Domscheit-Berg’s public statement re: Manning and the slippery status of OpenLeaks

This article is an addendum to a previous article entitled: ‘Why I believe Daniel-Domscheit-Berg is an F.B.I. Informant’.  

On 5 March, 2013, Daniel Domscheit-Berg appeared on a panel interview on German DW program “Agenda”.

Here is the link to that programme:  http://dw.de/p/17gh

During the program, Domscheit-Berg stated a belief in the importance of whistle-blowers.  This lofty attitude flies in the face of his actions in sabotaging WikiLeaks and betraying  whistle-blowers, by stealing leaked documents and the encrypted submission system from the organisation.

Despite these actions and his continuous public slander of WikiLeaks, he still had the hypocrisy and audacity to refer to the organisation as “we” a number of times, during the program, presumably in continuance of his usual attempts to bath in the reflected glory generated by  the achievements and continued trials endured by Julian Assange and Brad Manning.  Revealingly, though, he smirked when Assange’s current Embassy incarceration was mentioned.

In  case anyone should be in doubt of the importance of Domscheit-Berg in the achievements of Assange and Manning, he indicated he had met Manning and described his impression of Manning’s demeanor and motives in leaking material to WikiLeaks.  By his statements, whether or not they are factual, he has publically placed himself in the position of middle-man for WikiLeaks, in relation to the Manning leaks.  Given the current situation, these statements are at best, ill-advised and at worst, an incredible act of self-aggrandising stupidity.  Domscheit-Berg does not present as highly intelligent but can he really be so clueless as to not realise the implications of his statements?

In response to questions as to whether he thought he would be called as a witness, in relation to the investigation, he claimed not to know.  This is completely bizarre in the context of his Manning remarks, particularly when the F.B.I. are going to such lengths as to subpoena Twitter account records.  Surely, given the information Domscheit-Berg  provided, the pertinent question would be not, “Do you expect to be called as a witness?” but “Do you expect to be charged with Conspiracy to Commit Espionage?” – or whatever charges the U.S. Grand Jury has prepared for Julian Assange.

It is clear that he has spoken to the F.B.I. and was deemed ‘helpful’ so clearly he has already passed on information, pertaining to his involvement, to them.  He would definitely have been asked to make an official statement – ergo he is an F.B.I. Informant.  His lack of reticence in providing information, directly related to the investigation, on television  demonstrates that the F.B.I. already has his version of events.

Manning

Bradley Manning: One of the people Domscheit-Berg is disregarding in his quest for public attention

Based on the information he has provided in this program he will definitely be subpoenaed  as a witness against Julian Assange and Brad Manning.  One can only assume that either he is lying about knowing this, or the F.B.I. are unwilling to directly confirm this fact to him.  This may be because the effect would be to openly confirm that Assange is to be arrested, in relation to WikiLeaks involvement in the Manning leaks, and they are still trying to maintain a pretence that they may not proceed against him.

Obviously, if Assange is to be arrested, then so is Domscheit-Berg, as he appears to be confessing to being the middle-man in what they would define as a ‘Conspiracy’.  In fact, his confirmation makes him more culpable than Assange as he cannot deny knowledge.  The only thing that would protect Domscheit-Berg from being charged is his ‘co-operation’ in the form of the provision of a statement against Assange and Manning.  Clearly, his admissions on this program, are an admission, by implication, of this co-operation with the F.B.I.

The interviewer described Domscheit-Berg as ‘Founder’ of OpenLeaks.  In a previous post I stated that I believed it was highly likely that ‘OpenLeaks’ was being maintained, as a front organisation, for the F.B.I.  I also stated that I believed it was functioning as a ‘honey-pot’ to gather intelligence about would-be leakers, to prevent actual leaks occurring which could be damaging to the U.S. Government.  I also voiced the fact that the F.B.I. were in a conundrum, as OpenLeaks could not be perceived to leak anything without raising the question as to why Domscheit-Berg was not being criminally charged.  I suggested that this caused difficulties in maintaining the ruse that OpenLeaks was a legitimate leak organisation.

To this date, Openleaks still does not appear to be providing any actual constructive service to whistle-blowers.  For months, Domscheit-Berg’s leaking activities consisted of public requests for persons to come forward to help them develop systems so they could commence functioning.

Today the OpenLeaks web-site contains information about their non-functioning email system and a ‘stream of consciousness’ diatribe, from Domscheit-Berg, about why leaking is difficult.  He makes it clear that his organisation is steering clear of actual leaking but will provide information to others about how to go about it.  A reasonable conclusion, from reading the information on the web-site, as provided by Domscheit-Berg’s fairly ordinary intellect, is that OpenLeaks has no such information to provide.

If OpenLeaks is being maintained as an F.B.I. ‘honey-pot’, Domschiet-Berg’s operational activity of attracting contact from potential leaders of leaking organisations, is the next best  thing to receiving information from actual leakers.  This would also solve the problem of maintaining Domscheit-Berg’s shaky cover story and the cover of OpenLeaks.  The F.B.I. would  be able to receive information they could use to identify the next generation of potential Julian Assange’s, information with great potential valuable to more than one sector of the U.S. Government.

Based upon Domscheit-Berg’s performance to date, as recently confirmed by his public comments in the above panel-interview video, there is no doubt that he is the LAST person who anyone should contact should they wish to commence leaking activities.  No doubt if he receives any information about persons interested in whistle-blowing activities, he would be happy to oblige the F.B.I. by providing it to them, particularly if he could enhance his public-image whilst by doing so.  One would hope that any hapless, well-meaning person would steer well clear of Domscheit-Berg and OpenLeaks.

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Why I believe Daniel Domscheit-Berg is an F.B.I. Informant

“Pathological liars always have great faith in their own honesty.  That’s what helps them lie.”  –  Julian Assange

I believe that Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s sins, in sabotaging and stealing from WikiLeaks, were committed for reasons of vengeance.  I believe however, that there was a darker motivation, to his actions, which went far beyond malice.  I believe it is probable he had been recruited as an F.B.I. informant.

The release of the ‘Afghan War Logs’ would have sent shock-waves through the U.S. Intelligence community resulting in immediate downward-pressure, from the Corridors of Power, to take action to stop WikiLeaks. Priority one, for the United States Government would have been to ensure that no further damaging leaks were possible.  The best way to achieve this, and the focus of U.S. Government efforts, would have been to damage or steal the method by which information was leaked to WikiLeaks.

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Come back with a Warrant – Yeah right

Domscheit-Berg did exactly that.  He stole WikiLeaks’ encrypted submission system, a system authored by Julian Assange.  This act put the organisation back months and necessitated WikiLeaks having to set up a temporary, rudimentary submission system, using the postal system.  He also stole WikiLeaks donations in the six-digit range, as well as computer hardware.

The reason Domscheit-Berg gave, for stealing the encrypted submission system, was to use it in his own organisation, ‘Openleaks’.  Openleaks has been inactive for the entirety of its’ existence, well over a year.  It appears to be a non-functioning ‘front’ organisation.

It’s no secret that Domscheit-Berg has no ability to write code and could never write a submission system for himself.  But why would he need one if ‘OpenLeaks’ was never going to function? I believe that Domscheit-Berg had been approached by the F.B.I. when they heard of the dissension between himself and Assange.  He then agreed to work for the government in return for benefits.  I believe one of his first tasks, as an Informant, was to steal the encrypted submission system and to hand it to the F.B.I.  This he dutifully accomplished. I believe he was also directed to steal the stored WikiLeaks emails and to provide them to the F.B.I.  What other benefit was there to be gained, from stealing emails, apart from to assist Law Enforcement?  Emails relating to an argument between Domscheit-Berg and Assange were never going to hurt WikiLeaks.  Other information, contained within the email system, however, could have been very useful to the Government.  Remember that, at this time, the F.B.I. were trying to put together a case against Assange as well as obtain intelligence about the identities of WikiLeaks’ Sources, in order to stop them leaking information and, where possible, put together prosecutions against them.  They were, and remain, keen to gather as much intelligence as possible about the organisation’s activities, plans, methodology, members, contacts, skills and sympathisers.  The email system would have been considered a rich source of information.

After Domscheit-Berg had stolen the documents, containing leaked information, from WikiLeaks, the Chaos Computer Club attempted to assist with mediating their re-aquisition.  The Club spent eleven fruitless months trying to do so.  Andy Müller-Maguhn, of the CCC, indicated that attempts were made to make Domscheit-Berg commit to a single story but to no avail. He then claimed the documents had been destroyed.  Kristinn Hrafnsson, Assange’s legal representative, stated that 3,500 documents had been stolen from WikiLeaks.  None of this rich treasure-trove has subsequently been leaked by ‘Openleaks’.

This is not surprising as the F.B.I. would hardly have given Domscheit-Berg permission to leak sensitive information to the public, or media, hence no such leaked information has been released.  The information was, no doubt, handed directly to the U.S. Government. ‘Openleaks’ remains open, possibly as a ‘front’ organisation, by arrangement with the F.B.I., to help maintain the original contrived ‘legend’ about Domscheit-Berg’s motives.  I believe ‘Openleaks’ will never leak a single document.  I believe that, if it is perceived that the ruse is failing, an announcement may be made, via the Main-stream Media, in relation to a ‘Leak’ of sensitive information by Openleaks.  This release will actually be a pre-arranged press release, orchestrated to maintain the ruse whilst doing no real damage.

The F.B.I. now face an inherent problem with taking this course.  The ‘Catch 22’ situation, in which they now find themselves, is that they must maintain the ruse that ‘Openleaks’ is a legitimate ‘leak’ organisation.  Their difficulty is that, whilst maintaining the ruse, they cannot allow any leaks to happen.  If Domscheit-Berg is given a fallacious ‘leak’ to release, to support his cover story, demands will immediately be made for him to be charged under the “Espionage Act”, with the same offences they are saving up for Julian Assange.  They would then be forced to ‘out’ him as an Informant to avoid doing so. I believe this ‘Catch 22’ situation is the reason why ‘Openleaks’ continues to sit there, in a glaring and pitiful state of inaction and why it will continue to do so indefinitely.  What to do?…What to do?  It’s a conundrum.  [Sound of fingers drumming on the desk].

The F.B.I. would have been desperate to cultivate an Informant from within WikiLeaks.  Daniel Domscheit-Berg would have been just the man they were looking for – vengeful, vindictive, treacherous and with an axe to grind.  Whilst using him, they probably despise him.

I would suggest the U.S. Government probably helped with the release of his book, ‘Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website’  to support his cover story and spread the myth to conceal his relationship with the F.B.I.  I believe it is possible that part of the reason for the book deal, apart from to peddle disinformation to discredit WikiLeaks, was also to cover financial payments to Domscheit-Berg, for his assistance to the U.S. Government. After the split with WikiLeaks,

Domscheit-Berg attempted to use a Chaos Computer Club summer event to promote ‘Openleaks’.  The response of Andy Muller-Maguhn was as follows:- “We on the board of the CCC are not happy Domscheit-Berg has given the impression Openleaks will be tested by our own people and thus given a CCC stamp of approval. This is outrageous.”

Andy Müller-Maguhn

Andy Müller-Maguhn – Former Board-Member of the Chaos Computer Club

Domscheit-Berg also refused to divulge information about ‘Openleaks’ or with whom he was working.  I believe that the motivation for this promotion of ‘Openleaks’, at this event, was to assist the F.B.I. and other U.S. Government agencies, in using it as a ‘honey-trap’.  I believe they wanted to encourage genuine Sources to use that facility instead of ‘WikiLeaks’ to stop information being leaked to the public and to identify Sources so they could then be prosecuted.  I believe that, due to the honesty and intelligence of members of the Chaos Computer Club, this plan back-fired and the operation was an ‘epic fail’, causing it to be shelved. As we know, Andy Muller-Maguhn went on to co-author the ground-breaking ‘Cypherpunks’ with Julian Assange.  Clearly he was too smart to fall for Domscheit-Berg’s antics.  I believe that Domscheit-Berg would also have been reporting back to the F.B.I. about the members and activities of the Chaos Computer Club and their associates and may still be doing so.

The high-level, immediate, Main-stream Media support of Domscheit-Berg, also appears to have been assisted by the U.S. Government.  Domscheit-Berg, being a narcissistic egotist, would no doubt have easily fallen in line with anyone who said to him, “Boy, we’re going to make you a star”.  In fact, apart from larceny and lying, self-promotion appears to have been his only activity since being fired from WikiLeaks.

My investigation has been wholly based on information obtained from the internet.  The conclusion that Domscheit-Berg was and probably still is, being ‘handled’ by the F.B.I., is the only explanation for the odd sequence of events and the numerous inconsistencies, both in his words and actions.  All of these inconsistencies fall into place when the conclusion is applied.  It is the only way to make sense of the whole matter.

This view is supported by those expressed by Julian Assange, in his statement of 20th August, 2011.

“I have received a warning from a current Western intelligence officer that Daniel Domscheit-Berg has been in contact with the F.B.I., on more than one occasion, and that the information from his contact was “helpful”.  I do not know if Daniel Domscheit-Berg was complicit with the reported contact. David House, of the Bradley Manning Support Network, stated publicly, and repeatedly, that U.S. investigative authorities attempted to bribe him to become an informant and infiltrate WikiLeaks activities.”

Julian_Assange_2010-front1

Julian Assange
– Believed Domscheit-Berg was in contact with the F.B.I.

Needless to say, whether Daniel Domscheit-Berg is a vengeful competitor, an F.B.I. snitch, or both, one thing is clear – anyone who decides to trust him has rocks in their head.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg – The Man who Sold-out WikiLeaks

The rush is currently on to produce films about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.  Dreamworks have one in pre-production with the working title of ‘The Man who Sold the World’.  Cast members of the film, which is to be directed by Bill Condon (Twilight), include British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ mini-series, who is to play the role of WikiLeaks’ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Julian Assange.

The film reportedly draws on two sources:  ‘WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy’  by journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding and ‘Inside WikiLeaks: My Time With Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website’, by Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg

Daniel Domscheit-Berg
– Had trouble keeping his stories straight

As a result of his on-going work with WikiLeaks, Assange is currently a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy under threat of extradition to the United States.  He was forced to take refuge there as a result of a European Arrest Warrant pertaining to politically motivated sexual ‘molestation’ allegations.  The warrant was taken out by Sweden, whose part in this corrupt, legal-moral fiasco, has allowed the U.S. to turn their country into a standing joke.

It is a matter of public record that Domscheit-Berg, a previous WikiLeaks spokesperson in Germany, was ejected from WikiLeaks after causing internal dissension.  He used claims about WikiLeaks documents and other internal WikiLeaks communications, to hold WikiLeaks and Assange to ransom.

I was going to suggest that Domscheit-Berg might be a Salieri to Assange’s Mozart but even Salieri produced some works.  Domscheit-Berg’s contribution to the international record, post-WikiLeaks, has been to sit on the side-lines and try to hoover up some reflected glory whilst smearing a person who, despite his situation, continues to change lives.

And he is changing lives.  He should be given a medal for ‘Services to the American public’ for releasing the ‘Collateral Murder’ video alone.  Americans needed to see that.  I, as a citizen of a country who has a military alliance with the United States, needed to see that.

Domscheit-Berg’s achievements, however, are somewhat less illustrious:

Before leaving WikiLeaks, he stole 3,500 unpublished files, leaked to WikiLeaks by sources, including the complete U.S. no-fly list, five gigabytes of Bank of America documents and detailed information about twenty neo-Nazi groups.  Along with these files, Domscheit-Berg also stole the entire WikiLeaks encrypted submission system to use in his rival site ‘Openleaks’.  The bitchy reason he provided for stealing the files and submission system was that “children shouldn’t play with guns”.  This theft resulted in WikiLeaks being unable to receive on-line leaked document submissions for a year, with the site instead being forced to resort to using a Post Office Box in Australia.

WikiLeaks were forced to waste many months trying to negotiate the return of the stolen unpublished leaks and internal communications.  Domscheit-Berg then tried to blackmail WikiLeaks by threatening to make available, to forces that oppose WikiLeaks, these communications, should WikiLeaks move to charge him with sabotage or theft.  Attempts were made, to negotiate the return of the items, but were terminated by a mediator who had “doubts” about Domscheit-Berg’s “integrity”.

Domscheit-Berg then threatened to destroy the files.  In a ‘Der Spiegel’ interview, Domscheit-Berg said he had the files “shredded to ensure that the sources are not compromised”.  He then later lied to ‘Der Freitag’, ‘’I took no documents from WikiLeaks with me’.  It would appear that Domscheit-Berg is not only an immature and vengeful character, but he has trouble keeping his stories straight.

Domscheit-Berg’s actions would be considered criminal offences in most countries.  The encryption system would most likely also be classed as the “intellectual property” of WikiLeaks.  It appears WikiLeaks would be entitled to sue Domscheit-Berg for its theft as well as claim for financial damages.  How much did he get paid for that book deal?

WikiLeaks clearly made the right decision in kicking this guy to the kerb.  A person with such a demonstrated lack of moral integrity and maturity has no place in an organisation where the stakes, for the whistle-blowers, WikiLeaks members and the general public, are so high.

Regardless of who was at fault, in the relationship between Domscheit-Berg and Assange, the only conceivable explanation for Domscheit-Berg’s actions is revenge.  Given Domscheit-Berg’s own acknowledgement of the importance of WikiLeaks’ task and the information involved, these are clearly the actions of a self-serving narcissist.  These acts more accurately demonstrate the personal failings of a film’s petty, twisted villain, rather than a hero.  It’s going to take a lot of poetic license for any film-maker to frame those facts in any other way.

It appears that Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s only contribution to international government transparency and press freedom, since his departure from WikiLeaks, has been to go trolling around Twitter making silly, unsubstantiated accusations about Assange and WikiLeaks supporters reputedly linking to a “neo-Nazi” site.  Supporters, including myself,  were ominously informed that the request had come from “Berlin”.  He must be of the belief that Berlin is still the seat of authority it was in 1940.  When challenged, the allegations were down-graded to an unsubstantiated claim that the site had displayed ‘neo-Nazi attitudes’.

I believe these harassing Tweets emanated from that ‘Star of stage and screen’, Domscheit-Berg, himself.  They were sent from a pseudonymous account, “Wikinews”.  This account displays a drawing on the profile page with an arrow pointing to Domscheit-Berg’s name.  This account responds directly to questions Tweeted by followers to Domscheit-Berg’s @Openleaks account.

It appears that the allegations were in response to Assange supporters, including myself, re-tweeting links to Swedish News organisation, Rixstep News.  The ‘neo-Nazi’ allegations appeared immediately after Rixstep published a mirth-making article providing excerpts of Domscheit-Berg’s book, with amusing asides commenting on the ‘shite’ contained therein.  Obviously Rixstep had touched a raw nerve.

This apparent concern about neo-Nazism is ironic given the fact that Domscheit-Berg apparently destroyed WikiLeaks documents providing details identifying ‘neo-Nazi’ groups.

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Julian Assange – Continues work at the Ecuadorian Embassy despite immense external pressures.
Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

Whilst our cinematic hero has been engaging in this idiocy, Julian Assange continues his life’s work from a single room, in the Ecuadorian Embassy, whilst under continued intrusive surveillance from police and Intelligence Agencies.  Among other activities, he has been using his prodigious intelligence to alert the world to the real and present threats to our global autonomy and personal freedoms as a result of misuse of our information systems.  In this area he has taken on the role of educator, producing a book on the subject, ‘Cypherpunks – Freedom and the Future of the Internet’.  The information he provides, both through the written and spoken word, is considered threatening to those who would usurp our power, including the United States and his activities have brought him under increasing pressure from politicians and the government and corporate-controlled Main Stream Media.  In short, he continues to make genuine sacrifices for a cause greater than himself.

His situation is one which would send most people, including myself, howling to the nut-house.  But Assange appears to be holding up well, continuing to network and communicate with an ever-growing group of sympathetic individuals, including prominent public figures, in the international community.

I have been keeping an eye on the ‘Openleaks’ website and Twitter account for signs of life – waiting for evidence of the amazing leaks of information which will show the world that Domscheit-Berg is the wronged hero he’s selling himself as.  It’s been well over a year since ‘Openleaks’ opened for business but still nothing…

But then who, in their right mind, would risk their life or future to leak information to a man who has completely and publically sold-out WikiLeaks and Julian Assange – who has confessed to stealing documents from WikiLeaks and destroying them.

Any attempts by Dreamworks to make Domscheit-Berg into the hero of their film are going to fall flat.  There’s just too much information out there and too many high-profile supporters who know the real story.

You don’t have to be a genius media commentator to know that even members of the public who don’t like Julian Asssange for whatever reason, recognise Domscheit-Berg as a jealous, cowering character, who has had little to do with the massively influential focal point for freedom-fighters, which WikiLeaks has become.

This is a man who did not only sell out WikiLeaks and Julian, he sold out all of us, every one of us who believe that Democracy and Freedom of Speech are in trouble.  And, as any thinking person knows, the threat to Democracy, led by the United States Government and its Intelligence services, is palpable, real and upon us.

For all we know, the proposed title, ‘The man who sold the world’, may end up correctly referring to Domscheit-Berg.  One can only hope that the film-makers have the intelligence and perspective not to waste an opportunity to chronicle an important international development, by producing a B-grade, smearing, fluff-piece.

Maybe Steven Spielberg isn’t that silly after all – to pillory himself with a film that will be looked back on as so completely backing the wrong horse.  I mean, would you want history to refer to you as the guy who made a film backing the Ku Klux Klan against Martin Luther King, or the South African Government against Nelson Mandela?  Does he really want to take that risk?

I have no doubt that, regardless of what happens with the U.S. sealed Espionage indictments and/or the Swedish fiasco, the international influence of Julian Assange will continue to grow and become an even more important part of the historical record.

At the end of the day, WikiLeaks was always Assange’s organisation.  Domscheit-Berg was a bit player who had neither the talent nor drive to achieve what Assange has with the organisation.  His own jealousy and failure to recognise this and get behind Assange, proved his undoing.

Julian Assange and his organisation, WikiLeaks, have never released the identity of a WikiLeaks source, indeed have never sold-out anyone.  A lesser man in his position might have tried to do a deal of some kind to bargain himself out of the position he is in.  Domscheit-Berg, in contrast, stole and apparently destroyed information, provided at great risk, by whistle-blowers and tried to destroy WikiLeaks for reasons of sheer vengeance.  He then sold the story of his treachery, with himself re-framed as the victim and hero, for thirty pieces of silver.

So who is the lesser man of the two?  Events, past and present, clearly demonstrate which one of them is the sell-out.  Let’s hope the film-makers can figure it out.  Meanwhile, I watch the cyber-traffic and wait for Daniel Domscheit-Berg to do something for someone other than himself.

Christmas speech

Julian Assange – Christmas Speech from the Ecuadorian Embassy – 2012