This article appears in the May 3, 2019 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
ATTEMPTED COUP AGAINST THE USA
Larry Johnson, Bill Binney on Russiagate Fakery and GCHQ
LaRouche PAC’s April 25 Fireside Chat featured former NSA Technical Director William “Bill” Binney; Larry C. Johnson, formerly of the CIA and the State Department’s Counter-Terror Unit; and Barbara Boyd, the author of LaRouche PAC’s report, “Robert Mueller is an Amoral Assassin, He Will Do His Job If You Let Him.”
We present here edited excerpts from that discussion about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, a report that tried to justify the $35 million spent investigating Russiagate when it was known from the beginning that there was never any conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Bill Binney said he found no evidence in the Mueller report whatsoever demonstrating that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee or John Podesta, a fraud which Mueller spends pages attempting to promote. Binney has previously done forensics on the WikiLeaks documents Mueller claims were the product of a hack by the Russians. He has demonstrated, as have others, that Guccifer 2.0, who Mueller claims is a Russian GRU [Russian military intelligence] persona, is an altogether fake persona and that the WikiLeaks documents are the product of a download onto a thumb drive or other storage device rather than a hack.
Johnson revealed that Britain’s GCHQ began a calculated surveillance operation covering everyone in the Trump Campaign in late 2015, which is how they targeted George Papadopoulos, the young Trump Campaign volunteer working in London, for a series of entrapment operations which created the pretext for the FBI’s counterintelligence operation, codenamed Cross-Fire Hurricane. As the result of this targeting, Papadopoulos was set up by Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who is a British intelligence asset, not a Russian asset as fraudulently portrayed by Robert Mueller. Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails, creating the pretext or predicate for an unprecedented espionage against a major Presidential campaign by the FBI. On April 24, 2019, President Trump issued a tweet:
“Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign.” —
@OANN—WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!
Boyd focused initially on the reported fact that John Brennan initially demanded that the completely phony Christopher Steele report be included, verbatim, in the Obama Administration’s January 2017 “assessment” that Russia meddled in the election in support of Donald Trump. While Johnson said that this was really being pushed by James Clapper, the implication was very clear. Had that phony piece of intelligence been directly endorsed, the coup would have been completely and dangerously opened up directly just before the President’s inauguration.
William Binney: I have been looking over the Mueller report, which asserts a lot of things, but offers very little proof of anything. It asserts that the Russian GRU did the hacking. It says the GRU, operating as using Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks as representatives they’ve created to give false impressions to everybody, they say these are agents of the GRU. They also asserted that in certain periods, like 25 July, they apparently downloaded 70 GB of data. Then later on they say, between the 25th of May and the 1st of June, they allegedly downloaded thousands of emails. It’s like they’re alleging something is true, then later on they say, apparently they did this. And oh, by the way, they’re using these pseudo-representatives—Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks—but they never offer any proof. They assert that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks are, in fact, representatives of the GRU, but they don’t ever prove that.
It talks about communications in the Moscow area, with the GRU contacting a server in the Moscow area, and allegedly passing some data there. Then, they talk about Julian Assange in 2015 sending an email to his associates in WikiLeaks, saying that it would be better if the GOP won the election. Then of course, they have different data talking about the DNC; the GRU went here and there.
But you never know; they don’t give you any specifics so you can sort out—what I was doing, was looking for something that would help me validate what they were saying; and I couldn’t find anything in it. In fact, I found these contradictions. And oh, by the way, on page 50 [of the report], they say “This Office did not examine servers or any relevant items belonging to the victims” of this tapping; but the FBI, the DHS [Department of Homeland Security], and the states did.
Well, you see, the problem is very simple, that communications in the Moscow area between the GRU and a server, and communications between Julian Assange and WikiLeaks associates either in Europe or in the U.K., are beyond what the FBI or DHS could see; but are well within the purview of NSA and GCHQ and the BND [German Federal Intelligence Service, foreign intelligence], and the other countries that are participating.
So, it means that they’re alleging there is other evidence from other services; they’re not saying who they are. And also, it doesn’t really give you any indication of how they’re making these connections; whether or not they’re using IP [Internet Protocol] numbers, or MAC [Media Access Control] numbers, or trace routes. There is no mention of trace routing, so that you can’t follow the flow.
It’s mixing up timeframes as well as sequences of events; they don’t do things in chronological order; they mix it up. But they keep repeating the same theme over and over, that the GRU did it; but there is no substance to any proof of it. That’s the problem I have; I couldn’t find anything that was relevant that could say, “I can validate this, and it’s right.” I couldn’t do that with anything that Mueller was asserting.
In fact, some of the footnotes referring back to the [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein indictment, which used fabricated data from Guccifer 2.0, and what have you, to say “It’s the GRU.” Well, even back there, they gave no evidence to show that it was in fact the GRU. And, if you looked at it from the scope of what they’re talking about, in the communications, it really falls under the purview and charter of NSA.
So, what that means is, remember back with the ICA, the Intelligence Community Assessment, which was really only three agencies—NSA, CIA, and FBI—and only selected analysts from those agencies were participating. But in that, the CIA and FBI had high confidence the Russians did the hacking. But NSA only had moderate confidence; so that meant to me that the whole thing was a sham. There was no evidence backing up any of it; simply because NSA is the only agency that’s really capable of being able to trace-route all these programs all the way around the world. So, I just saw the same thing here with the Mueller report. It’s a puff piece; it has absolutely no substance to it. That’s my part.
Trump’s Right: The British Did It
Dennis Speed: There was a tweet from Donald Trump April 24, 2019, 08:19 a.m., which said: “Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom intelligence of helping Obama administration spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign. WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty.” It may help that our next speaker will be able to inform you a bit more about this.
Larry Johnson: President Trump’s tweet is referring to my interview with One America News’ Neil McKay. The information that I was passing on was what I had presented two years earlier on Russia Today [RT] television, back in March of 2017. It was subsequently picked up by Andrew Napolitano on Fox. He went on air; he never talked to me, and I could have helped him, because he misstated some things. But this was back when President Trump was saying that the FBI had spied on him, which they had. But they had not wiretapped him; the so-called wiretap was electronic intercepts of communications by the British Government Communications Headquarters [GCHQ], which is their version of NSA where Bill used to work.
I know this through a variety of means. One is just knowing how the intelligence process works, how collection works. But two, I had a heads-up from friends on the inside. In the summer of 2015, the British government, through its intelligence services, started a collection plan. A collection plan is something that’s very specific; it’s written down, and it is designed to guide the gathering of information. The initial part of this collection plan was to identify everybody on the Trump team and figure out if anybody on the Trump team—who they were talking to. Because they could intercept their emails, they could intercept their text messages, they could intercept their phone calls. They could start developing a network to see who they were talking to; especially outside of the United States.
That, in fact, is how they stumbled upon George Papadopoulos; because George was in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2015. He was texting, emailing, and apparently had at least one or two phone calls with Corey Lewandowski, expressing interest to get involved with the Campaign. So, that’s how his name surfaced and became part of the British government.
The way we know that there was British intelligence collected, is that a former Obama Department of Defense official by the name of Evelyn Farkas went on television, on the Joe [Scarborough] and Mika Brzezinski show—“Morning Joe” on MSNBC—and she stated that they had intelligence about Trump contacts with Russians, and others.
The fact that she said they had intelligence tells you—there are only two types of intelligence really that exist. There are human reports which the CIA generates, and then there are also human reports that the Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] generates, but those are far less and they’re not really of the same sensitivity as what the CIA produces. Then there are the electronic intercepted messages that come out of principally the National Security Agency. That’s really the only two basic types of intel that come in.
The NSA material is always more interesting from the standpoint that you’re getting people saying what they actually said; you’re not having to necessarily interpret. You can at least say that there was this person talking to this person. The fact that the Obama administration was taking that intelligence and then unmasking; because when it’s passed from the British GCHQ to NSA and to CIA, when it has U.S. persons in it, their names are masked. They are referred to as “Person 1” and Person 2,” or “U.S. Citizen 1,” “U.S. Citizen 2.”
So therefore, these officials in the Obama administration such as Susan Rice and Samantha Powers and others at State Department could submit a query and say, “Who was this person, because we have a need to know.” And so when you get into the process of unmasking, what is going on is, the Brits were creating an intelligence predicate. They were creating a pretext, if you will, that on the U.S. side they could say, “Well, we have intelligence pointing to this”; so it justifies a counterintelligence investigation at a minimum. You’re able to say that it’s of concern because it’s produced; it’s written down in actual hard copy reports. They can see it; they can draw it up; it has a reference number that you refer to.
So, the Brits played a very important role not only in intercepting those messages, but then also in helping target and set up members of the Trump Campaign; to make it appear that they were working with, or on behalf of Russia.
The principal case in that is George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos ultimately was approached by a fellow named Joseph Mifsud, who in the Mueller report is described as a Maltese diplomat with ties to Russia; which is a lie. Yes, he’s a Maltese diplomat; but he has far more extensive ties to the CIA and to the British MI6. He was, in fact, an asset, an agent of the British, and he was working on their behalf. He’s the one who goes to Papadopoulos, plants the seed of meeting with Putin, and getting information on Hillary Clinton and getting emails. So, he’s the one pushing all of that; Papadopoulos never raised it, never said, “Oh yeah, we should get that.” It was instead being planted on him in the hopes that he, like a stupid fish, would take the bait. He took enough of the bait in communicating that back to the Trump campaign that they created a track record and an intelligence trail on that. Therefore, when he denied it, or however he lied about it, it put him in the trick box.
But as has been proven, despite the fact that the Mueller report is disingenuous and dishonest, they did at least admit to the truth that nobody on the Trump team responded to the overtures that were being made by the Russians. And those overtures that were being ostensibly made by the Russians, were really plants for the British government.
Most Democrats and Many Republicans
Barbara Boyd: This is an amazing story, which, if we push it heartily is going to come out. And that’s why you see the present political problem in the United States of people going nuts in the Democratic Party; precisely because most of the leadership here bought into the coup. Most of the Democratic Party side of official Washington and many Republicans, bought into the coup.
Now, so to speak, the chickens are coming home to roost, as Larry and Bill just outlined. There was no Russian interference, and increasingly, the story that is being told is that it was a British and CIA and other intelligence community operation from inside the United States, in all probability coordinated from the White House by Barack Obama and coordinated directly by John Brennan.
Now, I want to go back to something which Bill was talking about, which is the January 2017 ICA or Intelligence Assessment, which is where it was officially put forth that Russia hacked the elections and that Russia was this menacing power which all of America, as [Sen.] John McCain put it, had to mobilize as if we were at war. If you remember, McCain’s bellicose language at that point was that Russia committed an act of war in our elections, which is what he said.
I want to highlight something which has just come out over the course of the weekend and was kind of not noticed all that much. About a month ago, Rand Paul tweeted that he had been told by very high-level sources that John Brennan wanted the Christopher Steele dirty dossier—this piece of nonsense and crap, a really nasty thing put together by, again, “former” MI6 agent Christopher Steele—not just to be leaked to BuzzFeed and published, which it was by an intelligence community operation; he wanted it to be formally, right there in the middle of that intelligence assessment.
Now think about that. Here’s the President coming into office, and in John Brennan’s mind and whatever the plan was, they’re about to put out there, as an official United States intelligence assessment, that the President of the United States has been compromised by Putin; that he’s a sexual pervert. The question you have to ask yourself is, “How close were we at that point? What was the actual plan that Brennan had in his head that they were trying to effect at that particular point? How close were we to tanks on the White House lawn, so to speak? If that was the actual logic and that was the actual thinking.”
The second thing which comes up, if this is true—and Bob Woodward was on Fox last Sunday looking like he’d seen a ghost, and saying yes, this is true. This is what Brennan wanted to do, and there was pushback from the other agencies who obviously didn’t want to do something so crazy. Yes, this must, must, must be investigated. You have to say, “Wow! This is really what’s at stake here. This is a very big deal.” We had, effectively, a planned coup d’état against an incoming President of the United States; something which continued.
So, with the Mueller report out and with the idea essentially that there was no collusion, we’re still not at a point of safety in the sense of saying, “OK, there can now be a Presidency,” because you’ve got half of the major players in Washington, D.C. about to be exposed as traitorous criminals.
Clean Out the British Network
That’s where the tension is coming from; that’s why this will not end unless we as citizens actually take a much larger role in insisting that not only should Trump be allowed to be President and these perpetrators punished, but a policy has to be put into place that this never happens again. Which means cleaning out the entire British network within the United States, and it means launching an economic renaissance in the United States; which is, after all, why Trump was elected. That’s what he was supposed to do.
What we need is a real, actual debate about moving this country forward on both sides of the aisle, and with independents and everybody else. That’s only going to happen if there is a concerted mobilization of the citizenry along the lines that LaRouche always thought you could have the citizens mobilize. That is, by actually giving them the programs and policies and discussions which elevated them to the level of the Latin farmer, so to speak, who made our Revolution.
In President Trump’s rally in Ohio a couple of weeks back, he was making fun of the people in Washington, D.C. and said, “They think they’re the elites. They’re not the elites, you are.” By that, he was trying to take the citizens out there and say you have to think at a different level if we’re going to win this particular thing.
Sometime back in 1988, when we were running a campaign up in New Hampshire, my husband Zeke Boyd got approached by Joe Biden. Joe Biden said to him, “I know Lyndon LaRouche; I know all about him. The problem with LaRouche is that he thinks the American people are smarter than they are.”
Johnson: It actually was not Brennan who was the coordinator on this; it was Jim Clapper. I got that solid from a source that was in a position to know. Obama was knowledgeable about this, but they were also, in classic intelligence methods, insulating him and trying to give him some plausible deniability. So the principals besides Clapper were Susan Rice and Loretta Lynch.
Revive the Committees of Correspondence
Speed: Let me briefly outline our effort to revive Committees of Correspondence across the United States. Ben Franklin initiated this policy in a formal way in 1764 when he was opposing the British implementation of the Currency Acts. He had been fighting them on this matter. Without getting into the details, Massachusetts had been a sovereign republic which printed its own currency. The British opposed this, because they were about to impose draconian measures on the colonies throughout in the aftermath of what was called the French and Indian War here, and the Seven Years War otherwise. So, this was between 1757 and 1763.
Franklin’s response was to create all across the colonies, together with various people, Committees of Correspondence. These groups were responsible for creating a sense of a nation, prior to the existence of the nation. And they did that; they were most notable in places like Massachusetts where it’s true that the very colorful Sam Adams did certain things in a colorful way, which then caused those Committees to play a particular role in instigating the American Revolution’s beginning.
We already have a revolutionary government—given to us with the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The problem we have is that there are people who are trying to overthrow that form of government. And that process has already been de facto underway by means of what people have unfortunately called the “surveillance state.” It’s not a surveillance state; it’s imperial-based intelligence agencies going back to the time of the Five Eyes network created after the death of FDR. President Franklin Roosevelt and others knew how to handle foreign imperial powers. But in the aftermath of Roosevelt’s death, the practice of Americans weighing in on, deliberating on, developing, devising, and making policy was eroded.
Only two Americans have successfully done that outside of the mainstream; one was Martin Luther King with the way the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were created. The other was Lyndon LaRouche in the creation of the policy called the SDI [Strategic Defense Initiative], which Ronald Reagan adopted against the judgment of most of his advisors in March of 1983.
President Trump is however an outsider. Unless you get a tweet from the President, you don’t know much about his policy and actions. It doesn’t mean there’s no one else in the administration dedicated to doing the right thing by the American people. But with so many agencies refusing to tell the real truth, the Committees of Correspondence have to be reborn in this country.
Question: Now that they failed in their coup that they’re running, some action has got to be taken. With this massive surveillance, something has to be done.
Johnson: These hostile actions didn’t just start with the actions against Trump. If you recall, it actually goes back to the program that was put in place after 9/11 to allow the interception by NSA of all texts, emails, conversations of American citizens as well. The Obama administration did this before; they did it against Americans. James Rosen of Fox News, for example, was spied upon. So, I think what we’ve seen with Donald Trump is merely an extension of what had already been done before. It was done on a much larger scale. Perhaps the one silver lining is that now even the NSA is coming out saying, “We think we can get rid of that program; we don’t think we need to continue doing that.”
Binney: But you’ve got to be careful. That’s not the content program, that’s the metadata program. So, they’re talking about getting rid of the metadata, but in the upstream program, they’re still collecting all the content. That’s where they have the taps on the wire. So, they’re not getting rid of anything here. Don’t believe any of it.
Boyd: Someone called in asking, “How does it happen? How does the truth come out?” It happens there are a lot of people doing a lot of work, like Larry and Bill and other people. And the situation itself was unsustainable. Think about the Mueller report. He knew a long time ago that there really was no case, in terms of collusion. The whole thing was dragged out to essentially see whether they could get Trump to flip out and cross the line, in terms of obstruction of justice. That, in turn, creates—people watch this stuff; some people understand it, who are kind of inside the process. The Congressional committees on the House side at the very least, did a heck of a lot of work and unearthed a whole lot of leads. People in the intelligence community, which Larry obviously has access to, have been sitting there watching this thing unfold.
Gradually you reach a point where you realize that they’re holding no cards. They don’t have any cards. They’ve done all this stuff; they’ve exposed themselves, but they’re not holding a lot of cards. Now it becomes simply an exercise of pure power as to what’s actually happening, and to the extent that we seize this particular moment and really act upon it and give Trump the idea that he can actually investigate the investigators—which everybody’s talking about doing; then we may get justice out of this situation, which is kind of a remarkable and very optimistic turning point.
How It All Got Started
Johnson: When Trump declared [for President], the Brits were concerned about Trump because of his comments particularly on Syria and on NATO. They saw those as some specific threats. Plus, the Clintons were leveraging through their Clinton Foundation ties they had in Britain, you get assistance as well. But Clapper and Brennan I know didn’t believe that Trump was going to get elected. But they were more than happy to try and help get information that would dirty him up.
It is in the March 2016 timeframe when it became apparent that Trump was the frontrunner and that he might very well take the nomination. That’s when you saw this sudden intensification of efforts against Trump. That’s where the George Papadopoulos case gets involved; that’s where Perkins Coie, LLP goes out and hires Fusion GPS and then they commission Christopher Steele to start putting together the dossier, even though I think that was in the works prior to this. It’s all being designed to start developing this Russian narrative. There was an email from Brent Padowski to John Podesta in December of 2015, in which Padowski told Podesta that we need to use Trump’s—he called it a “romance” with Putin against him. So, that was definitely part of the campaign strategy, starting in December of 2015; but it escalated in March of 2016. It continued through the summer of 2016.
But even then, I know for a fact from a friend who was present at one of the meetings, that Clapper and Brennan said, “Ah, there’s no way Trump’s going to win.” Actually, the FBI said, we wouldn’t be too certain about that. When Trump won, it was like an earthquake had happened, they were so shocked. Then they were frantic like passengers drowning on the Titanic, thrashing in the water trying to figure out some way to turn this about. They were even talking about court challenges to try to get this into court to have the election overturned. There was a lot of crazy thinking, and again, I come back to the fact that Brennan’s really not that smart of a person. He likes to think he’s a really smart person, but he’s a bit of a dummy. Clapper is smarter, but much more devious; and also very clever trying to keep himself out of harm’s way. But this was a process that evolved; and once Trump won, it kicked into a different gear.
Johnson: I don’t think it’s so much that they needed the foreign intelligence element, but from a campaign standpoint, if you’re looking to develop any information—I mean, as a personal confession, I was working with the Hillary Clinton campaign in the summer of 2007, working unofficially; I was friends with Sid Blumenthal. And we tried to go into Indonesia, to get the adoption records of Barack Obama, because he was adopted as a child by Lolo Soetoro. What we discovered, because I had a friend who was a former member of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team who was on the ground working in Indonesia at the time, so he went in and tried to get the records, and he came back, he said, “They’ve been cleaned out.” So, there had been pro-active measures take already on the part of the Obama campaign to clean up any kind of foreign records that might have been compromising, or would have made it plain that he was a citizen of Indonesia for a time by virtue of adoption.
So, when these operations start, it starts with a small group of people, but they are well placed and they have some seniority, and they start laying out, “these are what we want to do.” And it’s a cycle. In the initial phase was, let’s make sure we identify everybody’s who’s on the Trump team, from Hope Hicks, Corey Lewandowski, even down to lower level, and then you start monitoring those communications. And as you monitor the communications, you can start creating a data base that shows who’s talking to whom, and you can see if there are any connections to foreign actors that you want to focus on.
The Decision on a Russian Angle
So it was very much of a process, and in that, once they hit upon, I don’t know at what point they made the decision to say, let’s go on the Russian angle. What we do know for a fact, is that the FBI, with respect to the Trump Tower project, was using a fellow named Felix Sater. Felix Sater went to work in Donald Trump’s tower in 2003; he’s been described as a Russian mobster. He was born in Russia, came to the United States at the age of 6; he was boyhood friends with Michael Cohen. He got jammed up in 1998 with a stock fraud. He, as part of this plea agreement, he agreed to become a cooperating informant. The person who signed his plea agreement was Andrew Weissmann, who was really one of the lead investigators on the Mueller Special Counsel’s team. That was in 1998.
So, you jump ahead to the fall of 2015, and when you read the Mueller report, they don’t say a thing about the fact that Felix Sater was an FBI informant. Yet, all of the overtures, all of the suggestions, all of the negotiations to deal with the Russians, to go see Putin, to travel to Moscow, all of that came from Felix Sater.
I don’t believe in coincidence. I don’t believe that Sater was doing that on his own. He was being directed by the FBI to see if they could develop a pretext, or at least develop actual evidence, that Trump was in fact willing to respond and work with the Russians and work with Putin, and Sater was the one.
But understand this: Sater was not the only FBI informant that was danced into the Trump team. In the spring of 2016, a guy named Michael Caputo and Roger Stone were introduced to somebody named Henry Greenberg, who is also, for 17 years, an FBI informant. So when we’re seeing FBI informants who are working undercover on behalf of the FBI to try to help make cases, being run at the Trump team, this lets you know that this was not some passive effort. This was an active effort to try to entrap Donald Trump and his team.
Christopher Steele and ‘Operation Charlemagne’
Boyd: I would just add one thing to reinforce the British side of this, which is: A lot of this actually stems from the 2014 coup in Ukraine and the circles of [former MI6 head] Sir Richard Dearlove in London, and the fact that you have to look at both the Trump election and I believe Brexit going on at the same time. Just prior to Christopher Steele going to work, in the spring 2016 with Perkins Coie, working on this crazy dossier, he was an informant, apparently, with the FBI, and with the State Department, working on Ukraine and working on Paul Manafort, well before the 2016 election.
So there was the strategic issue of what are the Brits trying to do with Putin during this entire time period, and it very much appears to a lot of us that strategically what, they were trying to do, and what they have been advocating, is an actual regime-change operation within Russia itself. And the report which Christopher Steele concluded, right before he did the dirty dossier, so to speak, was something called “Operation Charlemagne,” which dealt with what he said was Russian interference occurring throughout every single country in NATO and also occurring in Brexit. And it’s of the same quality, I believe, that later surfaces as the “dirty dossier” on Donald Trump.
Johnson: One thing to understand about Christopher Steele: There’s an agreement amongst the Five Eyes—New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, and U.K.—to not sign up as covert or clandestine operatives, each other’s spies. So the fact that the FBI had actually put Christopher Steele on the payroll prior to this, as Barbara correctly noted, he had been a paid informant for a while, and then, when this was exposed, what should have happened from the U.K. standpoint would have been outrage that the United States would have done this. Instead, what you had, was Richard Dearlove coming to the defense of Christopher Steele. That told me everything I needed to know as far as, that Steele was operating with the full blessing of his former MI6 bosses, that they saw this as another way to try to leverage their way into the U.S. both law enforcement and intelligence community.
Shine a Light on the Secret Government
Question: How is it possible that there are people who can hijack our government and our press, and have the population believe one thing that isn’t true? And why does it become so hard to convince people that they’d been lied to? Who should be held accountable? Are there safeguards, and were they bypassed? Who holds the government accountable?
Binney: The problem is that this was all initiated in secret. It was all done with secret courts, and secret memos that even members of Congress couldn’t see, and so on. Some of them have come out, like the [former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John] Yoo memos from the OLC [Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice], giving them authorization under the War Powers Act—there was no war declared, so they couldn’t even do that, but they still did, in secret, not letting anybody know that that was the foundation of it.
And so, when you have a secret government, a cabal that is the government behind the government, it’s kind of hard to weed it out, especially when you get so many people involved. It’s like the Intelligence Committees are involved, they know a lot of this, but aren’t saying it. The FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] Court knows, but they’re not coming out in the open. A lot of members of Congress know about this, too, and they’re not coming out in the open. So it’s really a matter of getting people to stand up, and get a backbone, and start living up to, and performing their oath of office to protect and defend the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.
Johnson: I would simply add that this is not new. Recall the Pentagon Papers of Daniel Ellsberg. Everyone was lying about that. The mess that went on during the Iran-Contra experience, there was lying. We were lied to about what was going on with respect to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I mean, this is just sort of more of the same.
This is the first time, I guess, I’ve seen in my lifetime, where it’s been turned in full force on the domestic political process, where we’ve actually, if you will, weaponized the FBI, law enforcement and the intelligence community, against an opposition political party.
I would also add, just go back and look at all the authorities that were granted to the President in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and in particular, even something like what’s called the AUMF, Authorization for the Use of Military Force, that is still the existing authority for allowing U.S. military forces to operate around the world, and for intelligence operations to be taken, when you can use the pretext of terrorism, collecting under that rubric, in order to gather information. So, what Bill said, and that as well.
Speed: I’m going to read a question here, from Mike from California. “What is the best option we have to uproot this evil in D.C. which is now threatening both world peace and our republic?”
Johnson: I think it’s just sunlight: I didn’t have high hopes for Bill Barr. When I was at the [Department of] State’s Counter-Terrorism Office, we worked closely with Bill at the time, on the Pan Am [Flight] 103 bombing and the prosecution of those responsible for that. He’s a serious person, he’s not an ideologue. He very much believes in the rule of law and in playing fair.
There are processes in our republic that if they are pursued and if they are followed, will ultimately bring these wrongdoers to justice. And they need to be brought, and they need to be charged. But there are so many moneyed interests involved with this, that they’ve been fighting desperately to destroy Trump, and in the process destroy our republic, without any regard for what it means to our freedoms and our liberties.
Binney: Sunlight is the thing they’re so afraid of. That’s why they’re scrambling here. They’re starting to be exposed, and that’s sunlight to them, and they just don’t like to see that! You know? It makes it too clear what they are and what they’re doing.