Let’s talk: did Waleed Aly overstep with Julian Assange

Julian Assange is being accused of backing out of his promise to leave the embassy.
Let's Talk
The pair had a fiery exchange.

It was another night of heated debate on The Project last night with Waleed Aly clashing with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The pair went at it over Assange’s promise to agree to be extradited to the United States if whistleblower Chelsea Manning was released.

Barack Obama granted Manning clemency in his last days of office much to the surprise of many. The move was said to be a ploy to get Assange back to the US to face charges over the mass leak by Wikileaks of military intelligence in 2010.

Now though, it appears Assange is backing out of his promise, saying the issue is more complicated than people are making it.

Aly was having none of it and took Assange to task throughout their interview.

“So when you said you would leave the embassy if Chelsea Manning was granted clemency it sounds like what you really meant is you will leave the embassy if you can come to terms with them about your case — nothing really to do with Chelsea Manning,” shot Aly.

“I didn’t say that, I didn’t say that,” Assange quickly replied. “I said I would accept extradition to the United States.”

“I don’t understand why now it seems contingent on striking some kind of deal with the United States about their case against you, you didn’t mention that before,” Aly probed.

“Because I’m not an idiot! I’m not a complete idiot!” Assange yelled back.

“We had a major strategic victory in liberating Chelsea Manning, the most significant alleged whistleblower in the last 10 years, but of course saying I’m willing to accept extradition doesn’t mean I’m saying, ‘I’m willing to be a complete idiot and throw all my lawyers away’. We’re going to have a discussion with the DoJ about what that looks like, the ball is in their court.”

It’s not often that Assange agrees to appear on mainstream television and many have said Aly took it too far bated him into the heated argument.

Others though have praised him for taking a tough stance and holding Assange accountable.

What do you think?

Should Assange hand himself over to the US? Or is he being scapegoated for revealing US wrongdoings?

  1. ELIZABETH SUMMERS  

    Of course he’s being scapegoated for the US wrongdoings, they don’t want him to talk at any cost – they have made some dreadful world political decisions in the name of justice !

  2. Good on youm Aly. This time I agree with you. No way is he going to go to,USA. He is too weak to face anything. Hiding in a embassy all this time. Anything for publicity.

    • Ia bragg  

      Rubbish the US cannot be trusted and all he did was expose their crimes crimes against humanity i know whats more important only people guilty here is US and wally trying to make a name for himself

      • Faye Dapiran  

        What crimes against humanity did he actually expose? He needs to be held accountable for many things. So it’s ok for people he has accused to be held accountable, but not himself?

  3. Bruce Taylor  

    Assange is wanted for sex crimes in Sweden. That is the real reason he is holed up in the embassy. The British police have stated that if he leaves he will be arrested and returned to Sweden to face those charges. Assange is claiming that if this happens Sweden will immediately hand him over to the United States. This is despite the fact that Sweden has a history of non compliance with US extradition requests and deny that they would do so.
    Good on you Waleed. This guy needs to grow a pair and answer to the sex crime charges, Since when is it ok for a suspected rapist to claim asylum in a foreign embassy to avoid charges? How would the people who are supporting him feel if it was their daughter who was assaulted?

    • maszki  

      Bruce, you clearly read different sources to me. It is my understanding that Sweden rarely denies US extradition requests… indeed they have sometimes handed over accused persons to the US without the formal extradition process. But that is not the point, Sweden is irrelevant to Assange’s extradition to the US. PS Assange has still not been charged by Sweden with any ‘sex crimes’; the warrant against him is for ‘questioning’ only.

      Again it is my understanding that the US to seek his extradition must present a prima facie case to a UK court; that is, present the evidence against him which may prove difficult as it bring to a head the UK stance on freedom of expresson and protection of journalists. If the evidence presented does not ‘prove’ the case against him the extradition request may well be denied. As to growing a set… well, your opinion against a multitude of other opinions to the contrary.

    • Marita Duncan  

      Bruce, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about…do some research!!!

  4. H tyler  

    History will tell who is right America can not handle the fact that they have been caught out. They truly believe that they are right and only invade countries for good. Look at the mess they are in at the moment. The majority of their working force don’t get a fair wage yet the rich are getting richer.

  5. As usual Waleed Aly, think he is in the right and everyone else is wrong. I stopped watching The Project because of him, he seems to delight in picking arguments with people on the show. It is time someone put him in his place.

    • Annette Fuller  

      Agree totally.Never watch him,hurry up & get a replacement,someone sensible!

  6. Waleed is a total egotist with no regard for others and no respect for differing opinions. He is always right. Did I hear a rumour that he is being considered for Australian of the Year? Bad suggestion when there are so many more honest, ha reworking, patriotic, loyal honest Aussies who deserve that accolade. He would never get my vote.

    Walked is a total egotist with no respect for others or for their differing opinions. He thinks he is always right and ensures he has the last word in any interview. I am totally offended by him.
    Did I hear a rumour that he is being considered for Australian of the year? How pathetic and totally unjust to the many honest, hard working, intelligent, patriotic ,loyal Aussies who deserve that accolade so much more for having done worthwhile things for our country and people.
    I would never opt for him in a million years.

    • Annette Strong  

      I agree Noreen, there is always a political agenda when he gets involved and of course so many people fall for what he has to say without checking out the facts. There is a lot that people dont know about Assange, because of his ability to release FACTS about corruption etc they are trying to get at him and discredit anything he has to say. As for Waleed he certainly does not represent honest, hard working, intelligent patriotic loyal Aussies and should never be considered for this position.

  7. Elizabeth Filby  

    Assange is not stupid enough to leave the embassy without a guarantee. Assault charges ‘appeared’ when he leaked information. Why does EVERYONE kowtow to America?? He’s an Australian. The Australian Government should extradite him to Australia, at least until it becomes ‘clear’, what, EXACTLY is going on. Not what the US & Britain want everyone to believe is going on!!

  8. J Gray  

    Assange is a coward. If he wasn’t guilty of the sex charges he would front the court in Sweden and prove his innocence. I find it hard to believe him about anything

    • M Broughton  

      I agree with you. Assange was happy to expose everyone else except himself. I think he is very cowardly hiding away in an embassy for all these years. If he believed in himself, he would go and face the charges and get himself off. I find the whole thing ridiculous and am sick of hearing about him.

  9. Marj  

    Every time Aly opens his mouth he says much!

  10. Joan Marshall  

    Julian Assange is A HERO who gave the Americans and the world a chance to see the FRAUD Hillary Clinton is. All whistleblowers are taken to task by people who will not open their eyes and ears. Thank God Hillary Clinton did not win the presidency. At the inauguration of President Trump people were still voicing their opinion by saying LOCK HER UP. She and Bubba Bill have got away with too much for too long. God protect Julian Assange from idiots who not see and hear.

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