Wikileaks founder tracked down at my dinner table
The CIA, the Pentagon, the British Government and presumably the Taliban are all looking for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Well, I found him. And had I been paying more attention I could have saved the entire US military-industrial complex from disgrace.
Around four or five years ago Julian Assange came to my house for dinner.
I do not recall precisely when but it was either late 2005 or early 2006. I sought to get more precision from then-housemate Darrin but he could recall only that it occurred shortly after he had given the plant in our backyard a haircut he dubbed “The Beckham”.
Indeed the plant’s haircut was so impressive and so popular that it was a large part of the reason no one paid a great deal of attention to the strange white-haired chap who had arrived as the guest of a mutual friend.
However he was still immediately identified as a shady and dubious character. To a house populated entirely by functioning alcoholics, he had failed to bring a single drop of booze.
This prompted a great deal of muttering among the housemates, even though - being the aforementioned alcoholics that they were – the entire fridge was already jam packed with liquor. And indeed much of that liquor was consumed by Julian, prompting in turn more muttering.
After this initial transgression was recorded however, I became distracted by my primary purpose of cooking spaghetti bolognese for 16 people, a feat that has not been attempted outside the armed forces for some time. The guests were also all sitting outside, and so I was running back and forth a lot.
However Darrin and I did pay a special attention to Julian at one stage during the evening. And this was because he had been encouraging said mutual friend to invest in a little computer project he was trying to get off the ground.
The principle, he explained, was that whistleblowers across the world would be able to dump top secret documents anonymously onto a computer server somewhere.
And that was pretty much it.
Displaying the same business acumen I have shown throughout my whole life, I quickly and strongly urged my friend not to throw his money away on something that was clearly never going to take off.
In fact my advice came too late. The said friend had already been funding the project, which in practice meant funding Julian and his family while he worked on it for nothing.
However to this day, despite WikiLeaks’ explosion on to the world stage, it lacks, as far as I am aware, any commercial application or money making capacity.
As a result my friend managed to throw away a lot of money when WikiLeaks was an obscure dream, while at the same time fail to receive any recognition or financial gain when it made it big. (The friend later invested in a Kenyan carbon trading operation that is yet to produce any revenue but, he assures me, stands to make millions.)
Back at the dinner table however, Julian was regaling us with strange and obscure facts that I didn’t believe at the time but, I accept in light of his line of work, were on the balance of probabilities correct.
I do not remember much of what he said – computers this, government conspiracies that – but I do recall that his personality seemed what mental health professionals affectionately call “a bit auty”. He didn’t seem to have natural reactions to people or pick up on things like humour and sarcasm, the latter of which was very abundant that night.
Then, when it was all over, he shared a cab home with some people he’d only just met and, when the taxi was within a few blocks of where he was staying, jumped out and disappeared into the darkness without offering a cent.
And that was the last I heard of Julian Assange until years later he made me – not to mention the US Government – look like an idiot.
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