But the details are even more troubling.
Assange is accused of rape by deceit. Violence and coercion are not alleged, just that by sleeping with one woman only a few days after sleeping with another he was committing deceit, and therefore a sex crime. Yes, really. Some reports state that he has two accusers, in fact there is only one as the second accuser withdrew her initial accusation - seemingly because she began to get the impression she was being used.
Which brings us to the now sole accuser - normally it would be appalling to even consider discussing her, in this case an even more appalling injustice may arise from not examining her background.
Swedish bloggers uncovered the full story in a few hours. The complaint was lodged by a radical feminist Anna Ardin, 30, a one-time intern in the Swedish Foreign Service. She’s spokeswoman for Broderskapsrörelsen, the liberation theology-like Christian organization affiliated with Sweden's Social Democratic Party. She had invited Julian Assange to a crayfish party, and they had enjoyed some quality time together. When Ardin discovered that Julian shared a similar experience with a 20-year-old woman a day or two later, she obtained the younger woman’s cooperation in declaring before the police that changing partners in so rapid a manner constituted a sort of deceit. And deceit is a sort of rape. The prosecutor immediately issued an arrest warrant, and the press was duly notified. Once the facts were examined in the cold light of day, the charge of rape seemed ludicrous and was immediately dropped. In the meantime the younger woman, perhaps realizing how she had been used, withdrew her report, leaving the vengeful Anna Ardin standing alone.(Note Dec 8: I will agree with Olberman in re: the above quote: "If the author of that article is a holocaust denier, I repudiate him and what he wrote, and apologize for retweeting the link." There are enough reasons to be suspicious and critical of the Swedish prosecutions without the reinforcement of this one article.)
However, before we absolve the Swedish police as unwitting, if zealous, dupes, please note that Swedish law strictly forbids police and prosecutors to release to the media the details of any rape-connected complaint. The Expressen had all the details of the case, including the names of the accused and the complainant, within a matter of minutes. Please note further that the right-wing tabloid Expressen belongs to the Bonnier family, the biggest media owners in Sweden, who are not only pro-American but very much pro-Israel, too. As you know, the pro-Israeli lobby is warmly supportive of America’s Middle Eastern wars, while Assange and his WikiLeaks have the potential to undermine America’s weakening support for the war.
Then there's the disturbing reports that Ardin published a revenge how to guide on her blog in January, around the time of the alleged incident, specifically...:
...describing how to commit a complete character assassination to legally destroy a person who “should be punished for what he did”. If the offence was of a sexual nature, the revenge also must also be sex-related, she wrote.All of this is disturbing enough, when you factor in her links to government and military including NATO otherwise rational cynical people might be reaching for a tinfoil hat.
The details of the accusation, the timing, the way Swedish confidentiality laws were almost instantly broken and a conservative western leaning news outlet was trumpeting them immediately and the highly disturbing writings of the accuser make the whole case against Assange deeply suspect.
UPDATE: Naomi Wolfe, who no one will ever accuse of being a pawn of the patriarchy pours scorn on the Interpol 'Dating police' - hat tip Le Daro
UPDATE 2: 'Sex by Surprise' No allegations of force, one woman unhappy that a condom broke, another that he seemed to pay more attention to his computer than her on the trip to her apartment. If EVERYTHING that can be legitimately verified to be part of the complaints actually happened - he comes off as a bit of a jerk and a bit of a horndog - but by no stretch of the imagination a rapist.
Final Update, couldn't put it better myself category: