Hi Cassandra, thank you for taking the time to talk about this with us. Few people in the 21st century have inspired more passion, both positive and negative than Julian Assange. As the founder of WikiLeaks, he's unapologetically unleashed terabytes of secret government and corporate data under the claims of exposing for the public interest.
World Wire News: Julian Assange, has often argued that no one has been harmed by the WikiLeaks disclosures, while many government officials and those in the national security community say the leaks were harmful to a broad range of people. What is your opinion on the matter?
Cassandra Fairbanks: The Pentagon testified during the Manning trial that no one was harmed due to the disclosures. The US government reiterated this fact during the extradition hearings for Julian. In the newly released audio released by Project Veritas you can get a really solid glimpse into the extreme measures Julian was taking to minimize any potential harm.
World Wire News: You came out early as a pro Trump supporter, how did Julian react to that?
Cassandra Fairbanks: He was fine. I would love to go more in depth on this, but all of our conversations were off-record unless expressly stated otherwise. He faced a lot of pressure to disavow me and he never did. He defended me instead.
World Wire News: When Wikileaks launched, the site's call mantra was, in their own words, "an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis." The ideas was that by giving people the ability to anonymously share secrets the people in turn would shake corrupt regimes, expose corporate evil-doers, be a check on the balance of powers. Our question to you is, do you think it succeeded? And would you like to see a new version of Wikileaks come into existence?
Cassandra Fairbanks: They absolutely succeeded. News organizations all over the world now attempt to imitate the WikiLeaks model, but fail. Nobody can do it quite like he does. WikiLeaks is still up and running, even with Julian imprisoned. We need a thousand Wikileaks, but his political persecution is a clear attempt to scare people away from doing it.
World Wire News: It was reported that Julian Assange reached out to the State Department and Hillary Clinton prior to the initial data dump about helping mitigate some of the potential fallout, can you give us some insight into what happened there?
Cassandra Fairbanks: The audio shows that the unredacted 251,000 US embassy cables were eventually published online by others, before WikiLeaks. This is important because those who published them first were not punished, or even inconvenienced. It makes it pretty clear that this is selective and political.
It also reveals that Julian went to great lengths to try to prevent the uncontrolled publication of the full US State Department cables by third parties on the internet and prevent harm to people who were mentioned in them. He went above and beyond, frankly, and was ignored by Clinton’s State Department.
World Wire News: Imagining life as an asylum seeker in a small room in an Ecuadorean embassy for seven years does not sound like an easy way to spend seven years, what did Julian’s day to day life look like while he was there?
Cassandra Fairbanks: He was spied on and surveilled extensively. It felt like being in a fish bowl.
World Wire News: To the people who say Julian Assange has not been punished enough for his actions yet, what would you say.
Cassandra Fairbanks: They’re sadistic monsters.
World Wire News: In your opinion, what do you think was the most important thing Wikileaks brought to light?
Cassandra Fairbanks: The war logs. They showed people the true cost of war, humanized it. When people see war, support for it drops.
World Wire News: Was there anything Wikileaks published that you disagreed with?
Cassandra Fairbanks: No. Information should be free. As Julian says, “transparency for the government, privacy for the rest of us!”
World Wire News: Thank you for taking the time to interview with us, and we can end off with one last question, if you could write a message to Donald Trump explaining why he should pardon Julian Assange, what would that message say
Cassandra Fairbanks: Julian has been fighting the corrupt deep state monsters that tried to sabotage your presidency for over a decade. Without his work, Hillary might have won. You owe him this act of kindness... and it would really piss off your enemies.