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Assange/WikiLeaks: Face Value
The one thing you may never take it at.
So Daniel Schmitt is to quit WikiLeaks. Not that he's already quit - but that he 'plans' to. This is denied by WikiLeaks who claim he's already been suspended.
Whatever. Der Spiegel promise more news tomorrow.
As pointed out in this article, there are a number of reasons to raise the eyebrows at such a story - particularly when it hits the mainstream media.
As lyn_d75 pointed out almost immediately on Twitter, 'the timing is interesting'.
Surely it is.
As Peter Ludlow commented the other day when hunting down the source of an earlier smear on WikiLeaks (and after 'speaking' to the rather mysterious Urizenus Sklar - one of his own pseudonyms):
Urizenus: Lud, what is the first thing I taught you when you came to work for the Herald?
Ludlow: In the hall of mirrors that is the Interwebs, we may never know the truth.
Urizenus: And what is the first question I asked you?
Ludlow: How big is your game?
Urizenus: Luddie, the game just got bigger.
One thing one must never ever do in situations like this is take things at face value. About all one can realistically do is ask questions.
The aforementioned article from Rixstep asks a lot of questions. But there is more - a sort of 'corollary' to the 'Urizenus postulate'.
Not everyone in a conspiracy has to know there's a conspiracy. Only one person need know; the rest can just as well (even better) know nothing at all. A spook's best assets are the assets that don't even know they're assets. Only one person in a conspiracy need know the truth; the others will most likely never know it.
The Pentagon currently have a task force of 100+ round the clock agents working in a suburb of Washington tasked with a single goal: neutralise WikiLeaks.
[That they're trying to keep the truth from the public - and that they fit snugly into Julian Assange's definitions of the institution and corruption within the institution - is true. But it's not particularly relevant to the issue at hand.]
These 100+ souls aren't sitting in an empty room with a coffee thermos, scratching their heads, trying to come up with something. Think a Chris Cooper or a Joan Allen in the Bourne movies. They have unparalleled surveillance equipment at their disposal; they have the power of ECHELON as but one example. They intercept all types of communication and bring their monstrous mainframes to bear on the digital data they collect.
They have considerable networks of their own spies in most countries who are working out of supposedly benign embassies and on the streets as ordinary citizens; they also have considerable contacts with their counterparts in other intelligence organisations.
The one person directly involved in the campaign against Julian Assange - if there is an orchestrated campaign and if there are no further assets - need not even know of the connection to the Pentagon or the motives behind the operation. The 'asset' might think the connection is only to the Swedish security police and for reasons completely different. It's all part of the hall of mirrors.
The Swedes have held Julian Assange up for a month. Perhaps that's all they can do. The case against him seems to boil down to use of condoms. After duly blasting the news around the world, they all but dismissed the case before resurrecting it again, this time with more serious charges. But we seem to still be talking about rubbers.
The Swedish national elections are over, it's been weeks since the Swedes have uttered a word, and Julian Assange is scheduled to speak in the UK on Thursday. Perhaps - just perhaps - the CIA and the Swedes know they've already done all they can do in Stockholm.
They could push the case forward. But then Julian Assange - in the worst case scenario - would be sent up the river for a controversy in the use of prophylactics. And that would (if anything) only make Sweden look stupid: their crazy 'collective feminist' movement would be exposed, the country would suffer universal bad PR, and Julian Assange would get a holiday in one of those five star hotels otherwise known as 'prisons'.
All the while the case would work its way upwards through the appeals court, the supreme court, the government court, and finally to the European Court of Human Rights. Lots of bad PR for a country with the proverbial thumb stuck in the proverbial pie.
Or they could just let the whole thing fade away. And then when enough time had passed, let the news of their dropping the matter get hidden in a half inch slot on page 101 of a 100-page tabloid.
But those boys in Washington? Those 100+ with all those gadgets and contacts around the world? What have they been doing for the past month? Gone on an extended coffee break?
The strategy for neutralising WikiLeaks - and we know this because one good soul within their organisation already leaked their plan - is to shift the WikiLeaks 'centre of gravity' - by which is meant undermine the confidence whistleblowers have that they won't be exposed.
The WikiLeaks digital system - probably the result of a lot of research and hacking by lots of people, not the least of which is Julian Assange himself - can virtually guarantee anonymity if it's used correctly. Yet perception is everything. And not every whistleblower understands that digital mumbo-jumbo.
Not long ago a Swedish 'expert' talked about WikiLeaks to a Swedish newspaper. The suggestion was that WikiLeaks did not enjoy source protection. Which is beyond the point in most cases as the system, using Tor and a flood of thousands of phony transmissions, is designed so they never know who the sources are anyway - they can't even trace the IPs.
But perception is everything. And the WikiLeaks Twitter feed immediately dismissed the claim. Again: perception is everything. And so it was announced Julian Assange himself would be coming to Stockholm to apply for source protection. And all the fun stuff began.
Those 100+ in Washington have, through their own efforts or through sheer luck, kept Assange and WikiLeaks tied up for a month. Now the news hits that a higher-up in the organisation is quitting because he can't get along with Julian Assange.
Perhaps this is merely 'phase two' in a makeshift plan by those 100+. They certainly have more 'phases' ready up their sleeves - conceivably as many as 638.
In the hall of mirrors that is the Interwebs, we may never know the truth.
- Peter Ludlow
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