Das Krapital

Julian Assange, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo And The Swedish Approach To Sex Crimes

Editors' note: This post was originally published late last night, without an edit by anyone else at Washington City Paper. Because of the subject matter, we unpublished it so we could review it. The post originally named the women who Julian Assange is accused of raping. Their names have been deleted. City Paper does not have a formal, blanket policy on whether to name victims of alleged sexual assaults, but in this case, it was inappropriate, and editors should have been consulted before the post was published. An update responding to critics of publishing the names has also been deleted.

Otherwise, the post has not been edited further, since it was already published, and copies of the original are available on the Internet.

I initially abstained from devoting mental energy to the Julian Assange sex scandal saga on grounds that it appeared from a distance like a pointlessly ugly search term turf war, an internecine meta-feud whose viciousness was largely a product of the semi-rare circumstance of one key corner of the moment's big story having happened to draw in two highly risible factions of overeager MSNBC-leaning media consumers, one galvanized around the emotionally-freighted search term "rape"; the other by the equally-charged "CIA conspiracy."

The two camps were drawn into an inevitable flame war earlier this month, when Kate Harding wrote an essay on Salon expressing her dismay that such morally upstanding members of the conspiracy-minded camp as Keith Olbermann and Naomi Wolf(!?!) would so reflexively rally to "smear" the Wikileaks founder's alleged victims on the basis of so little evidence.

Dismay gave way to near-homicidal #rage the next week when Michael Moore posted Assange's bail by the conspiracy-minded reasoning that one should "never, ever believe the 'official story'" about such suspiciously-timed accusations, leading the "rape is rape" camp to accuse the documentary filmmaker of "rape apologism." Unto the internet, a Twitter hashtag was quickly born.

Within another few days the #mooreandme meme had made its way through the Twitterverse to Rachel Maddow, who last night solicited a live apology from Moore, a development that was met by the core #mooreandme loyalists with a tone not exactly "conciliatory"—"why can't you just admit you fucked up #mooreandme," one wondered—but at least, quite effusively self-congratulatory; their "wild-eyed" efforts had "ended an era," someone else Tweeted, although upon close inspection it looks like that guy might actually be a trolling perv who was being sarcastic.

None of this mattered or matters in any meaningful sense, because Julian Assange is not a journalist in the meaningful sense.1 If he were, then the reliability of his interpretation of reality would be of actual consequence, and it would by extension actually matter if we were to learn that his interpretation of said reality might be possibly distorted by his insatiable sexual appetites and/or contempt for one half the population and/or pathological narcissism and/or whatever combination of those led him to send that preposterously un-self-aware series of overwrought emails to that 19-year-old in Melbourne.2

The question of whether Assange is an incorrigible douchebag (and also, a liar) would only decisively matter if he was asking (or more likely knowing what we know, presumptuously expecting) us to take his word for it that Muammar Gaddafi doesn't travel anywhere without his Bedouin tents and voluptuous Ukrainian nurse or the Arab Gulf states are privately rooting for the us to start shooting missiles at Iran, etc. etc. But trusting the judgment of those who impart information is actually the precise opposite of the point of Wikileaks; the organization he founded is by design merely a high-profile courier; what impact would have on your credit card bills if it turned out that your letter carrier was into child porn?

Which is why all the media deconstruction of Assange's seemingly well-cultivated mystique seems so suspiciously irrelevant to begin with: wouldn't a ludicrously secretive network of ultra-sophisticated hackers be structurally impervious to any character assassination attempts on its weird-looking white-haired mascot?

Okay, but. It turns out that once you get beyond the first nineteen layers of spin, suspicious timing and overall pointlessness, the Julian Assange rape case is an improbably interesting story, and one that's also as potentially uplifting as a "rape story" could possibly be—but first I should establish that, at least the way the chain of events is laid out here, it doesn't seem like either of his two accusers termed his misdeeds "rape" at first. Assanage's first accuser initially described it to multiple friends merely as the "worst sex ever", and from all the available information it seems like that would have been the last word on it from her had Assange not waited around protesting and then procrastinating after the next girl he fucked a few days later asked him to get tested for STDs.

But instead, the second woman—whose ex-boyfriend told police she had never had unprotected sex—panicked, first confiding in Wikileaks' Stockholm bureau chief, who told police he responded by asking Assange to get tested, a request Assange allegedly refused. Eventually the second tracked down the first, who was still letting Assange stay at her apartment (and who had in the meantime hosted a party for him there). It was only when the two women finally met and compared notes, a week after sex with the first woman and four days after sex with the second, that they decided to go to the police.

Taken at face value, what happens next seems like a classic case of "Oh no that asshole didn't pull (so to speak) the same bullshit on you too!!!! OMG that bastard is going to be sorry." The "mysterious" ripping of a condom some guy very grudgingly agreed to use doubtless seems a lot more deliberate, and creepy, once you meet the girl on whom he pulled the same sort of shit three nights later. And it should; I used to date a guy who once volunteered to me that he had deliberately ripped condoms with a previous girlfriend. We weren't using them at the time, because he had a smallish penis, which I imagine to be Julian Assange's problem—that, and an inversely-proportioned ego—but the point is this is definitely something certain dudes do, and I can imagine it would be hugely alarming if you weren't someone who'd ever had unprotected sex, especially if you suddenly found yourself having unprotected sex with someone who (like Assange) obviously did, especially especially if you were only half-conscious when it all went down, and especially even more upon meeting someone else whose experiences confirmed all your worst fears of the incident.

Still, all this having been said, Assange might have pulled virtually the same crap over the same time period with two women who with ever so slightly differing attitudes about sex and faced zero consequences. If one had been slightly less amenable to talking about her sex life, or if the other had been slightly more amenable to the withdrawal method, or—considering that the second alleged victim has apparently said that neither of them feels "threatened" by the guy—if either did actually feel threatened by Assange or his legions of idolizers, at least sufficiently to serve as motivation against enduring many lifetimes of antipathy for the sake of principle…we might be discussing a totally different conspiracy against him right now!

And then there's the issue of judges, juries and legal precedents, which brings me to the problem (other than basic meaninglessness) with the insistent insistence that "rape means rape." I do not think there are too many prosecutors in America who would bother trying to convince a jury that Assange's actions constituted "rape." And given that reality, I have to think further that a multitude of our nation's courtwise feminists would, in either of Assanges' accusers' situations, not bother turning him in. Here, the alleged victims would probably just satisfy themselves by starting an embarrassing Facebook group dedicated to testimonials about Assange's tiny uncircumcised penis, and maybe see if that went viral.

Sweden is different, of course. Until last weekend I was only vaguely aware of the nation's foremost cultural export The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and although I was aware that the book's Swedish title actually translates to "Men Who Hate Women", I was unaware of the scene in which the aforementioned tattooed heroine actually exacts revenge on her women-hating rapist by returning to his house with a giant black dildo and violently raping him back. This is a pretty awesome scene, at least in the cinematic depiction anyway, although not one I can imagine anyone trying to attempt in an American movie, much less real life.

So congratulations on the competent location scouting efforts, conspirators, if Operation Assange was indeed a CIA sting; fact or plausible fantasy, the episode drives home another point that doesn't get enough attention about sexual predators across borders: the more empowered women feel to strike back against potential sexual assailants, the less terrorized by the prospect and/or the occasional reality of sexual assault they tend to feel. And the more sexually enlightened a culture, the less "shame" tends to seep into the sexual interactions of its members, and les sexual shame in general naturally begets less shame about sexual victimization, which in turn begets less hesitation to speak up (and under oath) when it happens. And stripping rape of "shame" and sexual victimhood of whatever "stigmas" it traditionally entailed renders sexual crimes a lot more like other crimes on the books, even if its victims generally remain biologically incapable of meting out "eye for an eye"3 vigilante justice a la Lisbeth, that does nothing to prevent the penal system from measuring individual incidents—and punishing their perpetrators in accordance with—some measure of the degree of their criminal magnitude. Which is why I don't quite understand "rape means rape"; are chanters of the refrain saying that anyone guilty of what Assange has been accused of deserves to spend the next 1444 months in prison?

Because I would dispute that, not only because beyond whatever physical trauma a sexual assault does or doesn't entail, whether the attendant emotional trauma lasts a few hours or a few decades depends in large part on contextual and cultural factors that vary a great deal more widely from Sweden to Scranton to San Francisco to Saudi Arabia than prison conditions do, and I'm pretty sure widespread imprisonment was not how Swedish society achieved its exceptional level of gender harmony. Forcing some sort of dogmatic equivalence upon every action that technically conforms to the legal definition of "rape" seems guaranteed only to condemn the discourse to an eternal rhetorical circle jerk of slut-shaming/finger-wagging/conspiracy theorizing/etc.

Eventually, I suppose, the Moores and Maddows of this media will get back to the more substantial business of mining the substance of the Wikileaks themselves and analyzing the great geopolitical implications of that cable about Anna Nicole Smith, and such. Unless, that is, one of Assange's accusers unleashes a real game-changer and decides to go public with what's happened in the months since she endured the "worst sex ever." My money is on the first one, who was recently reported to have stopped cooperating with prosecutors, but the real media shitstorm would ensue if you could nab both of them—which is to say, that's how it would go down if I were in charge of this CIA conspiracy, you heard it here first.

1An assertion I make in full knowledge that an equally fervent (albeit much more boring) sideshow debate continues to rage about this very matter, but look, I don't care.
2Which is, btw, why it's so irritating when dudes are all "oh well who cares whether Great Genius Writer X was a misogynist, because he was a genius…" except for the fact that he irrationally hated one half of the population, asshole… Etc.
3"Hole for a hole"? Yeah, this country is not ready for that, I don't think.
4That's the minimum that mid-level sentencing guidelines would seem to call for in California, by way of example.


  1. #1

    Remove the names of Assange's accusers. Immediately.

  2. #2

    Whoa, are you kidding me?

  3. #3

    Seconding Horatio. Remove their names. Never name a victim. Ever.

  4. #4

    Naming names is an unconscionable act, not to mention omitting a ton of the details on the accusations to better suit your angle.

  5. #5

    Isn't it a journalistic standard to never name the accusers in a rape case?

    Isn't it human decency not to repeat the names of women who have been harassed, stalked, and threatened as a result of the information that's 'been out there for months'?

    Remove their names, and say sorry for that + the apologism in this article. Please.

  6. #6

    BREAKING NEWS ! Julian Assange has a "smallish penis".

    So maybe Jules should have been charged with "Assault with an undeadly weapon."

  7. #7

    Moe, I seem to have missed to point of your article. Was there one? Having just read Mark Morford in the San Francisco Chronicle I'm beginning to conclude that the most important part of journalism these days is being witty and showing how adept you are at weaving common cultural absurdities into your narrative. My mind keeps looking for a point while following all of these verbal gymnastics, but it never gets one, so I just end up being dizzy.

  8. #8

    "BREAKING NEWS ! Julian Assange has a "smallish penis"."

    I think that Moe may be jumping to conclusions with that. Extrapolating from one experience is never a good idea. I don't like to use a condom either, simply because it doesn't feel as good. Of course I don't like Assange, so if that rumor goes viral it won't bother me.

  9. #9

    The names are already out there people - long before this post by wcp. You can look them up online.

  10. #10

    Second that to J -- I don't remember this level of reader outcry when gawker posted Anna Ardin's photo back in August


  11. #11

    God I have never seen such a big pile of shit written with such an ostentatious, presumptuous, indignant and mainly idiotic voice. You just barfed up 4 thesaurases and didnt even make sense.

  12. #12

    vsaluki, u said it better then me. this article if you can call it that is a bunch of bs.

  13. #13

    We know the names are available. That's the problem. City Paper should not help publicize them. The accusers are already receiving threats of rape and murder from around the world. Is it too much to ask journalists for some standards and integrity?

    P.S. Christina, people aren't just complaining about this article. No thanks to you, asshole.

  14. #14

    Kudos to WCP editors for removing the names.

  15. #15

    I have had extensive work with rape and domestic abuse victims and it always shocks me that people find the lack of consent to be a "gray area."

    " I have heard everything from I was negotiating passed the no." to " I was not certain she wanted it but she did not tell me no--so it was not rape."

    Beyond the legal definition, Why in the world would you not include your partner in the decision to have sex?

    Men ( I know your a woman) who think in terms of sex is something to get when the opportunity presents may find themselves involved in a future accusation. Lets slip it to her and hope she likes it mentality. ..

    Sex without consent is rape. It is rape if she is sleeping, rape if she is drunk beyond capacity, rape if she is disoriented from a cold and flu medication but agreed to sleep next you and you take it one further--all of these catergories are rape. If anyone reading this has participated in these behaviors and not got thrown before a jury it doesn't validate it wasn't rape. Your partner like most women and men choose not to file a report. Rape is the most underreported crime in society.

    Why do I have such specific examples because these are the ones that appear in court--and the guy always has some stupid look on his face because he did not see it as rape. If you are the only one consenting it is rape. (There are occassional women perps but they are like teflon to prosecute.)

    Rape is not always(actually rarely) the guy in the bushes it is usually these scenarios when consent wasn't given and some cases "worked pass the resistance."

    Again if someone wants you--why would there be a question?

    I won't go into details about naming the accuser. Rape is already the most underreported crime in the United States--because people often do not know if they will believe. And for male victims they tend to have an added sense of horror --so they rarely come forward on their own. They are usually dragged to do so. Publishing their name does not help that.

    People like the author here want to see rape only as the guy jumping out of the bushes. Defining that way--does not address the real issues.

    We should not even be defending something like this if you are afriad if you expressly ask for sex she will say no and you continue anyway--rapist is an accurate term to describe you.

    Please also know the process of filing a claim tends to retraumatizing for victims. Beyond the use of a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) kit (not the most ginger thing in the world) you have to retell your story to a lot of investigators during the process. I don't know many people who could retell a pleasant encounter must less a rape to 40 strangers--who handle you with less than kit gloves.

    Add on top of that the investigations are brutal~ giving me the sense they must really have something on Julian to proceed. Even when the victims are credible the likelihood your case passes the preliminary phase is not good. Rape is one of the hardest crimes to prosecute--with less than an 8% success rate--prosecutors typically drop cases early on.

    And if someone wants to trump up charges rape with the lowest conviction rate of all violent crimes--that would not have been the one I chose. Prosecutors seldom get a serial rapist--even with strong DNA evidence on his (sometimes her) first offense--it is when they continue in their pattern they finally get them.

    But you analysis was the most well written peice of crazy I have read in a long time.

  16. #16

    The girls have been tweeting about the charges. Their names have been published B4 this post came up. It is absurd that the WCP has hired Moe to provoke the reader with her column and then pulls a move like this. I fail to see if Assange hasn't been charged with a crime yet how these girls can seen as victims. It's important to print their names so their backgrounds and agendas can be looked into by any reader.
    I call for a boycott of WCP and would love to see Clusterstock reprint her original story.

  17. #17

    "And the more sexually enlightened a culture, the less "shame" tends to seep into the sexual interactions of its members, and les sexual shame in general naturally begets less shame about sexual victimization, which in turn begets less hesitation to speak up (and under oath) when it happens."


  18. #18

    "would love to see Clusterstock reprint her original story."

    You can find a link to the original at FishbowlDC at the bottom of the page. It's the same as what's posted here, just with the names unredacted.

  19. #19

    Shame on you Moe. You should be pretty embarrassed over your lack of respect women and sexual assault. And aligning yourself with rape apologists ("Naomi Wolf?!?"-yeah, she must get a free pass to be a douchebag cause she's Naomi Wolf). This doesn't make much sense but I think anyone who cares about sexual assault is pretty much blind with rage towards you now. This whole piece is disgusting even without the names.
    I really feel sorry for you. And sad that someone who seems really smart wrote such crap, with such low journalistic standards.

  20. #20

    Editors need to learn to stand by what they hire and ask their writers to deliver. I was so bothered by WCP Madden's choice I thought it deserved a blog posting.


  21. #21

    "You should be pretty embarrassed over your lack of respect women and sexual assault"

    Why should she respect sexual assault? Shouldn't sexual assault be something to be disrespected?

    "Shame on you Moe ... I really feel sorry for you."

    Well, at least you're on topic. Both you and the author are talking about shame.

    But while we're on that topic, shame on the Washington City Paper Editors for letting that commenter mention Moe's name. They should redact Moe's name from that comment, even if that isn't their formal, blanket policy.

  22. #22

    I think you're you're going to remove names of the "victims" you should remove all names. Names of the accusers and accuses alike. No one should be named as it hurts everyone involved.

  23. ifiwasyoureditoridfireyou

    This whole article was a big piece of barely readable "OMG look at me I'm a blogger" crap. And it follows the tendency of Assange supporters everywhere to trash his alleged victims, both by naming them, but also by belittling the charges -- like most pro-Assange writers, this one focuses entirely on the condom and completely ignores the fact that one of the victims is alleging that Assange pinned her down by force. Unless she's lying, that's rape. No gray area there.

  24. #24

    "returning to his house with a giant black dildo and violently raping him back"

    you know there are actually quite a lot of american movies.. where uh... uhh.. nevermind..

  25. #25

    "City Paper does not have a formal, blanket policy on whether to name victims of alleged sexual assaults, but in this case, it was inappropriate, and editors should have been consulted before the post was published."

    something about this really rubs me wrong. i cant put my finger on it. but i think its something like this. famous reporter, tries to write about the complicated issues around sex assault, the media, etc. said reporter makes a small mistake in judgement, small because the names have been spewn across the entire internet for days on end by now.

    The washington city editors appear to be almost entirely men, as do the managers. They decide they know what is best and unceremoniously imply the reporter wrote 'improperly'...even though they have somehow failed to develop a policy about naming victims over the past umpteen years, when the delicate issue of journalism and ethics on rape cases have been discussed in countless media forums and academic papers. the editors tell us this while simultaneously reminding us if we want to find out the names of the victims we can go google it.

    i think my main issue is the double standard, the hypocrisy. A bunch of guys sitting around judging someone who, look, was actually a victim of assault and knows more about it than they ever will, for making a small technical mistake writing about assault. while they meanwhile dont seem to have their ducks in a row as far as their responsibility to have a policy in place.

    The most ironic feature of all

    The Wikileaks dumps -themselves name a rape victim-. One of the cables discusses a rather famous case.

    Im not going to tell you which cable, because, well, that might be considered 'naming the victim'. But if you download the torrent and grep for 'rape' it's pretty easy to find. Or you could just search the New York Times from the late 1990s ---They name her too---.

  26. #26

    This is the Anita Hill story of this generation. In 20 years, all you cock hating bitches are going to look back on this & wonder what you were so upset about, and say how silly this all was. But I doubt you will reflect about the man and his character which you helped to destroy. Look what happened to Al Gore a few months ago.

    Ms. A & Ms. W never accused this guy of rape. A weekend prosecutor did so, only because he wanted to go home & knew the real prosecutor would clear it up on Monday morning. The case was thrown out Monday & then mysteriously was reactivated by a politician. Does one really need a pair of testicles to see the problem here?

  27. #27

    i know the counter argument, that famous case was different because the victim published a public letter. yeah? so is wikileaks going to comb thru all 240,000 files and make sure it doesnt name anyone else who, maybe was non-famous and didnt publically write about it?

  28. #28

    Mark-"all you cock hating bitches"

    yeah thats.. super healthy. way to raise the level of discourse and inject some calm, reasoned thinking into the argument. thanks Mark.

  29. #29

    I thought those who managed to slog their way through this article would appreciate my brevity.

  30. #30

    Moe Tkacik is one of the most talented and thoughtful writers you'll find on the Internet. In this case, I think someone must have posted a link to this on the "We Love to Get Outraged" message board and commenters flocked over from there. It's just another example of people getting all worked up about some detail in an article without bothering even to read the whole thing and put in in perspective. Moe Tkacik's analysis of this is not in any way offensive and including the names of the accusers didn't reveal any new or secret information that hurt anyone. If you think so you're just getting yourself distracted from the real issue at hand and moreover turning yourself into a hysterical censorship advocate.

  31. #31

    All these women who scream REMOVE THRE NAMES make me SICK!
    SO its okay to accuse some one from the dark of an action and have no consiquences??
    Who are you to judge him just because some women finds out he was having sex with another women, felt cheate and used and they both decide to scream rape.

    I feel sorry for real victims of rape but the sick women on here who back those who make false allegations should go out and hang themselfs.
    I know of one man a few yrs ago in my country that was falsly accused of rape by a ex girlfriend because her new boyfriend found out she had sex with him.
    She was one of these evil women that went to the police and made a false charge to delude her new boyfriend of her betrayal.
    The man could not live with the guilt and shame of being accused of rape even though he was proved not guilty, there were still those sickos like the ones on here protecting the accussers, in the end he went to a park and hung himself from a tree.

    You think women have the right to having there identity protected?
    What about the rights of men to know to stay away from such twisted evil women like you who feel it's okay to go scream rape because you have a problem with a guy?

    I agree with keeping the identity of real rape victims hidden but when its two maliscouse lying twisted sick women who collaborated on there storys after they realised they were bedding the same man then the whole world has the right to know there names.
    Both women had sex with the guy on there first dates without batting a eyelid, one even let him stay in her apartment with her a week, two things i can point out here, neither had morals and both agreed to sex on a first date and the other felt so threatend by him and the fact she had been raped that she allowed him to continue living with her and even though she went to her job everyday as normal never once felt threatend or inclined to scream rape untill she met up with other woman and found out he was sleeping with her too.

    MY point here, NAME THE LYING WOMEN!

  32. #32

    Moe--Had I not waded through your bullshit, pointless article, I wouldn't have known you were a woman-- thanks for complaining about your ex's tiny prick. Otherwise, I would've thought-- well, I still would have guessed you were a woman, but a man-hating dyke. The "Moe" still might've made me wonder, even with your unfortunate last name. No wonder this shit was in City Paper, as no one wants to pay for your rambling, inked diarrhea. You suck as a journalist.(Period)
    I'm not fond of Assange or his Wikileaks, nor am I fond of psychotic, lying, malicious women who cry "RAPE!" just because they're pissed off after consenting to intercourse with a man. Hell hath no fury like a woman fucked, scorned, and jealous and when two or more get together, well... their lies will destroy you.
    It's difficult to recover from such phony allegations. I have been falsely accused of assault by an ex-girlfriend and it was a horrendous experience that is still on my record. Long before the States' Attorney dropped the charges as unfounded--(Why? Because I had a voicemail of the psycho ex in which she admitted she lied and would say whatever lies she wanted in court)-- I had to turn myself in, get a mugshot, be fingerprinted, go to the Commissioner to be ROR'ed, etc. It could have been worse.
    There's nothing worse than a malicious, spiteful bitch who falsely accuses a man of rape or assault. Both are serious crimes, and I deplore the perpetrators of both crimes, but I feel it's a more damaging crime to wantonly destroy another's reputation with outright lies and phony allegations. I'm not going to get into broken condoms, STDs, and all those other "evidential" stories as you so repetitively do in your "article." I don't know all the facts, nor do you, so let's wait until the trial is complete. I just find it funny that these two women had the time to get together and compare notes before heading to a hospital for a rape evaluation. Suspicious bitches, no? Deem me wrong the day of his judgement.
    So why are you such a shitty writer? Was the editor out this week? You just go on and on with no point or purpose in sight. Just droning on and on and on...and on...for no sake whatsoever.
    Has it occured to you that the reason you ended up with small-dicked boyfriends was because you are undesirable? That real men with real dicks don't want you? After reading this BS-stream, I simply want to move to another continent just to get away from your nonsense. I can't imagine the stampede for the front door in a bar as soon as you open your mouth. No wonder you can't get a real man, and I hope your beloved Mr.small-dick did wear condoms to keep your undesirable genes out of the pool.
    Ugh, I can't even believe I wasted all these keystrokes on you. WTF? I bet you're Jewish, too, huh. Were it not for the holidays and the support of my family and friends, I'd kill myself after reading your bullshit article.
    Thanks for helping me to keep everything in perspective over the holidays.


  33. #33

    Oh for fuck's sake--
    I just scrolled up and could not miss-- in HIGHLIGHTS, no less-- that you actually mentioned Anna Nicole Smith at the end of your article.
    I was pleased I responded to you without using the word "cunt,", but forget that. Fuck those stupid CUNTS who accused him and want their identities kept secret. I hope those dumb bitches are charged with perjury and a rack of other charges. I hope a bunch of rape victims--male and female-- kick the living shit outta them once the truth comes out.

  34. #34

    This article is an indulgent piece of tripe. The author should be embarrassed. Complete waste of time.

  35. #35

    Wow, how polarizing. And for what? Its well informed, the names were already out there and Tkacik makes some excellent points about cultural norms. There is the question of the first person asides, but well, no one's perfect, alas.

    I don't know, maybe it was meant to stir up the booboisie; in which case its even more effective than one thought.

    WCP editors: you suck.

  36. #36

    "Its well informed, the names were already out there and Tkacik makes some excellent points about cultural norms."

    The Washington City Paper Editors don't have a formal, blanket policy on well informed posts that makes excellent points about cultural norms, but in this case, they seem opposed.

    "There is the question of the first person asides, but well, no one's perfect, alas."

    I personally find Tkacik's digressions into her own voice to be a feature, not a bug. But de gustibus non est disputandum.

  37. #37

    Ass-uange didn't listen to them saying "no, I don't want to be unprotected from you..." he had a choice--they didn't when he didn't listen to them.The author here makes many points...Julian's ethics being one. THAT can be used in a court of law to establish the character of this idiot. He does have a right to shout out info for the protection of free speech, but in turn, his life will not be private, I bet he will change his mind about all the lives he exposed to media once the media is done with reporting about him. What a twist of fate. And Micheal Moore will be his only friend. nice. Love the article. And it is the principle NOT to publish the victims names period, so kudos to ethically removing them. ~G

  38. #38

    OMG....what if Ass---uange is actually not using a barrier to populate himself. THAT is the real crime here. ahhhhh!!! and if one of these ladies gets an STD from him or AIDS....they can prosecute. wow,,,imagine that! He better educate himself on some law... Narcisists do things for a reason---themself.

  39. #39

    Apparently, all you have to do to get a pass from lefty types for sexism/abuse/coercion/rape is to make a name for yourself attacking the United States. Then all is forgivable. Free Mumia!

  40. #40

    I'm afraid this whole media storm around Assange reminds me of the whole O.J. Simpson circus in a way. I recall it very distinctly because I was a single payer activist. The week of his arrest (1993) was the same week health care reform (after being headline news for a year) died a quiet death in Congress. So what is the corporate media trying to conceal by beating Assange's sex life to death? Most of the information in the recent cables release is already widely available on the Internet. At the same time I find it surprising to find absolutely nothing about the "strategic" reasons the US is at war in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Nothing about the Pentagon agenda to foster the secession of oil and mineral rich Balochistan from Pakistan as a US client state - just like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and other former Soviet republics. Nothing about CIA support for the Baloch separatist movement. Nothing about the CIA training young Baloch separatists in bomb making and other terrorist activities to disrupt operations at the Chinese-built Gwadar Port (intended to transport Iranian oil and natural gas via Pakistan to China). I blog about this at http://stuartbramhall.aegauthorblogs.com/2010/11/28/afghanistan-and-the-road-runner/

  41. #41

    "So what is the corporate media trying to conceal by beating Assange's sex life to death?"

    It's not about concealment. It's about changing the topic.

    They're essentially trying to move both British and general world opinion around to the point where extraditing Assange to the US to face espionage charges seems politically unobjectionable.

  42. #42

    It's not about concealment. It's about changing the topic.

    Yes, that's what it's about if the two very real women who feel they were attacked by Assange don't matter at all.

    In an incredible moment of arrogance, Assange recently compared himself to Martin Luther King. Dr. King never used his prowess to abuse anyone, though.

  43. #43

    "In an incredible moment of arrogance, Assange recently compared himself to Martin Luther King. Dr. King never used his prowess to abuse anyone, though."

    Who the hell knows what went on in Dr. King's private life. Like JFK, he seems to have played the field actively.

    But Dr. King and JFK lived in an era before the right discovered that publicizing the fondness of many on the left for sex gave them an opportunity to eliminate potentially powerful foes.

    Dr. King and JFK lived in an era before a dictator like Mahathir bin Mohamad discovered he could remove a political opponent like Anwar Ibrahim with sexual charges while limiting the global blowback.

    I wasn't in the room with Assange and the two women. I agree with Moe that Assange seems to have bad social manners, to say the very minimum. But I, like pretty much everyone else with a brain who is watching, understands that those encounters are being used to accomplish a purpose that has little to do with protecting vulnerable women.

  44. #44

    I'm glad to see some positive comments weighing in on this. Its a good story (done without the benefit of a copyeditor probably). To the editors that kow-towed to the baying for blood "take the names down;" they should remember that commenters are always more apt to bash something than praise it. Human to give in perhaps; but less than admirable.

  45. #45

    great piece, Mo. This whole thing is two sides where one is "it's just a broken condom" (not) and the other claims a highly editorialized story from a feminist blog about a fictional generic woman being held down and screaming stop stop stop during intercourse. Funny, the prosecutor never even alleged that. Nor do the victim's statements support that story. Neither party wants to stick to just the facts without embellishing in either direction, but the anti-Moore/Olberman set adds hypocrisy on top of it.

    But you say he's accused of raping two women but that is not true. He is only accused of raping one woman, the second one (Miss W), not both. The alleged offenses against the first woman are 1 count of unlawful coercion (which is less serious than rape and in fact the prosecutor's allegation did not mention the word "intercourse" on that count so likely there was none at that stage...likely why it wasn't alleged to be rape), and 2 counts of molestation, which is more minor than coercion and includes unwanted sexual advances (such as that alleged on Aug 18) and the possible condom sabotage on Aug 14. The law is published in English on the prosecutor's site.

  46. #46

    Perhaps it’s time people started criticizing women AND men for thinking and behaving like sluts, instead of normalizing a risk-infested, destructive and harmful way of thinking about sex, devoid of any moral or committed relationship framework. The women here are the ones who are responsible for their own reckless sexual activity.

    However, contrary to macho jingoism, thinking and behaving in a “slut”-like way is terrible and irresponsible for men as well. It’s this issue of the normalization of reckless, loveless, respect-less sex that liberals (US meaning) anywhere are too cowardly and devoid of ethics to address, whether it applies to men or to women.

    All three individuals in this case (two women and one man) have harmful views and behaviors about sexuality and personal relationships. And yet, this is the model that is being consistently pushed in just about every television show and movie, being taken up by a large number of people, young and old. I believe the damage that this does to the individual lives of millions of people is being completely ignored by a good part of society.

    If these women aren't pawns of the CIA, they are pawns of the prosecution, which ridicules real rape survivors. And if the claim is that they have had their integrity violated, we have all had our intelligence violated by the ridiculous behavior of all involved in this case.

  47. #47

    Their are two separate issues: 1. naming names of alleged sex offenders and victims 2 Guilt or innocence of Julian Assange.

    As to number one. Making a false accusation of a crime is damaging to the falsely accused. Until a case is adjudicated, revealing accuser or accused has great potential for damage or personal harm to both, any protection conferred to one party taints the public's perception of guilt or innocence. Media should publish nothing or both names.

    As to 2, that's for a court or jury to decide, which will be more difficult with the release of the details of the crime.

    The author has an immature fascination with negatively characterizing Julian Assanges genitalia. What's with that?

    I'd like the author to publish the name of the man she allegedly dated who "once volunteered to me that he had deliberately ripped condoms with a previous girlfriend." It's all too convenient that she's has personal evidence of this rather illogical behavior, and offers an equally illogical "imagined" motive. Please explain why two random men would put on a condom and then render it useless (for both parties) but still keep it on during coitus, and why you think having a larger organ would make this inexplicable behavior more likely, and how these two men somehow ended up in your life as the subject and evidence of your story? I think you are lying about a former boyfriend telling you about this. What's his name, when did it happen and where does he live? It's a potential crime in Sweden, he can't be charged here, you think he's total scum, why not expose him to prove me wrong?

  48. #48

    less likely

  49. #49

    "Perhaps it’s time people started criticizing women AND men for thinking and behaving like sluts"

    Or perhaps it's time for America to become a civilized society and start criticizing women AND men like you who call for the shaming of folks who they say "think and behave like sluts".

  50. #50

    Judging from the response from this article, it seems that feminists will even destroy OTHER WOMEN.


  51. #51

    Brahmin: "Beyond the legal definition, Why in the world would you not include your partner in the decision to have sex?"

    Your rant is absurd and it is reverse sexism. These women wanted to screw Assange before he even arrived in Sweden. They were the predators. They were stalking him. They bragged to their friends about screwing him. They took naked pictures of him. The were in effect screaming "YES". The rape charges are based on nothing more than after the fact revenge because they didn't like the outcome and because they come from a country where the feminist extremists have convinced them that if they ended up unhappy then it was rape.

  52. #52

    Remarkable: "Dr. King never used his prowess to abuse anyone, though."

    How about the people whose work he plagerized?

  53. #53

    Decora: "A bunch of guys sitting around judging someone"

    Well, as you know, Decora, the woman is always right, honest, well meaning and innocent. And they never judge anyone - like Moe The men are always wrong, lying, selfish, predatory and guilty - like the editors.

    Ever think of moving to Sweden? Please! You'd fit right in with the other sexist feminists.

  54. #54

    Moe Tkacik is a thoughtful commenter and talented writer... (?) I'm not deep in to the Assange/wikileaks/rape story. But i can smell dreck when i read this unedited stream of not very consciousness...
    I'd give a HS senior a C on the effort.

  55. #55

    I'm probably the last to know this, but in case that's not the case, here's a Christmas Eve tweet from WCP Managing Editor Mike Madden (bold highlighting is mine):

    @randomsubu @sadydoyle Moe's departure was already on the way and had nothing to do with the content of that post.


  56. #56

    And adding to above - although her departure may well have been "on the way", 'twas news to Moe herself at the time she posted this. A 23DEC tweet from her:

    Oh jesus christ. Hey, @mikemadden let's be transparent, if you or any other @wcp superiors want to delete names and/or fire me, feel free!

    Weeell, Moe, apparently they did "feel free"...


  57. #57

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  59. #59

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  60. #60

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