16 September 2020 — Assange Defense
Julian’s extradition hearing in London today included powerful testimony from two key witnesses.The highlight of the day was the appearance of famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Dr. Daniel Ellsberg. You can read our full report on the day here, but here’s a brief recap:
Reporter John Goetz: WikiLeaks Had “Rigorous Redaction Process” — Disclosures Harmed No One
While Ellsberg was the biggest name to testify in the hearings so far, this morning’s testimony from journalist John Goetz was crucial from a legal perspective. Goetz wrote major stories for Der Spiegel utilizing WikiLeaks documents. He testified in detail about Julian’s obsession with keeping classified documents secure and preventing harmful disclosures. “I remember being very irritated by the constant, unending reminders from Assange that we needed to be secure,” Goetz told the court. WikiLeaks “ended up deleting more things than even the Defense Department did,” Goetz added, pointing out that Julian withheld 15,000 documentsand frequently discussed “how to find these sensitive names so that we could redact them and take measures to make sure no one was harmed.”
Daniel Ellsberg Gives Passionate Defense of Julian: He “Took Every Effort” to Avoid Harm
Daniel Ellsberg’s testimony this afternoon continued to tear down the prosecution’s argument that Julian recklessly released sensitive information that caused harm. Ellsberg noted that Julian “took every effort” to redact or hold back damaging information, even working with media outlets and the government in the redaction process — but that the government “would not lift a finger to help people who might be at risk” because they were more interested in building a case against Julian. Ellsberg’s testimony also covered the comparisons made between his case and Julian’s, with Ellsberg noting they both released important information about wars that the government had kept from the public. Addressing the myth that the Pentagon Papers should be viewed positively while WikiLeaks should not, Ellsberg powerfully declared: “I totally disagree with the ‘good Ellsberg / bad Assange’ theory.”
It was a big day in court, and we will continue our full coverage tomorrow at our live blog. You can also find hearing coverage from Courage Foundation’s Director Nathan Fuller and real-time updates on Twitter.
Team Assange Defense