Hillary Clinton considered drone attack on Julian Assange - report
According to True Pundit, Clinton and the state department were under pressure to silence Assange and Wikileaks in the months before the whistleblowing site released a massive dump of 250,000 diplomatic cables from 1966 up to 2010, dubbed CableGate.
“Can’t we just drone this guy?” Clinton asked, according to unidentified state department sources.
Published by True Pundit on Sunday, Wikileaks posted a link to the story on their official Twitter account on Monday, along with a screenshot of the article.
Clinton and the state department held numerous meetings to discuss what could be done about Assange and his site which had already exposed damning military secrets about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq before the promised document dump was to come. The department was under pressure from both the White House and foreign governments to silence Wikileaks.
True Pundit reports the people in the room with Clinton on November 23, 2010 laughed at her comment, until it became clear that the then-secretary of state was serious. Clinton was reportedly fuming and referred to Assange as a “soft target.”
After Clinton’s drone suggestion, the state department considered offering a reward to anyone whose help secured the Australian journalist’s capture and extradition to the US. Unnamed sources reported a $10 million price was discussed at the meeting.
Following the meeting, Clinton aide Ann-Marie Slaughter emailed Clinton and aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan with the subject, "RE an SP memo on possible legal and nonlegal strategies re Wikileaks."
The email contained an attachment "SP Wikileaks doc final11.23.10.docx." which has not been found by federal investigators investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server. Wikileaks itself does not have this attachment.
Five days after the meeting, Wikileaks began releasing the CableGate files, on November 28, 2010.
Sources familiar with the meeting claim they were reminded of Clinton’s penchant for discussing droning enemies following the release of the FBI’s report on the Clinton email investigation, according to True Pundit.
The FBI’s notes on Clinton’s interview during the investigation referred to Clinton having “many discussions” about “nominating” droning individuals.
“Clinton could not recall a specific process for nominating a target for a drone strike and recalled much debate pertaining to the concurrence process. Clinton knew there was a role for DOD, State and the CIA but could not provide specifics as to what it was. Due to a disagreement between these agencies, Clinton recalled having many discussions related to nominating an individual for a drone strike,” the report reads.
Assange was set to make a big announcement at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Tuesday where he has been trapped for five years, but cancelled in light of security concerns.
The teased leak, dubbed an “October Surprise” is thought to be damaging for Clinton before the presidential elections in November.
The announcement will now be made at Wikileaks’ 10-year anniversary celebration in Berlin on Tuesday. Assange will address the event via video leak.