Update 1 July 2012
Christian Christensen has complained in Twitter that I would have “misrepresented” his positions “via omission”. This “via omission” statement is another false accusation by Christensen added to his salender-series on WikiLeaks and supporters of the cause of Justice for Julian Assange. Further, in a separate tweet he is asking “therefore” @WikiLeaks to re-tweet his own articles. This being instead – as Treisiroon replied to Christensen– “Not 1st time Christensen begs for Re-Twitters for own ’selectively chosen facts’ articles”
The facts: In the ProfessorsBlogg’s posts retweeted by @WikiLeaks are found all the links to the full-textarticles authored by Christensen (on WikiLeaks and WL) which have been referred to in our posts. All of Christensen’s full-text articles can be found through the RT (re-twitted) posts. [See Note 1 down below in this text]
The “Concern Troll”
By Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli
“In an argument (usually a political debate), a concern troll is someone who is on one side of the discussion, but pretends to be a supporter of the other side with “concerns”. The idea behind this is that your opponents will take your arguments more seriously if they think you’re an ally. Concern trolls who use fake identities are sometimes known as sockpuppets.”
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks popularity is on the rise again – judging from the media-debate and the developments in the social media. Even if to early to raise the victory flag all the way to the top, articles from Sweden would indicate that situation stars to be viewed by Sweden with some anxiety, if not desperation. In an opinion-article “Sweden is owed justice and respect over the Assange affair” authored by Stockholm’s University Law Professor Marten Schultz in ABC’s “Religion&Ethics”, he gives the impassioned as well as equivocal notion that it would be instead Sweden which has been under unjustified attacks — by Assange and supporters. Schultz acknowledges that the international position of Sweden is now deteriorated. Professors Blogg is at these moments preparing an article to be submitted to “Religion&Ethics” in replying Schultz’s drastic misunderstandings.
“The petition for political asylum (Julian Assange’s) is under analysis by our government considering all the implications it can convey – not as much because implications towards the National Government, but because those in regard to Mr Julián Assange himself“ (Foreign Affairs Minister Patiño Aroca, Quito 25/6-12
The situation around the asylum issue, and the numerous statements from Ecuador showing a genuine concern for Julian Assange’s fate (see above statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patiño Arias), also recalled to memory previous statements of other governments – including heads of state, academics, intellectuals, artists, human rights activists or politicians all over the world that raised sympathy for Julian’s cause of justice. One example is this letter from Australian leading personalities. And most recent,the letter to Ecuador signed by notable American academics, authors and personalities form the film world. This, and other developments comprised in this warm wave of support for the cause of Human Rights and justice for Assange, are treated in Who Supports Asylum for Julian Assange?@Treisiroon published today in Storyfi.
Now that Ecuador press have widely published the note signed by prominent American colleagues mentioned above (Moore, Wolf, Greenwald, Chomsky, Ellsberg, and thousands others, all which in fact never abandoned their support regardless adversity), some other stream-followers have apparently reconsidering estimations as to in which direction the balance would be now tipping.
Meanwhile in Sweden, Christian Christensen, reinitiates attacks on WikiLeaks supporters, in what he calls an unjustified stance from WikiLeaks against Swediah “radical feminism (rad fem)”. Professors blogg and several others have been busy in tackling his discrediting campaign against Assange and supporters in Twitter and in his blogg he associates with Uppsala University. The campaign is done simply with fabricated accusations NEVER PROVED by Christensen, on “misogynists” implementing attacks against Swedish “radical feminism”. This “rad fem” number has been one common denominator often appealed by a number of Internet Trolls in this seemingly Transatlantic concerted campaign.
Christensen, has now published in his blog “Nick Cohen, Assange and US Power“, a shallow piece disguised as “criticism” to a Cohen’s piece in the Guardian (“Definition of Paranoia – Supporters of Julian Assange“), in which Guardian indulges – once more – in the anti-Assange preposterous default-theme on alleged “paranoia”. Christensen in his own article tries now to convince he is hostile to U.S. positions towards Assange and implying that he also would “share” the notion of Assange’s genuine risk of being indicted and imprisoned in the U.S.
But Christensen had another position less than a week ago:
On the 20th of June, in yet one act the audiences had to stand on the alleged Assange’s “paranoia” – in the line of Cohen’s and other’s in Guardian – Christensen made in an interview at BBC Radio program Why 60: Julian Assange. [See “In the background of this event”, further below] what sounded a new mockery of Julian Assange’s “strong feelings of fearing”, whith Christensen repeatedly putting in doubt as whether those “strong fears” felt by Assange” would be justified in reality.
However it is the same old tactic of the Fifth Column. He might gain anew some space, for some days – thanks to the confusion these oscillating statements produce amongst people knowing even less than Christensen about the situation in Sweden, or that one in Ecuador (Christensen has been stationed in Sweden only since a few years ago). Namely, Christensen uses the sentiments that among WL and Assange supporters (and among decent readers elsewhere) the Guardian piece by Nick Cohen have produced. By means of stating in Twitter and in his article’s introduction that he also disapproves Cohen, Christensen expects to get the WL’s door of confidence and trust opened anew for him, just to find the occasion for repeating the same type of fabrications against just Assange and WL supporters he has been doing all along in recent times: for example the “rad fem” act.
The imputations above by Christensen are false, he is solely smearing WL, Assange and their supporters. His “arguments” are no genuine fact-based considerations. They are instead, as proven in this analysis, a collection of logical fallacies, all of which I enumerate one after one in regard to concrete postulations Christensen have had in this “debate”.
On our authentic, true positions about feminism or “radical feminism” beyond the fabrications or misrepresentations done by Christensen and other anti-Assange Trolls, I refer here to this recent article containing a compilation of diverse statements that I have been authoring in Professors blogg on this issue: Professors blogg and Radical “Feminism” in Assange case
Also, for the sake of clarity – particularly to the new readers that follows this column for updates in the asylum case – I will restate again, and again if necessary, that Christensen’s and other Trolls’ false “arguments” about “a problematic line of reasoning” are nothing other than fabrications on positions that neither Julian Assange, nor WikiLeaks or their supporters hold. You will thus find restated some texts down below in this analysis.
The Concern Troll
Let me star with a definition of “Concern Troll” found in the Urban Dictionary:
Christian Christensen, an American researcher now a social-media professor in Sweden’s Uppsala University, published yesterday 25/6 a piece on Assange in his blog, this time trying presenting himself anew as a WikiLeaks and Assange supporter – a drastic reverse of his previous positions for instance on the issue “Assange and U.S. indictment”.
Christensen’s performed a quite recent act on the alleged Assange’s “paranoia” just for a few days ago: Namely, in an interview at BBC Radio program Why 60: Julian Assange. [See “In the background of this event”, further below] Christensen made what sounded a mockery of Julian Assange’s “strong feelings of fearing” extradition and trial in the U.S., but at the same time Christensen repeatedly putting in doubdt as whether those “string felt fears by Assange” would be justified in reality.
The transcription excerpt:
“When you look at Assange’s position to seek asylum in Ecuador, obviously he has strong ha ha [it sounds like a tiny giggle] feelings that this is a possibility, that he could be sent to the US and stand trial . . .If you just look back in history I don’t think it is beyond the [inaudible] possibilities for US to try to do something like this. Now, whether that is likely, whether is going to happen or not, it is completely a different question . . .”
“Whether Assange is justified in thinking he’s going to be sent to the US is one question, but obviously he feels that way” . And I think that, as I said, his decision to go to the embassy of Ecuador is indicative of a real fear on his part. (Considering situations with Manning, etc.) It is is understandable at least from Assange’s perspective to do what he has done. And I mean whether of not if he comes to Sweden something would actually happen is a completely different question.”
In the background of this event: BBC contacted me early on Wednesday and invited me to participate in the programme, which I agreed and BBC thanked. Later in the afternoon they emailed that they will be calling me for the interview scheduled for early evening and needed therefore the exact phone number of my actual location, as I have several. But then I was away from home and computers.
At a point I received a message from BBC saying, “Unfortunately in the time that it took to hear back from you, we managed to find a guest in Sweden with a similar position on the story to yourself”. This with “a similar position on the story” it cannot mean other thing that Christian Christensen has again misrepresented himself as a supporter of Assange – which turn out being a new sad opportunity for his miserable attacks against the cause of justice for Julian Assange. Here below the other excerpt from Christensen’s participation in the BBC program:
“When you look at it from the media perspective what’s interesting here in the discussion of the choice of Ecuador…just doing a little bid of research and looking some background there . . .Ecuador has not particularly good record when its comes to freedom of speech and journalism rights… So that Assange is looking at Ecuador as a possible location is interesting in the respect that . . .for (being) the founder of WikiLeaks . . . It is interesting that it is a country that is not exactly famous for its freedom of expression rights and press rights. So there is a sort of contradiction there, and that raise a number of questions about, you know, (Assange’s) motivations behind picking Ecuador.
Later in the program Christensen manifests “understanding” for Assange believes or “strong feelings of fear” in fearing actions from the U.S. or in complicity with Sweden, only to immediately after, and repeatedly, expressing blunt scepticism on whether those dangers are real or would ever materialize.
So this is the way Trolls at the Fifth Column operates; they present themselves as supporters of WikiLeaks or Assange, only to get space in forums interested in the issues at stake around this highly media-publicized events, and ultimately discredit the WikiLeaks project, misrepresent the stances of his founder or WL supporters, or like in the actual case throwing suspicions on the real motivation for his political asylum, or if it is at all motivated. They use the drama of a brave man and his organization fighting desperate for physical survival and for the preservation of their historical project. They profit on the noble effort of many to make themselves a career through coordinate their attacks with the political and ideological enemies of WikiLeaks.
As with regard to “Ecuador has not particularly good record when its comes to freedom of speech and journalism rights” – in perfect line with what the pro U.S., anti-Assange press has been repeating now in synchrony – Troll Christensen was completely deceiving the BBC audience. The dispute between the Ecuadorian government, representing the people of Ecuador, and certain sectors of the media, is NOT an ideological dispute on freedom of expression. It is a classical class-confrontation among the corporate MSM world and their high capitalistic ownership concentration of the media, and the authentic interests of the Ecuadorian people to be informed beyond the monopole interests of the Ecuadorian oligarchy – or of their American mentors, such as this apprentice of Troll represents.
Trolls and Fifth Column
I really recommend the reader at this stage to look into the brief article “Disclosing The Fifth Column“. Beyond doubt, one main strategic aim of the anti-WikiLeaks Troll’s campaigns is to “divide et vince”. This is what Christensen wish to sell as conclusion:
The above text is as deceiving as a text can possibly be:
a) Christensen have NOT questioned no WikiLeaks arguments. He has fabricated positions WikiLeaks has never had. A clear demonstration of this is given in the time-line Once upon a tweet… ChristianChristensen & #Wikileaks “Radical Feminist Nonsense” authored by @Treisiroon
b) About “supporters that attack those who disagree”.
First, what is the “disagreement” [see item a) above].
Secondly, who has “attacked” Christensen, and with what? People seems instead all the time “replying” to Christensen, trying to “explain” things, or also asking him to sustain his asseverations or accusations with facts. At this point – in the sample of those mini-debates I have seen – over and over again has Christensen played the victim after he has been summoned to reply with facts the gratuitous imputations he has made himself. I had once to address him in Twitter with the following:
A second tactic used by these Fifth Columnists has been to discredit in-persona WL supporters using bullying-like tactics, vilifying arguments, no matter their vulgarity or insulting character.
In other words, the accusations of “anti-feminism” or “misogynist” against Assange or WL supporters are pure slander
In the disinformation campaign dishonest trolls, American trolls in particular have waged against Julian Assange appears often the false imputation accusing Assange – or by proxy his supporters – of being anti-feminist, anti-Sweden or plain misogynist. Underlying these attacks is always the campaign motto, the victim-presentation of the plaintiffs: “what about the Swedish women’s (the Assange accuser’s) rights?”
The accusations of “anti-feminism” or “misogynist” against Assange or WL supporters are pure slander. To the contrary, Julian Assange and the ideological platform of Wikileaks – as well as WL supporters to the best of my knowledge – are all staunch defenders equal rights, including equality between the sexes and on gender issues, in society. Many notable and respected feminist women both internationally and in Sweden have given their support to the cause of justice for Assange, – and at the same time criticized the excesses of so called “radical feminism” and Swedish institution of “state feminism”. Their names and actual statements of support for the cause of justice are found in a variety of publications in the Professors blog. I will mention here for example Jennifer Robinson, Bianca Jagger, Helene Bergman, Brita Sundberg-Weiman, Naomi Wolf, Katrin Axelsson, and also a list of prominent Australian feminists authors, politicians or cultural personalities who have signed a petition in favour of the cause of justice for Julian Assange.
Further, many of us have in concrete actionsput forward positions towards economic, social, and academic equality and distributive justice for Swedish women- for instance in academia –regardless of gender or “race” (ethnicity).
Another dishonest troll-trick has been to ascribe Assange, WikiLeaks, or WL supporters the thesis that “Swedish feminist” would be “the cause behind” the Swedish legal actions against Assange. This is another fabricated misinterpretation of the primarily American troll campaign.
Setting the record straight- again and again!
On Professors blogg, what we have referred on the issue “feminism” in association with the Swedish case against Assange, is – to summarize – the following:
This case is political, both in the sense that it is a political instrumentation that serves Swedish political right-wing interests and geopolitical USA/NATO interests concomitantly, and in the sense that this political instrumentation has been determinantfor the case otherwise; Hence, the legal aspects have been secondary to political (and geopolitical) decisions. Among the political determinants there are in fact direct interferences by Swedish political rulers – for instance Prime Minister Reinfeldt – or indirectly by governmental institutions (for example FOI, the think/tank research centre under the Ministry of Defence) and also through campaigns that are flagrantly anti-Assange and anti-WikiLeaks implemented by the Swedish-owned broadcasting media, TV and National Radio.
Some Swedish political individuals – men and women – who have a political voice and who are mainly pro USA/NATO, right-wingers but also Swedish “leftists” (read Swedish xenophobic leftist), are using or abusing “radical feminism” positions or terminology as cover to profit from the case Assange, and to move forward their ideological positions. This allows the advancement of their independent aims to
- a) further radicalize and broaden the Swedish legislation on rape;
- b) move positions towards a cementation of the State-feminism structural government;
- c) enhance the economic, political or social positions and power prerogatives for “feminist” elites, through gender-supremacist profiling.
In this sense, these self-proclaimed “feminist” cadres are hardly the cause of the Swedish case against Assange. They are at the most a contributory factor in the anti-Assange campaign according to their design of making Julian Assange a symbol of their own gender-ego struggles.
Trolling and spinning about what Assange would have said on “cause”
So, who has said “radical feminism” is “cause”, or partial cause, of the Swedish case against Assange? A detailed rebuttal to Christensen in this issue was given already in
Professors Blogg And The Role Of Radical “Feminism” in Sweden’s case vs Assange. Christian Christensen will have to troll harder in order to escape the position of intellectual discredit in which his last posts on Assange and the Professors blog have left his academic title and by extension Uppsala University (since Christensen presents his blog as officially ascribed to his position at the University of Uppsala). And it is not only about confusing scientific terms. It is about malicious slander:
To impute Assange on the basis of a rhetorical formulation such as “Sweden, the Saudi Arabia of feminism” the far fetched meaning that he, or Helene Bergman because the title of an article, and from that any one quoting the name Helene Bergman or Assange (even in cases, like with Professors blogg, that have never quoted the “Saudi Arabia of feminism” passage) are indeed supporters of the executions or physical mistreating of women and the infringement of their human rights – is more than cheap spinning or blunt slander. It is straightforward idiocy.
Here we have a social-media professor wich have tried to engage us in these discussions he seems not to be grasping. He, sadly for a colleague, has demonstrated being confused regarding basic scientific notions, such as the difference between cause and contributory factor, or between political organizations and political ideologies;
Here we have an “specialist in social media”, self proclaimed supporter of WikiLeaks, which abstained from analysing the whereabouts of a fabricated main social media “phenomenon” – such as thePrataomdet campaign – issued for the confessed purpose of discrediting the cause for justice of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. No surprises here either. As known, the politically correct Prataomdetcampaigners enjoyed both the establishment’s (corporative MSM) approval and the (pro-USA) Swedish reactionary government’s reward. And “pro USA” in this context is not pro US institutions, figures or democratic values characterizing the USA for many of us. The “USA” cherished by the reactionary government of Sweden and the conservative right-wing factions of the Social democratic Party – such as Borström, Ahlin or Göran Persson – is the “Bush & Cheney” USA, the “rendition flights” USA – with which they happily collaborated behind the back of the Swedish people, as they now do with Rove.
Further, a professor in social media that uses precisely the social media to argue in a troll-fashion his political and ideological hostility against WikiLeaks – yet posing as a “supporter” – with the repeatedly use of flagrant, anti-academic logical fallacies; such as a) argument ad hominem and slander; b) argument ad misericordiam, playing victim of inexistent attacks, when in fact is he attacking and offending with much virulence a number of WikiLeaks supporters via his twittering; and c) his favourite, “straw man” fallacy: he “counter-argues” against issues and positions no one has put forward in this debate; in other words, he brags pseudo-intellectual easy “scores” by first making up inexistent positions he ascribes to his “adversaries”. The real issues at stake he does NOT address. All this is demonstrated in previous articles in the Professors blogg — I am ready to detail anew if necessary.
In addition to the spin narrative being that the two women and Sweden as a whole are the “true” victims of grave injustice(s), some of the more active mouthpieces for misinformation for the anti-Assange smear campaign also try to frame themselves as victims for “defending” Sweden and the Swedish women involved from the evil fact-citing supporters of Wikileaks and Assange. Christian Christensen himself has engaged in this tactic (simply see his Twitter feed for this), as have others when their misinformation is corrected. Since they cannot dispute the facts presented, they claim they are “persecuted” by “Wikileaks supporters”, whom they themselves disparage without regard to truth, decency or accuracy.
One conclusion for today, reflections from earliest in this debate
For my part, this is what I have declared, even from my very first analysis The Swedish political crusade against Assange and Wikileaks already February 2011 in Newsmill:
“My contention is NOT with the advances of feminist progressive legislation – insofar they would not infringe equal rights. My point is – in the context of the Swedish case against Assange – that this seemingly phony case fits too well in the agenda of the political movement controlled by fundamentalist-feminists, and hence it is used by them for their own political and ideological aims. Conversely, the truth in the Assange case would not benefit fundamentalist-feminists.”
All in all Julian Assange, in addition to being the object of a vendetta, seems to emerge from this political pandemonium as a guinea pig, scapegoat and pilot-case for several reactionary political factions. For some – the superpowers and their satellite marionettes – the aim is the decimation of the political and financial impacts of Wikileaks, for others – the journalists – the liquidation of their most potent competitor in the production or transference of political news.