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Interview with Christine Assange Part 2
Thursday August 16, 2012
Julian Assange giving speech from Ecuadorian Embassy in London 19 August 2012
"WikiLeaks is the Intelligence Agency of the People"
The Interview - Part 2:
GlobaEthix: Why DO YOU THINK Julian hasn’t had support from well-known Public Figures and Celebrities?
[The line cuts out just after asking this question, so we call back and ask the question again.]
Christine Assange: They didn’t like that one, [LAUGHS] someone choked at the other end then “HELLO BOYS HOPE YOU’RE GETTING ALL OF THIS, MISSED OUT ANYTHING” We’re back, tune in again.
Well this band in America, the Dixie Chicks, they spoke out against the Afghanistan War, and they had effected their recordings for years
It was well known that during the McCarthy period that artists who spoke up for justice then could not get work for years and years.
Now for examples and indications of ways to be threatened. In Columbia University, last year, in the US [New York], the students were told, that if they even looked at the WikiLeaks Cables, they would not get a job with the Government. The US soldiers and Navy had been told the same thing, that they would be in serious trouble if they look at the WikiLeaks Cables.
Now I have it on good authority, that our journalists here [in Australia] are being threatened, to keep quiet. Hollywood is a major employer of actors; the Music industry in the US is the biggest distributor of music, that would be the two good reasons why actors and musicians feel they can’t speak out.
However, writers and visual artists, over whom they don’t have control, have been very vocal. So I think that’s your answer, it’s where the US can ruin careers, people haven’t spoken out, where they [the US] can’t [ruin careers] they [writers & visual artists] have [spoken out].
GlobaEthix: Do you feel that Julian has not violated his bail conditions, as he has not fled the UK?
Christine Assange: Absolutely no, they know where he is, he’s made it quite public where he is, he’s made it quite public that he has not fled the country, he wouldn’t be able to anyway. And this is a legal and legitimate request for asylum. In fact, Julian has been the only one who hasn’t breached the law, so far; he’s complied with everything, and in fact tried to make the law more concrete or better in the fact that he sought to be questioned over and over again; and the British Legal System has shown to have been seriously breaching its own procedures, his [Julian’s] legal rights and human rights from day one. The British Government has shown its complicity with huge bail and tight bail restrictions on someone that hasn’t been questioned yet alone charged. And so it’s obvious to anyone who knows the facts, that he is not going to get justice through the legal system. So the only alternative is that a person who is being hounded for what is a political offence that is exposing corruption, the only alternative they have if they cannot seek justice through the justice system, whose governments are being pressured, is to seek it through political asylum, and he has done everything legally; that is a legal option.
GlobaEthix: You kind of stated this before, but why specifically do you think he risked violating his bail conditions seeking sanctuary at the Ecuadorian Embassy?
Cause the case is running in a way that would indicate that they are not seeking justice, but seeking to silence him via US extradition via Sweden; and that once he was in Sweden, he would not be available to talk to the media or seek asylum, he would be in jail, unquestioned, uncharged, incommunicado, solitary confinement, indefinite detention. And then even if the case did proceed through the Swedish courts, it would be a secret trial, four judges, only one who’s trained, the other three who are appointed by political parties. He has been on record stating that he would be prepared to go to Sweden and face the allegations, if there was a guarantee [by the Swedish authorities] that he would not be extradited, but I wouldn’t trust the Swedish Government on that one. I wouldn’t actually trust the Swedish Courts to do the right thing, I’d be countering against that, because the Swedish Government and Swedish Courts have to date have shown no credibility at all in looking for justice, so I wouldn’t trust anything in the Swedish Courts now, nothing. Sweden has a shocking record of cooperating with the US with regards to rendition.
This is an interesting fact: the current business partner of Claes Borgström, the women’s lawyer, his name is Thomas Bodström, used to be Justice Minister [in Sweden] some years ago. When he was Justice Minister, he signed off on the torture and rendition flights of two innocent Egyptian refugees for the CIA; they were taken to Egypt and tortured. And the reason the CIA does that; the CIA has what they call “BLACK SITES” all around Europe; they take people to be tortured there, because the US Government can’t torture them on its own soil and get away with it, now this is really extreme torture, OK, and some 3,000 people were rendered that way, by the CIA since 9/11. Now these two [Egyptian refugees] were later found to be innocent; the UN condemned Sweden and were ordered to pay compensation. Sweden has never refused an extradition to the US, and Sweden has a shocking history going back to the Second World War of rendering people to anybody without any regard for what happens at the other end, and they render political prisoners continually. Although they [Sweden] have this neutrality thing, it’s in a way through they do not take sides in defence of political prisoners, they render everybody to everybody. They do not step in to protect political prisoners; they have no history if doing it. Look it up, that’s a shocking history.
At the moment as we’re speaking [a case where] Sweden is assisting the US in an extradition of an American who 30-years ago sought sanctuary in Sweden to escape the draft and avoid the Vietnam War.
GlobaEthix: Why Ecuador?
Christine Assange: Ecuador is known to have a treaty with the US, but refuses to extradite on two grounds: one, if it’s the Death Penalty; and two, if it’s a political prisoner.
Also, Julian did interview the President of Ecuador [Rafael Correa] in his The World Tomorrow series [on RT Russia Today], and the President acknowledged "YOU ARE PERSECUTED AS I AM". The President did seem to be across the issues, and seemed to be taking the right stance in regards to WikiLeaks.
Ecuador is only a small country, but with a big heart; and unlike Sweden, the UK and Australia, they have courage to stand up to the US; they’re not lackeys of the US. They have been abused by exploitation by the US, and for those reasons may be able to see that they may be able to stand alone with someone who’s also suffered at the hands of the US Government and be able to protect Julian. My concern is that being a small country, they are vulnerable to bullying by the US, and that’s already started, the Washington Post wrote an article that the [US] Government would withdraw funding and put an economic blockade on Ecuador if it attempted to give Julian asylum which would affect 400,00 jobs. What I’m hoping is that other countries around the World will support Ecuador to give Julian political asylum; and should the US bully them [Ecuador] the other countries will perhaps but sanctions on the US, and increase trade flowing to Ecuador. For example, people could instead of going to the US for holidays, they could go to Ecuador for holidays; and buy Ecuador good and blockade US goods.
I know that everyone who supports WikiLeaks says that an awful lot of people that do are going to do exactly that. If the US does anything to Julian, “WikiLeaks People” have said to me that individual supporters from all over the World will refuse to visit the US and they will refuse to buy US goods, and they will buy goods from countries that are doing the right thing. This is not an orchestrated thing by Wikileaks, it all becomes spontaneous from all the people who support WikiLeaks. I thought it was a good and Tweeted it out about blockading countries that are doing the wrong thing.
And this is in no way against the American people; the American people are equally dismayed at what’s going on in their country. President Obama has very little support, the same as our Prime Minister. In fact is our country, Julian is more popular than the entire [Australian] Labour Party combined.
A nice gesture I think would be for people regardless of what Ecuador’s decision is or what they can do, that they have taken Julian in, they are treating him extremely well, they’re warm people, non-bureaucratic, not sniping cold the ways the UK and US and Swedish diplomats seem to be, and so I think it would be a nice gesture, and someone suggested this to me the other day and I thought it was lovely that flowers be taken to the Ecuadorian Embassy to thank them for giving him [Julian] safe sanctuary at this point at least. I think they should be thanked for making the stand they have regardless of what happens in the future, obviously, while it will proceed to asylum, but they’ve made a stand and that stand already alone we’re really grateful for.
GlobaEthix: So you could have a sort of “Tourism Activism” and “Consumer Activism” buying only Ecuadorian goods and going to Ecuador for a holiday.
Christine Assange: Well why not; the American Government sees fit, illegally to pressure the credit card companies to block donations from all over the World to WikiLeaks; so why can’t the people of the World do exactly the same thing?
That we don’t send money to the US that we send money to Ecuador, in all the ways we can. I don’t use my credit cards anymore as a statement of protest. And I wish that other people do the same and do yourself a favour and get out of debt at the same time, just little bit by little bit start paying your credit cards [bills] in cash, one bill here, one bill there, and what will happen is that the next you’ll have a smaller credit card payment to make; you can do that over a year, you’ll end up free of debt. And at the same time ring up the Credit Cards companies and tell them why, hit them where it hurts, in their pockets, that’s what they really understand.
There’s’ only two things people can really do; there’s only two methods of power that you really have, when it gets right down to it:
One is your Dollar, how you spend it; so it supports the things, the values you believe in, and you don’t support the businesses that you don’t;
The other thing is your vote. But people don’t realise just how important those two are. Your MP wants your vote more than anything else in the World; and if you make an appointment to see your MP, you don’t have to be nervous, he’s the one who’s nervous.
GlobalEthix: They [MPs] are servants of the people at the end of the day.
Christine Assange: We actually still have a democracy in many countries; it doesn’t work well, but you can still use it to its maximum benefit, don’t get so disillusioned that you don’t use it to the maximum that you can. And if everybody went down to their MP and said:
Now if everybody did that, you would see how things would change, because a local MP he would like his party to get in, but more importantly, he wants himself in. So there would be a possibility that he would even run as an independent rather than run with a party that was likely to lose, because of its position on Julian. And supporting Julian, this is a little hint to you MPs who are reading this by the way, listen up, WikiLeaks has a lot of grassroots support; if you won’t do it for moral grounds and ethical grounds, think about self-interest. If you support Julian and WikiLeaks, you’ll get more votes, it’s as simple as that. And if your party leader doesn’t like it, so what, you’ll get in, he won’t.
And if your party says that they won’t run you for pre-selection if you’re not prepared to stand against Julian, become an independent.
GlobalEthix: Which is becoming more attractive for politicians to run as Independents these days.
Christine Assange: Well there you go, so that if people pressure the politicians and tell them they won’t vote for them, the politicians go “WELL I’M GONNA SAVE MY BEHIND” and stand up for Julian, we would have Julian protected. And don’t send your Dollar to a country that’s persecuting Julian, send your Dollars to countries and organisations that are protecting him. That’s what individuals can do, the most powerful they can do.
GlobalEthix: You mentioned emphatically earlier that Julian is not Anti-American and you mentioned the fact that one of the best things about America is its US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. What other things do you think Julian loves about the United States America?
Christine Assange: I’d say that the thing he likes the best is the amendment in the constitution which guarantees Free Press, and actually within that amendment, the [US] Supreme Court stated that it is NOT illegal to publish classified documents; that’s another mistake that’s going out.
I think he likes, I can’t tell you what other things he like as we haven’t discussed it, I can tell you what I like about the American people; I like the fact that they are innovative. I like the fact that they get behind projects and don’t squash them, that they’re excited about new development. In our country for example, if someone is innovative, they’re ignored, but the American people get behind new projects, they’re excited about innovation, and I think it’s a great shame that they can’t get behind WikiLeaks, because it is an innovation to put truth out on the internet. And I think a lot of American people if they knew the facts, how there are a lot of American people who support Julian especially the lawyers and the many good journalists; people are people; people who adhere to the American Constitution, like Julian absolutely.
That’s the excitement over innovation that the American people have.
If the Government wasn’t getting in the way and distorting the facts, and the business people didn’t get involved in law-making, and exploitation and corruption weren’t getting in the way of the American people, I think because of their nature, they would be excited over the potential of the internet to bring justice to the world. And what a wonderful innovation that anonymous Drop-Box to protect whistle-blowers; and how brave and professional WikiLeaks is in bringing the truth.
And for those people I would say also the American Government is sending your young people to wars that are not based on the correct facts; these young people are being killed and maimed and are being sent home psychologically damaged and just discarded by the government.
And there’s a lot of money being made out those big businesses that make armaments, and there’s a lot of money being made in American contracting businesses, often the same, the reconstruction and the workings afterwards. And that the American people’s sons and daughters are being sacrificed to American big business, and that the American Government is lying to them.
I would encourage the American people to read for themselves about WikiLeaks, to read my open letter to the Australian people. Go straight the WikiLeaks site itself, go on to WikiLeaks Twitter. Don’t listen to what your Mainstream Media is saying, because it is propaganda, to the site [WikiLeaks] for yourself. You don’t need the Mainstream Media to tell you how to think. You’re smart enough to work it out yourselves; go and have a look at the facts, and then you decide whether or not Wikileaks is a good organisation, whether it’s creating justice and fairness and peace in the World for yourself.
GlobalEthix: You mentioned some very good points about WikiLeaks the way it offered to the US Government to redact documents, and the fact that one can use the First Amendment to even publish Classified Documents. It seems the American Youth really have to question what today’s agendas are by government and big companies to keep them as busy occupied consumers and not question anything and do what they’re told and buy what they’re told. In the US there are many people under 30 who are very aware of issues, but they’re too busy working. They are on the internet the whole time, keeping up with current events and issues. For example, when the PIPA and SOPA Bills were being proposed in the US, all the young Internet Generation came out in protest on the internet through Social Media opposing the bills; then the US Senate decided not to pass those bills from public pressure. There are many young people who are active in such issues; there is the Occupy Wall St. movement, still very active, but of course doesn’t really publish or report on the opinions and concerns of the youth, often misrepresenting the youth and young adults when some of the are young intelligent technology professional and successful entrepreneurs, so the Mainstream Media needs to be questioned in its agendas. More Americans should inspect the WikiLeaks site for themselves.
Christine Assange: I would also say that regardless of what you’re supporting, some people will support Animal Rights for example as animals are being experimented on; other people are concerned about poverty in Third World nations; and then there’s people who want to clean up the environment. Now one of the reasons all those things have not worked particularly well, is that the causes of these things [poverty & environmental] have not been exposed. WikiLeaks exposes the causes behind these problems in the World; they expose the causes of poverty, exploitation of the Third World by Multi-Nationals companies, and the oppression and the silencing of people in those countries. For example in Papua New Guinea, our government [Australian] won’t do anything about what’s happening to the Papuans in West Papua; there’s a lot of big mines, US and Australian companies mining in Papua New Guinea, and they’re allowing the Indonesian Military to abuse the people, because they’re [US & Australia] using the Indonesian Military to keep them [Papuans] all in line, so they don’t protest and riot. So when you are talking about how would we help these people in Papua New Guinea, WikiLeaks has exposed who is doing the abusing, and what the corporate interests are in that country, and how it all runs.
The same in Haiti. Some of these cables are fascinating; the Haiti Cables for example, this is the sort of thing that WikiLeaks exposes. Now Haiti is a very poor country, and people pouring aide into Haiti up to the earthquake [in 2010]. This what actually happened in Haiti after the earthquake and this is what WikiLeaks exposed. Just prior to the earthquake the President of Haiti [René Préval], was trying to get the minimum wage raised for his people that were below minimum wage workers for Offshore US companies who were being exploited, Hanes and Levi Strauss were exploiting them; and it was a very very small wage in the number of Cents that they wanted, it went up 50 cents or something like that. As soon as that earthquake happened, the US Government stated to the President [of Haiti] “If you think for one minute that you’re going to get any aide at all if you persist with this [demands for minimum wage increases] you can think again OK”. Not only that, Venezuela tried to come to Haiti’s aid; they [Venezuela] said that “We’ll drop the oil price 40% and you [Haiti] can use that money [savings] to rebuild your schools and hospitals”. So the big Oil companies from the US got in the middle and blockaded that.
And then we got the week that aid poured into Haiti from all around the World; do you know where it went? The cable going from the US Embassy in Haiti back to Washington [D.C.] said “THE GOLD RUSH IS ON”.
This is the problem all round, people think the US Aide is rushing in; that’s not their money, often it’s money that people have donated from all around the world and then gets given to US contractors.
Now WikiLeaks reveals this sort of stuff; so if you’re interested, for example, I’ll give you an environmental cable for all those environmental people out there, do you want to know how it really works? This is how it really works. The 2007 Cable in Australia to the US Embassy, which WikiLeaks revealed. We have an area at the top of Australia called the Taurus Straights, and just below that, we’ve got our beautiful [Great] Barrier Reef, which is a World Heritage site.
Now the Government under John Howard [former Australian Prime Minister] that was the Liberal government before this one, had legislation that said that any of the big gas oil and chemical tankers going through the Taurus Straights, had to call in and get a pilot boat to negotiate through there, so there wouldn’t be a spill which would contaminate the [Great Barrier] Reef. The Americans didn’t like that, so they lobbied [Australian] Government to change it, the Government wouldn’t. So they [US] waited until the next government the current Labour Government, got in, and they [US] lobbied again. And it’s fascinating to read the Cable, cause it’s actually what the diplomats are saying to each other, and it goes something like this:
The Americans are saying “We want you to get rid of this, we don’t want to have to do this”.
And the Australian cable goes back “We can’t do that because if we had an oil spill the Australian people found out they would never forgive us”.
The concern wasn’t that there was going to be an oil spill, the concern was “that the Australian people find out and not forgive us”.
It gets better, “We sorted some way around it: if you go through there without the pilot boat and we find out, we won’t put the penalty on you”.
So regardless of which activism group you’re in or what you support all round the World, poverty environment, human rights, WikiLeaks reveals the truth of it. Without the truth, you can’t find the solutions, you’re working in the dark. So everybody needs to support WikiLeaks Truth; they need to support the Whistle-Blowers, and let’s not forget, what is a Whistle-Blower? A Whistle-Blower is a Citizen who thinks the Government is up to NO GOOD and wants to tell all the other citizens; that’s all a Whistle-Blower is. And what’s a media organisation that publishes what Whistle-Blowers do? That is an organisation that cares about the citizens of its country. WikiLeaks is one of the few organisations in the world that is not funded by the government or big business; they’re funded by the citizens of the World.
Julian made a very good statement, he said:
“WikiLeaks is the Intelligence Agency of the People”
And it doesn’t get more accountable than relying on the donations of the people, because if people don’t believe you’re doing a good job they stop donating. But that hasn’t happened, people have wanted to donate and the government and big business have illegally blocked them [blocking online donations by credit cards].
The fact that people were donating $20 million a year to WikiLeaks, means that all those people thought WikiLeaks were doing such a good job that they gave their own money to keep it going. They had the validation from people all around the World. An you know the interesting political dynamic that’s now developing, it’s not about different [political] parties, it’s not about socialists or capitalists, the big fight in the world now is the people against their governments. The people of the world have more in common with each other than they have with their own governments.
One of the things that WikiLeaks in terms of creating peace in the World, this is something I thought about with WikiLeaks: I was one of the people who believed ignorantly believed the Mainstream Media that these terrible terrorists were trying to tear down our society, these Arabian Islamic terrorists are trying to tear down our society with no good grounds. But when I found out what was really going on, I thought, “Hang on, there’s two sides to this story, at least”; and that is that the US Government and Business was in there exploiting their countries and bombing them, and protecting their [US] oil interests and all the rest of it. And if you did that to anybody’s country, they would be upset with you. And what we’re finding now, is that when people read the truth about what’s going on behind these wars, that having more empathy for the people we were told were enemies, how if the truth is being told, Julian has a statement “If Lies create Wars, then Truth can create Peace”; that if the people of the World know the truth about each other’s’ governments and their own governments, they don’t see each other as enemies so much; therefore that is why we need to create Peace in the World.
So if you’re a Peace Activist, you need to get behind WikiLeaks; and everyone needs to get behind them PRONTO, NOW. Because unless they get behind Julian and WikiLeaks now, they won’t survive; and if they [WikiLeaks] don’t survive, the people of the world aren’t going to get the truth about anything anymore.
GlobalEthix: Civil Liberties are being eroded, the Media is being monopolised, but thank got for organisations like WikiLeaks which are exposing the truth.
What do you think Julian’s state of mind is like right now?
Christine Assange: He told me it is and I’ll give you a quote:
"that he’s humbled and buoyed by the support he’s receiving from all over the World, and he’s in great fighting spirit".
And that’s the way we should be. If he’s got the courage to do what he’s doing, to go to a foreign embassy, and hope to hell that they protect him, knowing that he stood up for the truth in the World, he’s been so brave. The least we can do is stand up and stand by him and protect him, against those greedy interests in the World that would have his organisation silenced, so they continue to plunder the resources of the World, exploit the people of the World, and intimidate and bully people into silence.
GlobalEthix: Do you thin Julian has any regrets with his work or WikiLeaks or any other regrets?
Christine Assange: He stated that he’s do it all over again. He’s made statements along the lines of “YOU ONLY GET TO LIVE ONCE, MAKE IT MEAN SOMETHING”.
He’s a Human Being also, you must not forget Julian is just a man, he’s a brave and intelligent ethical man, but he is just a man; and of course he wouldn’t want to go and be tortured in an American prison. I was on a panel the other day, a forum about the asylum that Julian is seeking. On that panel, was a David Hicks, he served 6-years in Guantanamo Bay; he was labelled as a terrorist, but there never any charges made, he did a plea bargain to get out of Guantanamo Bay and he’s written a book about it; if anyone’s interested they can go to the Justice Campaign, and read all the details. But what he told us was some interesting facts that Guantanamo Bay was where they put everyone that was labelled a terrorist. Now Obama stated that before he was elected as President that he would close Guantanamo Bay because of its notorious reputation for torturing innocent people.
The American Military have found themselves that there were 150 people in there for years and years being tortured, people were Afghans or Cab Drivers, Cooks or woodcutters who were just rounded up, because what the American Government did was put a price on the head of $5,000; and the Northern Alliance [one of the groups opposing the Taliban] went around grabbing people off the streets and selling them to the US for $5,000, claiming they were terrorists when they weren’t. There were all sorts of people [in Guantanamo Bay], there were 80-year olds, they’ve got 20 children in Guantanamo Bay, who had already been brutally raped and abused by Taliban Warlords, who were then rounded up the Northern Alliance then given to US soldiers, and then the US Government put them in a military prison and tortured them further. This is US Government style justice. And then David Hicks went on to say what they did to him in that prison; and this is what Julian will face, they’re already doing some of this stuff to Private Bradley Manning, if it can make him falsely incriminate Julian. They took him [David Hicks] in, for 6 years he was put into a metal shipping container for solitary confinement, with no heating or cooling, he was chained to the floor in his own excrement; he was made to lie on his back; when he tried to sleep, the fluorescent lights were on 24 hours a day, and he was made to lie on his back, and he was not allowed to even turn his head to the side when he slept with the light in his eyes; he was pumped full of drugs and psychologically tortured, and if he tried to resist that torture he was beaten. And the interesting thing is that the Australian Diplomats who visited him with their so called “Consular Assistance”, were absolutely no help; in fact when David Hicks was able to get smuggled out a written statement about the torture he was receiving, the Department of Foreign Affairs made statements to the Australian Media that he [David Hicks] was in good health; and that every time he told a diplomat about what was happening, he was then taken and punished even more. So this is the sort of thing that they do over there; and what people don’t also realise that’s US-style justice. And do you know that there’s still about a 180 people, 187 I think it was, years ago, Obama cleared for release because they were innocent and only 69 have been released; and I spoke to a torture expert at that panel, and she said the reason they won’t release the other is that they’re so badly tortured they don’t want anyone to see it; that’s her [Torture Expert’s] opinion.
So this is what they do over there [Guantanamo Bay] and they talk about other people being Third World countries?
Now what people don’t realise is about this US Grand Jury that’s indicted Julian, and this is also the way the US Government is trying to get Julian, and this is their idea of US justice style: the US Grand Jury is in secret, it has no judge, it has four prosecutors, there’s no defence material allowed, and the Jury is drawn from Alexandra Virginia, and Alexandra Virginia has got the highest concentration of US Contactors’ families in the US, so that’s their idea of justice.
WikiLeaks Wallpaper
GlobalEthix: So it [Grand Jury Court Case] will be very biased.
Christine Assange: Any country in the world, Sweden, UK, Australia and any other country should reject that Grand Jury Indictment and Extradition Warrant, purely on the grounds that there was no proper legal process to obtain it.
This [US Grand Jury] is quite clever, as this is an absolute star chamber.
Now if this was an [former] Eastern Block Government, if this was Russia doing this, or if this was China doing this, the American Government would be up in arms, about Human Rights abuses.
GlobalEthix: Yet countries like Saudi Arabia are supported for their precious oil, despite their human rights abuses.
Christine Assange: That’s right.
And this is a very hard thing for people who live in Western Democracies to get their heads around, it was hard for me, it’s very hard to actually acknowledge that this is going on in your own country; it’s a wake-up call, it’s a reality check and it’s not a very pleasant one, and the temptation for people is to say “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT”. But at some point, apart from the fact that you should stand up for what’s morally right that if someone else is being abused you should stand up for your fellow citizen, you should stand up against torture. Don’t forget that if they’re allowed to get away with it, that at some point, you are going to be visited with it as well, someone in your family, your next door neighbour, your colleague at work.
You know the Richard O'Dwyer and the Gary McKinnon case in the UK; you need to look at that one. The US has been running around the world, setting up bilateral treaties with countries, which get around normal treaties that protect the citizens of that other country. For example, in the UK, they’ve [the US] got a separate bilateral treaty with the UK than the US has with Sweden, and it’s just as unfair. Do you know that in the UK, if the Americans want to extradite you from the UK, they [US] don’t have to give the Prima Facie evidence, no evidence. But if someone from the UK wants to extradite someone from the US, they’ve got to give evidence; it’s an unbalanced treaty.
As we speak, there are two young guys, one in his early twenties; one of them has Asperger’s [syndrome] and he hacked into something American [US military and NASA computers], that’s Gary McKinnon, he’s got Asperger’s for Christ’s sake. And the other one is Richard O'Dwyer, and Richard’s crime was that he had a link on his site [] that [allegedly] had some copyright violation, and now they want to extradite these two young men, and basically one of them is a student [Richard O'Dwyer student at Sheffield Hallam University] of student age and young people do all sorts of things when they’re young. And what they’ve been charged of is minor; they [US] want to extradite him [Richard O'Dwyer] and put him in prison for 10 years. And you know what this is really all about? It’s about protecting big US corporations involved in the music industry and protecting their interests and so they’re using these two young fellows to warm up the terrorising of people all around the world to even think about downloading something.
GlobalEthix: We are aware about that Richard O'Dwyer case, that is not a criminal issue, it’s a Civil issue and they are probably using the Lanham Act from 1946 which does not pertain to the present day, as the internet didn’t exist back then, and there is no Admiralty Jurisdiction in such matters, so the parties in the US have no jurisdiction in the UK on civil matters of that kind.
Christine Assange: And coming to coming to that, the US has no jurisdiction over Julian, he’s not a US Citizen. But the UK Government is so much in bed with the US that it’s willing to offer up its own young citizens to them blockade them.
The Australian Government has just altered its extradition act to make it easier to extradite Julian, and this is the first time in Australian history such an act has been amended.
GlobalEthix: From Members of the general public who want to show their support, what is the most helpful thing they can do?
Christine Assange: Go and visit their MP and use their vote, basically say that their vote depends on it, that’s the number one thing.
Number two would be to read the facts, read my open letter and follow the links, (with apologies that I did that in the London hotel room on jet and there’s a couple of typos, as I wanted to get that out before the [High Court] decision, put that in brackets) [Christine laughs]. But the links are very important, and the facts so get that out. To email that letter to everybody that they possibly can make contact with, get it out. I’ve written it for ordinary people to get a grasp of what’s going on, with links so they can go into further; that’s the second thing.
When they approach their MPS by the way, they need to take that letter with them, they need to write a [additional] letter mentioning some of those facts, and why they think they [MPs] should stand up [for Julian and WikiLeaks].
So, the first thing is GET INFORMED.
The second thing is SPREAD THE WORD, give that letter out to everybody, send those links out to everybody; send it to your family, your friends, and people that you think are important that might be able to assist.
One of the things that would be very important to do would be to send facts to journalists, because a lot of journalists, believe it or not don’t actually know the facts. You will get some journalists who are glad to have the facts, and some others can’t or won’t, but at least their attacks will not be as significant if they know the facts.
The other thing is to monitor the Media. If they’re going to get the facts out, they can follow my letters [online] where they can get information on where they can get posters from on that letter, and they can put posters with the facts up all over town.
The can also do things like run forums; this is a really good way to inform people, and a good way to meet WikiLeaks supporters to form a group. So you can run a forum at a university, that’s a good place to do it. You can have 3 or 4 speakers, you can read my letter out if you like. We’ve had journalists, we’ve had lawyers, politicians, human rights activists professors of politics to run a forum on it; they do about 15 – 20 minutes each, and at the end they take questions and then they stay back for 2 hours to talk to the people, a bucket gets passed around to cover the costs of the forum and to form a group out of that forum to form a local WikiLeaks support group. You can join WikiLeaks Friends or Friends of WikiLeaks, and then they can find other people in their area so they can form a group.
So first the can get the facts, join with others, make forums, get the information out to journalists, visit your MP, and of course we all know that justice costs money. There’s a great CD out at the moment called BEAT THE BLOCKADE, WikiLeaks has released an album, I’ve heard and it’s fabulous, it stands alone on its own its music. These are supporters from all around the world who have sent songs in. It’s a really good album and there’s 12 songs, its inspiring, it’s fun, it’s moving, it’s good to listen to.
WikiLeaks on Twitter is a really good thing to look at, because you get the latest from WikiLeaks, that’s a really good simple thing for people to do to keep informed.
You can buy WikiLeaks clothing range; you’ve even got really cute little covers for dogs. Be an out and proud WikiLeaks supporter if you can, they’ve got Bumper Stickers, badges. So the more people actually get out there in public, the better. They actually got badges from a graphic designer called Somerset Bean. Some people can be out and proud in a big way, they wear the Hoodie, or the T-Shirt. But fi you want to be out and proud in a little way, you can wear the badge which is smaller.
Any amount of donations is welcome, and you can even donate by sending it by ordinary old-fashioned Snail Mail. If you go to the donate and support sections at or Justiceforassange,com. Now if you just imagine one million people donated $1 each; they need this money. They are currently fighting the blockade of their funding, and that court case has cost money. So if they can win, we can turn it back on again. But they need the people to fund them, the people need to fund their newspaper. WikiLeaks is a newspaper, they were funding it before and they need to start funding it again, and there’s some ways you can do it. So send the money through folks because justice costs money. If you go out and buy newspapers for $2 a week, why not commit $2 a week to WikiLeaks. If you put $5 a month in and read those cables, it will be well worth it.
GlobalEthix: Another thing about those Cables, a lot of people only focused on specific topics of the leaks [like Iraq Gate & Afghanistan], there are a lot of topics WikiLeaks has uncovered which has not received any attention. That need to be addressed as well.
Christine Assange: Well it’s not hard to do, just get on the [WikiLeaks] site and look at the country. They’ve got all the countries in it. Anyone that speaks in the Mainstream Media says there was only stuff coming out of America; they’ve got all the countries up the world on there, all sorts of stuff is up there. And it’s really interesting, it’s a fascinating read; it’s better than watching a Jason Bourne thriller, find out what your Poli’s [politicians] are up to behind closed doors, it’s very intriguing.
So celebrate WikiLeaks, enjoy WikiLeaks; it’s a wonderful fresh new media. And its got great potential for [promoting] democracy around the world. So put it any way you can; until Julian is free, hang a banner on your balcony [stating] FREE JULIAN ASSANGE. People are funny creatures, the more people that support something, the more people support it; we’re herd animals. So if you show your support publicly, other people see and go “I might a have a look at it”.
The other thing to do is have a WikiLeaks stall at the market, or you can go down to you local supermarket and put a stall outside, and you can sell WikiLeaks gear, you can make flyers to give to people, so that people know the facts. Because this is the one thing that we do know that’s correct, once people know the facts, they support them.
It’s reasonable to support WikiLeaks, and once the know the facts and get through the Mainstream Media’s spin and lies, the people will support WikiLeaks.
GlobalEthix: Team members at GlobalEthix have had to deal with corruption and unethical practices, hence the need to start
Christine Assange: It’s a good thing you say that, because in the background of most WikiLeaks supporters, they’ve had a run-in with corruption at some point, which has opened their eyes. They’ve personally had a run-in with corruption and thought “this is not the way I thought my country ran, this is not the way I thought my justice system ran”. Or it might be some government department somewhere, and all of a sudden their eyes are opened, and then they’re willing to believe that what WikiLeaks is saying is true.
[Here corrupt governments and the corrupt banking system is discussed in length]
Christine Assange: You’ll find that it’s the same in every country I know that WikiLeaks exposed, the banks in Iceland has been the cause of the collapse there, and the Icelandic people were very very grateful for that information which is why they allowed him to stay there and they were going to set up a safe-haven for journalists. I think a very true would be that “EVIL FLOURISHES WHEN GOOD MEN DO NOTHING”; it’s always been the way and it’s not going to change. There’s a certain percentage of truly evil people, a certain percentage of good people, and there’s the people in the middle who need a pushing one way or the other. It’s up to the good people who really feel strong in their hearts that they want a just and fair society for all, and to get on board and support whoever else is fighting that cause, whoever they are, wherever they are in the world. And we may not be able to eradicate greed and evil intent from people, but we can stop at getting any worse and we can gradually push back upon it and expose it.
GlobalEthix: Sometimes it isn’t even corruption; it’s incompetence, where you have the wrong person in the wrong position dealing with the wrong issues in government or business, and the next thing, a country’s entire economy collapses, because of incompetence.
Christine Assange: Often you’ll get that person being there because they’re a friend of somebody, not because they are actually competent. All we can do any one of us is, like you said you had a brush [with injustice and corruption], just deal with injustice where you see it. That is what I brought Julian up on, one of the questions that Julian used to ask me was what was an influence? And I didn’t sit there and lecture Julian, he wasn’t brought up in any political ideology; there were just a couple of basic values I thought were important that he would have assimilated into his thinking, and that was you don’t walk past suffering and injustice. So if you’re walking down the street and you see a dog that’s been hit by a car you don’t walk past, you get that dog and you take it to the vet. Or if you see a drunk in the street and he’s been vomiting or something, you don’t walk past him, you roll him over you wipe his mouth and see if he needs medical attention or whatever. He involved himself in little campaigns when he was little, they [fishermen] were trying to drift net tuna and dolphins were getting caught up in the nets, so we didn’t buy that particular brand until they went to line-fishing. And the other thing I brought him up was on just to look for the truth. Look for the truth, because it’s finding the truth that you know how to live your life. So if you believe something, you’ll have an opinion on something. And then if you find the facts that shows your opinion’s wrong, then you change your opinion; you don’t ignore the facts. And the other thing was not to judge people harshly; behind everybody there’s a story, you don’t know what someone’s been through to get to the state that they are in. When we were talking about the fellow that was drunk and vomiting on the street, you don’t know what was done to him as a child, or throughout his life to make him seek some sort of refuge in alcohol: so why should we abuse these people even more?
The only ones I hold outright condemnation for are politicians and the business people who know full well what they’re doing is wrong, I would judge them.
GlobalEthix: You’ve probably heard about what has happened in the UK with the Barclays LIBOR Rate Fixing Scandal, it’s huge.
Christine Assange: I only heard about it yesterday and I don’t know much about it, what does it involve?
GlobalEthix: Basically, Barclays and certain other big banks were fixing the rates on LIBOR [London Inter-Bank Offered Rate] when loaning money to other banks; why do banks need to loan other banks money in the first place? So basically banks were manipulating the LIBOR rate and the market.
Christine Assange: It’s illegal.
GlobalEthix: Yes it’s totally illegal, and actually we are going to do an awareness raising campaign [on GlobalEthix]. Technically these Bankers can be arrested and prosecuted for Treason, why? Because they threatened the economic security of the United Kingdom, so technically that is Treason. Also any person who has been effected as a result of this LIBOR Rate Fixing Fraud Scandal, any person who has a mortgage is technically a victim of the fraud, so therefore they can make a Citizen’s Arrest.
[Christine Assange laughs]
GlobalEthix: GlobalEthix will start that campaign on the website soon.
Christine Assange: Well I hope people put a bit of funding your way, because what we obviously need to do, given our Mainstream Media is owned by Big Business and Governments that don’t have our best interests at heart, generally speaking. We need to instead of giving our $2 to by the paper [newspapers] we need to start funding our Citizen Journalists on the internet who are telling us the truth.
GlobalEthix: Absolutely; and obviously read the law.
Christine Assange: For this one why don’t you start giving in $2 a week, that’s what I reckon.
GlobalEthix: And also getting people to read the law, know the law and know how they can put pressure on the government and corrupt businesses, because anyone can make a Citizen’s Arrest and people should be encouraged to do it in One’s opinion. As mentioned GlobalEthix is thinking of starting a campaign stating on Behalf of Mortgage Payers the GlobalEthix Team will make Citizens’ Arrests and press criminal charges [against Banking executives].
Christine Assange: Well it would be an interesting Media Campaign wouldn’t it. And one thing people are interested in is when there’s some sort of event, so it’s a good way to draw attention to the stories that are actually behind that event.
GlobalEthix: There’s talks of having criminal charges pressed against Banking Executives [involved in LIBOR Rate Fixing Fraud], but who is going the press, the government isn’t going to press these charges, the regulatory bodies aren’t, the Police sure as hell aren’t. So Citizens are entitled to make a Citizen’s Arrest and press charges, so they should.
Christine Assange: Why don’t you do a Group Filing, where there’s one claim, but there’s a whole load of people filing it, so you get all the people effected by the mortgages; and often what will happen with that is you can a law firm to take it on No Fee No Win, and if a whole load of people are attached to it, there’s a whole load of compensation that goes out.
I think your MP is your first port of call, and you can always say to them, whatever issue, “either this gets done or you you’re not getting my vote”.
But you’ve got to mean it though, it can’t be an empty threat. You have to mean it and you have to let them [the MPs] know that you mean it.
GlobalEthix: One more last question, do you have a message you would like to convey to the general public?
Christine Assange: At this point in history, right now, we’ve got Democracy intersecting with the internet. Either we DEMOCRATISE THE INTERNET, or it will be used as an instrument of Global Attrition by whichever Super Power has control of it.
WikiLeaks has already exposed massive spying on citizens; and we already know that big businesses in power in the US have been involved with our governments in changing legislation so they can extradite us at will, when they don’t like our opposition to what they’re doing.
Julian and Bradley Manning are the most important cases in this unveiling historic scenario. This is the first attempt by a Super Power to really silence massively the freedom of the internet by these two cases, precedent cases. If they win bringing legislation that makes it illegal for media outlets to publish what Whistle-Blowers give them, then they have destroyed one of the most important inventions that the people have against the corrupt governments, and that is the Freedom of the Press. It is important now that people stand up and support Julian, support WikiLeaks, and to defend their right to publish, the right for the people to know what the governments are doing in their name and with their money; their democracy, and the independence of their own country.
If we do not win this one, we can expect decades of oppression via rogue governments controlling the internet and controlling our lives.
The most important thing is for me to get the facts out.
GlobalEthix: Thank you Christine.
Click here to return to Part 1 of the Interview...
The Team at GlobalEthix would like to thank Christine Assange for her time in giving this interview and discussing such sensitive matters under adversity. We admire Christine's and Julian's strength and courage, and hope their struggle is resolved soon.
Related Links
Christine Assange Open Letter to the Australian people 03/06/2012
Follow Christine Assange on Twitter: @assangec
Justice for Assange
The Frontline Club - Championing Independent Journalism
Frontline Club on Twitter: @frontlineclub
The Justice Campaign
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Somerset Bean
Somerset Bean on Twitter: @SomersetBean
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""WikiLeaks is the Intelligence Agency of the People." - Julian Assange
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