The Wikileaks founders astonishing admittance should induce MPs ultimately to start asking questions

Last Wednesday, 11 months into Donald Trump’s new world order, during the first year of normalisation, a abrupt unblurring of fronts took place. A transformation. A doorway of sensing swung open.

Because that was the day that the dramatis personae of two separate Trump-Russia scandals crushed headlong into one another. A high-speed information car clang between Cambridge Analytica and Wikileaks, the two organisations that arguably had the most impact on 2016, grouped together last week in one head-spinning scoop.

That day, we learned that Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial data conglomerate that helped Trump to power, had contacted Julian Assange to ask him if he craved “help” with Wikileaks’s stash of plagiarized emails.

That’s the hoard of stolen emails that had such a devastating impact on Hillary Clinton in the last months of awareness-raising campaigns. And this story brought Wikileaks, which the head of the CIA describes as a” unfriendly intelligence services”, directly together with the Trump campaign for which Cambridge Analytica laboured. This is an stunning planned turn for the company, owned by US billionaire Robert Mercer, either already the subject of investigations by the House intelligence committee, the Senate intelligence committee, the FBI and, it was announced sometime on Friday night, the Senate judiciary committee.

So far, so American. These are US scandals involving US politics and the information cleared the headlines in US bulletins across US networks.

But it’s also Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics busines, which has its headquarters in central London and that, following a series of articles about an important role in Brexit in the Guardian and the Observer , is too being investigated, by the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner’s Office. The companionship that was spun out of a British armed contractor, is headed by an old-time Etonian and that responded to our fibs earlier this year by threatening to sue us. It’s our Cambridge it’s named after , not the American one, and it was here that it treated the voter records of 240 million US citizens.

It’s also here that this” unfriendly intelligence services”- Wikileaks- is based. The Ecuadorian delegation is just a few miles, as the crow flies, from Cambridge Analytica’s head office. Because this is not just about America. It’s about Britain, more. This is transatlantic. It’s not possible to separate Britain and the US in this whole sorry mess- and I say this as someone who has spent months trying. Where we see this most clearly is in that other funny Wikileaks connection: Nigel Farage. Because that moment in March when Farage was caught tripping down the steps of the Ecuadorian delegation was the last minute the lines abruptly grew visible. That the ideological overlaps between Wikileaks and Trump and Brexit were revealed to be not just wrinkles, but a path of communication.

‘ Nigel Farage, who called Donald Trump and then Julian Assange .’ Photograph: Ken McKay/ ITV/ REX/ Shutterstock

Because if there’s one person who’s in the middle of all of this, but “whos had” escaped any proper investigation, it’s Nigel Farage. That’s Nigel Farage, who led the Leave.EU campaign, which is being investigated by the Electoral Commission alongside Cambridge Analytica, about whether the latter made an” impermissible gift” of services to the Leave campaign. Nigel Farage who visited Donald Trump and then Julian Assange. Who is friends with Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer. Who honcho an organisation- Ukip- which has multiple, public, visible but almost entirely unreported Russian acquaintances. Who is paid by the Russian country via the broadcaster RT, which was banned last week from Twitter. And who appears like clockwork on British television without any statement of this.

This is a power network that involves Wikileaks and Farage, and Cambridge Analytica and Farage, and Robert Mercer and Farage. Steve Bannon, former vice president of Cambridge Analytica , and Farage. It’s Nigel Farage and Brexit and Trump and Cambridge Analytica and Wikileaks … and, if the Senate intelligence committee and the House intelligence committee and the FBI are on to anything at all, somewhere in the middle of all that, Russia.

Try to follow this on a daily basis and it’s one long headspin: a spider’s network of relationships and systems of supremacy and patronage and alliances that spans the Atlantic and espouses data houses, thinktanks and media stores. It is about complicated corporate organizations in obscure districts, involving offshore monies funnelled through the black-box algorithm of the pulpit tech monopolists. That it’s eye-wateringly involved and geographically diffuse is not a co-occurrence. Confusion is the charlatan’s acquaintance , noise its supplement. The babble on Twitter is a handy cloak of darkness.

Yet it’s also fairly simple. In a well-functioning democracy, a well-functioning press and a well-functioning parliament would help a well-functioning judiciary do its responsibility. Britain is not that country. There is a vacuum where questions should be, the committees, the inquiries, the headlines on the TV reports. What was Nigel Farage doing in the Ecuadorian delegation? More to the time: why has no public official asked about? Why is he giving pronunciations– for coin- in the US? Who’s paying him? I know this because my weirdest new pastime of 2017 is to harry Arron Bank, the Bristol businessman who was Ukip and Leave.EU’s main funder, and Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s comms gentleman and Belize’s trade attache to the US, across the internet late at night. Wigmore told me about this new US venture- an offshore-based political consultancy is currently working on Steve Bannon-related projects- in a range of tweets. Is it true-life? Who knows? Leave.EU has learned from its Trumpian friends that black is grey and white-hot is color and these half-facts are a convenient method of spreading gossip and overshadowing truth.

What on land was Farage doing advancing Calexit– Californian Brexit? And why did I find a photo of him hanging out with Dana Rohrabacher, the Californian knew of the US press as “Putin’s favourite congressman”? The same Dana Rohrabacher who’s met with Don Trump Jr’s Russian advocate and- wait for it- also called Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian delegation. And who is now interceding on his behalf to obtain a mercy from Don Trump Junior’s dad.

( You got this? Farage visited Trump, then Assange, then Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher filled Don Trump’s Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. Then Assange. And is now trying to close the halo with Trump .)

In these post-truth epoches, journalists are fighting the equivalent of a firestorm with a bottle of sea and a soaked hankie. We desperately requirement promotion. We requirement public pressure. We require parliament is able to step up and start expecting proper questions. There may be innocent answers to all these questions. Let’s please just ask them.


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