WIKILEAKS FOUNDER’S RUS­SIA LINK

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

The ant-se­crecy or­ga­ni­za­tion WikiLeaks got a taste of its own medicine this week af­ter The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported on a large leak of in­ter­nal doc­u­ments from the group and its founder, Ju­lian As­sange.

One of the more in­ter­est­ing dis­clo­sures among the doc­u­ments, some of which are posted on­line, is a 2010 let­ter from Mr. As­sange to the Rus­sian Con­sulate in Lon­don, along with a copy of his Aus­tralian pass­port, ap­ply­ing for a visa to travel to Rus­sia.

“I, Ju­lian As­sange, hereby grant full author­ity to my friend, Is­rael Shamir, to both drop off and col­lect my pass­port, in or­der to get a visa, at the Rus­sian Con­sulate, Lon­don,” the let­ter states. It was signed “yours faith­fully” and high­lights WikiLeaks ties to Moscow.

The let­ter ap­pears to be part of a plan by Mr. As­sange to flee to Rus­sia. The let­ter was writ­ten shortly af­ter Mr. As­sange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean Em­bassy in Lon­don, was charged with sex­ual as­sault in Swe­den and shortly be­fore the ma­jor dis­clo­sure of thou­sands of se­cret U.S. doc­u­ments pro­vide to WikiLeaks by U.S. Pvt. Bradley Man­ning.

A 2016 U.S. in­tel­li­gence assess­ment con­cluded that Rus­sia med­dled in the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign that year.

“We as­sess with high con­fi­dence that Rus­sian military in­tel­li­gence … used the Guc­cifer 2.0 per­sona and DCLeaks.com to re­lease U.S. vic­tim data ob­tained in cy­ber op­er­a­tions pub­licly and in ex­clu­sives to me­dia out­lets and re­layed ma­te­rial to WikiLeaks,” the assess­ment stated.

WikiLeaks said on Twit­ter that “Mr. As­sange did not ap­ply for such a visa at any time or au­thor the doc­u­ment.” The group said the doc­u­ments were fab­ri­cated. Then-CIA Di­rec­tor Mike Pom­peo, now Pres­i­dent Trump’s sec­re­tary of state, said WikiLeaks was an ex­am­ple of a non­state hos­tile in­tel­li­gence agency.

The leak of a large cache of in­ter­nal WikiLeaks doc­u­ments has all the trap­pings of a re­tal­ia­tory cy­ber­at­tack.

But a source in the know said there was no U.S.

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