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Julian Assange: Release of Verizon Order Shows Unauthorized Leaks Force Gov't Transparency

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Published on Jul 31, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org - Obama administration officials are declassifying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order that forces Verizon Communications to the disclose phone records of millions of Americans. The document is reportedly the formal order underlying the directive made public by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The White House is releasing it in conjunction with today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on U.S. government spying. Shortly before the Senate hearing, Democracy Now! gets reaction to the news from WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Julian Assange: "Well Edward Snowden already made the order public, so this is absurd. This is like our release of Guantanamo Bay documents and other documents. These are already made public, and now the administration is going to apparently wave some magical pixie dust to remove the contaminant of it being formerly classified by the administration. So here we have an example that there is actually no disclosure before the public until there is unauthorized disclosure to the public. There's some magical process going on here where there's holy documents and unholy documents. Holy documents are documents that this classification, state within a state, five million people with security clearances have somehow done something to sprinkle some absurd holy water on it. These are just pieces of paper with bits of information on them and bureaucrats putting a stamp on them, that's the reality. We've got to remove this religious national security extremism. It is a new religion in the United States and in some other countries. It's absurd, it's ridiculous, it needs to go."

Watch the full 25-minute interview with Julian Assange at http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/31....

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