So let’s get the facts and the timeline straight here.
In August, Julian Assange founder of WikiLeaks, has sexual encounters with 2 women. On November 28, WikiLeaks publishes millions of embarrassing diplomatic cables for public consumption. The United States, especially, is furious. Between November 29th and December 3rd, Sweden issues and corrects an arrest warrant for Assange, alleging rape, sexual molestation, and unlawful coercion. It should be noted that the warrant is for interrogation only. Assange hasn’t even been charged with any crime in Sweden yet! Within 24 hours of the warrant reaching Britain, where Assange had been hiding (but openly communicating with the media through his lawyer), Assange surrenders voluntarily to Scotland Yard.
Despite Assange’s full and open cooperation and communication to this point, British judge Howard Riddle denied Assange bail, saying that he had “substantial grounds” to believe Assange would not appear for his next hearing, slated for Dec. 14.
What? This whole things seems very fishy to me.
First of all, since when does suspicion of rape merit an international interrogation warrant and the cooperation of Interpol? Second, why the 3-month delay in filing for this warrant (between August, the time of the alleged crime and November)? And third, if Assange wasn’t going to show up on December 14th, he would never have made an appointment with the London Police in the first place. Who surrenders their freedom voluntarily to be arrested only to go on the lam after bail is granted?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this warrant has nothing to do with a sexual tryst and everything to do with the fact that he ruffled some major American feathers.
For the record, I think that the publishing of sensitive and secret diplomatic cables was a careless, irresponsible, reckless thing to do. It has the ability and the potential to compromise global security and empower terrorism, and for that, I hate what WikiLeaks did. But, there is no excuse for dishonesty and convenient charges. If the Americans (or any other country, for that matter) don’t want their judgements of other countries to be known, then they should refrain from making such judgements.
This smells like sour grapes, and that’s just rotten.