The recently released Julian Assange gave an interesting interview to Kirsty Wark on Newsnight (16 December 2010) and did his best to avoid answering some simple questions; all very disappointing from someone who is the apostle of free speech – but perhaps not clear speech.
KW asked him, if the allegations against him were simply for inappropriate behaviour why not just apologise to the women? JA clearly responded that the allegations were for double rape – then he proceeded to go on a tangent by highlighting the number of search engine hits for the word “rape” – 33 million, and the number of hits for his name, and “rape” – being 4 million – over 10%. Point being therefore that this is a smear campaign. I think, he may be slightly stretching the point and taking on the role of the victim. When you are dominant in the public eye, and as high profile as Assange, and there are allegations of rape – the first conclusion is not that it’s a smear. This is about interest, publicity, and the fast-paced world of media and content hungry internet – something he should know a lot about.
KW then pointed out that these allegations were in danger of damaging Wikileaks, and not just him. Again, he seemed to want to generalise this point as to how the intent was to attack the head of the organisation, as a way of getting at Wikileaks. Or perhaps, Mr Assange, its about getting justice for the women involved?
KW asked him, if he was so adamant about his innocence then surely you would wish to try and clear your name. He responded by saying that there was little clarity on what the allegations were, despite repeated attempts to find out ( its not clear why this is the case when it is understood that it’s double rape) and the facts were leaked to the press and a right-wing tabloid – which he expressed with some indignation; how could they have the affront to leak information about him. He maintained that he had established that further leaks would be released in the following 24 hours.
Well Mr Assange, you try to make a big thing out of leaks about you as an individual, when you have wantonly leaked information potentially on issues which affect many people’s security in the interests of freedom of speech, and investigative journalism.
The absolute arrogance of the man to suggest that leaking against him was part of a smear campaign whereas when he does it, it is part of some wider calling for the benefit of public interest – such hypocrisy.
The manipulation I referred to in my previous post HERE is beginning to unfold. He is trying to convince us that his sexual misdemeanours are a way of getting at Wikileaks and therefore freedom of speech – and from that the droves of gullible, attention seeking celebs try to boost their political capital by jumping blindly on to the Assange bandwagon.
The story continues….