Once again the (in)famous Julian Assange is making headlines and grabbing the attention of the world’s media. Not that I have a problem with this, the only thing is that the circus atmosphere and the constant media attention seems to be taking the focus away from what should be the real story with Julian. But that is the way it seems to be with him, things just don’t add up when it comes to Julian and for me that has been a fact since day one. If you are a fan of Julian and Wikileaks and believe everything they claim about exposing secrets to bring about accountability and that government secrecy must be stopped etc. read no further. From its inception the whole thing seemed quite strange, bizarre really. First the name “Wikileaks”, it seemed like an obvious attempt to profit off of and by proxy grant credibility by association by using a name so similar to that other famous and globally trusted “Wiki”, a source of information almost all of us uses from time to time. For from its outset that is exactly what “Wikileaks” lacked for me, credibility. But as I am one who attempts to always be fair and keep an open mind I tried to believe. Unfortunately the attempt did not work. For starters it seems too glib, too slick, too snake oily. Here was a site asking, openly, without a wink of the eye or an obfuscation of the language for anyone, anywhere to send it the secrets of their governments and just to be even more interesting, of their corporations. And of course, anonymity was guaranteed.
There were already sites out there that were dedicated in one way or another to exposing government malfeasance, war crimes, corruption and so on and so forth, run by people living on the fringes and in fear, getting shut down, blocked, being harassed and some site owners disappearing, having strange accidents, heart failure, being suicided, being stripped of their citizenship or outright killed. Sites like this still exist but their number has dropped considerably. Yes, there were many, all trying quietly to fight for the truth and for the most part existing on meagre budgets and with no funding. During the dark ages of the Bush era and after 9-11 there were thousands which sprang up, all being dealt with one after the other. Just ask any 9-11 Truther about the tactics used by the US Government to shut down, get rid of, and in the end shut up anyone who tried to expose the lies surrounding 9-11 and the subsequent wars of aggression, Guantanamo, and torture incorporated. Behind every one of those sites there was a person, afraid but ready to fight for the truth. And then out of nowhere, BAM!!! Here comes Wikileaks, spouting off and trying to present itself as the ‘be all,’ ‘end all’ wholesale clearing house of secret internet information, a MegaMart of truth and secret documents. That’s right, anyone anywhere send us your proof of crimes by your government, anonymity guaranteed, they claimed. To me and many who had contact with Assange back in the Cypherpunk days, it seemed odd. Who Assange, a hacker with an interest in cryptography, or worse, the front man for a government front seeking to put an end to as many whistle-blowers as possible, once and for all? Ask Manning. Even more probable he is simply a snake oil salesman looking to make a quick buck. This latter version is backed up by documents on the internet, in particular on the site cryptome.org, run by an often harassed and shut down John Young, which has a collection of documents from Wikileaks insiders and Assange himself. In one of the documents an anonymous source going by the code name “Wikileaks Insider” details how Assange bragged about how Wikileaks had ”…no headquarters, no office, no formal structure other than the name and the truth-seeking ideology attached to it.” Yet at the time Assange was seeking $600,000.00, yes dear reader, over half a million, for the overall budget of Wikileaks and $200,000.00 just to, as Insider put it, “keep the lights on”. In a pledge drive mailing, dated January 7, 2007, the Wikileaks Advisory Board stated, and I quote: “We can succeed at a slower / scale limited way with under $50,000 / year & volunteers, but it is our goal to raise pledges of $5m by July.” That is a lot of money, $5 million in 6 months! According to “Wikileaks Insider” Assange was prepared to throw Manning to the dogs to cover his own posterior as he and Manning had been planning to sell the Iraq and Afghanistan information to news and media corporations. Another problem with Wikileaks was their guarantee of anonymity, anyone who knows a little about the internet knows that when you sit down in front of your computer, and even worse go online, there is no guarantee that you are not being watched or monitored. Again according to “Insider”: “Wikileaks is a very serious accident just waiting to happen, they convince the whistle blower that their anonymity is protected, and their data is secured. Nothing could be further from the truth.” Again ask Manning. If we look at the information released by Wikileaks from an intelligence standpoint and do a damage control assessment using the material that is already out there, then what we see is a lot of smoke and almost no fire. Even with all of the noise and media attention that the Iraq and Afghanistan files have raised, from an intelligence viewpoint, they exposed no real “secrets” which caused damage to the United States. Sure so and so thought the Ambassador of country “A” was a lout, but is that a state secret? The most damage was done to informants and Afghanis but I suppose they were all expendable to the U.S. and maybe even liabilities to begin with.
All of this talk about damage is irrelevant anyway, when it comes to Wikileaks, because Assange, being the “upstanding citizen” he is, apparently cleared everything with Pentagon vetters before he released anything, which made anything he released useless. Despite this the media and world intelligence services were ties up for months sifting through everything trying to gain some piece of useful intelligence or secret. All of this pointing, once again, to some tie between Assange and the U.S. and begs the question, “Is Assange and Wikileaks a huge disinformation operation by U.S. intelligence?” Other facts and inconsistencies in the whole affair also point to a “special” relationship between Assange and the U.S. If we compare the Victor Bout case and Assange’s many more questions arise. First and foremost for me is; if Assange is really wanted by the U.S. and really caused so much damage, why has it been so difficult for them to get him? Victor Bout was in a third country and was wanted on circumstantial and very weak evidence and his extradition was opposed by the largest country in the world, yet they still illegally, for want of a better word “kidnapped” him and took him to the U.S. Assange is on the territory of the U.S.’ staunchest ally, walking around giving press conferences and we are supposed to believe the U.S. could not get him. The last country anyone with such issues with the U.S. would want to be is in the U.K., but here is Assange, giving press conferences when he should have been in hiding running for his life as he was apparently being hunted by U.S. intelligence services.
Therefore we can conclude that he is connected with U.S. intelligence, why not? Who else would profit from gaining the secrets of the world’s governments. Too bad we cannot ask Manning. On the other hand, if he is not a U.S. agent, asset, or in some other way operating for them, then he is a snake oil salesman who failed miserably in an attempt to sell information to the world’s media. Nobody bought it. In the middle of all this we are also believe that Assange was set up by someone on rape charges to extradite him to the U.S. from Sweden. Why are we supposed to believe that it would be easier to get him in Sweden? If they had wanted him the best place to get him was the U.K., I am sorry, I don’t buy it. Now Assange has asked for asylum, but from what country? China? The Russian Federation? Cuba? North Korea? No, these countries with political stances and positions often opposed by the U.S. were not on Assange’s list. Why? Perhaps because they know it is all a crock. So he went to the Ecuadorian Embassy and asked for asylum. Perhaps the intelligence services of Ecuador will believe it all. Again, the whole thing just does not add up, too bad we can’t ask Manning. Therefore we can conclude that he is connected with U.S. intelligence, why not? Who else would profit from gaining the secrets of the world’s governments. Too bad we cannot ask Manning. On the other hand, if he is not a U.S. agent, asset, or in some other way operating for them, then he is a snake oil salesman who failed miserably in an attempt to sell information to the world’s media. Nobody bought it. In the middle of all this we are also believe that Assange was set up by someone on rape charges to extradite him to the U.S. from Sweden. Why are we supposed to believe that it would be easier to get him in Sweden? If they had wanted him the best place to get him was the U.K., I am sorry, I don’t buy it. Now Assange has asked for asylum, but from what country? China? The Russian Federation? Cuba? North Korea? No, these countries with political stances and positions often opposed by the U.S. were not on Assange’s list. Why? Perhaps because they know it is all a crock. So he went to the Ecuadorian Embassy and asked for asylum. Perhaps the intelligence services of Ecuador will believe it all. Again, the whole thing just does not add up, too bad we can’t ask Manning.
EDITORIAL NOTE: GIOVANNI DI STEFANO CEO OF ONLINE PUBLISHING COMPANY MADE THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT TODAY REPORTED IN THE SWEDISH PRESS
"Last year whilst Mr Assange was in custody awaiting a bail decision I advised him in writing to not waste any time and travel to Sweden for an interview with the Swedish police. Mr Assange decided, as is his right, to contest the extradition request and as such was granted conditional bail. He has already served equal to a one year prison sentence because of the 10.00pm to 8.00am curfew imposed as part of his bail conditions. The Swedish Police have not charged Mr Assange with any offence but merely seek to 'interview him'. It may well be that subsequent to interview he will not be charged and simply released. Mr Assange contested extradition on the basis that if he travels to Sweden then the United States of America may well seek his extradition for alleged offences which may allegedly involve the risk of capital punishment. That in my personal view is highly unlikely and if the United States had wanted to extradite Mr Assange then the United Kingdom is far easier and more 'user-friendly' than Sweden. I remain of the view for the sake of Mr Assange's credibility he simply confirms his intentions to the British Police to reserve a seat on the next available flight to Stockholm to avoid any more complete waste of time and resources. The Swedish Authorities simply wish to 'interview' him and it may well be that upon completion of interview Mr Assange is free. As things stand as I told him last year he is simply making life harder for himself. I do believe that his prosecution is somewhat well politically inclined but it is hard for Mr Assange to sustain preaching openness and disclosure as he has with Wikileaks yet not abide by his own preaching. I would urge upon him to simply request the next available flight to Sweden and end this comedy of errors."
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