Assange is… well, I ain’t gonna add to the verbiage. I never met the guy (though a friend of mine hosted him in London and says… but no, silly game of he said she said). Is he an anti-Semite? If you believe Ian Hislop of Private Eye, yes. Is he x, is he y? Maybe and I don’t know.
What I find amusing is that none of the craven hacks seems (I don’t read them, so may be wrong) to have asked the obvious question – “What did the Swedish say when the Ecuadorians asked if them if they would guarantee Assange wouldn’t get onward-extradited to the US?” Cos I think the Swedish waffled and ducked and weaved… [Update; “… the Swedish government cannot provide an iron-clad “guarantee” that Assange would not be extradited to the US. That’s because it is Swedish courts, and not the government, that make the ultimate decision on extradition. But both the British and Swedish governments play an important role in any extradition proceeding: they take influential positions on whether extradition is legally warranted.”]
And what is behind all this hatred for Assange? Glenn Greenwald nails it. Here’s a snip;
Many journalists (and liberals) like to wear the costume of outsider-insurgent, but are, at their core, devoted institutionalists, faithful believers in the goodness of their society’s power centers, and thus resent those (like Assange) who actually and deliberately place themselves outside of it. By putting his own liberty and security at risk to oppose the world’s most powerful factions, Assange has clearly demonstrated what happens to real adversarial dissidents and insurgents – they’re persecuted, demonized, and threatened, not befriended by and invited to parties within the halls of imperial power – and he thus causes many journalists to stand revealed as posers, servants to power, and courtiers.
Then there’s the ideological cause. As one long-time British journalist told me this week when discussing the vitriol of the British press toward Assange: “Nothing delights British former lefties more than an opportunity to defend power while pretending it is a brave stance in defence of a left liberal principle.” That’s the warped mindset that led to so many of these self-styled liberal journalists to support the attack on Iraq and other acts of Western aggression in the name of liberal values. And it’s why nothing triggers their rage like fundamental critiques of, and especially meaningful opposition to, the institutions of power to which they are unfailingly loyal.