Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Saving money and your hard-on: another Assange update (by Suzie)

Monday's NYT quotes London's Sunday Times quoting Julian Assange on the book deal that may bring him $1.7 million.
"I don’t want to write this book, but I have to. I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat."
Mr. Assange also told the newspaper that he had already spent more than $300,000 on his legal fight to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied.
I have some money-saving tips for him:
-- Treat women better.
-- Return to Sweden.
-- Give up your salary of at least $86,000. This figure comes from the Wau Holland Foundation, which pays a lot of WL bills with donations. We don't know if other entities also contribute to your salary, nor do we know if you get additional money for expenses. Your fans will cover your material needs.

Proceeds from the book will go to him, not WL, and that gives him additional job security.
Today in the NYT, Katrin Bennhold asks her girlfriends: "Is it rape when you have sex with someone who didn’t tell you it was OK, but told you it was OK earlier that night?" Almost all said no. But this isn't the same as Ms. W's allegation. According to leaked documents, he lost interest in sex when W insisted he wear a condom. Later, he "agreed unwillingly" to use one. In the morning while she was sleeping, he didn't use a condom when he penetrated her. She clearly had not consented to sex without a condom.

Unlike most of Bennhold's friends, W and Assange were not in a steady relationship, and she was much younger. Bennhold calls her a groupie, but we know only that she greatly admired him and welcomed his attention. We have no idea if she came to his speech to try to get him to have sex with her, although it shouldn't matter if she did. If W is a groupie, what would Bennhold call the head of an organization who has sex with two volunteers in the same week?
Assange said his other accuser took a photo of him naked in bed. I can't decide which account I find funnier: Gawker's or Wonkette's.
When the story first broke about the condom breaking (or being torn), some fans squeed that Assange must have a really big penis, and that's also why he doesn't like condoms. Not necessarily. As the Kinsey Institute noted in a study this year, men who can't sustain an erection while wearing a condom are less likely to wear a condom while having sex. (Duh.)
Men who reported having sex with three or more partners in the past three months were almost twice as likely to report erection loss compared with men having fewer partners. These findings underline the importance of encouraging men to discuss condom use with new lovers.
Men who lost their erections were much more likely to remove condoms prematurely, or to report that the condoms broke. Earlier research showed that men who didn't know how to use a condom properly were more likely to report breakage.
ETA: On the HuffPost today, investigative journalist Nick Davies of The Guardian defends the excerpting of Swedish police documents.
Assange's UK lawyer tried very hard to persuade us to suppress the file. He argued that since Assange had been a source for our stories, we should 'protect' him. I reckon that that is an invitation to journalistic corruption, to hide information in order to curry favor with a source. We were right to publish. ...
It has been a depressing experience to see some of those who were most furious at the global propaganda run by Bush and Rumsfeld now leading the cheers for a new campaign of misinformation, happy to be manipulated, content to recycle falsehood and distortion no matter what damage they may do.
Yahoo reports: David Leigh, The Guardian's investigations editor, said they actually saved Assange some embarrassment: "Nick left out a lot of graphic and damaging material in the allegations because he thought it would be too cruel to publish them."
ETA2, from Gawker:
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is currently holed up in an English country mansion, fighting extradition to Sweden where he faces a sex crime investigation. What better time for Newsweek to publish an exclusive photo gallery: "Christmas with Julian."

If this leaking thing doesn't work out, Assange may want to embark on a career as an Eddie Bauer model: See an apple-cheeked Julian tossing firewood; see him reading his fan mail in a tasteful pullover, or frolicking in a santa suit, carrying a novelty toy sack that reads "Dear Santa, I've been very, very, very good (most of the time.)" Haw haw. His style says, "Sure, I'm under house arrest in a mansion because of creepy sex crime allegations, but I also appreciate fine scotch and the company of a good hunting dog."