There’s a few things I don’t quite get about the rape charges brought against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The first thing I don’t understand is why he’s been charged. Let me summarize what I think happened: Assange shows up for a Swedish conference of some sort, and on the first night, runs into a starfucker and gets lucky. Then on the last night of the conference, he gets lucky again with a different woman. None of this added to his credentials as a disciple of Jesus, but it really doesn’t make him anything more than a bozo, and the world is overloaded with those.
The two women who slept with him, both of whom appear to have agreed to have sex without serious negotiation, subsequently discover that they’re not his exclusive (Swedish) love-interest. They get together, compare notes and their truncated expectations, and decide to go to the police, saying, somewhat belatedly, that they’re worried that Assange may have given them an STD. Neither woman asks the police to have him charged with anything. They just want to make sure he doesn’t have any infectious bacteria, viruses or crustaceans living adjacent to his whizzer.
It’s apparently considered a low level sexual assault to have sex in Sweden without using a condom, which is both fairly sensible given the ubiquity of STDs these days and, if it’s a no-discretion law, an explanation of the country’s low birth rate. Here’s the first place where things get fuzzy. With SF-A, Assange did use a condom, but it reportedly broke, or leaked. Leaving aside the practices that commonly cause condoms to malfunction for those more prurient-minded than I am to speculate about, shouldn’t, in such an instance, the manufacturer be charged with some part of the offense? Of course, good luck on that, since the condom was probably manufactured in China like everything else in the world, and Chinese manufacturers aren’t big on warrantee fulfillment.
There’s something else here. Since SF-A, by her own account, had to buy Assange his train ticket to and from the scene of the crime (her apartment) because he didn’t have a charge card and had no cash, it seems logical that the woman supplied the condom as well, in which case she ought to be at least partly liable, too. It can be argued that her liability rests in being a cheapskate—not a crime anywhere, unless it’s your spouse’s birthday. As a consenting adult, she’s in dimly-lit territory if she’s complaining about Assange’s sexual performance several days after the fact, even if it damaged the condom. Or, Sweden is a very strange country if she can. Where I come from, such complaints are best kept to oneself.
With SF-B, Assange used a condom too, but then the next morning they decided to do the nasty again, and that time he went Al fresco. Whether this was because she (as noted, a guy without cash or a credit card is unlikely to be running around with a satchel filled with condoms) had run out of them, or he’d run out of them, or simply lost faith in Chinese manufactured goods is hard to say. Since it reportedly happened in broad daylight, one would have thought she’d have simply said no. But maybe she was the sort of woman who closes her eyes and thinks of Sweden, as the saying goes, in which case I don’t trust anything she does or says, because, well, even where I live, there’s less than a half-dozen women in town under the age of 70 who still do that, and they’re all crazy.
Here it gets murky once again. Suddenly, SF-A or SF-B—or both—retroactively decided that it would get them publicity Assange might be infected with an STD and ought to be tested before being allowed to leave the country. So they call him on his cell phone, which he’d shut down for reasons that may or may not pertain to his having boinked two women in three days in a town and situation where there was a good chance that sooner rather than later the two women were going to bump into one another. Is there another Swedish statute that makes it a felony not to call someone the day after you’ve had sex with them? Sweden is already the only country that views all prostitution as sexual assault (mostly on women) and has a prostitution law in its criminal code in which only men seeking to purchase sex can be charged. Prostitutes are completely decriminalized. Maybe that’s why Assange was busy rousting the locals rather than trading on the market.
The murkiest juncture of all now occurs. Its ground is a pure convocation of jackasses, to be sure. Assange is a jackass for trading on his celebrity to get laid. The two starfuckers, likewise, have a similar sort of culpability for sleeping with a not-very-attractive-or-nice guy because they wanted the celebrity of being the last woman who slept with Julian Assange before the CIA got him, and then they turned him in because he didn’t return their calls.
But into this mess of icky opportunists exploiting one another has to be added either some morally hysterical authorities in Sweden, or some opportunistic ones who saw a chance of ingratiating themselves with the hot-after-Assange governments across the Western world, not to mention the thrill of having the world media rolling around town for a few days: money poured into the local economy, television cameos for the offended authorities, the whole nine yards of news celebrity.
Whatever triggered them, some very large wheels began to roll, and the result has been a riot of misguided righteousness that has everyone distracted from the contents of the classified documents WikiLeaks has been uploading, and focused on the not-very-interesting question of whether or not Julian Assange is a pervert and sex criminal.
Unless I’m missing something really important, all this has a fairly sensible solution, and has had since a few hours after the two women compared notes: administer a blood test to Assange. If he’s clean, fine him some nominal sum and kick his ass out of the country. If he actually did infect his bed-partners with something, and if there’s evidence that he knew he had it, throw the book at him according to Sweden’s laws. Meanwhile, it looks as if Assange’s own people are throwing him under the bus for making himself the focus of WikiLeaks, although it’s pretty clear he wasn’t doing it in order to make himself rich. But famous? Maybe. Assange got caught up in the celebrity that seems to turn most people into bozos, and he turned out to be no better than, um, Bill Clinton.
Any way this falls out, let’s get on with the really important issues over Assange. They’re about whether the documents WikiLeaks is still uploading ought to be on the public record, and who or what is being compromised by them.