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Julian Assange in Mexican stand-off with Hillary campaign

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NEW YORK – Starting Sunday evening, Julian Assange, secreted away in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, entered into a “Mexican stand-off” with John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.


As the drama unfolded overnight, suspicions built the Clinton campaign had grown tired of Assange’s daily “drip, drip, drip” release of Podesta emails, with the ninth drop of Podesta emails occurring earlier Sunday, resulting in a total of 12,073 emails released out of a suspected trove of 50,000 most observers believe Assange is holding in total.


Despite being ignored by the mainstream media, that the WikiLeaks hacked emails have exposed as largely partisan to Clinton, the daily release of Podesta emails by WikiLeaks has done obvious damage to Clinton’s candidacy by their wide circulation on the Internet.


The problem Podesta and the others in charge of the Clinton campaign face is that any attempt to apprehend Assange may not prevent the future release of more adverse emails.


To the contrary, WikiLeaks appears to be giving out clear signals on Twitter that any attempt to apprehend Assange could trigger the automatic WikiLeaks release of the most damaging information WikiLeaks holds not only on Clinton and her presidential campaign, but on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, on Ecuador, and on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.


The WikiLeaks drama builds


At 12:33 a.m. EST on Monday, WikiLeaks tweeted, “Julian Assange internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.”




The tweet suggested the possibility authorities in the United Kingdom, perhaps with the encouragement of the United States, were in the process of pressuring the Ecuadorian government to release Assange from his current refuge within the Ecuadorian Embassy, freeing him to be extradited to the United States for criminal prosecution.


This is the most recent development in a chain of tweets that began being posted on Twitter on Sunday evening, providing the first alert to knowledgeable and alert Internet monitors that Assange’s safe haven in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London might soon be bending.


At around 5:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, WikiLeaks tweeted what appeared to be three “dead man” files, the first dealing with UK FCO [Foreign & Commonwealth Office], the second with Ecuador, and the third with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.




A “dead man” file, in the vernacular of cyber-hackers is considered a fail-safe measure, in which the hacker creates a file of the most damaging information that will automatically be released on the Internet should any action be taken by state authorities or otherwise to kill the hacker.


What developed almost immediately was speculation on the Internet that Julian Assange was dead.


Anonymous posted what appeared to be live-streaming of British police storming the Ecuadorian Embassy in London at night, but on closer inspection it became clear Anonymous, in a typically mischievous fashion, had simply re-posted an incident originally broadcast live-streaming on the Internet in 2012, some four years ago.


On Sunday evening, at 9:53 p.m. EST, the U.K. Ecuadorian Embassy Security office tweeted a photograph of Assange holding a sign that read, “Transparency for the state! Privacy for the rest of us!” appearing to confirm Julian Assange was alive and safe, still within the protective custody of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.




Monday: The Mexican Stand-off Begins


Through the night, Internet experts in the United States worked to open without success the three “dead man” files WikiLeaks had posted on Twitter.


During Sunday night, an anonymous post from a source identified as “a low level intelligence officer, not CIA,” appeared to solve the puzzle of why the there WikiLeaks “dead man” could not be opened, explaining the posting was aimed not at making the files public, but on making it clear the files existed and were ready for release at any time.




The anonymous post read as follows:


I’m a low-level intelligence officer, not CIA. The Tweets are SHA256 hashes, not keys. They signify that the files to come are real.


Read it here first: Ecuador has caved to pressure from Clinton & Co. Assange is being extradited. The situation is very fluid and he has threatened to kill himself if removed from the embassy.


The file hash is directed at Sec. Kerry as a direct threat.


No, I don’t have any proof I can share; these are diplo [diplomatic] cables I’m getting this from. But Assange will likely be imprisoned or dead in the next 12 hours.


If they get me for sharing this, at least I died a patriot.


Again, there is no definitive way to determine with certainty whether this anonymous post is legitimate or another fraudulent scheme designed to build the drama without any basis in fact.


What is clear is that Assange, if he can re-establish Internet connection, will most likely continue the daily release of what WikiLeaks is calling “the Podesta file.”


The only alternative will be for government authorities in the United States, the U.K., and Ecuador to figure out a way to bring Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, to put him in custody without triggering the release of what might amount to thousands of hacked files packed with information adverse not only to the Clinton campaign, but to Secretary Kerry, the U.S. government, the U.K. government and the government of Ecuador.


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