The War on WikiLeaks and Assange

Helping government authorities discredit Julian Assange and destroy WikiLeaks, mainstream media outlets twisted a recent interview to make Assange look like a Donald Trump backer, write Randy Credico and Dennis J Bernstein.

By Randy Credico and Dennis J Bernstein

Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi, who now reports for La Repubblica and has worked on WikiLeaks’ releases of secret documents, complains that her recent interview with Julian Assange was distorted by the Guardian, the Washington Post and others to assign Assange a pro-Trump agenda.

WikiLeaks logo

The Guardian recently “amended” its reporting on her interview with Assange, but for the feisty, seasoned reporter it wasn’t nearly enough. “I appreciate the Guardian amending the article, but at the same time the damage is done and I’m not convinced it was a solution,” she said.

Maurizi is going to court in September in Great Britain to fight for the release of key documents that related directly to the process of Assange’s treatment and his pursuit by various governments collaborating to shut his operations down.

“This is the first time that a reporter has tried to get access to these files,” she said in a rare interview on Aug. 1, “which tells you something about the state of journalism these days.”

Before joining la Repubblica, Maurizi spent ten years working for the Italian newsmagazine l’Espresso. Maurizi also partnered with Glenn Greenwald to reveal the Edward Snowden files as they pertain to Italy. She is author most recently of Dossier WikiLeaks.

Dennis Bernstein: Tell us about your multiple struggles to get key documents that will shed light on the entire Assange affair.

Stefania Maurizi: I have spent the past two years struggling to access the documents on the Julian Assange case. I was finally forced to go to court and sue the UK government to get them to hand over the documents. This is the first time that a reporter has tried to get access to these files, which tells you something about the state of journalism these days.

Dozens of newspapers have talked with Assange over the past ten years and yet no one has attempted to get full access to these documents about the case. Here we have a high-profile publisher who is being arbitrarily detained by two of the most respected Western democracies, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and no one is trying to get to these documents. It is incredible to me.

Randy Credico: Are any newspapers in London writing amicus briefs on your behalf?

SM: Honestly, I don’t know. I can imagine there is some embarrassment about the fact that no newspaper has yet asked for these documents.

DB: What kinds of information do you expect to be in these documents? What could be the case in terms of freeing Julian Assange?

SM: First of all, I want to access the full correspondence between the UK authorities and the Swedish prosecutors. In 2015 I filed a Freedom of Information Act request and I obtained some documents from the Swedish authorities which made very clear that the UK put pressure on the Swedish authorities not to question Mr. Assange in London, which he and his lawyers had requested, but rather to extradite him to Sweden. This is why we have been in this legal quagmire for five years now with Julian stuck in arbitrary detention at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Julian Assange has never refused questioning. He has fought against extradition because he knows that extradition to Sweden would result in extradition to the United States. So the UK authorities advised the Swedish prosecutor against questioning him in London, which would have avoided this arbitrary detention.

I know for certain that there are thousands of documents pertaining to this case. I want to be able to access any documents pertaining to the exchange between the US and UK authorities and I want to access any documents about the exchange between the UK and Ecuador. I believe that there is a strong public interest in shedding light on this important and high-profile case. Can you imagine a high-profile editor in Europe under arbitrary detention? And yet no one is asking for the documents in this case!

RC: Why did you write Dossier WikiLeaks?

SM: That book is based on my access from 2009 to 2011 to the WikiLeaks documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Guantanamo files and those pertaining to the diplomacy cables. I read something like 13,000 pages of the diplomacy cables. Basically, I attempted to share with my readers the most important revelations contained in these documents.

For example, I acquired some solid information about how the US tried to stop the Italian prosecutors investigating the extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar. Or how the US authorities tried to pressure the Italian government to buy the Lockheed Martin fighter. Or how they tried to block the International Criminal Court.

This is the kind of information that many reporters dream of getting access to and for the first time with WikiLeaks we were able to. I really appreciate WikiLeaks’ publication strategy of making these documents available exclusively to certain media partners like myself and then later to the general public, to activists, journalists, lawyers, etc.

I believe that information needs to be free and accessible to everyone without restrictions. Of course, there is information which should be kept secret, regarding the security of nuclear facilities, for example. But these documents are different. These secrets are used by countries like the United States to protect themselves from inquiry, from prosecution, from embarrassment. These secrets are less legitimate.

The CIA seal in the lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

DB: For the last six months, WikiLeaks has been publishing a series of documents on the CIA which they entitle Vault 7. Could you talk about the significance of Vault 7?

SM: Basically, Vault 7 consists of documents concerning the cyber weapons the CIA uses to penetrate our computers, our mobile devices, and so on. For the first time we have solid evidence concerning the use of these kinds of weapons by the CIA. Of course, these documents are of a highly technical nature so we have tried to make them accessible to the general public. But it is very important to have an insight into these tools, so that we can understand what they can and cannot do.

As far as we have been able to determine, they have no magic wand, no wonder weapon. They have come up with some smart solutions, they have some impressive tools, but no magic wand. At the end of the day, we verified the documents as genuine and we made them accessible to the public.

In the case of technical documents, you go to a trusted expert to check whether a procedure makes sense, whether the software makes sense, classification marks, etc. I don’t want to go into too much detail on how we verify documents because that might compromise our work. But the tough part of this work is verifying the documents. I can tell you that in my eight years of work with WikiLeaks I have been to court several times and was able to verify that the documents were genuine and my coverage was correct. We have won libel cases in court.

RC: What has motivated you to cover the WikiLeaks case these past eight years?

SM: Before I went into journalism, I got a degree in mathematics. One of my sources in cryptography put WikiLeaks on my radar screen back in 2008, when very few journalists had even heard of WikiLeaks. In 2009 they contacted me and wanted me to verify the authenticity of some important documents concerning Italy. That was our first partnership together. Since then I have been involved in all of WikiLeaks’ releases.

The reason I am very interested in this work is that, first of all, it gives you access to documents which you would never have access to otherwise. In Italy there are families of people who were massacred who sixty years later are still unable to get access to information about their loved ones, they cannot get to the truth. I believe it is very important to be able to get access to unauthorized disclosures or secret documents like CIA and NSA documents. WikiLeaks provides us with unprecedented access to these documents. People at the CIA and the NSA have no accountability, there is no serious oversight. In this case there is a real need for unauthorized disclosures. They want to continue to operate in darkness.

DB: Do you feel that your recent interview with Julian Assange has been distorted by publications such as the Guardian and the Washington Post and across the internet to present Assange as a Trump supporter?

SM: Absolutely. They completely distorted that interview, putting into his mouth things he never said. No one paid any attention to my protests. They were focused on their own interpretations. Finally it took Glenn Greenwald to expose this. The Guardian was forced to amend their article.

DB: How does this throw a spotlight on the political realities faced by Assange in detention?

SM: I have been there from the beginning so I have seen all kinds of attacks on Julian, with high-profile reporters and the international media just parroting what the Pentagon was saying; That Wikileaks had blood on its hands because they exposed the names of Afghan informants. When the US government began complaining that WikiLeaks was putting diplomats at risk, once again the media adopted the government position. The latest is they are crucifying Julian because he has not published Russian documents, saying that he is a Russian spy, etc. But I can tell you that WikiLeaks is obsessed about publishing, they will publish whatever they can get.

There is no way they can kill Julian Assange, it is not possible. We are in Europe, they cannot get to him with drones. But they can certainly destroy his reputation. And when it comes to journalism, reputation is everything.

RC: With all of its power and influence, why are the US government and its allies so obsessed with this one individual?

SM: Julian was able to hit them very hard, to expose them, to expose their secrets. Here you have an organization exposing the truth behind two wars with facts, without resorting to any propaganda. Never before have they faced such revelations. I can well imagine they are furious.

DB: Why do you think it is so important that Julian Assange be freed and allowed to continue his work?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

SM: Access to information is crucial for democracy. Take Afghanistan, we have been there since 2001 and what do we know about what has been going on there? It took Edward Snowden to expose the NSA. Before that we knew very little. This kind of information is crucial for our democracy. Unauthorized disclosures are crucial in the case of democracies and in the case of regimes. WikiLeaks is taking huge legal and extralegal risks to get this information out.

RC: The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined that Julian Assange is in fact being arbitrarily detained, that he is a political prisoner and must be released and compensated for all that he has been through. The British have yet to comply with this finding.

SM: This sends a terrible message to other countries which are holding people under arbitrary detention. What can the UK say to Iran or other rogue nations when they detain journalists or political and human rights activists? How can the UK say anything when they have a very high-profile editor under arbitrary detention in London?

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at

62 comments for “The War on WikiLeaks and Assange

  1. Penelope
    August 15, 2017 at 03:03

    Irony, Ecuador basically has no freedom of the press, if you believe Ecuadoran journalists.

  2. August 7, 2017 at 22:05

    You guys are all so far off the mark…

    Wikileaks was compromised last October when Julian Assange said his next leak would land Clinton in prison. The dead mans switch went off into the bitcoin blockchain the only place it would be hard to censor.

    Here is a thread of hackers outlining the method to extract the insurance file decryption keys:

  3. Susan Sunflower
    August 6, 2017 at 09:38

    There’s a fictitious binary thinking going on with this leak … that if the files were simply downloaded, there was no “hacking” of those same files … and/or that if the files were “hacked” , the files were not simply downloaded …

    There were reportedly two known “hacks” (phishing) but I have seen it admitted (Iirc by Crowdstrike and others) that there could have also been other undetected hacks). A simple download onto a memory device leaves no trace or record on most systems, even with “good security” … logging of downloads is reportedly being added to some security suites. I have read — I think — that like your printer, your thumb drive has a “unique” fingerprint even though most are not registered and can only be traced physically although it would not surprise me to find out that more identifiers were incorporated into their fingerprint.

    I saw on one of those reality crime TV shows that forensic capacity keeps being increased so that while previously, your thumb drive could be identified to a manufacturing date, and even eventually store from which it was likely sold (after the fact in proving it likely was YOUR thumbdrive) … which then could be correlated to sales records … to find your payment method (assuming you used plastic), to CCTV proving it was you who bought that thumb drive on x date at x store …

    Now, the reports about Murray and McFayden are in another realm (apparently Sy Hersh may have had contact with Rich trying to distribute e-mails as well and he is also investigating Rich’s death)

    Now that Trump campaign’s attempt to get this story media coverage has been “revealed” … the entire story has been branded “fake news” of the Trump variety … another Clintonian / DNC “nothing to see here move along” or we’ll accuse you of being a Trump loyalist.

    Again I’m agnostic … and Rich’s family is adamant about hating investigation of this angle wrt Rich’s death

    yeah, I never thought I’d link to Wnd either.

  4. Thomas Hannigan
    August 6, 2017 at 09:08

    Seymour Hersh’s recently revealed statement may take the Seth Rich/DNC case to another level.Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Awan Brothers in the White House.This is a huge can of worms .

  5. Thomas Hannigan
    August 6, 2017 at 08:42

    Julian is probably in the only safe place he can be.This is a major sacrifice this man has taken for the honest journalist’s and people across the world.How can he be released safely without 100% amnesty for telling the truth.

  6. Pavel Kanaliev
    August 6, 2017 at 02:23

    The non-cyclic democracy is a permanent, constant election process which has its point of commencement but is infinite in terms of time perspective. It enables people to vote at any time they wish with no limitation on the number of votes.

    Open vote means the right of people, in case they wish, to step out of their anonymity as voters in the continuous election process of the non-cyclic democracy.

    Vote of correction means an open vote of confirmation or rejection at any, desired by people time from the continuous election process with the non-cyclic democracy.

    With the non-cyclic democracy, the number of mandates is changeable. It is defined by the sum from the number of anonymous cyclic votes, combined with the number of open and correction votes at any time from the continuous election process.

    Threshold of trust of an elected via voting candidate in elective office means half of the number of people who have voted for them minus one vote.

    With the non-cyclic democracy, the duration of the mandate of an elected via voting candidate is discontinued with the expiry of the allotted for the mandate time or with the reaching of the threshold of trust.

    The list of candidates in elective office is bulk of information of free public access with data about each candidate in elective office. There, at any time from the election process, each voter and each public organization can add candidates or withdraw their trust from the proposed by them candidates in elective office.

    The open-type voters have the right of a correction vote at any time from the continuous election process of the non-cyclic democracy.

    The vote of correction is as follows:

    1. Open vote against one’s own choice, leading the elected one closer to the threshold of trust at any time from the continuous election process.

    2. Open vote in favour of another candidate from the list of names, leading the elected one closer to the threshold of trust at any time from the continuous election process of the non-cyclic democracy.

    3. Open vote in favour of a chosen by other voters candidate, leading the elected one closer to the threshold of trust, distancing the newly-elected from the threshold of trust at any time from the continuous election process.

    With the non-cyclic democracy, the current updated rating of a candidate in elective office for the purpose of their positioning towards the threshold of trust must be freely and publicly accessible in the list of candidates at any time from the continuous election process…

  7. Mild-ly Facetious
    August 5, 2017 at 23:54

    A Shadow US Foreign Policy
    February 27, 2014

    Exclusive: A shadow foreign policy apparatus built by Ronald Reagan for the Cold War survives to this day as a slush fund that keeps American neocons well fed and still destabilizes target nations, now including Ukraine, creating a crisis that undercuts President Obama, reports Robert Parry.

    By Robert Parry

    The National Endowment for Democracy, (NED) a central part of Ronald Reagan’s propaganda war against the Soviet Union three decades ago, has evolved into a $100 million U.S. government-financed slush fund that generally supports a neocon agenda often at cross-purposes with the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

    NED is one reason why there is so much confusion about the administration’s policies toward attempted ousters of democratically elected leaders in Ukraine and Venezuela. Some of the non-government organizations (or NGOs) supporting these rebellions trace back to NED and its U.S. government money, even as Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials insist the U.S. is not behind these insurrections.

    So, while President Barack Obama has sought to nurture a constructive relationship with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin especially in hotspots like Iran and Syria, NED has invested in projects in Russia’s close neighbor, Ukraine, that fueled violent protests ousting President Viktor Yanukovych, who won election in 2010 in balloting that was viewed by international observers as fair and reflecting the choice of most Ukrainian citizens.

    Thus, a U.S.-sponsored organization that claims to promote “democracy” has sided with forces that violently overthrew a democratically elected leader rather than wait for the next scheduled election in 2015 to vote him out of office. [ msa-NOT unsimilar to Egyptian ouster of duly elected Pres MORSI ]

    For NED and American neocons, Yanukovych’s electoral legitimacy lasted only as long as he accepted European demands for new “trade agreements” and stern economic “reforms” required by the International Monetary Fund. When Yanukovych was negotiating those pacts, he won praise, but when he judged the price too high for Ukraine and opted for a more generous deal from Russia, he immediately became a target for “regime change.”

    Last September, NED’s longtime president, Carl Gershman, took to the op-ed page of the neocon-flagship Washington Post to urge the U.S. government to push European “free trade” agreements on Ukraine and other former Soviet states and thus counter Moscow’s efforts to maintain close relations with those countries. The ultimate goal, according to Gershman, was isolating and possibly toppling Putin in Russia with Ukraine the key piece on this global chessboard.

    “Ukraine is the biggest prize,” Gershman wrote. “The opportunities are considerable, and there are important ways Washington could help. The United States needs to engage with the governments and with civil society in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to ensure that the reform process underway not only promotes greater trade and development but also produces governments that are less corrupt and more accountable to their societies. An association agreement with the European Union should be seen not as an end in itself but as a starting point that makes possible deeper reforms and more genuine democracy.

    “Russian democracy also can benefit from this process. Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. … Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.”

    Shadow Structure

    In furtherance of these goals, NED funded a staggering 65 projects in Ukraine, according to its latest report. The funding for these NGOs range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars and created for NED what amounted to a shadow political structure of media and activist groups that could be deployed to stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired.

    This NED shadow structure, when working in concert with domestic opposition forces, had the capability to challenge the decisions of Yanukovych’s elected government, including the recent coup – spearheaded by violent neo-Nazis – that overthrew him. Presumably, NED wanted the “regime change” without the neo-Nazi element. But that armed force was necessary for the coup to oust Yanukovych and open the path for those IMF-demanded economic “reforms.”

    Beyond the scores of direct NED projects in Ukraine, other major NED recipients, such as Freedom House, have thrown their own considerable weight behind the Ukraine rebellion. A recent Freedom House fundraising appeal read: “More support, including yours, is urgently needed to ensure that Ukrainian citizens struggling for their freedom are protected and supported.” Freedom House meant the “citizens struggling” against their elected government.

    So, over this past week, a policy dispute about whether Ukraine should accept the European Union’s trade demands or go with a more generous $15 billion loan from Moscow escalated into violent street clashes and finally a putsch spearheaded by neo-Nazi storm troopers who took control of government buildings in Kiev.

    With Yanukovych and his top aides forced to flee for their lives, the opposition-controlled parliament then passed a series of draconian laws often unanimously, while U.S. neocons cheered and virtually no one in the U.S. press corps noted the undemocratic nature of what had just happened. [See’s “Cheering a ‘Democratic’ Coup in Ukraine.”]

  8. Mildly- Feticious
    August 5, 2017 at 23:26

    So. Assange is aligned with the Right Wing coming from Sweden, Poland, Hungary neo-N ;/ Isolationists.

    Is this the New World Order or simply some realignment of an Old World order of Regional Autonomy?

    Julian is chess Master,board play master in an obscure role as The Raven tapping at after Allen Poe.

    A caged bird with his Peacock self-visage of artistic master of kaleidoscope-ian enigma, Leaked.

    Assange is symbolic of …

    So. Assange is aligned with the Right Wing coming from Sweden, Poland, Hungary neo-N ;/ Isolationists.

    Is this the New World Order or simply some realignment of an Old World order of Regional Autonomy?

    Julian is chess Master,board play master in an obscure role as The Raven tapping at after Allen Poe.

    A caged bird with his Peacock self-visage of artistic master of kaleidoscope-ian enigma, Leaked.

    Assange is symbolic of … and aligned with and funded by the underground reich –

  9. Andy Jones
    August 5, 2017 at 20:29

    Assange is making a fool of himself by implying that Seth Rich was his source. The stakes are far to high now to play childish games. If Rich was his source he needs to say so and provide evidence. That is his only hope of saving any credibility and bringing the world back from brink of the most dangerous nuclear confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Assange has played into the hands of the warmongering neocons. It may be already too late to stop them from starting WW III but he has to try. Even if the leaker wasn’t Rich, he needs to prove that it was a leak rather than a Russian hack. He is admirable in some ways but he has something seriously wrong with his judgement.

  10. Susan Sunflower
    August 5, 2017 at 16:29

    I’ve seen people say that Assange is sitting on info about Trump, but oddly they never provide a link … Assange says he is not sitting on anything. They publish what they agree to receive providing it meets their standards (standards available on the website) … Repeating the claim doesn’t make it true.

    I was amused during the election with complaints that “Wikileaks wasn’t being fair” and leaking wrt to both candidates equally ….

    “Fairness” has nothing to do with it .. zero … zilch. They publish what they receive that they agree to publish. Leakers have many OTHER venues to publish their leaks … like the WaPo…

    WikiLeaks accepts classified, censored or otherwise restricted material of political, diplomatic or ethical significance. WikiLeaks does not accept rumour, opinion or other kinds of first hand reporting or material that is already publicly available.

    Apparently the WaPo has no such standards

    I thought, but cannot find, there was a restriction on submission by state actors (ie using Wikileaks as propaganda conduit) …

    • Lisa
      August 5, 2017 at 16:49

      Assange said early during the election 2016 campaign that both candidates are equally bad, but there is no need to search for negative info and leaks about Trump, it all flows freely from his own mouth.

  11. Tomk
    August 5, 2017 at 14:24

    Famed Investigative Reporter/Journalist Seymour Hersh–ex-CIA Director John Brennan behind the “Russia did it” lies to get Clinton elected to keep his job and the FBI had Seth Rich’s computer and it showed he was the “leaker” to Wikileaks there was no “hack” Brennan et al came up with that….It seems Rich was just unlucky as to his murder being an unrelated robbery by hoods in the area….

  12. August 5, 2017 at 14:04

    Wikileaks has NEVER printed incorrect information, not once, completely unlike whomever this Michael Kenny drone bomber is that keeps posting refuse from the PC trashcan on this site. I would suggest that he needs to…be ignored.

    Wikileaks: Your trusted news source.

    Pence: scarier than Trump by far. Read up on what he has actually done as a politician.

    Obama: the browner bush and without a mental speech impediment.

    ‘Shotgun’ Dick Cheney: the puppeteer with his hand up W’s rear.

    Clintons: Always lurking about doing mischief.

    Boy aren’t we exceptional?

  13. Herman
    August 5, 2017 at 09:02

    Like so many issues, this begs the larger question of what should be classified and what should required to be disclosed to the public. It seems obvious that classification is overused and abused to protect the guilty and has nothing to do with protecting our interests. In fact, the present system does the opposite.

  14. Michael Kenny
    August 5, 2017 at 07:20

    Once she says “arbitrary detention”, Ms Maurizi destroys her own credibility. Assange has never been detained in Sweden nor has he ever been detained in Britain. He has been charged, and remains charged, with an offence in Sweden. He wasn’t in Sweden at the time, so he couldn’t be arrested there. He was found to be in England, so a perfectly normal extradition request was made to the British government. On that basis, Assange was arrested in England and immediately released on bail, in accordance with the normal procedure, pending judicial review of the extradition request. Under international and English law, extradition may be refused if the accused is charged with a political offence but Assange does not appear to have claimed that the Swedish charge was a political scam. It was claimed in the press that the real intention was to extradite Assange from Sweden to the US, a nonsensical claim inasmuch as it is far easier to extradite from England to the US than from Sweden. In the middle of the review proceedings, Assange failed to appear in court, making himself guilty of contempt of the English court. He was found to be in the Ecuadorian Embassy and is still there of his own free will. The Swedish judicial authorities have now withdrawn the extradition request but Assange is still guilty of contempt. Contempt of court is a relatively minor offence, but to “purge” his contempt, Assange must appear before the English judge in question, apologise and, if the judge sees fit, accept a relatively small fine or a very short term of imprisonment. Once he does that, he is free to go. There are no charges pending against him in England, nor has an extradition request been received from any other country. Why is he still sitting in the Ecuadorian Embassy? Has Assange hyped up “arbitrary detention” as a scam to bolster his own reputation? To make people think that governments are afraid of Wikileaks? Has Ms Maurizi fallen for the scam?

    • mike k
      August 5, 2017 at 08:24

      You really live in your own world, don’t you Michael? That’s a scary place to me…….

      • mike k
        August 5, 2017 at 20:56

        CN posters – Please just ignore Michael Kenny. He is a troll, and never responds to anything said to him.
        DON”T FEED THE TROLLS. They love it if anyone acknowledges their presence in any way – they feed on that.

    • August 5, 2017 at 09:48

      A was NEVER charged with a crime in Sweden.

      • Lee Francis
        August 5, 2017 at 10:55

        Absolutely correct, Assange has never been charged with anything.The Swedish authorities wanted to interview him, not charge him (which was understandable since they had no evidence) on the basis of allegations made by two women (one of which has now withdrawn from testifying) concerning alleged sexual misconduct on his part. He was prepared to answer questions by the Swedish authorities in London but was not prepared to fly to Sweden where he felt he would be extradited to Washington.

        Apart from anything else this sordid little episode shows just how far Sweden has sunk in terms of political and democratic propriety. This grubby little vassal state is now even more slavishly pro-American than the UK, Poland and the Baltics. Whatever happened to Swedish neutrality one wonders.

    • Susan Sunflower
      August 5, 2017 at 11:23

      “Arbitrary detention” is what the U.N. called it …. (google is your friend)

    • A Finn
      August 5, 2017 at 11:26

      You are spreading incorrect information, probably in service of some interested party. In case anyone actually takes you seriously, here are the facts:

      1. According to United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Assange is being arbitrarily detained:

      2. Assange was never charged in Sweden, he was only investigated. (In the US, there is allegedly a secret indictment for treason – which is slightly strange as he is not a US citizen.) Here’s the Swedish prosecutor’s web page about the status of the investigation (laid down it says in Swedish):

      3. All about Assange’s case in Sweden in English translation, the police interviews of the two women, Assange and witnesses:,04.shtml

      4. Assange fup (förundersökningsprotokoll) i.e. the police case file in original Swedish:

    • Lisa
      August 5, 2017 at 17:16

      Some corrections, Michael.
      Assange was questioned by the Swedish prosecutor when he was still in Sweden. He had stayed in the country for five weeks extra, waiting for the questioning. The prosecutor decided that there are no grounds for opening a criminal case on the matter and said he can leave the country. He did, and much later, after some domestic political intrigues and, seemingly, US meddling, another prosecutor wanted to re-open the case and requested Assange to return to Sweden for additional questioning.

      After many years of delays and negotiations, Assange was interviewed during two days at the Ecuadorian Embassy by an Ecuadorian prosecutor in November 2016. The Swedish representative was present. The protocol (in Spanish) was handed over to the Swedish authorities in January 2017, and they were having it translated for abt. 3 months. My guess is that they were dragging their feet and waiting for the results of the Ecuador presidential election. Wrong candidate was elected (from Swedish point of view). It took some more time for a decision. The findings of the interview were not made public, maybe it was found that Assange was innocent? We don’t know. The Swedes just suddenly closed the case, stating that there is no perspective to pursue it further, and cancelled the European Arresting Order. Saving face, were they?

      If Assange would hand himself over to the British police, allow himself to be put in prison, be so sure that an extradition request to US will follow immediately. Free to leave the Embassy any time? Sure. The police is waiting for him outside the door.
      In practise, he lives in much worse conditions than in any prison. However, he has said that he is free to express his opinion every day, which he values very highly.

      I am sure that his lawyers are cooperating with the British judicial system in order to find a solution, which would be acceptable to both sides. There was a note on this in a Swedish newspaper this summer, and it was noted that the British system is slow as they are following all the legal paragraphs.

      • Andy Jones
        August 5, 2017 at 20:35

        The UK should not prosecute him for exercising his right to request political asylum.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain
      August 5, 2017 at 20:12

      Please don’t lie so arrogantly. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention affirmed in its finding of February 2016 that Assange had been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom, since 7 December, 2010. The finding of this august group, usually complied with by Western states when it suited them, was not just ignored, but the Group subject to insulting diatribes, by disinformationists like you. The rest of your bilge is of similar provenance.

    • Andy Jones
      August 5, 2017 at 21:08

      Sweden never charged him with a crime and probably never will. The leaked police report leaves no doubt that Assange was guilty of nothing more than being a cad and dragging his feet about getting an STD test. It is clear why the first Swedish prosecutor said he had no case to answer. It is perverse of the UK to claim that Assange exercising his right to request asylum is a crime. That is a violation of the UK’s international human rights obligations. The UK should bring this travesty of justice to an end.

    • GM
      August 7, 2017 at 09:42

      Assange has been charged, has he? With what and when and by whom? Please feel free to show your work.

      “Assange has not been charged and he is not wanted for trial. The UK Supreme Court acknowledged that Assange is not charged in Sweden. The prosecutor acknowledged in correspondence with UK authorities that the matter is a ’preliminary investigation’, and that no decision had been made to charge.”

  15. August 5, 2017 at 05:26

    Does it not seem strange that WikiLeaks has not released any information it has on Donald Trump? Assange also has the answer to the Seth Rich story and is involved in it. He claims to never release the names of any of his suppliers of information. He could easily clear up the story by saying whether Rich was involved. By not commenting he is suggesting that Rich is the DNC leaker. He is involved with Sean Hannity who is in the story and is also in contact with others at Fox News. Like most people he plays politics. Today he Favors Republicans. Tomorrow? There is nothin saintly about Assange.

  16. John
    August 5, 2017 at 05:13

    What happen to the republic we we suppose to be everybody brainwashed in saying democracy i don’t understand????

  17. August 4, 2017 at 23:05

    Two Points:

    1/ I too have been worried by laxity in Guardian reporting. I had hoped it merely represented willingness to address all shades of opinion but possibly the attack by central government has unnerved the new management under Kath Viner.

    Did Prime Minister Cameron threaten to de-license the newspaper when Rusbridger was in charge?

    Its strange to see the ‘my country, right or wrong’ attitude in a leftie newspaper, particularly one with an illustrious 200 year history of social responsibility.

    2/ UK is on tenuous grounds with its continued hounding of Assange. The Swedes have thrown in the towel and removed UK’s reason for hunting him. Now they have only a locally created paper to suggest there is just cause in his continued detention. Good luck with that Mrs May.

    • Daniel
      August 5, 2017 at 12:55

      Yes, the Guardian is now all “Resistance”, all the time, and the fall from grace from their reporting on the Snowden documents to the current all-Trump domination (thereby neglecting tons of other informative stories) was swift and complete. What’s the word? Sad.
      I still check in with the Guardian’s headlines as my one and only window onto the MSM, but rarely read anything printed. The bias is blatant, the journalistic standards near-gone. The paper – a first-draft coalition partner – is now nothing more than an establishment/propaganda rag, by the PTB and for the PTB. Thank God for Consortium News and other independent sites. If not for these, we’d have no idea what is going on.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain
      August 5, 2017 at 20:04

      Are you joking about the Guardian sewer? It has been hard Right, spewing Imperialist agit-prop, lying about Corbyn and ‘antisemitism’ in UK Labour, firmly Blairite and relentlessly hostile, ie 100% so, to Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela etc, for years. Apparently the old Trust was taken over some years ago by secretive ‘hedge fund’ interests said to be associated with the ubiquitous Mr. Soros, and it has been as ‘Leftwing’ as the NYT or WaPo ever since.

  18. Realist
    August 4, 2017 at 21:42

    The West is lost. Its countries do not want to follow their own laws or defend their own protections under the law or constitution. Their governments now simply violate those standards and do whatever is expedient. Even the ancient protections under the Magna Carta have been lost in America. U.S. presidents now wipe their asses with our Bill of Rights while getting all sanctimonious about contrived sins of other governments and cultures. The U.S. has led the way to this lawlessness. Why should anyone think that American vassals like Britain or Poland (which hosted our prisoners for “extraordinary rendition”) will act any different from their hegemon?

    • mike k
      August 5, 2017 at 08:27

      Exactly. Amen.

    • Anon
      August 6, 2017 at 10:41

      Absolutely true!

  19. Susan Sunflower
    August 4, 2017 at 18:31

    I think there definitely needs to be push back on the idea that leaks like the telephone call transcripts are a threat to national security … they make Trump look bad, weak and like a the liar he is … but undermining his public personae is NOT some grave matter of national security … it’s an internal matter, but should be dealt with proportionately … see also Chelsea Manning’s leaks which — in fact — did not “jeopardize” missions, although a few double-crossing individuals/informants had a few bad days (many were either no longer in place or had been long suspected or previously “outed”)

    I posted elsewhere a link to Lakoff’s latest wrt to Trump’s apparent perception of himself as POTUS as “the nation” … so any insult or threat to himself or his image/prestige is a “threat to national security … and this needs to be rejected loudly. It’s NOT GOOD that the deep state is leaking materials in a political fashion … and cowardly and incomplete …

    We know that Flynn’s phone calls were intercepted, but we have never heard them or seen transcripts — nor has he been “allowed” to explain whatever they contained (because it’s “national security” and an “ongoing legal matter” — very Kafkaesque — he cannot discuss them, natch) Again, political leaks by the deep state are loathsome and illegal, but let’s avoid both exaggerating the significance of the leak and assuming that the lead underscores — and validates — the deep state establishment narrative. Ostensibly, because “sanctions” were mentioned when Flynn said they were not — Flynn is a liar and violated the Logan Act — not so fast … not by a long shot … big leaps and no-facts-in-evidence, just reports by insiders of “leaks” by even more entrenched (and nameless) insiders. …

    Not all leaks are created equal … the frenzy over “Russian Hacking” has absurdly elevated the DNC / Podesta E-mails to a significance many times greater than their impact on voters’ choice or election results

    • Virginia
      August 4, 2017 at 19:44

      Susan, I generally agree with you and, believe me, I appreciate your posts. I might offer a few different ideas here.

      You said, “’Russian Hacking’ has absurdly elevated the DNC / Podesta E-mails to a significance many times greater than their impact on voters’ choice or election results.” I believe the Russia hacking story was a deliberate distraction from the emails, which worked remarkably well. Huge numbers of voters wouldn’t give credence to the emails or even look at them. MSM invariably talked about the R-hacking, not the email content. People who once loved Julian Assange began to despise this hero to humanity.

      Your observations about leaks — yes, politically motivated leaks need to be prosecuted, if the leaker can be found. Leaks having to do with conscience, that the public has a right and a need to know, should be lauded, and the whistleblower protected.

      My understanding on Flynn is that he was on vacation when he received a call in which perhaps sanctions were mentioned. I wonder if Sessions, Flynn, Don Jr. and others ever imagined that their brief casual contacts with Russians were going to be put to a higher test than same type contacts of their equivalent predecessors. Session’s normal contacts at social events and so on! Most of us wouldn’t have kept notes or have thought of these encounters as significant, if in the same positions. Remember Obama whispered he would have more flexibility after the election to a Russian official who replied he would be sure to give Putin that message. No one thinks anything bad about that. One wonders how many Clinton campaign workers had contacts with Russia during her campaign. Maybe, to be totally fair, those contacts should be investigated, too. Did the CIA pick up conversations there that he (Brennan) also turned over to the FBI?

      • Susan Sunflower
        August 4, 2017 at 22:48

        I’ve seen the suggestion that “Russian Hacking” was invented as an issue by the Clinton campaign (with Crowdstrike’s eager assist) … I’ve wondered if there was any link (foreshadowing?) to the Steele Dossier contents which (I think) they assumed would “break” as a story in the Fall of 2016. (once the FBI, CIA and a dozen reporters did their job) … they handily got Manifort dumped (which may — or may not — have been justified, I don’t know or care much, given his longstanding career as an international political campaign fixer … like several Clinton friends and proteges)

        I thought the DNC/Podesta e-mails were a dud … the Sanders folks complaints were largely successfully waved away as far as the MSM was concerned.

        It was interesting how the “Bernie Bros” meme migrated to making Assange (and Appelbaum) loathesome “bro” types .. which has morphed further into this bizarre attempt to make Assage alt-right. His politics are sort of all-over-the-map cosmopolitan, but I think they are changeable. Many tried to “make him” a Libertarian … but when that failed to convincingly stick, rabid Clinton loyalists made him the worst-of-the-word a Trump supporter, which Democratic sheep believed … apparently … part of the self-defeating long-acting poison of the Clinton campaign (marginalizing yourself by rejecting vast numbers of citizen/voters in ways that are memorable and not-easily forgiven).

        Leaks can be found and “prosecuted” and forgiven, and/or used as reason to reform the system … there’s no indication that the leaks wrt Trump were desperate acts by whistleblowers for whom “proper channels” were not available. The Flynn leaks (given they occurred AFTER questions had been raised and investigations were called for) did not need to be made public as the information would have been entered as evidence as part of any investigation).

        What’s going on is much more akin to “tainting the jury pool” … except there’s no trial scheduled and no indictments for any named crimes have been specified … gossip mongering with classified information.

        I worked in health care and the issue of “improper handling of records” is totally separate from what those records say … I regularly waived rigid rules in the name of patient care and expedient service … but maintained absolute confidentiality wrt content …

        That last minute ploy by Obama that allowed much more “sharing” of classified information across agencies was suggested to have been deliberate to make just these sorts of leaks easier (and damn near impossible to trace) … if everyone had authorized access, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how to rig the system to show thousands of folks (beyond suspicion) quite properly accessed a leaked file

  20. August 4, 2017 at 18:24

    It has become apparent that the best hope for Wikileaks and a free press would be the continued supremacy of Jeremy Corbyn’s populists over the Blairites within his own party and the eventual victory over the Tories in the next general election. My main fear is that the octopus of the Deep State has become an international apparatus that is intent on this not happening.

    • August 4, 2017 at 23:07

      Spot on Bob. That would save UK from ‘a fate worse than death’ that the present gang seems incapable of extracting themselves from.

  21. mike k
    August 4, 2017 at 18:14

    The media and government lies are so obvious to anyone who looks at them and evaluates them, that it is clear the American public can’t be bothered to make that simple observation. Propaganda is effective in proportion to the depth of sleep in the population it is directed at. We can conclude that the American public is very deeply asleep; thus giving their government carte blanche to hoodwink them in every possible way.

  22. Kieron
    August 4, 2017 at 17:57

    It’s a very difficult thing to say, but perhaps, for the sake of Wikileaks and the fantastic work it does to out criminal behaviour in government and beyond,Julian Assange is best where he is. For while he is illegally detained by a so called democratic government system who refuse to act within the law. Releases by Wikileaks will certainly be more readily believed than a government involved in human rights violations.

  23. D
    August 4, 2017 at 17:53

    run it through the microwave.

    if you are able to do a little electrical engineering, reverse the polarity between each run.

  24. Zachary Smith
    August 4, 2017 at 17:21

    I believe the essay above describes only one facet of the “war” against the Official Story. Consider the message I’m finding on more and more sites which used to work like a charm:

    Your connection is not secure
    The owner of ******.*** has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.

    That scary message is doing to deter most people. Another technique is to make the undesired sites difficult-to-impossible to locate.

    In the three months since Google implemented the changes to its search engine, fewer people have accessed left-wing and anti-war news sites. Based on information available on Alexa analytics, other sites that have experienced sharp drops in ranking include WikiLeaks, Alternet, Counterpunch, Global Research, Consortium News and Truthout. Even prominent democratic rights groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International appear to have been hit.


    There is no way they can kill Julian Assange…

    This is probably true, but they’ve partly neutralized him by another method. My advice to Mr. Bernstein, Mr. Parry, and a host of other authors writing here would be to “sanitize” their computer every now and then. For me this would mean backing up the most important files, then physically destroying the old hard drive before reinstalling the operating system on a new one. If I had access to a large hydraulic press I’d squash the drive into a saucer. I’d consider drilling a few holes in the case, then storing the hard drive in a container of pure bleach for a few weeks. And there is always the option of tossing it into the deep bed of hot coals of a campfire.

    It is so easy to infest somebody’s machine with kiddy porn, then make a hot tip to the police. Or for the Authorities to discover terrorist information on the machine. Better safe than sorry if you’re a high-profile anti-Official Story person.

    • mike k
      August 4, 2017 at 18:06

      Thank God my profile is so comfortingly low that I don’t take any precautions in airing my thoughts at all.

  25. Susan Sunflower
    August 4, 2017 at 16:45

    Yes, the Democratic Party establishment has abhorred Wikileaks from the beginning, jumping on the anti-Assange bandwagon in their pursuit of demonizing whistleblowers with a furor that outdoes even that of most of the intelligence establishment (two-fer — they get to show their “all-American” enthusiasm for Law and Order and national security … without mention of transparency — that long recognized necessity of a well-functioning democracy.

    The Laura Poitras situation needs clarification … I can’t tell if her misgivings about Appelbaum (and the other uncomfortable associates like Israel Shamir) were opportunistically exploited and grafted onto late-in-the-game misgivings about 2010 redactions (or lack of redactions) (which the NYRB article also grossly misrepresented) …

    The Europeans seem to have either seen through or rejected these ravings about Assange as Putin’s fellow-traveler … but then they spent breathless pages insisting on a prior relationships between Putin and any number of people who simply shared a formal occasion — see also that RT dinner with Jill Stein and Michael Flynn. Lord, Kevin Bacon’s 6 degrees of separation places Putin as the center of known universe around which Trump merely orbits.

    I wish I thought that “push-comes-to-shove” Americans were likely to rally to Wikileaks/Assange’s cause … but as far as I can tell, Americans have decided to identify with aggressor, again, as always.

    • Raymond
      August 5, 2017 at 04:05

      Not all americans.

  26. Brian Setzler
    August 4, 2017 at 16:21

    I gave a speech at my Toastmasters club yesterday on propaganda and how it works in a free society. It opened many eyes. As a follow up reference, I recommended “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” as a terrific documentary that is informative and entertaining, and will certainly help connect many of the dots.

    I doubt many will watch it though as we have a society now too distracted by the media to actually stop, think and learn.

    If you haven’t seen the film, you’ll enjoy it.

    • Nancy
      August 7, 2017 at 12:25

      Good for you for trying to open people’s eyes. Very few realize we are living in a time of intense, pervasive propagandizing and it seems to be succeeding in keeping the population very confused and distracted.

  27. Joe Tedesky
    August 4, 2017 at 16:04

    Hey remember the good ole days, when candidate Hillary wanted to drone bomb Assange?

    • evelync
      August 5, 2017 at 17:37

      she was her own worst political enemy…..
      so tone deaf; so out of touch….
      like gears grinding against each other….
      she made people feel unsafe/unsettled because of her enjoyment of going on the attack and her indifferent to who got hurt….

  28. mike k
    August 4, 2017 at 15:37

    Evil hates the truth.

    • Buckeye
      August 6, 2017 at 10:14

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