Tuesday 19th of January 2021

it smells a bit like totalitarianism... and it is surveillance capitalism without borders...

Before his links to the world was cut by his Ecuadorian hosts, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave an interview on how technological advances are changing humankind. He said global surveillance will soon be totally unavoidable.

The interview was provided to RT by organizers of the World Ethical Data Forum in Barcelona. Assange, who is currently stranded in the Ecuadorean embassy in London with no outside communication except with his legal team, has a pretty grim outlook on where humanity is going. He says it will soon be impossible for any human being to not be included into global databases collected by governments and state-like entities.

This generation being born now… is the last free generation. You are born and either immediately or within say a year you are known globally. Your identity in one form or another –coming as a result of your idiotic parents plastering your name and photos all over Facebook or as a result of insurance applications or passport applications– is known to all major world powers.

“A small child now in some sense has to negotiate its relationship with all the major world powers… It puts us in a very different position. Very few technically capable people are able to live apart, to choose to live apart, to choose to go their own way,” he added. “It smells a bit like totalitarianism – in some way.”

The capacity to collect and process information about people has been growing exponentially and will continue to grow fast, he stated. With advancements in applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to big data, the next logical step is coming.

READ MORE: Ecuador pledged to not kick out Assange, but threat of US prosecution still serious – lawyer to RT

“Look at what Google and Baidu and Tencent and Amazon and Facebook are doing. They are basically open-cut harvesting the knowledge of humankind as we express it, when we communicate with each other… This classical model, which people in academia call ‘surveillance capitalism’… has changed now.

It’s a really very important and severe economic change. Which is to take the surveillance capitalism model and transform it instead into a model that does not yet have a name, an ‘AI model’. Which is to use this vast reservoir to train Artificial Intelligences of different kinds. This would replace not only intermediary sectors –most things you do on the internet is in a sense more efficient intermediation– but to take over the transport sector, or create whole new sectors.

Assange also predicted that the scale of hostile activities through cyberspace will see a breakout point as soon as AI is trained to sufficiently automate hacking attacks.

“There is no border [online]. It’s 220 milliseconds from New York to Nairobi. Why would there ever be peace in such a scenario?” he said. “[Entities online] are creating their own borders using cryptography. But the size of the attack surface for any decent-sized organization, the number of people, different types of software and hardware it has to pull inside itself means that it is very hard to establish.

I don’t think it’s really possible to come up with borders that are predictable enough and stable enough to eliminate conflict. Therefore, there will be more conflict.


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he should get medals...

Assange should get an AO, the Nobel Peace Prize and the "Légion d'Honneur", plus all other medals, prizes, honours available on the planet for defending Liberty against the goons of this planet. Instead the guy is being hounded by all the governments. Despite being cooped up in his Ecuadorian Embassy, like a prisoner, he could be the last free person on the planet... Welcome to your world, baby. Consume.

you have been cybered...

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - President Donald Trump on Thursday signed the first US national cyber strategy in fifteen years, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters.

"Today the president signed a national cyber strategy, the first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years," Bolton said in a conference call. "The strategy takes effect today."

The newly-launched US cybersecurity strategy calls for an offensive response against any nation that targets the United States, National Security Adviser John Bolton said.


"For any nation taking cyber activity against the United States, they should expect… we will respond offensively as well as defensively," Bolton said in a conference call.

The National Security Adviser stressed that the United States is not as restricted in launching offensive hacking operations as under the previous administration, explaining that the US' federal agencies would follow new security guidelines under the new cybersecurity strategy.

READ MORE: Bolton: 'To Hell With International Law!'

Bolton said Trump earlier in the day signed a new US cyber strategy that went into effect immediately.


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the lies about assange...

Craig Murray’s allegations about the extent of the selectivity and frank dishonesty underpinning the Guardian’s recent “reveal” regarding Julian Assange and his alleged (and seemingly entirely invented) bid to “escape” to Russia, should shock us all. Even those of us all too familiar with the Graun’s decline, and with self-styled journalist Luke Harding’s previous collisions with basic ethics and confused relationship with veridical reality.

For those not familiar with the story, here’s a quick recap.

On Friday September 21 the Guardian published a piece titled “Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Assange escape from UK”. It was authored by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Dan Collyns and our very own pulp plagiarist Luke Harding. Even without Murray’s subsequent revelations, there was a lot to be concerned about both in the headline and the article itself.

The headline worryingly invoked the idea both that Assange was effectively a prisoner of the UK (which the UK government has always denied), and that, as far as the Guardian was concerned, this was actually fine, and the only real problem might be Russia’s alleged plan to “help him escape.” This is worrying because it betrays the depth of estrangement from basic ideas of ethics, legality and morality that the current Russia-hysteria embodies. The headline has been composed by people who think anything Russia does and anyone Russia associates with is so automatically evil that merely invoking the name renders all ethical/legal/moral questions nul.

It has not occurred to the people who wrote this headline that Assange needing to “escape” from a country in which he has been charged with no crime beyond skipping bail (on a sexual assault charge in Sweden now dropped), is maybe an indictment of that country. To them, the mere fact “Russia” allegedly planned to help Assange in that escape means Assange is the bad guy, and they genuinely expect their readers to see it the same way. They no longer even see the need to explain what new bad thing Russia has done or why Russia should be despised, hated, distrusted, mocked. The word is enough. For them, “Russia” genuinely is a synonym for an all-consuming existential evil. And when confronted with people who don’t share this conviction they are baffled, outraged and convinced they are dealing with trolls.


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when the truth is fake...

Picture this: a story emerges about a US president getting up to no good in a Russian hotel. Then, some footage of the incident follows. It’s poor quality, shaky, pixelated.

The president declares it’s fake news and the footage itself is a hoax, made by machine learning.

Up to now, video footage (often grainy) has been the deciding point of proof that tips a story over into becoming a national or global issue.

Think of the rise of #blacklivesmatter: police brutality towards African-Americans has long been an issue, but footage from CCTV cameras, mobile phones and police dash-cams and body-cams made the issue more visceral and much harder to dismiss.

But that relies on us being able to trust the pictures we see.


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This is what Assange is warning us about. Read from top.


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If you are interested in reading the definitive book that demolishes the official lies about the attacks of September 11, 2001 – 9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth – then Amazon has a great deal for you. While they conveniently do not offer new copies of this book that was published on September 11th, having reported it “out of print” and currently “out of stock,” after never having had it in stock, they allegedly offer 3 used paperback copies from other sellers for sale prices that are quite affordable: $917.04, $1060.20, and $1,500.

If that 4 or 20 cents would bring you over budget, I would be glad to provide either amount.

Don’t these sound like great deals for a book that proves that the justification for the “war on terror” and the slaughter of millions of people is one of the biggest propaganda operations in modern history? It’s always good to know you have a friend who can conveniently provide you with access to the truth at a fair price.

I must say, however, that Amazon offers a slightly better deal for another book they also never directly sold for some odd reason – Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte – a book that exposes the CIA infiltration of the major media throughout the world. You can allegedly pick that one up through Amazon’s kind medium services for either $900 or $997.09, but that’s for a hardcover.


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the unfreedom of us...



There are a multitude of forms where unfreedom appears in the guise of its opposite: when we are deprived of universal healthcare, we are told that we are given a new freedom of choice (to choose our healthcare provider); when we no longer can rely on a long-term employment and are compelled to search for new precarious work every couple of years, we are told that we are given the opportunity to re-invent ourselves and discover unexpected creative potential that lurks in our personality; when we have to pay for the education of our children, we are told that we become "entrepreneurs of the self,"acting like a capitalist who has to choose freely how he will invest the resources he possesses (or borrowed) – into education, health, travel.

Constantly bombarded by imposed "free choices," forced to make decisions for which we are mostly not even properly qualified (or possess enough information about), we more and more experience freedom as a burden that causes unbearable anxiety.

Furthermore, most of our activities (and passivities) are now registered in some digital cloud which also permanently evaluates us, tracing not only our acts but also our emotional states; when we experience ourselves as free to the utmost (surfing the web where everything is available), we are totally "externalized" and subtly manipulated.

The digital network gives new meaning to the old slogan "personal is political." And it's not only the control of our intimate lives that is at stake: everything is today regulated by some digital oversight, from transport to health, from electricity to water. That's why the web is our most important commons today, and the struggle for its control is THE struggle today. Albeit an underreported battle.

Off the shelf

The enemy is the combination of privatized and state-controlled commons, corporations (Google, Facebook) and state security agencies (NSA). This fact alone renders insufficient the traditional liberal notion of representative power: citizens transfer part of their power to the state, but on precise terms (this power is constrained by law and limited to very precise conditions in the way it is exercised, since the people remain the ultimate source of sovereignty and can repeal power if they so decide. In short, the state with its power is the minor partner in a contract which the major partner (the people) can at any point repeal or change, basically in the same way each of us can change the supermarket where we buy our provisions.

Liberalism and its great opponent, classical Marxism, both tend to reduce the state to a secondary mechanism which obeys the needs of the reproduction of capital. So, they both thereby underestimate the active role played by state apparatuses in economic processes. Today (perhaps more than ever) one should not fetishize capitalism as the Big Bad Wolf that is controlling states: state apparatuses are active in the very heart of economic processes, doing much more than just guaranteeing legal and other (educational, ecological…) conditions of the reproduction of capital.

In many different forms, the state is more active as a direct economic agent – it helps failing banks, it supports selected industries, it orders defense and other equipment – in the US today than ever before. Around 50 percent of production is mediated by the state, while a century ago, this percentage was between five percent and 10 percent.

Old rope

One has to be more specific here: the digital network that sustains the functioning of our societies as well as their control mechanisms is the ultimate figure of the technical grid that sustains power today – and does this not confer a new power to the old Trotsky idea that the key to the State lies, not in its political and secretarial organizations, but in its technical services? Consequently, in the same way that, for Trotsky, taking control of the post, electricity, railways, etc., was the key moment of the revolutionary seizure of power, is it not that today, the "occupation" of the digital grid is absolutely crucial if we are to break the power of the state and capital?


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new editor in chief...

Julian Assange, who remains in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London fearing extradition to the US, hasn’t been allowed to communicate with anybody but his lawyers since this March. Although the whistleblower remains the official head of WikiLeaks, an Icelandic investigative journalist has taken over his job as editor-in-chief.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has appointed its former spokesman, Icelandic journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson, to replace him as editor-in-chief.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, who has been named Iceland's journalist of the year several times, has worked extensively with WikiLeaks. He took part in the Collateral Murder publishing collaboration, served as the spokesperson of the NGO from 2010 until 2016, and has overseen several legal projects for the organization since then.

In his statement, quoted by WikiLeaks, Hrafnsson condemned the silencing of Julian Assange that had facilitated his career move.

“But I welcome the responsibility to secure the continuation of the important work based on WikiLeaks ideas,” his statement reads.

Assange, whom the US wants extradited for publishing classified information about its actions during the Iraqi war, has been living as a fugitive in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. He was granted asylum there sidestep extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault and further possible persecution in the US. Although the sexual assault charges were later dropped, Assange is still unable to leave for fear of being detained by UK authorities.


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ecuadorial improvement...

The Ecuadorian government has lifted restrictions on WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange’s communications with the outside world, allowing visitors to his embassy hideout and restoring internet access it cut off in March.

It was reported on Sunday that Ecuador moved to restore Assange’s access to the Internet, cell phone communications and permitted him to receive visitors other than his legal team.

READ MORE: Assange’s internet connection cut following ‘agreement breach’ – Ecuador

WikiLeaks confirmed that Ecuador lifted the restrictions it had imposed on Assange in March. Back then, Ecuador cited a written agreement that allegedly prohibited Assange from sending messages that would interfere in the affairs of other countries. WikiLeaks denied such an agreement existed.

“It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited,” Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief said in a statement.

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the talking cat and the hacker...


The Wikileaks co-founder has been in the news again with the announcement that he's going to sue the Ecuadorian government in whose London Embassy he's been taking refuge in these last seven years.

Julian Assange claims his ‘fundamental rights and freedoms’ have been infringed by the new rules of conduct that the Ecuadorians are insisting upon. Among them, the Australian is being told to take better care of his pet cat, or risk having it taken away to a shelter. Assange's's lawyer says 'mention of the cat is degrading'.

Critics of Julian have had plenty of fun with the pussy story. But it's another tale involving a fantastic feline which the Assange case reminds me of. One written by the wildly funny, but remarkably sagacious Edwardian comic writer H.H. Munro aka Saki.

Saki poked fun at the hypocrisies of the age he was living in, and exposed some pretty brutal home truths (you can read my appreciation of him for the Telegraph here.

READ MORE: Assange Sues Ecuador: 'This is a Very High-Risk Strategy' – NGO Head

'Tobermory' was published in 1911, three years before the First World War, but its message remains highly relevant today. I wonder if Julian Assange has ever read it? 

The scene is a house-party hosted by one Lady Blemley. One of her guests is Mr Cornelius Appin. He comes with the reputation of being 'clever', but it's not until tea-time that Lady Blemley discovers in which direction her guest's cleverness lies. Mr Appin has been spending seventeen years trying to teach animals to talk. And he has finally succeeded with the dear old house cat Tobermory! The cat in question walks in and when asked if he'd like some milk replies: 'I don't mind if I do'. 

It's all very exciting for the guests, until Tobermory is asked by Mavis Pellington what he thinks of 'human intelligence'.  The talking cat replies: 'You put me in an embarrassing position. When your inclusion in this house-party was suggested Sir Wilfrid protested that you were the most brainless woman of his acquaintance, and that there was a wide distinction between hospitality and the care of the feeble-minded. Lady Blemley replied that your lack of brain-power was the precise quality which had earned you your invitation, as you were the only person she could think of who might be idiotic enough to buy their old car'.


Saki then records: 'Lady Blemley's protestations would have had a greater effect if she had not casually suggested to Mavis only that morning that the car in question would be just the thing for her at her Devonshire home.' 

READ MORE: Assange to Sue Ecuador Over Violating His Rights, 'Gagging' Him

Tobermory goes on to reveal some more embarrassing secrets of the guests which they'd rather have kept hidden. 'The panic which ensued was not confined to the Major', says Saki.

There was a fear that Tobermory could impart his 'dangerous gifts' to other cats, including his 'intimate friend', the stable puss.  Lady Blemley and her guests agree that dear old Tobermory must be destroyed as quickly as possible. Animal rights simply don't come in to it. As for Cornelius Appin, Saki reports that it was probable 'that a strong minority vote would have been in favour of including him in the strychnine diet'.

There was much nervousness as Tobermory disappears: Clovis Sangrail, a mischievous young man, suggests he's been talking to the newspapers- but there's huge relief when his corpse is found in the shrubbery. 


Mr Appin's demise is also not far off. A few weeks later, he's reported as being killed by an elephant, 'which had shown no previous signs of irritability', in the Dresden Zoological Garden. 'If he was trying German irregular verbs on the poor beast he deserved all he got', remarks Clovis sardonically.

Which brings us back to Mr Assange. You can compare him to Cornelius Appin, or the cat Tobermory, in this parable. When Julian and Wikileaks first burst on to the scene just over a decade ago, western liberals- and quite a few Establishment figures- loved them. Wikileaks opened up dictatorial governments! They were helping the 'Arab Spring' with their disclosures! Assange won an award from The Economist and the Index on Censorship. Some critics muttered that the Australian computer programme/hacker was CIA. It was all a 'western plot'.  

READ MORE: Assange's Limited Wi-Fi Access Shouldn't be Mistaken as a Victory — Associate

But when it became apparent Wikileaks were about opening ALL governments, including western ones, the panic set in, as at Lady Blemley's house-party. 

Assange's organisation released over 400,000 classified documents on the Iraq War. 

They released over 75,000 secret US military reports covering the war on Afghanistan. They published a 2006 cable from the US Ambassador to Syria which discussed how the US could 'exploit' ethnic divisions in the country. They also revealed how desperate UK politicians were to curry favour with the US- and the deals made between the UK and Saudi Arabia to get both countries on the UN Human Rights Council.


We weren't meant to see any of this. In the same way Mavis Pennington wasn't meant to know that her hosts regarded her as mentally deficient. The response was the same as in Saki’s story. There were calls for Assange- like Tobermory- to be destroyed. Human rights simply didn't come into it.

"Julian Assange is engaged in terrorism. He should be treated as an enemy combatant," declared Republican Newt Gingrich. "Illegally shoot the son of a xxxxx.. We've got special ops. Dead men can't leak stuff,"  said the Democratic Party pundit Bob Beckel, — and all the guests on the Fox News programme agreed with him.

The thing is everyone loves a whistleblower or a leaker. If it's someone else- who you don't like- who they're whistleblowing or leaking against. But when it's your secrets that are being exposed it's a different thing altogether. If Julian Assange had been Russian or Chinese, leaking classified Russian or Chinese state documents- and been holed up for seven years in a foreign Embassy in Moscow or Beijing, he'd be hailed as a Courageous Fighter for Truth and Freedom. Instead he's a pariah. Accused of running away from rape allegations. Of being a 'terrorist' and a ‘Russian agent’. The people who in 2008 were mad about the boy, are, ten years on, mad AT the boy. But the difficulty Julian has is this: even those criticising his ongoing persecution would have second thoughts about helping him out, as he and Wikileaks, are likely to leak their secrets too.


If you knew a cat like Tobermory you'd find it frightfully amusing as he told you  what that sour-faced couple you don't like at Number 72 had been up to. But would you like him to tell others about what you said about the vicar, your boss and your in-laws?

'Opening governments' is wonderful, so long as it's not yours that's being opened. Talking cats are great too, so long as they don't talk about you.  

This is the basic problem that Julian Assange and indeed all truth-disclosers have. 

Saki in his great wisdom saw it all, one hundred and seven years ago.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66 and @MightyMagyar


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"in need of a dinkum strine translator"...


While Australian English is the most spoken dialect Down Under, it is by no means a separate language. The Australian dialect originated in the late 18th and early 19th century from convicts who were the first British settlers to arrive in New South Wales.

Admittedly, the Australian vernacular is quite distinct, has rich slang, and peculiar terms. Differences in pronunciation and vocabulary can at times leave an average British or American English speaker perplexed

Assange's accent, however, is far from the thickest around.

Last week, he filed a lawsuit against Ecuador's Foreign Minister Jose Valencia, accusing the government of violating his "fundamental rights and freedoms" with a set of new rules. The government files released by an Ecuadorian opposition lawmaker last Tuesday outline the efforts of the Latin American country to prevent Assange from engaging in activities that "could be considered political or interfering with the internal affairs of other states."

They also limit Assange's visitation rights, force him to pay his own medical bills, and even threaten to take away his cat if he doesn't look after it properly.

Assange's lawyer, Baltasar Garzon, has accused Valencia of "isolating and muzzling" the fugitive, himself an Ecuadorian citizen since December 2017. Garzon said Assange still has no access to the internet, despite Ecuador's earlier announcement it would restore communications.

Valencia insists that the government's treatment of Assange, including the new restrictions, are "in line with international standards and Ecuadorian law."

Assange's fate has become uncertain since current Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno assumed power in May 2018, replacing his estranged mentor Rafael Correa, who granted Assange asylum back in 2012.

Moreno, who has called Assange "more than a nuisance" and an "inherited problem," had reportedly discussed with the British authorities a potential way out of the situation by which Assange can vacate the premises, without being extradited to the US where he might face treason charges. Correa, meanwhile, believes Ecuador is poised to turn Assange over to the US.


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lookee from top.

service to journalism...


From Philip Roddis

In a recent post I referred to the vile treatment of a man who brought us irrefutible evidence, and in screeds, that the widely cherished notion of the West being democratic is a fat lie. True, some of us knew this already, but Wikileaks shocked even the most hardened critics of liberal democracy by the extent and unprecedentedly fine granularity of that evidence.

In view of its shabby betrayal of Julian Assange – and the fact its readership demography maps closely onto that of my own site – I, pace Media Lens, singled out the Guardian for particularly scathing treatment. Two examples were columnists Deborah Orr and Suzanne Moore. It should surprise no one that both are women. Though Assange’s character assassination has involved many a male journalist – not least Russia Cold Warrior Luke Harding, whose uniquely personal betrayal of trust marked an all time journalistic low [1] – shills and hacks who also happened to be female had a spearhead role to play, given the precise form the assassination assumed.

Here’s what computer nerds call a boolean question – Julian Assange is or was wanted on charges of rape in Sweden: true or false?

Fret not (too much) if you wrongly answered “true”. So did Orr, though unlike you she said it to tens of thousands of Guardianista who, whether or not they know it – and usually they don’t – form hazy but comprehensive worldviews on the back of such stuff. The ease, in our post Jimmy Savile, #MeToo world of smearing by allegations of sexual misconduct should frighten us all – and I speak as a childrens’ home survivor – though many are so caught up in highly manipulated incandescence that this aspect eludes them.

I’m kind enough to deem Orr, Moore and their ilk useful idiots – with Moore, of “massive turd” fame, every bit as coarse on Jeremy Corbyn (and a hypocrite with it) – but can’t bring myself to extend such merciful judgment to Harding.

Anyways…Sweden’s chief prosecutor – also a woman – said Assange had no case to answer, yet he remains an effective prisoner, under arbitrary detention as the UN calls it, in London’s Ecuadoran Embassy. His sole offence is of skipping bail in circumstances where, with Obama breaking all records for locking up whistle blowers and throwing away the key, the alternative was a real threat of extradition to the United and Most Vindictive States of America. So let’s get ourselves up to speed on why – as if incurring Washington displeasure weren’t cause enough – Assange has so upset the British state.

The talking points below are a shameless steal, in shortened form, of a recommended Mark Curtis piece in ICH. For the full deal, go there. This is for consumption over coffee, afore you dash out to work.

Julian Assange Should be Thanked – not Smeared – for Wikileaks’ Service to Journalism

Twelve years ago this month, WikiLeaks began publishing government secrets that the world public might otherwise never have known. What it has revealed about state duplicity, human rights abuses and corruption goes beyond anything published in the world’s “mainstream” media.

For the rest, other than where I quote Curtis verbatim, I’ll simply summarise those aspects especially relevant to Britain. These include:

An “extraordinary” cable from 2013> on how Britain conducted secret vote-trading deals with Saudi Arabia to get both states elected to the UN Human Rights Council…

A 2008 cable showing shadow foreign secretary William Hague telling the US embassy that Britain “want[s] a pro-American regime. We need it. The world needs it.”…

A 2009 cable showing that, with the Chilcot inquiry on Iraq beginning, Whitehall assured Washington of “measures in place to protect your interests”. (Chilcott refused permission to publish letters between Bush and Blair, written on the eve of war.)

In 2009 PM Gordon Brown wanted Trident subs down from four to three, a policy opposed in Washington. Julian Miller from the Cabinet Office privately assured US officials that his government “would consult with the US regarding future developments concerning the Trident deterrent to assure…‘no daylight’ between the US and UK”…

“The Wikileaks cables are rife with examples of British government duplicity of the kind I’ve extensively come across in my own research on UK declassified files. In advance of the British-NATO bombing campaign in Libya in March 2011, for example, the British government pretended that its aim was to prevent Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on civilians and not to overthrow him”.

Wikileaks files released in 2016 – three weeks before military operations to overthrow Gaddafi, and before the UN resolution on protecting civilians – show William Burns, US deputy secretary of state, discussing a “post-Qaddafi” Libya with William Hague…

Remember Diego Garcia? Its population kicked out by Britain to make way for one of America’s hundreds of “defensive” military bases from which to “intervene” in the middle east? A 2009 cable shows Whitehall promoting the establishment of a “marine reserve” around the islands, explicitly to deter the diaspora from claiming rights of re-entry. One senior FCO official is shown as telling Washington that “former inhabitants would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pursue their claim for resettlement on the islands if the entire Chagos Archipelago were a marine reserve”…

Another 2009 cable shows Foreign Secretary David Miliband helping the US get round a ban on cluster bombs, though Britain had signed up to their outlawing in 2008. How? By approving a loophole to avert a debate in parliament that could have “complicated or muddied” the issue…

Of course, the USA is not known for reciprocal loyalty – ask Mrs Saddam. Cables show the US spying not just on Merkel’s Germany – and every other of America’s ‘allies’ – but on Britain too.

After Ivan Lewis became junior foreign minister under Brown, US officials were briefing HRC’s State Department on rumours that he was depressed, a bully, and on “the state of his marriage”.

Washington was also spying on the UK mission to the UN.

And, yes, we Her Majesty’s subjects are also spied on.

One classified GCHQ document from 2012 shows its surveillance system collecting the IP addresses of Wikileaks visitors, as well as search terms used to reach the site.

Not that any of this should cause us to think for a moment that our masters have the slightest interest in Assange, other than to show the world what happens to bail-jumpers, and that in sovereign Blighty the rule of law is applied without fear or favour. Still less that the resources and desire to protect their interests of America’s deep state – and that of vassals – would ever extend to framing an innocent man.


  • [1] – I refer among other things to Harding’s revealing the password, given to him in confidence, to the Wiki files.

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