Category Archives: Murder

Brendan Dassey to be released – a decade too late, though

A Swede nowadays is not in the least entitled to criticize other countries’ judicial systems. We have our own legal scandal which severely affects a hero exercising his freedom of speech for the benefit of all people’s right to know what despicable or even criminal acts their rulers are engage in, acts that would have been kept secret were it not for his brave work that endangers his life and freedom. I refer to Julian Assange, of course.

Another name today is Brendan Dassey, a once young boy with learning disabilities, known to the world through the TV series “Making a Murderer”. He has become a world citizen, and that’s what gives me permission to comment on his case.

The young Brendan Dassey was 2007 convicted of the murder of Theresa Halbach, together with his uncle Steven Avery. For those who saw the touching and convincing documentary these names will be hard to forget.

What specifically is engraved in viewer’s memories is the perverse police interrogation of Brendan, a sickening exhibition of a technique which is capable of producing false confessions even from normal adults. The sequence is available on YouTube, and should be introduced into the curriculum in every police school.

It’s so glaringly obvious that the confused and absent-minded young boy was desperately trying to give interrogators the answers they wanted to hear, supposedly in the vain hope to be free to go home, something that was implicitly promised him. Instead he was in the end taken into custody, and from there to jail. The fact that a jury with twelve supposedly sane people could watch this totally rigged interrogation and still sentence the immature victim to life in prison is mind-boggling, to say the least.

Today we at last have some positive news. After Brendan has spent almost ten years in prison a federal judge with his head screwed on has finally concluded the obvious. Based on the facts that the interrogation was both illegal (no adult supporting the under-aged Brendan was present) and performed with improper techniques, the judge has ruled that Brendan shall be released. If prosecutors don’t bring him to trial again, Brendan will be released in 90 days.

With all its imperfections the US justice system has some bright spots. Now it’s time for the absurd Swedish prosecutor in the Assange case to exhibit an ounce of sane behavior, free herself from her political bias and stop acting like a US puppet. And do the perfectly obvious thing her bright female predecessor did: Drop the case!!!

Cultural mathematics – and other inadequate thinking

A couple of days ago the head of the editorial office for culture and arts in our prestigious paper Dagens Nyheter, Bjorn Wiman, drew attention to Russian journalists who suffer violence and murder. The column focused on the atrocities directed towards women, but the author made one small miscalculation. He claimed as a fact that “female journalists are particularly vulnerable to repression against independent media in Russia”.

As proof of this statement he pointed to a survey showing that female journalists have to endure threats and hatred on the Internet three times more often than their male colleagues. But in the next sentence he wrote that women constitute 80 percent of the journalists in Russia. In other words: if the attacks were distributed regardless of gender, one would expect women to be four times more affected than men, not just three times. Bottom line: male journalists are particularly vulnerable to repression in Russia.

Apart from this mishap in the text, it’s an important topic. There are way too many journalists murdered in Russia, and way too few attempts by western media to investigate and understand these deplorable events. One can’t avoid the suspicion that this obscurantism is intentional, opening for readers to intuitively believe that Putin lies behind it, after all.

When the almost daily mass shootings occur in the US, media is not just interested in the misdeed itself but also in the perpetrator’s background and motives. But when Russian criminals are brought to trial for murdering journalists, the western interest for them is low. The court proceedings are usually open to journalists, but anything substantial is seldom reported. It’s as if we want people to think that every such event is a show trial serving to send some scapegoats to prison to protect the real culprits higher up (accusations never accompanied by any evidence).

Anna Politkovskaya was murdered ten years ago. She had been very critical towards Putin over the war in Chechnya, and – ergo – Putin gave the orders for her assassination! That seems to be a widespread opinion in western circles. And yes, if Putin wanted to hurt himself to the maximum, that would be plausible. It suffices to see the damage done to Russia by this murder as it is. The Russian justice system, on the other hand, seems to have evidence that a Russian oligarch – Boris Berezovsky – hostile to Putin and living abroad, instigated the murder of Politkovskaya, which at least appeals to elementary common sense.

The most recent high-profile murder was that of Boris Nemtsov. Here the distinguished Dagens Nyheter openly speculated that Putin was responsible, and if that by any chance couldn’t be proved, still “his name will forever be tied to this murder”. This is our elevated defamation activities in action! The premise for that view – that Putin is stupid beyond the comprehensible – is something our propagandist perhaps are too stupid themselves to grasp (or more sinister: they expect their readers to be).

Looking for motives to murder Russian journalists one can’t avoid thinking about false flag operations. But there are evidently terrorists and loose cannons, with or without Chechnyan connection, enough to cause all kinds of problems. We don’t know very much about these subjects here, and it would call for some investigative journalism, had our media not been so definitely restricted to dumb propaganda whenever it comes to Russia.