NOW: After that web tech fiasco, Assange his posting answers.
Will Assange return to his native Australia? He says no, because he would be arrested:
I am an Australian citizen and I miss my country a great deal. However, during the last weeks the Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, and the Attorney General, Robert McClelland, have made it clear that not only is my return is impossible but that they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself and our people.
Are there aliens? Maybe!
Many weirdos email us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot-plant. However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules.
1) that the documents not be self-authored;
2) that they be original.
However, it is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the cablegate archive there are indeed references to UFOs.
Has Wikileaks benefitted from the Amazon controvery? Yes and this was intentional.
Since 2007 we have been deliberately placing some of our servers in jurisdictions that we suspected suffered a free speech deficit inorder to separate rhetoric from reality. Amazon was one of these cases.
Assange says Wikileaks has not caused harm to anyone:
WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time there has been no credible allegation, even by organisations like the Pentagon that even a single person has come to harm as a result of our activities. This is despite much-attempted manipulation and spin trying to lead people to a counter-factual conclusion. We do not expect any change in this regard.
Does he fear for his life?
The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a super power.
How has he changed world affairs? Strangely, he focuses on how he has changed media. “For the past four years one of our goals has been to lionise the source who take the real risks in nearly every journalistic disclosure and without whose efforts, journalists would be nothing.”
Assange comments on free speech, saying attempts at censorship show the potential power of the leaks:
We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade.
Why are some names redacted? Assange says redactions are done by the media outlets, not by Wikileaks — which means the media know secrets they haven’t released.
Julian takes his final question: Is the game that you are caught up in winnable?
The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations. History will win. The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you.
PREVIOUSLY: The Guardian’s website was down for a few minutes. It came back up, albeit slowly, but Assange did not appear for more than half an hour.
Update from The Guardian: “we are currently experiencing technical difficulties on guardian.co.uk”
Second update from The Guardian: “Thank you for all your questions. We are temporarily closing comments and will post Julian Assange’s answers as soon as we can.”
The live chat was supposed to start at 8 EST. Now we’re waiting for not-live answers.
Poor planning aside, the site overload suggests wider support for Assange than anyone expected. Half of the comments expressed thanks and admiration, many offering donations and other help.
Other commenters asked what dirt he has about their country:
“julian, we in austria are very curios about the cables from the us embassy here … the cables released so far are about banks and about iran…
the foreign minister (spindelegger) said a few days ago that he met the ambassador (william eacho) and was told the cables could cover a “broad range” of topics and might reveal some “suprises”. i would suggest they try to estimate what could be among the leaks – could this be correct?”
“Why 2416 messages related to Colombia remain undisclosed ? Not a single journal granted the cables release, have published a word on the messages issued by the US Embassy in Bogota. For the last 10 years Colombia has been at the core of the most bloody and pityless inner war financed and executed by a maffia of military, paramilitary, rural landlords, american companies like Chiquita Banana, Drumfield, prived armies, corrupt polititians. More than 60 senators belonging to the same political party as President Uribe have been prosecuted and jailed. 30.000 people is dissapeared, and 300.000 people is sad to have died as result of the state violence during Uribe Term; and thousand of innocent people were executed on the spot by the colombian army and then dressed as guerrilla killed in combat. We need badly to know the roll played by the American embassy in this tragic game of wars, as well as the powers in the shadow articulating the massacres and the violence against the social movements. Please Julian, do something about it, mostly with newspapers other than EL PAIS because they have heavily invested in Latin America and they don’t want the truth to be known in countries like Colombia where El Pais is a key player in the Radio and media industry.”
“Turkish government claims that the government behind the leaks is Israel. They say the documents have negative comments about the Turkish government including corruption allegations. But, there are only a few number of documents about Israel. Turkish government claims that Israel is behind this operation. What do you think? Greetings from Turkey.”
Other good questions:
“In terms of the ‘quality’ (for want of a better word) of the cables are you planning to release the juicy bits first, or can we look forward to more of the same kind of revelations about the mendacity of the super-powerful as long as the documents keep coming?”
“now your websites have had their DNS entries blocked and even the direct IP addresses are not responding which one can only assume is the result of a DDOS attack, are you tempted to release the password for the wikileaks insurance file?”
“Has there been any mention of Extra Terrestrial contact in the files you have seen?
I believe they have been here for a while.”
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