In a behind the scenes interview tape between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and PBS Frontline’s Martin Smith, Assange claims that WikiLeaks’ mission is not to destroy the U.S. government, but to expose government cover-ups.

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“What we mean about conspiracy is simply people getting together in private to make plans to do something that the public would be outraged against,” Assange said. “They keep it in private because the public would oppose it. And if the public finds out about it and opposes it before it’s implemented, then chances are it won’t be implemented.”

He added that WikiLeaks was not interested in annihilating the government of the United States or any other government, and denied the organization he founded had a partisan political agenda.

“Institutions derive their legitimate authority from an informed public that chooses to grant them authority,” Assange said. “If the public is not informed, then any authority that chooses to grant an organization in itself is not informed, and therefore is not legitimate.”

The interview was recorded on April 4, 2011.

WikiLeaks claimed the PBS documentary “WikiSecrets,” which aired May 24, “misrepresents WikiLeaks’ views and tries to build an ‘espionage’ case against” Assange.

Watch video, courtesy of WikiLeaks, below: