Breaking News 1.19 pm Eastern Time November 16, 2018.
” WikiLeaks boss Assange charged according to court documents”
Comments made by Frank Figliuzzi of the Washington Post on MSNBC (see link below)
“I think the strategy for Mueller is to tell us the story of a corrupt President through others. And if Mueller has anything to do with the indictment of Julian Assange, then we may well see the story told through that indictment.
Understand that our Intelligence has WikiLeaks covered like a blanket, as if they were a foreign adversary, so when Trump sees questions he doesn’t like to answer, he might be realising that Mueller has so much more on the classified side than anyone ever realised, and maybe, just maybe, that is technical coverage of Julian Assange and Wikileaks and their role with the Russians in the release of emails during the Presidential campaign”
— Frank Figliuzzi, Washington Post
The following is an extract from remarks made by Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, April 13, 2017
“… one of the many reasons why we at CIA find the celebration of entities like WikiLeaks to be both perplexing and deeply troubling. Because while we do our best to quietly collect information on those who pose very real threats to our country, individuals such as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden seek to use that information to make a name for themselves. As long as they make a splash, they care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security.
WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information. And it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations.
It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia. In January of this year, our Intelligence Community determined that Russian military intelligence—the GRU—had used WikiLeaks to release data of US victims that the GRU had obtained through cyber operations against the Democratic National Committee. And the report also found that Russia’s primary propaganda outlet, RT, has actively collaborated with WikiLeaks.
Now, for those of you who read the editorial page of the Washington Post—and I have a feeling that many of you in this room do—yesterday you would have seen a piece of sophistry penned by Mr. Assange. You would have read a convoluted mass of words wherein Assange compared himself to Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning work of legitimate news organizations such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. One can only imagine the absurd comparisons that the original draft contained.
Assange claims to harbor an overwhelming admiration for both America and the idea of America. But I assure you that this man knows nothing of America and our ideals. He knows nothing of our third President, whose clarion call for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness continue to inspire us and the world. And he knows nothing of our 34th President, a hero from my very own Kansas, who helped to liberate Europe from fascists and guided America through the early years of the Cold War.
No, I am quite confident that had Assange been around in the 1930s and 40s and 50s, he would have found himself on the wrong side of history.
We know this because Assange and his ilk make common cause with dictators today. Yes, they try unsuccessfully to cloak themselves and their actions in the language of liberty and privacy; in reality, however, they champion nothing but their own celebrity. Their currency is clickbait; their moral compass, nonexistent. Their mission: personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.
They do not care about the causes and people they claim to represent. If they did, they would focus instead on the autocratic regimes in this world that actually suppress free speech and dissent. Instead, they choose to exploit the legitimate secrets of democratic governments—which has, so far, proven to be a much safer approach than provoking a tyrant.
Clearly, these individuals are not especially burdened by conscience. We know this, for example, because Assange has been more than cavalier in disclosing the personal information of scores of innocent citizens around the globe. We know this because the damage they have done to the security and safety of the free world is tangible. And the examples are numerous.
When Snowden absconded to the comfortable clutches of Russian intelligence, his treachery directly harmed a wide range of US intelligence and military operations. Despite what he claims, he is no whistleblower. True whistleblowers use the well-established and discreet processes in place to voice grievances; they do not put American lives at risk.
In fact, a colleague of ours at NSA recently explained that more than a thousand foreign targets—people, groups, organizations—more than a thousand of them changed or tried to change how they communicated as a result of the Snowden disclosures. That number is staggering.
And the bottom line is that it became harder for us in the Intelligence Community to keep Americans safe. It became harder to monitor the communications of terrorist organizations that are bent on bringing bloodshed to our shores. Snowden’s disclosures helped these groups find ways to hide themselves in the crowded digital forest.
Even in those cases where we were able to regain our ability to collect, the damage was already done. We work in a business with budgetary and time constraints. The effort to earn back access that we previously possessed meant that we had less time to look for new threats.
As for Assange, his actions have attracted a devoted following among some of our most determined enemies. Following a recent WikiLeaks disclosure, an al Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula member posted a comment online thanking WikiLeaks for providing a means to fight America in a way that AQAP had not previously envisioned.
AQAP represents one of the most serious terrorist threats to our country and the world. It is a group that is devoted not only to bringing down civilian passenger planes, but our way of life as well. That Assange is the darling of terrorists is nothing short of reprehensible.
Have no doubt that the disclosures in recent years caused harm—great harm—to our nation’s security, and they will continue to do so over the long term. They threaten the trust we’ve developed with our foreign partners when trust is a crucial currency among allies. They risk damaging morale for the good officers of the Intelligence Community who take the high road every day. And I can’t stress enough how these disclosures have severely hindered our ability to keep all Americans safe.
No, Julian Assange and his kind are not the slightest bit interested in improving civil liberties or enhancing personal freedom. They have pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice. They may have believed that, but they are wrong.
Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value. He relies on the dirty work of others to make himself famous. He is a fraud—a coward hiding behind a screen.
And in Kansas, we know something about false Wizards.
But I’m not the only one who knows what Assange really is. Even those who often benefit from Assange’s leaks have called him out for his overblown statements. The Intercept, which in the past has gleefully reported on unauthorized disclosures, accused WikiLeaks in late March of “stretching the facts” in its comments about CIA. In the same article, the Intercept added that the documents were “not worth the concern WikiLeaks generated by its public comments.”