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Everybody Hates Julian

Russian television propagandist Julian Assange may still have a friend in Lady Gaga, but the torrent of support he received from starry-eyed admirers in 2010 has now slowed to a trickle. Last week came the most high-profile defection of all, as the hacktivist group “Anonymous,” which supported Assange in 2010 with a series of cyber-attacks on banks, announced that it is withdrawing its support from Wikileaks. In a statement on Twitter, Anonymous members voiced concerns that Wikileaks has been “ruined by egos” and become a vanity project for its founder. The FT reports:

“We have been worried about the direction WikiLeaks is going for a while,” Anonymous wrote in an online statement published overnight on Friday. “In the recent month the focus moved away from actual leaks and the fight for freedom of information further and further while it concentrated more and more on Julian Assange. . . . But WikiLeaks is not—or should not be—about Julian Assange alone.”

The final straw for the shadowy group, which has also supported the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Arab Spring while at the same time attacking companies including Sony and News Corp, appears to have been Mr Assange’s dinner this week with pop star Lady Gaga.

Whatever the merits or demerits of his original mission, the Assange project has become little more than a ridiculous farce. Assange’s decision to hide from one of the most fair-minded justice systems in the world in Sweden rather than face the charges against him says a lot about his character and judgment. Assange’s 15 minutes of fame are just about up, we would say. He ought to enjoy the dinners with pop stars while they last.

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