As noted before, I’ve been uneasy about the pursuit of the WikiLeaks frontman Julian Assange — concerned at the [presumably] US and other intelligence agencies attempts at launching a ‘decapitation attack’.
The Swedish prosecution seems half-baked — an arrest warrant, solitary confinement, extradition for questioning? Eh? Extradited for questioning?
Now, according the Wall Street Journal‘s Julian Barnes and Evan Perez, the investigators seeking to build a case that Assange “induced” whistle-blower/leaker Bradley Manning to leak the thousands of secret documents from the SIPERNET server have struck difficulties…
New findings suggest Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst accused of handing over the data to the WikiLeaks website, initiated the theft himself, officials said. That contrasts with the initial portrait provided by Defense Department officials of a young man taken advantage of by Mr. Assange.
Further denting the push by some government officials to prosecute Mr. Assange, the probes have found little to link the two men, though others affiliated with WikiLeaks have been tied to Pfc. Manning, officials said.
…. Mr. Assange has denied he had any contact with Pfc. Manning, whose lawyers have never commented on the accusations against him.
Failing to prosecute Mr. Assange, who has been portrayed as the chief instigator of the leaks, would be a setback to U.S. officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, who have been vocal in asserting that the publication of the documents was a crime that should be prosecuted.
It’s worth reading… the Barnes/Perez report at WSJ.com
Jason Linkins at Huffington Post has a good take too:
The Government’s Case Against Julian Assange Is Falling Apart
We’ll see. I wouldn’t put it past the ‘intelligence community’ to find another way to ‘deal with’ Julian Asaange. (Remember the Rainbow Warrior bombing?)