NSA Manhunt List Updated: Target Assange – Supporters Beware

Julian Assange on Being Placed on NSA “Manhunting” List & Secret Targeting of WikiLeaks Supporters
19 February, 2014 – By Amy Goodman – Democracy Now!

Top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed new details about how the United States and Britain targeted the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks after it published leaked documents about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. According to a new article by The Intercept, Britain’s top spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, secretly monitored visitors to a WikiLeaks website by collecting their IP addresses in real time, as well as the search terms used to reach the site. One document from 2010 shows that the National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a “manhunting” target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda. We speak to Assange live from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has sought political asylum since 2012. Also joining us is his lawyer Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.


TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed new details about how the United States and Britain targeted the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks after it published leaked documents about the Afghan War. According to a new article co-written by Glenn Greenwald published this morning by The Intercept, Britain’s top spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, secretly monitored visitors to a WikiLeaks site by collecting their IP addresses in real time as well as the search terms used to reach the site. One document from 2010 shows that the National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a, quote, “manhunting” target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda.

AMY GOODMAN: Another document reveals the NSA considered designating WikiLeaks as a “malicious foreign actor.” According to The Intercept, “Such a designation would have allowed the group to be targeted with extensive electronic surveillance—without the need to exclude U.S. persons from the surveillance searches.” In addition, the leaked documents reveal the United States urged its foreign allies to file criminal charges against Assange over the group’s publication of the Afghanistan War Logs.

Joining us now from London is Wikileaks founder and editor Julian Assange, talking to us by the phone from the Ecuadorean embassy where he has political asylum since August 2012. Here in New York, we’re joined by Michael Ratner, the attorney for Julian Assange, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

When you read this, Julian — welcome back to Democracy Now! — what were your thoughts on being put on this “manhunting”—their words—”manhunting” list together with al-Qaeda? …more

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