Julian Assange published the DNC leaks in 2016 not because of links to Russia, but because he was always longing for truth, John Shipton said as he recalled key moments of his son’s life in an interview with RT Documentary.
Claims by the US intelligence services that Assange received the leaked 2016 Democratic National Committee emails directly from the Kremlin are “absurd,” Shipton said.
WikiLeaks published the files, which revealed the DNC’s bias against candidate Bernie Sanders and eventually cost Hillary Clinton dearly in the presidential race against Donald Trump. At the time, Assange was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
While in the embassy, Julian was “the most surveyed person on the planet,” with anybody entering the facility photographed and recorded by both the British and Ecuadorian secret services. Under such circumstances, it’s just “impossible” to imagine that he could’ve had any contacts with the Russian intelligence, Shipton pointed out.
It’s just an entirely political ploy – place the burden of Hillary Clinton’s failure on the Russian Federation and WikiLeaks.
Shipton said that accusations of his son’s links to Russia were the same as “the Skripal poisoning – another ridiculous MI6 scandal.” Former double agent Sergey Skripal and his daughter were allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury, UK in 2018, with Britain swiftly blaming Russia for the incident, but never bothering to provide any convincing proof for it.
Learning of WikiLeaks over a cup of tea
The whistleblower website WikiLeaks was launched by Assange in 2006, but Shipton knew of his son’s plans beforehand, of course.
“Julian was at my place and we were having a cup of tea. And Julian said I’d like to start a Wiki. And this Wiki would concern itself with leaks,” he told RTD. Assange had no problems getting his dad’s blessing for the risky and ambitious project.
“I thought that was a good idea,” he recalled.
What WikiLeaks did was “very new” as it allowed the public to analyze the original documents themselves – something that was previously only available to intelligence services. Those leaked files really showed the people “how the world is composed.”
Ecuadorian embassy turned from ‘cultural center’ to prison
In 2012, Assange asked for political asylum in Ecuador and moved in to the country’s embassy in London. He feared that the Swedish arrest warrant for questioning over sexual assault accusations, which he vigorously denied, would eventually lead to political prosecution and extradition to the US.
Julian was given a small room of about “three-and-a-half by three meters” at the embassy. “So he had half of the room to sleep in and half of the room to run WikiLeaks from.”
But this tiny space quickly became a sort of “a cultural center,” Shipton said. There was a constant stream of “brilliant people” visiting his son, including “filmmakers and Lady Gaga… politicians…” and others.
It all changed when pro-US president Lenin Moreno replaced Rafael Correa in Ecuador in 2017. Assange’s small room “became exactly like a prison,” his father said.
The Ecuadorian hosts were “turning away lawyers… searching visitors…installing cameras in every room, installing voice devices in every room.” They were often ‘forgetting’ to supply toilet paper or give their guest food. If Julian wanted to have a private meeting, he could only do it in the toilet, Shipton added.
Shipton confessed he was afraid that his son’s stay at the embassy “would end in the worst possible way.” Those fears materialized on April 11 last year when the Ecuadorian authorities invited the UK police inside to arrest the publisher of whistleblowers.
“To see him, you know, after 18 months of torture and seven years of being locked up and dragged out by those seven policemen. Not the best thing to see,” he said of the shots of Assange being put into a police van, which were only captured by RT’s Ruptly video agency. “He looked very old yeah. Not at all youthful anymore.”
Julian is trying to look calm, but I see his anxiety
The hearings on Assange’s extradition from Britain to the US, where he’s wanted on espionage charges over his leaks and faces decades in prison, are currently underway. In the meantime, the UK authorities placed the publisher in the infamous Belmarsh high security prison, which is reportedly taking a heavy toll on his health.
“It’s where you keep murderers, and terrorists, and bombers, and brutal people. I don’t know why they put Julian there,” his father wondered.
Shipton, who last visited his 48-year-old son in late February, said that Julian is “now emaciated, he’s thin.”
He is very careful not to show distress in front of me. No, he doesn’t want to upset his father. But I can see that his anxiety his high.
Source: RT NEWS