If the Swedes fail to extradite, the United States will be tempted to make a similar request. Salon surmises that Assange may have already been indicted under seal in the United States, but I can't imagine that the Justice Department would want to put the Espionage Act of 1917 to constitutional challenge by prosecuting a foreigner for disseminating classified information that somebody else stored. As somebody tweeted last week, if Assange is a criminal for publishing the cables on WikiLeaks, what is New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. for publishing them in his newspaper? (Writing in Slate, former Supreme Court clerk Nick Bravin sketches a path by which the Justice Department could successfully prosecute Assange.)
There's one last upside to Assange's incarceration. For the better part of a year, he's been on the run, living off of cash and flopping at the homes of friends and supporters. At least until his Dec. 14 court hearing, he won't have to worry about where he's going to sleep tomorrow.
I don't take Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal, but I'm still accepting e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I undermine the state with my Twitter feed (E-mail may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)
Track my errors: This hand-built RSS feed will ring every time Slateruns a "Press Box" correction. For e-mail notification of errors in this specific column, type the word extradite in the subject head of an e-mail message, and send it to email@example.com.