The rush to smear Assange's rape accuser
This article was published in Salon.com 7 December 2010
Despite a lack of credible evidence, WikiLeaks supporters -- including Naomi Wolf -- lash out at the alleged victim.
You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to find the timing of Interpol's warrant for the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who turned himself in to British authorities today, curious. The charges -- "one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape," according to a statement from Scotland Yard -- were brought against him in Sweden last August, yet he suddenly graduated to "most wanted" status just after releasing over a thousand leaked diplomatic cables in late November? It would be irresponsible of journalists, bloggers and average citizens of countries most eager to plug the gushing WikiLeaks not to wonder if those dots connect.
Still, as the New York Times put it, "there is no public evidence to suggest a connection," which some members of the public seem to find unbearably frustrating. With no specific target for their suspicions and no easy way to find one, folks all over the blogosphere have been settling for the next best thing: making light of the sexual assault charges and smearing one of the alleged victims.