Thursday, December 23, 2010

Move over Jesus, Julian is here

I suspect I’m not the only one who is getting a bit tired of reading about Julian Assange’s delusions of grandeur.

For those who have just emerged from their Platonic cave in time for Christmas, Assange is one of the founders of Wikileaks, an online website that specializes in releasing information that has been classified secret by most governments. He has also been charged with two sexual misconduct allegations in Sweden. He’s presently under house arrest in England while extradition proceedings to move him to Sweden play out.

Assange is certainly a top-notch self-promoter. He portrays himself in various interviews as either a champion for freedom, a high-tech journalist, a victim and/or a martyr. Reports suggest that he is also fairly well-off having developed a cult like following among some wealthy people including American movie maker Michael Moore.

In recent interviews, one could get the impression that his ethics are slightly above that of a copper head rattler.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times report of an interview with the Times of London:

[Assange] compared himself to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying that when he was jailed at Wandsworth Prison in London, a black guard handed him a card saying, “I only have two heroes in the world, Dr. King and you.” Mr. Assange added, “That is representative of 50 percent of people.”

In the interview, he also compared the obloquy directed at WikiLeaks by the Obama administration and other critics with the “persecution” endured by American Jews in the 1950s. He added, “I’m not the Jewish people,” but suggested that the common thread was that supporters of WikiLeaks and American Jews were “people who believe in freedom of speech and accountability.”

Assange also spoke of his “feeling of betrayal” toward the two women in Sweden, who have said he forced sex on them without using a condom, and in one case while the woman, according to her account, was asleep. Over the weekend, The Guardian and The New York Times obtained copies of a 68-page police document detailing the accusations against Mr. Assange, leaks he said were “clearly designed to undermine” his bail arrangements.  “Somebody in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison,” he said of himself.

At times in the interviews, he seemed conflicted about the impact of the Swedish allegations. Speaking to the BBC, he said he thought they could be “quite helpful to our organization” because “it will expose a tremendous abuse of power.” But he also rued the impact on his own reputation, saying that his name was now linked widely on the Internet with the rape allegation.  Using Google, he said, and “searching for my name and the word ‘rape,’ there are some 30 million Web pages. So this has been a very successful smear.”

Clearly this guy has a ginormous ego and is starting to sound like his meds are wearing off.

I’m starting to hope that his 15 minutes soon will be up.

No comments: