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Craig Murray: the Guardian tells “deliberate lies” about Assange and alleged Russia ties

Catte
Article revised 26/9/18 to reflect that Mr Assange was never formally charged with any criminal offense.

Craig Murray’s allegations about the extent of the selectivity and frank dishonesty underpinning the Guardian’s recent “reveal” regarding Julian Assange and his alleged (and seemingly entirely invented) bid to “escape” to Russia, should shock us all. Even those of us all too familiar with the Graun’s decline, and with self-styled journalist Luke Harding’s previous collisions with basic ethics and confused relationship with veridical reality.

For those not familiar with the story, here’s a quick recap.

On Friday September 21 the Guardian published a piece titled “Revealed: Russia’s secret plan to help Assange escape from UK”. It was authored by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Dan Collyns and our very own pulp plagiarist Luke Harding. Even without Murray’s subsequent revelations, there was a lot to be concerned about both in the headline and the article itself.

The headline worryingly invoked the idea both that Assange was effectively a prisoner of the UK (which the UK government has always denied), and that, as far as the Guardian was concerned, this was actually fine, and the only real problem might be Russia’s alleged plan to “help him escape.” This is worrying because it betrays the depth of estrangement from basic ideas of ethics, legality and morality that the current Russia-hysteria embodies. The headline has been composed by people who think anything Russia does and anyone Russia associates with is so automatically evil that merely invoking the name renders all ethical/legal/moral questions nul.

It has not occurred to the people who wrote this headline that Assange needing to “escape” from a country in which he is accused of nothing beyond skipping bail (on an alleged sexual assault in Sweden, since dismissed), is maybe an indictment of that country. To them, the mere fact “Russia” allegedly planned to help Assange in that escape means Assange is the bad guy, and they genuinely expect their readers to see it the same way. They no longer even see the need to explain what new bad thing Russia has done or why Russia should be despised, hated, distrusted, mocked. The word is enough. For them, “Russia” genuinely is a synonym for an all-consuming existential evil. And when confronted with people who don’t share this conviction they are baffled, outraged and convinced they are dealing with trolls.

The headline was also clickbait, in that it implied dramatic and possibly action-packed “escape” plans when the allegations in the body of the article merely claimed that some form of fudge was to be attempted by the Ecuadorians and allies of Assange to gain him diplomatic immunity in order to be able to leave the embassy without being immediately arrested. Again, anyone not enslaved by the neoliberal orthodoxies regarding Assange might think it no bad thing that an essentially innocent man might be helped out of an intolerable incarceration, but it never seems to occur to the authors of the Guardian piece that anyone could see it that way.

While the broad narrative may have been essentially true at least in part, the story of alleged Russian connivance was presented to us without a single named source and no verification:

Four separate sources said the Kremlin was willing to offer support for the plan – including the possibility of allowing Assange to travel to Russia and live there. One of them said that an unidentified Russian businessman served as an intermediary in these discussions.

The thinnest part of a fairly thin and unimpressive “reveal.”

As presented this article was nothing much – just another sloppy propaganda piece; shoddily put together, uncorroborated, unverified rumour posing as a scoop. Typical of the Guardian’s new output. But with Craig Murray’s intervention, the story takes another turn.

Murray says he was “closely involved” in the bid to get Assange out of the Ecuadorean embassy as described and uncompromisingly describes the Guardian’s claims that Assange was thinking of going to live in Russia as “deliberate lies”.

I have to drag myself to the keyboard to denounce a quite extraordinary set of deliberate lies published in the Guardian about a Russian plot to spring Julian Assange last December.

I was closely involved with Julian and with Fidel Narvaez of the Ecuadorean Embassy at the end of last year in discussing possible future destinations for Julian. It is not only the case that Russia did not figure in those plans, it is a fact that Julian directly ruled out the possibility of going to Russia as undesirable. Fidel Narvaez told the Guardian that there was no truth in their story, but the Guardian has instead chosen to run with “four anonymous sources” – about which sources it tells you no more than that.

It is very serious indeed when a newspaper like the Guardian prints a tissue of deliberate lies in order to spread fake news on behalf of the security services. I cannot find words eloquent enough to express the depth of my contempt for Harding and Katherine Viner, who have betrayed completely the values of journalism. The aim of the piece is evidently to add a further layer to the fake news of Wikileaks’ (non-existent) relationship to Russia as part of the “Hillary didn’t really lose” narrative. I am, frankly, rather shocked.

According to Murray, the Guardian deliberately lied. Not just fudged, or evaded, or implied, or elided. Lied. Suppressed information they knew disproved their claims. Promoted disinformation they knew to be false.

If he’s correct it means we need to recall this when assessing any other such unsourced garbage articles we find there. Proven liars must be assumed to be lying until it can be shown otherwise.

He’s right to be shocked.


54 Comments

    • Assange knows as well as anyone that his life would be in danger. A lot of powerful people have a lot to lose, so it will take thousands of people declaring a 9/11 coverup, and demand for a real investigation, preferably run by foreigners.

      • bloke says

        rubbish…. there are plenty of people that speak the truth about 9/11.. fact is.. in every poll on the matter.. the majority agree the official account is an utter impossibility..

        assange is as fake as it gets.. if he cant speak the truth of 9/11.. he is a fraud. simple as that.

  1. Sorry to pee on the daffs – but sussing the Grauniad’s form of establishment narrative doesn’t preclude sussing Russia’s equivalent hegemony as well.

    • “Russia’s equivalent hegemony”? More like a multipolarity of international relations to counter the real Anglo-Zionist hegemon?

  2. Mike Leach says

    I recently registered at The Guardian’s online site (for the banal reason that I wanted to read an article about cricket), since when they have bombarded me with spam emails advertising their site and asking me for a paid subscription.
    The latest one has the subject line “Our journalism can change the story”.
    Yep, no disagreement from me there.

      • Maggie says

        Hi Denis.
        I have not, but would really like to.
        Unfortunately this book is way out of my price bracket at almost £300….. Now, I wonder why that is?
        Could it be to keep the proles from the truth?

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        • Maggie, there is a link at the link you provided, which offers a free download of the book

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    • tempestteacup says

      The information in that link is absurd. Invoking the proletariat, and suggesting that such fictions are actually real, powerful forces in the class struggle, mean together that your post isn’t just the sort of conspiracy-theorising that is responsible for so much online guff. It is, instead, a very specific form of misdirection – and that’s why I am bothering to reply.

      Skull and Bones – Illuminati — do you, does anyone, seriously think that these real or unreal congeries of imbecilic rich people is responsible for the complex, oppressive system of exploitation, alienation and exchange under which we all live? That the million ways in which we are entangled in a system of which we are both subject and object can be explained by some facile narrative of secret clubs, handshakes, and conspiracies?

      Give over – it’s aboslute bollocks. Rich people collude with each other to secure their material interests; capitalism opposes workers and those in possession of the means of production in an antagonistic relation – these are objectively verifiable facts. From there, we can scrutinise and critique the prevailing system. Departing instead into a world where estoteric groups conspire and deploy vague, quasi-magical means to serve their endless, ahistoric, power isn’t just a distraction. It isn’t just bollocks. It acts to obscure what is really happening. So please don’t perpetuate it!

  3. Stop Luke and lend a critical mind to the mindless ramblings of the “Russian Punk” loving plagiarist. What are facts when there is money to be made? Harding’s lack of knowledge about Russia and integrity regarding reporting accurate facts is legend – and we need not bother ourselves with that.

    What is of concern if the abandonment of any form of reason and principle at the Guardian under the stewardship of Viner. Vacuous reporting mixed with outright lies have become the benchmark, Harding, Solon, Williams are prime culprits for spreading miss information, fact free screeds and damned lies! While the Guardian falsely claims to be providing news “…in an age in which people yearn for new ideas and fresh alternatives,” [wrote Viner]. How dumb can you get?

    In a blistering attack John Pilger wrote of this in his latest piece “HOLD THE FRONT PAGE. THE REPORTERS ARE MISSING” which forms the basis of his introduction to the new book by Medialens, “Propaganda Blitz” published by Pluto Press. http://johnpilger.com/articles/hold-the-front-page-the-reporters-are-missing

    From the White Helmets to the Skripal Affair. From the Ukrainian Coup to the Proxy War in Syria [We could go on and on]. We see the trouble with the Guardian… it has become a parody by being the very opposite of what it tried to be… but eerily, and this is the really scary thing, in the “Viner bubble” no one: no, no one can hear the screams!

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The Fraudian presstitutes know that their well-paying jobs totally rely on 100% Groupthink and Rightwing, Imperial, ideological reliability.

  4. amanfromMars says

    Is telling of “deliberate lies” about national security matters an act of sedition and treasonous or just pulp fiction doing its remote brainwashing thing against the masses for the greater benefit of the few?

    • Maggie says

      They can do as they please amanfrommars and there is nothing you or I can do to stop them, except keep our eyes and ears open and inform others as to the truth. if and when we discover it..

  5. Jim Scott says

    I read the Harding collaborated fairy tale and could not see a single piece of substantiated truth in it. I sent an email to the author pointing out that the whole story did not contain a single piece of genuine information and it was aimed at maligning Assange. It seems Hardon is now working for the US Deep State in trying to create the impression that despite significant evidence to the contrary that Assange did work with Russia to undermine Hillary Clinton by exposing her proven and admitted cheating to the truth.

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  6. Tracking everyone says

    Persisting with demonising Assange serves to hide from the public eye what has been revealed about the dark forces that are governing us.

    There isn’t a friendly and democratic government in the West anymore, and no more human rights protection for ordinary people.

    Take the example of a child, let’s say, in Australia. From the moment any child is born, all the details and every movement of this child are now stored and tracked digitally and available to all FIVE-EYES countries.

    With the information sharing agreement between the FIVE EYES and Israel, it means that Israel collects, among other data, all the academic work performed by the said child. With this, Israel can analyse what students are saying and/or writing. Add to this their lobbying political power, and we see that they can now dictate and fine tune education policies [as well as foreign policy of course] in FIVE EYES countries without even coming physically near a school. For other countries, this can be done by the hacking and theft by some IT staff who are sympathetic to those foreign entities.

    The fake hysteria about Assange does serve to hide a myriad of nefarious plans and actions already in place to subjugate everyone. No one to spare except the rich and the powerful.

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    • Been following the genesis of PROMIS software since its inception. Archived here, the Cryptome article appears to have been taken down https://web.archive.org/web/20050619084608/https://cryptome.org/promis-mossad.htm

      28 August 2000.

      The Toronto Star is running a series on Canadian investigation of spying by the US and Israel on Canadian intelligence agencies through the use of a powerful search and surveillance software named “Promis,” which allegedly had a backdoor installed by Israeli intelligence. This Promis allegation is attributed by The Star to the 1999 book, Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad, by Gordon Thomas, Thomas Dunne Books, New York. ISBN 0-312-25284-6. Below are Promis excerpts from Gideon’s Spies.

      The Toronto Star series (thanks to J. Orlin Grabbe):

      Yes, subsequent iterations of the software alarmed researchers everywhere for their potential for invasions of privacy.

  7. Luke Harding now needs a team of people based in Peru and Washington to help him write another tawdry, smelly little article? Plagiarising someone else’s work now getting beyond his limited mental faculties?

    MI5 need to find someone to replace him at The Fraudian. Or has their budget been cut and they now can’t afford to hire another person who failed in creative writing class while studying for an English Literature degree at university?

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  8. Michael Cromer says

    God Bless Russia – They did 80% of the fighting against the German War Machine in WWII – They deserve more respect than this.

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  9. Fair dinkum. says

    It’s the ”Guardian’ alright.
    The ‘guardian’ of GREED and the ruling PSYCHOPATHS.

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  10. MichaelK says

    Every time one thinks the Guardian can’t possibly fall any lower into gutter journalism, it confounds one’s expectations and drops into the sewer with all the other waste products.

    To label the stance the Guardian has towards Wikileaks and Assange, as disgraceful and shameful, a scandal for real journalism, is an understatement.

    There seems to be cabal of anti-Russian racists at the heart of the Guardian. If their stuff was written about Jews or black people, there would be an outcry; but because it’s the Russians, anything goes and it’s getting worse and worse and more hysterical and unhinged, why?

    Because we are ‘at war’ with Russia, in the propaganda period where the public are being groomed for war with an evil and almost non-human enemy who want to destroy us using awful weapons, just look at what happened in Salisbury if you question the government’s desire to defend the UK from the dastardly Russian bear!

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    • harry stotle says

      The Guardian has become the bastion of moral double standards – in other words no amount of racism or stereotyping is deemed inappropriate providing as it is aimed at officially sanctioned targets.

      In Guardianland you can say whatever you like about Russians, Trump, or men, but don’t dare have impure thoughts about Muslim women, pro-Israeli Jews or highly paid workers at the BBC (providing they aren’t men of course).

      Commentators who dare callenge such hypocrisies are immediately memory-holed.

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      • MichaelK says

        It seems to be a news platform that’s been taken over by the members of a… cult, who see themselves, their reflection looking back at them, in a mirror that lies and distorts reality; but they seem totally unaware this is happening. There’s something stunted about them, the terrible conceit that they represent and are, really, the guardians of the truth, when the opposite is what’s happening. I suppose fanatics, people who are so full of dogma that they’ve fallen into the trap of believing their own distorted propaganda, are like that.

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      • Too right. To cap it all, The Guardian is trying to combine Russophobia with sympathetic stories (quota seems to be one per week) about anti-Putin Russians, so that a Putin opponent can’t stub their toe without frantic reporting of another Putin-ordered attack.

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        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          Our local Government-owned, and Murdochite controlled, ABC insists on calling the US-controlled Quisling, Navalny, the ‘leader of the Opposition’ in Russia, when his claque of traitors is the fourth or fifth most popular group in Russian politics. All lies, all Rightwing thuggery, all the time.

        • When a former Russian lingerie model over here was taken poorly, that was obviously another dastardly plot by the evil Vlad.

    • Frankly Speaking says

      Indeed, we have been told by the Guardian Of The Establishment in their daily Two Minutes Hate that we’ve always been at war with Russia.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      We see the same thing here in Austfailure with the Murdoch media cancer. For forty years one has been constantly gob-smacked by the depths to which this evil hate-machine has descended in its unwavering hate propaganda against the Labor Party, unions, refugees, the Indigenous, environmentalists, climate science, renewable energy, and sundry public figures against whom it runs truly vicious and unending vendettas. Yet the cancer always denies its campaigning, its bias, its contribution to ecological pig ignorance and terminal carnage and one-sided class war. And it just keeps getting worse, and the entire political caste cower before Murdoch and his death-machine, too frightened to risk the wrath of the senescent monster. And this absolute effing horror is what they call ‘democracy’.

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      • Fair dinkum. says

        Murdoch’s funeral can’t be far away.
        Let’s party like there’s no tomorrow.

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        • Rise above says

          Murdoch is a puppet (a powerful one admittedly) in the hands of Zionists and intelligence agencies.

          His funeral will indeed be a much a good news, but the celebration is symbolic. The planning capabilities behind his empire, must have the succession plan already in place.

          Rupert Murdoch is Evil. But his death will change very little.

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    • George cornell says

      Its all about Russia preventing Israel and its allies from stomping on Syria. Ruining it is not enough for these predators.

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      • Jules Moules says

        Yep. I think this is one of the main reasons behind this Russian hysteria of recent years: their ‘failure’ to roll-over for US/Israeli policy. The Guardian is, of course, a fully paid up member of the Zionist club.

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      • Maggie says

        @ George Cornell.

        I have to disagree… Ruining Syria is exactly what they want.. just as they ‘ruined’ Palestine. Stole the land, and raised homesteads to the ground so that they could rebuilt it to suit themselves. They are EVIL and I say thank God for Russia.

        • George cornell says

          Maggie, I said ruining it was not enough, as in ruining is a given. But they want more. Aren’t you agreeing with me?

    • Maggie says

      What makes you think that any of the online chatter sites are SAFE?
      They are all controlled by the Establishment, and only allowed to function to gauge what the sheep are feeling….

  11. harry stotle says

    None of this is suprising – the sheer unadulterated glee (from neoliberal foot soldiers like Marina Hyde or James Bell) each time a new privation is inflicted on Assange makes a mockery of the idea the Guardian is in any way concerned about truth or justice.

    At the risk of stating the obvious the Guardian is part of the problem since it is an instrument of the establishment rather than a platform unafraid to report the unvarnished truth about the nature of power.

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  12. Also see the Update to Murray’s piece:

    “UPDATE One reason I was so stunned at the Guardian’s publication of these lies is that I had gone direct from the Ecuadorean Embassy to the Guardian building in Kings Cross to give an in-depth but off the record briefing to Euan MacAskill, perhaps their last journalist of real integrity, on the strategy for Julian. I told Euan that Russia was ruled out. I did not mention this yesterday as I greatly respect Euan and wanted to speak to him first. But on phoning the Guardian I find that Euan “retired” the day the lying article was published. That seems a very large coincidence.”

    It only adds to the evidence of the sleaziness of the regime there, in the editorial offices, and in Westminster where this improbable filth comes from.
    There comes a point at which regimes/establishments become so riddled with filth, corruption, self serving, lies, treachery and national prostitution that it falls apart: whether this happens first to the government or The Guardian is the sort of stuff which bookmakers thrive on.

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  13. Frankly Speaking says

    As soon as I read that article, before I even knew today about Murray’s article, I KNEW that the headline and underlying surmise was horseshit.

    How? Well, the Grauniad article itself mentions that an attempt was made for Assange to gain dimplomatic status, therefore he would get immunity, and that it failed. The article also says that IF the attempt to achieve diplomatic status had succeded, THEN the Russians MAY be involved in relocating him.

    No brain surgeon required here.

    IF he had been granted diplomatic status, he would have had many options. But he wasn’t granted it, so NOTHING happened.

    The Guardian headline is angling this as if something happened undercover, an attempt to smuggle Assange out, but the body of the article does not actually say this directly, but alludes to it indirectly.

    Yet more smearing of horseshit and Russophobia.

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    • Frankly Speaking says

      I should add that this latest disinfo campaign against Assange is clearly intended to smear him with even more horseshit, getting the ilLiberals to further distrust him, seen as colluding with the “Hitleresque” Putin and those “nasty Russians”.

      Once the gullible UK public are softened up, they’ll not bat an eyelid when the Ministry Of Truth Sturm Troopers kick the doors down of the Ecuadorian Embassy next month and haul off Assange to Gitmo or have him “die” in custody due to his poor medical condition after so many years locked up in a room.

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  14. George Cornell says

    Should shock us, yes, but it won’t, accustomed as we are to the scheming, double-dealing excuse for a virtual budgie cage liner the Fraudian has become.

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