Julian Assange implies American politicians want to execute him

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WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange accused Americans “close to power” of sending him threatening messages on Sunday, specifically naming Vice President Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

“The statements by the vice president Biden saying, for instance that I was a high tech terrorist. Sarah Palin calling to our organization to be dealt with like the Taliban, and be hunted down,” Assange told 60 Minutes’ Steve Croft in an interview. “There’s calls either for my assassination or the assassination of my staff or for us to be kidnapped and renditioned back to the United States to be executed…unfortunately there is a portion of the population that will believe in them and may carry them out.”

Assange was referring to a Facebook message posted by Palin in December in which she asked why the WikiLeaks founder was “not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”  However, neither Palin nor Biden have explicitly called for Assange’s assassination or execution.

On Friday, WikiLeaks once again found itself in the media spotlight by releasing a 2008 State Department cable that suggested the United States was actively assisting the pro-democracy movement in Egypt, and also noted the existence of an admittedly ambitious plan for Egypt’s transition to a parliamentary democracy.