Tag: assange

Assange betrayed by Trump

It rather looks like Julian Assange’s attempts to get Donald Trump elected has backfired on him completely.

Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump has decided that Assange is a criminal and he wants him arrested and to stand trial in the US.

The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did too.

Apparently that changed when Assange helped Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

In a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, CIA Director Mike Pompeo went further than any US government official in describing a role by WikiLeaks that went beyond First Amendment activity.

Pompeo said WikiLeaks: “Directed Chelsea Manning to intercept specific secret information, and it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States. It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

US intelligence agencies have confirmed that Russian intelligence used WikiLeaks to publish emails aimed at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as part of a broader operation to meddle in the US 2016 presidential election. Hackers working for Russian intelligence agencies stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and officials in the Clinton campaign and used intermediaries to pass along the documents to WikiLeaks, according to a public assessment by US intelligence agencies.

Assange backed the wrong horse in the elections, and if he thought he was going to get a clear statement from Trump that he would be free thanks to his help he is mistaken.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference yesterday that Assange’s arrest was a “priority”.

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks. This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

What this means is that even if Assange waits another five years for the statute of limitations to expire on his Swedish sex case, he is going to face extradition to the US.  It also means that all his claiming that the Swedish case was a smokescreen to get him back was complete fantasy.

Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argued that US prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent.

“Never in the history of this country has a publisher been prosecuted for presenting truthful information to the public. Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organisations.”

Assange caught out on another bluff

Julian AssangeJulian Assange has back tracked on another bluff he made with the American government.

Assange said that if the US let Chelsea Manning go, he would turn himself in.

At the same time, it made him look like Assange cared about Manning, despite mostly ignoring the person who made him and Wikileaks famous. He was on safe ground with this promise.  He thought that the US would never let Manning go in a month of Sundays.

Yesterday though, President Barak Obama reduced Manning’s sentence to the point where she will be out in May. This is a 120 day transition period, which gives people time to prepare and find somewhere to live,

But Assange is using that lag to once again avoid facing the music on his rape case.

Assange’s lawyers initially seemed to suggest that promise would be carried through  but it appears now that Assange will stay inside the embassy where it is nice and safe and no-one will charge him with rape.

Barry Pollack, Assange’s US-based attorney said that while Assange welcomed the announcement that Ms. Manning’s sentence will be reduced and she will be released in May, but this is well short of what he sought.

“Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately.”

Since this is physically impossible, the whole “I will be extradited if Manning is let go” was all a PR stunt in which Assange once again tried to milk Manning’s bravery as a whistle-blower to draw attention to himself.

Julian Assange has been inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since summer 2012, refusing to meet prosecutors in Sweden, where he is wanted on a rape allegation. He has said that he fears that if he leaves he will be extradited to the US on espionage charges.

However, Assange does not face extradition to the US. Authorities and Wikileaks lawyers have refused to state whether such an extradition has requested, and this threat is entirely in Assange’s own head. If the US had wanted Assange gracing its cells it would have got an extradition when he was in the UK. If anything, Sweden is less likely to grant the US an extradition under those circumstances than the UK.

Assange falling out with Ecuadorian government

Julian AssangeLast week, Julian Assange claimed that a “state actor” had pulled the plug on his internet connection soon after he released some Russian-supplied dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Despite the implication that the US or UK had cut him off to prevent more embarrassing leaks it turns out that it was actually an ally of his – the Ecuadorian government.

For those who came in late, Assange is holed up in the London Ecuadorian embassy because he does not want to go to Sweden to face serious sex charges. Now it seems that the Ecuadorian government is getting a bit tetchy about its somewhat embarrassing guest.

The country’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long made no comment on the claim, saying only: “The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.”  But it appears that the government is not too happy about its embassy being used as ground zero for Wikileak’s pro- campaign.

Ecuador is not a big fan of Trump.  Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has said that a Trump Presidency would be good for Latin America because it would increase support for the Left generally. In other words, Trump would be so bad everyone would rush to the left.  The concept that Assange is trying to get the right-wing Trump elected using Russian supplied documents is not something that is sitting well with the left-wing Ecuadorian government.

Wikileaks said that it is working around the problem, but it might mean that Assange’s presence on future leaks might be curtailed. As far as Assange is concerned that means that doing it would be pretty pointless.

Assange cancels anti-Clinton announcement

Julian AssangeJail bird Julian Assange has been telling the world+dog that he would announce to the world leaked emails that will finish Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign on Tuesday.

The leaked emails are believed to have come from the Russian disinformation unit and were given to Wikileaks as part of the Russian bid to get its tax-dodging Donald Trump into the White House. They prefer Trump to Clinton because he appears to owe rather a lot to Russian oligarchs.

However, Assange suddenly cancelled the announcement, which he was going to make from the balcony of London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, because of “security concerns”.  Assange is going to speak to a conference by a live link tomorrow but it does not look like the emails are on the agenda there either. Odd really how “security concerns” can stop a leak of information.  It might stop the presentation of information but not a leak. All Assange has to do is film a video and put it on the internet along with the documents.

Last month Assange appeared on Fox News repeating his assertion that Wikileaks has damaging documents on Clinton and suggested WikiLeaks may soon release “teasers.” However more than three weeks later, that release has yet to take place.

Wikileaks has not said when it will now make its “announcement.”  But word on the street is that the information does not really exist and it is starting to look like Assange was making the whole lot up to draw attention to him during the US election. After all Fox news would put him on air if he says he has dirt on Clinton. It now appears that he never had any emails at all, or his Russian overlords failed to deliver.

Snowden slaps Assange over tactics

snowden_2912545bWhistleblower Edward Snowden  has slammed Julian Assange’s tactics of releasing emails provided by Russia without checking them out properly.

Assange, desperate to get one over on Hillary Clinton, issued the documents which appear to have been thoughtfully provided by Tsar Putin’s disinformation department. Putin has made it clear he wants Donald Trump elected probably because he and a few of his Oligarchic mates have pile of money invested in Trump businesses.

Snowden said WikiLeaks was mistaken in not at least modestly curating the information it releases. “Democratizing information has never been more vital, and @Wikileaks has helped. But their hostility to even modest curation is a mistake,” Snowden said in a tweet.

Assange snipped back that “opportunism won’t earn you a pardon from Clinton & curation is not censorship of ruling party cash flows.” Sounds a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.  Assange is hoping Trump will be the sort of president who shares his views and tell the Swedes to stop with this rape investigation. He has no chance of that happening with a woman in the White House.

WikiLeaks recently released emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, which suggested that committee officials had favored Clinton over rival Senator Bernie Sanders. There is speculation that the DNC was hacked by Russians aiming to influence the elections. WikiLeaks has refused to disclose its source.

WikiLeaks’ release of the emails, which contained sometimes information such as email ids, phone numbers and passport numbers of DNC donors has been criticized.

WikiLeaks was also criticized after its release of emails said to belong to Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP or Justice and Development Party. WikiLeaks also posted links on social media to databases that were said to contain sensitive and private information of millions of ordinary people, including a special database of almost all adult women in Turkey. It later turned out WikiLeaks had linked to a database uploaded by another person, which was disabled after the controversy.

Russians behind Democratic party hack

putin-buzz1It is starting to look like Tsar Putin is deploying his hacker army in a bid to get Donald Trump elected.

The hacker , Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to compromise the DNC swore he was Romanian. But new research shows he worked directly for the Vladimir Putin government in Moscow.

The hacker stole emails from the Democratic National Committee and provided them to WikiLeaks. However according to security researchers at ThreatConnect “he” is a team of people working for Putin’s propaganda arm.

If correct it fits in nicely with a conspiracy theory that Donald Trump does not want to show his tax returns because they will reveal business dealings with at least one of Putin’s oligarch chums.

The emails revealed that party insiders plotted ways to undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid.

Rich Barger, ThreatConnect’s chief intelligence officer said Guccifer 2.0 has made inconsistent remarks and given a version of how he penetrated the DNC networks that technically don’t make sense. For instance, the hacker claims to have used a software flaw that didn’t exist until December 2015 to break into the DNC networks last summer.

The hacker also refused to speak in Romanian, another indication that he wasn’t who he claimed to be.

The researchers concluded that Guccifer 2.0 is actually an “apparition created under a hasty Russian [denial and deception] campaign” to influence political events in the US.

“Maintaining a ruse of this nature within both the physical and virtual domains requires believable and verifiable events which do not contradict one another. That is not the case here. By tracing Guccifer 2.0’s Internet infrastructure, the researchers concluded he—or the group—is “a Russia-controlled platform that can act as a censored hacktivist. Moscow determines what Guccifer 2.0 shares and thus can attempt to selectively impact media coverage, and potentially the election, in a way that ultimately benefits their national objectives,” the researchers wrote.

A growing number within the Obama administration believe this was designed to embarrass Democrats, exacerbate tensions between Hillary Clinton and her former rival Bernie Sanders—as well as his voters—and ultimately to give a boost to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, President Obama confirmed that the while the FBI is investigating, “experts have attributed this to the Russians” and that it was “possible” the leak was designed to help the Trump campaign.

The hack looks rather bad for Wikileaks which either knowingly or unknowingly has agreed to be a Russian stooge.  It was smugly saying how proud it was of getting the scoop. Its leader Julian Assange has made it clear that he does not like Hillary Clinton because she was among those pushing to indict him after WikiLeaks disseminated a quarter of a million diplomatic cables during her tenure as secretary of state. He said that Trump would be unpredictable, but Clinton would run things in a way he did not approve. We guess he wants Clinton to run all her decisions past him first because he is just so damn important.

Assange has rejected suggestions that the Russians were behind the DNC hack, saying the party’s server security was so weak, it could have been hacked by various groups.  So this comes down to whether or not you trust an ego-maniac who is on the run from coppers who want to ask him about a rape case and is desperate to get into the media at any cost.

 

Assange’s UN ruling was all spin

Julian AssangeThe presentation of UN information that Julian Assange was being ‘arbitrarily detained’ was all smoke and mirrors according to the Aussie government.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says a UN panel’s ruling, which found Julian Assange was being ‘arbitrarily detained’, is not  legally binding and it did not even bother to ask the Swedish or British government’s opinion.

Department official Jon Philp told a Senate Estimates hearing in Canberra that no representations have been made to Sweden about Assange’s case since December 2011.

This is because he is receiving due process under those legal systems.

The 44-year-old Australian is likely to remain holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after the UK and Swedish governments rejected the UN’s ruling earlier this month.

The Aussies said the UK authorities are legitimately holding Assange’s passport, and Australia would not seek to intervene.

Three allegations of sexual assault in Sweden were dropped against Assange last year, when they reached their five year statute of limitations.

However, Swedish prosecutors still want to question him over a 2010 rape allegation. Assange has denied all allegations.

The UN Working Group does have some alarming features.  Not only did it say that Assange had been locked up illegally (something which happened only because he ignored the legal system) it insists that he was entitled to compensation for his troubles.

So theoretically you can rape someone, be arrested, avoid a trial and never have to face the music and you will get the backing of the UN who will ignore the real victims of your crimes.

Last week, Assange staged a PR stunt claiming that he would hand himself over to British and Swedish authorities if the United Nations panel announced he had lost his case. If the Aussie government is right then it was all a media arranged event because Assange knew that the British and the Swedish would never dismantle their legal systems just to let him get out.

Assange says he will surrender if he loses UN case

Julian AssangeOn the lamb Julian Assange says he will agree to be arrested by British police tomorrow if a UN investigation into his three-and-a-half years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in central London does not rule that he was illegally detained.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy since June 2012, after Swedish authorities sought his extradition. The United Nations working group on arbitrary detention is set to hand down a decision on Assange’s case on Friday morning.

Assange told the UN that his detention was arbitrary and unlawful. It rests on a challenge to the European extradition system, his inability to access the benefit of the grant of asylum by Ecuador, and what he argues is his long-term detention.

In a statement issued by WikiLeaks on Twitter, Assange said: “Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.

“However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.”

The WikiLeaks founder had raised repeated concerns about Swedish demands that he be questioned in person over the allegations, due to fears he may be extradited to the United States.

Swedish authorities have come under scrutiny for their approach to questioning him. It was only in January 2016 that a deal was finally struck by prosecutors with Ecuadorian officials to allow Assange to be questioned at the embassy in London.

Swedish authorities said three of the offences are out of their statute of limitations. But they still want to talk to him about a further allegation of rape.

Assange might finally be questioned

Julian AssangeForgotten internet wanna-be and alleged sex-crime fugitive Julian Assange might be questioned by the Swedish government in his Ecuadorian embassy hideout.

Assange’s self-imposed house arrest in the embassy has lasted years and was due to a belief that it was perfectly reasonable to bonk who he liked, how he liked and if anyone said otherwise they were part of a CIA plot to have him shipped back to the US to face spying charges.

While the British police have given up posting a guard on the Ecuadorian embassy, diplomacy in the wider world has moved on. Ecuador and Sweden have struck an agreement on how the two nations will cooperate on criminal matters.

One of the spin offs is that the investigation into sexual assault charges levelled Assange will be allowed to continue.

Ecuador’s Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Mr Humana said that the agreement strengthens bilateral relations and could help compliance with judicial proceedings, as the interrogation of Assange.

Assange’s legal team believes Swedish prosecutors may be able to meet with the Wikileaks boss later this week, probably on Thursday.   If they decide that he has not got a case to answer the charges could be dropped and Assange could go free. If this happens then Assange will have to admit he was incredibly stupid not facing the music in the first place.

If they do want him, then Ecuador might actually give him up and do something more useful with the spare bedroom at the embassy. Assange will then face a trial and the whole matter will be finally be dealt with – just like ordinary people have to deal with. [Not me, Nick. Ed.]

 

UK cops fed up with looking at Assange

Julian AssangeJulian “It is all about me” Assange’s self-imposed imprisonment in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid facing rape questions from Swedish coppers has taken a novel turn.

The UK, which has the job of extraditing him, has pulled the coppers from outside the embassy who had the job of making sure he could not escape.

This is the opposite of what Assange himself has said. He claims that the police have actually stepped up monitoring of his doings by hiring a room in Harrods across the road. In Assange’s universe he is so important that he has to be monitored at all times.

But the Metropolitan Police has announced it will remove the dedicated officers who have guarded the Ecuadorian Embassy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have been there for more than three years to arrest Assange should he set foot outside.

It is estimated that Assange cost the British tax paper £12 million  to pay for the policing.

So what is to stop Assange from leaving the embassy and sneaking out of the country on an Ecuadorian passport?

The Met said that Assange will be arrested if he tries to leave the embassy.

A spokesperson added: “While no tactics guarantee success in the event of Julian Assange leaving the embassy, the MPS will deploy a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him.

“Like all public services, MPS resources are finite. With so many different criminal, and other, threats to the city it protects, the current deployment of officers is no longer believed proportionate.”

We guess they are hoping that he will sneak out and then they will not have to worry about him at all.