Did the US Plot to Assassinate Julian Assange?
Recently, a Spanish judge ordered Mike Pompeo, the former Secretary of State, to answer whether the United States had plotted to assassinate Julian Assange.
This order came after it was revealed that the United States had secretly gathered intelligence on Assange while he was residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. While we don’t know for sure if the United States was plotting to assassinate Assange, it’s certainly possible given their history of assassinating political enemies.
The United States has a long history of assassinating political enemies. In the 1960s, the CIA plotted to kill Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba. The CIA also attempted to kill Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961. In 1975, the CIA helped overthrow the democratically-elected government of Chile and assassinated Chilean military leader René Schneider. More recently, the United States has been implicated in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Given this history, it’s not hard to believe that the United States would plot to assassinate Julian Assange. Assange is the founder of WikiLeaks, an organization that has published leaked information that is embarrassing to the United States government. In 2010, WikiLeaks published leaked US military documents that revealed details about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2016, WikiLeaks published leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta. These leaks damaged Clinton’s presidential campaign and likely contributed to her loss to Donald Trump. Given all this, it’s not hard to believe that the US would want Assange dead.
The Telegraph reported,
The alleged plot was first revealed by Yahoo News last November. The outlet reported that senior CIA and Trump administration officials discussed the possibility of kidnapping or killing Mr Assange after being angered by WikiLeaks’ 2017 publication of CIA hacking tools.
Discussions took place at the “highest levels” of the Trump administration, according to the report.
Mr Pompeo was the director of the CIA under Donald Trump from 2017 to 2018, when the Republican president appointed him as secretary of state.
Lawyers representing Mr Assange in Spain, including the former judge Baltasar Garzón, allege that the US “orchestrated” the espionage effort against the activist, with UC Global placing microphones and cameras in the embassy to spy on his private conversations and meetings.
We don’t know for sure if the United States was plotting to assassinate Julian Assange, but given their history of assassinating political enemies, it’s certainly possible. We’ll have to wait and see what Pompeo says in response to the judge’s order.