Kroft: You obviously have a mistrust of authority. Where does that come from?The interview was strangely silent about the massive new leak caused by the UK Guardian foolishly publishing a WikiLeaks password in a recent book.
Assange: I think it comes from experience with various types of authorities.
Assange gave us an example from his childhood, a story about him and his mother Christine, who was present at one of his recent court hearings. She was a political activist who helped scientists gather information about nuclear tests conducted by the British in the Australian outback. He remembers them being stopped late one night and questioned by authorities, one of whom said:
Assange: Look lady, you're out at two o'clock in the morning with this child...it could be suggested that you're an unfit mother. I suggest you stay out of politics. And which she did for the next ten years in order to make sure nothing happened to me. So that's a very early abuse of power and the secrecy that I saw in my life.
His was an unconventional and sometimes tumultuous childhood in which he was frequently uprooted and moved around the countryside. He attended 37 different schools.
Govt officials should not have the power to silence parents by threatening to take their kids away. We should have objective, fair, and due process criteria for declaring a parent unfit, so that this sort of thing does not happen. Otherwise, parents are second-class citizens.