Julian Assange gushes to "60 Minutes"

"I'm not yet a martyr -- let's keep it that way," says the Wikileaks founder

Adam Clark Estes
January 31, 2011 4:18PM (UTC)

When Julian Assange speaks, journalists listen. Last night, the clandestine figure sat down with Steve Croft for a lengthy on camera interview at Assange's hideout in England. Wikileaks, his now world-famous project, is now infamous among the global elite whose secrets are being spilled.

Part 1


Among other things, Assange describes Wikileaks as an organization that "plays within the rules," comparing the non-profit to news organizations like the New York Times. The effect of such an analogy would reverberate into the future of classified information if the U.S. allowed Wikileaks, a small but increasingly powerful organization, to be treated as a press outfit. Assange himself comes off as an intriguing anti-hero, an outsider:

Some have argued that he's not really a journalist at all. He is an anti-establishment idealogue with conspiratorial ideals. He believes large government institutions use secrecy to supress the truth and he distrusts the mainstream media for play along. Some people call him an anarchist -- which he denies -- Assange prefers to be called a libertarian and believes that the only people who can adequately police the system are those on the inside who are in a position to notice the abuse and blow the whistle.

Assange also discusses his relationship with sources, Wikileaks' relationship with governments, and rumors about the next big leak which many believe will implicate the Bank of America.


In addition to the 30-minute Q&A, "60 Minutes" releaseed a package of extra material including a behind-the-scenes report detailing how they tracked down the ellusive Assange for the exposée. Click through for more feaures:

Part 2

Adam Clark Estes

Adam Clark Estes blogs the news for Salon. Email him at ace@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @adamclarkestes

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