Julian Assange talks to John Pilger about Hillary, Trump, Russia, ISIS, Obama cabinet picks, European immigration, etc.

This is a really interesting interview from a YouTube video published on November 5, 2016. The title is “Secret World of US Election: Julian Assange talks to John Pilger (FULL INTERVIEW)”. There’s more in it than just normal rehash of the Trump vs. Clinton election. The most interesting parts to me are the Clinton emails showing Saudi and Qatari funding of ISIS, and just as important, the mention of an email showing Obama’s cabinet picks coming largely from a list provided by a Citibank employee. Citibank is tied to the Rockefellers and is a founding corporate member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Michael Froman, the Citibank employee, is listed as a “distinguished fellow” on the staff page of the Council on Foreign Relations website.  Though the CFR is not mentioned by name, it’s pretty obvious that the list came from their organization.


John Pilger: What’s the significance of the FBI’s intervention in this last week 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. And the FBI demonstrated with taking down the former head of the CIA, of classified information given to his mistress, almost no one was 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.

Well, we’ve published quite a number of different sets of emails, so about 33,000 of Clinton’s emails while she was Secretary of State. They come from a batch of just over 60,000 emails. In that 60,000 emails, Clinton has kept about half, 30,000, to herself. And we’ve published about half.

And then there the Pedestal emails we’ve been publishing. Podesta is Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign manager. So there’s a thread that runs through all these emails that there is quite a lot of “pay for play”, as they call it, taking, giving access in exchange for money from many different states, individuals, and corporations. Combined with the coverup of the Hillary Clinton’s emails while she was Secretary of State has led to an environment where the pressure on the FBI increases.

John Pilger: But the Clinton campaign has said that Russia is behind all of this. It says 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 a kind of neo-McCarthyist hysteria that Russia is responsible for everything. Hillary Clinton stated multiple times, falsely, that 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That’s false. We can say that the Russian government is not the source.

Wikileaks has been publishing for 10 years. In that 10 years we’ve published 10,000,000 documents, several thousand individual publications and several thousand different sources. And we have never got it wrong.

JP: All the emails that give evidence of access for money, and how Hillary Clinton herself benefited from this, and how she is benefiting politically, are quite extraordinary. I’m thinking of where the Qatari representative was given 5 minutes with Bill Clinton for $1,000,000 check. And many other examples.

JA: Or $12,000,000 from Morocco for Hillary to attend.

JP: In terms of the foreign policy of the United States, that’s where, for me anyway, 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 something about that, how the emails demonstrate this connection between those who were meant to be fighting the jihadist ISIL, are actually those who have helped create it.

JA: There’s an early 2014 email from Hillary Clinton, so not so long after she left Secretary of State, to her campaign manager John Podesta. That email, it states that ISIL, ISIS, is funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar—the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Now this is, I think this is the most significant email in the whole collection. And perhaps because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the place, including into many media institutions, all serious analysts know—even the U.S. government has mentioned or agreed with—that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIS, funding ISIS. But the dodge has always been that 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’s the governments of Saudi and the government in Qatar that had been funding ISIS.

JP: The Saudis, the Qataris, Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the Saudis and the Qataris, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly to Saudi Arabia.

JA: Under Hillary Clinton, and Clinton emails reveal significant discussion about it, the largest ever arms deal was made with Saudi Arabia—more than $80,000,000,000. In fact, during her tenure as Secretary of State total arms exports from the United States, in terms of the dollar value, doubled.

JP: Doubled. And of course, the consequence of that is that this notorious terrorist jihadist group, called ISIL or ISIS, is created largely with money from the very people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation.

JA: Yes.

JP: That’s extraordinary.

JA: Look, Hillary Clinton’s just a person. 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 going on with their ambitions. But she represents a whole network of people, and a network of relationships also with particular states.

The question is, how does Hillary Clinton fit in this broader network? She is a centralizing cog, so that you’ve 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, and so on. She’s the, if you like, the centralizer that interconnects all these different cogs. She’s a 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’d call the Establishment, or the D.C. Consensus, and its influences. In fact, one of the more significant Podesta emails that we released was about how the Obama cabinet was formed. And half the Obama cabinet was basically nominated by a representative [Michael Froman (CFR)] from Citibank [CFR] . It was quite amazing.

JP: Didn’t Citibank supply a list which turned out to be mostly Obama cabinet?

JA: Yes

JP: So Wall Street decides the cabinet of the president of the United States.

JA: But if you were following the Obama campaign back then, closely, you could see it had become very close to banking interests. It wasn’t so close to oil interests but it was very close to banking interests.

JP: Yeah

JA: So, I think you can’t properly understand Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy without understanding Saudi Arabia. The connections with Saudi Arabia are so intimate.

JP: Why was she so demonstrably enthusiastic about the destruction of Libya? Can you talk a little about just what the emails have told us, told you, about what happened there? Because Libya is such a source for so much of the mayhem now in Syria, the ISIL jihadism, and so on. And it was almost Hillary Clinton’s invasion. What do the emails tell us about that?

JA: Libya, more than anyone else’s war, was Hillary Clinton’s war. Barrack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person who was championing it? Hillary Clinton. That’s documented throughout her emails. She put her favored agent, in effect, Sidney Blumenthal, onto that. There’s more than 1,700 emails out of the 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails we published, just about Libya. It’s not about that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state as something that she would use to run in the general election, for president.

So, late 2011, there’s an internal document called the “Libya tick tock” that is produced for Hillary Clinton. And it’s a chronological description of how Hillary Clinton was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state. As a result, there was around 40,000 deaths within Libya. Jihadists moved in; ISIS moved in. That led to the European refugee and migrant crisis because, not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people then fleeing Syria, destabilization of other African countries as a result of arms flows, the Libyan state itself was no longer able to control movement of peoples through it.

So, Libya faces onto the Mediterranean. And so it had been, effectively, the cork in the bottle of Africa. So all problems, economic problems, civil war in Africa—previously, people fleeing those problems didn’t end up in Europe because Libya policed the Mediterranean. And that was said explicitly at the time, back in early 2011 by Gaddafi: What did these Europeans think that they’re doing trying to bomb and destroy the Libyan state? There’s going to be floods of migrants out of Africa, and jihadists, into Europe. And that is exactly what happened.

JP: You get a lot of complaints from people saying, what is Wikileaks doing? Are they trying to put Trump in the White House?

JA: My analysis is that Trump would not be permitted to win. Why do I say that? Because he’s had every establishment offside. Trump doesn’t have one establishment—maybe with the exception of the evangelicals, if you can call them an establishment. But banks, intelligence, arms companies, foreign money, etc. is all united behind Hillary Clinton.

JA: And the media as well. So, media owners and even journalists themselves.

JP: The accusations that Wikileaks in league with the Russians, and you hear people saying, well why doesn’t Wikileaks investigate and publish emails on Russia?

JA: We have published over 800,000 documents of various kinds that relate to Russia. Most of those are critical, most [garbled], and a great many books have come out of our publications about Russia, most of which are critical. And our documents have gone on to be used in quite a number of court cases, refugee cases of people fleeing some kinds of claimed political persecution in Russia, which they use our documents to back up.

JP: Do you take yourself a view of the U.S. election? Do you have a preference for Clinton or Trump?

JA: Donald Trump. What does he represent in the American mind and in the European mind? He represents American white trash—deplorable and irredeemable—basically the same thing. It means from an Establishment or educated, cosmopolitan, urbane perspective, these people are, you know, they’re like the red necks and you can’t, like they’re just, can never deal with them. And because he so clearly, through his words and actions, and the type of people that turns up to his rallies, represents people who are not the upper-middle class educated. There’s a fear of seeming to be associated in any way with that—a social fear that lowers the class status of anyone who can be accused of somehow assisting in any way with Trump, including by criticizing Clinton. And if you look at how the middle class gains its economic and social power it makes absolute sense.

JP: I’d like to talk about Ecuador, the small country that has given you refuge, and given you asylum in this embassy in London. Now Ecuador cut off the Internet from here where we’re doing this interview, in the embassy for the clearly obvious reason that they were concerned about appearing to intervene in the U.S. election campaign. Can you talk about why they would take that action, and your own views on Ecuador’s support for you.

JA: Let’s go back 4 years ago. Ecuador, I made an asylum application to Ecuador in this embassy because of the U.S. extradition case. And the result was, after a month, I was successful in [garbled] application. And then the embassy has been surrounded by police. Quite an expensive police operation which the British government admits to spending more than 12.6 million pounds. They admitted that over a year ago. And now there’s undercover police and there’s robot surveillance cameras of various kinds. So there has been a quite serious conflict right here in the heart of London between Ecuador, a country of 16,000,000 people, and the United Kingdom, and the Americans who have been helping on the side. So, that was a brave in principled thing for Ecuador to do.

Now we have the U.S. election on foot. The Ecuadorean election is in February of next year. You have the White House feeling the political heat as a result of the true information that we have been publishing. Wikileaks does not publish from the jurisdiction of Ecuador, from this embassy or in the territory of Ecuador. We publish from France. We publish from Germany. We publish from the Netherlands, and another of other countries, so that the attempted squeeze on Wikileaks is through my refugee status. And this is really intolerable if you’re trying to get at a publishing organization to try and prevent it publishing true information that is of intense interest to the American people, and others, about an election.

JP: Tell us what would happen if you walked out of this embassy.

JA: So, I would be immediately arrested by the British Police, and I would then be extradited either immediately to the United States or to Sweden. In Sweden I am not charged. I’ve already been previously cleared, etc., so we’re not certain exactly what would happen there, but then we know that the Swedish government has refused to say that they will not extradite me to the United States. And they have extradited 100% of people that the U.S. has requested since at least 2000. So over the last 15 years, every single person the U.S. has tried to extradite from Sweden has been extradited. And they refuse to provide a guarantee so it’s, yeah.

JP: People often ask how you cope with the isolation here.

JA: Look, one of the best attributes of human beings is that they’re adaptable. One of the worst attributes of human beings is they are adaptable. They adapt and start to tolerate abuse. They adapt to being involved themselves in abuses. They adapt to adversity and continue on. So, in my situation, frankly I’m a bit institutionalized. This is the world. Visually this is the world.

JP: It’s a world without sunlight for one thing.

JA: It’s a world without sunlight. But I haven’t seen sunlight in so long, like, I don’t remember it.

Yeah, you adapt. The one real irritant is that my young children, they also adapt. They adapt to being without their father. It’s a hard, hard adaption which they didn’t ask for.

JP: Do you worry about them.

JA: Yeah I worry about them. I worry about their mother.

JP: Some people would say, well why don’t you end it and simply walk out the door and allow yourself to be extradited to Sweden.

JA: The U.N. has looked into this whole situation. They spent 18 months in formal adversarial litigation—me at the U.N. vs. Sweden and the UK—who’s right? The U.N. made a conclusion: I’m being arbitrarily detained, illegally deprived of my freedom, that what has occurred has not occurred within the laws that the United Kingdom and Sweden must obey. It is an illegal abuse. I mean, the United Nations formally asking what’s going on here? What’s your legal explanation for this? He says that you should recognize his asylum. Sweden, formally writing back to the United Nations says no, we’re not going to. So leaving open their ability to extradite. I just find it absolutely amazing that the narrative about this situation is not put out publicly in the press, because it doesn’t suit the Western Establishment narrative that, yes, the West has political prisoners. It’s a reality. It’s not just me. There’s a bunch of other people as well.

The West has political prisoners. No state accepts to call the people it is imprisoning, or detaining for political reasons, political prisoners. They don’t call them political prisoners in China; they don’t call them political prisoners in Azerbaijan; and they don’t call them political prisoners in the United States, UK, or Sweden. It’s absolutely intolerable to have that kind of self perception. But here we have a case, talking about the Swedish case, where I have never been charged with a crime, where I have already been cleared and found to be innocent, where the woman herself said the police made it up, where the United Nations formally said the whole thing is illegal, where the state of Ecuador also investigated and found that I should be given asylum. Those are the facts. But what is the rhetoric?

JP: Different.

JA: The rhetoric is pretending, constantly pretending, that I have been charged with a crime; never mentioning that I have been already previously cleared; never mentioning that the woman herself says that the police made it up; trying to avoid the U.N. formally found that the whole thing is illegal; never even mentioning that Ecuador made a formal assessment through its formal processes and found that, yes, I am subject to persecution by the United States.