The Wikileaks Question

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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Sun May 13, 2018 1:40 pm

seemslikeadream » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:58 pm wrote:
GOP Rep. asks Clinton to declare WikiLeaks a ‘foreign terrorist organization’

By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, November 28th, 2010 -- 7:20 pm

A Republican Congressman from New York has invented a new definition for the word "terrorism" that doesn't require guns, bombs, vast underground networks of sleeper cells, a criminal conspiracy or even violence.

All that's needed to be a terrorist, according to Rep. Peter King, is a website and some inconvenient information.

That's why King sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday, demanding that whistleblower website WikiLeaks be deemed a "foreign terrorist organization" and it's founder declared a terror ringleader.

"To me they are a clear and present enemy to the United States of America," he told a CBS radio reporter on Sunday.

King said the website's release of sensitive -- but not "top secret" -- US diplomatic cables was "worse than a military attack."


Declaring the site a "terrorist" group, King suggested, would allow the US "to seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them with any help or contributions or assistance whatsoever."

He also called for site founder Julian Assange to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

That may prove difficult, however, given that WikiLeaks did not steal any of the documents it released to the media -- they was given to them by a whistleblower, allegedly a young soldier named Bradley Manning.

That sequence of events, of a whistleblower contacting a high profile news venue with explosive information that needs to be made public, happens in newsrooms all across the country every week.

Though inconvenient for officials, the revelation of information contained in any of the WikiLeaks files, much like the Pentagon Papers amid the Vietnam war, is crucial to maintaining an enlightened public -- a point the US Supreme Court made abundantly clear in New York Times Co. v. United States in 1971.

"In seeking injunctions against these newspapers and in its presentation to the Court, the Executive Branch seems to have forgotten the essential purpose and history of the First Amendment," Justices Hugo Black and William Douglas wrote, taking the side of the Times, which had recently published what was then considered the largest cache of secret military information in US history.

"In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy," they continued. "The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government."

After the release of the Pentagon Papers, Justices Black and Douglas opined that "newspapers nobly did precisely that which the Founders hoped and trusted they would do."

According to Daniel Ellsberg, the man responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers, WikiLeaks has done just the same.


Concurring with the court's majority, Justice Potter Stewart added: "In the absence of the governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry - in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government. For this reason, it is perhaps here that a press that is alert, aware, and free most vitally serves the basic purpose of the First Amendment. For without an informed and free press there cannot be an enlightened people."

“[The WikiLeaks] documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match," the Times added.

“The Attorney General and I don’t always agree on different issues, but I believe on this one, he and I strongly agree that there should be a criminal prosecution [of WikiLeaks],” Rep. King told CBS radio.

Attorney General Holder has not made any announcement regarding a criminal prosecution of the site or it's founder. The White House strongly condemned the site's actions on Sunday, calling the publication of State Dept. documents a continuation of a violation of law.

King's call for prosecution was echoed Sunday by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-GA), Clair McCaskill (D-MO) and former State Department official Liz Cheney.

Julian Assange is currently wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities who are investigating a claim of rape and molestation. Assange has maintained that the charges are baseless and part of a campaign to discredit him.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 pm

Added emphasis.

Apparently the Ecuadorian turnabout who got in on Correa's coattails and promptly smashed everything he promised to uphold, Lenin Moreno, is getting ready to sell Assange to the UK - and thus U.S. - for promise of FDI and AID "favors." Everything converges, it seems.

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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Grizzly » Mon May 14, 2018 2:36 am

Thanks Jack.
If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:09 pm

Thanks for picking this up.

Australia apparently involved in the negotiations over Assange's next prison cell?

BenDhyan » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:40 pm wrote:Hopefully they can work something out...

Australian officials spotted in mysterious Assange visit

By Nick Miller 8 June 2018

London: Australian government officials have paid a mysterious visit to Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London, in a sign there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate that has lasted almost six years.

Two officials from Australia's High Commission were spotted leaving the embassy in Knightsbridge in west London on Thursday.

It is the first time Australian consular officials have visited Assange at the embassy.

They were accompanied by Assange's lawyer Jennifer Robinson.

Robinson confirmed the meeting to Fairfax but said she could not say what the meeting was about "given the delicate diplomatic situation".

"Julian Assange is in a very serious situation" she said. "He remains in the embassy because of the risk of extradition to the US. That risk is undeniable after numerous statements by Trump administration officials including the director of the CIA and the US attorney-general."

-snip-

A spokeswoman from the High Commission said she would have to refer any questions about the meeting to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra confirmed it is providing consular assistance to Assange through the Australian High Commission in London.

Citing privacy obligations, however, DFAT refused to offer further comment.

https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/australian-officials-spotted-in-mysterious-assange-visit-20180608-p4zk7w.html

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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Elvis » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:11 pm

September 28, 2018
WikiLeaks Drops New Information Relating To Arms Industry Corruption & War In Yemen


WikiLeaks, a controversial non-profit organization that publishes news leaks, secret information, and classified documents provided by anonymous sources dropped new information relating to “arms industry corruption, France, UAE, Germany and the war in Yemen” today.

This was announced via the organization’s official Twitter account.

Along with the announcement, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to the “Yemen Files” section of its official website.

Following the announcement, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to the newest release.

The organization has previously published information pertaining to the war in Yemen. On November 25, 2016, WikiLeaks published a collection of more than 500 (300 emails and 200 PDFs) documents from the United States embassy in Sana’a, Yemen.

The 2016 Yemen Files drop spans the period from 2009 until 2015, when Yemen broke out in war. The period covers Hillary Rodham Clinton’s term as Secretary of State, and the first two years of Hillary successor John Kerry’s tenure.

“The war in Yemen has produced 3.15 million internally displaced persons. Although the United States government has provided most of the bombs and is deeply involved in the conduct of the war itself reportage on the war in English is conspicuously rare,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said at the time.

. . . [more]

https://www.inquisitr.com/5092904/wikil ... war-yemen/



Includes link to release:

RELEASE. Dealmaker: Secret ruling by ICC arbitration court on alleged corruption linked to $3.6 billion French/German/UAE arms deal.

Image

https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/10 ... 0900888576
"Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous."
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Elvis » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:12 pm

Entire interview is excellent but re Assange jump to 9:05:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYtGOjqnNGU
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Karmamatterz » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:12 pm

Perfect for U.S. arms manufacturers: Accuse the competition of corruption and evil doing.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:09 pm

.

Image

Comments by me on a Platform That Shall Not Be Named.

The American government is preparing to nullify the First Amendment, de facto. Soon we must bear the spectacle of Democratic-Republican bipartisans celebrating the extradition of Assange, enemy of the state because he revealed too much truth. We shall see if the newspapers that co-published the documents received by Wikileaks will also approve this latest human rights violation. It will be their own funeral as a free press, that is if they care any more. If a conviction follows, de facto will become de jure. The American Civil Liberties Union -- founded to protect dissidents during the original WWI-era Red Scare -- understands the stakes.


Wizner could have added that U.S. journalists also routinely violate domestic secrecy laws, in collusion with all the anonymous high-ranking White House and cabinet officials who routinely leak classified material (generally: hysterical bullshit) to justify aggressive foreign policy stances against Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, etc.


It is also possible that the DoJ will avoid the appearance of "prosecution... for publishing operations," although my own intuition tells me not to expect this. They want a head on a pike, planted in front of the New York Times building. They want a precedent for going after everyone. If they could reverse the 1735 Zenger case, they would.


But it is possible that they will go with some conspiracy concoction related to how this or that leak was acquired. Another reason I don't expect this is that it would subject official stories about the DNC leak or Vault 7 to scrutiny in open court. In fact, they're clearly willing to risk a lot in trying Assange, he will have high-powered help. But maybe now I am naive?! I mean, I *think* that they're going to choose open court, and not a military tribunal at Guantanamo?


An article by the often unbearable #Russiagater Marcy Wheeler (sorry, have to include that caveat) seems sound on the legal thinking behind four possible scenarios for charging Assange. #2, besides making advocacy journalism with leaks illegal, would amount to tempting Clinton into court, either literally or in public as the victimized party, and she just might have the hubris to fall for it. #3 you will not see, as it would also be applicable to Trump, even if he argues it was just a joke or reckless comment.

(QUOTED MATTER)

There are, roughly, four theories DOJ might use to charge Assange:

1. Receiving and publishing stolen information is illegal

2. Conspiring to release stolen information for maximal damage is illegal

3. Soliciting the theft of protected information is illegal

4. Using stolen weapons to extort the US government is illegal

https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/11/16/t ... n-leopold/

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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:17 pm

Emma Best in Lost Vegas
I've been reading parts of the government's files on #WikiLeaks lately, and if I'm reading them right then FBI has evidence against #Assange that's unrelated to WL's publications, and for which no First Amendment defense exists.



Op-ed by First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams who represented New York Times before Supreme Court in Pentagon Papers case.


Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers

Everyone knows that Daniel Ellsberg leaked top-secret government documents about the Vietnam War. How many remember the ones he kept secret, or why?

Floyd Abrams
Updated Dec. 29, 2010 12:01 a.m. ET

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg decided to make available to the New York Times (and then to other newspapers) 43 volumes of the Pentagon Papers, the top- secret study prepared for the Department of Defense examining how and why the United States had become embroiled in the Vietnam conflict. But he made another critical decision as well. That was to keep confidential the remaining four volumes of the study describing the diplomatic efforts of the United States to resolve the war.

Not at all coincidentally, those were the volumes that the government most feared would be disclosed. In a secret brief filed with the Supreme Court, the U.S. government described the diplomatic volumes as including information about negotiations secretly conducted on its behalf by foreign nations including Canada, Poland, Italy and Norway. Included as well, according to the government, were "derogatory comments about the perfidiousness of specific persons involved, and statements which might be offensive to nations or governments."

The diplomatic volumes were not published, even in part, for another dozen years. Mr. Ellsberg later explained his decision to keep them secret, according to Sanford Ungar's 1972 book "The Papers & The Papers," by saying, "I didn't want to get in the way of the diplomacy."

Julian Assange sure does. Can anyone doubt that he would have made those four volumes public on WikiLeaks regardless of their sensitivity? Or that he would have paid not even the slightest heed to the possibility that they might seriously compromise efforts to bring a speedier end to the war?

Mr. Ellsberg himself has recently denounced the "myth" of the "good" Pentagon Papers as opposed to the "bad" WikiLeaks. But the real myth is that the two disclosures are the same.

The Pentagon Papers revelations dealt with a discrete topic, the ever-increasing level of duplicity of our leaders over a score of years in increasing the nation's involvement in Vietnam while denying it. It revealed official wrongdoing or, at the least, a pervasive lack of candor by the government to its people.

WikiLeaks is different. It revels in the revelation of "secrets" simply because they are secret. It assaults the very notion of diplomacy that is not presented live on C-Span. It has sometimes served the public by its revelations but it also offers, at considerable potential price, a vast amount of material that discloses no abuses of power at all.


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a press conference in Geneva Switzerland, Nov. 4. Associated Press


The recent release of a torrent of State Department documents is typical. Some, containing unflattering appraisals by American diplomats of foreign leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Libya and elsewhere, contain the very sort of diplomacy-destructive materials that Mr. Ellsberg withheld. Others—the revelation that Syria continued selling missiles to Hezbollah after explicitly promising America it would not do so, for example—provide a revealing glimpse of a world that few ever see. Taken as a whole, however, a leak of this elephantine magnitude, which appears to demonstrate no misconduct by the U.S., is difficult to defend on any basis other than WikiLeaks' general disdain for any secrecy at all.

Mr. Ellsberg understood that some government documents should remain secret, at least for some period of time. Mr. Assange views the very notion of government secrecy as totalitarian in nature. He has referred to his site as "an uncensorable system for untraceable document leaking and analysis."

But WikiLeaks offers no articles of its own, no context of any of the materials it discloses, and no analysis of them other than assertions in press releases or their equivalent. As Princeton historian Sean Wilentz told the Associated Press earlier this month, WikiLeaks seems rooted in a "simpleminded idea of secrecy and transparency," one that is "simply offended by any actions that are cloaked."

Ironically, this view of the world may aid Mr. Assange in avoiding criminal liability for his actions. The Justice Department is well aware that if it can prove that Mr. Assange induced someone in the government to provide him with genuinely secret information, it might be able to obtain an indictment under the Espionage Act based upon that sort of conspiratorial behavior. But the government might not succeed if it can indict based only upon a section of the Espionage Act relating to unauthorized communication or retention of documents.

Section 793 of the Espionage Act was adopted in 1917 before the Supreme Court had ever declared an act of Congress unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The statute has been well-described by former Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan as "singularly oblique." Its language is sweepingly overbroad, allowing prosecution of anyone who "willfully" retains or communicates information "relating to the national defense" he or she is not "authorized" to have with the knowledge that it "could" damage the United States or give "advantage" to a foreign nation.

On the face of the statute, it could not only permit the indictment of Mr. Assange but of journalists who actually report about or analyze diplomatic or defense topics. To this date, no journalist has ever been indicted under these provisions.

The Justice Department took the position that it could enforce the law against journalists in a case it commenced in 2006 (and later dropped) against two former officials of the American Israel Political Action Committee accused of orally telling an Israeli diplomat classified information they were told by a Defense Department employee. In that case, federal Judge T.S. Ellis III ruled that to obtain a conviction of individuals who had not worked for the government but had received information from individuals who had, prosecutors must prove that the defendant actually intended to harm the U.S. or to help an enemy. Judge Ellis intimated that unless the law were read in that defendant-protective manner, it would violate the First Amendment.

Under that reading of the legislation, if Mr. Assange were found to have communicated and retained the secret information with the intent to harm the United States—some of his statements can be so read—a conviction might be obtained. But if Mr. Assange were viewed as simply following his deeply held view that the secrets of government should be bared, notwithstanding the consequences, he might escape legal punishment.

Mr. Assange is no boon to American journalists. His activities have already doomed proposed federal shield-law legislation protecting journalists' use of confidential sources in the just-adjourned Congress. An indictment of him could be followed by the judicial articulation of far more speech-limiting legal principles than currently exist with respect to even the most responsible reporting about both diplomacy and defense. If he is not charged or is acquitted of whatever charges may be made, that may well lead to the adoption of new and dangerously restrictive legislation. In more than one way, Mr. Assange may yet have much to answer for.

Mr. Abrams, a senior partner in the firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424 ... 0396601528


Lawyers for Julian Assange hit back at US ‘charges’

Published: 20:53 Friday 16 November 2018


Lawyers for Julian Assange have hit back at revelations the US justice department is preparing charges against the WikiLeaks founder.


Reports in the US said Mr Assange was named by mistake in a US court document, leading to suggestions he may have been charged in secret. Justice officials said the filing was made in error.


The Australian has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than six years, believing he will be extradited to the US if he leaves. He has long maintained the US authorities have a sealed indictment for his arrest.

Barry J Pollack, US attorney for Mr Assange, said: “The notion federal criminal charges could be brought based on the publication of truthful information is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set.”


Jennifer Robinson, Mr Assange’s lawyer in the UK, added: “The US indictment of Assange is a grave violation of press freedoms. The Trump administration is seeking to extend US law worldwide, claiming it is a criminal offence for a publisher in Europe to reveal evidence of US government abuses. How long until China, Russia or Saudi Arabia follow suit, citing the US example?”
https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/lawyer ... -1-4831288


THE THEORY OF PROSECUTION YOU LOVE FOR JULIAN ASSANGE MAY LOOK DIFFERENT WHEN APPLIED TO JASON LEOPOLD

November 16, 2018/4 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe, WikiLeaks /by emptywheel
The WaPo confirmed something Seamus Hughes disclosed last night: Sometime before August 22, EDVA had filed a sealed complaint (not indictment) against Julian Assange.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing — a development that could significantly advance the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and have major implications for those who publish government secrets.

The disclosure came in a filing in a case unrelated to Assange. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that “due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” Later, Dwyer wrote the charges would “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”

Dwyer is also assigned to the WikiLeaks case. People familiar with the matter said what Dwyer was disclosing was true, but unintentional.


The confirmation closely follows a WSJ story describing increased confidence that the US will succeed in extraditing Assange for trial.

The confirmation that Assange has been charged has set off a frenzy, both among Assange supporters who claim this proves their years of claims he was indicted back in 2011 and insisting that charging him now would amount to criminalizing journalism, and among so-called liberals attacking Assange lawyer Barry Pollack’s scolding of DOJ for breaking their own rules.

I’ve long been on record saying that I think most older theories of charging Assange would be very dangerous for journalism. More recently, though, I’ve noted that Assange’s actions with respect to Vault 7, which had original venue in EDVA where the Assange complaint was filed (accused leaker Joshua Schulte waived venue in his prosecution), go well beyond journalism. That said, I worry DOJ may have embraced a revised theory on Assange’s exposure that would have dire implications for other journalists, most urgently for Jason Leopold.

There are, roughly, four theories DOJ might use to charge Assange:

Receiving and publishing stolen information is illegal

Conspiring to release stolen information for maximal damage is illegal

Soliciting the theft of protected information is illegal

Using stolen weapons to extort the US government is illegal

RECEIVING AND PUBLISHING STOLEN INFORMATION IS ILLEGAL

The first, theory is the one that Obama’s DOJ rejected, based on the recognition that it would expose NYT journalists to prosecution as well. I suspect the Trump Administration will have the same reservations with such a prosecution.

CONSPIRING TO RELEASE STOLEN INFORMATION FOR MAXIMAL DAMAGE IS ILLEGAL

The second imagines that Assange would be charged for behavior noted in the GRU indictment — WikiLeaks’ solicitation, from someone using the persona of Guccifer 2.0, of material such that it would be maximally damaging to Hillary Clinton.

On or about June 22, 2016, Organization 1 sent a private message to Guccifer 2.0 to “[s]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.” On or about July 6, 2016, Organization 1 added, “if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.” The Conspirators responded, “ok . . . i see.” Organization 1 explained, “we think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary . . . so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”

After failed attempts to transfer the stolen documents starting in late June 2016, on or about July 14, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent Organization 1 an email with an attachment titled “wk dnc link1.txt.gpg.” The Conspirators explained to Organization 1 that the encrypted file contained instructions on how to access an online archive of stolen DNC documents. On or about July 18, 2016, Organization 1 confirmed it had “the 1Gb or so archive” and would make a release of the stolen documents “this week.”

Significantly, WikiLeaks (but not Roger Stone) was referred to in the way an unidicted co-conspirator normally is, not named, but described in such a way to make its identity clear.

This is a closer call. There is a Supreme Court precedent protecting journalists who publish stolen newsworthy information. But it’s one already being challenged in civil suits in ways that have elicited a lot of debate. Prosecuting a journalist for trying to do maximal damage actually would criminalize a great deal of political journalism, starting but not limited to Fox. Note that when the founders write the First Amendment, the norm was political journalism, not the so-called objective journalism we have now, so they certainly didn’t expect press protections to be limited to those trying to be fair to both sides.

Such a charge may depend on the degree to which the government can prove foreknowledge of the larger agreement with the Russians to damage Hillary, as well as the illegal procurement of information after WikiLeaks expressed an interest in information damaging Hillary.

Mueller might have evidence to support this (though there’s also evidence that WikiLeaks refused to publish a number of things co-conspirators leaked to them, including but not limited to the DCCC documents). The point is, we don’t know what the fact pattern on such a prosecution would look like, and how it would distinguish the actions from protected politically engaged journalism.

SOLICITING THE THEFT OF PROTECTED INFORMATION IS ILLEGAL

Then there’s the scenario that Emma Best just hit on yesterday: that DOJ would prosecute Assange for soliciting hacks of specific targets. Best points to Assange’s close coordination with hackers going back to at least 2011 (ironically, but in a legally meaningless way, with FBI’s mole Sabu).

This is, in my opinion, a possible way DOJ would charge Assange that would be very dangerous. I’m particularly worried because of the way the DOJ charged Natalie Mayflower Edwards for leaking Suspicious Activity Reports to Jason Leopold. Edwards was charged with two crimes: Unauthorized Disclosure of Suspicious Activity Reports and Conspiracy to Make Unauthorized Disclosures of Suspicious Activity Reports (using the same Conspiracy charge that Mueller has been focused on).

In addition to describing BuzzFeed stories relying on SARs that Edwards saved to a flash drive by October 18, 2017 and then January 8, 2018, it describes a (probably Signal) conversation from September 2018 where Leopold — described in the manner used to describe unindicted co-conspirators — directed Edwards to conduct certain searches for material that ended up in an October story on Prevezon, a story published the day before Edwards was charged.

As noted above, the October 2018 Article regarded, among other things, Prevezon and the Investment Company. As recently as September 2018, EDWARDS and Reporter-1 engaged in the following conversation, via the Encrypted Application, in relevant part:

EDWARDS: I am not getting any hits on [the CEO of the Investment Company] do you have any idea what the association is if I had more information i could search in different areas

Reporter-1: If not on his name it would be [the Investment Company]. That’s the only other one [The CEO] is associated with Prevezon Well not associated His company is [the Investment Company]

Based upon my training and experience, my participation in the investigation, and my conversations with other law enforcement agents familiar with the investigation, I believe that in the above conversation, EDWARDS was explaining that she had performed searches of FinCEN records relating to Prevezon, at Reporter-l’s request, in order to supply SAR information for the October 2018 Article.


Edwards still has not been indicted, two weeks after her arraignment. That suggests it’s possible the government is trying to persuade her to plead and testify against Leopold in that conspiracy, thereby waiving indictment. The argument, in that case, would be that Leopold went beyond accepting stolen protected information, to soliciting the theft of the information.

This is the model a lot of people are embracing for an Assange prosecution, and it’s something that a lot of journalists not named Jason Leopold also do (arguably, it’s similar but probably more active than what James Rosen got dubbed a co-conspirator in the Stephen Jin-Woo Kim case).

Charging Leopold in a bunch of leaks pertaining to Russian targets would be a nice way (for DOJ, not for journalism) to limit any claim that just Assange was being targeted under such a theory. Indeed, it would placate Trump and would endanger efforts to report on what Mueller and Congress have been doing. Furthermore, it would be consistent with the aggressive approach to journalists reflected in the prosecution of James Wolfe for a bunch of leaks pertaining to Carter Page, which involved subpoenaing years of Ali Watkins’ call records.

In short, pursuing Leopold for a conspiracy to leak charge would be consistent with — and for DOJ, tactically advantageous — the theory under which most people want Assange charged.

USING STOLEN WEAPONS TO EXTORT THE US GOVERNMENT IS ILLEGAL

Finally, there’s the fourth possibility, and one I think is highly likely: charging Assange for his serial efforts to extort a pardon from the US government by threatening to release the Vault 7 (and ultimately, a single Vault 8 live malware) files.

This post shows how, starting in January 2017, Assange (and Oleg Deripaska) representative Adam Waldman was reaching out to top DOJ officials trying to negotiate a deal and using the release of the Vault 7 documents as leverage.

Image

This post shows how, the second time Assange tweeted Don Jr asking for an Ambassadorship, he included a threatening reference to Vault 8, WikiLeaks’ name for the actual malware stolen and leaked from CIA, the first file from which Assange had released days earlier.

[B]ack in November 2017, some outlets began to publish a bunch of previously undisclosed DMs between Don Jr and Wikileaks. Most attention focused on Wikileaks providing Don Jr access to an anti-Trump site during the election. But I was most interested in Julian Assange’s December 16, 2016 “offer” to be Australian Ambassador to the US — basically a request for payback for his help getting Trump elected.

Hi Don. Hope you’re doing well! In relation to Mr. Assange: Obama/Clinton placed pressure on Sweden, UK and Australia (his home country) to illicitly go after Mr. Assange. It would be real easy and helpful for your dad to suggest that Australia appoint Assange ambassador to DC “That’s a really smart tough guy and the most famous australian you have! ” or something similar. They won’t do it, but it will send the right signals to Australia, UK + Sweden to start following the law and stop bending it to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons. 12/16/16 12:38PM


In the wake of the releases, on November 14, 2017, Assange tweeted out a follow-up.

Image

As I noted at the time, the offer included an implicit threat: by referencing “Vault 8,” the name Wikileaks had given to its sole release, on November 9, 2017 of an actual CIA exploit (as opposed to the documentation that Wikileaks had previously released), Assange was threatening to dump more hacking tools, as Shadow Brokers had done before it. Not long after, Ecuador gave Assange its first warning to stop meddling in other countries politics, explicitly pointing to his involvement in the Catalan referendum but also pointing to his tampering with other countries. That warning became an initial ban on visitors and Internet access in March of this year followed by a more formal one on May 10, 2018 that remains in place.

Notably, Ecuador may have warned Assange back then to stop releasing America’s malware from their Embassy; those warnings have laid the groundwork for the rigid gag rules recently imposed on Assange on risk of losing asylum.

Immediately after this exchange, accused Vault 7/8 leaker Joshua Schulte had some Tor accesses which led to him losing bail. They didn’t, however, lead BOP to take away his multiple devices (!?!?!). Which means that when they raided his jail cell on or around October 1, they found a bunch of devices and his activity from 13 email and social media accounts. Importantly, DOJ claims they also obtained video evidence of Schulte continuing his efforts to leak classified information.

The announcement of that raid, and the additional charges against Schulte, coincided with a period of increased silence from WikiLeaks, broken only by last night’s response to the confirmation Assange had been charged.

I think it possible and journalistically safe to go after Assange for releasing stolen weapons to extort a criminal pardon. But most of the other theories of prosecuting Assange would also pose real risks for other journalists that those rooting for an Assange prosecution appreciate and rely on.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/11/16/t ... n-leopold/
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:23 pm

.

If we're doing articles from 2010 here is Ellsberg's own assessment:


http://www.ellsberg.net/public-accuracy-press-release/

Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

[Below is a news release put out by the Institute for Public Accuracy, co-signed by Daniel Ellsberg]

Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

WASHINGTON – December 7 – The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that’s right, Russia’s Pravda): “What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic … After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when … government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. …”

So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. … the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

Odd, isn’t it, that it takes a Pravda commentator to drive home the point that the Obama administration is on the wrong side of history. Most of our own media are demanding that WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange be hunted down — with some of the more bloodthirsty politicians calling for his murder. The corporate-and-government dominated media are apprehensive over the challenge that WikiLeaks presents. Perhaps deep down they know, as Dickens put it, “There is nothing so strong … as the simple truth.”

As part of their attempt to blacken WikiLeaks and Assange, pundit commentary over the weekend has tried to portray Assange’s exposure of classified materials as very different from — and far less laudable than — what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg strongly rejects the mantra “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad.” He continues: “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Motivation? WikiLeaks’ reported source, Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, having watched Iraqi police abuses, and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.” Rather than simply go with the flow, Manning wrote: “I want people to see the truth … because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public,” adding that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates, and reform.

There is nothing to suggest that WikiLeaks/Assange’s motives were any different. Granted, mothers are not the most impartial observers. Yet, given what we have seen of Assange’s behavior, there was the ring of truth in Assange’s mother’s recent remarks in an interview with an Australian newspaper. She put it this way: “Living by what you believe in and standing up for something is a good thing. … He sees what he is doing as a good thing in the world, fighting baddies, if you like.”

That may sound a bit quixotic, but Assange and his associates appear the opposite of benighted. Still, with the Pentagon PR man Geoff Morrell and even Attorney General Eric Holder making thinly disguised threats of extrajudicial steps, Assange may be in personal danger.

The media: again, the media is key. No one has said it better than Monseñor Romero of El Salvador, who just before he was assassinated 25 years ago warned, “The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy.” Sadly, that is also true of the media situation in America today.

The big question is not whether Americans can “handle the truth.” We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions — an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, most of which have mounted a hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

So far, the question of whether Americans can “handle the truth” has been an academic rather than an experience-based one, because Americans have had very little access to the truth. Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, “ground truth.”

How to inform American citizens? As a step in that direction, on October 23 we “Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence” (see below) presented our annual award for integrity to Julian Assange. He accepted the honor “on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.” In presenting the award, we noted that many around the world are deeply indebted to truth-tellers like WikiLeaks and its sources.

Here is a brief footnote: Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) is a group of former CIA colleagues and other admirers of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. (For more, please see here.)

Sam did speak truth to power on Vietnam, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a truth-teller exemplifying Sam Adams’ courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences. Previous recipients include:

-Coleen Rowley of the FBI
-Katharine Gun of British Intelligence
-Sibel Edmonds of the FBI
-Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
-Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army
-Frank Grevil, Maj., Danish Army Intelligence
-Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.)
-Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.”
— Luke 12:2-3

The following former awardees and other associates have signed the above statement; some are available for interviews:

DANIEL ELLSBERG
A former government analyst, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret government history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. He was an admirer of Sam Adams when they were both working on Vietnam and in March 1968 disclosed to the New York Times some of Adams’ accurate analysis, helping head off reinforcement of 206,000 additional troops into South Vietnam and a widening of the war at that time to neighboring countries.

FRANK GREVIL
Grevil, a former Danish intelligence analyst, was imprisoned for giving the Danish press documents showing that Denmark’s Prime Minister (now NATO Secretary General) disregarded warnings that there was no authentic evidence of WMD in Iraq; in Copenhagen, Denmark.

KATHARINE GUN
Gun is a former British government employee who faced two years imprisonment in England for leaking a U.S. intelligence memo before the invasion of Iraq. The memo indicated that the U.S. had mounted a spying “surge” against U.N. Security Council delegations in early 2003 in an effort to win approval for an Iraq war resolution. The leaked memo — published by the British newspaper The Observer on March 2, 2003 — was big news in parts of the world, but almost ignored in the United States. The U.S. government then failed to obtain a U.N. resolution approving war, but still proceeded with the invasion.

DAVID MacMICHAEL
MacMichael is a former CIA analyst. He resigned in the 1980s when he came to the conclusion that the CIA was slanting intelligence on Central America for political reasons. He is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

RAY McGOVERN
McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing and briefing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

CRAIG MURRAY
Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, was fired from his job when he objected to Uzbeks being tortured to gain “intelligence” on “terrorists.” Upon receiving his Sam Adams award, Murray said, “I would rather die than let someone be tortured in an attempt to give me some increment of security.” Observers have noted that Murray was subjected to similar character assassination techniques as Julian Assange is now encountering to discredit him.

COLEEN ROWLEY
Rowley, a former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel whose May 2002 memo described some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She recently co-wrote a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, “WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if? Frustrated investigators might have chosen to leak information that their superiors bottled up, perhaps averting the terrorism attacks.”

LARRY WILKERSON
Wilkerson, Col., U.S. Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, who criticized what he called the “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal.” See recent interviewshttps://www.amazon.com/Doomsd ... 1608196704

December 8, 2010 by Michael Ellsberg
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Elvis » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:39 pm

Emma Best in Lost Vegas
I've been reading parts of the government's files on #WikiLeaks lately, and if I'm reading them right then FBI has evidence against #Assange that's unrelated to WL's publications


The court filing that "accidentally" includes Assange's name pertains to pedophile charges (with an added terrorism charge) brought against someone named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi; is the Justice Dept. indicting or planning to indict Assange on pedophile crimes, using the Kokayi case as a template?
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:48 pm

Yeah, I was just writing elsewhere that it beggars belief to think this was an accident. Maybe they'll go with terrorist. It's hubris against him for open court, but maybe there will be no open court, maybe terrorist means Gitmo, who the fuck knows. My own feeling was as follows:

This is so obviously not an accidental copy-paste error. I'd allow that possibility if the unrelated case was a bank robbery, but not for this. It's a teaser, with a bit of psyop to reinforce the smear on Assange as rapist, pervert, and now pedophile too:

Arguing that a case involving a man accused of coercing a minor for sex should be kept sealed, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen Dwyer, who is also working on a long-standing case against WikiLeaks, wrote that both the charges and the arrest warrant “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.”


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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Elvis » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:25 pm

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen Dwyer, who is also working on a long-standing case against WikiLeaks


I did not know that. Also FWIW, the "accidental" revelation follows closely on Whitaker's appointment.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby liminalOyster » Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:53 am


How the Trump Administration Stepped Up Pursuit of WikiLeaks’s Assange

National security officials have long viewed Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, with hostility and considered him a threat.
By Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman and Charlie Savage
Nov. 16, 2018

WASHINGTON — Soon after he took over as C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo privately told lawmakers about a new target for American spies: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Intent on finding out more about Mr. Assange’s dealings with Russian intelligence, the C.I.A. began last year to conduct traditional espionage against the organization, according to American officials. At the same time, federal law enforcement officials were reconsidering Mr. Assange’s designation as a journalist and debating whether to charge him with a crime.

Mr. Pompeo and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions unleashed an aggressive campaign against Mr. Assange, reversing an Obama-era view of WikiLeaks as a journalistic entity. For more than a year, the nation’s spies and investigators sought to learn about Mr. Assange and his ties to Russia as senior administration officials came to believe he was in league with Moscow.

Their work culminated in prosecutors secretly filing charges this summer against Mr. Assange, which were inadvertently revealed in an unrelated court filing and confirmed on Friday by a person familiar with the inquiry. Taken together, the C.I.A. spying and the Justice Department’s targeting of Mr. Assange represented a remarkable shift by both the American government and President Trump, who repeatedly lauded WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign for its releases of Democratic emails, stolen by Russian agents, that damaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

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A prosecution of Mr. Assange could pit the interests of the administration against Mr. Trump’s. Mr. Assange could help answer the central question of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III: whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia to interfere in the presidential race. If the case against Mr. Assange includes charges that he acted as an agent of a foreign power, anyone who knowingly cooperated with him could be investigated as a co-conspirator, former senior law-enforcement officials said.

Justice Department officials did not disclose the charges against Mr. Assange on Friday, prompting speculation around Washington about their nature. The case might be tied to the hacked Democratic emails, which are part of Mr. Mueller’s evidence of the wide-ranging election interference personally ordered by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The charges could also be related to WikiLeaks’s publication last year of C.I.A. tools to penetrate computers and mobile devices, the so-called Vault 7 disclosures.

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“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” Mike Pompeo said in his first speech as C.I.A. director.CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images
National security officials have long viewed Mr. Assange with hostility and considered him a threat. “He was a loathed figure inside the government,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, who served as a deputy national intelligence officer for Russia under the director of national intelligence until May.

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This account is drawn from current and former officials familiar with the government’s effort to step up scrutiny of Mr. Assange.

He first raised the ire of the American government in 2010 when Chelsea Manning, then known as Army Specialist Bradley Manning, began feeding classified documents from military computers in Iraq to WikiLeaks.

American law enforcement officials began seriously investigating the ties between WikiLeaks and Russia after Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who revealed closely held intelligence secrets, escaped to Russia in June 2013. Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks editor and one of Mr. Assange’s close advisers, accompanied Mr. Snowden to Moscow. Law enforcement officials wanted to know what role the group played in brokering Mr. Snowden’s asylum in Russia.

A year later, F.B.I. and C.I.A. officials began arguing internally that Mr. Assange was an information broker, not a journalist, former officials said. At one point, they pushed for a meeting with President Barack Obama to make the case that he was not a journalist, according to people briefed on the talks. The meeting never occurred.

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Inside the Justice Department under Mr. Obama, some officials expressed reluctance to pursue Mr. Assange because he could be construed as part of the news media. Obama administration officials were hesitant to wage a high-profile fight with Mr. Assange after being criticized heavily by the news media for obtaining records of journalists through court subpoenas in pursuit of leakers. The step is considered an intrusion on press freedoms.

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American officials began seriously investigating the ties between WikiLeaks and Russia after Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor, escaped to Russia in 2013.CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
Mr. Assange seemed to have crossed into uncharted ground by 2016 with the publication of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s servers and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, former F.B.I. officials said. He was deliberately attacking Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Trump and coordinating with Russian intelligence operatives, wittingly or not, to maximize the damage to her campaign.

Mr. Pompeo, then a Republican congressman from Kansas, initially praised the WikiLeaks disclosures. But once he took over the C.I.A., his rhetoric hardened.

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His first speech as director came a month after WikiLeaks published the archive of hacking tools stolen from the C.I.A., seriously eroding the agency’s ability to conduct electronic espionage.

Mr. Pompeo laid down a gauntlet. “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” he said last April.

To support his assessment, Mr. Pompeo cited how the group had encouraged followers to join the C.I.A. and steal secrets, and how “it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States while seeking support from anti-democratic countries.”

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After his speech, Mr. Pompeo headed to Congress to privately brief members conducting intelligence oversight on the C.I.A. efforts against WikiLeaks. Mr. Pompeo said the agency was conducting counterintelligence collection, which can include developing informants and penetrating computers overseas, officials said.

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Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, announced in July that 12 Russians were charged with interfering in the 2016 election. The indictment included thinly veiled references to WikiLeaks.CreditT.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
Mr. Pompeo also seemed to hold open the possibility that the intelligence community could begin other, more aggressive efforts to try to disrupt WikiLeaks. Some lawmakers expressed discomfort, according to an American official.

The speech by Mr. Pompeo, who has since become secretary of state, and other efforts were intended in part to pressure the Justice Department to intensify its reassessment of Mr. Assange, an intelligence official said.

Law enforcement officials had been trying to learn more about Mr. Assange’s knowledge of WikiLeaks’s interactions with Russian intelligence officers and its other actions, and for a time seemed willing to offer him some form of immunity from prosecutions in exchange for his testimony, reaching out to his lawyers. But Mr. Assange’s release of the Vault 7 tools ended those negotiations.

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Senior Justice Department officials pushed in 2017 to declare internally that WikiLeaks was not covered by special rules governing how investigators interact with journalists. The regulations require higher-level approval to obtain journalists’ records, like phone logs and emails, as part of investigations into leaks of classified information. By releasing hacking tools and playing a role in disrupting the election, Mr. Assange, the senior officials argued, was acting more like an agent of a foreign power than a journalist.

Mr. Assange may have begun working with Russian intelligence without knowing with whom he dealt, said Ms. Kendall-Taylor, now a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security. The intermediaries and cutouts sent by Russian intelligence to deal with Mr. Assange were supposed to give him plausible deniability.

“But as he spent more time, the relationship with the Russians grew closer,” she said. “I would expect that he knows what he is doing by the end of this.”

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Supporters of Mr. Assange demonstrated in Quito, Ecuador. Mr. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012.CreditRodrigo Buendia/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
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Federal prosecutors began working on a sealed criminal complaint this summer, a former law enforcement official said. It was not clear whether the Justice Department declared that Mr. Assange was not a journalist or whether prosecutors gathered sufficient evidence to charge him without resolving that issue.

Mr. Assange’s case also has implications for Mr. Mueller.

In July, the special counsel charged 12 Russian military intelligence operatives with interfering in the 2016 election. That indictment contained thinly veiled references to WikiLeaks, identifying it as “Organization 1.” Notably, the indictment did not identify the organization as a member of the news media, and it asserted that the Russian operatives transferred their stolen documents to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks encouraged “Guccifer 2.0,” the online persona of the Russian operatives, to provide it with the Democratic documents because it would “have a much higher impact,” according to court papers.

Whether anyone connected with the Trump campaign worked with Mr. Assange or others to carry out Russia’s scheme to interfere in the 2016 presidential race is at the heart of Mr. Mueller’s inquiry.

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So far, no evidence has publicly emerged that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired with Moscow’s disruption, and Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied any “collusion” with Russia. But the special counsel’s office continues to summon witnesses before a federal grand jury, asking about interactions between allies of Mr. Trump and Mr. Assange through intermediaries or other means.

What has become abundantly clear since the election is that various associates of Mr. Trump’s tried their best to figure out what information Mr. Assange possessed, how it might harm the Clinton campaign and when he planned to release it.

About a month before the election, for instance, Donald Trump Jr., a key adviser to his father, sent WikiLeaks a private message on Twitter asking about speculation that Mr. Assange planned to soon release documents that would prove devastating to Mrs. Clinton. “What’s behind this Wed leak I keep reading about?” he asked. He has said he got no response and never corresponded with WikiLeaks again.

Charges against Mr. Assange would be a big step, said Joshua Geltzer, a former official in the Justice Department’s national security division. But, he added, the precise nature of the charges may not be known until Mr. Assange is in the custody of American officials. Mr. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, forced there as he sought refuge from Swedish prosecutors who pursued him on charges of sexual abuse.

“The government has certainly been concerned about and looking at Assange for a long time,” Mr. Geltzer said. “Ultimately, the stakes are high in this one, given the complexities of the case, and the government must be prepared for that going in.”

Katie Benner and Sharon LaFraniere contributed reporting.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/p ... leaks.html
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:09 am

.

Two points in response to the post of a Yahoo news piece here,
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=29320&start=585&p=666189&view=show#p666189

In which it is suggested that a hacker with the now-defunct lulzsec, Hector Xavier Monsegur, now an FBI informant, is providing part of the case against Assange, claiming that Wikileaks asked them to hack the government of Iceland in 2011:

1. Lulzsec, I remember that name. Blamed for the SONY hack, which the USG attributed to North Korea! But no problem, I guess they can be retconned back into Western bad-boys. Now that their man is an FBI informant -- what's the background to that, I wonder? - have they also been rehabilitated into a valid source? Is this guy's testimony supposed to be credible? Is he giving us a preview of his appearance in court? Well, that's okay: I doubt we will be seeing that. This "trial" is already complete in the form of a Yahoo News hit-piece meant to influence public opinion.

2. The claim, apparently, will be that Wikileaks asked them to hack the Icelandic government? So that would be a violation of Icelandic law, right? I guess the UK will be extraditing Assange to Iceland? Or maybe the U.S. will hand him over, if that's the case they've helped to build, especially given they probably don't have the case to convict him under U.S. law?

EXTRADITE ASSANGE TO ICELAND!

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