of documents that embarrasses the world's most powerful government and threatening to release more?

          Occam's razor. You're arguing that it's almost a certainty that instead he is the subject of an international conspiracy? That wouldn't prevent the release of further documents by wikileaks
          • by Duradin (1261418)

            What better time to go on a crime spree then when you've got an international conspiracy as a defense and you're already blackmailing some very powerful players with a very public deadman's switch?

            Get in over your head and odds are the CIA will (covertly) bail you out if you get in any danger of physical harm.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          And then he suddenly decides to become a rapist

          That's a totally bogus argument. Nobody decides to become a rapist, or murderer, etc. Not in the sense of having made some rational, well-thought out decision. If that were the case, there would hardly be any murders or rapes to begin with. But if you want to play that game, you can equally well make the opposite argument: Since he was in the media recently over the leaks, he saw his chance to rape someone and get away with it, because people like you would

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by elrous0 (869638) *

            If he's guilty, then the timing means nothing. In fact, the better timing would be before the documents had been leaked.

            Obviously you missed his statements that he has a number of even more confidential documents to release. And the point isn't just to threaten, it's also to discredit. And a sex crime charge is a great way to discredit (everybody hates rapists and molesters, right?). The Scientologists have been known to do this [wikipedia.org] when they want to get really nasty.

        • And then he suddenly decides to become a rapist

          You might want to check what he's accused of. Unless the allegations have changed in the last few days, it's two incidents of having unprotected sex with women in the morning after they agreed to sex with a condom the previous night. This doesn't count as rape even in Sweden, which is why the original charges were withdrawn and replaced with 'molestation', which is a very broad crime.

          No one is saying that he became a rapist. At least one of the women got up and made him breakfast afterwards and wasn'

        • by Henriok (6762)

          I 73 years old man goes through his whole life, not raising suspicion at all. Indeed his neighbors reported nothing during the last 25 years of his stay in a quite house in Austria. However, this man, Joseph Fritzl, hid a dark secret in his basement namely his 42 year old daughter and three of her (and his) children, aged 19, 18 and 5. Three other kids lived with Joseph and his wife upstairs. One child even died in the basement without no one ever knowing.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case

          Hmm.. A spot

        • I'm almost Psychic -- I was predicting that they'd find Kiddy Pr-0n on his computer -- that was all the rage when the Bush crime family was in office.

          Now they are content to just make someone look like he's "one of those conspiracy theorists." It doesn't matter that it's about REAL documentation, about things that affect your life, NOT "accusations" about a man's personal behavior that REALLY, doesn't have that much to do with is professional credibility -- the public is too ADD to read beyond the headline.

    • by gtall (79522)

      "a lot of people have pissed off the CIA and had tragic airplane accidents shortly thereafter" Have you got references?

      • by GooberToo (74388)

        Of course he doesn't. Then again, its hard to see past his tin foil hat.

        I'm not saying the CIA has never assassinated anyone. In fact, its well documented they have. But one, CIA assassination is currently illegal. Two, CIA operations inside the US' borders are also illegal. Three, the preferred method of operation is to encourage and even empower (finance) others who might wish to perform such actions. Basically this all means the CIA doesn't generally assassinate anyone any more. And when they do, its lik

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by elrous0 (869638) *
          No tin foil hat for me, thanks. The CIA's very long track record is well-established. It would be hard to find a country in South America that hasn't had the CIA assassinate (or try to) at least one of their leaders in the last 50 years. It's the worst kept secret in Washington. And if you think there aren't still plenty of suspiciously well-timed crashes [cnn.com] that still happen, well I would call that naive.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jbssm (961115)
        I got one, for my country. The death of the Prime Minister of Portugal, Sá Carneiro by accident in order to assassinate the minister of defense Adelino Amaro da Costa that had received information from the middle east regarding arms deal between USA and Iraq in order to support Iran in exchange for the liberation of the American hostages that where being held in Teheran embassy.
        Taking into account that USA was actively supporting Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war, that fact would be a major blow to the relatio
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MaWeiTao (908546)

          I call BS on that one. The guy who made that claim also makes a number of other absurd claims. For example: he claims to know who really planned the Portuguese revolution, Che Guevara's last words, who assassinated Kennedy, the truth about Lockerbie (whatever that is) and how Timothy McVeigh was merely a pawn. Oh yeah, and the truth behind Princess Diana's death.

          But, sharing the same country of origin as yourself, I know full well that Europeans love conspiracy theories even more than Americans do. I'm amus

          • by jbssm (961115)

            I call BS on that one. The guy who made that claim also makes a number of other absurd claims

            First, the "guy" that made those claims is a Portuguese lawyer, and the first person in a high position in local administration in here that made a public denounce of corruption that was proved (yes, it happens that seldom in here), so just for that, the guy deserves some credit. Also, I never saw him making any comments about princess Diana or Kennedy. You are clearly mistaken the person.

            But, sharing the same country of origin as yourself, I know full well that Europeans love conspiracy theories even more than Americans.

            Second, I didn't claim any proof to the theory. The grandparent was trying to imply that someone that previously pissed

      • There are some mentions of this in Zeitgeist: Addendum [zeitgeistmovie.com]. Of course the whole thing is conspiracy theorist's dream, so take it with a few cups of salt.
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @12:05PM (#33509354)
        You [wikipedia.org] bet [wikipedia.org] your [wikipedia.org] ass.
    • by WCMI92 (592436)

      Everything about this guy is creepy. I also find him a hypocrite in that he insists on Wikileaks privacy and lack of transparency while granting none to others.

      And if his leaks (which were hardly bombshell material) cause the death of ONE American soldier, I hope he rots in hell and is forced to be satan's bitch.

      There is a big difference between exposing government corruption (which would be admirable) and in pursuing an anti war agenda in an attempt to sabotage our war effort and put soldiers lives in dan

    • by fnj (64210) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:36AM (#33509028)

      Too high profile to assassinate? Oh come now. A man is an enemy of Agency X; a man is found dead or dying. Who is ever to connect the two facts with an assassination authoritatively? It's one thing to have suspicion, but it's completely another thing to have proof. The guilty party for the assassination of Georgi Markov in 1969 was never held to account. There is no antidote for ricin, and the stuff is damn near impossible to detect in the body because of the phenomenally small amount necessary to kill. The KGB was never proved to have been responsible.

      See here [life.com] and here [wikipedia.org].

    • So far, he hasn't released stuff that embarrasses governments. I like the idea of a good whistle-blowing site, but wikileaks isn't one. Has it uncovered a conspiracy? No. Has it found serious evidence of corruption? No. All wikileaks has done is tooted its own horn and shown what we already know: that war is a messy business.

      Where is the evidence of price fixing or securities fraud? Voting machine tampering? You know that sort of thing is going on, but wikileaks as failed at drawing even a single leak about

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      At least he's too high profile to assassinate. But I would be very careful about flying if I were him

      Or driving. A couple of semitrailors and an "oops" and there's an accident... My brother in law's dad, who was rumored to have Mafia ties, died like that.

  • Leif Silbersky (Score:5, Informative)

    by inpher (1788434) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:18AM (#33508810)
    Leif Silbersky, for those not familiar with Swedish media and Swedish courts, should know that he is a high profile defense attorney who often works on cases where there is lot of media interest. Silbersky knows how to deal with journalists better than most lawyers in Sweden. His track record in court seems no worse or better than anyone else's though. Björn Hurtig is a TV celebrity lawyer, he also knows media but that is all I know about the guy.
  • Perhaps he realized how overblown his ego looked when he tried claiming that their was a CIA conspiracy behind everything? Typically people making claims like that are conspiracy theory nutcases or third world dictators and dismissed accordingly...
  • Deeper Conspiracy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:42AM (#33509096)

    "I never said the word CIA, I never said anyone was behind this," he said.

    How far does this conspiracy go?! They've even gotten to Assange! Surely at this point nobody can deny the plain evidence of duplicity.

    "That doesn't mean that intelligence agencies are behind this, nor does it mean they are not behind it, nor does it mean once this has happened, for other reasons, that they are not capitalizing on it."

    How telling is that? I've heard this exact language before.

    There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know.

    That's right. Rumsfeld. What more proof is required? Assange is now just another puppet on the long strings of the CIA; determined to undermine the fine work of Wikileaks and Assange himself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If you haven't already, you should read 'A Scanner Darkly' by Philip K. Dick.
    • This should be modded funny rather than insightful.

      Assange is being mature by saying don't jump to conclusions as to the source of this, but at the same time don't rule out that the CIA wouldn't try to capitalize on this incident for their advantage.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by boxwood (1742976)

        If he was really mature he'd step aside and keep wikileaks out of this whole thing. What is more important to Julian Assange? Wikileaks or Julian Assange?

  • by Solarhands (1279802) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:44AM (#33509112)
    If our government is behind his rape allegations then I hope he is convicted. Seems to me it would be pretty easy to bribe some women to seduce a man and then get evidence to file for rape. If we cannot do that right, then it's a sad state of affairs for the CIA.
    • Don't worry, it will be be a slam dunk!
    • He should do as we slashdotters do - stay away from women! No good comes out of those...

  • Assange is right, he said never "CIA" - but what did he say? IIRC he mentioned "significant forces" that are allegedly behind the smear campaign. Who could that be? One question: If Assange has just been warned about these "dirty tricks" - why would he have sex with two different women he just had met in Sweden?

    Assange and Wikileaks have sometimes problems to get their tall stories straight. And it's not always the fault of the media. [slashdot.org]
    • by poity (465672)

      If Assange has just been warned about these "dirty tricks" - why would he have sex with two different women he just had met in Sweden?

      You wouldn't? Damn...

    • why would he have sex with two different women he just had met in Sweden?

      do i need to point out what's wrong with that statement?

  • Perhaps Assange should ask president Obama to issue an executive order banning the use of character assassination as an instrument of diplomacy. ~
  • "Brief"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @12:58PM (#33510046) Homepage Journal
    I think that the submitter has gotten a bit carried away in trying to getting carried away with words that he didn't know very well.*

    Julian Assange has requested a new lawyer to represent him during a rape investigation in Sweden because his previous brief, Leif Silbersky, was not engaged enough with the case

    If you didn't want to repeat the word, you might have tried 'attorney'. The closest matching definition of "brief" is ...

    An attorney's legal argument in written form for submission to a court;

    Unless, of course, OP meant for it to be "briefs" and intended to say...

    short snug pants or underpants

    In which case it would have been more amusing, but still no more correct.

    * disclaimer: this is in the context of American English, but I'm pretty sure that "brief" doesn't mean "lawyer" in any of the others...

    Okay, back to your regularly scheduled commenting.

  • by quacking duck (607555) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:13PM (#33510210)

    It's been claimed that the leaked documents will harm US and allied troops as well as the named informants (never mind that only a few were apparently left uncensored), which has some clamoring for the US soldier who leaked to be executed for treason.

    I put it to you the ultra-right wing fundamentalist pastor who plans to burn the Koran on the anniversary of 9-11 will do a thousand times more actual harm, and destroy everything allied troops have fought and died for in the so-called War on Terror. Protesters have already pelted a US convoy with rocks, and this "church" hasn't even *done* anything yet except state their intentions.

    Never mind it's a small, formerly-insignificant group of nobodies--they're white, they're "Christian", they're American. Never mind that every other religious group immediately denounced them on national TV--that won't get any airtime in Muslim countries because it gets in the way of an emotionally-charged issue.

    If there's any traitor endangering US and allied troops now, it's this so-called church and its sociopathic leaders.

  • Red Herring (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:22PM (#33510322) Homepage Journal

    This is kind of a red herring to me, because the US government knows that Assange would just be replaced in WikiLeaks if he were thrown in jail. What Bush and Rove used to do was instead play the discredit game; deny, deny, deny, then attack the patriotism of those reporting (NYTimes) and claim those parties leaking were helping the terrorists instead of America. "Poison the well"

    Let's look at the other ways the CIA and Pentagon could (and likely will) try to stop WikiLeaks. When someone in the 1990s leaked that the NSA has submarines specifically for the purpose of tapping undersea phone cables, I heard the NSA calmly put out conflicting leaks that the government was using those subs to covertly dump nuclear waste, making activists fight over which version of the story made sense.

    If I were the CIA, I'd do some false flag operations on Assange, and then poison the well. Feed him a delicious leak of embarrassing stuff, followed by a real big accusation of something bogus yet plausible, and then when WikiLeaks gives it to the media, the CIA can step forward and show that WikiLeaks is dead wrong and show the media video and photographic proof eg "No, we never executed that Taliban prisoner in front of children, look he's alive in Supermax prison!" One or two of those would "poison the well" and make sure that mainstream media would pay less and less attention as the track record of WikiLeaks went sour.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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