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Julian Assange: The man who came to dinner, the man who saved Egypt

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I didn't think it made much sense then, notwithstanding the assertions of Internet utopians. Monitor correspondent Kristen Chick spent weeks covering the Tunisian revolution, and she told me then that not a single person had mentioned WikiLeaks to her.

Blake Hounshell at Foreign Policy told me the other day that he's spoken to some Tunisian activists who think the release of US diplomatic cables that showed the US was as aware of the Ben Ali family's corruption as everyone else emboldened protesters. But he emphasized "some." (I've not been to Tunisia myself).

But Egypt was my patch for five years. While I don't claim any vast expertise, I found Assange's expansion on WikiLeaks role in the Arab uprisings over the weekend, particularly in the case of Egypt, stunningly obtuse. He spoke at the Frontline Club in London on Saturday, in a talk moderated by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman between Assange and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek.

Asked what role Wikileaks had played, Assange said that "it's difficult to disentangle" and then quickly added "I lived in Egypt during 2007, so I’m familiar with the Mubarak regime and the tensions within the Egyptian environment."

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