Government Secrets: Why and How A Special Agent-Turned-Whistleblower Uncovered Controversial Border Surveillance Tactics
Special Agent Wesley Petonak, 34, was sitting at his desk in November 2018 when he came across a PowerPoint presentation file that alarmed him.
A nine-year veteran at San Diego’s Homeland Security Investigations office, Petonak knew firsthand the importance of intelligence gathering for successful immigration enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border.
But the PowerPoint was different.
Nine of the slides revealed that agents working under “Operation Secure Line” — a codename for the government’s response to a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants approaching the southern border — were also tracking the movements of journalists, attorneys and humanitarian aid workers.