In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange speaks to Democracy Now! from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed WikiLeaks would persevere despite attacks against it. On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that the credit card company Visa did not break the European Union’s anti-trust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks. “Since the blockade was erected in December 2010, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of donations that were attempted to be transferred to us over that period . . . our rightful and natural growth, our ability to publish as much as we would like, our ability to defend ourselves and our sources has been diminished by that blockade.” Assange also speaks about his new book, Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet. “The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the Internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organizations and their cronies,” he says. Assange also discusses the United States’ targeting of WikiLeaks. “The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently as an institution, that tells military and governmental whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege that we are criminal moving forward,” Assange says. “Now the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the government is trying to hammer into the legal system, and which the department of justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States” (29 November 2012)’.
Arguably, without the actions of Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks would be an unknown website today and Assange merely unknown white-haired Ozzie. Alas, now Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London . . .
The Associated Press explains: ‘In this courtroom sketch, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, describes a layout of his pretrial confinement cell in a Quantico, Va., Marine Corps brig while testifying at a pretrial hearing in Fort Meade, Md. on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012’.
The AP continues that ‘Manning’s trial was set to begin Feb. 4. But [Military judge Col. Denise] Lind says pretrial proceedings will push the start date back to either March 16 or March 18. The hearing is to determine whether the highly restrictive conditions Manning experienced for nine months were justified. The defense claims the restrictions were so punishing that the case should be dismissed. Two psychiatrists have testified that the brig commander kept Manning tightly confined despite their recommendations to ease them. The 24-year-old is charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy. He could get life in prison’.
‘On Thursday, the whistleblower Wikileaks website has released documents that reveal what really goes on in GuantanamoBay. The website claims that the documents that were released are the first of many more documents to come giving details of how detainees are treated at the facility. Colonel Morris Davis, professor at Howard University School of Law, joins us with more on the policies at Gitmo (25 Oct 2012)’.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called on the United States to move from words to actions, and put an end to its persecution of WikiLeaks, its people and its sources (27 Sept 2012).
President Correa warns Britain would regret entering the Ecuadorian embassy to seize Julian Assange, as US State Department argues the Wikileaks founder is trying to deflect attention from his rape charge in Sweden (21 August 2012).
But what it is this all about??? Did he or didn’t he use a condom??? Does it matter??? Nearly two years ago my old friend Girish Shahane analysed the affair, and examined in some detail how it was that Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen shared Mister Assange’s bed. Was it a set up??? Are the charges justified??? And if so, why is Mister Assange only wanted for questioning??? It seems very curious indeed.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that the UK will not allow safe passage to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to leave the country after Ecuador granted him political asylum. Assange, founder of the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks, released giant troves of secret US documents on Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2010. Moreover, following the release of documents, Bradley Manning, a US army soldier, was arrested in Iraq on suspicion of having passed the classified documents to Wikileaks in May the same year. Assange and Manning have been targeted by the US government as criminals since then.
Earlier in June, Assange requested political asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid his extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of sexual offences. On August 16, 2012, Ecuador’s government granted asylum to Assange after Britain threatened to storm Ecuadorian embassy and arrest Assange. Supporters of Assange have spent the night outside the Ecuadorian embassy protesting against the UK Police forces’ threat to arrest him, media reports said (17 August 2012).
Michael Ratner, a member of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team, reacts to the breaking news that Ecuador has approved Assange’s request for political asylum two months after Assange took refuge in its London embassy. Britain says it still plans to extradite Assange to Sweden where he faces questioning for alleged sexual misconduct. “The British ought to just back off and the U.S. ought to just back off,” Ratner says. “For the British to say that they are going to go in to the embassy to get someone who has been granted asylum, would turn the refugee convention on asylum completely on its head. … [Assange] has the right to leave that embassy, get on the plane and go to Ecuador. That’s the law” (16 August 2012).
Cyber threats, hacker attacks and laws officially aiming to tackle internet piracy, but in fact infringing people’s rights to online privacy. It’s an increasingly topical subject – and the world’s most famous whistleblower is aiming to get to the heart of it. In this edition of his interview program here on RT, Julian Assange gets together with activists from the Cypherpunk movement – Andy Müller-Maguhn, Jeremie Zimmermann, and Jacob Appelbaum (29 July 2012).
Hearings are underway on the case of John Kiriakou, a former CIA official turned whistleblower. He first told the world about waterboarding in secret prisons, but scandals like that might never break again of lawmakers on Capitol Hill have their say. Congress is on a mission to silence journalists from ever publishing classified information and, in fact, want to make doing so a crime under the Espionage Act. Jesselyn Radack, National Security & Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project, joins RT’s Liz Wahl to explain what that could mean for the freedom of press in America (24 July 2012).
It’s been a full month since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and asked the South American nation for political asylum. In the meantime, his whistleblower website has remained active, releasing 2.5 million emails linked to the Syrian government. How much longer will the site last though? RT’s Abby Martin brings us the latest on Julian Assange’s quest for asylum (19 July 2012).