US

Leftist bloggers point to CIA connections in Assange rape case

Is one of the Swedish women who accused Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of rape motivated by connections to the CIA?

That question is currently making the rounds in the left’s reality-based community: Firedoglake, Keith Olbermann, and Alexander Cockburn’s Counterpunch have all floated the possibility that alleged rape victim Anna Ardin is motivated not by a sense of violation — or even pressure from the Swedish government — but by her ties to a Swedish rightwing anti-Castro group.

“Julian Assange’s chief accuser in Sweden has a significant history of work with anti-Castro groups, at least one of which is US funded and openly supported by a former CIA agent convicted in the mass murder of seventy three Cubans on an airliner he was involved in blowing up,” wrote FDL’s Kirk James Murphy on Saturday. The rest of his piece, much like the Counterpunch article it draws from, is dedicated to listing the many clandestine activities of Luis Posada Carriles, a man who Ardin allegedly knows from her work in Sweden and a visit to Cuba.

Olbermann and others retweeted Murphy’s FDL post, surrounding the word rape with scare quotes.

Assange’s lawyer has raised his own concerns with the rape charges against his client, starting with the fact that Sweden’s Public Prosecutor’s Office dropped the charges against Assange in August, when a spokesperson said, “There is no longer reason to believe that Mr. Assange has committed rape,” only to issue yet another warrant for Assange’s arrest in November, citing “new information.”

According to James D. Catlin, an Australian barrister acting on Assange’s behalf in England, Assange is guilty of — if anything — having sex without a condom. “Three months on and three prosecutors later, the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was not consensual.”

Catlin claims that Ardin and co-accusser Sofia Wilén sent each other congratulatory text messages after bedding Assange. “Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.”

At no point, however, has Catlin suggested that Assange’s accusers are working on behalf of the CIA or the U.S. Government. Instead, Catlin blames the protracted case on Sweden’s laws regarding sex crimes.

Last week, British authorities contacted prosecutors in Sweden and requested more details about the rape charges, which suggests that Assange may be hiding in the UK.

The Wikileaks founder has called the rape allegations part of a smear campaign.