WikiLeaks Announcement Disappoints Many, Ends in Cliffhanger
The much anticipated announcement by Julian Assange (shown) commemorating the 10th anniversary of WikiLeaks was, in a word, underwhelming. After press reports set the stage for an announcement that was to be cataclysmic to the Clinton campaign, Assange spent much of his two hours in the spotlight telling a bleary-eyed world — many of whom had stayed up into the wee hours to hear the news — that WikiLeaks will be releasing a trove of leaked documents over the next 10 weeks.
While many took his news as little more than an infomercial for the whistleblower website he founded a decade ago (Assange spoke of a new plan to have membership-based subscriptions and new ways for people to donate), Assange himself seemed almost nonplussed in his dismissal of the surprise that people actually expected a major announcement, saying of reports that his announcement would “destroy” Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House:
There’s been a lot of misquoting of me and WikiLeaks publications. In this particular case, the misquoting has to do with that we intend, or I intend, to harm Hillary Clinton or that I don’t like Hillary Clinton. All those are false. They come about as a result it seems of this campaign and those who are trying to personalize our publications.
And while Assange certainly did not dispel the rumors of his announcement prior to the press conference, he could hardly have been expected to. After all, Assange has spent the past 10 years as a celebrity, and he seems to both love and need the attention. Had he cleared the air about the real purpose of his announcement, it is a foregone conclusion that far fewer people would have tuned in to hear him announce what he had already leaked he would announce. Talk about irony.
In fact, when questioned about his plans to slowly release — over the next 10 weeks — what he described as “significant material on war, arms, oil, Google, the election and mass surveillance” that show “interesting features of U.S. power factions and how they operate,” Assange brushed aside the questions by saying, “If we are going to make a major publication in relation to the United States, we wouldn’t do it at 3:00 a.m.” The reference to 3:00 a.m. was because that was the approximate time in the Eastern timezone when Assange made those remarks.
Perhaps the build-up will prove to be worth it. Assange is no idiot and is surely aware that he will not likely get many chances to promise if he cannot deliver. The next 10 weeks should prove interesting as WikiLeaks begins releasing documents to the public. In the past, WikiLeaks has published some very damning stuff. In fact, in 2010, after the website released hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables — many of which caused embarrassment all the way up to the office of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — there was much discussion in the higher realms about how to stop Assange before he could do it again. Those discussions included remarks from Hillary Clinton herself about assassinating Assange.
As The New American reported earlier Tuesday:
“Can’t we just drone this guy?”
That’s the suggestion then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apparently offered in 2010 regarding the appropriate Obama administration response to the damage done by documents released by WikiLeaks.
And while Clinton later tried to pass her remarks off as a “joke,” Truth Pundit reported that sources said, “The statement drew laughter from the room which quickly died off when the Secretary kept talking in a terse manner,” and Hillary filled the silence by saying, “Assange, after all, was a relatively soft target, ‘walking around’ freely and thumbing his nose without any fear of reprisals from the United States.”
Tuesday’s announcement was originally scheduled to be delivered from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange has lived in exile for four years to avoid arrest on two rape charges, which he claims were politically motivated, claiming that if arrested he would likely be extradited to the United States where he would probably be tortured and killed. Citing undisclosed security risks, Assange changed the plans and instead delivered his announcement by streaming video.
Considering that Secretary Clinton — who hopes to soon be President Clinton II — promoted the idea of simply killing him one of the last times he embarrassed her, perhaps his thinking isn’t so irrational; just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean you’re not being followed.
His cliffhanger announcement will certainly keep him in the news over the next several weeks as he rolls out the promised leaks. If they live up to the hype and Clinton does manage to reoccupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Assange may need to keep right on hiding.