A new article published on TruePundit.com and tweeted by WikiLeaks claims that in 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton broached the idea of launching a drone strike to take out Julian Assange.
Assange’s latest batch of leaks at that time, dubbed CableGate, had become an embarrassment to the Obama administration and constituted what State Department officials viewed as a danger to the international intelligence community.
True Pundit’s unconfirmed report alleges the topic came up on the morning of Tuesday, November 23, 2010, on Mahogany Row at the State Department, where Secretary Clinton abruptly changed the focus of the meeting from the color of her sweater to extrajudicial assassination.
Hillary Clinton on Assange “Can’t we just drone this guy” — report https://t.co/S7tPrl2QCZ pic.twitter.com/qy2EQBa48y— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 3, 2016
According to True Pundit, Clinton’s alleged question even generated an email with the stunning subject header, “an SP memo on possible legal and nonlegal strategies re Wikileaks.” The email, written by one of her top aides, appears to echo the alleged brainstorming session during which Clinton had questioned why the whistleblower could not be killed without due process. Still, it’s important to note “nonlegal” does not necessarily mean “illegal,” and the text of the email does not reference drones, meaning the foundation of True Pundit’s report rests on the anonymous, unconfirmed accounts of former State Department employees.
If True Pundit‘s report is factual, it is unclear whether or not this information was shared with President Obama.
Shortly after the meeting, the CableGate documents began to circulate, and Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in England.
Coming during a presidential campaign in which Assange has released several damaging troves of documents related to Clinton and the DNC, the revelation adds even more context to the escalating rhetoric aimed at WikiLeaks. In fact, the disclosure makes the establishment’s Cold War-like attribution to Russian hacking suddenly seem almost friendly.
It appears that if the True Pundit report is accurate, the first part of this assessment was also correct. The State Department under Clinton actively deliberated on non-legal military strikes against the head of WikiLeaks. At this point, it is not hard to imagine that the next major leak — which could very well make for a historic October surprise — will be labeled a boon to counterintelligence and, therefore, a threat to national security.
Regardless of whether or not True Pundit‘s allegations are true, if Clinton is elected president in November, her past record on drones makes it reasonable to expect her strategies will employ extrajudicial assassination.
One can’t help but notice a glaring ethical inconsistency in the State’s reaction to leaks. American citizens who “have nothing to hide” are expected to tolerate invasions of their privacy by the government for the sake of national security — yet that same government is unwilling to peacefully adhere to a standard of transparency when their words and actions are brought to light.
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