In the first half, one of Britain's leading military historians and lecturers, Colonel John Hughes-Wilson discussed his latest work on the history of intelligence and espionage, including the dangerous uncertainties of spies and human intelligence, how WikiLeaks really happened, and whether the 9-11 attacks could have been avoided. The methods of intelligence have changed over the years, he outlined, with the birth of aerial photography and primitive signals in WWI, radar in WWII, and satellites during the Cold War. The world of intelligence is very much on the technical side these days, he added, but human spies are still needed to carry out certain missions, especially when it comes to determining the intentions of potential enemies.
The problem with the American intelligence agencies is that they tend to compete with each other rather than collaborate as such organizations do in Britain, he noted. For instance, in the case of 9-11, he cited how the compartmentalization of intelligence worked against America's prevention efforts. Both the CIA and NSA didn't share pertinent information they had on the eventual suspects with each other, or the FBI, he reported.
He expressed great concern over the growth of the surveillance state, with organizations like the NSA having the ability to listen to everyone, anywhere, all the time, especially in tandem with closed circuit cameras in countless locations. "We really need to think through the implications of that for the future, because we can't disinvent it," he commented. Regarding WikiLeaks, Julian Assange is akin to a "fence" or purveyor of stolen goods, who left Chelsea Manning to take the rap, said Hughes-Wilson. But when it comes to Edward Snowden, is he a traitor or a whistleblower? "I personally think he's done something treacherous," even though his motivations might have been good, he went about it the wrong way.
During the latter half, Open Lines were featured. Brooke from El Paso talked about the rise of fake news, and lamented that the US government is guilty of feeding the public false stories, such as the Warren Commission report. Howard in Vancouver, Washington shared his intrigue over details from a past C2C show, in which researcher Ted Phillips described his investigation of a strange Slovakian artifact. Leo from San Ysidro, CA related a haunting account of driving his boss' car, and seeing a strange black silhouette in the rear view mirror that seemed to be trailing him. Later, his boss told him he believed the figure was a jinn or genie, and ended up getting rid of the vehicle.