by Joseph W
How Assange passed Shamir cables in full view of journalists:
Julian Assange‘s security over the diplomatic cables, which he once described as worth at least $5m to any foreign intelligence agency, seemed less than watertight. At Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk country house where he is staying while on bail, Assange was seen handing over batches of them to visiting foreign journalists, including someone who was simply introduced as “Adam”.
“He seemed like a harmless old man,” said one staffer, “apart from his habit of standing too close and peering at what was written on your screen.” He was introduced as the father of Assange’s Swedish crony, journalist Johannes Wahlström, and took away copies of cables from Russia and post-Soviet states. According to one insider, he also demanded copies of cables about “the Jews”.
This WikiLeaks associate was better known as Israel Shamir.
Assange paid Shamir for his “services”:
Shamir claims to be a renegade Russian Jew, born in Novosibirsk, but currently adhering to the Greek Orthodox church. He is notorious for Holocaust denial and publishing a string of antisemitic articles. He caused controversy in the UK in 2005, at a parliamentary book launch hosted by Lord Ahmed, by claiming: “Jews … own, control and edit a big share of mass media.” Internal WikiLeaks documents, seen by the Guardian, show Shamir was not only given cables, but he also invoiced WikiLeaks for €2,000 (£1,700), to be deposited in a Tallinn bank account, in thanks for “services rendered – journalism”. What services? He says: “What I did for WikiLeaks was to read and analyse the cables from Moscow.”
What happened next:
Subsequently, Shamir appeared in Moscow. According to a reporter on Russian paper Kommersant, he was offering to sell articles based on the cables for $10,000 (£6,300). He had already passed some to the state-backed publication Russian Reporter. He travelled on to Belarus, ruled by the Soviet-style dictator Alexander Lukashenko, where he met regime officials. The Russian Interfax news agency reported that Shamir was WikiLeaks’ “Russian representative”, and had “confirmed the existence of the Belarus dossier”.
According to him, WikiLeaks had several thousand “interesting” secret documents. Shamir then wrote a piece of grovelling pro-Lukashenko propaganda in Counterpunch, claiming “the people were happy, fully employed, and satisfied with their government”.