Who is Julian Assange? By the people who know him best [View all]
The son, the saviour, the fugitive, the friend, the man. He also has an odd craving for Vegemite
guardian.co.uk, Friday 24 August 2012 18.00 EDT
... The first time I met Assange, he was convinced a sniper was targeting him through the windows of a conference centre. A few hours later, he was happily typing in front of the same windows. I asked why he believed he was a target. "I can't tell you," he said. Then, five minutes later, he did. He told me I should come to Washington DC for a press conference. Why? I can't tell you. Again, five minutes later, he told me about the Collateral Murder video.
Assange attributed his drive to his first experience with power as a young man (hacking into the email of a Pentagon general). I said maybe I liked investigating politicians' expenses because that had been my first big investigation as a student. "No, it's different when you're a young man." Can't women be driven the same way? "No, they're not." It was a definitive statement, no supporting evidence needed ...
I later heard from two other women who said Assange pulled the same "poor little lost boy" trick on them in an attempt to finagle his way into their homes. I said that was not how I conducted interviews. He complained that I didn't have a maternal instinct, adding in drama-queen fashion: "I have two wars to stop."
I replied: "Yeah, it's a tough life being a messiah." His response left me speechless: "Will you be my Mary Magdalene, Heather? And bathe my feet at the cross" ...