Interview with Afshin Rattansi published 20/09/14
Starting at 3:30 minutes
AR: With me is the founder of WikiLeaks, has just published “When Google met WikiLeaks” . Julian thanks for inviting us into the Ecuadorian Embassy, how did it come about that you could trust Google executives, one of the most powerful companies on Earth, coming to meet you while you were under virtual house arrest.
JA: Well, I am not sure I trusted them any more than they trusted me but it was a very interesting meeting between the most senior executive of Google Eric Schmidt, and now the Chairman of Google, and myself, during the middle of the Arab Spring with a secret meeting, and three other people also brought by Google to that meeting.
AR: What do you think they were there for?
JA: Nominally, they were there in order to write a book on geopolitics and how the world would unfurl and to conduct an interview with me. I thought that probably was most of the reason they were there also to speak to Google staff let them look less conservative and to get supportive of their engineers and to try to get more strategic vision for how they wanted to deploy over the world and upcoming developments I might know about that they may not. But, it turned out things were rather different.
That time, before Snowden, before other elements from WikiLeaks, we did not really know that the ‘don’t be evil’ company was so entwined with elements of the US security state, and then in this transcript which makes up this book, it’s a point you want to make. Eric Schmidt, his father worked in the Nixon Administration, and have just written a book ‘The Empire of the Mind’ and that got endorsements as well from Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger.
That got endorsements from Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, a cast of war mongers or actual war criminals. Pre-publication, all set up pre-publication and Henry Kissinger is in fact one of the central people in that book but, you know, it is fine for people to write books, the question to me was why was that book being written. It was very very strange book.
And you actually met Jared Cohen. This is a man, and we must interview was being conducted just days after US Congress has authorised military aid to so called moderate Islamists, in Syria, there are air strikes in Iraq. Tell me about this Jared Cohen.
Jared Cohen was the previous advisor with Hilary. He jumped from Hilary to be the Head of Google Ideas, and Google Ideas is an in-house State Department that Google runs.Its functions are essentially the same as the US State Department that made alliances with various people, to bring together activists, security, generals, and so on, bring them together under Google and create great… of networking and even in some cases, actively intervene with deferent governments to try and destabilised them.