On Other Blogs

Shakespeare's Sister: You Can Defend Assange Without Assuming He's Innocent of Rape

By Erica C. Barnett December 14, 2010

What Melissa at Shakespeare's Sister said, in response to Michael Moore's dismissal of rape charges against Julian Assange:
It's eminently possible to not "be naive about how the government works," to acknowledge that the US and other governments use shady methods in pursuit of whistle-blowers, and even to observe that these allegations would almost certainly have been ignored had they been made against someone whom it was not politically expedient to give them attention, and not engage in apologia like "never believe the official story," which second-guesses victims' statements, and dismissing the allegations as strange, as if there is some "right" way for assault allegations to look.

What I have to say, in addition to what I've said already: What we know is that Assange is charged with holding one woman down against her will and raping her and of raping another woman in her sleep---not "sex by surprise" or a "condom malfunction," neither of which are mentioned in Swedish law.

We also know that Interpol pursued Assange more strenuously than most men accused of rape because of his notoreity as the man responsible for Wikileaks.

Both things can be true without dismissing the rape allegations, putting them in scare quotes a la Keith Olbermann, or making statements along the lines of "bitches just make it up."

What would have been justified is a backlash against Assange's arrest and Interpol's dogged pursuit of him that had focused on the agency's hypocrisy in failing to pursue and prosecute other cases.
Show Comments