"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Julian Assange: 'We Are Drowning in Material'

Obama: "Death Penalty for Assange"

  • "Liberal" or "Conservative".  Those are phony labels adopted by the Ruling Elites to get the Sheeple to be cheerleaders for one side or another of the same Elitist Machine.
  • In the 1970s Richard Nixon went after the New York Times for daring to use the 1st Amendment and publish the Pentagon Papers.
  • Nothing has changed.  The Ruling Elites of both parties want to shut down Wikileaks and a free Internet press.  The Elites want you to hear only what they tell you.

(Der Spiegel)  -  In an interview, Julian Assange, 44, talks about the comeback of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing platform and his desire to provide assistance to a German parliamentary committee that is investigating mass NSA spying.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Assange, WikiLeaks is back -- releasing documents proving United States surveillance of the French government, publishing Saudi diplomatic cables and posting evidence of the massive surveillance of the German government by US secret services. What are the reasons for this comeback?

Assange: Yes, WikiLeaks has been publishing a lot of material in the last few months. We have been publishing right through, but sometimes it has been material which does not concern the West and the Western media -- documents about Syria, for example. But you have to consider that there was, and still is, a conflict with the United States government which started in earnest in 2010 after we began publishing a variety of classified US documents.

SPIEGEL: What did this mean for you and for WikiLeaks?

Assange: The result was a series of legal cases, blockades, PR attacks and so on. With a banking blockade, WikiLeaks had been cut off from more than 90 percent of its finances. The blockade happened in a completely extrajudicial manner. We took legal measures against the blockade and we have been victorious in the courts, so people can send us donations again.

SPIEGEL: What difficulties did you have to overcome?

Assange: There had been attacks on our technical infrastructure. And our staff had to take a 40 percent pay cut, but we have been able to keep things together without having to fire anybody, which I am quite proud of. We became a bit like Cuba, working out ways around this blockade. Various groups like Germany's Wau Holland Foundation collected donations for us during the blockade.

SPIEGEL: The work of WikiLeaks seems to have changed. In the beginning it just published secret documents. More recently, you have also been providing context for the documents.

Assange: We have always done this. I have personally written thousands of pages of analysis. WikiLeaks is a giant library of the world's most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, analyze them, promote them and obtain more. WikiLeaks has more than 10 million documents and associated analyses now.

SPIEGEL: Edward Snowden said that many journalists got interesting stories from his documents, but the only organization that really cared about him and helped him to escape from Hong Kong was WikiLeaks.

Assange: Most of the media organizations do burn sources. Edward Snowden was abandoned in Hong Kong, especially by the Guardian, which had run his stories exclusively. But we thought that it was very important that a star source like Edward Snowden was not put in prison. Because that would have created a tremendous chilling effect on other sources coming forward.

Assange: The US government is pursuing five different types of charges against me. I don't know how many charges altogether, but five types of charges: espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage, computer fraud and abuse, theft of secrets and general conspiracy. Even if there were only one charge of each type, which there wouldn't be, that would be 45 years, and the Espionage Act has life imprisonment and death penalty provisions as well. So it would be absurd for me to worry about the consequences of our next publication. Saudi officials came out after we started publishing the Saudi cables and said that spreading and publishing government information carries a penalty of 20 years in prison. Only 20 years! So if it's a choice between being extradited to Saudi Arabia or the US, then I should go to Saudi Arabia, a land famous for its judicial moderation.

Read More at Der Spiegel International

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