Julian Assange gave his first cable news interview since his release from jail to MSNBC's Cenk Uygur on Wednesday, and he had harsh words for both politicians and the media -- especially Fox News.
Speaking from the English manor where he is under house arrest after his release on bail over sex crime allegations, Assange insisted that he was as much of a journalist as any mainstream reporter, and said that the reason more mainstream media figures had not spoken out in support of him was because they thought they could avoid the government attacks that Assange himself has faced.
"They believe that if they sell us out, if they say, well he's not really a journalist, they can have the Washington authorities target us and destroy us and somehow steer clear of the crossfire..but I have a message to them: they're going to be next,"he said.
Next, Assange addressed the plethora of American politicians--from Joe Biden to Sarah Palin to Mike Huckabee, who he called "another idiot trying to make a name for himself"--who have either dubbed him a "terrorist" or called for his assassination or execution. He said anyone who had done the latter should be prosecuted for incitement to murder.
Assange also strongly condemned Fox News' Bob Beckel, who called for Assange to be "illegally" killed by American special forces earlier this month.
"Just a few days ago on Fox, that was the phrase that was used: 'illegal,' he should be illegally murdered," Assange said."What sort of message does that send about the rule of law in the United States? That is conducting violence to achieve a political end...or the threat of violence to achieve a political end...and that is the definition of terrorism."
Assange also said that Bradley Manning, widely presumed to be the leaker of secret documents to WikiLeaks, was a political prisoner. "This man acted for political reasons," he said. "He is a political prisoner in the United States. He has not gone to trial."
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