The Mob Tries to Cancel a Company for the Crime of Selling its Products to ICE

By David Seminara on October 7, 2020

Data analytics company Palantir, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange last week, is being pilloried in the press for the heinous crime of — brace yourselves readers — selling its products to ICE. Amnesty International started the smear campaign with a report this week alleging that Palantir, which was co-founded by one-time Trump supporter Peter Thiel, is complicit in "human rights abuses".

"Palantir touts its ethical commitments, saying it will never work with regimes that abuse human rights abroad," said Michael Kleinman, the Director of Amnesty International's Silicon Valley Initiative. "This is deeply ironic, given the company's willingness stateside to work directly with ICE, which has used its technology to execute harmful policies that target migrants and asylum-seekers." 

Amnesty claims that Palantir's software facilitates deportations and child separations at the border. Palantir — the name is a reference to magical stones in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings — denies the charge, insisting that their software doesn't facilitate "civil immigration enforcement." But so what if it did?

You don't have to be Stephen Hawking smart to guess whose side the mainstream media is taking. The smarmy, we-know-much-better-than-you, blue check mark brigades are reacting as though Palantir is doing business with Al-Qaeda or Al-Shabaab. To them, Peter Thiel is no better than Joseph Kony, perhaps worse because we don't know Kony's position on the Amy Coney Barrett nomination, the Green New Deal or other issues elites spill their oat milk over.

An activist doubling as a journalist at Fast Company alleged that ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations division does in fact use Palantir software. The article concludes with a preachy warning. "Amnesty's report may not have an effect on Palantir's first-day performance in public trading. But . . . investors should know where Palantir stands before buying in."

Yes indeed, be very careful investing in a company with the audacity to sell its products to a U.S. government agency tasked with enforcing U.S. laws because in these idiotic times where everyone from Bulgaria to Botswana is apparently born with a God-given right to live in the United States, companies like Palantir are just well . . . gross.

A review of the media coverage on the Amnesty report reveals a lot about how the media perceives ICE. In a piece with the headline, "As Palantir Goes Public, Consider its Troubling Human Rights Record," Fortune activists posing as journalists concluded, "There is a high risk that Palantir is contributing to human rights violations through the U.S. government's use of its products and services."

 Vice piled on with a piece headlined, "Palantir Admits to Helping ICE Deport Immigrants While Trying to Prove It Doesn't," which absurdly alleged that Palantir was "busy pursuing a techno-nationalist project well-versed in the profitable art of constructing borders and policing them — and of terrorizing non-white migrants, asylum-seekers, foreigners, and citizens on either side of them." Meanwhile Forbes' diversity and inclusion correspondent Chantel Da Silva reports that Alexndria Ocasio Cortez and Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia are calling on the SEC to investigate the company. Shocking stuff, right?

Not to be outdone by the rest of the liberal rat pack, the Washington Post referred to Palantir as "secretive and never profitable" in one recent headline, and a few months ago, they published another piece with the headline, "Why are we trusting a company with ties to ICE and intelligence agencies to collect our health information?"

For our media class, ICE is the living embodiment of evil. It's hard to think of any other institution the NPR crowd reviles more. Do a Google search with the terms ICE and Gestapo and you'll see what I mean. For the $5 latte class, selling software to ICE is akin to building gas chambers for the Nazis. And why is that? ICE agents simply enforce laws that have been enacted via our democratic process. Leftists want effectively open borders but most recognize that openly advocating for such is political suicide. So instead of advocating for Congress to formally open our borders, they demonize ICE and argue for emasculating it so that agents don't have the tools to do their jobs. 

Alex Karp, Palantir's CEO, was quizzed about the Amnesty report by liberal CNBC host (is that redundant?) Andrew Ross Sorkin, who asked him about the "risk" of incurring the wrath of liberal groups like Amnesty and woke investors.

"We're not going to say we're for everyone," Karp said. "We will actually tell you what we think. It won't be curated by 50 media people. We say things and stick to them, it's not something everyone likes but many of them do." He made no apologies for doing business with ICE and said that investors who didn't like the company were welcome to invest elsewhere. I liked what I heard and bought 100 shares of stock. The stock's price has declined since I bought it, so perhaps the media hatchet job has worked, but I reckon that any company that's fearless enough to stand up to the mob is one worth believing in.