In this episode of Kash’s Corner, we take a look at the two Chinese men recently arrested by the FBI in connection with a secret Chinese police station in New York City. This is just one among multiple Chinese Communist Party (CCP) police outposts in the United States, according to the watchdog group Safeguard Defenders.
In two separate cases, the DOJ is charging 40 Chinese officials and police with conducting a coordinated harassment campaign against Chinese dissidents residing in the United States.
And we continue looking at the Pentagon leaks. How did the suspected leaker, a 21-year-old Air National Guardsmen, get access to so many pages of classified documents?
Kash Patel: Hey everybody, and welcome back to Kash’s Corner. Even though Jan and I are on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s too much breaking news in national security, defense, and intel for us to take the week off. Thanks to the Epoch crew and staff for making this a reality. Jan, there’s a couple of things I know you want to jump into. Where should we start?
Jan Jekielek: There have been two arrests in New York of people that are allegedly agents of the Chinese communist regime working out of this Chinese police station. As part of a bigger effort, Safeguard Defenders exposed these stations that have been set up by the CCP all around the world. That’s one. I really want to dig into that and the implications of what these things are and of this particular indictment. We were also looking at AI and we’ve been learning in this recent interview with Elon Musk that he says AI is being taught to lie.
Finally, the Pentagon papers. We have this egregious leak, but it’s also given us some incredibly important information to work with. We have to break that all down. Let’s start with the Chinese Communist Party police stations in the U.S. I still can’t really believe that I’m saying that, and these have been operating with impunity for quite some time.
Mr. Patel: Jan, it’s no surprise, certainly to you and most of our audience, that the CCP’s number one adversary is the United States of America. They don’t act with any respect to any sort of laws, international or otherwise. It doesn’t surprise me that they’re intruding on our infrastructure or personnel to gain leverage over America. The fashion in which they have now been caught doing it might be stunning to some folks who weren’t in the government or have much government intelligence experience, but let’s break it down.
There’s actually two separate prosecutions. In lane A, you have prosecutions of two suspects who were actually arrested in New York City for conducting operations to damage America. Let’s just leave it at that for right now. Prosecution track number two; concerning a 40-person bot farm, the Chinese government, the CCP, has been caught utilizing them in mainland China and in the United States of America to coordinate an information attack campaign against Chinese dissidents in the United States of America. That’s the sum and substance of it, Jan.
Mr. Jekielek: These two individuals in the first track that were charged, they’re actually known to The Epoch Times and known to people in Chinatown, New York, as being people who have been involved in organizing counter protests to dissident protests.
Mr. Patel: Yes. What’s shocking to many, even in government, is the extent that the Chinese government, the CCP, has come in and placed individuals throughout American society, and not just in New York City. Jan, there’s actually reporting out there talking about these police stations, as we’ll call them for now, in multiple cities in the United States of America.
From a government perspective, in order to install anyone overseas in an official diplomatic capacity is a major lift, because your two nations have to have a diplomatic relationship. Then, you exchange documentation, and you stand up embassies. These are the most popular examples.
You allow people from your treasury, your DOJ, your law enforcement, and intel-military communities to nest over in their country and vice versa. What happens when the CCP comes on board? They use these non-benign diplomatic postings to infiltrate American society for a maleficent purpose, like trying to harm Chinese dissidents in the United States of America.
They’re not just violating our national sovereignty, but as we now have been shown by the DOJ, also our federal statutes to obstruct justice and literally conspire against the United States of America. Because that’s what they’re doing. Just think of it the other way around, Jan.
What if the United States of America had sent American government employees throughout Mainland China and tasked them with the following; go buy land in Mainland China, set up an infrastructure system, and on behalf of the United States government collect against Xi Jinping and his allies.
The CCP would have a problem with that. They would think it’s an absolute violation of their national sovereignty. That’s what they’ve just done to us. These are the two guys that have gotten caught so far, but I don’t believe for a second they’re the only two. And that is only New York City.
As the discovery process comes along, we’ll learn a lot more information. But Jan, with me being a former national security prosecutor, the problem with this case, unlike 99.9 percent of all prosecutions, is that this one involves classified information. What makes it very difficult for a federal prosecutor is that you cannot use classified information in a public court.
You have to get the information declassified. You’re talking about some pretty sensitive stuff here when you are talking about collecting against CCP officials or spies who have been installed in mainland America to collect against America and our government.
Now, in order to do that, some of the information’s going to be unclassified. But the way in which we go about detecting and collecting against that is going to be classified. There’s a very methodical process at DOJ, which I utilized on multiple occasions, to prosecute defendants in these types of cases that has to be undertaken before you even get to an arrest or an indictment, because you can’t have that information still be classified.
That means the intelligence community, all 17 agencies have to sign off on the information you are going to put out in public to bring this prosecution. It’s a very lengthy ordeal. The fact that these guys were arrested just this week means to me this investigation is probably at least one year in the making.
Mr. Jekielek: Yes. Again, these so-called police stations, they’ve been running for years. This is not a new phenomenon and it just highlights to me how naive we’ve been on this side of the Atlantic or on that side of the Pacific with respect to Chinese Communist Party intentions. It strains credulity that one would allow such things, under the cover of providing diplomatic support. Many of these entities exist not just in the U.S., but around the world.
Mr. Patel: Yes. There needs to be swifter action, in my opinion. A couple of individuals is step one, but as we’ve been shown by these prosecutions, the Chinese government, the CCP, has a parallel track to perpetuate these crimes. They have a bot farm in Mainland China to support this activity. That means they have an entire troll station, according to the other indictment, with 40-plus individuals sitting in Mainland China supporting this police station in New York City, in the United States of America.
They have thought this thing out. Of course, they’re going to come in and deny it, but the action from the United States government should be the expulsion of Chinese diplomats, at least the majority of them, for violating the diplomatic agreement between our countries.
Going back to our earlier point, just think what Xi Jinping would do, if he caught government assets from the United States of America on his soil acting in concert to violate Chinese national sovereignty? It would be an international crisis and they would not hesitate to act. That’s the distinction.
While the federal prosecution is great because it holds people accountable publicly, what our government needs to do is implement some heavy trade sanctions, some swift and forceful economic sanctions and start expelling diplomats immediately. We need to say, “Xi Jinping, you have violated United States national sovereignty.”
It doesn’t get much bigger than this Jan. I’m surprised, and yet I’m not surprised by the reticence from the Biden administration to make a swift response here. A prosecution is just not enough.
Mr. Jekielek: This classified information piece is similar to this Pentagon leak that has been in the news everywhere. We’ve got two sides of the coin here. On one hand, we’ve got some very, very valuable information that was revealed. I want you to comment on what it means, and what we’ve actually learned.
And on the other hand, how did this leak happen in the first place? There’s quite a discussion about whether this is a good or a bad thing, and I want to explore that. Let’s start with what the intelligence actually means.
Mr. Patel: We now know according to the disclosures that have been reported in the media, the heart of the matter is that the effort by the United States government to fund on a large scale assistance to the Ukrainians for their war effort against Russia and Vladimir Putin has failed. Now, many organizations have been saying that, and many politicians have been saying that.
But the crux of the matter is that the Biden administration and a lot of politicians have been saying, “We are succeeding in Ukraine.” The problem we have here is that you now have reporting, if accurate, that shows that to be a lie. It’s not like it’s a report from Australia or Canada or another Five Eyes partner. It’s a United States intelligence collection from the Department of Defense, a member of the intelligence community. Specifically, the DOD is the one responsible for war fighting operations, planning, assistance, and training overseas in places like the Ukraine.
What I’ve asked publicly is why hasn’t the House Armed Services Committee, the Committee of Jurisdiction in the House of Representatives, and the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Senate side, immediately issued subpoenas to Secretary Austin and Chairman Milley, who lead our DOD, and asked them, “Why did you not provide accurate information to the White House and Congress? Is this leak totally incorrect? Is it completely made up? Is it a bogus story?”
Also, there are questions that the Armed Services Committee needs to ask of the Gang of Eight. Reminding our audience, the Gang of Eight is the top eight leaders in Congress in the House and the Senate from Democrat and Republican parties who are put in place by law to oversee the intelligence that goes to the President, so that someone else other than just the commander-in-chief has access to it.
As a co-equal branch of government, they have oversight for this specific purpose. If a president was lied to or if a president had information and went out and lied to the world about the success or failures of an operation, then they need to be held to account. But I’ve seen no action from Congress, the Armed Services Committee, or the Gang of Eight, to indicate they’re moving to acquire this information. That is as problematic as the information that was just released.
Now we’ve had an arrest, just like we talked about in the first subject with the Chinese police stations. Prosecution is a good thing. It’s a step, but it does not reveal the entirety of the situation. We must look at this. It’s an internal operation, insofar as we can tell. We don’t know if he had external assistance from foreign governments or foreign actors.
It looks like the leaker had assistance through chat rooms and other individuals that were involved. We can get into why I believe he had assistance in the Department of Defense. But there needs to be an accountability measure undertaken by Congress and it’s just entirely lacking right now. To me, that is as bad as the leak.
Mr. Jekielek: Let’s start on this side of things. In our previous episode, you mentioned the DOD or the intelligence community saying that this leaked information is categorically false, really means that it’s accurate. That’s what we said last week. This hasn’t changed. We’ve been assuming that this information is accurate.
If it’s accurate, many people are saying, “Wow, this guy is a hero. This guy’s actually a whistleblower. This guy’s a whistleblower and this is really important information to shape our foreign policy decision making.” On the other hand, you’re saying that he should be prosecuted. We touched on this last week, but this is a very serious question that a lot of people have right now.
Mr. Patel: The answer lies within your question, Jan. He could have been a whistleblower. There are statutes in place for individuals like this who want to expose government waste fraud and abuse and corruption to the United States Congress via the Intelligence Committee or the Armed Services Committee or the Judiciary Committee, the United States Congress has legislated for this specific purpose. Being a former senior staffer in the House Intel Committee who accepted whistleblower complaints and knowing how that process works, he could have done that.
Let me remind the audience, Jan, this individual has been at it for six months at a minimum. A uniformed United States military employee decided on his own to take information over a months-long campaign and disperse it illegally on the internet. I refuse to believe for one second that his good intentions could not have been met by becoming a whistleblower.
He knows the United States government. He could have hand delivered this information to many committees of jurisdiction, and this information could have gotten out and he would not have broken the law. People may regard him as a hero, because they like the information that was produced, but it does not give him the right to break the law.
Then there were people commenting on our board last week. I’m glad there was such a vigorous discussion on it that compared him to Julian Assange, and called for his pardoning. I don’t call for that. I think Julian Assange committed espionage and should be prosecuted. It doesn’t matter what the substance of the information is.
The ends do not justify the means in the United States of America. They never have, and they never should. If we or any sector of our community says, “Because it exposed this huge corruption, we must permit it.” Just think of what happens next. Who’s coming out next to leak all sorts of sensitive information to achieve what I identify as a political objective?
If you are a U.S. employee entrusted with our nation’s secrets, and serving our nation to protect its independence and freedom, then you cannot go out there and break the law to achieve your objective. I still don’t know what his objective is. We don’t have the entire case out there yet. We don’t know who else he worked with. There’s no way he did it alone.
There’s too many questions out there, putting aside my feelings on whether or not he should be prosecuted. There’s so many other questions that I think we need to get to the public, before they make their final determination on this. There’s always going to be people out there that say, “You’re wrong. He should not be prosecuted.” I just disagree.
Mr. Jekielek: Kash, the response to this would be that we are living in a time when we’ve seen these Twitter Files, disclosures, and discovery from multiple lawsuits. It’s been shown that certain elements of the intelligence community, DOD, and DOJ have been weaponized against Americans.
In this situation, you can imagine people thinking, “I can’t trust the system. I have to go around it.” A lot of people that heard what you just said might be thinking exactly what I’m saying right now. How do you respond to that?
Mr. Patel: It’s the United States of America. You can’t break the law to perform an act which you might think is saving the union or critical to our existence. It’s the reason we are different from the majority of nations out there, especially like the CCP and Vladimir Putin and their corrupt regimes. We do not allow for that in the US of A.
There’s no one more frustrated than me when you have a system in the U.S. that is failing. I am in wild agreement with you on the fact that things like the Twitter Files have exposed government waste, fraud, and abuse, but so have whistleblowers, namely the FBI whistleblowers that came forward and exposed corruption at the FBI. It’s not an easy path.
It’s definitely not fun for those individuals, but we cannot have a national security apparatus that is premised in the law only to allow people to break it, because the next person says, “I did it for an objective that I thought was right, so give me a pass just like you gave that other guy.”
The distinction is going to be what is the ultimate objective of the person, which becomes subjective. He could be a far-Left individual or a far-Right individual. Jan, this is the reason why I don’t agree, and why the United States of America does not allow for an illegal type of disclosure just to correct a failing part of the United States government.
I agree with you, this is a massive exposure and we’re going to learn a lot from it. But I violently disagree with the way this individual went about it. I’m not cheering him on, because then I would be cheering on the next iteration of it, and the next 100 that would follow him. That is the slippery slope you never want to cannonball down.
Mr. Jekielek: To your point, Kash, strategic leaking of classified information has actually been used by multiple people,during the past administration to achieve particular ends. In this case, you have also argued that the leaker in no way acted alone.
Mr. Patel: Yes. Here’s why. To remind our audience, a lot of information has broken since we last covered it. That’s why we’re continuing the conversation here. From my experience as both the deputy DNI and chief of staff at DOD, and having worked operationally in the intelligence community space, that the information we’re talking about—for folks who haven’t seen last week’s episode, go check it out because it’s the underlying groundwork for answering the next question—the reason he can’t act alone is because he cannot solely access this information. More importantly, he cannot solely disclose it during a months-long campaign. Jan, it’s not like he took a sheet of paper that was classified and said, “Here you go, give it over to the media, and publish it on the internet.” From what we’re told, he has hundreds of documents, and lots of pages of material. That means he went in and out on multiple occasions. He accessed secure compartments in information facilities, skiffs, and vaults that house this type of information. With the level of information we’re talking about that we discussed last week, that style of classified intelligence, just because you have a top secret SCI clearance doesn’t mean you have the “need to know,” to access it. That’s the distinction here.
Lots of government employees have a TS/SCI [Top Secret/Secure Compartment and Information Clearance]. The overwhelming majority of those individuals do not have a need to know on 95 percent of what is top secret SCI. They have never given access to it. This individual falls in that basket. Because as a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman, you should not have information about Mossadi intelligence collection.
As a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman, you should not have troop movements in and around Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin’s response to that posturing. You just shouldn’t have it because you’re not involved in any level in the operational policy or planning decision making that that intelligence is utilized for. As a 21-year old E3, his level in the military, he just doesn’t have access to it.
How did he get it? We don’t know that yet. Who else did he give it to? Was he working with someone on the outside? There’s a lot of questions that remain unanswered. Is there going to be another disclosure? Maybe. Maybe he gave a bunch of stuff to someone else. It seems from the public reporting, this individual’s objective by disclosing this information was to inform the world about these subject matters.
It seems like he wanted a bunch of stuff out there. That means he thought about it methodically, being an individual in the United States military with access to classified information, and knowing it’s illegal to collect it and distribute it outside. He had to have thought of a plan to do so and acted in concert with somebody or had some assistance.
Here’s the thing I haven’t talked about anywhere yet, Jan. If I’m wrong, and he acted alone, we have an even bigger problem. How did some guy at 21 years of age access the United States of America’s most secure intelligence information and then leak it all on his own? To me, that’s an even bigger problem for the intelligence community. It’s not about me being right or wrong, but the alternative is shockingly worse for the national security apparatus in this country.
Mr. Jekielek: I’m imagining this situation. Let’s say you have people of different political persuasions for different strategic reasons leaking classified information. That could become a war, if you will. In the end, it is breaking down the system. This is what this extreme Left onslaught that America is facing today is actually all about. It’s about breaking down the system. This is a very difficult thing to deal with when you are on the side of fighting for rule of law, and fighting for the system that allows for freedom and liberty.
Mr. Patel: Yes, absolutely.
Mr. Jekielek: Another area that is endangering all this now is this development of AI. We have this recent interview with Elon Musk where he talks about AI being taught to lie. Victor Davis Hanson, whom I speak with regularly on American Thought Leaders, was on record talking about how very Left-wing false talking points have made it into the Academy revisionist history is becoming the norm. He talked about how certain AI chat bots are responding to queries around history.
There’s always been this attempt in communist societies to erase history and to rewrite history. In 1984 by George Orwell, there was a whole department dedicated to this. It’s a central theme in the book. With AI, this takes this whole idea to a new level, where essentially whole swaths of digitized history can be completely erased and rewritten into something very ideological.
Mr. Patel: Yes, it’s not surprising, but a shocking development. What I mean by that is we’re talking about going back and changing historical facts. That’s mentioned in one of these articles, which we can put up for our audience, about Al Gore’s father and his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, versus what AI is doing on the internet to change that hard fact of history. That’s just one example of where it’s going in terms of historical spaces.
Regarding AI, my expertise doesn’t come from that part of it, but from the government’s utilization of it. It applies to both areas of conversation we’re having right now. AI serves a purpose, of course it does. But my central thesis upfront is AI cannot replace human manpower, it just can’t.
When you try to do that, then you run into these problems of revisionist history. In the government space, you run into these problems of missing critical evidence and intelligence that could prevent another attack, that could lead to a criminal objective that you’ve been looking for, or that could even lead to a war, if we have missed the intelligence or got it wrong. The Persian Gulf War is a prime example of that, and also us being on the precipice of war in the Ukraine.
This is why it’s so critical to talk about it. I talk to my former colleagues and they say, “AI’s great because here’s what it can do. We ingest all of this intelligence, and all of this information comes into the United States government. It’s stored in all these databases. How do we go through it?” Of course, we don’t have the human manpower to go through everything person by person. But we can’t have AI supplant human manpower. It should supplement it.
If we figure out a way to do that, then they can coexist. What you’re talking about Jan with the media reporting about revisionist history is that AI is going out there and uniformly just disbanding fact and replacing it with fiction. There’s no human being in place to say, “What is this algorithm doing?” And then, to ask further, “Who put this algorithm in place? Who created it? Who bought it, who paid for it, and who sold it?”
In government, you want to ask the same question, “Where’s this algorithm, this AI machinery coming from, and where are we sending it? Who has access to it?” Remember, at the end of the day, AI is artificial intelligence. That means there’s an input and an output.
Someone is getting everything that is being generated by that AI system. Who is that someone? Are we open to vulnerability? Can a foreign adversary, the CCP, use AI in the United States of America and intrude upon our systems and expand their police station operation across the United States of America? I bet you they did just that, Jan. They’ve got the AI hub station in Beijing that we talked about earlier. Why wouldn’t they use it for that nefarious, illegal purposes?
This discussion has gone on for a long time, and I’m glad it’s now front and center, because of things that are being discussed with AI’s involvement in Big Tech at Google, Facebook, Twitter and the like. Those institutions will continue to use more and more and more and more AI. Someone, whether it’s Congress or the executive branch needs to step in and say, “Hang on a second. What are we doing in the government intelligence space to counterman the abuses that AI has allowed, and will lead to?”
Mr. Jekielek: Multiple things occur to me here. Number one, in this recent piece by Jacob Siegel in Tablet, having been an intelligence officer, he talks about how it’s this kind of dream for intelligence to have the perfect information, which can then be digested using some kind of system like AI to make perfect determinations. This is the holy grail in these communities. You’re basically explaining here why that can never work.
The second piece is to imagine a situation where the people that were programming these things have rigorous commitment to measuring objective reality as best as you can. That ethic also is being programmed into the AI. But many of the people programming these things believe that reality is constructed.
They believe their very specific, particular narratives should be the correct narratives, and reality be damned. What are the implications of that for AI? Elon Musk was talking about AI being taught to lie. It’s being taught to pursue narratives over reality, and explain those narratives as if they were reality to the people using AI.
Mr. Patel: You said it in a very meaningful way that I want to lead with to our audience. This conversation can’t possibly end today. What happens when AI couples with bad actors? Someone has to build the AI. What happens, whether it’s in the media space, the Big Tech space or the government space, bad actors or bad individuals take that AI and use it for nefarious, unlawful purposes. That’s the ultimate problem we face with artificial intelligence, and there’s no short-term solution for it right now.
Mr. Jekielek: The third piece that I didn’t mention yet, is that most of the most cutting edge AI development with Microsoft and Google is actually being done in China. That means the CCP has been given access to this technology, because those are the conditions for operating there. I find this terrifying. Again, it’s a reality where you have a system that basically has no guardrails. There is a civil-military fusion doctrine. If there is a military application for technology, which obviously there is here, it is exploited as much as possible. Why are we still doing this development in China?
Mr. Jekielek: The short answer is money. There’s no regulation right now from the United States government standpoint, that is a check on performing that type of activity; taking and creating and deploying AI from a U.S. company in Mainland China. Just think about it.
The Chinese government does the opposite all day long. TikTok is on some level an algorithmic-based infrastructure system that operates partially on AI that the Chinese use to tunnel into America. When we give them one that they didn’t build themselves and is hosted in Mainland China, what do you think the CCP is going to do?
Look at the CCP’s unlawful conduct setting up police stations across America. Now we have companies like Google and Amazon and Apple distributing or deploying pieces of this AI that they are creating as American businesses in Mainland China. But we’re to believe that it’s fully safeguarded from the CCP. Not for one second. And that, Jan, is the biggest pending problem that’s coming up on the AI front.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s huge. Major AI R&D operations are located there. I might add one more thing. I’ve described AI as a voracious devourer of information. The more information you can feed into AI, the faster it can develop, and the more information they have to make their calculations and be more effective. China would be an incredibly attractive place to do AI R&D.
This might be another reason because the amount to ingest is so massive. You have this whole social credit system operating, which is micro-information, unbelievable detailed amounts of information on every single citizen. Again, the implications are staggering.
Mr. Patel: Yes, it’s like anything else from a national security perspective. Jan, if the CCP is involved, you can bet that they are going to use it in some fashion to attack or degrade the United States of America. And that to me is the bottom line.
Mr. Jekielek: Kash, tough topics today. It’s time for our shout-out.
Mr. Patel: They are tough topics. That’s what we tackle on this show. I’m very appreciative that we have an audience that will tell us what they think, even when they disagree with us. This isn’t a show that’s supposed to go out there and have 100 percent uniformity. The topics of this week’s episode highlight that.