When I joined ‘The Official WikiLeaks Forum’ on 8th of March 2011 I did so to show my support to WL/JA. I also joined to experience something entirely new to me: an online community of people. The site promised to support a heroic organisation and members would be in a safe environment to express their support, to exchange views and learn about WL revelations about international political, diplomatic, news. I saw the function of WikiLeaks as an exciting development in strengthening democracies around the world. In particular the Afghanistan and Iraq publications struck a cord that truth could bring our Western World back from the path of mindless war. At a more personal level, I had seen my country Greece collapse into bankruptcy losing its economic and therefore national sovereignty due to the mismanagement, corruption and lack of democratic transparency and public accountability. I hoped WikiLeaks’ idea of Transparency would help rejuvenate democracy in Greece. I also wished and hoped that WikiLeaks may at some point publish information that would throw vital light to the details of the Greek predicament.
I never could have imagined that a year and a half after joining I would find myself talking to a man who claimed to possess important information about my country’s most explosive economic/political scandal and that he would ask my assistance to disseminate this information further.
On Monday the 26th of June 2012 I saw that Mark had made several attempts to contact me the previous day via e-mail and text message:
From: Mark G*****
Date: 25 June 2012 23:46
To: Emmy B*****
please let me know if u are around…or come on jabber
Exactly 10 minutes later a text message on my mbl:
Please contact me as soon as u can … Quite urgent
He explained that Anonymous had submitted to him important documents about Greece. He said he had spoken to WikiLeaks but they were too busy to do anything about it and he was trying to find ways to distribute them himself. He asked if I could take a look and see if I could help him. I was so surprised at all this. He knew I lived for decades in the UK, I was a wife and a mother whose life’s activity was strictly evolving around my domestic and family responsibilities. I had no professional connection to publishing. But, of course I thought I would help him, thinking, maybe something needs translation into Greek etc. He asked me whether I had any contacts in Greece, any media, journalists etc, he mentioned a few German media that may be interested. I agreed to take a look at the documents and see if I could help. Soon I had the files by e-mail and he had also created a directory in the forum’s server under my name with the documents in it.
From: Mark G*****
Date: 26 June 2012 10:14
Subject: Re: urgent
To: Emmy B*****
Reports from Germany:
Ferrostaal made questionable payments of 246 million euros to European officials in Greece, Portugal, Italy to sell German weaponry.
Rapport lawfirm Debevoise & Plimpton (D&P): http://www.uploadarea.de/files/ruj9zdtk7pkrihyowwp4hs3do.pdf
Top Secret Greek Submarines Payment Files:
I took a look and was simply gobsmacked. The documents related to a scandal that was raging in Greece involving an ex-defence Minister, Akis Tzohatzopoulos, and potential bribes from German Firm Ferrostahl. He has just been convicted to 20 years imprisonment. At the time, he was just under questioning. Mark would not have known that this individual was personally acquainted with members of my family decades back when they were comrades fighting oppression in Greece while they lived in Germany. The very long connection of my parents with the PASOK party, being founding and active members in the past, made me take a keen interest in the events surrounding this scandal and I had been posting a lot of articles in the forum about it. So, when Mark landed this on my lap I was unable to see it in any other light apart from an opportunity to do some good despite me being entirely ill qualified.
I asked my mum to come over and translate some of the docs from German, I did further research on line to try and understand what the documents were saying. I spoke to Mark about potential contacts (after all I do not live in a Greek social vacuum despite living away from my country). I skimmed through the few Greek political magazines trying to see which journalist might be appropriate to contact and told Mark some information about my family past and connections who I had no reason to share before. He asked me if I knew were this information had come from. I said of course no, how on Earth would I know? Neither did I ever enquire or even wonder how he got this information in the first place.
My on line research soon indicated that the very documents were already in the public domain and had been so for several hours before Mark’s initial efforts to contact me. I communicated this information to him and thanked him for his efforts, thinking it was one more chapter of learning for me in this journey.
My e-mail to him
Am 26.06.2012 um 15:35 schrieb Emmy B***** <redacted e-mail address
The initial source: 🙂
Already was up Sunday 13:31
I guess we don’t have to worry then… but good exercise for the future
From: Mark G*****-T*****
Date: 26 June 2012 15:06
To: Emmy B*****
Pheewwwww …… Im glad thats been taken care of. I will still sendvthid to dffq
(The Facebook page link is archived here: http://archive.is/YRC7A)
But since I left the forum under the circumstances that I did, I saw his anti-WikiLeaks turn further develop. Watching the last 12 months how he has used the Twitter account, the forum posts, the WikiLeaks Facebook pages under his control to spread misinformation and launch attacks on WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and their supporters, I started questioning his motivation behind passing these documents to me.
Then I saw that he was co-operating with Siggy in several posts at the forum, presenting ‘facts’. I noticed that Mark was supportive of Siggi even when the latter was telling the world through various interviews in the Media that he had been a willing paid FBI informer & collaborator against WL. I also read twitter conversations between forum/Siggi that seemed staged exchanges, a pathetic effort to use the Socratic Method of ‘revealing the truth’ through questions and answers, to spread misinformation or bring attention to themselves, building each other up as credible insiders ready to pass judgement to WL.
At the same time Siggy was putting in paste bin alleged conversations he had with Sabu, indicating for the first time that Sabu was the source of ‘The Syria Files’. I have no idea if any of such claim was truthful, I was more interested at the spin that he was giving it. It reminded me of Mark’s reaction regarding the release of the Syria Files in July 2012 and his preposterous claim that JA was ‘an Agent of the West’. Siggy’s spin appeared to me to be trying to put a little jicksaw piece in place, in such a story’s narrative. Had Siggy already shared with Mark in July 2012 his version of the origin of the files? ie that since Sabu was working for the FBI and was their tool, by inference so was WikiLeaks. To my mind this narrative appeared extremely suspect, especially considering that if Sabu was the ‘push’ part of the FBI entrapment, Siggi was by his own admission, its corresponding ‘pull’ part. This is a very serious matter and considering that people are currently in jail facing lengthy sentences, one should tread carefully presenting any assertions or speculating in public ideas to which they have absolutely no proof of, as is in my case here in this blog post. I have no proof of nothing and I am speculating, clutching on thin air.
But all this imaginative thinking that has developed in my mind, the last 12 months, watching events unfolding at the WLForum, a place set up by Mark and Siggi together, forced me to re-think Mark’s offer of these ‘Anonymous documents’. Was he genuine? Was it just an attempt to ‘share a secret’ and forge loyalty with someone who could be useful later? Anyway what business did he have doubling in ‘WikiLeaks work’ and involving someone as ill qualified in the matter as myself. Maybe this sort of ‘leak’ is commonplace among certain circles…certainly not in mine. He knew that.
My uneasiness in the matter increased, the more I took an outsider’s perspective. I have struggled whether I should put these thoughts and events on paper and publish them, but my goodness, hasn’t he proved again and again that his anti-WikiLeaks stand is not just a personal fall-out but that he has an agenda, that he is pursuing. Alternatively, that he allows himself and the platforms he has created and still runs to become tools in this extraordinary game against WL by people and interests that act covertly. Hasn’t he also proved without doubt that he uses people to achieve his goal and that he has been a very effective manipulator. To people who he has worked closely with at the forum, ex mods and admins, he has proved all that.