Julian Assange has been arrested on those Swedish rape charges. Does this mean we can expect him to release that "poison pill"? The Daily Mail reported days ago that Assange would "release poison pill of damaging secrets if killed or arrested." CNN says it's been called a "doomsday file," and Assange calls it his insurance. It's an encrypted file that you need a password to open, and Wikileaks may publish the password online since its founder has been arrested. CNN's expert calls it a form of blackmail and figures governments everywhere have supercomputers working constantly to crack the code.
So, here we are. The New York Times reports that a British court has denied bail to the infamous Wikileaks founder, and Assange says he will fight extradition to Sweden. According to Foreign Policy, he turned himself in at a London police station. The Guardian says "Assange denies the allegations, which stem from a visit to Sweden in August."
Assange's Wikileaks colleagues said via Twitter that they won't be stopped:
“Today’s actions against our editor-in-chief Julian Assange won’t affect our operations: we will release more cables tonight as normal."My conservative streak comes out with this story. I don't think it's wise to have all aspects of government completely transparent, and so, I can't support Assange without understanding more about how his group decides to release information and why.
Being anti-secrets is not enough. Discretion is necessary when lives are on the line. However, has Assange published anything yet that truly endangers lives? As I've said before, the Pentagon says he has, but I add now that government objections may be based on fear that he eventually will get someone killed not that he's already done anything that could have that end result. And so, if he hasn't done that yet, then is it legal to prosecute him for information dissemination?
These rape charges are awfully convenient aren't they? It feels like various governments are fabricating information and are willing to invent new definitions of crime, as some say the U.S. may be doing, just to get him.
Assange has his supporters. The headline on an opinion piece at an Australian newspaper reads, "Don't shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths."
And Demand Progress has launched a campaign to Save Julian Assange: Don't outlaw WikiLeaks! They object to Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT-I) and other lawmakers introducing a bill that would make it a federal crime to publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source. It's called the SHIELD act (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination). I've got to agree that this bill sounds pretty scary. It's in direct opposition to Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Speech.
As said before, Assange denies the rape allegations.
I ended my last post on Wikileaks and Assange saying, "Let's hope for Assange's sake, he doesn't meet (Bellatrix) Lestrange's fate." It's the similarities of how their last names sound that started me down this path and speculation about whether a sinister force stands behind Assange. Fans of the Harry Potter series know that Bellatrix, an extreme follower of Lord Voldemort, was sentenced to life in prison at Azkaban, later broke out, but was eventually killed in battle.