With a small band of former associates stepping up their inner egos and more publicly turning on him (and getting the usual turncoat book deals), a ‘growing band of international leaders’ have broken rank with the US and Australian by coming out in support of Assange. Among them, bizzarely, Vladimir Putin, who has described Assange’s detention in Britain as “undemocratic”.
Weird but true.
Even weirder: Russians are calling for Assange to be nominated for the Noble Peace Prize, which might be a step too far.
Former Wikileaks employees – to henceforth be known as “defectors” – are variously describing Assange as:
- slave trader
- not a king
- not a god
- not a leader
The defectors are going to launch a Wikileaks rival site next week, called Openleaks. The new organisation will not host documents itself, preferring to be an intermediary between all interested parties, including MSM.
Openleaks, so the new leaders say, will be run democratically by all members. (Good luck with that.)
The defecting group, along with their complaints and new aspirations, are par of the course for any organisation that is essentially the brainchild of an individual or small group: when that initial cell grows, out of necessity, there comes a point when the peons feel ownership over the beast that they begin to believe they should be running the place. It’s a dirt common scenario in business. (It’s not unlike people who buy a house next to a pub and then insist on noise laws being changed because music and drunken customers are keeping then up at night. Should have noticed that before you moved in ...) Did any of them think Assange was the type to consult and mollycoddle?
Assange: "I am the heart and soul of this organisation, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organiser, financier and all the rest. If you have a problem with me, piss off."
His idea, his money, his baby, his rules.
In between launching the rival site, Assange’s former right hand man, Daniel Domschelt-Berg, is writing a tell-all book - Inside WikiLeaks: My Time at the World's Most Dangerous Website.
One way or another, the defectors will continue to make a healthy living off their former boss.
Funnies to note:
- In 2011 the U.S will host “World Press Freedom Day”.
- Joe Lieberman is a member of the “Global Internet Freedom Caucus” and also sponsored a bill to support “Internet censorship victims” in Iran.