I am sure that many of you are aware of the on going legal battle between Mr Assange and the Swedish Judicial Authority which relates to Julian’s sex life. I hold the view that a man who makes a living doing something which vexs and upsets governments would be very well advised to live a quiet sensible life. Even if he did not rape anyone I think that rather than the outrageous behaviour of sleeping with two women in quick succession surely he would be better off having a steady girlfriend or a wife, going for a nice wholesome relaxing walk with his young lady and then having picnic with her in the park.
Julian’s deeds are alleged to include having sex with a sleeping woman which I think is a serious matter. One of the rules associated with extradition is that the act which a person is accused of has to be a crime both in the country they are being extradited to and the country that they are being extradited from. The law in England on rape in section 142 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 read.
(2) A man commits rape if –
- (a) he has sexual intercourse with a person (whether vaginal or anal) who at the time of the intercourse does not consent to it; and
- (b) at the time he knows that the person does not consent to the intercourse or is reckless as to whether that person consents to it.
This law was amended by the Sexual Offences act 2003 which reads in part,
A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
(b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
If my memory serves me correctly the following three types of people in the UK are not considered mentally competent to give consent.
1. Under age persons, an age of consent exists in the UK. You have to be 16 to be legally able to say yes to sex. Sex with a child is a different crime to “normal” rape and in the UK it is a serious crime which can attract a long jail sentence.
2. Unconscious or asleep, I think you have to be awake to be able to consent to sex in the UK. I think that a man faced with a sleeping woman would be reasonable to abstain from sex with her, the 1990s act summed it up well with the idea of “reckless as to whether that person consents“.
3. Under the influence of a mental disease or handicap which strongly impairs your ability to choose. A strongly mentally handicapped person who does not understand what sex is will be unable to form real consent. I think that this last one is a difficult one as it is not clear how mentally handicapped you have to be before you are unable to give consent for sex. Plenty of people with mental health problems who enjoy happy, healthy and normal sex lives but there must come a point where a person’s mental state does not allow them to form consent. For details see section 30 of the 2003 act.
From what I know the two women Julian is accused of interfering with are mentally sound and over the age of 16, but if one of them was asleep when he started to have sex with her then it would be a crime in the UK. So then if the conduct is a crime in the UK then one of the barriers to sending Julian off to the land of Volvos has been dealt with.
As the case of Julian Assange vs the Swedish Judicial Authority is an ongoing case in a UK court I will not comment further on it.
I will now move onto another of Julian’s deeds, now if I was to ever sit down at the Fika table with Julian there are quite a few things the two of us would not be able to agree on. Julian seems to think that it is best if nobody keeps anything out of the public domain, I hold the view that if the world was only populated by nice sensible people then we could keep everything in the public domain but there are some things which for the public good we need to keep out of the public domain.
For example I can tell you that the central store of used nuclear fuel in Sweden at CLAB is very well guarded, but I have no idea of how many guards are present on the site or how well armed they are. As a university academic working on nuclear chemistry and recycling I have no reason or need to know these details.
Even if I did know the details of the security arrangements at CLAB it would be wrong for me to tell you even while I have never been formally told to keep secret any detail of CLAB. I think that in the interests of society things like how many guards CLAB has, how high is the fence, is the fence electric, do they have a pack of angry dogs, do they have machine gun towers, do they have cement blocks near the fence to stop cars driving close to the site, how far is the fence from the building, which day does the used fuel arrive, have they got a crocodile pit etc etc should be kept out of the public domain.
While Julian has shown no interest in things like CLAB (so far, but I assume he would find what goes on at CLAB deadly dull) he has been releasing sensitive diplomatic cables which contain the names and details of ” people persecuted by their governments, victims of sex offences, and locations of sensitive government installations and infrastructure”. This sort of behaviour is deeply wrong, Julian’s home country (Australia) have already had one intelligence operative unmasked by him.
The great problem is that in the war against terror normal people are needed to help the state, some years ago some terrorist fired a rocket bomb at the MI6 building in London. The rocket was fired from an area which has a lot of gay bars and nightclubs. The authorities issued a statement that if any person had seen something they should tell them, they also stated that if a person was unhappy about the idea of being outed as being gay then they should not worry as the government would protect and respect the privacy of the person. I think it would be deeply wrong if the following had happened.
Mr Q works on a macho building site in a profession where gays are strongly disliked but he happens to be gay. One evening while sitting on a park bench outside a gay bar enjoying a drink he sees a man with a sportsbag with the tip of the RPG poking out sitting on another table. He thinks at the time it is just a man going to a fancy dress party. The next day he reads about the bomb attack, and he hears on the radio how the government have asked for help from the gay community to find the bomber. He then walks into a police station and asks to speak in private with a policeman, he is ushered into a private room. He then tells the policeman what he saw last night, the policeman then calls his boss and asks the man to wait in the interview room. A young policeman brings him a coffee and a BLT sandwich while they wait.
Ten minutes later a senior police officer from the counter terror unit walks into the room, his listens to the man’s story and takes a statement. The statement is very interesting, so interesting that the policeman calls for a sketch artist. Thirty minutes later they have a drawing of the man, Mr Q explains the problem in his personal life. The policemen nod, then one of them explains. “Ok ! What you have told us is very important, if anyone asks you what you have been doing here at the police station you tell them that you saw a road accident yesterday. Tell them it was a hit and run accident we will keep your name out of the papers. If we need to talk again we will tell you to bring your driving license to this police station for it to be inspected” Using the picture the police soon get further information and the bomber is soon caught, and then everyone lives happily ever after.
Some months later some activist gets hold of the police files, then releases the details of who Mr Q is, where he was and what he was doing when he saw the bomber to the press. Suddenly Mr Q has been outed at work and the other bombers are now hunting him . Suddenly as a result of doing his civic duty his life has been ruined. Two days later a policeman calls on him and explains how he has to change his name and move to a new town. He is taken to see a lawyer who makes arrangements for him, then armed with £ 2000 in his pocket the man then travels to a strange town and starts to rebuild his life.
I think that the man’s life has been messed up greatly by the leak of the papers by the activist, while Mr Q has had to move from one town to another imagine what it would be like if now your own goverment now wants to hunt you becuase you told an american diplomat about the day you saw a policeman doing something deeply wrong.
I think that Julian should not be releasing these files if they are naming people if the release of information will bring harm to these people. I do not think that Julian should be trusted to make the judgement of what data is safe to release and what is not safe to release.