Dark Hours Open Thread: Is Julian Assange “the Left” Version of Donald Trump?

Were “we” so enamored with our “core virtues” of transparency and populism that a professional narcissist could manage the supreme coup of his serial grifting career? Does Julian Assange have the true Reverse-Midas everything he touches dies… gift?

Gareth Corfield, at The Register (“biting the hand that feeds IT”):

The director of whistleblower support outfit the Courage Foundation has quit after being told to pull support from Barrett Brown following some barbed comments he made about Julian Assange.

Naomi Colvin walked out of the foundation after “three of Courage’s trustees wrote to me demanding that I inform Barrett Brown that he could no longer be a Courage beneficiary, on the basis of ‘nasty adversarial remarks’ about WikiLeaks,” she wrote in a blog post.

Courage works by picking people in legal trouble who it deems worthy of support and then giving them help in a variety of ways, including financially. Those eight “beneficiaries”, as Courage calls them, include Anonymous-linked FBI-baiter Barrett Brown and everyone’s go-to website for Russian-influenced propaganda the embarrassing contents of American governmental messages, Wikileaks.

Nonetheless, Brown’s growing antipathy towards Assange/Wikileaks as the increasingly isolated Wikileaker goes steadily more stir crazy in Ecuador’s London embassy earned him Assange’s ire. So it was that Colvin received missives from Courage trustees ordering her to cut Brown loose, something she would not do…

Courage’s trustees are named on its website as: Assange himself; legal activist Barbara Bukovska; left-wing activist and film-maker John Pilger; Spanish human rights lawyer Renata Avila; Scottish arts organiser Susan Benn; and clothes designer Vivienne Westwood, who modestly bills herself as “co-created punk in the 70s”.

Colvin declined to name the three who demanded she pull the foundation’s support from Brown…

Spencer Ackermann, at the Daily Beast (see tweet at top):

Brown told The Daily Beast: “I’m afraid I cannot agree with the stance, presented by the Courage board to me yesterday via a poorly written email, that I am somehow obligated to not only defend Assange’s rights, as I’m happy to do, but also to refrain from speaking out about the problems facing a movement that I risked a hundred years of prison time in order to defend.”

The short-term result of Assange’s behavior may be to consolidate control over Courage. But it has come at the expense of broken ties with two heavily respected and influential figures within the hacktivist circles from which Assange emerged. At this point, it leaves Assange with more solid support from the extreme right and its media organs than from his original community…

Colvin’s departure from Courage is especially ironic for Assange and speaks to the botched manner in which his allies retaliated against Brown. Colvin led and recently won a fight to prevent the U.K. from extraditing the computer scientist and activist Lauri Love to the United States to face hacking charges. With Assange ostensibly fearing his own prospective extradition, his desire to silence Brown has cost him a key legal asset…

13 replies
  1. 1
    JR says:

    Sounds like these Courage folks are a bunch of clowns.

  2. 2
    Platonailedit says:

    Mean girls version of nerd fights?

  3. 3
    Platonailedit says:

    Donald Trump’s day so far:

    – Gives away that there are tapes of him using the N-word

    – Admits he had no idea Omarosa wasn’t showing up to work until someone told him

    – Peter Strzok support fund reaches $150,000- Trump still ranting about Omarosa

    – It’s still only 11:30pm

    — Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) August 14, 2018

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Answer to your question

    Nope 😠

  5. 5
    clay says:

    Wasn’t Greenwald all in a tizzy a while back, claiming that Ecuador was imminently going to boot Assange from the embassy? Well, Glenn, we’re still waiting…

  6. 6
    trnc says:

    What happened to Strzok sucks, but I hope dem voters don’t divert money needed for campaigns to various wrongly fired officials.

    Maybe I’m just paranoid.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    Concur. If Julian Assange is anything, he’s a libertarian.

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    Too much to unpack here. I’m still having difficulties getting past “Co-creater of punk.”

  9. 9
    Barbara says:

    @dr. bloor: I don’t think of Vivienne Westwood as punk, but I suppose if Goth is the preferred make up and dress style of the British punk set, her style fits right in. She has been around for a long time. You don’t wear her clothes to the office.

    Vivienne Westwood

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    When has Julian Assange ever been part of the left?

  11. 11
    dr. bloor says:

    @Barbara: Oh, I know who she is. But she is decidedly *not* a co-creator of punk, if there even is such a thing.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    Assange is a rapist, a Russian intelligence asset, a pathological liar and a chickenshit coward. The only difference between him and Trump are about a hundred and fifty pounds and an addiction to spray tanner. Oh, and one of them is President of the United States. Not sure it would matter which one it was.

  13. 13
    JR says:

    @Barbara: considering that punk is, you know, a DIY ethos, there isn’t a fashion designer alive who can lay claim to it.

    this would be like tommy hilfiger claiming that he co-created hip-hop.

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