Paul said that Pompeo, in order to come up with charges against Assange, was defining a “new term in order to segregate you [Assange] from others who are doing the same thing.”
And what is it that Assange has been doing that others are doing? Publishing information.
Paul asked Assange to comment on the statements of the CIA director and said that he (Assange) understood the Constitution better than most people who comment on what he is doing.
“I think it’s a very interesting and worrying statement by Pompeo,” said Assange. “It was the first statement. It’s the first speech that he’s made as the new Trump head of the CIA and it’s about an hour long. The majority of the talk is about us. We’re the number one subject. So, it doesn’t spend its time addressing the United States real threats, which are terrorism, perhaps a geostrategic threat in relation to China.”
“There’s actually not many other serious threats the United States has,” he added. “Instead, it spends its time not just on WikiLeaks, but WikiLeaks and ‘its ilk’ where Pompeo introduces a new concept of a non-state intelligence service, and you to think yourself ‘Hang on, doesn’t intelligence service mean state intelligence service? What could be a non-state intelligence service.’ Or he says that Wikileaks is one of these things.”
Assange then ponders the question, is what Wikileaks, human rights groups and other media organizations do similar to what intelligence services do? The answer is “yes and absolutely no,” according to Assange.
“Investigative reporters investigating human rights groups organizations like The Intercept Pro Publica and all the serious media that considered national security journalism, were all involved in developing sources, projecting sources, verifying what sources give to us or what we have obtained; then analyzing it and coordinating it internally,” he said. “And intelligence agencies also do all that. The equivalent of the CIA in Germany is the B&D or Bundesnachrichtendiensticht, which is the literal translation, is the federal News Service. Similarly in the CIA, under Obama about six years ago, the CIA introduced a change into how it writes its internal reports to use the same style that journalists use in writing articles called the inverted pyramid style.
Assange explained that the pyramid style was posting the conclusion at the top and then justifying how you came to that conclusion. In this respect, there are similarities to the intelligence community and news services.
However, as he has stated before, the difference between the news services and intelligence services is that the news services actually publish the information rather than conceal it.
“So, for the CIA to say the investigative media organizations and publishers are the same as an intelligence service is as ridiculous as it is to say that the CIA is a media organization,” he affirmed.
Never has a publisher in the history of United States been prosecuted for revealing truthful information.
It seems the key is to remove the idea that Wikileaks and Assange are publishers and refer to them as something different because the battle is really in the court of US public opinion.
Assange seems to agree with that assessment.
“I think Pompeo’s a speech came about partly as a response to a op-ed I wrote for The Washington Post,” he said. “It might have been coming anyway.”
The Wikileaks founder then said that Pompeo was recently in London just prior to Easter Friday and gave a speech on that Thursday evening, which indicated that the release of the Vault 7 documents “deeply humiliated” the CIA. As a result, Assange said the CIA is simply attempting to discredit Wikileaks publications, to define them into something they are not and strip them of any freedoms they possess. This would then lead to surveillance, no-knock raids without warrants and several other tyrannical operations.
However, Assange pointed out that once that is in place, then any outlet can have the same things done to it by the government.
“I think it’s a long-term strategy,” he said. “It’s taking two bites of the Apple. One is to create the definition of a non-state, to try to redefine media as non-state intelligence services.”
“Then on the other hand, use a perverse jurisdictional argument, which is to say that all foreign reporters have no First Amendment rights,” he added. “Of course, the First Amendment is not a positive right. it doesn’t, generally speaking, give me, or in fact, anyone else a positive right. It’s an obligation to the government to give me a ride. It’s a limitation on the government that limits its ability to interfere with freedom of expression or of the press in order to create the necessary environment to debate; public debate, which can stop autocracy developing within the United States.”
He then went on to address those supporters of his who are nationalists, who claim that the US Constitution doesn’t apply in London.
“They completely misread it, “said Assange. “The US Constitution applies to the CIA in Langley, Virginia, to every US government employee and all the actions that they might take in relation to two actions initiated against WikiLeaks and, of course, WikiLeaks has lots of American employees. We’re a global organization.”
“The thing Pompeo was doing… because you’re not an American citizen, you don’t have the rights, but you know the Constitution isn’t written to protect citizens,” he added. It’s for the persons who are exposed to our courts and therefore, this accusation that ‘you have no rights, you’re not even American citizen and therefore, you don’t qualify.'”
I’d say Assange understands the Constitution better than most Americans on this issue and probably others. There’s lots more in the interview, but this is something the American people need to keep in mind. Our Constitution does not give us rights. It does not limit us a as people. It limits the government in what they can do. We have let them usurp their authority for decades and it’s time the truth was told and we put the chains back on the beast and starve it, or as Thomas Jefferson so eloquently put it in the Declaration of Independence…
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.