A former National Security Agency (NSA) employee says WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in danger from certain clandestine elements within the US government.
"They are extremely angry [at Assange]. According to press reports, there has been a secret Grand Jury and maybe a secret indictment," Thomas Andrews Drake, a known NSA whistleblower, told Russia Today.
"They want to get him and put him away. There are those at high levels in this country - they have called for a death warrant."
According to Drake, the US government will do everything it can to put Assange away for as long as they can - or worse.
"Speaking truth to power is very dangerous. The power elites, those in charge don't like dirty linen being aired. They don't like skeletons in the closet being seen.... Not only do they object to it, they decide to turn it into criminal activity. Remember, my whistle blowing was criminalized by my own government," he added.
Julian Assange is currently holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he is seeking political asylum. The WikiLeaks founder entered the embassy on June 19 after all attempts to fight extradition to Sweden - where Assange faces charges of sexual assault - failed. Assange, who denies the accusations, is concerned that extradition to Sweden could ultimately lead to his eventual transfer to the United States.
Indeed, author-activist David Swanson recently told Russia Today that Assange will ultimately be handed over to the United States - where he is likely to be tried for espionage. According to Swanson, the American government "has issued a secret closed indictment and pressured other governments in Britain and Sweden to ship Julian Assange to the US."
Swanson also claimed the WikiLeaks founder could face conditions amounting to torture or even murder, as the the US has "very much blurred the line between law enforcement and war."
Swanson's concerns were recently echoed by a US lobbying group known as "Just Foreign Policy," which sent a formal letter to Ecuador asking the country's prime minister to grant Assange asylum. Its signatories included a number of prominent filmmakers, writers, lawyers and civil rights campaigners - such as Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Noam Chomsky.
"There is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned and likely extradited to the United States," they wrote. "Were he charged and found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could face the death penalty."