Assange: "I'm not a player, I just crush a lot."

• Sir Leaks-a-Lot: "I'm not promiscuous, I just really like women."
• But Julian, how many women? "A gentleman never tells."
• Assange and Guardian no longer besties. If chatter circulating in the mediasphere today is to be believed, Assange is, like, so super pissed at the Guardian for leaking details of sex assault allegations. This, of course, follows Assange being so super pissed at John Burns at the New York Times, so super pissed at Wired News' Kevin Poulsen, and any number of other reporters who published critical or unflattering information (you may note he isn't talking to us, either). Anyway, he granted a tell-all interview to Guardian rival The Times which you can't read, because you aren't going to pay the paywall.
• Dude has a book deal.
• "People affiliated with our organisation have already been assassinated," Assange tells the BBC. Huh? No more details provided on that one. UPDATE: Assange was referring to this.
Eye-roll: "I was handed a card by one of my black prison guards. It said, 'I only have two heroes in the world: Dr. (Martin Luther) King, and you,'" he told the newspaper. "That is representative of 50 percent of people."
Greg Mitchell at The Nation is still live-blogging Wikileaks-related news, including the Assange-dramz and the more substantive concerns about the contents of the leaks, and related issues of censorship and openness.


  1. Assange has company-
    Kevin Poulsen: I’m not a journalist, I just help turn over sources to the government so they can be tortured.

  2. yeah it’s important to note that if this is an information revolution, it’s likely going to be led by some sort of antisocial nerd who doesn’t really understand how to conduct himself properly in society. also, the comparison to MLK is interested considering he also was sort of a sexual deviant. as was ghandi.

    1. who doesn’t really understand how to conduct himself properly in society

      implying you are anyone has set the standard for what is proper in ‘society.”

      which society are we referring to as a standard? black-bloc anarchists…black tie wearing socialites…trades people…soccer moms…scientists…radicals…conservatives..proponents of ‘mall culture’…priests…pedophiles…liberals…democrats…black robe wearing occultists…black hat hackers…white knights…

      far as I can discern, Assange seems to have plenty of support from plenty of people. I would say he, more so than most others, is exceedingly successful at conducting himself in society.

      re: narcissism and egomania. These are sweeping assumptions. Last time I checked, an ego was/is an inseparable component of every single human’s composite psyche. Something about it being the very means by which we are able to navigate through & mediate our drives/desires with those of others. The very menstruum through which self & other interoperate. How can any one single person deem another ‘egotistical’ or ‘narcissistic’ when we _all_ exhibit these so-very damning tendencies at least a few times a day to varying degrees.

      To me, it’s simple. The man is Doing His Will. The rest is just simian uproar at another who upsets the safety and stability of the tribe. Such has always been the burden of the great artist, thinker or doer.

  3. >he granted a tell-all interview to Guardian rival The Times which you can’t read, because you aren’t going to pay the paywall. – Xeni

    Maybe someone will leak it.

    >some sort of antisocial nerd who doesn’t really understand how to conduct himself properly in society. – max

    I agree, the ‘public figures’ who set out to do ‘something big’ and who are immune from criticism of their personality, personal behaviour, sexual proclivities, etc. are very few and far between. I’m not sure I can think of a single one. I guess they’re human too.

  4. Max, “sexual deviant” is a bit much for MLK–“serial adulterer” is fairer, IMHO. MLK’s sexual behavior has only become known because the FBI was wiretapping him, hoping to curtail his political activities via blackmail. The playbook never changes.

  5. Xeni, by your snide commentary on issues of Assange’s douchebag personality, you play right into the hands of the forces seeking change the story in order to marginalize the revelations in the documents.

    1. Xeni, by your snide commentary on issues of Assange’s douchebag personality, you play right into the hands of the forces seeking change the story in order to marginalize the revelations in the documents.

      Yes, complimenting Assange for his douchebagness would help The Cause(tm) tremendously.

      Sticking your dick into a sleeping woman. *applause*
      Then order her to bring you breakfast to bed. *standing ovations*

    2. So the actual truth of the matter is just too much for you to bear? You are willing to suppresses truth on behalf of your politics? I thought that was the very cause you were fighting against?

      1. which truth are you discussing?

        If I understand your words correctly (along with the words of others in this thread), there is something of a near-hysterical lynch mob mentality rearing its ugly head.

        Assange did this, Assange did that. Rape, sex by surprise…ad nauseum. Whatever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and allowing someone to give their side? Last I read, the authorities are withholding important evidence which exonerates Assange from all charges. Someone, maybe everyone, is lying about what really happened.

        There has been, and will continue to be, so much obfuscation in this matter from the press that I, for one, refuse to believe anything other than that which tangibly has been occurring. Even that I take with a hefty grain of salt.

        1. You are reading way too much into me.

          I am just interested in the truth, whatever that may be. I don’t like people wilfully suppressing information if it doesn’t align with their political views. People seem to think it is ok to fill the void left by the lack of hard information with their own political spins. How much does it matter to you what Assange is or is not? Are you willing to sacrifice a truthful portrait of Assange in the name your politics? I for one am not.

  6. I hate to be the one coming to Assange’s defense, but you can’t do what he did (I mean the leak stuff, not the sex stuff) without being completely narcissistic and a nationally ranked asshole. “What’s this? A tenth of a percent of the classified information I’d need to begin to form an opinion about what it means and which specific details should be redacted? Why, I have no compunction WHATSOEVER about glancing at this and releasing the portions I deem fit for public consumption!” Followed quickly by, “I’d better get an agent.”

    Now I know there are plenty of people who think the good outweighs the harm here, or even that there is no harm. Fair enough. I’m just saying it takes a titanic ego to pull the trigger on that. You don’t just have to think you’re the Good Guy, you have to think you’re THE GUY, and that you just happen to be Good. That makes anyone who’s not with you the Bad Guy. Trust me, I’m an American–we frequently elect THE GUY President.

    What I’m saying is that there is NO hypocrisy or contradiction here, at least in Assange’s mind. He may be a traitor or a hero, but either way, he’s coming by it honestly. For whatever that’s worth.

    1. There are a ton of people and places leaking and reporting leaks like this, and doing so for years. I can’t think of any others that are anywhere near this douchey, nevermind this possibly rapey.

      1. Oh, sure, I’m not saying nobody ever leaked a document to a reporter before. You’re right, happens all the time. But when the Assistant Undersecretary for Farm Policy leaks a sensitive document on farm policy to a reporter on the farm policy beat, it doesn’t take much chutzpah.

        In fact, the system works as well as it does because those people and reporters (and investigative reporters) exist.

        A man who doesn’t know any more about geopolitics and warfare than he can read in the newspapers that he himself swears are concealing the real story–coming into possession of a gigantic cache of raw documents fed to him by a 22-year-old PFC–with no basis for knowing which secrets are “good” or “bad”–releasing some but not all of what he’s been given, meaning that he feels himself competent to make specific decisions about what we should or shouldn’t know–

        –THAT takes someone who’s willing to completely, utterly, pathologically ignore the question of “who the hell am I to be making this decision under these circumstances.” Now, maybe that’s a necessary condition for some definition of “greatness.” Who knows.

  7. Wow. I wouldn’t want to be interviewed by John Humphrys (BBC). That man is badass. I think Assange felt raped after that. Man, I’d love to see Humphrys interview our politicians here in the U.S.

  8. I agree that Assange is an egomanic to some extent, but find it strange to see his promiscuity criticised on a site that is not usually very judgmental about sexual preference/choices. This is a trend I see among liberal friends of mine often, though . . . it’s all “no judgments about people’s sexual preferences” until it is convenient to use those kinds of judgments to condemn someone.

    For example, during a recent conversation with a very liberal-minded friend about QB Ben Roethlisberger, I said that while I thought rape was a believable possibility in the GA case, it was hard to tell what happened since the charges were dropped. Referring to the previous Lake Tahoe accusation, he said that “if you’ve been accused twice it means you did it” (which is definitely not the case under American law, and is especially ridiculous given the Lake Tahoe charges – look up the accuser’s co-worker’s affadavits). Then, perhaps realizing that didn’t jibe with our legal system, he said “he’s like 30, he shouldn’t be messing around with college-aged girls in bars.” That might be sage advice, but it doesn’t make the likelihood that he committed rape more or less likely. And it’s a bizarrely judgmental thing for someone who considers gay marriage equality a top issue to say. Again, I’m not a Roethlisberger defender (and actually pull against the Steelers), but it’s strange the way it’s fine to be judgmental about legal sexual behaviors in some cases, but borderline evil in others.

    Here, I’m not sure how Assange’s (admitted) promiscuity is supposed to inform our opinions of Assange or the Swedish case, except that it seems like the accusers’ idea to bring sex offense charges came only after the two women realized he was sleeping around (which is not illegal). Yes, my grandmother probably thinks even less of Assange now for his promiscuity, but I’m surprised the BB crew does.

  9. This is some tabloid level reporting right here.

    I find it hard to imagine that some celebrity journalist is bigger news then the cable leaks. Or would that take more work to report on then making some douche bag comments?

  10. So Assange is a douche. That’s his problem.

    Is there any hope at all of having us focus on the content of the leaks, or are we so far down the rabbit hole that by the time the last 150,000 or so leaks are released nobody will even notice them in the fuss and bother over Assange or some other celebrity douchebag.

    All of this, true or false, is irrelevant to the facts of the leaks and their contents. Is anyone even interested in that part anymore? This sideshow is just fucking depressing, though all too predictable.

  11. Xeni isn’t marginalizing the revelations in the documents. Assange is. His escapades and albino-jesus complex are marginalizing the leaks. Its his lawyers that keep playing the conspiracy card… and flip when details come out that hurt their client.

    Do you really think there is some US led global conspiracy to bring Assange up on ‘worst sex ever’ charges? Men smoking in dark rooms discussing in hushed tones their next move to discredit this guy? Meh.

    1. Rob, I don’t think most people are saying it’s a conspiracy by the US. I do think it’s strange for US/Int’l papers to keep calling the charges “rape” charges for weeks without explaining that he isn’t accused of rape in the US/UK meaning of the term. It’s incredibly irresponsible.

      Anyone who’s read anything about the history of race relations in the US should understand why I’m perturbed to see people demonizing Assange based solely on accusations of rape. That was a prime tool used to justify lynchings. Am I comparing Assange to civil rights heroes or lynching victims? No, so please don’t attack that strawman. But that history should be food for thought.

    2. Thank you thank you thank you. If Assange really cared about The Cause that people keep insisting that we need to focus on, then the Wikileaks cabal would be as inscrutable as Anonymous. Instead, you have this insta-celebrity swanning around and not seeming to really give one-tenth of one percent of a shit about Bradley Manning rotting away in solitary. Sorry, kids, but you’ll have to come up with a better messiah than someone who treats women like shit.

  12. The next time someone has something to leak, just dump it on a couple of free webhosts and email the link to a dozen international newspapers.
    If it’s a video, put it on youtube.
    No need to involve Wikileaks or anyone else.

  13. Have you seen what he’s actually being accused of, or are you still thinking of the now rather widely discredited ‘sex by surprise’ crap that his supporters were spreading around initially? It would absolutely qualify as rape, even in the US with it’s fairly regressive rape laws.

    1. Brillobreaks – I’ve read numerous articles about the charges, but still don’t see anything that sounds like a likely rape conviction here or in most Western countries. More than willing to hear more evidence, though. From what I’ve read: both women were Wikileaks admirers who had consensual sex with Assange, and then, upon finding out that he had been promiscuous, sleeping with both women, became understandably jealous/angry and worried about STD’s. When he wouldn’t comply with requests to get STD tests (an unbelievably sketchy thing for him to do, I might add), and only then, they brought rape/sex assault charges against him. Most contentious charge is that one of them says she woke up and he was having sex with her. Whether she told him no/resisted him at that point, and other contextual facts, like whether they were having sex intermittently through the night, are not clear.

      1. Assuming their story is correct and he was unwilling for god knows what reason to not get tested: it’s been honestly bothering me, couldn’t they just get tested?

  14. Assange is angry that someone leaked information he didn’t want leaked because it might have consequences he didn’t like.

    But he can’t see the poetic justice in that.

  15. Liking sex with women a lot isn’t the same as liking women a lot. In fact, depending on just how much one compartmentalizes the sex from the women themselves, “liking women a lot” can become flat-out misogyny.

  16. Xeni, can we please STOP THIS?

    This leak is huge. Whether you agree that it should have been done or not, it has the potential to really change things. THIS is the transparency we have demanded for so long.

    Yet what do we do with it? We ignore it. Who cares that US contractors were selling child sex slaves to clients? Assange had “surprise sex” with someone. Who cares that Pakistan has been playing both sides? We have Assange’s OK Cupid profile.

    Xeni, we are shirking our responsibility as citizens by ignoring the difficult and the uncomfortable in favor of a man who DOES NOT MAKE THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF DIFFERENCE ANYMORE. This is NOT about Assange, no matter how easy it is on us to pretend it is!

    So please, Xeni. I AM BEGGING YOU.

    1. Hey Lobster,

      Xeni has been the BoingBoing editor posting the most about Wikileaks’ leaks—including the stuff about the US contractors selling child sex slaves to clients. If you think she’s ignoring the content of leaks, you’re either not paying attention, or you’re being willfully ignorant.

      You’re right. Wikileaks isn’t about Assange. Which is precisely why it’s unreasonable to say that posts about him somehow detract from BoingBoing’s coverage of Wikileaks. They are two separate things. We (and Xeni in particular) are covering both. Both deserve coverage.

  17. I agree that it was pretty stupid to become the public face of Wikileaks. An anaonymous collective would be much more effective at keeping the focus on the content of the documents. One would expect future leakers to be more careful about that. And yes, there will be many more. Assange is but an obnoxious advance man of the coming horde.

    And I think the pressure on Assange will go up exponentially once the alleged trove of Bank of America docs get released. Messing with the US government is one thing, but taking a shot at a mega corporation will unleash a legal shitstorm that will make Assange wish he were facing Swedish sex charges. (Not to diminish the seriousness of those alleged offenses, but he ain’t seen nothing yet.)

  18. Wow, I’m glad we’re over the big issues here. Let’s get down to the sex and ego, already. This is America, durnit!

    1. Wow, I’m glad we’re over the big issues here. Let’s get down to the sex and ego, already. This is America, durnit!

      Try as you might, you can’t blame anyone but Assange for this one. A crime is a crime is a crime. We wouldn’t be having this discussion if Assange hadn’t acted the way he did. I would appreciate it if the Fanboy Crowd at least had enough spine to stand for their own supposed principles rather then tossing their ideals to the curb when they don’t happen to suit the political needs of the hour.

      1. oh sorry, is Assange secretly Xeni posting bullshit stories on Boing Boing in order to keep himself in the lime light?

      2. We currently have two people making these claims against him, under strange circumstances. It’s nice though, that you assume the dude is guilty.

        You know, since there’s already been a trial and all.

        1. Your putting words in my mouth. I never say he was “guilty”

          My stance has always been that the allegations against him deserve continued investigation. I am against the “allegations are false” crowd as they would simply see the charges dismissed because they think he is “innocent”.

          Get things straight Assange legal status is neither “guilty” nor “innocent” if falls in this gray area known as “suspect”

          1. Also, to be as fair as possible: ‘suspect’ is a highly-loaded word, at least in US culture.

            If you do care about being fair and honest, ‘accused’ is a better word to be using.

          2. You need to learn about legalities, “suspect” is about the least loaded word that could be used in this situation. It implies nothing beyond the fact that said individual is in FACT under investigation for SOME violation of the law.

  19. Can one of the many Assange fans here answer something for me. How does Wikileaks refusing the NYT prior access to the cable leak because of a fit of pique by Assange over unfavourable coverage sit with you?

    1. Well, as someone who doesn’t really care about Assange, I’ll bite.

      You see, there’s this ‘content’ to the leaks, which is surprisingly more important than the meta-story of how the information is being released.

      So really, if we could all focus less on how “ASSANGE IZ MEGALOMANIACAL”, and more on the information being freely given to us by numerous people putting their lives and freedom at risk to do so, I would very much appreciate it.

      1. “You see, there’s this ‘content’ to the leaks, which is surprisingly more important than the meta-story of how the information is being released.”

        I agree, but if so what benefit is Assange’s constant spinning and publicising the leaks. Surely the thing to do is release the files and let them speak for themselves? Why have the separate Collateral Murder website, did the footage not stand on it’s own merits?

        I would love if Assange would get the hell out of the way and allow Wikileaks be simply a safe and secure repository of leaked info.

        1. Well, it’s not helping, no. But asking ‘Assange fanboys’ is a tad derisive, considering the fact that there are very few of them out there.

          Which is really my whole point. I don’t care about him or what he did. If he did ‘force sex’ or whatever on someone, then one would hope that the evidence would bear it out in trial. It has no effect on the content of the leaks, and frankly I’m tired of all this celebrity gossip crap about it.

          It’s funny, actually, that after all this time reading stories and commenting here, I never noticed how all the articles are all about all the rapes that happen every day. Which is why I have to keep hearing about this one.

          So, back to your comment, in short: agreed. What I would like to see is everything released, and the organization go completely headless from now on.

          1. I said fans not fanboys (unless you have superpowers and can see my edits before I hit submit!), I was trying to be nice!

            I wonder how just releasing everything would work in practice?Very prone to being misused I’d say.

          2. It’s been about Assange from the start, and it will probably be about Assange to the end. His role can’t suddenly be marginalized. So it was relevant to write about Assange when he wasn’t accused of rape, but now any mention of Assange is “gossip” and “tabloid news”?

            This was OK two weeks ago?


            And this is not OK today?


            Is that so?…

            He should let his hair go and keep it white like every other horny cult leader before him. And change his name to Rassputange.

  20. Regardless of whether one thinks these charges are about character assassination, every time I read another comment chastising people for saying something about the sexual assault charges when OMGTHECABLES are so important, I just want to give up on humanity.

    No one is saying that the information in the leaks is irrelevant, but when people keep defending Assange and demonizing his accusers and/or misrepresenting their claims on the basis that the work of wikileaks is too important, it makes the case that ALL rape victims should take one for the team, as it were, in the event that their attacker is considered sufficiently important.

    1. If you want to make this about rape rather than Assange, maybe we should start with a more serious rape crime. All rapes are serious, but some are more serious than others. I’d be more inclined to start with one where the complaint was, “I barely survived and my sister didn’t” rather than, say, “it was pretty bad sex.”

        1. That’s a knee-jerk reaction. There are degrees of rape, just like with any other crime. This is not a value judgment, this is common sense.

          You don’t have to list rape as a hobby on your facebook profile, you just have to be enough of an adult to understand that crimes have degrees of severity and circumstances. If you were to date-rape someone, that’s obviously bad; is it exactly as bad as raping a child to death?

      1. maybe we should start with a more serious rape crime.

        That’s sick Lobster. Your claiming that, sex crimes should only be investigated in the most serious of cases??? It is only “rape” if there was violence. That’s a sickening view to hold. Sexual Harassment and other less or non- violent sex crimes still deserve investigation. The law is what matters, not your opinion of that law.

      2. ” “I barely survived and my sister didn’t””

        That’s not rape. That’s homicide and attempted homicide. FWIW.

    2. That’s one hell of an assumption to make.

      I guess you got me though. I don’t care about this Weekly World News crap. So I clearly support rape. Actually, I think it’s great. I was always sort of a feminist before Wikileaks, but WHOOSH, there’s goes all that noise.

    3. IggyKoopa, what I don’t understand is, why would you want to “take one for the team” for someone who may be lying/exaggerating? Are you glad everyone assumed the Duke Lacrosse accuser was telling the truth, or believed the news anchor who recently was arrested for falsely reporting a sexual assault?

      To me, unconditionally defending anything Assange’s accusers say, just because they’ve accused someone of rape, is just as bad as unconditionally defending anything someone else says (like Assange, or a politician, or anyone else). People like the Duke accuser and the recent news anchor accuser have realized that they can tap into an emotional goldmine and get instant support . . . if you want to be part of facilitating that, that’s your choice, I guess.

      Please don’t mistake my comments for discouraging efforts by rape victims/survivors to provide support for each other. I have friends of both genders (more of them female) who have been victims of rape, and I’ve seen how it has scarred them. But that doesn’t mean that anyone making that allegation should instantly gain your unconditional support/defense. Again, see the huge % of lynching cases in this country’s history that hinged on immediate unconditional support of a rape accusation. Here’s a book on the topic:

      1. There’s seems to be some heavy-duty narrative creation going on lately.

        You’re either with the ‘raped’, or you’re with the ‘rapist’.

        Also, you’re either with the US, or with the terrorists. Just to round it out.

        1. Exactly, God forbid anyone ask any questions about what have to be considered incredibly questionable charges. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is reminded of the whole post-9/11 & Iraq “how DARE you question our allegations – don’t you realize Saddam is a bad person?” thing. Yes, I have always thought Saddam was a bad person, and I’m glad he’s dead now. Just didn’t think the war was a good idea. Please, to anyone who thinks this is about defending Assange, I’ve actually assumed he was a bit of an egomaniac since I first read about him several years ago. Moreover, as an American taxpayer pissed at the possibility of losing Afghan informants, I have very mixed views of Wikileaks’ work.

          1. You pretty much have to be egotistical to do that kind of work.

            But now, let’s be fair. Those Afghan informants are in that position because we’re paying them to be. One of the stated purposes of leaking documents here is to make it harder to start these wars. Wars that we’ve started that are completely responsible for the danger these informants are facing.

            Additionally, everything I’ve seen so far indicates that Wikileaks is making a strong effort to redact names. They’re going to miss some, and the US government doesn’t want to play ball and help on the redaction.

            So bad things -could- happen because of the leaks; but far, far worse shit -is- happening, and will do so indefinitely if no one takes a stand against it. At least, no one in a position to be heard.

  21. “We wouldn’t be having this discussion if Assange hadn’t acted the way he did.”

    Details, please. Maybe I’m just misunderstanding, but I’m definitely not putting words in your mouth.

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