#1 CIA director brands WikiLeaks a 'hostile intelligence service' by ThirstyMan 14.04.2017 22:22

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Mike Pompeo said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange portrays himself as a crusader but in fact helps enemies of the United States, including Russia

Mike Pompeo, the director of the CIA, has branded WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service,” saying it threatens democratic nations and joins hands with dictators.

In his first public remarks since becoming chief of the US spy agency in February, Pompeo focused on the group and other leakers of classified information like Edward Snowden as one of the key threats facing the United States.

“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service. It has encouraged its followers to find jobs at CIA in order to obtain intelligence... And it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organisations,” said Pompeo.

“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Pompeo compared WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange to leakers of the pre-internet days like former CIA official Philip Agee.

Agee’s exposing the identities of undercover CIA agents was blamed for the assassination of the agency’s Athens station chief in 1974.

On Wednesday, Assange published an opinion piece in the Washington Post in which he said his group’s mission was the same as America’s most respected newspapers: “to publish newsworthy content.”

“WikiLeaks’s sole interest is expressing constitutionally protected truths,” he said, professing “overwhelming admiration for both America and the idea of America.”

While it has released secret materials from around the world, WikiLeaks’s notoriety comes from its US-related scoops. In 2010 it published 251,000 classified cables from US embassies around the world.

Last year it published files and communications from the Democratic Party, damaging presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. US intelligence says that release was part of a Russian plot to aid the eventual election of Donald Trump.

The FBI and other US agencies are in fact investigating alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Guardian on Thursday reported that British intelligence played a critical role in alerting the US government to contacts between members of Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives.

Last month, WikiLeaks embarrassed the CIA and damaged its operations by releasing a large number of files and computer code from the agency’s top secret hacking operations.

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However, Pompeo did not comment on how Trump has previously lavished praise on Assange for the information he has made public.

[And that's exactly what I wondered about! TM]


Nor did Pompeo mention that he himself had cited and linked to WikiLeaks in a tweet attacking the Democratic Party. Pompeo at the time was a Republican congressman and member of the House Intelligence Committee.

The CIA declined to comment on that.

snip

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017...ligence-service

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