Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

How Mendax made WikiLeaks a sensation

Photo

WIKILEAKS-ASSANGE/ARREST By Mark Hosenball

On Tuesday, Julian Assange, the controversial Australian-born founder and frontman of the WikiLeaks website is scheduled to appear in a London courtroom for the latest hearing on a request by Swedish authorities that he be extradited to Sweden for questioning in a sexual misconduct investigation.

Assange has denied any wrongdoing in Sweden, and some of his supporters have dropped dark hints that the Swedish investigation could be part of some sinister conspiracy by the CIA or other WikiLeaks enemies to shut down both Assange and the website, which has lately roiled the world of international diplomacy by disclosing a cache of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

Swedish prosecutors and the lawyer for two women who complained to the authorities about Assange’s behavior deny the sex investigation has anything to do with spy plots or politics. People who know the mercurial and sometimes imperious Assange say that even on best behavior, he can be a difficult person to deal with.

In this special report last week, we took you behind the Swedish investigation into the sex allegations against Assange, and explained how Assange himself might have avoided any investigation if he had been more accessible to two women who were anxious that he undergo medical tests which he apparently wanted to avoid.

Food for thought before Veterans Day

Photo

VETERANS/By Nick Carey

After reading my special report “For U.S. veterans, the war after the war,” a colleague asked me what the impetus for the story was and how I went about getting it.

The starting point is actually mentioned in passing in the report. In August, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came to Chicago and gave a speech at the Executives’ Club of Chicago. I was sent to cover the event for Reuters and wondered in advance why on earth Mullen would come to speak to the city’s business community, instead of, say, veterans’ groups.