Political facts behind the Swedish case VS. Assange

by Professor Marcello Ferrrada de Noli

Chairman, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights

Against the backdrop of a drastic falling of Sweden’s international status under the Reinfeldt/Bildt administration, the “Assange Case” emerged as the Swedish rulers’ political alibi. Now when the plot has been debunked, it has come the time for dropping the “case”.

But the Swedish Foreign Office led by Carl Bildt was not the only Swedish political force which was then profiting of the “case”. While Carl Bildt used the Assange “case” as cover for the failure of the current Sweden’s geopolitics, “radical feminists” Claes Bodström, Marianne Ny, and Thomas Bordström had a common ideological agenda: to enhance criminal meanings in the sexual behavior of the Swedish  people. The “Assange Case” was declared “symbolic issue” .

PART I

The political alibi

dulac-clrtImage above: “The Emperor’s New Clothes ”, orig. by  Edmond Dulac [a]

 “A vain Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance hires two tailors who promise him the finest suit of clothes from ‘a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position’. The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all” [b]

Although many knew of the charming Kingdom of Sweden for a variety of reasons, what has most drawn the world attention to this nation in recent years is the political case against Julian Assange. For instance, Google News searching for “Sweden” in association with “Assange” gives twice as many hits as its association with previous trademarks such as “Nobel Prize in Medicine”, or three times more than hits in association with “Abba”. [1]The official version given by the authorities and the media to the Swedish public, is that the international criticism on Sweden a) concerns only the legal system, and b) it was brought up, in PM Fredrik Reinfelft own words, “in conjunction with the court procedures on the extradition of Julian Assange”. [2] In further elaborations by government officials or by the media, it is asserted that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange himself directly author the said “discredit campaign”. [3]

Neither of the above official versions is truthful.

Nevertheless irregularities in the legal system do exist, [4] the core of the international criticism has to do a) partly with the abandonment of a sovereign foreign policy and other geopolitical behaviours that Swedish rulers have deployed in the years after the assassination in Stockholm of PM Olof Palme; and b) partly with multiple violations perpetrated by Swedish government officials – including ministers at the government – against Human Rights conventions of which the country is a signatory. These behaviours have comprised severe violations of the UN Absolute Ban On Torture, for which Sweden has been sanctioned by the UN organ for Human Rights [5] and other international committees.

I find relevant to note in the context, that one of the ministers accused as main figure in the decision-making of the extraordinary renditions to the CIA that led to the above-mentioned UN and European sanctions, is the former Justice minister Thomas Bodström, co-owner of the law firm Bodström & Borgström. I develop on this aspect in some chapters in this book a cause of the important implication of these two politicians in the diathesis of the “Assange case”. For instance:

  • a) At the time of the accusation done nominally by Ms “A” against Assange, Bodström was member of the same internal political phalange (Brotherhood) [6] within the Swedish Social Democratic Party to which the accuser Ms. A belonged; while Bodström was a senior, top-ranked politician in the group, Ms A was the “political secretary”;
  • b) While Tomas Bodström himself has proclaimed that it is his (and Borgström’s) law firm the one “representing the plaintiffs”, Claes Borgström has acknowledged in an interview with The Guardian that it was he who took the initiative for the reopening of the case upon the prosecutor office;
  • c) The actual prosecutor turned out being Ms Marianne Ny, who had previously participated together with either Bodström, or Borgström, or both, in committees set by the government to study the enhancement of the sexual-offences legislation. [7]
  • d) Interestingly, the new proposals in the legislation (under study) include precisely the type of “criminal behaviour” within “grey zones” which all along has been implied in the accusations against Julian Assange.

Reactions

During an important voting at the Human-Rights organ of the United Nations in November 2012, Sweden obtained the lowest preference from the voting country-delegates. The election concerned Sweden’s own candidacy towards becoming a member of the United Nations Human Rights organization. Also in recent years and for the first time in modern history, the government of Sweden has been obliged to face the burning of Swedish flags by angry protesters in countries as far away as Pakistan.

Motive for those actions were found in the reaction of normal, law-abiding citizens of various countries, which felt insulted by the permissive stance of the Swedish government and Swedish media around the “Muhammad drawings controversy” of 2007, provoked by the racist Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. The native-Swedish cultural elites appealed to the “freedom of expression”. Which was used as a pretext to further reproduce the offensive material. This was done in conscious disregard towards the numerous groups of immigrants and refugees, which, in spite of being of diverse nationalities, share peacefully Islam as their religion or culture.

The behaviours implemented by the Swedish political and cultural elites on the Vilks affair, added Sweden’s military occupation of Afghanistan were specifically given as reasons [8] by the suicide-bomber for his terrorist retaliation blast of Stockholm in December 2010. The straightforward SÄPO chief Anders Thornborg acknowledged that to the international media. [9] However, this was not publicized in Sweden, in spite it was the very first time that the centenaries-quiet streets of Stockholm witnessed a suicide-bomber action.

Further, the Swedish government provided Vilks with National Security-police escort during his visit to New York on the 2 October 2012, where the racist cartoonist addressed anew an anti-Islam speech. [10] The irritation grew amidst the immigrants’ high-density marginalized areas of Stockholm.

Only some months after, the Guardian announced, with some stupefaction, the following headlines, “Swedish riots spark surprise and anger – As inequality and segregation start to rise”. Initiated in the “suburb” of Husby, mainly allocating social discriminated immigrants, the protested were triggered by the shooting of an older immigrant by a member of the National police, during an investigation proceeding. Hundreds of cars were burned in Stockholm and other major cities by the rioters.

Again, the Swedish government and the Swedish Main Stream Media (for brevity, called henceforth MSM) neglected to connect the domestic reaction to their policies and deeds, in the same fashion as they neglected to connect the drastic fall of the international status of Sweden with their own turn in the geopolitical arena.

There was no Swedish MSM-article whatsoever, nor government analysis, connecting those happenings with the actual deeds conducted by the Swedish government or institutions. Not even at the occasion of the surprising explosions in the centre of Stockholm – or at the above-mentioned race riots that debuted simultaneously in Stockholm and other major cities – did Swedish journalists made any reference to behaviours of the government, including cases of institutional discrimination against immigrant minorities. Or those for which Sweden have received sanctions by the United Nations, or with Sweden’s military occupation of Northern Afghanistan under U.S. command.

The “case” as political alibi

Instead, the strategy of the MSM (which in Sweden it is subsidized by the State) and in conjunction with the State-owned “public-service” media has been to use the “case Assange” and WikiLeaks as a blunt alibi. And this is done with a not so subtle appealing to national chauvinistic sentiments.

As mentioned above, already in 2011 PM Reindfelt was connecting in front of the public the international criticism on Sweden with the case Assange. Two months after, the State-owned TV broadcasted repeatedly over several days this headline:

“How could the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange get the world into questioning Sweden’s credibility?” [11]

The reader should note the emphasis SvT is doing on “WikiLeaks founder” (my cursives), a status that it should have nothing to do with a case, which as Sweden has repeated to the international forum, is against an individual and for his individual behaviour.  In true, the case is ultimately about what WikiLeaks disclosed on Sweden and fundamentally on USA. And the Swedish Ministry of Defence goes farther in this line.

On the 29 February 2012, the National Television of Sweden aired a long reportage program focused on WikLeaks and Assange during the main news program Aktuell. The reporter, a Military-Intelligence trainee then working as envoy for Swedish Television, interviewed Mike Winnerstig, a high-rank representative of FOA (a military-research institute under the Ministry of Defence).  Winnerstig’s angle in the sending to the Swedish public was that WikiLeaks and Assange have an “agenda” consisting in targeting USA and allies (Sweden) but not Russia (Sweden’s “archenemy” state). Secondly, Winnerstig said expressly that Assange exercises blackmail against Sweden. He refers to the “disclosures” Sweden was expecting around Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

In other words, Assange is clearly presented in Sweden not as a “crime suspect individual” but as the enemy of Sweden; the agent that has caused “the world into questioning Sweden’s credibility”!

Carl Bildt’s Office contradicts itself

I am aware that this may be difficult for non-Swedes to understand this context, since the “Assange case” is presented outside Sweden as a “legal case”.  But here is a further contradiction.

If it were so, as Sweden’s rulers say, a) that the case VS. Assange is “only legal” and only pertinent to the judicial system, and b) that Assange is a figure in decay, isolated and deprived of influence, etc., one question is; How come that the case deserves (for the first time in the history of Sweden, to the best of my knowledge) special information pages in Swedish and English in the official websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well of the Prosecutor Authority? Why would the very Prime Minister of Sweden care interfering publicly in “the independent legal case” of an “insignificant Assange”? [12]

During 2012 several demonstrations in main cities of Sweden started to call for Bildt’s resignation. This was an odd event in “consensus” Sweden, but the news about the fall of Sweden’s international prestige was reaching domestic dimensions. It was then when the MSM sat in motion “Plan Z – Saving Minister Bildt”. The government had an alibi, it was not Bildt’s wrong doings; it was WikiLeaks, particularly Julian Assange, characterized as Sweden’s No 1 enemy. But it was not any longer the version of Assange attacking Sweden, but of WikiLeaks and Assange “targeting” concretely Carl Bildt.  Which of course it was demonstrated a blunt lie. How the “case” Assange was used with this purpose I describe in detail in “Plan Z: The anti-WikiLeaks campaigns in the Swedish media. – Saving Minister Bildt?”

Further, the “radical feminist” organizations acting in public events with the Swedish politicians that pushed the reopening of the case, [13] refer unequivocally in public banderols or press releases to “the case against the WikiLeaks founder”, which also denotes anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks as being the real target behind the “legal” pretence. This, in its turn, leads us to the superpowers and satellite governments that have been exposed by Assange’s organization.

I am not referring to the Swedish feminist movement in general, neither to all “radical feminists”. I personally now many of these cadres and for whom I praise trust and respect. I am only referring to the fascist-wise feminists, often right-wing, which in spite of characterizing themselves of being “radical”, do not have the focus on societal issues – including gender inequality. They are instead focused in a “gender war” against men as such. In fact, they are more motivated by gaining positions of hierarchy amidst the cultural, political and corporate elites. They are, in alliance with fundamentalist academics carrying extreme, irrational anti-men positions, main ideological pillars of Swedish State Feminism.

 I argue that:

i.   Behind the Swedish “legal case” against Assange, there is a political case. Although Sweden is acting against the backdrop of the known WikiLeaks disclosures on this government, in the main is following Sweden’s current geopolitical and military alignment with the US ­– partly concretized in “secret Intelligence agreements of collaboration”. [14] According to facts, Sweden is not a “Neutral” country.

ii.  The political aim in the case goes even beyond the destruction of WikiLeaks; it also aims to counteract the whistleblowing movement, among other measures, by means of terrorizing ad hominem. [15] In this regard, the Swedish mainstream media and State-owned media apparatus have deployed a consistent campaign, what has constituted a “Trial by media” on Julian Assange.

iii. Sweden has further used the case for ideological purposes within its foreign policy; for instance, as a vehicle to proselytise ideological claims of Sweden’s state-feminism.

iv. The management of the Swedish case has comprised breaches in the human rights of Julian Assange.

v.  In the context of the above issues, the characteristics of the Swedish legal system would not guarantee per se a fair trial of Julian Assange.

vi. At the contrary of what is stated by Swedish sources, it is the Swedish government – and not the judicial system – which ultimately can decide the issue of extradition to a third country. The government is fully entitled to issue guarantees of a non-extradition.


References and Notes of PART I

 

[1] Retrieved 24 Jan 2014

[2] Fredrik Reinfeldt’s declarations in: “Beklagar att kvinnors rätt och ställning väger så lätt. Statsminister Fredrik Reinfeldt (M) om Assange-fallet”. Aftonbladet, 8 Feb 2011.

[3] See Part II, ”The Trial By Media”.

[4] See Part V, on the Swedish legal system.

[5] UN Committee Against Torture, CAT/C/34/D/233/2003, 24 May 2005

[6] ”Broderskap” (Brotherhood), nowadays renamed to ”Faith & Solidarity”, is a Christian phalange within the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

[7] For sources, see chapter Duckpond In Swedish Legal System, in Part V in this book.

[8] The rationale was given both in written message, and in videotape.

[9] See my post ”Afghanistan, Lars Vilks, bomb, Sweden”. Professors blogg, 13 Dec 2010.

[10] SvT, ” Lars Vilks – konstnär och provokatör eller rasist? Uppdrag granskning, 28 Sept 2012.

[11] Trailer of the anti-Assange documentary by the Swedish National Television, SvT-1. 7 Apr 2011.

[12] Fredrik Reinfeldt has publicly implied that the Assange case is about a) the right of the two women b) to make the world to respect the Swedish legislation on sexual-offences.

[13] Politician Claes Borgström, formerly Ombudsman for gender issues appointed by the Persson government. His partner in the law firm Bodström & Borgström is the former Justice Minister of the same government, later a resident if the U.S. at Virginia.

[14] Some of the secret agreements on the Intelligence collaboration of Sweden with the US – mainly disclosed by the WikiLeaks Dipolmatic Cables of 2010 and subsequently by Edward Snowden revelation of 2013 – have been analysed by Prof. Wilhem Agrell, e.g. “Det är samma gamla lik som trillar ur garderoberna” (DN, 7 Dec 2010); “FRA spionage mot Ryska civila mål” (SvD, 7 Dec 2013).

[15] After the Assange case initiated in 2010, attacks ad hominem have followed also suit, e.g. against Aaron Swartz, Jeremy Hammond, and Edward Snowden.

 

PART II

Was the reopening of the Sweden case, part of the US request to prosecute Assange by any means?

It has emerged, quite clear, that the “Assange prosecution-case” might have simply been a request from the US government. The Intercept exposures help to explain partly the incongruousness of the case itself; the absurdities and extemporaneousness of the accusations and the disproportional legal procedures such as the European Arrest Warrant issued by a Swedish prosecutor against Julian Assange. On the other hand it explains why the Swedish prosecutor cannot afford to finish the interrogation, as the public would realize that there has never been a legal base for re-initiating such prosecution.It would be fair to conclude that the above constitutes a genuine reason (behind the excuse-finding series produced) for the “juridical” protracting of the case.

2011_04_29_sweden_600_1

CONTENTS of Part II:

  1. Introduction.
  2. The Intercept exposures and Swedish collaboration with the US.
  3. The revealing silence on The Intercept revelations from the part of the Swedish authorities and the media.
  4. Conclusion
  5. References & Notes

1. Introduction

Those following the Swedish case VS. Assange in the international forum would have to admit that, after nearly four years, the debate is still futilely devoted to “the legal aspects” of the case. The discussion has been made up from the beginning around “technical” arguments, and where court verdicts or utterances of legal folks have been paramount attraction. As an illustration, the Swedish online forum Flashback, mainly dealing around such legal aspects, has produced up to now nearly sixty thousand comments (N= 59 257) that have been viewed nearly six million times (N= 5 723 806). And from the part of the Swedish press, the only opinion articles accepted for publication on WikiLeaks or its founder Julian Assange are those bound to contribute to the “legal discussion”, hence, towards the ever blowing smoke-curtain encouraged to hide the real case.

My position is instead: there is not such a “legal case”; it has never been. Plainly: there is not legal ground for a prosecution of Assange in Sweden on the base of the alleged behaviours. Arguments from the part of the Swedish prosecutors in the form of vague insinuations of “undisclosed” reasons for pursuing the issue of an interrogation with Assange (at the same time that they neglect carrying out such interrogation in London) emerges after four years as a pure and simple bluff. And this bluff shall be certainly exposed if an interrogation ever is to be performed. Ergo, the case is postponed indefinitely.

Which in turn is the reason explaining why the prosecutor has first neglected such interrogation while Assange was still in Sweden, and the afterwards deferring of the interrogation by the prosecutor while Assange has remained in London.

Instead, towards a breaking of the stalemate in the Case Assange (March 2014), it would be highly convenient ­to shift the main attention from the legal technicalities­ to the political contexts of the case. After all, such “the legal technicalities­” actually refer to a non-existing “legal case”. For in the main, the Swedish case VS. Assange is political, and instead it has meant all the way, from its origins, to disrupt the publishing endeavour of the anti-secret organization WikiLeaks.

It emerges now clearer that the “Assange prosecution-case” might have simply been a request from the US government (See below on The Intercept exposures). This helps to explain partly the incongruences of the case itself; the absurdities and extemporaneities of the accusations, the flaw “police interrogations”, the disproportional measures adopted by the prosecutor which “re-opened” the case on a request by a known politician, [1] etc.

On the other hand it explains the “impossible situation” of the Swedish prosecution authority. The Swedish prosecutor cannot afford to finish the interrogation, now under the world scrutiny, because the bluff would be exposed, as the public would realize that there has never been a legal base for re-initiating such prosecution. The same case, with the same background of no-evidence, was indeed dismissed by Chief-Prosecutor Eva Finné in 2010. And after four years there is nothing new in the “evidence” front.

It would be fair to conclude that the above constitutes the genuine reason (behind the excuse-finding series produced) for the “juridical” protracting of the case. Principally, the above political request also provides a rationale for the bogus European Arresting Warrant issued nominally by Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny and publicly defended by Prosecutor-General Anders Perklev; as it is explained elsewhere, [2] the real target of that EAW was not the detention of Assange, but the creation of an extradition process leading to the subsequent stalemate of the case and the immobilization of the WikiLeaks founder.

 

The Indicter– assange-cnn-interv-to-profblgg

Image above: Julian Assange interviewed by CNN declared, according the Spanish edition of CNN, that the investigation against him because of filtrating information regarded as classified by the US government continues, and under a prosecutor of the District of Virginia. See details further below.

1.   The Intercept exposures and the Swedish collaboration with the US Department of Justice

Documents exposed by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher (The Intercept, 18 February 2014) [3] on US efforts to get Assange prosecuted by allies elsewhere, confirm to a great extent main theses that I have put forward on the Assange case since December 2010 and onwards.

Although the Greenwald & Gallagher revelations in those regards are not new (for the same information has been released on at lest two occasions in 2010, see below), this new actualization has deserved widespread attention. Partly, for the information it was ascribed to Edward Snowden documents, and partly because it comes almost simultaneously with the publication by Alexa O’Brien (17 February 2014) of a tdocumentation she obtained, pointing to the US preparations for indicting Assange and WikiLeaks.[4]

Summarizing the exposed issue with Kevin Gosztolas headline in The Dissident; [5]

“Manhunting Timeline’ Further Suggests US Pressured Countriesto Prosecute WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief”.

Accurately, the Snowden document referred by Kevin Gosztolas stated the following (the full document has not been available, to the best of my knowledge; the excerpt is contained in the above referred article by Greenwald & Gallagher):

“The United States on 10 August urged other nations with forces in Afghanistan, including Australia, United Kingdom and Germany, to consider filing criminal charges against Julian Assange, founder of the rogue WikiLeaks Internet website and responsible for the unauthorized publication of over 70,000 classified documents covering the war in Afghanistan. The documents may have been provided to WikiLeaks by Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. The appeal exemplifies the start of an international effort to focus the legal element of national power upon non-state actor Assange and the human network that supports WikiLeaks.”

It should be clarified, as also is stated in The Intercept article, that findings refers to an early publication, or “scoop”, done by Philip Shenon, former NYT investigative reporter. He published his report on US urging allies hounding Julian Assange and WikiLeaks already on the 10 of June 2010, in the Dailybeast.[6] Here below my comments on the Shenon & Intercept revelations.

A) The first thing striking me was that the communication in which the US government urged certain countries to initiate a prosecuting against Assange was directed to “other nations (than the us) with forces in Afghanistan”. Ergo, this includes Sweden, unmistakably.

This is an item not been highlighted by the above-cited articles of Greenwald & Gallagher, or Gosztolas, or by the article reproducing the interviews of Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the Centre for Constitutional Rights on the recent exposures based on the Edward Snowden documents.[7]

In fact, the press secretary of the Swedish Foreign Office, Anders Jörle, was asked by that time (8 September 2010) whether they have been contacted by the US on the stance Sweden should be held about WikiLeaks. Most interesting I that the answer provided by the Foreign Office representative did NOT deny a contact from the US government’s on any such request to Sweden. He only said that no contact has been carried out on the issue between USA and officials the Swedish Foreign ministry “through the official channels”.

The said interview was conducted by Expressen’s journalist Oscar Joulander and published on September 8th, 2010. I quote from the Expressen’s report:

“They have not been in contact with us through the official channels in Stockholm or at the embassy in Washington”, says the Foreign Office spokesman Anders Jörle”.[8]

But this is exactly what WikiLeaks denounced in the Diplomatic Cables on Sweden: that the contacts on matters of Intelligence operations between the US Government and the officials at both the Swedish ministries of Justice and of Foreign Affairs were conducted “in secret”, and even hidden from the Parliament.

In the context, we shall consider that Sweden represent for the US government the staunchest ally in Europe (together with he UK) in that kind of operations. Regarding which countries are “closest allies” in Intelligence operations is not any longer a guessing. They were exposed initially as the “Five eyes” countries. However, some moths ago it emerged that Sweden has been in fact the secretly closest collaborationist European country of the Bush and Obama government. Sweden has during last times repeatedly been referred in the international media as to “the Sixth Eye” of the SIGINT alliance under US command.[9]

B) The second aspect being that this request to these countries (including Sweden) was put forward on the 10 of august 2010. It would be enough for the reader to check the document “affidavit of Julian Paul Assange” to realize the timing of the request from the US to Sweden and the timeline of its implementation.

It is well known that on the 20 of August, only ten days after the above-referred date, Expressen published the “scoop” that Assange has been “arrested for rape”. Expressen interviewed Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand, the Swedish prosecutor that had issued the arresting order, and quotes:

“It is rape, confirms Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand” [10]

But what is less known, in fact, to the best of my knowledge never been mentioned before in the debate, is what journalist Emanuel Karlsten “anticipated” in his article in the same issue of Expressen on that 20 of August:

“Internet is boiling with rumours that the US government is exercising pressure on its allies to arrest Assange. Departing from that, and from this notification (the Swedish prosecutor arrest order) I assume that it will be extensively conspired about that CIA finally has managed to infiltrate even the Swedish authorities.” [11]

Well, who was really conspiring on the 10 of August 2010?

C) The third relevant aspect being that charges were asked to be filed against “the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange”.

That was the case all along, that the Swedish prosecution (the “accusations”) was initiated under request because Assange was the founder of WikiLeaks, and for the “damage” WikiLeaks had infringed to NATO interest and in particular in exposing the secret agreements between the US government and “neutral” Sweden. In fact, these were the first words I published on the case Assange back in in 2010: [12]

“As the detention of Julian Assange is now implemented on behalf of Sweden, it would be necessary to clarify some issues for non-Swedish speaking audiences. Possible equivocal terms based on direct translations of Swedish dispatches may refer not only to the Swedish case against Assange, but also on the responsibility of Swedish authorities in the production of the aggravating secret agreements with American Intelligence services and that were exposed in the diplomatic documents leaked by Assange’s organization.”

The media strategists of the requested operation skilfully mastered the item. They managed to revert its presentation by appealing to a false notion of “all equal under the law”. Meaning, “just because he is a celebrity he will not be excused”.  Another trick engulfed by the Swedish public, which did not realize that it was exactly the opposite. It was because Assange is the WikiLeaks forerunner and indicated as main responsible of the exposures.

Further, no one has cared to statistically examining the prevalence of such “legal measures” from the part of the Swedish authorities among a cohort of average Swedes accused of similar behaviours, cases with about the same degree of “evidence” or personal-affective motivation behind, as it is purported being the case “of the two women” accusations against Assange.

But it is also an item I have been insisting in clarifying all along. That we should not let pass uncontested that the case against Assange is presented at the media divorcing “the person Assange” from the fact he is the founder and forerunner figure of WikiLeaks. This is a mistake also contained in several interventions from the part of WikiLeaks supporters, who unfortunately did not realise it was part of the smear-accusation strategy. That has been the strategy assayed by Swedish journalists and in general among the Anglo-Saxon media, separate “Assange” from “Wikileaks”, a mantra still going strong in the social media particularly Twitter.

All this, but principally the above-mentioned revelations done by Alexa O’Brien, would bring support to the hypothesis defended in these columns (the “stalling hypothesis”) about the protracting of the case from the part of Sweden in order to allow the completion of the indictment in preparation in the US against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. In other words, the findings by O’Brien also indicate the real nature of the Swedish case VS. Assange, as she clearly demonstrates that US investigation of WikiLeaks is now entering its 5th year. Among the findings of O’Brien:

Other recently released emails reveal that the three and a half year old Department of Justice grand jury probe was already empaneled on September 23, 2010, two months before the Attorney General publicly acknowledged an ongoing U.S. criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.” [13]

Why selecting Sweden for the Assange op?

One answer could be found in the content of the first reports from Fox TV, the Daily Telegraph, etc., back in 2010-2011.  Those reports nearly highlighted that Sweden is “neutral”, and expressly anticipate the argument around these terms, “it is inconceivable that a neutral country like Sweden, and which remained neutral during the Second World War, would be doing this on orders of another country.” In other terms, the image Sweden as a neutral country would show the “objectivity” of the accusations and the subsequent State-sponsored arresting warrants and extradition requests. But the image of a “neutral Sweden” was deceitful, as demonstrated by the facts exposed in the 2011 article “Sweden, NATO and Assange”, [14] answering to Clarie Harvey’s piece in Daily Telegraph. [15]

3.   The revealing silence on The Intercept revelations from the part of the Swedish authorities and media.

After about a week of the Intercept scoop, particularly when the item concerning WikiLeaks and Assange has been referred in principal international media outlets, not a single word had been uttered by the Swedish press or broadcasting services, public or private. This, considering that according to Google, the item referred by the scoop of Greenwald & Gallagher to Assange and Wikileaks in conjunction to “prosecution”, has been referred 402 000 times on the Web so far in the referred time-lapse. [16]

The scandalous touch is given by SvD. The paper is running today (23 of February) an extensive article in the Culture section precisely on the theme of Edward Snowden’s exposures and in the main context of The Guardian journalist Luke Harding’s book ”The Snowden files”. The title is even headed “A matchless reportage on Snowden and the scoop of all times”.[17] The article even reports expressly the launching of The Intercept, “completely aimed at exposures based on the Snowden documents”. But WikiLeaks is only mentioned in the article as an organization once despised by Snowden; and Greenwald is only portrayed as a bitter journalist “irritated that Harding has stolen his scoop”. And about the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a target for international prosecution as described in that launching of The Intercept?  Not a word.

It is not believable that the Swedish media would not consider relevant to Sweden, if not highly relevant, the revelations done by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher in The Intercept. I will first explain this relevancy for the Swedish scenario. Then I will enumerate some central myths cultivated by the Swedish authorities, the Swedish legal system and their servant media about Assange and the “legal case”. For in these behaviors is to found the real reasons why the media is absolutely mute about the last Snowden revelations. For it exposes the bluff.

4. Conclusion.

The US government approached Sweden’s authorities on the situation around Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks exposures of 2010, in August that year. The Swedish press reported on the meetings in Stockholm. Secondly, as reported in both the Phillip Shenon and NSA documents (the report by Greenwald & Gallagher in Intercept), the US contacted all countries with forces in Afghanistan with the request to initiate prosecution against the WikiLeaks founder. As being Sweden a principal country participating with military troops in Afghanistan, it is beyond discussion as to whether Sweden was also among the nations contacted by the US for that purpose. My conclusion being that it is highly likely that the reopening of the “case Assange” by Swedish authorities on the 20 of August 2010 was part of the US request of the 10 of August to prosecute Julian Assange by any means.

The US government approached Sweden’s authorities on the situation around Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks exposures of 2010, in August that year. The Swedish press reported on the meetings in Stockholm. Secondly, as reported in both the Phillip Shenon and NSA documents (the report by Greenwald & Gallagher in Intercept), the US contacted all countries with forces in Afghanistan with the request to initiate prosecution against the WikiLeaks founder. As being Sweden a principal country participating with military troops in Afghanistan, it is beyond discussion as to whether Sweden was also among the nations contacted by the US for that purpose. My conclusion being that it is highly likely that the reopening of the “case Assange” by Swedish authorities on the 20 of August 2010 was part of the US request of the 10 of August to prosecute Julian Assange by any means.

But it is not only a design to simply “prosecute Assange”. The meaning of the strategic design in the context of the referred US request was not Assange as person, but the concept was (is) to immobilize WikiLeaks. For this a long protracted process had to be brought in place.

Follows a sequence around the European Arrest Warrant issues by the Swedish prosecutor against Julian Assange,[21] and where the conclusion emerging is that the real target of the EAW was not the detention of Assange, but the creation of an extradition process:

  • Assange arrived to the airport around noon, and even chosen to change to a later SAS flight of his preferences.  He finally left Arlanda Airport for Berlin Tegel at 17.15. Latest around 16.55 he would have gone through airport security where, with the usual heavy police presence, staff at the gate leading to the departure hall checked his passport (if not already checked at the desk), boarding card, etc. Besides, the police have all the passengers’ lists in advance.
  • According to the prosecutor office in Gothenburg, Assange was “detained in absentia” already at 14.15 on 27 September 2010. [24] Normally, such order goes to all police units in the country. Why wasn’t he detained at the airport? It could not be that they missed his identity. Quite the opposite: because they knew his identity at the airport desk or at the control gate, the police (or government officials, or whoever agency was operating) managed to take the laptops from Assange’s checked-in suitcase. [22] Besides, he stayed around five hours at the airport’s premises. They just couldn’t have missed him.
  • Assange was never informed about the “detention in absentia”. Further, Assange’s laywer Björn Hurtig had obtained an agreement from the prosecutor Marianne Ny that Julian Assange “was free to leave Sweden”. [23]
  • In fact, Assange’s lawyer received the communication on the “detention warrant” issued my Marianne Ny (the warrant that Elisabeth Massi Fritz is writing about in connection to Assange’s departure for Berlin on the 27 of September), as late as the 30 September 2010. This means three days after that it was issued by the same Marianne Ny. 
  • In support of this claim I refer here to the Supreme Court document “Agreed Statement of Facts And Issues. Between: Julian Paul Assange (Applicant) V. Swedish Prosecution Authority (Respondent)”, hearings 1-2 Feb 2012,. In Item 17, page 5, it reads: “On 30th September 2010, the Appellant’s counsel [Björn Hurtig] was advised of the existence of the arrest warrant.”

The EAW immobilized Assange and, to a greater extent, WikiLeaks’ activities. In previous analyses, I have demonstrated that it is beyond doubt that this case is political motivated. There isn’t a genuine legal case behind the charade of the Swedish Prosecutor Authority and the plaintiff’s prejudiced lawyers. This is not the first time that this sort of behaviour has been seen in Sweden.

What would have happened if Assange had been detained at the airport? The prosecutor would have had to interrogate Assange within a few hours. Assange would have requested the presence of a lawyer or that the interview was videotaped. Afterwards he would have been released, because in terms of the evidence available to the prosecutor, there would have been nothing new that had not already come up in the preliminary investigation, conducted by prosecutor Finne (who had previously dismissed the case on this evidence). He would have never been held incommunicado, as he will certainly be if he comes to Sweden under the extradition terms that resulted from the EAW.

Only the EAW could have produced the political benefits created by this scenario, which enables a prolongation of Assange’s prisoner status. My “stalling-the-process hypothesis” [24] was correct from the start.

In view of the above, I found strange that in the last reports on the Edward Snowden documents in reference to Assange and WikiLeaks, Sweden is omitted when referring possible countries that would have received the reported request from the US government to pursue a prosecution against Julian Assange in August 2010. I have not found the Swedish-connection in any of the different interviews or articles dealing with the report by Greenwald and Gallagher in The Intercept. Neither these authors make any allusion to the actual prosecution efforts initiated by Sweden precisely around the given date of 10 of August 2010, as given in The Intercept cited documents.

In an interview given by Michael Ratner, Assange’s lawyer in the US, concretely he declared in commenting the findings by Greenwald and Gallagher in The Intercept:

“And what the substance of it is it says that we have to make an effort to get Julian Assange prosecuted everywhere in the world. And at that point they pointed to four, maybe five countries–the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, the U.S., Iceland. Those are the countries that are going to go after him in. And, obviously, there are other countries added as they go along.” [25] [28]

In fact, among all the countries assisting NATO with forces in Afghanistan, it was only Sweden that initiated a prosecution against Julian Assange. This, implemented in a case reopened just days after the US request to allies in Afghanistan, as mentioned in The Intercept report of 17 February 2014, based on the Edward Snowden documents.

References and Notes of PART II

[1] Politician Claes Borgström shared the same radical ideological agenda on gender-related legislation than the prosecutor that re-opened the case on his request. See details in chapter “Duckpond In Swedish Legal System”, Part V in this book.

[2] M Ferrada de Noli. ”In Search Of A Solution. Refuting Elisabeth Massi Fritz SvD statements on Assange case“. Professors blog, 7 Feb 2014.

[3] Glenn Greenwald & Ryan Gallagher. “Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters”. The Intercept, 18 Feb 2014.

[4] Alexa O’Brien. ”Newly published secret grand jury orders & other docs shed light on US investigation of WikiLeaks now entering 5th yr”. Professors Blogg, 25 Feb 2014.

[5] Kevin Gosztola. ”‘Manhunting Timeline’ Further Suggests US Pressured Countries to Prosecute WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief ”. The Dissenter, 18 Feb 2014.

[6]Philip Shenon. “Pentagon Manhunt.” The Dailybeast, 10 June 2010.

[7]Documents Reveal NSA and GCHQ Efforts to Destroy Assange and Track Wikileaks Supporters” Interview transcript by Anton Woronczuk. Truthout, 21 Feb 2011. Michael Ratner (President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin) says: “And what the substance of it is is it says that we have to make an effort to get Julian Assange prosecuted everywhere in the world. And at that point they pointed to four, maybe five countries–the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, the U.S., Iceland. Those are the countries that are going to go after him in. And, obviously, there are other countries added as they go along.”

[8]Oscar Joulander. “Assange: I am the only victim”. Expressen, 8 Sept 2010. Excerpt: “På det svenska Utrikesdepartementet förnekar man att man kontaktats av USA. – De har inte varit i kontakt med oss den officiella vägen. Varken i Stockholm eller på ambassaden i Washington, säger UD:s presschef Anders Jörle.”

[9]Sweden’s Intelligence Agency has Access to NSA’s XKeyscore system”. Info Security Magazine, 12 December 2013: “Sweden has sometimes been called the ‘Sixth Eye’ – referring to the English-speaking Five Eyes SIGINT alliance – suggesting a close working relationship between Sweden’s FRA and the NSA and GCHQ. New documents suggest that it has access to the XKeyscore tool, and has helped in the Quantum hacking program.”

[10]“– Det är våldtäkt, bekräftar Maria Häljebo Kjellstrand”. In Diamant Salihu & Niklas Svensson: “Wikileaks grundare anhållen för våldtäkt”. Expressen, 20 Sept 2010.

[11]“…internet kokar av rykten om att USA utövar påtryckningar mot sina allierade för att gripa Assange. Jag utgår från att det i och med anmälan kommer att konspireras flitigt om att CIA till sist lyckats infiltrera även svenska myndigheter. In: “Emanuel Karlsten: Konspirationsteorierna kommer att flöda”. Expressen, 20 Sept 2010.

[12] Glenn Greenwald & Ryan Gallagher. Op. Cit.

[13] Alexa O’Brien. ”Newly published secret grand jury orders & other docs shed light on US investigation of WikiLeaks now entering 5th yr”. Professors Blogg, 25 Feb 2014.

[14]Sweden, NATO and Assange”. Professors blog, 3 Nov 2011.

[15] In an article on the case Assange in The Daily Telegraph, Clarie Harvey referred to Sweden in these terms,: a “proudly independent nation that remained neutral even during World War II”.

[16]Search in Google.com retrieved (See searching terms) 23 Feb 2014, 6:27 PM.

[17] Sam Sundberg. “Omistligt reportage om Snowden och tidernas scoop”. SvD, 23 Feb 2014.

[21] M Ferrada de Noli, “In Search Of A Solution. Rebutting Lawyer Elizabeth Massi Fritz statements in Svd on the Assange case”. Professors blogg, 7 Feb 2014.

[22]See Affidavit of Julian Paul Assange, 1. Summary of Claims, Item 4.

[23]UK:s Supreme Court document “Agreed Statement of Facts And Issues. Between: Julian Paul Assange (Applicant) V. Swedish Prosecution Authority (Respondent)”, hearings 1-2 Feb 2012, Item 13, page 4.:

On 14th September 2010, the Appellant’s counsel enquired in writing as to whether the Appellant was permitted to leave Sweden. On 15th September 2010, the prosecutor informed the Appellant’s counsel that he was free to leave Sweden.

The “Julian Paul Affidavit” refers also in No 4, “Extended stay in Sweden”, Item 113, “My lawyer in Sweden Bjorn Hurtig obtained an agreement from the prosecutor Marianne Ny that I was free to leave Sweden. I left Sweden on 27 September 2010.”

[24]See Chapter Timing The Processes.Explaining Sweden’s Reluctance To Conduct Assange’s Interrogation In London”. In Part I in this book.

[25]The Real News Network | Video Interview. Friday, 21 February 2014 11:24 By Anton Woronczuk.

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The author is editor-in-chief of The Indicter. In the image below with Mr Julian Assange and Human Rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, London, December 2011.

the indicter announce of dec issue w assange profe pic