FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The WikiLeaks Case Against the United States

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

More articles by:

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

June 25, 2018
Daniel Falcone
A Reporter’s Reporter: a Conversation With Seymour Hersh
Gerald Sussman
America’s Cold War “Tugboat”
Jonathan Cook
The Defiance that Launched Gaza’s Flaming Kites Cannot be Extinguished
P. Sainath
A Long March of the Dispossessed to Delhi 
Sheldon Richman
What Does Trump Have Against Children?
Lance Olsen
Caught in a Trap of Our Own Making: Climate Change, Blame, and Denial
Seth Sandronsky
A Safe Black Space
Kary Love
Crying Children and Due Process of Law
Gary Leupp
Why It Just Makes Sense for the U.S. to Withdraw from the UNHRC
John Laforge
Kings Bay Plowshares Action Names the Trident with Blood
Mel Gurtov
After Singapore, Is Iran the Next US Target?
Kent D. Shifferd
A Different Perspective on Peace
Uri Avnery
Two Souls
Laura Flanders
National Suicide Point?
Ludwig Watzal
The Death of Felicia Langer
Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail