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    Default Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"


    StoryApril 21, 2017

    from Democracy Now
    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/...ting_wikileaks

    (see link to view video)


    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald responds to reports that the Trump administration has prepared an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the report at a news conference Thursday. Last week, CIA chief Mike Pompeo blasted WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service," in a stark reversal from his previous praise for the group. Pompeo made the remarks last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in his first public address as CIA director. Pompeo went on to accuse WikiLeaks of instructing Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to steal information. He also likened Julian Assange to a "demon" and suggested Assange is not protected under the First Amendment. It’s been nearly five years since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in London seeking political asylum, fearing a Swedish arrest warrant could lead to his extradition to the United States. Greenwald’s story for The Intercept is "Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms."



    TRANSCRIPT

    This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.


    AMY GOODMAN: CNN is reporting the Trump administration has prepared an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the report at a news conference on Thursday.


    REPORTER: Can you talk about whether it’s a priority for your department to arrest Assange, once and for all, and whether you think you can take him down?


    ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks. This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks. And some of them are quite serious. So, yes, it is a priority.

    AMY GOODMAN: Last week, CIA chief Mike Pompeo blasted WikiLeaks as a, quote, "hostile intelligence service," in a stark reversal from his previous praise for the group. Pompeo made the remarks last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in his first public address as CIA director.


    MIKE POMPEO: It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate, hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. ... In reality, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is clickbait, their moral compass nonexistent. Their mission, personal self-aggrandizement through destruction of Western values.

    AMY GOODMAN: In his speech, Pompeo went on to accuse WikiLeaks of instructing Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to steal information. He also likened Julian Assange to a "demon" and suggested Assange is not protected under the First Amendment. It’s been nearly five years since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in London seeking political asylum, fearing a Swedish arrest warrant could lead to his extradition to the United States.

    For more, we go to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where we’re joined via Democracy Now! video stream by Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. His recent piece is headlined "Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms."

    Glenn, welcome back to Democracy Now! Your response to this latest news that the U.S. government, that the Justice Department, is preparing an arrest warrant for Julian Assange?

    GLENN GREENWALD: What’s interesting is, the Justice Department under President Obama experimented with this idea for a long time. They impaneled a grand jury to criminally investigate WikiLeaks and Assange. They wanted to prosecute them for publishing the trove of documents back in 2011 relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as the U.S. State Department diplomatic cables. And what they found, the Obama Justice Department found, was that it is impossible to prosecute WikiLeaks for publishing secret documents, without also prosecuting media organizations that regularly do the same thing. The New York Times, The Guardian, many other news organizations also published huge troves of the documents provided by Chelsea Manning. So it was too much of a threat to press freedom, even for the Obama administration, to try and create a theory under which WikiLeaks could be prosecuted.

    Fast-forward five years later, there’s been a lot more WikiLeaks leaks and publications, including some really recent ones of sensitive CIA documents, as well as having spent all of last year publishing documents about the Democratic National Committee, which means they’ve made enemies not just of the right in America, but also the Democratic Party. And the Trump administration obviously believes that they can now safely, politically, prosecute WikiLeaks. And the danger, of course, is that this is an administration that has already said, the President himself has said, the U.S. media is the enemy of the American people. And this is a prosecution that would enable them not only to prosecute and imprison Julian Assange, but a whole variety of other journalists and media outlets that also routinely publish classified information from the U.S. government.

    AMY GOODMAN: So let’s go back to what CIA chief Mike Pompeo said in his first address as CIA director.


    MIKE POMPEO: The days like today, where we call out those who grant a platform to these leakers and so-called transparency activists. We know the danger that Assange and his not-so-merry band of brothers pose to democracies around the world. Ignorance or misplaced idealism is no longer an acceptable excuse for lionizing these demons.

    AMY GOODMAN: And CIA chief Mike Pompeo continued.


    MIKE POMPEO: Julian Assange and his kind are not the slightest bit interested in improving civil liberties or enhancing personal freedom. They have pretended America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice. They may have believed that, but they’re wrong. Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value. He relies on the dirty work of others to make himself famous. He’s a fraud, a coward hiding behind a screen.

    AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange responded to the comments earlier this week while speaking with Jeremy Scahill on the Intercepted podcast.


    JULIAN ASSANGE: Pompeo said explicitly that he was going to redefine the legal parameters of the First Amendment to define publishers like WikiLeaks in such a manner that the First Amendment would not apply to them. What the hell is going on? This is the head of the largest intelligence service in the world, the intelligence service of the United States. He doesn’t get to make proclamations on interpretation of the law. That’s a responsibility for the courts, it’s a responsibility for Congress, and perhaps it’s a responsibility for the attorney general. It’s way out of line to usurp the roles of those entities that are formally engaged in defining the interpretations of the First Amendment. For any—frankly, any other group to pronounce themselves, but for the head of the CIA to pronounce what the boundaries are of reporting and not reporting is a very disturbing precedent. This is not how the First Amendment works. It’s just—it’s just legally wrong.


    The First Amendment is not a positive definition of rights. It’s a negative definition. It limits what the federal government does. It doesn’t say the federal government must give individuals rights and enforce that. It limits what the federal government can do to take away a certain climate of open debate in the United States. So, the First Amendment prevents Congress and the executive from engaging in actions themselves which would limit not only the ability of people to speak and to publish freely, but would also limit the ability of people to read and understand information, because it is that climate of public debate which creates a check on a centralized governmental structure from becoming authoritarian. It’s a right, from that perspective, for all the people, not just the publisher.

    AMY GOODMAN: So that’s Julian Assange speaking on the Intercepted podcast. Glenn Greenwald, if you can respond to both—both Julian as well as the CIA director, Pompeo, and what he’s alleging?

    GLENN GREENWALD: I think the key point here to understand is the way in which governments typically try and abridge core freedoms, because what they know is that if they target a group that is popular or a particular idea that people agree with, there will be an uprising against the attempt to abridge freedom. So what they always do, for example, when governments try and abridge freedom of speech, is they pick somebody who they know is hated in society or who expresses an idea that most people find repellent, and they try and abridge freedom of speech in that case, so that most people will let their hatred for the person being targeted override the principle involved, and they will sanction or at least acquiesce to the attack on freedom because they hate the person being attacked. But what happens is, the abridgment then gets institutionalized and entrenched. And that way, when the government goes to start to apply this abridgment to other people that you like more, it’s too late, because you’ve acquiesced in the first instance. And that’s why groups like the ACLU, when they want to defend civil liberties, are often—so often defending the most marginalized and hated groups, like neo-Nazis or white supremacists or the KKK, because that’s where the attacks happen.

    This is what Mike Pompeo is strategizing to do now and what Jeff Sessions wants to do, as well, is they know WikiLeaks is hated on all sides of the political spectrum. The right has long hated WikiLeaks because of all the publications they did of Bush-era war crimes, and Democrats now despise WikiLeaks, probably more than anybody else that they hate, because of the role that Democrats believe WikiLeaks played in helping to defeat Hillary Clinton. And so, what Jeff Sessions is hoping, and probably with a good amount of validity, is that Democrats, who should be the resistance to these sorts of attacks, will actually cheer for the Trump administration while they prosecute WikiLeaks, because they hate WikiLeaks so much, and that U.S. media outlets, which also hate WikiLeaks, won’t raise much of a fuss. And that way, this very dangerous precedent of allowing the CIA and the Trump Justice Department to decide who is and who is not a journalist, what types of journalism are protected by the First Amendment and what types aren’t, will be entrenched as precedent. And that way, the next time there’s a leak that they hate in The New York Times or by NBC News, they will have this theory, that everybody signed on to, that said that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to certain people if you publish documents that are sensitive enough, or if you work enough with certain sources before the publication, that you’re deemed a collaborator. That’s what makes this moment so dangerous for core press freedoms.

    AMY GOODMAN: Let me get your response to this other point that CIA chief Mike Pompeo made.


    MIKE POMPEO: In January of this year, our Intelligence Committee determined that Russian military intelligence, the GRU, had used WikiLeaks to release data of U.S. victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber-operations against the Democratic National Committee.

    AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald?

    GLENN GREENWALD: Well, first of all, there’s been no evidence, of course, presented by the U.S. government that that’s actually true. They’ve stated that over and over, but there’s been no evidence presented of it so far.

    But let’s assume for the sake of argument that they’re actually telling the truth, that the Trump CIA director is being honest and that that’s really what happened. What does that mean in terms of WikiLeaks? Nobody suggests that WikiLeaks did the actual hacking. In this case, even if what they’re saying is true, it would mean that WikiLeaks received information from a source—in this case, a foreign government—and then published that information that every U.S. media outlet in the country deemed newsworthy, because they constantly reported on it. This is a very common practice, where U.S. media outlets receive information from sources, often foreign sources, including officials within foreign governments, and then publish or report on the information that they’ve been provided. If you allow that process to be criminalized simply because WikiLeaks’ source in this particular case happened to be a foreign government or a foreign intelligence agency, you are, again, endangering press freedoms in a very substantial way, because that is something that media outlets do very often. That’s where they get their information from.

    AMY GOODMAN: And let’s turn to CIA Director Mike Pompeo talking about your news organization, that you co-founded, Glenn, The Intercept.


    MIKE POMPEO: The Intercept, which has in the past gleefully reported unauthorized disclosures, accused WikiLeaks in late March of, quote, "stretching the facts" in its comments about the CIA. In the same article, The Intercept added that the documents, quote, "were not worth the concern WikiLeaks generated by its public comments."

    AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, your response?

    GLENN GREENWALD: So that was an article written by one of our reporters assessing WikiLeaks’s journalism. We criticize the journalism of pretty much every media outlet. We’ve certainly written far more scathing critiques of The New York Times and NBC News and The Washington Post when they’ve published fake stories or when they’ve done misleading and deceitful journalism. So the fact that we’ve been critical of some of WikiLeaks’s journalism, just as WikiLeaks has sometimes been critical of ours, doesn’t justify turning them into felons and prosecuting them. If bad journalism or making poor journalistic choices can now justify having the Justice Department prosecute you, there will be no media organizations left. So, he was trolling there by citing one of our articles that was mildly critical of WikiLeaks’s journalism, but that obviously does not remotely justify prosecuting WikiLeaks for having published secret documents.

    AMY GOODMAN: So, what happens right now? There is Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorean Embassy for almost five years now. What does it mean that there is an arrest warrant from him by the United States—for him?

    GLENN GREENWALD: Well, that’s—that’s a really significant question, Amy. And when Mike Pompeo made his speech, the one that you’ve been playing, it was very deliberately threatening. He was saying things like "We are no longer going to allow them the space to publish this information. This ends now." And the question that you just raised is the towering one for me, which is, OK, so the U.S. government indicts WikiLeaks and issues an arrest warrant for Julian Assange. It doesn’t change the fact that he’s currently in the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he has received asylum. And remember, the reason the Ecuadorean government gave Julian Assange asylum in the first place was because they said they were worried that if he were extradited to Sweden, that that would then be used to send him to the United States, where he would be prosecuted for publishing information, for doing journalism. That was always what Ecuador was most worried about. So it seems very unlikely that Ecuador is going to voluntarily withdraw its asylum.

    So then the question becomes: Do they have any plans to physically seize Julian by invading the Ecuadorean Embassy, something the U.K. government actually thought about doing early on? Do they—are they trying to do a deal with the new Ecuadorean government to provide them benefits, or threaten them, in exchange for handing Julian over and withdrawing the asylum? Or is this just theater? Is this just show? Is this just a way of the Trump administration showing that they’re trying to crack down on leaks? I don’t think we know the answer to that question. But the asylum that Julian has should prevent the U.S. government from apprehending him, even if they do decide to go ahead and indict WikiLeaks.

    AMY GOODMAN: Chelsea Manning is about to be released in May. The argument that he’s making that Julian Assange solicited Manning, the information, your final comment, Glenn?

    GLENN GREENWALD: So the Obama administration, when they were trying to prosecute WikiLeaks, thought about: How can we do this in a way that makes it so that we’re accusing them of more than just publishing? And they said, "Maybe we can find evidence that Julian actually participated with Chelsea Manning in the theft of this material." And ultimately, they found no evidence whatsoever to support that theory. Nonetheless, Mike Pompeo asserted that this was true, obviously in anticipation of trying to use this as a theory to say, "We’re not prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing. We’re prosecuting them for collaborating or conspiring in the theft of this information." There’s been no evidence ever that the Obama administration found. And I seriously doubt the Trump administration has found evidence for that, as well, but they asserted it in order to say, "We’re not prosecuting them for publishing."

    AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there, but, of course, we’re going to continue to follow this. Glenn, thanks so much for joining us.

    GLENN GREENWALD: Thanks, Amy.

    AMY GOODMAN: Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, one of the founding editors of The Intercept.

    The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.


    (also Democracy Now interview with Assange)

    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/4/...sange_on_trump


    Full Interview: Julian Assange on Trump, DNC Emails, Russia, the CIA, Vault 7 & More


    Web Exclusive April 12, 2017
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 26th April 2017 at 04:35. Reason: edited out large blank space at foot of post

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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    "Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms" by Glenn Greenwald from "The Intercept"

    https://theintercept.com/2017/04/14/...ress-freedoms/

    April 14 2017



    In February, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech he delivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

    Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms, and it was almost impossible to find even a single U.S. mainstream journalist expressing objections or alarm, because the targets Pompeo chose in this instance are ones they dislike – much the way that many are willing to overlook or even sanction free speech repression if the targeted ideas or speakers are sufficiently unpopular.

    Decreeing (with no evidence) that WikiLeaks is “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia” a belief that has become gospel in establishment Democratic Party circles – Pompeo proclaimed that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” He also argued that while WikiLeaks “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice,” but: “they may have believed that, but they are wrong.”

    He then issued this remarkable threat: “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.” At no point did Pompeo specify what steps the CIA intended to take to ensure that the “space” to publish secrets “ends now.”





    Before delving into the chilling implications of the CIA Director’s threats, let’s take note of an incredibly revealing irony in what he said. This episode is worth examining because it perfectly illustrates the core fraud of U.S. propaganda.

    In vilifying WikiLeaks, Pompeo pronounced himself “quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and 40s and 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history.” His rationale: “Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today.”

    But the Mike Pompeo who accused Assange of “making common cause with dictators” is the very same Mike Pompeo who – just eight weeks ago – placed one of the CIA’s most cherished awards in the hands of one of the world’s most savage tyrants, who also happens to be one of the U.S. Government’s closest allies. Pompeo traveled to Riyadh and literally embraced and honored the Saudi royal next-in-line to the throne.

    This nauseating event – widely covered by the international press yet almost entirely ignored by the U.S. media – was celebrated by the Saudi-owned outlet Al Arabiya: “The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, received a medal on Friday from the CIA . . . . The medal, named after George Tenet, was handed to him by CIA Director Micheal Pompeo after the Crown Prince received him in Riyadh on Friday in the presence of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.”


    The description of this Pompeo/Saudi award ceremony was first reported by the official Saudi Press Agency, which published the above photographs. It gushed: “In a press statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), following the reception, the Crown Prince expressed appreciation of the CIA for bestowing on him such a grace, laying assertion that this medal is a fruit of endeavors and instructions of the leaders of the kingdom, notably the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, bravery of security men and cooperation of all walks of the community to combat terrorism.”

    Then there’s the venue Pompeo chose: the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). As the New York Times reported in 2014, the CSIS – like so many of D.C.’s most prestigious think tanks – is itself funded by dictators.

    In particular, the United Arab Emirates has become “a major supporter” of the group, having “quietly provided a donation of more than $1 million to help build the center’s gleaming new glass and steel headquarters not far from the White House.” Other CISIS donors include the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Kazakhstan.In return, UAE officials are treated like great statesmen at CSIS.


    This is all independent of the fact that Pompeo’s boss, President Trump, just hosted at the White House and lavished praise on one of the world’s most repressive tyrants (and closest allies of the U.S. Government), Egyptian leader Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. And the government of which Pompeo is a part sends arms, money and all kinds of other support to dictators across the planet.

    So how could Mike Pompeo – fresh off embracing and honoring Saudi tyrants, standing in a building funded by the world’s most repressive regimes, headed by an agency that for decades supported despots and death squads – possibly maintain a straight face as he accuses others of “making common cause with dictators”? How does this oozing, glaring, obvious act of projection not immediately trigger fits of scornful laughter from U.S. journalists and policy makers?

    The reason is because this is a central and long-standing propaganda tactic of the U.S. Government, aided by a media that largely ignores it. They predicate their foreign policy and projection of power on hugging, supporting and propping up the world’s worst tyrants, all while heralding themselves as defenders of freedom and democracy and castigating their enemies as the real supporters of dictators.

    Try to find mainstream media accounts in the U.S. of Pompeo’s trip to Riyadh and bestowing a top CIA honor on a Saudi despot. It’s easy to find accounts of this episode in international outlets, but very difficult to find ones from CNN or the Washington Post. Or try to find instances where mainstream media figures point out what should be the unbearable irony of listening to the same U.S. Government officials accuse others of supporting dictators while nobody does more to prop up tyrants than themselves.

    This is the dictatorship-embracing reality of the U.S. Government that remains largely hidden from its population. That’s why Donald Trump’s CIA Director – of all people – can stand in a dictator-funded think tank in the middle of Washington, having just recovered from his jet lag in flying to pay homage to Saudi tyrants, and vilify WikiLeaks and “its ilk” of “making common cause with dictators” – all without the U.S. media taking note of the intense inanity of it.


    But it is Pompeo’s threatening language about free speech and press freedoms that ought to be causing serious alarm for journalists, regardless of what one thinks of WikiLeaks. Even more extreme than the explicit attacks in his prepared remarks is what the CIA Director said in the question-and-answer session that followed. He was asked about WikiLeaks by the unidentified questioner, who queried of “the need to limit the lateral movements such as by using our First Amendment rights. How do you plan to accomplish that?” This was Pompeo’s answer:


    A little less Constitutional law and a lot more of a philosophical understanding. Julian Assange has no First Amendment privileges. He is not a U.S. citizen. What I was speaking to is an understanding that these are not reporters doing good work to try to keep the American Government on us. These are actively recruiting agents to steal American secrets with the sole intent of destroying the American way of life.

    That is fundamentally different than a First Amendment activity as I understand them. This is what I was getting to. We have had administrations before that have been too squeamish about going after these people, after some concept of this right to publish. Nobody has the right to actively engage in the theft of secrets from American without the intent to do harm to it.

    Given how menacing and extreme this statement is, it is remarkable – and genuinely frightening – that it received so little notice, let alone condemnation, from the U.S. press corps, most of which covered Pomepo’s speech by trumpeting his claim that WikiLeaks is an agent of an enemy power, or noting the irony that Trump had praised WikiLeaks and Pompeo himself had positively tweeted about their revelations.

    Pompeo’s remarks deserve far greater scrutiny than this. To begin with, the notion that WikiLeaks has no free press rights because Assange is a foreigner is both wrong and dangerous. When I worked at the Guardian, my editors were all non-Americans. Would it therefore have been constitutionally permissible for the U.S. Government to shut down that paper and imprison its editors on the ground that they enjoy no constitutional protections? Obviously not. Moreover, what rational person would possibly be comfortable with having this determination – who is and is not a “real journalist” – made by the CIA?

    But the most menacing aspect is the attempt to criminalize the publication of classified information. For years, mainstream U.S. media outlets – including ones that despise WikiLeaks – nonetheless understood that prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing secrets would pose a grave threat to press freedoms for themselves. Even the Washington Post Editorial Page – at the height of the controversy over WikiLeaks’ publishing of diplomatic cables in 2010 – published an editorial headlined “Don’t Charge WikiLeaks”:


    Such prosecutions are a bad idea. The government has no business indicting someone who is not a spy and who is not legally bound to keep its secrets. Doing so would criminalize the exchange of information and put at risk responsible media organizations that vet and verify material and take seriously the protection of sources and methods when lives or national security are endangered.

    The Obama administration, in 2010, explored theories for how it could prosecute WikiLeaks, and even convened a Grand Jury to investigate. But it ultimately concluded that doing so would be impossible without directly threatening First Amendment press freedoms for everyone. As former Obama DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller yesterday said of Pompeo’s threats:

    (see article for twitter link )


    But back in 2010, the Obama DOJ briefly flirted with, but then abandoned, the possibility that it could get around this problem by alleging that WikiLeaks did more than merely publish secrets, that it actively collaborated with its source (Chelsea Manning) on what documents to take. As the New York Times’ Charlie Savage reported then: “a government official familiar with the investigation said that treating WikiLeaks different from newspapers might be facilitated if investigators found any evidence that Mr. Assange aided the leaker, who is believed to be a low-level Army intelligence analyst — for example, by directing him to look for certain things and providing technological assistance.”

    Ultimately, though, no evidence was found that this happened. And, beyond that, many in the DOJ concluded – rightly so – that even this “collaboration” theory of criminalization would endanger press freedoms because most investigative journalists collaborate with their sources. As Northwestern Journalism Professor Dan Kennedy explained in the Guardian:

    The problem is that there is no meaningful distinction to be made. How did the Guardian, equally, not “collude” with WikiLeaks in obtaining the cables? How did the New York Times not “collude” with the Guardian when the Guardian gave the Times a copy following Assange’s decision to cut the Times out of the latest document dump?

    For that matter, I don’t see how any news organisation can be said not to have colluded with a source when it receives leaked documents. Didn’t the Times collude with Daniel Ellsberg when it received the Pentagon Papers from him? Yes, there are differences. Ellsberg had finished making copies long before he began working with the Times, whereas Assange may have goaded Manning. But does that really matter?

    The dangers to all media outlets from this theory should have been crystal clear when Joe Lieberman and former Bush Attorney General Mike Mukasey argued that the New York Times itself should be prosecuted for publishing and reporting on WikiLeaks’ secret documents – on the ground that no meaningful distinction could be made between the NYT and WikiLeaks.


    But criminalizing WikiLeaks’ publication of documents is clearly part of what Pompeo is now planning. That’s what he meant when he argued that “administrations before have been too squeamish about going after these people, after some concept of this right to publish”: he was criticizing the Obama DOJ for not prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing secrets. And this is why Pompeo yesterday claimed – with no evidence – that WikiLeaks “directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information.” He clearly intends to pursue prosecution of WikiLeaks and Assange for publishing classified information.

    It has long been a dream of the far right, as well as hawkish Obama followers, to prosecute journalists and outlets that publish secret information based on this theory. As Newsweek noted in 2011: “Sarah Palin urged that Assange be ‘pursued with the same urgency we pursue Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders,’ and The Weekly Standard’s William Kristol wants the U.S. to ‘use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators.'”

    This same “collaboration” theory that Pompeo is advocating is what various Obama loyalists, such as MSNBC’s Joy Reid, spent months hyping in order to justify the prosecution of the journalists (such as myself) who reported the Snowden materials: that we did not merely report them but “collaborated” with our source. Her theory then became the basis for her NBC colleague David Gregory asking if I should be prosecuted on the ground that I “aided and abetted” Snowden.

    This – the “collaboration” theory propounded back then by Bill Kristol and Joe Lieberman and Joy Reid, and now by Mike Pompeo – is the mentality of people who do not understand, who do not practice, and who hate journalism, at least when it exposes the bad acts of the leaders they revere. Just as is true of free speech abridgments, if you cheer for it and endorse it because the people targeted in the first instance are ones you dislike, then you are institutionalizing these abridgments and will be unable to resist them when they begin to be applied to people you do like (or to yourselves).

    WikiLeaks now has few friends in Washington: the right has long hated it for publishing secrets about Bush-era war crimes, while Democrats now despise them for its perceived role in helping defeat Hillary Clinton by exposing the secret corruption of the DNC. But the level of affection for WikiLeaks should have no bearing on how one responds to these press freedom threats from Donald Trump’s CIA Director. Criminalizing the publication of classified documents is wrong in itself, and has the obvious potential to spread far beyond their initial target.

    People who depict themselves as part of an anti-authoritarian #Resistance — let alone those who practice journalism — should be the first ones standing up to object to these creepy threats. The implications of Pompeo’s threats are far more consequential than the question of who one likes or does not like.

    (go to Glenn Greenwald's article to get all the hyperlinks and photos)
    Last edited by earthdreamer; 26th April 2017 at 05:12.

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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    From The Washington Post: Opinion -

    Julian Assange: The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks (April 25, 2017)

    Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” In Pompeo’s worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a “priority.” News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

    All this speech to stifle speech comes in reaction to the first publication in the start of WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” series. Vault 7 has begun publishing evidence of remarkable CIA incompetence and other shortcomings. This includes the agency’s creation, at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars, of an entire arsenal of cyber viruses and hacking programs — over which it promptly lost control and then tried to cover up the loss. These publications also revealed the CIA’s efforts to infect the public’s ubiquitous consumer products and automobiles with computer viruses.

    When the director of the CIA, an unelected public servant, publicly demonizes a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a “fraud,” “coward” and “enemy,” it puts all journalists on notice, or should. Pompeo’s next talking point, unsupported by fact, that WikiLeaks is a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” is a dagger aimed at Americans’ constitutional right to receive honest information about their government. This accusation mirrors attempts throughout history by bureaucrats seeking, and failing, to criminalize speech that reveals their own failings.

    President Theodore Roosevelt understood the danger of giving in to those “foolish or traitorous persons who endeavor to make it a crime to tell the truth about the Administration when the Administration is guilty of incompetence or other shortcomings.” Such “endeavor is itself a crime against the nation,” Roosevelt wrote. President Trump and his officials should heed that advice.

    Words matter, and I assume that Pompeo meant his when he said, “Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an embassy in London. He’s not a U.S. citizen.” As a legal matter, this statement is simply false. It underscores just how dangerous it is for an unelected official whose agency’s work is rooted in lying and misdirection to be the sole arbiter of the truth and the interpreter of the Constitution.

    Pompeo demonstrated a remarkable lack of irony when he suggested that WikiLeaks “focus instead on the autocratic regimes in this world that actually suppress free speech and dissent” — even as he called for a crackdown of such speech. In fact, Pompeo finds himself in the unsavory company of Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (257,934 documents published by WikiLeaks); Bashar al-Assad of Syria (2.3 million documents); and the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia (122,609 documents), to name just a few who have tried and failed to censor WikiLeaks.

    Pompeo was once a WikiLeaks fan. On July 24, then partisan politician Pompeo gloatingly tweeted: “Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down? BUSTED: 19,252 Emails from DNC Leaked by WikiLeaks.” Pompeo liked WikiLeaks when he perceived it was publishing material revealing the shortcomings of his political rivals. It was only when our publications touched Pompeo’s rice bowl that WikiLeaks became his target. Pompeo subsequently deleted the tweet, but he is learning that in the digital age, the truth is hard to hide. You don’t get to love the truth one day and seek its suppression and the incarceration of its publisher the next.

    As a candidate, Trump tweeted: “Very little pick-up by dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks.” The president mentioned WikiLeaks 164 times during the last month of the election and gushed: “I love WikiLeaks.”

    All democratic governments are managed by imperfect human beings. And autocracies are much worse — the “benign dictator” is a myth. These human beings, democratic and autocratic alike, make mistakes and commit crimes, and often serve themselves rather than their countries. They are the focus of WikiLeaks’ publications.

    The “Pompeo doctrine” articulated in his speech ensnares all serious news and investigative human rights organizations, from ProPublica to Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch. The logic that WikiLeaks, or these organizations, are somehow “intelligence agencies” would be as absurd as the suggestion that the CIA is a media outlet. Both journalists and intelligence agencies cultivate and protect sources, collect information and write reports, but the similarities end there. The world cannot afford, and the Constitution does not permit, a muzzle placed on the work that transparency organizations do to inform the American and global public.

    Fundamental issues of free speech and freedom of the press, and of the interplay between liberty and security, date to the Republic’s founding. Those who believe in persecution and suppression of the truth to achieve their parochial ends are inevitably forgotten by history. In a fair fight, as John Milton observed, the truth always wins.

    Source (with links).
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    Ron Paul Weekly Column, excerpt from his article, Candidate Trump: ‘I Love Wikileaks.’ President Trump: ‘Arrest Assange!’ (April 24, 2017)

    Quote Trump’s condemnation of Wikileaks came just a day after his CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, attacked Wikileaks as a “hostile intelligence service.” Pompeo accused Assange of being “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen.”

    Pompeo’s word choice was no accident. By accusing Wikileaks of being a “hostile intelligence service” rather than a publisher of information on illegal and abusive government practices leaked by whistleblowers, he signaled that the organization has no First Amendment rights. Like many in Washington, he does not understand that the First Amendment is a limitation on government rather than a granting of rights to citizens. Pompeo was declaring war on Wikileaks.

    But not that long ago Pompeo also cited Wikileaks as an important source of information. In July he drew attention to the Wikileaks release of information damaging to the Clinton campaign, writing, “Need further proof that the fix was in from President Obama on down?”

    There is a word for this sudden about-face on Wikileaks and the transparency it provides us into the operations of the prominent and powerful: hypocrisy.

    The Trump Administration’s declaration of war on whistleblowers and Wikileaks is one of the greatest disappointments in these first 100 days. Donald Trump rode into the White House with promises that he would “drain the swamp,” meaning that he would overturn the apple carts of Washington’s vested interests. By unleashing those same vested interests on those who hold them in check – the whistleblowers and those who publish their revelations – he has turned his back on those who elected him.

    Julian Assange, along with the whistleblowers who reveal to us the evil that is being done in our name, are heroes. They deserve our respect and admiration, not a prison cell. If we allow this president to declare war on those who tell the truth, we have only ourselves to blame.
    * * *

    From Bill O’Reilly to Julian Assange: Jesse Ventura Speaks Out (April 21, 2017)



    Go to 12:30 on the video to skip to questions about WikiLeaks.
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    I have doubts about Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

    For some years there has been significant media coverage of the whole shebang. It should be clear to anyone that has an inkling of how the mass media works that covering this kind of nonsense serves primarily as a side-show to distract people away from things that really SHOULD be headlines.

    Cases in point - Peter Hyatts recent statement analysis of the Madeline McCann case or the British Intelligence connection to the 7/7 bombings.

    I think Wikileaks is being used to accomplish something in an effort to protect some kind of agenda.

    Julian Assange once publicly stated that 9/11 was not a real conspiracy, after getting into bed with the Guardian, a state controlled newspaper. 9/11 conspiracy is a fact which a child can figure out by looking at the huge amount of available evidence. I do not consider Assange to be a real arbiter of truth.

    If Wikileaks disclosures were actually doing REAL damage, we would not hear a squeak from the media.
    Last edited by happyuk; 27th April 2017 at 19:17.

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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    If Pizzagate wasn't something that SHOULD be headlines, I don't know what is.
    Wikileaks doesn't have access to All information, and they tend to cover things that others aren't so if they aren't covering everything, there's probably a good reason for that.
    In any case, I doubt very much that Assange would be languishing in the Ecuadorian embassy if he could safely be elsewhere.

    Quote Posted by happyuk (here)
    I have doubts about Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

    For some years there has been significant media coverage of the whole shebang. It should be clear to anyone that has an inkling of how the mass media works that covering this kind of nonsense serves primarily as a side-show to distract people away from things that really SHOULD be headlines.

    Cases in point - Peter Hyatts recent statement analysis of the Madeline McCann case or the British Intelligence connection to the 7/7 bombings.

    I think Wikileaks is being used to accomplish something in an effort to protect some kind of agenda.

    Julian Assange once publicly stated that 9/11 was not a real conspiracy, after getting into bed with the Guardian, a state controlled newspaper. 9/11 conspiracy is a fact which a child can figure out by looking at the huge amount of available evidence. I do not consider Assange to be a real arbiter of truth.

    If Wikileaks disclosures were actually doing REAL damage, we would not hear a squeak from the media.
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    I love Ventura (vid above) acting as if all an innocent person has to do is go to Court as if our courts were festivals of integrity. He's one self-righteous dude. Wonder if he'll run in 2020...

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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    From The Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) -

    CIJ Statement On Prosecution Threats Against Wikileaks

    The Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) unequivocally condemns any renewed attempt by the United States government to prosecute or otherwise silence WikiLeaks, its staff or its editor, Julian Assange.

    As a charity that champions critical, in-depth reporting and the defence of the public interest, the CIJ came into being in 2003 to address a deepening crisis in investigative reporting.

    WikiLeaks is a publishing organisation which engages in the core practices of investigative journalism - the cultivation of journalistic sources and the publication of true information about powerful organisations, in the public interest. Their work has, through the provision of full original source documentation and searchable archives, provided the material basis for tens of thousands of journalistic investigations worldwide. Its impact on public knowledge is incalculable. Its innovations in anonymous source protection have become industry standards, having been replicated by most major media organisations. WikiLeaks' is indisputably a journalistic organisation.

    A grand jury investigation was empanelled against WikiLeaks and its staff in 2010, seeking to prosecute the publishing organisation for its groundbreaking journalistic work making public thousands of classified US government documents. Despite the ongoing nature of that investigation, no charges were ultimately forthcoming from the Obama Justice Department.

    But according to April 20 reports in the Washington Post and CNN, themselves based on comments by anonymous government officials, the Trump Justice Department is now renewing efforts to bring criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in response to a recent important series of journalistic publications of Central Intelligence Agency malware and cyberweapons.

    The reports come a week after the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies on April 13, made a series of menacing threats against WikiLeaks and other publishers who report on state secrets, calling them "demons" and "hostile foreign intelligence services." Pompeo sought to delegitimize independent media using the phrase "non-state actors," and vowed to bring the CIA's resources to bear in order to deny them First Amendment protections. "It ends now," he said.

    According to CNN, the Justice Departmant has no prima facie criminal case against WikiLeaks. "Prosecutors", the report notes, "have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward."

    The reported facts bear repeating: the Trump Justice Department is devising a sophisticated prosecutorial theory in order to "find a way" around First Amendment protections in order to bring criminal charges against a publishing organisation. On the most charitable interpretation, the Trump administration has begun with the premise that WikiLeaks must be silenced, and has gone in search of a way to do so. This is by definition a politically motivated prosecution.

    This is not a threat against WikiLeaks alone. The Trump administration has shown unprecedented hostility to the oversight function of a free press. On multiple occasions, President Trump has used the government platform to incite popular contempt against traditional news organisations, and has named the news media "the enemy of the American people." Asked April 21 if a prosecution of WikiLeaks would open the door to charges against other journalists, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to comment.

    A prosecution of WikiLeaks which explicitly seeks to circumnavigate constitutional protections is a frontal assault on the free press. It aims to effectuate a de facto repeal of the First Amendment, and dramatically curtail the freedom of journalists and reporters do their jobs without fear of prosecution. It almost certainly precedes similar prosecutions brought by the Trump administration against more mainstream centres of investigative reporting. Given that WikiLeaks is not a US-based organisation, a WikiLeaks precedent would sound a death knell for independent reporting not only within the United States but throughout the rest of the world.

    The CIJ opposes any and all prosecutions of journalists for publishing true information in the public interest and therefore stands by WikiLeaks. Furthermore, we call on the wider international community of investigative journalists to come together in our common interest, and to vigorously oppose US government efforts to criminalise journalism.

    Source.

    * * *

    Julian Assange interview on Ron Paul Liberty Report - Julian Assange Speaks Out: The War On The Truth
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 28th April 2017 at 16:29. Reason: added interview
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    It should be no news to Avalon readers that the mainstream media lie, distract and trivialise, and that the alternative media are infested with shills, spooks and trolls.

    For as long as I can remember, the mainstream media have shown themselves to be contemptible toward the general public of this country on countless occasions and are irresponsible in their attempts to engineer detrimental social attitudes and perceptions. In short, I wouldn't trust them to urinate on me if I was on fire. I apologise for being blunt, but that's how it is.

    We should be hyper-vigilant of anyone on the mainstream television - including and especially people like John Pilger.

    In short ANY media outlet that does not question the events of 9/11 should not be trusted, which would include the BBC, Sky, RT, Al-Jazeera, and so on. Ditto organised child abuse at the Kincora Boys home and MI5 involvement in it.

    For this reason I think we should be suspicious of whistle-blowers who are relentlessly promoted in the media, especially Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

    Why are people like Dr Judy Wood never on the BBC or Sky News?

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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    Pretty obvious, I would say; someone like Dr. Wood is never on MSM because she doesn't have an organization like Wikileaks to get her message out there (whether the MSM likes it or not).
    And once again, I doubt very much that Assange chose to be cooling his heels in the Ecuadoran Embassy anymore than Snowden chose to be landlocked in Russia.
    Both have personally sacrificed a lot to get their messages made public.
    There's nothing to contest that that I can see.

    Quote Posted by happyuk (here)
    It should be no news to Avalon readers that the mainstream media lie, distract and trivialise, and that the alternative media are infested with shills, spooks and trolls.

    For as long as I can remember, the mainstream media have shown themselves to be contemptible toward the general public of this country on countless occasions and are irresponsible in their attempts to engineer detrimental social attitudes and perceptions. In short, I wouldn't trust them to urinate on me if I was on fire. I apologise for being blunt, but that's how it is.

    We should be hyper-vigilant of anyone on the mainstream television - including and especially people like John Pilger.

    In short ANY media outlet that does not question the events of 9/11 should not be trusted, which would include the BBC, Sky, RT, Al-Jazeera, and so on. Ditto organised child abuse at the Kincora Boys home and MI5 involvement in it.

    For this reason I think we should be suspicious of whistle-blowers who are relentlessly promoted in the media, especially Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

    Why are people like Dr Judy Wood never on the BBC or Sky News?
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    I avoid debating Assange and WikiLeaks for the most part, but I will say this about the media coverage - The MSM can ignore to a point but once something gets the attention of the populace to the extent and in the manner WikiLeaks has they can't ignore it anymore without revealing hidden agendas, at some point they'd simply look ridiculous to ignore them. Doubting Assange because he's on the MSM is like saying UFOs or ghosts aren't real because they're on the MSM. They've been running shows with UFOs etc. for years and almost always with the added message, be afraid, be very afraid.

    Another reason Wikileaks sometimes gets MSM exposure is because of "the enemy of your enemy is your friend" situations. Assange is aware of the opportunists and will do the interviews or articles anyway because of the opportunity to reach their audience. Assange has done things I haven't liked (like let Lady Gaga visit him in the embassy because of her huge fan base - c'monnn Assange!) but he's his own person, he doesn't bow to others' expectations, I can appreciate that and admire it, even when I don't like it.

    People are free and have the right to distrust or disagree with Assange and WikiLeaks, they're controversial and will give people plenty of reasons to do so, however, I hope at least some of the critics will check out WikiLeaks' excellent publications, they're given freely and much has been sacrificed to be able to offer them to the public.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 30th April 2017 at 03:15. Reason: grammar
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    I largely don't disagree with the points being made but the MAJOR red flag I have with Assange is his refusal to accept the conspiracy behind 9 /11. That would suggest to me he is being used to set an agenda. The 9/11 thing for me is the litmus test. For this reason I think you can safely disregard anything by Assange as he is a media stooge. To me little in his leaks are really substantial that deep down we didn't know already and the stuff he is releasing is being used to create phony bones of contention as a means of distracting the masses.
    Last edited by happyuk; 30th April 2017 at 08:57.

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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    What does he say about 911, and do you have a link to show where he is saying it?
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    What does he say about 911, and do you have a link to show where he is saying it?
    As far as I can see, this article HERE is the original source. Matthew Bell, the writer, claims he spoke to Assange after Assange did a talk and he claims Assange said the following -

    Quote His obsession with secrecy, both in others and maintaining his own, lends him the air of a conspiracy theorist. Is he one? "I believe in facts about conspiracies," he says, choosing his words slowly. "Any time people with power plan in secret, they are conducting a conspiracy. So there are conspiracies everywhere. There are also crazed conspiracy theories. It's important not to confuse these two. Generally, when there's enough facts about a conspiracy we simply call this news." What about 9/11? "I'm constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud." What about the Bilderberg conference? "That is vaguely conspiratorial, in a networking sense. We have published their meeting notes."
    However, Bell also claims Assange doesn't call himself a journalist and there are other things/elements in that article that don't sound like Assange.

    That's the earliest I could find reference to it, perhaps someone else has an earlier or different source where Assange is recorded saying something like that?

    P.S. If such a recording exists I'd like to hear it and know his exact words.
    Last edited by Innocent Warrior; 30th April 2017 at 18:18. Reason: added ps
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    Default Re: Democracy Now: "As U.S. Preps Arrest Warrant for Assange, Glenn Greenwald Says Prosecuting WikiLeaks Threatens Press Freedom for All"

    Me too. I wouldn't believe Assange said anything like that unless I actually saw him say it.
    Quote Posted by Rachel (here)
    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    What does he say about 911, and do you have a link to show where he is saying it?
    P.S. If such a recording exists I'd like to hear it and know his exact words.
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