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Julian Assange Speaks at Cambridge

In Bradley Manning, Egypt, NWO, Tunisia, WikiLeaks, World Revolution on March 16, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Julian Assange addressed the Cambridge Union Society yesterday in a rare public appearance, with over 700 people showing up to hear him speak. Audio/Video recording devices were not allowed. Assange said the recording ban was “a bit rough,” but that it helped to avoid a “press conference,” adding, “adding “everywhere I go turns into a bit of an opera.”

Here are quotes from Assange’s speech, obtained by various newspapers:

“All over the world information of civil importance and historic importance is disappearing because it is owned and controlled by private companies.

While the internet has in some ways an ability to let us know to an unprecedented level what government is doing, and to let us co-operate with each other to hold repressive governments and repressive corporations to account, it is also the greatest spying machine the world has ever seen.

It is not a technology that favours freedom of speech. It is not a technology that favours human rights. It is not a technology that favours civil life. Rather it is a technology that can be used to set up a totalitarian spying regime, the likes of which we have never seen. Or, on the other hand, taken by us, taken by activists, and taken by all those who want a different trajectory for the technological world, it can be something we all hope for.

The battle between those who want to use the internet as a tool of liberation and those who want to use the internet as a tool of control, mass control, is not over, it’s only just beginning.”

“Yes [Facebook & Twitter] did play a part, although not nearly as large a part as Al-Jazeera.

The guide produced by Egyptian revolutionaries says on the first page, ‘Do not use Facebook and Twitter’, and says on the last page, ‘Do not use Facebook and Twitter’.

There is a reason for that. There was actually a Facebook revolt in Cairo three or four years ago. After it, Facebook was used to round-up all the principal participants. They were then beaten, interrogated and incarcerated.

As a result of releasing cables about Mubarak’s approval of Suleiman’s torture methods, the US and Israel’s preferred option for regime takeover in Egypt was not possible.

It was not possible for Joseph Biden and Hilary Clinton to publicly come out and support Mubarak’s regime.

We and others like us ruled out Suleiman as Mubarak’s puppet.

The Tunisian cables showed clearly that if it came down to it, the US, if it came down to a fight between the military on the one hand, and Ben Ali’s political regime on the other, the US would probably support the military.

That is something that must have also caused neighbouring countries to Tunisia some thought, that is that if they militarily intervened, they may not be on the same side as the United States.”

“Censorship by the US is every bit as pernicious as well documented censorship in the Soviet Union.

WikiLeaks is facing attacks from the very peak of the United States media and media in the western world more generally.

They (the companies who have dropped Wikileaks) were acting at the behest of a global system of patronage which has its centre of gravity in Washington.

In our work there are many amateur supreme court judges.

They often have badges which say general on them, they are often CEO’s of corrupt banks, they are often journalists with no story to write, so they write critical opinion.

These people do not know what the law is.

The rule of law is a very important thing but when the rule of law starts to break down and human life is on the line, then it is time to operate within a system of ethics.

I believe there are many circumstances where you must do so and then it is up to history to decide whether one was right to do so.”

“I have to be very careful about speaking about Mr Manning for obvious reasons, one is that we can’t voice our support for Mr Manning loudly.

We have no idea whether he is one of our sources. All our technology is geared up to make sure we have no idea.

He is in a terrible situation. And if he is not connected to us, he is there as an innocent, and if he is in some manner connected to our publications, then of course we have some responsibility. That said, there is no allegation that he was arrested as the result of anything to do with us. The allegation is that he was arrested as a result of him speaking to Wired magazine in the United States.”

Assange also criticised the New York Times, which he claimed had suppressed stories about secret American military activity in Afghanistan.

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