Aug 29, 2012

US Ambassador: we have no interest in Assange

The US Ambassador to Australia has used an interview with Crikey to reflect on the impact of WikiLeaks, the constant speculation about Julian Assange and the lack of trust in governments globally.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The US ambassador to Australia has insisted that the release by WikiLeaks of US diplomatic cables caused “serious and long-term damage” and placed people in harm’s way, but the only WikiLeaks-related investigation the US government is prepared to acknowledge is that of Bradley Manning.

In a wide-ranging interview with Crikey this week, Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich talked extensively about WikiLeaks and the rumoured investigation of Julian Assange.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

135 thoughts on “US Ambassador: we have no interest in Assange

  1. paddy

    Points for scoring the interview Bernard.
    But on reading through all that, I just kept thinking…. Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?
    Perhaps his thoughts on copyright and the Internet will (hopefully) be more illuminating.

  2. Gavin Mooney

    This sort if stonewalling makes me realise anew just why we needed and need WikiLeaks!

    When will such people as Bleich ever learn?

    And PS. Should Bob Carr not resign after the revelations in The Saturday Age recently? Why can Carr not simply ask Hilary Clinton: “If Assange were to go to Sweden will you categorically state that you will not seek to extradite him to the US?”

  3. Jimmy

    There have been a lot of calls for the US to come out and deny they are out to get Assange, now that the Ambassador have done so the line will be “you can’t trust what he says”.

    Plus the comment ““There’s an ongoing investigation of the Bradley Manning theft of classified information. Was anyone involved in a conspiracy, aiding and abetting, those sorts of things — and that’s reasonable, trying to see whether or not there are others, some liability out there.” Is not just a cover so they can charge after saying they wouldn’t, it is a logical position to say we don’t have an interest in him now but if more information comes to light we could be.

    I would also like to say that I have read many article form other journalists criticising Wikileaks lack of journalistic integrity and thougths for newsworthyness and consequences of publishing the ambassador has listed here.

  4. Steve Gardner

    We are better informed than Ambassador Bleich thinks. We know from various other sources that a grand jury has been empanelled and is preparing an indictment of Assange under the Espionage Act 1917. See this http://pastebin.com/q0hTkwFh for example. We know that Australian Ambassador to the US Kim Beazley has requested that the US State Department keep him updated on the progress of its investigation of Assange. And there’s other evidence besides.

  5. Suzanne Blake


    why the Grand Jury then and the secrecy?

  6. Jimmy

    SB – Thanks for proving my point.

  7. Frank Campbell

    ” the US doesn’t have any interest at all in the extradition”

    Bleich lies

  8. Dion Giles

    What Bleich has not done is state that there are no plans to render Assange to a US kangaroo court to try him, a non-American, for failure on non-American soil to protect American geostrategic interests. All Bleich has done is weasel around the point that while victimising the American whistleblower Bradley Manning they may (for which read “are planning to”) move on from Manning to Assange. If Sweden wasn’t a puppet of America it would not have clandestinely co-operated, on Swedish soil, with rendition of non-Americans to an American flight to Mubarek’s Egypt for torture and got caught red-handed (e.g. Google “Al-zery” and “Agiza” – one can bet Assange has). As for Bob Carr, last night with Leigh Sales he threw away any credibility he might have had when he parroted the Jakartaspeak formula phrase “the two Papuan provinces”, for occupied West Papua, even more often than Tony Abbott parrots “the carbon tax”

  9. zut alors

    Bleich is a smart fellow and appears most personable in all his interviews but, when it comes down to the bottom line, his allegiance is to his homeland, the USA. Everything he says will always be in their interest, no one else’s.

  10. Bohemian

    Well…it’s not like the US Government has ever lied before so we can pretty much take these comments at face value. Nothing to see here..move on.

    And besides if Assange ever came back to Australia he could count on the suckups in Canberra selling him out to good old Uncle Sam before he was free of the tarmac… bag over the head off we go to Egypt.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details