US Pushing to Grab Assange From Whoever's Got HIm
Analysts: Fight for WikiLeaks boss likely to get messy
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2010 3:20 AM CST
Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gather outside the City of Westminster Magistrates Court in London yesterday.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

(Newser) – Julian Assange hasn't been charged with any crime in the US, but the international tug-of-war for the WikiLeaks founder appears to have already begun. Assange is in British custody awaiting extradition proceedings to Sweden, and US officials have held informal talks with their Swedish counterparts over the possibility of having him delivered into American custody, diplomatic sources tell the Independent.

The Justice Department is looking to charging Assange under the Espionage Act or, if necessary, other statutes, but any attempt to extradite him is likely to be messy, the Washington Post notes. Sweden's extradition treaty with the US doesn't cover crimes that are political or military in nature, and experts say Washington's best chance of getting its hands on Assange will be to go after him while he is still in British custody.

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Dec 8, 2010 1:37 PM CST
30 years ago, the CIA would simply have had him snuffed out in situ and made to look like an accident.
Dec 8, 2010 10:18 AM CST
The U.S. needs permission to nab somebody? I thought we just grabbed whoever we wanted and sent them to secret prison for life without charges. Toss in a little torture for fun. "Oh him? Yeah, he's not a prisoner, he's an enemy combatant. We can keep him locked up forever."
Dec 8, 2010 5:53 AM CST
I still fail to see the difference between WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables to the press and the printing of the Pentagon Papers by the New York Times 39 years ago. Like it or hate it, WikiLeaks is airing out some pretty filthy laundry that our Government has kept stuffed in some dark corners. The US became the only 800 pound gorilla in the room when the USSR folded and, big surprise, WikiLeaks is showing the world what assholes we have become...