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Galloway: calling it rape ‘must delight Pentagon’


4:15 pm - August 20th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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(jump to 21:40 for the relevant comments)

The Respect MP George Galloway has attacked attempts to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden, arguing that: “even if the allegations made by these two women were 100 per cent true. . . they don’t constitute rape.”

Now he has gone further and said those pointing out the facts of the case were stooges of the Pentagon and “must delight” the US Secret Service.

Galloway’s comments were unearthed by Alex Hern at the New Statesman, from the video above.

After the story went viral and Galloway received widespread abuse, Galloway took to Twitter:

Several people have pointed out that the allegations against Julian Assange definitely amount to rape – yet this doesn’t seem to have stopped some of their fans spouting the most uninformed rubbish.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


We seem to have the usual bevy of ‘professional lefties’ parroting one of two viewpoints with the implicit assumption that the opinion in question is mutually exclusive of the other. Either he must go to Sweden to face his charges without question and his failure to do so makes him a coward, or he is innocent, it’s not really rape anyway, etc, etc.

Both views (and in particular the way they are put across) do a disservice to Assange, to Wikileaks and to the wider ‘left’. Many of those who have been repeating one of those polar opinions have lowered my opinion of themselves significantly, and I am surprised at some of the individuals involved (Owen Jones take a bow) but less surprised at others (*cough* Galloway *cough*).

The views put forward here on LibCon have been more balanced, keep it up Sunny.

2. margin4error

It really has been fascinating Jurg

I’m a big fan of wikileaks. It embodies everything about press freedom that I think is important. I’m not especially tribal by nature – but I did thus like Assange and always thought his arrest over wikileaks would be wrong.

But it has been fascinating to see so few of his supporters swing against him over his support for a regime that beats journalists for reporting negatively about it – and that is closing down private media outlets ahead of presidential elections next year. Doing that has turned me around on him completely – but it seems like press freedom isn’t what motivates a lot of his support.

I suspect that if doing an about face on everything worthy he ever stood for – doesn’t diminish loyalty to him – then something like rape won’t either, and can be easilly diminished in the usual tried and tested ways that people have always, and continue always to diminish rape as a crime.

I also suspect that all that’s left to like about Assange is that he upsets america quite a bit. And that’s a shame.

“yet this doesn’t seem to have stopped some of their fans spouting the most uninformed rubbish.”

Whose fans, Sunny? It’s not clear.

4. the a&e charge nurse

[4] ‘then something like rape won’t either, and can be easilly diminished in the usual tried and tested ways that people have always, and continue always to diminish rape as a crime’ – I’ve asked this a couple of times now, Naomi Woolf who has spent 20 years working with victims of sexual violence claims the charges against assange amount to ‘an insult to rape victims’ – and that ‘the state is pimping feminism’ – any idea why a veteran of this field would make such a comment.

Now maybe Woolf has got her head stuck up her own arse, and is not fit to comment on sex crimes – on the other hand given the exceptional nature of this case maybe she is making a valid point, at least one that does not fall into de’menz trope.

Galloway is correct to the extent that hawks in the US must think all their christmas’s have come early given assange discomfiture, and loss of credibility.

Whatever the swedish courts decide somewhere deep down we all know that he is guilty, eh?

@ a & e nurse

The point is, it’s not up to Naomi Woolf or you or me or anyone but the Swedish justice system to determine this case. If he’s innocent, Assange should be cleared (and arguably compensated). In the meantime, he’s broken bail in Britain and is still as obliged to go and face justice as anyone else would be. We should all be wary of trying to adjudicate this case in advance. It’s not our business and I’d bet none of us know all the information for or against him anyway.

6. the a&e charge nurse

[5] there is a big difference between commentary and determining a case, as you put it.

Anyway, how can you say ‘it’s not our business’ when the swedish MSM were running front page stories within days of the allegations being known, while their PM has also seen fit to make pronouncements on it.

If wiki has taught us anything it is that trust in our institutions must be earned – I’m not saying the swedes are a bad lot but given the circumstances surrounding this case I just don’t see how assange can get an impartial hearing – by the way, I think the women are being used to get to assange – I have little confidence that the swedish authorities are treating this as a typical case.

“If wiki has taught us anything it is that trust in our institutions must be earned – I’m not saying the swedes are a bad lot but given the circumstances surrounding this case I just don’t see how assange can get an impartial hearing – by the way, I think the women are being used to get to assange – I have little confidence that the swedish authorities are treating this as a typical case.”

Okay, you are entitled to think that, but it’s still not up to you or me – or the Swedish media or PM or anyone else – to decide Assange’s innocence or guilt. But I don’t think we are going to agree about this.

Galloway is an odious man, always has been.

@6. the a&e charge nurse: “Anyway, how can you say ‘it’s not our business’ when the swedish MSM were running front page stories within days of the allegations being known, while their PM has also seen fit to make pronouncements on it.”

How is this solely a Swedish mainstream media story? It has been reported across the world. The only Swedish angle is that official documents were leaked to the Swedish press* — one guess is that the leakers operated on the premise that Swedes would be best able to translate them into English, but possibly for other reasons.

Swedish government ministers (not sure about PM) have spoken about the case. That is what politicians do. It is possible to speak about something, to raise questions of fact or philosophy, without imposing decisions on the judiciary.

* It is difficult for a well known person to get a fair hearing in court when an accusation has been splashed across the newspapers. How do you find a jury that has not read a newspaper for six months? I think leaking is a gamble, unless the leaker knows what the other side has in its hand.

10. the a&e charge nurse

[9] ‘Swedish government ministers (not sure about PM) have spoken about the case’ – Frederick Reinfeldt’s (Swedish PM) comments on the assange case here.
http://www.swedishwire.com/politics/8437-swedish-pm-slams-julian-assanges-claims-

“How do you find a jury that has not read a newspaper for six months?”

Or in a country which doesn’t have a jury system in criminal cases?

Thank you George for this,

I have a request, when explaining this you mentioned “fools” and “stupid” people, I totally sympathize but there are many who are still just waking up to the lies they have lived with, calling them stupid will make it harder for them to hear.

@ charlieman

“It is difficult for a well known person to get a fair hearing in court when an accusation has been splashed across the newspapers.”

Well I agree with that, but on the other hand Assange himself has played a considerable part in stringing this out and turning it into a circus.

@ Jimmy

“a country which doesn’t have a jury system in criminal cases?”

Only a minority of countries in the world operate jury systems. Like most here (I suspect) I prefer the jury system but it’s rather late in the day to present the unremarkable fact that Sweden does not use a jury system to call into question the validity of that system. I suspect if we were from a country which doesn’t operate a jury we wouldn’t be raising that as an objection. We wouldn’t even notice it as an oddity.

@Lamia,

You misunderstand, I was merely dealing with what I understood to be the claim that pre-trial publicity prevents Assange from getting a fair trial. I’m not a sympathiser.

@Lamia:

I don’t play games.

By his lawyers own admission, Assange had sex with one woman while she was asleep and forcibly held down another and tried to penetrate her while she tried to stop him. Assange and his lawyer contend that wasn’t rape because they’d both consented to sex with him on previous occasions.

I, meanwhile contend, that Assange is (probably) a rapist and that both he and his lawyer are rape apologist misogynist scum.

It’s a little disturbing to say the least that the conservative Senate candidate Todd Akin appears to have crashed his political career for remarks scarcely different from those of the allegedly progressive Galloway which will have no effect on his whatsoever.

I was hoping someone would respond to Lamia’s question to save me having to ask the same question – but who is meant by ‘their fans’? Which ‘they’?

What about another Assange groupie, Craig Murray, actually naming one of the accusers/alleged victims on Newsnight last night?

This is, as far as I’m aware an offense under UK law, as well as a clear demonstration of the man’s contempt for women who complain about rape and/or sexual harrasment (maybe because of his own interesting history on the matter). He then compounds his offense on his own blog.

The misogyny of many of Assange’s supporters is becoming clearer by the day.

I’m providing a link to Murray’s blog, as thge damage is now done and readers can see for themselves just what a loathsome creep this man is:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/08/naming-anna-ardin-on-newsnight/

What about another Assange groupie, Craig Murray, actually naming one of the accusers/alleged victims on Newsnight last night?

You also publicised her name on the link you posted. Stop being so ridiculously prissy and pretending that these “rape victims” deserve the protection of anonymity in this case.

Assange was fitted up in Sweden- only the wilfully blind can not see that. The ludcrous nature of the charges is summed up by the odious Claes Borgström who when a journalist pointed out that both women said they had not been raped, replied that the women were not lawyers and could not make that judgement.

“The misogyny of many of Assange’s supporters is becoming clearer by the day.”

Sadly true.

George W Potter

By his lawyers own admission, Assange had sex with one woman while she was asleep and forcibly held down another and tried to penetrate her while she tried to stop him.

What you have done here is to take an account of the detail of the charges related by Ben Emmerson, one of Assanges lawyers and then pretended it is an admission, or an account of what happened.

I, meanwhile contend, that Assange is (probably) a rapist and that both he and his lawyer are rape apologist misogynist scum.

I meanwhile contend that you are (probably) a manipulator of the truth……….

The misogyny of many of Assange’s supporters is becoming clearer by the day.

Shame the women concerned were not black Muslims.

Then you could have accused me of racism and Islamophobia as well.

The ludcrous nature of the charges is summed up by the odious Claes Borgström who when a journalist pointed out that both women said they had not been raped, replied that the women were not lawyers and could not make that judgement.

There are no charges, there are only allegations at present.

In terms of the rape allegation, the conduct if it occurred as described would amount to rape, as held by three English courts now.

@ jimmy [14]

Apologies, I did indeed misread you.

@ charlieman [15]

“I don’t play games.”

Eh? I didn’t say or imply that you did.

27. Chaise Geuvara

@ 16 George W Potter

“I, meanwhile contend, that Assange is (probably) a rapist and that both he and his lawyer are rape apologist misogynist scum.”

Uh, his lawyer is doing his job. Do you think we should prevent people from getting a fair trial by shaming lawyers away from defending clients, on the basis that if the client turns out to be guilty the lawyer shares their guilt?

28. the a&e charge nurse

[24] ‘There are no charges, there are only allegations at present’ – but what about the four charges contained in the EAW – do the swedes really have to go through the formality of assange denying them before they can be formally issued.

Anyway if there are no charges what has prevented Prosecutor Ny from interviewing assange in blighty?
Apparently she seems blissfully unaware of ‘Legal assistance in criminal matters’ The aim of international legal assistance in criminal matters is to enable prosecutors and courts in Sweden and abroad to assist one another when investigating crimes. Legal assistance can be requested and provided both during a preliminary investigation and during a trial.
http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2710/a/15268

Marianne Ny has misled the public by stating that Swedish and UK law do not permit her to question Julian Assange in the UK. Three days after she had issued the EAW for Julian Assange, (05 December 2010), Ny falsely stated: “Both British and Swedish law prevent me from questioning Assange in London.”

What a shambles.

Anyway if there are no charges what has prevented Prosecutor Ny from interviewing assange in blighty?

You must surely know the answer to this by now. It’s because he’s wanted for a second interview that leads to arrest. It’s part of the arrest procedure in Sweden. As is set out in the High Court judgement:

According to Swedish law, a formal decision to indict may not be taken at the stage that the criminal process is currently at. Julian Assange’s case is currently at the stage of “preliminary investigation”. It will only be concluded when Julian Assange is surrendered to Sweden and has been interrogated.

“8. The purpose of a preliminary investigation is to investigate the crime, provide underlying material on which to base a decision concerning prosecution and prepare the case so that all evidence can be presented at trial. Once a decision to indict has been made, an indictment is filed with the court. In the case of a person in pre-trial detention, the trial must commence within 2 weeks. Once started, the trial may not be adjourned. It can, therefore be seen that the formal decision to indict is made at an advanced stage of the criminal proceedings. There is no easy analogy to be drawn with the English criminal procedure. I issued the EAW because I was satisfied that there was substantial and probable cause to accuse Julian Assange of the offences.

“9. It is submitted on Julian Assange’s behalf that it would be possible for me to interview him by way of Mutual Legal Assistance. This is not an appropriate course in Assange’s case. The preliminary investigation is at an advanced stage and I consider that is necessary to interrogate Assange, in person, regarding the evidence in respect of the serious allegations made against him.

“10. Once the interrogation is complete it may be that further questions need to be put to witnesses or the forensic scientists. Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be lodged with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries.”

a&e,

[24] ‘There are no charges, there are only allegations at present’ – but what about the four charges contained in the EAW –

They aren’t charges. Assange has not been charged. Please stop getting things wrong.

do the swedes really have to go through the formality of assange denying them before they can be formally issued. Anyway if there are no charges what has prevented Prosecutor Ny from interviewing assange in blighty?

7. According to Swedish law, a formal decision to indict may not be taken at the stage that the criminal process is currently at. Julian Assange’s case is currently at the stage of “preliminary investigation”. It will only be concluded when Julian Assange is surrendered to Sweden and has been interrogated. …

9. It is submitted on Julian Assange’s behalf that it would be possible for me to interview him by way of Mutual Legal Assistance. This is not an appropriate course in Assange’s case. The preliminary investigation is at an advanced stage and I consider that it is necessary to interrogate Assange, in person, regarding the evidence in respect of the serious allegations made against him.

10. Once the interrogation is complete it may be that further questions need to be put to witnesses or the forensic scientists. Subject to any matters said by him, which undermine my present view that he should be indicted, an indictment will be launched with the court thereafter. It can therefore be seen that Assange is sought for the purpose of conducting criminal proceedings and that he is not sought merely to assist with our enquiries.
– quote from Ny accepted by Westminister Magistrates’ Court.
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/Misc/2011/5.html

I’m sure I recall you claiming you read that decision, so you should be aware of all that.

I’m sure you also claimed to have read the High Court judgement, which said:
it is difficult to say [Ny’s] failure to take up the offer of a video link for questioning was so unreasonable as to make it disproportionate to seek Mr Assange’s surrender, given all the other matters raised by Mr Assange in the course of the proceedings before the Senior District Judge. … In any event, we were far from persuaded that other procedures suggested on behalf of Mr Assange would have proved practicable or would not have been the subject of lengthy dispute.
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/2849.html

The other thing is, if he genuinely fears extradition to the USA why on earth did he come to the UK?

I wonder has anyone thought to ask Ms. Yaqoob whether it is her party’s position that it should be legal to “penetrate” a sleeping woman or if this is simply Mr. Galloway’s personal view.

Roman Polanski has comrades! Though Assange should have gone France quicker…


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    “@Chris_Sibbald: I'm lost for words. (via @sunny_hundal) http://t.co/9a5CLIMy” <Assange,Akin,now Galloway too.Who the hell are these people?

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    “@GlenysThornton>George Galloway – when facing facts about Assange allegations – says people helping the Pentagon http://t.co/DY0Ewisn Tool”

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    Exhibit B: Galloway: calling it rape ‘must delight Pentagon’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/3pELeBcH via @libcon

  6. Jack

    George Galloway – when facing facts about Assange allegations – says people helping the Pentagon http://t.co/y2aSlyAh Tool

  7. sunny hundal

    Meanwhile, George Galloway thinks people who offer facts about Julian Assange case are Pentagon stooges http://t.co/y2aSlyAh

  8. George Potter

    Meanwhile, George Galloway thinks people who offer facts about Julian Assange case are Pentagon stooges http://t.co/y2aSlyAh

  9. Martin Grouch

    Meanwhile, George Galloway thinks people who offer facts about Julian Assange case are Pentagon stooges http://t.co/y2aSlyAh

  10. Grant Buttars

    Meanwhile, George Galloway thinks people who offer facts about Julian Assange case are Pentagon stooges http://t.co/y2aSlyAh

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    Galloway: calling it rape ‘must delight Pentagon’ | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/pJZJSTmV via @libcon

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    Meanwhile, George Galloway thinks people who offer facts about Julian Assange case are Pentagon stooges http://t.co/y2aSlyAh

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