THE STRANGE CASE OF JULIAN ASSANGE VS. HILLARY CLINTON
ASSANGE MORPHS FROM THE WORLD’S FOREMOST TRANSPARENCY CHAMPION INTO PARTISAN HACK
Assange: 'We have more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign'
Updated 2:15 PM
(CNN)WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is boasting about how his group's release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails is affecting the US presidential election -- and says it has unreleased information about Hillary Clinton's campaign.
"We have more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign," Assange told CNN's Anderson Cooper on "Anderson 360" Friday night. "That is correct to say that."
Assange has been coy about how WikiLeaks came into possession of internal Democratic party cyber information. The FBI and Justice Department are investigating a computer hack of Democratic nominee Clinton's presidential campaign in addition to its examination of intrusions of other Democratic Party organizations, two law enforcement officials told CNN.
The revelation comes just days after the leak of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails -- US officials allege Russian hackers -- prompted major turmoil within the party, causing the abrupt resignation of its chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Assange said release of the information was timed to coincide with the start of the Democratic National Convention.
"That's when we knew there would be maximum interest by readers, but also, we have a responsibility to," Assange said. "If we published after, you can just imagine how outraged the Democratic voting population would have been. It had to had to have been before (the convention)."
Cooper asked Assange if the hack was connected to his "personal animus" toward Clinton.
"There is a question whether you have a personal animus toward Hillary Clinton. You criticized her on a number of issues. You gave an interview to the British network back in June, suggesting you are more concerned about Clinton at least in terms of press freedom than Donald Trump," Cooper said. "Do you stand by that? Is this based on a personal animus?"
But Assange pushed back on the idea that he wanted to "harm" Clinton.
"You can go back and look at that interview. I never said I wanted to do harm to Hillary Clinton, anything like that," he said. "It was the presenter that used that term."
Assange also said more material is forthcoming that is "extremely interesting."
"We have more material related to the Hillary Clinton campaign. That is correct to say that," he said. "Those are extremely interesting. We will see what will come of them."
NOTE: I happened to get into an online exchange over the DNC hack and dump last week. Essentially I said that it was an odd coincidence that the dump of the e-mails came weeks after the hack but just at the end of the Democratic Convention. Also, that the FBI was saying that it looked as if it came from the same Russian related sources as the recent hacks into OPM, the White House and other government agencies. Nothing that I wrote did I think was either controversial or wildly inaccurate.
Well, some guy fired back that I was making assumptions that were unsupported and that I was a stereotypical Democrat who thought that Bernie Sanders supporters were spoiled, self-centered, whiny brats with no brains. Now, I’m not sure where all the anti-Bernie stuff came from, since what I objected to most was Assange spilling my Social Security number out in pubic sphere so that some ID thief could get ahold of it. I don’t consider this aspect of the Assange/Wikileaks all that patriotic nor do I see where this action makes us safer or more knowledgeable about the secrets our government (or the DNC) is keeping from us. Initially, I was disturbed when Assange released all the documents he had received from Lt. Chelsea Manning since I don’t really warm up to the release of “state secrets” that might endanger lives and create discord around the world. On the other hand, I thought that Assange’s “transparency” argument – there is just too much secrecy going on around the world - that we know nothing about and might be harmed by – was a valid one.
Now that I think about it, with the latest DNC hack and dump, I am reminded that it was Russia who harbored Assange following his first explosive leaks prior to his taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. But now I’ve had it with Julian. He seems hell bent on doing the same thing to Hillary that the right wing has been doing for 20+ years in attempting to unjustifiably smear and derail her, to say nothing of reinforcing Putin’s dislike for her. In an interview yesterday Assange assured us that he had more damaging releases that would discredit Hillary even further in the days to come, including proof that the DNC robbed Sanders of the nomination. Well perhaps in Russia, the outcomes of elections are pre-determined and totally above board, but no matter what staffers at the DNC did or did not do, Bernie wasn't "robbed" of the Democratic nomination. But apparently Julian believes that he was and is intent on doing something about it.
So there you have it. Assange has gone from a “government transparency” crusader to an anti-Hillary crusader. Really? This is what the world’s foremost champion of whistleblowing and the honorable, if illegal, service to the greater good has become, simply another in a long, long line of “Killary” “Lock Her Up” cheerleaders? How sad, how disappointing and how disturbingly tragic is this. Frankly, by joining the not insubstantial ranks of the Hillary Haters, Julian Assange is simply undermining his own integrity and is risking the entire efficacy of his life’s work to say nothing of the credibility of Wikileaks. I predict that no one will pay him the least bit of attention any longer, no matter how explosive this and future Clinton exposes might be. By becoming a partisan in the U.S. 2016 election, he has lost all credibility and honor. It’s too bad. I used to be on the fence, leaning in his favor, but no longer.
I even “get” Assange’s foray into American politics, attempting to foment an organic “anarchic” revolution against the moneyed, corporate dominated “establishment” class much like Bernie Sanders’ revolution, but it didn’t happen during the 1930’s when America’s vibrant Communist Party advocated revolution, or in the 1960’s when America was really falling apart at the seams, and it’s not going to happen how no matter how hard Julian might act to foment such revolutionary anarchy nor how much he might be desirous of same. America is just not there. A Trump chaos Presidency is too frightening to consider. While I dismissed my online antagonist’s rants that I had a basis for assuming that there might be a Russian connection to the hack and dump – absent the FBI’s speculations, of course – now I’m even rethinking this: Is Julian Assange a direct or inadvertent agent of Russia? Sorry Julian, but I'm just not cool with this.