WikiLeaks’ Assange urges support for Snowden, slams Obama ‘betrayal’

News

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks has been at Ecuadors’ Embassy in London since June 2012.

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LONDON (CNN) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged the world Saturday to “stand with” Edward Snowden, the man who admitted leaking top-secret details about U.S. surveillance programs, according to the text of a speech posted on Twitter.

As he appealed for a “brave country” to step forward and offer Snowden asylum, Assange also accused U.S. President Barack Obama of betraying a generation of “young, technically minded people.”

Assange was scheduled to speak from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Saturday, but the appearance was postponed at short notice “due to a security situation,” WikiLeaks said on Twitter.

Wednesday marked a year since Assange sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he raped one woman and sexually molested another.

Assange has repeatedly said the allegations in Sweden are politically motivated and tied to the work of his website. Ecuador’s government granted him asylum in August, but British authorities have said they will arrest him if he leaves the premises.

As a result of his decision to seek refuge in the embassy, “I have been able to work in relative safety from a U.S. espionage investigation,” said Assange, according to the text of the speech.

“But today, Edward Snowden’s ordeal is just beginning.”

Assange’s words came hours after Snowden was charged by U.S. federal prosecutors with espionage and theft of government property, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in Virginia on Friday.

Snowden, 30, has admitted in interviews that he was the source behind the leak of classified documents about the NSA’s surveillance programs. Those leaks were the basis of reports this month in Britain’s Guardian newspaper and The Washington Post.

He is believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong. The United States has asked authorities there to detain the former National Security Agency contract analyst on a provisional arrest warrant, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed U.S. officials.

Assange, in his published speech, said the espionage charge had come “like clockwork,” making Snowden the eighth “leaker” to be charged with that count by the Obama administration.

“Two dangerous runaway processes have taken root in the last decade, with fatal consequences for democracy,” he said.

“Government secrecy has been expanding on a terrific scale. Simultaneously, human privacy has been secretly eradicated … The U.S. government is spying on each and every one of us, but it is Edward Snowden who is charged with espionage for tipping us off.”

Also among the eight “leakers” is WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, Assange said. Manning is being court-martialed on charges he aided U.S. enemies by leaking documents he obtained as an Army intelligence analyst.

He named the others as Barrett Brown, Jeremy Hammond, Aaron Swartz, Gottfrid Svartholm and Jacob Appelbaum.

Assange suggested Obama was the real “traitor” for his failure to live up to his promises of hope, change and transparency in government. And he warned that the U.S. government will lose the battle if it tries to take on the tech-savvy people now calling its actions into question.

“Edward Snowden is one of us. Bradley Manning is one of us. They are young, technically minded people from the generation that Barack Obama betrayed. They are the generation that grew up on the Internet, and were shaped by it,” he said.

“The U.S. government is always going to need intelligence analysts and systems administrators, and they are going to have to hire them from this generation and the ones that follow it.

“One day, they will run the CIA and the FBI. This isn’t a phenomenon that is going away.”

Assange added that charging Snowden “is intended to intimidate any country that might be considering standing up for his rights” and appealed for efforts to find asylum for him to be intensified.

CNN’s Susannah Palk contributed to this report.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News