Here Are All The Things We're Apparently Not Allowed To Say About Julian Assange Or WikiLeaks

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Many of the world's news organizations have been instructed to not say nearly 200 "false and defamatory" statements about Julian Assange or WikiLeaks, according to an email marked "confidential legal communication" and "not for publication" that was, ahem, subsequently leaked.

As Reuters reported on Sunday, the WikiLeaks email instructed journalists and publishers that they should consult the list to "ensure they are not spreading, and have not spread, defamatory falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange."

It's worth pointing out a fairly basic journalism rule here, which WikiLeaks — as a "media organization" that it insists it is, according to the list — should probably know: It is incredibly dumb to demand non-publication of an email sent to media organizations that have not agreed to an embargo (Task & Purpose was not sent a copy of this email).

Which, needless to say, means it should come as no surprise that an email from WikiLeaks that it didn't want published ended up being leaked online.

Among the highlights from the lengthy list (published in full below), journalists have been instructed by WikiLeaks in its "version 1.3" of the list that it is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, that he's a racist, or that he's a rapist. Its "version 1.2" of the list, which was originally sent to journalists before an updated version was later sent out, also included things WikiLeaks claimed were false and defamatory, to include any suggestion that Julian Assange "bleaches his hair," that he "stinks," or that he "has ever tortured a cat or dog."

The list also said it was "false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange lives, or has ever lived, in a basement, cupboard or under the stairs."

Now, in the interest of transparency, without edits, is the full version 1.3 listing from WikiLeaks (h/t to Ars Technica):

CONFIDENTIAL LEGAL COMMUNICATION

NOT FOR PUBLICATION.

Julian Assange has published the largest leaks in the history of the CIA, State Department, Pentagon, the U.S. Democratic Party, and the government of Saudi Arabia, among many others, as well as saving Edward Snowden from arrest. Predictably, numerous falsehoods have been subsequently spread about WikiLeaks and its publisher.

Falsehoods have also been spread by third parties: media competitors, click-bait sites, political party loyalists, and by those linked to the governments WikiLeaks or Julian Assange are litigating or have litigated (U.K., U.S., Ecuador, Sweden), which seek his arrest (U.S., U.K.), expulsion (Ecuador), or who have formal criminal investigations (U.S., Saudi Arabia, Australia), or who have banned or censored WikiLeaks (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China).

Since Mr. Assange's unlawful isolation and gagging on March 28, 2018, the publication of false and defamatory claims about him has accelerated, perhaps because of an incorrect view that Mr. Assange, due to his grave personal circumstances, can no longer defend his reputation.

These defamation efforts have reached a new nadir with the recent front page fabrication by Guardian newspaper, which falsely claimed that Julian Assange had multiple secret meetings with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, right down to a made up description of latter's pants at the fabricated meetings ("sandy coloured chinos") .

It is clear that there is a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in otherwise 'reputable' media outlets. In several instances these fabrications appear to have the intent of creating political cover for his censorship, isolation, expulsion, arrest, extradition and imprisonment.

Mr. Assange's isolation, ongoing proceedings and pending extradition also increase the legal and ethical burden on journalists, publishers and others to get their facts straight.

Consequently journalists and publishers have a clear responsibility to carefully fact-check from primary sources and to consult the following list of defamations to ensure they do not spread and have not spread falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The purpose of this list is to aid the honest and accurate and to put the dishonest and inaccurate on notice.

Defamation List v1.3
the absense of any claim from this list does not imply that the claim is not false or defamatory

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is, or has ever been, charged with an offence by the United Kingdom or Sweden .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is, or has ever been, an agent or officer of any intelligence service .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks is, or has ever been alleged by the U.S. government to be, a State "foreign intelligence service".

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange has ever been contacted by the Mueller investigation.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that there is any evidence that the U.S. charges against Julian Assange relate to the Mueller investigation.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or Wikileaks is, or has ever been alleged by the U.S. government to be: Russian, Russian owned, a Russian subsidiary, contracted by Russia, Russian staffed, based in Russia, "in league" with Russia, an "arm of Russia" or a "Russian cutout" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the U.S. government claims that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks directed, conspired, colluded or otherwise engaged in a crime, to obtain information from the Democratic National Committee or John Podesta .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the Democratic National Committee has claimed that Julian Assange directed, conspired, or colluded to hack the Democratic National Committee or John Podesta .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks was alone in publishing allegedly hacked Democratic Party materials in 2016 .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever met or communicated with Paul Manafort .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever met or communicated with George Cottrell .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange privately provided information about its then pending 2016 U.S. election-related publications to any outside party, including Nigel Farage, Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Flynn, Michael Flynn Jr., Cambridge Analytica, or Rebecca Mercer .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks has ever colluded with or conspired with, or compromised the integrity of its journalism for, any political campaign or State .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange was in communication with Roger J. Stone during, or prior to, the U.S. 2016 presidential election .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that there was a "back channel" between Julian Assange and Roger J. Stone during, or prior to, the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Nigel Farage met with Julian Assange during, or prior to, the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the purpose of Nigel Farage's meeting with Julian Assange in 2017, after the U.S. election, was in any way improper or not journalistic.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange timed the publication of its series on John Podesta to conceal the Access Hollywood "grab them by the pussy" video of Donald Trump .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is "anti-American" or "anti-U.S." .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have not published critical information on Russia, Syria or Donald Trump .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever worked for, or has ever been employed by "Russia Today", "RT" or the Russian government.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange was "given a show", "made a host", or "hosted a show" on RT .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks "works with RT" or "works with Russian State media" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks arranged for Edward Snowden to go to Russia .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange applied for a Russian visa in 2010 or obtained a Russian visa in the year 2010 or subsequently.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that there was a "Russian plan" to "smuggle", or to otherwise remove, Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London or that Fidel Narvaez, or anyone else, was in contact with the Russian embassy in London in relation to such a claimed plan .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian diplomat to Russia .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange claimed that any person or entity was their source for WikiLeaks' 2016 U.S. election publications .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks does not have a perfect record of accurately verifying its publications.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the U.S. government has ever denied the authenticity of a WikiLeaks publication.

It is false and defamatory to deny that DNC Chair Donna Brazile and Senator Elizabeth Warren admitted that Julian Assange was, in fact, correct and that the DNC had indeed "rigged" the 2016 primary election in favour of Hillary Clinton .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that John Podesta or Donna Brazile deny the authenticity of emails about them published by WikiLeaks .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the French government found that "MacronLeaks" were hacked by Russia .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks "targetted" the French presidential election of 2017 and published "MacronLeaks" during that election .

It is false and defamatory to suggest any of the MacronLeaks published by WikiLeaks are inauthentic or that President Macron attempted to make such a claim after the publication by WikiLeaks.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks has ever stated that Russia was not behind the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks has ever stated it was not appropriate to expel Russian diplomats and spies over the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Ecuador isolated and gagged Mr. Assange due to his comments on Sergei Skripal .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange does not have political asylum or is merely "seeking asylum" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange "fled" to the Embassy of Ecuador .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is, or has been, "hiding" in the embassy .

It is false and defamatory to deny that Julian Assange has been formally investigated since 2010 and charged by the U.S. federal government over his publishing work .
- It is false and defamatory to suggest that such U.S. charges have not been confirmed .
- It is false and defamatory to suggest that the U.S. government denies the existence of such charges.
- It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is not wanted for extradition by the U.S. government .
- It is false and defamatory to suggest that the U.S. government has not publicly confirmed that it has an active grand jury, or pending or prospective proceedings, against Julian Assange or WikiLeaks, each year since 2010.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange's asylum is "self-imposed" or that he is "free to walk out any time he likes" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange applied for political asylum over "sex allegations" or "extradition to Sweden" or to "avoid questioning" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is merely a "guest" of the embassy and does not have refugee status, including under the 1951 Refugee Convention, or that the UK is not a party to the Convention, or that Julian Assange received only "diplomatic asylum" or that his refugee status is, in any sense, improper or incomplete .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange, as a political refugee, does not have the right to voice his political opinions or a right to communicate them .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange did not have the right to apply for asylum or committed an offence in doing so .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the terminated Swedish preliminary investigation started prior to the U.S. grand jury proceedings .

It is false and defmatory to suggest that the dropped Swedish preliminary investigation against Julian Assange ever had any legitimacy whatsoever .

It is false and potentially defamatory to suggest that the UN WGAD decision finding Julian Assange to be unlawfully detained in the UK is not legally binding .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever been charged with, or committed, an offence in the United Kingdom.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever "breached his bail", "jumped bail", absconded, fled an arrest warrant, or that he has ever been charged with such at any time.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has a sentence to serve or has ever avoided serving a sentence.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange fled Sweden .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has been accused by any person of raping them .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the Swedish preliminary investigation was closed due to an inability to proceed caused by Mr. Assange or a statute of limitations .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange was never interviewed by Swedish officials or has ever attempted to avoid being interviewed by Swedish officials .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that there was ever a charge, case or prosecution against Julian Assange in Sweden .

It is false and defamatory to deny that WikiLeaks is a media organization .

It is false and defamatory to deny that Julian Assange is an award-winning editor, journalist, publisher, author and documentary maker who has won the highest journalism award in his country, among many others.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks has ever, through intent or negligence, revealed a source .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks is a "group", that it has "members" or that Julian Assange is a "member" of WikiLeaks .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks has ever directed, conspired, or colluded in a criminal manner with its sources.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange claimed "informants deserve to die" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange has asserted that the Syrian government did not conduct chemical attacks during the war in Syria .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks publications have caused deaths .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange or WikiLeaks recklessly published unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that any of WikiLeaks' claims about its 2017 CIA leak, Vault 7, "were later retracted" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange ever published millions of records about female voters in Turkey .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is not an Australian citizen.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a "hacker".

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange was charged with an offence at any time by Bermuda.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever extorted the United States government.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange filed a lawsuit against Ecuador over trivialities .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever neglected an animal or has ever been asked by a state to take "better care" of an animal .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever called to overthrow the Spanish state by calling for the independence of Catalonia .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange's reporting on the violence and censorship inflicted against Catalans in any way connected to Russia .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the Catalan government, or any other entity, paid Julian Assange to report on the violence and censorship inflicted against Spain's Catalan minority, or to otherwise support their right to self-determination .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is "far right".

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a racist.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a paedophile.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a rapist.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a murderer.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever proposed that he not publish, censor or delay a publication in exchange for any thing.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever agreed to do anything or to not do anything as a condition of his asylum.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that the administration of President Rafael Correa imposed any conditions in exchange for his refugee status or asylum.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange is a criminal or has a criminal record .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange called the Panama Papers "a Soros-funded attack against Putin" .

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange has ever published, uttered or tried to promote a "conspiracy theory".

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks or Julian Assange has ever suppressed materials critical of Israel, Russia or any other State.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that WikiLeaks possessed unpublished leaked material on the Trump campaign or the GOP or Russia and surpressed it.

It is false and defamatory to suggest that Julian Assange has ever hacked the state of Ecuador.

Other important facts and corrections to false reporting can be found at https://defend.wikileaks.org/, https://justice4assange.com/, https://wikileaks.org/, https://twitter.com/wikileaks, https://twitter.com/assangedefence/, https://twitter.com/assangelegal and https://twitter.com/khrafnsson/

SEE ALSO: Wikileaks' Julian Assange Reportedly Tried To Get A Russian Visa