Serial 'Storyteller' Lying Luke Harding endangers Julian Assange again

This diary was initially to feature his (and his Guardian cronies) May 14  ‘Sergei Skripal briefed European intelligence services, *reports say*’; Reported meetings between former Russian spy and several intelligence services in Europe may offer motive for poisoning, Luke Harding and allies, Mon 14 May 2018…in which I’d bring to bear his past lies and storytelling via ‘skripals & co. in Deep Dark badger holes under a D notice’, Café Babylon, May 3, 2018, featuring former UK Ambassador Craig Murray v. Luke Harding in Craig Murray’s: ‘Where They Tell You Not to Look’, and parallel investigative work by Thomas Scripps at wsws.org.  I’d had the outline of it finished when I’d popped into Murray’s website yesterday afternoon and had checked out the Twitter accounts of some of the members of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, wondering what they might have thought about Luke and Co’s current ironclad innuendo, but found nothing.

But ay yi yi, when I just checked with Murray this a.m., and found his new spine-chilling allusion to  Lyin’ Luke and friends (Murray rightfully calls him a CIA mouthpiece) and the Guardian.  The stories, if partially true, have the most dangerous implications for not only Julian Assange who could likely soon end up in Gitmo or worse (is there a worse?), press freedom (as if), but for anyone who has ever visited or contacted him in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The Guardian Rejoices in the Silencing of Assange’ 16 May, 2018, craigmurray.org

“The Guardian has today published a whole series of attack piece articles on Julian Assange which plainly exult in the fact he has now been silenced by the cutting of his communication with the outside world. They also include outright lies such as this one by Dan Collyns:

The quote is an image, maybe a screen shot, but is to the effect that Sweden dropped its investigation into alleged sexual offenses because it was unable to question Assange, etc., and says that even Rafel Correa had told journalists that Assange’s days were numbered because his former protege, Lenin Moreno would throw him out of the embassy at the first pressure from the US.

Now I was unable to find that quote in either of these pieces by the same trio yesterday; the worst first: ‘Revealed: Ecuador spent millions on spy operation for Julian Assange ; Exclusive: Files show at least $5m went on activities including spying on guests at London embassy’, Dan Collyns, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Luke Harding

‘How Julian Assange became an unwelcome guest in Ecuador’s embassy; He has been in the Knightsbridge building for six years, but his departure looks ever more likely’ by Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Dan Collyns, but maybe either or both have been edited by now.  Back to Craig Murray:

“In fact Julian Assange was questioned for two days solid in the Embassy by Swedish procurators and police in November 2016. The statement he gave to them at that time I published in full. Following that questioning it was plain that there was no hope of a successful prosecution, particularly as the only physical evidence Swedish Police had was a condom Anna Ardin claimed he had worn but which had no trace of his DNA – a physical impossibility.

Dan Collyns is a freelance based in Peru, but the Guardian’s editors certainly know it is blatantly untrue that the investigation into Assange was dropped because he could not be questioned. They have knowingly published a lie. “Facts are sacred” there, apparently.

The Guardian article gives another complete lie, this time in the Harding penned section, where it says that “sources” reveal that Assange had hacked into the Embassy’s communications. That is completely untrue as are the “facts” given about Julian’s relationship with the Embassy staff, whom I know well. It is plain that these “sources” are separate from the Ecuadorean security dossier published in Focus Ecuador by the CIA. I would bet any money that these anonymous “sources” are as always Harding’s mates in the UK security services. That the Guardian should allow itself to be used in a security service disinformation campaign designed to provoke distrust between Assange and Embassy staff, is appalling.

I had a front row seat in 2010 when the Guardian suddenly switched from championing Assange to attacking him, in a deeply unedifying row about the rights and money from a projected autobiography. But they have sunk to a new low today in a collaboration between long term MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding and the CIA financed neo-con propagandists of Focus Ecuador.”

Murray then scoffs at the ‘revelations’ that he, his friends, his attorneys, Sarah Harrison, et.al. visited Assange, as they’d been quite open if not pubicized meetings, with the claim that the meetings ‘will certainly interest Mueller‘.  Craig’s conclusions at the end I’m not sure I agree with as per monitoring the WikiLeaks Twitter account daily, but that’s okay.

How fine it is that Mike Head at wsws.org has unveiled the ‘Conspiracy emerges to push Julian Assange into British and US hands’, 16 May 2018 in greater detail, and he brings in a hit job by a now-Guardian bad-actor James Ball (here and here at the minimum) as well. The history you already know, so I’ll jump to:

“Moves are afoot to force Assange out of Ecuador’s London embassy, where he sought political asylum close to six years ago and has been forced to live as an effective prisoner. If he is taken into custody by British authorities, he faces being handed over to the US government, which has long sought to place him on trial on espionage charges that potentially carry the death sentence.” [snip]

“The fresh offensive against Assange comes seven weeks after the Ecuadorian government, under pressure from the US, Britain and other powers, cut off Assange’s entire Internet and phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from visiting him.

The Guardian has published unsubstantiated allegations that Assange “violated” the embassy’s communications system and “apparently” read “confidential diplomatic traffic.” In a tweet, WikiLeaks emphatically denied the accusation and pointed to its source, saying: “That’s an anonymous libel aligned with the current UK-US government onslaught against Mr Assange’s asylum—while he can’t respond.”

There is no doubt about the intent of the latest allegations. Guardian opinion writer James Ball was blunt. The WikiLeaks’ founder, Ball asserted, “should hold his hands up and leave the embassy.” [referencing this ball BS, I assume]

The Guardian’s lead article declared: “If he walks out of the embassy, he can expect arrest and could spend up to a year in prison for breaking his bail conditions. The US might then seek to extradite him. He would contest any attempt, and might win, but would face a long, uncomfortable spell behind bars while his case is decided.”

Earlier this year, Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, who took office last May, stated that Assange was a costly “inherited problem” and a “hacker,” and made it clear that he viewed Assange as an obstacle to better relations with the US.

Since his election, Moreno has carried out a sharp turn to the right, with tax cuts for big business, cuts in social spending and attempts to reduce Ecuador’s dependence on loans and investment from China in favour of closer relations with US imperialism.

Ecuador’s government cut off Assange’s communications just one day after it welcomed a delegation from the US Southern Command (Southcom), the Pentagon’s arm in Latin America and the Caribbean, headed by General Joseph DiSalvo. Southcom said discussions were held to strengthen “security cooperation.”

WD here: this is what I believe is at the core of the conspiracy: WikiLeaks publications of CIA vaults 7 and 8 exploits, not Assange’s support of the Catalan independence movement that Murray posits.  And the WikiLeaks that amply demonstrated the Imperium’s intentions to take down leftist governments in the global south, as in: Obomba and Trump: ‘Venezuela is a threat to US national security’.  Well… that just might be, but not in the way they pretend.

“There is no doubt that the US intelligence apparatus and political establishment are driving the conspiracy against Assange. Last year, WikiLeaks began publishing more incriminating files about the CIA’s global operations. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, declared that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

Head reminds readers of the DNC lawsuit against WL, Assange, Russia, an Trump…and quotes John Pilger telling Sputnik News that he’d (committed the crime) of telling the truth about US war crimes, exposing the machinations of the DNC, etc., but then, Pilger again:

Pilger pointed to the accommodation that Moreno was seeking with Washington, which has been aggressively moving against any government in Latin America regarded as an obstacle to US hegemony over the continent.

“It’s quite clear that this government has deferred to the United States because it cut off Julian’s contacts—all Internet, all phone, all visitors apart from food and lawyers on the day that US Southcom deputy commander General Joseph DiSalvo arrived in Quito, Ecuador to renegotiate a US base that Correa had shut down.”

The Guardian based its unverified accusations against Assange on “secret records” it had “seen,” together with Focus Ecuador, a right-wing website. It charged that Ecuador’s intelligence agency “bankrolled a multi-million-dollar spy operation” to “protect” Assange in the embassy. Over six years, this activity had cost $5 million.

Operation Guest” logged every visitor that Assange had for six years, and spied on his every movement in the tiny embassy, monitoring his mood, habits and sleeping patterns, the Guardian reported. Agents recorded each visitor’s purpose of visit, their passport information and arrival and departure times.

[an agitprop psyop with a hidden purpose,  or just so?]

“Every month, the security company sent a confidential list of Assange’s visitors to the Ecuadorian president,” the newspaper stated. “Sometimes, the company included stills from secret video footage of interesting guests, plus profiles and analysis.”

According to the Guardian, this possibly offered “clues as to who gave him the trove of hacked documents that helped to bring down Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.” It ominously stated that such a “visitor” would “interest” US special counsel Robert Mueller, who heads an investigation into the Trump administration’s alleged links to Russia.

According to the newspaper, the FBI has already interviewed “at least one source close to Operation Guest,” indicating that Ecuador has handed over all its records to the US intelligence agencies. As a result, every person who has visited or communicated with Assange while he has been in the embassy is at risk of persecution and, potentially, frame-up charges of complicity in espionage or seeking to manipulate the 2016 US election.”

And just to make it clear again, from the Guardian:

“Ecuador bankrolled a multimillion-dollar spy operation to protect and support Julian Assange in its central London embassy, employing an international security company and undercover agents to monitor his visitors, embassy staff and even the British police, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

“Worried that British authorities could use force to enter the embassy and seize Assange, Ecuadorian officials came up with plans to help him escape.

They included smuggling Assange out in a diplomatic vehicle or appointing him as Ecuador’s United Nations representative so he could have diplomatic immunity in order to attend UN meetings, according to documents seen by the Guardian dated August 2012.”

What comes after this paragraph toward the end is inscrutable to me; you might make more sense out of it:

“But the Operation Hotel outgoings were a fraction of the intelligence agency’s special expenses. In Assange’s first two months in the embassy, Senain spent $22.5m on 38 other operations with codenames including “undercover agents”, “counter-intelligence” and “Venezuela”, according to official documents.”,etc.

Now here’s the serial story teller on TRNN Dec. 23, 2017: ‘Where’s the ‘Collusion’?  Amid news the Mueller probe could extend through 2018, Guardian reporter Luke Harding and TRNN’s Aaron Mate discuss Russiagate and Harding’s new book “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win”.  If you read the transcript you’ll see that Harding self-identifies as ‘a journalist, a story-teller‘, and claims to be able to identify bad-guy Russians colluding with Trump….by their use of emoticons.

I’ll bring a few WikiLeaks tweets in comments.  His team must be beside themselves with angst, as Julian must be.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

it's long, has no text boxes, but given the increasing danger to julian assange, i'd thought you might want to know all of this, or at least: i hope you want to know all this. i'll try to embed a couple WikiLeaks tweets, although i can't always manage it. anyhoo, here goes:

Then beginning on march 7 various parts of CIA Vault 7 global hacking force once again....

looks like they embedded just fine. good.

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have been scrolling down the linked Twitter thread. Seems as though anything further I'd write would be, as they say, unprintable, so I won't...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

and thank for caring enough to want to swear; i'd had to lasso my tongue a bit, myself. i've been reading comments at craig murray's brief coverage and at wsws. it's all very terrifying.

i didn't bring glenn greenwald's interview w/ rafel correa at the 'intercept', given how long he and snowden have played the good whistleblower/bad whistleblower war game against julian assange, for the 'intercepts' three attacks on him, but also due to his ubiquitous faux-virtue seeking graphic that says "no matter if you like or hate assange...yada, yada...press freedom!"

there has apparently a dead man's switch in existence, while i have no idea who holds the key codes, but it's along the lines of 'if something bad happens to julian, everything will be released'. the first time he was made incommunicado at the embassy (a few months ago?), his team was tweeting some code that made some believe...the worst had happened. but then...his internet was restored.

re-tweeting the vault 7 cia global exploits made me think of it, of course.

the wikileaks team is tweeting on julian's personal account, and there seem to be even more parts and graphics on the CIA vault 7 exploits. julian used to put up mixtapes of many VIPs who wanted him killed. stunning list, really, and stunning verbiage.

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@wendy davis

there are multiple people at multiple locations in multiple countries around the world with the capacity to release the content to be released in this event; I'd think that these people must have a lot of twitchy fingers... there ought to be a tiered cascade, with the least devastating released first, set up for this sort of situation, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was, assuming that it's not all so very devastating that even in this lawless environment, it would actually take down governments - unless perhaps that's a reason for so many politicians to be leaving politics at this point?

I expect that messages can be passed via lawyers, at least.

Damn it, if life must imitate art, why does it have to imitate a dystopian novel? Sometimes I don't think I have room for any more outrage...

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5 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

i've never kenned what that term might have meant, but yes, i get 'twitchy fingers'. seems to me that far too many Imperialists are winning by now, at least globally. but is the dead man's switch by way of a threat? i have no idea. sure, the attorneys for assange and wikileaks must be able to communicate...for now, via encryptped email ) is tor secure?

but one thing i found at craig murray's was a comment w/ a link to media lens, then following more and more internal links to the simplest version:

"A Guardian Of Power

The Guardian is, as we have often noted, at the liberal end of the corporate media 'spectrum'. It portrays itself as a compassionate forum for journalism willing to hold power to account, and it makes great play of its journalistic freedom under the auspices of Scott Trust Limited (replacing the Scott Trust in 2008). The paper, therefore, might not at first sight appear to be a corporate institution.

But the paper is owned by the Guardian Media Group which is run by a high-powered Board comprising elite, well-connected people from the worlds of banking, insurance, advertising, multinational consumer goods companies, telecommunications, information technology giants, venture investment firms, media, marketing services, the World Economic Forum, and other sectors of big business, finance and industry. This is not a Board staffed by radically nonconformist environmental, human rights and peace campaigners, trade unionists, NHS campaigners, housing collectives; nor anyone else who might threaten the status quo. As Ahmed observes:

'If this is the state of The Guardian, undoubtedly one of the better newspapers, then clearly we have a serious problem with the media. Ultimately, mainstream media remains under the undue influence of powerful special interests, whether financial, corporate or ideological.'

but how silly i was to think i might not be able to handle comments; your 2 here, 0 at the café, lol.

thanks, ellen, ya darlin'. and for the hugs and sympathy on the other thread. life can always throw ya wringers when you least expect them: how ironic. and mr wd just brought in the first paonias of the season, and vases full of chokecherry blossoms and lavender lilacs. 'stop and smell the...', eh

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@wendy davis

and am not certain that I even knew any, but I had rather an idea that these were stored in multiple separate places and may not have even been on the net - I really wouldn't think they'd be on any Wikileaks mirror site, but what do I know?

Dunno, but the lawyers will be heavily monitored; there probably would be code trigger phrases which could be relayed via perhaps even a chain of people, I suppose? In any event, likely all kept in abeyance unless/until Julian vanishes/is officially arrested, FSM forbid... wish he'd been smuggled out earlier, if it had been possible to get him anywhere safer and with more freedom of movement...

Unfortunately, once wealth has been concentrated among a very small group of people ruthless enough to drain others for it, only they then have the capital to buy into media/determine news. This has certainly been a well-planned coup, although I doubt they'll enjoy the results if they succeed to the extremely bitter end.

It certainly is very quiet on here, been wondering if there's been more provider/internet 'downages' and just looked.

These guys have a insecure website, so it might not be surprising that there are multiple complaints in comments about internet being down, which will obviously be only from those able to access another provider/hotspot; the page showing is filled with complaints ranging from minutes ago to 2 hours ago; page below that seemingly indicates that various people have been going for days without internet all over the US.

http://downdetector.com/status/spectrum

Spectrum

Spectrum (formerly Charter Spectrum) offers cable television, internet and home phone service. Spectrum serves homes and businesses in 25 states. In 2016 Spectrum acquired Time Warner Cable.

There's a green banner just below the above saying' No problems at Spectrum' but a lot of their clients appear to feel differently... and that perhaps might explain why it's so quiet here and at the cafe?

The people within your heart don't have to reach very far to cause painful damage... spring and flowers are comforts, at least - sometimes we need a lot of these, if only to remind us that life doesn't entirely suck and can bring good things. Have some more hugs; wish I could send better comfort but that's all I have...

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4 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

the key to trigger a dead man's switch, nor even if one truly exists. explain this, though?
'It certainly is very quiet on here, been wondering if there's been more provider/internet 'downages' and just looked.' c99? looks quite busy here save for on this diary, lol and sadly. but 'website down' is another way to find out, iirc. i reckon not many folks here are assange fans, meaning: the constant and ubiquitous lies and smears about him have stuck permanently. i despair, esp. since some of the comments at the three or four pro-assange websites are hoping for a revolutionary movement if julian's extradited. i'm simply not feelin' that, unless t'were global, but it wouldn't reach to amerika.

but sites like this and my wee one are scarcely a threat to the ruling class, and in fact cogan at wsws was outraged that no sites but craig murray's had called out the dreck at the guardian. lol, sputnik did, and consortium news had grabbed his previous exposé. by the by, john pilger had tweeted the link to his interview at sputnik.

i appreciate your caring gestures, ellen. we just dunno where or how or if we might move things along, minefields everywhere, so for now: waiting is. and while we wait...the scent of flowers and sweet grass smoke.

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zoebear's picture

@wendy davis

About many of us not being Julian Assange fans. There could be a lot of different reasons why essays are not read, or commented on.

Personally, I find you very informative. But I don't spend a lot of time on social media these days. When I do, I go to the essays that do not require a lot of work from me as a reader. I confess this sounds lazy but if the essayist assumes I already understand back stories to abbreviated references within their essay, I stop reading because I don't have the time to go back and do the research. Another confession about essays that require a lot of work from me as a reader is the denseness of text and facts. I just don't have the bandwidth in my brain these days to cull through detail rich essays. Again, I confess this sounds lazy but that is where my life is these days.

So, please, take heart. It is not the subject of this essay that discouraged my engagement. It is simply my inability to wade through it.

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Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

wendy davis's picture

@zoebear

but do the math...for others. how many individual commenters read the diaries posted just before, and just after this one...and commented. now i reckon that if a person actually gave a fig about assanage's evolving plight as an antiImperialist, 'government opener' of whom the the ruling class is terrified, one who cared would stop and read. yes, it's long, but i tried to create the top of the OP to let folks know how assiduously both the journalists at wsws and former ambassador craig murray have been in their quests to mitigate (and document) so many parts of #russiagate, a term near and dear to many at this website. just reading the titles i'd reckoned, might have sufficed. if not, one was free to dig into them. and as well, i'd checked, hadn't cross-posted my 'skripals in deep badgers', recalling that anything with internal tweets requires a favor by JtC to insta-copy (or whateer it's called, lol) them here.

so while i'll take your 'don't lose heart' to bear, my guess is that low-hanging fruit lie 'these evil dems did this' and 'woot, these progressive dems won' seem to be more the order of the day.

may i add this to ellen's wondering about assange's attorneys?

@wikileaks (a reprise) Apr 18 'An in-depth interview with lawyer Jennifer Robinson (@suigenerisjen\) On @JulianAssange, free speech, human rights and her work advising @wikileaks

the link goes to jennifer robinson at opendemocracy.net it's quite good.

and thanks, zoebear of the heart tree (on edit) for being the second commenter here; there've been 2 at the café, with a much smaller commentariat (by a factor of 100, 200?).

on edit: on the other hand, as tevye would say (smile): another 12 readers who've been busy might come and read soon.

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wendy davis's picture

if you look at this page at wikileaks.org leads to all their leaks over the years; sometimes i forget how important so many of them have been. mind-boggling and breath-taking, really.

WikiLeaks: 'We open governments'.

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@wendy davis

Amazing and essential collections - yet hardly a speck revealed of the morass of corruption. In any sane society, waaaaay more than enough to take the whole lot down, but I guess this just shows ya that the 'electorally all-important' corrupted US Supreme Court and the whole rest of the 'Justice' system totally doesn't really matter any more, at least not where sane, public-protective law's concerned.

On the other hand, why the hell can't we get it together to en masse boycott even the most criminal corporations even to save our lives and planet? Why are we supporting our own freaking destroyers and giving them the last shards of our money and potential for empowerment? Corporate/billionaire money in government having warped the roots of both 'lesser evils' Americans have been forever propagandized into believing they have to vote between to keep whatever other corporate/billionaire-selected evil out? Not that this is limited to America...

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3 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

wendy davis's picture

@Ellen North

as in, who is this 'We', really? mainly soe rabble activists who really did believe mario savio on the steps of spruell hall, echoed in this 6-7r-old video from class war films, perhaps too long to watch. other versions have different mages, but this is the one i know best.

hell, even bds israel is being declared illegal in some states (or pending ones), cities, now john bolton says that T is considering sanctioning any nation that does bidness with...iran, the next putsch/war? the head of mossad is now pushing for 'regime change'.

but most woke activists are likely poor, and already boycott the corporations who rule us.

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wendy davis's picture

original media lens explanation of the Guardian being ruled by oligarchs later, bull following many internal links, i'd landed on this 2014 media lens page as the simplest explanation of the history:

"A Guardian Of Power

The Guardian is, as we have often noted, at the liberal end of the corporate media 'spectrum'. It portrays itself as a compassionate forum for journalism willing to hold power to account, and it makes great play of its journalistic freedom under the auspices of Scott Trust Limited (replacing the Scott Trust in 2008). The paper, therefore, might not at first sight appear to be a corporate institution. But the paper is owned by the Guardian Media Group which is run by a high-powered Board comprising elite, well-connected people from the worlds of banking, insurance, advertising, multinational consumer goods companies, telecommunications, information technology giants, venture investment firms, media, marketing services, the World Economic Forum, and other sectors of big business, finance and industry. This is not a Board staffed by radically nonconformist environmental, human rights and peace campaigners, trade unionists, NHS campaigners, housing collectives; nor anyone else who might threaten the status quo. As Ahmed observes:

'If this is the state of The Guardian, undoubtedly one of the better newspapers, then clearly we have a serious problem with the media. Ultimately, mainstream media remains under the undue influence of powerful special interests, whether financial, corporate or ideological.'

the board (at the time).

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