The narrative that Assange worked for or knowingly conspired with the Russian government is a hallucination of the demented Russia hysteria which has infected all corners of mainstream political discourse, says Caitlin Johnstone.
By Caitlin Johnstone
Not even the U.S. government alleges that WikiLeaks knowingly coordinated with the Kremlin in the 2016 publication of Democratic Party emails; the Robert Mueller Special Counsel alleged only that Guccifer 2.0 was the source of those emails and that Guccifer 2.0 was a persona covertly operated by Russian conspirators. The narrative that Assange worked for or knowingly conspired with the Russian government is a hallucination of the demented Russia hysteria which has infected all corners of mainstream political discourse. There is no evidence for it whatsoever, and anyone making this claim should be corrected and dismissed.
But we don’t even need to concede that much. To this day we have been presented with exactly zero hard evidence of the U.S. government’s narrative about Russian hackers, and in a post-Iraq invasion world there’s no good reason to accept that. We’ve seen assertions from opaque government agencies and their allied firms within the U.S.-centralized power alliance, but assertions are not evidence. We’ve seen indictments from Mueller, but indictments are assertions and assertions are not evidence. We’ve seen claims in the Mueller report, but the timeline is riddled with plot holes, and even if it wasn’t, claims in the Mueller report are not evidence. This doesn’t mean that Russia would never use hackers to interfere in world political affairs or that Vladimir Putin is some sort of virtuous girl scout, it just means that in a post-Iraq invasion world, only herd-minded human livestock believe the unsubstantiated assertions of opaque and unaccountable government agencies about governments who are oppositional to those same agencies.
If the public can’t see the evidence, then as far as the public is concerned there is no evidence. Invisible evidence is not evidence, no matter how many government officials assure us it exists.
The only reason the majority believes that Russia is known to have interfered in America’s 2016 election is because news outlets have been repeatedly referring to this narrative as an established and proven fact, over and over and over again, day after day, for years. People take this repetition as a substitute for proof due to a glitch in human psychology known as the illusory truth effect, a phenomenon which causes our brains to tend to interpret things we’ve heard before as known truths. But repetitive assertions are not the same as known truths.