FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The WikiLeaks Case Against the United States

by BINOY KAMPMARK

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who is also running as Senate candidate for the Australian elections this coming weekend, has shown himself to be relentless in the face of the information imperium. Seeing that it was about time he turn the tables on the intelligence services that had been monitoring him, an affidavit claiming theft of WikiLeaks property was bound to appear.

Assange is pressing the very Swedish authorities who have proven reluctant in assuaging him that an interview is far better than an extradition. The 186-page document urges a criminal investigation into a series of alleged abuses stretching years. It is a dossier of resistance, pickled in the savoury substance of defiance. This is Assange to a tee, pointing the finger at the beasts in charge. “I am informed by my legal advisers that this formal document may trigger an investigation and that independent judicial bodies may seek explanations of the responsible authorities as a result.”

The document is littered with nuggets about intelligence practices, most of them troubling. Germany and Sweden feature prominently, as they provided avenues for surveillance of WikiLeaks practices. Specifically, physical surveillance of Assange by U.S. military intelligence is said to have taken place at a Berlin conference in December 2009.

Had U.S. surveillance of Assange in Germany been unlawful, it would follow that material obtained and used in the Manning trial would have to be excluded, given the illegal means of obtaining it. This would certainly be vital in the context of any appeal.

Sweden comes across particularly badly as a haven for intelligence operations by other states. “It is quite common for foreign powers to conduct prohibited intelligence activities in Sweden and that the activities are associated with secret or conspiratorial methods that make them difficult to detect and counteract.” The statement is taken from the English summary of the Inquiry report dealing with reforming Sweden’s Espionage Act submitted to the Minister of Justice in February this year.

Of particular importance here is the suspected seizure of a suitcase on route between Stockholm and Berlin, resulting in the loss of equipment and data connected with WikiLeaks activities. “None of the entities involved, including the Swedish police, the airline SAS, the airports Arlanda and Tegel and related handling companies GlobeGround and Acciona, have offered an explanation, and in one case refused to communicate at all.” That seizure of disappearance took place, believes Assange, as part of the U.S. investigation of WikiLeaks, or possibly private intelligence firms.

According to Assange, these practices constitute a “pattern of unlawful evidence-gathering or intelligence-gathering operations by U.S. agencies in relation to myself, my staff and associated individuals in European countries and the U.S. at least since 2009.” The revelations of the affidavit are such that they might spur some countries to consider how American agencies were operating with impunity on the sovereign soil of other states. The more cynical might assume that they were perfectly complicit. The empire’s persuasiveness can be overwhelming, notably when it comes to such agencies as the Swedish SAPO.

The reportage on this, as with so much on Assange, is variable in quality, let alone accuracy. Hacks of the Murdoch empire deride and purposely misunderstand, either through design or planned idiocy. Others find mirth in the fact that one of the world’s most renowned dissidents is complaining about misplaced or stolen luggage. “Assange complains over lost luggage” is the mocking, headline response, ignoring what exactly that luggage might be.

In an age where public reason has shrunk, be it through the compression of time, the invidious sound byte, and the emergence of monochrome government, such attitudes are almost venal. What the affidavit does is bolster the claims that are already of public record – the U.S. investigation into Assange and WikiLeaks being public knowledge since it began in 2010.

The information hoarders, officials keen to keep the dossiers packed and stacked, are concerned that the game may be up. Assange is assuring them that it may well be, and will be making further submissions in Germany and Australia. May the judges and the authorities listen with concerned ears.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently running with Julian Assange for the WikiLeaks Party in Victoria. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 23, 2017
Chip Gibbons
Crusader-in-Chief: the Strange Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Michael J. Sainato
Cybersecurity Firm That Attributed DNC Hacks to Russia May Have Fabricated Russia Hacking in Ukraine
Chuck Collins
Underwater Nation: As the Rich Thrive, the Rest of Us Sink
CJ Hopkins
The United States of Cognitive Dissonance
Howard Lisnoff
BDS, Women’s Rights, Human Rights and the Failings of Security States
Mike Whitney
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate
John Wight
Martin McGuinness: Man of War who Fought for Peace in Ireland
Linn Washington Jr.
Ryancare Wreckage
Eileen Appelbaum
What We Learned From Just Two Pages of Trump’s Tax Returns
Mark Weisbrot
Ecuador’s Elections: Why National Sovereignty Matters
Thomas Knapp
It’s Time to End America’s Longest War
Chris Zinda
Aggregate Journalism at Salon
David Welsh
Bay Area Rallies Against Trump’s Muslim Ban II
March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail