Questions Link Assange and Snowden: Are They What They Seem?

By Daily Bell Staff - October 04, 2016

WikiLeaks’ Assange signals release of documents before U.S. election … WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Tuesday the organization would publish around one million documents related to the U.S. election and three governments, but denied the release was aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton. He said the documents would be released before the end of the year, starting with an initial batch in the coming week. –Reuters

Julian Assange was supposed to announce news regarding Hillary Clinton that might even proceed to an indictment. But his recent video appearance ended up being more of a WikiLeaks’ promo and less of a news event.

He announced a publishing schedule for books and news items that would be released over the next month leading up to the American presidential election.

We didn’t watch the latest WikiLeaks announcement “live,” but others did including Infowar’s Alex Jones who proclaimed that Assange had “trolled” his audience and could now be seen, in a sense, as pro-Hillary.

David Seaman, another Hillary critic, released a video here following up on Assange’s non-announcement. The blurb for the video reads as follows:

Julian Assange and Wikileaks evidently just trolled the world- not a peep further about Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds at the much anticipated event. WTF did we all just watch at 3-4am US local time? Wikileaks infomerical? Sob story? Cult of personality? Whatever it was, Alex Jones was right to be angry – he was hosting live commentary of Julian Assange’s video call-in to the 10th anniversary of Wikileaks when, at a certain point, he realized he and the audience were having their time wasted. Julian Assange and his team revealed nothing new or important tonight, and I lost a night’s sleep over it …

More from Reuters:

Assange … signaled changes in the way WikiLeaks is organized and funded, saying the group would soon open itself to membership. He said the group was looking to expand its work beyond the 100 media outlets it works with.

Assange, 45, spoke via a video link at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the group’s founding. He remains in the Ecuador Embassy in London where he sought refuge in 2012 to avoid possible extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he committed rape in 2010.

Assange has reasons to promote WikiLeaks even more aggressively now, given his idea to expand via membership. But it is true as well that this switch will open Assange to further charges by critics that WikiLeaks information is subject to exaggeration. This latest video appearance has surely animated these criticisms.

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden is still in Russia and hoping to return to the US. His political enemies would be glad to have him back but intend to prosecute him for leaking information on US agents.

Snowden’s leaks have affected the world in several ways. First, his leaks ensured that people understood the illegal and extensive electronic spying that the US was embarked upon. However, since no one in the US was apparently ever disciplined or penalized for the illegal spying (at least not significantly), theresult seems to have been simply to reinforce the idea that the US is an invasive international entity that can’t be stopped.

Second, Snowden’s leaks gave rise to further agitation against the US’s domination of Internet nomenclature, the Domain Name System. Just recently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.(Icann) has been removed form US control.

The net effect of Snowden’s leaks (cynically described) has been to make people paranoid about their behavior and communications and to give the US less influence over the Internet, which in turn vitiates the impact of the First Amendment.

One can certainly argue with considerable merit that both men have been exceptionally courageous and resourceful – and have tried to contribute to the betterment of mankind as best they can. But doubts can be raised as well.

Snowden’s background includes a stint with the CIA. One of Assange’s prominent publishing affiliations was with the neo-conservative Economist magazine. Both men have been lionized in major Hollywood movies, which usually doesn’t happen unless those who own mainstream media want want to raise the profile of a given individual. Snowden’s biopic was just released, seemingly to positive reviews.

Conclusion: Both men, if released, would assume active roles as leading spokespeople for the alternative media. But as has been suggested in the past, here and elsewhere, it is certainly possible that neither Assange nor Snowden are exactly what they appear to be. The clear narrative surrounding them may be less certain than it appears at first glance.

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