Inside WikiLeaks: Working with the Publisher that Changed the World

Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi has worked with WikiLeaks for nine years on the Podesta emails and other revelations. Here’s an insider’s view of the publisher, which has incensed rulers around the world, desperate to hide their corruption.

By Stefania Maurizi
in Rome
Special to Consortium News

Silenced and cut off from the outside world, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the last six years with no access to sunlight, fresh air, or proper medical treatment. Furthermore, last March President Lenin Moreno’s Ecuadorian government cut his access to the internet, phone calls and even visitors and journalists. For a man who has already been confined to the embassy for so long, these restrictions are particularly harsh.

I began working as one of WikiLeaks’ media partners in 2009, before Assange and WikiLeaks published such bombshells as the “Collateral Murder” video. Over the last nine years, I have partnered with WikiLeaks on behalf of my newspaper, the Italian daily La Repubblica to work on the Podesta emails and many of its other secret files, except for those that WikiLeaks released without media partners: the DNC emails, the Saudi Cables, Turkey’s ruling party emails, the Hacking Team documents, the Collateral Murder video and the Brennan emails.

Like its work or not, WikiLeaks is an independent media organization that doesn’t have to rely on traditional media to publish its scoops. Indeed it was founded to bypass the legal qualms traditional media may have about publishing classified information.

With its 5.5 million followers on Twitter, WikiLeaks has a huge social media presence that gives its work immediate impact. But WikiLeaks has published most of its revelations in collaboration with a number of media partners.

For instance, I was a partner in the publication of the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, which were published by WikiLeaks shortly after the infamous Access Hollywood video revealed candidate Donald Trump making rude remarks about women.

Many media outlets continue to report that the Podesta emails were released only minutes after the Access Hollywood video aired, hinting at some sort of coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. In a indictment issued last Friday, Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, charged 12 officers of the Russian military intelligence service, GRU, for having allegedly hacked both the DNC and Podesta emails and allegedly passed them on to WikiLeaks for publication.

I have no idea who WikiLeaks’ sources were for the Podesta emails: the whole concept of WikiLeaks is based on the submission of secret or otherwise restricted documents by anonymous sources. Assange said numerous times that his source for the Clinton emails was not the Russian government nor a state party.

As I worked on the Podesta emails, I do know that their publication was not a last-second decision. I had been alerted the day before, and their staggered release was a choice WikiLeaks made after the organization was harshly criticized by mainstream media for publishing the DNC documents all at once. This time the emails would trickle out to make them easier for the public to digest. But that was criticized too by the U.S. media and the Democrats as an attempt to leave Clinton  bleeding a few weeks before the elections.

Ready to Release Trump Documents

I was also a witness when WikiLeaks received four documents about Trump’s business at a certain point during the campaign and media partners were asked to help verify the documents to determine if they should be published. The WikiLeaks team had already prepared a placeholder graphic for a possible release on Trump: a caricature of Trump and his characteristic hairstyle. Unfortunately, we found that the documents had already been made public.

Over the last nine years of my work in partnership with WikiLeaks on behalf of first the Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso and then La Repubblica, I have spent many hours talking to Assange and his staff, maintaining weekly contact with them. Looking back, I realize that in all those years, I only met Assange as a free man once. That was in September 2010: he had just left Sweden to meet me and other journalists in Berlin after the publication of the Afghan War Logs. At that time, I didn’t realize so many years would pass without seeing him free again.

He is one of the most demonized men on the planet. “We are in the business of crucifixion,” he told me several months ago, before Ecuador cut his social contacts. Indeed he has been crucified for whatever he has done: he talked to the press? He is a narcissist. He didn’t talk to the press? He wants to fuel his image as an international mystery man. He is a complicated human being, but he is neither a hard man nor the imperious, James Bond-style villain depicted by newspapers. He can be warm, with a sharp sense of humor, and he is definitely brilliant and bold enough to publish exceptionally risky documents.

The Full Force of the State

WikiLeaks is rather unique from many standpoints. As a media organization publishing exclusively secret or otherwise restricted documents on “invisible powers,” such as intelligence agencies, which citizens do not normally perceive as directly relevant to their lives, there is little doubt that WikiLeaks has the full force of the State against it. It is probably the only Western media organization to have been under continuous investigation by the U.S. authorities – and probably others—since 2010, and it is definitely the only one whose editor is arbitrarily detained in the heart of Europe.

Assange: No way out?

Whenever I say that Assange is the only editor arbitrarily detained in Europe, some object that he isn’t detained, or that he isn’t an editor at all. But that he is arbitrarily detained is the opinion of the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, whose decisions are considered authoritative by the European Court of Human Rights. The UK government has always rejected the UN body’s decision on Assange, and even tried to appeal it. Since losing this appeal, the UK authorities have continued to ignore the decision and apparently no one else has anything to say about it.

Many argue that Assange is not detained, but rather is in a state of “self-imposed exile,” since he could leave the embassy at any time. He could, if he wanted to, walk out and be arrested by the UK authorities, on now flimsy skipping bail conditions after Sweden dropped its investigation against him, and he’d face the risk of extradition to the United States. Last year the former head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, attacked him and his organization ferociously, calling WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” The current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has declared that arresting him is a priority.

Assange’s lawyers believe a grand jury in the state of Virginia has likely rendered a sealed indictment against him. Theoretically he is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution, which protects publication of stolen documents, something that major media does routinely. However, through the last years we have seen many attempts by the U.S. authorities to claim WikiLeaks and Assange have no First Amendment righrts.

Curiously, those critics who insist he is in a form of self-imposed exile or confinement seem to forget that Assange has attempted all sorts of legal routes to challenge his detention. I have never heard of someone imposing exile on himself while at the same time attempting various legal means to put an end to it.

Assange’s latest appeal to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court was dismissed last February by the British judge Emma Arbuthnot, in a ruling indicating that for UK Justice it is perfectly fine for an individual to remain confined to a tiny building for almost six years with no access to sunlight, fresh air or proper medical treatment. “I do not find that Mr. Assange’s stay in the Embassy is inappropriate, unjust, unpredictable, unreasonable, unnecessary or disproportionate”, concluded Arbuthnot with no British irony.

As far as the concept of “editor” goes, I can refer to my own experience, describing what I have seen on my end: Assange has always been the person coordinating WikiLeaks publication activities, making the editorial choices, deciding how to present the revelations to the public—just like any editor of traditional media. He and his organization are far from perfect: they have made mistakes and questionable choices, but it is a matter of fact that they have revealed very important information in the public interest.

Journalism and Beyond

Thanks to WikiLeaks, it has been possible to reveal the true face of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq (Afghan War Logs, Iraq War Logs Filesand Collateral Murder), the identities of Guantanamo detainees (Gitmo Files), the scandals and embarrassing diplomatic deals contained in 251,287 U.S. diplomacy cables, such as pressure from the U.S. to neutralize Italian prosecutors investigating the extraordinary rendition of the Milan cleric, Abu Omar (Cablegate).

Tunisia: Protests fueled by WikiLeaks sparked Arab Spring.

It has been possible to reveal the inner workings of the U.S. private intelligence firm Stratfor (GIFiles) and the National Security Agency intercepts on German, French, Italian and Japanese leaders, including intercepts of the controversial, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (NSA World Spying Files). WikiLeaks also revealed EU operations to stop migrants and refugees (EU Military Ops Against Refugee Flow Files), and the CIA cyber weapons (Vault 7 Files). Its Tunisia Files contributed to the uprising there that set off the so-called Arab Spring. WikiLeaks has also released a cache of Spy Files from Russia.

All this valuable information has been made available to the world by WikiLeaks completely free of charge, so that once in the public domain, journalists, activists, scholars and citizens can access it directly worldwide, without needing media organizations or journalists to access the original files and make informed choices.

This publication strategy has worked: the exiled Islanders from the Chagos Archipelago for example have been using the U.S. diplomacy cables in court to support their struggle to return to the Chagos Islands, while a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, used the cables to support his case at the European Court of Human Rights against his extraordinary rendition.

As WikiLeaks sees it, publishing information in the public interest is an act that involves journalism, but also goes beyond journalism. That is why after partnering with media organizations, WikiLeaks makes the files publicly available so that everyone can access and use them.

Assange and his team pioneered a model so effective that it has been copied by many. They started a platform for anonymous submission of secret or otherwise restricted documents, a concept which has since been adopted by almost all major media outlets. They also established cross-jurisdictional collaborative reporting, now a model for major organizations like the Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which published notable revelations like the Panama Papers.


Throughout the last nine years, I have seen Assange and his staff take enormous risks. “They run towards the risks everyone else runs away from,” Edward Snowden once told me in an interview. That means they take risks corporate media won’t take. At the end of the day corporate media are corporations: many decide they can afford only limited legal risks. As for the extralegal risks, few traditional editors and journalists are eager to end up confined to an embassy for six years.

Snowden: Saved by WikiLeaks.

We have seen what happened to Snowden when he was abandoned in Hong Kong: it took Assange’s close adviser, Wikileaks journalist Sarah Harrison, and the WikiLeaks’ staff to help him seek asylum. Although the newspapers that had obtained the Snowden files could have exerted enormous contractual power if they had wanted to broker an agreement with the U.S. government to protect Snowden, none of them did. As the American science fiction author Bruce Sterling put it: “It’s incredible to me that, among the eight zillion civil society groups on the planet that hate and fear spooks and police spies, not one of them could offer Snowden one shred of practical help, except for Wikileaks.”

From the very beginning, I have witnessed the virulent attacks against Assange and his staff and the dramatic failure of mainstream and non-mainstream journalists to seek factual information on the Swedish case by means of FOIA or other investigative tools. In the course of these last seven years, no media has tried to access the full file on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

It took an Italian journalist to litigate a FOIA in Sweden and in the UK because no international or local journalist had done so. While my FOIA litigation unearthed some suspicious facts (like the deletion of many crucial emails written and received by the British lawyer who had handled the Assange case for the Crown Prosecution Service – a deletion for which the UK authorities have provided no explanation) there has been no follow-up by any international or British media.

The Kremlin’s Useful Idiots?

Recently, The Guardian said, “Assange has a longstanding relationship with Russia Today. He has regularly appeared in interviews with the Russian broadcaster and hosted a program on RT in 2012.” In reality the broadcasting license for that program, known as “The World Tomorrow”, was acquired by my newsgroup as well, which publishes La Repubblica and l’Espresso. As far as I know, that program was not the product of any unique collaboration between WikiLeaks and RT.

While it is true that Assange and his staff have appeared on the Russian channel numerous times, I have only heard of one instance in which RT was a partner with WikiLeaks in the publication of secret files: the “Spy Files”, a series about brochures on private companies selling surveillance technologies. When WikiLeaks partners with traditional media, the partners know each other, they share the findings and the workload. Based on what I have observed, RT has never been part of this process, though it is true that RT quickly jumps on whatever WikiLeaks publishes, running articles on WikiLeaks publications based on the organization’s press releases and reporting on everything on the WikiLeaks front.

Russia perceives Assange as a sort of Western dissident. The country definitely loves the idea of “Western dissidents” and is happy to stick a finger in the eyes of the West by assuring wide coverage for Assange and his organization. Russia media highlights the contradictions in Western democracies which, while preaching aggressive journalism and the protection of journalistic sources, have instead put Chelsea Manning in prison, charged Snowden, investigated WikiLeaks for the last eight years and has kept its editor arbitrarily detained with no end in sight.

WikiLeaks has been accused of being the Kremlin’s useful idiot or its laundromat, or even a front for Russian intelligence. These kinds of allegations have been spread by the media with no solid evidence, always quoting anonymous intelligence officials who have an obvious interest in destroying WikiLeaks’ reputation. To protect himself and his organization, Assange has always avoided revealing the inner workings of WikiLeaks so as to not expose its resources and vulnerabilities to powerful entities like the CIA, which perceive WikiLeaks as an existential threat to themselves.

This approach has helped project an allure of mystery and menace which has been used by many media outlets to fuel a vitriolic campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks as James Bond-style villains with something dark to hide. Had Assange and his team ever lifted the veil and allowed the public to see the inner workings of WikiLeaks, public opinion would have perceived what is really behind it: a willingness to take the heat even in the face of very powerful entities.

No one can say how it will end for Assange and his team: if they end up in jail in the United States, it will be the first time that an editor and a media organization are imprisoned in the U.S. for their work, at least not since John Peter Zenger in Colonial America. As the icon of whistleblowers, Daniel Ellsberg, put it: “Under Trump, he may well be the first journalist in this country to be indicted.” There is a deafening silence on the impact of such a scenario on the freedom of the press and on the human rights of Assange and his staff.

Stefania Maurizi works for the Italian daily La Repubblica as an investigative journalist, after ten years working for the Italian newsmagazine l’Espresso. She has worked on all WikiLeaks releases of secret documents, and partnered with Glenn Greenwald to reveal the Snowden files about Italy. She has also interviewed A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani atomic bomb, revealed the condolence payment agreement between the US government and the family of the Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto killed in a US drone strike, and investigated the harsh working conditions of Pakistani workers in a major Italian garment factory in Karachi. She has started a multi-jurisdictional FOIA litigation effort to defend the right of the press to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange and WikiLeaks case. She authored two books: Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti Italiani and Una Bomba, Dieci Storie, the latter translated into Japanese. She can be reached at [email protected]

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119 comments for “Inside WikiLeaks: Working with the Publisher that Changed the World

  1. Lochlin
    July 30, 2018 at 13:32

    Can you write a story on your interpretations of the Podesta/Clinton exchanges? What you believe, even speculate, on what you think they were discussing? Thanks!

  2. TL
    July 28, 2018 at 23:23

    This article on Assange is great! I hope he gets great lawyers working for him to defend freedom of the press in our increasing fascist countries.

  3. July 27, 2018 at 05:05

    For the most part, an interesting summary by an insider.

    I do mildly object to a couple of points, most especially the almost apologetic way the author describes the relationship with RT.

    Seems to me she has swallowed some of the Washington establishment’s rather toxic Russian Kool-Aid .

    There’s no more need to treat RT like this than there is with BBC, a state-sponsored broadcaster (one moreover caught in the propaganda business a number of times) or, indeed, that house organ of the American establishment (also caught in propaganda and other questionable practices a number of times), The New York Times.

  4. July 24, 2018 at 14:03

    I seldom disagree with you, but on this one I do. Because of what they did during the election, I believe we have Donald Trump for a President. I was not for Hillary, but would’t it have been better to have her then risk having facism in America?

    • Lochlin
      July 30, 2018 at 13:35

      Yes. She was the warmongering president who slaughtered hundreds of thousands of africans in Libya. They call her “the butcher” in Libya. And really, besides Antifa and their violent fascist tactics, what fascism have you seen in America?

  5. SomeoneInAsia
    July 23, 2018 at 22:06

    If the Blue Fairy existed and if she went around exposing people’s lies by elongating their noses the way she did Pinocchio’s, you can be sure the same bunch of people who dread Assange will dread her at least just as much. The only difference is that she’ll be able to defend herself easily by turning the lying miscreants into so many toads and swine with a wave of her wand. Toads and swine with very long noses.

  6. Martin
    July 23, 2018 at 13:11

    Long live Wikileaks!

  7. July 23, 2018 at 09:51

    I know Julian does not deserve to be locked up!! He saved the United States against evil!! I am pretty sure he has a lot of people who feel like I do!! He should be set Free!!

  8. July 23, 2018 at 07:46

    This morning’s news shows that turning over Assange to British and then US authorities eventually is imminent. Moreno of Ecuador got in as the US lackey to get IMF loans. Trump’s administration is not at all anti-establishment, Raja Murthy, completely pro corporate banks and military. Pompeo and Sessions want to get Assange, and Britain definitely will cooperate. To top it off, Trump tweeted a threat to Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, re selling oil. Pompeo of State clearly has two objectives right now, getting Assange and destabilizing Iran. World Socialist Workers website urges people, wherever their locale, to gather in support of Julian Assange. Call your local activists to find out if or what they are planning for Julian’s support.

  9. Marie Reddy
    July 23, 2018 at 05:39

    Thanks to Assange for his unrelenting courage and for people like Stefania for not accepting the restrictions that mainstream try to impose. Your willingness to take the risks has changed “news reporting” and opened many peoples eyes to what is really going on. It has diminished the reach of the corrupt, rich and famous politicians, governments and corporations. When all is said and done, what better legacy is there to leave than you did your best to inform people. What they do with the information is then their responsibility – and we can clearly see those that still try to hide behind the lies and not take responsibility. I NEVER believe any maintream press…I dont buy newspapers or listen to the news on radio or tv after awakening to the reality of “twisted” truths that are presented for public consumption day after day. It is absolutely absurd that someone can call themselves a journalist but not have a passion for reporting the truth. They rather choose to be safe and influence unsuspecting people with their own opinions – which are generally not 100% truth.
    Julian Assange and the true journalists that support him are hero’s. Thank you for staying true to your calling.

  10. Raja Murthy
    July 23, 2018 at 01:36

    Interesting how people (including some commenting here) who criticize corrupt vested interests attacking and demonizing Julian Assange, fail to criticize the corrupt vested interests attacking and demonizing US President Donald Trump. I heard Trump saying in one of his election campaigns, “I love WikiLeaks”. The entire Assange episode is the story of how much the mainstream media is a puppet of the corrupt establishment. Assange’s best hope is with an anti-establishment president like Trump. Ultimately, the truth prevails.

    • JR
      July 23, 2018 at 13:51

      The “attacks” on Trump are well-justified, and well-documented, and ultimately, very necessary. Not just because he is a vile, despicable man, but because he is the President and has endangered the very future of this country in ways which will be harmful for decades. His own well-documented attacks against the press, the US government, the voting citizens, the leaders of foreign nations, woman and literally, everything else you can imagine have created a terrifying precedent for unaccountability – and unleashed a stewing reservoir of hatred, bigotry and xenophobic reactionary vitriol. Trump MUST be contained before he does more damage. And you are right, the truth is prevailing, it’s just not what you think it is.

      • TL
        July 28, 2018 at 23:26

        Thanks! Good post.

  11. Francis Lee
    July 22, 2018 at 03:59

    Chomsky’s diatribes against the Republican party and its fellow travellers is fair enough; wicked capitalists in top hats caressing money bags with £ or $ signs on them; yes, but money for old rope really. What he DOES NOT include in his indictment is the role of the Democratic party and its pernicious effect on the struggle against the capitalist-imperialist system. This is the problem not merely the soft-left as represented by Chomsky and his co-thinkers, but the soft-left everywhere. One would have thought that the ‘lesser-evil’ ‘change from within’n ‘Let’s not overthrow the Bourbons, let’s reform them from the inside’ has been and will continue to be a thoroughly discredited political strategy. Once again, however, the system’s second eleven – the would be reformers – is preparing itself for the political sheepdog role of ushering the mass of discontent into the a political cul-de-sac of futility and inaction. All to the time-honoured refrain of TINA (there is no alternative). Thus in the English revolution (yes England did have a revolution) in the 17th century, Cromwell tried to negotiate a power sharing deal with Charles I, but the Regent was implacable and up to no good. So in 1649 Cromwell had had enough. Charles I was beheaded. That should be a lesson supported by all the historical evidence.

  12. John Gilberts
    July 21, 2018 at 23:44

    An excellent and important article by Stefania Maurizi.

    I hope that Julian Assange will be protected from the very powerful and malevolent forces now gathering against him. I hope that the progressive people of London can be persuaded and organized to defend and protect this man by any means necessary. I hope all those elsewhere will support in any way they can also. Because it is time to resist. And it is necessary to resist. History and our future demands it.

    Free Julian Assange!

    • rosemerry
      July 22, 2018 at 06:22

      Allegedly 250 000 people demonstrated against Donald Trump’s recent visit. I hope there are decent British people who realise their own government’s role in the disgraceful treatment of Julian Assange and rise up to support him at this time when it appears his life us genuinely in peril. This is far more important than giving Trump publicity, which is what he rejoices in.

    • herbert davis
      July 22, 2018 at 10:32

      I agree with John Gilberts

  13. Rong Cao
    July 21, 2018 at 22:26

    Since US intelligent communities probably has already known the inner workings of Wikileaks, having produced a file for each and every journalists and whistle blowers in connection with Wikileaks, why not simply publish the inner workings for the whole world to see, to put more heat on GCHQ, CIA and NSA? Because under Trump increasingly authoritative governance, there will be less and less chance for any potential US whistle blowers to be able to expose its government’s war atrocities abroad anyway. A small organization has no means to confront a full force of state head-on, but sometimes to fight evil with evil in an asymmetry way is necessary for, at least, its survival.

  14. July 21, 2018 at 21:03

    Now, things are getting really bad, crisis point. Moreno has gone to UK to deal with Assange, statement on Sputnik says he’s going to withdraw asylum and hand Julian over to the UK. Where are the supportive people of UK? England has nearly rolled up the people, they can’t have any defense.

  15. John O'Callaghan
    July 21, 2018 at 19:26

    As an Australian i am ashamed of my Government for a lot of things, but to not offer protection to one of it’s own citizens is criminal.
    Even our own so called “progressive” opposition who look likely to win the next Federal election are sitting on their hands when it comes to Assange!
    About time we stopped being “lackeys ” for America!

  16. gimpnode
    July 21, 2018 at 15:27

    anyone can see how it will end for assange. it’s called criminal conspiracy. that’s how they will silence him sooner or later. a hunger strike would at least gain attention. i personally believe the hunger strikes in northern ireland proved decisive when other considerations were glossed over by the uk press. hunger strikes make those ‘expletive deleteds’ concerned for their own well-being. it’s the only response to complacency. i sure hope there is another way out for julian other than being the first tech martyr.

  17. Rebecca Sucgang Ocampo
    July 21, 2018 at 14:18

    Thank you Ms. (Stefania) Maurizi for your clear and straightforward narrative relating to the acquisition, distribution and dissemination of information by Wikileaks.

    Unfortunately, we, the people (and the legitimate print and broadcast media and now, the internet) survive on confusion and chaos, which flow from the actions of government leaders — honest or corrupt. It will — as in the past — take a real revolution to recover freedom, be it by way of the press, speech or assembly.

    I admire the ambition of Mr. Assange — to alert the readers on what, how and when information can affect their lives and future. It is an admirable objective. The same applies to his supporters, partners and friends. But, as the saying goes: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

    Special thanks to Consortium News for sharing your article. I will share it as widely as it is possible.

  18. anastasia
    July 21, 2018 at 12:46

    The writing is on the wall in t his country in regard to our constitutional rights of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. I don’t think there is an American who does not have some idea at this point that we are losing these rights and they are going fast. The media, long, long ago, has voluntarily given up their rights. They are willing, able, if not eager toadies of the deep state and have been for a very long time.

  19. Joe
    July 20, 2018 at 23:25

    If there is one thing that should have been obvious to anyone during the Presidential election, it is that The United States being a free country is an illusion.Even since the election, the media bias has barely let up. Whether you like Trump or not, no one has ever had to withstand the constant scrutiny, bias and criticism that is thrown at he and his wife. The transgressions committed by the previous administration also highlight the fact that , WE, THE PEOPLE, are simply powerless. We can lie to ourselves and pretend that the protests, our voting, and our demands for this or that actually accomplish something – but they don’t. We are allowed to “appear” to have made some kind of change from time to time, but, that is to appease us and give the impression that we really do matter.
    The truth is, we can get as angry as we like, point fingers and say “not this time”, but, in the end, we will vote based on a 30 second commercial, or a video of a politician caught cheating on his wife. We will determine someone’s competency to do a job based on the character reference provided by an ex partner or spouse, instead of their past track record.
    It is also frightening to me to see the disrespect shown to the office of the POTUS, to see the ignorance that has become apparent in the attitudes and beliefs of the younger generations. Apparently, honesty, integrity, respect, morals and even common decency, are things you only have to show people that you like, and get along with. The most important of those missing traits is RESPECT. Without respect, it is impossible to have a free society. You have to respect your fellow citizens right to disagree with you, live differently, actually not like people, etc. Attacking people and their businesses because you don’t like their opinions is pretty damn far from being a free society and respecting other’s rights.
    All I know is that I am old enough that hopefully, I’ll be deceased by the time this catastrophe waiting to happen explodes!

    • azanwen
      July 21, 2018 at 04:32

      Yeah, let’s keep it about Assange and Ms Maurizi’s story rather than getting carried away with Trump’s worthiness as President. Noam Chomsky identifies Trump’s role as one of constant distraction here: which helps to explain his insane behaviour.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 21, 2018 at 08:28

        azanwen – let’s keep it about Assange, you say, and then you proceed to post a Noam Chomsky video about Trump? I watched about two minutes of that video, but had to give up. No mention of the Federal Reserve’s suppression of interest rates and the consequent orgy of debt, no mention of Obama bailing out the bankers when they should have gone to jail, no mention of the offshoring of jobs, no mention of the vilification of Trump by the media. I could go on and on. I am not impressed with Noam Chomsky. He either doesn’t know what’s going on, or he’s part of the game. Take your pick.

        • Skip Scott
          July 21, 2018 at 10:45

          I think Noam Chomsky has lost his edge in his old age. His most popular book “Manufacturing Consent” is excellent, but it was published in 1988. He still makes some good points, but I think he’s fading fast. I heard him say recently that Assad probably did do the gas attacks, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and it making absolutely no sense for him to have done it. Chomsky’s also ignoring evidence on 9/11.

          • Gregory Herr
            July 21, 2018 at 12:24

            I once admired Chomsky. Read everything I could from him. Sent an e-mail of appreciation to his office at MIT to which he promptly and cordially replied. Then I discovered his nearly rabid insistence that Kennedy would have pursued war in Vietnam. I thought his argument was badly flawed–a strange thing for him-but chalked it up to some personal animus against Kennedy that perhaps had its roots in something Chomsky didn’t relate.

            Then his “don’t take a look” attitude about 9/11 went against everything I thought he always stood for. Now for a man with a great deal of chops about media lies and manipulation to cater to Company lines about Assad, to endorse Clinton as a “lesser evil”, and to basically throw in the towel makes my heart sick.

          • Skip Scott
            July 21, 2018 at 14:03


            I just saw a recent video clip of him, and he looked BAD, way worse than just a few years ago when I used to watch Democracy Now. I still have to give the guy credit for the good work he’s done, but I too am very disappointed with him regarding some issues.

          • July 21, 2018 at 19:52

            I agree Chomsky hasn’t stayed up on the game but he’s right about Assad not doing the gas attacks and if you look into it you will find it’s been debunked.

          • Skip Scott
            July 21, 2018 at 20:00


            I think you misread my post and Chomsky’s view. Chomsky thinks Assad DID do the gas attacks. The evidence and common sense leads me to believe otherwise.

      • Jeff Turner
        July 21, 2018 at 08:43

        Noam Chomsky? Why should anyone give a damn what he claims? Gatekeeper to the core.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 21, 2018 at 08:21

      Joe – I liked your post.

  20. LarcoMarco
    July 20, 2018 at 21:11

    October 10, 2016 in Wilkes-Barre, PA: “This just came out,” Trump said. “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”

  21. July 20, 2018 at 20:30

    I am sorry the link for Eurasia Future had too many new articles but more will come up on the ruling, unless the presstitutes try to hide it. I was wondering if a letter might be written and signed by Sy Hersh, Daniel Ellsberg, John Kiriakou, Joe Lauria, John Pilger, Norm Solomon, and other distinguished journalists and whistleblowers, such as The Nation just published, in support of Julian. Just a thought.

    • Wolfyze
      July 21, 2018 at 06:08

      Brilliant thought!

    • Ken
      July 21, 2018 at 14:49

      Such a letter was published back in Mar. of this yr. Jessica and with the signatories you mention among others (including Chomsky).
      Does anyone know if his legal team is retaining contact with him through this (I’d heard that that was the case but haven’t seen evidence of it since). If indeed they are in contact with him I wonder why they haven’t given any statements to the alternative press?

  22. F. G. Sanford
    July 20, 2018 at 20:17

    Some readers may never have seen that 1952 Humphrey Bogart movie called “Deadline USA”. It’s on youtube, and I believe the ‘uncut’ version is 1 hour 27 minutes long. It’s a sort-of ‘film noir’ story about a newspaper editor who has a run-in with the local crime boss, a guy named Rienzi. Pretty campy by today’s standards, but it highlights what Americans used to be told to believe about journalistic integrity. It’s worth watching if only to get a feel for how Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Jake Tapper, Brian Stetler and Joe Scarborough “stack up”. On an unrelated note, “Rienzi” is also a Wagnerian opera character. In his memoir, August Kubizek recounts watching that opera with his boyhood friend. After the performance, they went for a walk to the hillside overlooking the city. Kubizek describes his friend’s “messianic experience” inspired by the opera, an apparent mystical transformation that later made history. I don’t know why that comes to mind, except that I don’t think this will end well for Julian Assange. The forces aligned against him are a lot bigger than anything Bogart’s character could have imagined. After all, it was just a movie.

    • Anonymous
      July 21, 2018 at 01:09

      And an excellent movie it was, filmed in the actual newsroom and printing plant of the New York Daily News. I used to show it to my journalism students at the City University of New York. Glad to hear it mentioned here.

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 21, 2018 at 09:10

      Thank you F.G. That is precisely why I post this link to Penn Jones, a small town, real newsman who refused to be intimidated by local and federal obfuscation regarding the Assassination Of a President in A nearby town…

      • F. G. Sanford
        July 21, 2018 at 13:04

        Bob, I haven’t checked your link, but I read about Penn Jones years ago – a small town Texas newspaper man who researched the JFK assassination and wrote a series of pamphlets called, “Pardon my Grief”, if I remember correctly. The standard mainstream answer which goes hand in hand with the weaponized “conspiracy theory” label is that, “Somebody would have talked”. As I recall, Jones documented more than a hundred people who “talked” and then died mysteriously. There would appear to have been an intelligence community killing spree that makes Little Bighorn look like a slumber party. Another interesting source is genealogist Bruce Campbell Adamson. He documented the blood, marriage and business connections between all the key players. One might think that sheer coincidence connected people like Ruth and Michael Paine, Allen Dulles’s mistress, George DeMohrenschildt, Priscilla Johnson and a host of others together. In actual fact, it was more like a Northeastern Establishment Tupperware party, but they were selling F-4s and Bell Helicopters. The shoot-down rate for helicopters in Vietnam made billions of dollars for Bell. Those pilots must have had more balls than a Christmas tree. But nobody ever wakes up to the money angle. American patriotism has made a small group of really creepy people fabulously rich. It has killed thousands of American kids, bankrupted our country and brought us to the brink of disaster. Still, we fear the rebuke of those same creepy millionaires. They might say we’re “Un-American”, and God knows, we just couldn’t live with ourselves if Rachel Maddow said that about us.

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 21, 2018 at 16:42

          F. G. Sanford I simply can’t thank you enough for your detailed account of Penn Jones. Yes, a small suburban, Real Journalist who refused to buy the conventional line, who actually went out and interviewed hundereds Of eye witnesses who objected to the Warren Commission lies. At a time, so very similar to our current lying press. I deeply admire that kind of courage. Those are the people I have always believed represented our beloved struggleing attempt at Democracy, people actually speaking Truth to Power.

          Please find the time to review the links within the link and Many Thanks for the follow up…

        • Skip Scott
          July 21, 2018 at 20:18


          Just a short personal story. Before I started going to sea for a living, I spent the summer of 1977 up in Wyoming traveling all around the state working for the seismograph outfit “Mountain Geophysical”. They make underground maps to determine where to drill for oil and gas. I was 21 yrs old and making decent money hiking in the Rockies all day. We were flown by helicopter to and from our “worksite” each day by former ‘Nam helicopter pilots. And they did have more balls than a Christmas tree! They would set us almost down (hover) on a mountainside with the uphill side of the rotor about a foot from hitting the ground, and wiggle the stick to keep it that way, as we dropped one by one off the runner on the downhill side. They were having great fun just getting to fly without somebody always shooting at them!! That was a long time ago, but it’s a summer I’ll never forget.

        • CW
          July 22, 2018 at 18:47

          Thank you for the information about Penn Jones and Bruce Adamson. I think people underestimate how much war is about profit–and it has been that way for a long time. If you haven’t read General Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” here’s the link.

  23. July 20, 2018 at 20:15

    “Julian Assange Scores Major Legal Victory as Court Orders Safe Passage of Wikileaks Founder Out of Embassy”, reported on Eurasia Future, The ruling body is the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in Costa Rica, renders decisions for the OAS. The ruling says Assange can go to the country where he has citizenship. He did get Ecuador citizenship when Correa was in office, but i thought he had Australian citizenship. I think dual citizenship is disallowed for almost all countries except Israel? Also, Australia wouldn’t help him, either, would it?

    • Andrew Mcguiness
      July 21, 2018 at 02:16

      Julian Assange is an Australian citizen but the authorities refuse to renew his Australian passport. Dual citizenship is allowed in Australia.

    • Kathy Heyne
      July 21, 2018 at 12:42

      Australia did worse than not help Assange, Jessika. Our Prime Minister at the time, Julia Gillard – from the “leftist” Labor Party, no less- denounced Assange in no uncertain times and labelled Wikileaks an illegal organisation. Australia has been a vassal state of the US for many decades, unfortunately. What the US says, goes. That’s why Russophobia is almost as virulent here as it is there. We’re force fed it, just like Americans are.

      A lot of Australians hate being the US’s bitch- that’s why Australia identified the US as the number one threat to world peace the last time the world was asked back in 2013- but our politicians feel differently. They are absolutely terrified of the US. They grovel and appease, always. It might be because of the role US intelligence played in dismissing our democratically elected government back in 1975.

      • July 21, 2018 at 19:57

        Thanks for the update. I hear a lot of this from Caitlin Johnstone too.

  24. July 20, 2018 at 19:58

    From what i read, back, the legal decision was for the country of asylum. I believe this came from an Australian post that popped uo on my Google Now cards. I will try to find it.

  25. July 20, 2018 at 19:54

    Trump can do nothing for Julian Assange, Nancy, they’ve got him hogtied with this Russian business. I’m not a fan of Trump, but this sordid affair in the US is beyond anything we’ve seen before, and the madness can’t be quelled, not yet.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 20, 2018 at 20:13

      Jessika – Trump should sign a standing order to pardon both Assange and Snowden and give it to someone trusted, just in case he is assassinated. Then arrange for both Assange and Snowden to be brought to the U.S. on charges (towards the end of his presidency and with their full knowledge), and then immediately pardon them. Could this be done?

      President Trump does not believe the official explanation for 9/11, and ditto for the Kennedy assassination. He may say publicly that these two are traitors, but I don’t think for a second he believes that. He is just being forced to “say” that.

    • July 20, 2018 at 22:19

      It seems trump has escalated the mistreatment of Assange so i don’t know where the fantasy exist that he has any inkling in that direction.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 21, 2018 at 08:36

        Brodsky23 – he escalated his mistreatment of “Little Rocket Man” too, but in the end he did move in that direction. He was belligerent towards Syria as well, but made sure he gave them advance warning that the bombs were coming so they could evacuate the area. IOW, we don’t really know what Trump thinks about Assange.

        • Kathy Heyne
          July 21, 2018 at 13:09

          It doesn’t matter what Trump thinks of Assange. Wikileaks exposed the US government for what it is. The US and its equally horrid allies ( my country’s one of them) will not forgive that. They won’t be happy until Wikileaks is destroyed and Assange is locked up as an example to others.

          Wikileaks is dangerous to them. It publishes documents intact sans editorial and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. We can’t have that. We can’t have an informed public drawing its own conclusions. We can’t be privy to what power says to power. We must be spoonfed the correct narrative. We must be told who to like and who to hate, who’s the goody and who’s the baddy. Left to our own devices, we might start to question our fine institutions, like democracy. We might distrust them. We can’t have that.

          • backwardsevolution
            July 21, 2018 at 18:55

            Kathy – well said!

  26. Lonita Lee Dalton
    July 20, 2018 at 19:44

    It sounds like Julian is owed a lot of favors from many nations and peoples and tongues. so, let’s give ’em hell until this man is free, folks.

  27. July 20, 2018 at 19:36

    Now, today, a judge has ruled that England is not to interfere if Julian walks out of the Ecuadorian embassy, and must be allowed safe passage to airport to fly to the country of asylum, Ecuador. But what good would that do? As soon as he got to Ecuador, or even before, Ecuador’s new President, Lenin Moreno, a lackey of the US since the CIA managed to get rid of Rafael Correa who had given Julian asylum, would be after Julian in collusion with Mike Pompeo to arrest him.

    It’s like a modern-day crucifixion, and Moreno will play the part of Pontius Pilate to turn Julian over to the mob, which is the US Deep State, utterly corrupt as Sam and others said. And they don’t care in the least whether we demonstrate to show support, these scoundrels who, aa Realist so aptly says, “slither out of the sewage”. What an exact description for them!

    I am glad that Tucker Carlson is exposing this outrageous corruption, regardless of outcome.

    • backwardsevolution
      July 20, 2018 at 19:48

      Jessika – did the judge say that Julian HAD to go to Ecuador? Or could he go to Russia? As you say, if he flies to Ecuador, he’ll be handed over to the U.S.

      Paul Craig Roberts had this to say about Tucker Carlson:

      “In the United States there is zero independence, with the exception of Tucker Carlson, in the print and TV media, and zero independence in Congress. These are controlled institutions, and Tucker will not be tolerated much longer.”

      This is what I worry about. Tucker is really speaking up now, even talking about the Deep State. Yikes. I am starting to worry for Tucker’s safety.

      • Kathy Heyne
        July 21, 2018 at 13:28

        If he goes to Russia in the current Russophobia climate, his and Wikileaks credibility is completely and irreparably destroyed. The US and its allies would market it as proof positive that Assange and Wikileaks are Putin’s puppets- in fact, they’re probably hoping Assange will do just that. They can use it to further smear Putin/Russia, too. Win/win for the US and its allies. Emasculate Wikileaks and vilify Putin/Russia some more, all in one hit. Two birds with one stone.

        • backwardsevolution
          July 21, 2018 at 19:05

          Kathy – great points, and I think you’re right. I was just thinking about how to save Julian, allow him to have a life. I hadn’t thought about Wikileaks or Putin/Russia. Too bad we don’t have more of a collective voice because, if we did, we could give “escaping to Russia” a name like the “Snowden Express” or something. That way everyone would save face, except for the Deep State. Good talking to you, Kathy.

      • Sam F
        July 21, 2018 at 19:19

        Perhaps a stop in sunny Bolivia, whose president Morales was interviewed by Rafael Correa in an article today in RT. They agree that the US is a rogue in foreign policy. But to avoid a Guevara replay in Bolivia, perhaps he should hide there, or in Venezuela or Nicaragua.

    • Skip Scott
      July 21, 2018 at 11:03

      Hi Jessika-

      I looked into this, and this story is a week old. Also, I doubt the UK or the USA gives a rat’s ass that some judge in Costa Rica ruled they can’t arrest him on the way to the airport.

      “Today, the Court ruled that it is the duty of nations to allow for the passage of successful asylum seekers from embassies to the mainland territory of the state that has granted an individual asylum. For Julian Assange, this would mean that according to the Court’s decision, Britain has a legal obligation to allow Julian Assange to exit the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in peace and allow for his safe transit to an airport from which he would be able to fly to Ecuador, the country that has granted Assange asylum and where he now also holds formal citizenship.”

      • Ken
        July 21, 2018 at 13:08

        Absolutely, a government that has threatened to trod roughshod over International law in its warning to raid the Ecuadorean embassy forcefully to extract Assange is a government that cannot be trusted to respect, in any sense, justice nor the sovereignty of a foreign power.
        And all this over fabricated allegations sans the sufficient foundation to even produce a charge.
        This farce is another of so many criminal acts committed by governments of the “developed world” against anything that might stymie their corrupted ways.
        Assange, justice and free speech requires all our voices loud and clear.

    • hetro
      July 21, 2018 at 11:31

      Related to a vigil for Julian Assange occurring July 7 – 8 (recent) and indicating “An upcoming series of events taking place on the first weekend of each month”

  28. July 20, 2018 at 16:35

    If you want the world to know the truth, follow the money, in all cases. For example, please explain how the sentor from Arizona got Rich

  29. Nancy Tripp
    July 20, 2018 at 16:32


    • backwardsevolution
      July 20, 2018 at 17:45

      Nancy – I think he will, but Julian might have to wait a while longer. If Trump did it now, with Russiagate and the Deep State implying a connection between Julian and Russia, Trump would probably be impeached. It’s a really sad situation. I keep thinking of things I could do to get Julian released. If enough people pushed for it, especially the people in the U.K., the government might be forced to let him go. Do you have any suggestions?

  30. July 20, 2018 at 16:24

    Julian Assange is a totally innocent man – and in supreme contradiction remains a held prisoner, without having committed any crime whatsoever.

    How is this absolutely bonkers situation allowed to continue?

    • Deschutes
      July 21, 2018 at 11:46

      It is quite obvious why if you think about it, even if wrong.

  31. July 20, 2018 at 16:17

    Good article. Thanks Joe.

    There is almost no objective coverage of Assange anywhere. Except here.

  32. backwardsevolution
    July 20, 2018 at 15:46

    Realist – “To get Julian off the hook I’m afraid that Wikileaks is going to have to come up with some highly incriminating evidence against someone in the deep state considered absolutely indispensable which they can use as a bargaining chip.”

    Yes, and maybe Julian can get some much-needed assistance from John Brennan. This former CIA Director (2013 to 2017) is now a beacon of untruth over at NBC as a paid analyst. James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence) and Michael Hayden (former CIA Director) are now both at CNN.

    These three former directors are now retired from the federal government, hold no official posts, yet they still retain something very valuable – top secret security clearances.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Each of these people still hold a TOP SECRET SECURITY CLEARANCE.

    As Tucker Carlson said last night: “He [Brennan] can view classified government documents and, more critically, discuss classified topics with intelligence officials still working in government and then leak that information to the press. This is an awesome power. Our intelligence agencies keep government’s most sensitive secrets. They hold highly personal information on every American, including you. It is terrifying to think that John Brennan still has access to any of that information. Brennan is an out-of-the-closet extremist. This week he accused Donald Trump of treason, a death penalty offense. On Tuesday he revealed that it would be reasonable for intelligence agencies to conceal information from the President. That’s a violation of their charter and a violation of federal law.”

    Tucker goes on to state the times that Brennan has been caught lying, discusses the amount of leaks miraculously getting to the media, and then says:

    “You hate to think the Deep State is real, that there’s a permanent government that operates independently of voters and of democracy itself, but as long as guys like this have security clearances, honestly you’ve got to wonder.”

    This is what Julian is up against, this is what the whole country is up against – a parallel government!

    • backwardsevolution
      July 20, 2018 at 15:59

      Tucker starts his rant into retired government officials still having top secret security clearances at 14:00.

      He then speaks to Rand Paul about what he’s doing to stop this practice at 17:05.

      • GrandmaR
        July 21, 2018 at 15:47

        Uh-oh…my computer’s You Tube says
        ‘this video is unavailable” — no explanation added.

    • Realist
      July 20, 2018 at 17:32

      Never mind that under the constitution all of the insurrectionists you mentioned work for the president and he could legally fire any one of them on a moment’s notice. Sadly, it would be his death sentence if he tried. The coup really took place years ago–when JFK was assassinated perhaps–and we are only finding out about it now as these arrogant creatures slither out of the sewage.

  33. Mildly - Facetious
    July 20, 2018 at 15:23

    Viceland Docs — CYBERWAR Series

    See especially S2, episodes 2 and 6

  34. ronnie mitchell
    July 20, 2018 at 14:09

    I am angered by the silence of the so-called ‘leftist’ media organizations and Democracy Now! is one that has disappointed me the most because I have trusted and followed DN! almost since its inception and it has nothing lately on Assange’s arbitrary detention, reports of needed medical attention and his impending expulsion from the Embassy.
    I’ve been disappointed by many other things on DN! (like its verbatim echo of msm on Aleppo and Syria in general) but right now the focus needs to be on Assange’s plight and what this means to real freedom of the press.
    On May 30th of this year Glenn Greenwald was on the show talking about Assange and something that should be of utmost importance to DN! “press freedom” and less than three minutes is it discussed. Not ONE word in response by Amy Goodman just a brief statement by GG and that’s it.

    If Russia or China were the Country unlawfully doing this because of truths told by Assange regarding them (which he has done) the mainstream media in the US and Europe would be howling about it 24/7. Marches would be held in solidarity , celebrities would be on every network decrying the ‘unjust imprisonment’ and people like Russia Maddow (a more fitting name) would have an update on it every day on her show and members of both Houses of Congress and European Parliaments would be calling out the guilty Country on the Floor, on talk shows and in newspapers.
    While Assange appeared on DN! in past years right now as Assange’s health is in question and the threat of America’s gulag seems imminent there are no stories or calls for people to make their voices known about freeing Assange from his illegal confinement.
    I think they should start every show with the statement ‘today is day number X that Assange has been arbitrarily detained’ under torturous conditions’, keeping him in the thoughts of its many millions of listeners. But they do nothing of the sort.

    Chris Hedges says it best in his article on Truthdig and here is a small part of it.

    “… Mike Pompeo, then the CIA director, said in response to the leaks that the U.S. government “can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Assange’s arrest was a “priority.”

    It is up to us to mobilize to protect Assange. His life is in jeopardy. The Ecuadorean government, violating his fundamental rights, has transformed his asylum into a form of incarceration. By cutting off his access to the internet, it has deprived him of the ability to communicate and follow world events. The aim of this isolation is to pressure Assange out of the embassy so he can be seized by London police, thrown into a British jail and then delivered into the hands of Pompeo, John Bolton and the CIA’s torturer in chief, Gina Haspel.

    Assange is a courageous and fearless publisher who is being persecuted for exposing the crimes of the corporate state and imperialism. His defense is the cutting edge of the fight against government suppression of our most important and fundamental democratic rights. The government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, where Assange was born, must be pressured to provide him with the protection to which he is entitled as a citizen. It must intercede to stop the illegal persecution of the journalist by the British, American and Ecuadorean governments. It must secure his safe return to Australia. If we fail to protect Assange, we fail to protect ourselves.”

    • Kathy Heyne
      July 21, 2018 at 13:31

      ^This. Hat’s off, Ronnie. Well said.

  35. mahatmag
    July 20, 2018 at 13:04

    More and more of America is up for sale to the deep state corruption.

    CIA expands its Signature School program to University of Illinois Chicago

    At the end of February, the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) announced a new partnership in the CIA’s Signature Schools program.

    The program is reported to permit the CIA, the arm of the US intelligence apparatus also known as “Murder, Inc.,” to have a regular recruiting presence in order to “build relationships” and “sustain contact with qualified student applicants” through on-campus interviews, workshops, presentations and seminars on “the business of intelligence,” and other activities with CIA personnel, according to the joint press release.

    ….. In 2015, when VICE News reported a top 100 list of most militarized universities, it was notable that only a handful were considered traditionally conservative. Many, including the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (number 70 on the list), and New York University (91) advertise themselves as “progressive,” “diverse,” and “liberal” universities. Yet they have extensive contracts for research on behalf of the military-industrial complex and offer national defense and homeland security master’s programs, which are approved by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

    Why does the military-intelligence apparatus find fertile ground at such institutions of higher learning, places that were once associated with the antiwar movement? There is, of course, the direct payout of many millions of dollars to colleges, which are used to fatten the paychecks of administrators like Amiridis. There are also political factors.

    In recent decades, the upper reaches of the academic intelligentsia—the elite tenured professors as well as proliferating ranks of low-level administrators— have entered the top 10 percent of the income bracket. The rightward shift that has accompanied this process has been stunning, transforming this layer into a new constituency for US war policies, both at home and abroad, and one that specializes in providing a “human rights,” “democratic” and “diverse” veneer to the operations of American imperialism…..

  36. hank
    July 20, 2018 at 12:56

    EXCELLENT !!!!!!

  37. mahatmag
    July 20, 2018 at 12:52

    The global crime syndicates have been in operation for several centuries. They buy lackeys in more and more countries and continually grow stronger.

    HSBC Bank : Secret Origins To 26/11 Mumbai Attacks

    #SwissLeaks what the media has termed it is a trove of secret documents from HSBC’s Swiss private banking arm that reveals names of account holders and their balances for the year 2006-07. They come from over 200 countries, the total balance over $100 billion…. For years, when banks have been caught laundering drug money, they have claimed that they did not know, that they were but victims of sneaky drug dealers and a few corrupt employees. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that a considerable portion of the global banking system is explicitly dedicated to handling the enormous volume of cash produced daily by dope traffickers.

    East India Company Origins…..

    Role of Secret Societies….
    In the Far East the British organized the Chinese Triad Society, also known as the Society of Heaven and Earth, to smuggle their opium. Beginning in 1788 the Freemason Grand Lodge of England established lodges in China, one of which was the Triad Society. Another was known as the Order of the Swastika……
    The American families Perkins, Astor and Forbes made millions off the opium trade. The Perkins’ founded Bank of Boston, which is today known as Credit Suisse First Boston. The Perkins and Morgan families endowed Harvard University. William Hathaway Forbes was a director at Hong Kong Shanghai Bank shortly after it was founded in 1866. John Murray Forbes was the US agent for the Barings banking family, which financed most of the early drug trade. The Forbes family heirs later launched Forbes magazine. Steve Forbes ran for President in 1996. John Jacob Astor invested his opium proceeds in Manhattan real estate and worked for British intelligence. The Astor family home in London sits opposite Chatham House….
    …. It is this deadly opium empire that Gandhiji was very much conscious about and spoke out against for which he was jailed in 1921 by India’s British rulers for “undermining the revenue”. Having seen generations of Chinese youths rendered docile and passive Gandhiji was concerned over opium and its deadly effects on India which is clear from his letters. These opium production activities ran until 1924 in India and were stopped with the heroic efforts of Mahatma Gandhi who first agitated to remove opium production from India and destruction of China using Indian soil. Finally the British transferred the entire production to Afghanistan in 1924 handing the production to southern Afghani tribals which after 90 years became the golden crescent of opium production. Though the production is in the hands of Afghan tribals the distribution finance market control is still exercised by the same old British business houses or their proxies….

    Afghan Opium for Bankers and Terrorists….
    one of the most damning parts of the US Senate report details HSBC’s relationship with the Saudi-based Al Rajhi Bank, a member of Osama bin Laden’s “Golden Chain” of important al-Qaeda financiers. The HSBC-Al Rajhi relationship has spanned decades;….

    HSBC & 26/11 Mumbai Attacks…..
    In December of 2007, this Britain-run drug-money-laundering and terrorist-networking operation was about to be exposed when Afghan President Hamid Karzai learned that two British MI6 agents were working under the cover of the United Nations and the European Union behind his back… He expelled them from Afghanistan…. These MI6 agents were entrusted by London with the task of using Britain’s 7,700 troops in the opium-infested, Pushtun-dominated, southern province of Helmand to train 2,000 Afghan militants…. The drug money thus generated to fund the financial centers and terrorists through HSBC was also responsible for ongoing terrorist attacks that have destabilized most of South Asia. The most important of these was the massive attack on Mumbai….

    From the Far East to the Middle East to Ibero-America to India, everywhere the drug trade is flourishing, you will find HSBC. It may not handle the dope, but it does handle the money, making sure that the “citizens above suspicion” who run the empire get their cut of the proceeds. Now HSBC has been caught red-handed laundering money in the U.S., India, China, Argentina almost everywhere the sun shined through the colonies. This is a bank which has abused us, assaulted our people, and violated the law with abandon….

    Why Did Obama and Cameron Save a Criminal Enterprise Like HSBC?

    The Untouchables: How the Obama administration protected Wall Street from prosecutions

    Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War Is a Joke
    If you’re suspected of drug involvement, America takes your house; HSBC admits to laundering cartel billions, loses five weeks’ income and execs have to partially defer bonuses

  38. hetro
    July 20, 2018 at 12:17

    Thank you, Stefania. Clearly, Assange is a victim reminiscent of 1950 and following in America. We can hope for an arousal, similar to what happened in the 1960’s, but I see no sign of it. I would like to recommend Julian’s Cypherpunks, available at Amazon, and its very interesting conversations with his colleagues.

  39. mike k
    July 20, 2018 at 10:29

    strategic just went dead while I was reading it, and won’t come up now. Makes you wonder if Big Bro is trying out some of his suppressive tools?

    • Sam F
      July 20, 2018 at 12:34

      I was able to access it just now; interesting article there by Finian Cunningham asking whether UK agencies may have done the Litvinenko/Berezhovsky/Skripal assassinations for PR after using them as Putin denouncers:

  40. David G
    July 20, 2018 at 10:28

    From RT today:

    “Ecuador is ready to hand over the WikiLeaks founder to the UK in ‘coming weeks or even days,’ RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said citing her own sources …”

  41. mike k
    July 20, 2018 at 10:07

    We fans of CN and other investigative sites may be the last of the Mohicans, as the smothering fog of Big Brother’s Amerika closes in. Enjoy it while you can Amigos!

    • Al Pinto
      July 20, 2018 at 11:35

      @mike k…

      “We fans of CN and other investigative sites maybe the last of the Mohicans, as the smothering fog of Big Brother’s America closes in. Enjoy it while you can Amigos!”

      What are you trying to say Mike? We all know what happened to the Last of the Mohicans, yes, by the US…

  42. incontinent reader
    July 20, 2018 at 09:12

    Thank you for this much needed and marvelous report and commentary.

  43. Kez
    July 20, 2018 at 08:59

    Thank you Stefania, for standing up for Wikileaks and for your courage in partnering and publishing with Wikileaks. Keep fighting.

  44. Bob Van Noy
    July 20, 2018 at 08:48

    I just want to once again thank Consortiumnews for being at the very point of Journalistic honesty. Many thanks Joe Lauria and Stefania Maurizi For carrying on the tradition.

    My own life was seriously changed by watching the “Collateral Murder” video leaked by Chelsea Manning, I’m not the least bit naïve about warfare, but that video of high tech Murder was simply too much. I’m disturbed not simply by the brutality of warfare, because that is assumed, but by the newer reality of remote killing by a perpetrator in a relatively safe environment making what should be a deeply moral decision, with their own life in serious jeopardy, and then living, or dying, with the results. Plus the targets in this video are in civilian clothing and should be assumed to be civilian by the commander of the final order. And the final outrage in that video, as I remember it, is, “light em up”. Simply inhuman.

    There is little doubt in my mind that Julian Assange is providing us with a most important reporting and must be protected…

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 20, 2018 at 10:25

      I’m with you Bob. It is utterly disgusting to how our whole MSM and beyond is blanketing the truth with their lies. In the past we at least had journalist who stood by such notable journalist as Seymour Hersh with his My Lai investigation. Then there was Daniel Ellsberg, who had the NYT among other well known news publications exposing his Pentagon Papers, for what all that was worth. Yet, here we are today witnessing a corporate media takeover of the truth as we know it. Assange has always been outnumbered, but as we now can see the rush to demonize Russia and all things Putin, has made Assange an even bigger casualty of our constantly chasing after Russian ghost.

      Note: NBC has a short video out there where they claim to have an unidentified undercover informant who breaches a Russian Troll Factory. The video is an animated cartoon. The video doesn’t show any real building in Russia, as it is 100% animated. No names of anybody, not even the undercover American spy’s name is revealed…this is really a big secret operation, thanks NBC, I guess??? I’d leave a url link but it’s not a normal webpage with one, and I’m not that technical to figure it out… plus it’s a waste of time. I guess you could go to the NBC website if your curiosity is a buzz, but it’s message is to scare Americans that Russians are hiding under our beds.

      One last thing… the RussiaGate story has worked well, because rather than us Americans digging into all of those Hillary emails we are instead poking the Russian Bear towards war. I guess a war based on lies, trumps reading all of Hillary’s deceptive emails. Apparently we Americans don’t want to know the truth, even if it means it’s a matter of life or death.

      • Bob Van Noy
        July 20, 2018 at 11:59

        Thanks Joe, it seems that whenever actual Journalism occurs; the Deep State has been able to bend the narrative away from actually reporting the truth. For years now I have been watching reporters like William Pepper, Gary Webb, and Robert Parry struggle to get the story out.

        I do hope, and I sense, that this time TPTB has gone to far, and the truth will win out…

      • Skip Edwards
        July 20, 2018 at 15:29

        Joe, thanks for another very worthwhile comment. This quote, “Yet, here we are today witnessing a corporate media takeover of the truth as we know it.” I would describe it as a corporate media-government takeover conspiracy. Again, good comment; thanks.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 20, 2018 at 15:49

          I like that. Take care Skip. Joe

  45. JC
    July 20, 2018 at 08:26

    some are saying he is going to be handed over to the brits soon

  46. backwardsevolution
    July 20, 2018 at 08:19

    Speaking of John Podesta – Tucker Carlson said tonight that Tony Podesta, John Podesta’s brother, has been offered immunity from prosecution by Robert Mueller to testify against Paul Manafort, who is currently in solitary confinement and looking at a long prison sentence if convicted.

    Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group (friend and major fundraiser for Bill and Hillary Clinton) lobbied together on behalf of Ukranian interests in the U.S., but they did not register as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

    Tucker said there are literally hundreds of unregistered foreign agents in Washington, D.C., but they don’t get charged. In the last 50 years only seven people have been charged under FARA. But in recent months, three people have been charged, and surprise – surprise – they all have ties to Trump.

    So Tony Podesta gets immunity, Paul Manafort rots, and the rest of the unregistered foreign agents do their nails.

    Equality under the law? And this isn’t a witch hunt?

    • Skip Scott
      July 20, 2018 at 08:55

      Imagine if they arrested all the foreign agents working for Israel. The Capitol would be empty.

      • Sam F
        July 20, 2018 at 12:10

        So would the FBI and DOJ, I fear.

  47. mike k
    July 20, 2018 at 08:17

    The truth is the enemy of tyrants. And they know that, and they do everything they can to hide the truth or distort it. But they cannot destroy it, because it is real, and all their lies are simply illusions.

  48. July 20, 2018 at 08:09

    The global tragedy of the US unrelenting pursuit of Jullian Assange cannot be overstated. As a child of an European nation overtaken by the Hitler Gestapo, in Netherlands, the seeming end of any safety for Jullian really proclaims that the nihilistic Nazi-ism of corporate America has completely devoured that vast, very divided, now police-state nation. Read:”The Rise of the Fourth Reich” by Jim Marrs and “Global War On Liberty” by Jean-Claude Paye.

  49. Mike Morrison
    July 20, 2018 at 07:35

    Ecuador to hand over Assange to UK ‘in coming weeks or days,’.

  50. Sam F
    July 20, 2018 at 06:44

    Government secrecy has become the primary means of corruption, rather than defense.

    The US government is completely and utterly corrupt from top to bottom in every branch, and its secrecy is intended solely to cover up its corruption. Only middle and lower civil servants are not knowingly corrupt, plus those in agencies which cannot serve a corrupt purpose, and only they should be retained when it is cleaned up.

    Secrecy must be rooted out completely from government, and prohibited beyond military and enforcement operations, or protection of trade secrets. Those who expose government secrets are generally patriots, and those who persecute them are traitors.

    • July 20, 2018 at 08:36

      Sam, I agree with your statement.

      “Secrecy must be rooted out completely from government, and prohibited beyond military and enforcement operations, or protection of trade secrets.”

      In terms of importance it ranks near the top, the most important is the way our politicians and appointees are vetted and selected.


  51. chuck Nasmith
    July 20, 2018 at 06:09

    Truth…Free Assange

  52. Realist
    July 20, 2018 at 04:40

    To get Julian off the hook I’m afraid that Wikileaks is going to have to come up with some highly incriminating evidence against someone in the deep state considered absolutely indispensable which they can use as a bargaining chip. I don’t mean anyone as inconsequential as Donald Trump, who is NOT a member of the “club.” Is the deep state and its world wide associates even linked into the internet any more? Since money and resources are no obstacle to them, it seems like they’d have started using their own personal network completely isolated and unhackable by now. Even the dark web is probably abandoned to the peons in banking, finance, the drug trade, weapons sales and other forms of high crime.

    • Maxwell Quest
      July 23, 2018 at 21:54

      I must disagree, Realist. The idea of Wikileaks using its intellectual property (datasets and their sources) for personal gain, in this case to blackmail U.S. officials in order to ensure the safe release of Julian Assange, as you suggest, is anathema to everything they stand for.

  53. Dr. Ip
    July 20, 2018 at 03:25

    Grazie Stefania.
    One should also remember this:

    The Rescue of Giuliana Sgrena was a covert operation by the Italian military secret service, SISMI, to rescue Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena from kidnappers in Iraq. After the successful retrieval of Ms Sgrena, on March 4, 2005, the car with her and two secret agents came under friendly fire by US Army troops along the Baghdad airport road; secret agent Nicola Calipari was killed by US Army Specialist Mario Lozano.
    They forgot to mention that he was protecting Ms Sgrena with his body because he must have been quite certain it was she they were really after.

    A number of things like this happened in Iraq, including the bombing of the UN HQ, which caused the UN to abandon Iraq and leave it 100% to the US. Wikileaks blew the lid off the war crimes being committed (along with revelations by Seymour Hersh) and Sgrena must have known more than she should have known. It’s like organized crime versus Roberto Saviano. Don’t like what he wrote? Kill him. What about the old adage: Don’t kill the messenger. Guess that one was thrown out the window long ago (with the bathwater).

    • Mild-ly Facetious
      July 20, 2018 at 16:08

      Grazie Stefania, you are being too polite in the use of the term “friendly fire” — the incident was an attempted assassination of a fearless journalist who reported what she saw; U S military murders and “Crazy Cash” flowing into mysterious coffers.

      Giuliana Sgrena and Nicola Calipari are two unimaginably unique personages of heroic bravery in the face of Eminent Death as they rode through the torrent fuselage of American military gunfire, that was meant to kill/murder her as they’d killed-by-gunfire many other fearless reporters who wrote the truth of what they saw in Iraq. — Yes, the independent reporters whom weren’t “EMBEDDED” Liars that wrote U S military Propaganda and Fake News reports.

      Grace and Love to you, Ms Stafania for remembering this, another piece of hideous USA shameful history that was quickly White-Washed and forgotten.

      Is there Virtue in Mockery?
      My deeper heart tell me, “No”
      I find cold winds & fevers
      and blisters of the lip and
      boils of inexplicable repute
      and comma’s that lead to Karma’s;

      “Whatsoever a man soweth,so shall he also reap…”

      • Mild-ly Facetious
        July 20, 2018 at 16:11

        The above should’ve addressed to Dr. Ip,

        Please forgive My Mistake. …

  54. michael
    July 20, 2018 at 03:07

    Obama’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers (more than all other Presidents combined) has turned the Press into government lap dogs. Assange is an anachronism (“afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”). At least MSM derides and harasses Trump; this criticism was sadly lacking under Obama, although one would expect a modicum of rational dissection of policies rather than just the unending ad hominem attacks that MSM provides. You won’t see the Press challenging the Establishment or digging into intelligence agencies’ lies or questioning the “beautiful bombs” of the MIC. They are now the CIA’s pets.

    • Sam F
      July 20, 2018 at 06:56

      The movement of secret agencies into the press is the surest sign of totalitarianism.
      In the US it is a marriage of anti-democratic weapons of the dictatorship of the rich.

  55. Jeff Harrison
    July 20, 2018 at 00:31

    Yes. A very good piece and one that proves that the US is no longer the land of the brave and the home of the free. Indeed, it is no longer a democracy according to the Economist, it is a flawed democracy. But it is not even a flawed democracy. It is an oligarchy with delusions of imperium. If American stupidity doesn’t destroy civilization with a nuclear winter, it’s likely that a financial disaster will destroy American stupidity.

    • KiwiAntz
      July 20, 2018 at 03:07

      America, “Land of the Free & the Home of the Brave” as the Anthem trumpets out, but really it’s the “Land of the Oppressed, Home of the Brainwashed ”!

      • Jeff Harrison
        July 20, 2018 at 12:35

        John J. Norris, who wrote A History of Venice proposed a corollary to somebody’s law that said that qualities such as freedom, fraternity, equality, etc are present in a society in inverse proportion to the frequency with which they are touted. Put’s a real wet blanket on “Exceptional”, don’t it?

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