UPDATE 2 – 10/25, 8:58 a.m. EST: NBC News reported Thursday anonymous U.S. government officials informed the media outlet that Washington pressured Ecuador to cut WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s Internet access at their embassy in London.
Both the Ecuadorian government and the U.S. State Department have publicly denied the claims, but American intelligence officials admitted that Ecuador was urged to discontinue acting as an accomplice in Assange’s disruption of the election through the release of the Clinton campaign’s private emails. Ecuador, not a current U.S. ally, agreed with that assessment.
UPDATE – 10/21, 3:34 p.m. EST: According to artist and well-known WikiLeaks advocate Clark Stoeckley, the U.S. State Department is behind Ecuador’s decision to cut Julian Assange’s Internet connection at their London embassy.
While offering no actual proof to support his claim, Stoeckly said that “it’s quite a coincidence” the WikiLeaks founder had Internet privileges revoked right after his organization released the transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches.
“Obviously, the State Department is going to claim that they aren’t involved in this,” he said. “They’ve lied in the past and they’ve also exaggerated many claims about what damage was done by the WikiLeaks. Where, in fact . . . there was no damage whatsoever. And it was, actually, just embarrassment,”
Stoeckly also said that despite recent events, “the relationship between Ecuador and WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is still very amicable. They’ve been a wonderful host for letting him be a guest for four years.”
The Republic of Ecuador confirmed Tuesday that it is responsible for restricting Julian Assange’s internet access, which has been limited since this past weekend.
The change comes after WikiLeaks released yet another batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. WikiLeaks has released thousands of the former Secretary’s own emails, making it one of the main stories in the final weeks leading up to the presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Ecuadorian officials expressed their concern at becoming involved in the U.S. election.
The government of President Rafael Correa released a statement that notes Assange’s WikiLeaks website has published “a wealth of documents, impacting on the U.S. election campaign.”
Ecuador says that WikiLeaks is still able to function and, according to the New York Times, Assange’s limitation “does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.” The international group has since released more emails.
Many Republicans, once foes of Wikileaks, have heralded Assange’s efforts. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) tweeted his support on Monday in no uncertain terms:
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) October 17, 2016
WikiLeaks has blamed Secretary of State John Kerry for pressuring Ecuador into restricting Assange’s access. The U.S. State Department has denied those claims.
Assange has lived in the Ecuador Embassy in London for the last four years. He is wanted in Sweden to answer for rape allegations made against him by two women.
[NPR] [CNN] [New York Times] [BBC] [RT News]