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Old 07-24-2016, 07:56 PM
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Kimon Kimon is offline
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Default Is Assange just a Putinist Shill?

Wikileaks is up to its typical saboteur antics yet again. This time leading to the downfall of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, much to the delight of Bernie supporters. This leak however doesn't really reveal anything new. We all already knew that Debbie Wasserman Schultz (and the DNC) preferred Hillary over Bernie. That preference s hardly surprising. Bernie Sanders is, after all, not really a Democrat. That preference didn't however determine or tilt the outcome. The RNC didn't want Trump, but more people voted for him. Had Bernie had more support amongst Dem voters the same would have been true for him. This leak thus only really seems to serve one purpose, to intentionally make it more difficult to bring those Bernie voters into the fold, to convince them to vote for Hillary instead of Trump (or Jill Stein). So what really is Assange trying to do here? Was this leak done for the sake of transparency, or to serve Russian interests?

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”
And this is far from Assange's only link to the Russians...

There’s no doubt that WikiLeaks, which Mr. Assange founded in 2006, has been a boon for global civil liberties. The problem is that the project is inseparable from the man. Mr. Assange has made little secret about his skepticism toward Western democracy and his willingness to work with autocratic governments like Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia. His personal politics undermines WikiLeaks’ neutrality — and the noble cause for which WikiLeaks used to stand. What we need is a WikiLeaks without the founder of WikiLeaks.
Yet, even back then, observers and media partners felt that Mr. Assange had more in mind than transparency, that there was an ideology behind his idea. Over time, that ideology has become increasingly apparent, through his regular public statements and his stint as a host for a Russian state-controlled TV network.

One element of Assange-think has been clear from early on: There is no such thing as a legitimate secret. The public is entitled to share any knowledge governments hold. Only complete transparency can stop and prevent conspiracy. Therefore, editing information by the government — redacting sensitive material, for example — equals manipulating it.
If you believe it is illegitimate for a government to keep secrets, it’s a quick jump to assume that a government that holds secrets is illegitimate itself — and that a system that maintains this illegitimacy, namely democracy, isn’t half as good as most people think. In other words: Like any other system, democracy stinks.

Julian Assange uses WikiLeaks to push the wrongheaded conclusion that whatever is published on the platform has a rotten core. Yet often Mr. Assange is simply leaking for the sake of leaking, producing intelligence porn.

What scandal, for instance, lay in the contents of the former C.I.A. chief John O. Brennan’s personal email account that justified WikiLeaks’s publishing them in full? The underlying scandal, it would seem to Mr. Assange, is that these are evil people who must be exposed. Don’t trust anyone, everybody who keeps secrets is bad, regardless of the reasons they keep them or what values they stand for.

And it’s particularly bad, in Mr. Assange’s view, if those people represent Western democracy: In his simplistic reading, the West is hypocritical because it stands for civil liberties, and all secrets are antithetical to liberty. No wonder he got a show on Russian television — his viewpoint puts him nicely in line with Mr. Putin’s ideological agenda.
Should Trump be sending the thank you note to Assange, or to his handlers in Moscow?
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