Update on ‘Saint’ Julian Assange, the liberal elite’s favourite fugitive, and his bid for political asylum in Ecuador, by hiding in that whiffy and genuine banana republic’s London embassy…
It appears that the Wikileaks founder and crusader for ‘free journalism’ isn’t too fazed about climbing into the political sack with Ecuador’s odious, tinpot dictator, Rafael Correa, who has a fiery passion for curbing Press zeal.
A bulletin from the Organisation of American States reports: ‘Correa regularly uses an emergency provision in the country’s broadcast law to commandeer the country’s airwaves and denounce journalists as ‘ignorant’ and ‘liars’.’
In fact, El Presidente makes media censorship a flagship government policy, evidenced by how he has filed multiple defamation suits against critical journalists. Three executives and the former op-ed editor of the country’s leading newspaper, El Universo, have been hit with a $40-million libel judgment and could soon be jailed.
Contrast this with Assange’s assertion: ‘We (Wikileaks) are free Press activists. It’s about giving people the information they need. That is the raw ingredient that is needed to make a just and civil society. Without that you are just sailing in the dark. I have tried to invent a system that solves the problem of censorship across the whole world.’
Then there was this bizarre exchange in a TV interview Assange did with Ecuador’s despot.
Correa: ‘Let us stop promoting this image of poor, courageous journalists, a saintly media trying to tell the truth, and tyrants and autocrats trying to stop them.’
Assange: ‘I completely agree with your view on the media.’
Hence, it’s impossible to deduce whether the pair will make strange bedfellows or swap pillow talk in a meeting of like minds.
Meanwhile, support for the plight of the allegedly persecuted Saint Julian appears to be peeling away, like an overripe Ecuadorian banana (for the record: the country exports five million tons of the fruit a year).
David Leigh and Luke Harding, of The Guardian – the newspaper that first championed Assange and publicised the Wikileaks dossier – describe the revulsion of staff at the far Left broadsheet at his beliefs, after one of the journos asked Assange if wasn’t worried that Afghan civilians, who’d co-operated with the coalition forces, could be exposed to danger by Wikileaks’ revelations.
Assange’s chillingly replied, ‘So, if they get killed they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.’
The New York Times, another early Wikileaks glorifier, suffered a similar rush of hindsight, reporting that several of Assange’s closest associates had abandoned him, exhausted by their publicity-hungry leader’s ‘erratic and imperious behaviour, and nearly delusional grandeur’.
As the public mood shifts towards the realisation that a world in which nothing is secret would be stark, staring, dangerously bonkers, schisms are appearing in Assange’s fan club – ‘a motley collection of socialites, movie-makers and human rights bores,’ as the Daily Telegraph describes them – several of whom have acted as sureties for the £240,000 bail, which he has now jumped.
Jemima Khan, the cause-sensitive, multi-millionaire heiress, admits she’s ‘on the hook for £20,000’, but expects Assange will finally go quietly to Sweden, which seeks his extradition on rape charges, a request granted by an English court.
Maybe some of those who once naively bought into the saintly vision of Julian – and his quest to torpedo Western security on the high altar of ‘Press freedom’ – may now be beginning to wonder if they’ve not actually slipped on a very nasty banana skin…and an Ecuadorian one at that.