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.
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?
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’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.”
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
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.
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 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