The value of Wikileaks

The site is a tool that may have once had the potential for doing good. Those days are long past. Since at least 2016 Wikileaks has been completely co-opted as a propaganda weapon for Putin and Trump.

The Trump administration was both 1) more lawless and 2) more prone to leaks than any other Presidential administration in memory, yet during Trump’s four years in office Wikileaks never dropped a single bombshell relating to either his administration or his private business dealings. Doesn’t that say something about what Wikileaks has become, with or without Assange at the helm?

28 Likes

It absolutely does. That’s why Trump probably tried to place Assange and his cohorts on the disposition matrix.

If you know secrets about a tyrant, being alive is a liability to them, no matter how friendly you are.

4 Likes

Literally hundreds of journalists have published damaging secrets about the illegal actions of the Trump administration, Trump’s illegal business dealings and Trump’s criminal personal conduct over the last four-plus years. Assange and Wikileaks were not among them.

I don’t think the reason Wikileaks held back when countless others plunged forward is because Assange and Wikileaks had more reason to fear Trump. I think they held back because they didn’t want to hurt Trump.

25 Likes

I think we’re talking around each other. I agree with you. They didn’t and don’t want to hurt Trump, because they liked him and view him as a friend. I imagine they thought if they sucked up to Trump , it’d get their leader’s charges dropped and he’d be a hero to Trump AND to the US and their own little base.

What I’m saying is that the fact that wikileaks (and by extension, Assange) likely have this material , Turmp considers him a threat.

And remember, there’s evidence that Trump wanted to arrest and imprison reporters. He frequently called them “enemies of the state.” I imagine he did more than call them that, and would expect the CIA to have been ordered to draw up hit plans on a lot more people than just assange.

15 Likes

Despite a lot of Russian behavior, since it’s founding, Wikileaks almost always seemed to overlook Russian crimes in favor of Western crimes. Yes it’s good to expose misdeeds in the US, but if you’re going to run a clearing house about honest reporting and erosions of freedom, protecting the richest man on the planet who has a penchant for killing reporters and eroding freedom is a bad look.

18 Likes

if you look on wikileaks you will find material on the RF

There’s some, but if you look at US vs. RF here, Category:Countries - WikiLeaks you’ll see how paltry the reporting/disclosures on Russia is vs. the US or Western allied nations.

5 Likes

One could even say that the release of material on RF was only strategic in order to give the appearance of balance… but that can’t be right? After all, Putin never hurt anyone… did you see how he cuddled that dog once! /s

6 Likes

Well I suppose. I had assumed that was due to the fact that

a) RF is very concerned about security and knows that the NSA has excellent internet intel capacity. So bugger all is kept on internet connected systems.

b) Leaking RF material will buy you 30 years in the gulag, and Russians know this. Personally I would not want to spend 30 years in Siberia so I might be quite careful about leaking materials.

I know I often take a contrarian view to folk on here, but it doesnt seem so odd to me. How much Kingdom of Saudi Arabia material does Wikileaks have? That might serve as a useful control.

I think the point is that WikiLeaks is a Russian intelligence asset, whether duped into it or based on the increasingly bizarre ideological tilt of its founder. It probably wasn’t always such, but it very publicly and openly became such in 2016.

6 Likes

I have seen the assertion in the a number of places, but I have never seen a convincing exposition of the evidence for the assertion. I have seen EmptyWheels’ attempt to demonstrate it, but it all seemed rather silly to me.

What did I miss? Do feel free to link to something which makes the case (ideally not @emptywheel cos her argument seemed tenuous to me when I last read it). Maybe I am failing to fully grasp the force of the case.

When the so-called “leaks” are coming from a foreign intelligence agency, well, that doesn’t happen by accident. Don’t let the "lack of ‘admissable evidence’ to secure a conviction fool you. The encrypted communications between WikiLeaks and the GRU, well, like I said, that shit doesn’t just happen by accident.

Oh, and there’s also the Senate report from when the Republicans still controlled the Senate.

5 Likes

Again, if the material on Wikileaks was a reflection of how competent its subjects were at information security then there would be a helluva lot more information detailing the misdeeds of Trump administration than the misdeeds of his predecessors or his rivals.

Whatever noble goals they might have once espoused, Wikileaks as it exists today is little more than an arm of Putin’s propaganda machine.

9 Likes

But other documents were out. Panama paper leak was huge. But not done by Wikileaks. There’s also the matter of Assange being a paid shill for RT, for an undisclosed amount of money, and/or favors/“good will”.

5 Likes

Well I had better wade through the Mueller report again cos my memory is a bit hazy on it. But I’m always a little skeptical of anyone who says they have a proof of a proposition but the margin is too small to fit it.

Consider me from Missouri in these matters.

Sure. But Putin is totes believable… /s

5 Likes

Both of these reports are laughable. The second was considered absurd by ALL Russia watchers. The first is silly as well cos Putin has way more money than that. Its precisely cos Putin has a very large holding in Novotek that I chose to own the stock.

I cant think of a politician I would actually believe.

A lot of the Mueller Report was redacted, but more information has come out since its initial publication, as well as the aforementioned Senate Report. Note that it was not a lack of evidence, it was a lack of “admissable” evidence that led to the decision not to prosecute.

I’m from Kansas, and so all I can say is, “If WikiLeaks were the kind of organization that they purport to be, they would not have been actively communicating with Russian intelligence in the first place, much less eagerly disseminating information stolen by Russian hackers (many of whom actually have been convicted for this) at just the right time to ratfuck an election.”

3 Likes

You seem to be downplaying the very possibility that he could have any interest in destabilizing the US, just the way it’s been destabilized…

And Mueller, of course, is NOT a politician, but a career bureaucrat that has a pretty solid reputation for truth telling. But he’s giving you and the right wing in America some information that they refuse to hear - the Trump was the most corrupt politician in the modern era, far eclipsing any real or imagined crimes the Clintons were imagined to have committed (including the sexual harassment and rape charges against President Clinton that have circulated for years). The GOP happily covered up all Trump’s crimes and threw their lot in with a dictator like Putin, because at least it’s not the Democrats…

WTF, man. Really. The links are there to be seen, in plain fucking sight. And Assange played an actual role in facilitating that.

But hey… maybe Putin will get what he wants. After all, what bad thing could possible happen if the MOST NUCLEAR ARMED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD goes full on fascist!!! Nothing too bad, I’m sure!!!

8 Likes