Assange’s lawyers, journalists sue CIA — Analysis
New lawsuit alleges that America’s top spy agency snooped on visitors to Julian Assange
A group of US lawyers and journalists sued Mike Pompeo, the former director of the CIA, and the CIA for allegedly spying upon them during visits to Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, while he was in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.
According to the suit, filed Monday at the US District Court, New York City. The CIA was accused of infringing on the privacy rights over 100 American citizens who met Assange in 2017, and 2018. The suit claims that the agency, which has no legal right to collect intelligence on Americans citizens, monitored journalists, lawyers, and even doctors as they visited Assange in Ecuador.
The plaintiffs include John Goetz, Charles Glass and two Assange lawyers, Deborah Hrbek, and Margaret Kunstler.
After seven years of staying at the Embassy, Assange was arrested by the UK Police and taken to prison. Assange’s asylum protection had been ended in 2019 by the Ecuadorian government. The lawsuit alleged that people visiting him were required to surrender their mobile phones and other electronic devices to Undercover Global SL, the embassy’s private security contractor, before meeting with Assange. Unbeknownst of the Ecuadorian Government, the security agency allegedly took data from the phones and gave it to the CIA.
Pompeo, then director of the agency, authorized and approved the data theft – in violation of the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, the lawsuit claimed. It was noted in the suit that Pompeo had promised to pursue WikiLeaks and called it a “scam”. “non-state hostile intelligence service,”While blasting Assange “narcissist,”You can find more information at “fraud”And a “coward.”
The lawsuit alleged that UC Global had also recorded Assange’s conversation with visitors for the CIA. According to the lawsuit the illegal spying also tapped private information of plaintiffs’ friends, relatives, and business associates.
Assange faces an 18-count indictment by the US Federal Court on Espionage related charges. Assange’s lawyers claimed that this is revenge for publishing “newsworthy truthful information”About American military atrocities committed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US is in the process of extradition for the publisher, who remains locked up in prison in Britain.
A number of key documents were cited in the new suit, including an Army manual detailing the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners, footage taken from an Apache helicopter that shows US troops shooting at civilians in Iraq, as well as a report by the US Air Force describing toxic burns pits on military bases.