Julian Assange seeks to remind American citizens that they have a constitutional right to receive honest information about their government – information that is provided by WikiLeaks and hidden by government authorities.
By: (MPN) In his first speech as CIA Director, Mike Pompeo delivered a strong invective against the pro-transparency organization WikiLeaks, accusing the group of acting as a "non-state hostile intelligence service." The aggressive rhetoric came amid Wikileaks' latest series of releases, known as "Vault 7," which detail how the CIA has lost control of its cyber-warfare arsenal, as well as outline the agency's attempts to infect consumer technology products with spyware.
While Pompeo's statements regarding WikiLeaks have made headlines since he took the CIA position, much has happened in the two weeks since his remarks. Within a week, CNN – citing anonymous "intelligence community" sources – announced that the Justice Department, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was seeking the arrest of Wikileaks editor Julian Assange. According to the report, the department had found a way to legally charge Assange for the publishing of classified information.
Sessions all but confirmed the CNN report soon after stating that arresting Assange was a "priority." Trump, who only six months ago stated his "love" for WikiLeaks during a campaign speech, told the Associated Press a day later that arresting Assange is "OK with me."
Assange had yet to fully respond to the charges until just recently, responding to the Trump administration's stance on WikiLeaks only in tweets. But on Tuesday, Assange gave voice to his position on the increasing aggressiveness of the Trump administration in a full-length op-ed for the Washington Post titled "The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks."
With his editorial, Assange seeks to remind American citizens that they have a constitutional right to receive honest information about their government – information that is provided by WikiLeaks and hidden by government authorities. Assange notes that such attempts to keep the public in the dark are similar to "attempts throughout history by bureaucrats seeking, and failing, to criminalize speech that reveals their own failings."
Assange paid particular attention to Pompeo's assertions that WikiLeaks is "hostile" for focusing on the "democratic" United States as opposed to "autocratic regimes in this world that actually suppress free speech and dissent." Assange noted that this statement was quite ironic, comparing the U.S. to autocratic regimes that stifle free 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)," Assange wrote.