Trump’s October surprise has come a few days early, with The New York Times publishing a lengthy report on the president’s tax information spanning two decades. The Times reports Trump often paid little or no federal income taxes during the period the information covers, that his companies are hemorrhaging money, and that he is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

The report also contradicted years of mainstream speculation that Trump’s tax returns would reveal evidence of Russian collusion if made public.

“They report that Mr. Trump owns hundreds of millions of dollars in valuable assets, but they do not reveal his true wealth. Nor do they reveal any previously unreported connections to Russia,” the Times reports.

So it looks like the president is every bit the corrupt kleptocratic oligarch that everyone has always suspected, except the roots of his deception lie not in Moscow but in home-grown, American-as-apple-pie end-stage capitalism.

Surprise, surprise.

These revelations by the Times are certainly newsworthy and most certainly should have been published, and this would be the case even if the information they are based on was obtained illegally. Powerful people like the president of the United States have no business keeping secrets from the public; the more power you have over people, the fewer secrets you should be allowed to keep from them. This report served the public interest and it would be criminal for the Trump administration to prosecute the Times for publishing it, regardless of how it was obtained.

You can probably guess where I’m going with this.

As the liberal commentariat applauds The New York Times for its journalistic accomplishment, it’s worth remembering that across the pond another journalist is being prosecuted in a pervasively corrupt and deceitful show trial for exposing not mere tax information, but evidence of actual war crimes.

I am of course speaking of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being prosecuted by the Trump administration for the 2010 Manning leaks which revealed US malfeasance in its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump’s Justice Department is seeking extradition on charges under the Espionage Act which will carry a sentence of up to 175 years in prison, a precedent that will inevitably have a chilling effect on journalism around the world as reporters shy away from natsec investigative reporting on the US for fear of suffering the same fate.

It’s also worth reminding the world that WikiLeaks itself has for years been soliciting the same tax information that The New York Times is being praised for exposing.

Following the NYT publication the WikiLeaks Twitter account re-shared a request it had made in January 2017 for anyone with access to Trump’s tax returns to submit them to WikiLeaks, with a reminder that it remains open to any similar leaks.

“Trump Counselor Kellyanne Conway stated today that Trump will not release his tax returns. Send them to: so we can,” the 2017 tweet reads.

This was not the only time WikiLeaks made this request. They made a similar request before the 2016 election as well, almost exactly four years ago, tweeting “#Debates Clinton biting strongly on Trump’s secret tax returns. If you have them they can be submitted here:”.

This invalidates the common criticism that WikiLeaks has never published information on Trump. WikiLeaks is a leak publishing outlet; it only publishes what people give it. If people know they can safely leak information through mass media outlets like The New York Times, as is evidently the case in an administration that has been rife with leaks for years, they tend to do so. It’s only when people can’t receive the protection of powerful institutions that they leak through WikiLeaks.

We learned in 2013 that Chelsea Manning tried to publish her historic leaks through mainstream media outlets and turned only to WikiLeaks because those outlets didn’t take her seriously. As The Guardian reported during the Manning trial [male pronouns due to Manning, who is a trans woman, not having yet transitioned at the time]:

While he was on leave from Iraq and staying in the Washington area in January 2010 he contacted the Washington Post and asked would it be interested in receiving information that he said would be “enormously important to the American people”. He spoke to a woman who said she was a reporter but “she didn’t seem to take me seriously”.


The woman said, according to Manning’s account, that the paper would only be interested subject to vetting by senior editors.


Despairing of that route, Manning turned to the New York Times. He called the public editor of the paper but only got voicemail.


He then tried other numbers on the paper but also got put through to voicemail, and though he left a message with his Skype contact details, nobody called him back.

Those outlets failed Manning while WikiLeaks came through. This is because Manning was not merely seeking to publicize the tax information on an unpopular president to a powerful outlet which openly opposes him, but the largest stash of US military secrets that anyone had ever leaked.

The criticism that WikiLeaks has never published incriminating information on Trump has always been baseless, and not just due to a scarcity of leakers coming to them. As journalist and WikiLeaks activist Suzie Dawson pointed out last year, there are thousands of documents relating to Trump in the WikiLeaks database consisting of opposition research and other unflattering information on the controversial figure.

Typing the words “Donald Trump” into WikiLeaks’ search engine comes up with 14,531 results as of this writing from the DNC Leaks, the Podesta emails, the Global Intelligence Files and other publications throughout WikiLeaks’ history. People who claim WikiLeaks “never publishes” information about a given subject are usually only saying so because they’ve never typed the name of that subject into the search bar on the WikiLeaks website (and that goes for Russia, too).

It’s also worth noting that the 2017 Vault 7 CIA leaks were a Trump administration publication. It enraged the Trump administration so much that the next month Mike Pompeo gave a speech declaring WikiLeaks a “hostile non-state intelligence service” and vowing to take the outlet down, and a few months later Trump’s DOJ issued a warrant for Assange’s arrest on a made-up, bogus charge. Assange smearers don’t like to count the CIA leaks because they don’t contain any videos of Trump with well-hydrated Russian prostitutes, but they were indisputably a blow to this administration and it’s stupid to pretend otherwise.

Finally it needs to be said that expecting WikiLeaks to publish information on Trump while actively being attacked by the Trump administration is an unreasonable expectation, to put it mildly. When the most powerful government on earth wages war on a publisher, that does tend to put a damper on their output. Expecting WikiLeaks to magically produce damning information on Trump while its founder is being actively prosecuted and while competing for leaks with mainstream plutocratic media who have massive resources available to them is ridiculous.

If you care about journalism, support Assange. The powerful need to be held to account, and we shouldn’t have to rely on the permission of other factions of power to allow us to do that.


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32 responses to “Reminder: WikiLeaks Has Always Been Open To Publishing Leaks On Trump”

  1. Trump offered Assange a pardon in exchange for his source(s). Assange refused.

    Trump has a way of bringing into the light the best in people, as well as worst in people.

  2. So the newspaper of record publishes the Trump tax documents. The newspaper of record generally prints 95% truth with the remaining 5% dictated by the CIA and other alphabet soup agencies. This tax release is a clear message to Trump that his shelf life has reached the pull date. The Powers That Be want Biden now. Funny how the Tax records are released with the perfect timing before the election to derail the Trump choo-choo train.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the release is great news and I hope it leads to a better future. But the records could have been released a long time ago so I’d not call the ones releasing the info now saints by any stretch. ‘They’ released the tax records for their own reasons, not ours. ( ours is referring to the regular members of the tribe who read here..)

    So what is my point? That putting a wager on Biden is now a very good bet. Alphabet soup let the records be released and up to now I’ll say alphabet soup was preventing the release. So alphabet soup is not all for Trump now. Some of them would prefer a new oligarch now take the reins.

    1. The Trump tax revelations are kind of meaningless without context. Rich folks are like everyone else; if there’s a legal way to avoid a tax, they’ll take it.

      Its just that the rich, or rather the lobby that services their wealth, (who’s services most of us couldn’t afford…) also has the biggest say in making the tax rules. There are likely more than enough loopholes to defer profits as losses.

      Canadian journalist Linda McQuaig, among others, wrote whole books exposing such games.

  3. What’s being done by the Oligarchic Transnational Elite Collective (OTEC) to Assange, as well as to the rule of law itself, is terrible, but what OTEC is unintentionally doing will also result in a much more rapid self-destruction of the USA and its vassals, either by internal collapse or nuclear war. I think that there is a good possibility that the length of time that it will likely take OTEC to get Assange into a US prison may exceed the remaining lifetime of the USA as we see it today, if, that is, voters once again select Rs and Ds in November, which IMO is a near certainty.
    The rapidly deteriorating situation in the USA today is like the final stage in the life of a really big pimple that’s been growing and festering on the US “capitalist” body-politic for many years. A great big white head has started to form and will certainly get much, much bigger and, therefore, much more painful between now and November. There is only one way to relieve the pressure. Will the election be a “needle” that is sharp enough to prick the head and let all the pressurized puss beneath it squirt out all over the land of the free and the home of the brave? We’re gonna find out! (Oh, just imagine the hue and cry among the bewildered herd after the results are announced! Will it exceed that of 2016? It depends. If Donito Assolini is re-elected, expect the reaction of the MSM, other than Fox, to be the equivalent of the Tsar Bomba. What will the Deep State manufacture during the next four years to impeach Donito, or will it resort to the JFK solution? It Mr. Potato-Head becomes POTUS, expect the MSM, except for Fox, to explode in orgasmic joy, but there will be these very serious, ever-increasing political earthquakes and temblors rumbling across the fly-over Land of Oz that might very well reach the streets of the Emerald City on the Hill and cause OTEC some serious grief. Either way, nothing on Netflix will be as entertaining as the post-November 3, no-subscription-necessary, Real Life Movie.)
    BTW, Jesse Ventura says that if he is elected POTUS, he will immediately pardon Assange. I believe that he would do so. So if you want Assange pardoned, write in Ventura’s name for POTUS. If you do not want Assange pardoned and you want more of what you’ve been witnessing for at least the past 30 years, only ever-increasingly worse, vote for Rs or Ds; makes no difference which.

    1. Ventura would also pardon Trump so be careful. I suggest voting K-Dog instead.

    2. I love Jesse Ventura, and would not hesitate to vote for him, but Howie Hawkins of the Green Party would also pardon Julian Assange. I heard a rumor that Ventura polled at 18% without even running. If that were true, I’d consider piling on to make a louder statement, but I think supporting the Green Party is what I’m going to do, since they need votes to get ballot access in the future.
      “As president, I would pardon or drop the pending charges against all 13 of these Obama-Trump era whistleblowers:
      Shamai Leibowitz
      Thomas Drake
      Stephen Jin-Woo Kim
      Jeffrey Sterling
      Chelsea Manning
      John Kiriakou
      Edward Snowden
      Reality Winner
      Terry Albury
      Daniel Hale
      Julian Assange
      Henry Kyle Frese
      Joshua Schulte
      “I have previously called for the release of all US political prisoners. Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier are probably the most well-known US political prisoners. But there are hundreds of political prisoners from the freedom movements of African Americans, American Indians, Chicanos, and Puerto Ricans and from the peace and environmental movements. Many of them are serving longer sentences than others convicted for similar crimes for the political reason that they opposed government policies.”
      Some other Hawkins statements on Assange:
      Hawkins also supports repeal of the Espionage Act:

  4. “So it looks like the president is every bit the corrupt kleptocratic oligarch that everyone has always suspected, except the roots of his deception lie not in Moscow but in home-grown, American-as-apple-pie end-stage capitalism.”
    These kinds of revelations only matter to people who have some grasp of reality and some commitment to “the truth”. Many Americans have shown themselves to be pretty weak on both of these scores.
    Not sure if even these revelations will move the needle much. Half of Americans think that “He” is the Only Person
    On The Earth to preserve Truth, Justice, and The American Way. The other half thinks that a very confused older figurehead man must save America from destruction. So it looks like either way America is saved!.. while at the same time it isn’t.

    1. Typical capitalist. No better. No worse.

  5. Time-out for a weather report.
    There is a shit storm coming with a possibility of stun grenades.
    As you should already be aware the election will be gummed up by mail-in ballots. This will be by design, definitely by DNC operatives, perhaps by Republicans as well (with mixed motives). Your vote may count for even less this year than it did in previous elections, unless you happen to live in a key Congressional district.
    The Democrats are hoping to win during the post-election wrestling match. The Pentagon is hoping to win regardless.
    In August Hillary said,
    “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances, because I think this is going to drag out, ”
    Will the electoral college determine the election or the Supreme Court or Nancy Pelosi’s House or the Pentagon?
    Here is one angle being watched.
    Nancy Pelosi has now communicated to her operatives that a Contingent Election (as described in the Constitution) is a real possibility and goal. In a Contingent Election each US state gets one vote. That vote is determined by the balance of districts in that state. If Republicans, for example, hold more districts in a given state then they get the one vote from that particular state. Some states are teetering near an even balance of districts – half Republicans, half Democrats. These states could go either way depending upon the election. So one district in just the right state could flip the vote count in a Contingent Election. One district. Democratic funds are going to pour into these districts. I assume Republicans are paying attention and will do as Nancy does. Monkey see, monkey do.

  6. We live in a world where facts or logic have simply become irrelevant and nobody cares about such clearly outdated categories. We have elevated “doubleplusgoodthinking” into an art form. We have also done away with the concepts of “proof” or “evidence” which we have replaced with variations on the “highly likely” theme. We have also, for all practical purpose, jettisoned the entire corpus of international law and replaced it with “rules-based international order“. In fact, I can only agree with Chris Hedges who, in his superb book the “Empire of illusions” and of the “triumph of spectacle”. He is absolutely correct: not only is this a triumph of appearance over substance, and of ideology over reality, it is even the triumph of self-destruction over self-preservation.
    There is not big “master plan”, no complex international conspiracy, no 5D chess. All we have is yet another empire committing suicide and, like so many before this one, this suicide is executed by this empire’s ruling classes. This fine article can be read here:
    The World Has Gone Absolutely Insane!

  7. Lol. Chinese state run media just threw their support behind BLM. Lets see how America responds to open supporr from a foreign adversary. Doubt they will get the irony.

    1. Right, and the Han Chinese are suddenly not racist.

      In your dreams. Truth is the ‘China Virus’ really pissed China off and advocating BLM now pisses Trump off. Tit for tat and that is all this is.

      Are Chinese people racist towards Chinese ethnicities other than Han?

      The short answer is yes.

  8. Since it became noticed during the 1960s that most of the taxes extorted from Americans of both classes are increasingly diverted to the MIC , estimates range as high as 70 cents out of every tax dollar , avoiding paying taxes has become a national effort by both the rich and poor . The rich which includes Mr Trump with their access to the levers of power have had much more success at it of course and are the envy of most of us deplorables and the poor . Mr Trumps success at avoiding paying taxes are a badge of courage to many who hate war and US interventionism globally.

    1. No tax dollar goes to the MIC. Each is simply cancelled to control the money supply. See Bill Mitchell’s blog, the other extraordinary one from down under. Which doesn’t mean in the slightest that we shouldn’t drastically slash and redirect the MIC budget of fiat dollars.

  9. Dear Caitlin Johnstone:

    From an up-close experience, that I cannot talk about, I found the that the NYT appears to be predominantly made up of a collection of mostly very cold and calculating people. And as massive evidence has shown they cab also be quite cowardly and are likely to also panic inwardly and make very poor decisions. That they released the Trump tax returns at this time – 7 weeks before the election (instead of in October) – appears to be very carefully planned. What do you think or even guess that are they anticipating? What might they think he will do, and what will his remaining ego-driven supporters do, in the time before Election Day? Did doing this in September come from seeing that the reaction is delayed or attenuated? What is your guess?

    1. Rove responded that it was only fair that anyone who loses a lot of money pays little in taxes. Yet that reinforces the incompetence that Trump showed as to Covid-19 just before the debate tomorrow. Is that the strategy? Does the NYT have more evidence of Trump incompetence to reveal in October?

      1. The CIA is bringing a ” color revolution ” to the USA. In 2021 the Shah of America will do away with the U.S. Constitution, the congress, and the courts. The Shah’s agents will run everything and everyone. Your failure to copy with any order will be punishable by your immediate death. Tyranny for everyone from sea to shining sea!

  10. TRUTH (see Assange/Wikileaks).

  11. “Journalism” has always been a tool of the state. In any coup, communications is typically one of the first targets. The current state of communications makes such quite difficult for the state to control, but it certainly hasn’t lessened their attempt to do so. As has most often been the case historically, if one wishes to experience real journalism, one must seek it out. Often with great effort. Less so now with such vast resources in our pockets.

    Assange, Manning, and Snowden are the heroes of our times. If we survive long enough, perhaps this will become the popular perception, someday. Heroes, like saints and prophets, are often not recognized in their own times.

    1. I disagree ! The state of modern day communications makes it increasingly easier to control the narrative. The bletherings of people like us commenting on obscure blogs has zero effect n todays political policies. How quickly and completely the 3 fallen soldiers you mention were reduced to talking points among the intellectual set is proof of that ?

  12. It’s hard to see Caitlin swallowing the NYT’s latest Trump Derangement secretions without any warning to us.. her trusting readers to beware that traitorous old fomenter of illegal wars, that Clinton PR asset, that honking, smearing, outright lying choir of propagandists sowing discord and oligarchically -modified crops of lies over decades… the sodding New York Times. No. I will have to wait for my briefing on Trump’s taxes until a reliable outlet decides to report.

    Not to mention the NYT’s vicious betrayal of Assange.

  13. All opposition is controlled opposition, one way or another. Resistance is futile, but still fun to watch. You have already been assimilated but remain in denial, apparently thinking that is the river just to the sunrise of the Sphinx, guardian of pyramids. You are of course correct.
    “Ve haf ways to make you talk, or not talk!”. Command and control is delightfully ambiguous as to what or who it is being applied, as with much of the English language. The word of the day is Prince. The Prince of the power of the air is also known as the father of all lies as well as the Prince of darkness. Have you read “The Prince” lately? Why did “the artist formally known as Prince” decide to become known through a sigil? Purple Rain, Purple Rain…

    1. Excellent response , however Chesterton and his cohort of Fabians were saying the same thing a century ago

      1. Bonus points, Mr. McDonagh! Gilbert Keith Chesterton KC*SG (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer,[2] philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. He has been referred to as the “prince of paradox”. (Wiki) As such, you are perfectly in keeping with “Prince”, as being the word of the day. Accolades and lemonades! Unless of course, one prefers whiskey. 😉

  14. Those “publishers” Manning contacted are not really news publishers at all. They are propaganda outlets. And, that is why they are not interested in real news on .gov malfeasance. I learned this after being mailed an Anthrax letter in 2001. Nothing but road blocks. Even on the local newspaper and television level. To this day I still have weaponized Anthrax that was mailed to me. You read that correctly. Physical evidence. No interest whatsoever from any “news” outlets. Even when the NY Times was being sued for defamation over an article they printed about the “person of interest” in that “investigation” (another James Comey pretend investigation like his “investigation” of Hillary’s emails). They were not interested in testimony and documents from me that would have exonerated them and sent the litigant running for cover.

  15. Psychopaths, sociopaths, narcissists and egotists, have virtually no concept of guilt or wrongdoing.
    They dwell in the internal world of ME, ME, MINE.
    Every being they come into contact with is only ‘useful’ if they can be exploited or will grovel at the feet of the ME, ME, MINE non-being.
    But we already know that.

    1. Yes. they are shameless. They say things like a mask will stop virus no better than a chain link fence does. But they don’t consider ‘what if I am wrong‘.

      And in this case being wrong makes people dead.

  16. no it is too late. you are hoping. john. it would take a year to get into worker owned. look at the Chicago Glass company. the courts are sooooslow it’s a major fascist stronghold for the status quo.
    Caitlin that was brilliant. lots of your stuff is awesome and great. this is one. so steady and relentless and tough. i was almost blown away, but was more magnetized. i would’ve lost it doing this. my left brain could not handle the harsh reality. my right brain would’ve wrecked the whole think. i would throw pies i could’ve eaten! mostly pumpkin OK….so not so wasteful. maybe that would bring me down enough to have writ half of this.
    i am soooo angry about Assange being tortured through this lack of a speedy trial: what are those exact words …they cannot make you wait ten years for a trial that will result in only 6 months incarceration. his wife is jewel, an angel – and example of the wedding oath in real life unfolding.
    and now the real deal on the trump taxes. gotta be part fake. what do we know? he is near failing in so many places. if he is kicked out he will whither and die. he is terrified. lunatics have short fuses. watch out. we don’t want to hurt his FEELINGS…
    do we?

  17. If you care about journalism, support Assange. The powerful need to be held to account, and we shouldn’t have to rely on the permission of other factions of power to allow us to do that.-Ms Caitlin Johnstone
    Bravo, Ms Johnstone. The actual truth always needs to be revealed. The owners and the masters will never ever reveal any truth; we only get lies from them.

  18. It’s not too late. We can still collectivize. Nobody has to starve.

    1. I think it is too late and many will starve. Hopefully the survivors will band together into locally supported systems in the future.

    2. We will be forced by the Covid pandemic and its repercussions to move toward some sort of socialist care of the masses, meeting their essential needs on a collective basis. It will either be this or people starving by the thousands in the streets, and they won’t go down quietly.

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