Why Everyone Should Do What WikiLeaks Did

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readNov 16, 2017

By far the best thing about the WikiLeaks-Don Jr. controversy has been watching the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC who spent a year and a half priming everyone for President Hillary now saying, “Ha! WikiLeaks claims they’re a legitimate news organization, and yet here they are, advancing an agenda!”

WikiLeaks has an agenda. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t exist. I have an agenda, too. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t write. And I’ll tell you right now that if I had the ear of the US president’s son, I would most certainly use it to advance my agenda.

I can’t speak for WikiLeaks, but anyone who’s been paying them any attention at all is aware that it is not, as mainstream pundits have been falsely contending, a completely neutral and agendaless “radical transparency” outlet. Any casual glance at Julian Assange’s Twitter page makes it abundantly clear that he is a fiercely opinionated man with a very clear idea of where power structures exist in the world, and he spends much of his time openly and unapologetically trying to sabotage the interests of those power structures. I can say exactly the same things about myself.

It is clear that Julian Assange is trying to attack the unelected power establishment which has loosely centralized itself in the United States, and he’s throwing every weapon at it that he has available to him. When attacking a structure that is dependent on government opacity this will necessarily include publishing leaks, and it will also include directing public attention to the mechanisms of that power structure.

This is exactly what we saw in all of the published Don Jr. interactions. The WikiLeaks Twitter account (likely via Assange though possibly through someone else at times) contacted a presidential candidate’s son with:

  • Information about a pro-Iraq war PAC which it said was now running an anti-Trump site, with the password to a press review site so he could see it and comment on its content.
  • A request for help circulating a story about Hillary Clinton’s alleged suggestion to “just drone” Julian Assange.
  • A link and a suggestion that Trump get his followers digging through the Podesta emails for incriminating information.
  • A request for Trump’s tax return and any other negative information that was at risk for being leaked by establishment media.
  • A suggestion that Trump not concede the election he was expected to lose so as to draw attention to the massive problems in America’s electoral system, specifically “media corruption, primary corruption, PAC corruption etc.”
  • A suggestion that Trump ask Australia to make Assange ambassador to DC, knowing they “won’t do it”, but in order to “send the right signals” to the US allies who’ve been collaborating with US power to keep him a de facto political prisoner.
  • A couple more links it wanted more attention on.
  • A suggestion that Don Jr. publish the information on his Trump Tower meeting with them.

That’s all of them, in order. If WikiLeaks were a purely neutral journalism outlet with no agenda other than publishing leaks, these transactions would look weird and suspicious. If, like me, you see WikiLeaks as an organization dedicated to gumming up the gears of America’s unelected power establishment, then you’ll have a hard time understanding why anyone’s making a big deal about any of this.

A converted pro-Iraq war PAC is about the most disgusting thing I can think of. The story about Clinton’s alleged suggestion to “just drone the guy” was horrific. The Podesta emails turned up loads of extremely incriminating information. Publishing leaks before establishment outlets could twist and lie about it, as The Atlantic did with its publications of the Don Jr. private messages, sabotages the establishment propaganda machine. America ranks dead last out of all western democracies in election integrity; media corruption, primary corruption and PAC corruption are all very real things, and highlighting this attacks the interests of the power structure which profits from that lack of election integrity. Wanting to screw with Clinton loyalists is par, and wanting to get out of the Ecuadorian embassy is normal.

WikiLeaks did exactly what I would do, and so should you. We should all be shamelessly attacking the unelected power structure which keeps our planet locked in endless war while promoting ecocidal corporate interests which threaten the very ecosystemic context in which our species evolved. And we should be willing to use any tools at our disposal to do that.

I’ve been quite shameless about the fact that I’m happy to have my ideas advanced by people all across the political spectrum, from far left to far right. I will never have the ear of the US President’s eldest son, but if I did I wouldn’t hesitate to try and use that advantage if I thought I could get him to put our stuff out there. This wouldn’t mean that I support the US president, it would mean that I saw an opening to throw an anti-establishment idea over the censorship fence into mainstream consciousness, and I exploited the partisan self-interest of a mainstream figure to do that.

We should all be willing to do this. We should all get very clear that America’s unelected power establishment is the enemy, and we should shamelessly attack it with any weapons we’ve got. I took a lot of heat for expressing my willingness to have my ideas shared by high profile individuals on the far right, and I see the same outrage converging upon Assange. Assange isn’t going to stop attacking the establishment death machine with every tool at his disposal because of this outrage, though, and neither am I. The more people we have attacking the elites free from any burden of partisan or ideological nonsense, the better.

The plutocrat-centered second government which is killing our species is not partisan, so our attacks can’t be limited by partisan loyalties. Don Jr. was a tool for WikiLeaks to advance an attack upon the interests of the death machine, but if you think that makes Assange a Republican loyalist you’re simply not looking at things clearly. He used a weapon at his disposal to land a knockout blow and cause the establishment to lose control of the narrative. That’s what I will do at every opportunity, and you should too.

UPDATE 11/16/17: The sentence “Information about a pro-Iraq war PAC which it said was now running an anti-Trump site, with the password to a press review site so he could see it and comment on its content” previously read “Information about a pro-Iraq war PAC which it said was now running an anti-Trump site, and advice on how to sabotage the interests of that PAC”. It has been edited to more accurately reflect the nature of the WikiLeaks-Don Jr correspondence; WikiLeaks was giving Don Jr a password so he could see the site before it launched for purposes of commenting.


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