It bears repeating, given the nearly past three years of 'Russiagate' collusion hysteria which focused heavily and uncritically on the role of WikiLeaks in both Hillary's defeat and the rise of Trump, and centrally the "Russian connection" supposedly tying it all together: there seems yet more daily and weekly evidence demonstrating how absurd the claims were and are.
With Thursday's dramatic UK arrest of WikiLeaks founder and leader Julian Assange, revealed to be based largely on a US extradition request, which we've all now learned has been pursued for the past two years by the Trump Department of Justice, another conspiracy theory bites the dust. Journalist Aaron Maté points out "over the last 2 years, just as Maddow et al were feverishly speculating that Trump and Assange secretly conspired, Trump's DOJ was secretly trying to extradite Assange."
Looking back in light of Thursday morning's events, Maté says, "Assange's arrest reminds us how moronic the Wikileaks aspect of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory...".
So much of it continues to unravel. Maté continues: "The conspiracy theory never slowed even after Roger Stone's indictment revealed that a) Trump camp had no advance knowledge of WL releases b) they tried to find out from Stone, who also had no advance knowledge.
Assange's arrest reminds us how moronic the Wikileaks aspect of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory is: over the last 2 years, just as @Maddow et al were feverishly speculating that Trump and Assange secretly conspired, Trump's DOJ was secretly trying to extradite Assange.— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) April 11, 2019
Maté adds that further "Stone had no such knowledge because he had no actual contact to WikiLeaks."
And just last month here's the aptly dubbed Russiagate Grand Wizard Rachel Maddow with her Glenn Beck style visuals to suggest a Trump-WikiLeaks-Russia conspiracy plot was thickening:
Something appears to be happening in federal court that pertains to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange... pic.twitter.com/lVVKywh0zY— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) March 6, 2019
But as Maté also previously pointed out:
And that something "is based on [Assange's] pre-2016 conduct, not the election hacks" investigated by Mueller (https://t.co/QUIiKPjcih). But @Maddow omits that inconvenient part of the WP article, going instead w/ Stone-Cohen innuendo to falsely suggest this pertains to Mueller: https://t.co/0KGO9jkMAY— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) March 6, 2019
And then there's this clear refutation of a key element of the narrative:
We noted earlier that if one believes Mike Pompeo's warnings that Wikileaks is "an arm of Russian intelligence" then the prosecution of Assange would be another example of Trump acting contrary to Putin's interests.
As The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald also summarized, "The belief that Assange is a Russian agent has always been painfully stupid (and, I should note, completely without evidence). But if you're someone who decided to believe that, then you'd have to see this as another case of Trump taking actions directly harmful to the Kremlin."
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Or maybe we spoke too soon... some conspiracy theories just won't die — their advocates merely getting louder and more unhinged.
Here is a leading Democrat applauding the Trump’s prosecution of a journalist based on a something he isn’t even being charged with (participating with Russia to undermine the west.)— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) April 11, 2019
It’s moments like this that clarify what a joke it is to call the Dem party the opposition https://t.co/0uUgiC78OL