Type to search

ANALYSIS EUROPE

Ecuadorian Embassy Member Exposes CNN’s Julian Assange Smear Campaign

Ricardo Patiño, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Migration of Ecuador, meets with Julian Assange in 2013. (Photo: Cancillería Ecuador)
Ricardo Patiño, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Migration of Ecuador, meets with Julian Assange in 2013. (Photo: Cancillería Ecuador)
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of Citizen Truth.)

“Every single meeting of Julian Assange seems to be ‘suspicious’ for CNN.”

A former staff member at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Julian Assange lived for almost seven years dropped a bombshell in late August by exposing biased CNN reports related to imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Speaking to the investigative journalism website The Grayzone, Fidel Narvaez referred to the CNN report titled, “Exclusive: Security reports reveal how Assange turned an embassy into a command post for election meddling,” calling the July 15 report a hit piece and part of a CNN smear campaign against Assange.

“There are so many smears, speculations, and some false information in that report that somewhat somebody needs to set the record straight, It is unbelievable how they twist every single thing in order to defame Julian and Ecuador,” Narvaez, who served at the embassy for six of the seven years that Assange was in residence, told host Aaron Mate on Pushback with Aaron Mate.

Narvaez’s article “40 rebuttals to the media’s smears of Julian Assange – by someone who was actually there” addressed 40 lies Narvaez said CNN perpetuated in their reporting of Assange.

The first claim Narvaez addressed was CNN’s assertion that “Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election.”

“They said ‘potentially hacked materials,’ but I would say they don’t even know if he received any materials. Not just the 2016 Democratic party materials, but any materials at all. There is no evidence, and there is no proof. Every single meeting of Julian Assange seems to be ‘suspicious’ for CNN,” Narvaez told Mate.

In Narvaez’s second rebuttal, he referenced CNN’s description of Assange as someone who met with world-class hackers and Kremlin-tied journalist, trying to portray Assange as linked to and backed by Russia. 

“An embassy is not a jail — although in the last year, Lenin Moreno’s government did convert his embassy in London into a de facto prison.

“Therefore, there is nothing unusual for Assange to have visitors for several hours per day. He met with hundreds of people from around the world: intellectuals, artists, politicians, journalists, dissidents, activists.

“Russian nationals, such as the activist group Pussy Riot, an archenemy of the Kremlin, were among Assange’s visitors.

“The people whom CNN mistakenly refers to as ‘hackers’ are specialists in computer security and data protection. CNN chooses to refer to them as ‘pirates,’ because it is more in tune with the overall bias of its report,” Narvaez wrote in his report for The Grayzone.

Narvaez’s article continues on to address 40 total CNN claims or statements that he says are unsubstantiated and purposefully biased to tarnish Assange’s reputation in the media. He refuted claims that Assange was given special privilege as being allowed to delete his visitors from the embassy’s entry logs or that Assange ever engaged in fistfights with embassy staff, as CNN claimed.

Narvaez’s article, written by someone who was actually in the embassy along with Assange, is a glaring expose of the extreme bias which perpetuated CNN’s reporting on Assange – though not an unsurprising report given the mainstream media’s generally widespread condemnation of Assange.

Assange’s Arrest Sparks Mixed Reactions

Assange became one of the U.S.’ most wanted persons in 2010 after leaking classified documents and footage revealing U.S military brutality during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In April of 2019, Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum protection which led to Assange’s arrest in the U.K. for bail violations.

The U.S. followed up seeking to extradite Assange from the U.K, filing 17 charges against Assange claiming he violated the Espionage Act. Assange’s extradition is still pending, he will face his first hearing on whether he should be deported to the U.S. in February 2020.

Assange’s arrest in the Ecuador embassy in London last April drew mixed reactions. Many applauded his arrest and accused him of putting lives at risk by revealing confidential information and claimed he wasn’t an actual journalist. Whereas others condemned his arrest and called it a shocking violation of press freedom. 

Most mainstream media outlets showed no mercy to Assange, ignoring his contributions to exposing a multitude of lies told by governments across the world, regardless of whether he is considered a journalist or not.

A Washington Post’s editorial on April 11 (the day Assange was arrested) wrote that Assange was “no free-press hero” and a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on the same day accused Assange of targeting “democratic institutions or governments,” demanding he be held accountable.

Press freedom activists around the world, including award-winning journalists John Pilger and Glenn Greenwald, supported Assange, calling Assange’s arrest a warning to journalists who expose governments’ secrets.

Last week, legendary musician and co-founder of the band Pink Floyd Roger Waters performed at a pro-Assange rally in London. However, there was little publicity for the event in large Western newspapers and media outlets.

On Friday, former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson slammed The View host Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Republican senator John McCain, for calling Assange a “cyberterrorist.”

“How many people have the American government killed innocently and how many has Wikileaks? The military has put many innocent lives at risk,” Anderson said in response to McCain’s statement that Assange put many lives at risk by leaking confidential information. The audience cheered Anderson’s statement.

Anderson, who is allegedly in a relationship with Assange, called whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning – who collaborated with Assange in obtaining diplomatic cables and classified files – heroes as well.

If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting independent news and getting our newsletter three times a week.

Tags:
Yasmeen Rasidi

Yasmeen is a writer and political science graduate of the National University, Jakarta. She covers a variety of topics for Citizen Truth including the Asia and Pacific region, international conflicts and press freedom issues. Yasmeen had worked for Xinhua Indonesia and GeoStrategist previously. She writes from Jakarta, Indonesia.

    1

You Might also Like

1 Comment

  1. Walter Yeates September 9, 2019

    Aaron Mate is a grifter who is chasing clout. He refuses to admit the emails between Trump’s campaign and Wikileaks didn’t show bias.

    He also refuses to admit the slew of evidence showing Russian intelligence did actively get involved in a disinformation campaign during the 2016 election.

    The two sides of the argument ignore inconvenient facts. Wikileaks showed bias in 2016, but they’ve done good work. Assange helped Trump who is a Paleo Conservative, who placates to Neo-Nazi’s.

    We need an objective conversation on the topic, not one controlled by echo chamber narratives.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.