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CNN is the Clinton News Network. Wikileaks proves CNN and DNC colluded before Donald Trump interview

CNN and the DNC worked together to formulate the list of questions for a Donald Trump interview according to new emails released by WikiLeaks

Alex Christoforou

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Yesterday Wikileaks announced the release of hacked DNC emails entitled #DNCLeak2.

The new Wikileaks dump has over 8,000 unseen, hacked DNC emails, which will most certainly be attributed to Russian hackers with no evidence backing those claims whatsoever, cue Robby Mook and Donna Brazile.

In one of the emails, DNC members were tipped off, in advance, of a forthcoming Wolf Blitzer interview of Donald Trump. The DNC members were then given the opportunity to prepare the list of questions for Trump.

In the email below Lauren Dillon of the DNC, send out group email asking everyone what questions Wolf Blitzer should ask Trump…

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-11-46-40-am

“Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow. Thanks!”

Wolf Blitzer is very much in the tank with HRC. He can be seen below drinking and dancing after Hillary Clinton stole the primary election from Bernie Sanders.

The interview was ultimately cancelled, but the DNC made a note that the questions they offered CNN are “Good to have for others as well”…

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-12-00-12-pm


Here are the questions in full below, as released by Wikileaks.

The DNC focuses their questions for Wolf Blitzer and CNN around Trump’s foreign policy platform and his ability to lead. The questions also cover North and South Korea, the UN and ISIS.


From:[email protected]
To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] more
Date: 2016-04-25 13:59
Subject: RE: Trump Questions for CNN

CNN said the interview was cancelled as of now but will keep the questions for the next one 🙁

Good to have for others as well.

Updated here:

– Who helped you write the foreign policy speech you’re giving tomorrow? Which advisors specifically did you talk to? What advice did they give you? Did they give you any advice that you chose not to take?

-A number of Republicans and think tanks including the Heritage Foundation have suggested tying defense spending to GDP, most often suggesting defense should be funded at 4 percent GDP. Is that something you would do/we’ll see in your plan?

– You’ve said you look to Ambassador John Bolton for military advice and called him “terrific,” but he was one of the architects of the Iraq war. How do you explain your praise for Bolton if you also claim the war was a mistake? What advice have you taken from him?

* TODD: “Who do you talk to for military advice right now?” TRUMP: “Well, I watch the shows. I really see a lot of great — when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals and you have certain people that you like.” TODD: “But is there somebody — is there a go to for you?” TRUMP: “Probably there are two or three.” TODD: “Every presidential candidate has a go-to.” TRUMP: “Well, probably there are two or three. I like Bolton, I think he’s a tough cookie, knows what he’s talking about. Jacobs is a good guy.” TODD: “Do you mean Ambassador John Bolton–” TRUMP: “Yes. I think he’s terrific–.” [Meet The Press, NBC, 8/16/15]

– CIA Director Brennan and former CIA Director Hayden have both said that our military and intelligence officers might refuse to follow some of your orders if you were president. You’ve said that the military would in fact listen, but what would you do if the military refused to listen to you? Should they be court-martialed if they refuse to follow orders?

* Asked What He Would Do If The Military Refused To Obey His Illegal Orders, Trump Said “They’re Not Going To Refuse Me. Believe Me.” BAIER: “General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, NSA director, and other experts have said that when you asked the U.S. military to carry out some of your campaign promises, specifically targeting terrorists’ families, and also the use of interrogation methods more extreme than waterboarding, the military will refuse because they’ve been trained to turn down and refuse illegal orders. So what would you do, as commander-in-chief, if the U.S. military refused to carry out those orders?” TRUMP: “They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me. Believe me.” BAIER: “But they’re illegal.” [Republican Primary Debate, Detroit MI, 3/3/16]

* Trump: “If I Say Do It, They’re Going To Do It. That’s What Leadership Is All About.” BAIER: “But targeting terrorists’ families?” (APPLAUSE) TRUMP: “And — and — and — I’m a leader. I’m a leader. I’ve always been a leader. I’ve never had any problem leading people. If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.” [Republican Primary Debate, Detroit MI, 3/3/16]

– Do you think American victims of 9/11 should be able to sue Saudi Arabia in court? What role, if any, do you think Saudi Arabia had in the 9/11 attacks?

– You’ve said we should have bombed the “right people” after 9/11 and have suggested that the government has evidence Saudi Arabia was involved. Do you think we should have instead bombed Saudi Arabia?

* Trump Said We Needed To Bomb The “Right People,” The “People That Knocked Down The World Trade Center” And That Was Not Saddam Hussein. TRUMP: “No, I’m saying that, certainly, it would have been nice if the federal government could have given some of the trillion dollars that we’ve spent on Iraq. And by the way, I’m worse of a hawk than anybody. I’m worse than Roger Ailes, and that’s pretty bad, OK? But you’ve got to bomb the right people. You’ve got to bomb the right — the people that knocked down the World Trade Center. It was not the people of Iraq, and it was not Saddam Hussein. It’s sort of interesting. Saddam Hussein used to kill terrorists. Now Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists. I mean, that’s the Harvard of terrorism. So it’s a very, very sad situation.” [Cavuto, Fox Business, 12/17/08]

* Trump Suggested The Redacted Pages Of The 9/11 Report Would Reveal That Saudi Arabia Blew Up The World Trade Center. “‘Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi – take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,’ Trump told the gang at Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, after defending his bizarre theory that George W. Bush was president on September 11. Trump appeared to be referencing the 28 pages that were redacted from the 2002 Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.” [New York Magazine, 2/17/16<http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/donald-trump-suggests-the-saudis-did-911.html>]

– Would you order U.S. troops to withdraw from South Korea if they refused to pay us, and if so, how quickly?

* Trump Said He Was Willing To Withdraw U.S. Forces From Japan And South Korea If They Did Not Increase Their Financial Contribution. HABERMAN: “Would you be willing to withdraw U.S. forces from places like Japan and South Korea if they don’t increase their contribution significantly?” TRUMP: “Yes, I would. I would not do so happily, but I would be willing to do it. Not happily. David actually asked me that question before, this morning before we sort of finalized out. The answer is not happily but the answer is yes. We cannot afford to be losing vast amounts of billions of dollars on all of this. We just can’t do it anymore. Now there was a time when we could have done it. When we started doing it. But we can’t do it anymore. And I have a feeling that they’d up the ante very much. I think they would, and if they wouldn’t I would really have to say yes.” [Donald Trump Interview, New York Times, 3/26/16<http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump-transcript.html?_r=0>]

– How many military bases do you think the U.S. should have in Southeast Asia?

* Trump Said He Did Not Think The U.S. Gained Anything By Having Military Bases In South Korea And Japan. LANE: “You know, well, they say and I think this is on public record, it’s basically 50 percent of the non-personnel cost is paid by South Korea and Japan.” TRUMP: “50 percent?” LANE: “Yeah.” TRUMP: “Why isn’t it 100 percent?” HIATT: “Well I guess the question is, does the United States gain anything by having bases?” TRUMP: “Personally I don’t think so. I personally don’t think so. Look. I have great relationships with South Korea. I have buildings in South Korea. But that’s a wealthy country. They make the ships, they make the televisions, they make the air conditioning. They make tremendous amounts of products. It’s a huge, it’s a massive industrial complex country.” [Editorial Board Interview, Washington Post, 3/21/16<https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/21/a-transcript-of-donald-trumps-meeting-with-the-washington-post-editorial-board/>]

– You’ve said that you would listen to our generals if they called to send 20,000 troops in to fight ISIS, then later said you would find it hard to go along with those troop levels. Which one is it? Would you listen to the troop levels our generals called for? If not, how many troops do you think is appropriate to send in to combat ISIS?

* Trump Said He “Would Listen To The Generals” But Was “Hearing Numbers Of 20,000 To 30,000” Ground Troops To Fight ISIS In Syria. HEWITT: “Mr. Trump, more troops?” TRUMP: “We really have no choice. We have to knock out ISIS. We have to knock the hell out of them, we have to get rid of it and then we have to come back here and rebuild our country, which is falling apart.” HEWITT: “How many?” TRUMP: “I would listen to the generals but I’m hearing numbers of 20,000 to 30,000. We have to knock them out fast. We have to knock them out fast. Look, we’re not allowed to fight. We can’t fight. We’re not knocking out the oil because they don’t want to create environmental pollution up in the air.” [Republican Primary Debate, Miami FL, 3/10/16]

* Trump: “I Find It Hard To Go Along With” The Generals’ Suggestion For 20- To 30,000 Troops “Because It’s So Much.” DIEHL: “And could I ask you about ISIS, speaking of making commitments, because you talked recently about possibly sending 20 or 30,000 troops and–” TRUMP: “No I didn’t, oh no no no, okay, I know what you’re saying. There was a question asked to me. I said that the military, the generals have said that 20- to 30,000. They said, would you send troops? I didn’t say send 20,000. I said, well the generals are saying you’d need because they , what would it take to wipe out ISIS, I said pretty much exactly this, I said the generals, the military is saying you would need 20- to 30,000 troops, but I didn’t say that I would send them.” DIEHL: “If they said that, would you go along with that and send the troops?” TRUMP: “I find it hard to go along with-I mention that as an example because it’s so much. That’s why I brought that up. But a couple of people have said the same thing as you, where they said did I say that and I said that that’s a number that I heard would be needed. I would find it very, very hard to send that many troops to take care of it.” [Editorial Board Interview, Washington Post, 3/21/16<https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/21/a-transcript-of-donald-trumps-meeting-with-the-washington-post-editorial-board/>]

– You’ve said that the U.S. disproportionately funded the U.N., should we reduce our funding to the United Nations? How much should we reduce it by? If we get nothing out of the U.N, why should we continue to be a member of it?

* Trump Said We Disproportionately Funded The United Nations And Got Nothing Out Of It. TRUMP: “You know, I’ll give you another one, I talked about NATO and we fund disproportionately, the United Nations, we get nothing out of the United Nations other than good real estate prices. We get nothing out of the United Nations. They don’t respect us, they don’t do what we want, and yet we fund them disproportionately again. Why are we always the ones that funds everybody disproportionately, you know? So everything is like that.” [New York Times Interview, 3/26/16<http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump-transcript.html?_r=0>]

– Which international organizations should the U.S. be a member of? Which treaties do you think it is valuable the U.S. remain a part of?

– In 2000, you said you supported a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if it would keep them from getting nuclear weapons. Do you still support that?

* Trump: Am I Ready To Bomb North Korea’s Reactor? “You’re Damned Right.” “What would I do in North Korea? Fair question. It’s easy to point out the problem, but what should we do to solve it? Am I ready to bomb this reactor? You’re damned right.” [Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 1/15/00]

* Trump: “A Surgical Strike Would Not Only Put Out The Fire In North Korea, But It Would Also Send A Message Around The World That The United States Is Going To Eliminate Any Serious Threat To Its Security, And Do So Without Apology.” [Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 1/15/00]

From: Freundlich, Christina
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 10:34 AM
To: Roberts, Kelly; Dillon, Lauren; Sarge, Matthew; Graham, Caroline; Walker, Eric; Bauer, Nick; Brinster, Jeremy
Subject: RE: Trump Questions for CNN

Obviously I think these are all great. lauren?

From: Roberts, Kelly
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 10:21 AM
To: Dillon, Lauren; Freundlich, Christina; Sarge, Matthew; Graham, Caroline; Walker, Eric; Bauer, Nick; Brinster, Jeremy
Subject: RE: Trump Questions for CNN

This is the list Brinster, Sarge and I came up with:

– Who helped you write the foreign policy speech you’re giving tomorrow? Which advisors specifically did you talk to? What advice did they give you? Did they give you any advice that you chose not to take?

– CIA Director Brennan and former CIA Director Hayden have both said that our military and intelligence officers might refuse to follow some of your orders if you were president. What would you do if the military refused to listen to you? Should they be court-martialed if they refuse to follow orders?

– You’ve said you look to Ambassador John Bolton for military advice and called him “terrific,” but he was one of the architects of the Iraq war. How do you explain your praise for Bolton if you also claim the war was a mistake? What advice have you taken from him?

* TODD: “Who do you talk to for military advice right now?” TRUMP: “Well, I watch the shows. I really see a lot of great — when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals and you have certain people that you like.” TODD: “But is there somebody — is there a go to for you?” TRUMP: “Probably there are two or three.” TODD: “Every presidential candidate has a go-to.” TRUMP: “Well, probably there are two or three. I like Bolton, I think he’s a tough cookie, knows what he’s talking about. Jacobs is a good guy.” TODD: “Do you mean Ambassador John Bolton–” TRUMP: “Yes. I think he’s terrific–.” [Meet The Press, NBC, 8/16/15]

– Do you think American victims of 9/11 should be able to sue Saudi Arabia in court? What role, if any, do you think Saudi Arabia had in the 9/11 attacks?

– You’ve said we should have bombed the “right people” after 9/11 and have suggested that the government has evidence Saudi Arabia was involved. Do you think we should have instead bombed Saudi Arabia?

* Trump Said We Needed To Bomb The “Right People,” The “People That Knocked Down The World Trade Center” And That Was Not Saddam Hussein. TRUMP: “No, I’m saying that, certainly, it would have been nice if the federal government could have given some of the trillion dollars that we’ve spent on Iraq. And by the way, I’m worse of a hawk than anybody. I’m worse than Roger Ailes, and that’s pretty bad, OK? But you’ve got to bomb the right people. You’ve got to bomb the right — the people that knocked down the World Trade Center. It was not the people of Iraq, and it was not Saddam Hussein. It’s sort of interesting. Saddam Hussein used to kill terrorists. Now Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists. I mean, that’s the Harvard of terrorism. So it’s a very, very sad situation.” [Cavuto, Fox Business, 12/17/08]

* Trump Suggested The Redacted Pages Of The 9/11 Report Would Reveal That Saudi Arabia Blew Up The World Trade Center. “‘Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis, it was Saudi – take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,’ Trump told the gang at Fox & Friends Wednesday morning, after defending his bizarre theory that George W. Bush was president on September 11. Trump appeared to be referencing the 28 pages that were redacted from the 2002 Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks.” [New York Magazine, 2/17/16<http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/donald-trump-suggests-the-saudis-did-911.html>]

– Would you order U.S. troops to withdraw from South Korea, and if so, how quickly?

– How many military bases do you think the U.S. should have in Southeast Asia?

– President Obama recently announced he’s sending 250 U.S. special operations troops to Syria to help in the fight against ISIS. How many U.S. troops do you think need to be sent to Syria/Iraq and what do they need to do there?

– You’ve said that the U.S. disproportionately funded the U.N., should we cut our funding to the United Nations? How much should we reduce it by? If we get nothing out of the U.N, why should we continue to be a member of it?

* Trump Said We Disproportionately Funded The United Nations And Got Nothing Out Of It. TRUMP: “You know, I’ll give you another one, I talked about NATO and we fund disproportionately, the United Nations, we get nothing out of the United Nations other than good real estate prices. We get nothing out of the United Nations. They don’t respect us, they don’t do what we want, and yet we fund them disproportionately again. Why are we always the ones that funds everybody disproportionately, you know? So everything is like that.” [New York Times Interview, 3/26/16<http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump-transcript.html?_r=0>]

– Which international organizations should the U.S. be a member of? Which treaties do you think it is valuable the U.S. remain a part of?

– In 2000, you said you supported a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if it would keep them from getting nuclear weapons. Do you still support that?

* Trump: Am I Ready To Bomb North Korea’s Reactor? “You’re Damned Right.” “What would I do in North Korea? Fair question. It’s easy to point out the problem, but what should we do to solve it? Am I ready to bomb this reactor? You’re damned right.” [Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 1/15/00]

* Trump: “A Surgical Strike Would Not Only Put Out The Fire In North Korea, But It Would Also Send A Message Around The World That The United States Is Going To Eliminate Any Serious Threat To Its Security, And Do So Without Apology.” [Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 1/15/00]

From: Dillon, Lauren
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 9:05 AM
To: Freundlich, Christina; Roberts, Kelly; Sarge, Matthew; Graham, Caroline; Walker, Eric; Bauer, Nick; Brinster, Jeremy
Subject: Re: Trump Questions for CNN

Reminder

Kelly please take lead. Folks, send your questions and any necessary backup to Kelly.

On Apr 24, 2016, at 10:24 PM, Dillon, Lauren <[email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>> wrote:

Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed.

Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.

Thanks!

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Theresa May survives another week in ongoing Brexit fiasco (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 153.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss Theresa May’s Brexit survival, as the UK Prime Ministers appears to be heading to Brussels so she can coordinate with EU technocrats in order to meet a November deadline to move the unpopular agreement through all channels of British government.

It is still a very fluid situation. May has made it through a tough weekend where support to oust her never materialized, but the week ahead is anything but certain. For now May’s Brexit position looks secure.

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“Brexit. A Deal That Pleases No One,” authored by Daniel Lacalle via dlacalle.com…

The agreement announced between the British government and the European Union has been received in the United Kingdom with criticism from all sides. The defenders of staying in the European Union consider it very negative, of course. However, and this is the most important part, it is unlikely that the conservative party itself will support this agreement in parliament. Jacob Rees-Mogg has called the agreement “a failure of the negotiators and a failure to deliver Brexit.” Boris Johnson has said that it turns the United Kingdom into a “vassal state” and Nigel Farage has described it as “the worst agreement in history”.

Including the entire United Kingdom in the customs union and maintaining the payment of 10 billion pounds a year to give the European Union veto rights to the most important decisions is something that most conservative members of parliament will reject and that does not satisfy the Labor Party – which is also not pro-EU, let’s be clear – nor the liberal-democrats.

That is the great problem facing the government of Theresa May. That not even the government as a whole supports this agreement. The resignations that have been registered prove it. Even if the rest of the government decides to accept this agreement as a lesser evil, it is very difficult for the parliament to approve it.

At the centre of the controversy is a negotiating process that the European Union has left as a United Kingdom issue. But by letting the United Kingdom deal with its own divisions and problems, the EU also lost the perfect opportunity to offer British citizens and the rest of Europe a refreshing, leading and exciting project. And that is the big problem. That Brexit has been seen in many circles in Brussels as an opportunity to advance in the political and interventionist project, instead of moving towards a union in freedom for global, economic and political leadership.

The problem of the UK government is that it is led by a person, Theresa May, who must present a proposal to leave the EU when she has always been an advocate of remaining (Theresa May initially campaigned for the “Remain”). Thus, it is not surprising that the parliament arithmetics in favor of this agreement is not at all clear.

The British Parliament has more members in favor of Brexit than against, but it cannot be THIS Brexit.

Boris Johnson and the pro-Brexit hardliners may see an opportunity to weaken Theresa May and force a change of leadership that will bring a new leader more committed to a better deal.

Moderate Labour, who have been terrified for months with the radical drift of the Corbyn team, may also see an opportunity to weaken the leader who tries to take Labour to the far left.

My perception is that if there were a second referendum the result would probably be the same. In the United Kingdom there are no voices with political weight and real popular support to defend the European Union project. In the United Kingdom, the debate is either seeing the European Union as an annoying partner or as an impossible danger to solve.

Citizens in Europe see Brexit with sadness, logically. In the United Kingdom, news arriving from the European Union do not encourage a remain stance. High unemployment, unresolved immigration problems, lack of global leadership, high taxes, the specter of a new debt crisis in Italy and other risks. Pro-Europe UK leaders offer no other argument to citizens than the so-called Project Fear, a massive economic risk. However, British citizens see UK unemployment at 75-year lows, while in Europe they see the slowdown of the eurozone and the budget crisis of other countries, and do not find an unquestionable reason to stay in the club.

The UK citizen who votes for Brexit does not seem convinced that the only solution is to belong to a union that demands more control but offers less growth and employment.

The reactions to the agreement have not been very euphoric in any case. It seems something that was presented to fail. The pound and stock market did not react as the EU negotiators would think once the deal was seen as unlikely to pass parliament. In the bond market, Gilts strengthened as UK bond spreads fell while eurozone peripheral yields soared. The opposite of what would be seen as an EU victory.

Reaching an agreement that benefits everyone is difficult, but not impossible

The problem in the United Kingdom is that the agreement that would satisfy the pro-Brexit is impossible, and that the agreement that would please the pro-EU is impractical. That the message of economic ruin is not bought by Brexiters and not even the Remainers see the marvels of the EU membership.

Economically, it has been a mistake to present British citizens with the idea of “either the EU or the chaos”, because it does not work when there is not a clear, exciting and global leadership project.

The United Kingdom, one of the voices that defended economic freedom and open markets in an increasingly bureaucratic European Union is an essential partner to advance in Europe. Reaching an agreement that benefits everyone is difficult, but not impossible.

I have never bought the “EU or chaos” argument. I believe that both parts can benefit from a mutually beneficial deal. I am convinced that, even if this agreement is not approved, the British government will reconsider and present a solid plan for its citizens.

 

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Rise of the Western Dissidents

The only reason Assange is being targeted is that he tangled with the highest levels of the western establishment. He is far from alone.

The Duran

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Authored by Allum Bokhari via Breitbart:


We’re used to Russian dissidents, Chinese dissidents, Iranian dissidents, and Saudi Arabian dissidents. But those who rightly believe the west is superior to authoritarian regimes must now contend with a troubling trend — the rise of the western dissident.

Chief among them is Julian Assange, who for a half-decade has been forced to live in the tiny Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has claimed political asylum since 2011. Assange claimed that he would be extradited to the U.S. to face charges over his work at WikiLeaks if he left the embassy, and was routinely mocked as paranoid for doing so.

This week, we learned that Assange was right and his critics were wrong. Thanks to a clerical error by the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia, reporters were able to confirm the existence of sealed criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder.

Because the charges are sealed and the evidence is unknown, it’s impossible to say if the case has merit. But it likely relates to WikiLeaks’ release of unredacted diplomatic cables in 2011, which forced the U.S. to relocate several of its foreign sources.

Some allegations are more serious. While he was alive, neoconservative Senator John McCain maintained that leaks provided to WikiLeaks by Chelsea Manning, which included the diplomatic cables, caused U.S sources to be murdered.

Those who see Assange as a villain will end the story here. What is typically left out is that WikiLeaks originally released the diplomatic cables in piecemeal form, with names redacted to prevent loss of life and minimize harm.

It was only after a Guardian journalist’s error led to the full unredacted cables leaking to third parties on the web that WikiLeaks published them as well — and not before Assange attempted to warn the office of Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State.

In other words, WikiLeaks behaved precisely as any responsible publisher handling sensitive material should, redacting information that could cause harm. The redactions only stopped when they became pointless. Assange is unlikely to have won more than a dozen journalism awards if he were completely reckless in his publications.

The Pentagon later admitted under oath that they could not find any instances of individuals being killed as a result of being named in Manning’s leaks to WikiLeaks, contradicting Sen. McCain’s allegations.

At worst, Assange and WikiLeaks can be accused of negligence, not deliberate recklessness, in the way it handled sensitive material. But as Breitbart Tech reporter Lucas Nolan points out, a far stronger case can be made against Hillary Clinton for the way she handled State Department emails — yet we see no criminal charges against her.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the only reason Assange is being targeted is that he tangled with the highest levels of the western establishment. In that, he is far from alone.

In the late 2000s to early 2010s, western governments targeted all manner of individuals associated with Assange and the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, including Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda, and The Guardian newspaper.

This was the early growth period of the internet, when the web had become a truly popular medium but had yet to be censored by pliant social media corporations. It was a time of profound unease at the power of the internet to undermine authority, both through the dissemination of information as in the case of WikiLeaks and Snowden, and in the new mobilization of political forces, as in the case of Occupy Wall Street and the SOPA/PIPA protests. Heavy-handed crackdowns against individuals and groups that were seen, rightly or wrongly, as symbols of the web’s early anarchic tendencies, like Kim DotcomAaron SwartzAnonymous, and LulzSec, were not uncommon.

These days, however, a new class of western dissident has emerged — the populist dissident.

Populist Dissidents

Who would have thought that the highest court in Europe, home of the enlightenment, would uphold a case in which a woman was prosecuted for blasphemy against Islam?

Who would have thought that Britain, the birthplace of liberalism and the free press, would ban an independent journalist from its shores for satirizing the same religion?

Who would have thought that Germany, whose living memory of the totalitarian Stasi is just three decades old, would put its largest opposition party under surveillance?

Just a few years ago, all three would sound far-fetched. But cases like these have become common as elites in virtually every western country mount a panicked attempt to contain the rise of populism (the goal, in the words of a Google executive, is to render it a “hiccup”in history’s march towards progress).

Look at the case of Tommy Robinson, the British critic of Islam who was dragged through Britain’s courts on fuzzy contempt-of-court charges. Sentenced to an astonishing thirteen-month imprisonment, Robinson was eventually freed after a successful appeal and now awaits a final trial before Britain’s Attorney General. Shaky charges that have been successfully appealed were exploited to persecute a British citizen who was inconvenient to the establishment. And there’s still a further trial to come.

Then again, Britain is a country that routinely bans foreign politicians and media figures from the country for being too right-wing. Michael SavageGeert WildersLauren SouthernPamela Geller, and Robert Spencer all enjoy this dubious distinction. Theresa May, who was responsible for internal affairs and immigration when Spencer and Geller were banned, is now the Prime Minister.

But it’s not just Britain. Not only has Trump’s White House, supposedly an ally of populists, failed to publicly intervene on behalf of the American citizens banned from the U.K. for expressing populist viewpoints, but it hasn’t even investigated allegations that far-left Antifa activists were able to stop conservative Rebel Media personality Jack Buckbyfrom entering the country by spreading false criminal allegations.

Julian Assange, a left-libertarian may share little ideological ground with right-wing critics of Islam. But they all share at least one thing: persecution by western states coupled with anti-establishment political speech or activities. They are also targets of the security establishment — Assange because of leaks that have exposed their secrets, and the populists because they refuse to censor themselves to avoid angering Muslims. (The UK justified its attempted ban of Geert Wilders by arguing that his presence in the country could lead to “inter-faith violence.”)

We also see attacks on free speech, with governments and politicians across the west pressuring Silicon Valley to suppress its critics. An unaccountable, unelected elite can sweep away a person’s livelihood in minutes, and cut their political message off from millions of American citizens. As I wrote in my column two weeks ago, the overarching trend is the gradual destruction or delegitimization of every tool, digital or otherwise, that non-elites use to express their preferences. Does that sound like a free society, or a controlled one?

You don’t have to agree with any of the individuals or groups listed above to see that surveilling political parties, blocking journalists from entering countries, jailing critics of religion, upholding blasphemy laws and censoring the net is the behavior of authoritarian nations, not liberal democracies. Yet this is the disturbing pattern we now see in the west.

Worse, foreign authoritarian regimes now provide safe harbor for western dissidents, in the same way that the west does for foreign dissidents. Edward Snowden, accused of violating the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917 for blowing the whistle on the NSA’s mass surveillance of Americans, has for years resided safely in Russia, a country that persecutes and even kills its own journalists. Before that, he sought refuge in Hong Kong, a “Special Administrative Region” of the People’s Republic of China, an even more terrifyingly totalitarian state.

Will there now be a quid pro quo, with Russia and other authoritarian regimes protecting our dissidents while the west protects theirs? Or will western countries remain true to their liberal traditions, and stop its alarming attempts to surveil, suppress, and persecute a growing number of its own citizens? On present trends, a dark and dystopian future seems to loom on the horizon.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to [email protected].

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Zuckerberg’s “War Face” Has Driven Key Executives Away, Stoked Tension With Sandberg

About a dozen senior or highly visible executives disclosed their resignations or left Facebook in 2018.

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Via Zerohedge


Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gathered around 50 of his key executives and told them that the company was at war – more specifically, under siege from lawmakers, investors and angry users over the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal and Russian influence on the platform.

Zuckerberg, according to the Wall Street Journal, told his top lieutenants during that June meeting that while executives can move more slowly and methodically on key decisions during “peacetime,” he would be acting more decisively going forward, said people familiar with the remarks.

The result? Tension which has boiled over to the point where several key executives have left the country – as well as friction between Zuckerberg and longtime COO, Sheryl Sandberg.

The 34-year-old CEO believes Facebook didn’t move quickly enough at key moments this year and increasingly is pressing senior executives to “make progress faster” on resolving problems such as slowing user growth and securing the platform, said people familiar with the matter. Mr. Zuckerberg also at times has expressed frustration at how the company managed the waves of criticism it faced this year.

On Friday, that tension was on display when, during a question-and-answer session with employees at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., he blasted a fresh round of critical news coverage as “bullshit,” according to the people familiar with the remarks. –WSJ

One Facebook employee at the Friday session asked if the company could mitigate leaks by publishing internal reports on how frequently offenders are found and fired. While Zuckerberg said that Facebook does fire leakers, the root cause is “bad morale” thanks to negative press coverage.

And while the WSJ notes Zuckerberg has taken on ambitious annual goals, such as learning Mandarin and reading 25 books, this year his biggest challenge is fixing Facebook through his tougher management style, according to a person familiar with his thinking (so says the WSJ). Perhaps the Facebook CEO hired a drill sergeant to coach him on bringing out his inner-Alpha?

According to the Journal, Zuckerberg and Sandberg have had confrontations over his new management style, after she had long been afforded considerable autonomy over the company’s teams which handle communications and policy.

This spring, Mr. Zuckerberg told Ms. Sandberg, 49, that he blamed her and her teams for the public fallout over Cambridge Analytica, the research firm that inappropriately accessed private data on Facebook users and used it for political research, according to people familiar with the exchange.

Ms. Sandberg later confided in friends that the exchange rattled her, and she wondered if she should be worried about her job.

Mr. Zuckerberg also has told Ms. Sandberg she should have been more aggressive in allocating resources to review troublesome content on the site, said one person familiar with the matter, a problem that the company still struggles to fix. –WSJ

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg seems to be pleased of late with internal improvements, telling reporters last week that Sandberg is a “very important partner to me, and continues to be, and will continue to be.”

Privately, Zuckerberg has told executives that some of the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal was just “hysteria,” to which Facebook simply didn’t mount an effective response.

Clash of the tech titans

Zuckerberg famously has butted heads with the co-founders of photo-sharing app Instagram, over his desire to share user location data on the main Facebook platform in order to help better target ads. The now-resigned Instagram founders strongly opposed the idea, and abruptly left the company in September.

The founders of WhatsApp similarly bailed on Facebook after disagreements over how to best extract revenue from the messaging service, according to people familiar with the matter.

And most recently, was the departure of Oculus VR co-founder Brendan Iribe, who was forced out by Zuckerberg in part due to a disagreement over the future of the virtual-reality handset, the people said. The decision to leave was reportedly “mutual.”

All told, about a dozen senior or highly visible executives disclosed their resignations or left Facebook in 2018. In May, Facebook announced a major reshuffling of top product executives in a way that helped free up Mr. Zuckerberg to oversee a broader portfolio within the company.

This turmoil at the top of Facebook has made it difficult for the company to execute on some product decisions and shore up employee morale, which has been sinking over the last year along with the stock price, which has fallen 36% since its peak. Many employees are frustrated by the bad press and constant reorganizations, including of the security team, which can disrupt their work, according to current and former employees. –WSJ

Doing whatever it takes

Facebook has come under fire recently – most notably after a New York Times report that the company used GOP operatives to smear the company’s detractors and promote negative news about competitors Google and Apple.

When the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal broke – the resultant rebukes from Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google executives sent Zuckerberg ballistic. The Facebook CEO “later ordered his management team to use only Android phones —arguing that the operating system had far more users than Apple’s,” according to the Times.

Facebook then went on the offensive against the fellow tech giants.

On the advice of Joel Kaplan – a well-connected Republican friend, Bush administration official, and former Harvard classmate of Sandberg, Facebook began to go after Google and Apple.

Mr. Kaplan prevailed on Ms. Sandberg to promote Kevin Martin, a former Federal Communications Commission chairman and fellow Bush administration veteran, to lead the company’s American lobbying efforts. Facebook also expanded its work with Definers.

On a conservative news site called the NTK Network, dozens of articles blasted Google and Apple for unsavory business practices. One story called Mr. Cook hypocritical for chiding Facebook over privacy, noting that Apple also collects reams of data from users. Another played down the impact of the Russians’ use of Facebook.

The rash of news coverage was no accident: NTK is an affiliate of Definers, sharing offices and staff with the public relations firm in Arlington, Va. Many NTK Network stories are written by staff members at Definers or America Rising, the company’s political opposition-research arm, to attack their clients’ enemies. –NYT

Facebook has responded, initially saying they didn’t put out “fake news” against their competitors, and they had no idea what their marketing department was doing. On Friday, however, Sandberg said she took full responsibility for the actions of the communications team.

Facebook has tried to move forward following its various scandals; spearheading efforts to reign in data harvesting, and looking for someone to oversee its corporate, external and legal affairs.

Hopefully whoever is ultimately in charge of oversight won’t be scared away by Zuckerberg’s war face.

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