Testimony of Sex
Charges Against Assange Don't Belong in Public
the statements from the women who say they were harassed by Assange hold the
same public interest? I can only answer for myself: I don't care. It's a personal
issue, not a public one. Of course it should be investigated, exhaustively, but
within the appropriate context. I fear, however, that my opinion is a
desperately lonely one."
Behold Julian Assange, creator
of the WikiLeaks Web site, specialist in leaks, as victim of a leak: The
Guardian newspaper, one of WikiLeaks' preferred partners, publishes
the testimony to Swedish police of two women who accused Assange of sexual
It's a leak that seems to
have made an instant celebrity of Assange: only details of a story that are
more or less already known. What the leak against the leaker shows is the portrait
of a sexual predator - one who forces partners that actually want to sleep with
him to do so without a condom.
Assange's own reaction
reinforces the image of a hardened macho man:
he complained that this wasn't a matter that should be referred to police. In
fact it was, unless you think women are on the earth to serve the appetites of
men who don't respect them.
Almost as serious as this
sexist vision is the fact that Assange celebrates the publicity that this other
type of leak offers his work as a professional leaker.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
I may be wrong, but I cannot
escape the feeling that this is a person much more interested in self-promotion
than in the transparency of the activities and statements of the authorities.
But there is also a
discussion on this episode that arose when the State Department documents were
leaked: Is it legitimate for newspapers to disclose such leaks? My answer, as
given on paper in Folha's print edition, is yes, absolutely yes, as long
as the newspapers do so in the public interest, as is the case with the
The next question is obvious:
do the statements from the women who say they were harassed by Assange hold the
same public interest?
I can only answer for myself:
I don't care. It's a personal issue, not a public one. Of course it should be
investigated, exhaustively, but within the appropriate context. I fear,
however, that my opinion is a desperately lonely one.
Clovis Rossi is a special correspondent and member of the Folha
editorial board, is a winner of the Maria Moors Cabot award (USA) and
is a member of the Foundation for a New Ibero-American Journalism. His column
appears on Thursdays and Sundays on page 2 and on Saturdays in the World
Notebook section. He is the author, among other works, of Special Envoy:
25 Years Around the World and What is Journalism?
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