Watchdog on Washington Corruption: an interview with Christopher Farrell of Judicial Watch

by Mike Bates with an introduction by Jerry Gordon (January 2016)

On December 8, 2015, Judicial Watch (JW) issued a press release about a long sought Pentagon email sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and aide, Jake Sullivan, by Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash, a deputy to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, on the evening of September 11th, 2012. The Bash Pentagon email was sent just after the attack by Ansar al-Sharia and others at the Benghazi Special Mission Compound. The JW release noted:

Judicial Watch today released a new Benghazi email from then-Department of Defense Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash to State Department leadership immediately offering “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the terrorist attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. In an email sent to top Department of State officials, at 7:19 p.m. ET, only hours after the attack had begun, Bash says, “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” The Obama administration redacted the details of the military forces available, oddly citing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption that allows the withholding of “deliberative process” information.

Bash’s email seems to directly contradict testimony given by then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2013. Defending the Obama administration’s lack of military response to the nearly six-hour-long attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi. Panetta claimed that “time, distance, the lack of adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”

The first assault occurred at the main compound at about 9:40 pm local time – 3:40 p.m. ET in Washington, DC.  The second attack on a CIA annex 1.2 miles away began three hours later, at about 12 am local time the following morning – 6 p.m. ET.

Due to the leadership of President Tom Fitton, Director of Investigations Christopher “Chris” Farrell,  and Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes and the team of investigators and lawyers at Washington, DC-based JW, we now know that U.S. special operations assets were “spinning up” to go to the aid of besieged U.S. personnel in Benghazi within hours of the attack on the evening of September 11, 2012. If launched that operation might have spared the lives of former Navy Seals and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who were killed in a mortar attack of suspicious origins on the morning of September 12. Did Former Secretary of State Clinton, currently 2016 Democrat Presidential front runner deny the release of those special operator assets?

Ken Timmerman, veteran investigative journalist in a Daily Caller column declared, “Benghazi “smoking gun” email unmasks Hillary Clinton.”

Judicial Watch, Inc. (JW) is a conservative non-partisan foundation whose objective is to assure “integrity, transparency and accountability in government” often unearthing official corruption, regardless of which party is in power. Founded in the mid-1990’s it has become the watchdog of record pursuing high profile issues using the power of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and when required, filing cases in the federal courts to force open government files to produce evidence of official wrongdoing. Currently, JW has over 3,400 outstanding pending FOIA requests.

convicted of the crime in the US District Court in Phoenix, Arizona in October 2015.

private email servers by Democratic frontrunner, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton that prompted FBI seizure of four email servers and investigation into possible national security law violations by Clinton and aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills.  

JW was instrumental in bringing a suit against the IRS that forced the federal revenue agency to recover over 1,800 disputed emails of former Federal Elections Commission executive and IRS official Lois Lerner regarding complaints over delays in processing non-profit applications of Tea Party groups. In July 2015, the IRS released the emails under a court order by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.

ISIS may have established possible training camps just across the US border at El Paso in the adjacent area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. JW’s further investigation into the porous southern border influx of illegal immigrants from Central America has revealed an underground network of camps in Mexico radiating out of the port of Tampico enabling the transformation of Islamic terrorists from “Mohammed into Manuel” replete with authentic Mexican identification documents, linguistic and cultural training.  

Evidence of JW’s non-partisan investigations into official Washington corruption is exemplified by its examination of Hillary Clinton’s role in the unauthorized development of Health Care national programs under a semi-secret task force in the mid-1990’s versus that of former Vice President Cheney’s unauthorized energy task force a decade later in the Bush Administration. In the later case, JW went all the way to the US Supreme Court that remanded a decision to a lower Federal court that forced open the files of the illegal Bush Administration energy task force led by Vice President Cheney.

The interview by my colleague Mike Bates with Chris Farrell was triggered by an encounter we had with him when he appeared at a Pensacola, Florida Tiger Bay presentation on December 11, 2015 on the heels of the Pentagon ‘smoking gun” email news. Farrell was interviewed by Bates about JW and its activities unearthing corruption and fascinating historical information that aired on 1330amWEBY on December 28, 2015. We published an earlier New English Review interview with Farrell in September 2014 on “Insecure Borders and Broken Immigration Laws.”

Christopher ”Chris” Farrell is Director of Investigations at JW. Farrell is a long term member of the staff and board of JW in Washington D.C.  He is a Distinguished Military Graduate from Fordham University with a Bachelor in History after which he accepted a regular Army commission and served as a Military Intelligence Officer specializing in counter-terror intelligence and human intelligence. He has appeared frequently on cable news TV programs, Fox News channel and others.

Mike Bates:  Good afternoon and welcome to Your Turn. This is Mike Bates. I am speaking with Chris Farrell who is the Director of Investigations and Research at Judicial Watch. Chris Farrell, welcome.



Chris Farrell:  Great to be on with you, how are you?


Bates:  I am doing well thank you. I appreciate you joining us. I recall Judicial Watch. My first exposure to Judicial Watch was during the administration of President Bill Clinton when he was breaking all kinds of laws and keeping all kinds of documents secret and it was Judicial Watch that got a lot of those released. When was Judicial Watch actually formed?

Bates:  So that would have been in the early years of the Clinton Administration?

Bates:  Do you think that the Obama Administration is as transparent as they claim?

Bates:  Even when documents are made public, they are not all made public and how do you prove a negative? How do you know with certainty that you were given all the records?

Bates:  One would hope that the court would take great offense at being lied to. Were there any repercussions with that through the court?

Farrell:  Nothing meaningful, no.

Bates:  So, perjury is ok?

Farrell:  Evidently. You can draw your own conclusions.

Bates:  And, you are saying that was broken by a story in The Daily Mail of the British Press. What has the American Press done with it?

Bates:  What is the chance that Huma Abedin sent classified emails to that private server?

Farrell:  For purposes of discussion there are three networks, a regular unclassified just like government email, e.g., [email protected] kind of thing. There is a secret level network and then there is a top secret network above that. One would have to look at one screen and read classified material. Then there was the unclassified State Department email. You would excerpt, in your own words essentially conveying the same information from one screen onto a different device.

Farrell:  She might be a sacrificial lamb, who knows? If they are afraid to go after Mrs. Clinton, maybe just hang it around her neck and go after her.

Farrell:  Is what worth pursing?

Bates:  Her crime of national security violations with that private email server.

Bates:  There have been accusations by Centcom analysts about possible manipulation of ISIS intelligence assessments. Has Judicial Watch considered making any FOIA requests about that?

Lauchlin Currie who was a Soviet espionage agent who worked in FDR’s White House. Or that he was running around with hookers in Santiago, Chile. Further, he made unreasonable demands on our ambassador in Mexico City. The ambassador basically told him to stop it, but very politely. These are not something out of the headlines, it’s more historical. Nonetheless, they are very important facts. These are historical facts and records the public is owed and that is the kind of work that we do.

Bates:  Those FBI Agents or Administrators would have gone through great lengths to withhold information. Are they not bound by the law to do so, are there no penalties for noncompliance?

Bates:  When you go to court, and you ask for these kinds of things, does the judge know the content that they are trying to hide?

Clara Petacci, they hung them upside down after executing them. That picture ran on the front page of The New York Times and no one seemed too upset about it. Right now we have an Administration that is worried about being Sharia compliant and they won’t release photos of Bin Laden’s dead body. They won’t even release photos of Bin Laden’s body wrapped in a shroud, a human form in a white linen wrap. They contend that image might offend someone’s feelings.

Bates:  And then you appeal. How far can this go?

Bates:  Does the Administration know this is happening? Clearly if Judicial Watch knows the Administration must know.

Farrell:  Absolutely. Yes, they do.

Bates:  So, are we doing anything about it?

Farrell:  Not to my knowledge, there may be other efforts that we are simply not privy to.  However, they are keenly aware that this is going on. We think they have their fingers crossed and hope that they are able to interdict one or two. However, it is a large, organized deliberate operation facilitated by the drug cartels. Realize these drug cartels are running an $18-20 billion dollar business annually across our border. Is the government aware of that? Well, certainly. Are they doing anything to stop it? Virtually nothing. We have the DEA publicly endeavoring to stop drug trade and use in the United States. However, the infiltration of Islamic terrorists disguised as Mexican nationals is happening.

Bates:  Well, what about Congress? Some US Senators like Alabama’s Jeff Sessions are particularly vocal about our porous borders.

Farrell:  There are some things he could do. Senator Grassley is another one, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I personally have made his staff aware of some of the issues we have discussed and they all take it very seriously, but there has been little to no real action.

Bates:  We have to rely on Judicial Watch to find out the truth. If people support your cause, can they make financial contributions? I would imagine you do need money to make all this work. There you and you can see the work that we’ve done and make a tax deductible donation show your support for us.

Bates:  Chris Farrell, Director of Investigations and Research for Judicial Watch. Great work. I appreciate you joining us this afternoon. Again, if you want to go online and learn more about Judicial Watch or help them financially, the web address is: Farrell thanks for joining us on 1330 WEBY.

This interview aired on 1330amWEBY on December 28, 2015, listen here.




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