CIA Director Mike Pompeo is waging war on free speech in his attacks on WikiLeaks, the website's editor wrote Tuesday at The Washington Post.
Julian Assange said Pompeo was wrong when he said the WikiLeaks publisher has no First Amendment rights because he is not an American citizen.
"It underscores just how dangerous it is for an unelected official whose agency's work is rooted in lying and misdirection to be the sole arbiter of the truth and the interpreter of the Constitution," Assange said.
Pompeo is an unelected public servant, and for him to demonize a publisher such as WikiLeaks as a "fraud," "coward" and "enemy," should put all journalists on notice, Assange added.
"Pompeo's next talking point, unsupported by fact, that WikiLeaks is a 'non-state hostile intelligence service,' is a dagger aimed at Americans' constitutional right to receive honest information about their government," Assange wrote.
The CIA director is following in the footsteps of others who have sought to criminalize speech "that reveals their own failings," he said.
Pompeo's current issues with WikiLeaks deal with the group's publication of hacking tools the agency uses to spy on Americans through their own electronic devices, including smart TVs.
Pompeo has said WikiLeaks acted illegally in obtaining and publicizing the agency's methods.
But, Assange noted, Pompeo had much more favorable view of WikiLeaks when, as a Republican member of Congress, he tweeted the website had done a good job exposing hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee.
"Need further proof that the fix was in from Pres. Obama on down? BUSTED: 19,252 Emails from DNC Leaked by WikiLeaks," Pompeo said in a now-deleted tweet.
"It was only when our publications touched Pompeo's rice bowl that WikiLeaks became his target," Assange said. "You don't get to love the truth one day, and seek its suppression and the incarceration of its publisher the next."
Then-candidate Donald Trump, who appointed Pompeo to head the CIA, similarly had glowing words for WikiLeaks in the past.
He even told a crowd in Pennsylvania, "I love WikiLeaks!"
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