Julian Assange er en australsk statsborger som de siste 7 årene har sittet fast på trange rom og uten kontakt med omverdenen i den ecuadorianske ambassaden i London. Der søkte han diplomatisk asyl.
Assange er mest kjent som lederen eller grunderen av Wikileaks.
WikiLeaks er et varslernettsted som publiserer lekkede dokumenter fra styresmakter og andre organisasjoner, og samtidig holder kildene anonyme. Det blir finansiert av private donorer, som alle er anonyme, og tar ikke imot penger fra offentlige myndigheter eller store selskaper.
Det kreves nå på flere nettsteder at president Donald Trump bør benåde Assange. Blant de som har kommentert pågripelsen er Edward Snowden.
WATCH: Moment Julian Assange is CARRIED out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. pic.twitter.com/OEeqmoksGr
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) April 11, 2019
Images of Ecuador's ambassador inviting the UK's secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of–like it or not–award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange's critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom. https://t.co/ys1AIdh2FP
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) April 11, 2019
Her kan du lese hele intervjuet med Hans Lyglimt Johansen og Julian Assange på Oslo Freedom Forum i april, 2010:
Hans Lysglimt: What is WikiLeaks?
Julian Assange: WikiLeaks in an international public service. It helps people who have suppressed information get it out to the public where it can do some good.
Then once that important information is public, we keep it public. That is also a quite difficult thing because of legal attacks and illegal attacks that are made by governments and corporations when you try to get something out that may achieve reform.
HL: The threats to WikiLeaks, and the people in WikiLeaks, they are real?
JA: Yes, they are real. There have been more than 100 attempts, legal attempts, to attack us. Some of them quite serious, all of which we have overcome succeeded successfully with help from our friends.
We publish the material which is in the greatest need of a free press. Material which other people can not publish.
We are a sort of publisher of last resort for journalists as well as for society.
And, that is something new. We have never really seen a free press before that has managed to stay up for more than a small period.
HL: The ideology behind WikiLeaks is to enable transparency, or is there more of a thought behind it than that?
JA: There is. Our goal is justice. Our goal is to have a just civilization. That is sort of a personal motivating goal. And the message is transparency.
It is important not to confuse the message with the goal. Nonetheless we believe that it is an excellent message. Gaining justice with transparency. It is a good way of doing that, it is also a good way of not making too many mistakes.
We have a trans-political ideology; it is not right, it is not left, it is about understanding. Before you can give any advice, any program about how to deal with the world, how to put the civil into civilization. How to gain influence on people. Before you can have that program, first you have to understand what is actually going on. How does the world actually work. How do human civilisation and institutions actually work. What are they doing? Because, any remedy must be based on what is actually happening in practice. Because, if it is not based on what is actually happening it is based on some kind of fantasy. And therefore any program or recommendation, any political ideology that comes out of that misunderstanding will itself be a misunderstanding.
So, we say, to some degree all political ideologies are currently bankrupt. Because they do not have the raw ingredient they need to address the world. The raw ingredient to understand what is actually happening
HL: Are you then an anarchic sort of organization? Do you subscribe to the modern democratic progressive nation state?
JA: Our belief is more fundamental. It does not matter what your ideology is. It can not go anywhere good unless you know what is actually going on. If you are trying to sail to a destination and you do not have a map you can not get there. You will be adrift in the political landscape. The drifting hypocrite. The first thing for any political ideology is to understand what is actually going on. And then maybe you have a hope of getting there, of charting the course. But you got to have the map first. We want to draw the map.
HL: In a sense you are manifesting the possibility of the Internet in its truest form.
JA: We have drawn a line in the sand.
JA: And, no other group yet has drawn that line. And we have done it consistently.
When we publish something we will never un-publish it.
We have seen that by being the free press vanguard, by drawing this line in the sand, by placing ourselves and our defences there we are opening up the spaces for everyone else to hide. We are now the status quo in that we have been publishing for 3 years consistently and managed to keep ourselves up. Although we are certainly the free press vanguard, we are a vanguard that has been able to keep itself in our position. So everyone who publishes less aggressively, is normal. We have created that space behind us, and we are changing the view about what is normal and correct publishing.
HL: What are the threats to WikiLeaks?
JA: The threat at the moment, is death by a thousands cuts.
It is expensive running all of this, expenses protecting ourselves against legal attacks, that we however manage to do successfully. But there is a cost. Also, as an organization grows there are scaling problems; in this we are a victim of our own success.
HL: What is your view of the politician? Is he a prisoner of his circumstances?
JL: Obama is a good example. Obama has two things that he considers as values, that he believes are virtues. Number one is compromise. Not as a means but as an end, that is an inherent virtue to balance the political forces around. And there is some argument for this, that this is what a politician should be doing. Not taking sides, just balancing the power. Remember what is politics, in its essence, about? It is about allowing transfers of power without bloodshed. This is where it all comes from. It is where the first parliament came from. When you sort this out in parliament you do not have to go to war with each other. So when you see bailing in parliament you should also understand its success, which is, its basic success is stopping people killing each other when one groups starts to get more powerful.
Obama believes compromise is a virtue, an end goal.
And then he is concerned with some inner quality issues within the United States.
To me it seems those are the only two things he considers end goals. The first one I think is a mistake, it is making the method the goal. Just like WikiLeaks, our goal is justice our method is transparency. But we do not confuse the goal and the method. To Obama, the goal is compromise, I would rather say his goal should be justice and his method should be compromise.
But even if you do not have this idea that compromise is a virtue, you are limited in your ability to act as a politician by the forces that are around you. So we, everyone, an industry an individual shape what a politician can do by shaping the environment that is around them. And if you have a purely compromising politician, like Obama, then they are completely shaped by the forces that are around them. Push a little bit more here, and you get a different response.
Who is the actual audience of the material that we release? Is it the politicians? Is it the general public? Is it actually the organization that it comes from? The sort of dissenters of that organization?
Many of these organizations, be they political parties be they conspiratorial groups of criminals or be they business are only just in equilibrium with their competition. And because they are acting in a way that is often inhuman or corrupt or criminal they have lots of opponents. So, if you cause them to collapse as an organization, to not be able to communicate with each other internally, to become paranoid and fall in on themselves. Then they are no longer competitive as an organization compared to all those organizations that are more open. So the power of these organizations starts to shrink. And the market gap is then taken up by the more open organization that does not have the problem of secrecy.
So that is a really nice outcome.
HL: Thank you for this interview Julian.
JA: You are welcome.
The original video and improved audio files are available here.