Michael Moore on Julian Assange: ‘Most wanted man by the government of the United States deserved my help’

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Michael Moore — documentary filmmaker and ardent advocate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — declared that the ‘most wanted’ man by the U.S. government deserve his help during a speech at Georgetown University in September. The liberal film maker was responding to a question about his posting bail for Assange, arguing that WikiLeaks was ‘performing an incredible service.’

Convicted as a hacker during the 1990s, Assange is currently awaiting the Wednesday verdict from the U.K. High Court to whether he will face extradition to Sweden to answer for alleged charges of sexual misconduct. TED, a nonprofit devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading,’ hosted Assange as a speaker in 2010 while he was wanted by the U.S. government for questioning. Assange received a standing ovation from the crowd at the conclusion of the question and answer session.

“I don’t know if he’s innocent or guilty of the crime, but I believe anybody who’s charged like that, especially somebody who is a most wanted man by the government of the United States deserved my help, as anyone would,” Moore told the September Georgetown audience.

“In this particular case I was appreciative of them putting together WikiLeaks and the work that it was doing.”

Moore, who most recently appeared in ‘Open Letter to the U.S. Government,’ a short film produced by in defense of Assange, told the audience that organizations like WikiLeaks are needed to expose the lies of governments and corporations. is running a parallel campaign to support the defense of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier charged with ‘aiding the enemy’ for stealing classified documents and leaking them to Assange.

“Bradley Manning is a hero,” the organization says on its website. “We maintain that IF he released these documents, then he is a whistle-blower whose actions under these circumstances must be defended.”

WikiLeaks’ revenues have suffered by 95 percent due to the current banking blockade by PayPal, MasterCard, Bank of America, Visa and Western Union, Assange said at a London press conference last Monday. Assange announced that WikiLeaks would be suspending operations to devote its efforts to raising new revenues and fighting the blockade.  Hacktivist collective ‘Anonymous‘ retaliated against PayPal in December 2010 for its blockade against WikiLeaks.

“We are told lies — lie after lie after lie and it’s never exposed,” said Moore. “I think we need organizations like WikiLeaks doing this sort of thing, and I thought that this individual provided this service for us.”

Moore defended WikiLeaks on his blog in 2010, even admitting the whistleblower organization might cause U.S. operations harm. “Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that’s the price you pay when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie.”

“Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you’re up to,” wrote Moore. “You simply can’t be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.”

Moore — the defender of openness, transparency and accountability — did not play by his own rules at the event. Two reporters from TheDC attended but were told that they were not allowed to record it, nor were they allowed to ask Moore questions during the question and answer period. Moore answered the questions of others in attendance, but made the reporters wait for an hour before sending a representative to deny a request for a one-on-one interview.

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