Julian Assange was arrested today by the British Metropolitan Police. He has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. Today the Ecuadorian staff at the embassy asked the British Police to come in and arrest Assange.
Founding the Wikileaks
Julian Assange was born in 1971 and is an Australian citizen. He founded Wikileaks in 2006. This portal aimed to publish all that could not be revealed by the mainstream media. All the misdemeanor and misconduct of the governments are intended to be there on the portal. Chelsea Manning a transgender of the US military leaked many secret government documents to Assange which were published in 2010 under various headlines.
Bagdad Airstrikes, “Collateral murder”
These files were very confidential and controversial.Collateral Murder related to the Bagdad airstrike in 2007, Two apache helicopters were seen shooting at group of civilians at a place where a group of armed Iraqis shot at a US army jeep with small firearms. Amongst the group of civilians were 2 journalists from Reuters who were injured. 7 of the 10 civilians were killed. In a second strike, the helicopters aimed at a van that tried to take the journalists to hospital, the driver was killed along with the journalists. They made the third strike against a building with hellfire missile that was a shelter for people. Chelsea Manning was caught for the leak and was jailed.
Afghanistan War logs
The Afghanistan war logs was another gruesome tale of the misconduct of the US and allied forces. It documented the stories of civilian casualties and Taliban attacks. A total of 91000 documents from the year of 2004 till 2009 were put on net. This time probably Wikileaks became clever. It gave 3 news media the same documents and claimed that it did not know the source. They all confirmed that the documents were authentic and the multiple sources of leaks made it impossible to trace the culprit. Few of the respected newspapers “ The Guardian” , “ The Newyork Times” and “Der Spiegel” were approached by Wikileaks to publish the information and under the agreement, they did publish those. The US government stepped up the pressure on these media to stop the publication, but they disobeyed the US government in the light of public interest.
US, angered and embarrassed
Due to serious embarrassment suffered by the US due to these leaks, it went all out to plug those and find the culprit for the Afghanistan warlogs. It ordered a criminal investigation into Wikileaks and requested the assistance of the member nations to capture the founder Assange.
Sweden was the first to comply. It brought in a woman to file a rape charge against Assange and ordered arrest of Assange through INTERPOL. Assange was finally arrested in London by the British police. Assange was out on bail and when found that he was about to the extradited to US where “he could face death penalty in US antiespionage act 1917“, he went absconding and took shelter in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Ecuador granted him asylum and extended it for couple of years.
“Cableleaks”, diplomatic mess for the US
He never gave up. Wikileaks published the “Cableleaks”. It was collection of US diplomatic communication that involved most of the countries in the world and compromised the secret US policies and diplomatic jousting.
Hillary’s email, more embarrassment
Wikileaks became a real pain for the US when it published the secret emails to and from the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It was suspected that the Russian hackers were responsible for the mishap and this gave Hillary a lot of bad press and led to her ultimate defeat.
Britain strikes a deal with the Ecuador
Assange was always under the threat of being captured and deported to US where he could face death penalty for his actions. Meanwhile the British authorities were in touch with the president of Ecuador to revoke the asylum status of Assange since 2010. Interestingly, the Swedish government too dropped the rape charge the arrest warrant against Assange so that if Assange was arrested only one country could have a claim over the prisioner. Finally, Ecuador without the asylum status of Assange and the embassy staffers called in the British police to enter the embassy premises to arrest him.
Uncertain future for Assange
It is very likely that Assange could not be saved from being extradited to US. A trial would be conducted if that happens but sentencing him to death would cause a global out cry.