article

JULIAN Assange’s dating profile from 2006 has been unearthed – where he branded himself a “pig-headed intellectual” and “87 per cent slut”.

The then 36-year-old created the profile on OkCupid in December, shortly after launching infamous WikiLeaks, the site that would land him fame and finally arrest.

 Julian Assange winked and gave a thumbs up from the police van as he arrived at court following the dramatic arrest yesterday morning

Getty Images – Getty

Julian Assange winked and gave a thumbs up from the police van as he arrived at court following the dramatic arrest yesterday morning
 Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a profile on dating site OKCupid, under the pseudo name Harry Harrison

Ok Cupid

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a profile on dating site OKCupid, under the pseudo name Harry Harrison
 Despite not using his real name, the pictures on 'Harry Harrison’s' page appear to confirm that this really is Julian Assange

Ok Cupid

Despite not using his real name, the pictures on ‘Harry Harrison’s’ page appear to confirm that this really is Julian Assange
 The fact that the page hasn’t been accessed since Jan 2007 adds to the likelihood that it’s the real deal

Ok Cupid

The fact that the page hasn’t been accessed since Jan 2007 adds to the likelihood that it’s the real deal

Assange is now facing decades in prison after he was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in a dramatic arrest in London last night.

He’s expected to face charges in the US after prosecutors filed for his extradition over the WikiLeaks scandal.

After seven years in hiding, this dramatic shift has unearthed a multitude of dirt on the hack’s life, the latest being his dating profile.

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange arrested by police and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy

In it he writes: “WARNING: Want a regular, down to earth guy? Keep moving. I am not the droid you’re looking for. Save us both while you still can.

“Passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy.

“Such a woman should [be] spirited and playful, of high intelligence, though not necessarily formally educated, have spunk, class & inner strength and be able to think strategically about the world and the people she cares about.”

LOOKING FOR LOVE

The unusual relationship request is accompanied by five photographs resembling Assange, the main one being a close-up smiling picture.

It’s captioned: “The author, facing the rising sun after an all puzzle contest.”

Confirming the validity of the profile, OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan said: “This is real, as best we can tell.

“We have manual and automatic systems in place to prevent fraud. We can tell when a profile is created, from where — and we’re not going to say.

“If the profile is a ruse, then whoever did it went to elaborate lengths. And if someone faked this in 2006, that person has done an amazing job predicting the future.”

This is real, as best we can tell

Sam Yagan OkCupid co-founder

The bizarre revelation was made on blog Frugal Brutal Beauty in 2010.

Assange goes under the name ‘Harry Harrison’, the pen name of an American author of science-fiction books whose protagonist, “Slippery Jim,” is a globetrotting con man.

‘Harry’ was extremely active during his first month on the site, according to Yagan, completing 42 personalty tests. Most members only complete one, if any.

Although his specific answers aren’t available, it is possible to see the results, which included:

  • The Politics Test: Strong Democrat
  • The Death Test: Dead at 83
  • The Intellectual Sexiness Test: 85 intellectual sexiness!
  • The Atheist Test: 75 per cent – The Ardent Atheist
  • The EXTREMELY advanced MATH Test: 84 on the MathDorkOMeter

In addition, Harrison answered the site’s “match questions,” which show that he’s 27 per cent more arrogant, 12.3 per cent kinkier and 10.5 per cent “less capitalistic” than OkCupid’s seven million members.

Yagan admits Assange’s profile attracted “several” responses.

A hairy and dishevelled Assange spent 2,487 days holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid sex assault claims in Sweden claims.

He feared being sent to the States – where he was wanted over an alleged hacking conspiracy with whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

During that time his health has deteriorated as a result of a lack of sunlight, a Wikileaks source told the Mirror.

In court yesterday, the 47-year-old was blasted a “narcissist who can’t get beyond his own self interest” as he was found guilty of skipping bail in 2012 – relating to his time at the embassy.


WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • Julian Assange found guilty of skipping bail in UK and could face a year in jail
  • He was arrested after 2,487 days holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – costing taxpayers more than £10m
  • Assange went into hiding in August 2012 to avoid facing extradition to Sweden over sex assault and rape allegations
  • He is also wanted in US for on suspicion of espionage and publication of sensitive government documents
  • Assange fears he could face death penalty if extradited to US over WikiLeaks scandal
  • Ecuadorian President said Assange’s release dependent on not facing extradition to country with death penalty
  • Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said “UK courts will decide” his future
  • It’s been revealed Assange staged ‘dirty protests’ while in Ecuador’s embassy

He now faces a battle against extradition to the US where he was today charged over the Iraq War Logs.

Swedish lawyers want to reopen the sex allegations which first sent Assange into hiding – a move which has cost the British taxpayer more than £10m.

He will now learn his fate at Southwark Crown Court on May 2.

 Assange flashed a peace sign in handcuffs

Getty Images – Getty

Assange flashed a peace sign in handcuffs
 Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden - where he faced accusations of sexual assault
Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden – where he faced accusations of sexual assault
Diane Abbott defends Julian Assange after his arrest from the Ecuadorian Embassy


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368 . You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

It’s a dead giveaway.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would consider it punishment were her city saddled with more undocumented migrants while they await their court hearings.

The thrust of a Washington Post report on Friday, citing anonymous Department of Homeland Security “officials,” was that the White House had asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement about unloading illegal immigrants detained at the border in places proudly known as “sanctuary cities.”

Pelosi’s office said the suggestion exposed the administration’s “cynicism and cruelty” in “using human beings … as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants…”

The whole point of sanctuary cities, from the standpoint of their lawmakers, is that illegal immigrants need a safe place to evade deportation. Illegal entrants and asylum seekers, after all, are only here to pursue a better life for themselves and their families (and all the better if Democrats can load them up on welfare).

Why, then, would a city like San Francisco, which lies in Pelosi’s district, not leap at the chance to bring in more of their well-meaning friends?

Outside of providing more beds, free healthcare, and free child services, courtesy of the American taxpayer, Democrats in Congress have shown no interest in doing anything about the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to the U.S. from Central America.

Wouldn’t these well-meaning foreigners be best served in cities like New York, Boston, and Seattle, where local authorities refuse to comply with federal agents in deporting illegal aliens?

The Post’s story never really demonstrates that the intent of the White House was to “retaliate against President Trump’s political adversaries,” as the article puts it. It cites unnamed sources who claim that was the purpose but, even though the story’s authors, Rachel Bade and Nick Miroff, said they reviewed “email messages,” the one email by a White House official in the report is completely innocuous.

“The idea has been raised by 1-2 principals that, if we are unable to build sufficient temporary housing, that caravan members be bussed to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities,” White House deputy policy coordinator May Davis said in an email dated Nov. 16, according to the report. “There is NOT a White House decision on this.”

That’s it. That’s the one supposedly damning email sent by someone from the White House included in the Post’s story.

Acting Deputy Director of ICE Matthew Albence replied to the email, suggesting that transporting aliens long distances from the border would be yet another strain on the agency and that there were liability concerns if anyone were hurt during the trip. In a statement to the Post, Albence denied that he was ever “pressured by anyone at the White House on the issue” and that he was merely “asked my opinion” and that his advice was heeded. A statement from the White House said effectively the same thing.

Yet, even if the proposal was crafted as a politically cynical move, it doesn’t explain why Democrats wouldn’t eagerly invite more illegals or undocumented asylum seekers into the districts and cities that are supposed to be the most welcoming. Pelosi had said herself Thursday, “Of course there’s room and there’s a need” for more immigrants showing up at the border.

Okay, but not in San Francisco!

A back-and-forth over Twitter about whether Rep. Ilhan Omar had downplayed the significance and horror of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks sparked debate on Capitol Hill this week.

On Friday, she suggested that President George W. Bush would have faced more scrutiny for his comments in the aftermath of the attacks if he were Muslim.

“Was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack?” Omar asked in a tweet sharing an article to the Washington Post. “What if he was a Muslim?”

The Post story included a fact check on Omar’s remarks and said they were reminiscent of President George W. Bush’s “bullhorn speech.”

“The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” Omar said, quoting Bush’s speech.

A video surfaced over the weekend showing Omar referring to the 9/11 hijackers as “some people who did something.”

That speech was met with instant criticism from Republicans and conservative media.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, condemned Omar for trivializing the deadliest terror attack in American history.

“You described an act of terrorism on American soil that killed thousands of innocent lives as ‘some people did something,’” Crenshaw said of Omar in a tweet. “It’s still unbelievable, as is your response here.”

The right-leaning New York Post published a dramatic front page Thursday with the screaming headline “ Here’s your something.”

Former FBI Investigator and now CNN Legal Analyst James Gagliano called Omar’s tweet a “false equivalence”

“President Bush made this statement days after World Trade Center was reduced to rubble, as he stood atop the smoking pile. I was there,” Gagliano said. “We, in FBI, were working to determine involvement in conspiracy, following evidence.”

Omar and other Democratic freshman lawmakers have said that criticizing her for speaking about her experiences as a Muslim American puts her in danger.

Authorities charged a New York man last week with threatening to assassinate Omar.

“I’m not going to quote the NY Post’s horrifying, hateful cover,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. “She‘s done more for 9/11 families than the GOP who won’t even support healthcare for 1st responders- yet are happy to weaponize her faith.”

Outrage by liberals and Democrats over Attorney General William Barr noting that “spying did occur” on the 2016 Trump campaign is a sorry example of moving the goal posts. Last year, the active debate was not over whether spying occurred — which it did by a reasonable use of the word — but whether it was justified. Barr was careful not to weigh in on that debate. Yet Democrats, spurred on by their liberal base and supported by the media, have been out to portray Barr’s statement as some sort of shocking betrayal of his role as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

“Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the Attorney General,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., fumed in calling for Barr to retract his statement. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Barr’s statement, “strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions.”

Yet last year, it wasn’t being disputed that among other things, that the FBI conducted surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign official, that included wiretapping after obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant. In a 2018 memo by none other than Schiff, minority Democrats on the intelligence committee argued, “DOJ and FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government.”

At the time, Republicans had been arguing that the FBI launched the investigation into Russian interference on the basis of a dossier that was based on research funded by the DNC and Clinton campaign. Democrats were arguing that “Christopher Steele’s raw intelligence reporting did not inform the FBI’s decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016.” Instead, they argued that it began with information the FBI received that Russians were wooing a different Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

Outside Congress, the debate also focused on whether there was “probable cause” for the FISA warrant, which those pushing back against Trump and Republicans argued that there was.

“Commentators like National Review’s Andrew McCarthy try to discredit the Mueller investigation by sliming the process to spy on a former Trump advisor,” argued an op-ed from the liberal Brennan Center for Justice. “Here’s why they’re wrong.”

So, the issue they were taking with conservative McCarthy was that he was attacking “the process” that was used “to spy on a former Trump advisor” — rather than arguing about whether the spying occurred.

Indeed, the article itself is a case that the FISA warrant was totally justified.

“Now that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application for an order to surveil former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page has been released in heavily redacted form, the attacks on the FBI’s application have been predictably loud yet incorrect,” the op-ed read. “They miss the critical question related to such an application: Was there probable cause to believe that Page was an agent of a foreign power?”

So, the “critical question” concerned not whether there was surveillance, but whether there was probable cause, to which the Brennan Center argued, “the unredacted portions easily meet this probable cause standard and support the FISA court’s multiple orders.”

The surveillance and wiretapping was thus indisputable, as was the fact that it allowed investigators to go back to when Page did work on the Trump campaign. It also doesn’t even get into the fact that, according to the New York Times, “Agents involved in the Russia investigation asked [Stefan] Halper, an American academic who teaches in Britain, to gather information on Mr. Page and George Papadopoulos, another Trump campaign foreign policy adviser.”

This is all perfectly consistent with what Barr said.

“I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated — adequately predicated,” Barr testified before Congress. “I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane.”

The only part he’s stating unequivocally is that there was spying. He is not making a claim that the FISA warrant was illegally obtained on the basis of a Clinton-funded discredited dossier. He just said it was worthy of looking into to make sure the process was proper.

So then the only real argument is if Barr was wrong to use the word “spying” rather than saying “surveillance did occur” or “wiretapping did occur.”

But, even if people want to litigate this issue, it should be seen as a reasonable use of the word. My colleague Byron York noted several examples of the New York Times describing wiretapping as spying.

After the House voted to reauthorize FISA last year, the Brennan Center issued a press release headlined, “U.S. House Votes to Authorize Warrantless Domestic Spying on Americans.” The bill, it warned, would “endorse warrantless searches of millions of Americans’ online and phone communications.” The release quoted co-director of the Brennan Center, Elizabeth Goitein, as saying, “The House just voted to turn the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into a tool for domestic spying on Americans.”

This isn’t to say it’s hypocritical, as in this case, the discussion was about allowing warrantless access, whereas in the previous case, the argument was that there was probable cause for a warrant. But again, a debate over whether a warrant is justified on the basis of probable cause is different than whether the underlying government activity can be described as spying. It’s reasonable to argue that yes it can.

In the end, the man who reportedly smeared feces on the walls of his lodgings, mistreated his kitten, and variously blamed the ills of the world on feminists and bespectacled Jewish writers was pulled from the Ecuadorian embassy looking every inch like a powdered-sugar Saddam Hussein plucked straight from his spider hole. The only camera crew to record this pivotal event belonged to Ruptly, a Berlin-based streaming-online-video service, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of RT, the Russian government’s English-language news channel and the former distributor of Julian Assange’s short-lived chat show.

RT’s tagline is “Question more,” and indeed, one might inquire how it came to pass that the spin-off of a Kremlin propaganda organ and now registered foreign agent in the United States first arrived on the scene. Its camera recorded a team of London’s Metropolitan Police dragging Assange from his Knightsbridge cupboard as he burbled about resistance and toted a worn copy of Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State.

Vidal had the American national-security establishment in mind when he wrote that polemic, although I doubt even he would have contrived to portray the CIA as being in league with a Latin American socialist named for the founder of the Bolshevik Party. Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno announced Thursday that he had taken the singular decision to expel his country’s long-term foreign guest and revoke his asylum owing to Assange’s “discourteous and aggressive behavior.”

According to Interior Minister María Paula Romo, this evidently exceeded redecorating the embassy with excrement—alas, we still don’t know whether it was Assange’s or someone else’s—refusing to bathe, and welcoming all manner of international riffraff to visit him. It also involved interfering in the “internal political matters in Ecuador,” as Romo told reporters in Quito. Assange and his organization, WikiLeaks, Romo said, have maintained ties to two Russian hackers living in Ecuador who worked with one of the country’s former foreign ministers, Ricardo Patiño, to destabilize the Moreno administration.

We don’t yet know whether Romo’s allegation is true (Patiño denied it) or simply a pretext for booting a nuisance from state property. But Assange’s ties to Russian hackers and Russian intelligence organs are now beyond dispute.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 cyberoperatives for Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate for the General Staff (GRU) suggests that Assange was, at best, an unwitting accomplice to the GRU’s campaign to sway the U.S. presidential election in 2016, and allegedly even solicited the stolen Democratic correspondence from Russia’s military intelligence agency, which was masquerading as Guccifer 2.0. Assange repeatedly and viciously trafficked, on Twitter and on Fox News, in the thoroughly debunked claim that the correspondence might have been passed to him by the DNC staffer Seth Rich, who, Assange darkly suggested, was subsequently murdered by the Clintonistas as revenge for the presumed betrayal.

Mike Pompeo, then CIA director and, as an official in Donald Trump’s Cabinet, an indirect beneficiary of Assange’s meddling in American democracy, went so far as to describe WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” For those likening the outfit to legitimate news organizations, I’d submit that this is a shade more severe a description, especially coming from America’s former spymaster, than anything Trump has ever grumbled about The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Russian diplomats had concocted a plot, as recently as late 2017, to exfiltrate Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy, according to The Guardian. “Four separate sources said the Kremlin was willing to offer support for the plan—including the possibility of allowing Assange to travel to Russia and live there. One of them said that an unidentified Russian businessman served as an intermediary in these discussions.” The plan was scuttled only because it was deemed too dangerous.

In 2015, Focus Ecuador reported that Assange had aroused suspicion among Ecuador’s own intelligence service, SENAIN, which spied on him in the embassy in a years-long operation. “In some instances, [Assange] requested that he be able to choose his own Security Service inside the embassy, even proposing the use of operators of Russian nationality,” the Ecuadorian journal noted, adding that SENAIN looked on such a proposal with something less than unmixed delight.

All of which is to say that Ecuador had ample reasons of its own to show Assange the door and was well within its sovereign rights to do so. He first sought refuge in the embassy after he jumped bail more than seven years ago to evade extradition to Sweden on sexual-assault charges brought by two women. Swedish prosecutors suspended their investigation in 2017 because they’d spent five years trying but failing to gain access to their suspect to question him. (That might now change, and so the lawyers for the claimants have just filed to reopen the cases.) But the British charges remained on the books throughout.

The Times of London leader writer Oliver Kamm has noted that quite apart from being a “victim of a suspension of due process,” Assange is “is a fugitive from it.” Yet to hear many febrile commentators tell it, his extradition was simply a matter of one sinister prime minister cackling down the phone to another, with the CIA nodding approvingly in the background, as an international plot unfurled to silence a courageous speaker of truth to power. Worse than that, Assange and his ever-dwindling claque of apologists spent years in the pre-#MeToo era suggesting, without evidence, that the women who accused him of being a sex pest were actually American agents in disguise, and that Britain was simply doing its duty as a hireling of the American empire in staking out his diplomatic digs with a net.

As it happens, a rather lengthy series of U.K. court cases and Assange appeals, leading all the way up to the Supreme Court, determined Assange’s status in Britain.

The New Statesman’s legal correspondent, David Allen Green, expended quite a lot of energy back in 2012 swatting down every unfounded assertion and conspiracy theory for why Assange could not stand before his accusers in Scandinavia without being instantly rendered to Guantanamo Bay. Ironically, as Green noted, going to Stockholm would make it harder for Assange to be sent on to Washington because “any extradition from Sweden … would require the consent of both Sweden and the United Kingdom” instead of just the latter country. Nevertheless, Assange ran and hid and self-pityingly professed himself a “political prisoner.”

Everything about this Bakunin of bullshit and his self-constructed plight has belonged to the theater of the absurd. I suppose it’s only fair that absurdity dominates the discussion now about a newly unsealed U.S. indictment of Assange. According to Britain’s Home Office, the Metropolitan Police arrested Assange for skipping bail, and then, when he arrived at the police station, he was further arrested “in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States.”

The operative word here is provisional, because that request has yet to be wrung through the same domestic legal protocols as Sweden’s. Assange will have all the same rights he was accorded when he tried to beat his first extradition rap in 2010. At Assange’s hearing, the judge dismissed his claims of persecution by calling him “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.” Neither can his supporters.

A “dark moment for press freedom,” tweeted the NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden from his security in press-friendly Moscow. “It’s the criminalization of journalism by the Trump Justice Department and the gravest threat to press freedom, by far, under the Trump presidency,” intoned The Intercept’s founding editor Glenn Greenwald who, like Assange, has had that rare historical distinction of having once corresponded with the GRU for an exclusive.

These people make it seem as if Assange is being sought by the Eastern District of Virginia for publishing American state secrets rather than for allegedly conniving to steal them.

The indictment makes intelligible why a grand jury has charged him. Beginning in January 2010, Chelsea Manning began passing to WikiLeaks (and Assange personally) classified documents obtained from U.S. government servers. These included files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and U.S. State Department cables. But Manning ran into difficulties getting more documents, owing to the limitations of her modest security clearance.

At this point, Assange allegedly morphed from being a recipient and publisher of classified documents into an agent of their illicit retrieval. “On or about March 8, 2010, Assange agreed to assist [Chelsea] Manning in cracking a password stored on United States Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Networks, a United States government network used for classified documents and communications,” according to the indictment.

Assange allegedly attempted to help Manning do this using a username that was not hers in an effort to cover her virtual tracks. In other words, the U.S. accuses him of instructing her to hack the Pentagon, and offering to help. This is not an undertaking any working journalist should attempt without knowing that the immediate consequence will be the loss of his job, his reputation, and his freedom at the hands of the FBI.

I might further direct you to Assange’s own unique brand of journalism, when he could still be said to be practicing it. Releasing U.S. diplomatic communiqués that named foreigners living in conflict zones or authoritarian states and liaising with American officials was always going to require thorough vetting and redaction, lest those foreigners be put in harm’s way. Assange did not care—he wanted their names published, according to Luke Harding and David Leigh in WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy. As they recount the story, when Guardian journalists working with WikiLeaks to disseminate its tranche of U.S. secrets tried to explain to Assange why it was morally reprehensible to publish the names of Afghans working with American troops, Assange replied: “Well, they’re informants. So, if they get killed, they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.” (Assange denied the account; the names, in the end, were not published.)

James Ball, a former staffer at WikiLeaks—who argues against Assange’s indictment in these pages—has also remarked on Assange’s curious relationship with a notorious Holocaust denier named Israel Shamir:

Shamir has a years-long friendship with Assange, and was privy to the contents of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables months before WikiLeaks made public the full cache. Such was Shamir’s controversial nature that Assange introduced him to WikiLeaks staffers under a false name. Known for views held by many to be antisemitic, Shamir aroused the suspicion of several WikiLeaks staffers—myself included—when he asked for access to all cable material concerning ‘the Jews,’ a request which was refused.

Shamir soon turned up in Moscow where, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, he was offering to write articles based on these cables for $10,000 a pop. Then he traveled to Minsk, where he reportedly handed over a cache of unredacted cables on Belarus to functionaries for Alexander Lukashenko’s dictatorship, whose dissident-torturing secret police is still conveniently known as the KGB.

Fish and guests might begin to stink after three days, but Assange has reeked from long before he stepped foot in his hideaway cubby across from Harrods. He has put innocent people’s lives in danger; he has defamed and tormented a poor family whose son was murdered; he has seemingly colluded with foreign regimes not simply to out American crimes but to help them carry off their own; and he otherwise made that honorable word transparency in as much of a need of delousing as he is.

Yet none of these vices has landed him in the dock. If he is innocent of hacking U.S. government systems—or can offer a valid public-interest defense for the hacking—then let him have his day in court, first in Britain and then in America. But don’t continue to fall for his phony pleas for sympathy, his megalomania, and his promiscuity with the facts. Julian Assange got what he deserved.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Does Vice President Mike Pence care about your sexuality? And will the Left and the media ever get over it if the answer is no?

During a speech a few days ago to the LGBTQ Victory Fund, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said “If me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. That if you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Buttigieg was lauded for really taking the argument to Pence.

The comments were made in response to Pence’s recent comments … oh, that’s right, there were no Pence comments. In fact, the two seemed to have a very pleasant relationship while both served the people of Indiana, Buttigieg as mayor of South Bend and Pence as governor.

The Daily Caller points out that “In 2014, for example, Pence called Buttigieg on the day of his deployment to Afghanistan — USA Today described Pence as “noticeably moved” during the call. Pence responded with support in 2015 when he heard Buttigieg had come out as gay, asserting, “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”

That monster!

[Related: Mike Pence says Mayor Pete Buttigieg is attacking ‘my Christian faith’]

Buttigieg’s answer to an argument Mike Pence didn’t make is a good one. But if you have to build up straw-men with which to argue, perhaps it’s because Mike Pence isn’t the guy you think he is.

There so much common wisdom about Mike Pence that has so little basis in reality. At the top of that list is that “Mike Pence believes in gay conversion therapy.” But there is no evidence that Pence supports or has ever supported the odious practice, which purports to “electro-shock” away the gay.

The Snopes website states “Pence never stated that he supported the use of electric shocks or ‘gay conversion therapy.'” The rumor is based on a clause Pence wanted added to a AIDS funding bill which read, “Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” That can mean institutions that promote safer sex, that can mean institutions that work against promiscuity. That people took that line and decided it meant “gay conversion therapy” is, frankly, insane. That this idea continues to go unchallenged is a failure of our media.

When Joe Biden got in trouble a few weeks ago for calling Pence “a decent guy,” actress Cynthia Nixon took to Twitter to call Pence “America’s most anti-LGBT elected leader.” She didn’t explain what made him so LGBT and no one called her on it. Instead, Biden apologized for complimenting Pence.

The obsession over gayness isn’t Pence’s, it belongs to his critics.

Last year, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver put out a book A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, a parody of the children’s book Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President, written by Pence’s wife and daughter. In the Oliver book, the bunny is, wait for it, gay. How daring. The book, of course, got fawning write-ups in places like the New York Times.

Last month, the media was obsessed with the Irish prime minister bringing his boyfriend to meet Pence. Article after article chronicled Pence’s reaction, which was to treat the prime minister and his boyfriend exactly as he treats anyone else.

In January, sites got their clicks by urging you to “Watch Mike Pence swear in the first openly bisexual Senator, Kyrsten Sinema.” If you watched you’d find that the vice president swore her in without incident or any marked discomfort.

And in 2018, the media wanted you to know that “Pence swears in Trump’s most prominent openly gay official” at the ceremony for Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany.

Pence either has the world’s best poker face or else he doesn’t actually have an issue with gay people. In fact, one of Pence’s very few tweets mentioning the word “gay” is one where he notes “If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore.” He simply doesn’t live up to his caricature.

Pence is a private person. He’s not a tweeting machine like President Trump. This lets people project their intense anti-administration feelings onto him. The problem is that these people never get any pushback from the media, who only claim to care deeply about facts. The facts have shown Mike Pence not to be the homophobe his foes imagine him to be.

Karol Markowicz is a columnist for the New York Post.

This week before the Senate Appropriations Committee Attorney General William Barr gave testimony that is guaranteed to induce panic throughout the D.C. swamp. Regarding spying on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he testified as follows:

Read Full Article »

Source: Real Clear Politics

This week the Bulwark, known for their incredibly critical commentary of President Trump by any means necessary, perhaps went a few steps too far. In two separate pieces by Executive Editor Jonathan V. Last, and Senior Editor Jim Swift, they accuse some Trump supporters — as well as the president himself — of being mentally ill.

In the first article published by Last on April 1, he claimed that pundits and commentators such as Jesse Kelly, Julie Kelly, Alex Jones, Denise McAllister, and Laura Loomer are all crazy, and agrees with Jones on his self-diagnosed psychosis. Last even uses the tweets of a former coworker of McAllister as proof that she exhibits bipolar tendencies.

Perhaps some of these individuals should see a therapist — as should most adults. But I disagree with Last’s central premise. He suggests that because these people support Trump the way that they do, they are mentally incapable, and therefore have nothing worthwhile to contribute to political discourse.

Yes, the ragtag group Last calls out by name could use a giant dose of reality, except for Jesse Kelly, in my opinion (a friend of mine). They travel in the conspiracy-addled circles of politics. Grifters by their own right. But how does calling them mentally unstable help improve the discourse of the country? It does nothing but raise the stigma around mental health and dissuade people who need help from getting it. Rather than using mental health as a bludgeon against an opponent, attack their arguments and ideas. Conserve conservatism.

Jim Swift posted a similar article on April 3, calling the president mentally unwell. His examples include a few slip-ups from Trump: stating his father was born in the wrong country, forgetting his speech was being broadcast, and claiming windmills cause cancer. Not a great week, to be sure. But the biggest problem Swift created within his argument is his opening line: “I regret to inform you of this. Our president is mentally unwell. It does not require a degree in medicine or psychiatry or neurology to make this observation.”

You would not trust a pre-med student to diagnose cancer, nor would you trust a dentist to perform a colonoscopy. Why on Earth would someone armchair-diagnose a politician with a mental illness? Swift would like us all to provide a defense of Trump, but I reject his premise in the first place. Swift does not have a degree in psychiatry, and until he gets one and spends enough time in a clinical setting with Trump to diagnose him, I’m going to say that Swift is causing more harm than the argument is worth.

[Read more: George Conway diagnoses Trump with narcissistic personality disorder]

It’s undeniable that there’s a mental health epidemic in this country. To call people sick for their worship of a political personality for Internet points is certainly not a solution.

I would not have written this a year ago, but my own life circumstances have brutally educated me as to the poor state of mental healthcare and the stigma attached to mental illness in the U.S. It is a horrific and life-changing experience to see someone close to you suffer. Last and Swift imply that the mentally ill have opinions that should never see the light of day, and that just can’t be true. We, as a nation, should not allow that to be true.

Mental health is a deep and serious issue in this country. Every day, 20 veterans commit suicide due to mental health issues. The more we belittle mental health by using it as an attack or a facetious, armchair diagnosis of our political opponents, the less likely people with real problems will seek help. In their quest to call Trump a lousy president, unfit for office, and “mentally unwell,” these gentlemen whom I have a high level of respect for do a grave disservice to those veterans, and to anyone else suffering from mental health concerns.

Raising the stigma levels around treatment is a great way to help precisely zero people. Last and Swift have both railed against grifters on the right who cling to Trump, and I have raised my voice with them. But at what point does it turn into grifting from the other direction?

Alec Sears (@SearsAL) is a writer and political consultant.


[There are no radio stations in the database]