By the end of the meeting on 24 Dec 2013, Syria President Bashar Assad farewelled Australian delegation visited Syria one by one. My turn came. I shook the president’s hands saying many words of solidarity with Syrians. I stressed that many Australians (unlike what our media shows) do not support the violence against Syria and Syrians.
To my surprise, President Assad asked me about my involvement with Wikileaks party and how long I was active with this party.
At the time, my answer was instant and honest. But the reason for the president to ask me this question did not ring a bell until later. Until now, I am not sure if my conspiracy theory is real or just imagination.
From the beginning of our visit, John Shipton was adamant that the bid of the Australian organisers of the visit to sideline Wikileaks party delegations was decided by Syrian authorities and not by the organisers themselves.
From the moment we arrived to Damascus, Australian organisers of the visit (Syrian honorary consulate to Australia) gave us strict guidelines and protocols to follow during our visit. We cannot leave the hotel until we notify him or the delegation head. If we have any complaint or observations, we need to communicate this to him or to the delegation head... The most important issue for John is that we were not given the approximate itinerary until the end of the visit. For the organisers, it is all about security of the delegation.
But we noticed, for example, that all other delegation members had the itinerary, except the Wikileaks delegation members.
For me, it was personal decision by the Australian organisers to keep us away from media comments because the organisers wanted all media focus on them. For personal ego, only. On this issue I should mention here that we were allowed to visit any place we wanted and talked to any person we wanted. For me all was about security and personal ego problems.
But for John, he was convinced that such treatment was ordered by Syrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. According to John, it was a punishment for Wikileaks for its leaking of millions of personal emails of Syrian officials, including President and his wife’s emails.
John was sure that the Syrian authorities do not trust “us” (Wikileaks party). This is why they imposed such strict guidelines and refused to give us the full itinerary.
Now, I think that John was right. And I think that Syrian authorities were right to keep Wikileaks party delegation in dark about the visit and the details of people we are meeting.
The latest development of Wikileaks party CEO meeting with Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood extremists in Australia and securing anonymous deal with them (http://www.jamaldaoud.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/the-night-wikileaks-met-with-extremists.html) proved that Wikileaks brand organisations cannot be trusted.
Everywhere we visited in Damascus, John was always met with this question “why Wikileaks did not leak so far any important and significant documents about Israel”. John tried his best to refute this by saying “there were significant leaks about Israel, but no major newspaper agreed to publish them”... He repeated this time after time, as if he was a parrot that was taught to imitate sentences without understanding its significance or meaning.
Not only this. When we visited Al Nahar Arabic newspaper mid last year, he was asked this question “Julian is a CIA agent, is not he?”. John got angry. But who cares. It amazes me how the journalist of AL Nahar did not care about John’s frustration and loss of temper. And it seems to me that the journalist was not convinced of John’s reply.
I understand now why President Assad asked me about Wikileaks. I understand why Syrian authorities kept us in dark on the itinerary of the visit.
It is most likely that they have a lot of information about Wikileaks real agendas and coordination with foreign intelligence agencies. This is why they did not give Wikileaks any chance to get access to any source to infiltrate Syria.
The last point I want to mention here: the issue of Wikileaks bid to have office in Damascus.
Before arriving to Syria, I was asked by John about my information and expectation of increase in the prices of homes and properties in Syria after the end of the crisis. I confirmed to John what he expected earlier that properties’ prices will be skyrocketing after the end of the crisis.
I think that John was interested in buying properties in Syria for both reasons: for investment (money making out of Syrians’ misery) and to have headquarter for Wikileaks dirty operations in the Middle East. Or maybe it was the second under the excuses of the first.
But as Wikileaks could not fool Syrian authorities, I doubt that such project (establishing Wikileaks office) will go ahead. And this was mentioned clearly by John in his talk with the Guardian journalist (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/04/wikileaks-party-returns-to-syria-in-mission-to-help-ordinary-people )...