Julian Assange, of WikiLeaks took the initiative on eid day this Sunday with the second of 2 eid presents, the first being Egyptian PM Mursi's decision to attend the Non Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran starting 26th August.
In his address from the balcony of the tiny Ecuadorian Embassy behind Harrods, the Gulf-owned temple of hyper consumerism he declared that Bradley Manning should be free, and that if he did what he is alleged to have done, he would be a hero.
The press in the UK are unusually hateful of him, and this is not helped by the foolish phlegminism emanating from usually sound people, often clustering around the comments of George Galloway, but forever skirting around the socio-sequential political context of the sexual assault allegations.
There is a documentary from Australia called Sex, Lies and Julian Assange that provides a sound 'noise' inoculation and discursive accelerant. The video keeps moving from youtube link to you tube link, so if the link below doesn't work please google it.
The two accusing ladies are not the same as each other, but they are represented by the same lawyer, Claes Borgstrom, who plays for a trial when the Australian journalist, who looks like he's stepped out of a 1980s time machine, asked about how much this looks like a stitch-up.
Theres a lot of Swedish Democratic Party politics entangled in this too, which is to be expected given the events of August 2010 depicted in the documentary. Borgstom is a member and gender spokesperson. Anna Ardin, Assange's chief accuser ( and bizarrely one time fixer and host) is a member, as is her friend Irmeli Krans, the police investigator and testimony fiddler of the less assertive accuser.
The liberal phlegminist toolkit deployed to occlude the imperative of deimperialisation is the same one that enables the whiteously indignant to bomb Afghani women to liberate them. I feel like we are moving backwards and haven't learnt to avoid catching the dust thrown in our eyes.
What is with the obsession with sex that it attracts more interest and concern than the revelations of US forces mowing down civilians with their guns from helicopters and all that wiki leaking has told us about the ugly face of US aggression?
What is is about the British press that makes them so superficial and gullible if not outright corrupt?
To my political instinct, what we have here is not an opportunity to booleanise human rights and freedom of speech, but to prosecute a deimperialising agenda and not be taken for feminist fools.
There is a spectrum of viewpoints on Distraction-gate, I'll only dwell on three women's perpectives, because you probably have had contact with the general crapola out there already and the male defences by Milne, Greenwald and Murray.
First up, two years ago prominent thirdwave feminist Naomi Wolf deconstructed the allegations in an interview with Amy Goodman of DemocracyNow!
Last year she wrote an article detailing 8 things she found suspect about the case against Assange, and more recent interview with RussiaToday she talks about the US clampdown on dissent.
Laurie Penny reflects her own experience of rape as a teenager through the allegations against Assange and the weird statements of a US politician here. Its a lot more personal than her Independent article. Rape brings out primary political values and principles in a lot of young gender activists, many of whom have been busy pinning differently-informed-insertion-consent-survivors-know-best decision narratives on me.
Lindsay German puts a more mature left perspective on the matter. Most of the Respect party people (Salma Yaqoob, Kate Hudson) are distancing themselves from the Galloway unhelpful videocast which was seized by the gendustry and usual suspects to create further dust and distraction.
German also brings up something that I have got halal and tayeb beef with, even if its probably the case that both Lindsay and the post-Sunday phlegminists haven't seen the documentary.
We live in a highly sexualised culture where women are expected to be sexually available - but at the same time are still treated as if they in some way contributed to a rape or sexual assault when they dress or behave in a certain way.I don't expect sexual availability thank you very much, I find all this availing tiresome and degrading. Haya is the value of inherent modesty, an internal moral compass, which I will use it instead of chastity. Haya is to be promoted in all manners, with dignity. modern left, and right leaders, and hackers disappoint, but haya isn't their point.
We live in a multifaceted hypocrisy where men and women get away with different wrongs at a social level and laws written to protect the dignity of women are often used by men to take out grudges. Haya is still a socio-ethical goal, so if you ask me about sex crime, id have to say they are pretty widespread and have been declassified as off limits for a while in the west.
Promiscuous people and adult starstruck political roadies have rights that are hard to discern in the midst of the sexual rites they play. Rape is Rape is Rape is an atomising, time slicing , disempowering stubborn slogan. Consider this, that if you are in someone's bed so fleetingly, throwing them crayfish parties after allegedly being raped by them and seemingly collaborating with copartners to create criminal facts on the ground with your pal the copper, it is difficult to to consider you a noncontributer.
Look at me, not even four witnesses and already down the rabbit hole. Knowing social realities, prevention is better than legal recourse hence the social shariah's discouragement from even approaching such relations. and speculations.
Seamus Milne (Tuesday) on Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange
Craig Murray (Tuesday/Wednesday) on Naming Ardin on Newsnight and the BBC's opposite policies on this case and that of DSK
Glenn Greenwald (Wednesday) on The bizarre, unhealthy blinding media contempt for Julian Assange
George Galloway (Saturday, oddly) a webcast that has been chopped and recruited by the Anti Wikileaks brigades