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VIDEO: State Dept. Won't Give Specifics on How Assange Hurt "National Security". Or How "Russiagate" -- Used to Demonize WikiLeaks -- May Have Actually Been Israelgate.
Questioning for World Press Freedom Day .... A new report by cybersecurity expert James Bamford charges it was Israel -- not Russia --that colluded with Trump campaign. State gives no response as yet.
[Piece may be updated with full transcript and longer writeup.]
On World Press Freedom Day, in response to questioning by Matt Lee of the AP at the beginning of the State Dept. briefing, about whether Julian Assange was a journalist, spokesperson Vedant Patel said that WikiLeaks had damaged US “national security”.
I was ignored for most of the news conference as I held my hand up again and again. Eventually Patel started calling on the same reporters for a second round and at that point I finally spoke up, noting the irony of him — on Press Freedom Day — going to the same reporters over and over while ignoring others.
Only after that intervention, he finally called on me.
I asked a series of questions about WikiLeaks’ disclosure of US criminal conduct, like the mowing down of Reuters media workers in Iraq. Was that an example of WikiLeaks damaging US “national security” — by exposing US government criminality?
Patel did not give a substantial response.
I then noted that the US government is targeting Assange for such work and not for Russiagate related work which demonized Assange to many. And then I noted that James Bamford, who has written extensively on espionage and surveillance recently reported in The Nation that the dominant Russiagate narrative is even more off than most critics of it know — in fact, Israel was the conduit to the Trump campaign:
Trump apparatchik Roger Stone pointed a finger at Randy Credico, a onetime friend who had a radio program in New York, as his back channel to WikiLeaks, effectively smearing WikiLeaks and Credico.
But Bamford reports that Unit 8200, the Israeli equivalent of the NSA, was “eavesdropping on the Russians and they were picking up all this information that the Russians were getting from the Clinton campaign and the DNC. And rather than giving it to the president of United States, to Obama, which is what an ally is supposed to do, especially one that gets $4 billion a year, they instead were secretly giving it to the Trump campaign, in order to get concessions from Trump when he became president, and hopefully they were going to help make him president.”
I asked if State had any information which would contradict Bamford’s reporting. Patel did not give a substantial response. I asked for an email followup and will report on any on the record response I receive.