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A Conversation with NSA Whistleblowers: Rescuing the Republic from the Surveillance State

A Conversation with NSA Whistleblowers: Rescuing the Republic from the Surveillance State

Moderated by the Schiller Institute’s Dennis Speed, the speakers included Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Bill Binney (former NSA technical director), Kirk Wiebe (former NSA senior intelligence analyst), and Michael Billington (EIR). Held at the Thalia Theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the dynamic between the speakers and the capacity audience of about 160, exemplified the historic moment. A typical New York audience, it consisted of Democrats, independents, Republicans, 9/11 truth seekers, Assange WikiLeaks networks, foreign press, etc. A third of the audience had never attended a LaRouche movement event before, and were brought through various networks as well as a week of daily distributions on the Upper West Side.

 

 

Transcripts below


Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, delivered the following remarks by pre-recorded audio, to the February 29, 2020 Schiller Institute event, “Rescuing the Republic from the Surveillance State.”

Hello! I’m Helga Zepp-LaRouche, and I’m the founder of the Schiller Institute. I am very happy to speak to you in this extremely important moment of history. The world is heading for what easily could become the worst crisis since the end of World War II. Unless we have a change in direction, there is very clearly the danger that the whole strategic situation could get completely out of control. What makes it so difficult, is that there are many interactive elements to this crisis.

Now, let me start with a very worrisome aspect. Despite the fact that President Trump clearly has the intention to improve relations with Russia and China, there are also very different tones coming out of some other parts of the U.S. administration. Recently, U.S. Secretary of Defense Esper was participating personally in a war game which was based on a scenario of a “limited nuclear war” between the United States and Russia in Europe, which included the use of so-called “low-yield nuclear weapons.”

Now recently the United States did deploy exactly such low-yield warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles on the Trident submarines, and that deployment of such “low-yield nuclear weapons” is very dangerously lowering the threshold of nuclear war.

This week there was a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee where U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, who is also the commander of the U.S. European Command and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe — the so-called SACEUR — was asked by Senator Deb Fischer, “What are your views about adopting a so-called ‘no first use’ policy. Do you believe that this would strengthen deterrence?” General Walters said, “Senator, I’m a fan of flexible first-use policy.” Now, this is Dr. Strangelove in the position of the Supreme Commander of the U.S. forces in Europe. And this is occurring as the Defender 2020 NATO military exercise, which is the largest maneuver since the end of the Cold War, is moving tens of thousands of U.S. troops and others — like the Bundeswehr — to the Russian border for several months of maneuvers.

In light of all of this, the spread of the coronavirus, which, according to top health officials, is only a step away from a pandemic, naturally shows that we are on the verge of an uncontrollable situation. In Europe already, most international events and conferences have been cancelled, and the Lombardy region of Italy is now under quarantine; it has been named the Wuhan of Europe. People are being told by the media, by the TV, by the papers, to get food reserves for several weeks. Already now, the spread of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on the real economy.

In China, which has, according to the head of the WHO, set a new standard in the fight against such epidemics, because they put up the defense of life as the first priority and did outstanding measures to contain the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, their GDP in the first quarter will probably go down to 0% as distinct from the expected 6% [growth].

Now, China probably has the best chance to recover, but for the so-called West, it looks much more grim, because the international supply chains have been interrupted, and will be interrupted much more. This is now that the effects of so-called globalization are striking back. Globalization has led to an outsourcing of production into cheap labor markets such as the food production, which is now no longer under the sovereign control of countries, but under the control of international cartels. We no longer have food security in most countries.

The coronavirus, if it becomes a pandemic, or even if it spreads to more countries, is, in all likelihood, becoming the trigger for the financial meltdown. This is not the cause, but the trigger, because this financial system is already at the absolute limit. Since September of last year, the Federal Reserve has been pumping unbelievable amounts of money into the system in the form of the so-called repo loans. The other central banks — the ECB [European Central Bank], the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, and others — have pushed money into the system through quantitative easing, negative interest rates, and this is just absolutely now reaching an end point, an absolute boundary condition.

There is a way out.

On January 3rd, after the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani, and there was for about two days the danger of a very dangerous strategic confrontation, I issued à proposal for an immediate summit between the Presidents of the United States, Russia, and China, to introduce a new level of cooperation to overcome the danger of geopolitical confrontation. Now, in the meantime, President Putin has made a similar proposal that the governments of the five permanent UN Security Council countries should have such a summit. China and France have already accepted. And today, TASS reports, quoting a high-level U.S. official, that the United States would be very interested to have such a meeting on the level of the UN Security Council governments for a new arms control agreement.

Now, I think what we have to do is, we have to push the agenda of such a summit to occur immediately. Because I think any delay, given the dangers of the military situation and the dangers of the pandemic, the dangers of the financial system, any postponement is really not very meaningful. This summit must adopt what Lyndon LaRouche has proposed with his Four Laws: a global Glass-Steagall banking separation; the introduction of a national bank in every country; fixed exchange rates among these different nations, and clearly defined infrastructure and development plans which then can become, as a totality, a New Bretton Woods system; and then have an international crash program for reaching a new level in the productivity of the world economy by focusing on a crash program on fusion power, on optical biophysics and other life sciences, and international space cooperation.

Now, this is a moment of extraordinary danger, and we could lose human civilization. But if enough forces around the world join in our mobilization to bring this New Paradigm about, it could also be the beginning of a completely new epoch. There has been one man who proposed and prognosed all of these developments as early as August 1971. That is my late husband, Lyndon LaRouche, who, when Nixon basically abandoned the fixed exchange rate system, and decoupled the dollar from the gold standard, Lyndon LaRouche said, if this tendency is continued, it will lead either to the danger of a new fascism and depression, or a just, new world economic order will be implemented.

Now, he also worked out the solutions for what can be done, which we have published and will continue to publish much, much more.

Therefore, I think that the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche, who was innocently put in jail by the same apparatus which was involved in Russiagate and the impeachment effort against President Trump, his exoneration will be key for the implementation of this program I just mentioned. To get mankind out of the present danger and into a new era, I think is absolutely linked to the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche.

Therefore, I am appealing to all of you to join the fight for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche, and the implementation of his ideas. This is the very best thing you can do to secure the future.


DENNIS SPEED: Who is on this stage? And what has happened to the people on this stage? What happened to Lyndon LaRouche? What happened to you?

People like to talk about something they call the “deep state.” We don’t mind that, but we know that it is neither a state, nor is it deep. [laughter] We know, those of us that have been involved, from those early days of the ’70s in some cases, and later in other cases. That you’re talking about an imperial force, and it’s an imperial force that terrifies a lot of people, but it mainly terrifies them, because they refuse to submit themselves to rigorous thought in the service of bold action. That’s all the problem is.

The problem does not involve secret police and funny microchips, and weird drugs, and subliminal messages, and all those other things. It involves the inability to look into oneself, and admit that the actions taken by people like Martin Luther King, or the actions taken by people like Malcolm X, or the actions taken by JFK, are only characteristic of the actions that all of us must take, in the context of what we have been confronted with, ever since the 1960s, particularly coming out of the United States. It doesn’t originate in the United States, but it will only be resolved if people in the United States decide to act.

We’re starting today with someone who’s well known to most, and he and his associate who is with him, Kirk Wiebe, have been fighting for 20 years, to tell a story — they told the story; they told the story 20 years ago — but they’ve been fighting for 20 years to get other people to stand up. It’s important to say that there is a faction of the American military and military intelligence, which is patriotic. It’s a faction that intended to defend the United States, and it’s a faction that also intended to make certain kinds of engineering and technical, and even scientific breakthroughs, on behalf of utilizing technology for positive purposes.

William Binney, a former intelligence official at the National Security Agency for over a 30-year period, attempted to do that, and was prevented at a critical moment, prior to September 11th of 2001, from doing his job. The United States paid for that. And you can’t walk away from that crime.

But talking about that from the standpoint of whether the planes were real, or how the buildings came down, or all these other things, doesn’t cut it. You have to confront something else: You have to confront what’s happening to you, right now, apart from your partisan beliefs, your political affiliations, you have to confront the fact that something is happening to all of us, and it’s your responsibility to listen to the people that can tell you what that is, in such a fashion that you can then take the responsibility that many of us, all, want to take!

Bill has spoken to several audiences, including to one here, three years ago, at Symphony Space, and we’re happy to have him here with us today. So, without further need to say anything, I’d like you to join me in welcoming William Binney, NSA whistleblower. [Applause]

WILLIAM BINNEY: Thank you. As Dennis said, the government we had opted for bulk acquisition for two basic reasons, I think. One was set up by Dick Cheney, and he wanted to know everything about all his potential adversaries, politically or otherwise. So, that meant he had to have information about everybody. So, the bulk acquisition satisfied his need in that respect. But in the other respect, in the bureaucracies of the government, bureaucrats tend to like to get bigger and bigger budgets and bigger and bigger organizations, so that meant more and more money, and more and more influence. In order to do that, if you opt for this bulk acquisition on everybody so that you can satisfy Cheney’s needs, it also requires the Congress to give you much more money so you can build your bureaucracy. And those are, I think, the basic motivations to do this.

But they had known also from the very beginning that there was another solution that would actually do productive things, because when you took the bulk acquisition, that meant you couldn’t see the threats coming; there was just too much data. That’s why they haven’t been able to prevent any of the terrorist attacks that have occurred anywhere in the world. Because everybody has adopted this policy, and they can’t see the threats coming. This is documented internally in NSA records produced by Edward Snowden and also by MI5 and MI6 records, and some in GCHQ. They are saying, their analysts are telling them that there is too much data; you’ve buried us, you’ve overloaded us. We can’t see the threat coming.

Just for that reason alone, they shouldn’t be doing it, but the real point is, the solution existed all along, and we were developing that in the Thin Thread program. That basically had three tenets: one was a deductive approach; one an abductive approach; and one was an inductive approach. For the deductive approach, we simply looked at social organizations that stayed within one degree of the known bad guys, and used that data to pull out information, and only that information, from the data flow that we were looking at. We were looking at a number of terabytes a minute or so at the time, and we wanted to up that to about 20 terabytes a minute. That was our approach. That was the deductive side. So, that was the human behavior property that showed probable cause. If you’re contacting a terrorist, then you need to be looked at; that’s easy to justify in a warrant.

In the inductive approach, we used simply you’re looking at sites that are advocating pedophilia or sites that advocate terrorism or violence against the West, or bomb-making, or things like that. You could try to watch people who visit those sites so you can see their frequency of visit, and say that they are probably getting radicalized, or in the process of radicalization. Or, you have people who have cell phones in the mountains of Afghanistan, or satellite phones in the mountains of Afghanistan, or the jungles of Peru. And you say, they’re dope traffickers, or they’re terror potentials. And you look at those kinds of things. That’s kind of the inductive approach.

So far, those two approaches would have caught every terrorist attack in the world before, during, and after 9/11; every one. But did we do that? No, because that’s a focused, disciplined, professional attack on the data and against bad behavior by people indicating potential threats. The abduct approach is a little bit more abstract; it says you look a geographical distributions. If you have a network at one degree that is distributed in countries that are involved in terrorist advocation or something like that, you need to look at them to see if they’re terrorists or in any way affiliated with a terrorist attack or organization. Once you look at them, if they’re not, then you take them out, and you simply say they’re out. The rest data you simply let go right by.

Now what that does is, it gives everybody in the world privacy. And it respects the Constitutional and privacy rights of everybody in this country and every country in the world. Plus, it creates an extremely rich environment for analysts to succeed at preventing threats and potential adversarial attacks. That’s the whole point of why we did the Thin Thread program to begin with, because even back then our analysts were buried with data.

So the end result today is, we have a situation where — the key point here is NSA databasing of information. Because our country is the only country in the world that afford all the data storage that can store all the information they’re collecting. They’re collecting multiple petabytes a day. My estimate of the Utah storage facility alone was based on Cisco routers being put into it, and what they were estimating was 966 exabytes of data going into that data center a year by 2015. So, I figure they had to have at least five years of storage capacity, which meant five zettabytes, which is much less than a yottabyte, but still, it’s quite a bit. After that, we get a bunch of bytes, and a lot of bytes, and all that kind of stuff. So, it hadn’t been named above a yottabyte.

But the point is, NSA is the key element here, because it’s a storage facility for not just NSA, but all of the agencies of the United States government, all the Five Eyes, and the nine other countries that are participating with them in this worldwide collection of data and bulk acquisition of data on everybody on the planet. And all we would have to do is take our rules — deductive, inductive, and abductive — take those rules and run it and process the entire database that’s stored, and pull out only that which is relevant and purge the rest of it. At that point, there would be no data available for anybody in the US government or the British government or anywhere to use against their people. So it couldn’t be abused. So, that would fix the problem. That would mean that the FBI, the DEA, the DOJ, or anybody in the intelligence community, or in the Five Eyes, or any of the others, could not go into that database and find information on any one citizen, unless that citizen had probable cause, warrant-based evidence that they should be there. That’s the way to fix this whole problem and do it rather quickly. Because once you take that data out, no one has the ability to abuse it.

SPEED: Let me say that we’re going to have an extensive Q&A session, so anybody who has particular questions, you’ll be able to ask those questions. What Bill has just done is provide the solution; and that’s what we asked him to do.

We’re going to next hear from Kirk Wiebe. I don’t think a lot of people know much about Kirk, so I’ll just say the following: He and Bill, and another gentleman by the name of Ed Loomis, developed what is called the Thin Thread system, which was referred to just a minute ago by Bill. I’m going to let Kirk tell you a little bit; he has a very specific view about the relationship between intelligence and the Constitution. Kirk?

KIRK WIEBE: Hello. Thank you, Dennis, and thank you to the LaRouche organization for making this possible, and for inviting us to address these fine people before us.

A lot of people don’t realize it, but the National Security Agency — and I’m going to pick on them, because I worked there for a long time with Bill — has operated unconstitutionally for about 70% of the time it has existed on the planet. What do I mean by that? Well, the people in charge — namely, the Executive, namely the Legislative branches of government — have formed a cabal, a cartel, if you will, that has decided to mass surveil the world, stuff the information in a big database somewhere, and claim that they’re not violating your rights under the Constitution. Because they say, “Yeah, we collected it,” although they won’t overtly admit it, “But we haven’t looked at it. And if we haven’t looked at it, it hasn’t meant anything to an official in the government.”

Now, if we go back to the late 1700s, just before the outbreak of our famous Revolutionary War, King George of England, it’s documented, wanted to put a Redcoat — a British soldier — in the home of every colonial settler in the United States. And why do you think he wanted to do that? You know the answer. He wanted to know what they were thinking and doing. Let me suggest to you that, with all the electronic devices — if I asked any one of you, “How many electronic devices connected to the internet does your family have?” I know it’s more than one; probably four. What do you think, more? I agree. The point is this: Each of those is sources of information about you and those who you love the most. Every detail, every thought that’s communicated via those devices can be collected and put in a database. And when someone decides you’re important for some reason — it could be anything; somebody wants to blackmail you, somebody wants to scam you. The only difference between a good person and a bad person in government is what? What is it? Yeah, really, it’s opportunity. Do you have what we would call moral clarity? But beyond that, do you have a sense of what’s right and wrong in this nation? The founding document of which is the United States Constitution, and do you care?

Well, I would submit to you, we have in the news, events going on — namely, the attack using the weaponized sources of the intelligence community to subvert a duly elected President. If that’s not a warning, what do you think they could do to one of you? Or three of you? Or Bill and me? Or anyone else?

So, the threat is real. It has been abused, and it lies at the feet of people who are greedy for power. It didn’t start out that way; it started out nobly. But now, we’ve reached a point where people have decided they know better, they know best how to manage all of our lives. And it’s not just the NSA anymore. Google knows what you’re doing; Facebook knows what you’re doing; Instagram knows what you’re doing. It’s proliferating everywhere, and now we have the internet of things, where even your refrigerator can talk to the internet. It’s ridiculous; your whole lives are stuck in a database.

The point of it is, Bill has suggested that there’s a way to put the genie back in the box. But it’s going to be you, who makes it happen. Don’t expect some Senator, don’t expect some Congressman to do it. With the exception of CIA chief Pompeo inviting Bill to talk about the DNC data hack, no member of government has ever approached him or me, and said, “Would you come talk to a few Congressmen about what’s happened? Your ideas for fixing it.” No! Why? They like it the way it is. Your data is available to anyone in 16 agencies within the intelligence and law enforcement communities. That’s the threat, and only we can change it. Thank you.

SPEED: Thank you, Kirk. We’re going to hear now from Mike Billington, and Mike is going to tell you a bit about himself. He is, as is listed here in your program, Executive Intelligence Review Asia Editor. He’s author of a book called Reflections of an American Political Prisoner. Mike was offered — I say it and he has to say it — after two trials; one trial for which he served 2-3 years, he was offered a plea bargain, which would have meant that he would have simply time served. No time would have been additional. All he had to do was claim to be guilty of something of which he was not. A lot of his friends would have had a big problem. And Mike decided, “You know what? I don’t think I’m going to do that.” Despite the fact that his own attorney asked to be replaced, despite the fact that Mike said he would replace him, the judge in the case refused to do that; and Mike was given a 77-year sentence. He served eight years of it. Is that the price you have to pay for integrity in this country?

Now if it is, I will submit to all of you, as you listen to him, you think about whether or not that’s the kind of country you want to live in. Mike Billington.

MICHAEL BILLINGTON: Thanks, Dennis. If any of you have a sense that calling for the exoneration of Lyndon LaRouche is a pipe dream, or that Trump would never do this, I want you to put that out of your minds. And I’ll try to prove that.

This is a rare moment in history for many reasons. But one, which I will address, is that this is, in fact, the time that the exoneration of LaRouche is both possible, absolutely necessary, and will transform not just the nation, but the world, forever. And I want to try to convey that in as clear a way as I possibly can. Let’s start by looking at the fact that just last week, Donald Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of 11 people. Some of them were people who, like myself and my co-defendants, were innocent and were illegally and unjustly charged and tried and sent to prison. Others did commit crimes, but they were subjected to outrageous sentences, not just to silence them, but to terrorize other people. The fact that Trump did this, and that he also addressed quite publicly and at some length the issue of Roger Stone, and the fact that, as he said, “He will probably be exonerated one way or another,” means that this very much on Donald Trump’s mind. And I’ll mention that Roger Stone, who is someone who has quite publicly addressed Lyndon LaRouche as one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, has interviewed him, has spoken at our conferences, is very well known to the criminal network in the criminal justice system who have run the entire operation against Trump, against Roger Stone, and others. And I’ll come back to that.

One of the people released by Donald Trump was Rod Blagojevich. [shuffles papers] Somehow, I don’t have what I wanted to read to you. I will convey, in brief, some of what he said the day he came out, where he and his wife and his two daughters met outside the house. He addressed the fact, first of all, that there was no way to thank President Trump for freeing a man from a charge which he had not committed; there was no way to thank him. He said that Trump is a very firm leader, a very tough leader, but also has a huge heart. And that releasing Blagojevich was an act of kindness, which people had to recognize.

He then went on to say, to the people of Illinois who had elected him twice as Governor, he said, “I did not let you down. I would have let you down had I given into this; had I admitted guilt to something I didn’t do. If I had gone along to save myself this 14-year sentence” — of which he served 8 years. He then quoted from a Supreme Court Justice, Justice Breyer, who said that the idea that people in politics and the political world could be charged criminally for what they’re supposed to do as politicians is one of the greatest threats to America today. This is a Supreme Court Justice. And that in particular, he said, “Prosecutors armed with this potential is a grave danger to our system of government.” And Blagojevich said he learned that the hard way, as many of us did.

But I think it’s extremely important that you have people at that level directly addressing the broken criminal justice system that existed, he specifically said, since 1994 when this Crime Act was passed, which was a disaster. He described it as a racist and illegal act.

Lyndon LaRouche, long before that, was convicted and served 5 years of a 15-year sentence, from 1990-1995. He could have been exonerated by President Clinton; Clinton was considering it. Literally tens of thousands of leading citizens of this nation and from around the world wrote to Clinton, calling on him to pardon and exonerate Lyndon LaRouche; but he didn’t. He did make sure that LaRouche was released after the first parole potential, after five years. So, he served 5 years of that 15-year sentence. When he was released, he organized here in Virginia, a forum before a panel of very distinguished jurists and political leaders and others, testimony on the LaRouche case and on other cases of the misuse of the criminal justice system — in particular, the Fruehmenschen case, which was the official FBI doctrine that any black elected official was, by the fact that of being black, more prone to corruption and therefore legitimate to be investigated. In that hearing, I want to read some of what Lyn said himself in that testimony. He said — and this is long before the 1990s and 9/11 — this is back in the 1980s:

“We have, in my view, a system of injustice whose center is within the Department of Justice, especially the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The problem lies not with one administration or another, though one administration or another may act more positively or more negatively. You have permanent civil service employees … who are coordinators of a nest of institutions in the Criminal Division, which show up repeatedly as leading or key associates of every legal atrocity which I’ve seen.

“In my case, when the time came that somebody wanted me out of the way, they were able to rely upon that permanent injustice in the permanent bureaucracy of government, to do the job. … Always there’s that agency inside the Justice Department, which works for a contract, like a hitman, when somebody with the right credentials and passwords walks in, and says, ‘we want to get this group of people,’ or”we want to get this person.’ And until we remove, from our system of government, the rotten, permanent bureaucracy which acts like contract assassins, using the authority of the justice system to perpetrate assassination, this country is not free, nor anyone in it.” [applause]

Odin Anderson, Lyn’s lawyer, then presented a series of documents which we had obtained through Freedom of Information from the FBI, and I’ll just briefly mention, it included the idea of putting out false leaflets under the LaRouche organization’s name, going back into the 1960s and 1970s. It included Henry Kissinger’s letter to the head of the FBI saying, can’t you get this guy? He’s being very obnoxious. A letter from the Director of the FBI to some of his subordinates, saying let’s investigate him. We don’t know where his money comes from; let’s investigate him as being funded by a foreign hostile force, which then calls into being Executive Order 12333, which basically says somebody financed by a foreign hostile force, you can throw the Constitution out and do whatever you want. And others of this sort. So, this was well documented.

Then, Ramsey Clark spoke. Ramsey Clark, I’m sure most of you know, was the Attorney General of the United States under President Johnson. He became our lawyer for the appeal, when we were first convicted in the Federal case. Here’s what he said, first of all, in a letter that he wrote to Janet Reno, then the Attorney General — the same position he had held. He says:

“This case [the LaRouche case], I believe, involves a broader range of deliberate and systemic misconduct and abuse of power over a longer period of time, in an effort to destroy a political movement and leader, than any other Federal prosecution in my time or to my knowledge. A tragic miscarriage of justice.”

In the testimony of the same hearings that Mr. LaRouche spoke in, he said:

“What was a complex and pervasive utilization of law enforcement, prosecution, media, and non-governmental organizations [NGOs — those ‘no-good organizations’] focussed on destroying an enemy, this case must be number one. The purpose can only be seen as destroying more than a political movement; more than a political figure. It is those too, but it is a fertile engine of ideas and a common purpose of thinking and studying and analyzing to solve problems regardless of the impact on the status quo or on vested interests. It was the deliberate purpose to destroy that at any cost.”

So, this is what the LaRouche case was, and was recognized increasingly by many people. That’s why they had to destroy him and try to poison his name in the media, to prevent these ideas from being placed at the accessibility of the American and world populations.

Clearly, it’s exactly this same network that went after Donald Trump. I don’t think I have to explain that; it’s pretty obvious.

In terms of my own case, I think to get at that, I want to say something else about Roger Stone. You probably all watched the raid; the great raid on Roger Stone’s house. A 66-year-old man with no criminal record, attacked at 5 a.m. or something like that; with, of course, CNN standing out there. Everybody watched this horrible criminal, being put in handcuffs and dragged off.

Well, I’m very familiar with that scene. On October 6, 1986, the day of what we call the Great Panty Raid in Leesburg, armed forces from many different law enforcement agencies raided our offices, surrounded Lyndon LaRouche’s house. And when my wife got up that morning and was taking the garbage down to the end of our lane, she saw a whole slew of armed men in police cars — and CNN — ready to come in; for some reason, not coming in immediately. So, we called our neighbors, John and Renée Sigerson, who happened to live near us at that time, and said, “Why don’t you come over while we wait ’til they come in and arrest me?” So, we were sitting there watching The Marriage of Figaro on a video, when these men finally decided to come running up the road with their guns drawn and surrounded the house. They pulled me out and put me in chains and took me off, and so forth. Why? And CNN. My wife came out and said, “Get the hell off my yard, you have no right to be here.”

This is something that was going on then, and is going on now. In my case, there was something of this deep state — so-called — directly involved. A fellow named Oliver North — some of you probably remember — who was, at that time, running through the Iran-Contra operation, a scam where we were arming terrorists in Nicaragua. And the planes unloading the guns that were being shipped down to them, just as we were shipping weapons to al-Qaeda in Libya and so forth, were coming back loaded up with cocaine. We exposed that; that this was drug-running operation, and that Oliver North — the good friend of Henry Kissinger and others — was running this scam. Then we found out that Ollie North was also running around raising huge amounts of money — stealing really, huge amounts of money from people. Telling them that this was to fight communism; it was to save America, and so forth. When in fact, it was financing arms-running and drug-running. One of the people they scammed was somebody who was a major contributor to us, and with whom I was in regular contact. Oliver North told her that you had bad people, who are trying to undermine your doing good things; therefore, you should let me tap your phone, which was done. They monitored our calls. This was not just to get me, but it was to be fully on top of what exactly we were doing as an organization at that time.

So, I think that’s the reason I was hit particularly hard with the indictments. I was indicted both in the Federal case and in the Virginia state case. The “Railroad” as we called it, went forth; we were all convicted. I won’t go through the ugly details, but it’s worth reading. And I got three years in the Federal case. And then, as Dennis explained, I was told in the state case, where I was charged with crimes that could have been 90 years, that I simply had to lie, and — pffft! — I could go home.

So, that didn’t happen. And as a result, I got a 77-year sentence. Many of the people I met in prison, when I said I had a 77-year sentence, said, “how many bodies do ya got?” [laughter] So, I did not [lie to get out of prison], and I want to read something that Dennis actually read at a previous event and which really struck me, from Martin Luther King. He said, “You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid because you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized and will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you, or bomb your house, so you refuse to take that stand.

“Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you will be just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”

And I can assure you, that my life is proof of that fact: Because I did have to spend a total of 10 years in prison. But I can honestly say, these were the best years of my life — [applause] my only problem with my fellow inmates was my trying to convince them that this was the only chance they had in life, where they didn’t have to work, they didn’t have to support a family, they should learn, they should read, they should not waste away, feeling sorry for themselves. But I was given, really, the assignment of China — I mean, 77 years, you’ve got a 5,000 years of history to study, you need 77 years to take that on. [laughter]

But it became a real passion. It was something we needed to do. My co-defendant, Will Wertz, was at the time, translating Nicholas of Cusa, who was the relatively unknown great mind of the European Renaissance era; and I was then reading Confucius and Mencius and another relatively unknown but magnificent figure called Zhu Xi during the Song dynasty in the 12th century, and saw the comparison between what I was reading of Cusa, and what I was reading of these Chinese philosophers, and was able to pull together a sense of the way in which the great Christian Renaissance of Europe, and the Confucian Renaissance, where Zhu Xi, like Cusa, was restoring the Platonic tradition and the Confucian tradition which had been lost, over the dark ages in both Europe and China. So this it was a profound chance for me to really make great discoveries, which enriched my life, and through my work, hopefully, enriched the world, and made those who put me in prison very sorry that they’d given me the opportunity, to do that.

And, then, lastly, I’ll say, there was one particularly profound experience: At one point another of my co-defendants, Paul Gallagher and I were in the same prison, and we formed a Classical chorus. So we had a chorus of people — of criminals, some fairly serious criminals, child molesters, murderers — but people who, with one exception had never participated in any kind of Classical music, were totally unfamiliar with Classical music, and had never tried to sing. But we had been trained in some bel canto methods, and we began to train them. We sang Bach, and we sang Schubert, and we sang Negro spirituals. And in particular, we sang Beethoven. Now, this is the Year of Beethoven, our theme is to “Think Like Beethoven.” Many of you may have seen Helga Zepp-LaRouche, two weeks ago, gave a forum here in New York, from Germany, on Fidelio, the great opera by Beethoven: In which the woman, Leonora, dresses as a boy, “Fidelio” to work for the warden of a prison where she believes her husband is being held illegally, and secretly, by a tyrant. And through this story, she eventually frees her husband, and this is a very powerful story, and you can imagine why Helga loves this story, with Lyn having been in prison at this time.

And I had a similar experience: My late wife, at that time, traveled the world meeting with presidents and world courts, and so forth, addressing this injustice to Lyndon LaRouche.

And one scene in this great opera is called the “Prisoners’ Chorus,” where Leonora/Fidelio succeeds in getting the warden to let the prisoners out for just a moment, to get some fresh air. And they come out, and sing this male chorus, called, “O welche Lust,” “Oh, what joy,” to breathe fresh air again. And they think about freedom, freedom, freedom — Freiheit, Freiheit. But then, they remember that they’re being watched, and they sort of skulk back into their cells.

We sang this at the prison, and that, in particular — the whole thing — but that in particular, that Beethoven principle, had a profound effect on everyone of those people. And I’ve told this story before, and I tend to choke up when I say it: But every one of them, at some point afterward, came up to me, to try to express that they had never known of this kind of beauty in the world — and, let alone, that they could participate in the creation of that kind of beauty. So, when Lyndon LaRouche launched the Manhattan Project here in New York, with the intention of creating a vast chorus that would sing both the Classical repertoire and the Negro spirituals, because there were not just popular music, or gospels, these were songs that were about the fight for freedom, and had a Classical nature, in that sense — I understood exactly what he meant: That this was the way in which we can build the necessary movement for a true Renaissance.

So the Schiller Institute’s motto has always been, the Schiller motto, that the path to truth is through beauty. And that this is an example of why building this chorus — there was a Musikabend last night, and I understand that those people who went and participated in the music, who are being recruited to our political ideas, but it’s through participating in this kind of great culture, which we’ve lost, in America, with the ugliness that now passes for “culture,” that this is the way we create the potential to reverse the decay in the collapse of the civilization that we’re living in, and actually creating the New Paradigm that Helga addressed.

So, I think this is why, if we make this possible that LaRouche is exonerated by a President Donald Trump, who wants to achieve what he says, in terms of bringing the world together around these powerful ideas of development, of science, of cooperation, and great culture, that all of these ideas of this brilliant man, these beautiful ideas, will be made available to everyone, which has been denied them for these last 40 or 50 years, which is the great crime of the persecution of Lyndon LaRouche, that these ideas were prevented from being known and uplifting the population.

So this is where we stand, and I think this is why we have this kind of a fight, to expose and destroy, whether you call it deep state or British intelligence, destroy those who have purposely set out to destroy both the culture as well as the economy and the participation of our citizens in this kind of commitment, to what, in fact, can and must be, a New Paradigm. Thank you. [applause]