Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2016
As usual, Trump is full of shit: There has been extensive media coverage of the mostly innocuous cache of purloined emails in the mainstream media, though it has been overshadowed by PussyGate. Gee, I wonder why the media is focusing on PussyGate instead of emails that portray a political organization engaged in political strategerizing? Maybe a genius TV impresario like Donald J. Trump can solve that mystery.
Meanwhile, Balloon Juice favorite Glenn Greenwald has published another screed denouncing objections to the “inconvenient truths” published by WikiLeaks as neo-red baiting. He accused Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald of being “hysterical,” “overwrought” and engaging in “righteous group-think” (and Greenwald should know from these qualities!) for doubting WikiLeaks’ objectivity and lauds WikiLeaks’ “perfect, long-standing record of only publishing authentic documents.”
Look, I’m not a security expert, but those who are have concluded that the DNC hack was the work of Russian operatives, and the Department of Homeland Security has formally accused the Russian government of engaging in ongoing efforts to tamper with our election. Seems pretty clear that the Russians are the source of the documents WikiLeaks published, unless you believe in a Documents Fairy.
As far as I’m aware, there’s no conclusive evidence that the documents published on WikiLeaks have been edited. But Greenwald’s attempt to hand-wave away that possibility rings false; that the principals have confirmed via commentary and actions that certain excerpts are genuine isn’t a blanket confirmation that the many thousands of released emails are all genuine. And WikiLeaks has been accused of selective publication of documents before.
Moreover, even if you believe WikiLeaks is as pure as the driven snow, skepticism about the documents’ authenticity is warranted since altering documents fits the Russian MO when attempting to interfere with other countries’ elections (ours too, BTW). Isn’t it entirely possible and in character for Russian operatives to alter the documents before giving them to sweet, innocent WikiLeaks for publication, as was allegedly done in the Russian-Syrian document dump published by WikiLeaks linked above? Why would WikiLeaks be uniquely immune to the old “garbage in-garbage out” axiom — the credibility of Assange? Please.
The circumstantial evidence that Assange has his thumb on the scale for Trump is pretty goddamn strong, including the timing of the releases, which just so happen to come at the worst possible time for Democrats (as the DNC gets underway) or when Trump most desperately needs an anti-Clinton media distraction (to supply “both sides” fodder to balance PussyGate).
If WikiLeaks ever was an organization with a noble agenda of “radical transparency,” it has since shrunk into the pet project of an alleged rapist who has been sleeping on an air mattress for several years in an embassy as the guest of a government with a history of repressing real journalists.
We’re supposed to uncritically trust that guy, who credulously retweets Jim “The Stupidest Man on the Internet” Hoft and Breitbart.com using the WikiLeaks Twitter account? We’re supposed to believe the former host of a Russia Today show has no pro-Putin / anti-Clinton bias? A collaborator with the odious Roger Stone who is on record expressing a preference for Trump over Clinton and whose every action during this campaign just so happens to dovetail with the interests of the Trump operation?
Fuck that. The National Enquirer was right about John Edwards, but that doesn’t make its current story on “What The Stars Really Weigh” credible. WikiLeaks has morphed into yet another Trump vendor — one that will likely get stiffed when this bullshit campaign is over, suffering the fate of thousands of other organizations that service Trump.
That is the fault of no one but its principal. And anyone who continues to regard Assange as a credible actor is likely to wind up looking like a fool.