Assange Promises ‘Significant’ Leak Before Election, Urges Journalists to Lend a Hand
Another trove of secret documents will soon be released by the notorious whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks.
In a Berlin news conference Tuesday morning, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that over the next 10 weeks the website will release documents pertaining to U.S. foreign policy, Google and the U.S. electoral system.
“We hope to be publishing every week for the next 10 weeks,” Assange explained, speaking via video link to a news conference audience. “We have on schedule—and it’s a very hard schedule—all the U.S. election-related documents to come out before November 8. Upcoming series include significant material on war, on arms, on oil, on Google, on the U.S. election and on mass surveillance.”
However, many observers were let down by Assange’s proclamations, as speculation had been that WikiLeaks would disclose documents at the news conference, possibly about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. One YouTube live stream, in describing the news conference, declared, “Assange is expected to make an announcement and release information that could be potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign.”
There was a lot of build-up to today’s news conference, in anticipation of what had been billed as an “October surprise” that could swing the US presidential election. Instead, WikiLeaks devoted most of the event to recounting its most notorious releases and responding to criticism levied against it. Assange acknowledged the anticipation of a bombshell release in a winding address to reporters, though he declined to say whether the upcoming leaks would tilt the election toward Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
The news conference celebrated WikiLeaks’ 10th anniversary. In the briefing Assange addressed the organization’s successes and setbacks. The website Heavy writes:
Assange started out by saying that over the last 10 years, Wikileaks has had about 10 million documents with 10 [billion] words. “It corresponds to approximately 3,000 documents a day on average. That’s a hell of a lot of work.”
“Some of our sources have suffered terrible consequences in the United States.” He mentioned Chelsea Manning being among those. “It teaches you something about the structure of power,” he said.
Assange then moved on to the coming leaks. “The material that WikiLeaks is going to publish before the end of the year is of a significant moment,” he said.
He acknowledged the problems WikiLeaks faces, particularly a shortage of staff and resources. “We are going to need an army to defend us from the pressure that is already starting to arise,” he said. Those pressures, he continued, were largely directed against his asylum status in Ecuador’s London embassy, where he has lived since June of 2012.
Additionally, Assange said WikiLeaks requires more media connections. In order to get the new material out, the organization needs journalists to reach out, he said. “Journalists who are interested in [these] subjects, please write to [email protected].”
He said WikiLeaks’ publishing will continue regardless of his asylum status, even if he must resign as editor in chief.
Assange was silent on whether the forthcoming documents would target Clinton’s campaign. The Verge continues:
Asked whether the upcoming releases would “destroy” Clinton, Assange appeared to downplay expectations. “Are upcoming publications significant in relation to the US election? Yeah, we think they’re significant,” he said. “Do they show interesting features of US power factions and how they operate? Yes, they do.”
Assange denied accusations that he and his organization are specifically targeting Clinton and the Democratic Party. “I certainly feel sorry for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” he said. “These are two people who are tormented by their ambitions, in different ways.”
In view of the bombshells that WikiLeaks has dropped at times in the past, the upcoming leaks well may have some political significance. “We’re in an enviable position but also a difficult position of having more than a million documents to get through, of many different sources,” Assange said. “We will be beginning the first publication in [this] series this week, and we’re going to post by the hour.”
Watch the entire news conference below. Assange’s remarks begin at 1:36:00.Your support matters…
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