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Crime The Almighty Buck The Courts

Assange Has Signed Book Deals Worth $1.5 Million+ 452

cold fjord writes "Julian Assange has signed a major book deal for his autobiography worth more than one million pounds (1.2 million euros, 1.5 million dollars). Assange told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that the money would help him defend himself against allegations of sexual assault made by two women in Sweden. 'I don't want to write this book, but I have to,' he said. 'I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.' The Australian said he would receive 800,000 dollars (600,000 euros) from Alfred A. Knopf, his American publisher, and a British deal with Canongate is worth 325,000 pounds (380,000 euros, 500,000 dollars). Money from other markets and serialisation is expected to raise the total to 1.1 million pounds, he said. Assange is currently out on £240,000 bail under what his lawyer refers to as not so much 'house arrest' as 'manor arrest', fighting extradition to Sweden for questioning. The Telegraph adds, 'Mr Assange said he regarded himself as a victim of Left-wing radicalism. Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,' he said. 'I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism.' .... A full extradition hearing is due in London on February 7th."
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Assange Has Signed Book Deals Worth $1.5 Million+

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  • by Improv ( 2467 ) <pgunn01@gmail.com> on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:03AM (#34675608) Homepage Journal

    I wouldn't read too much into Assange's claims of revolutionary feminism being at fault. It's too hard to know whether he's someone playing fast and loose with sexual morals or a victim of jealousy - both seem very plausible given the parties involved.

  • Rape allegations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superdana ( 1211758 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:21AM (#34675734)
    I know this is probably asking too much of Slashdot, but in discussing the rape allegations against Assange, let's please remember that it's well within the realm of possibility for all three of the following to be true simultaneously:
    1. Wikileaks is important, and we should promote its continued existence.
    2. The tactics in use by various governments to pursue the rape allegations against Assange are politically motivated.
    3. The rape allegations are true and Assange should be held to account.

    (Please note that I am saying these three things can all be true at the same time, not that any one or all of them necessarily are.)

    Many falsehoods have been spread about the allegations against Assange. In addition, the circumstances surrounding the allegations, as well as certain actions by the women who made them, have been used to discredit those women. But these are, as Kate Harding puts it, "tactics used to discredit rape victims every day, and not Really Convincing Special Facts About This Particular Case." [1] (I very strongly urge you to read her piece in its entirety.)

    Please don't let your admiration for Assange's work with Wikileaks prevent you from taking seriously an accusation of rape. Rape is a serious crime, and accusations of rape need to be taken seriously, even if—perhaps especially if—they are made against people we otherwise consider to be heroic.

    [1] "Some Shit I'm Sick of Hearing Regarding Rape and Assange": http://kateharding.info/2010/12/16/some-shit-im-sick-of-hearing-regarding-rape-and-assange/ [kateharding.info]

  • Re:hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Truekaiser ( 724672 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:29AM (#34675818)

    well to be honest if it wasn't for what he did the site would of been ignored like cryptome. in which case just getting the leaked documents would of done nothing if the site they were leaked too was ignored and derided as fake if actually brought up as cryptome often is. he became both the figurehead and the pr man for wikileaks not only approaching normal newspapers with the information to give them good story's but saying to other people who know of wrong doing and don't know where to leak the information, you can give it to me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:35AM (#34675856)

    Innocent until proven guilty.

    All we know is that a controversial figure is being charged with "sex by surprise" after being accused by two women who didn't decide to report him until after they met each other. Even then, charges were filed, then dropped, then filed again.

    He may be guilty, but I don't see any evidence. If this is all they can put in front of the jury, he should be found not guilty.

    We like to think of them as damsels in distress or innocent little princesses, but the truth is women lie. A lot. About very serious matters like rape. They will continue to do so as long as the consequences to them are so non-existant. Something like 30% of all US rape accusations turn out to be false.

    For all crimes, for both men and women, if you knowingly lie and knowingly make a false criminal accusation against someone, you should face whatever penalty that person would have faced if convicted.

  • Re:Rape allegations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LainTouko ( 926420 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @10:49AM (#34675948)

    The tactics in use by various governments to pursue the rape allegations against Assange are politically motivated.

    The rape allegations are true and Assange should be held to account.

    It's pretty difficult for two statements like that to be simultaneously true. For it to be right to hold Assange to account, the allegations don't just need to be true (something which is unknowable), they need to be provable beyond reasonable doubt. If various powerful governments want your head and are prepared to use underhanded tactics in order to get it, it's very difficult to maintain that doubt is unreasonable.

  • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @11:04AM (#34676050)
    And how exactly do you determine "false"? Do you also count situations when victim got threatened into dropping charges or rapist got out on technicality?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @11:22AM (#34676204)

    Innocent until proven guilty?

    If only... his point about Sweden being the Saudi Arabia of feminism is correct. It's the model that most Western countries are working towards too - one in which all a woman has to do is accuse a man of rape to completely ruin his life. She walks away anonymous. His reputation is completely destroyed - and probably loses his job and friends. Rape accusations have become the way for women to ensure custody of children in divorces, promotions or just get revenge.

    The ridiculous unbalancing of the legal system is now being used for political purposes too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @12:47PM (#34677024)
    Although I agree that rape accusations can be abused, I would have to disagree entirely that "all a woman has to do is accuse a man of rape to completely ruin his life." It is very simple to avoid having your life ruined by rape accusations, don't put yourself into position where you can be accused. Avoid, picking up women at bars for one night stands. Avoid pre-marital sex with girl-friends that could turn jealous on you. Avoid putting yourself in a position where you are 'alone' with a woman unnecessarily. In other words hold yourself to a higher moral standard than the world does when it comes to sex. Our society only has to deal with this kind of stuff because we make compromises. When we play fast and loose with morals, either we won' t protect women enough by allowing men to take advantage of the system. Or we won't protect men enough by allowing women to take advantage of the system. So don't take sides, just take the higher ground.
  • by BronsCon ( 927697 ) <social@bronstrup.com> on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:03PM (#34677142) Journal

    You mean to say he has embarrassed the American government. As an american I can, with a straight face, sit here and tell you that Julian Assange has done nothing to embarrass me. What he's done is point out the failings of my representatives, most of whom were elected against my vote, rather than by it.

    What Assange is doing is great; it may eventually open peoples' eyes to the fact that the shit politicians spew when they want something from you and the shit they spew once they've had their way with you are from two different bulls. When people realize that they're hearing false promises before the election and lies after, here's hoping they're 7 different kinds of pissed off.

    Whether we, as a people, begin voting more wisely, or we violently overthrow our current govenrment, there will be positive changes here in the US, and those changes will have come about, in no small part, due to the work of Julian Assange. My only hope is that it happens soon and that it's not too bloody (voting machines don't produce paper cuts but most of the paper ballots I've used were printed on cardstock).

    I propose a new term, similar to character assassination but by means of spreading truth about a person, rather than lies. I wish that we term this act "character assangenation". Who's with me?

  • by Firethorn ( 177587 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:11PM (#34677216) Homepage Journal

    NOT the GP, but the 30% caught my attention, so I'll provide a source - False Rape Reporting [wikipedia.org]

    Dr. Kanin found 41% of accustations were found to be 'false'. Two studies - one by the FBI and one by Britain, using 'similar methodology' found 8%, but 'does not include accusers who drop out of hte justice process'.

    Wiki lists 45%, 41%, 8%, 8%. Average of 25.5% across 4 quoted figures.

    Depending on how you define a 'rape accusation', 30% is a reasonable figure, I think. One critical difference would be whether your standard requires reporting to the police, for example.

    I had a friend who was accused of rape by a girl - the police hardly even bothered to take a report from her, because they'd lost count of how many times she's tried it. Very much a case of 'crying wolf'. Think 'crazy stalker chick'. It was figured out she was lying within minutes in this case - he had an airtight alibi for when she said it occured.

    She's the type who puts additional stress on women who have really been assaulted, because additional police resources are taken up by her false accusations and it makes the cops doubt anybody who comes in.

    While I fully support rapists going to prison; I think that woman needed to spend some time behind bars herself for false reporting. But that also makes me grimace- if you've made a false rape report, you're more likely to follow through and put an innocent man behind bars simply to protect yourself.

    It's *complicated*, but we need to find a proper balance - I'm thinking if you make a false report, that's beyond obvious, or if it comes out that you maliciously falsified the charge and it resulted in the conviction of an innocent, you need to spend some time in prison. If you fess up BEFORE the trial; then we'll let you go(for that offense).

    It's kinda like the military's drug policy - self identify and you'll face no charges. Wait until you're caught, charges.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:15PM (#34677252) Homepage Journal

    No, he can't go out and murder and rape people on camera and it's just a USA plot to discredit him. Only you said that. So you are underscoring the other post's point that you are an idiot - and not just because you're "naive".

    Assange is the only person whose "wanted for questioning" by Swedish police for a crime of this minor nature has been escalated into an international manhunt, enlisted Interpol, and within days hauled the UK justice system into extradition proceedings. He is being singled out, from all the many people over many years who were wanted by Swedish police for questioning in this matter. He differs from them in that he leaked many cables more or less damaging to the USA.

    Regardless of what happened between Assange and the two women accusing him (which is certainly not "murder and rape people on camera", and isn't even actually rape, but rather a failure to stop consensual sex) - it is perfectly clear to everyone that Assange is being railroaded by the USA. Except perhaps to idiots.

  • Re:Rape allegations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:18PM (#34677282) Journal

    What I find particularly worrysome, is that Interpol was involved in hunting down Assange (in the end he gave himself up voluntarily in the UK, but that notwithstanding...). Interpol can only be activated against individuals that are international criminals - their crimes spawn country boundaries. In that sense, manslaughter by itself is not a crime of Interpol's inference. Rape, even less. Rape where violence wasn't involved... well.. it's just ridiculous.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:41PM (#34677464)

    His lawyers get paid by the Swedish government. There is no use of any technical expertise (and they would be compensated by the government anyway). There is no bail to pay once he is in Sweden, since Sweden don't have a bail system (what we have is conditional releases, Assange have already broken the conditions of one, he won't get another before the trial). Room and board will be paid by the Swedish government. It is extremely unlikely that he will have to pay any compensation to his (alleged) victims (it can only be claimed if they can provide evidence of a loss of income).

    I can only think of three things he could need the money for:
      1) Paying his way through the US justice system, if USA manage to produce an extradition request on him and get him before Sweden does.
      2) Money to keep him on the run as a refugee.
      3) Money to spend privately on things unrelated to any of this.

    As a Swede I would call this a scam, but since most slashdot readers don't seem to share Swedish norms, then call it a marketing trick. Whatever you call it, he don't need any money to pay for legal costs in Sweden. Even if he hired someone to kill all witnesses, it wouldn't change a thing, their statements is already on record, that is all that is needed.

    Could at least someone demand that any money left from the book after the trial is donated to charity (perhaps wikileaks). Nobody should profit from a rape.

  • Re:Rape allegations (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ubermiester ( 883599 ) * on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:24PM (#34677822)

    Either "rape" means violence, or it does not

    Rape has to do with consent, not necessarily violence. Violence is obviously used to overcome the lack of consent, but you do not need to violently rape someone. Statutory rape is when you have sex with someone who is not old enough to offer consent in the first place. Someone who is sleeping is incapable of consent (unless there's some kind of pre-arranged consent video or something - I'm sure its a well known fetish).

    And in this case we're talking about a fine line. One of the women claims that she consented to protected sex, but when Assange insisted on removing the condom, she retracted her consent but he refused to recognize that (allegedly). That's still rape. She did not consent to what he was doing and he did it anyway. I understand that such a finely tuned definition is not the norm, but we praise places like Sweden for their progressive policies on speech and the law, so why are they suddenly called a bunch of left-wing extremists when someone like Assange is involved?

    Hypocrisy, plain and simple.

    And BTW, Assange's claim that he 'fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism' should tell people all they need to know about his dedication to human rights and fighting the "good fight". He's a narcissistic ego-manic.

    Wikileaks=important, Assange=asshole.

  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday December 27, 2010 @03:16PM (#34678306) Homepage Journal

    Assange is the only person wanted for questioning in a case like this who was the subject of an Interpol bulletin and now a UK extradition. Because he is being railroaded by the USA.

    I didn't say that the USA set up whatever happened between Assange and the two women in Sweden - you did. I said that the manhunt that is working to extradite him was set up by the USA.

    I also said that you are an idiot. You are.


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