People slowly waking up after Wikileaks' revelations – Kristinn Hrafnsson

John Robles

US war criminals continue to escape justice and the only hope is for the people to finally stand up and do something about all of the government illegality and war crimes that have been exposed by WikiLeaks. The organization continues its fight to expose the truth and has opened a door through which whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden may pass. In the final installment of a recent interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson from the WikiLeaks Organization, Mr. Hrafnsson gives his views on those matters and more.

Robles: Kristinn, I don’t know if you are aware about that law that the United States passed in 2002 (I wrote an article about it today), some people call it the “Hague Invasion Act”. Are you aware of that? I mean, for me that explains the impunity and why no one has yet to be prosecuted for any of this stuff. Is there any will that you know about in the international community to deal with all of this illegality? I mean, we are talking about the worst crimes possible against all of humanity that some of these people are committing.

Hrafnsson: I’m pinning my hopes on the individuals. And I see they are slowly and gradually waking up to the reality that I mentioned earlier. It will take time to mobilize. It will take time to materialize. But I have a strong belief in the democratic process. And I hope that through that process, the criticism and the awakening of people will result in a change, a fundamental change in the way where we are dealing with the international matters.

And the Internet comes strongly into play here. The fact that we started something in 2010, which has been a watershed moment I believe, in information dissemination, will affect that fundamentally, and is affecting that.

A door was opened through which Edward Snowden entered and other whistleblowers will come forth. There are people with conscience and people with courage that will submit information into the public domain. So, I’m rather optimistic that we are getting into a better place, but there will be turbulent times.

Robles: No one has been prosecuted. Those were clear, egregious, unbelievable war crimes. Basically, they are blackmailing anyone who might try to go after them.

Hrafnsson: Well, it is quite awful to see that people have not been held accountable by the 40 war crimes that we have exposed, for example. For me personally, it is quite sad that before we released the collateral murder video I did travel to Baghdad on a fact-finding mission and I located the two children who were injured in the attack on a minivan which is shown in that video. And I met their mother, now widowed.

There has been no prosecution for that obvious war crime. The only consolation that these two children now have and their mother, is the simple fact that now the world community knows what happened, and they know that, everybody knows, that this is an unforgivable and inexcusable crime. Of course, that is part of justice, but it is not full justice which has to be seen.

Robles: Julian, how is he? What happened with ­­Correa? Is there some big conflict going on there or is everything pretty much okay? Any opinion or comments you might have on Syria?

Hrafnsson: I already said what think is important about Syria. The relationship between Julian and the Ecuadorian authorities is fine. The Ecuadorian President has confirmed his commitments in supporting Assange.

He has been very busy, of course, in preparing for the elections this weekend in Australia. Even though they brought strokes in the outcome seem to be clear when it comes to the fact that there will be a conservative replacement in Canberra. The final outcome in the Senate’s election will take some days to come out, because the system there is extremely complicated. So, we will not know for certain a little time.

Robles: Can you comment on some of the parties? They have some very strange parties in Australia. There was something like the Sex Party and the Automobile Lovers Party or something, and the Animal Lovers Party. Is that normal, or what?

Hrafnsson: I’m not an expert on the politics of Australia. I only view this from afar and know sort of the broad picture. I can only say that as far as WikiLeaks is concerned neither of the two dominant parties in the country have been supportive of WikiLeaks.

So, even though there is a change in government. I doubt there will be any big changes with regards to the position against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. But it is true, in Australia they do have a lot of small parties that have been standing on a rather narrow subject. I even believe I saw a political party of tobacco consumers. So, this is quite an (un)interesting environment.

Robles: Have you heard anything about that the UK maybe pulling out of extradition agreements with Sweden next year? Have you heard anything about that?

Hrafnsson: This is actually a very interesting case, because the case of Julian Assange going through the three court stages in the UK actually put a focus on the flaws of the system in Europe, a part of the EU, called the European Arrest Warrant where the EU countries are committed to throw anybody on a plane and export him to another EU country to face, even questioning, as in the case of Julian Assange. This has actually caused huge debates in Britain and led to the fact that the authorizes are pulling out of that cooperation, and plan to do that I believe next year.

So, it is quite interesting in the context of the case against Julian Assange. I believe it influenced that decision by putting a focus on the flaws in that case. And of course, there will be an unusual set of agreements put in place. But that would not allow anyone to be extradited to another country just for questioning, which was the case of Julian Assange.

Robles: Let’s keep our fingers crossed. That sounds like a resolution to everything, maybe, possibly. I mean, let’s be cautiously optimistic. Do you feel any optimism in that regard?

Hrafnsson: In general, I'm very optimistic about it.

Robles: But you are always optimistic.

Hrafnsson: Yes. It is quite necessary when you are working in the core of WikiLeaks to be optimistic, focusing on the future with the view that actually the future can be changed to the better. That is what we are trying, that is what pushes us onward, that what keeps us going. And when it comes to Julian and his situation, I’m very hopeful that within a relatively short time we’ll see a resolution.

Robles: I'm sure this is important for all the supporters of WikiLeaks not to forget some of the people who have paid extremely high prices for trying to get to the bottom of all this illegality, like Bradley Manning, Jeremy Hammond.

Hrafnsson: We are extremely grateful for the support that we have been getting. We of course are very grateful to all our sources that through time are submitting information to us and believe in what we are doing.

Some people have paid a price for that, which is of course extremely sad.

We are committed to fighting for justice for those people and for all the whistleblowers who are doing extremely courageous work, and those who are fighting for information freedom. This is part of our core philosophy and it is part of our commitment. We will fight on and we hope to get ongoing support for people. Let’s call it a night!

Robles: Okay, I really appreciate it, thank you. You were listening to an interview in progress with Kristinn Hrafnsson – the official spokesperson for the WikiLeaks. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at

'The enemies of Wikileaks are raking in money'

One of the most important roles of the Fourth Estate worldwide has classically been reporting on and exposing the illegality of governments, corporations and military powers. The media used to function as an important check and balance which served to make sure those with power acted responsibly, within the law, and served the best interests of the people. WikiLeaks is a champion in this role. In an interview with the Voice of Russia Kristinn Hrafnsson expressed his displeasure at an attempt to marginalize WikiLeaks by being called The Fifth Estate and a movie that is supposedly about WikiLeaks but portrays everything they do in a bad light. This is just one more example of how the government and the corporations now completely control the media in the United States and how the media aid and abets them in their illegality and crimes.

Robles: Do you think the release of this film was timed to coincide with Julian’s election and the Wikileaks party’s elections to the Australian Senate? Do you think there is any correlation?

Hrafnsson: I don’t see a relation there but it is quite obvious that the film is trying to cash in and capitalize on the talk on Wikileaks and Wikileaks matters, and a big support that Wikileaks has around the world.

Just as the two guys, the individuals who sold the film rights for their book capitalized on Wikileaks, now the Spielberg film company is trying to capitalize on the same good will that Wikileaks has around the world, which of course is ironic.

And I thought it was absolutely hilarious to see that at the party in Toronto two nights ago when the film was officially released, those who were drinking the champagne were standing under a canopy of VISA international, which had obviously sponsored the event in some way, when we had in fact been under a banking blockade by VISA for three years and by other financial companies which has wiped out almost all of our resources. So, that was ironic to say the least.

Robles: So, you have these people that are persecuting Wikileaks, they’ve been badmouthing you, they came out with a movie that is a hit job I think, it sounds like it to me, and they are going to make a lot of money off it and they are sitting around and drinking champagne. It is disgusting really. That sounds beyond the pale.

Hrafnsson: Yes, I was quite stunned to see a photograph of the guests of the premiere of The Fifth Estate drinking champagne under the logo of Visa. I thought that was quite ironic but totally in tune with what we’ve been seeing. The enemies of Wikileaks are raking in money.

Robles: They don’t care about lives, they don’t care about peace, they don’t care about anything – truth or rule of laws, just money and anything they can make money with, they’ll do it, even if it means slaughtering millions of people.

I’d just like to make this point, if I was making a film about Wikileaks, (I began communicating with you because I was interested in the real story), I mean if I was going to make a film, I would certainly have somebody from Wikileaks as an advisor, wouldn’t you? How can you make a film about an organization and not include the organization in the film? That sounds ridiculous.

Hrafnsson: There was an attempt by one of the actors to approach the organization. When the script was leaked to us and actually two copies of the script…

Robles: They didn’t just say: “Here you go, here’s the script. What do you think?” It had to be leaked.

Hrafnsson: It was leaked, yes, and it was obvious that this would not be in any way a positive portrayal or true portrayal of what we had been doing in 2010 and what Wikileaks was all about, so there was no interest on our behalf of giving any indication that we were supporting this film as it would be rather obvious that the outcome would be a very negative one simply by the fact that it is based on two books that are very negative in nature.

Robles: What comment does that make for you? I mean the film is called “The Fifth Estate”. What comment would you like to make on the fourth estate as far as Wikileaks goes, as far as all this war propaganda on Syria that is going on right now that everybody knows is false?

Hrafnsson: The title of the film is quite irritating to me as a journalist for 25 years. The media and the journalists refer to us as the Fourth Estate and Wikileaks is very much a part of that environment.

There are very sick elements in the environment of our contemporary media and in journalism that is a simple fact that everybody knows right now, the most notable failure that journalism has had was 10 years ago when the media around the world was echoing the fabrications and lies about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and basically without criticism, without digging underneath the surface, was helping in the drum beating that was running up to the invasion.

That was something that people haven’t forgotten and that is something that of course is affecting public opinion at this moment in the Syrian matter. However, I think there are other things that have come into play here and which explains why David Cameron, the Prime Minister of UK, suffered a historic humiliation in the parliament recently when his own party members would not support his efforts to start bombing Syria. And that of course led to the president Obama to change his position and that should he called to the parliamentarians in the US to secure support for an attack on Syria by the US, it is possible that he won’t get it.

Now this is a positive sign, partly it can be explained by the fact that people haven’t forgotten the fact that they were lied to 10 years ago including through the media as well as through any other means but also I suspect that the Wikileaks revelations three years ago about the reality of Iraq war and Afghan war has come to play as well and the information by Edward Snowden has made people more critical and rightfully so against their leaders.

So, possibly we are seeing an indication of a change that is occurring among people who are finally waking up to the reality that they cannot trust their governments.

Robles: What do you think about the speeches by Kerry, by Obama? First they started, and I heard more today by British officials and stuff that is going on in the UK media and in France.

They started out with: “There was an attack, we suspect it was the regime. Then oh we “allege” it was”.

Now they are just quoting it as fact. Kerry came out, he said “we know” 23 times during his speech but he offered no evidence that an attack had taken place or that it had taken place at the order of the government.,

The United States refuses to wait for that logical intelligent solution, which would be just to wait for UN investigation. They refuse to do that. I see a difference here in the Iraq war. They were presenting all these fabricated evidence, the Yellowcake, the WMDs and all these satellite pictures, the trailers, the chemical weapons trailers. This time they aren’t presenting any evidence. Can you comment on that?

Hrafnsson: That is correct that we have not seen an irrefutable evidence of the attack that it was the Syrian government that was accountable for this, no evidence has been presented that can be seen as the proof of the matter. That is true. But the flavor of the entire thing is quite in line with what happened 10 years ago even though there was fabricated evidence at the time being was presented and I have not forgotten and I think people have not forgotten in general, the performance of Colin Powell in front of the UN Security Council in March in 2003 presenting all this cocked-up evidence.

Now we are seeing and hearing words, that is correct, and the obvious thing of course is to push through UN vigorous investigation to find out the reality of the matter.

Article published here: Voice of Russia


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