By Marcelo Ferrada de Noli, Bergamo, Italy
Section V updated 19 Dec 2013
After US pressures 2 SWE govt SÄPO work changed to a such level that “Swe officials got impression of working under CIA’s direct orders”/Expressen [See ref. in Chapter II, below]
The government of Sweden has several times indicated that if the US would request the extradition of Julian Assange, this will be decided by the legal system. However, it is now clear that it is the US authorities and NOT necessarily the Swedish prosecutor or the courts, who are the ones to decide rendition or extradition to the US of a person residing in Sweden, or visiting Sweden, or being held under arrest in Sweden – even if the person is a Swedish citizen. The dubious declarations of Carl Bildt on that Sweden had no information on the rendition plans regarding the two Swedish citizens in Somalia, are contradicted partly by informations from the Foreign Office now released by Ekot, and by the head of the Security Police (Dn 18/1): The US had even requested Sweden “legal aid” on those cases. And even after the Swedish Prosecutor ruled that there was no reason to held the two Swedes suspect of criminal acts, their rendition to the US were processed anyway (in Somalia) with the silent approval of the Swedish government;
How the world would call a government non protesting on such circumstances, when wholly aware of the upcoming renditions of own citizens that have been cleared of suspicions by own legal system?
Anders Thornberg, head of the Swedish Security Police “defends the international collaboration against terrorism” (Dn 18/1). Good! But, who decides who is a terrorist suspect in Sweden? Obviously NOT the Swedish legal system. And who decides what is to be considered as terrorism? Obviously NOT the Swedish legal system either. So, what about “cyber terrorists”?
Now that the Swedish government has shown to not have the guts to honesty declare whether they will or not “give away” Assange to the US, they would at least be fair with its own people and answer this question: Does the Swedish government consider Julian Assange being a cyber terrorist, as publicly declared by the Vice President of the US?
Because if this government think along with the US on this foreign policy item too – as in every other subject of foreign policy so far – then the most possible is that Assange will be just another case of rendition from the Swedish government to the CIA, decided by the Security Police and the government. In the same fashion and under the same spirit of “informal agreements” as it has been in these days with the Swedes in Somalia, or before with those detainees transported to be tortured in Egypt from Swedish territory. And who knows how many others cases like those have occurred, and kept well in secret – until a day when we perhaps shall know, likely thanks to a WikiLeaks release.
Above. Cartoon by artist Magnus Bard illustrating a DN editorial of 10 of January 2013. Texts in English and translation added by Professors blogg
So it used to be in regards to some banana Latin-American countries once upon a time ago, actually decades ago in the precedent century; and coincidentally, during the time when Sweden was internationally respected among other values for its proud stand against superpowers from any direction.
The WikiLeaks cables put in evidence a complete other reality. In the aftermath of those disclosures, and up to this week, facts after facts have rolled down showing the scandalous selling of Sweden’s sovereignty done by some Swedish rulers. As we have explained earlier in these columns, many of those vilifying, anti-patriotic deeds have been committed on the back of the Parliament – not to mention the people.
Therefore, any present-day comparison on the issue of national dignity and sovereignty between the Republic of Ecuador and the monarchy of Sweden is a plain joke. These countries are not comparable on the same level.
Anders Thornberg, the current head of the Swedish Security Police – the authority dealing with terrorism issues, counter-espionage and domestic security – made remarkable declarations in a frank interview he had with Sweden’s newspaper DN on the 18 of January 2013.
I have always said Anders Thornberg is one of a kind in that environment. I have already back in 2010 – he was not then head of the Security Police – praised his straight forward style telling the public as it is, without “krusiduler” (frills).
The amazing declarations done by Thornberg
This is what Thornberg said on Friday 18 January 2013 (text in Swedish in the clip above from the original article:
“We got information that two Swedish citizens were (arrested) in Djbouti. These are persons that the Swedish Security Police had earlier very much interest on, and we conducted an investigation on them [Tornberg uses “förundersökning” referring to the investigation]. After that, we filed a report to the Prosecutor and gave the information to him. The Prosecutor [however] decided that there was not any reason to initiate an investigation [“att inleda en förundersökning”], and then it is end of story [all finished] from the part of the Security Police.”
So, the Swedish prosecutor after examination of the “evidence” or any result of the investigation performed by the highly professional agents at the Security Police – which count with the absolute best and up to date technology of surveillance – decided that there is no basis to suspect those persons as terrorists. How come that they are rendered to the US anyway. And how come the Swedish government – in this case Foreign Minister Carl Bildt in the first place – does not file any protest, any reprove comment at all?
And how can Carl Bildt uncontested deceive the Swedish people by declaring, as it is published in the same DN 19 January 2013, “Not knowing about the rendition of the Swedes in Somalia” [“Bildt: Kände inte till utlämningar av svenskar i Somalia”] ?
Above, the same DN article in Google translation screen-shot
And this about what Minister Bildt said in the Swedish National Radio (SR) news program Eko:
– Are you ready to tell if Sweden was informed before those Swedes were transported to the US?
Yes, we have already answer to that, of what I know
– And your answer is?
– Did you not get any information at all?
– Not about they would be transported when that happened
So, more or less, the only detail that the Foreign Minister does not acknowledge he knew exactly was the precise time in which the rendition-flight was to take off. The above simply confirm that the Swedish government was well aware of the situation, particularly the political situation that in a normal government would create a rendition of this type. Namely, that the superpower had demanded the extradition on cases in which the country sovereign Prosecutor authority had decided after own investigation that it was not reason to suspect a crime. A “normal” sovereign country would protest. But a puppet government which apparently has conducted in secret the rendition of both the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of their own office, will not protest.
The “Förundersökning” Swedish style
Just let me add, for the reader to better understand this issue, what “förundersökning” stands for in Swedish, in this legal context:
Förundersökning is the investigation that the police do after the Prosecutor authority considers there are reasons to suspect a crime. After this investigation is concluded and handed over to the Prosecutor, he/she would decide whether there is a reason that person shall be charged and taken upon court, or dismiss the case. There are plenty of prosecutors in Sweden, and also police. In fact there are way more prosecutors per capita in Sweden than in Italy or Germany.]
One important question is, does the Security Police perform “förundersökning” on us citizens without a Prosecutor’s knowledge? If so, who is the one requesting those investigations?
In fact, I have already published a in-extenso analysis on this issue. The “informal” agreements on Intelligence collaboration of Sweden in regard to the US. I refer here to the article Swedish/U.S. Intelligence co-operation in the Bodström Society.T of 28 December 2012:
These “informal” agreements have placed the Swedish security and military intelligence so heavily under the control and command of the Americans, that, as reported by Mike Ölander (see the Expressen article), referring to the years ensuing 2003 [when the Justice Minister in Sweden was Thomas Bodström], Sweden officials got the impression that they were working under direct orders of the CIA [“Under de kommande åren förändrades svensk underrättelse-och säkerhetstjänst på ett sådant sätt att enskilda tjänstemän uppfattade det som att de arbetade på direkt beställning av CIA”].
Then the head of the Swedish Security Police tells the interviewing journalist Eva Stenberg, referring to the Swedes in Somalia:
“the Swedish Prosecutor Authority has received a request for ‘legal help’ on this issue.” Then the Prosecutor authority and the Swedish courts decide what we give away or not [he uses the term “give away”, “lämna ut”, which comprises extradition and rendition].
However, in view of the Swedish praxis in these cases of “special treatment” towards superpower US, what Thornberg or the journalist wants us to believe is unfortunately not completely true. For instance, the decision to “give away” the two Egyptians to the CIA it was taken by the Security Police in consultation with the government (at that time the Minister of Justice was Thomas Bodström) and NOT done after a decision of a court of justice.
The journalist refers in the interview to the fact that the Swedish government has been criticized – “Anders Thonberg does not want to comment on this, but he defends the international collaboration against terrorism”
Now that the Swedish government has shown to not have the guts to honesty declare whether they will or not “give away” Assange to the US, they would at least be kind and answer this question:
Does the Swedish government consider Julian Assange being a cyber terrorist, as publicly declared by the Vice President of the US?
Because if this government think along with the US on this foreign policy item too – as in every other foreign policy subject so far – then the most possible is that Assange will be just another object of a rendition from Sweden to the CIA, decided by the Security Police and the government. The intervention or opinions of the Parliament, the courts of justice, or us the people – as we have seen in this case here and in cases before – really it does not count at all.
Update 23 January
The Swedish National Radio, Program Ekot, informs that the Swedish Foreign Office received communication regarding what was going in Somalia, with the US plans of transporting the two Swedes in Somalia. Why Bildt did not reacted then? Why is he trying to make believe the Swedish people – by using deceiving formulations (See above earlier declarations to Ekot) – that Sweden was unaware of the plans for rendition?
Continue to III Part in this series