Assange's Extremist Employees

Why is WikiLeaks employing a well-known Holocaust denier and his disgraced son?

Last week, I wrote that the widely-linked article positing that the CIA was behind a Swedish woman’s accusation of rape against Julian Assange was authored by a Russian-born, Swedish-domiciled, multi-aliased anti-Semite and Holocaust denier currently writing under the name “Israel Shamir,” a.k.a. Adam Ermash or Jöran Jermas. The broader point had little to do with the efficacy or morality of WikiLeaks—there are plenty of debates available on the narrower issue of government transparency; this isn’t intended to be one of them—but was concerned with how ideology and confirmation bias (WikiLeaks is a good thing, therefore Assange must be defended, and the CIA has done bad stuff in the past so—cui bono?—Assange’s accuser must be a Langley asset) can lead mainstream media figures into the fever swamps of Internet conspiracy theory.

It is worrying enough when journalists, either by accident or design, consort with vulgar figures like Shamir. But it has now been revealed that Israel Shamir, when he is not accusing Assange’s accusers of setting CIA honey traps, works with WikiLeaks in an official capacity.

According to reports in the Swedish and Russian media, the broad strokes of which have been confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman, Shamir serves as the group’s content aggregator in Russia, the man who “selects and distributes” the cables to Russian news organizations, according to an investigation by Swedish public radio. In the newspaper Expressen, Magnus Ljunggren, an emeritus professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, outlined Shamir’s close ties to WikiLeaks and his position “spreading the documents in Russia.” (The article is illustrated with a picture of Assange and Shamir in an unidentified office.)

During an appearance on Echo Moskvy radio, Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wondered “What does it mean that Assange is allowing himself to be represented by an extremist?” Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks. According to Latynina, Shamir faked a cable related to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, which supposedly showed collusion amongst those who walked out of the talk in protest. That he would invent such a cable is perhaps unsurprising, considering Shamir has previously written an encomium to the “brave and charismatic leader” of Iran. 

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.” The Jews, he says, are a “virus in human form” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real.

But wait, there’s more!

The Swedish media has identified Shamir’s son, a disgraced journalist named Johannes Wahlström, himself accused of anti-Semitism and falsifying quotes, as a WikiLeaks spokesman in Sweden. Indeed, Wahlström has authored stories based on the WikiLeaks material for the newspaper Aftonbladet and is credited as a producer on a recent Swedish public television documentary about the group.

But while being the son of a famous Holocaust denier is perhaps only suggestive—Wahlström is surely not responsible for his father’s many sins—his celebrations of his father’s work in print and his contributions to Shamir’s website suggest ideological affinity.* Indeed, in 2005 Wahlström wrote a story for the leftist magazine Ordfront arguing that Swedish media, not known for being friendly to the Jewish state, was in fact being manipulated by Jewish interests on behalf of the Israeli government.

Three of the journalists interviewed for the story—Cecilia Uddén, Lotta Schüllerqvist, and Peter Löfgren—claimed that Wahlström falsified quotes, leading the magazine to withdraw the story and issue an apology. Heléne Lööw, a historian of fascism and European neo-Nazism, commented that the Wahlström story contained all the “elements that one would find in a classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.”

A member of Ordfront’s editorial board, writing in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, lamented that the piece was ever published, citing Wahlström’s “close working relationship with Israel Shamir,” without pointing out just how close the two were.

Wahlström and Shamir, father and son, are the WikiLeaks representatives for two rather large geographic areas. According to Swedish Radio’s investigation, Wahlström is the gatekeeper of the cables in Scandinavia, and “has the power to decide” which newspapers are provided access and what leaks they are allowed to see. (At the time of filing, Wahlström had yet to respond to an email request for comment.)

In Russia, the magazine Russian Reporter says that it has “privileged access” to the material through Shamir, who told a Moscow newspaper that he was “accredited” to work on behalf of WikiLeaks in Russia. But Shamir has a rather large credibility problem, so Swedish Radio put the question directly to WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson. 

Swedish Radio: Israel Shamir…Are you aware of him? Do you know him?

Kristinn Hrafnsson, Wikileaks spokesman: Yes. Yes, he is associated with us.

SR: So what is his role?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Julian Assange Death Pool||

    January 29, 2011

  • ||

    I'll take Valentine's Day.

  • Sheena||

    Bummer.

  • lunchstealer||

    So basically, what you're saying is that Wikileaks needs a hostile takeover by a joint venture of Cato and --- who? I'm trying to think of some pro-transparency left-wing group, to co-helm a revised Wikileaks with CATO, but all my brain will do is make jokes about CATO teaming up with International ANSWER.

  • ||

    It should be run by the Masons.

  • -||

    Or at least the Dixons.

  • dunkel||

    That crossed the line, right there.

  • Frank||

    Moynihan: 50% funny, 50% sad, 100% state-bitch.

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Anarchists: 100% scum.

  • ||

    Wow, a philosophy that invalidates the false morality of your statism really gets under your skin, I guess.

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Anarchy is a philosophy? Ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Atheism is a religion!

  • ||

    not nearly as pervasive a religion as the state.

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    The state is a religion! Double ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Fluffy||

    Punchbowl Turd = Moynihan's Mom. triple ha ha ha ha ha!

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Where's my giant puppet head? I'm hitting the streets.

  • emperor wears no clotesh||

    The state is a religion.
    And atheism is a religion.
    In the general sense of: people with undeveloped spines having a deep, often misplaced faith in something where there's plenty of evidence it's bad for them.

  • V||

    Says a person whose spine is bent at a right angle in front of the biggest Tyrant of them all and his decidedly non-libertarian Heavenly State!

  • ||

    oh, now i see? excellent riposte.

  • Zeb||

    "remember, no one is allowed secrets but WikiLeaks"

    Maybe someone should start WikiLeaksLeaks.org.

  • RyanXXX||

    Wikileaks sheds light on the plight of Venezuelan Jews:
    http://www.jpost.com/JewishWor.....?id=197760

    Wikileaks' cables reveal anti-semitism in the Vatican:
    http://www.timeslive.co.za/wor.....he-Vatican

    I really don't care if the people publishing this stuff are all pedophiles. It doesn't reflect on their work

  • ||

    Yes, but they must be discredited somehow, right? Because they're not making it easy for the US government to lie. And as we all know, it's super-important that our government be free to lie. Especially to us.

  • ||

    Government lies to you for your own good. WikiLeaks is dripping only blood.

  • ||

    Just like daddy! Government is our daddy, right?

  • Anonypussy™||

    Episiarch: Now 26% more persecuted than the Jews!

  • ||

    You're not even trying to make sense any more. It's an improvement, trust me.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Well you weren't trying either...were you?

  • ||

    I realize that the language of anti-statism doesn't make sense to you, dude. You don't have to repeat yourself.

  • Anonypussy™||

    Episiarch|12.14.10 @ 4:18PM|#
    ...the language of anti-statism:

    "You are either a mendacious fuck or you can't fucking read."

    "Are you purposely obtuse, or just unbelievably stupid?"

    "Color me shocked, shocked, that you support government secrecy."

    "You just can't stop being a fucking idiot, can you?"

    Indeed, it's a beautiful--and subtle--language.

  • sr7||

    Welcome to your daily Randian ostracism, Episiarch. Where they gather into a collective and denounce you as a collectivist. Than denounce libertarianism as collectivism, and anarcho-capitalist for being collectivist for showing insufficient fidelity to the state. Where upon they argue its not worth arguing with you based upon you not sharing their sentiments to justify state aggression. The basis for thus argument completely falls apart once shared, dare I say, collectivist 'values' are tossed out the window. They do this, of course, only after they started an argument with you, I gather to make the point that you are not worth their time. They are worse than leftist.

  • ||

    Astute observations, sr7. It really is a sick dynamic.

  • ||

    I kind of like it, to be honest. At least they're not pretending any more.

  • Anonypussy™||

    You should form an Episiarch support group, "sr7." Get together on Wednesday nights, talk about your feelings, submit to a higher power (Anarchy)...make giant puppet heads...you could hold a bake sale--without a license! Stick it to The Man, dude!

  • db||

    Wait, Anonypussy is a randian? What have I missed?

  • Realist||

    I asked before and no one had an answer. What good will come from the leaks??? Not the bullshit we'll know what our country is doing. That in it's self is not good or bad. The fucking question is what good will come of the leaks....what will be better???

  • cynical||

    Maybe the Arabs will murder a few of their corrupt terrorism-promoting aristocracies. Apparently a lot of people would like for them to emerge from the Dark Ages only to stop just shy of the French Revolution.

  • Realist||

    No! The question was what good WILL come from the leaks? Not what what might come of the leaks. Many posters here are just shitting their pants with excitement over the leaks. I am just wondering why!

  • ||

    Honestly, nothing. I am pretty interested in geopolitics, and try to read up on it often. A company I like called stratfor releases some free articles you can read, and one of them is about wikileaks. Their ultimate conclusion is that wikileaks hasn't really released anything that we didn't already know

  • Paul||

    First off, barring a more philosophical debate of what is "good", I would hope you feel that leaks releasing information on human rights violations are inherently good, regardless of the perpetrator. If you actually look at what wikileaks has released in the past, you will find this is often the case. The wikipedia page on wikileaks or even the Ted Talks interview with Assange would be a good starting point to see that such leaks have at the very least, on some occasions, been a "good" thing. So I suppose you're referring to the more "gray" leaks where there is no apparent "goodness". I personally think that these kinds of leaks can still be incredibly useful to the media. Articles are widely just recycled Associated Press releases, and very little research actually gets done. News organizations have significantly struggled to deal with the changing landscape brought about by the internet and freely available news. Some might argue blogs are now one of the major driving sources of news press. I think making these leaks widely available empowers the "new" press with vast troves of information to mine from. The end result of such widely available data being a broader base of opinions and ideas to draw from. If you think the press has started to fail to provide sufficient amounts of insightful information to their readers, it's not a far step to say that wikileaks is a "good" thing.

  • Tony||

    If you actually cared about their work effecting change in the world, you'd think you'd care if they were all pedophiles, as nobody will listen to a bunch of pedophiles.

  • cynical||

    I'm trying to figure out whether I should make a joke about the TSA, Catholicism, or the NEA.

  • Botox Porcupine||

    +1

  • Scoob||

    Ruh roh!

  • ||

    Zoinks!

  • Enemy of the good||

    Assange also grabbed a dog by his hind legs and pushed him around like a vaccuum cleaner.

  • ||

    +1

  • Fluffy||

    So that must mean that the cables are all fakes, right?

    Oh wait, it doesn't mean that?

    Moynihan continues his Bataan march of douchebaggery across the internet...

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Bataan march of douchebaggery

    C-

  • Kolohe||

    Sherman's march would have been the better callback.

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Sherman didn't torture anyone and his camp chefs offered a way better menu.

  • affenkopf||

    Clearly this invalidates wikileaks the same way the racist Ron Paul newsletters invalidated Paul and his positions.

  • ||

    Dumb piece. Character assassination sucks.

    BTW, for those who give a rat's ass, The Telegraph -- that reliably conservative Britpaper -- has unearthed Assange's personals profile.

  • ||

    Read the article - and while Assanges sexual preferences are not as most people would admit to - I see nothing there that speaks against his character etc.

  • ||

    Big shit.

    Find me a figure in history - some of whom we deify - who didn't have some "offness" to them.

  • T||

    Pop quiz: who has more unsavory, even criminal, employees on the payroll at any given time? Wikileaks or the US government? Anybody want to take bets on whether or not I can find an anti-Semite working in, say, the State Dept?

    So by this same logic, since the US government has a bunch of shitheads, criminals, and douchebags working for it, the government can't be trusted either. So we're back to needing Wikileaks or an organization like it again, aren't we?

  • Fluffy||

    Moynihan demonstrates why Wikileaks is needed.

    Because Wikileaks just passes along leaked material without adding any editorial value, the personal qualities of the organization's employees don't matter.

    Hitler's Brain could be running the place and it wouldn't matter.

    But please, I'm still waiting for an explanation of how this proves that the material Wikileaks released isn't real.

  • Cytotoxic||

    RTFA. The Jew-hater made up cables for the Russian media.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, now that I RTFA, I'm even more annoyed at Moynihan.

    It sounds like these two guys aren't even Wikileaks employees, but are among the journalists who got early access to the cables while they were being prepared for release, the same way the New York Times did.

    If Shamir took advantage of his status as one of the accredited journalists to make shit up, you know what the cure for that was? Wikileaks released all the material to the world at large.

    The files are right there on their website for everyone to see. It just doesn't matter what Shady Russian A or Swede Who Has Mel Gibson's Dad B does, or who they are.

    And nice try, Moynihan, with the "Why isn't Wikileaks transparent about their operations and finances" bullshit. Fuck you.

  • Anonypussy™||

    Fuck you.

    Ah, the language of anarchy. 'Tis sublime.

  • sr7||

    Ah, the language of anarchy. 'Tis sublime.

    Give us that precious Randian confusion of aesthetics with morality. Can never get enough of that.

  • sr7||

    Oh, and extra points if you are a dude using that saucy verbiage.

  • Anonypussy™||

    "Randian"? You do have a persecution complex.

  • sr7||

    Yes, it is mere coincidence that at the same time most weekdays, you show up at the same time as professed Randian Cytotoxic shows up to harass Episiarch. I'm buying that plus the swampland in Florida you are selling.

  • Anonypussy™||

    Persecution complex and conspiracy theorist!
    That's a libertarian quinella!

  • Cytotoxic||

    They're side because no one is as stupid as them, making them lonely.

  • sr7||

    And the 'two' of you show up just like that to disprove what I said. Incredible. Well, if I have to have enemies thank goodness it is the two of you.

  • Fluffy||

    Whenever someone ignores the substance of a post and instead whines about the fact that I cursed, I know that person is an irredeemable cunt who doesn't get to have an opinion.

    So nobody cares what you think is sublime, cunt.

  • Shawn||

    Fuck you, douchebag.

  • fuzzysheep||

    He's right though, dipshit.

  • sevo||

    "It sounds like these two guys aren't even Wikileaks employees,..."

    Per the article: "Hrafnsson,.....confirms that WikiLeaks chose Shamir to work with their Russian media partners."
    If the term employee means anything, they're employees.

  • Fluffy||

    It could very easily mean "the first reporter who speaks Russian who held up his hand".

    Got a copy of his W-2?*

    *Yes I know the W-2 is a US tax document. It's a joke.

  • sevo||

    So Wikileaks isn't very selective about it's employees?

  • cynical||

    Are they? I thought the bulk of the cables were still held back from anyone who isn't an MSM journo?

  • Michael||

    Technically, it does not say that. It says that "According to Latynina" a cable was faked.

    Apparently Moynihan, in his eagerness to poison the well and smear Assange as an aside, lacked the patience to bother verifying that information with anything other than hearsay.

  • Michael||

    The link Moynihan couldn't bother to give us: http://www.speroforum.com/a/44.....aks-Cables

    Some paper claimed a cable existed, but didn't give a link. What did they use as evidence that the cable didn't exist? They used Wikileaks.

  • Zeke||

    Haven't there been reports of WikiLeaks collaborating with Israel? And why haven't we had any embarrassing information about Israel come to light yet?

    If they are anti-semites and if they do have some sway within WikiLeaks, they're not very good at either.

  • Cytotoxic||

    To answer your question: Israel has nothing to be embarrassed about.

  • emperor wears no clotesh||

    We'll take that as satire, cyto.

  • Guffaw||

    "Because Wikileaks just passes along leaked material without adding any editorial value"

    Yeah. "Collateral Murder" was the name of the file when they snagged it from the military...

  • Fluffy||

    If you gave me a choice between punching Israel Shamir in the face and kicking John McCain in the balls, I'd pretty much have to go with McCain.

    And McCain is one of the NICER people associated with the US government.

  • ¢||

    Pop quiz: who has more unsavory, even criminal, employees on the payroll at any given time? Wikileaks or the US government?

    Do the ones who work for both count for both? If we're talking percentages, that might swing it.

  • matt||

    Letting Moynihan continue to write about foreign affairs is the equivalent of making Gene Ray your Science correspondent.

    He was wrong about Iraq, and he continues to write as if other people who were wrong about Iraq remain credible.

  • ||

    is this turd guy a real troll, or a puppet?

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Who, me? I'm the libertarian ideal! 20 different handles, 'cause I don't play by The Man's rules. "Trolls", "puppets"? Dude, those are just words! Society's arbitrary means of defining and controlling you! This is H&R, dude! The Commons. We all own it. Peaceful anarchy. We're accomplishing so much! Isn't it wonderful? Dude?

  • Punchbowl Turd||

    Dude?

  • ||

    You don't own shit

  • El Segundo||

    I love the serious emotional investment into Wikileaks.

    At best it's tabloid quality political information, at worst it's a completely boring reveal of almost entirely useless nonsense. Wow, I never knew Hilary Clinton might say things! You mean diplomats don't just shake hands and go to parties, they actually try to study their host countries' leaders? Shocking really. Next leak is going to reveal that the US Army plans for military scenarios with remote chances of occurring! Or that NASA sometimes does work for the DoD!

    Remember before y'all start your little blog revolution, turn off the spellcheck so they can't track your spelling! I'm sure big brother wants to know exactly how big your ass-zits are after extended Wikileaks and WoW circle-jerks.

    I think it's hysterical that some pompous internet clown got his revolution popped by a couple girls who regretted sleeping with him.
    Hard trying to be a media anti-hero as the image of your manhood evaporates.

  • Guffaw||

    +1

  • Spazmo||

    Well, this is the post that got |Moynihan added to my post-filtering regexp.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Tip to Ass Angel fans: dry up. Seriously, you are such crybabies. Turns out libertarians aren't immune to stupid. That is why you need Objectivists.

  • a||

    Is Moynihan just not talented enough to get a job at Frontpagemag.com?

  • GT||

    We get it - anyone who is allied with Wikileaks is Hitler. Sorry, sport, but the 'ANTI-SEMITE!!!' screech doesn't play well outside of the settlements.

    Sophomoric snark worthy of Gawker's Adrian Chen... you will get a nice pat on the head from Marianne Ny for breathlessly regurgitating talking-points, Judith Miller (oops, Moynihan).

    What's next? Touting DD-B's reinvention of the mail-list? Good luck with that.

    Cheerio

    GT

  • sevo||

    "the 'ANTI-SEMITE!!!' screech doesn't play well outside of the settlements."

    Anti-semites, especially those trying to justify their bigotry smell.
    Sniff, sniff. Yep, stinks.

  • Strawman||

    I LIVE.

  • sevo||

    I'm sure you do, but you have nothing to do with my comment.

  • Strawman||

    I LIVE AS A REPLY TO GT.

  • sevo||

    "I LIVE AS A REPLY TO GT."
    And I stand corrected.

  • Regular Reader||

    I have to say I'm very disappointed with Reason/Cato on this issue. I'm not sure who is pulling strings in the background, but it is incredibly sad to see this from writers I respect.

  • Spazmo||

    Oh Christ, does some shadowy force always have to be pulling the strings? A simpler explanation is that Moynihan is a conservative.

  • sevo||

    "I'm not sure who is pulling strings in the background, but it is incredibly sad to see this from writers I respect."
    Did you or spazmo read the damn article?
    "Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks."
    So Moynihan finds Wikileaks seemingly employs known liars (not only from that quote) and the both of you are looking for the man behind he curtain?
    I really don't object to the leaks, but if Wikileaks itself is suspect, what's the point?
    Sorry, if you claim moral superiority by engaging in 'honest' journalism, you probably ought to make sure your employees are believable.
    Shamir ain't.

  • Cytotoxic||

    +1

  • ||

    Exactly.. Jesus fucking Christ why are people so attached to WikiLeaks itself instead of the ideal?

  • nj||

    Much of the reason staff has actually been damn good on this, Moynihan not so much

  • nj||

    *most

  • Will||

    You know there's a lot of really stupid comments here. If Assange really has people who are extremists associated with him, I am not going to pay any attention to any information he leaks and if you are a decent person you won't either!

  • cynical||

    If there are a lot of stupid comments here, then why are you continuing to pay attention to the comments section?

  • sevo||

    "If Assange really has people who are extremists associated with him, I am not going to pay any attention to any information he leaks and if you are a decent person you won't either!"
    How about if a source claiming to release honest representations of leaked documents employs know liars?
    You got a handy-dandy straw-man there; why not try to address the facts?

  • Realist||

    "Why is WikiLeaks employing a well-known Holocaust denier and his disgraced son?"

    Gee I don't know why???

  • elise krentzel||

    You asked the rhetorical question at the end of your piece, why would Assange hire an extremist or have the father son duo of anti-Semitic wackos heading up the information desks in Russia and Sweden? My answer is this. The so-called transparency of Wikileaks is only transparent to those who control it. Their ultimate ideological goal is to uproot the current power matrix to make way for their own. Now that of course would entail eliminating Israel and the accused old media who in their minds are run by Jews.
    Uprooting what is rotten and corrupt (i.e. our current Republican party_is the way towards a future born without suffering for some, yet if there are ulterior motives and of course there are, then pushing one system of control to its demise to replace it with another equal in its evil intentions is just plain mad. So let Wikileaks be as transparent as they claim from others and let the cards fall where they may.

  • Spazmo||

    Not sure why I even have to point this out, but: not everything in the world boils down to anti-semitism.

    I think I may have been trolled.

  • sevo||

    "...Uprooting what is rotten and corrupt (i.e. our current Republican party...."
    I see.

  • ||

    It's amazing how all these people who are supposedly anti-government desperately DIVE to the state's defence when they hear assange's name. hahaha

  • tell the truth||

    The Holocaust IS a lie and the Jews are an evil tribe of Kazars who believe they are the master race and the rest of us are meant to be their slaves.

  • sevo||

    tell the truth|12.15.10 @ 12:47AM|#
    "The Holocaust IS a lie and the Jews are an evil tribe of Kazars who believe they are the master race and the rest of us are meant to be their slaves.
    Spoof or ignoramus? You decide.

  • ||

    Ze Juden!

  • emperor wears no clothes||

    I heard Assange once passed gas at a Christmas party.
    Where have all the heroes gone?

  • Derp||

    So what is answer to the posted question in the sub-title (Why is WikiLeaks employing a well-known Holocaust denier and his disgraced son?)?
    Maybe he has a kickass candy dish at his desk? Maybe he was qualified and because of his reputation cheap? Why not just actually answer the question instead of posting half of a complete article which just makes it look like you have an axe to grind at a philosophical level and you are willing to do the old mainstream ask a suggestive question and leave it unanswered in order to sway people's opinions about a certain subject?

  • ||

    This just goes to show that Reason magazine is 'peopled' by the sort of pigs we see in animal farm: the maximum 'all animals are equal' is perverted into 'some animals are MORE equal than others'. Just change this into 'individual liberty is essential' into 'some individual liberties are MORE essential than others, and infact some individual liberties are so unessential that they are plain harmful'. The whoring of Reason magazine aside, I think you can call Assange anything but naiive. In the wikileaks leaks, ie the e-mails his former collaborator revealed, he not only sounds like Machiavelli but actually quots the man directly. His understanding of PR is nothing short of genius, in one e-mail he says that the accusations that WL is connected with the CIA are a great thing, because it just boosts the publicity that is the REAL power that WL needs, and the inrmation they posses is only a potential form of power. I think that the reason why he did seemingly such bad PR with Larry King for example. Instead of saying: These allegations are false and I'm innocent he just said that the allegations are trivial. He did'n say rape is a trivial matter directly, but it kind of sounded like that. Now that again is a way to generate more response and to paint a dark mystical aura around oneself. Now what is this PR genius aiming at? I believe he is a 'real' anarchist, so all this talk about is it good or bad is missing the point. Its like askin the nihilists of 19th century russia that is it really good in general to bomb people up, even if they happen to be nasty tyrants. They would reply: why dont you stay in your armchair and keep theorizing about morality and the general good. Russia is rotten to the bone so the first thing is that IT HAS TO BURN.

  • John F.||

    I see the pro-WikiLeaks brigade is out in full force yet again. If you criticize WikiLeaks or its coterie, you are a secrecy-loving statist who wants to skull fuck Murray Rothbard's corpse. If people are upset that WikiLeaks and its staff are the main story, then their anger is best directed at Julian Assange and his fellow travelers. As I've said several times in comments to previous pieces, his actions, I believe, will ultimately cause more harm than good and will set back the cause of more transparent and open government.

  • Realist||

    I have no idea if the leaks will prove good or bad. But one thing is for sure articles like this bring out the hate America libs. Most of these assholes I have never seen post here before or they have changed their nom de plume

  • MCM=CIA||

    What do Michael Moynihan's writings have to do with libertarianism?

  • Spazmo||

    Don't ask me. It can't be that hard to find a libertarian foreign policy writer, can it?

  • Realist||

    It is obvious most that replied to this article are liberals. You don't give a shit what will come of the leaks...it just fucks the United States so it is good. Not one of you could answer my question posted above: What good will come from the leaks?

  • ||

    Where do we start? Anything that reminds voters that our diplomats and politicians are corrupt crooks who waste money and violate rights is a good thing. Anything that reminds us how politicians and diplomats from other countries are corrupt crooks who waste money and violate rights is a good thing. (In both cases they have backed up most peoples' assumptions with hard evidence, which may hopefully be used against these people in the future either via criminal cases or from voters.)

    Expanding the definition of free speech and free press is a good thing in a world of advancing technology, and exposing opponents of these things reminds people who care about rights that almost all politicians and a great bulk of other people don't, no matter their rhetoric pro-Constitution or anti-government. Many of the "Tea Party leaders" have revealed themselves to be nationalists subservient to the government and not revolutionaries - willing to sacrifice their supposed principles whenever American exceptionalism is questioned.

    If it results in America rolling back it's excessive, expensive and often violent empire, that's an added bonus.

    I turn the question back to you: if you think the leaks bring no benefits, then what good comes from having any freedom of the press at all? The press is there to bring a free flow of information and to check the government. If you thing these are not goods in and of themselves, why even bother with the 1st Amendment?

  • Realist||

    Your reply is full of platitudes, bullshit and liberal orthodoxy.
    "Expanding the definition of free speech and free press is a good thing in a world of advancing technology, and exposing opponents of these things reminds people who care about rights that almost all politicians and a great bulk of other people don't, no matter their rhetoric pro-Constitution or anti-government." Why? What will be better?
    "If it results in America rolling back it's excessive, expensive and often violent empire, that's an added bonus." What if it don't? My question was what WILL be better...not pie in the sky bullshit!
    "I turn the question back to you: if you think the leaks bring no benefits, then what good comes from having any freedom of the press at all?" I do not know if the leaks will bring a benefit, but I am not shitting my pants over them being good or bad as you libs are!
    "If you thing these are not goods in and of themselves, why even bother with the 1st Amendment?" That is a typical lib arguement. Of course the First Amendment is not good in and of it's self it is what comes from exercising the first amendment that is good or bad.

  • Spazmo||

    liberal orthodoxy
    you libs
    typical lib arguement


    Anyone who disagrees with Realist = "liberal"

  • sevo||

    "Of course the First Amendment is not good in and of it's self it is what comes from exercising the first amendment that is good or bad."
    Well, I thought I'd seen the dumbest comment until ran onto this.
    Hint: The 1st is not judged by your opinion of the speech it allows; it is good in and of itself.

  • ||

    "platitudes, bullshit and liberal orthodoxy."

    Yes I support the typical liberal orthodoxy of embarrassing and diminishing as many politicians as possible to the point where they have zero power or reputation, can't maintain power or control the government and can be prosecuted for violating peoples' rights. Because that's exactly what every orthodox liberal wants.

    "Why? What will be better?"

    People will be less prone to believe liars and hypocrites next time they open their mouths and will stop supporting them.

    "What if it don't?"

    I guess you missed the "added bonus" part.

    And also, what sevo said...There's no point in having a First Amendment if you believe that the government should censor the "bad" things that result from it.

  • ||

    Progress is seldom gradual, rather it happens with leaps. Things have to get bad enough - super polarized - before any real change can take place.
    Wether that change will be 'good' is a different matter.

    I'm pretty sure that the people running WL know that in the near future their efforts will be counter productive: governments will become less transparent and the freedom of press will be limited. But this will just speed up the polarization that is already taking place. REAL stuff is going to happen, it won't happen on forums like this or in the editorials of newspapers. Sooner or later masses of pissed off, disinformed, paranoid and heavily armed people will take to the streets. They will be dealed with extreme force and they'll be branded 'internal enemy combatants'. They won't take to the streets directly because of any revelations of WL or to defend Assange if he is arrested/assasinated. They'll just be a sympton, an indicator, that a strong shif in power is taking place.

  • Besides....||

    Holocaust-denial has become chic in certain New Order circles....cocktail party chatter, UN conference gatherings, and so on.

  • ||

    I wonder how much cash this whore Michael C. Moynihan got for this hit piece.

  • sevo||

    I wonder how stupid you have to be to ask that question.

  • ||

    Look,

    This does not change the leaked cables. If I was standing in the middle of the road and a Klansman said "Hey ****** you're gone git run over". I'm not gonna still stand in the middle of the road and get hit because a Klansmen told me about the oncoming car.

  • Spazmo||

    liberal orthodoxy
    you libs
    typical lib arguement

    Anyone who disagrees with Realist = "liberal"

  • Spazmo||

    God damn threads.

  • sevo||

    "This does not change the leaked cables. If I was standing in the middle of the road and a Klansman said "Hey ****** you're gone git run over". I'm not gonna still stand in the middle of the road and get hit because a Klansmen told me about the oncoming car."

    Uh, well, uh........
    That's among the dumbest comments I've ever read.
    How about if the Klansman said he's end you emails about "SECRET GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS!"?
    Are we beginning to see the stupidity of your comment?

  • Spazmo||

    Are we beginning to see the stupidity of your comment?

    Nope; why don't you take a step back, breathe, and give it another shot.

  • Sheena||

    We only have WikiLeaks' say-so regarding the authenticity of the documents. The character of the people involved in WikiLeaks is thus of relevance.

    Simple enough for you?

  • Spazmo||

    No, actually the documents are being released in cooperation with journalists from Der Spiegel, The Guardian, etc, so we have their say-so as well as WikiLeaks'.

    Not to mention that most of the leaked information meshes quite well with things we knew or suspected already. (Hence the reason some critics initially tried to dismiss the cablegate documents as unimportant.)

    But what kind of ridiculous standard are you holding them to here? They're dealing in leaked secret documents, for Christ's sake. Do you expect Hillary to hold a press conference admitting that, yup, all this embarrassing stuff from the State Department cables is 100% correct?

  • sevo||

    Really hitting stupid:
    "Spazmo|12.16.10 @ 12:56AM|#
    No, actually the documents are being released in cooperation with journalists from Der Spiegel, The Guardian, etc, so we have their say-so as well as WikiLeaks'."

    No, bozo, they're printing what Wiki gives them.

  • sevo||

    "Nope; why don't you take a step back, breathe, and give it another shot."
    Sorry, 1st grade education required.

  • ||

    Wow. Once again Reason delivers a hatchet job. FWIW, Shamir's a Jew.

  • sevo||

    FWIW, he's a holocaust denier.
    Some hatchet job.

  • ||

    "holocaust denier"

    Is that going to be the preferred term now that "anti-semite" is worn out and useless?

  • sevo||

    No.
    To explain it to brain-deads, it's "Holocaust denier".
    I'll presume you're a brain-dead and need repetition to understand anything.

  • Florian||

    For someone who has a reputation as a right wing extremist you are quite critiqual of that guy. Are we supposed to belive that? Like Fox News against the yellow press?

    Those OpenLeaks guys better straighten up, if they are serious about transparency in their organization they will find themselfes tortured by the CIA in an Egypt prison in no time.

  • ||

    Let's draw a picture of Mohammed! That'll fix everything!

    Clue for the clueless: It's ok to be anti-Muslim but not to be anti-Zionist.

  • isn't it obvious||

    What do personal politics have to do with being a spokesperson for freedom and transparency?

    If they are incorrect, more freedom and transparency will educate. If they are correct, more freedom and transparency will justify.

    No matter how vile you may believe someone else's beliefs are, more transparency and education will serve both you and them.

    So I hope you can at least see that what wikileaks stands for as an institution serves both you and those who you view as vile, no matter what agenda you or they have.

    So to answer your question of "why the leaks were trusted" with them, I'd ask why they weren't trusted to you? That much is obvious: you lack larger scale vision and confuse personal politics within your myopia.

    Then again, those with the means to obtain the leaks basically have one over on "opinion journalism," they deal with facts and not hearsay.

  • ||

    I believe Wikileaks is a good thing. But with Assange there are some inconsistencies. He has made all the co-founder of Wikileaks muzzle and "rules" now completely alone and not transparent over Wikileaks. He is paranoid and suspicious of rape and sexual harassment. Instead of dispel this suspicion, he presents a conspiracy and accused the CIA of plotting against him.
    Everything revolves around him and many people even believe that Wikileaks can't exist without Assange.

    To employ an anti-Semite and Holocaust denier is probably not the last negative spin-off, what we will hear from Assange.

  • F.A. Hayek Fan||

    To quote Justin Raimondo:

    "The problem with putting links in dishonest hit pieces is that someone may actually follow the link – and here is where Moynihan gets into trouble. For the link that purports to show Shamir is the Russian “content aggregator, “ whatever that title may mean, reveals only this:

    “Shamir said by phone that he was a freelancer who was ‘accredited’ to WikiLeaks. ‘This means I have working relations with them but does not mean going to the banya together, he said. “

    That is the only mention of Shamir in the Moscow Times piece Moynihan links to. The Expressen article is likewise unconducive to making Moynihan’s case: it offers no evidence that Shamir, or his son – also accused of anti-Semitism by Moynihan – has any official connection with WikiLeaks: only that they are enthusiastic fans of the site. Big deal.

    Moynihan cites an “investigation “ by government-owned Swedish “public radio, “ which quotes Kristinn Hrafnsson, who filled in for Assange while the latter was in jail, as saying he knows of Shamir. Asked to comment on Shamir’s official capacity, Hrafnsson answers:

    “Well, I mean, we have a lot of journalists that are working with us all around the world. And they have different roles in working on this project. I won’t go into specifics into what each and everybody’s role is. “

    The title of the Reason piece – no doubt thought up by the magazine’s editors – is “Assange’s Extremist Employees. “ Yet Moynihan hasn’t come up with a single shred of solid evidence that Shamir, or his son, are part of the WikiLeaks team, let alone paid employees. "

    So Michael C. Moynihan appears to be nothing more than a statist shill mouthing the words put into his mouth by the Republicrat and Democan criminals who control the federal government.

  • ||

    Wait, what's the point again?

  • ||

    For a publication that calls itself "Reason", why is such an inflammatory and dishonest headline used?

    And, why are the facts that show Israel Shamir is NOT an employee of Wikileaks omitted by the writer Michael Moynihan?

  • ||

    Make no mistake about Israel Shamir. His greatest sin to people like Michael C. Moynihan is that Shamir is a fervent supporter of Palestinian rights. Shamir is probably at the very top of the list (along with Gilad Atzmon)of people that the supporters of the country of Israel hate the most.It is for this reason that Michael C. Moynihan's fellow traver's in the ADL must have insisted that their lackey Moynihan put his name on this screed, which appears to have been enitely written for him by the ADL.

  • ||

    Because Holocaust never happened, you filthy kike.

  • granite countertop||

    Every day we face with countertop,you can have a high quality of life with granite countertop of yalitongstone,but we will also very pleased if you can see Huaxingstone's granite countertop.

  • nike shoes UK||

    is good

  • dirty messages ||

    thanks

  • air yeezy||

    good

  • nike dunk high tops||

    good

  • wubai||

    How about mbt kisumu sandals this one: there are X driving deaths a year- what % of driving deaths (or serious injuries) involve alcohol, or other intoxicating substances? kisumu 2 People are pretty darn good drivers when they are not impaired.

  • jiusuan||

    good

  • ||

    This smear job is absolute garbage.
    Many people even in Israel where I lived for a few years have doubts about the Shoah business exploitation.
    The very word 'holocaust' is a misnomer because we Jews did not die in a great conflagration during the war but mostly from typhus and other diseases in the final 18 months of the war. It certainly is legitimate to question gas chambers, the six million figure, some parts of Frank's diary, the Babi Yar invention and many other items of war propaganda.
    My biggest criticism of Shamir is his virulent anti-capitalism and his denial of the documented record of tens of million murders by the Communists in China, the former USSR,
    Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, Ethiopia,
    Cuba, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. This may stand you in well with the Beltarian Koch-Suckers but it elicits absolute contempt from the rest of us.

  • kriss||

    The Expresses piece of writing is similarly conducive to mothers day wishes Moyna case. it present no confirmation that good teacher quotes.

  • fb status||

    its have possession of procedure and money, amazing which Wiki Leaks have been time after time.
    mothers day messages || quotes for teachers day

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement