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Ackerman writes: "WikiLeaks, a central figure in the 2016 election and the recipient of an email trove stolen by Russian intelligence, is 'considering the offer.'"

Julian Assange. (photo: Peters Nicholls/Reuters)
Julian Assange. (photo: Peters Nicholls/Reuters)


Senate Asks Julian Assange to Testify in Russia Investigation

By Spencer Ackerman, The Daily Beast

08 August 18


WikiLeaks, a central figure in the 2016 election and the recipient of an email trove stolen by Russian intelligence, is ‘considering the offer.’

he Senate Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election wants to talk to a potential blockbuster witness: Julian Assange.

Assange, the driving force behind WikiLeaks, remains in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has lived since seeking asylum in June 2012 following a now-dropped rape investigation in Sweden. His presence in the embassy means that the Senate’s requested interview is packed with geopolitical and legal complications—like much about WikiLeaks circa 2018.


WikiLeaks tweeted Wednesday morning that the Senate panel, in an August 1 letter, sought an interview. The Senate Intelligence Committee declined comment.

The self-styled radical transparency group, which U.S. intelligence believes is a catspaw of Russian intelligence, quoted its legal team to say it is “considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard,” presumably meaning on the part of the Senate staff who would conduct the interview.

WikiLeaks is a central player in Russia’s 2016-era active-measures campaign and surreptitiously interacted with Donald Trump’s successful presidential bid.

In the summer and fall of 2016, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee’s servers and from Hillary Clinton senior aide John Podesta, which were pilfered by Russian intelligence. An online personae calling itself Guccifer2.0—and posing as a “lone hacker”—said publicly that it provided the material to WikiLeaks, which released it during politically critical moments.

But according to Daily Beast reporting and special prosecutor Robert Mueller, Guccifer2.0 was a fictitious entity created by the GRU, Russian military intelligence. In an indictment last month, Mueller alleged “Organization 1,” whose behavior matches that of WikiLeaks, solicited the Democratic National Committee’s internal emails from Guccifer 2.0 around June 22, 2016, a month before WikiLeaks ultimately published. “[S]end any new material [stolen from the DNC] here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing,” the organization asked Guccifer2.0, according to Mueller. About two weeks later, “Organization 1” specifically asked Guccifer2.0 for “anything hillary related” before the imminent Democratic National Convention.  


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0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-08 14:18
This is quite interesting. Assange has been very open that his source was not Russia. He's been less open but somewhat clear that his source was an individual, a leaker. The Senate may get testimony that it does not want to hear.

But I suspect that this request is coordinated with Mueller. My bet is Mueller has an indictment in hand for Assange and WikiLeaks but he won't release this one until Assange is in custody -- as Warner snottily said to Randy Credico a few months ago. The Senate committee is being used as a cat's paw for the Mueller Probe (or now Mewller Probe. It will bait Assange into the open, say a neutral location in London, and Mueller's FBI thugs will kidnap and render him -- the classic and often used "snatch and grab."

I do hope Assange testifies and I hope he insists that the testimony is public and broadcast on live TV or internet. The Senate suggested a closed door hearing, but why let these corrupt MOFOS dictate the terms of anything.
 
 
+3 # pushingforpeace 2018-08-09 11:41
"I do hope Assange testifies and I hope he insists that the testimony is public and broadcast on live TV or internet. The Senate suggested a closed door hearing, but why let these corrupt MOFOS dictate the terms of anything." ME TOO, or he will end up like Chelsea Manning! Or even worse - in a hidden site where he can't become a symbol.
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2018-08-09 00:15
Do they really expect him to come her to get arrested? He be crazy to do it without a guarantee that he would be allowed to leave.
 
 
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-09 10:22
The sad fact is that even if the US gave him a guarantee of safety, who would believe it. The US has drouble-crossed way too many people to be trusted.

Still I hope Assange's story can get into the mainstream. But I also know that they would not cover it. They'd mis-report it, like most things.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2018-08-09 00:16
It looks like part of the next article go cut and pasted into this one by error.
 
 
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-09 05:25
This is from John Pilger, now on Information Clearing House:


" I was looking this morning at a report by Media Lens in Britain describing how the British press has reported on Julian Assange. It describes the tsunami of vindictive personal abuse that has been heaped upon Julian from well-known journalists, many claiming liberal credentials. The Guardian, which used to consider itself the most enlightened newspaper in the country, has probably been the worst. The frontal attacks have been coming not from governments but from journalists. I described this recently as “Vichy journalism,” a term which now fits so much of the mainstream media. It collaborates in the same way that the Vichy government in France collaborated with the Nazis.

There used to be spaces within the so-called mainstream for unbiased discussion, for the airing of real grievances and injustices. These spaces have closed completely. The attacks on Julian Assange illustrate what has happened to the so-called free media in the West . . . the journalism I see now is part of a rapacious establishment and one of its prime targets is Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. This is precisely because WikiLeaks is producing the kind of journalism that they ought to be doing. WikiLeaks has in fact shamed journalists, which might help to explain the deeply personal abuse he has suffered. WikiLeaks has revealed what journalists should have revealed a long time ago. "
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2018-08-09 17:22
'Vichy journalism' is an apt description. Maybe we should stop calling them 'mainstream media' and call them the corporate press, because that's whose agenda they push.

I still hear so many conservatives decry the 'liberal press' but that is totally wrong.

I think many people still think MSDNC is 'liberal' too, but that's an egregious mischaracteriza tion. Morning Joe gets a 3-hour block five days a week and it is full of neoliberals, neocons, intel, military and representatives of the corporate press. No progressive but Al Sharpton, with one hour on the weekend, has a show, any host that expresses an aversion to war or neoliberalism has been fired, and few progressives are even on as guests.

I wasn't around for McCarthy. This is the worst I've ever seen the media and no one seems very concerned about it, as they play pattycake with Trump day after day, ignoring that we have a housing crisis, a water crisis, millions living in or near poverty and a totally corrupt government.
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-10 06:31
I've never understood the term "Liberal press." About 15 years ago the NYT ran a long editorial with the title "Yes, We are a Liberal Media" and it went on to explain that it supported all the "liberal" issues. But these were all social choice issues -- gender equity, LBGT, reproductive rights, women's rights, pro-gun control, and so on. But there was no mention of peace or regulation of Wall Street and other predatory corporations. "Liberal" has come to mean the things that Social Justice Warriors stand for. That does not include ending all wars and mobilizing for a peaceful world. And it does not include regulating capitalism.
 
 
+6 # heraldmage 2018-08-09 12:21
Hopefully Assange's team will demand that his testimony be public over Skype from the safety of Ecuadorian Embassy. His public testimony is the only way Americans will learn the truth about the scapegoating of Russia to divert our attention from important issues and divide America.
A comment about this article. While the 1st 4 paragraphs are essential correct, the rest of the article is supposition.
Mueller's indictments are fairy tales that he never expected to prosecute or present evidence to support the claims in the indictments.
Unfortunately he included corporations in the 1st indictment. One of the indicted corporations hired a US attorney who showed up in court for the arraignment, plead not guilty plea and demanded discovery. The Mueller team is in delay mode. Hopefully, this will go to trial so we can hear the evidence & learn the truth. Because the defendant is the corporation no person is in jeopardy as a result of this trial.
 

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