Netflix has a hit job on Assange 3 days before his trial

Netflix To Launch WikiLeaks Smear Job Three Days Before Assange Court Date

Netflix will begin streaming a brazen hatchet job on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for its American subscribers on October 24th, just three days prior to a significant court date in Assange's fight against extradition from the UK to the United States on October 27th.

"You can stream We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks on Netflix starting Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET," Netflix Schedule reports.

We Steal Secrets was a "documentary" that is now so outdated beyond its 2013 release that one of its central characters, Chelsea Manning, is referred to by a dead name throughout its entirety. Why choose this specific moment to release it?

Well it doesn't make much sense at all, if the timing wasn't deliberately geared toward damaging Assange's reputation in the nation whose government is trying to extradite him for exposing its war crimes. Assange's October court date was set way back in August and Netflix didn't announce it had scheduled to begin streaming this film until two weeks ago.

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After all, We Steal Secrets was so egregious in its spin that not only did WikiLeaks supporters like World Socialist Website and journalist Jonathan Cook pan it as a smear at the time, but WikiLeaks itself went to the trouble of publishing a line-by-line refutation of the mountains of propaganda distortion heaped on the narrative by filmmaker Alex Gibney.

"The title ('We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks') is false," WikiLeaks writes at the beginning of its response. "It directly implies that WikiLeaks steals secrets. In fact, the statement is made by former CIA/NSA director Michael Hayden in relation to the activities of US government spies, not in relation to WikiLeaks. This an irresponsible libel. Not even critics in the film say that WikiLeaks steals secrets."

"Gibney’s latest release—We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks—is something else again," World Socialist Website wrote in 2013. "The 130-minute feature is a political hatchet job against Julian Assange and dovetails with the media and US government campaign against the WikiLeaks web site. Whether Gibney has shifted to the right or simply revealed the fatal limitations of his liberal 'oppositional' views is a matter for a separate discussion. In any event, his newest work is an effort at disinformation."

"The job of a good documentarist is to weigh the available material and then present as honest a record of what it reveals as possible. Anything less is at best polemic, if it sides with those who are silenced and weak, and at worst propaganda, if it sides with those who wield power," critiqued Jonathan Cook at the time.

This would not be the first time Netflix has helped circulate narratives that advance the interests of the US empire, or the second, or the third, having already run blatantly propagandistic "documentaries" advancing imperial interests in nations like Ukraine, Russia, Egypt, and multiple ones about Syria. Netflix has also signed deals with the Obamas and with British royalty.

So they're not exactly looking out for the little guy, which from a company worth an estimated $229 billion should come as no surprise.

Still, such open facilitation of the world's most powerful government in its campaign to imprison a journalist for inconvenient journalistic activity is a special kind of reprehensible. If there is a healthy humanity in the future, it will look back on the worldwide smear campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks with horror.

Comment:

Obama has a production deal with Netflix...

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You might have heard about the Facebook whistleblower who’s debut was on 60 minutes and then she testified to congress about how FB is not doing enough censorship. Just like the Ukraine whistleblower who got congress to make whistleblowers protected this woman is working with democrats to get FB and social media to censor more heavily. But Trump’s persecution of Assange was never brought up by democrats who continually blasted him for his war on the press and journalists. Of course not..they are F'ing hypocrites. And they have an agenda to set which is more and more censorship. And backed up by many of their supporters. Grrr!

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Hypocrisy at its finest: Facebook whistleblowers are feted, while Julian Assange is jailed

The very contrasting treatment of whistleblowers willing to testify against Facebook with that of the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder shows us that the Establishment’s support of those ‘spilling the beans’ is highly selective.

All whistleblowers are equal, but some are more equal than others. Or, we could more specifically say, whistleblowers whose revelations aid ruling-class agendas are put in front of Congress and handed the mic, while those whose revelations expose ruling-class agendas are persecuted and end up in maximum-security jails.

"Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy,” Haugen told senators. The company put profits before “the common good.” Which is exactly what the faux-communitarian pro-censorship elites wanted to hear. There is a war going on against Facebook at the moment, in case you hadn’t noticed, but those who are waging it don’t have the same issues with Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant that you and I might have.

We are concerned that Facebook already censors too much in the political sphere, but the ruling elites are concerned that it doesn‘t censor enough. They want more government control over the internet. In fact, they want total government control over the internet, as in China, the country they routinely criticise on “human rights” grounds, but who they are doing their best to copy.

Haugen’s testimony furthered that pro-censorship, pro-control agenda, which is why her words got such glowing coverage in the mainstream media.

Meanwhile, as Haugen and Zhang are feted because they are saying exactly what the political class wants to hear, (and, as Glenn Greenwald points out, have the potential to earn millions of dollars from the SEC whistleblower program) the world’s most famous ‘whistleblower’ is still languishing in Belmarsh Prison.

Julian Assange spilled the beans on what Western (and other governments) were doing in secret with our money – but instead of being lauded by the media for the service he was doing for democracy, he was eviscerated. There was no invitation for him to address Congress. And no prospect of him winning awards of millions of dollars from US state bodies.

Assange has paid a terrible price for telling us what went on behind the curtain – things which we were never meant to find out, but which were our right to know. Which is what makes the current adulation of the Facebook “whistleblowers” by those who stay silent on Assange‘s treatment, or who actually support it, so nauseating.

The media has ignored Julian's plight after some called him a coward for seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. And after a few news sites got accolades for publishing the information he gave them. If you didn’t know the trial for Julian was the most blatantly corrupt trial in history because the judge made up her own rules of what evidence she would allow. If Julian is extradited here he will have another trial that will be rigged against him because it will allow no evidence for defense.

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snoopydawg's picture

The assassination of Julian Assange

Counterpunch – 29 July 2013

“We Steal Secrets”: A masterclass in propaganda

I have just watched We Steal Secrets, Alex Gibney’s documentary about Wikileaks and Julian Assange. One useful thing I learnt is the difference between a hatchet job and character assassination. Gibney is too clever for a hatchet job, and his propaganda is all the more effective for it.

The film’s contention is that Assange is a natural-born egotist and, however noble his initial project, Wikileaks ended up not only feeding his vanity but also accentuating in him the very qualities — secretiveness, manipulativeness, dishonesty and a hunger for power — he so despises in the global forces he has taken on.

This could have made for an intriguing, and possibly plausible, thesis had Gibney approached the subject-matter more honestly and fairly. But two major flaws discredit the whole enterprise.

The first is that he grievously misrepresents the facts in the Swedish case against Assange of rape and sexual molestation to the point that his motives in making the film are brought into question.

To shore up his central argument about Assange’s moral failings, he needs to make a persuasive case that these defects are not only discernible in Assange’s public work but in his private life too.

But the most damning evidence against Gibney is his focus on a torn condom submitted by A to the police, unquestioningly accepting its significance as proof of the assault. The film repeatedly shows a black and white image of the damaged prophylactic.

Gibney even builds a theory around the condom that supposedly establishes a central personality flaw in Assange. According to this view, Assange tore it because, imprisoned in his digital world, he wanted to spawn flesh-and-blood babies to give his life more concrete and permanent meaning.

The problem is that investigators have admitted that no DNA from Assange was found on the condom. In fact, A’s DNA was not found on it either. The condom, far from making A a more credible witness, suggests that she may have planted evidence to bolster a case so weak that the original prosecutors dropped it.

This documentary could have been a fascinating study of the moral quandaries faced by whistleblowers in the age of the surveillance super-state. Instead Gibney chose the easy course and made a film that sides with the problem rather than the solution.

Sweden dropped the case early after they found people had lied. Britain told them to reopen it and not to come there to interview him. There are so many things done that should have gotten the case dismissed. I don’t know if there is a court that he can appeal to if he loses to the USA. I hope there is one that will release him from this decade long nightmare he’s been stuck in.

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

what you write is true. I wish that Wikileaks had done a docudump on individual politicians. A nebulous "corrupt government" is one thing, but I'd like to see Clintons, Mcconnells, Schumer, Pelosi's dirty laundry run up the flagpole. Maybe it'll happen.

Julian Assange deserves fairness, if nothing else. If he's extradited to the U.S. it will be a sideshow, (see, we're tough on crime AND socialists) to deflect the heat off the neolibs. Maybe the MAGA people will come out on his side if he can embarrass the dems enough. Most likely he'll rot in Gitmo forever without a trial.

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but little remembered (or reported) is that Mannning leaked an unfiltered dump of diplomatic emails, including orders from SOS Clinton to the ambassador to Uzbecistan telling him to bribe their President for (I think) Shell Oil. (a British company BTW) because "it is illegal under American law to bribe a foreign official." It wasn't reported whether US money or Shell's money was used. I've always thought that was the real reason they went so hard after Manning.
OTOH maybe a blatant propaganda attack is just what Assange needs to turn public attention and opinion.

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On to Biden since 1973

snoopydawg's picture

@doh1304

and wasn’t aware of all she exposed.

HerHeinous: can’t we just drone Assange? Why not when the rule of law is just a suggestion to many.

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9 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

https://wikileaks.org/IMG/html/gibney-transcript.html

Alex Gibney got fame and fortune for this hatchet job on Julian Assange and Wikileaks dissected it beautifully.

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snoopydawg's picture

@aliasalias

I too am hoping for a document dumb from Wikileaks and had hoped that they would have done one long before now after Julian was arrested and taken from the embassy. Just a reminder that they have the power to destroy lots of people in government. Dead man switch.

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6 users have voted.

In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Lookout's picture

Corporate/Chevron control of courts in Steven's case and CIA control in Julian's. The only law is for the TPTB and screw those who show the corrupt and vile nature of the fossil fuel and war machines.

Sadly, that is where we are...victims of a corrupt system and the truthtellers are crucified in media silence.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

zed2's picture

And enslave everybody in debt and a modern slavery, of debt. Corporations, not countries. They are profoundly anti-democracy "majoritarian" government as we put it.

Watch this video, countries can be sued for doing their jobs if they are protecting people. .

DEMOCRACY IS AT GREAT RISK.

People can kiss public services goodbye. We are pushing a global corporate state. Where money is above everything else. There is no right to exist.

Money is the root of everything. Like Terry Gillam's dystopian film Brazil.

They want to imprison Julian Assange because he tried to expose their global coup.

They want to make it easier for them to steal everything.

To them Social Security and Medicare are goners because they are trade barriers.

Public services dont exist, the conditions they put blocking public services are impossible to meet.

Government is not corporate property, NO!

The US is on the wrong side of this ISDS issue.

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zed2's picture

The attempted theft of the entire world.

Nothing less..

No democracy can endorse a "standstill" on anything thats progress, (a freeze) that starts in the mid 1990s. But thats what they did. We have to roll back the changes since then.

Among other things it outlaws the ACA. It makes deregulation, elimination of all laws mandatory, makes any regulation, especially new or post 1995 regulation and any rules that reduce profits forbidden, making services, 80% of our economy a one way global street. Rules can only go away. Such as rules limiting the creation of a global job marketplace. This way wages can fall to their lowest possible levels. Capital's wet dream.

So any politician who promises you public anything is lying, most probably. They already promised not to do so in the WTO in 1995. Its a big lie. Bernie Sanders was not being truthful. SO are other politicians who pretend states can provide affordable care. Its a cover uo. A lie.

They only can if it doesn't adversely impact corporate profits and was initiated before the WTO was created.

The standstill date goes back to the creation of the standstill. Really.
That means they could only help people so poor that there was no way they could buy healthcare without help and could never become a purchaser of even the cheapest low value financial products. After they had spent all their money and had no sellable assets. . Sure public healthcare is the only way for healthcare to become affordable and its better. But thats why its forbidden, that's why its now forbidden in WTO countries that have made the commitments we have. TISA is also meant top stop the contagion.
Unless a country already had it in 1995 and doesn't sell healthcare at all. Already. So the US which is also going to be losing a lot of jobs to foreign temping firms, will be SOL, as they say.

Look at the privatization thats been happening in the UK. Soon Britons will have to pay the (up to) thousands of dollars a month most Americans pay. (ranging up to $6800 a month where I live) They have no clue how shamelessly they have been lied to. They think that they will get a special deal! That would be impossible giving its history. Now its the Africans and indians turn to make tons of money off of them and take their homes and jobs away. Their payback for the global trade economy.

https://wikileaks.org/tisa/

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Ball's in your court, Anonymous.

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3 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

zed2's picture

The UK is such a festering hole of dishonesty these days. I know they are trying to create a new customs union of English speaking countries, claiming it would prevent the loss of decent jobs that they planned via the WTO GATS, TISA, etc.

Don't fall for it. Britain is a repressive dictatorship disguised as a democracy that is lying to its people to prop up the same people who were enslaving the world in the recent past. Now thy are doing it through tax havens and the City of London.They should pay for their crimes. We shouldn't foot the bill as they want.

The UK and US are part of a huge web of tax evasion that holds more than half the money in the world.

The US (and of course, the UK, who started it) wants the extreme degree of money hijinks.. to be able to continue.. to be hidden..

Why they hate Assange, He exposed massive theft.. Thats why they hate him.

Must see!

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