From a nondescript building near the Pentagon, the US government is deploying more than 120 analysts and operatives in its information war against WikiLeaks, while the whistleblower Julian Assange has been denied a residential permit by the new Swedish government.
The immanent question is whether WikiLeaks will release tens of thousands of top-secret documents, as the organization has threatened to do for several weeks, or whether the organization is in the midst of an implosion.
The declared purpose of the Pentagon war room is to protect Western security in Afghanistan, but exploring an espionage indictment against Assange is the agenda of a Pentagon-Justice Department task force. Efforts to jam the Wikileaks servers also may be underway. WikiLeaks also says it is unable to obtain funds from its donors through the London-based pass-through agency it normally uses. [al-Jazeera-English] And a German spokesman for WikiLeaks has left the organization, alleging it has focused too heavily on the United States. [NYT, Sept. 27]
In June the government arrested 23-year old intelligence specialist Bradley Manning, who is accused of downloading tens of thousands of classified files. Manning is likely to be pressured to testify against Assange.
Meanwhile, Assange’s troubles continue in Sweden, where the newly-elected government is loosely allied with the US and ultimately looking for NATO membership. Sweden can no longer be considered a sanctuary for war resisters or, in this case, anti-war whistleblowers.
Assange was trapped in sexual harassment and rape charges by two separate Swedish women in August, two days after he applied for residential status, a standing which would allow his company’s servers to be protected under tough Swedish laws on freedom of the press.
Assange has not been seen publicly since a London speech on September 30.
The mainstream media has failed to report the Pentagon’s anti-WikiLeaks war room except for a Sept. 12 article in The Daily Beast by Philip Shenon, an investigative reporter for the New York Times from 1981 to 2008.