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Assange Arrested; Media Continues to Mis-Report the Charges

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I haven’t blogged at all about the little issue of Julian Assange being wanted in Sweden for “sex crimes,” mostly because I find it completely irrelevant to the broader questions about the ethics of what he’s doing with his website and am annoyed by the narrative that suggests otherwise.

However now that he’s actually been arrested in London, and given that not only the press but also a number of people I respect seem to buy the media’s claim that he is being charged with “rape” let me just direct readers here. Also here. Also, if you want to know what I think about conflating sexual predators with those who accidentally or even intentionally violate repressive, Victorian standards of consensual sex, see here.

None of this has any relationship, in my mind, nor should it, to the wider debate about the legitimacy of his politics. I would make this argument even if he were charged, or found guilty, of actual rape. Though it is to be expected now that the media will conflate and confuse the two stories, I for my part will attempt to keep issues of Assange’s personal conduct distinct from my ruminations about his wider political and professional agenda.

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