'This Week' Transcript: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

It's -- no one is alleging that any of his acts are anything other than political, that he has acted in a manner to draw attention to a very serious problem in the United States where without the will of congress, without the will of the American population, we now have a state within a state, we have the transnational surveillance apparatus. Glenn Greenwald just last night spoke about the new technology to evolve out of the National Security Agency is going to attempt to intercept 1 billion mobile phone calls a day.

No one signed up for this, Obama does not have a mandate for that. No one has a mandate for that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: With respect, Mr. Assange, many people have said that this...

ASSANGE: ...taken for a ride.

STEPHANOPOULOS: ...far more than political, including Secretary of State John Kerry. He spoke out on this earlier this week saying that Snowden's revelations are putting people at risk. Take a look.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: People may die as a consequence of what this man did. It is possible the United States will be attacked because terrorists may now know how to protect themselves in some way or another that they didn't know before.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that concern you at all?

ASSANGE: Well, look, we have heard this rhetoric. I myself was subject to precisely this rhetoric two, three years ago. And it all proved to be false. We had this terrible discussion about -- which even exists in some of the tabloid press today -- about WikiLeaks causing harm, but not a single U.S. government official, no one from the Pentagon, no one from any government says that any of our revelations in the past six years has caused anyone to come to physical harm.

And the revelations by Snowden, I mean, these are even more abstract than the nature of the war crimes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you spoken to Mr. Snowden -- are you confident he is safe right now.

ASSANGE: ...we have been publishing.

Our legal people have been in contact with Mr. Snowden. I can't say anything about the present situation. But, you know, the United States canceled his passport. Joseph Biden, the day before yesterday, personally called the President Correa trying to pressure him. That's not acceptable.

Asylum is a right that we all have. It's an international right. The United States has been founded largely on accepting political refugees from other countries and has prospered by it.

Mr. Snowden has that right. Ideally he should be able to return to the United States. Unfortunately, that's not the world that we live in and hopefully another country will give him the justice that he deserves.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Edward Snowden's father has spoken out. He fears that you and WikiLeaks are manipulating his son. He said that, quote, "I think WikiLeaks, their focus isn't necessarily the constitution of the United States, that's a concern for me." How do you respond to Edward Snowden's father?

ASSANGE: Well, he didn't say that. He said might be. Mr. Snowden's father as a parent, of course he is worried in this situation, every father would be worried in this situation. We have established contact with Mr. Snowden's father's lawyer to put some of his concerns to rest.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...