Wikileaks - Publish & Perish?

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, in an interview with John Pilger, was asked if it was difficult to publish secret information in Britain. Assange answered:

'When we look at Official Secrets Act labelled documents we see that they state it is offense to retain the information and an offence to destroy the information. So the only possible outcome we have is to publish the information."

While Pilger is trying to rally support for Assange, elsewhere, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is a hunted man, or so it seems. Sweden charged Assange with rape but dropped the charges within hours. The real story remains elusive, but the tabloids explained. Aftonbladet asked one of the two women behind the charges whether the Pentagon was involved in generating the attacks, a rumor propagated by Assange himself:

De konspirationsteorier som mmar nätet just nu avfårdar kvinnan i 30-årsålden bestämt.

"Anklagelserna mot Assange är förstås inte iscensatta av varken Pentagon eller någon annan. Ansvaret för det som hänt mig och den andra tjejen ligger hos en man med skev kvinnosyn och problem att ta ett nej."

Google's Swedish app translates:

The conspiracy theories that are flooding the web right now dismisses the woman in her 30s decided.

"The charges against Assange is of course not orchestrated by either the Pentagon or another. The responsibility for what happened to me and the other girl is in a man with skew kvinnosyn problems and to take no for an answer."

We're not sure about "skew kvinnosyn". But see? You can believe whatever you want, including the bit about the Pentagon.

While computer programmers have a reputation for being sometimes, how should we put it, socially rough around the edges, state agencies have been know to drum up reviling stories about people it wants to marginalize through public opinion. This incident does remind us of the story that came out earlier this year about US government's role in hanky-panky mischief making. As it was reported, the FBI listened in on a CIA Iraq Operations Group and learned of an unrealized plan by the FBI to make a fictional video of Saddam Hussein having sex with a teenage boy.

In another instance Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent wrote earlier this year about a CIA plan to use Afghan women to elicit sympathy for the war against the Taliban.

Either by his own hand, or that of his various detractors, Assange is battling some negative publicity.

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