Julian Assange has only offered clues like "war," "Google," and "US elections" but they still pack a punch. The WikiLeaks founder hinted at the bombshell while speaking to reporters at an event in Berlin.
For days now, rumors of an October surprise have been circulating in the United States. Does WikiLeaks have something up its sleeve that will have a decisive influence on the presidential election race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?
Julian Assange broadcast a video press conference in Berlin Tuesday to celebrate 10 years of WikiLeaks. The organization prided itself on its achievements but the press was obviously more interested in what the whistleblower site is striving for in the future. In the past, US politics have been the target of leaks: details from Guantanamo, classified NSA information, the death toll in the Iraq War and the Democratic National Convention emails on former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Powerful organizations will be affected
Assange knows how to create suspense. His organization is apparently in possession of a million documents. It has announced that by the end of the year it will publish material that will affect "three powerful organizations in three different states, as well as, of course, information previously referred to about the US election process."
The audience at the live screening in Berlin wanted more details. Are the documents about Clinton, as is the speculation on social media at the moment?
"I've seen the internet and I understand there are enormous expectations in the United States," he replied, adding: "If we're going to make a major publication in relation to the United States at a particular hour, we don't do it at 3 a.m."
Nonetheless, he revealed that part of the planned release will affect the US elections but denied that he is deliberately trying to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign and claimed that he had been misquoted. When asked about the effect of the publication on the Clinton-Trump rivalry, he only said that he felt sorry for both candidates.
Harsh criticism of Britain and Sweden
Assange's personal situation has not changed. The Australian still lives in London in the Ecuadorian Embassy, which he explicitly thanked for hosting him. However, he has accused Britain of having breached international law and also brought up the UN's recommendation that he be allowed to walk around freely. He joked that he had become so pale that he would "make an interesting case study in research on vitamin D deprivation."
WikiLeaks' criticism of the US, Britain and NATO has stoked suspicions of an "anti-West" sentiment and even espionage for Russia. Assange and WikiLeaks spokespeople deny all such allegations, pointing out that they have also disclosed damaging information on Russia, China and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assange views the bad press for his organization as a public relations strategy to counter the publication of sensitive documents.
Using revelations for recruitment
At the end of the press conference it was clear that WikiLeaks is pursuing its own agenda, even though its revelations may be of public interest. The organization relies on a network of journalists who organize and distribute the documents. Assange seems to need more partners at the moment as WikiLeaks is probably preparing for a busy autumn. According to the organization, the first leaks are on the verge of being published.