Jack Smith IV writes: Never mind that it was revealed today that Chelsea Manning — who went to prison for giving documents to WikiLeaks — could be pardoned by President Barack Obama, WikiLeaks is busy discrediting an attack against President-elect Donald Trump.
WikiLeaks has a 100% record of accurate authentication. We do not endorse Buzzfeed's publication of a document which is clearly bogus.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 11, 2017
“WikiLeaks has a 100% record of accurate authentication,” the group said on its Twitter account. “We do not endorse Buzzfeed‘s publication of a document which is clearly bogus.”
Buzzfeed has taken a lot of flack for publishing the document, but WikiLeaks’ contention isn’t merely that the information contained in it is unverified. Instead, they’re claiming it’s illegitimate — an attempt to discredit a report which might hurt Trump.
WikiLeaks’ patently strange attack on others publishing leaked documents in circulation among Washington power brokers comes on the heels of a bad night for founder Julian Assange. An “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit drove Assange to silence over his betrayal of WikiLeaks’ core values and the possibility that WikiLeaks’ is technically compromised at the foundational level. And it’s just the latest episode of ethical malfeasance which appears to be moving WikiLeaks away from its mission of asking “hard questions of government” and toward the mercenary work of propping up political candidates.
The AMA session was a disaster. Diehard Assange supporters held him to account for why he never published damning material on Republican candidates — something a lot of people have noticed — and why he won’t be transparent about his sources for the Democratic National Committee hack.
The most damning allegation in the exchange came when someone asked Assange to verify he was still in control of WikiLeaks by asking him to send a message using his private encryption keys, a rudimentary task. Assange refused, suggesting to the community that the group’s founder has lost control of WikiLeaks at the fundamental, technical level.
“You are on record as indicating absence of the key is a signal of compromise, and now you refuse to prove you have the key,” one of his accusers wrote.
Finally, Assange just stopped taking the hard questions.
“Put some effort into this bloody AMA Julian,” one Reddit user said after it was clear Assange wouldn’t address the most troubling allegations. “We’re a large community that for the most part, had your back.
This sentiment is the final resting place of a truth long coming: Assange’s coalition of support has largely crumbled, leaving behind only establishment conservatives — who once compared him to al-Qaida, and wanted him hunted across the globe as a terrorist. [Continue reading…]