PHONE USE, VISITORS REPORTEDLY DENIED
by Sharon Rondeau
The article cited, published on Friday by an Australian newspaper, reported, in part:
Electronic jammers have been placed inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London to prevent WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange having access to the internet or social media, sources say.
The Ecuadorian government took the measure on Tuesday evening, stopping Assange from tweeting, using the internet or phone.
He has also been refused any visitors to the embassy…
At the time, Assange was wanted for questioning in a case originating in Sweden. After eventually questioning him at the embassy, Swedish authorities dropped their extradition request last May.
Assange resisted traveling to Sweden to answer questions as a result of his fear that he would then be extradited to the U.S. on espionage charges for having published, and allegedly participated in securing, U.S. military documents and cables from then-Sgt. Bradley Manning in 2010.
Last week Assange had been critical on Twitter about the British government’s swift and harsh action against the Russian government for its alleged role in poisoning a former Russian intelligence agent and his daughter in early March.
Ecuador claimed that Assange had violated a stipulation not to make comments that could interfere in that nation’s relationships with other countries. According to the Australian paper, WikiLeaks representatives said there was no such agreement.
The UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats, with 20 other countries, including Australia and the U.S., following suit. Russia responded by announcing the expulsion of 60 U.S. diplomats and the closing of the U.S. embassy in St. Petersburg.
The former Russian agent, Sergei Skripal, remains in “critical but stable” condition, while his daughter, Yulia, is reportedly improving and able to speak. Both remain in a British hospital.
Last month Trump dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and nominated as his replacement current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who in April 2017 designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” allegedly sympathetic to the Russian government.
In March 2017, WikiLeaks released leaked CIA documents revealing many of the secretive agency’s “hacking tools,” according to Assange.
The mainstream media, citing the U.S. intelligence community, has claimed that Russian “hackers” penetrated the DNC’s servers beginning in 2015 and were responsible for transferring thousands of emails detrimental to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to WikiLeaks.
Assange has repeatedly said that he did not obtain the emails from any “state party.”
WikiLeaks supporter and internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has said that he “knows” that then-DNC Data Director Seth Rich was involved in transferring the emails to WikiLeaks, a claim the mainstream media has worked assiduously to discredit. “I was involved,” Dotcom has said, while offering through his attorneys to speak with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in relation to his “Russia” investigations.
Mueller has reportedly provided no response.
Rich was killed on July 10, 2016 near his Washington, DC townhouse in what Metro DC police have called a “botched robbery attempt.”
In an August 2016 interview with Dutch television, Assange arguably came very close to admitting that Rich was his source but stopped short. However, he announced that WikiLeaks was offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to Rich’s killer(s).
The case remains unsolved, and the Rich family has filed two recent lawsuits. The parents have sued Fox News, one of its writers, and a commentator for allegedly drawing a nonexistent connection between their late son and WikiLeaks; and Rich’s remaining brother, Aaron, has sued The Washington Times, America First Media Group, and the same Fox News commentator for allegedly disseminating false and damaging information about him related to the release of the DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
America First’s Matt Couch and his team have spent the last week in Washington, DC to further their independent investigation into Rich’s death.
Dotcom, too, is wanted for extradition to the U.S. stemming from his now-defunct “Megaupload” website, which Hollywood actors complained violated their copyrights. Dotcom has claimed that the January 2012 shuttering of his business and seizing of his assets is an illegal action by the Obama Justice Department and FBI.