Julian Assange is “winning” in his conflict with the United States intelligence agencies, the WikiLeaks founder told a Latin American conference for the progressive left on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Latin American progressive left (ELAP) in Quito, Ecuador, Assange said that although the U.S. and United Kingdom have thrown millions of dollars at the surveillance of the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been staying since 2012, he was still able to spread information.
“Despite (the police and surveillance), from this embassy, protected by Ecuador, I and WikiLeaks manage to go head to head with the most sophisticated government on earth, of the U.S. agencies,” he said.
“We are winning. Because secrets breed incompetency.”
Assange addressed the conference via satellite link, on a round-table discussion with the theme “Globalization and cyberspace, between the security of the state and the rights of citizens.”
He continued by explaining that while the propaganda sector of the “superstructure” of the U.S. government was highly successful, the intelligence agencies were failing.
“The propaganda sector within the West is so competent, the mainstream media is very efficient in achieving propaganda victories and controlling the framework of debate … and engaging in character assassination and so on,” he said, explaining that it was “extremely efficient” in terms of money spent, “because their basic product is itself information and is completely public.”
“It is almost a perfect market,” he added.
The intelligence system on the other hand “has a much higher budget but has no information available to it.”
Assange sent reverberations through the international and online community with whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, which fed hundreds of thousands of leaked files by former U.S. military employee, Chelsea Manning and revealed some of the U.S.’s worst atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Collateral Murder, a classified U.S. military video depicting 18 civilians killed in airstrikes from a U.S. Apache helicopter in 2007 in New Baghdad, Iraq, was released by the site in 2010, beginning an avalanche of criticism against the war.
Also speaking at conference on the same theme of globalization and cyberspace was Alessandro di Battista, representative in the Italian parliament for the radical left 5 Stelle movement.
Battista explained that he, a politician with no experience, was able to win 25 percent of the vote, with nine million Italians voting for him, spending only US$180 on his campaign. Instead of spending money, he used social media to spread his message.
“(The internet means that) we can all provide information, and above all it has liberated politics from the chains of money,” he said.
“The Ecuadorean constitution has taught us that freedom of information is a human right, like eating, housing, clothes, air, and water,” he added.
Assange and di Battista were joined at the three-day conference by dozens of other known progressive political actors in the region, such as Colombia’s Piedad Cordoba and the recently released Cuban Five.