Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Books Privacy Security

Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange 359

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-used-to-disappointment dept.
An anonymous reader writes "From the Telegraph, 'He is vain, secretive, paranoid and jealous, prone to leering at young women and making frequent sexist jokes – and that's not the view of one of his many enemies, but of a friend ... A damning picture of Julian Assange ... has emerged in a detailed account by his ghostwriter. Assange behaves ... like an egotistical tyrant interested more in his own self-publicity than in changing the world. Worse still, he turns on his friends with increasing regularity ... Assange describes the Ecuadorean ambassador offering him diplomatic asylum as 'mad', 'fat' and 'ludicrous'. Even Assange's girlfriend, WikiLeaks researcher Sarah Harrison, grew increasingly frustrated at his behaviour. 'He openly chats girls up and has his hands on their a**e and goes nuts if I even talk to another guy,' she says. O'Hagan, who had hoped to find an anti-authoritarian rebel figure worthy of admiration, says he comes to regard Assange as someone who sacrificed the moral high-ground by attempting to evade trial over the rape charges.' — The Scotsman adds, 'Canongate director Jamie Byng yesterday hailed O'Hagan's account of the "impossibility of trying to ghost Assange's memoirs". He tweeted: "Andy O'Hagan's compelling, ring side account of Being (& being around) Julian Assange is smart, accurate and fair."'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

Comments Filter:
  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:31PM (#46324615) Journal
    Sounds like much we already knew or suspected. I'm more interested in why some people keep trying to show us what an awful character Assange is, instead of focussing on what he has done. Love him and Wikileaks or hate them; the latter seems a lot more relevant.
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:34PM (#46324665) Homepage

      You shouldn't suspect anything. The fact is we have no idea what he is really like, except that it almost certainly isn't what the media have portrayed.

      The fact that Slashdot posts this shit is a sad sign of the slow decline. You wouldn't get this over at SoylentNews.

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by poetmatt (793785) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:37PM (#46324701) Journal

        Additionally, the man is effectively in captivity under a lot of stress. That can present a very different person than that individual might be if not for being locked in the fucking embassy, for example.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by cold fjord (826450)

          Assange's history of treating other people like dirt, including allies, friends, and Wikileaks volunteers, goes back long before he chose to jump bail and become a fugitive from justice. It hasn't exactly been much of a secret either.

          • ...goes back long before he chose to jump bail and become a fugitive from justice.

            He may be a fugitive from something, but it strains credulity to call it "justice".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nemesisghost (1720424)

        You shouldn't suspect anything. The fact is we have no idea what he is really like, except that it almost certainly isn't what the media have portrayed.

        The fact that Slashdot posts this shit is a sad sign of the slow decline. You wouldn't get this over at SoylentNews.

        How do you know that that he isn't the prick that the media has made him out to be? Here we are talking about a guy who was willing to sacrifice confidential informants & journalists just to reveal the truth of how bad the US is. Anyone willing to push their agenda at the costs of innocents is not someone to be admired.

        If SoylentNews is going to filter out news it finds distasteful, then I'll stick with Slashdot. I don't need a nerdy version of FoxNews/MSNBC.

        • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by cheesybagel (670288) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:09PM (#46325091)

          Innocents? They provided him the information. In most countries just doing that is enough to get convicted for treason. If they didn't want the information to be published why did they give it to Wikileaks to begin with?

          Do you think there is anyone with a flawless personality? I still admire him for what he did exposing all that information. But it doesn't mean I need to appreciate his entire way of life.

        • by epyT-R (613989)

          In free countries the press is supposed to fill the function of wikileaks. Of course, today's 'journalists' are too busy 'making a difference' to do their damn jobs.

      • The fact is we have no idea what he is really like

        So he is what the overwhelming majority of the human population will ever be to any of us? Didn't expect that!

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ultranova (717540) on Monday February 24, 2014 @02:43PM (#46326273)

        The fact that Slashdot posts this shit is a sad sign of the slow decline.

        I disagree. While the description of Assange is obviously untrustworthy, and most likely an attempt at character assasination, it's quite newsworthy that such attempts continue. It paints a frightening picture of not Assange, but the state of our Western democracies.

        Also, Slashdot's discussion system means everyone gets to see both the reactions such a story generates, and even more importantly the moderations they receive. It is quite relevant to all of us and the future of our civilization if such sustained effort to destroy the credibility of resistance actually produces results.

        None of us knows anything about Assange from credible sources, so everyone is free to believe what they will. Thus what they choose to believe reflects their pre-existing bias, not unlike in the Zimmerman-Martin affair (where people apparently used their crystal balls to come up with ludicrously detailed blow-by-blow descriptions of what obviously must have happened). It matters little if Assange is a scoundrel, a Cape [tvtropes.org], or a mere human; but it matters a lot whether people are willing to simply take the government's word of it.

        • ... but it matters a lot whether people are willing to simply take the government's word of it.

          Or Assange's word. And this story isn't from "the government," but from someone he chose to work with.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you can vilify someone, you no longer have to refute their message.

      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        A lot of people don't understand that the CIA realized that character assassination is MUCH more effective (and less messy) than physical assassination a long time ago. It's also a great way to deal with an IMF head who suddenly decides to start challenging the dollar [guardian.co.uk].

        This sounds like the latest salvo in a concerted effort to assassinate Assange's character (since Ecuador and the UK would probably frown on anything more direct). Not sure how they got to his ghostwriter (or if he was perhaps a plant all alon

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dugancent (2616577) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:39PM (#46324733)

      We should be more interested in WikiLeaks and their info/message, not the blonde guy at the top.

      • by rev0lt (1950662)
        Well, an autobiography is about the messenger, not necessarily the message.
        • That's pretty much the point. Why does anyone care about his autobiography? I care about one of his projects.

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:46PM (#46324801)

      Why do we either have to love both Assange and Wikileaks, or hate both Assange and Wikileaks?

      You can love Wikileaks and hate Assange, or love Assange and hate Wikileaks. To even bring in finer shades of grey, you can believe that Assange is probably not that nice of a person, and the Swedish investigation is legitimate, but still appreciate the effort put towards Wikileaks, and you can appreciate some of what Wikileaks has done but dislike other acts of Wikileaks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Sounds like much we already knew or suspected. I'm more interested in why some people keep trying to show us what an awful character Assange is, instead of focussing on what he has done. Love him and Wikileaks or hate them; the latter seems a lot more relevant.

      Probably because like here, the people who support him make a ton of noise about how he is just a saint who has been vilified by a vengeful US government and those who say "Hmm... maybe he's not a good guy after all" tend to get drowned out. Bradley Manning might have an interesting take on whether his friendship with Assange was worth it in the end. And as to a certain extent he's arguably a criminal avoiding justice, it does tend to cast a negative light over everything he does. My biggest questions

      • The information he released did not only implicate people in the US. It just happened most information he got came from the US so that's what he published that is all.

        I don't expect Julian to be flawless. I never do. No one is flawless.

      • Sounds like much we already knew or suspected. I'm more interested in why some people keep trying to show us what an awful character Assange is, instead of focussing on what he has done. Love him and Wikileaks or hate them; the latter seems a lot more relevant.

        Probably because like here, the people who support him make a ton of noise about how he is just a saint who has been vilified by a vengeful US government and those who say "Hmm... maybe he's not a good guy after all" tend to get drowned out.

        This. And

      • by Catbeller (118204)

        "Probably because like here, the people who support him make a ton of noise about how he is just a saint who has been vilified by a vengeful US government..."

        Straw man. No one is a saint. No one said he is a saint. And he has been vilified, tracked, and set up by an
        EXTREMELY vengeful US intelligence community - which is much different - and separate from - the US government. Governments come and go, but our real masters live behind the scenes and pull perception management stunts like this.

        How many men, how

    • If your ghost writer turns on you, of all people, is it really fair to say one is paranoid? Sounds like his belief that people are out to get him is fairly confirmed.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      ...instead of focussing on what he has done.

      One of the things he's done is built a cult of followers who insist that he's leaking secrets purely for the good of the world. It's reached the point where anyone criticizing him is dismissed outright as being a brainwashed government shill, especially here on Slashdot where the hivemind reigns supreme.

      However, the actual existence of a benevolent intent is what makes all the difference, factually. If Assange's claims of benevolence are honest, then he's a whistleblower who only gave information to enemie

      • His intentions might be interesting as tittle-tattle. What's important is whether the leaks have done good. And as they've brought facts about the duplicity and crimes of a number of governments into the public domain, it's undoubtably good - unless you are a politician with something to hide.

    • by goombah99 (560566) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:14PM (#46325173)

      more like self appoint, failed and bitter biographer.
      "[When Assange would not cooperare with the writier]... Assange's publisher, Cannongate, releases its own version of the autobiography, after Assange allegedly fails to honour the terms of his contract. The book flopped, selling only 700 copies in its first week"

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Exactly. So why did he hate "The Fifth Estate" so much? Sounds like it captured him accurately or even better than reality (since it didn't show up treating women like sex objects).
    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      Assuming this is true, I'm curious about why Sarah Harrison is still involved as closely as she is. I've sometimes wondered if she found Snowden to be more of the kind of person she thought or hoped Assange was.

  • Yea a lot of people who do really amazing things aren't always the best people. Sure he deserves some criticism, but we obsess over these take down articles. Clickbait etc
    • Not just clickbait, but an actual hatchet-job which will be defended by Wikileaks opponents as "We know he's imperfect and you shouldn't be worshipping him" (which we weren't anyway.)

      Clearest clue this entire article is written in bad faith: this poor attempt to imply hypocrisy:

      But Assange, who was quite happy to reveal the secrets of governments around the world proved far more reluctant when it came to talking about his own past and private life.

      No idea if Assange is an unfaithful harasser of women o

  • If you can't win. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TechyImmigrant (175943) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:32PM (#46324635) Journal

    If you can't win: Ad Hominem.

  • Not a ghostwriter. (Score:5, Informative)

    by o_ferguson (836655) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:32PM (#46324637)
    Speaking as a ghostwriter, this is not how one operates. This guy is just being an asshole.
    • Speaking as a ghostwriter, this is not how one operates. This guy is just being an asshole.

      If you think he is being "an asshole," you apparently haven't looked at Assange's behavior.

  • by tomhath (637240) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:35PM (#46324671)
    Could describe any number of people who are/were successful in public but had feet of clay. Rev. Martin Luther King, Pres. Bill Clinton - the list goes on and on (admittedly King wasn't necessarily paranoid, they really were out to get him).
  • Not being a friend of Assange at all (who jumped bail and now is costing the Ecuadorian government lots of money), but what does that have to do with anything? And everybody can ask themselves what they would look like if someone tried hard to show them in the worst possible light.
    • The second the rape BS comes up it should be a dead give away this is not a legitimate source. Somebody who knows the situation because they have close contact and work with him (at least since he got on the CIA's radar) clearly must know the obvious facts about the Rape BS. But instead decides to act like a CIA operative and push the government's propaganda 110%?? Paid operative before or after is still a paid operative (that doesn't mean spy and who knows what secrets the ghostwriter has, except the N

  • How many people would stay "nice" if you found yourself choosing between staying in self-imposed jail or stepping outside and likely finding yourself in real jail?

    I have no idea to Assange's personality before all this happened, but a severe case of cabin fever can drive people off the rails.

    • "Assange behaves ... like an egotistical tyrant interested more in his own self-publicity than in changing the world."

      He's been like that since day 1. None of this started when he locked himself in the embassy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:50PM (#46324861)

    Sorry to post A/C, but there's too much hate for contrarian opinions on Slashdot.

    I love how the pro-Assange crowd is already dismissing this. I'm sorry, but it does matter. The "why" someone does something is just as important as the "what". Assange takes a lot of credit for Wikileaks, but the truth is there are a lot of people involved in Wikileaks who are more valuable to the organization whereas Assange's narcissim and poor ethical decisions have not only made him an easy target but have also damaged the brand itself. With what they're trying to do, maintaining the ethical and moral high ground is paramount as the only thing they have to go on for their work to make a difference is their reputation; once that's damaged then the public at large will not trust them and nothing will ever really change. If you truly believe in what you're doing, then you don't put yourself into compromising situations with women etc.

  • Not that I don't believe it, necessarily. Merely that it can't be trusted. At all.

  • oh noes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by melchoir55 (218842) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:01PM (#46325005)

    He's self centered and likes to flirt with younger women. Oh no! Our faith in the very integrity of wikileaks must be revisited!

    Meanwhile an enormous personality cult continues around an asshole who regularly destroyed the lives of people working for him (Steve Jobs).

    If I were going to pick someone to have a beer with, I would pick Assange any day. I don't give a fuck if someone has personality flaws. That means he is the same as every other human alive. What I care about is their effect on the world around them. Assange has had such a net positive impact with wikileaks that no amount of aggressive flirting or being-a-dick-sometimes(tm) is going to burn it.

    • Re:oh noes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cheesybagel (670288) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:23PM (#46325299)

      Not to mention the liver transplant he got. People his age usually get pushed all the way back to the transplant list. Even then, after he got his liver, did he even bother taking his pills to at least ensure he lived a bit longer so the transplant wasn't useless? No. He did a crazy mystical diet where he died shortly afterwards.

  • Maybe, just maybe, he did assault the woman. After all, it is the "seriousness of the charge" that counts.
  • by cowwoc2001 (976892) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:19PM (#46325243)

    Silly question: what does a**e stand for? :)

  • NSA Campaign (Score:5, Informative)

    by StormReaver (59959) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:28PM (#46325367)

    Remember, the NSA's stated M.O. is to publicly smear Julian Assange in order to get people to divert focus away from the crimes commited by the U.S. Federal Government.

    Julian's character is an irrelevant distraction, so don't get drawn into a debate over the messenger. Stay on message: The U.S. Federal Government has committed crimes against its people, and will do anything to cover it up.

  • Uh, it's perfectly possible to be a sociopath and also do good and important things.

    The personality part is interesting because it shows that Assange's personality is both what enabled him to accomplish all he did with WikiLeaks, and what sabotaged his efforts to make WikiLeaks into something even bigger and more powerful. His fallings-out with other WikiLeaks people predates much of the external pressure. Based on many sources, he strikes me as a deeply flawed individual who has accomplished great things.

  • I know I live in a basement and haven't ever actually talked to a girl, let alone put my hands on her a**e, which is good, because I don't have a fucking clue what her a**e is.

  • I knew a girl in high school that didn't like to be touched on her ankle. Something about her height and being stuff into waste bins or something.

  • by wiredlogic (135348) on Monday February 24, 2014 @04:18PM (#46327421)

    This behavior is all in line with those who have Borderline and Narcisistic Personality Disorders. Most highly motivated people with the drive to be leaders have them to some degree. Some worse than others. That's why all of our elected officials are essentially pricks motivated by self gain rather than true public service. Their behavior drives away the decent people who might otherwise want to participate but can't tolerate interacting with such people.

    While not the most admirable traits to have, it also isn't a crime to be a backstabbing asshole. It seems like someone is on a character assassination agenda.

New crypt. See /usr/news/crypt.

Working...