Note: This article was co-authored with William Craddick, but all first-person references refer to Elizabeth Vos.
Early yesterday, journalist Duncan Campbell published an inaccurate, deceptive smear piece which doxxed independent journalist Adam Carter, while also misrepresenting the findings of members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, the Forensicator, and me.
In the wake of the hit-piece, Adam Carter has publicly stated that he is considering taking legal action due to the libelous material contained in Campbell’s work. Over the coming days and weeks, Disobedient Media will likely publish multiple articles addressing the issue. However, this initial response is dedicated to placing the character assassination attempt firmly into the context in which it belongs: as part of the larger picture surrounding WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Russiagate, and the establishment’s desperate attempts to prevent the latter from falling apart.
First: What might have provoked Campbell to publish such a long-winded, factually baseless attack at this particular time?
Timing Is Everything
On the same day that Campbell’s venal attack was published in Computer Weekly, news emerged that the government of Ecuador appears closer than ever to an attempt to illegally rescind the asylum of politically imprisoned journalist Julian Assange. While the Ecuadorian government’s decision to become enmeshed with the whims of the US Deep State is beyond the scope of this article, a significant escalation in attacks – some virtually simultaneously – on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange over the last few weeks has become all-too-visible. In this context, it comes as no surprise to see the publication of a hit-piece against an independent media outlet, journalists and whistleblowers who have factually critiqued the NeoMcCarthyist legacy press Russiagate hysteria at this time.
Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry: "It is in the interest of Ecuador and also of Mr. Assange that the asylum be terminated": https://t.co/68MO4i7q3K
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 1, 2018
The Computer Weekly article’s release came less than 24 hours after the publication of thousands of leaked chat logs from a “low-security” WikiLeaks Supporters group, which also provided re-heated fodder for establishment press throughout the day. As Caitlin Johnstone observed of the latest underhanded attack on WikiLeaks, many of the chat logs had been previously reported by the Intercept:
“Among the latest components of this campaign has been a viral dump of Twitter DMs being promoted as a hot news item by outlets like Motherboard, The Hill, Forbes and Think Progress and across #Resistance Twitter. The fact that the juicy bits from those DMs had already been published months ago by The Intercept… has not dampened the orgiastic frenzy with which this non-story is being bandied about by establishment loyalists and defenders of power as evidence of Assange’s nefariousness.”
Christine Assange also addressed the escalation via Twitter:
— Mrs. Christine Assange (@AssangeMrs) August 1, 2018
How might the multiple smears aimed at WikiLeaks and independent media in the last two days relate to Ecuador’s alleged plans to imminently eject Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy? More importantly, why would such a scenario – Julian Assange’s illegal loss of asylum – invoke the Establishment media’s renewed attempts to smear WikiLeaks, as well as a near-simultaneous attempt to revive the undead corpse of Russiagate?
The answer to this comes from the strong possibility that, upon expulsion from the embassy, Julian Assange could provide proof that the DNC emails and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks were not sourced from Russia, or backed by the Kremlin, all without disclosing the identity of the source. Hence, the need for a one-two punch: first, to smear WikiLeaks’ reputation, and second, to invoke the unholy name of Guccifer 2.0, yet again, as a ‘Russian hacker’ by smearing those patriotic Americans who have dared question the Deep State’s constant lies.
Another factor which may have played a role in the timing of Campbell’s doxxing of Adam Carter has been the widespread reach of Carter’s recent report published with Disobedient Media, which rebutted the latest Mueller indictments virtually line-by-line. The piece managed to go semi-viral within the last two weeks, reaching tens of thousands of readers.
Before we take a dive into the foul, stagnant waters of Russiagate once again, there is another significant point to be made regarding Duncan Campbell’s appalling smear of Adam Carter.
The Disappearing Authoress
One might expect a journalist of Duncan Campbell’s supposed caliber to properly cite sources.
However, throughout the duration of his rambling smear, Campbell fails to so as much reference this writer’s involvement with Disobedient Media, much less the fact that I have authored all articles published with Disobedient Media that cover the Forensicator’s work, including multiple such articles published earlier this year.
Nonetheless, my name and my work goes totally unmentioned by Campbell in his lengthy “expose.”
So, did my voice simply fall unheard on male ears, as is so often the case? Or, is there a motive at work beyond mere sexism that results in my writing being intentionally overlooked? This question has nothing to do with egotism and everything to do with pointing out the manipulation that Duncan Campbell employs to avoid addressing evidence in the articles I’ve written that would rebut his claims.
First, my work covering the Forensicator’s studies discusses some of the factual evidence that Campbell might prefer his readers did not see for themselves. Secondly, my Green Party-supporting political stance doesn’t fit with his attempt to smear Disobedient Media as a bastion of the alt-right. By taking a scalpel and excising me from the historical record of the story he covers, Duncan creates a distorted, sliced-and-stitched version of the history he professes to clarify. After removing me from the picture, Campbell sews a caricature of my colleague and co-founder of Disobedient Media, William Craddick, into my place.
Campbell discusses unrelated works by Craddick, in the form of ad hominem attacks, instead of simply refuting material I have published that actually pertains to the Russian hacking issue. This, despite the fact that William has not covered the Forensicator’s findings at any time. As a Jill Stein voter, I have pursued this issue not out of some slavish dedication to Trump, but out of respect for fact-based evidence over propaganda. That isn’t convenient for provoking NeoMcCarthyist religious fervor.
By replacing my female voice with that of my male colleague, Campbell perpetuates the silencing of women that is an all-too-common event in our patriarchal world (and has been for centuries). In refusing to acknowledge my reporting in my own right, he is not only ignoring facts, but engaging actively in an insidious form of sexism: figurative death by invisibility. We saw the same excising take place in Laura Poitras’ post-Election re-editing of her film about Julian Assange, “Risk”, where the brilliant and courageous women journalists and lawyers of WikiLeaks were, in Poitras’ editorialising, reduced to mere handmaidens.
Instead of proving his point factually, Campbell attempts to clumsily portray Disobedient Media as a pocket-outlet of the alt-right, specifically by cherry-picking Tweets and articles published by Craddick months and years apart from each other, none of which relate to Adam Carter or the Forensicator’s findings, or even Disobedient Media’s coverage of their analysis – which, again, were not penned in a single instance by William Craddick.
The Misquoting Of Bill Binney
Disobedient Media recently spoke with former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, who was featured in Campbell’s article.
Binney told us that he stands by the assessment made in the VIPS memorandum to President Trump, published last year. He told us that Duncan misrepresented his statements describing Guccifer 2.0 as a fabrication. While speaking with us, Binney utterly refuted Campbell’s dishonest portrayal of Binney having changed his stance on the issue.
Binney told this author that he referred specifically to Guccifer 2.0 as a fabrication, adding that it doesn’t matter where the information was downloaded, or when, or that the information was manipulated, because the point is that it was not hacked, and the who/where does not alter that fact. He said that Guccifer 2.0 was: “Clearly a fabrication, a fake, put out there to confuse. Timing is irrelevant, fake is fake. You can manipulate timing, you can change anything, but it doesn’t matter. It makes no difference.”
He added: “We [VIPS members] were calling it fake from the beginning, and we still do.”
Binney told us: “We agreed it was a download, not a hack, the whole thing was a set up – we can’t prove who is responsible or where they were located, but that is irrelevant because it was still a download, not a hack, which tells us that the Guccifer 2.0 persona was a fabrication.” He added that Julian Assange and Craig Murray can prove the origin of the information, and that both have stated clearly that the Russian state was not their source.
Binney confirmed that, though Campbell captured the essence of what he said in terms of referencing a fraud, Campbell distorted Binney’s view by framing its presentation so as to appear as if he had changed his mind on the matter.
Binney stated that he found Duncan’s article to be “long and confusing”, lacking in evidence, adding that he prefers a “Nice, clear argument, with lots of evidence.” Binney explained to Disobedient Media that he also took issue with Duncan’s presentation of the Mueller indictments, and with the vicious doxxing of Adam Carter in what he called “Some vague attempt to suggest that Carter is an agent of the Russians.”
Binney reminded this writer that if a hack had occurred, the NSA would have been able to show not only that the intrusion took place, but who was responsible, and where the information was sent. Binney stated that the lack of such evidence having been produced by the NSA, especially the inability to prove that hacked information was ever sent to WikiLeaks, may have played a role in the NSA’s lukewarm “moderate” confidence in Russian interference, in comparison with the CIA and FBI’s confidence in the matter. Binney added that in this case, the only agency whose opinion matters is the NSA’s.
Doxxing of Adam Carter
The doxxing of Adam Carter is no laughing matter. Campbell goes beyond conflating the work of Carter with that of the Forensicator, needlessly exposing details of Carter’s life in a shocking, unnecessary manner that has no relevance regarding the validity of his work. He penalizes Carter for choosing to do his investigative work under a pseudonym. Perhaps Duncan Campbell is unaware of the rich and illustrious history of pen names used by writers for fear their work would be misunderstood, ridiculed or – it or themselves – come under attack if it were written under their own names? Say Hello, George Eliot and Voltaire. And, of course, George Orwell.
Unsatisfied with his inability to even superficially link Disobedient Media, Adam Carter or VIPS members to Russia, Campbell is forced to settle on accusing my colleagues and I of – the horror! – living with our parents. One has to laugh at the level of desperation in such asinine ad-hominem rubbish.
One gets the distinct impression when reading Campbell’s rambling diatribe that he is using Carter as a stand-in because he cannot similarly doxx the Forensicator, whose work VIPS cited in the memorandum which Duncan disputes. (It was after Carter wrote a critique of an article co-authored by Campbell about the VIPS memo that the latter’s doxxing campaign against Carter first began.) So, Campbell is forced to meld the two individuals and their work into one glob of false allegations and innuendos, while attempting to destroy Adam Carter’s life as much as possible in the process.
Campbell repeatedly conflates a desire for privacy with ill-intent, portraying anonymity itself as an automatic indicator of guilt. This is unsurprising, though disappointing, in an age of constant surveillance and invasion of privacy by intelligence agencies. To protect one’s identity is being construed as verging on the criminal.
Fears Of Collapsing Narratives And Insecurity Over European Instability
Computer Weekly’s decision to attack reporting critical of the European Union (EU) and European politicians shows an increasing desperation to control a narrative that has become severely challenged due to EU failures in dealing with the migrant crisis and concerns regarding continued integration of member states. The tech journal was specific in the articles it chose to target:
- A report exposing corruption surrounding the European common defense force, now labeled PESCO, and the German government’s role in allowing some terror attacks to occur on European soil;
- Documentation of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s systematic and routine association with individuals and organizations with ties to Islamic Terror groups such as Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, ISIS, Al-Qaeda and the Al-Nusra Front over the course of his career;
- Daring to mention the fact that documents published online (which to this day have never been either verified or proven to be forgeries) claimed Emmanuel Macron was in possession of offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands.
The targeting of censorship, propaganda and underhanded attacks in Campbell’s Computer Weekly article outlined above paints a picture of European leaders who have been left embarrassed at their inability to provide security to their citizens and failed to properly handle the process of European integration in a manner that is transparent and free of corruption. They have been, along with their cousins across the Atlantic in the United States, totally unable to properly respond to the advent of populist politics that have swept through regions of Europe and totally transformed the political landscape in America.
Instead of adapting, European and American special interests collaborated to interfere in the US Presidential Election by engaging in illegal covert activities and propaganda that has caused serious and unnecessary diplomatic issues internationally.
The decision to double down and attack independent outlets such as Disobedient Media and WikiLeaks shows a pervasive insecurity on the part of the Western political Establishment. Rather than address the issues which have led to problems across the West, a decision has been made to ignore them in favor of consolidating an untenable position.
Hillary Clinton’s Outrage Machine
However, Shareblue is closely tied to Hillary Clinton, with The New York Times affectionately referring to it as ‘Hillary Clinton’s Outrage Machine’ in 2016. The organization effectively ran a multi-million dollar troll army in favor of Clinton in the lead-up to the 2016 US Presidential election.
The importance of this context becomes clear when we observe that, just as disingenuous attacks in support of NeoMcCarthyist fervor are linked to Clinton and her proxy organizations, so too are aspects of both the ‘Russian Hacking’ and ‘Russian Collusion‘ sagas. Aspects of all these issues tie back to Clinton and her close supporters: a correlation which is very interesting indeed.
Following on from this, one may recall that the impetus for the birth of Russiagate stemmed from a need to deflect from bombshell revelations of election rigging in the 2016 Democratic Primary. WikiLeaks’ publication of the DNC emails and Podesta emails collections revealed the open collusion between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and members of the press.
This is the truth that we have spent so much energy debunking Russiagate to remember. Beyond the smoke and mirrors is the legacy of real election hacking, which took place on American soil, and which actually guaranteed the Presidency of Donald Trump more concretely than any Russian ever could.
As Disobedient Media recently observed, Russiagate is ultimately a distraction from beginning to end. It is not intended to be believed, which is confirmed yet again by the glaring holes in Campbell’s legacy-tarnishing diatribe. It is meant to fuel the legacy press newscycle in the hopes of convincing the masses to turn their heads away in the event that Julian Assange proves the Russiagate saga a farce once and for all, should he be illegally removed from the Ecuadorian embassy.
Again: even Duncan Campbell does not intend to convince. He intends to smear, rapid-fire, and move on, leaving legitimate independent journalists, analysts and whistleblowers to pick up the factual pieces and reassemble them. Given the glaring inaccuracy of his report, set against his journalistic reputation established over a 40-year career of highly specialized writing, it is highly unlikely in this writer’s opinion that Campbell is simply ignorant on the topic he is covering.
Instead, it is much more likely that he is intentionally manipulating his coverage of the subject to create and feed a narrative that silences critics of Russiagate just prior to a crucial moment.
Ultimately, though, what is too easily lost sight of in this latest episode of a repetitive drama is the real damage suffered by Adam Carter, purely for the ‘crime’ of attempting to preserve his anonymity while also reporting accurately on the Guccifer 2.0 persona, and – God forbid! – tweeting negatively about Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
As a final note, this article is not intended to provide a full response to Duncan Campbell’s reckless reporting, but is intended to place his hit-piece in context before delving deeper into the technical inaccuracies to be found in Campbell’s work.
Disobedient Media will continue to expose manipulative falsehoods related to this topic as they arise.