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

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

    It's great watching Obama's supporters turning against him.
    I love it.

    And if you don't believe Obama had knowledge of this then you're drinking more kool-aid then anyone thought possible.
    This is the death knoll of the democratic majority.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JAZZ

      How stupid can you be?????????

      August 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jflange

    What a joke. Pathetic and obvious attempt at a smear. Embarrassing.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Edward

    Only Americans are dumb enough to buy that line of baloney!

    August 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JAZZ

    How do any of you know that this is not just some individual that does not like this guy? Becuase it could benefit the U>S> Government does not mean it was them that did this. Besides I think they would have done a well enough job that he would be in jail already.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Some Individual

      I know. I am that individual. Julian Assange molested me when I was in middle school in Denmark.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Omnipotent Obama

    I know! People don't understand just how much power Obama has, and that the entire military and intelligence communities are filled with mindless puppets who have no opinion or ability to function independently.

    Obama totally made that guy at the coffee shop this morning drop my bagel just because I voted for Sarah Palin. WHEN WILL THIS ABUSE OF POWER END???

    August 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmarterHuman

      I bet you ate that bagel anyway, bugs, short curly hairs and all...

      August 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kindbud

    Really need to see this accuser and hear her story before i start making links between the 2. Its VERY possible its a completely separate incident, just the timing makes it coincidental. Its dumb to just assume its the US government right now even if their agencies can be very underhanded.

    IF it is the US government this is beyond acceptable, but i really am leaning towards coincidence.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. themoops

    Since when is Somethingawful a news source? I guess soon we'll be seeing CNN reporting "This just in: an anonymous user on 4chan's /b/ board said..."

    August 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Darla

    OK I do not like this guy or his Wikileaks but this is truly a pathetic CIA or some other covert group doing this??? I don't know? Can we not get the guy on something legitimate like reckless endangerment?
    What we need is a set of rules of play on the Internet agreed to Internationally. The penalty for failure to follow the rules would be to force the host to take down the site of offenders.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MOORS

    CNN really should use the Onion more, because they're America's Finest News Source.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Edward

    I love all the paid republican bloggers who inhabit these forums, trying to act like they are representing "the people"

    August 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. gmh6419

    Is he the target of a smear campaign. I HOPE SO

    August 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John T


    August 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RothRock

    Manufactured truth as well as lies.Actual discernment is only available to an eye witness and even he/she/whatever can be made to see different with the proper fabricated encouragement.The truth can set you free and get you killed. You want to tell the truth do you?Well I got some pictures of you from two decades ago with a goat and a couple underage kids,etc etc etc.Oh and we also found a psychiatrist you seen in Canada but he's since passed,But we have his records where you said quote: World fatigue is really getting to you were wishing you could destroy the people and all the animals too.A theme we can all despise on a International villain level.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh yeah?

      Well I've got pictures from THREE decades ago of you with an underage goat. Etc x FIVE.

      OH SNAP.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John T

    Now that would be a leak worth leaking!
    A list of the paid bloggers and money paid to them by the GOP.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Calahan

    See this is what is wrong with America. Everyone blames the other side. We have no middle ground. We have extremist who brainwash us. That is Democrats and Republicans. What people in America need to do is wake up and see that the government is out for themselves. I am saying we need to have a system with multiple parties who express the peoples ideas rather then the Washington elite. Republicans and Democrats a like. It is time the American people take back their government.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
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