“Nesting lies. Hatching truth.” In today’s political climate I can’t think of a more appropriate WikiLeaks meme that best illustrates the allegations that Julian Assange has been working for the Kremlin and the truth; the Russian narrative is a nest of lies manufactured and propagated by Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and the Deep State. In fact, the Deep State has been “nesting” within the mainstream media and deceiving the public for decades and Russiagate is but one of a thousand lies they have propagandized. They’ve spent years waging a war against Assange with the help of journalists, media outlets, and even foreign governments seemingly whenever they so desire. From traitorous WikiLeaks volunteers and FBI snitches to a federal grand jury and a secret extradition order, Assange has staved off a barrage of uninterrupted attacks that have defamed his character, restricted his freedom and denied him the right to receive proper health care. It has become imperative that he is given safe passage and no longer forced to “nest” in the Ecuadorian embassy where it is impossible for him to receive the medical attention he requires. The fact that a judge put Assange’s life on hold for yet another week yesterday is, in my opinion, outrageous. Human rights organizations need to speak out about Assange’s situation and as WikiLeaks supporters, in the words of Julian Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, we must be warriors, not worriers.
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COLLATERAL MURDER IN ICELAND
In was in late March, 2010, when Julian Assange and a group of journalists hunkered down in Reykjavik, Iceland to prepare for publication Collateral Murder, a video that had been previously leaked to WikiLeaks. More than a handful of people came together to assist on the project including former WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson, Icelandic Parliament member and founder of the Pirate Party Iceland, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, activist Smári McCarthy, and volunteer Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson. During their stay Assange noticed he was being monitored while traveling to and from the country and on March 22, 2010, seventeen-year-old Thordarson was inexplicably picked up and held by Icelandic authorities for almost twenty-four hours. During his detainment the police showed him pictures of Julian Assange taken covertly outside of a Reykjavik restaurant where the group had previously held a production meeting. They also questioned Thordarson about the journalists involved in the Collateral Murder project and when later asked about the incident, Assange stated that the incident and the heightened surveillance he had previously observed likely stemmed from the video project and other previously published WikiLeaks’ documents.
As of today it remains unclear why exactly Thordarson was picked up in the first place besides the obvious that it was an intel gathering exercise on behalf on the U.S. But creepy facts aside like the fact that the U.S. government was tailing Assange in early 2010, it’s interesting to note that Thordarson eventually did betray Assange and I have to wonder if this initial encounter had anything to do with it. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in my earlier posts, Thordarson was not the only one who stuck a knife in Assange’s back, nor would he be the last; betrayal was everywhere.
Two months before Thordarson’s ordeal, Daniel Domscheit-Berg who played a marginal role, if any, in the Collateral Murder publication, met Anke Domscheit, his future wife and suspected U.S./German intelligence asset, at a restaurant in Berlin. Although Domscheit-Berg had been a WikiLeaks supporter and volunteer for at least two years at the time of the encounter, after a shotgun wedding to Anke in mid-2010, his attitude towards Julian Assange became adversarial and downright hostile by the fall of 2010. For instance, as Assange was waiting for Sweden to give him the green light to leave after being set up in a sex scandal and spending five subsequent weeks in the country because of it, Domscheit-Berg spent most of his time publicly bashing Assange, sabotaging WikiLeaks’ submission system, stealing troves of unpublished documents, and releasing WikiLeaks chat logs to Kevin Poulsen, a Wired journalist who also tried to undermine Assange with the help of formerly convicted hacker, Adrian Lamo. (See Assange’s statement on Domscheit-Berg here)
At the same time, another WikiLeaks volunteer, Smári McCarthy shared/leaked WikiLeaks’ Cablegate documents to American journalist Heather Brooke who gave them to the Guardian. The Guardian then forwarded them on to The New York Times, breaching a former agreement they had with Assange in the process. This of course is the same media outlet who, the following year, not only released the password to the unredacted Cablegate files in a book, but three years later and at the British government’s request, destroyed hard drives containing some of Snowden’s NSA files after those files were given to Glen Greenwald, a Guardian journalist at the time. But I digress. Shortly after turning over the Cablegate documents, Brooke was seen schmoozing with Domscheit-Berg and his wife at their home in Berlin. It hardly seems surprising then that she later published an article entitled, “The WikiFreak: In a new book one author reveals how she got to know Julian Assange and found him a predatory, narcissistic fantasist.”
With more than few news outlets willing to give Domscheit-Berg and other volunteers a platform to disparage Assange, it was inevitable that by the time November, 2010 rolled around headlines were screaming, “WikiLeaks Defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg Reveals Julian Assange’s Siege Mentality,” “Unpublished Iraq War Logs Trigger Internal WikiLeaks Revolt” (written by Kevin Poulsen, of course), and this amazingly biased story published by The New York Times, “WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety.” On the run? Admittedly, WikiLeaks did lose a number of volunteers during this time period including Birgitta Jónsdóttir who stated that Assange should step down because of the sexual allegations he faced in Sweden, Herbert Snorrason who seemed overly sensitive to the fact that Assange was in charge, Domscheit-Berg who lodged a litany of complaints against Assange that changed as often as his socks, and Smári McCarthy, the Iclandic activist who gave Brooke the Cablegate documents. So yeah. In the big scheme of things it doesn’t appear that the Great WikiLeaks Exodus of 2010 was any great loss to organization.
THE CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB
Of course, leaving WikiLeaks doesn’t always mean you’ll stop talking about WikiLeaks. Take for instance Domscheit-Berg who in February, 2011 released a book entitled, “Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website,” which was a scathing, pathetic, and defamatory look at his time spent as a WikiLeaks volunteer. I mean, the guy literally wrote that Assange couldn’t protect his sources meanwhile Domscheit-Berg was palling around with Kevin Poulsen whose longtime friend, Adrian Lamo, was the one who turned Chelsea Manning in after becoming an FBI informant. Anyhoo. After parting ways with WikiLeaks, he and Birgitta Jónsdóttir also started a website called OpenLeaks, an online platform meant to rival WikiLeaks (but obviously didn’t) that Domscheit-Berg tried to market to the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) in Berlin. If you’re not familiar with the CCC, it’s the largest association of hackers in Europe and was founded by Wau Holland and a handful of friends in Berlin, Germany on September 12, 1981. If the name Wau Holland sounds familiar it’s probably because the Wau Holland Foundation has been collecting donations on WikiLeaks’ behalf since October, 2009, or because Julian Assange mentioned it briefly in his December 1, 2017 letter addressed to the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF). As for Assange’s ties to the CCC, I believe he made his first visit during the club’s 2007 congress where he met Domscheit-Berg and German hacker Andy Müller-Maguhn but no quotes there, please.
When Domscheit-Berg was hustling his OpenLeaks to the CCC, he was still sitting on the trove of documents he pilfered from WikiLeaks and hackers like Müller-Maguhn, a CCC member since 1998 as well as a Wau Holland board member, questioned whether he had any intentions on returning them. In fact, Müller-Maguhn who had become a mediator of sorts between Assange and Domscheit-Berg over the documents wondered if Domscheit-Berg’s sole intention was to use them for his new website (Domscheit-Berg later announced he destroyed the documents). Either way, Domscheit-Berg found himself in hot water after announcing that the CCC was going to conduct security testing on his website giving the impression that OpenLeaks might be granted the club’s “seal of approval.” Müller-Maguhn called the tactic “shameless” and questioned Domscheit-Berg’s integrity.
The club as a whole wasn’t appreciative either and in Feburary, 2011, the CCC expelled Domscheit-Berg for “exploiting their reputation for his own ends.” What’s more, they stated that his OpenLeak’s presentation was filled with “massive discrepancies,” and noted its total lack of transparency. According to handelsbalt.com, they couldn’t even judge “whether potential whistleblowers (informants) who entrust themselves to OpenLeaks could be sustainably protected.” One word: Honeypot. But don’t be so quick to cheer on the CCC’s decision. For whatever reasons, in 2012, the CCC’s general assembly reversed their decision allowing Domscheit-Berg to return and Müller-Maguhn who had been a driving force behind his expulsion lost his seat on the board in the process.
In more recent news, it looks like the CCC bought into the Deep State’s Assange-Russia-Trump narrative hook, line and sinker as evidenced by board member Klaus Schleisiek’s statement (translated),
“He certainly has, that he intervened in the American election campaign and we have also discussed it partly controversial in the Foundation. Now so in retrospect, we find that not very smart, what he has done there and, consequently, we did not finance this treatment either…There is currently research in American journalism to prove that these data were hacked by Russians in Russia and leaked to WikiLeaks, and we have been part of this research and have been asked about it.”
Constanze Kurz, a spokeperson for the club also stated (translated), “In the meantime the view on WikiLeaks has changed…Julian Assange makes a lot of politics and, of course, is very actively involved in the US election campaign.” And then there’s Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s wife, Anke, who had this to say (translated),
“The problem is, I believe, not the platform Wikileaks alone, but the head connected to the platform, namely Julian Assange, and one has to say: the way he has been around for some time, a little longer than a few months in public, with a, I think, but clearly recognizable own political agenda – and interferes in presidential election campaigns in the US or elsewhere, on Twitter and in other platforms…”
Blah blah blah. Did you hear that, kids? When you become important enough you, too, can get an unverified Twitter account and start influencing elections around the world. In the meantime, Anke’s husband, Daniel Domscheit-Berg also made the news recently in a Washington Post article that reported,
“Several months ago…the FBI sought an interview with him [Domscheit-Berg] in connection with a long-running grand jury, which is investigating WikiLeaks’ publication of State Department cables. Domscheit-Berg said in an interview he rebuffed the request. ‘No Matter the difference that Julian and I had, I’m not going to talk to anybody about what happened.’”
And in this Reuters article it was reported that Domscheit-Berg was contacted in November, 2017 by “investigators from the federal criminal bureau (BKA), Germany’s equivalent of the FBI” and that the FBI was “seeking fresh information about how actively Assange had been involved in persuading Manning to leak U.S. secrets.”
First of all, when has Domscheit-Berg ever refrained from trying to throw Assange under a bus and isn’t that kind of what he just did? Why did Domscheit-Berg even offer up this information if he didn’t want to talk about it which proves my point—he can’t not talk about Assange. As for bringing up Cablegate and the allegation that Assange helped Manning procure documents, this stems from Adrian Lamo’s 2010 lies that the U.S. government has been advancing ever since. Just last year CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, promoted this fabrication during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He stated that WikiLeaks had “directed Chelsea Manning to intercept specific secret information and it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States.” Huh. The fact that Pompeo failed to use the word “allegedly” in his statement might lead one to believe that he’s a. not familiar with defamation laws b. not familiar with presumption of innocence and c. not fit to serve office. I mean, if he has that much evidence (and arrogance) to state as fact that Assange directed Manning then why in the world would the FBI need to approach a notorious liar like Domscheit-Berg for more information…almost eight years after the fact?
This allegation is obviously just another tactic the Intelligence agencies are using to get to Assange because Domscheit-Berg is likely willing to lie for them and it conveniently avoids compromising other journalists and media outlets who publish classified information— one of the main reasons why Obama gave up the hunt for Red October. And trotskying out Domscheit-Berg like some kind of intel show pony is both pathetic and embarrassing. Is this the best the FBI has to offer? The bottom line is that the U.S. government, the media, and even former WikiLeaks volunteers like Domscheit-Berg can dress up their character assassinations, disinformation, and deceit like a Matryoshka doll but it’s still and always will be a nest of lies.