WikiLeaks

Julian Assange and Israel Shamir: An Update

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In December, I wondered why Julian Assange was employing a known anti-Semite and Holocaust denier—and why no mainstream media outlets thought this bit of information worth covering. Slowly, after the story was batted around the blogosphere, a columnist for the Guardian, WikiLeaks' British media partner, pushed the story further into the mainstream. BoingBoing, Fast Company, and The Jerusalem Post provided some follow up coverage. And now, according to a British journalist friend, the BBC's flagship documentary program, Panorama, will take up the troubling Assange-Shamir relationship next week.

Despite professing a love of leakers (liar!) but a deep distrust of this particular leak broker (neocon!), a smattering of spittle-flecked fringe bloggers, many of whom suggested that to distrust Assange was to hate freedom, went on the attack, bizarrely claiming that there was no evidence to backup any of my claims (there was plenty) and that Wikileaks was certainly not involved in employing Shamir (they were). One excitable blogger wrote that the walrus-faced Jew-hater had no connection to WikiLeaks and was merely an "enthusiastic fan" of the site. Well, I hate to say I told you so, but…I told you so. According to this new report from right-wing reactionaries at The Guardian ("Holocaust denier in charge of handling Moscow cables"), it is slightly worse than I suspected.

At Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk country house where he is staying while on bail, Assange was seen handing over batches of them to visiting foreign journalists, including someone who was simply introduced as "Adam".

"He seemed like a harmless old man," said one staffer, "apart from his habit of standing too close and peering at what was written on your screen." He was introduced as the father of Assange's Swedish crony, journalist Johannes Wahlström, and took away copies of cables from Russia and post-Soviet states. According to one insider, he also demanded copies of cables about "the Jews."

Internal WikiLeaks documents, seen by the Guardian, show Shamir was not only given cables, but he also invoiced WikiLeaks for €2,000 (£1,700), to be deposited in a Tallinn bank account, in thanks for "services rendered—journalism". What services? He says: "What I did for WikiLeaks was to read and analyse the cables from Moscow."…

According to a reporter on Russian paper Kommersant, he was offering to sell articles based on the cables for $10,000 (£6,300). He had already passed some to the state-backed publication Russian Reporter. He travelled on to Belarus, ruled by the Soviet-style dictator Alexander Lukashenko, where he met regime officials. The Russian Interfax news agency reported that Shamir was WikiLeaks' "Russian representative", and had "confirmed the existence of the Belarus dossier".

According to him, WikiLeaks had several thousand "interesting" secret documents. Shamir then wrote a piece of grovelling pro-Lukashenko propaganda in Counterpunch, claiming "the people were happy, fully employed, and satisfied with their government".

So yes, despite knowing Shamir's extremist background, his desire for cables about "the Jews," his meetings with Belorussian dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko, Julian Assange continues to work with his Russian distributor (and his son, the equally dubious Johannes Wahlström) and is indeed paying him for his role in spreading the cables in Russia.

NEXT: More on the Non-Existent "War on Cops"

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  1. Well, I hate to say I told you so

    Bullshit.

    1. Julian Assange was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

  2. Well I’m confused why such a person exists in the Wikileaks inner circle so to speak, but are you suggesting anything more than Julian Assange has bad taste in employees?

    1. “…but are you suggesting anything more than Julian Assange has bad taste in employees?”

      Uh, if you are to claim that you represent factual information, you sort of ruin your cred by employing a holocaust denier.

      1. Does the information not stand alone?

        If said holocaust denier starts making up information, won’t that sort of be, well, noticed. Then the credibility is shot.

        Don’t get me wrong, Assange should fire the guy. Hell, at this point Wikileaks should probably part ways with Mr. Lightnin Rod, but at this point, I’m not sure if Moynihan is actually saying that there is a link to anything released and this denier or if he’s simply saying “Look look, I was right, and…oh he’s a bad man…uh that’s it”?

        1. Lost_In_Translation|2.3.11 @ 3:43PM|#
          “Does the information not stand alone?”

          No, it does not.
          It must be verified to achieve the level of “information”, and when one of the ‘verifiers’ is a recognized liar, well, you got problems

          1. Yes, he’s a certifiable nut, but he’s not the only verifier

            1. Lost_In_Translation|2.3.11 @ 4:28PM|#
              “Yes, he’s a certifiable nut, but he’s not the only verifier”

              How many does it take to screw up the data? I’d say one.

  3. So Asaange is most likely an asshole. Wikileaks is still a good thing.

    1. Yup. The endless attempts to smear Wikileaks through smearing its founder are annoying and obnoxious. Who cares if Assange is an asshole? Unless, of course, you are a statist who needs to go after Wikileaks in any way possible.

      1. No kidding.

        There is no requirement to love Israel, and being a holocaust denier just means you’re willing to play loose with the facts. Sounds like some of our politicians.

        1. “There is no requirement to love Israel, and being a holocaust denier just means you’re willing to play loose with the facts.”
          Just what you need when you’re supposed to be reporting facts.

          “Sounds like some of our politicians.”
          So Wikileaks is as factual as a politician?

  4. Cue Justin Raimondo in 3.. 2..

  5. probably a few 9-11 Truthers and Cryptozoologists in their employ as well…what’s the suggestion?

    1. How about Crypto-truthers?
      Chupacabras were told warned not to go to work that day…

      1. Like the elusive Chupacabras were planning on appearing that day anyway. Everyone knows Chupacabras work at night.

        1. Yes, they work on undermining the TRUTH about 9-11.

          1. The task couldn’t be in better hands.

            1. I thought they had hooves?

              1. Hands. Not feet.

                (I was under the impression that they’re bipedal, but I’m no cryptozoologist.)

                1. Yes, we should leave this to the experts.

  6. Strange though that nothing antisemitic or even anti-Israel has come out of WikiLeaks yet.

  7. The lack of “they fight crime” alt text is criminal.

  8. Harvey Jones, a libertarian in Peoria, has bad breath and is behind on his cable bill. Therefore, libertarianism is wrong.

    Neat, this works for anything!

    1. Did you just equate halitosis to holocaust denial? Fail.

      1. Yes a fail, equating a real medical disease with someone having a difference of opinion about history.

        1. Hahahahahahaha! “Difference of opinion about history” – GOOD ONE! Hahahahahahahaha!

          We’ll go back to being dead, DJF!

          Hahahaha….*snort*

          1. Righteous indignation at things that happened in Poland 70 years ago!

            1. “Righteous indignation at things that happened in Poland 70 years ago!”

              Nope.
              Righteous indignation at some sleazy liar who denies what happened.

            2. Just so we know, exactly how long is the moral outrage over genocide supposed to last? Getting real tired of the Tutsi whining about shit.

              1. And where’s all the journalistic indignation whenever anyone speaks of Genghis Khan with anything other than snide derision?

              2. About a thousand years, give or take a few centuries.

              3. Hutu Power|2.3.11 @ 8:06PM|#
                “Just so we know, exactly how long is the moral outrage over genocide supposed to last?”

                Not sure. How long is moral outrage over sleazy deniers supposed to last?

        2. “a difference of opinion about history.”

          Sorry, everyone is welcome to an opinion, Facts are not so flexible

      2. To be fair, the actual term is “holocaust revisionism”, since even serious “deniers” don’t deny the Einzatsgruppen.

        And Halitosis belies a severe ignorance of cherished modern ideals in oral hygiene, the real world effects of which should not be underestimated.

    2. “Harvey Jones, a libertarian in Peoria, has bad breath and is behind on his cable bill. Therefore, libertarianism is wrong.”

      Now if Harvey swore WWII was started by the Poles, well, you might have a comparison.
      Called for false equivalence.

      1. You know who else swore WWII was started by the Poles?

        1. There’s a dumb-pollack joke in there somewhere, but I’m not clever enough to find it.

          1. Probably because you’re Polish.

  9. The guy seems like a fringe character in general and in the wikileaks saga. The likely reason this guy hasn’t been given much coverage until now is because it ain’t that big of deal except people wanting to take wikileaks down a notch or two.

    Remember the Moynihan produced a reason.tv panel of beltway hacks and people with well established grudges against wikileaks in which zero of the four people say anything good about wikileaks – Moynihan obviously got issues wikileaks…

    1. “The likely reason this guy hasn’t been given much coverage until now is because it ain’t that big of deal except people wanting to take wikileaks down a notch or two.”

      Right, that that’s what the left said when Brokaw was caught passing out lies.

  10. Who the fuck cares? Either prove they are dubious in origin, or sit back and drink more Mai Tais.

    Are we supposed to believe only boy scouts leak cables? Did Reason do a background check on all your reporters? I don’t give a shit if the leaks were analysed by a cross-dressing Nazi who plays prison camp with a barbie doll and easy bake oven-the cables stand alone.

    1. Rectal demands that you hush up the Israel Shamir story, for the good of Wikileaks!

      1. Why does rectal suddenly have excellent grammar and spelling and isn’t using any incredibly crass and retarded sexual jokes?

        1. Because Rather is a spoof you idiot-I’m easily bored.

          1. Too bad your spoofs suck monkey balls. Maybe you could occupy yourself with, well, being better? That might cure your boredom. Or you could get a job; that might help too.

      2. I just don’t think the Israel Shamir character is relevant unless he plays editor with the facts. Your loyalty to your heritage impedes you for the reality that we will always have more sinners than saints in controversial stories.

        1. Relevant to what? Does Moynihan say that this means Assange’s leaks are bad?

        2. And I probably care less about this guy being an anti-semite than Moynihan does, but thanks for assuming I’m blinded by my “heritage…”

    2. Right on.

      Here’s a Beezardleak- Jessie Wong’s Asean (sic) Beastro in Columbia, MD makes the best Mai Tais on the planet.

      Anyone who says otherwise is probably a holocaust denier.

      1. Jessie Wong’s couldn’t make a Mai Tai if their lives depended on it.

        1. I’ll get you for this David Irving!

    3. I don’t give a shit if the leaks were analysed by a cross-dressing Nazi who plays prison camp with a barbie doll and easy bake oven-the cables stand alone.

      Except we do care who the members of any organization are– especially when that organization has certain philophical points of view. Wikileaks can choose to or choose not to release cables/documents (why do we call them cables?) that might be counter to a belief system.

      I’m not suggesting that Wikileaks has done this, but if Wikileaks were to, for example, continuously release cables that detrimental to Israeli interests, but blew off or decided not to release cables which made Hamas or the PLO look bad, one might begin to look at the company Wikileas keeps.

      Bottom line: When someone is feeding you “leaked” information, it always helps to know your source.

      1. I’m not suggesting that Wikileaks has done this, but if Wikileaks were to, for example, continuously release cables that detrimental to Israeli interests, but blew off or decided not to release cables which made Hamas or the PLO look bad, one might begin to look at the company Wikileas keeps.

        Good thing you’re not suggesting that, because they haven’t done it. But even if they did, how would that invalidate the info in the cables they did leak? If I provide evidence of some white guy’s wrongdoing, do I have to balance it with evidence of OJ Simpson’s? How does this work, Paul?

        1. It doesn’t, any more than it would invalidate reporting you read in The Nation if you later found out that every single reporter worked for the Obama Administration.

          1. Have you paid any attention to this whole WikiLeaks thing? These are leaked cables, not op-eds or reports. Are you challenging the authenticity of the cables? Are you claiming that they’re forgeries? If not, then what the fuck are you challenging?

            1. Did you read my original post? How are cables selected? Are they edited? Are they in posession of cables that could be leaked but aren’t? Why do they need an analyst? They’re not reports or op-eds. So what does ‘analisys’ serve?

              1. *analysis*

                I need an editor.

              2. You need more than an editor, maybe a tutor. Let’s assume the cables are selected to single out country X (btw, has this happened to Israel? No). Is the info in them true or not? If it’s not, X can deny it — after all they’re in possession of the originals, right? Has that happened? No. So, again, what the fuck is your point? If Bob confesses to robbing a bank, do his jurors need to know whether Jim confessed to rape?

                1. Is the info in them true or not? If it’s not, X can deny it — after all they’re in possession of the originals, right?

                  Why would Israel be in posession of Hamas cables?

                  1. I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

                2. Or more importantly, you’re saying that the employees and analysts for Wikileaks are just interchangeable sock puppets who merely take the cables from a source and using the magic of ‘CTRL-C/CTRL-V’ paste them to an HTML page on an internet forum, and their backgrounds and biases are totally irrelevant?

          2. To return to OJ a moment, would Mark Fuhrmann’s record have invalidated a notarized confession of guilt OJ wrote under no duress when he thought no one would see it?

            1. I think you and I are talking at cross purposes. So let me try another tack.

              An organization which steeps itself as a purveyor of truth and facts should be prepared to have the backgrounds of everyone who works for them spread across the same internet upon which they operate.

              You also need to take careful note of what I didn’t say- not just what I did. Some commenters are suggesting that Shamir should be fired. I’m suggesting no such thing. I’m merely saying that his ‘interesting’ background is news, and like the Wikileaks cables, should be outed so we can make our own conclusions– remember, it’s not an op-ed or a report, the facts stand on their own.

            2. To return to OJ a moment, would Mark Fuhrmann’s record have invalidated a notarized confession of guilt OJ wrote under no duress when he thought no one would see it?

              Yes.

              1. “How are cables selected?”
                Who cares? Either they are forgeries or not

                “Are they edited?” The originator of the cables could dispute any editing if they desired to do so

                “Are they in possession of cables that could be leaked but aren’t?” For sure Cinderfella! Wikileaks is not the only source for confidential information leaks-it will all see the light of day eventually

                “Why do they need an analysis?”
                They have a slant and so what? I never read just one source to form an opinion.

                “They’re not reports or op-eds. So what does ‘analisys’ serve?”

                They serve to confirm their biases. Hmm, I wonder if that happens on Reason?

                1. They serve to confirm their biases. Hmm, I wonder if that happens on Reason?

                  Of course it happens on Reason. Which is why we might find it interesting to know what the backgrounds of the staff are.

                  Do you actually not want to know what the background of Wikileaks’ analysts are? No, do you not want to know the background of anyone providing information of any kind to you?

                  1. The background of any author is revealing. On my last blog, I referred to Norman Douglas, and yes, the fact that he had a predilection for sixteen year old boys is interesting but irrelevant to his novels.

                    When I am exposed to new information, I contemplate, and look for diverging opinion. I never read a POV I already agree with-a colossal waste of energy. On the same story, I prejudicially removed a quote that I favored because the author turned out to be an Aids-denier

                    Paul, we are all capable of seeking out multi-sources for information

      2. You misspelled “falafical”.

      3. (why do we call them cables?)

        *turns to wikipedia*

        Yup, just as I thought, it’s a reference to the cable that the message traveled over. Guess they thought it was a pretty novel thing back then, sending info over a wire. Worthy of mentioning medium in the name. Crazy old-timers.

        1. Exactly (I actually already knew the history, by the way). I just can’t figure out why I don’t call all of my emails “cables”.

          1. Because the technology hasn’t been novel for quite some time now.

  11. This can’t work.

    The first image proffered?hero Assange’s pure and noble endeavors besieged by all enemies of the good?sticks.

    “I told you so,” however phrased, however demonstrated, causes identification with the first image, not rejection of it.

    The righter you are, the stronger and less severable the identification, because your rightness is trauma.

    Freud, yo.

  12. ? is either a genius, or on drugs. I can’t decide which.

    1. Why can’t it be both?

      1. He can. The valedictorian of one of my adolescent educational stints delivered his graduation address pretty toasted. And got a standing ovation from the completely unaware parents and relatives jamming the venue.

      2. Word.

    2. I think he was a male model-idiot savant?

      1. It’s always questionable when Rectal “thinks.”

        1. wow! What a comeback-you got me there!

    3. He is the author of one of the funniest/weirdest comments I have ever read, so I vote for “both” as well.

  13. Hey, Shamir may be an antisentic scumbag, but at least he never denounced people who accept government welfare as morally weak and then seakily take government welfare himself under another name.

    1. Another name? You mean like Morris? Or Leftiti? Or Edward?

    2. antiseptic? anesthetic? antisentimental? anthropocentric? anti-sentac?

      Steakily? shakily? stinkily? seasalt? Seakelp? Shakira? Seakillers? seagulls?

    3. Max|2.3.11 @ 4:16PM|#
      “Hey, Shamir may be an antisentic scumbag,…”

      Max certainly is a stupid asshole, but at least his ignorant false equivalencies are amusing.

  14. Let’s get to the heart of the matter: What the fuck kind of Holocaust-denier is named Israel Shamir?!?

    1. An ethnically Jewish one. So what?

    2. A Holocaust denier with built in credibility!

    3. A better question is: What the fuck kind of Holocaust-denier changes his name to Israel Shamir?!?

  15. the walrus-faced Jew-hater

    You clearly are a liar. that is the face of Droopy Dog, not a walrus.

    The rest seems accurate.

  16. What the hell is wrong with you people? Whatever one thinks of WikiLeaks (me = vaguely pro)the fact that they employ a Holocaust Denier (!) is news. Can you seriously not see that?

  17. Look I’m sorry but, love him or not, Assange’s mug cries out to be punched.

  18. Of course it news, it shows the character of alleged-rapist Assange.

    Seriously, what’s heroic about stealing information? What’s next? Defending Pvt. Manning for violating the security clearance he signed?

    Libertarian does not mean anarchist.

    If we’re going to celebrate criminals, we might as well declare February as Mafia History Month.

    1. “Stealing information?”

      No one has a right to “own” information – especially if that information has a direct affect on you and me

      1. I might have meant “effect”…not sure

  19. Seriously, what’s heroic about stealing information?

    Nothing, although WikiLeaks doesn’t steal information. They distribute it, what they call in the biz “publish” it.

    Which isn’t heroic either, in my mind, the enlightened West.

    Just sayin’.

  20. If questionable hiring decisions meant that an information source should be ignored, then I would have stopped reading Reason when they hired Weigel.

    1. Tulpa|2.3.11 @ 6:20PM|#
      “If questionable hiring decisions meant that an information source should be ignored, then I would have stopped reading Reason when they hired Weigel.”

      If you claim to distribute facts while employing someone who is an established liar, you have diluted the value of your product.
      How much? Dunno. But any claim of 100% is long out the window.

    2. Alternatively, knowing that you are publishing a sensitive and controversial web-site, you might just find an editor who doesn’t deny documented history. Sorry, if I found out they employed someone who thought the world was 7000 years old, I’d also question their ability to select and edit Wikileaks.

    3. The correct form is to refer to when Nick took over from Virginia Postrel.

  21. I remember when the guardian loved him, now it is getting interesting, they do not know which way to go… A month nothing but love.. now what the truth is is a question? What truth means? What truth costs? What the hell?

  22. “A month nothing but love.. now what the truth is is a question? What truth means? What truth costs?”

    When one of your employees is a known liar, there’s all sorts of questions.

  23. Michael Moynihan tries his best to do good.

    That neo Nazi who masqueraded as a Jew, Israel Shamir, is sure creepy.

    1. underzog, I thought you would support your fellow antisemite.

  24. Julian Assange is such an asshat douchbage mediawhore.

    He likes leaks, as long as they are not about him or he is controlling them.

    And he give guys who like to engage in intercourse without the use of a condom a bad name.

    A big FUCK YOU to Julian.

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