Victimhood Theatre.

20 Jun

Enough already… Julian Assange, one of the founders of Wikileaks and currently residing in the UK, has fled to Ecuador’s embassy in London to prevent his extradition to Sweden, after the UK’s Supreme Court denied his appeal last week.

From the BBC’ article:

He fears that if he is sent to Sweden it may lead to him being sent to the US to face charges over Wikileaks for which he could face the death penalty. […] Swedish prosecutors want to question Mr Assange over allegations of rape and sexual assault while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.  […] No charges have been filed.

Alright, let’s get this straight: the terrible doom Julian Assange has been fighting for over 1,5 years is not his direct extradition to the US and a possible charge against him that the US is working on. What Assange has been fighting and continues to fight is having to go back to Sweden to be questioned by police about the sexual assault and rape he might have committed.

Assange has not even been charged with anything. This is about questioning him after he prevented that being re-interviewed by hurriedly leaving the country and having his lawyers and supporters construct a “honeytrapping CIA spies” narrative around his potential sexual assaults on two women*. Assange believes that Sweden “is the Saudi-Arabia of feminism”, and he is the real victim here, having fallen “into a hornets’ nest of revolutionary feminism.” And clearly, a stand-up guy like Assange has the right to political asylum when having to flee the reign of terror in Genderqualitya.

One could note here that Assange never directly countered the report of the two women*; he and his lawyer merely contend that what he apparently did does not constitute rape or sexual assault, since the women* had consented to have sex with him at some point (and, apparently, that consent lasts until eternity, no matter if you’re actually conscious or if you’ve actually insisted on the use of condoms or if you’re actually being physically overpowered).

Yes, the US might be charging Assange with conspiring to commit treason. No, I don’t think that is valid. Yes, if this ever becomes an actual charge, Sweden might extradite Assange. No, the UK would not be any different since they also have an extradition agreement with the US. Yes, Assange has faced some trouble for leaking information. No, he’s not even the real victim of the political backlash against Wikileaks, just ask Chelsea Manning.

All this victimhood theatre is getting more disgusting by the day. Assange has made particular personal choices he is to be held responsible for, and they are not connected to Wikileaks, but to him individually. Some of these choices were to potentially sexually assault two women* and to then flee the country before he could be questioned again. Another choice was to stylize himself as the victim of “radical feminism” (and radical feminism, apparently, means to hold people accountable for potential sexual assault) and to turn the women* he potentially assaulted into manipulative sex traps (no humanity or agency or individuality here, of course) that are trying to damage his reputation and literally get him killed.

The most recent choice was to grasp the final straw some actual political refugees have to prevent their extradition to countries that actually might murder them (not to mention their lack of the privileges Assange has: to find entry and permission to stay in certain countries thanks to his passport), and to stylize himself as a (white, cis-male*, ablebodied, heterosexual, wealthy, influential and well-known) political refugee from Australia who is being hunted down by the evil, lawless state of Sweden, and being threatened with the horror of being questioned for crimes he might have committed. This guy… I don’t even… Yuck. I can only hope the embassador will chuck him out – enough theatre already.

Oh, and by the way: today is World Refugee Day (…which makes this charade even more repulsive). Here is a list of the 16,264 documented refugee deaths through Fortress Europe since 1993 [PDF] – it puts some things in perspective.

Update [8/15/12]: Who, like I, thought there was no fucking way, stands corrected: Ecuador will grant political asylum to Julian Assange. Excuse me, while I step outside for a second to hurl.

Update 2 [8/17/12]: Right, I haven’t said that in a long time: word, goddammit, “Zeit” commentator Karsten Polke-Majewski, who basically takes the same line [minus any awareness of rape culture; the article is in german].

5 Responses to “Victimhood Theatre.”

  1. mushroom August 14, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    Some of these choices were to potentially sexually assault two women* and to then flee the country before he could be questioned. 

    Both women accused him in August 2010. He stayed in the country until the end of September 2010 and was – in fact – questioned by the police at the end of August.

    • accalmie August 14, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      Ah, well done refuting the actual point of the post (hint: rape culture, the mistreatment of actual refugees and Assange profiting from both) m(… A time line of Assange’s case is here – as you can see, the (withdrawn) arrest warrant was issued on 20 August, he was interviewed for one hour (woe is me) eleven days later, and after the interview, the Swedish prosectur decided on re-opening the case against him. He then left the country, according to Wikileaks on September 15 (this is where you seem to get your information from; and granted, there seems to be no reliable information out there on when he actually left Sweden, except for “Free Assange”-pages claiming mid-September, and that he really, really did not flee, but was very co-operative).

      You are right that this is about being re-interviewed, of course, so I’ve changed it in the post.

      The actual issue, however, is that he has fought being re-interviewed since November 2010 for the stated reasons and with the stated strategies.

      Way to go on being co-operative or whatever on his part, and way to go on trying to find a vague defense for his behavior on yours.

      • mushroom August 14, 2012 at 10:47 am #

        I don’t defend anything Assange did and therefore I don’t try to find a “vague defense” for him. But l reminded about the questioning and therefore wanted to point out that the cited sentence was incorrect (which doesn’t affect the other parts of your post). My source is The Guardian which cites the lawyer oft Assange and which therefore may be not trustworthy over all; but I haven’t heard about anybody denying that Assange left some time after he has been accused and questioned.

        • accalmie August 14, 2012 at 11:44 am #

          You are of course right in correcting me, thank you.

          I read your comment as an implicit defense indeed, given that you did not put your statement into context like you do now with your follow-up comment, i.e., pointing out that this information is based on what Assange’s lawyer(s) said/say and continue to use as his defense. When he left the UK exactly and under which circumstances seems to remain unclear, as far as I can tell…? I don’t think it matters, overall, though, because this whole charade of him being “co-operative” by refusing to be questioned again has been going on for almost two years now; so whether he was available for another week in September 2010 or not is, in my view, besides the point.

          I am afraid that in the context of the whole Assange matter, I will continue to react rather short-tempered when people seem to focus on Assange’s defense team’s presentations and strategies, rather than question Assange’s behavior and self-stylization as victim of an evil plot.


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    […] Und als relativ aktuelles und deutliches Beispiel, wie Täter sich in unserer Gesellschaft verteidigen können, selbst wenn alle Karten schon auf dem Tisch liegen: accalmie auf Stop! Talking. über den Fall Assange. […]

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