The Christian Science Monitor:
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder compared to terrorists by Vice President Joe Biden, to Thomas Jefferson by the activist-journalist John Pilger, and to Martin Luther King by himself, went on the offensive today against, well, everyone.
In a series of interviews, he lashed out at the Guardian newspaper, one of his closest collaborators in the controlled release of the trove of US diplomatic cables that has infuriated Mr. Biden and many others in the US government. The Guardian and a few other news outlets were given the full data dump, while the number of cables provided to the public so far remains below 2,000.
Mr. Assange told The Times of London that two women who have accused him of rape in Sweden were probably motivated by a desire for revenge or money. He also told the BBC that he was fighting extradition to Sweden because he could expect “no natural justice” there.
Assange’s falling out with former allies may come as little surprise to many who have worked closely with him. Former WikiLeaks No. 2 Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who formerly went by the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt until breaking with the group earlier this year, has described Assange as “dictatorial” and has said he’s creating a rival group dedicated to releasing government secrets in a more open and transparent manner.
While plumbing Assange’s motivations has become a cottage industry for journalists and pundits, perhaps his most interesting comments published today were aimed at the Guardian. In an interview with the rival paper The Times, his primary complaint seemed to be that the paper had published a leak. About him.
Assange complained that confidential documents about his rape accusations were leaked to the Guardian, that the paper used the information “selectively,” and that it was published as part of an effort to convince a British judge not to grant him bail on Dec. 16.
“The leak of the police report to the Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application,” Assange told The Times. “It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning…. The leak was clearly designed to undermine my bail application … someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison,” he told the paper, referring to himself in the third person.
The Guardian, for its part, says no documents were leaked to it, though it was allowed to read some of the documents pertaining to his case. The paper says it only published a story with that information after his bail was granted Dec. 16. On his Twitter feed, the Guardian’s David Leigh, who leads the paper’s team combing through the 250,000 US embassy cables provided by Assange, dripped with sarcasm.
“The Guardian published too many leaks for Assange’s liking, it seems,” Mr. Leigh wrote. “So now he’s signed up ‘exclusively’ with Murdoch’s Times. Gosh.” Australian-American media titan Rupert Murdoch owns The Times.
Nick Davies, the Guardian reporter who first reached out to Assange over the summer and suggested he collaborate with established news outlets, also appears to have soured on Assange. “Assange finally admits ‘no evidence of honeytrap’ on Swedish sex claims but does not apologise for misleading the world,” he wrote, referring to sexual assault allegations leveled against Assange.
Jeebus, what a piece of work! This guy reminds me of Obama – fanatical followers and the more I learn about him the less I like.
Here’s another interview:
The 39-year-old Australian suggested allegations by two women of sexual assault amounted to a “smear campaign,” and said the case was politically motivated.
“I was [in Sweden] for some five weeks after these initial allegations were made. They were dropped within 24 hours of them first being made,” he said. “The most senior prosecutor in Stockholm reviewed them and they were dropped. Then politician Claes Borgstrom became involved, other forces became involved and the case, the investigative part of the case, was taken up again.
Assange said he believed the most probable explanation for the rape allegations was that two women “found out that they were mutual lovers of mine and they had unprotected sex and they got into a tizzy about whether there was a possibility of sexually transmitted diseases.”
It was a “ridiculous thing to go to the police about,” he added.
Of his accusers, he added: “I have also never criticized these women. We don’t know precisely what pressures they have been under, exactly. There are powerful interests that have incentives to promote these smears. That doesn’t mean that they got in there in the very beginning and fabricated them.”
Asked about his seeming reluctance to acknowledge the seriousness of the rape charges, he said: “If they want to charge me, they can charge me. They have decided not to charge me.”
He said prosecutors were free to travel to the United Kingdom to questions him, “or we can do a video link up, or they can accept a statement of mine. They have rejected all of that. And they have asked, as part of their application that, if I go to Sweden and am arrested, that I am to be held incommunicado. Entirely incommunicado. They have asked that my Swedish lawyer be gagged from talking about the evidence to the public.”
He added: “I have an organization to run. I have my people to defend. There are other things at stake here… I have a serious brewing extradition case in relation to the United States. I have a serious organization to run. People affiliated with our organization have already been assassinated. My work is serious. I do not have to run off to random states simply because some prosecutor is abusing a process in those states.”
Well, actually they have filed charges. That is a precondition of the warrant for his arrest.
2003 c. 41, Part 1 Introduction, Section 2:
(a)the person in respect of whom the Part 1 warrant is issued is accused in the category 1 territory of the commission of an offence specified in the warrant, and
(b)the Part 1 warrant is issued with a view to his arrest and extradition to the category 1 territory for the purpose of being prosecuted for the offence.
I find it interesting that the generally accepted view of Sweden has suddenly changed. Until very recently Sweden was considered to be the model of a socialist democracy. Now it is a right-wing dictatorship and a puppet of the United States.
Assange says he never criticized the women, only he did. It’s not the first lie he’s told.
Guilty or innocent the man is an egotistical prick.