World 1

25.06.2024.

13:24

America’s Public Enemy No. 1 is Out of the Prison

The man who today ended his multi-year battle with windmills and finally left prison in Great Britain, Julian Assange, warned Serbia ten years ago.

Izvor: Blic, B92.net

America’s Public Enemy No. 1 is Out of the Prison
EPA-EFE/WIKILEAKS

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The WikiLeaks founder left a British prison and flew out of the UK today after US prosecutors said he would have to plead guilty this week to violating the US Espionage Act, in a deal that could allow him to return home to Australia.

U.S. prosecutors said in court documents that Assange agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified U.S. national defense documents, according to filings in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, Reuters reported.

Assange is scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing on the island of Saipan at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday. He will likely be given credit for time already served and will not receive a new prison sentence, according to Reuters.

Assange became America's "public enemy number one" when his website WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of classified US military documents about Washington's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the biggest security incident of its kind in US military history, along with a series of diplomatic cables.

More than 700,000 documents, diplomatic cables, and battlefield reports are estimated to have been released, such as a 2007 video of a US Apache helicopter firing on suspected insurgents in Iraq, killing a dozen people, including two Reuters journalists. That video was released in 2010.

Ten years ago, Assange gave an interview to "Blic", in which, among other things, he warned two countries that are still "between two fires" - Serbia and Ukraine.

When asked at the time to comment on his statement that Serbia and Ukraine have a leading role, Assange replied:

"When I said that Serbia, like Ukraine, is one of the most important pioneers, I meant the countries 'in-between', that is, in the intermediate space. These are the countries where the future comes first, with all its horrors and beauties. And the fate of all pioneers, well and therefore Serbia, is to be misrepresented. We live in a time between two eras. We are the last free generation because now the time of global surveillance has come."

Asked in whose interest it is to create a false image of a small country like Serbia, he said that the reasons are different, from misunderstanding, through ignorance, to a deliberate campaign. "It's the same with some individuals, among whom I could probably include myself, who for various reasons find themselves in that in-between space, find themselves on the path to the coming dystopia," Assange added.

When asked how knowledgeable he is about current political events in Serbia and the debate about who to turn to - East or West, Assange answered:

"Due to my circumstances in life, I have the opportunity to read a lot so that I follow what is happening in Serbia as well. Precisely because of their position, people in Serbia were able to feel by their example that they should not unreservedly trust anyone, neither the East nor the West. Not only Serbia, but no country can also survive on its own in the face of technological totalitarianism. We are witnessing the extraordinary political radicalization of our societies, which relates to the introduction of mass surveillance of Internet communications. Those two forces are shaping our future, each aspect of that future. That's why people have to turn to each other, to fight together for freedom and their place in that new world."

He emphasized that Serbia has a strength that is reflected precisely in the position of the "in-between" state, which puts us in a position of strength and opens opportunities for us. "That position increases people's hunger for the truth and gives people the necessary perspective to recognize the truth when they come across it. But only you can decide how you will use that position," Assange said.

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