"Is Assange the target of a U.S. smear campaign?"
Rape Claim Against Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Withdrawn
Wikileaks: 'Dirty tricks' in allegations against Assange
Initially, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that it had received confirmation late Friday of the rape complaint from the Stockholm prosecutor's office. The international press quickly picked up on the allegation.
But Saturday morning, CNN reported an about-face. Updating its story, under the headline "Is Assange the target of a U.S. smear campaign?" CNN cites Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne as saying in a blog post on the Swedish prosecutor's Web site that Assange "is not suspected of rape" and is no longer wanted.
The BBC wrote in its latest story that an arrest warrant had been canceled: "The Swedish Prosecution Authority website said the chief prosecutor had come to the decision that Mr Assange was not suspected of rape but did not give any further explanation."
Wikileaks had earlier characterized the allegation as a political maneuver intended to put it off-balance. The site is embroiled in an international uproar over its public posting of thousands of classified documents related to U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan.
"We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks'. Now we have the first one," Wikileaks said via Twitter on Saturday, dismissing Expressen as a tabloid. "Needless to say this will prove hugely distracting."
In a blog post, Wikileaks expressed its full support for Assange and vowed not to succumb to the distraction: "While Julian is focusing on his defenses and clearing his name, WikiLeaks will be continuing its regular operations."
Those operations will likely include the further release of U.S. military dispatches. In late July, Wikileaks released more than 75,000 internal U.S. documents in what it calls an "Afghan War Diary." More recently, it has vowed to make public 15,000 additional documents in the coming weeks.
The U.S. government has condemned the action and called for the return of the classified documents, saying that the information they contain could put jeopardize missions and the lives of both U.S. soldiers and Afghan nationals.
Earlier this year, Wikileaks released a video titled "Collateral Murder" that shows a U.S. military helicopter in Iraq gunning down several journalists and civilians.
Wikileaks sees itself as potentially "at the heart of [a] global revolution" that brings about greater accountability by governments and other large institutions.
In case you missed it
Target: Scott Ritter:
"Police and prosecutors have declined to discuss the case, which involved at least one class B misdemeanor, because it was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and ordered sealed by a Colonie Town Court justice. The Daily Gazette's request for access to the arrest report was denied by the Colonie town attorney's office, which ruled disclosure was barred under the state Freedom of Information Law."
So the police just happened to conduct a "sex sting" operation against the one man who had exposed the lies of our war-mad rulers from the inside. On the eve of war, as hundreds of thousands protest in the streets, this staunch Republican and solid family man who has become one of the War Party's most formidable enemies is suddenly "exposed" as a child molester.
Since the court records have been sealed, and the case was merely "adjourned in contemplation of dismissal," the authorities will say nothing, at least in public. The entrapment was apparently so transparent, so obviously the clumsiest sort of Cointelpro-style operation badly bungled by our newly-empowered political police, that the charges were dropped to the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket. Could it be that the records were sealed not to protect Ritter, but to protect whomever tried to set him up?
Anybody who doesn't believe that Ritter was specifically targeted on account of his political activities needs to seek help: that sort of naivete can be terminal, and the patient probably shouldn't be trusted to cross the street unattended.
In the post-9/11 era of the "Patriot" Act and the Office of Total Information Awareness, what is happening to Ritter is meant as a warning to anyone who dares oppose this government. Former UN inspectors, it seems, are a special target. Remember that other inspector, Jack McGeorge, also an American, who was "outed" as being a member of a sado-masochistic "advocacy" organization? Just as our war birds were wailing in bitter disappointment that the inspections process would delay or maybe even derail the much anticipated bloodbath, suddenly one of the inspectors is "exposed" as a sadomasochist. The point was not to somehow prove that this made him unfit for the job, but simply to degrade him, to make the experience so painful that he would immediately withdraw – which is precisely what happened.
There's nothing at all fishy about a "sealed" court record leaked to reporters, complete with an alleged "mug shot" of Ritter broadcast on television and republished by MSNBC. It's all a coincidence that this comes out just as the war crisis reaches its climax – or anti-climax – and the administration is desperate to come up with a half-way convincing rationale for war. What are you – a conspiracy theorist? Everybody knows the U.S. government is inherently and constitutionally incapable of pulling off such a dirty rotten lowdown trick. After all, isn't that why they hate us – because we're so wonderfully "free"? Free to be spied on; free to be set-up and smeared if we defy the powers-that-be; "free" to be entrapped by cyber-cops who randomly chose the single most convincing opponent of the War Party to snare in a web of deception.
The reaction to this is really a sight to behold. The same "conservative" movement that reveled and rolled around in the muck of the Clinton years like a pig in a deluxe pen, luxuriating in the filth that bubbled up like a perpetual hot bath, is all abuzz. With all the defiant malignity of Lucianne Goldberg and her son, what's-his-name, rolling the latest Clintonian dirtball around on their tongues as if it were the last bon bon in the box, they are drooling over this one. (Look at bottom-feeder Jonah Goldberg lap it up.)
It's sickening, really, to even contemplate what is going on here, but we should look at this ugliness full in the face. Because in forcing ourselves to see it, we can see the War Party – the gang of lying, thieving, conniving thugs with delusions of grandeur who dominate this administration – in its essence.
Look on the face of evil, and, if you don't turn to stone, remember it well. Because this is what we're up against, in America: an evil that is almost demonic in its pure malevolence, a dark destructive spirit that feeds on pain and is animated by the will to crush its enemies underfoot. This is the face of an enemy that must be defeated.
– Justin Raimondo