Friday, December 24, 2010

Notorious Anti-Semite and 9-11 Conspiracist Israel Shamir: Wikileak's Russian Conduit

Wikileak's Notorious Julian Assange

"[L]et’s treat the WikiLeaks organization like the journalists they insist they are, and ask the question put forward by Novaya Gazeta reporter Yulia Latynina: Out of all the competent journalists who are sympathetic to the WikiLeaks mission, why have Wahlström and Shamir—one a disgraced journalist, the other an extreme racist—been trusted with the largest intelligence leak in history?"---Reason (12-14-10, page 2)

"Given the tight if murky links between the Russian security apparatus and the quasi-fascist Nationalist movement with which [Wikileak's Russian conduit Israel Shamir] is associated there, it has worrying implications for the security of anyone named in the cables. This is not because the cables themselves are inaccurate, but because they are not."---U.K. Guardian (12-17-10)


Wikileak's Russian contact is a notorious Russian-born anti-semite, Holocaust denier, and 9-11 conspiracist named Israel Shamir. The U.K. Guardian (12-17-10) reports:

WikiLeaks's spokesperson and conduit in Russia has been exposed in the Swedish media as an anti-semite and Holocaust denier; his son, who represents the organisation in Sweden and is handing out stories to selected papers there, has been involved in an earlier scandal where a story he wrote about the supposed Israeli control of Swedish media was withdrawn after several of the people in it complained of being misquoted.

While this does not affect the credibility of the WikiLeaks revelations, it does raise uncomfortable questions for the whistleblowers' organisation.The two men involved are Israel Shamir, a Jew who has converted to Orthodox Christianity and passionate antisemitism, and his son Johannes Wahlström. Shamir was listed as a co-author of a story in Counterpunch, which suggested that the woman who brought a complaint of rape against Julian Assange was a CIA plant. But he has a longer and stranger past than this would suggest.

According to Magnus Ljunggren, a retired professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, Shamir has had at least six different names, among them Izrail Schmerler (as he was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia), Jöran Jermas, Adam Ermash, but is internationally known as Shamir. He has been a Swedish citizen since 1992. [Read the whole article.]

The U.K. Guardian (12-23-10) reports that that Shamir has been accused of passing sensitive cables to Belarus's notorious dictator Andrei Lukashenko:

Assange defended one of WikiLeaks' collaborators, Israel Shamir, following claims Shamir passed sensitive cables to Belarus's dictator, Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has arrested 600 opposition supporters and journalists since Sunday's presidential election. The whereabouts and fate of several of the president's high-profile opponents are unknown.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (12-13-10) reports that Shamir has conspiracy theories about the 9-11 attacks:

Shamir is...a controversial figure known for his stinging anti-Zionist rhetoric and his conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.


More recently, Shamir has turned his ire toward the women currently accusing the WikiLeaks founder of sexual assault, branding them "pro-CIA," "castrating feminists" and hailing Assange as "our favorite hero of the Matrix, our Captain Neo."

The New York Magazine (12-14-10) and Reason (12-14-10) have also published articles about Shamir. In a long, informative article, Reason (12-14-10) observes:

Last week, I wrote that the widely-linked article positing that the CIA was behind a Swedish woman’s accusation of rape against Julian Assange was authored by a Russian-born, Swedish-domiciled, multi-aliased anti-Semite and Holocaust denier currently writing under the name “Israel Shamir,” a.k.a. Adam Ermash or Jöran Jermas. The broader point had little to do with the efficacy or morality of WikiLeaks—there are plenty of debates available on the narrower issue of government transparency; this isn’t intended to be one of them—but was concerned with how ideology and confirmation bias (WikiLeaks is a good thing, therefore Assange must be defended, and the CIA has done bad stuff in the past so—cui bono?—Assange’s accuser must be a Langley asset) can lead mainstream media figures into the fever swamps of Internet conspiracy theory.

It is worrying enough when journalists, either by accident or design, consort with vulgar figures like Shamir. But it has now been revealed that Israel Shamir, when he is not accusing Assange’s accusers of setting CIA honey traps, works with WikiLeaks in an official capacity.

According to reports in the Swedish and Russian media, the broad strokes of which have been confirmed by a WikiLeaks spokesman, Shamir serves as the group’s content aggregator in Russia, the man who “selects and distributes” the cables to Russian news organizations, according to an investigation by Swedish public radio. In the newspaper Expressen, Magnus Ljunggren, an emeritus professor of Russian literature at Gothenburg University, outlined Shamir’s close ties to WikiLeaks and his position “spreading the documents in Russia.” (The article is illustrated with a picture of Assange and Shamir in an unidentified office.)

During an appearance on Echo Moskvy radio, Yulia Latynina, a reporter at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wondered “What does it mean that Assange is allowing himself to be represented by an extremist?” Latynina also found that the Kremlin-friendly paper working with Shamir to promote the WikiLeaks material had already published “outright lies” Shamir claimed were supported by leaks. According to Latynina, Shamir faked a cable related to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the United Nations, which supposedly showed collusion amongst those who walked out of the talk in protest. That he would invent such a cable is perhaps unsurprising, considering Shamir has previously written an encomium to the “brave and charismatic leader” of Iran.

So let us quickly recap the foulness of Shamir’s political views. As I noted last week, he has called the Auschwitz concentration camp “an internment facility, attended by the Red Cross (as opposed to the US internment centre in Guantanamo),” not a place of extermination. He told a Swedish journalist (and fellow Holocaust denier) that “it’s every Muslim and Christian’s duty to deny the Holocaust.” The Jews, he says, are a “virus in human form” and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is real.

But wait, there’s more! (See the full text of this long, informative article.)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snapple, I suggest you're a bit careful using reason.com as a source. Not saying this particular article is wrong, but they have been known for not living up to their name, i.e., publishing libertarian dogmatic nonsense while taking liberties with the truth. A source to avoid.

4:32 AM  

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