anybody who has defended him at this point is either stupid or naive
We are not defending the man. We are defending the fundamental principle of free expression. Assange is not being persecuted because he "raped" anyone, but because he said things that powerful people didn't like. That is wrong, and isn't any less wrong just because he is a slimeball weasel.
And furthermore, one action does not define a man.
And further further, he may simply be waiting until Manning is *actually* released before giving himself up.
Assange tweeted (about 12h ago) that he would be willing to give himself up in any event if the US would guarantee his rights. And the White House said specifically that it wasn't a quid-pro-quo move, which would seem to release Assange from his promise.
The left likes to take only the one side of things and blow them out of proportion: Assange's heart is black as coal, he's completely untrustworthy, a rapist, self-centered egotist who cares for nothing except his own aggrandizement.
Since publishing dirt on Democrats, that is...