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More Assange


Nick Davies of The Guardian:

Jagger also insists that she has a right to know who leaked the file to the Guardian and says that the leak was part of “an obvious effort to conduct a smear campaign” against Assange. Setting aside for a moment the head-splitting hypocrisy that a supporter of WikiLeaks wants to hunt down the source of a leak, there are two similar problems with this claim. First, Jagger has no idea who leaked that file (and made no attempt to find out). Second, if she did know, she would discover that the source had no intention of smearing Assange in any way.

I am not going to serve up that source’s identity to satisfy Jagger’s temper. A police file like that gets widely distributed. It happened to make its way quite legitimately into the hands of somebody I have come across in the past. This person has absolutely no connection with the Swedish prosecutor or the Swedish police or any other individual or organization with any kind of antipathy to Assange. The source passed it on, and I got it translated.

Assange’s UK lawyer tried very hard to persuade us to suppress the file. He argued that since Assange had been a source for our stories, we should ‘protect’ him. I reckon that that is an invitation to journalistic corruption, to hide information in order to curry favor with a source. We were right to publish.

Jagger calls this ‘trial by media’. I call it an attempt to inject some evidence into a global debate which has been fueled by speculation and misinformation. On August 21, when this story first broke, Assange used Twitter to spread the idea that the two women who had gone to the police were engaged in ‘dirty tricks’. His lawyer subsequently claimed that a ‘honeytrap’ had been sprung. Assange’s celebrity supporters have announced to the mass media that the allegations are ‘without foundation’, that ‘there is no prima facie evidence’. These statements have gone around the world. Millions of well-meaning people have been persuaded to believe them. The two women, who have been identified on the Internet, have had their reputations ruined by the claim that they cruelly colluded to destroy an innocent man. The Swedish police and prosecutors have been held up to ridicule as corrupt and/or incompetent partners in the plot.

Some people got their knickers twisted last week over alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Turns out there was none.

Yes, I am smirking.

Raw Story:

Middle Eastern leaders who’ve become friendly with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could face severe retribution from their local populations if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is killed or jailed for a lengthy amount of time.

That’s because, in a recent interview with Arabic news network Al Jazeera, Assange allegedly warned that he had a document which reveals the identities of officials who voluntarily cultivated relationships with the CIA.

“These officials are spies for the US in their countries,” he reportedly told the network.

“If I am killed or detained for a long time, there are 2,000 websites ready to publish the remaining files,” Assange was quoted as having said. “We have protected these websites through very safe passwords.”

Of course nobody has tried to kill him yet, and the only charges against him are the ones in Sweden, but any minute now . . .

Bill Weinberg:

The most blatantly irritating thing is abject demonization of the women who have made the charges of sexual abuse against Assange. In any other context, the summary dismissal of a woman’s rape accusations would be seen as utterly politically incorrect. But Assange gets away with anti-feminist rhetoric that would do Rush Limbaugh proud. In an interview now receiving widespread coverage in the British press (e.g. The Telegraph, Dec. 26), Assange says: “Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism… I fell into a hornets’ nest of revolutionary feminism.” Assange added that one of the women who said she was assaulted took a “trophy photo” of him lying naked in her bed.

Excuse me while I get out the brain bleach.


Feminazis Framed Him


WikiLeaks founder baffled by sex assault claims

[…]

Mr Assange regards himself as a victim of radicalism. “Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,” he said. “I fell into a hornets’ nest of revolutionary feminism.”

See, that’s what happens when you let them bee-yotches learn to read. Next thing you know they want to vote and then it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Sino-Peruvian lesbianism.

This part is just eeeewwwwww:

She says they had consensual sex but she woke up the next morning to find him having intercourse with her to which she had not consented.

When she asked him if he was wearing anything, he had allegedly said: “I am wearing you.”

Stay classy, Julian.

Meanwhile:

The founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, has said he expects to earn more than £1m from book deals.

Assange, who achieved global notoriety after his whistleblower website began releasing more than a quarter of a million diplomatic cables, said he would use the money for legal costs.

The 39-year-old is fighting extradition to Sweden, where two women have accused him of sexual misconduct. He denies the allegations.

Since being released on bail earlier this month pending extradition proceedings, Assange has been living under virtual house arrest at Ellingham Hall, a Norfolk country mansion, from where he regularly gives media interviews.

He told the Sunday Times that he was forced to sign a deal worth more than £1m for his autobiography due to financial difficulties. “I don’t want to write this book, but I have to,” he said. “I have already spent £200,000 for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.”

He says he is innocent and has nothing to hide but he spent ten days in jail and $200,000 just fighting extradition.

Riiiight.


Welcome to Sweden


Ask questions, get answers, remain skeptical

Julian Assange's temporary jail


Yesterday I asked some questions about WikiLeaks. Today I got a few answers.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Now Making $86k/year

WikiLeaks’ main financial arm, the Germany-based Wau Holland Foundation says it has collected about 1 million Euro ($1.3 million) in donations in 2010, the year in which WikiLeaks exploded into public prominence thanks to its release of thousands of classified U.S. documents, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

Wau Holland is the primary but not sole financial provider for WikiLeaks, the Journal reports.

From those donations, Wau Holland has established a Greenpeace-like system of salary payments, as WikiLeaks attempts to legitimize its organization by moving away from purely volunteer-based work, the Journal reports. The move to make salaried employees allegedly comes after a year-long intense internal debate about whether to do so.

The main beneficiary has been founder Julian Assange, who has drawn 66,000 Euros (about $86,000) in salary thus far this year, the Journal reports. Wau Holland has paid a total of 100,000 Euros in salaries to the entire WikiLeaks staff, which means Assange is getting the lion’s share.

WikiLeaks will pay key personnel based on a salary structure developed by the environmental activist organization Greenpeace, the Journal reports. Under the structure, Greenpeace department heads are paid about 5,500 Euros in monthly salary, a Wau Holland spokesman said.

Among the many revelations from the Journal report are several indications that donations to WikiLeaks have dropped off significantly in the second half of the year.

By August, WikiLeaks had raised about 765,000 Euro, which means it has only raised about 235,000 Euro since then, the Journal reports.

Last summer, WikiLeaks said it operated on about 150,000 Euro a year. Now, however, the foundation says it has paid about 380,000 Euro in WikiLeaks expenses, with some invoices for the year still unprocessed. Some of that total is for hardware, Internet access and travel, a Wau Holland spokesman said. But a big factor in the leap is a recent decision to begin paying salaries to staff.

WikiLeaks had also allegedly promised to contribute half of the estimated $100,000 it will cost for the legal defense of Bradley Manning. Recently, however, a WikiLeaks spokesman said it would only donate around $20,000.

As of the writing of this report, it had still not contributed the funds. The Wau Holland Foundation is awaiting advice from its lawyers on whether the donation would be legal under German law, a spokesman told the Journal.

There is more detail at the Joe Moneybags Newsletter:

On the fundraising front, Mr. Assange in August said WikiLeaks had raised about $1 million (€763,000) since the beginning of 2010. He said the group got about half of its money from modest donations via its website, and the rest from “personal contacts,” including wealthy donors who give tens of thousands of dollars.

Much of this money was donated to the WikiLeaks account at the Wau Holland Foundation, Mr. Fulda said.

That last sentence is the part that triggers my bullshit detector. That’s a huge loophole in this story.

This isn’t WikiLeaks opening it’s books. This is an organization that collects SOME of the donations to WikiLeaks and supposedly pays all their bills. Mr. Fulda may be 100% honest, but where did he get his information? How does he know how much money was donated via other avenues?

A couple other things bother me. WikiLeaks profile has skyrocketed since August, but their receipts have gone down? How much money has been contributed to Assange’s legal defense fund? Who controls it?

Who is paying Assange’s living expenses? He doesn’t seem to pay for anything, he gets his fan club to support him. According to the Guardian he was staying rent free at Woman #1’s apartment and he got Woman #2 to pay for movie and train tickets. He’s staying in a mansion on a 300 acre estate right now.

I remain skeptical.

One last note – just because I don’t trust WikiLeaks doesn’t mean I trust the government. It’s not either/or.

Progressives say that right-wingers are paranoid. I don’t think progressives are paranoid enough.



Assange lashes out


The Christian Science Monitor:

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder compared to terrorists by Vice President Joe Biden, to Thomas Jefferson by the activist-journalist John Pilger, and to Martin Luther King by himself, went on the offensive today against, well, everyone.

In a series of interviews, he lashed out at the Guardian newspaper, one of his closest collaborators in the controlled release of the trove of US diplomatic cables that has infuriated Mr. Biden and many others in the US government. The Guardian and a few other news outlets were given the full data dump, while the number of cables provided to the public so far remains below 2,000.

Mr. Assange told The Times of London that two women who have accused him of rape in Sweden were probably motivated by a desire for revenge or money. He also told the BBC that he was fighting extradition to Sweden because he could expect “no natural justice” there.

[…]

Assange’s falling out with former allies may come as little surprise to many who have worked closely with him. Former WikiLeaks No. 2 Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who formerly went by the pseudonym Daniel Schmitt until breaking with the group earlier this year, has described Assange as “dictatorial” and has said he’s creating a rival group dedicated to releasing government secrets in a more open and transparent manner.

While plumbing Assange’s motivations has become a cottage industry for journalists and pundits, perhaps his most interesting comments published today were aimed at the Guardian. In an interview with the rival paper The Times, his primary complaint seemed to be that the paper had published a leak. About him.

Assange complained that confidential documents about his rape accusations were leaked to the Guardian, that the paper used the information “selectively,” and that it was published as part of an effort to convince a British judge not to grant him bail on Dec. 16.

“The leak of the police report to the Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application,” Assange told The Times. “It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning…. The leak was clearly designed to undermine my bail application … someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison,” he told the paper, referring to himself in the third person.

The Guardian, for its part, says no documents were leaked to it, though it was allowed to read some of the documents pertaining to his case. The paper says it only published a story with that information after his bail was granted Dec. 16. On his Twitter feed, the Guardian’s David Leigh, who leads the paper’s team combing through the 250,000 US embassy cables provided by Assange, dripped with sarcasm.

“The Guardian published too many leaks for Assange’s liking, it seems,” Mr. Leigh wrote. “So now he’s signed up ‘exclusively’ with Murdoch’s Times. Gosh.” Australian-American media titan Rupert Murdoch owns The Times.

Nick Davies, the Guardian reporter who first reached out to Assange over the summer and suggested he collaborate with established news outlets, also appears to have soured on Assange. “Assange finally admits ‘no evidence of honeytrap’ on Swedish sex claims but does not apologise for misleading the world,” he wrote, referring to sexual assault allegations leveled against Assange.

Jeebus, what a piece of work! This guy reminds me of Obama – fanatical followers and the more I learn about him the less I like.

Here’s another interview:

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