WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange issued an Election Day statement regarding its role in journalism and its purpose. His statement is long, but it is magnificent. In his first paragraph, Assange discusses how he’s been “under enormous pressure” to stop publishing emails that are damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and then explains why he published them when he did.
In a nutshell, he chose to publish the Podesta Emails as a service to the American public. He reiterates through his statement that the First Amendment protects true journalism, which is what WikiLeaks has performed, by revealing the inner workings of the Clinton campaign and, indirectly, the U.S. government.
“The right to receive and impart true information is the guiding principle of WikiLeaks — an organization that has a staff and organizational mission far beyond myself. Our organization defends the public’s right to be informed.
The is why, irrespective of the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the real victor is the U.S. public which is better informed as a result of our work.”
Assange took asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 and has remained there since. The Inquisitr recently wrote that Assange didn’t take asylum at the Embassy to escape justice, but rather, to escape torture, which makes sense when you take into account the United States’ penchant for torturing perceived enemies. And let’s be honest here: Julian Assange is an enemy of the current U.S. government. To many people in the United States, though, he is a hero.
Assange’s statement also implied the Hatch Act without naming it. The New York Daily News explains the law limits federal employees or agencies from influencing U.S. elections. Harry Reid accused FBI Director James Comey of violating this law after he reopened the investigation. Assange also hinted at the Ecuadorian government’s temporary severing of his internet access. In its official statement, Ecuador accused Assange of attempting to influence the U.S. election, but the WikiLeaks founder begs to differ.
“Publishing is what we do. To withhold the publication of such information until after the election would have been to favor one of the candidates above the public’s right to know.
“This is after all what happened when the New York Times withheld evidence of illegal mass surveillance of the U.S. population for a year until after the 2004 election, denying the public a critical understanding of the incumbent president George W. Bush, which probably secured his reelection.”
In his statement, Assange wrote that it is “perfectly harmonious” with the United States’s First Amendment, which protects individuals and the press from government persecution for publishing the facts.
Clinton and her supporters, as Assange notes, have tried to paint WikiLeaks as an agent of the Russian government, a form of McCarthyism so blatant that those of us who lived through the Cold War are left amazed and perplexed at why the Democrats seem to have become a party of warmongering instead of peace.
Assange also addressed the Clinton supporters who have wondered why WikiLeaks hasn’t published anything from Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“…we cannot publish what we do not have. To date, we have not received information on Donald Trump’s campaign, or Jill Stein’s campaign, or Gary Johnson’s campaign or any of the other candidates that fulfills our stated editorial criteria.”
In the months leading up to the election, I have written about Clinton’s double-sided policy positions, I’ve discussed how she insulted Bernie Sanders voters, her hollow accusations against Sanders and his campaign for a data breach that was the fault of NGP VAN, a company founded in 1997 by Nathaniel Pearlman, who served as Clinton’s chief technology officer. I’ve talked about Clinton’s involvement in the destruction of Libya and the cold-blooded murder of Muammar Gaddafi.
I’ve referenced her incessant flip-flopping on issues, her carelessness in handling classified information, the election rigging that shut out Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and the media-DNC collusion to elevate Trump to make a general election easier to win. I’ve discussed the Clinton Foundation blurring the legal lines and how Hillary herself violated FEC rules by giving paid speeches while performing campaign activities long before she officially announced.
A large swath of this information came to light only because of Julian Assange and his commitment to publishing information via WikiLeaks, regardless of consequences.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Panama Papers, that 2.6 terabyte treasure trove of documents that revealed a colossal tax evasion scheme that involved Panamanian company Mossack Fonseca. The documents revealed that Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and his brother, Tony, are linked to Russian business interests directly associated with Vladimir Putin.
I’ve written about all of that in the last year while following both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
And yet, despite these links, Clinton and her surrogates have soldiered on with their 21st-century Red Scare by accusing Assange and WikiLeaks of being tools of the Russia government.
Julian Assange’s statement was meant to clear the air about his intentions, but even then, Clinton supporters will criticize his statement and actions, even though they are no different than what he did when releasing the Bush-era emails. But it’s like he said at the end of his statement.
“WikiLeaks must publish. It must publish and be damned.”
[Featured Image by Kristy Wigglesworth/AP Images]