A prominent WikiLeaks organizer, Birgitta Jonsdottir, a parliamentarian in Iceland, tells The Daily Beast that she has encouraged Assange to step aside as WikiLeaks’ public spokesman and give up his other management responsibilities, at least until after the criminal investigation is over…

“Somebody needs to say this,” she continued. “If it means I get banned, I don’t care. I really care very much for WikiLeaks and I do consider myself to be Julian’s friend. But good friends are the people who tell you if your face is dirty. There should not be one person speaking for WikiLeaks. There should be many people.”

Another WikiLeaks organizer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Assange had been resisting efforts over the last two weeks to push him off the public stage as a result of the criminal investigation in Sweden, and that his insistence on “staying in charge of everything” was creating “a mess for everyone” as the website prepares to release an additional library of 13,000 classified American military reports from the war in Afghanistan. The website outraged the Pentagon in July when it released more than 70,000 other classified reports from the war.