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Julian Assange has been locked away in one place or another for more than a decade. Julian Assange is so despised by elements within the permanent US government that at one point, CIA Director Mike Pompeo discussed murdering him in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was seeking asylum. Mike Pompeo has never been charged for that, which is a crime. Unelected bureaucrats can't just murder people they don't like, and he probably never will be charged with a crime. Virtually, the entire ruling class in Washington is opposed to Julian Assange, and that's the reason that he has sat for years now in Belmarch Prison in London. Keep in mind, Julian Assange has not been charged with a crime in Great Britain, and yet he's being held there. So this fall, we went to Belmarsh and we asked Julian Assange, Why Why do you think you're being held as the most wanted man in America without ever being charged with a real crime? Here's what he told us. We talked about why he is in prison, and my first question to him was, What do you think this is actually about since you haven't been accused of a crime.


And he said something that really struck me, and I think having spent my life in Washington is absolutely right. He said he first became famous when WikiLeaks published documents and videos that the US government had kept secret from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were gravely embarrassing to the Pentagon. But that wasn't the red line. The red line was several years later when WikiLeaks published information about surveillance by the CIA. And so I asked him directly, Are you aware of anyone being harmed or killed on the basis of information that he published? He said, Of course not. And he said it in a sincere way. By the way, I think if people were killed because of his publishing, because of the stories that he put online, he would feel bad about it. He seems like a humane person. He withheld information about CIA because he didn't want to get people hurt. He famously published the contents of Hillary Clinton's email account. I asked him, When you publish these emails, did you realize how powerful Hillary Clinton was? We had a conversation about that, and I said, Looking back, do you regret doing that? He goes, Honestly, it was fun.


You'll notice that Julian Assange was not in that clip. That was a recap of our conversation with Julian Assange, and the reason we did that was they wouldn't allow us to interview him on camera. So not only are they holding him, they hope, until he dies in a maximum security prison, but they're also preventing him from telling his own story to the world. All of this is a crime. Every person running for President of the United States should be forced to answer the question, Will you pardon Julian Assange if he ever winds up on American soil. So far, no one has been forced to answer that question. We hope that will change. The woman you saw in the clip is Julian Assange's wife, Stella. She has been his greatest advocate in the free world, and she is now leading the effort to stop his extradition to the United States, where he would wind up in a Supermax prison, never be heard from again until he dies. She is a lawyer, a human rights activist, and we're honored to have her join us now. Stella Assange, thank you so much for coming on. Can you give us an update?


Because I know this is taking place right now, it's in progress currently. What the status of this extradition hearing is?


Well, look, we've just been in court for two days, and this decision could be the final one. We didn't know when we were coming into it yesterday, whether we would have a decision today. And if the UK decides in favor of the US, then it will put Julian on a plane to the US. I mean, that is how imminent is. So really, it's a very, very high-risk moment for Julian. And what happened during these two days is that the two judges said that they would withhold their decision until... Well, they haven't set a date, but at least a week. And so we don't know what will happen next. It remains the case that if he loses this round, then that's it in the UK. There's no further possibility for appeal. He can try to go to the European Court of Human Rights. But last year, only one application to the European Court of Human Rights to stop an extradition or deportation was granted out of 63 applications. It's really just in extremely rare cases. Of course, we say this is one of them. This is one where there would be irreparable harm. Of course, the European Court of Human Rights should stop an extradition if the UK finds against him, but it's not a given.


So Julian could be on US soil within a matter of weeks. That's still the case.


I'm confused by the role of the UK in this. As far as I understand, he's never been charged with a crime in the United Kingdom, and yet the UK government is holding him, holding a journalist, without charging him. I mean, this is what we accuse Russia and Iran and North Korea of doing. Why are British politicians degrading their own system and their history on behalf of the United States government? I feel like I'm missing something here.


Well, this is the default state of affairs. The UK views itself as a lapdog. I mean, it was obvious in courts at one point, one of the judges asked the US, Well, if your argument is that if the Home Secretary sees that the US issued this extradition request and that it's wrong on the face of it, that she wouldn't be able to do anything. And the US lawyers said, Yeah, that's precisely right. It's completely lopsided. The US can do whatever it wants, basically. That was part of their arguments in court. I mean, not to get too much into the weeds of the court proceedings, but basically what they were saying was, You have to take these statements of these prosecutors at at face value. You don't want to offend the United States or ally. You would be implying that the prosecutors were lying. And of course, that would never be the case. So they were trying to convince the court that they should just take it all at face value. And of course, inside the courtroom, it's like they're running two parallel cases. We're running the case, the true reality, which is that Julian is a journalist that exposed the wrongdoing of the country that's trying to extradite him, and the US is just trying to attack Julian with all sorts of nonsense.


The UK is a willing participant. Of course, his imprisonment has gone for so long. He's been in Belmarsh High Security Prison for almost five years, but before that, in the Ecuadorian embassy in the heart of London. During this time, when he was in the embassy, it He was surrounded by British police. They were spending something like millions and millions, I think it was 5 million pounds a year on surrounding the embassy. And he was not charged with a crime at the time. It was a show of force. And of course, it was a show of force on behalf by this British police, but to show the United States that they were showing their allegiance, basically. And that's how we've had this lawlessness for over a decade to hound Julian and to send a signal. And his imprisonment in Balmarsh is part of a game that they play that the US says, Well, the UK is keeping him. It's not really us. He's not on US soil. And the UK goes, Well, it's not really us because this is a US extradition request. And he's been there for almost five years. And so they play this game, and he's no one's responsibility.


It's a game that they've been playing for years and years.


I know you live there, but you follow American politics. Was it surprising to you that Mike Pompeo, the neocon former CIA director who plotted to murder your husband, who would not been charged with anything in the US at that point, that he was allowed to continue to be prominent in the United States? He ran for President after that, and no one in the American media said anything about it, really, with a few exceptions, but no one even mentioned that. You tried to murder your husband. What did you think of that?


Well, I think the CIA is a rogue organization that everyone on every level of the US politics is terrified of. And They are trained to assassinate. They are trained to fabricate information and place it in the media and conduct propaganda warfare and to overthrow governments and so on. And not just abroad, it seems that there's a credible case that they've done so domestically, too. I mean, looking at this objectively, you think, well, what on Earth is this? There's a whole spiel about US democracy and so on. And the CIA is an agency that has caused all sorts of trouble for many countries around the world, but also domestically, they are a force for destabilization and compromise. Mike Pompeo's ability to move around Washington without consequence, I don't think is because of his, I don't know, attractiveness to the Washington circles, but rather he's seen as a dangerous person. But he tried to run for President, and that didn't go very well. He wrote a book and no one bought it except for his pack or whatever. So there's that. But yeah, he's a dangerous individual. Even within the CIA... We know this story about Julian and the murder plot because people within his organization said that he had lost the plot, that he had become obsessed with Julian, that he wanted to kill Julian, and that he was discussing it in the White House and so on.


So that means that there was internal disagreement about about his obsession. And that's a sign of hope, of course, within these organizations. There's always different types of people with different levels of integrity, and and commitment to the Constitution and so on. And the fact that many of them then spoke to these investigative journalists and exposed the crazy Pompeo murder plot is commendable. I'm personally very thankful to them that they said something, not just because of the fact that we've been able to introduce it in court, but because it shows that it goes against very basic basic rules of integrity, and that this obsession with Julian that Pompeo had is part of a serious collapse, even within the CIA, that occurred during this time.


Yeah, he is a dangerous person. He should be in prison. And it's just striking that so few journalists ask him about that. None, so far as I know. Tell me, if your husband is extradited to the United States, do you think there's any chance receive a presidential pardon?


Any president who looks at this case and understands how it is a danger to the future of the US, not just the Constitution, but the political culture that there has been in the United States, that has been built on openness and a vibrant culture of opposition to centralized power. Yes. All of that will go out the window with this case. So any president who actually values these traditional constitutional protections should free Julian in whatever form that takes. If it's a pardon, then I welcome it. Frankly, I don't care how he's freed. He just needs to be freed. The the corruption and the lawlessness around Julian's case. It's politically motivated. It's rotten to the core. All of that is self-evident. And whatever happens, as long as Julian's free, everything else is secondary as far as I'm concerned.


And my last question, how is he doing to the extent you can characterize it, physically and psychologically?


Well, he's not doing well. He wasn't even attending these hearings, and this is the decisive hearing for Julian. As I said, if he loses this round, and we don't know yet if he's lost, then he'll be put on a plane to the United States, unless we can prevent it some other way. But he wasn't even attending, not even in person, not even over video link. He was able to call his lawyer's during the hearing, so he was following what was happening in court. But if he hadn't been kept in Belmarsh High Security Prison during the past five years, he wouldn't be in this state of deterioration and decline. He would have, of course, have attended his own hearing, especially one like this. I think it should be a wake-up call that Julian's life is at risk, that every day he spends in prison is a day that his health deteriorates. I mean, five years inside that prison, many people don't survive it. There have been many people in Belmarsh who have committed suicide during this time, including a friend of Julian's who was also inside, who he met in the prison and who became a friend.


It's a harsh environment, and he's under enormous pressure. He's He knows that the United States is the country that's plotted his assassination. So the stakes could not be higher, but he knows there's a lot of support out there. He knows I'm doing this interview, Tucker, and he knows there's a lot of support. So that is also something that keeps him afloat. He's a fighter. And I think the world's waking up. I've seen a lot of support, actually. I've seen a lot of attention this time around. The press is, I think, starting to realize what the implications are and how serious this is, and that it's not just about Julian, that it's actually threatening the press's ability to do its job in a very, very real way, especially the press that does the most important work, the one that makes those in power feel uncomfortable and worried about their future careers and freedom.


Yeah, not many of those left, but some. Stella Sange, thank you so much for taking this time, and Godspeed.


Thank you, Tucker. Thank you..