WikiLeaks' Assange Tells FNC’s Napolitano He Offered Docs to Unresponsive White House 'Weeks' Before Release
Missed? Perhaps, but this story of complacency by President Barack Obama's administration has certainly been under-reported thus far.
On Fox News Channel's July 28 broadcast of "Studio B," the network's judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano discovered a potential lapse in responsibility by the Obama White House. For the broadcast of his July 31 Fox Business Network show "FreedomWatch," Napolitano interviewed Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, the so-called "whistleblower site" which released tens of thousands of classified files about the Afghanistan war. During the interview, Napolitano reported Assange revealed he offered the Obama White House the documents, but they were unresponsive. (h/t @CrabbyCon)
"STUDIO B" HOST SHEPARD SMITH: You just interviewed Julian Assange. Now Julian Assange is the man who is the founder of WikiLeaks - released these, or on his site was released the 92,000 pages of documents that lead to all this discussion about our complete failures in Afghanistan and thoughts that we need to get out of Afghanistan. He told you something that I considered to be a blockbuster bit of news.
NAPOLITANO: And that is that WikiLeaks presented the documents - there were over 100,000 pages of them, to the White House.
NAPOLITANO: Weeks before they were released. He wouldn't give me an exact date.
Smith speculated the White House was offered first glance at these documents prior to other media outlets. Napolitano said Assange got no response from the White House during that time.
SMITH: Maybe about the time they gave it to the -- to Der Spiegel and the Guardian and The New York Times, possibly?
NAPOLITANO: Correct. Is there anything in here that can't be released, that you want redacted, that you don't want release that you questioned the authenticity of? The White House's response was silence.
SMITH: But we know that he -- it's his contention that the White House got them and knew they got them. It's not like he --
NAPOLITANO: Yes. That's what he told me.
Napolitano explained this is already having an impact on the Obama administration's ability to execute the war Afghanistan from a political basis.
"The White House is trying to downplay this, but the White House should look at the vote of the House of Representatives yesterday in which a hundred Democrats voted against the supplemental appropriation to fund the war in Afghanistan," Napolitano explained. "Those are people in the President's own party. When did they take that vote? Three days after the WikiLeaks documents came out."
Napolitano compared how the Bush administration handled these situations with specifically The New York Times and was able to prevent some things from being revealed.
"[E]ven in the Bush administration, when The New York Times wanted to reveal things, the Bush administration negotiated with the White House, delayed the release, talked the times out of releasing proper names," Napolitano explained.
But the Obama administration failed to live to up its predecessors' standards.
"And apparently, the Obama administration made no such effort and couldn't have cared less, or that's the impression that Mr. Assange gave," Napolitano said.
The Assange interview will air Saturday, July 31 at 10 a.m. on the Fox Business Network, according to Napolitano.