Representative Ron Paul said Friday that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should not face prosecution for his distribution of nearly 250,000 classified and Top Secret documents.
Mr. Paul came to the defense of Mr. Assange after Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department was studying whether to charge Assange with a crime for releasing thousands of leaked government documents.
Mr. Paul told Fox News that the notion of prosecuting Mr. Assange for the release of information is disturbing and it should not be pursued.
“In a free society we’re supposed to know the truth,” Mr. Paul said. “In a society where truth becomes treason, then we’re in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it.”
Mr. Paul compared Wikileaks to the New York Times, saying that the latter had not been prosecuted for virtually the same thing.
Mr. Paul’s defense comes in the wake of a number of U.S. Senators calling for a bill restricting individual’s ability to leak documents.
Stockholm, Sweden (CNN) — WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange said Swedish authorities reached “the height of irresponsibility” by issuing an arrest warrant alleging rape against him, then revoking it less than a day later.
“It is clearly a smear campaign,” Assange told Arabic news network Al-Jazeera in a live telephone interview Sunday. “… The only question is, who was involved?”
Asked who he thinks was behind the accusations, Assange told the network, “We have some suspicions about who would benefit, but without direct evidence, I would not be willing to make a direct allegation.”
Meanwhile, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in an update on its website that Assange’s name was leaked to the media, and the authority — which does not normally publish the names of suspects — “did not in this case initiate publication.”
However, the office did confirm Assange’s identity and later published his name in statements about his arrest and the subsequent revocation.
An arrest warrant was filed against Assange in absentia on Friday. Swedish media, citing unnamed sources, reported that two women, ages 20 and 30, reported the allegations to police, leading to the warrant being filed. The AftonBladet, a respected Swedish daily, said the 30-year-old told the newspaper that the younger woman had approached her with a story similar to hers — that she had consensual sex with Assange but that the situation had turned abusive. Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, would not confirm the reports.
But on Saturday, less than full day later, Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne said in a statement posted on the authority’s website that Assange was “no longer wanted” and “is not suspected of rape.”
The prosecution authority said on its website Sunday, “When Ms. Finne became in charge of the matter on Saturday, she had more information than the first prosecutor had on Friday night. Decisions on coercive measures, like arrest, should constantly be re-evaluated during an investigation and must always be based on the actual information.” Continue…
STOCKHOLM — Prosecutors withdraw warrant for WikiLeaks founder Assange, saying rape suspicion unfounded.
Chief prosecutor Eva Finne has come to the decision that Julian Assange is not suspected of rape,” said a statement on the prosecution service’s website.
Mr. Assange was “no longer wanted,” the statement said, adding that Finne would make no other comments.”
It’s reported from the Google translated web version of the Swedish tabloid Expressen, that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is to surrender to Swedish police over an alleged rape charge reported earlier.
Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said that Julian Assange will remain in Sweden. Reportedly, police want to confront him with what is called “the data.”
According to Expressen‘s Anna Skarin, two women, one in her 20s and the other in her 30s, came forward with the claim.
Wikileaks currently holds about 70,000 pages of classified documents related to the War in Afghanistan.
Reports of criminal accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange brought instant suspicion of a U.S. government-led smear campaign.
Assange, a citizen of Australia, has been accused in Sweden of rape and molestation, or harassment, the Swedish tabloid Expressen reported.
WikiLeaks recently published tens of thousands of U.S. documents related to the war in Afghanistan and has said it is preparing to publish another batch of 15,000 documents soon.
“We were warned to expect ‘dirty tricks.’ Now we have the first one,” WikiLeaks’ Twitter page said Saturday.
Blogger Alexander Higgins said the U.S. government “has truly grown into an Orwellian Big Brother regime.”
According to the London-based tech blog Thinq, Assange “has become the focus of a smear campaign in what appears to be [an] effort to pile pressure on the whistle-blower ahead of the expected publication of thousands more classified US military documents. The documents are likely to lift the lid on more atrocities committed by forces in Afghanistan in the polluted name of freedom.”
The publication OneIndia called the report “a suspicious development that seems to be a smear campaign against Assange.”
Twitter user Deanzoz remarked, “Assange charged with rape. Pretty unusual approach from the CIA – they usually just shoot people in the head.”
However, some think the accusations could be legitimate.
A commenter called Chips on the Somethingawful forum wrote: “If it’s a smear, it’s a superb smear given how simple and compelling it is and how creepy Julian Assange is.”
A Swedish gutter-press tabloid has produced a “news” article alleging rape charges against Julian Assange, who is currently winning a war for a free press, with opposition from the Pentagon.
It is doubtful this is a coincidental timing, and WikiLeaks says it has been warned of an impending “dirty tricks campaign.”
No one from WikiLeaks has been contacted by the police, according to a tweet in response to the allegations.
Wikileaks are heavily engaged day and night in the sifting through of a further 15,000 documents of essential importance to future history as well as the preservation of lives, unaided by human rights groups.
Liberal media which first were at firs pleased to share the lime-light by releasing parts of the Afghan War Diaries alongside WikiLeaks, have apparently also not given further resources to the effort.
Julian Assange: the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.