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1 December 2010

Wikileaks No Excuse for Violent Assault

The virtues Wikileaks should not obscure a just and prompt handling of the sexual allegations against Julian Assange.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority has been abusively delinquent in advancing a case against Julian Assange for sexual offenses. Presume him innocent until proven guilty.

Assange's claims of consensual sex ring hollow for they are habitually used by offenders to excuse their aggression against sexual victims. So too for the Swedish Prosecution Authority's delinquency in prompt justice and smear campaign of Assange which is an assault of the powerful against the weak.

Calls for the death of Assange presage violent assaults deserving prosecution and condemnation.

Violent assault against the weak is a more important issue than battling official secrecy and deserves priority. In particular men, women and nations should guard against prejudice in excusing assault and demonizing alleged victims. These are ingrained dominant-male-and-female excuses for violence against the weak. Narcissists are virulent practitioners of blaiming their victims, become enraged if resisted and indignant when caught.

Nations, governments and authoritatives are narcissitic in their dominant-male-and-female defenses for national security and perquisite-protection aggressions. Violent assaults by individuals are inexcusible and moreso for military, diplomatic and justice prime offenders.

This from a still-testosterone-driven Department of Defense description of sexual assault and appropriate responses as a parable for all forms of dominant-male-and-female-and-national aggressions:

Department of Defense
Directive 6495.01
October 6, 2005
Incorporating Change 1, November 7, 2008

E2.1.13. Sexual Assault. For the purpose of this Directive and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program awareness training and education, the term “sexual assault” is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy (oral or anal sex), and other unwanted sexual contact that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts. “Consent” means words or overt acts indicating a freely given agreement to the sexual conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of lack of consent through words or conduct means there is no consent. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the accused’s use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating relationship by itself or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the sexual conduct at issue shall not constitute consent. ...

E3.1.4. The Department of Defense is committed to ensuring victims of sexual assault are protected, treated with dignity and respect, and provided support, advocacy and care. DoD policy also strongly supports effective command awareness and prevention programs, as well as law enforcement and criminal justice procedures that enable persons to be held accountable for their actions, which includes appropriate criminal dispositions for sexual assault. To achieve these dual objectives, DoD policy prefers complete reporting of sexual assaults to activate both victims’ services and accountability actions. However, recognizing a mandate of complete reporting may represent a barrier for victims to access services when the victim desires no command or law enforcement involvement, there is a need to provide an option for confidential restricted reporting.

E3.1.5. Assuring privacy and providing a confidential disclosure option for sexual assault victims is critical to discharging the military’s commitment to providing care and support for victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault is one of the most under-reported violent crimes in our society and in the military. Although the victim’s decision to report is a crucial step following a sexual assault, reporting is often precluded by the victim’s desire for no one to know what happened. The Commanders have a responsibility to ensure community safety and due process of law, but they must also recognize the importance of protecting the privacy of victims under their command. Subject matter experts agree that a system which promotes privacy and confidentiality can have a positive impact in bringing victims forward to provide information about being assaulted.

E3.1.6. Recognizing these DoD interests as a matter of DoD policy, Service members who are sexually assaulted will now have the following reporting options:

E3.1.6.1. Unrestricted Reporting. A Service member who is sexually assaulted and desires medical treatment, counseling, and an official investigation of his or her allegation should use existing reporting channels (e.g., chain of command, law enforcement, or report the incident to the SARC). When notified of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign a VA. Additionally, at the victim’s discretion or request, the healthcare provider shall arrange a SAFE (see paragraph E2.1.13.) to be conducted, which may include the collection of evidence. Details regarding the incident will be limited to only those personnel who have a legitimate need to know.

E3.1.6.2. Restricted Reporting. Restricted reporting allows a sexual assault victim to confidentially disclose the details of his or her assault to specified individuals and receive medical treatment and counseling, without triggering the official investigative process. Service members who are sexually assaulted and desire restricted reporting under this policy may only report the assault to the SARC, Victim Assistant (VA), or healthcare personnel (HCP). However, consistent with current policy, they may also report the assault to a chaplain. Although a report to a chaplain is not a restricted report under this policy or the provisions of this Directive, it is a communication that may be protected under the Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) or applicable statutes and regulations. The restricted reporting process does not affect any privilege recognized under the MRE. This Directive and its policy on restricted reporting is in addition to the current protections afforded privileged communications with a chaplain, and does not alter or affect those protections.

E3. Healthcare personnel will initiate the appropriate care and treatment, and report the sexual assault to the SARC instead of reporting the assault to law enforcement or the command. When notified of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign a VA. The assigned VA will provide the victim accurate information on the reporting process, including both restricted and unrestricted reporting procedures. Additionally, at the victim’s discretion or request, the healthcare provider, if appropriately trained and/or supervised, shall conduct a SAFE, which may include the collection of evidence. If the healthcare provider is not appropriately trained to conduct a SAFE, the healthcare provider shall help arrange for a properly-trained DoD healthcare provider, if available. In the absence of a DoD healthcare provider, the victim will be appropriately referred to a non-DoD healthcare provider for the SAFE. When SAFE is performed at local civilian medical facilities, those facilities are bound by State and local laws, which may require reporting the sexual assault. The victim will acknowledge, in writing, his or her understanding of restricted reporting, the exceptions to, and limitations on, restricted reporting. This acknowledgement will also include the victim’s understanding that restricted reporting may limit the ability of the Government to prosecute the assailant and an understanding of the reasons DoD policy favors unrestricted reporting.