December 5, 2010

This is what a witch hunt looks like

Our Prime Minister and sundry local pollies, along with American and British representatives, are so convinced that Julian Assange is committing illegal actions that they can't tell us what the charges will be - when they catch him, and they will.

In Australia, which is not the source of any leaking or the site of Wikileaks web hosting, Gillard and her echoes are so certain of Assange's criminality and risk to democracy and world peace that they've assigned an entire battlefield of Australian soldiers, intelligence officers and officials to investigate whether Assange has breached any Australian laws.

Soldiers are on the case!

Intelligence officers are on the case!

Officials are on the case!

I assume a few lawyers have also been asked to contribute to the witch legal hunt. 

A couple of months ago Assange was accused of rape.  In general, given the tiny proportion of rapes reported to police, and the even tinier proportion of that number resulting in convictions (most rapists walk free), I'm inclined to assume guilt, or at the least something iffy going on.  Not so when I first heard of the allegations against Assange.  Sure as shit a set-up.  As bold as brass and as clear as daylight.  The arrest warrant is at the ready, and Assange will be in jail soon enough, for something he didn't do, but it will keep him off the streets and away from computers, possibly for years.

I'm not fond of consipiracy theories; for the most part, don't even find them amusing, but I suddenly see a conspiracy sprouting on the anus of democracy, and it's making me a little queezy.
"AS THE net [err, that was no pun intended, right?] closes around WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the notorious whistleblower has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of betraying him as an Australian citizen in her eagerness to help the United States attack him and his organisation.

So far, the only charges that may be brought against Mr Assange relate to an alleged sex assault in Sweden. Mr Assange's lawyer in London, Mark Stephens, said that neither he nor Scotland Yard had received the new arrest warrant from Sweden. Mr Assange has denied the sex assault allegations.
[In relation to Assange's son, who lives in Oz and has posted online in defense of his father - and good for him ... ] The 20-year-old software developer's comments were posted on an American blogger's website yesterday in response to the blogger's calls for the former Box Hill High student to be physically harmed or kidnapped in a bid to flush out his father."
Because that's what democracy, capitalism and the free world is all about, right?

Assange has and will continue to provide an organisation and infrastructure for receipt and publication of material that would otherwise never be made available to the public.  Much in the way that old media has always done, albeit, less so nowadays, given all the cutting and slashing of investigative journalists and budgets.

So too MSM outlets republish Wikileaks content.  Some are even given pre-launch preview material, so that they have plenty of time to read, assess, and edit their own copy - hot off the press as soon as Wikileaks hits the publish button.

If Assange is guilty of a crime, so too are hundreds of media outlets, and regardless of whether they are all charged and found guilty (ha!), or only Assange is deemed chargeable and guilty, our collective trip in a hand-basket to the seventh level of hell will be swift.

The fifth estate, if ever it were to stand up and fight to the death - now is that moment.

PM has betrayed me: Assange


  1. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Well stated Caz. And that's what I can't understand - why not call on the assination of the NYT and other publishers of the material as well? And they are the ones making a quid from it - sheesh.

    Anyway, so far that material hasn't told us anything we did not already know or suspect.


    Although the bit about Hillary, DNA, biometrics, credit card numbers etc. was somewhat creepy, but not surprising.

  2. I got a bit twitchy when 80% of the common folk decided that it was honky-dory to submit to anal probes and to surrender shampoo and toothpaste for the privilege of being squished into a plane - a privilege that had already been paid for with cold hard cash - but the wagons surrounding Assagne, as the titular bad guy, is a game that ends with all of us losing.

    Democratic governments, including our own, have long touted transparency, openness, yet when they are in government they get all coy about the most innocuous or expressly 'public interest' matters. Want to know the details of a contract, how many of your tax payer dollars are being spend on a desal plant or anything else? Good luck with that. We're just the bunnies, apparently it's not our business and we shouldn't worry our fluffy little ears over such things.

    Short shift is even shorter when it comes to matters of national or international importance. Governments act on our behalf, rule with our consent, but see no reason to tell us how they rule or why.

    We've all been sitting at the bottom of the slippery slope for a long time now Justin - hells bells, the tenth anniversary or 9/11 is coming up.

    In a real sense, if Assange and Wikileaks go down, so do we all. It will be one act of symbolism that reverberates for decades.

    I read today that the rape allegations were spun out of a request by the two women as to how they could force Assange to have an STD test, seeing as he wasn't keen on condoms. At no time did the women allege rape or sexual assault; they have specifically denied any such thing to journalists.

    If they'd gone to a GP and had preemptive penicillin shots instead of walking into a police station to ask for sexual health advice that arrest warrant being waved over Assange wouldn't exist.

    As for Assange having blood on his hands: tell that to the folk in Iraq and Afghanistan. Or maybe someone should check up on the murder rates for journalists in Russia or China.

    This is weasel logic at it's most dangerous.

  3. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Yes to all of that Caz - but somehow I think the game is up, or will be for the punter. I hope not but things are getting ugly.

    Anyway I'm waiting to read what he has on one of the big yank banks (many reckon BoA but he won't let on) - the dope will be relaeased early next year.

    Once again I suspect it will reveal what we already know - (control) fraud, rape and pillage by the greedy bastards - and we the punter have the luxury of paying for our own abuse.


  4. I'm going to be mighty pissed off if all the pollies manage to achieve a shut down of the site and we never get to see those bank doco's Justin.

    I think, as with most circumstances in life, people refuse to believe stuff, even when they "kinda" know it's true, until they see it with their own eyes. So, yes, I think a lavish unveil of the inner thinking at a major bank would be a worthy leak.

    Unfortunately, this sort of stuff is still pretty gratuitous - one bank, one video, a bunch of bitchy diplomatic cables.

    It's grains of sand.

    People want to be kept in the dark? They get hysterical over tokens?

  5. Not sure if I heard incorrectly, but I think up to 100,000 people across the world have access and can re-upload material if Wikileaks is taken down or attached.

    Or, we assume, as insurance if anything happens to Assange.

    As he is not a citizen in Sweden, the law is ambiguous about how long they can hold him without charges - can be a long time. If he was a citizen, only two weeks. That's a little loophole they seem to be playing with, but they're also playing around when it comes to the arrest papers. He could be picked up in Britain straight away, it's not as though his whereabouts is unknown to the police there.

    I guess they'll grab him when it suits "them" - whoever might be in that collective.

    Possibly Wikileaks can go on without Assange, but in a lesser manner. I guess we'll find out in due course.

  6. Anonymous10:42 PM

    You can read a little about the encrypted "insurance" here:

    And you can down load the file here:


  7. Excellent post, Caz! Your point about agency (Actual Leakers v Assange v MSM) is important. On that view the witch hunt (which is what this reaks of, and indeed what it is) is so completely disproportionate.

    Smacks of the dirt campaign waged by the Nixon Whitehouse against Daniel Ellsberg -- but Ellsberg was an Actual Leaker.

    Blair is quoting -- apparently, with lascivious approval -- the following statement by Charles Krauthammer:

    "I’m not advocating that we bring out of retirement the KGB proxy who, on a London street, killed a Bulgarian dissident with a poisoned umbrella tip. But it would be nice if people like Assange were made to worry every time they go out in the rain."

    Get it? -- he's not advocating violence against Assange, oh noooo. But... *nudge* *wink*

    This represents a strand of so-called elite opinion! Truly, these people are fucked in the head.

  8. Justin – indeed, which is why, on balance, I will always be on the side of Wikileaks, Assange, and any other such endeavors; notwithstanding that the motives of leakers is not always pure, rational or warranted. (Neither are other people. Is there any need to set a higher moral bar, a greater purity, for leakers?)

    There were a lot of intelligence officers who were “that explicit” before 9/11, including one killed as the towers fell (the new trade centre head of security, who had left gov't employ - he was also around in gov't the first time someone tried to fly into the towers & fully expected the day would come again - he also knew exactly who would be responsible); they were all ignored.

    Also - do'h, I finally read up on the insurance policy, so now have the hang of what that's all about.

    My quibble would be that Assange is being a bit stupid in using that as a tool of blackmail, as opposed to simply letting it be known: "do what you will, but you can't shut it down and it will go on with or without me" - the latter is a more positive stance, it has meaning, rather than the blunt and cheap blackmail threat.

    A bit unlike him to be so sloppy; must be feeling a tad stressed, so not thinking clearly? Of course, he is probably feeling highly physically threatened, as opposed to mentally under pressure, so perhaps the blackmail flag is how he genuinely sees it - from his perspective, this is suddenly only about him, not some greater good. It's his tool, so he's going to use it how he sees fit.

    Jacob – Blair is very clever, with a sharp wit and a creative mind. It’s unfortunate that he is also an unthinking nasty clod of a man, driven by blind and rigid devotion to an ideology that even he would gag over if it ever came to fruition in the real world.

  9. Solomon9:54 PM

    There's certainly a Jason v Talos thing going on here. The giant leaking from his ankle. Though Jason would have to be played by Andy Warhol.

  10. Must we drag Warhol into this? He had his 15 minutes.

    (Although I did buy some very nice Warhol china plates not long ago; cost me a small fortune. Nice butterflies.)

    Justin - I notice that one of the commentors in the insurance thread outlines in great detail the conspiracy theory (groan): Assange is a CIA and/or USA stooge, or perhaps a stooge for almost anyone.


    Just once, can't people accept that a cigar is a cigar?

    I don't really believe that home schooling was responsible for Assange's high IQ or his early history as a hacker and whatever led him to where he is now. (Even The Australian, supposedly our best newspaper, suggested otherwise, up front and centre, in an article today. Yep, look where your children will end up with hippie home schooling. Seriously.)

  11. Anonymous10:55 PM

    Hey Caz, like Geoff, I find that you are replying to my posts - posts that you have obviously read, but I cannot see. I thought they disappeared into wiki-ether.

    Bloger may be sick of my browser may be fucking with my mind.

    Thought you may appreciate the feed back.

    ta j

  12. Solomon7:00 PM

    I just thought they kind of looked the same. Warhol out.

    I'm starting to see the heroic aspect of this now. When I fell ill earlier this year I thought I read a quote by Roger Ebert but I now think I probably manufactured it. It said: "If you want to prosecute corruption in Hollywood, you will have to burn all bridges.."

    It gave me courage, though my efforts subsequently didn't involve prosecuting corruption in Hollywood, or anywhere else.

    Take out Hollywood and add government and you've got Assange. The whole world is bearing down on him.

  13. Solomon7:36 PM

    This year? I mean last year. I've got my temporal panties in a twist.

  14. Jacob7:59 PM

    My thoughts exactly, Caz, or fairly approximately by any measure.

    My manager was telling me today that Tony Abbott, on Sunday on the ABC's Insiders program, called Assange 'Assagne' (ass-sag-nee). Didn't make it into the transcript (is the ABC protecting the Coalition?) but if true it would seem to underscore just how clueless Tony demonstrably was/is on the topic.

  15. Wow - how weird Justin. I had assumed that the length of Geoff's post had caused the problem (which I reposted a second time, in two parts, and that seems to have 'stuck'), but your comments shouldn't be causing any such problem. Also, I can see your comments on the blog at my end ... and still can, including with links.

    So, at your end it must look as though I'm chatting to myself, meanwhile, I'm under the impression that I'm chatting to you.


    And yes, I'm tempted to suggested that this little bloggie is under cyber attach!

    Next they'll be notifying me that my Swiss bank account has been shut down.

  16. Sol - yes, now that you mention it; certainly in less flattering pics and when he has the white hair thing going on, Assange could pass for a better looking version of Warhol (Warhol was not an attractive man, whereas Assange isn't bad looking, in the right light).

    The whole world is bearing down on him Sol, and, bizarrely he is being treated and spoken about as if he is a criminal, a fugitive, when no such thing is true.

    (Hey, have we still got the army scouring the legal books for something - anything - to charge him with if he dares step back into his own country?!)

    The facts are that he stayed in Switzerland for forty days after the rape allegations were made public; he waited for the police to question him - they chose not to; he applied for and got permission to leave; he has offered to cooperate in every way, and still is/does, via his lawyers, and still they decline to talk to or question him - whip out an unnecessary arrest warrant instead.

    On the run?


    Trumped up charges?

    Artificial creation of a fugitive?

    Conspiracy to get Assange?

    Oh yes, you fucking bet.

  17. Solomon9:07 PM

    The correct charge would be treason. What else could they possibly have against him, besides betrayal of the will of the sovereign, the powers-that-be? They should charge him, see how it flies.

    Down, down, down. He's not that attractive. Except in a cool, slippery sort of way. Reminds me of Tom Noonan in Manhunter.

    I saw Michael Kirby speak once (twice) and he pointed out that we used to cut off the King's head because we believed in democracy.

    Chief Wiggum: Okay, you just bought yourself a 317: Pointing out police stupidity.

  18. Wouldn't the NYTs, the Guardian, sundry other European newspapers - about half a dozen, who had the material ahead of Wikileaks publication - also have to be charged?

    And then every other newspaper, in every country? No sneak previews, but they have covered and quoted extensively, and that's ongoing, given the large volume of material for the journo's to wade through ... especially for finding worthy quotes and easily summarized and digestible narratives.

    And that's before we start canvassing the hundreds of Wikileaks workers, paid and unpaid, who are the ones publishing and keeping material up (does anyone seriously think that Assange hits the "publish post" key?). Throw in a few thousand hackers and the "Anonymous" group, making sure the site stays up, has myriad copies on servers around the world; a legion of financial donors ...

    On and on.

    I think photographers go out of their way to photograph Assange in a particular way, a choice of angle, lighting and expression to fashion the slippery, slightly creepy look - almost every photo of him has the same take. By contrast, in normal pics, not playing up the snake metaphor, he has quite a nice face, and doesn't look nearly as old as some pics would suggest.

    Assange and treason: Australia is his sovereign state. He is threatening to sue the PM ... for her betrayal, I gather. Now that would be fun. He has broken no law of his own country, and yet the PM is wasting money and resources scouring the law books. Beggars belief. I would love to see his lawyers find a way to sue the PM. That would be a show worth watching.

  19. Jacob - I haven't seen or heard anything of Abbott on the subject of Assange or WikiL, which is just as well. He'd be a bit out of his depths, I think, much in the way he fumbled about denying that he was "Bill Gates" when attempting to engage in policy debate in relation to the NBN.

    Yes, it would be that embarrassing.

    Better that he go for a run or a bike ride until it all blows over, lest the severe limitations of his intellect and personal ideological framework be up on display, yet again.

  20. You'll no doubt be aware now that Assange has been arrested in London on the trumped-up Swedish warrant. Jesus wept, what a monumentally unfunny joke...

  21. I knew it was pending, given that the Swiss had put all the dots and comas in the right place to suit the needs of the British legal system.

    How awfully sad. A little part of my soul just died.

    If Kafka was writing now (instead of a previous century), this is the scenario he would have imagined, and we would have read it as fable.

  22. Anonymous11:00 PM

    All is not lost Caz:

    Just hours after a Swiss bank froze access today to a legal defense fund established for WikiLeaks provocateur Julian Assange, a group of hackers have shut down the bank's Web site in an escalating "infowar."

    A group calling itself Operation Payback took responsibility for the Internet attack on the Swiss bank, PostFinance, via its Twitter account. "We will fire at anyone that tries to censor WikiLeaks," the group said in its announcement.

    This could be fun.


    PS let's hope the gremlins don't attack this post, or maybe someone just hates me and Geoff.

  23. The absurdity of the warrant can only blow up in the faces of the Assange-hunters, Caz. Their aim is to wear the poor bugger down and to discredit him in the public eye with tales of sexual wrong-doings. Whether that works, ultimately time will tell.

    And by the way, in the interests of truth, justice, etc., after listening to the soundtrack I have to report my manager must have mis-heard Abbott's pronunciation on Insiders: Abbott actually said 'assanggee', not 'assaggnee'. I'd therefore have to upgrade my mark of Abbott at an F+ rather than an F-.

    My friend Dean is, I now have to admit, obviously a rusted-on Laborite anarchist whose management reports I will eye with increased scrutiny in future.

  24. Unprotected sex without consent is a crime in most places including here. This is irrespective of whether there was or was not consent to protected sex. It seems the Swedes have a specific offence to cover it; "sex by surprise" or something. Here we would call it rape. Or "sexual assualt" if the prosecutors were serious about getting a conviction.

    I'm not saying this guy has committed this or any other offence. Nor am I denying that there may well be more to the issue of this warrant than meets the eye. I have no idea. Just saying is all ...

  25. Jacob - at least the arrest is now a little clearer, that is, the charges: refusing to use a condom is a crime in Switzerland. In itself, an interesting crime to bring to trial, regardless of who is charged: if the refusal still results in consensual sex (as it did in this instance), doesn't that at least somewhat negate the refusal; flip side being declining to engage in sex, and therefore, again, no crime ... seriously, it's a crime that chases its own tail. I wonder how often, or if, they have been successful in prosecuting anyone.

    Geoff - illegal in most places? Don't know, I'm ignorant on that front, and don't recall seeing reports of successful charges being bought against anyone in Oz, for example. (And let's not confuse this with people knowingly, deliberately infecting others with any sexually transmitted disease, which is a different kettle of fish to opting out of condom use.)

  26. Geoff – there is nothing more than meets the eye, since the women have unambiguously and repeatedly stated that congress was consensual – they have told police, they have told the media. After the fact they got worried about Assange’s sexual health and habits. This isn’t speculative, these are the reported facts. That, by any law in any country is absolutely not “rape”. Rape is not some trite thing, so let’s not confuse acts of violence and misogyny with not wearing a rubber, even if the latter is deemed criminal in some situations.

    As for “surprise sex” – again, I don’t see how, if consensual, a conviction would be achieved … I don’t just mean against Assange; I mean anyone. No idea how the law is applied.

    Also, my error, it’s Sweden, kept thinking the Swiss had the warranted. Maybe I was preoccupied with fantasies of Swiss bank accounts.

    The charges, as now a little more specifically detailed, appear to offer a different picture to the one the two women have repeatedly stated during these last months, and also documented, including in SMSs to each other after the fact. So yes, the charges are definitely “more than met the eye”; now something far more elaborate and damning.

  27. Anonymous6:01 PM

    The way I read it the sex was consensual, and in one case (at least) a condom was used - but it broke so the girl claimed. Apparently she claimed that she asked him to stop, but he didn't.

    Anyway it is going to be very hard for any reasonable jury to convict especially when the girls were so proud to have bedded this "really cool guy" and put it on record.

    Anyway all this kill the messanger stuff may end up being counter-productive for the sleaze bags like Clinton and our very own home grown types with fat bellies and red hair.

    Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 748 sites (updated 2010-12-07 08:33 GMT)

    This morning it was mirrored by only 300.


    Fuck I love it when the punters get angry - we owe it to ourselves.


    Anyway I'm off to do me basic training - after all when China doesn't do what Kev and Hillary want we are going to knock China's block off. Fucking morons, but at least we know it for sure now.

  28. Solomon6:56 PM

    The Swedes want to prosecute (persecute?) him. He's voiced a desire to seek asylum in Switzerland and move wikileaks there for its own protection. I like his moxy.

    As a link from Wikileaks explains:

    "Der Gründer von Wikileaks, Julian Assange, fühlt sich deshalb bedroht und trifft Sicherheitsvorkehrungen. Bei seinem Besuch in Genf sagte der Australier gegenüber dem Westschweizer Fernsehen TSR, dass er sich überlege, in der Schweiz ein Asylgesuch zu stellen.

    Video Collateral Murder

    Assange hätte die Möglichkeit in der Schweiz um Asyl zu ersuchen, auch wenn sein Heimattland Australien als sogenanntes «Safe Country» (sicheres Land) gilt. «Grundsätzlich können Personen aus allen Staaten in der Schweiz Asyl beantragen», sagt Marie Avet vom Bundesamt für Migration (BFM)."

  29. Solomon6:57 PM


  30. Solomon7:21 PM

    From the Herald Sun:

    "Swedish law considers unprotected sex as rape but Swedish sources have doubted the credibility of the women, who many people believe set up a "honey trap" for the Australian activist."

    A honey trap? I almost fell off my chair.

  31. As I've already suggested Sol (and YES, I have read the same interpretations as the rest of you): I'd like to know how and in what circumstances the law has been enforced, how many successful convictions; plus, the law itself is extremely insulting to rape victims - it is ill-conceived.

  32. So as to avoid ambiguity: it's not the credibility of the women, it's the crafting and rhetoric of the law itself that confounds and disturbs me. Of course, as we learn more about how the law is used (and god knows we will), perhaps my questions will be addressed in a manner that I find entirely satisfactory. Right now, not so much.

    In the meantime: the women have already personally outlined their level of credibility as victims of a crime of any sort.

    I quite object to women's credibility being under question (isn't it always? we may as well all be Muslims); but there we have it - that's what happens when the law is manipulated to pursue a political goal and to silence ... Julian Assange.

  33. Jacob – I notice that others have started citing the Daniel Ellsberg example (ie, commentators on sites O/S). Some unfavorably, as in: "Assange is no Ellsberg; others noting the similarity of the response to the threat by the political machine.

    Ellsberg has, apparently spoken in support of Assange, but I haven't seen any direct reports yet.

    (Poor Dean! Do try to be subtle about that scrutineering ... )

  34. Solomon8:25 PM

    With what little we have to go on I find the law as stated baffling.

    If the issue is that the woman withdrew her consent after the condom broke, then the law seems entirely superfluous. The act becomes rape as soon as she says "stop".

    Of course in practice I expect it is harder for a woman to withdraw consent in the middle of sex than beforehand, and, the law might be intended to cover this eventuality. At the back of her mind would be the question: what if I say "stop" and he doesn't? As well as, in the aftermath: if I'd known his sexual history I would have said "no". And, added to that: I really only said yes to protected sex and look what has happened. And he's such a careless floozy (I've now discovered) that I'm outraged and I want his blood.

    Assange is entitled to the presumption of innocence but so too are the women entitled to a presumption that they had a genuine claim to prosecute. There is a technical legal term for it, more artful than I can express, but I've forgotten it.

  35. Sol - you'll have to wait until I put up the next post ... shortly, in the meantime:

    If the issue is that the woman withdrew her consent after the condom broke, then the law seems entirely superfluous. The act becomes rape as soon as she says "stop".

    Yes, but that's not what happened, according the women ... according to their initial report to the police and their initial glee at having had sex with Assange. There concern over sexual health matters only dawned later.

    Be assured that a woman who has been raped doesn't SMS with glee ... and then, days later, revise the event and call it rape.

    Contrary to the way we (Australian culture, not sure about elsewhere) has brainwashed the entire population, men and women, to believe that "rape" is some ambiguous / ambivalent / grey area of routine sexual encounters: it isn't.

  36. Jacob9:08 PM

    "Assange is no Ellsberg..."

    That's right, he's not. Like I said, Ellsberg was an Actual Leaker. Assange is a Conduit, if you will, as the Washington Post was to Ellsberg.

    Or maybe Assange is analogously the NYT, which Nixon stomped on when it tried to publish the Pentagon Papers leaked by Ellsberg.

    But really, analogising gets to be a bit tedious beyond first blush.

  37. Agreed Jacob.

    Only shows the lack of thought and analysis going into the debate.

    Besides, this is a different era and this is a different operational paradigm.

    Assange is the obvious target, for being the smart guy, for showing utter contempt for authority on a global scale. Deep down he is still a hacker.

    The political masters of the universe have lost control and they have no fooking idea how to deal with this, so they target the man. They have no creative solutions to draw upon, and have resorted to an old fashioned punishment, small village enforcement of social mores, false accusations, demonisation, all the usual tools from pre-steam engine history. It's startlingly flimsy and unsophisticated when you consider that these are the same political masters who metaphorically stand behind unmanned bombers and weapons that can fire bullets that jump around and over obstacles; the same political masters who defend and prop up Wall Street, regardless of how immoral and sleezy the deals.

    And on we could go.

    They haven't come close to understanding what is going on, what it means.

  38. Jacob9:44 AM

    By and large people need paradigms. The saying "History is prelude" can at times be more a prayer than a statement of fact. Better the devil you know, etc.

    The confusion among some of the commentariat is almost tragic. Bolt at his Herald Sun blog seems existentially torn between joining the campaign to stitch up Assange, and relishing some of the Wikileaks material when it supports his obsessive hate-diatribes against the likes of Kevin Rudd.

    By the way, I don't know if the following campaign will help but I guess it can't hurt:

  39. Sol – just to clarify: whatever game the women were playing – and for a short while, a couple of months ago, they seemed to be having great fun – and whatever concerns they may genuinely have felt subsequently, they lost control of things very quickly; it was taken out of their hands.

    I don’t and wouldn’t disparage the women, at least beyond the trite, since they’ve been used by everyone: Assange, for sex, and now the legal system, so as to carry out some ill-defined political task.

    The women are guilty of nothing more than being silly and infatuated. Not a first (or last) for woman kind, nor is it unknown for men to be silly and infatuated and find themselves dealing with a matter not of their making or their choosing.

    Jacob - I think all symbolic gestures are of some help in this.