There exists ample evidence to suggest that a highly coordinated effort to take out the whistleblowing organization Wikileaks has been underway for over ten years. Efforts to dismantle Wikileaks by any means necessary have been spearheaded by factions of the US military, the intelligence services and private contractors. What these sectors have in common is that they've all been subject to embarrassing leaks released by Wikileaks exposing their roles in war crimes, corruption and nefarious activity.
In previous posts on the persecution of Julian Assange, the following passage from Wikileaks has been highlighted but bears repeating as it explicitly reveals how the US military identified the need to 'marginalize' Wikileaks and 'destroy the center of gravity' of the substantial public trust garnered by the organization.
It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses "trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers", the report recommends...
termination of employment,
legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers
could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the WikiLeaks.org Web site."
Already as far back as 2008, a broad campaign and systematic takedown of the organization was being put into place. The prevailing concensus within the USG was that further embarrassing leaks had the potentially to threaten US interests abroad and damage their standing on the international stage. Thus, key members of the groundbreaking whistleblower platform had become targets of American empire and Wikileaks itself would find itself increasingly under siege in the years to come.
In 2010, Wikileaks published the internal emails of US intelligence private contractor, Stratfor, called the Global Intelligence Files. According to the publisher, the 5 million emails span from 2004 to late 2011.
This contribution to Deep Dives 15 focuses on the contents of the GIF Stratfor emails which demonstrate a vindictive pursuit of Wikileaks and it's editor-in-chief Julian Assange from 2010-2011.
The Stratfor Emails
Before being indicted on 17 charges under the US espionage act, before being thrown in Belmarsh maximum security prison, before being arrested by UK authorities, before being stripped of his basic human rights, before being forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, before spending 7 years in arbitrary detention, before being given political asylum by the Ecuadorian government...
Before the determination of systematic psychological torture by the UN rapporteur.
Before all of this, there was the secret sealed indictment.
A statement released by Wikileaks in February 2012 and produced by long time human rights attorney and part of Wikileaks defense team, Michael Ratner, shows Stratfor senior personnel had insider knowledge of the secret grand jury sealed indictment against Julian Assange.
Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security, is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State's (DoS) counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).
In early 2011, Burton revealed in internal Stratfor correspondence that a secret Grand Jury had already issued a sealed indictment for Assange:
"Not for Pub --
We have a sealed indictment on Assange.
Re: Wikileaks is attacking us
Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison.
Screw the terrorist.
He'll be eating cat food forever, unless George Soros hires him.
Re: Discussion- Assange Arrested
Depends on what charges would stick.
Bankrupt the arsehole first, ruin his life.
Give him 7-12 yrs for conspiracy.
Re: Discussion- Assange Arrested
Take down the money.
Go after his infrastructure.
The tools we are using to nail and de-construct Wiki are the same tools used to dismantle and track aQ.
Thank Cheney & 43. Big Brother owns his liberal terrorist arse.
**aQ = al Qaeda
just told SkyNews concerns for US extradition
More and more likely
Re: [Fwd: WikiLeaks Prosecution Faces Hurdles]
This seems like a pretty good analysis.=A0 Certainly better than most of our own conjecture.= =A0
"Given that Assange has run hundreds of thousands of classified documents on his web site, each one that is properly classified could be included as a separate count of an indictment."
- I look forward to Manning and Assange facing a bajillion-thousand counts of espionage.=A0
Re: Wikileaks founder currently in the U.S.
Is he an Aussie?
As a foreign national, we could revoke his travel status and deport.
Could also be taken into custody as a material witness.
We COULD have a sealed indictment and lock him up. Depends upon how far along the military case is.
Did not read the profile.
Re: Discussion- Assange Arrested
One other point is this.
Ferreting out his confederates is also key.
Find out what other disgruntled rogues inside the tent or outside.
Move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years.
But, seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki.
In summary :
- Bankrupt the arsehole first, ruin his life.
- Give him 7-12 yrs for conspiracy.
- Take down the money.
- Go after his infrastructure.
- Employ same tools for hunting Al Qaeda
- Locate disgruntled members inside and outside WL
- Seize everything from Assange, his family and every person linked to Wikileaks.
- Investigate WL collaborators
- Stalk him from country to country with various charges
- Revoke Assange's travel status
- Deport Assange
- Take him into custody as a material witness
- Separate espionage indictments for each classified document leaked (100,000s)
- Manning and Assange facing a bajillion counts of espionage
Aside from indicating that a secret sealed indictment had already been issued in the January 2011, the emails also demonstrate a high degree of vengefulness in the Stratfor hierarchy salivating at the prospect of taking out Wikileaks and the chance to completely destroy the life of Julian Assange.
If we take a moment to look at these statements closer we find that many of the strategies discussed in these emails actually came to pass. The closer we look, the closer it resembles a blueprint for 'marginalizing' and undermining all support for Wikileaks.
"Bankrupt the arsehole first, ruin his life"
"Take down the money"
Dated December the 7th 2010. The financial blockade of Wikileaks was set in motion just a few short days earlier on December the 1st as one-by-one institutions began to cease all payments to the organization. December 7th is actually the date where VISA, MasterCard and PayPal all cut off their service to Wikileaks. Ultimately, in the months directly following the blockade Wikileaks was forced to halt publishing operations to focus on bringing lawsuits against the illegal financial blockade spearheaded by Bank of America (owner of VISA). Effectively, 95% of Wikileaks funding was cut off in the matter of days.
The financial blockade of Wikileaks was concocted by Bank of America, HBGary, Palantir and Berico Technologies. With the leak of the HBGary files it emerged that a plan to target Wikileaks employees, supporters and working with the organization was in the works.
"Seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki"
If targeting the financial stability of Wikileaks was not enough, the targeting of everyone associated with the organization has been a central aspect of the campaign against Wikileaks. Currently, Ola Bini is being held in an Ecuadorian prison for two months for the apparent crime of being a friend of Julian Assange.
"Ferreting out confederates"
From the ongoing persecution of Chelsea Manning, it's plain to see that an agenda to inflict maximum pain and suffering on Wikileaks sources, even those that have already paid a hefty price in prison time, is a key feature in the persecution of Assange. Chelsea Manning has been sent back to prison for her refusal to participate further in the prosecution of Assange. By abusing international law and the human rights of both Manning and Assange, a clear message is being sent to any would be leakers within the USG.
You Will Pay Dearly For Exposing State Secrets.
No Laws Can Protect You.
"Revoke his travel status"
On November 18 2010, an Swedish prosecutors reopened the 'rape' allegations and an Interpol arrest warrant was issued for Julian Assange in connection to "sex crimes". After turning himself in to Swedish authorities and later receiving permission to travel to London, he was placed under house arrest and ultimately lost his freedom of movement. As the walls closed in on Assange in 2012 he made a last ditch effort to preserve his freedom from US extradition by applying and receiving political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy.
A recent article published at contraspin.com by activist and journalist Suzie Dawson goes into great detail about the smearing of Wikileaks members and associates with allegations of sexual assault. Along with Julian Assange, Jacob Appelbaum and Trevor Fitzgibbon have also had their careers and public reputations destroyed by similar allegations. The article raises serious questions as to the likelihood that the three Wikileaks men were the targets of an overarching and relentless smear campaign to neutralize the organization. None of the men have actually been charged with any crimes but the damage to their lives and to the functionality of Wikileaks is quite apparent.
Furthermore, this quote by Stratfor CEO George Friedman speaks volumes as to how his company operates.
"[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control... This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase" – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor
A December 2nd 2010 email, discusses using the Espionage act to prosecute Julian Assange for releasing classified US military documents. The decision was made to pursue Assange on the antiquated espionage act as it was becoming evident that charges relating 'terrorism' weren't achievable.
These are precisely the main charges that the US has filed for the extradition of Assange in 2019. For years, legacy media pundits and analysts scoffed at the idea that Assange would face espionage charges in the US and derided Assange for seeking refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
We now know definitively that Assange was correct all along but there's no victory in 'I told you so' when you're human rights have been trample, just inches away from extradition and at extreme risk of disappearing forever from pubic view into the blackhole of the United States prison system.
In the Public Record
For anyone paying attention to the Assange case this industrial-grade smear campaign to dismember Wikileaks piece-by-piece has been in the works for over a decade. Wikileaks embarrassed the Military Industrial Complex and the Intelligence Community that had been shielding the public from the truth of what happens in wars of US aggression and the so called "war on terror". Over the course of a decade government agencies and non-governmental private companies have sought to eliminate Wikileaks by attacking the organizations at all levels. The ultimate purpose behind the relentless attacks on Wikileaks is to prevent future leaks and to deter any would be leakers inside the USG. The destruction of Wikileaks is meant to serve as a stark reminder of what fate awaits leakers if they dare to expose the powerful.