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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange issues threat and complains about ... leaks

In interviews published today, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange issued threats and lashed out at his collaborators, his rape accusers, and the Swedish government.

By Staff writer / December 21, 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside Beccles police station in Suffolk, England, on Dec. 19.

Paul Hackett/Reuters

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Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder compared to terrorists by Vice President Joe Biden, to Thomas Jefferson by the activist-journalist John Pilger, and to Martin Luther King by himself, went on the offensive today against, well, everyone.

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In a series of interviews, he lashed out at the Guardian newspaper, one of his closest collaborators in the controlled release of the trove of US diplomatic cables that has infuriated Mr. Biden and many others in the US government. The Guardian and a few other news outlets were given the full data dump, while the number of cables provided to the public so far remains below 2,000.

Mr. Assange told The Times of London that two women who have accused him of rape in Sweden were probably motivated by a desire for revenge or money. He also told the BBC that he was fighting extradition to Sweden because he could expect "no natural justice" there.

Assange's falling out with former allies may come as little surprise to many who have worked closely with him. Former WikiLeaks No. 2 Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who formerly went by the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt until breaking with the group earlier this year, has described Assange as "dictatorial" and has said he's creating a rival group dedicated to releasing government secrets in a more open and transparent manner.

While plumbing Assange's motivations has become a cottage industry for journalists and pundits, perhaps his most interesting comments published today were aimed at the Guardian. In an interview with the rival paper The Times, his primary complaint seemed to be that the paper had published a leak. About him.

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