WikiLeaks Exposed the Extent of US Meddling Abroad and Corruption at Home. Why Have We Forgotten It?

When Stefania Maurizi first received a call from WikiLeaks in 2009, she had little clue how drastically her life was about to change. 14 years later, the revelations from WikiLeaks about the extent of US surveillance, espionage, extrajudicial killing, and corruption have rippled across the world. Within the US, however, they are often downplayed or outright ignored. Stefania Maurizi joins The Chris Hedges Report to share her insider perspective on one of the centuries biggest stories, as well as her encyclopedic knowledge of the horrific truths revealed in WikiLeaks’ hundreds of thousands of leaked files.

Stefania Maurizi is an investigative journalist with Il Fatto Quotidiano, and the author of Secret Power: WikiLeaks and Its Enemies.

Studio: Cameron Granadino, David Hebden
Audio Post-Production: Tommy Harron

The following is a rush transcription and may contain errors. An updated version will be made available as soon as possible.

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have carried out the most important investigative journalism of our generation, revealing to the public the inner workings of power through the release of luminous documents. No other news organization has come close. This information has exposed the crimes, lies, and fraud of the powerful, sparking the judicial lynching of Assange who awaits extradition to the US in a high security prison in London. It allowed people across the globe to understand what their governments are doing behind their backs. In this show, we will speak with the Italian investigative journalist, Stefania Maurizi, author of Secret Power: WikiLeaks and Its Enemies, about some of the most important information provided to the public by WikiLeaks. These include the US War logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, a cash of 250,000 diplomatic cables and 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, along with the 2007 collateral murder video in which US helicopter pilots banter as they gunned down civilians, including children and two Reuters journalists in a Baghdad street.

They include the 70,000 hacked emails copied from the accounts of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, that exposed the sleazy and corrupt world of the Clintons, including the donation of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the $657,000 that Goldman Sachs paid to Hillary Clinton to give talks, a sum so large, it can only be considered a bribe and her dishonesty, telling the public she would work for financial reform while privately assuring Wall Street she would protect their interests. The cash of leaked emails showed that the Clinton campaign interfered in the Republican primaries to ensure that Donald Trump was the Republican nominee, assuming he would be the easiest candidate to defeat. They exposed Clinton’s advanced knowledge of questions in a primary debate and a role as the principal architect of the war in Libya, a war she believed would burnish her credentials as a presidential candidate.

Joining me to discuss these and other revelations and their importance is Stefania Maurizi, who is an investigative journalist. She is the only international reporter who has worked on the entirety of the WikiLeaks secret trove of leaked documents. So why don’t we begin actually with a phone call you get in the middle of the night. It’s in the book. And I’ll let you take it from there. And you have one hour. So they call you, what, at two in the morning or something? Go ahead.

Stefania Maurizi: Yes, yes. So first of all, thank you for having me, Chris. And I like your idea to discuss the very first time I work as a media partner with WikiLeaks. It was back in 2009 and WikiLeaks was not as famous as after the release of bombshells like the collateral murder video. And it was a tiny little known media organization. And I was looking at them at least since 2008 when one of my sources, journalistic sources, suddenly stopped talking to me. And it was at the point that I realized I needed better source protection because the old-fashioned techniques that basically are still at work in these days in newsroom, the use of mobile phones, emails, are no longer suitable in these days where heavy surveillance is the rule. So it was at that point that I realized that I needed good source protection. And since I’m a mathematician, for me, it was natural to look at cryptography as a tool to protect sources.

And at that time, there was only one media organization in the world using cryptography systematically. And that media organization was not the New York Times. It was not The Guardian. It was not the Washington Post. It was a tiny media organization founded by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks. And so I started looking at this work, but I had no contacts. I was just looking at them and the kind of documents they were publishing and I was deeply, deeply impressed. And I was deeply impressed, first of all, for the kind of very sensitive document they were able to get. But also, because of the courage. They were very courageous people because, for example, when they published the Guantanamo Manual and the Pentagon asked them to remove the document from their website, they said no. And in those days, it was not really common to have a media organization saying no to the Pentagon. Quite the opposite. After the 9/11, we had media reporting whatever the intelligence organizations were telling them with very few exception, of course.

And so I looked at them, but I didn’t know them. I was deeply interested in them in the work and learning from them. So it was that night in July 2009, that suddenly, they contacted me. They had my contacts because I had approached them and it was in the middle of the night and I was sleeping. And it was very sticky and hot. And the last thing I wanted to do was to wake up and answering my phone. But my phone kept ringing. So at the end, I woke up and I was told, “This is WikiLeaks.” And I could barely understand what was going on. I mean, I was sleeping. And I understood that I had to rush to my computer and download the file because I had an hour, just an hour, to download the file. And after an hour, they would remove it because others could download it.

So I went to the computer, I downloaded the file, and I started listening. It was an audio file. And it was very interesting audio file about the garbage crisis in Naples in 2009. Basically, Naples was drowning into garbage, into trash. And we had these images of Naples drowning in trash, which basically hit the headlines all around the world. So it was a conversation, a secretly recorded conversation by some people who had a conversation with a counselor discussing the alleged role of the Italian Secret Services in this garbage crisis. As many people don’t realize that garbage is a really important resource for mafia for the mafias. They are trafficking this trash. So this counselor was discussing the alleged state mafia deals behind this crisis. And without WikiLeaks, this information would’ve probably never surfaced.

I remember the morning after I called the counselor and I verified the files. WikiLeaks had done its own verification process, which, for me, was really important, because it confirmed that WikiLeaks was working as a media organization. It didn’t just put online whatever it received. It did its own verification process. And then, of course, it was trying to do its verification process in parallel with other journalists, because of course, no newsroom has the technical and journalistic skills to verify whatever it receives. And even traditional media often partner to verify and publish information with an impact. So for me, it was really important that they wanted to verify this information to establish whether it was genuine and to understand the local context. They didn’t just put on the internet whatever they received.

And I verified in parallel with them. And there was no doubts. The file was genuine. And at the time, I was working for the Italian leading news magazine, L’Espresso, which had done important work on the garbage crisis and the role of the mafias and so on. So I was even able to put in the context of this information. And that was the first time I work as a media partner with WikiLeaks before the collateral murder. And after that, basically after something like six months, WikiLeaks published the collateral murder video. And they, of course, became so famous, so well known all around the world. And since then, I basically never stopped working on the WikiLeaks secret documents. I have worked on the full documentation and I have worked on this case for the last 13 years.

But you have to realize that while I had no problems, I had some intimidation. And if you want, we can discuss what kind of intimidation. I was physically attacked in Rome, stolen important documentation. I was physically [inaudible 00:10:46] inside the Ecuadorian Embassy and I had several intimidation, but I was never put in prison. I was never arrested. Whereas for Julian, he has never gained known freedom. This is also one of the reason I’m so focused on this case because it’s like your editors tell you to go out with a colleague and your colleague falls out of a cliff. And you don’t abandon it. You don’t abandon him. You try to call people for help. You try to make people realize that this person is in danger. His life hangs in balance. And this is what also I’m trying to do. In addition to this, I have been litigating my FOI case to obtain the full documentation on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for the last seven years, which has been very, very intense.

Chris Hedges: So this leak essentially tied the intelligence services, the Italian intelligence services, to the mafia in Naples. Would that be a summation of what you found out?

Stefania Maurizi: Yeah. I mean, there was a kind of negotiation according to the source, according to the counselor discussing this crisis. There was a kind of negotiation between the state and the mafia about this crisis.

Chris Hedges: I think this is something lost on many US viewers and readers, and that is the impact that WikiLeaks has had in countries, not just Italy, but Tunisia and Haiti. Maybe you can talk about the impact in Tunisia, the impact in Haiti. Because suddenly, countries around the globe were able to see not only what their governments were doing, but the interference, especially in Haiti, of the US embassy in attempt to crush a drive to raise the minimum wage, which, I can’t remember what it is, $2 an hour or something. But talk a little bit about the global impact these revelations had.

Stefania Maurizi: Well, of course, for the first time, if you are referring to the Afghan war logs, Iraq war logs, or the cables, all these files allowed for the first time to access to this information which was secret. So I mean, there was no way to obtain this information unless you got a copy after 25 years, 30 years, maybe 40 years when no one care anymore. Maybe the historians, the professional historians, care at that point, but it was no longer relevant for the public opinion to take informed decisions, of course.

So that was the explosive part of this secret documentation. For the first time, we got access to secret information about how the Afghan war work, about the Iraq war, about the US diplomacy and their deals, their pressure, the political pressure, their crimes behind the scene. And we could get access as facts were still very relevant, not after 20 or 30 years or 40 years. And we could get access without the reductions. Because when you require request these documents using freedom of information. You often got completely redacted documents to an extent that they are useless. As a journalist or as a citizen, they have are of little use. So this information was really game changing, really allowed to take the public opinion, the decision they need. The information they need to take informed decision as citizens.

Chris Hedges: I want to ask you about the 706,910 secret files of the Afghan wars. Before I do, just briefly tell us the importance of WikiLeaks in the Arab Spring and Tunisia and the importance of WikiLeaks in terms of Haiti. Those are two good examples of the impact WikiLeaks had.

Stefania Maurizi: Yes, of course. I mean, when it comes to the WikiLeaks cables, for the first time, the citizens of these countries were information restricted, are unavailable. They could access the French assessment about their regimes by the US diplomacy. And while publicly the US diplomacy was conducting diplomacy as business as usual, but in the secrecy of their correspondence, they were absolutely not diplomatic at all about these regimes. So for the first time, this population could look at the reality of the regime and were vindicated. And this made them to react to this kind of information and to try to oppose their regime, to try to change their regime. And this is why Amnesty International has credited WikiLeaks and WikiLeaks cables with having an important role in the Arab Spring in these countries, of course.

Chris Hedges: And Haiti, because it also exposed US interference in Haiti. I mean-

Stefania Maurizi: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Chris Hedges: I mean, a very concerted effort on the part of the US government to crush the labor movement, to break the movement to raise the minimum wage because they are all those sweatshops-

Stefania Maurizi: Of course.

Chris Hedges: Which are owned by US corporations.

Stefania Maurizi: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes. And I mean, even if in the case of other countries, they didn’t unleash a revolution, they still unleash real important political awareness about the political interference, about the kind of crimes exposed by these documents, which could not be denied at this point, the kind of human rights violations, the kind of political pressure to grant impunity, for example, to the CIA. In the WikiLeaks cables, we got evidence, indisputable evidence, about political pressure on Italian authorities to grant impunity to the CIA agents responsible for the extraordinary rendition of Abu Amar. And of course, we could imagine that kind of political pressure. We could imagine that kind of political interference. Of course we could. But it is one matter to imagine. It is another matter to get evidence and to get their names and to get the conversation. That’s why these documents are important. And in fact, no one denied. No one even tried to file a libel case and say, “This is not true.”

Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about that.

Stefania Maurizi: They never said it.

Chris Hedges: This is 2003. The CIA kidnaps Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in Milan.

Stefania Maurizi: Yep.

Chris Hedges: And because of WikiLeaks, they are finally 26, I think, people charged. But talk about what that exposed.

Stefania Maurizi: Yeah, yeah. Basically the CIA kidnapped this Egyptian citizen who had asked for asylum to Italy and was under investigation for international terrorism. So the Italian prosecutors in Milan suddenly had their person under investigation, which basically had vanished. They could not find where he had ended up. And they were very brilliant. And using phone metadata, the Italian prosecutors were able to basically identify 26 American citizens, almost all of them CIA agents, responsible for this kidnapping. Kidnapping in the middle of the day at the noontime on the 17th, February 2003. And they were bright. The Italian prosecutors were absolutely bright. They were able to identify them and to acquire evidence of this kidnapping and the role of the CIA and how this rendition works, how Abu Amar had been transferred to the US base Aviano where the US stores nuclear weapons in Italy, because as you probably know, Italy is the European country with the highest number of US nuclear weapons on its soil, and the only European country with two nuclear bases.

And one of these is Aviano where Abu Amar was transferred. And then he was transferred to Egypt and brutally tortured. And so our prosecutors were brilliant to identify the 26 Americans and to charge them. They were charged and they were put on trial in Absentia because in Italy, you can put people on trial even if they are not available on the Italian soil, because of course, they have left Italy immediately after the kidnapping. And they were able to get final sentences for all of them between six years and nine years in prison. However, none of them spent a single day in prison. Why? Because basically six justice minister, both on the left and on the right, both progressive and conservatives, basically refused to forward the arrest warrant to the US. They refused to send the arrest warrant to the US.

And so at the end of the day, Italy, the only country which, we were very proud that our prosecutor had been able to carry out justice in this case, at the end of the day, Italy ended up condemned by the European Court of Human Rights. Why? Because we had grant impunity to these CIA agents and none of them went to prison. So we could have imagined that there was some kind of political pressure on our politicians because our prosecutors and our judges had done everything to arrest them. To identify them, arrest them, and to sentence them. So it was not the Italian justice problem. The Italian justice had worked perfectly. They had been efficient and absolutely independent from our judges and prosecutors. The problem were the politicians because, as the cables revealed, the US diplomacy was aware that there was no way to force the prosecutors and the judges to stop their investigation because the Italian prosecutor are drastically independent. The US diplomacy rights, they are fiercely independent.

So since they could not put pressure on the prosecutors and on the judges, they put pressure on the politicians. Because at the end of the day, extraditions, even in our cases of extradition, at the end of the day, and that’s really important to understand in the case of Julian Assange. Extradition is a political process. It is a process where you have politicians acting, allowing or denying extradition. So the US knew that they could put pressure on the politicians, even they were unable to put pressure on the prosecutors and the judges. So they put pressure on the politicians, on all of them from the [inaudible 00:23:47] who was in their government, Romano Prodi, leftist government, to the [inaudible 00:23:59] who is today, is basically the president of the Italian Senate in these days with the Maloney government. So they put pressure on all of them, and basically, our Italian politicians basically refused to forward the arrest warrant to the US.

As a result, none of these people ended up in prison. None of these people basically have spent a single day in prison. And without the WikiLeaks documents, as I said, we could have imagined, but we could never have obtained the evidence, the solid evidence, the names, what they had discussed. And these cables are tremendously important to obtain this evidence of political pressure to grant impunity to the CIA.

Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about the Afghan war logs and the Iraq War logs. The Iraq War logs has 391,832 secret files. Afghan war logs, 76,910 secret files. What did they reveal?

Stefania Maurizi: They’re amazing document. Let me say, I worked so much on these documents. They are reports from the field, from the theater of war authored by the soldiers who were there. And basically, they provide a snapshot of the war. Whatever happened on the theater of war from January 2004 to December 2009. So six years of war described without any filter, without any propaganda. So at that point, you could see the war as it is on the entire theater of war and you could compare what the propaganda machine was telling to the public and what was really happening. And that’s the real value of this document. The value, of course, is what they reveal. The number of civilians, innocent civilians who were killed and the secret units like Taskforce 373. But the value here is that, for the first time, we could see these wars as they were as they were happening. Not after 30 years, after 40 years.

And never before, with the exception of the Pentagon Papers leaked by Daniel Ellsworth, never before it had been possible to look at the war as it is ongoing and having this access to secret information about what was going on. These are tremendously important document, and to this day, they remain the only source. If you take the Afghan war logs, for example, they remain the only public source about the killing, extra judicial killing. And the only source about the innocent civilians kill before 2007. I asked the UN mission in Afghanistan, which basically compiles the statistics. And they said, “There are no reliable data. With the exception of these gang war logs, there are no reliable data about civilian deaths before 2007.” So these documents are tremendously important. And we keep consulting them. We keep accessing them for our journalistic work.

As for the Iraq War logs, it’s the same. You have access to these secret reports on the war in Afghanistan as it was happening between January 2004 and December 2009, six years of wars. And you could compare the propaganda to what was actually happening. And reputable organizations like the Iraq Body Count was able to discover and to document 15,000 civilian deaths never accounted before. These are not statistics. These are human beings. These are human beings. So these documents are tremendously important. And they remain the only public source about these two wars.

Chris Hedges: Well, they exposed the lies that had been repeatedly told about the war.

Stefania Maurizi: Absolutely.

Chris Hedges: That on the one hand, these are internal communications about the reality and the public statements bore little resemblance to their own reporting.

Stefania Maurizi: ep. Like Taskforce 373, which was completely unknown. It was a secret unit. And the value of this document is that we discovered the involvement of the secret unit never disclosed before and how they uncovered this information, how the propaganda had avoided mentioning these special units and the brutality of their operations, of course.

Chris Hedges: Great. That was Stefania Maurizi, author of Secret Power: WikiLeaks and Its Enemies. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team, Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, David Hebden, and Kayla Rivera. You can find me at

Speaker 4: And the Chris Hedges Report gets some extra time now with a few minutes of bonus material with Chris and his guest.

Chris Hedges: I want to ask you about the Guantanamo files because those are also extremely important in exposing the fact, and the authors of those internal documents knew it, that many of the people in Guantanamo were completely innocent of any crime. But these were really, really important documents. Can you talk about them?

Stefania Maurizi: Yes. These documents are very important. For the first time, we had the reports on 765 and detainees in Guantanamo, almost all of them basically. Because from the very beginning, 780 people have been detained in Guantanamo. So we had records about almost all of them. And so we could know, for the first time, the reason why they were transferred to Guantanamo. Why? And some of the reasons were completely nonsense, completely absurd decision to transfer these people to Guantanamo. It was made, in many situation, because of the bounty. They were literally sold to the US without any criteria. At least 22 of them were minors, were children basically. And what is relevant about this file is that these documents provide evidence of the lies of the Bush administration, which had sustained publicly that Guantanamo was detention camp for the worst of the worst, the most dangerous people in the world. Basically, the most dangerous terrorists in the world which represented an extraordinary and threat to the humankind.

As a result, we started going through these files and we discovered that basically at least 150 were completely innocent. At least. But even the 220 detainees, which were basically labeled as dangerous terrorists. Well, the narrative was suspicious because many of them were there because of some informant who were completely unreliable who had sold them for a variety of reasons. For example, because they had experienced brutal tortures or because they assault them for getting some [inaudible 00:33:24] or some personal gain. So it was kind of deconstructing, exposing the full lies on these detainees. And there were some terrible stories on these files. Even if there was no description of tortures, you could understand the absurdity of why they have been transferred to Guantanamo and the absurdity of their detention. Many of them had been cleared and they were still there. They are still there actually.

Let’s talk, for example, about [Ahmed Rabbani 00:34:08]. He was sold to the US as a dangerous terrorist, and he was tortured for 540 days in a CIA black site in Afghanistan because he had been mistaken. There was a problem with his identity. And when the actual terrorist US thought he was, Ahmed Rabbani was killed by a US drone strike, at that point, it was clear that Ahmed Rabbani was not that dangerous terrorist. But he’s still there, still in Guantanamo. And in the last 10 years, he has been on a hunger strike and is basically around 36 kilos. He has experienced only brutality, terror, and abuses. He has a son who was born when he was captured, when he was sold to the US. He has never met or known him, and he’s still in Guantanamo. Not charged, not accuse of anything. He’s still there after more than 20 years basically.

So these files basically exposed the lies about the worst of the worst. They were not the worst. With very few exception, they were definitely not the worst of the worst. And the abuses been simply horrific, absolutely horrific. And WikiLeaks on Guantanamo had been exposing the atrocities of Guantanamo from the very beginning. I remember the first time I look at WikiLeaks, they had exposed the Guantanamo Manual about the procedures used by the Guantanamo Task Force. And the procedures were basically exposing, once again, the lies of the Bush administration because the administration had basically declared that they were accessible to the International Red Cross Committee, whereas the Manual revealed that not all of them were accessible to the International Red Cross Committee. So there were some detainees who were out of reach of the International Red Cross Committee. So they were probably abused and they were probably tortured. They were tortured and abused in a horrific way.

Chris Hedges: Let’s talk about what you’ve endured. Many people who have worked with WikiLeaks have had their electronics stolen. If they visited Julian in the embassy, we now know that UC Global copied everything on their phones or computers. Julian had his computer stolen in transit to London. But you also have experienced this. Can you speak about that?

Stefania Maurizi: Yes. Let me tell you that that happened, the precise moment actually. It happened in 2007 in, actually, I know even the day it happened. It was 29th, December 2017. And I went to London. And I went to London because a month before, I had discovered something really important. Basically, I had been fighting to get the full documentation on Julian Assange of WikiLeaks in Sweden, in the US, in the UK, and Australia. And it all started when he was under investigation in Sweden because he was trapped in this limbo where he was not charged with rape, but he was neither charged … Basically the investigation rape was dropped. So after five years of this limbo, this paralysis, legal and diplomatic paralysis. Because the paralysis was both legal, because this investigation remained opened with no solution, no charges, no case dropped. And it was also diplomatic because when he exhausted all legal option, he basically took refuge in the embassy and asked for asylum.

So at that point there was a paralysis. So there was a quagmire, which was both legal and diplomatic. So in 2015, after five years of this paralysis, an Italian prosecutor told me, “Why this investigation doesn’t make any progress?” And I told him, “It doesn’t make any problems because the Swedish prosecutor don’t want to go to London to question him and to decide whether to charge him for rape or whether to drop the case.” And the prosecutor told me, “It doesn’t make sense to me because we Italian prosecutor traveled to Brazil to question very dangerous mafia people. So why the Swedish prosecutor cannot fly to London to question him and to decide whether to charge him for rape? You should discover why.” And I had no sources inside the Swedish prosecution authorities. So the only option for me was to file an FY request in Sweden.

And I filed it and I immediately got the documents. I had no idea why they provided this documentation. I tend to believe that maybe someone had disagreed with this managing of the Swedish investigation. In any case, the documents I obtained were very, very important because they revealed that it was the Crown Prosecution service, the UK Crown Prosecution Service, who had told to the Swedish prosecutor, “Don’t come here in London to question him. Question him only after extraditing him.” And Julian, of course, was not opposing the possibility of being questioned. He offered to be questioned in every possible way inside the embassy, via video link. All these interrogation technique are certainly legitimate, [inaudible 00:40:54] legal for the Swedish law.

So it was the UK Crown prosecution service. Why I stress this point? I stress this point because the UK Crown Prosecution Services, the very same agency which, to the Iran, the extradition to the US. So the very same agency which was in charge of the extradition to Sweden is the Crown Prosecution Service, which, in these days, in charge of the extradition to the US. Because the US is acting through the Crown Prosecution Service. So I discovered that it was the Crown Prosecution Service who told the Swedish prosecutor, “Don’t come here.” And I discovered that in 2013, the Swedish prosecutors wanted to drop the extradition case, whereas the UK authorities were not in favor. And I discovered that the Crown Prosecution Service destroyed key documents about this case. They destroyed key documents. And in the last five years, I discovered this in November 2017. In the last five years, they have refused to provide any information what they destroyed exactly, on whose instruction, and why and all this information.

So I discovered this in November 2017, and I went to the embassy. I wanted to discuss this with Julian Asange. I could have never have imagined what was going on behind the scene. Basically, as soon as I arrived to the embassy in December 2017, my backpack was seized. It was confiscated. And it was the first time. I have visited Julian Asange in the embassy many, many times from the very beginning since 2012. And I had always been allowed to bring my backpack, my notes, and so on. But that day, they confiscated … The guards, the security guards inside the embassy, confiscated my backpack. And I tried to protest. I tried to say, “Why is this happening?” But basically, they confiscated the backpack. And two years later, I discovered what was going on. Basically, they had accessed all my devices, the USB sticks. I had very important documentation. Fortunately, it was encrypted. And I hope whoever did it, they were not able to decrypt it and to access the information. They opened my phones in two. They unscrew it and they extracted the sym card and they took pictures of everything.

They were filming us. They were recording us, recording our conversation. And we discovered this only after, in 2019, two years after this fact happened. And fortunately, they took this picture. So today, we have evidence and I filed a criminal complaint against these companies, this security company, which was basically providing the security for the embassy, but apparently had started working for the CIA. And apparently the CIA was getting everything, was getting the materials from the lawyers of Julian Assange, which of course, makes you ask yourself, “How can he ever get a fair trial considering that the CIA and the US authorities are now aware of his legal arguments and legal evidence and so on?” He will never, ever have a fair trial. It’s not just a matter of the Espionage Act, which doesn’t allow any fair trial. It is also because of these espionage activities that basically allowed the US authorities to acquire information on his legal strategies, his legal evidence, and so on.

So they acquired the evidence, the legal conversation. They acquired the information about his health, about his doctors, when the doctors were visiting. They have accessed these videos of his doctors visiting him. And everything is fully available on this video. And they access our conversation with Julian Assange. When I obtained these files, I had no doubts that I had to file a criminal complaint because these are the kind of things you expect in a dictatorship. We know that in authoritarian countries, they do these kind of things against journalists, against lawyers, against politicians. So you don’t expect these kind of things in the heart of Europe, in the heart of London, the country which prides itself with democracy, press freedom. So I had no doubts that I had to file a criminal complaint, and I did. And I hope we will get evidence and we will get the final sentence against these people because these are extremely serious facts, which should never have happened in a democracy where you have press freedom, which claim to have pressed freedom.

Chris Hedges: Great. That was Stefania Maurizi, author of Secret Power: WikiLeaks and Its Enemies.

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