Oct 15, 2021

The CIA vs. WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Foto: David G Silvers. Cancillería del Ecuador.
I'm Isaac Saul, and this is Tangle: an independent, ad-free, non-partisan politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum — then my take. First time reading? Sign up here.

Around 8:30pm EST on Wednesday night, I got a private message on Twitter from WikiLeaks.

In it, the person reaching out to me had sent over what appeared to be a copied and pasted note: "Hi, sorry to bother you. Julian Assange’s partner/lawyer (@StellaMoris1) asked us to contact you about the extremely alarming revelations by Michael Isikoff and his team at Yahoo News that [Mike] Pompeo drew up plans to assassinate or kidnap Julian. The activities at issue are of legal consequence and are the subject of ongoing active legal proceedings. In response to the story, Pompeo has engaged in witness intimidation and encouraged obstruction of justice by threatening Yahoo's journalistic sources."

The note also included contact information to reach Assange's associates and lawyers via Signal, the encrypted messaging app, if I wanted more information.

The note was at once jarring and unsurprising. It's always odd to get a personal message from a notorious, multinational media organization with 5.5 million followers that has been associated with accusations of espionage and also been awarded numerous journalistic honors. In this case, though, it was even more bizarre because I was nearly done writing this very newsletter — an issue about the exact topic they were asking me to write about. The coincidence left me wondering just a little if the group most famous for exposing the American government's vast spying apparatus was somehow also monitoring my own activity.