Charged. With. Rape.
No. No, he isn't. And by using this phrase over and over again, the media - willingly or wilfully stupidly - creates a reality that is distorted, a Bizarro-type worldview that, if repeated over and over, will lodge itself int he viewers' minds.
There are some good people out there, still, and by good I don't mean that they are siding with Assange and excuse something, anything, what may have happened or not, no, I mean that they are reporting on the issue in such a way that it reflects the reality of the situation.
The BBC is one of those organisations. None of the US media outlets is.
Here is the most relevant sentence.
Under Swedish law, Mr Assange has not been formally charged. He has merely been accused and told he has questions to answer.Understand what this means? What this means is that two women are accusing him. There is no actual charge against him. But still, that accusation is enough - only in his case, from the information that I could find - to hunt down the man with an international warrant. Even though the Swedish police and the government let him leave the country after the fact.
What was that again?
In series like Dragnet?
Don't leave town, right?
Let me point it out again. Nearly four months after, the Swedish government, the Swedish prosecution has absolutely not enough, again, this bears repeating, they have not enough to even formally charge the man with a crime. Why is there apparently no case? Well, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, this is why the accusations were brought forth in the first place.
The two Swedish women who accuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sexual misconduct were at first not seeking to bring charges against him. They just wanted to track him down and persuade him to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, according to several people in contact with his entourage at the time.
The women went to the police together after they failed to persuade Assange to go to a doctor after separate sexual encounters with him in August, according to these people, who include former close associates of Assange who have since fallen out with him.
The women had trouble finding Assange because he had turned off his cellphone out of concern his enemies might trace him, these sources said.
And again. Rape is one of the most serious charges you can bring forth against a man.
Rape. Put it in your mind. Rape.
If these are the reasons why these two women went to the police, then they should be ashamed of themselves. And yes, I know that there are a gazillion feminists ready to pound on me now, and those sources are somewhat tainted by the former afiliation with Assange, but still...
You wanted him to be tested for STDs? Really? Because he fucked political groupies like you? Here's a hint. Maybe you should bring those accusations against every asshole (and yes, such behaviour makes Assange an asshole of the Grade A variety) who ever cheated on you.
Just the fact that Assange at the time apparently had an "entourage", as this article says, makes him a Grade A asshole. Still, being an asshole does not make you a rapist. Rape... makes you a rapist.
No, let's go one step further. Let's make cheating (and in this case it apparently wasn't even cheating, for cheating would imply an actual relationship, and nothing I have read so far would appear to indicate that) a punishable offense. Yes. Let's call that... rape. Because in Sweden, you apparently need to have a permission slip, pre-negotiated, before you can go out with a woman, for she just may see you dating another woman and accuse you of using "emotional coercion" to sleep with her.
Innocent until proven guilty? Apparently not here. Both the governments and the media have pretty much made up their mind already. Charged with rape. That is a blatant lie. If they think they have a case, they should charge him. And let him stand trial.
But they haven't.
And since they haven't, this is what this is. A character assassination.
Pure and simple.