News Release

“Russiagate” Used to Demonize WikiLeaks

CHARLES GLASS, [currently in France] charlesglass at gmx.com, @CharlesMGlass
Glass was ABC News Chief Middle East correspondent from 1983 to 1993. His latest book is They Fought Alone: The True Story of the Starr Brothers, British Agents in Nazi-Occupied France.

He recently wrote the piece “Julian Assange Languishes in Prison as His Journalistic Collaborators Brandish Their Prizes,” which states: “At my last meeting this year with Assange, the energy I recall at our first encounter in January 2011 was undiminished. He made coffee, glancing up at surveillance cameras in the tiny kitchen and every other room in the embassy that recorded his every movement. We talked for about an hour, when an embassy official ordered me to leave. In between, we discussed his health, his strategy to stay out of prison, his family, and the Democratic National Committee’s accusation that he colluded with President Donald Trump and Russia to hack its emails and publish them. The DNC was alleging that Assange revealed its ‘trade secrets,’ a reference to the methods the DNC used to deprive Bernie Sanders of the presidential nomination. The DNC is using the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, meant to control organized crime, to pursue a journalist-publisher. If successful, it will set a precedent that should worry media everywhere.

“Trump’s personal lawyers insist that no crime was committed and therefore, no criminal conspiracy took place. That won’t stop the DOJ under Trump’s attorney general from pursuing criminal charges against Assange, not only for working with Manning to gain access to government secrets, but also to examine how Assange obtained confidential Defense and State Department documents, as well as the CIA’s hacking program that WikiLeaks published in 2017 under the name Vault 7. London’s Guardian newspaper, which had once cooperated with Assange, had accused him of meeting Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort in the embassy. Assange said, ‘I have never met or spoken to Paul Manafort.’ The embassy’s logbook, signed by all visitors, had no record of Manafort.”