Sunday, January 2, 2011
So like I got into a big argument with a couple of bloggers about the Assange rape charges. In fact it (the argument and response not the case itself) is a kind off strange example of incest (I think, at least that is the best metaphor I can think of) I was in an argument in the comments on one blog and then find that the next day the blogger has another essay on Assange. He links to another blog and I turn out to be linked on the second blog to an argument I made on the first blog (which linked to the second blog which then linked back to the first blog, or actually my comment on the first one). Interesting, to say the least.
Well, I was accused of being a "fanboi" and a fanatic, not I think the same thing although I'm not sure (that's on the second blog, on the first one I was accused of being a not very bright 14 year old). My crime, (which I may be mistaken about, although I don't think so) is to doubt the story of the women accusers and to raise the spector of assumption of innocence as far as the accused is concerned.
The second blog makes the point that if I am arguing for a presumption of innocence for Assange, then I should also grant the accusers the same presumption. That is therefore, I have to completely forgo an opinion in the matter. Perhaps, but I don't think so. Although perhaps I shouldn't phrase my argument in terms of "presumption of innocence."
I do think that I can make certain assumptions about things, by viewing how the world works and just what is going on here. Like Officer Leaphorn I don't believe in coincidences. Assange and WikiLeaks have been the recipients of incredible attacks by the powers that run this world, I do not have to go into them, but they are extraordinary and beyond anything I have ever seen.
I suppose I should admit that I hope he isn't guilty, although I would think that would be obvious, but perhaps not. At any rate up to this point we have the allegations and the blanket denials and that is about all. No I really think it is. We have police reports, but those are usually simply raw data which can't be relied on. It is possible that I may find my mind changed as the evidence comes out, but for the time being I'll go with my experiences in this world and the knowledge that my government is capable of anything, and that there are people who for whatever reason will be willing to do this government's dirty work. And I will not treat them as equals in terms of whose story I should believe at this point, and it isn't the story of the accusers.
UPDATE: I think that an argument being made is that "rape is different." And therefore a person who files a complaint of being raped should not be held to the same standard as others who claim to be victims of a crime. Internal inconsistencies in a person's statements and actions are some of the things we use to help us determine whether or not to believe what people say. Therefore, if one throws a party for a guy she said raped her several days prior to the party, or if she scrubs her twitter and blog accounts of favorable comments made about the rapist after the alleged rape then this should not, apparently be taken as an indication that she may not be telling the whole truth about the crime itself. At least not as far as these alleged victims are concerned.
The point I'm making is that the defenders of these women are not requiring the same kind of consistency they would require of any other alleged victim is concerned. It is a kind of infantilization of these women and a variation of the "children don't lie" meme that was around on child abuse cases some time ago. It works quite well for the reactionaries who run our government here, as they can use the natural sympathies of liberals to do their work for them.