About Kitty Hundal

Kitty Hundal, author of From The Shadows: Persecution Games. is currently the Owner and Operator of Kitty Hundal Dot Com Solutions. She is also a contributing author to Hacktivist Culture, The Cryptosphere, The Fifth Column and several personal, special interest blogs.

Remembrance Day

by Bailey Lamon, original post on Medium
Anarchist Pirate. Geek. Social worker. Activist. Writes sometimes.

November 11th is Remembrance Day, also known as the anniversary of the ending of World War One, and in many countries a day devoted to honouring those who were killed in various wars over the last century. Additionally, part of the original purpose of Remembrance Day is to acknowledge the horrific reality of war…indeed, the words “Never Again” are commonly spoken in this regard. War is a nightmare, and so many of our ancestors fought and were killed in war, and it is imperative that we remember who they were, what they sacrificed, and for what.

If you’ve ever spoken to war veterans, particularly those from World War One and Two, they likely told you that they were fighting for freedom. They were fighting for the freedom to live in peace, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of choice and association. Essentially, the freedom to live our lives however we want, without fear of violence and repression from the powers that be. Many of our grandparents and great grandparents fought against the Nazis in World War Two, and if you ask them why they did it, most (if not all) would say that they did it so that future generations would not have to live in a society like the Third Reich. Thanks to them, the Nazis lost.

This piece is not about the fact that governments regularly send poor people to their deaths over control of natural resources such as oil, or that wars such as that in Vietnam and Iraq were illegal, based on secrecy and blatant lies, and had nothing to do with a valiant quest for democracy and human rights.

This piece has nothing to do with the fact that so-called “peaceful” nations such as Canada sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to very non-peaceful countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, who are literally committing genocide against Yemenis and Palestinians as we speak. This piece has nothing to do with the fact that the Military Industrial Complex has more influence on “democracy”, public policy and political life and discourse than politicians and voters combined.

This piece also has nothing to do with the fact that those who lose the most in war, the highest number of casualties, are the innocent civilians who have nothing to do with geopolitics and did nothing to deserve losing their homes, their loved ones, and their lives…nor the fact that Libyan and Syrian homelands have been and continue to be destroyed and yet privileged, comfortable westerners complain about the “Islamist” refugees coming in to their countries, wanting nothing more than a life.

No, this piece has nothing to do with any of these things.

This is about Remembrance. This is about respect. This is about what we mean when we talk about respecting those who lost their lives for what so many of us take fore granted.

I see so many people focused on the formalities of Remembrance Day, but not at all focused on its original intent. I see so many people talking about the importance of wearing a red poppy around this time, but very few talking about what that poppy actually represents and the important lessons we are supposed to carry with us. I see A LOT of people talking about respecting the military, spouting off meaningless statements like “support our troops” and yet, when anybody questions what we’re actually supporting, they are quick to throw around accusations of “disrespect”, as if being able to question power and dominant narratives isn’t part of living in a free society and exactly the thing our ancestors were fighting for us to be able to do.

It’s bullshit.

And you know what? I believe that many of our ancestors would think it’s bullshit too.

Why is it that people are so quick to get angry over the white poppy, which simply represents Peace, calling it “disrespectful” and “insulting” as if violence and bloodshed are the only aspects of Remembrance worth acknowledging? As I previously mentioned, Remembrance Day is not only about remembering the soldiers who died but also making sure that their deaths are not in vain, that striving for world peace should be one of our highest priorities so that future generations can avoid the exact horror that they experienced. What exactly is disrespectful about that?

The truth is, there is NOTHING disrespectful about it, but as a society we have lost touch with the original meaning of Remembrance, and any kind of change to the tradition that is Remembrance Day (in this case the red poppy) is labeled a threat before anyone has a chance to get educated on what the white poppy actually means. It’s as if people think that the white poppy means “fuck all veterans”, but what it actually means, is Peace.

Peace.

If you feel threatened or insulted by a call for Peace, you need to seriously reconsider what it is you stand for, and how much you actually value the lessons taught to us by the men and women you believe fought for your basic freedoms.

The same goes with our views around war and the degree to which we support the military. Questioning the military as an institution and questioning its agendas set out by political leaders, and actively speaking out against those agendas is again, NOT a “fuck you” to your loved ones who are veterans or currently in the military. It is a “fuck you” to the exact thing that has a high probability of getting them killed, seriously injured, and most definitely traumatized for life.

My own father was in the Canadian military for over 30 years. Every year around Remembrance Day he puts on his uniform, goes out into the public and sells poppies. He participates in ceremonies in uniform and is a member of his local Legion. He is also in agreement with my anti-war views and has never taken my opposition to war as an insult, because being anti-war is not an insult. It is a stance that many of us take BECAUSE of the reality of war, BECAUSE of the bloodshed, BECAUSE of the fact that so many people have lost their lives in battle over the years, and BECAUSE we respect human life, including the lives of those in the military. I support the troops as human beings who deserve more than death, injury and trauma. I do not support the institution and political system that sees them as disposable and treats them as such.

And saying this openly is exactly what my ancestors wanted me to be able to do. Yours wanted the same for you. I guarantee it.

So check yourself next time you accuse an anti-war activist of shitting all over dead soldiers. Check yourself next time you whine about a differently coloured poppy. Check yourself next time you get caught up in the thinking that freedom of thought and freedom of speech aren’t human rights that your ancestors fought Nazis over, and in many cases, gave their lives for. Check yourself before you support current and future wars and imperialist invasions, and stand by the military without question. Check yourself and ask what kind of world you want for future generations…do we Remember those who died in war because we want more war? Or do we Remember them because we want to learn from the devastation that they went through, so that we can work for peace? Check yourself and ask, does “Never Again” actually mean something, or are they just empty words?

Let us never forget.

The Recent Defamation of #WikiLeaks and #JulianAssange, Part 2

The Recent Defamation of #WikiLeaks and #JulianAssange, Part 1 introduced the topic of the recently published AP leaks related to WikiLeaks and built a case around the first document being fraudulent or at the very least unauthenticated.

This case was built around the document properties provided by AP in their attempt to authenticate the document, the context in which the document appeared on the scene as well as the person WikiLeaks believes created the document, Sigurdur Thordarson.

In Part 1, I concluded that WikiLeaks assessment was the one most likely to be correct given all of the facts that are publicly available to us. That is, the document was most likely a forgery created by Sigurdur Thordarson and the allegation that it “proved” Julian Assange was trying to flee to Russia was just a baseless confabulation.

Note that the Russian Embassy released a statement on September 26, 2018 (two days before Part 1 was published) confirming WikiLeaks denial. So this entire issue is now done.

The embassy has never engaged with Ecuadorean colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russian participation in ending Mr Assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador.– Julian Assange and Russia’s UK embassy. The Guardian, September 24, 2018

Ivan Volodin, at the Russian embassy in London, responds to a Guardian article reporting that Russian diplomats held secret talks about helping Julian Assange flee the UK

Israel Shamir has been directly associated with the document as allegedly having been the recipient who was responsible for obtaining a Russian visa for Julian Assange. There is no evidence to support this, given that the document itself isn’t authenticated properly, is a forgery, according to WikiLeaks, and the Russians state unequivocally that there has never been any discussion with anyone regarding “ending Mr. Assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador“.

The AP (Associated Press) article also claims that Shamir has stated the following in a telephone interview:

Shamir told the AP he was plagued by memory problems and couldn’t remember delivering Assange’s letter or say whether he eventually got the visa on Assange’s behalf.

“I can’t possibly exclude that it happened,” Shamir said in a telephone interview. “I have a very vague memory of those things.”  

Shamir’s memory appeared sharper during a January 20, 2011, interview with Russian News Service radio — a Moscow-based station now known as Life Zvuk, or Life Sound. Shamir said he’d personally brokered a Russian visa for Assange, but that it had come too late to rescue him from the sex crimes investigation.

However, they don’t provide a reference link to the interview so that statement can be verified, nor has Shamir confirmed the statement they attribute to him in the telephone interview anywhere that I could find.

What Israel Shamir said or didn’t say is now irrelevant anyway given the tweet from the Russian Embassy and the statement by the Russian Embassy in the Guardian, quoted above.

His last blog post related to Assange is this one: The Long Captivity of Julian Assange by Israel Shamir • June 21, 2018 

Given that the conspiracy theories surrounding his part of the story are fascinating (actually laughable), I feel obligated to rehash this part of the story for the sole purpose of demonstrating how disinformation campaigns like this work.

Part 1 has provided you with some insight on how “evidence” is concocted and misrepresented deceptively as the foundation of a disinformation campaign.

While I didn’t present it in that context, it is actually how it works.

So, now, in the case of Shamir’s part of the story:

Shamir was one of many journalists with access to portions of the WikiLeaks database for journalistic research purposes. He had no formal relationship with WikiLeaks other than that, nor was there any long term relationship between him and Julian Assange, according to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks statement that was given to, but not used by, the UK satirical current-affairs magazine, Private Eye:

Israel Shamir has never worked or volunteered for WikiLeaks, in any manner, whatsoever. He has never written for WikiLeaks or any associated organization, under any name and we have no plan that he do so. He is not an ‘agent’ of WikiLeaks. He has never been an employee of WikiLeaks and has never received monies from WikiLeaks or given monies to WikiLeaks or any related organization or individual. However, he has worked for the BBC, Haaretz, and many other reputable organizations.

It is false that Shamir is ‘an Assange intimate’. He interviewed Assange (on behalf of Russian media), as have many journalists. He took a photo at that time and has only met with WikiLeaks staff (including Assange) twice. It is false that ‘he was trusted with selecting the 250,000 US State Department cables for the Russian media’ or that he has had access to such at any time.

Shamir was able to search through a limited portion of the cables with a view to writing articles for a range of Russian media. The media that subsequently employed him did so of their own accord and with no intervention or instruction by WikiLeaks.

We do not have editorial control over the of hundreds of journalists and publications based on our materials and it would be wrong for us to seek to do so. We do not approve or endorse the writings of the world’s media. We disagree with many of the approaches taken in analyzing our material.

Index did contact WikiLeaks as have many people and organisations do for a variety of reasons. The quote used here is not complete. WikiLeaks also asked Index for further information on this subject. Most of these rumors had not, and have not, been properly corroborated. WikiLeaks therefore asked Index to let us know if they had received any further information on the subject. This would have helped WikiLeaks conduct further inquiries. We did not at the time, and never have, received any response.

END

One photograph was taken with Shamir and Assange together, a common practice when people meet well-known people.

Julian_and_Shamir-600x450

Deception:

“Shamir has a years-long friendship with Assange, and was privy to the contents of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables months before WikiLeaks made public the full cache. Such was Shamir’s controversial nature that Assange introduced him to WikiLeaks staffers under a false name. Known for views held by many to be antisemitic, Shamir aroused the suspicion of several WikiLeaks staffers – myself included – when he asked for access to all cable material concerning “the Jews”, a request which was refused.” – Israel Shamir and Julian Assange’s cult of machismo by James Ball 

The claim that Shamir was a close associate of Assange is denied by WikiLeaks. The only “evidence” provided to support it is this single image of them sitting together. By that absurd standard, Tommy Douglas, father of Canada’s Health Care system was my bestie because there’s one picture of me with him when I met him as a teenager and was a member of the New Democratic Youth.

Absurd as it is, this deception has become the foundation for numerous confabulations to discredit Assange using the Guilt by Association fallacy as an Argumentum Ad Hominem attack. This demagogic style of argumentation is a key component of any Propaganda arsenal.

One example of this is the false allegation that, Assange is allegedly antisemitic and right-wing because he allegedly has a close, long term relationship with Shamir who is allegedly an antisemite and holocaust denier.

” I wrote hundreds of pages on the Jewish topic, but for the benefit of the reader I’ll sum it up. Naturally, as a son of Jewish parents and a man living in the Jewish state and deeply and intimately involved with Jewish culture, I harbour no hate to a Jew because he is a Jew. I doubt many people do. However I did and do criticise various aspects of Jewish Weltanschauung like so many Jewish and Christian thinkers before me, or even more so for I witnessed crimes of the Jewish state that originated in this worldview.

As for the accusation of “Holocaust denial”, my family lost too many of its sons and daughters for me to deny the facts of Jewish tragedy, but I do deny its religious salvific significance implied in the very term ‘Holocaust’; I do deny its metaphysical uniqueness, I do deny the morbid cult of Holocaust and I think every God-fearing man, a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim should reject it as Abraham rejected and smashed idols. I deny that it is good to remember or immortalise such traumatic events, and I wrote many articles against modern obsession with massacres, be it Jewish holocaust of 1940s, Armenian massacre of 1915, Ukrainian “holodomor”, Polish Katyn, Khmer Rouge etc. Poles, Armenians, Ukrainians understood me, so did Jews – otherwise I would be charged with the crime of factual denial which is known to the Israeli law.” – Israel Shamir 

It’s the right wing extremist element in Israel and their supporters in the Israel Lobby, that is pushing this propaganda that any criticism of Israel constitutes “antisemitism”. Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has a long history of fighting against fascism and antisemitism is also being falsely accused of being an “antisemite” by that same element.

To understand this issue in depth, I recommend the recent Al Jazeera film, The Lobby (UK) which exposes the dark underbelly of the Lobby in the UK.

Segments of the US version, which has been banned, have also been leaked to various sites.

So, back to the main topic, and to summarize this section:

  1. the disinformation is spread about Shamir that he is an alleged antisemite, holocaust denier which implies he’s right wing
  2. a foundation is built by spreading that falsehood everywhere
  3. that becomes the foundation for disinformation attacks on Assange by association, that is, since Assange has “friends” who are allegedly right wing,antisemite, holocaust deniers then he must be as well.

The claim that Shamir hadaccess to thousands of US diplomatic cablesis based on the above allegations by James Ball, a WikiLeaks intern from November 23, 2010 to December 15, 2010. In February, 2011 he became a full-time journalist for the Guardian. The job with the Guardian gave him an unprecedented platform from which he could establish his false narrative as an alleged witness to Shamir’s activities in relation to WikiLeaks and Assange. That narrative consisted of exaggerations, spins, and, according to Shamir, outright lies, intended to give the false impression that Shamir had more access to the cables than other journalists.

WikiLeaks, in their statement quoted above, has stated clearly that his access was the same as that of other journalists.

If Shamir had unrestricted access to the cables (implied by Ball), why would he have to ask Ball for cables about “the Jews”, as Ball also claims? He wouldn’t have to.

The “interest” in those cables appears to have been a fabrication by James Ball, as a set-up, so that a foundation could be created for later allegations. Ball, and the other media writing these stories, simply ignore the inherent contradictions in Ball’s story when they use it as a foundation for later false allegations.

Shamir states that he received cables related to Minsk and Moscow from James Ball and that Ball offered them to him on his own initiative, not at Shamir’s request.

You [James Ball] did it even twice: just before my departure you came to me on your own initiative and kindly handed me “a better file on Jews”, twice as big as the previous one. Apparently lying and cheating is your second nature by now.

Deception:

Ball continues to build on this smear:

Still later, when damning evidence emerged that Shamir had handed cables material to the dictator of Belarus – a man he holds in high esteem – to assist his persecution of opposition activists, Assange shamefully refused to investigate. – Israel Shamir and Julian Assange’s cult of machismo by James Ball 

This part of the story was built on the foundational false narrative established by Ball re: the “ access to all cable material concerning “the Jews”” and the “was privy to the contents of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables” plus the following image was “evidence” that Shamir had been in Minsk.

Shamir was photographed by an Interfax photographer on the steps of the Belarus Presidential Administation Building in Minsk earlier today.

e3ea542c479f2c82357c9de905eb1d4262126f07

In this CounterPunch article, Shamir explains what he was doing in Minsk (International Observer to the Elections) and his position on Belarus. His mother is from Minsk which explains his interest in the region: The Minsk Election in a Wikileaks Mirror by Israel Shamir

This particular story is quite complex but has been examined in depth in this article: The Guardian and WikiLeaks, Hazel Press, January 19, 2013. To understand this issue I recommend you read the article.

The author, after an in-depth analysis concludes that the allegation that Shamir handed cables over to Lukashenko to damage the Belarus opposition is baseless. There isn’t a shred of hard evidence to support it. This image combined with articles which appear to be based on nothing more than unsupported assertions, assumptions, exaggerations and spin, are the combined total of the evidence.

The article is a recommended read to get a solid grasp of what happened, when and why.

One of the very interesting points made in the article is to demonstrate how one false allegation gets built by using other false allegations as their foundation. You can see this by clicking through the links the articles reference to try to locate the original source. When you find the original source you can see that the entire narrative is built on sand since the original sources don’t offer any evidence of their claims.

Guilt by association is used to smear Assange here as well. Once the narrative was established by Ball, that Shamir had allegedly handed cables over to the Belarus government, led by Lukashenko, Assange and WikiLeaks were then falsely accused of putting dissidents at risk.

The facts, according to the Hazel Press article above, and which are substantiated, are that Charter 97, a human rights group in Belarus, had received the cables and had published articles criticizing the Lukashenko regime. The web site was DDOSd and the Belarus police raided their offices and arrested them. According to the article, this is likely how the regime got access to the cables. Andrei Sannikov, the leader of the Opposition was imprisoned by Lukashenko.

In addition, Andrei Sannikov’s  sister, Irina, main spokesperson of the Free Belarus campaign, invited Julian Assange to the screening of their film, Europe’s Last Dictator. Assange had been helping Belarussian dissidents in the background.

“Europe’s Last Dictator” in Belarus Q&A session with Julian Assange,  part 1 of 2

If one wanted to nitpick this tempest in a teapot, one certainly could, but in the end it would be a pointless exercise. As I said in Part 1, even if it were all true and the motivation was to escape any US extradition attempt by going to Russia (and there is no foundation here to indicate that it is) … so what?

After Ecuador granted Assange Ecuadorian citizenship & made him a diplomatic staffer to the embassy in London, Ecuadorian officials may well have discussed amongst themselves what diplomatic posting to give him, on the assumption that the UK response would be to declare him “persona non-grata” (and thus trigger Vienna Convention rules about allowing sufficient time for diplomats rejected in this same way to leave the country safely).

However, as eye-witness Craig Murray has already told us in his recent blog post on this topic “it is a fact that Julian  directly ruled out the possibility of going to Russia as undesirable“.

The fact that this document referred to in this article and the others which appeared on Twitter today do indicate that Ecuadorian officials wanted to send Assange to Russia, are quite meaningless, since Assange rejected the suggestion.

“There is a ministerial agreement [at the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador], according to which Julian Assange was appointed Ecuador’s diplomatic representative in Moscow,” Vintimilla said.

 

screenshot-twitter.com 2018-10-17 13-41-21-214

And last but not least, you know the propagandists are desperate when they’ve sunk so low that all they have left is to try to divert the discussion of serious political and civil rights issues into personal attacks about Julian Assange’s personal hygiene and threaten Embassy Cat.

The inevitable outcome of all of this confabulation is to support the RussiaGate confabulation that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are allegedly in cahoots with the Russians to undermine the US. There is no evidence that demonstrates any connection between Assange and the Russians or WikiLeaks and the Russians, that would support this narrative, despite repeated attempts to create the false impression that there is.

In my humble opinion, the US is doing an excellent job of undermining themselves, as is Russia and numerous other countries around the world. None of those countries actually need any help from anyone when it comes to undermining their own democracies, economic and social systems, even if they’re getting that “help” from each other. Which they probably are.

All WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have done is expose these governments own words and deeds to the people. For the first time in history, we can see globally and first hand, the destruction that is being wreaked on our societies by the global elite working in collusion with lawless governments that have gone rogue.

In order to clearly understand the problem, you have to ignore the MSM Propaganda narratives and look at the actual facts. Thanks to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, people are starting to understand this and have actually been enabled to do this.

This is what many of the Independent and Alternative media sites have been doing and it’s why they have much larger followings on Social Media than MSM sites. It’s also why they’re being mass-censored by Google, Facebook and now Twitter is following suit. It’s a last ditch desperate attempt to save the dying MSM and maintain control over the propaganda narratives.

When you understand the problem, you can work on the solution.

 

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The Recent Defamation of #WikiLeaks and #JulianAssange, Part 1

I’ve entitled this article “The Recent Defamation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange” because in reality the defamation campaign against both has been going on for years. In order to write this article I had to do a deep dive into the details of what can only be described as the darkest and most deceptive rabbit hole in existence in recent years.

Given this history, the deceptions in dark places and webs of intrigues that are now occurring are beyond the pale and would rival any great spy novel.

Anyone calling themselves a journalist, who is accepting the narrative spin being provided by the mainstream media, at face value, is proving that they don’t have the foggiest clue what real journalism is or simply don’t care.

Let’s start by examining the AP release of ten documents from their much larger WikiLeaks leak, announced on September 17, 2018.

screenshot-twitter.com-2018.09.26-07-20-00

The first ten documents are located here on the AP Document Cloud

In their first article, AP Exclusive: WikiLeaks files expose group’s inner workings, written by Raphael Satter and published by AP on September 17, 2018, they introduced their first document. It was a letter, allegedly written by Julian Assange, giving a journalist, Israel Shamir, authority to act on Assange’s behalf to obtain a Russian visa.

This article and the letter led to headlines in mainstream media globally about an alleged attempted escape plan by Julian Assange, to slip away to Russia.

letterofauthority
AP and Raphael Satter, the author of the article, received a quick response from WikiLeaks refuting the authenticity of the document and identifying its source:
screenshot-twitter.com-2018.09.26-07-21-32

While I’m not a professional journalist, just a lowly blogger journalist who writes opinion pieces occasionally, it seems to me that the first rational step here, given WikiLeaks refutation, would be to find out more about Sigurdur Thordarson and Israel Shamir and their relationships with WikiLeaks.

Make sense? Apparently not, at least not to numerous “professional” journalists writing hit pieces all over the globe which leap to unwarranted conclusions, based on assumptions regarding this one letter.

Ok, that’s not entirely true. Many did do a little “research” into Siggi (Sigurdur’s nickname) and “Israel” (not his real name). Their “research” consisted of using old hit pieces as references for their new hit pieces.

Go “Investigative Journalism”!

Edward R. Murrow is rolling in his grave.

As I enter the dank, dark rabbit hole, brush off the numerous spider webs, and turn on my flashlight I discover the infamous young Siggi was convicted for two years for committing embezzlement and financial fraud against WikiLeaks which included the forgery of information relating to impersonating Julian Assange.

That’s aside from his obsession with grooming and bribing under-age minors into having sex with him. He was convicted for another 2 years for that and another two years for embezzlement and fraud against another company.

The Judge sentenced him to prison for a total of 6 years, running concurrently and he was required to pay a total of over $200,000 USD in damages to all of the affected parties. He served 3 years and, according to the WikiLeaks Twitter account, was released recently.

screenshot-twitter.com-2018.09.27-07-21-32

Previous to his arrests and convictions, in 2011, Siggi had offered his services to the FBI to act as a paid informant within WikiLeaks.

It was then that, at about 3:30am on August 23, 2011, Thordarson sat down at his computer at home in Kópavogur and typed out a message to the US Embassy in Reykjavik. He decided he wanted to become an informant – Sigurdur Thordarson: WikiLeaks’s baby-faced traitor. Sydney Morning Herald. August 16, 2013

This was what triggered the rather infamous illegal operation by the FBI in Iceland. They had attempted to sneak into Iceland under false pretenses by telling the Icelandic authorities that they were investigating breaches in the Icelandic Parliamentary computer system. They were actually there to interview Siggi and set him up formally as a paid informant in WikiLeaks. When their deception was discovered they were unceremoniously kicked out of Iceland and arranged to meet Siggi in Denmark instead.

This action is detailed in Julian Assange’s affidavit and confirmed by Iceland’s Interior Minister at the time: Jónasson: The Icelandic Minister who refused cooperation with the FBI. katoikos.eu, December 7, 2016.

Siggi has publicly admitted he turned a lot of material over to the FBI and received $5,000 USD in payment on March 18, 2012.

According to a Justice Department receipt Thordarson says was provided by the FBI, he turned over eight hard drives in total containing of about 1 terabyte of data, which is the equivalent of about 1000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. – Sigurdur Thordarson: WikiLeaks’s baby-faced traitor. Sydney Morning Herald. August 16, 2013

On September, 17, 2018, after Siggi’s release from prison, AP received what appears to be the same material. Was the source Siggi? Siggi and the FBI were the ones who had the material. That fact combined with Siggi’s recent release makes a strong case that he was the one who released them to AP, possibly in collusion with the FBI, unless he retained his own copies.

After Siggi handed the material over to the FBI on March 18, 2012, Siggi’s relationship with the FBI began to fall apart according to emails between Siggi and the FBI, which Siggi provided to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Once the agents obtained the hard drives and received the passwords to access them, Thordarson’s emails suggest, they stopped responding regularly to his messages and rebuffed his attempts to set up another meeting. – Sigurdur Thordarson: WikiLeaks’s baby-faced traitor. Sydney Morning Herald. August 16, 2013

The FBI agent quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald stated there were “bureaucratic issues” but doesn’t specify what they were.

In early 2012, after a period of not responding to Thordarson’s emails, his alleged FBI handler wrote that there had been “bureaucratic issues beyond my control that prevented me from maintaining contact,” adding that “our relationship has been problematic for some others. This is not an ordinary case. But those were not my issues and I have been diligently trying to work out those issues so we can continue our relationship.” – Sigurdur Thordarson: WikiLeaks’s baby-faced traitor. Sydney Morning Herald. August 16, 2013

In my opinion, and based on my knowledge of how the FBI works, SMH’s explanation is unlikely.

There were also signs that internal conflict was developing within the FBI over the infiltration of WikiLeaks, a controversial tactic not least because WikiLeaks is a publisher and press freedom groups have condemned from the outset the government’s investigation into Assange and his colleagues. – Sigurdur Thordarson: WikiLeaks’s baby-faced traitor. Sydney Morning Herald. August 16, 2013

The FBIs history demonstrates that it doesn’t use civil rights violations like press freedoms as a measure for determining whether they are or are not going to infiltrate an organization, whether it’s a criminal enterprise or a social activist cause or something else.

It’s far more likely that they were concerned about the reliability of the information provided to them and therefore Siggi’s reliability. Especially in light of all the charges laid against him by the Icelandic Police during the same time period, some of which were directly related to his impersonation of Assange.

There would also have been a huge risk that the FBI might have been perceived as colluding with Siggi’s criminal activities where WikiLeaks and Assange were concerned. That is, the impersonations and fraud that Siggi was eventually convicted of.

If the FBI thought any of this information was actually credible or legally useful in building a case of Russian collusion or anything else against WikiLeaks or Julian Assange, they would have: 

  1. Continued to build their relationship with Siggi  
  2. Handed the information over to the Prosecutors for future use in a WikiLeaks / Julian Assange prosecution. 
  3. A leak would have been highly unlikely because BOTH would have had more to gain by NOT leaking it. 

If the information was tainted and not useful in building the legal case against WikiLeaks, both the FBI and Siggi would have something to gain with it’s release. The FBI could use their media connections to instigate a disinformation campaign and Siggi would have more notoriety and possibly some more cash in his pocket.

According to WikiLeaks (in the above screenshot) Scandinavian outlets also received the documents “years ago” and refused to publish them because they considered them untrustworthy. Therefore they would have no reason to release them now to other media.

All of that said, let’s get back to the letter.

The AP article claims the following as evidence of it’s “authentication”:

Metadata suggests that it was on Nov. 29, the day after the release of the first batch of U.S. State Department files, that the letter to the Russian Consulate was drafted on the Jessica Longley computer.

One of the former associates, an ex-employee, identified two of the names that frequently appeared in the documents’ metadata, “Jessica Longley” and “Jim Evans Mowing,” as pseudonyms assigned to two WikiLeaks laptops.

– AP Exclusive: WikiLeaks files expose group’s inner workings. AP, September 17, 2018

However, they neglect to mention that Siggi was working as a low level volunteer for WikiLeaks at the time and had access to their computers. That’s how he was able to get the data in the first place. Fabricating documents on WikiLeaks laptops would have been easy for him to do and he’s already been convicted of fraud for fabricating information in relation to Julian Assange.

Another problem with the AP authentication procedure is that we are expected to believe anonymous sources on the assumption they are telling the truth. They don’t appear to have provided any supporting evidence to back their claim that WikiLeaks laptops exist with those names.

As a result, we simply don’t know if they are being truthful, acting as disgruntled ex-employees on a vendetta, or acting as paid informants pushing a disinformation campaign. This makes their verification meaningless because there is no way for us to vet it independently.

The only real benefit to legitimate anonymous sources is they can point journalists and investigators in the right direction to getting the hard evidence they need to make a case. Their information also provides journalists with the background to ask the right questions when they’re probing an issue.

This was the contribution that anonymous source Deep Throat made in the 1960s which led to the Watergate scandal. In other words, Deep Throat was just the beginning of the process of collecting hard evidence to support his allegations independently and then to act on them. Nobody just took his word at face value.

Claiming one has authenticated a document based on “non-public details such as bank accounts, telephone numbers or airline tickets” is equally absurd because that information isn’t non-public in reality. Since Siggi was a low level volunteer for WikiLeaks, it’s precisely the type of information he could have had access to in order to fabricate the documents.

This kind of vetting is as absurd as the banks insisting that I provide my mother’s maiden name to identity myself as a “security” measure because it’s “non-public”. Everyone and their dog who knows me, knows my mother’s maiden name. I don’t use it. I give a fake maiden name for my mother.

In addition, where is the evidence that the laptops named “Jessica Longley” or “Jim Evans Mowing” have ever been used by Assange? Anything written by him would be on his own laptop and not on some random WikiLeaks laptop used by staff (that’s assuming the anonymous sources were being truthful and that WikiLeaks laptops with those names existed – we don’t actually know).

As a friend of mine pointed out, he could write a letter today, put Julian Assange’s name on it, send it to the FBI and/or the media, and it would have as much credibility as this one. Well, maybe a little more since he hasn’t done time in prison for impersonating Assange like Siggi has.

The end result is that all the metadata actually proves is that someone had access to laptops with those names, which may or may not have been WikiLeaks laptops. The only someone with demonstrable access to those particular laptops is Siggi.

The additional photocopy of the passport published with the letter in the Document Cloud is irrelevant since the point of the passport would simply be to verify whether there was a Russian Visa stamp on it dated November or December, 2010 and that isn’t visible.

AP’s note above the passport (scroll down to see it) states:

The following is a notarized copy of Assange’s passport. The document was obtained by the AP separately from the letter to the Russian Consulate in London, but it is consistent with the letter’s content. 

If it was obtained separately, and all it is, is a notarized copy of the front page of Julian Assange’s passport, how is it consistent with the letters content? It wasn’t attached to the letter and by AP’s own admission, it was obtained separately from the letter. There is no information related to where it came from or what the evidentiary link to the letter might be. Again, we’re expected to just believe based on nothing but an assumption.

The fact that the date it was notarized is one month previous to the letter isn’t enough to confirm anything, especially given the facts that it did not come attached to the letter and the letter is not properly authenticated, signed or notarized.

People have copies of their passport notarized for any number of reasons.

All of that said, in the end and in my opinion, this entire drama is a smear campaign intended to lay the foundation for further false “Russian collusion” disinformation against WikiLeaks and Assange. When the Feds can’t make a legal case, jury by public opinion through mainstream media has become a last resort.

It’s called Manufacturing Consent (Noam Chomsky).

It’s a tempest in a teapot since even if it were true, so what? Going to Russia doesn’t automatically indicate collusion of any kind. If it was true, it might (but not necessarily) indicate he was trying to escape extradition to the US. So what? That’s why he asked for asylum.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know what the implications would be to Assange if the US succeeded in extraditing him. Injustice, torture and abuse of due process are the name of the game in the US Injustice System as Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner, Jeremy Hammond, Matt DeHart and numerous others can attest to first hand.

The implications to Press Freedoms would be even worse since WikiLeaks and Assange’s only “crime” was to publish leaked information, much of which exposed corruption and abuses of power at the highest levels. This was in the public interest and is a protected right under the US Constitution. SCOTUS legal precedent has established that protection extends to non-US citizens.

Jennifer Robinson, one of Julian Assange’s lawyer commented on the AP allegations and this particular document, pointing out that they could have easily been verified by contacting the UK authorities who still have Julian Assange’s passport or the Russian Embassy in the UK. His passport was confiscated by the UK on December 7, 2010. If it had a brand new Russian Visa attached to it, it’s unlikely they would have granted him bail and yet they did.

Jennifer Robinson’s comments on this occur around the 10:20 mark in the video at the bottom of the following article:

Ecuador pledged to not kick out Assange, but threat of US prosecution still serious – lawyer to RT 

Common sense would also dictate that if Julian Assange had decided to get a Russian Visa, he would have done it through his lawyers and not some journalist, irrespective of whether that journalist is a friend or not. According to WikiLeaks, Shamir wasn’t a close friend. He was simply one of many journalists that had some access to some material in the WikiLeaks databases and nothing more.

It is false that Shamir is ‘an Assange intimate’. He interviewed Assange (on behalf of Russian media), as have many journalists. He took a photo at that time and has only met with WikiLeaks staff (including Asssange) twice. –WikiLeaks

The only discussions that did occur regarding Russia, occurred in December, 2017, were between the Ecuadorian Embassy and Assange and were related to his diplomatic status. Assange was given diplomatic status by Ecuador in December 2017 and the Ecuadorians were proposing he be sent to Russia to act as Ecuador’s diplomatic representative in Moscow. Since the UK refused to recognize his diplomatic status that proposal became moot and did not involve any discussions with the Russians.

Ecuador had named Assange adviser at Embassy in Russia: Ecuadorian Lawmaker

Craig Murray, in his recent Blog post, Extraordinary and Deliberate Lies from the Guardian dated September 23, 2018 and updated on September 24, 2018 made the following comment:

UPDATE One reason I was so stunned at the Guardian’s publication of these lies is that I had gone direct from the Ecuadorean Embassy to the Guardian building in Kings Cross to give an in-depth but off the record briefing to Euan MacAskill, perhaps their last journalist of real integrity, on the strategy for Julian. I told Euan that Russia was ruled out. I did not mention this yesterday as I greatly respect Euan and wanted to speak to him first. But on phoning the Guardian I find that Euan “retired” the day the lying article was published. That seems a very large coincidence.

Craig Murray, a former UK Diplomat, also states in the blog post that: “…Julian directly ruled out the possibility of going to Russia as undesirable…”.

In addition, the Russian Embassy released a statement on September 26, 2018 confirming WikiLeaks denial.

The embassy has never engaged with Ecuadorean colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russian participation in ending Mr Assange’s stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador.- Julian Assange and Russia’s UK embassy. The Guardian, September 24, 2018

Ivan Volodin, at the Russian embassy in London, responds to a Guardian article reporting that Russian diplomats held secret talks about helping Julian Assange flee the UK

Russian Embassy tweet

Now, I’m just curious… How is it possible that numerous professional journalists writing for numerous platforms…

  1. Can be so eager and willing to accept what can only be described as an Orwellian narrative without question?
  2. Are so willing to accept the word of completely anonymous sources making statements that not only cannot be independently verified but are openly and publicly contradicted by people who are both identified and in a position to know the facts?
  3. Are so accepting of “facts” that can so easily be refuted?

I’ll leave it to those journalists writing the hit pieces to explore their own consciences and the reader to come to their own conclusions.

It isn’t rocket science and doesn’t require a genius IQ to see what’s going on here.

#DisinformationWars

Special thanks to Raymond Johanson and the others who assisted me by giving me feedback and constructive advice on this article.

quote-journalism-should-be-more-like-science-as-far-as-possible-facts-should-be-verifiable-julian-assange-121-30-33

The #Pursuance Project and #Anonymous

I love the concept of Anonymous (and WikiLeaks, Occupy, Idle No More). I’ve said this many times before but it’s worth repeating.

However, as a FreeThinker who bases her opinions on reason, logic and empirical evidence, I am forced to acknowledge that Anonymous does have a fundamental flaw.

That fundamental flaw also happens to be its’ greatest strength.

This is a dichotomy that exists in most, if not all, organic social structures.

While anonymity provides protection and security, it also opens activists up to infiltration by shady characters from state agencies and other disruptive elements. Given the type of dystopian technology available to the state, as well recent policies defining activists engaged in legitimate and legal dissent as ‘terrorists’, this fact poses a major threat to activists trying to invoke change.

Recent exposures by both the Snowden leaks (mass surveillance) and the WikiLeaks Vault 7 CIA leaks, which documented the tools used for both mass and targeted surveillance, are evidence of this reality we face, as activists, in this dystopian age.

So, how do we address this fundamental flaw which is also the greatest strength of Anonymous without throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Barrett Brown has found a solution for Anonymous activists. It’s called the Pursuance Project.

How does the Pursuance Project address the fundamental flaw in Anonymous while still protecting its’ greatest strength, given that they are the same thing?

The solution is in the flexibility that Pursuance offers in terms of opacity or transparency of the overall Pursuance (Op) as well as in access controls to task management and information sharing. The creator of the Pursuance Op can be one person or a collective. The creator(s) can make it (or just certain parts of it) visible for recruiting purposes or completely invisible. For example, if the Op needs to recruit someone from outside their circle with special skills and providing that special skill will be their only role, it’s possible to keep most of the Op (the discussions, tasks, etc.) invisible to that outsider. The only tasks the outsider will see are those assigned to them and any segments of the Op that are public. It’s this flexible mix of options that is the real power source behind Pursuance.

While the concepts of mixed opacity/transparency and access control aren’t new, what is new is the structure, the platform that they are integrated into and how they are used in social activism. The platform is zero-knowledge. No-one, including the people running the platform will have access to Pursuances, their membership, tasks, etc. unless they are made public. The platform plus the concepts built into it reduce the risk of maintaining secret identities within high risk Ops and make that risk negligible.

The human element will always be a challenge because in the last few years state agencies have received billions of dollars in funding specifically for the purposes of engaging in cyberwarfare not only against other states but against their own populations.

Even with technology like Pursuance, in the end, only sound decisions by activists in regard to OpSec (whatever the platform) can protect them from the high level social engineering engaged in by state agencies. Social engineering like that described in JTRIG (UK-GCHQ) will require both sound technology and sound strategic and tactical planning by the activists themselves. The reality is that when the Pursuance Project goes public they will have no control over who joins, what Pursuances they join and what tasks they are assigned. In addition, the software is open source and there won’t be any control over who downloads it and creates their own Pursuance servers. All of this control will be handed off to the activists themselves, in the Pursuances they create and the private servers they create if they choose to.

Since 2012, a concerted effort has been made by those agencies to infiltrate groups like Anonymous, WikiLeaks, Occupy and Idle No More. Their main focus was to identify activists who are part of those networks and either through extortion or bribery or both, turn those once trusted activists into paid snitches. The informant communities associated with Anonymous, Occupy and Idle No More have grown immensely and we have seen huge disruptions in their campaigns, including arrests and individuals targeted for persecution. Recently the approach has changed. It isn’t about recruitment anymore, it’s about influence. The snitches are trying to expand into newer key networks and influence those networks on behalf of the feds.

It isn’t the first time they’ve done this. They learned a lot from their compromise of LulzSec. Jeremy Hammond referred to this when he made his statement during his trial. After Sabu was recruited (and others – he wasn’t the only snitch), his main role was to direct Anons into engaging in Ops the feds wanted them to engage in, including overseas Ops in the Middle East. This eventually resulted in Jeremy’s entrapment with the Stratfor hack which was organized by the feds. In the meantime, LulzSec continued to be completely fed-controlled until Sabu was exposed (they may still be since the other snitches have never been exposed).

WikiLeaks has been somewhat better at protecting themselves because they have already been following the concepts behind Pursuance. They just haven’t had an actual tool to ease the way. For them, involvement in Pursuance wouldn’t require a change in approach. They would simply have an integrated tool that was already designed and built with their approach in mind.

Occupy and Idle No More should seriously consider going Anonymous on the Pursuance Platform.

Join @kickstarter and become a Pursuance Backer. 

Anonymous and the Pursuance Project would make a great coupling.

V: Would you… dance with me?

Evey Hammond: Now? On the eve of your revolution?

V: A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having!

Attivisti e Pirati si alleano con il Progetto Pursuance di Barrett Brown

Il Progetto Pursuance (“Impegno”) – collaborazione civica di forte impatto, agile, sicura

BBIl sistema Pursuance (“Impegno”) è la prima struttura completa per la democrazia processiva. Cioè consente ad individui che non si conoscono di organizzarsi in entità robuste ed agili governate attraverso un “proceduralismo di accordo”. Queste entità, chiamate pursuance o impegni, a turno si relazionano e collaborano tra loro nella misura che esse stesse decidono, portando fondamentalmente ad un vasto e formidabile ecosistema di opposizione all’ingiustizia istituzionalizzata. (Estratto dalla descrizione del progetto)

Questo sistema verrà popolato sulla base di inviti, a cominciare dalla fine del 2017. Ma Barrett ha iniziato una collaborazione con Pirate Parties International. RaymondMattermost Johansen, attivista e membro del board del PPI si sta ora occupando di popolare diverse stanze di Mattermost, per iniziare presto ad imbarcare persone nella versione alfa del Sistema Pursuance. L’uso ed il feedback sul software da parte del PPI aiuteranno gli sviluppatori ad ottimizzarlo per i nostri scenari di utilizzo. Nelle prossime settimane attivisti, progettisti, artisti, esperti del FOIA, giornalisti investigativi, programmatori e sviluppatori saranno invitati a partecipare. Di fatto, nel momento in cui scriviamo dei progetti sono già partiti all’interno del gruppo del PPI.

Per ricevere un invito potete contattare direttamente Ray. Twitter o Facebook vanno bene. Se avete il suo indirizzo email sentitevi liberi di mandargli una richiesta. Ed ora ascoltiamo i principali protagonisti.

La struttura descritta da Brown è davvero straordinaria dal momento che l’idea è di dare alle persone il potere di creare il proprio “impegno” e fornire una piattaforma per usare le loro abilità in collaborazione con altri per conseguire specifici risultati. Facendo questo, hanno la possibilità di crescere ad una scala più ampia ed avere potenzialmente un maggiore impatto usando la rete collaborativa.

Steve Phillips spiega come è iniziato il suo rapporto con il Progetto Pursuance

Ciao a tutti! Sono Steve Phillips, sviluppatore capo e project manager del Progetto Pursuance, iniziato da Barrett Brown.

A marzo ho appreso che Barrett era uscito di prigione e voleva costruire una ambiente cifrato end-to-end per aiutare attivisti, giornalisti ed altri gruppi ad avere un maggiore impatto, consentendogli di coordinarsi efficacemente online. Questo non solo suonava fantastico ma aveva moltissimo in comune con quello su cui avevo lavorato nell’ultimo anno e mezzo, incluso ciò che avevo presentato due anni fa a DEFCON due anni fa.

Steve Phillips photoQuindi l’ho contattato, sono volato in Texas per incontrarlo, e due giorni più tardi mi ha incaricato di costruire il Sistema Pursuance (di cui potete leggere qui; introduzione un po’ più tecnica qui)!

Come ha scritto Barrett su PursuanceProject.org, il nostro obiettivo finale è produrre un “vasto e formidabile sistema di opposizione all’ingiustizia istituzionalizzata”.

Programmo da otto anni, uso Linux da quasi sedici anni, ed ho una vasta esperienza sia nella costruzione di software user-friendly di alta qualità che nella gestione di piccolo gruppi di sviluppatori.

Sono MOLTO entusiasta di lavorare con le persone del Partito Pirata e mi piacerebbe che voi tutti foste tra le prime persone al mondo ad usare il Sistema Pursuance mentre lo costruiamo. Fatemi sapere di quali strumenti avete bisogno per cambiare il mondo e farò tutto ciò che posso per fornirveli.

Persuance LogoProporio ora abbiamo lanciato una versione iniziale della funzionalità di chat di Pursuance come app a sé stante – LeapChat, che chiunque può usare visitando LeapChat.org ed invitando persone nelle stanze sicure verso cui venite reindirizzati, finendo per avere delle sessioni di chat cifrate end-to-end. Qualsiasi feedback abbiate riguardo alle funzionalità che dovrebbero in futuro essere aggiunte a LeapChat sarà molto utile!

Il cuore della prima versione di Pursuance che lanceremo sarà essenzialmente un sistema per la gestione di compiti concepito per gruppi numerosi, e che farà cose tipo consentirvi di specificare quali competenze siano necessarie per completare un compito, quindi far sì che il software trovi automaticamente le persone con tutte le competenze necessarie per completare tale compito e domandare loro se gli piacerebbe farlo! Questo consente a Pursuance di espandersi su gruppi numerosi meglio di qualsiasi altra cosa che esista oggi.

Crediamo che Internet dovrebbe essere formidabile nell’abilitare grandi gruppi di persone che la pensano allo stesso modo ad unire le forze per combattere le ingiustizie… ma non lo è. Noi siamo qui per cambiare le cose.

La visione di Barrett Brown sul Progetto Pursuance

Barrett Brown’s Pursuance Project by v4vapid

Quando gli viene chiesto dei suoi futuri progetti, Brown delinea una visione di giornalisti e blogger che riescono a condividere meglio le informazioni creando quella che lui chiama una “piattaforma di democrazia processiva”. Questo progetto è stato in cantiere dal 2009, prima della sua incarcerazione, e con l’aiuto di collaboratori fidati Brown continua a lavorare alla creazione di una rivoluzionaria collaborazione in crowd sourcing. Si verificheranno collaborazioni tra istituzioni, no profit, accademici e perfino giornalismo partecipativo.

Barrett_Brown_2007“Per il modo in cui il sistema [pursuance] funziona, non ha importanza se la qualità diminuisce ai margini, perché ai margini le persone sono libere di portare altre persone, ma devono anche gestirle. Perciò se si tratta di raccolta di dati, per esempio, se sei un giornalista o stai gestendo un progetto in crowd-sourcing, e porti con te un po’ di gente, ogni persona che porta altre persone ovviamente ha l’impulso di fare il possibile per portare persone di reale qualità, perché poi dovranno averci a che fare, e la cattiva informazione, l’informazione inutile, che proviene da queste lontane [periferie] del sistema non ce la farà ad arrivare fino alla presentazione, e c’è un intero meccanismo per tutto questo.” – Barrett Brown

“Perciò quella è stata la spinta iniziale. Ci sono molte altre caratteristiche che fanno sì che questo funzioni per varie cose. C’è una grande folla di persone lì fuori che sta twittando e commentando, ed è arrabbiata, ed una parte di essa è composta da persone molto oneste che sono competenti, informate, ma a cui non viene messa a disposizione (a) la possibilità di aiutare e (b) la possibilità di distinguersi. Se mettete a disposizione delle persone la possibilità di fare le cose nel modo corretto, elevarsi ad una posizione in cui hanno la possibilità di fare le cose ad una scala più ampia, e rendete evidente che questa possibilità è lì disponibile, e mostriamo esempi del fatto che funziona nonché mettiamo a disposizione un certo grado di leadership, e – per dirla in modo schietto – propaganda sul perché è giunto il momento per questo genere di cose, allora funzionerà.”  – Barrett Brown

Per ricevere aggiornamenti sui progressi del progetto complessivo puoi iscriverti a questa pagina The Pursuance Project

by Kitty Hundal and translated by Aram Gurekian