20 December 2012 — Voice of Russia
In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, WikiLeaks official spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson speaks about the Freedom of the Press Foundation and their new initiative to provide help and assistance to members of the press who are being persecuted for seeking to tell the truth. In particular the FPF offers a way to circumvent the illegal extra-judicial blockade against WikiLeaks. He also talked about unstable and dangerous American politicians.
Robles: This is John Robles. I am speaking with Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, he is the Official Spokesperson for the Wikileaks Organization.
Greeting. Exchange of weather information.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Wikileaks declaration of war on the US banking giants?
Hrafnsson: Today marked a new episode of that war. I might like to say that actually this war was started by the financial giants and we never asked for that, they declared war on us in December 2010 by the banking blockade on Wikileaks and ever since we have been fighting battles in that war, on the legal front, and had successes on many fronts and today of course we had great support from the United States where the new organization, the Free Press Foundation opened up a website, opening for donations to Wikileaks and other organizations that are fighting for transparency and fighting to end secrecy ridiculous secrecy that is now engulfing our western nations.
Robles: It is called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, is that correct?
Robles: Now they say they will provide “crowd-source fundraising” for organizations and individuals being attacked for telling the truth. What exactly is crowd-source financing and who will determine if someone is being attacked for telling the truth?
Hrafnsson: I assume the board of the foundation will decide which individuals or organization will be placed upon the choice board on the website and then it is up to the individual who donates money to the foundation to decide by himself how to split up the donation in between the organizations or individuals that are placed there which is going straight to the public and I think to support the initiative in fighting for transparency and openness and fighting against secrecy.
Robles: What exactly is crowd-source financing? What exactly is that?
Hrafnsson: In its essence, of course, it’s going straight to the public and financing initiatives, battles or publications directly upfront by individuals through small donations. In essence of course WikiLeaks has always been sort of crowd funded organization because all of our revenues have come through average-size or small-size donations from a very large group of individuals, tens of thousands of people.
Robles: Now I understand the organization began its work today. Have you had any initial results yet?
Hrafnsson: I have not heard any initial results. I mean they had a press conference a little bit earlier and it might still be going on actually. I don’t have the information of whether they have named any numbers but this has had some attention from the media, attention among people who are carrying this message on, so I hope this will be an important initiative resulting in good work by Wikileaks and the other organizations that are on the display of the foundation.
Robles: Are there any chances that the so-called financial giants, that they could actually blockade the freedom of the Press Foundation?
Hrafnsson: I find it very hard to believe that they are able to do that. The foundation has a recognized charity status in the United States and I don’t see how on earth they could actually take up any action against the foundation. And if so, I am fairly certain that they will have an open court room waiting for them with prominent lawyers, counter-attacking any attempt to stop this.
Robles: A technical question, is there any chance that the amount of money that is going to go to Wikileaks can be traced or blocked in any way or this pretty much keeps you safe?
Hrafnsson: The foundation has carefully managed the website in such a way that there is no possibility to trace individual donations, so it will be perfectly safe. As I said earlier, the foundation has a recognized charity status in the US, and of course none of the organizations, including Wikileaks that are on the website that you can donate to had been charged with anything anywhere in the world, and have even been cleared by the US Treasury quite a lot time ago when there was an attempt by US politicians to pressure the US Treasury to blacklist the organization. There were no charges against Wikileaks or the other entities and it would have been absolutely absurd had there been any attempt to try to trace donations or try to stop this initiative and that would really be met, I am sure, with a total outrage by all individuals in the US and the rest of the world.
Robles: Wikileaks has never, not one time, been charged anywhere in the world with committing any kind of a crime for publishing what they’ve published. Isn’t it correct?
Hrafnsson: Wikileaks has never been charged with any crime anywhere, throughout its history, and there have been big words issued and claims of illegality by politicians and commentators in the United States following our publications in 2010, but one thing are words from unstable politicians and another thing is formal charges that we had not received anywhere.
Robles: What did you call them? Unstable politicians?
Hrafnsson: Well, I call them unstable politicians, the Tea-Party members that have been stepping up and calling for drone attacks, calling for the assassinations of Julian Assange or other heads of organizations. I call them unstable individuals that are full of hate speach and basically are spitting on them through the media, which is in itself a very serious thing. This could have caused, or incite other unstable individuals to actually carry out such deeds. So, it is extremely to hear and witness these kinds of scenarios from elected politicians in a so-called democracy.
Robles: I love that phrase – unstable politicians.
Hrafnsson: You are welcome to use that in the future maybe with link on the website, of the video, which we actually have put together: a collection of these comments that have been issued towards Julian Assange and Wikileaks which is quite interesting to watch. It is a jaw-dropping thing when you see it in one place and a few minutes clip.
Robles: What is the address, can you tell our listeners?
Robles: Okay Kristinn, thank you very much. Do you have anything else you want to finish up with?
Hrafnsson: No, I am fine, I just wanted to add that today is Bradley Manning’s 25th birthday, his 3rd birthday behind bars without trial.
Robles: Everybody, happy Birthday to Bradley Manning, from me, from Kristinn as well and thank you very much for speaking with me again I really appreciate it.
You were listening to part 1 of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson. You can find part 2 on our website at English.ruvr.ru. Thanks for listening, and as always we wish you the best.