This is a transcript.
ECUADOR — AFSHIN RATTANSI (R): With me is the founder of Wikileaks. He’s just published ‘When Google Met Wikileaks.’ Julian, thanks for inviting us in to the Ecuadorian Embassy. How did it come about that you could trust Google executives — one of the most powerful companies on earth coming to meet you while you were under virtual house arrest?
JULIAN ASSANGE (J): Well, I’m not sure that I trusted them any more than they trusted me, but, it was a very interesting meeting between the, ah, most, uh, Senior Executive of Google, uh, Eric Schmidt, now the Chairman, uh, of Google, uh, and, my self during the middle, uh, of the Arab Spring, um, with a, a, secret meeting and three other people also brought, uh, by Google to that meeting.
R: What did you think they were there for?
J: Well, nominally, they were there, uh, in order to write the book, um, on geopolitics and, uh, how the world would unf-uh-unfel-unfel (…), uh, and to conduct interview with me, um, and I thought that probably was, pff, the most the reason why they’re there (.) Also maybe to speak to Google’s staff to try and make them look a bit less conservative and, and, to get, su…support of their engineers and, uh, to try and get more strategic vision for how they wanted to deploy Google over the world and what are up-coming developments that I might know about that they might not but it turned out things were rather different.
R: That time before Snowden, before other elements from Wikileaks, we didn’t really know that the don’t-be-evil company was so intwined with, uh, elements of the U.S. security state (.) And then you know this transcript which makes up this book (.) It’s a point you want to make (.) Eric Schmidt, um, his father… worked in the Nixon administration and he just, uh… written a book called ‘Empire of The Mind’ which you had read. Well, that-
J: –No, I hadn’t, hadn’t (.) at that stage. He, he, had written an essay together with Jared Cohen, of, uh, immediately, uh, no, he, he was then still, th (…) uh, Hillary’s, uh, um, [lip-smack] uh, advisor, uh, called ‘Empire of The Mind’ and that was right before the Arab Spring and so, uh, as a result, um, there was a lot of interest in, mmmm (…), their sort of vision… uh, for what all that meant and they went on to write a subsequent book which is Google’s vision — geopolitical vision, uh, for the world.
R: And that got endorsements, as well, from Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger?
J: That got endorsements from Tony Blair, uh, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright; um, a, a cast of, uh, war-mongers, or, um, actual, uh, war-criminals, uh, pre-publication: all set up pre-publication; and, Henry Kissinger, uh, is in fact, one of the central people, uh, in that book, but, you know, it, it’s fine for people to write books that, the, question, uh, to me, became, “Why was that book written?” It’s a very, very, strange book, [takes breath] um, and (…).
R: And you, you, actually met Jared Cohen; He was one of the people that came to meet you; and, this is a man-and we must say that this interview is being conducted just days after U.S Congress has authorized military-aid to so-called moderate Islamists in Syria; there are airstrikes in Iraq… uh, tell me about this Jared Cohen.
J: So, Jared Cohen was the previous advisor for Hillary. He jumped f..from Hillary, um, to work to being, uh, the head of, uh, Google Ideas. And Google Ideas is, pff, an in-house State Department that Google Runs; uh, it’s functions are essentially the same as the U.S. State Department: to make alliances with var-with various people; uh, to bring together, uh, activists and, uh, security generals and so on; bring them together under Google; and, uh, um, and, uh, create various forms of (.) and they’re working; and, even in some cases, uh, actively intervene with different governments to try and destabilize things.
R: Now, I’ve read the book and listened to the audio recording. It’s quite friendly; but, in ‘Empire of The Mind’ there are clear, uh, sentences in here; things like: “Greater transparency in all things is a [emphasis] dangerous model.”
J: Yeah, the, thee position being pushed forward by Google at it’s most Senior Executive level to Washington, uh, is that [lip-smack] it is the State, uh, who should determine what is published and what is not is pub-what is not published… it should be a state body that oversees who is supplying organizations and they have to go through that State body, uh, before they can, uh, release material.
R: And, uh, it’s not just Jared Cohen — Jared Cohen’s, uh, past in provenance, She’s, He used to work with a woman called Anne-Marie Slaughter whose been in a lot of T.V. studios in America; head of the New America Foundation; and, uh, She’s saying we should, uh, “We,” Britain, usually involves us as well, in covert funding in Ukraine.
J: That’s right; uh, Anne-Marie Slaughter; uh, you know, there’s a quite a very interesting network; let me pull back a bit because we’ll get (.) will get quite confusing if we go into all the details; but, Google, [lip-smack] at that executive level has a revolving door with the State Department and it is trying to become America’s geopolitical visionary because it is a company that is enmeshed into the world, uh, into every single country, uh, billions of people, um, using Google services; Google collecting all of that information from all of those people; their emails; their geographic locations if they use Android-powered phones, uh, and so-on, and then the national security agency piggy-backing on the top of Google and pulling information out of Google; so Google has a lot of room to argue that it is, uh, the edge of the way the world is developing economically and in terms of information and in terms of geopolitics because it has to deal with all these countries, uh, so the ‘Empire of The Mind’ and the subsequent Google book, um, is a calling to Washington not to general public because it’s not really a book that’s readable by the general public; but, a calling to Washington and that’s why those, um, figures such as Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair and Madeleine Albright are there giving pre-publication endorsements: that’s my interpretation. =
R: = When you say six billion retinas see that Google homepage every day — they were advertising a John Kerry speech when America, and of course Britain wanted, uh, their governments wanted to, uh, get their people to endorse the bombing of Damascus. =
J: = Right, so, Google has a lot of advertising power. [ahem] It’s homepage, uh, the most people see that per day more than anything else; billions of people, um, see, uh, various Google pages whether they’re from YouTube or, or, the main search page or on their Android phone; so that gives Boo..Google intense ability not only to collect information about what people are doing but also to project, um, what it wants, uh, to those people. There has been a perception previously that Google: “Well, people just pay for ads and Google displays those ads and it doesn’t actively intervene in terms of it’s ability to influence.” That is not true; in fact, during the most intense moments, um, of the, dis-debate in U.S., uh, Congress whether Syria was to be bombed or not bombed… Google on it’s homepage, uh, put up a link in red hi-lighted to point directly to the Kerry speech.
R: Wow, I mean, there, that’s, that’s one, uh, wha-shocking piece of information, I-ge-d-you-did a couple of main-stream, uh, interviews about this book; Google very quick to say, and perhaps uphold their counter-cultural public-relations image and say, “At no point do we have this connection and we certainly don’t give all the data you just said, uh, to the /national security agency.“
J: /We-you have to, you have to, you ha (…), the statement is written it seems by lawyers and you have to be careful, uh, they didn’t actually say that; what they said is they don’t give [emphasis] direct access to their service to the National Security Agency; but,that’s not how the prison system works. How the prison system works is: Google maintains a server, uh, and the F.B.I. is involved, uh, yeah at a sort of formal label, uh, in maintaining those interceptions, those, and then the National Security Agency is able to access those so it’s, um, ye-but, in, but, in practices as we’ve seen it’s well documented in the Snowden documents, uh, the National Security Agency, uh, can search, uh, most Google, most Google’s data for what it wants and does.
R: How do you think Britain fits in with, uh, these sorts of policies and how Google works; their top-level connections between Google and our government?
J: Well, there, uh, there’s been reported from the Snowden material that, um, [lip-smack] uh, that Google’s internal network, uh, has also been, uh, eh-mass-intercepted by the National Security Agency, so, num-number of things are going on here; um, [AR: /and (…)] you ha-you have Google as an institution go it is now the, the, second largest company by lack of capitalization: four hundred billion dollars, uh, in the U.S. and it’s growing, uh, uh, ever-faster and penetrating other countries; even countries like China [ahem] which are perceived to be more or less free from Google because they’ve es-ex-excluded Google really from the search market there and they have Baidu, pff, but all these smart phones mean that Google in fact is [mm] pulling lots of data out of China. Then you have Google’s, uh, relationship which is (I document in a book) with the National Security Agency and the Defense Secretary in the U.S. and that goes way back; uh, in fact: to the very first paper that initiated Google was funded in part by DARPA, The Defense Advance Research Projects Agency; since 2002, uh, Google has been involved in formal contracts with the, uh, National Security Agency, uh, of the United States, uh, and then there is, um, [lip-smack] uh, the National Security Agency, uh, intercepting, uh, Google’s internal communications and communications that go to Google; so we what we have here is a mixture of voluntary interaction, um, uh, as a sort of contractficial level, um, social interaction at the level of Senior Executives of Google, um, and then we have, uh, coerced interaction, uh, where the (…) just the fact that Google is collecting all this material, uh, and that is part of it’s business model: to collect as much information about people and how they behave to generate profiles of them, uh, to make them as predictable as possible for advertising — that can then be intercepted; even if the voluntary aspect of Google withdraws; uh, even if, uh, the social aspect in terms of the [emphasis] network that Eric Schmidt, uh…, is embedded in withdraws; or that the in-house mini-State Department they have: Google Ideas, withdraws; uh, the very fact that Google’s business model is to, pff, collect as much information about people as possible to make them as predictable as possible means that the National Security Agency is just going to piggy-back on top of that.
R: So what about all the breathless news we get about Google Glass; we shouldn’t be as, uh, shouldn’t be seen as so benign?
J: Oo! I mean, Google Glass is, uh, you know, p-possibly, uh, uh, uh, a realization of, um, some Orwellian horror in the sense that, um, [lip-smack] this places Google between your eyes and the world. So not only is Google, uh, collecting your e-mail if you use G-Mail or if you use Android phone; uh, not only is it collecting what you are thinking about when you’re searching your location information, uh, if you use Android-phone; um, what interests you have on YouTube and so on, uh, but, will able to collect directly, um, the images, uh, that you are pulling through.
R: I use an Android phone. (inaudible) (…) =
J: = Well, ei-eighty percent; eighty percent of phones now sold to smart-phones are Android; eighty percent; and, that, that figure is increasing.
R: So, um, I do want you to mention the Dr. Strangelove moment when you’re, uh, trying to, uh, get ahold of Hillary Clinton-widely seen as the next Democratic Presidential contender.
J: Right, so what happens: Eric Schmidt, [ahem] you know this Google Senior Executives come to see me: Eric Schmidt, and three other people; um, I don’t think too much about the three other people at the time [lip-smack] and we have this interesting conversation which is, which is documented in the book; um, [lip-smack] and then a little bit later [lip-smack] um, I need to speak, uh, to the most senior person in the State Department: Hillary is the most senior person [lip-smack]; and, so we try to arrange that call and, um, [lip-smack] for people who may not be familiar with these things, you know, if you get your PA to try and do some brain-storming with someone else’s PA in some big departments actually you can get up pretty high pretty quick, um, and there was this Dr. Strangelove moment where, uh, the State Department is saying, “Who wants to talk to Hillary: Julian Assange? Are you, I mean, come on, is it really Julian Assange; how can we prove that it’s Julian; how can you prove that it’s Julian Assange; etcetera; etcetera…” And, [lip-smack] so we start progressing up the levels; um, and then, uh, we get a statement that there will be a call back, uh, which is not un-un-unsurprising you know to check: etcetera; and, and we do get, um, communications back, uh, but we get them through a back-channel of one of my other staff members who had arranged the Schmidt visit that the visit by Google: He got the call [lip-smack]; and, He got the call /He, /He, /He
R: /Even though /you called the State Department /and not your (…) =
J: = got the call from Eric Schmidts then-girlfriend, uh: Lisa Shields who doesn’t work nominally for the State Department; she’s the Chief of Communications of the Council on Foreign Relations; so a call came in: “Julian wants to talk to, to, Hillary;” okay, “Well we need to make a back-channel in the State Department; who do we know… that, uh, oh that’s right: uh, eh, you know, Lisa Shields was just out there cuz’ she you know we were told all about her so, Get Lisa to, to, be the back-channel,” so there we have it: circumstance where, um, [lip-smack] uh, the Senior Executive of Google was literally in bed with the State Department.
R: But, Julian, after the public shame you with a tag around your ankle, you ask Eric Schmidt, one of the most powerful, uh, corporation leaders in the world: whether He will leak something to Wikileaks.
J: That’s right; uh, we asked that Eric Schmidt [lip-smack] provide us with the secret Patriot Act requests, uh, that had been served on Google, um, for preh-ec-to coerce Google to give information to the U.S. intelligence /government’s (…).
R: /How did you even know that they existed cuz’ this is before Snowden/’s (…)
J: /That’s right. That’s right; but, I have been studying the National Security Agency for about twenty years; so, um, we knew that this sort of thing was going on, uh, even before the Snowden revelations. The Snowden revelations is very important because they, uh, gave more detail, uh, but, um, [lip-smack] anyway, so, He became very nervous since that, at, that, He couldn’t, uh, do that because that would be illegal; uh, but, um, … [lip-smack] He didn’t realize at the time at that, at the, amount of, I thought the, the, Google would be acting because it had been coerced, um, rather than there was, um, an element of voluntarism, uh, in it’s associations with the, with the, U.S. military.
R: He since written complaining to the U.S. government [background phrasing]. Google’s… [background phrasing] they sure is know that they shouldn’t be doing it Google is fighting against, uh, the National /Security Agency and the FISA (…).
J: /Well, initia-initially when the-intially when the Snowden thing broke: they were playing it down; uh, and, then Google-Facebook, came out with an, uh, almost identical statement keeping worked on together, uh, with this direct access, [lip-smack] uh, line trying to [emphasis] spin, uh, what had been occurring and then more Snowden documents were released documenting, uh, more concretely; [lip-smack] and, then there appears to be perhaps some, even some, pressure from within Google from it’s lower-level engineers who, who, were a bit shocked to find out what was happening and so Google has taken a more, um, [lip-smack] assertive, uh, approach, uh, in public, uh, subsequently that ultimately, [lip-smack] Google is part of the defense industrial base that’s head by the head of the NSA in that, uh, E-Mail to, uh, Eric Schmidt, um, has very close associations with, uh, U.S. Foreign Policy circles and that’s going to continue; um, and, even if, even if, we got to the stage where Google as a organization, [lipsmack] uh, rejected that notion that it should cooperate in some manner with what is going on, uh, it can simply be coerced to do so.
R: You say in the book that when it comes to Wikileaks itself the opponents of Wikileaks opportunistically… they, destract attention from the actual revelations and this has been recurring in lots of Wikileaks, uh, revelations; it’s always the possiblity of harm; and, then they kind of forget about the revelations; just tell me a little bit about that.
J: Look: that’s something that National Security journalism has been facing since at least the ninteen fifties; possibly, uh, possibly even before.
R: These innocent, fair, journalists where they say there’s, they are, when they write pieces saying you’re dangerous…?
J: Uh… well, I mean there, there’s, you know, you have to understand that when one publication publishes a, a, dynamite story — other publications don’t have a story; and, so they try and undermine the, the, story in some way: they, they, have to write something so they, they’ll, often do that; um, [lip-smack] and, then unfortunately, a lot, um, you know, a lot of those people are too close, uh, to the very powers that they should be trying to hold to account-if we go back, uh, and, and, look at what the U.S. military, uh, Robert Gates and General McMullen, um, said about our publications of, of, of, creating hypotheticals and maybe they would cause harm; uh, our publications documented [car-honk] their involvement in a case-by-case level in the deaths of more than twenty thousand people in Afghanistan and more than a hundred and eight thousand people in Iraq: those are the stakes that we were talking about; um, [lip-smack] not only the dissolution of two societies, but, the deaths of over a hundred thousand people; and, so when you want to destract from this, um, you just make the same accusation [thud] to the, to the, person that is making accusation against you. That’s, that’s, [background: /Dumb…?] sort of , it’s a kin-sort of kindergarten rhetoric; um: your mother smells; no, no, [clack] your mother smells; I mean it’s, [thud] it’s, it’s really, it’s really that pathetic.
R: I mean often it’s been the most, uh, uh, invertical, ah, most liberal journals and magazines that seem to attack you… the most; uh, you do say something that I hadn’t realized before about The Guardian Newspaper /printing (…).
J: /We should, we should make, we should make clear, um, just to put down on record — in two thousand and thirteen, uh, in the trial of Chelsea Manning, uh, who was subsequently sentenced, uh, to thirty-five years for, uh, giving information to the media; and, and, only for giving information to the media-there is no other allegation against her; um, [lip-smack] that, the, General Carr: the person responsible for investigating whether any, cau-uh, harm was caused by our publications-U.S. government said under oath that they couldn’t find a single person who had been harmed. Not a single person.
R: And yet, as I said, liberal publications from time to time, and the big debate seems to be, and they have these think-tank debates, going, “Oh! The real debate is: you know, how much should, uh, Wikileaks have released and what isn’t and what is (…)” (.) You do say that The Guardian printed a decrypted password to all the cables, uh, /tell us,
J: /That’s right. =
R: = tell us about wha-was it a mistake by The Guardian?
J: I-thin-I think it was probably a mistake but it’s a mistake that comes in a certain context, uh, which is a context to rush (.) basically, The Guardian is very concerned about… what-what it had done and whether it would be aggressively criticized for what it had done in relation to us who had broken a contract: all three points of our contract; and, they were the-there was a reputational fight on between us and The Guardian; and, in that context had rushed to put out a book; [lip-smack] and, in that book it put the decryption password, uh, full of cables /[inaudible] (…)
R: /that seems so bizarre! (…) =
J: = Well it’s, it’s, it’s just completely incompetent and, and, negligent, uh, and, of course, you know, they’re perhaps happy to do it because [hands rest on table] they didn’t mind, perhaps, making problems for us; else, else-where: that, you know, they did things that were much more serious; for example: they secretly gave all two hundred and fifty-one thousand cables to a Mossad contact in Haaretz — all two hundred and fifty-one thousand; that was the only country, uh, other, other than the New York Times, that was the only, uh, country that they gave, uh, all two hundred and fifty-one thousand /cables.
R: /Why would they have done that? … [sobering tone] We don’t know? ..I mean of course at tha-at this sort of time when there was this fight on what The Guardian (…) (.) there was a film, uh, that came out, uh, “We Steal Secrets” (.) I think you p-people go through; just tell us a little bit about how, how that, uh, gave, a totally false, uh, uh, account really of, uh, /who you are (.) what Wikileaks was (.) I mean it’s (…)
J: /Yeah, well, that, [ahem] it was a, a, documentary funded by Universal; uh, but, a two, two to three million, uh, dollars, uh, in the U.S.; and, it, it, it was, you know, what is typically done in a sort of liberal sphere which is: build them up and you knock them down; um, and, so they, they, took that uh, uh, trajectory; but, we had seen that the film-maker probably wasn’t, um, a trust-worthy person so we didn’t want to be engaged in it; and, so we didn’t give them any interviews, and, that, um, it’s not, it’s not very interesting; but, they then went and came clo-became close to The Guardian, and, so in relation to that dispute about, [lip-smack], The Guardian’s incompetence in putting, uh, the password in it, in it’s, uh, book, um, they took The Guardian’s /(inaudible) (…)
R: /It all just jumbled up together! (.) Arguably not as incompetent all this stuff as one event you relate in the Air about the Ministry of Defense here in Britain’s reaction to Wikileaks when it first started to Cablegate, uh, telling British Telecom to.. /what’s that about? [laugh]
J: /Oh yeah, that, th-th-that’s, that was, that was, ver-rit-yeah, that was quite funny (…) =
R: = I mean [laugh] someone at the M.O.D. saw what /you had released so (…)
J: /Yeah, [ahem] so we released some classified documents on British Ministry transferring interesting materials, uh, including a, a, a, two thousand page document on how to stop leaks; and, how the number one enemy of the British M.O.D. was not Russian spies, uh, but, was in-fact investigative journalists; and, okay, so [lip-smack], then afterwards as part of our due diligence to protect our sources we filed a Freedom of Information Act Request on the British Ministry of Defense to see if we could get a feeling whether there was any investigation going on and where it was leading [lip-smack] and we got materials out; and, those materials [pff..lip-smack] showed that the British Ministry of Defense was sort of p-panicked that at this material was there and they’re going, “My God! There’s, there’s pages and pages; in-fact, there’s hundreds of link!!!!!” and they had five exclamation marks in a row; and, then: “We have got to do something, and [uh.. mm] well, okay let’s tell British Telecom who controls the Internet for the, uh, Ministry of Defense that, um, [lip-smack] to prevent anyone in the Ministry of Defense from reading Wikileaks;” so they, the pe-the counter-intelligence guys there neatly solved their problem and their problem was that their bosses could read Wikileaks and see Ministry of Defense material there so they just censored Wikileaks from their bosses and as a result the Ministry was great because we were still publishing material from the Ministry of Defense but the heads of the Ministry of Defense couldn’t see it so /that was (…)
R: /Ultimate organizational systems designed disaster; of course, it does get very serious I mean it’s almost an aside here in this book; I’m not even sure that we can mention the, uh, intelligence security company which you discovered was tendering for, uh, millions of dollars a month, uh, to target people associated with you; you, and Wikileaks /in terms of…
J: /That’s, H-H-/HBGary;
R: /Yeah, I’m not sure who; we’ll probably bleep that out, but, /uh,
J: /Or, uh, I think the company’s ground-up now out of because [laughs] [/R: [laughs] For what?] it’s g-g-I think it’s gone now that company (.) as a result that the CEO has resigned and so on.
R: But there is seriously tenders of this kind going against publications that are /whistleblowers
J: /ten-ten-tenders in that case are for two million dollars per month… two million dollars per month paid for, for, by the Bank of America, uh, to attack us..uh, to attack Glen Greenwald as, as, as a, uh, supporter, that uh, Snowden journalist, um, yeah, and the recommendation, uh, for those private intelligence companies to the Bank of America was given by the Department of Justice. =
R: = Well, uh, despite all of this: yeah, you are in the Ecuadaorian Embassy, Chelsea Manning is as you said decades, uh, prison sentence.. with the appeal coming up.. you’ve still come out, Fin-Wikileaks has still come out with the, uh, FinFisher, uh, leaks which are part of a U.K.-formerly part of the U.K. Gamma Group. Just tell us just a little bit about the FinFisher malware that you released to the public, uh, in /the last few days.
J: /Well, let’s just [ahem] put in context: eighty percent of the National Security Agency is run by private industry; so you think-when you think about: “What is the core of government; what has more government than anything else?” You think: “It must be intelligence agencies.” No; in-fact in the west, uh, the intelligence agencies allow eighty percent are run by private industry; and, so a number of different private industries have st-have started up to, you know, to sell products, uh, to intelligence agencies around the world and one of them is Gamma Group and Gamma [construction noise] Group produces something called FinFischer and FinFischer is, uh, uh, actually a suite, um, of, um, [lip-smack] cyber weapons, uh, to hijack people’s mobile phones; to turn on their, on their, microphone on people’s mobile phones; uh, to pull information out of their computers and so on; and, uh, probably the most serious, uh, thing that it produces is a bulk, um, trojan system that you put in the major gateway of a country or I.S.P. and every one’s connecting to that: the trojan goes back down and infects their machines, uh, and the bul-material that we published was the code itself to do that: the command and control center; uh, the actual, uh, in-infection code, uh, and then, um, interactions with their clients-their various intelligence agencies saying, “Oh but this thing doesn’t work for me on a, on a, Blackberry version two.” Etcetera; uh, and so you get a not only a list of clients and how much money that they’ve spent, uh, on this software, but, some of the interaction with how they are engaged in, uh, targeting individuals and groups.
R: And so populations in g-countries in which, uh, =
J: = Yeah, for example, in Bahrain, um, targeting /hu-human rights, (…)
R: /An ally of this country or an ally of Great Brits (…)
J: /and now I have Great Britain; but, yeah. And with the, the, Fifth Fleet also based in =
R: = could be as jus-against them; let’s go to the, the normal politics of, of, it as well, um, you mention in the book, uh, at one point that there were once authentic actors like, uh, unions and churches and how it’s all been hijacked in a sense; for (.) you, you depict it as, as, free-market statism; [J: /Yes.] in this larger battle how can what Wikileaks does, uh, contribute in, in this battle, you battle globalization really: you mention politics versus wealth transfer.
J: Yeah, well [ahem], we’re in a position now that, you know, that there’s no other game in town other than the Internet; it’s not, not, a matter of, you know.. we kind of go back to the caves: um, if we do that we cut our selves off to uh, uh, influencing, uh, development of the society; um, but, um, what is happening now is this sort of these fluid, uh, post-modern, public, private networks of interaction; I gave you an example of this National Security Agency: eighty percent being run by private corporations; uh, and, those private corporations, though, have shareholdings across, uh, uh, across, uh, jurisdictions; but, the political actors that you might perceive to be working in the other direction: the N.G.O.’s, um, these [mm] meetings like the Internet Governance Forum or those, uh, Sweden’s Stockholm Internet Forum is coming together to what it seems to create a new vision for, for, a better world; um, these are funded by the same players; uh, so: Google Ideas, Google, and, Google Ideas is funding a bunch of these and their sort of their captive in, um, largely related to it’s interests; [lip-smack] but similarly the State Department and USAID inside [ss] Sida, uh, in Sweden and the FCO, um, are also /wi … uh, yeah, yeah, yeah (…)
R: /But there is one foundation: The Gates Foundation; The New America Foundation; you go on; there is hope, though, in this book, uh, I, I detected the political education of apolitical tech people being extraordinary; and, as you said I think before that even at the height of the propaganda against Wikileaks forty percent of the U.S. population with nine hundred thousand people in America having /security clearance.
J: /We, we have, we have an update on that statistic now, um, the ACLU in-fact ran a, um, a survey so, that, we have majority support even in the United States f-uh-for people under the age of forty, um, majority support; so despite the media propaganda [lip-smack], um, there’s still majority support, so, so, people can feel when the media is trying to push them; uh, it’s still pa-it’s still a media propaganda /(inaudible 00:30:04) (…)
R: /Maybe not in Scotland.
J: Well, but, I mean look we in Scotland there was forty-five percent, uh, support of independence that was up fifteen percent compared to when the cam-uh-compared to a year ago when the campaign started; so, okay they, they, pulled out all stops you saw, uh, Swedish Foreign Minister trying to intervene in that campaign against wi-uh-Scottish independence and, uh, and, clint-both Clintons came out against it and Barack Obama came out against it; the Australian, um, Prime Minister; I mean Australia: this is a nation that got indepenence from, uh, the United Kingdom a hundred years ago and it’s try-it’s going there trying to deny the Scots.
R: First it wanted to bomb Iraq again too I think but you, you, this security clearance issue I suppose the most terrifying statistic in your book as regards to the authorities: are you implying therefore that with hundreds of thousands of people who have the kind of security clearance that Edward Snowden has (…)
J: There are now six million people in the United States with security clearances; six million; uh, that is more than the population of Norway or New Zealand, uh, or Scotland, uh, that is in effect a state within a state; why is it a state within a state? Because people have security clearances have, have, extra laws, uh, that they are meant to obey and they’re involved in information in how the state works; what rules and regulations; and, so on that exist within that state is kept within that state because they’re classified; that’s, uh, extremely alarming phenomenon.
R: And all it takes is one of them to write to you. =
J: = If we go back to, if we go back to, to, um, two thousand ten: so just back to two thousand.. there was two point five million; so there’s been more than a doubling of the size of the national security state within the U.S., uh, in just a few just a ki-just four or five years.
R: But as a publisher it’s good news for you.
J: It’s good, it’s good news for us in the sense that, yeah, that, that the more people, I mean, if you think about it: six million people having security clearances and more than one point five million having top-secret /security clearances.
R: /One must doubt-just one of them must doubt about U.S. Foreign Policy at the moment. =
J: = Exactly; exactly.
R: Julian Assange: thank you.
J: You’re welcome Afshin.