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My post about how it is very likely that Julian Assange sought asylum in the Russian Embassy before being refused has met some criticism, as well as outright allegations of making things up and being a Russophobe CIA troll.

Consequently, I feel the need to clear up a few issues.

Am I a lying homosexual ZioNazi CIA agent out to get Russia?

This is entirely up to you. Ultimately, I am just a blogger on the Internet.

But what I can say (and that Ron, at least, can confirm) is that I have been holding off from publishing this post for almost a year. That is because I did not think releasing it before Assange’s eviction was a good idea. As of April 11, 2019, this episode has passed on from “current politics” to “history.” With Assange’s asylum status terminated, there is no more need to keep him in Ecuador’s good graces. As for his coming extradition battle, online allegations of having sought out Russian help does not constitute a crime (and in any case his status as a “Russian puppet” is already well established in the Western MSM).

Are these claims Russophobic?

They can be considered to be so because they don’t exactly paint Russia in the best light. OTOH, let’s be realistic here for a second; Russia had no absolute obligations to go out of its way to protect Assange. Also, 2012 was not 2019. Relations with the West weren’t great, but we weren’t in a New Cold War.

Note that even today, Russia occasionally deports pro-Russian Ukrainian citizens back to the Ukraine, straight into the loving hands of the SBU secret police (e.g. Marina Menshikova; Olena Boyko would be a more recent example). While I personally do not like it that Russia refused Assange asylum, I personally find it orders of magnitude more outrageous that the Russian bureaucratic machine stabs its own direct supporters and sympathizers in the back every so often. Incidentally, though, this would be one more point of evidence in support of the theory that it refused asylum to Assange. If it does things like this to its direct supporters…

Contra an unfortunately large percentage of “Western Russophiles,” Russia is not on some great holy crusade against “AngloZionist Imperialism” today, let alone before the Ukrainian crisis. Note that even with respect to Snowden, who flew directly to Russia and whose only exit out was straight into the gaping maws of a vengeful US had to wait a considerable amount of time before acquiring temporary asylum. At the end of the day, the Russian state is going to be looking out for the Russian state’s interests, not so much those of foreign dissidents.

So you’re going by one anonymous source?

Also one who happens to have been an impeccable position to know had Assange applied for asylum. Far more so than RT chief editor Margarita Simonyan, for instance (who has said that Assange never asked her for help).

Apart from ethical considerations, I am obviously not going to burn a source because some trolls on Russia Insider are calling me a CIA agent or whatever.

Could he have misrepresented the situation to me? I suppose that is possible. (Though what would be the point in that?). If this was the only piece of evidence I had for this, it is unlikely I would have even written this post.

Indeed, I should point out that these claims went against my initial intuitions. Back in 2012, I wrote in “Assange Should Have Picked the Russian Embassy“:

I think ideology played a part. Assange is perpendicular to Russian views, not aligned with them. He is against Assad. He doesn’t like hierarchical power structures, including of the kind operating in Russia. Defecting to Russia he might as have seen as too big a betrayal of his core values.

Ecuador (at least in rhetoric) is far more concerned with stuff like giving legal rights to the environmental, social justice, people’s democracy, etc. Nor does it have the toxic reputation of Venezuela, Russia, China, and (increasingly) Argentina.

Tellingly, this idea that Assange was too independent to reach out to them is pretty much the gist of what Simonyan is saying now.

However, since then, there have been two major developments that have made me much more confident that my source was indeed correct.

1. As I wrote in the original post, a Russia-based journalist with very good connections (sorry – not going into any further details) told me that he has “heard the same.”

2. Also mentioned – the AP investigation last year, which showed that Assange sought and obtained a Russian visa with Israel Shamir’s help back in 2010.

Now unless that investigation has itself been disproven – has it? – then we must concede that Assange had no ethical compunctions against at least entertaining the idea of Putler’s “mafia state” as a potential bolthole.

So you see what happened here?

Not only did I get information from an excellent source – information which would, last year, be loosely corroborated by a journalist with excellent connections himself. I have no reason to think either of them were confabulating, short of a conspiracy theory in which the Russian Foreign Ministry was purposefully pushed these stories just to, I don’t know, paint themselves in a worse light. Then the AP investigation destroys the theory that Assange had ethical or moral qualms about seeking refuge in Russia, well before 2012.

Simonyan claims otherwise.

Simonyan has said that Assange never asked her for help, despite having productive communications (as you recall Assange did a series for RT at that time).

This is perfectly possible and compatible.

For instance, he may have put out feelers previously, and been rejected, and thus didn’t feel the need to broach the subject with her. Moreover, given that Simonyan has hinted that Assange might face the death penalty in the US, it is also perhaps just a little strange that she did not offer to pull a few strings and suggest he seek asylum at the Russian Embassy herself.

Or she’s lying. Or my source is lying. Or I am lying. Point is – there is no hard contradiction here.

Is this an attack on Putin?

If you think that Russia was very wrong to refuse Assange asylum, then yes, I suppose you could consider it an “attack” on Putin. If he was the one who made the decision.

But where did I say it was Putin who refused?

I said that the order came from the “the highest levels of the Russian government.”

In the context of this situation, it could have been Dmitry Medvedev (recall that Putin was only sworn in as President in May 2012; Assange defected to the Ecuador Embassy in August 2012).

Or it could have been Sergey Lavrov, as the head honcho at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

While Lavrov has a reputation as a hardliner in the West, this is something of a misrepresentation. For instance, it is more or less open knowledge amongst the Novorossiya crowd that the Russian Foreign Ministry placed a veto on handing out Russian passports en masse to Donbass residents back in 2015 because of muh Minsk Accords. Would an institution like this be open to the idea of ruffling feathers by giving asylum to some Australian hipster leaking government secrets and stating his intention of laying bare “authoritarian conspiracies”? This is a rhetorical question.

Why didn’t the other journalist scoop this?

Without going into unnecessary details: I am privileged, thanks to Ron, for having much more editorial freedom than the vast majority of journalists.

***

At the end of the day, this question of whether or not Assange asked Russia for asylum is now a largely historical one. It might have made waves in 2012, or even in 2016. Now this is a historical curiosity much more than anything else. It seems pretty stupid to get overly emotional about it.

Personally, I am 95% confident that Assange asked for asylum and got refused.

Thing is, at this point, even if this were to be confirmed 100%, it wouldn’t really change anything. Assange could credibly claim to be neutral towards/disassociated from Russia in 2012, now he cannot – for reasons much bigger than having considered it as a potential refuge in the early 2010s. It also demonstrates that Russia was not particularly seeking out conflict with the United States; this, given the current reality of the New Cold War, is largely irrelevant, except perhaps to historians decades in the future. Now yes, this should make one cautious about relying on the charity and goodwill of the Russian government a bit too much. But if you didn’t know that already, you haven’t been paying attention.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Julian Assange, Russia, Wikileaks 
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  1. Personally, I am 95% confident that Assange asked for asylum and got refused.

    This should make us as readers maybe 70 or 80% confident. (There’s a huge difference between having the information filtered through another person as opposed to receiving it first hand from two independent sources. Maybe Karlin misunderstood something, after which confirmation bias set in?) But that’s already a high confidence for something with no public sources.

  2. Somebody cares about what happens to Assange? (Well, except his direct relatives, that is.)

    Whatever for? The mind boggles.

    • Troll: Yevardian
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Cagey Beast
  3. @anonymous coward

    What happens to him affects what could happen to other dissidents. Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not very momentous, but it’s certainly important enough to warrant mention in a blog like this.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  4. @anonymous coward

    If a person cares about politics then it makes sense to care about Assange’s case. If Assange is allowed to become the plaything of permanent Washington, then anyone who engages in dissident politics is a lot less safe. But, as I just said, if you don’t care about politics, then such things would only effect you indirectly and in ways you wouldn’t be able to understand.

  5. From the article on Henry Makow’s site in Canada, ‘Arrest of Julian Assange is Just Theatre’:

    [MORE]

    This past week, Britain got the perfect media distraction from its massive betrayal of Brexit voters – the ‘arrest’ of Julian Assange in the London Ecuador Embassy, a month after Ecuador received $4.2 billion in funding from the USA-dominated IMF, and with Ecuador now lined up for a new USA trade ‘deal’.

    We all tend to be too eager for a ‘hero’ against the establishment, so we don’t notice that sometimes, a fake ‘hero’ is supplied by the CIA’s own favoured media outlets.

    And indeed, there is evidence that anti-9-11-truth Assange, is a Mossad – CIA fraud, with a long history tied to the world’s wealthiest family, the Israel-devoted Rothschilds. We need to see what every major government knows, there is nothing real about either Julian Assange or Edward Snowden.

    A helpful history is gathered in, ‘Wikileaks is a Rothschild operation: Rothschilds use Wikileaks to wound rival bank, Julian Assange’s bail posted by Rothschild sister-in-law’ [details below about Julian Assange helping the Rothschild bank to wreck a rival]

    The ‘Assange living in the Ecuador embassy for 7 years’ story, is apparently a fairy tale, an easy hoax to pull off, with Assange only there for photos and meetings. The IMF – USA cash & trade deal for Ecuador, not only rewards staging the ‘arrest’ of Assange, but also the cover-up of the fact he was never really living there.

    Assange was easily moved in & out to Rothschild friends’ homes, using wig, fake glasses & moustache, workman’s uniforms etc; London police on 24 / 7 watch, helping under national security orders; Ecuador embassy staff perhaps bribed, and facing career destruction or worse, plus no media support, if they say anything.

    To fill the details, one can start by noting the very friendly, mutual-praise relationship between Julian Assange and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, documented on Veterans Today, and on Israel’s major news website Ha’aretz

    Ha’aretz even reports Turkish leading figures close to Erdogan talking about the evidence of Wikileaks as an Israeli-supported operation, the Turks complaining: “Israel is very pleased. Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these [Wikileaks] documents. Documents were released and they immediately said, Israel will not suffer from this. How did they know that?”

  6. Anon[275] • Disclaimer says:

    Russia granting a visa to Assange doesn’t prove “Russia refused Assange”. If anything, it proves the contrary. Are you suggesting Russian diplomats (or maybe special forces) should have kidnapped him?

    Also, Assange chose to not go to Russia, despite having a Russian visa. He could have gone to Zimbabwe, or to Serbia, or to Uruguay, or to Burma, China, Venezuela. Almost all the Africa lacks extradition treaty with US, including Algeria, Morocco, and Sudan, where he could have played the card of the martyr, who uncovered the gratuitous violence of the crusaders in Iraq. Instead, he chose to go to one of the most obedient colonies of US. Wasn’t that going to be a problem for the Russian kidnappers?

  7. You not only a blogger but you’re also a journalist, as you are paid for some of your output. As part of your trade, you hear lots of stories from lots of sources, some reliable, some less so. You will publish these stories as and when you consider it appropriate to do so.
    I would hope the Assange-Russia Asylum story would be verified over the next few years. But it may not. It may never be verified. Documents may be lost or destroyed. Persons involved may die without leaving evidence on it. Historically, it may end up unproven. That’s not to say it didn’t happen.
    That’s often the nature of journalism. Stories may be published which are never verified. That’s not to say they are untrue. You must recognise this, as should any reasonable reader.
    PS I hope you got some money for your Russia Insider appearance. They have a very low class of commenter ( unlike Unz ), some of whom are downright vile. It’s one website I’ve never been tempted to comment in.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  8. Mitleser says:
    @Anon

    Instead, he chose to go to one of the most obedient colonies of US.

    It really was not at that time.
    That changed after Lenin took over.

    • Replies: @Anon
  9. Dmitry says:

    If Assange was a Russian dissident, then he would have escaped to the West, and not only Western countries like UK or Germany would give him asylum, but even countries like Ukraine would give asylum.

    Western countries like Germany and UK, are constantly giving asylum to Russian dissidents, and now this is joined by Ukraine who also house a lot of Russian activists.

    So the question is, should automatically Russia reciprocate, and give asylum to all Western dissidents, as a kind of counterstrike or leverage to the West?

    Well the negative cost is that the resulting arguments caused by these dissidents, just punishes working people who need to travel between countries (resulting in a desire for gastarbeiters to get alternative passports), and results in all the difficulties with the visas and histrionic diplomatic conflicts between countries we saw last year.

    On the other hand, there can be some idealistic and naive dream that dissidents should always have asylum. This is understandable and rosy – as it projects a kind of safe world in the mind, where even if you anger your government you will always have asylum – but of course it is very far from the real reason that these countries are selectively giving asylum to some dissidents, while extraditing those who troubled other countries.

  10. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    It shows some of the cynical aspects of the”political asylum game”.

    Obviously, the UK will extradite Assange to America. On the other hand, if it was a non-Western country who demanded his extradition, they would block it and boast about how they support “human rights and free speech” by giving him political asylum in London.

    But anyone who knows any history of at least a last 200 years, if not more, is already aware how cynical (and selectively applied) interstate political asylum is, and that one of the main motivations for housing dissidents has always been their utility as leverage and intelligence sources, against governments there is some kind of conflict with.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @LondonBob
  11. Denis says:

    Well, if your source is correct, then, in retrospect, this makes the whole Wikileaks+Trump+Russia conspiracy theory even more ridiculous.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  12. songbird says:
    @Anon

    He was smart not to go to Venezuela or Zimbabwe. Both are unstable states. Mugabe has already been deposed – since he is ancient, there was every indication that he would be. Venezuela historically is very unstable, and there were already many troublesome economic indicators.

    China is too practical to care. They are under trade pressures from the US, and don’t want to unnecessarily antagonize it. Not to mention, Assange doesn’t represent their values. Nor does he likely have any useful technical knowledge as Snowden might have.

    How many of those other countries are recipients of US aid? Iraq, Morocco, and Algeria certainly. I don’t think Algeria receives much, but accumulated over 7 or more years raises the sum significantly. And let’s lowball it: would you give up $10 million for Assange? Or risk regime change?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  13. @Denis

    Russia denied him asylum in order to be able to use him in the 2016 campaign. Only the smartest people (like, literally all liberals) would be able to see through it.

    You seem to be forgetting that what we are dealing with here is basically a conspiracy theory.

    • Replies: @Denis
  14. @songbird

    risk regime change?

    Well, Assange asylum or not, regime change is knock-knock-knocking on Algeria’s door.

    • Replies: @songbird
  15. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    True. They’ve lost their figurehead and the military seems to be knocking on their door.

    I don’t see a stable regime in their future though. Corruption is probably endemic to their nature and they are an oil state. First, their TFR would have to collapse, but then the blacks would probably move in.

  16. Anon[115] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mitleser

    I was talking about UK. Assange shouldn’t have been in London. British people are commonly sent to US jails by their home country.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  17. Anon[115] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dmitry

    I often wonder how come UK is governed by just, incorruptible, capable leaders, whereas everyone doesn’t kiss their boot is a corrupt baby-killer. It’s been like that since Napoleon and Crimea War, and it extends to most remote corners of Africa or the Pacific.

    It takes a lot of guts to lie with a straight face for so long, and at such planetary scale.

    It also shows what a loser Gorbatchev was.

  18. @Anon

    They granted him a visa in 2010.

    They did not – as I have cause to believe – allow him to seek refuge at their London Embassy sometime between him getting hit by the Swedish charges (which cut off the possibility of foreign travel) and Ecuador accepting him in 2012.

  19. @Verymuchalive

    Just to be clear I don’t get paid by Russia Insider.

    I do allow them to reprint my articles, as I don’t see any particular negatives in that, and – I assume – Ron is fine with it as well.

    • Replies: @Boswald Bollocksworth
  20. @Anatoly Karlin

    AK, what do you think of Russia Insider’s obvious Nazi sympathy? The founder has a picture of that Nazi sculptor’s menacing work on his About page and recently penned a cliche ridden post about how Hotler ‘just had to invade the USSR because Stalin had paratroopers’. We all know the counter arguments on this tired topic, seems strange to me to be pro-Russian and at the same time pro-nazi. I don’t likes it and I don’t trusts it!

  21. Assange’s problem is that, as a classic lefty, he has no reliable state to take his side. If I were advising him in 2012 I’d have urged him to try for Cuba, or Venezuela. His problem there would have been siding with “authoritarians”.

    Seems to me the way to leak in the future is to simply upload the documents to a number of sources, in a number of countries, and hope they get downloaded enough times to get fixed in the digital ether. Given the power of the Anglo-Zionists, it simply won’t be possible for a single organization with a mailing address, to take all the heat all the time.

    Russia and China could leak Anglo-Zionist dirt, but they don’t. Must be because the Mossad or CIA could return the favor: Mutually Assured Embarassment. Wikileaks broke that equilibrium, not having anything to lose themselves. This may be another reason Russian leadership didn’t want a part of the Assange problem, certainly they couldn’t have allowed him to continue leaking from within their embassy the way Ecuador did.

  22. ussr andy says:

    the commentariat there, wow.
    vile.

    it’s something like this: unz > ? > ? > ? > RT site > RI site > PressTV site > RI Youtube > RT YouTube > PressTV Youtube.

    the latter is just pure sloganeering, they’re not even trying.

    • Replies: @ussr andy
  23. ussr andy says:
    @ussr andy

    Sometimes I wonder how organic this is.
    I remember when RT Deutsch was overrun by literal flatearthers.
    There’s no intrinsic reason why RT Deutsch should attract flatearthers.
    And poor Ruptly had to close their comment section altogether.
    Are there troll farms working day and night to make certain channels look extra shabby and low-rent?

  24. Mitleser says:
    @Boswald Bollocksworth

    The founder has a picture of that Nazi sculptor’s menacing work on his About page

    Don’t be a Merkel.

  25. DB Cooper says:

    Hope Assange will come out of this unscathed. WikiLeaks has some good stuff on the Dalai Liar also.

  26. FB says: • Website

    Israel Shamir who is a friend and confidante of Julian Assange put paid to this nonsense peddled here by Munchausen Karlin…

    Julian had no ties with Russians, he had no intention to go to Russia, Russia had no need neither chance to refuse Assange…

    So that’s that…Karlin has simply decided to squat and squeeze out a big ol’ Stanley Steamer…right here on the pages of the Unz Review…

    As for Karlin’s claims that he has contacts with serious journalists…please…what serious journalist would have any need to associate with a nobody like Karlin…much less pass along a bombshell scoop…that tall tale is preposterous on its face…

    And what possible reason could any editor have to kill that story…?…the media would have a field day with it to bash both Russia and Assange…if there was even a possibility of this being even remotely connected to the truth, you would be seeing it plastered everywhere…

    And finally…Munchausen Karlin apparently considers himself a ‘journalist’ [LOL]…then why doesn’t he do what any real journalist would do…contact the Russian Foreign Ministry and ask them if Assange ever approached them…?

    The simple fact is that Munchausen Karlin has pulled this entire concoction from his very spacious wazoo…he is a complete fucking fabricator and liar and has proved that over and over…Mucnhausen Karlin [or someone very much like him] is surely what Alexander Pope had in mind when he termed the word ‘bathos’…

    • Troll: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @The scalpel
  27. Of course, Putin looks out for the interests of Russia (as he sees them), not for the interests of Assange, or Shamir, or Karlin, or Simonyan.

    Assange chose to play “principled anti-authoritarian”. That’s his right. If he played an “anti-lies” actor, he could have come to an accommodation with Russia today – Russia certainly does not need to lie nearly as much as the Empire and its sidekicks.

    As it is, Ecuador got its 30 pieces of silver, subservient vassals of the Empire got Assange, so it is very likely that the Empire gets him eventually. Then the infantile imperial elites would have their “revenge”. Stupid and highly damaging to the Empire, but that wouldn’t help Assange.

  28. @ussr andy

    I’m convinced flat earthism was a homework assignment for junior CIA zoglings. “Come up with the most retarded conspiracy and see how many people you can sell it to”. Weaponized lunacy is super useful if you can direct it. This is why American white nationalism is so repellent.

  29. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:

    That comments sections on many of these pro-Putin blogs (and, increasingly, on this blog) confirms my opinion that Russians may on average be as bigoted, jingoistic and generally stupid as we Americans supposedly are.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  30. Anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:

    From a long-form profile on Assange in the New Yorker ~2 years ago:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/08/21/julian-assange-a-man-without-a-country

    In 2010, Israel Shamir, a controversial Russian with extremist views, visited him at Ellingham Hall. (Shamir, a convert from Judaism to Greek Orthodox Christianity, has written several anti-Semitic screeds.) Some WikiLeaks volunteers viewed him as an eccentric hanger-on; some suspected that he had ties to Russian intelligence. During one visit, Assange—who had become lax in his attitude toward the State Department trove—gave him more than ninety thousand unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables concerning Russia, former Soviet-bloc countries, and Israel. Shamir sold some of the material to a magazine friendly to the Kremlin, and delivered other parts of it to Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus’s authoritarian leader, who used them to arrest opposition figures. (Shamir denies this, citing “a malicious invention by my detractors.”)

    In 2012, during Assange’s house arrest—when he was in dire need of revenue—he began to work on a talk show with RT, a Russian state news network that serves the Kremlin’s propaganda interests. Assange told me recently that the show was a cover for his efforts to secure asylum. “I was using it to interview heads of state, and so on, to approach a variety of embassies,” he said. When I asked about the show’s origins, he told me that the idea had evolved out of a conversation with a friend, but he declined to name the person. Later, I learned that it was Israel Shamir’s son Johannes Wahlström (who lives in Sweden, and testified on Assange’s behalf in the rape investigation).

  31. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    It is indeed regrettable that some “alt right” Russophile media outlets have morphed into unironic and ahistorical NSDAPism.

  32. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    The founder has a picture of that Nazi sculptor’s menacing work on his About page

    Who is the founder? I haven’t found any sculpture on any of the author pages I checked out.

    Is it Arno Breker? Arno Breker was a great sculptor, I’m not sure why one must shun his works merely because he was associated with Hitler. (I.e. Hitler liked his works and gave him money to create more.) People listen to Furtwängler recordings and Prokofiev symphonies despite their association with Hitler and Stalin, respectively.

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  33. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    Hotler ‘just had to invade the USSR because Stalin had paratroopers’.

    There’s a pretty strong case that Hitler had to attack the USSR in 1941. There’s an equally strong case that Hitler wanted to attack to USSR anyway, to ethnically cleanse it of Slavs and other non-Germanics and create his racial empire. The two statements are not at all mutually exclusive, so both can be and in fact are true at the same time.

    Maybe the RI article was truly dumb.

  34. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    I’m not sure why one must shun his works merely because he was associated with Hitler.

  35. Dmitry says:
    @Anonymous

    pro-Putin blogs…

    Which blogs and forums, and are they popular? I only read a few sites regularly, but of the blogs and forums which are popular (whether by traffic or comment numbers), they seem many discussions to be very critical of Putin nowadays.

    I even feel pro-Putin compared to the discussions nowadays on forums and blogs.

  36. @Anon

    Assange should have applied for Russian citizenship. Like Israel, Russia does not extradite its citizens,

    Noe should any country.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  37. @Bill Jones

    He wouldn’t have gotten Russian citizenship for reasons I mentioned in #27. So, it’s his destiny to remain a citizen of the most subservient vassal of the Empire (the UK tries to beat Australia in that competition, but did not succeed yet).

  38. Yes it was Arno Breker. Having trouble getting the site to load on my phone but I know I’ve seen some creepy Nätsee statue on Charles Bausman’s bio page there or perhaps one of the About pages.

    Look I get that not every last thing from the third Reich era was bad, but FFS, Breker?

    It’s not great art. It’s mediocre Art Deco, scowling aryan faces about to genocide half of Europe to make way for gay discos. There’s lots of statues out there m8, you don’t put up Breker as the only art on the site unless you’re sending a message. Bloody strange message too, neo Nätsees perhaps came to see the error of there ways and bow to the Slavic ubermensch? Only way I can spin it.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  39. Probably I should repeat it. Julian Assange, as we know for a fact, did not choose to go to Russia in 2010. If he refused the whole lot of Russia, why would he choose the narrow confines of Russian Embassy in London? Even in Russia proper his ability to act for Wikileaks would be greatly limited, as we have learned on the example of Snowden, even more so in Russian Embassy. Russians would not allow him to act freely, and he knew it, and you know it. He could have physical security if he would give up his voice; but he made this choice earlier, when he published the video of the US atrocity. He chose to speak, as Socrates did. The choice of Russia would be a choice of silence in 2010 or 2011, perhaps until 2018. Things change now, but these choices were made then.

  40. Dmitry says:
    @israel shamir

    as Socrates did.

    How stupidly you write. Using the name of Socrates, in relation to some otherwise uninteresting person, who will be extradited because he publishes leaked emails, on not very interesting but secret topics related to the American government, on a website.

    • Replies: @peterAUS
  41. peterAUS says:
    @Dmitry

    How stupidly you write. Using the name of Socrates, in relation to some otherwise uninteresting person, who will be extradited because he publishes leaked emails, on not very interesting but secret topics related to the American government, on a website.

    Interesting comment.

    See, it, in one paragraph, describes you as a person, character type, whatever.
    Just……one………..little………paragraph.

    I am not passing any judgment, free will and such; just a (mental) note to keep in mind when seeing your comments on this site, from now on.
    Like, I am a vegetarian (perish the thought…) and you are a meat eater. Or other way around. Or I am into guns and you hate them. Things like that.

    Back on the topic (you can skip my post/put me on ignore).

    Just spoke with a guy who has been paying attention to Assange thing. He wonders why Assange hasn’t provided more information about the murder of Seth Rich.

    Anyone (while some people are still on this topic around here).?

  42. LondonBob says:
    @Dmitry

    There is a reasonable chance extradition will be refused, the courts, not the government, decide.

  43. @israel shamir

    Thank you for weighting in.

    https://www.apnews.com/af39586daf254cddb3d955453c45865d

    Shamir said he’d personally brokered a Russian visa for Assange, but that it had come too late to rescue him from the sex crimes investigation.

    Do you claim that this is a misrepresentation of your position?

    • Replies: @FB
    , @israel shamir
  44. @israel shamir

    Russians would not allow him to act freely, and he knew it, and you know it.

    Correct. Such is life.

    However, it doesn’t seem at all obvious that he would have more such freedoms under Ecuadorian sanctuary.

    Especially given the tendency of Latin American countries to veer sharply/slavishly pro-American every other decade.

    • Replies: @Denis
  45. Denis says:
    @reiner Tor

    I know, but it’s a particularly ridiculous and damaging conspiracy theory. It’s been kind of surreal to see it all play out. I wonder if things felt this weird back during the “Saddam has WMDs” hysteria.

  46. Denis says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    However, it doesn’t seem at all obvious that he would have more such freedoms under Ecuadorian sanctuary.

    How so? According to your source, Correa’s government was at least willing to give him asylum, whereas the Russian gov. was allegedly unwilling to do so. If your source is correct, then surely this is an indicator that the Correa government was somewhat more tolerant of Assange than Russia would have been.

  47. FB says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Hey Karlin…when are you going to cut the shit…?

    Do you think you can continue insulting the intelligence of UNZ readers forever…?

    Shamir has made it plain as day…while having the tact of not calling you the baldfaced liar you are…

    ASSANGE NEVER SOUGHT RUSSIAN ASYLUM…END OF STORY…

    You are simply caught in your own bullshit…like we always knew you would be…why are you surprised…?

    As for your retarded fucking AP story…do you think we can’t read…?

    On Nov. 30, 2010 — the date on the letter — Interpol issued a Red Notice seeking Assange’s arrest, making any relocation to Russia virtually impossible. With legal bills mounting , Assange turned himself in on Dec. 7 and his staff’s focus turned to getting him out of jail.

    You are one serious fucking dork…stop playing people for fools and start working on basic character integrity…

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  48. @Boswald Bollocksworth

    Why do you write Nazi in such a strange way? You get the pronunciation of the letter “ä” wrong anyway.

    I don’t know why you consider Breker to be mediocre (maybe he is, although I tend to like his work, but reasonable people can disagree about that), but he’s usually vilified by the Borg, so there is some symbolism to it.

    Anyway, the article about Hitler’s preemptive attack on Stalin might be a better example.

    • Replies: @Boswald Bollocksworth
  49. @FB

    Yes, so Assange didn’t go to Russia because he was too late, although he did try to go that route.

    It says nothing about whether or not he tried to go to the Russian embassy. Actually, it says one thing: he certainly didn’t have ethical compunctions against seeking Russian help. This was Karlin’s point.

    So now we need to understand why he chose Ecuador over Russia.

    • Replies: @FB
  50. @Anatoly Karlin

    a misrepresentation of your position – for sure. I have no clear memory of some minor events that took place years ago, but all AP “investigation” is based on a dubious hack. This “letter” does not exist in a hard form of a signed document – it is a electronic text of unknown origin AP claimed they stole from a Wikileaks computer. Wikileaks denied it; I do not remember it. AP is not a good source – see in the quoted piece, Raphael Satter misquotes me as if I wrote “it was the duty of every Christian and Muslim to deny the Holocaust”, so he is likely to misquote anybody. Once a liar and a propagandist, forever a liar, – I refer to the Satter. (I actually said and wrote that it is the duty of every Christian, Muslim and Jew to reject the cult of Holocaust, and this is quite different).
    So to sum it up, Julian needed freedom of action; and he had it in Ecuadorean embassy for a while. He was there when he destroyed Hillary and DNC; I am not sure the Russians would allow him to do that from Moscow.
    As a matter of fact, Julian didn’t go to Russia when he could; so why would he go to their embassy, escapes me.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  51. @israel shamir

    As a matter of fact, Julian didn’t go to Russia when he could

    Ok, so just to confirm, this means that AP explicitly misquoted/misrepresented what you said?

    Shamir said he’d personally brokered a Russian visa for Assange, but that it had come too late to rescue him from the sex crimes investigation.

    I just noticed they directly link the source: https://rutube.ru/video/70b201a93bc764886f5d2ef9762e6ac0/

    What you apparently said on Jan 20, 2011 (1:56):

    Question: Does Assange himself want to come to Russia? Does he say anything about it?

    IS: Yes, of course, he’s aware of this and wants to. And he would have come to Russia, but as Russians say, русские долго запрягают, да быстро едут [Russians take a long time to harness up but ride quickly]. While we were obtaining a visa for him, it simply took a very long time.

    Question: He already has a visa?

    IS: Yes, he does.

    Question: Around three-two months ago, there were some reports that Assange is preparing to receive a visa…

    IS: This was all from us, from me, from us. …

    Note: Assange was arrested more than a month previously, on Dec 7.

    So I assume that leaves only a very narrow window (one month maximum; possibly, none at all) between Assange getting a Russian visa and getting arrested.

    So:

    1) There appear to be direct contradictions between what you say now vs. what you said in that interview.

    2) On the contrary, you do not appear to have explicitly said that the visa came too late to allow Assange to leave for Russia, though it is something that you more or less imply.

    That said, assuming you do not clarify your statement later in that video, I assume that AP was still wrong to treat that as a blanket statement.

    Nonetheless, (1) is still problematic so far as your credibility is concerned.

  52. FB says: • Website
    @reiner Tor

    It [AP story] says nothing about whether or not he tried to go to the Russian embassy.

    That’s right, genius…the AP story says absolutely nothing about Assange going to the Russian embassy…now does it…?

    So why is Munchhausen Karlin using it to somehow support his bullshit story…?

    Because that’s how liars work, dumbshit…in the face of lack of facts, they throw up some completely irrelevant dust to confuse and obfuscate…and then some fancy footwork to supposedly link the two…only the dumbest of the dumb fall for this song and dance…

    Look at the latest bullshit this asshat is slinging at Shamir…it boggles the fucking mind what a pathological liar this turd is…

    He’s a disgrace to these pages and the serious writers here that have written eloquently and persuasively about this important man and these events…

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  53. @reiner Tor

    I wrote it in a phonetic way to emphasize that I am saying it with a hard Canadian or British “a”

  54. @FB

    Not to engage with you, but I would just note that there is an important contradiction between what Israel says here – and what he said in the interview that the AP links to (the relevant part of which I translated).

    • Replies: @FB
  55. FB says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Here is the gallant Baron von Munchhausen pulling himself and his trusty steed out of the mire, by means of the Baron’s own ponytail…bloody ingenious…don’t you think…?

    And much more believable than your tall fucking tales…

  56. The scalpel says: • Website
    @FB

    “As for Karlin’s claims that he has contacts with serious journalists…please…what serious journalist would have any need to associate with a nobody like Karlin…much less pass along a bombshell scoop…that tall tale is preposterous on its face…”

    Most likely, Karlin was suckered by a CIA or FBI disinformation operation

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