|Sofia Wilen and Anna Ardin|
A toxic mix of political, legal, and media elites is driving the prosecution in Sweden of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange--apparently with a helping hand from U.S. political guru Karl Rove.
We already have reported on Rove's ties to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and noted similarities between the Assange case and the political prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.
A source who is deeply familiar with Rove's history on the international stage has studied the Assange matter and found that it likely goes beyond the Rove/Reinfeldt alliance. Sweden, our source says, is a small country where the government, legal, and media communities are intertwined. The country is known for its neutrality and strong record on human rights. But our source says the incestuous nature of Swedish elites--and the country's burgeoning right wing--formed a perfect storm that helped create the peculiar sex-related charges against Assange.
Who are the players in this perfect storm? Here is how our source presents them:
* The Accusers--The women who have alleged that Assange committed sexual crimes, under Swedish law, are Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen. Our source says Ardin has a background in the foreign service and has spent time at the U.S. Embassy in Washington, D.C., and worked as a spy in Cuba. She has ties to the Swedish media and apparently has left the country for the Palestinian West Bank. Little is known about Wilen, other than that she is an aspiring photographer. Numerous Web sites have reported that the two women bragged about their encounters with Assange before going to the police.
* The Lawyers--The women are represented by the Stockholm law firm of Borgstrom and Bodstrom. Claes Borgstrom has been out front in the Assange case. His partner, Thomas Bodstrom, is former justice minister of Sweden and is the author of several novels in the legal-thriller genre. He has been called the "John Grisham of Sweden" and reportedly has moved with his family to Virginia.
* The Media Empire--The Assange story has been largely driven by the Swedish newspaper Expressen, and several reports indicate law-enforcement officials regularly are leaking information about the case to the paper. Expressen is owned by Bonnier AB, which is one of the 10 largest media companies in the world. The company is controlled by the Bonnier family, which has German Jewish roots. Our source says one family member serves as Sweden's ambassador to Israel. Bonnier AB controls numerous magazine titles that are familiar to U.S. audiences, including Popular Science, Outdoor Life, Field and Stream, and Parenting.
How do all of these pieces fit together? Our source spells it out:
* Anna Ardin has written op-ed pieces for a newspaper that is owned by Bonnier AB.
* Bonnier publishing concerns have produced all three of lawyer Thomas Bodstrom's books.
* Lawyer Claes Borgstrom has two sisters who have written books and newspaper articles for Bonnier companies.
* The Bonnier newspapers are described as maintaining a "centre-right" political profile. Their main competitor, Aftonbladet, is described as "social democratic." Our source says the Bonniers are neoconservative Jews, about as far to the right as one can get in Sweden.
* The Bonnier newspapers were highly critical of a 2009 Aftonbladet report that Israel had harvested the organs of Palestinians killed by the Israel Defense Force. Elisabet Borslin Bonnier, Swedish ambassador to Israel, broke with her own government in condemning the articles. The ambassador is a member of the Bonnier family, which owns Aftonbladet's competitors. An Israeli official later admitted that the stories essentially were true, that Israel indeed had, until the 1990s, harvested organs, especially corneas and skin, from the bodies of soldiers, Israeli civilians, Palestinians. and foreign workers, without getting consent from their families.
* When Karl Rove went to Sweden in 2008 to visit Timbro, a "free market" think tank, he was interviewed by TV4, which is owned by the Bonnier family.
The picture remains somewhat murky on the Julian Assange case. But our source says the WikiLeaks founder almost certainly walked into a well-planned trapped that was set by Swedish elites, with significant help from Karl Rove:
The Swedish government provides financial support to the press, and the largest media company in Sweden is Bonnier AB. That company happens to have many connections to the Borgstrom and Bodstrom law firm, which represents Julian Assange's accusers. Bonnier AB has numerous U.S. operations, and I feel certain Karl Rove is quite familiar with those. Plus, Bonnier AB has the largest circulation for a morning newspaper in Sweden, and Rove surely needed their help to get his candidate, Fredrik Reinfeldt, elected. I'm pretty sure the Bonnier family is well connected with the rich and powerful in New York and Washington circles, which probably helps explain how they were able to spring this trap on Julian Assange.