WikiLeaks threatens Daily Dot journalists over report on missing Syria emails

Crucial emails have gone missing from WikiLeaks’ Syria files, according to a report published today by The Daily Dot — and WikiLeaks isn’t happy about the discrepancy coming to light. The missing emails detail a 2011 transaction that moved $2.4 billion from the Central Bank of Syria to Russia’s VTB Bank, indicating both suspicious financial activity by the Assad regime and unusually close ties to the Russian banking sector.

The email is present in a cache of court-recorded emails taken from the Revolusec hacking group, who are believed to have provided the raw materials for WikiLeaks’ Syria Files, but it is absent from the Syria Files themselves. A number of emails sent on the same day are present in the files, leading to suspicion that WikiLeaks may have purposefully removed the message.


Reached for comment by The Daily Dot, a WikiLeaks spokesperson denied removing the email and made an apparent threat against the Dot reporters, saying that if they pursued the story, "you can be sure we will return the favor one day."

The Verge has reached out to WikiLeaks to clarify the spokesperson’s intent. We will update with any response.

WikiLeaks drew criticism earlier this year after publishing an archive of emails stolen from the DNC, a theft many attributed to the Russian government or a closely affiliated group. At the time, Assange defended WikiLeaks role as entirely neutral saying, "We took the data set, analyzed it, verified it, made it in a presentable, searchable form, presented it for all journalists and the public to mine."

Comments

Expose thee, but not me.

Virtually all governments, particularly the current U.S. Administration, want Wikileaks destroyed (all that harsh sunlight on dirty political choices is no good for the Administration’s PR), so its hard to tell what has gone on here (i.e. did Wikileaks cleanse something obviously the opposite purpose they exist for, did a foreign government do this to make Wikileaks look bad? Nearly every govt would like to.). Lately the U.S. Administration has been pushing hard to make Wikileaks look like villains (its not the bad stuff the DNC did corrupting our election process, its those bad guys who stole the e-mail who made it public that are the villains…) – would not be surprised to find out the Obama Administration actually has an ongoing campaign to destroy the organization and this was part of it.

Wikileaks should restore the e-mail, perhaps highlight it and move forward. JMHO….

its not the bad stuff the DNC did corrupting our election process

Go on, show how it was corrupted. Mind you, the dust up was over the primaries, which can be carried out in whatever manner the Democratic Party chooses.

Wikileaks should restore the e-mail, perhaps highlight it and move forward.

They won’t because they don’t want to piss off Russia. Their behavior as of late has been extremely strange, giving the impression that the Russian Govt. has something of a hold on them – especially with the threat against the Daily Dot.

would not be surprised to find out the Obama Administration actually has an ongoing campaign to destroy the organization and this was part of it.

Yeah, sure, looking into an organization that purports to push transparency and finding out they excised e-mails that smack of Russian/Syrian corruption, is totally a government thing. Sure. Couldn’t be that some reporters were just going over it and got curious as to why some e-mails they knew should be there mysteriously went missing after passing through Wikileaks’s hands. Especially after Wikileaks posted un-redacted, private information for a lot of innocent people.

As for how it was corrupted:

The leaks prove the DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders. Yes, it is true that the Democratic Party can carry out the primaries in whatever manner it chooses. However, this only means that what they did was not illegal.

Something can be corrupt and rigged without being illegal. The fact that the DNC masquereded the process as being a democratic process – aside from the insane concept of Super Delegates – all while secretly against a major candidate makes it corrupt and rigged.

They knew themselves that such practice was ethically questionable at best. If not, why not just openly come out and say that the DNC leadership supported HRC instead of acting like they were a neutral player?

However, this only means that what they did was not illegal.

Then the matter is to be resolved internally by the party. Bernie was an outsider from the start, so to expect 100% perfect balance between the two. If you don’t like this, join the party and work to change it – like many others have.

all while secretly against a major candidate makes it corrupt and rigged.

You sound like a Trump supporter.

You are aware that Bernie is technically an independent, right?

1) They threat Daily Dot because their report is a libel, as they say Wikileaks never deleted the mails. For now we do not know what has happen yet.

2) Wikileaks has "pissed off" Russia a number of times. Thanks to their documents Russia has lost a huge Yukos multi-billion lawsuit in the international court. Yukos was a major Russian oil company that was privatised as result of trials over fraud by its owners, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Those trials were correct in merit (since Khodorkovsky is corrupt criminal oligarch), but were dubious in legal terms — what Wikileaks publications have uncovered.

3) Wikileaks also published not only Syrian files, but other MENA region leaks that have helped StateDep (along with Google, whose top manager came to the company after being Hillary Clinton’s deputy) to manipulate protests the region that were used for "regime change" operations in few countries. Russia was firmly against any disarrays in the region and seen great harm in the fact that those leaks happened.

Few more points:

1) the speculated letter has no electronic mail signature and is in circulation for years; there is nothing new in the Daily Dot article. It was presented via NSA/CIA guy that sold out LulzSec hacker group to authorities. We do not know on how many fronts he collaborated with them;

2) James Clapper confirmed that the culprits in the DNC hacks are unknown (be it Russians or not), so the article is incorrect about this;

3)

The missing emails detail a 2011 transaction that moved $2.4 billion from the Central Bank of Syria to Russia’s VTB Bank, indicating both suspicious financial activity by the Assad regime and unusually close ties to the Russian banking sector.

If true, there is nothing suspicious in this. Central Banks of countries usually invest their reserves into currency/assets of other states. For example, Russia owns hundreds of billions of USDs worth of USA’s debt, issued by the treasury. Oh, the horror: Russian Central banks has suspicious transactions with USA’s government! Quick, somebody write a sensational article about that!

1) the speculated letter has no electronic mail signature and is in circulation for years; there is nothing new in the Daily Dot article. It was presented via NSA/CIA guy that sold out LulzSec hacker group to authorities. We do not know on how many fronts he collaborated with them;

Source on this?

2) James Clapper confirmed that the culprits in the DNC hacks are unknown (be it Russians or not), so the article is incorrect about this;

Clapper won’t reveal anything. Others who are not obligated to hide details have put forth the Russian connection – the only detail that isn’t settled is if it was state sponsored.

Oh, the horror: Russian Central banks has suspicious transactions with USA’s government! Quick, somebody write a sensational article about that!

It’s one thing for a relatively public purchase of treasury bonds. It’s another to quietly transfer billions from a country in the midst of war. But, again, if it’s nothing special, why lash out when the discrepancy is highlighted instead of just uploading the e-mails?

1) just go through the link to the Daily Dot article, google "Syria VTB", et cetera. The "letter" appeared right away in 2012 and since then Wikileaks has tired to point out that it was never in the archives they got; and the lack of signature can tell the reason, why (hint: it was never there to begin with);

2) Clapper said unequivocally that there is no evidence of any particular party being responsible for the hack. What MSM discuss is speculation over insinuation or vice versa.

3) those transactions are not obligated to be made public (and, my the way, Russia do not issue press releases like "today we bought another batch of USA’s obligations worth $20 billion"). And the country being in the midst of a war does not change this (why would?).

They threat Daily Dot because their report is a libel, as they say Wikileaks never deleted the mails.

Wikileaks can claim whatever, they’ve damaged their credibility with their actions as of late.

But let’s look at the article:

Regardless, the Syria Files should still contain the central bank’s emails from Oct. 26, 2011, concerning its €2 billion and bank account in Moscow: For one, WikiLeaks has published several emails received by the same account (treasury@bcs.gov.sy) from that day. Secondly, the court records leaked to the Daily Dot reveal the Moscow bank’s emails were, in fact, part of the larger backup file containing numerous emails currently found on the WikiLeaks site. One such email, discussed in depth by RevoluSec members more than nine months before the WikiLeaks release, details the transfer of €5 million from a bank in Frankfurt, Germany, to a European central bank in Austria, the recipient of the email being Central Bank of Syria.

So by all rights, Wikileaks has those mails and for some mysterious reason failed to publish them. They never claimed they were deleted, only that the discrepancy was curious.

Instead, Wikileaks ssays:

It is disappointing to see Daily Dot pushing the Hillary Clinton campaign’s neo-McCarthyist conspiracy theories about critical media." (WikiLeaks threatened to retaliate against the reporters if they pursued the story: "Go right ahead," they said, "but you can be sure we will return the favour one day.")

So they sound like unhinged conspiracy theorists and lash out when the discrepancy is highlighted. Looks more like they got caught with their pants down. If it were just a discrepancy, they could put up the messages. Instead they did this.

Court records contain messages of the guy that sold out LulzSec hacking group, where this mail we discuss has first appeared. There is no electronic mail signature, and nothing that indicates that this mail was actually ever in Syrian government mail system, let alone got to Wikileaks, which is a separate matter.

So there is no discrepancy, and the fact that Daily Dot is Democratic party is self-evident just from the fact that they employ a whole row of high status Democrats, including even senators and mayors such as De Blasio, so it is not a conspiracy theory. And yes, the oligarchic MSM as tools of the establishment as they always were. They will tell you such brazen lies as that Saddam had WMDs and was tied to 9/11, let alone on "fact" that they found a "discrepancy".

I’m unable to find reference to say that the leaked files for Yukos did anything to sway the lawsuit in any way. Just because the files were unfavorable to Russia doesn’t mean that they were taken into account.

If they did not remove it themselves, why would they threaten the reporter asking for a comment?

Long shot, but to give the appearance of doing it themselves? Getting deeply speculative/conspiratorial there, though.

They always threaten lawsuits against libel/slander/false claims made by media; there is nothing new in this.

You claim libel/slander/false claims but no [i]claim[/i] against Wikileaks was made. They noted an omission and, instead of it being corrected, they were lashed out at. And, by all rights, they are in possession of those e-mails.

Well, the Daily Dot article implicates that Wikileaks withheld the electronic mail that they say was never in their possession, which is a libel. And there is no evidence that Wikileaks ever had such mail; there is not evidence that the mail is even real.

they say was never in their possession, which is a libel.

And the Daily Dot makes no claims that they removed the files, they only note the conspicuous omission of some e-mails. On the other hand, they note that:

the court records leaked to the Daily Dot reveal the Moscow bank’s emails were, in fact, part of the larger backup file containing numerous emails currently found on the WikiLeaks site.

So, again, by all rights they should have them but claim they don’t. And they could have left it like that, but instead they threaten.

There’s no libel here. Only Wikileaks looking surprisingly partisan, and surprisingly like they got caught with their pants down.

The issue is that the electronic mail signature for that mail never shows up. The backup file is a collection of communication archive between the hackers and NSA agent that sold them out.

They didn’t threaten a lawsuit. They threatened to dig into and come after DailyDot.

Can you understand the difference?

Or it could just be that wikileaks has become too powerful and are playing political games just like every country they claim to expose with their data dumps. Anybody who doesn’t think an organization that has gotten as large as wikileaks and doesn’t have an agenda is horribly naive.

Their response to the Saudi governent data dumps that exposed LGBT people to further intimidation and violence in that country was bad enough (as was their lame ass excuse… thats an "old story"). Not only are they opaque about their own agendas but they are wreckless with innocent people’s information.

Fuck them. I used to sort of respect what they were doing,. Now they have become just as slimy as the organizations they claim to be exposing.

They have not become too powerful, they are just puppets of a foreign government that tries to have a moron elected as the POTUS.
And, why would you think they would worry about the security of LGBT people in Saudi Arabia, when their puppet master himself is strongly against them?
As a liberal and a Bernie supporter, I admire and respect Edward Snowden. Julian Assange and Wikileaks, on the other hand, are just thugs.

Wiki leaks have had an agenda since day one – promotion of Assange. The man is a megalomaniac worse than any he claims to expose.

Wikileaks is no longer a trusted source. Not saying the HRC is clean (heck no she isn’t), but 95% of their tweets are about her, even when it’s not event related to their own leaks. Any bad news of Hillary Clinton will do for them, and it’s getting disgusting and incredible to watch. Trump’s past is not clean, and I’m sure there are hackers who have dug up dirt on Trump which they refuse to acknowledge or publish. They’re trying hard to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump, and it’s time for the same people who have held their backs for years to now hold them accountable. The Daily Dot is a start, and I believe in the next few months, Wikileaks’ agenda will backfire harshly on them.

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