My series of “Insider Interviews” has focused on the inner workings of those agencies which are charged to protect us, but, all too often and without our permission, work against us as free citizens entitled to our rights under the constitution. Many still don’t know, or choose to deny, the abusive, invasive domestic spying perpetrated by those we entrust to protect us, but instead choose to insert themselves into our daily emails, phone calls, web searches, texts and more.
Included in my previous writings has been time with a former agent with the FBI, Coleen Rowley; Former operative with the CIA, Verne Lyon; and a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency now turned whistleblower, William Binney.
My articles have asked questions about their individual specific experiences and their work in general serving our country. All have left their service with disdain and disgust for the agencies they dedicated their lives. They were ignored in their presentation of important intel related to such events as domestic spying and even pre-9/11 activities. They witnessed things, were asked to do things they felt were either illegal or immoral so, being vocal in their objections, were labeled whistleblowers and left their posts.
The anti-American, possibly traitorous, acts committed by some at the upper layers of our intel community is being seen daily in the news. DOJ committing domestic surveillance and the illegal leaking of people and events.
We’ve seen FBI agents openly abusing their positions with ineffective investigation of anti-American, crime committing politicians, while selectively pursuing and attempting to replace a sitting, duly-elected president. All for partisan, pestiferous, personal, political, and parlous reasons.
In order to see the relevance of their answers from different perspectives and the common views they share, I’ve selected certain questions for a side-by-side comparison of answers. This is part 2, a continuation of part 1 which can be seen HERE.
RB ~ When the average American thinks about all this data collection, the feeling is the gov’t should be spending time, money and resources chasing bad guys in Yemen, Iran or Syria, not worrying about some conversation or email between a guy and his grandmother. Are there hidden reasonings behind collecting so much private and inconsequential information about non-threats within the country?
WB ~ Yes. I call it population control motivated by power and money. It’s the “happiness management program” for a few that the rest of we poor suckers pay for – at least as long as most of us believe their lies.
VL~ Certainly politics always has a role in what type of intelligence is collected and from whom. With today’s technology that allows us and foreign nations to encrypt private communications, the race to stay ahead of the curve outweighs the concerns for people’s rights.
CR ~ As I’ve said and written many, many times, how does it help if you are looking for a “needle in a haystack,” to add more hay?! I attended a Senate Hearing in 2013 about the massive illegal monitoring of Americans where this and other bizarre and deceptive excuses were made (and wrote about it) but to answer your question, the collection of non-relevant data is not warranted. NSA whistleblowers will tell you that the NSA Director and other intelligence agencies were given vast budgets after 9-11 and they just wanted to “collect it all.”
RB ~ Is the invasion of our privacy “rights” (and maybe I’m using that term loosely) growing, or has the presence of Trump in the oval office stemmed the tide of intrusion into our lives?
WB ~ The shadow government fears Trump may change their gravy train. He has not yet moved to stop that even though that process has been used against him.
VL~ Basically and simply – No
CR ~ Unfortunately it hasn’t been stemmed at all. I cannot believe that House Intelligence Chair Nunes, and other congresspersons recently voted to enlarge the monitoring even though they are well aware of how the agencies have abused their powers for political purposes. Even more than mere “privacy rights,” the entire Bill of Rights and other parts of the Constitution have been greatly undermined. As Cicero observed hundreds of years ago, “In times of war, the law falls silent.”
RB ~ With all the agencies working inside and outside the country, are we overlooking the presence AND dangerous influence of groups like CAIR and others with ties to foreign entities or governments?
WB ~ This bulk data collection makes them dysfunctional and we lose on all fronts.
CR ~ I think the most consistently dangerous things the CIA and other US agencies have done has been to aid and arm various Al Qaeda and other associated terrorist groups, trying to use them as our “proxies.” This began with “Charlie Wilson’s War” using the Mujahadin in Afghanistan and Pakistan who morphed into Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We should’ve learned our lesson about the consequences of aligning ourselves with foreign terrorists, but it has continued with the Chechen terrorists, the Syrian and Libyan jihadists and even the Iranian terrorist dissident Mujahedin al Khalq (MEK) group. As bad as the increase in international terrorism is, all due to this stupid US foreign policy and perpetual wars, aligned with Wahabi extremist Saudi Arabia, domestic mass shootings have tripled in recent years and actually take more lives inside the U.S.
RB ~ For most of us, the Clinton’s have been on the highway of free rides since the 80’s, bypassing every legal stop sign and prosecution toll booth in their path as they speedily wind their way toward fame and riches – mostly infamous riches. Everything they touch seems to be laden with bi-chromatic fingerprint dust and the blood of innocents mixed with confusion. With the questionable death of Seth Rich and other DNC maneuvering, it’s been said you have your own theories and proof that the DNC email hacking was not the Russians, but an inside job. And for whose benefit and for what purpose? Was Rich to receive the blame for the hacking but wanted to prove otherwise?
WB ~ All the G2 data presented to prove a hack is clearly demonstrable by forensics as a fabrication. Plus, NSA with all the taps and collection inside the us should be able to state without reservation where the alleged attack came from and where the data was transferred to – which they have not done. If the unauthorized recording of Sy Hersh plus statements by Julian Assange and former Ambassador Greg Murry then the motive was money for emails and supposedly the FBI knows about this and has it in a report.
VL~ Investigation, NO enforcement. More open but still restrictive.
CR ~ It’s true that both of the Clintons have constantly displayed deceptive and corrupt, self-enriching and ruthless activity in the course of their prior “leadership” of the U.S.
I haven’t weighed in on the Seth Rich case because it’s not possible to intelligently opine without hard evidence i.e. what’s called a “smoking gun.” But it’s possible he or some other insider leaked DNC information. I don’t think anyone really knows.
Hacking and hackers are now ubiquitous and everywhere. There are certainly hackers in Russia and China but also in the U.S. and Western countries. It looks like more than a few separate hackers were targeting and exfiltrating info from the DNC and DNC officials for months. I don’t think the full truth has come out. The “Intelligence Community Assessments” (which the FBI, CIA, NSA and DNI’s handpicked analysts produced), were mere allegations and did not provide any real evidence showing the Russian government was responsible for the hacking. The ICA was thus a good example of the opposite of “intelligence,” similar to what was ginned up for Colin Powell’s false presentation to the United Nations in order to launch war on Iraq. President Obama even admitted that it could not be shown that Russians hackers were the source for “Wikileaked” DNC info. Yet our mainstream media constantly spews this war propaganda.
RB ~ Did you in your wildest intelligence dreams ever think that a major political party could invade the sanctity of our election process by creating false documents, use them to smear an opposition candidate before an election, then use them to assault the privacy of his closest confidants, using them to corrupt the privacy process of the FISA system, all while the long-term goal of removing a duly elected president loomed in the back of their destructive playbook?
WB ~ No, that’s why I call them all criminals. The term swamp is probably not bad enough.
VL~ Since FISA courts (hearings) are held in secret, much like grand jury hearings, the prosecutor usually controls the hearing and the court will go along with the prosecution’s request 99% of the time so its use is always, in my view, political. The fact that the election process can be corrupted to the degree that it has been is just another example of politics over-ruling facts. It’s sad to see its degradation to the point that politics has apparently removed all fairness to the process.
CR ~ That is an excellent description of what appears to have transpired with the “Steele” dossier. Although I and other whistleblowers warned the surveillance abuse would happen—I wrote an article back when Congress was initially intimidated into passing the “FISA Amendments Act” in August 2007 that the powers they were giving to the Executive Branch’s “national security” agencies would be turned on themselves, I am still somewhat surprised at how this all transpired so quickly. Officials sell their grabbing for more and more abusive and illegal powers as only being used to target foreigners but it was a slippery slope, and a rather quick slippery slope. The “war powers” quickly migrated home. That’s frankly why the CIA was supposed to be prohibited from acting domestically, because of their history of abuses since they are so used to having free reign abroad, without having to follow any laws.
RB ~ Was Snowden a traitor or a hero?
WB ~ While he did go a little too far in data he took (it has not caused major damage to the IC) he is clearly on the hero side.
VL~ Borderline hero
CR ~ I don’t believe in heroes and have written many times why it’s foolish to put anyone on a pedestal. Everyone is a mixed bag. But there are heroic actions and all whistleblowers who tell the truth about government fraud, waste, abuse, illegality and serious risk to public safety despite the personal risks and misfortunes and despite group think pressures are to be praised and emulated.
RB ~ With so many problems and scandals related to political corruption, spying on citizens, immigration, local communities and states opting out of abiding by federal law….are we losing a lawful and secure America?
WB ~ Yes
VL~ Its already lost and there is no real way back.
CR ~ Things are always changing. When the 13 colonies became states, the federal government had very little power. Even when the FBI was formed in 1920’s, there were almost no federal laws creating federal crimes that it could investigate. But the federal government has been aggregating and centralizing power since the U.S. came into being under the Constitution and perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea if power went back to being more decentralized and citizens could have more input on lower levels than they can have on the national government. I don’t see that happening however.
RB ~ Are there any final thoughts you think important to remind people.
WB ~ We really need to focus more on law enforcement than use of NSA+ collection of domestic data.
VL~ Understanding that the world is not our enemy we don’t need to invent enemies.
CR ~ I’ve included a number of links to articles for you as I feel Americans need to be aware of where we’re coming from, where we are and where we’re headed. [ Some in Ms. Crowley’s answers and some at the end of my article ]
We live in the greatest country ever conceived and created. One built on individual freedoms which are being eroded by those who seek personal power and position. Whether on the soil of our homeland, or the expanses of foreign countries, we’re in a forever battle, and those who seek to do us harm are only stopped by the loyalty and patriotism of people like these listed here.
Watch the news, read the truthful papers, do your research and scouring of the facts to be aware for as Louis Pasteur said: Le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés [ Chance favors the prepared mind ] and we must be prepared to win the battle for our country.
I can’t express enough my thanks for the time taken by these dedicated, patriotic Americans to site through my questions and give me thoughtful, cogent, honest answers about our intel community. More can be found in their individual interviews about their personal lives and more specific abuses toward them by their agencies.