Monday, February 24th, 2014

August: Assange County

DRAMA QUEENIf you have not read the enormous and amazing Andrew O'Hagan thing on his long ordeal ghostwriting Julian Assange's book, REALLY you must file it away to read on a long train journey or perhaps flight or period of incarceration. Poor stupid Julian Assange.

Julian would often refer to the places where he lived as ‘safe houses’ and say things like, ‘When you go to Queensland there’s a contact there you should speak to.’

‘You mean a friend?’ I’d say. One day, we were due to meet some of the WikiLeaks staff at a farmhouse out towards Lowestoft. We went in my car. Julian was especially edgy that afternoon, feeling perhaps that the walls were closing in, as we bumped down one of those flat roads covered in muck left by tractors’ tyres. ‘Quick, quick,’ he said, ‘go left. We’re being followed!’ I looked in the rear-view mirror and could see a white Mondeo with a wire sticking out the back.

‘Don’t be daft, Julian,’ I said. ‘That’s a taxi.’

‘No. Listen to me. It’s surveillance. We’re being followed. Quickly go left.’ Just by comical chance, as I was rocking a Sweeney-style handbrake turn, the car behind us suddenly stopped at a farmhouse gate and a little boy jumped out and ran up the path. I looked at the clock as we rolled off in a cloud of dust. It said 3.48.

‘That was a kid being delivered home from school,’ I said. ‘You’re mental.’

‘You don’t understand,’ he said.

2 Comments / Post A Comment

leslie devries (#10,109)

Delectable story, pinpoint writing by Mr.O'Hagan. Sidles up to testimony; Assange long had that tinge of greasy desperation and O'Hagan superbly illuminates his sadness. And he remains classy in his frank and fair support of all sides of Assange. This piece was highly rewarding; his structure well-built. Can't recommend enough and thanks for the tip Awls.

Freddie DeBoer (#4,188)

I'm sorry– are you really questioning whether there are people in the world who were surveilling Assange? Or that there are a lot of people who would like to kill him?

This is the perfect example of someone's desire to be a sophisticate rendering them very stupid.

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