The visitor was David House, a Boston computer scientist, a friend of Manning’s and a co-founder of the Private Manning Support Network. On this, his first visit with Assange, he was hoping to open a channel of communication between WikiLeaks and Manning supporters, and to try to secure a significant role for himself inside the secret-spilling organization.
Instead, he found Assange was mostly interested in talking about Domscheit-Berg’s betrayal of WikiLeaks.
“He had started to talk more and more about Daniel during those few days, telling anecdotes, and it was clear that it was bothering him,” House says. In front of the fireplace, Assange finally got to his point, House says. Assange wanted House “to protect the future of WikiLeaks by obtaining access to a ‘corpus of lies,’ or something like that,” House says.
In a follow-up conversation later, Assange got more explicit, House says.
“He wanted me, and in fact told me, to get to Berlin … and obtain access to Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s apartment and to get access to the manuscript of the book that was being published, and to take this manuscript with me back to the London so he could see it before it came out,” says House, publicly discussing his experience for the first time.
What followed, by House’s account, was one of the more bizarre sideshows in the WikiLeaks drama: a feigned attempt by House to steal the manuscript and satisfy Assange of his loyalty.
Has Wikileaks Been Infiltrated by Russian Spies?
Leak group and Moscow’s intel agency sure do have a lot in common
Joshua Foust in War is Boring
August 29, 2013
It might sound strange, but Wikileaks has probably been infiltrated by Russia’s Federal Security Bureau, the post-Soviet successor to the KGB. Moreover, there are signs that Edward Snowden’s flight to Russia, eventually seeking asylum there, was organized by Russian intelligence. So was his defection a Russian intel op?Julian Assange and Israel Shamir
Nothing in the public record supports such a strong conclusion. In fact, it looks like Snowden made the decision to leak his cache of documents independently of any sympathy with Russia. But the chain of events leading up to Snowden’s flight, and his decision in Hong Kong to flee to Russia, of all places, strongly suggests that Russian intel has coopted him to a remarkable degree.
Wikileaks’ ties to the Russian government
Many people object to the idea that Wikileaks is not a “pure,” public-interest based organization. After all, that is the official line out of Wikileaks itself, told mostly by Julian Assange. But Assange has some curious ties to the Russian government that bear exploring.
Most obvious is his show on RT, the Kremlin-funded propaganda network. Called “The World Tomorrow,” its first 12 episodes featured a ragtag bunch of terrorists and lefties — and even endorsed Ecuadorian president Raphael Correa’s increasingly violent crusade to end free media in his country. Not coincidentally, Ecuador and Russia enjoy increasingly close relations.
Under the system of proportional representation used for the Australian Senate, voters in each state can either rank specific candidates or let their first choice party do so. Considering that there are often over 50 people on the ballot, voters to tend just defer to their party. The result is frenzied negotiations between small parties and large parties to maximize their representation and avoid wasted votes.
The Wikileaks Party’s national council thought it had agreed to a plan where the party would be making deals to work closely with the Australian Green Party and other left of center candidate. Then they discovered that Assange instead had made deals with a far right wing party as well as one that is militantly pro gun. The result was a number of party members quit, including Leslie Cannold, Assange’s number two in the party, and David Mathews, one of his close friends from college, leaving the party divided two weeks before the election.
In an article published in the Guardian on Wednesday, Mathews uses tough language to describe the personality of Assange, who he still admires, will vote for and considers a friend. He describes Assange as “not … suited to a party with democratic national council oversight” and someone who “really ought not to have set up a party with internal democracy.”
This was mild criticism compared to Cannold, who proclaimed in a statement “to keep being a candidate feels like I’m breaking faith with the Australian people.” Although she didn’t mention Assange by name, but denigrated the party, stating that its backroom maneuverings were an “unacceptable mode of operation for any organization but even more so for an organization explicitly committed to democracy, transparency and accountability.”
Assange shrugged it off.
Since it does not involve crocodiles or stranded backpackers, the news that Julian Assange is set for humiliation in Australia’s election is unlikely to get much traction, but it should.
There was never more than a faint chance that he would be elected to Australia’s Senate from the state of Victoria in the first place, according to Australia’s version of Nate Silver, Anthony Green. It was always smelling of stunt politics because Australia has rules which near certainly bar Senators who cannot actually sit in the Senate, who attempt to do their job from foreign embassies in foreign cities.
But the past few days there’s been a trio of hits showing the party for what it always was: an extension of Julian’s massive ego.
I can picture the scene in a cupboard in the Ecuadorian embassy, Assange ranting and raving as he contemplates the utter humiliation due to him in a fortnight’s time.
Pulitzer Prize-winning national security journalist Walter Pincus has a new piece questioning if Snowden was really in the pilot seat for his now infamous snatch and grab before going on the run.
Did Edward Snowden decide on his own to seek out journalists and then a job at Booz Allen Hamilton’s Hawaii facility as an IT systems administrator to gather classified documents about the National Security Agency’s worldwide surveillance activities?
Julian Assange has told the media that he was late to the Snowden party, but Pincus seems to have his doubts. He doesn’t come right out and say it, but one can argue inference in the subtext. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that Snowden or Assange (or Glenn Greenwald) has been caught in a lie.
Pincus has been covering national security since before Snowden was even born, so he knows his stuff.
[Snowden] worked less than three months at Booz Allen, but by the time he reached Hong Kong in mid-May, Snowden had four computers with NSA documents.
Was he encouraged or directed by WikiLeaks personnel or others to take the job as part of a broader plan to expose NSA operations to selected journalists?
If this is true, then Wikileaks could be running operatives like an intelligence-gathering agency. That begs the question if they’re already grooming other Edward Snowdens currently in situ at Booz Allen and elsewhere.
It also suggests a future where non-state actors are running terrorist ops while other non-state actors are running intelligence ops.
The lights were bright on the curtains. It was the hush before the start of the play, the moment when the audience and the star alike breathe in, stomachs tightened. The cameramen at their tripods leaned forward to check the focus.
The curtains parted, and there he was: blonde hair, his pallor accentuated by the harshness of the lights, the world’s biggest cyber-activist. For one night only: the Julian Assange show.
“Good evening, London,” he said in his cultured-Australian accent, standing on a tiny semi-circular balcony with all the assurance of a star performing in the West End’s finest theater.
It was Dec. 20, and the WikiLeaks founder’s appearance marked six months since his auto-incarceration in London’s Ecuadorean embassy. Although Assange was within inches of British police tasked with detaining him, the balcony on which he stood is, owing to the vagaries of international law, Ecuadorian territory. Thus, he could do what he pleased—namely, to speak at great length about perceived injustices.
Sweden wants to try Assange on sexual assault charges, and Britain has promised to arrest him if he steps foot on London pavement. Ecuador has granted him asylum—and a room in which to live. Assange says Sweden only wants to detain him so as to hand him over to the United States, which is angry that his WikiLeaks organization released millions of classified American documents. U.S. officials deny such a “secret warrant” exists, and Swedish officials say they just want to see justice done.
During an appearance on CNN Wednesday night, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange warned that mass surveillance was becoming a worldwide problem as technology progressed.
By the US accepting the UK threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 12, 2012
Not only is it an absurd comparison because the Ecuadoran embassy was not attacked and was under watch for Julian Assange who continues to face questions over sexual assault in Sweden but it is nearly as absurd as Donald Rumsfeld’s Tweet:
The attacks on our embassies & diplomats are a result of perceived American weakness. Mitt Romney is right to point that out.
— Donald Rumsfeld (@RumsfeldOffice) September 12, 2012
The list below from Wikipedia’s entry on Terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities since 1958. It does not include other nations. These attacks are in now way comparable to the Assange/Ecuador legal event in the UK. Additionally, as I noted to Donald Rumsfeld, there were 12 embassy attacks under W’s watch and 8 under Ronald Reagan.
I don’t know a great deal about this blogger, so if anyone has information that would tend to suggest he is more or less reliable, please mention it in the comments. I got sent this on Facebook, found it a good read, and thought I’d share, since this has been a subject of fierce debate hereabouts.
Recently I noticed an article posted on Mark Crispin Miller’s blog, ‘News from Underground.’ The article, written by Naomi Wolf, is called ‘Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange.’ I have followed the Assange case from the beginning. I’ve made discoveries of deleted tweets, poor police work and other irregularities. Because of my findings I was asked to be a witness for the defense in the extradition hearings on the 7th and 8th of February 2011. There are problems in the Assange case, but none of Naomi Wolf’s claims are actually real problems. In fact, Naomi Wolf’s so-called problems are misconceptions and fictitious conspiracy theories.
A LEGENDARY Ecuadorean leader, José María Velasco, once declared “give me a balcony and I will become president”. He did, five times, only to be overthrown by the army on four occasions. Rafael Correa, who resembles Mr Velasco in his histrionic populism, clearly hopes that his decision on August 16th to grant Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London—and the use of its balcony to address his supporters (pictured)—will boost his chances of winning another term at an election due in February. The affair has certainly granted Mr Correa a rare moment of global celebrity. But whether it will redound to his long-term advantage is not clear.
Since coming to power in 2007, Mr Correa has enjoyed durable popular support by leading what he calls a “citizens’ revolution” in a country that was a byword for political instability. He has used an oil windfall and money saved by defaulting on bonds to boost social spending. He has combined this with bouts of theatrical anti-Americanism. He refused to renew an agreement allowing an American anti-drug base in Ecuador. He has teamed up with communist Cuba and Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez in an anti-American alliance known as ALBA (meaning “dawn” in Spanish). When WikiLeaks published a cable in which the American ambassador in Quito, Heather Hodges, alleged that the president knew that his police chief was corrupt, Mr Correa expelled her.
In June Mr Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy, a flat in a redbrick mansion-block behind Harrods department store, to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for possible indictment for sexual assault. (He says the sex was consensual.) In granting him asylum, Mr Correa claims to be defending freedom of speech. The foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, last month described the Swedish accusations as “hilarious”, claiming that they were a ruse to facilitate Mr Assange’s onward extradition to the United States, where he might face the death penalty. But international lawyers argue that this would be harder from Sweden than from Britain. The United States has not indicted Mr Assange, although it is trying Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of passing thousands of confidential cables to WikiLeaks, for “aiding the enemy”.
Some of Mr Correa’s opponents argue that he is using the Assange case to wrest the initiative within ALBA from Mr Chávez, who has been ill with cancer. Earlier this year, Mr Correa called for sanctions against Britain because of its refusal to negotiate about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, and boycotted a 34-country Summit of the Americas in protest at Cuba’s exclusion.