WikiLeaks released facts and quality information to the largest media outlets in the world. The Anglo-US American Empire was behaving criminally and spying across the globe, through its ECHELON and PRISM networks and others controlled by the NSA.
Many of the media organisations who won a huge readership by publishing the facts, shortly turned their backs on the “whistleblower”… Others are questioning how much credibility they can continue giving these outlets’ coverage of future events.
Before Julian Assange’s was handed over to the UK government, Ecuador received 4.2 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has promised Ecuador another 3.1 billion in 2020 and an extra 2.5 billion in 2021. Questions similar to those put to Baltasar Garzón, but here deliberated by Joseph Farrell.
Why do you think Lenin Moreno made this decision? Could InaPapers upset his legitimacy as president? How?
The InaPapers are one excuse Moreno is giving. However, we have to bear in mind that they are not a WikiLeaks publication. Moreno may even think that Julian is behind their publication (which would be a sign of his incompetence) but it’s more likely that he hoped these documents would distract public opinion from his own corruption scandals at home.
This shows how Moreno’s decision was partly personal. Maybe we could go further and say it’s part of a personal vendetta. Moreno is a weak man easily manipulated by the USA and the UK, grasping for the loans managed by these countries without respecting human rights or the rights of nature, as the Yasuni National Park case has made clear.
The United States professes to be a country that defends free speech and freedom of information, but in this case, it is going after the same freedoms it so often claims to protect.
Yes, it is, as you say, going after these freedoms. The United States had never before pursued a journalist like this. If it’s successful, it won’t be the last time. It sends a shiver through all thinking journalism everywhere. It will set a terrible precedent for the whole world. No journalist anywhere will be safe.
A risk of Assange being extradited to the USA is that he may be tortured. Why is this?
Chelsea Manning, the presumed WikiLeaks source, was imprisoned in the USA, and the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan Méndez, concluded that she suffered treatment equivalent to torture. This gives a good indication of the kind of treatment Julian Assange will be subjected to. That and serving a life sentence in solitary confinement (in itself considered torture) in a high-security prison.
However, we have to remember that Julian Assange has already been exposed to torture. His indefinite detention at the hands of the UK and the Swedish government was torture. Conditions at the embassy, since Moreno assumed charge, were awful. There has been a decade-long campaign to inflict pain and suffering on this man. A coordinated campaign in the embassy, in the media, even in the courts. The campaign has been about pursuing him for what he has done and it’s a sign of what’s to come.
And when I think about all of this, the only comfort that comes to mind is how lucky Julian is to have a naturally strong disposition. He’s a fighter.
How is the USA searching to erode political norms in Assange’s persecution?
They’re already achieving this, accusing him of having committed computer fraud. But this is a smokescreen. It’s very common, as I’ve said before, in the US extradition process, that they first ask for extradition on the grounds of a minor charge before raising the charges once the defendant is on US territory.
What’s happening with the legal pursuit of the USA in court for the facts revealed, accompanied by proof, by WikiLeaks?
Yes, that’s a very good question! What’s going on? The world has turned upside down, where the person who exposes other crimes is prosecuted for doing so and the criminals who committed the crimes are not even tried, let alone charged.
How could you, starting with WikiLeaks, break the media’s siege and the general state of disinformation created by large corporations around cases like Julian’s detention, the economic blockade on Venezuela, the siege on Iran, etc.?
Through the work of strong, brave and independent people. These journalists do exist, though they’re few, and they inform accurately. In our experience at WikiLeaks, small, independent media organisations motivated by genuine journalistic ideals have been the best media partners.
Do you think this is part of Clinton’s hunt for grounds on which to remove Trump from office?
Clinton’s experts have wasted all their energy on Russiagate instead of reflecting and regrouping. The next elections in the USA are little more than a year away. This rage that has poisoned the liberal media could well have increased the possibility of Trump being reelected. The main media organisations have failed. News must be based on facts and truth, which are what WikiLeaks deals in.
Should we expect another leak from WikiLeaks in coming months? Can you give us a preview?
WikiLeaks doesn’t discuss its future publications.
What message would you like to give Julian and the WikiLeaks team, and especially all the journalists around the world, at this moment in time?
Julian’s message when they dragged him illegally from his place of asylum and threw him out of the embassy was “the United Kingdom must resist”. This is a good message in general. Resist! Resist persecution. Resist disinformation. Resist apathy. Resist blind belief. Resist ‘fake news’ and embrace facts.
How can the general public directly support WikiLeaks?
They can defend our right to publish by donating to WikiLeaks. And they can protest persecution by, well…protesting. But protests must be targeted and focused. The aim at this point is for the United States to not extradite Assange and for the USA to abandon the maddening prosecution of a media outlet for publishing the truth.
Protests outside embassies are effective since the embassy has to report home about it. Presenting Assange’s case before the United Nations is useful because it reaches diplomatic personnel. Everyone must write to the organisations and institutions defending human rights to encourage them to publish statements on the matter and keep a close watch on the situation. This type of international scope is vital.
We must all be outraged by the injustice that has been allowed to happen. Not only recently. Not only outraged at Ecuador for having removed his asylum. Not only by the recent wave of dismissals at the White House. But because this injustice has been going on since 2010. Since WikiLeaks was first attacked by the USA for its publications.
It’s outrageous that Julian Assange has even been in the situation where he’s had to seek asylum in the first place, not to mention his arbitrary detention. It’s outrageous that a person who has exposed war crimes and cases of corruption and injustice around the world has had to experience what he has had to experience, let alone what he will yet be forced to bear. This outrage is the driver of change. This outrage will not only support WikiLeaks but also humanity in its entirety.
(Translated by Elizabeth Dann – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)