With Assange Safely Locked up, Sweden Drops ‘Investigation’

He is caged, and public support for him has been deliberately demolished. The Swedish legal parody did its job, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Now that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is safely locked up in Belmarsh prison awaiting a U.S. extradition hearing, Sweden has, for a third time, dropped its rape investigation.

“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” said Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson at a press conference in Stockholm on Tuesday.

This decision comes days after the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer began making noise about the Swedish government’s refusal to answer his questions on the many enormous, glaring plot holes in the investigation, which began in 2010. These plot holes include “proactive manipulation of evidence” with the testimony of the alleged victim, a condom provided as evidence that had neither the DNA of Assange nor of the alleged victim on it, complete disregard for confidentiality rules and normal investigative protocol from the earliest moments of the investigation onward, disregard for conflicts of interest, Sweden’s refusal to provide assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the U.S. if he went there to answer questions, statements made by the alleged victims which contradict the allegations, unexplained correspondence between Swedish prosecutors and the FBI, and many others.

None of which matters anymore. He is caged, and public support for him has been deliberately demolished. The Swedish parody of an “investigation” did its job. Assange took political asylum with the government of Ecuador out of fear of U.S. extradition and was slowly squeezed off from the outside world, his own reputation, and his own physical health while the empire prepared its case against him, keeping him increasingly immobilized, silenced and smeared until he could be forcibly pried from the embassy in April of this year.

Once this was accomplished, all the feigned concern for alleged victims of sexual assault suddenly vanished, lining up perfectly with a 2010 article authored in the early days of the investigation by feminist writer Naomi Wolf who said, “How do I know that Interpol, Britain and Sweden’s treatment of Julian Assange is a form of theater? Because I know what happens in rape accusations against men that don’t involve the embarrassing of powerful governments.”

“In other words: Never in twenty-three years of reporting on and supporting victims of sexual assault around the world have I ever heard of a case of a man sought by two nations, and held in solitary confinement without bail in advance of being questioned — for any alleged rape, even the most brutal or easily proven,” Wolf wrote. “In terms of a case involving the kinds of ambiguities and complexities of the alleged victims’ complaints — sex that began consensually that allegedly became non-consensual when dispute arose around a condom — please find me, anywhere in the world, another man in prison today without bail on charges of anything comparable.”

Everyone who was familiar with sexual assault investigations knew that Assange’s case was being treated wildly different from any other, and anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty knew that this was because his case was different from any other: it was an investigation of a man who had embarrassed powerful governments. That was always what this was about. It was never about protecting women. The fact that the case is being flushed now that the imperialists have gotten what they wanted makes this abundantly clear.

And now he’s locked up for no other reason than a pending U.S. extradition request, exactly as he anticipated and rightly tried to avoid. The ridiculous bail sentence he was serving has already expired, and the rape investigation everyone pretended was so important has been tossed aside like an old gum wrapper. As one reader put it on Twitter today, “So Julian Assange continues to be detained in a high security prison, having completed an extreme sentence for not meeting the bail conditions for a charge that wasn’t and won’t be made. All on top of the rules of asylum being cast aside to net him. This is rule of jackboot not law.”

“Let’s call this for what it is: an outrage,” the Defend Assange account tweeted after the news broke. “The road to Belmarsh and 175-years in prison was paved in Stockholm–and so it will be remembered. The damage done to Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputation-outing his name in an ‘investigation’ for which he was never charged-is monstrous.”

Monstrous it is. And monstrous the whole thing remains. They have maneuvered circumstances and narratives in such a way that they are now able to literally imprison a journalist for exposing U.S. war crimes, right in front of us, while telling us we live in a free society. It’s like watching someone who’s supposed to be your friend reach down and start strangling your dog to death while looking you right in the eye and saying “I’m not killing your dog. I would never do that. We’re friends.”

They’ve locked him up. They’ve silenced him. They’ve broken his body. They’ve broken his mind. And now they’re trying to lock him out of sight forever, out of sight and out of mind, so we can all forget all about the evil things they’ve revealed about themselves.

But all that means is that now his fate is in our hands. Back when he was strong and bright-eyed and had a voice, it was easy to kid ourselves and say “Eh, he’ll find a way out of this. He’s the smartest guy around!” It was easy to lean on his strength in order to abdicate our responsibility to defend him tooth and claw from a globe-spanning oligarchic empire which seeks to criminalize holding power to account.

We can’t do that anymore. We can’t take comfort in Assange’s power, because he doesn’t have it anymore. His frailty now means we need to be the strong ones. We need to fight for him, because he can’t do it himself. We need to win this battle if we’re ever to have any hope of overturning the status quo that is oppressing us all and shoving us toward greater and greater peril. We can’t afford to lose this one. We need to fight for Assange like the world depends on it. Because, in a very real sense, it does.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” 

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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21 comments for “With Assange Safely Locked up, Sweden Drops ‘Investigation’

  1. Lily
    November 22, 2019 at 05:07

    The English justice system is back into the middle age. Sweden, Uk and Us have been committing a crime which nobody should ever forget.

    Now the sleeping, haughty journalists all over the world, after having been influenced by the vast public smearing of Assange, finally – if not too late – start to realize what is on stake for them. And even now they they are unable to be fair. Many of them like the founder of the Intercept start their pitch by saying “no matter what you think about Assange but…” which shows they still believe the smearing. They are no better than a simple uneducated news consumer who is unable to unterstand what is really going on. Assange is so brave. He is a hero and many of his collegues are nothing but small minded, corrupted crooks.

    Don’t give up Julian! Resistance is growing all over the world. And thanks to CN for having been at his side all these years!

  2. hans meyer
    November 22, 2019 at 02:24

    The judivial procedure against Julun Assange is based on actual infractions, called journalism (the real kind). His crime, exposing criminal activities from various governments (USA, France, England, Russia,…) and various corporations. We are in a strange situation, where the criminals are judging the innocent. That situation is, in a way, similar to ?l’Affaire Dreyfus? where a knon innocent man was found guilty ¿by his own governmznt? – What is the Australian government doing about J. Assange. There is a radio silence from the beginning, as if their sovereignty on the matter is below the ones of the USA/UK!

  3. robert e williamson jr
    November 21, 2019 at 22:27

    Some of the comments here continue to become stranger and stranger, sure sign of weird times. So a few grains of true relevance.

    Most likely do not know Anna Chan Chenault young wife of Lt. Gen. Claire Chennault 35 years her senior. Wiki her, she played a very similar role in the 1968 election as to this circus we have now. helping Nixon have his way with LBJ. Same deal, involved national security AND happened in a time of war. She was a republican and lobbied as such, from Ken Hughes “CHASING SHADOWS” p7-8.

    A bolt of brilliance fell from John Deans mouth tonight on CNN. John espoused the one big difference between Nixon, and Clinton is that Trumps action co-mingled crime with national security. Nixon and Clinton’s did not. Dean’s comment in the very least, exposes democratic ineptitude in pulling this off after they missed a chance to do something similar to get Nixon in 1968.

    Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange didn’t embarrass our government they embarrassed the security/intelligence state who propel the policies of the Deep State. And those agencies took it and made it personal. What they and others have done serve the people not the lies and sweet multi-million dollars deals brokered by the heads of these agencies.

    If this impeachment circus is the best either party can provide their respective constituents we are in really big trouble, as if we didn’t already know!

    Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange need to be released and allowed their freedom for embarrassing two enormous security institutions who didn’t know what they were doing. Still don’t. We need these people working for us and they all need metals.

    Just as those who bring us the war on terrorism routinely fail at preventing propagation of terrorists and create many more by the tactics they use those same people create more individuals who fit in this “new world of the intelligence of all things”.

    Vet never forget, never give up!

    Great stuff! Ms. Johnstone

  4. Peter in Seattle
    November 21, 2019 at 18:39

    Swedish prosecutors taking their marching orders from SÄPO (the Swedish Security Service), and SÄPO taking their marching orders from the CIA. It’s a shame Stieg Larsson died young, because with the Millennium Trilogy he covered only the SÄPO-prosecution part of the scenario. (Seriously — read the trilogy, or at least watch the Swedish/Danish films, and tell me how far-fetched the prosecutorial misconduct there strikes you in light of what Swedish prosecutors did to Assange. Don’t buy new copies, though. Larsson died intestate. Everything goes to Larsson’s estranged next of kin, who were total dicks to his common-law widow.)

    For my part, I’m “BDS-ing” Sweden, the UK, and the US to the extent I can for their persecution of Assange and their assault on freedom of information and freedom of the press. I live in the US, and there’s a limit to how much BDS-ing I can do with respect to my own country. But I haven’t forgotten that Amazon Web Services took down Wikileaks’ website and that PayPal froze Wikileaks’ account in response to overt pressure from US officials, and serving as a private proxy for government cuts both ways. I have lots of reasons for wanting to BDS the US (and Amazon and PayPal) and the UK, but with Sweden, Assange is the big one, and with the US and UK, it’s a major one. What despicable behavior from countries masquerading as constitutional democracies that value civil liberties and human rights.

    You know, I’m thinking that the US, the UK, and Sweden read “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and didn’t like the way it ended. They thought it would have been a much better idea to threaten and shut up anyone who repeated the child’s ingenuous observation that the Emperor had no clothes, and to malign, isolate, imprison, and neglect the child until he went insane, died, or was forgotten — whichever came first. In their view, that’s statecraft. No one challenges the Big Dog — no one.

  5. November 21, 2019 at 16:24

    It was an investigation of a man who had embarrassed powerful governments.
    Spot on

  6. November 21, 2019 at 14:39

    One may wonder why repressions directed at Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange are so grotesque and why “liberal media” is so obedient. For example, UK has a wealth of prison cells that are not solitary, including 60% of cells in Belmarsh prison that was build for most dangerous prisoners like Irish (and later, Islamic) terrorists. Befitting enlightened ideas that were not totally dead at the time of construction, Belmarsh inmates “are offered access to education, workshops, two gyms, one focusing on Physical Education courses and one recreational, with use of a sports hall and a fitness room. The gym staff also have a partnership with Charlton Athletic F.C. to deliver FA accredited coaching courses for prisoners.” There was no need to treat Assange with extreme harshness.

    Was he offered access to education, workshop, recreation and sports? Apart from mocking legal principles, this harshness may seem counterproductive as it motivates people like Caitlin and her readers. Yet, there are even more people working in media and institutions dealing with horrid secrets who now can be “steadied” not merely with salaries etc. but also with fear: we can get you ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING to the disobedient.

  7. DH Fabian
    November 21, 2019 at 14:38

    We know we need to fight. As individuals, we don’t know what to do. Sign petitions, write letters, shout into the wind. Meaninglessly shout, “Organize!” and hope someone does something somewhere.

    • jmg
      November 21, 2019 at 18:01

      DH Fabian wrote:
      “we don’t know what to do”

      There is Julian’s point of view. He has been answering letters these months from prison:


      > In defiance of all the forces trying to silence Julian Assange, he continues to speak to the world. He is doing so through the only avenue left to him — by sending replies to the letters of supporters that reach him in Belmarsh Prison. . . .

      > Taken together, they map out the path to building a successful campaign that may free Julian Assange and save his life. The following are proposals for the “free Assange” campaign from Julian’s letters from Belmarsh. . . .

      > “Start a ‘free Assange’ organising committee in [your town or city]!” . . .

      > “. . . the days when I could read and speak and organise to defend myself, my ideals and my people are over until I am free! Everyone else must take my place.” . . .

      > “. . . – – – . . .” [S.O.S.] . . .

      > “It is people like you, great and small, fighting to save my life that keeps me going. We can win this! Don’t let the bastards sacrifice freedom of speech, European democracy and my life . . .”

      > “Push on that which will move, not simply that which opposes. Said another way, find weak links in the chain that binds me.” . . .

      > “. . . organisations that can be influenced and which are not used to protest or have difficulty defending against it ideologically”. . . .

      > “Please adapt above to local conditions. I am very isolated and not sure of the state of play, but you get the idea.” . . .

      > “Thank you! The suffering here is profound, but we can win this! Knowing you have my back is what gets me through!” . . .

      > “I am in a very dark place presently. Light up the night until victory!” . . .

      > “Thank you for fighting to save my life. Please pass on my love and appreciation to all who are showing such commitment to bringing me safely home.” . . .

      > “Knowing you are out there fighting for me keeps me alive in this profound isolation.” . . .

      > “It’s not just me. It’s much wider. It’s all of us. It’s all journalists, and all publishers who do their job who are in danger.” . . .

      > “Truth, ultimately, is all we have.”

      (Letters from Belmarsh: What Julian Assange says we should do to save his life — Independent Australia — 18 October 2019)

  8. bob
    November 21, 2019 at 13:28

    britain and america think they rule the planet – they make rules up as they go along – and then hypocritically define everybody else’s actions based, not on their own because they are ‘supreme’ but on evidence free imagination – both nations are truly outof-order- immoral, corrupt and pointless

  9. Barry
    November 21, 2019 at 10:49

    Such a tragic , disgusting display by self proclaimed homes of Justice and freedom. Sweden pathetic. Great? Britain pathetic. Australia pathetic. Worst of all the home of fascism 2.0 – the US as they go through their sitcom of protecting a lowlife CIA “whistleblower” – just a flunky operative – while a real hero rots in jail for publishing their criminality.

    Do these government’s expect any person with any decency to take them seriously anymore?

    All respect and love to Assange.

    • November 22, 2019 at 10:53

      Dead on Barry. I don’t think they care if we take them seriously anymore-they feel they are “above the law”.

  10. November 21, 2019 at 10:30

    Another outstanding article Caitlin. So much for the US establishment and their purported support of “whistleblowers”…

  11. Anna
    November 21, 2019 at 08:58

    Assange has suffered from malicious actions conducted by a number of Swedish politicians such as Carl Bildt, Claes Bodström, Marianne Ny, and Thomas Bordström.

    These “moralists” have been at the heart of the persecution of the courageous journalist.

    In comparison, Ghislaine Maxwell, whose activities of a procuress of underage girls for rapes to the “important” rapists like Clinton, Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew, still has no problems with living as a free woman. No Interpol Red Alert for the Mossad-connected Madam Maxwell. The British judicial system has become a laughing stock. A country of the well-protected pedophiles, from Jimmy Savile to Cyril Smith and other 250 prominent friends of British prime-ministers and the Royal Family, has exposed itself as a hypocritical bloody villain murdering slowly the inconveniently honest Assange.

    • November 21, 2019 at 22:01

      The video you referenced isn’t correct, the 1st prosecutor completely dismissed the allegation not “leaving any suspicion for molestation” as said on this video; it’s only later when several of the alleged offences were dismissed that this took place, with only one remaining as an alleged molestation of a lesser degree. The very 1st was completely dismissed, as there was no finding of suspicion of rape, or any offences.
      Correct please!!
      A little ferment here and there, and it gives rise to lots of conflicting arguments, and falsehood.
      I did listen up to here, after which I decided that this ONE most important fact which has also been dismissed from the PRESS, yet was a proof of Julian Assange innocence, was hidden from the public.
      Most incorrect at the light of facts we know, are also found here: justice4assange.com

  12. AnneR
    November 21, 2019 at 08:30

    Thank you once again Caitlin for this necessary article on Assange. And for bringing out Naomi Wolf ‘s pointed, apposite statement on the whole charade that was the Swedish part in this abomination.

    And the smear campaign seems to have worked well – especially so in this “Me Too” period, wherein accusations can be made in public, a person smeared, their lives and livelihoods (I’m not speaking about such as Weinstein, but about ordinary men) ruined. (Having been attacked and assaulted by men in my past, it is not that I automatically believe them – but neither do I automatically believe women, either. Being female does not grant automatic saintliness – not hardly.)

    No female – well educated, literate, and thinking of themselves as progressive, liberal, leftish – of my acquaintance appears willing to stand up for Assange – *because* they believe the “rape” charges, they accepted the smear campaign as the truth (but then they tend to be NYT, Grauniad, NPR, MSDNC etc adherents, along with such soft “left” alt mags as Jacobin, Truthout etc etc). And apparently (!!!) these females shrug their minds at the notion of someone spending the rest of their life in prison for rape (a rape that didn’t happen – but hey, the MSM said it did because Sweden said it did, sort of, maybe).

    They don’t give a flying F about what Wikileaks under his charge revealed about the war crimes our governments have committed – Nahhh, big shrugs of shoulders.

    As for Sweden – hmm like the other Scandinavian countries (especially Norway and Sweden) they do like very much to be seen as “progressive,” open societies – but their past is far less shiny bright, wholesome, humane than they would like to be reminded of. And they are clearly very willing tools of the US-UK-IS hegemonic enterprise.

    • Anna
      November 21, 2019 at 14:42

      The self-serving and ridiculous MeToo disappeared as soon as Epstein saga had begun unraveling. MeToo’s main activists are very, very mindful about their social positions and paychecks. None of them issued a word about Mr. Clinton’s involvement with Epstein and Mr. Clinton’s frequent-flier trips to the pedophile island.
      MeToo’s betrayal of human values, including the betrayal of the truth-teller whose actions were directed against the global war machine, has sent the noisy MeToo activists into oblivion. Shame on the “progressives” and “leftists” and other politically-correct thugs like antifa for their betrayal of Assange the Truth-teller.

    • November 21, 2019 at 14:49

      Concerning the past of Scandinavian countries, they should be given credit for rising above it. Sadly, this “rising period” seems to be in the past (except Iceland?).

    • RickiFits
      November 21, 2019 at 17:44

      Thanks Anne R for that lovely comment towards men. It’s beautiful to hear someone speak the truth regardless of their sex race or any platform which can is used to divide us. The truth is really what wiki-leaks was about to begin with. So what does that say about our modern society? Well we are merely treading water. Surrounded by Sharks, in a sea of lies. Anyone who cares about truth in Australia is regularly censored. This can be seen in the response to Cassie Jaye’s film’ The red Pill”. She was attacked and crucified in this country, and her film about men’s rights was banned in cinemas. A similar hatred has portrayed Julian as the Villain in this corrupt capitalist country. I believe the truth does set you free. Yet the truth is also feared by the greedy oligarchs who wish to keep controlling our daily lives. As we can see with Julian Chelsea Manning et al, the TRUTH can also destroy your life. Historically this is nothing new, but it’s getting worse every time I look at the so-called “News”. How can the people making the rules sleep at night? Why does MSM media go along for the ride? Simply they do not care until something bad happens to them or someone they know. Or if they are forced too! To them Empathy was yesterday, tonight they dine on the fruits of their own corruption. As we sit here angry, almost powerless in our lives. The sideshow continues. And Julian just rots away in Belmarsh prison. Shame on you Scott Morrison! Shame on you Marise Payne! To treat your own citizen this way is absolutely UN-Australian. C’mon, Is that True blue? They don’t care about what is TRUE and that just makes me feel blue. I think it’s time to take a different kind of action. For the pen does not seem mightier than the sword to this social Pariah.

  13. Alois Mueller
    November 21, 2019 at 05:05

    His chances are still bad:
    “The husband of this Supreme Judge, Baron Arbuthnot of Edrom, James Norwich Arbuthnot, a former British Defense Secretary, has seen deepening “financial ties to the British military, including institutions, and to, according to an investigative research by the Daily Maverick People whose machinations have been exposed by WikiLeaks “. Furthermore, the Daily Maverick reports that the judge Lady Emma, as Judge Arbuthnot likes to be called, has just received gifts from the military and cyber security companies, from those who had been exposed by WikiLeaks for all sorts of offenses. But that’s not all: even the son of “Lady Emma” is financially deeply involved in this swamp of intelligence services, which operate the delivery of Assange to the United States.”

  14. November 20, 2019 at 22:04

    Now off the Assange (tail)hook, the Swedish Police can get on with hunting down the real rape and violence sweeping their country. Would it all go away if they joined the brotherhood of nato ?

    • Mary
      November 22, 2019 at 13:20

      Julian Assange is doomed because of the Evil Empire which rules 90% of the internatioal community..The US wants him out of the way for being a truth teller…no other reason that he has shown a light on the horrendous acts of barbarism commited by them..and
      Please…do not refer to NATO as a brotherhood!! It is a warmongering gang of thieves that wants to steal all the oil, lithium and other valuable resources from countries that have it….period

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