Debunking the ‘Assange is A Russian Agent’ Smear

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.

For his part, Julian Assange has stated unequivocally that he knows for a fact that the Russian government was not WikiLeaks’ source for the emails, telling Fox News in January 2017 that “our source is not the Russian government or any state party.” You may be as skeptical or as trusting of his claim as you like, but the fact of the matter is that no evidence has ever been made public which contradicts him. Any claim that he’s lying is therefore unsubstantiated.

This is the best argument there is. A lot of people like to bring up the fact that there are many experts who dispute the Russian hacking narrative, saying there’s evidence that the DNC download happened via local thumb drive and not remote exfiltration, but in my opinion that’s generally poor argumentation when you’re disputing the narrative about WikiLeaks’ source. It’s a poor tactic because it shifts the burden of proof onto you, making yourself into the claimant and then forcing you to defend complicated claims about data transfer rates and so on which most people viewing the argument won’t understand, even if you do. There’s no reason to self-own like that and put yourself in a position of playing defense when you can just go on the offense with anyone claiming to know that Russia was WikiLeaks’ source and just say “Prove your claim,” then poke holes in their arguments.

There is no evidence that Assange ever provided any assistance to the Russian government, knowingly or unknowingly. In fact, WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of documents pertaining to Russia, has made critical comments about the Russian government and defended dissident Russian activists, and in 2017 published an entire trove called the Spy Files Russia exposing Russian surveillance practices.

Of course, the only reason this smear is coming up lately is because people want to believe that the recent imprisonment of Julian Assange has anything to do with the 2016 WikiLeaks email publications. It isn’t just the propagandized rank-and-file who are making this false claim all over the internet, but Democratic Party leaders like House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden. As we should all be aware by now, Assange’s completely illegitimate arrest in fact had nothing whatsoever to do with 2016 or Russia, but with the 2010 Manning leaks exposing U.S. war crimes. Anyone claiming otherwise is simply informing you that they are brainwashed by Russia conspiracy theories and have no interest in changing that character flaw.

The smearer may claim “Well, he toes the Kremlin line!” When you ask them to explain what that means, they’ll tell you it means that WikiLeaks speaks out against western interventionist and war propaganda narratives like Trump’s bombing of Syria, or their criticism of the establishment Russia narrative which tries to incriminate WikiLeaks itself. That’s not “toeing the Kremlin line,” that’s being anti-interventionist and defending yourself from evidence-free smears. Nobody who’s viewed their 2010 video Collateral Murder will doubt that criticism of the U.S. war machine is built into the DNA of WikiLeaks, and is central to its need to exist in the first place.

In reality, anyone who opposes western interventionism will see themselves tarred as Russian agents if they achieve a high enough profile, and right-wing empire sycophants were fond of doing so years before the brainwashed Maddow Muppets joined them. Russia, like many sovereign nations, opposes western interventionism for its own reasons, so anyone sufficiently dedicated to their own mental contortions can point at a critic of western imperialism and say “Look! They oppose this subject, and so does Russia! They’re the same thing!” In reality a westerner opposing western interventionism is highly unlikely to have any particular loyalty to Russia, and opposes western interventionism not to protect their own geostrategic agendas as Moscow does, but because western interventionism is consistently evil, deceitful and disastrous.

The smearer may claim, “Well he had a show on RT in 2012!” So? What other network would air a TV program hosted by Julian Assange? Name one. I’ll wait. If you can’t name one, consider the possibility that Assange’s appearances on RT were due to the fact that western mass media have completely deplatformed all antiwar voices and all criticism of the political status quo, a fact they could choose to change any time and steal RT’s entire audience and all their talent. The fact that they choose not to shows that they’re not worried about RT, they’re worried about dissident thinkers like Assange.

In reality, Assange’s 2012 show “The World Tomorrow” was produced separately from RT and only picked up for airing by that network, in exactly the same way as Larry King’s show has been picked up and aired by RT. Nobody who isn’t wearing a tinfoil pussyhat believes that Larry King is a Russian agent, and indeed King is adamant and vocal about the fact that he doesn’t work for RT and takes no instruction from them.

The only people claiming that Assange is a Russian agent are those who are unhappy with the things that WikiLeaks publications have exposed, whether that be U.S. war crimes or the corrupt manipulations of Democratic Party leaders. It’s a completely unfounded smear and should be treated as such.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” This article was re-published with permission.

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50 comments for “Debunking the ‘Assange is A Russian Agent’ Smear

  1. OlyaPola
    April 25, 2019 at 12:14

    “Assange is A Russian Agent”

    Agency is a variable concept, some perceiving agency as sole, some perceiving agency as prime, and some perceiving agency as interactive.

    From the interactive perception it is realised that all are agents of all and to all to varying degrees and amalga, although the opponents are often loathe to agree in furtherance of maintainance of the society of the spectacle.

  2. Robert
    April 24, 2019 at 14:35

    “in a post-Iraq invasion world, only herd-minded human livestock believe”

    Perhaps add mainstream media to the list of such sincere believers, they will fire their own real journalists.

  3. David Walters
    April 24, 2019 at 13:14

    “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.”

    Absolutely correct.

    Anyone who still believes what the IC says if a moron. As Pompeo recently said to the student body of Texas A&M University, my alma matta, the CIA’s job is to lie, cheat and steel. He went on the explain that the CIA has courses to teach their agent that dark “art”.

    • April 24, 2019 at 18:13

      Right, David Walters, and see Pompous Pompeo now. The only truths he’s told was to a student body of Texas A&M University – his own alma mater – the CIA’s job is to lie, cheat and steal.
      Even though he’s left his post as CIA Director and assumed his current post of Secretary of State. Pompous Pompeo continues his CIA traits of lying, cheating, and stealing. It’s in a way similar to a phrase, “A leopard never changes its spots”. This is why the DPRK govt issued a Persona Non Grata on Pompous Pompeo – that he isn’t a bona fide diplomat, but a CIA official.

  4. April 24, 2019 at 06:19

    I believe the VIPs technical report is extremely valuable.

  5. lizzie dw
    April 22, 2019 at 21:30

    can you debunk the assange is a mossad agent smear?

    • geeyp
      April 22, 2019 at 23:40

      l. dw. – That’s a new one.

    • Dump Pelousy
      April 23, 2019 at 13:08

      Can you debunk the Lizzie dw smear that Lizzie eats dead babies? No? Well it must be true then. Or if you can debunk it, how about the next one, that she etc. etc. etc.

  6. CWG
    April 22, 2019 at 17:15

    Here’s my take on the ‘Russian Collusion Deep State LIE.

    There was NO Russian Collusion at all to get Trump in the White House. Most probably, Putin would have favored Clinton, since she could be bought. Trump can’t.

    What did happen was illegal spying on the Trump campaign. That started late 2015, WITHOUT a FISA warrant. They only obtained that in 2016, through lying to the FISA Court. The basis for that first warrant was the Fusion GPS Steele Dossier.

    Ever since Trump won the election, they real conspirators knew they had a problem. That was apparent ever after Devin Nunes did the right thing by informing Trump they were spying on him.

    Since they obtained those FISA warrant through lying to the FISA Court (which is treason) they needed to cover that up as quickly as possible.

    So what did they do? Instead of admitting they lied to the FISA Court they kept on lying till this very day. The same lie through which they obtained the FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign was being pushed openly.

    The lie is and was ‘Trump colluded with the Russians in order to win the Presidential Election’.

    They knew from day one Trump didn’t do anything wrong. They did know they spied on Trump through lying to the FISA Court, which again, is treason. According to the Constitution, lying to the FISA court= Treason.

    In order to avoid being indicted and prosecuted, they somehow needed to ‘take down’ the Attorney General. At all costs, they needed to try and hide what really happened.

    So there they went. ‘Trump colluded with the Russians. Not just Trump, but the entire Trump campaign!’.

    ‘Sessions should recuse himself’, the propaganda MSM said in unison. ‘Recuse, recuse’.

    Sessions, naively recused himself. Back then, even he probably didn’t know the entire story. It was only later on that Sarah Carter and Jon Solomon found out it had been Hillary who ordered and paid the Steele Dossier.

    The real conspirators hoped that through the Special Counsel rat Mueller they might be able to achieve three main objectives.

    1: Convince the American people Russia indeed was meddling in the Presidential Election.

    2: Find any sort of dirt on Trump and/or people who helped him win the Election in order to ‘take them down’.

    Many people were indicted, some were prosecuted. Yet NONE of them were convicted for a crime that had ANYTHING to with with the elections. NONE.

    They stretched it out as long as possible. ‘The longer you repeat a lie, the more people are willing to believe the lie’.

    So that is what they did. They still do it. Mueller took TWO years to brainwash as many people as possible. ‘Russian Collusion, Russian Collusion. Russia. Russia. Russia. Russia. Rusiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh……..

    Why did they want to make sure they could keep telling that lie as long as possible?

    Because they FEAR people will learn the truth. There was NEVER any Russian Collusion with the Trump campaign.

    There was spying on the Trump campaign by Obama in order to try and make Hillary win the Presidential Election.

    That is the actual COLLUSION between the Clinton Campaign and a weaponized Obama regime!!

    So what did ‘Herr Mueller’ do?

    He took YEARS to come up with the conclusion that the Trump campaign did NOT collude with Russia.

    The MSM tried to make us all believe it was about that. Yet it was NOT.

    His conclusive report is all about the question ‘did or didn’t the Trump campaign collude with the Russians’.

    Trump exonerated, and the MSM only talks about that. Trump, Trump, Trump.

    They still want us all to believe that was what the Mueller ‘investigation’ was all about. Yet it was not.

    The most important objective of the Mueller ‘investigation’ was not to ‘investigate’.

    It was to ‘instigate’ that HUGE lie.

    The same lie which they used to obtain the FISA warrant on the Trump campaign.


    So what has ‘Herr Mueller’ done?

    A: He finds ZERO evidence at all which proves the Trump campaign colluded with ANY Russians.

    And now the huge lie, which after all was the main objective right from the get go. (A was only a distraction)

    B: Russians hacked the DNC.

    That is what they wants us all to believe. That Russia somehow did bad stuff.

    Now it was not Russia who did bad stuff.

    It was Obama working together with the Clinton campaign. Obama weaponized his entire regime in order to let Clinton win the Presidency.

    That is the REAL collusion. The real CRIME. Treason!

    In order to create a ‘cover up’ Mueller NEEDED to instigate that Russia somehow did bad things.

    That’s what the Mueller Dossier is ALL about. They now have ‘black on white’ ‘evidence’ that Russia somehow did bad things.

    Because if Russia didn’t do anything like that, it would make us all ask the fair question ‘why did Obama spy on the Trump Campaign’.

    Let’s go a bit deeper still.

    Here’s a trap Mueller created. What if Trump would openly doubt the LIE they still push? The HUGE lie that Russia did bad things?

    After all, they NEED that LIE in order to COVER UP their own crime.

    If Trump would say ‘I do not believe Russia did anything to influence the elections, I think Mueller wrote that to COVER UP the real crime’, what would happen?

    They would say ‘GOTCHA now, see Trump is colluding with Russia? He even refuses to accept Russia hacked the DNC, this ultimately proofs Trump indeed is a Russian asset’.

    They believe that trap will work. They needed that trap, since if Russia wasn’t doing anything wrong, it would show us all THEY were the criminals.

    They NEED that lie, in order to COVER UP.

    That is the ‘Insurance Policy’ Stzrok and Page texted about. Even Sarah Carter and Jon Solomon still don’t seem to see all that.

    They should have attacked the HUGE lie that Russia was somehow hacking the DNC. That is simply not true. It’s a Mueller created LIE.

    That LIE = the Insurance Policy.

    What did they need an Insurance Policy for? They want us all to believe that was about preventing Trump from being elected.

    Although true, that is only A.

    They NEEDED an Insurance Policy in the unlikely case Trump would become President and would find out they were illegally spying on him!

    The REAL crime is Obama weaponized the American Government to spy on even a duly elected President.

    What’s the punishment for Treason?

    About Assange and Seth Rich.

    Days after Mueller finishes his ‘mission’ (Establish the LIE Russia did bad things) which seems to be succesfull, the Deep State arrest the ONLY source who could undermine that lie.

    Assange… Since he knows who is (Seth Rich?) and who isn’t (Russia) the source.

    If Assange could testify under oath the emails did not come from Russia, the LIE would be exposed.

    No coincidences here. I fear Assange will never testify under oath. I actually fear for his life.

    • Deniz
      April 23, 2019 at 13:48

      While I wholeheartedly agree with you that Obama and Clinton are criminals, the far less convincing part of your argument is that Trump is not now beholden to the same MIC interests. Bolton, Abrahams, Pompeo, Pence his relationship with Netanyahu, the overthrow of Madura are all glaring examples that contradict the Rights narrative that he is some type of hero. Trump may not have colluded with Russia, but he does seem to be colluding with Saudia Arabia, Israel, Big Oil and the MIC.

      Whether one is on the Right or Left, the house is still made of glass.

  7. boxerwars
    April 22, 2019 at 17:13

    RE: “A Russian Agent Smear”

    Was Pat Tillman Murdered?
    JUL 30, 2007

    I don’t know, but it seems increasingly conceivable. Just absorb these facts:

    O’Neal said Tillman, a corporal, threw a smoke grenade to identify themselves to fellow soldiers who were firing at them. Tillman was waving his arms shouting “Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat [expletive] Tillman, damn it!” again and again when he was killed, O’Neal said…

    In the same testimony, medical examiners said the bullet holes in Tillman’s head were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.
    The motive? I don’t know. It’s still likeliest it was an accident. But there’s some mysterious testimony in the SI report about nameless snipers. A reader suggests the following interpretation:

    News this weekend said that there were “snipers” present and the witnesses didn’t remember their names. I believe that’s code in the Army–these guys were Delta. In the Tillman incident, these snipers weren’t part of the unit and they were never mentioned publicly before. That’s a key indicator that they weren’t supposed to be acknowledged.

    If you’ve ever read Blackhawk Down, Mark Bowden explains how he grew frustrated because interviewed Rangers kept referring to “soldiers from another unit” while claiming they didn’t know the unit ID or the soldiers’ names. It took him months to crack the unit ID and find people from Delta who were present at the fight.

    Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon, the Delta operators who earned Medals of Honor in Mogadishu, have always been identified as snipers, too.

    If my theory is correct, the Delta guys could have fired the shots – a three-round burst to the forehead from 50 yards is impossible for normal soldiers and Rangers, but is probably an easy shot for those guys. But because Delta doesn’t officially exist and Tillman was a hero, nobody in the Army would want to have to explain exactly how the event went down. Easier just to claim hostile fire until the family forced them to do otherwise.
    This makes some sense to me, although we shouldn’t dismiss the chance he was murdered. Tillman was a star and might have aroused jealousy or resentment. He also opposed the Iraq war and was a proud atheist. In Bush’s increasingly sectarian military, that might have stirred hostility. I don’t know. But I know enough to want a deeper investigation. My atheist readers will no doubt admire the way Tillman left this world, according to the man who was with him:

    As bullets flew above their heads, the young soldier at Pat Tillman’s side started praying. “I thought I was praying to myself, but I guess he heard me,” Sgt. Bryan O’Neal recalled in an interview Saturday with The Associated Press. “He said something like, ‘Hey, O’Neal, why are you praying? God can’t help us now.”‘

    (Maybe the Congress can…)

    ////// The USA is aghast with “smears” and “internal investigations” and promised but never produced “White Papers” ‘as the world turns’ and circles continents Dominated by American Military Power / Predominantly Barbarous / Uncivilized Use of Force / and Arrogantly Effective in it’s use of Dominating Military Power.

    \\\\ The Poorer Peoples of the World accept their lots-in-life with some acceptance of reality vis-a-vis the “lot-in-life” they’ve been alleged/assigned.

    /// But How Do We Accept The Fact that our Self-Sacrificiing Hero,Pat Tillman, was slaughtered in Afghanistan,
    (WITH POSITIVE PROOF) – by his own Fellow American soldiers – ???

    !!!! What i’m say’n is, if Tillman represents the Life Surrendering “American Hero”

    that provide prophylactic protection for all the Trump pianist prophylaxis cover

    Up for the Right Wing theft of American Democracy under FDR
    In favor of Ayn Rand’s prevalent OBJECTIVISM under Trump.

    “Capitalism and Altruism
    are incompatible…
    capitalism and altruism
    cannot coexist in man,
    or in the same society”.

    President Trump represents
    Stark & Total Capitalism
    Just as “Conservative Party”
    Core is in The Confederacy

    The Right Wing of US Gov’t
    Is All About PRESERVING
    Confederate States’ Laws
    Written by Thomas Jefferson

    Prior to The Constitution, which
    became the Received/Judicial
    Constitutional Law of the Land in
    The Republic of the “United States”

  8. ranney
    April 22, 2019 at 17:02

    Bravo Caitlin. Well said. I’m hoping CN publishes an article on all the lies of the Mueller report.

    • Dump Pelousy
      April 23, 2019 at 13:10

      Written by Caitlin, because nothing gets by her. A clear mind and a good writer. Thank you CN for publishing her. More, more more.

  9. Harry Chest
    April 22, 2019 at 14:52

    Baloney. You admit you are a “rogue” journalist.

    • rosemerry
      April 22, 2019 at 16:12

      No reason given for your one word.Caitlin suggests you prove your accusation, and so do I!!

    • anon4s
      April 22, 2019 at 20:10

      The troll’s ignorance, selfishness, and malice is worth ignoring.

    • Dump Pelousy
      April 23, 2019 at 13:12

      Looks like hairy chest might have hairy arms too. Mr. Knuckle Dragger.

  10. Larry
    April 22, 2019 at 14:26

    Wikileaks should be attacking trump and causing as much damage to trump as they caused to the clinton war criminal. Hopefully they have some cards up their sleeve.

    • April 23, 2019 at 12:50

      It’s not enough that Trump is clearly a classic narcissist whose behavior will continue to deteriorate the more his actions and statements are attacked and countered? You know what happens when narcissists are driven into a corner by people tearing them down? They get weapons and start killing people.

      There is already more than ample evidence to remove Donald Trump from office, not the least being he’s clearly mentally unfit. Yet the Democrats, some of whom ran for office on a promise to impeach, are suddenly reticent to act without “more investigation”. Nancy Pelosi stated on the record prior to release of the Mueller report impeachment wasn’t on the agenda “for now”. She’s now making noises in the opposite direction, but that’s all they are: noise.

      The bottom line is the Clintonite New Democrats currently running the party have only one issue to run on next year: getting rid of Donald Trump. They still operate under the delusion they will be able to use him to draw off moderate Republican voters, the same ones they were positive would come out for Hillary Clinton in ’16. Their multitude of candidates pay lip service to progressive policy then carefully walk back to the standard centrist positions once the donations start coming, but the common underlying theme was and continues to be “Donald Trump is evil, and we need to elect a Democrat.”

      In short, without Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the Democrat Party has no platform. They need him there as a target, because Mike Pence would be impossible for them to beat. They are under orders, according to various writers who’ve addressed the Clinton campaign, to block Bernie Sanders and his platform at all costs; and they will allow the country to crash and burn before they disobey those orders. That means keeping Donald Trump right where he is through next November.

      • Eddie S
        April 24, 2019 at 21:14

        Exactly right, EKB —- you can’t ballroom dance without a partner! Also reminds me of the couples you occasionally run into where one partner repeatedly runs-down the other, and you get the feeling that the critical partner doesn’t have much going on in his/her life so they deflect that by focusing on the other partner…

  11. Johnny Ryan S
    April 22, 2019 at 13:38

    Why did the DNC not allow the FBI to investigate the so-called” Russian hacked” emails? Rather, they hire Crowd Strike… did you know:
    1)Obama Appoints CrowdStrike Officer To Admin Post Two Months Before June 2016 Report On Russia Hacking DNC
    2) CrowdStrike Co-Founder Is Fellow On Russia Hawk Group, Has Connections To George Soros, Ukrainian Billionaire
    3) DNC stayed that the FBI never asked to investigate the servers – that is a lie.
    4) CrowdStrike received $100 million in investments led by Google Capital (since re-branded as CapitalG) in 2015. CapitalG is owned by Alphabet, and Eric Schmidt, Alphabet’s chairman, was a supporter of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. More than just supporting Clinton, leaked emails from Wikileaks in November 2016 showed that in 2014 he wanted to have an active role in the campaign.

    -daily caller and dan bongino have been bringing these points up since 2016.

  12. Deniz
    April 22, 2019 at 12:36

    The Right is currently salivating over the tough law enforcement rhetoric coming out of Barr and Trump.

    It reminds me of when Obama was running for office in 2008 when everyone, including myself, was in awe of him. What kept slipping into his soaring anti-intervention speeches, was a commitment to the good war in Afghanistan, which seemed totally out of place with the rest of his rhetoric. The fine print was far more reflective of his administration actions as the rest of it his communications turned out to be just telling people what they wanted to hear.

    War with Afghanistan was Obama’s payoff to the MIC, just as Russia is now Trump’s payoff.

  13. April 22, 2019 at 11:09

    The argument about not inserting Rich and the download is a good one as a defense strategy but doesn’t help with finding the truth about the emails. We can only hope that pursuing the truth and producing it will have a cumulative effect and the illusory truth effect will include this truth.

    • Red Douglas
      April 22, 2019 at 16:00

      >>> “. . . doesn’t help with finding the truth about the emails.”

      The important truth about the emails is in their authenticity and in the contents. No one has even attempted to claim that they are not authentic or that the contents we’ve seen are other than the actual contents of the authentic messages.

      Why should we much care how they were acquired and provided to the publisher?

      • Lily
        April 22, 2019 at 17:55

        That is what i think. People should not concentrate on how, who and where. This is just a smokescreen to avoid talking about the content of the emails and Hillary Clinton’s disgusting actions. She is a criminal and a murderess just like Obama and Tony Blair are lyers and mass murderers.

        All three of them are free, earning millions with their publicity whereas two brave persons who were telling the truth have been tortured and are still in jail. Reality has become like the most horrible nightmare. Everything simply seems to have turned upside down. No writer would invent such a primitive plot. And yet it is the unbelievable reality.

      • Dump Pelousy
        April 23, 2019 at 13:21

        I totally agree with you, and in fact believe that this whole 22month expensive and mind numbing circus has been played out JUST to keep the public from knowing what the emails actually said. Can you imagine Madcow focusing with such ferocity on John Pedesta as she has on Putin, by discussing what he wrote during a presidential campaign to “influence the election” ? We’d be a different country now, not fighting our way thru the McCarthite Swamp she helped create.

  14. Jeff Harrison
    April 22, 2019 at 10:50

    Thank you, Three Names. The so-called “most qualified presidential candidate ever” who’s only actual qualifications are the destruction of what had formerly been a peaceful, secular state into a failed state riven with religious rivalry and racking up a billion frequent flyer miles has left us with a Gordian knot of misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies that will bedevil the country and our relations with other countries for some time to come.

    There’s a special place in hell for people like you.

  15. Charron
    April 22, 2019 at 10:04

    I see that the very liberal Noam Chomsky has recently stated that he was sure the Russians did not to do the hacking of the DNC emails and that accusing Trump of being a party to this was only going to help him in the 2020 elations because it wasn’t true.

  16. AnneR
    April 22, 2019 at 09:20

    Thank you Caitlin for providing a most necessary corrective to the incessant drone that I – unwillingly but have no other radio station available (and it is, however nauseating and rant inducing, necessary to know what propaganda the corporate-capitalist-imperialist state media are disseminating) – hear on both the BBC World Service and NPR. (We refused to pay to watch television and I have continued that partnership tradition since my husband died. So thankfully I’ve not seen the Maddow money raking insanity.)

    And thank you for suggesting some clear ways to counter the Kool Aid infected codswallop. It amazes just how much even the highly educated have completely accepted the corporate-capitalist-imperialist propaganda, just as I am amazed that the same people (friends of my husband, though what he’d think about their swallowing it all…) really seem to be completely unconcerned about what the US has done and is doing to other peoples in other countries (you know, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine – ah yes that coup – Yemen and so on and on). And they clearly are more afraid of Russia than of their (our) own military-deep state-police…

    • Dump Pelousy
      April 23, 2019 at 13:25

      Anna R, my heart and mind go out to you. I came from (left) a place like that when I was young, and even young it was hard to do. Good luck.

  17. DW Bartoo
    April 22, 2019 at 08:16

    Julian Assange is a vilified human being.

    When vilification occurs a very necessary question that critical thought must ponder is who benefits from such scapegoating?

    However, for the moment, let us ponder, again in service to actual critical thought, why aligning Assange with Russia is expected by those who will and intend to benefit from that association. Why is suggesting that Assange is “a Russian agent” expected to convince millions of USians that Assange is “a bad person”?

    Why would millions accept that assertion without questioning it at all?

    Caitlin suggest that those millions are “herd animals”, implying that they are led into believing two things. The first is that Russia and the Russian people are “bad”, we have even recently had a much trusted official suggest that Russians are “genetically” predisposed to badness with a malignant tendency to single out the innocent, and one indispensable nation, the United States for the most nefarious of Russian “interventions”, amounting, according to a famous Hollywood actor, who occasionally portrays a certain deity in the movies, to “an attack”.

    In the meager interest of context and history, stretching back a bit more than a century, some USians who are aware of that history, recognize that the US, under President Woodrow Wilson sent US military troops into Russia in order to end the rise of the Bolshevik rebellion/revolution.

    Thus began the official demonization of Russia. A demonization very convenient to the necessity of having an implacable enemy always ready to pounce on the good, moral, humanitarian, and freely enterprising United States.

    Now, conflating any individual with Russia, will always immediately result in that person becoming, in the US, in the U.K. and in other US-kept vassal nations totally tarred with all sorts of nefarious and always unexamined assumptions.

    Mark Twain once suggested that the deity created war that USians might learn geography. Clearly, it is a laborious process and has failed to create much global geographical awareness among the millions, most of whom are content to think whatever nation is correctly being ministered to or in the sights of “everything is on the table” as simply being, vaguely, “over there”.

    That is why the US must strike “them” … “over there” so as to avoid the frightening thought of having “them” have to be dealt with “here” in the “Homeland” of “the free and the brave”.

    This suggests that the “herd” has to be led to certain conclusions.

    Unlike horses, the herd HAS to drink.

    If the herd does not consume the elixir, then it may not be willing to joyfully send the “flower of its youth” off to become cannon fodder should the Table of Everything so demand.

    I grew up in the nineteen fifties when the first Cold War was in full blossom. We school students were told and taught that Russia hated us, wanted to attack and kill us all, intended to rule the world with an iron hand and ruthless godlessness.

    Thanks to the intelligence community, the political elite, notably in the Democratic “wing” of the War Party, but with the support of the Republican wing of that party, and certain individual players aligned with the US policy “Full Spectrum Dominance” which, of course, is compassionate goodness and not to be confused with the vile aims of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and a whole host of other “bad guy” nations or amorphous groups known as “terrorists.

    Now, by tying Assange to that hodge-podge of baddies, the many may rest assured that he has been put in his proper place.

    Clearly, the consensus opinion is shaped, not inside the minds of millions of people, all projecting their very worst fears or even their own worst proclivities on individuals like Putin or whoever is the “Hitler” of the convenient moment, but rather on the efforts of, let us call them “entities” who plan to benefit from a populous aroused to anxiety or even fear itself.

    The list of beneficiaries includes the financial elites who always profit from war and “confusion”, the political elites who serve those monied interests, the media, academia, the military, intelligence, weapons manufacturers, energy producers, military contractors and so on.

    Assange, to his great and everlasting credit, exposed a very large amount of this including, with the invaluable efforts
    of Chelsea Manning, actual war crimes perpetrated by the US, even beyond beginning wars based on lies.

    Fortunately, the media, having overplayed it hand in the manipulation has exposed itself to many as being but a propaganda industry.

    A very real question for those concerned with engaging critical thought processes is just how many humans are still being led, rather easily, around by the fallacious and very dangerous concoctions of the opinion “shapers” in think tanks, media echo chambers, corporate boardrooms, and academic snake pits?

    Perhaps there comes a time for humanity, if it is not to trot along in the footsteps of the dodo bird to look not where the fingers of deceit are pointing, but at those to whom the fingers are attached?

    • AnneR
      April 22, 2019 at 09:33

      DWB – as a USian of English birth (of about the same age, I would imagine) I am amazed at the fear the US had of the USSR back in the 1950s. When my husband told me, in the 1980s, about how he and his schoolmates had had nuclear air raid attack drills (sheltering under desks and so on!) I’m sure that I gawped, fly-catchingly. What??? Nowt remotely similar occurred in the UK during the 1950s in schools or elsewhere.

      It was only since I began studying history (late in life) that I learnt that the British ruling elites have hated the Russians for well over a hundred years. Still not quite sure why, nor yet why whatever the Russians did (Crimean War in the 1850s?) that pissed them off so royally should have any bearing on Russia-UK relations nowadays. But that could be because I’m dim. And because I’ve no hatred, dislike, fear of Russians (or Chinese or Iranians) at all. My fears revolve around the hubris-arrogance and determination to retain economic and more general world domination by the US and its poodles in the UK-FR-NATO and Israel (though their status as dog or leash is debatable). These are the countries to be afraid of.

      • Sam F
        April 22, 2019 at 20:34

        Yes, the remarkably unprovoked hatred of Russia among the UK aristocracy, regardless of era or government there, is a great wonder. They did not even have eras of invasion threats, colonial competition, or competing navies, as with France, Spain, and Portugal. Britain’s 19th century invasions of Afghanistan were apparently provoked by nothing but fear, and their several lost wars there apparently did not even engage Russians. Even complete transitions of Russian government from monarchy to communism to capitalism failed to affect UK’s fears. If the cause were mere cultural difference, they would have feared the orient.

        Perhaps their aristocracy was not polite enough, or those backwards Ns, upside down Rs, and Pi symbols terrified the British.

      • geeyp
        April 22, 2019 at 23:49

        Anne R. – For more on your second paragraph, visit The late Lyndon Larouche’s site has a lot of info on this.

      • Zhu
        April 23, 2019 at 00:50

        Britain & Russia were rivals for empire. Both were expanding in Asia – The Great Game. Russia got Turkestan, Britain got India, both wanted China. Hence the elite’s hatred, although now it’s probably traditional and automatic.

        Keep studying history – it’s ales ts enlightening!

        • AnneR
          April 23, 2019 at 09:22

          Yes Zhu – I do continue with history, although of course no historian and thus history is ever free (as with all scholars) of their personal worldview. And yes I realize that the UK, when an imperial power, viewed the world pretty much as the US does now: its domain. So obviously any and all contenders were up for vitriolic loathing and war. But it still doesn’t explain the particularly vicious attitude toward Russia on the part of the British ruling elites. After all the Brits also had France, Holland and Germany (earlier Spain and Portugal) as competitors, admittedly at different time periods, and no they weren’t “liked” and were often at war with each other. But there was never the same bitterness toward western European rivals as there was and continues to be toward Russia.

          That the USSR provoked deep, undying hatred among the aristos and their hangers’ on does not surprise: can’t have anything remotely similar happening in our cushy backyard, can’t have the unwashed, ignorant, prole herd actually learning any lessons from the Soviets.

          Yet even so – no nuclear air raid drills in schools or anywhere during red-baiting season. Nothing kindred.

  18. April 22, 2019 at 08:07

    The truth is Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, Rachel Maddow, and the rest if the Scooby Doo gang handed Agent Orange the victimhood script he needs to feed his Trumpets to win the 2020 election.

    They’ve also guaranteed no matter what heinous gangster scam shit he has done in the past or will do in the future, none of it will stick because he’ll play the falsely accused card.

    For the idiot Americans watching White House reality TV at home, this means celebrity Trump now has immunity and can’t be voted off the island this season or next.

  19. Jay Barney
    April 22, 2019 at 08:04

    You are kidding, right?

    Assange publishes hacks from Snowden, Manning, and Russia. Do they publish anything on Russia?


    Assange and you are tools of Russia. Obvious to anyone

    • Skip Scott
      April 22, 2019 at 12:01

      Ah yes, the evil Rooskies.

      From the article you obviously didn’t read:

      In fact, WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of documents pertaining to Russia, has made critical comments about the Russian government and defended dissident Russian activists, and in 2017 published an entire trove called the Spy Files Russia exposing Russian surveillance practices.

      wikileaks russia files:

      I think we can tell who the “tool” is.

    • AnneR
      April 22, 2019 at 12:30

      Did you not actually read Caitlin’s article? And other similar ones? YES Wikileaks has published thousands of documents regarding Russian secret activities – and the Russian government has not been at all happy about it. However, unlike the USian government it hasn’t trampled all over people’s rights under international law to persecute Assange.

      Frankly – if the USian government and its “comrades” in the UK don’t like their filthy linen being revealed for what it is – perhaps they should stop creating it in the first place.

    • Red Douglas
      April 22, 2019 at 16:08

      >>> ” Do they publish anything on Russia?”

      Yes, as you and all of the many, many others who ignorantly and endlessly repeat this question would know, if you had ever bothered to review WikiLeaks’ work. In this case, you would know if you had even bothered to read the article above your comment.

      WikiLeaks: The Spy Files Russia

    • rosemerry
      April 22, 2019 at 16:16

      You did not bother to read the article, or the 800,000 articles concerning Russia published by wikileaks.

    • dave
      April 22, 2019 at 21:16

      Can you provide us with a link to the “hacks from Snowden” on Wikileaks?

      I’ll wait…

    • ML
      April 22, 2019 at 23:29

      Jay Barney,
      Please- educate yourself.

    • geeyp
      April 22, 2019 at 23:51

      Joe _larney – Read Wikileaks to have your mind changed.

    • David G
      April 23, 2019 at 00:40

      Also, neither Manning’s nor Snowden’s leaks were “hacks”, and Assange/Wikileaks didn’t even publish Snowden’s material.

      Other than that, and the Russia part, great, accurate comment, Jay Barney.

    • Zhu
      April 23, 2019 at 00:57

      Likewise, the sky is green, the grass is blue and the sun rises in the West

    • Dump Pelousy
      April 23, 2019 at 13:32

      Thank you Jay, I’d like to sign up to be the pliers of Russia. Who wants to be the saw?
      You goose.

  20. michael
    April 22, 2019 at 07:06

    “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.” I think it is a deeper phenomenon than repetition of lies (which have been legal since 2014 with the ‘modernization’ of Smith-Mundt, our anti-propaganda law).
    The #resistence seems to fulfill people who have never accepted any religions whole-heartedly; there is something in the human psyche which demands an intuitive evidence-free, faith-based acceptance of beliefs which go beyond facts and evidence. This is a powerful dream world where their illusions are more powerful than reality.
    There is an inability to accept the fact that people in DC and NYC and Boston and San Francisco and other Financial/ MIC-driven areas were doing well relative to the bulk of Americans and life was wonderful until the 2016 Election. For these people “America Has Never Stopped Being Great!” (Similar to the “I’ve got mine, Jack! ” attitude of Great Britain, as their labor unions lost unity with rest of the working class.)
    Their comments have moved away from ad hominem “You are a Putin stooge!” arguments to appeals to Authority fallacies: “All our Intelligence Agencies Know that Assange worked with Russians to embarrass Hillary and cost her the Election”. Religiosity is largely Authority-driven, and avoids the angst of critical thinking and putting facts together that (thanks to our Intelligence Agencies!) don’t fit together.

  21. OlyaPola
    April 22, 2019 at 03:23

    “The only people claiming that Assange is a Russian agent are those who are unhappy with the things that WikiLeaks publications have exposed, whether that be U.S. war crimes or the corrupt manipulations of Democratic Party leaders.”

    Perhaps fuller understanding would be gained by considering the following pathway.

    People who who think that “Assange is a Russian agent” is a plausible belief are the audience encouraged in the view that “Assange is a Russian agent”.

    Much of this notion of plausible belief is founded on the creation of holograms consisting in large part of projections of the believer’s expectations/experiences of the evaluation criteria used in choosing agents to recruit (for the public largely projected from their experience of creating resumes and attending job interviews) , what motivates an agent to be recruited, how such motivation can facilitate the purpose of the recruiter of the agent, what are the potential dangers of recruiting the agent, and most importantly what is the purpose of and reasons why the recruiter considers recruiting an agent to achieve her/his purpose.

    On projection catalysing plausible belief you will be aware that some encourage the belief that Mr. Putin is the richest man on the planet since in all societies there are assumptions/expectations on motivations.

    However in the presently self-designated “The United States of America” as functions of “exceptionalism”, “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident” and lack of direct experience of foreign cultures by many, the population are particulrly prone to projection giving rise to the paradox of “exceptionalists” engaging in the them/us conflation.

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