Julian Assange fires back at CIA boss after director declared Wikileaks was a ‘hostile intelligence service’
Julian Assange released a statement in response to CIA Director Mike Pompeo
The intelligence boss slammed Wikileaks and Assange in D.C. on Thursday
Pompeo called the publication a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service’
Assange said Pompeo was trying to stifle First Amendment rights on Friday
The CIA director pointed fingers at Assange and Snowden and said they leaked America’s secrets for selfish reasons
Julian Assange released a statement that fired back at the CIA boss after the director said Wikileaks was a hostile intelligence service.
The publication tweeted from its Twitter account on Friday and said CIA Director Mike Pompeo sought to threaten Assange and Wikileaks with his ‘absurd’ Thursday comments.
Pompeo blasted the website and its founder from the podium of a Washington think tank and said: ‘It’s time to call out Wikileaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.’
In response, Assange charged that the intelligence director was attempting to stifle Wikileaks’s First Amendment rights and was toeing on violating the essence of free speech and press.
A portion of the statement read: ‘History shows the danger of allowing the CIA or any intelligence agency, whose very modus operandi includes misdirection and lying, to be the sole arbiter of what is true or what is prudent. Otherwise every day might see a repeat of the many foolish CIA actions which have led to death, displacement, dictatorship and terrorism.
‘Director Pompeo’s statement sought not only to threaten Mr. Assange and Wikileaks, but to definitively subvert the First Amendment and fundamental notions that are intrinsic to American democracy. The First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting free speech and the press; it is not only a right for the publisher.
‘It is a limitation on the executive designed to check authoritarianism and guarantee the public knowledge and debate which is necessary to preserve the democratic ideals on which the idea of America was built.’
Although Donald Trump previously said he ‘loved’ Wikileaks during his campaign for airing out Hillary Clinton’s secrets, the president’s CIA Director obviously did not share the sentiment.
Pompeo also pointed a finger at NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as he said Assange and Snowden leaked American government documents for selfish reasons.
Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, CIA Director Mike Pompeo (right) went off on Wikileaks, suggesting Julian Assange was doing it for selfish reasons
Pictured: Wikileak’s statement in response to Pompeo’s comments in full
‘As long as they make a splash they care nothing about the lives that they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security,’ Pompeo said of the duo.
The CIA was targeted by Wikileaks last month, as Assange and company published thousands of documents, which detailed the agency’s hacking abilities, turning everyday items like phones and smart TVs into devices that can snoop on targeted individuals.
During his remarks, Pompeo noted how Wikileaks was encouraging its ‘followers’ to work for the CIA, in order to steal secrets.
He also pointed out the link between the GRU, Russian military intelligence, and Wikileaks, explaining how the latter published information given from the former, stolen from ‘U.S. victims’ at the Democratic National Committee.
Pompeo also noted that ‘Russia’s primary propaganda outlet,’ Russia Today, had ‘actively collaborated’ with Wikileaks in the dissemination of American secrets.
‘Wikileaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,’ he said.
Pompeo was particularly annoyed by an Assange editorial that ran in the Washington Post Tuesday, in which the Wikileaks founder likened himself to Thomas Jefferson, Dwight D. Eisenhower and legitimate journalists from the New York Times and the Post.
‘He knows nothing of our third president whose clarion call for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness continues to inspire us and the world,’ Pompeo said of Jefferson.
‘Their currency is click-bate, their moral compass non-existent, their mission personal self aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values,’ he continued.
Pompeo said if Assange and Wikileaks’ allies truly wanted to walk their talk, they would target autocratic regimes, instead of democratic ones like the United States.
‘Instead they choose to exploit the legitimate secrets of democratic governments, which has, so far, proved a much safer approach than provoking a tyrant,’ Pompeo noted.