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For The Record  

FTR #755 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 2: Dramatis Personae, Part 2 (WikiFascism, Part 3)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

NB: This description contains material not in the original broadcast.

Lisen: MP3

Side 1    Side 2

Assange and Jermas/"Shamir"

Introduction: Due to the complexity of the analysis of “The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook,” we begin the discussion by highlighting the nature of the actors in this particular drama.

“Eddie the Friendly Spook” Snowden is inextricably linked with WikiLeaks and its milieu. (Citizen Greenwald is very closely connected with WikiLeaks, as well.)

As discussed  in FTR #’s 732 and 745, WikiLeaks is a far-right, Nazi-linked intelligence network. Although the vast majority of its adherents and those of the closely-connected Pirate Bay and Pirate Party milieux (as well as the overlapping “Anonymous” folks) would be described as “anarcho/Utopian” in  their political outlook, WikiLeaks tracks back to explicitly fascist elements.

Beginning with review of Julian Assange’s Nazi and fascist associations, the first side of the show recaps part of side “A” of FTR #745.

After highlighting the WikiLeaks/Snowden relationship, the program details Nazi infiltration of, and participation in, the Pirate Party which, as we have seen, is very close to WikiLeaks.

Next, we turn to the subject of the fledgling WikiLeaks Party in Australia. That party’s endorsement of fascist and far-right political parties in the Australian election was deliberate, and not an “administrative error.”

The program concludes with examination of Julian Assange’s endorsement of Ron and Rand Paul.

Program Highlights Include: Ron Paul’s links to the failed white-supremacist Dominica invasion in 1981; Ron Paul’s association with the Fatima Center, a holocaust-denying organization that rejects the notion that the earth orbits the sun; Ron Paul’s decades-long networking with David Duke; Ron Paul’s decades-long networking with Don Black and the Stormfront milieu; connections between the milieu of Julian Assange’s holocaust-denying aide Joran Jermas and David Duke; connections between Carl Lundstrom and the milieu of David Duke; the role of former WikiLeaks associate James Ball in precipitating the Snowden psy-op; Joran Jermas’ son Johannes Wahlstrom’s upcoming testimony as a character witness in Julian Assange’s rape trial.

1a. The program reviews Assange and WikiLeaks’ links to explicitly Nazi and fascist elements, recapping information from FTR #745.

Beginning with the decisive role of Joran Jermas/Israel Shamir’s Nazi and anti-Semitic network in the establishment of WikiLeaks in Sweden, the program cites research uncovered by Expo, the magazine founded by Stieg Larsson.

The “organization” referred to by Jermas/Shamir and embraced by Assange is almost certainly the “Pirate Vortex.” Although composed of Utopian-minded individuals, for the most part, that milieu has strong fascist/Nazi underpinnings.

“Revealed: Anti­semite was key to Wik­iLeaks Oper­a­tion” by Mar­tin Bright; Jew­ish Chron­i­cle; 6/2/2011.

The noto­ri­ous anti­se­mitic jour­nal­ist Israel Shamir was actively involved in devel­op­ing the Wik­iLeaks net­work — and was not just another free­lance writer who hap­pened to strike up a work­ing rela­tion­ship with the website’s founder Julian Assange, accord­ing to newly-revealed cor­re­spon­dence. [Emphasis added.]

Emails seen by the Swedish anti-racist mag­a­zine, Expo, demon­strate that the two men co-operated for sev­eral years. As early as 2008 Mr Shamir was asked to rec­om­mend poten­tial asso­ciates in Swe­den. [Emphasis added.] He sug­gested his own son, Johannes Wahlström: “He is a Swedish cit­i­zen, and lives in Swe­den. Prob­a­bly, he’ll be able to give advice about press freedom.”

Like his father, Mr Wahlström has devel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for stri­dent anti­se­mitic views. In 2005, left-wing mag­a­zine Ord­front was forced to with­draw one of his arti­cles, which argued that Israel con­trolled the Swedish media.

An email from June 2010 shows that Mr Shamir was still play­ing a part in the Swedish Wik­iLeaks net­work at that point. “I have a lot of good guys who can help to analyze the trea­sure and it would be good to start spread­ing the news,” he told Mr Assange. “I am now in Paris, and peo­ple want to know more! Tues­day I go to Swe­den, and there is a whole oper­a­tion for your ben­e­fit!” Mr Assange replied: “There cer­tainly is! Tell the team to get ready. Give them my best. We have a lot of work to do.” . . . [Emphasis added.]

1b. It might be worthwhile here, to briefly review the nature of Jermas/Shamir’s political outlook.

“Assange’s Extrem­ist Employ­ees: Why is Wik­iLeaks employ­ing a Holo­caust Denier and his dis­graced son?” by Michael C. Moyni­han; Rea­son Mag­a­zine; 12/14/2010.

. . . So let us quickly recap the foulness of Shamir’s political views. As I noted last week, he has called the Auschwitz concentration camp “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo),” not a place of extermination. He told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.” . . .

1c. Joran Jermas’ son Johannes Wahlstrom’s will be testifying as a character witness in Julian Assange’s rape trial. As discussed above, Wahlstrom is a bird of the same political feather as his father.

“Exclu­sive: For­mer Wik­iLeaks Employee James Ball Describes Work­ing With Julian Assange” by James Ball; The Daily Beast; 5/30/2013.

. . . . Dis­turbingly, Assange seems to have a per­sonal moti­va­tion for stay­ing friendly with Shamir. Shamir’s son, Johannes Wahlstrom, is appar­ently being called as one of Assange’s defense wit­nesses in his Swedish trial. That’s not the only time self has come before principle.

1d. The “operation [in Sweden] for [Assange’s] benefit appears to be the milieu of the Pirate Bay–referred to in FTR #732 as the “Pirate Vortex.” This milieu is inextricably linked with WikiLeaks’ operations, with the economic heavy lifting for Pirate Bay being done by Carl Lundstrom, Nazi/fascist financier of far right parties, including the Sweden Democrats.

Listeners are emphatically encouraged to carefully digest the material in FTR #732. A grasp of that broadcast will greatly aid in understanding this program.

2a. It was a Guardian journalist James Ball–a former WikiLeaks associate–who helped cement the Snowden–Laura Poitras relationship.

“How Edward Snow­den Led Jour­nal­ist and Film-Maker to Reveal NSA Secrets” by Roy Greenslade; The Guardian; 8/19/2013.

. . . . After Poitras made a video of Snow­den, duly posted on 9 June, he checked out of his hotel and went into hid­ing. A week later, Poitras flew to Berlin, “where she could edit her doc­u­men­tary with­out wor­ry­ing that the FBI would show up with a search warrant.”

And two weeks after that she flew to Brazil. It was there, in a Rio de Janeiro hotel, that Maass met her along with Green­wald, where they were work­ing with MacAskill and another Guardian jour­nal­ist, James Ball. . . .

2b. Next the program details the role of WikiLeaks in empowering Snowden’s journey from China to Russia.

One of WikiLeaks’ financial assistants has offered to fly Snowden to Iceland, in order to receive political Asylum. Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson, head of DataCell (which has been accepting funds for WikiLeaks), is ponying up for the aircraft.

Sigurvinsson’s DataCell is presided over by Andreas Fink, a member of the Swiss Pirate Party–see text excerpt below. (The “Pirate Vortex,” as we call the Pirate Bay/Pirate Party crowd, are of “anarcho/Utopian” political orientation, but have been maneuvered into backing hard-core fascist institutions and undertakings. Hell, they haven’t even come to terms with their Nazi financial angel Carl Lundstrom’s activities. Germany’s Pirate Party has taken stock of the Nazi infiltration of its ranks.)

3. Noting the Pirate Party’s close relationship with WikiLeaks, we highlight that orgnization’s infiltration by neo-Nazi elements.

4. It should come as no surprise at all that the Australian WikiLeaks Party chose far-right and fascist parties over its Green supporters in the recent election Down Under.

“Wik­iLeaks Party’s ‘Admin­is­tra­tive Errors’ Incense Greens” by Bernard Keane;  Crikey.com.au; 8/19/2013.

A deci­sion by the Wik­iLeaks Party to direct pref­er­ences away from Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­porter has incensed sup­port­ers. They should have known better.

The fledg­ling Wik­iLeaks Party has inflicted major dam­age on itself after a dis­as­trous pref­er­ence allo­ca­tion that saw it pref­er­enc­ing far-right par­ties, apol­o­gis­ing for an “admin­is­tra­tive error” and pref­er­enc­ing the WA Nation­als ahead of Julian Assange’s strongest polit­i­cal sup­porter, Greens Sen­a­tor Scott Ludlam.

The Sen­ate pref­er­ence allo­ca­tions revealed yes­ter­day showed, in New South Wales, Wik­iLeaks had pref­er­enced the right-wing Shoot­ers and Fish­ers Party and the extreme-right Aus­tralia First Party, run by con­victed crim­i­nal and for­mer neo-Nazi Jim Saleam, ahead of the Greens and the major par­ties. Aus­tralia First wants to end all immi­gra­tion and to restore the death penalty.

Soon after the release of the pref­er­ences and a firestorm of crit­i­cism erupted on social media, the party issued a state­ment on its Face­book page blam­ing the pref­er­enc­ing on “some admin­is­tra­tive errors”.

The “error”, the exact nature of which remains unex­plained, appears to have par­tic­u­larly incensed pro­gres­sive vot­ers who had assumed Wik­iLeaks would be a left-wing, Greens-style party. How­ever, Julian Assange has already crit­i­cised the Greens’ totemic asy­lum seeker pol­icy as “sim­plis­tic and fool­ish” dur­ing the cam­paign and backed off­shore pro­cess­ing, while crit­i­cis­ing both the major par­ties on the issue. On the week­end, Assange said he admired US lib­er­tar­ian Repub­li­cans Ron and Rand Paul, though he expressed con­cern about their posi­tion on issues like abor­tion. Swap­ping pref­er­ences with minor par­ties of very dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tions is also stan­dard prac­tice for all par­ties. One party source told Crikey the “admin­is­tra­tive error” in NSW was quite inten­tional and aimed at the Greens. . . .

. . . . Lud­lam has been Assange’s strongest sup­porter inside fed­eral Par­lia­ment, hound­ing the gov­ern­ment over its lack of sup­port for him and its deal­ings with the US over its cam­paign against Assange and Wik­iLeaks. Lud­lam trav­elled to Europe at his own expense in 2011 to talk to Swedish author­i­ties and Aus­tralian offi­cials in the UK about the case.

The deci­sion to pref­er­ence the Nation­als’ David Wirrpanda ahead of Lud­lam, strength­en­ing the chances of the Nation­als snar­ing the sixth Sen­ate spot ahead of the Greens, is thus an extra­or­di­nary betrayal. . . .

“Wik­ileaks Party Sen­ate Can­di­date: NSW Pref­er­ences a ‘Poor Judge­ment Call’, not Admin Error” by Ter­ence Huynh; Techgeek.com;  8/26/2013.

Gerry Geor­gatos, the num­ber one Sen­ate can­di­date for the Wik­ileaks Party in West­ern Aus­tralia, has said that the Wik­ileaks Party’s New South Wales pref­er­ences fiasco was a “poor judge­ment call” and not an admin­is­tra­tive error.

It was not an admin­is­tra­tive error, it was a poor judge­ment call. I’m not [going to come out] here and bull­shit the audi­ence,” he told the Indy­media pro­gramme (24 min­utes into the pro­gramme) on Perth’s RTR yes­ter­day. His state­ment appears to con­tra­dicts the offi­cial posi­tion given by the Wik­ileaks Party that the pref­er­ences were an “admin­is­tra­tive error”.

In New South Wales, the Wik­ileaks Party pref­er­enced the Shoot­ers and Fish­ers and far-right Aus­tralia First party above the Greens – in direct con­tra­dic­tion to the deci­sions made by the National Coun­cil. The fiasco, in addi­tion to the West­ern Aus­tralian pref­er­ences, saw Leslie Can­nold, four National Coun­cil mem­bers and sev­eral vol­un­teers left the party. . . . .

5. The program concludes with examination of Assange’s support for Ron and Rand Paul, the former being Eddie the Friendly Spook’s Presidential candidate of choice.

The next program explores and reviews central points of the Ron and Rand Paul milieu.

The program then analyzes some key points of the “Paulistinian Libertarian Organization,” including:

  •  Ron Paul’s son Rand Paul is leading the political charge over the Snowden “disclosures” (note the quotes.) Rand Paul is lining up as a GOP Presidential hopeful for 2016, looking to capitalize on libertarian populism as a vehicle for achieving victory. Again, expect to see L’Affaire Snowden play into the Republican theme of Obama/Democrats as sponsors of “big government” etc., etc. (Both the above-mentioned Peter Thiel and Glenn Greenwald–Snowden’s leaking journalist of choice–network with the Koch brothers funded Cato Institute, an epicenter of libertarian ideology.) (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • We have noted in past discussion that one of the goals of this “op” is to alienate younger, more idealistic voters from the Democratic party. That appears to be one of Rand Paul’s stratagems in his campaign bid. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Rand Paul’s key staffer Jack Hunter is a former chairman of The League of the South, a racist neo-Confederate organization that advocates the secession of the South and has links to the milieu behind the assassination of Martin Luther King. Sarah Palin’s political milieu also has links to the League of the South. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Jack Hunter is the former blogger for–Ron Paul, Snowden’s Nazi Presidential candidate of choice. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Snowden’s father Lon Snowden has formed a political organization with Bruce Fein, a Ron Paul backer in 2008. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Bruce Fein is also, apparently, the lawyer for Edward Snowden as well, handling legal maneuvering for Eddie the Friendly Spook while he is in Russia. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Fein was a counsel for Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign in 2012. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Fein’s association with Lon Snowden appears to have derived from the elder Snowden’s networking with Rand Paul’s organization.
  • Fein also networked with the German-based Schiller Institute, run by the fascist organization of Lyndon LaRouche. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Fein also works on behalf of Turkish interests, acting in conjunction with forces alleged by Sibel Edmonds to be involved with money laundering on behalf of interests that include Al-Qaeda. The probability is strong that Fein operates in conjunction with the Erdogan government and–possibly–Fetullah Gulen. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange–joined at the hip with Eddie the Friendly Spook–has endorsed both Ron and Rand Paul.
  • In an update, we note that Ron Paul will be attending a fund-raiser for a fascist splinter sect of Catholicism that endorses Holocaust denial, claims the Jews are trying to exterminate Gentiles and denies that the earth revolves around the sun. Paul’s association with this group goes back to 1998. (See text excerpt in linked article.)
  • Another update fleshes out Ron Paul’s racist associates and views.
  • Yet another update details some of the anti-democratic views of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, as well as its profound links to the neo-Confederate movement. The Von Mises Insitute is the epicenter for the economic views of Ron and Rand Paul, as well as Eddie Snowden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion

4 comments for “FTR #755 The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook, Part 2: Dramatis Personae, Part 2 (WikiFascism, Part 3)”

  1. Edward Snowden gave a series of interviews just published in the New York Times about the events and motivations and some of the logistics involved. One of the things we’re learning is that the key event for him in 2009 was stumbling across a misplaced classified 2009 inspector general’s report on the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program during the Bush Administration. We also learned that Snowden worked on Chinese targets and apparently even taught a class on Chinese cybercounterintelligence methods while adding that he had “access to every target, every active operation [mounted by the N.S.A. against the Chinese]. Full lists of them”. Interesting, he claims to be very confident that there’s a zero percent chance that the Russians or Chinese received any of his data. The evidence he cites that no such data has been passed along is the fact that the NSA isn’t loudly denouncing specific damage caused by the leaks and hasn’t publicly declaring things like “the Chinese military has shut us out.” He also added that no files were taken to Russia because he handed them all off to his team of journalists in Hong Kong.

    Adding to the question of “what did the Russians get their hands on?”, there was an interview last week of Ray McGovern after he flew to Moscow to meet with Snowden and give him an award. According to McGovern, the four laptops Snowden took to Moscow were all decoys. The real data was on thumb drives handed to Greenwald and Poitras back in Hong Kong:

    Laptops Snowden took to Hong Kong, Russia were a ‘diversion’

    By Mark Hosenball

    WASHINGTON | Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:14pm EDT

    (Reuters) – The four laptop computers that former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden carried with him to Hong Kong and Moscow were a “diversion” and contained no secrets, according to an ex-CIA official who met with Snowden in Russia this week.

    The classified documents that Snowden had downloaded from the U.S. National Security Agency were stored on smaller devices, such as hard drives and thumb drives, and they have not been turned over to the Russian or Chinese authorities, said Ray McGovern, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst.

    On Wednesday, Snowden held a six-hour meeting in Moscow with McGovern and three other former U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials who have all become critics of government surveillance programs.

    U.S. officials have said that they were operating on the assumption that any classified materials downloaded by Snowden have fallen into the hands of China and Russia’s spy agencies, though the officials acknowledge they have no proof of this.

    McGovern said Snowden made it clear at their Wednesday meeting that there was “nothing on” his laptops.

    The former CIA analyst had traveled to Russia to give Snowden an award for “Integrity in Intelligence.” The other Americans who went with him were Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent; Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department official; and Thomas Drake, a former NSA official who the U.S. government had prosecuted for allegedly leaking secrets about an NSA project called “Trailblazer.”

    In a telephone interview from Moscow, McGovern said Snowden told him that Drake was the “model” for his decision to leak U.S. secrets. The government eventually dropped all but a relatively minor charge against Drake, to which he pleaded guilty.

    McGovern said Snowden had “no regrets at all and he said it very convincingly.”

    Snowden is “well protected” but also said he “can do pretty much what I like” and can “get out and about,” according to McGovern.

    He declined to discuss where and how they met with Snowden, but he said that they had to pass through metal detectors before the meeting and that Snowden appeared to be attended by some kind of official Russian security detail.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his close collaborator Sarah Harrison, a British journalism student who has been helping Snowden, played a major role in arranging for the meeting, McGovern said.

    Harrison remained with Snowden as he spent several weeks in legal limbo in a Moscow airport transit zone, and stayed in Russia after he was granted temporary asylum.

    There was also a piece by Jesselyn Radack, one of the attendees of that meeting in Moscow, about her experiences with Snowden. It sounds like Snowden is really perplexed by all of the interest into whether or not he could be passing information to the Russians:

    The Nation
    My Visit With Edward Snowden

    Although living in exile from the country he loves, Snowden is warm, centered and engaged and follows debates about surveillance with a keen legal acumen.
    Jesselyn Radack
    October 17, 2013

    Last week I traveled to Russia with three other Americans to present former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with the annual Sam Adams Associates Award for Integrity in Intelligence. Ray McGovern (retired CIA analyst), Thomas Drake (former NSA senior executive and whistleblower), Coleen Rowley (retired FBI agent and whistleblower), and I felt it especially important that Snowden receive this award from Americans who served the government in the national security and intelligence fields. Being the first Americans to see Snowden since he left Hong Kong, we all had serious concerns about our trip—not about getting into Russia, but about getting back into our own country. We left Washington, DC, having a lawyer on retainer and no electronics—cell phones, laptops or any of today’s normal lifelines—knowing that the United States could geo-locate our whereabouts and find Snowden, and also knowing we could have our devices searched and confiscated upon our return.

    As for who is providing for his security—WikiLeaks? FSB?—this question is borne not out of a concern for his safety, but rather a US desire to perpetuate a false narrative that Snowden is being controlled by the Russians. I can say with certainty: Edward Snowden is not being controlled by the Russians, or anyone for that matter. He is fiercely independent and makes his own decisions, leaving him perplexed and understandably frustrated by the continuous insinuations that he is giving the Russians information. He ticks off abundant evidence to the contrary. First, he points out, he didn’t destroy his life to become a Russian asset. Second, he’s in Russia only because of the United States, which revoked his passport while he was en route to Latin America. Third, WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison has been by his side the whole time, in part to bear witness to the fact that he is not engaged in spying activity. Fourth, it is obvious that he chose to give information about NSA’s secret dragnet surveillance to the US people, not foreign adversaries. Fifth, and perhaps most significantly considering the contrary narrative promulgated in the United States, he has not had access to the information he revealed since he left Hong Kong. Here, rational logic fails and cognitive dissonance clouds him from seeing that the spy allegation is just a more incendiary version of the routine smears always leveled against whistleblowers. For why would your country crucify you when you’re trying to keep it on the right path?

    We did not discuss particular news articles or revelations. But I was struck by something I’ve always applauded about Julian Assange. Despite whatever peril he was in, Assange always mentioned concern for whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning, Drake, William Binney and John Kiriakou, many of them my clients who were facing espionage charges. They were grateful, as was I, for those words of support in these very lonely battles. Similarly, Snowden—the most wanted man on the planet—worried more about the criminal threats against others so pivotal in his journey: WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and especially WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison who has been his shepherd, friend, protector and constant companion since Hong Kong.

    So who knows whether or not Snowden passed anything along to the Russians, but when Sarah Harrison has been his “shepherd, friend, protector, and constant companion since Hong Kong” it seems like we have to assume that WikiLeaks still doesn’t have any of Snowden’s files. Because otherwise….

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 17, 2013, 11:39 pm
  2. @Pterrafractyl–

    Certainly tightens the already profound connections between Eddie the Friendly Spook and WikiLeaks.

    How disgusting, though predictable, to watch the press gushing all over a far right, Nazi-linked “op.”

    Glad I’ve got a strong stomach, as well as a highly-developed sense of humor.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | October 18, 2013, 4:46 pm
  3. A delegation of WikiLeaks Party members met with Bashar al-Assad recently. As one might expect, Australia’s punditocracy was not pleased:

    The Sydney Morning Herald

    WikiLeaks Party defends its ‘cup of tea’ with Bashar al-Assad

    January 1, 2014

    Leesha McKenny, David Wroe

    Julian Assange’s father has defended the WikiLeaks Party’s controversial visit to Syria, saying it was ”just a matter of good manners” to meet with accused war criminal President Bashar al-Assad.

    As a storm of controversy erupted around the visit by the Australian group, Mr Assange’s father, John Shipton, admitted the visit was being used for propaganda purposes by the Assad regime, but said the delegation was trying to resolve the conflict, not side with the government.

    Mr Shipton, who is chairman of the WikiLeaks Party, and other party members met with Dr Assad and other senior members of the Syrian regime last week. Sydney University academic Tim Anderson – who was acquitted of the 1978 bombing of the Sydney Hilton hotel – and activist Gail Malone were among the delegation.

    WikiLeaks distanced itself from the visit by its Australian political offshoot, saying via its official Twitter account on Tuesday: ”Peace brokering a good idea, but [it was] obvious [the] meeting would be spun without care. Did not know or approve.”

    The Australian government also expressed anger, with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop branding the visit ”exceedingly counterproductive” and ”reckless”.

    Mr Shipton said the delegation made the visit because resolving the civil war in Syria – in which an estimated 126,000 people have been killed – was central to world peace and stability.

    But he distanced himself from the Assad regime, which among other alleged atrocities is accused of using chemical weapons against its own people. ”He invited us to call in and have a cup of tea, and it was difficult to snub him,” Mr Shipton said from London.

    ”We just went along, said hello, didn’t say anything much actually … If something is central to the prosperity of the West and the world and could lead to a world war, then you’ve got to look at it whatever way you can. Our commitment is to peace and the unfolding of the facts and the Syrian people, not to a particular government.”

    Ms Bishop said it was obvious the visit would be used for propaganda purposes.

    ”Assad has been accused of war crimes … and it’s extraordinary to think that [the WikiLeaks Party] would just insert themselves into this dreadful situation,” she said.

    ”It was exceedingly counterproductive of an Australian political party to meet the Syrian leader given the volatile conflict that is under way … This was a reckless action to the take.”

    One of the ways the Assad regime appears to be using the meeting with the WikiLeaks delegation is to reassert the charges that a prominent Sydney-based Imam with ties to the Syrian opposition is also a war criminal that was involved with the kidnapping of 106 Syrian women and children last year. This didn’t go over well in Australia’s political class:

    WikiLeaks activists slammed for Bashar al-Assad meeting

    JARED OWENS and RICK MORTON
    The Australian
    January 01, 2014 12:00AM

    FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has condemned the WikiLeaks Party’s “extremely reckless” meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, warning the foray is “deeply counterproductive” and undermines sanctions placed on the pariah regime.

    But John Shipton, who is Julian Assange’s father and chief executive of the WikiLeaks Party, defended his decision to meet Assad, saying it was better than siding with “the liver-eaters and the head-choppers” of the rebel opposition.

    Some of WikiLeaks’ most steadfast supporters, however, joined the government and opposition in condemning the “solidarity mission” to Syria that toured Damascus and was shown in state-run media visiting senior members of the regime.

    Police also disputed the regime’s claims to the delegation that Canberra had “turned a blind eye” to a prominent Sydney imam who was allegedly “responsible for” the kidnapping of 106 women and children during a massacre of civilians by jihadi rebels on August 4.

    The Foreign Minister warned that the WikiLeaks mission, which claimed to represent Australia, “could be interpreted as a show of support for President Assad’s behaviour”.

    “I find it extraordinarily reckless that an organisation registered as a political party in Australia would seek to insert itself into the conflict in Syria and engage with a leader accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including using chemical weapons against his own people,” Ms Bishop told The Australian.

    “Their actions could be interpreted as a show of support for President Assad’s behaviour. Further, the Syrian regime is subject to wide-ranging sanctions and WikiLeaks’ actions are deeply counterproductive.

    “Australia, as a member of the UN Security Council, is actively pursuing humanitarian efforts in Syria. It is not a place for political parties to pursue their political ends.”

    Mr Shipton insisted his party’s enemies would attempt to smear the “fact-finding” mission to Syria.

    He claimed the mission mirrored international efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict after almost three years of bloodshed and more than 125,000 deaths.

    “We’re clearly on the right side of history here, and who would want to be on the side of the liver-eaters and the head-choppers that plague the poor people of Syria?” Mr Shipton said.

    “I have no interest in supporting the Syrian government at all, or the opposition. That’s their thing they fight about.

    “I’m interested in the effect on the people of Syria and the strategies the contending (regional and world) powers are putting into place there.

    “In Damascus they’ve got four hours of electricity a day and random mortar fire at night … You could smell the aftermath of gunfire in the air.”

    Mr Shipton was spending New Year’s Eve with Mr Assange, who is being harboured in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    Ecuador supports the Syrian government and has offered asylum to Assad and his inner circle if they ask for it.

    Author Antony Loewenstein, a supporter of WikiLeaks, backed “peaceful dialogue” with Assad but insisted the WikiLeaks Party’s solidarity mission “whitewashes the crimes of the regime”.

    “It’s sad to see the WikiLeaks Party visit Syria and show ‘solidarity’ with Assad, a brutal dictator who is responsible for the death of countless civilians. The Saudi and Western-backed ‘rebels’ are equally complicit in war crimes,” Mr Loewenstein said. The head of the Islamic Friendship Association, Keysar Trad, accused the WikiLeaks Party of blatant hypocrisy for giving Assad the publicity coup of being visited by an Australian delegation.

    “It’s very disappointing to see WikiLeaks, which supports openness and human rights, to be meeting with one of the biggest human rights abusers of our time,” Mr Trad said.

    “It’s disrespectful to all the families who have been victims of the Assad regime.”

    Mr Trad defended the prominent Sydney imam whom Syrian officials claimed was involved in the kidnapping of 106 women and children during a massacre of civilians by rebels in the province of Latakia on August 4.

    These claims were made to the WikiLeaks delegation.

    Mr Trad said he personally knew the imam, describing him as an eminent scholar and respected member of the Australian community.

    It was implausible that the sheik would have been involved in any form of violent activity in Syria, he said.

    But three other senior WikiLeaks party figures – former Senate candidates Alison Broinowski, Gerry Georgatos and deputy chairman Omar Todd – backed the delegation’s motives.

    Mr Georgatos likened it to the first olive branches offered to South African leaders that ultimately dismantled apartheid.

    The Greens declined an opportunity to comment.

    Their translator, western Sydney-based Mr Daoud, is a well-known opponent of the anti-Assad insurgency.

    Mr Shipton said there were no formal links between the WikiLeaks Party and Dr Anderson, a former member of the Ananda Marga religious sect who was jailed and later acquitted of the terrorist bombing of the Sydney Hilton that killed two council workers and a police officer in 1978.

    At this point it seems that “expect the unexpected” is becoming the official theme of the fledgling WikiLeaks Party. For instance, few probably expected this surprise trip to Syria and even fewer probably expected John Shipton to respond to the criticism over the Syrian delegation by suing Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Foreign Minister Julie Bishop over their condemnation of their trip. And yet that’s exactly what he’s doing.

    On a historical note, it’s also worth pointing out that delegation-member Tim Anderson – who was acquitted of the 1978 bombing of the Sydney Hilton – has a really odd personal story. Anderson was a member of the Ananda Marga cult, a group that was charged with a number of violent attacks around the world, especially in Australia, following the jailing of its its leader. That’s pretty spooky in and of itself.

    But when you read the summary of the entire affair, charges of Anderson’s guilt become untenuous as a result of the eroded credibility of Anderson’s accusers. No one knows who did the bombing to this day but evidence continues to point towards some sort of Ananda Marga involvement or a police/intelligence agency cover up or both. Anderson and two other cult members where charged with conspiring to kill an Australian neo-nazi leader four months after the bombing. And it was during that investigation that a police informant was uncovered that implicated Anderson in the bombing. But there was also evidence suggesting that the entire affair was actually a staged bombing attempt that was supposed to be thwarted by the police and went horribly awry. So Anderson was acquitted from those charges, but then recharged in 1989 after another cult member admitted guilt in the bombing and said Anderson supplied to the material. Anderson was eventually acquitted of those charges too. So who knows what, if any, involvement Anderson had with the bombing. But that larger story of Ananda Marga and 1978 bombing of the Sydney Hilton is – all things consideredpretty damn spooky:

    Australian terrorism born in the Sydney Hilton bombing

    Julia Rabar
    Herald Sun
    December 21, 2012 12:00AM

    IT was Australia’s first terrorist attack, but amid a string of plot twists many believe that more than three decades later, there are still many unanswered questions.

    The terror that struck in the heart of Sydney began on a warm summer night in February, 1978.

    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and the leaders of 11 heads of state were staying at the Sydney Hilton Hotel the night before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

    Just after midnight, a garbage truck pulled up outside the front of the hotel to empty a bin overflowing with rubbish.

    As the truck’s hydraulic ram dropped to compress the rubbish, it detonated a 6.5kg bomb that had been in the bin in a blast that tore through the early-morning serenity of the CBD.

    It was also reported a warning phone call was made to police minutes before the explosion, in the first hint that there was more to the story.

    And so began the controversy.

    Overnight, Sydney went into lockdown amid the biggest manhunt in Australia’s history.

    Mr Fraser and the NSW Premier Neville Wran demanded support from the armed forces, and almost 2000 troops descended on the city for protection.

    CHOGM progressed with armed forces and even a decoy train employed to protect heads of government on their way to a pretty NSW town, Bowral.

    Mr Coster recalls Bowral was “transformed into a war zone” with helicopters flying overhead through the night and armoured personnel carriers along the road into town.

    Police were now hunting three men “swarthy in appearance and in their early 30s”.

    Within hours, suspicions emerged that a previously ignored religious sect known as Ananda Marga appeared to have played a role in the bombing.

    Margis -as the sect’s members were known- had already been involved in worldwide protests for some years, demanding the Indian government release their spiritual leader Pabhat Ranian Sarkar who was serving a life sentence for murder.

    But the breakthrough came after the three main suspects were charged in another political conspiracy four months later.

    On June 15, Ross Dunn, 24, Paul Alister, 22, and Timothy Anderson, 26, were charged with conspiring to murder the NSW leader of the National Front – a professed Nazi – Robert Cameron.

    All were members of Ananda Marga’s Australian branch.

    The trio were sentenced to 16 years’ jail without parole.

    But the trials also unearthed police informer, Richard Seary, 26, who implicated them in the Hilton bombing.

    Mr Seary, a reformed heroin addict, revealed he had joined Ananda Marga as a paid police informer in March 1978 to discover any links between the sect and the bombing.

    The men told him they had “fixed” the Hilton bombing, and Anderson had also declared: “You’ve got to be willing to die for your ideology.”

    An arresting detective said Dunn had also told him: “We will never be stopped. Ananda Marga will cleanse the world.”

    But despite a $100,000 reward and a team of 100 full-time detectives, no charges had been laid for the Hilton bombing a year after the blast.

    Three early leads had been discounted, including a theory that a woman was suspected of trying to harm the New Zealand prime minister because she opposed the abortion laws.

    Three years after the bombing, new evidence suggested a cover-up.

    On March 30, 1981, newspapers reported that the NSW Attorney-General had received fresh information.

    Among the new claims was that an army bomb disposal squad had been on its way to the Hilton when the bomb exploded. Another allegation was that the police hadn’t searched the garbage bins the night before the blast, in an otherwise comprehensive search.

    Enter the Hilton bombing’s most vocal conspiracy theorist.

    Retired senior constable Terry Griffiths had been just six metres from the blast and suffered extensive injuries.

    The father of two, who had been battling for worker’s compensation for over two years, believed he was the victim of a cover-up involving Australian security forces.

    Mr Griffiths said the NSW Government had deliberately blocked his efforts to seek compensation.

    “I’m suggesting there is enough evidence for any person who wishes to go into the matter honestly to believe that there may well be a cover-up in this matter.”

    Some evidence appeared to support his theory.

    It emerged that three garbage trucks were diverted from the bin by police officers, despite the fact that it was overflowing with rubbish.

    Mr Griffiths even claimed the explosion was the inadvertent result of a media stunt fabricated by ASIO, the military and the NSW Police Special Branch.

    His theory was that the organisations had planted the bomb which they then intended to “discover” to make them look good – and justify broader powers, he told Sydney’s The Sun-Herald.

    It was only when the ill-fated fourth truck slipped through and finally emptied the bin that the “plan” went badly awry.

    Mr Griffiths suggested that the phone call police received just minutes before the blast was in fact a person involved who saw the truck approach the bin, and panicked.

    Mr Griffiths said ASIO had benefited from the blast, gaining “unlimited powers” from legislation introduced in the wake of the blast.

    Some politicians gobbled up Mr Griffiths’ allegations of conspiracy, including then-Senator and federal shadow Attorney-General Gareth Evans.

    Within a month there were calls for fresh investigations into the Hilton bombing and the reward raised to $250,000.

    Then, in 1982, a coronial inquest was announced.

    The Sydney Hilton’s night receptionist at the time of the blast, Manfred von Gries told the inquiry he saw three men speaking to police just before the explosion.

    Within days, he was approached by a man who threatened to kidnap his son if he spoke to police about what he saw, he claimed.

    He later identified the man as Jason Alexander, Ananda Marga’s Australian leader, but there were doubts about his evidence.

    Mr Griffiths added to his claims, suggesting a bomb disposal truck was stationed around the corner before the blast, and that several Special Branch officers were watching the police from a vehicle across the road.

    He also said he’d been informed that a warrant officer with the armed forces had planted the bomb several days before the blast.

    Mr Griffiths also said that Sgt Robert Jackson, his friend and fellow officer who had assisted with the initial murder investigation, had told him that the warning call was made to police 10 minutes before the blast.

    Within days, Sgt Jackson denied the conversation.

    Sgt Arthur Hawkin, on duty on the night of the blast, appeared to back the theory.

    Mr Hawkin said when he arrived for his shift 90 minutes before the explosion he was told to expect trouble and “something about a bomb”.

    The inquiry also heard a sergeant before the blast saw Timothy Anderson near the rubbish bin that later exploded, during a demonstration against the New Zealand prime minister.

    And another witness claimed Anderson, a regular customer, had picked up a newspaper in her shop the morning after the blast and had said to another man: “We only got three.”

    Then the police informant Richard Seary dropped powerful new claims, saying Ross Dunn had told him he’d planted the bomb in the bin an hour before the Indian Prime Minister’s arrival.

    Why hadn’t Mr Seary shared this evidence with police earlier?

    Initially, he said it was because he was upset with the way police had treated him. Later, he said it was due to concerns that Dunn had lied, confessing out of bravado.

    He said on account of his doubts, he had drip-fed his evidence to police instead.

    With the latest claims, coroner Norman Walsh decided there was enough evidence to charge Dunn and Alister of three counts of murder, and Anderson with conspiracy to murder.

    The court erupted in shock and fury, and even the jury, which gave no official verdict raised lingering questions.

    In 1984, the NSW Attorney-General Paul Landa on Crown law advice decided the three men would not be prosecuted.

    Instead, a judicial inquiry was announced to investigate the Cameron charges.

    This inquiry found Richard Seary to be an unreliable witness, and a psychiatrist diagnosed him as having a personality disorder.

    Adding to his fall from grace, the Margis’ lawyer went so far as to accuse Mr Seary of bombing the hotel himself.

    In 1985, after seven years in jail, the judicial inquiry quashed the trio’s convictions.

    The three men were released in May, pardoned by the NSW government, and awarded $100,000 each in compensation.

    Alister and Dunn moved to an Ananda Marga community in Queensland, and Mr Anderson was left to pursue a PhD on Australian foreign debt.

    But on May 30, 1989, Anderson was again arrested and charged for the bombing amid new evidence.

    Evan Dunstan Pederick, a 33-year-old Brisbane public servant Ananda Marga member admitted he had tried to remotely detonate the bomb when the Indian Prime Minister arrived at the hotel.

    He said he was acting as a front man for Mr Anderson, who provided the explosives.

    When the bomb failed to detonate, Pederick panicked and ran. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder the Prime Minister – but not guilty to causing the three subsequent deaths.

    Nevertheless, Pederick was found guilty of three counts of murder, and sentenced to 20 years’ jail. The jury determined he had acted with reckless indifference by leaving the bomb in the bin.

    Another prisoner who had met Mr Anderson while he was serving the Cameron sentence revealed Anderson had confessed his role in the Hilton bombing.
    ,.b,m,
    In 1990, Anderson was sentenced to 14 years’ jail. Supreme Court justice Michael Grove said Mr Anderson had been “brainwashed” by the Ananda Marga cult when he instigated the bombing.

    Seven months later Mr Anderson was acquitted.

    But the saga was far from over.

    In May 1995, Pederick did a U-turn. After six years in jail for a crime he confessed to, it suddenly occurred to Pederick that he might be innocent.

    In 1997, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed Pederick’s new claims, but six months later he was released on parole.

    More than three decades on, the question mark remains: Who bombed the Sydney Hilton?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 13, 2014, 3:04 pm
  4. Here’s an interesting twist to the Jack Hunter controversy: it wasn’t political poison for Rand and Ron Paul’s political ambitions. It was also a wedge issue, a wedge between father and son:

    The Washington Free Beacon
    Book: Rand Paul Knew About Aide’s Neo-Confederate Views for Years
    The ‘Southern Avenger’s’ views were well known by Paul camp, according to new book

    BY: Alana Goodman
    December 11, 2015 5:00 am

    Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) knew that one of his closest aides had worked for years as a neo-Confederate radio host known as the “Southern Avenger” and hired him anyway, according to a new book about the Republican presidential contenders.

    Paul also fought to keep the aide, Jack Hunter, on his staff for two weeks after the Washington Free Beacon first reported that Hunter had spent over a decade working as a pro-secessionist shock jock in South Carolina.

    The July 2013 report set off a media firestorm over Hunter’s radio commentary, which included criticism of Mexicans, support for the Confederacy, and praise for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

    However, behind the scenes Paul fought against advisers who counseled him to cut Hunter loose, according to McKay Coppins’s The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House.

    Hunter, who renounced most of his radio commentary in a July 2013 interview with the Free Beacon, resigned nearly two weeks after the story broke.

    “L’affaire Hunter left many in the political world perplexed by why it had taken Rand so long to do what obviously needed to be done, and why he seemed to be taking it all so personally,” reported Coppins. “But inside Rand World, the reason was obvious. Hunter wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill secessionist political aide: he was a friend of the family.”

    “The truth was that Rand had known all about Hunter’s Southern Avenger alter ego,” wrote Coppins. “[I]t had just never occurred to him that a radical resume should preclude a talented operative from joining his team.”

    Paul also didn’t want to “give the neocons the satisfaction of a scalp” by cutting ties with the aide, according to Coppins. But his initial decision to stand by Hunter alarmed advisers, including political consultant Trygve Olson.

    “Olson called up [Paul’s chief of staff] Doug Stafford in Rand’s office and told him what every political operative in Washington already knew: You guys have to fire Hunter,” wrote Coppins.

    “Stafford replied that it wasn’t going to happen. Rand had made up his mind; he thought the Free Beacon story was a cheap shot, and he didn’t want to give the neocons the satisfaction of a scalp. Besides, he didn’t think it was ultimately that big of a deal.”

    Only after Olson met with Paul and made the case that Hunter would be damaging to Paul’s presidential aspirations did the senator relent.

    “Yeah he probably has to move on,” Paul told Olson, according to the book. “But I don’t want to fire him.”

    “Olson assured Rand that he wouldn’t have to, that they would persuade Hunter to quietly slink away on his own,” wrote Coppins. “Rand signed off on the decision, and finally, almost two weeks after the Free Beacon story went live, Hunter resigned.”

    Hunter had a close relationship with the Paul family, as the Free Beacon reported in 2013. He had previously worked for Rand Paul’s father, former congressman Ron Paul, as a campaign blogger. Hunter also co-wrote Rand Paul’s 2011 book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington

    According to Coppins, the Southern Avenger controversy contributed to a growing rift between Rand Paul and his father: a feud that would eventually “derail” the younger Paul’s political ambitions.

    “Hunter had come under attack at a time when the relationship between Rand and his dad was growing more fraught with tension and resentment by the day,” wrote Coppins.

    “And while both Pauls publicly slapped down even the faintest suggestion of acrimony, the truth was that their father-son rivalry had been simmering for years.”

    “According to Coppins, the Southern Avenger controversy contributed to a growing rift between Rand Paul and his father: a feud that would eventually “derail” the younger Paul’s political ambitions.”
    Hopefully they’ll patch things up now that those ambitions have been rendered a bit moot.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 13, 2015, 7:01 pm

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