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Chomsky: Arrest of Assange Is “Scandalous” and Highlights Shocking Extraterritorial Reach of US

WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don’t like that, so therefore we have to silence it.

Noam Chomsky

"The Assange arrest is scandalous in several respects," Noam Chomsky told Democracy Now! this week. (Photo: Democracy Now!)

Attorneys for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are vowing to fight his possible extradition to the United States following his arrest in London, when British police forcibly removed Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy, where he had taken asylum for almost seven years. On Thursday night, Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman spoke to Noam Chomsky about Assange's arrest, WikiLeaks and American power.

Well, the Assange arrest is scandalous in several respects. One of them is just the effort of governments—and it’s not just the U.S. government. The British are cooperating. Ecuador, of course, is now cooperating. Sweden, before, had cooperated. The efforts to silence a journalist who was producing materials that people in power didn’t want the rascal multitude to know about—OK?—that’s basically what happened. WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don’t like that, so therefore we have to silence it. OK? This is the kind of thing, the kind of scandal, that takes place, unfortunately, over and over.

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