What The Hell Has Happened To Wikileaks?

Are we sure he's not just Bill Maher with funny hair? Funnier hair?

So remember how WikiLeaks was once this really edgy freedom-promotin' free speech place that seemed to live up to the geek slogan "Information Wants To Be Free," as embodied in the leaks that detailed slimy U.S. combat operations in Iraq and also Afghanistan? But then Julian Assange also turned out to be kind of a creeper who wrote gross erotic fantasies? More recently, we're all left wondering whether Assange is in some kind of kinky three-way with Trump and Putin, and ick? So. We aren't sure what the fuck is really up with Wikileaks, but they sure did a fine job of raising Trumpettes' hopes that any minute now, WikiLeaks would release a huge Cocktober Surprise that would finally send Hillary Clinton to jail, except no, that didn't happen either:

For weeks, backers of Republican nominee Donald Trump have hyped the tantalizing possibility that the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks was on the verge of publishing a set of documents that would doom Hillary Clinton’s chances in November.

“@HillaryClinton is done,” longtime Trump associate Roger Stone tweeted Saturday. “#Wikileaks.”

The group’s founder, Julian Assange, did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm, suggesting to Fox News hosts that his scoops could upend the race with documents “associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles, some quite interesting.”

But what actually happened was that on Tuesday, WikiLieaks held a great big press conference that was mostly about marketing WikiLeaks, and was largely uncontaminated by surprises, except the surprise that there was no surprise. That's the joke.

Over the course of two hours Tuesday — with the world’s media and bleary-eyed Trump die-hards across the United States tuning in — Assange and other WikiLeaks officials railed against “neo-McCarthyist hysteria,” blasted the mainstream press, appealed for donations and plugged their books (“40 percent off!”).

But what they didn’t do was provide any new information about Clinton — or about anything else, really.

The much-vaunted news conference, as it turned out, was little more than an extended infomercial for WikiLeaks on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of its founding.

Oh, that neo-McCarthyist hysteria! It's almost as if the people glowering about it don't realize Russia's not communist these days!

As to the presser, it was a bit underwhelming. Poor Alex Jones, who had looked forward to it as “historic” and insisted “the Clintons will be devastated” by whatever it was Assange was going to reveal, was Very Upset Indeed:

This is Hillary's October surprise: Julian Assange, Julian Assange trolling the world, is Hillary's October Surprise. Julian Assange is a Hillary butt plug.

Looks like the bromance may be over. Also, "Hillary Butt Plug" would make a great name for a punk band. Still, Assange promised he'll be releasing all sorts of exciting information on EVERYTHING:

He also announced that the site had more than 1 million documents it planned to release before the end of the year, including documents on weapons, oil, Google, surveillance and the 2016 elections. He promised the election documents would be released before Nov. 8.

But Assange cautioned that the election leaks might not be the Clinton-busters Stone and Jones were anticipating, calling claims that he is specifically stocking documents “intending to harm” the Democratic nominee “false,” saying he has been misquoted and there is an “attempt to personalize the publications.”

He still teased that some documents would have a "significant" bearing on the U.S. election, which in Julian Assange's self-important mind could mean anything.

Wikileaks has been getting a little weird on its Twitter feed lately, too, with some astonishing news flashes that were pretty far from astonishing, or even reality, like a tweet linking to a dubiously sourced story at conspiracy website "True Pundit" claiming that in 2010, Hillary Clinton explored a drone strike on Julian Assange:

On October 2, True Pundit posted an article claiming that during a meeting of “State’s top brass” in 2010 to discuss how to deal with Wikileaks, Clinton asked of Assange, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” The site only attributes the comment to anonymous “State Department sources. ”The fact-checking website Snopes looked into the True Pundit article and found their claim “unproven,” pointing out that the source of their purported Clinton quote was “a vague and anonymous reference that does not yield to verification.” (It’s also unclear why multiple sources with knowledge of this supposed incident that took place in a meeting of senior State Department staff would choose to leak them to a minor conspiracy blogger rather than a credible news outlet.)

Not explained by the True Pundit story: How Clinton planned to get away with a drone strike in Australia or Britain, where Assange was mostly based at the time. Eh, both countries are part of the New World Order, so they probably would've been cool with it. Still, it was Journamalism, and so the story got picked up by all sorts of credible credulous sources:

RT, the international news network owned by the Russian government, picked up the True Pundit story. Wikileaks’ official Twitter account also promoted the story, as did Trump allies Alex Jones and Roger Stone. FoxNews.com cited the Wikileaks tweet in its report on Assange rescheduling the time of a proposed address this week.

But wait. Haven't we heard of True Pundit before? In fact, we have! They're the very excellent investigative journalists who sussed out that Hillary Clinton scratching her face, or looking at the moderator, were proof that she and debate moderator Lester Holt had colluded to #rig the Trump-Clinton debate. Also, they sussed out that the opposite of that was also true.

So they are a pretty good website!

Not only does WikiLeaks' Twitter now take its facts from wacky conspiracy sites -- we're looking forward to the truth about chemtrails next -- we have to say that for an organization dedicated to getting the facts out, they've got some weird ideas about what "facts" are, as we see in this silly little example that is an August 10 tweet:

Yr Editrix noticed that one and called them out Monday

Still, credit where it's due! (To us. The credit is due to us.) A half hour later, they posted an updated, slightly less wrong version!

Much better!

Sure, it probably should have said Beckel is a former Democratic strategist -- he'd been full time on Fox since 2011, and that's the network he said the drone thing on. But isn't it more fun, and less likely to upset their good friends at Fox, if he's noted as (now!) working at CNN?

Still, onward and upward with bringing the world all the uncomfortable facts, Wikileaks -- regardless of whether they come unsourced from a conspiracy theory blog, or contain whopping errors that any cable TV news viewer can point out.

[WaPo / The Hill / True Pundit / Nick Ramsey on Twitter / Media Matters]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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