Julian Assange… is he a narcissist? No, it’s a serious question. He is getting an awful attention but does he thrive on it? I’m sure he does. By the way, the hashtag in the title is deliberate (No! Really?), because Assange, the man, has been replaced with Assange the trending topic.
I’ve tried to steer clear of Assange (does that need a hashtag?) ever since he had international fame thrust upon him… or was it the other way around? But after a long internal dialogue, I wrote this blog about him, but I did so through gritted teeth. Even as I write this, my teeth are clenched tight.
Let’s be blunt, Assange is no friend of the left as The Mambo points out. Assange describes himself as libertarian or market libertarian. Well, which one is he? Personally, I think Assange is ideologically confused or playing dumb but either way I think it is pretty safe to say that he is neither a socialist, an anarcho-communist or a Spartacist. The word “libertarian” only means one thing to me these days and it’s usually associated with notions about night-watchman states and Ayn Rand.
But what about free speech? Well, what about it? No one really truly has free speech, especially in Britain, which has some of the most stringent defamation laws in the world. There isn’t even a law on the statute books that enshrines free speech. But did Assange and co really tell us things we didn’t already know? No and the information that was leaked was old; too old to be of any real value to an, erm, terrorist or übervillain.
Now to the allegations of rape, I don’t understand why the Swedish public prosecutor can’t drag his/her carcass across the North Sea to interview Assange. Indeed, they’ve already interviewed him once and subsequently released him. Only recently, a prosecutor interviewed a Serb murder suspect in his home country.
Rape often goes unreported or is otherwise not taken seriously by the police. Should the case get as far as the courtroom, defence barristers will work to discredit the testimony of the victim. That is not justice.
Given these factors, the allegations against Assange must be taken seriously, even if they seem to be eerily coincidental.
Finally, Assange’s former colleague at Wikileaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, set up OpenLeaks.net last year to make,
whistleblowing safer and more widespread. This will be done by providing dedicated and generally free services to whistleblowers and organizations interested in transparency. We will also create a Knowledge Base aiming to provide a comprehensive reference to all areas surrounding whistleblowing.
The site has been dormant since January 2011. In the meantime Domscheit-Berg has sold copies of his bestseller, Inside WikiLeaks: my time with Julian Assange at the world’s most dangerous website.
I will say no more.