The charges involve sexual encounters that two women say began as consensual but became nonconsensual after Mr. Assange was no longer using a condom. – New York Times

The Swedes may finally get a shot at their man compliments of unhinged rhetoric that has people targeting his reputation. Assange has been denied bail, with his extradition hearing set for December 14th. The Times is reporting that bail was guaranteed through “surety,” by Ken Loach, an English filmmaker, John Pilger, an Australian investigative reporter, and Jemima Khan, an English socialite and journalist, but to no avail.

In the United States there is no better way to attack a man than to impugn him on sexual assault charges, that is unless he’s a Republican. Now, it’s hard to figure out just what in the hell the charges are, but it looks like sex without a condom.

LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange surrendered to London police Tuesday to face a Swedish arrest warrant, the latest blow to an organization that faces legal, financial and technological challenges after releasing hundreds of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

[…] Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, has been accused by two women in Sweden. He faces rape and sexual molestation allegations in one case and sexual molestation and unlawful coercion in the other. Assange denies the allegations.

His British attorney Mark Stephens says the allegations stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex” last summer.

Now here’s where I’m going to sound profoundly anti-feminist to some. But any woman having sex with a man she can’t trust enough to keep a condom on has made a bad decision that’s her responsibility to swallow, so to speak. This conclusion is easy for me, because I have always believed that having sex with someone comes with responsibility on the woman’s part that includes a lot of gray area once everyone is naked. I’m obviously not talking about sudden and surprising violent sex that surprises you, which is assault; and I don’t think a condom surprise is assault. But “unlawful coercion” and “sexual molestation” charges when it’s pretty clear the sex was consensual? Then at some point it turned otherwise because Assange didn’t keep his condom promise and the woman didn’t know it until it was over… Well, that’s a risk inherent in consent with a man you don’t know well enough to trust.

Meanwhile, the attacks on Assange continue, the most ironic being Christopher Hitchens who blares in a Slate headline that Assange is an “unscrupulous megalomaniac with a political agenda.”

If you prefer your op-eds mixed with facts read The Economist or Wired’s editor-in-chief:

The greatest threat we face right now from Wikileaks is not the information it has spilled and may spill in the future, but the reactionary response to it that’s building in the United States that promises to repudiate the rule of law and our free speech traditions, if left unchecked.

It’s toxic and a lot more challenging to have a free speech and transparency discussion when the man at the center of it has sex offender hovering over his name.

That’s the point.