The Intercept Is Transitioning From Guard Dog To Attack Dog For The Establishment

in wikileaks •  9 months ago

The Ecuadorian embassy in London cut off Julian Assange's internet access in October of 2016, but the WikiLeaks Twitter account kept posting about leak drops uninterrupted. The embassy's action made headlines all across mainstream media. It is common knowledge for anyone who was paying attention to WikiLeaks during that time. The Intercept's editors are unquestionably aware of this.

They are aware of this, and yet they allowed an article to be published about allegedly leaked Direct Messages on Twitter which continuously, pervasively and fundamentally assumes that the WikiLeaks account is controlled by Assange and Assange only. The account is referred to as "Assange" throughout the entire article.

"Throughout this article," the latest establishment effort at undermining public opinion of WikiLeaks states, "The Intercept assumes that the WikiLeaks account is controlled by Julian Assange himself, as is widely understood, and that he is the author of the messages, referring to himself in the third person majestic plural, as he often does."

There is no basis whatsoever for The Intercept to assume this. In addition to the obvious implications of the WikiLeaks account continuing to tweet despite Assange's lack of internet, WikiLeaks has made repeated public statements that it is a shared staff Twitter account. There is absolutely no excuse for such a spectacular journalistic failure to be interwoven without apology throughout an entire article of a widely esteemed publication. Even if The Intercept does end up retracting this grotesque embarrassment and extensively editing the article to reflect fact instead of fiction, there will be no reason to believe that this was due to anything other than public outcry, and the damage is already irreparable.

This matters because the article shows some DMs made by the WikiLeaks account which in the limited context provided are, quite frankly, kind of gross. There's nothing damning in them about the way WikiLeaks operates, nor anything confirming Russia ties, nor indeed anything whatsoever that should give anyone pause when trusting in the nature of the documents that WikiLeaks publishes, but there are some remarks which, if you can attribute them to the head of the organization, necessarily make that organization look sleazy. There are joking remarks about women and trans people that are cringey, and there's an antisemitic comment in there that in my opinion is particularly yuck.

But The Intercept couldn't allow its readership to view these remarks as potentially belonging to one of WikiLeaks' staff members, the personal shortcomings of a talented and indispensable asset to the team whose bigotry can be made harmless to WikiLeaks' greater mission by the guidance of its leadership. They knowingly and deliberately pinned attribution onto the face of the organization, knowing that Assange couldn't directly deny it without giving away more information about the account, and they did that with the intention of harming WikiLeaks' public reputation.

WikiLeaks operates by bringing truth to the people. That is its entire mission. The unelected transnational Orwellian empire which stands the most to lose from their releases understands that the less people like and trust WikiLeaks, the less damage they can do to the ecocidal, omnicidal oligarchy that is driving our species toward extinction. By attempting to paint Assange as an evil Nazi, they are minimizing the impact the next leak drop will have on the public, thereby neutering WikiLeaks by that much.

WikiLeaks poses no threat to the public. The only people who stand to suffer any harm from WikiLeaks are the powerful and corrupt, which The Intercept's Pierre Omidyar most certainly is. Omidyar voiced ridiculous criticisms of WikiLeaks after The Atlantic ran an article featuring deceitfully edited quotes from leaked DMs between Donald Trump Jr and the WikiLeaks account, including the claim that WikiLeaks could "lose" its First Amendment protection (not a thing). Never trust a billionaire.

Beyond this deliberately misleading attribution, independent journalist Suzie Dawson has also documented how the article reversed timelines, downplayed and omitted conflicts of interest in its "disclosure", including the extent of the author Micah Lee's deeply personal beef with Assange, and other key distortions. Much like The Atlantic's November article, this was a blatant smear piece disguised as a promotion of transparency.

As noted by Intercept co-founding editor Glenn Greenwald, people are already ripping the published DMs out of context and reporting on them falsely, which Greenwald seems to depict as an irresponsible and unfortunate response to the publication. But come on now. Anyone who knows anything about America's current political climate, as Greenwald surely does, could have predicted that people would be doing this. It was not only known that partisan hacks and empire loyalists would be running around making ridiculous claims about Assange supporting the Republican party because of this publication, it was intended. The deliberate distortions and omissions in the article make this abundantly clear.

Unlike others in my field I'm not willing at this point to say that Greenwald himself is actively complicit in this deliberate manipulation on the part of his employer, but at best he's certainly turning a blind eye to it.

Back in September The Intercept ran an article trying to conflate opposition to Syrian interventionism with white nationalism, and I said back then things were getting increasingly shady with this particularly outlet. The repeated WikiLeaks smears, which have no place outside mainstream media, mean that people like me are going to be distancing ourselves from that publication and ceasing to look at it as a reliable outlet. There is already a multibillion dollar mainstream media empire that is fully dedicated to slandering and disrupting government transparency activists, and if The Intercept chooses to stand with that lot, we should let them.

Last year comedian Jimmy Dore called out Washington Post reporters for having ceased to function as guard dogs for the establishment, merely protecting and promoting the preferred narratives of the oligarchic empire, and having become instead attack dogs for the establishment, actively chasing down and smearing anyone who speaks out against that empire. We are seeing the mainstream media function in this way more and more, and let's not kid ourselves: The Intercept has joined them.


Note: a hyperlink to a Mint Press News article has been replaced here with links to Pierre Omidyar's own Twitter statements for for more direct sourcing.

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Thanks for the article Caitlin. I put together some revealing information in relation to it. I hope it helps your audience understand the possibility of why this may be taking place.

Highlighting The Intercept's Owner Pierre Omidyar's Verifiable Connections to the Deep State - Booze, Allen, Hamilton

https://steemit.com/news/@clarityofsignal/highlighting-the-intercept-s-owner-pierre-omidyar-verifiable-connections-to-the-deep-state-booze-allen-hamilton

Incredibly important work. Thank you so much for your insight Caitlin, and it is really kind of you to source mine.

Go team truth!!

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Caitlin and Suzie -- where does that leave Snowden, since the Intercept is now holding his leaked documents for future release? I agree with you about all of this.. Something happened in Late October and the Wikileaks account became different enough that I stopped paying attention to it, because it seemed like it was a compromised link of communication. But since I've not seen Julian speak to this issue anywhere yet, (if you have links to where he's commented on this , I would love to see it) -- I've withheld judgement about what happened, why and the outcome overall. But if the Intercept is THIS compromised... It means the bulk of the remaining Snowden materials and their release could also be compromised... What say you both?

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@caitlinjohnstone

I like the distinction between guard dog and attack dog. It's pretty visceral.

But let's get real, any guard dog is an attack dog when someone gets dangerous.

I think the Establishment sees LOTS of "dangerous" people out there, like Quakers, YouTubers, and Climate Activists.

Pierre Omidyar did not put money into this project, without expecting something in return...He's definitely not some good Samaritan for the people anyway. His intentions were always to gain influence in the news media space and then use it against the people. Personally, I think that Greenwald is either a willing or unwitting dupe and powerless either way. He is being used by Omidyar who has him by the proverbial's. That's what all billionaires do unfortunately. They obviously do good journalism as well, because you have to gain followers and some credibility, otherwise they cannot grow. They will become the establishment left online news outlet using 'soft' propaganda to support the imperialist agenda.

Sibel Edmonds has been warning about the intentions/origins of The Intercept for a long time, and I think she will be proven right over the long term. I encourage everyone to go and view the interview between Sibel and Whitney Webb

Thank you for caring more about the Constitution than most Americans! Most of our government's oppressive actions are illegal by our own laws!
The continuous #OperationMockingbird done by MSM is a violation against the 1st Amendment and manufactures consent for tyranny.

good lock

Fantastic article Caitlin. Keep fighting. One day we'll beat these bastards

Indeed this Micah fellow appears highly biased - a trait which doesn't usually make for a fair and objective reporter.

This is indeed disappointing for an outlet such as The Intercept. I have noticed, though, in the past several months (if not more than a year) that the types of articles that get put into The Intercept are of less significance than prior to that period; back then they seemed to focus more on issues related to corruption and abuses of anything about Establishment"types, regardless of the country. I think they've lost touch with their original mission and direction. Sad. Sad indeed. Glenn, WTF is going on?

Perhaps this billionaire investor/backer of The Intercept, as you mentioned, has a hand in this. It is very hard to say, but would certainly not be surprising at all.

Thank you for your article!

Really nice and I really like it, oh sister really want to know close to you, and please follow me

I can't say I'm surprised. They put out some horrible pieces on Syria and look who funds them. I know you are a fan of Glen, but he is very suspect. Newsbud and James Corbett have done some great reporting on him. I do not trust Glen or the intercept and definitely not Scahill.

thank you. so glad to have found you on here. your article is a reminder that journalism, and journalists themselves, needs to be continuously vetted. not in a crazy, don't trust anyone way, but just making sure that if you see something questionable, or important for that matter, try and second and third source it. i trust your journalism implicitly (as i still want to with greenwald) but i will always keep a discerning eye on all my sources, and verify when possible. right now you and bartlett are the top of the pops for international coverage. thanks again

"Never trust a billionaire", so simple so obvious so true

Can Wikileaks and Assange join to Steemit?Nobody could censor them anymore.By the way,the this is the best way to fight propaganda:being on the 100% transparent blockchain.

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Nobody could censor them anymore? If they dropped the larger platforms like Twitter where they're censored in favor of this one, the powers that be wouldn't even need to censor Wikileaks anymore. The community here is NOT the audience that Wikileaks most desperately needs to break through to, I'm sure they'd be glad to see Assange turtle up here if it meant that he wouldn't share truth on those larger platforms.

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it will be good to see them post the same articles on all platforms. yet for some, like @hagoodman the bandwidth issue is a bit of a snag.

In a way that can be seen as a positive sign.

The establishment is getting ever more desperate, and this is how they show their cards. To the entire world...

One step closer to the solution.