“Julian Assange is no hero. I should know — I lived with him and his awful gang.”– James Ball
Right wing investigative reporter James Ball has attacked Julian Assange once again. This time in the Sunday Times. But is there anything new in his article?
The vindictive former WikiLeaks intern uses the emotive word ‘awful’ to refer to Assange’s gang. But Ball was himself part of that gang. Either his commitment to WikiLeaks was authentic – or he was an opportunist bad faith actor.
Judging by his subsequent career moves and undignified pronouncements, I strongly suspect the latter.
Blairite Ball says that if Assange is not extradited to the US and if he manages to be subsequently freed from jail that he should not be allowed to run WikiLeaks again. Because “as a journalist, Assange is reckless, incompetent and immoral”.
He then runs through a list of vague and unproven smears without going into his own role at WikiLeaks or the nature of his obsession with Assange.
The fact that James Ball, a ‘journalist’ who no longer even works for a newspaper, is recommending, on the record, the wholesale censorship of the man who gave him his biggest break says more about Ball than it does about Assange.
In the following Guardian piece Ball misleads his audience by claiming it unlikely Assange would face prosecution in the US.
Sponsored journalists like Ball serve higher powers and cannot be trusted to act against their own financial interests in favour of the truth or of their readers.
I find it hard to distinguish between Ball’s agenda and that of Isabel Oakeshott, Darren Grimes, Raheem Kassam, Mahyar Tousi, Andrew Neil, Fraser Nelson, Rod Liddle, the Guido Fawkes mob and many others.
In this article Ball admits to having taken money from the Integrity Initiative, a government and NATO funded propaganda unit designed to shape opinion in a direction hostile towards Russia and favourable towards increased militarism.
The Integrity Initiative was supposedly against Russian interference in UK politics but it amplified anti-Corbyn tweets.
Ball blames Murdoch-owned Fox news for amplifying Russian propaganda but has had no problem attacking Assange in the Murdoch-owned Sunday Times.
Murdoch was in the room in 2017 when Michael Gove ‘interviewed’ then President-elect Donald Trump and Murdoch’s News International hired Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson to work on the Johnny Depp Amber Heard libel case which has meant that she hasn’t seen Assange for over a year.
It’s no secret that money talks but, in today’s anti-Assange hit piece, James Ball keeps very quiet about exactly what attracts him to the billionaire oligarch Mr Rupert Murdoch.