What could end Sweden’s prestige-bound deadlock of the case Assange? Analysing important developments in Latin-America
By Marcello Ferrada de Noli
The facts reviewed here, together with the peculiar treatment by Sweden of the so-called Assange case – which at times violates its own legal praxis – has resulted in a direct deterioration of the sympathies that the “Olof Palme country” previously enjoyed among the Latin-American people. Those sentiments will surely play a role in an eventual economic boycott of Sweden – which is the natural outcome in a domino effect in the event that an Anglo-Ecuadorian political confrontation would arise, because of the asylum-issue deadlock. As Sweden does not seem being ready for applying the Roman principle ”pactum abrogare eodem modo fabricati”, dropping the ”legal case” against the WikiLeaks founder is not exactly in sight.
Nevertheless, when a call for a boycott of the industrial products of Sweden would start from the grassroots by an angry popular pressure in Latin-America, and subsequently from their organizations towards the left-oriented governments in ALBA; and when, according the “inverted matryoshka-doll” effect, the message will be delivered from other Ecuadorian-sympathetic governments in ALBA to the rest of the country-organizations in the Region; Then, perhaps the “miracle” will occur: Economic and commercial boycott of Swedish goods and services, the effective threat to the capitalist profits and fiscal revenues in Sweden would be perhaps the only measure that would cause Sweden to review their prestige-bound stance on the case Assange.
I. The Prestige issue; II. The political background; III. Five political scenarios that can break the deadlock: The Latin-American situation; IV. Appendix 1: Update with relevant news on Latin-American developments [Appendix 1 by “Espressino”]
The prestige issue
In the centuries old “Diritto Romano” there was a juridical axiom that I will freely refer as to “pactum abrogare eodem modo fabricati” (contracts can be simply dissembled just by reversing the steps through which they were assembled). I would say that a simple way of ending the apparently complicated deadlock in the “case Assange”, as far Sweden is concerned, is to dissemble step by step the actions taken by the Swedish prosecutor Authority in this regard. And ending things where it commenced – drop the case.
However, the above would entail a cultural premise that Swedish authorities – atavistically considered – do not exhibit easily: To admit being wrong, of being at the wrong side of justice, or history.
The Australian journalist Elizabeth Farrelly, in her highly publicised piece Held in a gilded cage, optimism still reigns supreme for Assange (originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald on the 7 of February 2013), noticed recently Assange’s views that “Sweden’s is a culture of profound conformism; a population half the size of Australia’s with a language spoken (and a culture therefore scrutinised) by no one else on earth. A country that, unlike say Germany, ”never denazified” after World War II. Never pushed the reset button.”
After over 40 years living in Sweden, my own impression is the vast majority among these peoples is very far from having Nazi sympathies. Yet, I have in fact never heard of an ”apology” from the Swedish government, the Foreign Ministry, or any of the established political parties, for the official collaboration of Sweden with the Nazi weaponry industry, or for letting SS troops passing Swedish territories or using Sweden’s railroads and communications infrastructure for their invasion of Norway.
Several historical episodes, and also modern political events, would indicate that prestige is involved in a prominent fashion among Swedish authorities’ behaviour – particularly referred to issues of international or geopolitical nature.
From the times of the classical illustration above mentioned in the article by Farrelly [See some background-facts in Sweden, NATO and Assange and Sweden’s phony prosecution] until modern times we have learned of a variety of episodes showing the same trends. For instance, it was disclosed that the Swedish government indulged – and eventually on the back of the Swedish Parliament, and therefore violating the Constitution of Sweden – in “informal agreements” with foreign power’s intelligence services to give away comprehensive private information about Swedish nationals on behalf of that foreign power’s interest. The WikiLeaks Cables exposed this in 2010. Three years after that scandal still no apology whatsoever has been heard from the part to the Swedish rulers or the corresponding political parties towards the Parliament or the people.
Nowadays we have the situation in which the management by Sweden of the “case Assange” has caused to the country more than international embarrassment. It has led to an ostensible deterioration of Sweden’s international stand. The international community gave recently a proof of this lowered reputation when Sweden lost with lowest number of country-votes their bid for a post in the United Nations body for Human Rights in 2012 (event commented by SvD by referring how despicable and inefficient such UN Human Rights organizations are. Aesop in Swedish: surt sa räven om rönnbären). At this stage, every politician or reporter interested in the case against Assange, even if peripherally, has become aware that the Swedish authorities’ refusal of using normal procedures to interrogate Assange in London is NOT based – as it was initially declared by the Sweden – in actual “local legal regulations” that would not permit such proceedings. By now it is widely known those hindrances simply do not exist; and to the contrary, procedures for conducting interrogations with “detainees” abroad are even explicated in the Swedish Law codex.
Sweden has “painted itself into a corner” and, partly because the prestige issue, they will not offer a solution by their own initiative. For it will be – according to them – recognition they had been wrong from the beginning or that their authorities have acted with a lack of professionalism.
What I am pointing to is that the deadlock in the “Assange Affair” is more likely to be solved by direct political means – and, again, NOT initiated by juridical developments or spontaneous retractions by Swedish officials. Further explained in the Introduction-section of Manifest in To How To Best Defend Assange. Here summarized,
“The problem has been euphemistically complicated, and successively, as to produce a huge political Gordian knot. Instead of consuming time and energy in trying to find a “legal” way to a labyrinth exit which does not exist, the only way of untying such puzzle and get rid of the deadlock is following the example of Alessandro di Macedonia: Taking a sharpest-edged political sword crushing in one swift the “juridical” paraphernalia in thousand absurd fragments. One of most highly effective of such political weapons is to be found in political pressures to the governments involved, converging to the acceptance of the sovereign Ecuadorian decision on the issue of asylum.”
In this article I explore into certain elements in the Latin-American scenario that would likely be crucial to future developments of the case Sweden maintains against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. I also add as an appendix an interesting news-summary authored by “Espressino” (@ulvis, https://twitter.com/ulvdis), giving an updated glance on Latin-American events – in my opinion relevant to the case Assange. I also thank @treisiroon for a postscriptum proofread of the text.
The political background
From the perspective of those in power, WikiLeaks represents a significant threat: a) Partly for the potential of future exposures, b) but also because of the WikiLeaks model – the example-design presented by the Wikileaks project founded by Assange for providing a direct free-information source, which c) is not under the control of either the government or the MSM. In other words, information that is not filtered by establishment’s criteria. There is the “peril”.
Also from the perspective of those in power there is a perceived threat to the commercial heart of the corporate enterprises they manage. WikiLeaks has represented a danger of destabilizing the “normal” flow of profit and revenues of such corporations – and that has to be stopped. After all, what are governments for in capitalist societies if not to protect primarily the economic interests of the class they represent? It is a demonstrated fact that the US government has used diplomatic resources – including threats – to protect commercial interests of corporate holdings. That was the case with the direct intervention of the US – through assignments to the Swedish Ministry of Justice – during the Swedish file-sharing events which ended with the Pirate Bay trial put forward by the Swedish Prosecutor Authority – after the US requests.
Considering all the above, it should no be that strange that the same Prosecution Authority put up a direct “investigation” of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, on the request of a known pro USA law-firm (Bodström & Borgström) after the case had been dismissed by an earlier prosecutor. Thomas Bodström, the former Justice Minister of Sweden, has even made a bragging number (in “The Bodström Society”, his own blog from Virginia, USA, where he lived at the time of the “accusations”) that it his firm Bodström & Borgström the one sustaining “the plaintiffs”.
The question must be asked, how can any such “accusations” so easily prosper in “official” Sweden? (“Official” Sweden includes the “independent” MSM). How could it result that all the Swedish political parties – with the exception of very few individual politicians – reacted unanimously in the condemnation or defamation of Assange?
I have given in the previous article of this series some background about this particular “consensus” phenomenon in the political parties and elsewhere in Sweden. See Analysing The Swedish Phenomenon Of Political Consensus – Part III in the series “Seven Pillars Of Deception”.
The officially sponsored “accusations” against Assange still were received nice and easy in Sweden due to a constellation of further factors:
A) The accusations go hand in hand with the “radical feminist” political movement designed to further radicalize sexual-offences legislation (the using of the Assange case as “symbol”. See “The use of the Julian Assange “case” in Sweden as symbolic issue and political instrument” in Swedish Likely Forensic-Psychiatry Scenario in the Assange “case” – Updated Analysis. In my opinion, however, this movement is neither “radical” nor “feminist” in the classical sense of gender-equality. At the contrary, such movement could be more properly characterised in regard to that issue as ideological right-wing (even if prominent members happens to be militants of the “Vänster” or Social Democratic parties), ultra-conservative and gender-supremacist.
B) The case was instrumental in helping the government to consolidate its new international profile (See Exporting Sweden’s “gender” perspective model) in the aftermath of the vacuum that was left when the abandonment by Sweden of the Neutrality policy decreased its political trade mark in the international community.
C) The role of the Sweden’s MSM, particularly the economic interests of Swedish press, which reacted against “Assange” in an effort to discredit the emerging “rival” WikiLeaks (‘Journalistic Jealousy’ Or Politics, Or Both?).
D) Further factors have been explained in a variety of articles in this blog. See for instance:
Sweden’s reaction against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange cannot be explained solely by through Sweden operating primarily according to USA’s interests in the matter. The secret telegrams revealed by WikiLeaks were also a direct blow to the Swedish authorities. And these authorities remain vulnerable to any new revelations that the organization WikiLeaks would present in the future. In addition, Julian Assange explicitly announced these exposures in his December address from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. It is important to bear in mind that the exposures of WikiLeaks have affected not only the right-wing government of Reindfeldt and Bildt, but also the social democratic government (in my opinion quite right-wing profiled) of Göran Person and Thomas Bodström.
Another aspect that helps to characterize the case as political is that in Sweden, the main players in the so-called legal case have an indisputable political or ideological agenda. To begin with Bodstrom & Borgström – the initiative-owners of the reopening of the case (as Claes Bogström have declared himself. Also Thomas Bodström is “proud” about this as he wrote in his blog from Virginia). With regard to the promotion and radicalization of sexual-offences legislation, they are in the same ideological line that Chief Prosecutor Marianne Ny. Marianne Ny, at the time of the assessment of the case presented to her by Claes Bogström, still had an assignment from the government as a member of the special committee studying a new legislation body which comprised reforms to exactly the same type of offences described in the “accusations” against Assange. See further details on this important issue – to the best of my knowledge not commented elsewhere – in my analysis Duckpond In Swedish Legal System.
Finally we have to ask, who is benefiting from the prolonging of the deadlock of the case Assange? One answer is the time the US needs to prepare materials for the indictment of Assange and WikiLeaks. Also, it is highly favourable that Assange remains as “Sweden’s prisoner” as long the trial against Manning is ongoing. The aim would be here to implicate Assange with elements in the Manning trial. I have developed this thesis in two interviews aired by RT (see Timing The Processes). In other words, the Swedish authorities are giving precious extra time to the Grand Jury’s sealed indictment against Assange. Also in this context, the extradition request has an extraordinary importance for the implementation of the indictment.
In a meta-perspective, the longer the WikiLeaks chief leader is deprived of freedom of movement and normal communications, the more damage the WikiLeaks political foes perform to WikiLeaks as an organization. In turn, a partial immobilization of the core activities and tarnishing of the WikiLeaks name via smear of his founder in the long run can create fractioning among the supporters.
In conclusion, it is imperative to break the deadlock represented by the a) refusal of Sweden to interrogate Assange in London; b) refusal of the UK to provide salvo conducto (safe passage). And the most evident possibilities for this are to be found in the following scenarios, mainly recent developments in Latin-America.
Five political scenarios that can break the deadlock: The Latin-American situation
1. Latin America:
There is in Latin-America a relative militant but with increasing influence in the region named ALBA (integrated among others countries by Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia). On the one hand the re-election of Correa in the upcoming presidential polls in Ecuador not only will reinforce the influence of Ecuador in ALBA but it will give ALBA itself a booster in its influence in the region. On the other hand, a victory of the Ecuadorian oppositional candidate Lucio Gutierrez would represent – as far the Assange case is concerned – a formidable blow, since in this cased it has been announced that Gutiérrez would revoke the asylum decision made by the Correa administration.
One could argue that ALBA is not all Latin America. However, those familiarized with the modern Latin-American developments towards superpowers (i.e. USA) have characterized this stance as an “inverted matryoshka doll” – where the inner structures gradually exercise pressure on outer structures in order to produce changes in accordance with the more militant or radical agenda emerging from the “inner” structures. And then there is UNASUR (the twelve South American countries); Alianza del Pacífico; MERCOSUR, and CELAC (all the countries in the continent, excluding USA and Canada, meaning 33 countries!
Elections in Chile are neither far from today. If the Centre-Left Coalition would win, as many analyses predict, then an effective incorporation of Chile to ALBA is to be expected. Chile has, among the Latin American countries, the strongest economy and also relatively the strongest influence in he forum of EU countries. This factor, added to that several Latin-American countries have started a more utterly support of Argentina’s reclaim of sovereignty of the Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands) nowadays still under military occupation of Great Britain, etc. All these developments would signify pressures upon the British government, and in the context of the dispute between Ecuador and the UK it is likely to think of a scenario in which economic and political pressures will be exercised against the government of Great Britain to make them respect the sovereignty of Ecuador on the matter to which they decide to give asylum. I repeat,
This right, or praxis, of granting political asylum is a very strong tradition in the Latin American countries, question that has not been fully understood – or not even discussed – at least in Sweden.
An open confrontation between Ecuador and England has not yet initiated, possibly because of the Ecuadorian presidential-election period. But in the case that confrontation will be declared – and if England would again miss (like in the Falkland crisis with Argentina) to grasp the Latin American “honour-bound” political cultural in international affairs – the consequences will likely be:
a) Economic blockade for import goods and services towards the UK,
b) Sooner thereafter a “domino effect” of such blockade will reach Sweden. This, because a common current geopolitical denominator between these two countries, seen from Latin-American perspective, is their collaboration in the unjustified detention of Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy, blockading the processes of political asylum which in Latin America is instead a sacred institution.
Here below further political scenarios that can open for solutions of the stalemate in the “Assange case”
WikiLeaks have announced thousand new disclosures (which compromise all the countries, as Julian Assange emphasized in his speed in December at the Ecuadorian Embassy). Depending on the quality and aggravating tenure of those contents wit regard to Sweden, the pressures towards Sweden’s readiness for discussing an ending of the stalemate on the “Assange case” will increase – not the least because not doing so it would be interpreted as if the prolonging of the “legal case” is a further revenge from Sweden motivated by the further WikiLeaks’ political exposures on Sweden.
Regretful, and mainly because of the prestige issues analysed above, Sweden would be the last scenario where a solution-initiative for the impasse occasioned by Sweden could be authored.
For instance, Sweden has apparently not understood the fully extent of their political embarrassing at the election in the United Nations body for Human Rights where Sweden got the lowest number of votes from the international community represented there (referred above in Introduction). Or perhaps the current engagement of Carl Bildt in Latin America is a “damaging control” task in view of such situation. The assessing of the main causes intervening in the current worsening of the Swedish international standing would be complicated. The abandonment of the Neutrality policy can be cited as one of them. But there are more concrete deeds committed by Sweden, which have portrayed the country as frankly alien to the praxis of Human Rights that the United Nations has been pursuing after.
To the context above the fact that Sweden has been sanctioned by the United Nations for serious “violation on the United Nations Absolute Ban On Torture” – a Convention that Sweden had signed. As the secret collaboration by Sweden with the CIA perplexed the international community, the fact that torture was implicated (it referred to the “Egyptians case” of renditions to CIA by the Swedish authorities under the time Thomas Bodström was Justice Minister) made the things worst. It s NOT a thing that one could have expected from Sweden, it was commented in Latin America. It has to be observed that many among the current leadership of these countries have been victims or witness of such atrocities committed by the military dictatorships supported from the mid 70’s through the 80’s by the US.
To make things worst for Sweden in Latin America, the recent revelations on the (passive or active) involvement of Sweden in the rendition of further Swedish nationals to the US – that in this particular case had been cleared of criminal suspicions by Swedish prosecutor investigations – have increased the reluctance of considering Sweden as having an independent, sovereign stand in the issues of extradition. And here we get one core issue on the dispute around the “Assange case”, as the political asylum was granted by Ecuador precisely in considering the risk fro extradition to the US performed by Sweden.
The facts reviewed here, together with the peculiar treatment by Sweden of the so-called Assange case – which at times violates its own legal praxis – has resulted in a direct deterioration of the sympathies that the “Olof Palme country” previously enjoyed among the Latin-American people. Those sentiments will surely play a role in an eventual economic boycott of Sweden – which is the natural outcome in a domino effect in the event that an Anglo-Ecuadorian political confrontation would arise, because of the asylum-issue deadlock.
As Sweden does not seem being ready for applying the Roman principle ”pactum abrogare eodem modo fabricati”, dropping the ”legal case” against the WikiLeaks founder is not exactly in sight.
Nevertheless, when a call for a boycott of the industrial products of Sweden would start from the grassroots by an angry popular pressure in Latin-America, and subsequently from their organizations towards the left-oriented governments in ALBA; and when, according the “inverted matryoshka-doll” effect, the message will be delivered from other Ecuadorian-sympathetic governments in ALBA to the rest of the country-organizations in the Region; Then, perhaps the “miracle” will occur:
Economic and commercial boycott of Swedish goods and services, the effective threat to the capitalist profits and fiscal revenues in Sweden would be perhaps the only measure that would cause Sweden to review their prestige-bound stance on the case Assange.
Appendix 1: Update with relevant news on Latin-American developments
By “Espressino” (@ulvis, https://twitter.com/ulvdis)
Hit pieces in a never-ending stream,
Torpedo Articles in a never ending stream, and as if that was not enough so re publish each other in a never-ending stream.
Feels like one last build up before the election in Ecuador, which takes place in about a week. Activity on #assange thread on twitter and intense, and where David Allen Green English lawyer and pronounced anti Assange supporters and taking credit for having turned Jemima Khan and led her to see the right light. Threatened a while ago to ‘unleash his followers on the #assange thread for criticizing him. Jemima Kahn was executive producer of a documentary film about Wikileaks entitled “We Steal Secrets”
Which Khan recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the United States. Khan said the film, directed by Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney, Sought to present a balanced view of the WikiLeaks story but Assange had denounced it before seeing it.
Bildt just returned from EU CELAC Summit in Santiago, Chile
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 27, 2013
Carl Bildt on the summit between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union
On Sunday ended EU CELAC Summit in Santiago de Chile. The summit – which has gathered heads of state and government and foreign ministers from more than 60 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union – adopted a declaration which, among other things, stipulates regions common values of basic human rights. States also undertook to act against protectionism.
At the same time this is published,
REGION: Sabotaging CELAC – The U.S. and Sweden / / h / t Duqu, trenterx
The Governments of the United States and Sweden are conniving Directly with an extreme-right wing network in Latin America in a move to sabotage the summit meeting in Santiago, Chile of Heads of State from the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). To do so They are working with the CIA and the most reactionary elements of the anti-Cuban mafia in Miami.
– The Swedish diplomat Anders Ingemar Cederberg, who dedicated himself full time During his time in Havana to interfering in Cuba’s affairs to the point That the Cuban Authorities made formal Protests to the Swedish government;
Of Particular not traveled is this network’s relationship with Sweden. In February 2011, CADAL awarded Swedish diplomat Anders Ingemar Cederberg the Prize for Committed Democracy for services rendered in Cuba. In April of That same year, CADAL brought him to Argentina to make a private report of his destabilization Activities while Representing Sweden in Havana. CADAL published a book based on That exchange, Funded by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Which Cederberg relates with complete lack of inhibition is his “heroic” exploits as a spy with diplomatic immunity in Cuba.
Nota bene, he is in Cuba while Ardin sent to support the opposition to the point that she gets deported, and and stamped “persona non grata” Cederberg attracts through its activities on the protests of Cuban government to the Swedish Government.
According to yet confirmed data Bildt will be in Canberra on February 27, so folks what do you see in the crystal ball?