NSA Whistleblower reveals scary details of government's spying ability

Last night, news broke that the federal government has been tapping into the servers of nine major internet companies allowing them to access phone records, e-mail, web chats, photographs and documents. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple are all reported to be a part of this program, code-named PRISM. TheBlaze has been covering the troubling surveillance state and reporting the information released by whistleblowers, and today Glenn welcomed crypto-mathematician and 36 year NSA employee William Binney to speak on the issue.

Transcript below:

GLENN: The whistleblowers we have talked to had guns pointed at their heads by our FBI for trying to tell you the truth. Thank goodness people are starting to listen. William Binney is one of them. He is ‑‑ you were with the NSA for 40 years. What was your title at the NSA?

BINNEY: Well, I rose up to be the Technical Director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Group which was about 6,000 analysts which, you know, that was basically the intelligence reporting of NSA.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me what, how bad ‑‑ tell the American people who might be listening for the very first time ‑‑ because this is no longer theory now; this is out there ‑‑ tell us exactly the truth and what the White House and the members of congress don't want you to know.

[...]

BINNEY:  I see that the whole program started early in ‑‑ or late, late or mid to late October 2001, and it started by pulling in just a toll record or the phone records from various telephone companies of U.S. citizens making phone calls anywhere in the world or in the United States. So that total accumulation I estimated about 3 billion U.S.‑to‑U.S. phone calls every day. So that was being indexed. So that was building your communities of interest out of that so that who you talk to daily or ‑‑ and how you interact with them was being recorded and could be timelined so you could look at a timeline and see how people interact with others. This included the senators, House Representatives, everybody.

So then in 2003 with Mark Klein's disclosure of the NARIS devices on the fiberoptic lines of the ‑‑ inside the United States of America, that started to say, well, they are spreading around inside this country to somewhere between 10 and 20 sites the capacity to collect e‑mails and any other activity on the Internet and store it, okay? So that gave them that information. This is the intelligence community doing it. You know, you hear all the requests for the FBI to get the information, but that's only because the FBI needs it to get to go into court. And you can't use NSA‑collected data for court because it's not acquired by a warrant. But if the FBI has to request a warrant to get it, then they can take it into court to ‑‑

GLENN: Okay. So why did the president have to go and say, "I want William Rosen's stuff"? Because he intended on prosecuting? Or James Rosen?

BINNEY: I think it's ‑‑ excuse me, Glenn. But I think it's to intimidate reporters for the main part, but also there probably is somebody they're interested in prosecuting that's been, you know, talking to Jim Rosen or to the AP. There's more in there. Maybe they were interested in the stories that the AP was trying to develop. So by getting that kind of data, they could take it into court and show the relationships that would imply, you know, who was leaking information or who was ‑‑ or they couldn't ‑‑ they could assert that as an allegation for an indictment.

PAT: We're talking to NSA whistleblower William Binney. William, what do you say to people who claim, "Well, I don't ‑‑ I don't care if they're collecting information on me. I'm not doing anything wrong anyway. What are they going to do with it?" What do you say to those people who just don't understand what this is all about?

BINNEY: Well, you can only try to point out examples of things that go on that could very well be a part of this. Like, for example, all of the IRS targeting of the TEA Party. I've said early on several years ago that if you wanted to know who was involved in the TEA Party, this kind of activity would lay out their entire structure and the whole ‑‑ everybody who's involved in it, no matter where they are inside the country. And that information then could be passed to the IRS to target people.

PAT: What do you think ‑‑ what do you think the administration is doing with this information now? Are they doing anything nefarious with it? Are ‑‑ I mean, will they turn this against us?

BINNEY: I think they are already doing that.

PAT: Yeah.

BINNEY: But ‑‑ to a certain degree. But certainly that's been my major, my major concern is that that's how ‑‑ that's how totalitarian states begin. Once you have that kind of information about the population, you can now control your population. This has been historically true down through the ages of how these totalitarian states work. I mean, the KGB did it when Russia, the Gestapo did it in Germany and 00

PAT: Yeah, look how much further we can go than the KGB did with the technology available.

GLENN: This is way beyond. There wouldn't be a Jew alive on the planet today if they had this information.

BINNEY: They could never have dreamed of having this kind of capability.

GLENN: Okay. So tell me that ‑‑ because I've heard conflicting reports on this and I would like to get your opinion because I believe I know what is capable. They are saying that, two things: One, oh, no, they're just connecting the dots. They are not ‑‑ they don't have access to any conversations or anything." Then on the other side of that I've heard they can take every keystroke. So in other words, you start writing an e‑mail and you can delete, delete, delete, delete, and they'll have what you wrote and all of the deletes if they care to open those packages. True or false?

BINNEY: That's true. I mean, their statement about we don't have content is an outright lie. I mean, that's been going on ‑‑

PAT: Wow.

BINNEY: ‑‑ the NARIS devices from 2003 give them that data. Even the telcoms. If you looked at that report on Prism, they were requesting information like e‑mails, you know, videos, all kinds. That's all content.

GLENN: So Bill, they have ‑‑ I know this. We started getting on this because we had Michael Chertoff and John Ashcroft on on days when Bush was still in office and neither of them would go online. Neither of them would have a phone or and they just laughed at me. And they were like, if you knew what we could do, you wouldn't have it either. And we started talking about it at that point.

BINNEY: Yeah.

GLENN: And so it won't really stop because how do you dismantle something like this? First of all, for all of those members of the media that were talking about these things via conspiracy theory, what the hell did they build the Utah information vault for? How do you dismantle something like this?

I listened to Lindsey Graham give his testimony and I thought to myself, "Gee, Lindsey, what is it they have on you?"

BINNEY: Yeah.

GLENN: What is it they have on you because this doesn't make any ‑‑ what you're saying is totalitarian in its end.

BINNEY: I agree, Glenn. I mean, it's really disturbing what he's saying. I mean, I couldn't understand why he couldn't stand up for the Constitution.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: So how do you end it? So how do you end it? Does it end?

BINNEY: I mean, it's going to take radical action by the people just to vote these idiots out of office.

GLENN: But they ‑‑ again, I go back to what George Bush said to me, you know, "my hands are ‑‑ my hands are tied pretty much, I have no real decisions." Who is going to shut down? It's really not about the elected officials. You know, one thing I thought of was I don't believe for a second John Roberts, because I've read the ‑‑ I've read the ruling. He was on the other side and didn't even have enough chance ‑‑ time to really even rout out all of the things that he was writing. He was on the other side, and he comes in for the ruling and he's blurry eyed and looked like he's been crying all night. I mean, honestly what gives me any kind of confidence that that man wasn't called up by somebody and says, "John, John, John. I don't think you're going to vote that way because of X, Y or Z." I mean ‑‑

PAT: If they are doing this to congress, they are certainly doing it to Supreme Court justices. I mean, that's a possibility, right?

GLENN: Right.

BINNEY: Well, they're all in it. I mean, it's not ‑‑ all their data's being collected. So that's certainly possible.

GLENN: Okay. Bill, I sure appreciate all of the heat that you have taken for so long, and you have been ‑‑ you have been vindicated through this story and I unfortunately ‑‑

BINNEY: Yes, unfortunately.

GLENN: ‑‑ unfortunately know that that is not something that you celebrate.

BINNEY: Yeah.

GLENN: But I thank you, and thank you for all of the help that you have given the country. And I'd like to have you on again maybe next week to talk about encouraging other whistleblowers, in anything that we can do, anything we can do as people to help encourage those who know, who might have a guilty conscience and just have been like, "I don't know what to do" and they feel trapped. How can we help them? So ‑‑

BINNEY: Yeah. Well, certainly there still are people like that because these exposures are coming out.

GLENN: Yeah. And it's amazing, they are coming out even at the time when the administration is doing their damnedest to intimidate and scare them.

BINNEY: Yeah, that's right.

GLENN: It gives me a little bit of hope.

BINNEY: Yeah.

GLENN: Thank you very much, Bill.

BINNEY: Okay, thanks.

GLENN: Appreciate it. One of the chief guys from the NSA, William Binney, and we will talk to him again.

10 survival lessons from the Great Depression

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As we've seen with the 2008 Great Recession and the stock market ups and downs the past few weeks, our society will never be immune to negative economic outcomes.

Whether it be a stock market crash or a foreign attack on our banking systems, there are a variety of potential situations that could negatively impact our financial well-being as individuals and as a country.

Fortunately, there's a lot we can learn about preparation for economic worst-case scenarios simply by looking at the recent past—the Great Depression, for example.

The Great Depression started when the stock market crashed in 1929 and lasted until 1939. By its lowest point in 1933, roughly 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half the country's banks had failed.

Thanks to human resilience and creativity, many people were able to survive this tough time in U.S. history.

That's why today I'm sharing ten concrete survival tips we can glean from the Great Depression. Understanding what people did to survive during this tough economic period helps us to prepare in advance for similar situations.

With tightening monetary policies and geopolitical risks, Morgan Stanley analysts have determined that 2018 is on track to be the most volatile since the financial crisis.

There's no better time to read this list and prepare yourself and your loved ones.

And with that, here they are...

#1 Grow your own food

During periods of economic hardship, the last thing you want to do is rely on external systems for your own food sources.

During the Great Depression, the United States' industrial production dropped by half.

Farmers couldn't afford to harvest their crops, and bread lines, soup kitchens, and rising numbers of homeless people became fairly common in America's towns and cities.

About 20 percent of the population lived on farms. Fortunately, many city dwellers still had gardening knowledge from their country days. If your family had a cow and a garden, you were considered rich.

Today, with a growing urban population, it's less common to possess basic gardening knowledge. We've lost that skill overall in our culture.

But in the case that grocery stores become too expensive or simply run out of food during a financial meltdown, it will be essential to know how to grow your own food.

Take the time now to learn how to plant and harvest foods—whether in your house, backyard, or on your rooftop.

At My Patriot Supply, we have a product called the Survival Seed Vault by Patriot Seeds, which are perfect for gardens like those grown during the depression.

Containing 21 varieties of USDA Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds, they can last 5+ years in proper storage.

#2 Learn to hunt, fish and forage

Like learning to garden, it's equally important to learn to find and hunt your own animal protein sources...before disaster strikes.

If you have a family member or friend who's experienced, there's no better time than now to ask for a lesson in the basics. Who knows? Maybe you'll discover a new hobby along the way.

During the Great Depression, foraging for edible plants helped many people sustain themselves.

For example, nuts and wild asparagus were common findings for families that would go out foraging for the day. Identify the areas in your local community where you can find and harvest additional food. Keeping a deck of Edible Wild Foods Playing Cards nearby would be of help as well.

#3 Turn to a barter system if banking systems shut down

In the years and decades before the Great Depression, banks were revered. No one ever considered the idea that they could fail and that their money would simply disappear. When many of the banks closed down as a result of the crisis, the only cash people had was whatever they had on hand or stored up at home. This was unfortunate, because the banks would close down with virtually no warning—leaving no time to go make cash withdrawals from accounts. And people were forced to rely on other forms of value exchange.

Bartering is an age-old practice that human civilizations have used for generations—even before banks were created.

During the Depression, payment was often made with eggs, fresh milk or produce. Bartering was also beneficial because it meant that families could add different types of food to their meals—expanding the variety of produce they could consume.

Bartering makes an additional case for learning to grow, hunt and forage for food—it gives you more of a base to use in negotiations and trades. Bear in mind that food isn't the only valuable item—during the Depression, things like wood could be collected, split and exchanged as firewood.

In our modern-day context, everything from additional fuel for camp stoves to ammunition for weapons can be valuable barter items. See our recent Survival Scout article on the Top 15 Items That Disappear When Disasters Strike for more valuable barter items.

#4 Be as resourceful as possible

If you have a grandparent or parent that lived through the Great Depression, you've likely heard or seen them express values of resourcefulness and frugality. They were our last, truly self-reliant generation.

For example, they might tell stories about how they used...

  • Pieces of rubber tires as replacement soles when shoes were worn through.
  • Anything and everything you might find in the kitchen or that was donated by others to make what became known as "Depression Soup."
  • Flour-sacks to make dresses.
  • Newspapers to wrap presents.

Knowing how to reuse and recycle everything was the name of the game in those days—and something we can all benefit from.

Challenge yourself to see everything as multifunctional, and get creative with what various items can be used for, in the event that your resources are depleted.

#5 Sleep outside during heat waves

Air conditioning is a luxury many of us take for granted. In the case that it becomes too much to afford or your unit breaks and replacement parts cost you a small fortune, you'll need to find ways to beat the heat.

During the summer months of the Great Depression, it wasn't uncommon to see whole families sleeping on their front lawns or in local parks.

Additionally, they would use other cool-down tactics such as hanging wet sheets over doorways. Hot air was slightly cooled as it passed through the wet fabric.

#6 Strengthen family and community bonds

During the Great Depression, it wasn't uncommon to have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins living in the same house or vehicle. With so many displaced, it was critical to rely on extended family for help.

The same was true of neighbors, and you'd see people donating meals and money whenever possible. Some communities even organized what they called "surprise parties." They would collect food and necessities (including cash), and then designate a particular family to receive the collection at each surprise party.

This spirit of generosity and community bonds is apparent in many stories from the Depression. The people who did well during this difficult time were often those who depended on family and friends and were able to be depended on by others.

Take the time to establish and strengthen these bonds, with neighbors and your local community, now—don't wait until an economic collapse makes everyone desperate.

#7 Be a jack-of-all-trades

When it came to finding work during the Depression, it helped to be a jack-of-all-trades. These people could often find work when others couldn't.

The following skills will come in handy during periods of hardship:

  • Sewing/knitting
  • Fixing plumbing
  • Home or car repairs
  • Gardening, canning/food preserving
  • Sharpening or making tools
  • Butchering and curing meat
  • Metal- or woodworking
  • Gunsmithing
  • Cheese or candle making
  • Recognizing wild edibles

In our knowledge-based economy today, handymen and jacks-of-all-trades are harder to come by. Develop a competitive advantage and learn these skills now. They will certainly come in handy (no pun intended) later.

#8 Stock up on supplies

During the Great Depression, housewives could be judged by how many jars they had "put up" during harvest season.

When things go awry, you can bet that items will be flying off the shelves at local stores. Don't wait until then to stock up on the essentials, or to start canning and jarring your own food. Make sure you have enough stored up to last you for several months, at the very least.

To get you started, at My Patriot Supply, we sell a Three-Month Emergency Food Supply that can provide you with a strong hedge against economic downturn. With a 25-year shelf life, this supply includes delicious meals that average 2,000+ calories per day for one person.

#9 Don't rely on credit cards or loans

Too many of us rely on credit cards and loans from the bank to make big-ticket purchases.

However, during the Depression, many people had to buy their first cars and homes in one lump sum since they couldn't rely on a bank to give them a loan. To do this, they would live with family members and save whatever cash they could as they worked.

Avoid taking out a loan and going into debt—and start saving a supply of cash now.

You should also make sure you have a supply of assets outside of cash or credit. Whether it be houses, land or precious metals, make wise investments into long-lasting items of value. As we've seen with the Great Depression, keeping the majority of your wealth and money stored at the bank isn't exactly the most secure solution.

#10 Remain positive 

Aside from relying on barter systems, growing your own food, and learning to hunt and scavenge, there's a great deal of mental resilience needed to survive tough events like the Great Depression.

According to Murray Hunn, head of global research at Elliott Wave International, "We think the major economies are on the cusp of this turning into the worst recession we have seen in 10 years."

With predictions like this, there's cause for preparation.

And as one woman who survived the Great Depression shared, "Poppy always said the world turns and everything that has happened would happen again. I am sure if he were still with us today he would be warning us to start a garden and buy some chickens."

Take these lessons in stride, and learning from the past makes all the difference when life as we know it changes drastically.


This article originally appeared on MyPatriotSupply.com.

Betting on Beto

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If you're a Republican candidate and you lose a national election, it's pretty much curtains for you.

Not so if you're a Democrat! In fact, losing on the national stage is almost a prerequisite for becoming president. Take Hillary Clinton for an example, just off the top of my head. She had her coronation stolen in 2008 by some guy named Barack Obama. If she'd been a Republican she would've gone the way of, well, Sarah Palin. Instead, Hillary scrapped and clawed her way back to the nomination. Surely, surely her 2016 loss would be the final nail in the coffin of her presidential dreams. Except Democrats are so unsure of themselves, and so terrified of President Trump, that it would not be that surprising if they handed her the keys to the party machine for the third time in 2020.

RELATED: The midterms proved at least one thing, voters couldn't care less about celebrity endorsements

Many Democrats would like to see Hillary's revenge in 2020, but a lot more dream of a world in which Barack and Michelle Obama rule as king and queen for life. Since a constitutional amendment to abolish term limits is unlikely, however, Democrats are ready to run with the next best thing – Hope & Change 2.0 himself, Beto O'Rourke. They're already spinning his loss to Ted Cruz in the Senate race as a huge positive because now he's freed up to focus on running for president! And by that, they really mean he's freed up to start raising boatloads of cash for the party.

Granted, if Bobby Frank had defeated Cruz, the Democratic primaries would already be over. His presidential nomination would've been a done deal. But Dems won't let a little Senate race loss deter destiny. Yesterday, one Democratic strategist said:

"I hate to say this because it would piss off a lot of Democrats but the fact is, we have so many people and we really have nobody that's thrilling, nobody that would send a thrill up Chris Matthews' leg except for Beto."

That pretty much sums up the left's presidential criteria – Chris Matthews' level of leg-thrill.

That pretty much sums up the left's presidential criteria – Chris Matthews' level of leg-thrill. That and universal health care.

Beto told MSNBC last week that he won't run for president in 2020. Playing hard to get is another Democratic prerequisite for a White House run. Beto-mania is just getting started.

We are all Asia Bibi today

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You were just listening to the sounds of an angry mob in Pakistan, ravenously demanding the execution of a Christian woman for blasphemy. If you are a Christian in the world today, welcome to the first century. I know some people are saying, "But Glenn this is in Pakistan!" I will tell you this, if we continue to have this blasé attitude… the ravenous calls for the death of anyone, simply for their religious beliefs, will spread like a raging out of control wildfire. This morning, WE ARE ALL this Pakistani Christian woman.

How is it that we have come full circle? Where the persecution that Jesus' apostles and the first Christians endured by the Romans is now - again - standard fare in places like the Middle East. But the cowardice I saw from our cousin in the United Kingdom over this situation has me truly horrified. It's rare to be witness to such a cowardly act that the British just committed, and it all centers around this young woman from Pakistan.

RELATED: Apparently religious liberty doesn't apply to Christians in Pakistan

Asia Bibi was picking berries with a few other farmworkers in a remote Pakistani field back in 2009. But when a supervisor asked her to get some water, her life changed forever. Christians in Pakistan have always been on the receiving end of bigotry and persecution, so it probably wasn't a surprise to Asia when two muslim women began to fight with her, saying they wouldn't drink from anything that had been touched by a Christian. But it all spun out of control when the two muslim women claimed she had insulted Mohammad. A crime punishable by death. Despite the fact that no one else could verify this claim, Asia has been in prison ever since.

Pakistan's Supreme Court just acquitted Asia and set her free. Apparently it's kind of a bad precedent if you condemn a person to death based off of mere hearsay. But the mob didn't care. They wanted blood. They've been out in the streets demanding Asia's death. CRUCIFY HER!

The only chance for her and her family is to get the heck out of dodge before the mob takes "justice" into their own hands. You'd think an asylum claim would be an easy slam dunk… Europe has been taking in refugees by the millions. Quite literally by the millions. But the UK has denied Asia and her family asylum. Why? Because they fear the quote "unrest" that might spring up in British streets from the countries swelling Muslim population. Are you kidding me? Where are the people that once said this, "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER." Where are those people? Where's the courage? Where's the decency?

The only chance for her and her family is to get the heck out of dodge before the mob takes "justice" into their own hands.

If you want to know what true manifested cowardice is, I give you the British Government. And - to the Women's Marchers and new wave feminists - if you want to know what a true war on women is and real bigotry… try being a woman and - God forbid - a Christian woman in places like Pakistan… and now apparently in places like the UK. President Trump should grant this woman and her family immediate asylum here in the United States. Now is the time to lead and show the world our compassion and greatness.

For if we don't… no one - not even our supposed friends and allies - will do it in our absence.

SHOCKER: Avenatti's claims against Tucker Carlson are nothing but lies

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"The personal is political."

It started as a slogan used by feminists in the 1960s. Like most slogans, it falls apart if you examine it long enough, but it's generally understood to mean that, women and minorities, the struggles they face are directly connected to the patriarchy. It has since come to take on many more meanings, but mostly it's a way of saying "my feelings = truth."

Now, the personal is so political that the political has become personal. It's everywhere. Thanks to the radically-left-leaning forefathers of postmodernism, every single word is political. So if anything we say offends someone on the Left, it is not just personal, it is a political act. Even worse, having a difference in opinion can be seen as a personal insult.

RELATED: Welcome to mob rule

We're seeing it constantly. Ted Cruz heckled out of a restaurant. Sarah Sanders kicked out of a restaurant. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi chased out of a movie about Mister Rogers. The entire Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, for that matter. And it's escalating. Verbal abuse isn't good enough, as seen last week with the Antifa protestors who broke down Tucker Carlson's front door and screamed threats.

Yesterday, Michael Avenatti claimed on Twitter that he is investigating Tucker Carlson for "alleged assault" on a "gay Latino immigrant." Sounds about as plausible as Avenatti's ridiculous claims that Brett Kavanaugh was a serial rapist in high school, Carlson responded.

As is expected, Avenatti wasn't telling the truth. Officials from the Farmington Country Club, where the incident happened, have confirmed it. They revoked the man's membership. Turns out he was the aggressor. Turns out Tucker Carlson was at dinner with two of his kids and some friends, when a middle-aged man called Carlson's 19-year-old daughter "Tucker's whore" and said she was "a f----g c—t."

When Carlson approached the guy, he proudly admitted that he'd said it. Carlson wrote:

I love my children. It took enormous self-control not to beat the man with a chair, which is what I wanted to do. I think any father can understand the overwhelming rage and shock that I felt seeing my teenage daughter attacked by a stranger. But I restrained myself. I did not assault this man, and neither did my son. That is a lie. Nor did I know the man was gay or Latino, not that it would have mattered. What happened on October 13 has nothing to do with identity politics. It was a grotesque violation of decency. I've never seen anything like it in my life.

The political is personal. A middle-aged man feels so personally insulted and outraged by Tucker Carlson's political views, his different opinions, that he responds with a personal insult to Carlson's daughter.

The c-word.

Is this the world that those early feminists—with their "the personal is political signs"—is this what they wanted? How have things gotten so turned around that it's considered progressive that a grown man can call a teenage girl the c-word, the most heinous and degrading word used to demean women?

Not everything is personal, not everything is political. That's the reality.

Tucker was right to restrain himself. It's the best response. Violence is not the answer. We have to keep our heads. It is unbelievably hard sometimes. It gets a little harder every time we see something like what happened to Tucker. But it's the only way. Not everything is personal, not everything is political. That's the reality. And hopefully, if we keep our composure long enough, we can prove it. Hopefully they find a better slogan, one that calms people down instead of inciting outrage.

In the meantime, can we all agree that nobody—no one at all, especially a grown man—should verbally assault a teenage girl because her daddy hurt his feelings?