Sunday, 25 November 2018

The secrets Julian Assange has revealed


Even If Assange Is Prosecuted, The Secrets He’s Revealed Will Continue To Haunt The Ruling Class


22 November, 2018

The government is dangerously close to prosecuting Julian Assange, and to destroying press freedom in the process. As the Trump administration has been revealed to have prepared undisclosed charges against Assange, Ecuador’s ex-president Rafael Correa recently 
said he expects Ecuador to “turn over Assange to the U.S. government.” This would result in an unprecedented and unconstitutionalattack on whistleblowers, with the Trump administration gaining the precedent to arrest any leaker it wants after they’ve gone after Assange.

But even if the efforts to free Assange fail, we should know that nothing will ever undo the damage that Assange and WikiLeaks have done to the power of the ruling class. No amount of media attacks against WikiLeaks, police state crackdowns against whistleblowers, or corporate censorship against the alternative media can make people forget about the scandals WikiLeaks has exposed.


Here’s a review of some of the most explosive secrets that WikiLeaks has brought to the public’s attention.


U.S. troops and military contractors committed numerous war crimes in Iraq, and Bush’s White House carried out even more torture than we’d previously thought
According to the Iraq War Logs, which were published by WikiLeaks in October 2010, U.S. troops killed and tortured civilians and then tried to cover up their war crimes. In an August July 2007 airstrike, two Reuters journalists were killed, along with several men who were only suspected to be insurgents. The official reports classified all of them as “enemy killed in action.”


States The Guardian about what the logs reveal, U.S. authorities also “failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers.” Along with many other abuses and coverups by the military, the logs revealed that the U.S. military contractor Blackwater committed acts of terrorism; The New York Times has said that in one instance, “after the IED strike a witness reports the Blackwater employees fired indiscriminately at the scene.”
 

As the logs also tell us, the Bush administration continued to torture after the Abu Ghraib revelations. Post-Abu Ghraib, say the logs, U.S. troops confiscated a hand cranked generator with wire clamps from a Baghdad police station after a detainee reported having been tortured at the station.


The revealing of these war crimes is ironic. Because while Democrats and the mainstream media are attacking Assange-the man who exposed the crimes-they’re now rehabilitating the public image of George W. Bush, the man who committed the crimes.

Saudi Arabia has been funding ISIS


A 2014 email from Hillary Clinton, as revealed in WikiLeaks’ Podesta emails dump, says that:


We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.


In 2013, the Podesta emails also reveal, Clinton privately acknowledged that “the Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on earth over the course of the last 30 years.”


How Clinton and the United States’ other leaders have responded to Saudi Arabia’s support for terror shows how the powerful self-rationalize their actions. 

While Clinton said that she didn’t approve of the Saudis’ financing terrorism, the Obama administration never took further action than the mentioned efforts to “bring pressure.” As the U.S. has done since the Saudis became a business asset 

in 1933, Clinton and Obama continued their political and military support for Saudi Arabia all throughout this known terrorism sponsorship program. And Trump, of course, has since only made U.S./Saudi relations closer.


The Obama administration shipped arms to Islamist terrorists to help achieve regime change in Syria


As the Podesta emails also show, the Obama administration was undeniably complicit in the arming of terrorist groups in Syria. One email, written by John Podesta and sent to Clinton on August 19, 2014, reads:


We should return to plans to provide the FSA [i.e., the Free Syrian Army], or some group of moderate forces, with equipment that will allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.
 

But these figures knew that the weapons they’d been giving to the “moderates” had ended up in the possession of terrorists, and they were evidently willing to let that potentially happen again by revamping their support for the rebel forces. Obama official Ben Rhodes admitted in an interview with The Intercept this year that the U.S. has recently been arming jihadist groups, and the email above indicates that Clinton was planning to continue this policy of de facto terrorism sponsorship after she became president.


A 2012 email, written by an anonymous Clinton aide and also included in WikiLeaks’ Clinton archive, shows just what this plan looked like from the start:
Washington should start by expressing its willingness to work with regional allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to organize, train and arm Syrian rebel forces. The announcement of such a decision would, by itself, likely cause substantial defections from the Syrian military. Then, using territory in Turkey and possibly Jordan, US diplomats and Pentagon officials can start strengthening the opposition… Arming the Syrian rebels and using Western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.


This was in direct opposition to the administration’s public claim that its goals for Syria were peaceful.


The CIA has been hacking into appliances to spy on-and potentially assassinate-its political targets
Reads one part of WikiLeaks’ press release which summarizes the findings from last year’s Vault 7 CIA document leak:


The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell's 1984, but "Weeping Angel", developed by the CIA's Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom's MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a 'Fake-Off' mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In 'Fake-Off' mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.


Even more alarming is the next part of the press release, which states that the CIA has been trying to use this technology to kill people remotely: “As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.”


Given how the CIA’s assassination program is unaccountable to congress and has killed countless people without due process, this prospect is terrifying. As is the fact that the CIA can use an array of appliances to directly spy on its targets, since the CIA has been known to label innocent political dissidents as criminal suspects. The Vault 7 revelations show just how vast the police and surveillance state has grown.


Russia has its own version of this surveillance state, making for an Orwellian global political order


Last year’s Russia Spy Files dump both disproves that WikiLeaks has ties to the Russian government, and shows the political nightmare that’s appeared throughout most of the world. This nightmare is where people go through their lives while under the watch of a tyrannical state.


One of the three branches of Russia’s surveillance infrastructure, called Traffic Data Mart, has what WikiLeaks describes as “a system that records and monitors IP traffic for all mobile devices registered with the operator.” The second Branch, says WikiLeaks, is called the Data Retention System, and it’s “a mandatory component for operators by law; it stores all communication (meta-)data locally for three years.” The third branch, called Service, is supposedly for making legal communication interceptions that are based in a court order. But, as WikiLeaks points out, Russia’s laws “make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities without court orders.”
 

This spying network, collectively called PETER-SERVICE, was designed directly in accordance to the U.S.’ surveillance system. As WikiLeaks says, a group of Russian elites were at one point secretly shown a presentation about the program which portrayed the NSA as a model. WikiLeaks states about the content of this now revealed presentation: “Drawing specifically on the NSA Prism program, the [PETER-SERVICE] presentation offers law enforcement, intelligence and other interested parties, to join an alliance in order to establish equivalent data-mining operations in Russia.”


These two surveillance states, added to the system of intensive government spying that China has imposed onto its population, make for a partial fulfillment of the global political order described in George Orwell’s 1984. In Orwell’s view, the strongest version of totalitarianism would be a situation where the world is broken up into three super-states, with all of them having the same totalitarian system while constantly being in unwinnable wars with either of the other two nations.
 

This isn’t exactly our own situation. But the similarities between Russia, China, and much of the U.S./NATO empire are eerily similar to that vision. All of these places are dominated by militarism, mass surveillance, and corporate control, with an exploited underclass struggling to free itself worldwide. This fact explains the absurdity of the West’s recent anti-Russia campaign, which tells us to see Russia as incurably hostile and even evil.


As one part of 1984 describes its fictional world’s similar situation:


The citizen of Oceania is not allowed to know anything of the tenets of the other two philosophies, but he is taught to execrate them as barbarous outrages upon morality and common sense. Actually the three philosophies are barely distinguishable, and the social systems which they support are not distinguishable at all. Everywhere there is the same pyramidal structure, the same worship of semi-divine leader, the same economy existing by and for continuous warfare.
Millions around the world are grateful to Julian Assange for helping expose this worldwide system of hypocrisy and lies. And WikiLeaks is going to keep putting out revelations about this system for the foreseeable future.

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