'This Week' Transcript: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

But, I mean, this isn't a situation that, you know, WikiLeaks is in charge of, if you like. This is a matter for states at a very serious level to understand and sort out and behave responsibly. Because I've had some experience in the past, with publishing, with attacks and political rhetoric from the United States with asylum and so on.

And I have personal sympathy for Mr. Snowden. We did what we could and we'll continue to do what we can to try and--

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you have put yourself in the middle of it.

ASSANGE: -- and help him through.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I want to ask a further question on that. Glenn Greenwald has said that no matter what happens to Snowden, his secrets, the secrets that he's taken, will get out. How? And does Wikileaks have possession of those secrets right now?

ASSANGE: Look, there is no stopping the publishing process at this stage. Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snowden can't be pressured by any state to stop the publication process. I mean, the United States, by canceling his passport, has left him for the moment marooned in Russia. Is that really a great outcome by the State Department? Is that really what it wanted to do? I think that every citizen has the right to their citizenship. To take someone's principal component of citizenship, their passport, away from them is a disgrace. Mr. Snowden has not been convicted of anything. There are no international warrants out for his arrest. To take a passport from a young man in a difficult situation like that is a disgrace.

He is a hero. He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon. Obama can't just turn around like Nixon did and said, it's OK, if the president does it, if the president authorizes it--

(CROSSTALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's not what he's saying, sir. He has also broken the law. Let me bring that now to Jesselyn Radack, who is also here with me right now. Julian Assange mentioned Edward Snowden's father, who has also written -- his attorney has written a letter to Eric Holder, the attorney general, saying that he believes that his son would be willing to come back to the United States if he would not be detained or imprisoned prior to trial, if he would not be subject to a gag order, if he would be tried in the venue of his choosing. Do you think it would make sense for Snowden to return under those circumstances?

RADACK: I actually don't. I have represented people like Thomas Drake, who was an NSA whistle-blower, who actually did go through every conceivable internal channel possible, including his boss, the inspector general of his agency, the Defense Department inspector general and two congressional committees, and the U.S. turned around and prosecuted him. And did so for espionage and threatened to tie him up for the rest of his life in jail. I think Snowden's outlook is bleak here, and instead of focusing on Snowden and shooting the messenger, we should really focus on the crimes of the NSA. Because whatever laws Snowden may or may not have broken, they are infinitesimally small compared to the two major surveillance laws and the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution that the NSA's violated.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But these surveillance programs, as the president has pointed out, were passed by the Congress, are overseen by a court.

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