Although a wave of democracy partly started by revelations of corruption and brutality released by WikiLeaks is freeing one Arab country after another, it now appears the site’s editor-in-chief could himself become a political prisoner.
Editors frequently urge writers not to describe something as ironic. Well, this is.
The next question is whether Facebook, Twitter, Google, and others will become platforms to push for Assange’s release. It is difficult because he remains a moving target. Will he be moved from Sweden—rendition, as it is sometimes called? And after that where?
Many countries would like to try him because of information his group has provided that show how dirty their governments are. Is he becoming the next “Man Without a Country?” Even his own government, that of Australia, disowned him, though lately they are under growing pressure in Oz to protect him.
One thing is clear, and not only from WikiLeaks: governments will sacrifice human rights whenever necessary to make deals with despots who will guard Western interests.
As to Sweden, it remains unclear whether Assange has even been charged there. One of two women who accuse him of sexual assault told a friend that she was proud of having snagged the hottest man in the world. Text messages about gaining money may indicate a motive.
Will Assange be jailed in Sweden, even before they go through the formality of charging him?
Will Westerners accept what Arabs won’t? They already have admitted using the same interrogation techniques, including torture, so popular under the regimes of Ben Ali, Mubarak, and Gaddafi. In fact, if the CIA doesn’t want to get its hands dirty it sends prisoners to one of these obliging regimes.
And will Swedish tour guides warn tourists to make sure they have unbreakable condoms just in case they get lucky? Should they use their iPhones to video any sexual meetings?
Or is this just a CIA limited hangout operation, meant to protect something deeper?