The CIA was given 24/7 video and audio surveillance of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange while he lived under asylum at the Ecuador’s embassy in London. A former Ecuadorian diplomat responds to the news.
Guest: Fidel Narváez, former Ecuadorian diplomat who served at the London embassy while Julian Assange lived there under asylum.
Undercover Global SL, a Spanish security firm, recorded Assange 24 hours per day during his stay in Ecuador’s London embassy, and then handed over its footage to the CIA.
“That firm was contracted by Ecuador to protect the embassy, to protect [Assange], to protect us from [his] persecutors,” says former Ecuadorian diplomat Fidel Narváez. “So I find it shocking.”
“During those seven years the surveillance equipment inside the embassy basically grew and multiplied. Cameras were installed all over, and one of the few places where there were not cameras I think was one of the bathrooms,” Narváez explained.
“And Julian knew that he was being spied [on]. So he chose to have meetings with his lawyers, probably the most sensitive meetings, not exactly in the bathroom, but just outside the bathroom, in a little corridor, where he thought that no camera, no microphones would reach,” he continued.
“But I think he was wrong, by what was discovered now,” Narváez added. “They were obviously trying to to get every single corner of that embassy surveilled.”
The former Ecuadorian diplomat said “there is a strong defamation campaign against Julian Assange.”
“There is a big effort to distract the attention from the main, important issues, which is he is the one persecuted; he is the one spied on; he is the one who they want in jail for publishing truthful information about war crimes,” Narváez said.
“They want to distract the attention from that and they focus on other things — his character, and his relationships, with a lot of misinformation coming from the reports of this very company,” he continued.
“I think this is important,” Narváez explained because “all CNN’s reports, and not just CNN but other important media as well, who have chosen to focus on the inside of the embassy, The Guardian as well — they based the information on the reports written by this company, a completely corrupt, dodgy, unprofessional company.”
Aaron Maté is a journalist and producer. He hosts Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone. He is also is contributor to The Nation magazine and former host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!. Aaron has also presented and produced for Vice, AJ+, and Al Jazeera.