Maybe it takes an extraordinary man to conceive and launch an extraordinary website like WikiLeaks, the notorious hub for former secrets. Even so, the site's founder Julian Assange is a surprisingly weird guy.
Heaven knows, we've feasted voraciously on WikiLeaks' scoops. But reading the new Mother Jones profile of Assange, it's hard not to conclude the serially successful exposer is a seriously odd fellow. Here are the most bizarre tidbits about the Aussie as revealed in the piece:
- His hair. See picture above, via Mother Jones.
- "Won't reveal his age: 'Why make it easy for the bastards?'"
- Allegedly conned the founder of secret documents clearinghouse Cryptome into registering the WikiLeaks domain name.
- Invented "WikiLeaks advisory board," complete with unwitting members. Lefty intellectual Noam Chomsky, security expert Ben Laurie and a former representative of the Dalai Lama, Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang, all told Mother Jones they gave no permission for use of their names. Assange defended himself by saying the board was "pretty informal."
- Bit of a hobo. He sought security advice from Laurie, ignored it, and then started showing up at his house "with a rucksack... he's a weird guy."
- Is convinced his enemies tried to ambush him, in Kenya, where the compound in which he was staying was attacked by six men with guns. The men, were scared off by a single guard, so they sound more like robbers than commandos. Then again, said Assange, "there was not anyone else worth visiting in the compound." And around the time of the attack, WikiLeaks published evidence the Kenyan national police were linked with the torture of suspected opposition activists. Two human rights activists were assassinated in broad daylight shortly thereafter. So maybe he's got a point.