Extraordinary and Deliberate Lies from the Guardian 295

UPDATE One reason I was so stunned at the Guardian’s publication of these lies is that I had gone direct from the Ecuadorean Embassy to the Guardian building in Kings Cross to give an in-depth but off the record briefing to Euan MacAskill, perhaps their last journalist of real integrity, on the strategy for Julian. I told Euan that Russia was ruled out. I did not mention this yesterday as I greatly respect Euan and wanted to speak to him first. But on phoning the Guardian I find that Euan “retired” the day the lying article was published. That seems a very large coincidence.

I am just back from a family funeral – one of a succession – and a combination of circumstances had left me feeling pretty down lately, and not blogging much. But I have to drag myself to the keyboard to denounce a quite extraordinary set of deliberate lies published in the Guardian about a Russian plot to spring Julian Assange last December.

I was closely involved with Julian and with Fidel Narvaez of the Ecuadorean Embassy at the end of last year in discussing possible future destinations for Julian. It is not only the case that Russia did not figure in those plans, it is a fact that Julian directly ruled out the possibility of going to Russia as undesirable. Fidel Narvaez told the Guardian that there was no truth in their story, but the Guardian has instead chosen to run with “four anonymous sources” – about which sources it tells you no more than that.

I have no idea who the Guardian’s “anonymous sources” are, but I know 100% for certain that the entire story of a Russian plot to extract Julian from the Embassy last Christmas Eve is a complete and utter fabrication. I strongly suspect that, as usual, MI6 tool Luke Harding’s “anonymous sources” are in fact the UK security services, and this piece is entirely black propaganda produced by MI6.

It is very serious indeed when a newspaper like the Guardian prints a tissue of deliberate lies in order to spread fake news on behalf of the security services. I cannot find words eloquent enough to express the depth of my contempt for Harding and Katherine Viner, who have betrayed completely the values of journalism. The aim of the piece is evidently to add a further layer to the fake news of Wikileaks’ (non-existent) relationship to Russia as part of the “Hillary didn’t really lose” narrative. I am, frankly, rather shocked.

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295 thoughts on “Extraordinary and Deliberate Lies from the Guardian

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  • Hamish Soutar

    The Times picked up this story and gave it the headline “Moscow ‘planned to hear Assange flee'”. But the story underneath was basically what Craig says here: that they didn’t. Made me wonder why they didn’t headline it “Guardian makes up fake story about Assange and Moscow”.

    Of course editors know that far more people read the headline than read the story.

  • Jack

    Those “anonymous sources” western liberal media use is of course disinformation campaigns started by intelligence services.
    Blame Russia. For everything! is their work titled nowadays obviously.

  • nevermind

    Forget about Luke Harding who seems to be attached to the MIs by his navel, he is one of the jpurnos who have driven many away from this now awful rag. He might even believe that his machine gun tabloid excesses will change his fortunes and that of the guardian.

    Far more important, just to cheer you up, and it it is’deliberate and extraordinary’….
    The Canaries won their last three games..:)…

  • Iain Orr

    Craig – scroll down your link to the Guardian article to get this editorial begging puffery:

    “Since you’re here…
    … we have a small favour to ask. At a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, The Guardian helps to provide accurate, timely reporting on our world. “

  • Milad

    Luke Harding is a liar for hire.
    He cited a Spanish blog that re-wrote his article, and pretend that it was ‘new’ revelations that further affirm his fake news.


    It’s all just a strategy to amplify the false headline and smear Assange.

    Harding’s motives are quite clear. He’s the go-to-guy for this guff, and in the process he’s selling his book of innunedo and fake news. Laughing all the way to the bank

  • defo

    2 birds with one stone. V lazy.
    Not subtle either, in the least. JA to keep making an example of, pour encourage les autres to keep schtum, and bog standard Russia Bad.
    Why the surprise though Craig?
    The Guardian has been towing the line for donkeys,at least since Rusty graced the big chair.

  • Anon1

    This can’t be right. Surely if Julian is loved by the people then any plot by Russia to extract him would put Russia in an extremely positive light in the eyes of the British people?

    • Dave Price

      Substitute ‘Saudi Arabia’ or ‘Israel’ for ‘Russia’ to see why your argument is nonsense.

    • SA

      Anon 1 , yours is a specious argument. The gist of what has been said is made up and Assange would be against going to Russia anyway. Do you work for the Guardian?

    • J Galt

      Is it not the other way about – to blacken Assange’s name by associating him with the evil Novichok poisoners?

      • John2o2o

        Is that sarcasm?

        If not, I would be grateful if you could provide evidence to back up your assertion.

        I’m not aware that there is conclusive proof that anyone has been poisoned by “novichok” and I am also not aware of any evidence of responsibility for the Skripal poisonings.

  • Deb O'Nair

    “I cannot find words eloquent enough to express the depth of my contempt for Harding and Katherine Viner,”

    That’s easy – they are lying c*nts.

  • John A

    The Guardian is a pathetic imitiation of what it once was. Nothing is too anti-Putin, anti-Corbyn, anti-Trump to print, with the vanguard led by Cohen, Freedland, Natalya Nyourgard something or other who was kicked out of the French media, Harding, Lord how many barrel named’s daughter Marina Hyde, specialist subject pulling the wings off butterflies and numerous more. The only thing still Guardian like is Steve Bell, and even he gets pulled if he makes any cartoon criticism of Netanyahoo

    • Stonky

      “Lord how many barrel named’s daughter Marina Hyde…”

      I think her full name is Marina Hyde-Your-Aristocratic-Ancestry. But she couldn’t resist spelling Hyde the posh way, like Smythe…

    • Alyson

      In charge of the government’s Nudge unit? BBC? Jewish Chronicle? It’s a long time since I read his CV on line. Not sure how easy it is to find now….

  • Anthony

    Media Lens’ newly released book Propaganda Blitz pays particular attention to the increasingly unscrupulous dishonesty of the Guardian. Well worth a read if you want to understand who the puppet masters are.

  • Clark

    The article is very obviously self contradictory. Had Assange’s diplomatic immunity been recognised, he could have left by any means; no need for any plot.

    I wonder to what extent the Westminster-Media Bubble is now just an echo chamber. I think it’s highly likely that they actually believe their self-created guff these days. May confidently called the last election based on her own side’s propaganda, and lost her party’s majority.

  • mog

    The Guardian cannot crash into its own shaddow quick enough for me.
    As it can no longer guard the boundaries of dissenting opinion, and as this becomes more apparent, the more transparently reactionary it becomes.
    I foresee a day when they will be hanging on a last ledge above the abyss of irrelevance, reaching up to the likes of Assange and Murray for some kind of desperate last grasp at legitimising integrity, only to be rightfully ignored.
    The Guardian are traitors to truth.

    • mog

      Rewilding Imperialist George Monbiot tweets:
      Just because Maduro claims to be on the left does not mean we should support him. There are far better ways of breaking the power of the old elites.
      ..linking to a very dodgy amnesty report. It is not just the Guardian, but liberal instutions all over the place that have gone far toward the establishment. As the Guardian has changed, so have the opinions of its faux radicals. Didn’t Monbiot object to the sanctions regime against Iraq in the 90s? Now he blames the victims in Venezuela. Disreputable man.
      Emersberger destroys the Amnesty PR:

      • pete

        Re mog’s Amnesty link https://www.mintpressnews.com/amnesty-international-winks-at-trumps-economic-attack-on-venezuela/238419/

        The article says, in part:

        “In 2010, Amnesty put out a statement claiming that there was only one TV broadcaster in Venezuela that had not been shut down by the government – an absolutely preposterous claim. Could the world-renowned organization not afford to pay somebody to watch some Venezuelan TV or do any basic research?

        Amnesty refused to recognize Chelsea Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience on ridiculous grounds, but has given that designation to Leopoldo Lopez – a man involved with four different attempts to violently overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government. One of them, in April of 2002, was briefly successful.

        Amnesty’s work in Haiti, and in general, is that Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been even worse. For example, it took HRW years longer than Amnesty to make any serious contribution to the fight to hold the UN mission in Haiti accountable for killing 10,000 Haitians by bringing cholera in to the country in 2010. The key facts were well known by at least 2011… years before Amnesty took any significant action in 2015.”

        All of this demonstrates a massive failure of purpose for the charity, it has become a lucrative cash cow for its overpaid administrators: Salaries – according to https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Hourly-Pay/Amnesty-International-Hourly-Pay-E14709.htm are nearly £47,000 for a researcher and over £40,000 for a Campaigner, lord knows what the CEO gets, US team are listed here: https://www.amnestyusa.org/about-us/who-we-are/executive-team/ According to Bloomberg comparative salaries for that type of job are over $600,000. Maybe someone can put me right on this.

        As Trump would say. Sad.

  • BrianFujisan

    Sorry about your loss(es) Craig

    Go into the counrtyside.this years Autumn looks to be spectacular, and like a good woman..Soothing and Healing

  • True

    One day we’ll need a truth and reconciliation committee focussed on the mainstream media to close off a sorry chapter in our history.

    • Tom Welsh

      I prefer the Chinese policy. People who deliberately and knowingly cause great harm to the public are given a fair trial, stood up against a wall, and shot.

      Pour decourager les autres. Which I suspect it does, if not very much.

  • Tom Welsh

    I suppose the precipitous decline in journalistic standards (or their complete disappearance) which Craig laments may be due to the spread of “American values”.

    Namely dollars. Preferably lots of them, as quickly as possibly, in return for as little honest work as possible. It’s what the Yanks call “business”.

    Why bother having a vocation, when life is really just about getting as rich as possible as quickly as possible? With absolutely no rules, laws, restrictions or scruples to get in the way.

    No wonder Craig feels shocked. To a man with morals, it must all be very shocking indeed. Even I find it pretty weird.

  • Squeeth

    In the old days, the Graun was tomorrow’s fish ‘n’ chip wrapper but now it’s yesterday’s toilet paper.

    • Mistress Pliddy (of yonder Elk)

      Anyone remember Jonah in the Beano?

      Nowhere more evident than in the Aaron Maté linked above by SA. Fantastic obliteration of whatever fragments of credibility Luke Harding may once have had. I’m surprised he did not crawl away in shame after that interview to spend his days sobbing a sooty flue somewhere.

  • Tom Welsh

    Yesterday I noticed The Times had a top front page headline about how all we UK taxpayers will be paying for 2,000 – count ’em – people to conduct “cyberwar” against Russia. Using the old rule of thumb – £100,000 per employee including all overheads – that will be a cool £200 million, or the equivalent of two hospitals.

    What, I wondered, does “cyberwar against Russia” mean? Apparently, according to The Times, it’s because it’s absolutely vital to get revenge against those rotten Russians for attacking the Skripals and killing a British citizen “on British soil”. (It’s fine for the UK to kill literally millions of Asians and Africans on their own soil, though).

    I can see two possible kinds of “cyberwar”.

    1. Online disinformation and UK government propaganda. The 2,000 folk will sit at nice new shiny PCs and browse the Web, and whenever they see someone telling the truth they will argue, disagree, or poison the well. OK, I think I see some of those guys every day.

    2. Attacking Russian computer systems, in order to cause damage to equipment or harm to Russians. Which is not a great idea when the Russian government could render Britain permanently uninhabitable in 30 minutes with about five percent of their warheads.

    • Keith McClary

      “browse the Web, and whenever they see someone telling the truth they will argue, disagree …”

      Ukraine and Israel already openly recruit for such programs. Soon, whatever Web forums remain will be full of this.

  • MaryPau!

    I was depressed to read Julian Freedlands condemnation of P+B as the unequivocal GRU agents who tried to poison the Skripals with a erve agent. I previously regarded him as a journalist of some integrity. I can only assume he has been deliberately misled by MI6 and then leant on by his editor.

    • joel

      Freedland is a liberal fundamentalist, king spider in the Guardian’s web of disinformation on domestic and foreign affairs.

    • Andrew S Carter

      Hi Mary

      I’m still waiting for P&B’s holiday snaps to be published, as they indicated they would be during their interview with RT
      Maybe Boots has a bit of a backlog or something?

      Did you see Bellingcat’s latest nonsense about the passports? The Bottom of the Barrel is a distant memory, apparently

    • Dish-Washer

      Jonathan Freedland. He said that anyone doubting the Russians did Skripal attack is as bad as those who deny Auschwitz existed, then added they were even worse. They were like those who were glad Auschwitz had happened. The technique reminds me of prosecutors in the Paris tribunal during the Terror, of Stalin’s prosecutors in show trials, and of course of Nazi prosecutors smearing opponents of the regime. This behaviour is not new for him either. He knows what he is doing…

  • Goose

    It was stated recently, very authoritatively, by various people in the pro-Assange camp, that his stay at the embassy was just about up. I’m guess Ecuador couldn’t reach agreement with the UK, that he wouldn’t be extradited on? It would’ve looked fairly horrendous for the current President Moreno to have handed him over in such circumstances after all that time and investment from his country.

    Russia story …why now ? A guess is with that process now seemingly stalled it would explain this ‘Russian’ story to give new impetus perhaps? The great fear I’d imagine, would be Assange walking away under a Labour govt, should the Brexit fiasco result in a GE.

    • Dennis Revell


      Should he become prime-minister, the chance of Cowardly Corbyn-The-Cowardly-Compromiser-Too-Far permitting World Hero Julian Assange to walk free rather than hiding behind some pusillanimous legalese bullshit that “his hands are tied” might just as well suit as an alternative definition of zero.

      Hope I’m wrong, but on Corbyn’s form, I VERY much doubt it.


    • SA

      Thanks for this link. It reminds me of why I used to read and respect the Guardian before they became a tool of MI 5.

  • Andrew S Carter

    It is very serious indeed when a newspaper like the Guardian prints a tissue of deliberate lies in order to spread fake news on behalf of the security services.

    or, in the immortal words of Phil Collins –

    “It’s just another day for you and me in Paradise”

  • Willem

    It is good that you comment on this, but you give the Guardian too much credit.

    I don’t think anybody who voted for Trump in the US (quite a lot of people) believe that Hillary should have won.

    Inequality, job loss, the opioid epidemic, the Hillary rant on the deplorables. And the idea that HRC was not going to change anything to the situation of ‘deplorables’. That are the reasons.

    • Andrew S Carter

      think it’s perhaps a bit wider than just Hillary: at all scales of magnification, from Russia-China-Turkey-Iran-N Korea-India, to Brexit-Hungary-Italy, right down to individual people like me – I think we;re just all a bit fed up with the political miasma we are supposed to swim about in, and we still dream of the halcyon days before oleaginous worms like Peter Mandelson, Dick Cheney, Muppet Macron and sockpuppets like Boris ruled the roost.

      back in The Day, Men were Men, and Women were Prime Minister; nowadays not even the Women can be relied upon to the the proper thing and handbag Junkcker, Barnier and any other uppity gits cross them……

    • James Charles

      This is why H.R.C. ‘lost’?

      “And it’s deadly. Doubtless, Crosscheck delivered Michigan to Trump who supposedly “won” the state by 10,700 votes. The Secretary of State’s office proudly told me that they were “very aggressive” in removing listed voters before the 2016 election. Kobach, who created the lists for his fellow GOP officials, tagged a whopping 417,147 in Michigan as potential double voters.”

  • John2o2o

    Thank you, Craig for clearing that up.

    Is this the same sort of black propaganda we have been receiving with respect to the Skripals? (No need to answer).

  • Pyotr Grozny

    I read the story but it didn’t make me think the worse of Russia at all. It’s just a shame that Assange didn’t seek sanctuary in the Russian Embassy in the first place: they have plenty of outside space.

  • uncle tungsten

    Predictable drivel from luke the dupe. The more I hear about the Guardian the more I am convinced that Soros or Murdoch have purchased the Guardian Trust. There has clearly been a takeover starting a couple of years back. There are rats in the heidelberg and cockroaches in the remington. Thank you Craig for your stamina and perseverence and may the beauty of our planet heal the angst.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Wrong, but US Foundations have put in a pitiful $6mn the past two years: Gates, Ford and Rockefeller Foundations; Conrad Hilton Foundation; Skoll Foundation; Humanity Utd.

      No doubt they bought some editorial policy…..

  • Ort

    Condolences on your losses, Craig.

    “It is very serious indeed when a newspaper like the Guardian prints a tissue of deliberate lies in order to spread fake news on behalf of the security services.”

    Indeed it is, yet this has become the rule, not the exception. On this side of the Water, the vaunted New York Times and other ostensibly first-rate newspapers do the same.

    I find that over the years, I “use” Internet comments to vent about, and bewail, certain acquaintances: relatively successful, prosperous, well-educated (masters’ degrees) progressive-liberal moderates. They are typical would-be “realists” who reflexively vote Democrat on the spurious grounds that supporting their “lesser-evil” candidates are the only means to political salvation in the USA.

    I’ve never heard them refer to themselves as the “intelligentsia”, but they clearly see themselves as mature, responsible, right-thinking pillars of the community. Like faithful “Guardian” readers, I venture, they believe that the New York Times, while not “perfect”, is generally reliable and trustworthy: a journalistic Authority.

    I’m well aware that the Most Useful Idiots are drawn from the ranks of the would-be intelligentsia, but when I observe how uncritically these well-meaning people swallow the NYT’s “consent manufacturing” bilge, I despair.

    • Dungroanin

      Your observations match mine in the UK, longterm printcopy readers are particularly hard to convince of the hollowing out of ‘their’ lefty anti-Murdoch knight in shining armour. They daily purchase the paper mainly for its regular crossword and quizzes while slurping it’s now laced cool-aid from long term hacks who are feeding them pure poisonous refined sugar straight into their cereberal cortex.
      They never get btl to see the censorship dispensed upon the comments.

      My daily aim is to open one readers eyes to the evil their beloved has become. But like a parent of a mass murderer it is something many don’t want to accept.

      When the Guardian turned against Leveson and refused to partake in his recommendation that was the warning light. When they refused to countenance completion of Leveson 2 and its full implementation – that’s when i lost all respect for it.
      It used to be that it carried alternative disagreeable voices for balance – well that is what it mainly consists of now. I worry for the mental health of those few left there who must work amongst the invaders.
      It won’t be long now that Dacre makes some appearance on their management trust i suppose! He must have left the Failhappy that he’d done to the Guardian what Thatcher did to the Labour party with her progeny the Blairites.

      Gird your loins people this isn’t over yet and they are gong to redouble their efforts to shut down bloggers like Craig and posters like us. Time to make plans of where the barricades will need to go and which ‘bastilles’ will need storming. Opression is coming as the revolution approaches.

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