Included in my writings has been time with a former U.S. Asst. Attorney with the DOJ, Sidney Powell; Former agent with the FBI, Coleen Rowley; Former operative with the CIA, Verne Lyon; and now a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency turned whistleblower, William Binney.
Mr. Binney was a former high-profile, intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA). He was critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration, and later criticized the NSA’s data collection policies during the Barack Obama administration. In 2016, he said the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election was false.
Binney was a Russia specialist and worked in the operations side of intelligence, starting as an analyst and ending as a Technical Director prior to becoming a geopolitical world Technical Director. In the 1990s, he co-founded a unit on automating signals intelligence with NSA research chief Dr. John Taggart. Binney’s NSA career culminated as Technical Leader for intelligence in 2001. He has expertise in intelligence analysis, traffic analysis, systems analysis, knowledge management, and mathematics (including set theory, number theory, and probability)
He, like the others, has been kind enough to answer my questions with honesty and as much information as he can impart at this time.
RB ~ How early in your life did you develop your interests in “security” and what initially prompted you to enter public service?
WB ~ I got into security in the Army Security Agency (1965-1969). The war in Vietnam basically forced me to make a decision – either join and pick a first tour or get drafted and go to Vietnam. I chose to join and got to Europe as a first tour.
RB ~ So, you, like myself, chose to join the Army vs “take my chances” with the draft. Was your time with the Army Security Agency a solidifier in your career choices?
WB ~ Yes. While in the Army, I spent the last 2 of my 4 years working in NSA where I got hooked on intelligence.
RB ~ Was the NSA a logical progression from earlier law enforcement or security positions? Did you initially feel fulfilled in your service and when did your perception of important intelligence change to invasion of rights?
WB ~ Yes. The Army Security Agency is part of the Combined Security Serves (CSS) of NSA/CSS. The CSS is the ARMY/NAVY/AIR FORCE/MARINE components of Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and therefore fall under the control of NSA. Until October 2001, my experience inside NSA was all positive but after this, NSA started taking in data on almost all Americans which violates the Constitution. So, I had to leave.
RB ~ Today we see such a pervasiveness of corruption in the higher levels of leadership. In the early days, was there more of a separation between national security and politics? The line seems very blurry these days. And are people trying to take down our country, or just looking for personal gain and power?
WB ~ In the past, IC agencies were much less political with the exception of the Nixon administration where NSA (program Mineret), FBI (program Cointelpro) and CIA (program Chaos) spied on Americans who opposed Nixon policies. After Bush/Cheney and Obama, it’s no holds barred.
RB ~ It used to be we never thought of much except who’s playing Friday night at the high school, where’s lunch after church on Sundays, but now… it’s the FBI in our face, the IRS after our records, the NSA storing emails and phone numbers and the CIA doing who knows what. Did this really need to get to the level it is with normal everyday patriotic Americas?
WB ~ No, and they all knew there was an alternative to bulk data collection/mass surveillance; but, they chose to go down that rat hole because it gave them power over everyone and cost about 1000 times more to do. This cost to the tax payer went into the Military/industrial/intelligence/governmental complex that help enable them to maintain power and control.
RB ~ People used to think that national security meant protecting us from foreign entities bent on our destruction. But then talk of special phone equipment rooms in San Francisco surfaced with connections to the government, and now that huge collection facility in Camp Williams, Utah came to light. People couldn’t believe their eyes. How were explanations handled internally about such expansion? Or was it common knowledge that the government was now in the data collection/citizen surveillance business?
WB ~ Inside the IC agencies especially NSA/CIA/FBI/DEA/DNI and the DOJ, it was known in a limited way initially; but, after the New York Times article in 2005 and then with later compromises, they all know; but many, I think, still don’t believe it or are afraid to talk about it openly.
RB ~ While surveilling citizens with ties to terrorists should warrant close examination, can’t John Doe and his parents be left alone in peace? (AKA James Rosen from FOX News?)
WB ~ Yes; but, that’s not what they are doing. FBI/DEA and others are using bulk collection to find common criminals inside the US. And, they use it to intimidate anyone doing something they don’t like: Jim Risen, Jim Rosen, Associated press, Tea Party, occupy group, Elliot Spitzer, Joe Nacchio, whistleblowers, etc. See programs Fairview, STORMBREW, BLARNEY plus others in the UPSTREAM bulk data collection.
RB ~ You had your own pushback toward the Bush administration and then Obama’s related to this invasion of personal privacy.
WB ~ Yes
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.
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.
RB ~ After all, as late as 2007, in the privacy of your own home, your early morning shower was interrupted by the barrel of a gun wielded by armed agents in your home seeking to confiscate personal and business records related to the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping program. A charge you were later cleared of.
WB ~ That raid came the morning of the second day after AG Gonzalis gave his partial testimony to the senate about the presidents surveillance programs. So, they knew we knew the truth and had a record of going to congress therefore they had to stop us from doing that. The raid did achieve that objective. The FBI knew from the Stellar Wind program (domestic massive spying) that we had no contact with the New York Times.
RB ~ You’re known for making the claim that the NSA collects and stores information about every U.S. communication. At the time, did you consider “Trailblazer” (a system intended to analyze mass collection of data carried on communications networks such as the Internet.), an overly invasive threat to personal freedoms or a valuable tool?
WB ~ I considered it a swindle of the public treasury (wasting “millions and millions of dollars”) and designed to fail from the beginning. It failed in late 2006. They knew that from the start and reverted to using the software we developed for our program ThinThread with modifications removing the ups front filtering that gave privacy to everyone in the world not involved, eliminate the encryption of attributes to further protect identities and finally remove the monitoring program that watched all on the network and what they did.
RB ~ Didn’t you feel that your own system “Thin Thread” would have revealed more and accurate information about 9-11? Even Ms. Rowley during her time at the FBI attempted to enlighten Mueller about the threat but to no avail. You’ve expressed furiously that the NSA hadn’t uncovered the 9/11 plot and stated that intercepts it had collected, but not analyzed, likely would have garnered timely attention with your leaner more focused system. Is our government too big, ineffective, inefficient or just blind to following the facts that turn out to be so important?
WB ~ Yes to all. Plus they are obsessed in covering up their failures and incompetence.
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.
RB ~ With your background related to Russian intelligence, and inside knowledge of our government, you’ve been very outspoken about the recent misdirection known as “Russian collusion and interference” in our elections. With our decentralized election system, it’s tough to imagine but isn’t the threat internally from political forces much more plausible?
WB ~ That’s for sure.
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.
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.
RB ~ And for whose benefit and for what purpose? Was Rich to receive the blame for the hacking but wanted to prove otherwise?
WB ~ If the unauthorised 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.
RB ~ You’ve claimed the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election is false, and that the DNC e-mails were leaked by an insider instead. Did your October, 2017 meeting, with then CIA Director Mike Pompeo, yield any revelations about the email thefts and a possible release of new, truthful and revealing information to bring about justice to those involved in all this current Clinton/DNC/State Dept./intelligence corruption?
WB ~ No
RB ~ But, is enough finally being done to investigate and dig into these email scandals and schemes? Or will everything again be swept under some political rug?
WB ~ No, FBI and DOJ are still trying to cover up this story.
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
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.
RB ~ After retiring from the NSA, you founded, together with fellow NSA whistleblower J. Kirk Wiebe, Entity Mapping, LLC, a private intelligence agency to market their analysis program to government agencies. Is there anything relevant and revealing you can tell us about your Amsterdam operations and how they might add to our current security, or aid our understanding of the interweaving of international security threats and countermeasures?
WB ~ We have started a company (Pretty Good Knowledge) with partners in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to resurrect and do the kinds of smart things we thought we do with data back in the 1990s, because this government and the Deep State as well as the shadow government didn’t want us doing that here. So we’re over there doing this. We will demonstrate how to do intelligence the right way resulting in security (stopping bad guys) while providing privacy.
RB ~ How far will the NSA go to gather our most personal information and what will it take to stop them?
WB ~ All the way in secret of course. Indict them.
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
RB ~ In closing, having been the target of punitive actions, privacy invasions and wrongful accusations, does the America public have something to fear about the growing unknown? Are we headed down a path of intrusion that warrants the Utah facility be turned into a veteran’s homeless shelter while money and resources are directed to the outside world instead of inside our borders?
WB ~ We are already a police state headed toward a totalitarian state – it only takes a turn of the key to make that happen. At present most don’t know that. Goethe said:
“No one is more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe we are free.”
RB ~ And, what can day to day citizens – who before now had nothing to fear – do to be aware, and to ensure they are not caught up in some unintentional web of government lies from an alphabet agency set on invading our lives and destroying our futures?
WB ~ Fire everyone in DC. Demand term limits in politicians. Demand those who have violated our constitutional rights be indicted. Establish a means to verify and tell the public what our country is doing so we have an informed electorate. The MSM (Main Stream Media) has failed their 1st amendment responsibility.
RB ~ Amen to all of that. 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.
My personal thanks to Mr Binney (NSA) for his input and revelations, as well as those of Sidney Powell (DOJ), Coleen Rowley (FBI), and Verne Lyon (CIA). Their responses reflect their own views and do not necessarily represent those of the author, but give an insight into the inner workings of their agencies, and the workings behind the scenes which affect all of our lives.
Our thanks for their valued service to our country and for the risks they took, and the personal, sometimes dangerous, situations they encountered in their time protecting us.
Ron has been writing for corporate clients such as Intel, Italy’s Stilo Development, publishing giant Standard Publishing, France’s AREVA Nuclear and others for nearly 50 years. He has been asked to join a stellar list of writers for the WesternFreePress website.
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