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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Manning, Assange and beyond

Glenn Greenwald gets it: Bradley Manning must undergo harsh treatment not because his captors want him to tell the truth but because they want him to lie. The government needs him to sign off on a fictional story in order to make a case against Wikileaks chieftain Julian Assange.

False testimony. That's the only reason for handing out the "Dreyfus" treatment to Manning, or to anyone. The captors want their captives to join in the practice of "testilying."

I've still seen no evidence that Manning has had anything to do with the leaking of any material other than the infamous "helicopter" video, for which we owe him a debt of thanks. If you know of any such evidence, please share with the rest of the class.

Greenwald is also quite correct in his castigation of the Obot left, who have resorted to various smarmy rhetorical stratagems to defend the administration's treatment of Manning.

About Assange: A friend to this blog, in the comments appended to the post below this one, offered up some interesting pieces of the puzzle.

As we've noted in previous posts, the ladies at the heart of the Assange "rape" case never actually accused him of rape. The original prosecutor -- female, as it happens -- refused to take action against Assange, saying "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

Her decision was overturned by another prosecutor. The law firm representing the accused is named
Borgstrom & Bodstrom.

Why is this interesting? For two reasons:

1. The lead attorney is
Claes Borgstrom, described (by our commenter) as "a highly politically wired former government minister." Think about it. The accuser, Anna Ardin, is known as an ultra-feminist who gives hipster parties for anarchists. If she were American, you would expect her to hire someone like Gloria Allred. Instead, she hired The Man.

2. The other partner in this firm is Thomas Bodstrom, former Swedish Minister of Justice and chairman of the
Swedish Parliament's committee for juridical issues. Even more than Borgstrom, this guy deserves to be called The Man.

Thomas Bodstrom is also known for writing spy thrillers. And he is very CIA-friendly.

(Side note: Spy writers often have Agency contacts -- and in the course of those relationships, the writers usually get turned. Sometimes the books contain messages which make sense in spook-world but which are unfathomable to ordinary mortals. I've spoken off-the-record to one bestselling author who, back in the Cold War days, was assured that his latest would received scads of positive reviews if the book included certain cryptic passages written by someone working for DOD. No, I'm not talking about Tom Clancy. Although I wouldn't be even slightly surprised if...)

(Sorry. Lost the thread. Let's get back to Bodstrom and Assange.)
As Sweden’s Minister of Justice, Bodström helped his nation in 2001 secretly turn over to the Central Intelligence Agency two asylum-seekers suspected by the CIA of terror...
The CIA flew the terror suspects to Egypt for torture as part of the decade’s rendition effort requiring secret, high-level Swedish cooperation.
The folks behind The Pirate Bay -- the bittorrent site -- have given server space to Assange and have aided him in other ways. Bodstrom is perhaps the biggest enemy that Pirate Bay has. He was responsible for the 2006 raid on the Pirate Bay's servers -- and he apparently acted as a result of U.S. pressure.
After the raid against the Pirate Bay, Piratbyrån and almost 200 other servers, information suggesting pressure from American lobby organisations as well as the US government was the reason for the police action was released. Minister of justice Thomas Bodström immediately denied all knowledge of that kind of foreign influence.

This Tuesday however, Swedish public service TV have presented evidence that shows how, shortly before the raid, the US justice department threatened with trade sanctions via the WTO if Sweden doesn't act harder on Swedish file-sharing sites – that is, the Pirate Bay.
And just to tie this post in with our previous post:
Bodström's the one who pushed the Data Retention Directive through the EU parliament.
Swedes have coined a term -- "The Bordstrom Society" -- which functions as a synonym for "Orwellian nightmare."

And speaking of Orwellian nightmares, this is interesting:
Bodström's the one who wanted to further expand definitions of rape crimes to eventually include further definitions of 'sexual coercion' which with time would probably include 'soft music', 'soft lighting', flowers and chocolates.
A false appeal to feminism is a devious way to inject repressive measures into a liberal nation like Sweden. Bodstrom's proposed measures would effectively criminalize male heterosexuality. Of course, such a law would be enforced selectively. The real purpose is not to protect women but to give the state an excuse to scoop up any man it chooses. (We see a similar tactic at work here in the U.S., where the threat of "kiddie porn" is forever being used to strip all citizens of their right to privacy.)

The complicating factor here: Both Assange and Pirate Bay have themselves been accused of being "The Man" -- or, at least, of serving far-right interests. Carl Lundstrom, a wealthy Swede long associated with the extreme right, owns 40% of Pirate Bay; his servers got the enterprise rolling. Lundstrom was one of the parties charged and found guilty at the trial.

This means that Assange's material is on those servers. And that means that Lundstrom and his skinhead pals have access to all of that stuff -- even the unreleased files. It is known that Assange has uploaded a massive file labeled "Insurance," to be revealed (presumably) if anything happens to him.

Assange himself has been accused of working for the CIA and/or the far right. John Young of Cryptome, who used to work with Assange, has turned against him -- although some have read more into his comments than I think is warranted.

Personally, I suspect that some of the anti-Assange animus stems from paranoia. Those who think that Assange is "in" with the spooks have to come up with an explanation for the ghastly treatment which Bradley Manning must endure.

That said, we have reason to worry when a guy like Lundstrom gets access to secret American documents unavailable (so far) to you and me.
Sounds like the same reasons for our government's treatment of the Gitmo War on Terra detainees. Torture them until they admit to the involvement of what ever oil rich country so we have an excuse to invade.
Bush the Lesser and dick Cheney blew it with Iraq, brother Jeb! will get it right when we go into Iran.
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