US plans to prosecute Julian Assange

The US government wants to arrest Julian Assange and has drawn up a secret charge sheet in the hope it can extradite him to face one of its finest kangaroo courts.

The email has been found in a confidential internal email obtained from private US intelligence company, Stratfor. Wikileaks recently began publishing leaked Stratfor emails, of which it claims it has 5 million.

In it, the company’s vice-president for intelligence, Fred Burton, was chatting about a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks. He wrote: “We have a sealed indictment on Assange.”

The email was marked not for publication.

Burton is an expert on security and counter-terrorism with close ties to US intelligence and law enforcement agencies. He is a former chief of counterterrorism in the US State Department diplomatic security service.

WikiLeaks is releasing more than 5 million leaked Stratfor emails which it says show “how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients”.

The email shows that US prosecutors drew up a secret indictment against Mr Assange more than a year ago. At the moment he is awaiting a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden to be questioned in relation to sexual assault allegations.

Assange claims that extradition to Stockholm will open the way for his extradition to the US on possible espionage or conspiracy charges. Cynics would suggest that getting Assange discredited by having him banged up on a sex charge in Sweden would be a lot easier to organise than a more politically damaging trial in the US.

US army private Bradley Manning was last week committed to face court martial for 22 alleged offences including ”aiding the enemy” by leaking classified US documents to WikiLeaks.  During that hearing, the comment was made that investigators had found a link between Assange and Manning.

What it looks like is a secret grand jury had been convened in Alexandria, Virginia. If he is charged under US law, it will most likely be the 1917 Espionage Act.

According to the Age,  Stratfor “senior watch officer” Chris Farnham, an Australian, advocated revoking Mr Assange’s Australian citizenship and made the sage comment: ”If I thought I could switch this dickhead off without getting done, I don’t think I’d have too much of a problem,” he said.