[THS] John Pilger: Julian Assange on Murdoch, Manning and...
The Harder Stuff in news and commentary
ths at psalience.org
Thu Jan 13 22:55:40 CET 2011
Julian Assange on Murdoch, Manning and the threat from China
By John Pilger
January 13, 2011 "New Statesman" - -The "technological enemy" of WikiLeaks is not
the United States, but China, according to Assange.
"China is the worst offender" when it comes to censorship, says the controversial
whistleblower. "China has aggressive and sophisticated interception technology that
places itself between every reader inside China and every information source outside
China. We've been fighting a running battle to make sure we can get information
through, and there are now all sorts of ways Chinese readers can get on to our site."
On Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of leaking diplomatic cables to
WikiLeaks, Assange says: "I'd never heard his name before it was published in the
press." He argues that the US is trying to use Manning currently stuck in solitary
confinement in the US to build a case against the WikiLeaks founder:
"Cracking Bradley Manning is the first step," says the Australian hacker. "The aim
clearly is to break him and force a confession that he somehow conspired with me to
harm the national security of the United States."
Such conspiracy would be impossible, he says. "WikiLeaks technology was designed
from the very beginning to make sure that we never knew the identities or names of
people submitting material. We are as untraceable as we are uncensorable. That's
the only way to assure sources they are protected."
Yesterday, Assange's lawyers warned that if he is extradited to America he could face
the death penalty for embarrassing the leaders of the US government. "They don't
want the public to know these things and scapegoats must be found," Assange says.
And despite the pressure the website has been under, reports of trouble at WikiLeaks
are greatly exaggerated, he claims.
"There is no 'fall'. We have never published as much as we are now. WikiLeaks is
now mirrored on more than 2,000 websites. I can't keep track of the spin-off sites
those who are doing their own WikiLeaks . . . If something happens to me or to
WikiLeaks, 'insurance' files will be released."
The contents of these files are unknown, but, according to Assange, "They speak
more of the same truth to power." It is not just government that should be worried
about the content of these files, however. "There are 504 US embassy cables on one
broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp," he
The attempts by Washington to indict him should worry the mainstream press, he
"I think what's emerging in the mainstream media is the awareness that if I can be
indicted, other journalists can, too," Assange says. "Even the New York Times is
worried. This used not to be the case. If a whistleblower was prosecuted, publishers
and reporters were protected by the First Amendment, which journalists took for
granted. That's being lost."
Full interview in PDF format here
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