WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a wanted man for many reasons. The WikiLeaks founder is currently under fire for his site’s latest leak, and for another potential leak to come. But it has gone beyond that for Assange, as even before the weekend’s document dump, he was sought after by authorities in Sweden. His appeal on sexual molestation charges was denied, and now he is being sought for questioning. In fact, the Assange is now on Interpol’s Most Wanted list – although the timing of it likely seems too suspicious to many.
It has been a busy week or so for Assange, before and after his site leaked secret diplomatic cables. Before it happened, Swedish authorities stepped up their search for him, after he was suspected of molestation last year.
Now the WikiLeaks founder is officially a wanted man by Interpol, as they sent out an arrest warrant for him. European nations have a “red alert” to be on the lookout for him, although he has already spent a long time avoiding detection.
This could still be the least of Assange’s legal troubles, as the U.S. could seek to prosecute him for the weekend’s leak. Of course, prosecuting someone like him under the Espionage Act would be difficult. Journalists have not been targeted under the act, and although Assange claims to be a “crusading journalist,” he and his website don’t use traditional journalistic means.
Although Assange is a wanted man whose current location is unknown, the WikiLeaks founder has not stayed silent. He has still managed to give interviews in the last several days, and has even teased that another leak is coming. After Bank of America was speculated to be the target, their stocks dropped, showing the increasing power that Assange and his site have.
Exposing secret war documents and war crimes have put Assange and his associates in the crosshairs this year. However, this latest expose may have put a bigger bulls-eye on their backs, although the material itself may be less inflammatory. In any case, the stakes have been raised, both by Assange and those trying to shut him down.
The calls against the WikiLeaks founder have gotten more extreme, as a former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper argued that he should be killed. Some others haven’t been automatically opposed to the idea, as he has been deemed a threat to America in some circles. However, Assange and his supporters may not believe that’s a bad thing, since, to them, all he does is expose America’s global crimes.
For that and perhaps many other reasons, WikiLeaks and its founder are on the run, although they are not prepared to surrender anytime soon.
Yahoo News- “US cuts access to files as Interpol seeks Assange”
CBC News- “WikiLeaks founder should be killed: PM’s ex-adviser”