Over recent weeks, WikiLeaks, the highly controversial whistle-blower organization, has endured tremendous international pressure on multiple fronts. The website has endured near continuous denial-of-service attacks from various origins that left the page nearly inaccessible and required a plea for mirroring. The group has also had their funds frozen, and then had their ability to collect any additional donations diminished, first by a service revocation by PayPal, and then a declination of charges by Visa and MasterCard.
Outside of direct action, American leaders have applied what pressure they can, with Republican Peter King of New York calling for the organization to be declared a terrorist group. American Attorney General Eric Holder has been encouraged to pursue legal action against the group for violating the Espionage Act, and he has gone on record as saying that the actions of the website have broken the law and put American lives in danger. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated publicly that the recent leaks are, in her estimation, a direct attack on American and international security, conjuring visions of military action.
Julian Assange has also been under attack, even outside of his arrest on unrelated sexual charges. In late November, a former Canadian advisor, Tom Flanagan, expressed bluntly that Assange should be assassinated. An editorial in the Washington Times in December argued that Assange should be treated equivalent to any other terrorist, a sentiment that is shared by other members of the media, including Fox News analyst Kathleen Troia. Even former FBI service member and Richard Nixon aide, George Libby, has suggested that Assange should be killed without trial.
With the deluge of oppositional criticism and vitriol that has burned freely toward Assange and WikiLeaks, I have wondered if and when supporters of the group would emerge and begin making their own arguments. Perhaps fear of reprisal has encouraged silence. Or perhaps some felt that the group was not in need of vocal support, as they were clearly succeeding in their intended goals. But when Assange surrendered to London authorities and a media storm began pondering whether he could see extradition to America or another country for crimes unrelated to the Swedish arrest warrant, I wondered when the supporters would make themselves known.