WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a man who certainly divides opinion. To some, especially those in high office, Assange is a traitor and a threat to national security. To many others, Assange is a cyber freedom fighter, who is determined to expose the underhand dealings, and alleged illegal activity, of governments and powerful individuals.
As most people know, Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. Ecuador granted Assange political asylum after Swedish prosecutors requested his extradition over allegations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden. Assange has always maintained his innocence and he believes that the allegations were fabricated. Assange asserts that the ultimate aim, is to find a means by which he can be renditioned to the U.S., to face charges over WikiLeaks release of secret material that U.S. authorities would have preferred to remain buried.
As previously reported in the Inquisitr, the United Nations has ruled that Assange is being “illegally detained” by British and Swedish authorities. Late last year rumors were rife that claimed Assange had either been assassinated or renditioned to the U.S. by the CIA. Those rumors came at a time when Assange and WikiLeaks were releasing material that Hillary Clinton’s supporters claimed cost her the presidential election.
Assange and WikiLeaks were accused of collaborating with Russia to damage Clinton, thereby ensuring an electoral victory for Donald Trump. WikiLeaks failed to release any information that was damaging to Trump, and Assange claimed that they simply didn’t have any. Suspicions, that Assange and WikiLeaks were in league with Donald Trump’s campaign, were raised higher still when Assange gave interviews to Sean Hannity, on the right-wing Fox News outlet.
Those commentators may have been surprised, when the Trump administration took action against Assange this week, that go far beyond anything done by the Obama administration.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Makes Arresting Julian Assange A ‘Priority.’
As reported by Australian news outlet SBS, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made the arrest of Assange “a top priority.” In response to a question about Assange, Sessions said that every effort will be made to ensure that Assange ends up in jail.
“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.”
“Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”
Jeff Sessions comments come in the wake of WikiLeaks publication of material from a leak of CIA intelligence files. In an interview with Democracy Now, Assange claims that WikiLeaks have released less than one percent of the CIA material. Assange claims that the CIA material, known as Vault 7, constitutes the “largest intelligence leak in history.”
Assange states that the Vault 7 material released to date proves that the CIA are routinely using hacking to access information on private citizens.
“[The CIA are] specialized in semi-automated hacking processes.”
“That’s creation of viruses, Trojans, etc., to put in people’s computer systems, telephones, TVs, and have those then report back to CIA listening posts that collect that information, ingest it into the broader CIA process.”
“And also information can be pushed, using these mechanisms, onto those telephones, computers, etc., etc., to, for example, plant information that could implicate someone falsely, or perhaps even truly, in a crime.”
Given the damage that the WikiLeaks revelations can do to the reputation of the U.S. establishment and to the CIA, it is no surprise to see that CIA director Mike Pompeo has lashed out at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. According to CBS News, Pompeo has called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.”
“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
Whilst the CIA has not made any comment on the authenticity of the WikiLeaks information, Assange claims the leak came from former CIA contractors who worked for U.S. intelligence.
Assange has always believed that the U.S. establishment is determined to see him in a U.S jail. The Obama administration may not have made its intentions towards Assange and WikiLeaks public, but the Trump administration certainly has. By doing so, Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo, have made it clear that Assange is one of their top priorities. They have also made it clear that it will not be safe for Assange to leave London’s Ecuadorian Embassy. Given that the UN have already declared that Assange is illegally detained, it could be argued that Sessions and the CIA have imposed a sentence of life imprisonment within the Ecuadorian Embassy.
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images]