5th Generation Warrior: NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney Fights for Prisoners of the New War

Bill Binney is a intelligence official who served for over three decades with the NSA. He quit when his program was discontinued, a program that could have prevented 9/11.
William (Bill) Binney, a intelligence official, cryptanalyst and mathematician with the National Security Agency. He left when his program THIN THREAD was discontinued. It was shown that THIN THREAD could have prevented 9/11 without violating the constitution. (Credit: Photograph by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-f)

If you haven’t watched the 2015 movie “A Good American,” (linked below) produced by Oliver Stone, steel yourself and watch it. The subject matter is easy to absorb, but not easy on the heart or mind. Once you can wrap your head around how corrupt our government is, you should be heartened by fellow patriotic countrymen like NSA whistleblower Bill Binney. William Edward Binney grew up in the foothills of the Alleghenies in Central West Pennsylvania. He stopped hunting when he was 16 years old because he didn’t like killing animals. Making that decision at such a young age shows the courage and character he possessed to buck the strong hunting tradition of the era and rural culture. To participate in legal, regulated hunting, or not, is a personal choice, but to stand up for what is right when almost everyone around you is corrupted by money or power, takes the kind of courage that faces life-threatening fear and continues to advance. Binney is a brave and heroic veteran of this 5th generation war we find ourselves in.

Binney volunteered for service before he could be drafted and served from 1965 to 1969 in the U.S. Army Security Agency (ASA). After World War II, the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) was terminated and eventually morphed into two entities: the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to handle international security issues and the National Security Agency (NSA) to overwatch the homeland. The NSA consisted of three groups: the Naval Security Group, the Air Force Signal Security Organization, and the ASA. The men in the ASA wore no uniforms, dog tags, or rank, and did not carry American weapons. They essentially didn’t exist and if asked, they said they were in a radio research unit. In Vietnam, the ASA used radial direction finding to intercept enemy radio communications and locate enemy positions. The ASA was also responsible for cryptography and military intelligence. Binney was stationed in Turkey and says with a chuckle that he was pretty good at code breaking. Truth is, he was brilliant at it.

In a moment of real-world foreshadowing, late in 1968, two months before the Tet Offensive, reports began coming in about a major offensive being planned from the Delta north to the border of North Vietnam. The intelligence was passed to all major commanders in the field and to the Pentagon. One of Binney’s friends, a colonel who led a battalion on the road from Saigon to Cambodia, took the intelligence seriously. He kept 50 percent of his forces in the trenches 24 hours a day. When the attack came, he lost only one man and stopped the offensive in its tracks. Unfortunately, units surrounding him were not prepared and were overrun, and because of that, the colonel was forced to withdraw as well. As Binney says, in the documentary, “I call that the philosophy of the arrogance of power.”

Binney estimates 2,000 men were killed during Tet, not to mention the wounded, all while Westmoreland told the people at home that the U.S. was winning the war. Westmoreland, consumed with the Battle of Khe Sahn, thought the Tet Offensive was a diversion. In reality, it was the turning point of the war. Even though the decision to replace Westmoreland was made in 1967, it didn’t take effect until June of 1968, so the move was seen by the press and the public as punishment for mishandling Tet. Under Johnson, Westmoreland was appointed as Army Chief of Staff; under Nixon he was offered Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, but he opted to retire. As Binney bemoans in “A Good American,” during World War II we used to drum generals out of the Army for mistakes of that magnitude.

After the Vietnam War, in 1976, the ASA was disbanded and rolled into what became INSCOM (U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command). Binney earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Pennsylvania State University in 1970, got married, and transitioned into the NSA as a cryptanalyst-mathematician. He rose to become the Technical Director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, or as he jokingly abbreviates, “Technical Director of the World.” He led 6,000 analysts through the digital explosion. Terrorists and criminals hid within the deluge of data. Binney developed a program called THIN THREAD that would look at the meta data of all communications. Meta data is data about the data. The concept was that the program would collect all information but would only target Americans if they communicated with known terrorists or criminals. Identities were encrypted, requiring a warrant to reveal, and personal content was filtered out. In other words, true to the NSA’s supposed mission, both the country and the privacy of individual Americans would be protected. It did not violate the Constitution of the United States of America. It was perfect. By January 2001, THIN THREAD was completed and ready to go operational. Permission to go live was denied. Binney suspects third in command at the NSA, Maureen Baginski, killed it.

When General Michael Hayden came aboard as director of the NSA in 1999, his goals were to outsource more projects, force senior employees to retire, and update the digital infrastructure of the agency. What Binney and his SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) Automation Research Center (SARC) teammates accomplished with brains, initiative, and outdated equipment, would be shut down, despite the fact that it worked: It produced actionable intelligence and protected citizens from any invasions of privacy—and it did so on a shoestring budget. That’s not how our corrupt government works. Hayden filled the deputy director position with Bill Black, a former vice president of SAIC, a security technology firm run by retired NSA employees. Then Sam Visner, a senior vice president of SAIC, was brought on board. The new security program contract was awarded to…wait for it…SAIC. It was called TRAILBLAZER. It could not pull intelligence out of the volume of data it collected, and it was costly—extremely costly.

Three weeks after Baginski put an end to THIN THREAD, 9/11 happened. Binney tried to go to work to see if he could help find out who was responsible. The building was locked because Hayden had sent everyone home. On 9/12, Binney tried again, this time dressed like he was going to sweep the floors. It worked. Inside, he was told by a subcontractor who he had hired for THIN THREAD that he’d had a meeting with Visner and was told, You don’t embarrass large companies and if he did his part there’d be plenty to go around. In addition, Visner told the subcontractor that “the cow could be milked for 15 years.” Cue the 20-year GWOT (Global War On Terror).

The rank and file at NSA took 9/11 hard. The consensus was that they’d let the American public down. Binney was haunted by the people who chose to leap to their death rather than be burned alive. He and two of his fellow SARC members, Senior Computer Scientist Ed Loomis and Senior Staff Analyst Kirk Wiebe, decided they could no longer work for the NSA. They knew—beyond any doubt—that THIN THREAD would have detected the worst terrorist threat since Pearl Harbor before it happened. They accepted retirement packages, started their own security technology firm, and set about getting THIN THREAD in through back doors. They went to four government agencies, all of which were enamored with the program, and one of which asked them to analyze data that that NSA had already processed. THIN THREAD produced intelligence that the NSA had missed. In all four cases, the NSA found out about the impending contracts and put an end to them, essentially destroying the men’s private business and livelihoods.

Meanwhile, still on the inside, NSA senior executive Tom Drake decided to run the THIN THREAD program with the data the NSA had in its possession. They set it to run, and it was estimated to take somewhere between 24 and 36 hours to complete. The results were shocking. Not only did the program pull out the 9/11 intelligence, but it revealed the parts of the plan that were not successful because additional plane hijackings had been foiled. Drake toured the NSA building with Baginski to talk to the employees. She was repeatedly asked what she was going to do about what had happened. Drake direct-quoted her as saying, “Nine-Eleven is a gift to NSA. We’re going to get all the money we need—and then some.”

In addition to having their business destroyed, in 2007 the key members of SARC, along with Senior House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Staffer Diane Roark, who was always behind THIN THREAD, presenting it to Congress and securing its funding, awoke to simultaneous FBI raids on their homes. In Roark’s case, she surmised they had been in her home before because they knew exactly where to go to retrieve the information on THIN THREAD. In Binney’s case, a gun was pointed at his son as agents pushed their way into the home. His then-wife, Carole Jean (Swisher) Binney was getting dressed in the couple’s bedroom. They pointed a gun at her, too. Finally, they pointed a gun at Binney who was taking a shower. In all four raids, all electronic devises and files pertaining to THIN THREAD were taken. It was only the beginning. The victims filed complaints with the Department of Defense Inspector General for corruption because there was already a working program (THIN THREAD), and for the fraud, waste, and abuse caused by TRAILBLAZER’s bloat and inability to process data.

Sometime over the next two years, Binney contracted not one, but two flesh-eating infections. He had one leg amputated below the knee—then the other. He entered over a decade of debilitating pain and repeated surgeries to remove more and more of his legs. Related to strep, such infections are rare, but they are on the rise. Humans are exposed to such pathogens all the time; it is only when our immune systems are chronically compromised that we succumb to the disease or infection. Of course, those two years after Binney left NSA were fraught with the stress of being a government target. How to weaponize necrotizing fasciitis is a research project for another day, but it is interesting that after prolonged stress during a business deal with Disney, Muppets creator Jim Henson died of Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS), a strep-based infection that took him within days.

In a YouTube video (linked below) Binney announced that he had remarried. (Carole passed away in 2018 at the age of 78.) Dr. Katherine Horton is an ethnic Hungarian from Romania, an Oxford University graduate, a former particle physicist, and a champion of the targeted individual community for chronicling her torture on YouTube, teaching people about the science involved in directed energy weapons (DEWs) and demonstrating how to document medical and scientific data for presentation in a court of law. Horton implies that Binney was stunned when she told him that she thought he was being targeted, both by a biological weapon in the past and by directed energy weapons in the present. She hints that he might not have been able to accept that anyone could be so evil. Binney nods in agreement, but his expression goes deeper. It’s as if even his brilliant mind can’t keep up with how soul-crushing 5th generation warfare is.

[INSERT YOUTUBE VIDEO HERE: https://youtu.be/COJi50XXvbo]

Binney is a true American badass who has been fighting to preserve the Constitution and personal liberty for longer than many of us have been alive. At first it was simply fraud, waste, and abuse of a government agency, but now it is something altogether different. There is a sadness in his furrowed brow, a broken-heartedness in his voice when he talks about the soldiers who died during Tet or the Americans who jumped out of the burning towers on that September morning. Binney is one of those people who found the perfect job for him. As he put it in “A Good American”: “The beauty of math is that it is an attempt to structure common sense and consistencies in the universe. That’s all it is. There is no chaos. Nothing is infinite. Everything is structured and it’s just a matter of finding that structure.”

In government, careers are made or broken on the ability to onboard programs and the larger and more money involved, the better. Whether it was professional jealousy or pure evil, Hayden killed a program that not only would have prevented 9/11 but also Edward Snowden’s downloading of NSA documents. The DOD Office of Inspector General concluded in its 2006 report that TRAILBLAZER was an utter failure that cost billions. Over 90 percent of the report is redacted because it’s so damning to the NSA. Meanwhile, the TRAILBLAZER contract made millionaires out of public and private intelligence insiders, yet nobody was ever held accountable for the deaths of thousands of Americans on 9/11 and in the two decades of GWOT that followed.

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12 thoughts on “5th Generation Warrior: NSA Whistleblower Bill Binney Fights for Prisoners of the New War”

  1. Good article-Binney is a legend in the business to those insiders and anyone on the machines who do the work. The Tet intercepts were in late 1967-which is funny to see many list Tet as an Intel Failure-but then again Army Intel did not actually stand up as a formal branch until about that time.

    Each of the big agencies had massive disasters as the DNI stood up in 2005-NSA led the way with TRAILBLAZER, NGA with GEOSCOUT (GEOSKUNK,) the FBI Agent and Source Program (Analyst/Agents Notebook???), CIA with various programs including picking up the residue of what started as the Multi-Source Requirements Data Architecture that begat the huge sucking pustule that was the ICMAP effort that was like a food program for BAH, and DIA arguably with their DODIIS Trusted Workstation and their Joint Collection Management Tool effort-while the NRO FIA Program tripled in cost and part of it was canceled and awarded to the losing bidder. In the aggregate we are talking about some 20-30 billion worth of fraud waste and abuse on terrible-never had a chance programs. The worst part being how many promising efforts went away to fund these dogs-like the NRO long dwell program that would have been hugely valuable during GWOT efforts….

    Mo Baginsky reported to the FBI as the DNI stood up-along with some several billion dollars to up the FBI’s game–much of those dollars went on a flat rock.

    When Keith Alexander reported NSA went through a similar struggle-again-although the cloud implementation was well ahead of everyone in govt-but it killed off a lot of programs-producing the Real-Time Gateway which was a terrorist killing enabling cloud network-long before CIA pushed ICITE and AWS via their plant Stephanie O’Sullivan as PDDNI-which was an effort to harvest the extensive IT dollars spent by the IC–some 30% of the IC budget-and redistribute them where they could do better things-like CIA and their AWS contracts and mission programs.

    FBI never did get up to speed despite Mo’s help-one could argue all they learned was how to go after enemies of the political party in charge using SIGINT that uses and abuses them like some personal security mob.

    Also-ASA as a unit designation was still around in the Army until at least 1986-both with Field Station Augsburg-Det Woebeck, a number of other somewhat clan sites and the 502d ASA Bn at Augsburg, which reflagged that year to the 204th MI BN-among others.

    • Thank you for the clarification regarding ASA, sir. That’s very much appreciated. You provide a lot of detailed information here and I’m grateful for it. I have lots more work to do. Taking the time to comment means the world to those of us trying to slog our way through topics from outside Intel and turn it into a readable format for the average person. Thank goodness I was clear that the problem was ignoring the Tet intercepts not the intel itself. Intel was solid! On to writing another article that will hopefully pique your interest. Thank you, again, for the guidance.

      • It is a great read Ethan-I just happened to live through it, know most of these players and was at most of the community meetings where these dog programs died-long after they all had forks sticking in them with PMs briefing how the miracle was going to occur with more money-right up to the moment they were so embarrassing they were killed. I think there is a story here in the ramifications of how the McNamara inspired Program and Budget system perpetuates-to this day- bad programs with good program documentation but a camel is not a horse yet looks like the requirement…When I start writing that one I will be in touch-maybe we can co-write it! In the final analysis these are convoluted political stories: good on you for taking it on. It would have taken me 8 articles to say what you did in one! Thanks!

        • Anytime! It would be an honor to co-write with you. I hope people watch the movie, because it was great at telling the story in a compelling way. More breadcrumbs to follow—thank you! I’m on it!

  2. Almost like the sick, psychopathic freaks that make up the Deep State WANT 9/11-type events to happen every so often… these people probably stood around jacking it while they watched people leap from the Towers.

      • I grew up among these people, I know their depravity from firsthand experience when they were trying to groom me to join them. Thank God I had the influence of my grandfather, his mil-retiree buddies and Lodge brothers (significant overlap in that Venn diagram) and Rush Limbaugh to somewhat cancel it out… I still have nightmares about what they could have turned me into, all these decades later.

  3. Tet was a smashing American victory. NVA lost at least 4 divisions and the Viet Cong were decimated. The NVA could not mount another offensive until the 1972 Easter Offensive, when they were roundly defeated again. But all that was for naught as the media convinced Americans Tet was an American defeat. The North Vietnamese won the media war and it didn’t matter they lost the ground fight.

    • IIRC, the NVA were so thoroughly depleted that one good push could have crushed Hanoi… except that their most powerful and effective general was Walter Cronkite.

      • I wish I had read your second comment before responding to the first. It says it all. They simply did not let the winning happen, and forever changed the mass psychology of our country. Take 58k viral men outta the population, pave way for betas, get a ton of high-heeled boyz in societal power. Ugh!!

    • Exactly! I guess If we wanted to pinpoint when the media became the arch enemy of the people, that might be it. Shiney folks hold some blame though, too, don’t you think? I know they’re not in the PR biz or at least they weren’t then, but they used the men for fodder and/or bait in many instances when it wasn’t necessary to do so.

      • Cronkite in particular always was a steaming Comsymp turd… journalists were considered a “primary target” for subversion by the KGB and GRU.

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