Apparently there is growing concern about the lack of support for Assange in the US government’s case against him for violating espionage laws. Liberal civil libertarians make up the majority of those who bankroll & promote his kind of defense case. A large part of their reluctance to support him is certainly the creep factor, the ick factor that is his persona. Another part of it is his stinking rotten politics which make him such a cause célèbre to Assadists & Stalinists who are glib about Assad’s assassination of journalist Marie Colvin in 2012. His sleaziness, libertarian politics, & whole reckless way of operating make civil libertarians uncomfortable with Assange as the tribune of free speech. There’s no reason to tiptop around those realities, especially when there are so many journalists of outstanding repute being held in detention, like Kashmiri Aasif Sultan.
Like him or not, detest him or not, Wikileaks under Assange exposed US criminal misconduct in Iraq & that is primarily why he is being prosecuted. The character of the charges & the prosecution are a direct assault on the US Bill of Rights, a direct challenge to the First Amendment which protects freedom of speech & freedom to express ones views without fear of government censorship. Invoking espionage laws against journalists threatens the entirety of the First Amendment & is not something to be taken lightly. The purpose of defending Assange is defending the Bill of Rights for all of us & in that regard it is a principle whether we like him or not. This would not be the time for extracting vengeance for his political affinities with rightwing forces.