14:49 Sun 26 Dec 2010
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There’s a lot to chew on in the WikiLeaks/Assange rape allegations issue, but here are the points uppermost in my mind:

  • While it’s certainly possible that the credibility of the WikiLeaks organization might suffer if Assange is in fact guilty of rape, the question of his guilt in that matter is entirely irrelevant to the morality of what WikiLeaks has done already and to its mission.
  • It’s impossible to tell at media distance whether or not Assange is guilty.
  • I strongly doubt the rape allegations are the result of a “CIA plot” (or equivalent). (Which is not to say that the allegations haven’t been put to use by similar actors, but that’s not the same thing.)
  • It’s wrong to vilify (or out) the accusers.
  • Regardless of the validity of the initial accusations, it seems clear that the legal machinery involved in pursuing Assange is operating quite differently than how it would if not for political considerations—clearly not every person accused of rape in Sweden is treated as he has been.
  • Assange fighting extradition to Sweden is not an indicator of his guilt or innocence in this matter; the same applies to other legal maneuverings his defense team might undertake.
  • Regardless of how this issue plays out, and of how central Assange may have been to the project so far, WikiLeaks clearly needs to decentralize its staffing; having one key figure who reputation is linked to that of the organization seems like too much of a weakness.

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