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Posts Tagged ‘Wikileaks’

RAY McGOVERN: Rich’s Ghost Haunts the Courts – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on August 14, 2019

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/08/12/ray-mcgovern-richs-ghost-haunts-the-courts/

By Ray McGovern

As if it weren’t enough of a downer for Russiagate true believers that no Trump-Russia collusion was found, federal judges are now demanding proof that Russia hacked into the DNC in the first place.

It is shaping up to be a significant challenge to the main premise of the shaky syllogism that ends with “Russia did it.”

If you’re new to this website, grab onto something, as the following may come as something of a shock. Not only has there never been any credible evidence to support the claim of Russian cyber interference, there has always been a simple alternative explanation that involves no “hacking” at all — by Russia or anyone else.

As most Consortium News habitués are aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes two former NSA technical directors), working with independent forensic investigators, concluded two years ago that what “everyone knows to be Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee” actually involved an insider with physical access to DNC computers copying the emails onto an external storage device — such as a thumb drive. In other words, it was a leak, not a hack.

VIPS based its conclusion on the principles of physics applied to metadata and other empirical information susceptible of forensic analysis.

But if a leak, not a hack, who was the DNC insider-leaker? In the absence of hard evidence, VIPS refuses “best-guess”-type “assessments” — the kind favored by the “handpicked analysts” who drafted the evidence-impoverished, so-called Intelligence Community Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017.

Conspiracy Theorists

Simply letting the name “Seth Rich” pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for “conspiracy theorists,” (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to “Russia-did-it.”)

Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto, branded “conspiracy theorists.”

That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the “brand-them-conspiracy-theorists” ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected — understandably — to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The “conspiracy theorist” tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now…

In the meantime, here are seven pieces of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Rich may have indeed leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks:

  • Butowsky said Rich’s parents told him they know their son leaked the emails. Parents deny it.
  • Butowsky said Ellen Ratner told him and others that Assange told her Rich was the leaker. Video emerges of Ratner saying Assange told her a Democratic insider leaked the emails but she didn’t name Rich. She now denies it was Rich.
  • Kim Dotcom, a leading expert on the internet, says the metadata shows it was a leak, not a hack, and that he communicated with Rich and put him in touch with a middleman to transfer the emails to WikiLeaks. Dotcom also says he communicated with Rich’s parents who said they knew their son was the leaker.
  • The NSA said in a FOIA request from Butowsky’s lawyer that they have 15 documents regarding conversations Rich had with one of several people named in the request, which include the possibility Rich communicated with Assange and/or Kim Dotcom.
  • Investigative journalist Sy Hersh, in audio interview with Butowsky, says he has a source in FBI who had seen the report of Rich’s computer proving he had sent emails to WikiLeaks. When Butowsky made this secretly recorded interview public Hersh’s sources dried up and he then tried to deny what he’d told Butowsky.
  • WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange strongly suggested in a Dutch TV interview that Rich was the source of the DNC emails. WikiLeaks also offered a $20,000 reward leading to information about Seth’s killers.
  • Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, has said he met the leaker and he was not Russian.

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Opinion  – Judge’s ruling throws huge spanner into US extradition proceedings against Assange

Posted by M. C. on August 3, 2019

News Flash: Doing what the New York Times and Washington Post do on a regular basis is not a crime.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52021.htm

By Tom Coburg

August 01, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  A US judge has ruled that WikiLeaks was fully entitled to publish the Democratic National Congress (DNC) emails, which means no law was broken. The ruling is highly significant as it could impact upon the US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as well as the ongoing imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

The ruling

On 30 July, federal judge John G. Koeltl ruled on a case brought against WikiLeaks and other parties in regard to the alleged hacking of DNC emails and concluded that:

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.

In other words, if WikiLeaks is subject to prosecution, then every media outlet in the world would be. The judge argued that:

[T]he First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place.

Significantly, the judge added that it’s not criminal to solicit or “welcome” stolen documents, and how:

A person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.

Important win

Jen Robinson, a member of Assange’s legal team, described the judge’s ruling as an “important win for free speech”:

And US WikiLeaks lawyer Joshua Dratel said he was:

very gratified with the result, which reaffirms First Amendment principles that apply to journalists across the board, whether they work for large institutions or small independent operations.

Legal precedents

Prior to the ruling, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was party to a briefing to the court.

The ACLU summarised some of the legal precedents listed in the briefing. For example, the First Amendment of the US Constitution is a:

legal principle, articulated most clearly in the 2001 Supreme Court decision Bartnicki v. Vopper, [and] is a bedrock protection for the press. It is particularly important for national security reporters, who often rely on information that was illegally acquired by a source in publishing stories of considerable public concern. Indeed, this principle animated the court’s famous Pentagon Papers decision, protecting the right to publish stories based on a secret government account of official misconduct during the origins of the Vietnam War...

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RAY McGOVERN: A Non-Hack That Raised Hillary’s Hackles – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2019

And so, candidate Clinton, the DNC, and the mainstream media (forever quoting anonymous “current and former intelligence officials”) appear to have colluded…

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/22/ray-mcgovern-a-non-hack-that-raised-hillarys-hackles/

By Ray McGovern

On the third anniversary of the release by WikiLeaks of the DNC emails, Ray McGovern looks back at how the DNC diverted the damaging contents into a trumped up conspiracy blaming Russia with no evidence at all.

Three years ago Monday WikiLeaks published a trove of highly embarrassing emails that had been leaked from inside the Democratic National Committee. As has been the case with every leak revealed by WikiLeaks, the emails were authentic. These particular ones, however, could not have come at a worse time for top Democratic Party officials.

The emails made it unmistakably clear that the DNC had tipped the scales sharply against Democratic insurgent Bernie Sanders, giving him a snowball’s chance in hell for the nomination. The posting of the DNC emails is also widely seen as having harmed the the electoral prospects of Hillary Clinton, who could not escape responsibility completely, while a handful of the very top DNC officials were forced to immediately resign.

Relatively few Americans read the actual emails, their attention diverted to the incessant media-fostered question: Why Did the Russians Hack the DNC to Hurt Hillary? For the millions of once enthusiastic Democrats who favored Sanders, however, the disclosure that the nomination process had been fixed came as a bitter pill, leaving a sour taste in their mouths and a passive-aggressive reluctance to promote the candidacy of one they considered a usurper. Having had a huge stake in Bernie’s candidacy, they had little trouble seeing through the diversion of attention from the content of the emails.

Clinton Prevails

A mere four days after the WikiLeaks release, a well orchestrated Democratic Convention nominated Clinton, while many Sanders supporters loudly objected. Thus, she began her campaign under a cloud, and as more and more Americans learned of the fraud that oozed through the DNC email correspondence — including the rigging of the Democratic primaries — the cloud grew larger and darker.

On June 12, 2016, six weeks before the convention, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange had announced in an interview on British TV, “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication.”

Independent forensic investigations demonstrated two years ago that the DNC emails were not hacked over the Internet, but had been copied onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. Additional work over recent months has yielded more evidence that the intrusion into the DNC computers was a copy, not a hack, and that it took place on May 23 and 25, 2016.

The DNC almost certainly knew what had happened — not only that someone with physical access to DNC computers had copied thousands of emails, but also which ones they had copied, and thus how prejudicial to the Clinton campaign they would be when they saw the light of day…

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New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/16/new-cnn-assange-smear-piece-is-amazingly-dishonest-even-for-cnn/

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the article begins.

In its very first sentence the article invalidates all the claims which follow it, because its use of the word “potentially” means that none of the documents CNN purports to have contain any actual evidence. It’s worth noting at this time that there is to this day not one shred of publicly available evidence that any of the Democratic Party emails published by WikiLeaks in 2016 were in fact “hacked” at all, and could very well have been the result of a leak as asserted by former British ambassador Craig Murray, who claims to have inside knowledge on the matter.

The glaring plot holes in the Mueller report’s assertions about Russia being the source of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops have already been ripped wide open by journalist Aaron Maté’s meticulous analysis of the report’s timeline in an article accurately titled “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims“. The CNN smear piece, which claims to “add a new dimension to the Mueller report”, is entirely relying on this porous timeline for its reporting. Plot holes include the fact that Mueller claims (and CNN repeats) that the Russians transferred the emails to WikiLeaks on or around July 14, which Maté notes is “a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.”

CNN kicks off its smear piece with the inflammatory claim that “Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments”, mentioning both “Russians” and “hackers” in the same breath in an attempt to give the impression that the two are related. It’s not until paragraph 43 and 46, long after most people have stopped reading, that the articles authors bother to inform their readers that the “hackers” in question are German and have no established connection to the Russian government whatsoever. The “Russians” counted among Assange’s scores of visitors consist of RT staff, who have always consistently reported on WikiLeaks, and a “Russian national” about whom almost nothing is known.

The article falsely labels Assange a “hacker”, a defamatory claim the mass media circulates whenever it wants to tarnish Assange’s reputation. Assange, of course, is a publisher. WikiLeaks publishes materials which are given to it, it doesn’t “hack” them.

CNN also repeats the long-debunked lie that RT “published articles detailing the new batches of emails before WikiLeaks officially released them” during the 2016 election, citing no evidence because this never happened. RT reported on a WikiLeaks release in October 2016 after it had been published by WikiLeaks but before the WikiLeaks Twitter account had tweeted about it, and western propagandists willfully conflated WikiLeaks publications with tweets from the WikiLeaks Twitter account in order to make it look like RT had insider knowledge about the publications.

In reality, RT was simply watching the WikiLeaks site closely for new releases in order to get an early scoop before other outlets, because Podesta email leaks had been dropping regularly.

“That is a LIE that’s been debunked over and over,” tweeted RT America editor Nebojša Malić‏ in response to the smear. “We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It’s called journalism, they should try it sometime.”

“Yes that is fake news,” tweeted RT’s Ivor Crotty. “I was the editor on the team that monitored wikileaks and by Podesta 6 we knew they tweeted at 9am EST each day (1pm Dublin) – so we checked the database by reverse searching and discovered a new dump, tweeted about it, and the conspiracy theorists jumped.”

“RT already addressed this in 2016, convincingly if you read the sequence of events they lay out: the Podesta emails appeared on the WikiLeaks website before WikiLeaks sent a tweet about it,” Maté tweeted at CNN’s Marshall Cohen. “Ignoring that allows for the conspiracy theory you propose. It’s ridiculous to suggest that RT-Wikileaks ‘were coordinating behind the scenes’ based on the fact that RT tweeted about the Podesta emails AFTER they appeared on WL’s site, but BEFORE WL tweeted about them. You’re implicating RT in a conspiracy… for doing journalism.”

It’s not possible to research the “RT had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks drops” conspiracy theory without running across articles which debunked it at the time, so the article’s authors were likely either knowingly lying or taking dictation from someone who was.

“Spanish newspaper El Pais on July 9: ‘Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange’s meetings with lawyers‘. Add little security state propaganda and 6 days later you get from CNN: ‘How Julian Assange turned an embassy into command post for election meddling’,” noted Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola in response to the CNN smear, a reminder of how a little narrative tweaking can turn a story on its head in support of the powerful.

This would be the same CNN who told its viewers that it’s against the law to read WikiLeaks, with Democratic Party prince Chris Cuomo lying “Remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents; it’s different for the media, so everything you learn about this you’re learning from us.” The same CNN which falsely reported that Assange is a pedophile not once, but twice. The same CNN which has been caught blatantly lying in its Russiagate coverage, which has had to fire journalists for misreporting Russiagate in a media environment where that almost never happens with Russia stories, which has deleted evidence of its journalistic malpractice regarding Russiagate from the internet without retraction or apology.

So this latest attempt to tarnish Julian Assange’s reputation from CNN is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that the article contains exactly zero of the “exclusive documents” which it says validate its claims and insinuations. Nor is it surprising that CNN is using invisible evidence which almost certainly came into its hands through a government agency to give weight to its smear. But the sheer volume of disinformation and deceit they were able to pack into one single article this time around was just jaw-dropping. Even for CNN.

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The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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CNN Twists Embassy Surveillance Records To Attack Julian Assange

Posted by M. C. on July 17, 2019

https://shadowproof.com/2019/07/15/cnn-twists-ecuador-embassy-surveillance-records-attack-assange/

Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS reported on July 9 that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was spied on by a Spanish private defense and security firm called Undercover Global S.L., when he lived in the Ecuador embassy in the United Kingdom.

The report was based on “documents, video, and audio material” that was “used in an extortion attempt against Assange by several individuals.” In May, Spanish police arrested journalist José Martín Santos, who had a record of fraud, and a computer programmer for their alleged involvement in an “attempt to make €3 million from the sale of private material.”

Reporters for EL PAÍS found the spying on Assange’s legal defense meetings to be most significant. They were stunned by the fact that Assange felt he had to hold meetings in the women’s bathroom if he wanted to ensure privacy. And they took note of U.C. Global’s “feverish, obsessive vigilance” toward “the guest,” which became more intense after Lenin Moreno was elected president of Ecuador in May 2017.

That is not how CNN viewed the same cache of information compiled by the private security company and eventually used to allegedly extort Assange.

Although EL PAÍS makes no mention of meddling in the 2016 presidential election in its coverage, CNN approached the material like analysts at the CIA. They voraciously consumed logs hoping the documents would confirm Assange collaborated with Russian intelligence assets to release emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Compare the two reports, as they appeared on the news organization’s websites:

CNN was unable to find concrete proof, and the words “potentially” and “possibility” do heavy lifting for the media organization.

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the CNN report reads.

It adds, “The documents build on the possibility, raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling, that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy.”

Yet, there is little to no evidence in the report to substantiate the conspiracy theory that CNN reporters want the public to believe.

Much of CNN’s report quotes from the Mueller report, not the private security company materials. It plugs in meetings and interactions Assange had with visitors that align with dates in the report in order to claim this appears to be evidence of collaboration with the Russian government, but CNN does not know what transpired…

CNN management must keep churning out gossip pieces like this report on Assange because its ratings partly depend on sustaining the panic around Russia’s alleged influence. Although Mueller was unable to “establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government,” that does not matter to the news network.

Worse, the Trump administration indicted Assange for allegedly violating the Espionage Act when he published classified documents from Chelsea Manning that revealed war crimes, diplomatic misconduct, and other acts of political corruption. They launched a prosecution that could set a dangerous precedent that would greatly impact the ability of CNN to engage in newsgathering activities.

Such a precedent would not affect CNN when it produced intelligence agency propaganda like this story on Assange, but it could impede reporters if they dared to engage in journalism that challenged officials, particularly those involved in national security operations.

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Why Everyone in the U.S. Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead | Common Dreams Views

Posted by M. C. on June 18, 2019

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/05/15/why-everyone-us-who-counts-wants-julian-assange-dead

It’s not for being a jerk that the Establishment state wants the Wikileaks publisher dead. They want him dead for publishing videos like these.

On April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released ”Collateral Murder,” a video showing a July 12, 2007 US Apache attack helicopter attack upon individuals in a Baghdad suburb. Amongst the over twelve people killed by the 30mm cannon fire were two Reuters journalists. (Image: Screenshot)

Below is a full video version of Collateral Murder, the 2007 war footage that was leaked in 2010 to Wikileaks by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning. This version was posted to the Wikileaks YouTube channel with subtitles. It will only take about 15 minutes of your life to view it.

It’s brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder — murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with heavy machine guns slowly circling their targets in helicopters like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead.

The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead.

They also want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we’re watching today.

“Everyone” in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all “respectable” U.S. politicians — including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”

Yes, Julian Assange the person can be a giant jerk even to his supporters, as this exchange reported by Intercept writer Micah Lee attests. Nevertheless, it’s not for being a jerk that the Establishment state wants him dead; that state breeds, harbors and honors the very worst criminal jerks everywhere in the world. They want him dead for publishing videos like these.

Please watch it. The footage shows not only murder, but bloodlust and conscienceless brutality, so much of it in fact that this became one of the main reasons Chelsea Manning leaked it in the first place. As she said at her court-martial: “The most alarming aspect of the video for me, was the seemingly delight of bloodlust they [the pilots] appeared to have. They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging with, and seemed to not value human life in referring to them as ‘dead bastards,’ and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers.”

The Wikileaks page for the video is here. A transcript is here.

This was done in our name, to “keep us safe.” This continues to be done every day that we and our allies are at “war” in the Middle East.

Bodies pile on bodies as this continues. The least we can do, literally the least, is to witness and acknowledge their deaths.

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The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

Posted by M. C. on June 12, 2019

With 8m documents on its website after years of leaking, the importance of publishing and maintaining source documents for the media, general public and court cases can’t be under-estimated. “I see Wikileaks as a library”, Assange said. “We’re the librarians who can’t say no.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/11/the-ultimate-goal-of-the-nsa-is-total-population-control

At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that’s a ‘totalitarian mentality’

William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.

Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”

He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and told me that he had indirect contact with a number of other NSA employees who felt disgusted with the agency’s work. They’re keen to speak out but fear retribution and exile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely to remain there for some time.

Unlike Snowden, Binney didn’t take any documents with him when he left the NSA. He now says that hard evidence of illegal spying would have been invaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in the Washington Post, detail private conversations of average Americans with no connection to extremism.

It shows that the NSA is not just pursuing terrorism, as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. “The NSA is mass-collecting on everyone”, Binney said, “and it’s said to be about terrorism but inside the US it has stopped zero attacks.”

The lack of official oversight is one of Binney’s key concerns, particularly of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa), which is held out by NSA defenders as a sign of the surveillance scheme’s constitutionality.

“The Fisa court has only the government’s point of view”, he argued. “There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double that globally.”

A Fisa court in 2010 allowed the NSA to spy on 193 countries around the world, plus the World Bank, though there’s evidence that even the nations the US isn’t supposed to monitor – Five Eyes allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aren’t immune from being spied on. It’s why encryption is today so essential to transmit information safely.

Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a “totalitarian mentality” that was the “greatest threat” to US society since that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century…

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Wikileaks Julian Assange: ‘Wednesday Hillary Clinton Is ...

 

 

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Hey Trump: Remember Wikileaks?

Posted by M. C. on June 4, 2019

Let’s hope President Trump recovers from his amnesia – on the campaign trail he praised Wikileaks more than 100 times but now claims to know nothing about them – and orders his Attorney General to stand down. Assange deserves our gratitude, not a lifetime in prison.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/june/03/hey-trump-remember-wikileaks/

Written by Ron Paul

Last week in an episode of my daily Ron Paul Liberty Report we discussed whether the US and British government were actually trying to kill jailed Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. More than seven years ago Assange was granted asylum from the government of Ecuador over fears that espionage charges were being prepared against him by Washington. He spent those years in a small room in the Ecuadorian embassy in London without sunlight. Without fresh air. Without exercise. Without medical treatment.

Assange’s critics mocked him for entering the embassy, saying his fear that the US government would indict him was paranoia. Then the US-controlled International Monetary Fund dangled a four billion dollar loan in front of Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno (elected in 2017, replacing the president who granted him asylum), and Moreno eagerly handed Assange over to British authorities who the same day hauled him before the court to answer for skipping bail. No medical examination after what was seven years of house arrest. Straight to court. He was sentenced to 50 weeks – the maximum sentence.

And what happened while he was serving time in the notorious Belmarsh prison? The Trump Administration decided to go where the Obama Administration before him did not dare to tread: he was indicted on 17 counts under the US Espionage Act and now faces 170 years in prison – or worse – once the formality of his extradition hearing is over. He faces life in prison for acting as a journalist – publishing information about the US government that is clearly in the public interest.

But do they really want to put him up on trial? Read the rest of this entry »

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This is why America is persecuting Julian Assange, by Patrick Cockburn – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2019

Yemeni experts on the conflict say that Houthi arms acquisition today has likewise little to do with Iran. Yemen has always had a flourishing arms black market in which weapons, large and small, can be obtained in almost any quantity if the money is right. Anti-Houthi forces, copiously supplied by Saudi Arabia and UAE, are happy to profit by selling on weapons to the Houthis or anybody else.

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/this-is-why-america-is-persecuting-julian-assange/

However, it was the friendly US official and I who were being naive, forgetting that the real purpose of state secrecy is to enable governments to establish their own self-interested and often mendacious version of the truth by the careful selection of “facts” to be passed on to the public. They feel enraged by any revelation of what they really know, or by any alternative source of information. Such threats to their control of the news agenda must be suppressed where possible and, where not, those responsible must be pursued and punished.

We have had two good examples of the lengths to which a government – in this case that of the US – will go to protect its own tainted version of events. The first is the charging of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act for leaking 750,000 confidential military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

The second example has happened in the last few days. The international media may not have always covered itself in glory in the war in Yemen, but there are brave journalists and news organisations who have done just that. One of them is Yemeni reporter Maad al-Zikry who, along with Maggie Michael and Nariman El-Mofty, is part of an Associated Press (AP) team that won the international reporting Pulitzer prize this year for superb on the ground coverage of the war in Yemen. Their stories included revelations about the US drone strikes in Yemen and about the prisons maintained there by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The US government clearly did not like this type of critical journalism. When the Pulitzer was awarded last Tuesday in New York Zikry was not there because he had been denied a visa to enter the US. There is no longer a US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, but two months ago he made his way to the US embassy in Cairo where his visa application, though fully supported by AP and many other prestigious institutions, was rejected.

After AP had exerted further pressure, Zikry made a second application for a visa and this time he was seen by a Counsellor at the embassy. He reports himself as asking: “Does the US embassy think that a Yemeni investigative journalist doing reporting for AP is a terrorist? Are you saying I am a terrorist?”

The Counsellor said that they would “work” on his visa or, in other words, ask the powers-that-be in Washington what to do. “So, I waited and waited – and waited,” he says. “And, until now I heard nothing from them.”

Of course, Washington is fully capable of waiving any prohibition on the granting of a visa to a Yemeni in a case like this, but it chose not to.

Can what Assange and Wikileaks did in 2010 be compared with what Zikry and AP did in 2019? Some commentators, to their shame, claim that the pursuit of Assange, and his current imprisonment pending possible extradition to the US or Sweden, has nothing to with freedom of expression.

In fact, he was doing what every journalist ought to do and doing it very successfully...

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that Iran has provided the Houthis “with the missile system, the hardware, the military capability” that they have acquired.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that Iran risked a “very strong response” from the US for, among other things, drone attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia for which he holds the Iranians responsible.

These accusations by the US, Saudi Arabia and whoever is their Yemeni ally of the day that the Houthis are stooges of Iran armed with Iranian-supplied weapons has a long history. But what do we know about what Washington really thinks of these allegations which have not changed much over the years?

This where Wikileaks comes to the rescue. Read the rest of this entry »

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BBC, Sky News Have Hidden Their Interviews With UN Expert On The Torture Of Assange – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/02/bbc-sky-news-have-hidden-their-interviews-with-un-expert-on-the-torture-of-assange/

UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer has said that on the 31st of May he gave video interviews with both Sky News and the BBC on his findings that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the victim of psychological torture. As of this writing, footage of those interviews is nowhere to be found.

In response to a smear by virulent empire propagandist Idrees Ahmad about his conducting an interview with RT, Melzer tweeted that he has given interviews to both Sky News and BBC World, but that they seem not to have been aired.

“So the UN rapporteur actually appeared on the Kremlin’s premier propaganda network—yes, the propaganda network of the state that shoots journalists in the face—to discuss Julian Assange’s ‘torture’,” tweeted Ahmad, pretending to be under the illusion that UN experts are meant to remain exclusively loyal to a specific group of nations.

“For the record: On 31 May, I have also given similar exclusive TV interviews to both Sky News and BBC World on Julian Assange, but it seems they decided not to broadcast them,” Melzer responded.

Indeed, there is as of this writing no video footage to be found anywhere of Melzer’s interviews with either of these outlets. If you search for online video footage of Nils Melzer conducting interviews on this subject, you’ll find videos from RT and Ruptly, you’ll find his excellent interview on Democracy Now which we discussed recently, but you won’t find videos from BBC World or Sky News, nor any record of any video interviews ever having been aired.

So appears that these interviews were never aired at all, or, if they were aired, have had any record of them hidden from easy online visibility. In any case, this is a big deal. The BBC published one print article that contains a few small excerpts from a discussion with Melzer, but in terms of impact and quantity of information this comes nowhere close to a televised interview and online video footage.

The idea that anyone from the UN should only be giving interviews to western media outlets is of course ridiculous, and it’s made even more ridiculous by the fact that Melzer has been wide open to speaking with any platform that’s willing to circulate his findings, including my own.

“I stand ready to respond to uncomfortable questions, but then media must also stand ready to publish uncomfortable truths,” Melzer told me via Twitter when asked about the missing footage. He said the interviews were conducted with BBC World and Sky News via Skype, and lasted about five minutes each.

We may be sure that “uncomfortable truths” were indeed what came out in Melzer’s interview. Watch any existing video interview that Melzer has done on this subject and you’ll see how much damning information he packs into each minute of footage. You may also get a pretty strong suspicion of why establishment narrative management firms like the BBC and Sky News may not have wanted to publicize that footage.

“UK’s BBC News and Sky News censored exclusive interviews with UN Torture expert Nils Melzer showing overwhelming evidence that Assange has been deliberately exposed to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” tweeted the Defend Assange campaign in response to Melzer’s post.

“So the BBC and Sky kept the UN’s expert on torture off air, and viewers were denied the chance to hear that, in his expert opinion, the UK state has subjected Julian Assange to torture. I’m struggling to understand how that decision could be justified by any normal news values,” said British journalist Jonathan Cook.

Pressure must be put on these outlets to explain why they didn’t air these exclusive interviews, and they must be forced to give a response. Yes, any response we might get will be mealy-mouthed, they’ll make some huffy noises about limited air time etcetera, but they need to know that people aren’t just watching what they are airing with skepticism, they’re watching what they’re ignoring. When it comes to propaganda, lies by omission are even more pernicious than outright lies because they are difficult to confront.

Don’t let them fool you, this story is big. In terms of newsworthiness, it meets all the criteria and then some. Nils Melzer is great “talent” as they say; he is well spoken and interesting, and he has hugely important things to say about a hugely important situation. There is no reason to bin these interviews other than backroom politics. Demand to know what went on behind closed doors.

Julian Assange has been tortured. His health has been declining dangerously. The US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador and Australia are responsible for this. They did this to him because he published inconvenient facts about the powerful. These are truths. They are uncomfortable truths, but they are truths we all must ingest, process, and respond to.

UPDATE: Melzer reports that Sky News may have aired his interview on television, though it remains hidden online.

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Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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