Pompeo’s CIA Against Assange, Trump and LaRouche
Sept. 28, 2021 (EIRNS)—The headlines on the Sept. 26 Yahoo News article on the CIA’s plans to kidnap or kill Julian Assange—“Kidnapping, Assassination and a London Shoot-Out: Inside the CIA’s Secret War Plans against WikiLeaks”—properly feature the outrageous, out-of-control deliberations within the U.S.’s intelligence community. However, two key features have been seriously overlooked. First, while the article tries to suggest that Trump was “in on the deal”—and many of the media stories feature just that—in fact, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and others at the CIA, did everything they could to steer around Trump.
The “evidence” on Trump the Yahoo authors provide is goes like this: “U.S. officials had also considered killing Assange, according to three former officials. One of those officials said he was briefed on a spring 2017 meeting in which the President asked whether the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide him ‘options’ for how to do so. ‘It was viewed as unhinged and ridiculous,’ recalled this former senior CIA official of the suggestion.” The item is the only one in the long article which doesn’t cite multiple sources, but rather relies on only one—and that one is relating second-hand a story told to him. Ask: Who at the CIA was more on the inside than the “senior CIA official” and was briefing him on a meeting with Trump at the White House—except Pompeo—the man who throughout the article’s narrative was steering around Trump?
The article does show that there were CIA executive requests for sketches of plans for killing Assange, but though Yahoo authors tried, they could not tie such CIA proposals to the White House. When in a statement to Yahoo Trump denied about acting against Assange. They quote him: “ ‘It’s totally false, it never happened,’ he said. Trump seemed to express some sympathy for Assange’s plight. ‘In fact, I think he’s been treated very badly,’ he added.”
Second, the CIA deliberately avoided seeking a “finding”—needed in order to escalate actions against Assange—explicitly because that would have required Trump’s signature. Instead, in-house CIA lawyers had to create an ugly “workaround.” They could carry out “offensive counterintelligence” against foreign spy agencies without a “finding.” So, the lawyers redefined a news organization that don’t fall into line (in this case, WikiLeaks) as a “spy agency.” Offensive counterintelligence included break-ins, stealing electronics, hacking, etc., but also sowing rumors amongst WikiLeaks members to turn them against each other. (The CIA team was tracking WikiLeaks personnel closely enough so as to assess the frictions and animosities amongst them.) The entirety is also reminiscent of practices known to have been carried out against the LaRouche movement and its publications from this movement’s inception, now more than 50 years ago.