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Under Obama, the CIA wanted to define Julian Assange and other journalists as “information brokers” in order to intensify their espionage. And during the Trump era, he made plans to kidnap or kill the founder of WikiLeaks.

Claims about the extraordinary efforts the CIA led by Director Mike Pompeo was willing to go to to secure Assange were made on Sunday in a Yahoo News report based on interviews with more than 30 former U.S. officials. The report offers insight into how the US national security apparatus has escalated its war with WikiLeaks under two back-to-back US administrations.

At the height of preparations for hostilities in 2017, the CIA expected Russian agents to help Assange escape the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In such an event, the Americans, along with the British, planned to engage in street battles against the Russians, potentially triggering a firefight, hitting a Russian diplomatic vehicle, or pulling the tires of a Russian plane for l ‘prevent it from taking off. , says the story. The attempt to make Assange gush would have been expected on Christmas Eve.

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“It was beyond the comic” a former senior official told the media outlet about the situation near the embassy at the time. “It got to the point where every human within a three-block radius worked for one of the intelligence services – whether they were street sweepers, police or security guards. “

The CIA was also considering plans to kill Assange and other WikiLeaks members, according to the report. Alternatively, the agency was considering snatching him from the Embassy and bringing him to the United States, or handing him over to British authorities. At the time, the UK wanted Assange to ignore bail in an extradition trial at Sweden’s request – a case that has since been closed.

The possibility of successful rendition or assassination has been described as “ridiculous” by an intelligence officer, because of the location. “It’s not Pakistan or Egypt – we’re talking about London”, the source was quoted as saying. There was also resistance within the Trump administration that such an operation could be considered illegal under US law. A source said that the use of CIA powers intended solely for espionage-versus-spy activities would be “the same kind of shit we shot in the war on terror.”

As far as the CIA is concerned, WikiLeaks instigated these extreme measures after the so-called “Vault 7” publications, which exposed a cyber-offensive toolkit used by US agents. The leak of these tools was a major humiliation for US intelligence, so “Pompey and [then-Deputy CIA Director Gina] Haspel wanted revenge on Assange ”, Yahoo has been told.

Pompeo had to make legal maneuvers so that the agency could go more aggressively after Assange and WikiLeaks without then-President Donald Trump approving such operations. When, shortly after taking office, he sadly called WikiLeaks a “hostile non-state intelligence service” during a public speech, it was more than rhetoric, according to the report. Designating in this way allowed the CIA to file its espionage under “Offensive counter-espionage” activities which he is authorized to carry out of his own free will.

“I don’t think people realize how [the] The CIA can do under the offensive [counterintelligence] and how there is minimal monitoring of it ”, said a former official.

As Pompeo’s CIA stepped up its “War against WikiLeaks” At 11, even under then-President Barack Obama, the agency was also looking for ways to target the transparency group. He lobbied the White House to re-designate WikiLeaks and a number of high profile journalists, including Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras as “Information brokers” allowing more surveillance powers to be deployed against them, the report said.

“Is WikiLeaks a journalistic medium? Are Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald really journalists? a source speculated in an interview with Yahoo News. “We tried to change the definition, and I preached it in the White House and got rejected.”

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Ultimately, Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy and currently remains in a high-security UK prison. The United States has appealed a court ruling denying its extradition request on piracy charges. Procedures are expected to resume next month.

Concerns over the jeopardy of the U.S. case against Assange were among the factors preventing CIA factories from going any further, according to Yahoo News. Assange’s defense team hope this turns out to be true.

“My hope and expectations are that the UK courts will examine this information and this will further strengthen his decision not to extradite him to the United States,” he added. his attorney, Barry Pollack, told the outlet when questioned about alleged CIA plans targeting his client.

Resentment towards Assange is a bipartisan business in the American establishment. Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, reportedly joked about “buzzing” the Australian citizen in 2010, but later said she couldn’t remember saying that.

The presidential election and the publication of Democratic emails by WikiLeaks were a pivotal moment for the CIA’s campaign against Assange, according to Yahoo News, as it was able to claim that the leak was carried out in collaboration with the services. Russian intelligence. WikiLeaks denied it, and Moscow insists the accusation of election interference was baseless and part of the Democrats’ attempt to downplay Clinton’s defeat.

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