WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denies the Russian government was the source of leaked emails about Hillary Clinton and says her “neo-McCarthy” Russia-bashing is just part of a cover-up, in an interview with John Pilger.
By John Pilger
This interview was filmed in the Embassy of Ecuador in London – where Julian Assange is a political refugee – and broadcast on Nov. 5, 2016
John Pilger: What’s the significance of the FBI’s intervention in these last days of the U.S. election campaign, in the case against Hillary Clinton?
Julian Assange: If you look at the history of the FBI, it has become effectively America’s political police. The FBI demonstrated this by taking down the former head of the CIA [General David Petraeus] over classified information given to his mistress. Almost no one is untouchable. The FBI is always trying to demonstrate that no one can resist us. But Hillary Clinton very conspicuously resisted the FBI’s investigation, so there’s anger within the FBI because it made the FBI look weak. We’ve published about 33,000 of Clinton’s emails when she was Secretary of State. They come from a batch of just over 60,000 emails, [of which] Clinton has kept about half – 30,000 — to herself, and we’ve published about half. Then there are the Podesta emails we’ve been publishing. [John] Podesta is Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign manager, so there’s a thread that runs through all these emails; there are quite a lot of pay-for-play, as they call it, giving access in exchange for money to states, individuals and corporations. [These emails are] combined with the cover-up of the Hillary Clinton emails when she was Secretary of State, [which] has led to an environment where the pressure on the FBI increases.
John Pilger: The Clinton campaign has said that Russia is behind all of this, that Russia has manipulated the campaign and is the source for WikiLeaks and its emails.
Julian Assange: The Clinton camp has been able to project that kind of neo-McCarthy hysteria: that Russia is responsible for everything. Hilary Clinton stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That is false; we can say that the Russian government is not the source.
WikiLeaks has been publishing for ten years, and in those ten years, we have published ten million documents, several thousand individual publications, several thousand different sources, and we have never got it wrong.
John Pilger: The emails that give evidence of access for money and how Hillary Clinton herself benefited from this and how she is benefitting politically, are quite extraordinary. I’m thinking of when the Qatari representative was given five minutes with Bill Clinton for a million dollar cheque.
Julian Assange: And twelve million dollars from Morocco …
John Pilger: Twelve million from Morocco yeah.
Julian Assange: For Hillary Clinton to attend [a party].
John Pilger: In terms of the foreign policy of the United States, that’s where the emails are most revealing, where they show the direct connection between Hillary Clinton and the foundation of jihadism, of ISIL, in the Middle East. Can you talk about how the emails demonstrate the connection between those who are meant to be fighting the jihadists of ISIL, are actually those who have helped create it.
Julian Assange: There’s an early 2014 email from Hillary Clinton, not so long after she left the State Department, to her campaign manager John Podesta that states ISIL is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Now this is the most significant email in the whole collection, and perhaps because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the Clinton Foundation. Even the U.S. government agrees that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIL, or ISIS. But the dodge has always been that, well it’s just some rogue Princes, using their cut of the oil money to do whatever they like, but actually the government disapproves. But that email says that no, it is the governments of Saudi and Qatar that have been funding ISIS.
John Pilger: The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the Saudis and the Qataris, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation while Hilary Clinton is Secretary of State and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly to Saudi Arabia.
Julian Assange: Under Hillary Clinton, the world’s largest ever arms deal was made with Saudi Arabia, [worth] more than $80 billion. In fact, during her tenure as Secretary of State, total arms exports from the United States in terms of the dollar value, doubled.
John Pilger: Of course the consequence of that is that the notorious terrorist group called ISIL or ISIS is created largely with money from the very people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation.
Julian Assange: Yes.
John Pilger: That’s extraordinary.
Julian Assange: I actually feel quite sorry for Hillary Clinton as a person because I see someone who is eaten alive by their ambitions, tormented literally to the point where they become sick; they faint as a result of [the reaction] to their ambitions. She represents a whole network of people and a network of relationships with particular states. The question is how does Hilary Clinton fit in this broader network? She’s a centralizing cog. You’ve got a lot of different gears in operation from the big banks like Goldman Sachs and major elements of Wall Street, and Intelligence and people in the State Department and the Saudis.
She’s the centralizer that inter-connects all these different cogs. She’s the smooth central representation of all that, and ‘all that’ is more or less what is in power now in the United States. It’s what we call the establishment or the DC consensus. One of the more significant Podesta emails that we released was about how the Obama cabinet was formed and how half the Obama cabinet was basically nominated by a representative from Citibank. This is quite amazing.