Could the pair be lying? That's certainly a possibility. But the insistence of Assange and his supporters that they are definitely lying, that there is no reason to take their accusations seriously, may speak to a siege mentality and, frankly, a disregard for how much difficulty women face in getting authorities to take their accusations of assault and sexual harassment seriously, particularly when their accusations are directed at powerful public figures.
The public position of Wikileaks has been that there's a secret deal between Sweden and the US to ship the Australian to American custody as soon as possible. The evidence presented? None. It's possible that the US has sought a sealed indictment of Assange, but it's also possible that it hasn't. And why Sweden? Unclear.
As British legal analyst Carl Gardner told the Monitor's Ben Arnoldy, under European law the UK would retain an effective veto over a Swedish extradition attempt. In other words, both Sweden and the UK would have to agree to the extradition. It would have been simpler to make the request while he's in the UK, with only one country in the mix.
But no matter, Wikileaks – which Assange says is dedicated to something called "scientific journalism – is convinced. On May 29, its main Twitter account wrote: "Hillary Clinton and State Dept team arrive Stockholm June 3-4; 4 days after Assange extradition decision. Fanciful to think no discussion." The US says Ms. Clinton is heading to Sweden for a climate change conference and to discuss "a range of issues, including green energy, Internet freedom, Afghanistan and the Middle East" with Swedish leaders.