A terrifying revolving door has emerged between intelligence agencies and social media companies. Also, the Federal Trade Commission has proposed a new rule to BAN non-compete clauses for workers. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: There’s a, this terrifying revolving door that’s emerged between intelligence agencies and social media companies. Wow. Okay, so here again, you have reporters. They’re not just talking. They’re, these aren’t fake reporters. These are real people, real news services, Daily Mail. And they say, we’ve looked at this and we can name the number of CIA agents, CIA agents, FBI agents that have directly gone to work with Facebook, with Twitter and with Google. And then they give us the names. Pick up, pick the story up. I, I, this is a remarkable story. Did you see this anywhere, anywhere on national media?

Farron Cousins: No. That, that, that’s what is so frustrating about this stuff too, because yeah, they found all these CIA agents, you know, former CIA lawyer, Gina Haspel.

Mike Papantonio: Yes, yes.

Farron Cousins: One of ’em. Jim Baker, also one of ’em, of course, everybody knows he was with Twitter until recently.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: They realized, oh wait a minute. Get the hell outta here.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. He was with the FBI, CIA and then went. Yeah, exactly.

Farron Cousins: But, but what has happened here, which we’ve talked about with the FDA, with the SEC, the revolving door.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: You take the people from industry, you put ’em in regulation, take the regulators, you put ’em in the industry. That’s what’s happening with this intelligence community.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: We are sending our good agents, you now work at Facebook for some reason.

Mike Papantonio: They, but you see, the problem is management knows it. They’re cooperating. They’re cooperating because they’re getting money from the government in various ways. Just like Amazon. Okay. Amazon gets these huge government contracts, these other folks do too. So Jack Dorsey, I guess was thinking, well, wow, if I let Aaron, Aaron Berman in, or no, Aaron Berman went with, he went with Facebook. But this, this guy was, he was the service manager, he was the security service manager for Facebook. He’s the guy who said, this is a story we’re gonna allow. This is a story we’re not going to allow. We’re gonna throttle this one back, we’re gonna throttle forward on this one. He was with, he, he was a spook most of his life working for the CIA.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: You have Deborah Berman. Well, she was a former intelligence analyst with the CIA. Notoriously, notoriously secretive in what she did. But you had, she was working on, her project with Facebook was to take misinformation and decide whether we should pull that mis, misinformation or whether that misinformation is going to help us. So she decides, do we put it on, do we take it off? How many more people are there?

Farron Cousins: Oh God. There’s so many.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, we don’t have time to go through all of them.

Farron Cousins: There’s, you know, Kris Rose, who’s political and counterterror, terrorism analyst at the CIA. He went to Facebook. He joined them in March of 2020. Bryan Weisbard, CIA intelligence officer, he went with, um.

Mike Papantonio: LinkedIn.

Farron Cousins: LinkedIn.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Cameron Harris.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: He went to Facebook. But, Scott Stern, also went.

Mike Papantonio: But the point is this, the point is this, we could go, this is a huge list.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And, and we don’t even have the whole list.

Mike Papantonio: But they all, no.

Farron Cousins: There’s still so many more.

Mike Papantonio: They came from the spook industry.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: And people like Jack Dorsey and, and, and, and, and Zuckerberg, said, look, come to work with us. But it wasn’t just, you see there was something in it for them. Let’s let this spook decide what we’re gonna put out there in the public. They’re gonna take, they’re gonna make the decisions. We’re putting them in charge. But the rest of the story is when they did that, they benefited some way in all kinds of ways from the government. Just like, take Amazon again. Go back to, go, go back to that story. What was it a $600 billion contract? Was it 600 billion dollars?

Farron Cousins: A, a good portion of all the money they make actually comes from those government contracts. I think a majority of Amazon’s profit. It’s not from people buying toothpaste on their website. It’s from these government contracts.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. So these, these, these freaks want to say, well we are just looking out for the American public. No, they weren’t.

Farron Cousins: No. And.

Mike Papantonio: They were looking out for themselves. They were destroying everything we hold dear about the freedom of press in this country.

Farron Cousins: And, and you also have to wonder too, what else did they get in return? Because a revolving door of this size with this many people from this one area of the government going to these exact same companies, there’s a bigger relationship there. And I hope that gets flushed out because they get access. Just like we talk about with media outlets that hire the former CIA people.

Mike Papantonio: Mm.

Farron Cousins: It’s because they want the access. So why did, why did these groups need the access? That’s a question we still need answered.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: We also know that these are companies that are still largely unregulated.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Facebook alone facing tons of lawsuits for monopolistic behavior. They want to be in good with the government because they did it with Obama. They did it with Trump. They’re doing it with Biden.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, it goes all the way back to Bush.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. So no matter who’s there, we’re gonna be your friend. We’re gonna give you what you want, in return, you don’t touch us.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Leave us alone.

Farron Cousins: We’re your guys.

Mike Papantonio: Don’t hit us for monopoly cases. Don’t, you know, say it’s an antitrust case. Give us a break when you can. Even though Europe is killing us.

Farron Cousins: They are.

Mike Papantonio: Europe is fining the hell out of us for doing all this illegal stuff. Don’t do it in the US and we’re gonna let your spook industry take control of this entity. That’s exactly what’s happened here.

Mike Papantonio: Federal Trade Commission is proposed a new rule to ban non-compete clauses for workers. Thank goodness. I, you know, I know where this came from. It came from a just, just old business. You come to work for us, we train you, and you can’t go to work for anybody else after that. The problems, it’s fraught with problems. First of all, there’s no comp, no competition for wages. It keeps wages down. It keeps innovation down. Pick it up from there.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And what we see a lot too now happening as the tech industry booms, a lot of these tech workers have to sign these clauses. You know, you cannot go and make your own tech company. You can’t go work for our competitors. If you do, we’re not gonna share the secrets with you. Which is what they use to try to scare them into submission.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: But it, it really does hurt competition. And to be honest, we have seen this so many years now, and this has contributed to the major problem with our healthcare industry.

Mike Papantonio: Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins: You get these doctors that basically have no choice but to sign up with a hospital corporation, and they have to sign saying, you will not open a private practice. You will not go work at the other hospital. You have to be with us, or you cannot work in this city.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: Anywhere.

Mike Papantonio: You gotta go somewhere.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: It’s, it’s a ridiculous old rule that we have, have allowed to stand. The only problem, and I, I hate to say this, but if I’m analyzing this, I don’t know that the FT, FTC had authority to do it. I feel like probably it’s gonna fail. The US Chamber of Commerce is putting huge money, you know, here again, we talk, people think the US Chamber of Commerce is mom and pop warehouse or mom and pop store on the corner. It’s not. US Chamber of Commerce is 19 of the biggest mega corporations on the globe. So they’re fighting this tooth and, and nail. They’re saying, gee wiz, we’re gonna, we’re gonna lose trade secrets if we do that. We’re gonna lose, we’re gonna lose sensitive information. We’re not gonna spend the time training employees if you make us do this. Which is all ridiculous argument. But the point is, it’s unfair. You know, first of all, it, it, it’s, it’s, it’s certainly unfair. And it does, if you think about it, it holds wages down.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Because that person who’s working for this corporation may say, well, right down the street, they’re gonna pay me $10 more an hour. Well, I’m sorry, Joe, you can’t go there and if you do, we’re gonna sue you and we’re gonna sue them too.

Farron Cousins: And, and, and you make a great point here too, because I thought the same thing reading through this, this is a wonderful proposal. It would be great to have it go through. It’s gotta get killed in court.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: If it makes it all the way to our corporate controlled Supreme Court or any of the corporate district courts, there is no way they are gonna let this stand.

Mike Papantonio: No, it won’t.

Farron Cousins: It, it, it will die, unfortunately. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Mike Papantonio: Well, that doesn’t mean Congress can’t take care of.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: You see, they won’t. Again, because again, the US Chamber of Commerce are thugs. They’re absolutely thugs. And I don’t know what it takes the American public to understand it, but, this is a great example. It should happen. It’s not gonna happen. They’re gonna lobby it to death. They’re gonna put more money behind it. But in, because they’re gonna argue that the FTC simply doesn’t have any written authority, either apparent authority to be able to do this.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.