In a live-streamed interview and Q&A session on the “Periscope” website Monday (9 Jan 2017), Julian Assange of WikiLeaks charged the Obama Administration was in the process of committing “crimes against humanity” by rushing to destroy the most politically sensitive documents in US Government archives before Donald Trump takes office.
“Past administrations of both the Democrat and Republican ‘flavors’ have engaged in mass destruction of records as they left office. We are told that destruction of records is occurring now in different parts of the Obama Administration – in different departments or agencies.” [emphasis added – FoWL Chicago]
Apparently, rumors of the ongoing destruction of politically sensitive Obama Administration-era documents being ordered by top administration officals was behind WikiLeaks’ offer last week of a $30,000.00 bounty for any “information leading to the arrest or exposure of anyone engaged in such destruction of historical records.”
In the “Periscope” interview, Assange characterized the destruction of historical records by any officeholder in any country “frankly… as a ‘crime against humanity'” because those archives “[belong] to humanity and [do] not belong to a political party.”
Below we publish a complete transcript of Assange’s response to the question sent in by a member of the “Periscope” audience: “What is the most important thing we can do before Obama leaves office?”
Assange: “Well, this is absolutely critical. Past administrations of both the Democrat and Republican “flavors”… have engaged in mass destruction of records as they left office. We are told that destruction of records is occurring now in different parts of the Obama Administration – in different departments or agencies. That’s what happens when an administration leaves office. Our philosophy is that such information is a part of history; it belongs – legally and philosophically – to the American people. And more broadly: in so far as the United States interacts with the world, it belongs to people of the world. It is part of human history; and the destruction of major archives of human history, frankly, should be formally listed as a “crime against humanity” because those archives belong to humanity. They are what we use to understand the world around us; to discover new political theories and observations; to build our institutions, et cetera. They are part of the history of humankind; and to destroy them is an absolutely egregious act. One understands the political motivation for it, but to eliminate small political risks by destroying major elements of history is… is, frankly, an obscenity.
“And so we have put out a reward for $30,000.00 for information leading to the arrest or exposure of anyone engaged in such destruction of historical records. Our request to system administrators in the Obama Administration (and this goes for other administrations around the world as well) is: take the data now. Just take it now: keep it under your bed – or with your mother – and then you can give that to WikiLeaks or other journalists at your leisure. Get hold of that history and protect it, because that is something that belongs to humanity and does not belong to a political party.”
Source (full interview and Q&A session):