Assange and allies claim vast conspiracy as extradition fight hits home stretch
Two women in Sweden allege they were sexually assaulted by Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder. Assange and many supporters say they're part of a vast conspiracy against him.
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But no matter, Wikileaks – which Assange says is dedicated to something called "scientific journalism – is convinced. On May 29, its main Twitter account wrote: "Hillary Clinton and State Dept team arrive Stockholm June 3-4; 4 days after Assange extradition decision. Fanciful to think no discussion." The US says Ms. Clinton is heading to Sweden for a climate change conference and to discuss "a range of issues, including green energy, Internet freedom, Afghanistan and the Middle East" with Swedish leaders.Skip to next paragraph
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Yesterday, the group wrote in a statement: "The US, UK, Swedish and Australian governments are engaging in a coordinated effort to extradite its editor in chief Julian Assange to the United States, to face espionage charges for journalistic activities."
It's not just Assange's organization making this allegation. Yesterday Wikileaks' Twitter account quoted prominent left-wing journalist John Pilger approvingly as saying, "Swedish elite has forged sinister and obsequious links with Washington."
Mr. Pilger has been one of the self-appointed defenders of Assange. In an interview with Truthout this week he dismissed out of hand the allegations made against the Wikileaks supremo. "The attempt to extradite Assange is unjust and political," he said. How does he know this? "I have read almost every scrap of evidence in this case and it's clear, in terms of natural justice, that no crime was committed."
I don't know much about natural justice, but the evidence, such as it is, are the claims made by two women in Sweden to the authorities there, on the one hand, and Assange's public denials on the other. It's a classic she-said-she-said-he-said situation, and Assange has made every effort to avoid going to Sweden to formally present his side of the story for over a year-and-a-half now.
To be sure, the US government has made it clear that it considers Assange a danger and would love to prosecute the man if it can find evidence to support an indictment (the "foreign enemy combatant" dodge against presenting evidence in court isn't available in his case). And there are indications that they may eventually find a way.