Anybody who has been following the latest cache of wikileaks goodies – the John Podesta gmail account release – knows that the blame for their availability is being laid at the door of Russian Intelligence. After all, the meme and narrative goes, everyone KNOWS that Julian Assange is a Russian Intelligence asset and they are hacking away at the Democratic National Committee and other prominent Democrats’ private email accounts and STEALING the information inside. Not only that, but it is ILLEGAL for anyone other than the owner to be in possession of the material.
Blah, blah, blah
Well, there’s some problems with that:
- Wikileaks doesn’t actually hack. They publish what is provided to them. That means that SOMEBODY handed them 50,000 emails from John Podesta’s gmail account. Who and why is a matter for speculation.
- Julian Assange is not the actual point person for distribution. Cutting off his access to the internet at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London proved it regardless of the reason. He’s just the front man.
- Both Russia and Assange himself deny the charges.
When it comes down to it, though, Craig Murray, a former U.K. Ambassador, put it best after a quick visit with Assange this week to dispel the rumors of the Aussie’s demise:
Sometimes I quite enjoy my life. If you can’t annoy the arrogant bastards who run the world for the 1%, what point is there in living? (Emphasis added.)
I left Julian after midnight. He is fit, well, sharp and in good spirits. WikiLeaks never reveals or comments upon its sources, but as I published before a fortnight ago, I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks. The claim is nonsense. Journalists are also publishing that these were obtained by “hacking” with no evidence that this was the method used to obtain them.
This writer is toying with a few ideas of what could be afoot, but without proof, the speculation would not do anyone any favors. Just remember, the authenticity of the emails has never been denied, and John Podesta himself has not said the emails were stolen. That came from CNN.
What adds fuel to the conspiracy theory fires is the curious way the Department of Homeland Security – not a place like the FBI where the lifers are at odds with leadership – hinted at Russian involvement.
. . . are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europa and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.
“Consistent with” doesn’t mean did. Those of us who watch cop shows know that serial killers have copycats. Why should it be so different with hackers? From Murray’s blog:
But the key point is that WikiLeaks is a publisher. It is a vehicle for publishing leaks, and is much more of a vehicle for whistleblowers than for hackers. It does not originate the material. I have often seen comments such as “Why has WikiLeaks not published material on Israel/Putin/Trump?” The answer is that they have not been given any. They publish good, verifiable material that they are given by whistleblowers. They are not protecting Israel, Putin, or Trump. Nobody has given them viable material.
And that is what we have to remember. The source for all the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta emails is not Russia. It begs the question, “who is it, then,” but doesn’t answer it.
Cover image from the Libertarian Republic