Did the Swedish justice system get used in a bid to tarnish the image of Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks? After having first issued a warrant for his arrest, prosecutors cancelled the order. Having taken on the most powerful governments in the world, Assange and his colleagues say they were warned to expect trouble but didn’t expect it to take this form.
There’s no denying that a lot of people would like Assange to disappear, or better yet, be discredited. Truth-tellers, after all, should be possessed of strong moral fibre, shouldn’t they?
If this was someone’s idea of a smear campaign, the idea may have been to get Assange incarcerated, at least for a while, in a place where he could be approached easily. Then again, there may not have been any desire to get him inside a jail but simply to put the thought in people’s minds. Innocent or otherwise, the WikiLeaks founder may find it difficult to shake off the taint.