Kristinn Hrafnsson

001Mixed signals from European Union on economic blockade of WikiLeaks - spokesperson

Award Winning Interview - The TPP is a Corporate Coup D'état

 Dr Carl Jensen the Founder of Project Censored died on July 25 2015 soon after I received the above award RIP

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15 November, 2013 23:51

The transparency site WikiLeaks has recently released part of a secret trade agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP) being fast-tracked through the US Congress by US President Barrack Obama. What is astounding about the treaty, other than the fact that it is being pushed through without allowing US Congressmen access to the full text, is that only 3 people in each of the 12 prospective signatory countries, have access to the full text. Given that the treaty will affect countries which account for about 40% of the world GDP and over 800 million people, the fact that 600 corporate bankers are effectively hi-jacking the governments of the member countries and that only 3 people in each country know the full contents of the treaty, the document is a true step towards Corporate Fascism. The Voice of Russia spoke to WikiLeaks number 2 Kristinn Hrafnsson on the section of the TPP which they released.

Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with WikiLeaks number two Kristinn Hrafnsson, he is the official spokesperson for the Wikileaks Organization. This is Part 1 of a three part interview. This interview can be found on our website at Voiceofrussia.com in the near future.

Robles: Hello, sir.

Hrafnsson: Hello, John, thanks for having me on your program.

Robles: And thanks for agreeing to speak with me again. It's been a while, a lot of things are going on. WikiLeaks has just released a very important, very timely and unfortunately very secret document that will affect many people all over the world. Can you tell listeners exactly what the TPP is in the part that you released and why it's so important?

Hrafnsson: Yes. It's no wonder that people have not heard so much about this TPP. This is a treaty being drafted called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement often referred to as TPP between 12 nations that are in the Pacific Area: they are Canada, Mexico, the United States, Peru, Chile on the American side and in the eastern side you have New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Brunei and Japan, Malaysia as well, now 12 nations in total and this is quite a package because these 12 nations they have combined gross domestic product, GDP which account for 40% of the GDP of the entire world.

We are talking about a third of all world trade in this context and 800 million people.

This has been going on with drafting of this so called free trade agreement, and I'll tell you later why refer to it as 'so called', for almost four years, in secrecy there has been extremely little coming out from these proceedings, the instruction has been that those who are actually negotiating this agreement they are signing a non-disclosure agreement and are not allowed to tell anybody what is going on around the bargaining table. However, what has been disclosed is that apart from a handful of negotiators from each nation there have been 600 so called 'corporate advisers' involved in the process.

Now these so called 'corporate advisers' are representatives of the interest of those who have the biggest stake in this document. And those are the big corporations that are seen of course to benefit primarily from this deal: Monsanto, the big oil companies, Texaco, big pharma like Pfizer, the entertainment industry; Disney, Hollywood.

So those are the entities who are behind the chairs of those who are at the negotiating table and no wonder when we see what is in the draft of the document that we released yesterday – of course the interests of big corporations is at the forefront here and at the expense of the consumers.

Robles: Can I ask you to comment while we’re on the topic, you mentioned 600 corporate advisers are involved in this. Can you comment on a balance now? As I understand there is very few people in each country that actually can see the entire text. Can you comment on that imbalance?

Hrafnsson: That imbalance of course is absolutely absurd, and it is a good example of what is at stake here and what is the aim here.

Now what exactly did we leak? We did get a hold of and have published the most important chapter of this draft treaty, this is a chapter on intellectual property rights. It's almost a hundred-page document, that aims to this important issue and in it you can see the position on each and every clause from each and every negotiating nation. That is what is included in this draft.

Just to put this the context, where this treaty is at the Obama Administration has put a great emphases of trying to get this through, and implement it as soon as possible. The original aim was to get it actually signed before the end of this year.

So this is at the final stages, even though of course you can see from the draft which you can see on our website wikileaks.org, there is a lot of disagreement but we are talking about of course, the total imbalance in terms of strength on the one hand, you have the United States and on the other you have small nations like Brunei, or nations with weak positions like Vietnam and we don't know how they will end up in voting on this treaty.

The Obama Administration on top of the secrecy has been trying to push Congress to vote on a bill allowing this treaty to be fast-tracked through Congress.

The fast-track measure means that the elected representatives will not be allowed to discuss in details every aspect of this treaty, they will not be allowed to introduce amendments to it. They will have only the right to say yes or no, thumbs up or thumbs down to the treaty. No of course this has been protested by actually representatives from both parties, both the Democrats and the Republicans have protested this segment of the Congress as being of course an undemocratic element.

There is now a push to get this through by Obama. He himself said last year that the TPP raised the standards of a new age in his view and indicated that this would be the benchmark for higher world trade and, keep in mind that just this year discussions between the United States and the European Union on a Trans-Atlantic Treaty, so the TPP, the Pacific Treaty, has big implication on world trade.

Now we have not got into the content yet but it is quite shocking what you will read there.

Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson

Robles: Please, tell us, that number was only three members now, three members, or three people in each member country, is that correct? Know the full text of this? And people in the US Congress who are supposed to vote on it are not allowed to see the entire document and this is a document that will affect, you said 800 million people, how is this possible?

Hrafnsson: It's stunning. It's stunning that actually there has not been huge debate about this. There has been an absolute silence in the mainstream media in most headquarters about this, because people have (the corporate media) have accepted the silence, the cloak of secrecy which is astonishing.

And the undemocratic nature of this process, both the writing of a treaty and what is proposed in the US (which of course has been the "bastion" of democratic values) to rush this through Congress without the Congressmen having any chance to discuss, or get to know this document beforehand, is of course astonishing.

Three people, that is my information as well, only three people from each nation have access to the full document.

Robles: So 12 perspective members, right? So we have 36 people on Earth that are going to make a decision that is going to affect almost a billion? Unbelievable.

Hrafnsson: Unbelievable and put that into the context that 600 representatives of big corporations had access to portions of it and have influenced the making of it.

Robles: I asked you a year ago, maybe longer, if you thought that the United States was sliding towards fascism. And I think we discussed once the definitions of corporate fascism etc. What would you say now?

Hrafnsson: It's very easy to see this entire process as coup d'état of corporations, hijacking power, and basically bypassing natural democratic process.

It is, and of course if we can get a little later into the elements of what this industry is, it is absolutely scary to see how influential they are in this process.

And yes, I have often said that we are seeing a tendency towards neo-fascism in the world. And this is definitely one of the indications that should go into that argument.

Robles: I see. A few minutes ago you mentioned some goals. What are the goals of the entire document and the goals in particular of the part that WikiLeaks released (that you released)and how is copyright going to be used to clamp down on whistleblowers and increase the police state? So, the goals, and how is copyright being used to manipulate and control basically?

Hrafnsson: Well, what I said earlier was that I would refer to this agreement as 'so called free trade agreement'.

What I mean by that is that free trade is of course the overall goal on which this with that it was advertised with a very positive connotation, this will create jobs and un-hinder market flow, cheaper products and all the positive benefits. But the fact and the matter is that of the 29 Chapters in this treaty, only 5 has the right influence and talk about the actual free trade and tariffs.

That is the indication of what it is really is. This is not about free trade and about consumer benefits. This is about corporate benefits and about their power takeover of this important market, a third of world trade, 40% market that has 40% of the world GDP.

A few examples of what this overall treaty entails, it entails a very strong enforcement mechanisms.

One proposal there of course is to create a supranational body, a tribunal where disputes will be settled with this regard to internal laws. This will be above the High Court of each and every country.

In this tribunal we will have corporate lawyers sitting, we will have corporations suing governments not just because they are not abiding by the treaty and causing some obvious harm, they have the ability to sue governments for prospective loss of the future.

Robles: To sue governments for prospective loss? So this is not actual loss and that's incredible.

Hrafnsson: So this entails of course a massive giveaway of national sovereignty in each in its country. And we have seen the past examples of how these so called tribunals of settlement have been used and abused in the past.

I can give you one example, that your people might remember. It is when the Ecuadorian Government, Ecuadorian entities were suing Chevron former Esso Co for damages in their oil production in Ecuador. And the Supreme Court in Ecuador actually decided on behalf of Ecuadoreans, and I believe that they were granted like $8 billion.

This took almost two decades to finalize in Ecuador. But the old agreement at the oil company had from decades way back was that they could actually take matters to a tribunal to settle. And in the tribunal where corporate lawyers sat, the damages entitled to the indigenous people in Ecuador was taken off.

So we have many examples of these kinds of measures when we have tribunals settled. This is of course, and can only be seen, as a giveaway of the national sovereignty.

Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson

Robles: Can I ask you a question? Regarding the Ecuadorian case I believe it was Exxon, wasn't it and all the executives had to leave and they don't dare set their foot in the country again because they might be fined, right?

Hrafnsson: Yes. And I think I wrongly referred to Texaco in that context.

Robles: You said, these corporations they will be able to sue governments. Now we are talking about 12 member countries, are you saying that these 12 members could they sue the governments of all the over 200 countries in the world? Or could they just sue member countries?

Hrafnsson: No, this will be implemented within the context of this treaty, where corporations could sue governments in member countries.

So the major elements that are of course in this so-called free trade agreement are of course neoconservative measures that we have seen elsewhere.

We are talking about major implications for those countries that would be signatories to these treaties. I can give an example – state-run entities of course would not be welcomed. And if you consider a country like Vietnam where about 40% of the nation's economy are within state-owned enterprises. So how will that effect Vietnam? What effect will it be on the country that is stricken down.

Another example Japanese farming is kept alive because of protective measures, the Japanese farmers have very serious considerations about this treaty because of course protective measures will not be allowed.

They maintain that this will be an attack on cultural values, the healthiness of their food etc. when they will have the inflow of food products from other countries.

We have many examples of these kinds and the biggest reservations what you can see from the text of the treaty are of course from the countries who are in the weaker position because they have been trying to have protective measures both to protect some segments of the economy but also national insurance and healthcare, etc which will be affected if this comes into force with all the measures that the United States will have to push through there.

We will see the effect on banking that will be not allowed to put into laws in these countries measures to limit the free range of the bankers anything likely to last, legal acts anything that will curve derivatives and other measures used in the financial markets. This is of course the crisis and problems it will not be allowed to put anything in place in other countries of such nature, it will be considered a trade barrier.

That was the end of part one of the interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks, you can find next part of this interview on our web site at voiceofrussia.com and as always I wish you the best wherever in the world you may be!

Trans Pacific Partnership is like SOPA on Steroids – Kristinn Hrafnsson

23 November, 2013 20:21 Download audio file

WikiLeaks recently released part of a secret trade agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership Treaty (TPP) which is described as a corporate coup d'état, is being effected in secret and will affect over 800 million people. The reaction to this leak has been very positive according to Kristinn Hrafnsson the number 2 at WikiLeaks who spoke to the Voice of Russia about this important treaty which he said has been described as an international SOPA on steroids. Among opponents of the supra-natural treaty are Doctors Without Borders, who say the Treaty will cause untold deaths and suffering in poorer countries because it will effectively end generic medicines and even patent certain medical procedures.

This is part 2 of a longer interview in progress. You can find the previous part of this interview and the following on our website, at voiceofrussia.com in the near future.

(Photo: Kristinn Hrafnsson) Julian Assange and Kristinn Hrafnsson 

Hrafnsson: If you look specifically at the chapter that we released – the intellectual property rights – people will often associate that simply with the music industry and illegal downloads of films etc, but this has a much bigger scope.

We are talking about patents on genetically modified products, measures that will benefit Monsanto. We are talking about a patent on medical procedures. We are talking about extending the lifetime of patents on drugs which will make it of course much more difficult to produce cheaper generic drugs, which are essential for poor countries and the healthcare.

On top of that, of course, we are talking about measures, with the Disney Corporation and the entertainment industry once in there, which is a blatant attack on the Internet freedom.

There will be a duty, according to clauses in this draft, of all member states to put into law very Draconian and strict measures to hunt down anybody who is illegally downloading. And the Internet service providers will be ordered to monitor, and they will be held liable for anything that will flow through them.

So, you will be creating in every country a police force which will have to be hunting down those who are exchanging recipes or what have you.

This is so strict. If I have a website and somebody posts on my website or my blog, or my Facebook page material that is breaching some copyright laws in other country, I will be held liable for that. And according to the treaty each and every country must pursue the law with much vigilance.

Now, I don’t know if you are familiar with the former attempts to put these kinds of measures into national law.

Robles: You mean like SOPA and the other ones?

Hrafnsson: Yes. Now, those who are very deeply familiar with SOPA, which was basically brushed off a table after people vigorously protested against it in the US. In the TPP you have what people have been referring to as SOPA on steroids.

So, what you have there – measures that were deemed to be absolutely unacceptable on a national level is being secretly put as a Trojan horse into a supranational-international treaty where it is dominated and enforceable through an international-supranational tribunal. And this is done in total secrecy.

This is of course causing outrage amongst all the members who were fighting against SOPA to see that this is coming back again on a more serious level in a secretive international treaty to which, in the case of the US, the representatives will have a very limited power to actually familiarize themselves with it or vote on each and every measure individually.

So, you can see that when I’m talking about that corporate coup d'état – that is exactly what I’m referring to.

Of course, it’s just out and it takes quite a bit of time for people to familiarize themselves with the content of it. But we already have organizations, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, protesting this heavily.

We have Doctors Without Borders protesting the measures relating to the pharmaceutical industry which basically, they say, will cause deaths in countries, because it will create a total inability to get access to cheaper drugs in the future.

Robles: This is unbelievable, I mean what we’ve seen so far. Can you give us a hint of will we be seeing more?

Hrafnsson: We try our best as a publishing organization to have action speaking for itself. And it is very positive that we are seeing a strong and growing reaction to the release. And actually, this time around it is positive that people are focusing on the release itself rather than the leak. That is a good process.

Robles: Yes, that is very good. It is very positive. Is this just another attempt for the US to try to gain complete control of the world? Maybe that’s a bit extreme way to put it, but it sounds very much like a tool that would allow them to control the world. I mean, once you control the trade and the money and the flow of thought, and ideas – you control everything.

Hrafnsson: I think these questions are rather taking it away from the national level because we now have of course supranational and international corporate entities which are the real threat instead of nation states.

Of course many of them which we have discussed here and in this instance, in context of this treaty -these are American based companies. They have no national interest, they have no national values, they have simply one aim in mind, that is to increase the growth and at someone's expense.

Robles: Can you comment, to American patriots for example, who fear that their government has been taken over by corporations? Is this the evidence for that?

Hrafnsson: Well, we have discussed the process here which has been pushed by the Obama Administration which everybody thought would be somewhat different from the Bush Administration.

We of course just see that this is being pushed through undemocratically without any consideration for the consumers and for the individuals in the US, elsewhere in other countries. Yes, I would have to agree that those who would say that this is an evidence that the corporations basically hijacked power in Washington.

Robles: I see. What would you say to people out there, what can we do about this? What's your advice, Kristin?

Hrafnsson: Well, we are a publishing organization, we are not working in any other activist field, we feel that information should be free. There is an urgent need to fight these secrecies that are overwhelming.

Our tool is to urge whistleblowers to leak information and to get everything out in the open. And they will be permitted to be on that track. And we must hope that when information flows to the citizens, that they will take action and actually change this course.

That of course is what we aim for – that is the democratic way. It is very shocking if we are getting to the conclusion: to see how subservient the corporate media in the countries that we are discussing here have been towards this. Only about ten days ago the New York Times, board of editors issued an editorial praising the TPP, praising the initiative and nobody at the New York Times had seen anything out of the discussions.

They had a lot of condemnation from many organizations. Who said: “How on Earth can you support anything, that you don't know what it entails.”

And that is a valid argument. I have to say that in the hours since our release I have been monitoring how the story has been spinning throughout the world, in various media.

It has been quite obvious that the corporate media, most of the big corporate media in the US, for example, have been ignoring the story.

The New York Times hasn't told the story of a leak, which is astonishing. For the Washington Post has not run a story it took a long time for the wire services to wake up.

That is worrying for me as a journalist to see that the corporate media in the largest country in the context of this 12 nation treaty proposal are not covering this important leak, pertaining to so much interest for the individuals in the country.

Robles: I think this is more globally important, not derive the importance of the previously expected. I think this affects everybody, it affects even more people than for example the Afghan war logs, wouldn't you agree?

Hrafnsson: Every leak is unique and it has repercussions. Interesting enough and I think it's important to keep in mind – the Afghan leaks totally changed the perception of what the Afghan War was about.

I believe that before we showed the documents, the 90,000 documents, the field reports from Afghanistan in 2010, that general perception was that everything had been going in a good direction in Afghanistan and the war had been won. And things had been going swell. But the opposite was revealed at a great expenditure in human suffering and in terms of monetary value we see that enterprise as a total failure now.

Robles: Now we have this economic steamer that is trying to pull on us?I'm sorry, go ahead.

Hrafnsson: I'm certain that when people look back in the future to our current times, they will see 2010 as a turning point.

With the WikiLeaks revelation that year which was of Earth-shaking magnitude, there was a fundamental change. And we changed I believe, we gave people hope that through information there was a chance to change the course that the world was in, this was a very negative one.

I believe people will see in the future that in 2010 WikiLeaks opened up an important door and others have walked through the door after this- Edward Snowden if we mention one, other leakers.

Now we have this treaty. And I can promise you whether it would be through us or through other venues, there will be more leaks, there will be more whistleblowers. Courage is contagious, we are on new track. And if this is played out right it is for the better of mankind.

Robles: Kristinn, if there is somebody listening I can’t nominate your for a Nobel Peace Prize or WikiLeaks or Julian. If I could, I would take Obama's Peace Prize and give it to you. You guys deserve it, seriously. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Hrafnsson: Let me just mention if we are coming to conclusion, we would really appreciate that donations from individuals, we are of course reliant on people to donate to us and however small amount would be appreciated. If you go to our website and see where and how people can donate we would appreciate, there is our only source of income.

Robles: Can people from Russia donate?

Hrafnsson: People can now donate. We have had a victory in our fight against the credit cards giants – Visa and Mastercard.

Donations are possible through those venues, through a number of pay ways. This was after Supreme Court victory in Iceland a few months ago. Of course we have and we will continue to get these companies to pay us compensation for three years of banking blockade. This is totally unacceptable.

Robles: Is Visa going to pay for the damages or is that still going up for appeal? What's going on?

Hrafnsson: The damage or compensation procedure is a separate one which has been dealing with separately. And that is just starting. And for the sake to make sure that this never happens again such an arbitrary politically motivated banking blockade upon a publishing organization we must see this to the end.

Robles: Yeah. Are there instruments in there that they are trying to push through to go after whistle blowers internationally and in a harder way?

Hrafnsson: It is not included in a direct manner there. It has to be analyzed in details and of course any attack on Internet freedom is an indirectly attack on freedom of speech and the ability of individuals to talk securely and communicate securely and freely on the Internet. That would apply to journalists and whistleblowers and affect them in a direct manner.

Robles: Ok. Kristinn anything else you want to finish up with?

Hrafnsson: No, I think we've covered quite a good aspect in those minutes about this very important topic and I think the discussion is just beginning.

Robles: I mean that about the Nobel Peace Prize, really, truly.

Hrafnsson: I don't know if we actually are that keen on being standing on the same platform as President Barack Obama.

PART THREE IS MISSING AND WILL BE RESTORED

Obama Attempting to Ram Through Unconstitutional Secret Treaty

Obama attempting to ram through unconstitutional secret treaty

By John Robles, 14 November, 2013 11:34

WikiLeaks has released part of a larger document concerning a new economic treaty that is alarming in its scope and implications and according to WikiLeaks is the largest economic treaty in history. The secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is an instrument that will radically strip away rights and seek to completely control almost every area that is of interest to the large corporations that are going to be the main beneficiaries. The closeness with which US President Obama is working with the corporate interests behind the treaty to ram it through the US Congress with almost no debate or chance for oversight is egregious in itself and further shows just how closely connected corporations like Chevron, Halliburton and Monsanto are with the US Government. Such a document proves without a shadow of a doubt that the US Government has been annexed by huge corporations and the lines between monied interests and the government that was supposed to serve the people have all but disappeared.

If there was ever a time for Americans to stand up and take their country and their government back from the corporations this is it, because once this treaty is passed with all of its global implications the common people in countries that will be controlled by it will be just an inch away from becoming slaves of the state and the corporations.

Countries that sign it also need to beware because one the treaty is sign they will have effectively given up a very large and significant part of their sovereignty to the United States.

WikiLeaks Press Release:

Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world's GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China.

Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty's chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 'trade advisers' – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.

The TPP negotiations are currently at a critical stage. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. Numerous TPP heads of state and senior government figures, including President Obama, have declared their intention to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013.

WikiLeaks' Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange stated: "The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly." The advanced draft of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, published by WikiLeaks on 13 November 2013, provides the public with the fullest opportunity so far to familiarise themselves with the details and implications of the TPP.

The 95-page, 30,000-word IP Chapter lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states. The Chapter's subsections include agreements relating to patents (who may produce goods or drugs), copyright (who may transmit information), trademarks (who may describe information or goods as authentic) and industrial design.

The longest section of the Chapter – 'Enforcement' – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The TPP IP Chapter states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence. The IP Chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties.

The consolidated text obtained by WikiLeaks after the 26-30 August 2013 TPP meeting in Brunei – unlike any other TPP-related documents previously released to the public – contains annotations detailing each country's positions on the issues under negotiation. Julian Assange emphasises that a "cringingly obsequious" Australia is the nation most likely to support the hardline position of US negotiators against other countries, while states including Vietnam, Chile and Malaysia are more likely to be in opposition. Numerous key Pacific Rim and nearby nations – including Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and, most significantly, Russia and China – have not been involved in the drafting of the treaty.

In the words of WikiLeaks' Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, "If instituted, the TPP's IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you're ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs."

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.

A final step to Corporate Fascism

With the US debt at over $200 trillion dollars and their grasp on control slipping, Obama and the corporations that have taken over the US Government are attempting to do anything they can to cling to power and enslave the populace.

The fact that the heads of the governments who are a party to the TPP, would attempt to sign such an all encompassing treaty without the knowledge of their respective governments and their people is a something unheard of an unprecedented in history.

The complete lack of interest in the peoples of their countries and the readiness which the parties are set to effectively give up their sovereignty to the United States should have the populace taking to the streets, which is why the treaty is being done in secret.

One has to ask some serious questions here such as: What kind of country or government attempts to sign all encompassing treaties with other governments in secret? And when did the corporations become our owners and the owners of our governments and constitutons?

The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at jar2@jar2.com. My thanks go out to WikiLeaks for continuing to expose such nefarious activities.

When Barrels of Guns Lifted, Truth Vanishes and Fascists are in Power in Europe Again

7 and 11 April, 2014 07:43

For the public revelations that the CIA and NSA were spying on the committee that was supposed to have oversight of their activities should be of great concern as it is a major breakdown in the system of checks and balances that should be inherently present in a healthy democracy. 

Despite all of the Snowden revelations there is also no indication that the NSA has changed its practices or made changes to how they carry out operations. By not publishing information that the public has the right to know the media has also failed and according to WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson, it is: "... an absolutely disgusting break with all the basic principles of journalism that I know of. And they claim that this is done upon the request of the US authorities for the security concerns. That is not acceptable." Unfortunately today, he says: "We have submissive and lame editorial boards that will simply do as they are told."

This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson – the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks and the number two at that organization. This is part 1 of a longer interview. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com

Robles: Hello Kristinn! It is a great pleasure to be speaking with you again.

Hrafnsson: Nice to be talking to you John. How are you?

Robles: I’m pretty well. A lot of stuff is going on in Ukraine. We haven’t had much of a focus on what is going on on the Internet and everything. So, maybe you could give our listeners an update on what is going on with WikiLeaks, anything you can tell us, about releases?

Hrafnsson: Well, you know, we have a policy not to discuss any of the forthcoming releases. That has been our policy mostly until now. But we are still ongoing, yes, with this big fight that we have in front of us.

At the same time, the world is changing and we are seeing more and more acceptance to the message that WikiLeaks brought forth for the first time, maybe, into the public attention in 2010 with our explosive revelations that we published that year and in the following 2011.

And I believe that when we will look back in a decade or two towards this era, people will understand the massive importance of the contribution of the WikiLeaks in 2010 and the following years. We’ve opened up a new window, we’ve pried open a new window towards a big and a better understanding of the world that we live in. And there is no turning back, it is now ongoing and it is thrilling era that we live in.

It is much about democracy, fundamental values that we praise and it is absolutely a privilege to be a member of a team that is pushing this agenda into this new era.

Robles: WikiLeaks released pager messages from 9-11. Were those released just in mass or were they filtered?

Hrafnsson:That is – what? – five years ago now.

Robles: Yeah.

Hrafnsson: It is prior to my time as a member, those are revelations prior to 2010, which included, of course, the revelations pertaining to interests all over the world: the Church of Scientology, the bank of Julius Baer, the bank of Kaupthing in Iceland that collapsed, Trafigura Company which is based in Switzerland, corrupt party in Kenya Government of Daniel Arap Moi. Various the issues that were revealed in that era prior to our main focus, because our main material pertains to be the US Government and its corrupt practices and its military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan and its diplomatic scores.

Robles: Can you comment on the current situation in Ukraine and the current situation with the NSA and the CIA in the US? Now, apparently some senators are calling for the CIA and the NSA to be investigated because they were spying on the senators. Can you comment on any of those issues?

Hrafnsson: That is obviously an issue that is of great concern. When you have the apparatus spying on the committee who are supposed to have an oversight of that organization, that is of course of great concern and is a major flaw in all the checks and balances that we believe are inherently present in a healthy democracy. It is a hell of breakdown. So, of course, it is of major concern.

Robles: Do you see the NSA reigning themselves in at all or are they continuing unabated, since all the Snowden revelations last summer?

Hrafnsson: There is no indication at all that the NSA has changed its practices and that there has been any major change in the way that they carry out their operations. That of course is of worry. In the political field there is a knowledge, you know, a farther widening group, that this is an absolutely appalling situation that has to be addressed. Even so, we are not seeing any drastic measures taken to curtail this activity.

And if we put this all into a historical perspective, we need to go back to 1971 and revisit the burglary of media in Pennsylvania where the FBI office was raided by the activists and the exposure was made about the corruption within the FBI under J Edgar Hoover, where more than 40% of the documents that the burglars got their hands on showed that they were spying on the political activists and basically did political spying and acts of corruption. And of course, in the same year you had Daniel Ellsberg getting the Pentagon papers into the public sphere violating his oath, as well as those burglars that violated the law. But it was all for the common good and we are all benefitting today.

This was 43 years ago, but we are revisiting the same kind of era now with Assange, Snowden, Chelsea Manning and the people who are fighting for information to get out there in order for us to understand that there is a need of change.

Robles: Do you see a difference between the mass media then and the mass media now? Because that was important that the media grabbed this information. But what about today?

Hrafnsson: If you are talking about the mass media in the States and the Western Europe, we all know that there is a severe limitation on the mass media, as of course we are all well aware of. But there are limitations everywhere I look.

Just one very clear example to highlight the situation. About ten days ago or so Washington Post broke a story based on the Snowden’s revelations about the mass interception of all voice telecommunications of an entire country. And they broke the story based on the Snowden’s revelation and their own fact-finding within secret sources that this actually was a program that was carried out with billions of phone calls being stored on hard drives on a 30-day basis. But the Washington Post did not disclose the name of that country that had been subjected to this mass program of surveillance.

That is an absolutely disgusting break with all the basic principles of journalism that I know of. And they claim that this is done upon the request of the US authorities for the security concerns. That is not acceptable. They cannot, as journalists, not disclose to the public information that is vital just because some Government officials in Washington are putting pressure on you and breathing it down your neck.

But that puts us into a perspective, 1971, 43 years ago with the Post at that time by the NY Times, that says – we do not have that era, it is gone. We have submissive and lame editorial boards that will simply do as they are told. And that is a shame.

Robles: In light of that, can you comment on… you know, I’ve talked to Jesselyn Radack before and there was an issue that she told me matter-of-factly. I didn’t want to attack her or make a big issue about it. She told me that all the journalists that were releasing Edward Snowden’s information were checking with the government before they made the releases and they were not releasing anything that the government protested to. This would be along the same line. Do you have any problem with that?

Hrafnsson: Our main policy in WikiLeaks and our understanding of our role is to get people aware of the information out there so that people can access it. I mean, it is the fundamental principle that we work upon. It is our job, our purpose as journalists to get the information out into the open so that everyone can access it.

That is the true and real nature of what WikiLeaks is all about. And this is the true and real nature, the fundamental principle of journalism. The information should be supplied to the general public. They have a right to know and we are the servants of that idea. Withholding information is not in line with that ideology.

Robles: There were some very important leaks regarding Ukraine. Can you comment on those? And I don’t think they were very much publicized in the Western media. For example, the Nuland- Payette conversation. Then, there were several leaks that were sided to Anonymous Ukraine – telephone conversations between, for example, the Latvian Foreign Minister and Catherine Ashton where they were talking about the snipers on the Maidan. What role do you see there for the people calling themselves Anonymous Ukraine? Do you think they were helping to get the information out? Do you think they’ve had an effect on what has happened in Ukraine?

Hrafnsson: No, we haven’t seen a lot of leaks coming out of Ukraine and pertaining to Ukraine’s situation coming out in the media in that country and in other places. There is always the uncertainty of verification, but certainly these leaks have played an important role.

But it is also important to keep in mind that this information is usually brought forth in some context and with some agenda in mind. It is very hard to draw upon this information and come to a certain conclusion. It is a very complicated situation that we have in Ukraine. It is extremely ill-reported upon by the Western media, the mainstream media in the West. Equally so, it is not being portrayed in any sensible, equal manner by the media on the east side either.

Robles: I guess we could argue the point. I mean, we get a lot of fresh information off the feeds and from on the ground, and from the video footage and stuff that just does not exist at all in the Western media.

Hrafnsson: I totally agree with you. The Western media is boycotting and keeping out a lot of information that should be included in the coverage of Ukraine. When there is a conflict, the first casualty in any war is truth, of course. And we have seen that in all the instances in the past – in Syria, for example. And there were a lot of lies that were built up around the Iraqi and Afghan wars that the WikiLeaks was exposing, because the truth has to be told.

Robles: Do you see any difference then? One point I’d like to underline and I think it underlines everything that is going on. For example, the Crimea. The Russian soldiers that were there, they’ve been there for over two decades and there was no invasion. I mean, I know this for a fact. They were already there. But they keep saying that it was an annexation, it was an invasion when there was a democratic referendum that people have been waiting for two decades to happen. So, it was a very happy moment for 97% of the Crimean people. there was no invasion, there was no shot fired, which is a big difference to what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. So, I just wanted to get that out there.

Hrafnsson: Well, now you have, John. And thanks for the enlightenment and the historical context of what has just recently happened in the Crimea.

Robles: I mean, that’s what I see. If you see something different, I would love to know it. I’m sure you watch all kinds of media. So, you get a good feel of everything.

Hrafnsson: I’m in Reykjavik, Iceland. That’s my main base at the moment. And we are just dealing with all kinds of issues. My main concern is, as always, when we see the barrels of guns being lifted that truth will vanish.

Yes! you were listening to part 1 of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson – the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com

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The manipulation of the media by the West with regard to the situation in Ukraine and the bias that exists in media outlets worldwide was a subject discussed with the Voice of Russia by Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for WIkiLeaks. In the final segment of this interview Mr. Hrafnsson speaks on the issue of how one can attempt to get a balanced picture of global events and says he is concerned that fascists are in power in Europe again.

This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson. He is the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks and the number two in that organization. This is part 2 of a longer interview. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com

Hrafnsson: It is my major concern that we are not getting accurate information out to the general public about what exactly is going on. And based upon that we are prone to all kinds of devastating scenarios, where propaganda is used to start horrible wars where people die and where children suffer. That is not acceptable and we need to make sure that through informational the truth isn't stopped.

Robles: I’m with you 100% there. And I’m sure Russia doesn’t want to start a war anywhere, in Ukraine or in the Crimea.

Hrafnsson: In March 30th in 1949 Iceland joined NATO. And in the history of the republic of the country there are only two demonstrations which were carried out which used violence in the street. The first one was on March 30th 1949 when about half of the population was rallying against joining NATO and wanted to keep independent non-aligned.

The second time when this happened was in early 2009, after the collapse of the all the banks in the country. It was almost the bankruptcy of the country and people did go to the streets and tear gas was used. So, we only have two instances in the history of the young nation since 1944.

Robles: So, what do you think is really going on in Ukraine, in your opinion?

Hrafnsson: I have no idea. I have no first hand information. I have contacts on the ground that I’ve talked to, but I am not an expert and I just cannot be a commentator on the situation there in any capacity. Although, being a journalist I know a few other journalists in Kiev. It is a situation that worries me. I’m very worried about the rise of fascist power or movement in the country, which I think is extremely worrying.

Otherwise, it is an extremely complicated situation where the more I know, the less I know. The only thing I know for sure is that the Western media and the mainstream media is not reporting accurately and with enough deft and vigor as it should be on the situation in Ukraine.

Robles: You’ve just mentioned the rise of right-wing fascist forces. So, would you agree from your sources there that that is who has taken power in Ukraine?

Hrafnsson: It is quite obvious that in the transitional power in Ukraine we do now have fascist elements, that were quite obviously fascist and are now having one hand on the very important institutions within the transitional government. We now actually have fascists in power in Europe, again. And that is worrying.

Robles: I don’t understand why Europe is not more concerned or we don’t hear much concern from Europe for, for example, Dmitri Yarosh. He is the leader of this neo-Nazi group. I tell you from the Russian perspective. He is wanted for terrorism. He was making open calls to kill Russians, Jews and blacks in Ukraine and he is running for president now. I haven’t heard any outcry from Europe at all, which is troubling for me. What do you think that is about? Just because they are following the US’ role or? Can you comment?

Hrafnsson: Things in the world in the Western mainstream media are rarely reported upon accurately and with any sanity at all. So, wherever you go around the world, you will find an instance of extremely poor reporting. That is of worry.

Robles: Where does Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson get his news for our listeners?

Hrafnsson: On the Internet I have a smorgasbord of news sources and I will approach every source with a large dose of skepticism. I will probably not think that Al Jazeera was the best source for any news about the Arab world and the Arabs and Qatar. I would probably not think that RT would be the best source of accurate information from inside Russia. I would probably not think that Fox News would be the best reflection of what actually is going on in the US.

But you go through all these sources and having the ability and the knowledge to be an experienced reporter with 30-year experience, you see through the filters that are there and you see through your mindset what exactly is going on, and you build a picture of what does world looks like that day from that information. It is a handpicking from here and there and putting through filters, and building a full picture.

Robles: Okay, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

You were listening to part 2 of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson – the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks. You can find the previous part of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com

Anti-WikiLeaks film is propaganda from the outset - Part One

NO AUDIO FOUND 10 September, 2013 13:17 If you want the audio contact jar2  

The release of the the new Hollywood film titled The Fifth Estate describing the early days of the WikiLeaks organization is "shockingly historically inaccurate" and is aimed at damaging Jullian Assange and his team's reputation, stated the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson. The VOR’s John Robles spoke with him about the film and The Spy Files 3, the latest release by WikiLeaks. 

This is John Robles. You're listening to an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, he's the official spokesperson and the No. 2 at the WikiLeaks organization.

Robles: Hello, sir! 

Hrafnsson: Hello, John! 

Robles: How are you? 

Hrafnsson: I'm fine, thank you, and how are you? 

Robles: Pretty good, pretty good. Can you tell us a little bit about the Spy 3 Files that were just released? What could readers and people on the Internet find in those files? 

Hrafnsson: Well, this is an addition to our previous releases on material pertaining to this private spy companies, companies that offer, on a very secret market, tools to buy on individuals. They have put together promotional material that we have had our hands on and we have been releasing that ever since 2011. 

The third phase of that project that came this week in collaboration with 19 media organizations around the world. It was an addition to show how unregulated this industry is. 

We have proven contracts showing that the European-based companies, some of them are selling technology to governments and countries where human rights abuses are notoriously common and the crackdown on dissidents in the Middle East, in Africa and many other countries and where there is a strong suspicious that this technology is used to crackdown on dissidents in prison and even torture and kill them. 

So it's a very serious unregulated business which probably has a turnover exceeding 3 to 4 billion dollars. And it is quite shocking to see how blatantly this is being sold to regimes that do not honor human rights at all." 

Robles: How much of this is going on against American - let's call them - dissidents? 

Hrafnsson: Well, we do have some private companies that have been assisting in basically spying upon human rights groups or even environmental groups that came out in the Stratfor files, for example, but we of course in the United States that the Government has the biggest spy operation on individuals and what they are doing. 

They do branch out and they spend enormous amounts of money in contract to private companies to do some other work for them. That is a reality. But a very important revelation by Edward Snowden, it is important to focus on this private industry which has vast capabilities and is quite scrupulous in selling the technology to spurious regimes. 

So this can all be seen in context. And it's very important to put a focus upon that this is an attack on privacy and the security and even life of individuals in some countries where it can be a death sentence involved when you oppose the political establishment and the regime." 

Robles: I see. And a lot of these companies, are they've been used to skirt or bypass existing laws or oversight or they are they just opportunists trying to make some money? 

Hrafnsson: Well, the fact of the matter is that there is absolutely very little oversight and laws pertaining to the sales of this technology. It of course should be monitored and viewed in the same way as we view arms sales to foreign countries, but the fact of the matter is - this not the case. And even though these companies claim on the surface that they are only selling to legitimate organizations, law enforcement agencies, etc. - there is strong suspicion that this technology has been used to crackdown and imprison dissidents and those who are opposing regimes in countries where human rights are not honored." 

Robles: Can you tell us a little bit about the film 'The Fifth Estate' and, if you could, at the same time, tell us what’s Julian’s situation right now is? How is he doing? - Especially with the elections going on right now? 

Hrafnsson:Well, none of us have actually seen that film. We have actually asked for a copy to view, but they have … refused for us to have … not given us the opportunity to see the film. So Julian hasn't seen the film. 

We, of course, have seen the script which was used in the beginning of shooting the film earlier this year and, not surprisingly, it was shockingly negative portrayal in many respects of what WikiLeaks is about. It is grossly historically inaccurate. And the most serious allegation that this dramatization basically is putting forth is suggesting that people were put in grave harm’s way as a result of the leaks of 2010 and 2011. 

Robles: They mean the war criminals that were never tried for their crimes, right? I'm being sarcastic here. 

Hrafnsson: Yes, I understand that. It is being portrayed in the film that individuals were almost killed or put in harm’s way because of this, which is absolutely outrageous and is not even anything that prosecution tried to maintain in the Chelsea Manning Trial, where there was no evidence that had any vitality introduced to support such a claim. 

This is simply something that is propaganda from the outset. And now it has found its way in Hollywood production which it claims to be balanced in its approach, but when you think of the fact that it’s based on two books by individuals who hold a grudge against the organization, especially former colleague of Julian Assange which had to be suspended from the organization and damaged material and wiped out important material that..

Robles: Who was that, can you say who that was? 

Hrafnsson:We're talking about Daniel Domscheit-Berg. One is not surprised that the film has this outcome. Now, of course, you cannot always quarrel about what the artists are doing and how they portray their interpretation of reality that is something justifiable as artistic license. But in this instance, this is a very-very serious thing, because it will shape public opinion. 

It has the aura of being a true portrayal of reality, wherein in fact it is absurdly lame and wrongful portrayal of what happened, according to the script. And this is not happening in a vacuum. 

This is not like the criticism against the film Zero Dark Thirty, about the Osama bin Laden killing. It is recent history which is ongoing history this is influencing individuals that have an interest at stake. 

Chelsea Manning has an interest here - an individual who has been sentenced to 35 years in prison and is now fighting for a pardon or an appeal. WikiLeaks staff and Julian Assange have a direct interest because we are still under a very serious criminal investigation and a blatant persecution by the US government in their attempt to find any way possible to charge the WikiLeaks staff." 

'The Enemies of Wikileaks are Raking in Money' - Part Two

http://cdn.ruvr.ru/download/2013/09/13/23/Robles_Hrafnsson_September_2013_Part_2.MP3 09-14-2013

One of the most important roles of the Fourth Estate worldwide has classically been reporting on and exposing the illegality of governments, corporations and military powers. The media used to function as an important check and balance which served to make sure those with power acted responsibly, within the law, and served the best interests of the people. WikiLeaks is a champion in this role. In an interview with the Voice of Russia Kristinn Hrafnsson expressed his displeasure at an attempt to marginalize WikiLeaks by being called The Fifth Estate and a movie that is supposedly about WikiLeaks but portrays everything they do in a bad light. This is just one more example of how the government and the corporations now completely control the media in the United States and how the media aid and abets them in their illegality and crimes.

Robles: Do you think the release of this film was timed to coincide with Julian’s election and the Wikileaks party’s elections to the Australian Senate? Do you think there is any correlation?

Hrafnsson: I don’t see a relation there but it is quite obvious that the film is trying to cash in and capitalize on the talk on Wikileaks and Wikileaks matters, and a big support that Wikileaks has around the world.

Just as the two guys, the individuals who sold the film rights for their book capitalized on Wikileaks, now the Spielberg film company is trying to capitalize on the same good will that Wikileaks has around the world, which of course is ironic.

And I thought it was absolutely hilarious to see that at the party in Toronto two nights ago when the film was officially released, those who were drinking the champagne were standing under a canopy of VISA international, which had obviously sponsored the event in some way, when we had in fact been under a banking blockade by VISA for three years and by other financial companies which has wiped out almost all of our resources. So, that was ironic to say the least.

Robles: So, you have these people that are persecuting Wikileaks, they’ve been badmouthing you, they came out with a movie that is a hit job I think, it sounds like it to me, and they are going to make a lot of money off it and they are sitting around and drinking champagne. It is disgusting really. That sounds beyond the pale.

Hrafnsson: Yes, I was quite stunned to see a photograph of the guests of the premiere of The Fifth Estate drinking champagne under the logo of Visa. I thought that was quite ironic but totally in tune with what we’ve been seeing. The enemies of Wikileaks are raking in money.

Robles: They don’t care about lives, they don’t care about peace, they don’t care about anything – truth or rule of laws, just money and anything they can make money with, they’ll do it, even if it means slaughtering millions of people.

I’d just like to make this point, if I was making a film about Wikileaks, (I began communicating with you because I was interested in the real story), I mean if I was going to make a film, I would certainly have somebody from Wikileaks as an advisor, wouldn’t you? How can you make a film about an organization and not include the organization in the film? That sounds ridiculous.

Hrafnsson: There was an attempt by one of the actors to approach the organization. When the script was leaked to us and actually two copies of the script…

Robles: They didn’t just say: “Here you go, here’s the script. What do you think?” It had to be leaked.

Hrafnsson: It was leaked, yes, and it was obvious that this would not be in any way a positive portrayal or true portrayal of what we had been doing in 2010 and what Wikileaks was all about, so there was no interest on our behalf of giving any indication that we were supporting this film as it would be rather obvious that the outcome would be a very negative one simply by the fact that it is based on two books that are very negative in nature.

Robles: What comment does that make for you? I mean the film is called “The Fifth Estate”. What comment would you like to make on the fourth estate as far as Wikileaks goes, as far as all this war propaganda on Syria that is going on right now that everybody knows is false?

Hrafnsson: The title of the film is quite irritating to me as a journalist for 25 years. The media and the journalists refer to us as the Fourth Estate and Wikileaks is very much a part of that environment.

There are very sick elements in the environment of our contemporary media and in journalism that is a simple fact that everybody knows right now, the most notable failure that journalism has had was 10 years ago when the media around the world was echoing the fabrications and lies about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and basically without criticism, without digging underneath the surface, was helping in the drum beating that was running up to the invasion.

That was something that people haven’t forgotten and that is something that of course is affecting public opinion at this moment in the Syrian matter. However, I think there are other things that have come into play here and which explains why David Cameron, the Prime Minister of UK, suffered a historic humiliation in the parliament recently when his own party members would not support his efforts to start bombing Syria. And that of course led to the president Obama to change his position and that should he called to the parliamentarians in the US to secure support for an attack on Syria by the US, it is possible that he won’t get it.

Now this is a positive sign, partly it can be explained by the fact that people haven’t forgotten the fact that they were lied to 10 years ago including through the media as well as through any other means but also I suspect that the Wikileaks revelations three years ago about the reality of Iraq war and Afghan war has come to play as well and the information by Edward Snowden has made people more critical and rightfully so against their leaders.

So, possibly we are seeing an indication of a change that is occurring among people who are finally waking up to the reality that they cannot trust their governments.

Robles: What do you think about the speeches by Kerry, by Obama? First they started, and I heard more today by British officials and stuff that is going on in the UK media and in France.

They started out with: “There was an attack, we suspect it was the regime. Then oh we “allege” it was”.

Now they are just quoting it as fact. Kerry came out, he said “we know” 23 times during his speech but he offered no evidence that an attack had taken place or that it had taken place at the order of the government.,

The United States refuses to wait for that logical intelligent solution, which would be just to wait for UN investigation. They refuse to do that. I see a difference here in the Iraq war. They were presenting all these fabricated evidence, the Yellowcake, the WMDs and all these satellite pictures, the trailers, the chemical weapons trailers. This time they aren’t presenting any evidence. Can you comment on that?

Hrafnsson: That is correct that we have not seen an irrefutable evidence of the attack that it was the Syrian government that was accountable for this, no evidence has been presented that can be seen as the proof of the matter. That is true. But the flavor of the entire thing is quite in line with what happened 10 years ago even though there was fabricated evidence at the time being was presented and I have not forgotten and I think people have not forgotten in general, the performance of Colin Powell in front of the UN Security Council in March in 2003 presenting all this cocked-up evidence.

Now we are seeing and hearing words, that is correct, and the obvious thing of course is to push through UN vigorous investigation to find out the reality of the matter.

People slowly waking up after Wikileaks' revelations - Part Three

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US war criminals continue to escape justice and the only hope is for the people to finally stand up and do something about all of the government illegality and war crimes that have been exposed by WikiLeaks. The organization continues its fight to expose the truth and has opened a door through which whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden may pass. In the final installment of a recent interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson from the WikiLeaks Organization, Mr. Hrafnsson gives his views on those matters and more.

Robles: Kristinn, I don’t know if you are aware about that law that the United States passed in 2002 (I wrote an article about it today), some people call it the “Hague Invasion Act”. Are you aware of that? I mean, for me that explains the impunity and why no one has yet to be prosecuted for any of this stuff. Is there any will that you know about in the international community to deal with all of this illegality? I mean, we are talking about the worst crimes possible against all of humanity that some of these people are committing.

Hrafnsson: I’m pinning my hopes on the individuals. And I see they are slowly and gradually waking up to the reality that I mentioned earlier. It will take time to mobilize. It will take time to materialize. But I have a strong belief in the democratic process. And I hope that through that process, the criticism and the awakening of people will result in a change, a fundamental change in the way where we are dealing with the international matters.

And the Internet comes strongly into play here. The fact that we started something in 2010, which has been a watershed moment I believe, in information dissemination, will affect that fundamentally, and is affecting that.

A door was opened through which Edward Snowden entered and other whistleblowers will come forth. There are people with conscience and people with courage that will submit information into the public domain. So, I’m rather optimistic that we are getting into a better place, but there will be turbulent times.

Robles: No one has been prosecuted. Those were clear, egregious, unbelievable war crimes. Basically, they are blackmailing anyone who might try to go after them.

Hrafnsson: Well, it is quite awful to see that people have not been held accountable by the 40 war crimes that we have exposed, for example. For me personally, it is quite sad that before we released the collateral murder video I did travel to Baghdad on a fact-finding mission and I located the two children who were injured in the attack on a minivan which is shown in that video. And I met their mother, now widowed.

There has been no prosecution for that obvious war crime. The only consolation that these two children now have and their mother, is the simple fact that now the world community knows what happened, and they know that, everybody knows, that this is an unforgivable and inexcusable crime. Of course, that is part of justice, but it is not full justice which has to be seen.

Robles: Julian, how is he? What happened with ­­Correa? Is there some big conflict going on there or is everything pretty much okay? Any opinion or comments you might have on Syria?

Hrafnsson: I already said what think is important about Syria. The relationship between Julian and the Ecuadorian authorities is fine. The Ecuadorian President has confirmed his commitments in supporting Assange.

He has been very busy, of course, in preparing for the elections this weekend in Australia. Even though they brought strokes in the outcome seem to be clear when it comes to the fact that there will be a conservative replacement in Canberra. The final outcome in the Senate’s election will take some days to come out, because the system there is extremely complicated. So, we will not know for certain a little time.

Robles: Can you comment on some of the parties? They have some very strange parties in Australia. There was something like the Sex Party and the Automobile Lovers Party or something, and the Animal Lovers Party. Is that normal, or what?

Hrafnsson: I’m not an expert on the politics of Australia. I only view this from afar and know sort of the broad picture. I can only say that as far as WikiLeaks is concerned neither of the two dominant parties in the country have been supportive of WikiLeaks.

So, even though there is a change in government. I doubt there will be any big changes with regards to the position against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. But it is true, in Australia they do have a lot of small parties that have been standing on a rather narrow subject. I even believe I saw a political party of tobacco consumers. So, this is quite an (un)interesting environment.

Robles: Have you heard anything about that the UK maybe pulling out of extradition agreements with Sweden next year? Have you heard anything about that?

Hrafnsson: This is actually a very interesting case, because the case of Julian Assange going through the three court stages in the UK actually put a focus on the flaws of the system in Europe, a part of the EU, called the European Arrest Warrant where the EU countries are committed to throw anybody on a plane and export him to another EU country to face, even questioning, as in the case of Julian Assange. This has actually caused huge debates in Britain and led to the fact that the authorizes are pulling out of that cooperation, and plan to do that I believe next year.

So, it is quite interesting in the context of the case against Julian Assange. I believe it influenced that decision by putting a focus on the flaws in that case. And of course, there will be an unusual set of agreements put in place. But that would not allow anyone to be extradited to another country just for questioning, which was the case of Julian Assange.

Robles: Let’s keep our fingers crossed. That sounds like a resolution to everything, maybe, possibly. I mean, let’s be cautiously optimistic. Do you feel any optimism in that regard?

Hrafnsson: In general, I'm very optimistic about it.

Robles: But you are always optimistic.

Hrafnsson: Yes. It is quite necessary when you are working in the core of WikiLeaks to be optimistic, focusing on the future with the view that actually the future can be changed to the better. That is what we are trying, that is what pushes us onward, that what keeps us going. And when it comes to Julian and his situation, I’m very hopeful that within a relatively short time we’ll see a resolution.

Robles: I'm sure this is important for all the supporters of WikiLeaks not to forget some of the people who have paid extremely high prices for trying to get to the bottom of all this illegality, like Bradley Manning, Jeremy Hammond.

Hrafnsson: We are extremely grateful for the support that we have been getting. We of course are very grateful to all our sources that through time are submitting information to us and believe in what we are doing.

Some people have paid a price for that, which is of course extremely sad.

We are committed to fighting for justice for those people and for all the whistleblowers who are doing extremely courageous work, and those who are fighting for information freedom. This is part of our core philosophy and it is part of our commitment. We will fight on and we hope to get ongoing support for people. Let’s call it a night!

Robles: Okay, I really appreciate it, thank you. You were listening to an interview in progress with Kristinn Hrafnsson – the official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at english.ruvr.ru

WikiLeaks, Assange, Snowden and all of us are winning - Part 1

23 June, 2013 03:00  

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The world and Julian Assange recently marked the one year anniversary of his being trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The unprecedented egregious and illegal interference by the United Kingdom in the case has shed any and all possible illusions that the U.K. is anything other than merely a surrogate of America. By not allowing someone who has received political asylum safe passage to travel to the country where the person has been granted asylum, the U.K. has also shown that the rule of law and abiding by international laws and conventions is something that is apparently optional if America is calling the shots.

Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson he is the official spokesperson and the number two at the WikiLeaks organization.

Robles: Hello Sir! It is a pleasure to be speaking with you.

Hrafnsson: It is my pleasure as well.

Robles: I understand that you are in Ecuador right now. I’d like to get your views and your comments on the fact that Julian Assange has now spent more than a year in that embassy in London, and if you see any hope that that situation may change soon?

Hrafnsson: Yes, I’m always optimistic that the situation will change. Of course it is quite outrageous that he has had to spend a year and a day now in the Ecuadorian Embassy without there being a solution to the situation.

There has of course been some dialogue going on. The Foreign Minister of Ecuador did meet with his counterpart in London. So, one will hope that there is a solution very soon, but this could of course drag on for some time. But this has of course, to come to an end fairly soon. It is just ridiculous to continue this standoff.

Robles: There’ve been some media reports, I don’t know how credible they are, stating that Julian is resigned to being extradited. Would you grant those any credibility? I hope not.

Hrafnsson: No, I haven’t even seen these reports. But there are so many false reports flying about with regards to his situation and with regards to WikiLeaks and my colleagues in the media, many of them seem to enjoy all kinds of fabrications when it comes to the organization and to Julian.

Robles: That’s why I wanted to speak to you. Listen, are there any concrete positive moves going on right now as far as with the Ecuadorians and with William Hague? Can you tell us anything about that?

Hrafnsson: I believe that there was some progress made. But it remains to be seen how all that can materialize into a solution to the situation.

Robles: You know all of the stories right now going on about the NSA whistleblower Snowden. Do you see any correlations, any connections there?

Hrafnsson: The Snowden case has a strong connection to WikiLeaks and the revelations that we were publishing three years ago now and ongoing.

We have seen a continuous trend of leaks and whistleblowers stepping forth. And now of course Snowden is informing of the overreaching surveillance and spying of the NSA, which is a matter not just for the Americans but for the entire world. And more and more information is coming out on that. This is something that has been maintained of course by the WikiLeaks and by Julian for years. And it is confirming what other whistleblowers that have stepped forth earlier from the NSA and from the CIA.

I can mention that John Kiriakou, Bill Binnie, and Thomas Drake who all were telling a similar story about the activities of the NSA and had to suffer badly because of that, they were even threatened with being charged and prosecuted on the basis of Espionage Act in the U.S. which carries the maximum of the death penalty.

This is, in my mind, a signal that thing are going forward and we are going to see more information and we are going to see more people stepping forth and blowing the whistle. And we are going to be seeing people who will leak information about the corrupt practices of governments.

Robles:Kristinn, do you think all our efforts and everybody’s efforts, Snowden, Julian, yours, I mean thousands of good people with high moral standards, do you think we have a chance of fighting this monster? It just seems like over and over again we have the same thing happening and their crimes are getting worse and worse.

Hrafnsson: I think we have more than just a chance of succeeding. I absolutely think we are winning. That is a feeling that I have and is confirmed by the reaction that I’ve seen to the revelations of Snowden, and other recent example of government surveillance and even snooping into journalists’ matters, accessing their telephone logs, as happened with the 20 journalist at the Associated Press. With an attempt to make even a Fox journalist Rosen a co-conspirator in a leak.

This is basically an attack now going on on the media, and it is now being recognized by journalists more and more who have been a little bit asleep to this terrible reality, that this is an attack on journalists and this is an attack on the free press. This is now being reported as such and the general public of course will get the information about the seriousness and grave situation. And in my mind, no question about it, that people will not allow this to continue and they will stop this. So, I believe we are seeing a tidal change and this is a winning situation.

I think that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks were part of a trend in the right direction and the explosive leaks that have come out form our organization have been of course a wakeup call to people. There is a tremendous support we feel in all of the work of WikiLeaks and what we are doing.

There have even been surveys done I believe in 24 or 25 countries as afr back as in the early year 2011, at the same time that we were basically being branded as terrorists by the U.S. Administration and there were calls for assassination of Julian Assange and others who work in WikiLeaks, and there was an overwhelming support in all these countries and the majorities supported what we were doing.

Countries where there was a minority of the population supporting what WikiLeaks was doing and that was the United States, but even so 40% of the respondents, were saying that they appreciated what WikiLeaks was doing. So, I believe that that is an indication of the simple fact that the general public do want more transparency.

Robles: Can I get your reaction and maybe can you tell us Julian’s reaction, if you know, to the absolute massive capability of this PRISM program? What was Julian’s reaction? And what is your reaction to the enormity of the NSA’s capabilities?

Hrafnsson: Well, it does not came as a surprise to Julian Assange nor does it come as a surprise to anybody in WikiLeaks because this is what we have been saying for quite some time. And in the book that has come out by Julian, The Cypherpunks this is basically what we have been maintaining. This is the capability this is what has been done, as it has been, for some time and it has also been confirmed by other whistleblowers who have stepped forth from the NSA as far back as 2003.

That was the end of part one of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson the official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks.

PRISM revelations will boost security, the mainstream media has failed  Part 2

25 June, 2013 07:28  

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In the continuation of our latest interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson marking the one year anniversary of the Julian Assange being trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Mr. Hrafnsson gives us his views on the PRISM revelations and the effect that they will have on the internet and the current state of the world’s mass media.

You are listening to an interview in progress with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson and the number two at the Wikileaks organization. You can find part one on our website at English.ruvr.ru.

Robles: What is your advice to someone who doesn’t want the NSA in their life, I mean, does encryption work anymore? Is there anything people can do to protect their privacy anymore on the internet, or is it pretty much all, “finished”?

Hrafnsson: There are technical means to safeguard yourself from snooping, there are browsers you can download, or something from the TOR Project that is available, relatively safe, encryption methods, it is known for example PGP that stands for Pretty Good Protection.

Robles: PGP up to version 6.5 was pretty much, I heard, unbreakable and then after that it was bought out by network associates and it’s been monkeyed around with.

Hrafnsson: I am a simple journalist and would not be the best one to recommend specific programs but there are programs that allow you to maintain security on the internet. They’re being upgraded and developed constantly and people should be aware and find out about the latest developments in their field and I am sure that with all of the latest revelations there is going to be a boost in developing secure mechanisms for communications and security on the internet. It will be a constant battle because the situation is not done. Things that are now secure will probably be insecure in few months, or in a year or two.

Robles: How is Julian? Any comments from him on this one-year “horrible” anniversary? How is he?

Hrafnsson: He has been maintaining a positive attitude. He is doing fine. And as he has been busy and he has been working leading our work under these rather difficult conditions but it hasn’t stopped.

I think that he has an incredible ability to adapt to difficult situations he continues work. He is getting a bit used to that now, it is not just the year in the Ecuadorian Embassy, before that we had imprisonment, and house arrest, so this is a situation that is becoming easier, he has a strong character and he is capable of adapting to the situation.

Robles: Did he have a special message on the anniversary for his supporters?

Hrafnsson: In general, we are totally based of course, on the people and we are very appreciative of the great support that we have had and I hope that continues and increases and extends to others who really are dealing with hard situations as a result of doing work based on the same sort of principles that we have adhered to and of course I am referring to Bradley Manning and now Edward Snowden. We have a growing understanding among people about the importance of this subject and people are being fed up with being the victims of this invasion of privacy and corruption. That is what we report and let’s hope that that continues.

Robles: How are you doing there in Ecuador? Is there anything you want to tell us about that? What are you doing down there? Anything going to come out of that conference you are at? Would you like to talk about that?

Hrafnsson: I am here on a conference, interesting enough, called “Responsible Journalism” and it is quite interesting to listen to voices about the criticism of the mainstream media, how they have failed and there needs to be a reform and a rethinking of the role of journalism in our society. For me as a journalist for all my working life I find this repressing and a discussion that should be expanded to the whole world because I do recognize that the mainstream media has failed fundamentally especially in the recent years.

Robles: Kristinn I really appreciate it. I am sure you have other things to do. I really appreciate your talking with me.

That was the end of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for Wikileaks. You can find part one of this interview at our website at English.ruvr.ru.

We are for bringing information to the public

16 April, 2013 20:33  

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The troubling trend in the United States of reclassifying hitherto declassified material and the hiding of what is supposed to be publically available information from the public through making access complicated and perpetual obfuscation is just one of the things that WikiLeaks and Project K are striving to battle. WikiLeaks’ case against Visa Iceland is soon to go to the Supreme Court, a battle they expect to win, while the so-called “case” in Sweden appears to be falling apart. The VOR caught up with WikiLeaks number two, Kristinn Hrafnsson and discussed these issues and more.

Robles: Hello Sir! I wanted to ask you about the press-conference this morning. Was it pretty much what you were expecting? Did the audience seem hostile or receptive? What is your impression?

Hrafnsson: I believe that the media at the press-conference was rather respective, and certainly it is a very important contribution that Wikileaks was making to bringing to light extremely important historical documents.

In the few hours that have elapsed we have seen a lot of stories that have been focusing on the material and the news angles of the story itself, which is of course a good thing, and what we always want to see, and that is a very positive thing and it is very to have these documents out in the public domain, and we are showing that we are working on strengthening our infrastructure and our capacity to bring to the general public large caches of documents, like this one 1.7 million merged with 1,000 Cablegate documents, 2 million documents in a very atypical and easily navigated space on the internet for everybody to search. That is our modus operandi, that is what we are for, we are for bringing information to the public. So, I am rather pleased with the events of the day.

Robles: I’d like to ask you some more questions on the files, but first: now you’ve made another trip to the United States, have any problems whatsoever with the US authorities? I mean surely your role is as important “almost” as Julian’s.

Hrafnsson: I have had no problems in the US after I entered here a few days ago and I had no problems at the borders and no problems with that of any sort and I hope that will continue.

I hope that’s an indication that there is some change of approach, I am a journalist and I have been a journalist for all my working life. What I am doing now with Wikileaks is a very natural continuation of my journalistic work and personally I would be extremely dissatisfied if the US administration would try to meddle with my work as a journalist in this new field, bringing forth to light information to the general public, that kind of approach would be extremely anti-American actually and I hope that the administration will not go there. Even though have indications that they are spending huge resources on the attempts at indicting individuals in the leadership of Wikileaks.

Robles: Back to the project K files, you said you are getting this information out to the public. Many of the files were supposed to be available to the public but they are not. How does the US government keep information that should be in the public domain, is paid for by tax dollars, away from the general public and why do they do that?

Hrafnsson: What we are facing here is secrecy by complexity, basically having this information in a format that is so difficult to access that they are basically kept secret and you have to be an academic or have expertise knowledge to be able to navigate and to find anything of interest in these documents, as they are being presented by the government.

That is one of the reasons why we decided to bring it to the surface in the manner we did, it is also worth noting that there has been a very troubling trend in the last decade or two in the US where there has been a reversal of declassification after president Clinton in the mid 90s, had declassified by an executive order a lot of documents, the the Bush Administration came to power and there was an attempt to take these documents back into the darkness and actually reclassify what has previously been declassified and it was revealed by investigative journalists in 2006, that already by that time 55,500 pages of documents had been reclassified again. And that is of course an extremely troubling trend and it makes you wonder whether actually the administration in the U.S. can be trusted with this kind of information.

So, at least now these documents, and many more to come I would hope, are now in the public domain, and revealing a lot of interesting stories in our contemporary history.

Robles: Has anyone come up with accusations that this is a threat to U.S. security or something?

Hrafnsson: No, I have not heard any accusations, it would be absurd and easily dismissed so, no that has not been voiced.

Robles: Can I ask you your impression about the trip by the Swedish justice last week to Australia? Would you like to give us your impression on that?

Hrafnsson: Only very briefly. It was very interesting that somebody who works on behalf of the Swedish Supreme Court would actually be discussing a case that might end up in the Supreme Court. It raised eyebrows all over the world and in my mind this might be an indication that all of it is falling apart and we will finally see an end to this ridiculous situation.

Robles: I know you are very short on time. I wanted to ask you: are you going to be playing any role in the Wikileaks Party or in the upcoming senatorial election in Australia?

Hrafnsson: No, I am not. This is very good move in many ways, to bring people’s attention to the agenda that we are fighting for and I hope that he will get good support, and the WikLeaks Party will get support in Australia, there is an indication that that’s going to happen.

Robles: Last question regarding Wikileaks and the Project K files: if somebody gets on your site there, what are some of the big areas to look into or bombshells they could find in the Kissinger files in particular? Have you been suffering any attacks lately on your servers? And what is going on with the banking blockade, if you could tell us really quickly?

Hrafnsson: With regard to the banking blockade we are still fighting that. We have been making some progress in getting beyond this blockade by other means and the Freedom of the Press Foundation in the US was an extremely important step but we are still fighting the blockade legally. And there is a case that is going to be heard in the Iceland Supreme Court, a case that we won in a lower court, against Visa Iceland and I am very confident we are going to win the Supreme Court case as well which will force Visa to basically open up donations directly. That is one important step, we have of course other measures when it comes to the measures against WikiLeaks, we are basically committed to continue our work, and I think that we shown today that we are continuing the strengthening of our base and continuing the work we set out to do years ago.

Robles: Last question on the project K files. Are these files going to be available to the general public or to media organizations?

Hrafnsson: Anybody can go on Wikileaks.org and access this database. It is open to everybody. They can search by key words. It is very user-friendly and they can find information that is extremely important to contemporary history, and what has already been revealed to our media partners, is that these are very important stories that are very revealing to our position today. So, it should be a reference point for not only journalists of every kind of folio and work, but a very good source for the general public to go online and search topics of interest.

Robles: Wonderful. Thank you Krisitnn, I really appreciate it. Do you want to give us the URL?

Hrafnsson: Wikileaks.org and on that you can find links to all the database

The Unstable Politicians in the US are Dangerous  Part 1

20 December 2012, 09:05  

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In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, WikiLeaks official spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson speaks about the Freedom of the Press Foundation and their new initiative to provide help and assistance to members of the press who are being persecuted for seeking to tell the truth. In particular the FPF offers a way to circumvent the illegal extra-judicial blockade against WikiLeaks. He also talked about unstable and dangerous American politicians.

Robles: This is John Robles. I am speaking with Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, he is the Official Spokesperson for the Wikileaks Organization. 

Greeting. Exchange of weather information. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the Wikileaks declaration of war on the US banking giants? 

Hrafnsson: Today marked a new episode of that war. I might like to say that actually this war was started by the financial giants and we never asked for that, they declared war on us in December 2010 by the banking blockade on Wikileaks and ever since we have been fighting battles in that war, on the legal front, and had successes on many fronts and today of course we had great support from the United States where the new organization, the Free Press Foundation opened up a website, opening for donations to Wikileaks and other organizations that are fighting for transparency and fighting to end secrecy ridiculous secrecy that is now engulfing our western nations. 

Robles: It is called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, is that correct? 

Hrafnsson: Yes. 

Robles: Now they say they will provide “crowd-source fundraising” for organizations and individuals being attacked for telling the truth. What exactly is crowd-source financing and who will determine if someone is being attacked for telling the truth? 

Hrafnsson: I assume the board of the foundation will decide which individuals or organization will be placed upon the choice board on the website and then it is up to the individual who donates money to the foundation to decide by himself how to split up the donation in between the organizations or individuals that are placed there which is going straight to the public and I think to support the initiative in fighting for transparency and openness and fighting against secrecy. 

Robles: What exactly is crowd-source financing? What exactly is that? 

Hrafnsson: In its essence, of course, it’s going straight to the public and financing initiatives, battles or publications directly upfront by individuals through small donations. In essence of course WikiLeaks has always been sort of crowd funded organization because all of our revenues have come through average-size or small-size donations from a very large group of individuals, tens of thousands of people. 

Robles: Now I understand the organization began its work today. Have you had any initial results yet? 

Hrafnsson: I have not heard any initial results. I mean they had a press conference a little bit earlier and it might still be going on actually. I don’t have the information of whether they have named any numbers but this has had some attention from the media, attention among people who are carrying this message on, so I hope this will be an important initiative resulting in good work by Wikileaks and the other organizations that are on the display of the foundation.

Robles: Are there any chances that the so-called financial giants, that they could actually blockade the freedom of the Press Foundation? 

Hrafnsson: I find it very hard to believe that they are able to do that. The foundation has a recognized charity status in the United States and I don’t see how on earth they could actually take up any action against the foundation. And if so, I am fairly certain that they will have an open court room waiting for them with prominent lawyers, counter-attacking any attempt to stop this. 

Robles: A technical question, is there any chance that the amount of money that is going to go to Wikileaks can be traced or blocked in any way or this pretty much keeps you safe? 

Hrafnsson: The foundation has carefully managed the website in such a way that there is no possibility to trace individual donations, so it will be perfectly safe. As I said earlier, the foundation has a recognized charity status in the US, and of course none of the organizations, including Wikileaks that are on the website that you can donate to had been charged with anything anywhere in the world, and have even been cleared by the US Treasury quite a lot time ago when there was an attempt by US politicians to pressure the US Treasury to blacklist the organization. There were no charges against Wikileaks or the other entities and it would have been absolutely absurd had there been any attempt to try to trace donations or try to stop this initiative and that would really be met, I am sure, with a total outrage by all individuals in the US and the rest of the world. 

Robles: Wikileaks has never, not one time, been charged anywhere in the world with committing any kind of a crime for publishing what they’ve published. Isn’t it correct? 

Hrafnsson: Wikileaks has never been charged with any crime anywhere, throughout its history, and there have been big words issued and claims of illegality by politicians and commentators in the United States following our publications in 2010, but one thing are words from unstable politicians and another thing is formal charges that we had not received anywhere. 

Robles: What did you call them? Unstable politicians? 

Hrafnsson: Well, I call them unstable politicians, the Tea-Party members that have been stepping up and calling for drone attacks, calling for the assassinations of Julian Assange or other heads of organizations. I call them unstable individuals that are full of hate speach and basically are spitting on them through the media, which is in itself a very serious thing. This could have caused, or incite other unstable individuals to actually carry out such deeds. So, it is extremely to hear and witness these kinds of scenarios from elected politicians in a so-called democracy. 

Robles: I love that phrase – unstable politicians. 

Hrafnsson: You are welcome to use that in the future maybe with link on the website, of the video, which we actually have put together: a collection of these comments that have been issued towards Julian Assange and Wikileaks which is quite interesting to watch. It is a jaw-dropping thing when you see it in one place and a few minutes clip. 

Robles: What is the address, can you tell our listeners? 

Hrafnsson: It is on our website Wikileaks.org and it has also been uploaded on Youtube and should be easily found there. 

Robles: Okay Kristinn, thank you very much. Do you have anything else you want to finish up with? 

Hrafnsson: No, I am fine, I just wanted to add that today is Bradley Manning’s 25th birthday, his 3rd birthday behind bars without trial. 

Robles: Everybody, happy Birthday to Bradley Manning, from me, from Kristinn as well and thank you very much for speaking with me again I really appreciate it.

Politicians are being more and more controlled by corporations Part 2

24 December 2012, 12:59 

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WikiLeaks number 2 and the official spokesperson for the portal Kristinn Hrafnsson recently spoke to the Voice of Russia and in part two of that conversation, discusses the struggle of WikiLeaks, the international nature of the organization and leaks from all over the world. Also on the table is the topic of alternatives to US based financial mechanisms and the possible formation of independent international financial mechanisms.

This is John Robles. I am speaking with Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, the Official Spokesperson for the Wikileaks Organization.

Robles: In 2010 you had over million dollars in cash reserves and you were down to less than a $1000. That is alarming, I think. Is WikiLeaks under any kind of a threat of closure or are you going to manage to scrape through ok?

Hrafnsson: We will try our best to manage and keep on going. We of course have had to scale down dramatically, and more importantly we have been deprived of the possibility of expanding our operation, as we would have wanted, in light of the importance of our work. But we are in dire times, it cannot be denied, that, the individuals working for the organization and the big crowd of volunteers and supporters, are ensuring to keep the work going.

We are not about to cave-in in this war, on the contrary, we are starting a new front. We’ve had victories in court in Iceland, we started a case in Denmark, we’ve had victories in the European Parliament against the authorities in Germany, in France we were able to open an “I” gate against the blockade. Now with the good support of individuals in the US we are scaling up our counter-attack and I ensure we will have these financial giants on the run pretty soon.

Robles: When we talked a couple months ago, you just mentioned the gateway in France. Has that been productive, has that helped you guys, out?

Hrafnsson: It has been helpful as other initiatives to bypass this blockade but the blockade is still in place and it is still causing people concerns, and they feel that somehow there is illegality involved in actually donating to the organization, so it is very important to keep the fight going and have it lifted and we will continue on that.

Robles: Last time we talked, we talked about the European Parliament’s decision. Has there been any movement on that?

Hrafnsson: Myself personally and my colleagues, we have spent some time in Brussels and talked to many pro-politicians in Brussels, and we were extremely happy with the initiative by the European Parliament which adopted a resolution including a directive towards a commission, basically containing the wish that the European Commission would put into law legal framework stopping these kinds of extrajudicial arbitrary practices by payment facilitators, American-based Visa and MasterCard. So there is a clear understanding in the European Parliament that this must be stopped and we hope that that will be transferred into a pressure on the Commission to actually change this mind regarding the anti-trust case that has been filed in a complaint to the commission and open a very formal and broad-based investigation into the wrongdoing by these American-based card companies.

Reminder

Robles: Now we talked about the United States and information that has been leaked regarding the US government corruption, war crimes etc. What about other countries: Australia, for example? Is it possible to move away from just the United States?

Hrafnsson: If we look at basically the motives around Wikileaks, it is not a organization that picks its targets, as a recipient of information from whistle-blowersand in the history of Wikileaks since 2006 prior to 2010 there were extremely important leaks coming from all parts of the world pertaining to corrupt governments in Africa, in Kenya, pertaining to corrupt banking practices from Swiss banks and Icelandic banks, pertaining to large international corporations revealing practices of toxic waste dumping etc. So, it was in progress especially with the US government, it was the revelations starting in 2010 that brought about this extremely strong reaction by the administration hand-in-hand with the big financial giants. It was something that was just a normal continuation of the work prior and I would hope that we will be able to receive and publish information on corrupt corporations and on corruption in countries all around in the world in the future. For that we need of course frineds, we need to be strong, we need to be able to offer that service on a wide basis into the future.

Robles: Listen, you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you see all kinds of information from all over the world. Do you see in all of this evil everywhere, do you see the US hand everywhere in the world, or is it pretty much independent “evil” going on, if you will, for lack of a better term?

Hrafnsson: Of course, it is obvious that with the status of the US in world politics there is a lot of evil that comes from that part of the globe, that goes without saying, but that doesn’t mean that that is the only source of evil, using your word.

Robles: Right. Right.

Hrafnsson: We of course, live now, in a world where politicians have less power than they did before and the powers are more in the hands of international financial conglomerates that have enslaved many nations’ individuals and those are entities that are almost without borders and operate often without the necessary oversights of politically elected governments. We are seeing evil in many corners and there are a lot of things to expose, to expose in order to turn the tide and basically try to get this world on a little bit healthier track.

Robles: I agree with you completely. Listen, isn’t there some other financial mechanism that people could use to support Wikileaks? I mean, have you thought of maybe using a Russian-based bank, for example, or something that the US is not involved in? Is that a real possibility, or do you think that’s unrealistic?

Hrafnsson: We had been looking into a wide range of possibilities, and what has been interesting to see is that thereare many attempts to create ways and means to bypass these all-powerful often American-based financial entities but these attempts are in infancy and they are in the experimental state. But it is a reflection of the fact that individuals all over the world are recognizing the very seriousness of giving so much power to these companies.

Let’s hope that this will grow in strength and in recognition and we can actually see an alternative independent way of exchanging money between hands without having to go through these dangerous gates of international companies, which have already shown the true nature of how they are willing to abuse their position of power.

 

You were listening to part two of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson. You can find  on our website at English.ruvr.ru, and as always we wish you the best!

My wish is to meet Bradley Manning as a free man very soon Part 3

27 December 2012, 10:55 

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In the third part of our recent interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, Kristinn talks about a Russian measure to form an independent banking mechanism that was the subject of diplomatic cables from the US and was susequently killed, US spying and information mining and profiling, communications analysis, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Kristinn makes the revelation that the entire foreign apparatus of the US was activated by banking concerns to stop the Russian measure.

In Russia there’s actually no way, without going through the US, to send WikiLeaks money. I mean I’d send you a 100$ right now if I could, but there’s really no mechanism from the Russian Federation to do that. Without, for example having a Visa Card or something and going through an American gateway!

Hrafnsson: Will since you brought it up it’s worth mentioning what was revealed in the diplomatic cables from Moscow was a discussion: I believe it was in 2006, around the initiative in the Duma to actually create a Russian processing mechanism taking the power from Visa and MasterCard.

It was argued, in the Duma, that this is necessary not just because of financial considerations because of all the money and transactions fees that were being sucked out of the country, also and not less importantly because of the security concerns around the sheer fact that all information about credit card use in Russia is now transferred outside the borders and stored in supercomputers in the United States and is easily accessible. So from a security and national security concern this was a grave concern.

Now, the cables show that Visa and MasterCard were able to mobilize the State Department and the entire foreign service of the United States to put a great effort to try to crush that initiative in the Russian Parliament, and somehow it died down and didn’t materialize. Now there is a thing to investigate for journalists in Russia. How did that come about? I’m curious to know the answer.

Robles: Everything, actually, that happens, financially almost, in the Russian Federation goes right to Langley or wherever. The NSA or whoever is recording and storing all of this information in the United States and for some reason a lot of Russian people have no problem with this, they don’t understand how dangerous that is and how that can be used to control and undermine the government and the country as a whole. How dangerous do you think that is?

One more thing because I have been thinking about this for the last few days, at the beginning of the Internet and everything, everybody was very concerned about their personal information getting onto U.S. servers, of course this includes banking information. And now it seems like people have kind of just begun to ignore that, they upload everything to Facebook and everywhere else, and people aren’t concerned about it. How dangerous and how far-reaching is the information mining by the U.S. Government?

Hrafnsson: It is extremely dangerous. This has been a concern of WikiLeaks all through. We’ve been trying to point out the grave dangers in the growing surveillance society that we live in and with the growing surveillance industry that we have actually exposed, in the Spy Files that we released last year, in December.

We live in a world where information is a commodity that is highly valued. We saw that in the last IPO of Facebook which was the biggest IPO in history, although this year value has dropped somewhat since then. People were eager to buy into information that was being submitted voluntarily for free.

Information is stored in supercomputers in many places, one is in a new facility erected by Visa a couple of years ago in an undisclosed location on the East Coast of the U.S. and it’s interconnected with fiber-optic cables to other computers in the world where all transactions are stored and shared between computers, so within 0.2 milliseconds, whenever a person strikes or slides his card in Moscow, the information is stored in a computer in the United States.

You can imagine what kind of profiling can be made on the basis of the information when it’s added other information available on the net. There’s active work in storing this and doing this profiling and we have that information because of whistleblowers from NSA. Personnel that have stepped out and have had to pay a dear price for that, and have informed how they were disgusted knowing in the last years how the NSA was being transformed into a spying machine, spying on the American public. And of course it is being used and this against information that is accessible from individuals from other nations, as well. It’s an extremely serious trend and something that people all around the world need to wake up to.

Robles: How far away, do you think, is the world from becoming a total cyber-security state and is there anything we can do to stop that?

Hrafnsson: We’re extremely close to that, given the technology. It’s now easy to store the entire telecommunications of an entire nation and to sort and analyze it. We’re getting extremely close to a scenario that George Orwell would never have dreamed of.

Robles: Is there anything we can do to fight that?

Hrafnsson: The most important thing is to start recognizing the problem and the scope of it. And I hope that WikiLeaks can be an instrument in providing information on this. In the hope that information is, will be, the first steps towards liberation.

Robles: Kristinn, thank you very much! Is there anything you want to finish up with?

Hrafnsson: I just want to add that today is Bradley Manning’s 25th birthday his third birthday behind bars without trial. He has been, of course, treated in an extremely shameful manner.

Robles: Shameful! I think that’s putting it very lightly!

Hrafnsson: I want to mention him in my final words and we think of the plight of this young man, who is a hero, in the hope that we’ll be able to meet him as a free man very soon, at least that is my wish. That is if he is indeed the source of the information that he is alleged to have leaked, he is one of the most important whistleblowers of recent times.

Robles: Real quick, I have to ask this question because people want to know. And how is Julian doing in the embassy?

Hrafnsson: He’s doing fine, considering the situation. Of course, it’s not easy to be locked away for all this time; it’s almost six months now. But he’s holding out pretty well, and in good spirits, good fighting spirits. So I would say he is in a relatively good situation given the circumstances.

Robles: Thank you very much for speaking with me again, I really appreciate it.

http://voiceofrussia.com/2012_12_27/My-wish-is-to-meet-Bradley-Manning-as-a-free-man-very-soon-Hrafnsson/

Mixed signals from European Union on economic blockade of WikiLeaks

5 December 2012, 14:42  

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WikiLeaks number two and the official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks organization, Kristinn Hrafnsson spoke with the Voice of Russia regarding the recent ruling by the European Parliament regarding the extra-judicial economic blockade by US based financial institutions who are in violation of international and European law in their continued blockade of the organization. Mr Hraffnsson also spoke about Bradley Manning equating his detention to torture and when asked about WikiLeaks, promised more releases to come.

Robles: We’ve had a lot of mixed reports about Julian Assange’s condition, that he is very ill, and had reports… He gave an interview and he said he’s not ill. Can you tell us what is really going on?

Hrafnsson: There were reports earlier this week that Julian Assange was in a very bad health and had a lung condition. That was of course an overblown statement. He is actually in fairly good condition, in spite of the fact that he is inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 19th . It’s been quite a long time but he is doing fairly well considering the conditions.

Robles: Has there been any progress made with him getting out of there and getting to Ecuador? Have you heard anything?

Hrafnsson: I have not heard anything new regarding that. They’ve had talks with the Swedish and the UK authorities and I believe attempted to have talks with the US authorities as well trying to solve the standoff. And I have actually no information indicating that there’s been any real progress but at least the dialog seems to be ongoing.

Robles: Can you tell our listeners a little bit about the ruling by the European Parliament?

Hrafnsson: Yes, I just returned from Brussels and actually we had the two very contradicting messages from Brussels in recent weeks. One was of course the extremely positive resolution that was voted on by the European Parliament on November 19th in a report on the online payments where the European Parliament gave a clear message, in a report that was voted into a resolution and sent to the European Commission, that they want it to be put into law that the payment facilitators, like Visa and MasterCard, would not in an abusive manner impose a blockade on entities or organizations, or companies without any due process. So, this was a very positive sign and I think it is a result of our fight in Brussels on other venues to bring awareness to the extreme problem of giving these American-based companies this tremendous power.

But at the same time we had another negative signal which came from the Commission. It was the result of our complaint through our partner in Iceland to the Commission where we claimed that the American-based companies Visa, MasterCard and American Express had contravened the antitrust legislation of the European community by imposing the economic blockade on Iceland. After 15 months of deliberation they found that in their preliminary assessment they would not open up a full investigation into all this. And on Monday, last week, we handed in our argument trying to convince the Commission to change its mind because of the tremendous importance of the case and showing how the Commission has, in our mind, erred in their decision.

So, it is not a final one. In about 4-5 weeks the Commission will take their final position and of course we can appeal that further on but I hope that the Commission will see the light and actually open up this investigation because as everybody can see this is a very important question about economic sovereignty of all the Europeans against the all-powerful American financial institutions.

Robles: Do you see the US influence in this? Basically they said that it was illegal but they refuse to prosecute it.

Hrafnsson: After reviewing this case through all this time the preliminary finding was that it was unlikely, that they were able to show that the American companies had breached antitrust laws on the European market. I think it is a wrong decision and we are trying to convince the Commission to change its mind and open up the investigation.

Robles: How much influence do you think the US has on the European Parliament?

Hrafnsson: Well, it is obviously, in my mind, there has been a tremendous pressure on behalf of these American corporations. And as we have seen, happening in Russia for example, the American State Department is acting very often on behalf of these American financial powers. That happened when the Duma was contemplating establishing the Russian payment system and forcing Visa and MasterCard to use a Russian local system. Basically, it was argued that this was a matter of national security.

So, we know that the Americans authorities act on behalf of these financial corporations and I’m quite sure that they have tried all their means possible to influence the European Commission. The European Parliament has in many ways more individual power and is not as prone to pressure from the American conglomerates and the State Department acting on their behalf.

So, I’m quite sure that if the European Parliament, after they have passed the resolution I mentioned earlier, will give a clear signal to the Commission and there is a possibility that the European Commission will change its mind.

Robles: I see, I hope so. As far as the Internet goes there are few US companies that will do any kind of business here in Russia over the Internet. It’s been like a total blockade from the very beginning. Can you tell us a little bit about what is coming up with the WikiLeaks?

Hrafnsson: I will be very cautious in commenting on any future releases and our future projects. I can assure you that there will be future releases. And we are still operating even though it is of course very hard to do. And we have been spending all of these limited resources in fighting the economic blockade and all the legal obstacles, and legal channels. Especially, considering that the economic blockade has wiped away 95% of our revenues, so I can simply say that we will continue. And we are still in cooperation and will be further doing that.

Robles: Can you give me your opinion on the case of Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning, he had his first hearing this week? And Jeremy Hammond maybe facing life in prison.

Hrafnsson: I will refrain from speaking about him at this moment. But actually I have been following the Bradley Manning case in the US last week. And of course it was revealing, this testimony about the way he has been tortured in prison in pretrial punishment. It is absolutely inexcusable in my mind. Being locked in Quantico for nine months in isolation, it is nothing but the torture in my mind and it is inexcusable and it is a stain on Obama’s presidency.

Robles: Kristinn, anything big you want to finish with, it is all yours.

Hrafnsson: I’m very grateful for all the support we’ve received from people all around the world. And I urge people to continue support us in any way possible, visit our website. And there are still ways and means to help us out in our struggle and donate to us what people can contribute, it means a lot to us. We owe it all to a very strong support base and what keeps us going and keeps us strong is a feeling of support from individuals all around the world.

Extradition Determined by the Executive Not Courts - Part 1

28 September 2012, 16:21 

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Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks, calls Bradley Manning a hero and one of the most important whistleblowers in history, if he was in fact the source of the documents. He also stresses the fact that the Ecuadorian authorities’ offer to move Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to the Ecuadorian Embassy in Sweden for questioning was turned down despite Assange never having tried to evade questioning to begin with.

I was wondering if you could give our listeners a little bit of insight regarding Julian Assange’s conference before the United Nations General Assembly?

Well, as you can see from his speech he was using the opportunity to point out that the relentless persecution of WikiLeaks by the Obama Administration must stop. He mentioned of course the plight of Bradley Manning. And in details went into the situation with regards to the persecution of WikiLeaks here in the United States. Of course this is a venue that was offered by the Ecuadorian authorities who were hosting this event at the United Nations in the hope that by tsking part, he could get the ears of decision makers through that venue.

So, I understand you are in the United States right now. Do you have any problems there?

No, I did not have any problem entering the country and I hope I won’t have any problem exiting the country as well. I’m here on a diplomatic invite from the permanent representatives of the Ecuadorian authorities here at the UN and taking part in the events yesterday.

Was there any progress made, there, yesterday at the UN? Do you think anything is going to really come out of this?

Well, as far as I know there was a meeting today between the Foreign Minister Patiño from Ecuador and his counterpart from the UK William Hague where they discussed the situation and where the matters are with Julian Assange. As I know there was no definite outcome. But there was certainly the understanding that the dialogue would continue. The Ecuadorian authorities are doing their best in finding a solution to this standoff and have been offering a possible solution to it. And let’s hope that with the continued dialogue this will have a positive outcome in the end.

Did the dialogue go into the area of respecting the sovereignty of embassies? The subject of the planned storming of the embassy in London, did that come up?

Of course I’m not a privy to the diplomatic dialogue between the countries, it is not a direct WikiLeaks matter. But as far as I know the threat that was made earlier by William Hague to storm the Embassy in London has been withdrawn after a very strong protest, and not just by Ecuador but by all the Latin American countries. So, I think that is out of the picture and the threat is no longer there.

What do you think personally, Julian called Bradley Manning an American patriot and a hero, what do you think about Bradley Manning?

Well, he is the alleged source of the information that we have been publishing and he is going through extremely tough times and has been held for months upon end, under conditions that are described as tantamount to torture by the Special Rapporteur on Torture of the UN, Juan Mendez, which of course is a horrible thing to do to a young man. As far as one can understand about his motives, if indeed he is the source of this information, he did that after being disillusioned about the mission in Iraq when he witnessed that innocent people were being detained and being tortured for doing basically nothing, just opposing the political allies in Iraq. So, it seems from every indication that has been published, and everybody can see on the Internet that he is indeed a patriot. And if he is indeed the source of this information – he is one of the most important whistleblowers in history and a hero in my mind.

Reminder

Are you privy to any details regarding his incarceration? Is he still being woken up every 15 minutes and made to sleep without his clothes on etc? Are they still doing the same things to him they were doing?

No, not to my knowledge after a great pressure which I’m certain had an effect on changing his conditions. He was moved to another prison where his circumstances are more tolerable. This is just something that we have observed on the sideline we try our best as an organization to follow the plight of this young man. And we support him as much as we can in any way.

Regarding being sent to Sweden, can you comment on that at all, as far as there were some reports last week that Ecuador was planning to send him to Sweden? I found that very odd. Can you comment on that at all?

What I heard was that as a possible solution to this standoff the Ecuadorian authorities suggested "the possibility" that Julian would move from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to the Ecuadorian Embassy in Sweden as an attempt to finish that phase that he is wanted for, which is basically questioning. He has not been charged of anything. As far as I know that offer was turned down and that possibility but it just shows that the Ecuadorian authorities are working hard on finding a solution that could end this standoff, and this matter. And I must emphasize that Julian Assange has never tried to evade being questioned. He agreed to questioning, he has offered himself for questioning for weeks when he was staying in Sweden. And after he moved to London he offered a go to the Scotland Yard or to the Swedish Embassy to be interrogated through video link, or he offered the Swedish prosecutors to travel to London to interrogate him there. But all his offers have been turned down and it is quite spurious how the Swedish prosecution authorities are handling the matter.

That sounds extremely suspicious to me!

A lot of things that pertain to the way the Swedish authorities and the Swedish prosecutors’ office and the foreign office have been handling this matter is suspicious. One thing of course that is very suspicious is the total denial until now of the Swedish authorities to grant him some kind of certainty and guarantee that he will not be extradited further to the United States which should be a relatively easy thing to do. It would suffice to make a political declaration that of course Julian Assange would never be extradited to the United States from Sweden on the basis of his work as a publicist and journalist of, ah, in WikiLeaks.

It has been claimed by the Foreign Minister in Sweden Carl Bildt that the Executive in Sweden cannot do that because it is a matter of the Judiciary. Prominent academics and experts have pointed out that it is totally incorrect. It is the decision of the Executive whether to extradite or not. If a request comes to the Swedish authorities, it is the Executive who takes the decision whether the person is extradited or not. If a person is offered for extradition he has then the opportunity to go to the court to challenge that. But first and foremost it is the Executive who makes the decision and it is very much in the hands of the Foreign Minister of Sweden to decide upon that. And it is in his hands to give a guarantee that Julian Assange as a journalist and editor and publisher will not be extradited to the US on the basis of his work at WikiLeaks.

Of course.

End of part 1

Communicating with Enemy: US Attempts to Equate WikiLeaks to CIA/Al Qaeda - Part 2

29 September 2012 

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The official spokesperson for WikiLeaks talked with the Voice of Russia about Wikileaks being placed in the same category as Al-Qaeda by the US Military who called contact with Wikileaks “communicating with the enemy” and he pointed out that a journalist can't be controlled by fear.

This is part 2 of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks organization

A lot of things that pertain to the way the Swedish authorities and the Swedish prosecutor's office and the foreign office have been handling this matter, is suspicious. One thing that of course is very suspicious is the total denial of the Swedish authorities to grant him some kind of certainty and guarantee that he will not be extradited further to the United States from Sweden on the basis of his work in WikiLeaks.

It has been claimed by the Foreign Minister in Sweden, Carl Bildt, that the Executive in Sweden cannot do that. Prominent academics and experts have pointed out that it is totally incorrect. It is the decision of the Executive whether to extradite or not.

Sure! There was the news report yesterday that papers were released (these were declassified documents) and that Julian was called an "enemy of the state" by the United States Government. Can you comment on that?

What we published yesterday, and produced, were documents that were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Those documents pertain to an investigation into, ah, possible wrongdoing by U.S. service personnel stationed in the UK. A woman that had shown support for the WikiLeaks cause and for Bradley Manning and was therefore investigated for the possibility of having handed information over to the WikiLeaks. In the documents it is said that the crime being investigated was defined as “communicating with the enemy”. So, in that context the enemy supposedly is WikiLeaks. It is a very worrying sign if it is true that the US military has categorically defines WikiLeaks as the enemy, it will place WikiLeaks in the same category as Al Qaeda.

Unbelievable! You have no concerns for your own safety, being there in the United States, with all that happening?

I’m a journalist and I have been a journalist for 25 years and a journalist cannot be controlled by fear.

Sure, I hear you! Regarding Ecuador again, have there been any signs of movement as to how he is going to be transferred? Or have you heard anything, have they discussed that?

No, I mean there is an ongoing dialogue between the countries where the Ecuadorian authorities are putting a great effort into finding a solution, as I’ve mentioned earlier. They have said of course that the UK authorities must accept the rights of the Ecuadorian authorities to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange and grant him safe passage to go to Ecuador. The UK authorities are still maintaining that, ah, their commitment to the European arrest warrants and European cooperation supercedes any such consideration which is of course a very damaging thing to the image of human rights because, I mean, Julian has been granted an asylum on the basis of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. And let’s hope that there will be progress and as long as people are discussing and having a dialogue   I’m certain that in the end there will be a positive outcome and justice will prevail.

Listen, are you still having problems with the banking blockade and your servers being attacked? Or have they quieted down on that?

No, at the moment we are of course continuing our fight against the banking blockade, by legal means, and it has been painstaking and a very costly fight. But we are continuing that, not just for WikiLeaks’s sake but for the sake of countering the financial powers in the world who have taken upon themselves to impose this totally illegal blockade on a media organization, which is unprecedented and has to be fought. We are now waiting, in the next coming days, for the outcome from Brussels where more than a year ago we and our partner in Iceland, filed a complaint against the credit card companies for infringing the anti-trust laws of the European economic area, and the European Union. And we hope that the Anti-Trust Division of the European Commission will take up a formal investigation into the wrongdoing of the credit card companies and punish them severely for what their doing.

I see.

Reminder

Have you heard anything from the Australian Government? Have they been in contact with you or Julian? Or are they still being quiet?

Well it's very worrying, and it is very disappointing to Julian, that the Australian authorities have not shown enough support and he has condemned the fact that the Australian authorities are not protecting him as a citizen of the country, and it has raised grave concerns among many Australians that think that the Australian authorities have abandoned him. And there is a great pressure upon the Government in Canberra to make ammends and change the position.

Was this discussed by Julian when he was in contact with the UN?

He’s mentioned that fact in his presentation.

How is he? The world wants to know. I know you speak with him regularly. How is Julian?

Julian is holding up pretty well and he is in good spirits, and he is a dedicated person and he is not caving in and will of course see this to the end. He’s been under very tough circumstances for a very long time now, under house arrest before he entered the Embassy. But, ah, he is revolutionary and not unaccustomed to rough conditions. So, he will hold out as long as necessary.

Okay, I see...

Julian mentioned in his presentation yesterday a very important thing which is the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration and he was referring to Obama’s speech to the UN, a day earlier, where Obama tried to gain some credit for support to the Arab Awakening, which in our view is nothing more than hypocrisy if you consider the fact that his own administration was supporting the dictators that were overthrown up until the last moment; the Ben Ali Government until the very end in January 2011 and Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt a little later.

So, it is quite surprising that he would stand before the United Nations and claim some kind of support for the Arab uprising against those dictators whom his own Government and previous governments had supported relentlessly, as very good allies throughout the years. And I’m certain that if that US support of those dictators had not been in place, we would have seen these sort of uprisings, as we witnessed last year, much earlier. So, it is nothing but hypocrisy to claim some sort of credit for supporting the Arab uprising.

Close

Julian Assange Calls Obama a Hypocrite Kristinn Hrafnsson - Part 3

29 September 2012 

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Hello, this is John Robles. I’m speaking with Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, he’s the spokesperson for WikiLeaks.

Regarding Ecuador again, have there been any signs of movement as to how he’s going to be transferred? Have you heard anything? Have they discussed that?

No, I mean, there’s ongoing dialogue between the countries where Ecuadorian authorities are putting great effort into finding a solution. As I mentioned earlier, they have said, of course, that the UK authorities must respect the rights of the Ecuadorian authorities to grant asylum to Julian Asange, and grant him safe passage to go to Ecuador. The UK authorities are still maintaining that their commitment to a European arrest warrant and European cooperation supersedes any less consideration which is, of course, a very damaging thing to the image of human rights, because, I mean, Julian has been granted an asylum on the basis of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Let’s hope that there’ll be progress. As long as people are discussing and having a dialogue, I’m certain that at the end there’ll be a positive outcome and justice will prevail.

I hope so! Have you still had any problems with the banking blockade and your servers being attacked or have they quieted down on that?

No, at the moment we’re, of course, continuing our fight against the banking blockade by legal means and it has been a painstaking and very costly fight, but we’re continuing that, not just for WikiLeaks’ sake, but for the sake of countering the financial powers in the world who have taken upon themselves to impose a totally illegal blockade on a media organization, which is unprecedented and has to be fought! We’re now waiting, in the next coming days, for the outcome from Brussels where more than a year ago we and our partner in Iceland filed complaints against the credit card companies for infringing the laws, the anti-trust laws, on the European economic area and the European Union. And we hope that the Anti-Trust Division of the European Commission will take up formal investigation into the wrongdoing of the credit card companies and punish them severely for what they’re doing.

I see. Have you heard anything from the Australian government? Have they been in contact with you or Julian? Or are they still being quiet?

Well it’s very worrying and it’s very disappointing to Julian that the Australian authorities have not shown enough support and he has condemned the fact that the Australian authorities are not protecting him as a citizen of the country. And it has raised grave concerns among many Australians who think that the Australian authorities have abandoned him. There’s great pressure upon the government in Canberra to make amends and change the position.

Was this discussed by Julian when he was in contact with the UN? Nobody brought up that fact?

He mentioned that fact in his presentation.

Reminder

How is he? The world wants to know. I know you speak with him regularly. How is Julian?

Julian is holding up pretty well, I mean, he is in good spirits and, uh, he is a dedicated person and he is not caving in and will, of course, see this to the end. He’s been under very tough circumstances for a very long time now: under house arrest before he entered the embassy, but he is a revolutionary so he’s not unaccustomed to rough conditions. He will hold out as long as necessary.

Sir, is there anything you would like to finish up with? I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to me…

Julian mentioned in his presentation, yesterday, a very important thing which is hypocrisy of the Obama administration and he was referring to Obama’s speech to the UN, a day earlier, where Obama tried to gain some credit for support to the Arab awakening, which, in our view, is nothing more than hypocrisy if you consider the fact that his own administration was supporting the dictators that were overthrown up until the last moment, ah, the: Ben Ali government until to the very end in January 2011 and Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt a little later. It’s quite surprising that he would stand before the United Nations and claim some kind of support for the Arab uprising against those dictators which the US government, his own government and previous governments had supported relentlessly, as very good allies throughout the years and I’m certain that if that US support, of those dictators, had not been in place, we would have seen these sort of uprisings, as we witnessed last year, much earlier. So, it’s nothing but hypocrisy to claim some sort of credit for supporting the Arab uprising.

In Libya they were supporting Muammar Gaddafi before they invaded the country.

The hypocrisy doesn’t end there, because if you consider, for example, the track record of the Obama administration when it comes to crackdown on whistleblowers, which is in total contrast to the promises and the platform, actually, where, ah, which Obama was campaigning on four years ago before he was elected, where he praised whistleblowers, where he encouraged whistle blowing and also as a very strong supporter of whistleblowers. But as soon as he got elected, he has this spurious track record of being the President whose administration has relentlessly fought whistleblowers and challenged them and threatened them with the Espionage Act of 1917 which is a terrible thing, which carries the death penalty. And more whistleblowers have been prosecuted, or persecuted, under the Obama administration than under any other administration in the post-WWII era and even under presidencies combined, prior to him taking office four years ago which is a very worrying trend and another example of the Obama hypocrisy.

Sure, I couldn’t believe he won the Nobel Peace Prize while he was engaged in two wars, he never closed Guantanamo, he’s taking away the civil liberties of the American people and he goes ahead… and he got the Nobel Peace Prize. What do you think about that?

Well I challenge you to talk to the children, the fatherless children of the individuals who have been killed in drone strikes, in Waziristan, ask them if they think that Obama deserved the Peace Prize.

How can a man who signs off on a daily kill list win a Nobel Peace Prize? I don’t understand myself.

That’s a very good question!

Ok, sir, thank you very much! I really appreciate it! I hope we can stay in touch and that we can speak to you soon when things develop further.

No problem!

Okay, thank you very much sir and good luck there in the US!

Bye bye

Assange’s Future Plans: "Right to Request Political Asylum is a Human Right"

15 August 2012, 12:29   

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The official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks organization Kristinn Hrafnsson in an exclusive interview for the Voice of Russia shed light on the future plans for the organization and Julian Assange’s asylum case. He also discussed the latest DDoS-attacks that the WikiLeaks site has been suffering from.

I was wondering if you could give our listeners a little update on what is going on with Julian’s case. And in particular the DDoS-attacks you have been have been suffering from seems like the beginning of August.

What I can say about the attacks that we are having is that they are obviously from someone with a quite big capacity, those are not just some amateurs or a few teenagers doing a prank. We are taking about 10 GB’s per second which means that we are seeing someone with a capacity of ten thousand computer systems attacking the site at the same time. We are drawing a conclusion that the attacks are aimed at our fundraising capability. This comes right after we were able to open up a friends credit card gateway and start accepting donations again through credit cards.

So my take on this is such that this is an attack on our capability to collect donations. We had to use our resources and money to increase our capabilities to withhold these attacks. We are barely hanging on, but they are not going to have an upper hand, we will fight this. But I have no idea where this is coming from. I can only reiterate that this is not just a group of youngsters or pranksters. This is a serious attack obviously organized and coordinated by somebody with a huge capability.

Has anyone been able to determine by the IP-address where are these attacks coming from?

No, we have not been able to do that. We have not been able to determine the source of these attacks, so we can only speculate. Like I said, this is done on a large scale, not just by a group of teenagers.

So you are saying that may this is ten thousand computers located in different locations?

We are saying that it is the equivalent of ten thousand computers attacking our website at the same time which is quite massive.

Are they attacking all the mirror sites as well?

They have been attacking mirror sites and the donation page which is not hosted on our site but we link to that site. So this is obviously a coordinated massive attack.

So they are not just targeting your WikiLeaks page and information, they are targeting your donations page which is on a separate server?

Correct.

Can you tell anything to our listeners about Julian’s asylum case? Ecuador has promised to come to a decision after the Olympics.

We had no confirmation that they have reached the decision; at least they have not informed Julian about their decision. I just spoke to him a moment ago and some media are reporting and citing our name sources that the Ecuadorian authorities have decided to give him asylum but in fact he has not been notified. I cannot confirm such reports. I would be very glad if that was the case, but until we get an official confirmation I can’t really comment on that.

For me this is a million-dollar question: if he is granted an asylum how is he going to get out of the Ecuadorian Embassy?

That is obviously something that has to be negotiated with the UK authorities. They have to grant them a window to leave the country. And of course it would be highly spurious if they decide not to on the basis of the fact that the Ecuadorian authorities have come through a lot of trouble in tallying information. And if it is collected and this is their position, which we cannot confirm, then it is based on a detailed evaluation and information gathering in both states – Sweden and UK. And they have been working on it for weeks.

There were official reports from the UK government that were Julian to leave the embassy, regardless if he has asylum or not, that they would stop the vehicle and pull him out of it to arrest him. Have the British authorities retracted that statement or is this still their position?

I have not seen that statement recently. This was from the timeframe where they have been simply saying that he had reached this bail condition which is legally not correct, according to our lawyers. He is using his right to request political asylum which is a human right.

What are your planes and what are WikiLeaks’s plan if Julian is granted asylum? How will that effect the organization? And if he is not, how will that effect the organization?

It is hard to speculate what kind position we will take if he is not granted the political asylum. But if he is then the next step would be to secure his safe pass to Ecuador and continue or work as we have been doing. We have been operating under very strange and very difficult circumstances. Julian has been under house arrest all this time. But we are an online-based organization where the location of individuals working for the organization and working on projects doesn’t matter all that much. So this is what we have planned for the future – just continue the work we have been doing.

Have you been threatened yourself by the US of Western authorities?

No I have not been threatened by the US or any other authority and I would not take that very lightly being a journalist for more than 20 years.

Assange’s future plans - right to request political asylum is a human right - interview Assange extradition determined by the executive not courts – exclusive interview

Politicians are being more and more controlled by corporations - Hrafnsson

 

Last Update: 08/11/2017 10:33 +0300

 

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