How Attorney General Eric Holder Colluded With Bank Of America To Destroy Wikileaks And Silence Unfriendly Journalists, Including Glenn Greenwald
Note: This story was published by Wikileaks via Twitter to their 800,000 followers.
In light of the Assange speech this weekend, we are reposting several Wikileaks stories.
When we wrote a few weeks ago about Eric Holder, Wikileaks and Bank of America, we focused on the irony of the U.S. Attorney General threatening to prosecute an organization (Wikileaks) that possibly holds the very information on which he might draw up his very first indictment of a major bank or Wall Street executive.
Why hasn't Eric Holder asked to see the evidence, which Wikileaks claims to have, that executives at one of our largest banks may have committed serious crimes?
Let's be honest, Holder doesn't really give a rip about financial crimes, but the media should at least be asking him why he doesn't want to see the evidence. We know he'd love to get his hands on Julian Assange's hard drive -- why doesn't he want to see Brian Moynihan's (or Ken Lewis's)?
For some reason, Holder and the rest of the Obama administration would rather endanger our Constitutional rights to due process and a free press by persecuting journalists on specious charges, than to actually do their job and enforce the law.
These are valid questions -- ones for which we really didn't have good answers other than the usual corruption, cowardice and ineptitude when it comes to prosecuting large financial institutions.
However, new information has surfaced that shines a whole new light on the situation. By now, most of you have heard about Bank of America's plans to go after Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald. Until they were caught, Bank of America was working with a group of law and cyber security firms to draw up plans for destroying Wikileaks, the hacker group Anonymous, as well as Wikileaks supporters in the media (like Greenwald). The slide here is from a presentation by one of the firms involved:
It is unclear exactly how they were going to pull it off, but part of the plan was to dig up information with which to blackmail or extort journalists, including Greenwald, into choosing between their open support for Wikileaks and their "professional preservation." You can read all the sordid details of this episode here, here and here.
But one bit of information has been largely overlooked:
- It was the Department of Justice who first put Bank of America in contact with the anti-Wikileaks hit team at the center of the scandal.
Ironically, the hacker group Anonymous turned the tables on Bank of America's hit team and captured a cache of emails that all but prove the Justice Department's direct involvement. Here is an email from one of the firms, admitting that it was the Department of Justice that set the ball rolling:
If the screen shot is difficult to read, here is the relevant excerpt from the email:
Here is the summary of my call:
They are pitching the bank to retain them for an internal investigation around wikileaks. They basically want to sue them to put an injunction on releasing any data. DOJ called the GC [general counsel] of BofA and told them to hire Hunton and Williams, specifically to hire Richard Wyatt who I'm beginning to think is the emperor. They want to present to the bank a team capable of doing a comprehensive investigation into the data leak. Currently they are recommending:
-Hire H&W as outside council on retainer
-Use Palantir for network/cyber/insider threat investigation
-Use Berico/HBGary to analyze wikileaks the organization (people, history, where they are located) Apparently if they can show that wikileaks is hosting data in certain countries it will make prosecution easier.
-Use a team of GD/PWC forensics investigators.
They have a half hour with the GC of the 3rd largest bank in the world [i.e. Bank of America] to plead their case.
There are two very troubling things about this very candid email from Matthew Steckman of Palantir, a data analysis firm, to Aaron Barr of cyber security firm HB Gary. First, as we've highlighted in the screen shot above ("DOJ called the GC of BofA and told them to hire Hunton and Williams"), the Department of Justice told Bank of America to get in touch with law firm Hunton & Williams, who would then assemble the hit team to take care of their Wikileaks problem. This likely has attorney-client privilege advantages, in addition to being downright corrupt.
But the second troubling thing about this email is that part of the plan is to have these private firms, possibly under the cloak of attorney-client privilege, dig up information to quote "make prosecution easier." So not only was Eric Holder neglecting to investigate Bank of America for any crimes they may have committed, and not only was he helping Bank of America assemble a team of cyber hitmen to take out Wikileaks, but it now appears he was also using a private group of hackers and cyber-sleuths to do the kind of information gathering that is illegal for the Department of Justice to do on its own.
The corruption here runs so deep, on so many levels, it's almost impossible to comprehend. How is it that a failed, bailed out bank can have so much power and influence that the U.S. Attorney General is colluding with them to engage in acts, including extortion, blackmail and Fourth Amendment violations, which are almost certainly illegal?