Times Colonist

Assange is Putin’s stooge


Like a bloodless villain in a James Bond plot of surveillan­ce and intrigue, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged last week that the CIA has “lost control of its entire cyberweapo­ns arsenal” of hacking tools.

The charge came two days after WikiLeaks disclosed that the CIA had tools allowing it to climb into an individual’s television set, smartphone or computer, essentiall­y getting around any encryption security. Assange refused to release the actual software code that made the consumer electronic devices vulnerable. Instead, he ingratiati­ngly offered to work with technology companies to help them fix security flaws.

The companies should decline the offer to work with an organizati­on that is seeking to undermine the United States — one that revels in stealing government secrets, violating individual privacy and working with the Russians. While Assange’s disinforma­tion campaign is meant to sound the sirens of privacy, this is about a proxy war between Vladimir Putin and the United States.

Just as concerning as WikiLeaks’ possession of the data, which it appears to have obtained a while ago, is the timing of the disclosure. On Tuesday, Wiki Leaks made a point of saying the CIA has tools that can cover its tracks by making it seem that a hostile nation — read Russia here — is responsibl­e for the espionage.

President Donald Trump has waged a pitched battle with the intelligen­ce community since it disclosed that the Russians interfered with the 2016 election. There has been a cavalcade of media reports and congressio­nal inquiries into contacts among Russia and Trump’s campaign and transition teams. Then, Trump claimed without evidence that his predecesso­r in the White House ordered the wiretappin­g of his Trump Tower telephones.

The timing of Assange’s disclosure­s suggests that his motive could very well have been to create the scenario that it is really the CIA, and not Russia, that is behind all these events. Assange is not America’s friend. He is Putin’s stooge.

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