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struggle4progress's Journal
struggle4progress's Journal
February 9, 2014

It certainly squelches the "whistle-blower" defense, if Snowden was automatically

finding and downloading 550K+ documents/month during his short stint in Hawaii: it works out to an average of about 12 documents per minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, week after week after week

And how many of those documents could he have actually read?

There are 168 hours in a week, and he's gonna spend about 8 hrs/night asleep, leaving 112 hours. He also had a fulltime job, which leaves him about 70 hours, if we count (say) a fifteen minute one-way commute. Basic needs (dressing, showering and shaving and eating, &c) must chop the total down to perhaps 60 hours. He has to have clean clothes, grocery shop and cook and clean-up or grab take-out, gas the car, &c): say (generously) that leaves him about 55 hours. And there's the relationship with the girlfriend, who claims she didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, so beyond snoring beside her and maybe chatting while he gets ready for work or over meals, he's got to spend some quality time with her: watching TV or going to the movies with her, attending her performances, honey-do and other relationship maintenance: say that leaves him about 45 hours/week -- or 6 hours a day

In all he's got about 550 hours to review 1.7 million documents -- which works out to reviewing an impossible 50+ documents a minute. Of course, he didn't do that: he probably did mechanized searches of his downloaded collection: but let's ignore the time spent thinking up search criteria and programming the searches. At best, he'll skim about a document a minute visually -- and nobody can keep that up for 6 hours without becoming mentally exhausted: I'd guess the long-term average can't really be much better than 30 documents an hour, which puts him below 17K documents receiving even cursory examination

The conclusion is that Snowden glanced at no more than 1% of his download

January 16, 2014

Former Swedish prosecutor Rolf Hillegren says it's time for Sweden to drop the Assange case

Dags för Sverige att avsluta fallet Assange

Five years ago, Swedish prosecutor Rolf Hillegren exhibited his heroic side by sharing with the world his opinion that most rapes aren't criminal acts but are more like mere regulatory offenses:

Fascist authoritarians, like Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde, were naturally outraged: Sunde, in a fit of pique, even reported Hillegren to the ombudsman for Swedish Justice! Nevertheless, Hillegren has maintained this heroic stance in the years since. In 2011, he reiterated his concern that emphasizing "consent" in rape cases would merely increase the conviction rate:

På senare år har det förts en intensiv kamp av motståndare till sans och förnuft inom sexualbrottslagstiftningen ... Deras kamp har varit så framgångsrik att vi nu har en del märkliga inslag i lagstiftningen, som exempelvis våldtäkt utan våld beroende på en olycklig fixering vid själva våldtäktsbegreppet ... För kampens främsta företrädare, Madeleine Leijonhufvud, är detta dock inget som generar. Hon pläderar (7/5) åter starkt för ytterligare en bisarr innovation på sexualbrottslagstiftningens område, nämligen införande av en samtyckesregel enligt ett aktuellt lagförslag ... Detta gör att få vettiga bedömare anser att det lagförslag som Leijonhufvud förespråkar skulle leda till fler fällande domar ... Ingen, allra minst presumtiva våldtäktsoffer, gagnas av onödiga lagar.

In recent years, there has been an intense opposition to sense and logic in sexual offenses legislation ... The opposition has been so successful that the law now has some remarkable features, such as rape without violence ... For .. Madeleine Leijonhufvud .. this is not embarrassing. She pleads .. for another bizarre innovation in sexual offenses legislation area, namely the introduction of a consent rule ... Sensible observers think that the bill Leijonhufvud advocates would lead to more convictions ... No one, least of all prospective rape victims, benefits from unnecessary laws.

Now everybody's hero is once again back in the news, demanding that Sweden should drop the charges against Assange. It is easy to see how this demand fits into Hillegren's general views: when deciding Sweden's extradition request in 2011, the UK magistrate at Belmarsh discussed the allegations in the warrant for Assange's arrest:

Assessing these allegations using Hillegren's 2009 theory of rape, we see that the supposed behavior does involve "a man and a woman who know each other," and that it is even a case in which "the man just goes ahead anyway," somehow neglecting to obtain consent -- which (by Hillegren's theory) is "not very nice" but perhaps "not worth two years in prison." And now, in his most recent foray into sex-crimes law, Hillegren offers this new and brilliant solution of the Assange stand-off:

Jo, riksåklagaren bör på eget initiativ (ex officio) upphäva beslutet om återupptagande av förundersökningen, häva häktningsbeslutet och återkalla arresteringsordern. Nu kanske någon invänder att ett så radikalt förfarande skulle göra det omöjligt för de båda kvinnorna att få sin sak som målsägande prövad. Även på den punkten får man tänka sig en okonventionell lösning. Staten bör därför av nåd (ex gratia) betala ut det skadestånd som kunde blivit aktuellt om Assange åtalats och dömts för de brott han varit häktad. Därmed borde man rimligen kunna undvika eventuella påståenden om att kvinnorna blivit åsidosatta av rättsväsendet. Denna lösning är tilltalande inte minst med tanke på statens ansvar för den uppkomna situationen och det faktum att kvinnorna oförskyllt lidit en stor publicitetsskada ... Och Assange skulle kunna lämna ambassaden som en fri man och slippa att tillbringa de närmaste 27 åren där.

... the Prosecutor should .. reverse the decision to reopen the investigation, revoke the detention order and withdraw the arrest warrant. Now someone might say that such a radical procedure would make it impossible for the two women to present their case as plaintiffs ... The state should therefore .. pay the damages that would be relevant if Assange had been prosecuted and convicted ... This would avoid any allegations that the women had been sidelined by the judiciary. This solution is appealing, not least in view of the State's responsibility for the situation ... And Assange could leave the embassy as a free man and not have to spend the next 27 years there.

Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, let's restate Hillegren's theory of sex-crimes: a man, who has sex with a woman he knows, without first obtaining consent, because the woman was thoughtlessly asleep when the man wanted sex, ought not be prosecuted, though if the woman feels injured by the occurrence then the state ought to pay her whatever damages she might have obtained from the man in a lawsuit, because the whole fuck-up is obviously the state's fault

Hillegren, unfortunately, is no longer a prosecutor in Sweden. It's unclear exactly why: perhaps he was hounded from office by a vicious conspiracy involving the US government, Karl Rove, and the Revolutionary Saudi Arabian Feminists of Sweden
January 4, 2014

Ballad of Harry Moore

January 2, 2014

When the train come along

January 2, 2014

Go Down Old Hannah

January 2, 2014

Poor Boy

January 2, 2014

Lament For Barney Graham

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