Tag Archives: wikileaks

The Government’s War on Wikileaks, Assange, Manning and Hammond

In episode 7 of Truth In Media with Ben Swann, we explain the secret grand jury targeting Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Jeremy Hammond, and discuss the government’s lasting damage on the lives of whistleblowers in an interview with John Kiriakou.

Support Truth in Media by visiting our sponsors:

Unstoppable Domains: Buy one domain, get one free.

Pulse Cellular: Use code “TRUTH” for 10% off every plan for life.

Pure VPN: Military grade VPN protection.

Brave Browser: Open source and built by a team of privacy focused, performance oriented pioneers of the web.

Congressman Says Assange Has “Physical Proof” Russia Did Not Hack DNC

Washington, D.C. — In a recent interview with Breitbart Radio, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who reportedly visited the Ecuadorian embassy in London in August 2017 and met with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, said that Assange has physical evidence to prove that Russia did not provide WikiLeaks with Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

“By now, everybody knows that this idea that Trump was colluding with the Russians in order to get them to do things like steal the DNC emails and then release them through WikiLeaks, the public knows that’s just total baloney,” Rohrabacher said. “I knew the one man who could prove that it was all baloney was Assange. So I went to see him in London, and he confirmed for me that the Russians did not give him the DNC emails. He had physical proof of that, and he was going to let me see that and have that, but only once, I found an agreement so he wouldn’t get arrested when he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

Rohrabacher added:

Unfortunately, this was in the middle of having a special prosecutor, [and] any discussion with Trump and myself that mentions Russia will be used as an excuse by that special prosecutor to just quadruple all the areas of investigation into me and into Trump. So it is standing there. I’ve been waiting because I know that we’re not going to give this special prosecutor any more ammunition than he needs to try to destroy this president.

Rohrabacher claimed that Assange had evidence and was willing to provide it in exchange for US/UK authorities agreeing not to arrest him upon leaving the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks co-founder has been “arbitrarily detained” under threat of arrest since 2012.

[Read more: UK Judge Refuses to Revoke Assange Arrest Warrant]

Assange first sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy after the UK sought to arrest him on a Swedish warrant that has since been lifted. British authorities, thought to operating covertly at the behest of the US— due to a purported secret federal grand jury indictment in the US for Assange— insist they will arrest him if he attempts to leave the embassy for violating the terms of his bail. It is believed that once arrested for the bail violation in the UK, Assange would likely be extradited to the US under the sealed indictment.

Following his meeting with Assange, Rohrabacher was denied access to President Trump by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly due to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 US presidential election. In February, Rohrabacher “said he was told by Kelly that meeting with Trump could put the president in unnecessary legal jeopardy,” according to a report from The Intercept. Rohrabacher also claimed that Assange “did not want to release the evidence publicly” because he wanted to avoid exposing “his sources and methods.”

The DNC and Hillary Clinton have continually accused WikiLeaks as acting as a “Russian cutout” during the 2016 election, after the transparency organization published private emails from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta as well as internal DNC emails. Assange says WikiLeaks never releases sources, but has emphatically denied that the organization was supplied the emails by Russia.

Craig Murray— former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and “close associate” of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange— publicly stated in a December 2016 interview with The Daily Mail that the Democratic National Committee’s emails were obtained by WikiLeaks from a “disgusted” DNC operative who had legal access to them, not Russia.

“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Murray said. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”

Murray said the leakers were motivated by “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders.”

The Daily Mail reported that Murray said he “retrieved the package from a source during a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University, in northwest D.C. He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary.”

An investigation into the alleged hack performed last year by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) claimed that the “data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers.” VIPS findings were presented to CIA Director Mike Pompeo last November, reportedly at the direction of President Trump.

Assange has been unable to publicly comment on Rohrabacher’s statements, as the Ecuadorian government has barred him from receiving visitor and suspended his internet access for the past month.

Wikileaks Calls for “Global Blockade” of Coinbase after Coinbase Bans the Wikileaks’ Shop

(DFN) Wikileaks called for a “global blockade” of Coinbase this past Friday after Coinbase issued a letter intending to shut down Wikileaks’ shop on the Coinbase merchant network.

Wikileaks said that “Coinbase has blocked the official @Wikileaks shop”, which sells various branded items like clothing, stickers, posters, etc “from its platform without notice or explanation.” Wikileaks published a letter they received stating that “Coinbase is a regulated Money Service Business under Fincen”, which is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Coinbase said that they are “obligated to implement regulatory compliance mechanisms,” and that “[u]pon careful review, we believe your account has engaged in prohibited use in violation of our Terms of Service and we regret to inform you that we can no longer provide you with access to our service.” Coinbase also gave instructions for how to withdraw any remaining funds in the Wikileaks’ shop account.

Wikileaks responded by calling “for a global blockade of Coinbase next week as an unfit member of the crypto community” and that Coinbase was acting under “concealed influence”. Famous Bitcoin author Andreas Antonopoulos, drew attention to the irony of coming full circle from the early years of Bitcoin when Wikileaks was under an “extra judicial embargo by Visa, Mc, Paypal and banks” and that “Coinbase has repeated history.” Antonopoulos was referring to the famous financial blockade that lead Wikileaks to adopt Bitcoin as a donation mechanism putting Bitcoin in the spotlight to the displeasure of Satoshi Nakamoto who had argued against Wikileaks adopting Bitcoin so early in its life. Satoshi completely disappeared from his limited online presence six days after that debate.

On a related note, Coinbase did recently update its merchant services by no longer supporting custodial merchant processing solutions and will instead replace it with a free, non-custodial solution. Cheapair.com, which accepts Dash directly, has already announced it will be leaving Coinbase for this reason.

Coinbase is very similar to a bank

Coinbase allows very easy user experiences in buying Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin, but contrary to many popular opinions, when a user stores their crypto on Coinbase, they do not actually own their crypto. The user only owns a promise to pay, issued by Coinbase, so if for any reason Coinbase decides not to pay, the user can only attempt to retrieve their cryptocurrency through litigation. This is orthogonal from when a user keeps their crypto in a private wallet, of which they control their own private keys, and thus the cryptocurrency in that wallet. Coinbase has sacrificed this security of their users for improved user experience and user interface along with compliance with federal regulators. It cannot be said with certainty since Wikileaks did not have any hard evidence, but they did elude to the fact the Coinbase pushed Wikileaks out of the merchant shop because of pressure from regulators. This is similar to what happen in 2010 with mainstream money processors Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and other banks, as Antonopoulos mentioned.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were created to avoid government and large corporate intervention in the affairs of individuals. Satoshi did take a hard stand against Wikileaks adopting Bitcoin, but Satoshi’s arguments centered more around fear of drawing too much government attention to Bitcoin, which could destroy the project before it got strong enough. The Wikileaks conflict with Coinbase does bring renewed attention to the issue of individuals having complete control of their money because when trust is placed in a centralized third party vendor, they can exert unforeseen power over individuals and their money at their whim. Nevertheless, Coinbase grew popular because it provided an excellent transitional stop when converting fiat to crypto within the US, but that quickly evolved into much larger services ranging the gambit from merchant solutions, commerce, and pseudo-banking services.

Dash is slaying the gatekeepers

Dash has been working diligently to increase the adoption of Dash aroundthe world powered by Dash’s low transaction fees and fast transaction times, which makes Dash usable in everyday transactions no matter how small or how often. This is one of the biggest threats to centralized gatekeepers of fiat-to-crypt exchanges since now individuals can get paid directly in Dash, hold their wealth in Dash, and use Dash to make purchase for housing, food, water, and other necessities and wants of life. Examples can be see in Venezuela in Dash Cities where numerous merchants trade goods and services directly for Dash or in New Hampshire where individuals paid in Dash can visit numerous storefronts and online stores to make their daily purchases. This does not even touch the nearly 800 merchants on DiscoverDash.com.

In addition, Dash is working to make Dash easy to use, while also maintaining the security of the blockchain. with improved user experiences and user interfaces so consumers do not have to overcome large switching costs when adopting crypto for the first time. To supplement this, there are project to launch a Dash support desk in Venezuela and already a Dash Embassy in German-speaking Europe. Coinbase made it very easy to buy crypto with fiat and now Dash is making it remarkably easy to earn and use Dash everyday, mitigating the need for centralized gatekeepers.


Written by Justin Szilard.


This article was republished with permission from Dash Force News.

Julian Assange’s Internet Cut By Ecuadorian Government

London, UK – In a statement released on Wednesday, the Ecuadorian government confirmed it had cut Assange’s internet communications with the outside world at their London embassy, claiming that his posts on social media put the country’s international relations “at risk.” In addition to Assange’s internet connection being severed, he is also being denied any visitors.

According to NPR, a statement released by Ecuador claimed that “Assange violated a written contract with its government in late 2017, ‘for which he’s obligated not to issue messages that would interfere with relationships with other nations.'” Assange has been living in Ecuador’s embassy for more than five years, in what a UN panel describes as “arbitrary detention,” after seeking asylum from persecution.

A report by the Associated Press explained:

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in the South American nation’s London embassy in 2012, where he has remained cooped up ever since. Ecuador has repeatedly tried to find a solution that would allow Assange to leave without the threat of arrest, but with no success. He remains subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail and also fears a possible U.S. extradition request based on his leaking of classified State Department documents.

“The government of Ecuador warns that Assange’s behavior, through his messages on social networks, put at risk the country’s good relations with the United Kingdom, the other states of the European Union, and other nations,” the statement read.

On the evening of March 28 Wikileaks offered additional information about the incident and Assange’s current situation, noting that Assange had been ordered by Ecuador to remove a specific tweet that weighed in on the arrest of Carles Puigdemont by German police.

The tweet from Assange reportedly ordered to be removed stated the following:

This is not the first time Ecuador has suspended his internet access. In 2016, he had his internet connection “temporarily restricted” by the Ecuadorian government after WikiLeaks published emails stolen from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, during her presidential campaign which gave the world a candid view inside of the campaign. Former president Rafael Correa gave Assange asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy and reportedly appreciated his work, but current head of state Lenín Moreno advised Assange to avoid involvement in politics and described him as a hacker, according to the AP.

Assange’s friend, Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, is holding an online vigil being broadcast to You Tube and Facebook Live to “to restore Julian Assange’s human right to freedom of communication,” according to a press release.

Supporters of Julian Assange are currently gathering outside of the Ecuadorian embassy to protest the decision to undermine his human right of communication with the outside world.

The #ReconnectJulian online vigil for Julian Assange is below:


Kim Dotcom: DNC Hack Was Leak From an “Insider With a Memory Stick”

Washington, D.C.— Following a tweet by President Trump on February 18th, Kim Dotcom responded by adding further details to previous statements which implied that the DNC hack during the 2016 US presidential election was actually a leak, and specifically claimed that the information was leaked by an “insider with a memory stick.”


“Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn’t even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why,” Dotcom tweeted, alleging that “Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds!” The 360 pounds is clearly a retort to Trump’s “400 pound genius” comment.

Dotcom’s claims of attempting to provide evidence to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who has allegedly failed to respond to Dotcom’s lawyers, may raise questions about the impartiality and veracity of the Mueller investigation.

[RELATED: Kim Dotcom Lawyers Appealing Extradition Decision]

The assertion that the DNC data was not hacked, but leaked from an insider with a memory stick, is reportedly supported by an analysis from a researcher going by the alias of the Forensicator, who determined that the 22.6 MB/s copy speed of the DNC files was “virtually impossible” to attain from overseas, but a typical speed for a transfer to a thumb drive. These results were supported in a July 2017 memo to President Trump from a group of intelligence veterans that includes former NSA intelligence official William Binney.

The local transfer theory, if proven, would lend credibility to the notion that the DNC data was not hacked, but instead, was leaked. Dotcom’s claims could also explain why the DNC refused to allow the FBI to inspect its servers, and instead, relied on the analysis of a private company, CrowdStrike.

Crowdstrike’s CTO and co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with openly anti-Russian sentiments that is funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, who happened to donate at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Furthermore, in 2013, the Atlantic Council awarded Hillary Clinton their Distinguished International Leadership Award, and in 2014, the Atlantic Council hosted an event with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who took over after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in early 2014.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom tweeted that if the case of Seth Rich would be included in the Congressional probe of Russian collusion/election meddling, he would provide written testimony to Congress, including evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks’ source of the DNC emails.

Then, two days later, Dotcom tweeted, “I knew Seth Rich. I know he was WikiLeaks’ source. I was involved.”

A few days later, Dotcom released a statement, saying “I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK,” adding:

I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment.

Tension Simmers Between Israel and Iran, Syria

Last week, Israel attacked a Syrian government facility that it claimed was used in the production of chemical weapons. That claim was unusual considering that Syria’s chemical weapons and its ability to produce them were dismantled under UN supervision in 2013. This attack was just one of many attacks Israel has launched against government-held territory since Syria’s conflict began nearly seven years ago.

Though the Syrian government, led by Bashar al-Assad, has declined to respond to these unilateral attacks or Israeli violations of Syrian airspace in the past, all that changed last Saturday when Syria’s Air Defense Force shot down an Israeli Air Force jet. The F-16 jet, which had reportedly illegitimately entered Syrian airspace near the Syrian capital of Damascus, later crashed in Israeli territory after its two pilots ejected.

As a result, Israel launched multiple retaliatory strikes against other Syrian military installations near Damascus. Multiple rounds of missile launches were confirmed and reports indicates Israel was pounding the Damascus countryside with artillery for much of the day. There were also reports of Israel launching missiles into central Syria that also targeted the Syrian military; NPR reported that “Israeli airstrikes in Syria killed at least six members of the Syrian military or allied militia members” during the Saturday incident.

The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) issued a statement during Saturday’s morning chaos:

“The IDF will act determinately against such severe violations of Israeli sovereignty by Iran and Syria and will continue to act as necessary. The IDF is ready for various scenarios and will continue to act according to situation assessments.” Meanwhile, the Syrian government accused Israel of unwarranted ‘aggression’.”

Though casual observers of the Syrian conflict may find Saturday’s events as having come out of nowhere, those who have closely followed the conflict are likely aware of longstanding discord related to the background between Israel and Syria.

Five years before the conflict in Syria, the government of Israel worked with other countries to overthrow the Assad government; Wikileaks cables indicate this strategy included creating sectarian strife in the country and isolating Syria from its strongest regional ally, Iran. Israel has long sought to officially annex the Syrian land it seized in the Golan Heights – due to their sizable oil reserves. However, Assad is a major obstacle to that annexation as well as Israel’s other regional ambitions.

The plan sought the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt in fomenting the “breakdown” of the Assad regime as a way of weakening both Iran and Hezbollah— with the effect of empowering both Israel and the Gulf monarchies, two seemingly antagonistic forces in the region that are becoming increasingly allied.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on board with the plan, as revealed by emails published by WikiLeaks. One of those emails stated that “The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

It also noted that “A successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States.” It added that “arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.”

However, that “low-cost high payoff approach” has not gone as planned. Instead, Assad has managed to consolidate large parts of Syrian territory once lost to the “rebels,” the vast majority of which are terrorist groups or their affiliates.

Israel has grown more focused on regime change in Syria, as evidenced by the “dozens and dozens” of attacks they have launched against Syria and last year’s threats to assassinate Assad by bombing his residence.

Following the weekend’s developments regarding Israel and Syria, Tillerson was quick to declare that he was “quite concerned” about the clash that unfolded between Israel and Syria and Iran.

“I think this again illustrates why Iran’s presence in Syria is only destabilizing to the region. We think Iran needs to withdraw its military, its militia from Syria and allow the hope for the peace process to take hold in Geneva,” Tillerson said.

Tensions have appeared to dissipate for the time being; Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for diffusing a “simmering conflict between Israel and Iran in Syria” that “could have erupted into another regional war” by making a “furious phone call” to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a report by Business Insider. However, given the recent escalation between Israel and Iran/Syria, a regime change war may not be out of the question, complete with U.S. involvement.

Indeed, the U.S. is the largest sponsor of the IDF, giving Israel $10 million in military aid per day. The U.S. is also committed to remaining involved in Syria as seen in Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s announcement to retain U.S. troops and their recent attack this past Wednesday on Syrian military positions that included Russian soldiers – an attack which came soon after Israel’s. If such a war came to pass, it may not remain a regional war between just Israel and Syria for very long.

UK Judge Refuses to Revoke Assange Arrest Warrant

London, United Kingdom— Despite a United Nations panel finding that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is “arbitrarily being detained” and Swedish prosecutors dropping their criminal investigation and request for extradition, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will continue to face arrest if he attempts to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after a UK judge upheld a warrant for breaching his formal bail conditions in the UK. Assange maintains that he was forced to seek political asylum in the embassy to avoid political persecution.

A report by The Guardian noted that Senior district judge Emma Arbuthnot was not swayed by the legal argument put forth by Assange’s legal team that his prosecution was not in the public interest to arrest him for bail jumping. It is worth noting that if there is a secret indictment in the U.S., the pretense of arresting Assange for bail jumping could be used to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges.

“I find arrest is a proportionate response even though Mr. Assange has restricted his own freedom for a number of years,” Arbuthnot stated. “Defendants on bail up and down the country, and requested persons facing extradition, come to court to face the consequences of their own choices. He should have the courage to do the same. It is certainly not against the public interest to proceed.”

The warrant upheld by the judge was due to Assange’s seeking of political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, to avoid Sweden’s attempts to extradite him over the investigation into allegations of sexual assault; the allegations were steadfastly denied by Assange and the investigation of the allegations was dropped in May 2017.

It has been suggested in earlier reports that there is a sealed secret grand jury indictment for Assange in the U.S., indicating the posibility that the attempted extradition to Sweden over rape charges, which he had steadfastly denied, were a strategic means of extraditing him to the U.S. by proxy.

Before Tuesday’s hearing, Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said that U.S. government had clear intentions of prosecuting WikiLeaks.

“The UK FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] refuses to confirm or deny whether there is an extradition request for Mr Assange,” she said. “In our recent FoI challenge against the CPS […] the CPS refused to disclose certain material because it would ‘tip off’ Mr Assange about a possible US extradition request. It is time to acknowledge what the real issue is and has always been in this case: the risk of extradition to the US.”

[RELATED: Julian Assange Calls on British and Swedish Governments to Drop Investigations]

Further revealing the deeply politicized nature of Assange’s detainment, just last month, after being granted citizenship by the Ecuadorian government, Ecuador applied for diplomatic status for the WikiLeaks founder. If awarded diplomat status, Assange could claim diplomatic immunity— which would theoretically grant him legal immunity— thus allowing him to leave the embassy without being arrested. The British Foreign Office turned down the request by Ecuador.

Assange’s lawyers had argued that the warrant should be withdrawn for numerous reasons, including the fact that Sweden was no longer seeking extradition and that arresting him would not be in the public interest or proportionate— noting his six years in the embassy were “adequate, if note severe” enough punishment— citing the UN panel ruling that his detention was “arbitrary.”

The Guardian reports that Assange attorney Mark Summers QC noted attempts by the UK government to maintain Assange’s detention— despite evidence that Sweden requested a withdrawal of the European arrest warrant for Assange— referring specifically to the fact that Sweden in October of 2013 advised Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyers that it was necessary to withdraw the Swedish arrest warrant on grounds of proportionality. It wasn’t until 2017, four years later, that CPS chose to do abide by the request.

Additionally, Summers argued that Assange was justified in seeking refuge in the embassy, as he had a valid fear that US authorities were seeking to arrest him for WikiLeaks’ publication of secret documents.

Julian Assange Calls on British and Swedish Governments to Drop Investigations

Speaking from a balcony at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Friday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called on Britain and Sweden to stop pursuing him. Assange is asking the two nations to recognize a recent ruling by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention which stated that Assange was being arbitrarily detained and therefore should be released and awarded compensation.

“How sweet it is. This this a victory that cannot be denied,” said Assange according to Reuters. “What right does this government, or the U.S. government, or the Swedish government have to deny my children their father?”

Julian Assange is an Australian computer hacker and the founder of the organization Wikileaks, a radical journalist organization that publishes leaked documents. Wikileaks came to prominence in 2010 after Private Chelsea Manning leaked thousands of documents, including the “Collateral Murder” video of Iraqi journalists being shot and killed by an American Apache helicopter in Iraq. Wikileaks also released hundreds of thousands of documents related to the War in Afghanistan and Iraq known as the Afghan War Diary and the Iraq War Logs.

The work of Wikileaks, and Julian Assange’s role as founder and face of the operation, has made him a target for the U.S. and British governments. Assange was also previously accused of rape allegations in Sweden. He believes these charges are trumped up to force extradition and force him to face charges for the leaks. Since the summer of 2012, Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. If he leaves the building he will be arrested and charged.

Reuters reports that British officials say that Assange voluntarily entered the embassy and is not being forced to stay. Assange has said that his rights are being infringed because he is incapable of pursuing asylum in Ecuador.

“Julian Assange is a fugitive from justice. He is hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian embassy,” British foreign minister Philip Hammond told Reuters. “This is frankly a ridiculous finding by the working group and we reject it.”

It will be difficult for Assange to go free if the U.S. and British governments refuse to acknowledge the ruling. Still, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, called on the two nations to let Assange go free. “What more do they want to be accused of before they start to rectify their error?” Patino reportedly said to South American broadcaster Telesur regarding Britain and Sweden.

Seong-Phil Hong, the head of the U.N. panel said “the arbitrary detention of Mr. Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation.”

Following the panel’s decision, Sweden’s prosecution authority announced that chief prosecutor Marianne Ny is applying to interview Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy regarding the rape allegations.

“In relation to the report which was released last week, I can state that it does not change my earlier assessment in the preliminary investigation,” Ny said.

Survivors of Bhopal Gas Disaster Call on President Obama to Hold Henry Kissinger Accountable

In early December protesters in India marked the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy, calling on President Obama to hold American officials, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, accountable. 

On December 2, 1984 methyl isocyanate, a lethal ingredient in insecticides, leaked from a tank at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. The area surrounding the plant was tightly packed with a large population. Residents exposed to the gas had their eyes and throats burned. The immediate deaths resulting range in estimates from 3,787 to 8,000.

In the last three decades those numbers have climbed to 25,000 deaths. Residents of the area are dying from diseases caused by water and soil contamination. An estimated 150,o00 people are fighting chronic illnesses including cancer. Children in the region are often born sick and disabled. 50,000 people are said to still be living among the poison. Only 8 convictions have come since the event happened, all former plant employees, who were convicted of “death by negligence”. 

Thirty years later the death toll keeps climbing and survivors continue to demand justice. Five organizations representing victims of the gas disaster sent a letter to President Obama asking him to ““acknowledge the central role played by the United States government in the creation of the disaster in Bhopal and in the denial of justice to the victims”.

The groups called on supporters to force Union Carbide and its current own Dow Chemical to take responsibility for human suffering in Bhopal. The groups  said despite a 1991 ruling from the Indian Supreme Court ordering the Indian government to provide medical insurance coverage to 100,000 children affected by the disaster, not a single child has received medical help.

The organizations were calling for the United States to extradite Union Carbide Secretary John McDonald  under charges of manslaughter and grievous assault in the Bhopal district court. In addition they are demanding that the US government “acknowledge and express regret” for not extraditing Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union Carbide, before his death earlier this year.

Rashida Bee President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh also called out former Secretary of State for his responsibility in the disaster. Bee points to documents released by Wikileaks which show Kissinger facilitating a loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States to Union Carbide for the creation of the Methyl Isocyanate plant responsible for the deaths. In 1975 and 1976 Kissinger assisted in the creation of the pesticide plant by assuring the loan from the EXIM bank was successful. With his help Union Carbide was able to secure a loan of $1.3 million to cover half of the cost of building the plant.

Bee and other critics of Kissinger say that a recently released letter obtained under the Right to Information Act also shows the diplomat attempting to wield his influence to help Union Carbide settle out of court after the disaster. The letter was from May 31, 1988 written by former Tata Sons Chairperson JRD Tata to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Tata delivers a message from Kissinger to Gandhi, stating that Union Carbide would be willing to be higher settlements then those ordered by Indian courts but only if the deal could be reached out-of-court.

Tata tells the Prime Minister that Kissinger is a “consultant and adviser to many Government and large corporations , including Union Carbide in America.” Kissinger, Tata said, had concerns about the delay in reaching a settlement. Rajiv Gandhi responds to the letter, stating that “The suggestions will be given consideration.” Less than a year later a settlement would be reached in the Supreme Court. This decision would force Union Carbide to pay $470 million USD and absolve them of paying any future settlements.

The Bhopal Disaster is not the first time Henry Kissinger has come under fire for his actions as a government official and adviser. Although he is known by some as the greatest diplomat the United States has ever had for his work opening relations between the Soviet and Chinese governments, Kissinger is also known as  a war criminal to a large portion of the world.

Kissinger has evaded questions and legal summons by investigators in France, Spain, Chile and Argentina. They seek answers about his involvement in disappearances of citizens in the US and other countries in regard to Operation Condor. Condor was a campaign of political repression and terror involving assassination and intelligence operations implemented in 1975 by the dictatorships of South America. The former Secretary of State was heavily involved in Operation Condor.

On September 10, 2001, the family of General Schneider initiated a civil action in federal court in DC, claiming that Kissinger gave the agreement to murder the general because he had refused to endorse plans for a military coup in Chile.

November 13, 2002, 11 individuals brought suit against Kissinger for human rights violations following the coup. They accused him of forced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention, and wrongful death. The suit claims that Kissinger provided practical assistance and encouragement to the Chilean regime with reckless disregard for the lives and well-being of the victims and their families.

Both cases were dismissed based on sovereign and diplomatic immunity.

For more on the controversial career of Henry Kissinger check the following report.

Exclusive: FBI Whistleblower and Teacher Expose Islamic Gülen Movement Infiltrating U.S. Through Charter Schools

What Is The Islamic Gülen Movement?  

In rural Pennsylvania, a Turkish-born Muslim imam lives in self-imposed exile.

The imam, Fethullah Gülen, came to the United States in 1999 due to cited health problems and has stayed in the United States after gaining his visa with help from former CIA officials. The FBI previously resisted granting permanent residency status to Gülen. According to leaked cables, parts of the U.S. government believe that Gülen “is a ‘radical Islamist’ whose moderate message cloaks a more sinister and radical agenda.”

In an interview with 60 Minutes, Gülen followers claim that he does not control or have anything to do with the day-to-day dealings of the massive network of charter schools he helped found. 

Gülen-inspired schools are the largest charter network in the U.S. and receive approximately $150 million a year in taxpayer money. There are about 130 of these charter schools in 26 states where the majority of the teachers are from Turkey, as well as many of the contracts for construction and operation have gone to Turkish businesses. Those actions have raised red flags for the U.S. government.

The schools themselves are considered high quality and are focused on STEM-based learning — something that proponents of the Gülen Movement claim is lacking in U.S. education.

According to 60 Minutes, in Turkey, Gülen schools are everywhere and considered the best. But recently Turkey passed a law to shut down Gulen schools, a main source of the movement’s revenue.

Why Are My Tax Dollars Funding an Islamic Movement?

In the United States, many of the Gülen schools have long waiting lists. But that comes at a price for our American teachers:

“Our tax dollars are paying for them to come over here and take our jobs,” said Mary Addi, a teacher. “They want to give you the impression that they’re just hard-working guys over here to try and educate our kids, because American teachers are just too stupid.”

According to Addi, those Turkish teachers’ visa applicants oddly include English teachers. Gülen brings in foreign teachers and then takes a cut of their salary. She learned this after marrying a Turkish teacher. She said that after he was paid. He’d cash the check and return 40% of his salary back to the school for a secret fund used by the movement.

These allegations have caused the U.S. government to investigate for immigration fraud as well as misuse of taxpayer money. It has also caused many to wonder about the actual intent of the Gülen school.

According to a secret U.S. government document released by Wikileaks, “Deep and widespread doubts remain, however, about his (Gülen) movement’s ultimate intentions.  We have anecdotal evidence of the pressure that the various circles of his  movement put on people they have drawn in, for instance severe pressure on businessmen to continue to give money to support Gülenist schools or other activities.  We have multiple reliable reports that the Gülenists use their school network (including dozens of schools in the U.S.) to cherry-pick students they think are susceptible to being molded as proselytizers and we have steadily heard reports about how the schools indoctrinate boarding students.”

One public school teacher from the South spoke with Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook on condition of anonymity, said her students recently won a free cultural trip to Turkey through an art contest sponsored by a Gülen organization called the Atlantic Institute.

The teacher had a terrible experience. “They take you on this grueling 10-day death march through Turkey,” said the teacher. “It was exhausting.”

“After being food deprived the Gülenist hosts brought us to a building called the Journalist and Writer’s “light house” which was a compound.  This is where we got the cult spiel for 2 hours. The speaker told us, ‘Fethullah Gülen, he is the imam that sheds light on the dark waters of our time,'” said the teacher.

“This trip was not about a moderate message of interfaith dialogue or Turkish culture. The whole purpose was to promote the imam Fethullah Gülen,” said the teacher.

The teacher added, “the Gülen movement’s ultimate goal is to open charter schools in the U.S. to funnel U.S. tax dollars to back into the Gülen movement in Turkey. They skim just enough off the public taxpayers from these charter schools so it won’t look suspicious.”

Gülen schools are among the nation’s largest users of the H1B visas. In 2009, the schools received government approvals for 684 visas – more than Google Inc. (440) but fewer than a technology powerhouse such as Intel Corp. (1,203), reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Critics also find it hard to believe that qualified American teachers in math and science are hard to find.

Former president of the parent’s group at the Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School, Ruth Hocker started asking questions when popular, certified American teachers were replaced by uncertified Turkish men who often spoke limited English and were paid higher salaries. Most were placed in math and science classes.

“They would tell us they couldn’t find qualified American teachers,” Hocker told the Philadelphia Inquirer. That made no sense in Pennsylvania State University’s hometown, she said: “They graduate here every year.”

Other school parents described how uncertified teachers on H1B visas were moved from one charter school to another when their “emergency” teaching credentials expired and told of a pattern of sudden turnovers of Turkish business managers, administrators, and board members.

Leaked communications from a diplomatic cable suggests that some Gülen teachers maybe using the school as cover to get to the U.S.

From Wikileaks: “…we are concerned by the link with charter schools in the U.S. that have petitioned for marginally-qualified H1B candidates (The Kentucky Consular Center and our posts in Turkey have started compiling a list of these Gülenist charter schools in the US for use in visa adjudication). These applicants were simply not convincing, did not seem as fully in tune with Gülen’s approach to education and might be using the reputation of the school as a cover to get to the U.S.”

Recently, FBI agents carried out raids at 19 Gülen Charter schools in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio as part of an “ongoing white-collar crime matter.”

Many oppose the Gülen movement due to their lack of transparency, the cloud of suspicion regarding their funding, hierarchy, their pursuit of buying political influence, and their true purposes, and leaving U.S. taxpayers in the dark.

Tax payers being forced to indirectly support Islamist movements is one thing but is there something more insidious planned by the Gülen movement?

 While Gülen followers and some U.S. officials claim Gülen teaches a moderate version of Islam, some believe it is only part of a strategy to infiltrate the U.S.

According to The Middle East Quarterly, in 1999, Turkish television aired footage of Gülen delivering sermons which revealed his plan to implement Shari‘a law and use controversial tactics to achieve those goals.

In the sermon, he said:

“You must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers … until the conditions are ripe, they [the followers] must continue like this. If they do something prematurely, the world will crush our heads, and Muslims will suffer everywhere, like in the tragedies in Algeria, like in 1982 [in] Syria … like in the yearly disasters and tragedies in Egypt. The time is not yet right. You must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripe, until we can shoulder the entire world and carry it … You must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey … Until that time, any step taken would be too early—like breaking an egg without waiting the full forty days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside. The work to be done is [in] confronting the world. Now, I have expressed my feelings and thoughts to you all—in confidence … trusting your loyalty and secrecy. I know that when you leave here—[just] as you discard your empty juice boxes, you must discard the thoughts and the feelings that I expressed here.”

 Is Gulen a Front for the CIA?

A classified communication reveals that many secularists in Turkey are convinced that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is the creation of the United States Government (USG), and that Washington bolsters and funds the Fethullah Gülen movement.

Is the CIA or another agency in the USG using the Gülen movement to fund “cold war” operations overseas? Is the USG using the Gülen Islamic schools to influence Central Asia with a more “moderate” version of Islam to rival more racial Islamic sects?

Some claim that Gulen is a front for the CIA. See here and here.

If there is anyone who knows the truth about the inner workings of U.S. and Turkey relations it is FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds. 

 Edmonds is considered the “the most gagged person in American history.” The USG invoked “state secrets privilege” in her case and she is prevented from revealing government corruption  and cannot discuss certain aspects of her knowledge regarding her case. The DOJ’s Inspector General stated her claims are credible and Edmonds says her claims can be backed up by FBI files.

Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook asked Edmonds via email about her thoughts regarding Gülen. Edmonds has been covering the Gülen movement for years and has extensive research on her website.

Cook asked Edmonds, is Gülen a threat to US interests?

This has to do with Gülen’s role in terrorism,” said Edmonds. “Under the guise of schools [Madrasas] in Central Asia & Caucasus his network is involved in training terrorists [from Chechens to other Islamic Jihadis in the area]. The bureau had him under investigations since 1998. However, they were prevented from pursuing the cases [despite all evidence collected] due to direct pressure from the CIA/State Deptment. How do I know? Some of the case files were under the division where I worked [counterintelligence]. Other investigations were being conducted under the FBI’s crime & terrorism division.”

Cook asked, “Is the CIA using the Gülen network to fund CIA ops in Turkey?”

“They did,” said Edmonds. “It was also a channel for money laundering for their $20 billion worth network. They bring teachers from Turkey. They provide them with decent/high salaries, but then, they force them to voluntarily and individually contribute over 50% of their income to their various front charity organizations … I met with several ex-teachers and spoke with them in 2006-2008; however, because of overt and covert threats from Gülen’s network to their families in Turkey, they were not willing to come forward or go on record.”

While under oath during a legal disposition, Edmonds, was asked if she had any information regarding Fethullah Gülen.

“He landed on the Turkish government’s wanted list and was going to be persecuted for wanting to replace Turkey’s secular government with an Islamic/Sharia-type of government. When he was wanted in Turkey for that and was going to go jail, he actually got on a plane and came to the United States, and was given immediately a visa to stay in the United States,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds states that Gülen has close ties to training militant Muslims.

Edmonds claims in her testimony that “Gülen established more than 300 Madrasahs in Central Asia and what he calls universities that have a front that is called Moderate Islam, but he is closely involved in training Mujahideen (Al-Qaeda) – like militia Islam who are brought from Pakistan and Afghanistan into Central Asia where his Madrasahs operate, and his organization’s network is estimated to be around $25 billion, and that he has close ties to training militant Muslims.”

When asked if she considers Gülen a threat to U.S. interests, she responded, “100%, Absolutely.”


Watch Sibel Edmonds’s testimony regarding Gülen Schools and U.S. Foreign Policy Connections.

Secret Trade in Services Agreement draft has been leaked

A draft of the secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)  Financial Services Annex has been released by WikiLeaks today in a press release.

In an anti-transparency feat, the draft is meant to remain private during the negotiations which started in April 2013, and are set to commence for a seventh round of talks from June 23-27 in Geneva, Switzerland.  An amendment is also in place within the Agreement to keep it a secret for five years after its inception if it does pass.

According to the draft, financial multi-nationals would be assisted in expansion to other nations with no interference from regulatory barriers, resulting in cross-border data flow between other government entities and third-parties.

Cross-border data flow includes financial reports and personal data from citizens and corporations alike, of which the report says the U.S. is “particularly keen on boosting.”

This would allow for the dissemination of citizen’s financial and personal data not only across their own government, but across the governments of all other members included in the Agreement.

Preventative regulations to stop such actions were set in place after the financial collapse and crisis from 2007-2008.

TISA is being set up outside of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), but when the draft is finished, the report says the agreement will be “crafted to be compatible” with any GATS regulations set in place.

GATS was set up, according to the World Trade Organization, to ensure “fair and equitable treatment of all participants,” and “promoting trade… through progressive liberalization.”  GATS also calls for members to publish all measures of general application and to present transparency in terms of their policies.

If TISA were to be passed, the Agreement would not be in violation of any of the measures set in place by GATS.

The Agreement would also allow nations already signed on to be able to bully and pressure other nations into signing the Agreement, forfeiting their internal data to the other nations in the process.

TISA covers over fifty countries including major world and financial leaders such as the United States and all members of the EU, while also covering many financially weaker countries such as Colombia and Pakistan.

The BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, are all absent from the draft and subsequent agreements.  This may be an attempt to soften the financial stability and bargaining power of such countries in future services negotiations.

Chelsea Manning Criticizes U.S./Iraq Situation and Media Coverage

Chelsea Manning, the soldier previously known as Bradley Manning, spoke out for the first time since being sentenced to 35 years in prison on espionage charges. After delivering 700,000 secret documents to the website WikiLeaks, the former military intelligence analyst’s actions are referred to as the “largest-scale leak in US history.

Manning addressed the current affairs in Iraq, by saying, “As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan.”

While President Obama claimed to be “looking at all the options,” regarding US interference in Iraq, he has also been under scrutiny for the failure of Iraq’s security forces. After spending billions of US dollars on training and equipping Iraq’s security forces in 2010, the United States tried to paint a positive picture of the status of affairs.

However, Manning wrote, “Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality. Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed.”

I understand that my actions violated the law,” Manning wrote, in regards to speaking out for the first time since his sentence. “However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved.

Manning also went on to criticize the media coverage in Iraq, writing that he was shocked by the amount of troubling details that “flew under the American media’s radar.”

The current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance,” said Manning.

U.S. report: Afghanistan will likely descend into chaos


Will America’s longest war result in chaos? A U.S. diplomatic cable that was released by WikiLeaks paints a dismal picture of the reality in Afghanistan.

According to the Washington Post, “a new American intelligence assessment on the Afghan war predicts that the gains the United States and its allies have made during the past three years are likely to have been significantly eroded by 2017, even if Washington leaves behind a few thousand troops and continues bankrolling the impoverished nation.”

The prediction of insurgents taking back control of Afghanistan and the failures of U.S. foreign policy is not surprising though.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration, couldn’t tell congress how much the U.S. actually spends annually in Afghanistan.

Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook reported that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) asked the Obama administration’s top Afghanistan specialists: (1) How much is the U.S. spending in Afghanistan? (2) How many American troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year?

When none of them could give him an answer, Rohrabacher responded, “We’re supposed to believe that you fellas have a plan that’s going to end up in a positive way in Afghanistan? Holy cow!”

According to CNN, support for the war in Afghanistan has dipped below 20%, according to a new national poll, making the country’s longest military conflict arguably its most unpopular one as well.

But one of the most disturbing aspects of U.S. foreign policy is the refusal to expose the fact that the Saudi government, America’s so-called ally, is funding global terrorism.

The Independent’s Patrick Cockburn reported that WikiLeaks released a telegraph sent by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 which firmly states “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Mrs. Clinton reiterates in the same message “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”

The 9/11 Families United for Justice Against Terrorism (JASTA) coordinator, David White, told Benswann.com’s Joshua Cook, “We’re making a decision about how to leave the longest war in our history without knowing the exact details of who was behind what got us there, and who supported it. It’s still being held secret.”

“If there were ever a time to put our cards on the table as we make our decisions, it’s now. We almost went into Syria … we got to the door in making that decision without ever discussing what it means for us to be doing things as a proxy ally for Saudi Arabia,” said White.




FBI Attempts To Use Snowden’s Father As “Emotional Tool” To Lure Son Back To America

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s father, Lon Snowden, has spoken out.

And let’s just say he’s not too happy with the US government.

Lon said the FBI denied his request to speak to his son. The government agency has instead pressured him to go to Moscow in person to lure his son back to America.

Edward is currently stuck in a Moscow airport while he seeks asylum in Russia.

Lon told the Washington Post, “I was asked if I would consider flying to Moscow. And I said, ‘Yes, but however, I want to know what the objective is and I want to be able to speak to my son to see if there is value, because I’m not going to fly to Moscow to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you, for the government.'”

Edward Snowden Father

The whistleblower’s father, a former US Coast Guard, fully backs his son. He insisted that Edward is “wholesome,” “patriotic,” and “brilliant.”

Lon called the US press surrounding his son’s actions “propaganda” and said the US government has been “amateurish” trying to handle the situation. He thinks his son is smart not to come back to America. “Where at this point, unless someone’s been living in a cave without a TV, can my son get a fair trial?” he asked.

As reported by the Daily Mail, “Snowden Jr began working in intelligence in 2003, he told the reporter, under the Bush administration; he saw how things evolved, he told the reporter. With the arrival of the Obama administration he hoped that things would change, but Snowden Sr said rather than getting better, things got worse.”

Lon summed it all up best when he said, “[Edward] has chosen to release information at great peril to himself, to expose that people’s constitutional rights are being violated by the government.” 

He is right.

If you care about government overreach, thank Snowden regardless of where he ends up. Because at the end of the day, there is no Snowden “story” — the only thing that really matters is what government is doing to citizens.