Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, appealed to the world on Saturday to support Edward Snowden, the technician who released classified information regarding U.S. national security programs.
Assange pleading for a “brave country” to come forward offer Snowden refuge. He also accused President Obama of betrayal of young minds like Snowden.
The U.S. government filed official charges against Snowden on June 14, in the Eastern District of Virginia and has asked the Hong Kong government to retain him.
There has been no response from Hong Kong.
Assange was scheduled to make a public plea for Snowden from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Saturday but it was cancelled because of an issue with security.
Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted on claims that he sexually assaulted two women.
While he has been in the embassy a year now, British authorities have warned, if he leaves the grounds he will be arrested.
“I have been able to work in relative safety form a U.S. espionage investigation,” said Assange. “But today Edward Snowden’s ordeal is just beginning.”
According to the U.S. Justice Department Snowden has been charged on three counts: theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and “willful communication of intelligence information to an unauthorized person.
According to Snowden, he acted out of concern for the freedom of people around the world. Snowden a former CIA technical assistant-contract employee of Booz Allen and Hamilton admitted to leaking PRISM information to the Washington Post and British’s Guardian newspaper. He decided to disclose classified information to the media because he had become disillusioned by President Obama’s administration, they seemed to be upholding the policies of former President George W. Bush.
“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which was done in their name and that which is done against them,” he said. “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
While working at the Hawaii branch of NSA, he decided to copy the top secret documents. He then informed his supervisor that he was taking two weeks leave for treatment of epilepsy. At that point, he decided to travel to Hong Kong because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.”
Last weekend, we saw the people in Hong Kong protesting for Snowden’s freedom and President Obama’s arrest.
This weekend, Assange is defending him and pleading for “a brave country” to stand and offer him refuge.
“Two dangerous runaway processes have taken root in the last decade, with fatal consequences for democracy,” Assange said.
According to Assange, Government has become less transparent, while stripping away the privacy of the citizens. The government is snooping on all of us and it was Snowden who alerted us to this.
Assange went on to list eight other “Leakers:” Bradley Manning, Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, Aaron Swartz, Gottfrid Svartholm and Jacob Appelbaum.
He also blamed President Obama and called him the “traitor” for not living up to a promise to make government more transparent. He advised that the government would be defeated if they attempted to take on the people that are exposing it.
In Assange’s words “Snowden is one of us.”
Assange goes on to suggest that the government really does not have any choice but to change because they will need intelligence analysts and systems administrators from the internet generation and they are the ones that follow the leakers.
“One day, they will run the CIA and the FBI. This is not a phenomenon that is going away.”
He believes that charging Snowden was the U.S. government’s way of intimidating any country considering granting Snowden asylum.
By: Veverly Edwards