This diary was initially to feature his (and his Guardian cronies) May 14 ‘Sergei Skripal briefed European intelligence services, *reports say*’; Reported meetings between former Russian spy and several intelligence services in Europe may offer motive for poisoning, Luke Harding and allies, Mon 14 May 2018…in which I’d bring to bear his past lies and storytelling via ‘skripals & co. in Deep Dark badger holes under a D notice’, Café Babylon, May 3, 2018, featuring former UK Ambassador Craig Murray v. Luke Harding in Craig Murray’s: ‘Where They Tell You Not to Look’, and parallel investigative work by Thomas Scripps at wsws.org. I’d had the outline of it finished when I’d popped into Murray’s website yesterday afternoon and had checked out the Twitter accounts of some of the members of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, wondering what they might have thought about Luke and Co’s current ironclad innuendo, but found nothing.
But ay yi yi, when I just checked with Murray this a.m., and found his new spine-chilling allusion to Lyin’ Luke and friends (Murray rightfully calls him a CIA mouthpiece) and the Guardian. The stories, if partially true, have the most dangerous implications for not only Julian Assange who could likely soon end up in Gitmo or worse (is there a worse?), press freedom (as if), but for anyone who has ever visited or contacted him in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
‘The Guardian Rejoices in the Silencing of Assange’ 16 May, 2018, craigmurray.org
“The Guardian has today published a whole series of attack piece articles on Julian Assange which plainly exult in the fact he has now been silenced by the cutting of his communication with the outside world. They also include outright lies such as this one by Dan Collyns:
The quote is an image, maybe a screen shot, but is to the effect that Sweden dropped its investigation into alleged sexual offenses because it was unable to question Assange, etc., and says that even Rafel Correa had told journalists that Assange’s days were numbered because his former protege, Lenin Moreno would throw him out of the embassy at the first pressure from the US.
Now I was unable to find that quote in either of these pieces by the same trio yesterday; the worst first: ‘Revealed: Ecuador spent millions on spy operation for Julian Assange ; Exclusive: Files show at least $5m went on activities including spying on guests at London embassy’, Dan Collyns, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Luke Harding
‘How Julian Assange became an unwelcome guest in Ecuador’s embassy; He has been in the Knightsbridge building for six years, but his departure looks ever more likely’ by Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Dan Collyns, but maybe either or both have been edited by now. Back to Craig Murray:
“In fact Julian Assange was questioned for two days solid in the Embassy by Swedish procurators and police in November 2016. The statement he gave to them at that time I published in full. Following that questioning it was plain that there was no hope of a successful prosecution, particularly as the only physical evidence Swedish Police had was a condom Anna Ardin claimed he had worn but which had no trace of his DNA – a physical impossibility.
Dan Collyns is a freelance based in Peru, but the Guardian’s editors certainly know it is blatantly untrue that the investigation into Assange was dropped because he could not be questioned. They have knowingly published a lie. “Facts are sacred” there, apparently.
The Guardian article gives another complete lie, this time in the Harding penned section, where it says that “sources” reveal that Assange had hacked into the Embassy’s communications. That is completely untrue as are the “facts” given about Julian’s relationship with the Embassy staff, whom I know well. It is plain that these “sources” are separate from the Ecuadorean security dossier published in Focus Ecuador by the CIA. I would bet any money that these anonymous “sources” are as always Harding’s mates in the UK security services. That the Guardian should allow itself to be used in a security service disinformation campaign designed to provoke distrust between Assange and Embassy staff, is appalling.
I had a front row seat in 2010 when the Guardian suddenly switched from championing Assange to attacking him, in a deeply unedifying row about the rights and money from a projected autobiography. But they have sunk to a new low today in a collaboration between long term MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding and the CIA financed neo-con propagandists of Focus Ecuador.”
Murray then scoffs at the ‘revelations’ that he, his friends, his attorneys, Sarah Harrison, et.al. visited Assange, as they’d been quite open if not pubicized meetings, with the claim that the meetings ‘will certainly interest Mueller‘. Craig’s conclusions at the end I’m not sure I agree with as per monitoring the WikiLeaks Twitter account daily, but that’s okay.
How fine it is that Mike Head at wsws.org has unveiled the ‘Conspiracy emerges to push Julian Assange into British and US hands’, 16 May 2018 in greater detail, and he brings in a hit job by a now-Guardian bad-actor James Ball (here and here at the minimum) as well. The history you already know, so I’ll jump to:
“Moves are afoot to force Assange out of Ecuador’s London embassy, where he sought political asylum close to six years ago and has been forced to live as an effective prisoner. If he is taken into custody by British authorities, he faces being handed over to the US government, which has long sought to place him on trial on espionage charges that potentially carry the death sentence.” [snip]
“The fresh offensive against Assange comes seven weeks after the Ecuadorian government, under pressure from the US, Britain and other powers, cut off Assange’s entire Internet and phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from visiting him.
The Guardian has published unsubstantiated allegations that Assange “violated” the embassy’s communications system and “apparently” read “confidential diplomatic traffic.” In a tweet, WikiLeaks emphatically denied the accusation and pointed to its source, saying: “That’s an anonymous libel aligned with the current UK-US government onslaught against Mr Assange’s asylum—while he can’t respond.”
There is no doubt about the intent of the latest allegations. Guardian opinion writer James Ball was blunt. The WikiLeaks’ founder, Ball asserted, “should hold his hands up and leave the embassy.” [referencing this ball BS, I assume]
The Guardian’s lead article declared: “If he walks out of the embassy, he can expect arrest and could spend up to a year in prison for breaking his bail conditions. The US might then seek to extradite him. He would contest any attempt, and might win, but would face a long, uncomfortable spell behind bars while his case is decided.”
Earlier this year, Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, who took office last May, stated that Assange was a costly “inherited problem” and a “hacker,” and made it clear that he viewed Assange as an obstacle to better relations with the US.
Since his election, Moreno has carried out a sharp turn to the right, with tax cuts for big business, cuts in social spending and attempts to reduce Ecuador’s dependence on loans and investment from China in favour of closer relations with US imperialism.
Ecuador’s government cut off Assange’s communications just one day after it welcomed a delegation from the US Southern Command (Southcom), the Pentagon’s arm in Latin America and the Caribbean, headed by General Joseph DiSalvo. Southcom said discussions were held to strengthen “security cooperation.”
WD here: this is what I believe is at the core of the conspiracy: WikiLeaks publications of CIA vaults 7 and 8 exploits, not Assange’s support of the Catalan independence movement that Murray posits. And the WikiLeaks that amply demonstrated the Imperium’s intentions to take down leftist governments in the global south, as in: Obomba and Trump: ‘Venezuela is a threat to US national security’. Well… that just might be, but not in the way they pretend.
“There is no doubt that the US intelligence apparatus and political establishment are driving the conspiracy against Assange. Last year, WikiLeaks began publishing more incriminating files about the CIA’s global operations. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, declared that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”
Head reminds readers of the DNC lawsuit against WL, Assange, Russia, an Trump…and quotes John Pilger telling Sputnik News that he’d (committed the crime) of telling the truth about US war crimes, exposing the machinations of the DNC, etc., but then, Pilger again:
“Pilger pointed to the accommodation that Moreno was seeking with Washington, which has been aggressively moving against any government in Latin America regarded as an obstacle to US hegemony over the continent.
“It’s quite clear that this government has deferred to the United States because it cut off Julian’s contacts—all Internet, all phone, all visitors apart from food and lawyers on the day that US Southcom deputy commander General Joseph DiSalvo arrived in Quito, Ecuador to renegotiate a US base that Correa had shut down.”
The Guardian based its unverified accusations against Assange on “secret records” it had “seen,” together with Focus Ecuador, a right-wing website. It charged that Ecuador’s intelligence agency “bankrolled a multi-million-dollar spy operation” to “protect” Assange in the embassy. Over six years, this activity had cost $5 million.
Operation Guest” logged every visitor that Assange had for six years, and spied on his every movement in the tiny embassy, monitoring his mood, habits and sleeping patterns, the Guardian reported. Agents recorded each visitor’s purpose of visit, their passport information and arrival and departure times.
[an agitprop psyop with a hidden purpose, or just so?]
“Every month, the security company sent a confidential list of Assange’s visitors to the Ecuadorian president,” the newspaper stated. “Sometimes, the company included stills from secret video footage of interesting guests, plus profiles and analysis.”
According to the Guardian, this possibly offered “clues as to who gave him the trove of hacked documents that helped to bring down Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.” It ominously stated that such a “visitor” would “interest” US special counsel Robert Mueller, who heads an investigation into the Trump administration’s alleged links to Russia.
According to the newspaper, the FBI has already interviewed “at least one source close to Operation Guest,” indicating that Ecuador has handed over all its records to the US intelligence agencies. As a result, every person who has visited or communicated with Assange while he has been in the embassy is at risk of persecution and, potentially, frame-up charges of complicity in espionage or seeking to manipulate the 2016 US election.”
And just to make it clear again, from the Guardian:
“Ecuador bankrolled a multimillion-dollar spy operation to protect and support Julian Assange in its central London embassy, employing an international security company and undercover agents to monitor his visitors, embassy staff and even the British police, according to documents seen by the Guardian.
“Worried that British authorities could use force to enter the embassy and seize Assange, Ecuadorian officials came up with plans to help him escape.
They included smuggling Assange out in a diplomatic vehicle or appointing him as Ecuador’s United Nations representative so he could have diplomatic immunity in order to attend UN meetings, according to documents seen by the Guardian dated August 2012.”
What comes after this paragraph toward the end is inscrutable to me; you might make more sense out of it:
“But the Operation Hotel outgoings were a fraction of the intelligence agency’s special expenses. In Assange’s first two months in the embassy, Senain spent $22.5m on 38 other operations with codenames including “undercover agents”, “counter-intelligence” and “Venezuela”, according to official documents.”,etc.
Now here’s the serial story teller on TRNN Dec. 23, 2017: ‘Where’s the ‘Collusion’? Amid news the Mueller probe could extend through 2018, Guardian reporter Luke Harding and TRNN’s Aaron Mate discuss Russiagate and Harding’s new book “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win”. If you read the transcript you’ll see that Harding self-identifies as ‘a journalist, a story-teller‘, and claims to be able to identify bad-guy Russians colluding with Trump….by their use of emoticons.
I’ll bring a few WikiLeaks tweets in comments. His team must be beside themselves with angst, as Julian must be.
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)