An exclusive investigation by The Grayzone reveals new details on the critical role Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands played in an apparent CIA spying operation targeting Julian Assange, and exposes the Sands security staff who helped coordinate the malicious campaign.
by Max Blumenthal
“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole.”
–Mike Pompeo, College Station, TX, April 15, 2019
Part 2 - Pompeo outlines the attack on Assange
Pompeo’s first public speech as CIA Director, hosted at the Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank on April 13, 2017, was one of the most paranoid and resentful addresses ever delivered by an agency chief.
The former Republican congressman from Kansas opened his speech with an extended tirade against the “Philip Agees in the world,” referring to the CIA whistleblower who handed over thousands of classified documents to leftist publishers that revealed shocking details of illegal US regime change and assassination plots around the world.
Alluding to Agee’s contemporary “soulmates,” Pompeo declared, “The one thing they don’t share with Agee is the need for a publisher. All they require now is a smart phone and internet access. In today’s digital environment, they can disseminate stolen US secrets instantly around the globe to terrorists, dictators, hackers, and anyone else seeking to do us harm.”
The CIA director made no secret about the identity of his target. “It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is – a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” he rumbled from the podium.
For the next several minutes, Pompeo ranted against Assange, branding him as a “narcissist,” “a fraud,” “a coward.” The right-wing Republican even quoted criticism of the Wikileaks publisher by The Intercept’s Sam Biddle.
Next, Pompeo pledged a “long term” campaign of counter-measures against Wikileaks. “We have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us. To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now,” he vowed.
Though Pompeo said he recognized that “the CIA is legally prohibited from spying on people through electronic surveillance in the United States,” he seemed to have already put into motion an aggressive program to spy not only Assange, but on his American friends, lawyers, and virtually everyone in his immediate vicinity. Carried out by UC Global, the campaign entailed recording private conversations of US targets, opening their phones, photographing their personal information, and even stealing their email passwords.
The CIA’s apparent attack on Assange had been activated weeks earlier, when Wikileaks announced the publication of the CIA’s Vault 7 files. It would not be long before Adelson’s security team began preparing space for Morales in Las Vegas.