2012-05-30 Facts without truth: How Julian Assange's extradition case is being played by the media

A BBC radio reporter in Stockholm this morning reporting on the Assange case said that Assange left the country not knowing there was an arrest warrant issued for him but managed to avoid bringing up the 5 weeks he waited in Sweden beyond his planned visit to be questioned, only leaving when the Swedes said he could.

The UKSC has the luxury of answering one simple question, whilst the world around swirls with complex issues. Leaving aside the possibility that the case against Assange seems to be politically motivated, that the Americans may want to extradite him, and that the women in question have never claimed that they didn't willingly have sex with Assange, there is still the exploitation of this situation by some powers that be.

There is still the use of the term 'rape' - regarding consensual sex uncoerced by physical intimidation, substances, or any other power dynamic. They may couch the term 'rape' with gentler terms, fully knowing that every time they use his name alongside that word, it reinforces the lingering idea that there's something distasteful or dark about Assange.

And there is the truthful presentation of facts, such as that the UK court has not considered the validity of the accusation (just how can someone rape another by having fully consensual sex?) but no mention of the fact that they have no jurisdiction to do so. Intentionally leaving the audience with the impression that regardless of whether he wins or loses, he's still accused of being a rapist. Perhaps even highlighting the fact that 'he's not arguing that he's innocent' but ignoring the fact that he has no venue to argue that innocence.

Another fact - that Julian has been appealing extradition to Sweden - is always followed by 'to face questioning about the allegations'. Yes, this is true, but what's also true is that he has always been willing to face questioning about the allegations - initially for the weeks he waited in vain in Sweden to do just that, and later as he offered to be questioned in England either in person or via video. For 540 days it has been clear that the Swedish authorities actually don't want to question Julian Assange. If that was what they wanted, they have had more than a year of access to him to do it.

Their real goal all this time, given that they have declined to question him at all, is clearly the extradition. And as the Swedish authorities want to extradite Julian Assange, but have no interest in questioning him, then what is the motivation for the extradition? Surely not the one they claim (to question him) because they refuse to do so. But this pertinent question is never raised in the press. They continue to broadcast their truth without truth.

The swirl of facts without neutrality continues, and will not likely end even after this case is resolved, as long as Assange continues to be considered an enemy by those who have a vested interest in making sure no one - not Assange nor anyone tempted to out the bad guys but unwilling to take up a cross to follow in his footsteps - will cross them as long as this memory lives.

And if they win - those people who want to intimidate anyone who thinks they'd like to see more truth and honesty - then what hope is there?

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