At 3 a.m. EST Tuesday morning, Julian Assange appeared in Berlin on a video screen to announce his devastating "October Surprise" that would finally crush the evil that is Hillary Clinton.
At least that's what people were expecting. Instead, they got a promise that for the next ten weeks, Wikileaks would be revealing new information about "war, oil, Google and mass surveillance in addition to the U.S. election."
And that was it. The rest of the "announcement" was about the ten year anniversary of Wikileaks. There hasn't been much commentary about this yet but it reeks of the same kind of media manipulation Donald Trump pulled over the Birther issue.
Assange also denied that he has been targeting Hillary Clinton -- which is about as believable as Donald Trump's claim that he has a secret plan to defeat ISIS. A quick recap makes it very clear that Assange would prefer Donald Trump as president because, something something, evil American Empire, something something:
- Shortly before the start of the Democratic National Convention, Wikileaks released thousands of hacked DNC emails they had been in possession of for months. The intent was clear: throw the DNC into chaos and weaken the presumptive nominee.
- It is highly likely that the Russians were behind the DNC hack and that they would very much like Donald Trump to be president.
- Assange admitted that he does not want Hillary to be president.
- Assange offered a reward for information about a murdered DNC staffer. The implication was that Hillary was involved, echoing the far right conspiracy theories surrounding the suicide of Vince Foster.
- Assange had to change the scheduling of his "October Surprise" because of "security concerns", again, the implication was that Hillary or the United States wanted him dead. Magically, the new time just happened to coincide with the tenth anniversary festival celebrating Wikileaks. Surely a coincidence.
- Almost simultaneously, an unsourced rumor made the rounds in far right media that several years ago, Hillary's staff wanted to know why we couldn't kill Assange with a drone.
- Oh, Wikileaks would also like for you to donate money to them because they need help financing their heroic work.
It doesn't take a genius to piece together what is happening here. Wikileaks is targeting the richest source of easy money in the world: America's far right and far left. By appealing to their overdeveloped paranoia with tinfoil hat nonsense aimed at Hillary Clinton, Assange will start raking in millions from gullible idiots.
At the same time, it's clear that Assange has nothing left to attack Hillary with other than rumor and innuendo. While the AP might (temporarily) be able to get away with that, Wikileaks cannot. They'll try but it's unlikely the press is going to take the bait this close to the election.
The idea of Wikileaks might have once been pure but Julian Assange has since weaponized information to push his own personal political agenda. In essence, he's become the very thing he claims to despise: an unaccountable actor on the world stage.
The only real October surprise at this point will be if anyone credible takes anything Assange reveals seriously.