On June 21, 2018, WikiLeaks released an ICE database called ICEPatrol and in what can only be described as a grotesque display of hypocrisy, conservative support for the organization came to a screeching halt. Citing the alleged dangers of releasing such information but failing to note that the data was already public, Trump supporters took to their keyboards and admonished WikiLeaks for their lack of oversight, declared the organization compromised, and theorized that WikiLeaks was, in fact, now working against their own publisher, Julian Assange.
This hysteria is nothing new; U.S. officials and intelligence agencies have been trotting out “WikiLeaks puts people’s lives in danger,” since the Truman years, trolls have relentlessly circulated “WikiLeaks is compromised” ever since Assange’s internet was first cut in October 2016, and QAnon, the up and coming 8chan expert on all things related to “WikiLeaks can no longer be trusted,” warned us this might be the case.
But if anyone had taken the time to investigate the database they would have learned that ICEPatrol is simply a public information repository put into an easy, searchable form. It’s really that simple and contrary to popular belief, it’s also something that Julian Assange would support. So in the words of Gob Bluth, perhaps you’ve made a “huge mistake,” you should put aside your undue concerns about WikiLeaks, and remember that if anyone is in danger it is and always has been, Julian Assange.
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WHAT IS ICE?
Let’s start with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) because I think a lot of Americans believe that they’re only involved in immigration. They’re not. For instance, did you know that ICE is part of Homeland Security, they’re the largest contributor to the Joint Terrorist Task Force, and that Homeland Security Investigations is housed within ICE? According to their website, the agency “executes its mission through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes, and focuses on smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combating the illegal movement of people and trade.”
As you can see, ICE isn’t some chintzy little immigration outfit that the government slapped together over a holiday weekend. They work on terrorism, counterterrorism, and cyber crimes with other big agencies. For instance, here’s how they were involved with the Boston bombing,
“Among the many ways HSI Boston special agents assisted the investigation included an immediate response to the blast site, the location and analysis of crime scene videos, numerous interviews of witnesses and victims at hospital bedsides and of participants, volunteers, and spectators. HSI Boston aided in the collection of evidence, in the search warrant process, and in the onsite imaging of mobile phones..HSI Boston also assisted in the pursuit of the suspect in Watertown, helping secure and protect residents during the security lockdown and played a considerable [p]art in the extensive investigation and judicial proceedings that followed.”
In more recent news, ICE detention centers are being used to house children that have been separated from their parents at the border and have been since the Obama administration. The ACLU is currently suing the Trump administration on behalf of a mother who was separated for months from her seven-year-old daughter and they are currently looking to expand the case into a class-action suit.
APNews also reported that Governer Ralph Northam (VA) has ordered an investigation into claims that immigrant children were beaten while handcuffed, and “locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.” The sworn statements of abuse are part of a federal civil lawsuit that came from children who had spent months or even years at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center.
And although it does not appear that the detention center housed any children who had been separated from their parents, if this abuse occurred it’s a travesty and just another reminder of how little the United States cares about children.
ICE patrol agents also “routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of their legal authority,” and according to the ACLU,
“Federal border agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing, and often in ways that our Constitution does not permit.”
And if that’s not bad enough, the agency has reportedly been trying to get into the intelligence and drone business, they partner with the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other intelligence agencies through Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of Intelligence, and they use Peter Thiel’s Palantir Technologies to “access information from the CIA.” Thomson Reuters, whose CEO, Jim C. Smith, is the director of Pfizer and sits on the advisory board of the Atlantic Council, actually sells the agency access to data.
Then there’s Unicorn Riot’s Icebreaker series which released ICE’s handbook containing the agency’s “rules for informants, infiltration of organizations, and guidelines for breaking the law with protection from federal authorities.” WikiLeaks posted a tweet stating that ICE undercover agents “duplicitously” marry their targets, citing part of the handbook,
“…activity involving a purported legal marriage between an undercover operative and a target or third party; or a marriage sting operation whereby an undercover operative proffers marriage to a target or third party…”
And just today, @JulianAssange tweeted,
“DHS/ICE is part of the ‘deep state.’ TV shows you border guards, but in reality, ICE is a huge intelligence operation, that sucks out information on mass from computers, phones & passes it to CIA, runs drones & expands the power of the state through increasing ‘rightless’ zones.”
So a. It sounds like ICE is already using drones and b. Perhaps most Americans never realized how involved ICE is with agencies like the CIA, companies like Palantir, and that they violate the rights of both immigrants and American citizens. If you did know and you’re still cheering on a government agency that clearly needs to be cleaned up, you may need to get your priorities straight. And if you support a policy that separates immigrant children from their parents because Trump has become your own personal Messiah, well, you may need to get your racism and morals in check, too.
And no, of course I don’t support immigrants coming here and murdering Americans so let’s not turn this into that. But we can’t even stop Americans from killing other Americans so let’s drop the judgmental attitude for a moment.
SO WHY DID WIKILEAKS RELEASE THE ICEPATROL DATABASE?
Easy. Censorship. The ICE database was initially censored by GitHub and Medium so it’s not surprising that WikiLeaks, an organization that advocates for truth and transparency, agreed to publish it. After Sam Lavinge, an NYU professor who originally compiled the data, published it on GitHub and announced the database on Medium, both websites “conspired to quash the release of a set of data comprising all the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) employees” who were publicly listed on LinkedIn.
Microsoft owns LinkedIn and according to obscenework.com, they have a “long-standing relationship with ICE.” In fact, ICE uses Microsoft’s cloud services and by June 21, 2018, three hundred Microsoft employees had signed a letter “denouncing the company’s cooperation with ICE.” GitHub users also wrote a letter in protest, threatening the company that they would “take our projects elsewhere” if they refused to cut ties with them. Microsoft acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion three weeks ago.
And if this database really offends you, keep in mind that you can search for the same exact information through LinkedIn. @AnonScan posted an archived page for Lavinge’s work here.
WHY ARE PEOPLE FREAKING OUT?
Multiple reasons. First, some people actually believe that Russia was behind this in order to sow discord and division in the United States.
Apparently others believe that WikiLeaks is working with the extreme left because that makes sense said no Russian hacker cough cough ever.
And then there are those who are outraged that WikiLeaks allegedly “doxed” ICE agents which is absurd because how can you dox someone when the information was already in the public domain and posted by the very people that everyone is claiming WikiLeaks doxed. Anyone with half a brain and the ability to create a LinkedIn account can procure this information. Not only that, LinkedIn is a free social networking service so it’s not like anyone paid Intelius or BeenVerified for the data. Furthermore, these are public servants paid by taxpayer money.
So if I can find this information myself on LinkedIn what’s the real issue here? For one, Americans for some ungodly reason love to put politics and politicians above anything else including truth, transparency, and human rights, so if anything threatens their politician du jour’s agenda, it’s to be shunned at all costs. Hence the reason I advocate against political parties which are used solely to keep us divided.
So again, just to be clear, the information in the ICEPatrol database was voluntarily and publicly posted by ICE employees. Let me say that again: Voluntarily and publicly. @JulianAssange‘s account tweeted,
“…The information was published by the ICE staff themselves as to what work functions they perform and does not include home addresses or telephone numbers. It is however useful for understanding DHS/ICE structure and developing sources.”
And @BellaMagnani added,
“#WikiLeaks’ #ICEPatrol dataset does not contain confidential info & is work-related info ICE agents publicised themselves. As with #ICWatch (icwatch.wikileaks.org), it helps activists, lawyers & journalists to research Fed Govt abuses…”
But one of the obvious concerns about doxing is that it has the potential to put people’s lives in danger and that’s exactly what Trump supporters are arguing.
“Don’t ever come to me asking to help raise money for WikiLeaks” and “WikiLeaks…should be dismantled immediately”? What? This stuff is literally the epitome of Deep State brainwashing. And it’s astounding how quickly some people adopted exactly what the U.S. government has been saying about WikiLeaks’ publications for years and yet even they had to concede to the fact that their publications have never harmed a single individual—minus reputations, of course, and the U.S. torture of alleged WikiLeaks sources.
I mean, accounts like @TracyBeanz have been drooling over WikiLeaks publications since the Podesta emails and including and up to the Strzok text messages so someone please explain to me how there’s a greater chance that a blood thirsty anti-ICE maniac will take out an agent listed on a public social media website than a fanatical Trump or Bernie supporter assassinating John Podesta, Peter Strzok or Debbie Wasserman Schultz over their private texts and emails.
And lastly, I lost count of how many people now believe that WikiLeaks is compromised because they think that Assange would never support the release of ICEPatrol. And yet, WikiLeaks is not compromised and Assange absolutely supports this type of publication. How do I know? Two words: ICWatch Project.
On May 6, 2015, Transparency Toolkit launched ICWatch Project, a database that is virtually identical to ICEPatrol because it “cross references resumes posted on LinkedIn.” In this case, however, ICWatch is a database of people “working in or associated with the intelligence and security sector” (aka the Deep State), and I can’t remember a single Trump supporter complaining about it in the past three years.
After receiving death threats, Transparency Toolkit’s project was essentially merged into WikiLeaks’ publication database in order to protect the data. And similar to the ICEPatrol database which is meant to give us all greater insight into the agency and its structure (because we’re still taxpayers, yes?), ICWatch is meant to be used as “a tool for journalists, researchers and members of the public to better understand” the surveillance industry. And like what many of us have been trying to say in the past few days, according to WikiLeaks, the “developers have simply made information that is already in the public domain easy to research.”
On July 12, 2017, @AnonScan posted three videos of Julian Assange discussing the project. In the first and third video, Assange noted that the database was quite simple to put together and that information gleaned from it included a U.S. assassination program carried out in Afghanistan called JPEL, respectively. And as Assange pointed out in the second video, it’s fairly ironic that a counterintelligence agent’s job is to keep information secret and yet some of them had no reservations about publicly posting on LinkedIn U.S. kill programs and the number of kills made (you had one job!).
FREAKING OUT IS NOT HELPING JULIAN ASSANGE
Hopefully it’s becoming a little more clear that any concerns you may have had about WikiLeaks are not warranted in this case and that the undue hysteria that followed the ICEPatrol release doesn’t help Julian Assange. Telling your 100K followers on Twitter that WikiLeaks has been comprised is extremely harmful especially in lieu of the fact that you don’t have the evidence to back up such an allegation; the only thing you’ve done is encourage whistleblowers and leakers to think twice before submitting information to WikiLeaks. And telling everyone, “Screw it, I used to support WikiLeaks but not anymore!” only makes you look like a raging hypocrite and a selective truth-teller.
However, although I don’t support knee-jerk assumptions, I do embrace open dialogue and legitimate questions or concerns about WikiLeaks and/or Julian Assange. If you have a legitimate question or concern and you know that the MSM is generally not your friend then start by researching the topic. Ask @WikiLeaks or search the Twitter accounts of those who are knowledgeable about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange’s case for answers like @WLTaskForce, @JulianAssange, @BellaMagnani, or @AnonScan. Or even try searching this website because sometimes I actually know what’s going on. You’ll probably learn that trolls, government shills, the Deep State, or, unfortunately, even fair-weathered WikiLeaks supporters have been playing or misguiding you.
You have to ask yourself why anyone would encourage you to denounce the only media organization that has never been wrong and a publisher that has literally sacrificed his life to bring you the truth.
ASSANGE IS FACING IMMINENT DANGER
So sure, you can tell me about your new-found concern for ICE employees who incompetently posted their work-related information on a social networking site because no one learned from the ICWatch database publication, and how much you used to support WikiLeaks but no longer do, and how you’re no longer going to donate to WikiLeaks or sign any more petitions for Julian Assange’s safe release. But don’t think for a moment that you’re now standing on some morally higher ground because you’re not.
No, WikiLeaks publications have never harmed an individual but as a side note, I’m actually surprised that the CIA hasn’t murdered someone yet just to pin it on them. But I digress. Their publications have never hurt anyone or gotten anyone killed and the U.S. government has conceded to that fact. So, if you really want to talk about targeting, let’s talk about Julian Assange, the most targeted man in the world.
The United States has a sealed indictment against Assange and the U.K. has stated that they will arrest him even though the Swedish investigation has been closed. They also refuse to promise Ecuador that they will not extradite him to the U.S., nor will they disclose if they already have a U.S. extradition warrant for him. According to Assange,
“We should not underestimate the scale of the investigation which has happened into WikiLeaks. I only wish I could say that Bradley Manning was the only victim of this situation but the assault on WikiLeaks in relation to that matter and others has produced an investigation that Australian diplomats say ‘ is without precedence in its scale and nature,’ that the U.S. government called a ‘whole of government’ investigation.”
Additionally, I think you’ll be shocked to learn how many U.S. agencies have been involved in the investigation against Assange and WikiLeaks:
The Department of Defense, DOJ, FBI, CIA, Central Command (CENTCOM), Southern Command, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Forces in Iraq, U.S. Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit, Computer Crimes Investigation Unit (CCIU), Second Army Cyber Command, State Department, the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, House Oversight Committee, the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
And this list is from 2012! Then there’s Hillary Clinton’s “Can’t we just drone this guy?,” former CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s comment that WikiLeaks is a “non-state hostile intelligence service,” Jeff Sessions’ commitment to arrest Assange with President Trump’s approval, Representative Adam Schiff’s statement that the House Intelligence Committee has no interest in interviewing Assange until he’s in U.S. custody, and the CIA which is now being run by a known torturer.
And going back to those three videos that @AnonScan posted of Julian Assange, take a look at the first two (here and here) where Assange talks about how mere weeks after publishing ICWatch, the project received a threatening email from a U.S. intelligence agent,
“I promise that I will kill everyone involved in your website. There is nowhere on this earth that you will be able to hide from me.”
According to Assange, the email is indicative of the intelligence agent’s “murderous, criminal arrogance,” and that the issuance of death threats was merely an attempt to cover up his own incompetence. This may very well be the case but what’s important to note here for the sake of my argument is “everyone involved in your website,” and “murderous, criminal arrogance” because WikiLeaks became involved in the project the moment they published the dataset. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Not only have multiple U.S. officials called for Assange’s assassination, we have intelligence agents who are literally threatening to kill everyone involved in the ICWatch project. And my guess is that we now have a few maniacal ICE agents that feel the same way. With this heaping pile of evidence that shows how U.S. officials and intelligence agents literally want Assange murdered, how in the world can the U.K. even remotely consider extraditing him? Especially in light of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights which forbids them from extraditing him to a foreign state where it is likely he will face torture, the death penalty, and/or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. Extraditing him is literally signing his death warrant.
Not only that, the work that WikiLeaks does is a “critical function of a free press in a democratic society,” and to prosecute Assange under the antiquated Espionage Act serves “no public-interest defense.” If the U.S. government is successful, who’s next? Your father who works for CNN? Your sister who works for The New York Times? Or, perhaps your son who works for the Washington Post. The United States’ secret indictment against Assange and threats of extradition must be dropped.
And then there’s Ecuador.
The biggest concern on the table right now is where Ecuador is headed with regards to Assange’s asylum. Of course the fact that President Lenin has cut off all of his communications for what will soon be ninety days is deeply disconcerting. Assange has also been denied “safe passage to a hospital, unimpeded access to care, and at least one hour outdoors in open air per day” despite the fact that the U.K. committed itself to the Nelson Mandela Rules which calls for such provisions.
In May, Human Rights Watch was denied permission to visit Assange and on May 30, 2018, President Lenin stated that the conditions of Assange’s asylum prevented him “from speaking about politics or intervening in the politics of other countries” because apparently Julian Assange is the only political asylee and Ecuadorian citizen who has to play by these made-up rules.
Earlier this month, Ecuador’s then-Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa stated that the government was looking for an alternative that would “accommodate all interested parties,” and one has to wonder if that includes the United States.
And then just this past week, the new Foreign Minister, Jose Valencia Amores, stated that Assange’s political asylum can’t last “forever,” which is absurd because UNHCR Cessation clauses call for his asylum to indeed last forever unless the circumstances surrounding his grant of asylum change. Meaning, Ecuador cannot end his asylum until the threat against Assange (extradition to the U.S., torture, death) has been removed which it obviously hasn’t been.
Don’t forget that Ecuador and the United States have developed a closer relationship due to President Lenin’s desire for a trade agreement and terrorist activity along Ecuador’s northern border (which the CIA most likely created themselves in order to put pressure on Lenin).
YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
Actually no, I don’t want to hear about how your well-protected ICE agents who violate Americans’ rights, work hand in hand with the CIA and Palantir, and are backed by one of the most powerful countries in the world regardless of how many human rights they trounce on, are in some sort of imminent danger because of a database that’s filled with information they themselves put online. They’re not.
And you can’t stand for truth and transparency and then decide to decide which intelligence or government agencies should be protected from taxpayers. I mean, you can but when you cheer on ICWatch but admonish WikiLeaks for ICEPatrol, you’re a hypocrite and you sound like a Hillary Clinton supporter. Until people stop blindly putting politicians and their agendas above the truth, they will always chose the first rather than the later.
Listen, transparency isn’t always a warm and fuzzy thing and it forces people into the uncomfortable position of facing their long-held beliefs. But the more light that leakers, whistleblowers, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks shine on the darkness, the more underbellies that are exposed, the fewer we’ll have to turn over.
This week marked six years since Julian Assange walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he is now being held a prisoner without charge. Assange once said, “Seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. That is not something I can forgive. It is not something that I can forget.” Nor should any of us because this situation has become an ungodly stain on humanity and it needs to end.
So please, ditch your blind faith in politicians and government agencies, continue supporting the only organization that has never had to make a single retraction in over ten years, don’t become subservient to a system that literally wants to kill the messenger, and remember that Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, leakers, and whistleblowers—not Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton—are the cornerstone of truth and transparency in this sometimes god-forsaken world.