Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for December 21st, 2010

On the allegations against Assange

Posted by Charles II on December 21, 2010

I posted this here, and think it’s worth preserving:

“…I think that everyone … is missing a very important point.

Until a court proceeding in a neutral court takes place, the allegations are just that: allegations. People take sides on this because they assume that one version of events or the other is correct. I’m sure that if it were proven that Assange coerced anyone to have sex, his defenders would say he should be punished under the law. I’m sure that if it were proven that the women conspired to exact revenge on Assange or even conspired before the encounters to falsely accuse him especially if that happened to be a machination to silence Wikileaks, those who are so vociferous in attacking him now would be ashamed of their virulent statements.

The issue is that a neutral judge has to allow for the presumption of innocence. That makes prosecuting allegations of this kind, involving degrees of consent in a private act, extraordinarily difficult. Where is the corroborating evidence of coercion? In most cases that come to trial, the evidence is indisputable: a record of violence by the defendant, bruises on the victim, a prompt visit by the victim to the police or emergency care, avoidance of the defendant, and so on. While what we know of this case are mere shadows of what will appear in the courtroom, so far, there is no corroborating evidence. The only reason that the allegations as we know them fit even minimum standards for prosecution is that there are two accusers.

And that, in itself, raises one’s eyebrows. Within a few days, two strangers encounter Assange and are so taken by him that they independently participate in sexual encounters which then turn into coercion, but are not so coerced that they even break off contact with him.

Ok, it might have happened that way. But any neutral judge will want to know more than we presently do know before reaching any conclusion that these encounters were not in some manner staged.”

I guess I am just not sure why it is so hard for people to suspend judgment. How much do we really, actually know? How much of the judgment that we have reached is based on our imaginations about either Assange or the plaintiffs?

Also, a separate matter is why the Swedish court, if it really wants to interview Assange, can’t send a delegation to depose him in the UK? Granted, it’s unusual, but if it wants to establish that the Swedish system is operating out of a genuine desire to do justice and not just to get Assange onto territory where he could be extradited by the US, that would seem to be a minimal step it could take. A better one would be to provide guarantees to re-extradite Assange only back to the UK whether he is found guilty or innocent. And, considering that part of the pressure being exerted on Assange is financial, to pay his plane ticket both ways.

There are ways to establish good faith. So far, Sweden has availed itself of none of them.


Posted in Wikileaks, women's issues | 10 Comments »

Chalk Up Another One For Mass Transit

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 21, 2010

Why did Cliff Lee sign with the Phillies instead of staying with Texas?

The trains:

Kristen Lee wanted her husband to return to the Phillies because of “how easy it is to get from point A to point B” in Philadelphia, she was quoted as saying by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Phillies play three miles from City Hall. The stadium is a $1.85 ride from downtown on the Broad Street Line, plus a three-block walk.

Arlington has a train from Dallas and Fort Worth. Barely.

The Trinity Railway Express skirts the north edge of Arlington and stops six miles from the stadium.

So everybody drives. And waits in traffic.

“Even in Dallas,” Kristen Lee was quoted, “[from] where we were staying, it was hard to get to the ballpark.”

There you go.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Chalk Up Another One For Mass Transit

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