Wikileaks founder Julian Assange placed himself at the center of the international battle over the fate of Edward Snowden this morning, posing a direct challenge to President Obama.
Assange spoke on a conference call this morning. Audio of the call was posted on You Tube by RT, a Kremlin run news outlet which has been working with Assange for more than a year. Assange spoke slowly and haltingly as if reading from a prepared text.
Assange began by saying that Snowden was safe and was traveling with a member of the Wikileaks team. Though he declined to give any information on where Snowden was, Assange did confirm that Snowden had applied for asylum in Ecuador. Assange himself is currently being housed inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Later in the call Assange connected Snowden’s treatment to that of Bradley Manning. He aimed his harshest criticism at President Obama saying “the US government is taking on a generation, a young generation of people who find the mass violation of the right of privacy and of open process unacceptable.” He added “In taking on a generation, the Obama administration can only lose.”