No, Daily Beast, Standing Against Fake News Being Used to Push Wars Does Not Mean WikiLeaks is Anti-US
In an article regurgitating old claims from a former WikiLeaks supporter, turned Russia conspiracy theorist, The Daily Beast attempted to make the case that the organization is anti-United States.
The writer ironically claims that WikiLeaks “lies” and used a photo of their founder Julian Assange with an extended Pinocchio nose, while arguably committing libel.
The misrepresentations begin with the very first word of their headline, in which they refer to Iain Holly, the former WikiLeaks supporter as a “defector” — implying that they at the very least had ties to the organization. In reality, he was a fan who created a group chat on Twitter to discuss his fandom.
To retaliate for WikiLeaks publishing things he did not approve of during the 2016 election, Holly released the chat logs from the group of supporters to the Intercept last year. Seemingly wanting to stay in the spotlight, he has now released some screenshots that the first report skipped over to the Daily Beast.
In his quest to smear his former idol, Holly also dug up a 2007 quote that Time Magazine had attributed to Assange in which he allegedly said that one of the goals of the organization “is total annihilation of the current U.S. regime and any other regime that holds its authority through mendacity alone.”
Assange denied that he said this years ago in an appearance on ABC, but even if he had said it, this was under the Bush Administration which had just lied everyone into war. One of the key reasons that WikiLeaks was founded was to stop wars based on false information being fed to the public by the mainstream media. The quote clearly specifies “current,” meaning Bush, and not the US in general.
In fact, in a powerful op-ed for the Washington Post in 2017, Assange wrote that WikiLeaks is “mischaracterized as America-hating servants to hostile foreign powers. But in fact I harbor an overwhelming admiration for both America and the idea of America. WikiLeaks’ sole interest is expressing constitutionally protected truths, which I remain convinced is the cornerstone of the United States’ remarkable liberty, success and greatness.”
Daily Beast writer Kevin Poulsen goes on to argue that forms submitted by the WikiLeaks Party in Australia in 2013 also somehow prove the deranged conspiracy theory that the publisher is aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Poulsen wrote that “In retrospect, the shift was apparent way back in 2013, during Assange’s failed bid to win a Senate seat in Australia, Iain said. Assange established the country’s WikiLeaks Party, with a platform built on government transparency and libertarianism. But just weeks before the election the party was roiled by a controversy over its ranking of other political parties in Australia’s ranked-choice voting, preferencing, in two races, the white-nationalist Australia First Party and the right-wing Shooters and Fishers Party above the liberal favorite, the Australian Greens.”
The WikiLeaks Party explained at the time that this was an administrative error. Claims that they were supporting fascists is nonsense and a complete misunderstanding of how the Australian electoral systems works. In Australia ALL parties have to be put on the preference form, you cannot just skip over the ones that you do not like and exclude them.
Additionally, the WikiLeaks Party is a separate entity from the publishing organization and was closed after the 2013 election.
One of the social media volunteers from the campaign, a Syrian refugee in Australia, has occasionally used the dormant accounts to promote her agenda — which was also not endorsed by WikiLeaks.
The Daily Beast is owned by IAC, and Chelsea Clinton sits on their board of directors. Perhaps they should have to disclose this conflict of interest before peddling smears about a real news organization.