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Part II: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange on Iraq War Logs, “Tabloid Journalism” and Why WikiLeaks is “Under Siege”

StoryOctober 26, 2010
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We continue our interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the release of nearly 400,000 classified US military records on the war in Iraq, the biggest intelligence leak in US history. [includes rush transcript]

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StorySep 17, 2020Daniel Ellsberg Warns U.S. Press Freedom Under Attack in WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Extradition Case
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We are going to turn back now to London, because we’ve just reconnected with Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Julian, we just have a few more minutes, and I wanted to ask you about the targeting of you. You said that the company responsible for collecting WikiLeaks’ donations terminated its account after the US and Australia placed the group on blacklists, the company called Moneybookers. What evidence do you have of this? Also, you’ve been denied Swedish residency. You sound very much like you are on the run, that you feel under siege.

JULIAN ASSANGE: [inaudible] under siege and that we have to go through some extraordinary security procedures at the moment and shore up —

AMY GOODMAN: Julian, can you start again? We just got your sound up. Julian, just start again, because we just got your sound up.


AMY GOODMAN: The question about you being under siege.

JULIAN ASSANGE: Yeah, yeah. Oh, there’s no doubt that this organization is under siege. There was a direct demand made by the Pentagon that we destroy all previous publications, all upcoming publications — an incredible demand for prior restraint on a media organization by a military — and that we cease dealing with US military whistleblowers.

My Swedish residency application was denied for reasons that still remain secret.

One week after the release of the Afghan war diaries, our donation credit card processing company Moneybookers, the second biggest on the internet after Paypal, terminated our accounts, and we were forwarded an email by the security department explaining the situation to the account manager, which was that we were on a US watchlist and an Australian government blacklist and to see the current controversy in relation to Afghanistan. Fortunately, we have just now managed to get up an Icelandic-based credit card processing scheme, so donors can once again donate there.

The Australian attorney general stated that he would assist any country anywhere in the world to prosecute us over these disclosures and that, when asked the question, had he provided intelligence assistance, something that we have evidence of, said, “Well, yes, we help countries from time to time, but I won’t comment directly on that matter.”

And we know the Icelandic government has been publicly pressured to not be a safe haven for our publishing activities or for me personally.

The Swedish government has been pressured at the intelligence agency level to its body SAPO. When I left Sweden on the 27th of September, my — to a flight to Berlin on SAS, one of the world’s most — if not the world’s most reputable airline — my luggage disappeared. That was the —- I was the only case in that plane. It was a direct flight with the Schengen zone in Europe. And SAS -—

AMY GOODMAN: Julian, we only have five seconds.


AMY GOODMAN: Are you planning to release the remainder of the Afghan war documents?

JULIAN ASSANGE: Yes, we are working on that and a number of other —

AMY GOODMAN: We’ll leave it there. Thank you very much.

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Daniel Ellsberg Warns U.S. Press Freedom Under Attack in WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Extradition Case

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