Assange is not too bright. Assange has an obsessive's grasp of IT, and that's about it. The balance of his ideas are on a level with those of his followers -- the same as those of a somewhat thick college sophomore who gets most of his information from the tube.
Consider his strategy. Rather than analyze the e-mails on hand, collate them, sort them, select the one ones with the greatest potential for controversy, and release them where they would have the most impact, he simply throws everything out at once. Why? Because he doesn't know any better. Think of what could have been done with the same information by someone with a more sophisticated grasp of politics -- someone who would have contacted interested parties, who obtained financing or protection by guaranteeing certain messages would -- or would not -- be released. Who would use what he had to pry or bluff further information. Consider what chaos could have been created if this material had been data-mined on behalf of the al-Qaeda or another enemy force. Consider what a Metternich, a Lenin, or a Goebbels would have accomplished with such material.
In light of the possibilities, the actual results are unimpressive. Whatever damage Assange has achieved can in no way match the apocalyptic ruin he was seeking to trigger. He must be far more bewildered and frustrated that he's letting on: it's not like the movies. What happened?
The question remains as to why Assange has been allowed to continue. Part of the answer undoubtedly lies in incompetence -- it's a real puzzle as to exactly what would have to happen to make Eric Holder do the smart thing. But a deeper explanation may lie at the exact opposite pole -- in the omnicompetence of the Intelligence Community that remains untouched by Obama's influence.
It has been known that Assange possessed this material for nearly a year. It was understood that there was no means of getting it back or preventing its release. So what was the alternative? If you've got a lemon, you make lemonade.
Any number of methods exist for manipulating Assange and his organization -- send WikiLeaks fake files, locate their archives and insert new files, manipulate e-mails and other messages, and others that even my nasty imagination would miss without specialized training. As for the purpose -- that's not difficult to envision. A message implying that certain jihadi leaders are on the payroll. That a critical North Korean officer is a Western agent. That certain things that Osama, the mullahs, or Dear Leader wanted done were not done, or were botched in the doing. (In the late 1930s, German intelligence eliminated Soviet Marshal Tukachevsky, the actual formulator of the blitzkrieg strategy, and his entire general staff by exactly this means. Even if the victim suspects the info is false, he still has to take some action. Needless to say, the ultra-paranoid Stalin didn't require much prompting.)
It is likely that Assange is being used, possibly by several parties. They know his every move, what he's doing, whom he's in contact with. (While he was fleeing Sweden at the end of last summer, two laptops in his luggage vanished, along with all data media. See "not too bright" above.) His organization has been penetrated, with all new leaked material traced and accounted for. It's fairly certain that everyone involved has been tracked down by this time, with none of them capable making a move unobserved. Assange is now a puppet, acting out against his will the role of Goethe's Mephistopheles, "Who wills forever evil, and does forever good." (Keep in mind that this holds true even is he is forced to address the charges in Sweden. The rape charges are ancillary matters, unrelated to WikiLeaks -- in fact, little more than a distraction.)
But eventually, Assange's usefulness will end. Then he will vanish -- not by means of a hit squad, but far more subtly and elegantly. A batch of documents from Russia, the mob, or Hamas will appear on the WikiLeaks site, and in short order, Julian and everyone who ever worked for him will be seen in their regular haunts no longer. A wise intelligence service will have film footage of Julian being jammed into a car by figures easily identifiable as to country of origin.
My sympathy will be well-controlled. People have died -- and more will die -- because of this man's actions. It is apparent in the manner in which he abuses women that Assange is a psychopath. Such figures grow worse as they grow more deluded. Under the circumstances, the sooner the better.