Judged by its own standards, last year was a big success for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, his fledgling whistleblower organization. WikiLeaks won world-wide attention for itself by posting online a gruesome battle video shot by an American helicopter-gunship over Baghdad. It then became a sensation by publishing over a period of months—often with the help of major newspapers, like the Guardian and New York Times—thousands of purloined U.S. military and diplomatic cables.
But last year was also a disaster for WikiLeaks. Mr. Assange, a master at courting controversy, found himself embroiled in controversy of the most unwanted kind. Two of his female followers charged him with sexual molestation, and Swedish prosecutors began investigating the charges, aiming to bring formal charges of rape. Now in Britain, Mr. Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden. Continue reading