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Michael Moore writes: "This tactic of using a rape charge to go after minorities or troublemakers, guilty or innocent - while turning a blind eye to clear crimes of rape the rest of the time - is what I fear is happening here. I want to make sure that good people not remain silent and that you, Sweden, will not succeed if in fact you are in cahoots with corrupt governments such as ours."

Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)
Portrait, Michael Moore, 04/03/09. (photo: Ann-Christine Poujoulat/Getty)



Dear Government of Sweden ...

By Michel Moore, Open Mike Blog

17 December 10



Petition in Support of Julian Assange

Also See:
WikiLeaks' Twitter Page: http://twitter.com/wikileaks
WikiLeaks' Support Page: http://wikileaks.ch/support.html
Lieberman Attacks New York Times Over WikiLeaks Documents: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/07/wikileaks-joe-lieberman-new-york-times-investigated


ear Swedish Government:

Hi there - or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your Volvos, your meatballs, your hard-to-put-together furniture - we can't get enough!

There's just one thing that bothers me - why has Amnesty International, in a special report (described in detail here by Naomi Wolf), declared that Sweden refuses to deal with the very real tragedy of rape? In fact, they say that all over Scandinavia, including in your country, rapists "enjoy impunity." And the United Nations, the EU and Swedish human rights groups have come to the same conclusion: Sweden just doesn't take sexual assault against women seriously. How else do you explain these statistics from Katrin Axelsson of Women Against Rape:

** Sweden has the HIGHEST per capita number of reported rapes in Europe.

** This number of rapes has quadrupled in the last 20 years.

** The conviction rates? They have steadily DECREASED.

Axelsson says: "On April 23rd of this year, Carina Hägg and Nalin Pekgul (respectively MP and chairwoman of Social Democratic Women in Sweden) wrote in the Göteborgs [newspaper] that 'up to 90% of all reported rapes [in Sweden] never get to court.'"

Let me say that again: nine out of ten times, when women report they have been raped, you never even bother to start legal proceedings. No wonder that, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, it is now statistically more likely that someone in Sweden will be sexually assaulted than that they will be robbed.

Message to rapists? Sweden loves you!

So imagine our surprise when all of a sudden you decided to go after one Julian Assange on sexual assault charges. Well, sort of: first you charged him. Then after investigating it, you dropped the most serious charges and rescinded the arrest warrant.

Then a conservative MP put pressure on you and, lo and behold, you did a 180 and reopened the Assange investigation. Except you still didn't charge him with anything. You just wanted him for "questioning." So you - you who have sat by and let thousands of Swedish women be raped while letting their rapists go scott-free - you decided it was now time to crack down on one man - the one man the American government wants arrested, jailed or (depending on which politician or pundit you listen to) executed. You just happened to go after him, on one possible "count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape (third degree)." And while thousands of Swedish rapists roam free, you instigated a huge international manhunt on Interpol for this Julian Assange!

What anti-rape crusaders you've become, Swedish government! Women in Sweden must suddenly feel safer?

Well, not really. Actually, many see right through you. They know what these "non-charge charges" are really about. And they know that you are cynically and disgustingly using the real and everyday threat that exists against women everywhere to help further the American government's interest in silencing the work of WikiLeaks.

I don't pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants (all I know is what I've heard in the media, so I'm as confused as the next person). And I'm sorry if I've jumped to any unnecessary or wrong-headed conclusions in my efforts to state a very core American value: All people are absolutely innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. I strongly believe every accusation of sexual assault must be investigated vigorously. There is nothing wrong with your police wanting to question Mr. Assange about these allegations, and while I understand why he seemed to go into hiding (people tend to do that when threatened with assassination), he nonetheless should answer the police’s questions. He should also submit to the STD testing the alleged victims have requested. I believe Sweden and the UK have a treaty and a means for you to send your investigators to London so they can question Mr. Assange where he is under house arrest while out on bail.

But that really wouldn't be like you would it, to go all the way to another country to pursue a suspect for sexual assault when you can't even bring yourselves to make it down to the street to your own courthouse to go after the scores of reported rapists in your country. That you, Sweden, have chosen to rarely do that in the past, is why this whole thing stinks to the high heavens.

And let's not forget this one final point from Women Against Rape's Katrin Axelsson:

"There is a long tradition of the use of rape and sexual assault for political agendas that have nothing to do with women's safety. In the south of the US, the lynching of black men was often justified on grounds that they had raped or even looked at a white woman. Women don't take kindly to our demand for safety being misused, while rape continues to be neglected at best or protected at worst."

This tactic of using a rape charge to go after minorities or troublemakers, guilty or innocent - while turning a blind eye to clear crimes of rape the rest of the time - is what I fear is happening here. I want to make sure that good people not remain silent and that you, Sweden, will not succeed if in fact you are in cahoots with corrupt governments such as ours.

Last week Naomi Klein wrote: "Rape is being used in the Assange prosecution in the same way that 'women's freedom' was used to invade Afghanistan. Wake up!"

I agree.

Unless you have the evidence (and it seems if you did you would have issued an arrest warrant by now), drop the extradition attempt and get to work doing the job you've so far refused to do: Protecting the women of Sweden.

Yours,
Michael Moore

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

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+44 # Rose Omani 2010-12-17 11:46
You hit her right on Michael, it's about time we all stand up to the government and line our hard earned money in our own pockets.
 
 
+4 # Gail Mar 2010-12-20 14:57
I agree 1000% with Michael. Big Sister is on the loose again, and again, and again, and again. How many governments are NOT in on this? "Not many" is the sad answer.
 
 
+46 # kurth 2010-12-17 12:12
Sweden just went from the top 5 most transparent justice systems ....to somewhere near Afganistan. Swedes should be embarrassed and truly have become the laughing stock of the world. And as the article details, their corruption has now made a 180 and is biting their frozen behinds, showing them up for what they truly are ....a country of rapist and corrupt politicians !
 
 
+19 # DaveW. 2010-12-17 16:31
My mouth has simply gone agape
At the level of the Sweedish rapes
It seems there are no hearts 'a bleedin'
For an assaulted woman in Sweeden

They rape 'em in the Middle East
And we "tape 'em" at Sin City
That many men are predatory beasts
Is Humanity's great pity

Should come as no surprise here in U.S.A.
As women's rights surely are slowly
chipped away
I don't believe Julian is sex depraved hooligan
I do believe that Uncle Sam is hoping we'll be fooled again

From diplomatic cables to our hallowed congressional halls
To hell with insidious, covert secrets
And unpunished "Sweedish Balls"
 
 
+3 # vitobonespur 2010-12-17 19:58
Quoting DaveW.:
My mouth has simply gone agape
At the level of the Sweedish rapes
It seems there are no hearts 'a bleedin'
For an assaulted woman in Sweeden

They rape 'em in the Middle East
And we "tape 'em" at Sin City
That many men are predatory beasts
Is Humanity's great pity

Should come as no surprise here in U.S.A.
As women's rights surely are slowly
chipped away
I don't believe Julian is sex depraved hooligan
I do believe that Uncle Sam is hoping we'll be fooled again

From diplomatic cables to our hallowed congressional halls
To hell with insidious, covert secrets
And unpunished "Sweedish Balls"


Burma Shave!
 
 
+8 # AMB 2010-12-18 07:22
We have the conservative gouvernment to thank for this.
 
 
+68 # SWEDE 2010-12-17 12:18
I'm ashamed and welcome this extremely clear statement.
 
 
+25 # Torre Lilly 2010-12-17 14:22
Quoting SWEDE:
I'm ashamed and welcome this extremely clear statement.


Me to, our authorities does NOT represent me ...
 
 
+53 # Louise Glynn Barr 2010-12-17 12:35
Hurray for Assange! Our democracy shrinks as the truth is kept from us.
 
 
+45 # Rothie 2010-12-17 13:05
Now, what about PFC. Bradley Manning who is in jail for those pictures he sent of our American soldiers and what they did. God forbid the men/women of this country find out what they did. They didn't even charge him but threw him in jail in soliditary . Is he being waterboarded??? ?
 
 
+32 # Jim Brauner 2010-12-17 13:06
Thank you Michael. As usual, you check out the facts and tell us the truth. Wikileaks is part of an awakening consciousness of 'the people' about what governments do with their ability to keep everything secret. Keep shining the light on the corrupt politicians and the systems which produce evil and death for so many. I am hopeful that we aren't going to take it anymore. And, with your help, and all the other media that stand for something other than baptizing the powers that be, a new level of peaceful existence will appear on this planet.
 
 
+12 # Briar 2010-12-18 04:57
He is being tortured until he agrees to lie about Assange's role in obtaining the material.
 
 
+7 # SOF 2010-12-19 14:03
Did everyone read that Wikileaks cables also turned up evidence about the BP coverup of another 'bad cement' oil rig near-disaster a year before the gulf. Bless Assange and huge gratitude to Manning,..
The bad guys are winning but that doesn't mean we have to quietly leave them to their $ and karma without loud objections. Chaney just bought his way out of Nigerian prosecution with his yearly tax break of $ millions.
 
 
+2 # Maria 2010-12-21 04:32
people like you and me get presented by parties to be voted, promising everything to be voted and be afterwards payed by their voters. when voted, they keep secret form their voters and payers whatever they like. and that they call democracy?
thanks to assange we finally can read what they all are doing in the name of us with our money!
 
 
+16 # janey godley 2010-12-17 13:13
I dont know the charges and am still disgusted that Polanski got free and having been a rape victim I want these charges investigated totally, if Mr Assange is innocent of sexual charges then that will be shown. Can the Swedish police now make Swedish women safe in their own country? I too believe that suddenly their need to get Assange 'under any means' stinks to high heaven and using women's safety as a net to do so, is as disgusting as Hollywood excusing child rapist Polanski.
 
 
+6 # Shelly Rusten 2010-12-17 14:47
Roman Polanski's Rape case involved so many 'questions' one that the Mother of the alleged 'Victim' had encouraged her daughter to play up to him for economic advantage, and another being that said victim had long ago forgiven him and was generously compensated for any supposed duress which is what She and Mommy had wanted from the start. The case was only brought again after all these years as an opportunity for another overeaching Right Wing so called Moral Crusader who was running for AG in CA hoping to make points with the Goonies. These issues considered, Justice was done by At Last Freeing Polanski who happens to be one of our Most Important Cinematic Auteurs so he may continue to provide us this GIFT of Consciousness Raising ART. It is also well known that Roman was not in the most 'sober' state of mind at the time having suffered the Murder of his beloved wife Sharon Tate at the hands of that DEMON Charles Manson and his IDIOT followers. Compassion is one of the more Idealistic characteristics of a Genuine Justice System and that most fortunately Ruled the Day in this particular matter.
 
 
+6 # Doc 2010-12-18 16:47
Shelly.

Polanski plead guilty to having sex with a 13 year-old-child. It's a crime. He fled the U.S. before his arraignment. That makes him a fugitive of justice. There are some rich and famous individuals that feel that the laws and legal process of a country don't apply to them. His emotional appeals should have made from jail rather than a Chalet.
 
 
+4 # Christine 2010-12-19 14:02
I agree with you, Shelley. I saw the Polanski case being brought up again to benefit a slimey politician and it sickened me. I am sure the woman involved in that case did not appreciate it either! That said, the 13 year old part of it was wrong regardless but that's had closure for the involved parties. For an unrelated person to try to benefit politically from it is a crime against all women. I hate hypocrites and politics!
 
 
+3 # bookzen 2010-12-22 04:52
I seem to remember that the case against Polanski had been settled, or was to be settled with a guilty plea and punishment agreed upon by prosecution (the State) and the defense. Just before appearing for sentencing Polanski was warned that the judge had changed his mind and all deals would be ignored. Polanski split. Much about the case was never made public.
 
 
+25 # Dick C. 2010-12-17 13:20
Swedish balls are needed urgently here. Do not allow Assange to be pursued on phony charges when the real agenda is to stop the flow of WikiLeaks information regarding corrupt governments (the info is need to help end winless/illegal wars, bring criminals to trial, etc.).
 
 
+5 # Flashback 2010-12-17 13:24
Swedens biggest tabloid, Aftonbladet, supports a new "tweetercampaig n" called #talkaboutit. Aftonbladet writes: "Det började med en diskussion på Twitter om Julian Assange och misstankarna mot honom om sexuella övergrepp." translated: "It all started with a discuttion on Twitter about Julian Assange and the allegations against him regarding sex crimes."

Assange said just a few hours ago (this morning?) something like: "In the next 24 hrs a new smearcampaign will be started against me from Sweden".

This is it! The swedish mediafeminists are ganging up on Julian Assange. They want to start a nationwide "talk" about what is ok and what is not ok to do in bed.

One swedish journalist and feminist writes: "”Eftersom vi redan hade haft analsex kände jag att jag hade förverkat rätten att säga 'nej, jag vill inte nu och inte såhär'.”" translated: "Since we already have had sex I felt that I could not say "no, I dont want to do this now and not in this way".

http://www.aftonbladet.se/wendela/article8294509.ab

This is the new swedish smearcampaign - to point out that women never can say no, not even to a boyfriend.
 
 
-9 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-17 17:06
AH and now MORE Light in the Tunnel. The Feminist Hit Squads are at it again and this is NOT to do with the U.S. effort to 'GET' Assange at all. I am one of the FEW men I know who have been long term supporters of Feminism which as I see it portends the Liberation of Women which could be beneficial for Men as well. But what began as a call for Women to stop acting like weak little girls, ended up as a movement to Punish Men. One U.S.Fem named Dworkin along with her partner a Lawyer, initiated a Porn Pogrom shades of Carrie Nation and Prohibition, trying to get women to Smash Up Porn Stores as being disrespectful of women. BULL, porn is just Erotic Art and WE have a right to watch it if we wish and Women a right to work in the business likewise. What started as a call for women to get Free of Paternalism ended as a Call for more Laws to Protect them as if they were still Baby Girls. Women are NOT so Weak they can't kick a dude in the Nuts if he pushes himself on them and they SHOULD BE smart enough to make better judgment about what kind of men they get involved with. Rather STUPID to pick up a Macho Moron at a Bar and go home with him and then complain if he tries to Rape you!
 
 
+13 # genierae 2010-12-17 19:46
Truth Not Myth: Your comments are offensive, and you have a very distorted view of women. They are not meant to be sex objects put on earth for your pleasure. Their essence is femininity, which includes the spiritual, the emotional, the intellectual, and the sexual. This society is sick, and its values are perverted, especially where women are concerned. They are encouraged to be sexually liberated, and then when they are, they are accused of asking to be raped. Blaming the victim absolves men of all responsibility for self-control. And do you really think that a woman is physically capable of stopping a man from raping her? Get real. Unfortunately most men today have been taught all the wrong things where women are concerned, and you are definitely Exhibit A.
 
 
+7 # Dejaiz 2010-12-18 09:40
Quoting genierae:
Truth Not Myth: Your comments are offensive, and you have a very distorted view of women. They are not meant to be sex objects put on earth for your pleasure. Their essence is femininity, which includes the spiritual, the emotional, the intellectual, and the sexual. This society is sick, and its values are perverted, especially where women are concerned. They are encouraged to be sexually liberated, and then when they are, they are accused of asking to be raped. Blaming the victim absolves men of all responsibility for self-control. And do you really think that a woman is physically capable of stopping a man from raping her? Get real. Unfortunately most men today have been taught all the wrong things where women are concerned, and you are definitely Exhibit A.

Well said...you would have hoped that having to say it was unnecessary in this day and age.
 
 
-2 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-18 12:44
Since my earlier response did not get posted, I'll repeat it now. First Off it
was the Feminists who encouraged Sexual Liberation of Women and that they become more Assertive in dealing with their own lives to include their Defense with no further dependence on the Paternal Protection of a Male Dominated Society and that they CEASE playing the "Victim" game. I did NOT "Blame" women for the misguided acts of Rogue Men but simply made the point that they would be best advised to be a LOT more Discriminating as to what Kind of Men they choose to get involved with. What Equality means is that For Every Male Jerk there is a Female Jerk and that old 'Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice' number is the biggest LIE ever coined. As for that Tired 'Sex Object' business the fact is that BOTH Men and Women are 'Objects of Desire' in the eyes of a prospective Lover and it was designed that way to assure perpetuation of the Species. One gets the idea from YOUR commment that you'd like to see Assange go to Jail on the Rape Charges more so than concern yourself with the Freedom of Speech issue at the Heart of this story.
 
 
+5 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-18 14:08
Truth, I just can't quite digest your comments. You say that "BOTH Men and Women are 'Objects of Desire' in the eyes of a prospective Lover and it was designed that way to assure perpetuation of the Species." Gee, I'm a male and I have never, not once, never ever experienced love received or given under those terms. I've ALWAYS focused on the personhood of the other and sex was never more than an addendum to something otherwise much greater. You demean women wether you intend to or not. And if women have to be a lot more discriminating as to what kind of men they choose to get involved with, they should but not for why you seem to mention it. An indiscriminate woman deserves to be free of sexual abuse and you seem to imply that they deserve abuse if they aren't. Women need to be more discriminant so they can avoid people who treat them like sex objects and people like YOU. And your theory that for every male jerk there's a female jerk, I want to know more about what kind of world you live in. In mine, overwhelmingly, neither men or women are jerks. That would be exceedingly rare. And none of this has anything to do with Assange. YOU have issues my friend. Consider counseling.
 
 
0 # genierae 2010-12-20 06:51
Well said Daniel!
 
 
+2 # genierae 2010-12-20 07:18
TNM: Women cannot rely on self-defense in this male-dominated world. We are physically weaker, we are not built for sheer muscle strength like men are. The liberation of women alone, without an equal liberation of men, puts us at a disadvantage in this sexually-charge d, male culture. Without the consciousness-r aising of men, they will continue to see us primarily in a sexual way, and so when we express our sexual freedom we will be seen, not as equals, but as sex objects to be used for male pleasure.

"BOTH Men and Women are 'Objects of Desire' in the eyes of a prospective Lover"? The male and female dynamics are not the same. You overlook the fact that women see men in a much different light than men see women. Women are taught to see men primarily as protectors, and so, when a woman deals socially with men, she is inclined to trust them more than she should.

Julian Assange is a true hero, and I thank him for his immense sacrifices. I also pray for his safety. The fact that the Swedish government has not yet even charged him with anything, tells me that there is something fishy going on.
 
 
+4 # Jeannette 2010-12-19 04:09
Maybe Cass Sunstein and the "cognitive infiltrators" are paying for all this distracting, divisive bull, to smear the messenger and obstruct the message. This is not a feminist issue, if anything, Assange has "raped" the imperial impunity of the USA. What the reactive politicians and diplomats fear from the Wikileaks scandal is the idea of any mere mortal, questioning the official acts of the United States, and their own lack of effective oversight of these acts. Both Dianne Feinstein, who sits on 2 powerful committees in the Senate, and Hillary Clinton, former first lady, senator, presidential candidate and current Secretary of State, wield much power, but sadly, not in service of the truth. They are not speaking as U.S. officials or feminists, but would rather engage in this cheap character assassination of Assange than act with candor and vigilance to examine and discuss the contents of the cache of Wiki-leaked documents. They are no more feminists than Condoleezza Rice or Sarah Palin, all are corporate clones with a flair for disinformation and deception, and disdain for justice!
 
 
+2 # Nels Wight 2010-12-20 05:30
[quote Jeannette
Jeannette, do you sound like someone I'd love to know. Well said!!!!
 
 
+3 # ezra 2010-12-20 19:46
Quoting Jeannette:
Assange has "raped" the imperial impunity of the USA. [snip] Both Dianne Feinstein, who sits on 2 powerful committees in the Senate, and Hillary Clinton, former first lady, senator, presidential candidate and current Secretary of State, wield much power, but sadly, not in service of the truth. They are not speaking as U.S. officials or feminists, but would rather engage in this cheap character assassination of Assange than act with candor and vigilance to examine and discuss the contents of the cache of Wiki-leaked documents. They are no more feminists than Condoleezza Rice or Sarah Palin, all are corporate clones with a flair for disinformation and deception, and disdain for justice!




you hit that right on the head. As a child I was raised democrat. now I am nothing because they are ALL corporate clones and I do not believe in any of them. These two women are both traitors to the country - but then so is almost everyone else in that CON gress. sick. see what happens when the corporations buy your soul? sick.
 
 
+22 # ann gray 2010-12-17 13:39
Michael, have your as usual excellent and well-researched letter translated into Swedish and take out a full-page in the leading Stockholm paper to be sure it is printed.
 
 
-28 # smartaffair 2010-12-17 13:43
Ahem Michael, let's examine these with a little bit of critical thinking. Did it occur to you that you are making the assumption that the thousands of accusations are all real? Could it be that they are not all real? Could it be they are largely bogus?

Swedish police are thorough, modern and professional. They are no idiots. If thousands of Swedish men get accused and the cases get dropped because there is nothing to pursue there.. could it be because, well there is nothing there.. that the accusations are typically FALSE. Start seeing this other angle now?

Thousands of men get falsely accused of rape every year in Sweden, that's why the government drops the majority of them, they are bogus. The women face zero punishment for making false accusations. Zero. That's why the flood continues.
 
 
-1 # Shelly Rusten 2010-12-17 14:51
MAYBE? But it is the NUMBER of Cases of Accused Rape that needs consideration. If the number was minimal that would be one thing, if it is substantial that is quite another. Maybe Men will have to be so wise as to get an Agreement on Paper before having Sex with unknown Women.
 
 
+12 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 18:51
I refuse to believe, smartaffair, that 90% of the women who complain of being raped in Sweden are lying. To think so is blatantly stupid. Why should Sweden be the one and only nation on the planet where it's women are lying about being raped 90% of the time? That would be fantasticly and utterly out of this world. And let me counter propose your point by saying this: If 90% of the women alledging rape are thought to be lying at the get go, how much do you want to bet that the real rate of rape is actually several multiples of those who even bother to report? It must be really tough to report being a rape victim in Sweden. It must take extreme courage to report it when the assumption in Sweden is that such reports are a lie 90% of the time.
And YOU, smartaffair, don't know what you're talking about. I've been in law enforcement in the past and dealt with rape victims extensively. I want you to know I never met one, not one single rape victim, that I thought was lying. I've never met a woman in my long life that ever voluntarily wanted to go through the ordeal of being medically examined and legally challenged which occurs when such charges are made. Not one single time.
 
 
+4 # Christine 2010-12-19 14:08
I don't know how to break this to you, but a huge amount of rapes are never reported out of shame and fear. Very few are actually "bogus." I would venture to say you have no experience with rape.
 
 
+9 # H.LO 2010-12-17 13:55
GOOD WORK KEEP-UP WE DESERT IT.
The world is waikend-up and they enjoy this movement for the thru, A new way to do politic will came to our world. For a better societed in peace and justice for every one. M. Moore is one of the kind. and so Julian Assange and his team. POWER TO THE PEOPLE.
 
 
+31 # Torre Lilly 2010-12-17 14:00
As it is right now, four out of five citizens in Sweden supports Wikileaks and Julian Assange ...

What about our government ?
Well, it's anybody´s guess ...
 
 
+19 # Gunnar 2010-12-17 14:44
Your government supports the current world order. And has no interest in the people unless when they need their vote.
 
 
+23 # ONilsson 2010-12-17 14:05
I am Swedish and I am so ashamed of my government and our ”legal” system that I'm almost feeling physically sick. I am convinced that the Swedish government and the Swedish prosecutor are doing something very very shameful here. I wish that the truth will come out.
 
 
+28 # maria carlsson 2010-12-17 14:15
I feel sorry living in Sweden these days.

You wouldn't believe how absolutely deadquiet the press is about the Assange-case (when it comes to how the government has been misstreating him, there's hardly nothing about it in media) and no discussion about what's going on!

The media and the government are close friends as in a dictatory state.

Also, critical voices against Sweden from other countries doesn't come up in the news.

It's so quiet and I am scared, I feel as if I'm in a bad dream and I'm hoping to wake up zoon. Unfortunately I know this is for real.

Many things have had happened the last years in Sweden. For example corruption affaires, politicans who really don't care about the people. It's ugly living here.!!!

Thirty years ago you hardly couldn't see a beggar in Stockholm, now there are thousends of homeless and sick people (many of them young) living in the streets.

Thank you Michael, for your support! People in this country don't protest.
 
 
+10 # JustMe 2010-12-17 17:16
Maria, you have no idea how much better the situation (not the rape prosecutions, perhaps, but the overall human rights/transpar ency, economic equality and general social justice) are than in the U.S. (in particular) and most of the rest of the Western world.
 
 
+5 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:00
Maria,
I am full of empathy as I read your letter. Certainly what you describe is not the image of Sweden I have had over the decades, and it seems that your country, as well as the U.S.A., has been going through some difficult times. I hope that you and your fellow citizens can turn things around, much as we hope (sometimes against hope!) to do here.
Be well, and have a gentle solstice.
 
 
+9 # Pelle 2010-12-17 14:21
I just have to add a comment to the rape statistics.

In Sweden the legal definition of rape has been remade and more acts included, act that wasn't seen as rape earlier.
 
 
+5 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-17 15:31
GOOD Point Pelle, while I have praised Michael for his Rebuke of Sweden, what you add needs consideration relative to what Michael has also acknowledged as a problem in Sweden that has drawn sharp critical Activism and Protest by Swedish Women. It remains to be seen IF Sweden has really Caved In to Imperialist U.S. OR if this is just a manifestation of a heightened concern for Justice in Rape cases that compels the Swedes to engage in more thorough consideration of each reported Case. In the name of Justice I would agree with you that Sweden is also deserving of same. Innocent until Proven Guilty and in Light of what you have added there is now some doubt.
 
 
+7 # stella 2010-12-17 14:23
Wow this is putting things on the line. We need more of this.
 
 
+15 # SeriousCitizen 2010-12-17 14:34
Thank you, Michael Moore, for getting some facts that show the shame of Sweden. You might have mentioned that Assange was in Sweden for months after the allegations were made to the police, and he tried to present evidence to clear his name, but Swedish authorities refused. Swedes should each donate something to Assange's defense fund and to Wikileaks operations.
 
 
+14 # paradoctor 2010-12-17 15:14
A law rarely prosecuted and selectively enforced has uses other than the ones stated.
 
 
-3 # Christtoff Schulz 2010-12-17 15:17
If two Swedish women claim Assange sexually abused them, well maybe he did? What's up with putting him on a pedestal? Wikileaks is an antithesis to goverments' secrecy. But it doesn't make Assange a saint for spearheading an antithesis. And how do we know that he isn't a double agent, working for a Bilderberger long-term agenda of controlling a revolution against them? Assange's behaviour towards the two Swedish women in question and his tyrannical attitude towards former wikileaks staff shows he has some signs of a split personality, which may well indicate he could possibly end up being a well-placed agent/agent provocateur of the Bilderbergers. Give Assange a fair trial and let's see what the 2 Swedish women have against him. Lest we forget, "we will lead all revolutions agianst us."
 
 
+8 # Conni 2010-12-17 16:32
Christtoff,

Wow, what a great imagination you have! A double-agent working for the Bilderbergers? Come on. Do you know who belongs to the Bilderbergers? Heads of State, CEO's, powerful people. Why would they shoot themselves in the foot having someone do something HONORABLE like TELLING THE TRUTH. His tyrannical attitude against people who worked for him. HMMMM, could it be maybe they were LYING? You don't think about that do you. I welcome what he is doing, I'm sick of the secrecy that the government has been using for decades. It's time for some truth.

Truth is light, when the light shines on the darkness, the cockroaches scatter.
 
 
+3 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:06
The most important point of your post is, to me, the following:
Give Assange a fair trial and let's see what the 2 Swedish women have against him.
The key word there is “fair”; I am all for getting at the truth, and finding out whether this is a witch hunt, as many feel, or whether there is a real case. Indications seem to point to the former, but there is nothing wrong with pursuing justice. I am not familiar enough with Swedish government to comment on the Bilderbergers, but your theories about Assange having a split personality and being an agent of revolution seem a bit complex.
 
 
+1 # maveet 2010-12-20 02:31
I believe Assange is a hero. However, you're right, we don't know so much about him. The Canadian Truthergirls have made 3 vids asking ?s about wikileaks and Assange, and the timing. Not answers, but very intriguing questions re who might benefit by this moment. http://www.youtube.com/user/thetruthergirls
 
 
+11 # Richard Stock 2010-12-17 15:19
Mike,

Brilliant and courageous as always !
 
 
+1 # Scruffy 2010-12-17 15:22
As a swede, i have seen these numbers before... namely when a rightwing extremist party entered swedish parlament; they used these numbers to gain support, blaming the numbers on immigrants.

What was the response by other political parties, here in sweden? That swedish law has a broader spectrum than most other countries as to what qualifies as rape, hence, we have "more" rapes than others, since we take sexual harassment more seriously.

Also, women are actually credited for being stronger, more independant and standing up for their rights when they do report a possible rape. Women have decided it is not shameful to be a victim, so swedish women actually report such crimes to a higher extent than before.

Swedes were appaled when rightwing extremist tried to twist these facts to make a political point. Why should it be any less revolting when Michael Moore tries the same? So congrats Mr Moore, you are now using the exact same methods as swedish Neo-Nazis
 
 
-2 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-17 15:49
Mea Culpa, Scruffy. I have just posted a Reply to a Post by your Countryman Pelle below that acknowledges the same Truth. We cannot slake our Anger at the U.S and those who have tried to make Assange out to be some kind of 'Terrorist', by now making Sweden a 'Scapegoat' also. This investigation into the Charges leveled at Assange needs to be accorded respect as a heightened level of such in due response to the Protest of Swedish Women as described by Michael, so far all we really KNOW is that they want to 'talk' to Julian and really nothing more. We must not be too quick to Judge before the Facts are IN lest we emulate as you make clear the misguided tactics of the Right Wing and Neo Nazis. As a Swede I would suggest that you and your people simply articulate the demand that your nation make all of this clear to avoid any unjust accusations against them.
 
 
+5 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-17 15:24
Thanks Michael. 'Tak sa micket' I recall as thanks in Swedish. A SHAMEFUL day for Sweden that was one of the First nations to embrace that more Enlightened system of governance of Democratic Socialism and for Decades a model of same at its best. As a consensus agree this System is Infinitely more Democratic than our own in that is Multi Party first of all allowing for All the People to have a say as opposed to Tweedle Dee/Tweedle Dum Two Party really ONE Sham Politics in our country and derives more directly from what we know as the Judeo/Christian Ethos in that it puts the Needs of the People before that of the avaricious and Greedy Millionaires and Corporate State.
They had National Health as well as Free Education in Sweden long before anyone else. SAD DAY to now see Sweden sucking up to the Imperialism of America and its willingness to disdain its own Bill of Rights and Constitution to 'GET' whoever they decide to make a Fall Guy for their own misguided policies. This is about Freedom of Speech for Journalists but also the Rights of a Citizen, the U.S. has in fact acknowledged they have no Laws on the books to Punish him with but are Making them Up for Political purpose.
 
 
+11 # rom120 2010-12-17 15:44
Quoting Rothie:
Now, what about PFC. Bradley Manning who is in jail for those pictures he sent of our American soldiers and what they did. God forbid the men/women of this country find out what they did. They didn't even charge him but threw him in jail in soliditary . Is he being waterboarded????


You can be sure that they torture him, the best and strongest eventually break down. Then they promise him a lighter sentence if he says Assange "coerced" him. This way they can get the Australian by a "dragged in by the hair" law.
 
 
+7 # Jonas 2010-12-17 15:57
Thanks for this blogpost and greetings from sweden, the not-so democratic coutry i Scandinavia!
 
 
+14 # swede2 2010-12-17 16:03
If a woman in Sweden says no before or during sex the man have to stop. If he doesn't stop it is considered an offence. NO means NO!

Woman now know this and are therefore more prone to report the crime (hence the quadruple increase). That women report this is a "good thing" (tm). They now report non violent rapes (remember that woman get raped by someone they know) and in those cases there are no "hard" evidence.

The reason for the decrease in conviction RATES (% per reported rape) is because in these kind of crimes it is often word against word. If that is the only "evidence" there will be no conviction. Just let the judicial system work through this.

I have no idea what happened with Assange and the girls, but he will not get convicted if there are no evidence.

The difference between Sweden and other countries is that women in Sweden now knows that men have to respect a no and that there is a chance that the rapist will end up in prison.

oh, and I'm a big fan of Wikileaks and Assange.
 
 
+2 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-17 16:36
Another good point in defense of Swedish Justice, Swede 2. As I have related in my responses to Pelle and Scruffy, both Swedes, we should NOT be too quick to make accusations against Sweden in this case and it is only because the Assange matter is SO important as a Threat to Journalistic Freedom that Michael has leveled these charges against Sweden. I am sure that he too if he gets to read our posts about the matter now, will agree that Sweden needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. But as I related to Scruffy I would suggest that Swedes like you involve yourself with efforts to get Sweden to clarify its interest in Assange to put these accusations to rest.

Personally, Now that I have read your post and those of Pelle and Scruffy and because of my long term admiration for Sweden as a more Enlightened Socialist society, I am happy to Wait and See how Sweden responds and I'm with YOU and the others that it's probably going to end up as you say, that this is just a matter of a closer investigation of Rape charges in Sweden now and Assange will be most likely found Not Guilty and that will be the end of that!
 
 
+8 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 19:10
Yes, my Swedish cousins, I'm with you that Assange will be most likely found Not Guilty and that will be the end of that. But none of your postings explains why, when Assange offered cooperation and proof of his innocent in the first place, Sweden declined it. If Sweden now acts like it has a conscience and is so determined to enforce it's high standards against rape, please explain to me why Sweden rebuffed his original attempts to clear himself? And it was Sweden that released him in the first place. Sweden had enough information and evidence to investigate in the first place and dropped charges...and now they are reopening the case. Well, we read here that one of the women are refusing to cooperate with the present investigation. And while we're all confused by all the conflicting stories we've heard, if a condum breaking really is equivalent to rape under Swedish law, that makes Sweden the only country on earth that would have such a law. It is not at all clear to us that either woman said "no". Many of us find Sweden to be very suspicious and we do not believe that what Assange is going through with Sweden represents customary past practice on the part of Sweden.
 
 
0 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-18 07:52
Good point Daniel. Obviously there is pressure coming from the U.S. who as we all would agree wants to 'Get' Assange in whatever way they can, BUT again we need to Wait and See what actions Sweden takes ultimately. It can be said that Sweden is taking a 'diplomatic' position in following up on the charges against Assange and requesting that he come in for questioning, which is to say they are 'going through the motions' just to assuage U.S. concern and for good PR in Sweden itself vis a vis the concerns of its Female populace regarding the Rape Issue that Michael discusses. It would seem to be the consensus of Legal Minds that there is no case here which as you make clear is why Sweden released him and so let's hope that Justice will prevail and after the 'little talk' with Assange, Sweden will consider the matter clarified to their satisfaction.
 
 
+3 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-18 14:13
And if they aren't Truth, what then? And even if they are satisfied, will they turn him over to American authorities? And if they want to question him as a formality to molify the US, why don't they question him at their embassy in London? Why does he have to travel to Sweden, when Sweden can travel to him? And I don't think Sweden's credibility can be salvaged by insisting that he return to Sweden. In fact, I think Swedish credibility is now in question. How much more is Sweden willing to damage her own credibility just to satisfy the U.S.?
 
 
+8 # philip wagner 2010-12-17 16:26
Whereever there is "secrecy", corruption follows. Wikilinks helps to roll back the complete "secrecy" that our government now considers necessary for its opeation; needless to say, it has been completely corrupted by money, banks, and global corporations bribes. If a government or a religion can get you to believe the absurd, you will soon be commiting an atroscity, or be willing to commit one. We need to know what our government is doing in our name and with our money. Assange should be given the American Medal of Freedom, because as Thomas Jefferson said, "Without information and an informed public, there can be no democracy!"
 
 
+13 # Amb 2010-12-17 16:34
Once upon a time there was a country where the government welcomed truth, the free spoken word and foreign cultures. The grass was greener there than in many other countries, and when the people from the country, called Sweden, went out in the world we could be proud of telling where we came from. Today the country is just a ferry tail of which we with sadness look back on. Sadness, because it is lost and changed to something similar to the darkest parts of the world. Today I am ashamed of my country’s way of acting. I have never ever heard of a case where a man suspected of rape in Sweden is hunted worldwide. Swedish justice is hunting the truth and the free spoken word to silence it, not a suspected rapist. What Sweden has done is a rape on truth and on a man who is brave enough to pull the truth out in the light to fight the darkest part of our world. Before, Sweden stood up for this kind of work like Wikileaks’, and protected persons like Mr Assange. Sadly, my country is not like that anymore. Of that I do cry and I do apologize.
 
 
-1 # Ulf Erlingsson 2010-12-17 16:42
Let me first state that rape is a serious crime. Having said that, you may be interpreting the statistics the wrong way, Mr. Moore. Have you considered that the reason that filings have gone up, but not prosecutions, could be that people today file for less clear cases and or with less evidence than before? That is the conclusion that other students of the statistics have drawn. If you don't agree, I think you should make the case why your interpretation should be favored over theirs, because I fail to see the flaw in their interpretation.
 
 
+3 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 19:32
Ulf, I've never met a rape victim that was lying. On the other hand, I've never met a rape victim that reported what the two women accusing Assange had. I don't believe that rape victims lie as a rule, but I don't believe these women were raped. Assange came forward and offered evidence and the Swedish authorities declined this and released....and later changed their mind for reasons that make no sense to us. I know the statistics that Michael Moore cites are not of his making but come from credible, scholastically competent authorities who conclude very differently from your students of statistics. I trust them more than your students. As a student of advanced qualitative statistics, my suspicion is that if the reporting of rape is going up...for ANY reason...and the prosecution rate is not changing at all, then your prosecutors aren't doing their job very well, and your law enforcement authorities are way behind the state of the art as far as rape forensics technology is concerned. By all means, investigate Assange now, even though Sweden refused to in the first place. Assange will be found innocent because your system might possibly be unable to prosecute him even if guilty!
 
 
+8 # Susan 2010-12-17 17:01
Having the likes of Michael Moore vocalize what otherwise remains hidden in the hearts and minds of so many truly gives a shimmer of hope. Bless you and keep the inspiring work going.
 
 
+1 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-17 17:27
Most Interesting dialogue here, I've weighed in first in support of Michael Moore whom I have the highest respect for but as it has come to light from Swedish Nationals on this forum, Michael may be guilty of having Rushed to Judgement of Sweden in concern for what we know as efforts in America to paint Assange as a Terrorist when he's just a Journalist doing what Journalists are SUPPOSED to Do. This does NOT justify accusations against Sweden however as being in collusion with the U.S. and we need to Wait and See how Sweden responds which will most likely turn out exactly as some have suggested, that they are simply investigating the Charges and that's all there is to it. Again let's not Rush to Judgment here and give Sweden the benefit of the doubt.
 
 
+3 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 19:43
Well, Truth Not Myth, speaking for myself and based on my scholarly peers and our discussions, and based on scholastic exchanges between us and scholars of your nation, we conclude that Sweden is a most peculiar nation when it comes to the matter of rape, and we find Swedens behavior with Assange to be bizarre. For inexplicable reasons Sweden did a complete about face and decided that it wanted to investigate the charges AFTER releasing Assange originally and refusing the testimony and evidence he was trying to submit. This after the fact interest looks outrageous and exceptional and inconsistent with customary Swedish practice. In fact, it stinks and Sweden is NOT doing an adequate job of explaining herself. If he is tried and punished under Swedish law, lacking precedence for such convictions on Swedes, your courts will take on a special quality. We call them kangaroo courts here.
And hey. I admit to being biased here. I used to have a higher regard for Sweden than I do now. Some of your accomplished scholars convinced me to quit being so naive and they paint a darker picture of Sweden than you'd like to hear I'll bet.
 
 
-1 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-18 07:59
Well for sure there is much Darkness in Sweden as even a cursory consideration of the Films of Ingmar Bergman will make clear, hey the poor folks were given a bad deal by Mother Nature in terms of location, Long Winter and little Light other than in their short Summers.
 
 
+11 # Loraine 2010-12-17 17:53
Thanks for what you said, Swede2. i am a big fan of wikileaks/assan ge too, as well as manning, and i love that Michael's piece has opened up this discussion more. i am learning alot about Swedish feminism and cultural issues i didn't know about, the exchange is good. The questions raised very important, both re: other countries' complicity w/US imperialist agenda; and about how women's issues play out, are being used as a tool and a distraction.
 
 
+9 # urnumbersix 2010-12-17 17:58
Well.

It seems that we Americans have a "New Poodle."

Move over Great Britain -- Sweden, apparently, is the Favored Poodle now!
 
 
+8 # Richard Sharp 2010-12-17 18:10
Well-written and hard-hitting. Will make the news in Sweden and turn their heads. As it should.

Sweden's hypocrisy is there for all to see. Just how many other Interpol requests has Sweden ever made in pursuit of persons wanted for questioning in alleged sex crimes that were initially and admittedly consensual?

And, Sweden doesn't have to come to England. Mr. Assange has repeatedly offered to teleconference with the Swedish persecutors, whoops, I mean prosecutors, or to go to the Swedish embassy for the interview. How easy is that?

So "stinks" is an appropriate descriptor.
 
 
+7 # valstone 2010-12-17 18:13
Thank you, Michael, for speaking out--again. I'm glad we've had you to speak for us on 9/11, on firearms, on health (how could they not listen??), on so many obvious things that are wrong. Your voice gets heard overseas at least, so they don't think we're all idiots.
 
 
+3 # barfulious 2010-12-17 18:18
Stop me if I'm wrong but wasn't he charged with "Sex by surprise" which means his condom broke during sex. Calling that rape or molestation is quite a huge jump. What was he supposed to do, reverse time?
 
 
+4 # DaveM 2010-12-17 18:24
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. And then, you cash in on guilt" --Ayn Rand.

When governments become so determined to deprive someone of freedom that they ignore their own laws in the process of doing so, we must ask what the true motive of such governments might be. Each of our lives may well rely upon the answer.
 
 
-1 # Scruffy 2010-12-17 18:42
Kinda funny when people say they have never heard of sweden searching for people in other countries for crimes commited in sweden... maybe the reason is because very few political enemies of the US has commited such crimes in sweden?

Swedish police regulary demand that people are returned to sweden to face trial, or at least get interviewed by a lawyer. As do all western societies.

Seriously, swedish politicians ridiculed these so called facts when neo-nazis tried to use them, and destroyed similar "facts" with REAL statistics. So if they werent true when right-wing extremists tried to make the argument, why is it all of a sudden true now that Michael Moore uses them?
 
 
+1 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:20
Actually, without going back up to the prior comment, I think it was that it was thought unprecedented for Sweden to search for rapists through INTERPOL, not all criminals.
My concern is why the Swedish government turned down Mr. Assange’s proffered statement/evide nce while he was in Sweden, and is now looking to bring him back to testify, not willing to accept his testimony at the Swedish embassy in England or via teleconference. What happened to cause this change? If that were explained, and it were something other than pressure from the U.S.A., I might see more justification for the Swedish government’s current position.
 
 
-1 # mikael 2010-12-17 18:47
We have to be able to distinguish between Wikileaks as an organization and Assange as a person. Even if Wikileaks does fantastic things for the world, we shouldn't let that cloud our judgement of Assange. We do not know exactly what - if any - evidence exist against him, and we should let the court decide whether he is guilty of a crime against these women or not.
Sweden's justice system might not be perfect, but it's a lot better than internet mob rule.
As other's have pointed out, the Swedish rape statistics are probably due to Swedish women being more likely to report a rape than in many other countries. The claim that Sweden has more rapes than other western countries have refuted by the justice department and the state statistics bureau numerous times, it's just the amount of REPORTED crimes that are higher than in other countries.
I surely don't have the facts to say whether Assange is guilty or not, and I doubt many of you could say that either, and thankfully it's not up to us to decide.
 
 
+3 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 22:40
For on thing mikael, I don't trust the Swedish courts. They have a challenged reputation, but then, in all fairness, so does ours. If you've served jury duty enough you know that ours has weaknesses. As for internet mob rule...what are you talking about? I think if the evidence were put on the net he'd be a free man in a heart beat, bot because we like Assange but because the evidence we do know of is extremely weak. One of the women refuse to participate now. When Assange was first charged he cooperated and wanted to confront his accusers, to provide testimony and evidence on his behalf but was declined, freed, and the charges dropped. Now he's being pulled in to answer questions that he already offered to answer but was declined. What changed? Why did it change? The whole thing stinks and frankly, it sounds like the Swedish courts are preparing to become a kangaroo court, or are hauling him in solely for the purpose of turning him over to the US. I don't believe that if tried in Sweden on this "rape" charge he will be convicted. As for the significance you give to the difference between REPORTED rapes, which are NOT higher in Sweden, I think multiples of that go unreported.
 
 
-2 # Stefan 2010-12-18 08:34
Best post in the entire thread.
Too bad Michael Moore-fanatics and WikiLeaks-fanat ics hate you since it doesn't add up to their deranged reality.
 
 
+11 # Dion Giles 2010-12-17 19:02
The plea that the Swedes just want to talk to Assange is phoney. They had a whole month, with his full co-operation, to talk to him. He left when they said he could go. Then all of a sudden there's an Interpol red alert. Even then there was no manhunt. The English police knew where he was and when they asked him to report to them he did so. So if the Swedish authorities NOW want to talk to him, what's to stop their officials going to England and getting on with it? Their government caved in to a pro-US pollie to get him to where he could be easily shunted on the US torture chambers. And a fat lot of good it will do the US torture regime, with the leaks they’re really worried about still in the hands of people who, not surprisingly in the light of their ongoing 2003-2010 behaviour, hate their guts.
 
 
+6 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 22:43
Let's face it. The Swedish government is full of s**t. The whole thing is a set up. One of the women are already declining to cooperate. If Sweden wasn't willing to investigate in the first place and now, all of the sudden, has a change of heart, I'd like to know why. Why has Sweden suddenly taken an interest in a man and claims against him that they were willing to dismiss shortly before? Yep. This stinks like a pile of c**p.
 
 
+2 # Alan Beasley 2010-12-18 00:01
But surely, even if the Swedish government got their hands on Assnage they would never allow him to be extradited to a corrupt third world country groaning under dictatorial repression - such as the US.
 
 
+1 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-18 14:15
Quoting Alan Beasley:
But surely, even if the Swedish government got their hands on Assnage they would never allow him to be extradited to a corrupt third world country groaning under dictatorial repression - such as the US.

Well I sure hope you are right on that!
 
 
0 # Louise Lipnick 2010-12-17 19:25
Yet again you hit the nail on the head. Thank you. It needs to be said and brought into the conscience of us all.
 
 
+10 # Eddy 2010-12-17 22:05
Guilty or not guilty is totaly irelevant and has no bearing whatever on this issue.
Once Assange is in the hands of Sweden Authorities, the case against him will simply evaporate and the larger issue of deportation to the U.S. on their trumped up charges will take precident.
So sorry folks, you can argue all day over the sexual aspects of this case, but in the light of day, they are totaly meaningless and anyone with a smidgen of grey matter between the ears would know this.
I distinctly recall similar case in the U.S. whence the weapns inspector that reported there were no WMD in Iraq spoke out publicaly, was also charged with trumped up sexual charges which were later dismissed.
But, like in all such cases, mud will stick and act as warnings for anyone else considering similar behaviour.
Wake up people, and see the real world as it is today.
 
 
+5 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-17 22:44
You're right...and I think it is the naive people of Sweden that are in for a rude awakening.
 
 
+10 # Fred 2010-12-17 22:19
I entirely agree with Mr Moore: however I suggest that this scenario could play out in any of a dozen or more developed countries. Sweden has, by virtue of it's Nordic way of life, always portrayed itself as a peace loving if not pious nation, while embracing a free and easy egalitarian lifestyle, where gender baise is rarely an issue - much like the rest of the developed world. And so, while embarrassing, the exquisite hypocrisy of pursuing a famous individual over, by Swedish standards, a lame and somewhat doubtful allegation, should not cause the Swedes all that much anxiety.

Then why the exaggerated reaction by the Swedish government? Or perhaps the question to ask is: what manner of coercion would precipitate such a disproportionat e response to what would normally scarcly raise an eyebrow from the Swedish judiciary?

First suspect: Does Wiki Leaks contain any Swedish skeletons in it's closet?

Second Suspect: Has the USA somehow managed to find a raw nerve - such as some aspect of Swedish industry - that could be seen as vulnerable to corporate interference from 'foreign interests'?
 
 
0 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:23
Excellent analysis, by my count.
 
 
+2 # Richard Castro Jr. 2010-12-17 22:23
Thank you Michael Moore! Not only are you a great statesman but it appears you are in the running to be our next ambassador. If only we had more people like you our world would be a better place to live in. Peace be with you in struggle till the end.
 
 
0 # edgar valderrama 2010-12-17 22:49
The one bright spot in this mess is that it shows the once almighty dollar (or US influence) still counts for something!
 
 
0 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:24
And you think that a bright spot? I hope you type with sarcasm.
 
 
+3 # Pat Williams 2010-12-17 23:09
I don't know how much can be proven about the accusations. Assange had consentual intercourse with two women at different times who are purported to have joined Wikileaks as volunteers. In each case, sometime in the middle of the acts, the condoms broke and the women changed their minds. If it had been one incident, I could better understand it. But two times? One must smell a rat, er, set up. Also, Assange hung around in Sweden for quite some time trying to clear this up. The Swedish government wouldn't take action. So, since he had commitments, he finally had to leave. I think that is what they, whoever "they" is, wanted, both ways, to run interference and to turn him into a fugitive when he did go.
 
 
+3 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:34
“The condoms broke and the women changed their minds.” WOW! I can understand the reluctance to continue—pregna ncy and STDs are not to be trifled with—but I can also understand that stopping midact is not, shall we say, the easiest thing in the world. If a guy suddenly objected at that point, I would try darn hard to continue. I have no intention of diminishing or trivializing anyone’s real ability to say “no” and be taken seriously, but merely to acknowledge the—looking for the right word/phrase—ins tinicts? hormonal influence? procreative urge?— of the body in the situation.
Such a situation seems more like a sad accident than a crime; that it happened twice makes me wonder about what brand of condom was being used; without meaning to be flippant, it seems that quality control is as much an issue as sexual assault in this case.
 
 
+5 # Alan Beasley 2010-12-18 01:13
Quoting Dion Giles:
The plea that the Swedes just want to talk to Assange is phoney.


Surely, even if the Swedish government does manage to get its hands on Assange; Sweden would never allow Assange to be extradited to a third world country where its government is marred by corruption and dictatorial tendencies. After all, the US has become a third world country with a few first world enclaves
 
 
+4 # AB 2010-12-18 07:30
Just a couple of facts to put things in perspective.

Denmark has half the number of convicted rapists per capita compared to Sweden.

The UK has one third.

Sweden does in fact put far MORE accused rapists in jail than any other comparable country. The myth of extreme leniency on Sweden's part is simply due to the fact that Sweden has an inordinately high number of reported rapes compared to other countries - in the order of one magnitude higher.

Reason 1: Far more things are considered rape than elsewhere. People have been sent to jail for groping genitals through clothes (take note, TSA!)

(con'td below)
 
 
+4 # AB 2010-12-18 07:33
(cont'd)

Reason 2: Rape allegations can be thrown about with impunity. If successful, you're generally rewarded with a shitload of money.

Reason 3: Feminist doctrine (firmly rooted in Sweden) teaches that any sex that wasn't entirely enjoyable can be labeled "rape".

Reason 4: A rape conviction is a very convenient tool in child custody disputes.

Reason 5: The high conviction rate and the fact that proof is rarely needed naturally encourages false reporting. Most judges have no legal education and are easily moved by a display of tears.
 
 
0 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-18 13:24
BRAVO AB! For the longest time now we in the so called Developed Western World have been subjected to HER Story as the supposed response to Years of HIS Story. It's time to get back to OUR Story by which I mean that of the Human Family, the recognition of Men and Women as Siblings who suffer the same emotional weaknesses. As I just related in another Post, that old bilge about Women being
"Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice" was Disproven going all the way back to the Genesis story which was not written as Feminists might insist by Sexist Men. There are Thousands of Men who have had their lives destroyed by opportunistic Women who seized on the opportunity to profit on what was supposed to be a Love Affair, the annals of Divorce Records evidence of same, High Priced Lawyers making a Fortune getting like Fortunes for their Women Clients. Case in point, a Male friend of mine thought he had a great marriage. One day he comes home from work and she says, "I don't know WHO I am anymore, I'm Leaving You." But she did NOT just leave but instead Took everything he had in Divorce Court! But no point relating this to too many women who will try to insist HE must have been to blame.
 
 
+4 # Amanda Ritzman 2010-12-18 07:52
Just another American throwing dirt at Sweden. Really now, this is taking it too far. There is nothing wrong with the Swedish government, and yes, the punishments are a bit screwed up but it's not as bad as you make it sound!

I trust the government, and I believe that they're trying their best. Don't try and make it sound like we're some country that makes all people suffer, because that's not how it is. Come and live in Sweden and see for yourselves before you judge.

Also, I find it funny that tons of Americans jump at the opportunity to talk badly about a little - close to perfect - country like Sweden when you've got SO much bad stuff in your back pocket. Weird, huh?
 
 
+2 # Truth Not Myth 2010-12-18 12:57
BRAVA Amanda. WE Americans are so Upset with the Turn to the Right in our own nation that we need to try to Down other Nations for the same decadent corruption of democratic principles. Earlier I was relating as to how Sweden has long been a model of the more Humanistic concept of Democratic Socialism and while we know to our dismay that there have been inroads made by the Corporate World in opposition to said perspective in Europe more generally, it is NOTHING compared to what we are seeing in America where this Corporate Control can be fairly described as the fulfillment of Science NOT Fiction Predictions of the coming of a Totalitarian Future. Can you BELIEVE that with 46 MILLION people with NO Form of Health Care whatsoever, Americans are SO Brainwashed as to have rejected an effort to provide them a National Health Service thanks to the LIES of the Right and such GOONS as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and that IDIOT who is Sarah Palin with her "Death Panel" number. America has NO right whatsoever to try to paint other Nations dark when as Surveys have revealed WE are the Nation the rest of the WORLD has the MOST FEAR OF!
 
 
0 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-18 14:31
All right Truth Not Myth...ya' got me. Truer words never spoken. I still think you have a bad attitude about women but to this post I quite agree with you.
 
 
+3 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-18 14:29
Amanda, you'll find plenty of Americans like me who are quite comfortable about telling the truth about our country...some grim, unpleasant and unflattering truths at that. We are, after all, an amazingly screwed up country. That said though, some of us find it quite disillusioning to discover that Sweden is not only imperfect but has some warps as fundamental as our own. Silly me. I am guilty of over idealizing Sweden and will just have to wise up and deal with the fact that Sweden's sexual politics is pretty screwed up. I guess Sweden is not at all immune from sexism, misogyny and abuse in both directions. AB makes Sweden sound like Hollywood...a messed up, vulgar place. Should I take his word for it?
 
 
0 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:39
With you completely on this one. An ideal has been shown to have clay feet. Sadly, virtually all do, I guess. Surprising that I, who generally consider myself pretty cynical, could hold on to such illusions. I guess it is a result of being at a distance (not just physically, but through lack of current knowledge).
 
 
+3 # LawrenceEfana 2010-12-18 08:43
Michael Moore is no little figure, when it comes to what we know about the US. His appeal to nullify the extradition charges against Assange, indeed deserves a listening and understanding. It is nicely worded and cautiously apologetic in case of other missing information. The implicit with the appeal considering the current high esteem for the Swedish state, is instead to intermediate with US Government on behalf of Wikileaks for greater, but guarded measures enough to polish and strengthen Western democracy, which we all love and also want morally improved. Hopefully steps by the Swedish authorities are not driven by worries about own skeletons in the closet! Even if so, Sweden is better known and loved for much of what is good about her and that 'they' should keep alive: choose instead to intermediate positively than anything else in the name of improved democracy, diplomatic culture, caution and lessons of dysfunctional/o ver-driven secrecy
 
 
-1 # Henry Barth 2010-12-18 09:14
"But it was Mr Assange who had the bigger surprise when he found out he was being charged. What an innocent. As I said, this is Sweden, where the sisterhood has made sure there the law recognises at least three degrees of rape: severe, regular, and less severe, garnished with the possible charge of 'unlawful coercion'. The European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics shows that in 2006 there were 4.7 convictions for rape per 100,000 of population in Sweden. That's high. In Ireland, the figure was just 0.7. Any lower than that figure and you are into conviction rates in Armenia and Albania.

Now Swedish feminists want the definition of rape to be widened even further to include situations in which a woman does not explicitly say 'no' to sex, but signals her opposition some other way."

Read the entire article. Feminism gone crazy in Sweden, soon Europe-wide.

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/daily-mail-london-england-the/mi_8002/is_2010_Dec_13/laws-cia-conspiracy/ai_n56473383/
 
 
+2 # nb 2010-12-18 09:14
Just a minor correction: Michael Moore got it right, except that the "conservative" politician is actually a social-democrat , radical feminist politician and at the same time acting as the lawyer for the two women.

He is the same politician/lawy er who willingly sacrificed one of his clients to wrongfully pleading guilty to 8 murders he didn't commit. In other words, Claes Borgström, the lawyer of the women, is a danger to society and a lousy lawyer at that.
 
 
+3 # Dennis Eriksson-Nyh 2010-12-18 09:32
It was not many years ago that I still felt proud to be Swedish and to live in Sweden. These days, however - with the main contributing factors being the inability to prosecute accused rapists, the Pirate Bay trial, the racist tendencies among the public and media, and now this whole Assange debacle - I feel nothing but shame and distrust for not only our judicial system, but against every official institution and section of government we have here. They've all done one or more things this past decade that ruined my entire image of our officials. I can't even begin to describe how much this depresses me, and I don't want to be Swedish anymore.
 
 
+3 # Sally G 2010-12-19 06:44
I understand. I once believed that the U.S.A. was still operating on the principles of the founding documents. I remember celebrating the bicentennial in 1976 knowing that justice had triumphed in the Watergate case. Over the decades, we have moved in a direction I do not recognize. It seems that it is not just one country, but that we are moving together in a dangerous direction, for whatever reason (I suspect bad economics has a part). However, there are people of conscience—you and I seem to be two —so carry on!
Best for a gentle solstice.
 
 
+2 # Scruffy 2010-12-18 11:46
Here is information from 1997 given by the swedish organsation Brottsförebygga nde Rådet ( Crime Preventing Council )

"Ett exempel som gäller våldtäkter visar hur svårt det kan vara att jämföra nivåer. I Europarådets insamling av kriminalstatist ik från närmare 30 länder uppger Sverige det högsta antalet polisanmälda våldtäkter (inklusive våldtäktsförsök ) – 19 våldtäkter per 100 000 invånare år 1995. På andra plats kommer Nordirland (16) och Frankrike (13). I botten av listan finns Slovenien, Malta och Italien, med mellan en och två våldtäkter per 100 000 invånare. Är skillnaderna verkliga?"

Translation:
"One example concerning rape shows how hard it is to compare levels. In the European Councils gathering of criminal statistics from close to 30 countries Sweden ranks the highest number of reported rapes to the police ( including attempts of rape )- 19 rapes per 100 000 citizens in the year of 1995. On the second place we find Northern Ireland ( 16 ) and then France ( 13 ). At the bottom of the list we find Slovenia, Malta and Italy, with between one and two rapes per 100 000 citizens. Are the differences real?"
 
 
+2 # Scruffy 2010-12-18 11:55
The information I just listed from the Crime Preventing Council ( aka BRÅ, a government agency ) is from 1998, and even though it is close to 13 years old, I think that report is very telling.

Hows this for propaganda? The Swedish Democrats, a right wing extremist party today that in the 90's was the most violent skinhead movement in Sweden, was depicted in American media ( CBN to be more precise ) as "Swedish Democrats, who stand for traditional Christian values".

If you dont know anything about Sweden, you might actually believe this. And if you dont know anything about Sweden, you might actually believe Michael Moore.
 
 
0 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-18 14:44
Oh come on Scruffy...you'r e being unreasonably hard on Michael Moore. Even he would not be stupid enough to consider the Swedish Democrats as a party standing for traditional Christian values if they are the skinheads you describe. I don't need to know anything at all about Sweden to know that when she had a chance to conduct an investigation she didn't and now is behaving in an irrational manner not at all consistent with common sense. He should be interviewed at the Swedish embassy in London and not be forced to go to Sweden. When he was there he tried to cooperate and was rebuffed. We just don't understand Sweden's fickle behavior. It is inexplicable to us. Why should I not believe Michael Moore? Swedish fickleness makes me trust Sweden a whole lot less.
So explain to me Scruffy. How does Sweden release a suspect and drop charges and when he leaves, then issue an Interpol warrant as though he were a fugitive fleeing justice? If Assange is actually guilty of anything, Sweden already botched the case. We would give Assange the presumption of innocence and evidently you presume his guilt perhaps and your justice system seems rather amateurish.
 
 
+1 # Scruffy 2010-12-18 16:32
First off, Im attacking the ridiculous claims about swedish rape statistics. The "facts" Moore is using are false. Period and end of story. Since this seems to be his main point in the arguement, it is important to point out instantly that his claims are not reality in Sweden.

Secondly, about Assange and the charge against him. Sure, there might be pressure from the US. Wouldnt surprise me. But here is the deal... The inital charges were dropped, but the official statement is that new evidence has appeared, as it sometimes happens, and the case was reopened and the severity of the criminal charge increased because of this new... well, call it evidence. Since he was out of the country by this time, and not to be found, he was arrested in his absence, which is quite common in Sweden. Similar stories pop up in the news every now and then. The main difference in this case is obviously that Assange is a VIP to say the least, and so, media covers the story worldwide. But when you study the matter closer, theres not much oddity to the matter really
 
 
+3 # Scruffy 2010-12-18 15:29
This is starting to bug me actually...

Ok, so Michael Moore thinks Sweden is a nation in love with its rapists and not looking out for its women.

How about freedom of the press? Sweden ranks number 1 together with 5 other countries. The US is 20th in that category.

Corruption in politics? Sweden is ranked as the 4th least corrupt nation in the world. The US 22nd.

Quality of life for its citizens? Sweden is ranked number 5. The US has the 13th spot.

So really? Sweden doesnt take rape seriously? Even though we rank as one of the most functional societies in the world, where democracy and rule of law actually apply in all aspects of our society.
 
 
-2 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-19 00:19
Okay Scruffy but you still have not answered an important question. Why is it that Assange cannot be interviewed at the Swedish embassy in London? Why does he have to return to Sweden. What actual new evidence is there and pardon my lack of awareness here, I have to wonder if it is even slightly credible. You may site how Sweden is WAY ahead of the US and I won't argue one bit. You'd be correct obviously, but Sweden is not immune from injustice or corruption. What makes Sweden so much better that, given the circumstances, I should trust Sweden? For all the good you mention, which is truly admirable, when Assange offered to stay he was turned away and that just makes no sense. I cannot fathom what new evidence there might be and would appreciate being enlightened because right now, Sweden looks silly...again, no matter how admirable otherwise.
 
 
+2 # Scruffy 2010-12-19 06:44
Why he cant go to an embassy? Cause its not common practice when dealing with a suspect who might have commited a crime? In sweden, suspects are allowed to move freely after inital statements and interrogations, but are not allowed to leave the country ( big surprise there ). So if a suspected criminal is outside of Sweden, is it then so strange that Sweden might want the guy back in the country while the investigation is still going on. That doesnt sound so strange to me. Kinda logical even.

As for not commenting on the evidence... When has prosecutors and police EVER commented on evidence during an ongoing investigation concerning such a hot topic as this? They dont even do it for regular crimes, at least thats how things are done in Sweden.

The initial charges were dropped, probably because it was word vs word and you cant make much of a case on that. Assange left the country. New evidence appears ( maybe with a little help from the US, who knows, it wouldnt surprise me in the end ) and the guy is arrested in his absence. Is that really strange when you think about it?

But! The rape statistics Moore relies upon in this case are still FALSE!
 
 
0 # Joshua Reichek 2010-12-18 16:44
Dear Michael, Thank you for such a clear and articulated letter to the Swedish government on this issue. I agree with what you have said and how you have said it entirely. I am pleased and honored to support your works and efforts on behalf of humanity in the past and in this regard in particular at this time.
 
 
+3 # Lilo Ohana 2010-12-18 16:52
AB: In Sweden people generally don't get "a shitload of money" as crime victims.
For rape, some typical amounts mentioned in the statistics published by the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority (http://www.brottsoffermyndigheten.se/default.asp?id=1176) are between 2800 dollars to 14200 dollars.
 
 
+1 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-19 00:20
Thanks for putting some perspective into this. The amounts you mention one could buy a cheap car for...small compensation for being raped.
 
 
+2 # AB 2010-12-19 08:08
Quoting Daniel Fletcher:
Thanks for putting some perspective into this. The amounts you mention one could buy a cheap car for...small compensation for being raped.

The damages are typically in the range 10-30K USD. Maybe a small compensation for being raped, but a shitload of money for a small tearful performance in court, which is what was discussed (see my post 2010-12-18 05:30). If you follow a few simple steps, no charges can be filed against you. One of several reasons Sweden has more than twice the rape report rate of the US.
 
 
+3 # Johan Tjäder 2010-12-19 03:00
Obviously, Michael Moore and others have missed that there is a warrant for Assange's arrest issued by the Stockholms tingsrätt (district court) and confirmed by Svea hovrätt (the appeals court).

That means that the district and appeals courts have tried this case on the merits, and have found that the evidence are more in favor of conviction than not. That is sufficient for an arrest warrant.

Of course Assange's swedish attorney was present and has been fully informed about the charges and evidence.

Swedish rape statistics have no bearing on this particular case and Moore knows that.
 
 
+2 # Swede dude 2010-12-19 04:42
Sweden once was a place that was free of Americas political influence. That is not the case anymore. We are now integrated economical, military and political with the us. Exactly like the other nato countries. Just not on paper. Sad but true.

The report rates of rape is alot higher in Sweden. They report everything. Even stuff that is not even true. But its a sad story anyway.
 
 
+6 # Scruffy 2010-12-19 07:09
Really? Sweden was once free of American political influence??? Yeah, before 1939 perhaps. You really think that during the coldwar, with the Swedish airforce being the most advanced and largest airforce in the world during the 60's, that NATO and the US didnt have an interest in Sweden? Sweden was key for the wareffort in northern europe ( scandinavia, germany and poland ) had the coldwar turned hot... so you really think Sweden was free of American political influence back in the day?
 
 
+3 # giraffe 2010-12-19 18:13
Sweden is sleeping with the enemy -- the USA -- and it is so obvious -- they cannot prevail - WHY? Because when Sweden fails but turns Assange over to the USA -- the sham should be obvious even to the R's and T's (and those who voted them into the 112th Congress)
 
 
-4 # trina 2010-12-20 13:46
I say to hell with " ANY" criminal justice system anywhere---all run by the PERPS. WOMEN need to start getting more aggressive--SHO OT TO KILL- CUTTING OFF THE WEAPON. especially if asked to go down on any one--BITE IT OFF! Heterosexuals ( MALES) losing their weapons insures that one more cannot rape! This should be THE ONLY DIRECTION WOMEN GO FROM HERE!
 
 
-2 # Scruffy 2010-12-23 11:24
Funny story... Private Manning, the guy who most likely leaked all the Wikileak material, is sitting in isolation, 23 hours a day, and has been doing so for 7 months.

Whats funny about it?

He hasnt even seen trial yet. He has not been convicted of any crime. He is a suspect.

And people here are enraged over Sweden and how Sweden is dealing with Assange? Sweden who is actually following legal protocol, unlike the US who treats a suspect as if hes guilty, before it has been confirmed.

100 years ago or more, it would have been known as Lynching. I guess the US hasnt evolved out of the 19th century yet.

By the way... Its the 21st Century now, at least in Sweden.
 
 
-2 # Dennis Eriksson-Nyh 2010-12-26 06:22
This is a very good point. Looking to media, I've barely seen a single word written about anything regarding Manning.
 
 
+2 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-26 22:39
Quoting Dennis Eriksson-Nyh:
This is a very good point. Looking to media, I've barely seen a single word written about anything regarding Manning.

Well, I certainly cannot account for what media you are looking at but I can assure you that Pfc. Bradley Manning is in the minds and hearts of countless tens of thousands of Americans and possibly magnitudes greater. Some of us are offering to serve his punishment in his place no less, in solidarity. Of these I am one. Don't let the media distort the truth, please.
 
 
0 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-12-26 22:36
Scruffy, what makes you think we are any less enraged about what is happening to Bradley Manning? Because Manning is NOT subject to the U.S. Constitution but instead is covered by the Uniform Code of Military Justice instead, it can actually be said that his treatment is not subject to habeas corpus at all, nor is a speedy trial a right and so forth. None the less, our concern is that within the scope of the UCMJ, he is being improperly tormented and selectively and exceptionally being abused. Of course we're concerned.
Luckily enough, we actually do have time to be concerned by the selective and exceptional application of Swedish laws to Assange as well. See how enlightened we can be at times?
I guess if Sweden can't detect the sentiment of the American people any better, and I will confess that it's difficult, then maybe Sweden hasn't evolved out of the 19th Century yet.
 
 
+2 # Scruffy 2010-12-27 06:50
Oh come on Danny boy... You cant possibly think you actually made a point there? When you yourself already on this very page have said, and I qoute, "Sweden is WAY ahead of the US and I won't argue one bit". So if Sweden hasnt evolved out of the 19th Century, where does that leave the US, according to your own statements?

Anyway, the statistics Moore relies upon in this case are false and twisted to suit a specific purpouse that doesnt even have anything to do with the Assange case. And, Sweden is following standard procedure when it comes to dealing with suspects found abroad. Sure, people can be suspicious of American involvement, but to go so far as to claim that Sweden is a nation in love with rapists, and that Sweden is a dubious country at best... Well, yeah... Lets use the word Silly, shall we.
 
 
+2 # barkeshli 2010-12-23 17:39
Excellent discourse.Its hard to add anything more.
 
 
0 # Scruffy 2011-01-12 08:31
not sure if anyone will actually read this, but here goes anyway.

The Swedish artist, Basshunter, has appeared before a court in Scotland to face rape-charges against him by two women. To the point, he appeared to take part of the charges, nothing more.

Apparently, during a photo-shoot with these two fans, Basshunter made them perform sexual "moves" which they apparently afterwards found offensive.

Now... who here thinks Scotland is wrong in demanding the swedish artist to appear before a Scottish court, or should they have solved it at the Embassy?
 

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