Assange to 60 Minutes: Free Press “the Raw Ingredients to Make a Just Society”


Julian Assange, the sectretive figure behind the WikiLeaks project, spoke to Steve Kroft of CBS News’ 60 Minutes in a rare interview at the home in England where he is currently being held under house arrest.

Assange spoke of the goals of the WIkiLeaks project, the accusations made by his critics, and the prospect of facing prosecution in the U.S.

Asked by Kroft about charges that his organization was subversive and anti-American, Assange spoke of the importance of a free press, and said that WikiLeaks was dedicated to “publishing documents that are likely to have a significant impact.”  Pressed on the issue, Assage said, “You’re right – we’re subverting illegitimate authority,”

On the prospect of facing charges in the U.S. for his release of classified documents, Assange said that the U.S. government had never before prosecuted a publisher, and that to do so now would be to set a dangerous precedent which would discourage whistle-blowing.  If he is left free to publish, Assange said, that would be “encouragement to every other publisher to publish fearlessly.”

Asked of his role, of whether WikiLeaks was journalism or activism, Assange said, “We’re a particular type of activist… We are free press activists.”

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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