Julian Assange's Ghost-Writer Tells All...Almost

Julian Assange

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's personal flaws make him unlikely to lead a sustainable movement says his former ghost-writer Andrew O’Hagan in a 26,000-word memoir in the London Review of Books about his three years working with Assange on a failed "autobiography."

O'Hagan's prophecy seeming came true in importance respects within days of his essay's publication Feb. 21.

Andrew O'HaganGlenn Greenwald's new publishing venture First Look Intercept and NBC-TV used documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to reveal on Feb. 24 outrageous government-run hacking, propaganda and defamation operations by Western powers using electronic media.

The Intercept disclosures were funded from the recent $250 million media investment of EBay founder Pierre Omidyar. They eclipse O'Hagan's insider insights a few days previously about the leak forerunner Assange and his Wikileaks vision.

As described below, we here at the Justice Integrity Project undertook important stories about Wikileaks in its early and carried forward the research that kind of research independently.

That history is described in today's column, structured as follows:

  1. Sweden's Bogus, Political Prosecution of Assange
  2. The Assange-O'Hagan Doomed Collaboration
  3. What O'Hagan Missed He missed the remarkable influence of the intelligence community and its backers over our ostensible protectors in the media and elected government.
  4. Summing Up the Puppet Masters  are manipulators of governments, universities, media outlets, and other watchdog institutions in a process not easily seen even by an experienced writer such as O'Hagan but summarized by the end of this column. Greenwald wrote about it this week, and I reported on it in Presidential Puppetry, especially the book's chapter "Big Brothers for Romney...And US?" about U.S. government contractors undertaking secret propaganda operations in the United States using social media.

1) Sweden's Bogus, Political Prosecution of Assange

Andrew O'Hagan, born 1968, is an Editor at Large of Esquire and is currently a creative writing fellow at King's College London. His novels have been translated into 15 languages. His essays, reports and stories have appeared in the New York Review of Books and the New Yorker, among other prestigious outlets.

O'Hagan, shown in a publicity photo, has had a distinguished career as a novelist and magazine editor that led to his three-year writing relationship with Assange for an autobiography Assange apparently did not want published.

O'Hagan's memoir is powerful, complex and yet still incomplete even at 26,100 words. The memoir begins with his recruitment in 2011 by the UK publisher Canongate to ghost-write Assange's memoir.

O'Hagan first reflects on the long history of ghost-writing to enhance the stature of the ostensible author. He proceeds into a detailed chronological account of his relationship with Assange, who lived under house arrest in a borrowed home in England while UK courts handled his appeals of orders to return to Sweden for further questioning in the sex misconduct cases. Assange lived and worked with a small cadre of aides. One was his live-in assistant and girlfriend Sarah Harrison last year became prominent as Wikileaks liaison to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Moscow.

Assange trusted O'Hagan to undertake many hours of taped recorded interviews. But the biographer ultimately concluded that Assange did not want to reveal his personal story in the manner that publishers expected. After many missed deadlines Canongate took an O'Hagan draft and published it as an unauthorized biography.

O'Hagan described in his London Review of Books column his frustration over Assange self-destructive behavior that thwarted their collaboration in the autobiography.

"The man who put himself in charge of disclosing the world's secrets simply couldn't bear his own," O'Hagan wrote of his former collaborator. "The story of his life mortified him and sent him scurrying for excuses."

Assange failed to write even a single sentence after receiving $2.5 million advance from a consortium of publishers that included Canongate and Knopf, according to O'Hagan, a well-regarded Scotland-born novelist and magazine writer who undertook the ghost-writing assignment in 2011 under the condition of anonymity. Canongate, a publisher seeking to recoup its share of the advance, published the "autobiography" in an unauthorized version in 2011

O'Hagan portrays Assange as a self-centered, sexist and self-destructive exploiter of others who is confused and largely ineffectual at this point. Yet the author remains positive regarding Assange's vision of Wikileaks as at least a potential force for good.

2) The O'Hagan-Assange Doomed Collaboration
Yet there is always another side, and remaining questions. For one thing, state intrigue is a logical explanation for the extraordinary government expense for years to ensure that Sweden could capture Assange before questioning him, as opposed to renewing questions in the United Kingdom.

O'Hagan's portrait matches in most respects my concerns from a distance when I broke several cutting-edge stories beginning in late 2010 underscoring how Western authorities were targeting Assange unfairly. Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were using heavy-handed, sinister and selective prosecution initiated by Sweden in 2010.

At the same time, I disapproved of what I was hearing of Assange's methods and personality enough to refrain from ever endorsing them. Instead, I sought to integrate the Wikileaks story, pro and con, into my larger coverage of the interaction of transparency, privacy, spying and politics, which culminated in my recent book, 

Obama's role as controlled opposition -- a seemingly independent, left-leaning populist whose career was actually nurtured by the intelligence community and its front groups -- helps explain many of his policies, including his administration's policies as fierce crack downs on whistleblowers, leakers and their enablers like Assange.

Spying, leaks and retribution are vital parts of the Assange story, much though Assange's opponents want to focus on his personal behavior. In 2010, Assange and Wikileaks infuriated authorities in Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in the West by dumping massive numbers of raw emails and other sensitive documents on the web. Also, he worked cooperatively with the New York Times, Guardian and Der Spiegel on certain stories to be reported or withheld according to the professional judgment of the experienced staff of the media partners.

Sweden has probed claims that Assange committed unspecified sexual crimes during his speaking trip to Sweden in August 2010. Even now, no formal charges have been filed. Assange asserts on the basis of circumstantial evidence and hacked documents that Swedish authorities trumped up the probe to get custody of him so they could then extradite him to the United States to stand trial on spy charges.  Assange's father, John Shipton, told a Voice of Russia interviewer John Robles this month, "When they wanted him for questioning Julian went and answered their questions and they indicated that Julian was free to go, free to leave. As soon as he got on the airplane, they issued a European arrest warrant. These people are only acting at the behest of others.”

U.S. and Swedish authorities deny any plot, but have a track record in this case and others of half-truths and other intrigues even though the entire situation arises from the spy business (in a country famous for Steig Larsson novels, no less).

Writing separately in coordinated coverage, Alabama Legal Schnauzer blogger Roger Shuler and I broke the story in December 2010 that GOP strategist Karl Rove had been an adviser to Sweden's conservative Prime Minister Frederic Reinfeldt at the time when Assange was creating a worldwide sensation with Wikileaks disclosures.

Edward Snowden Intelligence Effects Document Rove has close ties to the Western intelligence community in part through his relationship with onetime CIA Director George H.W. Bush and his son, George. Rove called for Assange's execution in August 2010, which was approximately the same time two different Swedish women reportedly invited Assange to sleep with them at their apartments on separate nights during a lecture trip.

The women later alleged to a two-partner law firm, Borgström and Bodström, that Assange had been sexually aggressive in ways deserving criminal reprisal. Lead attorney Claes Borgström, an ardent feminist and leftist, then complained to authorities about Assange. Authorities questioned and released Assange with no formal charges.

Later, I broke the story that Thomas Bodström, one of the firm's name partners and a former Sweden Minister of Justice, had cooperated with the CIA several years previously in a now-notorious rendition to Egypt of a terrorism suspect who had sought asylum in Sweden. Bodström is a best-selling spy novelist who has lived recently in the United States.

Our stories never claimed proof that Rove specifically advised the prime minister or his government regarding Assange's prosecution. Instead, we revealed relationships that were part of longstanding and largely secret contacts between American political and intelligence personnel and their counterparts in Sweden -- despite Sweden's image globally as a neutral, socialist nation.

Carl BildtWikileaks separately fostered news stories, as here, claiming on the basis of hacked documents that Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt had been a CIA asset since 1973 and in recent years had "reported to" Rove at the George W. Bush White House.

Bildt, shown in a file photo, is a former prime minister currently prominent in European affairs in the Ukrainian crisis and otherwise. Claims that he was a spy for the CIA, which has denied, angered top officials on both sides of the Atlantic for obvious reasons.

My stories, radio broadcasts, follow-ups and rebuttals by defenders of Rove and the Swedish justice system were widely republished both in the United States and Sweden, albeit not by mainstream print and broadcast publications.
In Sweden as elsewhere, traditional news outlets for the most part tended to denounce Assange for disclosing secrets normally unknown to reporters or withheld from readers for fear of upsetting government officials and disrupting what those officials call national security.
Sweden's major media have been dominated for nearly two centuries by the Bonnier family, which is highly integrated also with leadership posts in government and other business. Its major outlets have attacked Assange and defended the fairness of Sweden's secretive criminal system, which lacks many of the protections for defendants that Americans take for granted. 
Our columns on this site and elsewhere explored the inherent conflicts between national security/secrecy and whistleblowing/reporting. We probed also the conflicts between the hackers and the security/surveillance cultures. These would soon explode with the revelations in June 2013 of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The reporting fostered for our Justice Integrity Project and my book research professional relationships with several impressive journalists, including best-selling author and feminist scholar Naomi Wolf, who took bold stands early on during the murky period of Assange's first disclosures.

Those reporting perspectives here, as well as by those experts, have been vindicated on the whole by subsequent events, including the hard-hitting disclosures this week by O'Hagan, Assange's former collaborator.

Much of the news coverage of O'Hagan's conclusions has been by right-wing London tabloids with a long record of mocking Assange and the transparency movement he seeks to embody. Certainly, O'Hagan and Assange himself have provided ample evidence for their headlines, which have recently included: 'Paranoid, vain and jealous' – the secret life of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 'mad, sad and bad', claims ghost writer Andrew O'Hagan.

The fairest viewpoint is to read O'Hagan's own narrative in the London Review of Books, Ghosting: Online exclusive. The tale is especially instructive, and indeed entertaining, for those involved in writing, book publishing and related public affairs. Here are several excerpts:

And here’s the hard bit. Those of us who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, especially in the United Kingdom under Thatcher and Blair, those of us who lived through the Troubles and the Falklands War, the miners’ strike, the deregulation of the City, and Iraq, believed that exposing secret deals and covert operations would prove a godsend.

When WikiLeaks began this process in 2010, it felt, to me anyhow, but also to many others that this might turn out to be the greatest contribution to democracy since the end of the Cold War. A new kind of openness suddenly looked possible: technology might allow people to watch their watchers, at last, and to inspect the secrets being kept, supposedly in our name, and to expose fraud and exploitation wherever it was encountered in the new media age. It wasn’t a subtle plan but it smacked of the kind of idealism that many of us hadn’t felt for a while in British life, where big moral programs on the left are thin on the ground. Assange looked like a counter-warrior and a man not made for the deathly compromises of party politics. And he seemed deeply connected to the web’s powers of surveillance and counter-surveillance.

What happened, though, is that big government opposition to WikiLeaks’s work – which continues – became confused, not least in Assange’s mind, with the rape accusations against him. It has been a fatal conflation. There’s a distinct lack of clarity in Julian’s approach, a lack that is, I’m afraid, only reinforced by the people he has working with him. Only today, he sent me an email – hearing I was writing this piece – telling me it was illegal for me to speak out without what he called ‘appropriate consultation’ with him. He wrote of his precarious situation and of the FBI investigation into his activities. ‘I have been detained,’ he said, ‘without charge, for 1000 days.’ And there it is, the old conflation, implying that his detention is to do with his work against secret-keepers in America. It is not. He was detained at Ellingham Hall while appealing against a request to extradite him to Sweden to answer questions relating to two rape allegations.

3) What O'Hagan Missed He missed the remarkable influence of the intelligence community and its backers over our ostensible protectors in the media and elected government.26,390 words 
4) Summing Up the Puppet Masters  are manipulators of governments, universities, media outlets, and other watchdog institutions in a process not easily seen even by an experienced writer such as O'Hagan but summarized by the end of this column. Greenwald wrote about it this week, and I reported on it in Presidential Puppetry, especially the book's chapter "Big Brothers for Romney...And US?" about U.S. government contractors undertaking secret propaganda operations in the United States using social media. 

The larger story that neither quite nails underscores why I recently published Presidential Puppetry: Obama Romney and Their Masters.

Puppetry, the first book on President Obama's second term, documents how Obama -- like all recent U.S. presidents -- secretly worked as a government intelligence asset before entering politics. The implications impact the public every day on matters like the crisis in the Ukraine. 

To ascend to power, Obama had to serve as "controlled opposition." These are elected candidates who seem during election campaigns to be willing to tackle the nation's power structure. They back off once in office in order to provide mostly rhetoric, not real reform. The history of this kind of play-acting extends back a century at least. That history encompasses in a general sense the recent disclosures regarding Assange, O'Hagan, Snowden, and Greenwald.


London Review of Books and Coverage

London Review of Books, Ghosting: Online exclusive, Andrew O’Hagan, Feb. 21, 2014. On 5 January 2011, at 8.30 p.m., I was messing about at home when the phone buzzed on the sofa. It was a text from Jamie Byng, the publisher of Canongate. ‘Are you about?’ it said. ‘I have a somewhat left-field idea. It’s potentially very exciting. But I need to discuss urgently.’ Canongate had bought, for £600,000, a memoir by the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The book had also been bought for a high sum by Sonny Mehta at Knopf in New York and Jamie had sold foreign rights to a slew of big houses. He said he expected it to be published in forty languages. Assange didn’t want to write the book himself but didn’t want the book’s ghostwriter to be anybody who already knew a lot about him. I told Jamie that I’d seen Assange at the Frontline Club the year before, when the first WikiLeaks stories emerged, and that he was really interesting but odd, maybe even a bit autistic. Jamie agreed, but said it was an amazing story. ‘He wants a kind of manifesto, a book that will reflect this great big generational shift.’

Sydney Morning Herald, Writer dishes dirt on 'sexist' Assange, Feb. 23, 2014. The man who tried to co-write Julian Assange's autobiography says the Australian can be sexist and anti-semitic as well as a courageous purser [sic] of the truth -- so long as it doesn't relate to himself. Scottish writer Andrew O'Hagan has penned a lengthy essay about his three-year relationship with Assange, which started when he was asked to ghostwrite the WikiLeaks founder's autobiography. Like with journalist David Marr's essay on former prime minister Kevin Rudd, some might accuse O'Hagan of pop psychology. But no one will deny his London Review of Books (LRB) article is a riveting read.

Telegraph (United Kingdom), 'Paranoid, vain and jealous' – the secret life of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Patrick Sawer, Feb. 22, 2014. An excoriating profile by Julian Assange's ghostwriter, Andrew O'Hagan, has lifted the lid on the strange world of the founder of WikiLeaks. He is paranoid and jealous, prone to leering at young women and making frequent sexist jokes – and that's not the view of one of his many enemies, but of a friend who regards him sympathetically. A damning picture of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who is currently sheltering in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape charges, has emerged in a detailed account by his ghostwriter Andrew O’Hagan. In a 45-page essay chronicling the collapse of a $2.5m deal for Assange’s autobiography, O’Hagan, an award-winning novelist and non-fiction author, recounts how he spent months with the Australian computer hacker in an attempt to extract material for the book. 

Independent‎, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is 'mad, sad and bad', claims ghost writer Andrew O'Hagan, Lewis Smith, Feb. 22, 2014.


Who's Who As Justice Integrity Project Collegues in Wikileaks Coverage

  • Roger ShulerRoger Shuler, the Alabama blogger who helped break the Rove/Reinhardt story on the same day as I did in 2010. Alabama authorities have held Shuler without bond for five months, as of Feb. 23 on contempt of court charges arising out of a libel suit brought by a prominent lawyer. Shuler, shown in a family photo, has no lawyer, no funds for a lawyer and no prospects of emerging from jail following his arrest by Shelby County deputies and beating at his home Oct. 23. The kangaroo court system in Alabama fostered in significant part by Rove-orchestrated schemes to pack the courts with loyalists has targeted Shuler and his wife for ruin even though the secret proceeding violates numerous due process, libel, and other First Amendment protections, as we have often reported here. To be sure, no direct tie has surfaced between the Assange case and Shuler's ordeal other than Shuler's general willingness to examine such sensitive issues. Yet Shuler's jailing -- which we'll re-examine in a new column with new scandal this week -- shoulder remind every reader that, at the minimum, political prosecutions do occur with little protest from media and legal communities. One group, the Committee to Protect Journalists, listed Shuler as the only jailed journalist in the Western Hemisphere but many other groups have myriad excuses to do nothing substantial in protest even when the jailing appears to violate the 1964 Supreme Court holding one of the nation's most important libel cases, New York Times v. Sullivan, based on another travesty of justice in Alabama.
  • Naomi Wolf, the best-selling author, feminist scholar and social critic. Wolf took an intellectually courageous position disliked by many other feminists when she noted exceptional circumstances of the trans-Atlantic campaign to return Assange for additional questioning in the sex misconduct cases. Without supporting his largely unknown alleged sexual misconduct, of course, she reported what she described as irregularities in the Naomi Wolfprosecution effort, based on her decades as a volunteer rape crisis counselor. In 2011, News from Underground published exclusively, Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange. Although some of O'Hagan's revelations this week of Assange's propensity for sleazy behavior might seem to undermine Wolf's argument, a closer reading of her statements shows she never defended him. Instead, her argument was thorough and consistent investigation of such crime allegations instead of massive resources deployed against him in a Europe-wide Interpol alert and years of enormously expensive investigation that could have been undertaken more effectively by interviewing him again in the United Kingdom.
  • Dr. Marcello Ferrada de Noli is a medical school professor emeritus based in Sweden and Italy. An expert in epidemiology, he is also a human rights activist and former victim of torture for Julian Assange, Marcello Ferrada de Noli and Jennifer Robinson, London 2011 political activity as a young man in his native Chile. He has written and edited the "Professsor's Blogg" relentlessly for years of in-depth commentary on the Assange case, aside from a hiatus to recover from a near-fatal heart attack. His extensive reports document Sweden’s performance record on human rights issues. This gist, he writes, is that Swedes should be justifiably proud of a human rights track record that is far better than that of most nations -- but that serious observers should recognize also a record of embarrassing exceptions made through the decades with scant public discussion. I have learned first-hand of his tireless and largely thankless efforts far into his night to document that theme with columns (which he translates from Swedish to English and vice versa) on the Assange case that he writes or solicits from Wolf, me, and others, including former Assange attorney Jennifer Robinson. His surveys have shown also that the mainstream media in Sweden have been very supportive of government actions against Assange, not surprisingly because WikiLeaks threatens the traditional information gatekeeper role of established media in reporting on government actions. He has decried as a "duck pond" a comfortable Swedish culture of media, government, public relations firms and U.S.-style think tanks. He recognizes that Assange's traffic in hacked or stolen emails violates basic norms of privacy and private property, and the rule of law. But he notes also that the raw emails allow the public to see at times shocking examples of what appear to be lawbreaking by officials and cozy relations with members of the media. 
  • Wayne Madsen is a former Navy intelligence officer and NSA analyst, and more currently an author, editor of the Wayne Madsen Report, and broadcast commentator. Shown in a file photo, he has written eight books, and countless bylined investigative commentaries, many of them on cutting-edge, controversial themes and based on confidential documents and other sources relating to national security. He has stated that he and John Young, a noted security expert who runs the Cryptome investigative site, conferred and each declined invitations from Assange years ago to join the board of Wikileaks. Years ago at the height of Assange's fame and before the sex misconduct claims in mid-2010, Madsen spoke at the National Press Club on the topic and explained that he and Young had concerns about the Wikileaks professionalism under Assange. This weekend Madsen told me the kinds of claims O'Hagan made in his column were precisely the kinds of  concerns deterring Madsen and Young from involvement.


Latest From Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald

First Look Intercept, FirHow Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations, Glenn Greenwald, Feb. 24, 2014. Featured photo  How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations A page from a GCHQ top secret document prepared by its secretive JTRIG unit. One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents. Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.” By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses.

Zero Hedge, The Conspiracy Theory Is True: Agents Infiltrate Websites Intending To "Manipulate, Deceive, And Destroy Reputations," Tyler Durden, Feb. 24, 2014.  In the annals of internet conspiracy theories, none is more pervasive than the one speculating paid government plants infiltrate websites, social network sites, and comment sections with an intent to sow discord, troll, and generally manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations. Guess what: it was all true. And this time we have a pretty slideshow of formerly confidential data prepared by the UK NSA equivalent, the GCHQ, to confirm it, and Edward Snowden to thank for disclosing it. The messenger in this case is Glenn Greenwald, who has released the data in an article in his new website, firstlook.org, which he summarizes as follows: "by publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself." Call it Stasi for "Generation Internet."


Justice Integrity Project Coverage

Huffington Post, Rove Suspected In Swedish-U.S. Political Prosecution of WikiLeaks, Andrew Kreig, Dec. 19, 2010.

Connecticut Watchdog, Swedish Pundit Assails WikiLeaks, Downplays Rove Ties, Andrew Kreig, Jan 9, 2011. See also, Swedish Wire, Karl Rove key player in Swedish WikiLeaks probe, Andrew Kreig, Jan 24, 2011.

OpEd News, Whistleblower Says: Obama's DoJ Declares War on Whistleblowers, Justice Integrity Project, Jan. 10, 2011, Dana Jill Simpson, the Alabama attorney who stepped forward in 2007 to provide sworn evidence on how her fellow Republicans were framing Democratic former Gov. Don Siegelman on corruption charges, today released a statement saying that President Obama's Department of Justice has declared a "war on whistleblowers."

Connecticut Watchdog, Partner at Firm Counseling Assange's Accusers Helped the CIA In Rendition for Torture, Andrew Kreig, Jan. 11, 2011. Best-selling spy thriller author Thomas Bodström ─ an attorney who represents the two Swedish women making the notorious sex charges against WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange ─ knows better than most people that truth is stranger than fiction. He is shown giving a lecture in a file photo courtesy of Wikipedia. See also, Swedish Wire, Partner at Swedish law firm counseling WikiLeaks boss' accusers helped in CIA torture rendition, Jan. 20, 2011.

Justice Integrity Project, PM’s Biographer Sees Rove Influence in Swedish Politics, Andrew Kreig, Jan. 17, 2011. Brian Palmer of Uppsala University in Sweden provided an illuminating interview on my Washington Update radio show regarding the influence of Karl Rove on Swedish politics as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Palmer described why he co-authored a Swedish-language book about political parties were attracting voters, “George W. Reinfeldt: The art of making a political extreme makeover.” The book describes how Sweden’s political right, including Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, created an image of moderation, much as did U.S. President George W. Bush during his 2000 campaign.

Huffington Post, Spy vs. Spy As Hackers Square Off Over DC Dirty Tricks, Andrew Kreig, Feb.11. 2011. The mainstream media are paying increasing attention to a shocking scandal arising from retribution by pro-WikiLeaks hackers against government contractors apparently trying to sell political dirty tricks services to hurt critics of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bank of America.

Justice Integrity Project, Rove’s Swedish Connections: The Controversy And The Facts, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 14, 2011. My Huffington Post column in December describing links between Karl Rove and Sweden’s governing party continues to generate controversy. Sweden’s all-out effort to capture WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange illustrates how the Assange law enforcement scandal is similar to many Rove-style political prosecutions in the United States. Among the tell-tale signs are using the media to smear a defendant with pre-trial leaks. These foster an anti-defendant climate in the courts and public, helping to ensure that unfair court procedures will not generate effective protest by legislators, the media or general public.

Professors Blogg, WikiLeaks Claims Secret U.S. Charges Against Assange, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 29, 2012. Andrew Kreig is a regular guest columnist in the Professors blogg.


Other Related News Coverage


Marcell Ferrar de Noli

Professors Blogg (Sweden), Was the reopening of the Sweden case, part of the US request to prosecute Assange by any means? Marcello de Ferrada de Noli, March 1, 2014. After nearly four years of the message in Professors blogg on the case Assange, my 250 analyses and articles, one book, and nearly 1,000 comments, I have to admit that the international debate on the Swedish case against Assange is still futilely devoted to “the legal aspects” of the case. My position is instead: there is not legal ground for a prosecution of Assange in Sweden on the base of the alleged behaviors. Arguments from the part of the Swedish prosecutors in the form of vague insinuations of “undisclosed” reasons for pursuing the issue of an interrogation with Assange (at the same time that they neglect carrying out such interrogation in London) emerges after four years as a pure and simple bluff. And this bluff shall be certainly “called” if an interrogation ever is to be performed. Ergo, the case is postponed indefinitely. So, what is necessary is a creative international criticism changing focus to the actual political plot and the denouncing of its main actors. It emerges now clearer that the “Assange prosecution-case” was a request from the US government.

Professors Blogg (Sweden), Doctoral assessment of Julian Assange quite different from Mr. O’Hagan’sMarcello de Ferrada de Noli, Feb. 27, 2014. What has happened in Sweden is that a limited number of self-proclaimed “radical feminists”, for the most part right-wingers, have initiated or participated in campaigns ad-hominem against the WikiLeaks founder, for instance the “Prataomdet” campaign and a series of articles in the mainstream media. And that in my opinion is NOT left radical feminism; it is simply opportunism. In my article “So called Swedish ‘radical feminists’ declared Julian Assange a symbolic issue” I show among other the public participation of lawyer and politician Claes Borgström – the instigator of the prosecution in Sweden against the WikiLeaks founder -  in paying homage to the anti-Assange  “Prataomdet” campaign.

Legal Schnauzer, Is Karl Rove Driving the Effort to Prosecute Julian Assange? Roger Shuler, Dec. 14, 2010. Former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove likely is playing a leading role in the effort to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a source with ties to the justice community tells Legal Schnauzer. Assange was arrested last week in London for alleged sex crimes in Sweden. A lawyer for Assange said Monday that the arrest was a rusedesigned to give the United States more time to build a case against Assange on other charges.

Julian AssangeNews from Underground, Something Rotten in the State of Sweden: 8 Big Problems with the ‘Case’ Against Assange, Naomi Wolf, right, Feb. 11, 2011. Now that Andrew Kreig of the Justice Integrity Project has confirmed Karl Rove’s role as an advisor to the Swedish government in its prosecution of Julian Assange on sexual misconduct charges, it is important that we note the many glaring aberrations in the handling of Assange’s case by the authorities in Sweden. Dr. Brian Palmer, a social anthropologist at Uppsala University, explained on Kreig’s radio show last month that Karl Rove has been working directly as an advisor to the governing Moderate Party. Kreig also reported, in Connecticut Watchdog, that the Assange accusers’ lawyer is a partner in the law firm Borgström and Bodström, whose other name partner, Thomas Bodström, is a former Swedish Minister of Justice. In that office, Bodström helped approve a 2001 CIA rendition request to Sweden, to allow the CIA to fly two asylum-seekers from Sweden to Egypt, where they were tortured. This background compels us to review the case against Assange with extreme care.

Wikileaks, Julian Assange Press Statement on the Unauthorised "Autobiography," Julian Assange, Sept. 22, 2011. I have learned today through an article in The Independent that my publisher, Canongate, has secretly distributed an unauthorised 70,000 word first draft of what was going to be my autobiography. According to The Independent, Canongate “enacted a huge security operation to secretly ship books out to thousands of stores nationwide without tipping anyone off as to the content of the book.”

Professors blogg (Sweden/Italy), Human Rights concerns regarding the case against Julian Assange, Jennifer Robinson, Dec. 30, 2011. Brief submitted by to the meeting of MPs of the Federal Parliament, at Parliament House, Canberra, discussing extradition aspects in the Swedish case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Editors Note by Prof. Marcello Ferrada de Noli: Professors blogg proudly presents to the Swedish and international Jennifer Robinsonaudience the new and much valuable guest column of distinguished human-rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, right. She will now join celebrated American feminist writer Naomi Wolf and the notable Washington attorney and journalist Andrew Kreig – also columnists in the Huffington Post -- with her scholarly opinions on the legal, medical and human rights aspects on important world events, such as now about the Swedish case against the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Professors Blogg, What Julian Assange does with WikiLeaks is not only right. It is morally right, it is ethically right and it is legally right, Jennifer Robinson (left), Feb. 28, 2012. Professors Blog proudly presents a new contribution by Jennifer Robinson, a legal adviser of WikiLeaks founder – editor and journalist Julian Assange.

Professor’s Blogg, Swedish government using media to interfere in the legal process against Julian Assange, Dr. Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Jan. 27, 2012. The international organization Reporters Without Borders published in these days the Press Freedom Index 2011-2012. Sweden's position down dropped severely from previous years, from the top position to a currently 12th place. This article explores possible reasons for this deterioration. The analysis focuses on the Swedish government allegedly interference through the media in the judicial process against Assange and issues of a prospective US extradition, and the most recent comments in the National Swedish Radio (25 of January 2012) by Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Carl Bildt and Condi RiceExpressen (Sweden), WikiLeaks: Carl Bildt was a USA informant, Kassem Hamadé and Christian Holmén, Feb. 22, 2012. Translation: WikiLeaks is planning a massive smear campaign against Sweden in order to prevent the Swedish government from agreeing to extradite the organization's frontman Julian Assange to the United States. Internal WikiLeaks documents that Expressen noted said the Wikileaks threatens to publish a previously unknown American diplomatic report that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was an informant for the U.S. since the 1970s. He will be forced to resign. It may mean the end of his political career, says a person familiar with the Wikileaks material and planning. Carl Bildt, who yesterday was in London, did not respond to Wikileaks accusation. We are awaiting their comments. We want to see what kind of document it is about before we comment, Foreign Ministry's press officer Anders Jörle told Expressen's Niklas Svensson last night.

Business Insider, New WikiLeaks Drop Alleges That Sweden’s Foreign Minister Has Been a U.S. Spy, Adam Taylor, Feb. 22, 2012. WikiLeaks is said to be preparing a release that will allege Swedish foreign minister Nils Daniel Carl Bildt has been a US informant since the 1970s. The news was broken by Swedish newspaper Expressen, which said it has access to an internal Wikileaks memo. The memo says that the allegations are supposedly based on a US diplomat's report, and will be politically explosive. "He will be forced to resign," one source told the paper. Bildt (shown with Condolezza Rice) is alleged to have reported to Karl Rove, the former advisor to George W. Bush. Bildt has publicly admitted he meets with Rove but in an informal manner. However, the document reportedly reveals he has acted as an "informer" to the US government since 1973.


Professors Blogg, Anatomy of an untruthful scoop: Sweden’s psychological warfare against WikiLeaks, and the political case vs. Julian Assange. Part One, Feb. 23, 2012. On the eve of the extraditions judgments in London, the Swedish mainstream media has produced a multiple barrage of articles on WikiLeaks and on the person of its founder, editor and journalist Julian Assange. The offensive  -- never before assayed with such degree of seemingly coordination or impetus, and which contrasts with a nearly total silence in Sweden on such themes during the past months -- was initiated with a piece by the president of the Swedish Publicists’ Association in Journalist.Se, followed by a remarkable “scoop” in Expressen. This was in its turn echoed, of course, by an article in the Local and of another vilifying piece in an on-line site called Nyheter24.

Associated Press / CBS, WikiLeaks publishes emails on private Intel firm, Feb. 27, 2012. WikiLeaks said Monday it was publishing a massive trove of leaked emails from the geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor, shedding light on the inner workings of the Texas-based think tank that bills itself as a leading provider of global intelligence to a range of clients. The online anti-secrecy group said it had more than 5 million Stratfor emails and it was putting them out in collaboration with two dozen international media organizations. The small selection so-far published to WikiLeaks' website gave a rare look at the daily routine at a private Intel firm: One described a $6,000-a-month payment made to a Middle Eastern source, another carried bits of gossip dropped by a retired spook, and many were filled with off-color office banter.

WikiLeaks / Global Intelligence Files / Citizens for Legitimate Government, STRATFOR: 'Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist,' Staff report, Feb. 28, 2012. Confidential emails obtained from the US private intelligence firm Stratfor show that the United States Government has had a secret indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for more than 12 months. Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security, is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State's (DoS) counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

Rolling Stone, WikiLeaks Stratfor Emails: A Secret Indictment Against Julian Assange? Michael Hastings, Feb. 28, 2012. On Jan. 26, 2011, Fred Burton, the vice president of Stratfor, a leading private intelligence firm which bills itself as a kind of shadow CIA, sent an excited email to his colleagues. "Text Not for Pub," he wrote. "We" – meaning the U.S. government – "have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect." The news, if true, was a bombshell. At the time, the Justice Department was ramping up its investigation of Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which over the past few years has released hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents. An indictment under the 1917 Espionage Act would be the most serious action taken to date against Assange, possibly paving the way for his extradition to the U.S.

MarcelloTelegraph, The (United Kingdom), Stratfor: executive boasted of 'trusted former CIA cronies,' Alex Spillius, Feb. 28, 2012. A senior executive with the private intelligence firm Stratfor boasted to colleagues about his "trusted former CIA cronies" and promised to "see what I can uncover" about a classified FBI investigation, according to emails released by the WikiLeaks.

ABC News (Australia), Greens call for details on secret Assange charges, Staff report, Feb. 29, 2012. 'We will not tolerate his transfer to the United States to face charges that could potentially land him in prison or in a hole like Guantanamo Bay, as David Hicks did, potentially for decades.' The Greens have called on the Federal Government to reveal whether it knew about secret United States charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. An email from staff at private US intelligence agency Stratfor, released by WikiLeaks, refers to an indictment on Assange. "We have a sealed indictment on Assange," said the short email from Stratfor's vice-president of intelligence Fred Burton to analysts at the security firm. The information comes with the request to protect the information and not to publish. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam wants Prime Minister Julia Gillard to say whether the Government will defend the Australian against possible extradition to the US.

Professors Blogg, Sweden's Plan Z, Marcello Ferrada de Noli, March 2, 2012. The Swedish PSYOP against WikiLeaks and Media Trial of Julian Assange...To save Minister Bildt? This is Part Two of “Anatomy of an untruthful scoop." What is the background of the Swedish on-going political offensive against WikiLeaks? What does the media campaign have to do with Swedish Foreign Policy and its head, Carl Bildt? What is the NATO connection in the case? And further, what does the content of such media articles have to do with the domestic decline of Bildt’s popularity, and peoples questioning as to the extent to which the Swedish rulers themselves are primarily responsible for the drastic deterioration of the international prestige of Sweden?

Voice of Russia, The US and its allies: a horror show that must stop – John Shipton, Interview by John Robles, Feb. 5, 2014. For many Australians it is embarrassing the way the Australian Government blindly obeys whatever the US tells it to do. In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, John Shipton, the executive officer of the WikiLeaks Party in Australia, gave his views on those issues and much more. Shipton is Julian Assange's father. Shipton: “The Australian government’s treatment of Julian is appalling and savage. It’s been 3.5 years and still nothing is done. Even to the extent the mass Swedish mass newspaper Aftonbladet is now running a debate on whether the investigation, the questioning, was wrong. The issue of a warrant was incorrect, the European arrest warrant was incorrect and the whole matter ought to be dropped straight away. Still the Australian government won’t respond and won’t do anything.”