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Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange 359

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."'"
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Ghostwriter Reveals the Secret Life of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

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  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@wo[ ] ['rld' in gap]> 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.

  • 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).
  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:36PM (#46324691)

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

  • 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:So? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:38PM (#46324711) Journal
    So, stop acting like Assange is an angel who could never have committed the crimes of which he is accused.
  • Re:shocking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:39PM (#46324731)

    can I have 'smear campaign' for 100, please, alex?

    we can see thru this character assasination easily enough; but the fact is, if you keep repeating lies enough, people will believe them.

    regardless, what the man has done is what matters. personality does not enter into it, not one bit.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:53PM (#46324897)

    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.

  • by o_ferguson (836655) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:55PM (#46324929)
    My reading is that O'Hagan was brought in by the publishing company to try to take the book in the direction they wanted, not the direction Assnage wanted. Once this backfired, he explicitly compromised his strong desire to have no public connection to the text by becoming a mouthpiece against Assange in the world of news and current affairs programs. The length of time (years) since the incident has no bearing on the professional ethical implications of violating the privacy of a primary source, even if that source is committed to the idea of violating institutional opacity, and even if that privacy is assured only by convention, and not by a specific NDA.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:00PM (#46324989)

    They really are out to get Assange.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nemesisghost (1720424) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:05PM (#46325053)

    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.

  • Re:Oh man (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:15PM (#46325201)

    Oh and by coincidence she only decided to put the accusation up AFTER she learned he slept with someone else. Go figure.

  • Re:Oh man (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cold fjord (826450) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:40PM (#46325505)

    You mean that like many rape victims she was hesitant to complain to the police, but after finding that her attacker had a history of such assaults she found the courage? Hmmm.

  • Re:Oh man (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Theaetetus (590071) <theaetetus.slash ... m ['il.' in gap]> on Monday February 24, 2014 @02:35PM (#46326193) Homepage Journal

    The woman who had the sex with him dropped out the accusation man. She voluntarily let him in her bedroom and had voluntary sex with him before. She just wasn't 'in the mood' one of the times he did sex with her. That is a crime in Sweden? Good thing I don't live there.

    Yeah, it's entirely possible for someone to consent to sex one night and then not consent to sex the next morning. See, people have the right to say no, whether it's because they're not "in the mood", because they're sleepy, because they're sick, or any other reason. And forcing yourself on someone who has said no is rape, even if you've previously had consensual sex with them in other circumstances. And that's not only a crime in Sweden, but in most other countries.

  • 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 [], or a mere human; but it matters a lot whether people are willing to simply take the government's word of it.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:13PM (#46326565)

    People forget this part. They see Assange as a saintly figure who cares deeply about all his human worshippers. There were Afghanis who worked secretly with the US had their names revealed, putting their lives in danger. Now if Assange had admitted he didn't know about these names being released then I could see his fans forgivin this lapse in judgement. However Assange said that he did not care if those people died because they had been cooperating with the US, and his fans don't seem to notice or care.

    Assange is not just a messenger here.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Monday February 24, 2014 @03:20PM (#46326667)

    There is no evidence about this farcical plot. If the US wanted Assange they could have had their UK lapdogs turn him over much more easily than devising a mission impossible scheme to get Sweden involved.

    "As you recall" I presume is based on the authorized story supplied by the Assange supporters? Scrubbed and polished so that the hero never looks bad in any way and is only a victim. The whole point of this article is to show that maybe his story isn't so clear and clean.

    For everyone who says "maybe he's not an angel, but you have to listen to the message", why don't they also say "maybe he is a rapist, but you have to listen to the message"? This is because they know the message won't be listened to if it comes from a rapist, which is the incentive they have to deny that it ever happened, or to claim that Sweden somehow is in bed with the US, that Assange's very life is in danger, that the women were coerced or have financial gain to lie, etc.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dan541 (1032000) on Monday February 24, 2014 @06:42PM (#46329145) Homepage

    So if I accuse you of rape, you should be dragged to my country for a crime you haven't even been charged with and then deported to a third country to face execution for breaking their laws?

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington