Assange Freed, Michael Moore Says US Owes ‘Debt’ to WikiLeaks (Video)
December 16, 2010
(ChattahBox World News)—WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was freed on bail in London today with the help of outspoken activists, such as documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who kicked in $20,000 towards his $310,000 bond. Moore claims Americans who support Assange are patriots. The mysterious anarchist won’t have it so bad; he will be staying in a posh English manor house owned by the Frontline Club founder Vaughan Smith. While, Sweden is seeking Assange’s extradition on alleged rape and sexual misconduct charges, U.S. authorities are conducting their own criminal investigation into the WikiLeaker’s role in publishing thousands of stolen secret military documents, including the recent dump of U.S. diplomatic cables.
Assange’s release will be tightly controlled and monitored, before his next appearance in court in January.
“He must stay at the mansion of a supporter outside London, report to the police daily, wear an electronic tag to monitor his location, and put up 200,000 pounds (about $310,000) in bail money, plus two further 20,000-pound sureties (about $31,500 each), the judge ruled.”
“Judge Duncan Ouseley said he did not regard Assange as a fugitive and there was no concrete evidence to believe he would abscond.”
“Assange “clearly has some desire to clear his name,” the judge said, adding that if he failed to appear in court, the “charges would always be hanging over his head.”
The Guardian offered this bit about the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation into the leaks. Apparently, there may be some evidence that Assanage may actually have conspired with and even encouraged Pfc. Bradley Manning to steal military documents and deliver them to WikiLeaks.
“The New York Times reported that federal prosecutors were looking for evidence that Assange had conspired with a former US army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking classified documents.
“Among the material prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Bradley Manning is said to claim that while he was downloading government files he was directly communicating with Assange using an encrypted internet conferencing service, according to the Times. Manning is also said to have claimed that Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks.”
Michale Moore appeared on MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s show last night to explain his support of Julian Assange, comparing his actions to the leaking of the Pentagon Papers.
But how can a massive dump of secret U.S. diplomatic cables be compared to legitimate whistleblowing to expose lies and corruption? Sure, some of the revelations from the stolen diplomatic cables are interesting and even shocking, but at what cost to our foreign relations and our soldiers?
But Moore sees it differently. He told Olbermann that “we owe a debt” to Assange for “exposing crimes and lies.” “Anyone who supports WikiLeaks, they are committing an act of patriotism,” said Moore.
Moore also said that the publishing of stolen government documents “will save lives.”
But the United States and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sees it differently, condemning Assange’s acts as cowardly that places our troops and foreign officials at risk.
This is not a case of a whistleblower “exposing wrongdoings or misdeeds,” said Clinton. Assange’s actions are neither “laudable nor brave, she added.
Indeed, but whether Asaange’s actions rises to the level of a crime is another matter, especially when newspapers, such as The New York Times and the Guardian also published the stolen material.
Photo Source:Wikimedia/Julian Assange/New Media Days/Creative Commons Attribution–Wikimedia/Prognosic/Michael More 2004/Creative Commons Attribution.