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Blogger claims latest reports of Assange’s activity in London embassy are a ‘smear’

By Caitlin Johnstone

CNN has published an unbelievably brazen and dishonest smear piece on Julian Assange, easily the most egregious article of its kind since the notoriously bogus Assange-Manafort report by The Guardian last year. It contains none of the “exclusive” documents which it claims substantiate its smears, relying solely on vague unsubstantiated assertions and easily debunked lies to paint the WikiLeaks founder in a negative light.

And let’s be clear right off the bat, it is most certainly a smear piece. The article, titled “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling”, admits that it exists for the sole purpose of tarnishing Assange’s reputation when it reports, with no evidence whatsoever, that while at the Ecuadorian embassy Assange once “smeared feces on the walls out of anger.” Not “reportedly”. Not “the Ecuadorian government claims.” CNN reported it as a fact, as an event that is known to have happened. This is journalistic malpractice, and it isn’t an accident.

Assange on the embassy balcony in 2017.

Whenever you see any “news” report citing this claim, you are witnessing a standard smear tactic of the plutocratic media. Whenever you see them citing this claim as a concrete, verified fact, you are witnessing an especially aggressive and deliberate psyop. The Ecuadorian embassy was easily the most-surveilled building in the world during Assange’s stay there, and the Ecuadorian government has leaked photos of Assange’s living quarters to the media in an attempt to paint him as a messy houseguest in need of eviction, so if the “feces on the walls” event had ever transpired you would have seen photos of it, whether you wanted to or not. It never happened.

“New documents obtained exclusively by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” the article begins.

In its very first sentence the article invalidates all the claims which follow it, because its use of the word “potentially” means that none of the documents CNN purports to have contain any actual evidence. It’s worth noting at this time that there is to this day not one shred of publicly available evidence that any of the Democratic Party emails published by WikiLeaks in 2016 were in fact “hacked” at all, and could very well have been the result of a leak as asserted by former British ambassador Craig Murray, who claims to have inside knowledge on the matter.

The glaring plot holes in the Mueller report’s assertions about Russia being the source of the 2016 WikiLeaks drops have already been ripped wide open by journalist Aaron Maté’s meticulous analysis of the report’s timeline in an article accurately titled “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims“. The CNN smear piece, which claims to “add a new dimension to the Mueller report”, is entirely relying on this porous timeline for its reporting. Plot holes include the fact that Mueller claims (and CNN repeats) that the Russians transferred the emails to WikiLeaks on or around July 14, which Maté notes is “a full month after Assange publicly announced that he had them.”

CNN kicks off its smear piece with the inflammatory claim that “Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments”, mentioning both “Russians” and “hackers” in the same breath in an attempt to give the impression that the two are related. It’s not until paragraph 43 and 46, long after most people have stopped reading, that the articles authors bother to inform their readers that the “hackers” in question are German and have no established connection to the Russian government whatsoever. The “Russians” counted among Assange’s scores of visitors consist of RT staff, who have always consistently reported on WikiLeaks, and a “Russian national” about whom almost nothing is known.

The article falsely labels Assange a “hacker”, a defamatory claim the mass media circulates whenever it wants to tarnish Assange’s reputation. Assange, of course, is a publisher. WikiLeaks publishes materials which are given to it, it doesn’t “hack” them.

CNN also repeats the long-debunked lie that RT “published articles detailing the new batches of emails before WikiLeaks officially released them” during the 2016 election, citing no evidence because this never happened. RT reported on a WikiLeaks release in October 2016 after it had been published by WikiLeaks but before the WikiLeaks Twitter account had tweeted about it, and western propagandists willfully conflated WikiLeaks publications with tweets from the WikiLeaks Twitter account in order to make it look like RT had insider knowledge about the publications.

In reality, RT was simply watching the WikiLeaks site closely for new releases in order to get an early scoop before other outlets, because Podesta email leaks had been dropping regularly.

“That is a LIE that’s been debunked over and over,” tweeted RT America editor Nebojša Malić‏ in response to the smear. “We published ONE article about the emails that were RELEASED already, just not TWEETED about yet, because WikiLeaks had been releasing them like clockwork and we paid attention. It’s called journalism, they should try it sometime.”

“Yes that is fake news,” tweeted RT’s Ivor Crotty. “I was the editor on the team that monitored wikileaks and by Podesta 6 we knew they tweeted at 9am EST each day (1pm Dublin) – so we checked the database by reverse searching and discovered a new dump, tweeted about it, and the conspiracy theorists jumped.”

“RT already addressed this in 2016, convincingly if you read the sequence of events they lay out: the Podesta emails appeared on the WikiLeaks website before WikiLeaks sent a tweet about it,” Maté tweeted at CNN’s Marshall Cohen. “Ignoring that allows for the conspiracy theory you propose. It’s ridiculous to suggest that RT-Wikileaks ‘were coordinating behind the scenes’ based on the fact that RT tweeted about the Podesta emails AFTER they appeared on WL’s site, but BEFORE WL tweeted about them. You’re implicating RT in a conspiracy… for doing journalism.”

It’s not possible to research the “RT had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks drops” conspiracy theory without running across articles which debunked it at the time, so the article’s authors were likely either knowingly lying or taking dictation from someone who was.

“Spanish newspaper El Pais on July 9: ‘Spanish security company spied on Julian Assange’s meetings with lawyers‘. Add little security state propaganda and 6 days later you get from CNN: ‘How Julian Assange turned an embassy into command post for election meddling’,” noted Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola in response to the CNN smear, a reminder of how a little narrative tweaking can turn a story on its head in support of the powerful.

This would be the same CNN who told its viewers that it’s against the law to read WikiLeaks, with Democratic Party prince Chris Cuomo lying “Remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents; it’s different for the media, so everything you learn about this you’re learning from us.” The same CNN which falsely reported that Assange is a pedophile not once, but twice. The same CNN which has been caught blatantly lying in its Russiagate coverage, which has had to fire journalists for misreporting Russiagate in a media environment where that almost never happens with Russia stories, which has deleted evidence of its journalistic malpractice regarding Russiagate from the internet without retraction or apology.

So this latest attempt to tarnish Julian Assange’s reputation from CNN is not surprising. Nor is it surprising that the article contains exactly zero of the “exclusive documents” which it says validate its claims and insinuations. Nor is it surprising that CNN is using invisible evidence which almost certainly came into its hands through a government agency to give weight to its smear. But the sheer volume of disinformation and deceit they were able to pack into one single article this time around was just jaw-dropping. Even for CNN.

Credit: Caitlin Johnstone Blog,

28 thoughts on “Blogger claims latest reports of Assange’s activity in London embassy are a ‘smear’

  1. I assume that posting this is chl’s feebIe idea of being “fair and balanced” even after Presidente Correa verified most of the facts in the original article posted earlier this week. I repost my comment to the original.

    This is a joke, right? Granted, the CNN story is sloppy –and I’m no fan of CNN, Fox, MSNBC or any of the rest — but to counter it with information from RT is ludicrous. Notice that Caitlin doesn’t mention that RT is the acronym for Russia Today, a Kremlin-bankrolled propaganda machine. Of course, they’re going to deny illegal Russian involvement in anything. I’m especially amused by Ms. Johnstone’s “feces-on-the-wall” obsession. Surely she’s aware that two former embassy employees gave interviews with British newspapers about their experiences with Assange, including a vivid scatological description of the clean-up duty.

    1. When you can’t refute the message, attack the messenger, right?

      Have you read Johnstone’s Debunking the Assange Smears [ ]?

      Surely you’re aware that Assange’s every move and utterance was recorded in high-def 24/7/365 in every corner of the embassy. So if the “feces on the wall” story were true why haven’t we seen one iota of visual evidence of it?

    2. Two people appointed by Moreno said it so you believed it.

      May I interest you in a bridge?

  2. Why all this rubbish about fake news and reputation smearing. Assange is going to be prosecuted for hacking national security files once he gets extradited to the US. (and you can bet the ranch he’ll make it to the US)

  3. If this report from CNN is all fake news as this blogger pretends can you imagine how many lies CNN has been telling about President Trump

    1. Caitlin Johnstone is well known for her brazen criticism of the western media machine. She, unlike CNN, is dedicated to reality, minus the politics.

      1. Reality. She is a left wing lunatic and very biased one at that. Anyone can be brazen and critical but does she have any credibility NOPE. She is so full of political bias it is absurd

        1. Every one of us is full of political bias, and I have a problem with headlining one’s own views as “Reality” – I read all you said but there is nothing but footstamping.

          1. Every one of us? Stepping lightly and carrying a big…wayward (less traveled by) son perambulation is out there, too. Some who’ve been to, thru, Kansas know that. & got the hell outta’ there. But lots o’ Dots can’t wait to click back…not that any of ‘em ever actually left. ☻


          2. Lucy, You are speaking to a VERY narrow experience. Most people in the world are not trained to labels and stereotypes..which merely divide people without creating dialogue. In my life I have voted for 5 different national parties and another 3 provincial ones. Yet I have seen Americans who have voted for only one party all their lives!!!
            And in any event, parties mean nothing. How they govern means everything. US policy is exclusively crafted by US billionaires, not voters. You can change parties, but people can’t change pollcies the two parties have been given to follow.

            This is stark contrast to China’s capitalism where billionaires do NOT make policies (unless they want to disappear in the night). There is only one party, but it has changed poiicy many times in the most striking fashion, one of the most potent reasons for their economic miracle.

  4. This author is so full of it. She has all the signs of a wacko flake. Unreal that anyone would give her any credibility. She just a blogger with an extreme left wing attitude with bitterness towards the US. She always goes on and on about fairness and never mentions any of the atrocities from other countries like China and Russia and only focus on the US. That extreme bias is unbelievable and frankly her propaganda is not worth my time. Im not interested in lunatics

      1. So true. When the reader looks at this without the political lens (which is what we ALL need to do), the message means simply: the media is making assertions and accusations without hard evidence.

    1. This author is so full of it. She has all the signs of a wacko flake. Unreal that anyone would give her any credibility. She just a blogger with an extreme left wing attitude with bitterness towards the US.

      The same vitriolic accusations were leveled against Ellsberg, Snowden, Assange, Kiriakou, Binney, Drake, Kwiatkowski, Edmunds, Manning, Winner and so many other whistleblowers and truthtellers. Your reason for objecting to them is not that they’re “wacko flakes.” It’s that you just can’t believe the narrative that you’ve been swallowing for so long is pure propaganda and apparently will say anything to try to discredit their disclosures that expose the ugly side of US imperialism.

      Do you ever offer any substantive counter-arguments to support your position or is slinging nonsensical hoo-hah the best you can do?

  5. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Assange is controversial in every direction, but it was he who protected Snowden, who told us something we do really have to know, namely that our government spies on us. And it does appear they are more interested in that task than others. And the fact they are saving us from other things does not justify them doing as they please. Committees of Public Safety are historically the world’s worst offenders against human rights.

  6. I too thank you for taking the time to express an alternate view. It can be rather disheartening to voice a different perspective and then be attacked because you disagree with the ‘mass scream’ media propaganda. Reading Orwell’s 1984 provides a good description of what is happening to anyone who wishes to point out the accepted lie.
    As Mark Twain pointed out “It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they have been fooled.”

  7. Her story reflects all the news sources from London…but who cares? Of course, as one can see from the comments, it is absolutely not the news that Americans in Cuenca want…and what you guys want to hear, you get to hear or you get angry and change channels.

    That being said, there may be something changing at CNN. Yes, they do make a show of “presenting both sides” (FOX would never bother with such niceities) …though what truth has to do with “sides” is beyond me.) And when American media attempt to present sides, nothing really changes as there is little accuracy in either version. They are merely pandering to a different market…its still inaccurate and it is still pandering, not news as other countries know it. Two days ago, CNN presented a panel of eight “RANDOM REPUBLICAN WOMEN”. In fact, it turned out that these women were the committee of Trumpettes of America 2019 Palm Beach Team..which was not mentioned by the CNN reporter or A. Cooper.

    How very Foxy of them! (giggle)

    1. US television news hasn’t been news for decades. Rather it is an unholy mix of 2 parts infotainment, 2 parts propaganda and 3 parts drug commercials. Anyone watching it for anything other than drug disclaimers is fooling themselves.

      1. So true, Fed. And it is SO bizarre to watch or read. Opinions crowd out any fact. I don’t want the opinions of paid performers. With facts, I can work out my own opinions. With facts, the correct notions are easy. This stuff only gets tough when everyone is lying at you.

        How do you guys stand it? What happened to the types like Cronkite and Edward R.? How far news has fallen!!! When did Americans fall in love of bias rather than truth? Look at the comments here..they could flummox King Solomon.

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