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.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.