WikiLeak founder's accuser probably did not work for the CIA

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, shook the Washington, DC bureaucracy to its core with embarrassing revelations from illicit contacts with Fidel Castro to state department plans to steal credit card numbers from top United Nations officials. Then Assange was shaken to his, well, you know, when sexy Scandianvian scholar Anna Ardin accused him of rape. So it's natural every conspiracy theorist with two tinfoil hats to rub together is claiming Ardin is a spook.

"[Ardin] linked to notorious CIA operative!" screams blog The Raw Story.

"Wikileaks accuser: 'I'm a CIA Agent,'" says another called Dateline Zero.

The evidence? A 2006 paper Ardin researched in Miami and Havana, in which she interviewed a bevy of anti-Castro activists — or were they CIA plants?

Alas, Riptide has read the thesis, checked out her Miami sources, and decided she's no spy. In June 2006, Ardin, then a student at Uppsala University, traveled to Havana. Her goal: to figure out what role opposition groups in Cuba might play if Castro's regime fell.

Her Cuban guide, cited by sites like as evidence of nefarious spy connections, was "subversive" Ladies in White leader Miriam Leiva.

Hate to break it to you, Interwebs, but the Ladies in White aren't a sketchy fringe group, at least not in Miami.

Two weeks after arriving in Havana, Castro's goons threw Ardin into a "hot room," questioned her for hours, and then told her to beat it, according to her thesis. That's believable.

In Miami, Ardin continued her research in December. Siro del Castillo — an exile tied to the Partido Democratico Cristiano — tells Riptide that, indeed, he remembers Ardin visiting a party conference. And her finished thesis reads like a well-researched, legit work of scholarship.

In other words: Her story checks out.

Sorry, Julian.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink