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ASSANGE EXTRADITION FIGHT
WikiLeaks smear effort to reveal Bildt as US 'spy'
Carl Bildt, Julian Assange, Karl Rove

WikiLeaks smear effort to reveal Bildt as US 'spy'

Published: 22 Feb 2012 07:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2012 07:57 GMT+01:00

WikiLeaks is planning a smear campaign against Sweden to halt the extradition of founder Julian Assange to the United States, including releasing documents allegedly showing that Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has acted as an informant for the United States since the 1970s.

According to an internal WikiLeaks memo reviewed by Swedish tabloid Expressen, WikiLeaks plans to release more classified documents, organize blockades of Swedish embassies and consulates as well as boycotts of Swedish companies.

“This is going to hurt Sweden more than the debate about the Mohammad cartoons,” a source with knowledge of the matter told Expressen.

As Assange enters the final stages of his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden, his colleagues at WikiLeaks have begun preparing for how to prevent the Swedish government from extraditing the founder of the whistle-blower website to the United States.

“That the Swedish government doesn't take this seriously but rather makes it easier for the American government means Sweden finds itself among the countries that don't support transparency, the rights of the individual, and human rights,” the internal WikiLeaks memo reads.

“That puts Sweden and the country's reputation in great danger and the Swedish government is going to be forced to answer to global public opinion which will hold them responsible for not letting people around the world access information to which they have a right.”

WikiLeaks officials are convinced that Sweden has already made a deal with the United States that would see Assange extradited there to testify against Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of leaking thousands of classified US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

There are also fears that Assange could be arrested and put on trial for espionage against the United States, WikiLeaks sources tell Expressen.

“If he's extradited, we fear for his life and that's something Sweden will pay a high price for,” a source said.

Among the documents WikiLeaks plans to make public is a US diplomatic report showing that Carl Bildt has served as an informant for the United States since the 1970s.

“There are secret documents that reveal that Bildt cooperated with the American administration in a way that violates Swedish law,” a WikiLeaks source told the paper.

“He'll be forced to resign. It will be the end of his political career.”

According to WikiLeaks, Bildt's original contact is political consultant Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, and someone who Bildt has openly referred to as “an old friend”.

While WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson refused to comment on the details of the report about Bildt, she told Expressen “it's going to be released soon”.

Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle said Bildt had nothing to say about the claims.

“We're going to hold off on commenting. We want to see what sort of document it is before we comment,” he told the paper.

However, Bildt acknowledged the Expressen report on his official Twitter account.

"Media reports that Wikileaks is planning what they describe as a 'smear campaign' against Sweden. Good to know," Bildt wrote, alongside a link to the Expressen article.

He also reacted to the report on his blog, challenging WikiLeaks "this in their opinion damning report".

"When that happens, this part of their planned 'smear campaign' will quickly fall apart," he wrote.

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Your comments about this article

08:51 February 22, 2012 by engagebrain
Whether or not Bildt is being smeared depends on whether the allegations are true.

It is being suggested that the documents are forged ?
09:08 February 22, 2012 by Rick Methven
If wikileaks has had this information for some time and Bildt knew it, maybe the whole rape charge was cooked up to frame Assange and stop it being released.
09:09 February 22, 2012 by Lukestar1991
I knew it.
09:12 February 22, 2012 by RobinHood
I can't wait to read them. If Bildt has behaved inappropriately, shame on him, and he'll have to go. If he's engaged in the usual backchannel communication and dealing that goes on between "allies", at senior political level, then that's his job, and he should stay.

Please would Wikileaks now get hold of the SÄPO documents that indentify which Social Democrat and Communist politicians, trade union leaders and journalists worked on behalf of the East German STASI. The government wants the treacherous scum to remain comfortably anonymous. I don't think they deserve that privilege.
09:25 February 22, 2012 by tgolan
smear ? how can you say that without looking at the documents first or is the local a PR machine for the government?
09:36 February 22, 2012 by Kevin Harris
THE LOCAL

Tgolan has an excellent point. Until the documents are published and examined, neither you, nor we, know what they say, or if they are genuine. To describe them in your headline as a "smear effort" is premature and does indeed lead readers to question about your independence.

One might suggest you change the headline, but I'm afraid that for your readers who have already read and/or posted here, the damage is already done.
09:56 February 22, 2012 by si
Be done with it - Lock both Bildt and Assange up - in the common interest that there would be two less self-absorbed, annoying people splurged across the headlines.
10:22 February 22, 2012 by Vitas
Without any documents it is clearly that Bildt is american spy. Just look on decades of swedish support of USA.

In normal country he would be sit on electrical chair 20 years ago.
10:33 February 22, 2012 by klubbnika
#8

Normal country would not execute people.
10:54 February 22, 2012 by Vitas
klubbnika: USA?
10:58 February 22, 2012 by OMaHTLD
It still makes me laugh, when you consider how easy it is to be extradited from the UK (Look at the recent case where someone accused of the civil crime of copyright infringement is being extradited to the US from the UK on CRIMINAL copyright charges, despite the offenses having been committed entirely within the UK) and the Asshang supporters cry foul about Sweden supposedly wanting to allow him to be extradited.

They don't even need evidence to extradite him from the UK, only suspicion of an offense.

So all these cries about it just make me even more suspicious of the guys motives for wanting to avoid revisiting Sweden.
11:21 February 22, 2012 by OUIJA
@Kevin Harris #6

On target! THE LOCAL is very well known for writing headlines defending the Swedish government even before the facts have proven to be right or wrong. THE LOCAL is actually a resonance box of the government. It is certainly not an example for an independent media. Many posters are fully aware of that and that is the reason some very good ones have left. THE LOCAL deletes comments that are supposedly be against its "rules" and leaves junk that should never be left. Many posters have had their privileges cancelled by the so called monitors.

Do not be surprised if you do not hear from me. TL does not like to hear the truth. No way!
11:27 February 22, 2012 by skogsbo
if the US wanted Asshang(i like this) that much they would have already got him. As said above, the US has ran dozens if not hundreds of extradition/rendition flights through the UK (with UK agreement), that said I'm sure both the UK and US security services follow his every move, email/text and phone call. A mysterious accident will be his fate one day and then there will be even conspiracy theory nutters out there.
11:57 February 22, 2012 by OUIJA
Bildt a US spy? Give me a break. The statement of the year.
12:09 February 22, 2012 by johnny1939
Hogwash!!!!!! Or ah to be a spokes person for Wiki Leaks!!!!
12:15 February 22, 2012 by Vitas
Just look:

- As an MP in the early eighties, he became noted as an incisive and combative debater on foreign affairs, and found himself pitted against Prime Minister Olof Palme. (It was 1983 when Carl Bildt was under hard critic from Olof Palme for connections with CIA)

- 1986 Olof Palme was killed (unsolved)

- Bildt was elected leader of the Moderate Party in 1986

- 1991 Carl Bildt became swedish statsminister

I dont need any documents and any proof from WikiLeaks
12:34 February 22, 2012 by Kevin Harris
@OUIJA #12

You are still here at 12.35 Wednesday. So far so good. And the headline remains unchanged. No good editor likes to have the editorial independence of his/her organ challenged. But they don't like admitting they were wrong and changing copy either.

THE LOCAL; is it fair to assume that you disgree that the headline is shoddy journalism, or that you simply don't care?
12:44 February 22, 2012 by byke
According to the Expressen article, they received this information from a leaked document from Wikileaks. It would be interesting to know the source of said document.

Lets say that the US government has a inside person at Wikileaks, finds said information and passes it over to the US government. The US government then passes this information over to the Swedish government who then decide that the best form of action is to actually leak this information itself to Expressen, but in a controlled manner that could or does cast doubt onto wikileaks (clean up as such)

If this scenario was to happen, then we would have a trial by media.

And that is a very dangerous scenario in regards to what becomes the standard of judicial interpretation by the public.
12:45 February 22, 2012 by eppie
@vitas

Indeed, to me the fact that he apparantly is friends with Karl Rove should already be enough to disqualify him from being a minister in Sweden.
12:52 February 22, 2012 by apelsin000
what could we little people do?
13:03 February 22, 2012 by Marc the Texan
I wouldn't find this to be the least bit surprising if it turned out to be true. If it is true, I doubt that Bildt is the only one. Release the docs already.
13:31 February 22, 2012 by hipersons1
Hu, and so a way to resolve the overvalued currency issue presents itself: an organized boycott of Swedish exports.
13:34 February 22, 2012 by rolfkrohna
SO WHAT??? This is almost official, we already know Sweden is not only an informal state of the USA, it is a major US electronic spy center and serf. We know that the US trapped Assange in a very classical "Perfumo" sex affair, that it almost went wrong when he dumped the former female seducer and CIA agent, who earlier was stationed in Cuba for CIA, for a younger woman. Journalists have already dug up the stories and published them. Give us a break, something new. We need the Wikileaks to maintain at least a remnant of democracy.
14:12 February 22, 2012 by brash
A much more accurate headline would be:

Wikileaks to release evidence claiming Bildt was US 'spy'

Or use "alleging" instead of claiming.

Or, also more accurate:

"Wikileaks plans anti-Swedish campaign to prevent Assange extradition"

I agree-the headline is inaccurate. The so-called smear campaign seems aimed at Sweden. The use of the word "smear" is questionable since this is Wikileak's modus operandi--that is, to publicly release confidential documents normally sent confidentially or through back channels. One could conceivably argue that this is a smear campaign since it is deliberately aimed at a particular government and individual as a weapon to protect its own. In this case, there is an agenda, an intention if you will, that falls into the "smear" definition.

Relevant online definitions of smear:

2. To stain by or as if by spreading or daubing with a sticky, greasy, or dirty substance.

3. To stain or attempt to destroy the reputation of; vilify: political enemies who smeared his name.
16:11 February 22, 2012 by OUIJA
It is amazing how many of our posters here on this thread have not the faintest idea about Carl Bildt's obscure and not so obscure dealings and weelings with Lundin Petroleum and, specially, with the US. I suggest you to read and then to decide whether you believe it or not, what you will find in the following website:

http://rixstep.com/1/20120214,00.shtml

I can tell you that the information is really tops. Well, at least for me. So, be my guest.
16:28 February 22, 2012 by mark65
What about his sttendence at the Bilderberg Meetings.......
18:48 February 22, 2012 by Lukestar1991
scew the b******
22:19 February 22, 2012 by Gustav Jung
"Local smears Wikileaks founder"
04:38 February 23, 2012 by rolfkrohna
Second thought, maybe we should not criticize Bildt, after all, he is just doing his job when reporting back to his bosses in the US.
10:05 February 23, 2012 by Zhorka
Bildt used to be a US spy. Nowadays he openly works for US agenda.
22:00 February 27, 2012 by TheManOnTheStreet
Assange jumps the shark.
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