You Can’t Trust Anybody These Days

This day and age it’s very difficult to find trustworthy people. Julian Assange knows this fact better than most people since his involvement in WikiLeaks made him a primary target for state aggression. As it turns out, a volunteer for WikiLeaks was actually a paid Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) informant:

On an August workday in 2011, a cherubic 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur “Siggi” Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in Reykjavík, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange.

Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000. The FBI flew him internationally four times for debriefings, including one trip to Washington D.C., and on the last meeting obtained from Thordarson eight hard drives packed with chat logs, video and other data from WikiLeaks.

This news demonstrates two things: Julian Assange’s paranoid was justified and the FBI was investing notable resources into destroying investigating WikiLeaks. The FBI’s tenacity in investigating WikiLeaks also shows how transparent the current government isn’t. WikiLeaks does little more than release dirty secrets of corporations and governments. If the government was actually transparent it wouldn’t care about its dirty secrets being released, but the government has actually put a great deal of resources into stopping leaks and prosecuting leakers.