London: Julian Assange, the founder of whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, has claimed that his website is more accountable than a government that is elected after sourcing money from big business every four years.
His comments came during a public debate about the whistleblowing organisation`s own transparency. This was Assange’s first formal public appearance since being arrested in December 2010, following accusations of rape and sexual assault.
He also said that WikiLeaks is essential in a democracy because as it is the only way one can know whether information is legitimately kept secret is when it is revealed.
Assange cited the examples of Vietnam and "the disaster that was the Iraq war", saying if whistleblowers had the courage to speak up earlier about both conflicts, "bloodbaths" could have been avoided.
He also mentioned The Hindu newspaper that had recently published 21 front pages based on so-called "cablegate" revelations, leading to the Indian Government walking out four times and a growing anti-corruption movement in the country.
But, the Director of the centre for social cohesion Douglas Murray, challenged Assange over the website`s sources of funding, its staffing and connections with the Holocaust denier Israel Shamir, who has worked with the site.
Murray also challenged the WikiLeaks founder over an account in a book by Guardian writers David Leigh and Luke Harding, in which the authors quote him suggesting that if informants were to be killed following publication of the leaks, they "had it coming to them".