Additionally, this may be subjective, but Assange's story and personality makes him seem quite steadfast in these beliefs.
If you leaked something (document dump style) today there's a fair chance nobody would pay any attention to your claim to have this or that trove of documents so you'd need an agent. Who are you gonna call?
I find it impossible to believe there are never any significant leaks from the Russian Federation. I think the problem is the dominant PR agency in that space won't work with you if you're doing anything that might harm Russian interests.
I think you actually meant "Why are there no significant, recent leaks that have not been reported by anyone else about Russia"? There's plenty of innocuous explanations:
- the media is currently on an anti-Russian frenzy. Why would you leak to Wikileaks, which has a much smaller reach than say, the NYT?
- Assange has been painted as a Russian shill. Why would you leak to Wikileaks if you are afraid he might suppress that information or share it with Russia?
- Wikileaks has no political leverage. Why would you leak documents to Wikileaks instead of US intelligence agencies, which may/could offer some kind of protection vs Russian reprisal?
(By the way, browsing a few other countries, it seems like most of the indexed stuff is from 2008-, so Russia isn't an outlier in this regard. It seems like their recent leaks have significantly slowed down in number, which isn't surprising).
With regard to the item above about the NYT you realize that WL has always used the media just like a PR agency would, right?
Your first choice isn't to release to the NYT because the NYT gets god knows how many claims each day and they'd ignore you not to mention that curating the documents and preparing for a an actual story is harder than it looks. The press wants information packaged and ready to use. They'd prefer not to devote resources to vetting, sorting, and curating, as that's what WL does for them. By the time something gets to the NYT it is ready to emerge as a headline.
Reporters operate on deadlines. If you send them a quote ready press release that writes their story for them they're going to take notice if they happen to read your email. If you mail them or email them a document dump they're going to ignore it if they notice it at all. These are extremely busy people on tight deadlines under tremendous pressure.
They'll return phone calls from WL. From you or me? Not likely.
Here's a rather famous leak that the WaPo published about Trump and Russia - https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama...
Here's an example of the NYT publishing leaks that were sent directly to them about Trump - https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-...
Here's an example of a NYT journalist asking for leaks to be sent directly to them, concerning Trump - https://twitter.com/NickKristof/status/838554838329872384
I would agree that it's not clear whether the anti-Russian frenzy is Trump-related, so purely Russian-related leaks might not be getting the same attention. However, I don't think it's fair to say that leakers get ignored by the NYT et al.
If you're an official who knows a couple reporters and you've delivered the goods before, you can successfully get your leak in the top headlines. You've got the credibility and the contacts to make it happen. Reporters treat you like the Oracle of Delphi and you never have to pay for your drinks.
Maybe there should be two different terms because these aren't really the same species. I'd say the day-to-day leaks are just that.
But what Snowden did had more in common with a waterfall then it did with a leaky pipe.
They did say they've changed to a computer-free environment after the Snowden leaks. Or maybe Russian would-be leakers know the stakes are higher for them than for American leakers, because they can get tea with a portion of Polonium.
Whether or not you were a Clinton supporter or not, it was pretty shady to time and stagger the DNC releases for maximum political damage. That's simply not how a neutral arbiter of openness would conduct itself. I think that on its own is enough to refute any claims that WL is neutral or that their mission is about openness.
I think having to flee to Russia with no option to leave that country for the rest of your life to suck pretty bad. Snowden says he'd gladly come home to face trial provided he's offered a fair trial. So he'd risk it all for a fair trial but U.S. officials won't give him one.