Assange/Elmer Frontline Club Interview: New WikiLeaks Gameplan

Posted on 17/01/2011 by

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Thanks for the tip, Mirjam.

The Frontline Club video (“PRESS CONFERENCE: Rudolf Elmer”) is approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, but it is worth listening to. It gives a fairly clear overview of the situation regarding Mr Rudolf Elmer and the Swiss banking scandal, and shows how Mr Assange and Mr Elmer are subjected to similar attempts at character assassinations in media and government circles.

But what was seemingly out of place was the blatancy with which Mr Elmer passed over his data to Mr Assange-as-WikiLeaks-representative. Mr Elmer pulled out his data discs, held them up for all to see, and passed them directly into Mr Assange’s hands.

Such obvious information passing is clearly outside of the usual operating procedures of WikiLeaks, which has committed significant resources to ensuring the anonymity of its sources. Here we all can see photographic evidence of a leak; the cloak of anonymity was voluntarily cast aside by the source himself.

Clearly this is the start of something new and exciting. Mr Assange and WikiLeaks would not abandon anonymity protection lightly, and for that matter neither would Mr Elmer. Both have something to gain by casting off anonymity and standing in the glare of the press.

Mr Elmer, perhaps, cast off his potential anonymity as a WikiLeaks source for reasons both defensive and political. His public leaking is defensive, because now he is tied irrevocably to the WikiLeaks ‘crowd’, and enjoys a much higher profile because of this. His summary execution would be, at this point, a very stupid move indeed, and terribly obvious as a vindictive move from elements involved in his case.

Political reasons are relatively simple: as Mr Elmer himself discusses in the video, there have been libelous – I should hope – statements in Swiss newspapers regarding his mental state. By making this leak public, he draws attention to his true nature. He is an accountant trying to do his job, in the course of which he has been foiled at almost every turn by the ‘legitimate’ channels.

However, it is Mr Assange’s participation in this which seems more curious. To my eyes, he seemed somewhat uncomfortable with the situation. I’d have to think that this would make his situation in legal procedings somewhat more difficult, as here we have proof that he is accepting ‘sensitive’ information directly from sources.

But, nevertheless, there he was, taking two data discs from Mr Elmer. I’ve great confidence in Mr Assange; he does not do anything without a plan. Besides the obvious – ie new information for WikiLeaks – he and WikiLeaks had something else to gain.

This, I posit, is the next phase in WikiLeaks publishing action, centred around playing the same gameplan as the opponents of WikiLeaks. Namely, aiming for the pocketbook. The play against WikiLeaks, since the start of Cablegate, has been to cut off funding. Information, like the already-known ‘major US bank’ files, as well as this new information from Mr Elmer, is in kind.

The corruption which Mr Elmer’s files will reveal will undoubtedly centre around financial, political, and industrial elites, many of which will also be opposed to WikiLeaks; indeed, they are potentially behind the attempts to penalise WikiLeaks through financial means. The coming move by WikiLeaks to release bank-related material is the same technique, but on a bigger scale.

I have no doubt, that individuals throughout the world involved in tax evasion schemes are not altogether happy right now. Once this information comes out of WikiLeaks, taxation authorities across the world will have no choice but to act. They will have not only their legitimacy on the line, but also – at least in the US – their paycheque. US taxation authorities are paid a commission on how much money they successfully extract from tax evasion trials. These corrupt elites will be more than just sitting ducks in the eyes of the tax authorities: they are the biggest payday ever.

Never underestimate the power of pure greed. The elites would understand the beauty of this manouevre – if they possessed a sense of irony, which they don’t. They will be ensnared by the very ethics which they hold so dear: the pursuit of profits.

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Posted in: WikiLeaks