Julian Assange: More Snowden leaks can’t be stopped


Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP )

Appearing on ABC News via satellite feed Sunday morning, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that future leaks from Edward Snowden cannot be stopped.

"There is no stopping the publishing process at this stage," Assange said. "Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snowden can't be pressured by any state to stop the publication process."

WikiLeaks helped Snowden travel from Hong Kong to Russia and petition Ecuador for asylum. But Assange argued that WikiLeaks' role in Snowden's case has been overblown. Snowden's father has said that he believes the anti-secrecy organization is using his son.

"This isn't a situation that, you know, WikiLeaks is in charge of," Assange said. The organization was helping Snowden, he said, because of his "experience ... with publishing, with attacks and political rhetoric from the United States with asylum and so on" as well as his own "personal sympathy" for the leaker. WikiLeaks has reached out to Snowden's father's lawyer to quell some of his concerns.

The case against Snowden was entirely political, Assange said, and claims of physical harm caused by the revelations are mere "rhetoric" -- just as they were after WikiLeaks released thousands of diplomatic cables.

Assange also denied writing an e-mail expressing hope for the "total annihilation of the current U.S. regime." That e-mail was quoted by reporter Barton Gellman in Time magazine three years ago.

"I did not say that and there is no such e-mail. That is simply false," Assange said. When pressed by interviewer George Stephanopoulos, he said only, "Yes. Well, I mean, Time magazine."

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Rachel Weiner | June 30, 2013