Julian Assange and Russia Go Way Back
I’ve written about this before.
But I just came across a Vox piece from Zack Beauchamp in January-that lays out well the long connections between Wikileaks and Russia; post 2010, to speak of Wikileaks is to speak of Assange who has had total control since 2010.
For more on how Assange has co-opted the moral authority of what Wikileaks once was-in terms of activism on behalf of transparency, privacy rights, and human rights-to being the zombie of Assange’s Far Right pro Russia agenda, this book is a very good place to start.
Laurelai whose post at Louise Mensch I looked at in my link above, also knows all about this inside story.
But this Vox piece is a very useful thumbnail sketch:
“Julian Assange insists, against all evidence, that the hacked Democratic emails WikiLeaks published didn’t come from Russian intelligence services. “Our source is not the Russian government,” he said in a Tuesday interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity.”
“This is a touch hard to believe. Publicly available evidence, including unique code and Russian writing in the hacked documents themselves, links the document theft to Russian state-sponsored hacks. Every US intelligence agency that has investigated the issue has concluded Russia is, in fact, responsible. Leaks from their analyses, reported by CNN and the Washington Post, indicate that the US has identified the go-betweens used by Russia to hand documents to WikiLeaks. Assange is either lying or willfully blind to the facts.”
“Indeed, when it comes to Russia, Assange doesn’t have a ton of credibility.”
“Throughout WikiLeaks’ existence, the allegedly pro-transparency group has had strange, shadowy, but very well-documented connections to the Russian state. The connections range from sharing purloined documents with a pro-Russian dictator to Assange receiving money for appearing on Russian state TV to WikiLeaks’ key involvement in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden ending up in Russia.”
Indeed. If you’re so pro transparency and pro open journalism why do things to help Putin who is terrible for open journalism? This is the same irony with Snowden that I touched on in my last post.
Snowden’s case is allegedly a call to arms for all advocates of free journalism, yet he ends up on Russia-thanks largely to Assange’s efforts-where his very presence every day is a propaganda win for Putin. Putin can pretend to be protecting whistleblowing when if Snowden did to the equivalent to Russia’s NSA that he did to ours, we’d never hear from Snowden again.
As to the notion of him being a Russian agent, it’s notable that since October-just around the time Wikileaks started leaking Podesta’s emails, Wikileaks started using a Russian server.
This is the post by Laurelai, formerly of Wikileaks I referenced above.
“The Kremlin is just as friendly. Russian officials, up to and including Putin himself, have defended Assange and WikiLeaks — with one Russian official even suggesting Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a strange relationship: a secretive quasi-dictator lining up alongside a group that says it’s dedicated to revealing state secrets. But it’s the relationship Putin appears to have turned to when he was looking for a trusted ally to leak the emails hacked from Clinton’s circle.”
The point is that Wikileaks was a good conduit for Russia.
“I don’t necessarily think he’s some sort of paid agent for the Russians,” says Chris Zappone, an editor at the Age newspaper in Assange’s native Australia who has covered Assange’s Russian ties extensively. “But I do think he’s being manipulated by the Russians.”
That would make him a useful idiot-as we talked about in my previous posts today. I actually don’t buy that. Maybe Snowden is a useful idiot-in handing Putin a PR win that actually strengthens his hand in his crackdown on journalists. Maybe Glenn Greenwald is a useful idiot.
Assange, seems to have more complicity. He clearly agreed to be the public face for Russia’s leaks-giving them Wikileaks’ now undeserved moral authority and to give Russia plausible deniability.
Also, clearly, Assange shared Russia’s stated aim of harming Hillary Clinton for the benefit of Donald Trump.
Assange is on record of saying ‘Hillary Clinton cannot be President.’
“A vote today for Hillary Clinton is a vote for endless, stupid war.”
“Hillary’s problem is not just that she’s war hawk. She’s a war hawk with bad judgement who gets an unseemly emotional rush out of killing people. She shouldn’t be let near a gun shop, let alone an army. And she certainly should not become president of the United States.”
This shows that he’s in no way a politically disinterested transparency activist, that he had a very clear political agenda.
“In the wake of the WikiLeaks frenzy, Assange often tried to clarify where he stood politically. His simultaneous embrace of leftist icons such as Noam Chomsky and right-wing libertarians seemed to indicate that he was open to ideas from either end of the political spectrum, so long as they were directed against authoritarianism. Finally, in 2013, Assange proclaimed, “The only hope as far as electoral politics presently … is the libertarian section of the Republican Party.”
It’s notable that Noam Chomsky-in no way-agreed with Assange about the 2016 election.
“Noam Chomsky tells those who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump: You made a big mistake.”
“US election was fundamentally a case of choosing the lesser of two evils, says US linguist, and those who refused misunderstood the overarching moral issue at the heart of this contest.”
“There are two issues,” he said. “One is a kind of moral issue: do you vote against the greater evil if you don’t happen to like the other candidate? The answer to that is yes. If you have any moral understanding, you want to keep the greater evil out.”
“Second is a factual question: how do Trump and Clinton compare? I think they’re very different. I didn’t like Clinton at all, but her positions are much better than Trump’s on every issue I can think of.”
Contrast with Assange’s hope in ‘The libertarian section of the Republican party’ with Chomsky’s point that the Republican party is the most dangerous political organization in the world.
“Like documentarian Michael Moore, who warned a Trump protest vote would initially feel good – and then the repercussions would sting – Chomsky has taken an apocalyptic view on the what a Trump administration will deliver.”
“Earlier in November, Chomsky declared the Republican party “the most dangerous organisation in world history” now Mr Trump is at the helm because of suggestions from the President-elect and other figures within it that climate change is a hoax.”
Yes, that’s quite a ‘libertarian’ Administration you have there, Mr. Assange. Jeff Sessions is cracking down on medical marijuana.
Truth is, Assange was never on the Left or in any way ‘libertarian.’
P.S. As we saw in my poll out this week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.