The future of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange appears more uncertain, with American republicans divided on whether to pardon him or label Wikileaks as a ‘hostile non-state intelligence service.’ Republican Dana Rohrabacher, who serves as chairman of a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, indicated that Assange could be pardoned in light of alleged proof which would debunk Trump-Russia. However, Trump has recently taken a sharp stance against Wikileaks, leaving the possibility of Assange’s freedom hanging in the balance.
Disobedient Media previously reported on the meeting between Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. In the wake of this meeting, Rohrabacher alleged that Assange had discussed having proof that Russia did not ‘hack’ the election. Rohrabacher promised to show any pertinent information to the President before making it public. The Hill also recounted that Rohrabacher had said he had information, which he planned to carry back to Trump when he returned to the United States. This included a request that WikiLeaks be given a White House press pass.”
Assange quickly responded to Rohrabacher’s statements, emphasizing that he does not speak through third parties.
Rohrabacher’s promise to show any information he had received from Assange to President Trump personally was corroborated by Roll Call earlier today; their report stated that a private meeting may be in the making between Rohrabacher and the President. Zeropointnow also reported that Rohrabacher had told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that a ‘rendezvous’ between himself and Trump was being arranged so he could convey information proving Russia didn’t hack the DNC during the 2016 election.”
If Rohrabacher is in possession of proof that would ultimately debunk the Russian hacking narrative, it would vindicate earlier reports by Disobedient Media and The Nation which suggested that the DNC leaks may have been perpetrated by an insider as opposed to Russian hackers. It would also validate the Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity’s (VIPS) memorandum to the President which has come under heavy fire in legacy media.
The Nation has also received severe criticism from establishment press for their article which questioned the Russian hacking narrative. Independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone expressed disgust after The Nation added what she called an ‘unnecessary Editor’s note’ to the piece. Disobedient Media previously reported on calls from the Washington Post and others for the respected liberal outlet to retract the piece, which this author viewed as an attack on The Nation’s intellectual honesty.
Disobedient Media has previously covered Rohrabacher’s visit in an op-ed piece expressing the opinion that if Rohrabacher has information which would concretely disprove the Russian Hacking narrative, then he must seek an unbiased expert third party opinion validating such information before it is made public, in the interest of preventing legacy media from being able to dismiss the evidence.
Despite Rohrabacher’s statements, Trump’s recent sharp criticism of Wikileaks suggests that the Trump administration might be ill-inclined to negotiate in favor of Assange’s freedom. Earlier this week, Trump berated Obama’s release of Chelsea Manning during a press conference, as noted by Assange via Twitter.
Trump’s change of heart towards Wikileaks was in total contrast to his words on the 2016 campaign trail, where he mentioned Wikileaks often, going so far as to enthuse: “I love Wikileaks.”
Many have viewed this change of heart as representative of a larger shift in the Trump White House, amidst the firing of other key insiders, the most recent example being the ousting of Steve Bannon. At the very least it indicates some kind of division between Republicans like Rohrabacher who are in favor of potentially pardoning Assange, and those who would echo Trump’s latest hardline comments.
Further complicating this image is the news that a bill currently in the Senate would seek to label Wikileaks a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service,’ which has inspired concern that it would set a terrible precedent for both journalism and free speech. This in combination with Trump’s harsh words would not appear to bode well for Assange, in contrast to the optimistic tone of Rohrabacher.
It remains to be seen as to what effect Trump’s increasingly anti-Wikileaks stance will have on future decisions in regards to Wikileaks and the possibility of a pardon for its editor in chief Julian Assange, who has been illegally and immorally detained in the Ecuadorian embassy for five years.
If Rohrabacher is able to meet with Trump, it appears absolutely up in the air as to what the President’s response will be. Although it might seem logical that Trump would jump at the possibility of proof debunking Trump-Russia allegations, his most recent statements denouncing Wikileaks do not appear to bode well for Julian Assange’s hope for a pardon and long-awaited release from arbitrary detention in the Ecuadorian embassy.