episode 224: “The FBI’s Ambitious New Plans” with J. Michael Waller
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is proceeding with plans to build a new headquarters which would be twice the size of the The Pentagon, the world’s largest office building.
The new FBI headquarters is to be built on one of three sites in suburban Virginia and Maryland. Those sites are large parcels of 58, 61, and 80 acres.
The Kremlin in Moscow —a walled fortress containing the administrative offices of the Russian central government, the official presidential residence, massive auditoriums, an arsenal, a museum, four palaces, three cathedrals and several churches—is just over 66 acres in area.
Vatican City in Rome, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, is tucked into 110 acres.
The FBI is proceeding with its plans at a time when Americans have grown increasingly alarmed about the mission creep of an institution we once regarded as the world’s greatest law-enforcement agency.
After the 9/11 attacks, the Bureau’s mission changed to become an intelligence operation rather than a law enforcement agency. Case management has been centralized in its headquarters in Washington DC rather than as before in the field offices around the country. It did this to place so-called operational decisions in the hand of what they’ve called “politically sensitive” individuals at headquarters.
What this means in practice it that the political biases of FBI leadership, and some of its investigators, have come to influence the conduct and public perception of the agency’s most consequential investigations.
Joining me to talk about the planned building, the FBI’s history and what it’s become today, is my frequent guest and astute observer of US intelligence agencies, Mike Waller.
J. Michael Waller, is a Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy where he concentrates on propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion. Mike’s author of a soon to be published book about the CIA and the FBI.
The FBI hasn’t revealed a reason or strategy for its colossal new HQ but we do know this according to the GSA specs:
- “Riveted into its new project are woke regulations to ensure that the FBI center will comply with diversity, equity, LGBTQ+, and climate change political goals,” explains Mike.
- The site, design, and structure of the new FBI headquarters must “advance racial equity and support for underserved communities through the Federal Government,” as part of Joe Biden’s Executive Order 13985 calling for “an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda.”
But the problem with today’s FBI runs deeper.
“After 9/11 the FBI has been stuck in this netherworld of being a law enforcement agency and an intelligence agency, and you can’t combine those with the same people in the same organization or you get political police.”
Is this what we want from our FBI?
There is a lot packed into this episode about a woke and politicized FBI.
Mike explains how we got here – from the 1920s to today – and it’s a fascinating, and disturbing, story.
episode 224 transcript
Episode 224: “The FBI’s Ambitious New Plans” with J. Michael 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. The Biden Administration is proceeding with its plans to build a new headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which will be twice the size of the world’s largest office building, the Pentagon.
This is happening at the same time as Americans are growing increasingly alarmed about the FBI, an institution we once regarded as the world’s greatest law enforcement agency. So, why are we so skeptical? Well, here’s a plausible explanation.
After the 9/11 attacks, the Bureau changed its mission and set out to become an intelligence agency rather than a law enforcement agency. A law enforcement agency deals in facts rather than speculation, and its agents may have to swear in court.
On the other hand, an intelligence agency deals in estimates and best guesses. Intelligence agencies often bend rules or shade the truth to please their political masters. And along with making the FBI more like an intelligence agency, case management has been centralized in its headquarters in Washington DC rather than as before in the field offices around the country.
It did this to place so-called operational decisions in the hand of what they’ve called politically sensitive individuals at headquarters. Well, now we’re seeing the results of those decisions.
A bureau laboring under the weight of scandal after scandal, which is Andrew McCarthy puts it, stems from the political biases of FBI leadership and investigators, and the way in which those biases influence the conduct and public perception of the agency’s most consequential investigations.
And these same people now want to headquarter their operation in the largest office building in the world. So, I have a lot of questions. Joining me with what I hope are all the answers is my frequent guest and astute observer of our intelligent operations, Mike Waller.
Jay Michael Waller, a Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy where he concentrates on propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion. So, Mike, let’s first talk about the building.
Mike Waller (03:00):
Bill Walton (03:00):
What’s going on? You’ve written an interesting piece on that. There’s a lot going on there. A lot to unpack.
Mike Waller (03:06):
Yeah. We don’t know a lot about the building because the FBI hasn’t said what it wants with a headquarter megaplex as twice the size of the Pentagon. They haven’t given a reason. They haven’t given a strategy.
They’re not giving up their big training and education facilities at Quantico. They want something that’s near Quantico, so it’s not like they’re consolidating. Right now, headquarters only occupies about two blocks.
Bill Walton (03:33):
And they want to keep that very ugly building on Pennsylvania Avenue just across from the Justice Department?
Mike Waller (03:41):
No. They plan to demolish that. And the land is going to be privatized, but they will build another facility in Downtown, Washington D.C. so they can be near the Justice Department. So, this place is just expanding like crazy.
Bill Walton (03:54):
So, we don’t know what they have in mind?
Mike Waller (03:56):
No. They haven’t said. They haven’t told Congress. Nobody in Congress has really asked.
Bill Walton (04:02):
Well, you wrote about the specs and the specs involved a lot of things that didn’t seem to involve either law enforcement or intelligence work. A lot of things about a woke agenda and climate change and that thing. What are in the specs?
Mike Waller (04:22):
The specs for the building or the specs for their agenda?
Bill Walton (04:27):
I think both answers would be interesting.
Mike Waller (04:31):
Yeah. Well, actually there is a climate change agenda to this because what the General Services administration has said. So, the GSA is the government’s property management agency. They said that part of the land has to be certified sustainable or whatever, which I would imagine means solar panels and all of that stuff.
But I still don’t see why you would need 58 acres, which is the smallest parcel of the three that the government is looking at to build a new FBI. You don’t need 58 acres for that. There is also a diversity agenda that the Biden Administration and the GSA have, which means diversity is more important than cost to the taxpayer.
So, it’s weighted more heavily in the decision on where to situate the headquarters. So, there are two land plots in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and there is one out in Springfield, Virginia. The only one that the federal government owns is the one in Virginia.
So, you would think, “Well, that’s the logical place.” If you’re going to have a headquarters, that’s the logical place because it’s already U.S. government land, but it’s not diverse enough down there. So, they want to make it more diverse by favoring and heavily weighting these terrible areas in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Bill Walton (05:51):
Where’s Landmark Mall? That’s one of the spots. That’s in a very tough section of Maryland, isn’t it?
Mike Waller (05:58):
Right, that’s one of them. And then, another one is right by a metro stop, which is owned by the state of Maryland.
Bill Walton (06:05):
Well, if you go on the website, the FBI website, now, I must disclose at this point that I thought I was going to do a show with you about the building, and then I started digging into the FBI, which I don’t know a lot about. And the more I dug, the more alarmed I got and the more concerned I was about what on earth we’re taking on here, because you’ve got 35,000 employees.
And as near as I can tell, it doesn’t really report to anyone. Congress funds it and they have some committees that they answer to, but not really if you’ve watched Chris Ray’s testimony. So, we’ve got a really huge rogue agency in my view.
I digress. Back to the website. You go on the website. And the about section of the website, their dropdowns, in this case, there are only four of them. First one’s mission, of course, second one’s leadership and structure. That’s fine. The third one of four is diversity and inclusion.
They consider that to be the big three. The other one is just frequently asked questions. So, diversity, inclusion has really permeated the mission of the FBI, which I guess leads us to why they want to put it in where the Landmark Mall is right now in Maryland.
Mike Waller (07:27):
Yeah. If diversity, equity and inclusion, sometimes the Bureau includes equity, sometimes not because equity means predetermined outcomes as opposed to finally getting the suspect or whatever. This shows the politicization of the FBI. And if that’s part of their core mission on the four-item dropdown that you just described on their website, this shows how gravely politicized the FBI has become.
This really started under Obama who was putting forth these diversity mandates. It really did under George W. Bush, but not in a serious way. It really began under Attorney General Eric Holder and Obama. The Trump Administration did a little bit to wind it down, but I don’t think they understood the agenda that was put in place.
Because when Biden came in amongst his first executive orders were to reverse everything that Trump had done, but then moved forward really hard on the FBI and the rest of the intelligence community. And it’s not just a racial diversity for nicer outcomes, this is diversity of everything you can imagine.
So, the FBI had mandatory LGBT plus as they called it, training for all personnel. And it wasn’t just saying, “Well, you’re going to be a field agent.” You need to know this particular community you’re going to be working with. You need to know what to look for, what the different colors mean. You have to become an activist yourself.
The way the Office of Director of National Intelligence calls it, you have to become “Agents of change.” So, FBI agents are now agents of change. And then, at the end of the course it said, “You have to be at ally for this movement.” No matter what your moral positions are or whether you think it has anything to do with law enforcement or counterintelligence, and you need to become an activist.
And then, they have these rainbow flag clad, FBI agents wearing their FBI shirts, sometimes wearing their badges, carrying their colorful flags in pride parades. And I have the manual, I’m putting it in my book. So, it’s not a manual, it’s 56 training slides and it says, “Literally to do that.”
Bill Walton (09:43):
So, let’s talk about your book. Do you have a working title?
Mike Waller (09:47):
We don’t have a title yet. The draft title is Big Intel and it’s not going to be the final title, I don’t think. It started out to look at why the CIA went from fighting the Communist internationally and really defending our country and being something despite everything that you could, it was an essential tool of American Foreign Policy and National Security.
Why did it go the way it has gone? And why did it become so politicized? And then, in the course of researching and writing this, I came across a lot of FBI material, talked to a lot of people inside the Bureau or who had recently left the Bureau and said to the publishers, “Let’s make it about both FBI and CIA. So, it’s going to be about both organizations.
Bill Walton (10:30):
So, your primary background is in the world of CIA and foreign intelligence and operations. But I guess in the course of this, you’ve discovered that this whole operation has been turned on Americans and away from our enemy outside the country?
Mike Waller (10:48):
Right. It’s the enemy at home.
Bill Walton (10:50):
Yeah. I call it the enemy within. But I like either one. It’s the same.
Mike Waller (10:57):
Yeah. Now, I didn’t work for the CIA, but I worked with them a lot abroad. And it was long ago when Bill Casey was Director. And it was funny because Casey needed people who were not inside the system in order to get work done, because they didn’t have that talent inside the agency.
So, they went and they got outsiders to do the work and to circumvent the CIA bureaucracy. And you’re finding it, it was like a CIA within a CIA. And not for politicization purposes, but for combating the Soviets because the agency had lost a lot of its talent after the 1970s.
It had lost a lot of its enthusiasm, and it was full of people who really didn’t see the Soviets as a big threat. FBI is pretty different right now. On the other hand, it has-
Bill Walton (11:44):
So, yeah, talk about your intellectual path towards thinking about CIA and then really focusing more on the FBI because that’s interesting.
Mike Waller (11:55):
Sure, yeah. And this was a neat part of when you go back and do your real research and how the facts you find in your research contradict with what you’ve always thought or believed or even known. And that’s what’s happened in this book, it’s been quite a journey.
So, when I look at the development of the CIA, I found Jay Edgar Hoover of the FBI was saying, he was telling, “President Truman, we can’t have this foreign intelligence agency based on the people who were going to be running it because it’s full of Soviet agents in Communist party members.”
Bill Walton (12:30):
And he had the dossiers?
Mike Waller (12:32):
He had the dossiers, he did. And then, the person who was going ahead, it was Will Bill Donovan, he was the founder and the leader of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. A real heroic guy, but he had a blind spot for communists and he brought in a huge number of them into the OSS.
It was penetrated from top to bottom. Even his right-hand man was a Soviet agent. So, Hoover’s looking at this and he’s saying, “We can’t fight a Cold War.” We might be able to fight the Nazis to some degree with these types of people, but you can’t fight a Cold War against Stalin and the Soviets if you’re going to have something that Stalin has penetrated from top to bottom.
Bill Walton (13:09):
Well, didn’t the OSS primarily recruit from the Ivys?
Mike Waller (13:14):
Bill Walton (13:15):
It was the elite of the elite. And I hate to impugn the Ivys, but I’m about to. They also, as far back as then were touting the virtues of the communist party.
Mike Waller (13:29):
Yeah. And they had a lot of faculty, especially at Columbia University. And this is what the book touches on too. There was a time in the mid to late 30s where the U.S. was bringing in a lot of college faculty and scholars from Europe who were either being persecuted by the Nazis or risked being persecuted by the Nazis.
So, the United States provided them what amounts to political asylum, and then they were hired in place at universities around the country. Problem is, a lot of these, I mean a lot of these scholars were Marxists, were agents of the Soviet common current.
Some had been trained as Soviet intelligence officers, and they set up shop at universities around the United States, but especially at Columbia University, which hosted the country’s largest teaching college.
So, they were teaching the teachers who were then spread out to public and private schools and colleges and universities around the country to educate the next generation of people to run our country.
Bill Walton (14:33):
And they had an explicit strategy to focus on Columbia. I think it started out plainly being called Columbia Teachers College.
Mike Waller (14:43):
Yes, it was. The head of the National Education Association was housed there, Dewey. And he was sympathetic to the common turn. He was a fellow traveler. So, when they set up their institute that had been based in Germany, it was set up by the common turn.
And we have firsthand accounts of the meeting where it was set up in Moscow from a woman who came to the United States also as a communist. And then, told my old friend, Ralph de Toledano, who had been Editor of Newsweek, told her the whole story.
She was sitting there meeting with the Soviet leaders including the Lenin’s secret police Chief Dzerzhinsky, to set up this group in Germany. And then, when it was kicked, pushed out of Germany, they set up shop in New York. And then, they produced a lot of the intellectual basis for what we call cultural Marxism.
Bill Walton (15:38):
So, this is the Bill Walton Show, and I’m talking with my good friend and very smart intelligence thinker, Michael Waller. And I think we’re just beginning to get at the roots or the early days of what’s now we think of as the long march through our cultural institutions and how they firmly planted their flag at Columbia University in New York. And it was all part of a very well thought through strategy.
Mike Waller (16:11):
It was a brilliant strategy. And at that point, this was even in the 1930s, the Soviets and their Western loyalists believed that, okay, we cannot have a Bolsheviks’ style revolution in an industrialized country like Germany or France or the UK or the United States, that workers unite isn’t going to work.
So, who’s the new proletariat? Who’s the new working class? And they thought, well, it’s not over economics that we’re fighting now, the poor against the wealthy, it is culture.
So, we think of Marxism as polarizing society to take the economic means of production from the entrepreneurs and put it in the hands of the proletariat, the workers. Now, you’re taking culture and you’re destroying every aspect of Western culture, secular and religious.
Bill Walton (17:06):
Yeah. I’m sorry, go ahead.
Mike Waller (17:09):
And when you destroyed and pit sides against one another in constantly negative fashion to make sure that the enduring western values that built our civilizations in Europe and America were completely discredited in the eyes of the next generation and destroyed.
So, there was nothing worth saving and nothing worth fighting for. If you could educate two generations of these types of people, they would then become the next professors, the next journalists, the next entertainers, the next diplomats, politicians, judges, intelligence officers. And this is part of what happened to our own FBI and CIA.
Bill Walton (17:46):
Well, it seems like they really picked up pace when they not only talked, made it about culture, but it’s specifically about race and identity. And those are groups. The problem with economic stratification, the proletariat and the capitalist elites, is that the proletariats wanted to be capitalist.
They could advance to become wealthy in our system. But when you make race the issue, that’s unchangeable, and that presents itself with an immutable fixed thing that you got to separate us versus them. And I think that’s where we are today.
Mike Waller (18:29):
Right. And you can’t change that. You can always change your economic status for better or for worse. You can certainly try hard, but you can’t change your race. Until recently, you couldn’t change your gender, you couldn’t change so many of these things that are immutable. And now, when they have a cultural Marxist like Ibram Kendi, who says that, even-
Bill Walton (18:52):
Ibram X. Kendi.
Mike Waller (18:53):
[inaudible 00:18:53] little racist, no matter what you do. And that becomes top reading for the Pentagon and for the people throughout our national security community, that’s a top mandatory reading. And then, they think, “Oh, yeah. Well, that’s the source of our White rage.”
“Let’s fight that with more diversity, equity, and inclusion.” So, they’re not studying Ibram X. Kendi to understand the enemy. Well, they’re understanding it to internalize the enemy.
Bill Walton (19:21):
Well, yeah, to make us impossible. There’s no way we can atone for our original sin of being white. Although Mark Levin had a really good idea. He said, “Well, look, if they believe we can change our sex, why can’t we change our race?” I mean, it worked pretty well for Elizabeth Warren until she was found out.
And I think there are a couple other, Rachel, somebody who tried to pass as Black to get… so I don’t see why we can’t start a movement for race identity change and really blow the thing apart.
Mike Waller (19:56):
Yeah. And the FBI has an obsession with this and the CIA personnel, human resources-
Bill Walton (20:03):
I suppose, we had a bit of a landing. We got to stay with the FBI. You’re an historian and so I love understanding the roots of all these problems we’re facing today. So, as it infiltrates the FBI, how did that proceed at pace? And is my theory right about after 9/11 changing from the law enforcement agency to intelligence agency changed their culture?
Mike Waller (20:32):
Yes. Yeah. President Bush was really angry at the FBI for not predicting 9/11 and for not being able to stop it. And so-
Bill Walton (20:45):
Which it wasn’t their job to do.
Mike Waller (20:49):
Right. They were stripped of a lot of the powers they would’ve had. The thing is, they did have some assets who had warned in advance that something was going to happen that would involve an aircraft. But the FBI was so discombobulated internally that headquarters never knew the intelligence or none of the field offices, aside from the one that generated it, knew the intelligence.
So, when Robert Mueller, who was FBI Director, he’d only been on the job for a week when 9/11 hit, and he had the band aid to turn the FBI into an intelligence agency, which as you said in earlier, means that you’re collecting intelligence that might or might not be true.
You’re using it and collecting it by means that would probably get thrown out of court. So, you can’t prosecute with this. And then, why would you want to prosecute somebody before he’s done a crime? This gets back to your pre-crime problem where you’re now becoming a thought police.
So, how do you deal with this and protect the country at the same time? So, the FBI was stuck in this netherworld of being a law enforcement agency and an intelligence agency, and you can’t combine those with the same people in the same organization or you get political police.
Bill Walton (22:06):
Which is what we seem to have now. I mean, embedding FBI inside Twitter. And it wasn’t just the FBI though, I think all the intelligence agencies were in Twitter at one time or another.
Mike Waller (22:17):
Right, a lot of them were. And they think they can break the law to or find creative ways to circumvent the law and then set up arrangements where if you provide something to the FBI as private company, that’s your right to, and the FBI can accept it and use it.
So, they were putting in former bureau people, former CIA people into these places. They’re now private employees of a private company, and then they’re feeding things back to their colleagues inside their old organization.
Bill Walton (22:46):
Well, it may have started out, we’ll put people in and the companies can forgive it to us to be good citizens. But very quickly, it morphed into them making demands on Twitter to ban this person, to do whatever. It was not a voluntary situation. It was a command-and-control situation.
Mike Waller (23:05):
That’s what it quickly became. And FBI is good at doing that. If you help them once or twice, you’ll be a volunteer and you control it, but then pretty soon they control you.
Bill Walton (23:14):
Well, what about the problem? I began to think about as I researched this and I got nervous about our show. The thing about the FBI is, we think back at J. Edgar Hoover, one of the reasons people had trouble reigning him in is he had his dossiers and he would get information on everybody that he thought was a potential threat or political rival.
Or in some cases, friends that he just wanted to make sure he had them under his whip hand as well. It seems to me the FBI is still assiduously doing that thing. And they’ve got information and files on many, many Americans.
Mike Waller (23:56):
They do. And we don’t know the scope of it. And this is one of the big ironies of what’s going on in the FBI now is there’s this near universal derision of J. Edgar Hoover. We don’t want to be anything like him. He was a power abuser. He was whatever he’s called. But if you look-
Bill Walton (24:20):
I thought they’re LGBTQ. And what J. Edgar right in there?
Mike Waller (24:25):
And that’s a funny thing too. The best biographies about Hoover are written by Hoover critics who are liberal, and they said there’s no truth to any of that.
Bill Walton (24:36):
Oh, okay. Well-
Mike Waller (24:37):
But we all think it is because that’s the one thing every American knows about J. Edgar Hoover is that he wore a clean suit and he had all that. None of that was ever true. And some of it was written by a British author based on a third party and even the critics have debunked. And so-
Bill Walton (24:56):
So, they’ve demonized J. Edgar Hoover. Instead, they want to be what? I mean, I interjected-
Mike Waller (25:01):
So, they demonized because the FBI started as a crime fighting agency under Teddy Roosevelt, but it was really nothing organization. It was poor personnel. It was poor quality overall.
When young J. Edgar Hoover in his 20s became head of the organization, this was right after a spate of waves of terrorism, anarchists’ terrorism, communist violence calls by Lenin to turn the United States into a Soviet republic, all of these things.
So, it was Hoover’s job under Woodrow Wilson before he even headed the bureau to head what was called the Radical Unit of the Bureau of Investigation. So, as heading the Radical Unit, it was his job to monitor all the communist and all anarchists and others.
And he did so, so that was an intelligence function. So, when he became FBI director, he ran it as an intelligence agency. Yet, today’s FBI is reverting right back to Hoover.
Bill Walton (26:05):
Well, I mentioned I went on the website, it’s a very interesting place, FBI website. And they’ve got a history of the FBI. And I think this is a bit rewriting history to justify today’s mission. And they write in the year 1908, there was hardly any systematic way of enforcing law across the country, goes on and on and on.
But then, they get to this, one of the big issues was anarchism. And these were people that wanted to overthrow capitalism. But mainly, they wanted to bring power to the common man and wanted to do with way with government. Sounds like an awful lot like yours truly, a libertarian.
And the prevailing anarchist decreed, the government was oppressive and repressive and should be overthrown by random attacks on the ruling class. Well, fast forward to today, and it looks like where FBI is, say, in the way we think they may have been embedded in the January 6th incident, and they were in there viewing Americans, tea Party Americans.
Americans were skeptical about the 2020 election as the good old anarchist from 1908, thereby justifying the FBI’s surveillance and really in many cases, imprisoning Americans.
Mike Waller (27:35):
Right. And once they solve the problem, like the anarchist terrorism, they were paired back in size. So, after World War II, Truman slashed the FBI by almost a third. But what you have with any bureaucracy, you have mission creed. Now, they’re constantly looking for new enemies.
So, you don’t see the FBI talking about Jihadists anymore. Very rarely do you see them even mentioned that term. Or even Islamic extremists. Eric Holder banned those terms. And they were still kept out of professional usage in the Bureau, but they’re on this constant search for enemies and they’re always redefining enemies.
And so, where you have something like COINTELPRO, which was a series of investigations, counterintelligence investigations, that’s what COINTELPRO, Counterintelligence Program, so that’s how we get that abbreviation. And the reason why they treated Martin Luther King as a counterintelligence issue was because he had himself surrounded by Soviet agents.
The biggest one being Stanley Levinson, but there were others who were long-term known intelligence agents of the Soviet Union. And the Soviets that had this strategy going back to the 1920s, as the British did during the American Revolution, was to exploit the grievances of Black people in America to destroy the American government or then the National American government in the 1770s. But the United States government is early as the 1920s.
So, Hoover is wise to this. There were some defectors from NAACP and elsewhere working with the FBI against communist agents within the Civil Rights Movement. So, Hoover had had treated King as a problem because he had surrounded himself with Soviet agents.
Bobby Kennedy warned King about this. And King agreed to get rid of them and then he didn’t do it. But then, there were other COINTELPRO programs, which was they had one called COINTELPRO White Hate, and that was Hoover’s plan to destroy the Ku Klux Klan.
Now, you never hear about that. You only hear about how, “Oh, COINTELPRO is bad because it’s violating civil rights.” but you never give the Bureau credit for smashing the Ku Klux Klan. The thing is, they had to use counterintelligence rules and procedures against the Klan, which had no foreign intelligence ties at all.
So, you had this then blurring of roles between national security and intelligence on the one hand and law enforcement on the other hand. In fact, there were no federal civil rights laws at the time. These were all-
Bill Walton (30:18):
You’ll be covering all this in your book?
Mike Waller (30:20):
Yeah. So, what I’m doing is I’m doing what Diana West did. She inspired this part of-
Bill Walton (30:25):
The great Diana West.
Mike Waller (30:27):
… called The Red Thread. She’s wonderful.
Bill Walton (30:29):
Yeah, it’s a great book. It’s dense though. I hope yours is going to be a little less dense.
Mike Waller (30:34):
Yeah. But hers only this thick, but it’s super dense like plutonium. Mine is about 100,000 words. Yeah. But it’s that going back to find what are the ideological motivators of certain things and how did they work? So, I tried to cut from young J. Edgar Hoover in Washington on the one hand, and then what the Bolsheviks are doing in Moscow.
And then, certain Americans we meet. The pro-Soviet left at that time in Moscow, and then going to Germany and then coming here setting up shop Leon Trotsky giving speeches in New York to smash the anti-war movement, because the American Socialist Party was neutral during World War I.
And Trotsky wanted the Americans to intervene in Europe because by the U.S. fighting the Germans and Austria-Hungary in Europe, that would take the heat off the Bolsheviks.
Bill Walton (31:27):
I’m going to look. I’m give you high praise. You sound just like Diana West. I have an idea. She’s been on the show and she’s wonderful. She was on Frank Gaffney. And it would be fun to have the two of you on. I’m not sure I’d understand all the connections, but she’ll tell you who the second cousin was of the spy from Bulgaria, which is actually pretty interesting.
This is Bill Walton Show. I’m on with the fantastic Mike Waller, and we’re talking about the history of the FBI and all the interconnections between what happened in the 30s and 40s and 50s and where we are today. So, Mike, my question when I was researching was, who does Christopher Wray feel like he reports to?
And who decides in the FBI, which one of these initiatives they ought to be undertaking? My impression and disabuse me of this is that they pretty much decide on their own. Well, we think we want to go after this or that, and they don’t really check in with anybody else.
Mike Waller (32:36):
Yeah. And this is the dark side of J. Edgar Hoover who viewed the FBI as an entity to itself that really wasn’t answerable. Now, Hoover didn’t win all his battles. He got into arguments with various presidents. Congress basically gave him a blank check all those years anyway, because they didn’t really do oversight when Hoover was around.
But now, they do. And what you have with Mueller in a very imperious way to his successors, then Comey, James Comey and then to Christopher Wray is they think they’re above everything. They think they’re above the American public and they think they’re above Congress.
You mentioned it, you cited it earlier, raised demeanor before the Senate, where he tells the Senate Judiciary committee. So, these are the senators whose job is to provide the FBI’s budget and to make sure the FBI is operating legally and efficiently in serving the public.
He gets up and says, “Sorry, guys, I don’t have time to testify anymore. I’ve got to catch a plane.” Well, first, government issued a private Gulfstream jet, which could fly anytime he wanted to, they answered to him, it’s not like an airline ticket.
And so, he left the Senate even though senators still had more questions. And then, they don’t answer questions to Congress. There are dozens, if not, scores of letters, requests for information to the FBI from lawmakers whose job is to provide FBI’s budget and to authorize FBI’s activities.
And the FBI is not answering those questions. And some of these requests are years old. So, Wray views the FBI as his own internal empire that might or might not be answerable to the Attorney General as long as he likes and agrees with that Attorney General. And so, it’s become an agency unto itself.
Bill Walton (34:30):
What was the advice that the very helpful Chuck Schumer gave to Donald Trump when he came into town? I may have the name. Correct me, but the gist of it is you said you do not want to take on the intelligence agencies, because they will eat you alive.
Mike Waller (34:47):
Bill Walton (34:48):
Mike Waller (34:48):
They’ll get you-
Bill Walton (34:48):
Is that Schumer to Trump?
Mike Waller (34:51):
That was Schumer. He didn’t say it to Trump because I don’t think he ever really spoke to Trump.
Bill Walton (34:55):
They were not.
Mike Waller (34:57):
But he said it he speaks to Biden the way he normally does. And he said, “There are six ways from Sunday that they’re going to come and get you.” Here’s the Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
He was a federal prosecutor himself, saying that, “I as Senate majority Leader am a tool of the FBI and the intelligence community because I cannot use power of the purse and powers of the Constitution to reign them in.” And any president who tries to do it is crazy because they will get you.
Bill Walton (35:28):
That seems to be the heart of the matter. I mean, that’s-
Mike Waller (35:30):
He was right.
Bill Walton (35:33):
He’s right. And that remains a problem right now.
Mike Waller (35:35):
Yeah. I mean, the FBI and the CIA leak like crazy. They have their favorite journalists, all the news organizations that we know about, and they leak all the time. These are almost daily felonies being committed. These are not authorized disclosures of information.
A lot of them disclose sources of methods just by the types of information that’s being leaked. So, this is a cottage industry of leaking and then making those reporters into superstars. Then they write their own books, and then they get TV rights or movie rights or whatever else, and then they become wealthy.
So, their entire business model is to subsist on illegal leaks of information that are damaging to the country. Yet, the people inside the system, they don’t chase down the leakers very often unless it’s an unauthorized leak. So, they’re allowing these laws to be flagrantly broken. And then, they act all indignant when some kid goes out and leaks something, which is-
Bill Walton (36:44):
I want to drop a little insert into this. What do you make of this 21-year-old kid with his release of secrets, and I mean, you’ve been in this world forever. And is it plausible that this kid would have all this and it just is what it is? Or does this look like something that could be orchestrated to maybe provide an exit ramp for the Biden Administration out of Ukraine?
Mike Waller (37:11):
Yeah. First, you think a 21-year-old National Guard enlisted man would have access to all those secrets? I don’t think so.
Bill Walton (37:23):
Mike Waller (37:24):
And the narrative about it is too neat, too tidy. So, you get all this racism, White supremacy, all these other narratives that feed the prevailing story that’s going out about all the dangers to our country. It might be true. But I’m really suspicious of it because it’s all too neat and tidy and it really doesn’t do harm to the Biden Administration at all.
The information in those documents are not fundamentally dangerous to the administration or what it’s trying to be doing. So, I’m really suspicious about the circumstances surrounding this leak.
It might have come from that guy. He might have been used as a setup. It might have been prearranged. There are clever people who can do this. But the thing is, you’re supposed to do it to foreigners, not to your own population.
Bill Walton (38:12):
But he’s a White supremacist, so therefore, he is a foreigner.
Mike Waller (38:16):
Well, imagine if you found-
Bill Walton (38:18):
I’m being facetious. I don’t really-
Mike Waller (38:19):
Oh, yeah. Okay. Well, there, there’s a mitigating circumstance so it’s all for the greater good, which is another concept. We’re breaking the law for the greater good.
Bill Walton (38:28):
Somebody had a great comment. They said, “Well, this guy’s just a White. He is a right wing.” And somebody said, “Well, how many left wing people do you think join the military?” At least in the old days, it was conservative young men or young women joined the military, and liberal ones did not. So, anyway.
Mike Waller (38:55):
Yeah, we’re trying to get Bud Light drinkers now too. About that world campaign that Bud Light had, you have that as part of the training inside the FBI and the CIA. It’s part of their personal training. It’s run out of human resources and all these DEI offices. So, this brings you to the point, what types of people are these agencies trying to recruit now?
Bill Walton (39:18):
When you were on the show a couple times before, we showed some exhibit from the CIA about their recruiting posters and how inclusive they were. Can you remind me what that was?
Mike Waller (39:34):
Yeah. And these were online videos of the intersectional, angry feminist person of color who admits twice in the video of having two diagnosable mental disorders. And this was the CIA recruitment video. Now, it came out under Biden, but it was produced during the Trump Administration. Virginia Hassell was director. So, the Trump Administration did not try to stop this-
Bill Walton (40:03):
Well, the FBI, it was during the Trump Administration that they were getting very active inside Twitter and all the other social media companies. I mean, didn’t matter who was president that was getting back to who runs that place or they’re accountable to anyone.
Mike Waller (40:20):
Well, it matters who’s the president. If you have a president who has a real agenda and who’s not easily thrown for a loop and who really has a team that’s not going to leak against him, that’s not going to do all this drama, that really has an agenda to direct these agencies to do certain things. It can be done. It’s going to be really bloody and really messy, but it can be done. We just haven’t had a leader like that yet.
Bill Walton (40:47):
Oh, I think of Trump as a small, strong leader. I still like him, but he has many flaws, and he was not able to reign these people in nor surround himself with people who were particularly trustworthy.
Mike Waller (41:03):
Well, he did appoint Chris Wray.
Bill Walton (41:06):
That’s my point.
Mike Waller (41:07):
Yeah. He appointed him and he could have fired him and he didn’t. Now, he was thrown for a lot of loops, but he didn’t have a team around him that was cohesive and that could have really done something about it. He could have broken up the bureau, because the bureau doesn’t have a legal charter. Congress never established a charter for the Bureau.
Bill Walton (41:25):
There’s no charter?
Mike Waller (41:26):
No, it’s all a budgetary item.
Bill Walton (41:30):
Mike Waller (41:30):
So, you can just set up a field office in the Aleutian Islands if you want to, and then transfer people out there, or those who refuse to go have to leave the FBI. There’s all sorts of things that can be done. It’s just he didn’t have an agenda for that. He didn’t come into office preparing for that.
This is not to criticize, it’s just a fact. He had other things to drain the swamp, not viewing the FBI as part of the swamp, because he, like most people, said, “Well, these are the good guys.”
Bill Walton (41:59):
So, we need to close here a little bit. Have you written the last chapter of your book? Is there a reason for hope and optimism in lines of action?
Mike Waller (42:36):
There is a reason for hope. There’s a terrible danger if we don’t do something about it, because you can imagine the internet of things. Can you imagine that getting into the hands of woke intelligence operatives with police powers? There’s no getting away from any of that.
So, that’s the downside. The thing is, there’s an upside. As much as people hate me saying this, there are a lot of great people still in the FBI. But the FBI will destroy you and destroy your ability to make a living if you break with them in an unpleasant way like we have seen being done to these whistleblowers that came out this group called The Suspendables. They were denied work. They were denied the ability to even moonlight and do outside work-
Bill Walton (43:23):
Who are these Suspendables?
Mike Waller (43:24):
Kyle Seraphin. He was an FBI special agent in the Southwest. And then, Steve Friend is another one who was based in Daytona, Florida. They had to pull him off. He was chasing down child molester rings and kitty porn rings and child trafficking rings.
The FBI pulled him off those duties to hunt down misdemeanors for January 6th. So, he said, “I’m done.” So, he blew the whistle. He was part of a SWAT team also. They wanted him to be a part of an early morning armed assault on someone’s home who was alleged to have committed a misdemeanor on January 6th. And he said, “No, I’m not going to do that.”
Bill Walton (44:08):
Well, good for him.
Mike Waller (44:09):
There are a whole bunch of them. And there would be more. I know a lot of them. There would be more ready to come out if they thought that Congress was serious about doing something about it, but they still don’t see that yet.
Bill Walton (44:19):
Well, even with the House’s slender majority, it doesn’t look like they have much power to really do the things you’re talking about or I’m talking about, or the political will.
Mike Waller (44:30):
They do. When you raise expectations and say, “We’re going to have a Frank Church type committee to do real hardcore oversight and bring everything into account and repair things.” that’s fine. But the Frank Church Senate Committee in the 1970s had 130 high end staffers and investigative councils and others.
The weaponization committee only has five. And they’re not even working, and four of them are in their 20s who are just getting started. Their hearts are in the right place, but they don’t have the experience behind them to really move.
So, you don’t have that, say, the January 6th committee level of commitment to investigate the way Pelosi’s house did, and to drag everybody through and to leave no stone unturned and even on her part, make up a lot of stuff. But you didn’t have anything of that scale under the current house.
It doesn’t mean it won’t be, it’s just off to a slow start. And until there’s some traction in a large way like there was with the Democrats January 6th committee, you won’t see these other whistleblowers come out, and then you won’t find ways to identify and fix the problems in a serious way that don’t do damage to the country in the meantime.
Bill Walton (45:43):
Well, I have a friend who is a terrific lawyer and a very, very effective person, and she just joined. And so, I can think of one person who can help move the needle.
Mike Waller (45:56):
Bill Walton (45:57):
We’ll do a name for this episode. But anyway, she’s terrific and you’ll probably be hearing about her. So, the lines of action are congressional oversight and what else?
Mike Waller (46:11):
Using power of the purse.
Bill Walton (46:12):
Mike Waller (46:14):
If back to the FBI headquarters, one of the best ways to get the FBI’s attention, they’re desperate for a new headquarters. There’s the current J. Edgar Hoover building in Downtown D.C., it’s a mess. It’s obsolete. It’s coming apart. It’s just a terrible place to work.
And so, they do objectively need a new headquarters. The thing is, what national investigative and law enforcement services do we want or need? Where is their duplicate of effort? I mean, why is the FBI hunting down, say, firearms related crimes when we already have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms?
Why is the FBI I doing drug crimes when we already have the Drug Enforcement Administration? So, if you can pair away at those from the FBI’s side, turn them over to these other separate entities that are already doing the job and doing it as Congress had intended, then you’re finding very little need for this giant and expanding FBI the way it is right now.
You need a really good, effective counterintelligence service, but the FBI is not that good on counterintelligence. It makes a lot of publicity over relatively small cases. But when’s the last time we found a deep penetration agent anywhere in the United States?
It’s been many, many years. In fact, it came inside the FBI or some of the other intelligence community places, and a lot of times it was our foreign allies that tipped us off. So, let’s take a look at the FBI’s real capabilities, how well they do their job.
Wouldn’t it be better to have several smaller, decentralized entities that specialize in this? And then, you’re really wondering, “Why do we need the FBI in its present form?” We always abolish agencies and create new ones to improve. We got rid of the OSS, which did a great job during World War II.
Built the CIA a in its place. So, it’s not a question of trying to be anti-law enforcement or anti-national security at all, it’s to how do we make this better for our country. Which gets back to the point, why is Congress going apparently going ahead with buying land that’s twice the size of the Pentagon for a new FBI headquarters?
Bill Walton (48:24):
What’s the cost of this building?
Mike Waller (48:27):
There’s a two and a half billion-dollar budget. It’s not a total budget. So, they put out, I think, 300 or 400 million to get things started. And then, so there’s really no ceiling to it because the cost is the last priority for building these headquarters.
Bill Walton (48:48):
Well, Michael, thank you. I mean, as always, you’ve really helped me see things I didn’t quite have a clear picture of before. And the point of this show is to get other people who are listening and watching to become aware of what the CIA is and isn’t, or FBI is and isn’t. And hopefully, pay a lot more attention and particularly pay attention to this building soon to be. Mike, thanks for joining and-
Mike Waller (49:15):
Great to be with you, Bill.
Bill Walton (49:17):
Yeah, as always. And we’ll be continuing this conversation, I’m sure in the next few months. In the meantime, this is the Bill Walton Show and I’ve been on with Jay Michael Waller with Centers for Security Policy, and we’ve been talking about the FBI and other related matters.
Hope you enjoyed it. As always, you can find us on all the major platforms, YouTube, Rumble, iTunes, all the podcast platforms. We’re on Substack. We’re on CPAC now on Monday nights. Please send us your comments either to Substack or the website, the billwaltonshow.com.
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