Alex Constantine - April 12, 2010
WASHINGTON (April 7) -- Little is known about the people behind WikiLeaks, the mysterious group that this week released a decrypted classified military video showing the 2007 death of two Iraqi Reuters employees during a U.S. military air strike in Baghdad. But its journalistic coup has drawn more attention -- including profiles in The New York Times and other media outlets -- than ever to the organization, which was launched in December 2006 promising anonymity to leakers.
WikiLeaks' most public face is that of its lanky, white-haired editor, Julian Assange, who seems to cultivate the image of a mysterious nomad. A 2008 article in the Sydney Morning Herald described Assange as an Australian currently living in East Africa. "His parents ran a touring theatre company and Assange claims he attended 37 schools and six universities in Australia alone," the paper reported, citing an e-mail interview with Assange.
But Assange was fuzzy on many details, including his age, saying he wanted to "keep the bastards guessing." (An Australian newspaper account about Assange published in 1995 identified him as 23, which would make him about 38 years old now.)
In a brief biographical description appended to an article Assange wrote in 2006 on political hacking, he is described as "president of a NGO and Australia's most infamous former computer hacker. He was convicted of attacks on the U.S. intelligence and publishing a magazine which inspired crimes against the Commonwealth."
Most profiles of WikiLeaks provide scant details, particularly ones that can be verified.A New York Times piece on the organization published this week was based largely on an interview with WikiLeaks' spokesman Daniel Schmitt, who said the organization relies mainly on five key volunteers. Some Web sites claim Schmitt's name is actually a pseudonym, although he has done on-camera interviews.
A detailed Mother Jones profile, which portrays Assange as a sort of international man of mystery, also sheds little light on the inner workings of the organization.
So who, if anyone, runs WikiLeaks other than Assange and Schmitt? "Our advisory board, which is still forming, includes representatives from expatriate Russian and Tibetan refugee communities, reporters, a former U.S. intelligence analyst and cryptographers," Assange told Agence France-Presse. But an article published in the U.K. edition of Wired magazine states many of the people listed on the board of advisers professed to having little direct involvement with the group, though they supported its mandate.
Perhaps the best-documented accounts of Assange come from 1990s Australian press reports, when he was charged for hacking that he did as a teenager in 1990 and 1991.
Reminiscent of the hacking exploits fictionalized in the movie "WarGames," Assange allegedly used a modem to access other computers. Among the places targeted were an Australian university, a telecommunications company and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He even taunted police investigators looking into the hacking, according to the government.
The prosecutor alleged that Assange and another hacker gathered passwords that allowed them unlimited access to other computers. "It was God Almighty walking around doing what you like," the prosecutor said, according to a local newspaper account.
Now, with WikiLeaks, Assange appears to have found a new way to taunt authorities, obtaining documents they would rather keep secret.
When it launched some three and a half years ago, WikiLeaks described its mandate as outing the exploits of corrupt corporations and authoritarian regimes. "Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal unethical behaviour in their own governments and corporations," its Web site said at the time.
Some question the extent to which WikiLeaks still pursues that original purpose. Though the Web site has published documents relating to corruption in Kenya and videos of protests in Tibet, some of its most most high-profile leaks have focused on the United States, including 9/11 text messages and the video depicting the death of two Reuters employees.
WikiLeaks has also claimed it is the target of a U.S. government campaign, citing leaked reports about the organization obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department. The Army downplayed its report, while the CIA called allegations that it was following Assange "absurd."
One thing is certain: With its release of the Iraqi air strike video, which Reuters had been trying to obtain for two years, WikiLeaks has undoubtedly proved its methods can beat traditional news organizations.
And its profile could soon rise even higher; at a press conference this week, Assange promised more revelations, including the release of a video from a controversial May 2009 U.S. military air strike in Afghanistan.
CAVEAT: WAYNE MADSEN, WHO HAILS FROM THE NSA, IS CLAIMING THAT WIKILEAKS IS A GEORGE SOROS/CIA APPENDAGE. THIS IS LARGELY FROM ANONYMOUS SOURCES AND DISGRUNTLED EX-STAFFERS, APPEARS TO BE BASED IN PART ON "SUSPICIONS," AND THERE IS LITTLE SOLID CONFIRMATION OF IT ANYWHERE, TO MY KNOWLEDGE. BUT I'M GIVING MADSEN THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT AND POSTING HIS ALLEGATIONS TO ADVANCE THE LITTLE EVIDENCE THAT DOES EXIST THAT WIKILEAKS HAS INTELLIGENCE TIES, AND APPRISE MY READERS OF MADSEN'S ACCUSATION. FOR NOW, I'M PERSONALLY SITTING ON A FENCE AND RESERVING JUDGMENT UNTIL MORE IS KNOWN. - AC
Suspicions abound that Wikileaks is part of U.S. cyber-warfare operations
March 25-26, 2010
WMR has learned from Asian intelligence sources that there is a strong belief in some Asian countries, particularly China and Thailand, that the website Wikileaks, which purports to publish classified and sensitive documents while guaranteeing anonymity to the providers, is linked to U.S. cyber-warfare and computer espionage operations, as well as to Mossad's own cyber-warfare activities.
Wikileaks claims to have decrypted video footage of a U.S. Predator air strike on civilians in Afghanistan and that covert U.S. State Department agents followed Wikileaks's editor from Iceland to Norway in a surveillance operation conducted jointly by the United States and Iceland. Iceland's financially-strapped government recently announced a policy of becoming a haven for websites that fear political oppression and censorship in their home countries. However, in the case of Wikileaks, countries like China and Thailand are suspicious of the websites' actual "ownership."
Wikileaks says it intends to show its video at an April 5 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC but that its presenters may be detained or arrested before that time. WMR's sources believe the Wikileaks "militancy" in the face of supposed surveillance appears fake.
Our Asian intelligence sources report the following: "Wikileaks is running a disinformation campaign, crying persecution by U.S. intelligence- when it is U.S. intelligence itself. Its [Wikileaks'] activities in Iceland are totally suspect." Wikileaks claims it is the victim of a new COINTELPRO [Counter Intelligence Program] operation directed by the Pentagon and various U.S. intelligence agencies. WMR's sources believe that it is Wikileaks that is part and parcel of a cyber-COINTELPRO campaign, such as that proposed by President Obama's "information czar," Dr. Cass Sunstein.
In January 2007, John Young, who runs cryptome.org, a site that publishes a wealth of sensitive and classified information, left Wikileaks, claiming the operation was a CIA front. Young also published some 150 email messages sent by Wikileaks activists on cryptome. They include a disparaging comment about this editor by Wikileaks co-founder Dr. Julian Assange of Australia. Assange lists as one of his professions "hacker." His German co-founder of Wikileaks uses a pseudonym, "Daniel Schmitt."
Wikileaks claims it is "a multi-jurisdictional organization to protect internal dissidents, whistleblowers, journalists and bloggers who face legal or other threats related to publishing" [whose] primary interest is in exposing oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we are of assistance to people of all nations who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources."
In China, Wikileaks is suspected of having Mossad connections. It is pointed out that its first "leak" was from an Al Shabbab "insider" in Somalia. Al Shabbab is the Muslim insurgent group that the neocons have linked to "Al Qaeda."
Asian intelligence sources also point out that Assange's "PhD" is from Moffett University, an on-line diploma mill and that while he is said to hail from Nairobi, Kenya, he actually in from Australia where his exploits have included computer hacking and software piracy.
WMR has confirmed Young's contention that Wikileaks is a CIA front operation. Wikileaks is intimately involved in a $20 million CIA operation that U.S.-based Chinese dissidents that hack into computers in China. Some of the Chinese hackers route special hacking program through Chinese computers that then target U.S. government and military computer systems. After this hacking is accomplished, the U.S. government announces through friendly media outlets that U.S. computers have been subjected to a Chinese cyber-attack. The "threat" increases an already-bloated cyber-defense and offense budget and plays into the fears of the American public and businesses that heavily rely on information technology.
It is also pointed out that on Wikileaks advisory board is Ben Laurie, a one-time programmer and Internet security expert for Google, which recently signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and has been charged by China with being part of a U.S. cyber-espionage campaign against China. Other Wikileaks advisory members are leading Chinese dissidents, including Wan Dan, who won the 1998 National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Democracy Award; Wang Youcai, founder of the Chinese Democracy Party; Xiao Qiang, the director of the China Internet Project at the University of California at Berkeley, member of the advisory board of the International Campaign for Tibet, and commentator on the George Soros-affiliated Radio Free Asia; and Tibetan exile and activist Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang.
Our sources in Asia believe that Wikileaks ran afoul of their CIA paymasters after it was discovered that some of Wikileaks's "take" was being diverted to Mossad instead of to their benefactors at Langley. After a CIA cur-off in funding, "Daniel Schmitt" took over and moved the Wikileaks operation to Belgium and Sweden with hopes of making a more secure base in Iceland.
There are strong suspicions that Wikileaks is yet another Soros-funded "false flag" operation on the left side of the political spectrum. WMR has learned that after former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) decided to oppose Soros's choice of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's deputy Mark Malloch Brown as President of the World Bank, succedding the disgraced Paul Wolfowitz, Soros put the Wikileaks operation into high gear. "Daniel Schmitt" hacked into Coleman's supporters list, stealing credit card info, addresses, and publishing the "take" on Wikileaks. Democrat Al Franken, who was strongly backed by Soros, defeated Coleman in a legally-contested and very close election.
It is also believed by informed sources that Soros is behind the operation to move Wikileaks to Iceland. By becoming a power in Iceland, Soros can prevent Icelanders from paying back the British and Dutch investors in Icelandic online Ponzi scheme banking and continue his all-out war against British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has, in turn, targeted Soros for betting against pound sterling.
Iceland is classic prey for Soros. The Icelandic krona has been decimated as a currency and has no where to go but up in value, especially if the British pound and the euro depreciate. Soros is currently talking down the euro, planning its fall and shorting it, just like he did versus the pound in London in the 1980s. After the UK's and Europe's currencies are devalued, Soros will buy every euro note in sight, thus making trillions.
Soros and his Wikileaks friends have in Iceland a practically unregulated banking system desperate for an influx of capital -- money that will come from the exiled Russian tycoons in Israel, London and the United States. Israeli investors like Bank Leumi, and awash in siphoned-off Bernard Madoff cash, will do their bit for this smash-and-grab operation by Soros's Quantum-linked hedge funds.
With Wikileaks firmly ensconced in Iceland, the "brave" and much-heralded information leakers will run an international blackmail operation against Soros's foes and launch computer break-ins against Soros's business rivals and non-Quantum banks. Wikileaks will be used as the info-hitmen against President Obama's and Rahm Emanuel's enemies in the 2012 re-election campaign.
From Iceland, Soros will be well-positioned to gain control over the massive mineral resources under the melting ice sheet of Greenland. Under the ice are the only major rare-earth deposits outside of China and with such minerals at his disposal, Soros can control the world's electronics industries. This past week's volcanic activity in Iceland could, however, disrupt or destroy Soros's plans to establish and control a North American-European gateway in Iceland.
The following are some of the emails Young revealed in his exposure of Wikileaks's CIA connections (as well as to the Russian "phishing" Mafia, an operation run by Russian-Israeli Jews using Israel as a base) [Note: in the second email, "JYA" is a reference to John Young Associates]:
To: John Young
Subject: martha stuart pgp
Date: Sun, 7 Jan 2007
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
J. We are going to fuck them all. Chinese mostly, but not entirely a feint. Invention
abounds. Lies, twists and distorts everywhere needed for protection. Hackers monitor
chinese and other intel as they burrow into their targets, when they pull, so do we.
Inxhaustible supply of material. Near 100,000 documents/emails a day. We're going to crack the world open and let it flower into something new. If fleecing the CIA will assist us, then fleece we will. We have pullbacks from NED, CFR, Freedomhouse and other CIA teats. We have all of pre 2005 afghanistan. Almost all of india fed. Half
a dozen foreign ministries. Dozens of political parties and consulates, worldbank,
apec, UN sections, trade groups, tibet and fulan dafa associations and... russian
phishing mafia who pull data everywhere. We're drowing. We don't even know a tenth
of what we have or who it belongs to. We stopped storing it at 1Tb.
From: Julian Assange
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2007 13:40:14 +0000
To: funtimesahead[a t]lists.riseup.net
Subject: [WL] cryptome disclosure
[This is a restricted internal development mailinglist for w-i-k-i-l-e-a-k-s-.-o-r-g.
Please do not mention that word directly in these discussions; refer instead to 'WL'.
This list is housed at riseup.net, an activist collective in Seattle with an established lawyer
and plenty of backbone.]
No idea what JYA was saying!
He may have done us a great favor. There's a lot of movement in that
document. It's a little anarchist, but I think it generally reads
well and sounds like people doing something they care about.
It's clear to me however, that he was not trying to protect people's
identities with his xxxxx'ing, but rather trying to increase the
sexiness of the document. Perhaps he feels WL is a threat to the
central status mechanism in his life? I think he just likes the
Btw, I suggest we be careful with Wayne Madsen too. He seems to be
another case of someone who was fantastic a few years ago, but
recently has started to see conspiracies everywhere. Both cases
possibly age related.
I am not spending any more thought on it. Next week is going to be
busy. The weeks earlier stories will be already done and that'll set
the agenda for the rest of the week, not jya's attention seeker.
I'm willing to handle calls for .au, although my background may make
S a better bet.
One of WMR's sources had the following thoughts about Assange's comments about this editor:
Careful: Madsen is up to no good concerning secrets concerning WikiLeaks.
Another Case of Someone: The writer has spent time in psychiatric institution.
Was Fantastic: Formerly On Our Side, Now becoming an Enemy.
Conspiracies Everywhere: the George Soros conspiracy in which WikiLeaks is a cog.
Both Cases: Here it is again, he's been in an institution.
Age Related: In 2007, the editor was 52 years old but with possible early senility setting in.