It's been a few weeks since Julian Assange felt the white-hot spotlight of public attention on his sallow skin, so I expect he'll be calling a press conference any day now to discuss how persecuted he's been or possibly what he had for lunch. Or maybe he'll emerge from a balcony in London's Knightsbridge neighborhood and talk about the newly released movie about his teenage hacking career.
Strangely, it seems Assange has a pal of sorts in Vladimir Putin, who told Russia Today last week that the Assange case is "political" and that the Brits are applying a double standard to the WikiLeaks founder, possibly due to influence from the Americans.
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The irony here is so thick you can cut it with a scimitar.
Russia Today, which is the pro-Putin Eastern European version of Fox News, recently played host to a series of interview programs starring Julian Assange. One of those interviews was with Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, during which Assange apparently cooked up the idea of asking for asylum.
Assange, who likes to think of himself as a whistleblowing journalist, has drawn comparisons between his plight and that of Pussy Riot, the Russian punk band that got sentenced to two years in the gulag for insulting Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.
The problem here? Whistleblowing journalists have a funny habit of disappearing and/or dying around Putin, whereas Correa sues them or puts them out of business. Assange's two biggest allies in the world right now would probably both be happy to see him burn.
But first, of course, they'd have to get him out of that building. Though officially granted asylum by the government of Ecuador in August, Assange remains trapped within its London embassy, sleeping on an air mattress in a converted office, eating ceviche, and listening to pan flute music.
But it's not for a lack of good ideas on how to escape. A few weeks back I asked my readers to suggest ways Assange can shrug off the shackles of England to his new home on the equator, and they did not disappoint.
D. M. offers what he calls his "Fantastic Voyage" plan:
Shrink him, put him in a syringe of liquid and inject him in the butt of some Ecuadorian ambassador headed home.
As noted here and elsewhere, Julian is a real pain in the Assange, so that could work.
Reader S. P. concocted an elaborate scheme involving hundreds of fake Julian Assanges congregating near the embassy, allowing the real Julian to escape in the confusion -- kind of a "Thomas Crown Affair" meets "V for Vendetta" thing, with bits of the TV show "White Collar" thrown in. Let me know if you manage to sell the movie rights, S. P.