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« Madhavi Mudgal: Dancer, Teacher, Friend | Main | "War on Christmas - Season 49, or thereabouts" (Sujatha) »

December 16, 2010


i think conspiracy-theory models are totally rational and plausible in this case. who knows what pressure was put on these women? the most powerful nation in the world wants julian assange punished. many other nations want him punished. in the days of yore he'd be in a dungeon awaiting executing. the only thing that is preventing this is probably the fact that the world is watching. assange is assaulting the sacrosanct nation-state. i personally support the nation-state, but as a pure descriptive matter the nation-states should rationally destroy him to dissuade this sort of behavior in the future.

From what I've read, an over-zealous, women's rights oriented, Swedish prosecutor is driving this thing, not the US government. As time passes, more information will come out, but if you've already decided it's a set-up, you run a very good chance of never recognizing the truth. Under Swedish law, Assange may have taken part in acts that can be construed by a prosecutor as illegal. Let the courts work. They aren't all crooked nor are they all controlled by outside influences. Of course, if Assange is found to have violated Swedish law at some point, our two previous correspondents will feel fully justified in their belief of US intervention, whether it's true or not. Kind of like reading US tea bagger descriptions of things going on in this country - the truth isn't part of their rational for believing what they want to believe.

Shrug. As Razib says, that he'd be dead in a ditch were he not in the news (watched people are like watched pots, it seems) seems pretty obvious to me. People have both good and bad reasons for being alarmed at the assertion that anything at all may be made public by some information-wants-to-be-free type, and a lot of foreign policy reeks from my perspective. Right now though, and for the near future it's dicey to off him and he can only be discredited. My priors are that the charge is political, and starting therefrom I produced a feature of the accusation that I find interesting. I'm not aware of holding an indefeasible conviction in Assange's purity, but then again I would hardly claim otherwise. You think I'm being a truther or birther, whatever.

I don't think you're a truther or birther, only that you may be thinking like one. Conclusions based on preconceived ideas - that sort of thing.

Well, I don't think my prior re the motivations of his enemies is crazy or that the analogy to 9/11 truth or kenyan obama is deep, but it's not like I can give you or myself a conclusive demonstration of this. Nor can I demonstrate that my thinking on the subject isn't closed in advance of events. The notion *that* the charge is politically driven is perforce stronger than the particular scenario of political influence I put forth. Another more plausible scenario is that whilst the events described are real (or susceptible to interpretation as such), the criminal charge and Interpol involvement is political.

Of course I'm not a law court, so it's not directly relevant, still I WILL push back a little and remind you that all I'm preconceiving/affirming is the moralized epistemic stance that he's innocent pending evidence, and coming up with a reasonable (?) story that fits that assumption, which story coheres with the decision to ignore the typical weakening of the innocence principle in rape cases. I suggest that this is a good reason on the side of the commentators ignoring their anti-false-rape-schemes. Anyway, our intuitions regarding leaks and how to deal with them will evolve based on wikileaks, and while this evolution will in fact depend on what we end up thinking of Assange as a person, they shouldn't, his sexual ethics being a side-show regardless.

As I suggested above, there is more to this than Mr. Assange's side of the story.

Oswald had a rifle that would hold six rounds. One round was found in the rifle. Four rounds were fired at the motorcade. That means that Oswald arrived at the book depository short one bullet, and there were no other bullets found at his home. He had been target practicing and used up all but five bullets. This proves that there is no way Oswalt could have been planning the assassination for more than a couple/few days, and that no higher power (the mob, the Cubans, the FBI, the Shriners) was involved.

For the same reason, the theory that these girls are patsies of a US plot is highly unlikely. Sure, maybe date rape is the preferred charge instead of the 12 year old boy plan (my suggestion). But carrying it out in such a half assed manner is more likely to backfire. It is quite possible to arrange date rape charges that are more solid, more convincing, yet that would also divide the supporters. A half assed outcome like we see now is much more likely to be the real thing (whatever that is) than a setup.

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