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The Tucker Carlson interview: How America turned on its own people, Part Five


WHAT follows is the final and longest segment of Tucker Carlson’s interview with the former US State cyber security expert Mike Benz which we have been reporting on over the last few days. The full-length recorded interview Uncensored: The National Security State & the Inversion of Democracy is here if you haven’t yet seen it. You can read Part 1 of the transcript here , Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here

In this final part Benz describes the elites’ redefinition of democracy in terms of their defence of institutions – not Parliament or Congress, mind you, but government-funded organisations and their ‘arms’ like NGOs and the legacy – a consensus-building architecture that operates through specific foundations and contracted businesses all manned by former CIA, FBI, DHS and NSA bigwigs. The interview finishes on Elon Musk and X and whether he and his platform can withstand the flank attack from the EU.

The Transcript, Part Five

Mike Benz: [00:47:06] What I’m essentially describing is military rule. I mean what’s happened with the rise of the censorship industry is a total inversion of the idea of democracy itself. You know, democracy sort of draws its legitimacy from the idea that it is rule by consent of the people being ruled. That is, it’s not really being ruled by an overlord, because the government is actually just our will expressed by our consent with who we vote for. The whole push after the 2016 election and after Brexit and after a couple of other, you know, social media-run elections that went the wrong way from (then), what the State Department wanted, like the 2016 Philippines election, was to completely invert everything that we described as being the underpinnings of a democratic society in order to deal with the threat of free speech on the internet. And what they essentially said is we need to redefine democracy from being about the will of the voters to being about the sanctity of democratic institutions. 

And who are the democratic institutions? 

Oh, it’s us, you know, it’s the military, it’s Nato, it’s the IMF and the World Bank. It’s the mainstream media, who it is, the NGOs. And of course, these NGOs are largely State Department-funded or IC funded. It’s essentially all of the elite establishments under threat from the rise of domestic populism that declared (by) their own consensus to be the new definition of democracy. Because if you define democracy as being the strength of democratic institutions rather than a focus on the will of the voters, then what you’re left with is essentially democracy (that) is just the consensus-building architecture within the democratic institutions themselves. And from their perspective, that takes a lot of work. I mean the amount of work these people do. I mean, for example, we mentioned the Atlantic Council, which is one of these big co-ordinating mechanisms for the oil and gas industry in a region for the finance and the JPMorgans, the BlackRocks in a region, for the NGOs in the region, for the media in the region. All of these need to reach a consensus. And that process takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of work and a lot of negotiation. 

From their perspective, that’s democracy. Democracy is getting the NGOs to agree with BlackRock, to agree with the Wall Street Journal, you know, to agree with, you know, the community and activist groups who are onboarded with respect to a particular initiative. That is the difficult vote-building process from their perspective. At the end of the day, a bunch of, you know, populist groups decide that they like a truck driver who’s popular on TikTok more than the carefully constructed consensus of the Nato military brass. Well, then, from their perspective, you know, that is now an attack on democracy. And this is what this whole branding effort was. 

And of course, democracy again has that magic regime change predicate, where democracy is our magic watchword to be able to overthrow governments from the ground up in a sort of color revolution style, (a) whole of society effort to toppling a democratically elected government from the inside. For example, as we did in Ukraine. Viktor Yanukovych was democratically elected by the Ukrainian people, like him or hate him. I’m not even issuing an opinion there. But the fact is we color revolutioned him out of office, we January 6th’d him out of office. Actually, to be frank . . . you had, you know, State Department-funded right sector thugs and, you know, $5billion worth of civil society money pumped into this to overthrow a democratically elected government in the name of democracy. And they took that special set of skills home. And now it’s here, perhaps potentially to stay. And this has fundamentally changed the nature of American governance because of the threat of, you know, one small voice becoming popular on social media.

Tucker Carlson: May I ask you a question? So into that, that group of institutions that you say, now define democracy, the NGOs, foreign policy establishment, you included the mainstream media. Now, in 2021, the NSA broke into my private text apps and read them and then leaked them to the New York Times against me. That just happened again to me last week. And I’m wondering how common that is for the intel agencies to work with so-called mainstream media like the New York Times to hurt their opponents.

Benz: Well, that is the function of these interstitial, government funded non-governmental organizations and think tanks. Like, for example, we mentioned the Atlantic Council, which is, you know, Nato’s think tank. But other groups like the Aspen Institute, which draws the lion’s share of its funding from the State Department and other government agencies. You know, the Aspen Institute was busted doing the same thing with the Hunter Biden laptop censorship. You had this strange situation where the FBI had advance knowledge of the pending publication of the Hunter Biden laptop story, and then, magically, the Aspen Institute, which is run by essentially former CIA, former NSA, former FBI, a bunch of sort of civil society organizations, all hold a mass stakeholder censorship simulation, a three-day conference. You know, this came out and Yoel Roth was there. This was a big part of the Twitter file leaks. And it’s been mentioned in multiple congressional investigations. But somehow the Aspen Institute, which is basically an addendum of the national security state, got the exact same information that the national security state spied on journalists and political figures to obtain, and not only leaked it but then basically did a joint co-ordinated censorship simulator in September, two months before the election, in order, just like with the censorship of mail-in ballots, to be in ready position to pre-censor anyone online amplifying a news story that had not even broken yet.

Tucker: The Aspen Institute? . . . Walter Isaacson, formerly of Time magazine, ran it, the former president of CNN. I had no idea it was part of the national security state, I had no idea its funding came from the US government. This is the first time I ever heard that. But assuming what you’re saying is true, it’s a little weird that Walter Isaacson left Aspen Institute to write a biography of Elon Musk. Strange?

Benz: Yeah. I don’t know. I haven’t read that book. From what I’ve heard from people, it’s a relatively fair treatment. I, you know, just total speculation. But I suspect that Walter Isaacson has struggled with this issue and may not even firmly fall in one particular place, in the sense that, you know, Walter Isaacson did a series of interviews of Rick Stengel, actually, with the Atlantic Council, in other settings, where he interviewed Rick Stengel, specifically on the issue of the need to get rid of the First Amendment and the threat that free speech on social media poses to democracy. Now, at the time, I was very concerned. This was between 2017 and 2019 when he did these Rick Stengel interviews. I was very concerned because Isaacson expressed what seemed to me to be a highly sympathetic view about the Rick Stengel perspective on killing the First Amendment. Now, he didn’t formally endorse that position, but it left me very skittish about Isaacson. 

But what I should say is, at the time I don’t think very many people, in fact I know virtually nobody in the country, had any idea how deep the rabbit hole went when it came to the construction of the censorship industry and how deep the tentacles had grown within the military, in the national security state, in order to Bouie and consolidated much of that, frankly, did not even come to public light until even last year. Frankly, some of that was galvanized by Elon Musk’s acquisition in the Twitter files and the Republican turnover in the House that allowed these multiple investigations – the lawsuits like Missouri v Biden in the discovery process there. And multiple other things like the Disinformation Governance Board, the interim head of that, Nina Jankowicz, got her start in the censorship industry from this exact same clandestine intelligence community censorship network created after the 2014 Crimea situation. Nina Jankowicz, when her name came up in 2022, is part of the Disinformation Governance Board. I almost fell out of my chair because I had been tracking Nina’s network for almost five years at that point, when her name came up as part of the UK inner cluster cell of a busted clandestine operation to censor the internet called the Integrity Initiative, which was created by the UK Foreign Office and was backed by Nato’s Political Affairs Unit in order to carry out this thing that we talked about at the beginning of this dialog, the Nato, sort of psychological inoculation and ability to kill so-called Russian propaganda or rising political groups who wanted to maintain energy relations with Russia at a time when the US was trying to kill the Nord Stream and another pipeline relation.

Carlson: Well, they did that.

Benz: Nina Jankowicz was a part of this outfit. And then who is the head of it after Nina Jankowicz went down? It was Michael Chertoff, and Michael Chertoff was running the Aspen Institute Cyber Group, and then the Aspen Institute then goes on to be the censorship simulator for the Hunter Biden laptop story. And then two years later, Chertoff is then the head of the disinformation governance board after Nina was forced to step down. Of course, Michael Chertoff was the chairman at the largest military contractor in Europe, BAE Military.

Carlson: So you’ve blown my mind so many times in this conversation that I’m going to need a nap directly after it’s done. So I’ve just got two more questions for you. One short, one a little longer. The short one is, for people who’ve made it this far – an hour in – and want to know more about this topic. And by the way, I hope you’ll come back whenever you have the time to explore different threads of the story. But for people who want to do research on their own, how can your research on this be found on the internet?

Benz: Sure. So our foundation is We publish all manner of reports on every aspect of the censorship industry from what we talked about with the role of the military industrial complex in national security, state to what the universities are doing to, you know, like I sometimes refer to as digital MKUltra, there’s just the field of basically the science of censorship and how and the funding of these psychological manipulation methods in order to nudge people into different belief systems, as they did with covid, as they did with energy and every sensitive policy issues, what they essentially had an ambition for. But my website is one way. The other way is just on X. My handle is @Mike Benz Cyber. I’m very active there and publish a lot of long form video and written content on all this. I think it’s one of the most important issues in the world today.

Carlson: It certainly is. And so that leads directly and seamlessly to my final question, which is about X. And I’m not just saying this because I post content there, but I think objectively it’s the last big platform that’s free or sort of free or more free. You post there too. But, you know, we’re at the very beginning of an election year with a couple of different wars unfolding simultaneously in 2024. So do you expect that that platform can stay free for the duration of this year?

Benz: It’s under an extraordinary amount of pressure, and that pressure is going to continue to mount as the election approaches. Elon Musk is a very unique individual, and he has a unique buffer, perhaps when it comes to the national security state, because the national security state is actually quite reliant on Elon Musk properties, whether that’s for the, the electrical, you know, the sort of the green revolution when it comes to Tesla and, and the battery technology there when it comes, when it comes to Space X.  The State Department is hugely dependent on space, because of its unbelievable sort of pioneering and saturating presence in the field of low Earth orbit satellites that are basically how our telecom system runs to things like Starlink. 

There are dependencies that the national security state has on Elon Musk. I’m not sure he’d have as much room to negotiate if he had become the world’s richest man selling at a lemonade stand. And if the national security state goes too hard on him by invoking something like CFIUS to sort of nationalize some of these properties, I think the shockwave that it would send to the international investor community would be irrecoverable at a time when we’re engaged in great power competition. 

So they’re trying to kill, they’re trying to sort of induce I think, a sort of corporate regime change through a series of things involving a sort of death by a thousand paper cuts. I think there are seven or eight different Justice Department or SEC or FTC investigations into Elon Musk properties that all started after his acquisition of X. But then what they’re trying to do right now is what I call the transatlantic flank attack 2.0. We talked in this dialogue about how the censorship industry really got its start when a bunch of State Department exiles who were expecting promotions took their special set of skills in coercing European countries to pass sanctions on themselves to cut off their own leg despite themselves, in order to pass sanctions on Russia. They ran back that same playbook by doing a roadshow for censorship instead of for sanctions. We are now witnessing, you know, transatlantic flank attack 2.0, if you will, which is because they have lost a lot of their federal government powers to do this same censorship operation they been doing from 2018 to 2022, in part because the House has totally turned on them, in part because of the media, in part because Missouri v. Biden, which won a slam dunk case actually banning government censorship at the trial court and appellate court levels, is now before the Supreme Court. 

They’ve now moved into two strategies. One of them is state level censorship laws. California just passed a new law which the censorship industry totally drove from start to finish around. They call it platform accountability and transparency which is basically forcing Elon Musk to give over the kind of narrative mapping data that these CIA conduits and Pentagon cutouts were using to create these weapons of mass deletion, these abilities to just censor everything at scale because they had all the internal platform data. Elon Musk took that away. They’re using state laws like this new California law to crack that open. 

But the major threat right now is the threat from Europe with something called the EU Digital Services Act, which was cooked up in tandem with folks like Newsguard, which (has a board) run by Michael Hayden, head of the CIA, NSA, four-star general and Rick Stengel is on that board. You know, from the State Department’s propaganda office. Tom Ridge is on that board from the Department of Homeland Security. Oh, and Anders Fogh Rasmussen is on that board. He was the general secretary of Nato under the Obama administration. So you have Nato, the CIA, the NSA, four-star general, DHS, and the State Department working with the EU to craft the censorship laws that now are the largest existential threat to X other than potential advertiser boycotts, because there is now disinformation is now banned as a matter of law in, in the EU. 

And the EU is a bigger market for X than the US. There’s only (some) 300million people in the US, there’s 450million in Europe. X is now forced to comply with this brand new law that just got ratified this year, where they either need to forfeit 6 per cent of their global annual revenue to the EU to maintain operations there or put in place essentially the kind of, you know, CIA bumper cars, if you will, that I’ve been describing over the course of this, in order to have an internal mechanism to censor anything that the EU, which is just a proxy for Nato, deems to be disinformation. And you can bet with 65 elections around the globe this year, you can predict every single time what they’re going to define disinformation as. So that’s the main fight right now – dealing with the transatlantic flank attack from Europe.

Carlson: I said this five times, but that’s just one of the most remarkable stories I’ve ever heard. And I’m grateful to you for bringing it to us. Mike Benz, Executive Director of the Foundation for Freedom Online. And I hope we see you again.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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