He also said truth-tellers like Assange, Edward Snowden, Daniel Hale, and Jeffrey Sterling among others “were trying to return America to its democratic ideals”
US Presidential Elections 2024 candidate and former US President John F Kennedy’s nephew Robert F Kennedy Jr said he will pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he makes it to the White House. He added that he will investigate the corruption and the crimes exposed by WikiLeaks. He added America does not imprison dissidents.
The US Presidential Elections 2024 candidate wrote: “Instead of championing free speech, the US actively persecutes journalists and whistleblowers. I’ll pardon brave truth-tells like Julian Assange and investigate the corruption and crimes they exposed. This isn’t the Soviet Union. The America I love doesn’t imprison dissidents”.
He also said truth-tellers like Assange, Edward Snowden, Daniel Hale, and Jeffrey Sterling among others “were trying to return America to its democratic ideals”. Kennedy Jr wrote: “Other brave truth-tellers include John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner, Daniel Hale, Thomas Drake, Jeffrey Sterling, and Edward Snowden. They were trying to return America to its democratic and humanitarian ideals.”
Founded in 2006, WikiLeaks came into limelight when it published a series of leaks given by US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010. These documents detailed how the US military killed civilians in unreported incidents in the Afghanistan war. Documents from Iraq War stated around 66,000 civilians were killed. They also mentioned that the Iraqi forces tortured the prisoners.
The leaks also comprised over 25,000 messages sent by American diplomats revealing that the US sought ‘biographic and biometric’ data including iris scans, DNA samples, and fingerprints of key UN officials at the time. In same year, WikiLeaks also published a video from a US military helicopter showing killing of civilians in Baghdad. A voice on the transmission reportedly urged the pilots to ‘light ‘em all up’ and people on street were fired at from the helicopter.
A year before, WikiLeaks had also published about 5,73,000 intercepted pager messages sent during the 9/11 terror attack. These messages included families checking up on loved ones and government department officials reacting to the terror attack.
The US government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks following the 2010 leaks. Sweden also sought a European arrest warrant against the WikiLeaks founder for allegations of sexual assault. After he lost his battle against extradition to Sweden, he breached bail and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London in 2012. Ecuador granted Assange asylum on grounds of political persecution and fears of him being extradited to the US.
Since his asylum was withdrawn in 2019 following disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities, Assange is in a category A prison in London—Belmarsh.