In an RT interview published on August 6th, Afshin Rattansi speaks with Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the latter’s been holed-up since August 2012, under political asylum. They discuss how his recent DNC leaks (which led to the resignations of the DNC’s Chair, CEO, CFO and Communications Director) have no connection to Russia.
Assange actually turns it around by detailing Hillary Clinton’s own connections to Russia and to ISIS.
When asked by Rattansi if he thinks Hillary could still win the US Presidential Election, Assange responds, “That’s an interesting question. I wouldn’t be willing to say, so far.”
There has been some talk that Assange’s calculated leaks – of which there are rumored to be more to come – are driven by a personal vendetta against Hillary over her personal push to indict him.
In February 2016, he said, “I have had years of experience in dealing with Hillary Clinton and have read thousands of her cables. Hillary lacks judgment and will push the United States into endless, stupid wars, which spread terrorism…she certainly should not become the President of the United States.”
Former US Government Attorney General, Eric Holder explored ways to charge Assange under the Espionage Act, the Obama Administration’s favorite and most-abused legalese – all the more so, because as an Australian national, it would be impossible for Assange to commit “treason” against the foreign government of the US.
Still, the US continues developing its case against him and he’d be looking at a minimum of 45 years in US Federal lock-up on numerous counts, if tried successfully – not including whatever other offenses he may have racked-up with this latest publication.
This is why he hasn’t set foot out of the Ecuadorian Embassy for the past 4 years. Were he to do so, he would quickly be arrested by British police and extradited to Sweden for the remaining rape charge against him. The other more minor sexual offenses’ statutes of limitations expired last year. Assange believes that from Sweden, the US would quickly move to extradite him to stand trial in Washington, DC.
In February 2016, Assange’s detention was ruled “Arbitrary” by the UN’s Working Group for Arbitrary Detention. This ruling was rejected by both the Swedish and UK governments, with the latter saying that the ruling was “ridiculous” and “not binding on British Law”. The UN retorted that it was based on “binding international law”.
Given the 35-year sentencing and inhumane treatment of Chelsea Manning, whose leaked diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks made Assange into a household name, it’s hard to say what his options would be, after the rape charge expires in 2020 and he were to stay put until then.
He may view himself as a dead man walking, in the face of the intransigent fury of the UK and US governments. There’s no telling what he could do next.
Assange has a son, Daniel whom he raised as a single father until 2007, who’s now 26 years old. While supportive of his father’s work, regardless of his personal flaws, Daniel was quoted as saying six years ago: “I am very surprised that the governments haven’t actually done what some of the journalists have been recommending, which is to just assassinate him.”