The CIA should be thanking Wikileaks for revealing vulnerabilities in their department. If you run the supposedly best, most expansive and powerful spying agency in the world, shouldn’t you be able to stop leaks revealing your secret hacking tools?
But instead CIA Director Mike Pompeo threw a hissy fit Thursday and called Julian Assange “a fraud–a coward hiding behind a screen.”
Pompeo said, “Assange is a narcissist who has created nothing of value.”
But this is actually an interesting turn around for Pompeo. Last July Pompeo sent out a tweet, which has since been deleted, that gloated over the proof released by Wikileaks of corruption at the Democratic National Committee. He seemed to find their information valuable.
So Pompeo apparently enjoyed Wikileaks when it was publishing information that helped him and hurt his political opponents. The organization basically helped elevate him to his current position by damaging the image of the Democrats before the election. But now that he has the power, he certainly doesn’t want to be held accountable!
Pompeo even went so far in his speech to criticize the Wikileaks release of the hacked DNC emails about which he once gleefully tweeted! Did he think deleting the tweet scrubbed it from the internet?
Since Wikileaks has revealed the inability of the CIA to keep their information under wraps, Assange doesn’t rub him the right way anymore.
Pompeo claims that Julian Assange and Edward Snowden only leaked documents to make a name for themselves, seeking to “make a splash” at the expense of national security.
Pompeo even suggested that free speech has limits.
We have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us…
To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.
He even brushed against comparing Assange to a Nazi, saying that if he were alive during World War II, he would be on the wrong side of history.
Another bit of irony about Pompeo’s remarks are that he claims it would have been safer and a more effective use of his sources if Assange took own oppressive regimes instead of damaging democratic nations.
Yet Pompeo clearly thinks Assange is a treasonous criminal… so it doesn’t seem so safe after all. This basically shows the CIA’s hand: Assange went after them because they do try to suppress free speech. And now they find citizen’s support of Wikileaks equally “perplexing, and deeply troubling.”
Media: No Big Deal
The Vault 7 leaks of CIA documents containing details of their hacking tools and capabilities came as little surprise to many. It had long been suspected, especially since the revelations about NSA data collection, that the CIA was using people’s own devices to spy on them.
But does that mean that the tools used by the CIA are no big deal, as the media seems to brush it off?
Experts have largely described the contents of the periodic document releases as unsurprising, and evidence that the CIA is doing its job. Nevertheless, they have renewed the debate around privacy and intelligence community spying and also raised questions about the source of the leaks.
“Obviously, this hurts when other people know where you have been, what you have been thinking,” said former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who said that the documents show no abuse of the agency’s powers.
Wait, what? Is the former CIA director seriously complaining that he feels uncomfortable knowing his organization was being spied on? That seems like a big dose of his own medicine.
The CIA is basically whining, we were trying to be super secret and Wikileaks keeps ruining it!
And the media comes in with, okay guys, you had your fun, but we gotta let the CIA do their spying thing.
If the CIA doesn’t want leaks, it should be a better spy agency.
Depending on which side of the debate you are on, the leaks either confirm that the CIA is using tools they should not be using in a way that violates individual freedom, or that the CIA is properly doing its job… except for that whole issue about being too incompetent to keep its secrets… secret.
So what is Wikileaks?
Pompeo’s CIA considers it “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
Or is Wikileaks simply another arm of the press that is guaranteed free speech in the Constitution?