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Wikileaks’ Next Target: A Major US Bank

by Sahil Kapur

He's been relentlessly revealing some of the US government's most deeply held secrets, but for his next act, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says he will expose the corruption of a major American bank.

In an interview with Andy Greenberg of Forbes earlier this month, Assange said his whistleblower website possesses and intends to disclose tens of thousands of secret documents from a major US financial institution early next year.

"It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume," Assange said.

He declined to provide any additional details but boldly predicted that the leak will be as high-impact as the Enron emails, which revealed the corruption of the Houston-based energy company and led to its demise in 2001.

"Usually when you get leaks at this level, it’s about one particular case or one particular violation," he said. "For this, there’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron emails."

Assange added: "You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.

The Australian-born Wikileaks chief became a household name around the world upon regularly exposing internal US government documents pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This week, he has put the US in damage-control mode after revealing 250,000 classified diplomatic cables obtained from the Department of State without permission, exposing the modus operandi of American foreign relations and countless diplomatic secrets of world leaders.

For this, he has earned the wrath of the United States government and its allies while winning the affections of transparency lovers across the world. And now, Assange hints he will take greater interest in the private sector, from which he says his website has received many documents.

Greenberg reports that Assange "confirmed that WikiLeaks has damaging, unpublished material from pharmaceutical companies, finance firms (aside from the upcoming bank release), and energy companies, just to name a few industries."

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