Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney speaks with the ACLU’s Ben Wizner about We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks. They discuss how The New York Times among other publications have been treated differently than Wikileaks by the government, the dangers of over-classification, the role of journalists in a national security situation, and the connection between Wikileaks and the Arab Spring.
Photo: President Barack Obama holds a meeting in Situation Room of the White House. From left at the table, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Director Robert Mueller, CIA Director John Brennan, and Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange speaks to Democracy Now! from inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed WikiLeaks would persevere despite attacks against it. On Tuesday, the European Commission announced that the credit card company Visa did not break the European Union’s anti-trust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks. “Since the blockade was erected in December 2010, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of donations that were attempted to be transferred to us over that period … our rightful and natural growth, our ability to publish as much as we would like, our ability to defend ourselves and our sources has been diminished by that blockade.” Assange also speaks about his new book, “Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet.” “The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the Internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organizations and their cronies,” he says. Assange also discusses the United States’ targeting of WikiLeaks. “The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently as an institution, that tells military and governmental whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege that we are criminal moving forward,” Assange says. “Now the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the government is trying to hammer into the legal system, and which the department of justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States.”