Holed up in a secret location in the English countryside, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange just gave a strange interview to Rolling Stone.Assange has always been a little eccentric, and he certainly does have his share of real-life problems going on right now: he’s waiting to hear whether he’ll be extradited to Sweden to face accusations of sexual abuse.
But some of the things he said in this interview come off as the ramblings of a serious paranoiac, and one who has very high self-regard.
Here are the highlights from the very long, well-done interview:
- Assange says that the U.S. government is trying to enhance the Espionage Act to include a legal precedent for “a journalist simply asking a source to communicate information,” and that under the new Espionage Act, legendary reporters like Bob Woodward would be criminals.
- Among Assange’s many enemies is the New York Times, which initially printed Wikileaks cables. He says the Times is corroborating with the White House, abandoned Wikileaks and has smeared him in a front-page story after he “exposed the deaths of 100,000 civilians.”
- He calls the U.S. military’s 4.3 million security clearances a totalitarian state within the U.S. that has more information than any legitimate country in the world.
- After being told that Wikileaks has been given some credit for the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, Assange claims he and his associates “planned for most of what has occurred over the past 12 months.”
- He accuses Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and others of calling for his assassination or kidnapping.
- Hundreds of women, and some men, have shown up over the past year wanting to marry him, he claims.
- By a strange feat of maths, he says that there are 33 million references on the Internet to the word rape, and 20 million references to rape and his name. Therefore, he concludes, two-thirds of all rapes in history have something to do with him.
- He was excited for solitary confinement in prison.