Last week, The Washington Post reported that it had gotten its hands on information from the CIA’s “secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.”
From the report: “Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.”
The only problem with this is that WikiLeaks, arguably one of the only organizations in recent history to provide Americans with raw unfiltered information about shady government actions, has steadfastly denied that there was any Russian involvement in its obtaining the DNC/Clinton/Podesta emails.
In fact, by Sunday staunch WikiLeaks supporter and former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray published a piece skewering international media parroting the CIA leak claims along with anyone dumb enough to believe them.
In his column “The CIA’s Absence of Conviction” Murray, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, noted that the CIA is pushing information from an unnamed source on mainstream media. Meanwhile, he and Assange are two of the only people on the planet with concrete knowledge of the identity of the source of the leaks.
“Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access,” he said.
The actual source, as we’ve been told by people close to WikiLeaks all along, is a Democratic insider disgruntled that the DNC colluded with Hillary Clinton to damage Bernie Sanders’ chances in the primary.
Murray wrote: “As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.
“The continued ability of the mainstream media to claim the leaks lost Clinton the election because of ‘Russia’, while still never acknowledging the truths the leaks reveal, is Kafkaesque.”
Murray also pointed out that it should be very difficult for anyone to accept that following “an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals…”
Of course, Murray’s column must’ve gotten pegged as “fake news,” a conspiracy commentary unfit for dissemination via social media.
Murray called Facebook out in a later post after realizing that his original column was being suppressed by the social media giant. According to an update to that post, Facebook quietly undid its ghostbanning of his WaPo/CIA piece.
Here’s the thing. WikiLeaks has long been a thorn in the side of the federal government’s attempts to keep Americans on board with the government’s official story. After all, until WikiLeaks published the Chelsea Manning documents detailing certain U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, many people believed that America was always the good guy in the Middle East. Since those leaks, calling what has happened in the Middle East in recent decades at behest of U.S. military adventurism “spreading democracy” hasn’t been so easy.
Russia seized on the Manning leaks. The country also heavily criticized the U.S. government’s subsequent treatment of whistleblowers. This was all, according to the Russians, proof of American leaders hiding totalitarian actions behind false democracy.
And why wouldn’t the Kremlin have jumped at such an opportunity to criticize the U.S.? As evidenced by U.S. condemnations of Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria in recent years, it was only a matter of time until the American intelligence and military complex would use the same sort of criticisms against Vladimir Putin and company.
Unfortunately, because Russia offered praise to U.S. whistleblowers (in, it’s worth noting, the same way U.S. institutions praised Russian social dissidents like the members of the punk rock group Pussy Riot for breaking the law) it has become very easy for government officials to tie any significant leak to Russia. And Russia is a longtime boogeyman.
But decide for yourself whose information you’d rather trust.
On one hand, you have a whistleblower group that has repeatedly upset U.S. power players and caused populist backlash against the political establishments biggest lies. One of its associates is sitting in jail and its founder is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
On the other, you have the CIA, unnamed sources and the U.S. media establishment.
Wikileaks leaks documents in raw form. The CIA leaks secrets to media… and media interprets.
We have no evidence of WikiLeaks working with Russian hackers other than The Washington Post report. Oddly enough, The Washington Post report mentioned at the onset of this column looks a lot like the evidence we do have of the CIA working hand-in-hand with mainstream media in the past to influence public opinion.
Really, your choice simply boils down to whose definition of fake news you’re inclined to believe.