This as a very long interview. Thomas Drake really let his heart and soul out here, commenting on a wide range of topics, including Obama, Secrecy, Corporate Espionage, 911, sacrifice, Star Trek, and a lot more
R.K.: Let's move on to another comment by Obama. He said given any power of the state, it is not enough for leaders to say trust us we won't abuse the data we collect. For history has too many examples of when that trust has been breached. Our country was built on the premise that our liberty cannot depends on the good intentions of those in power. It depends on the law to constrain those in power. Do you think that there is -
T.D.: That is the moral rectitude speaking as a "former constitutional lecturer". He obviously knows better but obviously as President he has a different interpretation of that, that what falls underneath his responsibilities is all legal. I think he gave a tell on John Stewart the Daily Show some months ago when he spoke about one of his remaining responsibilities in his tenure as president, now in his second administration, is he needs to ensure a legal framework is in place for those who succeed him.
The last time I checked, the only legal framework that he is bound to uphold is the constitution. There is no other legal framework. So any attempt to reinterpret that means that, it means that he is turning his own oath on its head. This is, what's the word, sophistry! This is part of what I call, it's not just we have got mass bulk collection, this is called mass manipulation of thought processes. He is manipulating the mechanisms by which we even have our form of governance in terms of a foundation.
R.K.: So to go on, a little more quotes from him: I have approved a new Presidential Directive for our Signals Intelligence activities both at home and abroad. This guidance will strengthen executive branch oversight of our intelligence activities. It will ensure that we take into account our security requirements but also our alliances, our trade and investment relationships, including the concerns of American companies and our commitment to privacy and basic liberties. I am guessing there is a lot in there between the lines.
T.D.: There is a huge amount in there between the lines. They need more control. They need more internal checks. I guess they need to swap out a couple of foxes in the hen house. They're all words, even if I wasn't being cynical here, the devil is in the details. He is not the one to worry about the implementation. And yet he presides over a kill list so it's not like he is Ronald Reagan here and somehow thrown a task and he doesn't know what's going on underneath him. Those words are very powerful words.
But then, what about the TPP? I mean where is the reference to that? The TPP is an extraordinary, this is something more people need to read about in terms of that partnership on international and meeting in deep secrecy. Thanks to wiki-leaks, we're actually finding out how far the international political married to the corporate international corporations went in gaining even further control.
So the fact remains, NSA is involved in widespread domestic and international espionage and that's one of the other huge violations here. They keep saying they're not but every time they're not then you find out that they are and I just use reverse psychology. When they say they're not, they are. It's a pretty simple, for me it's a pretty simple way to look at this. They have to deny anything that would actually be in violation. That's just like what I was confronted with after 9/11.
Within just the first few weeks of 9/11 I was eye witness to NSA and obviously under the authority of the White House, unchaining itself from the Constitution, just abandoning the standing legal regime called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that existed for the previous twenty three years. Now you tell me. I mean, I confronted him directly on that. I said what are you doing. He said you don't understand. We live in extraordinary conditions so extraordinary means apply.
So it was the end justifies the means argument and I pressed him harder. If the law as it is currently written, FISA had been modified five times since '70, doesn't work, then you go to congress to modify it and they said if we do that they'll say no and I knew in that moment that they didn't even want to raise the possibility of essentially wanting to ask congress to reinterpret FISA in a way that would give them the equivalent of a bulk warrant, a general warrant. And that's precisely what they engaged in. But I knew that twelve plus years ago. I mean, you tell me.
That's why I find it laughable when they say NSA has never abused its powers-
R.K.: I have got to throw in one piece that you mentioned. Corporate espionage. Obama specifically mentioned our trade and investment relationships including the concerns of American companies. Are they giving information to the companies that they're working with? Are they letting the companies they are contracting with, have access for business reasons?
T.D.: Yes, yes. I mean let's get real about the human condition. If I have direct access to information about a competitor on the international scene, I already have a secret agreement or partnership with a US based corporation, I mean the temptations are enormous that you're going to re-purpose that intelligence, re-purpose it for other use. I mean it ultimately comes down to use. It's one thing to collect it but what are you using it for?
R.K.: Okay. Now we only have certain amount of time left so I want to really home in on a couple of things we talked about the other night. One is Benghazi. You talked about how the real reason for Benghazi happening and the government allowing people to die has not been discussed. Could you talk about that?
T.D.: Well it was well known that that was a planned attack. I mean I was in the military, I am very familiar with force employment. That's the first thing, okay? It wasn't a reaction to a video, that's the last thing it was. But the deeper secret is the CIA historically has always used overseas embassies and consulates in various diplomatic facilities as cover.
Now that's understood but here and this is partly what I think they're desperate to protect, never mind the people that ended up being murdered in that, in the Benghazi scandal, it's the fact that they were running, this is the Iran-Contra equivalent. Because of the vast amount of weapons that were being released and they were just floating around, hey what the heck, on the side let's do a little gun running and send stuff into Syria.
R.K.: So let me get this straight. What you're saying is Benghazi, pardon me?
T.D.: Who is going to know the difference, right?
R.K.: So what you're saying is Benghazi was used by the CIA as a front like it has done in many other overseas entities and consulates as a cover to run guns to Syria?
T.D.: Yeah well, yeah. But there's people on the story that won't talk about it, okay? Even Benghazi, I have known for months, and talking to people on background deliberately withheld from mainstream media what has now come out, and of course you have got the senate report that it could have been prevented. Jeesh we could say that about 9/11, why don't they do a 9/11 report?
Yeah they did a 9/11 report, it was censored and suppressed by NSA because I know what I gave them was prima facie smoking gun evidence of what NSA knew about 9/11 and had not shared and when it came to, when you do go through the bureaucratic process when they do an investigation from congress there are findings and recommendations. What they do is they go back out to the agents or departments which they investigated and they're allowed to respond and for reasons of national security they weren't going to leave in even the super secret report, the fact that they had intelligence, that they knew about. Never mind intelligence they didn't know about, this was the intelligence they knew about and didn't share. Even -
R.K.: Can you talk about what the intelligence was?
T.D.: Look. Sorry?
R.K.: Can you talk about what that intelligence was that they knew about?
T.D.: Yeah well I talked about it in the memo. The memo that we addressed through the [inaudible 10:38] , the memo that we released that was actually, we had one of the privacy groups that met with White House counsel was able to get a copy of that memo and our twenty one recommendations, my fellow NSA Whistleblowers, we were able to get those twenty one recommendations into at least the hands of the White House counsel. In the memo I am directly quoted about that. And -
R.K.: Tell the listeners though, what was it? What was the evidence?
T.D.: Right, because you asked me about the other part of 9/11, the truther part that I didn't actually answer yet.
R.K.: Yeah I'm waiting.
T.D.: In quick summary, I was tasked at NSA when the first 9/11 Congressional Investigation was launched. Announced and launched by Saxby Chambliss. He was the head, he was the chair of one of the House Intel sub-committees on homeland security. It was a recently formed sub-committee. He announced a congressional investigation of 9/11 and although I became a material witness or whistleblower for that congressional investigation, I was tasked to NSA to lead the effort to provide a formal statement for the record behind closed doors to the committee.
During the course of, and we were in a really short short deadline, it was about two and a half three weeks. And during the course of that effort, I ran across smoking gun information that NSA, on several fronts by the way, we just talked about the safe house switchboard, that was specific actionable intelligence that was known by NSA that had not been shared with National Command Authorities and others that could have done something with it.
There was actually also another report that had been done many many months earlier that had essentially unfolded the entire Al Qaeda network and all associated movements that existed up until that time and I remember being given a copy of that, this is after 9/11 and then when I went to Maureen Baginski with it, it was a remarkable reaction because she absolutely stiffened in terms of her body language and then just glared at me and simply said, I wish you had never brought this to my attention. The problem was she no longer had plausible deniability and that report had never been shared with the rest of the community.
We're talking about critical knowledge and intelligence that could have easily have rolled up essentially the entire network as it existed in early 2001.
R.K.: And actually you talked at dinner about how after 9/11 they did roll it up and they basically killed most of the members of Al Qaeda.
T.D.: That's because a lot of the intel was there and after the fact they ended up using it, that's remarkable history and remember there were those it clearly threatened, our interest and others. The full history of that I know eventually will come out down the road but yes. There were those that were more immediate threats that were taken care of in the weeks and months and couple of years after 9/11.
R.K.: So I want to get back to Benghazi though because I just want to be really clear about this. Now are you saying that you know that the CIA used the consulate there as a cover to run guns to Syria or are you, what is your knowledge about that?
T.D.: I don't have prima facie evidence, I am no longer in the system, okay? I am just talking about one of the ironies, and I won't go into detail, but because of what happened to me I am more than a passing footnote in history so I have any number of contacts with various people across all spectrums here and I have communication with certain reporters both on and off the record.
I am just telling you that reporters who know the truth here and are being kept silent, the papers of record or the outlets of record, I am not going to mention who, but the outlets of record are not allowing the truth to come out to inform the public. This is similar to Iran- Contra and we know what happened then. The truth is out there. The truth has been shared. There are reporters who know about it. They know that that was part of the cover up.
R.K.: So let me get this straight. This-
T.D.: Benghazi really is a problem because it wasn't just, which is well known that diplomatic missions are used as cover, it's a fact that you know you had an Al Qaeda associated terrorist group who deliberately planned to attack the consulate. That's precisely what they did.
R.K.: Keep going.
T.D.: It was known early on who did it. So you have that part of it, but then you have the other part of it. And the problem was they were compromised. And-
R.K.: If they knew why did they let them go and kill the people?
T.D.: Oh well that's interesting. Why would they? Well now jeesh now you're getting into the pathology of what happens when you're trying to protect an operation and you're willing to sacrifice to protect the operation even if you didn't mean it, if it ends up you don't want to blow the cover.
R.K.: Wow. So again this could be failure to share information?
T.D.: People just, it's part of the challenge I have, okay? Having had been exposed to dirty knowledge about where does the real stuff happen? It's all behind the scenes. It's not the Kabuki dance of public pronouncements, that's all covered. That's all to give a certain sheen to the history that unfolds behinds the scenes. Sometimes you don't know about that real history until years or decades later.
The problem in this world today with the technology and advances in communications, these things can metastasize very very quickly and tragedy of Benghazi is we have a number of people including an ambassador who was senselessly murdered and it didn't have to happen. That did not have to happen. The Senate Report is correct. It was preventable.
R.K.: What about what Darrell Issa has been investigating? Why is this coming out in those congressional hearings?
T.D.: Why isn't it? Sorry.
T.D.: Why isn't it? It's so incredibly explosive. Look what happened to Ronald Reagan. Hey, after all it's what we can get away with. It ended up blowing up in their face. In this case it ended up blowing up in their face with a rather well organized assault on the consulate. And on the annex. Annex is a euphemism by the way because that's always the backup facility and it's always classified to say it that way and it's supposed to be protected as well. But that gets in, I don't want to talk about it, that's operational stuff and I am not going to get into details about operational stuff, I am just saying there was fundamental failure here and it was all preventable.
I just find it unconscionable that the White House would wheel out what it said in the early days but it works both ways, even the White House gets manipulated because remember you have to get back to the pathology. Information is a currency of power. I can use it for any end.
R.K.: So was Hillary at fault here? Was it Hillary's fault or was this intelligence agencies?
T.D.: Both. It is true that sometimes the head is the last to know. Their feet are off walking taking care of business and the head is the last to know. On the other hand, it's often the case that the head is directly involved because the head is the one that gave permission, gave authorization.
These kinds of things always have cover. There's authorizing cover but the authorizing cover itself is often obscured particularly when it's covert. And one of the problems by the way with this secret surveillance program, which was an executive violation, is if they actually knew, and I don't know if you talked to Bill Binney about this, but I certainly knew about it and because of where I worked I had direct knowledge of a lot of these conversations that were ongoing and what talking points were being put together to share with the Nancy Pelosi's of the world. So the secret surveillance programs which was the President's surveillance program by the way, there never was a terror surveillance program, the President's surveillance program, those talking points, this is informing Congress, well they turned it into a covert program.
So when it's covert you restrict the number of people in Congress that are actually informed and the procedure is, it's usually only the Big Eight. It's usually the intel committees and the armed services, but the intel committees, so you have got four of them, alright? You have got those four and then you have got the other four. Well when you brief them about covert programs historically, there are no staffers, you cannot take notes, and you're gagged.
Because it's covert and it's a presidential authorization so by virtue, and they manipulate it, by virtue of that, you have now co-opted congress but you can always argue later for the convenience of cover that you informed then under the rules.
R.K.: Yes I did speak with Bill Binney about that. We talked about how that was why Nancy Pelosi couldn't put impeachment on the table because she knew a lot about it and authorized it.
T.D.: Had dirty knowledge about it, although even the talking points that they gave them wasn't the whole truth, but it certainly was more under that blanket of secrecy it was certainly more than enough for them to appreciate that this is well outside the bounds of the foreign intelligence surveillance act.
R.K.: We're going to run out of time and I do want to get you to answer me about what you reply to truthers about the buildings.
T.D.: Look I have had many people privately come to me about 9/11, alright? Because somehow it was this gigantic conspiracy, it was a setup from the beginning, that it was a false flag operation, it was designed precisely to do what ultimately did happen, the government unchaining itself from the constitution and going into an anathema form of government, which is really continuity of operations. Emergency decree which is essentially what happened and we continue to exist under a number of those, some that haven't even come out yet in terms of how the government operates. People ascribe a lot to the government and I am well aware of conspiracies.
I was accused of, and at one point secret indictment charges to commit conspiracy against the United States of America were brought. So I'm well aware of what a conspiracy is. And I have seen the documented evidence in quotes by some of what I call the more reputable like the Richard Gages and I know they're earnest, I know they mean well but I, to this day remain unconvinced. I do. Part of the problem is they continue to discount what actually happened.
There is no evidence for me, from what I've seen and I am using my analytic hat and acknowledging that I am not a civil engineer or an architect, although I have spoken to any number of them that are not part of the truthers, they're independents, and they say there is some unique things here in terms of the construction of those buildings, as well as what happened when the planes hit, and Building 7 by the way came down, in part they had to bring it down because it was severely damaged from the towers dropping.
People don't fully appreciate what it means when extraordinary weight with the rush of gravity is impacting multiple, huge tons and tons hitting the ground beneath and then essentially going underground into what was a rather hollow space. How much damage that created in terms of the foundations of buildings around it, in particular Building 7, but are there fundamental questions that remain unanswered?
Is there evidence that the government refuses to either acknowledge or won't talk about? Yes. But I don't accept to this day and although I keep an open mind because you never ever want to say never in this regard, but I do know that 9/11 was used as an excuse. 9/11 was an excuse and I have even drawn the parallel with Pearl Harbor which is ironic because we put the National Security Establishment into effect in 1947 through a National Security Act to never be surprised again. We would never have another electronic Pearl Harbor.
R.K.: Alright, let me just take a step back now. What you're saying is you're not convinced that the buildings were imploded, that there were no explosions or anything like that to cause them to collapse?
T.D.: In terms of the twin towers, no.
R.K.: You're not saying that, or what are you saying?
T.D.: I just thought I said it. I don't believe, there's no controlled demolition of the twin towers.
T.D.: The level of conspiracy necessary to pull that off would be extraordinary. Okay? Absolutely extraordinary and people continue even the truthers just will deny certain facts regarding what happens when a plane hits a building like that with fuel and it doesn't take much and
if you look at the construction of those buildings, the pancake effect. That pancake effect is on purpose. The pancake effect is not because of controlled demolition, but does it look similar? Yes. It does. But some have convinced themselves otherwise. I brought to their attention what I knew from the inside in terms of the intelligence and they discount it. They just say it was all a conspiracy and all the rest it just frame up stuff. It's not. You have to remember in the United States counter-terrorism was not a priority. It just wasn't.
R.K.: What you said basically at dinner the other night was that there were all kinds of questions that need to be asked and there were all kinds of failures, particularly this failure to share information of what they already knew.
T.D.: Remember, this is the human condition. We keep forgetting, this is what I call the pathology because it's an interesting paralysis of power. When they hold power, information is the currency. So control is governed by how do I control what information I have at my disposal or what I have access to? How can I manipulate it?
And the irony of course here is that by withholding information you actually set up circumstances in which other things happen that you have to then react to. And this case reacting to the tragedy of three thousand people murdered and not just Americans by the way. And it didn't have to happen. But the idea that the government murdered them themselves through some kind of extraordinary conspiracy to plant controlled devices to pancake the buildings, I mean what happened to the planes?
I kind of say that in the obvious sense that somehow the planes didn't make it happen.
R.K.: And you also mentioned at dinner that Osama Bin Laden was a construction engineer and he had access to and reviewed the blueprints.
T.D.: Yes he did. Remember, you have got to remember even the caves he was in in Tora Bora, the original set of caves go all the way back to earlier days in which we were actually supporting him, the Mujahideen ironically enough, during the Soviet occupation for almost a decade in Afghanistan.
R.K.: And then you say, just to recap again, you say 9/11 was an excuse. What are you talking about?
T.D.: 9/11 is an excuse. You want to know what the conspiracy is, I am going to reflect on what Rahm Emanuel said, you never let a good crisis go to waste. Cheney was a master of how do you manipulate events to gain more power and even though he wasn't on top of all of this when it came to what was really happening, how convenient is it to have a 9/11 and then use that in secret to unchain the government from the constitution.
He has always said going all the way back that if he ever had a chance to enter back into politics at a very senior level, this is when he worked in the Nixon administration and he was the chief of staff as you recall for Ford when Ford was president, that he would restore the imperial presidency, because he always thought that Nixon got a raw deal.
R.K.: Alright, one more point. You have mentioned false flags. Now you're saying that 9/11 was not a false flag right? Alright, we just got disconnected. I am betting that his phone ran out of power. I am hoping he is going to call back. So we will wait and see what happens, I'll do a station ID.
This is the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show WNJC1360 AM out of Washington Township reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey. Sponsored by opednews.com and we are going to wait and see if he comes back.
At dinner we had an interesting conversation about another thing. He pointed out that there really is a president's book of secret and the evidence there would be very interesting and it could really tell us some interesting stories. Are you back?
T.D.: Yeah I'm back.
R.K.: Alright. Your phone go dead?
T.D.: Yeah, (laughter) it sure did.
R.K.: Been there. So I was asking you about false flag operations. Now you're saying that 9/11 was not a false flag operation but at dinner the other night you said that our intelligence operations engage in false flag operations.
T.D.: Yes they do. Yes. That's like the Gulf of Tonkin was the equivalent of a false flag although the flag wasn't of our making, we simply used the event as an excuse for engaging in something far larger. So that was, you say manufactured, that was intelligence that wasn't the intelligence they said was there, the attack that didn't actually happen. This actually happened. For me it's what we then did to ourselves as a result of 9/11 but is it fair to say that Cheney was, was this the crisis? Of course it was. There's no doubt about that.
R.K.: What about other false flag operations?
T.D.: Such as? I mean-
R.K.: You're saying that our intelligence organizations have engaged in false flag operations. Could you tell me more about that?
T.D.: Yeah well historically, I remember interviewing, one of the things that I got to do as part of my community service, I had two hundred forty hours of community service, I interviewed upwards of forty or so, this side of four dozen veterans of WWII, the present day and those that I interviewed that were intelligence spoke about that, spoke about you create false flag because it's all diversionary. It's diversionary because you either, it's used to fake out or you use it as cover for something else.
R.K.: Now you mentioned that they are used to create conditions to get funding.
T.D.: But false flag, I could argue Iraq was false flag. They used trumped up intelligence as an excuse to invade when it was not necessary.
R.K.: Okay. Now you said you also knew, what about the USS Liberty? You talked about that on Tuesday night, too.
T.D.: USS Liberty, I have spoken to people that have survived that and it was an egregious act by Israel but I understand, it was 1967, the problem was that they wanted to blow it out of the water. We lost a number of our own in that attack and it was repeated attacks. The fact remains and it's in the intelligence that President Johnson did not order any rescue operation or to prevent it from happening.
R.K.: He could have defended it.
T.D.: They were sacrificed. Okay? Let's say it that way.
R.K.: And how do you know about this?
T.D.: How do I know about this? The history of the Liberty. There's multiple accounts and private, I say private, it's really public testimony by those who have survived. USS Liberty is an example of that but then I can give other examples from other countries who had other intentions, what about the USS Pueblo, alright? The similar ship by the way.
R.K.: What about it?
T.D.: That was a different kind of a country. It depends on who's side you're on and who you're supporting. Obvious we weren't supporting North Korea, so but you know a whole lot of stuff was compromised as a result of that ship being taken captive.
R.K.: Okay. Now you talked about how NSA has compromised the integrity of commercial IT worldwide, could you explain that?
T.D.: Unconscionable. Obama did not address in his speech earlier today. If I can't, if I attack and weaken the very infrastructure the people depend on for modern transaction. You know financial economic, the life blood, the engine, of not just national commerce but international and trade. If I weaken it, guess what I am opening it up to? Those who obviously have other nefarious purposes in mind. I just find it unconscionable that we, in cooperation with certain corporations, would deliberately see the infrastructure in a way that would weaken it, to make it easier to surveil it.
R.K.: So did NSA really do that?
T.D.: But see, well it's pathological. If we strengthen it we have less ability to surveil it so by weakening it we increase the incentive to surveil, so what do you do? You weaken it so now I can get more data. Remember the pathology, which is what I was told after 9/11, you don't understand Mr. Drake, we just want the data. And see part of it, here is part of the explanation.
Instead of accepting that NSA was fundamentally culpable of 9/11, although the culpability goes throughout government including CIA and FBI, but NSA was fundamentally culpable in 9/11, it's just as Hayden himself said in executive session, I was there to hear it, how great it is, and I am paraphrasing, for NSA to hide behind in the shadows of the CIA FBI while they get to take the hit out in public, well it is true, the CIA and the FBI took huge hits in the court of public opinion while NSA remained in the shadows, but even the investigators have later, there's investigators in the 9/11 commission, spoke about the difficulty they had in getting any real information, intelligence out of NSA.
And unfortunately some of that which they provided them was considered so classified or classified at such a high level at NSA that those records remain sealed to this day. What does that tell you? I know that the prima fascie smoking gun intelligence that I gave to 9/11 congressional investigations, and I had different information with the joint inquiry, was suppressed and censored.
I know that from people who know I was interviewed, they cannot find any record of any of the thousands of pages of documentation that I provided them. And yet during my criminal case, this pattern of somehow during discovery whether it was in an official government investigation or whether it's in a criminal case like mine, my public defenders are asking for discovery months and months and months go by and the chief prosecutor comes back, was William Welch and says, oh under a document destruction policy, which didn't exist by the way, the material that Mr. Drake provided to the Department of Defense Inspector General, well it's gone. It's no longer available. How convenient is that?
Well it's convenient because the government filed motions to eliminate as relevant or admissible at trial before a jury of my peers anything related to whistleblowing, anything related to first amendment activities or the press, and anything related to classification. How convenient is it that that very information, the very documentation that I provided to the Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General has resulted in an official investigation, but it has conveniently disappeared.
Primary reason by the way, one of the primary reasons, they came to our houses. They wanted to take culpatory information off the street.
R.K.: So it was an insurance action to enter and confiscate stuff from your house?
T.D.: Yeah, and also just to send the most chilling of messages and of course intimidation, you better stay silent or it could get worse. It was made crystal clear that you don't want to talk to anybody about this, it's a national security investigation, you're in deep trouble, I mean, when you have got the chief prosecutor then, saying how would you like to spend the rest of your life in prison, Mr. Drake? unless you cooperate with our investigation.
What does that tell you? That shows you how far they're willing to go to protect the incredibly deep dark secrets of the secret surveillance program called Stellar Wind in particular, which in itself was an umbrella program which had many many parts to it. Four primary but there was other parts to it. You're only hearing about it, this whole thing, you have got to remember with false flag and in some ways meta data has become a false flag. It's really meta content. It's all content.
But they're desperate to use the meta data, somehow they're justified in collecting it without any warrants by the way, except the equivalent of a general order which is a violation to the constitution, the very thing we had in part a revolution over against the crown two hundred and forty years ago, here the meta data itself is somehow justified because oh it's not worse than that, meaning we need that because that's the only way we can figure out where the needles are except you're copying everything.
So it's not just meta data. But they're restricting even the conversation, even the president only talked when you really look at it, he only talked about mass collection of phone data and remember they said they don't have location information of subscriber, take a look at the Verizon order that was disclosed by Snowden through reporters and journalists. Meta data on a phone record by definition includes location and subscriber information.
That's the nature of meta data. This idea that they don't have it, oh maybe it's under that program they don't obtain it well they must obtain it by some other. That's like taking the white pages and cutting out the address and obviously there's a subscriber who has a location and a name. That's why you have look up tables.
R.K.: So wait, I just want to get back to one thing. You said that meta data has become a false flag. What do you mean by that?
T.D.: False flag because they desperately want the focus on the meta data, that's what is legal, they've built this very carefully constructed public story about why meta data is so crucial by putting all of this effort into the meta data of phone calls, guess what they get to continue to remain fired on, it's the content of the phone calls.
There was a huge break through at NSA some years ago, I was part of an early experiment, how do you auto translate digital communications? Voice recognition. I was a voice processing specialist. I was a crypto linguist. They do mass digital voice translation on an extraordinary scale. It's all done by machines, okay?
This is one of the things I have talked about this, I have said this before, they don't want this known because in essence one of the reasons they can hide behind it, well a person doesn't actually look at this stuff, we just leave it up to the algorithms to figure it out. We just run the search routines but those search routines that are run, there's only a few people that run those routines. Okay well I guess that's justification for the bulk collection of all this information.
Look. Meta data is, you have to understand the information here. This is why I get really frustrated, people in some ways like to be deliberately ignorant about information at large. All information has structure, right? You can't have meta data without content. Meta data is the index of the content.
R.K.: Right. Now Bill Binney-
T.D.: A body, I could argue, the body of an email I could argue the body is actually encapsulated as meta data. Whatever is in it is the content, right? Never mind what you call the header information but the content of it is in the body, the body and the attachments, okay? The existence of the attachment would be the meta data, what's in the attachment is the content. If the garbage can is recognized as a garbage can and there's no lock on the lid, all you have to do is open up the lid to see what's in it.
You know that it's garbage but you don't actually know what's in it but it's a garbage can. So you've identified the location, you know who owns it, you can even observe the stuff that's going into it. So what's the big deal you already have it. This is the issue here whether or not you've got the storage capacity to keep it. It's that simple.
Well that applies to phone calls although that's part of the technology revolution. We go from circuit based analog with fine waves to digital. It's all step functions, it's all discreet, zeroes and ones, that actually makes it far easier to translate because it's easier to do so. We have emails and credit card information and internet usage, these are, there's a whole host of other bulk copy collection programs that exist. It's not just phones.
As if somehow this is the whole issue now it's come down to phone meta data and it only, and it's a subset of the far richer set of even phone record meta data which by definition includes the subscriber information and the location. Either the physical address of a land line going to a particular spot or a cell phone which by definition you'll know exactly where it is based on cell tower records.
R.K.: Right. Bill Binney says that this data is shared with law enforcement in the US and that's a major abuse.
T.D.: Major abuse is an under statement. I mean, this, if you read his thing he talks about and there's some back and forth on this and others that I know, if you really look at it carefully, it only applies, say the violations but under the controls the procedures involved in criminal cases. Actual criminal cases and they can use it against informants, repurposing it.
So if it's an actual criminal case they can quote, un-quote use it like they would if it was traditional law enforcement. So the repurposing of it to use it to go after others. Now that's parallel construction. I get to reconstruct the evidence based on the secret evidence for the purpose of law enforcement for a more traditional criminal prosecution. But what about the fact that now you have all of this non targeted information?
The way I refer to it is it's a pre-crime database. Meaning, just in case we need it, or as it was recently said as an insurance policy even if we can't prove secret surveillance programs had anything to do with the fifty four terrorist incidents with except maybe one but even that one was really law enforcement and not found, discovered unilaterally by the secret surveillance programs, oh well then we need it as a future insurance policy. It's a zero-sum game. Which is hey, if it hasn't prevented any but just in case it might we need to keep it around.
R.K.: Alright, I am just running through some of the notes that I took from the other night. You said that Israel is the third rail, what do you mean by that?
T.D.: Who is the third rail?
R.K.: Israel. The country of Israel.
T.D.: I don't remember saying that Israel was the third rail, when you say third rail, it's a third rail in American politics because of the special relationship that we have had you know ever since it was formed and you know they have an extraordinarily powerful lobby that has in my own criminal case, by the way one of the other cases that the Espionage Act was used was in the AIPAC case, which ultimately was effectively shut down and even Franklin who in this case was the US Citizen to say it that way, was under house arrest. He never actually ended up in prison per se, so that case went by the wayside.
R.K.: Did Israel have any influence within NSA, or Mossad?
T.D.: I have no knowledge of that other than I am aware that the NSA has special relationships with any number of intelligence agencies and the relationships that they have with Israel go back a long ways. But on the other hand I am well aware that it's neither one necessarily trusts the other.
It's one of those cases where this is one of the pathologies whether you're a US Intelligence Agency or you're an intelligence agency of another country. You end up not trusting anybody. Who do you trust? It's one of the ironies of the spy game because any thing could be a conspiracy. Anything could be grounds for suspicion.
Who do you actually trust? But see that is in part why you have these secret societies with special nondisclosure agreements and the equivalent of blood oaths, just to say it that way. The Omerta agreements, this is where it's a relational level.
R.K.: And Omerta is the mafia code of silence, right?
T.D.: Yes, code of silence, and if you go outside the code of silence you will be dealt with. I certainly was on the receiving end of that. Those who even agreed with me in terms of what I did, some said was simply, and that was actually quoted in an article "bad form." Not bad form because you look bad but bad form because you went outside our family. You went outside our compact. And you are making us look bad and because you're making us look bad we need to deal with you severely. Look there's people right now, did you see the BuzzFeed article? It's just extremely disturbing.
R.K.: What's that?
T.D.: It reminds me of, well those unnamed sources are basically calling for a wet-op against Snowden and if he gets knocked off or gets poisoned or finds himself face down in a ditch, well hey, you know we're not going to shed any tears.
R.K.: That seemed to be something that came out of Obama's speech that there is no forgiveness for Snowden and he could be at risk of death.
T.D.: Yeah. Well look, remember what happened to me, I had people calling for my head truth be told. I had some people kind of concerned about me, I had others, including representatives in Congress looking forward to seeing me in an orange jumpsuit. Any number of people called me a traitor.
The prosecution, just think about the culture here, this is what happens. This is why some people I used to work with never got clearance because they never wanted to find themselves in a situation where they would be excommunicated then they would always be under suspicion because they "violated the Omerta, the code of silence." Even if they didn't.
And yet if the code of silence is used to run operations that are not just unsavory but are actually in violation of the Constitution in standing statute, well that's protected. You have to protect that too because hey it's part of the code, it's part of the circle of silence no matter what goes on you don't, no matter what goes in or what we approve or what goes on inside of it, you will defend it. Even if you disagree with it. So but yeah the chief prosecutor in my case in a public hearing actually said that what I did endangered the lives of American soldiers.
He also said that I would have the blood of American soldiers on my hands, now what does that tell you? For what? For having taken the oath? Look I took an-
R.K.: They seem to use that accusation a lot and it seems to hold less and less water.
T.D.: Well of course it does, but you should know that the fact that they have to use it should tell you how far the pathology goes in terms of the mindset. I mean, this brings back extremely disturbing history in terms of, in the end you know I don't like it, it reminds me of the Star Wars, the famous Star Wars cantina scene where they're sitting there at the bar and you know Luke is all agog here on Mos Eisley, right, you have the scum and villainy as Obi Wan said and he was standing there and comes up to him and sort of bumps into him and he says you watch out, I am wanted in twelve star systems and Luke says, "I'll be careful" and he says, "you'll be dead." That should tell you how far, they went extremely far in my own case to destroy me, things I don't even talk about or can't because it's sealed. How far they went to just take you out as a person.
R.K.: Did they go after your family too?
T.D.: Yeah. I can't talk about it, okay? I can't.
R.K.: I understand.
T.D.: Not at this time.
R.K.: You know I have been dealing with Whistleblowers for seven or eight years now and I have gotten to know a lot of them and what I have learned is that part of the process in the institution that the Whistleblower blows the whistle on systematically tries to destroy your life by affecting your family, by affecting the people you deal with, they try to keep you from getting work, from making money, from having a business, and it is all the more reason that I believe that you are a hero with incredible courage to do what you have done.
T.D.: Look, I took an oath to support and defend the constitution. It was an idea, a great experiment in how to best govern ourselves. The very thing that James Madison was confronted by and that extraordinary winter at his estate in Virginia in the winter of 1786 staring out to the West to Blue Ridge as he sat back and contemplated knowing that the article of confederation had been utter failure and that new nation was really in a perilous shape and so the next summer, guess what?
That summer, in 1787 you have these extraordinary weeks of meetings with the founding fathers, to use that phrase which is over loaded, and out came a Constitution that went out to the thirteen original colonies for ratification, so that took a couple of years and that wasn't enough so they needed a Bill of Rights so that took a couple more years.
That was the grand experiment. I took an oath to defend that. I think it's still worth defending the grand experiment, I don't believe it's come to an end but it's certainly clear that there are those in government who think that the Constitution is a direct and compelling threat to the national security state so they just want to get rid of it and that's why the language even Obama uses, you have to reverse the language. It's less about defending the Constitution than it is about defending the homeland. Making Americans feel safe is another one of those overloaded phrases.
That was a phrase that even General Hayden would use as this broken record mantra, we just need to make Americans feel safe again and yet he was fundamentally part of why 9/11 happened. That didn't keep Americans out of harm's way. So he has the solution? But I guess they were two big to fail even though they were so big that they were culpable in a failure that didn't have to happen.
So you can understand the burden that I and others carry to this very day. It still is extremely difficult at times for me because it's always the what-if. It's the what-if of history and people said yeah, you got in the way Tom, but got in the way of what? Got in the way of an agency who decided to take the failure of 9/11 and turn it into an engine to generate vast amounts of money to come their way?
You know I still remember the fiftieth anniversary of NSA in 2002 and it was a big gala event, it was held in the large cafeteria in the main complex of NSA and I remember I was in the back, we're all dressed up and for a government celebration, it was quite something. I still have the coin and the little commemorative thing and you know I had flowers and they had the military band and everything else and it was all, a lot of pomp and circumstance, you had all the big-wigs at the head table including George Tenet and Hayden of course and you had former directors, deputy directors of NSA plus other dignitaries.
Well during, there's a lot of speeches that were given but Tim Samples who was then one of the house intel committee staffers was actually up on the dais with this big check, this big fake check like the ones you see on TV from Publisher's Clearing House so there's this gigantic fake check that has nine zeroes after a multi-single digit number so we're talking billions and he is handing this check to Hayden who is on the other side of the fake check and I remember Hayden had like this Cheshire grin on his face that only Hayden could have if you have gotten to know Hayden like I did in the executive session and I could see him mouthing the words though I could not hear them, he is pointing down at Tenet and he's pointing back at the check then he's pointing back at Tenet saying George, George, I got my money. I got my money. Like a little kid.
This is 9/11 but see Maureen Baginski, while we went around trying to console the workforce because they knew that we had failed the nation, we had failed to keep Americans and others out of harm's way. So we went around saying 9/11 is a gift to NSA, we'll get all the money we need and then some. This is really pathological so instead of actually acknowledging their own failure, they just simply said we're too big to fail, we have the power to cover up the truth which is precisely what they did. They knew where the skeletons were, they actually did an internal study.
That's the one thing I was never able to get a hold of. For all the accesses I had I was never able to get a hold of the internal study which is a multi volume retrospective analysis of what NSA knew, should have known, or didn't share. What happened is that the highest levels of NSA they generated a report and then buried it with the instructions that it will never see the light of day and no investigator will ever be given a copy and I am not aware of any investigator that was ever given a copy. But then I-
R.K.: You're talking about 9/11?
T.D.: Yeah it was specifically about 9/11. It was a retrospective analysis of NSA's role in 9/11. This is the pathology. They knew that they had failed. They knew that. But they were unwilling to acknowledge it. So by being unwilling to acknowledge it, 9/11 became, interestingly enough, became the frame for plausible deniability and you think about the pathology.
You have responsibility in 9/11 but you're denying that you do, so how do you compensate for it? And this is really critical I think as we wrap up here. It's really critical in terms of culture. To understand that NSA's response which is what I ran full head into it in those days and weeks after 9/11, their response was, you know what? We failed because we didn't have enough data.
Although they had enough data, but we didn't have enough data, we need to take it all, I don't care where it is, doesn't matter, just take it. That was precisely what happened and now we're twelve years later you have all of these bulk collection programs, more than I think will be ever disclosed, besides just the phone meta data collection program. You have all of these programs and it's not just NSA, you have got CIA, there was a report that came out even in the Wall Street Journal back from November 15, 2013 about CIA doing bulk copy collection of financial data including vast numbers of Americans. What's that about? What about the FBI?
I mean the FBI in some ways the FBI is getting to hide in the shadows of the CIA and the NSA. Because they're involved in all kinds of bulk copy collection but they don't call it that, because their primary instrument to gain access to all of this is national security letters. And that doesn't even take into account the fact that NSA has deployed huge numbers of hacker teams, who absent all these administrative subpoenas, NSLs, absent real warrants that still go before by the way there are real warrants issued by the secret court and absent the bulk warrant, what I call the general warrant orders like Verizon turning over all phone records each and every day to NSA which is still ongoing to this day, that has not stopped.
Leaving aside the fact that even if NSA doesn't have it it is given to third parties and they already have pending agreements with third parties that access their data anyway so what's the real difference other than there being a few more controls but that's never stopped NSA. But what about even if that is too constraining for NSA? Well let's just hack our way into these systems. Which they do. Because why?
Well we have proof of that with the Yahoo and Google offshore servers. Let's just upstream collect everything that's going in. That way we know we get it all. Which harkens back to when I used to fly in an RC135 listening in on East Germany because the Stasi motto was to know everything. Look, they have interviewed Stasi officers who said "we would drool at the prospect of having the technology of NSA for surveillance in what was our society".
And it's naïve, one of them I am paraphrasing, direct quote, although my German is not as good as it used to be, I can still read in German and understand much of what they say even the technical stuff, he actually said, "it's naïve, absolutely and utterly naïve for people to believe that when you collect all of this data that you don't use it for other purposes, especially surveillance data". Non-target surveillance data which allows you to target anybody at will.
Remember, this Stasi, people don't, you have got to understand the history, watch the Lives of Others, but the Stasi developed an extraordinary, I mean monstrously efficient filing system of surveillance. They had these incredibly well, unbelievably indexed analog, tabular format, they had their indexing scheme sort of like the Dewey decimal system in terms of traditional library card catalog system. They kept track of all of this information. It is so much easier to do in the digital space in fact you get lazy because hey I just have to run a few search routines and I can extract all kinds of information from the haystack.
The problem is if the data you're collecting is ostensibly for the purpose of finding needles then every straw becomes a needle so what's the difference? I can't tell the difference anymore which means I am going to actually lose, I am going to miss critical intelligence although the system is really good at finding stuff after the fact.
R.K.: Tom, if you were the President how would you change things?
T.D.: How would I (chuckles) change things? Besides the speech he gave today? That's not change, hope is not a strategy, the status quo is not change. You have got to remember the Machiavellian principle here, the ends justify the means and if the means are being disturbed you find other means. We modify.
R.K.: I believe that in addition to criticizing what's wrong you have got to put forward a vision of what you need. What would be the ideal?
T.D.: We have. Read the memo, the Open Letter to the President. We lay it all out in there. We issue twenty one recommendations. It's all there. We even had an op-ed in yesterday's USA Today, millions of newspapers across the country, we lay it out, it's plain text language for all to read and in particular the USA Today op-ed. That USA Today op-ed was speaking directly to Americans.
That's our answer to all of this Kabuki dance from the administration and we put it there on Thursday on purpose in anticipation of precisely what we expected the president would say. Look, if the oath that I took means anything, it means that you support and defend a way of governing called the Constitution, against all enemies foreign and domestic. What has happened is that our own government has become a clear and compelling danger to the Constitution. What that means is they have substituted the Constitution with an anathema form of government, alien form of government.
I absolutely resist it because I know what it's like to live under the boot of that alien form of government. They came closer than most people realize to putting me away for a long long time. It took an unbelievable amount of support and I have realized my own fortitude in this, I wasn't going to let them get to me. Why? Because there was too much at stake in terms of History.
Do you know what it means to actually keep your freedoms and never actually have them taken away? It means more to me now than ever and as the weeks and months have gone by and it's now been two and a half years since the conclusion of my five, six year ordeal starting in 2006 but the five year ordeal that ended in a pro forma sentence, I mean five years, what it means to actually keep your freedoms, it really means, I have a greater appreciation for the oath that I took now than I did then.
It means something. If it doesn't mean anything then we just become, we go back to the Middle Ages but a modern era version of that. The twenty first century where we have those who think they have the right to rule over us and there are no rights and you're beholden to the powers that be and you're serfs and servants, you're not citizens and sovereign human beings. I don't want to live in the kind of world, I don't want to be Winston in 1984 cowering in a corner because that's the only place that the cameras couldn't see which meant the cameras knew where he was. That's no life.
And so I have dedicated the rest of my life defending life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That's fundamental and you cannot live that life without defending the sovereignty and rights that all human beings are given.
R.K.: I am sure grateful for it and I know that our listeners and our readers will be too. You have done an amazing service for democracy, for freedom, for transparency, and you just can't be thanked enough Thomas, but thank you thank you thank you. You want to wrap up with anything? You have said enough unless you need to say anything else.
T.D.: No, obviously I am rather passionate about this, I mean it reminds me and I think I shared that at dinner the other night, it reminds me of the Star Trek episode the Wrath of Khan and Star Trek in terms of a reflection of our society and the greater themes of society both the positives and negatives, I think Gene Roddenberry's original vision is a way to express all of our contradictions but also hold up a mirror at the same time and in the movie Spock sacrifices his life for the sake of the crew and there's that famous line where Kirk, his best friend is asking him "why Spock, why?" because he's in the chamber and he is being irradiated to death, he says, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one." This in the end, in my own case was never about me.
Snowden, it was never about Snowden. I made a fateful decision myself both within the system and outside the system. I am fortunate that I have a voice and that I can speak freely but that was not the case for quite some time. I was made stateless in my own country by virtue of having my passport confiscated. I was criminalized for my First Amendment activity. My Whistleblowing was considered an act of treason against the State. Capital S.
I was severely restricted from traveling, I could not leave the immediate area without the permission of the court for fourteen months and the government had the right of first refusal. The government actually argued in my arraignment before Judge Richard Bennet in the Federal District Court House the week after I was indicted that I was a flight risk. That is how they viewed me. I became an enemy of the state.
Snowden was made stateless on purpose, conveniently so by the United States Government revoking his passport, that's how he ended up stuck in the transit zone in Moscow. He never intended on going to live in Russia. That was never his intent. He actually had tickets, there's proof of that, in fact there's a famous picture of the seat where it was him and Sarah Harrison were on their way to Latin America.
Well he got stuck in the transit zone because he was rendered stateless. But he has a voice even from Russia of all places. I mean it's remarkable to me and I will be the first to acknowledge that the safest place for him right now is actually in Russia and believe me I am well aware of history here and the contradictions of that history. Wow who would have thunk it was Russia that actually granted him temporary asylum under international law and right now at this time, I mean there's Western powers that should know better and grant him asylum but they won't because it's apparently politically untenable and the United States has made it very difficult for even other Western Powers who themselves have been under the boot of the surveillance, the international surveillance state.
Well these are all, this is all this world here and out of all of this, what are we supposed to, that's not a society I want to live in and some people say, well if you don't want to live in this society why don't you go live in Russia with Snowden? He ended the only, think about it, he saw what happened to me and the others and it had gotten worse under Obama in particular, Bush never went this far, even he in his own memoirs said that the whole thing about the secret surveillance programs, in fact I think Bush in some ways had a much more balanced perspective although he regretted having ceded so much of the National Security Portfolio to Cheney but even Bush, for all his contractions in his memoir said it was just a policy difference, why would we prosecute, criminalize it?
There's a policy difference. Obviously it was far more than a policy difference, it was a fundamental constitutional issue but Bush cast it in terms of just differences of opinion. It took Obama to actually use the Espionage Act to prosecute those who would dare speak truth to or of power.
It's extremely dangerous right now to speak up, especially about National Security matters because as soon as you do, they're saying you're revealing sources and methods, you're making us look bad, you're endangering, remember if you look at my own indictment, it is made crystal clear in this extended narrative prior to count one, one of ten felony counts by the way, but in that narrative, the kind of damage that my activities, the damage that it did to national security is of the highest kind, the highest. Grave, not just dangerous, not just severe, but grave!
R.K.: And then they dropped every one of those charges, you know-
T.D.: They dropped the wrong-
R.K.: It seems to me like the people who did that lied and they abused the system. Where is the accountability for them?
T.D.: Okay so take, where is the accountability? That's correct. And what does it mean for our system of government to have that lack of accountability where now instead of law those in power simply use their position and the information is a currency of power. So as licensed to engage in all manner of conduct that actually undermines our national security, I can make an extremely powerful case that what the government has been doing for the past twelve years as a result of the too big to fail mantra although they were so critically part of the failure of 9/11, they have actually weakened our national security.
The evidence is pretty compelling because if used as a self-fulfilling chronological justification in terms of the ends you are actually see the evidence, well we just need even more security and we need more money and we need more data because obviously every failure meant we didn't have enough of it to begin with. Where does that lead? I mean, never mind the socioeconomic cost, what does it do to us as citizens in a society?
R.K.: So when you say their too big to fail mentality, you mean we need to get so big that we can't fail, is that the idea?
T.D.: Yeah well remember, go back to what I said in terms of the original institutional culture, you want absolute certainty. You want absolute security in our society, then you have to impose surveillance on a broad scale and it's a growth industry. That's how you achieve certainty but the pathology of it has become even more paranoïd because the more you control, guess what, it's like Tarkin, it's what Princess Leia said, guess what, the more you squeeze, the more will slip through your fingers. Using a Star Wars analogy...
That's precisely what happens. But see here is the difference and I think this part of the challenge that we have as We The People, in order to form a more perfect union just remembering who and where the focus of the Constitution really is for all of its own faults and contradictions, is it really lies with us in the end. It does truly lie with us. We The People. But maybe it doesn't matter.
I mean back during the battle days, the good ole', remember I told you the NSA looked fondly, actually wistfully even opined about returning to the days when the enemy was known and true, we didn't have all of this asymmetric and low intensity conflict and warfare and all of this. Well what's Obama's answer to all of this? Clean kills and the surveillance and secret armies and that's going to keep up safe, right? Well all of this is coming home to roost, for what? I mean we're militarizing our police forces.
He makes direct reference to this in his own speech. He doesn't say it directly in this way trickle down effect, all of this over the last ten, twelve years, well if you militarize you look at everything through the eyes of the military and the global battle field, everything, well guess what? That hammer, you bring that hammer out and everything does look like a nail so obviously if you bulk copy by definition the mindset is anything you collect at some point may have suspicion even if it doesn't now.
And it doesn't matter if it's targeted or not, it's just that I need it. And in fact here's the wacky pathology, we only apply the procedures, as I started to bleakly reference earlier, when it comes to actual criminal cases. But like mine for example, so when it's an actual criminal case we can use this information very carefully to process all that applies. But when it comes to everything else if it's not an actual criminal case it's just a mere investigation at large, hey we don't have to have any controls effectively we just take it all.
And heck I have got a blanket order from the court that lets me get all the phone data anyway so who cares? Just think of that pathology. Where does that ultimately lead? Because you actually erode the very fabric of your own governance structure, because in the end everything turns on itself because there's nothing else left to turn to. I don't want to live in that kind of society, I just don't.
And I have got people in my own circle who says Tom why are you spending so much time, or in some cases some people are even more direct, wasting your time going, putting yourself out in public after all that you went through, why are you doing this? Well if freedom means anything, if liberty means anything, if the rights, inalienable rights of sovereign human beings under natural law means anything, then I am going to defend them because the prospect of living in a society that doesn't have that as it's foundation, I just don't find real attractive.
R.K.: Now when I interviewed you a couple of years ago and I asked what do you want people to do and how do we solve this and you said that the answer is the Press and people voting. And I replied then and I still think that we can't expect much from congress but something else came out in our conversation at dinner and that was that Whistleblowers are coming out even more. That's a hopeful thing.
T.D.: Yes it is.
R.K.: Can you talk a little bit about that?
T.D.: Look, I'm not, I don't look at my fellow American citizens or even other citizens of the world as just objects. I don't dismiss them as much as the government does, this is one of the wacky pathologies of power is that you believe that you actually do have the right to rule over others and they're beholden to you because hey you have got the power and they don't, that makes you better, makes you special, and then you compensate for it because deep down you know you're only using it to compensate but you don't want to admit to that. I have a lot more faith in my fellow citizens, I really do.
But I know in some cases we're slow to awake and I hear this, having come back from a University talk, any number of other, I'll be speaking at the Liberty forum, the Free State Project up in Nashville and New Hampshire in about a month, and I am putting together the speech as we speak, I'm going straight to the heart of the matter about what's at stake in our future and what does it mean to live free.
I mean it's interesting because that's the live free or die state, right? Don't tread on me. I grew up in Vermont, next door neighbor sandwiched in between New Hampshire and New York so it is We The People but I actually have a lot more faith, I don't look at my fellow citizens as cynically as the government does, remember, here's the thing about governance, it's supposed to be by consent, you govern by consent.
You don't govern by secrecy and it's, you know it's by consent. That's an opt-in, not an opt-out. There is the paradox, most people give the government wide berth to do it's stuff because most people don't want to run rule over others and governance frankly, having seen it from the inside out is like sausage being made. When you see sausage made it's not a pleasant thing to see so even Bismark said that back in the late 19th century about the sausage making of politics. Not pleasant.
But I actually have greater faith in the American public and even citizens in the world at large. Recognizing and being realistic about secret power, Lord Acton's warning about what happens with power. Power does tend to corrupt but it's clear that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Combine that with extraordinary access to information, combine that with secrecy and you have a witch's brew, a Pandora's box.
R.K.: And on that I think we need to wrap. I think that's a good place to wrap and I want to thank you again and keep up the great work and keep us up to date on what's going on with you.
T.D.: I will and I appreciate the opportunity to speak to your listening audience and I look forward to speaking with you again.
R.K.: Thank you so much.