Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Coming Coup to Overthrow President Trump? Sedition at the Highest Levels

We are currently experiencing sedition at the highest levels as the military/security complex unfolds its coup against the elected president of the United States. 

Paul Craig Roberts

The annual budget of the military/security complex is $1,000 billion.  This vast sum is drawn from US taxpayers who have many unmet needs.  To justify such an enormous budget a major enemy is required.  The military/security complex and the media and politicians that the complex owns have designated Russia to be that enemy.  The complex and its political and media agents will not permit Trump to normalize relations with Russia.  
To prevent President Trump from reducing the dangerous tensions between nuclear powers that Washington has created, the military/security complex orchestrated Russiagate, a proven hoax, but believed by many due to its endless repetition. The military/security complex orchestrated the false indictments of 12 Russians.  The military/security complex orchestrated the false arrest of Maria Butina, and so on and on.
The military/security complex acting through the politicians and presstitutes that it owns and controls has turned the normal everyday responsibility of the President—one acknowledged and acted upon by every previous president—to defuse tensions that could lead to nuclear war into a high crime.  President Trump is accused of treason for trying to make peace!
An unaware person might think that this is silly and laugh, but as Finian Cunningham shows, President Trump has been set-up as a treasonous enemy of America.  We are currently experiencing sedition at the highest levels as the military/security complex unfolds its coup against the elected president of the United States.  
In 1961 President Dwight Eisenhower warned Americans in his last public address that the military/industrial complex was a threat to American democracy.  Truer words were never spoken by an American president.  Shortly thereafter, the military/security complex assassinated President John F. Kennedy for working toward peace with Soviet leader Khruschev.  To get rid of President Nixon, who made too many arms control agreements with the Soviets and opened to China, the military/security complex used its asset, the Washington Post, to orchestrate the “Watergate crisis” that the military/security complex used to force Nixon’s resignation.  Now the military/security complex is openly inciting sedition against the President of the United States.  If this plot succeeds, which is the most likely case, America will be a complete dystopia and all independent voices will be shut down.  
Who can Trump rely on?  Not on his own political party. Not on his own government.  Not on the print and TV media or NPR.  Not on Europe.  Not on the Secret Service.  Not on the Pentagon. Not on the unaware American people.  Trump has only the “deplorables,” and they are unorganized and will experience retribution once Trump is removed.  
In striving to come to an agreement with Washington, Putin and Lavrov are butting their heads against a stone wall.  Sooner or later Putin and Lavrov will have to acknowledge that.  Once Putin and Lavrov realize the true situation, they will understand that war or surrender is their only option.
* This article was originally published on Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Pilots for 9/11 Truth: The Missing Memorandum


The official flight trajectories for the 9/11 airliners


As an advisor to Robert David Steele in the production of his series, "Memorandums for the President on 9/11", I have made quite a few recommendations of experts who could make their own important contributions. Among those I have suggested was Rob Balsamo, Co-Founder of Pilots for 9/11 Truth, which has made highly significant discoveries that never received the recognition that they deserve.

Rob, however, was ambivalent about contributing, emphasizing that Pilots wants nothing to do with (what has been called) "no planes theory", in spite of the fact that Pilots have adduced proof that two of the planes, Flight 93 (Shanksville) and Flight 175 (South Tower), were still in the air after they had "officially" crashed in New York and Pennsylvania. "No planes" theory is defined by four theses:

(T1) that Flight 11 did not hit the North Tower;
(T2) that Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon;
(T3) that Flight 93 did not crash at Shanksville;
(T4) that Flight 175 did not hit the South Tower.

We already have memoranda from an Aeronautical Engineer, "Memorandum for the President: No Boeing 757 Hit the Pentagon", and from John Lear, "Memorandum for the President: 9/11 Twin Towers were Not hit by Nor destroyed by two Boeing 767s", which establish theses (T1), (T2) and (T4). My belief was that Pilots could confirm (T3) and (T4) as a valuable contribution to the series.

Because Rob was reluctant, I suggested I could draft a memorandum for his consideration, but after a few days deliberation, he decided against it. Since my draft was based upon and simply paraphrased the content of three of Pilots' previously publish studies, I was rather taken aback. Here is the draft memorandum. I would welcome comments or speculation as to why Rob refused to endorse it.

Rob Balsamo, Memorandum for the President: We Have Not Been Told the Truth About 9/11 Attack Airplanes

From Pilots for 9/11 Truth, "9/11 Intercepted"
​  
Dear Mr. President,

Pilots for 9/11 Truth, an organization of aviation professionals and pilots through the globe, was founded in 2006 to seek the truth surrounding the events of 9/11. While we do not offer a theory or assign blame for the atrocities that occurred on that occasion, we have discovered a number of anomalies of which we believe you ought to be made aware. Here, I mention three.

Impossible Speed

Much controversy has surrounded the videos of (what purports to be) Flight 175, a Boeing 767, approaching the South Tower. We have analyzed data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in terms of a “Radar Data Impact Speed Study” in which the NTSB found 510 knots for Flight 175 (South Tower) and 430 knots for Flight 11 (North Tower). Relying upon a bench mark set by the crash in October 1999 of another 767, Egypt Air 900, Flight 175 as shown had exceeded its maximum operating limits causing in-flight structural failure, which would also have been the case for the WTC aircraft, as we have illustrated in our documentary, “9/11 Intercepted”.

Flight 93 Airborne After Crash

Air Traffic Control (ATC) transcripts reveal United 93 as being airborne after its alleged crash in Shanksville, PA. Similar scenarios have been offered with regard to American 11 and American 77, showing an aircraft target continuing past its alleged crash point in the case of American 11 or past its turn-around point in the case of American 77. Both of those cases can be explained by “Coast Mode” radar tacking. That is not the case with United 93, where tracking data shows it was over Champaign-Urbana, IL, after its reported crash in Pennsylvania. FAA Registration Records further show that it was not formally taken out of service until 28 September 2005.

Flight 175 Airborne Long After Crash

Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) is used to send messages to and from aircraft. Similar to text messaging and email systems used today, developed in 1978 and still in use today, it allows airplanes to communicate with one another. ACARS messages obtained through FOIA requests demonstrate that Flight 175 was over Harrisburg, PA, and then over Pittsburgh, PA 20 minutes after allegedly having hit the South Tower. FAA Registration data, once again, show that the plane was not taken out of service until 28 September 2005.

Pilots does not take a position on the explanation for the data other than to conclude that we have determined the actual positions of Flights 93 and 175 are inconsistent with The Report of the 9/11 Commission (2004) and believe we are professionally obligated to so inform you.

Very respectfully,

DECLINED

References:

“Speeds Reported for World Trade Center Attack Aircraft Analyzed”, http://pilotsfor911truth.org/WTC2.html

“United 93 Still Airborne After Alleged Crash – According to ATC/Radar”, http://pilotsfor911truth.org/UAL93.html

“ACARS Confirmed: 9/11 Aircraft Airborne Long After Crash”, http://pilotsfor911truth.org/WTC2.html

Wall Street Journal: Was John Brennan The One Who Actually Engaged In “Treason”?



Tim Brown

Well, Sebastian Gorka has been upfront that former Obama CIA Director John Brennan is both a “Communist” and a “traitor.”  Now, it appears that the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel may be following that path without coming right out and saying it.
In a recent column, Strassel seems to take issue with Brennan’s tweets from earlier this week when he tore into President Donald Trump over his actions in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,’” tweeted Brennan.
“It was nothing short of treasonous,” added Brennan, who worked for what could be argued was the most treasonous person to sit in the Oval Office.  “Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
According to Ms. Strassel, “This is rough stuff, even for an Obama partisan.”
She then wrote:
That’s what Mr. Brennan is—a partisan—and it is why his role in the 2016 scandal is in some ways more concerning than the FBI’s. Mr. Comey stands accused of flouting the rules, breaking the chain of command, abusing investigatory powers. Yet it seems far likelier that the FBI’s Trump investigation was a function of arrogance and overconfidence than some partisan plot. No such case can be made for Mr. Brennan. Before his nomination as CIA director, he served as a close Obama adviser. And the record shows he went on to use his position—as head of the most powerful spy agency in the world—to assist Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and keep his job).
Mr. Brennan has taken credit for launching the Trump investigation. At a House Intelligence Committee hearing in May 2017, he explained that he became “aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons.” The CIA can’t investigate U.S. citizens, but he made sure that “every information and bit of intelligence” was “shared with the bureau,” meaning the FBI. This information, he said, “served as the basis for the FBI investigation.” My sources suggest Mr. Brennan was overstating his initial role, but either way, by his own testimony, he as an Obama-Clinton partisan was pushing information to the FBI and pressuring it to act.
More notable, Mr. Brennan then took the lead on shaping the narrative that Russia was interfering in the election specifically to help Mr. Trump—which quickly evolved into the Trump-collusion narrative. Team Clinton was eager to make the claim, especially in light of the Democratic National Committee server hack. Numerous reports show Mr. Brennan aggressively pushing the same line internally. Their problem was that as of July 2016 even then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn’t buy it. He publicly refused to say who was responsible for the hack, or ascribe motivation. Mr. Brennan also couldn’t get the FBI to sign on to the view; the bureau continued to believe Russian cyberattacks were aimed at disrupting the U.S. political system generally, not aiding Mr. Trump.
Think about that just a moment because on Saturday I reported on the fact that sources have claimed that former FBI attorney Lisa Page has begun to testify under oath that there was absolutely no basis for the Mueller investigation into Trump.  In that report, I referenced John Solomon’s claim that:
For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read.
That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.
The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign.
Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign.
This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses.
The admission is deeply consequential. It means Rosenstein unleashed the most awesome powers of a special counsel to investigate an allegation that the key FBI officials, driving the investigation for 10 months beforehand, did not think was “there.”
Strassel continues:
The CIA director couldn’t himself go public with his Clinton spin—he lacked the support of the intelligence community and had to be careful not to be seen interfering in U.S. politics. So what to do? He called Harry Reid. In a late August briefing, he told the Senate minority leader that Russia was trying to help Mr. Trump win the election, and that Trump advisers might be colluding with Russia. (Two years later, no public evidence has emerged to support such a claim.)
But the truth was irrelevant. On cue, within a few days of the briefing, Mr. Reid wrote a letter to Mr. Comey, which of course immediately became public. “The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount,” wrote Mr. Reid, going on to float Team Clinton’s Russians-are-helping-Trump theory. Mr. Reid publicly divulged at least one of the allegations contained in the infamous Steele dossier, insisting that the FBI use “every resource available to investigate this matter.”
The Reid letter marked the first official blast of the Brennan-Clinton collusion narrative into the open. Clinton opposition-research firm Fusion GPS followed up by briefing its media allies about the dossier it had dropped off at the FBI. On Sept. 23, Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff ran the headline: “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.” VoilĂ . Not only was the collusion narrative out there, but so was evidence that the FBI was investigating.
In their recent book “Russian Roulette,” Mr. Isikoff and David Corn say even Mr. Reid believed Mr. Brennan had an “ulterior motive” with the briefing, and “concluded the CIA chief believed the public needed to know about the Russia operation, including the information about the possible links to the Trump campaign.” (Brennan allies have denied his aim was to leak damaging information.)
Clinton supporters have a plausible case that Mr. Comey’s late-October announcement that the FBI had reopened its investigation into the candidate affected the election. But Trump supporters have a claim that the public outing of the collusion narrative and FBI investigation took a toll on their candidate. Politics was at the center of that outing, and Mr. Brennan was a ringmaster. Remember that when reading his next “treason” tweet.
When men like John Brennan point their finger at others and cry “treason,” they are attempting to pin the very crime they are guilty of on someone else.  Ms. Strassel, while not being as forthright as Gorka about Brennan’s treason, nevertheless, seems to be saying just that in what she wrote.  America would do well to listen and bring justice to bear upon this traitor and the traitors surrounding him, but I have my doubts that anyone in this life will actually hold him accountable.
Article posted with permission from The Washington Standard
Tim Brown is an author and Editor at FreedomOutpost.comSonsOfLibertyMedia.comGunsInTheNews.com and TheWashingtonStandard.com. He is husband to his “more precious than rubies” wife, father of 10 “mighty arrows”, jack of all trades, Christian and lover of liberty. He resides in the U.S. occupied Great State of South Carolina. Follow Tim on Twitter. Also check him out on Gab and Steemit

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Inside WikiLeaks: Working with the Publisher who Changed the World



Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi has worked with WikiLeaks for nine years on the Podesta emails and other revelations. Here’s an insider’s view of the publisher, which has incensed rulers around the world, desperate to hide their corruption.


Silenced and cut off from the outside world, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the last six years with no access to sunlight, fresh air, or proper medical treatment. Furthermore, last March President Lenin Moreno’s Ecuadorian government cut his access to the internet, phone calls and even visitors and journalists. For a man who has already been confined to the embassy for so long, these restrictions are particularly harsh.

I began working as one of WikiLeaks’ media partners in 2009, before Assange and WikiLeaks published such bombshells as the “Collateral Murder” video. Over the last nine years, I have partnered with WikiLeaks on behalf of my newspaper, the Italian daily La Repubblica to work on the Podesta emails and many of its other secret files, except for those that WikiLeaks released without media partners: the DNC emails, the Saudi Cables, Turkey’s ruling party emails, the Hacking Team documents, the Collateral Murder video and the Brennan emails.

Like its work or not, WikiLeaks is an independent media organization that doesn’t have to rely on traditional media to publish its scoops. Indeed it was founded to bypass the legal qualms traditional media may have about publishing classified information.

With its 5.5 million followers on Twitter, WikiLeaks has a huge social media presence that gives its work immediate impact. But WikiLeaks has published most of its revelations in collaboration with a number of media partners.

For instance, I was a partner in the publication of the emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, which were published by WikiLeaks shortly after the infamous Access Hollywoodvideo revealed candidate Donald Trump making rude remarks about women.

Many media outlets continue to report that the Podesta emails were released only minutes after theAccess Hollywood video aired, hinting at some sort of coordination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign. In a indictment issued last Friday, Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, charged 12 officers of the Russian military intelligence service, GRU, for having allegedly hacked both the DNC and Podesta emails and allegedly passed them on to WikiLeaks for publication.

I have no idea who WikiLeaks’ sources were for the Podesta emails: the whole concept of WikiLeaks is based on the submission of secret or otherwise restricted documents by anonymous sources. Assange said numerous times that his source for the Clinton emails was not the Russian government nor a state party.
















As I worked on the Podesta emails, I do know that their publication was not a last-second decision. I had been alerted the day before, and their staggered release was a choice WikiLeaks made after the organization was harshly criticized by mainstream media for publishing the DNC documents all at once. This time the emails would trickle out to make them easier for the public to digest. But that was criticized too by the U.S. media and the Democrats as an attempt to leave Clinton bleeding a few weeks before the elections.

Ready to Release Trump Documents

I was also a witness when WikiLeaks received four documents about Trump’s business at a certain point during the campaign and media partners were asked to help verify the documents to determine if they should be published. The WikiLeaks team had already prepared a placeholder graphic for a possible release on Trump: a caricature of Trump and his characteristic hairstyle. Unfortunately, we found that the documents had already been made public.

Over the last nine years of my work in partnership with WikiLeaks on behalf of first the Italian newsmagazine L’Espresso and then La Repubblica, I have spent many hours talking to Assange and his staff, maintaining weekly contact with them. Looking back, I realize that in all those years, I only met Assange as a free man once. That was in September 2010: he had just left Sweden to meet me and other journalists in Berlin after the publication of the Afghan War Logs. At that time, I didn’t realize so many years would pass without seeing him free again.

He is one of the most demonized men on the planet. “We are in the business of crucifixion,” he told me several months ago, before Ecuador cut his social contacts. Indeed he has been crucified for whatever he has done: he talked to the press? He is a narcissist. He didn’t talk to the press? He wants to fuel his image as an international mystery man. He is a complicated human being, but he is neither a hard man nor the imperious, James Bond-style villain depicted by newspapers. He can be warm, with a sharp sense of humor, and he is definitely brilliant and bold enough to publish exceptionally risky documents.

The Full Force of the State

WikiLeaks is rather unique from many standpoints. As a media organization publishing exclusively secret or otherwise restricted documents on “invisible powers,” such as intelligence agencies, which citizens do not normally perceive as directly relevant to their lives, there is little doubt that WikiLeaks has the full force of the State against it. It is probably the only Western media organization to have been under continuous investigation by the U.S. authorities – and probably others—since 2010, and it is definitely the only one whose editor is arbitrarily detained in the heart of Europe.

Assange: No way out?



Whenever I say that Assange is the only editor arbitrarily detained in Europe, some object that he isn’t detained, or that he isn’t an editor at all. But that he is arbitrarily detained is the opinion of the United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, whose decisions are considered authoritative by the European Court of Human Rights. The UK government has always rejected the UN body’s decision on Assange, and even tried to appeal it. Since losing this appeal, the UK authorities have continued to ignore the decision and apparently no one else has anything to say about it.

Many argue that Assange is not detained, but rather is in a state of “self-imposed exile,” since he could leave the embassy at any time. He could, if he wanted to, walk out and be arrested by the UK authorities, on now flimsy skipping bail conditions after Sweden dropped its investigation against him, and he’d face the risk of extradition to the United States. Last year the former head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, attacked him and his organization ferociously, calling WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” The current Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has declared that arresting him is a priority.

Assange’s lawyers believe a grand jury in the state of Virginia has likely rendered a sealed indictment against him. Theoretically he is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution, which protects publication of stolen documents, something that major media does routinely. However, through the last years we have seen many attempts by the U.S. authorities to claim WikiLeaks and Assange have no First Amendment rights.

Curiously, those critics who insist he is in a form of self-imposed exile or confinement seem to forget that Assange has attempted all sorts of legal routes to challenge his detention. I have never heard of someone imposing exile on himself while at the same time attempting various legal means to put an end to it.

Assange’s latest appeal to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court was dismissed last February by the British judge Emma Arbuthnot, in a ruling indicating that for UK Justice it is perfectly fine for an individual to remain confined to a tiny building for almost six years with no access to sunlight, fresh air or proper medical treatment. “I do not find that Mr. Assange’s stay in the Embassy is inappropriate, unjust, unpredictable, unreasonable, unnecessary or disproportionate”, concluded Arbuthnot with no British irony.

As far as the concept of “editor” goes, I can refer to my own experience, describing what I have seen on my end: Assange has always been the person coordinating WikiLeaks publication activities, making the editorial choices, deciding how to present the revelations to the public—just like any editor of traditional media. He and his organization are far from perfect: they have made mistakes and questionable choices, but it is a matter of fact that they have revealed very important information in the public interest.

Journalism and Beyond

Thanks to WikiLeaks, it has been possible to reveal the true face of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq (Afghan War Logs, Iraq War Logs Filesand Collateral Murder), the identities of Guantanamo detainees (Gitmo Files), the scandals and embarrassing diplomatic deals contained in 251,287 U.S. diplomacy cables, such as pressure from the U.S. to neutralize Italian prosecutors investigating the extraordinary rendition of the Milan cleric, Abu Omar (Cablegate).

Tunisia: Protests fueled by WikiLeaks sparked Arab Spring.
It has been possible to reveal the inner workings of the U.S. private intelligence firm Stratfor (GIFiles) and the National Security Agency intercepts on German, French, Italian and Japanese leaders, including intercepts of the controversial, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (NSA World Spying Files). WikiLeaks also revealed EU operations to stop migrants and refugees (EU Military Ops Against Refugee Flow Files), and the CIA cyber weapons (Vault 7 Files). Its Tunisia Files contributed to the uprising there that set off the so-called Arab Spring. WikiLeaks has also released a cache of Spy Files from Russia.

All this valuable information has been made available to the world by WikiLeaks completely free of charge, so that once in the public domain, journalists, activists, scholars and citizens can access it directly worldwide, without needing media organizations or journalists to access the original files and make informed choices.

This publication strategy has worked: the exiled Islanders from the Chagos Archipelago for example have been using the U.S. diplomacy cables in court to support their struggle to return to the Chagos Islands, while a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, used the cables to support his case at the European Court of Human Rights against his extraordinary rendition.

As WikiLeaks sees it, publishing information in the public interest is an act that involves journalism, but also goes beyond journalism. That is why after partnering with media organizations, WikiLeaks makes the files publicly available so that everyone can access and use them.

Assange and his team pioneered a model so effective that it has been copied by many. They started a platform for anonymous submission of secret or otherwise restricted documents, a concept which has since been adopted by almost all major media outlets. They also established cross-jurisdictional collaborative reporting, now a model for major organizations like the Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which published notable revelations like the Panama Papers.

Risk

Throughout the last nine years, I have seen Assange and his staff take enormous risks. “They run towards the risks everyone else runs away from,” Edward Snowden once told me in an interview. That means they take risks corporate media won’t take. At the end of the day corporate media are corporations: many decide they can afford only limited legal risks. As for the extralegal risks, few traditional editors and journalists are eager to end up confined to an embassy for six years.

Snowden: Saved by WikiLeaks.
We have seen what happened to Snowden when he was abandoned in Hong Kong: it took Assange’s close adviser, Wikileaks journalist Sarah Harrison, and the WikiLeaks’ staff to help him seek asylum. Although the newspapers that had obtained the Snowden files could have exerted enormous contractual power if they had wanted to broker an agreement with the U.S. government to protect Snowden, none of them did. As the American science fiction author Bruce Sterling put it: “It’s incredible to me that, among the eight zillion civil society groups on the planet that hate and fear spooks and police spies, not one of them could offer Snowden one shred of practical help, except for Wikileaks.”

From the very beginning, I have witnessed the virulent attacks against Assange and his staff and the dramatic failure of mainstream and non-mainstream journalists to seek factual information on the Swedish case by means of FOIA or other investigative tools. In the course of these last seven years, no media has tried to access the full file on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

It took an Italian journalist to litigate a FOIA in Sweden and in the UK because no international or local journalist had done so. While my FOIA litigation unearthed some suspicious facts (like the deletion of many crucial emails written and received by the British lawyer who had handled the Assange case for the Crown Prosecution Service – a deletion for which the UK authorities have provided no explanation) there has been no follow-up by any international or British media.

The Kremlin’s Useful Idiots?

Recently, The Guardian said, “Assange has a longstanding relationship with Russia Today. He has regularly appeared in interviews with the Russian broadcaster and hosted a program on RT in 2012.” In reality the broadcasting license for that program, known as “The World Tomorrow”, was acquired by my newsgroup as well, which publishes La Repubblica and l’Espresso. As far as I know, that program was not the product of any unique collaboration between WikiLeaks and RT.

While it is true that Assange and his staff have appeared on the Russian channel numerous times, I have only heard of one instance in which RT was a partner with WikiLeaks in the publication of secret files: the “Spy Files”, a series about brochures on private companies selling surveillance technologies. When WikiLeaks partners with traditional media, the partners know each other, they share the findings and the workload. Based on what I have observed, RT has never been part of this process, though it is true that RT quickly jumps on whatever WikiLeaks publishes, running articles on WikiLeaks publications based on the organization’s press releases and reporting on everything on the WikiLeaks front.

Russia perceives Assange as a sort of Western dissident. The country definitely loves the idea of “Western dissidents” and is happy to stick a finger in the eyes of the West by assuring wide coverage for Assange and his organization. Russia media highlights the contradictions in Western democracies which, while preaching aggressive journalism and the protection of journalistic sources, have instead put Chelsea Manning in prison, charged Snowden, investigated WikiLeaks for the last eight years and has kept its editor arbitrarily detained with no end in sight.

WikiLeaks has been accused of being the Kremlin’s useful idiot or its laundromat, or even a front for Russian intelligence. These kinds of allegations have been spread by the media with no solid evidence, always quoting anonymous intelligence officials who have an obvious interest in destroying WikiLeaks’ reputation. To protect himself and his organization, Assange has always avoided revealing the inner workings of WikiLeaks so as to not expose its resources and vulnerabilities to powerful entities like the CIA, which perceive WikiLeaks as an existential threat to themselves.

This approach has helped project an allure of mystery and menace which has been used by many media outlets to fuel a vitriolic campaign against Assange and WikiLeaks as James Bond-style villains with something dark to hide. Had Assange and his team ever lifted the veil and allowed the public to see the inner workings of WikiLeaks, public opinion would have perceived what is really behind it: a willingness to take the heat even in the face of very powerful entities.

No one can say how it will end for Assange and his team: if they end up in jail in the United States, it will be the first time that an editor and a media organization are imprisoned in the U.S. for their work, at least not since John Peter Zenger in Colonial America. As the icon of whistleblowers, Daniel Ellsberg, put it: “Under Trump, he may well be the first journalist in this country to be indicted.” There is a deafening silence on the impact of such a scenario on the freedom of the press and on the human rights of Assange and his staff.

Stefania Maurizi works for the Italian daily La Repubblica as an investigative journalist, after ten years working for the Italian newsmagazine l’Espresso. She has worked on all WikiLeaks releases of secret documents, and partnered with Glenn Greenwald to reveal the Snowden files about Italy. She has also interviewed A.Q. Khan, the father of the Pakistani atomic bomb, revealed the condolence payment agreement between the US government and the family of the Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto killed in a US drone strike, and investigated the harsh working conditions of Pakistani workers in a major Italian garment factory in Karachi. She has started a multi-jurisdictional FOIA litigation effort to defend the right of the press to access the full set of documents on the Julian Assange and WikiLeaks case. She authored two books: Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti Italiani and Una Bomba, Dieci Storie, the latter translated into Japanese. She can be reached at stefania.maurizi@riseup.net