Front Burner

Alex Gibney on the Julian Assange arrest

On Thursday, Julian Assange was arrested and taken out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Oscar winner Alex Gibney, who made a film about Assange in 2013, talks to us about the Wikileaks founder’s last few years.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sits in a police van after he was arrested by British police in London on Thursday. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)
Listen to the full episode21:49

On Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and taken out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living since 2012. Assange is now facing charges in the U.K. and the United States.

Oscar winner Alex Gibney, who made a film about Assange in 2013, says at first he admired Assange.

"The first 40 minutes of that film are a praise poem to Assange," says Gibney, adding the second half of We Steal Secrets shows more complicated feelings.

These were driven by Assange's response to sexual assault allegations and his choice not to redact identities in many document dumps. "I believe he was not the avatar for the most responsible way of publishing secret documents."

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