Hazel Press

The Guardian has made several mistakes in their article exploring the new Manning / WikiLeaks chat-logs (this follows on from Wired magazine making identical mistakes 24 hours earlier).


The Guardian states that this chat-log is "instant-message conversations between Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning". What they do not mention is that the identity of 'Assange' chat-handle is unconfirmed. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence that 'pressassociation@jabber.ccc.de Nathaniel Frank' is Julian Assange. And yet in the Guardian's reproduced chat-logs they have removed the original username and chat-handle 'pressassociation@jabber.ccc.de Nathaniel Frank' and replaced it with 'Julian Assange'.


The Guardian did the same to Chelsea Manning's 'dawgnetwork@jabbercccde Nobody', which becomes just 'Chelsea Manning'. As it happens 'Nobody' did not know who 'Nathaniel Frank' actually was, as this February 28, 2013 Ft. Meade courtroom statement by her demonstrates; "we never exchanged identifying information, however, I believe the individual was likely Mr. Julian Assange, Mr. Daniel Schmidt, or a proxy representative of Mr. Assange and Schmidt."


The content of the chat-logs is the opposite of what the Guardian and Wired magazine would have you believe, because there is compelling evidence that 'Nathaniel Frank' is not Julian Assange within the chat-logs.


Firstly, 'Nathaniel Frank' states that he or she is not a founder of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is a founder:


pressassociation@jabber.ccc.de Nathaniel Frank 2010 03 1006:04:02 Wikileaks is looking for donations, but what its founders should do, is call upon script writers to make a, perhaps reality based, dramatized, thriller movie of one of the wikileaks cases, with corruption, infiltration, espionage, hitmen, sabotage, etc. and call the movie WikiLeaks!


Indeed, 'Nathaniel Frank' does not even know that only one founder remains with WikiLeaks (Daniel Mathews having departed some time before) - this is because, at that time, Assange kept such information on a need-to-know basis.


Julian Assange would not say "what its founders should do", in the context of these chat-logs. Assange would write 'WikiLeaks is considering doing XYZ', far more likely, Assange would not write anything, because there is no reason to, as founder he would just do it and if for some reason he did write about it, it would be in terms consistent with his personality "we are going to do this."


Assange insists on accuracy by WikiLeaks staff and volunteers regarding who is and who is not a WikiLeaks founder. For instance, when WikiLeaks' troubled German spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg began calling himself a founder in the press he was promptly sacked.


Later in the same 2010 03 1006:04:02 passage of the Manning / WikiLeaks logs, 'Nathaniel Frank' quotes him or herself and their idea for a film:


"I see great potential for such a movie, and massive money and advertising it would generate would establish them firmly. L[ots]'s then support by seeing the movie. Hollywood would likely support."


Does this sound like Julian Assange writing about his idea for a WikiLeaks film? The author is clearly not even a native English speaker. And again refers to the founders as an indirect object "them", if Assange was the author, without question he would be a part of the subject, using "us" or "we".


Further, 'Nathaniel Frank' is preoccupied with Icelandic politics, and this might just be because he/she is an Icelander. Suitable candidates for the 'Nathaniel Frank' handle might be Smári McCarthy, Herbert Snorrsson, Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson (the infamous WikiLeaks FBI mole) - all Icelandic, all volunteers for Wikileaks at the time that 'Collateral Murder' was edited and released, and all assigned at one point or another to run the admin for the Wikileaks public chatroom. Isn't it far more likely that these people would write "yup nixon tapes got nothing on us", rather than Julian Assange? In fact anyone could have been Manning's WikiLeaks contact, including people not generally known to be associated with WikiLeaks, Smári McCarthy: "There are definitely some central people, but that doesn't mean that everyone knows everything that is going on. There was a lot of focus on Iceland last year as the centre of things, but it just happens to look like that. You could choose half a dozen other countries and it would be equally right."


Within the chat-logs there is a wealth of information that indicates 'Nathaniel Frank' is not Julian Assange, and one actually gets the impression that the logs were authored by several people, possibly those mentioned above. However, all of this is ignored by both the Guardian and Wired magazine. Kevin Poulsen, the Wired magazine journalist responsible for the original 'Nathaniel Frank' / Manning article stated "I am seriously claiming that there's lots of evidence that it's Assange, and none that suggests anyone else", yet when he was presented with evidence proving the contrary to be true, he failed to respond and he has never presented any of his "lots of evidence that it's Assange".


Journalist Glen Greenwald (previously at the Guardian) has reported on how Poulsen concealed evidence held within Lamo / Manning chat-logs in order to mislead other journalists and plant false stories attacking Julian Assange. It seems that in Poulsen's world, nothing has changed since 2010. On the same day that the Guardian's Alex Hern was misreporting the Manning / WikiLeaks logs he was also misreporting an article written by WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison, it seems someone shares Poulsen's values.


Why is distorting the link between Julian Assange and 'Nathaniel Frank' so important to these publishers? One can only look to the U.S. Department of Justice's on-going WikiLeaks investigation and surmise that these papers are either attempting to support it or recklessly attacking a rival publisher that could do without their added vindictiveness.

How the Guardian & Wired Twisted the Manning / WikiLeaks Chat-Logs

December 7, 2013