So Michael Moore, about whose rape apologia re: the allegations against Assange I first wrote yesterday, was on Keith Olbermann's show last night, and he doubled down on dismissing the sexual assault charges against Assange, calling them "hooey" and willfully misrepresenting that of which he's been accused.
Moore asserts that the basis of the charge is that "his condom broke during consensual sex." That is patently false. Michael Moore is a literate and intelligent man who can surely discern the difference between "his condom broke during consensual sex" and "Assange was alleged to have 'forcefully' held her arms and used his bodyweight to hold her down [to "have sex" with her] without using a condom, when it was her 'express wish' that one should be used." In the second case, Assange is alleged to have "had sex" with a woman without a condom while she was sleeping, which cannot possibly be considered consensual sex.
I don't guess I need to point out the bitter irony of a man championing Julian Assange for exposing hidden truths about powerful governments, and masking the truth of the allegations against Assange in the process.
I know—Maude help me, I know—that governments and corporations use terrible and unethical tactics to discredit whistleblowers and critics. But I wasn't born yesterday, either. And when around 12% of men (pdf) have, by their own admission, committed sexual assault or rape, it's not remotely difficult to imagine that rape charges are not routinely invented to use against powerful men, but simply paid attention to when politically expedient.
Assange is entitled to bail, and he is entitled to a fair hearing on the allegations. That is an argument that can be made (like I just did) without any hint of victim-blaming.
Or any mendacious attempts to conceal the truth.
Stop by Sady's place for info on a Twitter action. Also: You can contact Moore directly via his website here.
Olbermann: One complicating issue here—address the charges against Assange in Sweden. Are they—are they a ruse? Are they—are they a front for something else? And even if they are, indeed, something nefarious against him, you are still, in essence, participating in bailing out a man who has been charged with criminal sexual charges, or will be charged under these circumstances. Address that.
Moore: That's the thing. He hasn't been charged. They've brought no criminal charges against him. They want to talk to him about, about— This whole thing stinks to the high heavens. I gotta tell ya. I mean, I—I wasn't born yesterday, but I [laughs]— I've seen this enough times where governments and corporations go after individuals— Geez, wasn't I— I think I was just on your show a couple of weeks ago talking about this—
Moore: —with my film and the health care industry. They go after people with this kind of lie and smear. Daniel Ellsberg told you about it last week on how they went after him. This is— We've seen this before. Now, his guilt or innocence of this— I mean, what he said they did— [grinning] and the lawyer said this today in court in London—that what they say he did and the charge is his [rolls eyes] condom broke during consensual sex.
Moore: That is not a crime in Britain, and so they're making the point how can we—how can we extradite him over this? This is all a bunch of hooey as far as I'm concerned! And, and the man at least has a right to be out of prison while awaiting the hearing, and I believe that, that, uh—and this is why I participate in it; this is why I put up a chunk of the bail money, and, um, you know, I'm proud, proud to do it because I think this man and what he's doing, and what his group is doing, is going to save lives.
Olbermann: Filmmaker Michael Moore, who will join Rachel Maddow next week for her leadership series at the 92nd Street Y. Great thanks, and I'm sorry we didn't get to discuss the trade of your Detroit Tigers of Alfredo Figaro to Orix Buffaloes in Japan. Thank you, Michael.
Moore: [laughs] I know. That's okay. Next time!
Olbermann: Next time. It's in WikiLeaks, too. Thank you, Michael.