According to Bloomberg, Wikileaks will join forces with a Russian newspaper, Novoya Gazeta, to expose corruption in Russia. Novoya Gazeta is owned by former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev and billionaire Alexander Lebedev.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is suggesting that he is in possession of unpublished documents that are specific to Russia. If so, and if they contain accounts of corruption in the Russian government, Assange and his Russian partners will just be confirming what most people already suspect.
Publicly, the Russian government is downplaying the story. Privately, it is likely to be another story. Anna Politkovskaya, a correspondent for Novoya Gazeta who wrote about corruption and graft when Vladimir Putin was president of the Russian Federation, was assassinated in her Moscow apartment four years ago, coincidentally on Putin’s birthday.
Prolitkovskaya has not been the only enemy of the Russian regime to meet with a bad end. One wonders what Julian Assange must be thinking.
To be sure, Assange has complained about various public figures in the West who have or have allegedly called for his death. This writer was accused, along with a number of other, more well-known reporters and politicians, of being an “arm chair assassin” for suggesting that Julian Assange should be treated as a terrorist.
The problem Assange and his friends at Novoya Gazeta have is that Vladimir Putin doesn’t threaten to kill people. He has them killed with all the dispatch of a Michael Corleone. If Assange has something that will embarrass the Russian regime, he might want to consider surrendering to the American authorities and begging for protection.
The American government tends to yelp and complain when a freelance cyber anarchist like Assange chooses to tweak the Eagle’s tail feathers. The Iranian government is supplying weapons and material to terrorists to kill American soldiers and the current government has done nothing, not even protested.
Russia, on the other hand, deals with its enemies in a more old school fashion. There is a story from back during the Lebanon Civil War in the early 1980s; one of the many terrorist factions had the temerity to kidnap a Soviet diplomat and hold him as a hostage. The KGB grabbed one of the male relatives of one of the kidnappers and started shipping body parts until their diplomat was released. The United States government dealt with the matter in a different way, leading to the Iran Contra Scandal.
From this, one should conclude that either Mr. Assange is very brave or very arrogant. Either way, Vladimir Putin may be inspired to remove him from this life and from our misery.
Sources: WikiLeaks Joins Forces With Lebedev’s Moscow-Based Newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Anastasia Ustinova and Ilya Arkhipov, Bloomberg, December 22nd, 2010
Arm chair assassins, The Public Professor, December 14th, 2010