Media Roots

Empire Files: Giants: Who Really Rules The World?

Abby Martin sits down with Peter Phillips, former director of Project Censored and professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University. His new book “Giants: The Global Power Elite” details the 17 transnational investment firms which control over $50 trillion in wealth—and how they are kept in power by their activists, facilitators and protectors.

“Giants” is available at Seven Stories Press.

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Abby Martin (AM):      Let’s get started by talking about the state of the world today as a result of our global economic system. Can you give us a quick assessment on the current state of human civilization?

Peter Phillips (PP):      Well, 80% of the people live on less than $10 a day. That’s all the people in the world, so there’s only 20% that we would call the middle class, so to speak, and then about 1% who are the transnational capitalist class. Those are the really, really rich people. So for the bottom 80%, $10 a day is not very much, and half of those people live on less than $2.50 a day, and the bottom third—over a billion—live on $1.25 a day. So that gross inequality is dramatic. In fact, we have 700-800 million people that are nutrition-malnourished, and 30,000 of them die every day from starvation or malnutrition. So we have an ongoing slaughter of people who aren’t fed, and there’s more than enough food in the world to feed everybody. One third of the food in the world is wasted, but it’s not profitable for capitalism to try to sell them that food, and it’s not profitable to give it to them, so they won’t do it. They’re just seen as surplus people and they’re allowed to die. So that I consider to be a major humanitarian crisis in the world today.

AM:      But Peter, the proponents of global capitalism have told us that that’s been decided already. We’ve tried other systems, and capitalism is the best for humanity. What’s your response to that?

PP:       Well, they argue that it’s going to trickle down, and that they can continue to grow capital, and that’s part of the problem of capitalism because you have this concentration of money, of capital, that continues to need to grow and expand because they want a return on it. When I write about the giants, the giants are these transnational investment companies with over a trillion dollars’ worth of assets that they are managing. A trillion is a lot. That’s a thousand billions, so when we talk about money in the world, free flowing money, they’ve got the core of it for sure and they invest in the hundred big companies that are putting out 70% of the CO2 in the world. It’s coming from a hundred companies. This has massive negative impacts on the world and the environment, and people are getting poorer, and thousands are dying every day.

AM:      It’s hard to think that that would be the best that we have.

PP:       There’s got to be a better way. We have enough resources in the world. We could take care of everybody. How we do that is not to make people richer or concentrate wealth more, but to share it better, and to make sure that the resources don’t trickle down but that there is a river down, a flow of money so that people can have an adequate living, they can feed their children, and they can engage in productive activities.

AM:      And your book Giants largely focuses on the profiles of the power elite, what you call the activist core of what’s called the transnational capitalist class. Explain this concept.

PP:       We know that in that 1% of the world, eight of them have half the wealth in the world, and the top 1% are controlling 90 percent of the wealth in the world, so it is very concentrated. These giant transnational investment companies represent 36 million millionaires and 2,000 to 3,000 billionaires. These companies manage their money for them and invest it in places where they want to get a return. There are 17 of these trillion-dollar investment giants. They collectively control, in 2017, 41 trillion dollars’ worth of wealth ($41,000,000,000,000), so it’s just a massive concentration of wealth and there are only 199 people that are on the boards of directors of those companies. So we have less than 200 people who are deciding the investment policies for 50 trillion dollars’ (which is this year’s figure) worth of wealth in the world, and a lot of those decisions aren’t favorable to most people. It’s favorable to them, so they’re trying to get a return. That’s one of the problems with capital and capitalism: it needs to continue to grow. So the problem with this kind of capital concentration is they run out of places to invest it with good returns, but even then they still have more capital than they’ve got good places to put it. So part of the global neoliberal economic policies is to buy up the world—literally privatize the world so that the highways are bought up, or the water resources in the world. It could be universities and cities. Everything becomes privatized. The public domain is bought up. That’s another way of trying to get a return on investment, and even after that, there’s still more money than there are good places to invest, so we’ve reached a level now of a permanent war.

AM:      Let’s go back to the players here, and let’s call out some of these institutions here because we hear about billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates. We hear these names often.

PP:       Bezos is the richest man in the world with $160 billion. I think he lost $6 billion last week, which is kind of a laugh for him, but he is the richest person in the world, but he’s just one big tree in a forest. We don’t even list them in the book as part of the global power elite because the global power elite is a sociology of who’s in the forest. These people are interacting together like redwood trees. All their roots are interconnected, and Bezos is just one big tree, but the rest of them are making the policy decisions through a variety of institutions and the direct control of the money they’re investing that impacts the entire world, that impacts us all. They’re all invested in each other, so this is a cluster of interconnected capital with very similar investments. They are all watching each other, and the number of people controlling that could fit in a small mid-sized university auditorium. They could have cocktails together. They all know each other and know of each other. Most of them know each other personally. They all go to Davos together and they hang out.

AM:      How did we get here? A hundred years ago we had capitalist powers warring over World War One. We saw a lot that had merged in that fighting. That’s basically why the war happened. After World War Two, obviously, the US took hold in the world with the dropping of nuclear bombs and stated its hegemony. Now it has these collaborators, but how did global capitalism come to this point from there one hundred years ago to where it is today?

PP:       The short version essentially is we globalized. We developed and have been developing for a while people at a transnational level who are in corporations. Of the largest 200 economic entities in the world, 150 of them are corporations, so these corporations are massive—bigger than countries. They supersede countries in many cases, and then they use the WTO rules and the IMF rules to loan countries money and then obligate them to invest and produce things that will benefit capital and capitalism. So these companies are totally in charge of the world. That that’s where we’re at, and they operate everywhere. So Amazon’s everywhere. They just reached a trillion dollars’ worth of wealth, and part of that is massive investments by the investment giants. 56% of Amazon’s stock is held by transnational investment giants, and that pushes Bezos’ wealth up rapidly. His wealth went up over 50% in just the last decade.

AM:      Your book breaks down several components of the transnational capitalist class, how it protects itself and expands this wealth. Peter, you talked about the facilitators. You talked about the G30 and the trilateral commission. Why do you think that people have no idea really about the think tanks that you’re talking about and what role they really have?

PP:       The facilitator groups are the ones that actually make policy, policies of international security and defense, protecting global capital, allowing it to expand and grow everywhere in the world, and undermining governments that resist in any way—governments that are trying to protect their people with laws or rules. That’s the policy of global capital facilitators. These are the people that are advising the World Trade Organization to change rules, change laws, and implement policies that allow for the continued expansion and growth of capital. The number one policy group that is non-governmental is the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is made up of NATO nations, representatives from NATO governments, but they’re not necessarily representatives of government. They’re high-level security people, investment people intermixed, and big corporate officials—high-level corporate officials. The Atlantic Council has a large private budget. They’re putting out annual reports, and these are very powerful non-governmental policymaking entities. To help that along they hire big public relations firms. The big three are Omnicom, WPP, and Interpublic Group, and there are several hundred smaller public relations firms under those three that put out press releases for government, the State Department and corporations on various policy issues. And then there is the corporate media, who we call the ideologists, which are also owned by the giants. They invested in all of them. The big six corporate news media in the world today are putting out as news content what the public relations firms are preparing for them. So what we hear in the news today is Venezuela is a dictatorship, and they’re destroying the country, and they have socialist orientations. It’s actually very democratic, but it’s also challenged by the elites in Venezuela and by US capital elites here, and so the ideologists, the media, are putting out stories of how terrible they are, which are just ludicrous.

AM:      The ideologists are a very important component of this, Peter. We have the Atlantic Council now working in concert with Facebook to curate the news. Talk about how problematic that is as well as just the concept of the ideologists’ role to protect the transnational capitalist class. We hear all the time that these Beltway publications like The Washington Post and the New York Times are the premier arbitrators of our objective reality, yet they couch all of their opinions in these so-called experts and policy makers of the exact same think tanks.

PP:       There has been massive penetration in that capacity over the last decade and still, of course, there were Facebook pages and Twitter accounts that were considered too extreme by the Atlantic Council, and those got named and several hundred have been purged. We’ll probably see more purging going on in that capacity as well. In the deeply penetrating corporate media today, 80% of the stories that are coming from television news stories are packaged are prepared by public relations firms working for governments or corporations. 80%! That’s a study that’s been validated. We don’t recognize the importance of how much corporate news is managed in very deliberate ways to give us certain messages and not allow criticism of capitalism in any way.

AM:      The structure of the corporate media obviously exists to protect capitalism. That’s very obvious, but how exactly is the corporate media also weaponized for Empire. They do it by building these false narratives about everything from Venezuela to Iran in this cartoonish way to build that consensus among the American public.

PP:       These are symbolic of how capital is concentrated. So if we’ve got 200 people managing 50 trillion dollars’ worth of capital, and the ownership of course is spread around, but it’s the managers and the ideologists, the big TV stations that are putting out news in our faces every day. They are all the same thing. They have consolidated just in the last 30 years from 50 major media corporations down to six, and then the Washington Post is owned by Bezos, so they’re buying up and/or controlling media content worldwide. It makes your kinds of programs incredibly important. We have to have these alternative voices out there really explaining what’s going on, and I shouldn’t say alternative. I want to say that we’re mainstream. You are mainstream because you’re speaking for the mainstream populations in the world, and these are humanitarian values that we hold. These are very important kinds of concepts that we have to continue to express in every way that we can, and we’re going to get censored. We’re going to get repressed in some capacity. There has been zero coverage of my book Giants: The Global Power Elite in terms of corporate media, and if I get covered, I’m sure it will be negative.

AM:      I love that you said that our ideas are mainstream because that contrasts exactly with what the corporate media is designed to do: make us feel disempowered, disenfranchised, and marginalized. That’s the whole neoliberal doctrine. You’re an individual, and you make it on your own, and you don’t need anyone to help you, but we do. And we need to be communicating this with each other.

PP:       Absolutely.

AM:      This is my favorite part of your book, the part about the protectors of the transnational capitalist class. Talk about who they are.

PP:    Protectors are NATO, the US military, the police state, and private military. G4S is the second largest private employer in the world with 625,000 people. The only one bigger is Walmart. G4S were the people with the dogs up in the Dakotas that were attacking the demonstrators around the pipeline. They do everything from mercenary activities, war-type activities in Africa and South America to protecting the Israeli settlements from Palestinians. They do it all. They guard banks. They run prisons. They’re a massive private security company. If a company wants to have a green zone, a protection zone, in the middle of any anywhere, they’ll do it for them, and they kill people. Then, of course, Blackwater, which is now Academi, is the other big private military group. Eric Prince is trying to convince Trump to let him take over the war in Afghanistan. They have their own private Air Force in Africa. Private security is rapidly growing internationally. The US military, and NATO in particular, is all over the world now, with 1,000 bases—some of these are lilypad bases in every country in Africa that they can go to immediately. They don’t necessarily have troops there, but they build them ahead of time. We’ve got troops in 140 countries, literally killing people, training people, killing people. It’s to protect capital. It’s not to protect you and me. It’s to protect capital and have capital penetration in all regions of the world. If there’s any interference, they want to try to do a regime change and do debt collection. If a country’s in debt, the military is there to really threaten the government if it’s not going to return debts.

AM:      The US military says that this global empire is because of freedom and democracy. You’re saying that that’s not the case.

PP:       It’s a lie. For them, freedom and democracy is the freedom of capital to do business anywhere in the world. Corporations are closely linked with what democracy means. It means free enterprise. It doesn’t mean people making decisions at grassroots levels about their lives and passing laws to make people upwardly mobile. It doesn’t mean regulating corporations. It means exactly the opposite.

AM:      As a sociologist, Peter, how do you see the interaction between defense companies and these financial investment firms in profiting off war?

PP:       They’re closely interconnected. All these big investment companies are invested in war. They make money from it.

AM:      Peter, let’s talk about an example here. What about BlackRock and its role in this death machine?

PP:       BlackRock is the largest transnational investment company in the world. This year they’ve got six trillion dollars’ worth of assets that they’re investing worldwide. They have $50 billion in Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman each, and so they’re doing huge amounts of investment and benefiting from war. They benefit from investments in everything, but a lot of military companies are involved. All the highest CO2-producing companies are involved. They’re just a massive capital investment company, run by a guy named Larry Fink who’s from LA, and it’s been the most successful investment company. It’s not a bank. It’s just an investment company, and it’s been the most successful in the world. Its massive, and he’s the one who’s on Trump’s advisory board. He’s very active in encouraging the privatization of Social Security.

AM:      Briefly discuss how the corporate media is also subsidized by these very institutions.

PP:       The big investors are invested in corporate media. They’re also invested in the military contractors, so there’s clearly an overlap of capital interests.

AM:      Sometimes it’s very brazen because you’ll be seeing a report on, let’s say, MSNBC, and then they’ll go to an actual commercial from BP or from Lockheed Martin, as if the public is interested in buying weapons or oil.

PP:       It always amazes me that Lockheed Martin will run ads about how wonderful their weapons are.

AM:      You mentioned climate change, and this kind of adds a new urgency to your studies, Peter. I think 100 companies are responsible for two-thirds of the global emissions. Where do you see this going? Where do you see the inequality going if we don’t correct global capital?

PP:       Part of writing the book was to identify the central core, the 300 people who are vital to the central policymaking, facilitating and protecting global capital. There are others, thousands that are associated with that, but I wanted to identify who these players are, and develop the idea that these policy groups and this concentrated capital are really managed with these small numbers of people. We can identify who they are, and so we can lobby them. We can pressure them and we can protest them. People in big metropolitan areas around the world, if they’re starving and they have no resources, and there’s a state trying to control them, ultimately they’re going to resist in a variety of ways. Governments, people inside governments will realize there’s a problem and resist. We see resistance movements all over the world, and whether it’s Bolivarian movements in South America or workers movements in China, or what we had here with Occupy, and other types of movements like it occurring, all that makes them afraid.


translate | Mon, 15 Apr 2019 02:53:21 +0000

Empire Files: Gaza Fights For Freedom (Trailer)

TRAILER: The Empire Files partners with Gazan journalists for a documentary on the Great March of Return.

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translate | Mon, 15 Apr 2019 02:41:45 +0000

Empire Files: NSA Whistleblower: Government Collecting Everything You Do

Abby Martin interviews former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, Bill Binney, who blew the whistle on warrantless spying years before Edward Snowden released the evidence. They discuss the US empire’s mass surveillance program and dangers of the Intelligence Industrial Complex.

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Today, the mass surveillance of all Americans by the US government and its corporate partners is a totally normalized reality. Despite its widespread acceptance, it is an outrageous, blatant violation of our constitutional rights.

It’s difficult to ascertain how the “chilling effect” of dragnet spying has changed society in the post 9/11 world.

However, many insiders in the intelligence community understood the dangers of these programs from the beginning.

Edward Snowden is celebrated as a hero for bringing proof of NSA’s mass spying and bulk collection to the world.

But years prior, Bill Binney had blown the whistle on this very same program. A 36-year NSA veteran, Bill Binney was the technical director, responsible for developing and overseeing the agency’s spying technology.

He even developed Thin Thread, the data monitoring program that was later hijacked by the Bush administration to implement widespread warrantless surveillance.

Mounting pressure caused Obama to pass the USA Freedom Act in 2015, which only outsourced it’s bulk acquisition to telecom companies, using the secretive FISA court as an intermediary.

And nearly 20 years after 9/11 these unaccountable agencies are using new fears, like of Russian cyber-warfare, to grow their power and operations.

I caught up with Binney in Vancouver, at the University of British Columbia, where he received the Allard Prize for International Integrity, to talk to him about blowing the whistle and the fight against the surveillance state today.


Abby Martin:   So you were the technical director at the NSA for many, many years. Talk about what you were trying to do with the creation of THIN THREAD.

Bill Binney:    It was basically to try to solve technical problems that the analysts were having. There were about six thousand analysts involved in analyzing all the data from all the countries in the world. So, the biggest problem I saw was the basically ballooning information from the digital world.

The point was there was too much data, even back then in the nineties, when there wasn’t anywhere near the capacity they have now to collect data.

So even then they were buried. I mean they got ten, to twenty or thirty thousand items every day from the day’s take. They’d start through them – if they ran into something they had to report they’d go report it and stop. Then at the end of the day they’d leave and all the rest of it wasn’t looked at. So then the next day came in, the same, another twenty thousand or so items came down on them to look at. So they started the same process again. So even internally in the NSA they were saying ‘we are over burdened by overload’.

I said ‘Well, if you look at the data itself, you’re doomed. Because there’s just too much of it’. So the metadata was the key to be able to pull out what was relevant and let the rest of it simply go by and don’t let your analysts look at it. Just don’t take it in.

AM:     And the haystack just keeps getting bigger, Bill. I mean give us a sense of how much data we’re talking about in 2019.

BB:    Probably a couple of petabytes a day. Which is like a million terabytes.

AM:    Several billion messages, right?

BB:    I think they were getting all the emails, so yes it was about 90 billion a day for emails alone. I mean I estimated 12 billion phone calls in a day. About 3 billion in the US alone. And by the way, I did have evidence of them using transcription algorithms to transcribe the phone calls, which meant they could do millions and millions and millions of them. And then they used algorithms to go through the transcripts.

AM:   So they’re actually doing transcriptions?

BB:   Yeah. And then refer it to humans to transcribe. They have like two thousand, (they’ve had since 2002 or 2003), about two thousand transcribers at Fort Gordon, Georgia, that they refer them to. All these calls are indexed by number and they can call up any number and then listen to it.

AM:   THIN THREAD was in direct competition to TRAIL BLAZER of course, the program that former NSA director Michael Hayden was shopping around to private intelligence firms. Why did they go with this program, Bill, considering the encryption that was available within THIN THREAD, and the fact that it was far cheaper?

BB:   The basic things they removed from THIN THREAD before they used it to create STELLAR WIND, the filtering up front. We were selecting based on the deductive, inductive, and abductive criteria for looking at people either as known, or suspected terrorists, or criminals of any sort. Dope smuggling, all of that. So, the filtering then just let everything else go by. That’s not what Cheney wanted. Cheney wanted everything. That way he had knowledge about everybody.

So that filtering was removed. So, everything came in. And then beyond that, if we pulled you in and you weren’t known to be a terrorist and they didn’t have a warrant on you, we encrypted your attributes so that nobody could tell who you were, even inside NSA.

So, the FBI couldn’t come into the NSA database to randomly search for crimes by known persons because it wasn’t equivalent, you know, it was an encrypted version. So, we were protecting the identities even at that point.

But the final one was the real kicker for them. That was the one that basically analyzed the network log, and when we said that we would monitor all of this and keep track of all of it and show a return on investment.

Management in NSA said, ‘you mean Congress could come in and see all this and know what we’re doing?’. And we said sure they could do that. There answer was you are never going to do this.

So we did it secretly in the lab and incorporated it back into THIN THREAD and that was another thing they got rid of. Because they didn’t want anybody to know what they were doing.

So, getting rid of the filtering they took in everything, getting rid of the encryption meant they knew who everybody was and getting rid of the auditing program meant that no one could find out what they’re doing.

AM:   And this was a fire sale, kind of opening it up to private intelligence firms to capitalize on TRAIL BLAZER not THIN THREAD, because it was far more expensive. What was the incentive, though, because this was before the fire sale that opened up after 9/11?

BB:    The CEO of QUEST, Joe Nacchio, was approached in late February of 2001, six months before, seven months before 9/11, to turn over all the data on all his customers. And the person, they were from NSA to do that. So, this is like, the intent is there to collect data on US citizens and everybody and bulk acquisition was their motive. And the reason was because in order to do that it’s going to cost an arm and a leg.

AM:    How many other companies are we talking about here and how much money are we talking about here?

BB:   Well my estimate of the budget for NSA is around 15 billion dollars a year and that means – about 70 % of that goes to the companies, for contracts.

AM:   So we’re talking about 75 % or so that’s outsourced.

BB:   Yeah. Yeah and I think it’s grown. The outsourcing has grown even further since I left.

AM:    I’m sure it has. In WATCHDOGS DIDN’T BARK, immediately after 9/11, it tells the story about you and your colleague. Your colleague was told by higher-ups at the NSA to not embarrass large companies affiliated with the intelligence failure, and that ‘if you do your part – you’ll earn your share’, and saying that they could ‘milk the cow’ for fifteen years. Now Bill this seems like a very odd thing to say in the immediate wake of the most devastating terrorist attack on US soil.

BB:   Well you see the focus is on getting money and that’s the reason they say those kinds of things. It’s not to fix the problem. The point is to keep the problem going so they keep asking for more money.

AM:    There wasn’t a moment of reckoning?

BB:    Not among greedy people. No. That includes the management of NSA.

AM:    I mean, what was your response to this.

BB:    My response is testimony, in various places, that they traded the security of the people of the United States and the free world for money.

I mean they still have the same problem. They haven’t changed a thing. So, what it means to everybody in the world is people keep dying from these attacks that they could stop. I mean look at every attack that’s happened. Every one is basically done by people who are already known to be bad. Well the issue is why aren’t you focusing on them and reduce your problem and get rid of all the other people in the world.

AM:   Paint the scenario that you’re talking about. About preventing terrorism with the 9/11 attacks. You talk about how THIN THREAD could have prevented this. You were looking at these centers in late December 2000.

BB:    Right. Before 9/11, yeah.

AM:   So, elaborate on that.

BB:  That’s why I came up with the vision statement for all these companies working for NSA. They all fail, to some degree, on every program so they can keep it going. So, originally I thought their vision statement was, ‘aim low and miss’. Because they failed at everything. But it really is, ‘Keep the Problem Going so the Money Keeps Flowing’.

AM:  Let’s talk about just about one center, the Yemen facility that the hijackers were communicating with. This was a heavily monitored facility from the NSA. What went wrong there?

BB:   Again, you know, I can’t really explain it. I mean all that data was in the NSA data as it happened. So. And this is what (General) Alexander says. We could not tell who it was in the US. That’s false. That’s in the data that the analyst gets to see. That’s a minimalization process that occurs when he pulls the data. The real data is all in the collection database, and that data was there, and it was the people in San Diego.

AM:   And one of them was a perpetrator of the USS Cole bombing.

BB:   Yeah. And in fact we knew those people before they, you know, I mean we knew the entire Al Qaeda network worldwide from about 1996 on. So, if NSA didn’t want to publish anything that I thought was important to get to people in any agency, I used what was called the gray phone, you know, it’s the encrypted line. I would just call somebody on it, and just tell them – ‘this is happening’. So, I would go around it.

AM:   Why did no one do that?

BB:   See, that’s the real problem. That’s why a lot of people at NSA were really depressed after it because they knew that what they did not do, contributed to the failure. At the working level they couldn’t understand management not wanting to report things.

AM:   And at that point Bill, I mean after 9/11 of course you and your colleagues had to make a choice. You had to make a choice to protect the constitution against the government that you were serving for decades. Talk about what you did. You went to your management and you described the scenario. You ended up resigning in disgust.

BB:   When I first learned about the spying on everybody in the country, US and Canada and then spreading to the world. When I first learned about that was the second week in October of 2001. That’s when we saw all this equipment coming in and they were moving it down the hall. When they were setting it up and then starting to take in data, it was about the second week in October.

See they had to use our software to do it because they couldn’t manage large scale data inputs. So, we had the only program that worked.

AM:    They still needed you!

BB:    But they didn’t want me to know because they knew I would never put up with this. You know, this is not something I would be quiet about. And I wasn’t alone. Most of the people in leadership in [SART?] were people, – were straight laced people – you obey the constitution; you follow the law. It’s all of that.

And so, they did this down the hall from us separately and they were building it up, and then they started using our contractor to set up the software, take the inputs and started running.

 And then when they did that one of the contractors came to me and said ‘you know what they’re doing down there. Their taking in all the data on US citizens.’ Everything that AT&T has they’re taking in. All the transmissions and calls – to, from, duration, date, time – all that. So, all that was being taken in and that’s a direct violation f the fourth and first amendments – the constitution.

AM:   So, what happened when you guys resigned? Why did you make that final decision?

BB:   Three of us, Ed Loomis, Kirk Wiebe and I, were already eligible for retirement, so we retired real quickly, you know. ‘Course I went directly Diane Roark on the House Intelligence Committee. So, she managed all the write ups of all the money requests from NSA and all the programs and everything.

So, I went there, and I said you know what they’re doing here, taking in all this data and she said that’s obviously a violation of the constitution And my assumption was very simple. Hayden would never have done that unless he had approval from higher up – meaning the White House.

It made sense to me at the time that Cheney, being the Vice President, was directing this, and with the approval of Bush. And Bush said, ‘Cheney you take over’, but the problem is he took a lot a lot of people with him and now they’re… he took a lot of countries with him now, so they’re all doing this. And it’s all fundamentally violating their constitutional human rights issues.

AM:   We’ve gone so far with the bulk acquisition it seems impossible to start to roll it back.

BB:   Actually, that’s not true. You un-fund them. When you cut their budget, they can’t do it.

AM:   Yeah, but isn’t there a kind of intelligence-security complex that’s – you can argue that it’s just operating on its own?

BB:   I call it the Praetorian Guard. Those who want to manage who is President and leader and what they do. They can control what they do by simply modifying, selecting, only certain information and making it available to them. It kind of gives them the ideas – what would give the President the idea of doing this? So, you select the data that would influence him in making a decision to do that.

AM:   In 2007 Bill, the FBI raided your home alongside colleague Kirk Wiebe. What was that experience like for you guys and were you surprised at the aggressiveness of the response?

BB:   Yeah well, I was in the shower at the time and they broke in and pushed my son out of the way at gun-point, came up and pointed guns at my wife, came in the shower and pointed guns at me. And I said, ‘why am I a threat?’

So the point was, and I’m pretty sure that Attorney General Gonzales sent them there to keep us quiet because he’d just testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the President’s terrorist surveillance program where he only talked about the tapping of phones when someone in the US is talking to a foreigner.

That was the part they talked about. They didn’t talk about any of the rest of it which was total bulk acquisition of everything that everything  every US citizen does on the internet, on the phone network, and in financial transactions. Anything in financial transactions. Credit card use – everything. So, all that they didn’t talk about.

They were afraid. They knew we had experience of going to committees in the Congress. They didn’t want that to happen and so Gonzales said, ‘you better hit them now’, and so they did.

AM:    They were desperate.

BB:    Yeah. They were. They wanted to keep this out of court – no public exposure on the surveillance program so – concoct something about it. And they were doing that to us two, and they tried three separate times to indict us.

At the same time I was accumulating evidence of malicious prosecution on the part of the [Department of ?] Justice and, also the FBI. When it came time to do that I got the information to them that I was preparing to charge them with malicious prosecution when they took us to court for this fabricated conspiracy charge they were manufacturing.

AM:   The NSA says that none of this data that you’re talking about is used maliciously against US citizens. Talk about why that’s not true and, also the parallel construction, of retroactive framing of how you can use this.

BB:   When they say that, they’re speaking for analysts in NSA. That’s the only people they’re speaking for. But they don’t tell you that they left taps in for CIA and FBI and DEA, and they also didn’t tell anybody that the FIVE EYES, GCHQ in Britain, Canadians, Australians and New Zealand also had direct access to that database.

This is the collection of bulk acquisition of data all piled into the, I assume it’s all basically in the Utah 1 million square foot storage facility. And they (have) direct access to interrogate it and that’s all done without any oversight whatsoever. And then they use it against Jim Rosen, the Associated Press and…

AM:   So, they have already used this data to spy on activist groups and whistle blowers and groups like Occupy Wall Street?

BB:   Right. And reporters of all sorts.

AM:   They’re already using it and the DEA has access, all these other agencies have access. And, also what you and Snowden have frequently talked about, which is the retroactive prosecutorial aspect of this.

BB:   Yes. That’s the next step. Once you’ve got the data and access to it, you can search, target people. For example, if you get a tip from the streets – somebody’s a dope dealer – go into this data and look at everything that person’s doing, assemble evidence for prosecution, and you could say ‘go arrest these people’.

So that’s the way they originally arrest people. Then, when it comes to going to a criminal court, they actually do the parallel construction. Which means they use standard policing techniques to look for data that will implicate them in the crime. And it helps that they know where the data is.

AM:   But they pretend it’s not from the NSA that they acquired it?

BB:   Right. They substitute that for the NSA data in a court of law and say here’s the evidence we used to prosecute them, or to arrest them. That’s basic perjury. And this is policy of the Department of Justice of the United States.

And they use the two-hop principle that Obama thought was really the way to do it. We told him it wasn’t. He needed to add some restrictions. Because it meant that, like if I called Google, that’s one hop, or if I got into email with Google. That’s one hop. The next hop is Google out.

That’s to 1.5 billion people a day, roughly. So, within a few days you had virtually everybody in the network on. So that means you can spy on anybody.

NSA was happy with that. Once NSA is happy you know there’s something wrong. It’s real simple.

AM:   Bill, we didn’t hear much about Vault Seven and the Wikileaks revelation about that. The CIA spying apparatus that’s potentially more unaccountable than the NSA. Talk about how far reaching that is.

BB:   Actually, I think what they had in Vault Seven was a contribution from NSA and GCHQ and the other FIVE EYES combined.

‘Here’s all our attacks. See what you can do with it’. And they may have developed some of their own by actually capturing them from foreign countries.

The ability – once you acquire it – to manipulate it, change it, make it look like someone else is doing a hack or something like that. It was a set of programs that would allow them to make it look like the Russians did it, or the Chinese.

All those kinds of things are possible too. They could even go in and attack your computer, look into your files and change and modify what you have there. So, they can make it look like you’re guilty of any crime.

AM:   Before Snowden’s revelations, before 9/11, Americans had a different mentality, where we had the memory of the Stasi, Nazi Germany. Where you could ask people – (they’d say) Oh God I’d never support something like that. Right?

Why this mainstream complacency, the mantra now where, ‘I have nothing to hide, so why should I have anything to fear?’.

BB:   The great quote from Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister for Hitler. You know? Those are great quotes. That’s exactly how totalitarian states operate.

That’s the point. This is a totalitarian based slide. This is where we’re going. I think they’ve done it by basically generating fear in the population. The fear that something‘s going to happen unless they do this. When in fact we knew that was a fraud from the beginning. You don’t have to give up any privacy to have security.

AM:   Let’s move on to the allegations of Russian hacking into Podesta’s email account and the DNC. Can you first go over the evidence that Mueller claims to have to prove that it’s Russia?

BB:   Well you see I really don’t (know) of any evidence that Mueller has because he never made it public. The only evidence I have is what’s made public and from that it went into the Rosenstein indictment, the Guccifer 2.0 and DC leaks data. And they talked about that, the evidence for the indictments and so on.

They claimed that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian. But the time stamps that we have on the programing inside the data that was published by Guccifer 2.0, shows time stamps that are consistently inside the United States.

But that’s not the real issue. The real issue is with the data itself and how quickly it was downloaded. I was incompatible with a transfer across the net to anywhere, over any distance. If it went beyond the high-speed line that you had dedicated to you then it slowed down.

AM:   Explain that in layman’s terms. Why you think this was an inside leak as opposed to a hack.

BB:   OK. Well the fastest download speed that we had was a 49.1 Megabyte rate. Which meant that the hacker was taking the data out at that rate across the network, wherever they were, they could be local, they could be anywhere.

So, we said, ‘OK, what is the capacity of the lines going across to Europe?’ And at that point everything failed. You couldn’t get it across that fast. But you could do a thumb drive, or something local.

Some of our people disagreed with that. They said they thought it could. So, we said OK we’re going to try it. So, we got hacker friends in Europe and a friend in the US trying to put up a Gigabyte of data and said, ‘Here try to pull it across. See how fast you can get it’. And the fastest they could get was from a data center in New Jersey to the UK, in London. And that was 12.0 Megabytes/sec. Less than one fourth the necessary capacity to transmit the data alone.

AM:   What about the time stamps? Do you think that Russia could have been throwing off analysts by planting false time stamps?

BB:   Well, first of all, you have to understand the massive surveillance that’s involved. Everything is captured – by NSA. So, NSA should have some of that evidence somewhere, and they have failed to come forward.

Even in the Intelligence Community Assessment, (that Russia hacked it), the NSA had moderate confidence.

AM:    Right. What does that mean?

BB:    That means, we have no evidence.

AM:   Because the other intelligence agencies said they had confidence, but the NSA said they had moderate confidence.

BB:   But you see they aren’t relevant. When it comes to communications, NSA is the only one that matters. The rest of them don’t.

AM:   And did they explain what the moderate confidence that they had meant?

BB:    No. To me that’s language for ‘I have no evidence.’

AM:   So, look. I wanted to get this out of the way because it’s always interested me. Because you claim that British diplomat Craig Murray corroborates this. That he claims that he handed over a drive to someone.

BB:   Well. He talked to somebody who was involved in transferring the data.

AM:   So, he himself talked to someone.

BB:   Even from the forensic evidence based on the Wikileaks exposure of data that they published, there were multiple ways that they got it.

AM:   And who else has corroborated your findings?

BB:   A number of technical people. People in the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, and others – around the world, by the way.

AM:   You’re not hesitant to call people in the US government criminals, co-conspirators. Are there any enforcement bodies that are still doing their job and following the constitution at this point?

BB:   Ah, actually it’s getting hard to find them. Even the Rutherford Institute, looking at the application of law around the world – local and state people – are seeing the idea that they have scrapped the Fourth Amendment, in terms of arresting and searching people and things like that.

AM:   What about the CIA? Should that agency be abolished?

BB:   (Laughs) – Actually I think they do perform a function that’s meaningful to keep. But the rest of it, sure, there’s a big chunk of it that should be eliminated. So for NSA, also.

I think we can cut the intelligence budget, which is probably over 100 Billion Dollars a year – and they’re really trying to defend us? But have failed every time an attack occurs.

AM:   As you mentioned there’s barely anyone in Congress who has a different view on foreign policy, on curbing the surveillance state, curbing the police state.

What is going on here? Why is no one able to see what we’re seeing, Bill?

BB:   Well because were not members of the military-intelligence complex or the shadow government. We’re not members of that.

Everybody in that environment is in their own bubble.

AM:   Everyone in Congress?

BB:   A good many of them, yes. You must at all costs protect the program. Because if you don’t we lose power control and, eventually money.

AM:   I know that you said you don’t link up to wireless networks and surveillance technology but, what do you say to the audience who just feels completely disillusioned at this point, saying ‘look, we have to incorporate some of our lives on line’, what are they supposed to do?

BB:   It’s a matter of, don’t put anything out there that you don’t want someone else to read.

AM:   But even speak, at this point.

BB:   That too. That too. Don’t say anything you don’t want anyone else to hear.

AM:   That’s a pretty stark reality, isn’t it?

BB:   Now, I say everything because I want them to hear. Because I want them to know what I’m going to do in court.

AM:   But what about people who want to protect their privacy?

BB:   Then you invent your own encryption. And don’t pass it through [NISS?] because then the NSA will have it. So, you don’t use anything publicly because they’ve already got that.

AM:   The encryption methodologies that are available now – the NSA was involved in constructing themselves.

BB:   They also know the algorithms, all of them, they have the software for it. Because it has to run through NISS to do testing. They do the testing and then they approve it for public use.

So, I say, ‘hey, if you’re talking to your little community, make your own encryption.’ You’re not doing this publicly, we’re just doing it amongst ourselves. That would cause them a real problem.


translate | Tue, 02 Apr 2019 13:55:10 +0000

Media Roots Radio: Mueller Time Fail, 5 Years of Putin Hysteria, Real Goal of Russiagate?

Abby and Robbie discuss the culmination of the long-awaited Mueller report, the five year build-up of anti-Putin hysteria, and the real goal of Russiagate being the soft censorship of anti-establishment news outlets.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast please consider donating to Media Roots Radio on Patreon: www.patreon.com/mediarootsradio

Check out Robbie’s documentary series about the New Cold War, A Very Heavy Agenda: www.averyheavyagenda.com

translate | Sat, 30 Mar 2019 23:44:50 +0000

Media Roots Radio: Christchurch Massacre, Leaving Neverland: Case Closed on Michael Jackson

Abby and Robbie start the podcast talking about the massacre of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the widespread culpability from those who have promoted Islamophobia.

TRIGGER WARNING: From thirty minutes on, there is very strong language describing sexual assault as they discuss the documentary “Leaving Neverland” and the evidence behind Michael Jackson’s child sexual-abuse allegations. They describe the film as a paradigm shift to understanding the grooming tactics of pedophiles and child molesters.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast please consider donating to Media Roots Radio on Patreon.


translate | Wed, 27 Mar 2019 00:11:51 +0000


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