WIKILEAKS� JULIAN ASSANGE DENIES ENCOURAGING
PFC. BRADLEY MANNING OR ANYONE ELSE TO LEAK
DIPLOMATIC CABLES TO HIM � �60 MINUTES� SUNDAY
Assange Tells Steve Kroft the U.S. Lacks the Technology to Stop WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denies helping in any way to procure the classified diplomatic cables his web site made public � an allegation central to the current U.S. efforts to prosecute him on criminal charges. He also contends that the U.S., deeply embarrassed by the leak and fearful of even more sensitive and potentially harmful material being spirited to him, lacks the technology to shut down WikiLeaks. Assange spent two days with Steve Kroft for what will be his most lengthy appearance on American television, a 60 MINUTES interview to be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 30 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Some excerpts from Sunday�s 60 MINUTES interview:
On whether he solicited the cables:
Did you encourage anyone to leak this material to you? Have you done anything in connection with the U.S. cases in terms of encouraging an individual to provide you with material?
On the U.S. ability to take his site down:
The U.S. does not have the technology to take the site down�Just the way our technology is constructed, the way the internet is constructed. It�s quite hard to stop things reappearing. So, it-- we�ve had attacks on particular domain names. Little pieces of infrastructure-- knocked out. But we now have some 2,000 fully independent in every way websites, where we�re publishing around the world. It is-- I mean, it�s not possible to do.
On neither confirming nor denying he has a hard drive of a bank executive: Watch the clip.
One bank, Bank of America, had its stock go down three to five percent based on a rumor, maybe it's a rumor, maybe you know more about it, that you had-- the contents of a-- five gigabyte hard drive belonging to one of its executives.
I won�t make any comment in relation to that upcoming publication.
You�re certainly not denying it.
You know, there�ll be a process of elimination if we denied some and admitted others.
So it could be Bank of America-- might not be Bank of America --and you're just going to let them squirm until you get ready to--
I think it's great. We have all these banks squirming, (CHUCKLE) thinking maybe it's them.
On making powerful enemies:
But you were screwing with the forces of nature. You have made-- some of the most powerful people in the world your enemies. You had to expect that they might retaliate.
Oh, no. I fully expected they�ll retaliate�Well, they see it as highly embarrassing--. I think what it�s really about is keeping the illusion of control. I�m not surprised about that. I am surprised at how the-- the sort of flagrant disregard for U.S. traditions. That is what I�m surprised about.