WIKILEAKS FRONT MAN and founder Julian Assange is likely to be seen as the UK's first political prisoner since Mahatma Gandhi, now that he is in custody on dubious charges of rape and molestation under an Interpol arrest alert based upon an extradition warrant issued by Sweden, a country that apparently might have its own reasons to want to silence Wikileaks.
Despite having been in the UK for some time, having employed a UK lawyer, having been in contact with the police for months and having the money to pay for a substantial bail bond plus sureties offered by others, the court has taken a hard line and disallowed bail. Where there are rape allegations bail is rarely given and this is one reason that is said to be behind the lack of bail having been granted in this case.
According to The Guardian, the Swedish prosecutor claims that the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Assange are not part of a plot to silence Wikileaks, but the question remains, if that is so then why was nothing done for months?
Extraditing Assange will not be just a formality, because in August Swedish prosecutors had cancelled an arrest warrant for Assange relating to two accusations of rape and molestation, saying at the time that he was no longer suspected of a criminal offence. Then, they later resurrected the charges after the intervention of a right-wing Swedish politician.
On the BBC's Newsnight programme, Assange's laywer Mark Stephens said that they had been in contact with the Swedish authorities since August to try to get clarification about what the allegations were so Assange could answer questions. They had no success, Stephens said.
It is only after the damaging leaks of secret US State Department cables that have shown, among other things, that US diplomats were ordered to spy on other United Nations members, that the Swedish government has acted.
With only a few hundred cables having been released so far out of around 250,000, the Swedish government is probably getting worried because it has 500 troops stationed in Afghanistan.
Cables have already shown that US and Afghan officials thought the British army's performance in Afghanistan's Helmand province was woeful. British forces' effectiveness in Afghanistan was no doubt undermined by the former Labour government's inadequate provisions of equipment, supply and intelligence resources. As far as Tony Blair was probably concerned, it was simply enough to just send some troops.
Is this ludicrous manhunt coordinated by a worldwide ruling cabal that orchestrates world events for its own ends? No, sadly these are merely the stupid self-serving actions of a handful of politicians who think that going after Assange will silence Wikileaks and all of the people who are supporting the organisation. We think that they will soon find out that they are very much mistaken.
After the public relations disaster that has been the so-called War on Terror, the Assange extradition fiasco is going to give authoritarian regimes the world over an excuse to say, look, the West is really just like us, too. And the worst thing is that they will be correct. µ
Another week of Google news in brief
It was nice knowing you, sort of
Third time unlucky
Customers are unable to make payments or transfer money