This simple request has been posted on Twitter by thousands of Wikileaks followers. It is a demand for proof of life from Julian Assange. Though the hashtag has been trending for weeks, it has gone completely unanswered by the man himself.
Most readers are aware that Wikileaks continued publishing leaked emails up through the U.S. presidential election. There have been no reports from mainstream sources about anything unusual involving the group or its founder.
But to supporters who have been following Julian Assange and Wikileaks more closely, it seems something may have gone terribly wrong. For one thing, the promised leaks have dried up since election day. For another, we saw a strange warning from the Clinton campaign just before Wikileaks’ final email dump.
In a desperate-sounding tweet from November 6, Clinton Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri writes:
“Friends, please remember that if you see a whopper of a Wikileaks in the next two days – it’s probably a fake.”
That sounds an awful lot like a preemptive denial doesn’t it? It sounds like the Hillary campaign was aware that something truly damning could be about to surface.
And just two days later, Wikileaks went quiet with their releases.
Adding to the mystery surrounding Julian Assange, we have had no definitive proof of his whereabouts in at least a month, and no encrypted signatures to verify his communications. Recent releases are not matching to encryption hashes like they are supposed to. There are a couple reasons this could happen, but it doesn’t look good.
A strange series of events began in October, which provides some clues. Assange was set to make a major announcement at an appearance on the embassy balcony. It was to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the Wikileaks foundation.
It turned out to be a very eventful couple of weeks for Mr. Assange. Let’s have a look at the timeline:
SEP 27: Julian says he will make an important announcement from his balcony on Tuesday October 4th. The announcement is widely speculated to be a devastating bombshell that could end the Clinton campaign.
SEP 30: We get a message saying “Due to security concerns at the Ecuadorean Embassy, Julian Assange’s balcony announcement on Tues. has been canceled, per @wikileaks.”
OCT 4: Tenth Anniversary of Wikileaks. Assange attends Berlin press conference via satellite link, where he alludes to forthcoming “October Surprise” that would rock the U.S. Elections. Promises to release roughly one million documents in the coming months.
OCT 2-7: Wikileaks Twitter account makes repeated mention of Secretary of State Clinton’s statement “Can’t we just drone this guy?” in reference to the whistle blower. They are clearly rattled by what amounts to a death threat from the most powerful woman in the world.
OCT 7: Announcement of The Podesta Emails. It’s revealed that Hillary campaign chief John Podesta had his email account hacked, and his correspondence is in the hands of Wikileaks.
OCT 7 – 15: Wikileaks steadily releases new batches of The Podesta Emails, which detail unsavory DNC operations. Wikileaks vigorously denies any connection to Russia or to the Trump campaign.
OCT 12: Scotland Yard pulls its detail from the Embassy, which had stood 24 hour vigil for several years, waiting for a chance to arrest Mr. Assange if he attempted to leave the building. The reason given is that the case no longer warrants the expense.
OCT 15: BOMBSHELL: Assange drops the full text of Hillary Clinton’s speeches at Goldman Sachs!
**Last known activity on Assange’s personal Twitter account, @EmbassyCat**
OCT 16: Assange receives strange visit from actress Pamela Anderson, who brings him vegan food and cat toys. Anderson makes scarce mention of the visit in her social media.
Later on the same day:
Wikileaks twitter account (believed to be controlled by Assange) sends out three ominous pre-commitment hashtags without further comment. They are named John Kerry, Ecuador, and UK FCO. Messages are thought to be part of a “Dead Man’s Switch”. This is unprecedented behavior for the account.
Shortly after Anderson’s visit, Wikileaks Twitter account sends this shocking message: “Julian Assange’s internet connection has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.” Ecuador later confirmed they had cut his connection.
We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of Clinton's Goldman Sachs speechs.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2016
OCT 18: Continued release of Podesta Emails. It is revealed that Secretary of State John Kerry pressured the Ecuadorean government to cut Assange’s internet. Kerry was visiting London on the day the embassy cut Assange’s internet.
OCT 19: Bizarre plot is uncovered to frame Julian Assange for a phony pedophilia charge, and to entice him into accepting one million dollars from the Russian government. The players involved in the setup appear to have connections to government intelligence.
OCT 21: Mysterious cyber attacks bring down major websites for hours, including Twitter, PayPal, Spotify, and Verizon.
Wikileaks tweets “Mr. Assange is still alive, and Wikileaks is still publishing. We ask supporters to stop taking down the US internet. You proved your point.”
Wikileaks later posted a chilling photo of an armed agent in a police vehicle, with the following caption: Heavily armed ‘police’ appear outside of Ecuadorean Embassy in London where Julian Assange has political asylum.
OCT 22: Wikileaks founder Gavin Macfadyen and close friend of Assange dies after a “brief illness” later identified as lung cancer.
OCT 23: Wikileaks tweets: “Thousands keep demanding Assange proof of life…”
Thousands keep demanding Assange proof of life. Not unreasonable. He's in a tough spot and is WikiLeaks best known validator. Preference?
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 24, 2016
Since that time, Wikileaks continued to release Podesta Emails at a methodical pace. We have seen sporadic interviews of Mr. Assange but they are stilted, possibly edited, and make no reference to more recent events.
To the dismay of many voters, the promised smoking gun that would put Hillary in jail never surfaced. Though Assange was widely rumored to have possession of Hillary’s 33k missing emails, we never saw their release.
And suddenly, on November 9th, the day after the election, the leaks came to a grinding halt.
Assange’s November 8th statement read like a rambling legal defense, seeking to underscore the point that Wikileaks had not deliberately targeted the Hillary Clinton campaign. It did not speculate on the outcome of the election or make any mention of a Trump victory.
Chief among them are these mysteries:
- Why haven’t we seen any physical proof that Assange is still at the embassy, in more than a month?
- Why hasn’t his internet been restored now that the election is over?
- Why hasn’t there been any reaction from Assange about Trump’s electoral upset?
- Why did all the leaks stop on election day, leaving many promised files undelivered?
To add more intrigue to the plot we have the death of Assange’s co-founder, the deaths of two of his lawyers, and the death of suspected DNC leaker Seth Rich, all in less than a year.
Inquest rules that death of Julian Assange's lawyer, John Jones QC, was not 'suicide', opening door to law suits https://t.co/WRJZLvT4S9
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 21, 2016
Unanswered questions swirl around both deaths.
A bloody year for WikiLeaks pic.twitter.com/7Dy6RgJlhv
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 23, 2016
When we consider who might be behind the push to silence Julian Assange, one party comes immediately to the foreground: the Clinton Foundation.
They are among a small group of suspects who have the means, motive, and opportunity to compromise such a high profile activist group, and to silence its leaders one by one.
Perhaps we will be able to get the whole story from Assange himself. President Obama is facing increasing pressure to issue pardons to Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden. If Obama fails to intervene on their behalf, it’s possible that President Trump will take action.
No matter what happens, we know that historians will be dissecting this unprecedented election for generations to come, and Wikileaks plays a starring role in the show.