Fifteen Very Real Things You Can't Say About Julian Assange Without Getting Sued

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange will be interviewed about Swedish sex crime allegations at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The interview will be conducted by an Ecuadorean prosecutor, with a Swedish prosecutor present. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2016 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange will be interviewed about Swedish sex crime allegations at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The interview will be conducted by an Ecuadorean prosecutor, with a Swedish prosecutor present. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)


Like any other celebrity in this part of the century, accused rapist, fugitive from justice, and martyr for liberty Julian Assange has a public relations operation. One of its functions seems to be to warn news organizations what they can’t say about Julian Assange in print without risk of repercussions. Yesterday, Reuters mentioned the fact that this list existed:

WikiLeaks on Sunday advised journalists not to report 140 different “false and defamatory” statements about its founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since June 2012.

The Australian set up WikiLeaks as a channel for publishing confidential information from anonymous sources. He is a hero to some for exposing what supporters cast as government abuse of power and for championing free speech, but to others he is a rebel who has undermined the security of the United States.

“There is a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in large and otherwise ‘reputable’ media outlets,” Wikileaks said an email sent to media organizations and marked “Confidential legal communication. Not for publication.”

“Consequently journalists and publishers have a clear responsibility to carefully fact-check from primary sources and to consult the following list to ensure they are not spreading, and have not spread, defamatory falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange.”

WikiLeaks did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The complete list, in various permutations, is available in the original email format, but, to save you the time, I’ve culled through it and pulled fifteen things you can’t say about Julian Assange without angering Wikileaks and possibly Glenn Greenwald:

  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange filed a lawsuit or any other measure against Ecuador over his pet cat, laundry or cleaning [in fact, his cat is not at the embassy since before the protection case was even filed, see https://defend.wikileaks.org/about-julian/].
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange, or his mother, or his father, is, or was ever, a member of a cult.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange bleaches his hair.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange’s mother is, or ever was, a “hippie”.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever walked into embassy meeting rooms in his underwear.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange drinks to excess.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Ecuador suggested that Julian Assange did not look after his cat or asked him to improve his care of it.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever neglected an animal.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Ecuador asked Julian Assange to improve his hygiene.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange stinks.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever tortured a cat or dog.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange does not use cutlery or does not wash his hands.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange lives, or has ever lived, in a basement, cupboard or under the stairs.
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a criminal or has a criminal record [in fact, his convictions for offences as a teenager in Australia have been expunged].
  1. It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange harmed homosexuals in Saudi Arabia [see https://wikileaks.org/10years/distorted-facts.html].

So keep that in mind the next time you thing about making false and defamatory statements about Wikileaks or Julian Assange.

=========
=========
Like what you see? Then visit my story archive.

I’m on Facebook. Drop by and join the fun there.
=========
=========