Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land.

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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:07 pm

Claim that John Podesta's email password was 'password' lacks evidence

By Lauren Carroll on Friday, January 6th, 2017 at 11:58 a.m.

In a Jan. 4, 2016, interview on Fox News, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the Russian government was not the source of stolen Democratic party emails, despite claims by the U.S. government. (Inform video.)
It’s known that John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, was tricked into giving his email password to hackers believed to have Russian ties.

But now a rumor is spreading that his email password wasn’t much of a secret at all. It was simply "password."

"What happened was John Podesta gave his password to a hacker. And guess what his password was. 'Password,' " said Fox News' Jesse Watters on Jan. 4. "It’s a true story. His password was ‘password.’ "

That’d be funny, if it were true. The thing is, there’s no material evidence to support the claim that Podesta violated a very basic tenet of Internet safety.

None shall pass

The first person to say that Podesta’s email password was "password" was Julian Assange, whose website WikiLeaks published the emails stolen from Podesta.

"We published several Podesta emails, which show Podesta responding to a phishing email," Assange said on Fox Jan. 3. "Now, how did they respond? Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘password.’ "

"So this is something a 14-year-old kid could have hacked," Assange added.

We don’t know where Assange’s claim comes from. None of the emails published on WikiLeaks show Podesta’s email password. And of the cyber analysts examining the phishing emails used to infiltrate Podesta’s and others’ accounts, none have made similar claims.

Further, Podesta was using a Gmail account, and Google doesn’t allow users to make their passwords "password."

Go try for yourself. We did:

Perhaps Assange is thinking of a February 2015 email in the WikiLeaks dump. In that email, a staffer tells Podesta that his Windows 8 login on what appears to be a new work computer is username: jpodesta and password: p@ssw0rd.

Interestingly, in another email sent in May 2015, the same staffer tells Podesta his Apple ID password: Runner4567.

So we have two of Podesta’s passwords, but neither are for his email account.

In fairness to Assange, Watters and others pushing the email password claim: Both of these passwords are far too simple to be effective. So it’s possible Podesta similarly made his email password overly simplistic.

But we don’t know that for sure, and we surely don’t know if his email password was just "password."

Pro tip: If you don’t want to end up like Podesta, check out this guide to protecting yourself online, written by cyber crime expert Marc Goodman.

Our ruling

Watters said Podesta’s email password was "password."

There is no material evidence to back up this claim. Google doesn’t even allow Gmail users to make their password "password."

We know from the stolen Podesta emails published on WikiLeaks that he used a Windows 8 login that had the password "p@ssw0rd." But that’s not for his email account.

We rate this claim False. ... ssword-la/

hologram or real be the judge

Julian Assange's claim about the source of DNC emails is disproved by WikiLeaks' own website ... /21649173/
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:39 pm

Wikileaks Will Hold ‘Press Conf’ Monday to Address U.S. Intel Report on Russian Hacking
by Chris White | 10:15 am, January 8th, 2017 252

The so-called open-government group Wikileaks, founded by Julian Assange, sent out a tweet late Saturday night announcing plans to hold a press conference on Monday to address claims made in a report released by the U.S. Intelligence Community late Friday.

Among the many findings in the 25-page, declassified report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, one particular finding seems to have received the most attention from Wikileaks.

Specifically, the intelligence report found, “We assess with high confidence that the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence) relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to Wikileaks. Moscow most likely chose Wikileaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity.”

Assange and Wikileaks have long denied any collaboration or association with Russia and the various hacks this election season targeted at the Democratic National Committee and the private email accounts of staffers associated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Just last week during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Assange stressed that Russia played no role in providing WikiLeaks emails believed to have been hacked from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta. In fact, Assange assured viewers no state party was involved at all.

“We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party,” Assange said.

He further accused Obama of “acting like a lawyer” in how he addresses any allegations involving Russia and Wikileaks.

“If you look at most of [Obama’s] statements he doesn’t say . . . WikiLeaks obtained its information from Russia, worked with Russia.” Assange said.

The Wikileaks founder even pointed to a purported Podesta email that appears to “show Podesta responding to a phishing email” that essentially tricks a user to revealing his password. He also took a shot at the former Clinton campaign chairman for reportedly using “password” as his password.

“Podesta gave out that his password was the word ‘password’, Assange said. “His own staff said this email that you’ve received, this is totally legitimate.” He concluded by saying the Podesta hack was something a 14-year-old could have pulled off.

Moscow also rejected the report, unsurprisingly. CBS News reports Alexei Pushkov, a member of the Russian Parliament’s upper house defense and security committee, lashed out in a tweet on Friday, saying, “All the accusations against Russia are based on ‘confidence’ and suppositions. The USA in the same way was confident about (Iraqi leader Saddam) Hussein having weapons of mass destruction.”

Wikileaks has not specifically stated what they will address, or even where the press conference will be held. All we know thus far is that it will held Monday, January 9 at 9:00 a.m. est.

The last few Wikileaks livestream “press conferences” have been produced from the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Assange remains confined for nearly four-years now. He is reportedly remaining in the embassy under asylum rather than return to Sweden where he faces alleged sexual assault charges from several years ago.

Some reports indicate he fears Sweden might extradite him to the United States where he could face a number of charges related to his alleged involvement in hacking going back to the Manning case that centered on what became known as “Cablegate” and the “War Logs.” ... n-hacking/
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:14 am

The WikiLeaks-Russia connection started way before the 2016 election
Updated by Zack Jan 6, 2017, 9:10am EST

Julian Assange insists, against all evidence, that the hacked Democratic emails WikiLeaks published didn't come from Russian intelligence services. “Our source is not the Russian government,” he said in a Tuesday interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity.

This is a touch hard to believe. Publicly available evidence, including unique code and Russian writing in the hacked documents themselves, links the document theft to Russian state-sponsored hacks. Every US intelligence agency that has investigated the issue has concluded Russia is, in fact, responsible. Leaks from their analyses, reported by CNN and the Washington Post, indicate that the US has identified the go-betweens used by Russia to hand documents to WikiLeaks. Assange is either lying or willfully blind to the facts.

Indeed, when it comes to Russia, Assange doesn’t have a ton of credibility.

Throughout WikiLeaks’ existence, the allegedly pro-transparency group has had strange, shadowy, but very well-documented connections to the Russian state. The connections range from sharing purloined documents with a pro-Russian dictator to Assange receiving money for appearing on Russian state TV to WikiLeaks’ key involvement in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden ending up in Russia.

These incidents don’t prove, as some have alleged, that Assange is some kind of paid Russian agent, or that WikiLeaks is a Russian front organization. But they do show that WikiLeaks, an organization purportedly devoted to transparency, is at a minimum okay with helping out the world’s most aggressively authoritarian leader.

The Kremlin is just as friendly. Russian officials, up to and including Putin himself, have defended Assange and WikiLeaks — with one Russian official even suggesting Assange deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a strange relationship: a secretive quasi-dictator lining up alongside a group that says it's dedicated to revealing state secrets. But it's the relationship Putin appears to have turned to when he was looking for a trusted ally to leak the emails hacked from Clinton’s circle.

“I don’t necessarily think he’s some sort of paid agent for the Russians,” says Chris Zappone, an editor at the Age newspaper in Assange’s native Australia who has covered Assange’s Russian ties extensively. “But I do think he’s being manipulated by the Russians.”

The curious case of Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir. (A.Savin)
WikiLeaks first came to international attention in 2010, when it published secret US government footage showing American helicopters in Iraq firing at journalists. By the end of the year, it had also published tranches of US military documents on the Afghan War as well as State Department diplomatic cables.

These disclosures established what would become a clear pattern: WikiLeaks disclosures would, disproportionately, reveal secrets about the United States and its allies. They also established the group as a major player on the international stage, bringing it in for a level of scrutiny it had never received before.

One of the things reporters uncovered was the strange past of one WikiLeaks employee: a professional anti-Semite named Israel Shamir.

Shamir, who has gone by six names over the course of his life, was born Izrail Schmerler, in Russia. He converted from Judaism to the Greek Orthodox Church later in life, and turned viciously on his former co-religionists. He has denied the Holocaust, called Jews “a virus in human form,” and, in 2010, published a book titled Breaking the Conspiracy of the Elders of Zion.

Shamir was also a longtime friend of Julian Assange, who tasked him with helping to disseminate WikiLeaks documents in his native Russia in early 2010.

“Shamir has a years-long friendship with Assange, and was privy to the contents of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables months before WikiLeaks made public the full cache,” James Ball, a former WikiLeaks staffer, wrote at the Guardian the next year. “Shamir aroused the suspicion of several WikiLeaks staffers — myself included — when he asked for access to all cable material concerning ‘the Jews,’ a request which was refused.”

The first thing Shamir did with the documents was hand some off to Russian Reporter magazine, a Kremlin-friendly newsweekly. He then offered to sell access to them to the highest bidder, David Leigh and Luke Harding write in the book Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.

But what he did next was exceptionally curious. Shamir traveled to Belarus, a country ruled by dictator Alexander Lukashenko and perhaps Putin’s staunchest ally in Europe. Shamir was a fan of Lukashenko; in a 2010 piece, he called Belarus “the Shangri-la of the post-Soviet development.”

In Belarus, Shamir shared State Department cables pertaining to the country with government officials — in unredacted, unedited form.

In January 2011, Belarusian state-run media began publishing what it said were US diplomatic cables from Shamir’s cache, alleging that Lukashenko’s opponents were funded abroad. According to several Belarusian dissidents who spoke to Tablet, the names in the cables were also used to identify lower-level dissidents.

“The extent to which WikiLeaks and Israel Shamir have endangered the lives of pro-democracy activists in Belarus will become chillingly clear as innocent men and women continue to disappear,” Kapil Komireddi, author of the Tablet piece, writes.

WikiLeaks issued a weak public disavowal of Shamir’s Belarusian caper in February 2011, saying “obviously it is not approved.” But according to Ball, the internal discourse on Shamir was somewhat different.

“Assange shamefully refused to investigate [the Belarus incident],” Ball recalled in his Guardian piece. “The two [Shamir and Assange] remain close.”

This isn’t a direct link between Assange and the Kremlin, per se. But it established what would soon become a clear pattern: Assange and WikiLeaks providing cover to authoritarians, especially those allied with Putin.

Assange claims to be a radical opponent of authoritarianism and state oppression. But he allowed Shamir to hand off documents to a pro-Kremlin publication, exclusively, and then use his documents to aid a state-sponsored crackdown on dissidents. Assange showed no meaningful remorse afterward.

Assange was literally paid by the Russian government

As all this was going on, Russian officials began praising Assange and WikiLeaks at an increasingly loud volume. It was becoming clear that Assange’s disclosures targeted and embarrassed the United States far more than any other power — music to the Kremlin’s ears.

In December 2010, shortly after Shamir handed off cables to Belarus, an anonymous Kremlin official suggested that Assange should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. The next day, Vladimir Putin personally defended Assange against charges, filed in Sweden, that he had raped two women. According to Putin, the allegations were politically motivated and not credible. (Swedish courts disagree.)

"If it is full democracy, then why have they hidden Mr. Assange in prison? That's what, democracy?" the Russian leader said at a press conference. The next month, the Russian government offered Assange a visa — an opportunity to live in a country that would not likely extradite him to Sweden.

In April 2012, the relationship between Assange and Russia became direct for the first time. Specifically, Assange became a star on Russia Today (RT), Russia’s state-funded English-language propaganda outlet.

“With WikiLeaks’ funding drying up — under American pressure, Visa and MasterCard had stopped accepting donations — Russia Today began broadcasting a show called ‘The World Tomorrow’ with Mr. Assange as the host,” the New York Times reported in a 2016 piece on Assange’s Russian ties.

The exact nature of the arrangement between RT and Assange has never been very clear. Assange and WikiLeaks insist that Assange was never employed by RT, and that RT was only one of many broadcasters that bought rights to air Assange’s show. Either way, though, Assange was paid by the Kremlin. According to the Times, the amount of money he received has never been disclosed.

The World Tomorrow had a decidedly anti-American bent, in keeping with much of RT’s programming and Assange’s own writing. Its first episode was a polite interview with Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. In the interview, Assange refers to Nasrallah as a “freedom fighter,” telling him “you have fought against a hegemony of the United States.”

That this was serving an ideological purpose could have been lost on Assange. RT is designed to be the voice of the Russian state in the English-speaking world, particularly America. It’s part of a broad-based Russian propaganda effort aimed at whitewashing Putin’s government, using attacks on alleged US misdeeds as a key strategy.

It’s an old tactic used by Soviet apologists, called “whataboutism.” Whenever an American criticized the Soviet Union, the Soviet apologist would say, “What about the bad things America does?” This wasn’t a genuine moral criticism of the United States, which was often quite deserved, so much as a debating tactic aimed at deflecting a moral critique of Soviet policy.

Assange eagerly participated in an extended campaign of whataboutism. Not just that, in fact: He was paid by an authoritarian government, one that kills and arrests dissenters, for doing so. His principles as a transparency activist seem not to have gotten in the way.

From Snowden to Trump
UN Panel Rules That Wikileaks Founder Is Arbitrarily Detained
(Carl Court/Getty Images)
After Assange’s brief stint on RT — The World Tomorrow only lasted 12 episodes — links between Assange and Russia kept cropping up. A few notable examples:

Assange claims to have inspired Snowden to flee to Russia: “I thought, and in fact advised Edward Snowden, that he would be safest in Moscow,” he told Democracy Now. A WikiLeaks employee, Sarah Harrison, literally flew with Snowden from Hong Kong (where he had been living) to Moscow.
In order to avoid extradition to Sweden, Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. According to the Ecuadorian publication Focus Ecuador, Assange asked for control over the selection of his bodyguards, and insisted that they be Russian.
Assange used the WikiLeaks Twitter account to attack the 2016 Panama Papers leaks, which disclosed a $2 billion overseas account of Vladimir Putin’s. Assange labeled the leak a US-sponsored plot to undermine Putin and Russia.
Again, none of these even hint that Assange is a Russian agent. What they do show, when put together, is that Assange doesn’t see Russia as an enemy or a target. He instead seems to see them as something akin to “the enemy of my enemy” — the “enemy,” in this case, being the US and its allies. As a result, he is more than happy to work with them in situations where their interests align.

Which brings us to the 2016 election hack and Assange’s denial of Russian involvement.

Assange’s history shows that he is not an impartial arbiter when it comes to Russia and the United States. He is more than willing to carry water for the Russian state, as evidenced by his stint on RT. In the absence of public evidence supporting them, his denials should be given very little weight — he is merely repeating the line set out by his friends in the Kremlin.

Now, this could be because Assange is actively lying. My own suspicion is a little different: that he’s in something more like willful denial. The Russian go-between that handed him the documents likely posed as anonymous, and Assange probably didn’t ask too many questions (as is standard practice at WikiLeaks).

It would be inconvenient for him to admit that the evidence shows Russia gave him the documents. He’d be conceding far more brazen collaboration between WikiLeaks and an authoritarian power than we’ve seen in the past, which would further damage the group’s already fraying credibility. It also would embarrass said authoritarian state, perhaps WikiLeaks’ most reliable partner on the world stage, for Assange to contradict its public line.

But I can’t prove it either — Assange didn’t respond to an interview request for this piece. The thing I am quite sure of, however, is that Julian Assange has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be very much less than clear-eyed when Russia is involved. ... ussia-ties

Assange's Extremist Employees
Why is WikiLeaks employing a well-known Holocaust denier and his disgraced son?
Michael C. Moynihan | December 14, 2010

Last week, I wrote that the widely-linked article positing that the CIA was behind a Swedish woman’s accusation of rape against Julian Assange was authored by a Russian-born, Swedish-domiciled, multi-aliased anti-Semite and Holocaust denier currently writing under the name “Israel Shamir,” a.k.a. Adam Ermash or Jöran Jermas. The broader point had little to do with the efficacy or morality of WikiLeaks—there are plenty of debates available on the narrower issue of government transparency; this isn’t intended to be one of them—but was concerned with how ideology and confirmation bias (WikiLeaks is a good thing, therefore Assange must be defended, and the CIA has done bad stuff in the past so—cui bono?—Assange’s accuser must be a Langley asset) can lead mainstream media figures into the fever swamps of Internet conspiracy theory.

It is worrying enough when journalists, either by accident or design, consort with vulgar figures like Shamir. But it has now been revealed that Israel Shamir, when he is not accusing Assange’s accusers of setting CIA honey traps, works with WikiLeaks in an official capacity.

According to reports in the Swedish and Russian media, the broad strokes of which have been confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman, Shamir serves as the group’s content aggregator in Russia, the man who “selects and distributes” the cables to Russian news organizations, according to an investigation by Swedish public radio. In the newspaper Expressen, Magnus Ljunggren, an emeritus professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, outlined Shamir’s close ties to WikiLeaks and his position “spreading the documents in Russia.” (The article is illustrated with a picture of Assange and Shamir in an unidentified office.)

During an appearance on Echo Moskvy radio, Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wondered “What does it mean that Assange is allowing himself to be represented by an extremist?” Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks. According to Latynina, Shamir faked a cable related to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, which supposedly showed collusion amongst those who walked out of the talk in protest. That he would invent such a cable is perhaps unsurprising, considering Shamir has previously written an encomium to the “brave and charismatic leader” of Iran.

So let us quickly recap the foulness of Shamir’s political views. As I noted last week, he has called the Auschwitz concentration camp “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo),” not a place of extermination. He told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.” The Jews, he says, are a “virus in human form” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real.

But wait, there’s more!

The Swedish media has identified Shamir’s son, a disgraced journalist named Johannes Wahlström, himself accused of anti-Semitism and falsifying quotes, as a WikiLeaks spokesman in Sweden. Indeed, Wahlström has authored stories based on the WikiLeaks material for the newspaper Aftonbladet and is credited as a producer on a recent Swedish public television documentary about the group.

But while being the son of a famous Holocaust denier is perhaps only suggestive—Wahlström is surely not responsible for his father’s many sins—his celebrations of his father’s work in print and his contributions to Shamir’s website suggest ideological affinity.* Indeed, in 2005 Wahlström wrote a story for the leftist magazine Ordfront arguing that Swedish media, not known for being friendly to the Jewish state, was in fact being manipulated by Jewish interests on behalf of the Israeli government.

Three of the journalists interviewed for the story—Cecilia Uddén, Lotta Schüllerqvist, and Peter Löfgren—claimed that Wahlström falsified quotes, leading the magazine to withdraw the story and issue an apology. Heléne Lööw, a historian of fascism and European neo-Nazism, commented that the Wahlström story contained all the “elements that one would find in a classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”

A member of Ordfront’s editorial board, writing in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, lamented that the piece was ever published, citing Wahlström’s “close working relationship with Israel Shamir,” without pointing out just how close the two were.

Wahlström and Shamir, father and son, are the WikiLeaks representatives for two rather large geographic areas. According to Swedish Radio’s investigation, Wahlström is the gatekeeper of the cables in Scandinavia, and “has the power to decide” which newspapers are provided access and what leaks they are allowed to see. (At the time of filing, Wahlström had yet to respond to an email request for comment.)

In Russia, the magazine Russian Reporter says that it has “privileged access” to the material through Shamir, who told a Moscow newspaper that he was “accredited” to work on behalf of WikiLeaks in Russia. But Shamir has a rather large credibility problem, so Swedish Radio put the question directly to WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Swedish Radio: Israel Shamir…Are you aware of him? Do you know him?

Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesman: Yes. Yes, he is associated with us.

SR: So what is his role?

Hrafnsson: Well, I mean, we have a lot of journalists that are working with us all around the world. And they have different roles in working on this project. I won’t go into specifics into what each and everybody’s role is.

SR: Are you aware of how controversial Israel Shamir is in an international context?

Hrafnsson: There are a lot of controversial people around the world that are associated with us. I don’t really see the point of the question.

SR: Are you aware of the allegations that he is an anti-Semite?

Hrafnsson: I have heard those allegations…yes, yes. [Pause] What is the question really there?

SR: The question is, do you that that would [sic] be a problem?

Hrafnsson: No, I’m not going to comment on that.

Strip away the caginess and the obfuscation—remember, no one is allowed secrets but WikiLeaks—and Hrafnsson, who took over spokesman duties when Assange was jailed last week, confirms that WikiLeaks chose Shamir to work with their Russian media partners. After its investigation, the Swedish Radio program Medierna concluded flatly that "Israel Shamir represents WikiLeaks in Russia."

The forthcoming splinter group, OpenLeaks, led by WikiLeaks veterans tired of Assange's dictatorial style and obsession with being the organization's public face, claims to not be motivated by a particular set of political beliefs and promises to be transparent about its own operations and finances, something which WikiLeaks has been consistently—and credibly—attacked over. For those who think that leaking is, generally speaking, a positive thing, they should welcome an organization divorced from the ridiculous and amateur figure of Assange.

It's necessary for an organization like WikiLeaks, which claims to be creating new types of journalism (we do "scientific journalism," Assange declared triumphantly), to adhere to the basic principles of journalism. When asked about Shamir, Hrafnsson ducks and weaves, pretending that he is, like Assange, just a “controversial” figure, not an anti-Semite and semi-literate Holocaust denier with ties to both the extreme right and left and a well-documented penchant for lying.

So let’s treat the WikiLeaks organization like the journalists they insist they are, and ask the question put forward by Novaya Gazeta reporter Yulia Latynina: Out of all the competent journalists who are sympathetic to the WikiLeaks mission, why have Wahlström and Shamir—one a disgraced journalist, the other an extreme racist—been trusted with the largest intelligence leak in history?

* - Soon after this piece was published, Wahlström told Swedish public radio that his "father is what I would call the Swedish equivalent to Salman Rushdie," noting that he is a "very polemical" person, which must contain both the most profane comparison and biggest understatement of the year. ... -employees
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby Blue » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:40 am

seemslikeadream wrote:Perhaps Assange is thinking of a February 2015 email in the WikiLeaks dump. In that email, a staffer tells Podesta that his Windows 8 login on what appears to be a new work computer is username: jpodesta and password: p@ssw0rd.

Interestingly, in another email sent in May 2015, the same staffer tells Podesta his Apple ID password: Runner4567.

So we have two of Podesta’s passwords, but neither are for his email account.

Absurd to believe he would make it that obvious. I can believe a staffer would make it an easy one with the expectation that Podesta would change it right away for security. Wonder if a statement like that was in the email.

But really. What is the point? To show that Podesta or Democrats are dumb? All of those with staffers delegate practically everything. Remember Daddy Bush trying to hang with the plebes in a grocery store and marveling at the new fangled, not, barcode scanner?

The whole thing is creepy.
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:50 am

Deceiving conspiracies

Since a conspiracy is a type of cognitive device that acts on information acquired from it's environment, distorting or restricting these inputs means acts based on them are likely to be misplaced. Programmers call this effect garbage in, garbage out

Usually the effect runs the other way; it is conspiracy that is the agent of deception and information restriction. In the US, the programmer's aphorism is sometimes called "the Fox News effect". ... racies.pdf
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby Rory » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:50 pm

Reason? Wtf
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby Rory » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:03 pm

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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby liminalOyster » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:39 pm

Reason has some merits every once in awhile but Michael Moynihan is a total dick. His Bernie red-baiting last year was something else.
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby liminalOyster » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:04 pm

Sorry was only defending the Reason dismissal. I fell for the Israel Shamir trap once over a decade ago and would be hard-pressed to defend him ever again.

I will say that I find points 2 and 3 here pretty weak towards establishing an Assange / Russia sympathy:

The connections range from sharing purloined documents with a pro-Russian dictator to Assange receiving money for appearing on Russian state TV to WikiLeaks’ key involvement in NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden ending up in Russia.

I'm assuming point two is no different than someone who appeared on Thom Hartmann's show? As for point three, I find it hard to overlook the similar manner in which Snowden himself has both wrongly been accused of Russian sympathies and very convincingly refuted the charge.
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:43 am

Julian Assange’s Reddit AMA Literally Leaves More Unanswered Questions

Jan 11, 2017 By W. E. Messamore in Media
After playing a historic role in the 2016 US presidential election by publishing the Clinton campaign’s internal emails, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has gone on a media blitz that started with a press conference Monday and a Reddit AMA interview Tuesday.

In the press conference, Assange stuck by his assertion that the source of the leaks did not originate from hacking by the Russian government, and went so far as to say that US intelligence reports to the contrary are politically motivated and “quite embarrassing to the reputations of the US intelligence services.”

On Reddit the following day, the Australian computer programmer and controversial journalist was grilled by commenters along the same lines in his AMA (Ask Me Anything) group interview.

Assange ducked some of the more pointed questions about the controversy, even though they had received thousands of votes from the Reddit community, such as:

“Please address the allegations that WikiLeaks has a friendly relationship with Russia and cannot be considered objective with their leaks and their agenda. The timeline that makes these allegations seem plausible:

10/26/10 – WikiLeaks ready to drop a bombshell on Russia

11/01/10 – Russia’s FSB to Wikileaks: We Can Destroy You

1/20/11 – Julian Assange gets Russian Visa

1/25/12 – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s TV show to be aired on Russian channel

4/6/16 – WikiLeaks: US Gov’t Behind Panama Leaks to Attack Putin

8/8/16 – Can We Trust Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

Since you are so adamant that Russia was not involved in the recent leaks that played a major role in the US presidential election, it would be helpful if you can make a compelling case for why Americans should trust you over their own intelligence agencies whose reason for existence is to defend the US against foreign threats and who are saying the opposite about Russian involvement.”


“During latest interview on FOX News, with Sean Hannity you clearly stated that ‘that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party’. You were referring to DNC hack data and John Podesta emails.

You did not mention the possibility that WikiLeaks got the material from a third party.

And because submissions to WikiLeaks are anonymous through TOR network, it’s practically impossible for WikiLeaks to identify the leaker if he doesn’t want to be identified. If leaker wants to be identified, it is still possible he impersonates somebody. I understand that you can’t give any details about those submissions…

My question is:

Do you have any further comments regarding possibility that DNC servers were hacked by Russian intelligence, or do you want to distance yourself from any speculations about actual people who breached DNC servers?”

Another popular question that went unanswered about the ideas driving policy was:

“People frequently group you together with Edward Snowden because you’ve both released classified American documents. But your motivations and philospophies couldn’t be more different.

Snowden claims to fight for privacy. He’s called privacy the bedrock of freedom, that one cannot be free without privacy.

You have called privacy obsolete and unsustainable. You’ve said that privacy has no inherent value. You appear to believe privacy and freedom are incompatible, that you cannot be free if others can keep secrets from you. You’ve published the credit card numbers, social security numbers, medical information, and sexual preferences of individuals of zero public interest. Two of your most recent publications are the personal Gmail inboxes of civilians, exactly the sort of thing Snowden has tried to protect.

Can you convince me that you’re right and Snowden’s wrong?”

What questions did the WikiLeaks founder answer?

Along the lines of the Russian hacking theory, one commentator did note how unusual it was for WikiLeaks to confirm or deny a source:

“As someone who’s followed WikiLeaks for a long time, what’s most remarkable to me about the US election publications is that this is the only time (with the possible exception of Aaron Swartz) that you’ve ever confirmed or denied a source. You’d been asked previously on multiple occasions to deny a state party was the source for these releases but refused, saying it would be “dangerous” and “irresponsible” to do so.

I found it very suspicious that, just weeks later, the first time you ever denied a source was in a heavily-edited interview aired on RT, an organization that obviously benefits from you denying they’re the source, regardless of whether they are. You’ve reaffirmed the other day that you’re uncomfortable having so.

Your denial, in particular, seems to be spliced together from three separate responses (masked by cuts to reaction shots), in response to a question removed in the cutting room (though the cut happens a few frames after he starts to open his mouth to ask it). With zero follow-up from you or Pilger.

My question is twofold. Do you think the edited interview accurately reflects the answers you gave? If so, did your previous business arrangement with RT in any waeny influence your decision to break WikiLeaks’s most sacred rule in an interview exclusivley aired on their network?”

Julian Assange answered:

“We have never confirmed or denied a source. We have occasionally stated broad properties about who a source is or is not where we felt it was crucial to do so (to prevent the risk of war or the undermining of the publication). The interview was not with RT it was for Dartmouth and a UK broadcaster. It was then sold, somewhat irritatingly, to RT.”
Many of the other questions Assange responded to were about how WikiLeaks operates and maintains its security / operational integrity under the harsh pressures of its role in geopolitics. Many were technical questions about the organization’s use of encryption to accomplish its goals.

A lot of commenters asked Assange to prove he was really alive and that the interview was actually live, which clearly irritated him and which he dismissed as “silly.”

The questions arose because of speculation since last Fall that Assange was dead or had been detained under CIA rendition, speculation resulting from the blackout of Assange’s Internet connection in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he’s been holed up since 2012 to avoid extradition to the United States.

Assange said:

“We hoped people concerned with my safety would direct their attention to those people responsible for the situation, the UK Government, the US Government and the Ecuadorian government. Some did, and that is quite possibly why the Internet was put back on.”
In his live streamed video answers to the Reddit questions (archived video here), Assange praised the work and tenacity of his people at WikiLeaks:

“They are really tough, smart people. It’s like troops who lose their commander in the middle of a battle with bombs raining down on them. What usually happens is people scatter, go home, get scared or careless, but that didn’t happen, not with our people.”
Investigation into alleged conspiratorial ties among WikiLeaks, the Russian government, and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to swirl in the intelligence community under close media scrutiny, dominating headlines the day after Assange’s AMA.
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:35 pm

Julian Assange wants President Trump’s Justice Department to cut him a deal before being extradited
The WikiLeaks founder also blamed President Obama after backing out of his promise to be extradited ... xtradited/

keep hope alive Julian're just one of us now
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Re: Assange Amazing Adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde Land

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:30 pm

WikiLeaks spokesman quietly steps out of the spotlight
Tuesday, February 28th 2017, 5:11 pm CST

AP Cybersecurity Writer
PARIS (AP) - As WikiLeaks thrust itself into the heart of America's electoral contest last year, the group's chief spokesman tiptoed out of spotlight, stepping down from his job in a little-noticed move that leaves Julian Assange as the only public face of the radical transparency organization.

So discreet was journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson's departure as WikiLeaks' official representative that even in his native Iceland some fellow reporters didn't know his role had changed. Hrafnsson's Wikipedia page still describes the 54-year-old as WikiLeaks' spokesman, and some news outlets still try to reach him for comment when Assange is in the headlines.

"I'm not the WikiLeaks spokesman anymore," Hrafnsson confirmed in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Iceland on Tuesday. He said he was still doing work for WikiLeaks - and had chatted with Assange only a few days ago - but had relinquished the role of chief media representative for personal reasons.

"Being on the road for six years gets pretty tiring," he added.

Hrafnsson's move comes as Assange's public profile is changing. His publication of Democratic Party emails in the heat of the American presidential election made Assange a hero for many on the right who had previously reviled the ex-hacker for revealing U.S. military and diplomatic secrets.

WikiLeaks is also changing, partially reinstating the Wikipedia-style user-driven editing that marked its early years and crowdsourcing some of its online public relations work with the help of a group called the WikiLeaks Task Force .

Hrafnsson acknowledged that his move was kept quiet, but said that had to be seen in the context of the ongoing U.S. investigation into WikiLeaks.

"In general, we try to protect our people," he said.

Hrafnsson first met Assange after the latter's 2009 exposure of a major Icelandic banking scandal turned him into an overnight hero in the tiny north Atlantic nation.

Hrafnsson traveled to Iraq in April 2010 to interview the children of the civilians gunned down by laughing American helicopter pilots - an act captured by the infamous video later published by WikiLeaks under the title "Collateral Murder" - and took up the role as WikiLeaks' press representative after Assange was arrested in late 2010 over sex crimes allegations in Sweden.

The group's previous spokesman, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, had earlier split with the group amid a bitter feud with Assange.

Hrafnsson became one of Assange's senior lieutenants and the tall, silver-haired journalist was often seen at Assange's side during his winding legal battle against extradition to Sweden. Hrafnsson was the only person other than Assange authorized to receive sensitive information on WikiLeaks' behalf and was one of only two other board members at Assange's Icelandic media company, Sunshine Press Productions, when it was registered in 2010.

People paying close attention to WikiLeaks' site may have caught a hint about Hrafnsson's changing role. In August, a new contact page described Hrafnsson as an "advocate" instead of "official WikiLeaks representative."

The same page says that now only Assange can receive sensitive information on WikiLeaks' behalf. ... -spotlight

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