Assange speaks as Manning has term shortened
WIKILEAKS founder and former Northern Rivers schoolboy Julian Assange may offer himself to the US justice department after President Obama shortened a jail term for whistle blower Chelsea Manning.
A Wikileaks announcement via social media last week said "if Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ [Department of Justice] case”.
President Obama this week shortened Ms Manning's sentence from 35 to seven years, in one of his last presidential acts before President Elect Donald Trump takes over on January 20.
Ms Manning leaked more than 700,000 secret US military files to Wikileaks in 2010 when she was known as Bradley Manning and worked as an intelligence analyst for the US army in Iraq.
One of the files was a 2007 video showing a US army helicopter firing at suspected enemies and killing twelve people, including two workers from Reuters international news agency.
Mr Assange described Ms Manning, on Tuesday via social media, as "a hero, whose bravery should have been applauded not condemned” and called for the US government to "immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers, such as WikiLeaks and myself”.
"Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning's clemency,” he wrote via Twitter.
"Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”
After social media users and reporters asked whether or not Mr Assange was still prepared to face US justice department officials on American soil, his lawyer tweeted: "everything that he has said he's standing by”.
Wikileaks has published documents via its website and social media suggesting the FBI is investigating Mr Assange in connection to Ms Manning's case.