Samizdata - 2:40 am on Mar 9, 2011 (gmt 0)
a brief accurate overview of what's going on
WikiLeaks has been operating a website for five years and has published a significant amount of revealing leaked material, winning awards and drawing great praise in liberal quarters while annoying several govenments and corporations.
The most recent leaks were US diplomatic cables simultaneously published in the New York Times, the London Guardian and other other newspapers, and this led to calls from prominent US politicians for WikiLeaks' Australian founder Julian Assange to be "executed".
WikiLeaks' website was temporarily driven offline by persons unknown using DDoS attacks, and several high-profile US companies abruptly terminated all business with the organisation.
Mr Assange is currently in England appealing against extradition to Sweden for questioning about complaints made by two women he had sexual relations with on a recent visit there. The complaints may appear controversial to those unfamiliar with Swedish law and Mr Assange's bail was raised by several high-profile liberal supporters.
This thread was started in response to an article by a well-known British journalist who published an account of what Mr Assange said to him in a telephone conversation. Mr Assange claims the account is inaccurate but has not issued a writ.
Many liberals are instinctively supportive of the work WikiLeaks has done so far, but they may now be wondering if the organisation can continue to exist without Assange (who has managed a lot of negative PR lately). They are probably also extremely uncomfortable with what they have been hearing about one of his financial backers.
Hope this covers the salient points fairly.