Julian Assange, a man on the run, sat down for a few minutes Friday morning to answer questions from the public via the website of The Guardian, one of the five news organizations who helped Wikileaks leak confidential U.S. diplomatic cables.
In the chat, Assange revealed himself to be bitter over the governmental reaction to the leaks, proud of the work he is doing and the organization he created, and wary of UFO conspiracy theorists. He also claims he deliberately set up Amazon.com to prove their alleged lack of real support for free speech.
Here are some of Assange's responses to questions:
In the event of his or Wikileaks' untimely demise
"The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations. History will win. The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you."
His vision for Wikileaks
"I always believed that WikiLeaks as a concept would perform a global role and to some degree it was clear that is was doing that as far back as 2007 when it changed the result of the Kenyan general election. I thought it would take two years instead of four to be recognised by others as having this important role, so we are still a little behind schedule and have much more work to do."
Leaks about UFOs
"Many weirdos email us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot-plant. However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules. However, it is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the cablegate archive there are indeed references to UFOs."
Alleged threats to his life
"The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a super power."
The source of the leaks
"If indeed it is the case, as alleged by the Pentagon, that the young soldier - Bradley Manning - is behind some of our recent disclosures, then he is without doubt an unparalleled hero."
Amazon.com dumping Wikileaks from its servers
"Since 2007 we have been deliberately placing some of our servers in jurisdictions that we suspected suffered a free speech deficit inorder to separate rhetoric from reality. Amazon was one of these cases."
On Australia, his country of birth and citizenship
"I am an Australian citizen and I miss my country a great deal. However, during the last weeks the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, and the attorney general, Robert McClelland, have made it clear that not only is my return is impossible but that they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself and our people. This brings into question what does it mean to be an Australian citizen - does that mean anything at all? Or are we all to be treated like David Hicks at the first possible opportunity merely so that Australian politicians and diplomats can be invited to the best US embassy cocktail parties."
Being the face of Wikileaks, which has many anonymous members
"I originally tried hard for the organization to have no face, because I wanted egos to play no part in our activities. However this quickly led to tremendous distracting curiosity about who and random individuals claiming to represent us. In the end, someone must be responsible to the public and only a leadership that is willing to be publicly courageous can genuinely suggest that sources take risks for the greater good. In that process, I have become the lightening rod. I get undue attacks on every aspect of my life, but then I also get undue credit as some kind of balancing force."
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