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From the Green Berets to Seal Team 6, The Amazing Stories of Magician Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd worked as an intelligence chief for Seal Team 6. They said who are you? He said, “I’m Mr. Boyd. I have your budget.”

In a crowded magic shop the size of a large closet in Naples, Florida, cluttered with everything from spy glasses to rabbits-in-a-hat, a 74-year-old man tries to get a grandmother to dig into her purse for the two kids who hang on his every word, enraptured by the gizmos he presents to them.

Wisconsin Right Now came upon Brian by chance, in a magic shop in Naples Florida. After a series of clever tricks and through the sheer force of personality, Brian Boyd makes his sale. You get the sense that this is second nature to him; sleight of hand served with a strong dose of charisma. When they leave, he continues his story, regaling two other strangers with extraordinary moments of political intrigue, and it’s quite a tale at that.

Brian boyd
Brian boyd

Another stranger and his kids had wandered into this magic store buried in a warren of little shops in a place called Tin City in one of the richest zip codes in the United States. They were curious and struck up a conversation. And here they found a man with a story to tell. Now he had set aside a couple hours and agreed to tell it to us, starting on the patio in sunny Naples and ending up behind the counter of the appropriately named, Tin City Magic.

Like a real-life Forrest Gump, Brian Boyd had a front-row seat to some of the biggest stories in political history, at least through about 2000. The Iran Contra affair. The Iranian hostage crisis. Watergate. Waco. The first Gulf War. The shooting of the Pope. He was there at the start of the DEA.

He describes performing a magic trick for George H.W. Bush and sitting next to G. Gordon Liddy. He didn’t like Oliver North, considering him a “hotdog.” He started his career in magic when he grew offended by the cigarette dangling from the mouth of a Venezuelan police official he was trying to train and made it disappear. Now he’s retired and magic is his career. It’s a lot less stressful, he says. Even today, he runs across the famous. He used a fart button on former Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

We told you he has quite a story to tell.

Who is Brian Boyd?

Brian boyd

He has a website called Boyd Intelligence, where no other than Major General James Dozier vouches for him, saying, “I have known Brian Boyd for a number of years. For most of his military career, he has been a member of the Special Operations community for both the Army and Joint organizations. In the latter role, he was part of the JSOC team that assisted in my rescue after I was kidnapped by the Italian Red Brigades. He is a walking library of knowledge regarding Special Operations and other military matters.”

He’s also a former Green Beret. Boyd, his website says, “was part of the leadership of the Joint Special Operations Command which oversees the Special Forces, Seal Team 6 and the Delta Force. He is also the founder of the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts, former Senior Analyst at the DEA, founder of the Intelligence Analysis Division of the Joint Special Operations Command, and served in the Departments of Defense, Justice & Treasury.”

It all started with a James Bond book.

Raised in a Government Town, Brian Boyd Was Influenced by a James Bond Book

Brian boyd

Brian Boyd’s father served in World War 2 as an infantry officer and his mother was a professional artist. Boyd’s father had also gone over to Vietnam in the early 1960s.

“I’m a third-generation Washingtonian,” he said, growing up nearby in Maryland. “It’s a city filled with government people.”

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Boyd’s mother changed his life by giving him the book, Dr. No, the first James Bond novel. “I think that’s where my journey began,” he said.

“My mother gave me the book, and I’m in physics classes… I’m always thinking of multiple things at once… I was learning languages. My father said you’ve got to be a scientist.” He wanted to be a detective, but his Physics professor said, “Find something you can get excited about,” saying that he was “too gregarious” to make a “lab rat.”

He started studying in class how Napoleon died. He was a Boy Scout and a lifeguard and was active in the church.

Brian Boyd attended a community college and then the University of Maryland, running cross country. He was influenced by a criminology class. The professor was friends with J. Edgar Hoover. Originally, he wanted to be a homicide detective. “I thought science doesn’t lie, people do,” he said. But the college didn’t offer more than one criminology course. He eventually obtained a master’s degree.

He was then recruited to be in the special forces. He said he was 26th in his graduating class a year later. “Special forces is very tough; a very strict school to get through. They do everything in their power to get you to quit.” His role model in special forces would outrun them running “on his ankle stubs,” which they didn’t realize until he took his boots off. “All of my instructors in special forces school were missing body parts,” he said.

A general who worked in the French underground was wearing a beret, and when John F. Kennedy saw this, he said, “I like those special soldiers. Those special forces. Those green berets. He gave us the nickname.”

The Vietnam War was wounding down, though. He was then offered a career in intelligence services.

Sitting Next to G. Gordon Liddy

Brian boyd

He was offered career opportunities with the Nixon administration; they were creating the Drug Enforcement Administration. Boyd saw the war in drugs as it was constructed from the ground up. He remembers sitting in a room with other recruits, and they were given two choices. Some were going to “plug leaks. Gordon Liddy was sitting to my left. He chose politics,” he says. The others were going to go work with Rudy Giuliani in the DEA. That’s what Boyd picked.

He was interested in studying the “worldwide narcotics” trade.

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As for the Kennedy assassination, he believes the single gunman theory. “There’s not enough evidence to prove a conspiracy theory. There’s a lot of incompetence. When it comes to assassinations, it’s almost always a single person.”

As for Watergate, “they were trying to get into the DNC headquarters in the Watergate building. A security guard goes by and sees tape on the door.” He said it’s no different than “Hillary Clinton and the dossier.”

Brian boyd

Brian Boyd went over to the new DEA. His boss became a police chief who gave Elvis Presley a badge. Everyone came from different backgrounds. His first assignment was in internal affairs. He wrote a report showing more people were dying of methamphetamine than other drugs and helped get those laws changed.

He went around the country with Giuliani, who was helping come up with RICO statutes. He felt a lot of the state and local laws on drugs were “totally crazy” and different from state-to-state. Ask what he thinks about the war on drugs, and he gives you an encyclopedic dissertation on everything from the British and opium to the creation of heroin. He said cocaine laws were introduced because of “prejudice against black musicians.”

Giuliani “has brass balls,” he said, calling him a “helluva prosecutor” in that era. He saw the growth of the South American and Mexican cartels.

Part of his career involved training police and military officials in other Middle Eastern countries. “For the first time, we were teaching foreign police officers to work with the American government,” through the DEA. He recalled how he bought a $5 magic trick on making a cigarette disappear, and he made an arrogant Arabic colonel’s cigarette disappear as a disarming effect. The man had been smoking in his face. It worked. “That’s literally how I got into magic.”

Brian Boyd was sent to Bogota and was warned about the corruption of the Colombian police. He got through customs by pretending to be a magician. He was trying to figure out the real network of how they really operated. “I pointed to them, ‘I know you do this; I know you do this. They were smoking in my face too.” The era was from 1972-80. It sounds like a scene from the Netflix series, Narcos.

Sure enough, his work soon shifted from South America to Mexico.

In fact, he helped solve the murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who was murdered by the cartels in Mexico. He was promoted to San Diego, to set up a new intelligence unit.

He was offered a job with the ATF in Washington D.C. as their first chief of intelligence in the late 1970s. At that time, he said, it was a “backwards agency” of guys used to chasing moonshine. He worked with Steve Higgins, who later got in trouble over Waco.

The director came in and asked if he wanted to work a case involving the President of the United States being involved with Gaddafi and Papa Doc from Haiti. “They were accused of doing all kinds of stuff,” he said. “They said the Green Berets were involved and there was an illegal operation. They were going to arrest them.. because the CIA said they were wrong.” He said the CIA agents were the rogue agents, and he believed that the Green Berets weren’t the wrongdoers.

When the Pope got shot, he was involved in helping trace the gun to the Bulgarian secret police. “That made it state-sponsored terrorism. I published that report at ATF.”

Next, Boyd was assigned to create a new unit to help track terrorists. It was 1980. “No one was doing it,” he said. The American hostages were being held in Tehran, and Ronald Reagan was a new president “waiting to make things happen.” He was asked to put together a new unit by an Army general working for the then Vice President George H.W. Bush, who had been the CIA director and ambassador to Iran. He was also involved in the operation to rescue the medical students in Grenada.

He remembers the formation of Seal Team 6, which was a very small unit. The nation’s counterintelligence efforts were in their infancy. This is how he met Oliver North.

Oliver North was “nothing but a troublemaker. He was a hotdog.” Boyd told North “you can’t be read into what we’re doing. He was a glory hound. What he’s proposing will get us in jail.” He said he “threw him out. Ollie North caused us major problems.” He said that Iran-Contra was “stupid.”

He called North “a liar…He took credit” for what others were doing. He said that “we couldn’t come out of the black ops business” to counter his comments.

Brian boydBoyd’s harshly critical of Waco and the raid on the Branch Davidian compound. “I went, what idiot would even plan that,” he said. Higgins was his boss. “ATF had no business doing it. They had no experience doing it. They planned it because they were looking for a way to get visualization. They wanted to get more publicity on a raid so they could get a bigger budget. That’s why the media were there. It had nothing to do with smartness or logic.”

He worked as an intelligence chief for Seal Team 6. They said who are you? He said, “I’m Mr. Boyd. I have your budget.”

Boyd met Reagan once. “He was a good guy. He did a lot of good things for the country. George Bush (Sr.) I knew better. He had a sense of humor.”

He eventually worked on the planning of the First Gulf War as a defense contractor training special forces on ground operations, coming out of retirement in 1990. “We set up a clandestine site in Arkansas.”

And now? “Iran is the greatest threat along with China.” He said Russia’s Putin is “just trying to survive.” On the second Iraq War, he said, “they went back in to finish the job, but there was no exit strategy. When you go in and upset the tea kettle and there’s no plan. The wars in the Middle East are basically religious wars, Muslim against Muslim, Sunni vs. Shia.”

As for current politics, Brian Boyd said the Christopher Steele report is “Russian misinformation,” paid for by Hillary Clinton. He believes some of the FBI officials who investigated Donald Trump for Russian collusion that didn’t materialize belong in jail.

And so he’s ended up here, in this little magic shop, discussing a life that was anything but ordinary.

He advises people to have a “positive attitude. You’ll live longer.”


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‘Horrific to See’: Border Patrol Says 172,000 Illegal Immigrants Crossed in March

(The Center Square) – Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, met with Republican lawmakers this week to explain the nature of the problem Border Patrol is facing on a daily basis.

“I would argue that it’s the biggest surge that we’ve ever seen in the history of the Border Patrol,” Judd said during a roundtable with members of Congress, Texas landowners, and law enforcement.

The two-day trip to McAllen, Texas, was spearheaded by Ohio U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, and included several Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee. Jordan said House Democrats were invited to come but declined to participate. Jordan says what he saw is a “catastrophe.”

“In all my years in Congress, this has been the most disturbing field tour that I’ve ever taken," California U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock told reporters at a roundtable.

Judd says Border Patrol is overwhelmed by a surge of 18,600 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors, family units that comprise nearly 53,000 individuals, and 96,600 single adults in March alone.

CBP projects more than 1 million unaccompanied minors will enter the U.S. illegally this year.

During the month of March, Southwest land border encounters and apprehension totaled 172,000 illegal immigrants, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported. An additional 1,000 people per day are evading capture, CBP estimates. These numbers are up compared to February, when border agents apprehended 101,000 illegal immigrants and unaccompanied minors.

However, Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller argues the surge at the border “is not new” and that encounters have “continued to increase since April 2020.”

He added, “our past experiences have helped us be better prepared for the challenges we face this year.”

Judd disagreed, arguing, “this surge is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”

“Even though we were making 1.5 million arrests, we were actually dealing with about 400,000 to 500,000 individual people – we were just arresting the same people over and over again,” Judd said. Most were single males from Mexico, whereas the types of people crossing today are different, he said. “Today … if we make 1.2 million arrests, we’re actually dealing with about 800,000 to 900,000 different people.”

Taking care of family units and unaccompanied minors requires a great amount of resources, including housing, food, transportation and health care, all paid for by taxpayers. Taxpayers also foot the bill for the processing of and subsequent transfer or release of the individuals into the United States.

“You could cross the border illegally one day and be in Virginia the very next day,” Judd said, referring to the “catch-and-release” program implemented by the Biden administration.

“I personally have apprehended groups from China, from Bangladesh, from Russia, from Poland, from Brazil. And these criminal organizations are allowed to go into these countries, and they’re allowed to advertise their services and make billions of dollars off of human misery. And it’s based upon our policies,” he said, referring to the Biden administration policies that reversed Trump-era policies.

Last month, President Joe Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee the border crisis, however, she has yet to visit the border.

Judd says the current policy of “catch-and-release” only incentivizes illegal immigration. A better alternative is to detain individuals while their immigration case is being adjudicated, he suggested, pointing to the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, known as the Remain in Mexico program, which sought to do this.

McClintock said the group of lawmakers “watched literally hundreds of illegal migrants crossing the border and turning themselves in to the Border Patrol," he said. "Groups who were in the company of children under seven had their basic biometric information taken down, and then [they were] dispatched to bus stations to continue into the United States.”

McClintock said the children are held for an average of 24 days and the situation is "getting worse by the day." Mexican cartels net roughly $500 million per month through human trafficking, he said.

“We are feeding the Mexican crime cartels," he added. "The crime cartels are taking in roughly a half a billion dollars a month through this human trafficking network."

Indiana U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz blamed “perverse incentives and lack of leadership" for the border crisis. “Perverse incentive and lack of leadership from this administration [have] created a real serious crisis at the border. And it has really escalated," she said.

“Forty percent of our Border Patrol agents are busy processing people and changing diapers," she continued. "It means that they cannot do their job protecting the border. It means that Mexican cartels are controlling the border. This is a national security and humanitarian crisis.”

Utah U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens recounted sobbing children and a young woman who was gang raped.

“We have an administration that does not have the backbone to come down here and encourage these great men and women who are doing a job but being overwhelmed right now,” Ownes said.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said the situation was “horrific to see."

President Biden to Create ‘Court Packing’ Commission

The Biden administration took heavy criticism Friday after announcing the administration would be formally considering adding more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The White House said a new executive order will create a presidential commission composed of experts to study current practices of the Supreme Court, most notably the “membership and size” of the court itself.

The commission will hold public meetings and present a report on its findings within 180 days. According to the White House, its stated purpose is to provide "an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform.”

That raised eyebrows, though, as a thinly veiled exploration of expanding the size of the court after many Democrats called for the court’s expansion last year.

What is also called “packing the court” became a contentious issue during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Liberal Democrats have called on Biden for months to add justices to the court, which has a majority of justices appointed by Republican presidents. Biden often avoided questions about the issue on the campaign trail, but did say he is “not a fan” of adding justices.

Former President Donald Trump appointed three justices during his term, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority on the court. Those victories for the former president prompted Democrats, particularly the more liberal wing of the party, to push for appointing more supposedly left-leaning justices once a Democrat was in the White House.

“Expand the court,” U.S. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, said just days before the November elections. “Republicans do this because they don’t believe Dems have the stones to play hardball like they do. And for a long time they’ve been correct. But do not let them bully the public into thinking their bulldozing is normal but a response isn’t. There is a legal process for expansion.”

Democrats could outright expand the court and add justices, but another tactic may involve putting term limits on justices with the hopes of replacing them with Democratic nominees.

Republicans were quick to criticize Biden's commission, pointing to an overreach of executive authority.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, responded to the announcement immediately on Twitter, saying Democrats want to “close your schools, open your border, take your guns, raise your taxes, cancel your culture, pack your court,” hitting several lines of attack against the Biden administration.

“Why study something we already know? Democrats want to pack the Supreme Court,” he added.

The Republican leadership of the House Judiciary Committee, where Jordan serves as the ranking member, echoed that sentiment, saying in response, “President Biden promised he’d govern as a 'moderate.’ He lied.”

Congress has the authority to change the size of the Supreme Court, but the highest court in the land has remained at nine justices since 1869, over 150 years.

The president’s new commission will be led by two co-chairs. The first is White House Counsel and Yale Law School Professor Cristina Rodriguez, who currently serves as former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. The other co-chair is Bob Bauer, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at New York University School of Law.

“The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices,” the White House said in a statement. “In addition to legal and other scholars, the Commissioners include former federal judges and practitioners who have appeared before the Court, as well as advocates for the reform of democratic institutions and of the administration of justice. The expertise represented on the Commission includes constitutional law, history and political science.”

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Biden: ‘This is just the start’ on Controversial Gun-Control Measures

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden announced a series of controversial gun control measures from the White House Thursday.

The president laid out several executive actions and made clear he thinks more gun control measures are needed and coming soon. He also urged Republicans to partner with him in passing gun control legislation, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“Whether Congress acts or not I’m going to use all the resources at my disposal to keep people safe from gun violence,” Biden said during his speech from the Rose Garden. “There is more Congress can do to help that effort.

“This is just the start,” he said.

Joined by Attorney General Merrick Garland and Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden announced the Department of Justice must issue a proposed rule on what he called “ghost guns,” weapons created by 3D printers that are often without serial numbers, making them difficult to track.

“Individuals can buy kits that contain almost all or all of the parts they need to assemble a gun,” Biden said. “They can put together a working gun in as little as 30 minutes.”

Biden has also instructed the DOJ to release a proposed rule within 60 days focused on modified pistols, arguing they can in some cases be treated like small rifles. The agency also must issue an annual firearms trafficking report, he said.

The most substantive changes to gun policy, though, could come through Congress. Biden called on members to pass gun control legislation, and threw a jab at Republicans unwilling to sign on to his proposed measures.

“They have offered plenty of thoughts and prayers, but they have not passed a single federal law to reduce gun violence,” Biden said. “Enough prayers. Time for action.”

Gun control legislation

Biden's legislative proposals include a national “red flag law” and new language to shore up what the president calls background check “loopholes.”

“Congress should close those loopholes and go further, including by closing ‘boyfriend’ and stalking loopholes that currently allow people found by the courts to be abusers to possess firearms, banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, repealing gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and investing in evidence-based community violence interventions,” the White House said in a statement. “Congress should also pass an appropriate national ‘red flag’ law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass ‘red flag’ laws of their own.”

Biden pointed to two background check bills that passed the House in March. He also advocated for removing liability protections from gunmakers.

“No matter how long it takes, we are going to get these passed,” Biden said. “I know that the conversation about guns in this country can be a difficult one.”

Sharp pushback

Republicans were quick to criticize Biden’s plan, arguing the president is abusing his authority and violating the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“The right to keep and bear arms is fundamental for preserving our liberty,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on Twitter. “The answer is not to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. The answer is to go after violent criminals and come down on them like a ton of bricks.”

Critics argue Biden’s measures will do little to stop criminals but will hamper the freedoms of regular Americans.

“President Biden’s executive order on guns operates under same fallacy often committed by gun-control advocates: go after guns that look or sound scary ('ghost guns') but are rarely used in crime and, in the process, potentially turn millions of Americans into felons,” said Trevor Burrus, a constitutional expert at the Cato Institute. “Any gun control policy that doesn’t focus on inner city gun violence and suicides with handguns is not a serious attempt to mitigate gun deaths. But the presence of a gun is not the primary cause of interpersonal gun violence and firearm suicides, and we must broaden our search for solutions that do not focus on guns.”

Other critics pointed to the right to self-defense. Julie Gunlock, director of the Center for Progress and Innovation at Independent Women’s Forum, voiced opposition to Biden’s proposed measures, saying they make Americans more vulnerable to crime.

Crime rates have spiked in several cities around the country.

“As we’ve seen over and over again, these measures do nothing to reduce gun violence but they do make people more vulnerable to criminals,” Gunlock said. “People have a right to defend themselves, and the government should have no role in telling people how to do it. President Biden’s [executive order] will only embolden criminals and endanger law-abiding American lives.”

Any serious restrictions on gun rights are likely to face lawsuits. The Trump administration banned bump stocks in 2017, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an injunction against that rule last month, saying it was likely unlawful.

"We will take whatever actions are necessary, possible, and prudent to protect the rights and liberty of law-abiding gun owners and our members against illogical, immoral and unconstitutional laws, government agencies and policies, such as we did in the case of former President Trump’s bump stock ban," the Firearms Policy Coalition said in a statement.

Biden’s speech laid out the first in what will likely be a prolonged campaign for more gun control regulations and enforcement. As part of that effort, Biden also announced David Chipman as his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Finally, none of these measures or any of the other critical law enforcement work the department does with respect to illegal guns can be effectively carried out without strong leadership,” Garland said in his speech following the president. “[Chipman’s] extensive experience as an ATF agent will prove invaluable, and I look forward to working with him.”

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Doomed Responsible Stimulus Plan Pushed Forward by Wisconsin Republicans

Republican lawmakers in Madison are preparing to spend the next week approving nearly a dozen changes to how they want Wisconsin to spend its billions in federal stimulus money.

Gov. Tony Evers is promising to veto any and all of the 11 pieces of what Republicans are calling the Responsible Stimulus Plan.

Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, and Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, on Wednesday announced their committee, the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, will hold hearings and approve the 11 pieces of legislation that would spend Wisconsin’s $3.2 billion in stimulus money on their priorities.

“We do not know how – or when – the Governor will allocate the massive amount of Federal funding available to Wisconsin in the most recent stimulus plan,” Marklein said. “Our legislation provides specific plans based on the real priorities of citizens statewide. We need to dedicate these funds in a meaningful way that will support the people of our state who are working to recover and move forward after the last unprecedented year.”

The list includes paying down debt, creating a statewide public safety communications system, setting money aside for Wisconsin’s unemployment trust fund, and sending grants to small businesses, nursing homes, and tourism operations across the state.

“The people of Wisconsin deserve to have their voices heard through their elected Representatives and Senators on how all of this federal money is spent,” Born said. “As I’ve said before, this money should not be unilaterally allocated by one person.”

But it will be spent by just one person. Congress gave governor’s the power to spend the money, and Gov. Evers in March vetoed legislation that would have granted lawmakers some say over the money.

The governor’s office on Tuesday reminded lawmakers of that veto.

There are also some questions about whether some of the Republican priorities are allowed under the American Rescue Plan that is providing the money. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau this week issued a report that said the plan to retire $500 in debt doesn’t appear to be allowed.

“Once again, the governor has chosen the go-it-alone approach,” Born said Wednesday. “But that won’t stop Legislative Republicans from advancing this package, which includes a number of items including grants to small business and tourism, funding for broadband expansion, and aid to households that will directly benefit the residents of Wisconsin.”

The plans will clear the Joint Finance Committee, then head to votes in the Assembly and Senate. Those final votes could come as early as next week.

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