Democracy Now!

Julian Assange

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  • Swedish prosecutors have dropped an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has denied the allegations, which he calls a pretext for his ultimate extradition to the U.S. to face prosecution under the Espionage Act. Since 2012, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. It’s not clear whether Assange will emerge any time soon. "This is a small victory, but in this long road to free Julian Assange and all the people working for WikiLeaks," says our guest Renata Avila, a Courage Foundation trustee and human rights lawyer. "But it will finally help us lawyers to focus on the main issue, which is the persecution, the political persecution, and imminent prosecution of Julian Assange in the United States."

  • Last week, the Trump administration reportedly prepared an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department was seeking to put Assange in jail. Amy Goodman asked world-renowned linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky about the U.S. targeting of Julian Assange, during a wide-ranging conversation at the First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday night.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald responds to reports that the Trump administration has prepared an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed the report at a news conference Thursday. Last week, CIA chief Mike Pompeo blasted WikiLeaks as a "hostile intelligence service," in a stark reversal from his previous praise for the group. Pompeo made the remarks last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in his first public address as CIA director. Pompeo went on to accuse WikiLeaks of instructing Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning to steal information. He also likened Julian Assange to a "demon" and suggested Assange is not protected under the First Amendment. It’s been nearly five years since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in London seeking political asylum, fearing a Swedish arrest warrant could lead to his extradition to the United States. Greenwald’s story for The Intercept is "Trump’s CIA Director Pompeo, Targeting WikiLeaks, Explicitly Threatens Speech and Press Freedoms."

  • In our extended conversation, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald responds to claims NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations helped Russia, and examines what actions the Trump administration may take against him and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. "Exactly the same playbook was used against [Daniel] Ellsberg that is now being used against Snowden, which is to say, ’Don’t listen to these disclosures. Don’t regard this person as a hero for exposing our corruption and lawbreaking. Focus instead on the fact that these are traitors working with our enemies,’" says Greenwald. "And just as it was completely false in the case of Ellsberg, so too is it completely false in the case of Snowden."

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke via video stream at the Green Party convention in Houston, Texas, over the weekend. Assange has been confined to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for more than four years, fearing that if he were to attempt to leave, he would be arrested by British police and ultimately extradited to the U.S., where it is believed there is a sealed indictment against him over WikiLeaks’ release of documents. Assange was speaking with former Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb. He began by speaking about WikiLeaks’ release of 20,000 internal DNC emails.

  • During the Green Party convention in Houston, Texas, over the weekend, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke via video stream about his book "When Google Met WikiLeaks" and the relationship between Hillary Clinton, the State Department and the internet giant Google.

  • WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange joins us from London about their release of nearly 20,000 emails revealing how the Democratic Party favored Hillary Clinton and worked behind the scenes to discredit and defeat Bernie Sanders. This comes as the Democratic National Convention is opening today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid massive party turmoil. The DNC chair, Florida Congressmember Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has resigned following the leak. The emails also reveal a close relationship between mainstream media outlets and the DNC.

  • In March, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30,000 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,000 pages of documents span from June 2010 to August 2014; 7,500 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton. The State Department released the emails as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request.

  • Following the end of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump has received a surge in his popularity. He’s now leading Hillary Clinton 44 to 39 percent in a four-way match-up, according to the most recent CNN poll. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson received 9 percent, and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein received 3 percent. But for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the threat of a Donald Trump presidency doesn’t inspire him to back Hillary Clinton. When asked, Assange said: "You’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea?”

  • As Senator Bernie Sanders prepares to address the Democratic National Convention tonight we end today’s show with the voices of some of the hundreds of Sanders supporters who rallied at City Hall Plaza on Sunday. Despite a blistering heat wave, they gathered for hours to denounce the Democratic National Committee bias against Sanders, which was revealed by WikiLeaks on Friday, and to demand the party adopt a more progressive agenda.

  • A United Nations panel has officially concluded WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" and should be allowed to walk free. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for more than three years. He wants to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations, which he has repeatedly denied and for which he has never been charged. He fears Sweden would extradite him to the United States, where he could face trial for WikiLeaks’ revelations. We air reaction to the U.N. decision from Assange and his attorney, Melinda Taylor, and speak with Mads Andenæs, U.N. special rapporteur on arbitrary detention.

  • The BBC reports the United Nations panel investigating the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has ruled he has been "arbitrarily detained.” The U.N. says it will not confirm the report until Friday at 11 a.m. Geneva time. Assange first complained to the U.N. in 2014 that he was being arbitrarily detained since he could not leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London without being arrested. Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012. Assange wants to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex assault claims, which he has repeatedly denied. He says he fears Sweden will extradite him to the United States, where he could face trial for publishing classified information. Police say a warrant for Assange’s arrest remains in place. Assange has called for his arrest warrant to be dropped if the panel ruled in his favor. The BBC reports the panel’s ruling will not have any formal influence over the British and Swedish authorities. We go to London to speak with one of Assange’s lawyers, Jennifer Robinson, who says, "We hope and expect that the U.K. and Sweden will act accordingly."

  • We end today’s show with another story about Evo Morales. In 2013, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange played a pivotal role in helping National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden leave Hong Kong for Russia. Once Snowden made it to Russia, Assange explored ways to help him reach Latin America. During the U.S. hunt for Snowden, Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane was forced to land in Austria for 14 hours because of rumors Snowden was on board. Last week, Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept interviewed Assange via video stream for the launch of the book "The WikiLeaks Files." Assange talked about WikiLeaks’ efforts to help Snowden gain asylum.

  • Britain has announced plans to challenge Ecuador’s decision to provide asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its London embassy, saying the $18 million price tag for policing the Ecuadorean Embassy during Assange’s residency is "unacceptable" to the British taxpayer. In response, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying it is saddened Assange’s confinement has lasted so long, adding that its government had offered "31 times" to facilitate an "open judicial process" in Sweden. This comes just a day after Swedish prosecutors dropped part of their sexual assault inquiry against Assange, but the most serious part of the probe remains in place even though he has never been formally charged. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for three years, where he’s received political asylum. He fears he will be extradited to the United States to face prosecution for his role at WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy. We are joined by Carey Shenkman, a First Amendment and human rights lawyer. He, along with Michael Ratner and the Center for Constitutional Rights, is representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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