CNNs hit job on Julian Assange
"The now U.S. aligned Ecuadorian government gave us selected tapes to damage Julian Assange. We speculate that they support the debunked Russiagate nonsense we promoted over the last two years." https://t.co/0iIfakPZgk
— Moon of Alabama (@MoonofA) July 15, 2019
Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS reported on July 9 that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was spied on by a Spanish private defense and security firm called Undercover Global S.L., when he lived in the Ecuador embassy in the United Kingdom.
The report was based on “documents, video, and audio material” that was “used in an extortion attempt against Assange by several individuals.” In May, Spanish police arrested journalist José Martín Santos, who had a record of fraud, and a computer programmer for their alleged involvement in an “attempt to make €3 million from the sale of private material.”
Reporters for EL PAÍS found the spying on Assange’s legal defense meetings to be most significant. They were stunned by the fact that Assange felt he had to hold meetings in the women’s bathroom if he wanted to ensure privacy. And they took note of U.C. Global’s “feverish, obsessive vigilance” toward “the guest,” which became more intense after Lenin Moreno was elected president of Ecuador in May 2017.
That is not how CNN viewed the same cache of information compiled by the private security company and eventually used to allegedly extort Assange.
Although EL PAÍS makes no mention of meddling in the 2016 presidential election in its coverage, CNN approached the material like analysts at the CIA. They voraciously consumed logs hoping the documents would confirm Assange collaborated with Russian intelligence assets to release emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
Compare the two reports, as they appeared on the news organization’s websites:
Here is the CNN article.
New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The documents build on the possibility, raised by special counsel Robert Mueller in his report on Russian meddling, that couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy.
The surveillance reports also describe how Assange turned the embassy into a command center and orchestrated a series of damaging disclosures that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States.
Despite being confined to the embassy while seeking safe passage to Ecuador, Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments, frequently for hours at a time. He also acquired powerful new computing and network hardware to facilitate data transfers just weeks before WikiLeaks received hacked materials from Russian operatives.
These stunning details come from hundreds of surveillance reports compiled for the Ecuadorian government by UC Global, a private Spanish security company, and obtained by CNN. They chronicle Assange's movements and provide an unprecedented window into his life at the embassy. They also add a new dimension to the Mueller report, which cataloged how WikiLeaks helped the Russians undermine the US election.
An Ecuadorian intelligence official told CNN that the surveillance reports are authentic.
The security logs noted that Assange personally managed some of the releases "directly from the embassy" where he lived for nearly seven years. After the election, the private security company prepared an assessment of Assange's allegiances. That report, which included open-source information, concluded there was "no doubt that there is evidence" that Assange had ties to Russian intelligence agencies.
Yeah let's just ignore what Assange has always said about where he got the DNC information from.
Assange, a native of Australia, has always denied working for the Kremlin and has insisted that the source of the leaks "is not the Russian government and it is not a state party." He also said he would have published damaging information about then-candidate Donald Trump if he had received it.
Back to Kevin's essay on this hit job.
Yet, there is little to no evidence in the report to substantiate the conspiracy theory that CNN reporters want the public to believe.
Much of CNN’s report quotes from the Mueller report, not the private security company materials. It plugs in meetings and interactions Assange had with visitors that align with dates in the report in order to claim this appears to be evidence of collaboration with the Russian government, but CNN does not know what transpired.
For example, on July 18, 2016, CNN states, “While the Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland, an embassy security guard broke protocol by abandoning his post to receive a package outside the embassy from a man in disguise. The man covered his face with a mask and sunglasses and was wearing a backpack, according to surveillance images obtained by CNN.”
“WikiLeaks informed the Russian hackers that it had received the files and was preparing to release them soon. It’s not clear if these incidents are related, and the contents of the package delivered to the embassy are unknown,” CNN adds.
Nonetheless, hours after the report was published, CNN splashed the headline, “When Russia came knocking for Julian Assange” on their website, with a grainy but lurid frame from a surveillance camera that showed the Masked Man who made a delivery.
This is similar to when CNN went searching for a story about a Russian-funded digital media project called In The Now that produces viral videos aimed at “undermining American democracy.” When reporters could not find information to substantiate their state-identified suspicions, they manufactured a news story that involved giving Facebook a pretext for removing the project’s pages.
Ecuador granted asylum to Assange in August 2012. The Ecuador government concluded Assange was a journalist, who faced the threat of persecution and would not receive a fair trial if was extradited. He also would likely suffer cruel and degrading treatment if he was sentenced to prison.
Since then, U.S. media organizations like CNN have refused to accept that Assange was a journalist targeted by the U.S. government. The ignorance of CNN reporters shows in the report. (Ya think?)
CNN describes how Assange had “a special list of people who were able to enter the embassy without showing identification or being searched by security. He was even granted the power to delete names from the visitor logs.”
“From the outset he demanded (and was granted) high-speed internet connectivity, phone service and regular access to professional visitors and personal guests. This arrangement enabled him to keep WikiLeaks active, the documents said.”
Read the rest of Kevin's essay for more information about this unfuckingbelievable heinous hit job by CNN, Marshall Cohen, Kay Guerrero and Arturo Torres.