WikiLeaks has a growing issue that could easily lead to its downfall, and that problem is its leader, Julian Assange. As time goes on, he is becoming the persona of the organization, and as this happens he becomes more of a target, and more of a threat to the organization’s stability. There are rumors of death threats and assassination plots, on top on the fact that he is wanted in Sweden for what he has claimed to be trumped-up charges. Those that seek to stop WikiLeaks are increasingly attacking Assange directly, and focusing less on those behind the scenes or the organization itself. One outspoken leader doesn’t make the organization.
Assange has become a threat to WikiLeaks not because of the attacks against him, but because people see him as WikiLeaks. If he was arrested today, how much faith would there be in WikiLeaks? I am sure that they have developed contingency plans should something happen to Assange, but those plans will likely do little to promote faith and trust, or to calm the media firestorm that would surely erupt.
For WikiLeaks to survive the trials that it will soon face, they need to ensure that there is a strong governance body in place controlling the organization. For their mission to continue, they must become more than just Julian Assange to the public. Trust is the key asset for WikiLeaks, and if that trust is lost, then few will accept the authenticity of their releases; they must take steps to preserve that trust.