Response to front page New York Times article on WikiLeaks today
Response to New York Times article published Thursday 'How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West's Secrets' [http://archive.is/my52v]
The only hard news in the article is that "American officials say Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services."
WikiLeaks has published more than 650,000 documents about Russian & president Putin, most of which is critical. See https://search.wikileaks.org/
It is false that the book 'The WikiLeaks Files' (which is about US diplomacy), contains no criticism of Russia. It contain numerous critical references to Russia including a whole chapter on US diplomatic relations with Russia with numerous references to Russian corruption.
It is false that Mr. Assange 'muse[d] to associates about relocating' to Russia. He openly joked in a press conference about how absurd it would be if a western press freedom activist would be forced to seek asylum in Cuba.
It is false that WikiLeaks or Mr. Assange have not "publicly criticized' human rights abuses by Mr. Assad and the Russian forces fighting there." WikiLeaks does not comment on world events unless the events relate to its publications, to its organization or to its alleged sources. But, for example, WikiLeaks has backed Amnesty's criticism of Russian civilian kills in their bombing runs in response to Russian partisans attacking it, saying Amnesty's numerical analysis appears to hold.
It is misleading to impy that WikiLeaks simply Tweeted once about the imprisonment of the Russian musical group Pussy Riot. Infact, Mr. Assange has met multiple times with various members of Pussy Riot and they have joined the Courage Foundation, which he co-founded, and which protects journalistic sources. See http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/22662/1/pussy-riot-joins-julian-assange-whistleblower-foundation
It is false that Russia issued a visa for Julian Assange (or that Mr. Assange has applied for a visa).
It is false that WikiLeaks has not produced critical material on the Assad government. WikiLeaks has published 2.3 million documents from the Assad government, a Russian ally, including the head of state, Bashar al Assad's personal emails. WikiLeaks has also published on the Syrian government spying on Syrian activists using 'bluecoat' and documented many imports used by the Syrian security state in violation of the sanctions regime. See https://wikileaks.org/syria-files/ andhttps://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=syria%20%20from%3Awikileaks%20since%3A2012-01-01%20until%3A2012-12-31&src=typd
The conspiracy theory the article attempts to impute about the timing of WikiLeaks' publications is false and is not journalism.
Take the leading example in the article, the total censorship of the Kurdish broadcaster RoJ TV. Mr. Assange drawing attention to this outrage coincides with RoJ's attempts to get publicity for their court appeal (the star exhibit of which is a WikiLeaks publication). Later when NATO head Rassmusen appeared in the news this provided a hook for drawing attention to WikiLeaks' archives and how they document the dirty deals behind the destruction of RoJ TV. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL0zrkygkn4
Similarly in other cases WikiLeaks has responded to news hooks -- as all news outlets do, to draw attention to its archives or to support its anti-censorship or source protection mission. Again, any other other suggestion is false.
WikiLeaks is not aware of any assertion by the US government that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks were 'stolen by Russian intelligence'. In fact, the head of US intelligence, James Clapper, has stated that the US government has not been able to make an attribution. The various hacks of the DNC over several years are not the same matter as WikiLeaks publication of leaked emails and it is misleading to suggest otherwise.
It is false that the UN decision on Assange is "non-binding". The UN has explicitly stated that it is "legally binding". It is false that it has been rejected by the British courts. Its binding nature is now being considered by the Swedish Court of Appeal.
The UN's statement in response to press errors:
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate.
The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights."
The New York Times Editorial Board has endorsed Hillary Clinton, however this is not disclosed in the article. The lead author, Jo Becker last retweeted Hillary Clinton (a smiling and dancing campaign animation), on March 3. The other author, Eric Schmitt, has previously written in the New York Tiems, other robust investigative reports, for example, that Mr. Assange is a 'bag lady' with 'filthy socks' who 'smells'. He was made Pentagon Correspondent in 1990.