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Wikileaks is now pro-Russian

by on18 August 2017


Assange hides leaks which embarrass the Kremlin 

The image of Wikileaks being a non-partisan outlet for whistle-blowers has been called into question after it has revealed that Julian Assange was turning down caches of documents embarrassing to the Russian government.

Throughout the US election, Assange insisted that publishing documents from Democratic operatives obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers was legit, even if it did help the Russian backed Donald Trump get elected.

He said that if similar documents turned up which exposed information which was embarrassing to the Kremlin he would publish them too. While that sounded fair enough, it would appear that Assange receives large caches of documents related to the Russian government and keeps turning them down.

More than 68 gigabytes of data were offered to Wikileaks from a whistleblower inside the Russian Interior Ministry. Message logs, which have been ironically leaked from inside Wikileaks show that Assange insisted that the documents were “already public” and “could not be verified”, forgetting that this is a contradiction.

The cache revealed details about Russian military and intelligence involvement in Ukraine and its existence was recorded in 2014. However, the cache shown to the BBC and other news outlets was less than half the size of the data which became available in 2016, when Assange turned it down.

The source who provided the messages to the media said that several leaks sent to Wikileaks, including the Russian hack would have exposed Russian activities and shown WikiLeaks was not controlled by Russian security services.

“Many Wikileaks staff and volunteers or their families suffered at the hands of Russian corruption and cruelty, we were sure Wikileaks would release it. Assange gave excuse after excuse.”

The Russian cache was eventually published online elsewhere where it failed to get any attention.

WikiLeaks in its early years published a broad scope of information, including emails belonging to Sarah Palin and Scientologists, phone records of Peruvian politicians, and inside information from surveillance companies. “We don’t have targets”, Assange said at the time and it was pretty much true.

But by 2016, WikiLeaks changed tactics and focused almost exclusively on Clinton and her campaign.

Emails show that it was approached by the same source about data from an American security company, WikiLeaks again turned down the leak. “Is there an election angle? We’re not doing anything until after the election unless its [sic] fast or election related,” Assange wrote. “We don’t have the resources” and “Anything not connected to the election would be “diversionary”.

All this is strange as WikiLeaks started out attacking Russia with the same gusto as it did the US. In October 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks teased a massive dump of documents that would expose wrongdoing in the Kremlin, teaming up with a Russian news site for the rollout. “We have [compromising materials] about Russia, about your government and businessmen,” Assange told a Russian newspaper.

In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release documents from its cache provided by Chelsea Manning, which included cables from US diplomats around the world, including Russia.

But in 2012 Assange was getting closer to the Russians, he had his own show on the Kremlin-funded news network RT, and that same year, he produced episodes for the network where he interviewed opposition thinkers like Noam Chomsky and so-called “cypherpunks”.

Then in 2012 WikiLeaks failed to publish documents that revealed a 2 billion euro transaction between the Syrian regime and a government-owned Russian bank in 2012. Details about that set of documents appear in leaked court records obtained by the Daily Dot, which were sealed by a Manhattan federal court.

A WikiLeaks spokesperson suggested the Daily Dot was “pushing the Hillary Clinton campaign’s neo-McCarthyist conspiracy theories about critical media” and claimed Daily Dot was part of a conspiracy which involved US officials damaging "Assange’s reputation (sic)".

Another strange case was when Novaya Gazeta reported in April 2016 on the 11.5 million documents known as the Panama Papers, which exposed how powerful figures worldwide hide their money overseas.

Assange publicly slammed the work and that reporters had “cherry-picked” the documents to publish for optimal “Putin bashing, North Korea bashing, sanctions bashing, etc.” while giving Western figures a pass.

However, any observer would have told you that publishing leaks damaged several Western figures, including the then British Prime Minister David Cameron. A number of Western politicians lost their jobs and western dodgy business arrangements were revealed. The point is that this is exactly the sort of leak that Wikileaks should have been doing, but it was suppressed because Assange believed it was anti-Putin.

All this seems to suggest that Assange’s Wikileaks has become partisan and anyone who disagrees is claimed to be in the pockets of the Clintons or the CIA. 

Last modified on 18 August 2017
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