Commentary Magazine


Assange Tests the Limits to Leftist Paranoia

Nice try, Julian. The creepy Julian Assange, mastermind of the WikiLeaks site, would love to pretend he is a victim of an American “witch hunt.” Indeed that was the very term he used in his address today from the Ecuador Embassy in London where he has holed up. He also referred to Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier who was said to have leaked confidential State Department cables to WikiLeaks, as a “political prisoner” and compared himself to Pussy Riot, the Russian band sentenced to prison for mocking Vladimir Putin.

Problem is, Assange isn’t being stalked by legions of CIA assassins a la Jason Bourne. Nor even by CIA Predators a la Al Qaeda. He is facing extradition to Sweden to face charges that he committed sex crimes against two women. His legal appeals exhausted in the UK, Assange forfeited the substantial bail ($376,000) raised by radical chic supporters such as Michael Moore and hightailed it to the Ecuador Embassy—so desperate is Assange to avoid a trial in a defendant-friendly jurisdiction such as Sweden. The only wonder is that he has any friends left at this point.

But there will always be corners of “progressive” opinion that will cheer anyone who is ant-American no matter what else he is. I can’t help thinking, however, that if the same accusations had been made against a conservative, rather than a leftist, icon, Assange would get labeled as “anti-woman.”