Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Julian Assange Confronts Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard : Video

By Jerry Smith Mar 15 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard appeared on ABC's Q&A program and was surprised when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange confronted her via video tape about her breaking pre-election promises and if she has been exchanging information about Australian citizens or WikiLeaks employees with foreign countries.

Assange asked Gillard:
"Which country do you represent? Do you represent Australians and will you fight for Australian interests?"
Gillard laughed and said:
"I represent this country all day every day. You don't have an accent like mine and get confused with being someone from another nation."
On the video tape Assange said to Gillard that he has "intelligence that your government has been exchanging information with foreign powers about Australian citizens working for WikiLeaks", and wants to know when Gillard will "come clean about precisely what information" she has supplied to "foreign powers about Australian citizens working or affiliated with WikiLeaks?" Gillard replied:
"I honestly don't know what he's talking about. So I'm afraid I can't help him with a full and frank exchange about people who work with WikiLeaks because to my knowledge it hasn't happened."
Gillard did admit that the exchange of information between countries does happen often in cases that deal with criminal matters like drug trafficking, people smuggling or terrorism but that the Australian government would not allow the extradition of an Australian citizen to a jurisdiction that allowed the death penalty.

Assange also asked Gillard if she thought that the Australian people should charge her with treason if she has exchanged information with foreign powers?

Gillard said that while she respects whistleblowers and supports people like Deep Throat, the secret informant who provided information to Bob Woodward of The Washington Post in 1972 about the involvement of U.S President Richard Nixon and his administration in the Watergate scandal, she feels Assange's way of releasing the diplomatic cables has no moral purpose.

Gillard said of Assange:
"His motivation as stated is a sort of anarchic, here-it-all-is, just have it. I don't have a great deal of respect for that."
The Prime Minister claims that the Australian government is supporting Assange the same way it would support any other Australian citizen and said:
"My view about his conflict is neither here nor there because we do support him."
Assange also confronted Gillard about breaking her pre-election promise not to impose a carbon tax. Gillard replied:
"I did say during the last election campaign, I promised that there would be no carbon tax. That's true and I've walked away from that commitment and I'm not going to try and pretend anything else"

"When I said during the election campaign there would be no carbon tax, I didn't intend to mislead people. What I believed then is an emissions trading scheme is right for this country, I believe that now, and we will get to that emissions trading scheme."
Gillard claims that in order to get legislation through parliament she had to negotiate with the Greens and the Independents and started with the carbon tax. She said:
"I had a really stark choice. Do I act or not act, well I've chosen to act."

"If you find that you're blocked on your normal route driving home, do you just sit there and say, 'Gee, I'm never going to see my home again', or do you find a different way through? I want us to have an emissions trading scheme, I found a different way through."
When asked during the program about the Japanese earthquake and their nuclear crisis, Gillard reaffirmed Labor's commitment to green energy and its opposition to nuclear power and said:
"We don't need nuclear energy."

"We are a country with abundant solar, wind, geothermal tidal, you name it, we have got renewable source of energy, so we don't think nuclear energy is right for this country."
Gillard just came back from a trip to the United States and said:
"No one in the United States raised with me Mr Assange, no one."
Lawyers for Julian Assange have filed an appeal against Judge Howard Riddle's ruling that Assange, who is still under house arrest at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk,UK, should be extradited to Sweden because he felt Assange could get a fair trial in Sweden and that his extradition to Sweden would not violate his human rights.

Assange and his lawyers fear that if he is extradited to Sweden he may then be extradited to the United States, where he could face torture, confinement at Guantanamo Bay, both, or even the death penalty.

Assange has angered the United States with the releasing of leaked embarrassing diplomatic cables, the classified documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the 'Collateral Murder' video.

Video of Assange confronting Gillard with video question:

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 19, 2011

    "You don't have an accent like mine and get confused with being someone from another nation."

    Your accent has nothing to do with whether or not you are fighting for Australian people.