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Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested in London

After receiving an arrest warrant for sex crimes issued by Sweden, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by British police and is being held in London. A statement from Metropolitan pollice read:

Assange Officers from the Metropolitan police extradition unit have this morning arrested Julian Assange on behalf of the Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape.

Julian Assange, 39, was arrested on a European arrest warrant by appointment at a London police station at 9.30am.

He is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010.

Assange is due to appear at City of Westminster magistrates court today.

Assange has written an editorial due to be published in The Australian today. They offer a preview:

Mr Assange begins by saying:  `In 1958, a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide’s The News, wrote: `In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.’’

It goes on to say a few more things about freedom of speech; the `dark days’ of corrupt government in Queensland (where Assange was raised); the Fitzgerald inquiry; and it says much about his upbringing in a country town, ``where people spoke their minds bluntly.’’

It says that Australian politicians are chanting a ``provably false chorus’’ with the US State Department of ``You’ll risk lives! You’ll endanger troops!’’ by releasing information, and ``then they say there is nothing of importance in what Wikileaks publishes. It can’t be both.’’

The Guardian adds:

Assange will release a video statement later today. WikiLeaks had threatened to issue an encryption code that would release all of the remaining cables, if Assange was arrested. But our sources say there are no current plans to do that.

Additional updates: Facebook says it will continue to allow Wikileaks to publish updates on its site. And Switzerland Post Finance, the bank that froze Assange's assets, has been brought down by hackers.

Demonstrators are planning a protest today in London at 1:30 pm.

Watch a report on the Assange arrest from al Jazeera, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I'm no fan of wikilinks.

    Posted by: IndyTown | Dec 7, 2010 7:34:43 AM


  2. Sweden is about to become the laughing stock of the world!! First it lets the US use if for rendition torture, and now this...

    Posted by: Bobo | Dec 7, 2010 7:46:32 AM


  3. it amazes me how common people are against him. he shed's light on our own government's gross misconduct around the world and our support of corrupt governments and then people say he's risking lives. if we weren't in bed with the saudis and bribing people who funnel our money to terrorists, then there would be no lives at risk in the first place. suitcases with $52,000,000 in the them don't sit around in afghanistan without ending up in terrorist hands. people are too dumb to see this irony. asange is a patriot, and sadly he's not even american.

    Posted by: km | Dec 7, 2010 7:50:18 AM


  4. It's important to note that he was already cleared of charges from the same incident, and then allowed to leave the country, all the way back in August. And that he still isn't being charged with anything, just 'wanted' for questioning. Yeah, right.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/08/2010821153010551757.html

    The charges just weren't credible then and they aren't credible now. It's just convenient.

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 7, 2010 8:11:18 AM


  5. So the fascist EU super state is in cahoots with the imperialist American swine and their Swedish lackey?

    Just sayin'

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 7, 2010 8:14:02 AM


  6. Isn't it VERY un-PC of Julian to go bareback? Ditto taking advantage sexually two naive oppressed female groupies?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 7, 2010 8:16:31 AM


  7. American citizens ought to be cheering him on. He's shining a very bright light on all the awful, and disgraceful things our government has done and continues to do, all around the World!! Things, that may end up biting us regular folk in the ass, while others hide safely in their undisclosed locations, sitting atop piles of cash!! We scream and shout about how awesome we are....looks like our shine, is looking a little dull, right now! We behave like a kid who got his hand caught in the cookie jar, with that "what...what did i do?" look on our face. We all shout about wanting the truth, about what our "leaders," are up to in our name....but when it's laid out in front of us, we refuse read, see or believe it. Yes, there's a country that's a laughing stock around the World, and it's not Sweden!!

    We're #1....in a lot bad things!

    Posted by: corruptleadingtheblind | Dec 7, 2010 8:28:28 AM


  8. Ratbastard... you're presuming guilt.

    As I linked above, charges in this case were dropped in August.

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 7, 2010 8:30:13 AM


  9. I don't have a problem with exposing corruption within the U.S. government and state/local governments. If U.S. government diplomatic correspondence is exposed I would likewise expect to see EU, Indian,Russian, Chinese, Brazilian, German, French, UK, etc., governmental and diplomatic correspondence leaked and exposed. There are obviously MANY non-U.S. do-gooders and one world citizen of the world type. I encourage each and ever one to do what they can to get their hands on and leak their respective government(s) confidential governmental and diplomatic correspondence. I for one would LOVE to know what's going on behind the scenes at the EU in Brussels, Russia, China and so-on. A brave AMERICAN stood up to the plate and leaked U.S. 'secrets'...where are the brave Brits, Euros, Russians, Chinese? I want to see something on the same scale as the U.S. leaks.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 7, 2010 8:44:51 AM


  10. As much as everyone shits on the United States, I can assure you what our diplomats do is not anything compared to what the rest of the world is doing.

    Firstly, 95% of these cables do not expose anything but conversations between diplomats that are hardly evidence of any wrongdoing or corruption and do nothing more than make it more difficult for the State Dept. to engage other leaders in an effort to cooperate to keep N. Korea or Iran in check. Is anyone here so foolish to think there isn't negotiation or deals cut to ensure that we're not going it alone when it comes to checking the likes of Kim Jong Il? I get so sick of hearing people bemoan America for "going it alone" in Iraq and Afghanistan (for perfectly legitimate reasons) but then get upset when America engages anyone else to try to rebuild any diplomatic and economic ties we severed when Bush was in office.

    And now people are "outraged" about the latest leak that lists sites important to US security - many of which are US military installations abroad - accusing America of trying to take over the world. Ignoring the fact that many of this "influence" is a remnant of our entry into World War II (69 years ago today actually).

    For as much criticism as we can lob at the United States for keeping it's thumb on a lot of the world, there are millions and millions of people across this planet who are thankful every day we did it and continue to do it.

    We're not perfect but by fucking God, we're better than most. All Wikileaks has done is tried to fan the flames of anti-American sentiment abroad, as if the leaders of most of the Middle East and Asia are not significantly more corrupt than we could ever be.

    Posted by: Caleb | Dec 7, 2010 9:34:45 AM


  11. Sorry Caleb. You lose me with the bit about us going alone in "Iraq (for perfectly legitimate reasons"

    Posted by: Kugel | Dec 7, 2010 10:11:00 AM


  12. Caleb,

    Tell the Iraqi and Afghani people that we're 'better than most.' 100,000+ dead Iraqis because of our war that should have ended up with Bush and Cheney sent to an international war crimes court.

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 7, 2010 11:11:15 AM


  13. @Kugel: the line, "I get so sick of hearing people bemoan America for "going it alone" in Iraq and Afghanistan (for perfectly legitimate reasons)" can be read several ways. Given the rest of Caleb's comment, I think you might have misunderstood his point, which seems valid.

    @Ryan, do a count of the number of Iraqis killed under Hussein in the 80s and 90s. I did not and do not support the war, but once war happens it causes mass loss of life---a tragedy, no question. (Americans had huge numbers of wounded instead of casualties, but only thanks to superior medical treatment.)

    But Saddam would undoubtedly have killed nearly as many civilians and opponents over the past eight years because he was paranoid and insane. I'm not defending our approach or actions, and I'd have loved an alternative to the unwarranted war. But Iraq has been a hellhole for generations, and body counts hardly matter to anyone in charge there. That we've caused widespread slaughter is indeed criminal, and the rationale for the war was inane and mendacious. But Iraq and the rest of the region isn't going to be stable for generations (if that).

    If for nothing else, the war might have tamped down the ambitions of other rogue states planning to assert similar dominance over their long-suffering populations. That's the only positive thing I can say given that we can't change the past and our grievously failed foreign policy.

    Jeez I practically sound like a neocon, and if I get accused of that I will laugh heartily.

    Posted by: Scout | Dec 7, 2010 12:22:10 PM


  14. The people behind WL used to be all anonymous, but to raise money they came out of hiding. I guess their timing was off. This is a "speeding ticket" style of justice. You get a speeding ticket because you "might" cause harm from speeding. It's a hypothetical that govts can enforce on civilians to discourage potentially harmful acts. However, the parade of hypotheticals being very large, one must be on the lookout for potential abuse by authorities. This tug-of-war tends to get redone with each generation because the incentives for the govt are so huge.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 7, 2010 1:57:31 PM


  15. Scout... there's no way on earth Saddam would have come anywhere close to killing as many people as we have in Iraq. Not even close. Iraq was essentially contained at that point -- he didn't have access to the northern areas and didn't have the resources to carry out the reign of terror there that we have.

    Posted by: Ryan | Dec 7, 2010 8:24:23 PM


  16. Reality:

    Only a relative handful of nations are reasonably 'free' and where citizens can expect at least a reasonable level of personal freedom. The U.S., Canada, Australia, N.Z., UK, Western Europe, Japan, a few other Asian nations, most Latin American nations [although the corruption and violence in L.A. dominates life for most]. MOST of our world, including all of the Middle East minus Israel, are oppressive, undemocratic, societies which severely limit personal freedoms of average citizens.

    Issue:

    Globalization has created a very inter-connected world. ALL nations and societies must to varying degrees interact and trade with other nations and societies.

    Those who run governments and businesses must live in the real world. They must deal with real world issues like corruption, culture clashes, etc., More often than not 'When in Rome, do as the Romans do' applies. This puts them in direct conflict with those who want and expect a perfect, Utopian world. Unfortunately, those who espouse a Utopian world view usually promote unworkable [in the real world] solutions.

    MOST of the seemingly intractable problems the less fortunate places in our world have are [IMO] culture-based...not strictly economic. Unless you can get people to accept a more appreciative role society and the world outside their familiar circle has on their well being and the their role in the grand scheme of things, little will change for the better. Also, basically all advanced 1st world societies [the most desirable places in the world to live] have in common an appreciation and understanding of the importance of the rule of law [over emotion] and a great deal of freedom for the individual. Oppression and corruption are kept at a minimum. You can't be an advanced and desirable place for the average person to live and prosper without these concepts.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 8, 2010 2:06:21 AM


  17. This piece of human garbage needs to be locked up for life in solitary confinement for crimes against humanity! He is just typical of the liberal socialist filth that is destroying Europe right now!

    Posted by: Adrian | Dec 8, 2010 2:22:08 AM


  18. he's a hero

    Posted by: Stephen | Dec 8, 2010 4:51:40 AM


  19. Is letting the world know a crime, Is it not the right of the World to know. The question remains ? Will the world suspect a conspiracy behind the arrest of wiki leaks who wildly SHOOK Pentagon.

    Posted by: padma | Dec 8, 2010 7:40:24 AM


  20. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and jailed without bail Tuesday in a sex-crimes investigation, but his organization scarcely missed a beat, releasing a new batch of the secret cables that U.S. officials say are damaging America's security and relations worldwide.

    A month after dropping out of public view, the 39-year-old Australian surrendered to Scotland Yard to answer a warrant issued for his arrest by Sweden. He is wanted for questioning after two women accused him of having sex with them without a condom and without their consent.

    Assange said he would fight extradition to Sweden, setting the stage for what could be a pitched legal battle. And as if to prove that it can't be intimidated, WikiLeaks promptly released a dozen new cables, including details of a NATO defense plan for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania that made Russia bristle.

    Posted by: seo services | Oct 14, 2011 5:26:27 AM


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