If the USA had really wanted Assange, the easy way to have gotten him would have been to extradite him from the UK while he was living there freely.
The whole notion that while he was living in the UK, the USA worked to convince Sweden to extradite him to Sweden so we could then extradite him to the USA is ridiculous.
It's not like Sweden is MORE friendly to the USA than the UK is....
The problem here is you're using logic and they're using emotion. He's a hero to them, David standing up to Goliath. It's the techie version of the rabid sports fan who refuses to believe his team's star player might just be capable of rape.
I've tried to explain numerous times in these stories that the judicial precedent in the United States almost certainly precludes charges from being brought against him. The United States has no Official Secrets Act; a normal citizen (i.e., a reporter) who comes into possession of classified material can do whatever the hell they want with it. Only those that have a duty to protect said information (e.g., people with security clearances) can be held accountable for the leaking thereof. So long as Assange simply received the information he is in the clear, just as the New York Times reporters who published the Pentagon Papers were in the clear. If Assange actively encouraged Manning to break the law he could have a problem but I've seen no evidence of that. The chat logs with Manning and Lamo left me with the impression that Manning came up with the idea without any outside influence.
In one of these stories I had the privilege of reading a rather lengthy summary of the Swedish legal system. The author of this post did no editorializing for or against Assange, they simply explained the process of how charges are brought and disposed of in Sweden. In any other context it would have been +5 informative but because it was in an Assange story it was -1 troll. Emotion drives these discussions and facts no longer matter.