A profile of Julian Assange, by his ghostwriter


#1

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#2

Interesting profile but O'Hagan seems to accept mainstream narratives a bit too easily. "[Assange] believed...that Keller wanted to hang him out to dry, which was not true." I think a review of the past several years of coverage at the NYT shows that Assange was correct. The NYT has displayed rank cowardice in the face of attacks on press freedom that use Wikileaks as their justification.

O'Hagan also ridicules Assange's "cloak & dagger" behavior as paranoid. But recent revelations at The Intercept about how NSA & other intel services tracked not only Wikileaks employees & sympathizers but visitors to the Wikileaks site itself show that Assange's paranoia, however extreme, will always be insufficient to describe the true scale of the global surveillance state that has been massed against him and his organization.

At the time of these interviews, Assange was under house arrest in the U.K. because he was wanted for questioning in Sweden for having consensual sex without a condom (literally), his organization the victim of an extralegal U.S.-led global financial blockade that starved them of funds, many of his collaborators (according to Glenn Greenwald) having abandoned the organization for fear of being snatched off the street and sent to the black hole of U.S. torture prisons.

Assange may be a royal pain in the arse but maybe we can cut him just a wee bit of slack?


#3

"Literally." You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means.

He was under house arrest because he lied to his sexual partners about wearing a condom, which is illegal in Sweden. They had given consent under the assumption he was wearing a condom.

Then he has the gall to call these women whores. No, I cut him zero slack.


#4

Assange may not be a very nice person, but there's no doubt that he's made a huge difference by founding Wikileaks, and that Wikileaks has done the world a huge service by publishing things that everyone should know, but would otherwise have been kept secret. By the law of transitivity, Assange has done the world a huge service. And whatever the truth of the Swedish allegations, he has not ben found guilty in a court of law of any criminal wrongdoing and should thus be considered innocent until proven otherwise. You know, the kind of things we used to base our legal system and concept of society on.


#5

He wasn't found guilty because he has run away from Sweden, thereby refusing to face any trial or questioning. You know, the kind of thing we used to base our legal system and concept of society on. So running away from trial doesn't seem like a huge contribution to "our" concept of society.

Furthermore, the law of transitivity is a concept of mathematics, not a concept you can project your beliefs on to make them seem more objective. But please, do entertain me by assigning "objective" numerical values to human actions.


#6

In situations like this, the government (and its sock puppets) always try people in the court of public opinion. It's so predictable that it's (sadly) laughable.


#7

It can be both things at once. He might be a douche in his personal life and he might have had altruistic motives to release the info as well as being driven by his ego. He might have lied to the women and that is horrible, but at the same time, I don't recall the women being highly motivated to see him put in jail. It may have been that they felt strongly about the importance of the leaks and were willing to sacrifice their own well being, I'm not sure. The powers that be like to discredit whoever goes against the game plan, so even if he was the nicest guy on Earth, and I doubt that, someone would be attempting to discredit him with dirt or innuendo. They've tried every possible angle with Snowden. But their hands aren't clean, so there's that.


#8

Personally, if I wake up with more penises inside me than were there when I fell asleep, I don't consider their presence to be consensual.


#9

It is unfortunate timing for the young woman that her allegations were made at the exact same time as a massive smear campaign on many other fronts. Swift justice is not something that seems to be an option, as he would most certainly face inhumane treatment were he to surrender his person to the current US intelligence regime. If he were merely a fugitive from the normal course of justice, and not also a fugitive from gross injustice, I would join the call for him to face up to his responsibilities in Sweden, ASAP.


#10

In common law countries like the US and UK when there's a crime there's a preliminary investigation followed by a criminal charge followed by an in-depth investigation followed by a trial. In Sweden the justice system works differently. There there's a full investigation and after that is completed is there a criminal charge followed almost immediately by a trial. According to Swedish law professor Christoffer Wong in his "Overview of Swedish Criminal Procedure":

It is therefore not at all unusual for the Swedish Public Prosecutor to issue an European arrest warrant or a request for extradition of a suspect, before making a decision to indict the person. This does not detract from the fact that the request nonetheless is made for the purpose of prosecution, albeit that there is no actual indictment


#11

Yes ā€¦ unfortunate ā€¦ and yet, it couldnĀ“t have been more perfect.


#12

go on.


#13

Well, if you know that your administration is about to enter a huge PR disaster, it helps if the guy whose face will be associated with the information about to be revealed has just had rape charges pressed against him that he cannot stand up against in court for risk of being surrendered to his enemies (just as you wrote). Even years afterwards, whenever AssangeĀ“s name is dropped in connection with any issue, discussion is quickly derailed by someone bringing up those charges. One couldnĀ“t have planned it any better.


#14

There is no question that once he is in the Swedish system, there is a high possibility he will be disappeared by the USA, forever. How's he gonna get a book/movie/sitcom deal then?! If Sweden really wants to question him regarding the allegations against him, they can do it on his turf... like every other suspect or witness in any other crime. That Interpol is looking into a sexual assault at all... is something to think about. Say what you will about his guilt... but Assange did the smart thing by not turning himself in.


#15

Assange later disavowed the project, telling publisher Canongate "All memoir is prostitution," and sought to have his contract canceled and the book killed.

And of course, there's always some irony left to murder.


#16

OK. He's a smart rapist.


#17

fakefighter, I wonder if your white hot fury is due to the mistreatment these women allegedly suffered by Assange's hands, or it has other motives? Am I to understand that you are very much into women's rights and will denounce any and all structural sexism regardless of where it's found?

Or is it just a convenient ploy to avoid talking about the real issue, which is American soldiers and contractors killing civilians with impunity, as exposed by Wikilieaks?


#18

I was curious enough to look at fakefighter's commenting history. I'm going to guess you didn't.


#19

Well, I'm sure that his referring to the women as 'whores' will put a stop to that.


#20

no, you letting justice run its course instead of doing the very thing you seem to be upset by (character assassination) will put a stop to it. cant do it without you!

innocent until proven guilty, right?