Friday, May 24, 2013

"We Steal Secrets: The Annotated Annotated Transcript" (Part 1)

On the website "Justice for Assange", Wikileaks recently released an "annotated transcript" of the documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks". Assange and his allies made accusations such as the film "abused" him before any of them had even seen it, using the title as justification. According to the director, Assange's opposition began when he refused to pay Assange a million dollars and spy on people critical of Assange. Either way, at long last, they got ahold of a transcript and annotated to "correct" the facts.

Of course, it does just the opposite. So here, for your viewing pleasure, we present part 1 of "We Steal Secrets: The Annotated Annotated Transcript". Given that this is Assange's writing style and how few people are involved in Wikileaks these days, I will assume for the sake of argument that Assange is the author.


TITLES The film starts with the launch of the rocket Gallileo and the WANK worm introduced into NASA's system by unknown hackers prior to the launch. Footage of launch of Gallileo.
Note: The title ("We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks") is false. It directly implies that WikiLeaks steals secrets. In fact, the statement is made by former CIA/NSA director Michael Hayden in relation to the activities of US government spies, not in relation to WikiLeaks. This an irresponsible libel. Not even critics in the film say that WikiLeaks steals secrets.
In pretty much every interview he's about the film, Gibney has pointed out that the quote in the title is from Hayden, and that it was chosen to present the irony of the US accusing Wikileaks of stealing secrets while openly admitting to do so itself. Now, if Mr. Assange somehow feels that this quote is libelous - quite a serious charge - then certainly a person who is so fond of lawsuits that he once threatened to sue a festival for merely showing a documentary that included footage of him dancing should have no qualms about raising a libel suit. The title of this documentary has been out for quite some time. Where's the lawsuit?
NASA scientist: It was a Monday morning a few days before launching Gallileo. My manager rang me as soon as I came in and they said that there was a worm that had been detected somewhere out on the network. A worm is a self-replicating program that actually breaks into a computer and jumps from system to system. At the time they were still very uncommon. We didn't know what it would do. We knew it was malicious. If a worm got into a machine it would change the announcement message and spelled out in little lines and little characters W.A.N.K - Wank, Worms Against Nuclear Killers - and below that "You talk of times of peace for all and then prepare for war". Oh my god, what the hell is this? Most people didn't know what the word 'wank' meant. The word meant 'F'. You would be logged into your machine and you'd get a message: Someone is watching you, vote anarchist. And suddenly they'd see "deleted file 1, deleted file 2, deleted file 3" and just keep going and going and going. And it would change the passwords, so you couldn't get in to stop it. Scared the hell out of a lot of people. They were afraid that Wank would cause the launch failure, where this nuclear battery was suddenly flying away from an exploding spacecraft… NASA scientist: How in the hell are we going to stop it? How far's it gone already?
Note: Selective editing. The interview is edited to cut out the NASA scientist's punch line--no files were, in fact, deleted. It is apparent that the "worm" was a practical joke. The whole episode is extensively documented in the book "Underground" by Julian Assange and Suelette Dreyfus.
Given that the very next line of the documentary is "The shuttle launched without incident", one would think that would be obvious.

Narration by Alex Gibney: The shuttle launched without incident. But the WANK worm continued to spread, affecting over 300,000 computer terminals around the world. Its purpose, as a warning, weapon or political prank was never discovered. Investigators traced the origin of the WANK worm to Australia. National police suspected a small group of hackers in the city of Melbourne, and then the trail went cold. But a key clue turned out to be in the message itself. There was a lyric from the Australian band, Midnight Oil, a favourite of the man who would become the country’s most infamous hacker.
Note: No person has ever claimed responsibility for the WANK worm. Gibney's "key clue" is merely that Assange, along with most of his generation, had also listened to the internationally famous Australian rock band Midnight Oil.
Cuts to voice of Julian Assange quoting this line from the Midnight Oil song over the song itself
Note: Selective editing. Assange is quoting the lyric in relation to his book, written with Suelette Dreyfus, which includes a chapter on the WANK worm.
Given that the connection between Assange and the WANK worm was implied by WikiRebels, a documentary produced in cooperation with Assange, it's strange for him to suddenly try to act now like it's slanderous for Gibney to do the same.

ollage of videos about WikiLeaks and various public comments about WikiLeaks, some positive, some scaremongering, over Midnight Oil song. Stock footage from a July 2010 interview with Julian Assange conducted by ABC Nightline's Jim Sciutto.

Journalist: What drives you?

Julian Assange: Well, I like being brave. I mean, I like being inventive, I've been designing systems and processes for a long time. I also like defending victims. And I am a combative person so I like crushing bastards. And so this profession combines all those three things, so it is deeply, personally, deeply satisfying to me.

Journalist: But is crushing bastards, in its own right, a just cause?

Julian Assange: Depends on the bastards.

Mark Davis: I see this story entirely as one man against the world. One man against the world.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: Julian as this very radical visionary.

Gavin MacFadyen: Julian was onto something really extraordinary.

Nick Davies: He is extremely clever, brave, dedicated, hard-working guy with a brilliant idea that he managed to execute.
Narration by Alex Gibney: Julian Assange was obsessed with secrets, keeping his own and unlocking those of governments and corporations. The internet is not a good place for secrets. Cyberspace is like a galaxy of passage ways, constantly moving streams of data. With a simple computer anyone can enter and explore. That's what Julian Assange liked to do: explore. He liked to use trap doors to enter where he wasn't supposed to go. To find secrets and expose them. He built a machine for leaking secrets and called it WikiLeaks. The website boasted an electronic drop box and could receive secrets sent by people who didn't want to reveal who they were. Once WikiLeaks had the secrets it would publish them across servers, domain names and networks so numerous that the information could never be taken down.
WikiLeaks is a publisher. It does not "enter where it is not supposed to go".

WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit media organisation. Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. We are a young organisation that has grown very quickly, relying on a network of dedicated volunteers around the globe. Since 2007, when the organisation was officially launched, WikiLeaks has worked to report on and publish important information. We also develop and adapt technologies to support these activities.
Reading comprehension alert: He said that "Assange" liked to explore and "enter where he wasn't supposed to go". Given that Assange was convicted in his youth for doing precisely that, and has even bragged about it, it is again odd to complain about this description.

Julian Assange: So this is what you’ll see if you go to the front page of the website. This is WikiLeaks, we help to get the truth out. We want to enable information to go out to the public that has the greatest chance of achieving positive political reform in the world. To get things to the public you need to protect sources who want to disclose and you also need to protect your ability to publish in the face of attack.

Robert Manne: His thinking is: how can we destroy corruption? It's the whistleblower. Julian Assange is neither a right-wing libertarian nor a standard leftist. I think he is a humanitarian anarchist. A kind of John Lennon-like revolutionary, dreaming of a better world.

Julian Assange: If we are to produce a more civilized, a more just society it has to be based upon the truth.

Heather Brooke: When I heard Julian speak I was struck by his vaulting idealism and forthrightness about what he believed in. Totally uncompromising about freedom of speech. I agreed almost entirely with everything he said and I had never experienced that before. So I thought he was amazing.

Julian Assange: Every week we achieve major victories in bringing the unjust to account and are helping the just.
Quick observation: note that Assange has no complaints about the large volume of almost worshipful praise for him that Gibney has included in the documentary to this point.
Narration by Alex Gibney: Before WikiLeaks was frontpage news, there were some smaller successes. The website published evidence of a tax-avoiding Swiss bank, government corruption and murder in Kenya and a secret company report on illegal toxic waste dumping. One early leak was from the National Security Agency: frantic text messages from desperate workers trying to save lives on 9/11. 9/11 turned out to be the watershed moment for the world of secrets – both for the leakers and the secret-keepers.
Gibney collapses four years of publishing history, touching on nearly every country in the world, into "some smaller successes" -- because his documentary does not cover them. In fact, WikiLeaks has been making front pages since 2007. Legal attacks on the organization started immediately. WikiLeaks won a significant battle against the largest private Swiss bank in US federal courts in 2008. That fight was the subject of extensive discussion, including New York Times editorials.

There were many significant WikiLeaks releases and conflicts prior to 2010.

For a comprehensive list, consult the archives at The archives can also be browsed by country or by year of release.
This one is simple enough to address: just look at Google Trends. Yes, Wikileaks had had some smaller successes before. They were nothing like 2010 and the fallout in early 2011. And the "significant battle" was not something Wikileaks brought against the bank; it was something the bank brought against Wikileaks (as should be obvious from the case name, Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. et al. v. Wikileaks et al.).

Michael Hayden: After 9/11 we were accused of not being willing to share information rapidly and fastly enough and we’ve pushed that very far forward.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Michael Hayden is an expert on secrets. He’s been the director of the National Security Agency and the CIA.

Michael Hayden: In terms of our focus the default option in a practical sense has been to share it, rather than caging in information and making it more difficult to flow.

Narration by Alex Gibney: In the years after 9/11, facing enemies it didn't understand, the US government started sharing more information between different agencies. At the same time, the US also started to keep more secrets from its citizens. In data centers that sprang up all over the country the US launched a massive expansion of its operations to gather secrets. The amount of classified documents per year increased from 8 million to 76 million. The number of people with access to classified information soared to more than 4 million and the government began to intercept phone calls and emails at a rate of 60,000 per second. Nobody knows how much money is involved – it’s a secret. Not even Congress knows the entire budget.

Bill Leonard: The classification system can be a very effective national security tool when it is used as intended; when it is used with precision.

Narration by Alex Gibney: During the Bush administration, Bill Leonard was the classification czar - the man charged with overseeing what information should be secret.

Bill Leonard: The whole information environment has radically changed – just like we produce more information than we ever produced in the history of mankind, we produce more secrets than we ever produced in the history of mankind and yet we never fundamentally re-assessed our ability to control secrets.

No comment from Assange.
Narration by Alex Gibney: In this environment of expanding secrecy, Assange went fishing for secrets to publish. To bait whistleblowers, he published a list of the most wanted leaks.
Gibney's choice of words, “Fishing,” “Bait”, implies solicitation.

Throughout the film, Gibney propagates the idea Assange had been “fishing” for the leaks or that Manning had been “persuaded” to leak. This is factually incorrect but also buys into the dangerous proposition that journalists and publishers can be conspirators by virtue of their interaction with confidential sources. The US government is attempting to argue that any news organization that deals with confidential sources can be put into prison for engaging in "conspiracy".

Gibney makes a careless error that shows poor fact-checking. WikiLeaks makes clear on its website that, like "other media outlets conducting investigative journalism, we accept (but do not solicit) anonymous sources of information".

Gibney falsely attributes the 2009 "Most Wanted Leaks" list to Julian Assange. It was compiled by human rights NGOs, activists, lawyers, journalists and historians nominating the censored documents they considered the most important to uncover.

WikiLeaks requests nominations for 2009's Most Wanted Leaks—the concealed documents or recordings most sought after by a country's journalists, activists, historians, lawyers, police, or human rights investigators.

You may securely and anonymously add your nomination by editing this page. WikiLeaks will then prioritize the list and seek to obtain the leading candidates directly, through the legal system, or indirectly through its network of journalists, intelligence sources, volunteers and readers.
Oh really? So are you saying that in 2007, Wikileaks wasn't explicitly calling for people to leak documents? Hmm, I wonder what the website said back in 2007... oh wait, I don't have to wonder, thanks to the internet archives. And what do we have here? Why, right on the front page,Calls for Truth Telling, a collection of articles from the net promoting leaking. What sort of entries do we have here? Time To Leak, The Time is Right For New Pentagon Papers, Leak Against This War, and Appeal For Truth Telling, to name a few. For example:
Needless to say, any unauthorized disclosure that exposes your superiors to embarrassment entails personal risk. Should you be identified as thesource, the price could be considerable, including loss of career and possibly even prosecution. Some of us know from experience how difficult it is to countenance such costs. But continued silence brings an even more terrible cost, as our leaders persist in a disastrous course and young Americans come home in coffins or with missing limbs.

This is precisely what happened at this comparable stage in the Vietnam War. Some of us live with profound regret that we did not at that point expose the administration’s dishonesty and perhaps prevent the needless slaughter of 50,000 more American troops and some 2 to 3 million Vietnamese over the next ten years. We know how misplaced loyalty to bosses, agencies, and careers can obscure the higher allegiance all government officials owe the Constitution, the sovereign public, and the young men and women put in harm’s way. We urge you to act on those higher loyalties.

A hundred forty thousand young Americans are risking their lives every day in Iraq for dubious purpose. Our country has urgent need of comparable moral courage from its public officials. Truth-telling is a patriotic and effective way to serve the nation. The time for speaking

No, Assange did not write those words. But he did choose to put them on the Wikileaks website, along with countless other similar calls to leak. For one purpose, one could ask, if not "fishing for secrets to publish"?

Michael Hayden: Those of us who've been in this business a long time knew that this day would come. Knew that because we'd removed all the watertight doors on the ship, once it's started taking on water it would really be in trouble.

Cut to footage of newscaster reading report of Icelandic bank crash.

Newsreader: In Iceland winter is never easy but this year much of the pain is manmade. Last October all three of Iceland's banks failed. Normally stoic and proper, Icelanders have started protesting.
Narration by Alex Gibney: In July 2009, WikiLeaks fuelled a growing popular rage when it published a confidential internal memo from Kaupthing – the largest failed bank in the country.

Heather Brooke: WikiLeaks had got hold of the Kaupthing loan book, which showed what was going on in a lot of those Icelandic banks. They had credit ratings which were completely at odds with their actual credit-worthiness.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: It was all insiders, they took out billions of dollars out of this bank and bankrupted the thing, shortly before it went bankrupt anyways.
No comment from Assange.

Narration by Alex Gibney: A German IT technician, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, became the second full-time member of WikiLeaks.
It is false that Daniel Domscheit-Berg was the second full-time employee of WikiLeaks. He volunteered full-time for WikiLeaks during 2009. He was uninvolved in WikiLeaks for most of the significant events of 2010, until he was suspended in September of that year.

Gibney lacks access - WikiLeaks staff declined his interviews - and therefore tries to boost the CVs of those he was able to interview, no matter how peripheral their actual role.
Once more, Assange tries to play down the role of Domscheit-Berg, after their famous split, after which Berg started revealing details that reflected negatively upon Assange, including his paranoia, penchant to make stuff up, troubling attitudes toward women, and even repeated abuse of his cat when the two were roomates. One can easily see that Berg played a major role in Wikileaks early in its history (for example, being the only person besides Assange to review the vast majority of submissions up until 2009).
The reality that Wikileaks' very spokesman and former roomate of Assange turned against the organization is hard to play down as just a fluke. And as for the lack of current Wikileaks staff interviewed (Gibney interviews a number of former members), it's already established that had Gibney paid up or spied on former members, this wouldn't have been a problem.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: We met online first and then we met personally in December 2007 at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. He was not the stereotypical hacker you would expect. He looked completely differently, he was interested in completely different topics.

Narration by Alex Gibney: For Daniel and Julian, the Kaupthing leak was their biggest success to date.
Note: False. Here Gibney shapes the narrative to fit his access. For example, in 2007 WikiLeaks uncovered billions of dollars' worth of corruption in Kenya, a leak that made front pages around the world, and is widely viewed to have changed the results of the Kenyan 2007 Presidential Election. In 2008 WikiLeaks defeated the largest private Swiss bank in US courts after revealing its Cayman Islands trusts, costing the bank hundreds of millions as it cancelled its scheduled US IPO. However these leaks pre-date Domscheit-Berg's substantive involvement.

For a comprehensive list, consult the archives at The archives can also be browsed by country or by year of release.
As mentioned previously, the "defeat in court" was actually the bank suing Wikileaks, not the other way around. And outside of the occasional mention on Wikipedia by Wikileaks fans, Wikileaks "role" in the election went almost completely unmentioned in the press, and it's highly doubtful that it played any relevant role at all. I understand the natural urge for naval gazing, but coming from a person who criticized Obama of taking credit for things only tangentially related to his activities in order to distract from his personal problems, it rings a bit hollow.

Smari McCarthy: Loan book came out and took the country by storm. The national broadcaster was going to do a big segment on it and they got slapped with an injunction.

Footage from Icelandic television with subtitles.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: It was the first time in our history that a gag order was placed on the state TV not to produce the news just before they were supposed to produce it. So instead of doing nothing, they decided to put the website up.

Footage of Icelandic television announcement about WikiLeaks.

Smari McCarthy: Up pops with the Kaupthing loan book front and centre and everybody goes online and checks it out. And the guys at WikiLeaks definitely got massive props for that.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Later that year, a group of young cyber activists from Iceland invited representatives of the WikiLeaks organisation to come speak at a conference in Reykjavik.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: Iceland and WikiLeaks really fit. This is something we really need in our society. The media failed us so we decided to meet them.

Smari McCarthy: Up until the day before the conference we didn't know who was going to come. It could be a massive organisation or it could be a tiny organisation.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg:Doesn't it work? Ok.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: In the beginning we had no funding at all. We were not set up with manpower nor organisationally so there was a lot to improvise.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: WikiLeaks, we have to mention that what we are doing right now is still a proof of concept so in technical terms we are in the Beta stage, so it's just...

Julian Assange: [Jumps in] But, wait, we're not in a Beta stage. We're not in a Beta stage as far as... we're in a gmail Beta stage, but we're not in a Beta stage in terms of our ability to protect people. In terms of...

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: [Cuts in] If you could let me finish my sentence...

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: It was really an off-world experience in some way because we were just so famous over there.

Interviewer: You work for WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is now very famous in Iceland because of the big Kaupthing leak.

Julian Assange: You know, we got this letter from the Kaupthing lawyers telling us that under Icelandic banking secrecy law we deserved one year in prison, so we thought we would come to Iceland

Daniel Domscheit-Berg: And see for ourselves.

Julian Assange: And see for ourselves.

Julian Assange: The bankers should be put on public trial and given the justice they deserve. More power to you, Iceland.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Julian teamed up with Birgitta Jonsdottir, a poet turned politician, to hatch a plan to turn Iceland into a haven for freedom of information. But Julian was also preoccupied with a new source, one with access to classified US government materials and a willingness to leak them.

Footage of Collateral Murder.

Narration by Alex Gibney: It was an onboard video of an Apache helicopter gunship on patrol in Iraq.

More video footage from Collateral Murder.
Narration by Alex Gibney: A half-mile above the ground, it was invisible to the people below.

More video footage from Collateral Murder.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Two of the men killed worked for the Reuters news agency. What had looked like a weapon from the sky, turned out to be the long lens of a camera.
No comment by Assange on more commentary and footage making Assange and Wikileaks look good.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Inside the van were two children who were wounded in the hail of cannon fire.
Alex Gibney does not mention that the Collateral Murder video contains clear evidence of a war crime. In the aftermath of the first attack a passing van stops in order to render aid to the injured. The Apache helicopter crew is eager to fire on the van and its occupants, including two children. The ensuing attack kills a further four people. None of them were armed.

A US soldier who was present, Ethan McCord, states:

This is where I start to have a problem. This is not following the rules of engagement, they’re embellishing information and it’s wrong; this constitutes a war crime.
Great - you would have spent more time on this section and less on the fact that you're hiding in an embassy on the run from sex crimes. Perfectly understandable. But it's not your documentary. It's Gibney's documentary, and it's not a "let's spend the whole documentary saying as much good about Assange and Wikileaks as possible" movie. Sorry if you don't like that. Gibney spends a great amount of time on this video as is, 100% of it sympathetic to your point of view.

Narration by Alex Gibney: In March 2010, Assange and a team of Icelandic activists holed up in a rented house in Reykjavik to edit and prepare the video for publication.

Footage of Birgitta Jonsdottir visiting the house where it took place.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: We did most of our work here. This was the operation on the table.

Stock video footage of the WikiLeaks team working on Collateral Murder inside the house together.

Smari McCarthy: It was chaotic and hectic and also sort of very varyingly frayed nerves. Eventually, I went out and bought a bunch of post-its and kind of... [laughs] tried to figure out what it was we needed to do.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: My horrific task was to go through the entire movie and pull out the stills to put on the website, and at the same time I was learning who these people were that I could see their flesh being torn off their bodies.

Narration by Alex Gibney: The army claimed it was engaged in combat operations against a hostile force. But it also began a criminal investigation. It turned out that the driver of the van had been a father taking his children to school.

More video footage and sound from Collateral Murder.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: The curtains were drawn. But I never had any sense that we were being watched, not physically. But we joked a lot about it. We were like all becoming super-paranoid.

Smari McCarthy: It wasn't really cloak and dagger stuff, it was just, you know, yes, another cool project.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: Everybody thinks it was all huddled, you know, with the computers, and it was all very serious, but we actually had an incredible time. The second last night we all went out and we were all wearing the same silver snow suits [laughs]

Stock footage of Julian Assange with Jonsdottir and others at a volcano. Jokes about “lava leaks”.

Birgitta Jonsdottir: It was an incredibly intimate time because we were all working closely. We were working on something that we knew that could get us into serious trouble and we were all willing to take that consequence.

Stock footage of Washington DC press conference.

Julian Assange: So, my name is Julian Assange. I am the editor of WikiLeaks. [Someone asks Assange to spell his name] Julian with an A. Assange...

Robert Manne: What's clear about him is he became a public figure extraordinarily quickly. It was really April 2010 where he went from relative obscurity into an absolutely central world figure and he did it deliberately, I mean he knew what he was doing. He decides to take on the American state, in public.

Narration by Alex Gibney: The team posted the unedited video on the WikiLeaks website. They also posted a shorter version, edited for maximum impact. Julian titled it “Collateral Murder". Cuts to footage of reaction to Collateral Murder release.

Newsreader: No surprise it's getting reaction in Washington.

Robert Gibbs: Our military will take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety and security of civilians.

Julian Assange: The behaviour of the pilots is like they are playing a computer game. Their desire was simply to kill.

Montage of news reports on Collateral Murder inquiry.

Newsreader: The Pentagon says that it sees no reason to investigate this any further.

Newsreader: An internal inquiry found that the journalists' cameras were mistaken for weapons but the rules of engagement were followed.

Cut to footage of Julian Assange from 2010.

Julian Assange: If those killings were lawful under the rules of engagement, then the rules of engagement are wrong – deeply wrong.

Michael Hayden: You've got this scene, somebody evidently troubled by the scene - frankly, I'm not - but I can understand someone who's troubled by that, and someone who wants the American people to know that, because the American people need to know what it is their government is doing for them. I actually share that view - when I was director of CIA there was some stuff we were doing I wanted all 300 million Americans to know. But I never figured out a way about informing a whole bunch of other people that didn't have a right to that information who may actually use that image, or that fact or that data or that message, to harm my country.

Bill Leonard: From a national security point of view, there was absolutely no justification for withholding that videotape, not one. Gunship video is like trading cards among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's freely exchanged back and forth.

Bill Leonard: What's even more disturbing is that it was one in a series of efforts to withhold images of facts that were known.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Reuters knew its employees had been killed. The news agency requested the video but the army refused, claiming the video was classified.

Bill Leonard: The fact that innocent people were killed in that helicopter attack, that was a known fact that was not classified.

Narration by Alex Gibney: A record of the incident and a word-for-word transcript of the pilots' conversation had already been published in a book called “The Good Soldiers” by a writer embedded with the army. The army later confirmed that the information was not classified, yet the army would prosecute the man who leaked the video to WikiLeaks. What kind of games was the army playing? Why was a transcript less secret than a moving image?

Bill Leonard: Clearly the government recognizes the power of images. But the ultimate power of image is that it helps people understand what it is, this fact is that we all know. Flag-draped coffins help us understand the consequences of sending our children off to war. Pictures of detainee abuse in Abu Ghraib help us understand exactly what was taking place. Video of that unfortunate occurrence where innocent people were killed helps us understand that this is an inevitable consequence of war.

News footage of press conference

Julian Assange: We can't discuss our sourcing of the video.

by Alex Gibney: Adriam Lamo is known as the homeless hacker, a couch-surfing computer infiltrator who had been convicted of hacking into the New York Times. In 2010, not long after the release of the Collateral Murder video, Lamo used twitter to urge his followers to donate to WikiLeaks. Only one day later he was contacted by someone with the screen name “bradass87”.

Adrian Lamo: Frankly, I didn't find what he had to say all that interesting at first, not until he started making references to spilling secrets.

No comment from Assange on Gibson's sympathetic characterism of the Collateral Murder leak.

Adrian Lamo: At that point I knew that this wasn’t some kind of game. It was for real and that I was going to have some very hard choices. In Star Trek every prospective commanding officer is expected to pass a test called "Kobayashi Mari".
Note: In fact, the alleged chatlogs between Lamo and Manning show that Lamo started slyly manipulating and exploiting Manning immediately. Lamo was a researcher for WIRED magazine (owned by Conde-Naste). He claimed that he could protect Manning under journalist-source confidentiality laws then also claimed he could additionally protect Manning under Californian Confessional laws (as he was a registered priest). When WIRED magazine first published the alleged logs, these references were censored, allowing Lamo to lie to the press about what they contained. Later publication of the alleged logs make the duplicity clear.

WIRED's censorship of the logs has been attributed by journalist Glenn Greenwald to the close personal relationship between Adrian Lamo and WIRED section editor Kevin Poulsen.
And Lamo begs to differ. I think most people following this case would be against Lamo's actions, but again, while I see you'd love to spend less time on the negatives and more time on this particular topic... it's not your documentary to allocate time as you would choose.

Footage from Star Trek movie.

Adrian Lamo: The test cannot be passed. It is there to see how they deal with a no-win situation.

More footage from Star Trek.

Adrian Lamo: In this case, it was a no-win situation deciding what to do with it. No matter what you do, you're gonna screw somebody over.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Unsure what to do, Adrian contacted Tim Webster, a friend and former army counter-intelligence agent.

Timothy Webster: Adrian called me and he said "What would you do if somebody had approached you and said hey, I'm leaking secrets". I thought it was a pretty stupid question because of course Adrian knows exactly what I would have done in the situation.
In fact, as the alleged chat logs make clear, Manning had already lost his security clearance, his access, and was being discharged from the US Army in relation to another issue. Despite this and Lamo's promises of confidentiality, Lamo not only became an informer, but immediately pushed the story out through WIRED magazine, issued nine press releases, gave dozens of interviews, and campaigned for Assange's extradition.

Court records show that Lamo actively attempted to inform on other people well after the Manning arrest, including Jason Katz, a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, who he alleged helped WikiLeaks decode the encryption on a US Air Force massacre video. Katz was fired and swept up into the ongoing FBI investigation against WikiLeaks as a result of his alleged contribution to uncovering a war crime. People close to him were forced to testify against him at the WikiLeaks grand jury. None of this is covered by Gibney.
Again, Assange, this is not your documentary. You do not get to control how time gets allocated. For a document ostensibly posted to rebut inaccuracies, you're sure spending a lot of time as a backseat film producer.

Alex Gibney: What would you have done?

Timothy Webster: Well, of course turned him in. There's nothing else you can do in that situation. But Adrian was on the fence about it ethically. On one hand, here was this kid leaking all this classified information - could potentially cost lives - on the other hand, he was this kid who reached out to Adrian in confidence and trusted him. And Adrian took that pretty seriously. He indicated he didn’t know who this person was, there was just a screen name. So very quickly of course the first thing anybody would be interested in is: who is this guy?

Jason Edwards: I first met Bradley Manning at a New Year's Eve party. It was a 1930s theme party. I was the Prince of Wales and Brad showed up without any kind of costume or persona. I looked at him and he was small and had this kind of ingenue expression on his face, this bright blonde hair so I said, oh, Jean Harlow.

On the screen Bradley Manning's face is morphed onto Jean Harlow's.
Selective editing. By introducing Bradley Manning in this way, Gibney establishes Manning's character in the context of an alleged gender confusion. This context is reinforced through constant repetition over the next few minutes of the film, in order to leave a lasting impression on the audience. This is Gibney's frame for Manning's alleged acts throughout the entire documentary: that his alleged acts represent a failure of character, rather than a triumph of conscience. In an interview, Gibney stated that:

The initial presentation of the story was that Bradley Manning was a pure political figure, like a Daniel Ellsberg. I don’t think that’s a sufficient explanation of why he did what he did. I think he was alienated; he was in agony personally over a number of issues. He was lonely and very needy. And I think he had an identity crisis. He had this idea that he was in the wrong body and wanted to become a woman, and these issues are not just prurient. I think it raises big issues about who whistleblowers are, because they are alienated people who don’t get along with people around them, which motivates them to do what they do.

This "crude gay caricature" is a version of a classic attack on whistleblowers, once used on Daniel Ellsberg: to distract from acts of conscience by focusing on sexuality, character, psychology and alleged "issues," rather than conscience, motive and morality. In order to carry out this attack, it is necessary for Gibney to ignore the explicit statements as to motive given or alleged to be given by Bradley Manning himself. From the alleged chatlogs between Manning and Lamo:

god knows what happens now. hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. if not... than we’re doomed as a species. i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens. the reaction to the video gave me immense hope... CNN’s iReport was overwhelmed... Twitter exploded... people who saw, knew there was something wrong. [...] i want people to see the truth... regardless of who they are... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public

From Bradley Manning's plea statement of February 28, 2013:

...the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely "good samaritans". The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote "dead bastards" unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety. The individual is seriously wounded. Instead of calling for medical attention to the location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage. For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass. While saddened by the aerial weapons team crew's lack of concern about human life, I was disturbed by the response of the discovery of injured children at the scene. In the video, you can see that the bongo truck driving up to assist the wounded individual. In response the aerial weapons team crew – as soon as the individuals are a threat, they repeatedly request for authorization to fire on the bongo truck and once granted they engage the vehicle at least six times. Shortly after the second engagement, a mechanized infantry unit arrives at the scene. Within minutes, the aerial weapons team crew learns that children were in the van and despite the injuries the crew exhibits no remorse. Instead, they downplay the significance of their actions, saying quote "Well, it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle" unquote. The aerial weapons team crew members sound like they lack sympathy for the children or the parents. Later in a particularly disturbing manner, the aerial weapons team verbalizes enjoyment at the sight of one of the ground vehicles driving over a body – or one of the bodies. [...] For me it's all a big mess, and I am left wondering what these things mean, and how it all fits together. It burdens me emotionally. [...]

I hoped that the public would be as alarmed as me about the conduct of the aerial weapons team crew members. I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan are targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare. After the release I was encouraged by the response in the media and general public, who observed the aerial weapons team video. As I hoped, others were just as troubled – if not more troubled that me by what they saw. [...]

For me, the SigActs represented the on the ground reality of both the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. [...] I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan. I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the affected environment everyday. [...] [I] stated I had information that needed to be shared with the world. I wrote that the information would help document the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [...] I considered my options one more time. Ultimately, I felt that the right thing to do was to release the SigActs. [...]

The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public. I once read and used a quote on open diplomacy written after the First World War and how the world would be a better place if states would avoid making secret pacts and deals with and against each other. I thought these cables were a prime example of a need for a more open diplomacy. Given all of the Department of State cables that I read, the fact that most of the cables were unclassified, and that all the cables have a SIPDIS caption. I believe that the public release of these cables would not damage the United States, however, I did believe that the cables might be embarrassing, since they represented very honest opinions and statements behind the backs of other nations and organizations.
First off, Manning is unquestionably the hero of this documentary, and his own attorney is making precisely this argument in court:

His attorney has also said Manning struggled privately with gender identity early in his tour of duty, when gays couldn't openly serve in the military. Those struggles led Manning to "feel that he needed to do something to make a difference in this world," Coombs said.

So the fact that you find Gibson to be picking on Manning is indeed strange.

Now, I guess this shouldn't be surprising, coming from someone who described themself as a chauvanist even while denying being a rapist, who wrote on his blog about how women's brains can't do math and how he's a god to women, someone who banned criticism within Wikileaks of a world-famous misogynistic author (Israel Shamir) who thinks that there's an ancient female conspiracy to turn men gay in order to control them, who tons of former supporters have complained about mysogyny from, and on and on... I can understand how you would interpret any mention of someone being gay or trans as an attempt to smear them. But Julian, the 1960s just called. They want their stereotypes back. It's the year 2013. An adult mentioning that another adult is gay or trans does not mean that they're trying to smear them.

The reality is that it's Manning who spends a good chunk of the conversation with Lamo talking about gender issues. How they're essentially in the middle of a nervous breakdown for it. We know that Manning had gotten to the point where they punched an officer due to all of this stress. Leaving it out, as you want Gibney to do, is simply uncalled for. I'll repeat for emphasis: it is NOT an insult to point out that someone was getting bullied and felt isolated for being gay or trans. It was Manning himself who wrote:

(1:13:10 PM) bradass87: i just... dont wish to be a part of it... at least not now... im not ready... i wouldn't mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn't for the possibility of having pictures of me... plastered all over the world press... as boy...

But you want to hide that. Well, sorry, it is what it is. And it's *not* an insult to one's character. Manning had pangs of conscious *while* going through personal issues. And again, nobody sums it up better than Manning (FYI, for anyone not familiar with trans terminology: "transition" means "switch genders"):

(1:34:11 PM) bradass87: waiting to redeploy to the US, be discharged... and figure out how on earth im going to transition
(1:34:45 PM) bradass87: all while witnessing the world freak out as its most intimate secrets are revealed
(1:35:06 PM) bradass87: its such an awkward place to be in, emotionally and psychologically

This is relatively personal to me because I know someone who once was in a very similar situation to Manning. Army intelligence operator. Trans, male-to-female. She joined the military under Reagan, believing in all of the whole "Evil Empire" nonsense. The US military is the world's largest closet, and it's a great place for trans women to hide; nobody questions the masculine credentials of someone in the military. She had a natural gift for languages and was assigned to sigint, being the first line in identifying what an unknown language was, and then either translating it directly or passing it on to people more specialized in that language. And while there, she steadily underwent a crisis of conscience. The more she heard, the more she came to realize that the Soviets were just like them, that they weren't some evil enemy that everyone pretended they were, and that the US was doing just as much underhanded stuff as they were. And she underwent increasing stress from having to hide being trans. There was no Wikileaks at the time. Had she had access to material like Manning had access to it, I don't know what she would have done. Instead, her breakdown and her disillusionment with the military progressed to the point that she started watching "Tora, Tora, Tora" regularly, just the scenes where the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, over and over. I'd like to ask her what she would have done had the situation been different, but I can't. After leaving the military, she was fired from her civilian job when she came out, lost her health coverage and got cancer. I buried a small part of her ashes on a tiny island in Japan in 2005.
Jason Edwards: Wrote that on a name tag, slapped it on his chest and we went on with the rest of the evening. When I met him at the party, he made no mention to me that he was in the army. This came as a surprise to me.

Narration by Alex Gibney: To get government money for college, Bradley Manning enlisted in the army. In 2007, he began basic training. He was 19 years old. Just weeks after he started he was sent to a discharge unit to determine if he should stay in the army.

US Army colleague: My locker was next to his and that's when I met him. Nobody puts their sister's picture - with him posing next to his sister - there. It was kinda weird but we knew right away that he was gay, it was like so obvious. So... Not that I have a problem with it.

US Army colleague: He was small, a little bit effeminate and that made him like public enemy one for drill sargeants to beat that marching into him. We're talking professional army - 30, 40 year old people that would pick on him just to torment him.

Alex Gibney: And what happened? Did he get discharged?

US Army colleague: No. The funny thing is, he was the least army material of anybody there and they all got discharged and he didn’t.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Instead of discharging Manning, the army decided to make him an intelligence analyst.

US Army recruitment video for intelligence roles

US soldier: There's a lot of points that go with the job. I'm in charge of security, document security, physical security, personnel security, like people's clearances. Does it make me feel like James Bond a little bit? Yeah, to some degree. What would I like the public to know about the army? We love what we do.

Interview with Jihrleah Showman, a prosecution witness at Manning's pre-trial hearing

Jihrleah Showman: He was definitely what society would label as a computer nerd. He was constantly up all night building specific computer programs.

Alex Gibney: So he was unusually adept at computers?

Jihrleah Showman: He was probably the first person in the military that I had met that is as talented as he was with computers. But I had to pull him aside several times for his lack of sleep. He was desperately addicted to soda. He drank approximately a litre to two litres every night, so he literally did not sleep, ever. One time he was late for formation and he had a very public display physically. He was jumping up and down, flailing his arms, screaming at the top of his lungs, and to me, I had never seen a soldier do that before. It had to be something else, a seizure or something like that because it was very radical body movement. But it wasn’t something else. He didn’t like messing up. He had to have everything perfect. I actually recommended three times that he not deploy.

Audio of Bradley Manning's voicemail greeting.

Narration by Alex Gibney: In October 2009, Bradley Manning was sent to Iraq, posted to Forward Operating Base Hammer just outside of Baghdad.

Jihrleah Showman: We were the furthest FOB east that you could go out of the Baghdad area. It was definitely the best, most uneventful place you could have been deployed to. We never had any enemy fire. We could walk around without battle gear. We had a full gym, there's pool tables, basketball court. We had a little movie theatre, we had a Pizza Hut, a Burger King, a place to get your hair cut, a place to get a massage. We had air-conditioned living quarters - you could actually get cable and internet in your room. It was literally just a home away from home. Footage of cheerleaders performing at Forward Operating Base Hammer.

Jihrleah Showman: When you receive intel in it's extremely raw. A lot of the times it's even in Iraqi so we have to actually get it translated and build a product so the commander can actually make military decisions.

Narration by Alex Gibney: But much of the information available to Manning’s intelligence unit had nothing to do with day-to-day combat operations. All of the analysts had access to central computer networks for the armed forces and the State Department. With a few keystrokes a skilled user could gain access to vast streams of classified emails, memos and reports from around the world.

Alex Gibney: Why was it that Private Manning had access to all that information?

PJ Crowley: Now look, firstly the mindset changed after 9/11 from a need-to-know to a need-to-share, and the database that he had access to was a representation of the need for one hand of government to share broadly information about its activities with another agency of government.

Alex Gibney: How many people had access?

Michael Hayden: It's a hard question to answer.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Manning was regarded as one of the smartest intelligence analysts in the unit, but more than others he became increasingly distressed by the reports he was seeing.

Chat logs between Adrian Lamo and "Bradass87" on screen.

Jihrleah Showman: He back-talked a lot. He constantly wanted to debate. He wanted to be the person that disagreed with everybody. We had a separate little conference room, it had a doorway but it didn't have a door that you could close and he'd go in there and just scream.

More chat logs on screen.

Footage from Mark Davis' documentary "Inside WikiLeaks".

Mark Davis: I was trying to trace him after the Collateral Murder video, but he's a pretty evasive guy. He doesn’t have a home, he doesn’t have an office, so it was no easy task. I’d been chasing him for weeks and had one phone contact with him but I heard that he was speaking in Norway so I jumped on a plane. Turned up in Oslo and sort of, you know, shadowed him for a few days until things started to click.

Footage of Julian Assange's speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Julian Assange: This is not the virile democracy that we had all dreamed of, this is an encroaching privatised censorship regime. [applause]

Footage of Julian backstage after speech.

Julian Assange: So embarrassing

Mark Davis: What's that?

Julian Assange: Having that camera in my face.

Mark Davis: At that time he had an underground following, of which I was aware. He's Australian, he's from Melbourne, but he had no public profile really.

Mark Davis: WikiLeaks is not the first time you've come to the attention of the Australian public. Of course you had another controversial period when you were involved with a group that was essentially trying to penetrate military computer systems. What was the motivation there?

Julian Assange: Well, there was two motivations for it. One was just the intellectual exploration and the challenge to do this, so if you're a teenager at this time so the government... This was before there was public access to the internet – this was an incredibly intellectually liberating thing, to go out and explore the world with your mind. Footage from an Australian news programme about hackers

Interviewee: They're not someone who kills their victim, dismembers them and cuts them into small pieces, hackers do far more damage than that.

Newsreader: Hackers, the mystery operators of the internet. In the eyes of the law, they're criminal, but who are they?

Robert Manne: There was a really interesting period in Melbourne in the early 90s. There was a few places on earth that really clicked into the internet, pre-internet. There was also a sense of rebelliousness, a sort of an alternative political culture in Melbourne. All those things converged and Julian was absolutely the core part of it. It was almost a cliché – the teen hacker.

Footage from the movie War Games.

Actor: 72,000,000 people dead? Is this a game, or is it real?

Robert Manne: Their struggle was against the state and they thought the triumph of intelligent individuals over the possibility of state surveillance - that's the heart of what they were doing. And Julian Assange, who at that point was a young hacker, got into that world and he became the central figure.

No comment from Assange.

Narration by Alex Gibney: The group was called the International Subversives. Among them was Julian Assange, known by the online name of Mendax, short for a Latin phrase meaning “noble liar”.

Hackers in Melbourne were also suspects in the Wank worm attack but their involvement was never proven. Two years after the Wank worm Assange was implicated in another hack.
Gibney fabricates the significance of one of Julian Assange's teenage screen names "Splendide Mendax" (from the classical author Horace). He does so throughout the film. The screen name is a joke. In Latin it means "Nobly untrue", but as a pseudonym it describes how handles protect an author's identity even though being inherently "untrue". It is a phrase which describes itself, not its author, just like the word "word".

"Claims my teenage nickname was Mendax, “given to lying”, instead of Splendide Mendax, “nobly untruthful”, which is a teenage joke on handles being inherently untrue. It is self-referential, not a psychoanalysis 20 years ahead of its time!"

— Julian Assange, Complaint to Ofcom regarding the Guardian co-produced Secrets & Lies documentary, January 9, 2012.
Given that "noble liar" and "nobly untruthful" are essentially the same, and Assange offers nothing against the second sentence from Gibney here... what exactly is the "factual error" here?

Newsreader: Julian Assange allegedly accessed computer systems around the world through weak links in the internet system, meaning the whole computer opened up to him and he could walk around like God Almighty.

Ken Day: Hackers have this belief that we are getting a police state, that information is being hidden from the broad community, that... Editing abruptly cuts off.

Narration by Alex Gibney: Ken Day was an Australian expert on hackers and the first person to investigate Julian Assange as part of an undercover sting called Operation Weather.

Ken Day: It was a difficult case because it was only the second time we had done an investigation in this particular style, so we were still learning. What we did was capture the sound going across the telephone line so we could see what was typed and the signal coming back.

Narration by Alex Gibney: The hackers had broken into the US Air Force, the Navy and the US Defence network that had the power to block entire countries from the internet.

Julian Assange: We had a backdoor in the US military security co-ordination centre. This is the peak security, or development of security, of, the US military internet. We had total control over this for two years.
Note: Julian Assange set out his group's Golden Rules as follows:

Don’t damage computer systems you break into (including crashing them); don’t change the information in those systems (except for altering logs to cover your tracks); and share information.

At his eventual trial, the judge recognised that Assange's actions had not been malicious, had caused no damage and had been motivated by intellectual curiosity.
Again, his source for this claim is one Julian Assange. If you're alleging untruth, then you're alleging it against yourself. Secondly though... you're right. This claim by you was yet another lie.

This ends part 1 for now; Assange has a heck of a lot more free time than me. More later when I've got the chance!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Top Widely Reported And Completely False Stories of the Assange Case

No, this post isn't about myths and misconceptions. That could days to write an article about, there are so many. This post is simply about prominent cases where a major news outlet penned an article - not an editorial - making some claim about "breaking news" in the Assange case which was pure and utter malarky that could have been determined simply by making a quick phone call - yet was nonetheless published and then widely republished by other outlets citing the first one as a "source". The cases where people actually did do what journalists are supposed to do and double-checked the "scoop" naturally got no traction. So here to give them a bit of a push against the flood of misinformation: the top widely reported and completely false stories of the Assange Case.

1. The US declares Assange an "enemy of state"

Assange supporter Philip Dorling first penned this one for the Sydney Morning Herald as "US calls Assange 'enemy of state'". He begins:

THE US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

And he extrapolates from there. Never mind that the last death sentence for outright treason of a US citizen in the US was in 1953. Never mind that not only is it specifically illegal to extradite for any kind of military, intelligence, or political crime from Sweden, but extraditing where the death penalty or abuse (even supermax prison is classified as "abuse") is banned in all of Europe, never mind all of that. The simple fact is, the story is wrong.

From this document, the reporter concluded that Assange was now an “enemy of the state.” I had some suspicions, though. The analyst was not charged. Was this because an investigation showed that the analyst was not engaging in the communication alleged? Or was it because somebody determined that the charges weren’t valid because Assange and WikiLeaks aren’t actually “the enemy”?

So I did a thing that journalists do sometimes and called the Pentagon to ask. I didn’t actually expect anything to come of it, given our government’s current tendency to try to keep as many secrets as possible.

But Monday afternoon I got a call back from Department of Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Gregory. When flatly asked whether Assange or WikiLeaks had been classified by the military as “enemies of the state,” he said they had not.

Basically Dorling looked through US documents - documents, one should note, which were released through the Freedom of Information act, a law designed to minimize US government secrecy - until he found something he didn't understand which looked suspicious, and instead of checking up on it, spun a story about how the US plans to put to death anyone who talks with Wikileaks. And the lovely fact-checkers at the Sydney Morning Herald didn't even make a quick phone call.

2. Tests on "the condom" reveal "no DNA"

Abul Taher, another serial misreporter on the Assange case, wrote this gem for the Daily Mail as Condom used as evidence in Assange sex case 'does not contain his DNA':

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have revealed that a key piece of evidence does not contain his DNA.
A torn condom given to Swedish police by one of the alleged victims was examined by staff at two forensic laboratories but they could not find any conclusive evidence of Mr Assange’s DNA on it.


His lawyers have said that the fact no DNA could be found conclusively on an apparently used condom suggests a fake one may have been submitted.

Wow! Amazing! Exculpitory. Oh, and totally false. Not only are these not comments from "Assange's lawyers", here's what the police report he cites *actually* says:

Samtal med SKL

Samtalade med forensiker Anders Nilsson vid SKL för att få ett förtydligande kring DNA proverna.

I tidigare PM har jag skrivit att på kondomen som använts hos [AA] hade de inte hittat DNA. Detta stämmer inte enligt Anders Nilsson. Han sade att de ser "något" men att det inte går att tyda. Det har valt att analysera provet i en mer förfinad metod. Denna metod tar ca. två veckor. Vid det förra PM et var det inte Anders Nilsson jag talade med.

Anders Nilsson förklarade att det inte är mängden DNA som alltid avgör huruvida de kan se DNA. Det finns många anledningar till att de inte får en tydlig bild.

- Något stör analysen såsom smuts mm.
- Små mängder DNA
- Människor ger ifrån sig olika mängder DNA
- Att undersökningsmaterialet har påverkats efter användandet, t.ex. tvättats, torkats av,

Detta var några exempel på vad som kan påverka analysen av DNA men det finns fler faktorer som påverkar.


Conversation with SKL

Conversed with forensic analysist Anders Nilsson at SKL to get a clarification on the DNA samples.

In the previous PM I have written that concerning the condom used by [AA], they had not found DNA. This is not correct according to Anders Nilsson. He said that they see "something" but that it is impossible to figure out. It has been chosen to analyze the sample with a more refined method. This method takes about two weeks. In the previous PM it was not Anders Nilsson that I spoke with.

Anders Nilsson explained that it is not the amount of DNA that always determines whether they can see DNA. There are many reasons why they can't get a clear picture.

- Something interfering with the analysis such as dirt, etc.
- Small amounts of DNA
- People emit different amounts of DNA
- The study material has been affected by usage, for example, washed, dried off

These were some of the things that can affect the analysis of DNA, but there are more factors which can influence it.

That is, to say, the forensic examiner says that they found something on the condom, says nothing about it being "unused", and goes through great efforts to stress that there's nothing suspicious about the results of the first test. The document was leaked before the results of the second test came out, which *were* able to isolate mtDNA.

Of course, Taher's abyssmal reporting doesn't stop there - rather, he descends into something that pushes the borders of slander:

The report also appears to cast doubt on the claim made by the second alleged victim, who told police that she was ‘raped’ by Mr Assange when she was asleep.

But during a police interview, the woman, now 29, apparently suggests that she did not mind him having unprotected sex with her.

Didn't mind, huh? Here's what the subject actually said:

They dozed off and she awoke and felt him penetrating her. She immediately asked, “Are you wearing anything?”, to which he replied, “You”. She said to him: “You better don’t have HIV”, and he replied, “Of course not”. She felt that it was too late. He was already inside her and she let him continue. She didn’t have the energy to tell him one more time. She had gone on and on about condoms all night long. She has never had unprotected sex before.

Here's what others say about what SW told them:

And then [AA] said: “[SW] told me that Julian continued to have sex with her in the morning without protection, without a condom. And she did not want that and she protested, but Julian continued and consummated the sex without protection, despite [SW]'s protests,” said [AA].

“Are you sitting down?” And I immediately became worried. Then he told me that Julian hade been accused of raping that young woman, [SW]. And that [DB] had spoken with [AA], and that [SW] had spoken with [DB]. And that [AA] was furious about what [SW] had told her — that for one reason or another, she believed what [SW] had said and that they were going to meet.

[SW] said that it did not feel good and she wanted him to leave. [SW] said had Assange changed at her place and had become like an entirely different person. [SW] regretted that she had let Assange spend the night with her. After that, [SW] told [HR] that she was feeling worse and worse. She said that the problem was that Assange had had unprotected sex with her while she was sleeping. [SW] also said that Assange had nagged her and tried to have unprotected sex with her during the night, but that she had made him wear a condom. [SW] had told Assange several times to wear a condom. [SW] also told [HR] that Assange had spoken so strangely, as though he wanted [SW] to become pregnant. He said things that sounded like he wanted to make women pregnant. He reportedly said that he preferred virgins, because then he would be the first to make them pregnant. [HR] asked [SW] why she had not pushed Assange away when she understood that Assange was not wearing a condom. [SW] had answered that she was so shocked and paralyzed, and could not really understand what was happening. She had tried to talk with him.

[SW] had said that Assange wanted to have sex with her, and that [SW] had said that she did not want to have sex without a condom. [SW] also said that, when she was half asleep on her side, she had been aroused from slumber to feel that Assange was inside her. [SW] had then asked him what he was wearing and he had replied, “I am wearing you”. The witness said that [SW] did not believe that he had entered her; rather, she had been aroused from slumber when he was already inside her. The witness said that [SW] had not resisted because she thought it was too late. [SW] had also said that she did not have sex with Assange; rather, it was he that had sex with her.

[MT] did not hear about the assault until the day after, or perhaps it was two days after, and got the impression that [SW] was very worried that she might have been infected.

The next time [JW - her brother] heard something from [SW] was via an SMS message which said that Julian was not very nice. [JW] did not learn what had happened until after [SW] had gone to the police and it was reported in the newspapers. He learned about what had happened from [SW] and his mother. The latter had said that Julian had sex with [SW] without a condom and against her will as she slept.

[SB - former boyfriend] said the issue of infection was crucial for [SW] and that, before they had sex the first time, they had both got tested for disease and shown each other the results. They did not have sex without a condom on a single occasion during their two and a half years together. That was completely unthinkable for [SW]. [SB] said that such was their agreement. He said that, as far as he knew, [SW] had never had sex with anyone without using a condom. [SB] related that he learned about what had happened when [SW] sent an SMS message to him, asking if she could telephone him. He was somewhat baffled, because they had not been in contact with each other for several months. When [SW] called, she immediately asked what [SB] thought of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. He answered that WikiLeaks seemed positive. Then [SW] said that she had been raped by Julian Assange, in that he had initiated unprotected sex with her while she lay sleeping. [SW] said that she had asked Assange if he was wearing anything and that Assange had replied, “Yes, you.” The interviewer asked [SB] how [SW] had reacted to that. [SB] said that [SW] had related that she was shocked and did not know what to do. Seth said that, given [SW]’s definite views on the use of condoms during sex, he could imagine that she was very shocked and afraid. He knows how important it is to [SW] that a condom is used when she has sex. [SW] has told [SB] that she could not understand how a representative for WikiLeaks, which does so much good, could be so lacking in respect for another human being.

Sound like someone who "did not mind him having unprotected sex with her"? Really?

Taher, to his credit, did make a phone call - but to the wrong person. He contacted the prosecutor's office, which of course refused to comment about details about an ongoing investigation. Instead, he should have simply contacted a Swedish translator instead of just taking someone's word on what the document says.

Based on comments by Göran Rudling on Craig Murray's forum, Göran appears to be Taher's "source".

3. The Swedish prosecutor resigns from the case.

This is another Philip Dorling gem. The source article is: Assange prosecutor quits while accuser sacks lawyer

The top Swedish prosecutor pursuing sexual assault allegations against Julian Assange has abruptly left the case and one of Mr Assange's accusers has sacked her lawyer.


Fairfax Media has obtained Swedish court documents that reveal high-profile Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny has unexpectedly left the handling Mr Assange's case, effective from Wednesday, and has been replaced by a more junior prosecutor, Ingrid Isgren. The reasons for the change have not yet been disclosed.

As you might guess from the pattern here, Dorling could have figured out that he screwed up just from a simple phone call.

Australian media reports also said that chief prosecutor Marianne Ny had quit the case, which was declined by the country's Prosecution Authority (Åklagarmyndigheten) on Thursday when contacted by Swedish press.

"Ny still heads the investigation and is responsible for the case," spokeswoman Britta von Schoultz told the Expressen newspaper.

Oh well. At least Dorling was half-right this time - [AA] *did* change lawyers.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why I am Convinced that Craig Murray is a Liar

Since people keep posting this Craig Murray blog entry, I figured it's about time someone respond to it. There are so many distortions and even outright lies in it that I do not believe this could be accidental on his part.

Before we even start, the entire premise is wrong. There are no rape accusations concerning AA. The rape accusation concerns SW. From the UK lower court hearing, citing the Europeaan Arrest Warrant:

1. On 13th – 14th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Stockholm, Assange, by using violence, forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party’s arms and a forceful spreading of her legs whilst lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.

2. On 13th – 14th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.

3. On 18th August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity i.e. lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.

4. On 17th August 2010, in the home of the injured party [name given] in Enkoping, Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state. It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party’s sexual integrity.

The framework list is ticked for “Rape”. This is a reference to an allegation 4. The other three allegations are described in box (e) II using the same wording as set out above.

To reiterate, anyone who has even remotely followed this case should have been expected to be aware of at lest what the charges are. Charges #1-3 are concerning AA. Charge #4, the rape charge, is concerning SW.

Craig Murray says:

Yet [AA] later testified that just three days earlier, on 13 August, she had been sexually assaulted by Assange; an assault so serious she was willing to try (with great success) to ruin Julian Assange’s entire life


[AA] has already succeeded in ruining much of the work and life of Assange. The details of the story being pathetic is unimportant. By crying rape, politically correct opinion falls in behind the line that it is wrong even to look at the evidence.

AA did not "cry rape". She stated that she felt very badly after the occsion where they had sex, but never stated she was raped. She never planned to report Assange for herself. She only went to support SW's case. From the interviews, first from AA:

[AA] states that she has felt very badly after the occasion when she and Assange had sex, primarily due to worry that she might have been infected with HIV or some other sexual disease.

Yesterday, [AA] received an e-mail message from [SW] who wondered how she could contact Assange, as she had something important to tell him. [AA] understood immediately what it was about; she contacted [SW] who then related what had happened to her — that she and Assange had had sex, that he did not want to use a condom, etc. [SW] wanted to take this further to the police and [AA] decided to follow along, primarily as support.

Got that? She does not say she was raped. She described what happened and said she felt bad about it, was worried he gave her an STD, went along to support SW and does not desire crime victims services.

Well, gee, what does everyone else say? First off, Julian himself:

[AA] had no accusations, and no one had any intention of going to the police and so on. That is how I expected things to remain until I heard the news in Expressen.

From a journalist who knew Assange fairly well, DB:

then [AA] said: “[SW] has asked me to go to the police with her, and I have decided to follow along and support her in this. But we are not planning to file charges against Julian; we just want to go there and tell our stories.”

Well, the sentence was: ”I think [SW] is telling the truth because I experienced something similar”, said [AA].

When she called me and said “we had sex” and this happened, she did not in any way imply that she had been the victim of sexual assault. In fact, she did not even want to go to the police. But the way she put it was like, “I want to go with, I promised [SW] I would go with her for support” — not that she had any reason to go, herself. And so my impression is that she did not experience anything very serious, but that she had become angry. Roughly: Don't destroy the condom, but not that it was an assault. That was my impression, because she did not want to go to the police for her own sake.

Then she called back and said, as I mentioned, that because she strengthened [SW]’s story with that one sentence, the case became stronger, as she expressed it. That was exactly what she said.… But it was not her case.

DB: So she toned it down a lot as something unpleasant, or something she got angry about — and no intention to file a complaint or pursue the matter further.

Sound like AA planned to file a complaint?

From another Journalist who's worked with Assange, directly citing a conversation with Julian:

But then I called him and asked what was going on. Then he said that she wants me to take a blood test. So then do it, damn it, I said. What’s the problem? He replied, “I can take a blood test, but I don’t want to be blackmailed into taking a blood test. For they are saying that either [SW] goes to the police, or I take a blood test. I can give her that; but I would rather do it of good will than be blackmailed into it.”

Sound like this is about AA? Want more?

JW: No — other than that [SW] had contacted [AA], and that [AA] was very angry on [SW]'s behalf. From my conversation with [AA], I got the impression that [AA] had some kind of sisterly attitude toward the younger woman, that she wanted to help her. And therefore, as I understood it, [AA] wanted to accompany her to the police to find out whether or not it was possible to force Julian to take an HIV test.

How about from one of [AA]'s friends?

Most remarkable, thought [PO], was that [AA] had said that she was not able to move when she and Julian had sex because he held her down. [AA] had said that she had decided to let Julian fuck her until he reached orgasm because that was the simplest solution for her ... [PO]’s interpretation was that [AA] was never afraid of Julian; rather, she felt that she had been subjected to a difficult situation.

The other young woman had wanted to have sex with a condom, but Julian had seen to it that they had sex without a condom against the will of the other woman. [AA] had telephoned [PO] to discuss the matter because she herself did not intend to file a complaint against Julian but wanted to support the other young woman.

...that it had been unpleasant. [AA] thought that not only was it the world’s worst lay, but it was also rough. [AA] had demonstrated with her arms the position she was in when Julian held her. [KB] had thought that it was bad and unpleasant, but nothing more.

[AA] had said that she and the other young woman had decided to go to the police so that the other woman could report Julian for rape, and that [AA] would follow along in support.

It also emerged that the police had also filed charges that concerned [AA], and that the police’s interpretation was that [AA] had also been raped. It was also then that [AA] related that she thought that Julian at first did not want to wear a condom, and that they had wrestled over that, and then [AA] had curled into a ball. Then Julian put on a condom which [AA] believed he later during intercourse had broken, because she had heard a smacking sound. [AA] had heard that sound after Julian had withdrawn from her.

[KB] had sensed that [AA] felt that it had been unpleasant, but not scary or threatening.

Those are the only records in the testimony about the circumstances of [AA] going to the police and her attitudes toward what happened.

To reiterate: Every last piece of testimony in the document is suggestive of AA only wanting to go along to support SW. The fact that Murray is trying to spin her as some sort of rape-crying villain isn't even remotely in line with anyone's testimony. Even Julian's himself.

Again, anyone who feels even remotely competent to comment on this case, as Craig Murray apparently does, should be expected to have read the interviews. And given that Craig Murray is citing things *from* the interviews, I can only conclude that he has, in fact, read them, but is deliberately attempting to mislead the readers about the nature of the case.

There's a word for that: lying.

To reiterate: AA did not think she had been raped. Mind you, she was not at all happy with what he had done:

According to [AA], “everything went so fast”. He tore off her clothes and in the process pulled at and broke her necklace. [AA] tried to put some clothes back on, because it all went so fast and she felt uncomfortable; but Assange immediately took them off again. [AA] states that in fact she felt that she no longer wanted to go any further, but that it was too late to tell Assange to stop, as she had “gone along this far”. She thought she “had only herself to blame”. She therefore allowed Assange to remove all of her clothes.

[AA] sensed that Assange wanted to insert his penis in her vagina right away, which she did not want because he was not wearing a condom. She therefore tried to twist her hips to the side and squeeze her legs together in order to prevent penetration. [AA] tried several times to reach for a condom, but Assange stopped her from doing so by holding her arms and prying open her legs while trying to penetrate her with his penis without a condom. [AA] says that eventually she was on the verge of tears because she was held fast and could not get a condom, and felt that ‘this can end badly’. To my question [AA] replies that Assange must have known that [AA] was trying to reach for a condom, and that he therefore held her arms to prevent her from doing so. After a moment, Assange asked [AA] what she was doing and why she was squeezing her legs together. [AA] then told him that she wanted him to wear a condom before he came in her. At that, Assange released [AA]’s arms and put on a condom that [AA] fetched for him. [AA] sensed a strong unspoken reluctance by Assange to use a condom, as a result of which she had a feeling that he had not put on the condom that he had been given. She therefore reached down her hand to Assange's penis in order to ensure that he had really put on the condom. She felt that the rim of the condom was where it should be, at the base of Assange's penis. [AA] and Assange resumed having sex and [AA] says that she thought that she “just wanted to get it over with”. After a short while, [AA] notes that Assange withdraws from her and begins to adjust the condom. Judging from the sound, according to [AA], it seemed that Assange removed the condom. He entered her again and continued the copulation. [AA] once again handled his penis and, as before, felt the rim of the condom at the base of the penis; she therefore let him continue.

Shortly thereafter, Assange ejaculated inside her and then withdrew. When Assange removed the condom from his penis, [AA] saw that it did not contain any semen. When [AA] began to move her body she noticed that something “ran” out of her vagina. [AA] understood rather quickly that it must be Assange's semen. She pointed this out to Assange, but he denied it and replied that it was only her own wetness. [AA] is convinced that when he withdrew from her the first time, Assange deliberately broke the condom at its tip and then continued copulating to ejaculation.

This event - which other witnesses add other details to, like how AA had curled up into a ball to stop Assange from having unprotected sex with her - is what Murray describes as "consensual sex". Note to women reading this post: you might want to reconsider ever sleeping with Craig Murray. Of course, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that a guy who would leave his wife of 20 years for a woman he met at a lapdancing club in Uzbekistan where he handed her a wad of cash and his business card along with an invitation to be his mistress wouldn't have the most enlightened views on sex.

(As a side note, the depths of Murray's misogyny could fill a book - and they do in fact. His book. But I digress)

[AA] makes it quite clear that it was unpleasant. But the record is quite clear that she did not see it as rape. She proceeded to complain to several friends about his behavior and became increasingly upset being around him - first stopping sexual activity, then moving off the bed onto the floor (the 18th, after he starts rubbing his penis against her), "vomited on several occasions because she thought it was so unpleasant" being there anymore, and ultimately (the 19th) moved altogether out of her own apartment when he wouldn't leave (stop and think for a second of how uncomfortable you'd have to be around someone to move out of your own place). But she clearly did not want to view herself, at least early on, as a victim. More on that later.

(For the purposes of the timeline, the incident in question was on the 13th and the crayfish party on the evening of the 14-15th)

Murray proceeds to go into about as extreme of an example of selective quotation as you can get. He mentions the "I felt like I had been dumped" comment yet omits the entire conversation at the same event with KB, another woman who Assange had been hitting on at the party and tried to go home with. AA told KB about the "unpleasant" sex with Assange, in detail, and then added "that [KB] could take him".

Wait a minute, what was Murray's premise he's trying to promote here?

"Why did [AA] not warn [SW]?"

AA did not know SW, and had only minimal contact with her. But AA *did* know KB, and she *did* warn her.

Again, Murray claims to be quoting the transcripts. If he actually read them (and if not, where is he getting the quotes?), surely he knows this. The only conclusion is, once again: Craig Murray is a liar.

Murray proceeds to do a minor distortion, quoting only AA saying "He can stay with me." Julian *had* been staying with her and had been reluctant to move, as was testified to over and over in the testimony. AA's response that he could stay with her was to:

Then I asked [AA] if it was O.K. if he remained with her, or if she wanted me to take him.

Murray makes it sound like AA was just volunteering out of the blue to take Assange. The actual transcript makes it sound like she doesn't want to impose on a journalist, when she was the one who was supposed to be hosting him while he was in Sweden. There was no "other friend"; it was the same journalist, JW, who AA talked with daily involving coordinating Assange's schedule.

The next part is totally false in so many ways. Murray states:

[AA] takes her to see [AA]’s friend, fellow Social Democrat member, former colleague on the same ballot in a council election, and campaigning feminist police officer, Irmeli Krans.

Except, first off, that's not what happened. First, as mentioned in every last bit of testimony, AA went in support of SW, not the other way around. Secondly, there is no evidence to suggest that AA "took" SW anywhere. Third, they did not go to see Irmeli Krans. They went to the most logical police station (in downtown Stockholm), and the person they saw was Linda Wassgren. She states:

"I, inspector Linda Wassgren, was working temporarily in the reception at the Klara local police station on Friday 20 August 2010, otherwise I work in the field out of the same station. At around 2 pm the same day two women came to the station and wanted to talk and get some advice on two previous events and they were now a little unsure how to proceed."

Good thing that Wassgren didn't happen to have written a comment on a blog post years ago relating to either of the two victims or happen to be in the same political party; otherwise, today we'd be hearing about how she's part of a gigantic conspiracy, too!

Wassgren and Gehlen presented both cases as rape. Krans was *against* calling AA's case rape. Krans only interviews SW, not AA, and is quickly off the case afterwards. Ultimately the police accusations concerning AA are not declared rape.

Third, the "AA's Friend" comment is totally false. This is often reported as "they've been Facebook friends for two years", when in reality what it actually was was that Krans shared an article written by AA on Facebook, and AA wrote a comment. That's it. That's the only contact that they had ever had previously. Think of how many people you've interacted with online in the past several years and then think of how absurd such a standard for "friendship" is, especially considering that Sweden has only 9 1/2 million people in the entire country.

The document linked above was about the conflict of interest analysis of the supposed connections between Krans and AA. They mention that none was found:

Documents from the National Police Board’s internal investigation unit have been brought in and examined. These documents show that the case has been subject to scrutiny by the Prosecution Authority, National Unit for investigation of police cases. According to this investigation, the police officer in question only registered the initial report and interrogated the woman she did not know. She was thus not present when the second woman’s report was registered and she has also not been part of the investigation since then. The Deputy Chief Prosecutor Kay Engfeldt decided against this background on March 22, 2011 not to open a preliminary investigation regarding possible misconduct.

To top it all off, as is evidenced from the comments, Murray's original post read "lesbian feminist police officer". Nothing like accusing someone of being a lesbian without evidence to drum up baseless homophobia-fearmongering... way to classy-up the debate, Craig!

AA does not "sit in throughout" SW's interview, like Murray claims. To quote Wassgren:

“Jag valde då givetvis att samtala med kvinnorna var för sig och bad dem detaljerat att berätta om vad de varit med om.” (I chose the course of talking with the women individually and asked them to tell me in detail about what they have been through.)

The fact that there are no comments or any mentions of AA in SW's interview should make this obvious. The fact that SW's complaint was registered at 4:11 and her interview ran from 4:21 to 6:40 PM with Krans, while AA's complaint was registered with Wassgren at 4:31 PM and she left the police station before 5:45 PM, should also make this obvious. The fact that the conflict of interest summary also makes it clear that this never happened is just icing on the cake.

There is no testimony anywhere to suggest that "[AA] tells [SW] the police can compel Assange to take an HIV test". As well documented, SW was the one who wanted to go to the police; all of the rest of this is simply fantasy from Murray, who has already decided who he wants to be a villain in this story. Then, one of the greatest flights of fancy of Murray:

Krans prepares a statement accusing Assange of rape. [SW] refuses to sign it.

Do you think your readers are stupid, Craig, that they can't read the protocol for themselves?

In the course of the interview, [SW] and I were informed that Julian Assange had been arrested in absentia. After that, [SW] had difficulty concentrating, as a result of which I made the judgement that it was best to terminate the interview. But [SW] did mention that Assange was angry at her. There was not enough time to obtain any further information about why he was angry at her or how this was expressed. Nor did we have time to discuss what had happened afterwards. The interview was neither read back to [SW] nor read by her for approval; but [SW] was informed that she could do so at a later date.

Is that what you call "refusal to sign"? It says nothing of the sort. First off, the standard - which is not even required - is "read and approved". Secondly, the *officer* decided to terminate the interview. SW never objected to any content. Third, it would be quite difficult to "sign" a report which hadn't even been typed up yet.

Oh, well, I'm sure that SW didn't want to cooperate further, right? Like it's not like she'd hire an attorney to push the case forward for her, or that she then consented to a forensic medical report, or anything like that, right? Oh wait, yes she did:

[SW] gives her consent to the acquisition of a forensic medical report.


[SW] wishes to be represented by an attorney whom she will name at a later time.

The women have a legal defender, and his name is Claes Borgström. He is the man who got the case re-opened (more on that later) and who has relentlessly pushed forward the case ever since. Or are we to assume that the women don't know what their own representative is doing? Poor damsels!

Then we get to...

Some days later: [AA] produces a broken condom to the police as evidence; but a forensic examination finds no traces of Assange’s – or anyone else’s – DNA on it, and indeed it is apparently unused.

Craig Murray isn't the only person pushing this bogus claim. It was even cited in the Daily Mail. And it's completely and utterly false. From the police report:

Samtal med SKL

Samtalade med forensiker Anders Nilsson vid SKL för att få ett förtydligande kring DNA proverna.

I tidigare PM har jag skrivit att på kondomen som använts hos [AA] hade de inte hittat DNA. Detta stämmer inte enligt Anders Nilsson. Han sade att de ser "något" men att det inte går att tyda. Det har valt att analysera provet i en mer förfinad metod. Denna metod tar ca. två veckor. Vid det förra PM et var det inte Anders Nilsson jag talade med.

Anders Nilsson förklarade att det inte är mängden DNA som alltid avgör huruvida de kan se DNA. Det finns många anledningar till att de inte får en tydlig bild.

- Något stör analysen såsom smuts mm.
- Små mängder DNA
- Människor ger ifrån sig olika mängder DNA
- Att undersökningsmaterialet har påverkats efter användandet, t.ex. tvättats, torkats av

Detta var några exempel på vad som kan påverka analysen av DNA men det finns fler faktorer som påverkar.


Conversation with SKL

Conversed with forensic analysist Anders Nilsson at SKL to get a clarification on the DNA samples.

In the previous PM I have written that concerning the condom used by [AA], they had not found DNA. This is not correct according to Anders Nilsson. He said that they see "something" but that it is impossible to figure out. It has been chosen to analyze the sample with a more refined method. This method takes about two weeks. In the previous PM it was not Anders Nilsson that I spoke with.

Anders Nilsson explained that it is not the amount of DNA that always determines whether they can see DNA. There are many reasons why they can't get a clear picture.

- Something interfering with the analysis such as dirt, etc.
- Small amounts of DNA
- People emit different amounts of DNA
- The study material has been affected by usage, for example, washed, dried off,

These were some of the things that can affect the analysis of DNA, but there are more factors which can influence it.

The results of the second test came back with mtDNA. None of the DNA results have been reported to match or not match Assange; he didn't give a DNA sample before leaving Sweden. There is nothing in the document about the condom "being unused", and just the opposite, there is "something" on it.

Just at a most basic level, are we to believe that a forensic lab can't recognize an unused condom?

Then we get to:

very easy given Sweden’s astonishing “second-wave feminism” rape laws.

Yeah, those crazy Swedish rape laws! Which you can read right here. Oh my god, so radical!

The reality is, as Göran Rudling points out, rape laws are actually harsher in the UK and most other places than in Sweden. For example, in a real-world case he cited where a 15-year-old girl was raped by three men in a row but only resisted with the first one (having given up trying by the end of it), only the first one could be charged for rape.

That said, even in Sweden, having sex with a sleeping girl is still illegal. Three UK courts, including the Supreme Court, found that the charges were equivalent crimes in the UK as well.

Murray continues.

Rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret. There is no jury, and the government appointed judge is flanked by assessors appointed directly by political parties. If Assange goes to Sweden, he will disappear itno jail, the trial will be secret, and the next thing you will hear is that he is guilty and a rapist.

Wow! Incredible! And BS!

He'll disappear? Better not tell that to Sweden, who says:

During his stay in jail, he will be able to have contact with the outside world, under conditions that safety and regulations provide. He is in custody because of the danger of flight and therefore will not have any restrictions limiting his right example to watch TV, read newspapers or socialize with other inmates.

Rape trials are held entirely in secret? Huh, might want to correct Swedish law, chapter 5, section 1, which states that all trials are open by default. The only exceptions are under the Secrecy Act, which are much more limited than that in most nations and can never apply to an entire trial.

Wow, judges appointed by the government? Yeah, that would never happen anywhere else. Like, you know, almost everywhere? For example, like all 9th circuit judges and Supreme Court judges in the US?

The "political appointees" claim is about what are known as "lay judges". The "lay judge" system is also used in such banana republics as Austria, Germany, Finland, Japan, and Norway. Lay judges only exist in the lower tiers of Swedish courts (aka, on higher appeals, which Assange would almost certainly do, they would not be encountered), and are a substitute for the jury system. They're "poltical appointees" in that they're appointed by municipal assemblies and county councils. I know Murray would like you to think that the national government of Sweden is picking them, but it's just not the case. They're mostly well-educated senior citizens. A lay judge cannot refuse their appointment without a valid excuse and serves for four years, about one day per month. There are over 8,000 of them in Sweden.

Secondly, of course, it does not matter the evidence is so weak

Yes, such damned weak evidence that two separate Swedish courts held specifically to evaluate the evidence declared it strong. One of which was the Swedish Supreme Court.

By crying rape, politically correct opinion falls in behind the line that it is wrong even to look at the evidence

What sort of person could possibly look at the situation and say political opinion is against Assange? Assange's defense team, with the help of countless people like Murray, has been waging a PR war to lionize Assange and smear the Swedish judicial system and government with outright lies (including Assange's legal team leaking police documents containing details of the alleged victims' sex lives, their families, even the email address of one victim). Assange is overwhelmingly popular in polls around the world and there was even a recent popular TV movie lionizing him (based on a self-aggregandizing yarn Assange spun a while back). In what world is Murray living where everyone is against Assange? Here's an experiment: go to Google News and search for Assange. View all stories and count how many are for and how many are against, and then come back here and claim there's "political correct opinion" against him.

If you are not allowed to know who the accuser is, how can you find out that she worked with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in Havana and Miami?

Oh, god, this. First off, you're not supposed to be trying accusers of crimes in the court of public opinion. My god, do you know how hard it is for rape victims to come forward to begin with? And you think they're supposed to have everyone and their cousin trying to find ways to smear them online, you think that's part of a proper functioning system?

Secondly, let's take the "CIA agent" thing, which comes from a Counterpunch article - it's that AA wrote articles, which were published in a magazine, which is connected to a group, which a professor says is connected to another group, who is headed by a guy, who a blog says is a CIA agent. And also, she worked with a womens' group in Cuba, who once organized a parade in Florida, where a guy who is accused of bombing a plane marched beside Celene Dion. Therefore, she's a CIA agent! Color me convinced!

Let me try. All we have to do is connect the dots and we can find out who's behind this conspiracy. Let's see.... AA is involved in the same political party as politician and actor Gert Fylking... who voiced a vehicle in the Swedish version of the Pixar movie "Cars"... which was written by Dan Fogelman... who also wrote "Crazy, Stupid Love", starring... Kevin Bacon! My god, Kevin Bacon is behind all this! It all makes sense now!

To finish off, there's this sort of image people like Murray are pushing that the Swedish judicial system is some sort of horrible corrupt conspiratorial organization. Here's the reality: the World Justice Project ranks them the best in the world in terms of fundamental rights. Their weakest category? "Effective criminal justice", aka, they let people off too easily. The World Justice Project's methodology is scientifically peer-reviewed and published, and uses at least 17 experts for the Swedish judicial system alone.

It should be telling that when people want to reach for an example of something negative about Sweden they have to reach for a case 12 years ago, involving two refugees (aka, people with no legal right to be in the country, versus Assange who has no legal right to *not* be in the country), who were incorrectly identified as convicted terrorists and deported. When it came out that they had been abused in custody overseas, they were repatriated, given residence status, and a large financial compensation package.

This is the worst example people can come up with, and it was 12 years ago. Do you have any clue how often that sort of stuff happens in countries like the US, China, Russia, even the UK where Assange fled to? The cases of that kind of abuse are too long to list. Heck, until the Assange case made it politically expedient not to do so, Ecuador was just about to hand a whistleblower over to Belarus where he'd be tortured.

In the half century that Sweden has had its extradition treaty with the US, it has harbored over 400 US defectors, including CIA defector Edward Lee Howard, who was giving secrets to the Soviet Union. You think the US didn't really want to get him? But they couldn't; it's illegal in Sweden to extradite for intelligence crimes. Oh, and the prime minister at the time? Carl Bildt, the same Carl Bildt who's now foreign minister and who Assange treats as his number one enemy in Sweden.

Given how public of a figure Craig Murray is (or to use his preferred name for himself from his book, "William Wallace" (p.232)), given how much attention his blog has gotten, etc, I find it grossly improbable that he doesn't know all of this stuff by now. Given that he's citing quotes from the interview, I find it grossly improbable that he's never read them. Rather, there's a much simpler explanation. I'm hardly the first to say this about the Murray - there's actually an astonishingly large number of people who have pointed this out throughout his career - but to paraphrase him: "I have no difficulty in saying that I firmly believe Craig Murray to be a liar."


Postscript: Earlier on, I mentioned "more on that later" concerning the concept of someone not wanting to see themselves as a victim. Let me clarify that a bit.

First off, crime does NOT depend on what the victim feels about the crime after it happens. Do you really think that you could lie in the bushes and jump out rape the next person that walked past, and then find out that she had a secret rape fantasy and you get to get off scott free? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. If someone breaks the law, regardless of what the victim says or does, it's a crime. And if the police hear a crime reported to them, they have to investigate.

This article goes into the specific example of law in Washington DC on rape:

In D.C., you could be charged with first degree sexual abuse if you cause a person to submit to a sex act using any of the following tactics: by physically forcing them; by threatening them; by rendering them unconscious; or by drugging them. This crime can be punished with up to life in prison. You could be charged with second degree sexual abuse if you have sex with someone when you have reason to know that they are incapable of knowing what's going on, incapable of saying no, or incapable of "communicating unwillingness" to have sex. This crime can be punished with up to 20 years in prison. In these crimes, the rapist is aware that their victim does not want to participate in the sex act, and does it anyway ("no means no"), or is aware that their victim cannot consent, and does it anyway ("passed out means no").

Misdemeanor sexual abuse requires a less stringent standard of consent. Under D.C. law, the misdemeanor charge applies to "whoever engages in a sexual act or sexual contact with another person and who should have knowledge or reason to know that the act was committed without that other person's permission." This crime can be punished with up to six months in prison.

Here, the standard does not require force, threat, or incapacitation. It doesn't even require penetration—it covers all "sexual contact." The misdemeanor charge only requires the absence of consent. In this crime, the rapist is not aware that the victim is powerless to say no—he is only aware that the victim has not offered a "yes." In D.C., you can go to prison for six months for having sex with someone without gaining their permission—even if the victim did not explicitly say "no."

This sort of thing is quite standard. The accusations in the Assange case are not even equivalent to the misdemeanor example - they're equivalent to the second-degree example, which in DC can be up to twenty years of prison, versus the two years maximum he's facing in Sweden for that particular accusation. Note the distinct lack of anything about "how the victim feels about it afterwards".

The same standard applies in Swedish law, which you can read for yourself. It's about what the accused does given the situation at hand, not what the victim feels about it after the fact.

Law exists to prevent certain kinds of behavior which we as a society find unacceptable. This includes having sex with a sleeping girl to work around her refusal to consent to certain kinds of sexual activity (the accusations concerning Assange and SW).

Secondly, concerning how victims of sexual crime need to behave to have "really been victims". Let us start with this: if you want to try to "trigger" a random rape victim, don't say "He put a knife to my throat and I screamed" or "I ran, bloody, straight to the police station", or any other Hollywood-style rape scenario you might be envisioning. Try this: "I turned my head so I wouldn't have to look at his face and waited for him to finish."

Most rapes are date rapes. You may know that on a conscious level but not fully understand what that means in practice. It means you went into the scenario *liking the guy*. Thinking he was a good person. And suddenly you're put into a situation you just can't comprehend, when they're ignoring what you told them, doing things to you that you explicitly told them over and over again not to do. And you just can't understand it. You're in shock.

In the aftermath, few "run straight to the police". Because Victims Don't Exactly Have "Get Raped" At The Top Of Their TODO List For That Evening. You have no clue how to react. You're confused, in shock. And on top of it all, you don't want to see yourself as a victim. I've known multiple rape victims who even ended up dating their rapist afterwards, just to try to make it seem less like rape. You want to pretend it never happened. Or try to tell yourself it was nothing. It's in the past, I'll just make myself forget about it and move on. You blame yourself. You try to make excuses for your attacker. It can take *months* to get past this and come to terms with what happened.

That SW came to terms with what happened, if one accepts the testimony, in a matter of hours is really damned admirable. She started talking to friends, and being able to admit what happened. This was, I should add, before she met with AA, by the way. For one example among the many that makes it clear that SW was telling people she had been raped before she met with AA:

Then he told me that Julian hade been accused of raping that young woman, [SW]. And that [DB] had spoken with [AA], and that [SW] had spoken with [DB]. And that [AA] was furious about what [SW] had told her — that for one reason or another, she believed what [SW] had said and that they were going to meet.

SW told quite a few people that she had been raped. Including a former boyfriend, SB:

[SB] related that he had a relationship with [SW] for two and a half years. They had lived together during the last year of the relationship. Seth related that it was very important for [SW] that they use a condom, partly to prevent infection but also to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

[SB] said the issue of infection was crucial for [SW] and that, before they had sex the first time, they had both got tested for disease and shown each other the results. They did not have sex without a condom on a single occasion during their two and a half years together. That was completely unthinkable for [SW]. [SB] said that such was their agreement. He said that, as far as he knew, [SW] had never had sex with anyone without using a condom.

[SB] related that he learned about what had happened when [SW] sent an SMS message to him, asking if she could telephone him. He was somewhat baffled, because they had not been in contact with each other for several months. When [SW] called, she immediately asked what [SB] thought of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. He answered that WikiLeaks seemed positive.

Then [SW] said that she had been raped by Julian Assange, in that he had initiated unprotected sex with her while she lay sleeping. [SW] said that she had asked Assange if he was wearing anything and that Assange had replied, “Yes, you.”

The interviewer asked [SB] how [SW] had reacted to that. [SB] said that [SW] had related that she was shocked and did not know what to do. [SB] said that, given [SW]’s definite views on the use of condoms during sex, he could imagine that she was very shocked and afraid. He knows how important it is to [SW] that a condom is used when she has sex.

[SW] has told [SB] that she could not understand how a representative for WikiLeaks, which does so much good, could be so lacking in respect for another human being.

I probably should have put another "trigger warning" before that last line, which most people would just have skimmed past: "... she could not understand how a representative for WikiLeaks, which does so much good, could be so lacking in respect for another human being." To many a date rape victim, a question just like this sticks in their mind. "Why?" Why would a person who they had thought was a good person do something like that? It feels like you *must* have an answer to it, that you must understand it, because if you don't, it'll just happen again some other time.

Of course, in the mind of people like Murray, rapes are where a creepy looking guy jumps out of the bushes with a knife, the victim kicks and screams and is beaten bloody, then runs straight to the police. While this fits some cases, it is *far* from the majority. Most rapes are quiet. And the perpetrator is a respected member of their community.

To reiterate, the meeting between AA and SW happened after she started telling people that she had been raped. Did the meeting enhance her desire to go to the police? Probably. It certainly was the triggering event for AA, according to the testimony. But this is entirely expected. Most rape victims never report the crime. They don't want to get themselves dragged through the mud as people like Craig have been encouraging doing with these women. But ask any rape victim who didn't report their crime how they would have reacted had they found out that within days of what happened to them, they found out that the same guy had done similar stuff to someone else and see how they respond.

AA wasn't raped. She did not say she was and the charges do not allege that. But, according to the charges and testimony, she did suffer lesser sexual crimes - being pinned down in an attempt to force unprotected sex and two charges of molestation, one involving the condom and one involving the incident on Thursday that caused her to move off of her bed and ultimately out of her own apartment. The testimony presents a consistent picture of someone who went through something unpleasant, tried to ignore it and push it into the past because of her respect for the Wikileaks founder, and became increasingly bothered by it and by additional behavior on the part of Assange as time went on. SW, however, only took a matter of hours to come to terms with what happened to her.

Lastly, to reiterate, even IF SW hadn't had an issue with what happened, even IF she had told Julian, on video, "Thank you, Julian, for F*ing me unprotected while I slept after I told you not to, that's always been my fantasy!" - it would still be illegal. What the victim feels about the crime afterwards has no bearing on whether it was a crime. It's illegal to fuck a sleeping girl.

Got it, Craig?


Postscript 2:

To repost from deep in the comments section of Craig Murray's blog, this from Göran Rudling (who's actually involved in the investigation and hardly a fan of AA):

A summary of most of false claims in two articles by Craig Murray

This is a list of 15 false claims. Or to be exact. 14 false claims and one insinuation.

In my first comment on 7 Sep, 2012 – 12:28 pm I wrote:

“Until you can show me a statement where prosecutor Marianne Ny says that “the interview was conducted before two witnesses, Irmeli Krans and [AA],” I will regard you as an inventor of stories and a certified xxxx.”

For more than 10 days I have asked Mr Murray to back up his claims with facts that support them and/or sources that supports them. Not one single fact have been shown. Not one single source is revealed. My conclusion is that the claims are all made up.

The claims are made up in a loathsome effort to try to depict the case against Julian Assange as a conspiracy by lesbian feminist activists supported by state-feminist dominated Swedish authorities that for some unknown reason wants Julian Assange killed by US authorities. Sure. Well thought out. Oooh. I’m sooooo scared.

Instead of Mr Murray showing facts and sources he now wants me to show him the real facts of the case. “Make a time line.” Something I am happy to do on the condition that Mr Murray simply states that all the claims below are false and reveal the sources that contain all this unreliable and false information. We will never get the true facts of the case until we can determine what sources contain made up stories and false claims.

I have also noted that Mr Murray has great problems in finding out what is in two paragraphs of police interviews. I cannot say that I am convinced Mr Murray will do better if I gave him twice as many.

Mr Murray’s 14 false claim.
There is just a short comment to each one.

1 “[SW] refused to sign her statement”
Not true. Evidence: Interrogators’ note [SW]’s statement

2 “[SW] have not signed her statement to this day”
Not true. On 2 September [SW] was re-interviewed. Extremely unlikely that the interview was approved during this interview.

3 “The prosecutor told the British High Court that [AA] and Irmeli Krans were witnesses to [SW]’s interview.”
Not true. There is not one shred of evidence suggesting this is true. Mr. Murray have been asked repeatedly to show evidence. Have flatly refused.

4 “[AA] did not take [SW] to the nearest and best police station.”
Not true. Klara Närpolisstation was the nearest and best police station to go to.

5 “Rather than see another officer, the two women waited two hours until Krans came on duty.”
Not true. Evidence: Memo Linda Wassgren

6 “[AA] was present throughout Krans’ interview of [SW]”
Not true. There is not one single piece of evidence that indicates this. All evidence shows just the opposite.

7 “[AA] did not report Julian until two days after she had sat through [SW]'s interview with her friend Krans.”
Not true. Evidence: [AA]'s police complaint

8 “The Klara Närpolisstation does have video-taping facilities.”
Not true. Evidence: Interview Chief of Klara Närpolisstation

9 “Rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret.”
Not true. No trials in Sweden are in secret

10 “[SW]’s statement alleging rape was drawn up by Irmeli Krans in [AA]’s presence.”
Not true. There is no evidence that suggests that [AA] was present at Klara Närpolisstation between 18:40 and 19:28 when statement was finished

11 “[AA] discussed with Julian Assange his desire for sex with [SW]”
Not true. There is no evidence that suggests that this is true

12 “[AA] took [SW] to her campaigning feminist friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans, in order to twist [SW]’s story into a sexual assault”
Not true. The choice of the police station was the best and nearest. There is nothing in the police interview that is “twisted” in order to make it into a sexual assault. If there is anything, it is just information pointing in the other direction

13 “Sweden has astonishing “second-wave feminism” rape laws.”
Not true. Sweden’s laws are 120 years behind Canada’s and many years behind England’s, Australia’s etc.

14 “Some days later than 22 August (25): [AA] produces a broken condom to the police as evidence;”
Not true. Evidence: Evidence report. Condom was picked up by Sara Wennerblom on 18:12 August 21

15 “If you are not allowed to know who the accuser is, how can you find out that she worked with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in Havana and Miami?”
A silly insinuation that an accused like Julian did not know who his accusers are.

In ten days not one single piece of evidence shown by Mr Murray that supports his claims. Pathetic. Don’t think it is ever gonna come.