EPISODE 262: Are you on a CIA or FBI list? with J. Michael Waller

Once upon a time, the FBI and the CIA fought America’s criminals at home and enemies abroad. Now, at our great loss, they’ve become captured by the ideology and agenda of cultural Marxism. Moreover, as Tucker Carlson’s recent interview with Mike Benz revealed, the national security state has evolved into a main driver of censorship and election interference in the United States.

The CIA and the FBI, along with the rest of the intelligence community, have become essential players in a growing surveillance state, attacking its perceived political enemies and spying on ordinary American citizens, even parents who push back against the radical teachings of cultural Marxism in America’s public schools.

These are serious charges, but they’ve been thoroughly documented in a revealing new book by J. Michael Waller Big Intel – How The CIA and the FBI went from Cold War Heroes to Deep State Villains. He knows the terrain well. As the Senior Analyst at the Center for Security Policy he concentrates on propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion.

Brilliant, fully documented yet easy to read. Explains how Cultural Marxism has permeated the CIA and FBI, damaging our country’s strongest defenders. Big Intel names names and pulls no punches. It also shows the moral rot within the intelligence community from top to bottom.

“What if you combined the dark, anti-human politics of the academic left with the unfettered power and impenetrable secrecy of the national security state? You’d have pretty much what we have now…Mike Waller explains how we got there.”

-Tucker Carlson




Speaker 1:                    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:                   Once upon a time, the CIA and the FBI fought America’s enemies [00:00:30] at home and abroad. Now, as events in recent years have made clear, they’ve become captured by a kind of what I call enemy within, which is the ideology and agenda of cultural Marxism. The CIA and the FBI, along with the rest of the intelligence community, have become essential players in a growing surveillance state, attacking its political enemies and spying on ordinary American citizens, even parents who push back against the radical teachings [00:01:00] of cultural Marxism in America’s public schools. Now, these are strong charges, but they’ve been thoroughly documented in a revealing new book by J. Michael Waller called Big Intel, how The CIA and the FBI went from Cold War Heroes to Deep State Villains. Mike’s been on here many times, and it’s great to have you back, Mike, and we’ve covered some of this in brief, but [00:01:30] now we’ll go a little deeper on this particular topic. Mike’s the senior analyst at the Center for Security Policy where he concentrates in propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion. So Mike, welcome back.

Mike Waller:                 It’s great to be back with you, Bill.

Bill Walton:                   How did we get here? What’s the history? It’s all in your book, but you also have a very interesting ending to the book I want to get to, which is what we do about it.

Mike Waller:                 It seemed like [00:02:00] it started all of a sudden when we just became aware that something was wrong, but couldn’t really put our fingers on it. But it began a century ago, and it wasn’t even aimed at us. It was a Soviet active measure aimed to collapse Weimar, Germany after World War I, and when they did a great job of that, but then the people who did that came to the United States to collapse us after Hitler threw threw them out of Germany. So this is something that’s been percolating in our system [00:02:30] in a way so subtle that we often didn’t notice it, and then we grew to accept it, and then all of a sudden we wondered what’s happened to our country?

Bill Walton:                   So in the thirties, in the twenties, this started in Germany, it also started in Italy, didn’t it, with this guy Antonio Gramsci.

Mike Waller:                 Yes.

Bill Walton:                   The Marxist theorist. And they concluded that the idea of materialism, money, the proletariat for [00:03:00] throwing off the shackles of the bourgeoisie, they concluded the proletariat were never going to rise up. They really wanted refrigerators and cars, and it was hard to radicalize them. And so they switched to something that we’re now calling cultural Marxism. And that’s when they had an explicit strategy as you write, as I understand it, to take over cultural institutions, the universities to begin with, and then all the rest of them.

Mike Waller:                 Right, [00:03:30] and this was Marx’s original idea. So before he wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848, he was writing about cultural warfare, how to destroy German nationhood, because Germany was various different states that had their own identities, how to destroy that, how to destroy the Western ethic behind that Judeo-Christian values. He was born Jewish, raised as a Christian, ended up [00:04:00] being neither, but he wanted to destroy everything. So the nuclear family, all of these things Marx had wanted to pit everybody against each other so that something else could come in to fill that, some sort of what he later called the dictatorship of the proletariat. So this was a dictatorship of cultural revolutionaries. That didn’t work for him at that time so he abandoned that and wrote the Communist Manifesto. But this is the original Karl Marx that we’re seeing, and it was [00:04:30] revived a century ago and deployed against the west.

Bill Walton:                   And the idea there was to destroy everything and you read Marx in vain for a very good picture about what he wants to replace it with. And so the big word I learned was nihilism and which means just a plan to destroy everything without any real interesting way of vision of what happens next. Is that about right? Is that what we’re up against?

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. Nihilism is Latin for nothing. So [00:05:00] it’s nothingism.

Bill Walton:                   Okay.

Mike Waller:                 So if you can’t convince people to embrace all the complex and raving aspects of the dialectics of Marxism, who wants to waste their time on that?

Bill Walton:                   You don’t want to spend any time reading that stuff.

Mike Waller:                 No, no. It’s fun to smash things. It’s fun to wreck things. It’s fun to do what you’re not supposed to do. And if we all go by our human impulses without any moral guidelines, like 10 commandments or laws [00:05:30] or values, then we can do what we want, and it’s fun. And people who are saying that we can’t do that are oppressing us. The beliefs are oppressing us. The laws are oppressing us. The dead white men who invented these things are oppressing us. God is oppressing us, family is oppressing us. Let’s throw it all off and wreck everything.

Bill Walton:                   Well Mark, like a lot of intellectuals never took responsibility for anything. He didn’t support his family. Wasn’t he kept by [00:06:00] Engels? Engels was the rich guy, and he took care of Marx’s economic problem. And Marx never worked a day in his life.

Mike Waller:                 Neither did Engels. He was a trust fund baby also. His dad made all the money.

Bill Walton:                   These are people that got a great… So that’s 150 years ago, I guess we got to fast-forward. So these ideas are percolating, and they began to take root in the twenties, and then it moved to the United States in the thirties. And you write about the Frankfort [00:06:30] School, which started in Germany, Frankfort, Germany moved to what? Columbia College in New York.

Mike Waller:                 Right. And the teacher’s college that’s there so what a perfect place to teach the teachers.

Bill Walton:                   Okay, so they had that in mind, taking over education from the get-go.

Mike Waller:                 Right. That was the whole idea because you’re not going to get German workers to rise up. They were being too well paid. And as you said, they wanted their cars and their refrigerators. The same with American workers. So how do you overthrow [00:07:00] American society if you’re not going to have a Bolshevik style revolution? You have to find another way. And the way is to get into people’s heads so they don’t even realize they’re being indoctrinated, and they even think it’s absurd that they’re being indoctrinated, let alone what type of indoctrination it is. So their values are attacked and they go along. Most people just go along to get along because society is quote, changing. Well, there are drivers to change. So we look at who these [00:07:30] drivers were and where they originated.

Bill Walton:                   So where we’re going with this is how this has infected the FBI and the CIA and the other intelligence agencies. And the way they got to this was through the universities where they’re teaching the ideas of cultural Marxism. It’s basically, can you simplify it? Something like it’s oppressed versus the oppressor.

Mike Waller:                 It’s always looking for an oppressor and to fight against the oppressor. So in this case it’s anything in western culture that is oppressive to whatever grievance [00:08:00] group deems it to be oppressive, it must be destroyed. All the memories of them must be destroyed in history. All the names and statues and ideas and philosophies, because it’s all oppressive. So this is where diversity, equity, and inclusion come in because you don’t need honest competition anymore. You just need to say like they did in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “Help, help, I’m being repressed.”

Bill Walton:                   That was 30 years ago.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. But it’s that same kind of logic [00:08:30] that they have and so the help, help I’m being repressed though is very serious. It’s nothing to laugh at nowadays because they really want to destroy everything they think that’s oppressive, and that is everything.

Bill Walton:                   And the other piece was you divide, you forget about the working class. Again, you put people into identity groups by sex, by race, by whatever category. And those are the oppressed but [00:09:00] the oppressors can never be redeemed. And that’s where we get into the critical race theory and the idea of whiteness. And if once you’re white, you can never be not white, and you’re structurally racist, and therefore we need to turn over all our worldly goods to the oppressed.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, there is nothing you can do as a white person to not be racist.

Bill Walton:                   You can’t atone.

Mike Waller:                 You cannot atone.

Bill Walton:                   You cannot atone.

Mike Waller:                 You’re doomed.

Bill Walton:                   And further, this is all about power. [00:09:30] There’s no other moral code of-

Mike Waller:                 Power and money.

Bill Walton:                   Power and money. Okay, so how did we end up with the FBI, which I think of as J. Edgar Hoover initially and its culture and the CIA. I think before that was the OSS with Wild Bill Donovan that did it during World War II. When did the virus enter the body, and how has this morphed over the last 75 years?

Mike Waller:                 [00:10:00] J. Edgar Hoover saw it coming. He was a 25-year-old Justice Department official in 1920. He was head of a unit called the Radical Division, and his job was to spy on the anarchists. They’d assassinated President McKinley. They were responsible for a whole lot of bombings and other attempted assassinations across the country. So it was his job to round up the Marxists, the communists, the radical socialists and the anarchists, and send [00:10:30] them back to Russia. That was his job. And he lived like a warrior monk all of his life. It was just him and his mission. He was a complete workaholic. So he began as a 25-year-old doing this and understanding what communism was. So the US Communist Party had only been founded the year before.

                                    So it was his job to know who they were, what their ideology was, what their end game was, and how they operated. So since day one, [00:11:00] he had been warning the American public time and time again in speeches, books, working with Hollywood Congressional testimony to tell us they’re here to infiltrate our systems. He warned about education. He warned about universities. He warned about infiltration of churches, labor unions, Hollywood. Another big place where cultural Marxism has spread was through entertainment, through music and TV and the movies and [00:11:30] literature because he was warning about this the whole time. That’s why the left hated him so much.

Bill Walton:                   Well, yeah, he was caricatured. And then the later Hollywood movies had him portrayed. They made a big deal out of the fact he was supposedly gay, and they made him a figure of fun. But when he died, his approval rating among Americans was still roughly 70, 75%. He was a beloved figure.

Mike Waller:                 He was one of the most popular, trusted people in America.

Bill Walton:                   [00:12:00] But the infection occurred also, and I want to bring us up to the present day, but I think once you begin seeing the roots of this, it’s hard not to see it. FDRs administration was filled with people like, that followed this philosophy. They learned it at Yale. They learned it at the other Ivy League universities, and they came in to the administration infected with these bad ideas.

Mike Waller:                 [00:12:30] Right, and as organized cadres, because a lot of them were Communist Party members. So we tend to think of the Communist Party as some caricature of what it really was, but its purpose was to be an organized, disciplined cadre that was vertically integrated under a military type command and control from Moscow as a semi underground movement in the United States to infiltrate. Not to win votes as a Communist party candidate in elections, even though they ran candidates. [00:13:00] But it was to infiltrate the nerve centers of organizations, who are the couriers, who’s the editor of a publication, who is the speech writer, who is the policymaker, and this is where their influence sat, as well as being the main structure for Soviet espionage in the United States.

                                    So they’re stealing secrets on the one hand, but more importantly, influencing on another, and then bringing in their fellow members, then fellow travelers who were not members, but sympathizers, [00:13:30] bringing them into position. So when you have Roosevelt setting up the new deal, vastly expanding the size and the power of central government, that’s a lot of federal employees now on the dole. And so a lot of the party members went into the federal government through every imaginable agency. So people who were basically unemployable, whose mission was to subvert us, ended up being funded by the American taxpayer [00:14:00] so they could continue their subversive work.

Bill Walton:                   So this infiltration of federal government, I now think we live in a DC area, and I think about the fact that probably 95% of the people work in the federal government did not vote for Donald Trump, and they’re on the left, and they support the left agenda, and they support implicitly the advancing these ideas of cultural Marxism. But this started back in the thirties. [00:14:30] But then another thing that happened in the thirties you write about in the book, which is interesting, is that the OSS, which is our equivalent of the Secret Service during World War II, was stood up by a guy named Donovan, Wild Bill Donovan, who he won the Medal of Honor twice.

Mike Waller:                 He was an astonishing-

Bill Walton:                   In World War I.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah.

Bill Walton:                   Well, tell his story.

Mike Waller:                 Bill Donovan was a lawyer, a businessman, very successful. [00:15:00] He set up the New York National Guard cavalry. He fought Pancho Villa’s forces in Mexico. He fought the Germans in World War I in Germany, in France, rather. He got the name Wild Bill because he was shot and badly wounded in the knee. His knee was basically taken out, and he wouldn’t leave the battlefield until all of his men were safe. So he was an amazing person. He then went [00:15:30] on trips to Europe to see how the Bolsheviks worked and how the Communist international worked, and how that would affect American business, both the United States and business abroad. He went to East Asia with his wife for an extended period and saw the Bolsheviks taking over Siberia during the Russian Civil War and came back with policy recommendations to the United States on what needs to be done to stop Soviet [00:16:00] expansion. This was right after World War I. So he understood it.

                                    So he built up an international network of contacts of his own in leadership positions all around Europe and Asia, so that when we are about to get into World War II, United States doesn’t have a foreign intelligence service. So President Roosevelt picked him, who was a rival. Roosevelt had been governor of New York before being president, and Donovan ran as a Republican [00:16:30] to take his seat and didn’t make it. So he ended up setting up the wartime intelligence service and was already at loggerheads with J. Edgar Hoover, because the two had already crossed paths in the Justice Department during the Republican years in the 1920s.

Bill Walton:                   But he hired Donovan. Donovan set it up, and that at that point… This is Bill Walton Show. I’m here with the terrific J. Michael Waller, old friend who’s written a terrific [00:17:00] book, Big Intel, How the FBI and the CIA went from Cold War Heroes to Deep State Villains. Donovan staffed the OSS with anybody who we thought had talent with that regard to really background checks or anything. And he ended up staffing a lot with men, primarily men from the Ivy League, many of whom had been infected with these ideas of cultural Marxism by their professors who probably were in [00:17:30] turn taught by Columbia University. So this whole thing, you begin to see the pattern here of how these ideas and people believe this. So what happened with the OSS, it was successful and then?

Mike Waller:                 Well, it was successful at its wartime task of doing really crazy stuff to defeat the axis. He brought in amateurs who didn’t know what they weren’t supposed to know and didn’t know what they weren’t allowed to do, and they just went ahead and did stuff that everyone said couldn’t be done.

Bill Walton:                   My favorite kind of person.

Mike Waller:                 [00:18:00] Incredible.

Bill Walton:                   A talented amateur.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, they did incredible work. So his mission was, let’s defeat the Nazis. Let’s defeat Tojo and Mussolini and then be done with it. But J. Edgar Hoover was saying, “Well, yeah, we can defeat them, but we cannot let Stalin take advantage because he has his own post-war agenda to take us over.” So Donovan was single-mindedly, let’s defeat these [00:18:30] Nazis. But he needed people from those areas, native people from Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia area, Russia, every place else who spoke the languages, who might’ve had personal networks and who could operate there. But so many of them were Communist Party members, and they were acting as agents of Stalin within the OSS.

                                    He didn’t really care about it. Most of his biographers glossed this over or missed the point completely. But he said, no, we just have to do this one task. [00:19:00] That though contaminated our intelligence product because what he brought in on the research side of it, meaning the side to inform the president and the military leaders so they can make their decisions were so many Communist Party members and people right out, literally from the Frankfurt School in Germany, people like Herbert Marcuse who had been a commentary man, Forrest Allen.

Bill Walton:                   Oh, I didn’t know that.

Mike Waller:                 Now he’s in the OSS. Now the CIA memorializes Marcuse as one of its own original [00:19:30] intelligence officers. Well, compounding that challenge for Donovan was that it was the British who encouraged us to set up the OSS. And so William Stevenson, The Man Called Intrepid, he was in charge of all that for the British in the United States. He delegated setting up the OSS to Dicky Ellis, his deputy, who Donovan depended on incredibly to set up the OSS, but Ellis was [00:20:00] a double agent for Stalin. So the foundations of our intelligence service were completely corrupted from the start, even though it did great things. So the whole thing had to be taken apart after World War II.

Bill Walton:                   So Roosevelt dies, Truman becomes president. Truman didn’t like Hoover, but he listened to Hoover and he learned about what the OSS had become. So what did he do?

Mike Waller:                 He abolished it.

Bill Walton:                   He shut it down.

Mike Waller:                 He [00:20:30] didn’t even ask Donovan about it.

Bill Walton:                   Oh, he didn’t? Okay.

Mike Waller:                 He shut it down a month after the-

Bill Walton:                   I think of-

Mike Waller:                 … Japanese surrender.

Bill Walton:                   Wasn’t Donovan traveling or something and just he came back and his agency was gone.

Mike Waller:                 Didn’t bother to tell him. Of course, Truman didn’t even know about the OSS as vice president for all intents and purposes. He knew it existed, but he didn’t know anything about it. Like he didn’t know about the bomb until he became president.

Bill Walton:                   So when we think about what to do with the CIA, there is precedent here.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah.

Bill Walton:                   You could just shut it down.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. Yeah.

Bill Walton:                   Anyway, [00:21:00] I’m getting ahead of our story here. So the story we’re into the fifties and sixties, so lead us up towards where we are today.

Mike Waller:                 We’ll back up a little bit because when Truman abolished the OSS, he left us with nothing, no foreign intelligence service, and we needed one. So then the CIA was created a couple years later, put together with a lot of elements from the old OSS. So we always need an intelligence service, it’s just the type of people who are in it and running it. So [00:21:30] we’ll get to that in a bit. But what happened was a lot of the Stalinist agents in the OSS went into the State Department in the early Cold War, and they had friends in there.

Bill Walton:                   Sounds an awful lot like cockroaches.

Mike Waller:                 You can’t get rid of them.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah.

Mike Waller:                 And you have people like Alger Hiss who was director of policy planning for the State Department until he was finally unmasked and forced out and the statute of limitations ran out so they couldn’t get him for spying so they got him for lying to Congress, [00:22:00] but he still has his defenders today. And a lot of these communists, this is the problem. They’re nice people, they’re fun to be with. They’ll help you out. They’ll help you get jobs if you’ll just shut off about your own opinions or just go along, they will help you if you show promise and then you’re indebted to them so you’re part of this group that’s now cultivated over the years. You leave government service under a scandal because you’re a spy. A university will pick you up as a professor [00:22:30] so you can teach future diplomats and future intelligence officers. We’re seeing that right now with this State Department official accused of being an Iranian agent. And where did he go? He went to Yale.

Bill Walton:                   He went to Yale. I was just-

Mike Waller:                 Teaching our future diplomats.

Bill Walton:                   What’s his name? Robert. Yeah, anyway. He was totally in the tank for Iran.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. Yeah.

Bill Walton:                   Of course, it was obvious when they hired it because his parents had worked… They were involved with the whole Iran Revolutionary [00:23:00] Guard from the beginning.

Mike Waller:                 It’s so often obvious.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah.

Mike Waller:                 The problematic people are those who say the emperor has no clothes, and they’re saying, this guy is an Iranian spy, or at least an agent of influence.

Bill Walton:                   So the reason we need to talk about this, and it’s becoming more of a theme about what I’m doing with this show is let me do my personal going backward into my days in private equity, working in finance and things like that, not paying attention to this. When you hear [00:23:30] these stories about, well, there’s communist in the FBI or communist in the CIA, that sort of thing, you think, oh, come on. That’s just a conspiracy theory. That’s not really happening. Everything’s just fine. Well, it turns out it’s not fine. There really are a lot of people doing this and they’re infected with these really bad ideas and these bad ideas have now infected pretty much our entire culture.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. And all of us think of how-

Bill Walton:                   Pardon that [00:24:00] riff, but I was, you know-

Mike Waller:                 No, I mean, it’s true. It’s true. Some of the things that I found that I put in the book had somebody said it to me five or six years ago, I would’ve said, you’re crazy.

Bill Walton:                   Exactly. I think that’s the point that we need to make clear. What you thought was impossible actually turns out to be true and you’ve documented that.

Mike Waller:                 Right, and you go to the original documents, the primary sources. What did Obama say? What did the CIA director [00:24:30] Brennan say? What did Valerie Jarret say and do? You don’t look at what other people said about them, you look at what they said and they did. What did J. Edgar Hoover warn us about since 1920? Was he correct or was he mistaken? I mean, he was right on the mark.

Bill Walton:                   So Hoover dies in about 1968.

Mike Waller:                 Early seventies.

Bill Walton:                   Early seventies, dies, popularity still sky-high. He was replaced by a series of fairly [00:25:00] early middle of the road good guys that just ran the FBI the way Hoover had run it pretty much. It hadn’t been politicized much, if any at all then. When did the FBI begin to get politicized and affected with these ideas?

Mike Waller:                 Well, there are two different issues here. First, it performed a political mission for whatever president was in power, starting with Warren G. Harding. So Harding in the early twenties.

Bill Walton:                   1924.

Mike Waller:                 In the early… Yeah. [00:25:30] Yeah.

Bill Walton:                   Okay.

Mike Waller:                 He was a completely corrupt president.

Bill Walton:                   Politicians haven’t changed much.

Mike Waller:                 No.

Bill Walton:                   Okay.

Mike Waller:                 And he had Hoover spy on his political opponents in Congress, and then the next couple presidents weren’t interested in any of that stuff. Franklin Roosevelt loved it, not only spy on my opponents, he said spy on my friends too. And Roosevelt had some kind of prurient interests like the juicier the details of the more sordid nature [00:26:00] of what was being picked up the better. So he loved that. So he and Hoover got along really well, even though he was a liberal democrat, and Hoover was a Republican.

Bill Walton:                   So Hoover was right about communism, but he was not pure as driven snow.

Mike Waller:                 No.

Bill Walton:                   He loved collecting the dirt on everybody.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, because somebody might be a problem or dangerous or in his view, a threat to the bureau. And to this day, the biggest crime anyone in the FBI can commit is to embarrass the bureau.

Bill Walton:                   Now, the thing about the bureau that you point [00:26:30] out in the book is that the bureau was not really created by an act of Congress. It was an executive order or some, not even that at the time. They just said, let’s make this agency, and it just appeared and Hoover was running it, and it still operates on that basis. Therefore, if we wanted to change the FBI or get rid of the FBI, there’s not a lot of congressional action that needs to be taken.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, the FBI was not created-

Bill Walton:                   Except that the current director [00:27:00] of the FBI I’m sure has files on every member in Congress.

Mike Waller:                 And his kids and his spouse and everyone else.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah. Yeah.

Mike Waller:                 Imagine the access he has just through the FBI’s tentacles into social media or a place like Google where they record every keystroke you take when you’re using their browser and their products.

Bill Walton:                   When did the FBI become… Okay, we said they were political in the old-fashioned sense, but not ideological. Let me use ideological as the word. When did it become ideological and is it [00:27:30] just the top of the FBI or is it permeating through the ranks?

Mike Waller:                 It became ideological really in the… It started to after 911. So you had President George W. Bush tell the brand new FBI director Robert Mueller, he’d only been on the job for a week, said make sure the FBI never permits terrorists to attack our citizens again. [00:28:00] That’s a pretty big order for the FBI coming from the president.

Bill Walton:                   So this, and also sort of a stupid order because you can’t do something like that without wrecking all of her civil liberties, which is exactly what happened.

Mike Waller:                 But it sounded like the right thing at the time.

Bill Walton:                   Thank you President Bush. It sounded good at the time.

Mike Waller:                 So this is what happens in a national emergency when we have to do something. So then more of that doing something was let’s create a giant Department of Homeland Security and let’s merge [00:28:30] all of these other security entities, pull them out of other departments, pull Secret Service out of treasury, pull this out of here and this out there into this new centralized department. Part of what was protecting us was this was all decentralized before and it was already-

Bill Walton:                   And you point out that was on purpose. I mean, the idea was to stove pipe all these different agencies so that there wouldn’t be any concentration of power in any single hand. And that was on purpose, and it was to keep us freer and not have one big surveillance [00:29:00] state, which is in effect what we have now. But then they deliberately changed that.

Mike Waller:                 Right. Yeah, this was a bipartisan consensus going back decades. Don’t have a giant central intelligence service for all of our intelligence capabilities under one roof because that will threaten our constitutional government. Even Hoover, as powerful as he was, imagine running the Bureau for 48 years [00:29:30] with very few laws to limit what you can do and with all the stuff you have on the lawmakers who might try to make things problematic for you. Even then under him, the FBI was decentralized, meaning he would not initiate criminal cases around the country. It would be the local field offices. There are 56 of them now that would initiate those criminal cases and move them upward. And each special agent in charge of each [00:30:00] field office would have direct contact with Director Hoover or whichever other director there was.

                                    That all changed after 911. So Director Mueller with an outside consulting firm that also advises the Chinese government centralized the Bureau, put in more than 60 new management positions at the top, two new levels of bureaucracy at the top to centralize the Bureau and create a Department of Homeland Security separate from [00:30:30] that and create an office of the Director of National Intelligence apart from that, who would coordinate all now 17 intelligence agencies, including the FBI and a USA Patriot Act to codify into law these Draconian measures that sounded like the right thing to do at the time to fight terrorism and defend us against it. But even Bush and even Congress understood that this Patriot Act was so dangerous to us [00:31:00] that it had to sunset after a few years. It had to expire.

Bill Walton:                   They gave it four years.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. It had to expire, but Congress kept renewing it and renewing it and renewing it and the object was, we have to fight terrorism. We have to protect the country. Well, after a while, the Jihadists are essentially gone. The Jihadist threat to our homeland is not what it was because we did such a great job wiping them out around the world and [00:31:30] bribing or destroying certain regimes that were sponsoring them. So imagine then what do bureaucracies do when they’ve accomplished their mission? Do they dissolve? Do they go home or do they look for new missions and do they… If you don’t spend all your money in a federal agency at the end of the fiscal year, then Congress reduces your budget by that much the next year because obviously you don’t need it.

                                    So they’re looking for new reasons to exist. [00:32:00] Now, you combine this with the recruitment of analysts, of lawyers, of agents, of intelligence officers coming from these schools that have been imbuing the students with critical theory, and it’s all subtle. Nobody says critical theory. Nobody says cultural Marxism in the courses. It’s just the worldview that’s being taught, that the United States is a bad country. We’re so flawed. We’re not an exceptional country. [00:32:30] This is your dead white men thing. This is your Judeo-Christian heritage thing. It’s all oppressive. The founders were racist. The whole premise of Judeo-Christian principles and Greco-Roman Democratic Republican traditions, this is just dead white man stuff. It’s got to go. It’s repressive.

Bill Walton:                   See, that’s the essential point. That’s exactly what they’re being taught, and that’s exactly what we’re up against right now.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. Yeah. And in some ways, it’s not [00:33:00] the fault of the people coming in fresh out of college because this is what their parents paid for them to study, but the parents didn’t know. But it didn’t start in college. It went back to high school and junior high school and elementary school.

Bill Walton:                   Well, that’s what makes this evil so hard to pin down. We talked about this a little bit before Lenin, Russia, Stalin, then on with Stalin, but there were forces for evil consolidation power totalitarian, and they murdered [00:33:30] tens of millions of people. We had individuals to point at to say, these are the villains. We get rid of them maybe we can change the country, change the culture. This is an idea. This is an idea that’s been implanted that somehow the West is evil. Western civilization’s evil, white people are evil. You said it, I think much better than I just did. But this is really hard to combat because you’re a fresh faced kid at Yale, [00:34:00] and this is what you’re being taught.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. And you want to do the right thing. You want to go change the world or whatever, make the world a better place if that’s your goal, okay, but you think you’re doing the right thing and therefore your critics are evil people. They’re the enemy.

Bill Walton:                   Exhibit A for this, I think is Jim Comey. Want to talk about Jim Comey and who his mentor was?

Mike Waller:                 So Comey, starting in college, so he started as a med student, [00:34:30] and then-

Bill Walton:                   If anybody doesn’t know, Jim Comey was head of the FBI.

Mike Waller:                 Became head of the FBI.

Bill Walton:                   And Trump eventually fired him, but he was also the one that went on in front of Congress to exonerate Hillary Clinton just before the election, which backfired. But anyway, that’s-

Mike Waller:                 It did. But here’s a case of a well-meaning person. He wanted to save lives by being a doctor. Then he studied a Protestant philosopher called Reinhold Niebuhr. [00:35:00] And Niebuhr wanted to make the world a better place and had all this guidance for doing so under what appeared to be. It was some type of interpretation of Christian ethics. But he was a fellow traveler with Stalin’s commenter. He hung out with all the Marcusian people of the Frankfurt School. He was part and parcel of that, whether or not he was under their control. He was part of the larger influence network. [00:35:30] So young James Comey, the college student, wrote his senior paper about it and okay, that’s fine. We can’t be held responsible for what we write in college, necessarily.

Bill Walton:                   I hope not. Unless you’re part of the FBI, then maybe you ought to get rid of those ideas. But he didn’t get rid of them.

Mike Waller:                 Well, that’s the thing. When he was FBI director, his Twitter handle was @ReinholdNiebuhr. He kept quoting Niebuhr. Obama called Niebuhr his [00:36:00] favorite philosopher. So you can imagine Obama vetted their team very, very well, and his team vetted all the newcomers very, very well so when he’s looking for a new FBI director and he finds someone who’s a Reinhold Niebuhr disciple, that’s going to be a great FBI-

Bill Walton:                   And Obama had studied at the knee of Frank Marshall-

Mike Waller:                 Davis.

Bill Walton:                   … Davis. Who was a total communist and hated white people and imbued [00:36:30] Obama with those same set of beliefs. Obama had never attended a regular elementary school in America, never learned about the flag or the constitution or civics or anything like that. He went straight to Mr. Davis.

Mike Waller:                 Right. After coming back from his madrasah in Indonesia, living in Hawaii, his grandfather wanted somebody who could mentor this young Barry Obama who had no dad [00:37:00] around and found this Black man named Frank Marshall Davis, who had a white wife. So he thought, well, this kind of combination would be great because Obama’s dad was black and his mother was white. And Frank Marshall Davis mentored this young Barack Obama for 10 years until he went to college. Now, Obama wrote about him in one of his memoirs, but he only referred to him as Frank. He didn’t refer to him by the full name. And you have to wonder why.

Bill Walton:                   The first book he referred only [00:37:30] to Frank, and then it came out later that this was Frank Marshall Davis.

Mike Waller:                 Right. So Cliff Kincaid went and found out who it was, pulled the file, the FBI file, and he was a witting Soviet asset in the United States and a Communist Party member all his life. So he’s shaping this young Barry Obama’s worldview. So going straight from Indonesia in the madrasah to this Communist Party mentor, and then off to Occidental [00:38:00] College.

Bill Walton:                   I want to be mindful of our time. You’ve got to go down to Congress and fix Congress this afternoon. So I want to get to some of these action items before, but moving from the FBI, and we ended up with Comey as the director and subsequent directors. I can’t comment on Chris Ray, but they have similar educational backgrounds. The CIA [00:38:30] became political in a cultural Marxist way, the way we’re using it here, and really clearly in 2012 with an executive order from Barack Obama mandating diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. So August, 2011 is about the tipping point. So this is being implemented late 2011, 2012. That was sort of the tipping point in terms of an executive order [00:39:00] to make something happen. It was a government-wide executive order to impose DEI as a priority on all government agencies. Obama had set it up a little bit earlier. So he inherited a lot of Bush team national security people, Robert Gates, others, he had General Jim Jones as his national security advisor, former Marine Corps Commandant. So he had a pretty moderate national security team coming in. Within a year or two, he started purging that team, [00:39:30] or they started to treading out, and he started putting in ideologically compatible people with General James Clapper heading up to the whole 17 member intelligence community.

                                    He was a radical just because he had stars on his shoulder didn’t mean he was not a radical. He was probably the most extreme general we’ve seen running the whole program. And then you had a CIA director finally brought in after Leon Panetta left who shared [00:40:00] that same agenda. This was John Brennan who worked in the White House with Valerie Jarrett. He was this career CIA man. And imagine this, he was recruited into the CIA or he enlisted and joined the CIA just a few years after voting for a Soviet asset to become President of the United States, Gus Hall Communist Party chief.

                                    So imagine you’re voting for the Communist Party to run our country, and three or four years later, you join the CIA. [00:40:30] So this is the type of recruiting that was going on in the late seventies, early eighties. So you have the junior people trickling in at that time, they moved to upper management. So by the nineties, they’re halfway through their careers and by the early two thousands their senior in there. But the numbers are relatively few. But with the big hiring coming in after 911, you had a lot of people being brought in with these. [00:41:00] Some of them were deliberately bad actors. Some didn’t know what they were prone to it, and some could just, well, I just want to get along and get promoted, so I’m going to do as I’m told. So this is where the critical theory and the cultural Marxism really embedded itself was this Bush Obama period and then it took off with vengeance under Obama.

                                    And anybody right now can see how the FBI and the CIA are recruiting. They’re only recruiting woke people. Go to FBI jobs on Twitter, X. [00:41:30] It’s just wokeness after wokeness after wokeness in their promotional ads. Look at the CIA recruitment ads starting in 2020. Just sheer wokeness, intersectionality, whatever lifestyle you want, whatever gender you think. And it’s not simply, well, we need different kinds of talent to work different kinds of communities and to know these things, it’s we are transforming the CIA and the FBI. They call themselves secret agents of change. [00:42:00] This is not what the CIA is for. It’s not what the FBI is for to be agents of change, but this is what they’re doing. And they did it for the first five or six years of the Obama administration semi secretly, and then finally went public with it after it was a done deal.

Bill Walton:                   So where are we today, 2024?

Mike Waller:                 Today we’re in a situation where there’s been such mission creep in the FBI and the CIA, so many abuses [00:42:30] that the director say, unlike CIA director, Bill Kolby in the mid-seventies, he came forward to Congress and said, “Yeah, we have a lot of problems. Let me work with Congress to fix them.” Bill Kolby, former OSS man. Chris Ray and the FBI won’t do that. He lies to Congress. He won’t answer basic questions even of a general nature. So if it’s classified, he could always say, let’s go into executive session and I can tell [00:43:00] you there in a classified setting. He won’t even do that. So the whole machine is contaminated, it’s broken, but we need something like the FBI. We need a counterintelligence service. We need the functions of counter-terrorism fighting child trafficking, all sorts of other important things that the FBI does.

                                    But do we need an FBI the way it is, and I don’t think we do. It can’t really be fixed. It has a lot of good people in there. [00:43:30] This drives my friends crazy when I say this because they say, well, if they are good, why don’t they all come out? But we see what happens to whistleblowers when they do come out, FBI destroys them. So there are good people in there, but they’re not free to move. And I’m glad they’re still in there because there are still sane people doing their jobs, but at the same time, they’re part of the problem. So if you break it up, it’s like an antitrust situation where you have something that’s gotten too big and too powerful. It doesn’t mean [00:44:00] destroy the entire enterprise and cast it into the winds. It means break it up into logical components that aren’t going to hurt anybody anymore and then make sure that they’re viable. So this is what should happen to the FBI.

Bill Walton:                   How would you do that?

Mike Waller:                 So I’d transfer a lot of the functions to different existing agencies. It’s not an ideal solution because they’re getting woke too.

Bill Walton:                   Well, most all 90, most of government, federal government anyway is that way. [00:44:30] But the principle though is to start stove piping again or separate power so it’s not concentrated. So at the very least you’ve accomplished in opening up to other sort of federalism, I guess, where you’ve got some agencies which are more effective than others, and is that the general idea?

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, so you’d move the criminal branch of the FBI over to the US Marshal Service, which is our oldest law enforcement agency that [00:45:00] was created by George Washington, and it’s had the fewest scandals, so in a different ethos. So put that there, put the FBI academy there, but under US Marshal’s ethos. Take the National Security branch and break it up so that you have a separate counterintelligence service to really go after foreign spies and the spy agencies that are targeting us, not just the fly swatting of the low hanging fruit that we’re doing right now, but really go after in a strategic way foreign by [00:45:30] agencies. President George W. Bush tried to do this after 911. He had a really great team. Friends of the Center for Security Policy were part of that team, but then he put FBI agents in charge of it and ruined it.

                                    But that agency is still there so that all that function can be moved over there and take the cyber function and move it elsewhere. There’s no ideal place for it, but there’s a unit in DHS. I would say, put it there just to get it out of FBI and so on. You don’t need the FBI fighting drug trafficking when we have a [00:46:00] DEA. The only real difference in what they do is the DEA also collects revenues or does whatever. It has different functions, but take it out of the FBI move to DEA and so on, and then deal with those other problematic agencies later. So you don’t have an FBI left anymore, and you can just make it go the way of the OSS and the brand is gone too.

Bill Walton:                   So let’s imagine that we’re now looking in 2025. It’s February. We have a Republican president, and if it’s a Republican, [00:46:30] it’s going to be Donald Trump and I’m for that. But Trump came into Washington in 2016 and essentially get his head handed to him by the federal agencies, by the deep state, and never really penetrated into any of these agencies or any of the other departments in the administration. I think he’s a lot smarter about that now. And let’s suppose there’s a congressional [00:47:00] majority in Congress of Republicans in the House and the Senate, you would then create an initiative to say, well, let’s break the FBI into these component pieces. And the theory is that we want to get back to the ideas of a constitutional limited government or republic, then we want to decentralized power. And we don’t want all this concentrated in one hand in the federal level. And so the way you sell it is based on that big idea.

Mike Waller:                 [00:47:30] Right. And you have an action plan. Because Trump came in before, he didn’t have an action plan. He didn’t have a unified team of people who trusted each other, let alone liked each other.

Bill Walton:                   Well, I’m smiling. I was in charge of writing action plans for the federal agencies. He paid no attention to it.

Mike Waller:                 Well, that was the other thing too.

Bill Walton:                   So he had one, but he didn’t use it. It was a good one too.

Mike Waller:                 Okay, so you’ve been there.

Bill Walton:                   It was superb.

Mike Waller:                 Well dusted off, right.

Bill Walton:                   Full dusted off. Okay.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, dated a bit.

Bill Walton:                   It’s a little dated.

Mike Waller:                 But on [00:48:00] this one, so you need like Reagan did when he became president.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah.

Mike Waller:                 Like Clinton did, like Obama did, like Biden did. You have the executive orders pre-written. The president can implement them on day one.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah, I know Heritage is working on some of that. And also AFPI is working on some of that. They’re working away. I hope Trump takes advantage of it. Anyway, continue.

Mike Waller:                 Well then, so you have the executive orders that come from the president, but then you need laws to make them so that they can’t be [00:48:30] reversed. And that’s where you need the draft legislation written to match the executive orders so that if you do get both houses of Congress, you can put those through as laws. Then you need the people. Pre-vetted. Yeah. How do they work? Who are the ones who don’t have higher ambitions to maybe water down what they do in hopes they get a big foreign agent contract afterward, or an intelligence contract after their government service or whatever else. That’s [00:49:00] a big problem.

Bill Walton:                   I don’t know where we’re going to find those people, but we can work on it. Wanted, somebody to come to Washington who has no further ambitions except to make the country better.

Mike Waller:                 That’s too much to ask, is it?

Bill Walton:                   It’s a lot.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. Yeah.

Bill Walton:                   But it’s an objective instead of just wring our hands, we can point towards at least breaking it up and somewhat changing the concentration of power. What about the CIA?

Mike Waller:                 [00:49:30] Well, there’s an even neater part of this that every citizen can have a role in, every single voter can have a role in. And that is their county sheriffs. County sheriffs have a huge amount of power. A lot of them know it. Many of them don’t know it. And certainly the voters don’t know it. And when we vote for county sheriff every election year, do we really know who that person is that we’re voting for or is it just the party affiliation that we’re voting for? So now’s the time to talk to every county [00:50:00] sheriff and every candidate for sheriff and say, “What will you do to use your constitutional authority to prevent the FBI and the ATF or any other federal agency from sending agents into your county, our county to abuse us.”

Bill Walton:                   Sort of like Texas and our border.

Mike Waller:                 Exactly. Exactly. But county sheriffs have a real authority for this. And this is a couple of colleagues at the Center for Security Policy have been working on this kind of thing. It’s a wonderful local level [00:50:30] weapon that still works-

Bill Walton:                   So we don’t try to do this. I mean, we try to do it from the top down from Washington, but you could do it at an individual sheriff… How many sheriffs are there in each state?

Mike Waller:                 One in every county.

Bill Walton:                   Okay. So thousands and thousands. And we work on really making this a granular movement to make change.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. They’re elected law enforcement officers. They have these powers to do it, and they’re the eyes and ears of the FBI and the ATF and the DEA and every place [00:51:00] else who don’t have their local people crawling around. They need the local cops as well as the state and town police. But the sheriffs have a special authority. And this is where asking every sheriff and candidate what they’re going to do to limit the abuses of the FBI in their county and hold them to it and help those who already are predisposed.

Bill Walton:                   So we may not have… At least sheriffs can get voted out of office. So that’s one way [00:51:30] we can control them. Okay. What about the CIA?

Mike Waller:                 Oh, the CIA is we need a foreign intelligence agency. We need an agency to collect secret intelligence from abroad.

Bill Walton:                   But hasn’t it gotten sort of weird in that if you look at China as our principal adversary, China has infiltrated the United States government and all of our institutions in a way that no foreign adversary [00:52:00] ever has. And so we’ve got a lot of people acting at the behest of China, whether directly on the payroll or through indirect influence. I mean, this is not just a surveillance of foreign actors, but we got to sort of watch what’s going on here in DC.

Mike Waller:                 And that’s another problem if you have FISA.

Bill Walton:                   So Mike, I want a solution to that problem. That may be another book.

Mike Waller:                 We’re just trying to start a discussion with the book.

Bill Walton:                   Okay. Let’s get the dialogue going. All [00:52:30] right.

Mike Waller:                 Think of it, going back to the OSS, and it’s in Big Intel a little bit, you had communist agents inside the OSS actively helping Mao Tse-tung when he was still a gorilla in the mountains. Actively helping stop the gold shipments to Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalist government.

Bill Walton:                   We took sides in that war for on Mao’s side and against Chiang Kai-shek.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of it was communist infiltration [00:53:00] of the OSS, which was providing the secret intelligence. So you had Stalinist agents advising us what to do, General Stilwell, some great military leaders all the way up to the presidents, Roosevelt, and especially Truman and afterward. So it’s really deep-seated. But the CIA did not predict the rise of communist China as a peer military competitor to us. Even the open source data was being reported. Lots of our friends [00:53:30] you’ve had on here at this table were writing about this in the 1980s and 1990s. CIA didn’t do it. So if they’re not collecting and analyzing because of whatever limitations and biases they have, and the presidents aren’t getting unvarnished intelligence, even if it has a different spin on it or perspective to it, that’s the whole thing with good intelligence. You have people with different opinions bringing in all their perspectives. You don’t have that. [00:54:00] So our leaders aren’t able to predict what’s happening and then all of a sudden, oh, look what the Chinese are doing to us. Where did that come from?

Bill Walton:                   So the big idea is you don’t need a big CIA that’s using open source intelligence. You can use a much smaller, leaner, and meaner group, the people that have true top secret insights into what’s going on. Plus you got to rebuild your human intelligence component. Didn’t we shut that down, the spies [00:54:30] in the field and that sort of thing. And we need to get back into old-fashioned intelligence gathering where you’ve got people cloak and dagger where you’ve got people in the field working for you.

Mike Waller:                 Yeah, and that was two generations or more ago.

Bill Walton:                   We’re not doing much of that now.

Mike Waller:                 Under Jimmy Carter, it was being shut down.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah, good old Jimmy.

Mike Waller:                 And never really rebuilt. And the way the personnel system works in the CIA is you can’t have someone who has deep roots in a certain country and gets to know the leaders and the families in the business [00:55:00] sector and the party apparatus. You don’t have that anymore because that’s not a way you get recruited or promoted. It’s you become stagnant or you get what’s called clientitis. So there is a danger of you identify so much with the community you’re living in that you forget you’re American so there’s that danger. But there’s also the danger of not being embedded the way the British had been in the British Empire. We lack that. And then having pretty poor counterintelligence capabilities of our own. [00:55:30] We don’t think the way our enemies think. So we don’t understand them and what they do, and we don’t understand what we see and what we hear.

Bill Walton:                   So we’ve concluded, I think that this is a big problem. We’ve got a few solutions, but we need more people in the game helping us to figure out how to restore freedom and the good old constitutional limited government that made the country [00:56:00] so great, but we’re up against it.

Mike Waller:                 Big time. Imagine when the FBI doesn’t believe in limited government anymore because power comes from the center. It doesn’t come from the people.

Bill Walton:                   Yeah.

Mike Waller:                 CIA doesn’t believe in limited government. It sort of believes in unlimited to the point that it can flagrantly break the law and get involved in our elections, and that its people break the law literally every day by leaking [00:56:30] classified material to the press, every single day, never prosecuted for it. So these are states within a state that are evolving. So the primacy of the individual is viewed as a quaint, archaic idea when really we all know it’s better to have security than freedom because we all have to be safe and the government’s going to be here to make everybody safe.

Bill Walton:                   Well, normally I like to [00:57:00] have a line of action. I think our line of action is just to educate people about what’s really happening. And the book’s a great start, but it’s a big intractable problem. And you got a great blurb here from Tucker Carlson who read the book and you talk with them through the creation of it. And he writes, “What if you combine the dark anti-human politics of the academic left with the unfettered power and impenetrable secrecy of the national security state? [00:57:30] You’d have pretty much what we have now.”

Mike Waller:                 He nailed it with that.

Bill Walton:                   He did nail it, but I think you’ve nailed it in a much, much bigger way. This is really worth digging into more. So we’ll have you back. We’ll get some other people here. Next time will be filled with solutions. Anyway, Mike, Mike Waller, thanks. Author of Big Intel. Highly recommended. I don’t have people on here with books that I don’t recommend so this is one though I think that should be on your [00:58:00] library shelf after reading it thoroughly. This has been the Bill Walton Show. And as you know, you can find us in all the major podcast platforms and on YouTube, Rumble, Substack.

                                    We’re also obviously on our own website, thebillwaltonshow.com. Please subscribe to the show. Ask your friends to subscribe to the show. If you’re watching this on YouTube or Rumble, hit the like button. Those are very helpful for the algorithms. And we’ll be back with a lot more like this. And we’ll be back with Mike [00:58:30] Waller. He’s got to head off this afternoon to go fix Congress. And so we’ll let him do that, and he’ll come back with a good story, I’m sure. So Mike, thank you and thanks for joining.

                                    I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Want more, click the subscribe button or head over to thebillwaltonshow.com to choose from over a hundred episodes. You can also learn more about our guest on our Interesting People page, and send us your comments. We read everyone and your thoughts help [00:59:00] us guide the show. If it’s easier for you to listen, check out our podcast page and subscribe there. In return, we’ll keep you informed about what’s true, what’s right, and what’s next. Thanks for joining.


Episode 277: “NATO Taunts Russia” with Stephen Bryen and Brandon Weichert

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