Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Julian Assange answers questions at Italy's L'Espresso

These are the responses from Julian Assange, cut-and-pasted from L'Espresso's online chat today (inverse chronological order, unanswered questions removed from text):
l’Espresso online Abbonati a l’Espresso Un anno con oltre
il 60% di sconto

WikiLeaks founder chats with L’Espresso’s readers

Wednesday, March 30, at 1:00 pm Italian Time (UTC-GMT +2), 12.00 am London Time
Julian replies here

Julian Assange

OK folks. That’s it. I wish I could come again to Italy. I liked my time there. I was complaining to a friend from Bulgaria about the difficulties of being under house arrest, the electronic device strapped at all times to my leg, and going to the police station every day. But, during the 1990s, he’d written against the state and found himself in this position for six years (and won). Everything is relative. See you next time!
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 14:25 501

Julian Assange

“Dear Sir,

Carne Ross – Independent Diplomat – tweeted

“I was told by 2 reliable sources in London that #Wikileaks has several hundred indiv Guantanamo files & is not releasing them”.

Do you hold such files? When are we going to see them?

By the way, I enjoyed translating your TED conversation in Italian back in July.



Thanks Federica. The TED video is good, not that it was taken just a week before we released the Afghan War Diaries.
We make a promise to our sources: To publish and to do so in such a way as to maximize impact. We never hold material back although attacks on us may slow us down from time to time.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 14:21 496

Julian Assange

“Mr. assange, I wish to ask a simple question:
Do you think this society, where is it going,
Maybe it’s going to his self-destruction?
thanks a lot!
Posted by Flavio @ marzo 30, 2011 14:03 ”

There are two alternative paths for the future but it is not clear which one civilization will take. That is what makes this moment of time so important. On the one hand, transnational digital totalitarianism, with the state, private intelligence firms, arms and oil companies all bluring into each other, and everyone monitored and “transparency up” — the powerful knowing all about the powerless. On the other, the collapse of the giant nation states into regional powers, digital freedom privacy and freedom, genuine small producer markets, the powerful monitored and “transparency down” — no authority without openness.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 14:17 490

Julian Assange

Good morning mr Assange,
My question is about the Bank of America’s cables and the file insurance.aes. When cables about banks will publish and when do you think to give to hack-tivist the password for insurance.aes.
Another personal question. Do you live better after the foundation of Wikileaks?
Posted by Frakua @ marzo 30, 2011 13:33 (Edit)

We have never confirmed which bank our banking information comes from. We do have information on a number of American banks however there are various issues that need to be worked through to do it justice. As for cables regarding the Bank of America – there probably are cables relating to this institution. Currently we are releasing cables as and when the many media organisations we are working with choose to write stories on them to ensure the cables get the public attention and investigation they deserve. So, as soon as a media organisation feels that there are cables on Bank of America worthy of public attention then these will be released. At the end of this whole project we will release everything so the public will be able to see all the information contained in them for themselves.

The insurance file we released last year was a protection for WikiLeaks, our staff and the information we hold. The keys are held by lawyers around the world. They will release them if they ever feel that WikiLeaks has been attacked to the point at which it is no longer able to publish so that others may take up our unpublished material. This is to ensure that even if we are taken out the information we hold still goes out into the public domain, where it belongs.

Since founding WikiLeaks I have worked hard and faced many personal and professional attacks. Regardless, our work can be seen to be making a difference to justice around the world – for example, just last week the Chancellor of Paraguay was forced to quit due to allegations highlighted in the cables regarding him and his government. Results such as this are a great achievement and are worth all the effort, trials and risks this job involves.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 14:08 477

Julian Assange

“Hi Julian!! What do you think about Daniel Domscheit-Berg and his book?
Can OpenLeaks affect in some way WikiLeaks?
Posted by Tiziana C @ marzo 30, 2011 12:21″

A dangerous, malicious, conman. This will come out in the court process.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:46 441

Julian Assange

“Hi Mr.Assange!
What about Lybic war?
What’s your opinion about france aggresivity?
Thank you.
I hope for your freedom!

The situation in Libya is a problem. If the intervention is truly for humanitarian purposes, where is the intervention in Bahrain and Yemen? The domestic populations of the intervening states have not been consulted about the intervention plan. War is a serious business, and war, in a distant land must be justified with plans and clear purpose.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:39 422

Julian Assange

“dear Mr. Assange,
the cablegrams were sent to:
Thr New York Times
The Guardian
Der Spiegel
Le Monde
El Pais
why you don’t send them to any italian newspaper?
Posted by fabrizio @ marzo 30, 2011 11:49″

We have given cables to l’Espresso and La Republica, and many others. We have some 70 groups we are now working with. We would have worked with more groups in the beginning, but the Guardian and the New York Times conspired to prevent this.

You may read more about these issues here:
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:34 414

Julian Assange

“I would like to know how you do consider media reaction to Wikileaks cables in all other countries as in Italy, to my knowledge, excluding La Repubblica, L’Espresso and Il Fatto and very short news on Sky and La7 TG-news, cables were almost ignored.
With all my appreciation and sympathy.
Anna Sacripanti
Posted by holypants @ marzo 28, 2011 13:19″

News Corporation, which ows Sky, FOX, the London Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others, has been oppositional to us, partly due to not being in on the action, party due to its various attempts around the world to suck up to (or pressure) government in order to get better licensing deals. The media situation in Italy is very grim for TV as most Italians are aware.

Elsewhere, we have had good responses. India this last week has been dominated by the revelations and this story has or is also true for many other countries, from Indonesia to Nigeria.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:30 408

Julian Assange

“First of all, thank you mr. Assange for your efforts.
My question is: do you think (or hope) that there are any relationships between Wikileaks and the revolts that are taking place in the Middle-East countries?
Posted by Giancarlo @ marzo 28, 2011 10:53 (Edit) ”

The story of our involvement in the MENA uprisings is long and fascinating. So long, you’ll have to read about it in my book since there is not space here. However, briefly, we started publishing cables about the region from early December. In particular, through our arabic partners al-Akhbar ( and al-Masry al-Youm (Cairo). al-Akhbar, the most respected newspaper on-line in the region, published about nearly all the MENA countries, including Tunisia. A site, Tunisleaks, was set up, to also translate our material into French. The Tunisian government banned us and al-Akbar and a hacker war started, also involving Saudi-arabia. al-Akhbar was taken out three times, in what appears to be a state-sponsored attack. Hackers loyal to us, then redirected Tunsian goverment websites to WikiLeaks and the cables exposing the Ben Ali regime, then on December 16 a 26 year old computer technition in Tunis self-immolated, bringing a vital emotional and physical expression to the brewing outrage. Similar events happened with our involvement in Egypt.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:23 393

Julian Assange

“Hi Julian, why – in your opinion – the New York Times has become so harsh toward you? In a recent past, the NYC was one of the best sponsors of Wikileaks!
Posted by Federico @ marzo 30, 2011 13:07 (Edit) ”

The New York Times and Bill Keller, the editor in chief, entered into a conspiracy with David Leigh and Alan Rusbriger in the Guardian to “steal” cablegate from the Washington Post and McClatchy, in violation of express written agreements about how we would be publishing. This rather mundane commercial backstabbing, combined with intense fears about NYT staff being prosecuted over our publications, has driven Keller et al to engage in their various tabloidesque attacks on us.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:12 365

Julian Assange

“Why the language of the messages of politicians and institutions, when it’s done for private channels, it shows so different in form and content than the official one? Is the power necessarily hypocritical?
Posted by Luca Giorgi”

This is a good question. Just like con men are able to better their position by fooling others with emotional and rhetorical tricks, organizations also increase their power position through institutionalized lying to the public. This difference in internal and external views is hypocritical.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 13:07 354

Julian Assange

Hello everyone. Just testing this works. Be with you in 7 minutes if luck smiles on us.
Posted by Julian Assange @ marzo 30, 2011 12:52 335

NOTE: These quotes are cut-pasted verbatim from L'Espresso site. Please feel free to re-use in any way that supports Wikileaks!

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