05:53 GMT22 June 2021
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (87)
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    The UK media’s silence on the recent revelations casting doubts on safety and security issues within the UK Trident submarine nuclear deterrent program proves the existence of self-censorship, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, told the Democracy Now news program in an interview on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — William McNeilly, a 25-year-old engineer, claimed in his 18-page report, posted by WikiLeaks earlier this month, that Trident nuclear deterrent security procedures are inadequate and described the overall state of the Trident program as a "disaster waiting to happen."

    “The UK media was very conspicuously silent. We suspect that there is a standing D-Notice on all Trident nuclear weapons issues.”

    The WikiLeaks founder explained how the D-Notice system, advising media not to cover some events for national security reasons, works in the United Kingdom.

    “The military and intelligence agencies once a month meet with the editors of the UK, and they say what things are not to be reported, and then there’s a gentlemen’s agreement that these things are not reported.”

    He added that it is a form of media self-regulation, stoked by the fear of external regulation if they do not follow the “advice.”

    The United Kingdom currently operates four Trident-equipped submarines out of the Faslane area of Scotland, the only facility in the country able to accommodate the ships.

    The renewal of the aging nuclear deterrent program was a hot-button issue prior to the country's general elections on May 7. The winning Conservative Party pledged to renew the Trident Program.

    William McNeilly will not be persecuted for his revelations to not pour fuel into the Scottish independence movement, Julian Assange added.

    “If you look at this from the Scottish perspective, England put all its nukes and nuclear processing in Scotland, in Faslane, making it a nuclear target, but also making it a potential place of a nuclear spill, a nuclear accident.”

    According to the WikiLeaks founder, under this circumstances, the UK military has two options – it can take a political action for McNeilly’s revelations, or prosecute him for being away without leave, put him in prison for 28 days, and give him a dishonorable discharge, as a way to dampen the conflict.

    “They’re going to go for him under AWOL … It appears that the UK government is heading down this direction of trying to not have a big, high-profile court case, which would probably be held in Scotland and further inflame the Scottish independence movement.”

    • UK nuclear programme
      UK nuclear programme
      © AFP 2021 / LESLEY MARTIN
    • Protesters calling for an end to the Trident nuclear programme holds placards at a blockade in the road in front of HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, northeast of Glasgow, on April 13, 2015 the UK base for Trident
      Protesters calling for an end to the Trident nuclear programme holds placards at a blockade in the road in front of HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, northeast of Glasgow, on April 13, 2015 the UK base for Trident
      © AFP 2021 / LESLEY MARTIN
    • Protesters calling for an end to the Trident nuclear programme blockade the road in front of HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, northeast of Glasgow, on April 13, 2015 the UK base for Trident
      Protesters calling for an end to the Trident nuclear programme blockade the road in front of HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, northeast of Glasgow, on April 13, 2015 the UK base for Trident
      © AFP 2021 / LESLEY MARTIN
    • British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) visits the Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious
      British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) visits the Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious
      © AFP 2021
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    © AFP 2021 / LESLEY MARTIN
    UK nuclear programme
    Topic:
    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (87)

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