August 21st, 2010
08:38 AM ET

Is Assange the target of a U.S. smear campaign?

[Update 11:30 a.m.] Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is "no longer wanted" and "is not suspected of rape," Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne said in a statement published by the Swedish prosecutor's website Saturday.

[Original post] Reports of criminal accusations against  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange brought instant suspicion of a U.S. government-led smear campaign.

Assange, a citizen of Australia, has been accused in Sweden of rape and molestation, or harassment, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.

Read a rough Google translation of the Expressen report.

WikiLeaks recently published tens of thousands of U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan and has said it is preparing to publish another batch of 15,000 documents soon.

"We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks.' Now we have the first one," WikiLeaks' Twitter page said Saturday.

Blogger Alexander Higgins said the U.S. government "has truly grown into an Orwellian Big Brother regime."

According to the London-based tech blog Thinq, Assange "has become the focus of a smear campaign in what appears to be [an] effort to pile pressure on the whistle-blower ahead of the expected publication of thousands more classified US military documents. The documents are likely to lift the lid on more atrocities committed by forces in Afghanistan in the polluted name of freedom."

The publication OneIndia called the report "a suspicious development that seems to be a smear campaign against Assange."

Twitter user Deanzoz remarked, "Assange charged with rape. Pretty unusual approach from the CIA – they usually just shoot people in the head."

However, some think the accusations could be legitimate.

A commenter called Chips on the Somethingawful forum wrote: "If it's a smear, it's a superb smear given how simple and compelling it is and how creepy Julian Assange is."

Follow this developing story at CNN.com.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Crime • Google • National security • Sweden • Twitter • WikiLeaks
soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. kevin michael

    ...or it could be a feeler, hurt some guy whom is well known and see if it sticks, if the US had anything to do with it, then i tend to think it was to monitor the effect it had. Also there are thousands of copies that have been downloaded of the rest of the stuff which is encrypted, and is freely downloadable at the Wikileaks site. (1.8 gig). If anything untoward happens to anyone connected to Wikileaks the password is emailed to these people, and the US DOD already has the file and the passwords. They were given them by Wikileaks.

    August 22, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. 4 more

    4 troops just died in Eastern Afghanistan and guess what, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WIKILEAKS.

    August 22, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • KidCreole

      And just how would you know that????? Idiot.

      August 23, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. canada

    the Swedish Prosecutor's office says 'there were no mistakes made"...what??!!! rofl

    August 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sam Stone

    Funny, somewhat similarly scandalous charges were made against Scott Ritter and nothing came of it.

    August 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alan Bickley

    Does Gene Hamilton know the law on treason? Apparently not. Assange owes no allegiance to the United States, so he cannot be guilty of treason under US law. He does not seem to have offended the government of Australia, the country of which he is a citizen. More to the point, who has been killed because of what Wikileaks has revealed?

    August 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. KidCreole

    Did Assange color his hair?

    August 23, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. JR - FROM SWEDEN

    You can read about the idiot here:

    http://www.skandinaviflorida.com/web/sif.nsf

    August 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. victor Enyutin

    Three articles on the topic of torture
    concentrate on the psychological and socio-political aspects of legalization and legitimization of torture in the US of 21st century.
    The first article on torture combined with the analysis of Max Beckmann’s painting “The Night” (1918 – 1919) – “The Night, Abu Ghraib and Symbolism of Torture” (posted on July 6, 2009), analyzes the psychological effects of torture on the population and on the torturers themselves. The second article – “Bush Jr.’s ‘Exterminating Angels: The Torture Lawyers – Gonzales, Bybee, Yoo” (posted on Sept. 11, 2009), is dedicated to the psychology of “torture lawyers” (people who produced the legal text justifying the use of torture) interprets torture lawyers’ faces as we see them on their photographs, and analyzes psychologically three positions toward torture (that of pro-torture-, a-torture- and anti-torture Americans). The third article – “The Triumph of Torture in U.S, and the Turtle-Democrats” (posted on Nov. 21, 2009), tries to understand the political situation and its psychological environment (including the psychological condition of the leading members of Bush-administration) – around the time of legalization of torture.
    Visit http://www.actingoutpolitics.com to see these and enjoy other articles analyzing psychology of political behavior, intellectual films and works of serious paintings and sculptures.
    By Victor

    September 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Keratin Hair Treatment

    hot tubs with ceramic heaters are the best and they are safer to use too because the heating element is fully enclosed -*,

    November 17, 2010 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. atomant

    "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Even the US has a day of reckoning, everybody in Washington now and before are about to be exposed.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. anon

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ElC8H5jRBU&w=640&h=390]

    December 1, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. geral

    Purveyors of truth are perennially hunted by the *assassins who are exposed by universally recognized compelling revelation. *usa-the assassins' nation
    -------------
    usa- the assassins' nation seeks to divide & conquer all nations and all peoples.

    Regarding the leaks,

    Well, USA-if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear from the
    T R U T H.
    Be Set Free by admitting to ongoing & insufferable crimes against
    H U M A N I T Y .

    http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/part4-worldinabo.html

    questions!
    GERAL SOSBEE(956)536-3103

    December 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
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