Olbermann, Assange, and the Holocaust Denier

When you want to believe, you'll believe anything.

It now seems that the smears in the Julian Assange rape case are bidirectional, from the exceptionally flimsy charges accusing the WikiLeaks boss of being a sexual predator to the increasingly loud and incoherent conspiracy theories suggesting that his two accusers are working on behalf of the CIA.

Before Assange was remanded to custody in the United Kingdom, awaiting a possible extradition to Sweden to face multiple sexual assault charges, his most credulous supporters switched tactics, from attacking the overly broad Swedish conception of rape to suggesting one of his alleged victims moonlights as an American agent; downshifting from Camille Paglia to Three Days of the Condor.

Here’s how an evidence-free, innuendo-filled personal attack on a rape accuser trespasses the mainstream political debate. On his Twitter feed, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann (162,000 followers) links to a rambling blog post arguing that Anna Ardin, the Swedish feminist who accused Assange of rape, is an anti-Castro activist with connections to CIA front groups. Elsewhere on the Internet, NYU professor Mark Crispin Miller, the popular liberal website FireDogLake, Bianca Jagger, and The First Post (a British news website “brought to you by The Week”) all circulated the charges without an ounce of skepticism.  

I have previously written that, knowing what we know about the charges Assange faces (which is admittedly not that much), it seems likely that he’s a victim of both an overzealous Swedish prosecutor and a culture that embraces an exceptionally broad definition of sexual assault. But this isn’t enough for the conspiracists and paranoiacs, who see Assange as the torchbearer for transparency, the world’s only hope for crippling American power. If American intelligence could dream up COINTELPRO, they could surely convince a pair of left-wing political activists to lure Assange into a “honey trap,” right?

So what’s this evidence of CIA perfidy that Olbermann finds so convincing? A few clicks in and one comes to an article posted on Alexander Cockburn’s far-left website Counterpunch by the writers Israel Shamir and Paul Bennett (more on them in a moment) positing that because Ardin, who wrote a master’s thesis on the Cuban opposition movement, visited the "Ladies in White"—a group comprised of female relatives of jailed Cuban dissidents—while conducting research in Havana, and the vile extremist Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles (who was once employed by the CIA) went to a Miami protest on behalf of the Ladies in White, it follows that Ardin is therefore connected to the CIA. Got that? In 2007, the Ladies in White were presented with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament, raising the tantalizing possibly that Ardin is also an agent of Brussels.

Olbermann is sufficiently convinced that this connection merits your attention. This odious type of guilt-by-six-degrees-of-separation is so strained, so unbelievably lunk-headed, that normally I would suggest that it best be ignored. But when Olbermann spreads this poison, and when a mainstream liberal website like FireDogLake gets in on the act, it’s worth forcefully debunking.

Shamir scoffs at the idea that Ardin “is often described by the media as a ‘leftist,’” suggesting her mildly critical remarks about the Castro dictatorship expose her as a reactionary (I previously outlined her politics here). But reading her writings on Cuba, it’s clear that while she isn’t a Castro hagiographer (how could one be, especially a self-identified feminist?) ,Ardin persists with some fairly conventional left-wing views of the regime. “Since the 1959 revolution and communist takeover,” she has written, “healthcare and education are free, there are few or no starving or living on the street, and largely needn’t worry about violence or robbery. But salaries are extremely low.” Indeed, she sees a moral equivalence between the United States and the Cuban dictatorship, sighing that “The social democratic opposition—Corriente Socialista Democrática Cubana—is trying to show that there is an alternative between the only two clearly presented, extreme alternatives: either Castro and his gang govern Cuba or the USA does.”

So who is Israel Shamir, Counterpunch's resident intelligence correspondent? Alternately known as Jöran Jermas and Adam Ermash, Shamir is a fringe writer who has devoted his professional life to exposing the supposed criminality of “Jewish power," a paranoid anti-Semite who curates a website full of links to Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi sites, defenses of blood libel myths, and references to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Ali Abunimah, Hussein Ibish, and Nigel Parry have warned their fellow Palestinian activists to avoid contact with Shamir, citing his frequent forays into the sewers of Jew-hatred. The British anti-fascist magazine Searchlight (along with its Swedish sister magazine Expo) showed that Shamir is a “Swedish anti-Semite” who has repeatedly lied about his past, not a truth-telling Israeli dissident.

Spend a few minutes on Shamir’s website and here's some of what you'll learn: Imprisoned neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel is a “German political prisoner of Zion”; Maria Poumier, a French Holocaust denier whose work Shamir publishes, claims that the “Nazi-jewish H[olocaust] was just a civil war between European brothers”; Shamir himself believes that the Holocaust “narrative is Jewish, it belongs to Jews, and it has no meaning but as manifestation of Jewish supremacy.” Shamir also asserts that the pro-Nazi historian David Irving “was sentenced [to prison] for denial of Jewish superiority,” warning his readers of “Jewish mind-control on a world scale.” On the Auschwitz death camp, Shamir says that “The camp was an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo).”

Shamir's co-author on the Assange piece, a nonentity called Paul Bennett, is new to the crackpot scene, it would seem, though one gets a sense of his intellectual rigor from a review he contributed to Amazon.com denouncing Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s classic Gulag Archipelago as “100% pure reaganaut (sic) political propaganda.”

You get the idea.

I suspect if confronted, Olbermann would argue that he was unaware that the article’s author was a spittle-flecked anti-Semite and Holocaust denier. And I would believe him. But here is Olbermann’s (completely justified) attack on Fox News' Glenn Beck, after the wild-eyed host quoted the long-forgotten anti-Semite Elizabeth Dilling on his radio show. Beck later backtracked, claiming that he was unaware of Dilling’s anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi connections:

[Beck] held up and praised a book supposedly outing communists in America called "The Red Network," written by Elizabeth Dilling in 1934 and said, "this is a book—and I’m getting a ton of these—from people who were doing what we’re doing now. We now are documenting who all these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it."

Oops. Elizabeth Dilling also was an anti-Semite, a supporter of Hitler. She blamed the Second World War on the Jews….Beck says she was, quote, doing what we’re doing now. Ruh-roh. But Beck has now explained it all away. Elizabeth Dilling was a rabid anti- Semite, pro-Nazi, doing what you’re doing now? "I don’t know, because I didn’t look it up.

Olbermann is right, of course. But see how easy this game is? Israel Shamir is Olbermann’s Elizabeth Dilling. And by helping enter this absurd conspiracy theory into the bloodstream of the left-wing blogophere, Olbermann has assisted in promoting the sinister views of an unreconstructed anti-Semite.

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  • Some Guy||

    Sure, that's what Michael C. Moynihan would say. He writes for Reason, whose logo is orange, and oranges come from Florida, which is near Cuba. Moynihan is a Cuban spy!

  • Come on!||

    It's obviously Olbermann who is working for the CIA by trying to make it sound as ridiculous as possible that the CIA is involved.

  • ||

    Close, but you miss the forest for the orange trees, or more accurately the conspiricy for the oranges.
    Isn't it obvious that oranges are not of this earth? Brightly orange colored delicious spheres? Preposterous!
    By your own analysis, what ties this all together??? ORANGE!!!!
    Obviously, the oranges have contrived to make our poplulation so incapable of logic, unable to discern reality from fantasy, that they will soon be able to get us to board giant spacecraft to whisk us to their home planet of Orange Julius, where they intend to make us into protein shakes.
    Occam's razor - the simplest explanation is the best.

  • cynical||

    "How do Keith Olbermann, a Swedish Holocaust denier"

    Defamation! Olbermann isn't Swedish.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Caption Contest:

    Do I look like David Caruso in these?

  • Cyto||

    I think you meant:

    Do I ... {long pause to put on sunglasses} ... look like David Caruso in these?

    Yeeooooowwwww!!!!!

  • Ken||

    "downshifting from Camille Paglia to Three Days of the Condor."

    Yep, that goes in the "damn, I wish I had written that" file.

  • alan||

    Isn't this target a bit too easy, M&M? I doubt Olbermann could have made it in the mainstream news business without making a name for himself in a non political area like sports broadcasting first given every syllable Olbermann mutters reeks of red diaper baby insularity.

  • Anomalous||

    every syllable Olbermann mutters reeks of red diaper baby insularity.

  • Old Mexican||

    I have previously written that, knowing what we know about the charges Assange faces (which is admittedly not that much), it seems likely that he's a victim of both an overzealous Swedish prosecutor and a culture that embraces an exceptionally broad definition of sexual assault.

    The judicial equivalent of rum and coke... and nitroglycerin.

  • ||

    The conspiratoids are being fueled by the admittedly highly suspicious timing of the Swedish complaints and legal actions.

    Which could use some 'splaining, IMO.

  • Explanation||

    Prosecutor and/or accusers want their fifteen minutes of fame.

  • G. Fawkes||

    The inconvenient background for people who want to spin the concerns of Mr Assange's defence team as political paranoia is that the Chief Swedish prosecutor had already looked at the extant evidence a couple of months back and said there wasn't any.

    This case has now been re-heated by someone who is supposed to be her subordinate but it turns out that there is a mystifying tail wagging this dog of justice in Sweden at the moment.

    In London a lot of people think these accusations are just a holding exercise till the US authorities work out what crime, if any, he can be charged with in your country. The British police knew where Mr Assange was the whole time and his lawyers had been in touch with the Swedish authorities. the warrant is a pantomime if all that they wanted was to ask him questions: we do have conference call facilities in the UK, after all.

    The warrant apparently still only says the Swedes want to question him and does not come attached to any evidence to back up the allegations: which will end up being one person's word against another in any event, where the women themselves are already on record saying the sex was consensual.

    Visa and Mastercard have been brought into play to try and shut down Wikileaks where the writ of US law does not run in Europe. Who asked them to decide where Europeans can or cannot spend their money?

  • ||

    Who asked them to decide where Europeans can or cannot spend their money?

    And who asked Europeans to decide who Visa and Mastercard should provide banking services for?

  • a||

    Did Assange rebuff Moynihan's drunken advances at a Swedish bar or what? Why is Moynihan determined to turn the entire WikiLeaks story into a catty tabloid profile of this guy, whose opinions, preferences, faults, and idiosyncrasies have jack shit to do with what's in the cables?

  • omg||

    “The term ‘rape’ in Sweden includes consensual sex without a condom.”

    So all children in Sweden were conceived via rape, according to Olbermann?

  • anarch the archivist||

    Why do you hate all non-Swedish women?

  • ||

    I miss Cathy.

    She got married and disappeared.

    Sad face =(

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    No, it was worse than that.

  • Carl||

    so when sexual health videos get played in high school health classes now will they have Interpol laws all over them explaining its an international crime not to tarp your load?

  • Colin||

    If consensual sex is dependent on the man wearing a condom, and he refuses, I don't think the sex is consensual anymore.

  • SIV||

    LOL!!!1

  • Mike E||

    There is a solution to that. Don't have sex with the man. If he forces it upon you, then it is non-consensual.

  • Cyto||

    No means NO! So if he tried to have sex without a condom and she didn't want to - it is rape. Even if she didn't tell him she didn't want to and she only thought it to herself. And even if she didn't realize that she didn't want to until later. Because she might have been afraid to tell him no, or something... anyway, he's an ass, so it must be rape.

    Seriously though, what is publicly alleged is not that he forced his attentions on unwilling women. Despite this the media stories about the case all speak as if this were a case of date rape - "at some point she said no, but he wouldn't take no for an answer". That doesn't appear to be what is alleged, but pretty much every news story in the mainstream US takes that tack. NPR had a feature today that used that exact phrase several times. They ended the segment by saying that what they've been hearing is that "this guy has a real problem with hearing 'no' from women". Meanwhile that doesn't even fit the narrative of the case.

    It kind of reminds me of the Richard Jewel case. Every news show had "experts" on to tell us how he was motivated by the fame and success he could never achieve; and how he blew up the bomb so that he could be the hero and finally be a "real cop" that he was never qualified to be. Unfortunately for them, it never happened. Oops. Same goes for Assange. They are spinning the date-rapist yarn as fast as they can, facts of the case be damned. Heck, the "reporter" in the aforementioned NPR story hadn't even spoken with anyone related to the Assange case. They held up an "expert" on the case who actually had less knowledge than I have obtained in less than 1 hour of reading over the last couple of months. That's really pathetic.

  • bigT||

    "...a mainstream figure like Olbermann..."

    That is a pretty narrow stream. I'd say more like a dribble.

  • ||

    A stream of bat's piss...

  • ||

    Olbermann's lucky his viewers know nothing of Reason. I mean Reason.

  • the right does it too||

    Or reason.

  • El Duderino||

    I haven't yet read this whole article, but I could not finish reading it without making the following observation / comment.

    My comment concerns the following partial excerpt: "Anna Ardin, the Swedish feminist who accused Assange of rape"

    Ok now first of all, I was under the impression that if any man ever had sex with a feminist, it was automatically rape despite whether or not it was consentual or if a condom was used.

    LET THAT BE A LESSON TO ALL MEN EVERYWHERE! HAVING ANY KIND OF SEX WITH A FEMINIST IS GOING TO BE CONSIDERED RAPE.

  • El Duderino||

    And lets see how long it takes before I am called a sexist and/or threatened with castration...

  • cynical||

    Don't worry, feminists don't read hit and run.

  • ||

    El Duderino henceforward will be known as El Missingdudepart

  • ||

    Unless, of course, you have the proper left-wing connections, which is what makes this Swedish feminist so despicable. She forgot to check his political persuasion before she made the accusation.

  • El Duderino||

    Soooo dont have sex with feminist without first proving your communist bona fides.

    Can I get away with showing up to the date with a Che shirt?

  • Carl||

    only if you have patchy dirty facial hair then its legit! if you show up clean shaven they will know your a narc.

  • ||

    "...threatened with castration..."

    Hey El Duderino, my singing group needs a soprano or contralto, are you likely to become available?

  • Mike E||

    This guy leaks all over the place. Ewwww.

  • strat||

    I'm glad Mr. Moynihan at least touched on the crazy "they once stood on the same sidewalk square and thus must be engaged in a massive collaboration" guilt-by-association. It's a classic achilles heel of both leftists and whatever we're calling the rightist anti-gummint conspiracy theorists. It seems the only people who don't engage in that are captains of industry and the exceedingly well-heeled. I can only presume it's because they don't have a problem joining the right clubs.

  • ||

    It seems the only people who don't engage in that are captains of industry and the exceedingly well-heeled. I can only presume it's because they don't have a problem joining the right clubs.

    I have hung with the fifth stringer captains of industry....and yeah they say the same crazy shit.

    But mostly they are smart enough not to discuss it with the media or they are too busy working to blog about it.

  • ||

    I should note this completely demolishes the "extreme middle" theory that you will see talked about here on reason.

    I contend that everyone is bat shit insane and hold in general superstitious weird beliefs in the boat loads.

    The fact that the middle (or simply the people in power) also hold bat shit insane beliefs should not be a surprise. bat shit insane is more pervasive then nitrogen. Expect to find it everywhere.

  • Cyto||

    You must be married...

  • ||

    So I go to Reason.com to see the Libertarian take on Wikileaks. I figure, hey, these anti-government guys are surely going to defend Assange. They're going to bitch about how Governments around the world are really really overstepping in the way they are fucking with him and his organization.

    Reasonites will surely point out the wrongness of gov't ghouls calling for the murder of Assange. Reasonites won't miss out sticking it to the Oompah-Loompah-like Joe Lieberman when he's acting like some modern day American Goebbels pressuring private companies to stop doing business with the "terrorists" and pissing on the 1st Amendment by threatening the New York Times.

    But all I see is this shit post by some guy named Moynihan on some sideshow. Fucking pathetic.

  • cynical||

    Cool story, bro.

  • ||

    IAWTP

  • ||

    Moron: did you miss the 1000 other posts on wikileaks/Assange?

  • ||

    Do you read this website regularly? You post indicates you don't. If you did you would have seen the long list of stories and responses that were just as you described. MCM is simply commenting on the tawdry tale of the day.

  • boomshanka||

    I think you're being generous with MM. He's written 3 posts on Wikileaks: 1) the cables are boring, nothing to see here; 2) Assange is self-righteous; 3) his supporters are crazy.

    I would expect to see a more vociferous defense of Assange, when the US and other governments clearly are attacking him for publishing truthful information. What MM omits from this article is that regardless of Olbermann's crazy theories, the US, UK, and Swedish governments are using these allegations as a pretext to initiate possible extradition to the US.

    I don't get the impression that MM is all too concerned about that.

  • sevo||

    "Fucking pathetic."
    That would be you reading "skills"?
    http://reason.com/blog/2010/12.....ssange-war
    And, oh,
    http://reason.com/blog/2010/12.....s-dropping
    There's more. Pathetic is too kind; I'd sort of qualify your abilities as, oh, idiotic.

  • ||

    Just because we don't link to anti-Semitic conspiracies to support our case does not mean we do not think what the governments of the world are doing isn't complete shit.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Look, you can accuse Reason of many things, but failure to beat any story with a libertarian angle to death is not one of them.

    btw,

    MOSQUE!

    TSA!

  • ||

    That's a bit harsh, don't you think? Now have a FourLoko and relax.

  • ||

    "Keith Olbermann tweets "If the author of that article is a holocaust denier, I repudiate him and what he wrote, and apologize for retweeting the link.""

    Maybe he should, I don't know, LOOK IT UP. Or offer an apology to Beck. I don't watch either of the two, but I'd watch Obly apologize to Beck just to watch his head pop.

  • sevo||

    Olbermann: "Mistakes were made."

  • MJ||

    "...Keith Olbermann (162,000 followers) links to a rambling blog post arguing that Anna Ardin, the Swedish feminist who accused Assange of rape, is an anti-Castro activist with connections to CIA front groups."

    Of course, only a CIA operative could possibly object to how Castro has ruled Cuba.

    This is an object lesson on why having sex with a feminsit is never a good idea.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'm appalled that there is a thread on the rape of a Swedish feminist and no one has seen fit to spoof a STEVE SMITH post yet.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    STEVE LIKE RAPING MANY THINGS. STEVE HEAD HURTS TO THINK OF RAPE WITH FEMINIST SCUM. STEVE WILL RAPE HIMSELF NOW TO MAKE PAIN IN HEAD GO AWAY.

  • Staffan Smithstrøm||

    Once, I engaged in consensual relations with this woman from my Womyn's Studies classes who had been my casual acquaintance for some time, and the both of us grew bored during intercourse. Upon further reflection, we both decided that our relations had become mutually nonconsensual; that is, we had been raped.

    Frightened by our insensitivity toward the many who suffer sexual violence (including ourselves!) throughout the world, we reported our findings to the local policepersons and were sentenced to prison. After the local prison closed at 5:00, we were allowed to leave. Many fellow Swedes followed our tweets throughout the experience, and we both felt encouraged by their support through a traumatic ordeal.

    I think I learned a lot from the experience -- what it is to look at things through the eyes of the victim. It's hard to imagine how many people are raped and experience similar horrors.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I wept.

  • Abdul||

    Best STEVE SMITH spoof ever.

  • ||

    I would just like to point out one thing.
    Just because someone is a bufoon and antisemite, does not mean that every word they speak is a lie.
    Not that I believe anything these tools say, but I prefer to have something other than "he's a poopoo head" as my justification for not believing them.

  • sevo||

    "Not that I believe anything these tools say, but I prefer to have something other than "he's a poopoo head" as my justification for not believing them."
    True. But when they (Olbermann in this case) base *their* arguments on reference to previously failed arguments of random buffoons and anti-semites, the resulting arguments are NWS.

  • Masturbatin' Pete||

    I cannot believe that Olbermann and pals managed to spin out an elaborate conspiracy theory without mentioning the Koch brothers.

    ...unless the Koch brothers got to Keith.

    We're through the looking glass, people.

  • ||

    We're through the looking glass, people.

    In other news Reason.com just got a big fat check from Soros.

  • ||

    One should remember that "Alexander Cockburn" and "neo-Communist agitprop" have become pretty much synonymous.

  • SIV||

    Hey! I miss your old blog. Hope you are doing well.

  • ||

    Why let the truth intervene when one can defend Assange and blame Washington in one fell swoop?

    Wait what?!?!

    I thought Olberman was pro-Washington.

    This shit needs to stop or it will break the internet.

  • sevo||

    Maybe Olbermann's head will implode from the contradictions?

  • ||

    No, it will implode due to the vacuum within it.

  • JoshINHB||

    In summary

    Left wing television personalities and bloggers cite anti semitic holocaust deniers to defend internet douchebag that stole confidential communications from leftwing Obama regime, thereby proving the "Bush lied people died" meme was in fact a lie, accused of rape by Swedish feminist.

    The irony that this makes Bush look good is lost on them.

  • MemeGuy||

    Racist!

  • W||

    Grinning, "Say what?"

  • ||

    Assange should be grateful that he's not been let out. I for one would find great pleasure in reading in the morning paper that he was found in a dark wet alley being nibbled by rats with a CIA bullet in his brainpan.

  • Amakudari||

    The value of the Wikileaks cables is not in its content. It's about as worthwhile as reading a bank's internal emails; yes, they might be interesting and some things may raise a few eyebrows, but by and large they provide little insight and no smoking gun.

    The value of Wikileaks is that it's brought out the most rabid, paranoid opinions from both the right and the left.

    I for one would find great pleasure in reading in the morning paper that he was found in a dark wet alley being nibbled by rats with a CIA bullet in his brainpan.

    QED.

    People need to start taking deep breaths.

  • ||

    I think you're all overlooking the distinct possibility that these "leaks" have been coordinated by the US Gummint all along. That's why there's no real smoking gun. The CIA, et al, have staged the largest disinformation campaign in history, and the only people bothered about all of the leaks are a washed-up career political hack and scattered lefties.

    Wait until the REALLY GOOD STUFF gets leaked!

    (Caps used to denote extra veracity.)

  • boomshanka||

    They've only published, what, 1,000 out of 250,000 cables so far?

  • Will||

    All of this is pretty suspicious though. If you don't like the theory that she's CIA well then what's your theory because there's something going on. Anyone who claims there's not is the one who is really "unbelievably lunk-headed."

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    You want to know what's going on? A famous paranoid guy had sex with a feminist. She's pressing charges because she wants attention and also because there are very few male-female interactions that a feminist would not consider rape. The guy is blaming the CIA because he's paranoid. Olberman is backing the guy to keep his leftist cred alive. Embarrassingly, Olberman's referred to some 'journalism' from the far right while assuming that he was in safe far left territory instead. The lessons are:
    1. Olberman is still ridiculous.
    2. The far left and far right have merged over their common opinions about TEH JOOZ.
    3. Don't sleep with a feminist without an attorney present.

  • Will||

    Oh good, that's a relief. I thought maybe a man who had become a huge threat to the state was being atacked using common tactics that historically have often been used to shut people like him up.

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    No, he just had sex with a feminist. It happens.

  • Will||

    No, he is being attacked in a campaign to silence him. It happens.

    Several of my relatives were professionally killed when I was a child. All of this was headline news around the world. Many people connected to these people also died in accidents, committed suicide, disappeared or were otherwise silenced. I was aware of the way the world works from a very young age.

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    So where's the proof? I'm approaching this from an Occam's razor perspective. H&R had a post on a similar story about another famous guy who touched an attention-starved feminist's thigh:
    http://reason.com/blog/2004/02.....rying-wolf

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Olbermann's douchebaggery aside, didn't Assange himself say that the women's accusations were a setup orchestrated by enemies of Wikileaks? Doesn't make it true, of course, but maybe it's something that should be looked into.

    Regardless, I doubt Sweden is in the habit of issuing international arrest warrants for crimes that involve a fine at most. It's also hard to imagine that it's business as usual for the British police to run expensive manhunts to track down notorious foreign barebackers. Maybe, just maybe, there's more here than meets the eye?

  • Patriot Mike||

    Why does everyone spell 'the' 'teh'?

  • ||

    Thank you. I've been wondering the same thing.

  • I know...||

    It's da educated, PC way to spell "da".

  • sevo||

    It's a spoof on those who commonly type with the caps-lock on.
    An easy mistake to make and folks like that usually don't proof their copy in their rush to make the world aware of something or other.

  • Whoopi Goldberg||

    Well, unpretected sex isn't rape-rape.

  • Whoopi Goldberg||

    *unprotected

  • Ted Danson||

    Is blackface enough protection?

  • Bob Armstrong||

    It should not be glossed over or excused that there are a half dozen or so generally old men in prison in Europe for questioning one or another aspect of the "holocaust" .

  • ShwarmaImHummus||

    Sure but their rhetoric serves no place in intelligent discussion if they're seriously denying a well documented genocide that ravished their country. Creationism and Holocaust Denial are different eggs in the same basket.

  • Emperor wears no clothes||

    I'm confused. Are you suggesting creationists should also be in jail?

  • ShwarmaImHummus||

    No, you're deeply confused. I do not think Creationists or Holocaust Deniers should be in jail rather neither should be taken seriously when adults engage in intellectual discussion.

  • ||

    It's a good thing we can look to the history of the CIA to know that they would never do anything so skeevy as to try to smear someone like Assange with a charge that would totally discredit him.

    Their charges against him may very well be true, BUT it's fishy, no?

    And even if it is... do these leaks mean nothing to you? I thought you guys were libertarians here, not bootlickers.

  • d||

    Camille Paglia to Three Days of the Condor.

    I think you meant Ayn Rand who claimed all sex is rape. Paglia, most famous for 'Sexual Persona', examines sex from all aspects that I could imagine and more.

  • Roger Tucker||

    This is my first visit to 'Reason'. I was expecting, or at least hoping for, some rational, balanced thought, or at least a reasonable facsimile. I know Shamir - although I have some issues with him,he's an authentic, knowledgeable man. It is obvious from Mr. Moynihan's parroting of the idiotic malapropism "anti-semite (Shamir happens to be Jewish and he doesn't hate Arabic speakers, so he couldn't be an anti-semite in any case), not to mention that only hopelessly programmed hacks talk about "holocaust deniers." Mr. Moynihan appears to be a run of the mill shabbas goy, hoping for some crumbs to fall from the Seder table. I guess this is the last time I'll see "Reason."

    Roger Tucker
    A non-tribal Jew

  • sevo||

    "only hopelessly programmed hacks talk about "holocaust deniers.""
    Of course! They really don't exist; they're just hack fantasies!
    Sniff, sniff. Yep, stinks.

    "I guess this is the last time I'll see "Reason."
    It's probably the first time you ever saw reason, but don't let the door hit you in the ass.

  • Hooha||

    Ooh, 'reason' in scare-quotes! Drink!

  • ||

    "spittle-flecked anti-Semite and Holocaust denier"

    Oh noes! He questions the narrative! Quick, somebody smear him!

    What exactly does that have to do with Olbermann, Assange, or the price of tea in China?

  • ShwarmaImHummus||

    Probably because it raises questions of sanity and credibility.

  • Hamid||

    You play the same game yourself, only you do it even more slyly (relying on prejudices likely to be swallowed readily by your readership).

    You misrepresent (or, libel) Israel Shamir and his writings and his arguments (Yes, even the "holocaust denial" and the "blood-libel defense". Readers should look into Shamir themselves, with an open mind. Try Norman Finkelsein to help remove the Pro-fascist cobwebs). You snipe that Shamir says Zundel is a political prisoner. If you believed in reason and liberty, and weren't simply jerking your knee for Zionism like everybody and their uncle, you would too. Zundel speaks unpopular and controversial things. THAT is his "crime." His horrid neo-nazi affiliations should be irrelevant to this. His horrid neo-nazi affiliations WOULD be irrelevant to a libertarian defending Zundel's free speech rights. That is childishly obvious. Conventional wisdom would suggest Reason magazine would champion free speech. But conventional wisdom doesn't know that Reason's right wing commitments are much more potent.

    You cite Ann Ardin's supposed left-wing credentials uncritically. Is it possible a CIA- or other intelligence ageny-connected operative might fake leftism? Duh! Is it possible Ladies in White could receive accolades from the west AND be linked to the CIA and a CIA terrorist? Duh!

    By the way, my name is not really Hamid. I bet a few of you thought "Of course an Arab would think like this." Isn't that anti-semitic?

  • ShwarmaImHummus||

    After reading your post, I didn't think you were an Arab...I thought you were an idiot. You seem to be confusing freedom of speech with freedom from consequence. Neo-nazi affiliation are entirely logically relevant when they raise questions of credibility and motive of the speaker. Speaking of credibility, I would encourage readers to take an author with a grain of salt that seems of incapable of even discussing their background honestly...like "Israel Shamir" or "Joran Van Der Sloot" or whatever he's going by these days. If you're going to be in the business of defending anti-Semetic Holocaust deniers then you'll be taken as seriously as the sandwich board pontificator screaming "The End is Nigh!"

  • Hamid||

    Regarding the vastness of anti-semitism: I believe it is in fact highly anti-semitic of Palestinian civilians to die bleeding in view of journalists and photographers.

  • ShwarmaImHummus||

    Thanks to Hamas which also happens to be fueled on anti-Semitism and Iranian financing.

  • Hamid||

  • Emperor wears no clothes||

    As a Canadian, I can tell anyone reading this that I - and probably 100% of the people not related to him - had ever heard of Ernst Zundel before the nannycrats put him in the thought-crime star chamber.
    I'd like to meet someone - anyone - who actually suffered from his "crime."

  • ShwarmaImHummus||

    Someone must have thrown up the bat signal (probably in the shape of a swatstika) to SOS the Holocaust deniers. lol. I wonder if these same people also question the moon landing, evolution, and 9/11. Welcome to Reason.com, where stupid comes to die.

  • ||

    Michael, thanks for this article, I've enjoyed throwing it at conspiracy theorists. However, I think that when you say

    "it seems likely that he’s a victim of both an overzealous Swedish prosecutor and a culture that embraces an exceptionally broad definition of sexual assault."

    ...it seems that you (unintentionally) support what you claim to attack, which is the automatic invalidation of a sexual assault claim based on the fact that it was 'probably' some CIA setup.

    Shamir's whole article exists to invalidate the sexual assault. I think what you end up doing in this article is saying "Oh, scary man's CIA conspiracy theory is bad and evil, but nice rational man's hunch that it's CIA, that still invalidates the rape claims, is OK."

    You should really look into that claim about Sweden having a culture of "exceptionally broad definitions of sexual assault." I'd be happy to point you to a number of blog posts that credibly dissect this. It's a bullshit claim, what Assange is accused of doing would definitely feel like assault or rape if it was done to you or me, and the CIA thing is invented in part so we can all feel comfortable with thinking "Assange, the pure hero of Wikileaks."

  • Frank||

    I don't know about you lot, but I'm glad someone is looking to blame Jews for this. They always get off too easy.

  • ||

    Let me get this small item straight: you think Assange should be defended while spilling American secrets that place our soldiers and our nation in great jeopardy but you think Posada-Carriles is "vile"? Posada-Carriles has acted beyond what others would do, extreme is a good word and I do not condone his wasted efforts, but what would you do if your country that you love (I'm assuming that you love your country, but that's a big stretch) was over-taken by tyranny and honest citizens are being killed and tortured for wanting to live free, not in a collectivism State.... What would a libertarian do to defend his country? What did early colonial Americans do in order to be free from the British? The British were not such bad rulers, compared to the tyrants in Cuba. Americans were mad about taxes and diminishing liberties. In Cuba people are being murdered and tortured for their religious views and their desire to be free of collectivism and their desire for free enterprise. What sort of calm --non-extreme-- reaction does that merrit? Please, do tell.

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  • wubai||

    How about mbt kisumu sandals this one: there are X driving deaths a year- what % of driving deaths (or serious injuries) involve alcohol, or other intoxicating substances? kisumu 2 People are pretty darn good drivers when they are not impaired.

  • jiusuan||

    good

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