WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spoke Sunday on ABC’s This Week, describing NSA leaker Edward Snowden as a “hero” for his actions.
“He is a hero,” Assange told George Stephanopoulos. “He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications.”
“Without the will of Congress, without the will of the American people, you now have a state within a state,” he said. “We have a transnational surveillance apparatus. No one signed up for this.”
Assange, who has sought refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy for his publishing of U.S. military cables, called the situation “very sensitive.”
“Why is it that Mr. Snowden is not in the United States?” he asked. “He should feel that he should be afforded justice in the United States, but this situation is very similar to a situation that I face and my staff face …”
Citing his own grand jury trial in Alexandria, Virginia, Assange explained that Snowden does not feel as if he could receive a fair trial due to what is known as the “rocket docket” — jury pools in the area are filled with CIA and Pentagon employees and have high conviction rates in cases brought to trial.
Snowden should seek refuge then, Assange argued, until he feels he would be “afforded justice” upon his return to the United States.
The NSA leaker remains in Russia while he tries to find asylum in another country. That has been complicated by the U.S. revocation of his passport, an act Assange described as “disgraceful.”
Watch Assange’s interview below, courtesy of Mediaite.
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