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    WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange

    US Won't Relent on Assange Because ‘He's Not Willing to Play Gatekeeper'

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    The US government has no interest in letting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of its sights, because the journalist isn't "willing to play gatekeeper" and sit on stories that could paint Washington negatively, Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com, told Sputnik.

    "It's that his media organization does not care about the agenda of the United States government," Gosztola told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Friday. "He does not operate like a state-identified media organization, which is the way that most corporate news networks and/or established news media organizations function in the US."

    "[Assange has] been willing to make publications of materials for the sake of the value of those materials, because people need to know certain information. He doesn't care about the interests of any particular powerful government, particularly the US, and that's why he remains a target of the United States," he added.

    ​Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Assange had been issued a new Australian passport, and that he'd received it in September 2018 following extended negotiations over whether or not he was subject to an arrest warrant in the UK.

    Although it is an important development, as reports suggest that the Ecuadorian government is no longer interested in housing Assange in its London embassy, it's unclear what the journalist could do with the passport, as he could be extradited to the US if he were to leave the embassy, Gosztola told host John Kiriakou.

    "That's a big question," the co-host of the podcast "Unauthorized Disclosure," said. "If the UK insists on pursuing some kind of prosecution because he violated bail conditions, then [Assange] could be potentially under arrest, and that gets him in a situation where he's back to being afraid that he could be extradited by the UK authorities to the United States."

    "There are very many questions here," Gosztola stressed.

    Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 out of fear that should he leave, UK authorities would nab him for jumping bail in connection to a since-closed Swedish rape investigation in which he was a suspect.

    Concerns also arise from the possibility of UK officials extraditing Assange to the US to face charges for publishing thousands of classified US documents.

    Although the US government has failed to clarify whether or not criminal charges are pending against Assange, it was revealed in November 2018 that prosecutors have prepared an indictment against the Australian native.


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