Wik­iLeaks’ As­sange slams lib­eral me­dia’s shield­ing of Clin­ton

Claims U.S. press ‘erect­ing a de­mon’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY DOU­GLAS ERNST

Wik­iLeaks founder Ju­lian As­sange ac­cused “the Amer­i­can lib­eral press” of “erect­ing a de­mon” by shield­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton from crit­i­cism.

Mr. As­sange took part in an hour­long in­ter­view with The New York Times on Face­book Live to dis­cuss his role in in­flu­enc­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

He told jour­nal­ist Jo Becker from the Ecuadorean em­bassy in Lon­don — where he has evaded ex­tra­di­tion to Swe­den for five years over sex­ual as­sault charges he calls po­lit­i­cal ret­ri­bu­tion — that re­porters were do­ing the na­tion a dis­ser­vice by not prop­erly cover­ing Mrs. Clin­ton’s record.

“The Amer­i­can lib­eral press, in fall­ing over them­selves to de­fend Hil­lary Clin­ton, are erect­ing a de­mon that is go­ing to put nooses around ev­ery­one’s necks as soon as she wins the elec­tion, which is al­most cer­tainly what she’s go­ing to do,” Mr. As­sange said.

The news­pa­per pushed Mr. As­sange on his own po­ten­tial bi­ases, to which he replied that Wik­iLeaks’ “enor­mous range” is not high­lighted in the news. He said that his or­ga­ni­za­tion has ex­posed high-level cor­rup­tion in nu­mer­ous coun­tries via the re­lease of 10 mil­lion doc­u­ments, in­clud­ing mon­ey­laun­der­ing schemes and the “oil-money emails from seven ac­counts be­long­ing to DNC staffers in July. Crit­ics of the group and its 154 staffers say it works to un­der­mine the pres­i­den­tial as­pi­ra­tions of the for­mer sec­re­tary of state.

“We don’t tar­get the West. We are an in­ves­tiga­tive pub­lisher,” Mr. As­sange said. “We also rep­re­sent whistle­blow­ers who want to speak to the public like a lawyer to the great­est court in the world, the court of public opin­ion. We don’t tar­get any­one.”

Mr. As­sange, who claimed Mrs. Clin­ton was cre­at­ing “a neo-McCarthy­ist hys­te­ria” over his links to Rus­sia, told Fox News on Aug. 26 that the most ex­plo­sive ma­te­rial on her will be re­leased be­fore the Nov. 8 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Wik­ileaks was launched in 2007 and bills it­self as the world’s pre­em­i­nent de­fender of free­dom of speech and me­dia pub­lish­ing. Its vol­un­teers en­sure con­tin­ued fund­ing and the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of leaked doc­u­ments through anony­mous elec­tronic drop boxes and a net­work of lawyers around the globe.

“Wik­iLeaks has re­leased more clas­si­fied in­tel­li­gence doc­u­ments than the rest of the world press com­bined,” the or­ga­ni­za­tion boasts on its web­site. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has never re­vealed the iden­tity of its sources.

Among its high­est-pro­file leaks have been doc­u­ments and videos on civil­ian ca­su­al­ties in Iraq and Afghanistan at Amer­i­can hands, some of which, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. mil­i­tary, came from Army Pvt. Chelsea Man­ning (Bradley Man­ning at the time).

Other leaks in­cluded a trove of U.S. diplo­matic ca­bles and doc­u­ments on the han­dling of ter­ror­ism de­tainees at Guan­tanamo Bay.

Though the group has tar­geted other gov­ern­ments and pri­vate banks, these cases gen­er­ally had dis­posed con­ser­va­tives poorly to­ward the group (and dis­posed lib­er­als well) un­til the Hil­lary Clin­ton/DNC leaks.


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