Rumours abound, within the corridors of power, about a deal that could allow Julian Assange safe passage from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The fugitive founder of WikiLeaks fled to the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape charges that he vigorously denies.
Assange publicly declared he would go to Sweden if that government could guarantee he would not then be sent on to face charges in the USA. The Swedes would not guarantee that. His supporters believe that the Swedes were doing the bidding of American imperialism, enraged at the Australian whistle-blower’s publication of thousands of embarrassing secret communications between the US government and its embassies and military bases around the world.
There is little doubt that heavy pressure on both Britain and Sweden was wielded behind the scenes by the US government, with the ultimate objective of getting him sent to the USA where he could face the death penalty. He has never lived in the USA and that country has no jurisdiction over him. But that sort of thing has never bothered the country that built the concentration camp at Guantanamo or that has secret torture bases – not so secret after WikiLeaks – around the world.
WikiLeaks has done a lot of damage to imperialism by exposing its ugly, deceitful, cruel and greedy underbelly. Genuine left-wing communist and workers parties around the world have long supported demands for Assange’s release to a country of his choice. Let’s hope that the rumours are true…