Skip to comments.Defiant Julian Assange asks US to end its 'witch-hunt'
Posted on 08/19/2012 10:25:11 AM PDT by Jyotishi
London - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Sunday asked US President Barck Obama to end the "witch-hunt" against his whistleblower website as he emerged in public for the first time in two months since he took refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London to escape extradition to Sweden on alleged sex offences.
"I ask President Obama to do the right thing, the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks," Assange said.
"The US war on whistleblowers must end. There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organisation, be it Wikileaks or the New York Times," the 41-year-old hacker- turned activist said.
Citing examples of alleged action in various countries against freedom of expression, Assange drew loud applause from over 200 supporters as he said: "There is unity in the oppression. There must be absolute unity and determination in the response".
Clad in a crisp blue shirt and red tie, Assange appeared in the balcony of the embassy's ground floor flat with nearly 100 police officers and a police helicopter above closely watching every movement.
Technically, he remained within Ecuador territory, which prevented police officers from arresting him.
Assange, an Australian national, began by thanking the people and government of Ecuador, and those in the government in the US and UK who "are still fighting for justice".
He has been granted diplomatic asylum by Ecuador while Britain insists it is committed to extradite him to Sweden to face allegations of sex offences, and will not give him safe passage.
Assange stood beside Ecuador's flag as several of his supporters and journalists from across the globe assembled outside the embassy, including the left-wing writer Tariq Ali.
Assange was greeted by supporters at almost every sentence. He told his supporters, many of whom had been camping overnight for days outside the embassy: "I am here today because I cannot be there with you today. But thank you for your resolve, for your generosity of spirit.
"On Wednesday night after a threat was made on this embassy and police descended on this embassy, you came out to watch over it."
"The US must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters," he said.
White House spokesperson Josh Earnest yesterday said the Obama administration considers Assange a matter for the governments of Britain, Sweden and Ecuador to resolve.
Assange also asked the US to release Bradley Manning, charged with leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. "If Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all, and one of the world's foremost political prisoners," he said.
Assange angered the US in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website began publishing a huge trove of American diplomatic and military secrets, including 250,000 US embassy documents that highlight the sensitive, candid and often embarrassing backroom dealings of American diplomats.
Assange said that he could hear police "storming" up through the internal fire escapes of the embassy.
He added: "If the UK did not throw away the terms of the Vienna convention it was because the world was watching and the world was watching because you were watching."
Assange, who went into the embassy on June 19, today completed two months amidst a growing diplomatic impasse between Britain and Ecuador over his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual offences.
How long before 0bama awards Assange with the medal of Freedom? 0bama is not all that much unlike Assange or Manning in his personal views of America.
I am a little surprised the CIA or somebody else hasn’t figured out a way to simply get rid of this p.o.s.
I actually have no problem at all with Assange. He did not take an oath to the U.S. and U.S. Army. Bradley Manning did, however, and deserves to be executed. Yes, I said executed. People have been KILLED as a result of his releases. Believe me on that. It is far more messed up than the media has told the public.
Whistleblower organization? Espionage organization.
Maybe Assange’s WikiLeaks is approved by Obama.
I heard an interview of Julia’s mother on the BBC the other day.After listening to her for 10 minutes I came to realize that she’s a bigger whore than is her daughter.
When you release a country’s secrets to that country’s enemy, YOU ARE NOT A “WHISTLEBLOWER”. You are a murderer who causes the deaths of a lot of innocent people. Assange is a sexual pervert and a commie pig. He’ll make an outstanding citizen of Ecuador.
I'm not even all that interested in what happens to Bradley Manning, either. Personally, I'm more concerned about how some low-level quiff had access to these so-called "classified materials" in the first place.
So you have no problem that he released military secrets serious
damaged diplomatic relationships ?
I do agree that Manning should have already been turned into Jenny Craig for worms ....
I'd stand one *right* behind the other and solve the problem with 30 cents' worth of lead.
Doesn’t matter what oaths Assange may not have taken. His actions are those of an enemy combatant.
He’s not charged with sex offences in the US.
He’s charged in Sweden.
It’s kind of hard to make the case that he’s an “enemy combatant” when the U.S. hasn’t even formally declared war against an “enemy” at all.
How long before Obama pardons Manning?
Why is it always incumbent upon the USA to make the declaration? Germany declared war on the USA back in 1941; did we really have to make a counter-declaration? Iran and other “non-state aggressors” have also declared war on us. Assange most definitely waged war on us by taking our state secrets and making them public. Acts of war are still acts of war.
Fry this idiot...
“So you have no problem that he released military secrets serious damaged diplomatic relationships ?”
Really, the only damage this did was to the egos of all those State Dept wienies and the dragon lady Hillery. And if there is one thing the elites can’t stand it’s being made to look like the fools they are which Assange and Wikileaks definiatey did. Also, the guy is not even a US citizen so I fail to see how we have any authority over him or that he is bound to keep our “Secrets”.
Actually he did the US a favor in a way as before the system where Manning, a low level solider, could pull off information that he had no need to know about has been closed up quite a bit tighter. I’m almost positive that more than just Manning have been making use of that system so Assange may have helped plug a leak that has been going on for probably years.
He faces rape and sexual assault charges, which if convicted....you’d figure he does around two to three years in a Swedish prison (figure a South Carolina Motel-6 environment). He does have to worry because he probably won’t have around-the-clock availability of the internet, and he will be forced into rape counseling classes.
Added to this whole mess...at least a quarter of the people within the Wiki-circle....would prefer that he not stay as the boss of Wiki-Leaks. They see this prison episode as a chance to push him out of the organization and retake it with a neutral source. Assange has built an empire and prefers for it to stay within his hands.
I think as each month goes by with Julian in this Ecuadorian embassy deal....he gets deeper into some mental issues. Even if the UK eventually agrees....Julian can never travel to any European country ever again. Even half of the South American countries will admit that they will honor the Swedish request to export him back to face charges. If you ask me....he’s pretty much screwed up his future no matter what happens now.
Do you have to be an American national to be charged with espionage? He received information which he knew to be state secrets and publicized it. To me what is the difference between that handing it clandestinely to one of our enemies? I just offer the question and welcome the debate on this.
“Do you have to be an American national to be charged with espionage? He received information which he knew to be state secrets and publicized it. To me what is the difference between that handing it clandestinely to one of our enemies?”
Sure anyone can be charged with espionage so long as they are doing it within the boundaries of the US charging you with that or you are a US citizen. But Assange did none of that and he is not a US citizen so he has no obligation to protect our “Secrets”. Somebody else (Manning) did the espionage and has been arrested for it. Really everyone is upset because he made the US State Dept look like a bunch of idiots, which they are and communists to boot. But legally he has done nothing wrong and the US can’t touch him “legally”.
Secrets, eh? More like embarrassing tidbits. Can’t wait for the industrial-military-media complex to collapse.
Thanks for your explanation.
“In addition, the federal government retains the death penalty for such non-murder offenses as treason, espionage and crimes under military jurisdiction;”
How’s the END of a short trial and a long rope work for ya, WIKI-Weasels?
Right after obama bows to him?
Ahhhh, just let him go ... to Ecuador ... forever.
Bradley Manning on the other hand should be released to St. Helena for the same amount of time ... forever. Napoleon Bonaparte would highly recommend it.
It seems that he thinks that he’s in Ecuador already:
Assange berates United States from Ecuador embassy balcony
Because Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution kind of requires it.
The U.S. was effectively at war with Germany long before Germany formally declared war in 1941. The U.S. was supplying arms and munitions to Great Britain long before that, and they were being transported to Britain under escort by U.S. naval vessels in the North Atlantic.
Assange "waged war on us"? LOL. You must be kidding me. We can't even figure out what the hell our military is doing in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and you're going to put that on him?
Article 1 section 8 does not impose a requirement to declare war if someone declares war on us. It assigns a power to Congress. That power does not mean that we are devoid of the power to defend ourselves pending any necessary or unnecessary formal declaration of war by us.
Yes, Assange waged war on us. There is no other description for what he did. You sure you’re on the right website?
Indeed he does seem to think he is in Ecuador already. And the Ecuadorians, at least those who staff their London Embassy, seem to be quite cooperative in allowing him to indulge publicly in his moral superiority. Therefore I think the proper resolution to the situation is for Assange to become an Ecuadorian citizen. I dare say few other countries want to have anything to do with him.
After 20 years or so, we’ll see how happy he is in his adopted country ... and how happy Ecuadorians are with him. Can you imagine how insufferable he will be in his dotage, telling the same self-aggrandizing stories over and over and over and over ... well, you get the idea. But America haters will continue to listen to buy him drinks and listen. Let them have each other.
For one thing, a number of reports on the incident have indicated that as many as three million people (including both military and civilian personnel) had access to the leaked documents, which included more than 250,000 diplomatic cables sent by U.S. officials over the years. You'd have a hard time convincing me that anything of the information released by Assange/Wikileaks was particularly sensitive if that many people had access to it. And it turns out most of that information was more embarrassing to the U.S. than "sensitive" in any military sense.
There's also the inconvenient matter of Assange's apparent offer to the U.S. State Department to allow them to review all of the documents and redact any sensitive information from them before he posted them. I found THAT a bit curious ... as if the U.S. government was complicit in their release.