The U.S Justice Department in an unprecedented decision has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on 17 charges of violating the Espionage Act for publishing military and diplomatic documents exposing U.S war crimes.
Assange faces at least a hundred seventy years in a US prison. Back in 2017, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then CIA director in his first CIA address talked about WikiLeaks as follows:
“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. Wikileaks has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence that directed Chelsea Manning intercept of specific secret information. It overwhelmingly focuses on the United States while seeking support from many democratic countries and organizations. It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is_a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
Julian Assange later responded to the allegation in an interview with Jeremy Scahill and his podcast intercepted. Here is what Assange said:
“Pompeo has stated that WikiLeaks instructed Chelsea Manning to go after certain information, that’s an interesting revelation and then there is his statements that WikiLeaks and it’s publications are end now. So how does he propose to conduct this ending? He didn’t say, but the CIA is only in the business of collecting information, kidnapping people and assassinating people. So it’s quite a menacing statement that he does need to clarify.”