Assange: US pushing "Digital McCarthyism" in assault on Wikileaks

[Video Link] Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gave an interview with msnbc's Cenk Uygur today. During the exchange, Assange denies conspiring to commit espionage with U.S. Army Specialist Bradley Manning, as it is believed US prosecutors would like to charge. Assange says these claims are "absolute nonsense." Responding to Vice President Biden's claims that he is "a high-tech terrorist," the leaker-in-chief effectively accused the United States of terrorism—threatening violent, extralegal actions in its assault on Wikileaks.

Well, let's look at the definition of terrorism. The definition of terrorism is a group that uses violence or the threat of violence for political ends. [W]hoever the terrorists are here, it's not us. But we see constant threats from people in the Re — you know, Republicans in the Senate trying to make a — a name for themselves, the people like Sarah Palin, top shock jocks on Fox and, unfortunately, some members, also, of the Democratic Party, calling for my assassination, calling for the illegal kidnapping of my staff. And — and just a few days ago, it was in Fox, that was the phrase that was used — illegal. He should be illegally murdered if necessary– assassinated by the law, if possible, if not, illegally. What sort of message does that send about the rule of law in the United States? That is conducting violence in order to achieve a political end — the elimination of this organization or the threat of violence to achieve a political end, the elimination of a publisher. And that is the definition of terrorism.

Assange is nothing if not articulate, and it's remarkable to see him go on such a hard offensive like this.

"Europeans are starting to wonder if the US is obeying the rule of law," he continued. "When people call for illegal, deliberate assassination and kidnapping of others, they should be held to account. They should be charged for incitement to commit murder."

As an aside: Yesterday, Assange was quoted in a BBC News interview as saying that persons affiliated with Wikileaks have already been assassinated; it is presumed he was referring to the reported murders of 2 men writing for Wikileaks in Kenya in 2009. Today, he said "No one… in our four years has ever been physically harmed as a result of what we have done." I'm guessing he's referring to the fact that there have been no known killings of people named in the leaks, versus these two activists working to propagate the disclosure of information about corruption and illegal state activity, but — that could be clearer.

And as a further aside, Assange looks exhausted.

The transcript of his interview with MSNBC is here.