Max Blumenthal discusses the outrageous treatment of Julian Assange during his time at the Ecuadorian embassy in London over the last few years, and since his arrest last year. Blumenthal has reported on the extensive spying Assange was subjected to at the embassy, and on the scandalous connection between the Sheldon Adelson-backed security firm, UC Global, and an espionage campaign overseen by the CIA that attempted to illegally gather information on Assange, and possibly even kidnap him from the embassy. UC Global CEO David Morales has since been charged with leading this illicit spy operation. Scott and Blumenthal also discuss the devastating aftermath of the “Russiagate” narrative, which has seen President Trump move toward a tougher stance on Russia, withdrawing from several nuclear treaties and supporting the expansion of U.S. and UN forces right up to Russia’s border. The mainstream media in America has been almost totally silent on both their role in pushing the phony “Russiagate” hoax, and also on the dangerous precedent of Assange’s persecution.
Discussed on the show:
- “‘The American friends’: New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange” (The Grayzone)
- Collateral Murder
- The State Department Cables
- “Lying not to make America ‘great again’” (CGTN)
- “How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks’ immunity deal” (The Hill)
- “Trump to Withdraw U.S. From ‘Open Skies’ Treaty” (The New York Times)
- Killing Gaza
Director and writer of “Killing Gaza,” Max Blumenthal is a senior editor of the Grayzone Project and the author Goliath, Republican Gomorrah, and The 51 Day War. Follow Max on Twitter @MaxBlumenthal.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
Donate to the show through Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin: 1KGye7S3pk7XXJT6TzrbFephGDbdhYznTa.
The following is an automatically generated transcript.
Scott Horton 0:10
All right, shall welcome it’s Scott Horton Show. I am the director of the Libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com, author of the book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. And I’ve recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at ScottHorton.org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also available at youtube.com/ScottHortonShow.
All right, you guys introducing max Blumenthal. He is the author of the book, Goliath, and also the 51 Day War. And his latest book is the management of Savitri, a great retelling of the War on Terrorism there. And of course, he runs the gray zone project. Where he co hosts the podcast, moderate rebels, and where he writes articles including this important one, the American friends, new court files expose Sheldon Adelson security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange. Welcome back to the show. How you doing Max?
Max Blumenthal 1:23
Good, good to be back.
Scott Horton 1:25
Great. Great to have here. So let’s see, two or three months ago, we talked about this with Kelly flay hosts from the American Conservative magazine about this connection to Sheldon Adelson, which is very interesting, and which I’m not sure I completely understand. But first of all, can you give us the background here, starting with Assange holed up in the embassy and this security company that was providing supposedly security for the embassy, and then how that all change here Understand it right? The guy that runs that company just saw an opportunity to go ahead and prostitute himself to the CIA. Is that it?
Max Blumenthal 2:10
Exactly. I am building off of what Kelly was reporting on at the time. And you know, some of this has been out there, particularly in Spanish media, because it’s all relates to a Spanish high court case, where David Morales, who you just mentioned, who’s the mercenary, the CO owner of the UC global mercenary security contractor firm, is on trial for various crimes, including, you know, bribery, violating Julian Assange, his attorney, client privileges, money laundering, violating the privacy of Assange and what I demonstrate is he was possibly involved in a global criminal black operation guided by Mike Pompeo, CIA So the way that I put this story together was working with court documents, mostly court documents that had been leaked to me, including protected witness testimony, who the witnesses being the former workers of Morales, including people who were at the embassy where Julian Assange had taken sanctuary legal sanctuary, and a former co owner, or business partner of UC global. I conducted my own interviews and did my own research. And what I focused on was the role of Las Vegas Sands. And Sheldon Adelson, tons of kind of financial and political empire in giving cover to the CIA, to hire this guy Morales, to spy on Assange and pretty much everyone associated with him. And so how that came about is I think what’s interesting here. So I’ll take you back to 20. 16 before Trump was elected, David Morales was playing in the minor leagues of the mercenary world. He had really one contract, which was significant. He got it through. Rafael Correa, who was, at the time the leftist president of Ecuador. And it was, you know, first to guard court as children and then it was folded into guarding the Embassy in London, where Julian Assange had been given asylum by Korea. The reason Morales got it is simply because his company was based in Spain in the EU, and Ecuadorian Security Service. officials were having trouble getting visas to enter the EU to enter the Schengen zone. So this guy just got it by luck. And then he realized that he had something big on his hands. I mean, he had he was overseeing and protecting the top target of the US government. Someone the US wanted arrested because Julian Assange had humiliated them. leaked, or he had published classified information, the, the, you know, the the Chelsea Manning leaks of you know, Iraqi reporters being murdered on camera cable gate all of the State Department cables that just showed how the US was attempting to subvert governments around the world. And, you know, everybody’s listening to this is pretty much familiar with what Wikileaks did. So Morales goes off alone to a security fair in Las Vegas in 2016, which I believe was held at the sands Expo owned by Sheldon Adelson. And this is the part that’s completely original to my investigation. He was recruited by the Israeli vice president of Sheldon Adelson security team, whose name is Zoho lahav. And lahav is you know, former Israeli security services either Shin better Mossad Adelson server rounded himself with these guys. Israelis really formed the core of his sort of Praetorian Guard, and lahav. You know, recruits Morales, Morales returns to Spain and starts bragging to his employees. We’re playing in the big leagues, now we’re playing in the First Division, and I’m going to be working for the dark side, and his employees start to become suspicious of him. From then on, they’re all brought into a black operation that they credit American intelligence with devising, but it was run through Las Vegas Sands. So I mean, you’re familiar with the CIA and other intelligence services, using friendly billionaires as kind of cutouts in using foundations like the Rockefeller Brothers foundation or the Ford Foundation to kind of fund cultural activities that they don’t want to take direct credit for. But this was a little bit different because Sheldon out Nelson security team, including figures who have experience and intelligence, American and Israeli intelligence, are actually kind of running the running point on the operation. They’re handing down instructions to David Morales, who’s basically just a mercenary who wanted to be the next Eric Prince and is going to do whatever it takes. So basically, to fast forward to 2019 to explain, you know, how I got this story how this story got out there, the employees after, you know, months and months of engaging in these black operations, which included theft, and you know, I’ll describe it as we go on. They became disgruntled, disgusted, they said, you know, we broke the contract that we had with Ecuador security services, we lied to our client. Our business is completely destroyed by what you did. Out of vanity, and we are going to go they went to Assange law After Julian Assange was arrested on April 11 2019, and confessed, at least, the former business partner in two employees, and Assange, as lawyers then brought all the evidence which included, you know, a massive trove of company backups, emails, call logs, all a lot of evidence, even backup files of all of the, you know, the surveillance tapes, showing Julian Assange meeting with his lawyers, you know, including audio. And a Spanish judge accepted the case and acted a secret investigation. And Morales was arrested in and charged in October 2019. And so he had to hand over his phones there D encrypting the phones. All of this is coming out still as we speak. But that’s how this case came about. And so between Trump’s election when Mike Pompeo, also a close ally of Sheldon Adelson, you know, Adelson spent his fortune to get Trump elected. When Trump comes into office, that’s when this operation really kicks into high gear. And it runs under the watch of UC global through early 2018.
Scott Horton 9:23
Now, it’s interesting to me just right there about when you’re talking about the Spanish case, that the CIA was unable to prevent the Spanish government from proceeding with that, it seems like that’s the kind of thing that they could have scotched, so to speak.
Max Blumenthal 9:38
Yeah. I mean, I’ll describe one incident that might have factored into the decision of it’s a Spanish judge and the judiciary in Spain is, I would argue, possibly probably more independent than ours here. Certainly less partisan but, you know, UC global was was doing a lot to antagonize Spanish authorities. In one case, according to a protected witness testimony, David Morales, the CEO, proposed robbing the Office of Baltazar Garson who is Julian Assange, his lawyer, and not an insignificant figure in Spanish life. I mean, this is someone who oversaw the prosecutions of Franco’s men for crimes committed under his dictatorship. This is someone who helped pioneer the concept of universal jurisdiction. He’s one of the most famous lawyers in Spain. And somewhere Alice proposes this his his workers, at least the ones who testified in the case and this is insane, like, you know, you’re taking us down a really dangerous path. But two weeks after his his proposal, there were reports in Spanish mainstream media have Carson’s office being burglarized by three men wearing hoods. Who took nothing of value but rifled through files? And I mean, it’s it’s a classic kind of Nixonian Watergate style burglary. It’s, you know, it recalls, you know, Chuck Colson proposing firebombing the Brookings Institution. So thieves disguised as firemen could run in and steal the Pentagon Papers because they were being held there. I mean, this really is worse than Watergate. And it was being done on behalf of the CIA. On behalf of Mike Pompeo, who bragged we lied, we cheated we stole when he spoke at Texas a&m last year. And you know, it’s it’s worth revisiting while going back and watching that clip because when he says that, an audience full of students cheers and laughs You know, when the rest of us were horrified. But uh, you know, this was the the, these are the kind of dirty tricks in black operations that characterized the attack on Assange that Mike Pompeo laid out in his first speech. As CIA director in April 2017, at CSIS in Washington, and he said Wikileaks can no longer hide behind free speech. Basically, he is laying out countermeasures that aim to explode the concept of free speech, not just as a constitutional right, but sort of as a global human rights principle. And so I think for Spain, it’s really a question of the rule of law, as well as I mean, it could be also a question of democracy. And then you have a parallel case running in the UK, where the British government basically, you know, in its, you know, traditional postwar role as Americans, America’s poodle is deciding whether to extradite Julian Assange. And as I demonstrate towards the end of my piece, America, the US government is basically running the British Prosecution Service. See photographs from a witness to the extradition hearing in February of supposedly, are allegedly, DOJ officials who are seated behind the British prosecutors throughout the trial, were basically whispering in their ears the whole time. And everyone expects that the British judge will do whatever the US wants. And the UK has refused to allow Assange to testify in the Spanish court. So to your question and the implied point, it does appear like the CIA is trying to sabotage the Spanish case and they have much more leverage in the UK.
Scott Horton 13:39
Yeah, and you know, just I guess as I read about this, I haven’t seen any pictures of it but I read about how they have Assange in that extradition. The the series of extradition hearings there in the UK. They have them in this plexiglass box. Like he’s Hannibal Lecter or something To try to which the judge doesn’t need any impressing anyway, but they’re doing this to impress who with the danger of this villain, right? He’s radioactive or like he’s I got up maybe has a bomb under his shirt or something.
Max Blumenthal 14:16
Right. And they would you know, he can’t confer with his lawyers. And as I demonstrate in my piece, he his meetings with his lawyers, especially the most sensitive ones, we’re all spied on by the same forces that are prosecuting him. Yeah. And by the way, I do have a feeling. You’ll be seeing some photographs of that glass cage soon. Good.
Scott Horton 14:39
I’m sure must be rushed. And now so and there’s so much to discuss here. But to your recent point there about free speech and pompeyo claiming that Assange is hiding behind the First Amendment to the US Constitution which says that the federal government cannot criminalize speech, which so far has meant including the publication of government secrets. And and so it’s interesting there because on one hand, he’s saying that, well, WikiLeaks is not a journalistic enterprise, like, say, The New York Times or The gray zone. It’s, as he put it, a private intelligence agency. And so therefore, those don’t apply. And yet, that’s such bs that it seems like it could also apply to the gray zone or anybody else who was publishing government secrets, right?
Max Blumenthal 15:38
Yeah, I mean, pompeyo called it a hostile foreign intelligence agency. That was the language he used when he laid out the countermeasures that were apparently put into play by UC global, which by
Scott Horton 15:51
the way, is just has no factual basis. It’s just a turn of phrase that means nothing. I mean, it’s a website run by a guy. It’s not an intelligence agent. See that belongs to a state or any power anywhere never has.
Max Blumenthal 16:05
Right. But you know, when we let draconian
hawkish government officials, like Mike Pompeo define what journalism is, in many ways that was an expression of the anxieties of these kinds of figures. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t just Mike Pompeo, Joe Biden, when he was vice president called Assange and WikiLeaks, digital terrorists, terrorists, hostile intelligence agency, whatever it is, they do see the gray zone in a similar light. And that’s why we were recently listed among deprecated sources at Wikipedia. Which if you look at the Wikipedia foundation and who runs it, these are people with ties to Western governments and intelligence agencies and USA ID in organizations like this. They’re liberals, but they still see Those who expose national security secrets and criminality as threats. So,
Scott Horton 17:09
I think therefore instead of but but yeah, I understand
Max Blumenthal 17:16
guess, you know, the the liberal mentality augments the way that the anxieties and resentment is expressed. I mean, upon pose address, really, it has to be seen or, you know, read the transcript with the CIA website to, to really understand how extreme this figure and the people behind them are. You know, if you had leon panetta giving that address, it would have been much more elegant. And you know, what I’ve been told, actually, by people I’ve been speaking to around this investigation is that the Obama administration was so much more sophisticated in the way that they were trying to undermine Assange, because they worked through the Brits, but they themselves win. Meeting with, you know, Ecuadorian, Ecuadorian officials. You know, they, they wore a velvet glove, and then in meetings with the Brits, you’d have the doors slamming and screaming and British, you know, British soap opera. And, you know, Trump comes in and just, it’s run in a classic trumpian way it just lifts the mask on us Empire. And that’s partly why we’re learning so much about it just because it was carried out in such an absurdly clumsy way. I’ll give you another describe another episode, which has been reported before, but for some reason, it didn’t generate, I think, you know, sufficient interest or outrage. I mean, honestly, like, can’t believe that journalists in you know, mainstream journalists are just completely ignoring this story because, you know, you had Ellen Nakashima from the Washington Post, you had Anthony Lowell Bergman, you know, these are mainstream correspondents going to the embassy to interview Assange and having their belongings taken while they were in the meeting. And their phones hacked into with their SIM card numbers taken. You had Pamela Anderson, who’s a friend of Assange going to the embassy, and having her gmail account password stolen, because she had written it on a piece of paper, and it was photographed by the spy cameras that had been installed. So you have Stella Morris, who is a lawyer for Assange, showing up at the embassy, and usually she was preceded by a friend of Assange carrying a baby, US intelligence or you see global, suspected that the baby belong to Assange, and that Stella Morris was the mother. So a worker for UC global was assigned with a task of stealing the baby’s diaper from the trash and extracting the feces in order to conduct a DNA test to connect the baby to Assange. Apparently, they had Assange his DNA somehow Then they realize though you can’t get DNA from feces go get the babies pacifier. So the worker had had enough. He said, this is just ridiculous what we’re doing. He actually stopped Stella Morris outside the embassy and said, stop bringing your kid here. There. The US government is trying to steal his body matter. So that was that. And all along, Assange knew he was being spied on. But there was, I mean, there was only so much he could do when everyone around him was a spy.
Scott Horton 20:35
Hey, guys, Scott Horton here from my Swanson scrape book, The War state. It’s about the rise of the military industrial complex and the power elite after World War Two, during the administration’s of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and jack kennedy. It’s a very lightning take on this definitive era on America’s road to world Empire. The war state by Mike Swanson finding the right Hand margin at Scotthorton.org. Hey, yo, Mike Swanson is a successful Wall Street trader with an Austrian School understanding of the markets, and therefore he has great advice to share with you check out Mike’s work and sign up for his list at WallStreetwindow.com and that’s what you’ll get a window into all of Mike’s trades. He’ll explain what he’s buying and selling and expecting and why. I know you’ll learn and earn a lot. Wall Street window.com that’s WallStreetwindow.com and now what’s this about the proposal at least to poison and kill him?
Max Blumenthal 21:38
Yeah, there was a proposal to poison him put forward. Apparently by morality. This was described by a witness who was an IT specialist who was in charge of basically installing all of the spy cameras. There was also a proposal to leave the door of the embassy open, you know, make it seem like an accident. So then, you know A team of like a special forces style police team could run in and kidnap Assange. There were those though those were proposals that were rejected by employees because they said, you know, we don’t want to all go to jail.
Scott Horton 22:18
Yeah, well, not much chance of, you know, accountability, although I guess, you know, there was a trial and in Spain, where does that case stand now?
Max Blumenthal 22:30
It’s pending. I mean, it’s an ongoing investigation, and we’re learning more, including about, you know, how, to what extent the Trump administration managed this campaign of dirty this disk criminal global campaign. I write in my piece about a proposal or a plan that was enacted and by Assange his legal team and Ecuadorian diplomats in December 2017 to grant Julian Assange, diplomatic immunity by making him a diplomat of a friendly country, you know, a country that was friendly with Ecuador. Yeah. And as this was taking place, the US was apparently getting really nervous because it was completely legal under under the Vienna conventions, and then he could have left the embassy. And so they’re ramping up the surveillance people, everyone going there is getting their phones taken and hacked. You know, I have the journalists to funny Mr. eetzi from Italy, telling me that you know, her phone was taken and then calls stopped going through from her editors to her. The cameras were on and recording sound when Julian Assange would put on white noise. The UC global spies put a magnetic microphone underneath a fire extinguisher in the main conference room to listen to the sound. They put a camera in the women’s bathroom where he was holding meetings with the faucets open so they could listen there to what he was saying to his lawyers. And it was around this time that Todd Chapman, who was at the time the US ambassador to Ecuador, started running around badgering and threatening Ecuadorian officials telling them don’t enact the plan. And they were wondering How did he know that this was taking place? On December 20, the head of Ecuador’s senayan security services Rami via via visits the embassy to put into place the last components of the plan. His phone is opened, the cameras are uploaded to a server. And Morales had just been in Las Vegas, staying at the Venetian hotel. This is the hotel owned by Sheldon Adelson. It’s his signature Hotel in Las Vegas. I have the emails in there from a static IP address at the Venetian hotel and Morales was receiving all the instructions, including of which visitors to specifically target. You know, when, you know, he was receiving instructions on creating separate servers on the cameras for the American friends, and the their instructions were coming down in English. He was receiving them apparently from someone at Las Vegas Sands. So it was very clear that this this footage was being fed to the Americans. And the day after via home meets with Assange, a secret indictment is introduced in a Virginia federal court by us prosecutors. This timing in this chronology has never really been put together December 21. That indictment was made public much later and you know, you of course had the media and US officials and Adam Schiff and all these other people denying That any secret indictment existed but that indictment was issued because of the fear of Julian Assange using international law to exit the embassy. And his plan was ultimately foiled through spying and threats. And of course, you had a new government in Ecuador. The government of Lenin Moreno, who is basically a US stooge, who called Assange a hacker cut off his internet restricted guests to him and ultimately handed him over to the British police in exchange for a gigantic IMF loan.
Scott Horton 26:37
Man, this all sounds like something that happened in the Soviet Union or something. This is the US government that is doing this that’s behind all this. It’s just crazy. And we’re so used to it now. It’s the new normal max that freedom is dead. The bill of rights is over and this is just the way things are they gonna go after a journalist in this fashion for simply doing Good work. And you know, you mentioned earlier about the media, essentially forsaking this guy and refusing to take his side and cover even cover his story and what they’re doing to him. When men Is he the canary in their coal mine, they have everything to lose if the precedent is set against him. And yet, instead, they’re trying to sacrifice him for their own gain and say, Oh, yeah, no, he’s not one of us. And this is not the alternative media, but the mainstream media that posts in the times and there are other and you know, and then but also, you have the left and the right with the right wingers always hated him because he helped Manning make a fool out of George W. Bush, and hurt him. You know, that 2010 leak was mostly about bush ears. There was some Obama stuff in there, but mostly that hurt the right and so that was their big cause back then was demonizing Manning and Assange. But then, with all the accusations about the DNC leak being published, by WikiLeaks in 2016, which turned all the liberals and progressives, not all, but many liberals and progressives against Assange were now he’s a co conspirator with Vladimir Putin to install the hated Donald Trump in power. But right. He just came out in private secret transcripts of closed congressional hearing testimony, that the company that determined that it was the Russians and told the FBI and the FBI cited from then on that the Russians had hacked the DNC and given those emails to WikiLeaks, that they had no evidence of that after all, and that that entire half of the story that has convinced liberals and progressives to join in the forsaking of Assange, who ought to be the greatest hero for people on all parts of the political spectrum, but, you know, certainly it’s the left that champions this kind of aggressive muck right. journalism, historically speaking, and that kind of thing, and they were all duped by a giant CIA a lie that Assange was somehow in it with Vladimir Putin. And so they have, you know, basically given up on defending him, and Manning for that matter, they are manning the collateral damage in that when no one ever no one ever even accused Manning of having anything to do with this Russia stuff. But Manning by association with Assange, as you know, her name is also now dirt. And so as she was doing a year in jail on contempt of court charges for refusing to testify against Assange, largely speaking, the progressive movement that had championed what Manning had done in 2010 was nowhere to be found. And so what about all of that Max?
Max Blumenthal 29:47
Right, you know, the, the the hillary clinton dead Enders who helped stir up Russia gate didn’t wasn’t so much that they were duped by Russia. What upset them the most That there, corruption was exposed for everyone to see. And so Julian Assange became part of this long list of, you know, Democrat Party scapegoats along with Ralph Nader and Jill Stein and everyone else who cost them elections that, you know, they really won. They really lost through their own ineptitude. Julian Assange was also, you know, the target, a reputation destruction campaign that was being stirred up by intelligent Western intelligence services, starting with the claim that he was a rapist. I mean, this was to, you know, turn feminists and liberals away from him before the DNC leaks and the he was blamed for Hillary Clinton emails that actually came out, thanks to a FOIA request by Jason Leopold, which I think were actually more damaging than the DNC emails, right. Well, I don’t see any real evidence that the DNC leaks cost Hillary Clinton the election. And honestly, if they want to have escape go, what about James Comey? dropping, you know, all of the the dirt on anthony wiener and, you know, this is the story that Anthony Weiner may be indicted. There may be, you know, indictments around Hillary Clinton two days before the election. When Hillary Clinton was surging in the polls, they could you know, easily blame comi but call me sort of became a resistance hero after the election because he turned against Trump. But, you know, what I’ve shown here in this piece is a inner, the inner circle of Donald Trump, with some of the most villainous characters surrounding Trump, just a grotesque gallery of high right wing authoritarian figures starting with Sheldon Adelson, who is like this, some sort of human project have like an anti semitic hologram from the imagination of a deranged neo nazi. He’s a walking anti semitic stereotype whose entire existence focuses around it building his global casino Empire number one. And number two, building apartheid Israel atop the heads of Palestinian fella in the West Bank on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu. I mean, you couldn’t get a more odious figure. And he’s right in the thick of this black operations campaign, which also which included, you know, armed robbery and all sorts of hideous acts that Mike Pompeo seem to brag about in public.
Scott Horton 32:46
And this is a guy that gives 100 million dollars every two years for the Republican Congressional campaigns.
Max Blumenthal 32:51
Yeah, I mean, he basically is running the Republican parties for him. He’s, he’s, he’s helping run the Republican Party. In To the neo-con ground, he’s helped bring the US to the brink of war with Iran. I think it weren’t if it weren’t for Sheldon Adelson, qasem soleimani would still be alive and hundreds of American servicemembers wouldn’t have suffered traumatic head injuries at the Al Assad military base in Iraq. And so then you have Donald Trump authorizing the whole thing after, you know, praising Wikileaks in 2016. And Mike Pompeo opening a senate exploratory committee in Kansas and reaching out to Sheldon Adelson to fund it. So I mean, you would think, on top of all of that, then you have the spying on us journalists, mainstream journalists under the watch of pompeyo. This to me seems worse than Donald Trump being mean to journalists in press briefings, right. It has all of the elements of, you know, the perfect congressional Ambassador allegation for House Democrats to open the problem is that the target is someone that all these democrats blame for Donald Trump being president. So not one member of Congress on the Democratic side. I mean, I haven’t heard from anyone on the Republican side either. It would be interesting if you know, someone like Thomas Massie could say something about this. But, you know, not one person on the Democratic side is willing to say anything about this Titanic scandal. Meanwhile, you know, everyone’s freaking out because one of the inspector general’s under pompeyo was fired by Trump. And I think that that is scandalous because he was looking into many of the same things that I’ve been looking into in this investigation, like whether pompeyo is using official state department trips to advance his own political ambitions. But, you know, that scandal pales in comparison to what I’ve laid out here.
Scott Horton 34:56
You know, you reminded me to about The story that Assange was making a deal with the CIA, that he would not publish the vault seven week, if they would see to it that he would get the charges dropped. He would be promised, you know, immunity and, and allowed to go free. And then I forget, I think part of it was he would reiterate again, that the Russians did not give him any of the 2016 material. You know, Panetta leaked or not Panetta sorry Podesta leaks or DNC emails there. And then the FBI found out about it and leaked it to a democratic senator, and got that deal ruined. Do you know much about that?
Max Blumenthal 35:48
Well, I mean, I explained how David Morales from UC global was flown from Spain to Alexandria, Virginia, just down the street. From Langley on February 28, which is two days after Wikileaks announced the release of vault seven that they were going to release vault seven. So, I mean, there’s a clear connection between the escalation and the attack on Assange and vault seven. I actually hadn’t heard the story that you just described. I do know that Dana Rohrabacher went to the Embassy in London to propose a pardon, and he’s disputed the claim by Jen Robinson, who is the lawyer of Assange, that he was dispatched personally by Trump as an emissary of Trump to offer the pardon. But the pardon was contingent on Julian Assange demonstrating that he did not receive the DNC emails from a Russian source. And he of course, refused because he refuses to identify his sources. That’s part of, you know, the ethos of WikiLeaks. What made it so successful is that, number one, he always protects his sources. Number two, all the material is verified. And so they’ve never made a mistake or published something that was false, right. And number three, the material is protected. The site has top notch security. And that’s what I think is frustrated. The US government.
Scott Horton 37:24
Now, by the way, that story, it was a john Solomon story from June of 2018. How Coumi intervened to kill Wikileaks immunity deal. That was at the hill
Max Blumenthal 37:36
for an army. That’s it. That’s interesting. I mean, Solomon obviously is sort of a partisan pro Trump reporter, but
Scott Horton 37:42
you know, he did some great scoops on this stuff.
Max Blumenthal 37:45
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s interesting. I hadn’t seen it.
Scott Horton 37:49
And, you know, I mean, if he’s right, that really goes to show how bad the CIA did not want that vault seven stuff to come out that they were willing To even intervene with the rest of the government on his behalf If only he would withhold it. But then it was comi who screwed the whole thing up him and I got Senator Warner is the story here and Warner got it killed.
Max Blumenthal 38:15
Oh, interesting. Well, Warner’s, you know, the coach, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time. That’d be something he do. I mean, I woke up today and my smart TV was on that always happens. And it’s because of vault seven that I wonder if I’m being spied on because vault seven revealed that the CIA has hacking tools that can listen to their targets through their Samsung Smart TVs. It also shows that they can break into encrypted messaging applications like signal and telegram. Then there’s the spying application called marble, which allowed CIA spies to implant code that obfuscates the identity, on the identity of the hacker on Google computers that they hacked. So, you know, theoretically, and I’m not I’m not asserting this in any way as my theory or what I think happened. But theoretically, the DNC emails could have been hacked and Cyrillic code could have been implanted by a intelligence agency or private hacking group that was not rushing through the marble program or something like it.
Scott Horton 39:26
Yeah, no question about that. In fact, you know, when I talked with Jeffrey Carr, right after the story came out, he said that essentially, it’s impossible to prove who broke into a computer by examining that computer, you know, because anyone could fake and leave breadcrumbs and, and telltale signs and clues pointing to others, and so it can never be conclusive. In other words, no one can know for sure, except for the NSA, because they have the ability to oversee the whole internet and every packet that ever went Anywhere. And so they can tell you 100% no one else can tell you beyond 10% essentially, you know,
Max Blumenthal 40:07
yeah, I mean, you know, another agency that has top notch hacking capacity is the Israeli Mossad. And then you have the NSO group, which was spun out of the Israeli aid unit at 200. In the Israeli military. We’re all Israel’s hackers are assigned during when they do their army service. And they have the Pegasus software that has been used to implant code, malicious malware, on the phones and computers and devices of human rights activists and journalists around the world. There’s so much technology out there. Clearview AI is scraping facial, basically the images of millions of people off of social media To use and facial recognition technology around the world. So the the idea that someone could basically attribute blame to Russia on the hacking side, sort of plant Cyrillic code or something that would easily identify Russia, which was done. I mean, maybe it was the Russians is not it’s not outside the realm of possibility. And then beyond that, I mean, the whole CrowdStrike attribution. Their their record of attribution is terrible. They’ve been exposed. First of all, CrowdStrike is the private security firm that was hired by the FBI to conduct the attribution investigation of the DNC email, suppose it hack, and they’d already been exposed for falsely attributing the hacking of Ukrainian artillery system to Russia’s FSB turned out a possibly The artillery system hadn’t even been hacked but the Ukrainian military came out and said no, that was totally false. The head of CrowdStrike who had carried out that investigation Dimitri al Petrovich is a Russian dissident, a Russian exile who’s had a fellowship with the Atlantic Council, which is one of the main think tanks in Washington that was spinning out Russia gate. It’s funded by NATO. It’s NATO’s unofficial think tank in Washington. So you got to clearly part is in character. He’s working with Sean Henry, who was a former FBI agent who is at MSNBC contributor. And these are the guys that were hired by the FBI to determine who hacked the DNC email server. And they never had the email server. They had what’s called sort of like a print of it. I don’t know how that works, how you get a print of it, but the email server was destroyed by the FBI. It was never subpoenaed. And then finally, Julian Assange was never interviewed. In the Mueller investigation, why is that? Why he was right there? It’s not like he’s hiding. There’s three rooms he can hide in. So I’m sure you can find him in one of them inside the embassy and ask him what took place. I don’t know why
Scott Horton 43:13
they was Craig Murray. I mean, Craig Murray said that, not that he received the leak. That’s what the Daily Mail kind of miss quoted him as saying, but yeah, he met the leaker of the DNC leak in the woods in Washington, DC. And I don’t think he said that he would be happy to identify that person to the cops. But he was certainly happy to testify to them under threat of going to prison for lying to the FBI, etc. that this person had no conceivable relationship with the Russians and that he knew for a fact that this was the person who had provided the emails, and they didn’t want to talk to him.
Max Blumenthal 43:50
Yeah, and you just they resort to sort of the reputation destruction campaign, Craig Murray’s and eccentric you know, he’s been attacked in British tabloid Lloyds for having a weird lifestyle or something I don’t I don’t know what they would say. This is someone who exposed torture when he was in the British Foreign Service. And he was completely correct about that he sacrificed his career to expose human rights violations when he was the British ambassador to Pakistan. Yeah. Julian Assange has never, ever published a faulty document or a false document. And he was accused, I think, first by Donna Brazil, than by Malcolm Nance of publishing doctored files, and, you know, basically writing the names of democratic officials he wanted to embarrass into them, it was they were the liars. So there’s really no basis to believe that these individuals would deliver false testimony, but they were just completely ignored. And, you know, so then you have the congressional transcripts that were released, because of pressure by the Trump administration, Richard Grinnell and others. And they show Sean Henry from CrowdStrike testifying that he had no evidence that Russian intelligence had hacked the DNC email servers. It’s within the realm of possibility that Russia did it. It would have been a pretty elegant response to everything the US has done to Russia over the years. Most recently, with basically attempting to put NATO troops directly on their border in Ukraine, Georgette Musburger, mosbacher, the US ambassador to Poland, just proposed, like a week ago putting nuclear weapons in Poland on Russia’s border. So, I mean, it’s within the realm of possibility but there’s still no evidence. There’s no evidence and up the congressional testimonies are hilarious because you have all these people who were, you know, Twitter pundits spinning there, you know, former intelligence experience into kind of Twitter expertise and getting the resistance all whipped up, and then they have to and then they’re talking about, you know, call this collusion and then they’re asked to testify. Do you see any evidence of collusion? And they’re forced to say no, because they’re under oath. You know, there’s, they’re sworn to tell the truth. So Adam Schiff knew what through witness after witness that there is no evidence of collusion and he delivers this grand narrative in 2017. About CrowdStrike, attributing the Russian hack and WikiLeaks being in the thick of it. It was all just a kabuki theater for a bunch of, you know, Kooks and dupes delivered by, you know, Cold War spooks.
Scott Horton 46:48
Yeah. You know what’s funny, too, it is kind of mildly ironic that Trump spent all these years pretending that Barack Obama was a completely you know, unlawful usurper. john mccain’s rightful throne on account of the fact of him being born in Kenya, supposedly and all of this stuff. So, on that basis alone, he kind of really deserved it, you know, although the collateral damage in this case in Russia gate compared to the stupid birther thing from back then is just incredible and especially again, with the prime example being the heroic Julian Assange, who ought to figuratively be hoisted on all of our shoulders all of the time, has instead just been demonized into the ground here. And you know, hardly anyone except I hate to say it, but you know, more fringe media are on a high call marginal media, like antiwar.com and the gray zone project and consortium news, calm and others. We’re still trying to stick up for him as best we can. But overall, you know, broadly speaking, the left and right political moves movements in America, I have no interest in defending this guy. And all wrapped up in these bogus narratives, you know, because of these bogus narratives,
Max Blumenthal 48:09
well the other bogus narratives and their partisan narratives that are completely divorced from any principle and the principle here is first amendment. The principle here is free speech. If Julian Assange is extradited to the US and goes to jail, he’s an Australian citizen for publishing documents that the US media reported on the First Amendment is over. I mean, it already is in so many ways. But that’s the end of it. And Mike Pompeo was explicit about his intention to destroy free speech in order to protect his view of national security. It’s also about crucifying whistleblowers in the town square. It’s not just Julian Assange, it’s Chelsea Manning, who has been heinously abuses everyone associated with Assange has been abused through the Gross Misconduct of a US intelligence agency that has a black budget that’s not subjected to public approval, basically, the most undemocratic opaque agency. So that’s what this is about. That’s what the stakes are. And everyone’s so consumed with partisan narratives, including Trump world, that these principles have been completely lost. It’s not It’s not like, you know, this is anything unfamiliar. But, I mean, that’s what Russia gate was about is about getting Trump and now Oh, the open skies treaty was just shredded and you know, any any democrat who’s up in arms about that has their themselves to blame? Because they’re the ones who helped ratify and reinforce this new Cold War of hostility?
Scott Horton 49:53
Absolutely right about that man. Hear democrats complain about Trump breaking treaties with the Russians at this point. Got to be the most obnoxious thing in the world. No self reflection whatsoever. Yeah, it’s so odd that a baby’s hard. The reason he’s doing it is to protect himself from this narrative. In fact, he’s completely abandon the get along with Russia policy for adopting the Cold War policy, in self defense against their false accusations of his treason.
Max Blumenthal 50:22
Yep, he’s overcompensating for the summit with Putin where, when he was handed a soccer ball, CNN reported that a listening device was potentially inside the soccer ball. I forgotten about
Scott Horton 50:33
Max Blumenthal 50:35
john brennan went on. Where was he a country hired as a contributor. msnbc. Yeah, he’s the msnbc renta spook called john called Donald Trump as a trader, I mean, for basically meeting with Putin and what were they talking about? They were talking about new treaties on intermediate range ballistic missiles. That’s really what they were talking about. So here
Scott Horton 50:57
we are, we got rid of the old one.
Max Blumenthal 51:00
Yep, yep. And so that’s why I was opposed, really, ultimately why I was so opposed to Russia gate aside from it being a completely and transparently false narrative. And you know, I stood up against the, the birther campaign against Obama, because the blowback is no more racism and more Islamophobia. it justifies the targeting of Muslims and increased anti muslim attitudes. And so, you know, all of these phony partisan mccarthyite campaigns have terrible blowback. And, you know, whatever’s left of democracy hangs in the balance here. I think that, you know, the final chapter of Russia gate is what happens with Julian Assange. I mean, we’re left with a new Cold War. But yeah, I think this is sort of the undecided episode. And so you have these two parallel court cases, one in Spain, and one in the UK. And it’s really important to pay attention to what happens with Spain. They’ll continue to. I’ll continue to report out anything I get out of that court.
Scott Horton 52:06
Yeah. Well, you know, at this point, they might as well just move the White House and the Department of Justice buildings to Langley. And just let these guys rule because they’re the charge anyway. And the washington post in New York. them too, for sure. All right. Well, listen, man. Thanks for coming back on the show max. Great stuff as always.
Unknown Speaker 52:26
Yeah. Thanks for having me on. I got to run off to an interview with chris hayes now and then, you know, I’m heading into New York Times building to talk about my blockbuster bombshell investigation. I’m so sure.
Scott Horton 52:38
It’s not flying on my show, Max. All right. Thanks, man.
Max Blumenthal 52:41
All right, Scott.
Scott Horton 52:42
Aren’t you guys? That’s max Blumenthal. You got to read Goliath. It’s all about Israel. What is Israel? What’s the deal with Israel? Anyway, read that thing. It’ll blow your socks off. And you know, I forgot to mention at the beginning there to watch his documentary. It’s like three bucks to watch the documentary he made with Dan Cohen called Killing Gaza. And it’s just so good and so important. It’s important for me to remember to mention it all the time. And, of course his most recent book is management of savagery, which is excellent. And this article is at the gray zone. It’s called the American friends. New court files expose Sheldon Adelson security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange.
The Scott Horton show anti war radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com ScottHorton.org and libertarianinstitute.org
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