The head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has called global whistleblowing service WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” accusing its chief of helping the enemies of the United States.
"WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service, and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Thursday while speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an American think tank based in Washington, DC.
“In January of this year, our intelligence community determined that Russian military intelligence — the GRU — had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee,” he said.
Assange and “his ilk make common cause with dictators today,” Pompeo said. “Yes, they try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy; in reality, however, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is clickbait; their moral compass, nonexistent."
"I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and ’40s and ’50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history," he said.
Pompeo said WikiLeaks is overwhelmingly focused on the US and encourages its followers to join the CIA with the sole purpose of obtaining intelligence.
WikiLeaks embarrassed the US intelligence agency last month by leaking its confidential documents. The documents detail technological vulnerabilities the spy agency uses to hack into electronic devices.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has slammed the CIA for withholding the information about the vulnerabilities and preventing the tech industry and government officials from taking the necessary steps.
The US government has often described WikiLeaks as a tool of Russian intelligence agencies.
In December, the CIA said it had concluded that Russian intelligence operatives provided materials to Wikileaks in an effort to help President Donald Trump’s defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.