Streetwise Professor

September 23, 2013

A Carnival of Liars: Assange, Greenwald, Kucherena and the Journalists Who Enable Them

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:47 pm

One of the enduring mysteries of the Snowden affair is whither Sarah Harrison.

Well, it’s not really a mystery.  She is caught in the same trap as Snowden.  She knows too much, and the Russian FSB (or is it GRU?) spider cannot let her  escape the web.

Assange is doing his best to suggest that Harrison is potentially in control of her fate.  But his rather pathetic efforts to do that show clearly that he is desperate to find out what her circumstances are, exactly.

A month ago, he tweeted that Harrison was in “self-exile.”

Really?  This raises an interesting question.  Just what kind of visa does Harrison have?  Russia is notoriously difficult on visa matters, and it has been an enduring mystery regarding what visa she entered the country on, and more importantly, on what visa is she staying in the country.  Tourist visas are for 30 days.  Sarah is well past that sell-by date.  But she remains nonetheless.

So maybe Russia has a super-secret “self-exile” visa.  Which she can’t tell us about herself.

Or maybe she’s a prisoner, in which case the visa is irrelevant.

If Sarah is at liberty, why isn’t she speaking for herself?  Apropos that: A few days ago Assange emailed a Brazilian newspaper appealing to the Brazilian government to offer Harrison asylum.  Via Google translate:

“The decision of President Dilma Rousseff to cancel the visit to Washington was an ” important symbolic act ,” Julian Assange said in an email sent to the Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo. According to the publication, Assange wrote that “the measure should be followed by other initiatives such as grant asylum to British journalist Sarah Harrison ” Wikileaks member who accompanied Edward Snowden on his trip to Moscow.

. . . .

The Australian says that Harrison can not return to the UK for their involvement in the asylum application of former NSA contractor

. . . .

Julian Assange , during his participation from the Embassy of Ecuador in London , at the seminar “Freedom , privacy and the future of the Internet ” , in Sao Paulo . . . .  Assange also spoke about the relevance of that Brazil granted asylum to the British : “It’s an opportunity for the country to take the banner of human rights that the United States dropped. “

Joshua Foust tweeted that Harrison was asking for asylum.  Um, no, actually.  Harrison hasn’t been heard from by anybody since the Snowden press conference: Assange is begging for Brazil to offer asylum, and Harrison has nothing to do with this appeal.  And that’s precisely why Assange put this out.  This is his fishing expedition, an attempt to get the Russians to let her go, or at least provide some information on her status.

Good luck with that, Jules.  Assange is trying to play on Brazil’s anger over the Greenwald revelations that the NSA intercepts Brazilian communications, including Rousseff’s.  One problem.  Brazil rejected Snowden’s appeal for asylum after the Greenwald story came out.  Brazil’s official umbrage is for public consumption.  Canceling a visit is cheap: aiding and abetting Snowden and Harrison is something altogether different.

And if Russia is Assange’s real intended audience . . . LOLOLOLOL.  Like they give a crap about Jules, except for how they can use him.  Again, Sarah is the Woman Who Knows Too Much. She ain’t going nowhere, even if Brazil were to offer to let her lead the next Mardi Gras parade.

Speaking of Greenwald, there’s a typically mendacious interview with him in Ha’aretz, conducted by a typically mendacious journalist, Noah Shiezaf, the epitome of the Israel-hating Israeli (and hence a fitting interviewer for the America-hating American Greenwald).  There’s a lot in this interview, and I’ll say more about it later, but one thing jumped out:

Greenwald is currently at home in Brazil, where he continues to work on stories deriving from the Snowden material. My interview with him was conducted via Skype. Greenwald confirmed to me that he is in constant contact with Snowden, via encrypted chat services.

Constant contact? Really?

Hmm. La Cuckaracha-aka Snowden’s Kremlin supplied and Kremlin friendly lawyer Kucherena-sings a different tune:

“I am his only link with the outside world at the moment. Even his contacts with his parents are carried out through me,” Kucherena said in an interview published in Itogi weekly magazine.

So who’s the liar?

Well, both are, obviously.  This most recent claim of Kucherena that he controls all of Snowden’s contacts is at odds with his earlier statement that Snowden was free to travel, and does so:

“He walks around. He can travel. He does travel, because he is interested in our history,” said the lawyer, adding that nobody had yet recognised Snowden on his travels.

But even if you aren’t willing to go so far as to claim that both are liars, one has to be: Greenwald’s and Kucherena’s claims are utterly incompatible, so one of them has to be full of it.

And, pray tell Glenn, how can you be sure that the person on the other side of that encrypted chat is Snowden?  Seriously?  Or if it is Eddie, how can you be sure that he is not being instructed on exactly what to say by a mouth-breathing FSB/GRU minder?

You can’t.  Obviously.

Is it too much to ask some real journalist to call bullshit on this entire charade?  Why are Greenwald, Assange, and Kucherena able to spout such utter crap, without anyone pointing out that what they say is, well, utter crap?

Greenwald in particular.  Presumably because too many journalists are invested in his narrative, and believe it’s too good to check.  And to me, this enabling behavior is even more disturbing than Greenwald’s mendacious, agenda-driven “reporting.”

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2 Comments »

  1. Please add NIST to the carnival of liars, http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/09/the-nsas-work-to-make-crypto-worse-and-better/

    Comment by scott — September 24, 2013 @ 9:37 am

  2. The rather childish interpretation of events and statements you present appears to be some sort of product of your paranoid, anti Russian delusion. You babble on quoting various persons and offering a totally unsupported explanation which tortures logic and fact.

    Comment by Philip Masters — January 5, 2014 @ 8:53 am

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