Julian Assange is under siege, and he may like it that way. Before his name was ever in the news on a daily basis the Wikileaks founder expressed strong feelings of solidarity with the persecuted. At his now-inactive IQ.org, Assange published a post citing The First Circle, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s humanist, autobiographical novel of life in a Soviet gulag, as the book “whose feeling captures me.” Assange was drawn to Solzhenitsyn’s depiction of camraderie among “persecuted, and in fact, prosecuted, polymaths in a Stalinist slave labor camp.” The travails of Solzhenitsyn’s imprisoned academics, Assange wrote, were “parallels to my own adventures!” The blog post spun off briefly into a poetic tangent but ended with a Nazi-flavored flourish:
True belief begins only with a jackboot at the door. True belief forms when lead into the dock and referred to in the third person. True belief is when a distant voice booms ‘the prisoner shall now rise‘ and no one else in the room stands.
These days, Assange’s own estranged son is adding to his father’s sense of repression. The Post reports this morning that Daniel Assange, age 21, took to Facebook to give his view on some of his father’s issues, which may have led to recent rape accusations–now withdrawn–in Sweden. According to the younger Assange, dad Julian has “a way of making a lot of female enemies.” Yet Assange’s son doesn’t necessarily discount his father’s contentions about the source of the accusations, writing that it will be “[interesting] to see whether this is the result of a government plot or personal grudges.”
Daniel Assange’s statements pile onto questions such as this one from Newsweek: “Is Wikileaks Too Full of Itself?” Newsweek‘s verdict? Yes, Wikileaks probably is too full of itself. The magazine’s investigative reporting blog, “Declassified,” suggests recent Wikileaks-related stories may indicate the site and Julian Assange “are already failing to live up to their own exalted standards for truth and transparency and could see their credibility eroded, if not ultimately destroyed, by their overindulgence in self-righteousness and hype.”
“Declassifed” is referring to the whistle-blowing site’s release of a “classified” CIA document which speculates on how foreign governments might react if they begin viewing the US as “an exporter of terrorism” and Wikileaks’ reaction to Assange being accused of sexual molestation while visiting Sweden.
The CIA’s response to the leak, says the Newsweek blog, was “close to a yawn.” Wikileaks’ interpretation of the yawn was favorable to itself. The site tweeted that the CIA typically doesn’t acknowledge such revelations, so the “CIA likely wants to use Red Cell leak to push for policy change in US.”
Wikileaks spun rape accusations against Assange as possible US-sponsored “dirty tricks.” This is a fairly typical charge from Julian Assange and according to Newsweek, Assange’s conspiracy-laden worldview is making Wikileaks supporters uncomfortable. Citing an anonymous source, Newsweek blogged that “WikiLeaks activists around Europe” are “concerned that Assange has continued to spread allegations of dirty tricks and hint at conspiracies against him without justification.” The insiders say “some people affiliated with the website are already brainstorming whether there might be some way to persuade their front man to step aside, or failing that, even to oust him.”
Swedish authorities haven’t exactly cleared Julian Assange. While prosecutors quickly retracted charges of rape, Assange will still have to face questions as to whether the consensual sex he had with two adult women merits the less serious charge of molestation–meaning his accusers allege he didn’t wear a condom and refused to get checked out at a clinic. Even though the milder accusations will probably not place him in a prisoner’s dock, Assange has said he will cooperate with non-jackbooted Swedish officials.