Leaders Call for Snowden’s Prosecution As CNN’s Toobin Calls Him A “Clown”

200px-national_security_agencysvgEdward Snowden, 29, is now a hunted man. The media this morning has moved from the shock over the massive surveillance of citizens to attacking Snowden as a leaker. Indeed, this morning, CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst Jeff Toobin denounced Snowden as a “clown” and someone who should be denounced. Toobin and I have been disagreeing a great deal lately. While I respect Jeff Toobin, I was surprised last week when he defended aspects of the investigation of journalists and later the massive surveillance programs. However, I was taken aback by the attack on Snowden. There certainly is a basis for criminal investigation — a point no one denies. He will have to answer for any violation of his clearance agreement and national security laws. However, it is the tenor and shift of the comments this morning that so surprised me. Rather than continue the debate of the loss of privacy, political and media figures are focusing on Snowden rather than the programs. You can disagree with his methods just as you can disagree with Julian Assange. However, there is an obvious effort to (like Assange) make him look unbalanced and dangerous. The story appears more complex. This is a man who gave up a $200,000 a year job and his likely freedom to reveal something that he felt the public should know about in the interest of privacy. You can disagree with his method, but few of his critics would even consider such a sacrifice for principle. Yet, the coverage this morning is largely on how to catch him and punish him. Over the weekend, the White House said it would find the person responsible and punish him. Snowden then self-disclosed his identity.

Ironically, President Barack Obama told the public that he was happy that we could have this debate over the balancing of privacy and security. However, he wants the person responsible for that debate to be prosecuted. Without Snowden, the program would have remained secret and no debate would likely have occurred. While aspects of these programs were previously discussed in 2006, this was the first confirmation of the programs from the government.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, called Snowden “a defector” and said “this person is dangerous to the country.” That is the new spin: the “high school dropout” and “clown” who fled to Hong Kong. Indeed, many news outlets are focusing on the fact that he allegedly had a $300 night hotel in Hong Kong before checking out.  (Anyone who has traveled to Hong Kong will tell you that this expense for a room is not uncommon and it is certainly not “one of the priciest” rooms for the city).  Much of the focus will be on Snowden and his case as opposed to the massive surveillance program. Many believe, like Snowden, that the greater danger to the country is the loss of privacy — as discussed in my column today in USA Today. What is clear is that this massive security state, and its contractors, are irate about these leaks, which have given critical information to the public that has long been denied to it by its elected representatives. It is a closed system that is represented vividly by Booz Allen. The current head of national intelligence (Clapper) is a former company executive. The prior intelligence head is now leading the company. It is part of a security state that generates hundreds of billions of dollars and we are the subject of their work under these and other programs. They do not like people causing the public to ask questions.

Snowden acted from within this closed system. We have a democratic system that seems entirely unconnected to the public. From the continuation of our fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to warrantless surveillance, the views of the public seem entirely immaterial to our leaders. They offer rhetorical responses but largely act within a system controlled by two parties and their leaders. Congress itself has proven, yet again, to be entirely disinterested in civil liberties or privacy values. The courts have refused to hear dozens of public interest lawsuits seeking review of such programs. In this environment, whistleblowers often feel that they have no recourse but to go to the media. Of course, this Administration has not only attacked privacy but the free press in the recent scandals.

What is striking is the anger directed at Snowden from the media. He will be held accountable for any crime, but he is also someone who acted at great peril to himself. I do not believe that that makes him a “clown” and I hope that some attention will remain on the attack on privacy represented by these programs.

What do you think?

170 thoughts on “Leaders Call for Snowden’s Prosecution As CNN’s Toobin Calls Him A “Clown”

  1. It’s so strange to me how, over the last few years, it’s become the vogue to argue that people who leak important, strategic national security secrets should be immune from prosecution. I guess the only way you be OK with prosecuting someone for leaking is if they just directly sold secrets to Russia? And anything else is cool, especially if the leaks go to someone in the press or are written in a big splashy book.

  2. Snowden has demonstrated truly incredible courage and principle. Let’s hope his action opens the doors for others to come forward and expose radical, criminal activities by this government.

  3. I believe those that wrote our Constitution and first 10 amendments would be aghast at the recent revelations. That the government would think it has the right to monitor who you call, for how long you talked, and where you were when you called? And that they could collect your personal emails and store them (we promise not to read them)? This so flys in the face of the 4th amendment that I wonder about the sanity of those that shrug it off or actively support it.

  4. Reblogged this on danmillerinpanama and commented:
    Jonathan Turley, the author of this article, has long struck me as a liberal in the old fashioned, classical sense, rather than as a “librul,” i.e., an adherent to the religion of the left. This article is consistent with that perception. In the final paragraphs he observes,

    We have a democratic system that seems entirely unconnected to the public. From the continuation of our fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to warrantless surveillance, the views of the public seem entirely immaterial to our leaders. They offer rhetorical responses but largely act within a system controlled by two parties and their leaders. Congress itself has proven, yet again, to be entirely disinterested in civil liberties or privacy values. The courts have refused to hear dozens of public interest lawsuits seeking review of such programs. In this environment, whistleblowers often feel that they have no recourse but to go to the media. Of course, this Administration has not only attacked privacy but the free press in the recent scandals.

    What is striking is the anger directed at Snowden from the media. He will be held accountable for any crime, but he is also someone who acted at great peril to himself. I do not believe that that makes him a “clown” and I hope that some attention will remain on the attack on privacy represented by these programs. [Emphasis added.]

    Well said, Sir.

  5. I always look @ motives as much as actions. People often are sanctimonious saying they are enforcing rules for the good of the organization, company, blog, etc. but when you look @ the facts the motives are often quite less than noble, I’ve read about Snowden, watched interviews w/ the eye of an investigator. This is an introverted man who seem uncomfortable w/ attention. I surmise he came out for the sole purpose of saving his life. He has seen just how ruthless the Chicago Machine operates and rightfully fears for his safety. My take is this was done for noble reasons. However, this guy is probably going to pay a high price for his nobility. History shows that to often be the case.

    The judicious Mr. Turley is too kind on Mr. Toobin. my wife is a former Federal Probation Officer who was the sentencing guidelines expert for her office. The judges often consulted w/ her on the guidelines. They are VERY complicated. My wife laughs @ Toobin when he gives “expert” testimony on Fed sentencing guidelines because he doesn’t know shit from shinola. And, let me give a blatant plug. My wife has just published a “women” novel called Taken For Granted, available on Amazon. It’s about 2 friends, one an attorney and the other a university worker involved w/ drugs, fraud, and murder. it’s set in Madison where we reside. Men will enjoy it also but it was written geared toward the better gender.

  6. Why anyone would give weight to the words of Toobin is a mystery to me.

    He might as well be a paid flack for the National Security State.

    Whether the subject is the IRS, or NSA, Toobin is a sophist of the worst kind.

    On the other had I am sure Toobin has a bright future as an entertainer. Give that man an AM talk radio program.

    As for immunity for whistle blowers: there would be far less need for immunity if the courts were doing their job and letting citizens argue their cases for proper adjudication.

    If the courts prevent democratic methods of consideration and change then citizens will resort to other methods – possibly to the great detriment of us all.

  7. There is a threshold issue when it comes to whistleblowing:

    Every single day, thousands of American workers report fraud, violations of environmental rules, health and safety hazards, and political corruption. When done right, whistleblowing has strengthened democracy, protected the environment, and saved taxpayers and investors from huge financial losses.

    Now, from the world’s leading whistleblower attorney, comes the first-ever consumer guide to whistleblowing. The Handbook sets forth twenty-one basic rules every potential whistleblower needs to know. With The Whistleblower’s Handbook, Stephen Martin Kohn has become the first author to not only explain American laws regarding whistleblowing, but also to provide a guide for how whistleblowers around the world can protect themselves using the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    The Whistleblower’s Handbook is the authoritative reference for anyone who has ever wondered how they might blow the whistle – and, once they’ve done so, how to prevail.

    (National Whistleblowers Center).

    The so-far secret FISA court opinion holding that the administration has violated the 4th Amendment may give a basis for whistleblower status, and thus some statutory protection.

  8. “Help, My comment was just deleted.”

    Any chance your comment contained classified information?

    Just checking…

  9. Elaine M. 1, June 10, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Glenn Greenwald on Morning Joe Today:
    =================================
    I watched that episode.

    Comrade Haas was there promoting the Stalinist line as usual/

    Lately, Mika is being drawn into the “who needs the constitution when we need security” vortex.

  10. Toobin calls Snowden a clown. Pretty outrageous for a talking head on CNN. Is this a case of it takes one to know one or is it a case of Toobin being so embarrassed by his own failure to speak up that he needs to denigrate the messager?

  11. How To Save Your Freedom
    By Charles P. Pierce
    6/10/2013
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/how-to-save-your-freedom-061013

    I suppose that a lot of the blog discussion this week is going to be about the extent to which a democracy surrenders to fear, and the damage it does to its institutions of self-government when it does so. In fact, I’m sure of it. So, in that spirit, I’d like to share a story someone sent me over the weekend about the passing of one individual American who declined to surrender to fear, and thereby reinforced, and did not damage, our institutions of self-government and the spirit that ought to suffuse them.

    How do you preserve your freedom?

    Stop talking about it and help preserve someone else’s.

    “After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order in February 1942 that made the relocation possible by declaring certain parts of the West to be military zones, Al Tsukamoto, whose parents arrived in the United States in 1905, approached Mr. Fletcher with a business proposal: would he be willing to manage the farms of two family friends of Mr. Tsukamoto’s, one of whom was elderly, and to pay the taxes and mortgages while they were away? In return, he could keep all the profits. Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Tsukamoto had not been close, and Mr. Fletcher had no experience growing the farmers’ specialty, flame tokay grapes, but he accepted the offer and soon quit his job. For the next three years he worked a total of 90 acres on three farms – he had also decided to run Mr. Tsukamoto’s farm. He worked 18-hour days and lived in the bunkhouse Mr. Tsukamoto had reserved for migrant workers. He paid the bills of all three families – the Tsukamotos, the Okamotos and the Nittas. He kept only half of the profits. Many Japanese-American families lost property while they were in the camps because they could not pay their bills. Most in the Florin area moved elsewhere after the war. When the Tsukamotos returned in 1945, they found that Mr. Fletcher had left them money in the bank and that his new wife, Teresa, had cleaned the Tsukamotos’ house in preparation for their return. She had chosen to join her husband in the bunkhouse instead of accepting the Tsukamotos’ offer to live in the family’s house. “Teresa’s response was, ‘It’s the Tsukamotos’ house,’ ” recalled Marielle Tsukamoto, who was 5 when she and her family were sent to the Jerome center.”

    The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was an insult to the American idea and a blot on the civil liberties of this country almost unparalleled in American history — yes, it was even worse than what the NSA has been doing since 2001. This guy stood up against someone worse than faceless bureaucrats. He stood up to his neighbors. That is always the toughest things, especially in a small place.

    “Mr. Fletcher’s willingness to work the farms was not well received in Florin, where before the war some people had resented the Japanese immigrants for their success. Japanese children in the area were required to attend segregated schools. Mr. Fletcher was unruffled by personal attacks; he felt the Japanese farmers were being mistreated. “I did know a few of them pretty well and never did agree with the evacuation,” he told The Sacramento Bee in 2010. “They were the same as anybody else. It was obvious they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor.” After the war, resentment against the Japanese in Florin continued. If Mr. Tsukamoto tried to buy a part at the hardware store only to be told that the part was not in stock, he would ask Mr. Fletcher to buy it for him.”

    Really, the only thing it takes to preserve what matters is one person who remembers what the country is about. This guy should have a statue on the freaking mall.

    *****

    Bob Fletcher, who helped Japanese Americans interned during the war, Dies at 101
    Former California agriculture inspector quit his job in the middle of World War II to manage the fruit farms of Japanese families forced to live in internment camps.
    http://www.allegiancemusical.com/article/bob-fletcher-who-helped-japanese-americans-interned-during-war-dies-101

  12. The amazing thing about this story to me is that how deeply the government is involved with Booz Allen. Half of their employees have security clearances. Snowden a guy with an eighth grade graduation made $200,00 a year at Booz Allen. That probably means the government was paying Booz Allen 400,000 a year for him. He probably made 90,000 working for the government where he started out as a janitor. The waste involved is shocking. The fact that Snowden had access to everyone’s personal information while employed at Booz Allen is incredible. No wonder he blew the whistle.

  13. “The value proposition of Booz and others is that it is supposed to carry out many functions that governments used to—for less money and hassle while ensuring superior performance and impeccable security. In its most recently concluded fiscal year, it collected $5.76 billion in revenues and reported a healthy operating profit of $446 million. After paying $149 million in income taxes, it was left with net income of $219 million.

    Essentially, Booz Allen is a conduit for taxpayer money to contractors, shareholders, and employees, many of whom, like Snowden, are highly paid. The Guardian pegged his salary at $200,000. According to the company’s proxy filing, CEO Ralph Shrader earned a $1,162,500 salary last year, plus nearly $2 million in stock awards and other compensation.” Daily Beast

  14. https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/americas_new_normal_mass_surveillance_secret_courts_and_death_to_whistleblo

    America’s New Normal: Mass Surveillance, Secret Courts and Death to Whistleblowers

    By John W. Whitehead
    June 10, 2013

    “The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.” ­­– New York Times editorial board

    “Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten – and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.” – Edward Snowden, alleged source of NSA leaks

    There is a deep and abiding sense of unease permeating American society. From the IRS targeting politically conservative groups to the Department of Justice targeting journalists for surveillance, from the revelation that the National Security Agency (NSA) is tracking the telephone calls of most Americans to the public spectacle of whistleblower Bradley Manning’s trial, in recent weeks there has been no shortage of evidence that the new “normal” in the United States is not friendly to freedom.

    The America we learned about in school, the one celebrated in songs and poems, the one to which our ancestors flocked in hopes of starting a new life based upon promises of wealth and liberty, is getting harder to find with every passing day. As I document in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State (available at Amazon.com), the American ideal of freedom and civic involvement is being replaced by a technocratic nightmare in which government bureaucrats and their allies in the corporate sector rig the rules of society in order to protect the power and privilege of a select few politicians and businessmen. All the while, the majority of the American people are kept in check via debt, imprisonment, and a vast surveillance network which keeps us monitored, controlled and marching in lock step with the government’s dictates.

    If any of this sounds fantastical, it’s only because people haven’t been paying close enough attention. Why, in the past week alone, the government has doubled down on its attacks on individual liberty, government transparency, the rule of law, and basic human decency.

    On Wednesday, June 5, it was revealed that the NSA has been systematically collecting information on all telephone calls placed in the United States via the Verizon network. Based upon a top-secret order handed down by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) in April 2013, Verizon has been forced to hand over its records to the NSA on an “ongoing, daily basis.” While the government insists that the content of telephone conversations are not recorded, they acknowledge that telephone numbers, location data, call duration, and other unique identifiers are sent to the NSA for analysis. The NSA collects information on about 3 billion phone calls per day.

    Immediately following the revelation of the secret court order allowing the NSA to record the telephone activities of Verizon customers, The Washington Post released a top-secret document outlining a project code-named PRISM, which involves the NSA and FBI “tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets.” These companies include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.

    PRISM was born at the tail end of President Bush’s disastrous program of warrantless surveillance. It depends in part on legislation passed by Congress in 2007 and 2008, the Protect America Act and FISA Amendments Act, which provide immunity to private companies that voluntarily cooperate with government efforts to collect private data on users. Government officials are increasingly relying upon PRISM for data collection as the program has become the “most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief” and nearly one in seven intelligence reports rely primarily on information extracted via the program.

    While shocking to some, these revelations are par for the course for our out-of-control government. Relying on secret orders handed down from government officials and the courts and emboldened by members of Congress with little concern for protecting the rights of the citizenry, government agents are now able to flout all safeguards to privacy while still claiming that they are technically acting within the bounds of the law.

    This is no trifling matter. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) have warned that Americans are the subject of a surveillance program that knows no bounds. As Udall has warned, “there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans.” For his part, Wyden has asked NSA staff to disclose the number of Americans whose communications have been collected, but NSA officials continue to stonewall, even going so far as to suggest that estimating the number of Americans whose communications have been collected would violate their privacy rights.

    In full damage control mode, the government wants us to believe that the surveillance is primarily directed at communications coming from foreign sources and that “reasonable procedures [are] in place to minimize collection of ‘U.S. persons’ data without a warrant.” However, as we are learning, the government rarely tells the truth.

    In typical fashion, intelligence officials spent the week attacking journalists for reporting on the NSA’s secret surveillance programs, with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper calling the leaks “reprehensible” and vowing to prosecute whomever chose to leak the information. On Sunday, former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden came forward as the source of the NSA leaks. Speaking from Hong Kong, Snowden insisted that the information needed to be seen by the American public, in part to “send a message to government that people will not be intimidated.”

    Snowden’s actions speak to the need for greater citizen action and transparency in government, two qualities sorely lacking in America today. Typical of Beltway politics, however, rather than holding the government accountable for its systematic and illegal surveillance of American citizens, they’re looking to shoot the messenger. Indeed, the heads of both the House and Senate Intelligence committees, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) have already come out in favor of Snowden’s prosecution.

    This is par for the course for the Obama administration, which has relentlessly pursued whistleblowers intent on exposing government crimes. Just ask Bradley Manning, whose court martial is underway. The government plans to call over 140 witnesses to the stand in an attempt to prove that Manning knowingly “aided the enemy” when he released hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables outlining various government and military abuses to Wikileaks.

    If the government’s case succeeds, not only will Manning face life imprisonment, but whistleblowers and journalists alike who dare to hold a mirror to the bloated face of American government will find themselves targeted for censure and prosecution by government agents. Yet as veteran journalist Walter Lippmann once declared, “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.”

    Frankly, we should all be doing our part to shame this particular devil.

  15. The NSA outing furor is a paper tiger that rears its head every time a society is but a few steps away from totalitarianism. No damage has been done in the release (leak!)to anyone but a runaway government trying to hide nefarious activities under the cloak of national security. Secrecy is the death knoll for freedom. Trust government. OK! Please excuse me while I enter a lengthy trance to erase all knowledge of Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, the Black Panthers, Obamacare, demonization of the Tea Party, to name just a few. Government is necessary for order, for just laws, and the peoples voice. Government is not necessary when it is corrupt, inefficient, incompetent, duplicitous anti-Constitutional, anti-capitalism, anti-individual freedom…not in the America I know.

  16. SWM, Although Snowden was a dropout he is reportedly a computer whiz. Don’t be an elitist. Many intelligent kids just don’t fit into the cookie cutter school system we’ve created. The man is obviously quite intelligent. I’m w/ you on Booz Allen to a certain degree.

  17. Surprised by scapegoating?

    Not in the least.

    But consider this: it was part of the inevitable price of coming forward which not only put brakes on the government’s ability to demonize a “blind target” but also purchased Snowden a certain amount of security from simply being disappeared. By coming forward (and in the way he did), Snowden partially inoculated himself from being treated like whistleblower Bradley Manning or worse.

    As for clowns, who is the real one? The guy who took a stand on principle and revealed blatant unconstitutional abuses by the government against its citizens or the guy cheerleading for the propaganda scapegoat drive?

    I think the answer to that is pretty obvious.

  18. puzzling 1, June 10, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Snowden has demonstrated truly incredible courage and principle. Let’s hope his action opens the doors for others to come forward and expose radical, criminal activities by this government.
    =====================================
    They read that.

    Their policy is to crush whistleblowers so others will be intimidated rather than protecting the people from the Stalinists.

  19. nick, Booz Allen is elitist. I highly doubt that they would they hire an eighth grade dropout unless the person had access to something that they wanted. That was the point I was trying to make but I guess it was not clear enough.

  20. I think viewers who see Jeff Toobin discussing issues of law must come away with a false impression of Lawyers.

    Many likely see Toobin & they tend to believe all Lawyers must be idiots like him.

    Unlike Professor Turley I have no respect for Jeff Toobin.

    I know from studying the history this country that when the founders wrote that phrase about protecting ourselves, our country, from Domestic Enemies they were surly having a vision of the future of what evil looked like & there they saw the face of Jeff Toobin among the belligerents.

    Toobin for too long it seems to me takes a few coins from the American hating trash, his bosses, & provides them the service of a Judas Goat attempting to keep citizens clam as he greases the way for them to the Tyranny of Evil Men.

    There was a reason the Constitution & it’s Bill of Rights isn’t full of the modern day legalize Bull Sheeet, it’s because the writers were protecting us from interpretations from Aholes like Jeff that conjured up legal advise sent him from despots running the depths of Dante’s Inferno.

  21. SWM, I’m not sure what you mean by “access?” If you mean skills or talent than we agree. Private business is not obsessed w/ university pedigree. They’re focused on talent and skills and know it comes in many different people outside the box.

  22. Sign on or pass it along to others.

    I don’t know if links are still not posting here so you’ll have to search the link for yourself:

    we petition the obama administration to:
    We Demand President Obama Resign

    President Richard Nixon resigned after wiretapping a handful of journalists, sparing the nation the ordeal of impeachment. We call on Obama to do the same. His administration vetted the NSA’s surveillance of millions of Americans and seriously violated the Fourth Amendment. He confiscated the personal records of reporters, thus violating the First Amendment, and the IRS under his watch harassed political organizations opposed to his policies. Moreover, his administration has lied under oath to Congress. In addition to violating Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution by invading Libya, his administration engaged in torture and conducted a covert drone war. Due to the severity of these crimes, we call for the immediate resignation of Barack Obama.
    Created: Jun 07, 2013

  23. nick, Why do you think half of Booz Allen’s employees have security clearances and have previously worked for the government? It can’t be that they are the most talented. It is because they have access.

  24. It seems wordpress is still block the petition on the House that’s white, it’s website, in DC.

    The petiton ask Obama to resign & save us from his impeachment.

    You can sign on or pass it along to other websites you visit.

    Over 12,000 have signed on in just the 1st few days.

  25. The full measure of what we’ve become is still under wraps.

    (It’s standard operating procedure to attempt to discredit…)

  26. Oky1, Obama is not getting impeached over this.The republicans that control the house took out after him over Benghazi and the IRS scandal but not this.

  27. I never get tired of hearing Glenn Greenwald speak.

    He is so on-point, so well informed and so capable of conveying what he knows while under pressure, I truly idolize him.

    I hope that, like Greenwald and Turley, the media et al doesn’t manage to redirect public attention to “Snowden-is-a-clown and traitor” instead of the real story Snowden risks his life to uncover.

    You can see the two prongs of media reporting going down these respective ways, and one will win out. They are both plausible, but one seeks to cover up the cover up, and the other seeks to blow it wide open.

  28. The government is backpeddling in two Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) cases:

    In light of the confirmation of NSA surveillance of millions of Americans’ communications records, and especially the decision by the government to declassify and publicly release descriptions of the program, the government today asked the courts handling two EFF surveillance cases for some additional time to consider their options.

    The first notice comes in EFF’s Jewel v. NSA case (along with a companion case called Shubert v. Obama), which seeks to stop the spying and obtain an injunction prohibiting the mass collection of communications records by the government. While the Guardian importantly confirmed this with government documents on Wednesday and Thursday, we’ve been arguing for seven years in court that the NSA has been conducting the same type of dragnet surveillance. In the government’s motion, they ask the court to hold the case in abeyance and that the parties file a status report by July 12, 2013.

    The second notice comes in EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case seeking the DOJ’s secret legal interpretations of Section 215 of the Patriot Act (50 U.S.C. section 1861), which was the statute cited in the leaked secret court order aimed at Verizon. Sen. Wyden and Sen. Udall have long said publicly that the American public would be “shocked” to know how the government is interpreting this statute. The leaked court order gives us an idea of what they were talking about. The government seeks a status report within 30 days of today, June 7, 2013.

    In both of these cases, the government has long claimed broad secrecy. Obviously, now that the DNI and many members of Congress have confirmed those portions of the surveillance program, any claim of state secrets protection or the classified information privilege under FOIA would fail in the courts.

    (EFF).

  29. SWM, I now understand and agree to a certain degree. But for a company to succeed it has to be more talent than access. And, a company can succeed w/o any access to govt., but they cannot succeed w/o any talent. Only govt. agencies can do that.

  30. Swarthmore mom, your constant support of the Anti-American, Nazi policies of the Clinton’s, Bush’s & now Obama, why you should just get & proudly wear that Nazi arm band, after all you’ve earned it.

  31. There are a lot of incompetent and/or unethical people who work for private companies/businesses. Look at what the banksters of Wall Street did to our economy and to people’s pension funds. Our government goes after whistle-blowers with a vengeance but gives wealthy banksters a slap on the wrist.

  32. Ron Paul On Government Spying: “Should We Be Shocked?”
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/10/2013 – 10:01

    What most undermines the claims of the Administration and its defenders about this surveillance program is the process itself. First the government listens in on all of our telephone calls without a warrant and then if it finds something it goes to a FISA court and get an illegal approval for what it has already done! This turns the rule of law and due process on its head. The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around… We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the persecution of Greenwald and the other whistle-blowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.

    More at zerohedge

  33. The Snowden Effect
    By Charles P. Pierce
    6/10/13
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/The_Snowden_Revelations

    Excerpt:
    …But there are issues beyond Edward Snowden, and whatever comes next, and these are issues worthy of an open and national debate, and they should be examined in the light of day.

    First of all, it’s past time to re-examine everything that was done in such a panic after 9/11. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was warning us about the NSA and secrecy three decades ago. Jim Bamford has made his living writing about the NSA. These problems are not new. This re-evaluation especially includes the Patriot Act, which keeps getting renewed by a Congress which long ago abdicated its oversight role in intelligence as thoroughly as it has abdicated its War Powers. (Senator Mark Udall is all over this, and good for him.) The answer, “Well, we stopped a bunch of attacks we can’t tell you about” ought not the be adequate any longer. Second, it’s time for the president to differentiate, clearly, himself from his predecessor. What did he do that you haven’t? What have you done that he didn’t? The attempt to pry these revelations loose from the history that led to the programs that are now being revealed guarantees that the discussion will slide into commonplace political argument, which will get us approximately nowhere in discussing the real problem, which is the place of privacy in a democracy that insists on surveilling itself to death. If this whole thing comes down to Obama-is-better-than-Bush vs. Obama-is-history’s-greatest-monster,and there’s too much of both right now, then the opportunity goes a’glimmering.

    (Oh, and Senator Aqua Buddha, you’re a U.S. Senator. If you want to do something about this state of affairs, you have more serious means to which you can resort than a futile lawsuit, although that will add some names to your fundraising database for 2016. Grow the fk up, please.)

    Unfortunately, the real test will come after the next terrorist attack that succeeds. It seems as though the surveillance stepped up in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. I don’t recall anyone warning about that in the immediate aftermath. If you want to see what effect, if any, Edward Snowden’s revelations have had on the country, and on what it’s doing to itself, look for it there. I would almost guarantee you that you won’t like what you see. Fear is the new normal. I lived through the Church Committee hearings. That was the last time the secret state-within-a-state was revealed to this extent, and that was by an empowered congressional committee. Business as usual opened again in 1980. We are not the country we say we are. What we are arguing about is the distance between the two.

  34. In my experience, the only time a whistleblower is called a “clown” or such other epithet is when his info is accurate, righteous, and important.

    Bravo, Mr. Snowden.

  35. I understand Tobin’s anger … he’s part of the national media that has lost the confidence of the American people. Poor Tobin is simply part of the Americanized version of Pravda.

    If we want to get any truth at all we have to subscribe to foreign news outlets giving a whole new meaning to the term “Radio Free Europe”.

  36. Smom is a lot of things. Nazi isn’t even remotely one of them. Godwin’s Law applies in every situation where the person you accuse of being a Nazi has offered concrete proof that they indeed take Nazi-like actions. This is why calling Smom a Nazi fails. There is no indicator that she is an oppressive fascist although we disagree on quite a bit politically. Had you said “Eric Holder is a Nazi”, well, there is plenty of concrete evidence that he’s an oppressive (it’s okay to spy on everyone) fascist (but we can’t prosecute the Wall St. criminals) and the epithet might actually apply,

    Nazi is a special word.

    It should be saved for special people.

    While Smom is special in a lot ways, she’s not that kind of special.

  37. It’s time for certain elements in the news media to stop being in bed with this administration and start striving for the truth.

  38. Darren,

    Haven’t you figured out that you never get the truth or tell the truth from your mistress…. It’s only an illusion…..

  39. Gene H, Thanks., In the prisonplanet world that Oky seems to occupy calling someone that disagrees with you a nazi seems rather commonplace.

  40. Oky, I did not render an opinion on whether or not Obama should leave only that the ways things are lining up that it did not appear to be happening. That prospect seemed to put you over the edge.

  41. Oky1,
    I can’t believe you just went Godwin, not only on SwM, but on a previous administration. We have had some bad Presidents in the history of our country, but Nazi is something so evil, it is in a category by itself. Your comment suggests you know nothing at all of history. I lived through those times, and the wrongness of your comment and observations is staggering in its offensiveness.

  42. Tobin uses the term clown for Snowden, Oky1 brands SwM a Nazi

    It’s called demonization – an argumentative strategy, often employed in political contexts, whereby one group consistently describes a rival group as beings of pure evil who want nothing more than their enslavement, destruction, or corruption. Such a strategy is very good for whipping up lynch mobs, quelling internal strife ‘in the face of the common threat’, and stifling the usual twinges of conscience most people experience when mistreating others. This sometimes requires the use of otherism beforehand, to make people view the targeted group as an “other.”

    SwM, you have been targeted.

  43. Getting warmer…

    Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America

    Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an ‘executive coup’ against the US constitution

    by Daniel Ellsberg
    Monday 10 June 2013 06.30 ED

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-united-stasi-america

    In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution.

    Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.

    The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it: “It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp.”

    For the president then to say that there is judicial oversight is nonsense – as is the alleged oversight function of the intelligence committees in Congress. Not for the first time – as with issues of torture, kidnapping, detention, assassination by drones and death squads –they have shown themselves to be thoroughly co-opted by the agencies they supposedly monitor. They are also black holes for information that the public needs to know.

    The fact that congressional leaders were “briefed” on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.

    Obviously, the United States is not now a police state. But given the extent of this invasion of people’s privacy, we do have the full electronic and legislative infrastructure of such a state. If, for instance, there was now a war that led to a large-scale anti-war movement – like the one we had against the war in Vietnam – or, more likely, if we suffered one more attack on the scale of 9/11, I fear for our democracy. These powers are extremely dangerous.

    There are legitimate reasons for secrecy, and specifically for secrecy about communications intelligence. That’s why Bradley Mannning and I – both of whom had access to such intelligence with clearances higher than top-secret – chose not to disclose any information with that classification. And it is why Edward Snowden has committed himself to withhold publication of most of what he might have revealed.

    But what is not legitimate is to use a secrecy system to hide programs that are blatantly unconstitutional in their breadth and potential abuse. Neither the president nor Congress as a whole may by themselves revoke the fourth amendment – and that’s why what Snowden has revealed so far was secret from the American people.

    In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:

    “I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

    The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America’s intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – “at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left.”

    That has now happened. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA, FBI and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of. Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America.

    So we have fallen into Senator Church’s abyss. The questions now are whether he was right or wrong that there is no return from it, and whether that means that effective democracy will become impossible. A week ago, I would have found it hard to argue with pessimistic answers to those conclusions.

    But with Edward Snowden having put his life on the line to get this information out, quite possibly inspiring others with similar knowledge, conscience and patriotism to show comparable civil courage – in the public, in Congress, in the executive branch itself – I see the unexpected possibility of a way up and out of the abyss.

    Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate the revelations by Snowden and, I hope, others to come might lead us to bring NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the bill of rights.

    Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.

  44. AP,

    I know a number of brilliant folks that only have GEDs…… I’m amazed that he was able to get a job like this….. Pretty snooty group….

  45. Bloiuse, I have been targeted by the Alex Jones gun loving crew since I started on this blog .It all started with that tea party guy that destroyed my sign at the healthcare rally. :) I have a relative that was a consultant for Booz Allen although not in Dc so i know a little bit about the type of people they usually hire. When I was on my so called house hunting trip, I saw this massive Booz Allen building in Rockville and I wondered why they had such a large presence in the DC suburbs.. Well, now I know. It pays to keep your eyes open and follow the money.

  46. Leaker’s Employer Became Wealthy by Maintaining Government Secrets
    By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and ERIC LIPTON
    June 9, 2013
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/10/us/booz-allen-grew-rich-on-government-contracts.html

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, has become one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the United States almost exclusively by serving a single client: the government of the United States.

    Over the last decade, much of the company’s growth has come from selling expertise, technology and manpower to the National Security Agency and other federal intelligence agencies. Booz Allen earned $1.3 billion, 23 percent of the company’s total revenue, from intelligence work during its most recent fiscal year.

    The government has sharply increased spending on high-tech intelligence gathering since 2001, and both the Bush and Obama administrations have chosen to rely on private contractors like Booz Allen for much of the resulting work.

    Thousands of people formerly employed by the government, and still approved to deal with classified information, now do essentially the same work for private companies. Mr. Snowden, who revealed on Sunday that he provided the recent leak of national security documents, is among them.

    As evidence of the company’s close relationship with government, the Obama administration’s chief intelligence official, James R. Clapper Jr., is a former Booz Allen executive. The official who held that post in the Bush administration, John M. McConnell, now works for Booz Allen.

    “The national security apparatus has been more and more privatized and turned over to contractors,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group that studies federal government contracting. “This is something the public is largely unaware of, how more than a million private contractors are cleared to handle highly sensitive matters.”

    It has gone so far, Ms. Brian said, that even the process of granting security clearances is often handled by contractors, allowing companies to grant government security clearances to private sector employees.

    Companies like Booz Allen, Lockheed Martin and the Computer Sciences Corporation also engage directly in gathering information and providing analysis and advice to government officials. Booz Allen employees work inside the facilities at the N.S.A., among the most secretive of the intelligence agencies. The company also has several office buildings near the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.

  47. Anonymously Yours 1, June 10, 2013 at 11:45 am

    AP,

    I know a number of brilliant folks that only have GEDs…… I’m amazed that he was able to get a job like this….. Pretty snooty group….
    ====

    I’m not. They make the mistake of thinking that they’ll be able to control some of these folks — that they’ll be beholden… It’s lovely when it backfires….

  48. OKY1 whines, “Swarthmore mom, your constant support of the Anti-American, Nazi policies ”

    Wrong, and only said to get negative attention. Please pay better attention.

  49. Why A 29-Year-Old Contractor Had Access To Government Secrets
    Brett LoGiurato
    Jun. 9, 2013
    http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-nsa-leak-booz-allen-hamilton-2013-6

    Another question raised by the revelation of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is the federal government’s growing use of contractors for things like defense and intelligence.

    The Guardian reports that Snowden is a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA who has lately worked as a contractor for two companies — Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz Allen said that Snowden worked at the company for less than three months.

    According to Washington Technology, Booz Allen had contracts with the government that totaled $3.85 billion in 2011. Dell had contracts that were worth $1.87 billion in 2011. Respectively, the two companies ranked just eighth and 19th in that category.

    Both are part of a rise of so-called “Beltway Bandits” — private companies in or near Washington whose major business is providing services to the government.

    Booz Allen gets about 98 percent of its revenue from government contracts. Washington Technology lists 17 “major” customers — and they are all different government agencies. The Defense Department, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Homeland Security Department, and IRS are just a few.

    That Snowden has made some mindblowing claims about his power at Booz Allen — including the ability to “wiretap the President” if he wanted to — will likely call into question the power and access employees of these companies have, as well as the size of the U.S.’s national security mission in general.

    “I had full access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world,” Snowden said.

    A groundbreaking 2010 report from The Washington Post found a vast expansion of government operations in the post-9/11 world.

    Specifically, it found that 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies are working on intelligence, counterterrorism, or homeland security in the United States. The NSA alone, meanwhile, has contracts with 250 companies.

    The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama early this year, strengthens protections for whistleblowers who are employees of government contractors.

    But employee reports of mismanagement or other violations are only protected if made to a member of Congress, an Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, a federal employee responsible for contract oversight at the agency, an authorized official of a law enforcement agency, or a court or grand jury.

  50. that is why we have the 2nd amendment, it isnt for hunting. do you think the people would be listened to if we only had a double barrel shotgun and 2 boxes of shells available to us?

    This is why Fienstein, Schumer, Biden and their ilk want your semi-automatic, military style weapons. It is why we should be allowed to own fully automatic weapons with only a background check.

    80 -100 million well armed citizens arent going to be ignored if the government oversteps their charter.

  51. My comments keep disappearing. I’ll try again.

    Why A 29-Year-Old Contractor Had Access To Government Secrets
    Brett LoGiurato | Jun. 9, 2013
    http://www.businessinsider.com/edward-snowden-nsa-leak-booz-allen-hamilton-2013-6

    Another question raised by the revelation of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is the federal government’s growing use of contractors for things like defense and intelligence.

    The Guardian reports that Snowden is a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA who has lately worked as a contractor for two companies — Dell and Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz Allen said that Snowden worked at the company for less than three months.

    According to Washington Technology, Booz Allen had contracts with the government that totaled $3.85 billion in 2011. Dell had contracts that were worth $1.87 billion in 2011. Respectively, the two companies ranked just eighth and 19th in that category.

    Both are part of a rise of so-called “Beltway Bandits” — private companies in or near Washington whose major business is providing services to the government.

    Booz Allen gets about 98 percent of its revenue from government contracts. Washington Technology lists 17 “major” customers — and they are all different government agencies. The Defense Department, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Homeland Security Department, and IRS are just a few.

    That Snowden has made some mindblowing claims about his power at Booz Allen — including the ability to “wiretap the President” if he wanted to — will likely call into question the power and access employees of these companies have, as well as the size of the U.S.’s national security mission in general.

    “I had full access to the full rosters of everyone working at the NSA, the entire intelligence community, and undercover assets all around the world,” Snowden said.

    A groundbreaking 2010 report from The Washington Post found a vast expansion of government operations in the post-9/11 world.

    Specifically, it found that 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies are working on intelligence, counterterrorism, or homeland security in the United States. The NSA alone, meanwhile, has contracts with 250 companies.

    The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama early this year, strengthens protections for whistleblowers who are employees of government contractors.

    But employee reports of mismanagement or other violations are only protected if made to a member of Congress, an Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, a federal employee responsible for contract oversight at the agency, an authorized official of a law enforcement agency, or a court or grand jury.

  52. Killing the messenger is the easiest way to hide your dirty secrets AND get whatcha want AND it has historical precedent! In fact, the path is the easiest because it is the most well-worn….and I am ASTOUNDED that a LAWYER would be ‘taken aback’ by this strategy…. ;)

  53. Swarthmore mom is just telling it like it is OKY. You may not like what she says or disagree with it, but the label you used is inappropriate and ugly.
    Mespo and Gene,
    You are right that if the powers are yelling loudly, it is because the leaks are accurate and that they are worried that maybe the public might actually realize what the Patriot Act has authorized. I would hope that we could get a FISA court whistleblower to come forward to give the public the truth about what really happens in those chambers.

  54. Elaine,
    As suggested earlier, we should all be worried when private consultants control our national secrets. Money making does not belong in the national security field.

  55. OS, SM GH,

    Which defence of those Aholes, Clintons, Bushs, Obama, do you guys wish to use, the Sargent Schultz defence, “I didn’t even get up that day” or the Nuremberg defence, “I didn’t know” or “I was just following orders”.

    I have many vets in my family that have served the US. One of them that also went through Europe was among those Gen. Eisenhower sent their outfits to be present/witness as the local German town’s people where order to one of the Nazi death camps & the bodies there so no one could later deny what had happened there.

    They claimed they didn’t know what was happening in that camp.

    You people making the same excuse, “I didn’t what my govt was doing,”, or “I knew but what could lil oh me do about.” is just as a sicking excuse as it was back then.

    Making fun of/ignoring the govt’s own documents & other evidence presented by infowars, zerohedge, whistle blowers, etc only reflects on your character.

    Ya the name Nazi shouldn’t be used lightly. But what is torture, spying, lying, robbery, mass murder,etc., by the govt if it isn’t Nazi like behavior!

    Maybe you should speak to a Native America or other groups here & around the world who have been the other end of the club.

    Have any of the Wallst/London Bank/Insur co’s, the global crime syndicates been shut down & their criminal leaders arrested lately?

    How many Drone Attacks has Obama lunched today just in Africa, yesterday, the day before that? Oh ya, you didn’t see anything about anything as it wasn’t approve for the US Pravda media outlets.

    The list of their War Crimes/Crimes against Humanity is to long for this post, but no, if SM keeps openly supporting those ahole’s policies I won’t be retracting my comments until she does.

  56. >> Bron 1, June 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    OKY1:

    I must concur with James Knauer. You are way off base.

    And I rarely concur with James.
    <<

    Thanks, I consider your position.

    I don't have a complete list of her past comments, but just trusting my memory of them my comments seem appropriate for the times.

    If nothing else there are people reading this that now know there are millions of us out here that will not willingly put up this Nazi takeover of the US by the Obama's, Lindsey Grahams, McCains etc….

  57. Oky1, You can do research. Find comments where I said that I specifically support drone warfare, oppression of native Americans or the Wall St banks.

  58. SwM,

    p.s. … don’t accept any plane rides from Oky1 no matter how nicely he/she asks ’cause you’re now responsible for the clubbing of Native Americans, the death camps, and drone attacks. My lord, you must be at least 150 years old!

  59. The govt. is trying to control the discourse so they can keep their policies in place. They would also like to make certain they do not have to resign or face trials for their violations of our law. So you can believe they are bringing their best propagandists out for this one.

    Many in the MSM have proven again and again to be willingly complicit water carriers for powerful wrongdoers. Toobin appears to be one of those. Attacks against the messenger are effective. Just as slurs against Bradley Manning’s sexuality were used by the administration to discredit him, casting aspersions about Snowden’s intellect, patriotism etc. are par for the course.

    Notice also that as with Bradley Manning the govt. is prosecuting someone for revealing what they said everyone knew anyway. The govt. claims both Manning and Snowden’s revelations aren’t worth the time of day and, oh, btw, we’d like to torture, render and give you the death penalty. Too bad Snowden didn’t leak to a pro-torture film maker. He’d get a medal of freedom from Obama for that!

    As to a benign administration. Define benign. This administration has target and killed a 16 year old boy. Another citizen they droned was a man whose alleged “crimes” were first put before a grand jury who found insufficient evidence to indict him. Well the administration killed him anyway. And how about those innocent detainees in Gitmo.

    It is beyond belief that anyone could say this was a moral, benign, just trying to protect the people kind of administration. What rubbish.

    No, it is necessary for a murdering, torturing, imprisoning the innocent kind of govt. to take every measure necessary from allowing the truth to see the light of day. And that is exactly what is happening here.

  60. “The govt. is trying to control the discourse so they can keep their policies in place.” -Jill

    Featured piece in the Washington Post:

    Big Brother isn’t watching you

    By Marc A. Thiessen, Monday, June 10, 9:26 AM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-leaks-not-the-nsa-programs-deserve-condemnation/2013/06/10/e91d09ac-d1c9-11e2-a73e-826d299ff459_story.html

    Well, without interrogations or signals intelligence, how exactly is he supposed to protect the country?

    Unfortunately, some on the right are joining the cacophony of condemnation from the New York Times and MSNBC. The programs exposed in these leaks did not begin on Barack Obama’s watch. When Obama continues a Bush-era counterterrorism policy, it is not an outrage — it is a victory.

    And when those programs are exposed by leaks, it is not whistleblowing — it’s a felony.

    Marc Thiessen writes a weekly column for The Post on foreign and domestic policy and contributes to the PostPartisan blog. He is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Thiessen served as a chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and before that as a senior aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms. He is the author of “Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack” (2010).

  61. Oky1,
    It is clear to me you would not recognize a real Nazi if one hit you in the rear with a bass fiddle. As for the personal attacks, I will repeat what has been said here before by others. There is only one real basic rule for participating on this site. Keep it civil. No personal attacks. Argue the logic or comment, but when you make it personal by name-calling and insults, that is the bright line.

  62. It could be very simple for many by just making a simple statement right here or on the WH petitions list.

    IE: I ___________, strongly suspect & believe, by the evidence I’ve viewed, that Obama, people in his administration & others around them have & are currently engaged in international & domestic war crimes & crimes against humanity.

    That they should be removed from their govt. or private positions immediately & that a special counsel should be appointed to see to it they receive a fair public trial for the crimes they stand accused of.

    Or we can all just keep sticking our heads in the sand & ignore everything as most Americas have since well before Nixon.

  63. Snowden is a national (maybe international) hero! We need a hundred of him lifting the veil on the programs we pay for but are denied information on. I’m donating to his legal defence fund.

  64. Anon posted,

    That article is just string of one fabrication after another. It’s the big lie, repeated again and again. Each of his arguments has been thoroughly refuted.

    And yes, many on the right are fully on board with a surveillance state. They loved it under Bush and they love it under Obama. However, we can see that authoritarians come from every party. After 9/11 most of the nation was on board w/draconian executive powers and supported the invasion of Iraq. After about 2004-2006 most people, both right and left, had turned against the invasion and sweeping executive powers. People were even repudiating torture. Now–They’re all BACCK!

    It is my contention that no one can change deeply held ethical positions one a dime the way people in our nation did. Either these are not deeply held ethical positions and/or the propaganda is so effective it is able to turn people away from their own intellect and ethical values.

  65. The readings have been more fun than watching fish get shot in a barrel….

    Thanks Jill…. You’ve been part of making it a great day…

  66. From blawg article: “What is clear is that this massive security state, and its contractors, are irate about these leaks, …. It is a closed system that is represented vividly by Booz Allen. The current head of national intelligence (Clapper) is a former company executive. The prior intelligence head is now leading the company. It is part of a security state that generates hundreds of billions of dollars and we are the subject of their work under these and other programs. They do not like people causing the public to ask questions.”
    ***

    This is a list of notable members and alumni of Booz Allen Hamilton, a veritable who’s who of government/corporate incest. The list is from Wikipedia, the entry on work performed for Homeland Security is notable for the tiny peek at government contracting in the wake of 9-11 and financial rewards involved for contractors. Mr. Snowden has meddled with the primal forces of nature and it will not be tolerated.

    Government (alums and members):

    Wendy Alexander – Labour Party Leader and Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP).[61][62]

    Thad Allen – former Coast Guard Admiral Commandant of the United States Coast Guard

    Miles Axe Copeland, Jr. – a prominent U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative who was one of the founding members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under William Donovan.

    Karol Joseph “Bo” Bobko – Retired United States Air Force officer and a former USAF and NASA astronaut.[63]

    James R. Clapper – Director of National Intelligence, formally Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Lieutenant General in the US Air Force[64]

    Keith R. Hall – Director, National Reconnaissance Office (1997–2001); formerly Executive Director for Intelligence Community Affairs[64]

    Steve Isakowitz – Department of Energy Chief Financial Officer. Former Deputy Associate Administrator, NASA, 2002-2005[65][66][67][68]

    William Benjamin “Bill” Lenoir (Ph.D.) – Former NASA astronaut.

    George E. Little – Media Relations, Central Intelligence Agency (2007-)

    John M. McConnell – Director of National Intelligence (2007–2009); formerly Director of the National Security Agency (1992–96); retired in 1996 as Vice Admiral, United States Navy[69]

    Todd Park, current Chief Technology Officer of the United States and former CTO of the Department of Health and Human Services

    Zoran Jolevski – Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia in the US.

    Thomas S. Moorman Jr. – Commander, Air Force Space Command (1990–92); Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1994–1997)

    Michael C. Mullen – Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Patrick Gorman – Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Assistant Deputy Director National Intelligence (ADDNI), Strategy, Plans, and Policy, ODNI [2]

    Andrew Turnbull – Member, House of Lords (upper Parliament), United Kingdom (2005-); Head of British Civil Service (2002–2005)

    Melissa Hathaway – Director, National Cyber Security Initiative

    General Frederick Frank Woerner, Jr. – Retired United States Army general and former commander of United States Southern Command.

    R. James Woolsey, Jr. – Director of Central Intelligence (1993–95)

    Dov Zakheim – Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (2001–04)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booz_Allen_Hamilton

  67. Professor Turley;

    For one who so consistently points out the bad faith – I find your “insight” into the propaganda machine of main stream (even of Toobin) to be (at the best) obtuse to the reality.

    Main stream media has been, and shall continue to be, the mouthpiece of special interests of the elite. No more and most assuredly, nothing less.

    You, Democratic Underground, WordPress, Blogger and U.S. are now the real media outlets. While many things of Snowden, Assange and Manning are specious at best; what they represent is not mystifying.

    Our country is in dire need of the News organization owner that Anthony Hopkins portrayed in ‘Joe Black’ –

    one which tells it like it is – unbiased and unvarnished….

  68. Jill,

    I completely agree. (I found it to be a perfect example of the kind of propaganda that keeps so many in line… And the Washington Post features it.)

  69. OS, I here you.

    And I also read some of your stuff.

    I don’t think you like a lot of the policies/actions you’re seeing either.

    Bottling up outrage when open outrage is called for is not an admirable quality as we witness from the founders, so much so they fought a bloody revolution war over the very Rights we attempt to today respectful discuss.

    If I get kicked off this msg bb I can assure you I’ll been attempting to argue principle & not an ad hominem attack.

    For now I’ll withdraw my view Swarthmore mom past comments are in line with supportive of behavior of the Nazis past on your & a few other posters opinions that she’s not supportive of any, in any way, of those type policies here now in the US or Germany of the 30s/40s.

  70. Hong Kong Seen as Likely to Extradite Leaker if U.S. Asks

    By KEITH BRADSHER
    Published: June 10, 2013

    HONG KONG — In choosing Hong Kong as an initial place to take refuge from the United States government, the National Security Agency contractor who has acknowledged leaking documents has selected a jurisdiction where it may be possible to delay extradition but not avoid it, legal and law enforcement experts here said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/11/world/asia/edward-snowden-hong-kong-extradition.html?ref=global-home&_r=0

  71. Lotta Katz,

    I think this is one of the most important piece of information in this story. The complete, interlocking directory between large, extremely secretive, private contract firms and the govt.

    IMO, they are one and that is incredibly dangerous. It is my belief that one reason our public “servants” remain unaccountable to the people is this interconnection with the shadow govt., or deep state.

  72. Calm down Otteray (though I did have to chuckle on bass fiddle)

    As a yid, I’ve come to learn that there’s only one way to deal with ignorance (such as our infamous Mr. B over at DK) –

    you “ignore” them.

    They feed on the banter and delight in being contrary….

  73. Yes, you can ignore me but I’m not the one greeting you on the highway or at the airport with latex gloves on.

    It’s easy to see the future, it wears latex gloves & has a sticky middle finger. ;)

  74. Daniel Ellsberg: NSA Leaker Showed Battlefield Courage

    by Eyder Peralta
    June 10, 2013 9:14 AM

    (with video)

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/06/10/190320993/daniel-ellsberg-nsa-leaker-showed-battlefield-courage

    Ellsberg went to trial but the charges against him were dismissed when the judge found evidence the Nixon White House “had agents break into the office of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in a search for ways to discredit him.”

    Ellsberg said that from what he’s heard about Snowden, the 29-year-old is willing — like he was — to give up his life for the good of the country.

    But Ellsberg wonders if it could really be a crime for someone to expose a practice he says violates the constitution.

  75. Off Topic:

    Supreme Court Ends Torture Lawsuit Against Donald Rumsfeld
    06/10/13
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/supreme-court-donald-rumsfeld_n_3415124.html

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from two American whistleblowers who claim U.S. forces tortured them in Iraq and who want to sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    The justices’ action Monday leaves in place a federal appeals court ruling that found Rumsfeld cannot be held liable for actions taken by subordinates that may have crossed legal bounds.

    The two men are Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, who say they were detained and tortured after they accused an Iraqi-owned company for which they worked of illegally running guns. They argued Rumsfeld personally approved interrogation methods for use by the U.S. military in Iraq, making him responsible for what happened to them during several weeks they were held in military camps.

  76. Jill 1, June 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Lotta Katz,

    I think this is one of the most important piece of information in this story. The complete, interlocking directory between large, extremely secretive, private contract firms and the govt.

    IMO, they are one and that is incredibly dangerous. It is my belief that one reason our public “servants” remain unaccountable to the people is this interconnection with the shadow govt., or deep state.
    ===============================
    The Privatization Empire.

  77. How on earth can yo ube surprised at the Media turning its back on the real story to pursue the one the empire wnats them to promote. You can’t actually believe in an honest press any longer can you ?

  78. “Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action. They say it is better to kick someone out of a plane than let these people have a day in court. It is an authoritarian mindset in general.”” from the interview linked…
    ————

    due process IS DECISIVE ACTION. Which means that those ‘spyshits’ or ‘authoritarians’ have become anti-American. Our ChARTER IS BUILT ON DUE PROCESS.

    phuckers….

  79. That info about Rumsfield is appalling (as is everything else which is going on). We have documents outlining crimes by the highest officials in this nation. No one can get justice no matter the evidence they present, nor the suffering they have endured. This nation is unrecognizable.

    Clearly, you have to order/commit a war crime to be free of the DOJ. You expose one, you’re going down.

  80. I am sitting here trying to grasp the state in which we live. One in which Americans are needing to seek refuge and asylum in countries other than America. Mindboggling.

    Now how do we get the blinders off the rest of the citizenry?

  81. Jill Says, “Many in the MSM have proven again and again to be willingly complicit water carriers for powerful wrongdoers. Toobin appears to be one of those.”

    Here’s another corner of the universe where it’s happening:
    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/edward-snowden-leaker-of-nsa-data-mining-stories-steps-forward/

    The “calm, reasonable” types seem to be calling for, well, nothing. Move along. Nothing to see here. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Wave the white flag. Accept it. Privacy is never coming back. We’re at war in secula et seculorum.

    Strong encryption to a person would solve much of this. Even in 2013, not even mail programs employ it. It cuts into the very lucrative eavesdropping bidness, as evidenced by Snowden’s ridiculous salary, a demand created by paranoia and fear.

    Actual demand for secure communications provides us with a stepping-stone to a different future. We have to demand it, every day.

  82. Elaine M., I have long thought a trio must pass before we get the whole story: Cheney, Rummy and Barbara The Quaker Oats Man Bush.

    George W Bush’s story has not yet concluded, and the best days are far behind him now.

  83. The Guardian

    Editorial

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-conscientious-objector?INTCMP=SRCH

    Edward Snowden: more conscientious objector than common thief

    US members of Congress ought to be seeking the earliest opportunity to learn what this brave whistleblower is saying

    President Obama made much this week of the constitutional oversights of the intelligence infrastructure from both Congress and the courts – even if the secret proceedings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts offer limited comfort to the general public. If this oversight is to be at all meaningful members of Congress ought to be seeking the earliest opportunity to learn what Snowden has to say – by video link, if necessary. Snowden is self-evidently not a common thief. He is more like a conscientious objector. It is not enough for Congress to outsource his interrogation to the FBI. It is vital, above all, that elected representatives test the truth of what he is saying – and not simply the ones who, it seems all too possible, have been asleep while minding the shop.

  84. As soon as Mr. Snowden’s identity was revealed this weekend, there was talk that his character would be smeared in order to discredit the revelations that came with his leaking. Sure enough, a couple of hours ago, I watched Tim Pawlenty on MSNBC jumping on the ad hominem train – sadly, no one on the panel called him out for such attacks. People who don’t want to talk about what has actually been happening with the government (and the huge corporate contractors who actually do all the work, and lobby to expand the surveillance machine they build and run) will be hot to smear this guy with ad hominem attacks.

    All this crap about “he’s a high-school drop out” crap is sad. One of the great things about the current state of the IT world is that people with brains, talent and hard work can work their way up based on merit. I know a guy who dropped out of college (as a dance major), but has worked his way up to the point that he keeps the computers running for a hedge fund that makes multiple billions of dollars a year in profits (I have no idea how much they have under management). Over time, the industry will change to be more like the rest of the business world – where an MBA from a prestigious school goes further than actual intelligence.

  85. On a different tack: This is politics, and yes, we can change things. There are some authoritarian-oriented politicians who actively want this kind of surveillance. They sell themselves as “tough against terrorism” – a spin on good old “law and order” politics. And there are politicians who have been working to oppose what’s been going on.

    But in the middle are a large number of politicians who know we shouldn’t be doing this, but are afraid that they will be accused of being “soft against terrorism”. Fingers will be pointed at them when the next terrorist attack happens. They need support and political cover. They need Americans to stand up and say “yes, terrorism is a risk, but we are not willing to give up our traditional Constitutionally protected privacy and rights because of it.”

    Currently, only about 0.5% of Americans donate $200 or more in political contributions. There are 240,000,000 Americans of voting age. If only 5 million of us donate only $200 to candidates who will fight against this surveillance this cycle, that would be One Billion Dollars. Not only would this have a lot of direct impact, it would scare the crap out of a lot of establishment politicians and political consultants in DC. It would provide a lot of cover and support both to the champions of privacy, but would bolster the politicians who have been on the fence about supporting what we all know is right.

    In addition to political donations, please consider supporting the Electronic Frontier Foundation (eff dot org) and the ACLU.

  86. What we know about NSA leaker Edward Snowden
    By Tracy Connor, Staff Writer, NBC News
    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/10/18882615-what-we-know-about-nsa-leaker-edward-snowden?lite

    The 29-year-old computer whiz who divulged details about National Security Agency’s data-collecting programs has also revealed specifics of his life story, from an upbringing in North Carolina to a top-secret contract in Hawaii.

    Speaking from a Hong Kong hotel that he has since left, Edward Snowden told The Guardian that he had enjoyed a “very comfortable life,” but one marked by mounting disillusionment with what he views as government intrusion into the private lives of American citizens.

    “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under,” he said.

    Here’s some of what we know about the bespectacled self-proclaimed “spy” who is being called both a traitor and a hero:

    Background: Born June 21, 1983, he grew up in Wilmington, N.C., but later moved to Ellicott City, Md., he told The Guardian. His mother, Wendy, is the chief deputy clerk for administration and information technology at the federal court in Baltimore, a court official told NBC News. His father, Lonnie, is a former Coast Guard officer who lives in Pennsylvania, the Allentown Morning Call reported. Edward Snowden said the only thing he fears from outing himself is the “harmful effects on my family.”

    Education: He did not complete high school. He told The Guardian that he studied computers at a community college and obtained a general equivalency degree.

    Military service: He spent four months in the Army reserves, from May to September 2004 as a special forces recruit to a 14-week training course, the Army said. “He did not complete any training or receive any awards,” an Army statement said. No other details were given, but Snowden told The Guardian he was discharged after breaking his legs in an accident.

    Government work: His first job with the National Security Agency was as a security guard, and the next stop was an information-technology job with the CIA, which stationed him in Geneva in 2007, he claimed. He said he left the CIA in 2009 to work for private contractors, including Dell and Booz Allen. Through his job with Booz Allen, he was assigned to NSA offices in Japan and, more recently, Hawaii. Booz Allen said he has been an employee for about three months. He told reporters he made about $200,000 a year.

    Hawaii: He briefly lived in a 1,559-square-foot rented home on Oahu, where neighbors said he and his girlfriend, who has not been named, kept to themselves. “They just say, ‘Hi’ and ‘Hello’ in the morning,” Angel Cunanan told NBC station KHNL. “He mentioned that he worked for the government.” Local residents said the couple never really unpacked before they moved out May 1, after the owner decided to sell the house, the Associated Press reported.

    Exit plan: When he decided to go to Hong Kong to await the fallout from the leaks, Snowden told the NSA that he was taking a leave for treatment of epilepsy, a condition he told The Guardian he was diagnosed with last year after seizures. He said he didn’t give his girlfriend a specific reason, just saying he had to go away for a few weeks.

    Politics: A public records search shows Snowden was a registered voter but did not declare a political party affiliation. Someone with the same name who lived in the same places and at one point worked for Dell made two $250 donations last year to libertarian-leaning GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.

    Cloak-and-dagger: Snowden self-identifies as a spook. “I’ve been a spy almost all of my adult life,” he told the Washington Post. In his communications with a reporter, he used a code name — “Verax,” or truth-teller in Latin. He’s worried he’s being watched and puts a red hood over his head and laptop when he enters passwords, The Guardian reported.

  87. “Cloak-and-dagger: Snowden self-identifies as a spook.” More spin in the mix. He worked for the NSA since 2009. He’s not self-identifying.

  88. I don’t even watch CNN as it is full of clowns and histrionic character who consider themselves as journalists or legal experts ..

  89. Concepts such as the “greater good of the public interest” are no longer relevant in today’s budding Police State. What is important is the power of the Police State, and if people aren’t going to respect a budding Police State, how can we expect them to actually be in favor of a full-fledged Police State to replace our outmoded Constitution? Our media does an important service by protecting the interests of those in favor of the Police State, while ignoring or shunning that who criticize the Police State.

    It’s called “The New World Order.” Learn to love it. It’s coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

  90. Just finished listening to National Pentagon Radio on the subject. Did you know that no one has ever found there was any abuse of citizens by govt. surveillance powers? We’ll bless their hearts!

    Occupy anyone? I seem to remember info coming out about illegal surveillance of peaceful protesters. If you’ve been involved in a Bradley Manning protest or Occupy you’ve seen LRAD in action and you’ve seen homes broken into by law enforcement that was working with Federal Agencies who were working with private companies such as GS. You’ve seen the govt. have knowledge of where people were and what they said “privately”.

    So how is it that NPR just had no memory of these events?

  91. 2007:

    Mike McConnell, Booz Allen and the Privatization of Intelligence

    http://www.democracynow.org/2007/1/12/mike_mcconnell_booz_allen_and_the

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And McConnell, not only has he been involved in contracting, but isn’t he the chairman of the alliance of contractors that do business —

    TIM SHORROCK: Yeah. Over the last year, he became the chairman of this organization, the INSA, which represents the largest NSA and CIA contractors. So he’s very involved in all levels of the contracting world, in terms of promoting the contractors and in terms of, you know, talking — pushing their interests in the government, within Congress. And so, you know, a guy like this running our intelligence services, as I said before, really is a serious problem.

    AMY GOODMAN: What do you expect from the confirmation hearing?

    TIM SHORROCK: I think that there’s going to — they’re going to ask him some pretty sharp questions, because — I mean, you mentioned this TIA program. I mean, they have about — they had millions of dollars worth of contracts on this Total Information project, you know, which was basically spying on American people, American citizens, antiwar protesters. And so, I think, you know, some of the senators — Senator Feingold, others — have been very interested, you know, want to know what exactly happened in this program. And as I had been working on this subject, writing this book and doing the reporting, I find that, you know, through the corporations you can learn a heck of a lot about the intelligence operations and communities, because they’re so involved in it.

    AMY GOODMAN: Tim Shorrock, you write about the fact that Booz Allen is likely involved with the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.

    TIM SHORROCK: Right. Well, basically any large corporation that’s contracting with the National Security Agency has been involved in this. We talked earlier about Trailblazer. They were one of the subcontractors on this. SAIC ran the whole thing. But Booz Allen was a chief advisor to another program, which was the NSA’s internal communications. This was a program called Groundbreaker. And all of these programs are analyzing, you know, the phone calls that they intercept, the government communications from abroad they intercept. And when they’re intercepting phone calls between US citizens and people abroad, the corporations are involved. They have people there working not only as just technical advisors, but also doing analysis. And so, if the NSA is listening in on our phone calls, you can bet that Booz Allen is participating in that.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And I would think that most Americans are worried enough about the fact that the government is eavesdropping on so many of these phone calls, but that it’s also actually being done by private contractors for the government would be even more worrisome to most folks.

    TIM SHORROCK: Right. And, you know, I think equally worrisome is the fact that in the last year, when this became a big issue after the New York Times broke the story about the NSA, some Republicans in the Congress tried to introduce legislation to make sure that corporations would not be affected if it was deemed illegal, that they would basically be given a free pass and, you know, not prosecuted. So, you know, I think there’s a real question here about legal liability for these companies if this program is ever deemed illegal.

    AMY GOODMAN: To get a sense of how large Booz Allen is, where Mike McConnell comes from, “Information Week,” you write, “reports Booz Allen had more than 1,000 former intelligence officials on its [payroll]” and that it “employs more than 10,000 TS/SCI cleared personnel.” What does that mean?

    TIM SHORROCK: Well, that’s the highest level clearance that you can possibly get. And so that means they have basically an army of, you know, private —

    AMY GOODMAN: 10,000.

    TIM SHORROCK: 10,000 people. This was one contract that they had with the Defense Intelligence Agency, which I actually found on their website, you know, looking into different pages. But that 1,000 figure was the people actually on their payroll. And that was three years ago. And when I called them about this, they said, “We don’t confirm or deny numbers. We won’t tell you any numbers, but that number sounds reasonable.” So I think they have at least 1,000 on staff. And then, when they put together these projects, that was where their 10,000 number came from, so —

    AMY GOODMAN: Who are some names we might recognize?

    TIM SHORROCK: Among the corporations?

    AMY GOODMAN: Among the top 1,000 officials that Information Week says are on the staff.

    TIM SHORROCK: Oh. Well, we all know about James Woolsey, who is the former director of the CIA. He works at Booz Allen, a very well-known neoconservative who was one of the people who really pushed the Iraq war for years. They have all kinds of people that have come — names that most Americans won’t recognize.

    AMY GOODMAN: George Tenet, they do.

    TIM SHORROCK: Tenet’s not with Booz Allen, but Tenet is an intelligence contractor now. He just joined up, in fact, with a Carlisle company called Kinetic, which is one of the UK’s largest intelligence companies now here.

    AMY GOODMAN: But, Joan Dempsey?

    TIM SHORROCK: Joan Dempsey is the former executive director for Tenet, and she was hired last year by Booz Allen. They have all kinds of high-level officials working for them.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And what are the expectations, in terms of what McConnell will do in the position differently?

    TIM SHORROCK: I don’t think he’ll be very much different. You know, what I’ve heard from people — and most of my sources are people inside the industry, inside the corporations — and they basically tell me he’s a Yes man. He’s somebody who’s — they got him in because basically they want him to push their own programs.

    But I think it’s very important for your listeners to know and to understand that when talking about the intelligence office, 85% of the intelligence budget is controlled by the Pentagon. So we’re talking about a military program here. Everything — the NSA is under the Pentagon. The National Geospacial-Intelligence Agency, which does mapping and imagery, they’re under the Pentagon. The National Reconnaissance Office, which launches satellites, they’re under the Pentagon. And when the budget — when the Intelligence Reform Act passed, you might remember, there was a big fight. You know, the 9/11 Commission wanted to have these national agencies put under the DNI and taken out of the Pentagon, but there was a fight led by people in Congress, who basically represented the contractors, who didn’t want to be taken out of the Pentagon.

    AMY GOODMAN: So, is there a huge exodus of people from within government intelligence to these private contractors?

    TIM SHORROCK: Oh, absolutely. It’s been going on, you know, since the ’90s, you know, ever since, when in the early ’90s, they cut the intelligence budgets. Lots of people left, and they went into the contracting world. And then —

    AMY GOODMAN: Because it pays more.

    TIM SHORROCK: It pays three or four times more. And a lot of these people — they call them “green badges,” because a contractor has to wear a green badge when they work inside the agency — they go in the agency, and they’re sitting next to someone making, you know, $45,000, $50,000 a year, and they’re making $200,000, $250,000, $300,000. And it became such a problem that the last year the DNI actually put out a report saying, ’We’re in trouble, because we’re in competition with the contractors for our own jobs.’

    AMY GOODMAN: Where is the accountability?

    TIM SHORROCK: Where is the accountability? Hopefully, the Democrats are going to do some real oversight in this congress, and I think they’re talking about it, and I think that’s going to happen.

    AMY GOODMAN: Tim Shorrock, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Tim Shorrock is an independent reporter. His articles have appeared in The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, currently working on a book on the privatization of intelligence.

  92. 2007:

    Mike McConnell, Booz Allen and the Privatization of Intelligence

    http://www.democracynow.org/2007/1/12/mike_mcconnell_booz_allen_and_the

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, some of the programs that they’ve been involved with with the federal government have not worked out well, right? There’s some called Trailblazer and Groundbreaker. Could you talk about those?

    TIM SHORROCK: Right. Well, the NSA, the National Security Agency, is really sort of the lead agency in terms of outsourcing, and this began long before 9/11. It began in the late — you know, 1998, 1999, when they realized they were getting very behind the commercial world in technology. And so, you know, basically, the NSA has been leading this.

    Trailblazer was a very large program that they contracted to a company called Science Applications International Corporation, SAIC. And their job was basically to, as you said before, data mining. They wanted to get all the intelligence they get from the phone intercepts, satellites, and get it into a form that their analysts can read and understand and analyze. And that’s what SAIC has been doing.

    The project has cost about $4 billion, and it basically hasn’t worked at all. There are all kinds of problems with it. And this is an example of the kind of — you know, they give contractors control over huge programs, and then they subcontract. But it’s just not done very well. I mean, the government has done a very bad job of managing these programs, and, you know, Booz Allen has been involved in some of the most badly managed of these programs.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And McConnell, not only has he been involved in contracting, but isn’t he the chairman of the alliance of contractors that do business —

    TIM SHORROCK: Yeah. Over the last year, he became the chairman of this organization, the INSA, which represents the largest NSA and CIA contractors. So he’s very involved in all levels of the contracting world, in terms of promoting the contractors and in terms of, you know, talking — pushing their interests in the government, within Congress. And so, you know, a guy like this running our intelligence services, as I said before, really is a serious problem.

    AMY GOODMAN: What do you expect from the confirmation hearing?

    TIM SHORROCK: I think that there’s going to — they’re going to ask him some pretty sharp questions, because — I mean, you mentioned this TIA program. I mean, they have about — they had millions of dollars worth of contracts on this Total Information project, you know, which was basically spying on American people, American citizens, antiwar protesters. And so, I think, you know, some of the senators — Senator Feingold, others — have been very interested, you know, want to know what exactly happened in this program. And as I had been working on this subject, writing this book and doing the reporting, I find that, you know, through the corporations you can learn a heck of a lot about the intelligence operations and communities, because they’re so involved in it.

    AMY GOODMAN: Tim Shorrock, you write about the fact that Booz Allen is likely involved with the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens.

    TIM SHORROCK: Right. Well, basically any large corporation that’s contracting with the National Security Agency has been involved in this. We talked earlier about Trailblazer. They were one of the subcontractors on this. SAIC ran the whole thing. But Booz Allen was a chief advisor to another program, which was the NSA’s internal communications. This was a program called Groundbreaker. And all of these programs are analyzing, you know, the phone calls that they intercept, the government communications from abroad they intercept. And when they’re intercepting phone calls between US citizens and people abroad, the corporations are involved. They have people there working not only as just technical advisors, but also doing analysis. And so, if the NSA is listening in on our phone calls, you can bet that Booz Allen is participating in that.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And I would think that most Americans are worried enough about the fact that the government is eavesdropping on so many of these phone calls, but that it’s also actually being done by private contractors for the government would be even more worrisome to most folks.

    TIM SHORROCK: Right. And, you know, I think equally worrisome is the fact that in the last year, when this became a big issue after the New York Times broke the story about the NSA, some Republicans in the Congress tried to introduce legislation to make sure that corporations would not be affected if it was deemed illegal, that they would basically be given a free pass and, you know, not prosecuted. So, you know, I think there’s a real question here about legal liability for these companies if this program is ever deemed illegal.

    AMY GOODMAN: To get a sense of how large Booz Allen is, where Mike McConnell comes from, “Information Week,” you write, “reports Booz Allen had more than 1,000 former intelligence officials on its [payroll]” and that it “employs more than 10,000 TS/SCI cleared personnel.” What does that mean?

    TIM SHORROCK: Well, that’s the highest level clearance that you can possibly get. And so that means they have basically an army of, you know, private —

    AMY GOODMAN: 10,000.

    TIM SHORROCK: 10,000 people. This was one contract that they had with the Defense Intelligence Agency, which I actually found on their website, you know, looking into different pages. But that 1,000 figure was the people actually on their payroll. And that was three years ago. And when I called them about this, they said, “We don’t confirm or deny numbers. We won’t tell you any numbers, but that number sounds reasonable.” So I think they have at least 1,000 on staff. And then, when they put together these projects, that was where their 10,000 number came from, so —

    AMY GOODMAN: Who are some names we might recognize?

    TIM SHORROCK: Among the corporations?

    AMY GOODMAN: Among the top 1,000 officials that Information Week says are on the staff.

    TIM SHORROCK: Oh. Well, we all know about James Woolsey, who is the former director of the CIA. He works at Booz Allen, a very well-known neoconservative who was one of the people who really pushed the Iraq war for years. They have all kinds of people that have come — names that most Americans won’t recognize.

    AMY GOODMAN: George Tenet, they do.

    TIM SHORROCK: Tenet’s not with Booz Allen, but Tenet is an intelligence contractor now. He just joined up, in fact, with a Carlisle company called Kinetic, which is one of the UK’s largest intelligence companies now here.

    AMY GOODMAN: But, Joan Dempsey?

    TIM SHORROCK: Joan Dempsey is the former executive director for Tenet, and she was hired last year by Booz Allen. They have all kinds of high-level officials working for them.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: And what are the expectations, in terms of what McConnell will do in the position differently?

    TIM SHORROCK: I don’t think he’ll be very much different. You know, what I’ve heard from people — and most of my sources are people inside the industry, inside the corporations — and they basically tell me he’s a Yes man. He’s somebody who’s — they got him in because basically they want him to push their own programs.

    But I think it’s very important for your listeners to know and to understand that when talking about the intelligence office, 85% of the intelligence budget is controlled by the Pentagon. So we’re talking about a military program here. Everything — the NSA is under the Pentagon. The National Geospacial-Intelligence Agency, which does mapping and imagery, they’re under the Pentagon. The National Reconnaissance Office, which launches satellites, they’re under the Pentagon. And when the budget — when the Intelligence Reform Act passed, you might remember, there was a big fight. You know, the 9/11 Commission wanted to have these national agencies put under the DNI and taken out of the Pentagon, but there was a fight led by people in Congress, who basically represented the contractors, who didn’t want to be taken out of the Pentagon.

    AMY GOODMAN: So, is there a huge exodus of people from within government intelligence to these private contractors?

    TIM SHORROCK: Oh, absolutely. It’s been going on, you know, since the ’90s, you know, ever since, when in the early ’90s, they cut the intelligence budgets. Lots of people left, and they went into the contracting world. And then —

    AMY GOODMAN: Because it pays more.

    TIM SHORROCK: It pays three or four times more. And a lot of these people — they call them “green badges,” because a contractor has to wear a green badge when they work inside the agency — they go in the agency, and they’re sitting next to someone making, you know, $45,000, $50,000 a year, and they’re making $200,000, $250,000, $300,000. And it became such a problem that the last year the DNI actually put out a report saying, ’We’re in trouble, because we’re in competition with the contractors for our own jobs.’

    AMY GOODMAN: Where is the accountability?

    TIM SHORROCK: Where is the accountability? Hopefully, the Democrats are going to do some real oversight in this congress, and I think they’re talking about it, and I think that’s going to happen.

    AMY GOODMAN: Tim Shorrock, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Tim Shorrock is an independent reporter. His articles have appeared in The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, currently working on a book on the privatization of intelligence.

  93. Oky1, SWM should put on the Nazi armband? Callin’ a penalty on that one, you’re out of bounds. WAY out of bounds. WAY. and your subsequent postings are no better. You say you won’t “willingly put up (sic) this Nazi takeover of the US by the Obama’s, Lindsey Grahams, McCains etc.” but what did you do for your country when these totalitarian policies were sown during the Bush years? Were you calling for his Impeachment? If you and the millions you cite are serious how come I didn’t hear about your movement making a difference between 2002 and 2008? While you may think you’re serious I suspect you just don’t know how the world works and place too much importance on presidents and other national figureheads. They are of limited independent effectiveness.

    Presidents come and go but there is a superstructure of people (representing monied interests) cycling through the government/military/corporate machine that persists for generations. They run governments and they run the world and they control the money/wealth and the worlds resources.

    Have you not been paying attention. You know those yearly meetings of the Bilderbergers and G-pick-a-numbers when government officials and titans of commerce (the titles change as the revolving door spins but the names and faces seldom change) get together in absolute secrecy? What do you think they do? They decide how the world will work, who gets what, and the nature of national and international reality in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 year timetables and programs.

    Unless the come to the office as a program member presidents and prime ministers are little more than lavatory attendants in that world. Then they better get with the program. Get with the program or stay well away from grassy knolls. If they get with the program they are allowed to be facilitators for programs and trends, some of which are near and dear to their own hearts, but always in the best interest of the real power elite.

  94. We here at Booz Allen are mortified that a person we hired had a conscience. Rest assured, that will never happen again!

    Thanks for the link to the info anon posted.

  95. I spent an hour or so looking trough the blawg archives to see how long we have been discussing Prism and NSA spying (on the massive scale needed to implement Total Information Awareness). I figured it would have reached back to 2008-2009. 2009 it was. The media started to take some notice then because of some court challenges and there were a couple of good investigative reports about the explosion of the nations security infrastructure including this one:

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/

    If you like the first page just keep reading, there’s another 6 pages that’s dense with information to feast on, an excellent investigation. So why are we getting all upset now?

    It seems to me that with the eminent opening of the NSA Utah Data Center we the US, are reaching a critical mass, like watching Skynet come on line- and it’s freaking us out. They’re building another one in Maryland- these are massive facilities, 1 mllion sq.feet in Utah and mostly for their server rooms and a lot of room to expand outward, a projected 40 million dollar electricity bill yearly, also mostly for the servers.

    Even though the plan was known about for years (and that knowledge informed comments on this blawg for years) it’s coming to fruition now. It’s one of those things that at some future time will be seen as a demarcation between the way things were and the way they are in the future-now. For years I and others have said that once the technology is in place and the infrastructure is in place and coordinated the real transformation into a security state can take place. This is a major component and it’s ready. This is the Big Brother machine. It should, and seems to be, making our heads ‘splode.

    How it works and what it will do by someone that wrote the code:

    “Under the covers of the NSA’s big data effort”
    http://gigaom.com/2013/06/07/under-the-covers-of-the-nsas-big-data-effort/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OmMalik+%28GigaOM%3A+Tech%29

  96. Our nations leaders and Toobin are traitors.
    They willing expose the Bill of Rights to attack. THEY should be charged with Treason.
    The American people must not allow these fascists to win.

  97. WOW !! five minutes ago the link I sourced above had in its 2nd paragraph Woolseys work history at booz allen. There is no longer a 2nd paragraph.
    WooHoo I have something to do now. :o)

  98. do you think the people would be listened to if we only had a double barrel shotgun and 2 boxes of shells available to us?

    Well, It seems like nonviolence worked pretty well in India, the Women’s Suffrage movement, and it looks to doing an o.k. job with GLBT rights. I’m pretty sure that the Prohibitionists were non-violent, and they got the Constitution amended. On the other hand, the Civil war didn’t seem to end too well for the South, and most people don’t look towards violent organizations on either end of the political spectrum too kindly.

    So, on the balance, I’d say that yes, the people get listened too when they don’t rely on violence as a fall back point.

  99. ** lottakatz 1, June 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Oky1, SWM should put on the Nazi armband? Callin’ a penalty on that one, you’re out of bounds. WAY out of bounds. WAY. and your subsequent postings are no better. You say you won’t “willingly put up (sic) this Nazi takeover of the US by the Obama’s, Lindsey Grahams, McCains etc.” but what did you do for your country when these totalitarian policies were sown during the Bush years? Were you calling for his Impeachment? If you and the millions you cite are serious how come I didn’t hear about your movement making a difference between 2002 and 2008? While you may think you’re serious I suspect you just don’t know how the world works and place too much importance on presidents and other national figureheads. They are of limited independent effectiveness. **

    lottakatz 1,

    Yes, I was calling for the Nazi GW Bush’s impeachment years back, etc.,etc…..

    And oh ya, besides GW Bush’s own criminal actions, his dad & it’s a matter of New York Federal Court records GW’s grand dad was a convicted Nazi.

    Ya, now we know Joe Kennedy before WW2, IBM, JP Morgan Chase through out the war, etc., all helped aid/abet/finance the Nazis. I forget some of the details but they are out there in public.

    And just a bit about Gene H’s Godwin’s Law.

    I’m not going to call a dog a cat or a horse a pile of 2x4s, I’m call them as I see them.

    Years back there were some guys here that went & robbed a chicken restaurant. They herded everyone into the back & killed them. In court the lawyer argued the driver stayed in the car & had no part in the murders. But the jury found him guilt as the rest & also gave him the death penalty.

    Some of the Nuremberg trials earlier were decide along that same concept.

    Point being if any of us aid/abet those Nazis, before or after the fact they will be at least guilt of aiding/abeting. Just how culpable, I’m not sure at the moment, but that’s what DAs & courts are for.

    In fairness I should have went back & dug up some of her quotes before I posted.

    If you’re looking for the body count of these modern day Nazis many of the records are public all one has to do is a small bit of research

    IE: Poindexter & Ollie North govt audio of them laughing at murders they were a party to by their friends in Central America. It’s still out there I’d bet.

    Note: the Romney startup money.

    Reagan/Red Cross & the case of knowingly distributing blood in the US that was contaminated with AIDS.

    How far back or forward in history do you wish to go?

    On another topic of interest now that everyone knows of the extent of the govt’s Gestapo spying programs, one question that needs to be answered is how many Supreme Court rulings, such as Obama Care or Bush vs Gore were decided because of Blackmail of certain SC justices?

    That more then enough for me now.

    **
    From Wiki

    John Marlan Poindexter (born August 12, 1936) is a retired United States naval officer and Department of Defense official. He was Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor for the Reagan administration. He was convicted in April 1990 of multiple felonies as a result of his actions in the Iran-Contra affair, but his convictions were reversed on appeal in 1991. More recently, he served a brief stint as the director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office for the George W. Bush administration. He is the father of NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Alan Poindexter. **

  100. Snowden ’16. As to the high school education thing. Go out and speak to a group of college grads. 50% of them cannot put a sentence together and the other half have the attention spans of sugared-up kindergarteners.

  101. I have a dog pal who is guide dog for a guy who works at CNN. At CNN they call Jeffrey Toobin “The Cheater” and “The Two Hearted Clown”. They sing a song about him written by Bob Kuban and The In Men. Here arte the lyrics to The Cheater:

    [music] Bob Kuban and The In Men. The Cheater:

    Haven’t you heard about the guy known as the cheater
    he’ll take your girl and then he’ll lie and he’ll mistreat her
    it seems every day now
    you hear people say now
    Look out for the cheater
    make way for the fool-hearted clown
    look out for the cheater
    he’s gonna build you up just to let you down
    All of you girls had better stay inside your door now
    he’ll hurt you once, then turn around and hurt you some more now
    while he’s out betrayin’
    you’ll hear people sayin’
    [repeat chorus]
    That cheater took my baby
    away from me
    yes, and now, i don’t mean maybe
    i’ll get her back, just wait and see
    wait and see

    one of these days he’ll find a girl who knows all about him
    she’s gonna break his carefree heart and go on without him
    and you’ll hear thereafter
    above all the laughter
    Tough luck for the cheater
    too bad for the fool-hearted clown
    tough break for the cheater
    who used to build you up just to let you down
    Tough luck for the cheater
    too bad for the fool-hearted clown
    tough break for the cheater
    who used to build you up just to let you down .

  102. The reason the co workers sing the song about Toobin is because he is a two faced astardBay and cheated on his wife and has a child out of wedlock with Jeff Greenfields daughter. So, the name The Cheater has some legs.

  103. The “War on terror”, like the “War on drugs”, dances between metaphor and actual war. Robert McNamera raises some interesting questions about “proportionality” in this clip (from a great movie, “The Fog of War”). There are obviously many who consider data-mining and extra-legal surveillance (I’m sure the term extra-legal just landed this post in a file at the NSA) to never/always be proper/improper, or legal/illegal. The reality is it’s going to happen. Period. If you’re reading this blog you are not of the class that makes these decisions and you do not get to play by there rules. I hate it when events such as these make “the crazies” seem prophetic. Yeah, I have an NPR umbrella and I don’t have NRA sticker on my car. I go to the farmers’ market and not gun shows on the weekend. But I’m keeping my guns oiled just the same (another blip at NSA).

  104. CNN is going downhill. First tyou have that fast talking schtick best done by Jon King. They are all prompted to talk fast. Then you have the know it all and smug Piers Morgan who thinks that the Brits know everything and Americans are too tied to handguns. Jeff Toobin is the worst of the so called experts. Sdmug as a bug. Never tried a jury trial case in his life. Harvard this and Clerk for judge that. Cheated on his wife. Now we have him throwing rocks on behalf of the Obama Administration and Big Corp at this whistleblower. “Clown”? How bout you Brown? I liked the song posted by BarkinDog called The Cheater. It fits Toobin perfectly: A two hearted clown.

  105. {music] Haven’t you heard about the Clown, known as The Toobin?
    He’ll set you up and let you down..
    Then jump on his scooter.

  106. I can understand why Obama did not pursue the war criminals at the CIA and other agencies who acted on the legal advice of the White House. There are political and institutional reasons that I think are obvious to all concerned. So if Obama can be so charitable to those who carried out torture under the color of law, I think that he most certainly can forgive this slight transgression on the part of Snowden. While he may have technically broken the law, he most certainly acted within the SPIRIT of the US Constitution. In fact, he did a great service to the US and let us into the secret world that has been hidden for far too long.

    I hardly think that the US government keeping track of who calls who is a threat to civil liberties, it does raise severe questions about how far we and the Congress wish to go down this path. This disclosure was an act of patriotism and without it we would not be having this discussion. He did not endanger others lives, nor stop the collection of intel. So as far as I can see and think, there is little or no damage to our security. I also have to note that this was being done before Congress voted to authorize this. At least Obama has not violated the law as all previous administrations have done.

  107. This is from Greenwald: http://www.people-press.org/files/2013/06/6-10-13-4.png It shows how views of surveillance changed by party over the years. It shows: 1. the effectiveness of propaganda and 2. the need for people to adopt a coherent ethical stance, not one dictated by party affiliation.

    I agree with Gyges and Dredd. This criminal govt must be confronted with soul force.

  108. U.S. Rep. Peter King is a crypto-fascist who is willing to sellout the Bill of Rights for political expedience.

  109. Too bad you can’t tell a real Nazi from a hole in the ground, Oky.

    The value of an observation is intimately linked to the (mis-)perceptions of the observer. When it comes to political science, if you think Smom is a Nazi, then your perception is way out of whack. I say this as a trained observer in the arena of political science (among others).

    Provide some proof she’s a Nazi. Use quotes and links. Be specific in your evidence.

    Otherwise, it’s not even an observation. It’s just an unfounded opinion. And you know what they say about opinions. And you know what Richard Pryor said about assh*les. Do the math.

  110. Funny. Are hospitals terrorists for killing 100,000 each year because of poor bacterial containment? It’s all BS. These homeland security departments need to justify their existence and that is with fear and secrecy.

  111. Gene,

    A hole in the ground … I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

  112. Oky1, NAZI and nazi are very specific words, an acronym for the German NAtionale SoZIalist Workers Party, as practiced by Hitler’s regime after 1933. It has a very specific historical context. You can be a fascist and not be a nazi. I may hear some story of governmental abuse on TV and think to myself “F^&k$#@* nazis” as personal shorthand but I wouldn’t write that publicly since it isn’t correct. If you ant to talk about how closely America has drifted toward fascism, well, that’s something else.

    I am familiar with the planning for an attempted coup you refer to and all of your other illustrations. The question I feel more appropriately asked is are they traitors and/or fascists? Yea, sure. They should all have been tried on that charge- Ollie North (spits) walks free and with some measure of favorableand profitable celebrity and that is a crime in itself. I could make an argument that ‘nazi’, given the appropriate set of class-based conditions, would be appropriate but we’re not there yet. If we’re drifting in that direction is an argument for a different thread. I could make that argument.

    Laws and court decisions secured by blackmail? I don’t think blackmail is necessary, money and influence is less difficult and more effective currently as a tool. When people here say that we have the best government money can buy we’re not kidding.

    I will readily concede that for a smoothly running state with a totalitarian bent a tool as effective as the NSA spying technology (and license to use it) is the high-tech equivalent of Hoover’s files. I have my own ideas about that situation and how it could play into the new feudalism.

    You’re not going to find any nazis on this blawg. Some unhappy liberals for sure, but no nazis. I’ll let you sort the rest of our commenter’s for yourself. :-)

  113. LK,

    OT: I asked my mom today about your banana/pudding issue. Her first question was “Does she use instant pudding.” I said I didn’t know. She said if you use instant pudding, you’ll never avoid the sweating issue. It just doesn’t bind to the milk as well as a cooked pudding. She went on to say that even prepacked cooked pudding might not get the job done, further stating that the only way she’s been able to avoid it consistently is to make the pudding completely from scratch using an egg based recipe (she also added that if you’ve never made pudding from scratch that way that the tricky part is adding the eggs at the right temperature to avoid scrambling and to constantly stir it until it starts to set. And she was adamant about the word “constantly”.).

    All in all I learned a lot more about the subject than I had intended, but those are the high points. :D

  114. Regarding Jeffrey Toobin: There are ego trippers and then there are ego trippers who trip on acid. Sooooo self absorbed.

  115. Haven’t you heard about the clown, known as Jeff Toobin?
    This is regarding Jeffrey Toobin from Wikipedia:

    “In 1986, he married Amy Bennett McIntosh.[13] He met Amy while they worked at the Harvard Crimson newspaper together in college. She is a 1980 Harvard graduate[14] and has held executive positions at Verizon and Zagat Survey.[15] They have two children.[15] He was reported by the New York Times to have had a long term extra-marital affair with Casey Greenfield, daughter of American television journalist and author Jeff Greenfield, which resulted in a paternity suit. Toobin was eventually confirmed as the father of the child. Greenfield has sole custody.[15][16]”

  116. Gene: (pudding) “All in all I learned a lot more about the subject than I had intended, but those are the high points.”
    **

    Lol, or that you ever wanted to know! Thanks for the inquiry, your mom and you have been helpful in the quest for the perfect banana cream pie; or at least one that doesn’t get watery.

    I use packaged cook type pudding. Scratch pudding is better and time consuming but I make a mean scratch chocolate pudding. About once a year. I’m going to have to do some research, it could be something specific to the bananas, they get funky very fast and break down quickly, that’s why I thought cooking them and enrobing them in a sugar sauce would help. I’ll keep working on it. Thanks.

  117. Here is something to ponder about International Human Rights while we ponder about Toobin the Clown calling the whistleblower a clown.

    PREAMBLE

    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

    Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

    ^ Top

    Article 1.
    •All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

    ^ Top

    Article 2.
    •Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    ^ Top

    Article 3.
    •Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

    ^ Top

    Article 4.
    •No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

    ^ Top

    Article 5.
    •No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

    ^ Top

    Article 6.
    • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

    ^ Top

    Article 7.
    • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    ^ Top

    Article 8.
    • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

    ^ Top

    Article 9.
    • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    ^ Top

    Article 10.
    • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

    ^ Top

    Article 11.
    • (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
    • (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

    ^ Top

    Article 12.
    • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    ^ Top

    Article 13.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
    • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    ^ Top

    Article 14.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    ^ Top

    Article 15.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    ^ Top

    Article 16.
    • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
    • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
    • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

    ^ Top

    Article 17.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

    ^ Top

    Article 18.
    • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    ^ Top

    Article 19.
    • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    ^ Top

    Article 20.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
    • (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

    ^ Top

    Article 21.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
    • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
    • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

    ^ Top

    Article 22.
    • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    ^ Top

    Article 23.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
    • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
    • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
    • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    ^ Top

    Article 24.
    • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    ^ Top

    Article 25.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    ^ Top

    Article 26.
    • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
    • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
    • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

    ^ Top

    Article 27.
    • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
    • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

    ^ Top

    Article 28.
    • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

    ^ Top

    Article 29.
    • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
    • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
    • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

    ^ Top

    Article 30.
    • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

    end.

    These Articles were framed in 1948. One would think that Jeffrey Toobin and his law pals would recognize an International Human Rights issue and not resort to calling this Snowden guy a “Clown”.

    This blog needs to examine the international human rights laws which “Some” nation states have adopted. We need to outline the various human rights entities in the world and examine the participation of the United States. Afterall, we are the Exceptional Nation which went after the Nazi criminals at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII. That was fifteen years before Toobin the Clown was even born.

  118. Regarding Toobin: Watch out for this Cheater, this two headed Clown. Listen to the Bob Kuban and the In Men album which can be found on Google, song and all. It tells the story of Toobin, the guy who porked another guy’s wife and sired a child. Toobin: The Porkin Cheater. Coming to a theatre near you. You can see this dork virtually each night of the week on CNN and listen to him prognosticate on legal matters.

  119. Ok, BarkinDog and itchinBayDog, you have said some things about Jeffrey Toobin on this blog but the question arises: Has Jeffry Toobin ever tried a jury trial as an attorney in his whole life. We are not talking about being a clerk for some schmuck judge. He is always pontificating about the Zimmerman case and other jury trial cases and it has been alleged that this schmuck has never tried any case before a judge, whether jury or non jury, civil or criminal. Can someone chimne in on this?

  120. Wikepedia summarizes Toobin’s career and there was no time when he actually practiced law much less tried a jury case. How can CNN put this schmuck on television as an expert? Where does he get off calling the whistleblower guy a “Clown” when that is his nickname amongst the folks he works with at CNN. Toobin the Cheater, the two hearted clown.

  121. The attack on September 11, 2001 has been successful beyond the fondest imaginings of its architects. In the space of a decade, we have become a nation in which fear dominates political debate and legislative action. We have readily abandoned every freedom deemed a hindrance to security. We have eliminated considerations of law and tradition in favor of dubious tests of effectiveness in the formulation of policy on issues ranging from the treatment of the captured to the capture of communications. We have willingly ceded to the executive branch the authority to accuse, convict and execute any human being, recreating the very form of tyranny abolished at Runnymede in 1215. And when the few courageous among us have attempted to remind us of our constitutional roots, the cowards and profiteers of terror have responded with charges of treason.

    We should not condemn Mr. Snowden. We should save our condemnation for those who have made Mr. Snowden’s actions necessary.

  122. Question:
    Is it still illegal to open mail sent through the USPS?

    I think this could become an excellent ad campaign idea…

  123. NSA Leak Highlights Key Role Of Private Contractors
    By JONATHAN FAHEY and ADAM GOLDMAN
    06/10/13
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/nsa-leak-contractors_n_3418876.html?1370919691

    Excerpt:
    NEW YORK — The U.S. government monitors threats to national security with the help of nearly 500,000 people like Edward Snowden – employees of private firms who have access to the government’s most sensitive secrets.

    When Snowden, an employee of one of those firms, Booz Allen Hamilton, revealed details of two National Security Agency surveillance programs, he spotlighted the risks of making so many employees of private contractors a key part of the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

    James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, called Snowden’s leak “gut wrenching.”

    The leak could lead the nation’s intelligence agencies to reconsider their reliance on outside contractors, said Joseph Augustyn, a former senior CIA official and principal at Booz Allen.

    “I think it would call into question the role of the defense contractors,” Augustyn said.

    Booz Allen, based in McLean, Va., provides consulting services, technology support and analysis to U.S. government agencies and departments. Last year, 98 percent of the company’s $5.9 billion in revenue came from U.S. government contracts. Three-fourths of its 25,000 employees hold government security clearances. Half the employees have top secret clearances.

  124. Mike Appleton
    1, June 11, 2013 at 1:31 am
    ——
    The problem w/peoples/corporations/nations who ‘take advantage’ of others during times of shock and disaster is that that behaviour by design puts the most self enriching cruelest intentioned and close minded thinkers to action in roles of power. The only true course in times of disaster is to help, or else….. and here we all are….

  125. Well said, Mike Appleton. And Bob K., good follow-up.

    There’s more… And it isn’t pretty. But we’re seeing cracks in the damn.

  126. Mike Appleton: There is an historical parallel to the 9/11 attacks and the passage of the Patriot Act. Some dog talks about it on this blog. It has to do with Adolph Hitler and the burning of the Reichstag (German Parliament Bldg.) in 1933.

  127. First they came for the Snowdens. I did not object or say anything because I was not a Snowden. Then they came for the clowns. I did not say anything because I was not a wife cheating clown named Jeffrey Toobin.

Comments are closed.