Damon Winter/The New York Times, 9 November 2016
Damon Winter/The New York Times, 9 November 2016
The Secrets of the US Election: Julian Assange talks to John Pilger in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, broadcast 5 November 2016 (excerpt; transcript via John Pilger)
What's the significance of the FBI's intervention in these last days of the U.S. election campaign, in the case against Hillary Clinton?
If you look at the history of the FBI, it has become effectively America's political police. The FBI demonstrated this by taking down the former head of the CIA [General David Petraeus] over classified information given to his mistress. Almost no-one is untouchable. The FBI is always trying to demonstrate that no-one can resist us. But Hillary Clinton very conspicuously resisted the FBI's investigation, so there's anger within the FBI because it made the FBI look weak.
We've published about 33,000 of Clinton's emails when she was Secretary of State. They come from a batch of just over 60,000 emails, [of which] Clinton has kept about half - 30,000 -- to herself, and we've published about half.
Then there are the Podesta emails we've been publishing. [John] Podesta is Hillary Clinton's primary campaign manager, so there's a thread that runs through all these emails; there are quite a lot of pay-for-play, as they call it, giving access in exchange for money to states, individuals and corporations. [These emails are] combined with the cover up of the Hillary Clinton emails when she was Secretary of State, [which] has led to an environment where the pressure on the FBI increases.
The Clinton campaign has said that Russia is behind all of this, that Russia has manipulated the campaign and is the source for WikiLeaks and its emails.
The Clinton camp has been able to project that kind of neo-McCarthy hysteria: that Russia is responsible for everything. Hilary Clinton stated multiple times, falsely, that seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies had assessed that Russia was the source of our publications. That is false; we can say that the Russian government is not the source.
WikiLeaks has been publishing for ten years, and in those ten years, we have published ten million documents, several thousand individual publications, several thousand different sources, and we have never got it wrong.
The emails that give evidence of access for money and how Hillary Clinton herself benefited from this and how she is benefitting politically, are quite extraordinary. I'm thinking of when the Qatari representative was given five minutes with Bill Clinton for a million dollar cheque.
And twelve million dollars from Morocco ...
Twelve million from Morocco yeah.
For Hillary Clinton to attend [a party].
In terms of the foreign policy of the United States, that's where the emails are most revealing, where they show the direct connection between Hillary Clinton and the foundation of jihadism, of ISIL, in the Middle East. Can you talk about how the emails demonstrate the contention that those who are meant to be fighting the jihadists of ISIL are actually those who have helped create it.
There's an early 2014 email from Hillary Clinton, not so long after she left the State Department, to her campaign manager John Podesta that states ISIL is funded by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Now this is the most significant email in the whole collection, and perhaps because Saudi and Qatari money is spread all over the Clinton Foundation. Even the U.S. government agrees that some Saudi figures have been supporting ISIL, or ISIS. But the dodge has always been that, well it's just some rogue Princes, using their cut of the oil money to do whatever they like, but actually the government disapproves.
But that email says that no, it is the governments of Saudi and Qatar that have been funding ISIS.
The Saudis, the Qataris, the Moroccans, the Bahrainis, particularly the Saudis and the Qataris, are giving all this money to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State and the State Department is approving massive arms sales, particularly to Saudi Arabia.
Under Hillary Clinton, the world's largest ever arms deal was made with Saudi Arabia, [worth] more than $80 billion. In fact, during her tenure as Secretary of State, total arms exports from the United States in terms of the dollar value, doubled.
Of course the consequence of that is that the notorious terrorist group called ISIl or ISIS is created largely with money from the very people who are giving money to the Clinton Foundation.
US - Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech in New York after being defeated by Donald Trump. By @jewelsamad #Elections2016 #AFP: image via Frédérique Geffard @fgeffardAFP. 9 November 2016Julian Assange:
I actually feel quite sorry for Hillary Clinton as a person because I see someone who is eaten alive by their ambitions, tormented literally to the point where they become sick; they faint as a result of [the reaction] to their ambitions. She represents a whole network of people and a network of relationships with particular states. The question is how does Hilary Clinton fit in this broader network? She's a centralising cog. You've got a lot of different gears in operation from the big banks like Goldman Sachs and major elements of Wall Street, and Intelligence and people in the State Department and the Saudis.
She's the centraliser that inter-connects all these different cogs. She's the smooth central representation of all that, and 'all that' is more or less what is in power now in the United States. It's what we call the establishment or the DC consensus. One of the more significant Podesta emails that we released was about how the Obama cabinet was formed and how half the Obama cabinet was basically nominated by a representative from CitiBank. This is quite amazing.
Didn't CitiBank supply a list .... ?
... which turned out to be most of the Obama cabinet.
So Wall Street decides the cabinet of the President of the United States?
If you were following the Obama campaign back then, closely, you could see it had become very close to banking interests.
So I think you can't properly understand Hillary Clinton's foreign policy without understanding Saudi Arabia. The connections with Saudi Arabia are so intimate.
Why was she so demonstrably enthusiastic about the destruction of Libya? Can you talk a little about just what the emails have told us, told you about what happened there, because Libya is such a source for so much of the mayhem now in Syria, the ISIL jihadism and so on, and it was almost Hillary Clinton's invasion. What do the emails tell us about that?
Libya, more than anyone else's war, was Hillary Clinton's war. Barack Obama initially opposed it. Who was the person championing it? Hillary Clinton. That's documented throughout her emails. She had put her favoured agent, Sidney Blumenthal, on to that; there's more than 1700 emails out of the thirty three thousand Hillary Clinton emails that we've published, just about Libya. It's not that Libya has cheap oil. She perceived the removal of Gaddafi and the overthrow of the Libyan state -- something that she would use in her run-up to the general election for President.
So in late 2011 there is an internal document called the Libya Tick Tock that was produced for Hillary Clinton, and it's the chronological description of how she was the central figure in the destruction of the Libyan state, which resulted in around 40,000 deaths within Libya; jihadists moved in, ISIS moved in, leading to the European refugee and migrant crisis.
Not only did you have people fleeing Libya, people fleeing Syria, the destabilisation of other African countries as a result of arms flows, but the Libyan state itself err was no longer able to control the movement of people through it. Libya faces along to the Mediterranean and had been effectively the cork in the bottle of Africa. So all problems, economic problems and civil war in Africa -- previously people fleeing those problems didn't end up in Europe because Libya policed the Mediterranean. That was said explicitly at the time, back in early 2011 by Gaddafi: 'What do these Europeans think they're doing, trying to bomb and destroy the Libyan State? There's going to be floods of migrants out of Africa and jihadists into Europe, and this is exactly what happened.
* * *
Do you yourself take a view of the U.S. election? Do you have a preference for Clinton or Trump?
[Let's talk about] Donald Trump. What does he represent in the American mind and in the European mind? He represents American white trash, [which Hillary Clinton called] 'deplorable and irredeemable'. It means from an establishment or educated cosmopolitan, urbane perspective, these people are like the red necks, and you can never deal with them. Because he so clearly -- through his words and actions and the type of people that turn up at his rallies -- represents people who are not the middle, not the upper middle educated class, there is a fear of seeming to be associated in any way with them, a social fear that lowers the class status of anyone who can be accused of somehow assisting Trump in any way, including any criticism of Hillary Clinton. If you look at how the middle class gains its economic and social power, that makes absolute sense.
#glassceiling #WAwithHer#WellesleyWatches: image via wellesleyunderground @wellesleyunderg, 8 November 2016
The largely female crowd of about 3,000 snacked on cupcakes topped with shards of candy glass ceiling (clear, flat sugar) and snapped group selfies with the Clinton cardboard cutouts decorating the arena. They also took pictures of themselves grabbing the crotches of the Donald Trump and Mike Pence cutouts.
Graduating senior Caroline Bechtel, who will serve as a second lieutenant in the army after she finishes officer training school in 2017, talked about her relief that the election season was over and that Clinton would be president. Her classmate Zainab Younus, who is majoring in international relations, said how exciting it had been to be with her politically engaged classmates supporting Clinton’s campaign.
Then the results started rolling in.
By 9.30pm, the guests seated in the front of the college’s field house – watching the results on CNN and in a position to hear the commentary – looked much tenser than the ones still standing in line for the bar and partying in the back of the room.
Lindsay Miller, a class of 1969 schoolmate of Clinton’s, and the former editor of their college newspaper, explained that when it comes to Clinton and Trump, “it’s no contest, but it looks like there’s a contest, and that says something about our country.”
“What we’re seeing is a serious, serious split,” Miller, a journalist, said.
Graduating senior Amal Cheema said much the same. “As the polls came in, I was seeing how much division and disagreement there is in America.”
By 10.22pm, after the predicted Clinton blowout had failed to materialize and everyone was settling in for a close race, Wellesley’s other famous Democratic alumna, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, addressed the cheering audience remotely. “Nothing comes easy for women. But I think she’ll pull it out,” she told them.
Four minutes later, the audience booed the announcement that Trump had won Ohio.
As state after state went for Trump, people began making discreet exits. Ten minutes after results showed the Republican candidate up in Iowa, a young woman was visibly in tears, being comforted by her friends.
She wouldn’t be the last.
The fluorescent lights came on at the back of the field house an hour and several more electoral votes for Trump later. Around the room, women were comforting one another as despondent face found despondent face. A biracial lesbian couple were holding on to each other, with a visceral sense of defeat.
Shortly after midnight, when CNN showed Trump pulling away from Clinton in Pennsylvania, a few women shouted “No!” and “Why?” at no one in particular, as the catering staff packed up the bar and dispatched the remains of the cheese plates and buffet sandwiches. More and more women could be seen crying on one another’s shoulders, while one group of women (and a couple of male friends) gave the middle finger to CNN’s Jake Tapper on the large screen.
Younus, the graduating senior who had started the night so excited by the thought of a Clinton win, stood in the middle of the room, alone, with her arms crossed across her chest. “How are we supposed to predict anything?” she asked rhetorically, and then refused to answer any more questions.
Tempestt Morgan -- who had been hoping against hope for a Clinton victory at 12.30am -- was not optimistic about the America into which she would be entering as a college graduate next May. “Even if [Clinton] somehow makes it back from this, it’s still sad to see so many people aligned with a candidate like [Trump]” she said.
Her friend, Jekia Brockman, looked around at the women crying -- one of whom flopped over dramatically as yet another state was said to be leaning Trump -- and said: “It’s not unbelievable. It’s completely believable.”
Just before 1.30am, as the group of (mostly) students watching the results had dwindled to a couple of hundred, the Wellesley president, Paula Johnson, took the stage. “Whatever the result, we stand for justice,” she said. “We stand for equality for every one, no matter your gender, your race, your sexual orientation or your religion, no matter what country you’re from or what your immigration status is.”
“We must be part of the momentum that takes us forward from here” she added, after a standing ovation.
“We will be here together in the morning” she said.
And then, just minutes before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, Wellesley College shut down the news feed, and sent their students and guests home.
Quite literally! @Wellesley: image via Megan Carpentier @megancarpentier, 8 November 2016
wellesley women shattering glass ceilings: image via dweeb @brocroft, 8 November 2016
This @Wellesley event is also a sort of reunion so I don't think people realize how close the race is. Big cheers/shrieks with each result.: image via Anne Mostue @AnneMostue, 8 November 2016
12:13am #WAwithHer #WellesleyWatches: image via wellesleyunderground @wellesleyunderg, 9 November 2016