Journalists for Yahoo! News finally confirmed a narrative around Mike Pompeo and the CIA's war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I outlined back in October 2019. It's an important report.

WikiLeaks' publication of "Vault 7" materials from the CIA was hugely embarrassing. Even though the CIA had increased spying operations against WikiLeaks, they still were surprised the media organization obtained a trove of the agency's extremely sensitive files.
CIA director Mike Pompeo was afraid President Donald Trump would learn about the "Vault 7" materials and think less of him. "Don’t tell him, he doesn’t need to know."

But it was too important. Trump had to be informed.
The CIA was already engaged in ramped up operations against Assange and WikiLeaks because the media organization assisted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
We learn that US intelligence officials lobbied the White House under Obama to redefine WikiLeaks—and high-profile journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras—as "information brokers." This could help CIA argue they were "agents of a foreign power" and valid targets.
"More than 30 former U.S. officials — eight of whom described details of the CIA’s proposals to abduct Assange," were sources for the report.

One of these officials professes to lobbying for a redefinition of journalists—a clear attack on principles of press freedom.
Pompeo and the CIA seized on a "carveout" to authorize operations against Assange and WikiLeaks over "Vault 7" publication.

They'd treat WikiLeaks as a spy service and anything conducted would be "offensive counterintelligence" activity.
Recall, CIA director Mike Pompeo's speech at CSIS, a Washington think tank, where he labeled WikiLeaks "a non-state hostile intelligence service."

That was all to fuel a climate for aggressive action targeted against Assange, WikiLeaks staff, and associates.
The CIA could not prove WikiLeaks was working at the behest of the Russian government. So rather than claim authority to target WikiLeaks that way officials sought to reframe the organization as a "hostile entity." Then it wouldn't matter that they weren't working for Russia.
Here is why I've said for the past couple of years the CIA was out to destroy WikiLeaks. The "hostile entity" designation allowed them to target the media organization for disruption.

This is a list of activities they believed they could engage in at any time:
The Yahoo! report appears to confirm Andy Müller-Maguhn, a former spokesman for Chaos Computer Club in Germany and friend of Assange, was targeted for disruption by the CIA.

He is a German citizen. A key question is whether German intelligence operatives were aware.
We can now say CIA Director Mike Pompeo wanted to kidnap WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Pompeo wanted to put him on a rendition flight to the United States.

The US intelligence operatives UC Global Director David Morales and others referenced worked at the highest levels.
Note key detail related to the proposal of kidnapping Assange. Pompeo was not raising a fresh and crazy idea.

"...the notion of kidnapping Assange preceded Pompeo's arrival at Langley..."

So under Obama there were meetings where kidnapping Assange was discussed.
President Donald Trump reportedly "spitballed" on whether the CIA could kill WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

And "agency executives requested and received 'sketches' of plans for killing Assange and other Europe-based WikiLeaks members with access to Vault 7 materials."
John Eisenberg, who was a top lawyer for the National Security Council under Trump, apparently opposed rendering Assange to US without criminal charges. He urged DOJ to accelerate drafting of charges and was concerned Pompeo was freezing out lawyers from Assange discussions.
British government agreed not to drop bail-jumping charge against Assange after Swedish investigation into sexual allegations was dropped in May 2017.

This bail-jumping charge helped keep him in Belmarsh during extradition hearing and after prevailed in district court.
At the conclusion of the report, it reads: "Spy services are increasingly using a WikiLeaks-like model of posting stolen materials online."

Trump administration gave the CIA "aggressive new secret authorities" for hack-and-dump operations.
For further context, this is the narrative around the CIA's war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I put together back in October 2019.…
To sum this all up: The Justice Department was afraid the CIA might kidnap or kill WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. They abandoned any hangup they had over "the New York Times problem" of charging a publisher and drafted an indictment.
I'll do a live broadcast on the new revelations confirming major details around the CIA's war on WikiLeaks at 3pm ET/8pm London Time.

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou will join me.
Full interview with former CIA officer and whistleblower @JohnKiriakou on the revelations around CIA plotting to destroy WikiLeaks and kidnap/kill Julian Assange
To keep up on latest on Assange and WikiLeaks, subscribe to The Dissenter Newsletter (

I'll be covering the US appeal hearing in the extradition case on October 27-28.

Sign up:

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More from @kgosztola

11 Sep
For all of September, The Dissenter will mark 20th anniversary of #September11 with retrospective series on rise of security state that puts whistleblowers front and center. Because these individuals listened to their conscience & implored us to turn away from the dark side.
FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley accused FBI Headquarters of failing to urgently respond to intelligence ahead of #September11.

Embarrassed, the FBI became a "preventative crime" agency, concocting terrorism plots they could take credit for thwarting.…
One of most important and best documentaries produced to coincide with the 20th anniversary of #September11.

It reflects how FBI was given immense power and abused it, often by preying on young black and brown men with financial troubles.
Read 8 tweets
10 Sep
Thanks for validating the independent journalism we do at @shadowproofcom!
@shadowproofcom We didn't ask @adfontesmedia to include us in their chart and review our articles for bias and reliability, but they did. Their team gave our posts pretty high scores for reliability. And we don't hide our bias so who cares where they plot us.
One of the posts reviewed is a parody of a Max Boot column that I wrote so I don't know how it could be reliable, and I don't believe bias is all that relevant. (And it's marked so they could've chosen anything else.)
Read 4 tweets
11 Aug
The first hearing before the UK High Court of Justice in the US government's appeal in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition case will start shortly. I'm remotely observing.

Thread for updates on the "preliminary" appeal hearing.
This Assange appeal hearing is not the main appeal hearing. That will come later.

Today's hearing is on the two grounds for appeal that the High Court of Justice declined to grant the US government. Prosecutors will try to persuade the High Court they were wrong.
This hearing for the US will be focused on discrediting Professor Michael Kopelman, an experienced neuropsychiatrist who assessed Assange from May-December 2019.

It will also be about the US's view that the district judge gave too much weight to certain suicide risk evidence.
Read 58 tweets
28 Jul
The four remaining Espionage Act charges against drone whistleblower Daniel Hale that US prosecutors refused to drop were dismissed with prejudice by Judge Liam O'Grady. And just about all of the coverage of Hale's sentencing didn't report this remarkable development.
It unfortunately wasn't acknowledged in the report from @etuckerAP nor was it in @joshgerstein's coverage. It wasn't in @rachelweinerwp's coverage for Washington Post either. It isn't mentioned in The Intercept's coverage by @rdevro and @MazMHussain. And I missed it initially.
Only because I interviewed @ChipGibbons89 after sentencing did I learn that the four remaining Espionage Act charges were dismissed. But I wasn't able to attend court proceedings while these other media organizations did have reporters present.
Read 4 tweets
27 Jul
Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale will be sentenced within the next hour, and if the US government has its way, he will receive the harshest sentence ever issued against someone for releasing documents without government authorization to the press.

THREAD will follow sentencing
Daniel Hale, who was involved in drone program while in US Air Force and deployed to Afghanistan: "The most disturbing thing about my involvement in drones is the uncertainty if anybody that I was involved in 'kill or capture' was a civilian or not. There's no way of knowing."
US prosecutors say Daniel Hale shared documents with a reporter for "self-aggrandizement," and it was not to inform American citizens. But @soniakennebeck, director of "National Bird" (in which Daniel appeared), wrote a letter to the court that counters this attack.
Read 10 tweets
26 Jul
Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for 9 am (ET) on July 27. Notice he will come before the judge and have to wait for plea agreement hearing. Then he and his defense will have a very limited time to address the court. Image
Daniel Hale will have no time to go past the window given to him. There are four defendants waiting to go before Judge Liam O’Grady at 10 am (ET).
A federal court is about to put its stamp of approval on harshest sentence ever issued against former government employee or contractor responsible for “unauthorized disclosure” of information, and it will likely be one of shortest Espionage Act sentencing hearings
Read 5 tweets

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