Michael Isikoff is at it again – this time with co-authors Zack Dorfan, and Sean Naylor – in a long, pot-holed piece posted Sunday on Yahoo where Isikoff is "chief investigative correspondent." Seeing the title, wouldn’t you dip in? "Kidnapping, assassination and a London shoot-out: Inside the CIA’s secret war plans against WikiLeaks."
I sent a quick tweet to alert those many readers, who are malnourished by the corporate media, to the subliminal but clear subtext; the Big Lie that Assange was a Russian agent. (After all, he published DNC emails "hacked by the Russians" to hurt candidate Clinton and throw the 2016 election to Trump. Right? "Hacked"? = Wrong.)
Michael Isikoff, the Hans Christian Andersen laureate of investigative journalism, co-author of fairytale “Russian Roulette” is still spinning tales told him by CIA sources, including the proven lie about “the Russian DNC hack”. Read this with that in mind. https://t.co/NuHdSr9gM4— Ray McGovern (@raymcgovern) September 26, 2021
The Yahoo article has a wealth of shoot-em-up detail – the most plausible of which were long since revealed. The more dramatic, new ones seem woven out of WMD-type cloth aimed at those millions still brainwashed on Russia-gate. There is ample braggadocio of derring-do planning designed to avenge Julian Assange’s role in publishing those Hillary-embarrassing DNC emails "hacked by the Russians."
The sense is: If only those wimpish lawyers had not stood in the way, we would have gotten our man! Shoot up any Russians trying to steal Assange and "bring him to Russia"? No problem. First amendment for Assange? No problem.
Derring-do – or Don’t
We are told, for example:
The CIA and the White House began preparing for a number of scenarios to foil Assange’s Russian departure plans, according to three former officials. Those included potential gun battles with Kremlin operatives on the streets of London, crashing a car into a Russian diplomatic vehicle transporting Assange and then grabbing him, and shooting out the tires of a Russian plane carrying Assange before it could take off for Moscow.
Isikoff et al. continue:
"…in the summer of 2016, at the height of the presidential election season, came a seismic episode in the U.S. government’s evolving approach to WikiLeaks, when the website began publishing Democratic Party emails. The US intelligence community later concluded the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU had hacked the emails. [Emphasis added to cry "foul."]
"In response to the leak, … NSA collection revealed direct messages between operatives, who went by the moniker Guccifer 2.0, and WikiLeaks’ Twitter account. [Emphasis added, since "Guccifer 2.0" is a proven fraud.] . Assange at the time steadfastly denied that the Russian government was the source for the emails, which were also published by mainstream news organizations.
"Even so, Assange’s communication with the suspected operatives settled the matter for some US officials. The events of 2016 "really crystallized" US intelligence officials’ belief that the WikiLeaks founder "was acting in collusion with people who were using him to hurt the interests of the United States," said Robert Litt [former general counsel to James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence].
"After the publication of the Democratic Party emails, there was "zero debate" on the issue of whether the CIA would increase its spying on WikiLeaks, said a former intelligence official."
Isikoff and his co-authors are disingenuous, to be charitable, in trying to breathe new life into the cadaver of Russia-gate – especially the long disproven charge that Russia hacked the DNC emails. One factor in the timing of the Yahoo article may well be an attempt to distract attention from the constantly piling-up evidence that Russia-gate was manufactured by lawyers working for Hillary Clinton – first and foremost Michael Sussmann. Have a look at authentic investigative reporter Aaron Mate’s latest: "With Clinton lawyer charged, the Russiagate scam is now under indictment" of Sept. 20."
No Stake Yet in R-Gate Vampire
Here’s how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation in a comment under one of my articles:
"… One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won’t relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in 2016, and they’d all throw up their hands and say, ‘aha! So, God’s in on this too!’ It’s the great lie that won’t die."
I’m not so sure it will never die. But, sadly, thanks to the likes of Isikoff and his Yahoo followers, it is likely to be a while yet, before the proverbial fat lady sings.
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).