In April of 2020, Chris Hedges of On Contact with Chris Hedges interviewed NSA whistleblower William Binney, who worked for the agency as a Technical Director for 36 years. Weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Binney retired in disgust when he saw the agency using the technology that he created to spy on all American citizens. (Find out more about Binney at the end of this post).
The conversation turned to a Swiss company, Crypto AG. A February, 2020 Washington Post article discusses Crypto AG, which provided encryption services to over 100 governments for decades, starting in 1970. Crypto AG was secretly owned by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the West German Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Crypto AG employees had access to high level, internal government correspondence and therefore was aware of massacres, torture and crimes against humanity which occurred during that time.
Because of Crypto AG, the NSA, FBI and CIA have had global surveillance power since 1970. With the internet, surveillance access is now massive and agencies can pull any amount of data in order to target a person. Unfortunately the data is too often used in order to blackmail and destroy the lives of so called “dissidents” who are many times actually civil and peaceful activists.
Further, Edward Snowden revealed that spy software and hardware has been implanted onto over 50,000 servers, networks and computers worldwide. And according to Binney, Congress doesn’t know what intelligence agencies are doing in the US.
“Feinstein (CA Senator Diane Feinstein) has tried and they came for her,” said Binney. Looking further into these statements by Binney, it’s not exactly clear what he is referring to, but we found the following information:
Feinstein is one of the members on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who took part in the oversight of the CIA detention and interrogation program.
“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, established in 1975, has oversight responsibility for the 16 civilian and military agencies and departments that make up the U.S. Intelligence Community,” according to Senator Feinstein’s website.
Feinstein said the CIA spied on her staffers and even removed documents from their computers. Paradoxically, Feinstein defends NSA data collection and insists it is not surveillance.
In 2014 President Obama proposed that a Technology Oversight Committee be formed to analyze intel databases to find out what the intel agencies are doing with the data they are collecting, but no action was taken. He also proposed ending NSA bulk data collection following the Snowden revelations. However, right before leaving office in 2017, Obama expanded NSA data sharing under Executive Order 12333, allowing further expansion of the National Security Agency’s power to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
Binney helped to create ThinThread, a program that filters collected data to determine what’s important to look at so that the average person’s civil rights would not be abused. The NSA instead made decisions to store all of the privacy-sensitive data collected by the various intel agencies into perpetuity. Previously, N.S.A. analysts had only passed on information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information, according to a New York Times report. William Binney blew the whistle on these activities and has paid the price for decades.
According to Binney, U.S. citizens have been conditioned into thinking that they need to give up privacy for security, but that’s a clear deception. Going back to 2001 and the inception of the Patriot Act, private data is being collected on all U.S. citizens. Even earlier for some. Intel agencies have at their fingertips information on anyone they may want to target, and the usage of that data is not executed with honor or integrity in many cases. A rogue agent with a grudge against another person, for example, would be able to blackmail and destroy the life of that person at will.
Today, the NSA, FBI, CIA and other intel entities are implementing programs such as the FBI’s now defunct CointelPro, but on a much larger scale. These agencies have well learned that having the data on what a person is doing, thinking and planning allows them a lot of leverage in being able to manipulate that person’s life experience in any way that they want, or even the life of that person’s loved ones.
The Plight of the Uighers
In the interview, Hedges also briefly mentions the Uighers, a minority muslim sect in Xinjiang in China. Utilizing mass surveillance capabilities, Chinese authorities are currently corralling and detaining more than a million Uighers in internment camps that are being presented to the public as “Re-education centers” that use mild methods to fight Islamic extremism. In reality, many prisoners are subjected to heavy labor and worse.
Directed Energy Devices
Binney also briefly discusses microwave weapons in the discussion, such as those believed to be used on the Cuban and China diplomats. A person using such a weapon can physically torture another person without culpability. This is due to the fact that the weapons can be operated through walls, some from distances up to 800 feet.
Microwaves can burn the skin and cause an entire host of medical issues, as reported by China Diplomat Mark Lenzi in a 2018 60 minute interview. Laser-based weapons exist as well and are more intense. In addition, infrared technology can be used to locate and surveil a person inside a building.
In conclusion, William Binney continues his work of blowing the whistle and bringing public awareness to the use of mass surveillance in conjunction with other protocols and technologies used to oppress many people in the United States.
Binney worries for the future. America, he believes, is turning away from democratic governance. “This is what happens in totalitarian states. They slowly evolve. We’re frogs in the water and they’re heating the water ever so slowly. Eventually, they’ll get us cooked, as they raise the level and we don’t jump out. “As long as they do it slowly,” he insists, “we won’t jump out.” (1)
About William Binney
William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe are clients of GAP and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblowers who worked at the agency in excess of 36 years. As Technical Director, Binney developed a revolutionary information processing system called ThinThread that, arguably, could have detected and prevented the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but NSA officials ignored the program in favor of Trailblazer, a program that not only ended in total failure, but cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Concerned over national security, Binney and Wiebe blew the whistle on the mismanagement over Trailblazer, using internal channels to share their concerns with Congress and the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG). Despite their efforts, no one was held accountable at NSA for one of the worst intelligence failures in history. Little did they know at the time, Binney and Wiebe would face harsh retaliation from NSA for their efforts to make the truth known.
After the failure of U.S. intelligence to prevent the events of 9/11, the NSA wrongfully applied a component of the ThinThread system to illegally spy on the private communications of U.S. citizens. Unable to stay at the NSA any longer in good conscience, Binney and Wiebe retired in October 2001. After retiring, Binney and Wiebe continued to blow the whistle from outside the agency.