I also think that Julian Assange is an awful spokesperson and leader for the WikiLeaks movement. I give him plenty of credit for coming up with a brilliant idea but I think that making him the focal point of the debate is a misstep. The focus of the international community should be on funding WikiLeaks and the newly formed OpenLeaks so that this movement can continue on and become a permanent wing of the fourth estate. I'm worried that by focusing on Assange and his legal defense we are taking away from the wider movement.
If Assange was being charged in connection with the documents he released it would be a good rallying cry for the movement. However, he is wanted for questioning in regard to some possible sexual misdeeds in Sweden from women he has already admitted to having sex with. Is it really so unreasonable that he should be questioned? If he wasn't the founder of WikiLeaks wouldn't you think it would be right for him to be questioned? If my blog was important enough for me to warrant having groupies and I had sex with two of them and they accused me of rape wouldn't you think it'd be the responsibility of the police to question me whether the charges were bogus or not?
If there is a U.S. led conspiracy to shut down WikiLeaks by getting Sweden to arrest him on some trumped up charges the immediate cliche that comes to mind is that to kill the snake you chop off the head. That somehow by getting Assange arrested WikiLeaks will wither away and die. To be honest if that is the U.S. government's big conspiracy it has to be the lamest they've ever come up with. If they really wanted to get rid of him wouldn't they just have someone run up on him in England with a knife and stab him a bunch of times? Wouldn't they hire a beautiful woman to seduce him and kill him in his sleep? Even if they didn't want to kill him why wouldn't they pressure England to come up with some trumped up charges? They have much more experience in human rights abuses.
Let's for a minute say that the conspiracy theories are true and this is a ploy to silence him. Wouldn't it be better to focus our attention on keeping WikiLeaks solvent since he will be gone anyway? I'll support WikiLeaks and organizations like it but I think it's a waste to encourage people to spend their money defending him when I'm sure he'll have the best legal counsel in the world working for him pro-bono. Support the organization, the movement and governmental transparancy. It is a cause far more important than any one man, now let's act like it.