Former US Intelligence Chief James Clapper Criticizes Celebration of Julian Assange’s Release in Australia

In a recent interview, former US intelligence head James Clapper expressed strong disapproval of the celebrations surrounding Julian Assange’s release.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today show, Clapper, who served under President Obama, labeled Assange as ‘no hero’ and condemned his actions as both wrong and illegal.

Clapper emphasized that Assange’s revelations through Wikileaks had severe consequences, including the likely deaths of US assets in Afghanistan.

He explained that by exposing the identities of individuals assisting the US, Assange’s actions endangered lives and compromised critical security efforts.

Clapper reiterated that Assange’s actions were not justifiable and led to his indictment on 18 espionage-related charges.

The debate over Assange’s impact is polarized, with Clapper acknowledging the tension between proponents of transparency and those prioritizing security.

Despite understanding the arguments for transparency, Clapper firmly stated that Assange’s methods were harmful and illegal.

He expressed belief that some individuals identified by Wikileaks may have lost their lives as a result.

Assange’s Controversial Remarks

Assange’s attitude towards the risks faced by Afghan informants has been criticized.

In response to concerns about their safety, Assange once dismissively remarked that informants who were killed “had it coming.”

This stance has further fueled the controversy surrounding his actions and their consequences.

Legal Proceedings and Release

After being released from Belmarsh prison in the UK, Assange traveled through Thailand to the US territory of Saipan.

He appeared before a federal judge, pleading guilty to one count of espionage and avoiding further jail time in the US.

Following the court appearance, Assange returned to Australia to reunite with his family.

Plea Deal and Public Reactions

Clapper noted the significance of Assange’s plea deal, highlighting its importance to many people.

Despite facing criticism for his own involvement in mass surveillance, Clapper emphasized that Assange had already served substantial time in confinement, both in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and in British jail.

Mixed Reactions from Public Figures

Former Vice President Mike Pence and former CIA analyst Gail Helt echoed Clapper’s sentiments, criticizing the plea deal and Assange’s actions.

Pence argued that Assange endangered lives and should have faced full prosecution, while Helt denounced Assange as a harmful figure.

Both expressed relief at the resolution but insisted that Assange should not be glorified.


Julian Assange’s release has ignited a complex debate, with strong opinions on both sides regarding his impact on national security and transparency.

While some celebrate his freedom, others, like Clapper, maintain that his actions had dangerous and far-reaching consequences.

World News

TDPel Media

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