Wikileaks: The world’s largest crowd-sourced criminal investigation.One might say that if the official channels traditionally used for investigative journalism have not succeeded, an alternative will arise. Welcome to the age of digital media.
What is WikiLeaks?WikiLeaks publishes large datasets of leaked official materials “involving war, spying and corruption”. To understand the connection to crowdsourcing and crime, it’s best to think of Wikileaks as an online safe, into which huge amounts of information and data are placed all at once, commonly referred to as a data dump. The most important part about this online “safe” is that nothing can be placed inside of it which has not been verified to be authentic.
Although no organization can hope to have a perfect record forever, thus far WikiLeaks has a perfect record in document authentication and resistance to all censorship attempts.
How does this relate to investigative journalism?Because of Wikileak’s method of dumping huge piles of information online all at once, it becomes the work of researchers and the public at large to mine this information for anything which may or not be of relevance regarding events illegal or otherwise, “involving war, spying and corruption.”
The DNC Email Leaks
Wikileaks has been publishing for a decade. Most recently, for better or worse, over the course of the 2016 Presidential election, Wikileaks began publishing massive amounts of DNC emails which revealed systemic corruption and cheating within the Democratic Party, to the point of potentially influencing the outcome of the election. Among many other revelations, emails revealed efforts to rig the primary in favor of one potential candidate, at the expense of that candidate’s biggest competition. It was also revealed that the Presidential debate questions were given to one of the candidates before the debate. Wikileaks is widely credited with revealing not only that the Democratic Primaries were rigged, but that the mainstream media’s relationship with the DNC was sycophantic rather than professional.
The John Podesta Email Leaks
Wikileaks has also been credited with the leak of a cache of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, which supposedly uncovered evidence of pedophiles operating in elite circles. This has its analogue in the recent pedophile scandal(s), involving the British elite, which included more than one Knighted politician and a former Prime Minister, as well as Jeff Epstein friend, Prince Andrew. The British media was historically silenced, attempted to cover up and obfuscate facts, before finally admitting it was true. New investigations have revealed pedophile rings operating out of multiple children’s care homes, half-hearted investigations and thwarted prosecutions spanning the last 30 years. The UK has been plagued with child care home abuse scandals with multiple coverup accusations made against Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, lost evidence, even suspicions that peodphile ring whistleblowers had been murdered.Similarly, some US mainstream media began misreporting and then “debunking” misrepresentations of the allegations uncovered in Wikileaks. Some mainstream responses to the information were focussed on how the leaks occurred, rather than dealing with the content inside the materials.
The Rise of the Citizen-Researcher
This left a gap in investigative journalism, prompting the rise of “Citizen-Journalists” or “Citizen-Researchers”. This independant, crowd-led investigation caught fire after it was revealed by researchers and other sites that Mark Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of the NY Times which was denying the evidence of an American pedophile scandal, was the same Mark Thompson, Former Director-General of the BBC, accused of lying to cover up the British Pedophile scandal. Therefore, when the BBC published a contemporary article alleging the American pedophile scandal was fake, researchers saw it as an indication that the allegations were true. People began researching independently and started posting caches of information gleaned from the leaks on reddit.In an interesting twist, reddit banned the entire thread of research on the alleged criminal network. Ironically, rather than crush the investigation, it spread the investigation laterally, across multiple platforms. Citizen researchers disseminated the information and added to it, creating more researchers in the wake of the ban.
FBI Anonymous on 4chan
People had already began dialoguing online with “FBI Anon” on 4chan by this time. Among other things, the AMAs (Ask Me Anything) predicted a series of pedophile-related arrests taking place after the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2017. They described a wave of arrests, first dealing with low level arrests, moving on to mid-level arrests and ending in highest-level arrests. It would be impossible to prove that this was a dialogue with a real “FBI insider”. True or not, this seemed to fuel a new wave of investigation, as researchers turned to older Wikileaks, cross referencing old materials with new leads and publishing even more information online.
So what success has this achieved, if any?
Fringe media credits online researchers with the impetus behind what they see as an unprecedented number of child trafficking, pedophilia and child porn arrests- plus the signing of the recent Presidential Executive Order giving priority to and allocating more resources towards preventing Human Trafficking. The arrests might be seen as as fitting the “small to medium to large” profile. However, at this time, no well-known “high-profile” arrests have occurred.
A rough assessment of “Low-Level Arrests”
42 in Tennessee Jan 27
332 in California Jan 29
5 in Pennsylvania Jan 29
42 in Florida Feb 1
9 in Nebraska Feb 3
108 in Illinois Feb 5
178 in Texas Feb 5
16 in Michigan Feb 13
11 in Virginia Feb 15
10 in North Carolina Feb 27
10 in California March 7
1 in Georgia March 8
7 in Florida March March 10
9 in North Dakota March 10
In the first 10 weeks since the inauguration on January 20, 2017,Adult arrests is roughly 780 and counting.
It’s simply not possible to know if these numbers are above or below national averages, as the FBI’s data collection on numbers of child and sex trafficking arrests for states, called “Uniform Crime Reporting” (UCR), is voluntary. However, 2017 far surpases reported totals. In fact, child trafficking arrests reported in the 10 weeks since Inauguration 2017, are almost more than were reported in all of 2015 (833) and have already surpased 2014 (664).
“Mid level Arrests and Related”
-Jeffrey Claude Bartleson, John McCain’s Presidential Campaign Manager in Colorado, arrested for pedophilia, sexual assault of young boys. This comes during the current focus on a 1 million dollar donation from the Saudi Arabian Government to the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute, works with child trafficking. When asked about the donation, McCain denied being connected to the Institute other than it using his name. His spokesperson Rachel Dean says he misspoke. Wikileaks focussed on The McCain Institute recently with a tweet mentioning the donation from Saudi Arabia as well as naming Institute’s Trustee and Hillary Clinton friend, Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Forester de Rothschild is a Clinton supporter, but endorsed McCain on September 17, 2008. Curiously, John McCain was accused of accepting improper campaign donations from the London Rothschilds on April 28. 2008. Feb 5
-Jeff Sandusky, son of convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky, the now-infamous assistant-football coach at Penn State. Jerry Sandusky, was accused of being involved in an organized criminal pedophile ring. He founded Second Mile Foundation for Children, which is how he gained access to vulnerable, at-risk kids. People may recall, Hillary Clinton’s father and brother both attended Penn State, and she spoke about Sandusky’s arrest at the time. Bill Clinton’s Special White House Counsel, Lanny Davis was brought onboard to manage the scandal. In this case, Jeff Sandusky’s lawyer, is Lance Marshal the disgraced former prosecutor who stepped down after he was involved in a Federal lawsuit where it was proven he attempted to coerce a domestic violence abuse victim into sex in exchange for legal services. Feb 13
-Incoming Cleveland Public Prosecutor Michael O’Malley fires prosecutors for dereliction of duties after finding 1,900 open child rape cases marked, ‘inactive’. "There was a conscious decision (by prosecutors) to make some of these cases inactive," O'Malley said. He states publically that some cases-even when the rapists had confessed-some with victims as young as 3- they were never charged, and went on to rape other children. Feb 14
-European Adoption Consultants, adoption agency raided. The report focusses on charges of bribery, but the page of "and other charges" includes 22 CFR 96.44(a) & 96.46(a) “… they did not engage in practices consistent with the principles of furthering the best interests of the child and preventing the sale, abduction, exploitation, or trafficking of children”. European Adoption Consultants was once listed on the State Department’s website as an approved Adoption Service Provider for Haiti, when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Child trafficking through adoption and child rescue/disaster rescue, is a growing concern made clear in the Harvard Human Rights Journal, written about convicted child trafficker, Laura Silsby and the case of New Life Children’s Refuge. Silsby’s lawyer in Haiti, Jorge Torres Puello, was himself charged with child trafficking and is at large, wanted in El Salvador. People may recall, Bill Clinton brokering Silsby’s release from jail in Haiti at the time. Laura Silsby who now goes by Laura Galyer, is currently the Vice President of Marketing at Alert Sense, which manages the technology used for Amber Alerts (child abduction), The Emergency Alert System, and FEMA Disaster Management Alert System.
Feb 15-Christopher Rennie Glenn is a former government contractor, currently serving 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2015 to stealing military plans and intelligence reports from the U.S. Department of Defense. He was convicted of multiple counts of sex trafficking and child exploitation while working for the government. March 8
-Madeleine McCann Abduction Investigation receives extended funding with a “new lead” on a suspect. Madeleine McCann’s abduction from Praia da Luz, Portugal made worldwide headlines in May of 2007. When the McCann’s became persons of interest, their PR Agent stepped down from the case, and Clarence Mitchell, stepped away from his position as Director of the Media Monitoring Unit at the British Government’s Central Office of Information, to represent the McCanns. He also signed on to work for Freud Communications, run by Sir Clement Freud’s son, Matthew Freud. Sir Clement Freud invited the McCann’s to dinner in Portugal, 2 months after the abduction, to his Villa 1/3 of a mile away from where Maddy was abducted. Once Sir Clement Freud was posthumously exposed as a long-time serial child predator who’d also had unusual contact with the McCann’s, police turned their attention towards him.Sir Clement Freud’s son, Matthew Freud, is the great-grandson of Sigmund Freud and is doubly related to the "father" of public relations, Edward Bernays. A former BBC Journalist, Matthew Freud was married to media-mogul Rupert Murdoch’s daughter, Elisabeth Murdoch.Freud Communication’s wunderkind Sara Latham- who moved on when Clarence Mitchell joined Freud’s Communications- was a consultant to the Clinton Foundation, a communications advisor for Tony Blair, was appointed to Obama’s transition team in 2008, White House Staff to Bill Clinton, Senior Advisor to Hillary Clinton, and most recently in the 2016 Presidential Election, she was John Podesta’s Chief of Staff. March 12