Julian Assange, better known as the founder of the controversial ‘Wikileaks.org’ whistleblower website, is running for a Senate position in Australia.
The 41-year-old Wikileaks founder recently revealed his intention to run for a Senate seat in the 2013 Australian federal election. Assange says that his new goal for a political party has quickly gained some momentum and that it has a lot of support in his home country of Australia.
The Senate seat Assange is seeking will be under his own new political party he has aptly named, the ‘Wikileaks Party’. Currently Assange is wanted in connection with the rape of two Swedish females while he was purportedly visiting that country for a conference. Some U.S. federal lawmakers are calling for his extradition to the U.S. and are saying he is guilty of international espionage.
Assange says he will need to have at least 500 Australian citizens to sign up for the new Wikileaks Party name for it to be recognized. Assange feels that a new Wikileaks party would be good for an open government that he envisions for all Australians. Other like-minded supporters feel an open government is a necessity in this day of what they perceive as illegal government operations and spying on its own citizens. Assange feels that personal privacy is at stake around the globe, and it is his goal to make sure people keep their right to privacy.
Assange gained a lot of notoriety for his controversial website Wikileaks, which has disclosed thousands of secret government and business documents, E-mails and other secret records. Most of the material is turned in anonymously but there have been a few whistleblowers that were caught, such as the U.S. Army Private, Bradley Manning who is currently on trial for turning over to Wikileaks a large amount of classified U.S. Army intelligence material.
Wikileaks is credited with uncovering and disclosing thousands of private E-mails from Syrian government officials that they are calling, “The Syria Files”. “The material is embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents,” says Assange. “It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.”
Assange was in England on house arrest fighting extradition to Sweden, but in June 2012 Assange violated his parole and moved into the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he applied for political asylum, fearing that a deportation to the U.S. meant he could be put to death if convicted. The following month the Ecuadorian government accepted Assange’s political asylum request and stated that Assange may stay in the Embassy for as long as he wished.
Assange says the accusations of rape against him are totally false, and it is a way for the U.S. to have him extradited to them. He called on the U.S. to end the witch-hunt against him and that “the US Administration’s war on whistleblowers must end.”