Now that shadowy organization Wikileaks has unleashed another wave of military field reports, people want to know more about its founder, Julian Assange. According to a Times profile today, he’s running Wikileaks with an iron fist.
Even remotely, his style is imperious. When Herbert Snorrason, a 25-year-old political activist in Iceland, questioned Mr. Assange’s judgment over a number of issues in an online exchange last month, Mr. Assange was uncompromising. “I don’t like your tone,” he said, according to a transcript. “If it continues, you’re out.”
A reported twelve Wikileaks members have left. And though he sat down for lunch with the Times, Assange is basically a fugitive:
He demands that his dwindling number of loyalists use expensive encrypted cellphones and swaps his own as other men change shirts. He checks into hotels under false names, dyes his hair, sleeps on sofas and floors, and uses cash instead of credit cards, often borrowed from friends.
Another thing he runs from: questions about his personal life. When asked on CNN today about the former rape and sexual-harassment charges against him, as well as questions about his character, he said:
WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Chased by Turmoil [NYT]
Julian Assange Has A ‘Whoopi’ Moment, Walks Out Of CNN Interview [Mediaite]