Days before Ukraine invasion, Russian state television approached me for what they claimed to be a media interview. It never aired. Luckily I recorded it.
Video to follow shortly.
Russia Today Interview, February 21, 2022
This interview has been edited for clarity purposes.
RT: Can we start
RT: [00:00:59] Cottle has openly admitted hacking activity. Is this illegal? And why hasn’t this been acted upon if that’s the case?
BB: So, unlike the hacks that I was associated with and that I went to prison
over back in 2011- 2012, during what we might call the Golden Age of
Anonymous, this hack, as well as several others that have occurred in the last
year, are not what they seem. In each case they have been overseen by elements of the FBI including individual FBI agents known to us, documented former Scotland Yard officials, a number of FBI co-operators that were involved in targeting activists like myself years ago, and other parties.
None of this is what it seems. [00:01:57] It goes back to this problem, when you have groups like Wikileaks or Anonymous, or my group Project P.M, or these other factions that have been proven able to challenge power by just getting the information that’s of most use in front of the public.
It is well worth the time and effort of the various intelligence community firms like Palantir, to infiltrate those groups when they can’t stop them outright. That’s exactly what’s been happening to a huge degree in the last couple of years in particular. So, the people who are actually doing these hacks and this Aubrey Cottle, a Canadian citizen who has admitted and documented long-time ties with Canada’s CSIS as well as with the FBI. These hacks are being done. They’re not necessarily being done by him. He has been the person who has been the front man, the face of these hacks, and he has transferred some of the data to the public and to other parties.
The reason there‘s been no arrests despite this person having been bragging
about these things for a year is because no arrests are intended. This is a state
RT: [00:03:24] And what was your own experience in working with or meeting Mr Cottle. Is he who he claims to be? He claims to have worked with law enforcement but also claims to be independent.
BB: I first learned of Aubrey Cottle at the very end of 2020 when I was in the
midst of fleeing the USA via Antigua and then to the UK. It was a confusing
period. He was brought into some of my Signal groups that I still used with a lot of other whistle-blowers, researchers and journalists. Very quickly we became suspicious of him because he kept talking about hacks, which we don’t do. We have no need to do that. We do research. Then it became known to us that number one, that there has been some press coverage of him in recent months that claimed he was the long-lost founder of Anonymous, which is just vastly untrue. Even he has been caught admitting otherwise in private. [00:04:36] We also came across his own admitted past associations with the police and so forth. So, we kicked him out. We dug into some of the people that he was involved with, some of whom turned out to be people who are very familiar to us. For example, an FBI co-operator who also worked with the FBI in a [00:04:57] private corporate sort of partnership called Infragard named Neal Rauhauser. [00:05:06] We found that Aubrey Cottle was working very closely with him. We also found from one of this Cottle person’s own handlers and public backers who is also an intelligence contractor out of the US, that in fact Kirtaner aka Aubrey Cottle was working not only for these different law enforcement bodies, but also with the well-known Neo-Nazi[00:05:32] hacker Andrew Auernheimer aka Weev who I’ve known since 2007 and who’s been a long time enemy of mine personally.
So, it became very confusing very fast. As soon as we started coming out
publicly and warning people about who this person was, and others involved in this found ourselves being attacked by people who had been our allies for a long time, people we believed were part of this transparency movement.
The short version is, and this is all very complex, of course and there’s avast
amount of documentation that we‘ve had to go through in the last year in
particular, to find out what’s going on, but between the FBI audio recordings, the leaked documents, some of their own statements,[00:06:21]and leaked
messages, it’s pretty clear that that this person was packaged over about the
period of a year in order to present him to the public as the new face of
Anonymous that everyone should be following.
A part of what he would be doing would involve seeming attacks on the alt-
right. Seemingly, going after the alt-right and seemingly on his own
behalf as an anti-fascist when in fact we have 10–15 years of documentation
showing him expressing anti-Semitic and racist views and working closely
again with people like Weev aka Andrew Auernheimer, the Nazi leader who helped run Stormfront [note: this is incorrect; it was actually The Daily Stormer, a different neo-Nazi org] [00:07:13] So in the year since then a number of people who have been involved closely with him including those at another group I used to work very closely with Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDOS), they have gone silent on the issue in ways that are obviously very suspicious. Those who haven’t been silent, the ones that have spoken out have mostly done so in an effort to try to get my asylum bid in the UK derailed. The whole thing has been quite bizarre, and it is really part of a larger problem that we have where whistle-blowers [00:07:52] are targeted.
Whistle-blowers sometimes are important enough to the powers that be that not only are they prosecuted, but they are surrounded and engaged by intelligence community actors and firms like Palantir and people like Peter Thiel in order to either stop them or to co-opt[00:08:15] their organizations and their networks in order to serve an entirely different purpose.
So, what’s happening now is being viewed as, in some articles that came out in
the last few days, as anti-fascists working with the cops. That's not what this is.
There are people working with the cops. Some of them have been on the anti-
fascist end of things.
[00:08:38] Some of those were conned into doing these things. Some of them
seem to have gone in to these things knowingly, and some of them appear to
have made a deal to avoid prosecution and are justifying it to themselves by
saying 'Oh, well, we're helping to go after the alt-right. And so, it's okay'.
But what we know from 2011–2012, what we know with my case and with
Aaron Swartz's case a lot of things that happened to activists back then is that
there is splashback in these occasions.
[00:09:13] When the FBI takes over hacks like they did with Anonymous in
2012 when they had an FBI co-operator named Hector Monsegur, aka Sabu
hack Stratfor, other people including myself and Jeremy Hammond are the ones
who went to prison over it.*
So, in this case, there are a number of concerns[00:09:36] involving the
integrity of the data that's being put out, which portions of it aren't being put
out, some of the ways in which those involved have actively concealed and
defended this operation by attacking people who have done a lot of helpful
work for these same people over the years.
[00:10:02] It's very much part and parcel of the age we live in where no one
wants to take responsibility. If it turns out they've been conned, no one wants
their legacy to be tarnished, and if it comes down to telling an embarrassing
truth to the public that the public has to know, on the one hand, and the other
alternative being damage to one's career reputation. What I have found to my
chagrin over the years is that even those of us who are supposed to be heroes,
have not stacked up all that well, and the public has suffered for it over and over
RT: And Cottle has some kind of immunity for his previous work with these
[00:10:50] Well, I'll put it this way. Even the Atlantic article by a guy named
Dale Beran who I've since spoken to which first presented Cottle as this early
Anonymous leader who was involved in the activist stuff, which he absolutely
was not, all the early Anonymous activist stuff is very well documented not just
by us, but by the FBI and DOJ when they were surveilling us. Even that article
mentions his early engagement with the CSIS of Canada.
[00:11:20] There are a couple of theories as to the extent and nature of his
involvement and immunity deals that he may have. Some of these things are
very informal. We know this from a lot of leaked messages between FBI agents
and their co-operators, some of whom are involved in this very operation.
[00:11:39] We know that in some cases the FBI or whoever will give these
people very broad parameters and just say, 'hey, you can go after this, do this,
you know, and whatever' and the individuals themselves are not operating as a
mechanical extension of the FBI. They are still operating as their own people.
So, they pursue the objectives of the FBI and whoever else while also
sometimes achieving personal objectives [00:12:11] sometimes by being co-
opted by other groups entirely.
There was a big fight within the portions of Anonymous that were most
important. The ones that were involved in the Tunisian Revolution and all that.
There was a lot of struggle between the FBI, intelligence firms, the Pentagon,
intelligence agencies of other countries back then to try to co-opt[00:12:34] and
use what was going on.
There were hacks against Syria that are a very good example of what that led to.
In this case I couldn't tell you what kind of deal has been struck between
Aubrey Cottle and his handlers in the Canadian and US governments.
I do know that anyone who was not working with the police who had spent the
last year doing the things that this person is done and bragged about even if he
was known to be lying, he would not be free to travel back and forth between
Canada and the US as Kirtaner/Cottle has been the last few months.
He would not be free to go to LA to go meet movie deals. He would not be
going to DC as he did a few months ago with Distributed Denial of Secrets core
member Lorax Horne for whatever meetings. I know a lot of other whistle-
blowers besides myself, Lauri Love in particular who I have been spending a lot
of time with here in the UK, and[00:13:45] not a single one of us would look at
that situation and say that this is normal or that this is above board.
The only reason it's gone this far, the only reason it's just recently[00:14:02] that
the documents that have been put out over and over again have really caught
my attention, is because on this occasion with this hack of the funding
mechanism that was used for the convoys and this protest in Canada, in this
case a huge number of people were affected.
Those people unlike a lot of people that I used to work with, when they see that
someone is working with the police they have no reason to try to hide that,
they're not embarrassed about it, they're the ones who have been screwed over.
That's why it was ironically the conservatives who were targeted to some extent
in this operation.
It was them who first started publicly bringing[00:14:47] attention to the things
that we've been putting out for a year or so. So that's why you now have articles
on how Kirtaner/Cottle is absolutely a documented admitted co-operator and
there are a lot of other issues connected to this that are going to come out
Like I said, it's very complex and some of this stuff goes way back[00:15:08] to
the 2016 election and prior to that. Some of the individuals involved go back to
very substantial events in the last 10 years in the US and elsewhere.
So, it's just as well that this finally got attention because now the things that the
Mueller investigation intentionally refuses to look into involving U.S
companies that were involved, like Cambridge Analytica, Michael Flynn's
group and so forth, those things we now have another chance to address because
the person that Kirtaner/Cottle was working under, Weev/Andrew Auernheimer,
as I showed your producers and as I've made public in the last few days, he was
hired by Peter Thiel of Palantir in 2014 to do these exact kind of things — to co-
opt secretly the transparency activists and to use these trusted individuals for
different ends -whether by bribery or by intimidation or by for those of us who
don't go along with it, incarceration and harassment.
RT: And what is the motivation of DDOS?
BB: I worked with DDOS Secrets very closely and I was a great admirer of that
group and of the individuals involved going back 10 years. Then in 2019, I was
asked by them with my group which I've since had to shut down due to do this
situation, to help them bring in journalists and oversee these projects to go
through these leaked materials from a London firm that specialized in money
laundering essentially for kleptocrats and oligarchs abroad.
People who steal money from development aid in Africa and then use this firm
in London to launder it. I assisted with that. At the time I grew closer to Emma
Best. Then at some point Emma Best asked me and I'll post these, I also sent
these to your producer earlier, and I'll post them publicly in a bit.
[00:17:22] Emma Best asked me if I would be willing to ‘work with the enemy’
quote unquote . She specifically mentioned Stratfor, the intelligence firm that
was imprisoned over the FBI hack on, as an example of the kind of enemy.
She was asking if I'd be willing to deal with those kinds of people in order to
achieve some larger end. What I told her then was that I'm willing to do all
kinds of things, but I'm not willing to deceive the public.
That presumably is why that was never brought up to me again. It's also
presumably why when some of these FBI tapes came out last year, Emma best
and everyone around her totally went quiet. Because they know my position on
this and they know that whatever faults I have and whatever foolishness I may
bear, I am very serious about disinformation, obscurantism, deceiving the public
and I'm very, very sceptical about [00:18:25] anything involving the FBI.
I'm skeptical even if you're going after let's say January 6 insurgents.
A few weeks before January 6th the FBI had a meeting in L.A. We have a
recording of it because the witness was secretly recording it. They were asking
about me and my groups and about the researchers in my Signal groups. They
weren't looking into these groups that were right then preparing to storm the
capital. That's because the FBI historically has not been interested [00:19:07] in
going after those kinds of people.
They have never been interested in those kinds of people. Not since J. Edgar
Hoover started the FBI and wrote a letter to Martin Luther King trying to get
him to commit suicide. They have focused on people trying to leak information
to the public. They have focused on black activists of the sort that I increasingly
work with and that they targeted as a result.
[00:19:29] That's a sad thing. But any rate what I think about DDOS is similar
to what a number of other people who used to work with them and brought on
board members for them as I did now, think about them. A lot of them have left,
quietly or otherwise in the last few months.
It's gotten too obvious. Even without knowing exactly what happened and
when, even without knowing when a deal was struck and who else is involved
and how it started, it's clear enough to everyone who's been around this sector
that it is entirely compromised.
RT: Unknown question — unclear audio
So, just as with a couple of the other things that Kirtaner/Cottle has been
allegedly involved in, or has been publicly involved in, including things he tried
to get us involved in, it's hard to point to one particular motive, because there's a
number of entities involved here.
I mean even the FBI is an agency at war with itself. You have parts of the
factions of the FBI that want to clamp down on protests of any sort. There's
some that really prefer to clamp down on left-wing protests, which is why the
Black Lives Matter protests were dealt with quite a bit differently in front of the
front of the Capitol Building than the January 6 protesters were a while later. It's
a very complex situation.
So most likely there are some FBI agents who,[00:21:37] some of them
probably honestly want to get into these right-wing networks and better follow
them. Some of them probably aren't aware that the FBI has all they need to
know already about the most dangerous right-wing networks, including the ones
that they've been dealing with like Palantir led by Peter Thiel who is the person
who has proposed the Dark Enlightenment and anti-democratic philosophy. He
is [00:22:04] a person who was involved in the 2016 election interference
[00:22:08] operation with Cambridge Analytica.
There are other FBI agents who probably don't know what's going on. They're
probably being told whatever. The people on the activist end, the ones who I
used to work with and who definitely were somewhat opposed to the national
security overreach that kind of thing. Well, some of them also have intelligence
connections. I mean Emma Best is former CIA. That's not even a secret. A
number of people that I've worked with and that work in this community are
former military intelligence, some are whistle-blowers — Chelsea Manning,
[00:22:45] So probably there are different people involved in this who have
different ideas about what is happening and what they're accomplishing and
some of them are probably lying to themselves because it's easier than facing
In my experience that's very common. Some of them probably in a more
sociopathic way are [00:23:07] trying to avoid the tremendous prison sentences
that many of us faced years ago for doing much, much less than the things that
Kirtaner/Cottle and his crew have been doing out in the open for a year now.
[00:23:28] A lot of people are cowards. With all due respect to the technical
community a lot of the hackers and technicians that we've dealt with over the
years, have proven to be less than ideal allies.
Unfortunately, what we have here is a confluence of those types of people. The
type of people that in the past have endangered other activists for fun and then
been caught for it.
[00:24:01] So, as with much else these days, this is something that is complex
because there's number of parties involved. But it's also complex because there's
an intentional [00:24:17] and very easy to effect sort of smokescreen that the
intelligence Community or anyone else really who understands these things, can
put out to make to ensure that the clues, the facts, the documents, the
admissions of guilt all get kind of lost in the fog.
They get pointed out as internet drama or as a turf war or as a feud and then
journalists stop paying attention. So, it's very easy if you're a bad actor or if
you're working the intelligence community, or if you're working for an
intelligence contracting firm, it's very easy to ensure that whatever you're doing,
just with a little bit of preparation, it's very easy to ensure that those of us who
might come across it will not be heard.
The more dramatic version of that is my arrest by the UK in May of last year
and being placed an immigrant removal center and having to declare asylum in
order to not be flown back to the US into the hands of the FBI, but most
examples are less dramatic than that.
Most are as simple as having people on Twitter[00:25:30] pop up in different
threads and try to distract those who are on the right trail or discredit those
[00:25:41] It's a very complicated ecosystem. It's not so complicated that we
can't make it clear and demonstrate it. If anything positive comes of this, and I
hope it does, it will be that this is an opportunity to demonstrate point-by-point,
how these things happen, and what the consequences are.
Because the people out there who are reading these articles like the one in Tech
Monitor that ran a piece on Kirtaner/Cottle and they take them seriously when
they claim that Kirtaner/Cottle and his associates were inspired by Black Lives
They take it seriously that they should sign up this website called Internet Hope
Machine that they set up. Those people are in danger. Those black activists and
their supporters are in danger.
[00:26:37] Meanwhile the groups that are actually doing work, the actual black
activist groups, for instance [00:26:45] whether it be Black Socialists of
America or some of the little smaller media outlets I deal with, they're not
getting attention. They're not getting oxygen.
They're not getting the chance to put out what needs to be put out. Instead, we're
having distraction after distraction[00:27:03] in a way that the FBI and people
it's been able to turn over the years, have planned for.
The only beneficiary in the end is the oligarchs like Peter Thiel who keep
popping up in connection to these things over and over again. The real victim
here is not me or, or my volunteers who have been subjected to a number of
terrible things in the last year over this. The real victim is the public.
RT: [00:27:34] Would you say DDOS works in a similar way to Wikileaks?
BB: DDOS Secrets billed itself as a different approach to WikiLeaks [00:27:49]
but what ended up happening is that like so many other groups, and this is a
common tendency among even well-meaning groups, the people on the inside
decided that they knew how to play these intelligence games with different
countries and so forth and that they had the right to deceive the public about
what they were doing, that they had the right and the confidence and the
resources[00:28:25] to claim to be entirely transparent, to claim to be putting
out documents as they got them, while in fact they've been doing something else
So, in that respect, they have made the same mistakes [00:28:45] as we've seen
from a lot of different aspects of the transparency activist movements including
some that I've worked with like The Intercept.
I was hired by The Intercept from prison and it turned out to be as Reality
Winner or John Kiriakou who are other whistle-blowers who spoke at this at
this conference in Berlin along with me and Laurie Love few months ago as we
all explained, The Intercept was not what it seemed.
It was something that was worth creating by Pierre Omidyar [00:29:19] without
the awareness of some of those involved in order to intercept potentially
dangerous leaks and that explains [00:29:30] why a number of people who are
employed at The Intercept, who should not have been employed in any outlet,
were in fact given access to say, Reality Winners documents before she was
[00:29:42] It also explains why one of The Intercept reporters on those whistle-
blower documents took a job with the NYPD as their spokesperson, Richard
[00:29:54] The bottom line is, that from top to bottom partly as a result of
people wanting to avoid getting into conflicts with our friends, people not
wanting to think the worst of those they've trusted,[00:30:09] and people
wanting to avoid the embarrassment of their own involvement,[00:30:14]the
different portions of the transparency activist community from big Anonymous
accounts, like YAN on Twitter down to lesser known groups, they have been
compromised [00:30:30] because it's easy to do for the intelligence community
and for the FBI.
It was easy to compromise Anonymous in 2012 when they took over some of
our hackers and led us into a honey trap. It's easy to do and it's vastly effective
and it's worked so far and no matter how many times they've been caught doing
it, no matter how many times the FBI's been caught lying about what happened
with Stratfor, and no matter how many times they got caught lying in my case
or in Lauri loves case or in Jeremy Hammonds case or in Chelsea Manning's
case — these things just get forgotten.
[00:31:04] The unfortunate fact is that whistle-blowers even though our
function is to serve the public at great risk, [00:31:17] when we start to talk
about the things that are preventing us from doing that, some parties will
interpret that as just as drama or as whining or as seeking attention.
That's probably the main reason why most of the whistle-blowers I know and
people involved in this community have either overdosed like my former legal
defence head Kevin Gallagher did last year — after he disappeared from the
Internet for two weeks following harassment by some of these same individuals
like Kirtaner/Cottle. It explains why so many of us have kind of just gone quiet.
It explains why people like Aaron Swartz just ultimately couldn't take it .
This is a real conflict and the consequences people can forget are vast.
Information is everything. The right information in the right place is what
keeps the public[00:32:19] able to act as a citizenry, understanding its own
governments and its own rights and so on, and what its governments are doing.
Disinformation in the right place can make sure that all of the work and
sacrifice that goes into making that happen[00:32:37] is squandered.
It goes to nothing. Unfortunately, that has been the case with a lot of the things
in the last 10 years regarding Palantir, HBGary, the FBI, these firms in Israel,
Germany and France that have helped dictators track down dissidents and that
have been caught creating these social media bots [00:32:59] to spread
The problem is that there have been so many opportunities for the press to
report these things, and they have, but there's also been a lot of opportunities to
forget about them. There's been really no-one minding the store as it were. With
the exception of those of us who have our lives kind of wrapped up in this now
and there's no getting out of it, the conflict as is playing out, the other side is
They are going to keep winning for a while. Unfortunately, I feel at this point
based on what I've seen and what I've seen not happen [00:33:49] I think the
conflict is going to be won by the oligarchs, and it's going to be harder and
harder to determine for anyone anywhere in the world who's credible, what can
be believed and what's actually happening. That's terrifying.
The more you see of it, as I have for years, the more terrified one becomes.
RT: 00:34:15] But both are saying information gained same way. So why is it
that way treated so differently by law enforcement, and the media?
BB: [00:34:39] There's always some kind of organic reasons why different
groups get perceived differently and treated differently. A lot of it is marketing.
Some of it does have to do with bad actors in the press stepping in and helping
to create a narrative because they are either, let's say being given bad
information by FBI co-operators, that's happened a lot. It's one of the things
we've documented a great deal of in one of my projects.
[00:35:13] In some cases the media sees, like the establishment press in the US
began to see Wikileaks as something fundamentally different from itself at
Although in some cases Wikileaks was different and Assange was doing things
that were different from what people perceived the press as doing, the fact of
the matter is that there's nothing Assange did [00:35:42] in terms of things that
he is being accused of that were crimes that I do not have documentation of,
including a transcript from court proceedings, including mine and Jeremy
Hammonds that show journalists for the New York Times, Gawker and The
New Yorker, all these major outlets doing much, much worse — doing things that
would amount to criminal conspiracies had Wikileaks done them.
So, the difference is when you are being backed by or proving helpful to what
some elements of the FBI or whatever believes is helpful you are given a lot of
lee-way. When you are deemed to be a threat to either the DOJ or the FBI, or
any company it was covering for in 2011 like Palantir, [00:36:33] then things
You start to see naive reporters who don't really understand much about what
happens in the media and I've been a media critic before I was anything else for
20 years, and I've dealt with the press as a writer, as an interview subject, as a
subject of articles, so I've seen it from all different angles.
The thing I've seen most[00:36:59] going back and looking at a lot of this,
looking at the cases and looking at everything that is documented is that there
[00:37:08] is almost no major outlet that I know of in the west[00:37:15] that
would rather admit [00:37:18] to considerable wrongdoing, whether it be failure
or intentional, there's nothing they won't do to avoid admitting to that. Even
when that means,[00:37:31] massive and ongoing consequences for the public.
[00:37:38] Editors and writers and reporters who are all friends and buddies in
Manhattan and so forth or who want to get another job at another outlet, they
will keep their mouths shut about it, even when it's brought to their attention.
That's been shown over and over again.
So Wikileaks was correctly deemed by the state department and by other
entities like Bank of America and the US Chamber of Commerce, which were
some of the groups that were coming after it when me and some colleagues of
mine stepped in and exposed the Team Themis plot in 2011, where they were
going to target journalists and labor union leaders, Wikileaks, people who
supported Wikileaks and so on.
[00:38:22] Those things were done to WikiLeaks way back then and then to
others who were supporting Wikileaks and those trying to do the same kind of
things that Wikileaks was doing because they are dangerous.
Because they are much more dangerous than New York Times is. The New
York Times or any other major outlet is easy to manage for the intelligence
[00:38:48] The philosophy and the culture within the press especially in the US
and the UK is such that the advantage is always [00:39:00] with the
[00:39:04] It is not hard at all for a company like HBGary, which is one of the
companies that was caught going after Wikileaks, as well as labor unions and
anti-US Chamber of Commerce groups, it is the easiest thing in the world for
HBGary to strike a deal with a major journalist over his book release, as they
did with Joseph Menn, the person that the Washington Post just hired as their
cyber reporter, and who goes way back in this whole situation as well.
It's easiest thing in the world for Stratfor, the company Wikileaks has published
its emails showing they spied on Bhopal activists, to recruit someone like
Damien Cave, a bureau chief of the New York Times and to get him to write
certain things and refer to him in their internal emails as their 'friendly reporter'.
It is very easy for journalists who just get suckered into this stuff because the
FBI off-the-record person told him something and they reported something that
was really false. It's very easy for them especially if they are, let's say a
sociopath,[00:40:18] to become part of the cover-up.
So that's why outlets like NPR that have both open connections to Stratfor and
secret connections to Stratfor, outlets like Reuters -Thomson Reuters its parent
company did a deal with Palantir in 2010 a few months before Palantir was
caught in this big scandal.
It's easy for them to do the easy thing, which is to duck and cover, to hide to,
wait and hope that people will forget, which is usually a winning strategy. That
that may help to explain in a broad sense why[00:41:01] Assange is being
prosecuted whereas Adrian Chen of the New York Times and Gawker is not,
despite the things I've already shown him to have done including previously on
Russia Today a couple of years ago and in articles elsewhere, and in speeches
I've given and in a book I have coming out next year.
The rot is very deep in the press and that's why things like Wikileaks were
needed. That's why things like DDOS were needed. That's why the projects I
was running until recently were needed. But all of them have proven very easy
targets. [00:41:41] Between the intelligence community and the press
[00:41:46] and ultimately people like myself who used to win national
magazine awards and who used to get New York Times coverage for taking a
bath during a press conference, it's why my name is no longer spoken[00:42:00]
among the vast majority of the same outlets.
[00:42:04] If you speak out against it, you lose friends and editors become
nervous. That's especially true when some of the editors and some of the
journalists knew about some of these things’ years before, and they know things
right now about the Assange trial that they're not talking about.
If these things were known they [00:42:27] would throw the Assange
indictment into an entirely different light and would throw the US press
establishment into an entirely different light as well.
Again, there's a lot at stake here for a lot of people and a lot of them are in the
press. The stakes are the highest for the public. If the public wants to have a
press it can rely upon, a community that can help to fill in the gaps when the
press misses something, 00:43:00] if the public wants that they're going to have
to work for it.
That's going to have to involve actually reading through some things, paying
closer attention to who's been wrong in the past over and over again and who's
been caught lying.
[00:43:15] That's hard work sometimes but it's something that [00:43:21] is
absolutely necessary if democracy [00:43:25], public awareness and informed
consent, are going to survive at all in the next couple decades, it's absolutely
necessary that these things be taken very seriously and that those caught being
involved in these disinformation campaigns between the FBI and Palantir, that
these people be identified and punished.
Congress had an opportunity to punish Palantir in 2011 when they were first
caught subverting democracy. They chose not to do that. The Press gave up to.
Congress and the Mueller commission had another opportunity when Palantir
was caught in 2016 having been involved in this Cambridge Analytica
Facebook[00:44:09] interference program in the election. They reported on it
and then once again they dropped the subject and forgot about it.
That right there should be enough I think to make clear to anyone[00:44:24]
even without going into specifics and seeing all the other examples that we
have. Unfortunately, we have to way too many of them, that should be enough
to give a sense of [00:44:35] of how difficult the battlefield is for those of us
who are trying to get the public to just keep focus on the threats that keep
The dimensions of Palantir in most of the articles in the past 10 years [00:44:54]
almost never mention what Palantir has been caught doing in terms of going
after basic democratic institutions, almost never. Some of that's intentional.
Some of it's because of laziness and competence. It's just what it is.
Ultimately, if I was choosing sides, if I wanted to be on the winning side, which
I never am, I would choose Palantir right now. Palantir, the FBI, the oligarchy,
in general, the kleptocracy, they will win.
[RT: 00:45:26] So was the DDOS Secrets set up by CIA?
[00:45:33] Probably not set up by the CIA as such. It's complicated. You will
hear expressions like once CIA always CIA and that's an overgeneralization that
people like to use when they don't know much about the subject.
The fact of the matter is you have CIA dissidents like John Kiriakou who
revealed the torture program and then went to prison. Emma Best comes from
the intelligence community.[00:46:05] I didn't know the extent to which Emma
best had been involved in some of these other private intelligence outfits that I
had been investigating until Emma Best made that known to me in a
conversation a couple years ago.
[00:46:25] If I had lied to Emma Best when they asked me if I would be willing
to work with the enemy, whatever that meant, you know Stratfor or whatever, if
I had lied and went along with it, I'd probably know more.
But unfortunately, as I told them, I'm not willing to deceive the public for
whatever reason, because it's not a winning strategy morally or pragmatically.
So, we'll never know. But having said that, the CIA has a number of ways of
encouraging things, of facilitating things and of setting things up without those
For example, the way The Intercept was created and some of the information we
now have, those of us who worked for The Intercept like me and Ken
Silverstein and so forth, [00:47:18] we now know a lot about how the CIA can
accomplish these things.
It's very much similar to what's happened here with DDOS. You go to the
opposition; you go to the people that are most likely to be the receivers of
leaked intel and you offer to help them and they want help.
Some of them want a lot of money too like Glenn Greenwald did. In those
circumstances it's easy to overlook or try to avoid noticing certain things, like in
this case Pierre Omidyar the person who funded The Intercept by putting 500
million dollars into it. Just a couple of years before that he talked about why
whistle-blowers are traitors and in these messages we now have, he and Peter
Thiel were working together with this this character the neo-Nazi Weev/Andrew
Weev knew a lot of us and been an enemy of mine for a while., we can now see
that they were using Weev to silence activists that PayPal was prosecuting -
that Pierre Omidyar’s company was prosecuting for their protest campaign
which was a ddos attack against PayPal and Amazon which was in retaliation
for when those companies cut off funds to WikiLeaks.
The real frightening thing here is the ones that emerge as threats, the ones that
emerge as heroes in the public eye or who are persecuted for those reasons that
is the category that by any number of methods, some of which are probably
[00:49:02] very little-known outside of certain circles. Some of which we do
have documented examples of, they are infiltrated and co-opted, or disrupted.
DDOS probably had a complex evolution and I have a pretty good idea of
which individual who became involved with it was probably the key vector
[00:49:27] for turning DDOS into what it became.
It's a person who like several other individuals who later proved to be
interesting characters that tried to infiltrate the legal defence community for
myself and for Jeremy Hammond years ago when we were all in prison.
A number of people came in offering to help. Sometimes [00:49:54] it looked
like they were helping other times they were caught doing very much the
Some of the people who were most heavily involved in that weird sabotage
campaign against [00:50:08] those of us who were facing charges that the public
had a lot of stake in, were also involved in spreading misinformation to the
public about what this was all about.
The people who were most heavily involved in that are also are also involved
now with DDOS.
[00:50:27] So the short answer then is whether or not the CIA created DDOS,
I doubt that. I have reason to believe, based on my communications and
dealings with them over the years and how they suddenly changed abruptly
[00:50:47] that they were doing pretty straightforward and honest transparency
work up through to 2019 and then at some point over the next year or so and
though on until today have been by various means turned into an extension of
the things we are fighting.
They've been turned into an extension of the intelligence community, the
national security community, and the global kleptocracy.
RT: [00:51:23] DDOS Secrets has previously been implicated in hacking
against the Russian government. Why would they seek to do that? What do you
BB: There's obviously vis-a-vis Russia and China and other countries, there are
differences of opinion among the hacktivists*** as you might call us, and there
always have been about which are the priority targets [00:51:49] and so forth.
Some groups were more pro-US than others, some groups were more pro-
Russia than others. I myself am an anarchist militant so I go after
But I'm also not a hacker so I take what I can get. But DDOS definitely was
very interested in Russia's role in things.
Part of that is for the same reason that a number of American outfits might be
interested in Russia's role in things in the last 10 years. Part of it might have
more to do with that the FBI and CIA is interested in the role that Russia has
played in things.
Unfortunately, in the last five or six years that's involved a lot of disinformation
in which certain things that were done by Americans[00:52:47] were attributed
[00:52:49]It's not as if Russians weren't involved, it's not as if Russia doesn't
have an intelligence apparatus, it's not as if the Russians are not very good at
spy craft. It's more that the Americans are more than willing again, like a lot of
people who believe themselves to be right, that they have the right to lie.
[00:53:17] There has been a long struggle that I've been pulled into over the
years by different sides without really wanting to be pulled into it over how to
present the 2016 elections, and how to presents Russia's involvements and what
it really was [00:53:42] and I've dealt with people on both sides of that.
I went into prison in 2012 and I got out right after the 2016 election in
November. The first thing I noticed was that pretty much everyone had changed
in the US. Everyone had gone nuts over this election.
[00:54:04] It's very hard for some people, I would say most people, to
understand two things at once. One is that is that there's more than one country
out there that is disrupting democracy and there is more than one country out
there that puts out his misinformation,[00:54:27] and there's more than one
country out there that suppresses journalists, and there's more than one country
out there 00:54:37] that is able to work their way into seemingly innocent
unaffiliated organizations and turn those organizations into intelligence assets.
[00:54:50] So there's people who thought that Mueller and the FBI were boy
scouts and were going to solve all this and were definitely going to going to get
to the bottom of this and they didn't notice that some of the companies that the
FBI itself leaked about in 2017 to The Washington Post, like White Canvas
Group, one of the firms that I used to investigate[00:55:14] back in 2012,
[00:55:18] It's gone unnoticed that those same companies have never been
discussed again in the press, much less by the Mueller commission.
Likewise, there are there are people who like to pretend that the Russians don't
have spies, and that the Russians don't have an interest in what the US does. Of
course it does. But the US and Russia have had a long and interesting history
together starting since about 1918 -1919 when the US first sent over
expeditionary forces to interfere with the revolution.
[00:55:52] They've been at each other's throats in very creative ways. Very little
of this will ever be known to the public at large. Even the parts that are public
should be enough to convince people that we're all human beings and none of us
should be trusted.
That's why the hero worship and the trusting groups like DDOS to say 'okay,
don't worry, we're [00:56:23]going to quietly do these things and we will
release these things and we're definitely not going to do anything else'. That's
why that needs to stop. That kind of black box model.
The only model that's going to work in the future if we're going to have one, is
going to be something structurally very different. It's going to have to involve a
different kind of procedural built-in transparency framework for democracy.
That is one of the things that some of us were hoping to build in last few years.
It's also one of the things that because of these conflicts and the FBI and so
forth we've had to shut down and kind of give up on for now.
There is a lot going on in the background and in the foreground between Russia,
China and the US and private actors like Peter Thiel of Palantir who are
essentially now equivalent to a nation state in terms of their powers and
There's very little chance for the public, even the attentive public, even the
intelligent public that wants to know, there is very little chance for them to
follow what's happening and that's just going to get worse and worse and worse
RT: [00:57:45] Thank you for the interview.
*Sabu was sentenced to time served — https://www.wired.com/2014/05/hector-
**Emma Best pronouns are she/they according to their Twitter profile.
***Barrett Brown is not a hacker, but has reported on hacked information