While he's under house arrest in the UK, WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange granted an exclusive interview to MSNBC Wednesday in which he defended his organization and redirected frustration toward the Republican Party and Fox News "shock jocks" Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.
When MSNBC host/Daily Kos blogger Cenk Uygur asked Assange what he thought of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden's claims that he was a "high tech terrorist," Assange deflected the "terrorist" label, applying it instead to the Republican Party and Fox News:
UYGUR: Well, Julian, I want to get to as much as possible here. So I want to give you a chance to respond one by one to your critics.
First to Mitch McConnell, who is, of course, the leader of the Republicans in the Senate and to Joe Biden, who both said that -- called you a high tech terrorist.
How do you respond to -- to Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States, saying that to you?
ASSANGE: Well, let's look at the definition of terrorism. The definition of terrorism is a group that uses violence or the threat of violence for political ends.
Now, no one in our four year publishing country covering over 120 countries has ever been physically harmed as a result of what we have done. And that's not just us saying that. It's the Pentagon saying that. That's NATO in Kabul saying that. No one -- not a shred of evidence. There are -- believe me that if they could find or even easily manufacture a shred of evidence, they would be doing that immediately.
So it's clear that whoever the terrorists are here, it's not us.
But we see constant threats from people in the Re -- you know, Republicans in the Senate trying to make a -- a name for themselves, the people like Sarah Palin, top shock jocks on Fox and, unfortunately, some members, also, of the Democratic Party, calling for my assassination, calling for the illegal kidnapping of my staff.
And -- and just a few days ago, it was in Fox, that was the phrase that was used -- illegal. He should be illegally murdered if necessary-- assassinated by the law, if possible, if not, illegally.
What sort of message does that send about the rule of law in the United States?
That is conducting violence in order to achieve a political end -- the elimination of this organization or the threat of violence to achieve a political end, the elimination of a publisher. And that is the definition of terrorism.
In addition, Assange claims that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning -- the man being held for allegedly leaking the classified documents to WikiLeaks -- is a being held as a "political prisoner."
"If we are to believe the allegations, then this man acted for political reasons. He's a political prisoner in the United States. He has not gone to trial. ... Human rights organizations should be investigating the conditions under which he is held and, really, is there due process there?" Assange said.
In the end, Assange defends WikiLeaks as an organization of "journalists" and calls any claim to the contrary a "deliberate attempt to split us off in the mind of the public from those good traditions of the United States -- protecting the rights of the press to publish."
"Some of those journalists have fallen for that, and why? Because they are worried that they are going to be next," he continued. "But I have a message to them -- they are gonna be next. ... So us journalists and publishers and writers, we all have to stick together to resist this sort of reinterpretation of the First Amendment," he said.
Here's the full interview: