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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:34 PM

Please-take-Assange-to-Stockholm syndrome. It's the diplomat's disease

The poor Ecuadorian ambassador. After months with Julian Assange, she'll have had quite enough of insufferable narcissists
Marina Hyde
Friday 8 February 2013 16.00 ES

... Many natural allies will recall the various moments at which they first realised they would have to work incredibly hard not to giggle at the WikiLeaks founder. A friend cites that 2010 snap of him celebrating his bail at the Frontline Club in London by being photographed with a martini.

This week, we learned he had shed another high-profile supporter, Jemima Khan (whose New Statesman article on her "journey with Assange" is reproduced on page 34 of this paper tomorrow). It's been a while since we heard from the Ecuadorian ambassador, initially so keen on her houseguest, but it is difficult not to read between the lines of Her Excellency's November suggestion that Assange must be allowed to leave for medical treatment, and not wonder whether by then she had the terminal ministrations of an NHS geriatric ward in mind. Eventually the embassy staff may be revealed as suffering from a perversion of Stockholm syndrome, when those doing the house arresting fall so deeply out of love with their victim that the only cure is to extradite him to the Swedish capital ...

... if you must see a conspiracy in all of this, is it not time that you considered the increasingly more credible one? Namely, that Julian Assange is a creation and agent of the global right, specifically designed to make the left look ridiculous. Assange ... the very name seems a sledgehammer hybrid of ass and angel, and with each balcony scene or face-saving desertion of a celebrity supporter, whichever CIA mastermind conceived Julian in a petri dish must be rubbing his hands with glee ...

... How can it be that the man who shot to fame engaged in a swashbuckling, sublimely modern form of secret-busting has caused his former allies to wince at his name, as one might over a particularly misguided and naff teenage crush? Clearly there are all sort of complex legal, moral, philosophical and psychological answers to that question, which I'll leave to cleverer people to unravel. The quick answer is that Assange seems quite insufferable, certainly in any sort of long term ...


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