Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange, spoke at length with the World Socialist Web Site yesterday about the dangerous situation facing her son who, according to recent media reports, confronts imminent eviction from Ecuador’s embassy in London. Christine Assange commented on the US-led efforts to frame-up her son and extradite him to America on bogus espionage charges, as well as the perfidious role played by the Australian government, the opposition Labor Party and the mainstream media.
The following is an edited version of the conversation.
Richard Phillips: When did you last talk to Julian?
Christine Assange: The last time I spoke with my son was four months ago, just before March 28, when the Ecuadorian embassy blocked all communications. Huge political and financial pressure has been placed on Ecuador to force Julian out.
The US has always interfered in Ecuadorian elections, as it has in 81 other countries around the world. That’s the irony and cynicism of the US government when it talks about people interfering in their elections. The ordinary Ecuadorian people are not happy with all this. When I was there people would come up to me in the streets and tell me that they loved WikiLeaks and supported my son.
A lot of American money has gone into sections of the media in Ecuador to step up the campaign against Julian. We know that the CIA infiltrates all levels of society—the media, political circles, business circles, human rights groups, universities, student groups.
Former CIA agent Philip Agee wrote a book called Inside the Company that exposed CIA operations and its methods to bring down governments, alter elections or change policies in America’s favour. WikiLeaks’ exposure of US embassy cables showed that it was happening in Australia. It has happened in many countries around the world.
RP: The US-led campaign to defame Julian, blacken his name and undermine his reputation is unprecedented.
CA: Yes, and that’s because Washington is afraid of WikiLeaks. The WikiLeaks site is different from other organisations in that it exposes en masse, and it does this is in order to reveal the global structure of corruption. It is not just a matter of individual corrupt politicians but an intricate web which runs from defence contractors, their links to politicians, with Hollywood and the media, and so on. This is why Julian is so persecuted. He has outed the whole structure, not just one or two people.
WikiLeaks is the gift that keeps on giving. First of all, it provides a vehicle for citizens who want to warn other citizens about what is really happening in the world. WikiLeaks has a 12-year record of accuracy in its exposures.
The second type of exposure by WikiLeaks and my son has involved outing those who take their privileges from the positions of power—the well-paid entertainers, the corporate media and so on—and who denounce Julian.
So people who are watching closely are beginning to see these sorts of operations and the underlying causes of the world’s misery. That truth is being given through WikiLeaks and, as Julian says, you can’t fix anything if you don’t know what the cause is. It is a band-aid exercise to send money to an African village for certain things that they need, for example, when the reasons for their poverty are not exposed. It might make you feel good to do, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
RP: The intensification of the attacks on your son is bound up with the preparations being made for war by the imperialist powers. The ruling elites cannot allow WikiLeaks and independent journalists to expose these dangerous preparations.
CA: Yes that’s true. I like to follow the money trail. I’ve learnt a lot from WikiLeaks myself. I decided to look into the background of the most senior politicians in the world. It is unbelievable how many are connected to defence contractors. Hillary Clinton, for example, funnelled massive amounts to defence contractors when she was US secretary of state, and they, in turn, donated massive amounts to her presidential election campaign. The defence contractors donate, of course, to both sides of government.
Every time you see the drums of war beating, the shares go up and conversely. The same companies that make profit from war also make money in rebuilding after war—double-dipping into the war.
RP: Your response to Hillary Clinton’s recent Australian tour?
CA: It was nauseating and the way she waived the feminism flag was disgusting. To use the cause of equality for women to persecute a truth-telling journalist, beat the drums of war or make sure a country stays in line with Washington is abominable.
Clinton, and people like Julia Gillard, use the feminist card to try to manipulate women into thinking that backing corrupt power is a good thing. How can getting on the board of a predatory corporation represent a step up for women?
In my opinion Clinton came to Australia specifically to muddy the waters about Julian Assange.
A lot of women have been fooled by this and it’s a great disappointment to me. There’s plenty of evidence that the CIA and the deep state have infiltrated feminist groups all round the world and this has been used against my son and used to break and divide support for WikiLeaks.
This is how the false rape allegations—and there were never any actual allegations—were used against Julian. The Snowden documents revealed that the US wanted Julian charged with something following WikiLeaks’ release of Afghanistan war diaries. Stratfor documents also revealed that there was a huge disinformation operation. It was used to split the left and the feminist forces in these organisations.
Women are told here in Australia that if they want to forge a career in this world they have to bow down to the US embassy here. And that’s the message in the Labor Party and all the other major political parties. The WikiLeaks cables revealed that Gillard was being groomed by the US for the Labor leadership.
RP: How do you answer the US claims that Julian is a Russian agent?
CA: They said that about Nelson Mandela. There are two ways to destroy somebody in public and political life—accuse someone of sex allegations and of being a communist agent, or in today’s term “Putin’s puppet.” This has gone on for years and years. There have been many serious attempts to frame up Julian but these have been exposed. There are a lot of dirty, dirty tactics being used against my son because he has revealed to the entire world that the emperors have no clothes.
RP: Can you speak about the role being played by the Turnbull government?
CA: Malcolm Turnbull has gone from supporting WikiLeaks when he was in opposition to now doing nothing. One of Julian’s lawyers outlined a list of demands directed toward Labor Prime Minister Rudd and it was also given to Turnbull when he was in opposition and I spoke to him about these demands. Turnbull told me Rudd was a good man.
Turnbull knows exactly what’s going on. He knows that Julian has been framed, abused and persecuted. Why isn’t he doing anything about it? It’s because he wants to hold his position as prime minister. He’s been told this is a prerequisite. Turnbull should be standing up and saying this has gone on long enough, and working to bring Julian home. He should say that Ecuador is not honouring Julian’s rights and Australia has to step in and bring him home and not allow his extradition to the US. If Turnbull is not willing to do that, then we are nothing more than a vassal state of the US.
RP: What is the legal situation facing Julian and the political consequences if WikiLeaks is shut down?
CA: The real danger is that if Julian is evicted the UK will prosecute him on false allegations. We don’t have faith that the UK would allow any fair or just treatment of my son. The UK-US extradition treaty is unequal. If the UK wants somebody from the US they have to provide evidence, a prima facie case. The US, however, doesn’t have to provide a prima facie case to extract someone from the UK. It’s a very dangerous situation.
Julian faces illegal and undemocratic processes at every turn. The US is determined to get him. They could imprison him for years and not even put him on trial. Obama kept Guantanamo open, after previously promising to close it. If they prosecute Julian under the 1917 Espionage Act they could execute him.
Trump, prior to being president, said Assange should get the death penalty. He then loved WikiLeaks when it revealed true information about his opponent. But once Trump was elected he said he was OK with a prosecution and then appointed Gina Haspel, known as “Gina the torturer” by her colleagues, to head the CIA. Trump has also promoted others calling for Julian to be charged with treason.
Without WikiLeaks we would never know how the power structure really works in the world. You can’t fix a suffering world without accurate and honest information. If WikiLeaks is destroyed it’s back to the dark ages as far as finding solutions to world problems.
RP: Can you comment on Australia’s new “foreign interference” laws and the whipping up of anti-China sentiment?
CA: This Russiagate business in the US and the claims of foreign influence by Chinese in Australia are total beat ups. Every nation attempts to influence outcomes to benefit their own country but the biggest culprit in all this is the US and the CIA.
Claims of foreign influence are being used to clamp down people’s democratic rights. They will use these laws to repress the population. The Gillard government also changed the extradition defence laws to make it easier for the US to extradite Australian citizens. Political defence against this will not be possible. The US is demanding laws change in every country they dominate.
We are working towards becoming a totalitarian state, 1984 is here. If you don’t fight it now then you will suffer under it. Julian is in the forefront of this—he’s the number one target at the moment and he’s the one we have to stand up for. I say this, not just as a mother, but as a citizen and someone who believes in democracy and freedom. We have to fight because if they take him, they can take anyone and they will take anyone. We have to do this en masse and in this way we can hold back the forces of oppression.
I encourage young people to stand up and fight and not get side-tracked by all the identity politics stuff. The main issue is freedom of speech, freedom of the press and genuine democracy. Identity politics is a deep state diversion. They don’t want us united to fight against oppression and take on the people who are really going to hurt you.
RP: And this is inseparable from the fight against war and the capitalist system.
CA: That’s right. The message should be “join the dots.” The people with power and privilege are all connected. We don’t have a hope unless we’re all connected.
People have to de-lineate between the genuine socialists who stand up for the rights and living standards of the common people, and the so-called liberal left or pseudo-left who are only interested in their individual concerns and privileges. Young people need to understand that they will not be able to change the world by joining the pseudo-left.
I also want to thank the World Socialist Web Site for being one of the few media outlets reporting the facts on Julian and his persecution, right from the beginning. Your site was able to see what truth in journalism really is. It has steadfastly supported him through all the ups and downs, and all the changes of governments. I urge people to support the World Socialist Web Site and all other independent media. This is extremely important.
Originally published by WSWS.org