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episode 135: “A Woke CIA is a Broke CIA” with Fred Fleitz and Mike Waller
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Length: 47.50 minutes
“I used to struggle with imposter syndrome, but at age thirty six I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I am tired of feeling like I'm supposed to apologize for the space I occupied rather than intoxicate people with my effort, my brilliance. I am proud of me, full stop.” Is this a quote from a self-help workshop in a “safe space” on a u
about episode 135
“I used to struggle with imposter syndrome, but at age thirty six I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I am tired of feeling like I’m supposed to apologize for the space I occupied rather than intoxicate people with my effort, my brilliance. I am proud of me, full stop.” Is this a quote from a self-help workshop in a “safe space” on a university campus? No, it’s taken from a recent CIA recruitment ad. What’s going on here? What kind of people does the CIA want to recruit? American national security agencies are charged with protecting the United States and its citizens from foreign threats to our safety and liberties. But it seems that “national security” is no longer just about threats to our freedom from external enemies. Our national security agencies have been drifting leftward for decades and have become increasingly “woke” and hostile to political adversaries. Recently former CIA Chief John Brennan declared that political libertarians in America should now be considered domestic terror threats. How did this happen? Where do we go from here? For some answers and to explore these troubling trends are my guests, Fred Fleitz, the President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, and Dr. Michael Waller, the Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy. Social Justice recruiting must not be the mission of the CIA. As Fred puts it, “the CIA does serious work. CIA officers handle extremely classified information, and if used well lives can be saved. If it is misused, people die.” External enemies still abound and it’s clear that they now include China. I asked Mike whether we should also worry about the Chinese penetrating our Agencies? His answer: “Absolutely.” To learn how this could be happening, join me in this wide ranging and disturbing examination of America’s national security establishment.
episode 135 transcript
Episode 135: “A Woke CIA is a Broke CIA” with Fred Fleitz and Mike Waller
Speaker 1 (00:04):
Welcome to the Bill Walton Show, featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and thinkers. Fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics, and human flourishing. Interesting people, interesting things.
Bill Walton (00:24):
Welcome to the Bill Walton show. I’m Bill Walton. For years our American national security agencies have been charged with protecting the United States and its citizens from foreign threats to our safety, but National Security is no longer just about threats to our freedom from external enemies, for conservatives we also need to be concerned about our enemies within. For decades our security agencies, you know the alphabet soup agencies, the CIA, DIA, DOD, NSA, and even the FBI have been drifting leftward, and as we will talk about today, increasingly woke. And they’re beginning to target those who disagree with their politics.
Recently former CIA Chief John Brennan declare that political Libertarians in America should now be considered domestic terror threats. How did this happen? Where do we go from here? Join me to explore this troubling trend as Fred Fleitz, the President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, and Dr. Michael Waller, the Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy, both have many decades of experience in National Security, with Fred most recently serving as a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump. Mike holds a PhD in International Security Affairs, and got his start as an insurgent with the Nicaraguan contras. I don’t know where we go from there guys. Mike, Fred, your achievements, I’ve got your resumes, they go on for pages, but I thought we’d jump right into this. I don’t know Fred, why don’t we kick off with you. What’s going on with these agencies? And there’s a recruiting ad that I want to run fairly soon about who the CIA thinks their new employees ought to be.
Fred Fleitz (02:17):
Well, Bill, it’s great to be here. I think there are many conservatives who think that our intelligence agencies went off the rails, went into politicization during the Trump administration. That’s actually not true. I was with the CIA for 25 years, and I’ve seen extraordinary politicization throughout my career. I remember in the mid-2000’s when efforts by the CIA to stop George Bush from being re-elected led The Wall Street Journal to run an editorial titled, The CIA Insurgency. We know in the 60s that there were efforts by CIA managers to tell analysts to keep politics out of your work. We know where these people come from. They come from universities, they’re top liberal professors.
It got much worse during the Trump administration, and I think we have to be honest that part of this was the Trump administration’s fault. I think that the present would be the first to say that if he was reelected he was really going to clean house. I think he got some bad advice on some top managers. He started to fix that with the nomination of John Radcliffe and Rick Ranelle to intelligence positions. When you’re an outsider president, you come into Washington, you had to deal with what you inherit. And I could see things improving as the administration went on, but the key thing here is that conservative presidents have to put in top leadership at a variety of levels to keep these agencies honest, to keep politics out of their work, because there is a drift towards the left that is getting worse and worse. I think it can be countered, but it was not countered effectively over the last four years.
Bill Walton (03:53):
Mike, what do you see? You’ve been through this stuff for decades.
Mike Waller (03:56):
Yeah, it’s been going on when I was an underground in Reagan’s first time. I wanted to go into the CIA, and I had a professor who was an active duty intelligence officer who moonlighted as an adjunct professor at George Washington University, and he took me aside and said, “You don’t want to go there.” “Why?” He says, “You’re too conservative. They’ll grind you down. They’ll chew you up. They’ll spit you out.”
Bill Walton (04:16):
This was in the 80s?
Mike Waller (04:17):
Bill Walton (04:18):
Mike Waller (04:19):
When Bill Casey was CIA director. This is when the CIA didn’t even want to analyze Soviet active measures campaigns. The propaganda campaigns, and the guerrilla insurgencies, and terrorist campaigns against the United States, when they were denying that the Soviets were behind international terrorism. So, when Reagan and Casey forced the CIA to do a reassessment of its own intelligence to show that the CIA was doing what journalists like Claire Sterling at Reader’s Digest had already proven, that the Soviets were behind all this. So even early than in the 80s they were hiring communist party voters like John Brennan to join the CIA, but they didn’t want sort of-
Fred Fleitz (04:59):
He voted for Gus Hall.
Mike Waller (05:00):
He voted for Gus Hall.
Bill Walton (05:01):
Mike Waller (05:04):
And his running mate Angela Davis.
Fred Fleitz (05:05):
Mike Waller (05:06):
Fred Fleitz (05:09):
And his running mate who?
Mike Waller (05:10):
Angela Davis of course is the founder of the defund the police movement.
Fred Fleitz (05:13):
Mike Waller (05:13):
And a lot of the BLM activities that we’re seeing today. And of course Brennan is fine with all of that.
Fred Fleitz (05:18):
I might add, I was hired by the Office of Global Issues in 1986. It was an office designed to counter the left wing Soviet analysis office, called the Office of Soviet Analysis, and when I wrote international analysis, they didn’t want me to say anything negative about Gorbachev. They saw moral equivalency between the United States and the Soviet Union.
I mean that’s where we started. And it got so much worse under Obama and under Trump. And as I said, we need a house cleaning. We need a large number of officials that a Republican president will put in to clean the place up and keep it honest.
Bill Walton (05:53):
Now, I went through the alphabet soup. How pervasive is this? Is this across all the agencies. Are some worse than others? Is there… I think of the State Department. There was a great book by Robert Kaplan called The Arabists, and it was about, at the State Department in the 20s and 30s really had a group of people who became enthralled with Arab culture, and they just picked the side of the Arabs no matter what, and so, when Israel came about after World War II, Israel was in the cross hairs of the State Department from day one.
Fred Fleitz (06:27):
Yeah. It’s a real problem across the government. I worked at the State Department for five years, and it was very fairly clear that the Middle East Bureau was pretty hostile towards Israel, and very favorable towards Arabs. And the problem is a lot of these analysts, both at state, and at CIA and other organizations, they go native. They start thinking like the nation they’ve been hired to analyze. Their country is the United States, not Saudi Arabia, etc. I will say of the various agencies, I think the best was the Defense Intelligence Agency. I was in so many inner agency intelligence efforts where we tried to put out a national intelligence assessment with all the agencies. Frequently the only holdout was the Defense Intelligence, which would not go along with efforts to put out a consensus product at all means. I don’t like consensus intelligence products. I want to have dissenting views. I want to hear what the different agencies said. Instead, we get this vanilla consensus product that’s always politically correct, and rarely, but it does happen sometimes, are there analysts who stand up to that, usually they were from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Bill Walton (07:36):
How many people work in the national security establishment? Is it 100,000?
Mike Waller (07:42):
It’s huge now because of the contractors. So you have retired intelligence and national security personnel, leaving, even retiring early to collect their pension and become contractors. So they’re making, three, four or 500,000 a year just based on government service, milking the taxpayer because most of the work is way overpriced, and of marginal use. So, it’s really hard to say, I don’t think there’s a full accounting of just how large it’s become because of the contracting.
Bill Walton (08:09):
And they’re background. I think about what the precursor of the CIA, Lapkin was called during World War…
Mike Waller (08:16):
Bill Walton (08:16):
OSS, run by some guy named Wild Bill.
Mike Waller (08:20):
Bill Walton (08:20):
Donovan. Yeah, and he was from Yale or Harvard, and he would only recruit from the Ivy League schools. So it started out as a fairly elite Ivy League organization. The CIA was staffed like that throughout the 50s and 60s, if I’m right.
Mike Waller (08:35):
Yeah, that was sort of the so called establishment schools, and there was good reason for it, because they did have some of the best thinking professors, if you think of say Marshall Shulman at Harvard, and people like that who were teaching on Soviet area studies, and so they had the most money, the finest area studies and talent they could possibly bring in. But it became a club, and then it became a gene pool of its own that becomes mutated, so they weren’t getting people from real America coming in, who were really more representative of the American public. So then you have an elite forming that is so disconnected from American society that it doesn’t consider itself part of American society.
Fred Fleitz (09:14):
But many of us think the OSS were the best days of our intelligence organization.
Bill Walton (09:19):
Of a couple of books I’ve read, they sound terrific.
Fred Fleitz (09:20):
They were a can do organization. They tried to do the impossible. If you read their exploits in World War II, some of the things they did were a little bit outlandish. I was good friends with Ambassador Hugh Montgomery, who was a deputy ambassador to the UN under Vernon Walters. He also knew Bill Donovan, he died recently in his 90s, and he’s told me stories about what the CIA used to be in its early days, how it was a can do organization that wasn’t weighed down on political correctness and consensus thinking. It simply tried to get the truth to the President, and to protect our nation through some pretty aggressive covert action. And he just lamented how our intelligence community has become this 17 agency disaster of overlapping agencies, political correctness, seven or eight agencies doing the same thing. They all want to have fairness in terms of analyzing key issues. I don’t know how many organizations look at counter-terrorism, look at voter fraud. There’s enormous duplication.
Bill Walton (10:19):
And that’s still the case. I guess the security agencies we have now were signed into law in 1947 by Harry Truman. Has anybody tried to reform that in the last, what is that, 70 years or something like that? I mean, has this just grown and morphed? I mean we have no change agents?
Fred Fleitz (10:41):
Well, over time it got worse. More and more agencies were created, and once they’re created, they get larger. Now there was the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, created after 911, which created the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which became a huge additional layer of bureaucracy. It was supposed to coordinate, to get the agencies to cooperate. Instead, it is growing in leaps and bounds with 1000s of employees. Bill, there is a DNI headquarters near Tyson’s Corner. You would not believe how large it is. It’s larger than the CIA building. It’s stunning.
Bill Walton (11:14):
Wow. Well now, they were recruiting for political people in the political left, generally, but now there’s some there’s like a third dimension to this. Now it’s the cultural left, and the CIA is running an ad now that I wanted to show, to get your reaction.
Speaker 5 (11:31):
I used to struggle with imposter syndrome, but at 36 I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be. I am tired of feeling like I’m supposed to apologize for the space I occupied rather than intoxicate people with my effort, my brilliance. I am proud of me, full stop. My parents left everything they knew and loved to expose me to opportunities they never had. Because of them, I stand here today, a proud, first generation Latina, and officer at CIA. I am unapologetically me. I want you to be unapologetically you, whoever you are. Know your worth, command your space. miha, you’re worth it.
Bill Walton (12:19):
So, the CIA has now become a safe place for snowflakes.
Fred Fleitz (12:25):
We both have strong views on…
Mike Waller (12:27):
What’s going on here? I mean this is crazy.
Fred Fleitz (12:29):
We both have strong views on this, but Mike’s are really good. I want Mike to go first.
Mike Waller (12:33):
In that ad, there’s not one mention of service to country. First of all, one sense of mission in that statement. You have a militant feminist extremist who admits that she’s emotionally disturbed. She was diagnosed with a mental health syndrome by her own words, you can’t be an intelligence officer if you have mental health issues like that. It’s beyond one’s imagination to think that the CIA would promote someone like that as a recruitment tool, let alone hire it.
But it’s all about me, me, me, I, I, I, my brilliance. Since when do you say that in any kind of recruitment ad, unless it’s for some high school team or something to affirm someone’s sense of inferiority. That’s what this agency is promoting. But worst of all in that, look at the logo she’s wearing on her shirt. It’s a clenched fist. That’s a Bolshevik symbol. The Bolsheviks started it. The American supporters of the Bolsheviks in the early 20th century pushed that, and now you have the CIA using that as a recruitment tool, adapting the enemy’s own imagery.
Bill Walton (13:53):
You’re watching The Bill Walton show. I’m here talking with Mike Waller and Fred Fleitz, and we’re talking about a recent CIA recruitment ad that’s really unbelievably disturbing. Fred?
Fred Fleitz (14:04):
Well, I agree with what Mike said, but what I would add as a former CIA analyst, the CIA does serious work. CIA officers handle extremely classified information, and if used well lives can be saved. If it is misused, people die. And it’s not an exaggeration, the sources will die. The information may or may not get to a policymaker to stop a terrorist attack. We need the best and brightest in jobs like this.
The CIA is not a federal jobs program, it’s not the post office. I know people in the post office won’t like hearing that, but we really need the best and brightest. It is not racist, or it doesn’t represent white supremacy. If a manager has to fill two jobs analyzing Iran’s nuclear program, and the two best candidates are Harvard physicists, hiring them is the best decision to protect our freedom. You don’t hire less qualified people to make the workforce fair. That’s what started under John Brennan, the CIA director in the Obama administration. And unfortunately, it was not reversed during the Trump administration. This terrible video was made during the Trump administration in the final months of the Trump administration. It’s part of a series called The Humans of CIA. This is something that has to be reversed, and I don’t think it’s going to happen under the Biden administration. It has to be a priority of the next president. The CIA is a crucial organization to keep us free and safe, and this type of social engineering, quotas for hiring and promoting, is going to destroy it.
Bill Walton (15:32):
The woman who replaced Pompeo with the CIA, is she still there? She was a career CIA type who was dedicated to this kind of thing as I understand it.
Fred Fleitz (15:32):
Bill Walton (15:42):
Gina Haspel. Okay.
Fred Fleitz (15:43):
She was a career officer, no she resigned on January 20th. I understand she wanted to stay, but the Biden administration… Look, democrats are clever. The number two position at the CIA is a non-confirmable SIS job, and the democrats always fill them with political operatives. I regret that there was not a loyal Trump person there when a career person, Gina Haspel was heading the CIA. I think that’s another lesson Republicans have to learn. We have to learn how to take control of government to make it better, and not let the career bureaucrats take over.
Bill Walton (16:20):
What’s the interaction between the agencies and Congress, the Senate and the House? I mean, are the staffers in Congress in bed with what’s going on in the agency as opposed to? Does it depend on the party? Have they gone native as well?
Mike Waller (16:38):
Well, Fred had that role. So being in the agency, and then on the House Intelligence Committee staff.
Bill Walton (16:42):
So the problem I have with you guys that have been an intelligence, you never really dish. We’re going to have to…
Mike Waller (16:48):
I never was in. I would not have been accepted. But there’s a revolving door part of it, where you have Congress is not performing its oversight capabilities, which is its constitutional role to oversee the executive branch, and it is simply mainly taking the intelligence community at its word, and not really asking the tough questions, and doing the tough oversight that it should be doing. Not even the republicans are doing it on these select committees with the exception of Devin Nunes, who was finally an aggressive House Intelligence Committee chairman who really went to the mat over the politicization part.
But beyond that quality of personnel hiring with clowns like this one, like Mika who they put there, making sure you have proper analysis, and integrity in analysis, and everything else. That’s not done to any extent by the Congressional Oversight Committee.
Bill Walton (17:46):
So the traditional voter thinks, well gee, we’ve got Congress to oversee the agency’s administration. That’s just not happening. It’s not only not happening here, it’s not happening in the other parts of government. So, the Congress has sort of punted on this one as well.
Fred Fleitz (18:02):
They’re not doing the job that they should. I have to tell you, just to concern the CIA, they’re very good at co-opting people. They co-opt foreigners, they co-opt Congress. They bring them on incredible trips, show them all kinds of secrets that you couldn’t imagine. When I was a low level staffer with the House Intelligence Committee, I was there for five years, I had a VIP parking spot in front of the CIA. They’re very good at working you over so you’re working for them.
Now, I refused to work for them, and I’ll tell you a story of something they did. I joined the Intelligence Committee in 2006, and the Republicans lost the house, and I thought I’d be fired, but I wasn’t fired. The CIA and the State Department Intelligence and Research Bureau called up the staff director and told them they wanted me to be let go from the staff because they thought it would not be fair to them. So, I’m supposed to oversee them, and the agencies I’m overseeing want to be overseen by someone else. And my staff director came to me and said, “You know, I can’t think of a stronger vote of confidence in keeping you on the staff, that the people you oversee don’t like you, that you’ve been tough with them.”
I told that to Peter Hoekstra. It’s one of his favorite stories, but this is what they do. They try to work the people who are overseeing them, so these agencies can get what they want from Congress.
Bill Walton (19:16):
And Pete Hoekstra was head of the House Intelligence Committee, and he’s now chairman of the Center for Security Policy Advisory Board?
Fred Fleitz (19:24):
That’s correct. He just joined us. It’s a tremendous pick up, and he recently was President Trump’s ambassador to the Netherlands.
Bill Walton (19:31):
So, I’m not feeling more secure.
Fred Fleitz (19:36):
Bill Walton (19:38):
Because you know, for the layman, and I spent my career on Wall Street, and so I didn’t really focus on this, but the more you think about it, national security, I mentioned at the outset, we’ve got the traditional fighting enemies that have armies, and they want to take things over. But increasingly, it’s not about that. I mean it’s about economic warfare. It’s about cultural warfare. It’s about infiltrating our institutions.
And I have to bring up China. China’s had a strategy. What do they call it? Three warfares, four warfares where they see themselves fighting on all these fronts. And I think you’ve done some work on the Confucius societies, or one of the guys in your shop has, where they’ve got people in the United States. They’ve embedded themselves on the campuses of universities to really promote Chinese propaganda. So do I worry about Chinese infiltrating the agencies?
Mike Waller (20:38):
Absolutely. Think of this, you have the Chinese Communist Party run Confucius Institutes, which are embedded with Chinese intelligence officers, and then controlled agents from China, were the Chinese students go there, and they pay cash. So the American universities love Chinese students because they pay the freight for the American students who don’t pay for there…
Bill Walton (20:59):
And they’re are about 250, 300,000 Chinese students in America.
Mike Waller (21:02):
Huge number here, and the universities depend on the Chinese Communist Party for funding. It’s not a political thing it’s a financial matter. So when you have a Confucius Institute set up to teach about Chinese culture, and to teach Mandarin language and so forth, this is an opportunity to propagandize American students who are going to be future Wall Street people, future intelligence officers, future diplomats, to teach them the Chinese language the way the Communist Party wants them to understand the language, and therefore to understand all of China. But they also run it as an assessment and recruitment station to mark American students to be invited to China to spend a year, where they can then be assessed even further, and even recruited, or compromised. Or simply to do the same thing on campus with American students who will never go to China.
And when you have the national security community hiring its personnel, or getting graduate degrees for its personnel at these universities with Confucius Institutes, you’re creating a massive security risk for our entire national security community.
Bill Walton (22:14):
Doesn’t the Chinese Communist Party have a doctrine that if you are a citizen of China, You are responsible, and have a duty to the state any place you are, anywhere you are in the world? And so if you’re a Chinese student here studying at Illinois State or something like that, you’re still supposed to be a Chinese agent.
Mike Waller (22:35):
Right, you’re expected to be, for two reasons, and not for the nation, but for the party. So…
Bill Walton (22:41):
We need to make that distinction sometimes because as we say, some of my best friends are Chinese. So we get a Chinese Communist Party, of course that’s 80 million people.
Mike Waller (22:49):
Right, but some of your best friends are not communist I would hope right?
Bill Walton (22:52):
Not that I know.
Fred Fleitz (22:56):
I want to add that a few years ago, there was an American student studying in China, who the Chinese convinced to apply to work for the CIA, and the CIA caught him I think in the polygraph. And it led to FBI warnings to students studying in China, to not be co-opted by Chinese intelligence. I hope those warnings are continuing, because it’s a real threat. The Chinese are very serious about this, and Americans don’t understand how serious this is.
My hope is that the CIA is scrutinizing the people very carefully, so this won’t happen. But this effort, which I think is to lower standards to make the workforce more fair will create opportunities for hostile intelligence services to penetrate the CIA. You know, the polygraph is tough. The background investigation is tough. Are we going to lower those standards so we can make the CIA more ethnically diverse? I think we’re about to do that, and I’m very worried about it.
Bill Walton (23:51):
It seems like that’s got to be where it goes next. I mean they’ve lowered them everyplace else. I mean, look what they’ve done with women in combat. They lowered the standards, and the women still can’t meet the physical standards. But that doesn’t seem to matter. Boy this is… So that, let me just pause here. You’re watching the Bill Walton show, and I’m here with Fred Fleitz and Mike Waller of the Center for Security Policy, and we’re talking about Confucius Institutes, and their role on United States campuses to really promote the agenda of the Chinese Communist Party.
Mike Waller (24:28):
That’s what they do.
Bill Walton (24:29):
That’s what they do. So let me shift to something else you worked on that does have to do with the Chinese and the national security establishment, the Wuhan virus, it’s pretty clear to us, a year ago to me, probably you, that this came out of the lab, and yet to say that, you get your video yanked from YouTube. You know, it happened to me.
The blackout, was the national security community involved in covering up? I know the Chinese covered up, but were we complicit in that?
Mike Waller (25:11):
I don’t know. I don’t see the cover up so much from the national security community.
Bill Walton (25:16):
Well, let’s back up. What did the Chinese do to cover it up?
Mike Waller (25:19):
Oh, what they did right away is they repressed the actual scientists who blew the whistle in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They silenced them. Some of the bloggers disappeared from the face of the earth. Yet someone is still running their social media accounts. They were repressing Wuhan officials, and made Wuhan officials fearful of the central power of the Chinese Communist Party, didn’t know what to do, knew that they could also be sacked or even disappear if they said anything. So they covered everything up, even when people died they covered up.
Fred Fleitz (25:51):
I think there’s evidence that the intelligence community was covering this up. In January of this year, Director of National Intelligence Ratcliffe released an intelligence ombudsman report. This is someone who looks at the objectivity of intelligence community analysis. And it said that concerning meddling in the 2020 election analysts tried to put out anything they could that said Russia was meddling, but suppress anything that said China was meddling, because they did not want to help President Trump’s policy views.
I have no doubt this was happening concerning the Coronavirus also. And it is the type of corruption of our analysis which really threatens the whole existence of our intelligence community, and it is just too bad that the President did not have better leaders heading these agencies for all four years. That’s why this kind of stuff happens.
Bill Walton (26:44):
Just a note to our viewers and listeners, if you want to get what I think is the truth about what’s going on with our national security, I would head over to the Center for Security Policy website, and because of a lot of the things that we now know to be true, you were writing about a year ago, more.
Mike Waller (27:06):
Right when it happened. And that’s kind of the key is, the temptation is so strong in Washington to cave in, when you know you’re right, you’re working with facts, but everyone around you is pressuring you not to say those facts, whether it’s de-platforming you from social media, or whether it’s any kind of political connection, or political support, or journalists, contacts, or whoever, there’s this temptation to do it.
And that’s why so many people in Washington cave so quickly on so many issues, which is, I think what kind of makes us different. Like Fred and I get along so well because we’re not part of that group. So, we have a great track record, and we’re pleased with that track record. And that’s why we don’t adjust our website and pull things down like other groups do when they’ve been proven wrong.
Fred Fleitz (27:56):
Mike and I would be making more money. We’d be on CNN. We’d be published by The New York Times.
Bill Walton (28:01):
Well, you’re on the Bill Walton Show.
Fred Fleitz (28:02):
Well, I mean I lucked into this show, so that’s why we’re winning. But we all know that these really prestigious foreign policy outfits at Harvard, and in Georgetown, people in the foreign policy community, they all want to work there. And if they want to work there, there are certain things they’re not going to say. And people like Mike and I don’t care about that. We said, well, let’s just do the right thing, even though it means that we’re never going to be hired to work at the JFK school at Harvard. You know we’re never going to be hired to work there Mike.
Mike Waller (28:26):
I would never want those people as colleagues.
Fred Fleitz (28:28):
Well, me too. But I mean it’s a sacrifice you make because the left controls the foreign policy establishment. They have the best positions. They have the best paid organizations. So, the Center for Security Policy is fighting an uphill battle. We just love it, and we’ve been doing well at it, but a lot of people are not ready for this fight.
Bill Walton (28:47):
What’s the left’s agenda with regard to national security?
Fred Fleitz (28:52):
Well, I want you to start that first, I have my thoughts.
Mike Waller (28:55):
It’s evolved over time. Before, a lot of the left, they were just weak toward the Soviet Union, the Soviet threat. And they were weak against the Islamic Jihadists threat. They were weak on the Communist China threat, and so many other threats, out of a sense of disdain toward America and everything that we stood for, but it’s become more of a cultural war now, where they’re trying to transform the very culture of our country, with the 1619, and the rejection of the whole Judeo-Christian ethic that our country was founded on, and those Anglo Saxon principles on which our country was founded, and total rejection of that and anything to do with that.
So it’s not just wrong but it’s evil. And that’s what’s being taught now, well, in Montgomery County Maryland public schools for example, to pit children against their parents, and to have a rejection of, now not just culture, but even parental authority, and get the children actually to rebel against their parents, through shaming them, making them raise their hands to see whether or not they’ve had their COVID shot. And then the kid doesn’t raise his hand, it’s because your mommy and daddy haven’t done it, go home and tell them to do it because all your friends have to wear masks. So you have this pervasiveness from now K through retirement.
Bill Walton (30:15):
And that would be the view of the young woman who was in that recruiting poster. I mean she’s probably a poster child for that. That she probably believes everything you just outlined.
Mike Waller (30:24):
And it’s all me, me, me, but you can see in another part of that ad, or a related ad that she’s in, there’s a shot of her standing with John Brennan, CIA director. Now what is the CIA director doing with a supposedly lower level analyst like her, but you also saw the subsequent director, Trump’s director Gina Haspel standing with her in a photo in that same ad. Well then you find out she got a Diversity Award. Now this is something… This back when this particular person in the ad-
Bill Walton (30:54):
You’re making this up.
Mike Waller (30:55):
No, she got some diversity award for some, CIA officers said we need more diversity in the CIA. And it made sense to have it, because you can’t have all just white guys from Ivy League’s at the CIA. You need people with all cultural backgrounds, and all different ideas and worldviews, as long as it’s based on American constitutional principles. But now you’re getting everything but those who embrace American constitutional principles. So you need people with these backgrounds, but if you want to promote great Latinos in the CIA, let’s talk about James Jesus Angleton. He was one of the first and the greatest of the Latinos in the CIA, but he has an Anglo last name so we don’t think of him as that. They don’t raise him as a moral standard, because he was a hardcore anti-communist.
Bill Walton (31:39):
Just like Clarence Thomas is not a Supreme Court justice in the Black community.
Fred Fleitz (31:43):
You can tell Mike is quite an accomplished historian, and can tell a lot of good stories. My view about the lefts who are in foreign policy is that America is not an exceptional nation. They want to promote globalism. The elites do not want the US to have the ability to act on its own. They want us to act through the UN. They want us to act with the permission of European states. That’s why America First was so revolutionary. It factored in the interests of the American people, the American worker, American business. We weren’t just signing contracts and treaties because the Globalists wanted us to, even though it would hurt the American worker. President Trump was absolutely right. It also was a strategy to keep us out of unnecessary wars, and to stop unending wars.
We know these globalists, and republican and democratic administrations have not thought through these long term troop commitments. And what I think was brilliant about this plan, is that it was so substantial, it’s not going away, I think Biden is limited right now in what he can do with foreign policy, because other nations know what a powerful approach this was, and that the next republican president, who may be in office in January 2025, is going to put it all back into place. I don’t think America First is going away, it’s where the American people are.
Bill Walton (32:57):
I was gonna ask you about that. What’s happened in America First? This was Trump’s strategy, and maybe you can briefly outline what America First was, and what Biden is trying to do to it?
Fred Fleitz (33:07):
I gave my take on it, what’s your take?
Mike Waller (33:10):
Well, I agree with your take, but I’ll add a bit too, and that is that we have, over time, the bipartisan majority leading our country has subsumed American interests to those of global organizations that we created to defeat the Nazis first, and then to fight the Cold War, yet we surrendered them. Imagine, creating an international organization, and then allowing your enemies to infiltrate it and take it over. It makes no sense. It’s not in our national interest to be part of these global organizations anymore which we don’t control.
Bill Walton (33:40):
Well, that’s what China is doing to the UN right now.
Mike Waller (33:41):
Exactly. But we created it for us to do it, and Stalin went along with it so he could do it. But the fact is, we stopped, and China continued. So we have surrendered our national sovereignty to these international organizations where Communist China has veto power over our sovereignty now. So America First is, let’s respect what alliances we have and commitments we have, but let’s reconsider them to think who benefits from them. Is it a one way street, or is it a two way street? And America First is American sovereignty first. So why have an ally who’s useless to you, or who’s lazy and not making its treaty commitments, like even say Germany not even, we’re subsidizing Germany to compete against us internationally, and they’re not even paying their 2% for their own national defense, and cutting side deals with Putin.
Maybe we need to reassess our alliance system. We certainly do with other countries. So America first is, what is in the interests of the American citizen, and consistent with our constitutional founding principles? If you base everything off that, and everything else makes sense.
Fred Fleitz (34:53):
You know the Biden administration likes to say that Donald Trump destroyed our international alliances. That’s just not true. It’s certainly not true in Asia. And I can tell you that all the nations in the region appreciate America’s leadership against China. And it’s not true with Europe. With Europe, we refused to allow the Europeans to basically take our sovereignty away, and tell our nation what to do. Trump made it clear that NATO states have to pay their fair share in terms of defense spending. Now they didn’t want to, and confronting them caused problems, but it was the right thing to do. Why should the American people bear most of the burden of defending Europe?
Trump had very good relationships with other nations, but he didn’t let them bowl us over. He didn’t let the elites in these nations determine what American foreign policy is, and that’s what’s happening right now. The Europeans have resumed telling Joe Biden what he’s going to do. And we saw this with the pipeline from Russia, which Biden recently decided to allow to go forward, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, even though Donald Trump had tried to stop it, because the Germans wanted it. It’s not in our interest. It’s not in Russian interests. It’s not a European security interest, but is an interest of European globalists.
Bill Walton (36:09):
You’re watching The Bill Walton show. I’m here with Mike Waller and Fred Fleitz, and we’re talking about America first foreign policy under Donald Trump, and we can preserve some semblance of it in hopes that we’ll have a Republican president in 2025. The issue though is that we need to get the word out about what this bad stuff is, and there’s a news blackout it seems like. And all the sorts of things you talk about, the Wuhan cover up is one example, I mean there’s also some thoughts that, you’ve written about this, the Chinese have infiltrated South Korea, and maybe they’ve influenced the outcome of the South Korean election, and so therefore, South Korea may not be a reliable enemy.
Mike Waller (36:55):
Bill Walton (36:56):
The Chinese defense budget is now, I think larger than ours. Is that true in percentage terms, or absolute terms?
Mike Waller (37:05):
It’s different. They’re doing things differently, and they can afford to do more with less, but they’re building a strategic nuclear weapons force that’s more advanced than the one we have.
Bill Walton (37:15):
No, but they’ve got their eyes on… Taiwan seems to be like a Richard Nixon issue. Taiwan was a long time ago. Taiwan is right center stage right now, in terms of Chinese ambitions. If they get Taiwan, they get the South China Sea, they get the semiconductor industry where all those are made, and don’t they also manufacture a lot of pharmaceuticals there that are strategic for us?
Fred Fleitz (37:41):
It’s crucial, and I think the time is coming when China will move on Taiwan. I don’t know if that is in the immediate future, but China will do that when it knows it can get away with it. I think it’s looking for a moment of American weakness. And so I think this makes a very dangerous time for Taiwan. I might add, the Center for Security Policies is doing a special webinar on how China would take Taiwan, and it’s going to be next Wednesday at 1:00 PM.
Bill Walton (38:09):
Okay, you guys are doing a webinar?
Fred Fleitz (38:10):
We are. We are. Yes.
Bill Walton (38:11):
How do we find that?
Fred Fleitz (38:13):
It’s on our website, securefreedom.org.
Bill Walton (38:15):
Fred Fleitz (38:16):
How China Would Take Taiwan.
Bill Walton (38:19):
Okay, so long as it does not interrupt watching this show.
Fred Fleitz (38:24):
Mike, what do you think?
Mike Waller (38:26):
Well, reading the public statements, not the private statements, the public statements that Chinese officials are making, they intend to take Taiwan by force sooner rather than later, because they found out 70% of the Taiwanese people don’t want any reunification at all with the mainland under any circumstances. They view themselves as a sovereign country now, and not as a republic of China that’s been exiled to the island of Taiwan. They are their own nation. They are sovereign. They are Taiwan first.
So for the United States to allow the communists to invade Taiwan, It’s going to destroy our interests in the entire Indo-Pacific region, where we get the majority of our trade, where our economy depends. So, these countries that have, not necessarily even our allies, but they look the other way, and don’t oppose us on things, and often cooperate with us on things, and countries like India which are increasingly cooperating with us are going to think twice about building a solid relation with the United States if they see us standing by while the Communists takeover Taiwan.
Fred Fleitz (39:36):
A big flaw in Biden’s approach to China, is that he said, well we’re gonna go after China with our allies. Well the problem is, Most of our allies are afraid of China. On China, America often has to act alone, whether it comes to tariffs, or just calling them out, other nations are just not going to do that because the Chinese can ruin them economically, and can ruin them in other ways. That was one, but when President Trump called out the Chinese, tweeted attacks on the Chinese leadership, it had an effect. And I think the Biden people have no idea of this. I think the Chinese are already prepared to have our lunch during the Biden administration.
Bill Walton (40:15):
Yeah. I’m fearing our moment of weakness is going to last four years, and that’s a long time. It’s almost forever. So, what’s our line of action here? I mean, we’ve got the agencies infiltrated by people that don’t like the American culture, and tend not to want to defend our Constitution and our borders. We haven’t talked about the borders but I was at a conference last week, and just the past media head of ICE says was down there says we have no borders now. We’ve got like 175 countries that are sending people streaming into the United States.
I mean are you guys also tracking that? Is that part of your…
Mike Waller (40:57):
There’s only so much we can track, and others are on border issues, but it’s still-
Bill Walton (41:02):
You like putting a thumb in the dike somewhere.
Mike Waller (41:05):
Yeah. But here with the border, the Customs and Border folks, the ones on the ground really are still they’re trying to protect our sovereignty as best as they can. It’s the leadership in Washington that’s not letting them do their job. But one of the areas that we do focus on that’s urgent, and I think the average citizen can really have a say in it, is the military. You have, Pink Lloyd, four star general who was picked to run the Defense Department because he is a woke four star general. So republicans find it irresistible not to confirm four star generals for anything, because they think people with stars on their shoulders are cool and automatically solid thinkers, which they’re not necessarily, and they’re really, if they were civilians, they would just be in the SAS career level, but they happen to have uniforms and stars on their shoulders, so people get wide eyed at that.
Lloyd Austin is a radical. He’s an extremist, and he’s brought in people who are even more extreme to create essentially what the Soviets called Zampolitz, which are the political commissars, to ensure a new political orthodoxy within the military.
You have the Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency, DARPA, recently came out with a paper defining extremism in the military as people who believe that the central government is corrupt and is acting outside the bounds of its constitutional authority.
Bill Walton (42:38):
Guilty as charged.
Mike Waller (42:40):
Yeah. This is the type of thing-
Bill Walton (42:41):
He also happens to be Black, and he also happens to be teaching critical race theory in the Defense Department. He’s pushing it.
Mike Waller (42:47):
He’s imposing it. But it began way before him.
Bill Walton (42:50):
He’s imposing critical race theory?
Mike Waller (42:51):
Bill Walton (42:51):
Mike Waller (42:54):
Bill Walton (42:54):
Yeah. I didn’t think it was opposing. Imposing.
Mike Waller (42:54):
Yeah, but it predates him by a long time.
Bill Walton (42:58):
Well, you know, we talked about the readiness of the troops. I mean, some people, Jerry Boykin, who is a friend, who’s a general on our side, he says, you put critical race theory in the dugout, or wherever we fight our wars now, and you’re supposed to not think the person next to you is on the same side. That’s not how you win a war. I mean that’s not how you build a team, and so it’s creating these divisions based on race that are just going to ruin the fighting effectiveness of the military.
Fred Fleitz (43:35):
I’m troubled by that, and I’m troubled by what we’ve talked about for our intelligence agencies, but I think the good news is the vast majority of people who serve in the military and work in our intelligence agencies are not political. They’re not going to go for this. They’re going to listen, and they’re going to do their jobs, and they’re going to wait for the next president. And I’ve seen this before. When crazy things happen out of the White House, there are professionals who work in these organizations, they know how to get the job done, they know how to salute and do the right thing. And I’m confident that our servicemen, they’re going to hear this nonsense, and they’re going to find ways to get the job done, and to navigate this ridiculous obstacle that’s being imposed on them with critical race theory, etc. And I have to say, most intelligence officers are not political. They’re good people, but there are too many who have been promoted to the high levels, who are real problem, have to be cleaned out.
Bill Walton (44:28):
Well, I always try to end these on somewhat good news. That’s the closest we’ve come to good news, is not everybody is in the camp. I think the other thing we think, I’m always interested in lines, but I think, you guys are doing it. I think we need to shine a light on all this bad stuff so that voters know what’s going on, and can vote the right way last time. I think Biden, I don’t think anybody had a clue how radical his agenda was going to be.
Fred Fleitz (44:57):
Look, the election was fixed by the media. The media would not scrutinize Biden properly, and they dumped all over Trump, and I don’t think voters were able to make an informed choice. We can have lots of debates about the election, but that’s an issue I don’t think people are talking about, that the American people were denied the information they needed to make an informed choice in the 2020 presidential election.
Bill Walton (45:22):
Well we’re gonna fix that more. They know now. They know now. Mike, final word?
Mike Waller (45:28):
Final word, it’s really citizen action.
Bill Walton (45:30):
Mike Waller (45:30):
Like in a military, every teenager who talks to a military recruiter should say, I would love to join the military, but I don’t want to become some woke foot soldier in somebody else’s political agenda. I just want to serve my country. Those recruiters are solid people. They’re going to have to give that feedback up the chain. People have to talk to their local congressional offices about this, and say, hey, talk to the local recruiter who is hearing this from the people he is trying to recruit. So you need to have this kind of pushback from the citizen level, which is possible. It’s something as simple as that.
Bill Walton (46:05):
Mike Waller (46:06):
Or it’s something as a newly retired military people. A lot of people are quitting early. A lot of intelligence officers are quitting early. FBI agents are quitting early. But they feel alone, and they feel isolated. So we just need to raise their voices, and help bring them together, and let them know that we’re not all alone, and we all need to be working together on that.
Bill Walton (46:25):
Well, I know what I want to do what I can to help you guys do that. Fred, anything else you would…
Fred Fleitz (46:31):
It was just great to be here. I hope yours would go to securefreedom.org, our website, securefreedom.org. We have important analysis every day on the national security threats facing our nation, and I hope your viewers will check it out, and send us some feedback.
Bill Walton (46:45):
Great. Mike Waller, Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy. Thanks, and you’ve been watching the Bill Walton show, and Join us again for our next interesting, and I hope conversation that provides us with some lines of action to protect our freedom.
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