Pollitt on Assange
"WikiLeaks is revealing information citizens need to know—it's a good thing. Assange may or may not have committed sex crimes according to Swedish law. Why is it so hard to hold those two ideas at once?" ~ Katha PollittPollitt, of course, is correct. And as she also notes, there is a real possibility that the prosecution of Assange is being pressed as assiduously as it is for political reasons. There are after all, well documented pressures from both the U.S. government and individual commentators to retaliate against Assange specifically and Wikileaks generally.
All that in no way means he should not have his day in court; or, that his accusers, should not have theirs. (By that I mean that both parties in what is an adversarial process should be able to avail themselves of all their legal options.) But - and here Pollitt is off the mark - it is a mistake to draw an analogy between Assange and Roman Polanski, who also has fought extradition in a rape case. After all, Polanski confessed to drugging and raping a 13 year old. In that sense, he has had his day in court. And, of course, Assange's accusers are both adults. In a complicated case like this it is important not to inflame issues by making far fetched comparisons. Pollitt is typically much more careful than that.
Not only that, but not all Assange's defenders are easily characterized as clueless men. He has had his thoughtful defenders too. It turns out to be pretty complicated (not impossible) to keep all the balls in the air on this matter.