MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Wikileaks’

Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Dismantles Myths Around Assange

Posted by M. C. on September 18, 2020

https://shadowproof.com/2020/09/16/pentagon-papers-ellsberg-extradition-trial-assange/

Kevin Gosztola

Opponents of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange often hold up Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg as an example of someone who was responsible for a good leak. They insist WikiLeaks is not like the Pentagon Papers because supposedly Assange was reckless with sensitive documents.

On the seventh day of an extradition trial against Assange, Ellsberg dismantled this false narrative and outlined for a British magistrate court why Assange would not receive a fair trial in the United States.

Assange is accused of 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.

The charges criminalize the act of merely receiving classified information, as well as the publication of state secrets from the United States government. It targets common practices in news gathering, which is why the case is widely opposed by press freedom organizations throughout the world.

James Lewis, a prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service who represents the U.S. government, told Ellsberg, “When you published the Pentagon Papers, you were very careful in what you provided to the media.”

The lead prosecutor highlighted the fact that Ellsberg withheld four volumes of the Pentagon Papers that he did not want published because they may have impacted diplomatic efforts to end the Vietnam War. However, Ellsberg’s decision to withhold those volumes had nothing to do with protecting the names of U.S. intelligence sources.

As Ellsberg described for the court, the 4,000 pages of documents he disclosed to the media contained thousands of names of Americans, Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese. There was even a clandestine CIA officer, who was named.

Nowhere in the Pentagon Papers was an “adequate justification for the killing that we were doing,” Ellsberg said. “I was afraid if I redacted or withheld anything at all it would be inferred I left out” the good reasons why the U.S. was pursuing the Vietnam War.

Ellsberg was concerned about revealing the name of a clandestine CIA officer, though he mentioned the individual was well-known in South Vietnam. Had he published the name of the officer today, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act could have easily been used to prosecute him. But he left it in the documents so no one could make inferences about redacted sections that may undermine what he exposed.

Like Assange, Ellsberg wanted the public to have a complete record.

This did not exactly distinguish Ellsberg from Assange so Lewis explicitly highlighted an article, “Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike The Pentagon Papers,” by attorney Floyd Abrams, which he wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

Abrams was one of the attorneys who represented the New York Times in the civil case that argued the government should not be able to block the media organization from publishing the Pentagon Papers. And like Lewis, Abrams fixated on the four volumes that were kept confidential.

Ellsberg insisted Abrams was “mistaken.” He never had any discussion with Ellsberg while defending the right to publish before the Supreme Court so Ellsberg said Abrams could not possibly understand his motives very well.

In the decades since the Pentagon Papers were disclosed, Ellsberg shared how he faced a “great deal” of defamation and then “neglect” to someone who was mentioned as a “clear patriot.” He was used as a “foil” against new revelations from WikiLeaks, “which were supposedly very different.” Such a distinction is “misleading in terms of motive and effect.”

Ellsberg noted Assange withheld 15,000 files from the release of the Afghanistan War Logs. He also requested assistance from the State Department and the Defense Department on redacting names, but they refused to help WikiLeaks redact a single document, even though it is a standard journalistic practice to consult officials to minimize harm.

“I have no doubt that Julian would have removed those names,” Ellsberg declared. Both the State and Defense Departments could have helped WikiLeaks remove the names of individuals, who prosecutors insist were negatively impacted.

Yet, rather than take steps to protect individuals, Ellsberg suggested these government agencies chose to “preserve the possibility of charging Mr Assange with precisely the charges” he faces now.

Not a single person has been identified by the U.S. government when they talk about deaths, physical harm, or incarceration that were linked to the WikiLeaks publications.

The lead prosecutor asked Ellsberg if it was his view that any harm to individuals was the fault of the American government for letting Assange publish material without redactions.

Ellsberg indicated they bear “heavy responsibility.”
Lewis attempted to trap Ellsberg into conceding Assange had engaged in conduct that resulted in grave harm to vulnerable individuals. He read multiple sections of an affidavit from Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg, who is in the Eastern District of Virginia where Assange was indicted.

It covered a laundry list of allegations: they named local Afghans and Iraqis that were providing information to coalition forces, forced journalists and religious leaders to flee, led to harassment of Chinese academics labeled as “rats,” fueled violent threats against people who met with U.S. embassy staff, resulted in Iranians being identified and outed, and spurred violence by the Taliban.

“How can you say honestly and in an unbiased way that there is no evidence that WikiLeaks put anyone in danger?” Lewis asked.

Ellsberg told Lewis he found the government’s assertions to be “highly cynical.” He invited Lewis to correct him if he was wrong, but it is his understanding that no one actually suffered harm as a result of these threats. “Did one of them suffer the carrying out of these threats?”

Lewis replied the rules are you don’t get to ask the questions. He tried to move on as Ellsberg insisted he be allowed to provide the rest of his answer, but Judge Vanessa Baraitser would not let Ellsberg complete his response.

It deeply upset Assange, who spoke from inside the glass box where he sits each day. Baraitser reminded him not to interrupt proceedings as Edward Fitzgerald, a defense attorney, attempted to convince the court that Ellsberg should be able to finish his answer.

Lewis continued, “Is it your position there was absolutely no danger caused by publishing the unredacted names of these informants?”

In response, Ellsberg said the U.S. government is “extremely cynical in pretending its concerned for these people.” It has displayed “contempt for Middle Easterners” throughout the last 19 years.

As Lewis insisted one had to conclude Iraqis, Afghans, or Syrians named in the WikiLeaks publications were murdered or forced to flee, Ellsberg refused to accept this presumption.

“I’m sorry, sir, but it doesn’t seem to be at all obvious that this small fraction of people that have been murdered in the course of both sides of conflicts can be attributed to WikiLeaks disclosures,” Ellsberg stated.

If the Taliban had disappeared someone, Ellsberg said that would be a seriously harmful consequence. “I am not aware of one single instance in the last 10 years.”

At no point did the lead prosecutor offer any specific example of a death, and so the record remains as it has been since Chelsea Manning was put on trial. The government has no evidence that anyone was ever killed as a result of transparency forced by WikiLeaks.

Ellsberg informed the court his motive was no different from Assange’s motive. The Espionage Act charges that Assange faces are not meaningfully different either. And, in fact, he faced efforts by the government to wiretap and incapacitate him just like Assange did while in the Ecuador embassy in London.

Ellsberg recalled that he did not tell the public what led him to disclose the Pentagon Papers because he expected to be able to testify about his motive during his trial.

When his lawyer asked him why he copied the Pentagon Papers, the prosecution immediately objected. Each time his lawyer tried to rephrase the question, the court refused to permit him to tell the jury “why he had done what he’d done.”

Federal courts continue to handle Espionage Act cases in the same manner. “The notion of motive or extenuating circumstances is irrelevant,” Ellsberg added.

“The meaning of which is I did not get a fair trial, despite a very intelligent and conscientious judge. No one since me has had a fair trial.”

“Julian Assange could not get a remotely fair trial under those charges in the United States,” Ellsberg concluded.

Photo of Daniel Ellsberg by Christopher Michel

***

[NOTE: John Goetz, an investigative journalist who worked for Der Spiegel in 2010-2011, gave crucial testimony on German citizen Khaled el-Masri, who the CIA kidnapped and tortured. He described how WikiLeaks disclosures helped El-Masri and provided support for a statement El-Masri has submitted to the court. When El-Masri’s statement is read into the record or made public, I will cover this important aspect of the extradition trial in full.]

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

News Media Who Ignore The Assange Trial Are Admitting They Don’t Care About Journalism – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on September 17, 2020

Now that it is out in the open that the US government plans to prosecute any journalist anywhere in the world who it deems to have committed “disclosure of secrets which harm the national interest” (which in Assange’s case means exposing US war crimes), anyone on earth who actually plans on doing real journalism which holds real power to account is at risk.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/09/17/news-media-who-ignore-the-assange-trial-are-admitting-they-dont-care-about-journalism/

The Sydney Morning Herald just published an article titled “Julian Assange interrupts extradition hearing again” about the WikiLeaks founder’s correct interjection that he never put anyone’s lives in danger with the publication of the Manning leaks a decade ago.

It’s actually a rather shocking smear piece for the SMH, who has been one of the better Australian publications at giving Assange a fair hearing over the years. The article’s author Latika Bourke spends an inordinate amount of time waxing on about Assange’s naughty “outburst” and how he was reprimanded for it by the judge, telling readers that the prosecution “separates Assange from the press which also published information revealed by WikiLeaks but without naming journalists, human rights advocates and dissidents who were informing on their governments and repressive regimes”, and bringing up Osama bin Laden’s possession of WikiLeaks documents apropos of precisely nothing.

At no time does Bourke (who has been a regular smearer of Assange) bother to provide the reader with any of the readily available information showing that Assange never caused anyone harm and was not responsible for the unredacted documents being made public. She weaves a narrative about Assange being badly behaved in the courtroom, insinuates that the accusations he objected to could be true to the furthest extent possible without actually making a claim that would need to be retracted, and gets out.

 

And unfortunately this drivel is more or less typical of the coverage Assange’s historic, world-shaping extradition trial has been receiving from the mass media since it resumed this month. To the extent that they report on the trial at all, mainstream news outlets have mostly limited their coverage to trivialities like trouble with courtroom audio equipment or postponement due to a coronavirus scare. No mainstream outlet has been covering this immensely important trial in-depth to anywhere near the extent that former UK ambassador Craig Murray has been doing every night, or explaining to their audience the significance of a precedent which will allow journalists all over the world to be extradited and jailed for exposing embarrassing truths about the US government.

This dereliction of journalistic responsibility was damning enough back when the prosecution was trying to argue that Assange doesn’t have First Amendment protections because he was engaged in espionage and not journalistic behavior. But now that the prosecution has pivoted to arguing that it doesn’t matter that Assange is a journalist because the US government is allowed to imprison people for journalism, this dereliction of duty has become far more pronounced.

Murray writes the following in his latest update:

The prosecution’s line represented a radical departure from their earlier approach which was to claim that Julian Assange is not a journalist and to try and distinguish between his behaviour and that of newspapers. In the first three days of evidence, legal experts had stated that this gloss on the prosecution did not stand up to investigation of the actual charges in the indictment. Experts in journalism also testified that Assange’s relationship with Manning was not materially different from cultivation and encouragement by other journalists of official sources to leak.

 

By general consent, those first evidence days had gone badly for the prosecution. There was then a timeout for (ahem) suspected Covid among the prosecution team. The approach has now changed and on Tuesday a radically more aggressive approach was adopted by the prosecution asserting the right to prosecute all journalists and all media who publish classified information under the Espionage Act (1917).

 

The purpose of the earlier approach was plainly to reduce media support for Assange by differentiating him from other journalists. It had become obvious such an approach ran a real risk of failure, if it could be proved that Assange is a journalist, which line was going well for the defence. So now we have “any journalist can be prosecuted for publishing classified information” as the US government line. I strongly suspect that they have decided they do not have to mitigate against media reaction, as the media is paying no attention to this hearing anyway.

 

Murray’s subsequent breakdown of the prosecution’s arguments makes it clear that he was not over-selling this change in strategy. His notes on attorney for the prosecution James Lewis’ arguments contain lines as blatant as “There are Supreme Court judgements that make it clear that at times the government’s interest in national security must override the First Amendment” and “serial, continuing disclosure of secrets which harm the national interest cannot be justified. It therefore follows that journalists can be prosecuted” in arguing against witness testimony that Assange’s publishing behavior should be protected by the First Amendment.

“The United States Supreme Court has never held that a journalist cannot be prosecuted for publishing national defence information,” Murray reports Lewis argued.

So that’s the precedent the prosecution is setting now. No longer “We can extradite and imprison Assange because he isn’t a journalist”, but “We can extradite and imprison Assange because we’re allowed to extradite and imprison journalists.”

The argument that Assange isn’t a journalist has always been transparently false, whether made in the courtroom or in the court of public opinion. Publishing important information so that the public can understand what’s going on in their world is exactly the thing that journalism is. All WikiLeaks publications have included extensive written analyses of their contents, and its staff have received many esteemed awards for journalism.

 

But the fact that the prosecution is no longer even attempting to argue against the journalistic nature of the actions they are attempting to criminalize means they have ceased trying to pretend that they are not waging a war against worldwide press freedoms. Which means that all journalists and news media outlets have lost their last excuse for not condemning Assange’s persecution with great force and urgency.

Now that it is out in the open that the US government plans to prosecute any journalist anywhere in the world who it deems to have committed “disclosure of secrets which harm the national interest” (which in Assange’s case means exposing US war crimes), anyone on earth who actually plans on doing real journalism which holds real power to account is at risk. If someone isn’t using whatever platform they can to denounce Assange’s persecution, they are showing the world that they have no interest in ever doing real journalism which holds real power to account.

News reporters and news outlets are showing us what they are right at this moment. If they are not speaking out for Assange’s freedom right now they are telling you that his persecution poses no threat to them. They are telling you that they never plan on doing anything that might hold power to account with the light of truth. They are telling you that they will side with power every time. They are telling you they are propagandists.

The prosecution’s new line of argumentation should have drawn massive headlines from all the major news outlets who’ve been bloviating about the dangers posed by Trump’s war on the press with flamboyant preening and self-aggrandizement. Instead they are silent, because they do not care.

To quote Maya Angelou, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

_________________________

Feature image by Garry Knight.

Thanks for reading! 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 at  or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on , following my antics on throwing some money into my tip jar on  or , purchasing some of my , buying my books  and . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, . Everyone, racist platforms excluded,  to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE STALINIST TRIAL OF JULIAN ASSANGE. WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2020

The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its founder. Page after page revealed a coming war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and democracy.

The imperial shock troops would be those who called themselves journalists: the big hitters of the so-called mainstream, especially the “liberals” who mark and patrol the perimeters of dissent.

http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-stalinist-trial-of-julian-assange-whose-side-are-you-on-

John Pilger

JAgag.jpg

When I first met Julian Assange more than ten years ago, I asked him why he had started WikiLeaks. He replied: “Transparency and accountability are moral issues that must be the essence of public life and journalism.”

I had never heard a publisher or an editor invoke morality in this way. Assange believes that journalists are the agents of people, not power: that we, the people, have a right to know about the darkest secrets of those who claim to act in our name.

If the powerful lie to us, we have the right to know. If they say one thing in private and the opposite in public, we have the right to know. If they conspire against us, as Bush and Blair did over Iraq, then pretend to be democrats, we have the right to know.

It is this morality of purpose that so threatens the collusion of powers that want to plunge much of the world into war and wants to bury Julian alive in Trumps fascist America.

In 2008, a top secret US State Department report described in detail how the United States would combat this new moral threat. A secretly-directed personal smear campaign against Julian Assange would lead to “exposure [and] criminal prosecution”.

The aim was to silence and criminalise WikiLeaks and its founder. Page after page revealed a coming war on a single human being and on the very principle of freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and democracy.

The imperial shock troops would be those who called themselves journalists: the big hitters of the so-called mainstream, especially the “liberals” who mark and patrol the perimeters of dissent.

And that is what happened. I have been a reporter for more than 50 years and I have never known a smear campaign like it: the fabricated character assassination of a man who refused to join the club: who believed journalism was a service to the public, never to those above.

Assange shamed his persecutors. He produced scoop after scoop. He exposed the fraudulence of wars promoted by the media and the homicidal nature of America’s wars, the corruption of dictators, the evils of Guantanamo.

He forced us in the West to look in the mirror. He exposed the official truth-tellers in the media as collaborators: those I would call Vichy journalists. None of these imposters believed Assange when he warned that his life was in danger: that the “sex scandal” in Sweden was a set up and an American hellhole was the ultimate destination. And he was right, and repeatedly right.

The extradition hearing in London this week is the final act of an Anglo-American campaign to bury Julian Assange. It is not due process. It is due revenge. The American indictment is clearly rigged, a demonstrable sham. So far, the hearings have been reminiscent of their Stalinist equivalents during the Cold War.

Today, the land that gave us Magna Carta, Great Britain, is distinguished by the abandonment of its own sovereignty in allowing a malign foreign power to manipulate justice and by the vicious psychological torture of Julian – a form of torture, as Nils Melzer, the UN expert has pointed out, that was refined by the Nazis because it was most effective in breaking its victims.

Every time I have visited Assange in Belmarsh prison, I have seen the effects of this torture. When I last saw him, he had lost more than 10 kilos in weight; his arms had no muscle. Incredibly, his wicked sense of humour was intact.

As for Assange’s homeland, Australia has displayed only a cringeing cowardice as its government has secretly conspired against its own citizen who ought to be celebrated as a national hero. Not for nothing did George W. Bush anoint the Australian prime minister his “deputy sheriff”.

It is said that whatever happens to Julian Assange in the next three weeks will diminish if not destroy freedom of the press in the West. But which press? The Guardian? The BBC, The New York Times, the Jeff Bezos Washington Post?

No, the journalists in these organisations can breathe freely. The Judases on the Guardian who flirted with Julian, exploited his landmark work, made their pile then betrayed him, have nothing to fear. They are safe because they are needed.

Freedom of the press now rests with the honourable few: the exceptions, the dissidents on the internet who belong to no club, who are neither rich nor laden with Pulitzers, but produce fine, disobedient, moral journalism – those like Julian Assange.

Meanwhile, it is our responsibility to stand by a true journalist whose sheer courage ought to be inspiration to all of us who still believe that freedom is possible. I salute him.

Follow John Pilger on twitter @johnpilger

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Journalism’s New Propaganda Tool: Using ‘Confirmed’ to Mean its Opposite

Posted by M. C. on September 6, 2020

But what is clear is that the “confirmation” which both MSNBC and CBS claimed it had obtained for the story was anything but: all that happened was that the same sources which anonymously whispered these unverified, false claims to CNN then went and repeated the same unverified, false claims to other outlets, which then claimed that they “independently confirmed” the story even though they had done nothing of the sort.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/september/05/journalism-s-new-propaganda-tool-using-confirmed-to-mean-its-opposite/

Written by Glenn Greenwald

One of the most humiliating journalism debacles of the Trump era played out on December 8, 2017, first on CNN and then on MSNBC. The spectacle kicked off on that Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. when CNN, deploying its most melodramatic music and graphics designed to convey that a real bombshell was about to be dropped, announced that anonymous sources had provided the network with a smoking gun proving the Trump/Russia conspiracy once and for all: during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump, Jr. had received a September 4 email with a secret encryption key that gave him advanced access to WikiLeaks’ servers containing the DNC emails which the group would subsequently release to the public ten days later. Cable news and online media spontaneously combusted, as is their wont, in shock, hysteria and awe over this proof that WikiLeaks and Trump were in cahoots.

CNN has ensured that no videos of the festivities are available on YouTube for anyone to watch. That’s because the claim was completely false in its most crucial respect. CNN misreported the date of the smoking gun email Trump, Jr. received: rather than being sent to him on September 4 — ten days prior to WikiLeaks’ public release, thus enabling secret access — the email was merely sent by a random member of the public after the public release by WikiLeaks (September 14), encouraging Trump, Jr. to look at those now-public emails.

Though the original false report cannot be viewed any longer (except in small snippets from other networks, principally Fox, discussing CNN’s debacle), one can view the cringe-inducing video of CNN’s Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju explaining, after the Washington Post debunked the story, that “we are actually correcting” the reporting, doing his best to downplay what a massive blunder this was (though the whole thing is fantastic, my favorite line is when Raju says, with no small amount of understatement: “this appears to change the understanding of this story,” followed by: “perhaps the initial understanding of what this email was, perhaps is not as significant based on what we know now”: perhaps):

The CNN page which originally published the blockbuster story contains this rather significant correction at the top:

Washington (CNN) Correction: This story has been corrected to say the date of the email was September 14, 2016, not September 4, 2016. The story also changed the headline and removed a tweet from Donald Trump Jr., who posted a message about WikiLeaks on September 4, 2016.

So mistakes happen in journalism, even huge and embarrassing ones. Other than some petty schadenfreude, why is this worth remembering? The reason is that that sorry episode reflects a now-common but highly corrosive tactic of journalistic deceit.

Very shortly after CNN unveiled its false story, MSNBC’s intelligence community spokesman Ken Dilanian went on air and breathlessly announced that he had obtained independent confirmation that the CNN story was true. In a video segment I cannot recommend highly enough, Dilanian was introduced by an incredibly excited Hallie Jackson — who urged Dilanian to “tell us what we’ve just now learned,” adding: “I know you and some of our colleagues have confirmed some of this information: what’s up?” Dilanian then proceeded to explain what he had learned:

That’s right, Hallie. Two sources with direct knowledge of this are telling us that Congressional investigators have obtained an email from a man named “Mike Erickson” — obviously they don’t know if that’s his real name — offering Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr. access to WikiLeaks documents… It goes to the heart of the collusion question….. One of the big questions is: did [Trump Jr.] call the FBI?

undefined

How could that happen? How could MSNBC purport to confirm a false story from CNN? Shortly after, CBS News also purported to have “confirmed” the same false story: that Trump, Jr. received advanced access to the WikiLeaks documents. It’s one thing for a news outlet to make a mistake in reporting by, for instance, mis-reporting the date of an email and thus getting the story completely wrong. But how is it possible that multiple other outlets could “confirm” the same false report?

It’s possible because news outlets have completely distorted the term “confirmation” beyond all recognition. Indeed, they now use it to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means, thereby draping themselves in journalistic glory they have not earned and, worse, deceiving the public into believing that an unproven assertion has, in fact, been proven. With this disinformation method, they are doing the exact opposite of what journalism, at its core, is supposed to do: separate fact from speculation.

CNN ultimately blamed its anonymous sources for this error, but refused to out them by insisting that it was a somehow a good faith mistake rather than deliberate disinformation (how did multiple “good faith” sources all “accidentally misread” an email date in the same way? CNN, in the spirit of news outlets refusing to provide the accountability and transparency for themselves that they demand from others, refuses to this very day to address that question).

But what is clear is that the “confirmation” which both MSNBC and CBS claimed it had obtained for the story was anything but: all that happened was that the same sources which anonymously whispered these unverified, false claims to CNN then went and repeated the same unverified, false claims to other outlets, which then claimed that they “independently confirmed” the story even though they had done nothing of the sort.

undefined

It seems the same misleading tactic is now driving the supremely dumb but all-consuming news cycle centered on whether President Trump, as first reported by the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, made disparaging comments about The Troops. Goldberg claims that “four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day” — whom the magazine refuses to name because they fear “angry tweets” — told him that Trump made these comments. Trump, as well as former aides who were present that day (including Sarah Huckabee Sanders and John Bolton), deny that the report is accurate.

So we have anonymous sources making claims on one side, and Trump and former aides (including Bolton, now a harsh Trump critic) insisting that the story is inaccurate. Beyond deciding whether or not to believe Goldberg’s story based on what best advances one’s political interests, how can one resolve the factual dispute? If other media outlets could confirm the original claims from Goldberg, that would obviously be a significant advancement of the story.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks’ Assange | TheHill

Posted by M. C. on June 25, 2020

“The Trump DOJ’s attempt to imprison Julian Assange for working with his source to publish classified documents that exposed US war crimes is the most severe US threat to press freedom since 2016,” Greenwald tweeted. “It’s sickening to watch so many journalists ignore it, & so many liberals cheer it.”

What is the point? The plan is to have Assange die in jail.

Like with Bin Laden, you can’t have people who know too much to do any talking.

https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/504434-justice-department-announces-superseding-indictment-against-wikileaks

The Justice Department on Wednesday announced a superseding indictment in the case against WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, alleging that he intentionally worked with hackers affiliated with groups “LulzSec” and “Anonymous” to target and publish sensitive information.

The new indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., did not add any charges to the existing 18 charges brought against Assange last year, but alleged that Assange and WikiLeaks actively recruited hackers to provide WikiLeaks with documents.

Assange is alleged to have provided the leader of hacking group “LulzSec” with a list of groups to target in 2012 in order to obtain information to post to the WikiLeaks platform.

The new indictment alleges that in one case, Assange gave the LulzSec leader specific documents and pdfs to target and sent to WikiLeaks, and WikiLeaks eventually published information obtained from an American intelligence company by a hacker associated with LulzSec and with Anonymous.

“To obtain information to release on the WikiLeaks website, Assange recruited sources and predicted the success of WikiLeaks in part upon the recruitment of sources to illegally circumvent legal safeguards on information, including classification restrictions and computer and network restrictions,” the indictment reads, noting this was done with the intent to publish the information online.

The 18 charges unveiled last year alleged that Assange worked with former Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010 to obtain and disclose sensitive “national defense information” through conspiring to crack a password tied to a Department of Defense computer.

WikiLeaks has published thousands of pages of material obtained from Manning, including details around Guantanamo Bay detainees and combat guidelines concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If convicted, Assange faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of the existing 18 charges brought against him except for alleged conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, for which Assange could face up to five years in prison.

Assange is currently detained in the United Kingdom after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he took refuge for several years. The U.S. has requested Assange’s extradition.

Manning was freed from prison in March after being jailed since May, 2019 for refusing to appear before the grand jury involved in the indictment against Assange.

A federal judge ruled that her testimony was unnecessary, but ordered her to pay a fine of $256,000. The ruling came the day after reports emerged that Manning had attempted suicide while in custody.

The earlier charges brought against Assange and Manning ignited a debate over the publication of classified materials, and whether the case could produce a chilling effect on journalists who publish these documents.

Glenn Greenwald, co-founding editor of The Intercept, tweeted Wednesday following the superseding charges being made public that the charges constituted a “severe” threat to press freedom.

“The Trump DOJ’s attempt to imprison Julian Assange for working with his source to publish classified documents that exposed US war crimes is the most severe US threat to press freedom since 2016,” Greenwald tweeted. “It’s sickening to watch so many journalists ignore it, & so many liberals cheer it.”

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The CIA Can’t Protect Its Own Hacking Tools. Why Should We Trust Government Privacy and Security Proposals? – Reason.com

Posted by M. C. on June 24, 2020

It gets worse. Because the CIA servers lacked activity monitoring and audit capabilities, the agency did not even realize it was hacked until Wikileaks publicly announced it in March of 2017.

https://reason.com/2020/06/23/the-cia-cant-protect-its-own-hacking-tools-why-should-we-trust-government-privacy-and-security-proposals/

The very idea that our intelligence agencies could keep encryption bypasses secret is absurd.

We are often told that law enforcement must have a way to get around strong encryption technologies in order to catch bad guys. Such a “backdoor” into security techniques would only be used when necessary and would be closely guarded so it would not fall into the wrong hands, the story goes.

The intelligence community does not yet have a known custom-built backdoor into encryption. But intelligence agencies do hold a trove of publicly unknown vulnerabilities, called “zero days,” they use to obtain hard-to-get data. One would hope that government agencies, especially those explicitly dedicated to security, could adequately protect these potent weapons.

A recently released 2017 DOJ investigation into a breach of the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence’s (CCI) “Vault 7” hacking tools publicized in 2016 suggests that might be too big of an ask. Not only was the CCI found to be more interested in “building up cyber tools than keeping them secure,” the nation’s top spy agency routinely made rookie security mistakes that ultimately allowed personnel to leak the goods to Wikileaks.

The released portions of the report are frankly embarrassing. The CCI cyber arsenal was not appropriately compartmentalized, users routinely shared admin-level passwords without oversight, there seemed to be little controls over what content users could access, and data was stored and available to all users indefinitely. No wonder there was a breach.

It gets worse. Because the CIA servers lacked activity monitoring and audit capabilities, the agency did not even realize it was hacked until Wikileaks publicly announced it in March of 2017. As the report notes, if the hack was the result of a hostile foreign government like, say, China, the CIA might still be in the dark about the hack. Might there be other unknown breaches that fit this bill?

The report recommended several measures the CIA should take to shore up its internal defenses. Among the few that were not redacted: do a better job of protecting zero days and vetting personnel. Okay, so don’t make all of the same mistakes again: got it.

Well, it looks like even this goal was too ambitious for the CIA. Intelligence gadfly Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.), who first publicized the report, wrote a letter Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe stating that “the intelligence community is still lagging behind” three years after the report was first published. He demanded public answers for outstanding security problems in the intelligence community, such as a lack of basic practices like multi-factor and email authentication protocols.

What a snafu. It is absurd enough that the CIA of all places cannot even implement basic password protection programs. But when intelligence hacking units cannot even manage to protect its own hacking tools, our troubles multiply.

The CIA is unfortunately not uniquely incompetent among the intelligence community. The National Security Agency (NSA) found itself the victim of a similar zero day link in the 2016 Shadow Brokers dump. These are just two incidents that the public knows about. A culture of lax security practices invites attacks from all kinds of actors. We don’t know how many times such hacking tools may have been discovered by more secretive outfits.

Many policy implications follow. There is a strong case to be made that intelligence agencies should not hoard zero-day vulnerabilities at all but should report them to the appropriate body for quick patching. This limits their toolkit, but it makes everyone safer overall. Of course, foreign and other hostile entities are unlikely to unilaterally disarm in this way.

The intelligence community supposedly has a process for vetting which zero days should be reported and which are appropriate to keep secret, called the Vulnerabilities Equities Process (VEP). Agencies must describe a vulnerability to a board who decides whether it’s dangerous enough to need patching or useful enough for spying purposes.

For example, a vulnerability in some technology that is only used in China would probably be kept for operations. Theoretically, a vulnerability in some technology that is widely-used in the United States would be reported for fixing to keep Americans safe. As these incidents show, this does not always happen.

The VEP process is clearly insufficient, given these high-profile breaches. The very least the intelligence community can do is appropriately secure the bugs they’ve got. Efforts like Wyden’s seek to impose more accountability on these practices.

There’s a more general lesson about government efforts to improve security and privacy as well.

As implied earlier, we should strongly resist government efforts to compromise encryption in the name of law enforcement or anything else. Some of the most technically savvy government bodies cannot even secure the secret weapons they have not advertised. Can you imagine the attack vectors if they publicly attain some master encryption-breaking technique?

It also demonstrates the weaknesses of many top-down proposals to promote privacy or security. Government plans often attempt to sketch out master checklists that must be followed perfectly on all levels to work well. They can be time-consuming and burdensome, which means that personnel often cut corners and shirk accountability. Then when disaster inevitably strikes, the conclusion is that “people didn’t stick to the plan hard enough,” not that the plan was generally unrealistic to start.

There isn’t a lot that the public can do about seemingly out-of-control intelligence agencies failing to secure potent cyberweapons beyond making a fuss. “National security” and all that. But it does give us a powerful argument against granting more power to these insecure intelligence bodies to break strong encryption. Governments can’t even protect their secret cyber weapons. They almost certainly will not be able to protect a known backdoor into encryption.

Be seeing you

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Patrick Cockburn · Julian Assange in Limbo · LRB 18 June 2020

Posted by M. C. on June 17, 2020

The creeping suppression of press freedom in Hungary and India is frequently criticised by the Western commentariat. But, as Glenn Greenwald has pointed out in the Intercept, Western media have ‘largely ignored what is, by far, the single greatest attack on press freedoms by the US government in the last decade at least: the prosecution and attempted extradition of Julian Assange for alleged crimes arising out of WikiLeaks’s ... publication – in conjunction with the world’s largest newspapers – of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and US diplomatic cables’. They couldn’t jail the editor of the New York Times so they pursued Assange instead.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n12/patrick-cockburn/julian-assange-in-limbo

Patrick Cockburn

Julian Assange​ was running WikiLeaks in 2010 when it released a vast hoard of US government documents revealing details of American political, military and diplomatic operations. With extracts published by the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El País, the archive provided deeper insight into the international workings of the US state than anything seen since Daniel Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers to the media in 1971. But today Ellsberg is celebrated as the patron saint of whistleblowers while Assange is locked in a cell in London’s Belmarsh maximum security prison for 23 and a half hours a day. In this latest phase of the American authorities’ ten-year pursuit of Assange, he is fighting extradition to the US. Court hearings to determine whether the extradition request will be granted have been delayed until September by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the US he faces one charge of computer hacking and 17 counts under the Espionage Act of 1917. If he is convicted, the result could be a prison sentence of 175 years.

I was in Kabul when I first heard about the WikiLeaks revelations, which confirmed much of what I and other reporters suspected, or knew but could not prove, about US activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. The trove was immense: some 251,287 diplomatic cables, more than 400,000 classified army reports from the Iraq War and 90,000 from the war in Afghanistan. Rereading these documents now I’m struck again by the constipated military-bureaucratic prose, with its sinister, dehumanising acronyms. Killing people is referred to as an EOF (‘Escalation of Force’), something that happened frequently at US military checkpoints when nervous US soldiers directed Iraqi drivers to stop or go with complex hand signals that nobody understood. What this could mean for Iraqis is illustrated by brief military reports such as the one headed ‘Escalation of Force by 3/8 NE Fallujah: I CIV KIA, 4 CIV WIA’. Decoded, it describes the moment when a woman in a car was killed and her husband and three daughters wounded at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Fallujah, forty miles west of Baghdad. The US marine on duty opened fire because he was ‘unable to determine the occupants of the vehicle due to the reflection of the sun coming off the windshield’. Another report marks the moment when US soldiers shot dead a man who was ‘creeping up behind their sniper position’, only to learn later that he was their own unit’s interpreter.

These reports are the small change of war. But collectively they convey its reality far better than even the most well-informed journalistic accounts. Those two shootings were a thousand times repeated, though the reports were rare in admitting that the victims were civilians. More usually, the dead were automatically identified as ‘terrorists’ caught in the act, regardless of evidence to the contrary. The most famous of the WikiLeaks discoveries concerned an event in Baghdad on 12 July 2007 during which the US military claimed to have killed a dozen terrorists. But the incident had been filmed by the gun camera of the US Apache helicopter that had carried out the shootings, and the people it targeted were all civilians. Much was known about the killings because among the dead were two local journalists working for Reuters. It was known, too, that such a video existed, but the Pentagon refused to release it despite a Freedom of Information Act request. Appalled by what the video revealed about the way the US was conducting its war on terror, and appalled by the contents of the thousands of reports and cables it was stored alongside, a junior US intelligence analyst called Bradley Manning, who later changed her legal gender and became Chelsea Manning, released the entire archive to WikiLeaks.

The video still has the power to shock. The two helicopter pilots exchange banter about the slaughter in the street below: ‘Ha, ha, I hit them,’ one says. ‘Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards,’ the other says. They have mistaken the camera held by one of the journalists for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, unlikely though it was that armed insurgents would stand in the open in Baghdad with a US helicopter hovering overhead. They shoot again at the wounded as one of them, probably the Reuters assistant Saeed Chmagh, crawls towards a van that has stopped to rescue them. When the pilots are told over the radio that they have killed a number of Iraqi civilians and wounded two children, one of them says: ‘Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into the battle.’

The WikiLeaks documents exposed the way the US, as the world’s sole superpower, really conducted its wars – something that the military and political establishments saw as a blow to their credibility and legitimacy. There were some devastating revelations, the helicopter video among them, but many of the secrets uncovered weren’t particularly significant or indeed very secret. In themselves they don’t explain the degree of rage WikiLeaks provoked in the US government and its allies. This was a response to Assange’s assault on their monopoly control of sensitive state information, which they saw as an essential prop to their authority. Making such information public, as Assange and WikiLeaks had done, weaponised freedom of expression: if disclosures of this kind went unpunished and became the norm, it would radically shift the balance of power between government and society – and especially the media – in favour of the latter. It is the US government’s determination to defend its ongoing monopoly, rather than the supposed damage done by the release of the secrets themselves, that has motivated it to pursue Assange and to seek to discredit both him and WikiLeaks.

This campaign has been unrelenting and has had a fair measure of success, despite the fact that most of the charges made against Assange are demonstrably untrue. Regarding the release of documents, there were two lines of attack. First, Assange and WikiLeaks were accused of revealing information that endangered or led to the deaths of Americans or their allies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Second, they were accused of having injured the US state in general through activities amounting to espionage, which should be punished as such. Much more damaging to Assange, however, and to the whole WikiLeaks project, were the allegations of rape made against him in Sweden, also in 2010. This led to a prosecutorial investigation lasting nearly ten years, which was dropped three times and three times restarted before finally being abandoned last November as the statute of limitations approached, beyond which no charges could be brought.

The result is that Assange has become a pariah. Lost is the fact that he and WikiLeaks did what all journalists should do, which is to make important information available to the public, enabling people to make evidence-based judgments about the world around them and, in particular, about the actions of their governments. Given the constant drum beat of attacks on Assange from so many directions it can be hard to remember that in 2010 WikiLeaks won a great victory for freedom of expression and against state secrecy, and that the US government and its allies have made every effort to reverse it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Exclusive images from inside British court expose Assange’s un-democratic treatment, physical deterioration | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on June 1, 2020

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/05/29/british-court-assanges-physical-deterioration/

By Max Blumenthal

Photographs surreptitiously taken inside a British courtroom and provided to The Grayzone show a visibly disoriented Julian Assange confined to a glass cage and unable to communicate with his lawyers.

Photographs taken inside London’s Woolwich Crown Court and provided exclusively to The Grayzone highlight the un-democratic measures the British security state has imposed on jailed Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange.

Captured during Assange’s extradition hearing, which took place between February 24 and 28, the images highlight the confinement Assange has been subjected to, as well as the physical deterioration he has experienced since he was arrested in April 2019 and jailed in a maximum security prison.

On February 26, Judge Vanessa Baraitser vowed to hold anyone in contempt of court for taking photographs. However, an observer had taken several photos a day before the judge’s warning.

Anonymous Scandinavia, a Sweden-based group of Wikileaks supporters, provided the photos to The Grayzone in order to expose what they considered to be the state repression of an investigative journalist.

The images show Assange confined to a glass cage, physically sequestered from his legal team, and unable to follow his own trial.

Throughout the hearing, Assange protested his isolation, complaining to Judge Baraitser, “I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am at Wimbledon. I cannot communicate with my lawyers or ask them for clarifications.” He told members of his legal team he was unable to hear from inside the glass cage.

Below, a seemingly dejected Assange can be seen gazing through the bulletproof glass panes at two of his lawyers, Stella Morris and Baltazar Garzon.

In a heartfelt video testimonial released this April, Morris disclosed that she was the mother of two infant sons with Assange.

Throughout 2017, Morris was spied on by a Spanish security firm apparently hired by the CIA through Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands. At one point, the director of the firm ordered an employee to steal a diaper from one of Morris’s sons in an attempt to match his DNA to that of Assange.

“I understood that the powers that were against Julian were ruthless and there were no bounds to it,” Morris commented after learning of the surveillance campaign. “And that’s why I feel that I have to [reveal myself as the mother of Assange’s children]. Because I’ve taken so many steps for so many years and I feel that Julian’s life might be coming to an end.”

“Prolonged exposure to psychological torture” continues in court

Since its foundation in 2010, Wikileaks has published troves of documents exposing American war crimes, meddling, and corruption around the globe. Following the release of thousands of classified State Department cables provided by military whistleblower Chelsea Manning, Vice President Joseph Biden denounced Assange as a “high-tech terrorist.”

In April 2017, then-CIA director Mike Pompeo labeled Wikileaks a “hostile foreign intelligence agency,” denigrating Assange as a “fraud” in a speech telegraphing Washington’s malicious campaign against the publisher.

That December, US federal prosecutors filed a secret indictment charging Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act. He now faces 175 years in a US prison.

Nils Melzer, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, warned that, if extradited, “Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Melzer was disturbed by the traits he observed after meeting Assange in May 2019. In a report published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the expert noted, “in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

The photo below reveals a visibly disoriented Assange with a grim pallor and expressionless gaze.

Courtroom cages through history

Though Assange has never been convicted of a crime and has no record of violent behavior, his cage was more restrictive than the enclosure reserved for Adolph Eichmann when the top-level Nazi bureaucrat was placed on trial in Jerusalem in 1961. Unlike Assange, Eichmann was able to communicate freely with his lawyer and listen to a live translation of his trial.

During his corruption trial in Moscow in 2005, the Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky was similarly held in a cage. Following a formal protest of the confinement by his business partner and co-defendant, Platon Lebedev, who claimed that the cage represented a breach of the right to a presumption of innocence, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the two were subjected to “inhuman and degrading conditions in the courtroom.”

When Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, collapsed and died in a soundproof cage in a courtroom, six years after he was deposed in a 2013 military coup, Western media and human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International erupted in a chorus of condemnation.

These same rights groups have said little about the draconian restrictions imposed by the British security state on Assange throughout his extradition hearing. But their reticence might be excused on the grounds that clear images of his unwarranted courtroom isolation were not publicly available until now.

Assange’s hearing postponed, his isolation extended

The Belmarsh supermax prison where Assange has been held is regarded as the UK’s version of the US facility at Guantanamo. Aside from Assange, the jail is home to mafia henchmen, al-Qaeda members, and neo-fascist enforcers like Tommy Robinson. Around 20 percent of prisoners in Belmarsh are murderers, and two-thirds have committed a violent crime.

117 licensed medical professionals from around the world have written to the British and Australian governments to condemn “the torture of Assange,” “the denial of his fundamental right to appropriate health care, “the climate of fear surrounding the provision of health care to him” and “the violations of his right to doctor–patient confidentiality.”

Since the doctors’ open letter, Belmarsh has become a site of Covid-19 infection. As journalist Matt Kennard reported, a 2007 report by the UK’s Chief Inspector of Prisons found that “infection control was inadequate” in the detention facility.

Rather than allow a temporary medical furlough for Assange, however, Judge Baraitser has postponed  his extradition trial for four months, disappearing him again from public view.

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution,” the UN’s Melzer said of the Wikileaks founder’s treatment, “I have never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

When Assange returns to court this September, the glass cage awaits.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seth Rich Refuses to Stay Buried – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2020

“I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” said Ratner with a curious lack of emphasis. “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians. They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/seth_rich_refuses_to_stay_buried.html

By Jack Cashill

“I am reliably informed that the NSA or its partners intercepted at least some of the communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks,” wrote attorney Ty Clevenger in a startling letter last week to Richard Grennell, Interim Director of National Intelligence.

Clevenger represents Ed Butowsky, a high-profile author and financial adviser who dared to ask questions about the late Seth Rich and was sued for his troubles.

The known facts of Rich’s still unsolved murder were largely established within hours by the local media. “A 27-year-old man who worked for the Democratic National Committee was shot and killed as he walked home early Sunday in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C.,” NBC Washington reported.

The shooting occurred at 4:19 a.m. on Sunday, July 10, 2016. “There had been a struggle,” said Seth’s mother, Mary Rich. “His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything.” She added, “They took his life for literally no reason.”

In the real world, most killers have a reason. Those who fire two shots and take nothing from the victim always do. In the major newsrooms, journalists have been perversely keen on not knowing what this reason was. In the years since the shooting, they have offered little useful information beyond the account above.

Butowsky was much more curious. The woman who stirred his curiosity was Ellen Ratner, a veteran TV news analyst. On the day after the 2016 presidential election, Ratner participated in a videotaped panel discussion at Embry-Riddle University.

“I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” said Ratner with a curious lack of emphasis. “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians. They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign.”

As Ratner should have known, this was a major revelation, and she was a credible source. An open supporter of Hillary Clinton with access to Assange through her late brother and Assange attorney, Michael Ratner, she had no reason to make this up.

Ratner was referring to emails from inside the DNC and the Hillary campaign that the media, the Democrats and the deep state insisted had been hacked from the DNC computers by the Russians. She should have been shouting this contrary news from the rooftops, but she did little more than share it with colleague Butowsky.

According to Butowsky’s multi-party suit, Ratner repeated to him a more detailed claim by Assange, namely that “Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to WikiLeaks.” Following up on this claim got Butowsky into a world of a trouble. He is one several would-be investigators, Fox News included, who have been sued into silence.

Based on his deposition of Asst. U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines, Clevenger makes a compelling case that the FBI did indeed review Rich’s electronic accounts. Sines’s testimony contradicted the official FBI narrative that Rich was never the subject of an FBI investigation and has no records pertaining to Rich.

Clevenger also cites a troubling August 2016 FBI email chain unearthed by Judicial Watch. The exchange began with a note from an FBI public-affairs official, name redacted, noting Assange’s recently televised suggestion that Rich was involved in the DNC hack. The official wanted to know “what involvement the Bureau has in the investigation.”

An unidentified agent passed the email along to the FBI’s notorious Peter Strzok with the notation, “Just FYSA [for your situational awareness]. I squashed this with [redacted].” Strzok, in turn, forwarded this email to his lover and co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

Clevenger reports too that former NSA officials Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe “are prepared to testify that the DNC emails published by Wikileaks could not have been obtained via hacking.”

Clevenger’s evidence that the NSA captured exchanges between Rich and Assange is largely circumstantial but credible. According to Clevenger, the NSA refused to produce 32 pages of records about Seth Rich due to their classified nature.

In addition, one of Clevenger’s consultants was reportedly informed that the NSA possessed “additional communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks.” Were Rich and Assange communicating, capturing that information would have been within the legitimate purview of the NSA or its “Five Eyes” partners.

“I believe the NSA is trying to conceal wrongdoing that occurred during the Obama Administration,” Clevenger concludes his letter to Grennell. “I respectfully request that you de-classify the NSA’s records about Seth Rich.”

Clevenger adds, “Disclosure would go a long way toward exposing the depravity of the ‘deep state,’ and that is long overdue.”

If Rich’s ultimate fate remains certain, what is altogether clear is the conspiratorial role the major media have played in keeping this story buried. As renegade Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi observed in his book Hate Inc., “Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump.”

(Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.)

Fox News screen grab via Vox

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s The 10th Anniversary of WikiLeaks’ Publication of the Collateral Murder video (A Short Documentary) – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on May 9, 2020

Left we forget. Reuters and the lamestream media have.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/05/07/its-the-10th-anniversary-of-wikileaks-publication-of-the-collateral-murder-video-a-short-documentary/

In Brief

  • The Facts:April 05, 2020 marked the 10th anniversary of WikiLeaks’ publication of Collateral Murder video. The video shows how two Apache helicopters killing 11 Iraqi people including two Reuters journalists.
  • Reflect On:How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes?  How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals?

Last month marked the 10th anniversary of WikiLeaks’ publication of the Collateral Murder video. The video shows how two Apache helicopters murdered 11 Iraqi people including two Reuters journalists. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.  This is one of the publications Julian Assange is being indicted for espionage. He faces 175 years in a US jail if extradited from the UK.  WikiLeaks obtained the video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. They analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material and spoke to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

 WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work. (source)

After the video was released, one of the soldiers involved in the incident, Ethan McCord, said the following:

“If you feel threatened in any way, you’re able to engage that person. Many soldiers felt threatened just by the fact that you were looking at them, so they fired their weapons on anybody that was looking at them because they (I) felt threatened. We were told if we were to fire on anybody, and if it were to be investigated, that ‘officers will take care of you.’ ”

“We were told by our battalion commander to kill every m***** f****** on the street.  Many soldiers would not do that, we decided we were going to shoot into the rooftops of buildings because, if you didn’t fire, the NCOs in your platoon would make your life hell.”

“This happens on a daily basis, destroying vans full of children, the destruction of the Iraqi people happens on a daily basis.” (source)

 When it comes to Julian Assange, most of the world knows why they hunted him, and why he’s been treated the way he’s been treated and tortured in prison. The same goes for people like Edward Snowden, it’s because they expose lies, corruption, deceit, immoral and unethical actions that their own governments, as well as governments around the world have participated in. He exposed these characteristics that seem to represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of the Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposed the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.” (source)(source)

How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes?  How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with their people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy. Nils Melzer (source)

Since this video was released, more people became aware of the connections that the US government had at the time with terrorist organizations. Information about the US funding terrorist groups, arming terrorist groups and even staging terrorist attacks has come to light. More people became aware of the fact that the same powers who claim to be going overseas to locate and take down these terrorists are the same ones who created them in the first place. This is referred to as ‘false flag terrorism,’ and the creation of terrorism has allowed powerful people to infiltrate other countries for ulterior motives.

Thanks to people like Julian Assange and many others, many people have had a big shift with regards to their perception of the world. More people are becoming aware about aspects of the human experience they were once unaware of. In order to stop these aspects, we must first become aware of them. With awareness comes a shift in consciousness, and that shift in consciousness then leads to action. The world is changing, and it’s changing fast. We have to go through the growing pains first.

Below is a recent release from Wikileaks, Collateral Murder 10 Years On: Short Documentary

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »