By Julian Hattem - 06/18/14 11:20 AM EDT
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wants Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderLawyer claims death threats after anti-Black Lives Matter lawsuit Adviser: Obama can’t ‘erase decades’ of racism Airbnb enlists civil rights leaders in discrimination fight MORE to end the investigation into his actions or else step down.
“I call on Eric Holder today to immediately drop the ongoing national security investigation against WikiLeaks or resign,” he told reporters on Tuesday, the day before his second anniversary of entering the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been trapped ever since.
In the meantime, he has been helping National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden secure temporary asylum in Russia, which will come up for renewal later this summer.
Amid ongoing snooping operations at the NSA, Assange said, that kind of assistance is more important than ever as the Obama administration ramps up its pursuit of national security leakers.
“The expertise that we have developed in protecting sources outside of our primary publication process is something that rightfully belongs to more than just the publisher,” he said.
“The environment with relation to source protection has become increasingly adverse, as a result of the National Security Agency spying and also those of its allied partners” such as its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters, he added.
Critics have said the leakers' actions hurt U.S. national security and fundamentally set back gains in tracking terrorists.
Assange, however, said President Obama should be most ashamed for his crackdown on people who leak state secrets.
“Mr. Obama, you must surely now start to reflect on what your legacy will be after two presidential terms,” Assange said.
“It must be at odds with a former professor of constitutional law to have a legacy that not only involves the construction of extrajudicial kill lists of individuals ... but a legacy of being the president who conducted more Espionage Act investigations against journalists and their sources than all previous presidents combined going back to 1917 and the original issuance of the Espionage Act," he added.