"Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview," by: Michael Hastings

Under house arrest in England, the WikiLeaks founder opens up about his battle with the 'Times,' his stint in solitary and the future of journalism:

Julian Assange

Julian Assange

[Assange:] They're trying to interpret the Espionage Act to say that any two-way communication with a source is a collaboration with a source, and is therefore a conspiracy to commit espionage where classified information is involved. The Pentagon, in fact, issued a public demand to us that we not only destroy everything we had ever published or were ever going to publish in relation to the U.S. government, but that we also stop "soliciting" information from U.S. government employees. The Espionage Act itself does not mention solicitation, but they're trying to create a new legal precedent that includes a journalist simply asking a source to communicate information. A few years ago, for example, the CIA destroyed its waterboarding interrogation videos. In the Manning hearing, prosecutors described how we had a most-wanted list, which included those interrogation videos if they still existed.

[...]

[Hastings:] There's a rumor that you have £3.3 million in your bank account that you're keeping.

[Assange:] Yeah, sure. Our opponents like to spread these rumors to deny us our donations.

[Hastings:] So that's not true?

[Assange:] It's absolute nonsense. They spread rumors that I'm living in a mansion, they spread rumors that I'm homeless. Two years ago, fabricated documents were spread saying that I traveled first class and lived in a castle in South Africa, and I've never even been to South Africa. If you want to attack an organization, how do you attack it? You attack the cash flow and leadership. The character assassinations are dangerous, but taken as a whole, they're absurdly comical. We have, on the one hand, some 700,000 references to me being an anti-Semite, and on the other hand, some 2.5 million references to me being a member of the Mossad. I'm accused of everything from being a cat torturer to being a rapist to being overly concerned about my hair to being too rich to being so poor that my socks are dirty. The only ones I have left now to look forward to are some kind of combination of bestiality and pedophilia.

[...]

[Hastings:] The conventional wisdom – both in Sweden and the U.S. – is that you won't be extradited. Why are you convinced you will?

[Assange:] Extradition is a political matter. The extradition treaties – those from the U.K. to the U.S. and from Sweden to the U.S. – are both very dangerous for me. Every day that I remain in England, it is dangerous, and if I am in Sweden, it will be at least as dangerous as it is here, and very probably more so. The Swedish foreign minister responsible for extradition, Carl Bildt, became a U.S. Embassy informant in 1973 when he was 24 years old. He shipped his personal effects to Washington, to lead a conservative leadership program, where he met Karl Rove. They became old friends and would go to conferences together and so on.

[Hastings:] Karl Rove? How do you know this?

[Assange:] Cables.

Read the full article: Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview | Politics News | Rolling Stone.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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