Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Wikileaks' Julian Assange Reportedly Tried To Get A Russian Visa
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange reportedly tried to obtain a Russian visa in 2010, according to the Associated Press.
In a letter to the Russian consulate in London obtained by AP dated Nov. 30, 2010, Assange wrote: "I, Julian Assange, hereby grant full authority to my friend, Israel Shamir, to both drop off and collect my passport, in order to get a visa." The AP also obtained a notarized copy of Assange's Australian passport, which was mentioned in his letter.
U.S. officials have long maintained that Wikileaks has received support from Russian intelligence, or as then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo put it in 2016, was a "hostile intelligence service" in and of itself. But even before the site began dumping thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, Assange has cultivated a number of ties to Moscow.
First and foremost is the name Assange mentions in the consular letter: Israel Shamir. A longtime friend and employee of Wikileaks, the Russian-born Shamir was tasked in 2010 with disseminating documents stolen by Chelsea Manning to Russian news organizations and other Baltic states. The details, according to Vox:
The first thing Shamir did with the documents was hand some off to Russian Reporter magazine, a Kremlin-friendly newsweekly. He then offered to sell access to them to the highest bidder, David Leigh and Luke Harding write in the book Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.
But what he did next was exceptionally curious. Shamir traveled to Belarus, a country ruled by dictator Alexander Lukashenko and perhaps Putin’s staunchest ally in Europe. Shamir was a fan of Lukashenko; in a 2010 piece, he called Belarus “the Shangri-la of the post-Soviet development.”
In Belarus, Shamir shared State Department cables pertaining to the country with government officials — in unredacted, unedited form.
Assange was later personally defended in the media by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and in 2012, got his own television show on Russia Today (RT).
The official Wikileaks Twitter account, which many believe to be controlled directly by Assange, criticized the AP report in a tweet, saying that Assange "did not apply for such a visa at any time or author the document," alleging that a former Wikileaks volunteer fabricated it.
Shamir, however, said in a Russian radio interview in 2011 that he personally brokered a Russian visa for Assange, but it did not come in time for him to avoid the Swedish investigation into alleged sex crimes.
Military veterans from throughout Northeast Florida came together Saturday morning to honor comrades in arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and remember their sacrifice.
After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.
A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.
Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.