Nowadays, it's strange to hear high-ranking FBI officials declare publicly in court that a man like Donald Trump has never been monitored. After all, Trump is one of the key players in today's development of the global surveillance situation.
When statements like these are a daily occurrence in a lot of mainstream media, it's good that there are still a modest number of documentaries that speak a whole different language: films that present different views on things and things than what many official statements would have us believe . Then one can of course ask how important a handful of such documentaries, seen by a limited audience, really are. Can they even be compared to the reality created in today's mass media?
Austrian Friedrich Moser has examined a material that no American documentary could imagine. The facts revealed in A Good American is one that many high-ranking US officials, politicians, and influential journalists would regard as too daunting to reveal themselves. It is about revealing fraud at the highest political level, and pointing to an extremely important fact: the attacks 11. September 2001 could have been prevented. Moser discusses how it could be so, as well as the fate of some of those he believes could have stopped the terrorist act.
New technology. William (Bill) Binney is a mathematical crypto-genius and an outstanding information technology analyst. Where others just see signs, Binney sees structures. In the 1990s, he and five colleagues developed a monitoring and analysis system called "Thin Thread". It was cheap, and had privacy built in – which was very important to Binney and his team. The program worked exclusively with metadata, eavesdropped and analyzed telephone calls, emails, texts and other communication systems.
Moreover, this new system used more sophisticated methods than those already available to scan massive amounts of data and identify suspicious communications. Binney was able to snap up and announce that the Russians would invade Afghanistan two weeks before it happened, without being able to utter a word of Russian.
If the private sphere is not protected, democracy is no longer possible.
Three weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Center, "Thin Thread" was suspended. A later investigation showed that if it had been allowed to continue, the program could have identified specific names and targets for the catastrophic attacks.
Hardship from the NSA. But the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), General Michael V. Hayden, gave the green light to a much more expensive analysis program called the "Trailblazer". This signaled the end of global privacy protection. A $ 280 million contract was awarded to a private US company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), to develop the new NSA program. SAIC hired people who worked in the NSA and brought with them their knowledge and contacts.
Journalism fails its number one task.
Maureen Baginski, number three on the NSA ranking list, informed Binney that she would rather annoy the total six people on General Hayden's small team than the other NSA 500 employees. After the attacks, she declared that 9/11 was a "gift to the NSA," due to the increased goodwill on surveillance. Thomas Drake, a former NSA senior manager, quotes Baginski as saying, "Now we're going to get all the money we need and more." She got it right.
Binney joined the NSA shortly after the 9/11 attacks, when it became clear to him that the NSA was using illegal methods to spy on the American people, thus violating privacy inviolability. Faced with the development of an apparatus for mass
monitoring, Binney decided to resign. He wanted to warn the public and the government against the growing danger.
The highly regarded analyst and patriots had spent their lives defending the fatherland. Now a new life was expected as high-profile notifications, and thus an "enemy of the state". Heavily armed police carried out raids at his home. They seized his computers and other personal and professional documents.
Binney has been subject to revenge and punishment, but can't stop trying to inform the public about what's going on behind closed doors. His efforts have been internationally recognized and he was asked to be a consultant when Oliver Stone made the documentary Snowden (2016). Binney's message is simple: If the privacy sphere is not protected, democracy is no longer possible. Self-censorship as a consequence of global monitoring of any kind of activity means the end for freedom of thought, speech and action. Without openness to the greatest technological infiltration since national socialism, organized by a political-economic power group, the idea of the free man acting on the basis of his own analyzes and decisions will be a pure farce.
Journalism fails. Even now, it is obvious that there is no satisfactory digging journalism about surveillance technology in the United States. Any attempt in that direction comes immediately under pressure from many angles. Journalism fails its number one task: to inform the public about governance. Moser emphasizes that if there is no clear distinction between governments and secret services, you end up with a secret police. This is a stark contrast to the brilliance of the alleged freedom-loving West.
Even inquisitive members of Congress have been given incorrect information and have been sued. The secret services do not inform the National Assembly. Instead, billions of dollars are invested in even more intrusive surveillance technology, which has become a very lucrative, rarely controlled business. Once the information is archived, it is virtually impossible to protect the data. The surveillance programs leave no trace.
The Obama administration prosecuted more warnings than any previous US president has done. The judgments have been consistently severe, and for many of the accused, loss of livelihood has been the least problem.
Global technocracy. In a recent interview, Binney talks about the creation of a global technocratic government. The way he sees it, most things are already in place. If a breach of the right to privacy were truly found, the government's surveillance activities, systems and archives would have been considered criminal. To date, illegal data collection has not been tried before the Supreme Court.
The defense against terrorist attacks is just the legitimate pretext for mass surveillance. In reality, terrorist attacks are very useful, as Binney summarizes: "Keep the problem going, so the money keeps flowing in."
Friedrich Moser delivers his explosive content as a visual fireworks, with algorithms dancing across the canvas. Not to mention the great soundtrack, which evokes a constant flow of physically noticeable but subtle and questionable forces.
You can watch the movie here.