Julian Assange: the Rise and Tumble of a Moral Tsar
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who is currently holed up in Ecuadorian Embassy in London, appears to be struggling where to fix the centre of gravity in the caricature built around the mirror image of his soul by the relatively-hostile main-stream media.
If it is closer to the mouth, he is playing into the hands of those who see him as someone who cannot maintain healthy relationships with human beings as much he does with machines, i.e., computers, to be precise, citing the number of people he has fallen out with recently – some of whom were his fervent supporters in the past; on the other hand, if it is closer to the heart than to his thinking parts, he may be portrayed as a mere mortal - not any better than the folks who were compelled to be on the run due to the embarrassing information that stemmed from his WikiLeaks about their conduct.
His ‘victims’ – the embarrassed diplomats, tainted politicians, corrupt officials and battered spies – however, may have other ideas about the centre of gravity; they may suggest a place closer to the pubic region for its place, in order to symbolize his inability to maintain steady relationships with the fairer sex, whether it is licensed-sex – in a marriage or long-term relationship – or in casual sex – one-night stands with the acquaintances.
The fact, that he took refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy while seeking asylum in its host country, has surprised both friends and foes alike, not least because of the enviable record of human rights in the Latin American nation.
For instance, Jemima Khan, the socially-dextrous ex-wife of Imran Khan, the Pakistani cricketing legend, who made a substantial contribution to his $ 360,000 bailout, is a friend who had been surprised at his snap decision as much as the rest of us did. She went a step further by the weekend by asking him to go to Sweden in order to face the charges against him; ”the two Swedish women in question have a right for a fair trial,” she said on her Twitter page.
The developments within the embassy premises, however, do not indicate any solution to the crisis in the offing – very soon. Nor has Mr Assange declared that he would go to Sweden voluntarily to clear his name. That means, rhetorical ingredients are, slowly but surely, converging towards the small diplomatic mission in Knightsbridge, London, for a classic diplomatic showdown which may drag on for months, if not years, involving the UK, the US, Sweden and even Australia where Mr Assange hails from.
In the light of recent developments, Mr Assange is proving to be as enigmatic as the complex mathematical problems that he is said to have confronted with vigour in his students days - which in turn made him to be a brilliant computer programmer.
“Why does he resist the extradition to Sweden from Britain, while knowing very well that the Scandinavian nation has a wonderful judicial system which is robustly insulated from that of politics?” is something even his loyal supporters may ask themselves if the crisis evolves into a fully-blown controversy involving a single individual and a few nations.
Time is not on Mr Assange’s side, though, and the potential damage to his reputation is measurable using something he is always good at - maths: the longer the issue drags on, the more are at stake as far as the Chief Editor of WikiLeaks – as he is preferred to be known - is concerned.
The charges against Mr Assange are dead serious: he is accused of rape, sexual molestation and coercion by Miss ‘W’ and Miss ‘A’, two Swedish women who had organized seminars in Sweden for him to address in 2010; Mr Assange, in his defence, maintains that the sexual encounter with them was consensual and when the women say otherwise - it was forced on them against their will.
Of course, Mr Assange does not want the lurid details played out in public; the women in question do not seem to have a problem with it, though – especially when the man turns out to be very famous, indeed.
It is totally surprising the noise made by the three grown-up intellectuals – who once were friends, after all - on an erotic platform rather than that of politics in Sweden, a Nordic nation, where a sexual encounter among consensual adults is as easy as a mortar meeting a pestle – perhaps even making less noise than the hardened pair of members of the grinding community collectively produce – thanks to its liberal attitude towards the age-old sensual pursuit.
Mr Assange, meanwhile, says that he has been given a comfortable room in Ecuadorian embassy to live in, until his asylum application is processed. The fact that he is also given a computer by the embassy to work with, may raise the adrenalin level of certain diplomats and the members of the intelligence community by a new notches once again, as Mr Assange and a computer complement each other to form a lethal mixture - as WikiLeaks, time and again, proved beyond any doubt.
Mr Assange may have been abandoned by some of his friends and allies. However, it is far too early to write him off as someone irrelevant; there are millions of people who still adore him for the illuminations provided by WikiLeaks; because, they shed light on the functioning of the dark world of intelligence and the semi-transparent diplomatic community, as never before.
It is a bit premature to expect him switching to passive mode now that he got a computer and plenty of solitude around him in the comfort of diplomatic background. On the other hand, if he chooses to channel his incredible energy along a constructive channel, there is still a strong possibility of his movement becoming a force for good, defying the considerable odds against it.
- Asian Tribune -