On Tuesday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke on a “Reddit Ask Me Anything” and what he said was quite interesting. In the video, Assange states that George Soros and the USAID funded the media’s framing of the Panama Papers scandal as a method to push out propaganda against Russia.
The AMA was live streamed on Twitch, and during it, Assange stated that he disagreed with how the media twisted the Panama Papers and made it seem as though it was all about Vladimir Putin. Furthermore, Assange referred to the media as the “useful idiots in the ruling class press.”
While the story was framed to appear as though Vladimir Putin was the only one involved, no focus was placed on the many Western figures who were involved. As an example, Assange implicates David Cameron.
Continuing, Assange explained the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project’s role in framing Putin, and how the Maryland-based organization which is funded by George Soros and USAID “focuses exclusively on negative stories about Russia and former Soviet states.”
“We don’t like it when we’re competing with narratives that are funded by Washington,” he said.
Comparing WikiLeaks to the latter, Assange stated that “One is funded by a government attacking another government,” while WikiLeaks is “funded by readers,” and continues to publish truthful, informative, and accurate news.
Assange stated that he felt a “great sadness” due to video evidence being lost which showed U.S war crimes that were committed in Granai, Afghanistan in 2009. He says that the video was stolen in a Swedish intelligence operation in 2010.
“There is a disappeared video and that video is of Granai massacre,” he said. “Over 80 children are killed in a US airstrike in Afghanistan… quite a serious video.”
According to Assange, Swedish authorities seized “three laptops, not the highest security laptops, backup laptops, that were encrypted but which ended up being the only copy that we had of that video. We had other copies, and they were also attacked.”
“That’s also a great sadness from us that this terrible proof of a war crime has been possibly lost to history as a result of very difficult attacks on us,” Assange said. “It’s something we’re less susceptible to know because we have a bigger infrastructure.”
When questions came up regarding the Snowden documents and their release Assange stated that “more than 97 percent of the Snowden docs have been censored.”
“Enormously important material [was] censored,” Assange said. “And while there have been some pretty good journalists working on them, Glenn Greenwald I think is one of the best journalists publishing in the US, you have to have hundreds of people working on material like this.”
Assange expressed sadness towards the fact that the media had “privatized that material and limited it.”
He says that the files included “ways to find sites in the US used by the National Security Agencies, and procedures for visiting those sites,” continuing Assange said that, “If those had been released in 2013, investigative journalists and individuals could have gone to those sites before there was a cover-up.”
“So I’m a bit sad, in some ways, about how the impact of the Snowden archive has been minimized as a result of not having the greatest number of eyeballs.”
When Reddit users asked Assange about his safety, referring to the many speculations that he is actually dead, Assange stated that the live feed should be proof of the fact that he is indeed alive. However, he did request for his followers to not lose their concern for him and for other members of WikiLeaks. He continued by saying that he and other associates of WikiLeaks are”still constantly spied on and harassed.” He also stated that people shouldn’t wait until something happens, instead, he asked his followers to “make sure we’re strong now, going into difficult situations.”