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Cryptome: Assange Is Innocent Until Proven Guilty

By John Young. From 6 September.

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Julian Assange should not be pilloried or dumped by supporters based on unproven allegations which have been erratically handled by Swedish officials. If supporters of WikiLeaks think Assange should step aside as principal spokesperson due to unproven allegations of sexual misbehaviour, that is an excellent reason for him to stay in place.

The rush to judgment appears to be based on media reports of incomplete police reports. Media and police reports are notoriously inaccurate. Media reports are always deficient and police reports are frequently disproven in court. The fainthearted should avoid helping the malevolent feed the beast.

The Swedish prosecutor has not made a final decision to do more than investigate the allegations. Assange should not be prejudged, instead endure the fray, ignore the frenzy, calm followers, defy opponents, as in the past, and continue with renewed strength from the tempering challenge.

There is nobody within WikiLeaks with his capabilities to speak for the extraordinary initiative. His comments are customarily retrained, subtle, informative and deliberate, unlike the hyperventilation and exaggeration of supporters and detractors who seem incapable of grasping WikiLeaks comprehensively and resort to impassioned exclamations which are never convincing. Nothing written or said about WikiLeaks has been as constructive and inspired as what Assange has provided.

Contrary to calls for Julian Assange to step aside, purge the cowards, far greater challenges are yet to come. It has been a party so far, the smears mild and ridiculous. Based on others' experience, expect search and seizures, assets forfeiture, reputation destruction, informants, betrayals, deportations, indictments, prison, beatings, murder. Fear is more contagious than courage and it will be fostered by frightening the vulnerable. That fear will destroy WikiLeaks from the inside by promoting 'acceptable' behaviour, by making covert accommodations with authoritatives, by stigmatising combativeness, by warning of disaster. Assange is unmarried but his children are hostages, if insiders can't do it, the kids will be used to silence the messenger, to enforce obedience. Done often, read the evidence of common brutality to dissidents.

John Young is the founder and maintainer of Cryptome, active since 1996.

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