Assange upbraids Senate for bill labeling WikiLeaks a ‘hostile intelligence agency’

Furiously responding to a U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence motion to classify whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks as a “hostile”group, founder Julian Assange assailed the proposal as an attempt to codify a “Pompeo Doctrine” and target independent journalism.

Under the Senate bill, S. 1761, the investigative group would be classified as a “hostile non-state intelligence agency,” which would not be extended protections under the the First Amendment.

Harnessing language suggesting WikiLeaks’ activity menacing, the motion, in part, read:

“It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.”

The Senate measure passed out of committee by a 14–1 tally; only Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) voted in opposition.

Outlining his position on the motion, Assange tweeted a statement about the proposal on Tuesday.

Assange laid out his case further in a blistering op-ed piece which appeared in the Friday edition of The Washington Post.

Describing CIA Director Mike Pompeo as “once a fan” of WikiLeaks, Assange sought to unearth what the Senate proposal intended to communicate:

“When the director of the CIA, an unelected public servant, publicly demonizes a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a ‘fraud,’ ‘coward’ and ‘enemy,’ it puts all journalists on notice, or should. Pompeo’s next talking point, unsupported by fact, that WikiLeaks is a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service,’ is a dagger aimed at Americans’ constitutional right to receive honest information about their government.”

Over the past decade, WikiLeaks played a significant role in global politics, releasing millions of pages of classified government documents including the Iraq War Logs, the Afghan War Diaries, and emails from the Democratic National Committee.


[International Business Times] [Photo courtesy CoinDesk]