Assange’s Hideout: Journalist Club


America’s enemies certainly find undignified places to hide. Remember Saddam Hussein’s spider hole? Julian Assange found a still more unsavory sanctuary — a British club for journalists:

The Frontline Club in London is the kind of place where war correspondents and investigative reporters mingle with admirers and wannabes, fired by a shared passion for exposing government spin, revealing the truth — and fine dining.

So when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange found himself at the center of an international firestorm over the website’s publication of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, he knew where he would be well-fed and, more importantly, safe.

Amid calls for Assange’s assassination or prosecution under espionage laws and condemnation from U.S. commentators like Sarah Palin — who dubbed him “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” — the Frontline Club closed ranks and kept his whereabouts to themselves.

Vaughan Smith, a former television cameraman who founded Frontline, said Assange had previously held talks and other events at the club and they “quite liked having him here because he’s made us a more interesting venue.”

Assange lived in rented rooms at the club for about three weeks until he surrendered to British police on Tuesday in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. Until then, no one at the club, members or employees, spilled the news of his presence.

“It’s very curious. While all this was happening, the media has been presenting him as on the run and all these things. I’ve always been rather amused by that,” Smith told msnbc.com.

There’s a lesson here for enemies of Western civilization — if you want something big kept secret, make sure only journalists know about it.

A rare countermoonbat journalist explains the affection the Fourth Estate feels for the odious Assange:

Will Heaven, of the Telegraph newspaper, believes the WikiLeaks founder is less a champion for transparency than he is an anti-American activist.

“Julian Assange likes to portray himself as a champion of truth,” Heaven wrote in an email to msnbc.com. “But the reality is much less flattering. Look at the Afghanistan ‘war logs,’ for example: WikiLeaks plainly wanted to cause maximum damage to the coalition’s war effort, but nothing was done to hide the identities of Afghan informants — so the Taliban duly promised to ‘punish them.’”

“Mr. Assange claims to have pure motives, but he hasn’t shown a shred of remorse about this,” Heaven added.

“It seems that as long as the United States and the West is embarrassed on the world stage, the founder of WikiLeaks is a happy man,” he said.

“If he’s really opposed to corruption and human rights abuses, why hasn’t he turned his special talents to countries like Iran, China or Russia? The answer is simple — there is anti-American agenda behind much of Julian Assange’s work.”

Assange needn’t fret about being turned over to the American government; given the attitudes of the current administration, he would be among friends.

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On tips from Lyle, TED, and James. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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