Politicians are being more and more controlled by corporations - Hrafnsson
This is John Robles. I am speaking with Mr. Kristinn Hrafnsson, the Official Spokesperson for the Wikileaks Organization.
Robles: In 2010 you had over million dollars in cash reserves and you were down to less than a $1000. That is alarming, I think. Is WikiLeaks under any kind of a threat of closure or are you going to manage to scrape through ok?
Hrafnsson: We will try our best to manage and keep on going. We of course have had to scale down dramatically, and more importantly we have been deprived of the possibility of expanding our operation, as we would have wanted, in light of the importance of our work. But we are in dire times, it cannot be denied, that, the individuals working for the organization and the big crowd of volunteers and supporters, are ensuring to keep the work going.
We are not about to cave-in in this war, on the contrary, we are starting a new front. We’ve had victories in court in Iceland, we started a case in Denmark, we’ve had victories in the European Parliament against the authorities in Germany, in France we were able to open an “I” gate against the blockade. Now with the good support of individuals in the US we are scaling up our counter-attack and I ensure we will have these financial giants on the run pretty soon.
Robles: When we talked a couple months ago, you just mentioned the gateway in France. Has that been productive, has that helped you guys, out?
Hrafnsson: It has been helpful as other initiatives to bypass this blockade but the blockade is still in place and it is still causing people concerns, and they feel that somehow there is illegality involved in actually donating to the organization, so it is very important to keep the fight going and have it lifted and we will continue on that.
Robles: Last time we talked, we talked about the European Parliament’s decision. Has there been any movement on that?
Hrafnsson: Myself personally and my colleagues, we have spent some time in Brussels and talked to many pro-politicians in Brussels, and we were extremely happy with the initiative by the European Parliament which adopted a resolution including a directive towards a commission, basically containing the wish that the European Commission would put into law legal framework stopping these kinds of extrajudicial arbitrary practices by payment facilitators, American-based Visa and MasterCard. So there is a clear understanding in the European Parliament that this must be stopped and we hope that that will be transferred into a pressure on the Commission to actually change this mind regarding the anti-trust case that has been filed in a complaint to the commission and open a very formal and broad-based investigation into the wrongdoing by these American-based card companies.
Robles: Now we talked about the United States and information that has been leaked regarding the US government corruption, war crimes etc. What about other countries: Australia, for example? Is it possible to move away from just the United States?
Hrafnsson: If we look at basically the motives around Wikileaks, it is not a organization that picks its targets, as a recipient of information from whistle-blowersand in the history of Wikileaks since 2006 prior to 2010 there were extremely important leaks coming from all parts of the world pertaining to corrupt governments in Africa, in Kenya, pertaining to corrupt banking practices from Swiss banks and Icelandic banks, pertaining to large international corporations revealing practices of toxic waste dumping etc. So, it was in progress especially with the US government, it was the revelations starting in 2010 that brought about this extremely strong reaction by the administration hand-in-hand with the big financial giants. It was something that was just a normal continuation of the work prior and I would hope that we will be able to receive and publish information on corrupt corporations and on corruption in countries all around in the world in the future. For that we need of course frineds, we need to be strong, we need to be able to offer that service on a wide basis into the future.
Robles: Listen, you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you see all kinds of information from all over the world. Do you see in all of this evil everywhere, do you see the US hand everywhere in the world, or is it pretty much independent “evil” going on, if you will, for lack of a better term?
Hrafnsson: Of course, it is obvious that with the status of the US in world politics there is a lot of evil that comes from that part of the globe, that goes without saying, but that doesn’t mean that that is the only source of evil, using your word.
Robles: Right. Right.
Hrafnsson: We of course, live now, in a world where politicians have less power than they did before and the powers are more in the hands of international financial conglomerates that have enslaved many nations’ individuals and those are entities that are almost without borders and operate often without the necessary oversights of politically elected governments. We are seeing evil in many corners and there are a lot of things to expose, to expose in order to turn the tide and basically try to get this world on a little bit healthier track.
Robles: I agree with you completely. Listen, isn’t there some other financial mechanism that people could use to support Wikileaks? I mean, have you thought of maybe using a Russian-based bank, for example, or something that the US is not involved in? Is that a real possibility, or do you think that’s unrealistic?
Hrafnsson: We had been looking into a wide range of possibilities, and what has been interesting to see is that thereare many attempts to create ways and means to bypass these all-powerful often American-based financial entities but these attempts are in infancy and they are in the experimental state. But it is a reflection of the fact that individuals all over the world are recognizing the very seriousness of giving so much power to these companies.
Let’s hope that this will grow in strength and in recognition and we can actually see an alternative independent way of exchanging money between hands without having to go through these dangerous gates of international companies, which have already shown the true nature of how they are willing to abuse their position of power.
You were listening to part two of an interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson. You can find