During the early summer of 2017, David Morales, the founder of the Spanish security company, UC Global, implemented an elaborate spying operation inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London to target Australian journalist and publisher, Julian Assange. The shocking operation was carried out in coordination with the U.S. government, dubbed “Operation Hotel” (read background story here), and entailed the installation of new cameras equipped with audio around the embassy including inside inordinate objects such as the fire extinguishers and bugging the women’s bathroom. According to Edward Snowden:
“Not a joke: the CIA allegedly ran an operation to livestream surveillance of women in the toilet, hoping to overhear them planning the legal defense for an asylum seeker.”
Aside from UC Global’s surveillance program within the embassy which, side note, has been one of the most egregious breaches of privacy to ever take place against a journalist in the Western hemisphere, Morales also wanted to surveil Ola Bini, a Swedish software developer and associate of Assange who was subsequently arrested the day after Ecuador allowed U.K. officials to storm their embassy and arrest Assange. Bini has been imprisoned in Ecuador ever since.
Other deeply disturbing plans that the U.S. wanted to carry out via UC Global included kidnapping or poisoning Assange and stealing the diaper of his child to have it tested for DNA—for what chilling and deranged purpose remains unknown.
Although seemingly much more mild in comparison to extrajudicial murder or using a publisher’s baby for extortion but perhaps just as disturbing, Morales proposed breaking into the office of Assange’s Spanish attorney and not surprisingly, the plan appears to have been carried out a few weeks later.
And when it came to Assange’s guests at the embassy, everyone was spied on including journalists, activists, diplomats, and artists. Even medical examinations and confidential meetings held between Assange and his attorneys were recorded—with audio. According to investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi in a bombshell interview with political satirist and activist, Randy Credico, via AssangeCountdownToFreedom.com, the staff at the embassy dismantled her phone, opened her USB sticks, and kept on file work reports that had been compiled about her. As I reported in MintPress News earlier this year, Maurizi responded:
“This is really bad, we can’t tolerate this, Randy. We cannot tolerate that they do these kinds of things in our democracy. We expect this kind of situation, this kind of spying operation in authoritarian governments…you don’t expect this kind of problem if you go in an embassy in a democratic state.”
As of now Maurizi doesn’t know if UC Global was able to bypass the encryption on her devices or download material knowing how crucial it is for a journalist to protect their sources. And that is really the crux of the matter: The Trump administration’s escalating war on journalism by using—in this particular instance—a Spanish security team to act as the Gestapo within a foreign embassy.
“It’s frightening what they’ve done.” — Credico
According to Assange’s attorney, Juan Branco, who posted videos of himself being recorded during his meetings with Assange, the legal team is using evidence of the spying operation during the extradition hearing, “We’ll use all this evidence to show that defense rights have been broken, that he should be freed…”
During the first week of the hearing which took place in late February 2020, human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson described the recorded meetings between Assange and his attorneys as an “illegal privacy breach,” while Australian MP Andrew Wilkie said the recordings should “force the British courts to throw out attempts to extradite him to the United States”:
“It alone should be the basis for the extradition to be dropped this week…If the court doesn’t drop the proceedings in light of these allegations, a question mark hangs over the court’s neutrality. It just adds to the injustice that’s being experienced by Julian.”
It was in 2012 when Assange was granted asylum that the Ecuadorian government hired UC Global to provide security for the embassy in London. UC Global is actually a private military company founded by Morales, a “former member of the Spanish Defense Marine Infantry” who was once described as “the perfect mercenary.” According to reports, the company roster includes former members of the NATO military sector who operate all over the world including Spain, France, Qatar, the U.K., and the United States.
Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone who dropped the MOABs report earlier this year on Morales’ spying operation, says that the operation was run through Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas casino after Morales was recruited by the head of his executive protection team. The casino had allegedly served as a front for CIA blackmail operations previously.
Adelson is estimated to be worth around $34 billion and he’s the second largest donor to Donald Trump after the Mercers. He donated over $5 million to Trump’s inauguration alone and according to The New York Times, he enjoys a “direct line to the president.”
“Mr. Adelson in particular enjoys a direct line to the president. In private in-person meetings and phone conversations, which occur between the two men about once a month, he has used his access to push the president to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and, more recently, cut aid to the Palestinians…”
As I reported previously, Adelson is also the one who encouraged Trump to use WikiLeaks documents on the 2016 presidential campaign trail (“I love WikiLeaks”) in what appears now to be an obvious psyop to get Trump elected and to deceive Assange’s supporters, associates, and possibly even Assange himself. Blumenthal also reported that it may have been Adelson’s influence that led to Mike Pompeo’s appointment as director of the CIA under the Trump administration.
The Grayzone reported that in the spring of 2017, Morales was recruited by the head of Adelson’s protection team during a security fair held at his Las Vegas Sands convention center. The job? Implement a spying operation inside the Ecuadorian embassy under the guise of working security on Adelson’s yacht. Blumenthal:
Spying at the Behest of the CIA
According to UC Global staff, Morales bragged about working with U.S. intelligence telling employees that “We are playing in another league. This is First Division.” He sent documents, videos, and audio recordings of meetings Assange held at the embassy to the CIA at which time Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was still the head of the spy agency. It appears that U.S. agents were also able to access live streaming video of Assange. MintPress News:
“But the truly vile and nefarious element of this case, which has exposed the Trump administration’s true colors, is the fact that in December 2017 UC Global installed new video cameras in the embassy along with ‘an external streaming access point in the same area so that all of the recordings could be accessed instantly by the United States.’”
Judge Jose de la Mota of Spain’s High Court is currently investigating UC Global and the activities of David Morales who helped the CIA set up this elaborate surveillance operation. Morales is also being investigated for misappropriation, bribery, and money laundering.
The spying operation was initially exposed by WikiLeaks during a press conference in April 2019, after a Spanish criminal ring tried to extort the publishing outlet over “gigabytes after gigabytes” of footage of Assange inside the embassy. Not surprisingly, Assange was arrested the day after the press conference.
Whether or not the U.K. courts will dismiss the United States’ extradition request over this illegal spying operation, breaching Assange’s confidential meetings with his attorneys, and/or plotting to kidnap or kill him remains unknown although it’s already grossly unjust that they haven’t done so already. You can read more about the UK’s stellar judicial system and the corrupt judges involved in his case here.
Assange’s extradition hearing starts on September 7th. Join the fight.
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