Is this really happening? Does anyone really believe the charges against the WikiLeaks frontman are unmotivated by WikiLeaks’ release of a heap of diplomatic cables? I mean honestly. On Nov 28, WikiLeaks begins releasing the cables. On Nov 30, Sweden requested that Interpol issue a “red notice” against Assange so they could question him about some alleged sex crimes. Stockholm’s chief prosecutor had previously quashed the warrant for his arrest. She said: “I am of the opinion that there is no reason to suspect that he has committed a rape.”
This is what Jemima Khan said on Saturday (guardian.co.uk, Saturday 11 December 2010 21.30 GMT), and I agree: “The timing of these rehashed allegations is highly suspicious, coinciding with the recent WikiLeaks revelations and reinvigorated by a rightwing Swedish politician. There are credible rumours that this is a holding charge while an indictment is being sought in secret for his arrest and extradition to the US. An accusation of rape is the ultimate gag. Until proved otherwise, Assange has done nothing illegal, yet he is behind bars.”
Naomi Wolf once said something like (I’m paraphrasing here): “I’ll keep speaking up about problems with our government until the first “disappearance” of a dissident colleague. Then I’ll shut up, for fear of “disappearing” myself.” A show trial (for sex crimes, in particular) of someone working for greater transparency in government is a good way to show people what happens to you if you speak up.
Of course, the charges against Assange might be genuine, and completely unrelated to Cablegate, or WikiLeaks in general. Unlikely, I think, but possible. But if that were the case, why aren’t other sex offenders pursued with the same vigour? Probably because they didn’t also promote greater transparency in government.
Here are some websites for more info:
Watch Julian Assange being interviewed on TED.