WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Walks Out Of CNN Interview
Julian Assange, the man that feels comfortable disclosing America's military secrets at WikiLeaks, walked out of a CNN International interview Sunday because he didn't want to answer questions about his relationship with his employees or the accusations of rape and molestation involving two Swedish women.
When CNN's Atika Shubert continued to press Assange on these issues, he removed his microphone and walked out (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But what I want to ask you is that, at one point, you said it was a dirty trick tactic.
JULIAN ASSANGE, FOUNDER, WIKILEAKS: I don't know what you're referring to.
SHUBERT: So you don't want to address whether or not you feel this is an attack on you?
ASSANGE: It's completely disgusting, Atika.
SHUBERT: I'm asking whether or not --
ASSANGE: I'm going to walk if you're going to contaminate us revealing the deaths of 104,000 people with attacks against my person.
SHUBERT: I'm not. What I'm asking you is if you feel this is an attack on WikiLeaks.
ASSANGE: All right.
SHUBERT: Julian, I'm happy to go on to --
SHUBERT: In what sense? I have to ask that question.
Coincidentally, the New York Times reported Sunday:
After the Sweden scandal, strains within WikiLeaks reached a breaking point, with some of Mr. Assange’s closest collaborators publicly defecting. The New York Times spoke with dozens of people who have worked with and supported him in Iceland, Sweden, Germany, Britain and the United States. What emerged was a picture of the founder of WikiLeaks as its prime innovator and charismatic force but as someone whose growing celebrity has been matched by an increasingly dictatorial, eccentric and capricious style. [...]
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.”
Mr. Assange cast himself as indispensable. “I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier, and all the rest,” he said. “If you have a problem with me,” he told Mr. Snorrason, using an expletive, he should quit.
In an interview about the exchange, Mr. Snorrason’s conclusion was stark. “He is not in his right mind,” he said.
I'd say his behavior with CNN's Shubert supports that.