Assange Rips Obama in Address to UN

He accuses president of exploiting the Arab Spring for re-election
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2012 8:15 PM CDT
Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange stand watch outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – Julian Assange accused President Obama today of seeking to exploit the Arab uprisings for personal political gain, as he addressed a sideline meeting of the UN General Assembly via videolink from the Ecuador embassy in London.

  • "It must come as a surprise to Tunisians for Barack Obama to say the US supported the forces of change in Tunisia," Assange said.
  • "Mohamed Bouazizi did not set himself on fire so that Barack Obama could get reelected," he added, referring to the 2011 self-immolation by a Tunisian fruit vendor that sparked the uprising.

  • WikiLeaks: "It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, our people and our sources," he said, according to
  • Bradley Manning: He said the Army private accused of leaking secret military documents to the site has been "degraded, abused, and psychologically tortured" by US authorities.
  • Meanwhile, foreign ministers from Britain and Ecuador plan to meet on the sidelines of the UN meeting tomorrow as the standoff over Assange's future enters its 100th day. Assange is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sex crimes allegations, and he fears he'll be eventually be extradited to the US if he's arrested.
(Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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